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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Blue Jays - Acquired Hillenbrand

Toronto Blue Jays - Acquired 1B Shea Hillenbrand from the Arizona Diamondbacks for P Adam Peterson.

Believe it or not, I don’t hate this acquisition the way I hated the Schoeneweis move - the Blue Jays have to sell the fan base a little after the loss of Delgado and while Hillenbrand is a mediocre 1B, if you’ve got to go with a name, he’s as good as anyone left who’s available.  John Olerud?  Didn’t leave Toronto on great terms thanks to Carter and is perceived as being at the end of his career.  Magglio Ordonez?  Knee problems and SkyDome not the best idea.  Ben Grieve?  Commonly perceived as a failure.  Jeromy Burnitz?  I rather have Hilly.

Hilly’s mediocre as hell, but he’ll have good defense at 1st and most of his value in a near-.300 BA and I can’t think of the last scrappy white BA good-defensive that didn’t have the rubes slobbering.

Not my favorite move (if they wanted a bat, I would have liked them to get someone like Val Pascucci after Bowden blocked him for no particular reason and he went to NPB), but it won’t kill them.  Peterson has a nice fastball, but serious durability concerns and has never been able to really hold his own at levels he’s not too old for.  He could very well still pan out, though, but you can say that about a lot of interesting minor-league flamethrowers.

Hillenbrand, Shea - 2005 ZiPS Projection
————————————————————————————-
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
————————————————————————————-
563 69 164 34 2 16 75 26 65   2 .291 .332 .444

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 12, 2005 at 10:32 PM | 102 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1075750)
Welp, JP's an idiot.
   2. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:04 PM (#1075751)
Oh, and first.
   3. NTNgod Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:05 PM (#1075753)
Hilly's mediocre as hell, but he'll have good defense at 1st

JP said Hinske will be at 1B, Hillenbrand at DH.
   4. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1075755)
Isn't Hillebrand going to DH next year? Its either him or Hinske. Wouldn't it have been better to play Hinske at 1b and get a real bat for much less than the, what $4M Hillebrand will get in arbitration?
   5. I Am Not a Number Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1075756)
he'll have good defense at 1st

Dan, ignoring your choice of verbs in the above ;), most other comments I am hearing about Hillenbrand's defense are that he is awful at both infield corners. Have you seen metrics that suggest the contrary?

Ricciardi has been doing the talk show rounds this afternoon saying how Hillenbrand is the team's DH.
   6. J. Cross Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:14 PM (#1075765)
Yes, a real bat would have been better. Hillenbrand as the DH!?!? Maybe JP really is an idiot.
   7. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:21 PM (#1075775)
What happened with Olerud and Carter?
   8. CiC Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:24 PM (#1075778)
JP wishes he had a Hudson and Mulder to ship off to the NL, the idiot, him.
   9. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:27 PM (#1075781)
FWIW, Tippett and Co. agree with Dan's range estimates for Shea at both first and third.
   10. Internet Commenter Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:27 PM (#1075782)
Yeah, I think JP might very well be an idiot. Hilly has no power, no plate discipline and is a terrible defender per UZR:

'01 - -4
'02 - +4
'03 - -15
'04 - -11
   11. Internet Commenter Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:28 PM (#1075784)
GARAGIOLA RULES!
   12. Mikαεl Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1075787)
2000-2003, Hillenbrand was 8 runs below average in 86 games at first. That's terrible. (His UZRs at 3rd were actually somewhat better, so he's probably not a terrible 1B - anyone have his '04 numbers?)

Also, I wouldn't call Hilly "mediocre" as an offensive 1B. The average 1B hit ~360/465 over the last few years. 330/430 makes for a position-adjusted OPS+ in the range of 84.

And Hillenbrand is arb-eligible, so he'll cost a few million.
   13. Hobbably Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1075788)
FBW,

Where are you getting your UZR data? Thanks.
   14. Internet Commenter Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:32 PM (#1075791)
I have the '03 SLWTS spreadsheet and copied down the handful of numbers that MGL posted for '04.
   15. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:35 PM (#1075793)
Where did you get the 03 SLWTS spreadsheet?
   16. Matthew E Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:35 PM (#1075797)
John Olerud? Didn't leave Toronto on great terms

First I've heard of it. Olerud is still highly regarded around here.
   17. covelli chris p Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:46 PM (#1075813)
Well, maybe not that dumb. Not Dave Rozema dumb. but just dumb in his approach and what he brings to the table.

Who is Dave Rozema? Hilly was really stupid ... on and off the field. It'd be tough to beat him. He even called the GM a fag after he got traded for #### sake.
   18. NTNgod Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:48 PM (#1075816)
He even called the GM a fag after he got traded for #### sake.

BEFORE he got traded ("Trade me, faggot").
Which makes him even more stupid.
   19. Rally Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1075820)
Try this site for pre 2004 UZR and SWLTS:

http://www.tangotiger.net/
   20. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:53 PM (#1075825)
Did he ever admit to that? Or was that leaked to the media?
   21. 1k5v3L Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:53 PM (#1075826)
Shea is coming off a career year (for him) so he'll probably get quite a few bucks in aritration, esp. since the judge will look at all the wrong metrics when deciding the case (BA, HR, RBI, etc). Maybe JP will agree on a deal with him before the arb. case. Shea made $2.6M last year, so I've got him penned at around $4M. Incidentally, I'm not sure if that zips is worth $4M or not.

I read that JP will play him at DH and at 1B vs LHP so Shea should get a decent number of at bats. He is not bad, really, if you could overlook his 20+ GDP or his pedestrian walk rate. That being said, he can be counted on to hussle a lot. I won't be shocked if he can even hit 20 homers in Toronto; I was told that in AZ, the hitting coach had him shorten his swing so his power ended up lower than expected. Who knows.

I don't know what to think of Peterson. I know that AZ got him because Tosca supposedly was really fond of him back in TOR. Liked his guts or something. AZ has a few fireballers in the AA/AAA level already (not counting Bruney, we've got Bulger and Wechsler) who throw hard and can be expected to battle Peterson for a rotation spot later this year or next year. He could become a decent trade bait or a fill in if someone gets traded. I liked his AA stats a lot, but then again, he was a bit too old for his league.
   22. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:59 PM (#1075833)

BEFORE he got traded ("Trade me, faggot").


Jesus, I forgot about that story. True or not, I will say this: Hillenbrand has one of the worst-looking swings I've ever seen. When he swings and misses, it looks like he rocks back on his heels and stops his swing short rather than following through. It looks like he's trying to produce power, but has no balance and an artificial hip.
   23. NTNgod Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:59 PM (#1075834)
Did he ever admit to that? Or was that leaked to the media?

If you're referring to Hillenbrand/"faggot", he did it on a radio talk show, so it would hard to deny :)
   24. Rally Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:03 AM (#1075837)
Do JP or Keith Law read this stuff? It bothers me to think you use the 2 positions where offense is easiest to come by and play Hinske and Hillenbrand.

Hinske is not going to hit like 2002 again. His 2002 looks superficially like his 2001 in AAA, but that was the PCL. His MLE's look more like his 2003 season. Don't know his UZR, but he cut his errors from 22 to 8, so he looks to be improving at 3B. He's not as good as Koskie, though, and that makes him a sunk cost.

Hillenbrand is, well, you know what he is. He's pretty consistent, but you can do better than that at DH.

Here are some 2004 MLE's, in runs created per game. *These are NOT projections for 2005*

Player RCG Age
Larry Sutton 6.9 34
Adam Hyzdu 6.3 32
Val Pascucci 6.2 25
Mike Coolbaugh 5.9 32
Joe Vitiello 5.7 34
Joe Dillon 5.7 29
Russ Branyon 5.6 28
Kevin Witt 5.3 28

None of these guys would have cost much, would they?
   25. karlmagnus Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:03 AM (#1075838)
I don't think Hillenbrand's dumb at all; he was trying to get traded rather than being stuck behind Mueller, and dissing Theo looked like a good way to achieve this. It worked! Plus many of us non-Kool-Aid drinking cynics have been Shea fans ever since.
   26. Eliot Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:04 AM (#1075841)
Let's review.

Koch: mouthy jackass
Schoenweis: mouthy whiner
Hillenbrand: mouthy punk

This from a GM who took offense when a player said "JP's a smooth lookin' cat... looks like he was a pimp back in his day. He's a good dude."

Fun times ahead!
   27. AT in BC Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:08 AM (#1075844)
I don't know what the Blue Jays are doing.
   28. I Am Not a Number Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:09 AM (#1075846)
This from a GM who took offense when a player said "JP's a smooth lookin' cat... looks like he was a pimp back in his day. He's a good dude."

When Hudson made his poorly considered remarks, Ricciardi did not take offense, at least not publicly. And since then, I haven't heard him change his story.
   29. NTNgod Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:09 AM (#1075847)
Russ Branyan 5.6 28

Brewers resigned him last month for $800K....
   30. Smiley Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:15 AM (#1075851)
This from a GM who took offense when a player said "JP's a smooth lookin' cat... looks like he was a pimp back in his day. He's a good dude."

It was never clear to me that he actually took offence at that. In fact, I recall reading JP saying something to the effect that no, he wasn't the least offended, and that, on the contrary, he was down with the street lingo because he coaches high school basketball. I think there's a thread somewhere here on Primer in which somebody claimed JP was a bigot because of this . . . hmmm . . . google search . . .
   31. 1k5v3L Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:17 AM (#1075854)
Sutton, Pascucci, Vitiello are in Japan, methinks.
   32. Smiley Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1075863)
My girlfriend points out a possibility we've all overlooked: maybe JP is exploiting a new-found a market inefficiency--guys who suck.
   33. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:26 AM (#1075870)
Maybe the Jays are trying to lose so they can get better draft picks?
   34. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:26 AM (#1075871)
Smiley, best explanation I've heard all day.
   35. RP Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:31 AM (#1075881)
Plus many of us non-Kool-Aid drinking cynics have been Shea fans ever since.

Oh, you mean the kool-aid that just won them a world series?
   36. Rally Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:31 AM (#1075882)
I just posted guys who could have been cheap. If those players had a call a few months ago, saying, how would you like to be the everday DH in Toronto? I'll bet at least one of em would have bit.
   37. MM1f Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:32 AM (#1075883)
Man, I'd love to see someone give Dillon a shot.
He can play 1b, 3b, lf, rf and even a wee bit of 2b and hit while hes at it. And hed probably come cheap enough to make his injury history less of an issue.
   38. Rally Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:35 AM (#1075888)
The best in-house candidate would be Eric Crozier at 5.3, or .262/.338/.456.

That's no better or worse than Hillenbrand, although Crozier hadn't done much before 2004 and could be a fluke. Small sample or not, 19 whiffs in 33 big league at bats does not inspire confidence.
   39. NTNgod Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:42 AM (#1075894)
maybe JP is exploiting a new-found a market inefficiency--guys who suck.

His new circle of friends - Kenny Williams and Chuck LaMar - told him Hillenbrand and Schoenweissfeller could be difference-makers :)
   40. mr. man Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1075902)
don't forget that hillenbrand is likely to platoon with catalanotto, who is quite weak against lefties...so they'll at least be getting the valuable part of both players this way. the jays do have a very left-handed lineup before hillenbrand joins.
   41. mr. man Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1075904)
look at all the players jp has picked up guys with serious splits in the last week...i suupose he figures incomplete guys who only succeed one way are undervalued....

that doesn't mean i don't think he's overpaying for these guys.
   42. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 12:57 AM (#1075913)
F-Cat is weak against lefties. I guess JP should have ####### noticed that before he ####### punted Josh ####### Phelps and signed F-Cat to a 2 year extension (before transferring him to the 60-day DL) this fall.

F-Cat also can't hardly play anywhere in the field except left field. So I guess this means Riccardi's giving up on Gross as well? Beautiful, just ####### beautiful.
   43. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:02 AM (#1075917)
Just for fun, here's a list, courtesy of the Bill James Handbook.
See if you can determine which of the following is not like the others?
The category is: SLG vs LHP, AL-2004:

Guerrero, V....723
Rodriguez, A...659
Mench, K.......646
Ramirez, M.....631
Phelps, J......618
Tejada, M......616
Byrnes, E......599
Konerko, P.....577
Rowand, A......575
Wells, V.......573
   44. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:08 AM (#1075920)
Snowboy, the Jays and Indians have both given up on PHelps. He was going to get way more in arb this year than he's worth.

And I think JP wants to start Gross in AAA, then call him up when there's an injury.
   45. Joshemy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:08 AM (#1075921)
It is obviously Rowand. He doesn't have an "e" in his last name.
   46. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:13 AM (#1075928)
Did someone ask who Dave Rozema was?

Either I'm getting old, or there's some young dudes hanging out here. He got into a fight wiht John Castino in 1982.
   47. NTNgod Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:15 AM (#1075930)
He was Kirk Gibson's hunting/drinking buddy, too, if I remember correctly....
   48. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:23 AM (#1075938)
Is this true? Valentino Pascucci is going to play in Japan? ### dammit! He's like the coolest guy, I met him at Outback Steakhouse!!!
   49. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1075942)
According to a list that Arnie Braunstein sent me, Gibson and Rozema are/were brothers-in-law.
   50. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:49 AM (#1075981)
Is that how we're supposed to accept waiving Josh Phelps, by saying the Indians "also" gave up on him? Yeah, right, how's that for revisionism!

They picked him up for free. He was depth, a chance, maybe trade bait. A little help to catch the Twins. But they weren't giving him a job over Hafner or Broussard, so they let him go. They had him for a month or two; they never invested anything, so I don't consider it giving up on him.

Unlike the Jays, who actively chose Catalanotto over him to DH, knowing also that they had no 1B for next year.

So now they rent Hillenbrand at $4M? and F-Cat at $2.5M, instead of Phelps and Gross and a plan for 2006? Urgh.
   51. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:57 AM (#1075992)
He is not bad, really, if you could overlook his 20+ GDP or his pedestrian walk rate.

So if we just overlook the ways that he's bad, he's not bad. . . . .
   52. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1075998)
snowboy,

How does Heilman for Gross sound? ;)
   53. Snowboy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:26 AM (#1076049)
Ha-ha. Riccardi might do that. Doesn't help the Mets roster problem though. Throw in Victor Diaz (they'll need an OFer back for, um, AAA, yeah that's it) and it's done. ;)
   54. Klutts Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:32 AM (#1076066)
Why didn't JP call Billy and see about Dan Johnson? A's might have gone for Gabe Gross or someone of that ilk.
   55. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:34 AM (#1076072)
Oh, you mean the kool-aid that just won them a world series?

Just ignore karlmagnus.
   56. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:13 AM (#1076163)
Just ignore karlmagnus.

Good advice.
   57. Jay Seaver Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:25 AM (#1076306)
As a Red Sox fan, I'm in favor of this. I will laugh myself silly the first time someone strikes him out swinging on three pitches into the dirt of the left-handed batters' box.
   58. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 13, 2005 at 05:15 AM (#1076377)
I don't know what the Blue Jays are doing.

Yup, this sums up the entire thread.

If anyone knows what the Jays are doing, let me know.
   59. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 05:16 AM (#1076379)
Sutton, Pascucci, Vitiello are in Japan, methinks

Invasion of the 1B/DHs!

Japanese pitchers fear!
   60. NTNgod Posted: January 13, 2005 at 05:20 AM (#1076387)
Invasion of the 1B/DHs!

Japanese pitchers fear!


It's why the A's were able to sign that pitcher; he fled the country.
The legend of Larry Sutton precedes his arrival !!
   61. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 05:28 AM (#1076397)
Oh yeah.. when it comes to Japanese baseball. They're also giving 15M to Tony Batista.
   62. mommy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:19 AM (#1076455)
"When Hudson made his poorly considered remarks, Ricciardi did not take offense, at least not publicly."

yeah he did, he said some #### like "Orlando will learn that there's an appropriate way to speak and comport yourself" blah blah, something really patronizing. Hey JP, how about "thanks for the compliment," letting it go, and getting some good players for your piece of #### team?
   63. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:31 AM (#1076524)
Snowboy, the Indians let him go because they don't think he can help. And at this point, it's quite possible that Crozier will perform as well as Phelps over his major league career.

So far Phelps has shown an ability to hit soft tossing left handed pitching. I don't think that makes him a starting first basemen.
   64. mgl Posted: January 13, 2005 at 09:49 AM (#1076637)
I don't think that JP can be anywhere close to a saber GM, and I doubt that they are taking many of Law's recommendations seriously (or Law has lost his mind). JP said at least one ridiculous thing in one of his interviews. Unless they completely misquoted him, he sounds like an idiot to me.

The Schoenweiss signing was terrible and this one is almost but not quite as bad. Hilly's 04 UZR at first was -12 per 150. He appears to be terrible at either corner. His best role is probably as a DH. His hitting is stone cold league average, which actually isn't bad for a DH. For some reason, teams do not employ DH's properly. There are many cheap hitters in the minors (and majors) who are better than many teams' DH's, who for whatever reasons, are not employed as DH's...
   65. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:46 PM (#1076693)
According to a list that Arnie Braunstein sent me, Gibson and Rozema are/were brothers-in-law.

Not just brothers-in-law; they married sisters who were strippers.

At least once they got into a fight at the club when someone did somethig they considered inappropriate.
   66. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 01:52 PM (#1076697)
mgl - Hillenbrand is setup to be the DH, and JP is not an idiot.
   67. Mister High Standards Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:26 PM (#1076719)
As someone who has given JP more crap than anyone else here, this probably isn't that bad a deal.

They obviously have the money to spend. And since they refuse to redeploy their assets to the 2006 budget, or too international free agents or to the 2006 draft. Then it's good that they will get some production out of the position.

Hillenbrand will likely be the Jays second best hitter, which is more of an indication of how bad a job JP has done putting together the team, rather than a pure indictment of how bad this move was.

The Jays have a bunch of regulars who not only aren't all that good, but really need to be platoon. Having a guy like Shea who has normal splits and who can play every day should help their lineup stability.

Also despite the fact that Shea is an average offensive player, he is a good run producer due to his high average and his extra base hits. This is for a team that outside of vernon wells doesn't have ANY run producers (I know that term has a negative connotation among stat heads, but I can't think of a better one, that describes the other end of a table setter).

This will be a brutal offensive team.

Yuck.
   68. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:47 PM (#1076748)
I'm approaching this with the intent of finding possible reasons behind the otherwise bad moves. I'm in no way trying to say they were good moves, nor am I giving JP the benefit of the doubt. I'm merely trying to answer the question, "What could JP have POSSIBLY been thinking?"

Possibilities include:

1. If you can't beat two teams in your division, you can't make the playoffs. And if you can't make the playoffs, your focus should be on getting the fan base to believe that you're trying nonetheless. To the extent that they can, they should sign low-priced names, but pay them above value to give fans the impression that they're not worthless. Not anything like a $100 million deal for, say, Jeromy Burnitz... but more like the Hillenbrand deal.

2. Lots of teams make deadline deals, and are usually desperate for whatever "talent" they can find. JP's just stocking up.

3. He's biding his time until the American dollar becomes much weaker; at that point he can outbid a lot of teams.

4. The Toronto ownership strategy is for MLB to buy them out, too.

. . . .

OK, having said all that, I think JP doesn't really have a plan any more. I think his original plan was to do the Moneyball thing, but because it's catching on elsewhere it has become more difficult to exploit market inefficiencies.

I liken the JP situation to Rick Pitino with the Celtics, whose overall GM strategy appeared to be, "Show up, draft Tim Duncan, wait a few years, get called a genius." But San Antonio won the lottery, preventing Pitino from enjoying the fruits of M.L. Carr's heinous reign.

Instead, Pitino started collecting underpants in the hopes that it would lead to profits.
   69. Spahn Insane Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1076759)
Isn't Rozema the one who broke a leg doing a kung fu kick in a barfight or something?

He was sort of a local hero in my youth, since he's from South Haven, MI, about 45 minutes from where I grew up.
   70. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 02:59 PM (#1076769)
Kevin, I vaguely recall the Brillo pad story. Thanks for reminding me.
   71. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1076777)
I just posted guys who could have been cheap. If those players had a call a few months ago, saying, how would you like to be the everday DH in Toronto? I'll bet at least one of em would have bit.

I bet any one of those guys would have played for the minimum.
   72. 185/456(GGC) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1076834)
Hey, why don't the Jays sign Rozema? I forget if an injury killed his career, but he's not much older than some of the other AL East pitchers.
   73. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: January 13, 2005 at 03:30 PM (#1076849)
There are good and bad GMs in the of the "traditional" school. Why wouldn't there be good and bad GMs of the "Moneyball" school? After the book came out, certain market inefficiencies were exposed. Beane, Theo and maybe DePo seem to have found new ones. It looks as if JP has not.

Or maybe he's just in an untenable situation based on the exchange rate, the Blue Jays ownership, and being in a division with the Red Sox and Yankees.
   74. E., Hinske Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1076962)
I don't think that JP can be anywhere close to a saber GM, and I doubt that they are taking many of Law's recommendations seriously (or Law has lost his mind). JP said at least one ridiculous thing in one of his interviews. Unless they completely misquoted him, he sounds like an idiot to me.

If this isn't completely obvious by now, people don't want to see it. Latest quote from the Globe and Mail: "Ricciardi said the Jays might discuss a multiyear contract, before moving quickly to play down speculation that Hinske will now be traded."

This move is stupid without doing that. Not the dumbest thing that the Jays have done this offseason-signing Koskie to a three year deal when you've got 2B/SS filled with cheap talent, and a reasonable prospect in AAA is dumber, but if he gives him multiple years, this moves up the list.

JP might as well just walk up to F-Cat in Spring Training and break his leg to get it over with. He'll be injured by the end of May anyway.
   75. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:40 PM (#1077045)
Bad move, plain and simple.

If he wanted a 1B/DH, there are a bunch of ML-pedigreed choices still out there. Granted, some of them (Mondesi and Fullmer) have inconvenient ex-Jay pasts, but he could've easily gotten a Travis Lee or a Brian Daubach for a lot less than Hillenbrand's going to want. That's even if you completely discount Pascucci, or minor-league refugees like Mike Hessman, or possible Japanese returnees like Fernando Seguignol, or internal options like Alfaro, Crozier, and Gross. Hell, Henri Stanley just got DFA'd; I'd give him at least a 30% chance of out-hitting Hillenbrand in equal PT, and he can play CF without completely embarassing himself to boot.

I move to toss JP out of the club. All in favor?
   76. Danny Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1077067)
Aye.
   77. The Other Kurt Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1077074)
# Hillenbrand is setup to be the DH, and JP is not an idiot.

DH may be the optimal use of Hillenbrand, but JP is still an idiot.
   78. formerly dp Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1077075)
I move to toss JP out of the club. All in favor?

I did that when he traded for John McDonald. I didn't think you could do worse than SuperHole McEwing, then I looked at McDonald's stats.

JP put himself in a bad spot here- Shea will get probably $5 million in arbitration. The only way to avoid that is a multi-year deal, which is really dumb for a guy who could post a .310 OB% and has no defensive value.
   79. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 13, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1077077)
There are good and bad GMs in the of the "traditional" school. Why wouldn't there be good and bad GMs of the "Moneyball" school? After the book came out, certain market inefficiencies were exposed. Beane, Theo and maybe DePo seem to have found new ones.

Well he's not even taking advantage of basic concepts of properly understanding the fungible nature of mediocre hitters at the weak end of the defensive spectrum. Committing ~$7M to Hillenbrand and Catalanotto for 2005-06 is just asinine while claiming that they can't compete with the Yankees and Red Sox because of payroll. $7M a year is more than the Red Sox are paying Ortiz in the next two seasons!!!

If the Jays are going to be competitive, Ricciardi's got to start making those kinds of deals. Not overpaying for mediocrities was, at the very least, what was expected from Ricciardi. While he was extremely unlucky in 2004 with injuries, that doesn't change the fact that most of his personnel decisions have been ill-advised. He should be fired, IMHO.
   80. Dixiechick Posted: January 13, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1077207)
Theo's great move was signing Ortiz for a million before the 2003 season. In that same period, I hate to mention some of the folks JP spent a comparable amount on - Tanyon Sturtze, Dave Berg come to mind.

I think Theo's offseason this year was filled with the kind of high upside/low risk moves that JP ought to have been making - Miller/Mantei/Halama - as well as getting the guy JP wanted.
   81. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2005 at 05:59 PM (#1077271)
I think Theo's offseason this year was filled with the kind of high upside/low risk moves that JP ought to have been making - Miller/Mantei/Halama - as well as getting the guy JP wanted.

I might count David Wells signed to an incentive-laden contract as one of those deals. Then again, his base salary isn't low-risk for some teams.
   82. 1k5v3L Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:18 PM (#1077332)
Dan, you don't have a projection for Adam Peterson? I am just curious to see if he can be another Brandon Lyon-like pitcher (sans the injury) rescued for the Blue Jays.
   83. Mr Dashwood Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:23 PM (#1077345)
completely discount Pascucci

I'd be nervous about bandying Pascucci's name about as an alternative to HIllenbrand. I remember when he came up for his cup of coffee last year, I was listening to games eager for him to do well and help the cause of sabermetrics. He then supplied a .297 OBP and a .290 SLG in 62 ABs. The OBP wasn't an absolute disaster, since his BA was about 177, so if he could get his average up to .200 (only two more hits) you're looking at a .320 OBP which beats Hillenbrand's 2003 total. But that power outage was depressing, considering how well he had done at Edmonton.

JP would lose all hope of future employment in baseball if he took Pascucci over Hillenbrand and it didn't pan out. It's all right to do something courageous yourself, but sometimes I feel people visiting this site are urging Tom Hanks to go save Private Ryan while they sit back at HQ reading the intelligence reports.
   84. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:38 PM (#1077395)
"JP would lose all hope of future employment in baseball if he took Pascucci over Hillenbrand and it didn't pan out."

Well, if the Jays stumble through another year like 2004, there's a decent chance of that happening anyway. Success is the only thing that can really guarantee JP's future, and he'd stand a better chance of succeeding with someone like Pascucci than with Hillenbrand.

If I tried to list every longtime MLB regular who struggled over their first 60 AB, I'd be here all week. As such, I'll have to content myself with one comp: Brad Wilkerson. Similar skill set to Pascucci, no? 1B/Corner OF, regular job at 26, .260ish BA, walks and power, runs maybe a bit more than he should. Wilkerson staggered through 117 AB on his way to a .205/.304/.325 line as a rookie in '01.

If a GM doesn't have the balls to take a chance on a guy like Val when he's in a position of need, he doesn't deserve to keep the job he's got.
   85. Danny Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1077402)
Committing ~$7M to Hillenbrand and Catalanotto for 2005-06 is just asinine while claiming that they can't compete with the Yankees and Red Sox because of payroll. $7M a year is more than the Red Sox are paying Ortiz in the next two seasons!!!

I'm certainly not going to defend either of those moves, but it's also entirely unfair to compare Toronto's worst moves with Boston's best. NYY and BOS can both easily waste $7M (and they both do, NYY more so) and not have it matter.

I might count David Wells signed to an incentive-laden contract as one of those deals. Then again, his base salary isn't low-risk for some teams.

I don't see that move as similar at all. If Wells is good, he'll be paid the way good starters were this winter. If he sucks, he'll still get paid.

I much prefer the Woody Williams signing. Same performance history, cheaper, and younger.
   86. Mikαεl Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:45 PM (#1077419)
Trot Nixon started his career at ~220/260/260 in his first 70 ABs.

Jimy Williams, back when he was a good manager, before he went balls-out insane, stuck with Nixon and developed one of the better RFs in the league.

And I agree with Vlad's general point - the difference between Pascucci and Hillenbrand is not gonna save JP's job.

And if he were smart, he wouldn't bring in only Pascucci but also a guy like Brian Daubach, who's probably a better player than Hillenbrand right now. If Pascucci actually has some quality that makes his AAA production untranslatable to MLB, Dauber could step in.
   87. Matthew E Posted: January 13, 2005 at 06:46 PM (#1077424)
if the Jays stumble through another year like 2004

If the Jays have another year like 2004, I'll give up my former life and move into a cardboard box under the Gardiner Expressway because it'll be proof of a malevolent universe.
   88. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:16 PM (#1077503)
but JP is still an idiot.

No, he's not.

Now, I realize that regardless of which side of this idiotic feud between old and new you're on, you're supposed to call the other side names, but JP isn't an idiot.

JP may have said and/or done idiotic things, but that doesn't make him an idiot. If it did, every GM in baseball, and just about everyone in the world, would be an idiot.
   89. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2005 at 08:58 PM (#1077778)
I don't see that move as similar at all. If Wells is good, he'll be paid the way good starters were this winter. If he sucks, he'll still get paid.

It's similar in terms of high upside/low risk. I was taking it in terms of high performance upside/low financial risk. YMMV.

In terms of high financial upside/low financial risk, you're correct.
   90. mgl Posted: January 13, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1077842)
JP may have said and/or done idiotic things, but that doesn't make him an idiot. If it did, every GM in baseball, and just about everyone in the world, would be an idiot..

Paul, I agree with that statement, which is why I carefully crafted my words (which I usually try an do) by saying "He sounds like an idiot," based on the quote I was talking about, which I did not identify. I don't think he is an idiot, given any reasonable definition of idiot. Of course, arguing whether someone is an "idiot" or not is a silly and specious argument.

What I mean is simply that the evidence, if evaluated by a competent sabetmetrician, strongly points in favor if JP NOT being a competent sabetmetric GM.

Also, and this is a bit of hyperbole, when someone says something really stupid in a certain field of study (and they are serious of course), there is a very good chance that he is an "idiot" in that field, even though we all say stupid things now and then. An extreme, but serious example, is if I were to say that I sincerely think that the world is flat, what could you assume about my knowledge and competence in the field of science or geography?
   91. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1077845)
DH may be the optimal use of Hillenbrand, but JP is still an idiot.

DH is the optimal use of me, since I would be below replacement level at all defensive positions, but that isn't reason enough to sign me to play DH.
   92. DCW3 Posted: January 13, 2005 at 09:48 PM (#1077892)
DH is the optimal use of me, since I would be below replacement level at all defensive positions, but that isn't reason enough to sign me to play DH.

Or, to use an even more ridiculous example, pitcher is probably the optimal use of Shawn Estes. But that's not reason enough to sign him.
   93. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 10:39 PM (#1078030)
My apologies MGL, I didn't notice the qualifier.

Perhaps it's just a lack of sleep lately, but Primer's been making me cranky. It seems as though every signing brings out someone saying that the GM is an idiot or incompetent or something like that, and instead of being funny, most of these comments just strike me as petty.

It could also be because I'm a Jays fan, and I'm depressed. Oh well, Go Raptors!
:)
   94. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 13, 2005 at 11:08 PM (#1078084)
"It seems as though every signing brings out someone saying that the GM is an idiot or incompetent or something like that, and instead of being funny, most of these comments just strike me as petty."

In fairness, a lot of the deals this winter have been totally crazy. It's easy to lose the few smart ones in the noise.

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