Tag Archives: Trade

Baseball Babblings


I love this movie and this scene.  There is an excellent website called movieclips.com where you can find all sorts of your favorite film blurbs and snippets.  It’s a cool idea.
Rirruto?
Lots of wheelings and dealings already in the baseball offseason, so here are some thoughts about what’s going on while I prep the preseason fantasy rankings no one is waiting for…

Reds Acquire Latos for Volquez, Yonder Alonso et al.

  • Guess we’re starting with the most recent.  This deal is chock-full of intriguing story threads, as the MLB offseason has been in general.  I like how Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner and Fangraphs said it best: “The Cincinnati Reds had an abundance of redundant prospects and a big need to upgrade their starting rotation…(link)”  Something about that phrasing ‘abundance of redundant prospects’ tickled me just so for its combination of clever turn of phrase and truth.  The Reds are stubbornly holding on to the notion that they’re going to re-sign Joey Votto and not completely throw their payroll out of whack (note: don’t hold your breath on that one).  The deal made a whole lot of sense.  The Reds legitimately have an overload of offensive talent.  Yonder Alonso is a serious prospect (he MAULED at the end of 2011) but he is blocked by the likes of Joey Bats, and the other good prospect in the deal, Yasmani Grandal, was blocked by Alonso, Votto, and Devin Mesoraco and any other young’n who might slip into the left field/1st base/3rd base equation (I know he’s a catcher but that’s where he’d get at-bats).  The Padres get two really good young bats.  The Padres really need some good young bats.  They also get an excellent contender for the Petco-factor in Edinson Volquez, whose inconsistencies and high fly ball rate should benefit greatly from the measurable difference that park brings.  On second thought, his fly ball is pretty standard- it’s the staggering number of walks that is the real problem (over 5 per 9 the last two years).  Petco seemingly would have no effect on the walks, based on statistical analysis.  However, if you’ve ever watched Volquez pitch, it is abundantly clear that he walks so many because he does not attack hitters with his secondary pitches the same way he does with his fastball.  This is a similar issue his former partner in crime Johnny Cueto had before taking ‘that next step.’  Point being, in spacious Petco Park, perhaps Volquez will be more aggressive in the strike zone as he knows he won’t give up nearly the amount of homers he did in Cincy.  I’m planning on drafting Volquez when I get the chance in fantasy and I’m fairly sure he’s going to see better numbers in sunny San Diego.  Not sure what can be said about Latos, he’s an excellent pitcher, it just seems talent evaluators question his maturity.  A lot.  Dude seems to be lotta tats, little brain.  He’s still a damn fine pitcher and fits in nicely with the other power arms the Reds have.  This appears to be one of those elusive win-win deals, in my book at least.  The Padres, despite the presence of former Red Sox great Anthony Rizzo, need some spice, some pop in that lineup.  Alonso alone provides that.  The fact that the Friars also got a huge potential starter in Volquez and a good hitting catcher in Grandal (not to mention guy who I’ve read several places has ‘closer stuff’ in this Brad Boxberger character) means they both addressed a need and found an immediate, if temporary, stopgap for the talent they just shipped off.  The Reds get a top-of-the-line starter to accompany Cueto and their other promising young arms (including, apparently, Aroldis Chapman), and hung on to Mesoraco and their young arms.  I’ll be watching how these players adjust to their new surroundings to see how things shake down, I advise you do the same (especially once fantasy drafts REALLY start up).

    the Rockies signed Cuddyer to such a big deal because they’re hoping he can be their #5 starter as well

Rox sign Cuddyer to 3-year $31.5 Million deal

  • Keith Law wrote an Insider piece discussing how the Rockies overpaid to get Mike Cuddyer and I tend to agree with him.  But I thought on the deal some more and have reconsidered my stance.  I was, as I usually am, looking through the glass of fantasy baseball as I looked at Cuddyer.  On the surface, and in fantasy, players like Cuddyer are anything but rare.  You can pull a 1B/OF from just about anywhere during the season, from the real waiver wire to the one online.  However Cuddyer brings more to the table.  There is the obvious intangible, but still highly valuable, ‘character guy’ aspect of the former Twinkie, which cannot be denied.  Every account you read and all the reactions of former teammates point to the fact that Mike Cuddyer is a vital and well-respected part of a clubhouse culture.  People like him.  If I’ve learned anything about baseball, it’s that clubhouse culture means a lot more than other sports – 162 games plus spring training is a LOOOOOONG time to be stuck with the same 25(ish) guys.  More important to both your fantasy team and your team-team, though, is Cuddyer’s versatility.  He can hit, and that’s important in Colorado.  But he can also play multiple infield AND outfield positions, giving the Rox lineup flexibility.  I’m all about flexibility.  I’m winking at you right now through the interweb as you read that.
  • Speaking of versatility, the Indians signed Jose Lopez.  This may seem like a non-story, but Lopez could be a sneaky source of power if he gets at bats around the infield.  Nick Punto signed with the Red Sox and will be the balancing not sneaky anti-power.  Even in baseball every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.

    that’s gonna be one hell of a face touch

– Dodgers sign Juan Rivera and Chris Capuano

  • Let’s be honest.  As this month turns, the new year brings on a new baseball season and overall awesomeness.  The months leading up to spring training are delightfully full of movement- to those who are paying attention.  Sure something boisterous will happen, Papelbon signing with the Phillies, the Marlins spending millions, a monkey riding a dog.  But look back over baseball history (more importantly FANTASY baseball history).  Sometimes the tiny actions have the largest reactions.  As a Red Sox fan, it is easy to forget David Ortiz was brought in to split time with… Jeremy Giambi.  Yes, Jeremy Giambi.

As it is with my other love, movies, sometimes the blockbuster loses out to the small indie with a strong cast.  The analogy just got confusing but you get the picture.

The winter meetings have come and gone.  Some big (if not the BIGGEST) names have moved and I’m sure we will be seeing the more traditional big deals soon, with the aforementioned Reds-Pads trade as proof. But there have already been some moves to be aware of.  Small but deadly, like a honeybadger.  Or Oddjob.  Or Jigglypuff.  
Juan Rivera is an interesting case.  A career .277 hitter, he has twice hit 20+ homers and generally hits lefties very well.  He also has a track record for hitting better as the season wears on.  This track record is certainly skewed by the fact that this gentleman seems to have trouble staying healthy for more than 120 games.  I’d imagine that the sometimes punchless Dodger offense could use some help, any help, so Rivera should get ample opportunity.  Playing his games in the NL West should be interesting as Dodger Stadium, Chase Field and, obviously, Coors Field all are good environments for right-handed power hitters (The porch at Dodger Stadium is literally short.  Average in distance and shorter than mini-me). 

Chris Capuano will also benefit from pitching in the NL West, one would think.  No team in that division is particularly known for their offensive consistency.  Granted, they’re not the hapless saps they once were, but again, still inconsistent.  Coming back from injury, Capuano has proven to be a solid back-end starter.  The past 2 seasons have seen strong finishes from Capuano, who has had several very solid months (August of 2011, for example, he had a 1.17 WHIP and 38 K’s in 37.2 innings.).  Though it seems undoubtedly crazy, I am thinking ahead and Capuano is high atop my list of pitchers to pay attention to when I’m looking to stream a start.  Something to consider.

BUNT!

This is a very interesting deal.  The Royals have quietly built up a staff of power arms… and Bruce Chen.  Soria, the newly acquired Broxton, and Tim Collins can get swings and misses in the bullpen.  Sanchez, Danny Duffy, and Felipe Paulino.   And Bruce Chen, who is the baseball equivalent of a ‘game-manager’ in football.  Making fun of Brucey aside, the Royals would appear to be heading in the right direction with a promising young pitching staff and an intriguing mix of young talent (Gordon, Hosmer) and prospects on the way (Lorenzo Cain, Wil Myers).  They could be on the up and up, especially if they got the Jonathan Sanchez of the second halves (go ahead, click that link, he’s had a few very, very good post-All Star performances).  Sanchez will always be a risk to walk 8, but the fact that he’ll play the Twins a bunch will help his stats, as will his move to the American League.  DOUBLE TAKE.  What did I just type?  No you read it right, so hear me out – yes, the AL, with it’s DH’s and better offensive numbers, would seem like a pitcher’s worst nightmare, but the move might actually help a power guy like Sanchez, sort of.  I don’t doubt he’ll walk a bunch, but his stuff is very good and there are also many more swingers and miss-ers in the AL than the NL.  It’s one of those backwards sort of logic theories that makes baseball work.  Or it does in my head. So there.

The Melkman really broke out last year.  He is a talented player and I would bet he continues with numbers more similar to last year than his time with the Braves, though it would be unreasonable to expect him to match all his stats from 2011.  His speed, however, will translate.  He hit 44 doubles and stole 20 bases in 2011 (throw in the 5 triples, too).  These are both reachable numbers for 2012.  In fact, given the spacious parks in the NL West and the difference in style-of-play in the NL, I think Cabrera should be in line for a very good (and fantasy-useful) season full of extra base hits.  44 doubles, 18 homers and 5 triples in 2011?  While those homers will easily drop, is 50 doubles out of the question?  Melky should be a good addition to the top of that lineup and could be in line for scoring close to 100 runs if Posey comes back and some of the pieces the Gents have click.  Both the Melkman and Angel Pagan are good fits for the big AT&T park defensively and offensively.  Both are also great late(ish)-round plays in your fantasy drafts…. which are coming… soon…

  • I WAITED AS LONG AS I COULD.  THE DARK KNIGHT RISES 2ND TRAILER IS OUT.  I REPEAT; THE 2ND TRAILER FOR THE DARK KNIGHT RISES IS OUT.  WATCH IT UNTIL YOU BEGIN WEEPING, AS I DID.  GO.
I am quite literally shaking with excitement.  I have been watching and re-watching this all day.  Holy crap.
It will be good to see what Jed Lowrie can produce given a new situation.  He’s able to play all over the infield and is a good guy, by all accounts.   Here’s to hoping he stays healthy and has a chance to flourish.  Reviews are mixed on Weiland but based on what I’ve seen, he has good enough stuff to be an effective back of the rotation starter, especially in the National League (or, more specifically, pitching ANYWHERE besides the AL East).  What is really interesting about the deal is the dominoes it knocks over.  The acquisition gives the Red Sox confidence to move both Daniel Bard and possibly Alfredo Aceves to the starting corps.  Both are pitchers to watch as either could turn out to be extremely effective in a new role.  These movements also alter the remaining closer landscape.  Where will Madson go now?  How about Cordero?  The Red Sox had been obvious choices for some remaining Closers.  They still could sign one, but the field is more interesting now.  Do the Red Sox bring Jose Iglesias on in some sort of reserve role if Mike Aviles struggles?  He exceeded any and all expectations in his time with the Sox and can play the outfield, so he’d have to play very, very poorly – but still, it could happen.
Not that it has anything to do with this deal, but who else is excited about a Nick Punto-Dustin Pedroia double play?  Awesome sauce.
There you have it, some thoughts on baseball’s movings and shakings.  I’m sure there will be more to come (maybe the Phillies will make a run at Jermaine Dye?), so stay tuned.
-w
oh and WATCH THIS SOME MORE:

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Well, That Was Fast…

 

BUY BUY BUY SELL SELL SELL

Just a day after completing a deal for the arbitration eligible Mike Napoli, the Blue Jays have turned around and dealt the squat C/1B to the Rangers for the expendable Frank Francisco.

This deal has several implications. Firstly, it means the Rangers have no intention of moving Neftali Feliz to the rotation, a move that would have had startling fantasy meaning (would’ve been like the Sox moving Paps to the rotation back in the day). Sticking with the closer talk, the move is very interesting for those of us looking to scrape up some saves off the trash heap, as there are two intriguing candidates now in Toronto in Francisco and the newly acquired Octavio Dotel. Not being an ‘expert’ on handicapping saves, my best guess is that Francisco emerges as the Jays’ closer, as he has had success there in the past and isn’t as volatile as Dotel. But what do I know, Dotel has outstanding K potential and both are likely usable in all formats, regardless of who wins out in the closer competition, if there is one.

As for the deal’s implications in Texas, Napoli creates a sort of ripple effect. The deal all but takes the Rangers out of contention for Vlad the Impaler. The deal also makes for an interesting C/1B situation. Mitch Mooreland, playoff hero, figures to lose at bats, which is sad because I was curious to see what he could do with ample AB’s. Alas, he will likely have his plate appearances restricted as he learns the league. Of much less fantasy importance, save for position eligibility, Yorvit Torrealba figures to lose time behind the dish.  Either position, the move is excellent for Napoli’s already good hitting numbers.  Check out his career numbers at Rangers Ballpark… I’ll wait.  Do those numbers look good?  How bout for a catcher?  Napoli’s value is sky high in terms of fantasy right now and he may be well worth an overdraft if you miss out on the big name catchers.  He could be in for a monster season in a monster lineup.

As an interesting aside, the deal shows an interesting strategy on the Rangers part that I have been utilizing in fantasy for years: flexibility. With Mike Young and Napoli, the Rangers have players capable of playing multiple positions as well as DH. This is obviously a movement away from the big slugger-type DH’s in favor of having moveable parts. It works in football, we’ll see what the Rangers do with the flexibility in 2011.  Hopefully Napoli stays put now because, while I like the guy in fantasy, three articles in 2 days would be pushing it.

 

-w

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POLL: Manny to ChiSox?

evil shenanigans

 

72] 

  

  

  

  

screw you, Mannywood 

thanks to mlbtraderumors for keeping us up to date 

  

-w

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POLL: Trade Deadlines

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HOMER POLL: A-GONE?

PLEASE?

Who is Adrian Gonzalez?

Really.

enjoy the black keys

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Weekend Hijinks: Trades of Fantasy Relevance Edition

Miggy Tejada–  to the Padres, will apparently get time at short.  This is only fantasy-relevant because Miguel Tejada is a name.  He’s probably most useful in NL-Only leagues now

Austin Kearns– aquired by the Yankees for a Derek Jeter signed bat.  He’s having a great year and is headed to a launching pad… and fewer AB’s.  Still, he’s worth watching

Roy Oswalt– Lost his first start in the Illadelph, but looks to not continue his losing ways for a better team (13 losses????? Really!?That’s Bonderman-esque!)

Dan Haren– Got doinked his first start for the Halos, see Oswalt situation for new team/hope for fewer losses scenario

Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman– Aquired by the Texas Rangers.  Classic case of great deadline dealing for the stretch run (you watch, the Rangers are dangerous this year), very boring for fantasy.  Both are middling players in the fantasy realm, Texas is a great hitters park, yadda yadda yadda, are you really that excited about either player?

Edwin Jackson– to the White Sox.  Hmmmm…. lots of walks in a homer-friendly park… Dislike button.

Dan Hudson, however, is going to the D-Backs.  Who play in the NL West.  Where apparently it is against the rules to try and score more than 5 runs a game or something (Dodgers, what gives?)

Mike Jacobs– Just kidding

Brett Wallace– The Heir to Lance’s big booty throne.  I like him a bunch hitting in Houston.  He and Chris Johnson are a pair of corner IF’s to watch…

Matt Capps– Twins.  Having a great year, better team, still lots of close games, Jon Rauch waiting in the wings.  Nuff’ said.

Lots of deals to come.  Stay tuned in to see if the likes of Jose Bautista (likely), Corey Hart (not so much), and Dunn move.  Also, Ted Lily may be involved, going to that NL West… I’ll keep you posted.

-w

————————————

P.S. I know Berkman is heading to the Yanks, but that hasn’t been made official yet.  And I’m in denial.  $tupid Yankees.

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Phew, What a Day…

thank god I'm not in Cleveland anymore

The back and forth and almost reporting (ahem… guilty hand raised) is done, Cliff Lee is going to the Texas Rangers in a 6 player swap (USA Today story here).  Good for the Rangers, first of all, for stepping in and beating the Yankees out and for finally making a push for that one guy to make them serious contenders.  I love parity.

Now on to the meat and potatoes.  What in the world does this mean for fantasy?  Let’s break it down:

Seattle gets…

Justin Smoak, 1B

Smoak was a fantasy darling this year and has on more than one occasion been compared to former Ranger Mark Teixeira, another switch hitter (who also had trouble with lefties when he came up…).  He came out of the gate big, but has cooled off considerably.  Okay I’m sugar coating, he has struggled a lot recently, but the pedigree is phenomenal.  By all accounts, Smoak will be a good-if-not great first baseman and, more importantly for us, a viable fantasy option for years to come.  And just to beat those naysayers to the punch, Safeco Field might be good for Smoak.  With its large power alleys, Smoak, a great line drive hitter, could be in line to rake in the doubles out in Seattle.

Blake Beavan, Joshua Lueke, and Matt Lawson

*Beaven was the 17th pick in the 2007 draft (WOW HE’S ONLY 21!) and is supposedly an excellent control pitcher.  He’s also 6’7” 250, so he has the build of a monster, or at the very least Jeff Nieman 2.0.

*Lueke, another big fella (6’5” 220), was a 16th round selection in 2007 draft.  He’s had biiiiiiiiiig strikeout numbers in the minors and he’s older (25) leading me to believe he is going to be a useful bullpen are along the way, as some scouts have called him a ‘top relief prospect.’  I read that to mean he’s a power arm, plain and simple.

*Lawson is an interesting player, listed as a 2B/OF- always an interesting combo.  A 14th round selection in that same 2007 draft (nice haul, Texas).  He seems like a solid player, hitting for a nice combo of speed and power with a decent OBP.  Who knows how he’ll play out, but he seems to be an athlete at the least.  The only issue might be the K’s (127 in 545 Plate appearances in high A last year), but it appears he has corrected that somewhat (64:37 BB:K ratio this year in AA).

The Rangers Get…

This Guy Named Cliff Lee?

He’s just plain good.  Even in Texas.  I feel like I don’t need to write him up at this point.  But I will.  Lee goes to a solid rotation in Texas and makes them legitimate contenders.  Not that this is set in stone, but I am fascinated by the effect Lee might have on the rising young arms in Texas, especially my favorite C.J. Wilson.

Mark Lowe

Lowe is a very solid reliever and an established one at that, unlike the young arms the Rangers traded away.  This is a smart move by the Rangers, as I always think it is wise to grab established relievers over young potential relievers.  He figures to add to an already solid Ranger bullpen and anchor the last few innings with Francisco and Feliz.

And there you have it, blurbs for all, the deed is done and the Lee is gone.  Great deal for both teams, I’m excited to see Smoak develop and the Rangers with an actual ace for once…

-w

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Well, Bollocks…

In another move with fantasy rami-frick-ations, the Yanks are “all but certain” to obtain Cliff Lee (Neyer reports).  In other news, the Red Sox jugular vein is now in need of extensive repairs…

no longer welcome on my fantasy team. fact.

I trust Neyer.  I also trust that if he says the Yanks are pushing hard, the Yanks are going to get what they want.

MLB-wise, this shifts the power in the AL east immensely.  But we don’t really care about that, do we.  Fantasy-wise, the move has several layers.  This move creates a logjam of pitchers for the Bombers, not a bad problem to have, but the fact remains they have a bunch of starters.  As Neyer points out there are several ways they could go about fixing the issue.  One would be to move Hughes to the bullpen. If you’re a Red Sox fan, or someone who doesn’t have Hughes, you love this.  The Yankees would be fools to do this, in my opinion, as Hughes has been an excellent starter for both his real manager and fantasy managers alike.  The other option is to trade a starter- who we would assume would be Javy Vazquez.  This is the more interesting move, fantasy-wise.  A trade could likely be to another NL team for Vazquez.  There should be a party for all owners of Javy if this happens. Just look at the numbers. Vazquez is a National League pitcher, and a very good one at that.  His value skyrockets anywhere with a trade- he just doesn’t seem to agree with New York.

Anyways, more to follow if the deal ACTUALLY happens.  But for now, it seems likely.  Here’s to hoping the Twins move Wilson Ramos and the M’s get freaked out by Jesus Montenero’s year so far… but I’m not holding my breath.

Theo Epstein, call me, I’ve got some ideas…

– W

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The Roy We Once Knew

As many have heard whispers of Roy Oswalt (and his wifey) wanting out of Houston, who could really blame the 33 year old.  He has yet to win a championship but has tasted sweet victory before with visits to the NLCS in his time with Houston (remember when Carlos Beltran and the killer B’s made a name for themselves?). 

Well not only has Oswalt made it clear that he wants to move, he’s doing what he can to help the dwindling ‘stros.

The initial issue that arose in the Houston front office when Roy made his feelings heard was that the Astros would only trade him if they could receive A&B-list prospects from the highest bidder.  Well Oswalt’s value wasn’t anywhere near that high when rumors began to spread.  However, with no time missed for injury, the Mississippi-born hurler has allowed 3 or fewer runs in each of his starts this season (8 ip, 0 er, 9 k in last start vs. MIL).

Roy must really not want to be in Houston (or he just really doesn’t want his team to suck this year).  The man is proving his value by stalling NL offenses and lighting up the strike zone with that mid-90’s fastball that made him so stellar in the middle part of the decade.

In other words, he’s doing what he can to make himself tradable (you’re standard good-‘ole fashion showcase).

Oswalt’s potential suitors:

Well the Nationals can certainly offer up enough quality prospects, but will they continue to hang? And is it worth taking a 33 year old injury-prone veteran when your team is still SO young?

Cincinatti is certainly another NL squad that had surprised some folks (especially if you’re from Cinci).  While they have a bevy of young pitchers (Leake, Cueto, Bailey, and eventually Aroldis Chapman) Dusty Baker’s boys havn’t been impressed with the production from Harang, and they cannot expect Bronson ‘The Voice’ Arroyo to log 30 quality starts.  With the youth in tact and the offense to support it, I think Oswalt could see this as a top-choice destination.

In all reality Roy needs to stay in the NL and not follow the path of former fellow NL ace Jake Peavy (who left mid-season for the south side of Chicago last year).  He is much more comfortable there and the transition will be fluid.

With the emergence of Stephen Strasburg likely in early June, Washington may certainly land the ace, but if you ask me, going to team with guarenteed talented offense (which is why you’re leaving Houston) is the safest bet.

While the shopping in DC may take the cake in this battle, my inside source (Mrs. Texiera) ensures me that the difference is minimal Roy.

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Roy Oswalt Requests to be Traded

Not too surprisingly, Oswalt wants out.  He made his wish very clear by asking Houston owner Drayton McLane Jr. to trade him before the deadline Given how much he has given to the franchise, Oswalt deserves to have his wish fulfilled.  Any thoughts on who might be interest?

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