Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Transactions Analysis: It Is Unbelievably F@#$ing Hot Edition

Someone needs to tell the Big Thermostat in the Sky (or the Heat Miser, who appears to be standing in for the BTitS right now) that the dog days aren't supposed to arrive until August. Here in the greater Gowanus metropolitan area, we're into week 3 of weather the likes of which we thought we'd abandoned in Washington DC long ago. Spending time outside feels like wearing a wet sweater into a pizza oven.

I warn everyone in advance that the relentless heat is officially making us stupider, and probably somewhat crankier as well. So try to bear with us as we navigate a set of largely forgettable midseason transactions (note: the alternative title for this TA was going to be "A Midsummer Night's Chair-Shuffling"). (Teddy)

It's in the name of god, country and Wankdorf that we carry on our humble task of recapping transactions in this these oppressive conditions. And I'm not talking about the weather, I mean the shit show of the players that moved around in the last fortnight or so. Let's have at it. (El Angelo)

The Little Green One

Signed: Alex Gonzalez (SS, TOR/ATL); Carlos Guillen (UTIL, DET); Dexter Fowler (OF, COL); Tommy Hunter (SP, TEX)

Waived: Guillen; Alex Gordon (3B/OF, KC); Alexei Ramirez (MI, CHW); Hideki Matsui (DH, LAA)

Acquired via trade: Colby Rasmus (OF, STL) and Joakim Soria (RP, KC); traded away Manny Ramirez (OF , LAD) and Mark Teixeira (1B, NYY)

Let's start with the interesting part here, which is the catch-and-release of Carlos Guillen. Ha! No, just a little bit of brain-poached joshing there. The interesting part was the completion of the tear-down of TLG1's roster, with approximately $150M worth of Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixeira going out and a Royal and a guy named Colby coming in.
While Joakim Soria is down a tick in terms of performance ths year, his velocity is actually up, making him a relatively safe acquisition for a closer. Rasmus helps rebuild the OF a bit, and could team with Jacoby Ellsbury to form a good foundation for next year, assuming he's ever able to play baseball again outside of an iron lung.

Also, I suspect Alex Gonzalez is available in trade. How's that for analysis? (Teddy)

I think I like the trade from Andy's perspective. Cashing in on Manny was a no-brainer, since there's no real chance he'd be kept or even be helpful next year. And while I like Texieria a lot, the team's already stashed away Kendry Morales for next year, and in return got a closer and a nice outfielder. I'm not sure they got commensurate talent in return for a guy that should have 130 RBI's next year, but you can see the commish's plan to compete for 6th place next year starting to make some progress.

On the negative side, why the hell was Hideki Matsui on this team? (El Angelo)

The Spam Avengers

Signed: Jeremy Bonderman (SP, DET); Jordan Zimmerman (SP, WAS); Jon Niese (SP, NYM)

Waived: Bonderman; Alex Gonzalez (SS, TOR/ATL)

TSA are in second place despite having the second-fewest transactions. Either they feel that they're good enough to not have to shuffle, or they're too hot to muster the energy to double-click. Or both, I guess. Ang, any thoughts on Jon Niese? (Teddy)

Someone reported before the All-Star Break that the Mets refused to include Jon Niese in any packages for Cliff Lee. That's like refusing to buy a house in Southampton because you'd have to give up your timeshare in San Luis Obispo. (El Angelo)

The Revenge Society

Signed: Sean Rodriguez (2B/OF, TB); Brian Schneider (C, PHI); Coco Crisp (OF, OAK); Chris Davis (1B, TEX)

Waived: Rodriguez; Schneider; Brandon Lyon (RP, HOU); Austin Jackson (OF, DET)

I'm a little surprised to see Austin Jackson still hanging out there in the FA pile. Yes, his early success stemmed from a ridiculously inflated BABIP, but he's still a bona fide major league player at age, what, like 15? Also, if you had asked me what team Brian Schneider was playing for this year, my first guess would have been the Newark Bears. On a more positive note, I'm oddly high on the Coco Crisp pickup. It sure beats trading for steals.

Hell, you know what? I'm going to go grab Jackson. It's the first live-blogged move in league history! (Teddy)

Here's the problem with Jackson: he's not a great fantasy contributor. He appears to have zero power--1 HR and 20 RBI's to date is a tough pill to swallow for an outfielder. Although he apparently owns exactly two teams:

vs. Cleveland: .388 BA, .412 OBP
vs. Anaheim: .400 BA, .455 OBP
vs. Everyone Else: .277 BA, .329 OBP

So if you can spot start him against Fausto Carmona and Scott Kazmir, you're in good shape, I guess. As for why Scot cut him, he's currently starting an outfield of Vlad Guerrero, Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton. In April, I would have put the odds on those guys starring in a beer league softball team over them starting for the first place team. (El Angelo)

Le Duport Torkies

Signed: Gaby Sanchez (1B, FLA); Clint Barmes (MI, COL); Daniel Hudson (Literally Never Heard of Him, CHW); Kyle "'s Mom is a Big Fat B*tch" Blanks

Waived: G. Sanchez; Jonny Gomes (OF, CIN); Many Corpses (RP, COL); Brad Hawpe (OF, COL); Anibal Sanchez (SP, FLA)

Acquired via trade: Manny Ramirez (OF , LAD) and Mark Teixeira (1B, NYY); traded away Colby Rasmus (OF, STL) and Joakim Soria (RP, KC)

In the last TA, I questioned whether LDT had a big move in the works that might enable him to make the leap to contender. About 30 minutes later, he landed Manny and Teix. So, I guess that makes the new question whether those guys are going to get healthy and effective in time for the team to close the gap. While there's still a lot of time left and some low-hanging HR and R points out there, it's going to take a bunch to get them over the hump now that the leaders have improved themselves as well. (Teddy)

I think a decent part of the rationale for the deal was Tucker having separation anxiety from Manny, much the way Manny did when he stopped sucking on his mom's breasts at age 6. Clearly, this makes the defending champ The League's Nipple. (El Angelo)

Jeters Never Prosper

: Vicente Padilla (SP, LAD)

Waived: Asdrubal Cabrera (MI, DL)

When a team, like this one, makes only 16 prior moves over the course of the season, you assume that the moves they do make must be of greater-than-usual import. Based on this transaction, that does not appear to be the case. Not to impugn the honor of either player--they'll both be rightfully rostered come year-end, especially with Asdrubal Cabrera finally out on a rehab assignment. But the heart does not really flutter here. Or rather it does flutter, but does so solely on account of incipient heatstroke. (Teddy)

The only time Vincente Padilla has lead either league in anything was in 2006 when he lead the AL in hit batsmen with 17. He's currently ranked 6th among active players in HBP, behind the ageless Tim Wakefield and Jamie Moyer, and three guys who inexplicably still have jobs: Jamey Wright, Chan Ho Park and Jeff Weaver. My point is that if that's the collection of players you're most comparable to, you're not going to be helping your team towards anything productive. (El Angelo)

Wu Tang Financial

Signed: Sean Marshall (P, CHC)

This is a thing that happened after all the things that happened before and before all of the things that happened after. It is but a grain of sand dropping through the hourglass of our lives, a single shuffled footstep closer to death.

Which, to be fair, is about all you can do as the owner of a team that has already amassed about all the promising young talent it can, and is playing out the clock on this season. Also, Sean Marshall sucks. (Teddy)

"All human actions are equivalent and all are on principle doomed to failure." --Sartre (El Angelo)

Duck-Duck-Duck Fuke

Signed: Eric Aybar (Aybar, Aybar); Jhoulys Chacin (P, COL); Corey Patterson (SP, BAL); B. Ronson Arroyo (SP, CIN)

Waived: Chacin; Randy Wells (SP, CHC); Carlos Zambrano (??, CHC)

Acquired via trade: Felix Hernandez (SP, SEA), Michael Bourn (OF, HOU) and 6th and 8th round picks in the ’11 draft; traded away Ricky Nolasco (SP, FLA) and his 1st and 4th round picks in the ’11 draft

Well, there go torpedos 1 and 2. Michael Bourn is in an ill-timed slump, but King Felix is a true stud who puts these guys in great position for a run at the board. I can no longer do the math on what this team's keeper roster will look like next year, given their lack of picks at the top last year and, now, their lack of a #1 next year. But points for effort no matter what happens. (Teddy)

The team had no picks in the first two rounds this year and is still in contention. This is roughly the equivalent of the early 2000's Yankees: the talent's old and strong enough to keep hitting the board, but at some point, the lack of draft picks and building a farm system has to bite you in the ass, right? (El Angelo)

Gowanus Superfunders

Signed: Joel Pineiro (SP, LAA); Cliff Pennington (SS, OAK); Alberto Callaspo (2B, KC); Daisuke Matsuzaka (SP, BOS); Felipe Lopez (MI, STL); Tom Gorzelanny (SP, CHC); Hong Chih-Kuo (RP, LAD); Austin Jackson (OF, DET [See!?!])

Waived: Pennington; Callaspo; Matsuzaka; Kuo; Austin Kearns (OF, CLE); Freddy Sanchez (2B, SF); Jeff Francis (SP, COL); Daric Barton (1B, OAK)

Engaged in an Unfortunate Incident Involving: Madison Bumgarner (Beer, Finished)

Must. Get. To August.

Must. Execute. Entire Terrible Middle Infield.


Goddamnit. (Teddy)

I'll give you a pass on all the machinations with middle infielders, because you're clearly desperate. But what's with the shitty starters? You have Johan, Ubaldo, and Cole Hamels. Why on earth do you need Dice K or Tom Gorzelanny? You're aware there's no added bonus for winning with bad players, right? (El Angelo)

Suck It Silver

Signed: Travis Wood (SP, CIN)

Waived: Koji Uehara (RP, BAL); Ryan Madson (RP, PHI); Jeff Mathis (C, LAA)

That was a long time to wait for Jeff Mathis to get healthy only to see him get caught up in the Mike Scioscia random platoon generator. As you can imgaine, you have my sympathy. (Teddy)

All I can think of with Travis Wood is the great news that Beavis and Butthead are returning. That's possibly the best thing I've heard all month, besides Andy announcing his sex change operation. (El Angelo)

pastywhite tyrone

Signed: Brandon League (RP, SEA); Alexei Ramirez (MI, CHW)

Waived: League; Rod Barajas (C, NYM); Sean Marshall (P, CHC); Tim Stauffer (P, SD); Doug Fister (SP, SEA)

Not much to say here other than I think Brandon League is our surprise Pewter Parachute leader at the turn. I haven't run the numbers, but he's been turning up like a Brad Penny all over the league. (Teddy)

The PP Award seems to often go to good-not-very good middle relievers: Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek and Guillermo Mota were all past winners or finalists. Of course, so was Corey Lidle, and look how that turned out for him. (El Angelo)

The Situation Room

Signed: Arthur Rhodes (RP, CIN); Sam Demel (RP, ARI)

Waived: Rhodes; Hong-Chih Kuo (RP, LAD)

Acquired via trade: Ricky Nolasco (SP, FLA) and 1st and 4th round picks in the ’11 draft; traded away Felix Hernandez (SP, SEA), Michael Bourn (OF, HOU) and 6th and 8th round picks in the ’11 draft.

I'll let you expound on the trade below, but not before you explain to me what the hell that Tuffy Rhodes sh#t was all about. (Teddy)

I forget when or why, but at some point there was a rumor that the Reds closer was hurt and he was pitching well. Nothing more, nothing less.

Here's the calculus on the trade--is Nolasco plus two picks better than King Felix at +1, especially when 1 pick is going to be between #8 and #10 overall? I think yes, but we'll see. (El Angelo)

Enrico Palazzo

Signed: Matt LaPorta (1B, CLE); Juan Gutierrez (RP, ARI); Daisuke Matsuzaka (SP, BOS); Joaquin Benoit (RP, TB)

Waived: Joel Zumaya (DL, DET); Johnny Damon (Old, DET)

That's actually a fair amount of talent coming in. Matt Laporta especially has looked great, and even goold ol' Dice-K has strung together solid back-to-back outings for the first time since about 2007. In a TA filled with unexciting FA acquisitions, this might be the winning scrounging line for the month. (Teddy)

Plus it's not like he gave up anything. Johnny Damon is doing little this year and will do less next year. And he's still more productive than Joel Zumaya, whose arm injury was one of the scarier things I've seen in baseball that didn't involve Dave Dravecky or Tony Saunders. Ouch. (El Angelo)

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