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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

White Sox trade for Nomar Mazara | MLB.com

Can the White Sox unlock Mazara’s talent?

As White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke with the media Tuesday evening at the Manchester Grand Hyatt during Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, Texas general manager Jon Daniels walked by in the background and was acknowledged with a smile and a few humorous jabs by Hahn.

This meeting was pure coincidence, but it also was perfect timing as the White Sox later acquired left-handed-hitting outfielder Nomar Mazara in exchange for Minor League outfielder Steele Walker.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2019 at 06:49 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers, trade, white sox

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5907689)
Can the White Sox unlock Mazara’s talent?

I think we've seen Mazara's real talent level. He was never an offensive star in the minors (wRC+ by level R 123, A 101, 130, AA 123). His schtick was that he was always young for his level, but he hasn't developed at all since making MLB.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:23 AM (#5907690)
It makes sense to dump Mazara after he his seasonal home run total dropped so precipitously last year.
   3. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5907692)
This seems like a pretty good deal for the Sox... Walker doesn't seem like anything particularly special as a prospect - his main value is that (IIRC) he's a CF with a pretty decent glove, but he's behind whats-his-name on the Sox prospect chart there anyway.

Maybe Mazara finally clicks and becomes Eloy lite.

In any case, I like this move for the Sox.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5907693)
Yeah, Mazara seems to have peaked/plateaued when he was like 18. I still think he'll get better, but he's getting expensive now, and he's not much of a fielder, so I can see why his value is very low.
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5907696)
White Sox fans on /r/baseball are freaking the #### out about this trade, and I can't figure out why. They seem to think that Walker is a huge overpay.
   6. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5907697)
Other than Eloy, the Sox were running complete drek out at the corner OF/DH slots... this constitutes a definite upgrade that costs them nothing more than a surplus minor league OF....
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5907698)
so I can see why his value is very low.

Less than 2 total WAR (1.8 bWAR, 1.7 fWAR) over four full seasons will do that for you. Without the leftover prospect sheen, I think he'd be looking at a minor league deal.
   8. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5907700)
he's behind whats-his-name on the Sox prospect chart there anyway.


Luis Robert, the 21 YO who hit .328 with 32 HR and 36 SB across 3 minor leagues last year. I expect him to be the starting CF after a couple of weeks working on his defense in AAA.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5907703)
Fun Mazara fact. He has the 7th most PA through age 24 for anyone as bad as him (<2 bWAR).

I bet you can guess the leader.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5907706)
he's behind whats-his-name on the Sox prospect chart there anyway


They also have Blake Rutherford and Luis Alexander Basabe in the upper minors. Neither was all that good last year, but both are still reasonably well-regarded as prospects.
   11. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5907718)
Steele Walker sounds like the baddest guy in the nursing home.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5907727)
Fun Mazara fact. He has the 7th most PA through age 24 for anyone as bad as him (<2 bWAR).

I bet you can guess the leader.


Kranepool?
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5907733)
Kranepool?

Ding, ding, ding.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5907738)
I bet you can guess the leader.


Are we using bWAR or fWAR? If it's the latter, then I'm going with Delmon Young, though he's >2 wins if it's the former.

Edit: Oh, right, Ed Kranepool. Forgot about him.
   15. Itchy Row Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5907741)
His HR totals have been 20-20-20-19 and his OBPs have been .320-.323-.317-.318.

Two of his ten most similar through 24 are in the Hall of Fame, and it will be three if Dwight Evans ever makes it. The second-most similar is Jeff Francoeur, though. Literally anyone or anything would be an upgrade in right for the White Sox.
   16. asinwreck Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5907746)
Steele Walker sounds like the baddest guy in the nursing home.

I just hope Ryan Rowland-Smith gives him the nickname Zimmerframe when the Rangers play Seattle sometime in 2022.
   17. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5907763)
He is an ok player. He at least has power, and he could get BABIP lucky and post a 120 OPS+.

The internet says his projected salary of $5.7M. Not a terrible price for an ok player.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5907765)
He is an ok player. He at least has power,

Not so much. His ISO was 102nd out of 207 players with PA >400.

The internet says his projected salary of $5.7M. Not a terrible price for an ok player.

If he stays who he is, it's pretty terrible. A 0.5 WAR player should be close to free. This is a bet on upside.
   19. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5907769)
Walker doesn't seem like much of a loss. Perhaps some of Sox fans' angst over losing him is lingering gun-shyness related to losing Tatis Jr -- I don't think he was all that well thought of when they dealt him for Shields.

As far as Mazara, the Sox haven't earned any benefit of the doubt as far as being able to transform a marginal talent into something more useful. This trade also comes on the heels of them striking out on Wheeler and (possibly) Strasburg. As such, this is rather underwhelming.

One more gripe -- the Sox have shockingly little prospect depth beyond their top four. Once Robert graduates to the majors, I doubt the Sox' farm system is much better than average. Given how bad they've been lately, the lack of depth is rather concerning.
   20. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5907770)
Two of his ten most similar through 24 are in the Hall of Fame, and it will be three if Dwight Evans ever makes it.


Which illustrates the absurdity of similarity scores. All three were far better hitters in a much lower offense era, 110, 109, and 108 OPS+ vs 93.
   21. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5907772)
If he stays who he is, it's pretty terrible. A 0.5 WAR player should be close to free. This is a bet on upside.


Perhaps. But WS RF last year put up a .220/227/.288 line. If he stays where he is, he's a huge upgrade.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5907775)
But WS RF last year put up a .220/227/.288 line. If he stays where he is, he's a huge upgrade.

That's extraordinary, but part of it is that Leury Garcia, a solid utility infielder, had the bad luck to hit poorly when he was in RF. He had a 1.8 WAR year overall, mostly in the OF, and appears to be an average fielder in the corners, which makes him more or less Mazara's equal. Garcia is better suited to the superscrub position, but if we're just talking about trying to beat last year's terrifying line, Leury could probably do it all by himself.

The other main goofball, Ryan Cordell, could not even be described as a replacement player, after putting up a zesty 661 OPS in AAA the previous year. There's no way there aren't better "freely available" players out there. It doesn't make sense to use .227/.288 as the baseline, you need to use the expected performance as the baseline, which is probably Leury Garcia's something-more-than-zero WAR.

Mazara is as dependable is they come, and that's worth something. But I'm sure they're thinking about his upside in this.
   23. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5907779)
This *surely* isn't going to fill any Sox fans with confidence and the Sox major league talent is further along than the Cubs at the time...

But - it reminds me of Thed's first rade: The Ian Stewart deal. That turned into an absolute debacle because they stupidly decided to toss in DJ LeMaheiu on top of Tyler Colvin.

IAC, I think the idea is the same... Stewart was a couple years older, but he clearly needed a change of scenery (I suppose you could say that rather than being stuck in neutral, he was going backwards) and still has some wisps of upside. The Cubs weren't planning to be competitive the following year, so they were looking for interesting upsides to see if they could "fix".

Again, obviously - worked out terribly (though, it would be a nothing and forgotten deal if they hadn't tossed DJ in)... but I think the basic thinking is solid. Mazara has a pedigree as a still-slightly shiny object. See if a change of scenery/you can fix him.

If not? Meh.... he's a nontender and you look for something else.
   24. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5907785)
If not? Meh.... he's a nontender and you look for something else.


That's my point. If Garcia can play both SS and CF, it's a waste putting him in RF full time to maybe do marginally better than Mazara. Garcia hit worse than mazurka. his WAR was higher because he played the vast majority of his games at premium defensive positions, thus his position adjustment was 0 vs Mazara's -5.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5907788)
Mazurka, that's a good potential Keefism.
   26. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5907790)
Mazurka, that's a good potential Keefism.


Damned auto correct. Every time I fail to capitalize Mazara, it corrects to mazurka. I thought I caught all of them.
   27. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5907795)
Is mazurka like a kavorka for spellchecks?
   28. Itchy Row Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5907802)
Steele Walker, Texas Ranger probably sounds better than whatever Chuck Norris's character's first name was.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5907821)
whatever Chuck Norris's character's first name was


Cordell, as it happens.
   30. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5907834)
Maraza sucks.

Perhaps some of Sox fans' angst over losing him is lingering gun-shyness related to losing Tatis Jr -- I don't think he was all that well thought of when they dealt him for Shields.

He was 17, kinda hard to be too solid on your eval of anyone at that point. Doesn't make that deal less bad in retrospect, even if this outcome was unlikely.
   31. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5907850)
And #### Hawk
   32. bbmck Posted: December 11, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5907941)
Most HR through Age 25 among players who started playing for their second franchise at Age 25:

241 - Alex Rodriguez
115 - Jason Thompson
103 - Babe Ruth
94 - Curt Belfary
91 - Aramis Ramirez

88 - Jeff Francoeur
87 - Ben Grieve
86 - Rusty Staub
86 - Pat Seerey
79 - Nomar Mazara

Mazara has a decent chance of keeping pace with Ruth in 2020 but probably falls off the pace after that.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:58 PM (#5907990)
Unfortunately for Mazara, that Francoeur comp looks awfully spot on. Mazara's been more consistent in his production but, for ages 21-24:

JF 2300 PA, 268/312/434, 92 OPS+, 5.2 WAR (mostly due to +39 Rfield)
NM 2200 PA, 261/320/435, 93 OPS+, 1.8 WAR (on -19 Rfield)

Frenchy with poor defense is not encouraging.
   34. stratosaur Posted: December 12, 2019 at 03:28 AM (#5908012)
Mazara's career road slash for 1,097 PA : .245/.297/.408. He's still an upgrade over Palka but then anyone with a pulse would be....

   35. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5908022)
ZiPS for the White Sox released today. Mazara's flattering top comp: minor league mediocrity Nelson Simmons, who at the same age was busy slashing .280/.340/.407 in AAA in 1987. But don't worry Sox fans, he had a great 1988, slashing .305/.382/.464 for Calgary.

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