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Transaction Oracle
— 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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   101. MM1f Posted: December 19, 2002 at 04:27 AM (#561172)
So they now have what?
   102. Bud Selig Posted: December 19, 2002 at 09:16 AM (#561257)
You underestimate the power of the dark side. Which is what Eldred will need to be effective.


There, I've combined Star Wars, BeelzeBud, and something pertinent to the signing. I rule!
   103. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:48 PM (#561258)
Eldred was pretty good the last time he was healthy, so I guess he's an OK risk, as long as he doesn't cost much. You have to respect his willingness to keep going after all the medical problems. I don't see as much upside with Painter, though lefties can get NRIs until the day they die. Off the top of your head, what other Brits are in the bigs right now?

As for the trolls, I suspect that it's the work of one or two disgruntled slashcode advocates, working to piss off the rest of the population here until we'll agree to take a system that people weren't so keen on when it was proposed. A "Phantom Menace", if you will. Logging and printing IPs with each post would fix it, most likely.
   104. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 19, 2002 at 05:11 PM (#561178)
David G, was there any talk from the Cubs about bringing Girardi back?

There was talk in the papers. There was this quote from the Chicago Tribune in early November:

"Hendry expects catcher Joe Girardi to test the market. The Cubs might
   105. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 19, 2002 at 05:55 PM (#561180)
Don't ask me, I'm just the editor. For anything more difficult than programming a VCR, Sean or Jim are the guys to talk to.
   106. Dag Nabbit at Posted: December 19, 2002 at 08:59 PM (#561259)
Last I heard, Eldred tried to pitch with a 5-inch screw (!) in his arm - I believe it was actually in his elbow. Worked good in '00, but became a problem in '01 so they had to try something else & shut him down. So he hasn't pitched effectively & screw-free since '96. He's only had 3 full seasons, & his highest ERA+ was 108 in those years. He turned 35 last month. I don't like his odds.
   107. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 19, 2002 at 09:04 PM (#561181)
Strangely, that makes me feel a little better about the money.

I admire your ability to put on a happy face in times of adversity.

I suppose the Cardinals were going to have pitcher-like catchers no matter what, and it is otherwise a strong team. If any team can afford a mascot, it's St. Louis. But you'd better hope that the statistical inklings that Girardi has a negative effect on pitchers is no more than that.
   108. Dag Nabbit at Posted: December 19, 2002 at 09:05 PM (#561182)
Holy crud - a 14 year career & his highest OPS+ is 89!?! He must get prank phone calls from Rick Cerone. In the pantheon of crubby Cubbies cathers, even Scott Servais had one good year. What's his upside? That's he's 14th among active players in career sac. hits?
   109. MM1f Posted: December 20, 2002 at 03:51 AM (#560757)
Please tell me the Braves weren't seriously considering Giles for Tomko...
   110. Repoz Posted: December 20, 2002 at 04:33 AM (#561186)
"We think the world of Joe Girardi," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "It was a baseball decision, not a personal decision, and he has a great future in the game, either as a manager of front-office guy. I told him the door's always open."

Who wudda thunk it woudda taken so long to be said..........again
   111. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 20, 2002 at 05:25 PM (#561189)
I saw LaValliere at last year's Pirates Fan Fest. He's put on a bit more weight, if you can imagine that, and he said that his baseball activites these days are limited to playing catch with his kids (he has a pair of youngish daughters, IIRC).
   112. Bill Posted: December 26, 2002 at 10:10 PM (#561195)
No one bows to the immortal Hal Lanier in XBH/GIDP. How does 139/135 grab you? It always pays to start with Hal Lanier when you're looking for bad hitters. Saves a lot of research time.
   113. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 04, 2003 at 11:22 PM (#562341)
It's a trap!
   114. Mike Piazza Posted: January 05, 2003 at 01:51 AM (#562345)
   115. Mike Piazza Posted: January 05, 2003 at 09:12 PM (#562348)
Greedo, you're cute!
   116. TOLAXOR Posted: January 06, 2003 at 12:25 AM (#562351)
Beats Dave Veres (as in Beers) for $2+milkin!!!
   117. Bill Posted: January 07, 2003 at 01:56 AM (#562403)
I'd be careful throwing around "middling" for the likes of Hamilton who has ERA+'s of 79 and 84 the past two seasons. And I'm not sure why Duncan will be more successful with him than Dr. Gullett. Nonetheless, it is a low-risk move and can't really be criticized.
   118. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 07, 2003 at 03:39 AM (#562406)
Hamilton's on the lower end of middling, Levine's on the upper end.

Why the low calculation of Levine? The Angels have some terrific players on defense around the diamond. The worst players catching balls are Glaus and Salmon, who were both around average this year. Then you have Eckstein was clearly above-average this year and Spiezio, Kennedy, Erstad, and Anderson, *all* of whom have arguments at being the best defensively at their positions in baseball.

I believe a lot of the Angels pitching was in fact, the defense.

Seriously, what does Levine bring to the table other than some junk thrown at an atypical arm angle? He's got one of the worst K rates around, his control isn't particularly good, he gives up gopher balls, and doesn't even have a particularly big platoon split to exploit on the tactical level.
   119. Bill Posted: January 07, 2003 at 03:44 AM (#562407)
See, this Levine is a smart guy. He signed with another good defensive club. There's a lot of truth in the old Lefty Gomez crack attributing his success to "clean living and a fast outfield."
   120. WillYoung Posted: January 07, 2003 at 05:24 AM (#562409)
I swear I just saw on ESPN News that Hamilton actually signed with the Cubs. Can anyone confirm with which team he has signed?
   121. Snowboy Posted: January 07, 2003 at 06:12 AM (#562410)
Great moments in ESPN ticker that I remember from a few years ago: reporting that Prairie View A&M had hired a new running backs coach. And reporting West Coast Conference women's volleyball scores.

Who you gonna believe, the Oracle or an ESPN ticker?
   122. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 07, 2003 at 06:19 AM (#562411)
   123. Geoff Young Posted: January 07, 2003 at 09:10 PM (#562414)
Kind of amusing to see Hamilton and Williams end up on the same team.
   124. Shredder Posted: January 07, 2003 at 10:39 PM (#562415)
Anybody ever play Front Page Sports baseball for '98 on PC? Hamilton was dominant against the computer. I think I started a season with about 90 consecutive scoreless innings from him.

Also, if you made Dennis Springer a starter, he was good for about 22 strikeouts per game.
   125. Shredder Posted: January 07, 2003 at 11:00 PM (#562416)
The worst players catching balls are Glaus and Salmon

Actually, Glaus is really pretty good at catching the ball. Its throwing it that's the problem. And Eckstein has a seriously weak arm.
   126. TOLAXOR Posted: January 08, 2003 at 06:47 PM (#562423)
Speaking of Dennis Springer, STL has apprarently signed him, too!!!

Maybe Walt and Tony have been playing too much circa 1998 PC baseball this offseason???

WOOHOO Springer/Cardinal Nation!!!
   127. TOLAXOR Posted: January 08, 2003 at 06:48 PM (#562424)
Also, I heard that the guaranteed amount to Joey Hamstring was $350k!!!
   128. Cris E Posted: January 13, 2003 at 08:00 PM (#562425)
I love fps Baseball 98. In it the knucklers are either really, really bad or really really good, meaning a guy like Sparks gets 12 K or allows 8 HR per game. And while Hamilton was wildly outstanding, I had cases where Jaime Navarro and John Smiley were nearly as good. Henry Rodriguez was a hitter that would have been better off taking that game's word for it rather than playing out his career. Out of the box Chuck Knoblauch has monster numbers and Piazza is perhaps the slowest guy of all, while Ed Sprague is a great power threat. (It's fun, but it's no DMB as far as simulations go...)
   129. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: January 21, 2003 at 08:35 PM (#563949)
While I'd be happier if the contract was closer to $500,000 than $900,000, I still think picking up Hermanson isn't a bad idea. In theory, they're getting the same pitcher they paid around $4.5 million for in 2001 for a fifth of the price. Before last year he was almost an exactly league average pitcher.

Year ERA+ IP
   130. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 22, 2003 at 01:55 AM (#563955)
It's a trap!
   131. Astro Logical Sign Stealer Posted: January 22, 2003 at 01:56 AM (#563956)
I hate the way all these players are always getting staph infections like Dustin Hermanson and Albert Belle
   132. All In The Guetterman, Looking Up At The Stargell Posted: January 22, 2003 at 01:33 PM (#563958)
I don't know why, but I'd trust Hermansen in the pen as a righty set-up/clean-up guy before I would Levine or Hamilton. Too bad they didn't sign Hermy before those other two, and saved the money on a Molina or Stechshulte to fill out the last crap-righty role. Blah.
   133. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2003 at 01:50 PM (#563959)
I don't remember Hermansen being too impressive during his brief sojourn as the Expos' closer, not that it necessarily means anything.
   134. Mikαεl Posted: January 22, 2003 at 03:09 PM (#563960)
The fear of injury, as far as I know, came with his inexplicable decline in 2000. He was 27 that year, and he just fell off a cliff. He hasn't really recovered.

1997-1999: 6.97 K/9, 3.06 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9, 3.70 ERA
   135. MM1f Posted: February 02, 2003 at 04:33 PM (#564715)
Wow, nice.

Somewhat surprised Ochoa couldn't get a major league deal.
   136. Geoff Young Posted: February 02, 2003 at 04:36 PM (#564716)
The Padres really should have signed Palmeiro instead of wasting their time with Brady Anderson. Nice pickup for the Cards.
   137. Bob T Posted: February 02, 2003 at 08:15 PM (#564721)
The Angels' 4th OF will be Eric Owens. The 5th OF will be a choice among guys like Da Vanon, Haynes, Quinlan.

Spiezio also played 10 games in the OF last year.
   138. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: February 02, 2003 at 08:22 PM (#564722)
I'm not five tool - I'm just a tool.
   139. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: February 03, 2003 at 03:06 AM (#564732)
I heard a rumour - can't remember where - that Ochoa wanted major, major money, and wouldn't even talk turkey (when everyone was trying to lock down their outfielders in a narrow market) with anyone not willing to put up several millions.

If so, he has been the recipient of some seriously crappy advice.
   140. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 03, 2003 at 02:21 PM (#564740)
He's probably just maintaining a respectful silence, Scott, since we lost to FSU last night.
   141. Shredder Posted: February 03, 2003 at 08:02 PM (#564742)
Scott, I think Dan mentioned something before about not posting transactions that are essentially just contracts to avoid arbitration. There are exceptions, but I think he usually ignores those.

I tend to agree with Drew. Owens may not be as good as Palmeiro, but he is more of a stolen base threat, which is of some importance when coming off the bench, especially since he'll often run for Molina or Salmon. Quinlan is going to be given the first shot at the 5th outfield spot. If the Angels aren't as successful as they were last season, it won't be because of those guys.
   142. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 03, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#564743)
As I've mentioned before, I stay away from a lot of the arbitration signings since they're generally just procedural issues. It's different when a player is non-tendered or signs a long term contract to avoid arbitration.

Settling an arbitration dispute doesn't have any real effect on things. Win or lose or settle, the player is playing the same role for the same team.
   143. TOLAXOR Posted: February 04, 2003 at 10:36 PM (#564745)
   144. TOLAXOR Posted: February 11, 2003 at 03:24 PM (#564752)
"Young MC over Public Enemy? Guilianni as a good mayor?"

Yes and Yes!!!

I also think Milli Vanilli and the Grammy's where absolutely right for each other.

What wagon? If anything it's been long fashionable to hate Tony. He gets a dispraportionate amount of criticism considering his W/L record (the only stat that counts, really).

LaRussa does some things that piss me off, yes, but he's not the monster public stathead opinoin makes him out to be. He's more incompetent on the Larry Dierker scale than say, on the Tony Muser scale. His accomplishments are NEVER taken IN CONTEXT to W/L record, and positive decisions aren't highlighted (who else would have let Pujols have the 3rd base job out of spring training when there were safer, veteran options available?).

To wit the LaRussa troll above. What pointless platoons? If anything he should've been platooning Lankford long, long before they traded him, his L/R splits were something like .100 pts different.
   145. TOLAXOR Posted: February 11, 2003 at 10:03 PM (#564755)

It would seem I'm now marginalized by Will, our cultural connisseur.

Please Will, please, explain why Public Enemy is any better than Young MC.!
   146. TOLAXOR Posted: February 12, 2003 at 03:08 PM (#564760)

On rap: Will, I sincerely apologize. Getting you to discuss the viability of one form of rap vs. another was a troll. I really shouldn't have lowered you to that level.

On LaRussa: I'm not answering a question in the above posts, my comment was that there never was a wagon with regards to the "I'm just curious when primates starting (sic) to fall off his wagon." Why? My guess is that because LaRussa is likely one of the least charismatic managers (who need all the charisma they can get, frankly, for the disproportionate amount of responsibility they accept vs. the actual impact they can make on a team) in the game he takes more than his fair share of grief. I would acknowledge that he makes more than his share of tactical mistakes (too many LOOGY's, "gut" managing, etc.) but just as it's difficult to quantify the actual Wins Above (Below) Replacement for a manager, it's foolish to discount his W/L track record. I suppose we could track a modified version of Pythagorean expectations for his teams and contrast them with actuals, and that might lead me to believe his success is in spite of himself.

Most critical is the "reputation". Fact is, that I've yet to see a relationship between the Chisox starters he supposedly "ruined" in context to similar pitchers for the era and length of their career. In some other thread I finally got a gaggle of detractors to admit that out of the 5 he's said to have ruined, 3 couldn't be directly linked with LaRussa at fault, and IMHO the other two had fine careers (again the lengths of their careers would need to be measured in context with era similars). With STL, I normally see Morris and Lil' Benes floated (thanks Rob Neyer). Never, in any study on those two pitchers have I seen any more analysis than "well they played for LaRussa, and he has this reputation, see".

I defend LaRussa only for the sake of exposing the hypocracy. You've allowed to reiterate my prime example, Larry Dierker, the democratically (at least within the oligarchy of "stathead-dom") elected hero of 1998. Chris Holt, Wade Miller, Scott Elarton, Carlos Hernandez....

Dusty Baker? He's Livan-irrific!
   147. Shredder Posted: February 13, 2003 at 02:32 AM (#564762)
Yeah, but could Public Enemy Bust a Move? Didn't think so.
   148. Enrico Palazzo Posted: February 16, 2003 at 09:59 PM (#564768)
I don't think having three catchers is in itself a bad thing. It's only when you combine those two backup catchers with an eight-man bullpen that there's a real loss of strategic flexibility.
   149. MM1f Posted: February 17, 2003 at 02:39 AM (#564771)
"where much better outfielders are signing for less."

Like who?
   150. TOLAXOR Posted: February 17, 2003 at 04:06 PM (#564772) is reporting that Ochoa is going to be Millar's replacement with the Dragons.
   151. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: February 25, 2003 at 04:48 PM (#565108)
Speaking of Vina, does anyone have an idea of who will be the Cards' second-bagger after they decline next year's option?

Perhaps they can lure Geronimo Pena out of retirement?
   152. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 05, 2003 at 04:19 PM (#566083)
Could be either, really. If he's officially named to a position, it's de jure. If he's just hanging out and acting like John Wehner, it's de facto.
   153. Greg Franklin Posted: June 05, 2003 at 08:42 PM (#566084)
You sure that's not a chilled Clint Courtney coming out of TLR's refrigerated cellar of veteran catchers? I understand he's something of a connoisseur. ("Hassey 1988 .... aaaaaaah")
   154. Veee Posted: June 06, 2003 at 02:45 AM (#566086)
Phil "The Toy Bulldog" Garner?
   155. Randal Posted: June 12, 2003 at 04:31 PM (#566089)
Are you the biggest idiot ever?
   156. Greg Franklin Posted: August 28, 2003 at 07:27 AM (#567559)
Jed (and ESPN) is correct!

According to Google, no fewer than 40 instances of "and Mike Crudale" exist on BaseballPrimer. Make it 41 now.

Chris Truby's playing history shows the clear danger of becoming an in-joke too early in a career. Mike had better beware.
   157. Bob T Posted: September 01, 2003 at 04:49 PM (#567721)
Johnson or Harrison's names were never even mentioned by Stoneman as replacements.

Delgado is just a warm body to fill out shortstop until the season ends. Figgins is going to be tried out in CF, much to his dismay according to the papers out here.

Brian Specht of Arkansas was the only organizational player being discussed.
   158. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: September 10, 2003 at 04:26 AM (#561267)
Both me and Cal are still pitchin' for the Birds in a playoff race.

It was no trap!

Ah, Lance... you see, *that's* what makes it the most clever and insidious trap of all.
   159. Boileryard Posted: September 11, 2003 at 09:17 PM (#561268)
Define "pitching" Lance, you have one working foot.
   160. MM1f Posted: September 15, 2003 at 09:40 PM (#567728)
Springsteen opened his showed in Chapel Hill with I Walk the Line.
   161. Drederic Enders Posted: September 15, 2003 at 10:23 PM (#567729)
Why thank you, kind sir!
   162. MM1f Posted: September 19, 2003 at 03:09 PM (#567730)
Heh, whoops.

That went in the wrong thread.
   163. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: November 22, 2003 at 02:20 AM (#568458)
Gall is a pretty good hitter for a minor league relief pitcher. Or is that perhaps Ibanez's projection?
   164. RickG Posted: November 22, 2003 at 11:45 AM (#568463)
I'm not up on my minors, I guess -- Who's Gall?
   165. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 22, 2003 at 05:09 PM (#568467)
Don't feel bad, Rick; top prospects in St.Louis's system would be nobodies almost anywhere else. The system's as thin as David Bowie.
   166. RickG Posted: November 23, 2003 at 12:24 AM (#568468)
Vlad, I applaud your use of David Bowie in the above comment.

A less sophisticated Primate, such as myself, would have substituted "Michael Jackson".

Thanks for the info guys.
   167. Old Matt Posted: December 08, 2003 at 04:25 AM (#569382)
What a brilliant move for St. Louis to keep as much of that pitching staff together as possible. Now if they had only re-signed Fassero...
   168. LVHCM Posted: December 08, 2003 at 08:20 AM (#569383)
Wow, tough crowd. I think you're being a little hard on Kline, who despite a dip last year, has been nice durable lefty over the last few years. If you check out what some other veteran lefty setup men are making next year (groom 3 mil yikes, stanton etc), 1.7 doesn't look so bad and hey, the guy even took a pay cut.
   169. Toolsy McClutch Posted: December 08, 2003 at 11:04 PM (#568961)
Heck, if he puts up those numbers anywhere next year, it will be a coup of epic proportions.
   170. Cferejohn Posted: December 09, 2003 at 09:16 PM (#569387)
If LaRussa AKA LaDumba would use Kline as a left handed specialist rather than putting him in to close games and face right handed hitters I think he would have alot more success. But remember we are dealing with LaGenius who constantly mismanages his pitching staff.

Those sure are some clever nicknames.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that one of the complaints about LaRussa is that he gives up too much to get L-L matchups. Since this is actually a lefthanded pitcher who is considerably better against lefthanders, he seems like exactly the sort of pitcher LaRussa can use well.
   171. Old Matt Posted: December 10, 2003 at 04:54 AM (#569702)
I hope for the Cardinals' sake that Cox isn't their real "solution" at first base. Paying $7 million of Tino's salary just to shell out another mil to downgrade the position is a little strange to say the least. St. Louis strikes me as a team that could be really handicapped by the status of their contracts and the immediate need to lock up Pujols.
   172. Old Matt Posted: December 10, 2003 at 04:54 AM (#569703)
I hope for the Cardinals' sake that Cox isn't their real "solution" at first base. Paying $7 million of Tino's salary just to shell out another mil to downgrade the position is a little strange to say the least. Essentially, they would be saving half a million dollars. St. Louis strikes me as a team that could be really handicapped by the status of their contracts and the immediate need to lock up Pujols.
   173. Old Matt Posted: December 10, 2003 at 10:06 PM (#569708)
Sorry... I don't know where I got it from but I had the mysterious impression that he was getting around $1 million.
   174. Darren Posted: December 17, 2003 at 04:38 AM (#570282)
Both are coming off good years and both have been at least league average. Sanders' defense is also supposed to be excellent. About the best use for $3 mil/year you're going to find is these two. (Well, Jose Guillen might be a better idea.)
   175. JMM Posted: December 17, 2003 at 07:58 AM (#570286)
Hey, at least Jocketty swooped Suppan up before Sabean got his hands on him.
   176. TOLAXOR Posted: December 17, 2003 at 12:14 PM (#570287)
Rob H - What do you think of Ron Belliard? His name was dropped out of the latest Post-Dispatch round of rumor-mongering.
   177. Ziggy's screen name Posted: December 17, 2003 at 07:18 PM (#570294)
Does this mean that Sanders will actually spend consecutive years on the same team?
   178. TOLAXOR Posted: December 17, 2003 at 07:41 PM (#570296)

That's some split. All I saw was the aggregate .35 OBP (frankly couldn't care less about his SLG)
   179. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 17, 2003 at 08:51 PM (#570298)
Thumbs up on Sanders and Suppan. I think Vaughn could have some value if used as a power bat off the bench. From last year's line, he looks like a Three True Outcomes guy at this point, and that's something the Cards might be able to use.
   180. AMcK75 Posted: December 18, 2003 at 02:28 PM (#570299)
Ugh on the Delgado pickup. We carried him for a while in the recent past, and I swear he has the Luis Ordaz like ability to keep the ball in the infield at the plate. Personally, if SuperBo can back up at shortstop, I say let him be the utility middle infielder.
   181. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 22, 2003 at 06:29 AM (#570301)
The Cards have won the Central with teams similar to this one, but it was a lot weaker back then. Sadly, this is probably a third place team even if they somehow sign Maddux (particularly since he wouldn't very much like pitching in St. Louis in July and August...)
   182. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2004 at 08:35 PM (#571225)
Given the sorry state of the Cards' rotation, any chance he's gonna be a starter? Not that this makes this any more understandable of a signing.

And what gaping hole in LF? Is the move of Pujols to 1B official?
   183. AMcK75 Posted: January 08, 2004 at 08:43 PM (#571227)
What about the Mike Lincoln signing? Goodness, it's like the Cards saw the Cubs win with ex Pirates, and are trying to follow suit.
   184. mommy Posted: January 08, 2004 at 08:45 PM (#571228)
4.37 era's are fungible? is this 1910?
   185. ColonelTom Posted: January 08, 2004 at 08:52 PM (#571229)
Man, that's ugly. They could've thrown that cash at Raul Mondesi, John Vander Wal, Ellis Burks, Rich Aurilia, or Mark McLemore, all of whom would help the Cards a lot more than Tavarez. Heck, given that he's probably worse than the in-house alternatives for the 'pen, they'd probably have done better spending the $4.2 million on new condiment dispensers for the stadium concourse.
   186. Danny Posted: January 08, 2004 at 08:57 PM (#571230)
Tavarez is pretty close to being league average. $2.25M a year for a league average starter is not a bad deal.
   187. ColonelTom Posted: January 08, 2004 at 09:02 PM (#571233)
(1) I never criticized the Gonzo signing - he's a steal for the Royals at that price, given the one-year commitment.

(2) Whoever signs Burks knows that he'll play no more than 100 games. Even so, the man can still hit a ton when he plays.

(3) If signed by the Cards, Aurilia would shift to 2B, replacing Bo Hart. That's a significant upgrade.
   188. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: January 08, 2004 at 09:20 PM (#571236)
Why do I feel like Tavarez is like the love child of Bret Tomko and Estaban Yan?
   189. Mike Piazza Posted: January 08, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#571237)
Brett, TELL me it isn't true!
   190. TOLAXOR Posted: January 08, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#571238)
But Pollitte @ $400k less per year is a TERRIFIC deal for the Chisox!!!
   191. AMcK75 Posted: January 08, 2004 at 10:09 PM (#571245)
Ah, where's the love for Jason Ma(r)quis, whose name I can never spell? At the very least, I figure he'll end up in the bullpen, just to show the fans that the Cards got something for Drew.
   192. TOLAXOR Posted: January 08, 2004 at 10:27 PM (#571248)
$1.2 million this year with $400k in options as reported by Yahoo! this AM.
   193. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2004 at 10:35 PM (#571252)
From the same group of people that lambasted the Juan Gonzalez signing because he was injury prone?

Ummm...what group of people? Here are the two most negative comments from the TO thread on that signing:

Is $4.5 million too much to pay for 100 games of bad defense and 0.900 OPS? Maybe. and

<i>AP reports:
   194. pyrite Posted: January 09, 2004 at 02:42 AM (#571260)
The Pirates actually offered Tavarez $1.5 million and he turned them down. I'm actually sorry to see him go. Maybe it was too much Beimel and Boehringer affecting my senses, but Tavarez seemed like My Own Private Chad Bradford for the last few months of '03.

I know it's heresy to defend giving a relief pitcher money when any GM worth his salt should be able to go shake a tree and make a Brendan Donnelly fall out, and in the name of Todd Van Poppel you certainly don't sign them for more than one-year, but I'll give it a go anyway:

-His 3.66 ERA in '03 was inflated by one beating by the Cards (.1 IP, 7 ER). Otherwise, he had a 2.92 ERA.

-Of the 457 pitchers with at least 20 IP in 2003, Tavarez had the lowest HR ratio of all of them: 1 HR in 83.2 IP.

-Of the 265 pitchers with at least 250 BFP in 2003, Tavarez was 3rd in opponents Isolated Power. His .063 mark (1 HR, 17 2B in 318 AB) trailed only Gagne and Quantrill and was right ahead of Mariano Rivera.

-He got better in high-leverage situations:

Close and Late: 36 G, 45.0 IP, 31 H, 28/14 K:BB, 1.40 ERA
   195. mommy Posted: January 09, 2004 at 04:24 AM (#571261)
pyrite, don't you listen! he's fungible!!! every non-all-star is fungible!!!
   196. Walt Davis Posted: January 09, 2004 at 06:00 PM (#571262)
pyrite, don't you listen! he's fungible!!! every non-all-star is fungible!!!

Gee, mommy, I thought you knew that one year's statistics aren't very predictive, especially for relievers. Sure, last year he had a pretty good year (ERA+ of 116). IN 2000 he was even better and in 1995 he was great. And he was average in 97 and 98 too. Of course, he stunk pretty bad in 99 and 2002 and was below average in 2001 and is below average for his career (relative to relievers). Lord knows we can count on just 1 HR in 84 IP again. And we can certainly count on a guy whose K-rate is less than 5/9 (and falling) and who gives up over a hit an inning for his career will have another season in which he gives up just 75 hits in 84 IP.

The Cubs didn't want him very much; the Marlins didn't want him very much; and the Pirates didn't want him this much. How much more fungible can a guy be?
   197. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: January 10, 2004 at 06:43 AM (#571305)
Albert Pujols: Left Fielder or First Baseman?

considering the Cardinals are signing tons of outfielders, most of them good in left field, like Quinn, Vaughn and Lankford. I think Pujols is moving to first.
   198. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: January 10, 2004 at 10:12 PM (#571309)
Damn damn damn. I'd solaced myself with the notion that I would never see another swing and wiff from Lankford while in Cardinal's red. Remember his last half-season in STL? 265 at-bats and over 100 strike-outs? And he's two years removed from that stellar performance. Ugh.
   199. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2004 at 02:27 PM (#571314)
Lincoln's a nice pickup. The only problem with him last year was an annoying tendency to trust Joe Beimel with his inherited runners, and that's not really something he had control over. The rate stats were all decent; he was just sabotaged by the rest of the team's bullpen.

How good is TLR with platoons? Anderson's got a pretty extreme split, and so did Lankford, when he was still active.
   200. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2004 at 02:47 PM (#571265)
I'm glad to see Tavarez go, if only because I'd like to see the Pirates' pen get over the 6 K/9 hump.
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