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   1. jyjjy Posted: December 29, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4334298)
No idea why anyone liked that trade for LA. IMO it was easily obviously worse than even the Wells trade. A-Gon made it through waivers all the way to LA for a reason.
   2. Darren Posted: December 29, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4334314)
That's a good point about the waivers thing. If he gets claimed, I doubt the Sox let him go, although they probably would have been wise to.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: December 29, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4334326)
1. I didn't know the Marlins had taken AGon with the overall first pick. And i certainly didn't know they traded him for a GD reliever while his minor league numbers didn't remotely suggest 'bust'. Idiots.

2. Sox are paying about 4 mill of each of Agons first three years so take that in consideration when one says things like 'No idea why anyone liked that trade for LA'. And frankly 'made it all the way through waivers for a reason' is a horrible piece of logic.

3. These arn't the GD Padres. In a vacuum, a team with this much revenue letting go Adrian Gonzalez so they can give up a draft choice for Adam Laroche is not remotely a good idea. Maybe after all is said and done a Mike Napoli might...sorta.. even things out though.

If the point of this article is to say, "I predict AGon will not...according to whatever metrics decide how much a player is worth...be worth his contract" then I think it's perfectly defensible, but it should really end there. After that we start to venture into crazyland as seen by #1's "Obviously worse than the Wells trade".

Just because a guy doesn't equal whatever WAR per year = 20mill doesn't make it a good idea to just let him go after one substandard year. And especially when you gave up Casey kelly, Anthony Rizzo (and Fuentes) to get him.
   4. Darren Posted: December 29, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4334370)
WAR is a pretty standard way to measure a player's value. By that standard, I don't think he'll be worth his contract and that, therefore, there are better ways to spend the money. And I don't think who they traded for him should be considered when deciding whether to keep him.
   5. Dan Posted: December 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4334372)
Just because a guy doesn't equal whatever WAR per year = 20mill doesn't make it a good idea to just let him go after one substandard year. And especially when you gave up Casey kelly, Anthony Rizzo (and Fuentes) to get him.


His power has completely vanished since the 2011 ASB. He hit 3 home runs in 36 games after the trade to the Dodgers (2 of which came in one September game off Homer Bailey). A first baseman who doesn't hit home runs isn't worth $20M+ per year.

This is after 10 homers in the second half of 2011. He went on to hit a mere 18 over the whole of 2012. 28 homers in his last 1000 PA after he used to hit 35-40 per season plying half of his games at freaking Petco Park.
   6. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4334392)
Speaking as someone who has also suffered a severe shoulder injury, no matter how much he strengthens that shoulder he will never be the hitter he was before the injury. I'm on the weight machines every day and significantly increased strength and a ripped chest and arms haven't made a bit of difference to the structural issues.
   7. Darren Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4334394)
3. These arn't the GD Padres. In a vacuum, a team with this much revenue letting go Adrian Gonzalez so they can give up a draft choice for Adam Laroche is not remotely a good idea. Maybe after all is said and done a Mike Napoli might...sorta.. even things out though.

I'd say they're more likely to sign Napoli than Laroche, as of right now. But whoever they sign, that's just the guy they are signing for the first 2-3 years at a fraction of Gonzo's cost. Some of his money (and no, the $4mil/year is not to pay for him, it's obviously to pay for Crawford) is going to help fill holes at SS or in the OF.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4334437)
Wasn't Napoli 13 mill a year? I guess that is a fraction. 13/21 or 13/17 (for the first two or three years of the contract natch) as for the 4 per year, I was just going by Brefs contract entry for him.*

*This is kind of pedantic anyway. Only useful in arguing whether the Dodgers got a good deal.

   9. jyjjy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4334474)
2. Sox are paying about 4 mill of each of Agons first three years so take that in consideration when one says things like 'No idea why anyone liked that trade for LA'. And frankly 'made it all the way through waivers for a reason' is a horrible piece of logic.

Yeah... I think I'll consider the trade as a whole when evaluating it and that 12 mill as a drop in the bucket compared to the contracts of A-Gon/Crawford/Beckett as a whole. That done let me repeat, no idea why anyone liked the trade for LA.

Also no idea at all why you think a player making it through waivers to a team on top of the standings in THE OTHER LEAGUE doesn't say a whole bunch about how valuable they are vs their contract, at least in the minds of roughly 25 other GMs(unless you consider noting what actual baseball GMs think as worthless, which may be semi-defensible.) If he was valuable enough to take freaking Crawford's contract in order to get him then he should have been claimed by the first team that could grab him just to flip even if they had no use for him or couldn't afford him. Do explain how that is "a horrid piece of logic." That it wasn't a pure salary dump and you got some ok prospects on top of it all is pretty mindboggling IMO.
   10. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4334490)
Well JY,

1) You made it sound like "Getting AGon was worse than getting Wells." You didn't say, "Getting Crawford/Beckett and AGon was worse than getting Wells." Which whenever LA parts ways with them and we formulate things will also probably be wrong since Wells has provided negative WAR for 42 million so far.

2) Your statement, "Made it all the way through waivers for a good reason" implies that it's a horrible deal, while the permutations allowing other possiblities arn't worth the 2500 word essay. I will say that 29 GMs let Manny Ramirez clear irrevocable waivers around 2005.

And finally, this is a general statement and not one directed at JY...is no one aware that AGon's second half OPS was .878? So for all the talk of doom and gloom, we are talking about 30% of his time in Boston. As I've said before, my opinion is his slump was more related to mental issues and bad luck.

Will he hold value over the entirity of his contract? Probably not. Will he be an epic bust? No. And that's what is really important. If Lackey and Crawford last year are just average they win some 96 games at least. Probably more because they don't go into a coal-to-diamond, ass-clenching death spiral.

Tl;dr: I disagree with the premise that AGon, in a vacuum with no relation to Crawford, Punto and Beckett, being gone is a good thing.

   11. jyjjy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 06:02 AM (#4334536)
1) I find every part of this dumb. No offense.

2) Yes, my point is very much that the trade was absolutely terrible. If you need to write 2,500 words to try to explain a way it theoretically might not be I think that says more than enough. That the only excerpt of this theoretical essay you choose to share is to point to the nadir of "Manny being Manny" era waiver shenanigans as a comp suggests that I at least would not find it very convincing. We are discussing this in context of the "prize" of the trade possibly not being worth his own contract when he was packaged with one of the most toxic assets in baseball in exchange for prospects worthy of the word. Your TL;DR is defensible, this trade for LA is not and I'm not sure why you think otherwise.
   12. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4334570)
If he was valuable enough to take freaking Crawford's contract in order to get him then he should have been claimed by the first team that could grab him just to flip even if they had no use for him or couldn't afford him. Do explain how that is "a horrid piece of logic."
But, um, they did take freaking Crawford's contract in order to get him and, um, he wasn't claimed by any of those teams. Um.

Also, rampant collusion/gentlemen's agreements.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4334579)
I'm a Red Sox fan who will remember for years to come how shocked, amazed, and thrilled I was that this trade happened last summer. I was in the midst of a family vacation in Maine (in a car with a wife and children who are either too young to care, or simply do not like baseball) when this came over the radio. I genuinely thought this was a sports radio talk host making fun of one of those "we'll give you a crappy overpaid veteran for a 1st round draft pick next year" phone calls. Then, as the details came in, I virtually teared up in disbelief...

"...wait, AGon is traded, and we didn't have to pay half his salary? He hasn't hit in a year!..."

"...they took Beckett, too?! Do people in Los Angeles have cable? Sportscenter? The Internet?"

"Holy ####...they took Crawford?!!!! He's been terrible. He just had Tommy John surgery two days ago! This is not possible..."

"Wait, we actually got two pitching prospects back? And we are only paying about $12 million in cash for all this? I literally do not understand. I do not comprehend this."

Maybe us Red Sox fans are waaay too subjective to be able to look at the other side of this argument. I don't care if AGon's OPS was .878, or .978, or whatever. Trust me - Crawford was so terrible; Beckett was such a cancer, and so inconsistent; AGon's game had changed sufficiently since the all-star break of 2011; Punto was not effective in the role he filled; the money was so paralyzing for Red Sox Nation; that this trade was obviously amazing.

   14. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4334580)
Also, rampant collusion/gentlemen's agreements.


Inability to afford him (Not sure if you *can* flip a waiver wire acquisition like JY suggested. I wouldn't think so. Players don't appreciate being moved like stocks. But I could certainly be wrong)...no place to play him...irrational fear of his contract...not knowing he had been placed on waivers...

Regardless, JY is not reading what I wrote. He made it sound like getting AGon was a worse trade than the Wells one. When he meant the entire 4 player acquisition. Frankly I don't think that's possible, but I was only interested in talking about AGon since he's the subject of the article.

   15. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4334585)
Am I remembering correctly that the Dodgers were targeting A-Gon and said they'd take on Lackey's contract in addition and somehow that morphed into this deal?
   16. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4334589)
wait, AGon is traded, and we didn't have to pay half his salary? He hasn't hit in a year!..."


These are your people? You're like the nicest guy at a Klan rally. But it's still a Klan rally.

He had an .893 OPS in the second half of 2011. That's ELITE. If he did that over the course of 2011, that puts him in 8th place. When those bozos were talking he had just come off a .928 OPS in July. hadn't hit in a year huh?

   17. Brian White Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4334607)
And i certainly didn't know they traded him for a GD reliever while his minor league numbers didn't remotely suggest 'bust'. Idiots.


In July of 2003, the Marlins were in a seven team dogfight for the wild card spot, with a decent lineup and excellent starting pitching being dragged down by a horrible bullpen. They traded Gonzalez for Uggie Urbina, who went on to throw 40 excellent innings in relief over the rest of the year. The Marlins won the wild card, and went on to win the World Series. There may have been better ways to fix a bullpen than by trading a #1 pick, but we don't really know what other options were available. Plus, flags fly forever and all that jazz.

Trading someone like Gonzalez for half a year of a reliever is generally indefensible, but the 2003 Marlins' situation was, well, slightly less indefensible.
   18. Darren Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4334613)

These are your people? You're like the nicest guy at a Klan rally. But it's still a Klan rally.

Uncalled for.
   19. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4334623)
Uncalled for.


Oh please.

The analogy was dead on. "You seem like a nice, smart guy. Don't attach your flag with idiots like that."

And thank you Brian for the in-depth explanation. I forgot the significance of the year, which makes me the idiot.
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4334661)
Seriously Dale, the Klan?

I'm not as vehement about it but I'm still tilted towards Dale's side that the trade was a mistake. Having said that what's done is done. Just as last year I didn't really care what Reddick and Lowrie and others did when they left I'm not particularly bothered by whether or not Gonzalez and friends succeed or fail.

I think Darren lays out a pretty good case why trading Gonzalez may have been wise. I think what is important in this (or any) trade is not what the guys that get sent out do but how the guys brought in do. If the Sox have correctly evaluated DLR, Webster, and the FA market (leading to Napoli et al) then it's a good sign that Cherington and friends will get us back on top. If they whiffed on those evaluations then it's a bad sign. You have to trade value to get value.
   21. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4334670)
Let's keep in mind also that the dollar value of WAR is going to go up, while AGons 21 per year will stay static.

And also I thought the point was to get below the Luxury Tax last year. Has that changed to *always* staying below? Because I find that repugnant in the current market and with a team that makes so much money.
   22. chris p Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4334676)
i agree with darren, which makes the decision to trade for gonzo in the first place look really bad. they traded for a guy with a serious injury red flag, which forced them to move youk, who was playing at an all-star level at 1b to 3rd, which displaced adrian beltre. youk predictably wore down trying to play 3b and beltre, the red sox best player in 2010, continued to play near his 2010 level. total disaster all around, and anthony rizzo's major league career has just started. blech.

how about this for a bold prediction: for the rest of their respective contracts, carl crawford will provide the dodgers with the most value.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4334688)
Adrian Gonzalez was a major late bloomer of a prospect. He was traded in 2003 as a AA repeater on his second year of a sub-800 OPS. He was just 21 and had a toolsy pedigree, but I remember lots of folks in the saber community expecting Adrian Gonzalez to be a bust. He continued to struggle with Texas, only putting up a moderately good season as a 23-year-old AAA repeater, and struggling in the majors. His breakout with San Diego at 24 should perhaps have been expected more than it was, but generally he wasn't seen as a can't-miss prospect by the time he hit his third organization.
And also I thought the point was to get below the Luxury Tax last year. Has that changed to *always* staying below? Because I find that repugnant in the current market and with a team that makes so much money.
I've written about this quite a bunch. There's a "rebate" provision in the new CBA that effectively means that if the Sox go over the luxury tax threshold by even $1, I estimate it costs the team $5-10M or so. The extent of the rebate for the Sox has yet to be fully reported, so it's possible the hit isn't too much. But given that the Sox have rarely gone over the threshold by more than a few million, now staying under the threshold shouldn't be too different.

If you didn't have a problem with Henry and Werner using the luxury tax threshold as a soft cap, I don't see why you'd have much of a problem with them using it as a hard cap.
   24. Darren Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4334719)
i agree with darren, which makes the decision to trade for gonzo in the first place look really bad. they traded for a guy with a serious injury red flag, which forced them to move youk, who was playing at an all-star level at 1b to 3rd, which displaced adrian beltre. youk predictably wore down trying to play 3b and beltre, the red sox best player in 2010, continued to play near his 2010 level. total disaster all around, and anthony rizzo's major league career has just started. blech.


I think the big mistake here, among all this, was the completely missing on his injury. Everything else flows from that. If they decide that he's too injured, they don't make the trade or they give up less and pay him less or they wait out 2011 and then think about signing him for 2012 or or or. This, of course, is a pattern with them and one they have hopefully finally been forced to recognize. We'll know whether they have when we see if they give Napoli a goofy clause and he ends up playing injured all year and if they let Pedroia play through a month of injuries this year.

Youkilis, I think was going to break down anyway. I don't see how standing at 3B, and actually being involved in far less plays, is more stressful than playing 1B. Just my 2 cents.

   25. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4334741)
3B is only harder on the throwing shoulder/elbow.
   26. chris p Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4334922)
really? i think we can disregard receiving throws, as that involves almost no wear. so if you only consider balls hit to first, vs third ... i can't find the data, but i think more balls are hit to third. additionally, having to make a throw has a few other effects-- having to factor the time it takes to throw to first means that the 3b has to play shallower than the 1b (when not holding a runner), which can make an easy play hard. i'd be really surprised if 3b doesn't take significantly more effort than 1b.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4334950)
Re: the projection next year: (Since Chris said Crawford would provide the most)

2013:

AGon: 4.0
Crawford and Beckett: At least 2 each.

I'd say 9 WAR all together. Which is (taking the 4 mill the Sox are ponying up into account)...8 mill under contract value? 1.5 more WAR from anywhere and they about even out.

I THINK. Someone feel free to correct my math.

Someday, I'd like to have a long discussion about whether it's wiser to play your financial game year (or two) to year or for the long haul. In other words, do you think Baseball (financially) should be played tacticlly or strategicly? And if it's both, how much weight either way.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 31, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4335197)
Someday, I'd like to have a long discussion about whether it's wiser to play your financial game year (or two) to year or for the long haul. In other words, do you think Baseball (financially) should be played tacticlly or strategicly? And if it's both, how much weight either way.


I don't think you can simply assign a weight in all situations. A lot depends on what you have in place already. For example, while the Hamilton deal might be a bad one in years 4&5 the Angels are in clear "win now" mode so gambling on 2016-2017 makes sense for them.

One thing that 2012 did for me is highlight the fact that this idea that an 80 win season isn't worth shooting for is wrong. Obviously the goal should be 95 wins but as a fan a 69 win season is miserable and the reality is that it is very difficult to build a team starting from a 69 win season. I would bet that very few teams have developed a champion out of the core of a 69 win team. I'm not saying the Astros should have been hunting down Hamilton but I think there is something to be said for finding wins where you can get them.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 31, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4335199)
i'd be really surprised if 3b doesn't take significantly more effort than 1b.


I agree with this. I think 3B is more pro-active while 1B is reactive so I think there is more of both physical and mental exertion at 3rd base.
   30. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 02, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4336791)
I think its WAYYYY too early to judge this contract. Talk to me in a year. IMO - the Dodgers are going to win 100, sail into the playoffs. And if they win a ring, and Gonzo plays stellar 1B and hits .306 with 15 HR's who cares? Gonzalez is going to have good year w/ a ton of RBI's. And yet I agree with chris P @22. Crawford will end up the prize of the bunch.

For the sox, getting rid of Beckett was the key.
   31. karlmagnus Posted: January 02, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4336917)
I agree it's too early to judge the LA deal, but disagree with Yaz. Of the three players given up, Beckett is the closest to having a HOF career. Double his numbers and you're in the HOF; double Gonzo or Crawford's and you're not, yet he's only 2 years older than Gonzo and 15 months older than Crawford.

Chances are, Beckett will fade fairly early. But he was good while we had him and this winter's struggles show we have great difficulty finding anything better. Sanchez may be better in next 5 years (obviously not better so far) -- but we weren't close to getting him.
   32. Darren Posted: January 02, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4337521)
Double Crawford's numbers and he has 3200 hits and 800 steals. First ballot. Double Gonzo (and add 4 years to account for age difference) and has 500 Hr plus 1700 RBIs. Also in easily.

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