Open Thread: Craig Wilson

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A lot of things went wrong for the Yankees in 2006, specifically the injuries to Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield and the collapses of 2005 saviors Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon. One of the outfield holes was plugged when Brian Cashman stole Bobby Abreu (and Cory Lidle) from the Phillies at the trade deadline, and he also shored up another hole by trading Chacon to the Pirates for Craig Wilson.

Melky Cabrera was doing a fine job as a rookie (.360 OBP), but Andy Phillips wasn’t getting it done as the regular first baseman. Wilson replaced him after the trade, and his versatility was also supposed to be a plus. He was exactly the kind of guy everyone loves to suggest for a bench job these days; he’d hit 29 homers two years prior to the trade and was capable of playing four positions (catcher, first, and both corner outfield spots). Wilson had a dozen hits in his first ten games with New York, but he just stopped hitting after that. A 10-for-64 finish to the season dropped his Yankees’ batting line to .212/.248/.365 in 109 plate appearances.

The Yankees let Wilson walk as a free agent after the season, and he didn’t have much baseball left in him. He hasn’t seen the big leagues since 2007, and hasn’t even played in the minors since 2008. Wilson turns 35 years old today, so he’s younger than I realized. Baseball-Reference says he managed to bank over $10M during his seven-year career, which is a pretty good head start on life after baseball.

* * *

Here is tonight’s open thread. The Devils are the only local sports team in action tonight, so you’re pretty much on your own as far as entertainment goes. You folks now what to do by now, so have at it.

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  • William

    Banuelos equals Jon lester, Jesus Montero equals someone like Manny, and Betances turns out to be a bust. Perfectly reasonable.

    • Platano Man

      Banuelos takes your girlfriend, Jesus Montero takes her friends, and Bentances get to keep all of them. Perfectly reasonable. Those are the chances of your reasoning becoming reality. If at least one of them becomes a useful piece then the Yankees did a great job.

    • Dave203

      A stretch on each and every comparison if not a complete hallucination…

    • Soriano Is A Liar

      Perfectly reasonable dream scenario, yes. Reasonable expectation, no. (although in my dream the first two come true, and betances is Justin Verlander to boot)

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      Continuation of some point from another thread or something?

    • Jesse

      I say Banuelos ends up like Ricky Romero, Jesus is close to Miguel Cabrera, Betances gets traded and is an A.J Burnett clone.

    • Mattchu12

      My hopes are Man-Ban = Andy Pettitte, the Monstero = Frank Thomas, and Betances (don’t have a catchy nickname, sorry) = Joba Chamberlain-esque.

      • Jesse

        Dealin’ Dellin?

        • Mattchu12

          I sense much AJ Burnett in him. I put him in the bullpen, let his great fastball and curve do the talking, and trade him to someone who sees him as a starter.

          • Mattchu12

            I just realized you were offering a nickname and not wondering if I’d trade him since I had low hopes for him, haha. Dealin’ Dellin works.

    • Craig Maduro

      If this is the game we’re playing…

      Banuelos = Johan Santana (2003-2008)
      Montero = Miguel Cabrera (minus the pudge)
      Betances = Josh Johnson (minus the arm issues)

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Banuelos = Lefty Grove
        Montero = Rogers Hornsby that stays healthy
        Betances = Walter Johnson

        • Plank


          ManBan will have more Ks.

          Montero will have better D than Hornsby.

          Betances and The Big Train? That one is okay, I guess.

    • Plank

      I’ll play.

      Banuelos: Scott Kazmir
      Montero: Mike Sweeney
      Betances: Josh Beckett or AJ Burnett

      • Plank

        Obvious caveat that having one of these outcomes would be awesome. Having two would be unbelievable.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      I can do this. Sure.

      Banuelos: Andy F’ing Pettitte
      Montero: Miguel Cabrera
      Betances: Edwin Jackson AND a Yankee


    • Jesse

      Let’s play the Red Sox version of this fun game:

      Ranaudo: Tom Seaver
      Iglesias: Ozzie Smith
      Lavarnway: Johnny Bench


      • Soriano Is A Liar

        Banuelos = poor man’s Andrew Miller
        Montero = poor man’s Lavarnway
        Derek Jeter = poor man’s Jose Iglesias

        /Eric Ortiz’d

      • MattG

        I think even Gammons would grant that Lavarnway is no stalwart at catcher, therefore:

        Lavarnway: Mike Piazza

    • Soriano Is A Liar

      Banuelos = Babe Ruth, converts to outfield and challenges Bonds’ consecutive MVP record.
      Montero = Albert Pujols. Loses multiple MVP awards to Banuelos depsite elite playing.
      Betances = Justin Verlander. Beats Banuelos and Montero for 2015 MVP with a 27 win season.

    • MattG

      In all seriousness:

      Banuelos = Francisco Liriano
      Montero = Juan Gonzalez
      Betances = Daniel Cabrera

      • Jesse

        Yeah, that’s probably what will happen.

        (No sarcasm)

      • pat

        Juan Gone? Where do I sign up for that?

  • mbonzo

    So Angels trade Tyler Chatwood for Iannetta. I’m starting to think the Angels put something in their water over there. Chatwood may have had a rough season (4.89 FIP, 4.59 K/9) as a 21 year old in the majors, but why are they selling so low for a guy that should be a backup catcher?

    • Soriano Is A Liar

      Idk, I think Ianetta is underrated, and he’s a major upgrade over Mathis no matter how you slice it. Seems like a good case of dealing from depth to meet a need to me.

      • mbonzo

        Anyone is an upgrade over Mathis, but I really have to wonder how his numbers will translate to the AL West, and if the Angels will be happy with his job behind the plate. Doesn’t make sense to me, selling low and not targeting a young catcher instead. Wouldn’t Chatwood for a guy like Romine make more sense for the Angels?

        • MattG

          What do you know about Chatwood beyond the cited stats, which, frankly, stink?

          Yes, I would agree Romine should be valued higher than Ianetta, thanks to their respective contract status, but for the Angels, Ianetta might hold more value thanks to his project-ability at the ML level.

          • mbonzo

            I know enough about Chatwood, I really liked him going into 2011. Sits mid 90’s and can bring it up to high 90’s. Has a big change in velocity with his changeup. Sharp 12-6 curveball. I’d like it if he added another pitch, but he’s got 3 great pitches. He’s got the ability to control his groundball rate and strike out hitters. Maybe his 5-10 stature scares people, but I think it’ll help him with his control. I really like Chatwood and wish the Yankees made a play. He’s only 21! Iannetta will probably be worth more in WAR next year, but is it worth 5-6 years of this youngster for way cheaper? I say no way.

            • MattG

              That’s a glowing scouting report. I can’t argue anymore.

              I’ll say this: DiPoto is no dummy, and we know Scioscia will not play a deficient defensive catcher. I believe this trade has much more to do with Chatwood than Ianetta, so, if you care to, why do you suppose the Angels would give up on such a prospect?

              • mbonzo

                I’d say, they have a jam packed farm system, a good immediate starting rotation, and most of all, they want to compete now. They probably saw Chatwood as the weakest top prospect they have and were most willing to part with him in their desperation to find a catcher. I’d say it would be smarter to take a chance on a catcher on the same prospect-level as Chatwood, but instead they decided to compete harder in 2012.

                Yes different GM’s, but this front office isn’t known for their logic. Vernon Wells can tell you that.

            • Need Pitching

              Chatwood walks way too many, and hasn’t struck anybody out since A ball. Getting a starting catcher for that is a steal for the Angels.

              • mbonzo

                You mean 2008 (11.4 K/9), 2009(8.2 K/9), and the majority of 2010. (7.7 K/9 in 81.1 IP)

                His walk rate has been miserable, fair enough there.

                • Need Pitching

                  yes, like I said, A ball
                  his best K/9 above A ball was a mediocre 6.19 in a very small sample size in triple A
                  other than that, his K/9 against advanced competition has been in the 4.69 – 4.74 range
                  his overall K/9 AA and above is 4.82
                  He may improve, but he’s far from a sure thing or elite prospect

                  • mbonzo

                    I absolutely agree with you, he’s far from a sure thing, and depending on how you rank things, yes he’s not an elite prospect. But when he was ranked #76 overall last year, his peripherals really speak to that ranking. He’s spent too little time outside of single A to base a scouting report on his numbers. If anything, his 4.75 ERA in the majors isn’t bad for a 21 year old who was still in single A last year.

    • MattG

      I have the exact opposite view. Here’s what MLBTradeRumors wrote about Chatwood:

      “Chatwood, 21, posted a 4.75 ERA with 4.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and a 47% ground ball rate in 142 innings as a rookie for the Angels this past season. The 2008 second round pick entered the season as the 76th ranked prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. He has a 3.40 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in parts of four minor league seasons.”

      Ugh. I’d gladly take a 29 year-old catcher with a .357 OBP, even Coors-aided, for that.

      • mbonzo

        Why would you trade one of you top prospects one 1 year (plus $5.5m option) of someone who barely qualifies as a starting catcher. Sure the walks are there, but the defense is mediocre, he has very little power in Coors, and can’t hit for contact. He’s moving to a pitchers league now.

        • MattG

          You know, I didn’t consider the contract at all. If your facts are true, then I suppose this trade makes a lot more sense for Colorado.

          Contact rates? 16% walk rate vs 20% strikeout rate looks pretty good to me. I don’t know about his defense, but this does not appear to be someone that barely qualifies as a starting catcher. Pitcher’s league? Wasn’t he just in the division with Kershaw, Lincecum, Kennedy, etc.?

          Calling Chatwood “one of your top prospects” seems gratuitous. I don’t know about Chatwood either, but his performance doesn’t cry ‘top prospect.’

          Then again, he is 21. Maybe your more right than me.

          • mbonzo

            The issue I have with the leagues is that Iannetta faced Kershaw, Lincecum, and Kennedy in Coors field where he hits .262/.377/.492. His away splits are a horrendous .208/.338/.369.

            In 2011 Coors ranked #2 in runs scored, now Iannetta has to play in Angel Stadium, ranked #27.

      • Soriano Is A Liar

        agreed. Chatwood may bounce back, but I still think the Angels win this deal.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    I just spent almost 30 minutes reading through that Mark Montgomery thread…I don’t even have words for it…

    • Plank

      Haha, this made me laugh.

      • RetroRob

        Yeah, I cam home late this evening and started flipping through the postings, and immediately noticed that a prospect profile, posted in the middle of the day, during one of the most quiet times of the year, was registering nearly 100 messages. Hmmm, I wonder what’s going on in there.

        I greatly enjoyed when he simply ended his note with, “I really greatly dislike you.” : -)

        • Plank

          If there was a signature line on RAB that quote would be mine.

          My favorite part was when he actually shared his SAT scores. It would have been better if he complied with my request for a scanned copy.

          My second favorite part was after it was over, someone came to the defense of Mickey Mantle.

    • Jesse

      Just another good ol’ Ted Nelson vs Plank weekday battle! haha.

      • mbonzo

        Since when did they have a verbal section on the SATs? Was that supposed to be a joke or just stupidity.

        • Plank

          There used to be just two sections of the SATs, math and verbal. Recently, they split it into 3 sections.

          Or were you making a joke?

          • Brendan

            I got a 550 on the verbal section of the GRE. Is there any hope for me? How will I win arguments on the internet!? :(

            • Plank

              You need at least a 720 to win arguments on the internet.

              • Brendan

                Alright, I guess I’ll go back to digging ditches now. Stupid Brendan, thinking you could be somebody!

              • CMP

                I would gladly pay $50 for a picture or a short bio on Ted Nelson. At first he used to just annoy the hell out of me but now after his thousandth argument with various RAB commenters I find myself strangely fascinated by the pathology behind his constant attacks on our fellow RABers.

                • Plank

                  We should start a dossier on him.

          • mbonzo

            Took the SATs once and never took one of those prep classes so I don’t really know what they’re called, but I do know they don’t get the verbal anymore. Apparently they changed it to critical reading.

    • Sarah

      Epic, isn’t it?

      The real question is, did you score at least a 720 and do you have a physical copy of the results to prove it?

    • Bubba

      It has been quite a while since I laughed that hard at an internet pissing contest.

  • randym77

    I always kinda liked Craig Wilson. He did a lot for the community in Pittsburgh.

    It was injury that did him in. He and Bubba Crosby had similar post-Yankee careers. They both had their shoulders roto-rootered after they left the Yankees, and they both never recovered. That is apparently quite common.