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Monday, July 01, 2002


Obviously, this was a salary dump for the Blue Jays.  The guy they got in return, a pitcher named Scott Wiggins, is a 26-year-old in AA.  Not exactly a prospect.  However, Wiggins did have very good numbers, this season.

“Wiggins, 26, has spent the 2002 season with Norwich of the Eastern League (AA) where he has posted a 2-1 record in 24 games with a 2.28 ERA.”

Only the Yankees - or the Orioles, maybe - would have picked up Raul Mondesi’s $11,000,000 contract.

Rich Rifkin orig Posted: July 01, 2002 at 11:31 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark

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   1. yb125 Posted: July 01, 2002 at 11:38 PM (#128430)
of course the yanks don't pay all of that 11 mil.
   2. yb125 Posted: July 01, 2002 at 11:41 PM (#128431)
never mind the 2003 option had been picked up.
   3. Steve Treder Posted: July 01, 2002 at 11:41 PM (#128432)
Makes sense for the Blue Jays; makes sense for the Yankees. The proverbial "trade that should help both teams."

It might even be the case that Mondesi is at a stage in his career in which playing every day is the worst thing for him. Perhaps spotting him, mostly against lefthanders, giving him 300 at-bats a season, brings his rate of production back to life. The major knock on him used to be that he had no clue how to draw a walk, and that's no longer the case. All he needs to do is get his average back up to .275 and he's a hell of a player, used properly.

But clearly, none of this was going to happen in Toronto. Clearing out that baggage was the only thing Ricciardi could do, and now he's done it. Anything Wiggins might ever do is gravy.
   4. RichRifkin Posted: July 01, 2002 at 11:49 PM (#128435)
Mondesi is having a bad year, so far. He has a .262 Equivalent Average and only has 2.9 RARP. However, it would not shock me if Raul starts to play better once he's in pinstripes. In fact, he hit much better in June than he did in April or May.

However, I wouldn't expect Mondesi to be the hitter he was 3-4 years ago. He's 31 years old, he had elbow surgery after the 2000 season, and his decline seems to be age and injury related. These are his numbers since he became a Blue Jay:

2000 g-96 ab-388 hr-24 avg-.271 obp-.329 slg-.523 OPS-.852
   5. Steve Treder Posted: July 01, 2002 at 11:54 PM (#128437)
"Trying to control .... urge to trash Yanks for using wallet to win"

Here we go again with this debate ...

Why should the Yankees be trashed for using their wallet to try and win? What's so wrong with that?
   6. J. Michael Neal Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:01 AM (#128438)
Any idea who the Jays are going to bring up to fill the roster spot?
   7. Elijah Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:03 AM (#128439)
Ricciardi just said that Phelps will be up on Tuesday. Thank goodness.
   8. Greg Franklin Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:06 AM (#128440)
Stephen Tomlinson's preseason EqA projection for Mondesi was only 13 points higher than Rich's figure. Not knowing EqA that well, I don't know whether that's a good projection or not.

Mondesi RF age 31 .272 EqA, 610 PA
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:16 AM (#128444)
JOHN MABRY?!?!?!?!?!?!
   10. RichRifkin Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:23 AM (#128445)
I think David Schoenfield hit the nail on the head with his little sidebar on this trade:

<i>"Raul Mondesi has long been one of baseball's most overrated players, and the six-year, $60 million contract the Dodgers gave him January 1998 was one of the worst signings of recent years. He's never driven in 100 runs in a season and his career-high of 33 HRs (in 1999) is pedestrian by today's standards, especially those for a $10-million-a-year player. He's had an on-base percentage higher than .350 just once in his career. This year, despite 15 HRs, he ranks just 57th in the AL in OPS (on-base + slugging). In fact, check his numbers vs. the totals for Yankee right fielders this year:

   11. Bob T Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:27 AM (#128446)
Raul will probably try to ingratiate himself to his new employers by being more selective for a couple of weeks.

Then he will return to his old hacking ways.
   12. philoye Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:30 AM (#128448)
This bit is interesting:

Mondesi is making $11 million this year. The Yankees will pay roughly $5.5-6 million of that -- the prorated salary for the remainder of the season --'s Jayson Stark has learned.

He is due $13 million next season -- the Yankees will pay $7 million and the Blue Jays will be responsible for $6 million.

At least we're only paying half his salary next year. Though 7 million is still too much for such a mediocre player. I'm impressed that the Yankees didn't take on all of his salary.
   13. Colin Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:01 AM (#128454)
Brett wrote:
   14. jeff angus Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:22 AM (#128456)
I think treder's #5 post makes good sense. Key points of agreement: Mondesi has a hefty platoon split, and plays very good right field. He's been a good September hitter (without much October to look any way at all in).

Some numbers and then some more contention.

Raul's consolidated for the 1999-2001 seasons:
   15. Kurt Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:27 AM (#128459)
(From #6) Oh, wow! I bet Boston fans are just shaking in their boots at this transaction!

This looks about as big as the Sterling Hitchcock acquisition last year, not to mention the "equally huge" Ugueth Urbina pickup by the Sox days later.
   16. Ben Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:34 AM (#128462)
Off-Topic Alert!

Kip Wells has a no-no through 7 against the Brewers. I am watching the game (the Brewers are my favorite team) and Pokey Reese has made a couple of beautiful plays in the hole to take away base hits.
   17. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:43 AM (#128463)
And the game is 0-0.

P.S.: If he loses this, I'm telling Wells that you jinxed him, Ben.
   18. Ben Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:47 AM (#128465)
Sure enough. Alex Sanchez just poked a single over the 3B's head with one out in the 8th.
   19. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:47 AM (#128466)
Of course, we don't know Ben's last name, so Kip'll just have to beat up everyone on earth named Ben.
   20. Robert Dudek Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:50 AM (#128468)
The Blue Jays are saving 12.5 million dollars compared to having Mondesi on the team until the end of his contract or releasing him.

That's a lot of cash and no I do not think Ricciardi could have done better in the last off-season. At the time Mondesi was owed 24 million dollars on his contract, so to save the equivalent amount some other team would have had to take a 12.5 million contract for an absolutely average/mediocre player.
   21. Wildrose Posted: July 02, 2002 at 02:08 AM (#128471)
This is an absolute home run for Riccardi!

The financial implications are as follows;Mondesi is owed 18.5 million for the remainder of his contract,the Jays pay only 6 million of that.

No other team in baseball could afford to take a 12 million dollar flyer on a guy with a .736 OPS.To say by waiting a few weeks the market would improve for such a player with the financial doom of a strike looming, does not stand up to scrutiny.

Boy George's calazone stained hands are all over this deal.Apparently after seeing Enrique Wilson in RF the other night George had a cow and berated Cashman[what an appropo name] into making a deal.

I never imagined Riccardi ever unloading this albatross .Even Syd Thrift and the Orioles wanted no part of this guy.
   22. SM in DC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 03:51 AM (#128479)
After I had so much hope that the Yanks would finally FREE SHANE SPENCER!!

Actually was more enticed by the rumor reported in the NY Daily News earlier that the Yanks had been talking to Tampa about Randy Winn...would have been a much, much better deal for the Bombers.
   23. David Jones Posted: July 02, 2002 at 03:58 AM (#128480)
I fail to see how this is a good trade for the Yankees, not for this money.

Look, what are the odds that the Yankees will make the playoffs? About 100 percent, maybe? The question, then, is what does Mondesi bring to the table in October that is worth $7 million or whatever they are going to be paying for him for the rest of this season.
   24. fables of the deconstruction Posted: July 02, 2002 at 04:47 AM (#128482)
Only the Yankees - or the Orioles, maybe - would have picked up Raul Mondesi's $11,000,000 contract.


Actually, this would have been an absolutely asinine move for the Thrift- Angelos duality to make. The Orioles already have too much corner OF-1b-DH deadwood on the DL (Belle, Segui, Conine & Richard) and the active roster. Besides, Syd already traveled down this road with J.P. and the Jays this past off season and rightly came to the conclusion that Mondesi wasn't a good fit. Now Scott Rolen would be an entirely different story especially if the O's could keep Tony Batista and move him to SS. :-)...

   25. jimfurtado Posted: July 02, 2002 at 11:55 AM (#128486)
This was a good trade for the Blue Jays and an acceptable trade for the Yankees.

It's no secret that the Blue Jays have been dying to get rid of Mondesi. Nobody wanted him though. Teams don't like paying truckloads of money for underperforming players with difficult personalities.

Having said that, Mondesi will help the Yankees. He's an upgrade defensively, hits with power, and, I suspect, will hit better than he has been with the Blue Jays.

It's not a perfect trade, mind you. The trade will, in all likelihood, prevent the Yankees from picking up someone better (like Floyd, although Jeffrey Loria reportedly doesn't want to deal with the Yankees).
   26. SM in DC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 12:53 PM (#128489)
He's an upgrade defensively, hits with power, and, I suspect, will hit better than he has been with the Blue Jays.

I hope he hits better... otherwise he's just a more expensive Spencer.

I haven't seen him play very often, but I can't imagine Raul is much better than Shane-o in right. Sometime over the last few years Spencer has morphed into the Yanks best defensive option in the outfield.

For some reason I really like Shane and this kind of disappoints me, but such are the Yankees. My question now becomes who becomes the odd man out in the Yankee outfield -- besides Karim Garcia. I really hope its Vander Wal... IMO the "Turk" needs to visit his locker...
   27. SM in DC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 01:04 PM (#128490)
Brian Daubach was also a replacement player. Does that mean he's not allowed to join the union?

Jim --
   28. SM in DC Posted: July 02, 2002 at 03:06 PM (#128499)
Some omnious quotes from Raul's agent and a NY Post article about the deal --

From George King, NY Post Writer/Buffoon:"The Yankees got the 31-year-old Mondesi to drive in runs from the middle of the order and to play excellent defense in right field where he will unleash throws Yankee fans haven't seen since Jesse Barfield was in pinstripes." Uhhh... George, Jesse Barfield references are baaaaad

From Jeff Moorad, superagent to the underachievers: "He is thrilled and everybody around him is thrilled. Once he gets to the Yankees, he will prosper as a major league player again." AGAIN?!?! This is not a glowing endorsement of your guy Jeff.

From an unnamed AL West official (or the voices in King's head): "They just won the World Series," a member of an AL West front office said yesterday. "Everybody can save their money. It's over." I don't like reading this type of thing, makes me feel jinxed.
   29. Kurt Posted: July 02, 2002 at 07:16 PM (#128507)
(From <a href="#40">) Kurt (#32),

Urbina may not have helped much last year (what could have?), but he's certainly made a big positive impact for the Sox this season. Which is more than one can say about Hitchcock.

My post was a pretty obscure reference to a couple of classic threads from last year. (I'd link 'em if i could, but the search engine for Clutch Hits doesn't work)

Everybody makes a big deal out of Giambi/Mabry and Singleton, give me the Hitchcock/Urbina threads, the "hero" thread and the "McGriff is a gutless coward for refusing a trade to the Cubs" thread any day. Good times, good times.
   30. Kurt Posted: July 02, 2002 at 07:19 PM (#128508)
Argh. Forgot to close the link - supposed to be "(From #40)" at the top.
   31. Bob T Posted: July 02, 2002 at 10:57 PM (#128513)
I don't think any of the replacement players are facing any overt hostility from their teammates. The ones that have lasted this long have proven to be good players and that helps a lot.

Mike Busch faced a lot of hostility from the Dodgers and he never quite got over it because he never was very good.

Matt Herges was well respected by his Dodger teammates.
   32. SM in DC Posted: July 03, 2002 at 02:51 AM (#128515)
I think when Reed was with the Mets he got an isolated locker near the crapper....
   33. Alan Posted: July 03, 2002 at 07:04 AM (#128517)
Red Sox GM is JP's dream job, regardless (I imagine) of the situation the Sox are in-- which, I am more than willing to argue, is far superior to that of the Mets.

I don't think the Sox long-term situation is so clearly better than the Mets'. For now-2003, obviously the Sox will almost definitely be better. But the Sox are one of the few teams that I think even most non-Met fans would agree don't have as strong a farm system as the Mets. There is not much of a difference in terms of budget for each team, and if Pedro's arm falls off, Nomar, Damon, and Manny aren't enough to convince me the Sox project better than the Mets several years into the future.

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