Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tom Grieve Trade Analysis Part 8

The Texas Rangers traded Wes Littleton (who was DFA’d earlier) to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash considerations. It’s obviously too early to judge this trade but Littleton was a very good guy and I’m sorry to see him go. I hope he makes the Boston team out of spring training both because it would be good for Wes and because we would get more in return from the trade.

Hot Stove Rumors and Info:
Francisco Rodriguez’s agent has said that he expects that the serious talks about a contract will start at the Winter Meetings. Rafael Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said that Furcal will have it down to at least two teams on Monday or Tuesday. The A’s looked at Nick Johnson’s medical records. The Braves have increased their interest in AJ Burnett (I predicted that Burnett would go to the Braves).

This week I will complete the analysis of all the trades Tom Grieve made as the Rangers GM. I posted part 7 on August 24th of this year, if you want to see my last post of this. This time I will analyze all of the trades Tom Grieve made as GM in 1993 and 1994.

47. 7-17-93: The Florida Marlins traded Cris Carpenter to the Texas Rangers for Robb Nen and Kurt Miller.

Loss – Cris Carpenter only played one and a half seasons for us and he had a 4.22 ERA for us in his half season and a 5.03 ERA for us in his full season with the team. He had a 6-6 record with the Rangers. Robb Nen had 314 career saves and a 2.98 career ERA. He was a 3-time All-Star and led the league in saves in 2001 with 45. He also led the league in games finished in 1995, 1999, and 2001. He pitched 715 career innings while Cris Carpenter only pitched 91 innings with the Rangers. Kurt Miller really struggled, though, with a 7.48 career ERA.

Record – 10-12-25

48. 7-22-93: The Texas Rangers traded Todd Burns to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later. The St. Louis Cardinals sent Duff Brumley (July 30, 1993) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.

Tie - Burns only played another half-a-season in the majors and he had a 6.16 ERA in 30 and two-thirds innings, so he didn’t do much at all. Brumley only pitched 3 and a third innings in the majors and he allowed 6 runs, so he didn’t do much of anything either.

Record – 10-12-26

49. 1-13-94: The Milwaukee Brewers traded David Pike (minors) to the Texas Rangers for Jeff Bronkey.

Tie – David Pike never made it to the majors and Jeff Bronkey only pitched 33 innings after being traded.

Record – 10-12-27

50. 3-23-94: The Cleveland Indians traded Junior Ortiz to the Texas Rangers for players to be named later. The Texas Rangers sent Igor Oropeza (minors) (March 25, 1994) and Andreaus Lewis (minors) (May 9, 1994) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.

Tie - Junior Ortiz only played 29 games for the Rangers and he had a .276 batting average with 9 RBI’s and no HR’s. Neither Igor Oropeza nor Andreaus Lewis made it to the majors.

Record – 10-12-28

51. 3-28-94: The Chicago White Sox traded Esteban Beltre to the Texas Rangers for Scott Eyre.

Loss - Esteban Beltre only had 223 at-bats for the Rangers split between two seasons. In ’94 he hit .282 and in ’95 he hit .217. Scott Eyre is still playing and has played for 12 seasons now. He is Willie Eyre’s brother. He has a 4.36 career ERA and 619 and a third career innings. He is a solid relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has had 4 years with an ERA under four, one of those years being a 2.63 ERA.

Final Record – 10-13-28

Results of last week’s poll:
Do you think the John Mayberry trade was a good or bad trade?
Good trade – 77%
Bad trade – 22%

Come back next week for a comparison of all the GM’s I’ve reviewed so far.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mayberry Trade Evaluation

This week, the Rangers traded OF John Mayberry Jr. to the Philadelphia Phillies for OF Greg Golson.

John Mayberry, Jr.: John was the Rangers 1st round pick in 2005. He has struggled very much in the minors, with just a .255 batting average in four years. He has 82 HR’s and 257 RBI’s spread throughout those years. John has struck out 243 more times than he has walked in his minor league career and his fielding percentage has had ups and downs, too. In 2006, he had a .979 fielding percentage in 114 games on the field at Clinton while in Frisco in ’08 he had a .964 fielding percentage in 20 games on the field.

Greg Golson: Greg was a first round pick out of high school in 2004. In the offseason before 2008 he was ranked the Phillies #7 prospect along with the Phillies best power hitter, fastest base runner, best athlete, best defensive outfielder and best defensive arm. Golson was playing very well at the beginning of the ’08 season as he hit .329 through May, but then it went downhill from there as he went through a major slump, got injured and then hit only .257 after the injury. He only had 13 HR’s and 60 RBI’s. In six major league at-bats in September he went 0-for-6, but stole a base and scored two runs. But after the Futures Game, Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan said that “You could actually see his trade value collapsing during the game. Golson has had the best season of his professional life, fooling some people into seeing him as a prospect. He’s not. He swings at everything, he’s an awkward outfielder and he doesn’t do anything else well enough to make up for those traits. The Phillies have about nine minutes to turn him into something of value, because by the end of the season, he’ll have been exposed again.” He is a risk.

I don’t think that Mayberry was going anywhere, or if he was it was going to take years to develop. Golson seems like a guy who has talent and potential, but needs good coaching and probably a couple years to put it all together. He will probably be in major league camp and that should tell us a lot about him.
Grade: B- - it might turn out much better, though.

Roster Moves:
John Bannister, Omar Poveda, Willie Eyre, and Jose Vallejo were all placed on the 40-man roster. Wes Littleton and Kameron Loe were designated for assignment. Kameron Loe signed a 2-year, $2 million contract to go to Japan.

I think that Willie Eyre played well enough a couple years ago to get himself a spot, so I like him getting on. Jose Vallejo was a no-brainer, and I like that Poveda made it. I do wish someone other than Littleton was DFA’d, though. I still think that he should be able to fight for a job in Spring Training, though.

I’m very sorry to see Kameron Loe go. He is one of the nicest people on the team. He always took time for the fans. He let me interview him for my blog one time. He gave me his cell phone number and let me call him while the team was in Oakland. He talked to me for 30 minutes while riding on the subway to the game. If you want to read the interview, you can see the link to it on the left side of my blog. I hope Kameron does well in Japan.

Summary of MLB Awards – actual winners compared to who I picked at the end of the season:

Actual: Dustin Pedroia, BOS
Mine: Kevin Youkilis, BOS

AL Cy Young:
Actual: Cliff Lee, CLE
Mine: Cliff Lee, CLE

AL Rookie of the Year:
Actual: Evan Longoria, TB
Mine: Evan Longoria, TB

AL Manager of the Year:
Actual: Joe Maddon, TB
Mine: Joe Maddon, TB

Actual: Albert Pujols, STL
Mine: Ryan Braun, MIL (Pujols was my runner-up)

NL Cy Young:
Actual: Tim Lincecum, SF
Mine: Tim Lincecum, SF

NL Rookie of the Year:
Actual: Geovany Soto, CHC
Mine: Ricky Nolasco, FLA

NL Manager of the Year:
Actual: Lou Piniella, CHC
Mine: Charlie Manuel, PHI

Results of last week’s poll:
Where do you think Derek Lowe will go?
Angels – 25%
Yankees – 25%
Other – 25%
Cubs – 12%
Red Sox – 12%

Come back next week for a continuation of the Tom Grieve trade analysis.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Free Agent Special Cont.

This week I will continue my analysis of free agents.

1st Basemen:

Jason Giambi, NYY:
Jason will not go back to New York and will probably stay in the AL and be a DH somewhere.
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays - they would love to use him against the Yankees.

Kevin Millar, BAL:
Kevin will probably leave Baltimore and go to a better team.
Prediction: Florida Marlins - Jorge Cantu is now their starting 1st baseman since they traded Mike Jacobs.

Mark Teixeira, LAA:
Mark should get a huge contract and will probably be able to stay in the AL.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox - the Sox are worried about Mike Lowell’s recovery from his injury so may move Kevin Youkilis to third, creating an opening at first.

2nd Basemen:

Ray Durham, MIL:
Ray will probably just be a utility man somewhere instead of starting.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers - it shouldn’t cost much for them to bring him back.

Orlando Hudson, ARI:
Orlando will be the starting second baseman for a good team.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers - they will not have Jeff Kent, so he can take that spot.


Pudge, NYY:
Pudge will not get a big contract this year.
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays – he would be an upgrade over Barajas.

Starting Pitcher:

AJ Burnett, TOR:
AJ opted out of his contract with the Blue Jays.
Prediction: Atlanta Braves - the Braves have been going hard after Peavy and have backed off there, so I think they’ll go hard after Burnett and end up getting him.

Bartolo Colon, BOS:
Bartolo is old and injury-prone, so he won’t get a major league deal, most likely.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox - I think he will stay in Boston because I think they’re going to be one of the only teams trying to sign him.

Ryan Dempster, CHC:
Dempster should get a big contract after the terrific year he had last season and I think that he will stay in the NL.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers - he would be a great replacement for Derek Lowe.

Freddy Garcia, DET:
Freddy will get an opportunity to start this year.
Prediction: Chicago White Sox - he’s already had one good stint there and I would think that they would be the most willing to give him a good amount of money.

Jon Garland, LAA:
Jon should get a pretty decent contract from a winning team.
Prediction: Florida Marlins - they need starting pitching bad.

Tom Glavine, ATL:
Tom will probably go another season or two before retiring.
Prediction: Atlanta Braves - I think that they will keep him because they’ve already shown that they want pitching this offseason.

Derek Lowe, LAD:
Derek has said that he does not want to go back to the Dodgers.
Prediction: New York Yankees - they are going hard after pitching and are interested in Derek.

Jamie Moyer, PHI:
Jamie is old but he’s still a pretty good pitcher.
Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies - they need to keep him.

Brad Penny, LAD:
Brad will not go back to the Dodgers after they declined his option.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels - they would love to have another good pitcher.

Oliver Perez, NYM:
Oliver will probably leave the Mets for another competitive team.
Prediction: New York Yankees - they aren’t going to get all the pitchers they want, so why not get him?

CC Sabathia, MIL:
He has already gotten a huge offer from the Yankees.
Prediction: New York Yankees - nobody can outpay the Yankees.

Ben Sheets, MIL:
He is very injury-prone and that will hurt his contract.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels - they would love to have another stud pitcher.

Relief Pitchers:

Chad Cordero, WSH:
Chad is on a number of teams’ lists of players that they want and will be a closer, most likely in the AL West.
Prediction: Texas Rangers - the Rangers are said to be going after him.

Kyle Farnsworth, DET:
Kyle should get a decent-sized contract reliever-wise and should do pretty well.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs - since they aren’t getting Kerry Woods back, he would be a pretty good reliever to take his place.

Brian Fuentes, COL:
Brian will be a closer with a very good contract come next year and he will play for a winning team.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels - they probably will not bring K-Rod back and will get Fuentes instead.

Eric Gagne, MIL:
Eric will probably only be a spring training invitee after his terrible 2008.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs - he can fight for both a roster spot and a closer role.

Eddie Gaurdado, MIN:
Eddie will get a decent contract after how well he played for the Rangers.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox - they need more relievers to help Papelbon and Okajima.

Trevor Hoffman, SD:
Trevor is going to be leaving San Diego.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs - he can be their closer.

Brandon Lyon, ARI:
Brandon is a good, young closer.
Prediction: Arizona D’Backs - Brandon is just too good a young arm to let slip away.

K-Rod, LAA:K-Rod set the single-season saves record last year and should get crazy money.
Prediction: Cleveland Indians - they’ll be trying to get back to the playoffs this year.

Kerry Wood, CHC:
Kerry is going to be leaving Chicago. The Cubs already announced that he wasn’t coming back.
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays - he can be the closer when BJ Ryan gets injured.

Results of last week’s poll:
Which team do you think Chad Cordero will go to?
Rangers – 67%
Other – 33%

Come back next week for a continuation of the Tom Grieve trade analysis.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Free Agent Special

This week I will list the big SS, 3B, and OF free agents and give my opinion on where they will go.


Orlando Cabrera, CWS:
Orlando should stay in the AL and be a starting shortstop.
Prediction: Chicago White Sox - he’s their only good shortstop, so they need him.

Rafael Furcal, LAD:
Furcal is a terrific young player and should get a big contract no matter where he goes and would be a big plus anywhere.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers probably losing Manny they have to at least keep Furcal to have a chance.

Omar Vizquel, SF:
Omar should be a utility man somewhere and probably for a competitive team. I think that he will go to the AL just to open up one more position (DH) so that he can play a few more games.
Prediction: New York Yankees - he would fit right in there as a veteran utility man.

3rd Base:

Note: The Rangers picked up Hank Blalock’s option.

Casey Blake, LAD:
The Indians, Twins, and Dodgers are all looking at signing Blake and he would be the starting third baseman for every one of these teams, so it should come down to money.
Prediction: Minnesota Twins - after missing the playoffs in a tiebreaker they should be looking for players who will make that tiebreaker unnecessary.

Joe Crede, CWS:
Joe will be a starting first baseman somewhere this year.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers - he will take Casey Blake’s spot.

Ramon Vazquez, TEX:
Ramon had a very good year and will probably get an opportunity to start, just like Mark DeRosa did. I think that he will go to the NL like Mark, too.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers - they need a good 3rd baseman.


Note: San Diego exercised Brian Giles' option and the Angels picked up on Vladimir Guerrero’s option.

Bobby Abreu, NYY:
Bobby is getting older and that may hurt him, especially regarding the number of years on his contract. I predict that he will end up going to the NL.
Prediction: New York Mets

Garrett Anderson, LAA:Seeing that the Angels made a $3 million buyout to make Anderson a free agent, he probably won’t be going back. He most likely will end up being a DH-4th outfielder if he stays in the AL and a starting outfielder if he goes to the NL.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers - I no longer think that the Dodgers will resign Manny and they need someone to at least attempt to somewhat take his spot.

Milton Bradley, TEX:
The Rangers are not going to re-sign Bradley and Bradley will have to stay in the AL so that he can DH. He had a very good year last year and should get a pretty good contract, but with lots of incentives to protect against his history of injuries.
Prediction: New York Yankees - they will be going hard after players after an extremely unsuccessful year (in Yankee terms).

Adam Dunn, ARI:
Adam strikes out all the time, but hits plenty of homers. He will probably leave the Diamondbacks for an American League team, so that he can play DH as well as play outfield.
Prediction: New York Yankees - with Bobby Abreu possibly leaving they will need an outfielder to take his place.

Luis Gonzalez, FLA:
Luis is getting old and this will probably be one of his last years to play.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays - with Cliff Floyd possibly leaving, he would be a terrific replacement.

Ken Griffey, CWS:
Ken is also getting old and will try to get on a team that has a possibility of winning the World Series so that he can get a ring. He will also probably stay in the AL so that he can be a DH.
Prediction: Chicago White Sox - there are no other teams that would make sense either for him or the team.

Raul Ibanez, SEA:
Raul will be leaving the Mariners and will really help a team make a playoff run. I think will have a big year.
Prediction: New York Mets - they were interested in July and I think they will be interested now, too.

Manny Ramirez, LAD:
Manny will probably leave the Dodgers to go to the team with the most money. I think he will get big money in the AL and not the NL.
Prediction: New York Yankees - they have the most money in baseball and that’s enough for Manny.

Shannon Stewart, TOR:
Shannon is getting older and will probably end up being a 4th outfielder/DH somewhere. I think that his best shot would be to stay in the AL.
Prediction: Minnesota Twins - he’s already had one stint there and I think that he’ll have another.

Results of last week’s poll:
Which team do you think Manny Ramirez will go to?
Dodgers – 50%
Angels – 25%
Yankees – 12%
Other – 0%

Come back next week for the first basemen, second basemen, pitchers, and catchers.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

World Series Recap and Free Agent Report

This week I will give my World Series awards and give a free agency report.

Game 1 MVP: Cole Hamels, PHI: W, 7 IP, 2 ER
Runner-up: Chase Utley, PHI

Game 2 MVP: James Shields, TB: W, 5.2 IP, 0 ER
Runner-up: BJ Upton, TB

Game 3 MVP: Carlos Ruiz, PHI: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 RBI’s, walk-off single
Runner-up: Jamie Moyer, PHI

Game 4 MVP: Ryan Howard, PHI: 3-for-5, 2 HR’s, 5 RBI’s
Runner-up: Joe Blanton, PHI

Game 5 MVP: Jason Werth, PHI: 2-for-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI
Runner-up: Cole Hamels, PHI

World Series MVP: Jason Werth, PHI: .444 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI’s, 6 BB: Jason had a .444 batting average and six walks on top of that. He played incredible and should have been the MVP.
Runner-up: Cole Hamels, PHI

Free Agent Report: Top 3 at each position (next week will be bigger)
* = option and will probably not go to free agency

* Carlos Delgado, NYM
* Jason Giambi, NYY

Mark Teixeira, LAA: I think that he will test the market, the Angels will outbid everyone else, and Teixeira will stay in Anaheim with a huge contract.

Kevin Millar, BAL: I think that Kevin will either start for a team that will have a really bad record, or be a back-up for a good or decent team.

Nomar Garciaparra, LAD: I think that Nomar will have a contract for very little money where he will have to earn his way onto the team with a minor league contract and a spring training invite.

Orlando Hudson, ARI: I think that Orlando will end up returning to Arizona, just because they need him so badly and should be willing to give him a lot of money.

Jeff Kent, LAD: I think that Kent will leave the Dodgers because he won’t be able to get the amount of playing time that he will want.

Marcus Giles, COL: I think that Marcus Giles will stay in the NL, but leave the Colorado Rockies and get a platoon/starting job somewhere else.

Rafael Furcal, LAD: I think that Furcal will return to the Dodgers because the Dodgers need him badly enough to give him the amount of money he asks for.

Orlando Cabrera, CWS: I think that the White Sox have the most legitimate starting job for him at the moment and that he will stay in Chicago.

Edgar Renteria, DET: Renteria sprobably won’t get too much money the way he played this year. He will almost certainly leave the Tigers.

* = Chipper Jones, ATL
* = Hank Blalock, TEX

Joe Crede, CWS: I think that Crede will stay with the White Sox because I don’t think that he will be able to get much money anywhere else.

Casey Blake, LAD: I think that Blake will go back to the AL because that’s where I think that he will be needed most.

Morgan Ensberg, NYY: I think that Ensberg will leave New York because he really isn’t needed there and will be needed more somewhere else.

* = Carl Crawford, TB

Manny Ramirez, LAD: I think that this will be a complete bidding contest and I also think that the Dodgers will eventually get Manny because he was their team the second half of the season and if it weren’t for him they would not have made the playoffs, much less the NLCS.

Pat Burrell, PHI: I think that Pat will end up staying in Philly because he was such a big part of the World Series team and a big reason why they got there.

Bobby Abreu, NYY: I think that Bobby will stay in New York because they will be willing to pay the money to keep him.

Adam Dunn, ARI: I think that he will stay in Arizona because the D’Backs will need to keep him if they’re going to outplay the Dodgers.

Ivan Rodriguez, NYY: I think that Pudge won’t get too much of an opportunity and will in turn retire.

Jason Varitek, BOS: Jason had a poor year so I think that the only way Boston keeps him is out of respect. But I predict he will end up somewhere else.

* = Rich Harden, CHC

Derek Lowe, LAD: I think that Derek will go to the Yankees because that will be where he should get the most money.

Ryan Dempster, CHC: I think that he will stay in Chicago because they need him too badly to let him go.

Mike Mussina, NYY: I think that Mike will stay a Yankee for the rest of his career.

Brian Fuentes, COL: I think that he will go to the Yankees because I think that they will be desperate for pitching this offseason and will give Fuentes a lot of money.

Kerry Wood, CHC: I think that Wood will stay a Cub, but will have to earn the closer role.

K-ROD, LAA: I think that he will stay an Angel because the Angels can’t afford to lose the single-season saves record closer.

Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will win the World Series?
Phillies – 75%
Rays – 25%

Come back next week for a larger edition of the free agency special.