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No trade news from Skydome yet, though I'm sure JP & Co. are burning the phone lines in these last hours before the trading deadline. July 31 may not be the drop-dead date it has been in the past; teams have usually tried to complete deals before now because in order to trade someone after July 31, the player has to pass through waivers. But with teams increasingly worried about payroll, it's becoming less likely they'll take a chance on claiming a player on waivers. Randy Myers and Jose Canseco are Exhibits A & B.

Anyway, the week's not over yet, and in the meantime there's been plenty of action already. Here's the latest; feel free to add more trade news here as the deadline approaches.

New York Yankees deal Raul Mondesi to Arizona for David Delucci, Bret Prinz and Jon-Mark Sprowl

Let's see ... it took 6 seasons for Raul to wear out his welcome in Los Angeles, 3 seasons in Toronto and 1 season in New York. At this rate, the D'Backs should be sick of the Buffalo by Labour Day. Mondesi is not the player he used to be, but he should still be an upgrade over whatever they've been trotting out to right field. Delucci is a pleasant spare part. Prinz could be useful if he comes all the way back from his injury, but that's entirely a roll of the dice. Sprowl is a minor-league catcher with great on-base numbers but terrible defence, and is a little old for his leagues. All things considered, the Yanks come out ahead because (a) Prinz and Sprowl have a little upside and (b) Raul's gone.

Cincinnati Reds deal Scott Williamson for Phil Dumatrait, a PTBNL and cash

Wiliamson has always been a player I've coveted, and his apparent recovery from TJ surgery (though he's had elbow soreness this year) has been encouraging. He's only making $1.6 M this season and is arbitration-eligible, so he's one guy I wish the Jays had found a way to land. Lefty Dumatrait was overdrafted in the first round a couple years back. Though this is his 4th pro season, he's only thrown 200 IP going into 2003. His BB/K and K/IP numbers aren't great, though at 22, he still has a little time to get it together. No word on who the PTBNL is; it might depend on how much cash changed hands. This is a great deal for Boston: Williamson, like fellow recent acquisition Byung-Hyun Kim, can start or relieve, and has a solid repertoire.

Anaheim trades Scott Schoeneweis and Doug Nickle to Chicago White Sox for Gary Glover, Scott Dunn and Tim Bittner

I can't quite figure this one out. Both teams are still putatively in the playoff hunt, yet I don't see how this deal really benefits either side this year, if at all. Schoeneweis has declined from rotation prospect to expensive LOOGY, and it's not like the ChiSox need another southpaw particularly. This is Nickle's fourth organization, yet he's never played a day in the majors. His numbers give no indication he's ever going to get there, either. You may remember Gary Glover as a former Blue Jays farmhand dealt to the ChiSox by Gord Ash in a widely panned trade for Scott Eyre. Well, Eyre's with the Giants and now Glover's an Angel, so I think we can close the books on that deal and call it a draw. Dunn appears to be the prize here: he's 6-3, 3.35 with 9 saves at AA with a 21/68 BB/K rate in 51 IP. Problem is, he's 25, so his future would appear to be right now. Bittner appears unremarkable.

And a few other minor deals that I don't have time, unfortunately, to explore. Check back here between now and Friday for breaking trade news.
The Deadline Cometh | 96 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jordan - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#95848) #
D'oh! Sorry. Kent, I didn't see you'd started a Mondesi trade thread. My bad.
Craig B - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#95849) #
If the knockdown prices on players are any indication, this is going to be another very tight free agent market this winter. I can't see a lot of big expenditures being made around baseball, which is *excellent* news for the Jays.
Pistol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#95850) #
If there are teams dumping good relievers, and who have reasonable contracts beyond this year I'd like to see the Jays jump into the mix (though I don't know that there is).

I believe the Sun had something on the Giants being interested in Myers. That's the first talk I've seen on him. Trading he and Escobar together for Williams or Foppert is a dream however. Both could be better than Escobar the rest of the season. At best maybe the Jays could trade for an injured Ainsworth.

Regarding free agency, I think it'll be similar to last year. The top guys will get their money, but the middle players will get squeezed (like I've been predicting for Lidle). However, at some point a lot of these 'bad' contracts will be running out for a lot of teams so they will have 'new' money to spend (assuming similar budgets) so eventually we'll see a middle ground between last year singings and 2000.
_Spicol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#95851) #
Re: Schoeneweis, I can't quite figure this one out.

I'd suppose that the motivation behind this one is more about fixing the clubhouse than the roster. Schoeneweis isn't too pleased about how he is being used in Anaheim and has been, at times, quite loud about that displeasure.
Gerry - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#95852) #
I saw JP on the Score last night and heard him on the Fan this morning. He is saying its 50/50 on a deal getting done. "Nobody has knocked his socks off" and if he has to go to arbitration with Kelvim so be it. He also assured Elliotte Friedman that Hallidays deal would be done in the offseason "Halliday wants to stay here and we will sign him".
_Ryan - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#95853) #
How many organizations is this now for Doug Nickle? He gets traded or waived monthly it seems.
_Jabonoso - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#95854) #
What's up with the Reds? a pitching starved org. dealing away his best. A shame we were not there for the dump.
Gitz - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#95855) #
If the knockdown prices on players are any indication, this is going to be another very tight free agent market this winter. I can't see a lot of big expenditures being made around baseball, which is *excellent* news for the Jays.

An excellent observation, Craig, and this makes the Scott Hatteberg signing all the more puzzling. Was it really affecting his play that much? And even if it was, did he need to get that much money? This is a bizarre move by the A's, and I find that criticism of it has been largely thin. It deserves to be excoriated more than it has been.

As for Prinz, I don't have the numbers in front of me (nor will I take the four seconds required to look them up), but doesn't he have a historically weak K rate? I could be wrong, but if not, that would seem to limit further his already limited upside.
_Jordan - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#95856) #
One deal I forgot to mention: Dan Miceli from the Yankees to the Astros. That didn't take long, did it? All of one month and 5 IP (4 ER, 2 HR) to wear out his welcome in the Bronx. Houston will be his fourth team this season alone. Happily, Miceli hasn't gotten any managers fired yet this year.
_John Neary - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#95857) #
Pistol: Toronto's finest newspaper claims that not only the Giants but also the A's, Yankees, and Marlins are interested in Myers. Ramon Castro, anyone?
_R Billie - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#95858) #
I didn't really understand the Hatteberg signing either. It's kind of similar to the Terrance Long signing. When they're making next to nothing, those are good players to have around. When they're making $2.5 million? Well let's put it this way...the Jays got Catalanatto for $2.2 million in the off-season. The BoSox got David Ortiz for a million and the Braves got Fick for a million. Wouldn't you rather have any of these guys over Hatteberg? Even if you gave him as much as a million, why two years? Wouldn't knowing he had a job for 2004 with a guaranteed mil be enough for him?

I would hope the A's have some contracts coming off the books for '04 and '05 or it'll be a problem as HMZ begin reaching the expensive portions of their long-term deals.
_R Billie - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#95859) #
And if it is at all possible to get either Foppert or Williams by adding Myers to a package with Escobar, I do that without thinking. I would probably rather have Williams as he seems to project more improvement and seems better suited to starting. But Foppert isn't exactly Swiss cheese either, despite his struggles.
_EddieZosky - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#95860) #
How available is Freddy Garcia? What would it take to pry him loose if he were?
_the shadow - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#95861) #
After checking the alignment of the Planets and more importantly after listening to JP on the FAN 590 this morning, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Kelvim still a Jay on Aug. 1 ( unless to quote JP,"we are offered a deal that knocks our socks off")
_Joe C. - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#95862) #
A a former Seattle resident, and still avid Mariner fan with the Jays a close second, Freddy is available. Very available. He was the pitcher of the month in June, then aweful in July. A fresh scene would be good for him, or so the M's are letting on. If he was to be traded, I'd love it to be to the Jays, because I like him, and I could still watch him. That being said, he is a very frustrating pitcher. He'll go out, pitch perfect first and second innings, five up 5 runs in the third, and then pitch great through 6 or seven innings. Very bizzare and very frustrating.
_Shrike - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#95863) #
Being able to land Foppert in a trade for Escobar, even if other considerations are involved, would knock my socks off.
_Jordan - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#95864) #
The Rangers traded Doug Glanville back to the Cubs, where he started his career, for an unexciting A-Ball outfielder. With Kenny Lofton already in the fold, one presumes Glanville will be the right-handed part of a platoon filling in for Corey Patterson. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

Here's a fun question: what would you deal to get Javier Vazquez from the Expos? If you were Omar Minaya, what would you demand in return?
_R Billie - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#95865) #
The Mariners might be backed into a situation similar to the Braves with Millwood where they either need to go through arbitration with Garcia, trade him for less than he's worth, or non-tender him.

Any team acquiring him right now would have to do the same thing which is why I don't think he's a good fit for the Jays. The Jays certainly don't want to go to arbitration with a guy already making close to $7 million and possibly have to pay him more (because of seniority more than performance).

Now if the Mariners end up having to trade him under duress (because of impending arbitration) or non-tender him, then certainly the Jays can be players. Even a $7 or $8 million Garcia might be worth having if you only have to give up a fringe prospect. But even then I don't see the Jays having the budget room to take that risk.
_Brent - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#95866) #
It seems to me that the money that could be spent on Garcia might be better used to keep Escobar around, and then select draft picks whose financial demands might be higher than slot (ie. a Kazmir-type pick).
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#95867) #
Joe C. said, about Freddy Garcia:

That being said, he is a very frustrating pitcher. He'll go out, pitch perfect first and second innings, five up 5 runs in the third, and then pitch great through 6 or seven innings. Very bizzare and very frustrating.

Somehow, that sounds familiar. Wow, imagine a staff with two Escobars on it. :-)
_R Billie - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#95868) #

Well...the Expos could use more affordable hitters. Guerrero is a free agent, Vidro is expensive, Cabrera is up there. And of course everyone could use young pitching. Judging from Minaya's past in dealing Colon, he still wants a competitive team and will want a known pitching quantity back. There's no way to know if he'll continue that pattern but that's the assumption I'll operate under...that he wants players that can help now.

If I was Minaya, I'd ask for Rios, Quiroz, and McGowan. Three A quality prospects. The Jays wouldn't give up any of those three I don't think, particularly considering that Vasquez might be due over $8 million in arbitration and is a free agent in another year. Minaya might not want them anyway for the reasons above so I'd offer one of Phelps or Hudson plus one of the outfield surplus. If that's not enough, I probably have to accept that I don't have the depth to trade for Vasquez.
_Mick - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#95869) #
I suspect Minaya would ask for Wells.
_EddieZosky - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#95870) #
The A's just picked up Jose word on who they gave up.

23 HRs and an OPS of over 1000...
_EddieZosky - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#95871) #
They gave up Harang and spare parts to get him.
_Spicol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#95872) #
Guillen for Harang, Joe Valentine and an unnamed minor leaguer.

In Guillen, Oakland again gets an outfielder who isn't prototypically Beane.
_Jordan - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#95873) #
Harang, Valentine and a PTBNL?

Score one for the new Reds braintrust.
Gitz - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#95874) #
Obviously a rental, unless you believe Guillen's last 315 at-bats represent real improvement. Otherwise, the previous 2000 Guillen had as a rushed major leauguer would seem to indicate that this season is a year-27 fluke. I wonder how much effect going from Cincinnatti, a favorable park for hitters, to Oakland, the precise opposite, will have.

Whatever the case, Guillen's hot right now, and should stay at least warm the rest of the season; he's certainly an upgrade over Long, Singleton, et al, and it cost the A's virtually nothing to get him. Harang had no future with the club, Valentine -- acquired in the Billy Koch trade -- is fungible, and the common PTBNL rarely is good. I like the move, and would like it even more if T-Long finds his way to Sacramento.
_Jonny German - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#95875) #
Guillen's career line in AAA goes .345/.384/.631 in 409 AB. He jumped all the way from A ball to playing regularly in the NL at 21 years old in 1997. Makes me think that perhaps this season is a manifestation of finally catching up in his development.
_Jabonoso - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#95876) #
Curious, I was about to post that for that Vazquez deal we could send Kielty to Oakland for Harang and other AAA pitcher and add Cash ( Kevin ) or Werth Should be enough, but most likely OM won't be moving Javier.
Gitz - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#95877) #
Jordan, I'm lukewarm on Harang's chance for long-term success. Harang is obviously the centrepiece of the deal, but his control has been very spotty in the majors, as big-league hitters don't go after his high-riding fastball the way AAA hitters do. While it's possible he could yet develop, I think, at best, he'll be a #4 starter. And at any rate the A's didn't need him. Even if Harang does pan out to a high level, taken in context -- that is, the context for improving the team this year -- this is a good deal for the A's.
_Mick - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#95878) #
I think, at best, he'll be a #4 starter

Which more or less makes him odds on favorite to start Opening Day for the Reds next year, hey?
_Justin B. - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#95879) #
A couple of notable releases today; Fox in Boston and (surprisingly?) Appier in Anaheim.
Coach - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#95880) #
Score one for the new Reds braintrust.

The A's get exactly what they wanted and "win" this year if Guillen keeps hitting, but the Reds are very likely to "win" long term. Harang will be immediately helpful and Valentine might still be a useful reliever. The PTBNL could even be all right; that's a deep system. Definitely a great move by Cincinnati; they dealt from strength.

Beane couldn't afford Brian Giles, but helped his team without giving up anyone who figured strongly in his plans. I thought he might settle for Kielty or even Catalanotto, so he did very well. He still needs a leadoff man, so the Free Josh Phelps Society would like to remind Billy, and every other GM, that the Jays have three.
_A - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#95881) #
Toronto's finest newspaper (The Sun)
I think we've been through this debate before, John and save the sports section you've got a medicore (at best) publication.

I think Minaya would probably settle on cash (addressed to his home) because there can't be more than 6-18 months left in the Expos and you've gotta figure he's not moving to DC (or wherever they end up) with the team...And a new owner, who presumeably would take the Marlin's approach (try to win quick) will want his own man to make sure his money is used "wisely" (I think wisely depends on your thoughts of the Marlin's Championship team).

Disclaimer: I am not remotely serious about getting Vasquez for cash.
_Javier VaZquez - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#95882) #
Where the heck does this VaSquez stuff come from?!? Spell my freakin' name right!!
_jason - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#95883) #
It would be interesting to see Giles go to SD, not sure what they'd have to give up for him, but they are putting together a good line-up out there. I guess maybe they'd have to send Burroughs, but they could just move Nevin back to 3B anyways. They should contend in the next couple of years. I think the NL West will reign as the toughest division in baseball the next 2-3 years.
Coach - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#95884) #
According to Jayson Stark, "At one point Wednesday, there was even talk about involving Drew in a wild four-team deal with Boston, St. Louis, Toronto and Oakland. That one could have sent Drew to Oakland, Escobar to Boston, Ted Lilly and prospect Ben Fritz to Toronto, and Casey Fossum and another arm to St. Louis. But that one appeared to be falling apart as fast as it came together."

Fritz was an A's 2002 draftee; mostly a catcher in college, the 6'4" RH is having modest success in Modesto (A+) on the mound, striking out one per inning.
Pistol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#95885) #
I've always liked Vazquez, but if you put any stock in Will Carroll he's a high risk for an injury. I believe I read that his velocity is down and his control has worsened as the season has progressed. He's seems to always have a lot of innings and a lot of pitches thrown.
_Spicol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#95886) #
According to Jayson Stark,

Yes, I saw that article too. It's called "10 Players to Watch". Scroll to the bottom. Not a very accurate title is it?
_lurker - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#95887) #
Theoretical question: If you had aging catchers and just decent corner OF and were looking to make a run next year or in 2005, would it be worth eating Jason Kendall's deal to get Brian Giles as well? For example, if you could trade a player making $18MM to free up the $18MM you'd have to pay Giles and Kendall, and you could move a young DH to 1B, would it be worth it?
_Shrike - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#95888) #
_Spicol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#95889) #
I've gotta say that this theoretical team probably shouldn't trade the $18M player for Giles and friend since Kendall is owed about $2.6M for the rest of this season and a mind-boggling $42M over the next 4 years. They would never be able to rid themselves of that contract and that's especially troubling since your theoretical team probably has 1 or 2 great catching prospects on the way. As well, there's nothing that Giles can do offensively that Delgado, I mean, a player on this theoretical team, can't do just as well.
_Jonny German - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#95890) #
$42M over the next 4 years!?!? Wow, I didn't realize it was that bad.

Can anybody tell me a good internet site for looking up MLB contracts?
_Spicol - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#95891) # doesn't have everything but it's the best one there is for future info. ESPN has salary info for current years on their individual player profile pages.
Craig B - Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#95892) #
All the new ESPN pictures stink for some reason, it's fun to go through and look for the ridiculously bad pictures there... all of them are the new 2003 pics. Giles's picture (it's in the Stark article someone mentioned) makes him look 70 years old.
_Jordan - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#95893) #
Hey, here's someone the Jays could acquire. I'm sure it wouldn't cost that much in players, and surely he could be squeezed into the budget. I think he'd be a slight upgrade at shortstop, too.
_Brent - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#95894) #
From a Star article today by Griffin:

The A's and their controversial GM Billy Beane, who loves a three-way, backed out after he acquired outfielder Jose Guillen from the Reds for Aaron Harang and prospects.

Is it wrong of me to laugh?
_Brent - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#95895) #
Jordan: I've never heard of him. It's like this guy popped out of nowhere. ;/
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#95896) #
From Today's Star: GM J.P. Ricciardi will not be in Toronto for today's deadline, having returned home to Boston on a family issue.

Oh, the roaming charges!
Craig B - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#95897) #
The A's and their controversial GM Billy Beane, who loves a three-way

"Who's the best looking and kinkiest GM in baseball, Doris?"
_John Neary - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#95898) #
Me: Toronto's finest newspaper (The Sun)
A: I think we've been through this debate before, John and save the sports section you've got a medicore (at best) publication.

Next time I'll remember to put in the </sarcasm>.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#95899) #
This is from Primer, and I can't verify if it's true, but supposedly the Red Sox got Jeff Suppan and Brandon Lyon back from the Pirates for Freddy Sanchez.

If this is legit, colour me happy. Suppan is nothing special at all (his career ERA is nearly 5.00) and Sanchez is one of their few real prospects.

Kirk Rueter was scratched from his start today with no reason being given. Mike Wilner thinks he's been traded.
_Brent - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#95900) #
Also from that same thread, someone posted this:
"Jonas Celzer is reporting on WMAQ that Escobar and Kevin Cash have been sent to San Fran for Jerome Williams and Foppert."

To tell you the truth, I almost pooped myself when I read this. And then my brain returned to reality.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#95901) #
Yeah, I avoided cross-posting that one. It just seems too unlikely. The Suppan one, however, has been reported in a few places and seems about right.
_Brent - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#95902) #
That's exactly what's great about July 31st: you can throw around the most obscure concepts. How about A-Rod for a bottle of "Snackums" and a hairy guy named "Chubbs". Makes sense to me. I believe I'll post it over at Primer.
_Brent - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#95903) #
There was one interesting note on Primer however. Someone posted:
Jayson Stark says no Escobar deal.

Does anyone have ESPN?
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#95904) #
"Jonas Celzer is reporting on WMAQ that Escobar and Kevin Cash have been sent to San Fran for Jerome Williams and Foppert."

...That would be at least AS good as it is unbelievable and unlikely.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#95905) #
Does anyone have ESPN?

It's from the Insider website...all he said is that he's hearing that Escobar "might wind up staying put after all". That's great reporting there, Jason.

ESPN confirmed the Suppan for Sanchez deal. They are also reporting that Aaron Boone for Claussen and $3MM is done, sans Gabe White.

Reggie Sanders to KC. Not sure for who.
_Gwyn - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#95906) #
The Boone to the Yankees deal is out on the wires. Its up at Yahoo news.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#95907) #
Ponson for Ainsworth and Moss. Are you kidding me? A rental for both those guys?
_lurker - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#95908) #
The Yankees truly are the evil empire. Yeah, they really needed Aaron Boone. ESPN says they needed him because Robin Ventura has "struggled mightily." Ventura's OPS? .736. Boone's road OPS (i.e., when he's not in the Great American Smallpark)? .719. It's more accurate to say that they needed Boone because Jeff Cirillo has struggled mightily, so they pay cash to keep him from the M's. What's their payroll now, about $160 million?

I'd like to hear the Yankee apologists continue to tell me that it's not about the money, it's about what a tight ship they run.
_Shrike - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#95909) #
Good move by Baltimore. Shows that SF is committed to Foppert & Williams, which doesn't surprise me.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#95910) #
Lost in all this trade talk: Wasdin to Syracuse. Thurman is up.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#95911) #
Robin Ventura to LA for Bubba Crosby.
_Jordan - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#95912) #
If that O's-Giants deal is accurate -- and it appears to be -- then this is maybe the first great Orioles trade in years. Does Sabean think he can lock up Ponson as a free agent? 'Cause if not, he could be looking for work pretty soon. Two young pitchers, both cheap, for a guy who may or may not be in SF's rotation next year, and will cost millions if he is. This is by far the most lopsided trade yet. Other than this one, of course:

Jonas Celzer is reporting on WMAQ that Escobar and Kevin Cash have been sent to San Fran for Jerome Williams and Foppert.

I'd like to utter a Mrs. Crabopple "HA!" on this. Escobar and Cash might've gotten one of these guys. Though I wouldn't be surprised if an Escobar-Cash package was offered around.

Re the Yankees-Reds deal for Boone: this may not be as big a steal for the Yanks as it first appears. Boone's OPS is around 800 this year and has never topped 834. He has the gaudy HR and SB numbers, but they're a little hollow. Plus, his OPS is about 200 points higher at the GA Ballaprk, which is a hitter's paradise; he may find Yankee Stadium less to his liking. That said, I seem to recall he's excellent defensively; can anyone confirm? But Claussen is an excellent pickup, the last real jewel in the Yankees' system.

Aaron Harang, Brandon Claussen, Phil Dumatrait -- not a bad haul for two days' work.

Robin Ventura to LA

Ventura Boulevard, baby.
_Jordan - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#95913) #
Please let this be Corey's last flight from Syracuse.
_AnnoyedJ ays Fa - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#95914) #
Who wants to start the Lidle-Escobar waiver wire pool?
_Jordan - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#95915) #
Here are Freddy Sanchez's last two seasons at Pawtucket

.301/.350/.432, 183 AB, 10 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 12/21 BB/K, 5 SB
.341/.430/.493, 211 AB, 17 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 31/36 BB/K, 8 SB

Which of these numbers did Theo Epstein not like? Not much power, granted, but 31 walks in 211 AB plus a .340 average plus decent speed equals nice cheap leadoff hitter. I don't know how much Todd Walker's making or if he's tradeable, but I can't imagine Sanchez would have been any worse at 2B next season. Now of course, you deal away prospects if you need major-league help today, but Jeff Freaking Suppan? Lifetime 4.86 ERA, he's won his last 5 decisions against teams like Milwaukee (twice) and the Rockies at home. He also got trounced by the Reds two starts ago. Score one for the Pirates -- another one if they get Bobby Hill fron the Cubs, and another one again if they manage to take another team's best prospects for Brian Giles and Jason Kendall. There's hope yet in Pittsburgh.
Gitz - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#95916) #
Am I missing something about Ainsworth and, in particular, Moss? Moss is a right-handed Jason Bere: good stuff but with control so bad he'll be out of baseball unless he learns the strike zone. I'm not counting on him to learn it.

Ainsworth has talent, of course, and may develop into a front-line pitcher, but as we've discussed before, players likes this are moved every year; some work out, but most don't. I'm also very worried about his health. The Giants' track record for developing pitchers is poor. Very poor.

I don't think this trade is the slam dunk some think it is. And, again, taken in context -- the context of improving the Giants this year -- it's a good trade for SF. And I'm not one to heap praise on the Giants; I've never been a fan, much to the chagrin of my poor mother.

This assumes, of course, that the Sideny Ponson we've seen so far this year will not regress to the Sidney Ponson we've seen throughout his career.
_Jonny German - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#95917) #
Yankees get Gabe White for a PTBNL.
Craig B - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#95918) #
Escobar has probably already passed through waivers this year, guys. I'm sure that the Jays did this back when he was pitching disastrously early in the season.

If so, I think he can still be dealt.
Gitz - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#95919) #
Duh. I meant to say Moss is a left-handed Jason Bere. My type good.
Coach - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#95920) #
Who wants to start the Lidle-Escobar waiver wire pool?

Almost every Blue Jay will soon be exposed to waivers. It's standard operating procedure for most teams at this time of year. If someone claims a player, you can let them go to save the two months' salary, or pull them back. If nobody claims them, you have a tradeable commodity. It's unlikely that anyone will claim Lidle to pay him $1.7 million for ten starts, so let's hope he tosses a gem or two and becomes a hot item. If he hasn't already cleared waivers, Escobar would probably get claimed, so he'd be here at least for the rest of the season. The guy I'm wondering about is Catalanotto -- if he's claimed, would they let him go? It would save about $700,000 and give Phelps a full-time job again. Another reason they expose everyone is to assess interest; you might work on an offseason trade with a team that puts in a claim.

Score one for the Pirates

Score two, as Theo rather generously took "damaged" Brandon Lyon back in the deal. You didn't see Kenny Williams volunteering to undo the Sirotka scam. On the other hand, that means the Red Sox end up with Suppan and Sauerbeck for Sanchez, which is a decent return.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#95921) #
Am I missing something about Ainsworth and, in particular, Moss?

No, I think you have them pegged pretty well. Moss at least. I'm probably a little higher on Ainsworth than you are (he really keeps the ball in the park). The problem is that it's those two for Ponson, especially when the Jays' offer was a possible alternative. IMHO, Sir Sidney is pitching way over his head this season and will certainly regress, as you said, to the level of performance his minor and major league career suggests he should be at (lots of HR allowed, average control at best). My prediction: Adjusting for park, Cory Lidle will pitch better than Ponson the rest of the way.

Escobar would have been an even better rental for the Giants, assuming the Jays would have went for the same package.
_DS - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#95922) #

As much as I would like to think Theo is doing the right thing, there is a big difference in perceived value between Lyon and Sirotka (at the time of the trade of course). Giving up equivalent value for Sirotka would have been pricey for the Sox. I'm just glad that Wells was such a bust for them.
_Nigel - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#95923) #
It's not the best day to be a Jays fan. Getting swept by Tampa Bay and realizing that the "trade a rental player" strategy has not worked that well(at least to date). In one sense, I shouldn't be surprised in that the prime suspect Lidle has been so abysmal but it doesn't seem that long ago (May) that I dreamily said that JP's got a nice choice, trade him for something useful or hold on to him and get above average pitching for the remainder of the year and take a shot a signing him beyond the year. Now I look forward to having nothing useful and crap pitching for the rest of the year. Ho hum.
_dp - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#95924) #
I'm amazed the Mets couldn't have gotten Sanchez for Benitez and Trax. When Benitez went to the Yanks, I assumed Theo was holding Sanchez tight. The Pirates made a good move getting him.
_Mick - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#95925) #
I'd like to hear the Yankee apologists continue to tell me that it's not about the money, it's about what a tight ship they run.

It's not about the money. It's about what a tight ship the Yankees run.
_Spicol - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#95926) #
Here's an article on the Jays' lack of movement.

In summation, JP wants to re-sign Escobar. Is it the right move?
_John Neary - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#95927) #
Depends on how much he will cost. </tautology>

But I'm certainly not opposed to the idea in principle. I expect Escobar to be an above-average starter for several years, barring injury.
_Nigel - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#95928) #
I guess I would say that I am against the strategy in principal. As I have understood the organizational philosophy, one of its key components is that you cannot afford high price tag mistakes. If anyone has the potential to be a mistake its Escobar. It's not that he couldn't turn out to be an above average major league starter, its just that that is by no means certain (not that with pitching, much is certain). Escobar is high risk high reward, the kind of pitcher that a team with a high budget can afford to gamble on not Toronto. I think its not unreasonable to see Escobar getting about $5 million per year. I can't see spending about 10% of the budget on a melt down waiting to happen. I would say that (while screaming obsenities) even if Escobar subsequently became the pitcher we suspect he might become.
_Nigel - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#95929) #
Of course, I could always learn to use "principal" and "principle" correctly. It only goes to show my public shool education was high risk, low reward!
Craig B - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#95930) #
Escobar is high risk high reward, the kind of pitcher that a team with a high budget can afford to gamble on not Toronto.

I couldn't disagree more.

Low risk high reward players are incredibly expensive. Toronto can afford one or two, but no more than that. You need to take risks in order to get the big payoff, because freely available talent doesn't win you pennants... even though using free talent judiciously can keep you from losing them.

A team like Toronto, badly outgunned by its main competitors, needs to take risks in order to compete, or it will never be able to hang with the guys who can throw a fistful of dollars at the low risk high reward guy.

Properly evaluating risk is one of the most important things a low-budget front office does. Hopefully they guess right on Escobar, or walk away from the table if the pot gets bid too high.

The aim isn't to finish .500, or make a good run at the playoffs. The aim is to *win*, and winning requires lots of above-average performances. If you can only afford to pay for a couple of guys you know will give you excellent performances, you gotta roll the dice and take a shot at a guy who *might* do it.
_Nigel - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#95931) #
I understand what you are saying and I actually agree with what you are saying, but from my perspective when the likely pot is 3 years and $5 million per year (at least, unless the market has seriously corrected) the "pot is too high" (clearly the jokes are too easy with that). I agree the Jays have to take shots on high risk players. My point is that Escobar is priced (in my opinion) at a level where you have to have some level of "given" performance. I honestly do not know what that is for him.
Coach - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#95932) #
Escobar has a plus fastball, plus splitter, plus slider and plus change. Everything else is on the minus side and harder to describe: lousy defence, a complete inability to hold runners (or is that just indifference?) and as I said earlier today, he's very "flappable."

Good pitchers are resilient. They don't fall apart at the first sign of adversity. They put the team's success ahead of their own, and try to contribute in other ways, not just by throwing the ball. Is it possible that Kelvim's a late bloomer, and will improve those parts of his game? Yeah, I suppose. But I wouldn't bet millions on it.

Since a qualifying offer creates the risk of having to pay him $5 MM or more in arbitration, I am more inclined to let him walk, but wouldn't complain (much) about three years at $10-11 MM, as long as the Jays don't include any kind of no-trade clause. Guaranteeing anything to this space cadet could be a huge mistake. I would still prefer to make him someone else's problem while improving the Jays, so I'm all for a sign-and-trade. I agree with Nigel; a long commitment to someone so inconsistent, who thus far is much less than the sum of his parts, seems out of character for J.P., who has yet to take any foolish risks.
Coach - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#95933) #
Craig, of course the Jays can't compete for low risk, high reward guys, so you're right -- they have to take chances on players some people consider "flawed". I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to tiny outfielders, short pitchers, chubby catchers and other "misfits," but I'm not going to throw millions at them. In this specific case, I remain unconvinced that Escobar's awesome physical potential will ever outweigh his considerable immaturity, which borders on instability. Because I can't overlook the dreaded intangibles, I don't think his upside is as high as some folks do. He's just not worth a high-stakes gamble.
_S.K. - Thursday, July 31 2003 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#95934) #
I think this is a debate which should wait until the offseason - the biggest knock against Escobar, after all, is his inconsistency. He's been lights-out before and couldn't keep it up. If he can pitch reasonably well until the end of the season, that will be 20-25 starts at a high level - which would make the risk of arbitration worth a shot, in my mind. If he reverts to his usual schizophrenic self and alternates between great and awful, then let him become someone else's problem.
Craig B - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#95935) #
Well said, S.K.
_R Billie - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#95936) #
So we can't afford 10% of the payroll on Escobar but we can on Lidle who hasn't been nearly as good? That's how much of the budget we're paying Cory this year.

I'm not saying you're wrong...but if we don't deem to EVER spend 10% of our budget on a starting pitcher, all we're ever going to have is inexperienced youngsters and reclamation projects like Sturtze, Thomson, and Suppan as our targets. Even with a $50 million payroll, I think we can afford a little more certainty than that.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#95937) #
I'm not saying you're wrong...but if we don't deem to EVER spend 10% of our budget on a starting pitcher, all we're ever going to have is inexperienced youngsters and reclamation projects like Sturtze, Thomson, and Suppan as our targets. Even with a $50 million payroll, I think we can afford a little more certainty than that.

This brings up a good question: How much of that payroll is already tied up? How much money do the Jays have to play with in the off season?

_Spicol - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#95938) #
Unless I'm forgetting someone, the Jays have only 3 guaranteed contracts for next season:

Delgado $18.5MM in 2004
Hinske $0.8MM
Wells $0.7MM

The Jays will have the rights to Catalanotto, Halladay, Hudson, Johnson, Kershner, Kielty, Lopez, Miller, Politte, Phelps, Thurman, Wilson and Woodward and all will likely be brought back. Only Cat ($4MM?), Halladay ($7MM?), Politte ($1.2MM?) and Woodward ($1.2MM?) would be eligible for arbitration. The rest will get between $300K and $500K each.

By my count, that's about $37MM for 16 players (unless Cat isn't tendered a K). From what I've heard, the budget for next season is going to be slightly under what it was this season, or right around $50MM.

There seems to be some room in the organizational pants. $13MM worth of room.
_Nigel - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#95939) #
R Billie, I've actually do not have any problem with tying up a huge chunk of payroll on starting pitching. Over the next 2-3 years the Oakland troika are going to start earning $5-7 million per year and taking up at least 30-40% (if not higher) of Oakland's budget. Given what they mean to Oakland's chances over the period I think its a very wise investment of your budget. In Toronto, Roy should take up at least 10% of the budget if not 15% in my opinion.

I agree, that there is a limit to being able to pay for "given" performance. I actually thought that Lidle represented a pretty good risk. It was a relatively large budget amount but one that could be afforded for one year and in this year's budget. It turned out to be a bad risk, but it's "off the books" next year. As was said above, it all comes down to price, but if it's $5 million per year, Escobar is too flaky and too risky for me (and I say this believing that Escobar may have the best "raw stuff" of any starter the Jays have ever had).
_Jabonoso - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#95940) #
I vote to offer Cat's 4 M to Kelvim, we do not need his bat anymore ( neither his glove or his hurting back ).
Nigel I agree with your K E qualification he is that good, but his problems are only his responsability or coaching should share both the blame and the answer ( just as an answer we have with Doc )?
_John Neary - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#95941) #
Consider that Escobar has declared that he won't accept less than a three-year deal, there doesn't seem to be much risk in offering him arbitration.
_Spicol - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#95942) #
Unless I'm forgetting someone, the Jays have only 3 guaranteed contracts for next season:

Hey, I did forget someone...Dave Berg is signed through 2004. I don't know what he's signed for, but it can't be much more than the $700K he's making this year.

So, there's about $12MMish worth of room for 8 players.

Among others, potential free agents and possible fits for the Jays include Greg Myers and Kelvim Escobar obviously, plus Eddie Guardado (check out his grass/turf splits for the last 2 years), LaTroy Hawkins, Keith Foulke, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Arthur Rhodes, Steve Reed, Trevor Hoffman, Rob Nen (he has a player option which, due to his lost season, he'll likely exercise) and Tim Worrell. All but Hawkins, Hasegawa, Rhodes and Reed would command closer-type dollars. Even Hawkins, Hasegawa and Rhodes would be pretty pricey, in the neighbourhood of 3-years and $3-4MM per. But you know what, after watching the Jays bullpen this year, I'm thinking that having one guy in the pen who isn't a reclamation project, who isn't a AAAA rookie who burned up the minors and 'should' be good, is a great idea.

Yes, I understand and appreciate the concept of saving money in areas where players are easily replaceable. But I also understand the power of confidence. The pen doesn't have to be full of Paul Quantrills, but having just one to rub off on the young guys and instill confidence in the rest of the team would be nice. Colter Bean won't be able to do it all by himself.

I dunno...maybe it's just my Tamaphobia kicking it and I'm not making sense.
_Jabonoso - Monday, August 04 2003 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#95943) #
It sounds OK, you need a solid guy in the pen, we should try to understand better JP assesment of his "mistake he would like to undo" by trading Quantrill, he is pricey, he is dependable and our pen has been a mess. The lesson may be: Do spend 4 million in the right guy, and try to keep it cheap with the rest of people around...
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