Jul
26

Mailbag: Hughes, Soriano, Wells, Konerko

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Got five questions for you today. If you want to send us anything throughout the week, the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar is the way to go.

Former Ranger Mike Olt. (Ed Zurga/Getty)

Former Ranger Mike Olt. (Ed Zurga/Getty)

Alex asks: Guys, do you think that with the haul the Cubs got for Matt Garza, the Yankees could reasonably expect to obtain a Mike Olt type of prospect for Phil Hughes? Obviously the package would be less than what the Cubs got for Garza, but using the framework, could the Yankees get a pretty solid return for Hughes?

Olt, whose stock is down quite a bit this year, ranked 44th on Baseball America’s midseason top 50 prospects list. I like him less than that and think he’s more of a 75-100 prospect, but my opinion doesn’t matter. Teams have their own internal evaluation of every player and that’s most important.

Pitchers similar to Hughes — that means a back of the rotation starter due to become a free agent — who have been traded at the deadline in recent years include Ted Lilly, Joe Saunders, Joe Blanton, Jason Marquis, Erik Bedard, and Jake Westbrook. Hughes is by far the youngest of the group, but age doesn’t really matter when you’re talking about a three-month rental.

The trade return for those guys ranges from a big league reliever (Saunders for Matt Lindstrom), one good but not great pitching prospect (Westbrook for Corey Kluber), four fringe prospects (Bedard), a promising young big leaguer (Lilly for Blake DeWitt), and a borderline non-prospect (Blanton). No one on par with Olt, obviously.

This is a seller’s market though, mostly because more teams are in contention thanks to the second wildcard and no one wants to sell. If you have an asset like a back-end starter, you might be able to fetch more than expected. An Olt-caliber prospect is probably the best-case scenario for Hughes. I do think the Yankees are going to keep him unless they get a legit big league bat in return, however.

John asks: Who is considered — at this point in their respective careers — a better defender in left field, Alfonso Soriano or Vernon Wells?

Soriano was a complete disaster in left field when he first made the transition from second base, but he’s worked really hard to improve out there over the years. Experience helps as well. UZR has rated him a bit above-average in recent years while DRS has him a bit below-average. I prefer DRS personally, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I don’t watch enough Cubs games to say if one jibes with the eye test more than the other.

Wells was never as good as his reputation as a Gold Glover, but both UZR and DRS agree that he’s been ever so slightly above-average in the field since shifting to left three years ago. He’s graded out as below-average in center for a half-decade now. I’ve been pretty underwhelmed with Wells’ defense, particularly his range, but I suppose it is better than the typical left fielder. Defensive stats aren’t precise enough to argue over fractions of a run and whatnot, and at this point I think Vernon’s the better defensive left fielder. Not by a ton though.

Jeremy asks: Hey Mike, what about Paul Konerko? Tradeable, right-handed, free agent next year…

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Joe had a Konerko kick for a few weeks a while back, but I would go nowhere near him. For starters, Konerko has been dealing with some nagging back problems this summer, at one point receiving six (!) injections. Back trouble for older players (he’s 37) is a total dealbreaker for me.

If that wasn’t enough, Konerko really isn’t hitting this year. He’s at .248/.315/.365 (84 wRC+) with seven homers in 295 plate appearances, though he does have a stellar 149 wRC+ against southpaws in limited time. The strikeouts are up (15.3%), the walks are down (8.2%), the power is gone (possible related to the back trouble) … lot of red flags here. If Konerko was hitting like he did last year (26 homers and 132 wRC+), I’d be all for it. At this point I’m staying far away.

Chris asks: Much has been made of teams handing out monster contracts lately, primarily because the term comes back to bite teams in the long run. Could the solution to this be not allowing teams to control players for longer but shorter? Would MLB and the players union be willing to allow free agency after six years from the draft or two years on a team’s 25-man roster (whichever comes first)?

Baseball’s salary structure is very … weird. Players make the least amount of money during what is usually their best years — their first six seasons, during pre-arbitration and arbitration — and the most when they’re on the decline. The MLBPA would absolutely be in favor of anything that moves free agency up, which means the owners would be very much against it. They only like things that keep costs down. Small market teams would have a hard time competing if their best players could leave after two years. It would be impossible, really.

The only “solution” to prevent getting burned by long-term contracts is to not hand them out. Even if you moved free agency up, teams would still overpay for decline years. That seem inevitable. Whenever a huge contract is handed out, like seven or eight years, a lot of times the GM is assuming he won’t be around for the final few years of the deal, when it tends to go really bad. Many of these contracts are handed out with the idea that the worst part will be someone else’s problem. I have very little pity for clubs who get saddled with a long-term deal gone bad. They make their beds, they have to sleep in it.

Mark asks: Do the Yanks need make it priority #1 to acquire a long-term solution at third base this offseason (or before the trading deadline) as it is all but assumed that Alex Rodriguez will be banned for either 150 games or permanently starting either now or next year? Or is it another year of stop-gap temporary players and pray that either A-Rod is back at age 38/39 and that Eric Jagielo is hopefully ready by the 2015 season?

The Yankees shouldn’t count on Jagielo at all when planning the future of the third base position. He was just drafted and even though he’s polished and expected to climb the ladder quickly, he’s still in short season ball and so very much can go wrong before be makes it to the show. It’s the nature of the beast.

I think priority #1 should be finding a long-term shortstop, but third base is pretty much priority #2. This season confirmed it. They can’t count on A-Rod anymore and there are no real third base prospects on the immediate horizon, so they’ll have to look outside the organization. Finding that young guy to hold down the position for the next half-decade won’t be easy, so they’ll probably have to settle on stopgaps for the time being. Hopefully none with chronic back problems this time. Who knows, maybe Jagielo will emerge before they make any kind of trade for a long-term answer.

Categories : Mailbag

163 Comments»

  1. trr says:

    Remember when Olt was the guy we wanted to have and we were wondering how to pry him away? Things change…we still need a RH bat who can play 1B, and an upgrade at C would be nice too. For a prospect, how about a promising young SS?

    • Angelo says:

      Also, it gives a reminder to prospect lovers that “most prospects don’t work out.” Many top 100 guys and even more below that threshold. This doesn’t mean that Olt won’t become a good player, but the shine isn’t like it once was on him.

      To be clear, I love prospects…but I’m also realistic. Those two things don’t usually go together with prospect guys.

    • Angelo says:

      Also, to answer your question about young short stops, how often do you see promising SS prospects get traded? Probably rarely because it just doesn’t happen. They’re too hard to find, let alone trade.

      The only guy I can think of that was traded recently is Didi Gregorius. There are probably others, but I can’t think of any right now.

      • jsbrendog says:

        and that trade was panned by “people in the know” who didn’t think gergarious was worth that much or as great as towers was valuing him.

  2. Paul D says:

    Is it just me or are the Yankees spending an awful lot of money in 2013 to avoid the threshold for 2014? What exactly would be the penalty for going over next year? It seems they made a lot of “one year” type moves to avoid it.

    Wells, Youk, Pettitte, Sori , Ichiro? any others? I know some of those guys are on two year deals but it’s obvious they avoided more expensive long-term options to sign them to short deals. Anyway, it’s starting to add up for this year. Maybe it would have been better to just go over, take the penalty, avoid all the one year nonsense, and structure a better team for the long run.

    • 28 this year says:

      That’s what I have been thinking. They are doing immense harm to the Yankee brand, ratings, and all sorts of stuff while spending a record high in payroll this year, screwing the team up for the long haul all to retain the possibility of being under that threshold. Whatever savings they were intending are rumored to be lowered than initially expected and all this sunk money to prevent a loss of money next year. In the end, had they not chosen this path, we may have Swisher and Martin while not having Wells, Ichiro, and maybe then less likely to sign Youk so the net cost of Swisher and Martin is lower and we would probably be better position to try and make the playoffs and be better positioned for the future for a lower net cost or at least comparable.

      • jsbrendog says:

        the yankees were one of the worst and most mismanaged teams in baseball from roughly 1983-1992. they were fine. your hyperbole is just unreasonable. none of this matters. they will be fine as a team, brand, corporation, and anything and anyway else.

      • Bubba says:

        There is oodles of wrong with this. By WAR, Ichiro and Swisher are a push (Full disclosure, I wanted them to resign Swish and was not a fan of Ichiro at 2 years). Wells never would have been on this team if not for the injuries to Granderson and Tex which happened in spring training. Not signing Youk means we start the season with Adams or Nix as our starting 3B since I’d imagine any quality free agent 3B wouldn’t want to be a half year starter on a one year contract. Martin is grossly over-rated.

  3. jsbrendog says:

    ::gets out his phil hughes isn’t worth anything in trade drum::

    here we go.

  4. Gonzo says:

    With Konerko, I think you have to mention that he ranks poorly on the HR + Flyball batted ball distance leaderboard. I think that is just more evidence that he’s cooked.

    • Gonzo says:

      To add to this, here are his rank in that category over the years.

      2010: 54
      2011: 73
      2012: 157 (the second half wrist injury hurt him I think)
      2013: 255 (out of 280)

  5. Yankeezep says:

    Well the way I look at it is the Yankees don’t have much to trade you either gotta move Cano, Gardner, Robertson, Kud. If the Yankees are not willing to move these guys then they are going to have to take on some contracts like the did with Soriano. The Yankees cannot fix each and every single hole this year but what they can do is get a few guys in here this year that are better then the the below average wRC+ players they are running out there.

    So far Soriano’s wRC+ = 100 which is league average they gotten better today just because of his wRC+. I wouldn’t worry about his age to much because if we look how old Wells, Hafner etc is.

    Yankees need to maybe take on another contract or two aka players that have a wRC+ of 100 and above should kinda fix this mess in a away or at least make it easier for themselves in the off season. Because we all know you cannot fix every single hole in one off season. I know they wanna get under 189m but the only way is to do what they just did with Soriano or trade someone good for a 2 for 1 or a 3 for 1.

  6. Oooooo says:

    Gotta admit, the Soriano acquisition brings back the memories of the mid season pick up of David Justice.

    I’m a little surprised Cashman and Hoyer/Epstein didn’t explore a bigger package. I saw Olt mentioned above and part of me was womdering if the Yanks could have landed both Soriano and Olt. Hoyer could have taken Black and another arm or two.

    • Gonzo says:

      Olt can fit into the Cubs rebuilding plans. They don’t want to get rid of anyone that might fit into the rebuilding plans just guys that don’t. That said, Theo might trade him if the Yankees way overpaid, and I don’t think anyone would like the pricetag.

      • Oooooo says:

        Like most on here, I don’t think Olt is really anything to write home about, and Hoyer/Epstein have put an emphasis on arms specifically. I understand your point entirely, but it he could have flipped Olt to the Yanks for two more arms, that’s probably more conducive to their plans. Olt is ready not and the Cubs are probably a good 2 seasons away from much of anything. The only Olt really offers the Cubs in the short term is that he is cheap.

        • Gonzo says:

          Yeah, but why would they trade a AAA hitter that’s almost assured to make the big leagues for Yankee pitchers that haven’t even hit AA? There’s so much risk in most of the Yankee minor league SP’s right now.

          That’s a lot of risk for the Cubs to take just so the Yankees can have a 3b. If they put Olt on the market, I bet other teams could beat out a Yankee offer of just SP’s fairly easily. It’s DePaula and his less than 150 ip in the minors and what else? Not to mention DePaula has only beat up on Low-A hitters at age 22 right now and who some scouts see as a RP down the road. Too much risk for the Cubs. Take the AAA hitter and hope he hits close to his upside.

          • Oooooo says:

            All fair points. I just don’t see Olt hanging around long. $100 says Hoyer flips him.

            • jsbrendog says:

              no way. him and rizzo are their 1b/3b going forward. if they flp anyone it’ll be castro cause they have 2 other ss prospects, lake and javier baez.

              • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                Olt is the clear number 3 for the status of 3BOTF behind Lake and whichever of Starlin and Baez gets pushed to 3rd.

                • Gonzo says:

                  You are overrating Lake based on his hot start.

                  • jsbrendog says:

                    who knows. it all means nothing if olt doesn’t reestablish some value. i could see where he is coming from but olt has the upside.

                  • jsbrendog says:

                    but yes, i agree that lake is being over rated a bit in general after his start

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      It’s more about the fact that Olt isn’t a good hitter than that I like Junior Lake.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      What are you basing that on? Solely on his 2013 stat line?

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      It’s more about his entire professional career.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      So throwing out the scouting reports too then? He’s a career .875 OPS in the minors too.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      He’s never struck out less than 24% of the time, even in short season ball. That’s not a good look for a college hitter.

                      Pedro Alvarez made more contact throughout his minor league career (and hit for more power outside of Olt’s AA stint) despite being a year younger than Olt at each level, so I’m not exactly enamored with Olt’s chances at keeping it up.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Each player is different and this is the danger of scouting the stat line. You compare players based on stat lines in the minor leagues and you lose what makes them different.

                      And what’s so wrong about being a little worse than Pedro Alvarez offensively? Most think Olt will be the better defender and Alvarez is shooting for his second consecutive season of 3+ oWAR.

                      How many players on the Yankees can say that?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Not for nothing, but Jim Callis just called Mike Olt the Cubs 3b of the future.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      My main thing is that I think Olt will struggle to maintain a .340 wOBA if he doesn’t fix his K-rate. I don’t see him being more than a 3-4 win guy at his peak.

                      Current nightmare season notwithstanding, I expect Starlin Castro to be better than that and Javier Baez will be a superstar if he ever learns to hit, so I don’t really see a place for Olt.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      A 3-4 win player at his peak is hella good and hella valuable. Especially when you consider he’s under control for a while.

                      Starlin isn’t being moved off SS anytime soon. Even he’s having a nightmare season. I understand the Baez love but they can cross that bridge when they come to it. Remember when people used to ask what the Yankees would do with all those catcher prospect studs?

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      The only one of those who has failed is Romine.

                      Montero was used as a trade chip, Murphy’s broken out in a big way and Sanchez has continued to be very good.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Montero is no longer a catcher, and they still haven’t faced the problem with too many good catchers. I think you knew that was my point. They have time to make that decision.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Yeah, this was fun.

                      It’s always nice to disagree with someone without it turning into a Ted/Plank duel to the death.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                    It’s more based on the fact that Lake is a year and a half younger than Olt and was significantly better in AAA.

                    I don’t give two shits about 33 MLB PA, but I’m not about to expect a 24 year old K’ing over 30% of the time in AAA to be anything more than a poor man’s Pedro Alvarez offensively.

                    • jsbrendog says:

                      fair play

                    • Gonzo says:

                      That’s only if you consider this year’s Olt to be the real Olt. Most people don’t because of the issues he’s having with his vision.

                      I agree that he’ll K a ton, but that’s the new MLB. Look at George Springer. Lake has never been able to piece together the tools consistently enough for me either.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      I also don’t expect a 22 year old K’ing 24% of the time in Hi-A and 28% of the time in the AFL or a 23 year old K’ing 24% of the time in AA to be anything more than a poor man’s Pedro Alvarez offensively.

                      Also, I am looking at George Springer, but all I see is Brett Jackson with less contact.

                      Perhaps I have the same eye condition as Mike Olt.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      You can’t scout a stat line. That’s a saying for this very reason.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      And ROFL about you using AFL numbers.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Mike Trout had a .600 OPS one year in the AFL.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Yeah, but those contact numbers were so absurdly terrible for a 22 year old in the AFL that I couldn’t help myself.

                      Also, it’s ironic that you’re telling me not to scout the stat line considering that your justification for Olt’s contact problems is that his OPS is .875 in the minors.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      His minor league numbers aren’t my justification BTW. I never said that. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I merely brought them up because you said his isn’t a good hitter based on his minor league numbers.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      It meant that his minor league numbers suggest that he’ll have huge problems adjusting to the majors.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Most players have problems adjusting to the majors. The Cubs have the time to wait it out and scouting reports suggest that he will adjust. Nobody is saying he’s going to be a .300 hitter. Also, have you seen 3b this year. If he struggles to hit .340 wOBA (your suggestion), he’ll have good company with 3b this year. If he can hit a .341 wOBA, he’ll be tied with Machado.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Machado isn’t a great offensive 3B, though. He’s doing very well for a 20 year old, but most of his value is derived from the fact that he’s a true SS playing 3B.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      …most of his value is derived from the fact that he’s a true SS playing 3B.

                      What’s this based? Please use facts or else we cannot communicate properly. Machado has a 2.4 oWAR this season.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      He’s only got a 113 wRC+ on the season. That’s 11th among qualified 3B (10th, really, Carpenter shouldn’t count).

                      He’s at the same spot in terms of wOBA, right between Zimmerman/Alvarez and Freese.

                      Again, that’s out of this world for a 20 year old, but the reason he’s got such a high WAR total is that UZR has him as a +17 defender and DRS has him at +22.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      So you agree that he is valuable offensively. I mean by definition a wRC+ of 113 is above average. Therefore, it makes no sense to say that …most of his value is derived from the fact that he’s a true SS playing 3B.

                      I mean if you are going to be semantic about it fine, but he’s been valuable offensively and even you have to admit that he derives a good chunk of value this way. I mean you even admit that he’s pretty much in the top 10 offensively for 3b in the MLB. That’s very valuable objectively speaking.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      And tremendously valuable when you are talking about a prospect.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      You even made me look up Olt’s AZL numbers. He played in 4 games! 4 effing games with 15 PA’s!!! What the heck kind of pull was that?

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      It was apparently pulled right oh of my ass, haha. Sorry about that.

                      When I said Machado isn’t “great” offensively, I didn’t mean that he’s “not great,” idiomatically. I literally meant that he hasn’t yet reached the point where I would consider him a great offensive 3B. He’s good offensively, but not great.

                      But he’s only 20, and that means he’s going to be a fucking stud.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Now I can agree with that. Imagine if they put him back at SS? That’s an effing monster right there.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I like you Mr. Smooth. We can get at each other without going to the next level. Good man.

            • Gonzo says:

              I don’t think they will, but I’m not saying they won’t. If they do, it’ll probably after his value rebounds. I’m saying the trade to the Yankees makes no sense to the Cubs because the Yankees don’t match up well for the trade you are suggesting.

              Name a package that would suite them that the Yankees could offer and objectively think whether it makes sense for the Cubs. Unless Gary Sanchez is part of the package, the trade would really make no sense for the Cubs.

  7. Oooooo says:

    Let me ask everyone a serious question:

    Third base is hot topic right now. We’re not seeing Arod again. Lets face it. Dude will be suspended and the 1 year (2014) thing makes too much sense for it not to happen.

    The Tigers really need to win the WS this year. They’ve invested heavily in the team and that (owner) and town need to win this thing. That said, they’re bullpen is really not very good. I’m not saying I want to do this, but what if the Yanks explored sending Robertson and maybe Phil Hughes together for Nick Castellanous? It’s a serious question folks. Losing Roberston is a punch to the gut and would most certainly require me to go on blood pressure meds without him in the pen, especially with Mo gone some, but having a consensus top prospect at position on need for many years is very appealing. Thoughts?

    • jsbrendog says:

      no way that package even gets close to netting you castellanos. they laugh at you, hang up, and tell the other gms the awful trade you proposed, therefore losing any cred you previously had. and miggy cabrera tries to force feed you french fries or something.

      • Oooooo says:

        Wait what? A proven multiple all star that is regarded as a top 5 bullpen arm for an unproven prospect (although he does look good) at blocked position and with a team that needs to win now. Not 5 years from now when Castellanous can finally take over 3rd base. Sometimes you’ve got to be bold to win the ring.

        • yooboo says:

          Robertson and Hughes for just Castellanous? Tigers would love it.

          • Oooooo says:

            That’s kind of what I’m saying, I think…blink blink….

          • Revan says:

            Would you give up Gary Sanchez for a bullpen arm no matter how good? Phil Hughes is a throw in since he sucks.

            • yooboo says:

              Flyout pitchers have succeeded with Tigers so Hughes won’t suck. Robertson could give them a solid 15 saves in final 2 months.

              • jsbrendog says:

                says a guy. on a message board. with no proof. at all. who thinks maybe, like, at some point, a closer was traded for a top 30 prospect….

                well robertson isn’t a closer. he is a setup guy who could maybe possibly be a closer but had little success in an extremely short cameo as one.

          • entonces says:

            Beyond unbelievable how Hughes is undervalued on this site, and by many Yankee fans. As if a 3.30 road ERA is “back-end” starter, Yeah, on the 65-66 Dodgers maybe, after Koufax, Drysdale and Podres. But on most good teams, out of NYS, he’s a #2 or #3. Matter of fact, he’s been Yanks second best starter over last few weeks.

            • jsbrendog says:

              phil hughes ain’t no 2 or 3 dude. show your work.

              • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                I say this every time we talk about Hughes, but he has the exact same peripherals as Jered Weaver.

                Is Weaver a back-end starter?

                • jsbrendog says:

                  has phil hughes ever been successful as jered weaver? ever?

                  • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                    Has Phil Hughes pitched 20 games a season in Angel Stadium? Ever?

                    Hughes’ road FIP is .30 lower than Weaver’s.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  look at weaver’s era+, whip, fip, xfip, all lower than hughes.

                  especially the prime years, weaver’s 25-27 blows hughes out of the water by a million miles. maybe hughes turns into weaver but why would you think that based on 3 sub league average years? weaver’s 25-27 were awesome

                  • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                    The only significant difference in their peripherals is their home run rate.

                    For some reason, Weaver gives up less home runs than Hughes despite giving up just as many fly balls.

                    …I can’t imagine why.

        • jsbrendog says:

          show me where a top 30 prospect has been traded for only a bullpen arm and a marginal starter.

          • yooboo says:

            He would be their closer so I am pretty sure top 30 for a closer did happen some time in past.

            • jsbrendog says:

              you’re pretty sure something maybe happened that is irrelevant cause the guy we are talking about isn’t a closer? right cause people keep giving kevin gregg and krod a chance because they value young guys ith talent who have never closed before over veterans with “the closer mentality and experience”

              plus robertson as a closer, granted SSS was not anything to write home about.

              please think before you respond

              • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                SSS does not do justice to how miniscule the sample size of Robertson closing was.

                You’re smarter than that.

                • Gonzo says:

                  It is very relevant when you are talking about a manager like Leyland.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  that’s why i threw that in there. im not saying it is indicative of anything. ii didn’t even imply that, or at least had no intention of doing so, only pointing out fact, which even if he honly had 5 games to close he did poorly which takes the shine off of the other poster’s argument especially when coupled with other factors and historical evidence. i think he’ll be a great closer and don’t think that sss means jack crap but in this discussion it is relevant.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                    Yeah, Detroit would use that to drive the price down.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      So you think DRob for Castellanos is doable for both sides?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Weren’t you the guy that wouldn’t trade Sanchez for Lucroy?

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Absolutely not. I wouldn’t trade Castellanos for Kimbrel.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      So DRob is Kimbrel?

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Are you trolling me or did you just completely misinterpret what I said?

                      My point was that I wouldn’t trade Castellanos for Kimbrel were I the Tigers, because even the best reliever in the game is less valuable than a good starting position player.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Just crossed wires man. My entire point was that Castellanos for DRob is a no go. Glad you agree.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Haha, glad we got that sorted out.

                      Vis a vis Sanchez for Lucroy, it was more that I wanted to make sure that Lucroy’s power was real before I would throw Sanchez for him. I don’t want to trade Sanchez for anything less than an established star, and Lucroy was anything but that before 2012.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      You gotta admit that the Brewer’s would want much more for Lucroy than just Sanchez and could get it from another team.

                      He just turned 27, is having another great season, and is signed cheaply for the next 4 years if you pick up an option, and has a wRC+ season in the majors higher than Sanchez has ever produced in full season ball in the minors.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Oh, of course. What I was saying in that thread is that, at the time, I would have included Murphy as part of a huge package for Lucroy (including Heathcott or Austin, Nova or Phelps, and Turley or Greene) but not Sanchez.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      That was not clear in that thread.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Yeah, I was continuing from a thread from a couple of days earlier and expecting everyone to keep up, because I’m a dick.

                      Here’s the thread: http://riveraveblues.com/2013/.....mes-89792/

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Oh yeah, I would totally trade Sanchez and DePaula for Lucroy. Being totally serious.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      My brain knows you’re right, but my heart won’t listen.

                      I would trade either, but not both. Unless of course they were the entire package.

            • Gonzo says:

              The FO thinking on relievers and prospects has changed a lot over the years. The Yankees traded three top 100 prospects for Denny Neagle once upon a time. I don’t think that’ll happen again. Find a fairly recent comp if you want to back your story.

              Also, why would Jim Leyland automatically assume a player that had his closing responsibilities taken away from him last year (remember when Sori took over for him) could be the automatic Proven Closer TM.

            • Gonzo says:

              What do you think Greg Holland or Case Janssen would net in a trade?

          • Ed says:

            July 11, 2003: Texas trades closer Ugueth Urbina and cash to Florida for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, left-hander Ryan Snare, and outfielder Will Smith.

            Yeah, that’s a decade old. Urbina was a closer and Robertson isn’t. But the only reason Roberston isn’t closing is because he shares the bullpen with the greatest reliever ever. Robertson now is better than Urbina was then. He’s cheaper than Urbina was, even before adjusting for inflation. Urbina was a 3 month rental, Roberston has an extra year.

            That said, I don’t expect such a lopsided trade to happen again. But sometimes when a team sees a chance to win it all, they make lopsided trades.

            • jsbrendog says:

              http://www.baseballprospectus......ects.shtml

              24th ranked prospect. ok. this is one.

              HOWEVER! context is a wonderful thing. he was coming off a serious wrist injury and surgery and was only hitting 218 at the time

              Drafted by the Marlins, Gonzalez hit .312 with 17 home runs and 103 RBIs in his first professional season in 2001 and followed that season by hitting .266 with 17 homers and 96 RBIs in 2002. He was on the fast track but an offseason surgery on his right wrist slowed him down.

              Upon his return last season, he hit .216 with one home run in 39 games before being shipped from Triple-A Albuquerque to Double-A Carolina. He was eventually traded to Texas with Will Smith and Ryan Snare for Ugueth Urbina on July 11.

              http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/n.....8;c_id=tex

            • Oooooo says:

              Well said and you get the point entirely.

              • jsbrendog says:

                yes, well said, you found one example taken out of context from a decade ago hoping to grasp at straws with C IT CULD HAPPEN!!!!

                except with the context of a wrist injury and loss of power and ability to hit at all he was demoted and then sold low on which is in no way relevant to an ML ready top 30 prospect like castellano.

            • Gonzo says:

              Does that mean I can use the Denny Neagle netting 3 top 100 guys instead of using more recent, and thus more relevant, comps?

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          You realize Castellanos is an outfielder, right? Cabrera isn’t blocking him.

          • jsbrendog says:

            well he was drafted as a 3b and played 3b only until 2012 when they promoted him to aa. he played basically double the amt of games in the of as he did at 3b that season, presumably cause by signing fielder and moving cabrera to 3b he was blocked.

            http://www.baseball-reference......stel002nic

            I don’t get it though cause miggy could move to dh once vmart is gone.

      • Oooooo says:

        And last I checked didn’t Adam’s net a great haul two years ago and I think Roberston is the better pitcher.

        • jsbrendog says:

          nope.

          July 31, 2011: Traded by the San Diego Padres to the Texas Rangers for Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland.

          http://www.baseball-reference......ro01.shtml
          Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2009 amateur draft.

          “Scouting Report: A high-floor prospect with a no. 4 starter projection, Erlin has garnered comparisons to veteran lefty Ted Lilly. The 22-year-old prospect won’t overpower hitters on pure velocity––his fastball sits between 88-91 mph, touching 92––but he brings a highly cerebral approach with a smooth, repeatable delivery and a plus command/control profile. Erlin also features a deceptive changeup that flashes plus in addition to an average low-to-mid-70s curveball and occasional slider. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound hurler can become home run-prone when he leaves his fastball up, causing it to flatten and lose plane at his height. Petco Park should help him in that regard. But his feel for pitching is elite, and that enables the solid-average stuff to play up a notch. San Diego’s currently shaky situation on the mound may be forcing Erlin up a little earlier than the organization had hoped, but he’s not far from being a viable back-end rotation option.”

          http://www.baseball-reference......jo01.shtml
          Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 4th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

          wielan had been just promoted to aa when he was traded but he was still a lotto ticket, as evidenced by the fact that he was in the minors til this yr and has been kinda shitty in 5 starts.

          “Overall, both pitchers profile very well for the Padres. After all, these are two guys who have combined for a 255/27 K/BB ratio this season. Given that neither has truly dominating stuff, the strikeout rates will likely drop in the majors, but since they allow very few walks and their home park will allow very few homers, it’s tough to see Erlin or Wieland becoming less than mid-rotation starters if they stay healthy.”
          http://gradingonthecurve.com/2.....e-wieland/

          so yes, they did get a good haul but neither player was anywhere near castellanos on prospect rankings, scouting reports, ceilings, projections, or anything.

          • jsbrendog says:

            but you know, just say stuff without looking it up. it isn’t like we have access to any and all information at the click of a button.

            • Oooooo says:

              Dude a few words of wisdom for you. Cool it. We’re fans for the same team. Furthermore, you’re overall tone in all your responses if very poor. As someone who grew up on the street, you’re cruising for a bruising if not careful in real life. The Internet fine, but you might say the wrong thing to the wrong person in real life and well, a hospital visit my be in order. Chill out. It’s all good, bro:)

    • D23 says:

      Quite honestly, I do not know much about Castellanous but that seems awfully a lot to give up for a guy who isn’t proven in ML.

      DRob is probably the top 5 set up men in baseball and can closed for many teams. Thus, while I agree the Tigers need a closer (Don’t know how they missed getting KRod) but as far as I am concerned, they will need to fork over more prospects for DRob.

      With Hudson out, I would not be surprised to see the Braves have some serious talks on Phil Hughes. Personally, I think we can nab a decent prospect from the Braves in return.

      • Gonzo says:

        I’d do it in a heartbeat. DRob for a top 30 prospect in AAA with that many years of control.

        • Oooooo says:

          Looks like you and I got the right idea!

          • Gonzo says:

            That’s why I don’t think the Tigers would do it.

            • jsbrendog says:

              exactly. i would do it 100% but that is not what is at issue here. No way detroit does that esp with the luxury tax penalties getting harsher and fielder and miggy getting older and just as/more expensive. they need cheap young talent who can hit and they won’t trade their best prospect for someone who isn’t an impact player.

      • Oooooo says:

        I said that in the other thread. I think Hughes is wearing a Braves jersey for his next start, not unless Cashman can swing him with others for a bigger piece like a Nick Castellenous.

        • jsbrendog says:

          why do you think the braves would want hughes? they are looking for a front line starter

          http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....-help.html

          • Oooooo says:

            Dude. What’s your problem? Seriously?

            In if history has shown, the Braves are frugal both with spending and in trades. Hughes would cost meaningfully less than other pitchers available and probably deliver a similar return considering all are rentals. Peavy is too risky for the Braves taste.

            • jsbrendog says:

              what is my problem with asking a fair question of why would they want hughes because everything being reported says they want front line pitching which no one can honestly say hughes is regardless of where you fall on the hughes spectrum? you are projcting some emotions into comments that aren’t there. sorry you feel that way bro.

              • jsbrendog says:

                so we aren’t having a discussion where facts and evidence should outweigh opinion and narrative? sorry, i was confused.

      • yooboo says:

        Peavy and few other “expensive” SPs are ahead of Hughes. That may mean Yankees get a crappy prospect for him. Which crappy prospect is up in the air.

        Seattle is working on finding number 3 starter. Hopefully, they win Peavy.

        I don’t think Yankees will trade Robertson because they could give him a “cheap” and fair contract to be our new closer. However, I can’t see Yankees being a joke for two straight years so trading Robertson for right position player(s) may be necessary.

      • Oy says:

        You are out of your mind if you think that two years of D-Rob is an awful lot to give for a top 20 prospect in the game. Who’s also major leagues ready and 21 years old.

        No way Yanks are getting Nick unless Robbie is involved.

        • jsbrendog says:

          thank you.

        • entonces says:

          More circular reasoning on relievers. Amazing how sabremetrics has yielded as many breathlessly ignorant disciples as Freud once did.
          Robertson is presumably “just a reliever” and relievers are basically the least valuable chips because their performance is so erratic. But Robertson’s performance is the polar opposite of erratic. He has been rock-solid consistently good for four years. And if relievers are largely inconsistent that should measurably increase the value of those few who are consistently superior in performance. Calling D-Rob “just a reliever” is almost like calling Dickens “just a writer”

          • jsbrendog says:

            ctrl f shows that the only person who called him just a reliever is you…in quotes…so who were you quoting?

            robertson is one of the best setup men in baseball who had a short stint as a closer and failed. he isn’t worth anywhere near a top 30 prospect. please show me where it shows he is based on past trades or some (any) actual proof.

            plus, side note, having an english degree i fucking hate dickens. he got paid by the word and his writing is dry, slow, and just plain boring.

            • jsbrendog says:

              plus, no one said he was erratic or anything. you aare putting words in our mouths. i don’t think anyone here argues that robertson is one of the best if not the best setup men. but due to the nature of relievers and their roles even a top non closer reliever is not worth anywhere near a top 30 prospect.

            • entonces says:

              Well, I’m a many-times published author and I LOVE Dickens. Master storyteller and comic genius. Can’t imagine really how he could be called boring.

              “Just a reliever” roughly equals “another bullpen arm” I would say. Sure I saw that at least once.

              Yes, Robertson had a very very short stint as closer. But he “failed”? Going from memory here, but seems to me he maybe had two sub-par outings. Also, JSB, I know you’re big on looking things up and I’m working on raw memory here but it might be worth comparing what D-Rob has done in recent years with what the deservedly exalted Rivera has done. Couple of years, where there’s not that much between them (and I do not in any way mean to minimize what Mo has done). Also, I wonder at the distinction between the assumed value of closer and the presumed (by many) “fungibility” of eighth inning men. But isn’t part of (what I see as) the specious logic devaluing relievers that they don’t pitch that many innings. Starters who do are therefore more valuable. But this would imply that late innings in close games are not significantly more heavily weighted than say generic first to fifth innings. If so, why should the eighth inning be worth much less than the ninth?

              • jsbrendog says:

                that’s awesome that you are a published writer! congrats. seriously. and i’m with you on the idea that an inning is an inning. the thing is what we think doesn’t matter. we’re just two gentlemen on an internet page. the people who value this stuff and have power to make moves historicall value the ability to close and handle the 9th and have a certain mentality whether you and i think it is hogwash or not. And the fact that guys like krod, gregg, valverde, etc continue to get jobs closing on different teams, broxton is another one, over better young guys just goes to show that mentality. plus it doesn’t help the argument when someone like jim henderson, a 31 yr old journeyman pitcher who kinda sucked prior to becoming the closer can be a successful closer. why give up something for a setup man with no experience when your setup guy with no experience could be able to do it (again this is assuming you can’t get the proven closer TM type)

                where i feel you’re getting hung up is in assuming people here feel robertson is a fungible arm. im pretty sure most people here would say that he is easily one of the best if not the best setup man in baseball. this however, doesn’t make him as valuable as a closer because he doesn’t have the experience and doesn’t fit the GM and baseball people in the know’s mindset about proven closers. Plus, again, the fungibility as you say of relievers makes it cost prohibitive to traqde for someone like robertson because you can put together a good bullpen with young cost controlled guys and veteran journeymen like the yankees have instead of give up solid prospects.

                the entire argument here is even the best reliever isn’t worth a top 30 prospect unless a team is DESPERATE AS CURSEWORDS. and as seen in the AGonz example above he had just come off wrist surgery and had just been demoted and was not only a sell super low but he sucked in two yrs in texas too and they sold low on him to SD as well where he blossomed late.

                what have you written? anything we may know?

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              “A Tale of Two Cities” is genuinely awful whenever Carton is not involved. It’s like an exercise in flat characters.

          • Oooooo says:

            Well said, man…

    • Gonzo says:

      Castellanos is playing the OF right now and is probably going to take over for Andy Dirks soon. Not saying he couldn’t play 3b again, but the Tigers might need him on their run this year.

      • Oooooo says:

        Agreed, but in my opinion, if the Tigers want to win it, they’ll get more value (short term) out of Castellanous in a trade for more important bullpen help than added offense at not a natural position for a player. The Tigers already rate poorly defensively and just adding a rookie to not a natural position only compounds that problem. Nah, I trade the dude.

        • Gonzo says:

          Andy Dirks is hitting .245/.303/.350 and Castellanos has played over 100 games in LF this year and over 50 in RF last year. I think you are mangling the facts to make your case. Nick might very well be a better upgrade than DRob this year and obviously a better upgrade for years to come.

          Also the Tigers are tied for 4th in the AL for the LOWEST amount of blown saves. They have 9 for the year. Teams like Oakland and Tampa have more blown saves than the Tigers.

  8. yooboo says:

    Rob Segedin and David Adams can handle 3B until Jagielo is ready.

    SS is a major concern. Nunez and Jeter are all we have. Free agency offers nothing,too.

    Seattle and Cleveland have depth at SS but not all are MLB ready.

    Reds are locked with Cozert at SS so Henry Rodriguez could be had.

    Gamble on Danny Espionza of Nationals since they are locked with Zimmerman, Desmond and Rendon in the all non 1b infield.

    • mitch says:

      no way can you bridge the gap with Segedin and Adams. The only impressive thing Adams has done this year is stay healthy for a few consecutive months. I’m not giving up on him, but i’d be a lot more comfortable if his 2014 role is as depth/bench player. Plus, who knows when (if ever)Jagielo is ready to contribute

      • yooboo says:

        I mean the worst thing that can happen to Yankees for a best plan.

        Look around MLB, Yankees won’t have a decent chance to upgrade 3b and ss.

        The most important thing is AL SS group is awful so Nunez at SS won’t be too far from the “upper” echelon. LOL.

        • jsbrendog says:

          ss isn’t as jokishly weak as the narrative goes:

          http://www.fangraphs.com/leade.....;sort=18,d

          With qualified amount of PA

          Segura 123 wrc+
          Peralta 121 wrc+
          desmond 116 wrc+
          e cabrera 116
          lowrie 112
          a cabrera 104
          crawford 103

          with minimum 250 PA
          Tulo 154 wrc+
          Segura 123 wrc+
          Peralta 121 wrc+
          desmond 116 wrc+
          e cabrera 116
          lowrie 112
          a cabrera 104
          crawford 103
          gergorious 102 wrc+

          I would put nunez realistically somewhere around the jroll (86 wrc+)to erick aybar (94 wrc+)

      • Oooooo says:

        I gotta agree with everything you said. This “banking” on prospect being good 4 years from now crap is stupid.

    • mitch says:

      i do like the Espinoza thought though….would be a nice buy low move

      • Angelo says:

        If you like him so much, then you should probably learn how to spell his name. It’s “Espinosa” :)

        And I agree on buying low on him.

  9. Matt B says:

    Who really knows, but I lean siightly in the direction of think that it’s more likely that Jeter will be physically able to play next season, and probably will play half his games at shortstop. Whether that turns out to be a good or bad thing, time will tell, but the fact of the matter is, he’s going to be on the team, and nothing to indicate that he won’t be healthy by start of ’14- other than his age generally than it is likely that ARod plays any significant portion of next season due to suspension, So in terms of next year’s club, I believe 3B is the much more glaring hole.

    Awful free agent market, only three names even warrant a glimpse -
    1. Peralta – interesting, in that he’s played both SS and 3B and played them both well – has been up and down with that bat, as SS he’s an above average hitter, at 3B, all depends on the year. That said,while he’s not young (will be 32), he’s not decrepit, and I see no reason why he won’t match is current 11.25 salary and prob looking at at least 2 years.

    2. Reynolds – I’d rather have him than what I have now, but basically am inclined to believe that his defense is so bad (and not like his offense is anything to write home on), that he has very little vale.

    3. Young – not optimal for an old team, defensively challenged at the position, but prob could be had on a one year deal, and probably produces fairly decent offense.

    And then some potential trade candidates (these are the obvious ones, guys in MLB already, not much thinking outside the box).

    1. A. Cabrera- having a down year, but he’s young and a switch hitter and probably can be had. That said, he’s a bad defensive SS, and while there’s always talk of him moving to 3B who knows how he handles the position. I’d be pretty supportive of trading for Cabrera on the whole.

    2, T. Plouffe – some offensive pop, defensive metrics hate him, but cost controlled and likely obtainable,

    • Oooooo says:

      Which is why it would in fact be prudent for the Yanks to snag a snazzy and cheap guy like Castellanous. I’d be than five with him, Nunez at SS, Cano (resigned) at 2nd and Tex back next season. Outfield would be Ichiro, Gardner, (Wells/Soriano) and more likely, Tyler Austin or Mason Williams possibly breaking camp next season. The Yanks need a couple glaring things in the offseason once they resign Cano (hopefully). 3rd base #1 catcher #2 and then their pitchers.

      • Matt B says:

        I’d love Castellanous. Love him. And I don’t think it’s insane to think that Robertson could be in that deal, as a significant piece of it. Not sure Det has a need for a Phil Hughes. Moving forward, they might be enticed by catching prospects. Just a tough deal to pull off at the deadline, but by waiting till the offseason the whole rationale of including Robertson as a major chip diminishes.

        • jsbrendog says:

          yeah that deal could work if it involved sanchez, possibly. depends on how ML ready they want the return to be for an already ml ready player.

          starting point for castellanos is prob Drob, sanchez and one of the yankees other top prospects. and even then it might not work because they aren;t that close to the majors.

          • jsbrendog says:

            plus that’s a starting point IMO, which means if they even want to trade him it might even take more.

        • Oooooo says:

          Agreed. The Roberston thing was just throwing something at the wall, but the Yanks and Tigers do match up well, even better now that this coming winter. The Yanks should go after Castellanous and give up whatever the Tigers ask for. I mean seriously, at this point there really isn’t any untouchables for Yanks that out weight the value Nick C could bring to the Bronx.

    • Matt B says:

      Oh and I forget,

      3. D. Freese – nice player, late bloomer, so 30 and still in arb years, about to get another hike, but not super expensive – probably could be obtained given Carpenter’s presence. Not a superstar and he’s not having a great year. But an attractive option for me as wouldn’t require multiple years and even in a down year he’s at 100 wRC+ – just hoping it’s not an early indicator of incoming steady decline.

      • Oooooo says:

        Yep, but he’s an off season play.

        • Matt B says:

          oh no doubt, IMHO, at this point, the only truly plausible deadline move is Young, which I’d pretty much do in a heartbeat. Understood he doesn’t play the position super well, but I’m not so trusting in defensive metrics as to kill a deal over it – plus the ability to play the short part of an Overbay platoon, assuming a reasonable cost, I think he makes sense in that you’re upgrading and just trying to hang in there and maybe sneak one last postseason trip out of this club, without mortgaging what’s a somewhat sketchy future to begin with,

          • jsbrendog says:

            at this point i don’t care how bad he could be in the field. the yankees need to score runs. they’ll survive with him at 1b/3b/dh combo. sadly the fact that the sox are also interested ive read on mlbtr and the rangers even discussed a young reunion means the price would be yuuuuuuuuuuge. plus it doesnt seem like the phils want to sell

    • jsbrendog says:

      if we have learned one thing as yankee fans it would have to be never count out derek jeter.

  10. In Mo We Trust says:

    Well now it looks like Soriano will wear 12 and Wells now wears 22

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