Friday, June 13, 2008

Transactions Analysis: The Pewter Pitcher Leaderboard

We're a bit more than a third of the way through the season, which means that the contenders and pretenders have emerged, and it looks like a fairly competitive year; I count no fewer than 6 teams that can say they have a shot to win it. But rather than wax poetic about the teams that have a chance to win, as we haven't reached Father's Day, for crying out loud, let's take a look at the potential candidates for the vaunted Pewter Parachute Award. In previous years, it's been a runaway with middle relievers like Guillermo Mota and Pat Neshek getting run through systematically. This year, we're seeing not just middle relievers in contention, we're seeing some real names in the running. And not coincidentally, they're all in this TA. So I'll have an eye towards the race for the prize while scrutinizing a lot of deals. (El Angelo)

It's June, so the Parachute is officially in play. Not in play: my entire team, which stinks and sucks and stinks. But I digress. (Teddy)

Frank the Tank
  • Signed Jason Giambi, HGHer, New York (AL); Released Josh Willingham, OF, Florida [5/28]
  • Signed Luis Castillo, 2B, New York (NL); Released Jayson Werth, OF, Philly [6/1]
  • Claimed Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Oakland off waivers; Released Ryan Doumit, C, Pittsburgh [6/3]
  • Released Dana Eveland, SP, Oakland [6/4]
  • Signed Alex Hinsaw, RP, San Fran; Released Castillo [6/6]
  • Traded Chris Young, OF, Arizona and Gonzalez to 54°40' or Fight! for Bobby Jenks, RP, Chicago (AL); Signed Randy Winn, OF, San Fran [6/7]
  • Released Daniel Cabrera, SP, Baltimore [6/8]
  • Released Hinshaw; Re-signed Doutmit [6/10]
Guys you pick up and drop yourself without a middle step don't count towards the Pewter Pitcher, so Ryan Doumit, take a seat. Instead, we've got a pair of real players here who are making a run at the trophy. First, Mr. HgHiambi has been gracing the waiver wire with shocking frequency this year, though his recent hot streak is not only good news for the Streakers, it's pretty much ensured that he's going nowhere. More surprising is that Bobby Jenks, a very sensible pickup for this team at minimal cost for this year, has been dealt twice in the span of 10 days. I suppose that should get its own award; maybe in honor of Assface Omar Minaya? Speaking of which, why the hell was Luis Castillo on this roster for a week? Did you lose a bet to someone? (El Angelo)

Sort of a stealth candidate here as well is Randy Winn, who I believe we've cited before as the walking embodiment of a fantasy replacement-level outfielder. I guess that Bud Selig hasn't gotten around to throwing the Giants out of the league yet, so there's still a little fantasy grist to be milled yet in S.F. (Teddy)

54°40' or Fight!

  • Signed Ian Stewart, 2B/3B Colorado; Released Rich Hill, SP, Chicago (NL) [5/29]
  • Signed Jason Bartlett, SS, Tampa Bay; Released Guillermo Mota, RP, Milwaukee [5/30]
  • Added Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles to the active roster; Released Josh Fields, 3B, Chicago (AL) [6/1]
  • Traded Alex Gordon, 3B, Kansas City, Miguel Tejada, SS, Houston and Gavin Floyd, SP, Chicago (AL) to clemens the pederast for Matt Cain, SP, San Fran; Bobby Jenks, RP, Chicago (AL) and Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington [6/2]
  • Traded Jenks to Frank the Tank for Chris Young, OF, Arizona and Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Oakland [6/7]
  • Traded Joba Chamberlain, SP, New York (AL) to Le Dupont Torkies for Clay Buchholz, SP, Boston and James Loney, 1B, Los Angeles; Released Aaron Laffey, SP, Cleveland [6/12]
The long and short of the three deals from my perspective is: (a) cashing in on three guys that I wasn't keeping this year and were somewhat surplusage for Chris Young (with Jenks as the intermediary that I didn't want) and three fun flyers in Cain, Zimmerman & Gonzalez; (b) swapping Stud Yankee for Stud Red Sock while getting Loney for my troubles. Since I'm not competing this year anyway, the difference between Joba & Clay was fungible, and adding a useful 1B in the process can't hurt, right? (El Angelo)

Shit, query whether Clay Buchholz won't end up more valuable than Joba THIS year, as Joba's conversion from minor league SP to big league RP to big league SP has set back his development curve a little. The real question is who will be more valuable going forward, which as with all young pitchers depends a lot on whose arm explodes first. Like the trade.

So now that I've said something nice I guess I have to take a pot shot. To wit: guess spending a second rounder on Alex Gordon last year didn't really pan out all that niftily. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Glen Perkins, SP, Minnesota; Released Scot Shields, RP, Anaheim [6/2]
  • Signed Rahdames Liz, RP, Baltimore; Released Heath Bell, RP, San Diego [6/5]
  • Released Perkins [6/9]
  • Signed Armando Not Andres Gallaraga, SP, Detroit [6/10]
  • Signed Jorge Cantu, CI, Florida; Released Liz [6/11]
  • Traded Clay Buchholz, SP, Boston and James Loney, 1B, Los Angeles to 54°40' or Fight! for Joba Chamberlain, SP, New York (AL) [6/12]
Aside from the trade, everything else is just weekly re-arranging of deck chairs for the next cruise, because the only guy still on the roster is Jorge Cantu, who's replacement level at the hot corner. The 2006 Champs obviously needed another arm, and cashed out on Bucchholz for Joba...but as the guy who made the deal, I have to query whether they could have gotten some better certainty from another non-competitor for Bucchholz. Yes, Joba's also going to be kept beyond this year, but in this team's keeper situation, you have to believe they're going for it this year, so unless the goal is to re-flip Joba for a better starter, this strikes me as only marginally helpful, especially as it leaves them with a hole at first base. (El Angelo)

I'm pretty sure I nailed Liz Radhames at a mixer in 1997. If memory serves, she was a nursing student from St. Joe's who enjoyed hiking, swing music, and (most crucially) Flaming Dr. Peppers. I admit to being more than a little surprised to see her in the O's bullpen this year, though good on her for striking a blow for gender equality. (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers
  • Signed Jack Cust, OF, Oakland; Released Junior Griffey, OF, Cincinnati [5/28]
Would it have killed Alex to keep Junior Griffey around until he hit his 600th? The lack of sentimentality from this owner is appalling, especially when it's to sign the King of Three True Outcomes, Jack Fricking Cust. (El Angelo)

Jack Cust has chunks of Junior Griffey's stool in his stool. I leave to the reader to determine whether that makes Cust better or worse than Junior. (Teddy)

Decatur Commies
  • Signed Derek Lowe Face, SP, Los Angeles [5/24]
  • Signed Luke Hochevar, SP, Kansas City [5/25]
In terms of reunions, Lowe returning to Teddy's arms ranks somewhere between Tom Glavine's return to the Braves and me skipping my 10th high school reunion. On another note, Hochevar blows and blows on a bad team. (El Angelo)

DLowe has had terrible results this year, but his peripherals are the same as they have been for the past few years. He's a good bet to improve, and with my rotation in its current state, I'll take what I can get. (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Signed Bartolo Colon, SP, Boston and Scott Linebrink, RP, Chicago (AL); Released Mike Pelfrey, SP, New York (NL) [5/26]
  • Released Jake Westbrook, SP, Cleveland [6/3]
  • Signed Brandon Morrow, RP, Seattle; Released John Smoltz, SP, Atlanta [6/7]
  • Signed Heath Bell, RP, San Diego [6/8]
My first draft of comments applauded Darrin for getting rid of Mike Pelfrey, who'd been crappy beyond recognition to that point. However, since being waived by the Defending Champs, Pelfrey's pitched 21 innings while giving up 4 runs, K'ing 15 and keeping his walk rate in order. (Of course he hasn't won any of those three starts---it's tough when your team's lineup and bullpen suck as much as their manager.) So I'm going to applaud Darrin instead for giving the Mets another viable starter by cutting Pelfrey. I would ask someone to keep up the good work by picking up Carlos Delgado for a week and then cutting him, as it may wake him up from his coma. Maybe I should've labeled this TA Bitter Met Fan Edition instead. (El Angelo)

Angelo advocates this same strategy with regard to Billy Wagner, except that Ang would prefer the subsequent cutting to be physical and repeated. (Teddy)

The Fighting Isaiahs
  • Signed Randy Wolf, SP, San Diego; Released Edgar Rentasuck, SS, Detroit [5/26]
  • Signed Jose Guillen, OF, Kansas City; Released Jeff Keppinger, 1B, Cincy [6/9]
Edgar Rentasuck is candidate #3 for the PP, as everyone who's needed a temporary fix at SS has tried him and been similarly disappointed. Still, you gotta love him because of his spunkiness. I'm more impressed though with the Jose Guillen signing, not because he's any good (he's not), but because Jake ignored his obscenity laced tirade and picked up him to ride the hot streak. I'm only shocked that he didn't try to pick up the White Sox' blow up dolls last month. (El Angelo)

Hey, somebody on that Royals team has to knock in the runs they score, and it's sure as hell not going to be Tony Pena Jr. Also, I'm pretty sure Jeff Keppinger did my taxes last year, which is a good a reason as any to waive him. (Teddy)

Matsui's Fissure
  • Signed Jorge Campillo, RP, Atlanta; Released Jeff Francis, SP, Colorado and Donnie Darko, 1B, Cleveland [5/31]
  • Signed Orlando Hudson, 2B, Arizona; Released Manny Acosta, RP, Atlanta [6/2]
  • Re-signed Darko; Released Dionner Navarro, C, Tampa Bay and Mike Jacobs, 1B, Florida [6/9]
The Exploding Rectums continue to play Atlanta Reliever Roulette, which has landed on something called Jorge Campillo. That's going to work out poorly. This list of players is pretty depressing in general, as Garko, Navarro and Jacobs all fall under the category of guys that sounded like a great idea at the time but haven't done squat this year. Jorge Campillo is definitely going to turn that streak around though, you watch. Count on it. (El Angelo)

Orlando Hudson has an OPS of .858 so far this year, which is tops among non-Utlerian 2Bs. For some reason, none of us could bring ourselves to snag the O-Dog until now; not sure what that was about, but for the league's rep it's nice to see him brought into the fold. (Teddy)

clemens the pederast
  • Signed Tim Redding, SP, Washington [5/27]
  • Signed Jerry Hairston, Jr., MI, Cincinnati [5/30]
  • Traded Matt Cain, SP, San Fran, Bobby Jenks, RP, Chicago (AL) and Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington to 54°40' or Fight! for Alex Gordon, 3B, Kansas City, Miguel Tejada, SS, Houston and Gavin Floyd, SP, Chicago (AL) [6/2]
  • Signed John Grabow, RP, Pittsburgh; Released Hairston [6/2]
  • Signed Scott Downs, RP, Toronto; Released Jeremy Bonderman, SP, Detroit [6/7]
  • Signed JD Drew, OF, Boston; Released Scott Rolen, 3B, Toronto [6/8]
Ironhead's team encompasses the most PP candidates, as Redding, Hairston, Downs and Drew have all been passed around like Mike Wilbon's underwear at an NBA party. Also, not to pile it on the poor bastard, but you know your season's going poorly when Bonderman gets a freak injury that KO's him for an entire year, and it's about the 5th worst thing that's happened to your staff. At least Floyd gives them a chance to reload for next season. (El Angelo)

Last year this franchise justifiably re-named itself in order to reflect its aggravation with Jeremy Bonderman, when all Bonderman did was suck. But what's the next step? How do you reflect Bonderman's ascension to an even higher level of franchise sabotage? We here at the GRBG wait with baited breath. A suggestion: mailing Bonderman a signed waiver letter rapped around a dead fish. (Teddy)

Christmas Critters
  • Signed Dan Wheeler, RP, Tampa Bay; Released Scott Downs, RP, Toronto [5/28]
  • Signed Jerry Hairston, Jr., MI, Chicago (NL) and Chad Cordero, RP, Washington; Released Felipe Lopez, SG, St. John's [6/5]
  • Released Hairston; Signed Alexi Ramirez, 2B, Chicago (AL) [6/9]
I am now convinced that Scot has a program in his computer that emails him the minute a closer is down, because nobody is quicker to get the replacement fireman than him. I mean, he had Dan Wheeler before Troy Percival was off the mound in Tampa for god's sake. Well done. Also, Dan Wheeler? Ex-Met, traded for Richard Hidalgo. Grrr. (El Angelo)

Richard is the third-most famous Hidalgo, behind Movie Starring Viggo Mortensen Hidalgo and Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo. (Teddy)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Signed Ronny Cedeno, SS, Chicago (NL); Released Clint Barmes, SS, Colorado [5/24]
  • Released Cedeno, Signed Edgar Rentasuck, SS, Detroit [6/4]
  • Signed Joe Crede, 3B, Chicago (AL); Released Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Cincy [6/7]
See? Told you. Everyone loves the Rentasuck. Social on the Rentasuck. (El Angelo)

We here at the GRBG are strongly pro-social-rentasucking. For whatever that's worth. (Teddy)

1 comment:

Jon_Elders said...

What, no comment on how Jay the Bruce will unite Wu Tang Financial with the other clans of Scotland?