Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Transactions Analysis Part II: Mini Mini Edition

Originally we were going to do two parts, but we finished three teams pretty quickly, relatively speaking. So why not break it down into a threesome? (El Angelo)

Ummm...gonna have to pass. Not a fan of the rotisserie. (Teddy)

Evil League of Evil

  • Signed Fat Squirrel, OF, Tampa Bay; Released Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto and Dan Meyer, RP, Florida (7/20)
  • Signed Scott Rolen, 3B, Toronto (7/21)
  • Signed Jim Johnson, RP, Baltimore (7/23)
  • Signed Mike Adams, RP, San Diego; Released Derek Holland, SP, Texas (7/30)
  • Released Adams; Signed Holland (8/2)
  • Released Scott Richmond, RP, Toronto (8/3)
  • Signed Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas (8/12)
  • Signed Chris Perez, RP, Cleveland; Released Nick Blackburn, RP, Minnesota and Rafael Furcal, SS, Los Angeles (8/27)
  • Claimed Joba Chamberlain, SP, New York (AL) off waivers; Released James Loney, 1B, Los Angeles (9/7)
A great quote from my partner in crime's discussion of this year's draft, after Raffy Furcal went tenth overall, screwing up his plans to get a top-flight shortstop:

I had a fallback plan for missing out on Rollins. After careful consideration of injury profiles, team offensive characteristics, and player aging curves, I concluded that Raffy Furcal was going to have an only slightly sub-Rollins year.
What's amazing is that he was dead on balls accurate. Here are the players' stats for this year:

Rollins: .289 OBP, 17 HR, 80 R, 60 RBI, 25 SB's
Raffy: .255 OBP, 7 HR, 71 R, 38 RBI, 6 SB's

So yes, Furcal's only been about 1 grade lower than Rollins. The problem is that Jimmy's a D and Raffy's an F. Oops. (El Angelo)

But JJ Hardy, the consensus next-best SS out there, and the guyI ended up getting, managed to get an A--three of them, in fact, as he was sent to AAA in July. The SS position just cut a swath through the league this year. Looking back, there were 3 SS taken in the first round of this year's draft: the two winners above, and #2 overall pick Jose Reyes, who whipped up a .355/2 HR/18 R/15 RBI/11 SB shitsicle before hitting the DL for the season.

In fact, let's look back at the entire first round--nearly half of us missed completely with our first round picks (2 teams had 2 first-round picks; I'm removing the extras for purposes of ths discussion):

1. Albert Pujols: Hit; best player in the world; team that took him is in 2d.
2. Jose Reyes: Fail; team never in contention.
3. Miguel Cabrera: Hit; team near the money all season.
4. Prince Fielder: Hit; team near the money all season.
5. Jimmy Rollins: Fail; team's entire season pretty much an abortion.
6. Alfonso Soriano: Fail; at least I had the good sense to be worried about the pick at the time.
7. Josh Beckett: Fine; maybe the only non boom/bust pick in round 1.
8. Carl Crawford: Hit; team near the money all season.
10. Raffy Furcal: Fail; team cratered for first time since joining league.
12. David Ortiz: Fail; team still good as the Torkies continue to defy all predictive norms.

Five out of ten guys failed with their first pick, and that failure pretty well blew us out of contention. In fact, it looks like for all our fancy analysis here, all you really have to do to be in contention in this league is hit your first-round pick for a given season. Or, alternatively, be Tucker.

Unenviable Position

  • Signed Franklin Guiterrez, OF, Cleveland; Released Jason Varitek, C, Boston (7/8)
  • Signed Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City; Released Scott Rolen, 3B, Cincy (7/18)
  • Signed Adam LaRoche, 1B, Atlanta; Released Troy Percival, RP, Tampa (7/25)
  • Released LaRoche and Glen Perkins, SP, Minnesota; Claimed Michael Saunders, OF, Seattle off waivers (7/29)
  • Released Saunders; Signed Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado (8/19)
  • Signed Johan Santana, SP, Weill Cornell Medical Center; Released Luke Hochevar, SP, Kansas City (8/31)
Sound and noise aside, there's one great pickup here: Carlos Gonzalez, a great waiver wire snag for a team whose outfield is second outfielder is Milton F'ing Bradley. Gonzalez is a likely keeper and potentially a good player to have on the squad for the next 3 years. What more can you ask out of an August pickup? Great job Teddy. Because Michael Saunders was not the answer, much like every other player on this list. (El Angelo)

Yep, pleased with the Gonzo pickup. Between him and Johan, I'll be very interested to see how the '10 projections come out ths winter. (Teddy)

Recalcitrant Cobbler

  • Traded Corey Hart, OF, Milwaukee to It's Enrico Palazzo for Kerry Wood, RP, Cleveland (8/5)
  • Notably added: Andy Pettite, SP, New York (AL) (2x); Garrett Jones, OF, Pittsburgh; Billy Wagner, RP, Boston
  • Notably dropped: Joba Chamberlain, SP, New York (AL); Francisco Liriano, SP, Minnesota
  • Actually had on his roster for 26 hours: Carl The Truth Pavano, SP, Cleveland
For the record, there were 37 transaction lines for this team for this time period. However, many of them included adding and dropping the likes of Alfredo Aceves, John Lannannannann and a guy from Alabama, none of which I can get too worked up about. Regarding the players above, as I noted last week, I endorse dumping Hart, who's overrated and fairly replaceable. Now yes, the Kerry Wood experiment has had mixed results so far, but given that closers are overvalued in the league draft, it's a fine gamble to add a saves earner for this year and not have to waste a 3rd round pick on next year's CJ Wilson.

As for the the other transactions, I can't figure out which I'm more confused about, the decision to drop Joba Chamberlain, who wasn't worthless, or the choice to have Carl Pavano on the roster when a bar bet wasn't involved. I suppose the rationale is that the Joba Rules meant that he was getting de minimus good innings out of everyone's favorite Nebraskan this year, and he's not worth keeping at +1, but I'm not sure I agree with the latter. If the boy learns how to stop walking people, and he's a good postseason away from being someone you could suck Sahil into trading for. Besides, it's not like they needed the roster spot--it was converted into the ageless Andy Pettite. Why even bother? (El Angelo)

That's a big-time Go For It move there. Points for chutzpah, I guess, though I share your wonderment at the ditching of an asset. Feels like somebody would have given up something for him. (Teddy)

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