Monday, June 21, 2010

Transactions Analysis: Tradeapalooza Edition

After noting that the league has been a little dormant for such a tight cluster in the last TA, we get 4 trades in under 72 hours. This, along with the pickup of a few truly mind-boggling shitty players, begs for a prompt TA. Since 90% of our posts on this blog are now related to the marginal American sports of international football and thoroughbred racing, maybe it's time to return to the original mission statement. (El Angelo)

I love that at this point we've probably moved from confusing our league members about why all this other crap is here to confusing people in New Zealand about why we took a break from writing about their soccer team. (Teddy)

Enrico Palazzo
  • Waived Francisco Cervelli, C, New York (AL) [6/15]

  • Traded Raul Ibanez, OF, Philly and Kendry Morales 1B/Moron, Anaheim and their 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft to The Little Green One for James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay and Denard Span, OF, Minnesota [6/17]

  • Released Luke Hochevar, SP, Kansas City [6/17]
Here's a team going for it that I personally didn't think was in the running for it early on, but has hung around and improved over the last few weeks. Now they deal away Kendry Morales and a 3rd rounder for a pitcher and a base stealer. Good move? Yes. The starting pitching has shockingly been less fruitful than anticipated, and Scot Shields is a nice buy-low candidate to be helpful this year, and possibly next if you don't mind the second slot for keeperdom.

But I actually like the Denard Span pickup even more for this team--they need steals and runs, and he's replacing the Dessicated Remains of Johnny Damon and Single Season Fluke Carlos Quentin, both fairly fungible parts. Now the price was sizeable--Morales is a fun keeper for 2011 and a 3rd rounder is nothing to sneeze at. Still, they've probably added 5-8 points through this deal while sacrificing nothing for this year. You really can't ask for much more than that out of a trade. (El Angelo)

I'm a little more intrigued that he managed to slip Raul Ibanez in as part of the deal; that doesn't seem like someone who'd be going in this direction in a trade like this. I'm slightly less high on Span than you are, so I like the deal slightly less. That said, points for managing to turn the malignancy of Morales's leg break into, if not lemonade, at least tumorade. (Teddy)

The Situation Room
  • Traded Justin Upton, OF, Arizona, Fausto Carmona, SP, Cleveland and Drew Stubbs, OF, Cincy to pastywhite tyrone for Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles, Jonathan Broxton, RP, Los Angeles and Corey Hart, OF, Milwaukee [6/16]

  • Signed Hong-Chi Kuo, RP, Los Angeles [6/17]

  • Signed Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Houston; Released Brandon League, RP, Seattle [6/18]

To illustrate my rationale for this trade, let's play name that outfielder:

OF #1: .326 OBP, 11 HR, 40 R, 34 RBI, 10 SB
OF #2: .341 OBP, 8 HR, 31 R, 41 RBI 3 SB

#1 is Justin Upton, #2 is Delmon Young, who we'll get to in a little bit but will note was waiver wire material this week. Now I recognize that Upton's probably better than he's shown this year, but at this point, the man remains potential over performance, partially because Arizona sucks, and partially because he's still 23 for crissakes. He hits three spots of keeperdom level next year, which is a lot for a guy who to me, hasn't quite established himself as the star everyone thinks he is.

So cashing him in now was my mission, and in return, I've received a stud closer, a potential stud pitcher, and a useful outfielder. All are potentially keepable for next year, or worst, can be flipped for other component parts. Upton, by contrast, wasn't drawing a ton of interest in the trade market--most competitors were either set in outfield or didn't want to swallow his low OBP. This isn't to say I snookered the competition, but instead, I just took a stand on an opinion on a guy I'm less high on than I was 4 months ago. (El Angelo)

I look at the trade and figure that, in either Upton or Drew Stubbs, there's a real keeper OF going over to the pastywhites. Fausto Carmona's indicators are all over the place, but for me his problems (and Cleveland's problems) make him way too likely to turn into the post-millenial Daniel Cabrera. Going the other way, Jon Broxton is great, and Chad Billingsley is a good, assuming his groin issues are minor. I think Corey Hart has already shot his bolt, though--his "development" this year is premised on the fact that he's hit HRs on more than 23% of his flyballs , which is roughly as sustainable as Greece's economy. I do wonder how much Broxton will help a team with zero saves, though--it's a long way back to real points. The Sitch won the trade in talent terms, but maybe not in terms of roster effect. (Teddy)

  • Released Reid Brignac, SS, Tampa Bay [6/17]
Last week I called the Acid Bringer nothing but adequate insurance for Jason Bartlett. Guess who's healthy again? (El Angelo)

Damn, Tampa is deep in the MI. If I was allowed to take the translated minor league stats of their AAA MI, I'd do it in a heartbeat. (Teddy)

Jeters Never Prosper
  • Signed Jason Hammel, SP, Colorado [6/13]
There's nothing like picking a guy out in the preseason as a sleeper/breakout player that you like, drafting him, having him shit the bed, cutting him, then watching him blossom on someone else's team. We've all done it at some point. This year, my personal example is Jason Hammel, who I took in the 7th round thinking he was primed to break out, and cut him because he had a 9.16 ERA after April. Apparently all I had to do was wait until June, when he's put up a 3-0 record, 0.37 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Dammit to hell. (El Angelo)

Yes, in my house we call this "pulling a Cueto". (Teddy)

The Little Green One
  • Signed Clint Barmes, SS, Colorado; Released Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore [6/15]

  • Woke up from a drunken haze, realized what he had done and waived Barmes; Signed Delmon Young, OF, Minnesota [6/16]

  • Traded James Shields, SP, Tampa and Dernard Span, OF, Minnesota to Enrico Palazzo for Kendry Morales, 1B, Anaheim, Raul Ibanez, Waiver Wire Bait, Philly and their 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft. [6/17]

  • Released Ibanez; Signed Hideki Matsui, DH, Anaheim and Alex Gordon, 3B, Omaha [6/18]
On first blush I loved the trade for the commish--picking up Kendry Morales for next year is not a bad thing, to say nothing of a third round pick. But on further review...I'm not so sure. Span went in the third round this year, which either means the Muppets basically traded last year's 25th pick for next year's 31st pick, at best a wash. Span is somewhat useful, though I think overrated. Shields I like a lot as a 3rd guy in your rotation. And Morales is good and all, but this team already has Mark Texieria, meaning he's a pure DH play.

So yeah it's not a bad deal, and it's certainly not a net negative for this team going forward, but I wonder if they're just swapping out some pitching and steals for additional home runs. What I can say unequivocally is that I like the trade better than signing a mummified Asian and a guy in AAA. If you're going to intentionally tank Andy, try being a little more subtle. (El Angelo)

The 1B logjam is a solid point, and one I hadn't considered. But I'm really high on Morales, and think it was worth selling off whatever unkeepable parts the team had to bring him on board. If you have 3-4 pillars in your lineup, you can fake the rest. (Teddy)

Suck It, Silver
  • Signed Gavin Floyd, SP, Chicago (AL) and Aaron Heilman, RP, Arizona; Released Will Ohman, RP, Baltimore and Brainless Joe Blanton, SP, Philly [6/16]
Okay, laugh: I think this is the best transaction line of the week. Moving up from a useless starter to a guy who's erratic but with stud potential, plus adding a pro-tem closer for nothing but cutting an Oriole is good use of the waiver wire. Touche. (El Angelo)

That might even be true. Damn. That said, let's not get too excited about Aaron Heilman, who (a) won't see a ton of chances for a terible team, and (b) is Aaron Heilman. (Teddy)

pastywhite tyrone
  • Traded Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles, Jonathan Broxton, RP, Los Angeles and Corey Hart, OF, Milwaukee to The Situation Room for Justin Upton, OF, Arizona, Drew Stubbs, OF, Cincy and Fausto Carmona, SP, Cleveland [6/16]

  • Signed R.A. Dickey, SP, New York (NL); Released Brad Hawpe, OF, Colorado [6/18]

For all I said earlier about being underwhelmed by Justin Upton, he's probably the best player in the 6-person deal between me and Ironhead, and there's plenty to be said for getting the best guy in a deal. I'm not quite sure how it works in the grand scheme of keeperdom, but a nucleus of Gonzalez, Upton, Pedroia and Reyes is pretty damn solid.

As for signing The Curse of the Flying Hellfish, my guess is that Ironhead saw that 33% of his hitting roster comprised of Mets but his staff had none, and is dying to recreate Willie Randolph's wet dream. Those of us trying for the Race to the Bottom should be pissed he didn't pick up John Maine, I suppose. (El Angelo)

As I hinted above, I like this trade to the extent that the pasties are able to get a good read on what Drew Stubbs is all about over the next few months. If he turns into a legit keeper, it's a nice haul. Otherwise, it's a little unclear to me how much this helps next year's roster. (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers
  • Called up Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland from the prospect list; Released Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Houston [6/13]

  • Traded Grady Sizemore, OF, Cleveland and Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta to Wu Tang Financial for B.J. Upton, OF, Tampa Bay and Rafael Soriano, RP, Tampa Bay [6/17]

  • Signed Aubrey Huff, 1B, Baltimore; Released Luke Scott, OF, Baltimore [6/17]
Some of an aside: this is such an absurdly good class of rookies for both real and fantasy baseball that you wonder if this will affect the management of and drafting for the prospect list. Santana joins Smoak, Alvarez, Strasburg, Posey and Wade Davis as rookies that are now up with good short- and long-term potential. Does this translate into prospects going earlier in the draft? Possibly. For example, I think most would rather have Carlos Santana than 75% of the players drafted in the 4th round. Will prospects now go in the top 40 and useful veterans go later? It remains to be seen.

As to the big trade, it depends a bit on your perspective. There's no doubt that had we done the draft again, Alex wouldn't have bothered with Sizemore at #4, for the very concerns that I presciently predicted back in March. That said, your team is your team, and turning a guy who was producing nothing into a useful outfielder and a closer is productive. It does show that the owner smells blood because it's clearly a win now move: he's not keeping Upton at +3 and Soriano may not be closing come next year. Still, considering they're in the top 3 while getting painfully little from Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins and Travis Snider, it's the right move. (El Angelo)

First off, excellent job of jumping off of Tim Hudson at the top of the chair lift. As with Morales, Sizemore was reduced to just a bargaining chip, so shoving him into the middle made sense. BJ Upton, though, is a little bit of an enigma to me; the power has just disappeared, mainly because his % of balls hit in the air has declined for 3 straight years. 2007 now looks like a HR/FB%-induced fluke. He can still run, though, and scores a lot of runs in that Tampa offense. But he might be a two-category guy going forward, and a healthy Sizemore is a lot to pay for that. (Teddy)

The Revenge Society
  • Signed Brandon Lyon, RP, Houston; Released Erick Aybar, SS, Anaheim [6/17]

  • Signed JJ Putz, RP, Chicago (AL); Released Frankie Francisco, RP, Texas [6/18]

Trying to keep track of crappy teams closer's situation can be a part-time job, which apparently the Haters enjoy. So out goes Texas' latest disaster, and in comes Houston's over paid middleman and a Putz, for the potential of adding a couple of saves. There's no real harm here because they've lost nothing in the process, but I can't say I'm excited about adding to potential replacement closers for 2 horrible teams. (El Angelo)

In soccer this is referred to as "putting in the hard yards." closer chasing is just one of the chores around here, along with occasionally signing Brandon Lyon and making fun of Corey's brother.

Gowanus Superfunders
  • Traded Aroldis Chapman, SP, Toledo Mud Hens and their 6th round pick in the 2011 draft to Wu Tang Financial for Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado [6/17]

  • Signed Freddy Sanchez, 2B, San Fran; Released Turbo Lopez, MI, Seattle [6/18]
The middle infield has been something of a sinkhole this entire year for the Toxic Sludges, as they've trotted out a defensive stalwart and an old guy at the two positions for most of the year while Brian Roberts has been injured and Joe Cronin remains retire. They've papered over half of the problem by acquiring arguably the 2nd best shortshop in baseball for a fairly reasonable price: a pitching prospect they didn't need--not with Santana, Hamels and Ubaldo already on the roster--and a middle round pick. There really is nothing to criticize about the trade, even though Tulo's probably going back into the draft after this year and now won't contribute much until early August.

In stark contrast, they've decided to address their 2B problem by throwing overboard Turbo Lopez--the same guy they claimed "showed signs of life" just days ago--for Fabulous Freddy Sanchez. I'll say this: Sanchez does get hits, and this team is DAFL in OBP. The problem is he does nothing else: no home runs, no steals this year, de minimus walks, and under 15 runs and RBI's to date. So we'll call the whole set of transactions a net positive for the team by ignoring the rancid smell of craptitude that Sanchez emits, as Teddy crosses his fingers for Brian Roberts to return soon. (El Angelo)

Dude, when did you write this? Is this just really dry satire? Tulo's out 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist, without ever playing a single inning for my team. I am fucked. For those wondering why anyone would dump assets early in a season, here's your answer. Jon was 12 hours away from just releasing Tulo back into the world for nothing this offseason.

I will say that if I'm somehow still close come August 15, the Tulo/Roberts/Beltran cavalry will make for a fun stretch run. (Teddy)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Traded Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado to Gowanus Superfunders for Aroldis Chapman, SP, Toledo Mud Hens and their 6th round pick in the 2011 draft [6/17]

  • Traded B.J. Upton, OF, Tampa Bay and Rafael Soriano, RP, Tampa Bay to The Spam Avengers for Grady Sizemore, OF, Cleveland and Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta [6/17]

  • Signed David Dejesus, OF, Kansas City and Kris Medlen, SP, Atlanta; Released Jamie Moyer, AARP Candidate, Philly [6/18]

So we've got a strange couple of deals here: the Worst Keeper of 2010 and the 19th pick of the 2010 draft for the 4th pick of the 2010 draft, plus the 2nd best SS in baseball for a prospect taken in the 3rd round of last year's draft. I get the strategy behind the deals, I'm just not sure I like it.

The glass half-full approach is that this team is clearly going nowhere fast and Tulo and Upton were not keepable for next year. By making both deals, they're staring at a keeper list of Sizemore-Werth-Pence-Sandoval-Weiters-Alvarez as their hitters for the next two years, which is a fun nucleus. Add to that whatever bounty they get for Javi Vazquez and Zack Greinke, who probably should be dealt and not kept at +3 each, plus a top 3 pick and suddenly you have a team that could easily compete next year.

The problem is I actually don't love any of these guys that were acquired. Tim Hudson is not keeper material. Grady Sizemore looks permanently broken to me, and equally problematically, is on a shitty team that won't net him a lot of RBI's and runs. Aroldis Chapman's at least a year away and is sporting a 4.11 ERA in Triple-A. The sixth round pick is small beer. And they gave away an actual closer in Soriano with two more years of cheap keeper status.

So in sum, the moves make sense and are perfectly defensible, I just don't like them. (El Angelo)

See, I like them a lot. Of course, I was higher on Sizemore than just about anyone coming into the year, so I admit that I'm probably not a great source. In some ways, I see his injury as almost a good thing, because it means that there's a plausible reason why he sucked to start the year. Yeah, the speed will probably be reduced, but I think he has a nice second life as an RF ahead of him. And with that cheap offensive nucleus, he now has enough keeper slots to where he doesn't have to trade off Greinke if he doesn't want to.

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Brennan Boesch, OF, Detroit; Released George Sherrill, RP, Los Angeles [6/13]

  • Signed Jonny Gomes, OF, Cincy; Released David Freese, 3B, St. Louis [6/14]
The worst website I've seen this week: pick a nickname for Brennan Boesch. Though the picture of him with a meat cleaver is mildly amusing. (El Angelo)

Hey, both moves make the team a little better (especially Jonny Gomes, whose skills mesh wonderfully with this team's shortcomings). The question is whether there's something coming up that will make them a lot better, because that's what's required.


El Angelo said...

To answer your question, I for some reason thought Tulo was only out a month.

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