Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Transaction Oracle > Discussion
Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yankees - Acquired Pudge

New York Yankees - Acquired C Ivan Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers for P Kyle Farnsworth and, perhaps, the return of incriminating photos of GM Dave Dombrowski with either a dead girl or a live boy.

Does anyone see exactly what the Tigers are getting out of this?  It’s not a move to win now and it’s not a move to win later.  They pick up a $13 million option after Rodriguez’s worst season in 15 years but getting a middling reliever with a knack for allowing a huge home run at the wackiest times is what makes them part ways?

The Yankees, of course, upgrade from Jose Molina to a guy having a better-than-average season for a guy they don’t really want.  I’ve got a funky pair of shoes in the laundry room, what’s Dombrowski’s offer?

2008 ZiPS Projection - Ivan Rodriguez
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Year-to-Date 302 33   89 16 3   5 32 19 52   6 .295 .338 .417
Rest-of-Yr?  149 17   43   9 1   3 18   6 27   2 .289 .316 .423
———————————————————————————————————-
Total       451 50 132 25 4   8 50 25 79   8 .293 .331 .419
———————————————————————————————————-
2009?      414 44 112 24 2   9 60 17 77   4 .271 .300 .403
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Carlton Fisk, Terry Steinbach

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Kyleheim Farnsworth
————————————————————————————————
          W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date*  1   2 45   0   44.1   43   18 11 17 43 3.65
Rest-of-Yr?  1   1 34   0   33.0   29   14   6 14 36 3.82
————————————————————————————————
Total       2   3 79   0   77.1   72   32 17 31 79 3.72
————————————————————————————————
2009?      3   2 73   0   70.0   66   34 11 30 69 4.37
————————————————————————————————
Top Comps: Doug Bair, Terry Mathews

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 31, 2008 at 12:33 AM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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. flournoy Posted: July 31, 2008 at 02:09 AM (#2883393)
Pointless, stupid trade. Infuriating.
   2. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 02:24 AM (#2883427)
Now that Pudge is finally with a big market team, he can be assured of the Hall of Fame. ;)
   3. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: July 31, 2008 at 02:28 AM (#2883439)
It seems as if the Yankees just have to ask and the other teams are more than willing to fork it over.
   4. Srul Itza Posted: July 31, 2008 at 02:31 AM (#2883448)
You say "fork it over"

I say "bend over"
   5. caspian88 Posted: July 31, 2008 at 02:35 AM (#2883454)
How much of a collapse risk is Rodriguez, and just how good a fielder is he at this point? A catcher who can play good defense and hit for a pretty decent average is still worth a fair amount of money, I think - starting quality at least, even with the low OBP.
   6. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 02:38 AM (#2883463)
don't worry baseball fans, the Astros are buying! (by getting Hawkins for spare parts)
   7. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:03 AM (#2883490)
Pudge has worn #7 his entire career. That number is retired in New York (for Mantle, as Giambi knows)

So, what number does Pudge wear now? I suggest #70 if nothing else can be managed
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:14 AM (#2883507)
So what, the Tigers save $3M on this deal?
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:15 AM (#2883510)
Make that $2.5M.
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:23 AM (#2883529)
I-Rod is no great shakes any more, but as a league-average-hitting catcher he's a big upgrade on Molina (I think I might be a big upgrade on Molina).

And, so much for the "Jose Molina is the greatest baseball player who ever lived because he has a good arm and blocks and frames pitches well" claptrap that the New York media was trying to sell. The Yankees just couldn't live with Molina starting, and Cashman knew it.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:35 AM (#2883543)
Buster Olney just rated this trade even for the two teams.

Pudge must have been creating a lot of friction in Detroit...
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:40 AM (#2883550)
And, so much for the "Jose Molina is the greatest baseball player who ever lived because he has a good arm and blocks and frames pitches well" claptrap that the New York media was trying to sell. The Yankees just couldn't live with Molina starting, and Cashman knew it.


I didn't see anyone saying that he was even average with the bat, but I don't think that there's any disagreement that his defensive skills are upper-tier. I think he's a very good backup catcher, and I still think that he was the best Posada backup in the last ten years in the occasion that he had to step in for an extended period.

I think the unexpected problems the Yankees have offensively make the upgrade necessary, as you say in your last sentence. I think that if the lineup was able to produce the way most thought they would coming out of the spring, they could carry Molina.
   13. ian Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:50 AM (#2883564)
The Tigers cut their second-best catcher who hits .240 when playing full-time... and complains loudly if you don't play him full-time.
In exchange they upgraded their bullpen.

It's nice to be rid of Pudge. He calls a bad game and strikes out on pitches a foot off the plate; particularly likely this will happen in the clutch.

Late-and-close, 2008: .196/.224/.348
Late-and-close, 2007: .241/.259/.337
Late-and-close, 2006: .232/.276/.378

This is still a nice trade for the Yankees. It benefits the Tigers, too.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:52 AM (#2883566)
I accept that Molina's defensive skills are good (well, at least his arm). He's ok as a backup because he can come in late in close games, and maybe he flukes into a high enough batting average given limited playing time. But he's exposed as a starter.

I do think Girardi was happy to have Molina be the starter.
   15. ValueArb Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:31 AM (#2883598)


Late-and-close, 2008: .196/.224/.348 50 PAs
Late-and-close, 2007: .241/.259/.337 83 PAs
Late-and-close, 2006: .232/.276/.378 88 PAs


2 outs RISP, 2006: .333/.404/.549
2 outs RISP, 2007: .286/.297/.556
2 outs RISP, 2008: .216/.326/.351

I guess when you are slicing up tiny numbers of at bats, it matters which direction you cut...
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:57 AM (#2883607)
I like how Keith Law puts it:

With Jorge Posada done for the year, the Yankees were looking at 60-odd games of Jose Molina, which is more than they could stomach.


And this is kind of funny:

Farnsworth's resurgence has come with newfound life on his fastball, and he enters a Detroit bullpen in desperate need of help, with Todd Jones' smoke-and-mirrors act reduced to smoldering ember and a shard of glass and Joel Zumaya unable to hit the broad side of a barn.
   17. ian Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:26 AM (#2883617)
15, fair enough. I was thinking of a more late-innings type clutch. In a close game down the playoff stretch I wouldn't ask Pudge to hit one of those good bullpen arms, they completely blow him away.
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 31, 2008 at 07:03 AM (#2883654)
I'm pretty sure the Yankees were perfectly willing to stomach 60-odd games of Molina, as Cashman wasn't even talking to anyone about a catcher. Dombrowski is the one who called him with the offer.
   19. Hack Wilson Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#2883945)
Pudge has worn #7 his entire career. That number is retired in New York (for Mantle, as Giambi knows)So, what number does Pudge wear now? I suggest #70 if nothing else can be managed


I prefer 007
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:25 PM (#2883964)
It seems as if the Yankees just have to ask and the other teams are more than willing to fork it over.


Ah, the spirit of the Kansas City Athletics lives on!
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2883978)
Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed (#10) that there was some odd obsession with pretending Jose Molina's defense made him an adequate starter.

Christina Kahrl of BP:

There was perhaps no better solution to the team's catching problem than to go get the most famous player at the position. He's still a nimble backstop who can virtually intimidate the running game out of existence, which is exactly the quality to silence the lunatic fringe of Jose Molina fandom by replacing their pony with someone who brings that same virtue to the table while also having utility in all the other things that involve playing baseball.
   22. Mike Green Posted: July 31, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2883984)
The bonus to the trade from the Yankee perspective is that they get to leverage the Marte/Veras/Ramirez innings properly without having to deal with hurt feelings and sub-optimal performance from Farnsworth. You couldn't have planned the Nady/Marte and Rodriguez trades better if you were playing Strat-a-matic with the BBWAA voters!
   23. aleskel Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:21 PM (#2884073)
anybody want to read a completely idiotic article about the trade?

link

here's my favorite part:

So now the Yankees are going to have to rebuild that eighth-inning bridge again, and as much as Girardi and Eiland have proven themselves in this area, they'll have no one with the sort of tools that Farnsworth possessed. Maybe someone among the mix of Damaso Marte, Edwar Ramirez, David Robertson and Jose Veras will step up.

my just about any measurement, Veras and Ramirez are having better seasons than Farnsy - similar BB/9, but better K/9, fewers hits, better ERA and ERA+ - but they don't have the TOOLS.
   24. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#2884083)
Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed (#10) that there was some odd obsession with pretending Jose Molina's defense made him an adequate starter.

You realize that most, if not all, metrics show Molina as an average catcher because of his defense right? Bpro has Molina at 10.6 Runs below average at the plate for a catcher. I don't see why it's beyond belief that a catcher having the kind of defensive season he's having can't get back 8-10 runs on defense.
   25. JoeHova Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:28 PM (#2884086)
Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed (#10) that there was some odd obsession with pretending Jose Molina's defense made him an adequate starter.


The same thing has been going on in Milwaukee regarding Kendall. It's bizarre, I wonder if people can actually believe that any offense from a catcher is "gravy". Anyway, Kendall has been made out to be I-Rod-in-his-prime behind the plate by the Brewers announcers and most fans. In addition, every game the announcers spend what feels like hours raving about how much time he spends in meetings with the pitchers (don't all catchers do that) and how great a game he calls. It's ####### annoying, so I empathize with Yankees fans who were distressed at the prospect of Jose Molina starting regularly down the stretch.
   26. aleskel Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:31 PM (#2884092)
btw, why is everyone calling him I-Rod? Was there some consensus that you can't call him Pudge?
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:34 PM (#2884101)
btw, why is everyone calling him I-Rod? Was there some consensus that you can't call him Pudge?


It helps distinguish the players, too many of whom are named Rodriguez.

</ andy rooney>
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#2884106)
I still believe #12.

I'd go on to say that a team would be pretty stupid to sign him as the starter. But I have no problem believing that he's a very good backup.
   29. ColonelTom Posted: July 31, 2008 at 04:52 PM (#2884156)
The Tigers:

-- save a couple million dollars this year
-- get a viable closer candidate (for all his shortcomings, he's better than their current options)
-- likely end up with a compensation pick for Farnsworth (probably a Type B, qualifying for a sandwich pick if they offer him arbitration and he walks)

They weren't going to offer Pudge arbitration, especially since they can only offer a 20% pay cut ($10.6M) for next season. At least now they have a chance to get a comp pick.

I'm very much in the minority, but I like the deal for Detroit as well as the Yankees.
   30. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:09 PM (#2884200)
wait, why could they only offer him a 20% cut? he's a free agent player, not someone in their arb years. he's not going to get 10 million in arbitration and someone is going to offer him a better multi-year deal to start.
   31. JoeHova Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:12 PM (#2884207)
Was there some consensus that you can't call him Pudge?


I used it because if I used Pudge instead, it wouldn't have been clear who I was referring to, it could have been Fisk.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#2884230)
I'm very much in the minority, but I like the deal for Detroit as well as the Yankees.

Farnsworth's made much of the fact that Girardi placed him in a well-defined and stable role within the Yankee bullpen, and wasn't going to vary it because of a few bad outings. This seemed to boost his confidence, and his game, quite a bit, and in fact he's been terrific for the last couple of months. I'm pretty sure that his success with the Tigers will depend in great part on Leyland's quickly establing a similar set of conditions for him in Detroit.

But he's still the same Farnsworth. He's one of the hardest throwers in the game, but everything depends on his command on any given day. When he gets out over the middle of the plate, it ain't pretty.
   33. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#2884239)
wait, why could they only offer him a 20% cut? he's a free agent player, not someone in their arb years. he's not going to get 10 million in arbitration and someone is going to offer him a better multi-year deal to start.
Isn't it annoying that someone says that in every thread where arbitration comes up?
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#2884241)
I used it because if I used Pudge instead, it wouldn't have been clear who I was referring to, it could have been Fisk.

Yes, I think most of us over 30 can never really think of I-Rod as "pudge". Mini-pudge or pudge, jr., maybe.
   35. MM1f Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2884249)

my just about any measurement, Veras and Ramirez are having better seasons than Farnsy - similar BB/9, but better K/9, fewers hits, better ERA and ERA+ - but they don't have the TOOLS.


I know people are eager to bash the idea of tools but this simply isn't true at all. Veras' tools, from what I remember from 2 years ago, are very similar to Farnsworth.. which means hes got a mid-90s fastball and not a whole lot more.
The argument against Veras is actually more statistical... he has an inconsistent track record.

As for Edwar, tools-wise his change grades out as plus or plus-plus and his recent track record has been super, but he has come out of nowhere the last couple years.
   36. JPWF13 Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#2884264)
btw, why is everyone calling him I-Rod? Was there some consensus that you can't call him Pudge?


I've always called him IRod, because to me Pudge = Carlton Fisk...

You realize that most, if not all, metrics show Molina as an average catcher because of his defense right? Bpro has Molina at 10.6 Runs below average at the plate for a catcher. I don't see why it's beyond belief that a catcher having the kind of defensive season he's having can't get back 8-10 runs on defense.


For the season (as opposed to "all time") they have him at 13 batting runs below the average catcher- in just 218 PAs. What's that, 30 runs below if given 500 PAs- can he get that back on defense?
   37. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#2884275)
As for Edwar, tools-wise his change grades out as plus or plus-plus and his recent track record has been super, but he has come out of nowhere the last couple years.

No, it's plus plus or plus plus plus. 70 or 80. Rate it any lower and you are a fool.

/Edwar fanboyism

I'm being serious though. If God threw a change, it would be look like Edwar's, but not as good.
   38. ColonelTom Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#2884276)
wait, why could they only offer him a 20% cut? he's a free agent player, not someone in their arb years. he's not going to get 10 million in arbitration and someone is going to offer him a better multi-year deal to start.


If I'm not mistaken, the only way a team can get compensation picks is if they offer the player salary arbitration. A player with more than 6 years of major-league service (like Pudge) is not required to accept arbitration; he can decline it. But a team takes the risk that the player will accept arbitration, which binds the team to sign that player at the salary determined by the arbitrator.

In the arbitration process, each party (the team and the player) submits an offer, and the arbitrator chooses one or the other. Under the collective bargaining agreement - again, unless I'm mistaken - the team cannot make an offer that cuts the player's last year's salary by more than 20%. So Pudge made $13M that year - his team can only cut him $2.4M, down to $10.6M for 2009.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#2884282)
In the arbitration process, each party (the team and the player) submits an offer, and the arbitrator chooses one or the other. Under the collective bargaining agreement - again, unless I'm mistaken - the team cannot make an offer that cuts the player's last year's salary by more than 20%. So Pudge made $13M that year - his team can only cut him $2.4M, down to $10.6M for 2009.

No. The 20% rule is only for pre-FA players. Once they're free-agents the team can offer them any salary they want.
   40. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#2884287)
For the season (as opposed to "all time") they have him at 13 batting runs below the average catcher

No, BRAA is against all hitters:

Batting Runs Above Average. The number of runs better than a hitter with a .260 EQA (i.e., an average hitter) and the same number of outs; EQR - 5 * OUT * .260^2.5.

RAP, which measures players against their position, have Molina at -10.6.
   41. Danny Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#2884293)

You realize that most, if not all, metrics show Molina as an average catcher because of his defense right? Bpro has Molina at 10.6 Runs below average at the plate for a catcher. I don't see why it's beyond belief that a catcher having the kind of defensive season he's having can't get back 8-10 runs on defense.

Which metrics?
   42. rfloh Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#2884299)
they have him at 13 batting runs below the average catcher- in just 218 PAs.


That 13 below BRAA is for all hitters, not just catchers. From their EQA page, they have him at 11 runs below position, 4.8 runs below replacement position.
   43. rfloh Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#2884311)
#42

I was looking at the EQA page from a few days ago.
   44. MM1f Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#2884328)
37,
You're probably right.
I've only caught him on TV once, at least only once when I was watching intently, so I didn't want to go overboard on the praise without being more certain.
   45. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 31, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#2884330)
Which metrics?

Dial's, WARP, those are the only two I can think of other than Win Shares. I don't like the last two, I'd count them as close to useless, but WARP's defensive value for Molina is about the same as Dial's, so I think it's probably not that far off from being based in reality.
   46. ColonelTom Posted: July 31, 2008 at 06:16 PM (#2884381)
No. The 20% rule is only for pre-FA players. Once they're free-agents the team can offer them any salary they want.


I think you may be right on that, actually - my apologies for confusing that. That said, the Tigers would have had to make some sort of arbitration offer, and if Pudge agrees to arbitration at that point, he gets to make a counteroffer. The arbitrator then chooses one figure or the other. So if the Tigers' arbitration offer was too low, they'd run a substantial risk of getting stuck with Pudge at his requested dollar amount.

Usually what happens is if the team wants to try to re-sign the player at a substantial pay cut, they'll agree to offer arbitration on the condition that the player decline it. That way the team is protected - if the player finds a better offer elsewhere, the original team gets the comp picks if the player signs elsewhere by the cutoff date. It's entirely possible that Pudge said he'd accept their offer, in which case the deal makes sense for Detroit.
   47. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 31, 2008 at 06:21 PM (#2884392)
Look at Pudge's numbers the last four seasons. They're almost exactly the same as AJ Pierzynski's career numbers.

If the Yankees offer Pudge $7 million in arbitration, they're going to win.
   48. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 06:21 PM (#2884394)
The arbitrator then chooses one figure or the other. So if the Tigers' arbitration offer was too low, they'd run a substantial risk of getting stuck with Pudge at his requested dollar amount.


right, but what's the chance Pudge is going to accept even a moderate 1 year deal to be a miserable backup in DET, when he's going to command at least a 2 year deal (worth more, at least overall) to start somewhere?

i just see DET offering pudge arbitration as a very, very low order of risk sort of decision.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#2884396)
That said, the Tigers would have had to make some sort of arbitration offer, and if Pudge agrees to arbitration at that point, he gets to make a counteroffer. The arbitrator then chooses one figure or the other. So if the Tigers' arbitration offer was too low, they'd run a substantial risk of getting stuck with Pudge at his requested dollar amount.

Correct. They couldn't realistically cut him to say $4M, b/c I-Rod would counter with $10M and he would win.
But, they could probably offer $8M.

I-Rod's very unlikely to accept arb anywhere he'll be a backup. He wants the games caught record, and is still a better than average starting catcher. If Posada's recovery is looking good in Dec., the Yanks will offer arb, and he'll decline, assuming he hasn't signed elsewhere already.
   50. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 31, 2008 at 06:27 PM (#2884412)
hey, larry, did you email peteyabe about his guess that the yankees won't offer pudge arbitration because they "don't want to give him a raise" over his $13 million 2008 salary? i had the same reaction you did to that, though i didn't follow through on the research. thanks for finding the comps on that.

i love petey for his reporting, but his knowledge of the fine workings of the process and his addled belief in his own scouting abilities sure don't work in his favor. it's funny to see how hard he's trying to acknowledge how good edwar has been this year, while still avoiding having to admit flat-out how wrong his assessment of him was ...
   51. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 31, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2884421)
No, I haven't emailed Peter Abraham. Go ahead and ask him yourself, he often responds to emails.

He's a nice guy, too. I've gotten to chat with him a couple of times in Baltimore.
   52. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 01, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#2885609)
I-Rod's very unlikely to accept arb anywhere he'll be a backup. He wants the games caught record

He's also got a fair shot at 3000 hits. He's 416 shy right now, so let's say its 375 at the end of the season. If he hits .275 for the remainder of his career, he'll need 1364 more at bats. That's 3.5 seasons at 400 at bats per year.

Unlikely, but not out of the range of possibility. He's also within a year or so of reaching the 300 HR milestone.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5566 seconds
47 querie(s) executed