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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Orioles: Sexson an option at 1B?

WOOOSH! The plastic flamingos on Philpot Road have better swings than Richie Sexson.

The Orioles still are trying to figure out what they’ll do at first base this coming season, and they’ve given some consideration to attempting a salvage operation with former 45-homer guy Richie Sexson. Club officials apparently have had at least one conversation with Sexson’s agent, Casey Close, though the depth of their interest is uncertain.

Sexson’s offensive numbers have been in steep decline for the past couple of years, but he might be a worthwhile gamble if he’s willing to take an incentive-laden contract. He turned 34 yesterday, so he would definitely be a temporary fix, but he has hit 30 or more homers six times in his career and hit 45 homers in 2001 and 2003. He split a very disappointing 2008 season between the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees.

No doubt, such a signing would be viewed as another sign of the apocalypse by a lot of Orioles fans who are tired of this kind of low-impact maneuver, but I’ll take all the spring training subplots I can get at this point.

Repoz Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:24 AM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:11 AM (#3040759)
Ah Mark Teixeira, Richie Sexson...they're pretty much the same thing. Man, serious O's fanship must be beyond depressing.
   2. Esoteric Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:13 AM (#3040761)
As an M's fan, let me just say HAHAHAHA.

AHAHAHAHA.

HAHA.

Whoo!
   3. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:16 AM (#3040762)
They've managed to find a guy who might not be an improvement on Millar.

But at least Sexson is young.
   4. Curse of the Andino Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:33 AM (#3040777)
They've managed to find a guy who might not be an improvement on Millar.


But Millar provided "coaching," and was a great guy in the clubhouse.

/GRRRR.
   5. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:22 AM (#3040789)
Damn these big market teams signing all the best FAs!
   6. Tuque Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:35 AM (#3040793)
YES. DO IT.
   7. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 31, 2008 at 12:54 PM (#3040810)
Don't share a gatorade bottle with him, Markakis. You don't want to catch Andruw Jones disease.
   8. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 31, 2008 at 12:56 PM (#3040811)
First Mark Hendrickson, now Sexson. O's just got a lot better in 2 quick moves. I think the Yankees may have blown a lot of money and still may not win the division.
   9. Rally Posted: December 31, 2008 at 01:05 PM (#3040816)
Sexson and Hendrickson are key additions, but the Orioles will need more. Maybe bringing back Tony Batista, Corey Patterson, Deivi. Cruz, and Sidney Ponson will complete the roster.
   10. Gamingboy Posted: December 31, 2008 at 01:10 PM (#3040819)
He SUCKS!
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 31, 2008 at 01:16 PM (#3040823)
Sexson and Hendrickson are key additions, but the Orioles will need more. Maybe bringing back Tony Batista, Corey Patterson, Deivi. Cruz, and Sidney Ponson will complete the roster.

They still need to beef up the bullpen. Perhaps Todd Jones can be coaxed out of retirement for a big pay day and Baltimore can get a Borowski megadeal finished by guaranteeing a fourth year.
   12. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 31, 2008 at 01:24 PM (#3040826)
The Orioles intend to be worse than the Shore Birds.
   13. Gamingboy Posted: December 31, 2008 at 01:24 PM (#3040828)
They still need to beef up the bullpen. Perhaps Todd Jones can be coaxed out of retirement for a big pay day and Baltimore can get a Borowski megadeal finished by guaranteeing a fourth year.


Needs more Jesse Orosco.
   14. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: December 31, 2008 at 01:24 PM (#3040827)
Paging DKDC, paging DKDC. Your services defending another asinine Oriole move are needed, stat.
   15. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 02:23 PM (#3040844)
Paging DKDC, paging DKDC. Your services defending another asinine Oriole move are needed, stat.


I'll stay away from this one.

The thought of the Orioles signing Sexson after missing out on Teixeira IS actually pretty funny, and it's more fun to sit back and watch the reaction than to argue about a transaction that hasn't happened (and doesn't appear particularly close to happening).
   16. Belfry Bob Posted: December 31, 2008 at 02:33 PM (#3040851)
...and they’ve given some consideration to attempting a salvage operation with former 45-homer guy Richie Sexson. Club officials apparently have had at least one conversation with Sexson’s agent, Casey Close, though the depth of their interest is uncertain.


Yes, this sounds like a move that will happen at any moment. (rolls eyes)
   17. villainx Posted: December 31, 2008 at 02:36 PM (#3040853)
you know, e-archeologist millions of years later, dusting off this thread, might not notice the sarcasm.
   18. Repoz Posted: December 31, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#3040858)
"You know, Suzyn...Richie Sexson could provide the Yankees with just what they are looking for. Right-handed POP!"

Sexson rubs eyes...vigodas his way back to dugout.
   19. Dave Spiwak Posted: December 31, 2008 at 02:50 PM (#3040861)
Mark Teixeira, Richie Sexson...they're pretty much the same thing

I asked for a car, I got a computer.
   20. booond Posted: December 31, 2008 at 03:01 PM (#3040877)
I asked for a car, I got a bus pass.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 03:09 PM (#3040882)
Is Doug Mienktiewicz not available?
   22. ugen64 Posted: December 31, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#3040897)
Yes, Mienktiewicz is available. Hinske is also an option.
   23. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#3040909)
Yes, Mienktiewicz is available. Hinske is also an option.
I'm pretty sure David Segui remains unsigned.
   24. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: December 31, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3040917)
Steve Balboni
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 31, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3040918)
Mientkiewicz had a very nice little season last year. And he's a good guy who seems happy in part-time roles. If a team had no 1B and needed someone to fill a hole and not embarrass the fans, Mientkiewicz would be a good choice.

By the way, what was the deal with Oscar Salazar? Is he gonna get a chance next year?
   26. Craig in MN Posted: December 31, 2008 at 04:00 PM (#3040942)
Actually, a Mientkiewicz/Sexson platoon would probably get you some pretty decent overall production, if you weren't worried about wasting the roster spot on a platoon 1B. I could see them putting up a combined .800 OPS with above average overall defense.
   27. SteveM. Posted: December 31, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#3040989)
If you give Sexon a minor league deal and an invite to spring training, what do you have to lose? Its not like he would be blocking a prospect, and if it doesn't work out, you really haven't taken a great risk.
   28. calhounite Posted: December 31, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#3040999)
Heard Mienk's been kicked around lately due to Yank's getting tired of teams showing up without own equipment...and teams get tired of following the guy around 24 hrs a day
   29. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#3041000)
Actually, a Mientkiewicz/Sexson platoon would probably get you some pretty decent overall production, if you weren't worried about wasting the roster spot on a platoon 1B. I could see them putting up a combined .800 OPS with above average overall defense.
While that would indeed be an improvement on Kevin Millar, I fail to see how that's "pretty decent," particularly if one is blowing two roster spots on it. Eyeballing, that looks like about a 110 OPS+; one should damn well be able to do a lot better than a 110 OPS+ out of a platoon at first base. Else, what the hell's the point of the platoon?
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:01 PM (#3041003)
Mientkiewicz had a very nice little season last year. And he's a good guy who seems happy in part-time roles. If a team had no 1B and needed someone to fill a hole and not embarrass the fans, Mientkiewicz would be a good choice.

But if the Orioles win the world series they sure wouldn't want somebody keeping the ball hostage.

one should damn well be able to do a lot better than a 110 OPS+ out of a platoon at first base. Else, what the hell's the point of the platoon?

Charlie Sheen vehicle.
   31. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:01 PM (#3041004)
If you give Sexon a minor league deal and an invite to spring training, what do you have to lose? Its not like he would be blocking a prospect, and if it doesn't work out, you really haven't taken a great risk.
What you have to lose is that he might have a good spring and the team might give him a major league job.

EDIT: the real question is, what do you have to gain?
   32. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#3041026)
EDIT: the real question is, what do you have to gain?


A back-up center?
   33. Craig in MN Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:30 PM (#3041035)
While that would indeed be an improvement on Kevin Millar, I fail to see how that's "pretty decent," particularly if one is blowing two roster spots on it. Eyeballing, that looks like about a 110 OPS+; one should damn well be able to do a lot better than a 110 OPS+ out of a platoon at first base. Else, what the hell's the point of the platoon?

Well, who else can they get for $2-3 million bucks to do that? Looking at who is left as far as 1B, it looks to me like option 1 is Giambi, and option 2 would be some sort of platoon like this. There's not much upside out there anywhere, is there? None of the moves probably helps them that much, but at least Mientkiewicz/Sexson looks like you are trying, gives you roughly average production, and gives you 2 players you can trade later on if things go well.
   34. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#3041046)
and option 2 would be some sort of platoon like this

But the Orioles could be a little more creative and look for players with some potential. What's wrong with giving Jason DuBois a shot? He probably projects to equal Sexson at the plate, he's four years younger and certain to be even cheaper.
   35. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#3041047)
Save your breath, Craig.

There are some who are convinced that dumpster diving for depth dooms a franchise to 10 more losing seasons, and they aren't going to change their mind.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3041058)
I could see them putting up a combined .800 OPS with above average overall defense.

I take it you're not familiar with the current vintage Sexson? All reports out of Seattle are that his D is atrocious.

Chris Dial has him at -9 runs last year in less than 100 Gs.

There must be 20 AAAA sluggers who are a much better bet than Sexson to be an average 1B last year.
   37. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: December 31, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#3041059)
There are some who are convinced that dumpster diving for depth dooms a franchise to 10 more losing seasons, and they aren't going to change their mind.

Yeah, there's no evidence at all that this is true for the Orioles.

Besides, it's not an issue of dumpster diving or not. It's an issue of dumpster diving in the young dumpster, where you occasionally find an actual completely full lunch pail, or dumpster diving in the old dumpster, where there's never any chance of finding anything worthwhile.
   38. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#3041076)
If you give Sexon a minor league deal and an invite to spring training, what do you have to lose? Its not like he would be blocking a prospect, and if it doesn't work out, you really haven't taken a great risk.


This reason seems to be offered up a lot by people to justify various Orioles acquisitions. What did they have to lose, people asked, by bringing back Steve Trachsel in 2008?

But they lost anyway: 40 innings, 27 walks, 16 strikeouts, and 41 runs. The year before, he had walked 76 and struck out 56 -- somehow producing a 4.90 ERA with mirrors -- so the 8.39 ERA in 2008 wasn't exactly shocking. Yet, people rationalized it anyway.

Of what benefit was it to have Trachsel take 8 starts away from <insert random minor leaguer>, to the tune of an utterly predictable 8.82 ERA in those starts? *Trachsel had nothing left.*

No competent organization in the Orioles' place in the success cycle wastes playing-time on Trachsel, Millar, Payton, Sexson, or Hendrickson.
   39. rlc Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:41 PM (#3041104)
What's wrong with giving Jason DuBois a shot?

Nothing, which is why the O's signed him two years ago. After he put up a .712 OPS at AAA in his age 28 season, they decided that they could live without that kind of upside...
   40. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3041105)
None of the moves probably helps them that much, but at least Mientkiewicz/Sexson looks like you are trying, gives you roughly average production, and gives you 2 players you can trade later on if things go well.


Have the Orioles really been doing this, though?
   41. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:53 PM (#3041116)
Yeah, there's no evidence at all that this is true for the Orioles.


True, the organization is still reeling from the spring training invite they gave to Roger Cedeno back in 2007. I pray that they don't sign Sexson to a minor league deal and repeat that franchise-wrecking disaster.

The age and quality of the stopgaps over the last 11 years have played a miniscule role in the Orioles' futility. They've lost for 11 seasons in a row because they've done a terrible job developing talent and they haven't spent their free agent dollars wisely.

They have had some success of getting production out of nothing - Jeremy Guthrie, Rodrigo Lopez, Jay Gibbons, Bruce Chen, Todd Williams, and David Newhan at various times over the last few years. And they've certainly whiffed on their share - Rob Bell, Jon Knott, JR House, Jason DuBois, Terry Tiffee, Brandon Sing, and Jose Acevedo in just one spring training.

This is an area the Orioles could and should improve in, but the hand-wringing over every little depth signing (or potential signing) is nothing more than raging for the sake of raging. If the Orioles go into spring training without adding to the "upside" guys they've already invited (Hennessey, Salazar, Simon, Bass, Montanez, Krynzel, Dorta, etc.), then I'll join you in your hand-wringing.

This reason seems to be offered up a lot by people to justify various Orioles acquisitions. What did they have to lose, people asked, by bringing back Steve Trachsel in 2008?


They didn't have anything to lose, and they didn't lose anything (but money). There's not a single pitcher in the Orioles organization that would've benefited from getting more major league starts in 2008. Towards the end of the season, they found 11 starts to give to Chris Waters, who was sitting on an ERA of 5.70 in an extreme pitcher's park at AAA. No deserving player was shorted opportunities because of Trachsel's presence.

Of what benefit was it to have Trachsel take 8 starts away from <insert random minor leaguer>, to the tune of an utterly predictable 8.82 ERA in those starts?


It allowed Olson to make seven starts at AAA and see a sliver of success before getting his brains beat in at the Major League level. My only complaint about Trachsel is that they overpaid him for his sacrificial lamb bit, but I don't see how trading his 8 starts for 8 out of Andy Mitchell, Craig Anderson, and/or Chris Waters would've made one lick of difference.

No competent organization in the Orioles' place in the success cycle wastes playing-time on Trachsel, Millar, Payton, Sexson, or Hendrickson.


I agree with you on Payton. It still grinds my gears that he was getting starts in September when there were a couple of interesting guys worth taking a look at in the OF. The other guys were simply blocking non-entities.
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 06:53 PM (#3041118)
Any Val Pascucci's available in AAA the O's could give a shot to? Other than Val Pascucci of course.
   43. JoeHova Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:05 PM (#3041136)
On the plus side, this move would give the Orioles the biggest frontline in baseball. They've got Hendrickson at Center and now Sexson at PF. Too bad they missed out on Randy Johnson, who would have ennabled Hendrickson to slide over to his more natural spot at PF and given Sexson some matchup advantages at SF. Maybe the O's will try to make a move for Loek Van Mil, the Twins hot young center prospect. Wait, what sport is this?
   44. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:06 PM (#3041138)
Well, who else can they get for $2-3 million bucks to do that? Looking at who is left as far as 1B, it looks to me like option 1 is Giambi, and option 2 would be some sort of platoon like this. There's not much upside out there anywhere, is there? None of the moves probably helps them that much, but at least Mientkiewicz/Sexson looks like you are trying,
Trying to do what, exactly?
gives you roughly average production, and gives you 2 players you can trade later on if things go well.
1) You're assuming that they can actually manage an .800 OPS, which is not exactly a mortal lock, or even likely.
2) That's not "roughly average" production for two roster slots.
3) Would people please stop with the inanity of thinking that signing crap isn't all that bad because the team can just trade it in midseason? Signing these two gives the Orioles nobody they can trade later. They're worthless. Hell, in the Hendrickson thread, I suggested that the Orioles ought to be trying to trade Huff, who managed a .912 OPS last year, and Orioles apologists explained that Huff didn't have trade value. And yet you think Sexson, who had a .700 OPS each of the last two years and was released by two different teams last year, would fetch something more than a replacement level minor leaguer?
4) If we're not trading Mr. Huff, he ought to be Option 1, just because we're already stuck with him. (With Luke Scott DHing, and Nolan Reimold playing left.) If we do trade Huff, and we can't find someone better than Sexson, might as well play Salazar. He's several million bucks cheaper than Sexson, let alone Sexson + Mientkiewicz. In the Hendrickson thread, Orioles apologists explained that saving money was so crucial that we couldn't actually play our good players because they might start earning bigger contracts a year earlier, and they were worried about Peter Angelos being left homeless.
5) What we should be doing is finding some 25 year old that never got a shot, and play him. (And not release him just because he falls down after getting caught in a rundown.) The idea that there aren't better choices available than Sexson is some combination of laziness and cowardice. There's someone in an independent league somewhere who's a better signing than Sexson. There may not be "much upside out there anywhere," but that doesn't excuse picking someone who has absolutely no upside.


There are some who are convinced that dumpster diving for depth dooms a franchise to 10 more losing seasons, and they aren't going to change their mind.
Right. I'm also not going to change my mind on the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. But you keep on thinking that maybe this time it will show up somewhere around Tierra del Fuego in the morning and end up in Nome at night.

Crap is not "depth." Crap is crap.
   45. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:11 PM (#3041147)
And yet you think Sexson, who had a .700 OPS each of the last two years and was released by two different teams last year, would fetch something more than a replacement level minor leaguer?

Lots of players have looked like their careers were shot only to turn it around one season. Sometimes I think we fall in love with our projections systems too much and fail to take into account performance spikes.

If it doesn't cost you much, I don't see the harm in signing Sexson, hoping he's one such player, and flipping him if he is. If he isn't, you release him without losing much. As long as he's not blocking anyone (I don't know much about Oscar Salazar, maybe he is a better option, I don't know), I don't see the harm.
   46. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:21 PM (#3041156)
Lots of players have looked like their careers were shot only to turn it around one season. Sometimes I think we fall in love with our projections systems too much and fail to take into account performance spikes.


He sucked at 32. He sucked at 33. Why do you want to find out how badly he will suck at 34? Last year everything broke right for the Orioles to trade Huff at midseason. But if they couldn't/didn't trade Huff after he rebounded, why should anyone expect that they'll trade Sexson after a miracle rebound?
   47. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:23 PM (#3041157)
...and they haven't spent their free agent dollars wisely.


So, why offer any defense when they continue to do this, since you recognize it's part of the problem?
   48. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#3041165)
The age and quality of the stopgaps over the last 11 years have played a miniscule role in the Orioles' futility. They've lost for 11 seasons in a row because they've done a terrible job developing talent and they haven't spent their free agent dollars wisely.
It's not the age and quality of the stopgaps that has played a role, but that they keep signing stopgaps.

Among other things, signing "stopgaps" has allowed them for years to pretend that they weren't really that bad, and that it would just take some appropriate veteran acquisitions here and there. If nothing else, it's better to play the minor leaguer who's terrible than the "stopgaps" because then you see how far away from contention you truly are. And then you don't do things like trade John Maine away for a ProvenVeteranMajorLeaguerWhoCanEatInningsAsAStopGap.


They didn't have anything to lose, and they didn't lose anything (but money). There's not a single pitcher in the Orioles organization that would've benefited from getting more major league starts in 2008. Towards the end of the season, they found 11 starts to give to Chris Waters, who was sitting on an ERA of 5.70 in an extreme pitcher's park at AAA. No deserving player was shorted opportunities because of Trachsel's presence.
On the Hendrickson thread, you told us how important money was. Now suddenly it's just an afterthought.

Any player in the Orioles organization would have benefited from getting more major league starts in 2008. Why not see what Randor Bierd could do? (I'm ready to hear all the excuses: he had an injury (RuleVitis). He's "not really a starter." (And Trachsel was?) He wasn't ready. (And Trachsel was?)) Chris Waters, Andy Mitchell, Lance Cormier, hell, let's see if Rocky Cherry can start. Any of those make more sense than wasting innings on Steve Trachsel, who has no upside at all. Oh, and I forgot Hayden Penn.

Moreover, your claim is fundamentally dishonest, in that it relies on the fact that Trachsel only got 8 starts. But he only got 8 starts because he was so bad that the Orioles couldn't stand it anymore. If he had "merely" been bad, he'd have been in the rotation all year. So your defense of signing the Sexsons/Trachsels/Hendricksons boils down to, "If we're lucky, maybe he'll be so terrible that he won't take up playing time from prospects because we'll release him in midseason." But if you're relying on the hope that he's so terrible that he gets released, why not just skip the middleman and not sign him at all?
   49. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#3041169)
So, why offer any defense when they continue to do this, since you recognize it's part of the problem?


I haven't defended any wasteful free agent spending because there hasn't been any. Trax was paid too much, but it was a one year deal for $1.5MM, so it didn't have any chance of crippling the franchise.

Izturis is the only player that MacPhail has signed to a major league deal in his 18 months with the Orioles.
   50. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#3041171)
And they've certainly whiffed on their share - Rob Bell, Jon Knott, JR House, Jason DuBois, Terry Tiffee, Brandon Sing, and Jose Acevedo in just one spring training
Just wanted to respond to this: the Orioles gave a total of 53 innings (all Bell) and 52 ABs to these guys (38 House, 14 Knott) all year. The only "whiff" was the decision to give their playing time to Millar, Payton, Bako, etc.
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:39 PM (#3041172)
But if they couldn't/didn't trade Huff after he rebounded, why should anyone expect that they'll trade Sexson after a miracle rebound?

My guess is teams didn't want to pay Huff $8 million in 2009. I can see a team adding Sexson for a few months if he's putting up productive numbers.
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:48 PM (#3041180)
Izturis is the only player that MacPhail has signed to a major league deal in his 18 months with the Orioles.
1) This is disingenuous. He signed Trachsel to a major league deal. The fact that, for roster management purposes, Trachsel was put on the minor league roster and then added to the major league roster doesn't change that. He was signed with the intent of putting him on the major league roster, and there was never any question that he would be on the major league roster unless he had a spring training similar to Steve Bechler's in 2003.
2) This is wrong, unless I imagined a thread just the other day about Hendrickson. $1.5 million thrown away that could have been used to pay all those arbitration salaries you were worried about.

EDIT:
3) It's also misleading in other ways. He picked up Millar's option for 2008. Technically that wasn't a "free agent" signing, but it had exactly the same effect: spending money for no reason on a lousy veteran with no upside.
   53. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:51 PM (#3041184)
So your defense of signing the Sexsons/Trachsels/Hendricksons boils down to, "If we're lucky, maybe he'll be so terrible that he won't take up playing time from prospects because we'll release him in midseason."


Nope. My hope is that they'll last all season because they are taking at bats/innings away from guys who can't cut it at AAA. I would've been ecstatic if Trax had been able to make 25 starts with a 5.25 ERA.

Why not see what Randor Bierd could do? (I'm ready to hear all the excuses: he had an injury (RuleVitis). He's "not really a starter." (And Trachsel was?) He wasn't ready. (And Trachsel was?)) Chris Waters, Andy Mitchell, Lance Cormier, hell, let's see if Rocky Cherry can start.


Sure, and let's see if Garrett Olson can play SS and let's give Quiroz a shot at closer. Trying out things that have no chance at succeeding is just banging your head against a wall.

Oh, and I forgot Hayden Penn.


He was due to be called up despite a lackluster year at AAA, and then he got hurt. Again.
   54. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:53 PM (#3041188)
Sure, and let's see if Garrett Olson can play SS and let's give Quiroz a shot at closer. Trying out things that have no chance at succeeding is just banging your head against a wall.
Yes, that's my argument about Steve Trachsel and Mark Hendrickson and Richie Sexson. But any of the things I named had a chance at succeeding. Likely? Maybe, maybe not. Chance? Yes.
   55. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: December 31, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#3041190)
I bet the O's could pry Wily Mo from the Nats...
   56. JPWF13 Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:04 PM (#3041195)
They didn't have anything to lose, and they didn't lose anything (but money). There's not a single pitcher in the Orioles organization that would've benefited from getting more major league starts in 2008.


BTW Chris Waters had the 2nd best ERA+ among Oriole starters last year.

ANY AAAA starter in any org who had yet to have an MLB cup of coffee "deserved" to start over Trax, if only so such AAAAer could later tell his grandkids he once pitched in the big leagues.

Andy Freaking Mitchell "deserved" to start over Trax in 2008
   57. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:04 PM (#3041196)
This is wrong, unless I imagined a thread just the other day about Hendrickson. $1.5 million thrown away that could have been used to pay all those arbitration salaries you were worried about.


Hendrickson will be the third, as soon as his contract is official (I hadn't seen that $1.5MM number anywhere).

When I talked about the importance of payroll management, I was talking about building a winning team under the contraints of a limited payroll. Since the Orioles won't be a winning team next year, whatever Hendrickson makes next year or what Trachsel made last year is irrelevant. It would be disappointed if Hendrickson signed for something like $5MM because it would mean MacPhail is an idiot, but it wouldn't affect the next competetive Orioles team.

Hell, I'm so convinced that we're woefully short of innings in the rotation next year, that MacPhail could go wild and sign two or three league average starters to 1 year deals at $10MM a pop for all I care - it wouldn't solve any long term problems, but it would make the team more watchable and bridge the gap until some pitching (hopefully) arrives.
   58. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:26 PM (#3041233)
BTW Chris Waters had the 2nd best ERA+ among Oriole starters last year.

ANY AAAA starter in any org who had yet to have an MLB cup of coffee "deserved" to start over Trax, if only so such AAAAer could later tell his grandkids he once pitched in the big leagues.


I know it seems obvious now that Trachsel was going to put up an astronomical ERA, but ZiPS projected him to have a 5.20 ERA, while Chris Waters was projected to have an ERA of 8.16 (the third highest ERA projected for any player).

Given the information we had at the time, starting the season with Trachsel (who's roughly 5 wins better) over Waters seems pretty defensible.

Trachsel worked out fantastically for the Orioles in 2007 (when he was flipped at the deadline for solid spare parts) and he was a complete disaster in 2008.

Was signing Trachsel in 2007 a terrible idea?
   59. Scott Kazmir's breaking balls Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3041238)
But Sexson is a major league veteran! He deserves a roster spot on a major league roster! If no one signs him, it's collusion! Collusion, I tells ya!!!
   60. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3041249)
Interesting definition of "solid spare parts" there.

Yes, signing Trachsel was a terrible idea in 2007.

If Trachsel's 5 win advantage meant anything, like a playoff spot, then it might be defensible. But it didn't. It didn't even make economic sense in either year, because the Oriole's marginal revenue per win right now is so low, that even his $1.5 million dollar salary in 2008 was greater than the value of those 5 wins.
   61. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 08:58 PM (#3041264)
I know it seems obvious now that Trachsel was going to put up an astronomical ERA, but ZiPS projected him to have a 5.20 ERA, while Chris Waters was projected to have an ERA of 8.16 (the third highest ERA projected for any player).


I don't understand; you're defending the signing of a 37 year old pitcher who was projected to have a 5.20 ERA?

In any case, BP projected Trachsel (50th percentile) at 6.94.

He had this for BB/K ratios in the three seasons leading up to 2008:

2005: 12/24
2006: 78/79
2007: 76/56
-----------
2008: 27/16

So it seems obvious now that he would suck -- and it seemed obvious then. (I called it here last year -- though it was no difficult feat -- but a quick search of this site doesn't seem to turn up my comments. The search feature on this site leaves a lot to be desired...)

Given the information we had at the time, starting the season with Trachsel (who's roughly 5 wins better) over Waters seems pretty defensible.


Trachsel: 37 years old
Waters: 27 years old

Not defensible at all.

Trachsel worked out fantastically for the Orioles in 2007 (when he was flipped at the deadline for solid spare parts) and he was a complete disaster in 2008.


Trachsel walked 69 and struck out 45 for the Orioles in 2007. What is the last pitcher who succeeded for an extended period with that kind of BB/K ratio?

"Was signing Trachsel in 2007 a terrible idea?"

Yes.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3041271)
I would've been ecstatic if Trax had been able to make 25 starts with a 5.25 ERA.

What would that have achieved?

Hell, I'm so convinced that we're woefully short of innings in the rotation next year, that MacPhail could go wild and sign two or three league average starters to 1 year deals at $10MM a pop for all I care - it wouldn't solve any long term problems, but it would make the team more watchable and bridge the gap until some pitching (hopefully) arrives.

Well, if he went and signed Andy Pettitte (to pick a name) to a 1/12M contract, I don't think you would hear the ########.

Pettitte is actually a big improvement on the in house options, and someone very well might trade you a decent prospect for him in July if he's putting up a 110 ERA+. Hell, the Yankees might be calling you in May after an injury or bad stretch by Hughes.

The issue with Hendrickson/Sexson/Trachsel is they are literally no better performance wise than random minor league flotsam. No one will ever trade you anything for them mid-season. And, they cost more money, and will be left in there to suck much longer than a random AAAA body b/c of their names.
   63. DKDC Posted: December 31, 2008 at 09:46 PM (#3041288)
Trachsel: 37 years old
Waters: 27 years old


Britney Spears is 27 years old, too.

The issue with Hendrickson/Sexson/Trachsel is they are literally no better performance wise than random minor league flotsam. No one will ever trade you anything for them mid-season.


That's demonstrably not true.

Of course, I'm not advocating signing these guys to flip them at the deadline, because it's a longshot - although not nearly as much of a longhot as Chris Waters becoming a viable major league player.

In fact, I'm not advocating signing them at all, I just think people are losing the forest for the trees when they focus on throwaway deals for throwaway players.

And that's all I have to say about baseball in 2008. Enjoy your new year's celebrations, everyone.
   64. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#3041290)
When I talked about the importance of payroll management, I was talking about building a winning team under the contraints of a limited payroll. Since the Orioles won't be a winning team next year, whatever Hendrickson makes next year or what Trachsel made last year is irrelevant. It would be disappointed if Hendrickson signed for something like $5MM because it would mean MacPhail is an idiot, but it wouldn't affect the next competetive Orioles team.
Huh? You do understand that this isn't fantasy baseball, right? So you realize that the money doesn't reset each year, don't you? Any money not spent last year on Trachsel or this year on Hendrickson is available to be spent next year. So, no, it's not "irrelevant."
   65. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2008 at 09:54 PM (#3041291)
Huh? You do understand that this isn't fantasy baseball, right? So you realize that the money doesn't reset each year, don't you? Any money not spent last year on Trachsel or this year on Hendrickson is available to be spent next year. So, no, it's not "irrelevant."

but how often have you seen a team refer to money saved the previous season is going to be used for the next season? The Cardinals have consistently finished under their payroll limit(under Jocketty) using the philosophy that extra room is good for the trade deadline, but after the season is over and they didn't make use the flexibility, you don't hear them talking about using money saved for the next year. It just doesn't happen (at least out in the open) Cardinals have finished under their stated payroll pretty much by around 3 mil each of the previous seasons and really haven't used that to get a big contract (not that I think they should) I imagine it's the same throughout all of baseball.
   66. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 10:15 PM (#3041306)
Trachsel worked out fantastically for the Orioles in 2007 (when he was flipped at the deadline for solid spare parts) and he was a complete disaster in 2008.

Was signing Trachsel in 2007 a terrible idea?
Of course, and in fact his 2007 illustrates exactly why your arguments are so flawed.

Steve Trachsel's signing in 2007 worked out as well as the best case scenario could possibly have been drawn up: he pitched much better than expected (at least ERAwise) and was traded at midseason.

And what, ultimately, did it get the Orioles? Absolutely nothing. Were they any closer to contention in 2007? Don't make me laugh. Did they get great prospects for him? No; in fact, they got people who you think are so bad that you sneer at the thought of using them and think we need to sign Mark Hendrickson instead.
   67. MM1f Posted: December 31, 2008 at 10:30 PM (#3041321)
hell, let's see if Rocky Cherry can start. Any of those make more sense than wasting innings on Steve Trachsel, who has no upside at all. Oh, and I forgot Hayden Penn.

C'mon. You're smarter than that Dave. Rocky Cherry has nothing to do with this. He hasn't been a starter since 2004 in high-A. And he got lit up. In high-A. At age 24.
He isn't a starter.
Throwing out the names of random relievers doesn't count in this discussion. Hell, why not see if Chris Ray can start. Or George Sherrill. Or Chad Bradford.

And the Penn point is equally bunk. The whole POINT of having flotsam like Waters/Trachsel start games is so guys like Penn DON'T have to start games.
They aren't holding Penn's development back by starting Waters/Trachsel. They are helping his development. They already rushed him once, with poor results. You need stopgaps so he can stay in AAA all year.
   68. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: December 31, 2008 at 11:00 PM (#3041345)
"Britney Spears is 27 years old, too"

She's got some nice same age comps

http://www.popstar-reference.com/s/spearbr01.shtml

Similar Skanks through Age 27

Compare Stats
Jessica Simpson (935)
Cristina Aguilera (925)
Mindy McCready (913)
Lance Bass (911)
Celine Dion (910)
Cher (909)
Michael Jackson (906) *
Jennifer Lopez (904)
Posh Spice (901)
Princess Leia (899)
   69. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 11:25 PM (#3041355)
Hmm. I thought the whole point of having people like Hayden Penn is so that flotsam like Waters & Trachsel don't have to start games.

But, then, I don't have the pathological obsession with not "rushing" players that some do.
   70. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 31, 2008 at 11:46 PM (#3041367)
Michael Jackson = Darryl Strawberry. Great first half to their careers, one of the youngest stars in their leagues, followed by a bizarre and spotty second half, with occasional glimpses of greatness and reminders of what might have been.
   71. tfbg9 Posted: January 01, 2009 at 12:24 AM (#3041392)
Wrong. Michael Jackson has always sucked. Always.
   72. Maury Brown Posted: January 01, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3041393)
Pavano. Paging Carl Pavano.
   73. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 01, 2009 at 01:18 AM (#3041407)
Carl Pavano, please pick up the orange courtesy phone. Carl Pavano... Carl Pavano.
   74. MM1f Posted: January 01, 2009 at 01:22 AM (#3041409)
What would it have accomplished to have Hayden Penn, who was pretty mediocre in AAA, throw 20 starts for the O's last year?
   75. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 01, 2009 at 01:52 AM (#3041415)
Dunno. What did it accomplish to not have him try?
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 01, 2009 at 02:05 AM (#3041417)
What would it have accomplished to have Hayden Penn, who was pretty mediocre in AAA, throw 20 starts for the O's last year?

A 10-20% chance he "figures it out" and becomes a contributor to the team for the next 6 years. That's the one advantage of being a non-competitive team (besides the draft picks), you can let these lottery tickets play out. If you have 10 of them a year, after 2-3 years you may have unearthed 3-5 cost controlled regulars for your next contending team.
   77. MM1f Posted: January 01, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3041424)
Dunno. What did it accomplish to not have him try?

Let him grow and develop in the minor leagues? What is the matter with a 23yo pitcher, who is performing at a below average AAA level, learning how to pitch in the minors while he still has options left.
Plus you're keeping that precious service clock low so you can use it while he is actually an MLB caliber pitcher.

A 10-20% chance he "figures it out" and becomes a contributor to the team for the next 6 years. That's the one advantage of being a non-competitive team (besides the draft picks), you can let these lottery tickets play out. If you have 10 of them a year, after 2-3 years you may have unearthed 3-5 cost controlled regulars for your next contending team.</i>

Hes only 23! Hes a 23yo pitcher who is, right now, a below-average AAA starter and he has options left.
I cannot believe people are actually saying "why not jump him up to MLB".

He can "figure it out" in AAA. When he runs out of options then you can use your crap pitching staff to justify letting him figure it out on the MLB level.

You guys are really just grasping at straws to find something to critique.
   78. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 01, 2009 at 02:43 AM (#3041426)
Is there any reason why the sole data on his minor league performance that you cite is his 99 IP last year, rather than the previous 400+ IP where he ran up an ERA under 3.75 and a WHIP under 1.3?

If I had any evidence that the Oriole minor league instructors had demonstrated any ability to develop pitchers, I might agree with you that having him spend more time in AAA might be good for his development. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

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