Results tagged ‘ trade ’
The Hot Stove season seems to be going full tilt now, doesn’t it, with trades being announced at a regular clip. The most recent deal was the one with the Marlins and Nats. And the biggest question is: Who did the Marlins get for Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham?
At first glance, the answer is: not much. You can read my breakdown of the trio of players the Marlins got in return. Of the three, Emilio Bonifacio is the only one who will help now, with Jake Smolinski and P.J. Dean still years away, having played short-season ball with a little taste of A ball. Smolinski’s out for 6-8 months following knee surgery. That’s not to say they won’t eventually be good players. Could this be one of those deals that 5 years from now people will look back at and have to re-evaluate? It’s possible, but it just doesn’t seem that way right now. Dean’s a nice pitcher, but not a front of the rotation type, no matter how well he develops. Smolinski, aside from being hurt, doesn’t have a real defensive home. Maybe he can be an offensive-minded second baseman one day, but he’s not the kind of impact bat — at least not now — that is coveted by an organization. I know the Nats were happy they didn’t have to give up any of their top 20 prospects to get this done, particularly getting the 24-year-old Olsen.
I know Olsen has had his ups and downs. But he’s 24, left-handed and has above-average stuff. The Nats did their homework about his attitude issues of the past and they’re confident he’s beginning to mature and that stuff is behind him. Lefties like Olsen don’t grow on trees, so you have to wonder that the Marlins couldn’t have gotten more for him from somewhere. Even from the Nats, was someone like Ross Detwiler completely off the table? If so, they should’ve looked elsewhere.
I know, I know. Maybe they did and this was the best they could do. And maybe Bonifacio, Smolinski and Dean will all be big leaguers. I generally trust what the Marlins do in terms of player personnel, but this one, I must admit, makes me scratch my head.
It hasn’t been fast and furious, but there have been a few along the way here as teams make final adjustments for playoff pushes. Greg Maddux goes to LA for a pair of prospects to be named. I’m efforting to find out who they are, but chances we won’t know until after the season, when teams make their 40-man roster decisions and the like.
The other trade was Eddie Guardado heading back to Minnesota for a Minor Leaguer. That Minor Leaguer turned out to be Mark Hamburger, leading to the perfect line: We’ll gladly pay you for Every Day with a Hamburger today. Can’t take credit for it — MiLB.com’s Jason Ratliff is the comedic genius behind the phrase…
I was all set to find out about Hamburger and what he’s about, but then I saw that Jamey Newberg did a better job then I ever could over on The Newberg Report. In a nutshell, he’s non-drafted free agent with a good arm out of the bullpen in the lower level of the minors. Read Jamey’s report for all the details, though…
Finally, I need to pat myself on the back a bit now. Ever since he made his big-league debut with the Mets in 2006, I’ve told anyone asking and willing to listen that if the Mets just let him pitch and left him alone, Mike Pelfrey would be just fine. Lo and behold, look at him now. Obviously, some coaching has helped as well, but he made adjustments and how his plus stuff is taking over. He’s got 13 wins and a 3.70 ERA with a month left in the season. It’s been under 3.00 over the past two months He’s not a rookie officially, but for me this is really his first full year and he’s turning into the top-of-the-rotation guy I thought he’d be. After back-to-back CG wins, it’s clear he’s the No. 2 on that staff behind Johan Santana. So to all you who doubted that (ahem, Casey Stern), I’m here to say I told you so…
I figured Matt LaPorta’s gotten enough attention (though you can watch my interview with him in Akron last night on the MiLB.com homepage). What about a guy like Robert Bryson, the low-A RHP included in the deal? How about some love for him?
I’m no stats geek (though I like them to an extent), but I was looking at his performance since he began his pro career and something stuck out: He seemed to have a lot of strikeouts. Seventy in 54 IP for Helena last summer in the Pioneer League, then 73 more in 55 IP in West Virginia prior to the trade. If you’re scoring at home, that’s 143 K’s in 109 IP.
Boy, I thought, that seems like a pretty good rate. I wonder, I pondered aloud (that was strange because I was working in a coffee shop and people turned and stared. But I digress…), where that ranks among Minor League pitchers over the same time frame. So like I did with the LaPorta power numbers, I asked my good friends in the MLBAM stats department to do some crunching for me. They came back with great abs. When I told them I meant for them to crunch the numbers, they said, “Ohhhhh,” punched themselves in the stomach and got the spreadsheet up and running. Lo and behold, this is what they found, using the strikeout per nine inning ratio and using all pitchers from June 22, 2007 (Bryson’s debut) and a minimum of 100 IP:
Santo Luis, Astros/White Sox, 12.62 K/9
Victor Garate, Astros/Dodgers, 12.03
Neftali Feliz, Rangers, 11.83
Rob Bryson, Brewers, 11.81
Jeremy Jeffers, Brewers, 11.78
I almost want to discount Luis and Garate since both are older (Luis is 24; Garate 23) and pitching in low-A ball. Not that they can’t have careers, but they’ve been around since signing in 2001 and 2002 (both by the Astros, who let them go, if that’s telling at all). Feliz is legit and is in Double-A now at age 20. Jeffress has ridiculous arm strength, but has had some off-the-field issues and it remains to be seen what he becomes. But he’s still very young. And there’s Bryson, No. 4 overall in the Minors with his K/9 rate. So while LaPorta is clearly the big fish the Indians wanted to reel in with this trade (C.C. makes for some imposing bait, no?), don’t just relegate Bryson as “some random guy” thrown in. Dude can throw and if he can figure some things out, he could be a nice arm, either in the rotation or more likely as a short reliever, down the line.
That’s right, it looks like we can just about offically “close the door” on the C.C. Sabathia trade. The biggest part of the trade, as you know by now is Matt LaPorta, whom the Brewers took in the first round of the 2007 draft, No. 7 overall. Young fastballer Robert Bryson and Triple-A lefty Zach Jackson are also part of the deal, with a player-to-be-named to be, well, named later on. Many feel it could be Taylor Green, who’s currently in Brevard County.
LaPorta, who should be able to stay in the outfield according to a scout I spoke with today, has put up tremendous power and run production numbers the moment he entered pro ball. Over his first 114 games, LaPorta has homered 32 times in 417 at-bats. He’s driven in 97 runs in that span, slugging .609 and posting a 1.002 OPS.
I was curious how his numbers compared to others in the same time span. So my good friends in MLBAM’s stats department (thank you, Cory Schwartz) ran them for me. Starting from July 30, 2007 — the date of LaPorta’s pro debut — and going through yesterday’s action, here’s where LaPorta stacks up in a number of offensive categories:<p>
Chris Davis, 35
Matt LaPorta, 32
Greg Halman, 32
Mike Hessman, 31
Dallas McPherson, 31
Jesus Guzman, 107
John Lindsay, 103
Chris Davis, 98
Matt LaPorta, 97
Darin Holcomb, 94
Mat Gamel, 281
Jesus Guzman, 273
Chris Davis, 266
John Lindsay, 255
Matt LaPorta, 254
Using a minimum of 300 plate appearances, LaPorta also is eighth in SLG (.609) and 15th in OPS (1.009). So much for the tough transition to the pro game. While at first it seemed like he might be headed up to Triple-A Buffalo, he’s going to at least start his Indians career in Double-A Akron. He’s slated to be a part of the U.S. Team at the Futures Game on Sunday in Yankee Stadium and that shouldn’t change. What could is him going to Beijing for the Olympics. If the Indians want to keep him around for a possible callup, they may decide they want him stateside rather than in China for a couple of weeks.