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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Texas Rangers

Acquired 1B Josh McKinley and P Chris Young from the Montreal Expos for C Einar Diaz and P Justin Echols

No details on how much of Diaz’ salary the Expos will pay, unfortunately.  You would think the Rangers would have to pay most of it to successfully dump Einar, but Minaya hasn’t exactly earned a sterling trade record.  Schneider will hopefully still get most of the at-bats against righties.  As for the other 3 players, Echols has a good fastball that goes random places, Young is that really tall guy who doesn’t throw fast and is a ways away, and McKinley can hit a bit but probably can’t stick in the majors at 2nd.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 04, 2004 at 03:13 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. John Posted: December 19, 2002 at 02:55 AM (#561206)
Wow. I suppose it's an upgrade over picking up John Rocker and the Fat Toad.

As a Strangers fan new to Showalter, I wonder whether Buck will find a smart way to maximize whatever it is that Glanville has to offer (beyond a smile and a quick wit, I think he could actually be a useful 200-AB OF/PH/PR/defensive replacement), or will he be thrown into 350-400 disastrous AB's? Any Yankee/D-Back followers have thoughts?
   102. Bill Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:00 AM (#561207)
For what it's worth, Buck used the somewhat comparable Gerald Williams sparingly in Buck's last Yankee year (1995). 100 games, 180 AB's in the PR/Defense/PH vs. lefty role and got a respectable 794 OPS for his trouble.
   103. John Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:10 AM (#561209)
Thanks, Bill.
   104. NTNgod Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:18 AM (#561210)
Gee, I was kind of hoping that the Orioles would sign him, so Dan's head would explode (like in Scanners, but without Michael Ironside)....

   105. Brian Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:21 AM (#561212)
Boy am I going to enjoy Glanville's witty comments this year that seem to pop-up everywhere. Especially since he's not wasting the Phillies money doing it.
   106. NTNgod Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:24 AM (#561213)
It's a one year/$1 mil deal.
   107. Darren Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:43 AM (#561215)
Isn't Ludwick in the CF mix?
   108. NTNgod Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:48 AM (#561216)
Isn't Ludwick in the CF mix?
   109. Brian Posted: December 19, 2002 at 04:01 AM (#561219)
Like Ed said above, he did good. The Phillies did not offer Glanville arbitration.
   110. MM1f Posted: December 19, 2002 at 04:20 AM (#561221)
Everett was supposed to be a pretty good CF a year or two ago, right?

He didn't get that fat that fast did he, or am I confusing him with someone else?
   111. John Posted: December 19, 2002 at 04:33 AM (#561223)
Yes, NMS. If you looked at him at the beginning of last season, you would have been forgiven for confusing him with Rich Garces. And he played CF about as well as you'd expect El Guapo to. But in the man's defense, he was ripping the ball the last couple of months of the season, when everyone else on the team, save Pudge and Alex, had absolutely quit. His defense went from Incaviglian to "below average."
   112. Answer Guy, outhacking you by a mile. Posted: December 19, 2002 at 10:16 AM (#561233)
What was Glanville thinking? He may have cost himself several hundred thousand dollars that way.

The Phils wouldn't have offered arb unless Glanville agreed not to accept; they made this deal so they could continue negotiating with him. If they hadn't offered arb, he couldn't have re-signed with them [until May 1], so by making this deal both sides get more negotiating time with the other. Since Glanville isn't even Type C, there's no disincentive to another team signing him, so he doesn't lose anything in the process.

Also, Glanville went to Penn, not Dartmouth.
   113. Bill Posted: December 19, 2002 at 03:37 PM (#561238)
Echoing Dan Cahill, I don't see how "speed and defense" are worth more than the major league minimum. Thanks to tools-crazy scouts, the minors are full of guys who can run and catch but are clueless at the plate.
   114. Brian Posted: December 19, 2002 at 04:00 PM (#561239)
The Phillies, did offer Glanville arbirtration, but on a listing of whether he was an A, B, or C caliber player, he has a listing of "none"..the actual word is put up. Also receiving "none" were people like todd pratt and other backups. Does this mean that even though offered arbirtration, he did not qualify for a bump in pay?
   115. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 23, 2002 at 02:10 AM (#561792)
Off the top of my head, I can think of they already have Urbina, Zimmerman, Cordero, Kolb, Van Poppel, Mahay, Shouse, Seanez, Santos, Ellis, Garcia, Nitkowski plus whoever of Park, Benoit, Drese, Lewis, Davis and Bell and these are just the *likely* candidates.

Is the 4th person on that list really all that much better than the 12th best?

Meanwhile, they're going from Pudge Rodriguez to Einar Diaz and non-tendering Frankie Catalanotto.

I can't be alone in thinking that if they put half as much effort in accumulating offensive options as bullpen options, their offense might be as good as people seem to think it is.
   116. Law Boy Posted: December 23, 2002 at 02:35 AM (#561796)
A Yankee fan's plea:

Memo to John Hart: Please sign Roger Clemens before Steinbrenner does something stupid.
   117. Jason Posted: December 23, 2002 at 02:40 AM (#561797)
Hendry had to get a proven closer. Hendry had to spend 4 million. Hendry just got the wrong one. Well, there wasn't really a right one, but the one he got was wrongest.
   118. MM1f Posted: December 23, 2002 at 03:40 AM (#561800)
Isn't Urbina for 5 million better than Alfonseca for 4???
   119. xdog Posted: December 23, 2002 at 04:14 AM (#561802)
UU managed to parlay a year when he had 40 saves, allowed batters 202 BA, and averaged 10.7K/9 into a 1-year deal for a third less money, from $6.7M to $4.5M. If not for Hicks I bet it would have dropped further. The evidence is mounting for a sea change in the level of payroll. Or maybe collusion charges down the road. Who knows?
   120. MM1f Posted: December 23, 2002 at 04:30 AM (#561803)
"Actually, it is Urbina at $4 million, with another $500K deferred..."

Make the Cubs look even worse...

WHY? WHY? Why Cubbies?
   121. MM1f Posted: December 23, 2002 at 05:05 PM (#561812)
You'd think that if you had 6 fingers you should throw some sort of super-curve or something....
   122. Jason Posted: December 23, 2002 at 05:12 PM (#561813)
Sadly, that sixth finger is about as effective as the legs on a whale
   123. Jefferson Posted: December 23, 2002 at 07:01 PM (#561816)
I wasn't at that Giants game, but I've been at others where the fans do that. It's great. I've seen relievers get rattled by it, tossing more wild pitches than usual during warmups, then getting shelled when they come in. Since the bullpen mound is only about five or six feet from the stands, those kind of mind games get amplified at Pac Bell Park.
   124. Bill Posted: January 03, 2003 at 10:13 PM (#562265)
I know Thomson has some decent peripherals, but isn't it a bit of a stretch to say that a guy who (a) has never thrown over 180 innings, (b) is 29-49 lifetime and (c) has a K/9IP of 5.30 a "solid number 2 or 3 guy."?
   125. Vance W Posted: January 03, 2003 at 10:21 PM (#562266)
It's pretty clear that the Rangers have no intention to compete in 2003 and are looking to 2004 when they will be rid or the Gonzales and Everett contracts. Hence all the pitching moves in the offseason are one year deals best looked at as experiments. Thomson might turn out to be pretty good. He does have those good peripherals and wasn't horrible even at Coors. If he's only mediocre he can at least soak up some innings. If he's flat bad, not much has been lost.
   126. Boileryard Posted: January 03, 2003 at 10:29 PM (#562268)
Coors does depress strikeouts though, right?. Although that isn't evident from Thomson's splits. But he may pick up out of Coors full time.

A lot of his value appears to come from a decent 2.26 BB/9IP ratio. Which contributes to his nice WHIP numbers over the last couple years. 1.28 away WHIP in 2002; 1.19 away WHIP in 2001; 1.14 Coors! Whip in 2001.
   127. Bill Posted: January 03, 2003 at 10:36 PM (#562271)
Let's remember that Texas, while not Coors, is no picnic for pitchers either. And much of the Ranger defense leaves something to be desired. This is a tough spot for him to try to get his career on an upward path.
   128. Bill Posted: January 03, 2003 at 10:44 PM (#562272)
Don't forget Omar. Your career before 2002 was a bit better than John's.

I just looked at some of Thomson's other numbers. I would have to say that his HR/IP ratio away from Coors is fairly alarming.
   129. Bill Posted: January 04, 2003 at 03:54 PM (#562280)
Last winter some wag made the wonderful observation that Steve Phillips "confuses activity with progress." That will no doubt prove true again.
   130. Toby Posted: January 05, 2003 at 02:10 AM (#562282)
I saw this item and got confused, I thought it was about the Thom[p?]son that the Rangers already got from Detroit in the Juan Gonzalez trade ... was that Jason Thompson? What's the deal with him? Is he still rehabbing, or is he just gone?
   131. John Posted: January 05, 2003 at 04:27 AM (#562283)
Was that Jason Thompson? What's the deal with him? Is he still rehabbing, or is he just gone?

That's Justin Thompson. As far as I know, he's still Rangers property. Last thing I remember hearing was that they had faint hopes was before last season that he'd pitch some time in 2002.
   132. Snowboy Posted: January 05, 2003 at 05:58 AM (#562284)
If the Rangers are just going to mail it in for 2003, why spend $5M on Urbina? I like the Thomson signing, I guess John Hart left someone else in charge of the office this week.
   133. Snowboy Posted: January 05, 2003 at 06:06 PM (#562287)
The Rangers might have had a horrid bullpen last year, but the starting pitching looks even worse, right now. At the time Urbina was signed, the rotation looked like Chan-Ho Park, Colby Lewis, Doug Davis, Ryan Drese, and Joaquin Benoit. The Rangers already have a closer in Francisco Cordero, as far as I'm concerned. Now he is not only blocked, Texas has $5M less to spend on its real needs.

BTW, I like the Yan signing. Get him away from TB, make him a setup guy, and hope he turns out like LaTroy Hawkins 2002.

And yeah, when teams are making their playoff runs, there will be markets for guys like Urbina and Yan, and maybe we can get some prospects.
   134. Chris L Posted: January 06, 2003 at 02:59 AM (#562291)
"How often do playoff contending teams trade for another closer on July 31?"

I haven't the time or interest to do a historical breakdown, but I know the Astros have done it twice recently: picking up Mike Williams and Flash Gordon. Absent injury, the unsaid premise underlying your question is that a playoff caliber team has a solid go-to guy in the 9th. Generally that's true. However, even a team with a Mr. Automatic in the pen can find a way to turn another team's closer into a very nice set-up man for the stretch run and postseason play.
   135. Snowboy Posted: January 06, 2003 at 07:36 AM (#562293)
Nice work with answers! However...Tom Gordon was not the Cubs closer last year, and didn't close for Houston after he arrived.
   136. Walt Davis Posted: January 06, 2003 at 06:35 PM (#562296)
Yeah, I'd say a surprising trend the last few years has been the ability to move relievers (often for pretty good return) at the trade deadline. Surprising in that so many teams really think that those 20 innings they might get are going to make or break their playoff chances. Meanwhile they seem reluctant to trade for good bats.

Anyway, given recent history, moving a pitcher like Urbina shouldn't be too hard. He's overpriced, but it's a 1-year contract, so surely some playoff-contending team (or the Cubs) will be willing to eat $1.5 M down the stretch.
   137. Russ Posted: January 07, 2003 at 03:57 AM (#562299)
The Pirates also moved Mike Williams to the Astros a couple of seasons ago, only to re-sign him as a free agent the following offseason. It only turned into the fungible Tony McKnight, but something for nothing is still a pretty good deal to make.
   138. Mike Posted: January 08, 2003 at 07:52 PM (#562662)
Kreuter was Chan Ho's personal catcher in LA, no? Perhaps he was signed with hopes of boosting Chan Ho's production.
   139. Jimbo Jones Posted: January 28, 2003 at 12:33 AM (#564355)
I hope Randy Winn can at least outhit Sierra.
   140. Walt Davis Posted: January 28, 2003 at 04:28 PM (#564358)
Mr. Hart,

FWIW, you didn't sign Carl Everett, you traded the very expensive corpse of Darren Oliver for the equally expensive zombie that is Carl Everett. Of course Carl has this extra year on his contract, but then zombies are better than corpses so this wasn't THAT bad of a deal.
   141. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2003 at 04:54 PM (#564359)
Also, FWIW, Park looks to be a lot better this year, now that Acosta's gone. Think it's a coincidence that Park got hurt for the first time in a long time right after Acosta made radical changes to his approach, delivery, and training regimen?

I feel like starting an oversized thread: Who's better, Ruben Sierra or Chris Singleton?
   142. bob mong Posted: January 28, 2003 at 05:27 PM (#564360)
For a little while, that is, because once pitchers figured out that his bat speed is gone and started blowing him away with average fastballs.

I dunno, Dan. Is that really what happened, or are you just speculating?

Here are some splits:

   143. Jimbo Jones Posted: January 29, 2003 at 12:26 AM (#564363)
Absolute best case scenario, Sierra is a league average DH. Worst case scenario, he's a DH/pinch hitter who can only outhit your Einar Diaz.

What would an average DH do? At minimum, I would imagine an average DH would have an OPS+ of 110. That is something Sierra has done exactly once in the last decade. Of course, this is the team/park he did it for, and it was only two years ago. But it really looks like a big fluke. I'd place the odds of Sierra reaching this upside at a minimum of 15-1 against (hypothetically, that is: my career as a bookie has not yet begun).
   144. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 29, 2003 at 02:19 AM (#564364)
It's a joke. At this time last year, there were a pair of massive threads about whether Sierra and Singleton were "replacement-level players" or not.
   145. John M. Perkins Posted: April 16, 2003 at 10:13 PM (#565650)
Ryan Drese maybe propping the window open for Dickey. Dickey was a tandem starter in Oklahoma and that might fit in well with either Drese, Park or Van Poppel.
   146. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: April 18, 2003 at 09:14 PM (#565651)
"R.A. Dickey had a long and uphill struggle to reach the majors; after being drafted in 1996 along with Doug Davis and Warren Morris, it was found at his physical that he didn't have a ligament in his elbow."

-- This is actually an interesting story. How did they find out Dickey didn't have the ligament? After the draft, Baseball America had an issue with Dickey on the cover, and in the picture his elbow was bent at an angle odd enough that the Rangers decided to take a looksee to see if there was anything to it. Sure enough, they found he was missing a ligament.
   147. John M. Perkins Posted: April 25, 2003 at 09:02 PM (#565826)
Todd Van Poppel is also an option.
   148. John Posted: April 30, 2003 at 08:54 PM (#565833)
The difference between Glanville's poor hitting and Sadler's poor hitting the last 3 years is about the same as the difference between Jeff Bagwell and a league average 1Bman. Glanville sucks, Sadler is worse than an NL pitcher. That said he has lots of defensive value at CF, 2B, and 3B and is ok at SS.
   149. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 01, 2003 at 12:14 AM (#565834)
Rontrez Johnson would've worked much better if they needed a CF, and Marshall McDougall or Jermaine Clark would've worked much better if they needed a UT IF. I will agree that Sadler's a better bench option than a third catcher under most circumstances, but that's really not saying much. I think I just have to disagree with Dan on this one.

Hot off the wire: Greene just went on the 15-day DL, and Texas called up Laird to back up for a couple weeks. The Kreuter thing might not have been a bad idea in theory, but it looks like the Bad Timing Fairy decided to wave her wand over Arlington.

I'm as surprised as anyone by Park's poor performance so far this year. I didn't think he'd recapture past glories, but an ERA around 4.5 didn't seem entirely out of the question.
   150. Scott Posted: May 01, 2003 at 12:32 PM (#565835)
Sadler combines the jobs of no-hit backup centerfielder and no-hit utility infielder into one

Hm, sounds like Joe Torre's kind of guy for the Clay Bellinger memorial roster spot. Sadler may have pinstripes in his future...
   151. Greg Franklin Posted: June 06, 2003 at 09:53 PM (#564365)
Now he's a Yankee. Jason Anderson (P) gets sent down to make room for him, Kevin Mench (OF) gets recalled to replace him.

If you go by ZiPS, he's due for 8 HRs on his new club: the fabled "last gasp" year David Justice and Glenallen Hill pulled off in their mid-season Yankee trades.
   152. Greg Franklin Posted: July 09, 2003 at 10:12 PM (#560236)
Lyle Mouton sighting today! Myette was flipped to the Phillies for this perennial Phelpser wannabe.
   153. Old Matt Posted: December 05, 2003 at 04:43 PM (#569286)
Watch as John Hart hastily rescinds the deal after learning that he was not, in fact, signing a clone of *Ted* Williams.
   154. MM1f Posted: December 06, 2003 at 01:11 AM (#569288)
"There's no real role for Williams in the majors "


He's a major-league quality pitcher. Hell, he's certainly a Ranger-quality pitcher.

Maybe he's not a great set-up guy or long reliever, but there are other roles out there ("middle relief") that he'd be just fine at.
   155. Ziggy's screen name Posted: December 09, 2003 at 06:58 PM (#569519)
That's a lot of singles.
   156. NTNgod Posted: December 10, 2003 at 12:59 AM (#569526)
FWIW, his career minor league line:
   157. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 10, 2003 at 01:19 AM (#569527)
In this case, I think ZiPS is about where I would project Tyner. Arlington is a hitters park (though no vintage Coors) and I do think Tyner has the potential to hit a very empty .300. Tyner can hit singles all day but he wouldn't hit a homer at the slow softball batting cage.
   158. Mike Piazza Posted: December 10, 2003 at 08:19 PM (#569531)
Still, this didn't lead to the singular ding-dong that he craves for to this day.

He's not the only one that craves a ding-dong.
   159. John Posted: December 11, 2003 at 02:30 AM (#569736)
Great value for $1mm, but...who's his platoon partner at DH? Spencer? I don't think he's an above-average DH if he's full-time rather than 2/3 time.
   160. Darren Posted: December 11, 2003 at 02:42 AM (#569737)
Fullmer is this year's Ortiz, but not that good of course. Great signing.
   161. Shredder Posted: December 11, 2003 at 02:58 AM (#569739)
Good pickup. I was hoping the Angels would re-sign him after cutting Spiezio loose.
   162. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 11, 2003 at 03:53 AM (#569533)
Hey, I called him a pretty decent 5th outfielder!
   163. Matthew E Posted: December 11, 2003 at 03:20 PM (#569742)
In the Star today it says that the Rangers signed Fullmer 'to replace Rafael Palmeiro'. Dream on.
   164. Snowboy Posted: December 11, 2003 at 08:27 PM (#569743)
This is Fullmer 2nd consecutive one-year contract. I think he was pretty disappointed at finding nothing as a FA last year, and having to crawl back to the Angels for a one year deal. (Salt on the wound, the contract was a pay cut.) Not much better this year, but he's coming off injury.
   165. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 12, 2003 at 01:16 AM (#569745)
I think this is a great pick-up for the Rangers.

Against tough left-handers, Texas is full of candidates like Spencer and Kevin Mench who can spell Fullmer.

Rangers fans, beware Bad Brad's defense. He has an awful reputation, so when you first seem him you may be surprised. "Oh, he's not that bad at all," you'll think.

He will immediately make one of the worst defensive plays you will ever see.

And then you will understand.

He is also a much better baserunner than you would expect a running bicep to be.
   166. Noffs Posted: December 28, 2003 at 04:17 AM (#570802)
A league-average OF (when healthy) for $1.25M is nothing to sneeze at, as long as he's not blocking anyone (which he's not) and he's not wasting a pick (which he's not). Especially if he proves himself healthy and productive (big if, granted), he'll be very flippable.
   167. Jason Posted: December 28, 2003 at 06:06 AM (#570804)
Looking purely at salaries Collusion and correction tend to look the same. The problem is all the circumstantial evidence points to correction. 1) the Pioneer Billy Beane demonstrating the replaceability of many players.
   168. Randal Posted: December 28, 2003 at 06:45 AM (#570805)
Hey wait. Are you the biggest idiot ever?
   169. Will B. Posted: December 28, 2003 at 08:28 AM (#570806)
The biggest impacts have been a steep decline in contract length and middle market prices

I think the insurance companies have something to do with this.
   170. Snowboy Posted: December 28, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#570810)
Dan, ZiPS is a fun feature, but do you really believe (or believe that your computer is telling you) that if given an MLB job Jason Jones/Peter Zoccollilo/Ty Meadows could hit as well as Brian Jordan next year?
   171. Snowboy Posted: December 28, 2003 at 08:28 PM (#570811)
Aww, now it looks like I'm piling on!
   172. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 28, 2003 at 11:29 PM (#570812)
Yes, and for the exact same reasons that people thought that Mike Easler would be as good as Bill Robinson, that Troy Neel could replace Harold Baines, and Geronimo Berroa could match Neel in turn. And so on.

We're not talking about a player on the level of A-Rod or I-Rod, but more on the level of H-Rod. Zoccolillo wouldn't have to be a star, just match the expected production of an oft-injured 37-year-old outfielder coming off knee surgery who hasn't really been a *good* offensive player since 1998.
   173. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 28, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#570813)
Jordan *is* just an average player. He's not going to play centerfield anymore and going back to his last *good* offensive year (1998), his OPS+ lines are 109, 86, 110, 119, 113. Even before age and his most recent injury (on top of a chronic injury record), that screams mediocre.
   174. Snowboy Posted: December 29, 2003 at 01:51 AM (#570815)
I think we have different definitions of "mediocre." I think T. Long is mediocre, Bobby Kielty is mediocre, Raul Ibanez is mediocre, Jay Payton is mediocre. Players who are always around 100 OPS+, sometimes above, but sometimes below, without any stellar defensive skills, are my mediocre.
   175. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 30, 2003 at 04:54 PM (#570855)
Tyner was one of a bunch of players (probably more than half the non-tenders) that signed minor league contracts with their old teams during the days before Christmas.
   176. Vance W Posted: December 30, 2003 at 05:36 PM (#570857)
Ira, While I hope that Jordan, Nix and Mench will "star" in the outfield, its more likely that they will merely "start."
   177. Snowboy Posted: December 30, 2003 at 05:44 PM (#570858)
I think I'll find more agreement when I say that Dellucci's a needless signing and could easily be replaced by the aforementioned Zoccolillo.
   178. Snowboy Posted: December 30, 2003 at 06:42 PM (#570862)
Nix seemed like a corner OFer plunked in CF last year, but you saw more of Glanville than I did last year, so I'll take your word that they were equals. And hopefully Nix meets replacement level this year. The Rangers were bad at converting balls into outs last year and look a little worse for next year, but we'll see how it turns out. And see if they turn their attention from OFers to arms in the next weeks.
   179. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2003 at 07:01 PM (#570817)
I think we have different definitions of "mediocre." I think T. Long is mediocre, Bobby Kielty is mediocre, Raul Ibanez is mediocre, Jay Payton is mediocre. Players who are always around 100 OPS+, sometimes above, but sometimes below, without any stellar defensive skills, are my mediocre.

While your examples are OFs, the 100 OPS+ barrier is the average hitter, not the average corner OF. Long has been far below mediocre these last couple years, he's been replacement level. Ibanez's last 3 years are not substantially different than Jordan's last 3 years.

People seem to be overlooking three very salient points that Dan makes. First, Jordan is chronically injured. Yes, he's been an average-ish hitting corner OF -- when he plays. But he misses lots of time, which cuts into his value to his team.

Second, he's coming off knee surgery, which will likely at least decrease his defensive value, which is where most of his value has come from the last few years.

Third, he'll be 37, so even under the best of circumstances (full-time player without knee surgery), we'd expect a decline and if he declines much, he becomes well below-average.

Which isn't to say this is a bad signing (it's not much money) but just that folks seem to have unrealistic expectations for Jordan. If he gives 120 games with average or better defense and has an OPS+ of 100-105, he'll have given you about the best you could hope for.
   180. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2004 at 06:17 PM (#570821)
I just checked baseball reference. Jordan's OPS+ the last 3 years gave been 110, 119 and 113. His career OPS+ is 110. So while a 110 OPS+ isn't great for a corner outfielder, it significantly better than replacement level and with that track record there is no reason to think that 100-105 is the best one can hope for.

Of course there is -- the fact that he's getting older and that he's coming off injury. Given that, there's no reason to expect him to maintain what he's done the last 3 years. A 100-105 OPS+ would represent a small decline.

Age and injury are also the reasons to expect his defensive value to decline. He has been a good defensive player the last few years, that's where much of his value has come from. But knee injuries have a way of decreasing your range, even when they heal nicely. He probably won't decline so far that he'd be substantially below average, but a decline to average or just above is to be expected.

And this is pure speculation, but oft-injured players who are average hitters for their position seem like prime candidates for falling off cliffs in their mid-late 30s.

All I'm saying is that it's off-base to think that an oft-injured 37 year-old player coming off a knee injury will continue to play at the level he has the last 3 seasons.

As to whether that's better or worse than what Zoccolillo et al would do, I have no opinion.
   181. Walt Davis Posted: January 06, 2004 at 06:50 PM (#571024)
For some reason, I'm trying to put a positive spin on this. Young (795 OPS against righties in 2003; 811 over 2001-2003) would make a pretty good platoon partner for Fullmer at DH. Or stick him in left with Mench at DH against lefties.

And as much of a fan as I am of Thomson and as anti-fan as I am of Jordan and Young, if Jordan, Young, and Dellucci can combine for about 1,000 PA of average production that probably will be more valuable in an absolute sense than 200 IP from Thomson. The question is more: why not spring the extra $3.5 M for Thomson anyway.
   182. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 07, 2004 at 04:58 AM (#571028)
I printed the R column twice.
   183. villageidiom Posted: January 07, 2004 at 01:48 PM (#571031)
This makes Detroit's signing of Fernando Vina, a player with similar value to Young, to a more expensive contract look foolish.

Economic reality: If supply is lower than demand, prices will rise. The supply of free agents wishing to play in Detroit is far lower than Detroit's demand for such services. Hence, even if Detroit demands free agents as much as Texas, Detroit must pay more than Texas in order to attract free agents.

Whether they should be pursuing free agents at all, or Vina in particular, is another story. Perhaps they should lower their demand for free agents, instead trying to develop their own talent. Heck, for all I know maybe they are, while throwing bones at a "proven" Vina to give the fans some semblance of a reason to show up. It wouldn't get most Primates to show up - if they were in Detroit - but not every fan thinks like the typical Primate.
   184. Walt Davis Posted: January 07, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#571034)
Just a reminder that this was the same problem Hart had in Cleveland. Every year their pitching (at least their starters) would struggle and every offseason he made moves to improve the offense. Granted, he put together better staffs in Cleveland than in Texas (thanks largely to the Burba trade and the Hershiser signing).

Still, I have no problem with the moves they have made -- patching holes with low-priced vets. But I'm not sure they're in a great position to wait for their pitching to develop. They've got a good young offense that, outside AROD, will be pretty cheap for the next 4 years or so. 2005 or 2006 at the latest is the time to put a decent, reliable staff out there. I've got no problem using 2004 to sort out some starters, but I think they'll be passing up opportunities to compete if they're still going with mostly young starters in 2005. Unless of course these kids are better right away than I'm guessing they will be.
   185. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2004 at 01:18 PM (#571037)
   186. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 12, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#571505)
I think Walt is busy racing Jim Hendry to overpay Greg Maddux. That would be slightly more excusable but far more costly.
   187. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 12, 2004 at 06:23 PM (#571510)
I think Maddux will go to Baltimore as well. They're going to feel compelled to do something to make up for not signing Guerrero, and Maddux is one of the only "name" options out there that might appease the hoi polloi.

If the Cubs fail to meet Maddux's price (which, if it really is something like 3/$30, is just Boras proving he's 1A to Selig in terms of being the game's biggest ass), he'll probably look at whatever offer they make as lowballing him as revenge for his spurning their offer and signing with the Braves.

Beyond those teams, who else has the money and the pitching need to sign him? I can't see him going to Detroit to pitch out the end of his career on a team that isn't close to climbing out of the second division. And San Diego just isn't showing the interest that I expected.
   188. Enrico Palazzo Posted: January 12, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#571512)
I'd love to see Maddux go to Baltimore, and then *still* refuse to let Javy Lopez catch him.
   189. Snowboy Posted: January 12, 2004 at 10:05 PM (#571515)
My guess would be Benoit over Dickey.

Oracle's crowbar idea is a good one; offer Nelson an extra $500,000
   190. Cris E Posted: January 13, 2004 at 04:02 PM (#571519)
Well there goes Terry Ryan's Top Secret Plan 9 From May 1: Project Rogers!

Seriously, is Jeff Nelson that bad or that hard to deal with that he's worth less than Terry Adams (and far less than Julian Tavarez)? I mean, the projections look OK, 60 games of better than average quality, and there are a bunch of teams who are close to good and short of arms (STL, MIN, CHW) that it seems odd he is getting so little. I mean, 1/4 of the new standard contract? No collusion here...
   191. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2004 at 08:28 PM (#571527)
It's Ron Howard's new single-camera comedy done in a faux-documentary style on Fox 930 Sundays. You know something's good when Jason Bateman becomes watchable.
   192. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 04, 2004 at 04:48 AM (#573321)
Supposedly, yes. He's hit well in camp, and he seems to run pretty well for a catcher.
   193. Hey, Randy Milligan, turn off your laser beam eyes Posted: April 04, 2004 at 07:13 PM (#573323)
According to BA, the Rangers will pay 2 million of Diaz' $2.5 million salary.
   194. Noffs Posted: April 07, 2004 at 10:20 PM (#573325)
They need Laird to produce so they can get some return from the 4 players they got for Carlos Pena.
   195. NTNgod Posted: April 07, 2004 at 10:38 PM (#573326)
Well, they did flip Ryan Ludwick for Ricardo Rodriguez...
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