Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Transactions Analysis Part II: Dog Days Edition

We're taking something of a different approach here. Teddy & I have done half of the remaining TA, which we'll put out for publication now, while Chadsky's out on the left coast. We'll finish this edition up and play catchup later this week, with a special help from a little friend of ours. (El Angelo)

abe vigoda's spleen
  • Released Matt Stairs, 1B, Toronto [7/17]

  • Traded Jason Bay, OF, Pittsburgh; Ty Wigginton, 3B, Houston, John Smoltz, SP, Atlanta and a 6th round pick in the 2008 draft to Le Dupont Torkies for Bobby Jenks, RP, Chicago (AL), Sergio Mitre, RP, Florida; Justin Germano, SP, San Diego and a 3rd round pick in the 2008 draft [7/25]

  • Signed Reggie Willits, OF, Anaheim; Released Cliff Lee, SP, Cleveland [7/27]

  • Claimed Casey Blake, 3B, Cleveland off waivers; Released Nick Punto, IF, Minnesota [7/28]

  • Released Dave Roberts, OF, San Diego and Mike Gonzalez, RP, Atlanta [7/31]

  • Claimed John Buck, C, Kansas City off waivers [8/3]

  • Released Buck [8/6]

  • Signed Jose Guillen, OF, Seattle [8/10]
In the Wankdorf League's version of the Lend-Lease program, we have the Vigoda-Torkie exchange system. If you're keeping track at home, which I know you are deep down in your soul, the two swaps between the squads, after canceling out common players that went back and forth twice, resulted in Jenks, Mitre, Germano, Chad Gaudin, Noah Lowry and Jhonny Peralta going to the Pancreases for Bay, Magglio Ordonez, and Wigginton. That's a ton of middling pitching and a flyer on a SS that's still undetermined as to how well it's going for a pair of good outfielders, so while it's not like these guys were robbed, they also didn't make out with a stud for either Bay or Ordonez, albeit while they're in their walk years.

There's also the matter of the swap of picks, which is a nice recovery for this squad, who's already shy a second rounder for next year, so trading up about 30 spots is a plus, especially given the volatility of standings between the 3rd and 8th place teams. It makes up for the fact that Cliff Lee has decided to become the midwestern Kei Igawa, and no, that's not a complement.

Lastly, there's something hilarious about burning waiver priority not once but TWICE over execrable talents known as Casey Fucking Blake and John Buck, the latter of which couldn't even maintain a roster spot for more than 4 days. Sure, Ryan Zimmerman's had a fairly disappointing season, but Casey Blake isn't even an impossibility to be kept, he's not even worthy of mascot status. And unlike Guillen, he's not going to get into an altercation and give you bad press. Silliness abounds for the Tessios. (El Angelo)

Bobby Jenks has probably enshrined himself as a keeper by this point, so I mind the trade less than Angelo does. Regardless of the moves around the margins, this team is going to have to have a big draft next year to break the second-division cycle. (Teddy)

Ed Rooney's Office
  • Signed Jason Schmidt, SP, Los Angeles; Released Esteban Loaiza, SP, Oakland [7/15]

  • Signed Franklin Guitierrez, OF, Cleveland; Released Jason Jennings, SP, Houston [7/19]

  • Claimed Julio Lugo, SS, Boston off waivers; Released Schmidt [7/24]

  • Signed BUDDY! Carlyle, RP, Atlanta; Released Adam Hoffman LaRoche, 1B, Pittsburgh [7/25]

  • Released Pat Neshek, RP, Minnesota [7/27]

  • Signed Moises Alou, OF, New York (NL); Released Guitierrez [8/19]
The road to 3rd place runs through a ton of poor pitching. And that's the odd part, because this team's entire strength is it's starting pitching---when Kelvim Escobar is your FOURTH best starter, the last thing you need is to be picking through the dregs of Schmidt, Jennings and Loaiza. Carlyle and Neshek make sense in theory, but they have no value in the saves category. Wouldn't it make more sense to try to improve on Pena, who's turning into a pumpkin something fast, or either Hawpe or Willingham, who are redundant with each other? And this is while good trading chits in Saltalamacchia and Delmon Young are rotting on the bench. I hate to say this to my co-author, but this is almost smacking of Terry Ryan-ness, in failing to strike at a spot in the money that's wholly obtainable for the sake of being stubborn. (El Angelo)

See, I disagree that a spot in the money was reachable--I got up that far temporarily by having 5 guys play out of theis minds for 3 weeks on offense. That's the sort of overperformance I need to get up in the top 3, which means that any win-now move on offense won't really do me much good. I agree that I should move one of Salty or VMart, but I'm willing to wait until the offseason for that if nobody comes a-bidding at this point.

The pitcher moves are sort of deceptively important, because one of the downsides to a pitching-focused team is that the presence of 2 rate stats (instead of just the 1 on offense) means that the bottom of your roster can hurt you. As a result, having a plausible roster-filler starter or two is important, and that's an area where I've been lucky this year with Brian Bannister and (pre-injury) Jason Jennings. (Teddy)

Evil Empire
  • Signed Corey Patterson, OF, Chicago (NL); Released Akinori Iwanmura, 3B, Tampa Bay [7/17]

  • Traded Gilgamesh, SP, Kansas City and a 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft to Wind City Mikemonsters for Jorge Posada, C, New York (AL); Reeased Ramon Hernandez, C, Baltimore and Ivan Rodriguez, C, Detroit [7/26]

  • Claimed Gilgamesh off waivers [8/1]

  • Signed Mike Cuddyer, 1B, Minnesota [8/20]

  • Signed Touchdown Tim Wakefield, SP, Boston; Released Rafael Soriano, RP, Atlanta [8/22]
That worked out nicely, didn't it? Giving up the immortal Gil Meche for Dumbo Posada, and lo and behold, he's available 5 days later! So obviously, the trade essentially came down to a 2nd rounder for Posada, which strikes me as overpaying a little but not a ton, which pays for itself if this team grabs the bronze medal this year.

Mike Cuddyer is a nice snag beyond that, in that he can spell the inevitable slumps that Patterson and Toriiiii and Delgado are having on and off this year. I'd make fun of the Wakefield pickup in that he's quickly en route to becoming a middle reliever for the Sawx, but this team is in contention with Shawn Marcum being its best starter. I'm in no position to criticize. (El Angelo)

Based solely on the league standings, the trade was probably a worthwhile risk. But I feel about EE the same way that I feel about my own team, which is that it was a little bit over its head, meaning that a win-now trade was more likely to stop the fall at 5th or 6th rather than put them over the top for a spot in the money. Of course, you can take that theory too far, which is why some years you see only 4 teams really trying for the 3 money spots. So it's nice to see a slightly larger group acting competitive this year. (Teddy)

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