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Okay, it's HOF Day, finally, but we've had like eight hundred HOF-related threads in the past several weeks, so no QOTD on that topic. From along those lines in the MYOR world, see if you can struggle through another Jayson Stark opus extolling the virtues of eight candidates (hint: don't invite him and Neyer to the same party). But much more exciting for Yankee fans is the fact that the Bombers finally reached agreement with that pitcher they've been wanting. (Heh.) What, yout still want a QOTD? What am I machine? Okay, fine, I mean why the ... Hall ... not? Today's ...

Question of the Day: What is your favourite colour?

Forty million points to the first person to both (a) identify the reference and (b) correctly answer the question. Seventy thousand billion points to the first Bauxite to post a link to the HOF announcement. Oh, and I guess, eleven points to anyone who correctly forecasts (before the link is posted!) the entire class of inductees.
Tuesday MYOR/QOTD: What the Hall? | 137 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Fozzy - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:18 AM EST (#5861) #
Favourite colour? It's blue... no red.... ahhrghhhhhhh!!

Monty Python and the holy grail: greatest. movie. ever.
_Jobu - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:23 AM EST (#5862) #
Just wanted to point out that thanks to Mr. Simmons, we don't have to feel guilty about complaining about the Jays, we've been allowed to since 2000.

Q: What is the official ruling on double grace-year periods, namely applying to my Broncos? This would be the sixth year after the second win, so I could bitch about their annual collapse; but with that pesky back-to-back, I still feel a little wrong. I need clarification.
-- John Sharkey, North Dakota

SG: After consulting with my buddy Gus (the co-creator of the "Five-Year Grace Period" theory), we decided that back-to-back titles extend the grace period to seven years. In other words, you have to endure this Shanahan-Plummer hell for one more season before you can openly bitch about it. Even after they blow the Colts game this weekend.
_Ryan C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:44 AM EST (#5863) #
But what about triple grace-year periods? Since there was no World Series in 1994 because of the strike, one could argue that the Jays were the reigning world champions for 3 years.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:54 AM EST (#5864) #
we don't have to feel guilty about complaining about the Jays

Complain, you want to complain, look at these shoes, I've only had them for...

Oh, we always love talking about the HoF...

Of Stark's eight picks. I'm assuming Neyer is not supporting Rice, Morris, Murphy. Don't know how he feels about the two closers. I don't know how anyone can say no to Boggs and Sandberg. I'm sure Neyer'd add Blyleven to the mix...

The whole idea of closers and the HoF... haven't really made up my mind on it. But I suppose that gate's already open, and the horses are disappearing over the horizon.

In which case Gossage is a no-brainer. I am utterly convinced that Bruce Sutter was not quite as good as Tom Henke, although Sutter is historically important.... which may be relevant in this context.
Joe - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:07 AM EST (#5865) #
http://me.woot.net
Sorry to correct you, but I'm quite certain it's "BlueŚno, Green! Aaaaugh!!" It is, of course, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:12 AM EST (#5866) #
Fearless Forecast:

Boggs and Sandberg.

Which is an easier question than "What is the air speed velocity of an unladen sparrow?"
_Jobu - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:02 AM EST (#5867) #
What do you mean, Magpie? An African or European swallow?
_Brian - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:02 AM EST (#5868) #
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/01/04/boggs_is_on_deck_for_hall/
This is probably old new but I just found the following article which says the Jays inquired about Kevin Millar but did not match up.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/01/04/boggs_is_on_deck_for_hall/
_Mick - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:37 AM EST (#5869) #
Of Stark's eight picks. I'm assuming Neyer is not supporting Rice, Morris, Murphy.

Actually, I don't know, since Neyer is now pay-per-view (anyone hav Insider?) ... but the headline right below Stark's link on ESPN.com is to Neyer's latest Insider article, called somethning like "It's settled. Sutter Not Hall-Worthy."

I don't personally think he is, either, but would vote for Gossage, Smith and several others ... what, do we have to wait for Jason Isringhuasen to become eligible because only former Oakland A's closers get in? (Fingers, Eck, I'm not counting Wilhelm.)
_Mick - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:50 AM EST (#5870) #
Forty million points to the first person to both (a) identify the reference and (b) correctly answer the question.

Okay, we'll have to split the prize, so forty points to Fozzy and a million to Joe for issuing the correction.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:52 AM EST (#5871) #
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050103.wgreen03/BNStory/Sports/
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, (for some any way), but it looks as though Hillenbrand may be a Jay after all.

COMN for a Jeff Blair article from the Globe.

I wonder if there is any possibility of Vazquez coming to the Jays as part of that deal?
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:54 AM EST (#5872) #
Sorry about the link. When I went to the site it didn't require me to register. Maybe someone else can check it out and try posting the link.

Anyway the jist of it is that AZ has made it clear that Hillenbrand will be dealt if the Green deal goes through.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST (#5873) #
Although Hillenbrand does not walk much his 2004 OPS would have placed him neck and neck with Vernon for second place on the team behind Carlos.
_Marc - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:02 AM EST (#5874) #
I think Hillenbrand would be a nice addition. He has versatility (1B/3B) and he can hit, albeit with less power than one would like from a corner infield position. He's very similar to Catalanotto. At this point, he's about the best the Jays can hope for... although I wouldn't mind seeing them take a flyer (non-roster invitee) on former 1st round pick Eric Munson. His power is intriguing and getting into a comfortable position in the field (1B or DH) might help his bat given that he really never was suited for 3B.

Nice to see the Ponson should be getting out of jail soon after punching out a judge on a beach in Aruba... That's all the papers in Aruba were talking about while I was there. Hopefully it doesn't impact his status for the upcoming season. I briefly considered visiting the jail to talk to Ponson and get a Batter's Box exclusive :)
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:07 AM EST (#5875) #
I understand that a lot of people have an issue with the amount of walks, or lack thereof, that Hillenbrand produces. But, he is definitely a huge fan favourite in Arizona. He seems like a gritty player who always plays hard. I agree with Marc, he may not be my first choice, but I'd be happy with the addition.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:09 AM EST (#5876) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1957971
There are nine ESPN.com contributors with HOF ballots (I see this as a good thing, props to the electronic media!) ... to see how they voted, COMN.
_Jim - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:18 AM EST (#5877) #
Boggs and Gossage in, Sandberg close, Sutter fourth.
_Jim - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:20 AM EST (#5878) #
His point is that Sutter didn't invent the splitter and even if he did it's not a reason to induct him. He shows that Quisenberry had a very similar career stat wise. His overall point is that for relievers the line starts at Gossage.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:24 AM EST (#5879) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits3?statsId=6332&type=batting
COMN for Hillenbrand's 3 year splits. He'd be a poor platoon first baseman, and the Jays don't need a third baseman, as they've got two already. And then, there's his ungraceful departure from Boston. No thanks.

Good on espn.com for disclosing their writer's HoF votes, but...more votes for Jack Morris than for Alan Trammell or Bert Blyleven?
_Mick - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:48 AM EST (#5880) #
I'm going after my own posted points award and forecasting that only Boggs is going to get in. I think this will be a travesty, not that he gets in, but that four or five others don't. The immediate Vegas over/under on "chicken" references in his HOF speech will be 7.5 while the over/under on "Margo" references will be -0.5.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:52 AM EST (#5881) #
I'd guess that Boggs and Sandberg (narrowly) get in.
_Geoff - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:54 AM EST (#5882) #
Ok, so we add Hillenbrand and trade for Pickering

1. Russ Adams
2. Orlando Hudson
3. Corey Koskie
4. Vernon Wells
5. Calvin Pickering
6. Shea Hillenbrand
7. Frank Catalanotto
8. Gregg Zaun
9. Alex Rios

With Menechino and Reed platooning with Pickering and Catalanotto, I have no problems with that lineup. This would leave us with 3-5 million to spend on the bullpen (And with Hinske on the bench, only a 6 man bullpen)
_Geoff - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:55 AM EST (#5883) #
Of course, there are no published reports that J.P. has any interest in Pickering :(
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:56 AM EST (#5884) #
I can't see Pickering being a Jay. I'd put the odds at around 500 to 1.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST (#5885) #
While Hillenbrand wouldn't be my first choice, I don't think it'd be a bad choice.

A lot of people dismiss Hillenbrand because he doesn't walk much, but even without walking much he had a .348 OBP last season.

Sometimes it seems to me that some people would be happier with a .250/.330/.450 than .310/.350/.450 just because there's twice as many walks in the former than the latter.
_Geoff - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:05 AM EST (#5886) #
I can't see Pickering being a Jay. I'd put the odds at around 500 to 1.

I tend to agree, in which case Hinske will bat 5th and the stock of both Hinske and J.P. will continue to be intertwined together
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:08 AM EST (#5887) #
I can't see Pickering being a Jay. I'd put the odds at around 500 to 1.

I'll put a buck on that, unless he shot JP's dog or something.

I realize he strikes out a lot but he has power which the Jays need and he can DH which the Jays also need.

It's a long shot, but I don't think it's that much of a long shot. KC apparently doesn't want him so presumably he'd cost a low level prospect, he'd make the minimum, and he still has an option left so you could send him to Syracuse if needed. There isn't really any risk, and there's some good upside.

Low risk with upside sounds to me like a move the Jays should be making.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:17 AM EST (#5888) #
A lot of people dismiss Hillenbrand because he doesn't walk much, but even without walking much he had a .348 OBP last season.

Hillenbrand's age-28/29 2004 season represented the best year of his career: 310/348/464.

His career line is: 288/322/448.

For Hillenbrand to achieve a league average OBP in 2004, he had to bat .310, more a function of the typical fluctuation in batting averages from year to year than representative of his true ability.

Absent Koskie, Hillenbrand would, sadly, be an upgrade over Hinske at 3B. But as a 1B, I'd like to see the Jays do better than a player with a lifetime OPS under 800.
_Geoff - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:23 AM EST (#5889) #
Hillenbrand's career line is pulled down by a weak rookie year - in his last 3 years, he's had a 798 OPS, about the same as Jermaine Dye last year...Shea is also younger and will make at least a million less than Dye got on the open market - It's not an awful acquisition
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:31 AM EST (#5891) #
J.P. has already said that Hinske would be playing first next year, so I'm guessing that Hillenbrand would primarily DH.

I for one don't have a problem with it. I think that Hinske could definitely become an above average defender at first, and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to reviving his offensive numbers.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:39 AM EST (#5892) #
It's a long shot, but I don't think it's that much of a long shot. KC apparently doesn't want him so presumably he'd cost a low level prospect, he'd make the minimum, and he still has an option left so you could send him to Syracuse if needed.

Where would he play in Syracuse? Aren't they already full of DH/1B types?

Plus there's the whole issue of him being a bad clubhouse guy.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:51 AM EST (#5893) #
Arizona is a favorable hitting environment. They moved the fences back in KC last year, so that it was not. Hillenbrand's OPS+ the last 3 years is 103; Pickering's OPS+ last year in KC was 120. Hillenbrand's minor league hitting record was unimpressive; Pickering's was very good.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 10:59 AM EST (#5894) #
Larry Mahnken has a trenchant analysis of the Yankees' off-season moves in today's THT.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:01 AM EST (#5895) #
Mike,

What happened with Hillenbrand and Boston, if you don't mind me asking?
_Marc - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:06 AM EST (#5896) #
I can't see Pickering in Toronto. I also can't see KC giving up on him, especially with Ken Harvey scuffling his feet and stuck between deciding whether he wants to hit for a high average or for more power.
KC needs/wants MLB-ready pitching and I don't think TO can really afford to give any up for a non-proven MLB hitter. If KC really didn't like Pickering they would have dropped him from the 40 man roster by now and have protected Colt Griffin in the Rule 5 draft.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:11 AM EST (#5897) #
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050104/BASEBALL04/TPSports/Baseball
I'll try to post the Globe Hillenbrand link(Comm),its on their free view portion of the web, but you may still have to register for this service (its worth it generally speaking).

If its Blair I believe the rumor. He states in the article that the Jays would trade a mid grade pitching prospect for this fellow.

I suppose if he came cheaply enough I could live with this deal, but it certainly seems like a bit of a head scratcher. Whats his contract status? He made 2.6 million in 2004, Dugout dollars doesn't have him signed for 2005, is he arbitration eligible?
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:23 AM EST (#5898) #
Here is one Hillenbrand departure story, and here is another. I'm not saying that all the comments in the articles are accurate, but the departure was definitely ungraceful.

Marc, describing Pickering as an unproven MLB hitter doesn't really add anything. He's never, ever been given a chance beyond last year, and he did a lot better than Hillenbrand in that chance. There does seem to be a difference in opinion about what KC would want for Pickering; my guess is that R and R have it right.
_sweat - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:25 AM EST (#5899) #
Is towers a guy that JP would move for the right hitter? He certainly is a major league pitcher, and I'm not sure Jp trusts Towers to put it all together and stop with the inconsistent starts.
Im actually curious as to what value Towers has, and what value JP thinks he has.
_R Billie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:25 AM EST (#5900) #
A lot of people dismiss Hillenbrand because he doesn't walk much, but even without walking much he had a .348 OBP last season.

The question is can he do it again and away from Fenway or Arizona's hitter's park.

As has been mentioned elsewhere that's been his best season and he's already in his late 20's. While I do see some similarities between him and Wells, Vernon puts up his numbers while playing a good CF as opposed to putting up what would be mediocore numbers for a corner man or DH.

I don't think Hillenbrand would be a terrible move if it doesn't cost the Jays much. And it shouldn't now that Arizona has nowhere to play him (with Glaus and Green at the corners). Even if mediocore, Hillenbrand is a known quantity and that's worth something. I'm hoping the Jays are able to find someone better or with more upside but I'd rather have Hillenbrand than have to press Crozier or another young hitter into service who may not be ready.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:29 AM EST (#5901) #
Hillenbrand is arb-eligible. Blair estimates his 2005 salary to be about $4 million. If he's traded for and ends up as a platoon first baseman/third baseman, other personnel decisions this off-season will be sharply questioned in the press, and not just from the usual sources.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:30 AM EST (#5902) #
Cool, thanks for the links Mike, much appreciated.

Calling Epstein a crude name referring to a homosexual.....OUCH!!!
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST (#5903) #
Geez.... I should read my own links, 4 million for a mediocre platoon hitter is far too much money. J.P. at the end of the season seemed to be going on about , decreasing strikeouts and making more contact, is this what's driving this Hillenbrand fascination?
_R Billie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:37 AM EST (#5904) #
I suppose if he came cheaply enough I could live with this deal, but it certainly seems like a bit of a head scratcher. Whats his contract status? He made 2.6 million in 2004, Dugout dollars doesn't have him signed for 2005, is he arbitration eligible?

It seems from his career stats that he is arbitration eligible in 2005 and 2006. Given that he made $2.6 million this past season and put up an average over .300 that likely means he'd get a salary boost to close to $4 million which is a lot for a guy you're going to put at DH. Especially with guys like Gonzalez and Fullmer still out there.

I agree that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense but the Jays may feel there aren't many other options. I think I've just resigned myself to the fact that the offence isn't going to get much better than last year.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:41 AM EST (#5905) #
I'd much rather have Josh Phelps for 1-1.5 million ,rather than this guy. I suppose this could be a preclude to a Hinske deal, move Hillenbrand to first(he does have a good glove)and move Hinske and his salary to Detroit(?),I'm still however just scratching my head.....!
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 11:57 AM EST (#5906) #
Hillenbrand is arb-eligible. Blair estimates his 2005 salary to be about $4 million. If he's traded for and ends up as a platoon first baseman/third baseman

His 3 year splits were very similiar. Why would he platoon?

Is towers a guy that JP would move for the right hitter?

Im actually curious as to what value Towers has, and what value JP thinks he has.


Given how much Towers was yanked around last year I don't think the Jays place a whole lot of value in Towers. So if they could get someone in the lineup for him I'd think they'd do it in a heartbeat.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 12:01 PM EST (#5907) #
similiar

Make that similar.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 12:19 PM EST (#5908) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting?seasonType=2&type=reg&sort=avg&minpa=0&split=0&season=2004&pos=1b&hand=a&league=al&ageMin=0&ageMax=99
His 3 year splits were very similiar. Why would he platoon?

Because a .295/.331/.463 line from a first base/DH in a hitter's park is below average production (COMN for the stats of the regular first basemen in the AL last year). Despite his struggles of the past 2 years, Hinske has a better 3 year line against righties than Hillenbrand (Hinske's is .261/.346/.443), and you'd be better off platooning them than playing Hillenbrand every day. Blair also suggests in his article that Hillenbrand is valued as a right-handed bat.

Hillenbrand is not worth anything like $4 million.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 12:38 PM EST (#5909) #
Hillenbrand is not worth anything like $4 million.

Well, $1 million is like $4 million, but only more reasonable.

Hillenbrand would make a fine complementary player on a team with a good offence: he's not going to kill you as long as he hits .300 and slugs .450, which he should do this year, and if you've got some high OBP and slugging guys, his low OBP could be absorbed somewhat. (Which is why he was a good fit on the Red Sox.) But it would seem the Jays have more pressing needs, plus they've got no realistic shot of contending this year, so to throw $4 million at Hillenbrand when Calvin Pickering could do a comparable job at a hair of the salary ... well, that's not very smart.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 12:42 PM EST (#5910) #
The East Valley Tribune is also reporting that Hillenbrand will be traded if the Green deal goes through, listing the Jays as the most likely destination.
_Useless Tyler - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 12:43 PM EST (#5911) #
Sorry to correct you, but I'm quite certain it's "BlueŚno, Green! Aaaaugh!!" It is, of course, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Actually, Michael Palin says "Blue. No, yellAHHHHHHHHH!"

Which is an easier question than "What is the air speed velocity of an unladen sparrow?"

Unladen SWALLOW!

What do you mean? African or European?

I don't know that! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
_Robbie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 12:53 PM EST (#5912) #
Question regarding the ESPN writers with hall of fame votes: The site lists the ballots of nine of its writers. Does Peter Gammons really not have a ballot?
Gitz - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:10 PM EST (#5913) #
I couldn't find anything about Neyer's HOF recommendations. (I have Insider accesss.) He's down on Sutter and high on Gossage, but that's not exactly news. It would seem that if Neyer had a vote, he'd select Boggs and Sandberg, and that's about it.
Gitz - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:11 PM EST (#5914) #
Duh, and it would seem that Neyer would also vote for Gossage, though on that score I am not so sure; he is mainly interested in pointing out that the Goose was better than Sutter.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:22 PM EST (#5915) #
Can somebody please explain to me why so many people still have a crush on Josh Phelps? Is this the same Josh Phelps with the LOOOONG, looping, power-only swing? The same Josh Phelps who can't hit a lick, and only had one HALF-season of reasonable production? Please, please, for the love of Pete, somebosy PLEASE give me a rational explaination.

Grand Funk out.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:29 PM EST (#5916) #
Hinske has a better 3 year line against righties than Hillenbrand (Hinske's is .261/.346/.443), and you'd be better off platooning them than playing Hillenbrand every day.

If you're going to platoon Hillenbrand you'd be better off not trading for him (which of course is what you're saying).

If the Jays do trade for Hillenbrand I think it's pretty obvious that they're not going to platoon him, just based on his salary.
_braden - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:40 PM EST (#5917) #
It's been discussed but I wonder what it would take to get Ryan Howard from Philly. They certainly can't be expecting too much in return given the lack of a spot for him to play. And the Phils system is pretty much void of good prospects outside of Floyd and a healthy Hamels. Would Josh Banks and a mid range prospect do?

I know the knocks on Howard (Ks too much, no D) but quite frankly, this team NEEDS power and I'd be willing to take him on, warts and all.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:52 PM EST (#5918) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?statsId=6494
GFR,Phelps has value in that he can consistently mash RH pitchers (Comm), he's cheap and still young enough to get better. Put him out with a lefty masher(Brad Fullmer?)and you'd have potentially a lot more production out of this slot, and at a cheaper salary than that of a Hillenbrand.

Wildrose out!
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:53 PM EST (#5919) #
Can somebody please explain to me why so many people still have a crush on Josh Phelps?

It must be those rookie numbers and the long, long home runs. There's a feeling that, well, he actually did it once, he can demonstrably hit the ball really far, and maybe it's possible to fix whatever went wrong.

I think it's possible myself (not that I'd want to make a large investment or place a lot of faith in it). The guy who might be able to fix Phelps (if anyone can) is Doug Rader. By 1991, Mark McGwire (in a full season) was hitting .201 with 22 HRs. He always gave Rader credit for rebuilding him as a hitter. Its only relevant because McGwire had an enormously long swing himself and was known to strike out a bit too. They're not truly similar, but there are a couple things in common.
_Blue in SK - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:53 PM EST (#5920) #
GFR - we know better, but teams looking for a power bat are probably mesmerized by his 3 year line against lefties 309/373/535, even his overall line isn't bad 272/340/486. Lots of power, decent on-base, the killer is the K's.

Kind of like when JP goes looking for value in the bargain bin, someone is gonna take a flier on Josh - and that someone is the Rays.
_Ryan C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 01:55 PM EST (#5921) #
If the Jays are planning to trade for a guy like Hillenbrand who is likely to cost $4 million, why would they not just sign Brad Fullmer? Their career numbers are somewhat similar, Fullmer walks more and slugs more, would presumably be cheaper and wouldnt cost a prospect. Ok so Fullmer doesnt play a premium defensive position like 1B. Is there something Im not seeing.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:00 PM EST (#5922) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=1958698
Buster Olney (and Buster is a fine reporter, folks) suggests that Carlos Beltran and the Yankees may not be a match made in heaven. COMN

Yankees' executives are examining the bills rolling in and they are queasy.

Fine with me. Doesn't Beltran seem like a National League kind of player anyway?
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:01 PM EST (#5923) #
I'm in favor of taking a gamble on Fullmer, but he does have a significant history of injury and perhaps the biggest issue is that given his physique and fondness for the Southern California weight lifting scene, steroid usage is rumored. Still a 3 year .896 OPS against lefties is hard to ignore.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:06 PM EST (#5924) #
Not to be an anal pratt, Wildrose, but you keep getting your platoon splits mixed up. Phelps hits well against LHP. Fullmer hits well against RHP.
_David Goodwin - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:07 PM EST (#5925) #
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_news.jsp?ymd=20050104&content_id=927196&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp
Looks like it's Boggs and Sandberg, with Sutter making impressive gains (COMN).

The complete vote (516 ballots, 387 to gain election, 26 to remain on ballot):
Player Votes %
Wade Boggs 474 91.9%
Ryne Sandberg 393 76.2%
Bruce Sutter 344 66.7%
Jim Rice 307 59.5%
"Goose" Gossage 285 55.2%
Andre Dawson 270 52.3%
Bert Blyleven 211 40.9%
Lee Smith 200 38.8%
Jack Morris 172 33.3%
Tommy John 123 23.8%
Steve Garvey 106 20.5%
Alan Trammell 87 16.9%
Dave Parker 65 12.6%
Don Mattingly 59 11.4%
Dave Concepcion 55 10.7%
Dale Murphy 54 10.5%
Willie McGee 26 5.0%
Jim Abbott 13 2.5%
Darryl Strawberry 6 1.2%
Jack McDowell 4 0.8%
Chili Davis 3 0.6%
Tom Candiotti 2 0.4%
Jeff Montgomery 2 0.4%
Tony Phillips 1 0.2%
Terry Steinbach 1 0.2%
Mark Langston 0 0.0%
Otis Nixon 0 0.0%
_coliver - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:10 PM EST (#5926) #
Pickering? No way!

I rather have Luis Lopez back, that rolly poly doughboy!
Mike D - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:13 PM EST (#5927) #
Good for Ryno. He's deservedly in.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:13 PM EST (#5928) #
Still a 3 year .896 OPS against lefties is hard to ignore.

That just didn't look right (Brad Fullmer always struggled against LH), and his ESPN page has him with the following three year line against LH:

129 AB, 5 HR, .248. OnBase .283, Slugging .426, OPS .709.

Which is the Brad I remember!

The assumption seems to be that the Jays are beating the bushes for a RH hitter (hence the interest in Hillenbrand.) Presumably because of all those LH pitchers in the AL East. Whoever they are. And because the lineup they'd be sending out right now does seem to tilt a little to the left...
_BCMike - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:14 PM EST (#5929) #
I'd rather see Juan Gonzalez than Brad Fullmer simply because the power upside is better, if he can stay healthy.

If the Jays are looking for a mid-level type power hitter, like Fullmer or Hillenbrand, I would prefer to see the Jays take a chance on a younger player.

Either way I certainly hope that the best trade JP can come up with is not for Hillenbrand.
Mike D - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST (#5930) #
By my count, the average ballot included just over 6.3 nominees per ballot. Is this high or low relative to other years?
_Mick - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST (#5931) #
Good on espn.com for disclosing their writer's HoF votes, but...more votes for Jack Morris than for Alan Trammell or Bert Blyleven?

Just like the rest of the world, apparently. Poor Tram.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:18 PM EST (#5932) #
So it's like this, then:

Magpie, Jim, Mike Green - 11 points apiece

David Goodwin - 70,000,000,000,000 points.

Pretty good, David. (That is 70 thousand billion, right?)
Gitz - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:20 PM EST (#5933) #
The assumption seems to be that the Jays are beating the bushes for a RH hitter (hence the interest in Hillenbrand).

Maybe, as usual, I'm missing something here, but I was under the impression that lefty-mashers were easy to find if you knew where to look -- and, in theory, J.P. and Keith Law know where, and how, to look. So why go after Hillenbrand? Are there no Olmedo-Saenz-types running around in AAA? What about Bucky Jacobsen? The Mariners don't seem to recognize his value, marginal as it may be, and he could certainly club lefties for a full season, maybe longer.

This potential Hillenbrand acquisition makes less and less sense the more I think about it. If the Pirates or Royals or D-Backs spent $3 million on a player like Shea, the move would be roundly criticized by the "analyst community" -- as it should be. Somehow, though, the A's and Jays and, to a lesser degree, the Red Sox, avoid similar criticism. It gets old, yes, yes, yes, for me to point it out, but it gets no less old when the teams mentioned above keep getting free passes.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:21 PM EST (#5934) #
I'll have a new Hall-specific thread up in a couple of minutes.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#5935) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits3?statsId=5901&type=batting
Sorry fellas , rushing to get the kids for lunch, here's Fullmers correct splits against righties(Comm),a .871 OPS over 3 years is pretty solid, but will he get hurt?
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#5936) #
The guys who fell short this year (the three closers, Rice and Dawson) may have a one-year window to make it in. Next year the best players added to the ballot are Albert Belle and Will Clark - but in 2007 Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken and Mark McGwire are eligible.
_David Goodwin - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:26 PM EST (#5937) #
http://www.jimloy.com/math/billion.htm
Thanks Magpie.

I'm not entirely sure what "Seventy thousand billion points" looks like as an integer, but according to this webpage (COMN) it would be 70,000,000,000,000,000 (that's 16 zeros) if we used the European naming convention, which in this case I'm partial to as it awards me more points!
_Ryan C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:27 PM EST (#5938) #
it gets no less old when the teams mentioned above keep getting free passes.

I dont see any free passes here. I see alot of people criticizing the potential move. Im no analyst, in fact I just read Moneyball for the first time over Christmas this year, but I agree with you that this move doesnt seem to make much sense.
_Jim - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:28 PM EST (#5939) #
I'm glad Sandberg is in... next up elect the Goose!
Gitz - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:29 PM EST (#5940) #
Ah, a fine point, Ryan: there aren't a lot of free passes with this one. My bad.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:31 PM EST (#5941) #
This potential Hillenbrand acquisition makes less and less sense the more I think about it.

And it's the kind of move that Keith Law, BP writer, would have criticized. Maybe (and just maybe), the line of thinking goes like this:
* Hinske will be moved come hell or high water, even if it means paying half his freight for the balance of his contract.
* Koskie might only be good for 120 games, so why not grab a RH bat that can also be used as backup 3B?

I'm not saying I necessarily defend this, but perhaps Hillenbrand's nominal ability to play third base is a factor. Hillenbrand as a 1B/DH alone simply cannot be worth all the trouble.

Re Wildrose's (now known to be erroneous) claim that Fullmer's 3-year OPS vs LHP was 896: that was Fullmer's OPS vs LHP in 2004... in 36 AB.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:35 PM EST (#5942) #
I got to wondering, just what does Shea Hillenbrand do better than Frank Menechino? Hillenbrand had probably his best ML season last year, and was still nowhere near as good a hitter as Menechino...

Well, two things. Everything in little Frank's prior history suggests that he was way over his head last year (FLUKE! FLUKE!), whereas Hillenbrand's numbers are not out of line with his previous career marks.

And Hillenbrand certainly presents a better target at 1B. Can you imagine the shortstop fielding the ball and looking for Frankie across the diamond? :-)

I still don't want him.
Thomas - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:36 PM EST (#5943) #
Thread up.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#5944) #
This potential Hillenbrand acquisition makes less and less sense the more I think about it.

I'd like to see who the Jays are giving up before judging this one, but on the surface, this move makes no sense to me.

Other than the Speier re-signing and the Cash trade, nothing that has happened this off-season has made sense to me. I'm waiting to see how it all shakes out before giving my final thoughts, but the last few months have left me shaking my head.
_Daryn - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#5945) #
Otis Nixon and Tony Phillips on the All Star Ballot
Does EVERYBODY get on the ballot???

and if so, shouldn't there be about a 100 new names per year??? (even if just for 1 year)???

What is the system, does anyone know???
_JayFan0912 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#5946) #
This is shea's line against LHP last year: /323/366/525, so I guess he would platoon with hinske. But $4 Million is too much for a platoon player, and he can earn more, and I just don't see why you would do this. First, there aren't many really good LHP in the majors, and almost none in the AL east. Second, juan gonzales is arguably the better player, and would be paid much less. I would rather offer the rest of this year's budget to ordonez, or split it among juan gonzales and perhaps lowe who would probably be motivated to show boston made a mistake.

And if none of this works, menechino had a better ops vs. lhp than hillenbrad last year. Might as well use him at 1B to platoon with hinske. This would be a waste of resources for the jays, unless jp knows hillenbrad will be able to suddenly hit rhp better.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:48 PM EST (#5947) #
Chuck could be right, maybe J.P. has a deal for Hinske lined up already? Although, to me, it seems doubtful.

Im afraid that after aquiring Shea, our 2005 lineup is going to be set. Part of me still hopes that J.P. will somehow swing a blockbuster, but again, it seems doubtful.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST (#5948) #
why would they not just sign Brad Fullmer?

I agree totally. I've always really liked Fullmer, even before he came to the Jays; I have absolutely no idea why they let him go.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:55 PM EST (#5949) #
I think Gitz makes a good point (I can't believe I just said that), but I'd phrase it a little differently. I think the amount of criticism JP gets for such moves is the same if most other GMs had made the move, but I think the tone is a whole lot different. If, say, Jim Bowden, were considering a move we thought was dumb a lot of us would say WTF is Bowden thinking? Is he on glue? whereas if it's a JP move the tone is likely more to be I don't think this is a good move. I don't see how this helps us.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:55 PM EST (#5950) #
The team all ready has a good RH backup to Koskie in Menninchino. I'm afraid this Hillenbrand noise is based to a degree on J.P.'s fundamental adversion to risk, we see this in his drafts and his player aquisition strategy. Hillenbrand will give you very consistent preformance against both righties and lefties, he can play a few positions, he doesn't seem to get hurt a lot. In short he's a solid average player.

Personally I don't like this strategy. The team won't contend in 2005 unless you make a few reaches, sign a Fullmer, give A-Gon an incentive based contract, same with Pierzynski, sometimes a team needs to be aggressive while re-building.
_Lee - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 02:59 PM EST (#5951) #
If, say, Jim Bowden, were considering a move we thought was dumb a lot of us would say WTF is Bowden thinking? Is he on glue? whereas if it's a JP move the tone is likely more to be I don't think this is a good move. I don't see how this helps us.

In JP's defense, that's not really a good example. After all, it's pretty obvious that Bowden has been using some sort of mind-altering substance during his tenure as Expos' GM (unless he's naturally just really, really incompetent). :)
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:01 PM EST (#5952) #
In JP's defense, that's not really a good example. After all, it's pretty obvious that Bowden has been using some sort of mind-altering substance during his tenure as Expos' GM (unless he's naturally just really, really incompetent). :)

True. It's a fair argument to say that JP has earned the benefit of the doubt and Bowden hasn't. I also admit, though, that I'm a pretty disgruntled Expos fan. :)
Gitz - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:05 PM EST (#5953) #
Ah, nuances. Good work, Moffatt.

I wrote something similar to this in my A's preview, but I'll repeat it, briefly, here. What bothers me is not so much the mild "I don't think this is a good move. I don't see how this helps us." What really irks me is the "J.P. must know something we don't." On a certain level that is undeniably true: the average fan, the intelligent fan, the expert analyst, the couch-potato being served by monkey butlers, we know, at best, half the story. But statistically speaking, and using our own anectodal evidence, this carries less weight with certain players. I keep returning to the Chris Singleton signing a few years ago, which was purely for defensive purposes, and as such was an OK move. Yet on many forums I heard the dreaded, "Beane must know something." Well, no. Singleton can't hit, we all know that. The lesson? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. As cigars go, Singleton was not a Cuban. Malaysian, perhaps.

The same goes for Hillenbrand. He's a passable hitter, but what you see is what you get. So let's avoid the "J.P. must know something," and I'll be happy. (OK, I'll never be happy, but I can fake it pretty well!)
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST (#5954) #
"J.P. must know something we don't."

As someone who has probably used this a dozen times in the last few years, my New Years Resolution to you is that I'll never do it again.

And more importantly.. you're right. When is that last time anyone has said "Schuerholz must know something we don't" or "Sabean must know something we don't". We always just analyze the situation with what we have on hand and say things like "Schu made a steal" or "Sabes got robbed". Why should JP or Beane get treated any differently?
_NDG - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:16 PM EST (#5955) #
As Moffatt indicated a couple of days ago, this doesn't make sense.

Even without Hillebrand, we have signed for 2006: Koskie, Adams, Hudson, Hill, Hinske, and possibly Hattig. Realistically, none of these guys should be playing first indicating a real glut on the leftish side of the infield. My WAG is that JP has a pretty big trade in the works that includes at least two of these guys. Why else go after Hillebrand? Unless of course he believes that infielders whose last names begin with H are the nexy big undervalued commodities in baseball.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:22 PM EST (#5956) #
When is that last time anyone has said "Schuerholz must know something we don't" or "Sabean must know something we don't"

Very true. They all (even Jim Bowden!) know lots of things we don't.

I'm cool with that. What scares the hell out of me is when I get that feeling that I know something that they don't. Should never happen.
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:23 PM EST (#5957) #
Since NGD has brought up the possibility of another trade being in the works, would anyone here advocate going after Sweeney? He does have some injury issues, and it seems that K.C. would take whatever they could get for him at this point. That being said, if K.C. was willing to absorb say 6-8mil in salary over the next three years (meaning Sweeney would be costing about 8-9mil per year, would you do the deal, and if so, who would you be willing to give up?
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:26 PM EST (#5958) #
Just a note: assuming J.P. did have a deal in the works that was reliant upon aquiring Shea, I'm assuming Hinske would be part of that deal.
_BCMike - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:26 PM EST (#5959) #
It's a fair argument to say that JP has earned the benefit of the doubt and Bowden hasn't.

I'm not so sure JP still deserves the benefit of the doubt.
_JayFan0912 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:47 PM EST (#5960) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=4695
What do you think about this guy (COMN) assuming the yankees pay some of his salary and he is willing to dh/1b
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:48 PM EST (#5961) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=1958292
Tanyon Sturtze gets a nice little deal( comm), he always did have a pretty strong arm, too bad he didn't perform well here. It always strikes me as to how much variability relievers seem to have from year to year. For this reason I'm hoping the Jays can develop their own arms from within. Signing free agent relievers seems to be fraught with risk.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:48 PM EST (#5962) #
Just a note: assuming J.P. did have a deal in the works that was reliant upon aquiring Shea, I'm assuming Hinske would be part of that deal.

Only if Glaus was signed to play 1B and Green acquired to play RF, and not the 3B/1B configuration many are speculating for these two.
_Jordan - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST (#5963) #
I chime in here only to restate my thesis that we should judge Ricciardi on the deals he actually does, not the ones he's rumoured to be doing.

That said, if Hillenbrand becomes a Jay, look for something scathing from this corner of Da Box.
_NDG - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:52 PM EST (#5964) #
Just a note: assuming J.P. did have a deal in the works that was reliant upon aquiring Shea, I'm assuming Hinske would be part of that deal.

Yeah I agree, but I listed six guys without Shea. Subtracting Hinske doesn't solve the fact that you have five to six guys for three positions of which only two are likely to give above average production. If we are assuming that Hillebrand can be had cheaply because of Arizona's glut of corner infielders, doesn't that mean that Toronto's glut is also gonna make it difficult to get value?
_Moffatt - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:54 PM EST (#5965) #
look for something scathing from this corner of Da Box.

Wow. You're still standing in the corner, huh? I didn't think you were that bad. :)
_Pumped 4/05 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 03:59 PM EST (#5966) #
Sorry Chuck, I wasn't clear with that last statement. In the Blair article, it states that the Jays would give up a mid-level pitching prospect for Shea.

What I meant was that, if there was another big trade in the works, maybe J.P. aquires Hillenbrand and then flips Hinske as part of that bigger deal.

OK, what about:

To K.C.: Eric Hinske, Gabe Gross, Jason Arnold

To Jays: Mike Sweeney and 6-8 million over the next three years
_Tyler - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:08 PM EST (#5967) #
And it's the kind of move that Keith Law, BP writer, would have criticized.

I wonder how much Keith Law, Blue Jays employee gets listened to when it comes to making moves. From last year's BP interview with JP.

Baseball Prospectus: We talk a lot about people who came up within the game--scouts, ex-players--who have embraced performance analysis. Flipping that around, what has your in-house performance analyst, Keith Law, learned from you that he's been able to incorporate into his job?

J.P. Ricciardi: Keith likes to read into the numbers; he does a lot more breakdown than I might not do. He's not the end-all, be-all on decision-making, he's a contributor to the team. We like to think we're open-minded enough to listen when someone brings something to the table. Keith does a good job of looking all the way down to minor league free agents and colleges, of using the numbers to find talent.

As for what he's learned from us: Having never played the game or really been around the game, there a lot of things that in his end of the world he didn't get to see. You can forget the human element there. But then you come in and get to know people and what makes them tick, and that helps you get a better understanding of how the game works. Sometimes from far away you don't get to see that, to know that. He's learned a lot from us and brought a lot to the table.

BP: In as much detail as you can, describe some of the concepts behind the defensive rating system that Keith has worked on for the team. Given the lack of quality defensive measures around, do you see this as another area where you feel you can gain an edge on the competition?

Ricciardi: The defensive stuff, I've got to be honest--I don't hold much value to it. I think it's more important to watch a player play. Numbers are more indicative from a hitting standpoint; a hitter can go up and down, and you lose focus on the bigger picture. The numbers are important for smoothing all that out. But in the field, I think it's more important to watch players, to see which balls they can get to and can't get to.

I know you guys talk a lot about whether Jeter is a good shortstop or not. But I'll tell you, if it's the bottom of the ninth, I want the ball hit to Derek Jeter. I've never seen the guy not make a play he was supposed to make. By watching him play, I know I want the ball hit to him. Maybe that's the scout part of me. You look at someone like Hinske. He makes the routine plays, and that's very important.


Reading between the lines on that a little, it seems to me that Law is subject to having suggestions minimized/rejected because of his lack of experience playing the game, and it looks like the defensive numbers are entirely discarded. I'll be interested to see if he stays with the team long term-at some point, guys with interesting ideas who don't see them go anywhere start to reconsider what they're doing.

I can see this deal happening precisely because of the fact that Hillenbrand doesn't come with a terrible contract. That's one thing JP seems to have picked up from being around Oakland. He's shown nothing special thus far, IMO, in terms of his ability to add ML talent to the roster, but he's done a very good job of avoiding too many atrocious contracts, notwithstanding Hinske.
_Andrew K - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:13 PM EST (#5968) #
Crikey Tyler, that excerpt interview makes me worry all the more. It's quotes like these, and the recent disheartened-sounding ones, that make me seriously wonder about JP.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:17 PM EST (#5969) #
Doesn't he sound just like Bob Elliott's kind of guy there?
_Jonny German - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:34 PM EST (#5970) #
Tanyon Sturtze gets a nice little deal( comm), he always did have a pretty strong arm, too bad he didn't perform well here.

Did I miss something? Has Tanyon Sturtze ever performed well anywhere at any time?

Looked it up... yup, he had 50 good innings in Tampa Bay, 1999. And he was a good innings-eater the next year.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:39 PM EST (#5971) #
I don't know what the complaints are for?
Why would anyone be upset about getting a hitter that finished the year at .310, and drove in 80 runs? And, plays hard and gritty?

Mark me down as Pro-Hillenbrand.

Grand Funk out.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:39 PM EST (#5972) #
Reading between the lines on that a little, it seems to me that Law is subject to having suggestions minimized/rejected because of his lack of experience playing the game.

I think you're reading into that way too much. If that was the case there wouldn't be a point of hiring him in the first place.
_Ducey - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:54 PM EST (#5973) #
I am not real excited about Hillenbrand but his acquistion would not upset me much. The reality is that there may not be much out there for minimal investment. There is certainly nothing on the free agent market. How many teams need to unload an up and coming slugger right now? You going to give up Hill or Perkins or League or Lily or Rios or some combo thereof for him? I expect that is what JP is getting on the phone.

Given the state of the team (waiting for prospects to develop) and the fact the they have lots of extra money, $4 million for Shea is okay. Most importantly, it does not set you back on your plan , whereas taking a gamble on a Pickering might cost you some good prospects. One of Hillenbrand, Hinske or Koskie would likely have some trade value by midseason as well. Once injuries occur to contenders some of these teams could get a lot more willing to deal good prospects to fill a hole.

Perhaps it is simply the case that JP is doing the best job right now by simply being patient and making low risk purchases.
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:56 PM EST (#5974) #
Ducey, you're smart and eloquent.
Couldn't agree more.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:58 PM EST (#5975) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=5341
You know Jonny your right about Sturtze after further examination, his regular season numbers were poor, his post season numbers which were the basis of my mild praise were actually not too bad, still its hard to argue this guy deserves a million bucks.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 04:59 PM EST (#5976) #
Why would anyone be upset about getting a hitter that finished the year at .310, and drove in 80 runs? And, plays hard and gritty?

It depends on his role in the lineup. If Hillenbrand was a middle infielder with a good glove, I'd be giddy with joy myself.

But on this team, he'd be asked to fill a key offensive slot, and he's just not that good a hitter. If he had just a little more pop (career high in HRs is 20) or just a little more discipline (career high in BB is 25)...

Although, in fairness, while 80 RBI really isn't very impressive for a 1B/DH in this day and age, on the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks... it's pretty awesome, actually.

He has no platoon differential at all, which is a good thing if you want to play him every day, and a bad thing if you want to somehow maximize what he can do.

Last year he was a monster at home and pretty bad on the road, but that has not been the case in the past (despite playing his whole career in very good hitter's parks.)

I dunno. Pickings are pretty slim at the moment.
_Caino - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:13 PM EST (#5977) #
""Why would anyone be upset about getting a hitter that finished the year at .310, and drove in 80 runs? And, plays hard and gritty?""

These are precisly not the reasons I know alot of people would select a player based on.

However, even if his more vital stats were not ideal, I.E. a first baseman who has a sup .800 OPS over his career, you need to look at his acquisition in the conext of what else is available.

Me personally, I don't know the ins and outs of the current market, but if Hillenbrand is the best you can get, then he is the best you can get. Perhaps we could get a better guy by trading top prospects, but at this point in time that is not practical.
_Mick - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:13 PM EST (#5978) #
Thread up.

Thomas, is this the gangsta-blogga equivalent of "Word up!"?
_MatO - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:18 PM EST (#5979) #
Ducey, you wrote exactly what I was thinking, as long as he's available on the cheap. Other than taking a flyer on Juan-Gon there's nothing out there for free. With money to spend and nothing to spend it on, a short term deal with Hillenbrand at $4M isn't a big deal.
_Magpie - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:18 PM EST (#5980) #
if Hillenbrand is the best you can get, then he is the best you can get.

Word, bro'.

I've suggested elsewhere taking a flier on someone like Juan Gonzalez hoping that he does a 1998 Canseco for you, and takes his act somewhere else the next year.

But that would be very much taking a chance and hoping to catch a little lightning. And to what end? Are the Jays expecting to contend in 2005?

Hillenbrand does provide a degree of certainty (as certain as you get in this game, anyway.) He has been consistent at his levels, and he's been able to stay in the lineup. And these things seem to be important to Ricciardi at the moment with all the unproven young players starting to arrive at the door.
_Ryan C - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:26 PM EST (#5981) #
What's the status of Ben Grieve? He looks to be still available and might be a nice signing.
_Paul D - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST (#5982) #
Does Hillenbrand look like he'll outperform Pickering or Howard? If not, is the extra 3 million you'd pay for him worth more than the mid level prospects you'd give up to get one of those two guys (assuming they're available).

What about Crozier? Does Hillenbrand project to outperfrom him? You've already got Hinske to play third base, at least Crozier can also play left.
_MatO - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 05:34 PM EST (#5983) #
As for Sweeney, he hasn't had a full season since 2001. Last year it was a herniated disk and he's make $11M per year until 2007. I'm not sure KC can pay enough of his salary to take on that risk.
_Scott - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 06:12 PM EST (#5984) #
Adam Katz, Hillenbrand's agent, was just on Prime Time Sports and indicated that he did not know anything (other than the media reports) about the Jays acquiring Shea. It was hard to tell if he was just dodging the question or telling the truth. Combine that with the uncharacteristic "no comment" from JP in the Blair article and you could speculate that a larger trade may happen.
_Rob - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:07 PM EST (#5985) #
Jack Morris was on Primetime around...6:30? He sounded bitter that he wasn't in the Hall yet, saying that if he pitched Game 7 in 1991 with the Yankees instead of the Twins, he'd already be in. He denied that he was bitter, but anyone listening could tell. Morris was openly upset about Bert Blyleven not being voted in as of yet, though.

He also said Wade Boggs was basically a singles hitter, and he didn't mind facing him if there was nobody in scoring position. He declined to answer most of the questions, as any ballplayer would do ("Who doesn't deserve to be in the HOF?" was one), but he jumped all over that one about Boggs.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 08:58 PM EST (#5986) #
taking a gamble on a Pickering might cost you some good prospects.

I don't know why you think Pickering might cost you good prospects (unlike say Ryan Howard or even Bucky Jacobson). Every indication is that he's not in KC's plan, and even when he was killing AAA last year they didn't call him up until late in the year. He doesn't have a major league track record, is relatively old, and has bounced around a few organizations.

I suspect he would cost a similar level prospect as Hillenbrand would.
_sweat - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:35 PM EST (#5987) #
I see the Jays landing one of these uber-1b-prospects close to the trade deadline. If(for some people, when) the jays are out of the race, and any one of these teams with these UFBP guys around(phi, ana, LA) that have a pitcher go down, might get a little desperate and overpay for a batista or pay bigtime for Lilly. The time to trade a top notch pitcher is at the trade deadline, when one team is desperate, and thats when i think it will happen.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:50 PM EST (#5988) #
Things have been quiet the last few days on Yawkey Way, with general manager Theo Epstein actually rumored to have taken a couple of days off. He was back at work yesterday, with some unfinished business before the Sox open spring training next month. The Blue Jays, who need a righthanded-hitting first baseman and DH, talked to the Sox about Kevin Millar, but the sides didn't match up.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:51 PM EST (#5989) #
That was from the Boston Globe today.
_dave501 - Tuesday, January 04 2005 @ 09:56 PM EST (#5990) #
i'd much rather have juan Gon at less then or equal to $4M than Shea at $4M and loss of a mid level pitching prospect (say Marcum or James for argument sake).
Sweeney for Hinske and gross would be good but i can't see kc including much cash in the deal if they're also taking on hinske's large contract.
_miVulgar - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 12:09 AM EST (#5991) #
i'd much rather have juan Gon at less then or equal to $4M than Shea at $4M and loss of a mid level pitching prospect (say Marcum or James for argument sake).

I know it's enticing to imagine a productive Juan Gonzalez in the middle of the lineup, but over the past 3 years, he has had 277, 327, and 127 ABs with corresponding OPS' of .776, .901, .767.

He turns 36 years old in 2005.

I wouldn't touch him.

Hillenbrand is 30 years old in 2005, has been healthy and has at least shown he can capably hit major league pitching... I can't recall the exact quote, but JP was lamenting the fact that the Jays didn't have enough players who could flat out hit in the lineup by the end of the season.

Sure, Hillenbrand's .288/.322/.448 career line is not ideal, but these are not ideal times for the Jays. I'd take a flyer on him.
_Jacko - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 03:08 AM EST (#5992) #
Is it me, or is there a dearth of quality righthanded hitters out there? 90% of the time a spare part for 1B/DH/LF is suggested, they bat LH:

Ben Grieve
Ryan Howard
Calvin Pickering
Brad Fullmer
Eric Munson

It really is too bad the Jays didn't make a stronger run at Dustan Mohr. He signed for a measly 900K with the Rockies after being non-tendered by the Giants. You'd think they Jays would have been willing to offer a little more, given how perfectly he matches their needs. Down the road, when this is less relevant, it would be very interesting to ask JP or Keith Law what happened there. Ditto for AJP if they Jays fail to sign him. Eli Marrero is another guy who would have fit in perfectly. The pitching prospect the Royals gave up to get him from Atlanta wasn't anything special.

While I like the awesome potential that Pickering shows, he bats left and the Jays need another righthanded bat. That, and the Royals are probably a lot higher on Pickering than Harvey right now, and would be more inclined to trade Harvey.

The Phillies see Howard as a "premium prospect", and are content to see him rot in the minors if they can't get what they believe is fair value. Unfortunately, the rest of MLB sees him for what he really is -- a high risk power hitting prospect who is blocked until at least 2008. It's sad, but Howard may not get a shot at a starting job until he becomes a six-year minor league free agent (2007 I think).

Fullmer and Grieve are both ok hitters, but they can't really field. Munson's hitting hasn't quite come around, and he makes Hinske look like a gold glover.

Jacobsen (who actually bats righthanded) did enough in his brief trial this year that I think the Mariners are going to try him out at DH. He can't really field, and Edgar Martinez is retired.

Chris Shelton is someone who doesn't appear to fit into the Tigers' immediate plans. I wonder if the Jays could tempt them into swapping him for a pitching prospect. Or maybe a 3B who's in need for a change of scenery? Now that Munson has been run out of town, the Tigers are not quite sure how they are going to fill their vacancy at 3B. I've seen Hinske's name mentioned in Detroit newspapers. A Shelton/Hinske (or Inge/Hinske) swap might make a lot of sense for both teams. If not Shelton, the Tigers might be interested in dealing Craig "sticky fingers" Monroe or Marcus Thames.
_Jonny German - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 09:22 AM EST (#5993) #
http://bigleaguers.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/6789/splits?year=2004&type=Batting
It really is too bad the Jays didn't make a stronger run at Dustan Mohr. He signed for a measly 900K with the Rockies after being non-tendered by the Giants. You'd think they Jays would have been willing to offer a little more, given how perfectly he matches their needs.

The Jays need a right-handed hitter with a reverse platoon split? It's not just the 738 vs L / 899 vs R OPS split from last year - his career totals 1045 AB with a 722 vs L / 773 vs R OPS split.
_Jacko - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 10:53 AM EST (#5994) #

The Jays need a right-handed hitter with a reverse platoon split? It's not just the 738 vs L / 899 vs R OPS split from last year - his career totals 1045 AB with a 722 vs L / 773 vs R OPS split.

Whoops, I forgot that Mohr was weird that way.

Does the Tigers/Hinske idea sound at all plausible?
_JC - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 12:03 PM EST (#5995) #
I forgot where I saw it, so hang me from the rafters if you want for repeating an "unconfirmed" report, but some website mentioned this morning that Adam Peterson would be the one going to AZ for Hillebrand.

No sir, I don't like it.
_JC - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 12:06 PM EST (#5996) #
Nevermind.

Just saw it in the other thread.
_dave501 - Wednesday, January 05 2005 @ 05:41 PM EST (#5997) #
sweeeet, good riddance peterson.
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