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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

White Sox - White Flag II

Chicago White Sox - Traded DH Jim Thome to the Los Angeles Dodgers for SS Justin Fuller; Traded P Jose Contreras to the Colorado Rockies for P Brandon Hynick.

Is this a white flag trade?  Yes.  Is there anything wrong with that?  No.

There comes a time where yes, it’s smart to pull out that white flag and wave it furiously.  Fighting to the last man, in many cases, including this one, where the result of losing doesn’t mean that the Tigers will disembowel the wives and children of White Sox players, is nothing but romantic nonsense.

The White Sox are simply a mediocre team that would have to play the best ball of their lives to have a shot at the playoffs.  The team has to essentially outplay the Tigers by the seasonal equivalent of 72 games and the Twins by the seasonal equivalent of 48 games.  This is not a team full of sleeping giants, ready to pummel the division into submission in September, but team that’s closer to the Indians, a team that essentially threw in the towel by Cinco de Mayo, than they are the Tigers.

Thome would not put up a 2008-esque Manny performance and carry to the team through the month.  There’s nothing that Joe Contrariwise could do that would result in the Sox filling their glasses with champagne or treacle and ink.

The White Sox live to fight another day and pick up a decent arm in Hynick and a utility player with a bit of pop for Thome.  If some of these wags demanding blood from “Traitor Kenny” at Appomattox, they probably wouldn’t surrender, because after all, the Confederates could totally march to DC in less than a week if things like supplies and manpower weren’t an issue!

They didn’t get a lot for Thome or Contreras, but they’re only losing a month of their services, after all, and what they got in return is a lot more likely to help them win meaningful games in 2010 and beyond than warm memories of that time they let it all hang out so they could go 79-83 and finish 8 games behind the Tigers.

For the other teams, the Rockies will gamble that Contreras can fool the NL for a month or so and the Dodgers have Thome as an emergency 1B/pinch-hitter and a DH for a possible World Series.  The Rockies probably overpaid a skosh, but these are two teams that actually have something realistic to fight for.


2009 ZIPS Projection - Jim Thome
——————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   345   55   86 15   0 23   74   69 116   0 .249 .372 .493
Rest-of-Year   79   13   19   4   0   5   15   15   26   0 .243 .364 .462
——————————————————————————————————————
Total       424   68 105 19   0 28   89   84 142   0 .248 .370 .487

 


2009 ZIPS Projection - Jose Contreras
——————————————————————————————————————
            W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   5   13   21 21 114.7 121   69   11   45   89 5.42
Rest-of-Year   2   2   5   4   26.0   29   14   3   8   17 4.85
——————————————————————————————————————
Total         7   15   26 25 140.7 150   83   14   53 106 5.31

Dan Szymborski Posted: September 01, 2009 at 07:57 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. chemdoc Posted: September 01, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3311364)
There comes a time where yes, it's smart to pull out that white flag and wave it furiously. Fighting to the last man, in many cases, including this one, where the result of losing doesn't mean that the Tigers will disembowel the wives and children of White Sox players, is nothing but romantic nonsense.


I agree that disemboweling the wives and children would be excessive and unnecessary.
   2. Cris E Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:09 PM (#3311378)
There's been some speculation that Kenny Williams is doing a favor for Thome by getting him a shot at a ring. If that's true and it was a meaningful part of the decision to trade him, and Thome is on board, well then I tip my cap to Kenny Williams. That's a fine gesture to a veteran player.
   3. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:13 PM (#3311381)
I agree that disemboweling the wives and children would be excessive and unnecessary.

And besides, Ugueth Urbina hasn't been a Tiger for four years now.
   4. Cris E Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3311395)
Hey now, let's stay on topic. This is a ChiSox thread so no more Urbina and disemboweling talk.

We should be talking about inebriated menfolk stumbling from the stands and beating them with their bare hands.

(I kid, I kid...)
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3311400)
Indeed, and just a year after Williams tried to help Ken Griffey get to the playoffs at the end of his career.
   6. SM Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:38 PM (#3311410)
The team has to essentially outplay the Tigers by the seasonal equivalent of 72 games and the Twins by the seasonal equivalent of 48 games.


And if they were 1 back with 1 game to play, they'd have to outplay them by the seasonal equivalent of 162 games?
   7. puck Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:39 PM (#3311411)
The Rockies probably overpaid a skosh


Do you think this because you think Hynick can actually start in the majors, or because Contreras is no more useful than Russ Ortiz?

Also, how much is the ZiPS RoS projection based on the FIPpy peripherals vs. ERA, etc. Contreras has been horrible with runners on and with the unearned runs this season, and I wonder how much that should be expected to carry over.
   8. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:40 PM (#3311412)
If I, hypothetically, have Thome on my fantasy team, is his value completely shot?
   9. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:40 PM (#3311414)
Maybe Kenny only did this to make sure Dotel has no hope of making the playoffs this year.
   10. JustDan Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:41 PM (#3311415)
I vaguely remember when the White Sox made wholesale trades just after the all-star break despite being only about 4 games out. This was about 8-10 years ago.. Am I misremembering? Was that White Flag I?
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3311418)
I vaguely remember when the White Sox made wholesale trades just after the all-star break despite being only about 4 games out. This was about 8-10 years ago.. Am I misremembering? Was that White Flag I?


If it was 1997, then you're mostly remembering right. They traded Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Danny Darwin to the Giants and Harold Baines to the Orioles in late July, when they were 3.5 out.
   12. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:45 PM (#3311421)
If it was 1997, then you're mostly remembering right. They traded Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Danny Darwin to the Giants and Harold Baines to the Orioles in late July, when they were 3.5 out.

And Robin Ventura had just returned from the DL.
   13. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:47 PM (#3311423)
12 years ago. WS traded Alvarez, Darwin, and Roberto Hernandez for what turned out to be Foulke and Howry.
   14. JustDan Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3311426)
Ah, 12 years ago.

What was their return on those guys? Anything good?
   15. JJ1986 Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:51 PM (#3311429)
Howry become Frank Francisco (which I never knew) who became Carl Everett.
Foulke became Billy Koch and Neal Cotts.
   16. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:52 PM (#3311431)
That was Bevington's last year. It seemed like he rode the short bus to new Comiskey for decades, but he managed less than three years.
   17. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3311433)
Howry become Frank Francisco (which I never knew) who became Carl Everett.
Foulke became Billy Koch and Neal Cotts.


And Billy Koch became a breeding ground for weird fibers growing out of his skin.
   18. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:57 PM (#3311435)
Nevermind
   19. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: September 01, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3311438)
Cotts begat David Aardsma, who begat Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich. Socolovich is in Birmingham. His acquisition can be traced back to the Baines draft pick in 1977.
   20. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 01, 2009 at 11:05 PM (#3311441)
Cotts begat David Aardsma, who begat Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich. Socolovich is in Birmingham. His acquisition can be traced back to the Baines draft pick in 1977.


That's pretty good. 32 years plus whatever Socolovich can do from now on. The Cubs got 32 years from the Ken Holtzman draft. Holtzman (drafted 1965)->Rick Monday->Ivan DeJesus->Ryne Sandberg (retired 1997).
   21. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: September 01, 2009 at 11:12 PM (#3311444)
DH for a possible World Series

Didn't catch that angle. Over the last few years I have wondered whether it could make sense for a NL team to pay for a DH type bat when they are close to playoffs. The Dodgers seemed to have pulled that off.

From the WS side this trade proceeds from the premise that they didn't want to offer arb to Thome. Is that a good read on the part of the White Sox? I think I would take the risk of him accepting for the chance at two picks or am I missing something?
   22. ColonelTom Posted: September 02, 2009 at 12:56 AM (#3311492)
I assume Peavy's elbow injury was the final straw - if he'd made it back, it might have been worth trying to make the playoffs. Without him, KW read the writing on the wall correctly. The Rios and Peavy moves should set them up nicely for 2010, and if Thome comes back next year at a reduced cost after KW sent him to a playoff team, so much the better.
   23. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: September 02, 2009 at 01:00 AM (#3311495)
Cotts begat David Aardsma, who begat Willy Mota and Miguel Socolovich. Socolovich is in Birmingham. His acquisition can be traced back to the Baines draft pick in 1977.


I was recently thinking about a diagram that would take every player on a team and trace their "heritage" back. I suppose you could get some interesting results, especially from the draft picks that were compensation for free agent signings.
   24. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: September 02, 2009 at 01:17 AM (#3311510)
Is that a good read on the part of the White Sox? I think I would take the risk of him accepting for the chance at two picks or am I missing something?

There was no chance in hell the Sox were going to offer Thome arbitration, nor is there any chance the Dodgers will do so. Thome's making something like $15 (or thereabouts) million this year. If last off-season is any indication, it's doubtful he'll get half of that in free agency.
   25. WillYoung Posted: September 02, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3311574)
Here's an old Twins organization tree. Updating that, Gary Ward was signed in 1972. He turned into John Butcher, who turned into Neal Heaton, who helped turn into Jeff Reardon, whose draft pick compensation was Midre Cummings, who turned into John Smiley, whose draft pick compensation was Torii Hunter, whose draft pick compensation was Carlos Gutierrez and Shooter Hunt.

That's a 37-year string for the organization.
   26. stealfirstbase Posted: September 02, 2009 at 03:18 AM (#3311665)
Couldn't Barack pull some strings?
   27. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 02, 2009 at 03:25 AM (#3311673)
DH for a possible World Series

Also, the Dodgers remember what Matt Stairs did to them in the NLCS.
   28. MM1f Posted: September 02, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3311674)
Brandon Hynick is a great return for 1 month of Contreras
   29. KJOK Posted: September 02, 2009 at 05:07 AM (#3311728)
I'm not sure what the Rockies were thinking - they'd be almost as well off to simply promote Hynick, as he likely wouldn't be much worse than Contreras right now, and definitely has more value going forward.
   30. karkface killah Posted: September 02, 2009 at 05:22 AM (#3311735)
Sox also got a solid year from Mike Caruso in White Flag I.
   31. puck Posted: September 02, 2009 at 05:30 AM (#3311740)
Really? Hynick is a flyball pitcher with a low K rate who seems to rely on control. It seems like a pitcher like that would take some time to break in, esp. in Coors.
   32. Tripon Posted: September 02, 2009 at 05:33 AM (#3311741)
Puck, that's pretty much Contreras.
   33. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: September 02, 2009 at 05:36 AM (#3311742)
wouldn't the dodgers rather have many at dh and peirre in left?

it's been an odd season, I'm really surprised at these moves, even though I know I shouldn't be, maybe it's because they were one time big names.
   34. Tripon Posted: September 02, 2009 at 06:08 AM (#3311751)
Ozzie, JP's defense doesn't negate the potential negative offense.

Would rather have Thome at DH, and Manny at left. But this presumes a lot.
   35. puck Posted: September 02, 2009 at 06:27 AM (#3311757)
Puck, that's pretty much Contreras.


I guess I don't get that. Hynick averaged 5.1 and 5.3 K/9 in AA and AAA. Contreras is at 6.6 for his career. It seems that neither has a good chance to help in September, but Contreras has the better chance. His peripherals seem to show *something's* there. Maybe he can't correct his problems with runners on, but I don't see what Hynick is showing.
   36. Lassus Posted: September 02, 2009 at 08:02 AM (#3311778)
If I, hypothetically, have Thome on my fantasy team, is his value completely shot?

If you have him hypothetically on your team, no. If you have him in reality on your team, yes.
   37. tjm1 Posted: September 02, 2009 at 11:52 AM (#3311806)
If I, hypothetically, have Thome on my fantasy team, is his value completely shot?


He'll probably pinch hit almost every game until the end of the season. That's a big drop in value over starting every day, but not a drop to zero value.

Sox also got a solid year from Mike Caruso in White Flag I.


Yeah, I thought Caruso was going to be a star. He was a solid shortstop at age 21. He didn't walk at all, but he hardly ever struck out, either, so I figured, even if the .300 batting average might have been unsustainable, .285 might be, and that, combined with decent defense (he made a lot of errors, but had very good range), and some improvement in the walk and power departments as he matured would make him a really good player. I can't think of any players who were solid major leaguers at 21 who stayed healthy but had as poor a career as Caruso. I'm sure there are some, but I'm drawing a total blank.
   38. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: September 03, 2009 at 09:54 PM (#3313840)
There was no chance in hell the Sox were going to offer Thome arbitration, nor is there any chance the Dodgers will do so. Thome's making something like $15 (or thereabouts) million this year. If last off-season is any indication, it's doubtful he'll get half of that in free agency.

And what would he get in arb? $11-12 million for a year? Is he going to take the extra $4 million while giving up years?
   39. OCF Posted: September 04, 2009 at 04:18 AM (#3314227)
Tonight's game: bottom of the 6th, Dodgers have a 3-2 lead, bases loaded, 1 out, Belliard the batter - because Belliard started the game and Hudson was on the bench. Belliard went ahead and batted. (He did drive in the 4th run with a forceout; the inning died after that.)

Question: if you're not going to bat Thome in that exact situation, why is he on the roster? Belliard was expendable in the lineup at that point, since Hudson is a better defender, and one might want the better defense when nursing a small lead.
   40. Tripon Posted: September 04, 2009 at 04:29 AM (#3314228)
To give hugs to Manny, duh.
   41. OCF Posted: September 04, 2009 at 04:51 AM (#3314237)
In the bottom of the 7th, Garland was due to lead off, so with Sherrill and Broxton fresh and ready, the time had come to pinch hit for Garland. They used Pierre - not unreasonable, although in an extended roster with plenty of people who could pinch-run, Thome would be a decent PH leading off an inning. No further reasonalbe opportunities for pinch-hitting occurred in either the 7th or 8th, so in the end, Thome was not used.

Just how narrowly are Thome's PH opportunities being defined, anyway? If you ask for perfect opportunities, he'll get 3 PA the rest of the year.

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