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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, March 15, 2004

St. Louis Cardinals

Released 1B-OF Steve Cox and IF Brent Butler.

The Cardinals continue to operate in the strange Nintendo Baseball Stars roster manner - having great frontline talent and a sparse, weak bench since players never get injured or tired.  Neither Cox or Butler would have been plus contributors, but this is a team which has Plan B options of So Taguchi, Kerry Robinson, Colin Porter, Ray Lankford, and Wilson Delgado at various positions. 

And before anyone protests, yes, Lankford was a great player in the 90s and I like him a lot and the manner in which his departure was orchestrated reflected very poorly on the organization, but he’s high in years and it’s been awhile since he’s been performing in the majors.

Cox and Butler will find jobs somewhere, either in AAA or heading to Japan.  They are Baseball Stars players in their own right - every veteran Baseball Stars player knows the value of names with 6 letters or less.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 15, 2004 at 04:36 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 11, 2001 at 12:42 PM (#552025)
Look on the bright side; while LaRussa and Jocketty will get out in time to preserve their reputations, at least they don't have some $35 million Golden Parachute.
   2. Colin Posted: December 18, 2001 at 09:08 PM (#552264)
Woohoo! The Cardinals have saved the Braves from signing Tino! Just a shame that Paquette couldn't have signed with Detroit early enough to make them go after Vinny Castilla, too...
   3. David Jones Posted: December 18, 2001 at 10:22 PM (#552268)

Exactly. When the chips are down, when your team is down two runs with one man on in the bottom of the ninth and two out, who do you want up there at the plate? Exactly.
   4. David Jones Posted: December 18, 2001 at 10:32 PM (#552270)
In all fairness, Martinez' value to New York last season is not properly stated by his BA/OBP/SLG. For instance, in the seventh inning and beyond, Martinez went .302/.353/.534. In close & late situations, he batted .337/.378/.587, and with the bases loaded it was .400/.389/.667.

Now, I don't think this excuses the Cardinals because this sort of thing can't be trusted to carry over from year to year, but I think it should be considered when weighing Martinez' value to New York for 2001, and it porbably goes a long way towards explaining why anyone would be willing to hand him such a lavish contract.

As for me, I'm just thankful the Cardinals beat the Orioles to the punch on this one.
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 18, 2001 at 10:35 PM (#552272)
Me too. The e-mails on the Orioles Mailing List are some of the happiest I've seen in years.
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 18, 2001 at 10:54 PM (#552274)
In my arbitrary adjective book, OK is the next step up from average which is the next step up from mediocre. Mediocre can mean of moderate or low quality, so it has a lower base, in my opinion, than average or OK. From it's origin as the Choctaw word Okeh, it's definitely meant to have a more positive connotation than mediocre.
   7. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 19, 2001 at 05:15 AM (#552281)
RE: JD's assertion that this wasn't as bad as Atlanta's Castilla/Smoltz signings.

Um, Vinny Castilla is signed for 2 years at 4 mil per, roughly. For that, he'll hit something like Tino Maritinez. If he does pull out his TB Ordonez impersonation, he'll go to the bench and Chipper will play 3B again.

Tino will play 1B, poorly, for the Cards, for the next four years, eating up 10 million plus along the way. It's difficult to concieve, but no, this is worse than the Castilla debacle.
   8. VegasRobb Posted: December 19, 2001 at 02:29 PM (#552284)
What's the Cardinal starting lineup and batting order for 2002? I think there's a really good chance that Tino could drive in a ton of runs batting in the 4 or 5 slot.

Here's a guess for the 2002 Batting Order:

2B - Vina
   9. Cris E Posted: February 01, 2002 at 09:56 PM (#553863)
I think Hamie was the subject of one of the funniest things I've ever heard of at a ballpark. Near the end of his last incarnation (MIL maybe?) he was walking everyone in sight and someone in the front row had a stack of W and H signs to hang up insteads of Ks.
   10. NTNgod Posted: February 01, 2002 at 10:09 PM (#553864)
Yesterday, Inky. Today, Navarro.

The 2001 Newark Bears are getting raided!
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 03, 2002 at 04:01 PM (#553868)
I agree with Anti-Bud. Don Wengert actually suited up for my Pirates last year. You only _think_ it can't happen to you.
   12. Greg Franklin Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:47 AM (#553869)
Terry Mulholland hasn't pitched in the red-and-white yet. He must not be Tony LaRussa's type of LHP.
   13. Stevens Posted: February 06, 2002 at 05:16 PM (#553877)
Mwa-ha-ha-ha!!! Terry Mulholland! Don Wengert! Jaime Navarro! The Cubs secret strategy of the 1990s is revealed as they unleash their ineptness upon an unsuspecting division! Snicker...cry.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2002 at 01:47 AM (#553879)
Bad news, Ted. The Fridge/Butterbean fight ain't gonna happen. There was a training injury or schedule conflict or something, so it's now Butterbean against Craig Wolfley (the former Steeler and current martial-arts instructor).
   15. Greg Franklin Posted: February 08, 2002 at 06:26 AM (#553882)
For some reason I see a twisted version of "Field of Dreams" in my sleep. Tony plays the farmer, and all these one-out lefties come out of the cornfield at the end.

As they play a game against all the great left-handed sluggers, Tony walks out to the mound 18 separate times to change pitchers.

Naturally, "Shoeless" Rick Honeycutt is the Ray Liotta character.
   16. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2002 at 04:06 PM (#556950)
I'm always very, very wary of pitchers with low strikeout rates and without big stuff that suggests imminent improvement or an extensive career of getting batters out, it would take me awhile to be completely sold on Simontacchi.
   17. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 12, 2002 at 05:34 PM (#557084)
Acquiring Warren Morris won't make Tony LaRussa any smarter, I'd wager.
   18. Colin Posted: June 12, 2002 at 05:48 PM (#557093)
woohoo! The Cards keep Ice away from Atlanta!
   19. Alex Vila Posted: June 13, 2002 at 12:58 PM (#557096)
I'm getting ready to move to Memphis from Atlanta and now I'm gonna have to deal with Gerald Williams there, too? I knew there was a downside to all this!
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 17, 2002 at 07:03 PM (#557188)
Don't you mean smoke and Ice, steve?

Temporarily keeping marginal players on the 40-man isn't a problem as long as you're willing to dump them the instant someone better turns up on the waiver wire. That's the difference between the Padres grabbing a temp like Gene Kingsale and moves like this one.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 17, 2002 at 09:39 PM (#557189)
George Lombard's probably going to hit the waiver wire in a day or two; be interesting to see if there are any takers.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 03, 2002 at 02:39 PM (#557400)
Hoiles is the undisputed champ, but Glenallen Hill had some seasons that give him a run for his money.
   23. jwb Posted: July 03, 2002 at 04:43 PM (#557401)
Rick, Scott Sheldon was last seen batting 181/263/208 for Carolina in the Puerto Rican winter league:
   24. Jason Posted: July 12, 2002 at 06:12 PM (#557672)
Wait, wait...Who is John Gall?
   25. Repoz Posted: July 20, 2002 at 05:04 AM (#557799)
Last time I checked Journell has a sore shoulder and has been shut down at AAA Memphis so I doubt he'll be the ubiquitous PTBNL.
   26. NTNgod Posted: July 20, 2002 at 08:04 AM (#557802)
Reds, Redbirds....close enough :)
   27. Repoz Posted: July 20, 2002 at 01:18 PM (#557805)
Uhh...Hey Bowdense if you are running low on 5 Toolers give the Mexico City Red Devils a call and try to wrench away Felix Jose or Pat Lennon of the Long Island team in the Atlantic League (Independent)

"There are more tools outside the shed than in it".-Unknown Scout
   28. KJOK Posted: July 20, 2002 at 04:43 PM (#557806)
"A lot depends on who the player to be named is. If it's Jimmy Journell for instance, the trade improves immensely."

What?! This was written as a St. Louis Cardinals transaction, not a Cleveland Indians one. If Hournell is the PTBNL, then it's a POOR trade from the Cardinals side.

"Last time I checked Journell has a sore shoulder and has been shut down at AAA Memphis so I doubt he'll be the ubiquitous PTBNL."

Yes, Journell is on the DL, which is exactly why he COULD be the PTBNL....
   29. KJOK Posted: July 21, 2002 at 05:15 AM (#557814)
Apparently the Indians are picking up ALL of Finleys remaining deferred bonus payments PLUS 1/2 of this year's remaining salary payments (around $2 mil) so the Cards are basically getting him for almost 1/2 a season for $1 milion....
   30. Repoz Posted: July 25, 2002 at 01:12 PM (#557820)
I see someone took the bait.....Tampa Bay just signed 34 yr. old Patrick Lennon out of the Atlantic League where he was leading in HR's and RBI....Rays continue their youth movement.
   31. Darren Posted: July 29, 2002 at 04:47 AM (#558039)
What did this guy ever do to anybody?

He was a league average pitcher by age 24 with impressive K/BB rates. You think someone would have thrown him at the back of their rotation and said "Let's see what he can do for the next 5-8 years."

He's 27 this year. Is he generally healthy?
   32. Voros McCracken Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:00 AM (#558042)
Woodard's has had two (well three) things going against him thus far:

1. He doesn't throw hard. Guys can still get shots when they don't really bring it (like Ted Lilly for example), but you better not struggle for any lengthy period of time, otherwise you're forgotten.

2. He's had an enormous string of bad luck. The four worst places to be a pitcher: Colorado (high altitude), Milwaukee (terrible coaching, suspect defense), Texas (Hitters park, bad defense), Cleveland (Bad defense). Woodard's three stops have been the latter three teams. Add to that a line drive by Frank Thomas off his forearm, a Milwaukee team for whom he was the opening day starter and then in the bullpen a month later and being subjected to the great Texas pitching staff chinese fire drill, and well he's been in tough spots to succeed.

3. Finally it appears that Woodard is also a world class headcase. Everywhere he goes you hear little stories (they'd be bigger if Woodard was a bigger star) about how Woodard doesn't like how the manager is doing this, and about how he should be doing this, and how he wants to start and on and on, and he's never quite learned to keep his mouth shut and concentrate on getting people out.

St. Louis is the best spot he's been in, they need pitchers and for all of LaRussa's faults (and we don't have the bandwidth to detail them all) he seems to be at least a little ahead of the curve on talent recognition.
   33. Jason Posted: July 29, 2002 at 01:31 PM (#558044)
As a Brewerfan Woodard is responsible for 2 of the more memmorable momments (which as I'm sure you all realize is a high percentage of the existing memmorable momments over the last few years) the Brewers have had recently. I simply can't forget his first game he gets immediately throw to the wolves dueling Roger Clemmens and proceeds to out duel him going 8 shutout innings while Roger pitched a complete game giving up 1 run. And of course momment number two was his involvement as part of the Richie Sexson heist (thye'd have been so much better off telling Thome to shut-up and DH). As Voros pointed out sort of Steve was never really the same after he took that shot off his arm and pitched with it broken at least once. Something about the Brewers pitchers and injuries
   34. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 29, 2002 at 02:51 PM (#558045)
Woodard's a good pickup, and he could do very well in St. Louis if he gets a shot at the rotation.
   35. Matthew Rich Posted: July 29, 2002 at 05:20 PM (#558047)
As Voros pointed out sort of Steve was never really the same after he took that shot off his arm and pitched with it broken at least once.

Actually the arm wasn't broken at all, although everybody in the park that night figured it was. I was watching that game on TV with the radio on -- it was at Comiskey and I can't stand to listen to Hawk -- and I heard Thomas's bat hit the ball and then actually heard another "crack" as the ball hit Woodard's arm. Pretty scary.

Anyway, after the bone bruise healed, Woodard was great at Buffalo but it took him forever to get called up. He racked up a nice 31-1 K/BB ratio, and I read that the one walk was in fact intentional. Not sure how many innings that was, or what his ERA was over that span.

Despite what Voros says about Woodard being a "head case", I always liked the guy, and was both surprised and disappointed when he signed with the Rangers in the offseason. I mean, Hart had done his best to keep him off the 25-man all last season, so why did he re-up with him? My guess is there wasn't a whole lot of interest around the league, but that's a shame since he's pitched some great games in his career (a win against Pedro for the Indians in September '00 as they fought for a playoff spot, plus the game against Clemens mentioned above.)
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:36 PM (#558049)
The Cards' rotation is something less than rock solid, and he probably figured that he'd be first in line there when there's a meltdown from either Andy Benes, Travis Smith, or Jason Simontacchi. Meanwhile, he lost out to Joe Roa in Philly, and might fall further back if a Rolen deal happens or if Robert Person regains his health. There's also the small matter of the Cards leading their division while the Phils are buried in the cellar. On pretty much any level, it's a better opportunity.
   37. Curtis Posted: July 30, 2002 at 01:49 AM (#558050)
The Cardinals want to make Andy Benes go away, and needed insurance for when they dealt Bud Smith. This is a good signing for both team and player, and I think he'll be in Saint Louis by the end of the year.
   38. DTS Posted: July 30, 2002 at 08:57 PM (#558090)
Weren't the White Sox brimming with young pitching talent when LaRussa was there? Burns? Dotson? Trout? Hoyt (was he young?)? I think LaRussa's record with overworking young pitchers has been well documented and supported. Alan Benes and Matt Morris were certainly torched by LaRussa as youngsters. Having said that, I think he's improved. Ankiel wasn't left out for obscene pitch counts (at least after Boras yelled at LaRussa), and Smith's only objectively too long outing was his no hitter -- and what are you going to do?

On the flip side, he and Dunc seem to have a way with older dudes.
   39. DTS Posted: July 30, 2002 at 10:53 PM (#558094)
"Can you even argue that Tony doesn't develop young talent well? I don't think so. All of the above Chisox with Morris combined lead me to believe that he can."

Who are all of the above Chisox? And, using Morris is a little tainted, especially following your mandate, "develop young talent well." If that's how you do it well, then I think we better start working on a better way. "Throw 217 innings for me when you're 22, I'll see you when you're 26."

I think Burns hurt his hip after signing with the Yanks (vague recollection). I think it's the lack of any young pitching to go through Tony is the problem. There was a thread recently that showed LaRussa's disregard for young pitchers' arms, especially with the White Sox.

Big Al, please don't resort to crap like "you should really look up the stats." Geesh! I looked up the stats. First, your stat about Trout never throwing 200 innings is arbitrary. 199 2/3 is pretty close, no? And, maybe he would have thrown 200 innings had it not been for LaRussa. I remember the hype around the White Sox youngsters. I remember them collapsing into a big pile of goo by the time they turned 30.

The big question is why hasn't LaRussa developed any young pitching? He's had ample opportunity.
   40. Curtis Posted: July 31, 2002 at 02:52 AM (#558054)
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, I think the fairy godmother forgot to show up tonight and create that change, instilling false hope in Benes and the Cards, because I still believe he will fail [I've watched him the last two years, he had nothing left]. The better he pitches now, the longer it will take to give him the hook when he reverts back to the aptly named pumpkin.
   41. Benji Posted: July 31, 2002 at 03:51 AM (#558098)
Looking in the crystal ball circa, say, next summer...Dead last Phillies (despite great 1-8 talent) whispering their problems are due to Pat Burrell's "lack of leadership" and "selfishness"...both Larry Bowa and Dallas Green say they can't reach him and "maybe he'll be better off elsewhere"...and unnamed Phillie even says "Burrell's a cancer in the locker room" who turned down huge money to stay a Phil long-term..."makes you wonder how loyal he is" the player said...
   42. Benji Posted: July 31, 2002 at 03:51 AM (#558099)
Looking in the crystal ball circa, say, next summer...Dead last Phillies (despite great 1-8 talent) whispering their problems are due to Pat Burrell's "lack of leadership" and "selfishness"...both Larry Bowa and Dallas Green say they can't reach him and "maybe he'll be better off elsewhere"...and unnamed Phillie even says "Burrell's a cancer in the locker room" who turned down huge money to stay a Phil long-term..."makes you wonder how loyal he is" the player said...
   43. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 31, 2002 at 07:05 AM (#558103)
Injuries aren't the only possible negative effect of a heavy workload; pitchers can also lose effectiveness gradually through overwork (a-la Livan Hernandez). I think that in LaRussa's record with young pitchers, we may be seeing a little of both. The full list=>

With the Athletics:

Jose Rijo: Threw 193.7 innings for him at age 21 in 1986 (in fairness, LaRussa took over halfway through the season). Was ineffective the next year and was subsequently traded to the Reds, where he acquired a reputation as a dominant but highly fragile starter.

With the White Sox:

Steve Trout: 199.7 IP at age 22. 124.7 IP at age 23 in the strike year of 1981, a total that would project to 190.6 in a full season. Was injured in 1982 (among other times) and was notably less effective in 1983. Started posting more walks than Ks in 1985, and retired after 1989, at the age of 31.

Ross Baumgarten: 190.7 IP at age 24, with a decent record and nice ERA. Declined in effectiveness every year thereafter, and out of the majors at age 27.

Britt Burns: 238 IP at age 21, and 156.7 at age 22 in the strike year of 1981, a total that would project to 239.3 in a full season. Effective in three of the next four years, but never again dominant, and out of the majors by age 26.

Richard Dotson: Threw 198 IP at age 21, 197.7 at age 23, and 141 at age 22 in 1981, a total that would project to 215.3 in a full season. His workload increased until age 26 (still under LaRussa), when he broke down. Had one better-than-average season after that point, and retired at the age of 31 in 1990.

With the Cardinals:

Alan Benes: Threw 191 innings at age 24. Was injured the next season, and will probably never recover fully. Currently bullpen fodder, and out of the organization.

Matt Morris: Threw 217 innings at age 22 in 1997. Injured in 1998, missed all of 1999, and worked out of the bullpen in 2000. Appears to have recovered with no ill effects.

Rick Ankiel: Probably not LaRussa's fault, listed here only for completeness.

Pitchers get hurt; it's one of the things they're best at doing. Nevertheless, it's interesting that of all the initially-successful young starters who came up under LaRussa (and the list above is all of them, or at least the ones who were in the rotation for a full year), none was as successful as a veteran as he was as a young buck. It's also interesting that the only one of the bunch to pitch after the age of 31 was Jose Rijo, he of the multiple arm surgeries and miraculous comeback. With the number of accolades these guys received as youngsters (CYs, All-Star appearances, spots on leader boards), you might think that one would have gone on to a long, successful career. None has, so far. Will Matt Morris be the one to buck the trend?
   44. Benji Posted: July 31, 2002 at 11:40 AM (#558104)
Vlad, great research on the Chisox young pitchers under LaRussa. But I can't get on him for Britt Burns, because he had a degenerative hip condition. The others, (along with Ken Kravec and Tex Wortham) I feel were screwed up by Tony and Duncan.
   45. Klobedanz Posted: July 31, 2002 at 02:06 PM (#558105)
If you read it would seem that pitching injuries are inevitable and depend on throwing motion, therefore throwing a blanket over all the young pitchers seems a bit suspect. I mean do you really think Art Howe is adept at developing young pitchers? Bringing up Marshall is a bit controversial, I know, but he makes a compelling case and I tend to agree that developing young pitchers has more to do w/ luck than any talent a manager may have.
   46. Sharkbyte Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:17 PM (#558108)
Big Al - Agreed that it's probably unfair to conclude that LaRussa is incapable of working with young pitchers, and the example of Hoyt (who was 27 before his first full season starting in the majors) doesn't show a thing...but there are a couple of faulty assumptions on your side as well.

The first issue is a failure to account for how the innings are distributed in a season. The actual theory behind PAPs or similar measures is that damage to young pitchers takes place mostly after a certain number of pitches in a given game; a pitcher who pitches 7 innings 6 starts in a row is probably getting abused much less than one who pitches 3 complete games then gets shelled after 5 innings the next three starts. I don't have pitch count data to contribute, but a quick perusal of CGs which would presumably involve high pitch counts should illustrate the point:
   47. Benji Posted: July 31, 2002 at 05:19 PM (#558110)
I didn't mention Hoyt, and everything I read said Burns injury was no secret when Steinbrenner overruled his people and traded for him. No manager, even Torborg, Bowa or Maury Wills can be blamed for a guy throwing it away over cocaine use, and thats why I didn't mention Hoyt.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 31, 2002 at 05:35 PM (#558111)
My main point is simply this: For whatever reason, no good young pitcher who started regularly for LaRussa has ever turned into a good old pitcher. This isn't an opinion; it's a fact.

Responding to several of Big Al's points.

1) Hoyt was never a "young pitcher" under LaRussa, and therefore should be excluded from the discussion. He was 27 in his first full year in the rotation. I don't know why you think I brought him up; you might want to re-read my post...

2) Here are a few details on Burns's hip injury: It's still possible to question LaRussa's handling of his pitcher, in that a different usage pattern might have had more favorable results with the hip, but speculating either way is just speculating. I haven't been able to track down a list of other Burns injuries, if there are any, but I may go to the library later today. Or not. I need to work on my car, too.

3) Pitcher abuse is more a function of individual long outings than a function of high IP totals on long rest. Trout may have come up a third of an inning short of your 200 IP standard in 1980, but he threw 6 complete games at age 21 and 7 at age 22. Fans would castrate a manager if he tried something like that today.

4) LaRussa was Dotson's manager when he broke down in 1985 (the year after he threw fourteen complete games and was second in the league in walks), and had been for every year of his career. If workload is responsible for Dotson's injury, then there aren't any otber managers to blame, unless you want to go after his high school coach. Dotson did play for several other managers after LaRussa left the White Sox, but never at a pre-injury level of effectiveness, and his workload never approached the heights that it had under LaRussa.

5) LaRussa was given high-quality pitching prospects to work with, and their success as young players is not a representation of the maximum standard of competence for a manager. LaRussa has never converted a good young pitcher into a good old pitcher, and that's the true gold standard for player development. Anybody can stand by and watch a phenom burn himself out after a few years; does Leo Durocher deserve credit for "developing" Pete Reiser into a good all-around ballplayer? Reiser was great when healthy, but Durocher didn't act to preserve his health (teach him how to better gague the location of the CF wall, move him to a less-risky defensive position, etc.), and his injury wound up costing the Dodgers value in the long run. The type of decline experienced by Reiser is analagous to the decline experienced by all the young starters who pitched for LaRussa. They were star-caliber players in their early 20s, average-at-best in their late 20s, and sitting at home on the porch swing in their early 30s.

6) High IP totals by themselves are acceptable (within reason) for a young starter, but when the high IP total is packaged into a few outings of extreme length, the danger to the starter is greatly increased. While with the White Sox, Tony LaRussa allowed very young starters to throw complete games more often than might have been advisable.

7) If all of Oakland's young starters become injured or experience a substantial decrease in effectiveness as a result of their workload, then yeah, it will be reasonable to blame Art Howe for making them work too hard. People have noted and commented on this workload in other threads, and Dierker's problems with young starters after the departure of Vern Ruhle are well known. They don't contribute much to a discussion of Tony LaRussa; they're a side issue. If all your friends slagged their young starters, would you do it too?

8) The case against LaRussa is entirely circumstantial. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's wrong, only that there is (and should be) some doubt.
   49. Greg Franklin Posted: August 06, 2002 at 07:28 PM (#557822)
The PTBNL has been named - center fielder Covelli Crisp. Don't know how good a player he is, but I hope he makes it to the bigs with that moniker.
   50. Repoz Posted: August 06, 2002 at 10:28 PM (#557825)
I remember reading somewhere that Covelli Crisp's grandfather invented the starters block in track and that Covelli's mother was a world class sprinter.

He's got the name...he's got the he just needs the game.
   51. Jason Posted: August 30, 2002 at 11:50 AM (#558631)
Foolish unbeliever your witty comments about the Brewers farm system will no longer be funny when BA's next rankings come out, and the arm chair minor league evaluators finally realize that their is real talent in the Brewers system. All of which fits my theory that when it comes to farm systems perception lags reality by a year.
   52. All you Need is Glove Posted: August 30, 2002 at 08:47 PM (#558634)
AND Milwaukee gave St. Louis cash in the deal also!!! Although I may eat crow once the PTBNL comes, the fact is Milwakee is a joke. They get a new stadium thanks to Bud's card shuffling (no pun intended) and have been shown that they make money as a franchise but, REALLY now. What about the product on the field?!?!? As much as Bud likes to deny it, the Milwaukee franchise is a shining example of how he feels about Baseball. And if you think the tune changes as he speaks for ALL owners at the bargaining table, see comment #3.

I haven't seen the final agreement yet, BUT...the players gave in to a luxury tax, they gave into revenue sharing, and gave in to drug testing, yet some owners still had to be appeased at the last minute??
   53. NTNgod Posted: August 30, 2002 at 11:16 PM (#558635)
Setting aside Brewer farm system assessments for the moment, this was a decent return for the Brewers.

With free agent compensation officially eliminated, ANYTHING for a month of Wright, even if Morris becomes Chad Green part 2, is OK in my book.
   54. Benji Posted: September 25, 2002 at 10:15 AM (#558858)
Well, so much for my hoped for Met 2003 infield. Rolen, Reyes, Fonzie and ABV (anybody but Mo) at 1st. Good luck Scott, stay healthy and I'll see you at Cooperstown.
   55. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 25, 2002 at 12:33 PM (#558859)
Not to be cruel, Benji, but I think you might go 0-for-4 on that infield.
   56. Darren Posted: September 25, 2002 at 01:18 PM (#558861)

If the Mets were worried about Fonzie's back for a 4 year deal, I don't think they ever had a chance with Rolen.

8 years?!!? Does that strike anyone else as extremely extreme? Agree with Professor on the new environment issues and back issues. I think the Cards got hosed on this one.

I think the market would have said that Rolen's worth about 5 years, $45 mil. Then again, the Yanks are looking for a 3B, so you never know.
   57. J. Michael Neal Posted: September 25, 2002 at 03:01 PM (#558863)
Something needs to be done to prevent these large market teams from stockpiling all of the good players.
   58. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: September 25, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#558865)
I'm not a Cardinals fan, but even if I was, I'd still have to agree with the Olperfesser -- the dollar amount of the deal ($11 million) seems decent enough, for now, but the length of the deal (8 years) is staggering for someone with his back problems, regardless of whether Rolen is only 27.

The Grich comparison is an interesting one, but I don't remember Grich having the same nagging injuries (perhaps I'm wrong about this, though, because I didn't really follow the AL at that time). I see that after the deal he missed much of the 1977 season (age 28) and also missed significant time later in his career, but after signing with California, he had 5 years with over 140 games and 2 more in the 115-120 range. I'm not as confident that Rolen will match that -- certainly not to the point of committing $11 million a year for the next 8 years.

For the sake of seeing a good player, though, I wish him the best.
   59. Curtis Posted: September 25, 2002 at 05:50 PM (#558867)
Timlin [they were paying 3 mil a year], Veres [5 million a year, unbelievable, that's an expensive hooker, because all he does is suck], and polanco 1.something million make 9 a year. They take part of the 7-8 mil DK was making, and they got 5-6 left to replace those two relievers. If they're smart, they sign replacement level players and use the 5 mil for the stadium. Rick White, Gabe Molina, and etc. should have proved to Jocketty that relievers are easy come, easy go. Lets see if they improve the budget, and maybe can keep ivan cruz here the whole year, so tino doesn't get to suck 150 games a year.
   60. Benji Posted: September 25, 2002 at 05:55 PM (#558868)
Vlad, one thing a Met fan knows about is an 0 for 4 !
   61. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: September 25, 2002 at 07:25 PM (#558870)
Pujols was sporting something like a .930 fielding percentage at third base, and having seen him both in t.v. and in person, he just didn't inspire a lot of confidence there. Rolen is just a huge upgrade defensively.

I used to be an advocate of keeping him there, but as he approached 130 RBI's, I'll be more than satisfied with him as our left-fielder.
   62. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: September 25, 2002 at 07:25 PM (#558871)
Pujols was sporting something like a .930 fielding percentage at third base, and having seen him both in t.v. and in person, he just didn't inspire a lot of confidence there. Rolen is just a huge upgrade defensively.

I used to be an advocate of keeping him there, but as he approaches 130 RBI's, I'll be more than satisfied with him as our left-fielder.
   63. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: September 25, 2002 at 07:32 PM (#558872)
See, that double-clutch post was sort of like Pujols at third base. Form matching content.
   64. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 26, 2002 at 01:25 AM (#558875)
As long as you can still laugh, Benji.
   65. WillYoung Posted: November 26, 2002 at 03:13 AM (#559749)
The Cardinals management better keep its mouth shut about payroll issues for the next two years. If they complain ONCE about not having payroll flexibility, then everyone should point out this contract and its stupidity. If they complain again, we should all proceed to the Tino contract.
   66. WillYoung Posted: November 26, 2002 at 05:40 AM (#559751)
While Williams has been quite effective, he has also been very injury-prone. If the Cardinals can afford to pay him $7.5 million/year to make only 20 to 25 starts than fine it is a good signing, but on their payroll they need to get 30+ starts out of him to justify his salary. I don't see that happening in one season let alone both of them. I realize that last year was only the second year since 1997 that he didn't make at least 30 starts, but he is also thirty-six and likely to continue missing time due to minor injuries.

Bottom line is that the Cardinals cannot afford to tie up $7.5 million/year in 20 starts the Yankees did last year.
   67. WillYoung Posted: November 26, 2002 at 05:40 AM (#559752)
That should read "the WAY the Yankees did last year"
   68. MattB Posted: November 26, 2002 at 02:20 PM (#559753)
Granted that Williams' DIPS ERA is not stellar, but his hits allowed on balls in play have been well below average for 6 out of the last 7 years. This leads me to think DIPS ERA does not capture the full range of Williams' skills as a pitcher. Looking at his numbers on his baseball prospectus card (like above) makes me think his "baseline" delta-H is about negative 8-10, which is a significant amount not captured in DIPS, even if the expected variation is greater.
   69. KJOK Posted: November 26, 2002 at 06:13 PM (#559767)
Some Benes quotes/info:

""But I still have that lingering thought of being told to go home, and that's not appealing to me, and I'm very thankful I had an opportunity to not have that be my final memory."

Benes is looking forward to spending more time with his children, ages 14, 9, 8 and 7. He said the only reason to reconsider his decision would be to have the chance to play in the World Series.
   70. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: November 26, 2002 at 07:05 PM (#559768)
Yeah, this one may be a bit pre-mature. To me, he sounds like someone who wants to be wooed back onto the mound. Remember, this is not the first time we've seen the "Benes Retires" headline.
   71. Snowboy Posted: November 27, 2002 at 04:59 PM (#559771)
2.78 ERA for the season. And I believe his 1.86 was best in the NL in the second half. I hope he remains retired, and these are the last numbers on Benes. Much better than getting waived, and cleaning out your locker on June 2? Go home with your head high.

Andy Benes, best athlete to come from Evansville?
   72. Walt Davis Posted: November 27, 2002 at 10:10 PM (#559761)
OK, so far the FA market does not seem to be depressed by the new CBA. $15 M for 2 years of Williams? That would have struck me as high last year and seems extra strange to me this year.
   73. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 02, 2002 at 07:33 PM (#559774)
Scott Rolen was born in Evansville, too -- he's got a good chance at becoming the best Evansviller in MLB history...
   74. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 07, 2002 at 07:33 PM (#560256)
I think the real Fassero last year lay somewhere between what happened in Chicago and what happened in St. Louis.

As a Cub in 2002, 38.5% of balls in play off of Fassero were hits, which is a pretty high percentage, with a 6.18 ERA. With the Cardinals, 29.6% of balls in play were hits, with a 3.00 ERA. In 2001, 33.0% of balls in play were hits, with a 3.42 ERA.

I think a good portion of his bad performance last year was bad luck and bad defense behind him. His BB, K and HR rates were all a bit worse than in 2001, and at his age he might be on a slippery slope, so I think the Cardinals are overpaying. Still, he may well easily one more good LOOGY year left, so it is not a terrible risk.
   75. Hubie Brooks (Not Really) Posted: December 07, 2002 at 08:23 PM (#560257)
It seems to me like Fassero's best days were a long time ago. And they weren't even that good. You know I never even heard of this clown until he was in his 30s or something and maybe he won 15 games or something, but really has he been an above average pitcher more that once or twice (seasons) in his career?
   76. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: December 08, 2002 at 05:02 AM (#560260)
Why did they sign Fassero?? Isn't he dead yet?
   77. TOLAXOR Posted: December 16, 2002 at 02:37 AM (#560630)
   78. Geoff Young Posted: December 16, 2002 at 05:18 AM (#560739)
Paul: Yes, Tomko is arbitration-eligible. That was pretty much the only reason he was traded.

JDH: There are some pretty interesting names in the StL system; haven't heard any rumors but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
   79. TOLAXOR Posted: December 16, 2002 at 02:25 PM (#560746)
Thomas, Those allegations were raised by Ron Gant and recanted!!! There's already been a pretty good thread about this subj., and may I remind you that you're talking about a team that signed Shawon Dunston twice, Darren Oliver twice, and has given Mike Easler and Mitchell Paige jobs in the past 8 years!!!

I think the fact of the matter is that they were able to a starter who could post a sub 4.5 ERA for a middle reliever!!!!

That being said, I come to the defense of Luther Hackman, who, two years ago, was in the top 5 in RARP!!!! You can look it up!!!!
   80. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: December 16, 2002 at 03:30 PM (#560747)
I just think the Padres would have gotten more if they hadn't announced they wouldn't offer Tomko arbitration. The Padres' risk-aversion has become pronounced enough it hurts them regularly. The risk here isn't that Tomko accepts arbitration, gets a big award (speculation centers around only $3 million), and can't be traded. The risk here is that any one of the prospects listed in the first post stumbles. But that'll never happen, right?
   81. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: December 16, 2002 at 03:48 PM (#560748)
Don't have much to add to this, other than to say that as a Cardinals fan, I like this trade a lot. Hackman just doesn't inspire much condfidence out there on the mound. His mechanics are wacky, and he always looks like he's about two pitches away from a meltdown.

Tomko seems like just the 4th or 5th starter the Cards need -- a guy who will post a leage-average ERA, eat up some innings, and probably hit double-digit wins with that potent offense behind him.
   82. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2002 at 05:31 PM (#560749)
This is a good deal for the Cardinals, as long as the PTBNL isn't anyone special. Like a lot of Towers's recent moves, this one doesn't look all that good to me...
   83. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2002 at 07:29 PM (#560750)
I don't know who the PTBNL is yet, but Cardinal minor leaguers generally fall into two categories:

A) Jimmy Journell
   84. Geoff Young Posted: December 16, 2002 at 07:46 PM (#560753)
We were hoping for Justin Pope, Dan Haren, or Shaun Boyd. Oh well. Guess all the other GMs saw the same thing in Tomko as the Pads did: decent back-end guy, a bit pricey, not worth giving up much to get.
   85. Geoff Young Posted: December 16, 2002 at 07:59 PM (#560755)
Actually, the PTBNL is Mike Wodnicki. As for Hackman, he'll be used in relief, if at all. Who knows, maybe he can be the next Jay Witasick and fetch something of value.
   86. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2002 at 10:55 PM (#560262)
Talk about a waste of money. He'll be behind Isringhausen, Kline, and Veres in the bullpen, and he ought to be behind Crudale as well. Perhaps they'd use him as a spot starter if necessary until Chris Carpenter (hopefully) returns. I don't know why you'd pay $1.5 million for that, though.
   87. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2002 at 10:55 PM (#560263)
Talk about a waste of money. He'll be behind Isringhausen, Kline, and Veres in the bullpen, and he ought to be behind Crudale as well. Perhaps they'd use him as a spot starter if necessary until Chris Carpenter (hopefully) returns. I don't know why you'd pay $1.5 million for that, though.
   88. NTNgod Posted: December 17, 2002 at 03:48 AM (#560280)
Joe Girardi to the Cards: 1yr/720K
   89. NTNgod Posted: December 17, 2002 at 03:52 AM (#560281)
Forgot linkage:
   90. Mr. Crowley Posted: December 18, 2002 at 05:13 PM (#561138)
It's a trap!
   91. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: December 18, 2002 at 05:21 PM (#561140)
This is just horrendous. Can you imagine the lineup the Cards would field if LaRussa would just stick Drew in RF full time and install Marrero behind the plate? How on earth is Girardi remotely useful?

   92. Repoz Posted: December 18, 2002 at 06:11 PM (#561151)
This hapless signing now makes it official....Girardi has now become the oldest player to carry the "HE'S GONNA MAKE A GREAT MANAGER SOMEDAY" tag......If I'm not mistaken..Jimmy Dykes hung that on Girardi in 62.
   93. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 18, 2002 at 06:39 PM (#561155)
I am a Braves fan. Rumblings around here are that Maddux just accepted arbitration and that Russ Ortiz may be dealt to STL for Fernando Vina.

I fear the presence of Mike Matheny in Atlanta next year.
   94. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 18, 2002 at 10:08 PM (#561164)
Okay, 25 posts and no one has asked so I will: What picture of Michael Jackson's nose? (I can guess what the point was, but...)

That said, this makes me very happy. After having to consider going on Paxil to keep away the bad thought that Girardi might come back for another year with the Cubs, and rumors in the papers that it could actually happen, Girardi signs with another team. And not only another team, but THE CARDINALS!

Makes my day.
   95. phredbird Posted: December 19, 2002 at 01:40 AM (#561167)
this is a dopey signing, even if its true that marrero is making noises about wanting to stay in the outfield. criminy! girardi is all that's out there?

david, it was all over drudge and some other news outlets a couple of months ago when jacko had to testify in some trial ... repeated plastic surgery has completely ravaged his nose to the point where it looks like it is collapsing on itself ... its pretty scary lookin when he don't wear enough makeup
   96. Mr. Crowley Posted: December 19, 2002 at 02:02 AM (#561244)
It's a trap!
   97. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:08 AM (#561168)
I wonder if Girardi's stepping up and making the annoucement at Wrigley when Kile died has anything to do with the signing...a sentimental thing maybe?
   98. John Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:40 AM (#561250)
Honestly dp this pair of transactions deserves some meaningless garbage posted here. Neither is likely to do anything other than roster fill at AAA or suck for about two weeks in April if they make the team. Though I do agree that there has been an excess of dumb posts recently.....maybe too much reading about Pete Rose'll do that to you.
   99. Repoz Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:55 AM (#561169)
Frustrated.....Don't hurt me...I'm only the messenger but here's MLB hack meister general Matthew Leach towing the parity line you were not looking for.

"However, he has an excellent defensive reputation and is widely lauded for his character. In addition, he brings three World Series rings to a team long on postseason experience but short on world championships."
   100. MM1f Posted: December 19, 2002 at 04:27 AM (#561171)
So they now have what?
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