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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tigers - Acquired Cabrera

Detroit Tigers - Acquired 3B Miguel Cabrera and P Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins for OF Cameron Maybin, P Andrew Miller, P Dallas Trahern, P Eulogio de la Cruz, P Burke Badenhop, and C Mike Rabelo.

You just know that there’s someone at Baseball America thinking “Thank God we didn’t schedule the Tigers’s Top 10 list earlier than we did.”  This is as good a demonstration as any of why building your farm systems isn’t just for rebuilding teams - the Giants and Orioles would have a hard time pulling together a package that could get just Cabrera without bombing the franchise.

You have to give a lot of credit to Beinfest as he still makes great pickups even when everyone knows that his boss is one of the biggest Welfare Queens in American history.  Cabrera instantly goes to the middle of the Tigers’s already quality offense and Willis, even though he’s not the pitcher he was a few years ago and is more of the D-Light Rail rather than a D-Train, should be a good #3/#4 guy.  Maybin wasn’t super-useful in Detroit with Granderson already in center and the Marlins have had serious issues at finding a centerfielder the last couple of years.  Miller has a good shot to be better than Willis in the near future.

Thumbs-up to both GMs.  Beinfest may have a AAAA team, but he’s making it the best AAAA team it can be and Dombrowski shows that trading prospects and doing something dumb don’t have to go hand-in-hand.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Miguel Cabrera
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   601 107 191 42 2 33 122 86 105   4 .319 .409 .556
———————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  601 117 199 43 2 37 131 93 100   6 .331 .424 .594
Pes. (15%)  469   66 134 25 0 18 77 53 93   2 .285 .361 .455
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jim Ray Hart, Ron Santo

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Dontrelle Willis
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 14 11 35 35 228 243 110 23 74 130 4.36
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 16   9 35 35 230 233   94 19 64 140 3.68
Pes. (15%)  9 11 29 29 185 210 108 25 70 100 5.27
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Mike Hampton, Paul Splittorff

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Cameron Maybin
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   486 58 123 24 3 13 52 51 177 31 .253 .328 .395
———————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  559 79 157 32 7 18 85 69 185 46 .281 .364 .460
Pes. (15%)  417 39   93 17 1   7 41 37 168 19 .223 .288 .319
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Sammy Sosa, Ron Gant

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Andrew Miller
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 10 12 35 29 174 175   90 20 87 158 4.66
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 15 10 39 32 200 180   80 16 82 198 3.60
Pes. (15%)  6 13 29 24 137 157   95 24 87 109 6.24
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Matt Keough, Pete Broberg

2008 ZiPS Projection - Dallas Trahern
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 9 12 30 30 183 209 104 21 67 98 5.11
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 13 10 33 33 211 218   96 18 59 132 4.09
Pes. (15%)  5 12 25 25 145 187 108 24 67 61 6.58
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Carl Scheib, Jim Slaton

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Eulogio de la Cruz
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 7   9 54 17 151 163   80 16 65 106 4.77  
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 11   7 59 19 173 166   72 13 64 140 3.75
Pes. (15%)  4   9 45 14 120 142   79 17 65 77 5.92
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Ken Hill, Bob Miller

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Burke Badenhop
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 8 11 28 28 167 196   93 19 55 85 5.01
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 11 10 31 31 189 205   89 17 54 107 4.24
Pes. (15%)  5 10 23 23 134 172   90 20 52 59 6.04
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Johnny Kucks, Danny Cox

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Mike Rabelo
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   298 29   74 19 2   5 28 18 68   1 .248 .301 .376
———————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  380 46 104 27 4 10 52 30 79   2 .274 .337 .445
Pes. (15%)  234 18   53 12 0   2 20   8 59   0 .226 .257 .303
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Tom Pagnozzi, Nelson Santovenia

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2007 at 04:49 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Master Shake Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:08 AM (#2637667)
With all that's going on in the world, who honestly cares?

Get your minds off baseball, folks.
   2. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:37 AM (#2637682)
Top Comps: Sammy Sosa, Ron Gant


Damn...
   3. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:39 AM (#2637683)
So according to ZIPS, Maybin sucks.
   4. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:40 AM (#2637684)
Or rather he is projected to suck but has all-star comparables. interesting...
   5. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:43 AM (#2637686)
So according to ZIPS, Maybin sucks.

That optimistic projection looks nice. Miller's too.
   6. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:45 AM (#2637690)
Maybin's only 20. Born in '87, remember that.
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:48 AM (#2637694)
Actually, I think that's a pretty good projection - almost league-average, which is impressive for a 21-year-old player that 79 plate appearances above high-A ball. Don't forget, he also struck out more than a quarter of the time down there.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:55 AM (#2637706)
"With all that's going on in the world, who honestly cares?"

Why, what happened?
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:00 AM (#2637708)
Why, what happened?

<A HREF="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LA_MEDICAL_SCAM_LAOL-?SITE=WWLAM&SECTI>Man sentenced in bizarre satellite diagnosing scam</A>
   10. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:04 AM (#2637712)
Wait. There's a world outside of baseball?

Man sentenced in bizarre satellite diagnosing scam

Anyone dumb enough to fall for that deserve to lose their money.
   11. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:05 AM (#2637714)
Unfortunately BA did schedule the Marlins Top 10 quite a bit earlier.
   12. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:06 AM (#2637716)
But I suppose the next Ask BA will provide info on what it would look like now.
   13. Shock Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2637723)
After reading 1, Did anyone else run upstairs from their mom's cellar to check that a bomb didn't go off while they were downstairs with their head in a spreadsheet?

Good.
   14. Shoebo Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2637724)
With all that's going on in the world, who honestly cares?

Get your minds off baseball, folks.


Why do you think our minds are on baseball?
   15. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2637725)
With all that's going on in the world, who honestly cares?
Get your minds off baseball, folks.


I'm going to assume this is a reaction to the horrible shooting in Omaha.

Dude, I don't know what point you think you are making, but it's because I have been following the news every damn day for over 30 years that I need to worry about something as ridiculous as baseball to keep from going insane with rage and sorrow. So shut up.
   16. a wider scope of derision Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2637883)
Top Comps: Sammy Sosa, Ron Gant



Damn...


I'd trade a 90% chance of Ron Santo's career for, what, a 30% chance of Sosa's career everyday of the week. And thanks to do-gooders like Mitchell Maybin likely won't get the same, errr, boost that Sosa got mid-career.

Illitch and Dombrowski are my favourite GM/owner combo in baseball.
   17. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2637901)
#16:

In other words, if you

1) had a player whom you knew was going hit and play 3B like Ron Santo
2) you would definitely trade that player for another who had little chance to be Sosa.

Really? Why?
   18. a wider scope of derision Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:33 PM (#2637906)
#17.

Whoops. Other way 'round. I'd rather be pretty sure to have Santo than maybe have Sosa.
   19. Kyle S Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:34 PM (#2637907)
I think he's saying he'd trade FOR Santo.
   20. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2637911)
Oh! Well, in that case, I would heartily agree with you.
   21. Dizzypaco Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2637926)
No one has talked about Willis in this thread. I think he's got more potential than the ZIPS projection. Its hard to project someone going from a terrible defense to a pretty good one, but I could see it having a pretty big impact on someone like Willis.
   22. Kyle S Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2637934)
Unless Willis is hurt, I'm also sanguine about his chances for improvement. Playing in front of a raucous Detroit crowd is likely to be much more inspirational than sweating your ass off in 90 degree heat in front of 500 people. The defense will be better (although I wonder how much - he'll have Renteria at short and Miggy still at third).
   23. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: December 07, 2007 at 03:57 PM (#2637939)
Its hard to project someone going from a terrible defense to a pretty good one


If the Tigers have really decided to play Cabrera and third and Renteria at short, I'm going to have a hard time characterizing Detroit's defense as "pretty good."
   24. Erik A Posted: December 07, 2007 at 04:18 PM (#2637948)
Agreed with 23. Detroit's 2006 defense was excellent: the Shelton,Polanco,Guillen,Inge infield was really excellent that season. Now, it's 2008, and there are downgrades at every position (in three cases, new personnel, and age for Polanco). Pudge is getting old, and their corner outfielders are no great shakes. It's basically Granderson and a bunch of below average guys.

To me, Detroit has obviously added talent, but it seems like a poorly constructed team at the moment. Bad defense, bad bullpen, not overwhelming starting pitching. Maybe more moves are coming though...
   25. a wider scope of derision Posted: December 07, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2638056)
To me, Detroit has obviously added talent, but it seems like a poorly constructed team at the moment. Bad defense, bad bullpen, not overwhelming starting pitching. Maybe more moves are coming though...


I agree the '08 Tigers don't look as good defensively as the '06 Tigers. But I don't think they're bad.

Is 2008 Renteria a downgrade on 2006 Guillen? I'm not sure.

And Magglio did well in UZR this year, for what it's worth.

And Jones will help in the outfield even if it means losing Inge at third.

As for the pitching, Verlander and Bonderman are a good, young 1-2 punch. 3-5 should give 'em quality starts aplenty (even if they're rarely dominant unless Willis magically regains his form). The pen is a slight concern, but Rodney is solid, and Jones keeps doing what he does. (It really is a shame about Zumaya.)
   26. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 07, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2638066)
If the Tigers have really decided to play Cabrera and third and Renteria at short, I'm going to have a hard time characterizing Detroit's defense as "pretty good."

Is there any talk about moving Guillen to third and Cabrera to first?

I also think Cabrera's defense will be much, much better this year.
   27. The Marksist Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:38 PM (#2638105)
Doesn't the Sosa comp likely have more to do with mass quantities of strikeouts than any other single quality?
   28. Kyle S Posted: December 07, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2638125)
Doesn't the Sosa comp likely have more to do with mass quantities of strikeouts than any other single quality?

I won't speak for Dan, but it would surprise me if that were the case. There are a lot of players in the minor leagues who strike out a lot.

Dan, if you see this, is ZIPS done entirely in Excel? If so, how big is the file? I'd imagine it's enormous.
   29. Mister High Standards Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2638161)
Dan, if you see this, is ZIPS done entirely in Excel? If so, how big is the file? I'd imagine it's enormous.


I'm not Dan, but we discussed this a few times. Yes, it is done in one spreadsheet. Yes, it is enormous.
   30. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2638202)
ZiPS is done entirely in Excel. At one point, the spreadsheet (to project 1 player) was 110 MB, but I got it down to around 70 MB. It's not so much the size that's a problem, but the calculations - it takes my Dual-Core about 20 seconds to model everything on the fly.
   31. Kyle S Posted: December 07, 2007 at 07:58 PM (#2638207)
So it's pretty much F9, cross your fingers and pray?

What takes up all the space? All the stats for the database of comparable players? I'm sure there's a lot of code, but as you well know it takes a long time to write enough code to use up 70mb of space.
   32. Loren F. Posted: December 07, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2638217)
Willis's ZiPS projection is not bad, a solid #3 who eats innings at roughly league-average quality. A front three of Buehrle/Vazquez/Willis is not awe-inspiring but it's good.
   33. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2638231)
Yeah, there's a lot of information there that takes up space - ZiPS has information on every two, three, and four year stint in MLB history, including MLEs since 1993. When the SABR minor league project's done, I hope to translate every minor league season, too.

To make a long story short, I'm never going to look at a probability density function again and go "Hey! That's platykurtic!"
   34. The District Attorney Posted: December 07, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2638263)
To make a long story short, I'm never going to look at a probability density function again and go "Hey! That's platykurtic!"
Neither am I.
   35. chemdoc Posted: December 07, 2007 at 08:48 PM (#2638269)
Willis's ZiPS projection is not bad, a solid #3 who eats innings at roughly league-average quality. A front three of Buehrle/Vazquez/Willis is not awe-inspiring but it's good.


I think it's comparable to the Halladay/Burnett/Pettitte trio.
   36. Ardo Posted: December 07, 2007 at 08:49 PM (#2638273)
The one thing Detroit cannot, cannot do with the club is bat Jones against left-handers for any reason. Aaron Gleeman would gladly tell you why.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 07, 2007 at 09:18 PM (#2638312)
I'd trade [for] a 90% chance of Ron Santo's career <s>for</s> [and give up], what, a 30% chance of Sosa's career everyday of the week.

and

had a player whom you knew was going hit and play 3B like Ron Santo

I think everyone would but let's clarify a couple things. Miguel Cabrera doesn't play 3B like Ron Santo. Santo won 5 gold gloves, Cabrera is probably a bad 1B (unless you actually believe BPro's defensive ratings which have Cabrera above average the last 2 years). Gary Sheffield, with less speed, might be a better overall comp for Cabrera (an awfully nice comp obviously).

The younger Sosa looked pretty good defensively to me and he added baserunning value (most of the time) and he does look like a pretty good overall comp for Maybin. That narrows the gap some between the Santo/Sosa comp.

I'll let Dan chime in but I'm guessing both the 90% and 30% guessimates are highly optimistic. Santo's post-24 career would be pretty sweet -- 1500 games, 131 OPS+ which includes his decline phase. Jim Ray Hart's post-24 career, not so much -- 124 OPS+ but just 649 games. I assume that's more a cautionary tale about the risk of injury than the risk of cliff-diving, but the chances that Cabrera stays healthy and productive for the next 10 seasons (i.e. Santo) are likely a good bit less than 90%. And yes, Maybin's chances of being Sosa seem less than 30% too.

Thirdly, the Marlins aren't of course trading a likely Santo for a longshot Sosa -- they're also getting several other players and several millions in salary reduction. Everybody would trade 30% Sosa for 90% Santo. But even limiting it to those two, it's 2 years of Santo (when Cabrera will be an FA) for 3+ years of potential Sosa and about $20 M over the next 2 years. That's still a good deal but it's a much different deal.

And then you add in the 1-2 years of Willis (saving $6-14 M ... I'm not sure when he's an FA) and getting back the 50% chance that Miller becomes Willis plus the 10% chance that Miller becomes Cole Hamels (?) plus the 10% chances that each of those other guys have of proving useful and the trade again starts to look different.

Of course, being the Marlins, by the time any of these guys get good, they'll be "expensive" and they'll get swapped for the next round of budget prospects who, by the time they get good, ...
   38. Loren F. Posted: December 07, 2007 at 09:40 PM (#2638334)
Stupid me. I meant a front three of Verlander/Rogers/Willis is not awe-inspiring but it's good. Don't know why my brain malfunctioned like that.
   39. VG Posted: December 07, 2007 at 10:03 PM (#2638354)
Stupid me. I meant a front three of Verlander/Rogers/Willis is not awe-inspiring but it's good. Don't know why my brain malfunctioned like that.

You have Rogers ahead of Bonderman?
   40. a wider scope of derision Posted: December 07, 2007 at 10:20 PM (#2638373)
I think everyone would but let's clarify a couple things. Miguel Cabrera doesn't play 3B like Ron Santo. Santo won 5 gold gloves, Cabrera is probably a bad 1B (unless you actually believe BPro's defensive ratings which have Cabrera above average the last 2 years). Gary Sheffield, with less speed, might be a better overall comp for Cabrera (an awfully nice comp obviously).


True. Cabrera's better than Sheffield was at the same age, though. (Not quite the same attitude problems, for one.) Hank Aaron shows up as Cabrera's most similar by age, and although that's a lot of pressure to put on the next 15-20 years of a guy's career, so far it fits. (Now if only the Tigers would put him in the outfield!)

The younger Sosa looked pretty good defensively to me and he added baserunning value (most of the time) and he does look like a pretty good overall comp for Maybin. That narrows the gap some between the Santo/Sosa comp.


Maybe. I like Sosa as a comp (the .280/.330/.520 Soriano-like Sosa before '98), but he wasn't providing positive offensive value until his age 24 season. That's 3-4 years away for Maybin if things go right. Cabrera is a superstar now. Besides, Granderson is their CF, and he's a darned good one. Maybin's glove is lessened in LF.

The thing to keep in mind is Detroit's window to win with the current core is the next 2 years. Cabrera and Willis both help fill that need now, and both are still young enough that if they're resigned they'll be valuable for the next 6-8 years. Good on the Marlins for getting quality and quantity, but I think it's a stellar trade for the Tigers.

Remember there was a time when only the Red Sox and Yankees would have the chutzpah to pull this sort of thing off? This ain't your father's MLB anymore.
   41. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 08, 2007 at 01:05 AM (#2638498)
I think Bonderman's going to spend most of this year on the DL.

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