Posted tagged ‘Toronto Blue Jays’

The Diamondbacks trade makes no sense

August 24, 2011

Today the Diamondbacks dealt Kelly Johnson to Toronto for Aaron Hill and John McDonald. D-Backs GM, Kevin Towers, said the goal of the trade was to get better this season and upgrade on defense. In other words, the D-Backs are all in for winning the NL West.

This trade, however, does not accomplish that goal. Yes, Kelly Johnson has a sub-.300 OBP and has not been that good this season. But, he’s played solid defense and does have a 1.6, which is close to that of an average player. On the other hand, Hill has hit even worse, has been “only” just as good as Johnson with the glove, and his WAR is -0.5. Ouch. So the D-Backs traded an average player for a below average player according to performance, in order to get BETTER? Yeah, I don’t think so.

I mean, Hill did have a solid season in 2009, but that was 2009. He was bad last season, and has been worse this season. His glove is okay, but not good enough to be an upgrade. I really don’t get this trade for Arizona. Johnson was also a FA at the end of the year and would have netted them a draft pick. Hill, if his option isn’t picked up, will get a pick as well, but I can only imagine Arizona will pick it up. Then when his options expire, he’ll no longer be type B free agent.

Yeah, Arizona did upgrade at SS with McDonald, especially in terms of defense. But it’s a very small upgrade compared to the downgrade at second. This is just a lose-lose for Arizona- in the short run and long run.



First big trade of trading season

July 27, 2011

In pretty big news this early afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays traded Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart to the Chicago White Sox for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen. From there the Blue Jays will trade Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, and Mark Rzepczynski to the St. Louis Cardinals for Colby Rasmus. Wowzers. So let’s break this down.

St. Louis gets:

BUT…as of now both Edwin Jackson and Dotel are Type B free agents. So if St. Louis lets them go, they get an additional $5mil in value, bringing their net value return to $7.31mil. However, they did trade Colby Rasmus.

So the Cardinals lose about double the value they gain. For them, Rasmus figures to be worth about $21-$22mil, but they only get about $10mil of value in return through two rentals, and a middling relief pitcher. A dumb, dumb trade for the Cardinals, unless they truly believe whoever they pick with their presumed compensation picks will turn out better than Rasmus- a long shot bet to make.

Also, for 2012-2014 I projected Rasmus would accumulate about 11 WAR and be worth around $52mil while being paid around $31mil in arbitration.

Now, let’s look at the Jays. We know they are getting about $21-$22mil of value in Rasmus, but what about what they traded away.

So here we see they gave away about $14.5mil in value, mainly because of top pitching prospect Zach Stewart. But, both Dotel and Frasor are type B FAs, so add about $5mil to that. In the end, the Jays come out slightly in the black, and get a young, good center fielder who is under team control for another three seasons. The only person they might miss is Stewart- when that’s the case, it’s a good deal.

Time to see how Chicago did

Nice, so they get about $16mil in value because of prospect Zach Stewart. Also, I have his value at $15.9mil because according to Victor Wang, a top 26-50 pitching prospect is worth that much. I know he has 3 ML starts already, but for this sake I am treating like a prospect still.

So the Sox really are getting a steal here. They get $16mil in value, when they should have gotten -$3mil in value because that’s what they are giving up. Mark Teahen is so bad that just by giving him up, they shouldn’t expect anything in return. But instead  they get Stewart- not bad. So it essentially comes down to Jackson v. Stewart. Jackson has done well in Chicago, but for them they’d rather go with the cheap, younger Stewart over the proven commodity. Can’t blame them.

So in the end, I like the deal for Toronto and Chicago. In the short-run, Jackson might help St. Louis win the division more in 2011 than Rasmus, but down the line it’s a terrible deal for them.

UPDATE: Apparently Trevor Miller, Brian Tallet, and PJ Walters are also in the deal going from the Cardinals to the Blue Jays, with Miller then going to Chicago. Corey Patterson is going to the Cardinals with three PTBNL. That doesn’t change much. The most important aspects of the trades are Stewart to Chicago, Rasmus to Toronto, and Jackson to St. Louis. Everyone else is a filler pretty much. I mean, if the PTBNL are nice prospects than it will be a decent deal for St. Louis, but that’s probably not the case.

The Yunel Escobar extension

June 23, 2011

I will keep this short and sweet, since there is not much to say. Recently, the Blue Jays locked up Yunel Escobar to a 2/$10mil deal, with options for two additional years at $5mil apiece. The deal covers his age 30-33 seasons.

So essentially, it’s a 4/$20mil deal for a good shortstop. Granted he will be turning 30 soon, but at $5mil per season, Escobar pretty much just needs to be a 1 WAR player. Yeah, I think he can do that. Escobar is a good fielder, and at worst an average hitter. Unless he pretty much falls off the face of the earth, retires, or suffers a career ending injury, the Blue Jays will come out on top in this deal. Escobar isn’t going to light the world on fire, but shortstops are valuable and he is one of the better ones in baseball. To get him on the cheap is a steal for Toronto.

As for Yunel, I think he did alright. He still has two more arbitration years, where he could have made more money, but come 2014, for an older player like him, who knows what the market would have been like? He’s taking the conservative route and $20mil is better than nothing.


Carlos Delgado and the Hall of Fame

April 15, 2011

In other recent news, Carlos Delgado has officially retired. He was a big time player at his peak, but is he a Hall of Famer?

Looking at his basic line, one might assume so. He hit .280/.383/.546/.390/135+. That’s pretty damn good. HOWEVER…he wasn’t a good fielder. He racked a negative 60.8 fielding runs according to fangraphs. Yikes! Moreover, he was a first baseman in baseballs biggest power era. So yeah, without context his line looks extraordinary, and it still is a good line, but relative to his era, it’s not Hall of Fame.

WAR also disagrees with Delgado’s HOF candidacy. According to fWAR, his career total was 49.1- and it’s even lower according to B-R. His WAR/700 is 3.97. That’s not cutting it. He only had 1 MVP level season (6+ WAR) and his WAE was “just” 14.3. He was an excellent player for a good bit, but he wasn’t special.

So while he enjoyed a good career, it was not quite on a Hall of Fame level. Sorry Carlos.

Jose Bautista is staying in Toronto

February 17, 2011

And it’s a 5/$65mil deal. Color me unimpressed.

At fangraphs, they have come up with the following expectation:

2011 – +3.4 WAR, $5 million per win, $17.5 million value
2012 – +2.9 WAR, $5.25M $/win, $15.23 million value
2013 – +2.4 WAR, $5.51M $/win, $13.23 million value
2014 – +1.9 WAR, $5.69M $/win, $11.00 million value
2015 – +1.4 WAR, $6.08M $/win, $8.51 million value

Total: +12 WAR, $64.96 million value


Yeah, Bautista might be *worth* 65mil, but I still think it’s a bad idea for Toronto. If he is only an average player over the contract, which is what he would be to be worth the money, than why go long term with him? Especially since they will need to pay a lot of their young players soon with playoff runs being a real possibility in the next couple seasons. That 65mil could go a long way towards keeping Morrow, Hill, Drabek, Snider, etc, etc.

Moreover, Bautista was likely to make between $8-$10mil through arbitration this season, which is less than the $13mil he will now be paid. If Bautista regresses, which is likely to happen since he never posted an average WAR season until 2010, than if they wanted to sign him to a multi-year deal, they probably could have done for less than $13mil a season. And if they wanted to go multi-year now, why go five years, with an option for a sixth? Just go 2-4 years, max.

Toronto has been making some great moves over the past year and they have set themselves up nicely to be a major AL East contender in the near future, but this deal goes against their recent M.O.

Blue Jays trade Mike Napoli to Rangers for Frank Francisco

January 25, 2011

Well, that was fast. I’ve gotta say, after making a brilliant trade, the Jays have made a dumb one.

Mike Napoli, once again, is a good player! Even if you stick him at first base, which Toronto would have done, he would produce. Moreover, it would allow the Jays to start Adam Lind at DH, not Edwin Encarnacion, and they could start JP Arencibia at catcher.

But nope, now Edwin will actually have to play and Arencibia will be pushed into the lineup immediately- no strings attached. All for Frank Francisco.

Don’t get me wrong, Francisco IS a good a reliever. But they’re a dime a dozen and Toronto already has a good bullpen. In my opinion, Mike Napoli helps the Blue Jays win more than Frank Francisco. Moreover, he is cost-controlled for a few more seasons so he will contribute to future teams as well.

My only guess is that Francisco might be a Type B or Type A free agent after the season and Toronto values the draft pick more than a couple seasons of Napoli. If that’s the case, I understand the move but disagree with it and don’t like.

As for the Rangers- they got themselves a catcher and a first baseman which they needed. GREAT move.

Blue Jays trade Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera

January 22, 2011


So let’s get this straight. Vernon Wells is 32 years old. He has to be paid $23mil in 2011, $21mil in 2012, $21mil in 2013, and $21mil in 2014. So that’s $86mil guaranteed for the age 32-35 seasons, of a player who has produced 7.0 WAR in the past four seasons.

Yikes. So the Angels are picking up a player, who did post a 4 fWAR in 2010, but also produced just a combined 3 WAR from 2007-2009. He is fancasted to produce 2.4 fWAR in 2011. With a $ per WAR of $4.5mil, he would only be worth $10.8mil. He will be paid $24mil.

Why on earth would a team want that? Especially a team like the Angels are aren’t exactly contenders at the moment. Moreover, their outfield is already crowded with Tori Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Reggie Willits, and Peter Bourjos. Moreover, they already had Juan Rivera. Yes, Juan Rivera may not be the hitter he once was. But he is the same age as Wells, and costs about $19mil less…for the same production! The kicker though, is Mike Napoli. Mike Napoli is good. Mike Napoli is 29. Mike Napoli is cost-controlled for two more seasons. Mike Napoli plays a premiere defensive position- catcher. Mike Napoli has proven to be a real good hitting catcher and has provided 2+ WAR in all but one of his professional seasons (he was worth 1.5 WAR in a 75 game 2007 season).

Over the past four years, Mike Napoli has been worth worth 9.7 fWAR, more than Vernon Wells. Mike Napoli made $3.6mil last season and figures to make about $5.8mil in 2011 and about $10.4mil in 2012. That’s about $16mil for two seasons. Vernon Wells has to be paid $24mil in 2011 alone!

Mike Napoli is being fancasted to have a 3.4 WAR season in 2011. So he would be worth $15.3mil and his team would have about $10mil.

So lets get this straight…team with Mike Napoli gets more production, more value, and SAVES money. Team with Vernon Wells gets a not so good player, expensive contract, and loses money compared to what the player brings to the table.

This deal makes no sense for the Angels AT ALL. They had a great, cost-controlled catcher on their roster, and have a loaded outfield. They also probably will not be competing in the West anytime soon so they should look to rid themselves of payroll eating, veteran players. Sure, they will probably move Bobby Abreu to DH, but this move stills make no sense.

As for the Blue Jays- it’s a win x 10. Just trading Wells and his contract, even if for nothing, is a win. Now they get a good catcher, and an extra outfielder to boot.

Sure, the Jays might contribute some money to help the Angels, but the latest reports are saying that will not happen. Either way, it doesn’t change things.

Also, Wells can opt-out after 2011.

1) He’d be crazy to walk away from $63mil guaranteed, especially if he sucks in 2011.

2) If he does walk away, it’s still a bad deal for LA since they will be trading a good catcher for an old outfielder who won’t help them win in 2011.


Blue Jays trade Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee Brewers for prospect Brett Lawrie

December 6, 2010

The title says it all.

Not a blockbuster, but it’s a big trade and a fair trade.

The Blue Jays traded their #1 starter to the Brewers for their #1 prospect. It’s a trade that makes sense for both teams. The Blue Jays have a full rotation so they could afford to trade Marcum. The positions that Lawrie could play at the ML level are blocked in the foreseeable future in Milwaukee by Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, and Corey Hart.Moreover, Milwaukee really needs starting pitch help, since it’s brutal outside Yovanni Gallardo.

So the Jays get a good hitting prospect for a quality starting pitcher. The Brewers give up their top prospect for three cheap years of quality pitching, a dire need of theirs. Solid transaction.


Jose Bautista- Ya just can’t predict baseball

September 24, 2010

Although his name appears in the title, I am not writing about Jose Bautista. I just simply wanted to comment on a fascinating aspect of baseball seasons. Each season there is always a unique, unexpected storyline that seemingly comes out of nowhere. That, is one of the many reasons why baseball is awesome.

This year nobody expected Jose Bautista to hit fifty home runs. Last season Aaron Hill hit thirty-six home runs as a second baseman, after hitting two in 2008. In 2008 Josh Hamilton burst onto the scene after a solid partial season in 2007. Before that year began, did anyone think Yankee Stadium would be chanting his name at the Home Run Derby? In that same season the lowly Rays won 98 games in the regular season and advanced to the World Series. Even though SABR-heads thought the Rays would be good, I don’t think anyone expected them to be that good.

The point is- ya can’t predict baseball. And that’s why baseball is awesome.

20 wins or 50 home runs?

September 24, 2010

The other day on YES during a Yankees broadcast, the text question of the day was which is more impressive: 20 wins or 50 home runs in a season.

I just want to comment on how silly this question is. The answer by far is 50 home runs.

1) There are only 26 different people in baseball history who have hit 50 homers in a season. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of pitchers who have won twenty games or more in a season. Hundreds. 26. Hundreds. 26. Yeah.

2) Just look at recent history. So far this season three pitchers have won twenty games. There is just one person who hit fifty home runs. In this decade, 50 homers were hit on nine different occasions- by seven players. There have been 34 50 game winners this decade.

3) As you all know, a home run is the most influential single event in a baseball game. Wins are a worthless stat that don’t tell us much about the pitcher. So a home run>a win. On that basis alone it should be more impressive.

So yeah, based on the points made above I’m going to have to say 50 home runs is more impressive than 20 wins.