Tagged: A's

An Old Trade I Never Analyzed

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This was a blockbuster
trade that I never got to officially analyze, so here we go…

 

(The trade was Matt Holliday
for Carlos
Gonzalez
, Huston
Street
, and Greg Smith)

gonzalez, street, smith.jpg

I don’t know why the
Rockies asked for Carlos Gonzalez because they already had a logjam in the
outfield without him.  I also don’t know
why the Athletics targeted Greg Smith rather than another young A’s pitcher who
doesn’t give up a lot of fly balls, which does not bode well for Coors
Field.  It still made sense for Colorado
to trade Holliday because they got enough talent back for the trade to work,
but I’m not convinced the Rockies were bad enough to give him up.  With Holliday, I suspected the Rockies would
have a reasonable shot to win the NL West because remember, in the land of
losers, the .500 team is king. 

 

holliday.jpg

I guess Dan
O’Dowd
didn’t want to take the risk of keeping Holliday until July where he
would have had half the package the A’s offered for a full season of Holliday’s
services.  The funny thing is that I
assumed the A’s and Rockies would have about the same amount of success next
season.  This is just a trade based off
the GMs’ decisions.  Billy
Beane
decided his team was good enough to win the World Series if they
acquired Holliday (and perhaps another FA), and chose to go all out.  I cannot disagree with him.  The A’s have a ton of young starters, and a
bevy of position players who could break out like Kurt Suzuki, Daric Barton,
Travis Buck,
Ryan Sweeney,
and Aaron
Cunningham
.  The ladder would have
most likely been the starting 2009 left fielder if Holliday was never
acquired.  But with only 20 games in
Triple-A under his belt, Cunningham probably is best suited to take over Holliday’s
spot in 2010.

 

Dan O’Dowd made the choice
to build for the future and basically sacrifice 2009.  I cannot argue with that decision either because the Rockies are
an extremely young team whose best years are in front of them.  2010 and 2011 will most likely go very well
for Colorado due to them having a lush farm system full of high ceiling
prospects.

 

sewell.jpegdemel.jpeg

However, I do question why O’Dowd asked for Carlos Gonzalez from the A’s when he could have
asked for relief help instead.  I’m not
saying the A’s would have given up their top relief prospect in  Andrew
Carignan
, but the Rockies could have improved upon  their poor bullpen depth by asking for a couple of relief prospects like Lance Sewell
(left) and Sam Demel (right). 

 

The Rockies just don’t
need more outfielders.  Brad Hawpe is
a lock in right, Ryan
Spilborghs
should be a lock in center, and Seth Smith is
good to go in right.  Smith killed the
ball in Triple-A the past two years and deserves a chance to play everyday in
Colorado.  At the very least he can be
an inexpensive stopgap in left field until Dexter Fowler
or Eric Young
Jr.
are ready.

 

If Gonzalez is flipped to
another team in return for more prospects, this deal could wind up being an
extremely good one for the Rockies.  But
until that deal is made, I’m not sure Dan O’Dowd did the best job he could have
in trading away the face of the franchise.

 

Bottom Line


This trade makes sense for
both teams, but I’m not convinced Dan O’Dowd chose the right players from
Oakland.  Nor am I completely convinced
the A’s are going to be good enough to make the playoffs next year.

 

Grades


Athletics –            B+

Rockies –             B+

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Sherrill Must Go

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      The
Orioles need to trade George Sherrill now! 
I respect Andy MacPhail and what he has done so far as GM, but the
Orioles have a reliever who is as the top of his career, and ultimate peak of
trade value. 

sherrill.jpg

Sherrill was impressive in
the AS game and has proven he is capable of closing.  But Sherrill(pictured) is 31 years old, and by the time the Orioles are at
a championship level will be way past his prime.   I think 2013 is the absolute earliest the Orioles could plan for
winning the World Series.   If that prediction
is right, then Sherrill will be 36 years old. 
The Orioles need to trade him at this year’s deadline.  Why not wait until next year?  Because the Orioles will not be good next
year either, and every year Sherrill gets older his value will go down.  I know the Orioles have a currently unstable
bullpen, but they have some nice future pieces like Randor Bierd, Lance
Cormier, Jim Hoey, Cory Doyne, Jim Johnson, Dennis Sarfate, Matt Albers, Chris
Ray, and Bob McCrory. 

 

     Chris
Ray, of course is the future closer, while Doyne was named Closer of the Year in
the International League (AAA).  Sarfate
will be a good set-up man for years to come and Bierd has been a nice Rule 5
surprise. 

Thumbnail image for fernandocabrera.jpg

Lance Cormier has broken out
in Baltimore as reliever, and the same thing can be said about Matt
Albers.   Hoey just needs consistency
and he will be dominant.  Jim Johnson
has been the best reliever this year for the O’s, while McCrory is mowing them down
in Norfolk.   Fernando Cabrera(pictured) is a big
question mark.  He was the
Indians future closer at one time, but has struggled for the past two
years.  He’s doing a fine job in
Baltimore so far and has the chance to post a huge comeback season.  It’s weird to say that a 26 year old could have a comeback season, but it certainly would apply to Cabrera.

 

    

Sherrill should go to any team that could use bullpen
help like the Brewers, Cardinals, Angels, Twins, and even Yankees or Mets.  The Orioles could, and should ask for some
prospects in return.  I don’t care what
position the minor leaguers play because the Orioles need help everywhere.  They could trade Brian Roberts in the
future, so second base depth will be important if that occurs.  The only areas I would shy away from, is the
outfield (Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis), and catcher
(Wieters).  Any infield players, or
starting pitchers should be the main targets for the O’s.

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In
other news….

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    • Outman is starting games again
      in Midland!  The A’s are seeing clearly
      now.  Maybe some Oakland official read
      this blog.   Or maybe they just don’t care
      about what the Phillies think.

     

    • Adam Loewen and Brian Bogusevic
      are both abandoning pitching and becoming a first baseman and outfielder,
      respectively.  Boy, the Orioles just
      can’t catch a break.  Bogusevic, on the
      other hand, has the opportunity to contribute something to the Astros.  He was a bust as a pitcher, being drafted in
      the first round in 2005. 
      They could
      have drafted guys like Matt Garza, Clay Buchholz, Colby Rasmus, or Michael
      Bowden.  The chance of Bogusevic ever
      being as good as any of those players is still extremely slim.  They are trying the exact opposite of what
      Matt Bush(pictured) is attempting. 
      Thumbnail image for mattbush.jpgIf you don’t
      know about Bush already, he was the first overall pick in 2004.  He never did squat in the minors, and at the
      end of last season he switched to pitching. 
      He only pitched in 7.2 innings with a 1.17 ERA, before getting
      injured.  He had TJS, and will be out
      all of this season likely.  Of the 7
      games he appeared in, six of them were in rookie ball.  His last outing was in A-ball.   By the way, isn’t it weird that Bush had a
      brother named Jeremy, while so does Tim Beckham.  Both were high school shortstops drafted first overall.  Jeremy (17th round), Tim’s
      brother has already been promoted to A- before his bro.  Tim has .247 OBP with no homers in 23 games
      for Princeton (R).   In Tim’s defense,
      Jeremy was drafted out of college.

     

    • By
      the way, the Randy Wolf for Chad Reineke deal makes no sense at all for the
      Astros.   Does Ed Wade actually believe
      the Astros could make the playoffs?  Not
      that Reineke is anything special, but I’m starting to think that Wade makes
      trades just for the heck of it.

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Notes, Trades, and Thoughts

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With the treading deadline coming, and rumors swirling, I’ve
just put together some trades that could make sense for both teams, or maybe
what a team should ask for a specific player on the block.  Take Brian
Fuentes for example.  I think the Rockies need to trade him.  
The Rox need pitching too much to beat out the D-Backs or Dodgers for the NL
West.  The Rays have so many young pitchers in their system, that’s a
great match for the Rockies and Rays to trade with each other.  

      The
Rays, seriously, are absolutely stocked with young pitching.  I know the
saying “you can never have enough pitching” but if the
Rays want another player, they can afford to give up a pitcher.  Brian
Fuentes can make any bullpen a lot better, and for the Rays, the boost would be
huge.  The Rays have SO many young starting pitchers: Scott Kazmir, Andy
Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, David Price,
Chris Mason, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson, and Jacob McGee.   If the
Rays would never trade any of these pitchers, there would be some talented pitchers
not in the Rays rotation. 

     That where the Rockies come in.   If
Chris Mason wasn’t having such a bad year in Durham, I’d propose a Mason for
Fuentes trade, straight up.  But Mason’s value is greatly diminished, so I
think the Rockies should focus on Jeff Niemann(pictured).

niemann2.jpg

In no way am I saying
that Niemann is a better prospect than Wade Davis, David Price, Jeremy
Hellickson, or Jacob McGee, but all of the names I just mentioned are not worth
giving up for just Brian Fuentes.  Niemann seems right.  He’s a big
guy, 6’10, who has been hampered by injuries early in his career, but over the
past two seasons at AAA he’s been healthy.  He’s expendable for the Rays,
but would be considered a large part of the future of the Rockies
rotation.  I had Niemann down to make the Rays rotation this spring over
Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel.  Jackson has done a fairly good job this year, so
I’ve been proven wrong, but Niemann is probably ready for the Majors now.

 

OK, so here is the list of trades I would make if I were the
GM of the Rockies, Rays or Nationals.

 

Brian Fuentes for Jeff Niemann

Tim Redding     for        Nick Stavinhoa and Mitchell Boggs

            Or                                            Or

Odalis Perez                 Tyler Herron, Jaret Hoffpauier, and
James Rapoport

                                                            Or

                                                    Jess Todd

                                                            Or

                                    Skip Schumaker and Daryl Jones

(Many different combinations involving these Cardinal prospects could be used, but these combos seem evenly balanced.)                 

 

Christian Guzman for            James
McDonald

                                                Or

                        Victor Garate, and Ivan De Jesus

                                                Or

                        Adolfo Gonzalez, Chin-lung Hu, and
Eric Stults

 

 

It may be a stretch to say the Nationals could get McDonald
for letting the Dodgers rent Guzman for half a year. 

james mcdonald.jpg

McDonald(pictured) is the best Dodgers pitching prospect behind Clayton Kershaw,
and most likely will hold that title after this year.  But because the N.L. West is so open for any team to break out,
the Dodgers may feel they need Guzman (which they do), so if the Nationals
could capitalize on the N.L. West situation and get a pitcher like James
McDonald that would be huge for the Nats future.

   The Nationals also need some middle
infield prospects, so Hu, Gonzalez and De Jesus could be huge assets.  The only legitimate
middle infield prospect in the Nats system is Esmailyn “Smilin” Gonzalez and he
is 18 years old playing in rookie ball.  Who will play shortstop if Guzman goes?  Either Pete Orr(I’m fine with that), or Yurendell De Caster.  De Caster has been good in Columbus and deserves a first shot at the bigs.

 

Speaking of the Nationals, why do they have four catchers?
They just placed Wily Mo Pena on the DL, and reinstated Johnny Estrada to the
active roster.  That means they have
Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, Paul Lo Duca, and Johnny Estrada: all catchers.  I’m fine with a team having three catchers
as long as one of them is can play other positions.  But four!?  I mean, Lo
Duca can play left, and first base, I suppose, but he plays below average in
all of those positions, including catcher. 
Estrada has no upside whatsoever in my mind.  He has no power, no speed and is a very below average
defender.  I have no idea why the
Nationals didn’t do the sensible thing and call up an outfielder, since they
just put one on the DL.  Just call up
Mike Daniel!  I already talked about the
whole situation in this post.  https://mlblogsdistrictboy.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/nelsoncruz-thumb-274×4111.jpgarchives/2008/07/the_nationals_report_part_2.html

 

On the Blanton deal, I like how Outman(awesome name!) and Cardenas look for
the future, but the Phillies really needed someone like Blanton in their
rotation and they finally realized that if you are going to be a
championship team, Adam Eaton isn’t in your rotation.   One question I have is about Josh Outman.  The Phillies were grooming him as a reliever
when the trade occurred. 

outman.jpg

 

I really don’t know why Outman(pictured above) stopped starting.  His career was progressing very smoothly and
he ended the season with a successful call-up to AA.  But after five starts in AA this year, the Phillies moved Outman to the
bullpen.  His five starts were good and
he didn’t have trouble giving Reading innings but I guess the Phillies thought
in the long run Outman would be better as a reliever.  I’ll just let you see the numbers for yourself.  I just don’t get it.  Here are Outman’s stats. 

 

How bout some more random thoughts?   How about the job Eric Stults
has done since being moved to the rotation? 
It shows that not everyone is better suited as a reliever. 

 

And lastly, a little chatter from the farm.  I have attended some minor league games
recently and David Hernandez of the Baysox looked dominant.  I’ll be keeping an eye on his career, but
the last minor leaguer who I followed after being impressed at a game hasn’t been
doing so well, Rodolfo Encarnacion.

 

Collin Cowgill has cooled down since being promoted to Class
A South Bend(ARI) and Mike Loree(SF) has, for one start, not been pitching like
Superman.  Loree truly was incredible
and now matter what he does in his career, he already is guaranteed as the
topic for a “Cracked Bats” article in seventy years.   Whenever I talk about the minors in general I have to give a
shout-out to my favorite MILB team.   GO
SPIKES!

I know this was a really messy blog topic-wise but hey, that what the title said – “Notes, Thoughts, and Trades”

 

P.S.      Doesn’t seem
like a crime that Terry Tiffee, Brian Myrow(now a back-up in SD), John Lindsey, and Nelson Cruz are
still in AAA?  Especially Nelson
Cruz. 
Those are SICK, SICK, SICK
numbers.  Oh please Jon Daniels, trade
him to a team that isn’t stocked with outfielders.  Anywhere.  San Diego.  Perfect. 
Cruz to San Diego for some pitcher. 
Jeez I don’t know maybe Enrique Gonzalez?   It probably won’t happen. 
Silly me.  I’m just a dumb kid
who thought Texas could use some pitching….

Stuck in Oklahoma”

nelsoncruz.jpg

The Nationals Report – Part 2

 Jim Bowden has a weird mind.  First of all, it’s obvious that he was the former GM of the Red because well, half of all the players he acquires are former Reds.  Austin Kearns, Wily Mo Pena, Aaron Boone, Felipe Lopez, Ryan Wagner are all former Reds and now in Washington. 
bowden1.jpg
     One thing, I have noticed about Jim Bowden is that he plays favorites.  I usually don’t like saying things like that but I’m not stupid.  I know that Brandon Watson, Ryan Church, and Chris Schroder didn’t get the same treatment as Felipe Lopez, Wily Mo Pena and Jesus Colome.   Brandon Watson was named the starter in spring training of 2006.  After nine games, he was sent down.  Not only did the Nationals ultimately let him go, but then preceded to come back to Nationals and have the longest hit streak in the history of the International League(AAA), and what to the Nats do?  The Nats call him up for four days, and after hitting .275 and having the best game of his life he gets demoted.  Well of course, his self-confidence shattered, he struggled the rest of the year in AAA.  He must have thought “what do I have to do?  I broke a hit streak record that lasted 83 years, I have the best game of my life, where I basically won the game for them and then after four games, I’m back in Columbus and guys like Nook Logan, Preston Wilson and Marlon Byrd are playing in the majors?!”  Seriously, Watson was in his prime right then and there, and Nook Logan is starting for the Nationals?  Just n case you are wondering, Watson is currently in the Phillies organization repeating Triple-A for the fourth time.  In his first season he hit .293.   As of now, he’s hitting .300.  That’s fair.

     Ryan Church is the next player, Bowden had a grudge against.   For the three years Church was with Washington, Bowden consistently acquired so-so outfielders and they would play ahead of Church.  Byrd, Logan, Kearns(who’s good), Pena, and Marlon Anderson, Marlon Anderson.  It truly was ridiculous.   I mean of course, more people know about Church because of the trade and the good season this year, but Church was good in Washington as well, but for some reason, he was never the bona fide starter.  church.jpgThe thing with Church was that he could play everywhere in the outfield, at a high level.  In 2005, Church was 26, and played in 106 games.  He had .353 .OBP and hit 9 homers in 268 AB’s.   In 2006, at 27, he was informed that he would start the season in the minors, and that Marlon Byrd, and Marlon Anderson had made the team.  Well, he got the call back up, but only played in 71 games. He didn’t start, but still hit 10 homers in 196 at bats.  That translates to about 30 homers a season.  Oh yeah, he had .366 OBP in 06.  In 2007, it looked like it was finally Church’s year.  He was 28, in his prime but well, in the Nationals mind, he still wasn’t as good as Kory Casto, who had never played a game above AA, and had only played left field that Spring Training.  After 16 games of horribility, Casto was in AAA, and guess what?   Church was starting!   Yes, it was true.   I kid you not.  But hold on, this is a dream isn’t it. Surely, the Nationals are not going to let Church play almost an entire season.  Then the trading deadline came strolling along, and well……no deal!   Church was still starting, and I started thinking “Is this to good to be true?” 

    It was.  On August 17th, after the trading deadline, Bowden announced he acquired Wily Mo Pena.  And yes, Pena would be the starting left fielder, an yes, Logan (0 HR .310 OBP) would remain the starter in center.  Outrageous. 

    The third player, Bowden seems to have a grudge against who is still in the organization,  is Chris Schroder.  Schroder made his ML debut in 2006 at the age of 28.   For the most part he struggled.  schroder.jpgI happened to attend the best game of his career at that point.  He went 2.0 innings and struck out every batter.  But overall, he wasn’t very good, a 6.35 ERA backs that point up.  But they really did the right thing by calling him up because he was mowing down hitters at AAA, and was considered a valuable strikeout pitcher.   Something that the Nationals needed at that point.   He had a 1.52 ERA in AAA, so there was an urge to see what he could do in the majors.  Going into 2007, Schroder started in AAA, but after recording a 1.62 ERA there he was back in the majors.  After that call-up, Schroder became one of the best relievers on the team, with a 3.18 ERA in 37 appearances.   Schroder made the club out of spring training as expected.  But after only two games, with the Nationals, they sent him down.  Why?  I have no idea.  Here is how he did in those two games…..

                      IP           H        ER        BB         SO
4/4 @STL       1             1         0           0            0
4/7 vs. FLA     1.2          1         1           1            1

   So a guy, who had a 3.17 ERA in 37 games last year gets called down after those two games?   Weeiirrdd.  So after having an ERA below 2, in Columbus , Schroder finally gets called back up.  I’m thinking – “OK, that was really weird but he’s back up now.”.  After ONE game, ONE, he goes back down.  What did he do that game?  1 and a third innings, 1 hit, one walk, NO RUNS.  What?!?!.   In case, you’re wondering some of the guys that are getting called up when Schroder gets called down, here they are – Brian Sanches, Charlie Manning, Steven Shell, and Ray King.  OK, so Manning is left handed, so there is a reason, but King was an ineffective as a lefty specialist, and Sanches, well, I don’t even know what Bowden was thinking.  Shell was good, but why not Schroder?   I just don’t get it.   So when Schroder was called up again, I didn’t know what to think.  Nine days after his last appearance, Schroder came in against the Phillies, and didn’t that well.  HE gave up two runs in one inning, but when I heard he was getting called down again, it was obvious Bowden has something against him. 

     If Luis Ayala (I love Luis, I’m just proving a point), if Ayala had done the exact same thing as Schroder, he would still be up. In fact, Ayala has been much worse than Schroder
did, but he’s in Washington, and Schroder is in Columbus.  Ayala has  5.40 ERA, but since Bowden likes him, Ayala shouldn’t worry.  Jesus Colome has been even worse, with a 5.71 ERA, but Colome has been in the majors the whole season.  It’s unfair.  Schroder is younger than Colome, too. 

   Perhaps the player, Bowden loves the most is Wily Mo Pena.  These are Pena’s numbers:
        G        AB        H        .OBP        HR        RBI        SB        BB        SO
        62       186       39       .249           2          10          0          10         47
   
    The only way to describe those stats is horrible.  Horrid, ugly, pitiful, BAD.    Pena has .222 OBP the past ten games with only on RBI.  Yeesh.  Why is Mike Daniel not starting left field for the Nationals?  In AA Harrisburg, these are his numbers:
        G        AB        H        .OBP        HR        RBI        SB        BB        SO     
        84       311       91       .369          8           38          13        34         75
wilymopena.jpg
    But, as I said before, Pena shouldn’t worry that much because as long as Bowden is the GM of the Nats, he’ll have far more time and opportunities to “prove himself”.  I don’t know, Pena been playing in the majors for seven years.  It seems silly to still try to let somebody “prove himself, who’s been playing that long.  Yes, I’m aware about Pena’s age.  He’s 26, which is not necessarily, the cutoff point for breakout years, but seriously, Pena is a home run hitter who has only hit 2 home runs.  Oh yes, and a .245 OBP. 

   Bowden plays favorites.  It’s obvious.  He likes Austin Kearns, Wily Mo Pena, Felipe Lopez, Ryan Wagner, Luis Ayala, and Jesus Colome.  img1460mikedanielsfuox0.jpgHe has grudges against Chris Schroder, Ryan Church and Brandon Watson.  If Bowden could just be honest with himself, Mike Daniel (pictured right in the snazzy pink jersey) would be starting left field for the Nats, and Wily Mo Pena would be a Clipper.  Jesus Colome would be released or sent down, and Chris Schroder would be the seventh inning set-up man.  Felipe Lopez would be traded for some low-level prospects.  Perhaps, the Orioles, or Dodgers would be possible future destinations. 
 
   Well, I’ll be talking about the Giants next time, I’m pretty sure…..     Oh, and with two big trades just occurring.  I’ll quickly run through them.  The Sabathia trade, I say makes very good sense for both teams.  I think the Brewers are good enough to make the playoffs, and LaPorta will be very good.  I’m guessing the PTBNL will be Taylor Green, who will challenge Wes Hodges for the title of “Indians 3B of the future”

   The Harden deal, looks to be better for the Cubs, but I’m always cautious to question Billy Beane (he has messed up before[Tim Hudson deal].  I think the best player the A’s acquired
from the Cubs is actually Eric Patterson. He’s seriously underrated.  But where will he play?  He’s blocked by Mark Ellis, Travis Buck and Carlos Gonzalez. ??????    I’ll leave you with two theoretical trades:  Jack Wilson to the Dodgers for Ivan DeJesus Jr, Felipe Lopez to Orioles for Sean Gleason.