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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hardball Talk: UPDATE: Angels trade Jeff Mathis to Blue Jays for Brad Mills

UPDATE: Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times confirms that the deal is done.

12:10 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Angels are on the verge of trading catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays for left-hander Brad Mills.

The Angels acquired Chris Iannetta from the Rockies earlier this week, which made Mathis a virtual lock to be non-tendered. The 28-year-old backstop stands to make close to $2 million in his second year of arbitration, so it’s a wonder why the Blue Jays didn’t just wait to see if he hit the free agent market. I could be wrong here, but I can’t imagine teams were falling over themselves for a .194 career hitter whose defensive contributions can be overstated at times.

The Angels just traded their Tim Tebow and replaced him with Kyle Orton!

Tripon Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:26 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, blue jays

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   1. Shredder Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4005736)
I don't buy that analogy. People actually like Tim Tebow, wrong as they may be.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#4005741)
I (understandably, I think) thought it was Brad Mills the manager and was about to absolutely flip out for 12 different reasons.

Thank God, though... I have Iannetta in Strat-O-Matic.
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4005746)
Do people refer to Brad Mills the manager as "General Mills"? Cuz if they don't, they should.
   4. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4005748)
Ga-Joo?

I guess it's not that crazy. Mills isn't much of a pitcher and the Jays do currently need a backup catcher as D'Arnaud won't be in the majors this year. But what's Mathis going to make in arbitration, 2 mil? You'd figure you could just sign someone for that.
   5. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#4005756)
Sending catchers to the Blue Jays is the Angels' new signing overpriced centerfielders.
   6. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#4005757)
So do the Jays now trade him to Texas for Scott Feldman?
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#4005758)
What's Scioscia going to do without his favorite toy/security blanket/whatever-the-hell Mathis was?
   8. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4005759)
I thought the Jays were smart? It appears even they like Mathis more than Napoli.
   9. Stormy JE Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4005760)
Dave Cameron: "A guy with a .246 wOBA got traded for a guy with a 6.00 FIP. There are no winners here."
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#4005768)
I guess Mike Napoli wasn't good enough for the Jays. They, too, wanted Mathis.
   11. asinwreck Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#4005774)
Next year, Iannetta goes to Toronto for a day before a deal to the Mariners.
   12. Matthew E Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#4005779)
I guess that's not too bad of a trade. Mathis may not be worth the money but the Jays needed a backup catcher and can afford it without flinching. And Mills certainly didn't have any future with Toronto; who knows, he may actually come through for the Angels.
   13. Swedish Chef Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#4005788)
I guess that's not too bad of a trade. Mathis may not be worth the money but the Jays needed a backup catcher and can afford it without flinching.

Mathis is a bad backup catcher. He is a waste of a roster spot at zero cost, paying him money just makes it worse.

EDIT: His career year: .211/.276/.351. And he can only dream of returning to those glory days. This is one bad baseball player.
   14. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#4005810)
The Angels are by far the winners if this means DiPoto is really in charge. Not to mention that their offense will improve markedly by not having Jeff Mathis anymore. This is really the long-time dream of the sabermetric Angel fan come true--acquiring a decent-hitting catcher and deep-sixing Mathis a couple of days later.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4005814)
I guess that's not too bad of a trade. Mathis may not be worth the money but the Jays needed a backup catcher and can afford it without flinching. And Mills certainly didn't have any future with Toronto; who knows, he may actually come through for the Angels.

I assume they'll try to agree to a contract with Mathis for ~$750K.

If he won't agree, Toronto will non-tender him. No way they pay him $1.8M.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4005815)
I feel really happy for Angels fans. This must be wonderful news.

Although I did enjoy the whole Mathis/Napoli saga, and would have been happy to see it go on for another year.
   17. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:03 PM (#4005816)
I'm betting Mathis (if he isn't non-tendered) ends up being Morrow's personal catcher like Molina was. It's pretty sad when you can downgrade offensively from Jose Molina. Might as well bring Kevin Cash back for the minimum.
   18. Stormy JE Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#4005818)
Mathis is a bad backup catcher. He is a waste of a roster spot at zero cost, paying him money just makes it worse.


FWIW, Mike DiGiovanna claims that Weaver and Haren preferred pitching to Mathis.
   19. Dock Ellis Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4005823)
It's as if getting their best catcher wasn't enough, so AA wanted to get the catcher the Scoscia is in love with.
   20. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4005827)
Sam Miller of the Orange County Register tweeted that the Angels got more value for Mathis than they did for Napoli. Sad but true.

I think Mathis is all but certain to be non-tendered.

-- MWE
   21. Eric P. Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#4005828)
I don't care if Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver & Greg Maddux preferred pitching to Mathis, he's hit .184/.222/.268 the past two years. There's a line where a great glove just isn't worth it & Mathis is clearly on the wrong side of it.
   22. Matheny Hitting School and Investment Strategies Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#4005835)
FWIW, Mike DiGiovanna claims that Weaver and Haren preferred pitching to Mathis.

Haren and Mathis have the same career OPS+ (though Haren has hit better in recent years).
   23. BWV 1129 Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#4005846)
#### BILLY BEANE JERRY DIPOTO FOR POPE
   24. mex4173 Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#4005847)
I don't care if Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver & Greg Maddux preferred pitching to Mathis, he's hit .184/.222/.268 the past two years.


If you have those 4 guys on the same team, I think you accept Mathis' offense to keep them happy.
   25. BWV 1129 Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#4005857)
This is one of the great days in baseball history.
   26. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#4005880)
Things I'd love to see: Jeff Mathis pull a Jose Bautista or a Melvin Mora. Issue: they were both way better than Mathis in the first place.
   27. 1k5v3L Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#4005883)
So do the Jays now trade him to Texas for Scott Feldman?
And Mathis posts 120 OPS+ for Texas in 2012...
   28. philly Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#4005899)
Hmm, because I would enjoy the baseball interwebs melting down, I've been hoping that Anthopoulos would give a closer a huge FA contract. I'm taking a small trade for Jeff Mathis is a nice bit of foreshadowing.
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#4005907)
I think Mathis is all but certain to be non-tendered.


So you're saying there's a chance the Angels can get him back.
   30. Spahn Insane Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#4005913)
Sending catchers to the Blue Jays is the Angels' new signing overpriced centerfielders.

Or the new Orioles trading for failed Cubs OF prospects.
   31. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:59 PM (#4005919)
I think Mathis is all but certain to be non-tendered.

So you're saying there's a chance the Angels can get him back.


That is damn funny.
   32. Hit by Pitch Posted: December 03, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#4005925)
Even if Mills sucks a deal including Mills, and say Lind could have gotten a better return.
   33. Good cripple hitter Posted: December 03, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#4005932)
Hmm, because I would enjoy the baseball interwebs melting down, I've been hoping that Anthopoulos would give a closer a huge FA contract. I'm taking a small trade for Jeff Mathis is a nice bit of foreshadowing.


That's funny, I came here to post that I might've preferred Heath Bell after all. I wish that they would've just thrown 2 million dollars at Jose Molina, or exhumed the corpse of Pat Borders or something. Anything but Mathis.
   34. Matheny Hitting School and Investment Strategies Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:00 PM (#4005957)
Even if Mills sucks a deal including Mills, and say Lind could have gotten a better return.

A deal involving a case of Iron City and the DVD of Epic Movie would have gotten a better return.
   35. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:06 PM (#4005960)
CAN'T READ THREAD. TOO BUSY CELEBRATING.
   36. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:31 PM (#4005998)
Might as well bring Kevin Cash back for the minimum.

Well he's near by. He was just announced as TO's advance scout guy.

Hmm, because I would enjoy the baseball interwebs melting down, I've been hoping that Anthopoulos would give a closer a huge FA contract. I'm taking a small trade for Jeff Mathis is a nice bit of foreshadowing.

Funny. Burnt out from good press Anthopoulos gets eh. Bruce Wayne = Batman. Philly = Kevin Goldstein?
   37. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#4006021)
I'm assuming AA knows of another team that wants Mathis and is willing to give up actual prospects.
   38. Darren Posted: December 03, 2011 at 11:02 PM (#4006033)
Someone send Brad Pitt over to Mike Sciosa's house, stat.
   39. Jack Sommers Posted: December 03, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#4006040)
The Angels are by far the winners if this means DiPoto is really in charge. Not to mention that their offense will improve markedly by not having Jeff Mathis anymore. This is really the long-time dream of the sabermetric Angel fan come true--acquiring a decent-hitting catcher and deep-sixing Mathis a couple of days later.


This. I tried to tell this to VA in the Dipoto signing thread
   40. Greg K Posted: December 03, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#4006064)
Even if Mills sucks a deal including Mills, and say Lind could have gotten a better return.

I think I might have traded Lind for Mathis straight up, if only because you can non-tender Mathis and walk away from Lind's contract. But upon reflection Lind's only owed $10 mil over the next 2 years. That's little enough that I guess you may as well run him out there and see what happens. I've more or less given up on him.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2011 at 11:46 PM (#4006085)
Things I'd love to see: Jeff Mathis pull a Jose Bautista or a Melvin Mora. Issue: they were both way better than Mathis in the first place.


What is the Jeff Mathis equivalent of pulling a Jose Bautista? A 95 OPS+?
   42. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 04, 2011 at 12:08 AM (#4006101)
I think Mathis is all but certain to be non-tendered.

So why did the Jays do that?
   43. FrankM Posted: December 04, 2011 at 12:28 AM (#4006116)
Watch Dwayne Murphy turn Mathis into a 30 HR guy.

And if not, so what. Brad Mills is the Jeff Mathis of pitching. A finesse guy who can't throw strikes.
   44. Boileryard Posted: December 04, 2011 at 12:34 AM (#4006120)
So why did the Jays do that?

I'm not sure they will non-tender him, but if that's their intention, they could be using this time to exclusively negotiate a cheaper contract with him before he hits the open market. That was presumably the reason why Oakland claimed Edwin Encarnacion off waivers last offseason.
   45. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 04, 2011 at 12:44 AM (#4006134)
Hmm, just realized they didn't replace Dwayne Murphy with Chat Motolla as hitting coach.
   46. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 04, 2011 at 03:29 AM (#4006218)
Baseball Reference finds 2,762 players with at least 1360 career plate appearances, Mathis' current total.

He has the 14th lowest career OPS+ (50) on that list, beating out only Bill Bergen, Luis Gomez, Mario Mendoza, Ray Berres, Fritz Beulow, Rafael Belliard, Skeeter Webb, Ray Oyler, Jim Levey, Doc Powers, Jackie Hernandez and Hal Lanier.

Mathis is a very special sort of 1%er.
   47. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 04, 2011 at 03:36 AM (#4006226)
I wonder if the Angels traded Mathis because:

1. They knew Scioscia would give him too much playing time as long as he was on the roster;
2. Every day Jeff Mathis was in an Angels uniform was another reminder that they chose him over Napoli;
3. They finally figured out that Mathis really, really sucks.
   48. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:10 AM (#4006256)
He has the 14th lowest career OPS+ (50) on that list, beating out only Bill Bergen, Luis Gomez, Mario Mendoza, Ray Berres, Fritz Beulow, Rafael Belliard, Skeeter Webb, Ray Oyler, Jim Levey, Doc Powers, Jackie Hernandez and Hal Lanier.


I was puzzled by this until I realized I got my Belliards mixed up. Was wondering how he was on that list since I recalled him being a pretty decent player for a while.
   49. Good cripple hitter Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:37 AM (#4006279)
What is the Jeff Mathis equivalent of pulling a Jose Bautista? A 95 OPS+?


I am not a statistician, there's a good chance that something's gone terribly amiss in the calculations that follow. Nevertheless, this is free, so:

Bautista hit .260/.378/.617 (OPS+ of 164) in 2010, vs a ZiPS projection of .227/.324/.389 (OPS+ 89, worse than Jarrett Hoffpauir!).

ZiPS projects Mathis to hit .205/.258/.313, OPS+ of 57 next year. If you plug that into the Bautista-izer 2012®, you get a line of .235/.301/.496, for an OPS+ of 121.

But, you might think that the ZiPS line is too optimistic. If you assume that Mathis' baseline is last year's stats you can Bautista-ize® his 2011 line of .174/.225/.259 (OPS+ 37), and wind up with .199/.262/.411, or an OPS+ of 87.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2011 at 08:06 AM (#4006400)
Total career WAR in this trade of -3.9

I know, I was hoping for a bigger negative number too but Chone doesn't see Mathis as sucking that badly, only -2.5 WAR. Even 2011 is only -.3 WAR, 2010 was his real disaster year.
   51. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 04, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#4006724)
This. I tried to tell this to VA in the Dipoto signing thread


Everything DiPoto has said or done since he arrived in LA has rebutted what I wrote on that thread. This trade is just the cherry on the VA was wrong on the DiPoto hiring sundae.

To recap I said that while Moreno is very willing to write checks, like almost all owners he has no ability to grade GMs other than on results and track record, and has to rely on Scoscia a lot for input. Given DiPoto essentially has no track record of success (in wins), he will be on a short leash and be forced to keep Scoscia happy to avoid having the leash shortened further. I thought they went for Jerry because Scoscia probably scotched the hiring or recruitment of strong GMs with long track records because Scoscia was afraid they'd neuter him, and that was why Scoscia was pushing for Moreno to interview his former subordinates, so he could get someone pliable in the GM spot.

Clearly, based on his frank public comments and his actions (the trades he made), Jerry is in firmly in charge, he's been given all the authority he needs and he's using it to do what he thinks is best regardless of what Scoscia thinks, and this bodes very well for Angels fans, and it's a disaster for Oakland fans.

And Mathis posts 120 OPS+ for anyone in 2012...


Mathis having a colossal year at bat would be one of the greatest things that could ever happen for sabermetrically wise baseball organizations. This fluke would become a famous rebuttal meme to the pointy headed types, and keep scouting pre-eminant at dumb organizations. Please baseball gods, make it happen!
   52. MM1f Posted: December 04, 2011 at 10:21 PM (#4006738)
Mathis having a colossal year at bat would be one of the greatest things that could ever happen for sabermetrically wise baseball organizations. This fluke would become a famous rebuttal meme to the pointy headed types, and keep scouting pre-eminant at dumb organizations. Please baseball gods, make it happen!


That is just so dumb and so wrong. And so, so dumb.
   53. Greg K Posted: December 04, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4006742)
I think one of the greatest things that could possibly happen for BTF is if Jeff Mathis (.300/.345/.550) leads the Jays to a pennant with the help of mid-season acquisition Jeff Francoeur.
   54. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 05, 2011 at 05:28 AM (#4007050)
That is just so dumb and so wrong. And so, so dumb.


If by dumb and so wrong you mean brilliantly correct I accept your compliment...

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