Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Transaction Analysis: Carcass-Picking Edition

Canada sucks. I know, I hear you. How could the land of poutine and above-average strip club buffets suck? Well, for one thing, it's the home of the Montreal Canadiens, who ruined parts of my childhood along with Bill Simmons's. But for our purposes here at the GRBG, the lion's share of the suckening is directly attributable to one man:

[Awesome image originally found here]

Yes, the last act in the four-year tectonic destruction of Eric Greg Gagne's shoulder, elbow and psyche has arrived, resulting in a wasted draft pick for me, and a volume of league transactions almost large enough to warrant a TA of their own. So come with us as the league picks clean the carcass of my embarrassingly early draft pick. You jackals. [Teddy]

Eric Gagne almost single-handedly propelled me to a pair of in the money finishes in 2002 and 2003, back when he didn't, well, suck. I'm happy to honor him in this way by looking at the litter of corpses strewn about our league. Because unlike fans of at least 4 teams, I still have fond memories of him. (El Angelo)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Signed Brian Shouse, RP, MIL; Released Armando Galarraga, P, DET [5/13]
And off we go! WTF gets in on the Gagne implosion, signing Brian "The Brick" S"hit"house in an effort to get a piece of the future saves in Milwaukee. Pros: Actually got the first post-Gagne save for the Brewers. Cons: Is not good at baseball (lousy K rate; iffy K/BB rate; allows .851 OPSA to RHH). Estimated length of stay on roster: 3 weeks. (Teddy)

I'll take the under on that in a heartbeat. What I also don't get is how they managed to dump the only pitcher on the Tigers' staff with an ERA under 5 in Not Andres Galarraga. But between Shouse and Aquilino Lopez, this team's got a monopoly on Crappy Non-Closers. I dare him to pick up Aaron Heilman.

I'd also like to re-note what our Commish stated on our website that The Gravel Pits have hit the century mark on Mother's Day, which has been indicative thrice before of a losing effort in the league. I will temper that doomsday proposition with noting that all those teams did finish in the money in their respective years, but it's nice that we can cross of a team besides mine and Ironhead's for the win slot. (El Angelo)

Christmas Critters
  • Released Bronson Arroyo, SP, Cincy [5/7]
  • Signed Ryan Franklin and Russ Springer, RPs, St. Louis; Released Scott Downs, RP, Toronto and Mark Ellis, 2B, Oakland [5/10]
  • Released Springer [5/13]
The Holiday Bedbugs made the somewhat defensible move of cutting ex-Sox Bronson Arroyo, only to have him pitch well against My Mets, so I don't expect him to linger on waivers for long. They then made the hedge move of picking up both prospective St. Louis closers, now that Jason Isringhausen has turned into a pumpkin for good. Not that this was a shocker: this was a man who blew a save and a game in the span of 58 seconds. Good riddance Jason, and don't forget your TB vaccination on the way out. (El Angelo)

An interesting approach here--rather than join the line forming to peck away at Gagne's eyes, the Critters chose to corner the deathwatch market in St. Louis. While it's never particularly heartening to find Ryan Franklin on your roster, the CC's are at least assured of a few weeks of save opps, until the Cardinals move on to the next plug. (Teddy)

clemens the pederast
  • Signed Blake DeWitt, 3B, LAN; Released Jason Kugel, Noodle Pudding, MIN
I love a nice kugel. They go great with pork chops and shellfish. (Teddy)

And you're not even a MOTT or married to one, as evidenced by your choice of side dishes. Kugel does a tremendous job of getting the absolutely nasty residual taste of the gefiltefish, which absolutely annihilate all the upside of the seder-opening haroset and matzoh ball soup. Since we're already on the subject of seders and Blake DeWitt, I'm going to use this as an excuse to run a picture of a personal fave, Alicia Witt, who stellarly played D-girl Amy Safit, Christopher Moltosanti's cousin-in-law back in season two. (El Angelo)

The Fighting Isaiahs
  • Signed Tim Redding, SP, Washington; Released Jason Giambi, 1B, New York (AL) [5/8]
  • Released Redding; Activated Jair Jurrjens, SP, Atlanta from the prospect list [5/10]
Man, how bad have things gotten for Jason HGHiambi that he was cut for Tim Goddamn Redding, and the move was defensible? At least the Militant Point Guards realized that Tim Redding is a bad pitcher on a bad team, and got rid of him stat for a former minor leaguer who at least knows how to throw strikes. There's nothing depressing about an aging slugger being cut for a young flame thrower, but being tossed aside for Tim Redding really should make Jason reconsider staying on a major league roster. (El Angelo)

All this for the bargain price of $21,000,000 this season! There's a non-zero chance that Hank has him chopped up and thrown into some fresh cement at the new Stadium. (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Released Pat Neshek, RP, Minnesota [5/10]
For those keeping score at home, this is move #1 in Pat Neshek's effort to repeat the Pewter Parachute award. Keep it up Pat. The morning line contenders for your crown are Manny Acosta, Lastings Milledge and Jon Rauch. (El Angelo)

Alas, Neshek's elbow blowout means that his run at a second Pewter Parachute award (which is of course dedicated to the memory of that transactions titan and noted building remodeler, Corey Lidle) is over. Unless Ang and I get bored and just swap him back and forth all August. Which, knowing us, might happen. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Activated Joey Votto, 1B, Cincy from the prospect list; Released Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado [5/5]
  • Signed Chris Ianetta, C, Colorado; Released Jake Westbrook, SP, Cleveland [5/7]
  • Traded Votto to 54°40' or Fight! for Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles [5/10]
  • Signed Andy Sonnenstine, SP, TB; Released Mike Gonzalez, RP, ATL [5/12]
  • Released Sonnenstine; Signed David Riske, RP, MIL [5/13]
In his later years the owner of the Torkies will sit by the fire, gather his 3 daughters and 8 granddaughters about him, and tell them of the long-ago time when he promoted a fat Italian first baseman off of his fantasy prospect list just in time to watch him hit 3 dingers in a game, then flipped him for a stud pitcher. And his family will smile beatifically, then up his medication dosage.

He will not, however, tell them about the time he signed David Riske as part of the scavenging operation surrounding the sinking of he HMS Gagne. Some things are too painful to relive. Fun facts: Riske's K rate is worse than Gagne's, and their K/BB rate are nearly identical. (Teddy)

The Billingsley move makes perfect sense for a team that's doing it by smoke and mirrors in the staff; they're somehow in 2nd place in the league without having anything resembling a real pitching staff, but Billingsley's a nice step towards actually looking like you're trying. I'm actually going a different mode of criticism: why the haste to dump Mike Gonzalez? Injured, he's doing you less damage than Riske will while pitching, and he's next in line to close for Atlanta. Was the roster spot for him that big a deal? (El Angelo)

54°40' or Fight!
  • Signed Hong Chi-Kuo, RP, Los Angeles; Released Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto [5/8]
  • Traded Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles to Le Dupont Torkies for Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati [5/10]
  • Released Kuo; Signed Guillermo Mota, RP, Milwaukee [5/11]
  • Released Brandon Morrow, RP, SEA; Signed Salomon Torres, RP, MIL
Whenever you trade young pitching for young hitting, you tend to trade upside for certainty. Given the number of wild cards already on the roster, the fitty-fo-foties could use a little more certainty. With that in mind, I like the trade here.

And it's always nice to former have Pewter Parachute winner Guillermo Mota back in the mix. Plus, Mota actually has the best line of any of the Brewers usurpers so far this season, so he'll have the first crack at screwing things up in Milwaukee. I've no doubt he'll succeed eventually, but he might be flippable in the meantime. I assume Salomon Torres is only along for completeness's sake.

For those following at home, the league has now signed everything in the Milwaukee bullpen except Bernie Brewer and the guy who drives the bullpen cart. (Teddy)

The kicker is that Milwaukee stinks. It's one thing to pick through the bones of a good team's bullpen when the closer goes down, but the Brew Crew look like toast. Of course, that still probably makes them better than the Mets. Sigh. As for the deal, Chadsky summed it up about right in that I need some actual boppers instead of 8 lottery tickets in the staff. Given that Billingsley's already used up a year of keeperdom and Votto's a free play, it was an easy call. (El Angelo)

Frank the Tank
  • Signed Kaz Matsui, Pig, Colorado; Released Paul Maholm, SP, Pittsburgh [5/9]
  • Signed Vernon Wells, Broken OF, Toronto; Released Manny Corpas, RP, Colorado [5/11]
Exhibit A in why not to draft third-tier closers too early: Manny Corpas. For every Eric Gagne circa 2002, there are a dozen of these clowns. I hate every other player in this transaction list and won't even try to comment on their sorry asses. (El Angelo)

Toronto might well be out of it by the time Vernon Wells comes back, which means he's a good candidate to out up a a couple months of meaningless garbage time stats. Which, at least in the GRBG's world, makes this a nice pickup. (Teddy)

residential Timber
  • Signed Erick Aybar, SS, Anaheim; Released Aaron Hill, 2B, Toronto [5/7]
  • Signed Vincente Padilla, SP, Texas and Garrett Olson, SP, Baltimore; Released Billy Butler, OF, Kansas City and Randy Wolf, SP, San Diego [5/8]
  • Signed Paul Bako, C, Cleveland; Released JR Towles, C, Houston [5/10]
I'm trying to find something inspirational, critical or funny about this. (El Angelo)

... (Teddy)

Matsui's Fissure
  • Signed Manny Acosta, RP, Atlanta; Released Tony Pena, RP, Arizona [5/8]
You could have written "Manny Pena"/"Tony Acosta" and I would have had the same reaction: utter indifference. (El Angelo)

Are you kidding? This is the move that will make the difference between 8th place and 9th place! (Teddy)

1 comment:

Teddy said...

Alicia Witt...FROM!

Worcester, MA! (Seriously.)