Left-handed sock on the move

DMZ · November 23, 2005 at 12:46 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

A couple of guys the Mariners might have been considering in trade to fill the perceived need for more LH power have switched teams:

Carlos Delgado goes from the Marlins to the Mets
Jim Thome, it appears, is moving from the Phillies to the White Sox to make room for Ryan Howard, who will no longer be availble for trade rumors

Interesting times.


43 Responses to “Left-handed sock on the move”

  1. jtopps on November 23rd, 2005 12:48 pm

    “Ryan Howard, who will no longer be availble for trade rumors”

    The biggest winner in this trade…Seattle Mariner blogs.

  2. Southpaw on November 23rd, 2005 12:48 pm

    You sure this means Konerko’s gone? I don’t think Thome holds up at 1B anymore.

  3. JS on November 23rd, 2005 12:48 pm

    Thank goodness????

  4. Jon Helfgott on November 23rd, 2005 12:52 pm

    Probably a good move for Chicago. Brian Anderson’s close to being ready, and they’ve got great depth in OF prospects. The cash from Philly will make Thome less expensive than Konerko will be on the open market, and I’m really suspicious about how much of Konerko’s value is tied to the cell. All in all, I’m impressed w/Kenny Williams’ aggressiveness, though there’s a chance Thome’s injury problems burns him on this one.

  5. Peter Johnson on November 23rd, 2005 12:52 pm

    I’d think it’s more likely that Thomas is gone.

  6. Jon Helfgott on November 23rd, 2005 1:00 pm

    The Delgado trade could be an incredible new GM strategy for contending teams.

    Sign the top aging bats to expensive contracts, back-load them so you only have to pay a few mil the first year, then ship them off for prospects before they get both old and expensive.

    The Marlins got Delgado’s bat for a year in which they expected to contend, and only paid $11 million, then got a cheap bat and a good prospect in return for him.

    If a team wasn’t dedicated to completely destroying their roster, this could be a great way to contend and rebuild at the same time…provided you’re reasonably certain you can move the contract at the end of the year.

  7. DMZ on November 23rd, 2005 1:01 pm

    Yeah, you know what, I should fix that… I don’t know where they’ll slot him.

  8. Todd on November 23rd, 2005 1:10 pm

    I do not consider the Sox/Phillies trade a great move for the Sox. Rowand is a terrific centerfielder. I would have given him the GG for CF, well ahead of Hunter and a little ahead of Kotsay and Reed. While Rowand will be more expensive than Anderson, I would rather keep his defense in CF.

  9. eponymous coward on November 23rd, 2005 1:11 pm

    If a team wasn’t dedicated to completely destroying their roster, this could be a great way to contend and rebuild at the same time…provided you’re reasonably certain you can move the contract at the end of the year.

    This is sort of a variation on what Cleveland did for JuanGone in 2001 and Florida did for I-Rod in 2003; sign to a one year deal, let them play for a contract somewhere else, get a great season out of them. If you do it right and offer arbitration, you even get a comp draft pick when they walk.

    And yeah, I could see doing this if you were creative. I suspect the beancounters on First and Edgar would freak at this, though, because they would be worrying at being left standing up without a chair when the music stops.

  10. The Ancient Mariner on November 23rd, 2005 1:24 pm

    Well, if the Chicago radio folks are right (as reported by a poster in the Transaction Oracle over on BTF), the White Sox are also sending Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood to Philly — and that makes this a very bad deal for Chicago. Rowand, Gonzalez and Haigwood for Thome and $7 million? That’s more than they gave up for the Chief, for less return.

  11. J.R. Caines on November 23rd, 2005 1:28 pm

    Why would they deal Rowand? Seems like a dumb move to me.

  12. Jon Helfgott on November 23rd, 2005 1:29 pm

    I think the bigger issue is the bad will that this strategy would generate if it were repeated too many times.

    The knock on the Delgado contract when he signed it was that it paid a lot for his age 32-35 seasons. Most people thought he’d be good for a year or two, but that by the end it would be an albatross.

    The Marlins got the youngest, cheapest year of the contract, then used him to add 2 solid guys who will play for the minimum. They might have been able to get a better return by waiting longer (Petit’s far from can’t-miss), but this looks like a pretty good deal considering they don’t expect to compete in ’06.

    That being said, this isn’t a strategy that can be repeated often. If it gets out that a GM was luring players with lucrative contracts but has no intention of keeping them in town past the first year, I’ve gotta believe it would cut into the team’s ability to recruit FAs.

  13. Mat on November 23rd, 2005 2:05 pm

    “If it gets out that a GM was luring players with lucrative contracts but has no intention of keeping them in town past the first year, I’ve gotta believe it would cut into the team’s ability to recruit FAs.”

    I don’t think this was really the intention at all. From my seat, it looked like Florida was trying to show the public that they would invest in big-name, expensive free agents while they were making a push for a new stadium. If they would have gotten that stadium, it’s possible they wouldn’t be trying to cut payroll like this.

    Alternatively, I could see where this might be somewhat attractive to some free agents. If the team is not successful at making the playoffs in the first season, and they decide to start rebuilding, they trade their veterans to someone with an apparently better chance of competing.

  14. Jim Thomsen on November 23rd, 2005 2:32 pm

    Don’t tell me the White Sox still believe in the non-virtues of Joe Borchard?

  15. Trev on November 23rd, 2005 2:47 pm

    Isn’t Delgado able to demand a trade after 2006 under the Javy Vazquez rule? Omar better keep him happy…or win it all in 2006.

  16. Evan on November 23rd, 2005 2:50 pm

    Delgado is allowed to demand a trade under that rule.

    That said, he gets pretty expensive. As a team, I’d be tempted to let him become a free agent if he demanded a trade.

  17. LB on November 23rd, 2005 2:54 pm

    #6: It works only as long as Manaya is a GM and the back-loaded contract is for a Latino ballplayer. For those guys, Omar is willing to pay too much money for too many years.

  18. Jesse on November 23rd, 2005 3:04 pm

    I like Rowand and all, but if Anderson’s ready–and he did hit those two homers off of Felix, which sure made me pretty curious about what kind of career he could have.

    Anyway, I don’t see this as necessarily working out badly for the White Sox. You can only play so many outfielders. It’s gambling on Thome of course, but I’m not sure Rowand’s going to get much better, which is to say very good but not unreplaceable. It’s great for Philly, but maybe also good for the White Sox depending on how Thome holds up.

  19. misterjonez on November 23rd, 2005 3:18 pm

    Looks like Thome and $22 million to ChiSox for Rowand.


    That’s not a bad deal, considering that they get Thome for just north of $7 million per season. Pretty reasonable for a guy with his track record. I wouldn’t have jumped all over it if I were Bavasi, but I would have at least been part of the early conversations.

    Then again, he’s 35..and into a pretty sharp decline phase, from the looks of it. I’m not devastated that we didn’t go after him.

  20. Xteve X on November 23rd, 2005 3:44 pm

    #2, I think this is more about Frank Thomas than Konerko. Big Frank’s been hurt for two years straight now, and I don’t think the Sox are counting on him to be there for more than 80 games at best.

    I’m very surprised the Sox traded Rowand. That has the potential to come back and bite them BIG TIME.

  21. BoneFan on November 23rd, 2005 4:48 pm

    #17 … Minaya’s offering Wagner $40M including incentives to pitch til he’s 37. Which Latin country is Virginia part of? And how is over-paying Latinos any smarter/dumber than overpaying Japanese catchers with no MLB experience. For the record I think the Mets and M’s are both clever if they ARE currying favor via nationalism, but Omar is playing to win. (And David Wright is the best hitter on that team of ANY ethnicity.)

    Curious … does anybody know if the M’s every had a serious chance of getting Delgado and/or Thom? Beyond the talk radio Beltre-for-Thome claptrap. And who is now the best lefty bat availab;e via trade or signing?

  22. eponymous coward on November 23rd, 2005 4:51 pm

    And how is over-paying Latinos any smarter/dumber than overpaying Japanese catchers with no MLB experience.

    Who says they are overpaying? Was Ichiro overpaid with no MLB experience? How about Hideki Matsui?

  23. BoneFan on November 23rd, 2005 5:04 pm

    EC … not sure it is overpaying, obviously. I was referencing an earlier post. Ichiro was a bargain at any price. Kaz Matsui would be overpaid at league minimum. Time will tell with Johjima. Like you I’m hoping for the best.

    At any rate, I love the M’s approach with big leaguers and prospects in the pacific rim. I also had a great time at Shea last June with Pedro on the hill and 50k Dominican ex-pats in the house. Both teams are obviously marketing to certain nationalistic and regional pride. I don’t see much wrong with that.

    My post was directed specifically toward the notion that Minaya has a proclivity to spread money around to Latin ballplayers, especially after reading about his substantial offer to the decidedly non-Latin Billy Wagner.

  24. LB on November 23rd, 2005 5:10 pm

    #21: I never said that Minaya wouldn’t overpay non-Latinos, too. But he’s got this Los Mets branding scheme that was noteworthy enough for the NY Times magazine to use for a cover story at the beginning of the season.

    Why do you think he’s willing to overpay Wagner? Might it be that if the Mets had a competent (not “stellar,” just “competent”) closer in 2005, they’d have made the post-season. On Opening Day, Looper blew a save for Pedro Martinez that started a 5 game losing streak for the Mets. Next start for Pedro against the Braves, Pedro pretty much insisted that he’d pitch the 9th inning himself, thank you.

    Just because Minaya’s got a bulging wallet and a love for Latino ballplayers doesn’t mean he’s not watching the games.

  25. km4_1999 on November 23rd, 2005 9:49 pm

    The White Sox got a steal in my opinion. If they can resign Konerko than they will be the favorite to win the WS again, and that’s all that matters. Thome could stay healthy at DH and hit 35 homers and protect Konerko which they didn’t have anyone doing that this year. Yes, Rowand and the 2 minor leaguers could be real good. If Chicago wins the WS again, WHO CARES.

  26. Mat on November 23rd, 2005 10:01 pm

    I’d say Mr. “Stand” Pat Gillick did pretty well for himself here. He found himself in a relatively difficult spot where everyone and his mother knew that the Phillies needed to deal Thome in order to make room for Ryan Howard. Thome’s contract was huge, so you knew the Phils would have to eat a bunch of it, but it was a sunk cost when it became apparent that sitting Ryan Howard wasn’t really an option.

    The thing that really makes Gillick look good here is that center field was an organizational weakness, and he got a fairly young, quality centerfielder as the centerpiece of the deal. He dealt the most extraneous part on the team for someone that should really be able to contribute something on offense and defense.

    Considering the White Sox’ OF prospect situation, it looks like a pretty good deal from their side, too. One of those strange trades that seems to make sense for both teams. Scary.

  27. Jeff Nye on November 23rd, 2005 10:15 pm

    C’mon now, Derek:

    Don’t tell me you believe ANYTHING will ever stop the Ryan Howard trade juggernaut.

  28. Shoeless Jose on November 24th, 2005 1:05 am

    Yeah, if the Griffey mirage continues to haunt USSM (and the weaker-willed M’s fanbase at large) then why would you think the Ahabs of this board wouldn’t continue to hunt their particular obsession?

  29. msb on November 24th, 2005 8:33 am

    “aye, my hearties all round; it was Moby Dick that dismasted me; Moby Dick that brought me to this dead stump I stand on now. Aye, aye,” he shouted with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose; “Aye, aye! it was that accursed white whale that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!” Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: “Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out. What say ye, men, will ye splice hands on it, now? I think ye do look brave.”

  30. bookbook on November 24th, 2005 9:24 am

    The M’s are having a hard time playing in the “buy a slugger” sweepstakes, because they don’t have much of any even nominally attractive prospects to exchange.

    There’s Felix and Adam Jones, both of whom are rightly untouchable. Even else is more suspect than prospect.

  31. The Other Tom on November 24th, 2005 10:05 am

    Hey Derek, nice “Off the Wall” piece in today’s Times.

    In it you mention Brian Giles as a potential free agent. Have you or do you plan on doing an analysis of what one can expect from him in 2006 (his age 35 season) and beyond? Also, I would suspect that he will want a 3-4 year contract – is that a wise investment at this point? His OBP over the past 7 seasons is 90 points higher than Jacque Jones and career slugging is also 90 points higher.

    In Jones, do the M’s really need another guy who is virtually guaranteed of having a below league average (for his position) OBP? Especially since LF was a plus last year and the M’s had three positions with OBP below .300 (C, 2B, SS).

  32. Scraps on November 24th, 2005 10:12 am

    I never said that Minaya wouldn’t overpay non-Latinos, too.

    You did, actually. You said, “It works only as long as Manaya is a GM and the back-loaded contract is for a Latino ballplayer.” “Only” being the key word there.

  33. Raf on November 24th, 2005 11:45 am

    And who is now the best lefty bat availab;e via trade or signing?

    I pass through every so often, so I may have missed it, but has anyone considered Rafael Palmiero?

  34. eponymous coward on November 24th, 2005 12:27 pm

    I consider Rafael Palmeiro to be well into his decline phase based on his last few years, as well as having enough off the field issues to make his signing problematical (“Yeah, we’re real embarrassed about leading the majors in positive steroid tests in our organization, and we’re not going to tolerate this. By the way, we just signed Rafael Palmeiro as a free agent”).

    We might as well discuss Jose Canseco as an FA signing, while we’re at it. They’re about the same age.

  35. ebbnflow on November 24th, 2005 1:21 pm

    bookbook – on your prospects analysis, you’re pretty spot on in your assertion that we may not have the ammo to pull off a “grab a superstar” attempt. However, I’d disagree with the “we have no desirable prospects” notion. I think it’s more a matter of depth – we simply can’t afford to deal a lot of our kids, because they’re already on the big club holding down regular jobs (YuBet, Lopez, and Reed), with no feasible backups available except ~maybe~ CF.

    In fact, I’d put those three (along with Clement and the aforementioned Felix and Jones) up against most other franchise’s “under 25” club and feel relatively confident in the Ms acquitting themselves quite well.

  36. Keith on November 24th, 2005 11:06 pm

    I am totally on board with Raffy as a Kevin-Brown-style signing. If he can be got for $1.5 million or so with another million in incentives, he is a great 250 AB player and a great buy.

    True, the steroid thing is a hard sell, but that is true in all markets. This is going to drive down his price compared to his likely performance.

    I’m not saying he should wear the LH Sock, but he’d be a great non-Dobbs bench player.

  37. jojo on November 25th, 2005 9:59 am

    I think its time for the M’s to devote all of their resources on starting pitching and assume that the baby bats in the lineup will grow up next year as well as take a chance by offering a guy like Frank Thomas an incentive-laden contract to DH much like Detroit did for Maglio O last season.

    Currently the M’s have ONE arm in their rotation! Its either do something serious or say hello to Pineiro/Meche/Franklin and whomever else they get from the garbage pile for next year…..

    Does that kill any of your Manny fantasies?

  38. AK1984 on November 25th, 2005 3:14 pm

    Well, I’m somewhat sad about the fact that the Ryan Howard trade rumors have finally died.

    Regarding Manny Ramirez: Would a package of starting pitcher Joel Piñeiro, relief pitcher Eddie Guardado, and left fielder Raul Ibañez for Ramirez — without any cash changing hands — make any sense for either the Seattle Mariners or the Boston Red Sox?

  39. Terry on November 25th, 2005 9:58 pm

    Yes…..that would make perfect sense for……BOSTON. Unload 20 mil a year to get a productive bat and bullpen help… though I doubt they’d have any interest at all in Pineiro.

  40. njenkin on November 26th, 2005 11:59 am

    A lefty bat on the market is Lyle Overbay of the Brewers. Overbay isn’t a healthy Thome by any stretch, but he’s a solid hitter who can draw a walk.

    The Crew has Prince Fielder primed to take over first base so Overbay can be had for a pretty reasonable price.

    But looking at the M’s prospect lists I don’t see anything that would grab Doug Melvin’s attention (he’s the Brewers GM). Melvin has been on a pretty good streak since taking over the Brewers. (Examples include picking up Doug Davis for nothing, the Sexson trade, and signing Derrick Turnbow for pennies)

    Melvin tends to target GMs who don’t know what they have. Bavasi doesn’t seem to fall into that category.

  41. Terry on November 26th, 2005 3:52 pm

    The Brewers recently reaffirmed that it would take an *overwhelming offer* for them to move Overbay this off season effectively indicating that indeed he is NOT on the market (no need to post supporting links on this one as a simple google search will bring up several sources all quoting Melvin directly within the last two weeks). Even if Overbay was available, i dont see him as a good fit in Seattle since the M’s already have a first baseman with TRUE power and a DH that could give the M’s the equivalent of Overbay’s 15-19 hrs a year would be much cheaper to acquire (i.e. a short term fix guy like J. Burnitz may be an option for 1-2 million)than Overbay. Overbay just represents a very expensive to acquire left-handed version of Raul I. The M’s dont have the carrots to dangle in Melvin’s eye anyway…

    NEWSFLASH: Pineiro, Franklin, Meche and Thornton have absolutely NO trade value… Clement is NOT available.

  42. njenkin on November 28th, 2005 6:23 am


    Well, what Doug Melvin tells the press is not necessarily what he is planning. Which is something that pretty much applies to every good GM.

    But feel free to dismiss Overbay as an option.

  43. jojo on November 28th, 2005 9:22 am

    I say duely dismissed….

    Even if Overbay was available, its difficult to see him being worth the price. Who the heck could the M’s send to Milwaukee anyway? This *option* is a non-starter.