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Today, we have revenge of the big guys. Sure, Cecil Fielder, Ernie Lombardi and John Kruk would never make the cover of GQ, but they could hit. Compare them to their vertically endowed counterparts like Enos Cabell, who at 6'5", 180 barely caused a ripple when he stepped on the scale. Enos was a "we" ballplayer (you might be too if there was so little "I" to you), but didn't hit much. So,
today's question is:

"Which thin guys were truly in (could hit or pitch well)?"

We'll start the roundup with a Spencer Fordin piece on the Jay catching situation. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Gregg Zaun may indeed have re-signed with the club.
Thursday's Make Your Own Roundup/QOTD-Thin is in? | 176 comments | Create New Account
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_Sean - TBG - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 09:38 AM EST (#5486) #
http://www.torontobaseballguys.com
Alex Rios has to be on that list, as does Randy Johnson. Probably half the players before 1985 would make it too, if you ever watch a re-broadcast game its amazing how much bigger modern ballplayers appear.
_Tyler - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 09:59 AM EST (#5487) #
Alex Rios has to be on that list

Just as soon as he shows he can hit at a major league level. Good point about how the players have changed though-it's bizarre seeing how small the guys from the early days were. (By "early days", I mean pre-1990)
_Matthew E - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST (#5488) #
Also the young Tony Fernandez. Except for his head.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:05 AM EST (#5489) #
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/belated-hall-of-fame-thoughts/
Great article by Gleeman today in the Hardball Times (COMN), mostly dealing with Jack Morris vs. Bert Blyleven as Hall of Fame candidates. He points out the huge differences between their career lines for the two, and it got me thinking "What would Morris have to do to match Blyleven's career line?"

It's not such an easy task... Old Jack needs to start another 158 games, 67 of which will be complete games and 32 of those being shutouts. He'll pitch 1146 innings and strike out 1223 - a 9.60 K/9 compared to his actual career rate of 5.83 K/9. His ERA will be a miniscule 1.34. And here's the real kicker: Jack stands almost no chance of winning a game if he gives up any runs at all. He'll win 33 games, just one more win that shutouts, and he'll lose 64 for a .340 winning percentage.

1146 innings with a 1.34 ERA and a 9.60 K/9 sounds an awful lot like a Hall of Fame calibre closer. Mariano Rivera to this point in his career is at 728 IP, 2.43 ERA, 8.01 K/9. And the 336 saves.

Another way to look at it: If it takes him 5 years to amass the additional 158 starts, Jack's yearly line will be 32 GS, 13 CG, 6 SHO, 229 IP, 1.34 ERA, 9.60 K/9. Pedro Martinez' 2000 season went 29 GS, 7 CG, 4 SHO, 217 IP, 1.74 ERA, 11.78 K/9.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:12 AM EST (#5490) #
So I guess we'll know in about an hour whether or not the Green deal goes through?

At this point in the off-season, I am extremely anxious to see any type of move by the Jays, and also what this Hillenbrand deal means to the team in the larger picture,

Can you imagine J.P.'s frustration if yet another one of his game plans falls through? I'd be pulling my hair out after losing out on Clement, Kline, Carlos Lee, and now Hillenbrand.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:13 AM EST (#5491) #
Also, great news about Zaun, if indeed true!
_Sean - TBG - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:19 AM EST (#5492) #
http://www.torontobaseballguys.com
Point taken Tyler, I thought of Alex Rios becuase he SO SKINNY! The hitting will come, but the skinny is already here.

I don't know what that's supposed to mean either.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:22 AM EST (#5493) #
I wouldn't lose any hair over Hillenbrand, and I wouldn't be surprised if the rumours were off-base. I'll be very disappointed if it does go down and it is indeed Peterson for Hillenbrand straight up.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:31 AM EST (#5494) #
Johnny,

I would be shocked if they weren't true. Jeff Blair has been dead on thos off-season. When referring to the deal, he didn't say may, or could, but said "will result in Hillenbrand becoming a Jay".

You would be more in favour of the aquisition it allowed J.P. to get rid of Hinske? I'm thinking that could be the result of this deal.
Gerry - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:31 AM EST (#5495) #
Casey Fossum disappears when he stands sideways. Among Blue Jays Josh Towers is pretty thin.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:38 AM EST (#5496) #
Pumped, I trust Jeff Blair far more than most Toronto sportswriters, and I'm not saying I'll be shocked if Hillenbrand becomes a Blue Jay. I simply expect there would be more to it. I liken it to rumours right before Justin Speier became a Blue Jay - It was said to be Reed Johnson going the other way. Not only the wrong player, there was a third team involved.
Pistol - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:46 AM EST (#5497) #
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/050106preaa.html
COMN for Baseball America's preseason All America team. Those that are listed as juniors will be draft eligible this year.

And here's a post I put up a couple months back looking at some of the top candidates for the Jays pick at #6.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:51 AM EST (#5498) #
Fair enough Johnny!

I hope you are right, and there is some more to it. If anything, I'm anxious for this to go through so we can all stop speculating on what it all means.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:58 AM EST (#5499) #
Further to Jonny's point, initial reports had Hillenbrand (and his projected $4 million salary) coming to Toronto for a minor league prospect. Later reports had Hillenbrand and $1.5 million coming to Toronto for Adam Peterson. If it ultimately ends up as, say, Hillenbrand and $2.5 million coming to Toronto for Brian Reed, my view of the deal would be changed.

We'll wait and see.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:10 AM EST (#5500) #
Ewell Blackwell and Kent Texulve were nicknamed "The Whip" and "The Stork," respectively, which should give you some idea of their body type. And the young Dave Concepcion; they used the say that when he and Pete Rose stood next to each other it looked like the number 10.
_Dan Gordon - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:30 AM EST (#5501) #
Yes, Kent Tekulve was one of the skinniest players I ever saw. He was listed at 6 ft 4 in, 175 lbs, but that must have been while wearing full uniform, including glove and a few baseballs in the glove.

As far as high quality skinny players are concerned, Ted Williams wasn't called the Slendid Splinter for nothing when he was a young guy. One of the best hitters of all time. Some say the best.

Eric Davis was an extremely talented guy who just couldn't stay healthy, and his fragility may have had something to do with his being so skinny.

I remember when Darryl Strawberry first came into the bigs he was a real beanpole.
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:47 AM EST (#5502) #
He was listed at 6 ft 4 in, 175 lbs, but that must have been while wearing full uniform, including glove and a few baseballs in the glove.

That's really skinny, even for a pitcher. I'm a shade under 6'4" and 170lb and could probably lose 15lbs before I got really sick, but I'm also about as strong as a 14 year old girl. Tekulve's legs alone must have had at least 8lbs more muscle in them than mine, so he must have had all of about 3-4% body fat when he started out.
_Jonathan - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:48 AM EST (#5503) #
I'd be very dissapointed if the Jays ended up with Hillenbrand. I recognize that the off-season has not worked out as planned; the bidding for players has been higher than expected and thus knocked the Jays out. But, if we are all to believe in JP's vision, then, any sign of Shea in a Jay uni would be a total reversal of his strategy - even if it is a stop-gap move for one year. Shea is a player regularly labelled as an anti- 'Moneyball' player. His total lack of BBs, lack of power, make him nothing more than a more expensive F-Cat. I'd rather the Jays use the money allocated for Shea's salary, to be used towards a trade aimed at a player with too high a salary that has greater upside (if some question marks - like an Aubrey Huff, Hee Sop Choi, etc). Shea will do nothing for this team and would represent a rift in the trust JP and managment has cultivated among the fans (that are left) - his vision a Jays team that can compete on a tight budget fashioned around smart signings and player development would be hijaked for Gord Ash-type signings that brought mediocre players to Toronto. We all know this did nothing for the team in the AL East standings and even less for its' *vibrant* fan base. Any sign of Shea in a Jays' uniform would leave me less supportive of JP, and would confirm my creeping thoughts that even the best of GMs have little vision and simply pick and choose from what talent (or lack thereof) is available.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:52 AM EST (#5504) #
I'll be more than happy with Hillenbrand (and the rumoured $1.5 million cash) for Peterson, IF Hinske turns into Ugie Urbina.
Then I'd like to see some of that dough spent on AJ Peer-Zin-Ski. Despite the rumours of him being an ass in the locker room, I'd still consider him a HUGE upgrade over 'Flash-In'The-Pan Zaun'.

That would make offseason aquisitions:
Koskie
Hillenbrand
Urbina
Peer-Zin-Ski

I like it.
I like it a lot.

Grand Funk out.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:54 AM EST (#5505) #
Davis and Strawberry are bound up in my memories. They came out of the same neighbourhood in LA, with fairly similar physiques, although Davis was obviously thinner. Both had a nice power/speed combination, with Davis having an accent on the speed and Strawberry on the power. They both had early battles with cancer.

For those who didn't have the benefit of seeing the young Eric Davis, he was something to watch. In addition to the speed and power, he had tremendous leaping ability. One year, he brought back 10 (I believe) balls from over the fence (Bill James joked about a HRS-home runs saved- stat).
_Jonathan - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:05 PM EST (#5506) #
Following on my last post, I wonder what players may be available in a trade. For one of the first times in recent memory, the Jays are looking to take on salary. There's got to be some players out there that either have too large a salary, face a position log-jam or have question marks around them. The Jays are not in a position to acquire stellar players, people and citizens - I think they must take some calculated risks. This may come in the form of taking on a salary, dealing with a question-mark player or rolling the dice on a player oft-injured in the past. Can we make a list of players that me be easily tradeable from other teams for any number of reasons?

Here's my initial list:
--H.S. Choi (young on a team stocking up; still has some question marks lingering regarding his suitability as an everyday player)
--Ryan Klesko (had horrible season in SD)
Aubrey Huff (salary is rising on a team that has an increasing number of options at 1B, 3B and OF)
--Julio Lugo (development of Upton and recent signing of A-Gone may end up in Lugo's squeeze for playing time)
--Placido Polanco (must be offered arbitration by Phils, but does not have a place to play on the team)
--Austin Kearns (injuries and an OF log-jam)
--Alfonso Soriano (surely the hardest to trade for, but huge upside....fly ball hitter would be in the Skydome. Been on the block unoffiially for a while, with a large salary. Could be had for less after a sub-par season)
--Jeff DaVanon (loggjams in OF mean good players are available from the Angels, a team that incresingly signs FAs along with the big boys and will not have youngsters in starting roles)
--Mike Sweeney (much discussed. Don't need to say more)
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:10 PM EST (#5507) #
Mike, I was in Ohio when Davis came up and he was so obviously, clearly headed to the Hall of Fame that I would've bet my house on it (of course, I didn't own a house at the time, but ...) He plays CF and leads off for the All-Time "How did he not make it?" team. He was, as Marty Brenneman would tell us, "the compensation this generation gets for not seeing Willie Mays." Eric Davis not in the Hall of Fame? Tell me that in 1988 and it's like today saying "A-Rod is good, but he's not going to end up in Cooperstown." And I'm only exaggerating a tiny bit.

Moffatt: I'm also about as strong as a 14 year old girl.

As a former high school girls basketball coach who only had eight on the roster, I practiced enough with my team to say with confidence and remembrance of bruises past ... that can be pretty damn strong!
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:10 PM EST (#5508) #
Jonathon,

I'd say no to Huff, and Kearns, as there asking prices seem too high, especially Huff.

Soriano, no thanks.

Hee-Sop Choi will be available if the Green trade doesn't go throuh, but there may be a number of teams that enquire about him.

Sweeney is my pick if K.C. is willing to absorb some salary over the next couple of years. I think that K.C. is so desperate to unload his contract that it wouldn't take much at all to get him.
_Lefty - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:19 PM EST (#5509) #
I threw in the name of Ryan Ludwick at the tail end of the previous thread.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:24 PM EST (#5510) #
Soriano insists he will only play 2B, which seems an unlikely fit for the Blue Jays. Of course, I bet the Rangers would gladly have an all ex-Jay DP combo of Young and Hudson ...
_Jordan - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:24 PM EST (#5511) #
For those who didn't have the benefit of seeing the young Eric Davis, he was something to watch.

In 1986, as a 24-year-old, Davis cranked out 27 homers, walked 68 times and stole 80 bases in just 415 at-bats. In 1987, he bashed 37 homers, walked 84 times and stole 50 bases in 474 AB. Already somewhat injury-prone, Davis injured his kidney making a diving catch in centerfield in the 1988 World Series and never did get it all together afterwards. What might have been.

Weird fact: for all his speed on the basepaths, Davis finished his career with more HRs (282) than doubles and triples combined (265).
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:26 PM EST (#5512) #
Julio Lugo would be a decent caddy for Adams at SS and the oft-injured and challenged vs LHP Koskie at 3B.

I think Anaheim/LA hangs onto Davanon due to his low price tag, Anderson's injuries in 2004, Finley's age and the lack of a DH on the team (perhaps players will be rotated through the position, freeing Davanon up to play a lot of OF).

I don't agree that Soriano has a bunch of upside. He turns 29 tomorrow and did not have great numbers given his home park. Given his challenges defensively, I think he is bound to be overpaid.

I like Polanco and can't fathom the league-wide indifference to him this off-season. I think he does play ahead of Utley though.

I like the idea of Choi, but there seems to be a broader feeling that he's more likely to morph into Giambi the younger rather than Giambi the elder. Still, I'd prefer to see Choi than Hillenbrand, even given his flame-out potential.

I am intrigued by Kearns who appears to be on the JD Drew track of battling injuries every single season. I still think he's got huge upside and, as with Choi, would love to see him given a shot in Toronto, even with the risk that he won't continue to develop.

Mike Sweeney has been mentioned numerous time. Doesn't he have some weird clause whereby if he gets traded, he gets an automatic extension or pay hike or something? I think that Sweeney's past is behind him, so to speak. He's just too high an injury risk given his price tag, even if KC were to pay part of his freight.
Named For Hank - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:32 PM EST (#5513) #
Shea will do nothing for this team and would represent a rift in the trust JP and managment has cultivated among the fans

Come on -- making one decision that you don't agree with will make the fans hate the Jays management? I'd hope that most of us are a lot less fair-weather than that.

Last year's bad showing is far more likely to alienate fanbase than the signing of one player.

And "Moneyball" players vs non-"Moneyball" players: did I miss the press conference where J.P. stood up at the mic and divided players into two groups and then said "I will only acquire players from group A, and if I ever sign a player from group B I will have discarded my vision for building this ballclub"?

I can see arguments against getting Hillenbrand based on cost and based on his numbers. Those make some kind of sense to me. And if he's a more expensive version of Cat, well, Cat was a great asset to the Jays in '03 when he was healthy, and so far all reports include the Jays getting money back in the Hillenbrand deal. So, how much money do the Jays need to get back for him to be worthwhile?

The only time I think that you can validly divide players into two groups and then say you only want players from one of those groups are when the groups are "good" and "bad".
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#5514) #

Julio Lugo would be a decent caddy for Adams at SS and the oft-injured and challenged vs LHP Koskie at 3B.

Chuck, from what I've been reading, the Rays intend to send Upton back to AAA to work on his throwing. Which means that they'll be keeping Julio Lugo for now. He might become available in June or July, once Upton comes back to the majors.
_Lefty - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:43 PM EST (#5515) #
The only time I think that you can validly divide players into two groups and then say you only want players from one of those groups are when the groups are "good" and "bad".

Isn't this exactly what the Jays management are doing in view of ownerships budget constraints? Fielding a non competitive team for the 2005 season.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:44 PM EST (#5516) #
Chuck,

I believe his clause was that if K.C. did not reach .500 by a certain year, then they had to trade him.

You're right though, Sweeney would be a huge risk. His number of games played has decreased each of the last four years. I believe his major problem has been his back.

That being said, he still hit 22 homers and had 79 RBI last year, and a .347 OBP in 106 games. And he is only 31 still.

Not sure what % of games over the last couple of years he has played at first vs. DH, but maybe a role as a permanent DH would help with some of his health issues.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:50 PM EST (#5517) #
http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/sweenmi01.shtml
COMN for Mike Sweeney's BR page. Under fielding, one has his games played by position. He's DHed slightly more often than he has played first base for each of the last couple of seasons.
_Jim - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:54 PM EST (#5518) #
I was watching game 2 from the 75 series the other night. Bench made an awesome play on a Bill Lee bunt. He was so quick it was a joy to watch.
Gitz - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:55 PM EST (#5519) #
As my "bio" on the roster page says, Eric Davis is one of my two all-time favorite players. During one off-season when I was working out, I tried to emulate his quirky batting stance, and wow. I thought I had strong and quick wrists, but they were a fraction of Davis's, obviously. Sure, he may have been somewhat vulnerable to a good high fastball, but that can be said for 90 percent of major-league hitters, even the truly great ones not named Bonds. (Where is his weakness, anyway? 14 feet over his head?)

Davis was an electric player, pure and simple. I wonder where he ranks among the legions of stunted careers. That would be an interesting QOTD, and just an interesting question, period.
Gitz - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 12:59 PM EST (#5520) #
As for other skinny players ... that Ichiro guy is OK. If you've ever seen him in person, you'd know that he's actually thinner and shorter than you'd expect. But he's also got power, generated by ... well, I'm not sure how he does it. I'm not one of those who thinks he could hit 25 home runs if he tried, but when he hits it right, the ball jumps off his bat.
_Jonathan - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:01 PM EST (#5521) #
Come on -- making one decision that you don't agree with will make the fans hate the Jays management? I'd hope that most of us are a lot less fair-weather than that.

True...every team will make bad decisions. But is a player that is regularly derided as someone over-hyped and with little value above replacement level. You're right to say that fans including myself would have management for such a trade, but it would send a big mixed message as to what this team is try to achieve. Are we looking to acquire players that bring us closer to mediocrity? If so, Shea is your man. I've seen enough such play in Toronto over the past ten years to know that this trade would do nothing to help the club while confusing the team's loyal fan base as to what type of team it is trying to field.
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:01 PM EST (#5522) #
Arizona is trying to trade for Green who will make an obscene amount of money, and get rid of Hillenbrand while paying part of his much smaller one year deal.

The funny thing is, Green's OPS over the last two years is the same as Hillenbrands from last year.

Moneyball isn't necessarily about players that walk a lot, it's about OBP and getting cheaper replacement players who will achieve equivelant production. Hillenbrand had a .350 OBP last season and the Jays will only have to pay $2.5 million for him. He is exactly the type of player that could be considered a moneyball player.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:06 PM EST (#5523) #
Gitz, we ran a very similar QOTD to what you propose a while back, but less about stunted greatness than misperception.
Gitz - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:11 PM EST (#5524) #
Awww, shucks.
Named For Hank - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:13 PM EST (#5525) #
Jonathan, admittedly I don't know much at all about Hillenbrand, but is he really as bad as you're getting at?
_Marc - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:30 PM EST (#5526) #
Couple things...

Shea hit .310 last year with 80 RBIs. Are you telling me this is not a valuable player whatsoever (especially given the mediocrity of the current Jays roster)? There were only 23 players in the MAJOR LEAGUES who had a better average than Shea did.... out of some 250 regular hitters. He may not walk a lot but his on base average isn't terrible when you consider he gets on base by actually getting hits. Sure a nice average isn't everything, but it sure doesn't hurt.

Second of all, I don't understand why people think the Rays suddenly have an over-abundance of infielders. With Gonzalez, I count Cantu, Lugo and Upton (along with Eduardo Perez who can play 1B/3B/LF/RF but is mainly a pinch hitter). That leaves three of them to man 2B/3B/SS and one bench player, plus Perez. And that's if Upton doesn't start in the minors.
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:31 PM EST (#5527) #
What I like most about Hillenbrand is his consistancy in all environments. If you look at his three year splits, you will find the following:

home avg. = .295
road avg. = .294
vs. LHP avg. = .299
vs. RHP avg. = .293

All of these talks may be moot because ESPN radio is saying that the Green trade may have fallen through.
Pistol - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:31 PM EST (#5528) #
IF Hinske turns into Ugie Urbina

Why would the Tigers be interested in anything resembling a trade like that?

Urbina is underpaid, relative to closers signed this offseason, and there's several teams that would be willing to trade for him - like the Cubs - that would give up a lot more than a 3B that hit like a light hitting SS last year, even before considering Hinske's salary.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:31 PM EST (#5529) #
I've had Hillenbrand on my fantasy teams in the past, and have always been more than satisfied with his production.

Grand Funk out.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:33 PM EST (#5530) #
Jim Caple today:

Minnesota, in fact, won two World Series in five years. Yet by 1995, a terrible stretch of seasons for the Twins -- with plenty more on the way -- made those championships seem as if they had never happened. Fans quit coming to the ballpark. So winning big in a couple of years doesn't help much when you're stuck in the middle of a decade in last place.

As Red Sox fans are only too happy to tell you, winning the World Series can bring comfort to a lot of cold winters. But winning doesn't feel as good as losing feels bad.


Sound familiar, Blue Jay fans? Is Caple right?
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:41 PM EST (#5531) #
I think the best thing that can happen to a franchise is if they consistantly come close to winning, but don't actually win.
1) Look at the Maple Leafs
2) The Jays consistantly coming close in the early 80's is what caused mass attendance at the Jays games. They consistantly drew more fans with each season.
3) This is one of the reasons the Red Sox were so popular in Boston, now that they have won, it doesn't seem as important to live and die with their team.
4) The Cubs
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:49 PM EST (#5532) #
http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp.cgi?I=hillesh02:Shea+Hillenbrand&st=age&age=28&compage=28
COMN for Shea Hillenbrand's comparables. Rip Repulski and Troy O'Leary are excellent comps. It's certainly possible, but not likely, that Hillenbrand could hit .310/.350/.450 next year. It's more likely to be .290/.330/.430. This would be all right for a third baseman, but not so for a first baseman.

The point is that a GM should be able to fashion production better than .290/.330/.430 from a first baseman (or a platoon) without spending $2.5 million.
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:49 PM EST (#5533) #

Why would the Tigers be interested in anything resembling a trade like that?

Urbina is underpaid, relative to closers signed this offseason, and there's several teams that would be willing to trade for him - like the Cubs - that would give up a lot more than a 3B that hit like a light hitting SS last year, even before considering Hinske's salary.

Well, for one thing, the Tigers signed a new closer, Troy Percival. Urbina wasn't exactly lights out last year as a closer either. A lot of GM's who don't look too closely at OPS see Hinske as a league average 3B. His defense is much better than it used to be, and he can probably be counted on for 15-20 HR and 80 RBI.

The Tigers are also a little concerned about Urbina's family issues -- isn't his mother still being held for ransom by kidnappers? Since they jettisoned Munson, the Tigers are in the market for a 3B. The salaries are basically a wash, which is important for lower budget teams like the Jays and Tigers.

The Tigers also have a bunch of righthanded power hitters who would fit nicely into the Jays left leaning lineup. Any of Craig Monroe, Marcus Thames, or Chris Shelton would look great in a Jays uniform.

There seems to be a pretty nice fit here. I hope this is one of the angles that the Jays are pursuing this offseason.
_jsoh - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 01:56 PM EST (#5534) #
Hillebrand is Catalanotto with less positional flexibility. A more expensive Catalanotto for that matter.

He is exactly the type of player that could be considered a moneyball player.

I'd dispute this. IMO, the definition you gave for Moneyballism is only half right - its about identifying undervalued attributes, which can then be obtained at a below average cost.

When Beane first talked to Lewis, it just happened to be that OBP was undervalued, both by the casual baseball fan, and by other GMs. Thus, for a team with financial constraints, it made sense for Beane to hoover up all those OBP fiends for relatively cheap. It didnt precisely hurt that OBP happens to correlate better to runs scored than BA does.

Now. 4-5 years after the fact, I doubt that anyone could argue that the notion of OBP is undervalued in the current marketplace. What precisely is, is a matter for debate, but it certainly isnt OBP.

When I look at Hillebrand, I see a league-average hitter who's value is mostly driven by his BA, rather than OBP or SLG. If he's not hitting .310-.320, then he's not going to be worth all that much, and I'm not convinced that he's gonna be able to continue doing that.

As other people have pointed out, acquiring Shea would seem to fall into movement-for-motion's-sake camp.

NFH: Shea gets a awful bad rap based on his time in BOS when played the role of anti-clutch. If you needed a strikeout or a DP, then Shea's your man. He never walked much, so when Epstein traded him for BK Kim, seamheads took that as validation of his non-worth
Gitz - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#5535) #
... it made sense for Beane to hoover up all those OBP fiends for relatively cheap.

Remind me who these were?
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:04 PM EST (#5536) #
Anyone know what Shea's Skydome stats are?

Grand Funk Railroad.
_Daryn - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:06 PM EST (#5537) #
I'd dispute this. IMO, the definition you gave for Moneyballism is only half right - its about identifying undervalued attributes, which can then be obtained at a below average cost.

I would too... I read the MoneyBall concept to be looking at guys that have reasonable value but are considered "undesirable" for some reason and deciding if you can live with that issue or not...

Speaking of undesirable... I just saw where our dear Alex Gonzalez signed with TB, and according to RotoTimes will play 3rd... it doesn't seem to be a good use of a glove, nor a sufficiently good bat for the position...
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:10 PM EST (#5538) #
The point is that a GM should be able to fashion production better than .290/.330/.430 from a first baseman (or a platoon) without spending $2.5 million

I have looked at the alternatives and feel that A) they will cost a hell of a lot more than $2.5 million or B) they won't even match the production that you have listed above.

Please, suggest alternatives.

its about identifying undervalued attributes, which can then be obtained at a below average cost

I feel Hillenbrand fits into this description. With all the negative press he has received, I truely believe he is undervalued. Also, the attributes that other teams are overlooking are his ability to put the ball in play (low strike out to BB ratio) and maintain an acceptable OBP.
_jsoh - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:12 PM EST (#5539) #
Remind me who these were?

Well. I was thinking about Giambi the Younger and his pursuit of Moby Durazo.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#5540) #
Right on DeMarco.

Everyone is going on about what a bad move this is, and you just asked the same question I've asked before. Possible alternatives...?

I'd like to add something to your list: C) That won't cost you major or better prospects
_jsoh - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:20 PM EST (#5541) #
his ability to put the ball in play (low strike out to BB ratio)

I'm not quite sure I follow this. In the last two years, Shea's had a 3:1 and 2:1 K/BB ratio - this speaks more to a lack of adequate plate discipline than anything else.

Now. He does have a ~1:10 (BB+K)/AB ratio, and 3.39 P/PA which does indicate a more of BIP kind of guy.

According to THT, his BABIP last year was .319. Which seems not only high, but unsustainable.
_Hosken_Powell_F - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:20 PM EST (#5542) #
The Diamondbacks website is reporting that the team failed to reach an agreement with Green by the deadline, that the two sides were far apart, that it is unclear whether they will seek a deadline extention, and that Arizona may go after Burnitz instead.
Unfortunately, this could be the end of all the Hillenbrand talk.
_jsoh - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#5543) #
his BABIP last year was .319. Which seems not only high,

Gak. I retract this partially. I was thinking pitchers, for which .319 BABIP is high. Never mind.
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:27 PM EST (#5544) #
I'm not quite sure I follow this. In the last two years, Shea's had a 3:1 and 2:1 K/BB ratio - this speaks more to a lack of adequate plate discipline than anything else

My mistake, I'm so used to discussing the relevance of this stat in regards to pitchers. I meant to say K to AB ratio.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:35 PM EST (#5545) #
As I pointed out yesterday, Hinske (despite his two off-years) has produced more than Hillenbrand against righties over the last 3 years. Hinske's salary is sunk cost. So, you're looking for a right-handed first baseman who can give you 200 plate appearances against lefties with an OBP of .330 and a slugging percentage of .430, and you'd like to spend less than 2.5 million. I'd bet that Jason Dubois could do that.
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:46 PM EST (#5546) #

Everyone is going on about what a bad move this is, and you just asked the same question I've asked before. Possible alternatives...?

1. Thames/Monroe/Shelton (+ maybe Urbina?) for a prospect (+ maybe Hinske?)

2. Ludwick/Escobar (from CLE) for a prospect.

3. Millar (from BOS) for a prospect.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#5547) #
Hinske and Negron for Urbina and Monroe (BBRS = ... well, I just made it up but I like the idea ;-) )
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:48 PM EST (#5548) #
Jacko sort of quasi-scooped me there... on something I made up. Good times ;-)
Pistol - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:49 PM EST (#5549) #
His defense is much better than it used to be, and he can probably be counted on for 15-20 HR and 80 RBI

You could say the same thing about Eric Munson and the Tigers non-tendered him.
_Ryan B. - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:56 PM EST (#5550) #
Is there any substance to this Urbina trade or is it just you guys talking again?
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:57 PM EST (#5551) #

You could say the same thing about Eric Munson and the Tigers non-tendered him.

Not on defense.

By all accounts, Munson is still pretty brutal with the glove. I agree their hitting record is pretty similar.
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 02:58 PM EST (#5552) #

Is there any substance to this Urbina trade or is it just you guys talking again?

Just talk.

There is no offcial rumour about a Hinske/Urbina trade.
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:00 PM EST (#5553) #
Munson - he had a .289 OBP last season, I don't think he is anywhere the equivelant that Hillenbrand is.
Hinske - he had a .312 OBP and .375 SLG last season, so unless he goes back to doing whatever it was that made him gain all that wait which he lost prior to 2004, I don't like his prospects either.
Millar - I believe the Jays looked at this options and the Sox wanted too much for him

I still feel Hillenbrand is a better option than those suggested.
_DeMarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:07 PM EST (#5554) #
Craig Monroe would be a fine alternative...if you could get him for Adam Peterson or Eric Hiske, which is probably unlikely.
_Dr B - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:09 PM EST (#5555) #
Possible alternatives...?

People have been pointing out that it would be a good move if you played Hillenbrand as a third baseman. He'd be pretty ordinary as a first baseman, even if you platooned him (though I don't think he'd be terrible). The Jays already have two third baseman, so barring another move, this doesn't make obvious sense. But your point is taken: what is the alternative?

Personally I would rather do nothing and give Crozier his chance rather than burn a prospect and cash on Hillenbrand. If you are going to platoon at first base, the Reed Johnson would be comparable against left handers. Reed Johnson 3 year split 835OPS v. left, Hillenbrand 817OPS v. left. Reed Johnson has a smaller sample size, and a pronounce split, but still it shows that Hillenbrand isn't exactly gold.

Quoting Mike Green:
The point is that a GM should be able to fashion production better than .290/.330/.430 from a first baseman (or a platoon) without spending $2.5 million.

Amen to that. Just off the top of my head I'll suggest one half of that platoon. Mr Bobby Kielty. OPS v. left of 889, over 347 at bats. Not enough at bats you might say?

(I would have suggested Brad Fullmer as the other half of a platoon, but I have the nagging feeling me might be entering the Giambi decline phase of his career).
_sweat - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:11 PM EST (#5556) #
speaking of clutch(or the anti-clutch), it would be interesting if the box kept track of clutch situations for blue jay pitchers and hitters. We of course would have to decide throughout the game what each clutch situatuin would be. I personally dontlike the 1st inning with runners in scoring position and two outs to be considered a clutch moment. It would be an interesting study.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST (#5557) #
Agreed ...with anyone who mentioned Millar. I'd love to have him here as the DH.

The consensus amoung Boston fans seems to be that they'd rather keep Doug, due to his defensive abilities. If the Red Sox felt the same way, I find it hard to beleive that they'd be asking that much.

I mean, the 05 roster is already set, so I can't see them wanting anyting more than a prospect in return. Despite recent reports I find it hard to believe that they couldn't find a match between the two organizations.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:18 PM EST (#5558) #
Craig Monroe would be a fine alternative...if you could get him for Adam Peterson or Eric Hiske, which is probably unlikely.

We could probably get Craig Monroe for a leather belt.

Grand Funk out.
_Blue in SK - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:22 PM EST (#5559) #
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/Trades/2005/01/06/813977-ap.html
Well, appears the Tigers have a new back up catcher. COMN

Why is that important to Jay fan's? Because that probably means the Tigers are commited to Brandon Inge (last year's back up to Pudge) as the 3rd baseman, allaying the need/desire to acquire Hinske.

I feel somewhat responsible for the Hinske to Tigers for Urbina discussion, because I threw it out in yesterday's MYOR. I thought it was a good fit, although I had no news source or even rumor mill to substantiate it. At least it generated some discussion.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:22 PM EST (#5560) #
Dr. B,

IMO, either Hinske will be playing first next year, or he will be playing for another team. I always considered the potential aquisiton of Hillenbrand as simply filling the DH slot, not aquiring a legit first baseman.

I think that at this point in time, it's a lot easier to fill the DH slot, than it is to find a DH, first baseman, and trade Hinske...but hey, you never know.

So, while I agree with on giving Crozier the chance to play, I can't see it if Hinske remains a member of this team.

I remember when the possibilty of Hinske playing first next year was first brought up....someone told me that they thought Named For Hank had a better shot at being the first baseman come the spring.

Well NFH, I think you'd better start getting in to shape ...just in case!
_d.l. - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:25 PM EST (#5561) #
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050106.wzaun6/BNStory/Sports/
Zaun stays with Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) Free-agent catcher Gregg Zaun agreed Thursday to re-sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.

see link
_Rob - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:26 PM EST (#5562) #
Getting Hillenbrand will cost more than Hillenbrand's salary. The Jays will have to trade Hinske to make room for him, and no way will all of his contract be picked up.

Why Craig Monroe? As far as I know, he plays the corners. Gross, Rios, and Johnson could all put up better numbers than a .260/.307/.457. Perhaps not as much power, but they would be better offensively nonetheless.

I really don't see what the problem is with Eric Hinske playing first base next year. I don't know Eric Crozier's splits, but if he can spell Hinske against lefties, what's the problem? More accurately, what's the problem that the acquisition of Hillenbrand would fix?

I have a hard time believing Hillenbrand is a better first base option for next year than Hinske is.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:29 PM EST (#5563) #
Does the Vance Wilson to the Tigers deal moderately increase the chances of Delgado ending up with the Mets? I assume Wilson would have caught if the Mets were to continue the Mike Piazza, FrankenFirstBaseman experiment.
_Ducey - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:31 PM EST (#5564) #
Personally I would rather do nothing and give Crozier his chance rather than burn a prospect and cash on Hillenbrand.

I agree but would amend it by gambling on one or two of the injury prone guys out there (is David Segui still in one piece?). Someone who can hit but always gets hurt. Put someone on a performance based contract with the idea that they will probably blow up. Assuming they can make it to mid season, you might then be able to bring up a Hattig or Crozier after getting them into some more AAA games. With Hinske in the mix, you give yourself 3 or 4 options to fill the position.
_Jordan - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:36 PM EST (#5565) #
I'm looking forward to learning how much Zaun will earn, but when the A's picked up Kendall, that probably eliminated Zaun's only real leverage, so I imagine the salary will be reasonable. Another piece of the '05 puzzle solved, though I hope Quiroz plays well enough in Syracuse to earn himself a promotion around July.

With Green apparently vetoing the Arizona trade, looks like all the Hillenbrand talk is just that. Reportedly, Shawnie turned down the D'Backs' offer of a multi-year extension at $9M a year. If so, he is clinically insane, because he'll never see that much money on the open market again. Now he's going to rot on the Dodger bench in a time-share with Hee Choi, while his good buddy Carlos cashes in somewhere else (at this point, I'd say either the Mets or Orioles) for several tens of millions of dollars. Who'da thought their careers would diverge so wildly?
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:41 PM EST (#5566) #
Buster Olney reports that the Yankees and Randy Johnson have agreed on a 2 year extension for 2006/07 at $32 million. Johnson turned 41 in September, but actually it's a reasonable contract extension.

I missed this, but Johnson, among his many other accomplishments last year, walked only 44 batters in 245 innings. Wow. His dERA would likely be about 2. The closest comparable to Johnson is Nolan Ryan, except Johnson is much, much better. Ryan's age 40 season was very, very good, but as usual, quite a ways from Johnson's age 40. Ryan had a below average season at age 41 and then 3 good ones in a row.

Now, if the Yankees had had the good sense to move Jeter to center, A-Rod to short, Bernie Williams to first base and to sign Placido Polanco and Corey Koskie, Johnson might have had a season for the ages in 2005. Fortunately, they didn't.
_Rob - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:41 PM EST (#5567) #
I'm looking forward to learning how much Zaun will earn

Wilner's reporting 950K. Just heard it on the FAN.
_Pu mped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:45 PM EST (#5568) #
If the Mets land Beltran, where does that leave Delgado?

I guess the Yanks, BoSox, or Orioles?

So much for him not ending up in our division.
Named For Hank - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:48 PM EST (#5569) #
Well NFH, I think you'd better start getting in to shape ...just in case!

Considering that I'm dealing with both New Father Sleep Deprivation and New Father Weight Gain at the same time, they might be better off just to leave the base uncovered. ;)
_Jordan - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:48 PM EST (#5570) #
Wilner's reporting 950K.

That's more than fine for a starting catcher, even if his offence is ordinary at best. Good job, JP.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:49 PM EST (#5571) #
Reportedly, Shawnie turned down the D'Backs' offer of a multi-year extension at $9M a year. If so, he is clinically insane, because he'll never see that much money on the open market again

If an average starter is worth $7.5-$8 million in 2004, who is to say what an average first baseman might garner in 2005? I'm glad my open letter worked its magic.:)
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST (#5572) #
Zaun at 950K is good value.
_Ducey - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:51 PM EST (#5573) #
Further to my Batters Box Brittle Batter suggestion above, on top of Segui, the Jays could look to one of Colbrunn, Fullmer, Greer, or Grieve to give okay production for 1/2 a year. Then bring up some kids.

This planned obsolescence idea makes me feel like an auto executive.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:52 PM EST (#5574) #
Now, if the Yankees had had the good sense to move Jeter to center, A-Rod to short, Bernie Williams to first base and to sign Placido Polanco and Corey Koskie, Johnson might have had a season for the ages in 2005.

you've been reading my mind here, but I would've been perfectly happy with Womack at 2B and Cairo at 3B IF all those other things had happened. As it is, Jeter and Williams both see themselves as heirs to the great Yankee traditiosn and will never leave SS and CF, respectively, unless one of them breaks a leg and completely loses mobility.

Ther is talk now of the Yankees trying to reacquire Nick Johnson.
_#2JBrumfield - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:59 PM EST (#5575) #
I'm glad Zaun's back for another year. That's great news. Another year of "GOING-GOING-ZAUN!" :)

I don't expect him to approach last year's offence but if he can come close to a .367 OBP mark again, that'd be gravy. Defensively, he may be the best catcher I've seen with the Jays when it comes to blocking the plate. He may not be Pudge but he's pretty reliable behind the dish.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 03:59 PM EST (#5576) #
Further to my Batters Box Brittle Batter suggestion above, on top of Segui, the Jays could look to one of Colbrunn, Fullmer, Greer, or Grieve to give okay production for 1/2 a year. Then bring up some kids.

Segui, Colbrunn, and especially Grieve - yuck.
BUT, I like your thinking on ol' Rusty Greer. Anyone know if he's healthy? If he reverted back to previous form, THAT would be the ideal, bottom-of-the-barrel bargoon.

No one picked up on the Craig Monrow/leather belt joke? For shame. One of the highlights of the '04/'05 offseason, in my opinion.

Grand Funk out.
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:19 PM EST (#5577) #
We could probably get Craig Monroe for a leather belt.

Tee-hee. We know that's what Craig would like, but what would the Tigers want?

Eric Davis was an extremely talented guy

And I had him on my 1987 fantasy team. Thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou...

Thing I especially remember about Eric the Red - that hitch he had at the plate. He never looked ready, and then the pitcher would deliver, and Eric's hands would suddenly drop all the way down to like his waist and then he'd start whipping the bat back in order to start his swing. You used to watch it and wonder how he ever hit anything.
_Marc - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:20 PM EST (#5578) #
Greer has all but signed on the dotted line with Minnesota (minor league deal).

Colbrunn signed a minor league deal with Texas and Segui is rumoured to be leaning towards retirement.

Grieve at, say $500,000, might be a low risk and is still young enough to finally figure things out. Or the Jays could find a magin lamp, rub it, gain three wishes and use one to convince Magglio Ordonez to sign a one year $8 million contract (similar to Garciaparra) to prove that he's healthy.

The best options are through trades. The free agent market, at this point, is all but dead.
_Ron - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:20 PM EST (#5579) #
With the Jays needing another bat one name I have yet to see mentioned is Juan Rivera. With the LA Halo's already having Finley, Anderson, and Vladdy their OF is set. Rivera is far too good of a player to rot on the bench. Would love to see him in a Jays uni and patrolling LF.
_Geoff - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:22 PM EST (#5580) #
Zaun makes 37 on the 40 man roster. That article makes it seem like, barring injury, Myers will be added to make 38. Downs is likely to be added to make 39 as a lefty out of the pen. I would bet that if Shea is acquired, even if it is not for Peterson it will be for a pitcher on the 40...so we stay at 39...that leaves us with about 3 million to spend on that 40th man...I would guess that man is a reliver, possibly Chris Hammond
_Ron - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:27 PM EST (#5581) #
I forgot to mention Rivera was tied for the major league lead in outfield assists despite not playing regularly until the second half of the season.

And he also hit .358 after the all-star break with more walks than K's.

He's only 26yrs old. I'd give up a quality prospect for Rivera.

I'm hoping the Halo's are happy with DaVanon as their 4th OF.
Dave Till - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:27 PM EST (#5582) #
Good to hear that Zaun has been re-signed. He probably won't hit all that much, but he's a good catcher, and it's not as if he's an offensive zero.

I have no idea whether Randy Johnson will be worth the money. I figure he'll either pitch really well, or something in his 40+ year old body will go SPROING and force him to retire.

If the Yankees really can't afford Beltran, then the Yankees didn't spend their money wisely: it would have been better to sign Beltran than Wright and Pavano.

I can see Shawn Green wanting to stay in Los Angeles if at all possible - he's from Southern California, and was traded by the Jays to the Dodgers because he wanted to play on the coast. I don't blame him for wanting more than his market value to go out to Arizona and play for that potential landmine of a team. It would probably be a lot more fun to sit on the bench in Chavez Ravine than to play regularly for the Diamondbacks. And it's not as though Green is likely to run short of cash any time soon.

I'm not a huge Hillenbrand fan, but his 2004 on-base percentage was much better than Hinske's. While neither Hinske nor Hillenbrand have much of a platoon split, they do bat from opposite directions, so they'd both be useful to have around. Of course, if Hillenbrand wants real money, there's no way the Jays should want to get him - he's only worthwhile if he can be had cheaply.
_jsoh - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST (#5583) #
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/statalbat/#tor
it would be interesting if the box kept track of clutch situations for blue jay pitchers and hitters.

Those fine fellows at THT have already partially complied (COMN), from which we can determine that Hinske hit .214 with RISP.
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST (#5584) #
The whole Shawn Green non-extension is bizarre. Who would know better what Green's market value is than his former agent? In fact, as Jordan pointed out, $9M a year after two off-seasons and a growing list of owies is gold, Jerry, gold. It's not a slap in the face.

I think Green is delusional if he thinks he's got a monster 2005 up his sleeve and that there's double-digit millions to be made per year after this season.
_Jobu - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:38 PM EST (#5585) #
http://www.bluejayscheerclub.com
I'm glad Zaun's back for another year. That's great news. Another year of "GOING-GOING-ZAUN!" :)

I'm with you Brum! Although it appears CheerClub.com visitors are less thrilled with it (comn).

I really don't get all the fuss over Shea. He doesn't appear to be that much of an upgrade over Hinske at all. It's like giving up a prospect to keep having Hinske playing first, only Shea will be gone after this year.

The "he's the only person left so we have to sign him" argument also confuses me (as alot of things do). If you have to trade for him, he's not really "what's left for the pickings". Alot of people can be traded for, why the focus on Shea? Even if he was a FA and the best left of the bunch, why take him just because he's the best of whats left? If I went to the video store because I really wanted a copy of Shawshank and all they had left was Snowboard Academy, Mortal Kombat 2, Rocky V, and season 2 of ProStars I wouldn't say "oh well, at least one of the Corey's is in Snowboard Academy", I just wouldn't get anything. Billy Beane's second rule applies here well " The day you say you have to do something, you're screwed. Because you are going to make a bad deal. You can always recover from the player you didn't sign. You may never recover from the player you signed at the wrong price."
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:40 PM EST (#5586) #
I have no idea whether Randy Johnson will be worth the money. I figure he'll either pitch really well, or something in his 40+ year old body will go SPROING and force him to retire.

Hasn't his back been waiting to go SPROING for a few years now? The very back problems that caused many to question his initial contract with Arizona?

With the Jays needing another bat one name I have yet to see mentioned is Juan Rivera. With the LA Halo's already having Finley, Anderson, and Vladdy their OF is set. Rivera is far too good of a player to rot on the bench. Would love to see him in a Jays uni and patrolling LF.

I'm not sure what Anaheim has in mind at DH. Salmon, I believe, will be out until late in the year. If they intend to use DH as a means to rest their regulars -- notably Anderson (with his weird injury from last year) and Guerrero (he of the chronic back problems) -- then they'll need all 5 outfielders, since one will be DHing at all times.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:41 PM EST (#5587) #
http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8073660
It appears Zaun has a 1 million option for 06 with a $100,000 buyout.

COMN
_6-4-3 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:43 PM EST (#5588) #
No one picked up on the Craig Monrow/leather belt joke? For shame. One of the highlights of the '04/'05 offseason, in my opinion.

That is one of the highlights, but without a doubt, the highlight of the '04 / '05 offseason has to be Sidney Ponson harassing people on his "personal watercraft", getting confronted on a beach by those people, punching one of his confronters, running away, then finding out that the man he punched was actually Judge W. Noordhuizen, having a brief stay in jail, then facing charges of public violence and simple agression. Now that's an offseason!
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:44 PM EST (#5589) #
So it looks like a Zaun-Myers platoon behind the plate with Quiroz playing every day at Syracuse.

So... does Zaun the switch-hitter like facing LH or RH? Because it would really suck if he was one of those switch-hitters who was really just a lefty hitter in disguise.

The news there is OK. The sample sizes from the last three years are small (531 AB LH and just 158 AB RH) - but Zaun has hit .291 RH as opposed to .234 LH, so it should work out with Myers. (Zaun has hit 0 HR from the right-side, but he hit enough 2B to have the same slugging both ways.)

It really looks like the Jays will end up committed to Hinske at 1B, and what the hey. You want to buy low and sell high, and you can't do that here. His trade value is about as low as it can get. (Unless he gets even worse, and he becomes a Sunk Cost.)

Which means they're looking for a DH type, preferably RH right?

As far as I can see, the best thing Hillenbrand provides is you know exactly what you're going to get (as opposed to, say, Juan Gonzalez). Hillenbrand's been very consistent at his levels, his splits for the most part are non-existent (he did hit very well in the desert last year and poorly on the road, but that's not his previous pattern). You plug him into the lineup, and you can count on getting... well, less than you want from a DH, but you do know what it's likely to be.

His SkyDome hitting in the past is sort of... well, Tony Batista with less power, but the sample size is too small to mean anything anyway.

Craig Monroe is very much a Joe Carter type hitter, just not quite as good. Dead pull RH power hitter, not much interested in taking a walk, BAVG comes and goes. But quite capable of 25 HR and 90 RBI in a good year if he plays every day. He's a decent OF (they had him in CF for a while last year). He's a little bit better than Hillenbrand, he's younger, he doesn't make as much money, and He's In Disgrace!
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:45 PM EST (#5590) #
Now that's an offseason!

And some way for a knight in the order of the Dutch Royal House to be acting!
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:45 PM EST (#5591) #
Sidney Ponson

And all of this was in Aruba, where they knighted him just last year.

Sir Sidney. Knight errant.
_Dr. Zarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:46 PM EST (#5592) #
ESPN Radio here in Chicago is reporting that AJ Pierzynski has signed with the White Sox for 1yr/2.25M. I can't find a link anywhere that's saying the same thing. Assuming this is true, a pretty nice pickup for the White Sox.
_sweat - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:47 PM EST (#5593) #
I agree Doc, I wonder if he was even considered by JP?
Named For Hank - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:49 PM EST (#5594) #
"oh well, at least one of the Corey's is in Snowboard Academy"

Thank you for explaining this in a way that all of us can understand.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:49 PM EST (#5595) #
Pardon me, 6-4-3, but that's Sir Sidney to commoners like you and me.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:50 PM EST (#5596) #
Dammit, Magpie, give the rest of us a chance to post, will ya?
_Rob - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:51 PM EST (#5597) #
Zaun makes 37 on the 40 man roster.

The 40-Man Roster at the Official Site says 38, including Zaun. I figure Myers will be added, so that leaves one spot for a bullpen arm, either a free agent, Downs, Frederick, Lundberg, Andrade....but most likely Scott Downs.
_Daryn - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:53 PM EST (#5598) #
Zaun makes 37 on the 40 man roster. That article makes it seem like, barring injury, Myers will be added to make 38. Downs is likely to be added to make 39 as a lefty out of the pen. I would bet that if Shea is acquired, even if it is not for Peterson it will be for a pitcher on the 40...so we stay at 39...that leaves us with about 3 million to spend on that 40th man...I would guess that man is a reliver, possibly Chris Hammond

I counted and recounted but to me it looks like Myers makes 39.
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 04:54 PM EST (#5599) #

ESPN Radio here in Chicago is reporting that AJ Pierzynski has signed with the White Sox for 1yr/2.25M. I can't find a link anywhere that's saying the same thing. Assuming this is true, a pretty nice pickup for the White Sox.

Pardon me while cry in my beer.

I have no idea why they Jays didn't try to sign AJP. This sucks.
_Dr. Zarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:03 PM EST (#5600) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=1960521
Kurkjian has a good article on Beltran, basically stating what we've all discussed around here, which is that he's a good player, but shouldn't get as much money as he will. It was discussed on Mike and Mike this morning too.

Some high points:
He only hit .267 this year.
Never had 110+ RBI's.
One season with 30+ HR's.
Career .284/.354 line.
_6-4-3 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:03 PM EST (#5601) #
Pardon me, 6-4-3, but that's Sir Sidney to commoners like you and me.

I don't think that I can recognize Aruba's knights. They knighted Gene Kingsale of all people. Hilariously, as Kingsale left the Tigers in 2003 to accept his knighthood, he lost his job as starting centerfielder.
_G.T. - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:04 PM EST (#5602) #
No one picked up on the Craig Monrow/leather belt joke? For shame. One of the highlights of the '04/'05 offseason, in my opinion.

Care to explain it? My google search on 'Monroe "leather belt"' didn't seem to help, though the first few USENET articles found were amusing...
_6-4-3 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:07 PM EST (#5603) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1940868
COMN to find out. It's good, almost Ponson good.
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:21 PM EST (#5604) #
Kurkjian has a good article on Beltran, basically stating what we've all discussed around here, which is that he's a good player, but shouldn't get as much money as he will. It was discussed on Mike and Mike this morning too.

Beltran plays gold glove caliber defense and while base stealing is an over-rated skill, he is a base stealer of historically tremendous proportions (192 and 23 lifetime).

Why isn't Kurkjian mentioning that? (Hint: he's an idiot.)
_mr predictor - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:40 PM EST (#5605) #
What if I said there was a veteran corner OF/DH who bats right and made only $1.25M last year but has 3 year splits vs Lefties of .310/.373/.552 for an OPS of .925?
Sound good?
It's Brian Jordan, who is 37 and according to the espn.com bio is a very good clubhouse presence. He is injury prone (knee), but perhaps platoon DH would reduce the injuries...
_G.T. - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:45 PM EST (#5606) #
COMN to find out. It's good, almost Ponson good.

Ah, I'd forgotten about that. Thanks!
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:50 PM EST (#5607) #
I wouldn't say Kurkjian is an idiot ... he's paid to write about the same things I write about for free, so he's got something going for him. But it does bring to mind my absolute favorite Kurkjian column, about the 500 Homer Club, which led me to post this Kurkjian Math: Ron Gant to Hit 500 Homers? on Da Box.

I imagine if Kurkjian ever read that -- highly unlikely -- he thinks I'm an idiot.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:52 PM EST (#5608) #
http://www.battersbox.ca/archives/00000321.shtml
Hm, for some reason that link comes back to this page, I must've cut and pasted the wrong URL. COMN for that Kurkgian Math thread if you care to.
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:54 PM EST (#5609) #
I like Jordan, but that old football player's knee scares me. He had surgery on it in July 2003, sprained it last spring, and missed seven weeks with "inflammation."

And all this happened when he played his home games on grass.

All that aside, his last two months of 2004 looked a little more like the old (as in good!) Jordan. He even played 18 games in a row in September.
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:54 PM EST (#5610) #
I'd love to see the Jays take a flyer on Brian Jordan as a guy to play against lefties.

The problem is, where would he play? Rios, Wells, and Reed will likely be the OFs against lefties. Then you've got both Menechino and Jordan who both crush lefties but neither one plays 1B. I'm not sure where you'd put everyone.
_Braby21 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:55 PM EST (#5611) #
Couldn't Jordan DH?
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:56 PM EST (#5612) #
If Jordan DHs, where do you put Menechino? Who plays 1B?
_Ron - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:57 PM EST (#5613) #
According to ESPNnews Brian Jordan signed a 2mil/1yr deal with the Braves.
_Braby21 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:58 PM EST (#5614) #
Menechino can play 3rd the odd time against Lefty's and maybe even SS against Lefty's, and let Hinske play 1B everyday.
_Braby21 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 05:59 PM EST (#5615) #
Maybe nobody should bring up any more names, b/c they'll just get signed by other teams for cheap.
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:03 PM EST (#5616) #
Menechino can play 3rd the odd time against Lefty's and maybe even SS against Lefty's, and let Hinske play 1B everyday.

You'd play Menechino over Koskie?

I don't think we want Menechino playing SS. He doesn't have all that much range. He could play 2B against lefties since O-Dog doesn't hit them all that well, but I don't know if that's in the best interest of the Jays in the long-term.
_Ron - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:04 PM EST (#5617) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=1960905
Koskie is a class act.

He took out a half-page advertisement in the sports sections of both Twin Cities daily newspapers on Thursday -- explaining how the decision to leave friends in the organization and loyal fans was difficult.

I rarely see this from athletes. The last two I remember are Shaq and Grant Hill.
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:07 PM EST (#5618) #
where do you put Menechino?

It may be academic now, but am I the only one who thinks little Frank's 2004 has FLUKE! stamped all over it?
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:10 PM EST (#5619) #
Menechino can play 3rd the odd time against Lefty's and maybe even SS against Lefty's, and let Hinske play 1B everyday.

What.. you don't think a 315/398/565 line against lefties from a waiver-wire pick-up is sustainable? :)
_Ron - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:11 PM EST (#5620) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=1960898
The Tribe are trying to ink Juan Gonzalez to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

If I was the Jays GM I would be interested in offering the same deal.
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:16 PM EST (#5621) #
Why isn't Kurkjian mentioning that? (Hint: he's an idiot.)

I was about to say something along the lines of "well, maybe he's just playing Devil's Advocate. Which is a good thing to do, and let's have more of it. Let's have a look at Beltran, is he really the greatest thing since sliced bread?"

Etc etc

And then, Mick threw something bright and shiny in my path...

Actually, except for the one ridiculous line (aptly summed up by Dudek as "amateurish throwaway hyperbole" and artfully picked apart by Mick) the column really isn't that bad. It basically points out that there's an awful lot of All-Time Greats cavorting on the field under our eyes, and we ought to enjoy the moment. But...

We are in an exceptional period in major-league history. Every day, we get to see Hall of Famers, some of whom are in their prime.

When was that not true?
_BCMike - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:20 PM EST (#5622) #
If Jordan DHs, where do you put Menechino?

If Jordan stays healthy and produces who cares? Do we really need to worry about how Menechino is going to get in the lineup?
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:22 PM EST (#5623) #
Here's a theory I wanted to bounce off of you guys, to see what you think of it.

We know that JP was planning on spending his money to get a top starting pitcher (Clement), but so far that hasn't worked.

What if that plan hasn't changed, and the main guy being discussed in the Arizona talks is Vazquez, not Hillenbrand. Vazquez seems like a pretty good consolation prize for not getting Clement, and Arizona seems willing to deal Javy.
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:23 PM EST (#5624) #
If Jordan stays healthy and produces who cares? Do we really need to worry about how Menechino is going to get in the lineup?

Considering he may be the 2nd or 3rd best hitter in the lineup against lefties, yeah, absolutely you do.

Why else even carry him on the roster if you're not going to use him in that position?
_Kieran - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:27 PM EST (#5625) #
Maybe AJP wasn't interested in the Jays, because 2.25M seems like a steal compared to Zaun at 1M.

Juan Gone would be a good DH for the Jays...a good gamble for cheap in my opinion.
_Magpie - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:28 PM EST (#5626) #
What if that plan hasn't changed, and the main guy being discussed in the Arizona talks is Vazquez,

Hummina hummmina hummmina... tries, without success, to restain his excitement.

(Now Professor Mo Phatt is throwing bright and shiny things in my path.)

He wants to play in the East. He wants to make the Yankees regret cutting him loose. Its a $9 million contract I think?

Uh...what would it take to make it happen?
_Christian - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:31 PM EST (#5627) #
http://www.all-baseball.com
CBS Sportsline says Zaun is the starter going into the season, which makes this pretty much a two-year deal, since his 2006 option vests if he plays in 70 games this year.

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8073660
_Braby21 - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:34 PM EST (#5628) #
If the options kicks in, the Jays can still pay 100K to buy it out, correct?
_BCMike - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:41 PM EST (#5629) #
Considering he may be the 2nd or 3rd best hitter in the lineup against lefties, yeah, absolutely you do.

Why else even carry him on the roster if you're not going to use him in that position?


Well if he performs like he did last year he will find a way into the lineup, but I don't think we should avoid acquiring a player because we are worried about where Menechino is going to play.
_Mick - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:42 PM EST (#5630) #
Was Vazquez OK with Canada when he was in Mount Royal?

I think the D-Backs would start by asking for Bush and Rios; they're asking BAL for a pitching and a position prospect. TEX is trying to sell them on Soriano and a mid-prospect kid.
Named For Hank - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:54 PM EST (#5631) #
Maybe nobody should bring up any more names, b/c they'll just get signed by other teams for cheap.

See, important baseball people read Batter's Box.
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:56 PM EST (#5632) #
Well if he performs like he did last year he will find a way into the lineup, but I don't think we should avoid acquiring a player because we are worried about where Menechino is going to play.

Fair enough, but my point was why get a player for a position where you've already got a decent one, when there's so many other holes on the team that need to be plugged? 2 DHs and no 1B seems like a big waste of resources.
_Fawaz K - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 06:58 PM EST (#5633) #
Beltran plays gold glove caliber defense and while base stealing is an over-rated skill, he is a base stealer of historically tremendous proportions (192 and 23 lifetime).

Why isn't Kurkjian mentioning that? (Hint: he's an idiot.)


I might just be missing the joke here (or maybe Kurkjian lurks here and added this part before I read the article), but the article does mention the phenomenal SB numbers and I read "there's nothing he can't do on the field" to be a reference to his superlative fielding (admittedly not an obvious interpretation).
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:08 PM EST (#5634) #
2 DHs and no 1B seems like a big waste of resources.

Uh, did you just imply that Menechino is a DH? The guy who played 5 different positions last year?

I'm really not concerned about Menechino's at-bats. Firstly, I expect he'll regress to being a good, not great hitter. Secondly, he's backing up an injury prone lefty-swinging 3rd baseman with a normal platoon split, a rookie lefty-swinging shortstop, and a switch-hitting second baseman who was equally good against lefties for the first time in 2004 (sub-500 OPS before that). Mighty Mouse's competition for these backup at-bats is one of the worst hitters in the major leagues. He'll get his cuts in.
_BCMike - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:13 PM EST (#5635) #
Fair enough, but my point was why get a player for a position where you've already got a decent one, when there's so many other holes on the team that need to be plugged? 2 DHs and no 1B seems like a big waste of resources.

Well actually I consider the DH to be one of the holes to plug. The Jays need a bat with power(preferably RH), if that comes at LF, DH or 1B I don't really care. Wherever "the bat" plays, I don't think we need to worry about where the other pieces fall. If the best bat we can get is a DH so be it. Either way those 3 positions cannot be filled by Hinske, Menechino, Catallonato and Johnson.

I see what you are saying about resources, but I really think the Jays are not in a position to be picky about who they acquire. It's kinda like the draft philosophy of taking the best player available ;)
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:16 PM EST (#5636) #
Uh, did you just imply that Menechino is a DH?

IIRC when Menechino was re-signed JP said that Menechino's role would be as a DH against lefties.

Again, the largest issue is that the Jays don't have someone to play 1B against lefties, which is the larger issue at play, and one a Jordan signing wouldn't have fixed.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:19 PM EST (#5637) #
I love the idea of Vazquez in Toronto, but his contract is pretty rich - another 3 years and $34.5M. Not unreasonable if a) he rebounds to his pre-2004 form and b) the Blue Jay payroll goes up for 2006.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:26 PM EST (#5638) #
IIRC when Menechino was re-signed JP said that Menechino's role would be as a DH against lefties.

Not liking that, and also that he's also talked about Catalanotto as the primary left fielder. I think you have to DH Frank to keep him healthy, and the break-even point on Mr.Glove McDonald is a pretty low number of at-bats. Which means playing Menechino in the infield.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:27 PM EST (#5639) #
Lousy Franks... where I say "DH Frank", I'm referring to Mr. Catalanotto.
_Ron - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:31 PM EST (#5640) #
http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3298650
Brandon League ranks 91 on Dayn Perry's top 100 Prospect List

Drafted out of a Honolulu high school in 2001, League sports a fastball that touches 97 with good life. He also sports a plus slider and effective changeup. To boot, League has thus far been a groundball machine. He struggled with his control somewhat last season at Double-A, and his mechanics can occasionally be inconsistent. Still, he's given up only nine homers in 364 careerinnings as a pro. That augurs very well for the future. I'm probably underrating him, but I'd like to see better command ratios from him.
_Moffatt - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 07:35 PM EST (#5641) #
Not liking that, and also that he's also talked about Catalanotto as the primary left fielder. I think you have to DH Frank to keep him healthy, and the break-even point on Mr.Glove McDonald is a pretty low number of at-bats. Which means playing Menechino in the infield.

Against lefties or righties?

Either way I don't see it, barring injuries. Cat will be the LF against righties and some acquisition will be the DH.

Against lefties, Reed will be the LF, and Menechino the DH.

The infield right now looks pretty settled at Koskie, Adams, Hudson, and whoever plays 1B.

Of course, there's always injuries to contend with, players need a day off, etc.

But right now it looks like the Jays will finish in last place in runs scored in the AL, unless something big happens (and it very well still could).
_Dr. Zarco - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:00 PM EST (#5642) #
Why isn't Kurkjian mentioning that? (Hint: he's an idiot.)

Chuck, as Fawaz points out, you clearly didn't read the article which you rip. Sounds a bit like Joe Morgan et al ripping Moneyball.

Kurkjian of course mentioned that stat, along with other flattering stats...hell, he compared him to Mantle (to whom he obviously pales in comparison). And lines like "Phil Garner said last year that Beltran was the best player he'd ever had as a teammate."

Read the article first, it's not even that long. The point is Beltran will be paid like Barry Bonds when, in fact, he only had one two-series postseason of Bonds-like numbers. He's still very, very good.
_Jonny German - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:03 PM EST (#5643) #
But right now it looks like the Jays will finish in last place in runs scored in the AL, unless something big happens (and it very well still could).

Given the current rosters, I don't see Tampa Bay or Kansas City passing them. Seattle obviously has re-loaded big time. Detroit could fall below Toronto, they had a lot of unexpectedly good performances in 2004.
_Rob - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:07 PM EST (#5644) #
91 seems a bit low for League. BA called him the best prospect in the Jays' system. Does that mean that at least three prospects for every other team are better than the Flyin' Hawaiian? It's certainly possible, but...91?
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:12 PM EST (#5645) #
I might just be missing the joke here (or maybe Kurkjian lurks here and added this part before I read the article), but the article does mention the phenomenal SB numbers and I read "there's nothing he can't do on the field" to be a reference to his superlative fielding (admittedly not an obvious interpretation).

Actually, that was me being an idiot. I hadn't read Kurkjian's article (weak, I know) and was going simply by Dr. Zarco's highlights from it.

That said, I still consistently find Kurkjian to be an idiot and one of the many ESPN staffers who is a waste of time. That said, I should have read the article first, called Kurkjian an idiot for what he actually said and not what I thought he said. Even an idiot deserves fair treatment.

And I'm now happy to know that the line that delineates good players and great ones is 110 RBI. Who knew?
_Chuck Van Den C - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:21 PM EST (#5646) #
The point is Beltran will be paid like Barry Bonds when, in fact, he only had one two-series postseason of Bonds-like numbers. He's still very, very good.

Bonds was getting paid like Bonds before he had any two-series postseason of Bonds-like numbers.

I don't think it's reasonable to compare anyone's paycheque to Bonds'. Rather, compare what Beltran will be getting to what other free agents are getting. What would you rather have under your Christmas tree? Beltran or Pavano+Benson? Beltran or Milton+Cabrera? Beltran or Glaus+Lieber? Hell, Beltran or Randy Johnson?

Beltran's numbers, whatever they turn out to be (7/$105M ?) will sound high according to our pre-offseason expectations. But given the orgy of wild spending we are seeing, Beltran's contract won't be out of whack.
Pistol - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:42 PM EST (#5647) #
I love the idea of Vazquez in Toronto, but his contract is pretty rich - another 3 years and $34.5M. Not unreasonable if a) he rebounds to his pre-2004 form and b) the Blue Jay payroll goes up for 2006.

NY is covering $9 million of Vazquez's contract, so I would suspect that more or less is indicative of his market value. I don't think it's realistic for any team to pay all $34.5 million if they were to trade for him after his finish to last year.

But if you're getting money in a trade you'd have to give up players of value (which I suspect Arizona would want in return). It might be a year too early for the Jays to make a move like that.
Pistol - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 08:44 PM EST (#5648) #
makes this pretty much a two-year deal, since his 2006 option vests if he plays in 70 games this year.

Likely, but you'd have probably say the same thing about Myers last year.
_CaramonLS - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 09:43 PM EST (#5649) #
This AJP thing absolutely baffles me.

Especially with all the interest surrounding Hillenbrad... they esentially do the same thing... expect one plays a position which is much more valuable to the team (catcher).

They should have offered 3 million to AJP for a year, basically what they are doing to Shea... hell even 4 Million I would have called it a steal.

AJP going to say no to a 1 year 3 or 4 million dollar deal? Even if the guy HATED Toronto its hard to say no to the $$$.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 09:58 PM EST (#5650) #
But right now it looks like the Jays will finish in last place in runs scored in the AL, unless something big happens (and it very well still could)

I don't know. The White Sox scored 146 runs more than the Jays in 2004, and 100 runs less in 2003. The respective personnel was pretty much the same. Now the Jays have lost Delgado, and the Sox have lost Lee and Ordonez. I'd say it was pretty close.

The Jays have a bunch of young players, Adams, Gross, Wells and Rios, who should improve, plus they have added Koskie. You could have said, and I did say, the same thing last year about Phelps, Hinske, Hudson and Woodward, but last year the young players as a whole regressed. Will it happen again? Hope springs eternal in the human heart.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 10:30 PM EST (#5651) #
http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp.cgi?I=beltrca01:Carlos+Beltran&st=age&age=27&compage=27
Carlos Beltran has not been a good, but not great, hitter over his career. COMN for his BR comparables. Beltran slides in between Gus Bell and Andre Dawson so far (Bell's batting line and Hawk's speed and defensive skills). Here is what they did after age 28. Beltran will likely be better than Bell for the duration of his career, but not as good as Dawson. The problem is not so much the average salary that he'll get, but the length of the contract. After 30, he's likely to be an average defensive centerfielder, and a good hitter, but nothing special.

For fun, Here is Shawn Green's line. As you can see, Green was a better hitter than Beltran through age 27. He was great at age 28, 29, and after uninspired seasons at age 30,31, no one believes that he is going to get 8 figure salaries later on.

It has to be remembered that Beltran benefitted from a large home-park advantage in 2000-03. His raw stats look better than they are.
_Nicholas - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:17 PM EST (#5652) #
I'd guess he used 110 RBI becasuse he has 100+ 5 times. Like saying Edmonds never had 112 RBI in a season ( 111, 110, 108, 107 but never 112.)

Something wrong with BlueJay money??? No one seems to want to take it thisyear....
_Nicholas - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:21 PM EST (#5653) #
Second part to previous post:

Does any KNOW if money included in a deal ( $9 mil to Dbacks ) goes to the team or towards the specific players contract ( Vazquez???) If Vazquez is traded again does the $9 mil get traded with him or does the new team take on 3yrs $24.5 mil??? Thanks
_Jacko - Thursday, January 06 2005 @ 11:51 PM EST (#5654) #

Carlos Beltran has not been a good, but not great, hitter over his career. COMN for his BR comparables. Beltran slides in between Gus Bell and Andre Dawson so far (Bell's batting line and Hawk's speed and defensive skills). Here is what they did after age 28. Beltran will likely be better than Bell for the duration of his career, but not as good as Dawson. The problem is not so much the average salary that he'll get, but the length of the contract. After 30, he's likely to be an average defensive centerfielder, and a good hitter, but nothing special.

For fun, Here is Shawn Green's line. As you can see, Green was a better hitter than Beltran through age 27. He was great at age 28, 29, and after uninspired seasons at age 30,31, no one believes that he is going to get 8 figure salaries later on.

It doesn't surprise me much that Green has aged badly. When I think of Green, I think of tall, gangly, somewhat uncoordinated guy. Dawson was a terrific athlete as well, but ended up losing all of his speed halfway through his career (mostly because of all the hard artificial turf surfaces he played on in the NL East).

Beltran, on the other hand, is just about the smoothest player I've ever seen. All of his motions are fluid, and nothing looks forced. That makes me think he's going to age very well, and be worth the money, even at the end of a long contract. Keep in mind that he's still really, really young - even if he signs a 7-year contract deal, he'll be only 35 at the end of the deal. He'll start losing his speed as he enters his 30's, but I imagine he'll bulk up a little bit and become a truly scary power hitter.

I think whoever signs Carlos Beltran is going to be very, very happy with the results. 7-8 years at 14-16 MM is reasonable for a guy who will give your team a good hard push towards a championship every year.
Thomas - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 01:31 AM EST (#5655) #
Koskie is a class act.

He took out a half-page advertisement in the sports sections of both Twin Cities daily newspapers on Thursday -- explaining how the decision to leave friends in the organization and loyal fans was difficult.


Agreed. That is a rare thing for an athlete to do and shows that he really cares about the city.

I recall Jim Abbott doing the same thing.
Lucas - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 01:46 AM EST (#5656) #
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/12/22/pudge_goodbye_ap/
As did Pudge Rodriguez. COMN
Mike Green - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 10:48 AM EST (#5657) #
Shawn Green "unco-ordinated". I saw little evidence of that.

Actually, tall, lean guys like Green tend to age very well. Dave Winfield, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds (I mean before 2000), Bernie Williams. The problem is that Beltran isn't as good a hitter as any of these guys.
Gitz - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 12:05 PM EST (#5658) #
Mike, how many players are/were as good as Winfield, Aaron, and Bonds? Two Hall-of-Famers and a first-balloter soon enough? That's an awfully high bar to set. Even if Beltran isn't as good, he's certainly good, and will give whatever team he signs with value over the course of the deal.

And I'd take Beltran over Williams, even when the latter was in his prime. Bernie didn't get going until he was about 27 or 28; Beltran is there now, and by the time Carlos is 35, his numbers will be superior to those that Williams put up.
_G.T. - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#5659) #
Actually, tall, lean guys like Green tend to age very well. Dave Winfield, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds (I mean before 2000), Bernie Williams

Green, Winfield, Aaron, Bonds, Williams. One of these is not like the other... the one with the "colour"-ful name, so to speak.

I may have asked this question before, but I never see anyone discussing Bill James' "finding" that White players didn't fare nearly as well as their Black or Latin "rookie comps" from his '87 Abstract. Is that because subsequent research provided contrary evidence? Or is it just something that nobody wanted to look further into? (James' "sample size" wasn't very big, but I'm sure somebody could've done a "better" study if the interest was there)

Interestingly, (ironically?) the most discussed "comparison" of the past couple days around here was Sandberg vs. Whitaker, and it was indeed the former's whose production tailed off much more quickly...
Mike Green - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 01:24 PM EST (#5660) #
Gitz, I wasn't suggesting that Beltran was comparable to that group. I was responding to Jacko's suggestion that Green has not aged well because of his physique.

Point well taken and nicely made, GT. I am not aware of any updated research on race and career development. Actually, you haven't quite accurately represented the results of Bill James' study. In the study, black rookies performed better over the course of their career than white or hispanic rookies with comparable statistics in their first year.

It would be very interesting to update the research. James' theorized that there were fewer options available to black ballplayers, and this made them try harder to succeed. Whether this would continue to be so now in the current salary environmen is not clear.
_Jacko - Friday, January 07 2005 @ 02:43 PM EST (#5661) #

Gitz, I wasn't suggesting that Beltran was comparable to that group. I was responding to Jacko's suggestion that Green has not aged well because of his physique.

The point I was trying to make is that Beltran _should_ age well because of his athleticism and durability. He's approaching his late 20's, and all of his "young player" skills are completely intact.

I agree that Beltran has played in great hitting parks (KC, HOU) for his entire career, and hasn't really come close to duplicating Green's best seasons.

And I suppose that Green has aged fairly well. If it wasn't for his shoulder problems, he might still be hittig 40 HR per year. His unwillingness to dive and re-injure the shoulder might also have influenced his stolen base totals.

Was Green's shoulder injury due to repetitive strain, or a single violent event?
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