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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, January 04, 2008

White Sox - Acquired Swisher

Chicago White Sox - Acquired OF Nick Swisher from the Oakland A’s for P Gio Gonzalez, P Faustino de los Santos, and OF Ryan Sweeney.

Like the Haren trade, this one comes completely out of left field for me.  Whoever’s writing BA’s White Sox prospect list has to be mighty annoyed right now, with the team’s two top prospects leaving along with another top-prospect-by-virture-of-really-thin-system.  The A’s do kind of have a corner player logjam as Swisher isn’t a centerfielder, but I have to think that they weren’t originally going to trade Swisher this offseason but couldn’t turn down the package offered.

Swisher still doesn’t make the White Sox a contender by the remotest stretch of the imagination, but at least they got a good player that will provide a boost to the team.  The White Sox really need to start moving on their eventual goal of dumping Crede (wouldn’t it have been nice for the team if they had done it after 2005 when Crede had by far the best year of is career and was showcased in the playoffs?) because they have their own leftfield situation to sort out.  As I imply above, Swisher’s not a centerfielder, but then again, Jerry Owens is not a major leaguer, so Swisher could very well end up there.

As many have noted, Gonzalez and de los Santos are excellent prospects.  It’s too early for me to do a projection for the latter (there’s probably no chance he starts becoming relevant towards the near-future of the major league team until 2009).  As I mentioned in the White Sox ZiPS thread, Gonzalez would be best served to get serious time in AAA.  Sweeney’s 5th outfielder material.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Nick Swisher
—————————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+  DR  
—————————————————————————————————————————
Projection   518 96 141 31 1 31 90 86 137   2 .272 .384 .515   131   4
—————————————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  556 116 157 37 1 38 124 101 140   4 .282 .399 .556   145   8
Pes. (15%)  475 71 106 23 0 21 74 69 144   0 .223 .325 .404   88   1
—————————————————————————————————————————
Top Offensive Comps:  Pat Burrell, Jeff Burroughs

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Ryan Sweeney
—————————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+  DR  
—————————————————————————————————————————
Projection   529 50 138 25 1 11 56 51 85   9 .261 .326 .374   87   3
—————————————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  573 64 165 31 3 16 80 64 78 18 .288 .360 .436   112   6
Pes. (15%)  471 35 108 20 0   7 45 37 84   4 .229 .286 .316   61   -1
—————————————————————————————————————————
Top Offensive Comps:  Rowland Office, Mel Alamada

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Gio Gonzalez
—————————————————————————————————
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA ERA+ 
—————————————————————————————————
Projection   7 11 28 28 148 154   91 27 80 122 5.53   77
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  10 10 31 31 171 156   82 24 78 157 4.32   99
Pes. (15%)  4 11 23 23 114 141   91 26 71 78 7.18   59
—————————————————————————————————
Top Comps: Oliver Perez, Moe Drabowsky

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 04, 2008 at 11:13 AM | 95 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. MSI Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:10 PM (#2660029)
I disagree...the Sox can expect to compete with a strech of the imagination. The offense looks pretty good, the bullpen okay...they just need to get lucky on the backend of their current rotation, which could happen.

Swisher is controlled for 4-5 years cheaply and could be a very good hitter in US Cellular field. He's also marketable in the Chisox market.

Meanwhile, the A's restocked their farm system with several B+ prospects from the White Sox and D-backs...couldn't they have just drafted better in the first place? They got no slam dunks and now their team sucks, and hardcore A's fans dissapointed.
   2. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:10 PM (#2660030)
Why is Swisher's median projection so much closer to his optimistic projection than his pessimistic projection?
   3. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:16 PM (#2660034)
Sweeney's projection, esp. his optimistic one, is a lot better than I'd anticipated. Was he playing in a pitcher's park last year?
   4. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:21 PM (#2660039)
Whoever's writing BA's White Sox prospect list has to be mighty annoyed right now, with the team's two top prospects leaving along with another top-prospect-by-virture-of-really-thin-system.
I'm pretty sure they've already sent the book to the printer, so all they'd have to do is slide names up the list.

I've been anti-Sweeney for some time now (perhaps because of a bet I once made about whether he or Matt Murton would be a better draft choice), but he's still quite young and could well turn into a league average starter over time. Stick him in Sacramento and see if he can go from a 5th OF to a 3rd.
   5. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:22 PM (#2660040)
The offense looks pretty good


What gigantic improvements have been made to move them from dead last to "pretty good"?
   6. The Essex Snead Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:29 PM (#2660043)
What gigantic improvements have been made to move them from dead last to "pretty good"?

They got Nick Swisher!

Seriously, tho, it'll take a whole lot of luck for the ChiSox as they currently stand to compete. If "compete" actually means "finish third," then it's possible (due as much to the current state of the Twins & Royals as Chicago's supposed burgeoning excellence). Barring localized bubonic plague breakouts in Detroit & Cleveland (& Boston or New York), Chicago has no shot in any hell of getting within flying distance of a post-season berth.
   7. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:34 PM (#2660045)
What gigantic improvements have been made to move them from dead last to "pretty good"?


Jose Uribe - 74
Scott Podsednik - 73
Jerry Owens - 67
Darin Erstad - 68

If you can replace these guys with average players, I think you get a lot better. Maybe not to pretty good, but at least to "not terrible."
   8. rawagman Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:40 PM (#2660056)
BUt wouldn't playing Nick Swisher at CF hurt the ChiSox defensively?
   9. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#2660057)
BUt wouldn't playing Nick Swisher at CF hurt the ChiSox defensively?


I think Swisher goes into LF. Not sure how good Podsednik was with the glove, but I'm guessing Swisher is at least a moderate downgrade defensively.

Is Quentin good enough to play CF?
   10. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:46 PM (#2660059)

If you can replace these guys with average players, I think you get a lot better. Maybe not to pretty good, but at least to "not terrible."


They've replaced Podsednik with Swisher, so that should help out, but it's not nearly enough to move their offense to above average.

They still have pitching to address. They were 12th in ERA and 11th in RA/G, and trading for Swisher and sending out Garland didn't help that any.
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:46 PM (#2660060)
If you can replace these guys with average players, I think you get a lot better.


Sure, but average major-league hitters don't exactly grow on trees. With Swisher, I think the White Sox now have two players that ZIPS projects as being better than league-average at their position - Thome being the other one.
   12. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:49 PM (#2660061)
I think Swisher goes into LF. Not sure how good Podsednik was with the glove, but I'm guessing Swisher is at least a moderate downgrade defensively.


Swisher is probably half a win better than Podsednik with the glove in a corner OF spot. This isn't the relevant comparison if we're looking at the 2008 vs. the 2007 Sox, however, as Pods barely played last season.
   13. MSI Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:52 PM (#2660063)
Cabrera
Swisher
Konerko
Thome
Dye
Quentin
Crede/Fields
Pierzynski
Richar

I do like Carlos Quentin and expect him to be good...I see solid hitters 1 through 8. Though at some spots there might be OBP problems, especially in the bottom of the lineup.
   14. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#2660064)
Swisher is probably half a win better than Podsednik with the glove in a corner OF spot. This isn't the relevant comparison if we're looking at the 2008 vs. the 2007 Sox, however, as Pods barely played last season.


I always thought Swisher was a butcher with the glove. Was Podsednik really that bad?
   15. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2660065)
I see solid hitters 1 through 8. Though at some spots there might be OBP problems, especially in the bottom of the lineup.


2008 White Sox Projections

ZiPS really dislikes the White Sox.
   16. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 04, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2660066)
I always thought Swisher was a butcher with the glove. Was Podsednik really that bad?

Perhaps you are thinking of Dan Johnson? Pods fared surprisingly poor at the defensive metrics considering his speed. I have never heard a White Sox fan say anything positive about his D.
   17. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:00 PM (#2660070)
I believe the Trib said Swisher to CF.

I always thought Swisher was a butcher with the glove.
Nah, he's solid - a slightly more athletic Brad Wilkerson.
   18. rfloh Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:06 PM (#2660072)
I always thought Swisher was a butcher with the glove. Was Podsednik really that bad?


He isn't a butcher, not in a corner. He is bad in CF. He isn't your stereotypical "Moneyball" OBP corner slug.
   19. shoewizard Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2660075)
My first reaction when I heard about this trade was "Poor Carlos Quentin just got blocked again". Now I hear that Swisher is going to play CF? Heck, I bet Quentin would be a better CF than Swisher, but neither of them should really be there. And the White Sox will figure that out sooner or later. Swisher will hit more, so Quentin gets relegated to the bench. This guys career is just going down the crapper. What a shame.
   20. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#2660081)
Swisher will hit more, so Quentin gets relegated to the bench. This guys career is just going down the crapper. What a shame.


I'm not so sure if that's going to happen. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Williams move either Konerko or Thome for pitching at this point. That would make room for both Quentin and Swisher, and it's the kind of out-of-left-field, "I'm not done yet" move I've come to expect from Williams. Both players are signed to fairly reasonable deals at this point (Konerko at 12M a year through 2010, Thome I think is at about 8M next year, with an option for '09). Of course, if Konerko is traded and Swisher is moved to 1B, that just opens up the CF hole again.
   21. rawagman Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#2660083)
I also saw this with the feeling that Williams pulls off another move (I was thinking he finds a taker for Dye/Crede, but what do I know?) to turn that surfeit into more balance.
   22. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#2660090)
I also saw this with the feeling that Williams pulls off another move (I was thinking he finds a taker for Dye/Crede, but what do I know?) to turn that surfeit into more balance.


Dye and Crede both have to re-establish their value. I think Konerko and Thome do too, to a certain extent. But at this point, I am completely confused by how the market works. Is an aging Konerko a bargain at 12M? Is it better to be signed to a lengthy contract or a short one for purposes of trade value? I have no clue, but I'm sure that the huge haul for Swisher was in large part due to his very reasonable contract. Kenny Williams LOVES certainty, from a cost and a roster perspective (I believe that everyone expected to be on the 25-man roster other than Cabrera is signed through at least '08).
   23. MSI Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2660091)
I've had a feeling he'll sign Bartolo Colon or some retread for the back of the rotation.
   24. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: January 04, 2008 at 03:36 PM (#2660093)
I've had a feeling he'll sign Bartolo Colon or some retread for the back of the rotation.


I'd love to see a trade for Anthony Reyes, maybe involving Crede if the Cards move Rolen. Of course, I may be overrating his talent based on his great performance vs. the White Sox in an '06 game (1-hitter? the Sox still won). I don't know what's worse, Colon or Floyd/Broadway.
   25. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#2660155)
The White Sox really need to start moving on their eventual goal of dumping Crede (wouldn't it have been nice for the team if they had done it after 2005 when Crede had by far the best year of is career and was showcased in the playoffs?)

Of course.

Crede won't be moved before Spring Training, I think. He needs to show that he can actually play before teams will give up anything for him.
   26. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:08 PM (#2660183)
Doesn't Dye have a no trade clause for 2008?
   27. Evil Twin Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#2660201)
The White Sox are probably best off being patient with Crede. Nobody is going to give up much until they see if he can perform. I'd expect Crede will end up with one of Philadelphia, Milwaukee, San Francisco, St. Louis (with Rolen moved elsewhere), Los Angeles, or a team that has an injury at third in Spring Training.

Handicapping at the moment, I'd put Milwaukee and San Francisco as the front runners since they each can move someone that can start (Capuano, Lowry, Claudio Vargas) without disrupting their teams. Tony Gwynn Jr. is possibly another player that the White Sox might have interest in. Can Ethier play centerfield?
   28. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#2660202)
Doesn't Dye have a no trade clause for 2008?

Yep, and Konerko becomes a 5 and 10 guy in May or June of this year. Thome has a full no-trade as well. I'm holding out for a Konerko trade this winter. If getting Swisher enables the Sox to trade Konerko for a young player or two, I'll reluctantly accept the Swisher deal.
   29. Danny Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#2660243)
Here's what UZR 2003 to mid-2007 sez about Swisher:

Runs per 150 games
LF: +14 (97 games)
CF: -32 (14 games)
RF: +19 (102 games)
1B: -7 (103 games)
   30. Danny Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#2660249)
Chavez had some interesting quotes about the trade:

"Dude, it's unbelievable," A's third baseman Eric Chavez said with a laugh. "I was like, 'Well, we are going young. Wait ... Swisher is young.'

"We're going with the youth movement, baby. At least Billy is committed to it. He's not half-assing it."


Despite Bonds' legal problems, he'd create interest around the club and might help ticket sales.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Chavez said. "If he's in uniform next year, there's a 90 percent chance it will be with the Oakland A's.

"It will be old, broken-down guys - me, Kotsay and Barry - and a bunch of 19-year-olds."


And from Ken Williams:

"Swisher was not a player who was on the market. They did not want to move him. So we had to make it attractive enough for them to move him."
   31. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:23 PM (#2660252)
Runs per 150 games
LF: +14 (97 games)
CF: -32 (14 games)
RF: +19 (102 games)
1B: -7 (103 games)


So he'd be very good as a corner outfielder, but atrocious in CF.

Which of course means Williams will put him in CF?
   32. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:23 PM (#2660254)
"Dude, it's unbelievable," A's third baseman Eric Chavez said with a laugh. "I was like, 'Well, we are going young. Wait ... Swisher is young.'

"We're going with the youth movement, baby. At least Billy is committed to it. He's not half-assing it."


Hell, Chavvy sounds like he might be a lurker.
   33. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:28 PM (#2660257)
So he'd be very good as a corner outfielder, but atrocious in CF.

Which of course means Williams will put him in CF?


For now. I'm hoping that Williams makes another move to make room for Swisher at a more appropriate position.
   34. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:38 PM (#2660266)
So he'd be very good as a corner outfielder, but atrocious in CF.
Sample size. If I were looking at those numbers for the first time and had never seen Nick play, I'd presume he'd be slightly above average in center, given his performance in the corners.
   35. Danny Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#2660275)
Sample size. If I were looking at those numbers for the first time and had never seen Nick play, I'd presume he'd be slightly above average in center, given his performance in the corners.

Indeed. Those corner OF numbers are what pretty good CFs look like when they get moved to the corners. The CF sample is tiny. Dewan's not as fond of him, but still sees him as above average at the corners.
   36. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#2660278)
Sample size. If I were looking at those numbers for the first time and had never seen Nick play, I'd presume he'd be slightly above average in center, given his performance in the corners.

Swisher's slightly below average in CF, I think. His bat makes up for it, though. I'd have been ok with him in CF for the A's this year, but only for 2008. It's not a well you want to keep drawing water from. He tends to wear down a bit, too, so I don't think it's a good idea to keep him in CF everyday. They need to give him a breather at 1st or dh on occasion.
   37. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:45 PM (#2660279)
The CF sample is tiny.

60 games is a tiny sample size?
   38. Danny Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:47 PM (#2660282)
60 games is a tiny sample size?

The UZR data only goes through mid-2007, which is 14 games in CF for Swisher.
   39. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 06:52 PM (#2660288)
Swisher's slightly below average in CF, I think.

The Sox can't afford even a below-average centerfielder. They already have one of the (if not the) worst defensive right fielders in the league.

With Swished in center, the White Sox team would have absolutely atrocious defense this year. They're going to be above-average in only one place (left field) and average in only two other positions (shortstop and second base). Otherwise, they'll be below-average at best in six defensive positions. And this for a team that already has a below-average offense.
   40. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:00 PM (#2660293)
They already have one of the (if not the) worst defensive right fielders in the league.

Dye is not that bad. With a ZiPS rating of "Fr," he can't be in the conversation for Worst AL RF.

There's not a ZiPS rating for Quentin in CF, I wonder how he would play there?
   41. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:05 PM (#2660296)
Dye is not that bad. With a ZiPS rating of "Fr," he can't be in the conversation for Worst AL RF.

A lot depends on his health. If he's healthy, he's merely below-average. But he spent most of the season last year playing hurt, and was awful. I'm not holding my breath that he'll be better in 2008.

There's not a ZiPS rating for Quentin in CF, I wonder how he would play there?'

I don't know whether Quentin has ever played center at any level.
   42. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:08 PM (#2660302)
A lot depends on his health. If he's healthy, he's merely below-average. But he spent most of the season last year playing hurt, and was awful.

Nobody is going to be any good while injured, but if he played hurt all year, and still rated a "Fr" from ZiPS, then you'd think he'd be close to average when healthy.
   43. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:10 PM (#2660305)
if he played hurt all year, and still rated a "Fr" from ZiPS, then you'd think he'd be close to average when healthy.

I don't know where Dan gets his defensive ratings, but Dye was basically immobile at the end of last year.
   44. Al Kaline Trio Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#2660313)
Meanwhile, the A's restocked their farm system with several B+ prospects from the White Sox and D-backs...couldn't they have just drafted better in the first place? They got no slam dunks and now their team sucks, and hardcore A's fans dissapointed.


draft better guys like Swisher?
   45. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#2660324)
I don't know where Dan gets his defensive ratings, but Dye was basically immobile at the end of last year.

I have Dye at -10 (range) over the last 2 years, PMR had him 5 outs worse than average in 2007, Chone had him at -4 runs in 2007. Add in OF aging in the 30s and that gives him a FR for me.
   46. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#2660328)
Re: 42

In the games in which the Yankees played the White Sox...you could not convince me Jermaine Dye wasn't the worst OF in baseball. Exceptionally slow footed in the OF and then loved to dive at balls he had no chance at.
   47. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#2660339)
I have Dye at -10 (range) over the last 2 years, PMR had him 5 outs worse than average in 2007, Chone had him at -4 runs in 2007. Add in OF aging in the 30s and that gives him a FR for me.

I am assuming "Fr" means "fair." In any case, both the quantitative ratings for Dye seem much better than "worst RF in the league."

If he was "immobile" for any amount of time and can still pull -4 to -10, that sounds pretty decent.
   48. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2660347)
In the games in which the Yankees played the White Sox...you could not convince me Jermaine Dye wasn't the worst OF in baseball. Exceptionally slow footed in the OF and then loved to dive at balls he had no chance at.

There is no justice in the world. That got Eric Byrnes $10 million a year.
   49. 1k5v3L Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:42 PM (#2660351)
That got Eric Byrnes $10 million a year.


Except that Byrnes is fast footed, and arguably is the best defensively left fielder in the game right now. I'm not a big EByrnes fan by any stretch of the imagination, but only a blind person can't tell the difference b/w Byrnes and Dye. That being said, Byrnes isn't that good in RF, mostly because he takes wrong routes on the ball far too often over there.
   50. 1k5v3L Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:45 PM (#2660357)
http://www.fieldingbible.com/ on 2007 winners

Left Field – Eric Byrnes, Arizona
Another close vote as Eric Byrnes gets the nod over the incumbent, Carl Crawford, by three points. Byrnes, heralded in an article in Sports Illustrated as the second coming of Pete Rose based on his constant aggressiveness and hustle, was the Major League leader in left field in plus/minus (+28) as well as one of the leaders in Good Fielding Plays (23), a new defensive category being tracked by Baseball Info Solutions.
   51. 1k5v3L Posted: January 04, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#2660365)
Also from http://www.fieldingbible.com/, Dye was the worst RFer in the game, at -37
   52. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#2660386)
I was just making fun of the Byrnes 'futile dive.' The counterpart to the Jim Edmonds 'unnecessary dive.'
   53. 1k5v3L Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:22 PM (#2660409)
A huge number of young fans are growing up in Arizona, wanting to emulate EB's playing style. EB might be more damaging to the youth of this country than steroids...
   54. chris p Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#2660414)
I was just making fun of the Byrnes 'futile dive.' The counterpart to the Jim Edmonds 'unnecessary dive.'

kind of like gabe kapler?
   55. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#2660453)
Of course, if Konerko is traded and Swisher is moved to 1B, that just opens up the CF hole again.

Not if they trade Konerko to the Angels for Saunders and a discounted Gary Matthews Jr. Hasn't Ozzie been quoted saying he's a big fan of Sarge Lite?

Note: I have not heard this as an actual rumor.
   56. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: January 04, 2008 at 08:58 PM (#2660462)
loved to dive at balls he had no chance at.

*impulse to strangle Dye reawakened*
   57. Al Kaline Trio Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#2660464)
#54 I love the internet sometimes haha!
   58. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:04 PM (#2660468)
#54 I love the internet sometimes haha!

Laugh all you want. But the Brewers just threw him some money because they like his hustle. And his zazz. He's got zazz out the azz!
   59.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:06 PM (#2660471)

60 games is a tiny sample size?


It certainly is, yes.
   60. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:06 PM (#2660472)
Juan Pierre back in Chicago?
   61. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#2660475)
Not if they trade Konerko to the Angels for Saunders and a discounted Gary Matthews Jr. Hasn't Ozzie been quoted saying he's a big fan of Sarge Lite?

The Angels have a first baseman already. What do they need Paul Konerko for?

I'd like to see Brian Anderson get another chance out there, but I know that's not happening.
   62. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:08 PM (#2660477)
Juan Pierre back in Chicago?

Ugh. I'd rather watch Jerry Owens all year.
   63. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:10 PM (#2660479)
It probably wouldn't cost any talent and Pierre isn't that bad. I would take him over Sarge Jr., I think.
   64. MM1f Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:35 PM (#2660512)
"Laugh all you want. But the Brewers just threw him some money because they like his hustle. And his zazz. He's got zazz out the azz!"

Oh please. People can never pass up an opportunity to snark can they? Even if that snark is worthless.
He got a non-guaranteed contract... if he does make the team he will get 800k, which can't be more than a hair over the minimum for a guy with his service time considering that the minimum for someone with 0 days service is 390k.

And did you ever think that the Brewers signed him more-so because he was a freely available cheap player who had been a solid reserve OF in the past and could maybe be one again rather than the zazz you snarked at?
   65. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#2660515)
The Angels have a first baseman already. What do they need Paul Konerko for?

To be the DH, backup 1B, and backup C of course! Between Konerko and Figgins they could have every position covered! (Why does ZiPS give Konerko a catcher rating?)

The Angels may prefer Thome if they feel like trading for a DH, but I was responding to a comment about trading Konerko. Is Vlad likely to be moved to full-time DH anytime soon considering the need for him to stay healthy and the overabundance of OFs on the roster? My guess would be no but it isn't really based on anything. Have the Angels said what they plan to do with the outfield situation?
   66. MM1f Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:43 PM (#2660525)
"
The Angels may prefer Thome if they feel like trading for a DH, but I was responding to a comment about trading Konerko. Is Vlad likely to be moved to full-time DH anytime soon considering the need for him to stay healthy and the overabundance of OFs on the roster? My guess would be no but it isn't really based on anything. Have the Angels said what they plan to do with the outfield situation?"

I would think Kendry Morales, if he is in the Angels long-term plans, would be a DH candidate.
   67. bhoov Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#2660528)
Dye was +2 by UZR and as Dan said slightly below average by PMR. That's a really strange fielding bible rating. All told he was probably -5 or at worst -10.

And as Tango's recent post at the Book Blog showed, average CF should be +10 at the corners or about what Swisher is.

I'm perfectly fine with a Quentin, Swisher, Dye OF until JD either gets hurt or his contract expired. By the way White Sox CF's posted a .628 OPS last year while playing slightly above average defense. Swisher's .899 projected OPS with slightly below average defense is what a 6 win upgrade?
   68. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#2660531)
I'm perfectly fine with a Quentin, Swisher, Dye OF until JD either gets hurt or his contract expired.

Dye's contract is up after the 2010 season. You're pretty patient.
   69. xeifrank Posted: January 04, 2008 at 10:12 PM (#2660549)
Nice jump for Swisher in the SLG% department with the move to CWS. Converting his A's 2008 ZIPS projections to CWS, I came up with.

Singles drop from 77 to 74
Doubles drop from 31 to 29
Triples stay at 1
HRs jump from 27 to 33
Walks jump from 88 to 92

Average rises 1 point.
OBP rises 5 points
SLG rises 32 points.

Swisher, a swith-hitter will see most of his at-bats from the left side of the plate, as most MLB pitchers a right handed. I took into account the left-handed batter park affects. I have his walks increasing instead of decreasing. I have his double tally dropping slightly, instead of remaining the same and I have his HR output rising to 33 instead of 31 as his CWS dips has him.

vr, Xei

vr, Xei
   70. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: January 04, 2008 at 11:01 PM (#2660589)
Sure, but average major-league hitters don't exactly grow on trees.

People need to realize the average corner player (RF,LF, 1B, 3B) has an OBP around .333 and middle player (SS, 2B, CF, C) is around .320.

Cabrera is a 50 point OBP improvement at SS, Swisher is a 50 point improvement at an OF spot, and Quentin can't be any lower than Anderson/Owens. This is probably an improvement of 80-100 runs of offense from '07. Ther ewas probably a slight downgrade at 2B, so maybe it's 68-80 rather than 80-100, but it is an improvement. The issue is whether the runs allowed is going to go up or down. Garland being gone is probably in increase in RA, but the RA from the bullpen will probably be down so I'm calling it a wash until I know more.
   71. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 11:32 PM (#2660618)
Cabrera is a 50 point OBP improvement at SS

26 points. Uribe's got a career .295 OBP, Cabrera's at .321. I think that most of whatever little they gained on offense by switching from Uribe to Cabrera, they give up on defense.

I'm not impressed with Orlando Cabrera at all.
   72. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 04, 2008 at 11:48 PM (#2660633)
26 points. Uribe's got a career .295 OBP, Cabrera's at .321. I think that most of whatever little they gained on offense by switching from Uribe to Cabrera, they give up on defense.

I'm not impressed with Orlando Cabrera at all.


I can't speak for Ted Williams, but I would guess that he was talking about team improvement over last year, not merely player upgrades.

Uribe's OBP last year was .284. That's still not 50, but it's an improvement of 37 points.

Uribe's defense wasn't so hot either last year, right? I'm not expecting career averages. I'd say there's a decent chance that Uribe never does anything good for the team again and a small chance that he switches to 2B and goes nuts on the league for some inexplicable reason..
   73. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 04, 2008 at 11:52 PM (#2660634)
I don't think that Uribe's going to be any good in 2008, but I don't think Cabrera's going to be any good, either. I'm thinking something like .265/.305/.345 and mediocre defense.
   74. Danny Posted: January 05, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2660644)
People need to realize the average corner player (RF,LF, 1B, 3B) has an OBP around .333 and middle player (SS, 2B, CF, C) is around .320.

It's more like .330 for middle guys and .350 for corner guys. Last year, the middle guys hit .270/.332/.410, while the corner guys (plus DH and PH) hit .277/.349/.453.
   75. bhoov Posted: January 05, 2008 at 12:32 AM (#2660661)
Uribe used to be excellent with the glove. Uribe is now a below average SS and Cabrera is an above average SS according to PMR (the only systems that have full year data for both). Uribe's continued growth in girth has paralled his gradual decline in defense. At worst they're equivalent with the glove and Cabrera's much better with the bat.

Dye's contract is up after the 2010 season. You're pretty patient.

Jermaine Dye is signed to a 2 year contract with a mutual option. If that option is exercised (very unlikely) it would be as a DH (Thome will be gone by then).
   76. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 05, 2008 at 12:38 AM (#2660669)
Last year, the middle guys hit .270/.332/.410, while the corner guys (plus DH and PH) hit .277/.349/.453.


That makes my stomach hurt.
   77. Valentine Posted: January 05, 2008 at 12:51 AM (#2660684)
I see solid hitters 1 through 8. Though at some spots there might be OBP problems


Wouldn't it be easier to list the spots that DON'T have an OBP problem? Wherever Thome and Swisher hit will be fine. Other than that they don't have anybody with a .350 OBP. Konerko, maybe, but for a 1B that is nothing to brag about.
   78. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 05, 2008 at 12:55 AM (#2660686)
I think some of you guys are falling into the Projected Lineup trap. The White Sox and Angels have similar offensive projections, but I expect the Angels to be above average and the White Sox to below average because of depth, which is an incredibly important part of a team. Don't forget, roughly a third of at-bats for most teams will be the backups - most teams aren't the Rockies.
   79. Walt Davis Posted: January 05, 2008 at 01:50 AM (#2660740)
I think some of you guys are falling into the Projected Lineup trap.

Yep. Also the "Cabrera hit well last year" trap. :-)

ZiPS may be delusional but it projects Cabrera to 276/330/372 and Uribe to 250/302/427. 28 points of OBP vs 55 points of SLG -- you'd still rather have the OBP (and I'd still rather roll the dice with Cabrera too) but it's pretty close and NOT a huge upgrade offensively. And whatever they gain at SS, they probably lose at 2B. Swisher in CF and probably Quentin in LF are big upgrades offensively.

And 80 runs? People forget that the Sox finished last in scoring in the AL last year ... despite playing in one of the best hitters parks. Give them 80 runs and they jump up only to 9th ... not impressive in a hitters park. They need to add about 150 runs to be a good offensive team (4th).

And given their starting rotation, they are going to need to be a good offensive team to finish 500 I suspect. Garland 2008 may not be so hot but Garland 2007 is going to be hard to replace.
   80. IMFinksPa Posted: January 05, 2008 at 02:16 AM (#2660749)
FWIW Quentin did play some centerfield in Triple AAA. I saw him on a coule of occasions and he seemed to have good instincts, but below average speed. I suspect he would struggle quite a bit before pulling himself up to a little below average.
   81. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 05, 2008 at 02:57 AM (#2660762)
Last year, the middle guys hit .270/.332/.410, while the corner guys (plus DH and PH) hit .277/.349/.453.


If you look at the median (which I normally prefer, because the mean can sometimes be skewed if you have several very-high or very-low achievers at a position) instead of the mean:

Among corner players with 200 or more PAs a year ago, the median was .274/.348/.453.
Among middle players with 200 or more PAs, the median was .270/.331/.408.

Not too far off the mean.

-- MWE
   82. Walt Davis Posted: January 05, 2008 at 06:09 AM (#2660818)
Among corner players with 200 or more PAs a year ago, the median was .274/.348/.453.
Among middle players with 200 or more PAs, the median was .270/.331/.408.


What you'd want in that scenario -- at least I think it' cleaner (and you don't necessarily have to drop the low PA guys) -- is to:

1. count up the total number of PA in the group
2. sort the data by OBP
3. count up from top (or bottom) until you got to half the PAs
4. repeat by other stats

I'm trying to decide how comfy I am with a "median" line of 274/348/453 vs. saying "the median BA is 274, the median OBP is 348 and the median SLG is 453." At least I assume that's how those numbers were generated. If not, what did you sort by, OPS?
   83. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: January 05, 2008 at 06:33 AM (#2660827)
They need to add about 150 runs to be a good offensive team (4th).

I'm not smart enough to convert OPS into runs, but the Sox had absolutely horrible production at four positions last season. At two spots -- CF and 3B -- the Sox combined for sub-.650 OPS'. Sox SS' weren't much better, ending up with a combined .659 OPS and Sox LFers were still well below average at a .731 OPS. With Fields, Cabrera, Quentin and Swisher, the Sox look to be making huge additions to those four spots.

Of course, as currently constructed they look like a pretty terrible defensive team. I see two above average defenders (Quentin and Cabrera) with everybody else being average to well-below average.
   84. William K. Posted: January 05, 2008 at 07:29 AM (#2660845)
FWIW Quentin did play some centerfield in Triple AAA. I saw him on a coule of occasions and he seemed to have good instincts, but below average speed. I suspect he would struggle quite a bit before pulling himself up to a little below average.


Quentin played 6 games (out of 85) in CF for Tucson back in 2006
   85. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 05, 2008 at 07:16 PM (#2661070)
Cabrera's much better with the bat.

See, I don't think he is. A little bit better, maybe, but it's not a huge upgrade. Cabrera is not a good hitter.
   86. Walt Davis Posted: January 05, 2008 at 10:42 PM (#2661259)
I'm not smart enough to convert OPS into runs, but the Sox had absolutely horrible production at four positions last season. At two spots -- CF and 3B -- the Sox combined for sub-.650 OPS'. Sox SS' weren't much better, ending up with a combined .659 OPS and Sox LFers were still well below average at a .731 OPS. With Fields, Cabrera, Quentin and Swisher, the Sox look to be making huge additions to those four spots.

I'm not smart enough to do that either. Fields (785 ZiPS) and Swisher (899) are huge upgrades (if Swisher is in CF). Cabrera though projects at 702 which is a pretty small upgrade (and little upgrade over Uribe's projection). Quentin's a bit of a wild card but he's projected at 770 so a small upgrade. But, without checking the numbers, 2B would seem to project worse. Thome's projected for a pretty substantial decline. Dye holds steady, Konerko down a smidgen (also possibly traded). The bench looks as bad or worse. It's still an offense with only two above-average hitters (Swisher way above in CF) for their position and at least one sinkhole. And that was achieved giving up some pitching and probably a little defense (Fields at 3B and Swisher in CF).

It could all work out. Thome, Konerko, Swisher, Fields, Dye could be a very formidable middle. Cabrera and ??? could get on at a league average pace. 2B could surprise and be OK. But it's a stretch.

The team OPS+ last year was 87. Iguchi (251/340/382) and Luis Terrero (231/348/376) were at 88. Pierzynski (263/309/403, 83 OPS+) was a little more typical of your average Sox batter (team OBP was just 318). Now their "true talent" wasn't THAT bad but they've got a LONG way to go to get to average -- and they're still pretty old at key positions. Maybe these acquisitions plus regression to the mean get them there, but average offense and that pitching staff is not a strong combination.
   87. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 06, 2008 at 08:30 PM (#2661819)
Their defense doesn't look like it will be an asset either.
   88. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: January 06, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#2661824)
I don't really see this deal from either team's perspective. The A's competition is less severe than the White Sox; they can realistically expect to compete in 2-3 years, and could really use Swisher under the terms of his contract. Gonzalez could blow the league apart and make the deal worthwhile for the A's, but I see this deal as more likely to be a lose-lose.
   89. BurlyBuehrle Posted: January 07, 2008 at 11:55 PM (#2662914)
Does anyone know what Jim Thome is supposed to decline to? It seems with his skill set (slugger), his decline should be pretty precipitous in the next 1-3 years. Otherwise, Konerko can't be as bad as he was last year, can he? I'd say the Sox would be ill-advised to move Konerko over Thome...
   90. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 08, 2008 at 12:03 AM (#2662923)
I'd say the Sox would be ill-advised to move Konerko over Thome...

Thome has a full no-trade.

Konerko wasn't bad last year (.841 OPS, which is about his career average), just not great. I'd say that's about what you can expect from him in the future.
   91. bluemoon Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:32 AM (#2663139)
Swisher is 27 years old, the age players generally peak in their development. If he's as good as he's going to get, which isn't too bad as is, The A's still can't win with him so prospects are a better bet. From what I can tell, the A's look at team wide production and season accordingly. Any one guy is expendable if the whole hive can benifit from a trade. This egghead approach isn't hard to market in Oakland; that good ol' boy act of Swisher's was occasionally amusing and often annoying. The A's sell their brains and mathletic calculations more than individual ballplayers (Let's face it, when Eric Chavez is your best player, personality is not a great marketing angle). The entire history of the Athletic franchise dating back to Philly is cyclical. They win in clusters and collapse, rebuild and start up the hill once more. What else can a second tier frasnchise do in a world overshadowed by the Yankee menace?
   92. bluemoon Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:37 AM (#2663141)
One other thing: I'm sure pundits have pointed this out already but who would you have fix your car? Beane or Williams? Okay, Williams has a ring...such is life in Oaktown.
   93. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:57 AM (#2663144)
Does the Bay Area have more intelligence per capita than most other markets? It seems plausible.

That doesn't explain Giants fans, though :)
   94. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: January 08, 2008 at 08:07 AM (#2663159)
Chavez had some interesting quotes about the trade:


"Ouch, my back!"

or

"Hey, potential, get back here!"
   95. bluemoon Posted: January 09, 2008 at 06:01 AM (#2664129)
There's more affluence in the Bay Area- If wealth is an index of intelligence, then I guess there's brains in abundance. If so, that financial measure marks me as an idiot. Until you factor in Giants fans, of course- then I'm a bloody genius. As for Chavez's comments, you employed exclamation points, implying Chavez was excited about something. That's not possible. I once read somewhere that his nickname was The Grey Wall of Despair.

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