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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, July 24, 2006

White Sox - Acquired MacDougal

Chicago White Sox - Acquired P Mike MacDougal from the Kansas City Royals for P Tyler Lumsden and P Daniel Cortes.

MacDougal’s generally exciting, generally injured, sometimes wild.  Plus, he’s ostensibly related to Somerled and if there’s anything that Vikings know how to do, it’s beating Detroit 2/3 of the time.  Mayhem Mike is a good fit for the White Sox as they’re not going to depend on him as the most important member of the bullpen.

Lumsden was the Sox’ first-round pick a couple of years ago but he missed the 2005 season with an elbow injury and while he’s pitching pretty well for Birmingham, he’s hardly been dominating.  I personally find Cortes more interesting - the White Sox picked him in the 7th round last year after everyone expected him to go to college.  He’s got a decent heavy fastball, curve, and change and has pitched well for Kannapolis, though he’s still wild at times.  He’s also just 19 (and looks about 10), so there’s a lot of time to refine his skills, the main caveat being there’s also a lot of time left for him to get injured.  Lumsden and Cortes aren’t grade-A prospects, but with Greinke’s star fallen a lot, Howell out of town, and Mark Redman being the team’s All-Star, the Royals are smart to accumulate arms like this.

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 24, 2006 at 09:16 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: July 24, 2006 at 09:40 PM (#2110150)
MacDougal is a solution in search of a problem, as they say. He's the kind of guy the Sox love and can work with - high-velocity, control problems - but they gave up kind of a lot for him. Consider me unimpressed.
   2. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: July 24, 2006 at 09:43 PM (#2110152)
How come the nickname "Mack the Ninth" never caught on? I'm still disappointed.
   3. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#2110195)
Cortes looks good, and Lumsden gets to fill the role of "Overrated young lefty" in the Royals organization.

Lumsden saves children, but not the British children.
   4. hgmiller Posted: July 24, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#2110228)
I'm sad to see Mac go, because he was a big part of the magic in '03, but this seems like a good deal to me. He's already 29 and pretty much guaranteed to start costing too much for the time he'll spend on the DL.

I don't know anything about Cortes and Lumsden yet, but it never hurts to have a few more pitching prospects around.
   5. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:04 AM (#2110377)
That's a lot of young talent to give up for an oft-injured reliever who isn't all that good when he's healthy. It's not like Williams gave up McCarthy--but both of those pitchers have a decent chance of turning into something good.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: July 25, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2110423)
In terms of nicknames, I hoped that Frugal MacDougal would catch on.

And then May of 2003 happened.
   7. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 25, 2006 at 01:25 AM (#2110667)
Lumsden's 23, out of Clemsom, coming off a lost season due to a bone spur in his left elbow. He's got good stuff, but doesn't miss many bats; he projects as a back-end-of-the-rotation guy.

Cortes is interesting. Just 19 in March, he's in his first year in full-season ball and played for a Kannapolis team that has improved rapidly over the course of the season after an abysmal start. He's very raw, but throws 90-92 with an excellent curve ball. According to the excellent Minor League Splits DB, he's struggled at home and had difficulty in the first inning (a tendency not uncommon in young pitchers). I think he's the better prospect in the deal.

Nice deal by Dayton Moore, IMO.

-- MWE
   8. Zach Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:27 AM (#2111128)
If this is the kind of deal Moore is asking for, I think we can expect to see more trades in the next week. How many GMs are going to shy away from the trigger because of two guys who are probably #10-15 prospects in their organization?

The Royals have a lot of spare parts available for packages like this.
   9. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:41 AM (#2111143)
Hopefully the White Sox also acquired a hat that will fit MacDougal's head. A couple nights ago, his hat was popping off his head on the follow-through to 50% of his pitches. It was annoying to me as a viewer and I have a hard time believe it's not a distraction to the batter.
   10. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:56 AM (#2111166)
How come the nickname "Mack the Ninth" never caught on? I'm still disappointed.

Because guys who blow late leads don't get clever nicknames. They get called things like "Fat Todd Jones."
   11. Walt Davis Posted: July 25, 2006 at 05:32 AM (#2111202)
I have a hard time believe it's not a distraction to the batter

Not that a pitcher would ever want to do such a thing...
   12. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 25, 2006 at 05:34 AM (#2111204)
They get called things like "Fat Todd Jones."


Or just "Homophobe"
   13. DCW3 Posted: July 25, 2006 at 06:37 AM (#2111229)
Look, "Mike" is as much of a nickname as MacDougal will ever need. This is because his full name is Robert Meiklejohn MacDougal, which is more distinctive than any nickname any of us could come up with. It's actually pretty impressive that he managed to become a decent major league pitcher despite having two profoundly retarded parents.
   14. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 25, 2006 at 08:39 AM (#2111243)
He gets called Mac the ninth all the time, you guys just miss it cause ESPN only mentions 12 royals games a year.
   15. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 25, 2006 at 08:41 AM (#2111245)
oh, and do either of these players have a shot at pitching in the bigs? color me unimpressed.
   16. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 25, 2006 at 02:08 PM (#2111370)
Robert Meiklejohn MacDougal

Meiklejohn is a Scots surname and it's not unusual to see family surnames become middle names, especially in a clan system. I know two people of Scots/Irish descent with surnames in the middle (Finneran and MacKay).
   17. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: July 25, 2006 at 02:18 PM (#2111388)
"oh, and do either of these players have a shot at pitching in the bigs?"

Only in the minds of posters here, who seem to believe the minor leagues are like Lake Wobegon -- all prospects are above average. If, as one poster above said, "both of those pitchers have a decent chance of turning into something good," then why EVER trade away minor leaguers?
   18. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 25, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2111445)
oh, and do either of these players have a shot at pitching in the bigs?


Yes, they do. Not star potential, necessarily, but both are capable of contributing to a big-league team down the road. Any pitcher who can handle a full-season A-ball league at age 19 without imploding - as Cortes has done - is certainly a prospect.

If, as one poster above said, "both of those pitchers have a decent chance of turning into something good," then why EVER trade away minor leaguers?


Because it's hard to get something for nothing, and because sometimes it makes sense to trade something that you can't use for three-four years for something you can use right now. It depends on where you are in the building cycle. Lumsden and Cortes may never turn into something good - that's the chance you take - but the Royals have almost nothing in their farm system, pitching-wise, that's likely to turn into anything better.

-- MWE
   19. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2111518)
MacDougal becomes the worst pitcher in the Sox bullpen, and it only took 2 prospects to get him.
   20. Norcan Posted: July 25, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2111532)
This seems like a good trade for Chicago. Don Cooper's coaching hasn't helped a lot of the pitchers this year, if coaching makes a difference at all, but if he can turn around Matt Thornton, he should be as good as anyone in making MacDougal more effectively consistently, which should make him a dominant setup man.

It also seems like a good trade for the Royals. Lumsden's strikeout rate of 5.25 k/9 isn't dazzling but he does get groundball outs--so far it's been about 2.1 GBO/FBO. I don't know if his stuff has changed after the surgery but before, he had power lefty stuff with a fastball up to 94 mph and a good curve. A lefty with good stuff who can induce groundballs has a fair chance to be a solid starter.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 27, 2006 at 03:25 PM (#2114561)
Only in the minds of posters here, who seem to believe the minor leagues are like Lake Wobegon -- all prospects are above average. If, as one poster above said, "both of those pitchers have a decent chance of turning into something good," then why EVER trade away minor leaguers?

What did you expect for MacDougal, Jim Thome? The Royals didn't exactly trade away Mariano Rivera here.
   22. Russ Posted: July 31, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#2119441)
If, as one poster above said, "both of those pitchers have a decent chance of turning into something good," then why EVER trade away minor leaguers?

If you view players as stocks and investments and amend a notion of utility with a team's point in the success cycle, then this makes sense. MacDougal is basically a known quantity. You have a pretty good idea of what he will do in the near future, modulo sampling variability and injury. The two prospects have much higher uncertainty. They could be worse than MacDougal (probably will be worse), but they could be better (and possibly much better) in the future. The Royals, languishing in last place, have no need for certainty in performance now because performance now does very little for them. What they need is the potential for good performance later. MacDougal's reasonable stability is worth much more to the CWS than the Royals. Similarly, the two prospects mean very little to the CWS because of their inherent uncertainty.

The problem that teams get into is when they incorrectly confuse certainty with upside *cough* Pirates *cough*.

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