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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, January 10, 2004

San Francisco Giants

Signed P Brett Tomko to a 1-year contract, $1.5 million contract.

Good thing Brian Sabean didn’t waste $1.5 million on one of those evil, child-molesting draft picks when a player the caliber of Tomko can be acquired for the same price.  If Sabean’s really having trouble figuring out what to do with the saved draft pick money, I can think of better uses than Brett Tomko, such as hiring someone to dub the entire run of Mama’s Family into Mandarin Chinese.

Most mediocre pitchers are able to sneak above league-average once in a while, but Tomko’s proven devilishly skillful at avoiding that nasty fate since his rookie year, maxing out at an ERA+ of 97 in 1998.  Tomko has even proven impervious to ballpark effects, allowing 66 homers in the last 2 years playing at Qualcomm and Busch.

People say that ballplayers are spoiled nowadays, especially the stars.  Brian Sabean has decided to change that and has dedicated the 2004 season to making sure Barry Bonds knows what it feels like to be working in a waste treatment plant.

Tomko, Brett - 2004 ZiPS Projection
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
9 11 31 30 196 208 102 29 58 113 4.68

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 10, 2004 at 05:41 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Cris E Posted: July 31, 2003 at 09:35 PM (#567208)
One thing Sabean has done a bunch of, sucessfully I might add, is take flyers on guys the rest of the world (OK, sometimes it's just the pitch counters) see as injury risks. Schmidt was constantly injured in PIT, Livan had 100,000 miles on him by the age of "26", and now Ponson shows up with a labrum tear that was treated by everyone in the organization placing their hands over their ears and loudly singing "La la la".

Some of it is the Conte factor, but whatever, he's done pretty well.
   202. Zen Bitz Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:10 PM (#567210)
Giants Fan Whingey Perspective: I think we gave up a little too much. But I have heard that Hannaman was injured also. Maybe since Hannaman AND Ainsworth were both injured, Sabes had to give up both.

Real Perspective: This is a move soley to solidify the 2003 playoff rotation at the expense of all other considerations. Ainsworth was likely done for the year, and Moss was no Loss. I wince at the 3-young-guys-for-1-soon-to-be-free-agent, but I suppose I have learned to trust Sabean the Hoss trader.

Last thought: Hannaman is a throw-in who is roughly equivalent to the draft pick SF gets for not resigning Ponson (whom they might sign if he is a Jason Schmidt-style Pac Bell God (tm))
   203. The Artist Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:27 PM (#567212)
"Rob Neyer: ***UPDATE*** The Giants traded Kurt Ainsworth and Damian Moss to the Orioles for Sidney Ponson. Seems like a great deal for the Giants, who are loaded with young pitching prospects, but can use a veteran like Ponson when October rolls around. "

Is Neyer smoking crack- he's talking about veteran experience ?
   204. The Artist Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:29 PM (#567213)
NOTE: I posted this in the trade thing (it might come out a couple of times, but I will reiterate it here- logically speaking, here's why I dislike the deal.

Ponson's numbers are basically the same as Ainsworths, extrapolated over a period of almost double the starts. Ainsworth (3.82 ERA, 6.34 K/9, 1.65 K/BB)- Ponson (6.08 K/9, 2.33 K/BB, 3.77 ERA)- I realize Ainsworth is in PAc Bell as opposed to Camden Yards, and concede Ponson is a better pitcher, but 8 million dollars (expected free agent price) and 5 years cheap better ? More so, Moss had been pitching far better recently- why mess with a winning formula, by trading guys who are doing damn well ? And Hannerman is a high upside prospect- certainly a flameout possibility, but the kind of guy you throw in as a the bait on a big deal- not as a filler at the end, the way SF is doing it. Sabes got snookered by the win totals- bring back Thrift- we could have gotten Ponson for Bernard and Neifi...
   205. wcw Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:39 PM (#567215)
without Hannaman, it's an expensive but acceptable deal from a win-now perspective. I mean, have you looked at the Giants rotation lately? yowza.

however, with Hannaman, in a prospects-are-like-gold environment, Sabean overpaid by at least one grade of pitcher. he should have offered Moss, Hermanson and Woolard instead.

does Minaya know Savean was offering this nice a package around? because if the trade had been for Vazquez, the crowd would be singing a different tune.
   206. The Artist Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:42 PM (#567217)
Walt, wcw,
   207. wcw Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:48 PM (#567218)
well, it does fill a serious need, just like the Lofton trade last year. just like the Lofton trade, however, the price paid was clearly one interesting prospect too high. both Diaz and Hannaman may yet flame out, but that's not the point: in both instances, Sabean got that $10 haircut he needed for an interview for a neat $15.

pull this and job offer or no, you don't eat lunch that day.

don't even get me started on the David Cash 'deal' (of which admittedly I should long have let go) in which Sabean gave away an interesting prospect to the Cubs in order to.. um.. make the Tribune Corporation stop badmouthing him around the league. yay!
   208. Tinkers2Evers Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:52 PM (#567219)
Can't help but love it for the O's. Hannamann can get it in the mid-90's and while his ERA isn't great he does have 77 K's in just 63 innings as a 21 year old in Double-A. I really like the deal for the O's.
   209. The Artist Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:55 PM (#567220)
hannamann 's in high A ball....
   210. wcw Posted: July 31, 2003 at 11:02 PM (#567222)
Hannaman's actually rehabbing in rookie ball, but he got most of his K's in the Cal League this season.

all you O's fans should write thank-you notes to Brian Sabean.
   211. MM1f Posted: August 01, 2003 at 01:28 AM (#567231)
Nice job for th Orioles to get Moss AND Ainsworth for a guy having his first real good year.
   212. Ziggy Posted: August 01, 2003 at 01:48 AM (#567232)
I think we've mostly agreed that the O's won this one. We've got to remember, however, that "losing" a trade isn't all that bad of a thing given the right circumstances. The Giants are miles out in front of the competition, but have a weak rotation. Moss wasn't strengthening it any, and Ainsworth was injured. Both could be good pitchers down the road, but won't help get to the WS this year. Sure, the Giants "lost" the trade, but if they end up winning the world series it's going to be a lot easier to forgive Sabean for losing a trade.

As an aside, what value - player wise - does a world championship have? Say you're the Red Sox, and knew that Bagwell would become a superstar, but also knew that with the addition of Larry Anderson you win the WS. I think they'd pull the trigger in a minute and let the Astros have their HOFer. Of course, there's never that kind of certainty, but the addition of Ponson does increase the Giants' chances in a short series, and the likelihood of Ainsworth or Hannaman being stars is pretty low. Certeras Parabus, it's a bad trade, but in the context in which it actually happened, go Giants.
   213. jwb Posted: August 01, 2003 at 01:49 AM (#567233)
Remember, in order to get draft picks, you have to offer these guys arbitration. It will take a few years for the mid-level arbitration market to correct itself to the mid-level free agent market. Players will be more likely to accept arbitration until this correction occurs.

As for Ainsworth, he had Tommy John surgery in college, he had back trouble last season, and now has a broken shoulder blade. Maybe the Giants decided he was never going to be healthy.
   214. Jefferson Posted: August 01, 2003 at 02:59 AM (#567235)
Damien Moss is a walking gas can.
   215. Floyd Thursby Posted: August 01, 2003 at 03:26 AM (#567238)
...just like the Lofton trade, however, the price paid was clearly one interesting prospect too high.

I liked Felix Diaz as much as a guy could like an injury-prone AA ball pitcher, but Ryan Meaux was hardly interesting. The problem with the Lofton trade was that everyone compared it to the Durham trade, which was straight thievery. Meaux is a 24-year old reliever who has great control, but has never posted more than a decent K/9 against much younger competition. If there is no such thing as a pitching prospect, there is definitely no such thing as a relief prospect.

Felix Diaz is 22, and having an okay season in AAA. He might yet pan out, but he has had the exact same career path as Lorenzo Barcelo so far.

Moss is useless, Hannanman is a fragile talent with a long way to go, and Ainsworth is out for the year. The Giants got the best starter on the block, and are going to stick him Pac Bell. Next year, worst case, they start Schmidt, Rueter, Williams, Foppert, Correia/mid-range FA, and they snatch the draft picks for Ponson. Ainsworth would look nice in that rotation, but they'll manage.
   216. Fog City Blues Posted: August 01, 2003 at 03:46 AM (#567240)
Interesting - Peter Gammons says the the Giants were trying to get Ponson AND Jason Johnson from the O's in exchange for Ainsworth, Moss, Hannaman, and two other prospects.

He also sugggested that Rueter's shoulder really pushed Sabean to get Ponson, which makes me a little concerned about Rueter's health.

Gammons also said that the Giants were in serious talks with Montreal about Vazquez but the talks broke off yesterday when the Expos were told by Selig that they couldn't trade their stars.

As is the case with Gammons, feel free to question the source if you like.
   217. Fog City Blues Posted: August 01, 2003 at 04:13 AM (#567242)
I tend to believe Gammons in this case as well. He even dropped in the anecdote that Sabean's and Colletti's cell phones didn't work inside the hotel bar and they had to run outside and talk to Beatagan from Michigan Ave. last night.

I think one of Gammons' interns is stalking Sabes.
   218. Jefferson Posted: August 01, 2003 at 06:16 AM (#567244)
Kurt Ainsworth is a broken scapula. At least for this year. And when you can sniff the Series, this year is often all you care about.

So.

Sabes trades a walking gas can and a broken scapula for one of the best pitchers in the AL.

This is so the Giants can get back to the Series, this year. Next year is next year. Sabean will worry about it come November. He tore a NL champion apart last year; he can and will do it again this year if he needs to. I trust the guy, even though he traded Ortiz for a walking gas can to save some money.
   219. Floyd Thursby Posted: August 01, 2003 at 07:12 AM (#567246)
Anyway, point is he's a pitching prospect who has less than 70 IP in high-A. That's like a beautiful woman whose language you don't speak who shows up at your house one night and starts sleeping with you. Its nice while it lasts, but you won't be totally surprised if she suddenly disappears and you never see her again.

"I'll take 'Tortured Metaphors' for $500 Alex"


Don't sell yourself short, that's genius. You've been saving that up, looking for the right thread to toss it in, and I'm not going to let it pass unnoticed.
   220. The Artist Posted: August 01, 2003 at 02:17 PM (#567249)
<I>

Anyway, point is he's a pitching prospect who has less than 70 IP in high-A. That's like a beautiful woman whose language you don't speak who shows up at your house one night and starts sleeping with you. Its nice while it lasts, but you won't be totally surprised if she suddenly disappears and you never see her again.

"I'll take 'Tortured Metaphors' for $500 Alex"
   221. David Jones Posted: August 01, 2003 at 05:09 PM (#567251)
I think some posters here are overrating Ponson. One of the best pitchers in the AL?

I wouldn't take him over Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, David Wells, Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay, Estaban Loaiza, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Rich Harden, or Joel Pineiro. At best, he was the 12th best pitcher in the American League. His numbers are solid, but some people are making him out to be an ace, and he's not. His ERA is 3.77. His strikeout to walk ratio is worse than Bartolo Colon, Andy Pettitte, and a few other guys I didn't list as clearly better than Ponson. In his career, he's tended to be a late-fader: His ERA after the All Star break is .40 runs higher than before the All-Star break.
   222. tlbos Posted: August 03, 2003 at 12:12 PM (#567255)
Agree with #56. Prior Oriole administrations would have locked Ponson up for 5+ years and gotten maybe 1 good year out of him. Until this year, he's been a league average pitcher ERA wise. Nothing special about his walk or K rates that screams he'll have a breakout season. I doubt he will ever have as much trade value as he had in this deal.

To #37 - in the wild card era I'm not sure making moves to win this year is such a hot idea. You have to win 3 series, which makes it more or less a crapshoot. I'd rather have a team that wins the division 3 or 4 years straight and gets 3 or 4 chances at the Series. I don't see SF winning the series thanks to Ponson, and I don't see him having anywhere near the value of the three guys they traded for him next year.
   223. Jimbo Jones Posted: August 19, 2003 at 10:56 PM (#567492)
Excellent assessment of Sabean/Gillick, I couldn't agree more.
   224. wcw Posted: August 19, 2003 at 11:12 PM (#567493)
well, I do think Sabean overpays some, but yeah, it's the contracts to veteran outmakers that are his primary weakness, his system's apparent inability to draft or develop position players a closae second.

while the assessment of 'third tier' is spot on (where someone like Williams or Foppert is first tier, Hannaman second), I will miss Bruso's singleminded devotion to throwing strikes.
   225. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: August 19, 2003 at 11:36 PM (#567494)
For what it's worth, I agree that Young is a better pickup for the Giants than Womack for the Cubs, but do want to point out that the Cubs and Young burned some bridges a couple years ago. Young, in particular, is particularly upset about the way he was let go.

Still, nice move by the Giants.
   226. MM1f Posted: August 19, 2003 at 11:59 PM (#567495)
Sabean got Merkin Valdez(although that wasn't his name then, literally a PTBNL)with Moss for Ortiz. Then turned Moss and the other two into Ponson.

Yeah it'd be better if they hadn't dumped Ortiz in the first place, but it wasn't as bad as say...
   227. Jason Posted: August 20, 2003 at 11:58 AM (#567500)
This was a pretty solid deal for Melvin. He shed over 500K of salary and got a solid pitching prospect in a very tough market. And If Sabean follows up the inexplicable claim of Neifi with exercising EY's option the Brewers make out like bandits.
   228. Jefferson Posted: August 20, 2003 at 05:42 PM (#567501)
Don't forget what this trade really means.

LESS NEIFI PEREZ.

I've got a disease, and the only prescription is LESS NEIFI PEREZ.

I could kiss Sabean.
   229. bhoov Posted: August 20, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#567502)
There's no way Sabean exercises EY's option. Why would he? He's made it clear in statements that EY is just a stopgap until Durham's back and he's already negotiated that he doesn't have to pay the buyout. My fear for next year is that Sabean let's Aurilia go and makes neifi his starting SS. ugh!
   230. Zen Bitz Posted: August 20, 2003 at 08:29 PM (#567504)
his system's apparent inability to draft or develop position players a closae second.

While this is frustrating for Texieria-less Giants fans, I think this is really a "design" choice by Sabean and Co. Their draft/develeop philosospy is pitching, pitching, and more pitching, and if they have enough pitching they get some more pitching. They then flip the suspect-side prospects in trade, and sign proven ML veteran position players.

I think Huckaby said (is that like quoting Aristotle?) that he doesn't necessarily agree with that philosopy, but at least it's a consistant method. I echo those sentitments.

Pac Bell Tix tonight! Row 3 section 151

Ben
   231. Jefferson Posted: August 20, 2003 at 09:39 PM (#567505)
I think you're right, Zen. The idea is, I think, that good pitchers are harder to get than good hitters. Hitters are almost a commodity; pitchers are a collectible. It's worked for Sabean for years, so I can't argue too much, I guess.
   232. Andrew Edwards Posted: November 15, 2003 at 01:40 AM (#568162)
Maybe Mohammed was more the Religion Barry, and Jesus was more the Religion Ted Williams. Moses, of course, was the Religion Babe Ruth.

Yep, I'm going to hell.
   233. Floyd Thursby Posted: November 15, 2003 at 03:36 AM (#568165)
Pierzynski .307 .354 .447

I'll freakin' take that. He's a catcher.

"As the mayor of Druggachussets, I declare that projection to be...awesome!"
   234. WillYoung Posted: November 15, 2003 at 03:57 AM (#568166)
ZiPS really loves Mauer. A drop off of just 30 points in OPS (mainly from slugging percentage) seems like the Twins really are not hurting much from the trade. I'm going to miss AJ, but I think this is a very good deal for the Twins.
   235. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: November 15, 2003 at 04:15 AM (#568167)
Mauer will lose some hits due to better fielding in the majors (he hits mostly singles)

but.. in the Metrodome, his hits will roll for awhile and he may pick up an extra base or two.
   236. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 15, 2003 at 05:22 AM (#568170)
I'm not sold on Nathan, probably since last year's the only time in recent memory that he hasn't walked half the ballpark every time out. Since both prospects have serious questions as well, I'm thinking the trade helped the Giants a lot more than it helped the Twins.
   237. APNY Posted: November 15, 2003 at 06:53 AM (#568173)
I'll take the under on Mauer having a .377 OBP in the majors next year.
   238. MM1f Posted: November 15, 2003 at 06:43 PM (#568174)
" I'll take the under on Mauer having a .377 OBP in the majors next year"

I will second that, and he probably won't hit .311 next year either but next year is the only year I will ever take the under on that. EVER.

I would kind of like the Twins to find a one-year stop gap type so they won't need to start him on Opening Day unless he looks 100% ready in spring training. At the same time who ever they sign can't be too good since that guy will most likely be the backup in the second half. I'm assuming LeCroy will never catch again and I'm certain Morneau won't.
   239. WillYoung Posted: November 15, 2003 at 07:12 PM (#568175)
NMS, Rob Bowen was the catcher in Triple A and rotted on the Twins bench for most of August and September. I would like them to go find a veteran right-handed hitting backup, ala Tom Prince in 2001, to help break Mauer in full-time.
   240. Ziggy Posted: November 15, 2003 at 07:45 PM (#568177)
Yeah, picking up an older guy to show Mauer the ropes might not be a bad idea, but I don't think it's really necessary. Especially since LeCroy can fake it behind the plate if Mauer struggles early on. I don't see, and don't want to see, the Twins blowing a million bucks for Benito Santiago or something when they've got people in the organization who can fill in in a pinch.
   241. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: November 16, 2003 at 04:43 AM (#568182)
i'd think that if the fielders in the minors were better than the ones in the majors, the minor leaguers would be on their way to the majors

maybe in AAA, a fielder may be better than in the majors, but not in High A and AA. No way.

The Twins could always keep a catcher around for spring training just in case.

Is Leyritz available?
   242. AMcK75 Posted: November 17, 2003 at 05:29 PM (#568185)
This Cards fan would be glad to trade Tino for nothing, especially if it meant not having to eat any of his delicious, tasty contract, but I can't see any team willing to pay $7 for a b(e)low average 1st base person of Tino' vintage. Then again, if Tampa Bay wants him, I'm willing to pay the shipping and handling costs!
   243. MM1f Posted: November 18, 2003 at 03:16 AM (#568187)
" I would be astounded if Mauer hits 0.280"

For some reason him hitting .330-something in the Florida State League and then moving up to AA and hitting .340-something tells me he's quite capable of it.
   244. Fog City Blues Posted: November 21, 2003 at 11:09 PM (#568193)
There's no such thing as a pitching prospect.
   245. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2003 at 04:45 PM (#569096)
any system that asserts that Ryan Jensen is going to be of any use to anyone is obviously and laughably flawed.

Define "useful"? A 4.66 ERA (the ZIPS projection) in Pac Bell is not exactly sterling performance. Last year, that would have been an ERA+ of 92. Assuming ZIPS uses multi-year park factors, that 4.66 ERA is probably closer to an 86 ERA+.

The point isn't that Jensen is a good pitcher or even a useful pitcher (depending on your definition), it's that Hermanson's projection of a 5.01 ERA (at Pac Bell!) looks even worse....and certainly not worth the extra $500,000.

And, hey, below average pitchers have to pitch somewhere. Below average pitchers still belong in the major leagues somewhere. They are still useful. The back end of the Giants bullpen is as good a place as any for one of those guys.
   246. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 03, 2003 at 08:56 PM (#569099)
The point isn't that Jensen is a good pitcher or even a useful pitcher (depending on your definition), it's that Hermanson's projection of a 5.01 ERA (at Pac Bell!) looks even worse....and certainly not worth the extra $500,000.

The Hermanson who was in Boston and St. Louis had nothing. He looked like a righty Rueter without the changeup. The Hermanson we saw for the Giants had all sorts of movement and velocity, and finished the season very strong.

If there's a choice between:

a) A former fringe major leaguer who lost four miles off his fastball last year, and struggled in AAA

or

b) A former two starter who long ago lost effectiveness due to injury, but showed considerable promise at the end of the season.

I'll pay the extra $.5M for "b" every time. While I like Correia, he is just one season removed from stinking up the Northwest League. Lowry is coming off an erratic, injury-filled year. Brower is much better as a reliever. Pettyjohn hasn't even pitched 100 innings since having his colon removed. Chad Zerbe would not last as a starter, to be generous.

I don't see the internal options for the Giants. This was a great low risk/high reward signing.
   247. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2003 at 09:14 PM (#569100)
Floyd, you seem to be assuming that Hermanson will be the 5th starter. If so, the Giants are taking a substantial risk (though not monetarily). He's pitched just 90 IP (at the ML level at least) combined the last two years. He also appears to have been rather hit-lucky with the Giants last year (BABIP of 250). And he still gave up a HR every 8 IP, which I'm guessing isn't too good for Pac Bell.

But your comments are more than fair enough. I don't know enough about the Giants system to say that Hermanson isn't the best option here. My main point is to note that Dan's projections are not at all out of line and, if you believe the projections, the Giants do have equally good or slightly better options that would also be cheaper.
   248. The Artist Posted: December 03, 2003 at 09:30 PM (#569102)
Walt,
   249. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2003 at 11:09 PM (#569103)
Again, I was assuming Hermanson was being slotted for the back of the bullpen. For that, the Giants would seem to have equally good, cheaper options around.

If he is being slated for 5th starter, I really don't like his chances no matter what he's being paid or whether the Giants have any internal options or not.

I don't even understand my own logic, but I'm more comfortable with a team paying him $800 k to be the 11th pitcher than to pay him $800 k to be the 5th starter. I'd probably sign him to a guaranteed deal (though probably not $800 k) to be that 11th pitcher, but I'd give him an NRI as the 5th starter.

I know, it makes no sense to me either. I guess it's that I think his chances of giving me 60-80 decent innings of low-leverage relief are decent while his chances of giving me 150-180 near-decent innings as a starter are tiny. But hey, I haven't seen the guy pitch in at least a year, so what do I know?
   250. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 03, 2003 at 11:49 PM (#569106)
Aadik-

If you're talking about Matt Cain and Craig Whitaker as potential contributors to a major league team, then the TINSTAAPP theory holds up. But if you're talking about them as possible trade bait, they are very valuable prospects for the future. If that makes sense.
   251. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: December 04, 2003 at 01:58 AM (#569179)
Of course health's the big issue.
   252. Bud in SF Posted: December 04, 2003 at 02:15 AM (#569181)
Hammonds DID end the Giants' season with a hit.

FWIW.
   253. The Artist Posted: December 04, 2003 at 04:18 AM (#569114)
<I>
   254. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 04, 2003 at 04:34 AM (#569183)
If Hammonds comes in at his career averages of .260/.330/.460, while covering three OF positions, he's well worth the extra $.7M over the minimum. With Bonds and Grissom creaking around, he'll probably get 300 at-bats.

I'm all for snatching up free talent, but there isn't that much out there right now. At least, no one I can point to and say, "Ye gods, that player would be better than Jeffrey Hammonds!"
   255. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: December 04, 2003 at 12:31 PM (#569187)
My, we can be testy early in the morning.

If someone structures their comment in an "If-Then" format, if he matches his career numbers then he's worth the money, the only thing that's really arguable is whether he's worth the money under those conditions.

#4 didn't say you could bank on anything.

That said, when you look at Hammonds career, he had a nice string of OBP+ years before signing his Milwaukee contract which was exactly the disaster that everyone predicted. His only bad years were really in Milwaukee.

If this is a Raul Ibanez contract, it's a bad deal. But, a million dollars isn't that much anymore.

I guess what I was suggesting in my first point is that maybe this is a new Hammonds. What stands out in his brief time with the Giants is his better discipline at the plate. Sometimes, when there's a performance spurt past 30, it can be meaningful, especially when it's related to much better command of the plate. Hammonds went to Stanford, he's probably a bright guy. My point was that if you're talented and bright, and you're watching Bonds dominate game after game, might you not try to do the same things?

If Hammonds tears a muscle in spring training and is limited to 50 games and hits .230, we can all say we told the Giants we told them so. But, there are holes in RF and CF, and if you get 120 games from Hammonds with .270/.370/.460 numbers playing in that park, it's a pretty good deal.
   256. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: December 04, 2003 at 12:34 PM (#569188)
Oh, and Shane, I was stunned that you said that the Henderson/Parton quote was in Baseball America. My ever reconstructing memory was sure it was James. I'm not doubting you, but I'm wondering if he lifted the line, or quoted BA. I don't have the old abstracts, does anybody know? It would be easy to find, in one of Hammonds' first few years.
   257. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2003 at 01:01 PM (#569189)
"I forget the word he used.... "

Voice?
   258. flournoy Posted: December 04, 2003 at 08:07 PM (#569198)
The difference, of course, being that Hammonds was never a good player to begin with.
   259. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2003 at 08:30 PM (#569123)
"What is a good place to get scouting reports online for free (if such a place exists)? "

ESPN's player pages include reasonably detailed reports by STATS, Inc., although they're usually not available for rookies or bit players. Here's one on Shawn Green.

The Toronto Star also has some info, though theirs aren't as detailed. Here's their site.

Neither one's perfect, but they're the best I've been able to find.
   260. Cferejohn Posted: December 04, 2003 at 09:11 PM (#569200)
Hammonds best OPS+ was 118 in 199. Reggie Sanders had a better early career, and Eric Davis had a much much better one.
   261. NTNgod Posted: December 04, 2003 at 11:09 PM (#569204)
That would explain Hammonds' fragility. Who wouldn't be falling apart after 1800+ seasons?
   262. The Artist Posted: December 05, 2003 at 06:46 AM (#569125)
<I>
   263. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 05, 2003 at 09:25 AM (#569128)
I think offering Ponson arbitration is a win/win situation, as overpaying him for one year isn't the worst thing in the world. He's still a pretty good pitcher, and he definitely adds depth to the rotation. I'd rather sign Jose Rijo to a four-year deal than Ponson, though. I don't have faith he'll have a long career.

Offering Worrell arbitration seems too risky to me. Even with Quantrill and Hawkins getting borderline-goofy deals, I don't think there will be a rush to give Worrell a multi-year deal.

Santiago isn't coming back. I think it's a given you offer him arbitration. There will be a least one team willing to give him two years. He wouldn't risk becoming a resented, overpaid backup.

Aurilia, I'm not so sure about. I think he needs to come back, regardless, but if the team is really yellowing their knickers over the budget, arbitration seems risky.
   264. The Artist Posted: December 05, 2003 at 07:36 PM (#569130)
I concede that offering Ponson arb is not a bad idea- I think having him back wouldnt be the worse thing in the world. However, Using Worrell's salary history is useless in determining a possible arb figure- he has far more than 6 years of service, and in his arb his agent will compare him to any other closer (as opposed to MR's) out there not named Foulke, Riviera, Gagne, Wagner or Smoltz- that's a 5 million market. They can't take that risk - he was not a 5 million dollar closer. I think Benito is looking a 3 mil or so in arb- I don't think the Giants run the risk. Generally, I agree on Ponson and maybe Aurillia at best- which would be nice. Im just wondering how much of the payroll cut proclamations will come true.
   265. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 05, 2003 at 07:47 PM (#569131)
If Benito were to accept arbitration, could the Giants just trade him to the Royals for a PTBNL? If there's a market for a $9M Eric Milton, I'm sure there would be a trade market for a $8M/1 year Ponson contract. That's what the Mariners did with David Bell, right?
   266. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 07, 2003 at 03:42 AM (#569334)
Walt,

Just out of curiosity, who would you have signed instead of Hammonds? I'm sure there are better values, but I don't recall seeing any on the free agent lists, and there isn't anything already in the organization.

If teams start using intrusive, freedom-threatening methods to assemble their bullpens, would that be a "Worrellian nightmare"?
   267. The Artist Posted: December 08, 2003 at 06:40 AM (#569136)
bump.. I guess I was right- the Giants didn't offer anyone arb. This is ridiculous- (especially since Santiago has basically been signed) ? Don't they realize they can non-tender Ponson if the award is too big at 1-6th the price ?
   268. The Artist Posted: December 08, 2003 at 06:40 AM (#569137)
Guess I was right about this- but damn, Sabes was conservative.
   269. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2003 at 03:48 PM (#569403)
Tucker's actually a B free agent so the Royals get a first rounder but not the sandwich.
   270. Fog City Blues Posted: December 08, 2003 at 04:01 PM (#569405)
The Tucker signing reminds me of Dan's witty commentary about the Marquis Grissom signing:

Every so often, us statheads get together and talk about Barry Bonds. Very often. We talk about every aspect of his game from his personal accomplishments to wondering if teams could have league-average offenses just by putting a lineup of Barry Bonds and 7 (or 8 if you're the AL) bums out on the field.

Thanks to Brian Sabean and the acquisitions of Neifi Perez and Marquis Grissom, one of our most treasured dreams is about to come true.


Now all the Giants need to do now is to find a way to get rid of Durham, Alfonzo, and Pierzynski and they'll be well on their way.
   271. Steve Treder Posted: December 08, 2003 at 04:04 PM (#569406)
Aargh ...

Snow isn't bad at this price, so long as they spot him properly. But Tucker: WTF?
   272. Fog City Blues Posted: December 08, 2003 at 04:32 PM (#569408)
BM, you left out the worst bit of news from that article:

Furthermore, in a bid to shore up their rotation, two sources said the Giants are pursuing left-hander Darren Oliver. One said the Giants have offered the 33-year-old pitcher a one-year contract for about $2 million, but general manager Brian Sabean said he has extended no firm offers to any other free agents.

Michael Tucker? Darren Oliver?
   273. Will B. Posted: December 08, 2003 at 05:07 PM (#569410)
One thing that strikes me when I read all of the "we lost our first round draft pick" posts is how much we underestimate the cost of drafting someone in the first round.

A $3.5 million dollar investment in Tucker is usually better than a $2 million dollar investment in the guy from Mount Pile High School who has a wicked curve ball. Sometimes even the "sure thing" college guys like Nick Swisher or Jeremy Guthrie don't pan out.

At least with Tucker you know you're getting a (nearly) league average hitter.
   274. Ken Arneson Posted: December 08, 2003 at 06:13 PM (#569412)
A $3.5 million dollar investment in Tucker is usually better than a $2 million dollar investment in the guy from Mount Pile High School who has a wicked curve ball.

Interesting point. And this is the second year in a row the Giants have done this. The A's were not planning to offer Ray Durham arbitration last year, and the Giants gave the A's an extra two draft picks by signing him before the arbitration deadline. Do the Giants feel that the cost of first round picks are just not worth the investment? But if that's the case, then why did they offer Jeff Kent arbitration last year?
   275. JMM Posted: December 08, 2003 at 07:09 PM (#569415)
Bumblebee Man wrote:
   276. Will B. Posted: December 08, 2003 at 07:46 PM (#569416)
So are you saying that because the Giants might draft a high school pitcher that doesn't pan out, that it's better they don't have a 1st round pick at all?

If you are going to spend $2 - $3 million, then maybe. If I were a team with a really tight payroll, I'd be hesitant. First round draft picks make a lot of money for zero production at the major league level. It's even worse when you give them major league contracts, where they are potentially a detriment to the team.

I'm not saying every team shouldn't draft guys in the first round, but I do think that they money that these guys get as signing bonuses is something that must be considered. Instead, we here tend to gloss over that as if the first round picks are free.

As a hitter that was below league average in an extreme hitters environment, I'd argue that he is not worth anywhere near what Sabean signed him for. In fact, I don't think he's worth more than $600k per year.

He's a slightly below average hitter with an OPS+ of 92. He may be overpaid, but probably not grossly. He's still taking a $1 million paycut.

If you don't think a 1st rounder is worth the money, then don't sign him.

If you don't want to sign a guy, why keep the pick? "Trade" the pick away by signing someone else's free agent.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the signing, I'm just pointing out that we do have to consider the money being paid to the draft picks just as we consider the money being paid to the regulars.
   277. Ken Arneson Posted: December 08, 2003 at 08:36 PM (#569418)
I remember reading that there were high-fives all around the A's offices when they found out the Giants signed Durham before the arbitration deadline.

Perhaps I'm remembering this quote from Gammons: "Beane was ecstatic to get a first-rounder and a sandwich pick as compensation for the Giants signing Ray Durham."

That sounds to me like they were not expecting to get any compensation at all.
   278. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2003 at 08:42 PM (#569419)
That 92 from Tucker isn't just a bit below average - that's replacement level. Anything over the minimum for him is essentially flushed.
   279. Will B. Posted: December 08, 2003 at 08:52 PM (#569420)
That 92 from Tucker isn't just a bit below average - that's replacement level. Anything over the minimum for him is essentially flushed.

Yah, I've since double-checked with the EqA's and he's pretty bad. I have to agree that he's overpaid. How's his defense? Didn't realize 92 OPS+ was replacement level, but I guess it makes sense for an outfielder.

But the Giants aren't getting any value for the pick.

Can't really argue with that - I never meant to imply I was defending the signing. Just wanted to point out that maybe losing a first round draft pick isn't as terrible as we make it sound.

MLB should get their heads on straight and let teams trade draft picks (and lose the draft pick compensation for losing a free agent).
   280. J. Cross Posted: December 08, 2003 at 11:04 PM (#569421)
Rob Neyer talks about this in today's article. See homepage link.
   281. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 09, 2003 at 04:28 PM (#569425)
It's not like buying a caffeine-free diet Pepsi.

Getting a draft pick is like putting a coin in a slot machine.

Getting Michael Tucker is like putting that coin in a slot machine that has two signs on it that say "out of order" and "absolutely no refunds."
   282. Fog City Blues Posted: December 09, 2003 at 06:06 PM (#569428)
I wanna play too.

Getting a draft pick is like putting a quarter in a slot machine.

Getting Michael Tucker is like taking the quarter to the cashier's window and exchanging it for a Canadian penny.
   283. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 09, 2003 at 07:45 PM (#569430)
Draft picks are like a box of chocolates. Michael Tucker is like opening the box, and finding nothing but tainted clams covered in chocolate. Darren Oliver is like opening the box and finding a human ear.
   284. Cferejohn Posted: December 09, 2003 at 09:37 PM (#569432)
Oh boy! A game.

Getting a draft pick is like putting a quarter in a slot machine.

Signing Michael Tucker is like putting a quarter in a slot machine, smashing the slot machine to pieces with a sledgehammer, feeding the pieces to a walrus, killing the walrus, burning its body, shooting its body into the sun, and then destroying the sun.
   285. Ben Posted: December 09, 2003 at 11:11 PM (#569433)
I have to say, the thread has the single most insane concept ever, and more than one person shares it. How do you "Getting rid of the draft pick saves money" people live? Because the draft pick offers the opportunity to spend money, you should get rid of it? Assume that the Giants, alone among MLB teams, have figured out that the draft is completely for chumps and it's not worth anything to have a first round pick. Why give it away? You get a replacement pick if you don't sign your first rounder, why not just trail that extra pick along for the rest of the franchise's existance, just in case the draft becomes a good idea in the future?

That's like someone burning their money because they might have spend it on something stupid.

Sabean should be fired. Any other job in the world, a mistake this catastrophic loses you your job. You simply cannot defend picking "no thing" over "thing for free" if the thing can be entirely ignored if you decide you don't want it.
   286. Will B. Posted: December 10, 2003 at 12:10 AM (#569434)
if you don't want to pay a 1.5 mill signing bonus, simply don't offer a contract to the guy you draft.

That's EXTREMELY insensitive to the guy you draft. Do you realize that you are denying this person a chance to make money with another team? You own this person's rights for the next year and he is NOT free to sign with someone else. He has to go to the Independent league, or something similar, and you piss off his agent.

You are not allowed to not draft someone, so you either sign a FA to ditch the draft pick or you draft santa clause or someone similar. Probably better to stick another team with a $1.5 million+ "investment."
   287. NTNgod Posted: December 10, 2003 at 02:14 AM (#569436)
Scott Boras used this "loophole" when Travis Lee became a free agent after being drafted.

and John Patterson.
   288. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 10, 2003 at 04:21 AM (#569437)
Well, better than less money and not even that highlight!
   289. Ben Posted: December 10, 2003 at 09:56 AM (#569438)
Will B.- Then draft me. Or Brian Sabean Jr. Or anybody. Not exactly rocket science to figure out a way around being mean to a prospect, and if it comes to it, Brian Sabean should not be in the business of giving a #### about non-Giants property.

But take all that in, and then realize that the Giants compete with the Royals. He just gave a competitor something for free.

And as stupid as you may be(ha, quote marks mean it's not really an investment! Cause, uh, sometimes they don't pan out. As opposed to signing 4th outfielders for $3 million, which always pans out) even you must realize that... Wait, I just thought about your position some more. I take that back, you don't realize and probably never will. You are honestly arguing the merits of no free cookie as opposed to free cookie. What can I possibly say that the facts already haven't?
   290. Andrew Edwards Posted: December 11, 2003 at 03:15 PM (#569444)
What the hell just happened to Clutch Hits?
   291. Darren Posted: December 15, 2003 at 09:36 PM (#570147)
Twins are finally coming to grips with the fact that they have too many OFs. This gives Cuddyer and Restovich a much better shot at playing time.
   292. Jefferson Posted: December 15, 2003 at 09:43 PM (#570149)
It could be that Sabean's collecting a pool of generic outfielders on the theory that, hey, they can't possibly ALL suck next year.

Can they?

And why did they dump Jose Cruz Jr. again? To get these guys instead? I realize Jose Cruz Jr. is no Ellis Burks (vintage 2000), but it's quite possible none these guys will play as well as Cruz did last year.
   293. Zen Bitz Posted: December 15, 2003 at 10:25 PM (#570151)
I thought I heard something about the Giants getting a Twins OF on the radio this morning. I must have still been mostly asleep - because I thought that, considering the surplus of Twins OF talent, that this might have been a good thing.

So, the giants currently have:
   294. Jefferson Posted: December 15, 2003 at 10:30 PM (#570152)
I'm sure you're right. But a nasty, insidious thing has happened to the Giants fans the last couple of years. We've gotten a real good sniff at a World Series championship, and now a mere division title doesn't quite thrill us anymore. Just four years ago, the idea of being in the division hunt sounded great to me. But now that Sabes has spoiled us, I want the ring!!! Now!!! My preciousssss....
   295. NTNgod Posted: December 17, 2003 at 09:44 PM (#570156)
From the AP:

The San Francisco Giants sent minor league pitcher John Thomas to Minnesota on Wednesday to complete a trade that brought outfielder Dustan Mohr to the Giants.

Thomas, a 23-year-old left-hander, went 5-12 with three saves and a 3.45 ERA in 33 games, 19 starts, for single-A San Jose last season. He was originally selected in the second round of the 1999 amateur draft. He is 9-20 with a 4.11 ERA in 59 minor league games over three seasons.
   296. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 10, 2004 at 05:46 AM (#571325)
If I were a Giants fan, I'd be so mad I couldn't see... it's a weak division, and they're making no effort what-ever to win it. Utterly disgusting.
   297. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 10, 2004 at 08:02 AM (#571331)
Tomko, 2003 vs Dodgers: 11 ip, 14 h, 11 er, 4 bb, 7 k...
   298. MM1f Posted: January 10, 2004 at 02:53 PM (#571335)
"Good thing Brian Sabean didn't waste $1.5 million on one of those evil, child-molesting draft picks"

I thought Lastings Milledge got more than 1.5...
   299. Sam M. Posted: January 10, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#571337)
The power allies are so deep that no CF can run fast enough to beat a batted ball to the wall.

I don't know. With Tomko pitching, they're going to be starting awfully deep.
   300. Grammar Police Posted: January 10, 2004 at 10:00 PM (#571344)
"You're ignorance of the league debt-equity ratio rules"

Please cease and desist all posting and return to elementary school immediately. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
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