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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Toronto Blue Jays

Signed P Roy Halladay to a 4-year contract worth $42 million.

Excellent work by the Blue Jays as Halladay would likely get more than that on the open market.  Given Kerry Wood’s recent contract, Halladay would have ended up with 9 or 10 million this year anyway and this locks up 3 free agent years for not much more.  Doc should continue to be one of the best starters in the league and if all goes well, try to start pushing Dave Stieb off the mantle.  With the bullpen improved and Halladay locked up long-term, I’d still reduce his workload into the 220 innings range.

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 22, 2004 at 09:14 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Danny Posted: November 06, 2002 at 10:44 PM (#559194)
Anyone know for how long and for how much Tam signed for?
   102. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 06, 2002 at 11:19 PM (#559196)
<i>the DevilRays went on a shopping spree today:
   103. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 06, 2002 at 11:36 PM (#559198)
Toronto signed Tam. They also signed Evan Thomas and Tim Young, and Mike Moriarty... J.P. has been busy.
   104. MattB Posted: November 07, 2002 at 12:16 AM (#559201)
Glad to see Evan Thomas caught on with an organization that might give him a chance. He was 10-2 in Scranton last year with some fairly good peripherals, but the Phillies' staff was just too deep to do anything with him before his six years were up. Toronto is smart enough to see that they don't have to pay anyone to do what Thomas can do for league minimum. Good luck to him!
   105. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 07, 2002 at 12:48 AM (#559202)
This is the best thing that could have happened to Adrian Brown, who I would say is likely to have a big-league job in April, maybe even a starting job if the D-Rays want to keep Carl Crawford in left.

You're forgetting about Rocco Baldelli, although the D-Rays might want him to start in AAA.

-- MWE
   106. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 07, 2002 at 02:07 AM (#559203)
You're right, I am assuming Baldelli will start in AAA. He has less than 100 plate appearances at AAA and he didn't impress there, though he hit well in the Cali league and in Orlando.

I think the good people of Durham will get half a season to get to know Rocco before he leaves. (He won't be going back.)

Tampa really only have three realistic major-league outfielders (Grieve, Conti, and Crawford) and Adrian Brown has about as much claim on a big-league job as Conti does. Even Crawford, who hasn't done much yet, doesn't have much of a hold on a job. What Crawford has going for him is that he's really young and pretty decent... I don't know if Lou is likely to prefer that over the slightly better, much much older veteran.
   107. MattB Posted: November 09, 2002 at 04:24 AM (#559225)
So, Josh Towers, Howie Clark, before that it was Jason Werth. Is the Jays' long term plan to create a really deep bench, or just to get back at the Orioles for stealing Tony Batista?

And Aven a fourth outfielder? With an .800 OPS? Those were his 2002 numbers at Scranton. 31 year olds usually play worse when they get back to the majors.

Seems a bit optimistic to me.
   108. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2002 at 12:26 AM (#559206)
OK, call me confused, but if MLEs mean anything, the one of these guys that can "hit" is Ryan (and he's the guy with the better OBP). Granted, Clark gets extra points because he does more of his "hitting" while standing near 2B or 3B.
   109. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 11, 2002 at 08:40 AM (#559230)
Bo, you can't break down a 665 PA career into even smaller chunks and learn anything meaningful.
   110. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2002 at 04:36 PM (#559231)
In his spare time, Aven wrestles alligators.

http://www.naplesnews.com/today/sports/a46a.htm (Scroll down.)
   111. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 17, 2002 at 05:40 AM (#559471)
Cool. Good pickup for Toronto, who can certainly use the help.
   112. Danny Posted: November 17, 2002 at 06:50 AM (#559475)
With two consecutive above-average seasons, Lidle has been far more than "a forgettable 5th starter." But given the A's pitching depth, this trade makes sense, especially if the saved money means signing Durham and somehow making him play CF.
   113. Darren Posted: November 17, 2002 at 09:20 AM (#559480)
I have to agree with Silas. Where is this 5th starter business coming from?

Even on the A's, Lidle would have to be considered the #4 starter the last 2 years. He'd be at least a #2 or #3 on any other team.

He's averaged a 3.74 ERA and 190 IP, with 115 K, 43 BB, and 20 HR. You'd like to see more Ks but otherwise, those are fine numbers.

Do the Jays expect to compete next year? Just wondering.
   114. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 17, 2002 at 04:33 PM (#559483)
The "5th starter" thing comes from the fact that Lidle would have been the A's 5th starter this season if he had not been traded, behind Hudson, Mulder, Zito, and Lilly. Dan didn't mean anything more or less than that.
   115. Robert Dudek Posted: November 17, 2002 at 06:15 PM (#559484)
That's assuming Lilly stays healthy. When healthy, he's probably a bit better than Lidle.
   116. Robert Dudek Posted: November 18, 2002 at 12:50 AM (#559487)
I wouldn't count on all of Hudson, Zito, Mulder, Lilly and Harang giving you 30+ starts. The odds of at least one of those pitchers going down for 10 or more starts is pretty darned good. For that reason alone, Lidle would have been very valuable as a 5th/6th starter (perhaps alternating with Harang when the other 4 are healthy).
   117. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 18, 2002 at 01:20 AM (#559488)
On the other hand, the A's can probably plug one of the Harden/Arnold/Rheinecker/Wood axis into the gap if/when one of the current starters goes down. If trading Lidle helps the A's come up with more cash for Ray Durham, then it's probably a good decision from a resource-allocation standpoint.
   118. Mikαεl Posted: November 18, 2002 at 01:58 PM (#559489)
It's not that this is a bad trade for the A's. It will help them. But how can this possibly be the best package Lidle could fetch? Just a week ago, Beane was working on acquiring a starting leftfielder for Lidle, and now he's been talked down to a marginal prospect and a non-prospect? How can a guy with two years of 190 IP, 3.70 ERA not command more in trade?

My one guess is that Schott demanded Beane be under a certain payroll before he could negotiate with Durham et al., and when talks with the White Sox fell through, he had to scramble. But it's still confusing.
   119. Darren Posted: November 18, 2002 at 03:13 PM (#559490)
Mikael--

I agree with that sentiment, but I think Carlos Lee would have cost nearly as much as Lidle, so it wouldn't have solved Beane's money problems.

But you're right about Lidle's value. It's puzzling why no one was willing to give up more for him. It's too bad his name isn't Darren Dreifort or James Baldwin. Then people would have wanted him, I guess.
   120. Danny Posted: November 18, 2002 at 07:06 PM (#559491)
Does anyone think Justin Duscherer (sp?) is ready for the rotation? And is Hiljus no longer an option after his poor start to last year?
   121. Dave Till Posted: December 12, 2002 at 03:48 PM (#560548)
Wilson isn't very good defensively, and I seem to recall that his offensive stats declined as the season went on. Myers isn't much of a hitter these days, but he's a better hitter than Huckaby and a better fielder than Wilson, and he's only signed for one year. Wilson could still make the team as an extra bat off the bench, as he can play first base as well as catch, thus giving the Jays more in-game options.

As I see it, the Myers signing means that the Jays think that Kevin Cash won't be ready to start the season with the Jays in 2003. They've already decided that Phelps is a 1B/DH and that Werth is an outfielder, so they needed somebody to fill the gap for one year.
   122. Dave Till Posted: December 12, 2002 at 06:21 PM (#560557)
Pete: the Jays' "healthy" rotation was Roy Halladay, Esteban Loaiza, Steve Parris, Justin Miller and Mark Hendrickson. Except for Halladay, that's not a particularly solid bunch, to put it mildly.

I don't know whether Huckaby or Wilson is a better choice, but I do know that the Jays' brass loves Huckaby's defense, and that Wilson isn't a very good catcher.

Schedule bias may be a factor, as it so often is with the Jays - they didn't play Baltimore until late in the season, and then played them a lot.
   123. Michael Posted: December 13, 2002 at 03:07 AM (#560567)
Remeber in the new world $800K is only $500K above minimum salary this year. So it isn't a million dollar mistake, but an, at most, half-million dollar mistake. And Wilson/Myers ML platoon with Huck/Cash in AAA coming up if needed seems reasonable to me.
   124. Dave Till Posted: December 13, 2002 at 03:39 PM (#560568)
Jacko: the Jays' team ERA is respectable only because Halladay was so good. The rest of the rotation (Loaiza, Parris, Miller, Walker, Hendrickson) consisted of journeyman pitchers at best.

Besides, as the saying goes, you can never have too much pitching.
   125. Bob T Posted: December 21, 2002 at 01:08 AM (#561570)
This ensures that Gammons will have at least another year to tell us that Mike Bordick is indeed from Maine.

Apparently that gives him a "good work ethic".

Unlike those Vermont players.
   126. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 21, 2002 at 03:42 PM (#561577)
I like adding Bordick, as long as he's only a backup. I didn't really believe it, but for a substantial amount of time before last season, he was actually a decent starter.

Martinez would have looked better here, of course.
   127. Snowboy Posted: December 21, 2002 at 03:56 PM (#561578)
Maybe it is nice, in theory, to have Mike Bordick around as a backup. But then there's reality: Jays already have a "veteran" as a backup - Dave Berg, whom they signed to a two year deal.

The problem with this deal is the budget, there is only so much money to go around. Hence Riccardi released Jose Cruz, couldn't afford to pay him $5M. He can't afford $5M for a switch-hitting middle of the lineup OFer, but he can find $1M for a #9 hitting backup shortstop?

On another line...if Bordick was willing to sign a 1 yr/$1M contract, why didn't the Orioles keep him? Now, for the same price, fans will have to watch Deivi Cruz flail at balls out there.
   128. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 22, 2002 at 01:30 AM (#561729)
My thumbnail sketch a few days ago said that Sturtze allowed a .308 BA on BIP last year. Presumably, that number will come down a bit this year.
   129. Elijah Posted: December 22, 2002 at 08:52 AM (#561732)
I don't really care for Sturtze but after seeing that multimillion mediocrities like Parris, Loaiza and Hamilton were given multiyear deals at much more than $1 million by Dr. Evil, this looks great! =) And Sturtze will probably outpitch all of those guys during their miserable tenures in T.O.

Sure, I'd rather have Wilson or Halama but I'm also guessing they would cost a little more than $1 million. Same with Thomson. But I do have a feeling some Sturtze-like major leaguers pitchers will slip through the cracks and end up settling for NRIs in January or February. But even so, those major league contracts when purchsed will probably be for around $1 million so he may as well act now. The only difference is the NRIs wouldn't have guaranteed contracts, which I suppose can be significant.
   130. Steve Posted: December 30, 2002 at 07:48 PM (#562021)
This is a guy who can't play 3rd base because of a surgically repaired shoulder, and you think he's going to be used as part of a right field platoon?

If that's the case, AL East third base coaches are gonna need off-season rotator cuff surgery with all the waving around they'll be doing.

I think playing him at second base makes more sense, but maybe not for the Jays given their roster. Still a good value signing.
   131. Bill Posted: December 30, 2002 at 07:55 PM (#562024)
In the Darrell Evans comment in his latest tome, Bill James had a clever list of 10 factors that go into making a player "overrated" or "underrated" and says that he believes Evans is the only good player to ever have all ten "underrated" factors. I don't recall the list in its entirety, but I think Frank may have most or all of them also. Multi-positions, multi-teams, small market teams, generalist not a specialist, non-contending teams, etc. One could do a lot worse than emulate Darrell Evans of course.
   132. Bill Posted: December 30, 2002 at 08:24 PM (#562027)
His home/road numbers during his Texas years are pretty much the same. 386/462 vs. 374/479.

He's a valuable player. I don't really see how you can complain about paying him 2.25.
   133. Dave Till Posted: December 30, 2002 at 08:52 PM (#562029)
I would guess that J.P. Ricciardi doesn't like the idea of handing a job to a young player without someone to serve as a backup in case of injury and/or complacency. If the O-Dog implodes, Catalanotto will play second; otherwise, he'll play right field, and give Werth/Gross more time to develop in the minors.
   134. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2002 at 09:38 PM (#562030)
. Platoon RF's with an .800 OPS and no arm cost $300K on the NRI market.

A bit of hyperbole is one thing, but this is too much. There were only 12 RF in the majors with 300+ AB and an 800 or better OPS. OK, 13 if we include JD Drew at 795. And all of them (except Austin Kearns) made a lot more than $2 M.
   135. Snowboy Posted: December 31, 2002 at 05:23 AM (#562034)
I thought the combination of Catalonotto and Riccardi would draw approval from the Primates. I'm glad to see there are some dissenters. Catalanotto is a nice player, certainly a better hitter than Mike Young in Texas. But I don't like him on the Jays.

I don't think Catalonotto can defensively play RF daily. A platoon with Werth would help the defense half the time, but I'm not sure it would help Werth's development (or that it would be offensively necessary - Cat. doesn't seem that bad vs lefties.) And if the platoon is only for defense, and it ends up with Werth outhitting Catalanotto (kinda possible), then Jays have another millionaire backup.

Playing Catalanotto over Hudson doesn't make sense to me either. Hudson has given no signs that he can't hit or field in the majors, so why would you bench him or send him to AAA again? Cat's a one year signing, Hudson is your longterm.

Unless Riccardi immedietly trades Shannon Stewart, I don't like this deal very much. It has the potential to block/take ABs away from Werth and/or Hudson, weaken the Jays defense, and generally muddy the waters (ie is it leadoff by c'tee now?).
   136. John Posted: December 31, 2002 at 05:37 AM (#562035)
Bill--I happen to have the NHBA at hand. The Darrell Evans Test, applied to Cat, although I'm not sure it's at all instructive. It's at least more interesting than the crap MNF game on right now:

1. Generalists are underrated, specialists are overrated. Check.

2. Secondary avarage is underrated, AVG is overrated. Push, I suppose, since Cat puts up a good AVG as well.

3. Runs are underrated, RBI overrated. Check.

4. Guys on bad teams are underrated and vice-versa. Check.

5. Small-market guys are sometimes underrated, NY/LA guys are sometimes overrated. Check, though James discounts this factor.

6. Quiet guys are sometimes underrated, glib and popular guys are sometimes overrated. Check, though James discounts this factor. (Aside: Dougie Glanville and John Hart are trying their darndest to prove it, no?)

7. Guys who play in parks that don't favor their skills are underrated, lefties in Yankee Stadium, etc., are overrated. Nope. Tiger Stadium and The Ballpark in Arlington pretty well favor hitters generally.

8. Hitters from pitching eras are underrated, and from hitting eras are overrated. Um, no.

9. Undocumented skills are forgotten over time. N/A.

10. Switching teams or positions a lot tend to make a guy underrated. Check.

So Cat is the type of guy who is pretty heavily underrated, though not quite Darrell Evans underrated. I hadn't read (or remembered reading) that comment before. Interesting. He's not in the HOF because... Why?

And Cat's a nice pickup for Toronto; I'd think they'd be best served by giving him an "everyday" place in the batting order and moving him around the field as needed. Worked pretty well a couple of years ago for the Rangers, anyway.
   137. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2002 at 05:51 AM (#562037)
Tony Phillips for $2+ mil a year, minus the coke habit? Yeah, I'd do that...
   138. Snowboy Posted: December 31, 2002 at 05:00 PM (#562040)
Will Tosca have to go with leadoff-by-committee now? Catalanotto sometimes, Hudson sometimes? As for having a surgically-weakened second baseman's arm in RF...even guys with average speed will try to beat the bouncing ball into second for a double. And runners will then score from second on balls hit to RF, whereas they would often be held at third by the likes of Mondesi, Green, Werth.

Umm, were the hell is Ackbar on this one?
   139. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2002 at 05:50 PM (#562044)
I think the rule is that they can't be traded without their consent, which in theory wouldn't be too hard to extract if the player in question is going to a contender.
   140. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: December 31, 2002 at 07:08 PM (#562048)
Didnt realize this but a couple reports today mention the Jays having arbitration rights to Catalonotto for the 2004 season:

"At the end of this season Catalanotto will have five-plus years of major-league service and will be one day shy of free agency."
   141. Bill Posted: December 31, 2002 at 07:40 PM (#562049)
Good catch, Chris H. I'd been wondering why there was no club option for 2004 which is something you would think the Jays would want if they were becoming contenders. Now we know.
   142. Steve Posted: December 31, 2002 at 07:48 PM (#562050)
http://www.baseballprimer.com/articles/dszymborski_2002-07-04_0.shtml

"Major League free agents come with an automatic no-trade clause until after the next June 15."

New collective bargaining agreement, but I would be surprised if this was no longer accurate.
   143. Dylan Posted: December 31, 2002 at 09:15 PM (#562051)
"and Werth doesn't project very well in such a strong offensive position"

I don't know if I would agree with that. He is 6-5 and only 190 pounds. Plus there were scouts stating that he had more power potential than Phelps. I don't agree with that, but even if he puts up a .500 slg at his peak, he would still be a pretty good offensive player.
   144. Dave Till Posted: January 03, 2003 at 01:02 AM (#562066)
Cheer up, Ryan - the Jays' second-half record proves one thing conclusively: it's better to be a Jays fan right now than an Orioles fan.

I don't see the Jays winning anything in 2003, as their pitching just isn't deep enough. But they're going to surprise people with how many runs they can score: Stewart, Catalanotto and Hinske can all get on base, and Delgado, Phelps and Wells can all bring 'em home.
   145. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 03, 2003 at 04:55 AM (#562067)
> it's better to be a Jays fan right now than an Orioles fan.

To think that people mock me in my own weblog!
   146. Bill Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:30 AM (#562565)
Has there ever been a major leaguer with a hyphenated first name? I can't come up with one, but I have a vague feeling that I'm missing someone.
   147. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:32 AM (#562566)
What about Oota-Goota Greedo?
   148. Matt Garza smells it deep (Mr. Tapeworm) Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:59 AM (#562571)
I've actually heard Griffin compared to a Paul O'Neill-type hitter, certainly a cut above Higginson/Gilkey, but it's also probably too early to tell. Supposedly, Arnold is the real talent.

I was disappointed that the Yanks gave up them and Ted Lilly, essentially, for Weaver, since Lilly is about as good as Weaver, and some folks project Arnold to be as good as or better than Weaver.

Met Fan 19 -- http://www.baseballprimer.com/to/archives/archive-06302002-07062002.shtml
   149. Gold Star for Robothal Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:59 AM (#562572)
How about Willie Mays Aikens and Jimmy Ray Hart
   150. Bill Posted: January 08, 2003 at 04:04 AM (#562573)
I said "hyphenated." And I was hoping for one that isn't transliterated. But I suppose it was a boring question. I was just killing time until the Albie Lopez thread began.
   151. Dylan B Posted: January 08, 2003 at 05:14 AM (#562585)
"What's the scoop on Gabe Gross? Is he really this bad that no one mentions him for RF this year, even as a long shot?"

He would have to pass Cat, Werth, Wise and Dubois on the depth chart as all 4 are on the 40-man roster. Groos had a disappointing start to his year at AA, but turned it around toward the end, then started off the AFL poorly then played very well toward the end of the season. Since he didn't dominate this year at any level, it wouldn't hurt him to spend the whole year in the minors, maybe a September call-up.
   152. Clyde Posted: January 08, 2003 at 06:43 AM (#562589)
Will---

I'd agree to a certain extent, but Trevor has not aged gracefully, whereas O' Neill did.
   153. Mikαεl Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:36 PM (#562599)
In a sense, Matthew, you're right. As part of the deal, Oakland sent Toronto Jason Arnold and "future considerations". So, Toronto just traded Oakland those "future considerations" and a PTBNL for John-Ford Griffin. It's kind of messy to look at it that way, so I think it's reasonable to crunch the two trades together.
   154. Dave Till Posted: January 08, 2003 at 04:20 PM (#562600)
Does Gabe Gross have to be put on the 40-man roster? I don't think he's been a pro long enough to be eligible for Rule V.

He certainly ranks ahead of Wise on the Jays' outfield depth chart - Wise can't hit, and no one thinks of him as a legitimate RF candidate. Werth appears to be first in line for 2004, with Gross and Griffin as options if Werth doesn't pan out.

I've never heard of Dubois - he hasn't been mentioned much up here in Toronto.
   155. Shredder Posted: January 08, 2003 at 06:13 PM (#562605)
Was Paul O'Neill that much of a hot shot prospect? I'm not familiar with his very early career. I seem to remember Trevor Linden sort of being a superstar in waiting that became a good, but not great player (although, that was a nice goal he scored to force OT against the Leafs in the '94 Campbell Conference finals--and a hell of a play by Sean Burke to keep the game alive). I always figured Linden's best years were his early years, before he started bouncing around the league.

I would think of O'Neill more as the Geoff Courtnall of baseball, mainly because I didn't really like either of them (although I harbor a much more intense hatred of Courtnall).
   156. Eric Posted: January 08, 2003 at 06:25 PM (#562606)
Philippe, being a baseball pioneer of Quebec is like being a missionary in Vegas.
   157. Gideon Posted: January 08, 2003 at 07:22 PM (#562609)
Dave, Dubois is Jason Dubois, an outfielder the Jays selected from the Cubs' High-A Daytona franchise in the most recent Rule 5 Draft. He posted a nice little .321/.422/.562 line in 351 ABs, good for a .352 EqA, with a 57/95 BB/K ratio. He's a big guy, 6'3, 220 or so, with a so-so defensive reputation but a supposedly strong arm. The Blue Jays may be trying to work out a trade with the Cubs to let them keep Dubois, whereupon he'd probably be sent down to AA to see what he can do.

He'll be 24 on Opening Day, so there's some concern over the fact that he's still in A-Ball at that age. But he was a college grad who lost a full year to injury, so this was just his second season of pro ball; there's still some potential upside there. There's an old thread about the Jays' Rule 5 picks in the archives over at Batter's Box.
   158. Eric Posted: January 08, 2003 at 08:10 PM (#562611)
No doubt, Phillipe...but the casinos didn't really start poppin up in vegas until the 50s...a hundred years of mormon fun!
   159. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 12:50 AM (#562613)
Interesting post, Will. Two disclaimers before I respond. I am a big fan of Paul O'Neill (in fact, one of the loonies who chanted his name for 20 minutes straight at game 5 in 2001) and I don't know who these hockey guys are. My thoughts in order of your comments:

1. O'Neill did not begin his run as a "young fellow." He came to the Yanks at age 30.

2. Many of us here love Paul even though everyone recognizes that he never behaved like a "nice" guy at all. He was bad-tempered, whiney and apt to blame umpires for everything. But it was his sheer ferocity and perfectionism (yes, and the team winning) that overcame his lack of "niceness."

3. I don't think Paul was really considered much of a leader but more of a loner. Some suggest that his competitive nature set a good example.

4. I don't agree. O'Neill was a genuinely outstanding player from 1993 through 1999.

5. Again, I think he was way above average, but certainly he was never overly credited with the team's success as, oh, I don't know, say Joe Girardi was.

6. You may be right but this doesn't detract from what O'Neill (and the hockey guys for all I know) did on the field.

7. Clearly true.
   160. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 01:16 AM (#562619)
Judging by his RCAP's he was quite a bit better than the average right fielder. Per Lee Sinin's Sabermetric encyclopedia he had a total of 154 RCAP's for the years 1993 through 1998. I was mistaken in including 1999. By then he was average.

He really never played that well with the Reds. As you may recall he had a terrible relationship with Lou (who was still having him knocked down 10 years later!) and he never blossomed.

I had no issue with the hockey angle. I just wanted to note that I was ignorant about the comparisons.
   161. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 02:12 AM (#562625)
Great question, Will. I'm going to get on that one tomorrow.
   162. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 04:50 PM (#562630)
Alan, switch to DeCaf!

OK, Will, I have three candidates for "guys who had promising starts and then held on forever as perfectly average at everything."

1. Wally Joyner. I think he's our man. In a 16-year career he compiled a Runs Created Above Position of 12 (per Lee Sinins) and in most years was within 10 RCAP's +/- of average. A good but not great first baseman, ordinary baserunner. Got a lot of early hype with a good rookie season on a division winner. Described by Bill James as an "innocuous player who did everything well."

2. Going back a couple of decades we have Johnny Callison. A 16-yr career with an almost perfectly average RCAP of -2. Even better his season numbers have almost a nice smooth and gentle slope with RCAP/season in the mid-teens in his 20's and gradually descending into the negative mid-teens as he aged. Good but not great fielder and ordinary baserunner. He did not have a "playoff run" early but then again they didn't have playoffs back then. He was a major figure in the 1964 pennant race and the MVP of the all-star game that year and was considered a young star at that point.

3. Back to the present, BJ Surhoff. You may think he's the best choice especially since he generally was average for whatever position he might have been playing. A career RCAP of -3 with several seasons within 5 RCAP's +/-. Solid but unspectacular in the field (wherever) and on the bases. Unfortunately he had no early playoff exposure though he was ballyhoo'd as the number 1 draft pick.
   163. Bill Posted: January 09, 2003 at 08:32 PM (#562632)
I looked a little further at Surhoff and it's amazing how he adapted himself to positional norms. As a catcher he hit 317 OBP/358 SLG, as a 3B he hit 311/414, as an OF 340/459, as a DH 389/490 and as a 1B 421/540. I suppose that if he had picked up a knuckler and become a 38-yr old pitcher he would have hit .125.
   164. Bill Posted: January 10, 2003 at 06:13 AM (#562636)
I don't think Will meant consistently poor.
   165. Snowboy Posted: January 10, 2003 at 06:12 PM (#562637)
John-Ford Griffin being compared to Jason Giambi? Give your head a shake.

Gross - he is already ahead of D.Wise and A-baller Dubois. And he's certainly in the future plans more than F.Cat is. Only Werth's production, or his own failure, would keep him off the team. (That, or if Riccardi decides to trade him for Tyler Yates, or Jon Adkins, or some other minor league pitcher that he identified a year ago as a good one.)
   166. Dylan B Posted: January 10, 2003 at 07:05 PM (#562638)
Gross (and Griffin) ahead of Wise and Dubois for this year? They both would put up better numbers, but Wise and Dubois are already on the 40-man roster. Neihter Gross or Griffin would make the team out of spring training because they would have to be added to the roster(and some one dropped) and their ML service time would start. Beyond this year, Gross and Griffin are ahead of all except possibly Werth, but for them to have a shot to play with the team at the start of the year, they would have to pass all 4 in their spring preformance by a large margin. I wouldn't rule out seeing them on the team at some point this year because they both have to be added to the 40 man roster after this season anyway to be protected from the rule 5 draft.
   167. Rich Posted: January 12, 2003 at 05:46 AM (#562646)
Lilly is as good as Weaver?

I don't think so. Weaver has nasty, electric stuff, and has been durable (in fact the Tigers pitched him too many innings). Lilly's effectivess flows mainly from his unorthodox delivery, which has made him susceptible to repeated arm problems.

Up until the trade, Weaver pitched for a horrible team (albeit in a home park that has dimensions that are very friendly to pitchers), while Lilly pitched for a great team, and was the beneficiary of a lot of run sport and luck with the Yankees.

The only question is whether Torre keeps his promise to put him in the rotation, and if he doesn't, his decision should be overruled by management.

All things being equal, Weaver well have a much better career. At the time the trade was made, the real comparisons were between Weaver and Arnold.
   168. Bill Posted: January 12, 2003 at 06:17 AM (#562647)
Ted Lilly was the beneficiary of "a lot of run support and luck with the Yankees?" Come on, let's get the facts straight. He had 11 starts with the Yanks in 2002 and was given a grand total of 28 runs. The Yanks scored more than 4 runs for him in only 1 start but two runs or fewer in 6 starts. Considering the Yanks' usual output, he must have been one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball. And certainly the Yanks' leaky defense was no help.

Also, Lilly's K rate is much better than Weaver's. I agree that durability is an issue, but if Lilly stays healthy I don't expect the trade of him and two good prospects for Weaver to turn out looking billiant. Given the team's offseason moves, they may not think so either.
   169. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 12, 2003 at 07:43 AM (#562649)
John-Ford Griffin being compared to Jason Giambi? Give your head a shake.

Lots of players compare to Giambi at that age... he had a distinctly unimpressive resume. Only one of the pool turned into Jason Giambi, though, and it's not likely that another will do so.

Eric Hinske at 24 was a distinctly better hitter than Giambi was at 25... and he has as much chance of turning into a hitter like Giambi as I do of turning into a millionaire. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but nobody should risk anything on it happening.

Griffin could turn into Giambi. He won't, but he might.
   170. Rich Posted: January 12, 2003 at 07:54 AM (#562650)
"Come on, let's get the facts straight."

The facts are straight, the problem is you are looking at a very small sample. In 2001, for example, Lilly pitched 120 innings with the Yankees, as opposed to 76 in 2002, he gave up 81 runs (72 earned), for an ERA of 5.37, while his run support was 4.62. Looking at the rest of his 2002 season with Oakland, he had an ERA of 4.63, and his run support was 6.56.
   171. Bill Posted: January 12, 2003 at 05:39 PM (#562651)
Run support of 4.62 in 2001 is hardly "luck" either and doesn't balance an extremely unlucky 11 starts in 2002.

Of course Lilly's run support doesn't mean anything as we all know. He is obviously capable of getting major league hitters out as evidenced by his K/IP and H/IP ratios. His starts for the Yanks last year included an 11K, 3 hit shutout of San Diego, an 8K one-hitter vs. Seattle (which he lost!),a 6.2IP, 3-hit 9K effort against Toronto and a 7IP 5-hit 9K game against the Twins.

He certainly has issues. He has had health problems, he never saw a 3-2 count he didn't like and he gets extremely flustered by runners on base. He may never be a star but this is a 27-year old lefty with talent. And the World's Most Highly Praised General Manager must think so also. Oakland did trade well regarded players for him.
   172. Rich Posted: January 12, 2003 at 09:09 PM (#562653)
I basically agree, although the real value of that trade was that it enabled Beane to obtain a player who evidently has long been the object of his desire, Durazo.

One more note about Lilly, he often got hit hard the second time teams faced him (e.g., the Mariners, to the best of my recollection), and that already weak San Diego line-up was missing Klesko and (I believe) Nevin for that game.

btw, There was a note on another board that Torre was on ESPN Radio in the last day or so, and reiterated his intention to put Weaver in the rotation (who he lauded for stuff and "toughness").
   173. Bill Posted: January 13, 2003 at 04:26 AM (#562657)
Did Mr. Torre happen to mention which of his other starters was going to be axed in favor of Weaver? It's a rhetorical question, since I'm sure he did not. While the odds favor a spring training injury of some sort to one or more of the other Yankee starters that will open a spot for Weaver, if it doesn't happen, he'll have to be patient.

While Pat Tabler was an average hitter in general, I think he was a little too far below average for a corner IF/OF to make the grade as the epitome of average. I'm sticking with Joyner and Surhoff.
   174. Danny Posted: January 13, 2003 at 05:07 AM (#562658)
Wally Joyner was above average offensively and defensively for a 1st baseman. .292 career EqA.
   175. Bill Posted: January 13, 2003 at 05:22 AM (#562659)
Depends on your choice of metric I suppose. His career Runs Created Above Position is 12.
   176. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 19, 2003 at 10:50 PM (#565381)
Why not just sign them to the same deal? Is there a reason for the $10000 dollar difference? It seems pretty silly to me.
   177. VegasRobb Posted: March 20, 2003 at 07:13 AM (#565387)
It's Kenny Williams' fault that Buehrle doesn't have a long term deal? I thought Buehrle was the one who wanted to wait and see?
   178. Vance W Posted: April 30, 2003 at 10:39 PM (#565851)
It's hard to believe that the pitching-poor Rangers don't have a place for Davis, especially when Park and Valdes are disabled.
   179. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 01, 2003 at 12:16 AM (#565852)
Davis is a nice pickup for the Jays, especially since he came free of charge. He's got good minor league #s, and while his nice peripherals haven't really translated to the bigs, he's never really been BAD in the majors, either.
   180. MM1f Posted: May 01, 2003 at 03:33 AM (#565854)
"(Aside from having the same last name)."

Is it a common last name or something fairly unique to your family?
   181. MM1f Posted: May 03, 2003 at 05:11 PM (#565858)
Julie Lugo doesn't get a note?
   182. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 06, 2003 at 12:53 AM (#565859)
Not until he goes somewhere, most likely.
   183. Darren Posted: June 30, 2003 at 02:32 AM (#566235)
Acevedo's not on the DL, I don't think. He's on the bereavement list.
   184. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 30, 2003 at 02:40 AM (#566236)
I knew that too; I had originally planned to make a bad joke about it.
   185. Scott Posted: July 11, 2003 at 10:53 PM (#566455)
Setting aside his first 1-2 yrs in teh majors, Wasdin was a control pitcher with pretty good K/BB ratios whose weakness was the long ball. Arguably he suffered for years from being in ballparks that were a bad match for a pitcher with HR tendencies (Fenway, then Colorado). In his last MLB stint, for Baltimore, he gave up only 4 HR in 50 IP. I think his HR rates in the minors recently were good too, so I'm optimistic.
   186. Scott Posted: July 11, 2003 at 10:58 PM (#566456)
Also, Wasdin's career ERA+ (park- and league-adjusted) is 95 (of 100), so he's not been as bad as the 4.93 makes him look.
   187. Miles Posted: July 15, 2003 at 07:18 PM (#566458)
It's a shame that Wasdin's first start was vs. the Yankees, and if he's around for a second, he's likely to draw the Red Sox or the Yankees again, as they're Toronto's first two opponents after the ASB.

I've seen Wasdin pitch several games this year for the Nashville Sounds (though I missed the home opener perfect game, darn it), and he's looked like a new guy - not only is his breaking stuff devastating now (at least to AAA hitters), but he looks like he knows exactly what he's doing out there, in command the whole time. I'm hoping the Jays stick with him for a while, because he's looking to me like one of those pitchers who finally figured everything out at 30, that horrible start against the Yankees notwithstanding. Think mini-Kevin Brown.
   188. Darren Posted: July 16, 2003 at 07:39 PM (#566611)
Even if Stewart has the worst arm in the league, how many runs would that cost you in CF? 3-4? more?

Has anyone looked closely at this?

My guess is that a guy with good range in CF, or even RF for that matter, can easily make up for a poor arm. But teams are extremely reluctant to put a bad arm in CF or RF.
   189. Guancous Posted: July 16, 2003 at 08:15 PM (#566615)
Any truth to the rumor that the Twins are looking to trade Joe Mauer for Lenny Harris?
   190. The Other Kurt Posted: July 16, 2003 at 08:47 PM (#566619)
Toronto paying Stewart's salary changes the whole look of this trade.

Who is that danged PTBNL!
   191. MM1f Posted: July 16, 2003 at 11:04 PM (#566623)
Few questions,

A. Who leads off for TOR now? F-Cat?

B. Does Jacque Jones have the arm for RF? Because it's evidant Stewart sure as heck doesn't.

C. This is sort of an offshoot to the earlier question about OF arm, is range more important in LF than RF? If you have two guys with equal arms should you maybe put the one with more range in right? Because (I'm guessing here, might be stats out there to prove me wrong) more balls are hit to left, because most batters hit righty and hitters in general pull the ball more often than go the other way, thus more ball go to LF than RF. Just a thought, I'd appreciate any feedback.
   192. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: July 16, 2003 at 11:10 PM (#566624)
Remember that the free agent market has softened considerably, but arbitration awards will lag behind that by a year or three. If the Jays are chipping in to make the salaries equal, and we consider Kielty and Stewart's abilities to be equal, the trade is essentially: The right to pay Kielty increasing salaries set by an underinformed third party for three years in exchange for a PTBNL, a draft pick somewhere between 15th and 50th overall, and the roster spot (after this season) into which the Twins will slot another of their overabundance of OF types.

The Twins did not get hosed. The revolution will not be televised.
   193. Michael Posted: July 16, 2003 at 11:27 PM (#566625)
"a draft pick somewhere between 15th and 50th overall"

This is only if you offer Stewart arbitration. I'm not sure either team will. It depends on where you think the market is. But I don't think a free agent Stewart would bring in $6.2 million on the FA market but in arbitration he is guarenteed at least $4.96 million and realistically should make 6-7 million as guys who have ok seasons don't go backwards in salary. I picture him being not unlike Cruz Jr. was last year. A good OF who should be able to get a deal for 2-4 million on the FA market which is worse than the 6-7 he can get in arbitration. Therefore it isn't as clear that draft pick is there.
   194. John Posted: July 17, 2003 at 01:39 AM (#566626)
Meanwhile, Lee Sinins reports that Benitez has been traded to the Yankees, for J. Anderson, Anderson G., and something called Ryan Bicondoa.

I like Benitez as a set-up guy...he probably becomes the best in the AL save for the otherworldly Shields/Donnelly combo in Disney City...but is this a lot to give up?
   195. Noffs Posted: July 17, 2003 at 04:38 AM (#566628)
John,

No, that's not too much to give up at all.
   196. Robert Dudek Posted: July 17, 2003 at 02:05 PM (#566633)
Twins fans,

Stewart has barely adequate range in leftfield. He'd be a complete disaster in centerfield. He gets poor jumps on the ball and endless hamstring injuries have made him an average runner. The Hankie Dome is notoriously difficult for judging flyballs, isn't it? Prepare yourself for a comedy of errors.

Your best bet is to hope that he does try to steal bases and gets hurt in the process.
   197. Ron Johnson Posted: July 17, 2003 at 06:26 PM (#566635)
Re: comment 31. Not much can be done about Stewart's throwing.
   198. Dave Sund Posted: July 19, 2003 at 09:49 PM (#566638)
1. Mike Cameron
   199. Michael Posted: October 29, 2003 at 01:51 AM (#567995)
The real question is the pitching. Escobar? Anyone else? Halladay's almost good enough to start every day but not quite. Do we sign people only if they are willing to try 4 man rotation all year?
   200. Stevens Posted: October 29, 2003 at 02:22 AM (#567996)
Is Cat starting? Those are great bench numbers and decent starter's numbers, but $2.3MM seems a little high for a bench player. It'll be interesting to see how the outfield plays out.
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