Thursday, September 3, 2009

Transactions Analysis, Part I: Layoff Edition

It's been a month since we turned our gaze to a full-blown analysis of the partially because of vacation plans, and partially because the two authors both now have steady, gainful employment that actually requires their attention between business hours. So let's address the silly, mundane and occasionally productive in a two part TA. Might be lighter on the jokes, but quite quite heavy on the transactions. (El Angelo)

Eat, eat, ya f#cking jackals. (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo

  • Traded Kerry Wood, RP, Cleveland to Recalcitrant Cobbler for Corey Hart, OF, Milwaukee (8/5)
Months of picking on Andrew for being dead have resulted in him resurfacing out of nowhere to make a trade for a broken outfielder. Now granted, I think cashing in on Kerry Wood is not a bad move, because his entire value is in the most artificial of categories that a bottom feeding team doesn't need (saves) and he's eminently replaceable. He hasn't pitched well this year, and is one bad throw away from Draveckying his arm. So getting something for him was good. But Corey Hart? A little known fact is that Hart is overrated. Yes he's billed as a perennial 20-20 guy, but he doesn't walk, doesn't actually score or knock in a lot of runs, and is out for the foreseeable future with a stapled gut. He's a clear step below the likes of Matt Kemp and Curtis Granderson, and is probably a 3rd outfielder and a borderline keeper. So while I can't knock the trade in general, I have to ask whether this was really the best they could do for a middling closer, because multiple guys in contention need saves. (El Angelo)

These kind of trades are always tough to measure, because you have to balance the calculations Ang goes over against the cost of getting stuck with Wood for nothing. All of the Milwaukee supporting players regressed this year; to the extent that you still believe in them as a team, Hart has value as part of a potentially strong offense. If not, well, see above. (Teddy)

Wu Tang Financial

  • Signed Joe Blanton, SP, Philly; Released Kevin Correia, SP, San Diego (7/11)
  • Signed Josh Willingham, OF, Washington; Released Adam LaRoche, 1B, Multiple Teams (7/12)
  • Signed Howie Kendrick, 2B, Anaheim; Released Blanton and Mike Lowell, Nutless Wonder, Boston (7/18)
  • Signed Mark Teabag, 3B, Kansas City (7/24)
  • Released Alberto Callaspo, MI, Kansas City (8/13)
  • Released Teabag (8/18)
I have a healthy appreciation for being the owner of a team that's clearly not in the running for money this year and the then-inherent difficulty in managing a roster to build for the next year. Which is why these moves strike me as the definition of pointless. Are a single one of these players keepable on the most shallow of rosters? Hell, do any of them have upside? I mean, what's the purpose of bothering with Joe Blanton, to see if having him scores you free tickets to Kentucky basketball games? I'm befuddled, especially because this squad has a very tradeable chip (Lance Berkman) it should be actively shopping. (El Angelo)

Eh, there's something to be said for trying to improve your team even if you're out of it. Those red numbers get hard to look at every morning. Plus, as will become clear as we move through this, there hasn't been much in the way of sneaky keeper guys out there on the wire this year. (Teddy)

Mission Accomplished

  • Signed Alcaides Escobar, SS, Milwaukee, Released Ramon Ramirez, SS, Boston (7/7)
  • Released Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Cincy (7/9)
  • Traded Nick Swisher, 1B, New York [AL] and Max Scherzer, SP, Arizona to wormcheese mousebird for Michael Bourn, OF, Houston (7/25)
  • Signed Mike Adams, RP, San Diego (8/10)
  • Released Adams, Signed Jeff Clement, C, Pittsburgh (8/11)
  • Signed Juan Rivera, OF, Anaheim (8/17)
  • Signed Jim Thome, Util, Los Angeles; Released Johan St. Johan, SP, New York (NL) (8/28)
  • Released Clement & Thome; Signed Sean Rodriguez, 2B, Tampa Bay (9/1)
De minimus crap, which is really saying something because it's my own team. I was happy to pick up Michael Bourn for a pitcher I really didn't need, and think Escobar and Rodriguez are interesting flyers for 2010. The problem is my middle infield's collapsed enough that they might have to play roles down the stretch this year. Gulp. (El Angelo)

You're lucky that this got delayed an extra couple of days, because I had my foot all the way back ready to kick you on the decision to pickup Jim Thome immediately following his move to become the world's oldest and fattest pinch hitter in LA. Also, although I agree with the trade from your perspective, since you're in the mode of targeting specific scoring categories, note that Nick Swisher is above the aforementioned Lance Berkman in the 1B rankings this year. (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers

  • Traded Aramis Ramirez., 3B, Chicago [NL] and their 4th round pick to Le Dupont Torkies for Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington and their 3rd round pick (7/8)
  • Signed Lastings Milledge, OF, Pittsburgh; Released Andrew Miller, SP, Florida (8/6)
I love the draft pick swap that's part of this trade. There's a realistic chance Alex will finish in last and Tucker in first, meaning Alex will move up exactly one pick. What a coup. In their next trade, they should include an exchange of Ding Dongs. (El Angelo)

I love that Lastings Milledge is in a position to break yet another heart in this league. He's like a combination of Amber Heard and chlamydia. (Teddy)

wormcheese mousebird

  • Traded Brandon Inge, C, Detroit and Mike Cuddyer, 1B, Minnesota for Denard Span, OF, Minnesota and Matt Garza, SP, Tampa Bay (7/9)
  • Traded Michael Bourn, OF, Houston to Mission Accomplished for Max Scherzer, SP, Arizona and Nick Swisher, 1B, New York (AL) (7/25)
  • Traded Adam Dunn, OF, Washington and Ryan Franklin, RP, St. Louis and his 7th round pick to Le Dupont Torkies for Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles and Jonathan Broxton, RP, Los Angeles and his 3rd and 5th round picks (7/30)
  • Traded Joe Nathan, RP, Minnesota to Aroids Anonymous for Curtis Granderson, OF, Detroit and his 5th round pick (8/9)
  • Notably added Cody Ross, OF, Florida
  • Notably dropped Cameron Maybin, OF, Florida; Chris Young, OF, Arizona; Alex Gordon, 3B, Kansas City, Juan Rivera, OF, Anaheim and Travis Hafner, 1B, Cleveland
There's a lot of player movement here, and by and large, I like it. Given that Joe Nathan was going to occupy three slots next year (as a closer), Bourn, Cuddyer and Inge are not keepers and Ryan Franklin smacks of fluke year closer, meaning the only real player they're losing is Adam Dunn. In return they get 2 stud pitchers (Billingsley & Garza), a flyer starter (Scherzer), a good closer (Broxton), and a nice 3rd outfielder (Granderson). They're a good draft away from being dangerous next year, which got easier by adding 4 picks. Outside of the odd release of Maybin, nice work. (El Angelo)

This team appears to have buckled down and learned some valuable lessons about cheesegetting from its mouseworm. In fact, you can make a case that the second-half GM award goes to the earlycheeses. They've managed to reshuffle their roster and set themselves up for next year while improving several spots in this year's standings. While there's a better-than-average chance that they'll blow it by drafting Esix Snead in round 2 next year, they can be proud of the past few months. (Teddy)

The Loose Bowels

  • Signed Yadir Molina, C, St. Louis; Released Jake Fox, SP, Chicago (NL) (7/9)
  • Wasted everyone's time with Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas, Derek Lowe Face, SP, Atlanta and Brian Matusz, SP, Baltimore (multiple times)
  • Released Edinson Volquez, SP, Cincy (8/3)
  • Signed Brett Cecil, SP, Toronto and Tom Gorzellany, SP, Pittsburgh; Released Molina and Cody Ross, OF, Florida (8/5)
  • Signed Mike Cuddyer, OF, Minnesota; Released Josh Outman, SP, Oakland and Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee (8/10)
  • Signed Trent Oeltjen, OF, Arizona (8/15)
  • Released Oeitjen and Cecil; Signed Signed Kyle Blanks, 1B, San Diego and John Smoltz, SP, St. Louis (8/23)
As someone who spent the past two years in the fantasy cellar, I fully understand and appreciate what our Beloved Commisioner is going through here. His season's in the shitter. He has caught absolutely zero breaks. He's staring at a top-2 pick next year with the option of taking either David Wright's broken skull or Johan Santana's elbow chips. So it's natural to grasp at straws, see what's available, and who knows, maybe you'll net a keeper for the next year from the proverbial scrap heap. It's happened before, and might happen again.

That's all fine and reasonable. SO WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU PICKING UP JOHN SMOLTZ???!?? (El Angelo)

Yes, all true. Though I'm more intrigued by the Trent Oeltjen move. I, like all fantasy gurus, adhere rigorously to the philosophy that it's vitally important to keep at least one 26 year-old Australian on your roster at all times. However, in the past I've only ever applied that belief to fantasy cricket leagues. It never occurred to me to incorporate that bit of obvious wisdom into baseball leagues. That the commish chose to do so specifically by calling up a 26 y/o Australian with zero MLB at-bats before this year only cements his genius. (Teddy)


Corey said...

Oh how you tease... where's part deaux? :)

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