Papelbon and Lester

Dave · December 29, 2005 at 6:43 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Finnigan reports in the Times this morning that the Mariners have shifted their attention from Bronson Arroyo or Matt Clement to one of Boston’s two top pitching prospects, Jon Lester or Jonathan Papelbon, as the swag they’re hoping to extract in exchange for Jeremy Reed.

To be honest, I still wouldn’t make the trade. The annointing of Papelbon and Lester as elite young pitchers is quite premature. Let’s take a look at them objectively, shall we? We’ll start with Papelbon, whose solid performance out of the bullpen for the Red Sox down the stretch has led to a significant amount of hype.

In 2003 he was a 4th round pick by the Red Sox from Mississippi State University, where he had spent his entire college career as a reliever. The Sox used his short season debut to stretch him out and convert him into a starting pitcher. He spent 2004 in Sarasota of the Florida State League, the most pitcher friendly league in professional baseball, and had few problems, ranking 2nd in the league in strikeouts and ERA. After the season, Baseball America ranked him as the 14th best prospect (8th among pitchers) in the FSL. This year, he split the season between Double-A and Triple-A and showed significantly improved command, though his strikeout rate fell as a result. The Sox moved him back to the bullpen to help with their stretch drive, and he pitched well and showed that he’s ready for a job in a major league bullpen right now. BA ranked him as the 7th best prospect in the Eastern League after the season.

His fastball reportedly sits at 90-94, and his second best pitch is either a split finger or a slider, depending on who you talk to. His change-up and curveball are both show-me pitches, so at this point, everything he throws is hard. There’s not a real offspeed pitch to talk about. He’s also shown himself to be a flyball pitcher, both in the majors and in the minors.

Papelbon is essentially the Red Sox version of Clint Nageotte. Power pitcher without a good offspeed pitch, low to mid 90s fastball, lots of scouts prefer as a reliever. Papelbon has slightly better command, but Nageotte showed some groundball dominance this year, so those can essentially cancel each other out. Would you trade Jeremy Reed for another Clint Nageotte?

Moving on to Jon Lester, who grew up in Puyallup and is one of the best local prep products the area has produced. Lester was a 2nd round pick by the Red Sox in the 2002 draft, though they paid him well over slot money to sign. He spent 2003 in the South Atlantic League at 19, and while he held his own, he showed that he had significant work to do. In 2004, he moved up to Sarasota and pitched significantly better, holding his walk rate steady but seeing his strikeouts go up by 50 percent. Command was still an issue, but he had the dominance to overcome the walks. This year, at age 21, he was moved to Double-A Portland and had his best year as a pro. He continued to trim his walk rate and raise his strikeouts despite pitching against advanced competition. After the season, he was ranked by BA as the 4th best prospect in the Eastern League.

Lester throws 90-93 from the left side and uses a cut fasball at times, and while he throws a change and a curve, neither one are major league pitches right now. He’s essentially beating people with his fastball. His command is still a bit of a question mark, and he missed time with shoulder soreness in June.

Lester and Papelbon are good pitching prospects. But that’s what they are. I don’t subscribe to the “There’s No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect” mantra that lame analysts have adopted to explain away their ignorance, but there is a huge amount of attrition involved with young arms. Before the season, BA ranked Papelbon as the #91 prospect in baseball, and Lester was not included in the top 100. Clint Nageotte was #73 on the same list.

Things have changed in the past 12 months, and both Lester and Papelbon will rank well on the 2006 list, I’m sure. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that these guys are rare elite arms. They’re solid, good pitching prospects. But these guys aren’t special. Almost every organization has a guy like Papelbon or Lester. There’s a lot of 90-94 MPH arms with developing secondary pitches and mediocre command running around out there.

When you trade a hitter for a pitcher, you’re taking on a lot of risk. It can be worth it, if the upside or need of the team dictates that the pitcher is worth it. But Papelbon and Lester aren’t significantly better than the arms the M’s have done a nice job collecting over the past few months. With Nageotte hopefully healthy, and Bazardo, Foppert, and Carvajal being added in the past 6 months, the M’s have a fairly decent crop of upper level pitching prospects.

They don’t need to trade a major league everyday player at a position they have little depth for another surplus arm. The best thing Bill Bavasi has done as a GM is build a stockpile of arms in the upper minors, and he’s done it without paying a high price for any of them. The M’s don’t need to divert from this strategy.

Just say no to trading Reed to Boston.


281 Responses to “Papelbon and Lester”

  1. CCW on December 29th, 2005 6:59 am

    Well, I’d say Bavasi is at least on the right track… if you’re going to trade Reed – a cheap player with upside – trade him for another cheap player with upside. Problem is, I’m not sure Lester’s or Papelbon’s upside is much higher than Reed’s, and their downside risk, as with any pitching prospect, is much greater.

    If Bavasi’s going to do a deal like this, he needs to aim higher – Lester AND Papelbon, maybe. Or Scott Olsen from Florida. Or perhaps one or two of Texas’s really good pitching prospects. Anyway, I agree with Dave… Reed’s too valuable and too hard to replace to give up for either Papelbon or Lester alone.

  2. Dave on December 29th, 2005 7:03 am

    Sure. This definitely wouldn’t be the trainwreck that Reed for Arroyo would be. But “not a trainwreck” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

  3. Badperson on December 29th, 2005 7:15 am

    I tend to agree with you, although I don’t think this trade would be the end of the world. Losing Reed would likely suck for this year, but for 2007 I’d rather have an outfield of Ichiro, Adam Jones, and some slugger we pick up from somewhere.

  4. Oly Rainiers Fan on December 29th, 2005 7:20 am

    Ah, but the Times article isn’t just saying they’re looking at trading Reed for Papelbon or Lester, but at trading BOTH Reed AND Meche. So you’re not just trading a hitter but a pitcher as well, THE pitcher currently slotted in at #$ and who, despite his history of issues many on this blog have stated that they think maybe Chaves can help him out. (I’m not sure I subscribe to that theory but, well, it can’t hurt). For, as you point out, good prospects but prospects nonetheless, and certainly not Felix-level prospects.

    And all this leaving you a #5 spot in the rotation to fill AND a centerfield spot to fill (at this point, given the Washburn signing, that’s a pretty important spot all by itself). Of course, the same article has the Ms talking to Cleveland about Coco Crisp.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted the offseason to end quite so much. I mean, usually it’s grueling inactivity, but this year, it’s more like the Ms are trying to see how many moves they can make, just for the sake of what? Proving that they’re TRYING?

  5. Badperson on December 29th, 2005 7:29 am

    I would definitely be against the trade if we were going to leave Papelbon in the bullpen. I don’t think relief pitchers help your team as much as starting outfielders, and we’ve got plenty of relievers anyway.

  6. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 7:43 am

    I’m a red sox fan (I posted here under the name Aaron a week or two ago) and I would be shocked to see the red sox trade either Papelbon or Lester for Reed. This may be a case of each side over-valuing it’s own players/prospects but its certainly argueable (someone suggested Reed for both, that guy has no clue). Papelbon’s fastball isn’t 90-94, its more like 92-96 with a LOT of movement. Out of the pen he was consistenly 94-96 while in the starting role he was closer to 93-94. I agree with the basic assessment of his secondary pitches, they need some work if he is going to become a premier starter. He can locate his change-up well so it could be more than just a show me pitch, but it doesn’t have great movement. The same thing with his slurveball. He learned the splitter less than a year ago from Schilling, and I would argue that it is basically a plus pitch at this point. It could use a little more consistency, one could assume that will come with time. I’m not convinced Papelbon is going to enjoy great success as a starter unless his 2ndary stuff develops a bit more, but I am convinced he could move to the closer’s or premier set-up man role in the bullpen if it came to that. Paps has a great pitcher’s body and displayed excellent focus and make-up when he pitched amazingly well in crucial 8th, 9th, 10th innings for the red sox in late september and often against the Yankees. If you can handle that environment as a rookie, you can handle anything.
    Moving on to Lester. His curveball is certainly a plus pitch, I don’t know who you are talking to or reading when you heard it was not. His problem has been his consistency with his curveball. Everything I’ve read suggested that it improved greatly this year (although it has some room for improvment still). He has actually improved pretty much every year in the organization, just look at his peripherals (163k’s in 148 ip for example). I would venture a guess that BA will place him in the top 30 prospects (top 6 or so starting pitchers, the #2 prospect in Boston’s system) next year, about the same place that Reed peaked, iirc.
    Are their values drastically different? No, certainly not. Given the option of finding a power lefty pitcher (like Lester) or another starting pitcher with Papelbon’s current make-up on the FA market vs finding a bat, I would MUCH rather the red sox hold onto Lester and Papelbon than trade either for Reed. It is because bats are more predictive that it makes sense for teams like Boston and Seattle to spend their precious $$$’s on middle of the order bats. Developing your own pitching in today’s game is not only a great advantage, but it is almost crucial to success. If either or both develops like they can, they will be significantly more valuable than Reed. Sure hitters are always more likely to make it than pitchers. By that reasoning you would continuoulsy trade pitching prospects for positional prospects…that makes no sense.

  7. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 7:57 am

    Here is a comment from one of the posters on
    “Lester was described by the player development director of one major league team as the best left handed pitching prospect in the last 10 years.

    That does not seem like a prospect who should be traded for anyone.”
    He is a career talent evaluator for sports publications. He may be a little prone to hyperbole when it regards BoSox prospects, I’ll admit that.

    “And all this leaving you a #5 spot in the rotation to fill ”
    HA! Very funny! (That is a joke right?) I assure you both Lester and Papelbon would be better than Meche in Seattle next year…nevermind if they actually approach their ceilings.

  8. Dave on December 29th, 2005 8:09 am

    Lester isn’t even the best LHP prospect this year. I’d rather have Francisco Liriano or Scott Olsen, and it’s not particularly close. Claiming he’s the best left handed pitching prospect in the past ten years is a total joke and shoots down any credibility you were hoping to establish.

    Seriously, Lester’s a B+ pitching prospect. Papelbon is a B. Almost every organization has a guy that’s in the same class.

  9. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 8:15 am

    “Lester isn’t even the best LHP prospect this year. I’d rather have Francisco Liriano or Scott Olsen, and it’s not particularly close. Claiming he’s the best left handed pitching prospect in the past ten years is a total joke and shoots down any credibility you were hoping to establish.”
    Naming Liriano was the obvious answer and I should have responded to it before you did. For the record, I clearly agree with you on Liriano (not Olsen, however). I’m so high on Liriano I’m not sure its even that close. The point wasn’t that Lester IS the best LH pitching prospect in the last 10 years, the point was that he’s the type of pitcher a talent evaluator could get so excited about that he makes that type of statement. I agree I could have used a better example.
    You’re the head of this site correct? You could use a little more grace in your responses.

  10. Dave on December 29th, 2005 8:21 am

    Considering the content of your posts, I actually think I’ve been pretty nice to you.

  11. pinky on December 29th, 2005 8:31 am

    Looking a year or two down the road, where would the M’s be with an outfield of an aging Ichiro, Reed and Adam Jones? Are they better off with Jones, Ichiro, and a new left fielder (and Papelbon or Lester)? How much are Jones and Reed clones? (I’m not suggesting I feel any particular way – it’s just a question.)

  12. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 8:32 am


  13. Badperson on December 29th, 2005 8:45 am


  14. terry on December 29th, 2005 8:50 am

    #12: Are you trying to say that Washburn didnt have an ERA of 3.2 last season?

    Seriously, #6 and 7 didnt seem that controversial…

    Personally, I view Reed as the left-fielder of the M’s future which is in no way a slight since left field is a crucial position in Safeco. He’s currently irreplaceable as the M’s centerfielder which essentially makes him untradeable-not because he is the next willie mays but rather its unlikely that anybody else will value Reed as much as the M’s do. Reed has alot of upside but upside from a guy known for his leather doesnt get you a #1 starter in return.

  15. Grizz on December 29th, 2005 8:55 am

    Yeah, Dave, you should have just said that the Red Sox homer had “no clue,” maybe asked “this post is a joke, right?,” and left it at that.

  16. Bleeding Blue on December 29th, 2005 9:06 am

    [comment requested deletion of comment]

  17. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 9:09 am

    “Yeah, Dave, you should have just said that the Red Sox homer had “no clue,” maybe asked “this post is a joke, right?,” and left it at that.”

    You’re right, I haven’t been 100% polite. Sorry about that. Just understand Reed for Paps and Lester is on par with Pedroia for Felix from the Red Sox perspective. Would you insult me if I suggested that trade? I think you might.

    And watch who you’re calling a homer, homer.

    (At the end of the day…we’re both ‘homers.’)

  18. JAS on December 29th, 2005 9:10 am

    I’m not sure what to make of Reed, myself. My hesitancy begins with his swing. It doesn’t appear incredibly fast. It isn’t as if Reed has to learn the strikezone, or learn how to pick up pitches, sit on a pitch, etc. He knows how to hit. It is just that his swing is long. I compare Reed’s swing to Snelling’s. Snelling uses his hips so much better to accellerate his hands around his body with amazing quickness. Reed doesn’t have that quickness.

    Having analyzed a lot of hitting styles, and having spent a lot of time evaluating hitting systems in order to be a better coach, and teach my son a big league swing, I have a basis for forming an opinion. Regardless, it is just an opinion, and at the Major League Level, evaluating and teaching swings is often about the art of hitting, rather than the mechanics of swinging. All this means, is that opinions on swings are almost as varied as the number of hitting gurus in the Majors (anyone that ever had a good season?)

    I can’t say how much science the M’s are using in their scouting and teaching, because I am not an insider. But this example does show how the uncertainty surrounding Reed may be pretty significant. It could be that M’s management considers Reed as hesitantly as I do, and they would be happy to acquire what they consider to be a top pitching prospect in return.

    In fact, the idea of Reed for Papelbon or Lester may show that the M’s have a better idea on valuing bats than they do on valuing pitching.

  19. terry on December 29th, 2005 9:11 am

    This is just the kind of thing that too much Harry Potter promotes….

  20. msb on December 29th, 2005 9:15 am

    just a reminder too that this is Finnigan and his “East Coast source” bringing you this possible story ….

  21. Replacement level Poster on December 29th, 2005 9:18 am


  22. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 9:33 am

    I am distrustful of Red Sox prospects. Theo’s success was built on bringing in veterans to combine for a World Series victory. But a halo effect arose over whatever he did concerning their farm system. I’m not buying it. I am just as distrustful of Red Sox prospects as I am of Yankee prospects.

  23. Dave in Palo Alto on December 29th, 2005 9:35 am

    The Mariners need more solid pitching. No doubt about it.

    I hope I don’t get slammed for this, but with Reed gone, what would be the problem with putting Lawton in CF?

  24. Adam S on December 29th, 2005 9:36 am

    I wonder why these Reed rumors or trade talk don’t just go away. Forget about overpriced pitchers and possible prospects for a moment. Right now, the Mariners have two major league starting OF on the roster (3 if you count Ibanez). Unlike the Winn trade last year, no one is really pushing Reed and there’s not a plan if they trade him (Ichiro to CF and Ibanez/Everett/Lawton in the OF doesn’t count as a real plan). Reed is by no means untouchable, but it seems like the general response should just be “no thanks” or “what CF/RF can you trade me back” instead of tweaking the offer.

  25. Bleeding Blue on December 29th, 2005 9:39 am


  26. Adam S on December 29th, 2005 9:48 am

    Lawton isn’t a CF. He hasn’t played there since 2000 and hasn’t played more than a few innings since 1998.

    Of course the next question is move Ichiro to CF and play Lawton in RF. I guess that would be the M’s plan though Ichiro has resisted the move to CF (or they’ve resisted asking him). It’s not as bad as I first thought though an OF defense of Ibanez, Ichiro, and Lawton isn’t so hot for a pitching staff that depends on its OF defense. And Lawton’s hitting fell off a cliff at the end of last year. He’s 250/360/420 on the upside and no team thought enough of him to offer him $1M for next year.

  27. Jeff Nye on December 29th, 2005 9:55 am

    [deleted at request in comment]

  28. Jeff Nye on December 29th, 2005 9:56 am

    Oops, forgot to add:

    I agree with the premise of the original post; while it might be possible to get interesting talent back from Reed, and Papelbon and Lester sound like interesting talent, it just leaves you with too big of a hole on the roster if you move him, and I don’t think we’ve seen everything Jeremy Reed has to offer yet.

    I say no to the trade.

  29. marineros on December 29th, 2005 9:58 am


  30. CCW on December 29th, 2005 10:01 am

    As the one without a clue, I’ll pipe in. I don’t actually believe the Red Sox would give up Lester AND Papelbon for Reed, and to the extent I implied they might, I probably appeared clueless. My point, though, was that’s about the only way I’d make the trade if I were the Ms. Reed is not a spare part – he’s an important piece in the future of the franchise. I’m not in the camp of people that think Ichiro is both willing and able to play CF so… the Ms need Reed as much as Boston does. It just doesn’t make sense to trade him unless they get a very good package in return.

    That said, if I’m wrong, and Ichiro is willing/able to play CF at a high level, it’s a slightly different story.

  31. scraps on December 29th, 2005 10:04 am


  32. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 10:12 am

    I too am a stathead.

    I love chowder, but don’t wear it on my head.

    I used a poor choice of words twice and at least mildly insulted CCW and Oly. It is unlike me, I’m sorry (again). Please delete my 2nd post if you so desire.

    I respect the argument that it is in both teams interest not to proceed with the above trade. I clearly do not want to give up either Boston pitcher.

    I am not here to fight with the moderators. Dave was, on some level, justified in getting angry with me over my tone. I think he was referring to my baseball related statements, hence I responded the way I did.

    I just wanted to give a different opinion, and somehow it ended up with me derailing the entire thread. I apologise for that.
    Please stop the discussion over me and Dave, it’s not worth it.

    Unless there are future Boston-Seattle rumors/trade, you won’t hear from me again.

  33. JAS on December 29th, 2005 10:18 am


  34. BriVT on December 29th, 2005 10:19 am

    Clint Nageotte? That’s not a valid comparison for Papelbon.

    Here’s numbers from A ball

    WHIP: Pap-1.08; Nag-1.34
    K/9: Pap-10.62; Nag-11.70
    W/9: Pap-2.98; Nag-3.72
    H/9: Pap-6.73; Nag-8.36
    ERA: Pap-2.64; Nag-4.54

    So, a 10% higher K rate is really all Nageotte has going for him there. Everything else is decidedly Papelbon.

    AA (again with Paps first):

    WHIP: .94/1.26
    K/9: 8.59/9.18
    W/9: 2.38/3.92 (!)
    H/9: 6.10/7.42
    ERA: 2.48/3.10

    Again, a slightly higher K rate is the only place where Nageotte outperforms Papelbon, while Papelbon’s lead in W/9 widens considerably. I don’t have BABIP data, but the lower H/9 and related lower ERA for Nageotte looks like an outlier related to the rest of his career. I’d say he got a little luckier that year. But he still was behind Papelbon in everyone one of those categories by a decent margin.

    Papelbon’s a way better prospect than Nageotte ever was.

    By the way, his slider is a quality pitch. His splitter needs a little more consistency, but it’s promising. I don’t think his chance is really worthy of discussion. And Lester’s best pitch is his cutter. Devastating on righties.

  35. Chintan Desai on December 29th, 2005 10:22 am

    Question: If we hypothetically trade for Papelbon or Lester for Reed and Meche, would they be able to start out of the gate? Or would we have to go with Aaron Sele Part Deux for the fifth spot in the rotation?

  36. BriVT on December 29th, 2005 10:22 am

    Oops. In the last paragraph there, it should read that his “change” isn’t really worthy of discussion … his chances, however, are pretty good, imo ;-)

  37. Bleeding Blue on December 29th, 2005 10:24 am


  38. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 10:25 am

    Those Nageotte and Papelbon comparisons doesn’t take into account Papelbon’s minor league career were in decidedly “Pitcher’s Leagues” and Nags’ were in decidedly “Hitter’s Leagues”. Also, the SO rate is the number one stat in the ones you listed and Nags beats him in that.

    No, I agree with Dave this time. Nageotte is a good comparison. And believe me, I have disagreed with Dave on many issues.

  39. lokiforever on December 29th, 2005 10:30 am


  40. terry on December 29th, 2005 10:31 am

    #30: I think most got your point…. you value Reed (me too!)

    #32: Quit being a whiny flip-flopping chowder head :-)

    I think you SHOULD be pee’d off….you made several thoughtful observations that were completely overshadowed by a fixation on comments you probably didnt mean as they were written and certainly werent emphasized.

    Thats the problem with black and white text….while you’d think it would be an infallible way to communicate, most of us are used to communicating with context (i.e. body language, tone, inflection)… Often we fail to realize that what we write somehow comes up short of our intent….

    And of course sometimes people who have just paid $4 for a cup of burnt-tasting coffee occasionally forget to gracefully consider possible intent when it seems so much easier to not have to….. But sometimes those people risk looking lazy…

    Finally…M’s rule and the BoSox drool….

  41. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 10:38 am

    Thank you Terry…but don’t confuse me with my former senator/presidential candidate…I did NOT flip-flop. I never waivered from my argument that it would be a poor decision for the Red Sox to trade either prospect for Reed.

  42. marineros on December 29th, 2005 10:40 am

    Amarshal2 since we are apologizing…I am sorry for calling you a “chowdah head”. I assume it is as anmusing as the “is it raining” comments I get when I talk to my friends outside the PNW. Don’t go if you enjoy talking baseball. What you said was a teardrop in the sea compared to the public flogging of Carl Everett’s morality.

  43. jlistf on December 29th, 2005 10:46 am

    Re: 38 “Those Nageotte and Papelbon comparisons doesn’t take into account Papelbon’s minor league career were in decidedly “Pitcher’s Leagues” and Nags’ were in decidedly “Hitter’s Leagues”.”

    Papelbon was in FSL in A ball and EL in AA ball.
    Nageotte was in California league in A ball and PCL in AA ball.

    Based on 2003 numbers (found at

    FSL league factor is 896, but Papelbon’s home park was 1040.
    EL league factor is 1029 with Papelbon’s home park at 1126!

    California league is 1160, but Nageotte’s home park was 867.
    PCL league factor is 1070, but Nageotte’s home park was 859.

    While you are correct (except for EL), their respective home parks were the exact oppposite of the league factors you were citing. So how are we supposed to adjust the numbers now?

  44. BriVT on December 29th, 2005 10:54 am

    Those Nageotte and Papelbon comparisons doesn’t take into account Papelbon’s minor league career were in decidedly “Pitcher’s Leagues” and Nags’ were in decidedly “Hitter’s Leagues”. Also, the SO rate is the number one stat in the ones you listed and Nags beats him in that.

    I don’t think the Eastern League is a strong pitchers league (the FSL is), and Hadlock Field (the home of the Portland Sea Dogs) is a hitters park.

    I disagree about K numbers. They are important, but I think K/BB ratio is much more important. It helps separate the guys who are preying on impatient minor league hitters from the guys who are getting people out in the zone.

    And no stat is useful in a vacuum. I think Dave’s right, just about every team has a Cliff Nageotte in the farm system. Big K numbers, marginal stats otherwise. But what separates the real prospects from guys like him are the other stats, W/9, H/9, etc. A guy who can strike guys out with stuff in the zone, while also not allowing hits … that’s a true prospect. A guy with good enough stuff to strike minor leaguers out chasing pitches out of the zone … not so much. Marginal prospect until he proves he can bring down his BB rates while maintaining K rates.

  45. chico ruiz on December 29th, 2005 10:56 am

    Dave: Thanks for the timely topic and your insights, with which I basically agree. You also made a good call to back off arguing with the Red Sox nation. It’s worthwhile to know their opinions, even if we don’t agree with them…

  46. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 10:59 am

    WHIP and H/9 are meaningless to me in evaluating pitchers. I’m a subscriber to DIPS theory, no exceptions. I would like to mention that Dave didn’t look so much at Nageotte’s numbers compared to Papelbon’s, but more at what kinds of pitches they throw or don’t throw. Nageotte is still having difficulty finding a good 3rd out pitch, an offspeed pitch. Papelbon may be similar in this respect.

  47. tgf on December 29th, 2005 11:01 am


  48. jlistf on December 29th, 2005 11:28 am

    “I would like to mention that Dave didn’t look so much at Nageotte’s numbers compared to Papelbon’s, but more at what kinds of pitches they throw or don’t throw. Nageotte is still having difficulty finding a good 3rd out pitch, an offspeed pitch. Papelbon may be similar in this respect.”

    Ok, let me try. Johan Santana throws a mid-high 90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup. Seth McClung throws a high 90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

    Obviously those are two extremes. But this type of analysis is virtually meaningless.

  49. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 11:42 am

    “If we hypothetically trade for Papelbon or Lester for Reed and Meche, would they be able to start out of the gate? Or would we have to go with Aaron Sele Part Deux for the fifth spot in the rotation?”

    Papelbon is ready for a shot…certainly more so than a Aaron Sele rerun. Lester should probably start the year at AAA. If he was promoted to the majors to begin he has a good shot at Ervin Santana 2005. Until he proves he’s ready there is no reason to rush him.

    “WHIP and H/9 are meaningless to me in evaluating pitchers. I’m a subscriber to DIPS theory, no exceptions.”
    Surely you’re cool with bb/9 seeing as it is independent of defense:
    2004: ~3.9
    2005: 5.44
    2004: 2.98
    2005: 2.59

    I think the point about Papelbon being successful in the stike-zone as opposed to Nageotte is certainly valid. I don’t think “Papelbon has slightly better command, but Nageotte showed some groundball dominance this year, so those can essentially cancel each other out.” Papelbon has much better command. Too much to just write it off as canceled out by the gb/fb ratio. Further, if you are looking to bring in any fly-ball pitcher, Safeco is the place to do it. Perhaps it would be advantageous to you M’s to bring in a few more fly-ball pitchers who are undervalued by the rest of MLB relative to calling Safeco field home.

  50. Bruce on December 29th, 2005 11:44 am

    I’m sure it’s an overreaction on my part, but the M’s recent experience with pitching prospects makes me apply a discount to Lester and Papelbon. It wasn’t too long ago that we were supposedly soaked in young pitching, which was on the verge of making a meaningful impact in the majors.

    Felix-like potential aside, trading young positional talent for more young pitching potential simply feels like it would be perpetuating the same sort of evaluation that helped put the team where it is now.

    Perhaps Boston has so little pitching depth that they can’t consider it, but in their shoes I’d happily pick up Reed for any of the names that have been bandied about.

  51. joran on December 29th, 2005 11:45 am

    I say Papplebon and another young OK minor leaguer for Reed.

  52. Steve Nelson on December 29th, 2005 11:46 am


    FSL league factor is 896, but Papelbon’s home park was 1040.
    EL league factor is 1029 with Papelbon’s home park at 1126!

    California league is 1160, but Nageotte’s home park was 867.
    PCL league factor is 1070, but Nageotte’s home park was 859.

    First, Nageotte did his AA ball in San Antonia in the Texas League, not the PCL in Tacoma. (Tacoma is AAA Ball.) So the relevant park factor data for Nageotte (using the 2003 BA data) are 1061 League Factor and 894 Home Park Factor).

    Beyind that, your analysis is faulty because the BA park factors are calculated with respect to the league, not to all of minor league ball. Hence, they do not correctly compare parks across the minor leagues. For example, the FSL has a league factor of 869. A FSL park with a park factor of 1000 is average in comparison to other parks in the FSL. But since the FSL is overall a strongly pitchers league, a FSL stadium with a park factor of 1000 is strongly a pitchers park with respect to all minor leagues. Similarly, a park with a rating of 1000 in a league with a League Factor of 1160 is a hitters paradise. The two parks, though both rated 1000 in the BA data, would be very different environments.

    I did a post in which I tried to normalize those data across all leagues: More Data on Minor League Park Factors. If you correct the park factors to account for the overall league factors (using those 2003 BA data), you wind up with:

    Portland (Eastern League): 1159
    Sarasota (FSL): 932

    San Antonio (Texas League): 949
    Inland Empire (Cal League): 1006

    Another, nore significant consideration, though, is to compare where the pitchers were by age, not by organizational level.

    At age 23 Papelbon was pitching high A ball. At age 23 Nageotte was in AAA ball.

    Nageotte was 21 when he pitched high A ball. After cnsidering home park environments, Nageotte’s numbers in high A ball at age 21 are comparable to Papelbon’s numbers at the same organizational level at age 23.

  53. Matthew Carruth on December 29th, 2005 11:47 am

    [edited rant on commenting, to answer your question, no]

    Anyways, no, Dave didn’t just compare the pitch types, but the pitch qualities. A part that is fundamentally lacking in your attempts to be condescendingly witty. He didn’t compare their numbers, their past or whatever, he simply said they both have fastballs in the low 90s, a good slider and no real offspeed pitch. We’ve seen it argued over and over whenever Rafael Soriano’s name is brought up as a possible starting candidate that needs a third pitch, offspeed, to succeed as a starter. It is a valid comparison to make when stating that both are more suited to relief work.

  54. Hobo on December 29th, 2005 11:52 am


  55. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 11:54 am

    I’d just like to point out that Jon Lester went to the same highschool and played on the same baseball team that I did at Bellarmine Prep. I was there a decade before him though, so I don’t know him, but I do know the coach and he’s a total and complete douchebag. That aside it should be of interest that Bellarmine is the sworn enemy of South Kitsap WFB’s high school so maybe they’ll get in a fight or something dumb like that.

    All in all I was hoping that the Reed trade rumors had died down. Now it just seems like Bavasi is set on moving Reed to Boston and won’t take no for an answer.

    I just don’t get the logic of moving your starting CF, for whom you don’t have a replacement, for something you already have. It’s driving me crazy.

    Does anyone in the know have any kind of sense of if this is going to really happen or not?

  56. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 12:04 pm

    I can’t tell you what the M’s are doing, I have no idea and I’m pretty distrusting of the majority of reports coming out of Seattle (or the Boston papers, national media, etc for that matter). As someone who follows the Sox FO very closely, I can pretty much assure you that Reed for Paps/Lester will not happen on our end. Further, Arroyo or Clement for Reed would have almost certainly been accepted by now, so you can rest easy there too.

  57. Matthew Carruth on December 29th, 2005 12:12 pm

    I think Boston has a better chance of landing Crisp from CLE than Reed from SEA.

  58. jlistf on December 29th, 2005 12:18 pm

    Dave’s original comment is:

    “Papelbon is essentially the Red Sox version of Clint Nageotte. Power pitcher without a good offspeed pitch, low to mid 90s fastball, lots of scouts prefer as a reliever. Papelbon has slightly better command, but Nageotte showed some groundball dominance this year, so those can essentially cancel each other out. Would you trade Jeremy Reed for another Clint Nageotte?”

    Now had Dave said, “Because Papelbon does not have a good offspeed/3rd pitch, he is not ready to be starting in the majors.” That’d be fine. I agree, I don’t think he’s ready to be starting in the majors. But he went a step further and said “Papelbon is essentially Clint Nageotte.” And backed it up with, what I consider, no proof at all.

    Papelbon’s minor leage career k/bb ratio is 3.8-1. Clint’s is 2.65-1, with his last two years in AAA under 2-1.

  59. Matthew Carruth on December 29th, 2005 12:22 pm


    “He didn’t [try to] compare their numbers, their past or whatever, he simply said they both have fastballs in the low 90s, a good slider and no real offspeed pitch.”

  60. AQ on December 29th, 2005 12:29 pm


  61. cougs129 on December 29th, 2005 12:31 pm


  62. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 12:32 pm

    I will now attempt to clean up this thread. Argh.

  63. colin_hesse on December 29th, 2005 12:38 pm

    Thank you Derek. Geez, happy frieking holidays all around, huh? Did no one get an XBox 360 for Christmas or something?

  64. colin_hesse on December 29th, 2005 12:41 pm

    By the way, ON TOPIC, I am not interested in this trade whatsoever. You have Jeremy Reed, an above average center fielder who can do nothing but improve offensively, against two good but not great pitching prospects who look remarkably similar to a few prospects already wearing Mariner blue. This trade would cause us to have an absolutely TERRIBLE outfield defense, and Papelbon, as Dave stated, is a flyball pitcher. So…. terrible outfield defense….. flyball pitcher…..

    Bavasi, I appreciate the idea to grab some pitching, but this is the wrong move.

  65. AQ on December 29th, 2005 12:44 pm

    #59 – That’s what surprises me a bit of Dave’s argument (that Papelbon and Nagoette are essentially the same kind of pitcher): He really didn’t bring the kind of in-depth numbers to the table that he normally does. Perhaps he was too busy to analyze it at that level right now? Shrug.

    I think that the statistical comparisons are inconclusive (at best), however, until you could really compare apples-to-apples. Each pitcher was in different levels of the minors at different ages in their careers and each pitcher pitched in different leagues at those respective minor league levels. That makes it tough to make a direct correlation, IMHO.

  66. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 12:48 pm

    So, an inventory:

    the passive/agressive comment = gone
    and guessing at Dave in general = gone
    anything “this will get deleted” = your request granted
    off-topic “this blog sucks” = gone
    off-topic “people here all suck except me” deleted
    off-topic “comments suck” = gone
    off-topic “you people who think things suck suck” delted

    And to summarize why Dave’s still there: see the comment guildelines. Now, you can argue that Dave’s “nice” comment should have gotten the axe, and it caused much of the flamage, but, essentially, the discussion goes:
    - blah blah blah blah
    - blah blah blah
    - blah you’re snarky
    - given the content of your posts (which, clearly, I considered to be without merit and misguided) I believe my response has been quite polite and reasonable

    There’s no personal attack there. I don’t see why it sparked this flame war. But let us proceed now, hand in hand, down the rose-sided lane of reasonable discussion.

    Everyone may now email me about the moderation.

  67. AQ on December 29th, 2005 12:54 pm

    So it’s okay to call a commenter’s posts misguided and without merit, but it’s not okay to call someone snarky? One is a direct insult and the other is a veiled insult. Other than that, I don’t understand how one is acceptable and one is not…

  68. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 12:59 pm

    You could go read the comment guidelines or email us. But again — saying “that’s a really poor point” or even “your comment seems snarky” is entirely different than “you’re stupid” and “you’re snarky”.

  69. Pilots fan on December 29th, 2005 1:02 pm

    OK, sooooo ….

    I just don’t get the whole trade Jeremy Reed thing that we keep hearing rumors about. Why? Sure, he has value to other teams, but we have no replacement plan if we trade him. Ichiro in CF? OK, but where have those rumors been to go along with those about Reed? If Ichiro moves to CF, then what is our plan in RF? We are much better off to stick with Meche as our #5 starter and see how Reed and Jones (who is the only replacement plan I can think of, and he’s not ready for the bigs yet) develop going forward.

  70. AQ on December 29th, 2005 1:03 pm

    I agree with the distinction that you’re making. My point is that both comments have an equal probability of starting a flame war or being taken the wrong way. I think to make a distinction between those is really splitting hairs if either comment is liable to ruffle someone’s feathers.

  71. Bleeding Blue on December 29th, 2005 1:04 pm

    [ot, also you're being an ass]

  72. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 1:07 pm

    I have zero problem with you editing all the BS that got brought up b/w dave and myself by others. I welcome it.
    However, I said (and I accurately quote), “Spare me the passive/aggressvie tone and explain why you disagree.”

    You should have deleted it, it was off topic, but how was that a personal offense? That I don’t understand.

  73. DanV on December 29th, 2005 1:13 pm

    Speaking of Nagoette…. He pitched as a starter in the AFL, and pitched very well (6 starts, 2.33ERA, 24K and only 4BB in 27IP). Anyone know if the M’s plan is to bring him to spring training as a starter?

    And whatever happened to the rumors that the Rockies were hot after Meche? What do they have to offer? I’d MUCH rather see us trade Meche for some sort of value, KEEP REED, and let the #5 spot in the rotation go to one of our younger guys (Nagoette, Foppert, etc.)

  74. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 1:13 pm

    Are we really still talking about this? How about we say it’s off-topic and leave it at that.

  75. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 1:14 pm

    I somewhat agree with the overall. Lester and Papelbon are not top 10 prospect pitchers. If I was looking for those I think I’d be dealing with the Pirates, Giants, Indians, Dodgers, Twins, Brewers or Rangers, unfortunately they’re not hard after Reed…

    The thing about Lester is that Lester has shown improvement as he’s advanced. He looks far more solid than anything we’ve got at AAA SP/wise. I like typing Lester. It’s almost an evil-sounding name. Something that should be feared. Lester.

    WHIP is a good stat but H/9 I ignore. I don’t need to see it seperate, because I’ve already looked at BB/9 before WHIP and am capable of doing math in my head.

    If I were Bavasi I’d find it insulting for you all not to assume that a Preston Wilson/other signing would not immediately follow a Reed trade. If I were Bavasi I wouldn’t tell you what I’m thinking. There’s no way that the roster would not change further after a Reed trade. Especially if we’re talking about trading Meche with him. If we’re talking about Meche’s aprox $4Mill being off the books there’d better be room for more moves.

  76. DavidE on December 29th, 2005 1:14 pm

    I think this whole thread is very humerous. So much for cleaning things up through registration. :-( sad sad, very sad. I also think Steve Nelson was very bold (until his comment got cleaned up – I luv html).

    Yes, the M’s have gotten burned by pitching prospects in the past but so has everyone else (save the Braves – they just trade the bad ones to unsuspecting GM’s). You still have to continue stocking up on arms and hoping most of them don’t either go down in flames or plateau before reaching their supposed “potential”. I’m not all good about moving Reed for Papelbom or Lester because I still think Reed’s got good potential. But it wouldn’t suprise me to see Bavasi pull the trigger and move Ichiro to CF and stick Lawton in RF (or Lawton could play CF, that’s what he did in his very short sting with NY last year, isn’t it?). We have some perceived (by the M’s FO) depth in the OF so it wouldn’t suprise me at all. Hopefully if they do make a deal for Papelbom or Lester, it turns out like Bragg for Moyer back in 96. :-)

  77. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 1:27 pm

    IMO in the Mariners position the entire idea of trading someone right now should be to trade something that’s good now for a few things that may be good in a few years. I have supported the idea of talking about trading Reed, but I don’t see how trading someone who may be better in a few years helps when you’re trading 2 pieces for one instead of the other way around. If they’re talking 2+ prospects for Reed then there’s still a discussion, otherwise Reeds my man for CF. Well there are Zach Duke’s and Liriano’s that I could see trading this 2-for-1(Reed+Meche for…), but the Red Sox don’t have any of them.

  78. Tek Jansen on December 29th, 2005 1:27 pm

    I get the feeling that some in the M’s front office are simply not high on Reed. I also have the suspicion that they are high on Adam Jones. Still, dealing Reed right now does strengthen the organization.

  79. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 1:39 pm

    Well BA’s top 100 for 2005 list Jeremy Reed #33 and Zach Duke #34. Something tells me the pirates never would have traded up…

  80. lefty on December 29th, 2005 1:42 pm

    One of the interesting things about the proposed Reed trades is that everyone says that we need more pitching. While this is true, the Mariners were a lot better at pitching than they were at scoring runs last year. With that thought in mind, sure… we’d like pitching, but we really need anything and everything that helps improve our RS/RA ratio. Why not look to trade Reed for a corner outfield bat, and move Ichiro to center?

  81. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 1:48 pm

    “Lester and Papelbon are not top 10 prospect pitchers. If I was looking for those I think I’d be dealing with the Pirates, Giants, Indians, Dodgers, Twins, Brewers or Rangers, unfortunately they’re not hard after Reed…”

    If Baseball America is your barometer…

    Lester will be a top 10 pitching prospect according to BA, my guess is 6. (Check out all their comments about him and the league top 20′s.) Papelbon just might sneak in too. Of the teams you mentioned, only the Giants (Cain), Dodgers (Billingsley), or Twins (Liriano) will top Lester. Very unliklely the “D-V-D’s” of the world or the Sowers’s beat Lester. Duke isn’t a prospect anymore, although due to his ML debut he would rank higher. He would seem to be untouchable. Not sure who you’re referring to in Milwaukee, Mark Rogers clearly doesn’t beat Lester or Papelbon, neither does Gallardo.

    IF Duke and Liriano are the only guys you are willing to trade Reed for (in a vacuum) I would argue you are way too high on him. I like Reed a lot, I’ve said that before but his stock was never as high as those two, and it has only fallen since. Doesn’t it seem weird to you that nobody else in baseball would agree with Reed’s value? Not the Mariners or Red Sox (once that trade rumor dies). Not even BP, who once ranked him #2 would dare put him near Liriano after his AAA preformance… Reed’s peak on BA’s list was 25, I expect Lester will match that this year and Reed’s stock has only fallen.

    I must say, LF Monster, I like that name. Thought you were a sox fan at first!

  82. KingCorran on December 29th, 2005 1:57 pm

    Why not a compromise? Send Boston Reed, Meche, and Mateo for Papelbon, Lester, and maybe some batting prospect?

    The consensus seems to be that we’d need more than Papelbon or Lester for Reed and Meche… I don’t know that I buy that, with Meche’s salary, but okay, sure. Why not? AND, Boston seems to think there’s no way they’d trade two for two here… so why not throw in the biggest-perceived-value from our relif corps, and perhaps the pitcher we need the least (with the acquisitions of Gonzalez and Carvajal for Torrealba, certainly)?

    Boston is unlikely to use both Papelbon and Lester as starters in 2006, so what they get is a pitcher, reliever, and CF for a pitcher and a reliever. We take a one-year outfield hole (assuming Snelling/Jones in 2007) and *two* plus SP prospects for Reed, the reliever we don’t need, and the pitcher we don’t want to pay. A rotation of Felix-Moyer-Washburn-Pineiro-Papelbon is supported by a bullpen of Guardado-Soriano-Putz-Carvajal-Atchison-Sherril-Thornton, and Liriano is ready to step up by the time we give up on (or trade) Pineiro or Moyer. Heck, send cash and Thornton to Boston too – most teams still like the upside of a potential power LHRP – and grab a near-MLB outfield prospect too. Then you can replace Thornton in the bullpen with Nageotte, Lester, or Foppert.

  83. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 1:58 pm

    yes and no…I like Lester, but proven in ML and not even AAA are 2 different things. Reed is no longer a prospect. He is a ML quality Defensive CF who looks to have a future with the bat. I’m not saying .330 with 30 HR, but we don’t expect to see another Griffey here. I’m saying that he looks to improve just as Lester does, but he’s already making a difference on the field in the Majors. If you think you should be able to get more than Reed (ML starter) for Lester (1-3 years away) I don’t know what to tell you…

  84. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 2:06 pm

    This might elicit some groans but I wonder if the White Sox might not take back Reed for Brian Anderson and Jose Contreras. I admit that my appreciation for Contreras has been somewhat irrational since he came here from Cuba, but one thing you don’t hear is that he gets by on guile. He’s a power pitcher with a good arsenal.

  85. Badperson on December 29th, 2005 2:12 pm

    I have to agree with amarshal2 that Reed is probably destined to be a solid player, but not a star. The M’s aren’t really in a good position to give up a centerfielder right now, but on the other hand we aren’t going to win anything next year anyway, so there is some sense in trading up talent.

    If I were making unrealistic requests for Reed though, it would probably be for a slugger of some sort. Sexson is probably going to be the only guy on the team that hits more than 20 hrs.

  86. marineros on December 29th, 2005 2:24 pm

    I for one want the rumor to become a reality ASAP.

    I like Papelbon’s stuff and he has proven he can handle ML pressure. We have Jones coming along and it is not as if the M’s will compete next season anyway why not load up the stable with as many live arms as possible.

    I also like the JWash signing since he is a proven lefty starter we can count on to be solid while we work out the other pieces of the 2007,2008 rotation. The money was not good but it could have been worse.

    So lose reed and you get Moyer, Felix, JWash, Pinero, Papelbon not bad at all. :)

  87. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 2:25 pm

    That’s why I’d rather see a trade for Dunn, but Ichiro’s the only piece I’d consider trading that would be negotiable by the Reds.

  88. marineros on December 29th, 2005 2:32 pm

    [try the PI or ESPN]

  89. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 2:36 pm

    I think Reed is only likely to make Star status, but Papelbon and Lester are possible Superstars. Possible…Reed will improve offensively, but how much? Papelbon right now looks like Soriano to me. We already have him too. Maybe he too can learn to put it together for starting, but how many solid RH relief pitchers do you need? Would you fill the bullpen with pitchers who may someday be starters? Who would you give the first opportunity to? I don’t lke the idea of Papelbon (RH in bullpen now) as much as Lester(LHSP in AA-AAA now.)

  90. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 2:36 pm

    I’m not sure you can point to 2005 and say it is the differnce between Reed and Lester. Not only that but by all accounts Reed’s 2005 was just average. Ironically, what Reed has working in his favor is that 2005 is considered a disappointment! It is just my opinion, but I believe Lester could pitch in SEA in 2006 and provide the same value Reed did in 2005. He would be about a league average LH SP with the expectancy that he could do much better in the future. I’m not saying they are worlds apart or that Lester should bring back significantly more than Reed. If Reed had his expected 2005 (.285/.365/.450) then I think your point about his major league experience would be valid. In reality, he didn’t, but we really aren’t that far apart on this one.

    With that I think I’ve exceeded my quota for today. I’ll see you guys some other time.

  91. BriVT on December 29th, 2005 2:37 pm

    Another, nore significant consideration, though, is to compare where the pitchers were by age, not by organizational level.

    This is a mistake when it comes to pitching prospects. There’s not the same physical “peak” as there is with position prospects; pitchers progress as they refine their pitching rather than because of phyical growth (slight oversimplification, but basically true). So age is not nearly the factor when looking at pitchers that it is looking at positional talent.

    Now length of career is a consideration, though. A 24 year-old who has been scuffling along in the minors since he was 18 is different than a 24 year-old in his third pro season. In the case of Papelbon, he never pitched AT ALL until he got to college, and there he was only a closer. So his inning total is actually very low; his “pitching age” is lower than his actual age, if you want to look at it that way. He’s only been a starter for two full professional seasons, now, and zero college seasons. He’s mostly past the critical injury years for young pitchers, and his pitching is developing rapidly.

    I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but Papelbon’s clearly a better prospect than Nageotte ever was.

  92. unholycow on December 29th, 2005 2:37 pm

    If the M’s do trade Reed to the Red Sox, they should at least try to get Adam Stern thrown in with a good pitcher. Stern/Lester or Stern/Papelbon would be a good package for a rebuilding team, and possibly worth Reed. Or you could get Stern/Clement plus much of Clement’s salary.

    Stern is a Rule 5′er, but he only needs to be on the 25 man roster for another 18 games or so. Lefty, good defender, faster than Reed. Did well in AA/AAA, but not as well as Reed.

  93. amarshal2 on December 29th, 2005 2:39 pm

    And as a P.S.:
    What really prevented us from finding out what Soriano is capable of? His stuff or his injury? I’m going with injury. Paps has that great pitcher’s body too. He looks like a Schilling or Clemens clone.

  94. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 2:41 pm

    True amarshal…but ignoring the injuries(which I grant is not a good idea) they would seem to be in similiar positions.

  95. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 2:43 pm

    On the issue of “pitching age”: I’m willing to concede that to some extent, that’s an argument for not being so down on him. But it’s not a great excuse, because no matter the experience issue, older players in the minor leaguers should beat younger players of similar experience — and even of more experience.

    Or, to put this another way: say there’s an outfielder who is drafted out of college and goes on a one-year mission (a Gary Johnson, for instance). He comes back and plays low-A ball with guys who’re much his junior, and he’s a lot bigger and stronger (and, probably, more patient at the plate compared to his peers).

    You’d reasonably expect a guy like that to do really well.

    Similarly, a pitcher who is much older than his competition should be expected to do quite well, if only due to his physical development.

  96. Dave Clapper on December 29th, 2005 3:07 pm

    If this were just Reed for Papelbon or Lester, I think it might be worth a shot. I don’t have facts to back it up (alas), but something tells me that Meche has a better chance of becoming again a solid middle of the rotation starter than either of two prospects. He’s not great right now, but he’s serviceable at the major league level and he’s still young.

    I do think a trade straight up of Reed for one of these two is worth consideration, if only because the likelihood that we’ll be able to contend this year is so dismal anyway. If we were on the verge of even the wild card, it’d be beyond stupid to move our starting CF. But we’re not realistically close to the playoffs for 2006. If Jones looks like a realistic possibility for 2007, then having a poor OF this year in exchange for a #2 starter behind Felix in 2007 looks pretty good.

    Of the two pitchers, Lester looks to have by far the bigger upside. I’m not as sold on Papelbon. Reed for Papelbon doesn’t appeal to me much. Reed for Lester is a disaster for ’06, but potentially very, very good for ’07 and beyond.

  97. BriVT on December 29th, 2005 3:09 pm


    But pitching is far less dependent on physical development than is hitting. Yes, when it comes to positional prospects, I’m a huge believer in age-adjusting stats and expectations. And your example of the religious young Mr. Johnson is a good example where age would matter a good deal. When it comes to hitting … size matters.

    But pitching is different. Getting stronger really only helps pitchers avoid injuries. Pitchers usually don’t put on too much velocity due solely to maturing (players who add velocity–like Lester did–more often do so because of the better coaching on mechanics). The draft is full of fireballing high schoolers, for example. And the low minors has a steady stream of 18 year-old Dominicans and Venezuelans who throw mid-90s.

    So pure age is not that useful a data point in pitchers. Too many people make that mistake because the age-related evaluation of hitters has become so ingrained and is important. In fact, I’d take a pitcher of Papelbon’s age/experience profile (older, less injury prone, but still gaining experience) over almost any other. I mean, not saying I wouldn’t take King Felix over Papelbon in less than a heartbeat, but all things being equal, I like a pitcher past the injury nexus. Felix is great because he’s filthy, nasty, unhittable, unbelievable, and he still hasn’t pitched all that much professionally. His age is incidental.

  98. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 3:17 pm

    I would agree that physical development is much more important in hitting and defense, but I don’t think it’s so much less important that we should disregard it entirely.

    Another way to look at this: organizations have this problem with converted catchers all the time. When they convert, they’re much, much older than their competition, but in terms of pitching experience they may have gone years without taking a mound in a competitive setting.

    You have to look at their performance at lower levels with a skeptical eye: sure, it’s their first years pitching in the minors, but they’ve been around advanced competition for a long time, and they know hitters swing at garbage in the lower levels, and can exploit that, they know a lot more about how to work around plate, all that good stuff.

    The success rate on catcher conversions, even ones that seem initially promising, is still pretty low.

  99. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 3:18 pm

    I’d like to hear the authors talk about Adam Jones’ timetable for major league readiness, what him optiumum position will be, and how he and Reed could/would compelement one another in the outfield with Ichiro.

  100. terry on December 29th, 2005 3:22 pm

    #75: How about typing, Lester the Lefty…even more sinister sounding….

    Also, concerning the domino signing awaiting a Reed trade, a Wilson scenario would mean swapping the league minimum for 7-9 mill a year (and likely a multi year commitment)… while its true many of us likely dont understand the true complexity that is Bill the man, we needn’t even consider the merits of Wilson in centerfield as it doesnt seem like the M’s budget has room for such a contract swap…

    #77: most teams generally wait until after season tickets have been renewed to start a fire sale (the Marlins notwithstanding). Call Bavasi crazy, but I think the man believes in his heart of hearts that the M’s have a shot next season….

    #78: Dealing Reed right now doesnt necesarily strengthen the organisation…it all depends upon the deal. USSM has devoted several recent threads to discussing deals for Reed that in all likelihood weaken the M’s both in the short and long term.

    Also, while the M’s are very high on Adam Jones, he’s most likely at least two years away… Reed does not represent a block to Jones. In fact, the emergence of a centerfielder from the farm simply means the M’s could move Reed to left-where he belongs.

    #82: Concerning Lester and Pappy, its likely neither of them will be starters for the BoSox next year-that doesnt reduce their perceived value. Both would represent prime bargaining chips for mid season trades meant to put Boston over the top. I think the BoSox view Reed as a player that would help them maintain. Besides, it appears the BoSox simply like their young arms.

    #87: The Reds would have no interest in Dunn for Ichiro. Pena has had a monster offseason in the Dominican league. The Reds appear quite happy to trot Pena out in left and Kearns in right. Dunn will leather up on first. Obviously the magnitude of the contract swap suggests the Reds wouldnt drool over a Dunn for Ichiro deal. However, the Queen City is in need of a king….. of course you’d have to throw in some of his court as well…

  101. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 3:34 pm

    That’s why I don’t see a fit there Terry

  102. BriVT on December 29th, 2005 3:34 pm

    I hear what you’re saying there, and I agree, basically. If Papelbon were 18 and doing the same things, I guess I’d give him extra marks. Pure emotional maturity counts for something, too, as does college closing experience.

    But what I was originally reacting to was the idea that we should look at pitchers nearly the same as hitters: that a 22 or 21 or even 20 year-old’s season is different than a 24 year-old’s season (the comparison between Nageotte and Papelbon being the immediate example). I think that distinction is nearly completely meaningless, especially in the particular circumstance of Papelbon. The reason for that distinction in hitters (a demonstrable, near-universally similar physical maturity progression among players during those years) just doesn’t hold water when it comes to pitchers.

    btw, the converted catchers have an advantage by having experienced the professional pitching game for years … they’re sort of a special case. But that’s a tangent …

  103. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 3:35 pm

    Here’s a ‘scouting report’ on Lester I got from another board where they seem to think he’s the second comming:
    He’s a 6’3 LHP. At age 21, he won the Eastern League (AA) Pitcher of the year award with a 2.86 ERA and a 163:57 K:BB ratio in 148 innings. He throws a 4-seam fastball around 95 MPH, and a 2-seam fastball in the low 90′s. He has a plus curve that moves 11-5 and sits in the mid 70′s, and throws a good change. Unless you still count King Felix as a prospect the Mariners don’t have anyone who has his anything close to his performance, or his projectability.
    That seems to be a large disparity from what we’re hearing here. I tend to think the USSM crew does more homework than this other place but is there any truth to this assessment?

  104. Dave on December 29th, 2005 3:38 pm

    Nageotte was ranked 45th on BA’s Top 100 in 2004, #17 among pitching prospects. That’s about where Papelbon will come in this year. Lester will probably be in the 30-40 range because he’s left-handed.

    You can argue Papelbon might be 102 percent of what Nageotte was considered, and I won’t really care. The point isn’t that one is better than the other. The point was that Papelbon and Lester aren’t special prospects. They’re not once every ten year arms. They’re not even once every one year arms. They’re solid arms, guys you want to have in your organization, but hardly a rare commodity.

    Jeremy Reed is something like the 17th or 18th best center fielder on the planet right now. You guys are vastly underestimating the rarity of cheap quality position players at premium defensive positions.

    Oh, and if we said that Reed would post a career .290/.350/.420 line, I’m assuming you guys would use that as evidence that he’ll never be a star and simply become a solid player. After all, a .770 OPS just isn’t all that good.

    Johnny Damon’s career line: .290/.353/.413. If you can hit at all and play a capable major league center field, you are a star.

  105. AlvinDavisRocks on December 29th, 2005 3:41 pm

    I remember a few years ago when the east coast press [cough*gammons*cough] were putting Jorge De La Rosa and Casey Fossum in that “best LHP prospects in the game” category. Which isn’t to say that Lester and Paplebon are in that class of overrated, but in my opinion, Red Sox prospects need a “franchise effects” EQ like Texas League hitters get.

  106. wabbles on December 29th, 2005 3:43 pm

    RE: 19
    So Harry Potter is responsible for bad major league baseball trades? It all makes sense now.
    I thought we disposed with this idea of trading Reed for anyone short of Santana already. It might be better to get promising young prospects instead of a so-so veteran starter. But here’s the thing. REED is a promising young prospect! If we were competing a la 1997 or 2002, maybe, but certainly not now. Hands off our centerfielder. :

  107. sparky on December 29th, 2005 4:00 pm

    Reading through this thread, there are two things that jump out at me (1) what would the M’s hope to receive in exchange for Reed and (2) is Jeremy Reed as valuable as he is being made out to be.

    To answer number 1, we would need better insight as to what exactly the M’s are hoping for this year. Do they think they have a shot at contending? If so, it is imperative that they have a decent LF, which Reed appears to be. If they are conceding the season (and that’s what appears to be the case given the signing of Everett), the hope would be to flip Reed for someone better that projects to be better for the long term. Lester and Paps may fit this category (I’d rather have a real good number 2 starter than an average CF), Arroyo and Clement certainly do not. What is apparent is that the M’s see a market for Reed that they can exploit. Whether this is actually this case remains to be seen.

    The more intriguing question is the latter. I’ve seen all the projections and positions Dave/DMZ/Jeff have discussed, and I still remain unconvinced. I don’t have any stats to back that up except his line from last year. I watched him hit, and he was bad. I know there is substantial room for improvement, but I’m still having a hard time seeing that take place. As far as I see it, Reed has two qualities the M’s should value: his low cost and his defense. Is the value of a cheap defensively capable centerfielder (admittedly with no apparent replacement this year) really as high as its being made out to be right now–even given the especially high importance of good outfielders at Safeco and the (in my opinion) limited potential for him to become a replacement level hitter?

    I don’t have the answer, but I would be inclined to say no.

  108. terry on December 29th, 2005 4:05 pm

    #106: youve convinced me….lets keep Reed

  109. AlvinDavisRocks on December 29th, 2005 4:07 pm

    I would certainly add that Reed’s value is influenced by who would play center if he were elsewhere.

    Could a decent(meaning alble to play the position and hit enough to make up for the loss of defense) replacement be found in house?

    I don’t see it.

    His value is raised by the lack of cpmpetition, at least im my eyes.

    Mr. Bavasi sees things differently.

  110. Mr. Egaas on December 29th, 2005 4:08 pm

    Give Reed another year, he can always be dealt next off season if he doesn’t starting hitting. He should still have some value seen as a top defensive centerfielder with offensive potential and cheap salary, but he’s worth waiting around on, I feel.

    We made the Garcia deal to get some quality young everyday players in the system, and Reed was that guy. You don’t wanna give up on that.

    Maybe we’ll see Adam Jones in 2007, maybe we’ll see Reed and Jones in 2007. Hard to say.

  111. Dave on December 29th, 2005 4:10 pm

    If Jeremy Reed never improves, he’s an average major league center fielder. If he never improves, he’s also an historical anomoly.

    People are disappointed with Reed because he wasn’t what they thought he’d be last year. But we were telling people last year that their expectations for Reed were illegitimate, because they were overly influenced by his ridiculous September in ’04.

    People’s perspectives on Reed have been all over the map, but really, he wasn’t that different in ’05 than what should have been expected. A slight disappointment, but nothing like the catastrophe that everyone wants to make him out to be. He is what is; the new Mark Kotsay with a chance of turning into Rusty Greer.

    The fact that everyone got over excited about him 16 months ago isn’t his fault, and it shouldn’t blind people’s perceptions to what he is.

    If Reed hits .280/.350/.400 next year, he’s a borderline all-star. Do you realize that the difference between 2005 Jeremy Reed and a .280/.350/.400 line is is 13 hits? All season. 13 hits.

    Jeremy Reed is just better than you all realize. If that makes me sound like a snarky jerk, I’m sorry.

  112. terry on December 29th, 2005 4:15 pm

    Dave, you do sound like a snarky jerk :-) but Reed is that good……

    I love the guy and frankly am mystified by his detractors. People just blurt out that Morse is a potential answer in left and then try so hard to hammer Reed…. damn it…. that makes me feel snarky….

  113. terry on December 29th, 2005 4:17 pm

    Anyone remember that fine afternoon last year when Ichiro and Reed saved 12 Yankee runs with defensive gems in just one inning of an ill-fated Moyer outing…. Reed probably shaved half a run off of Moyer’s ERA in just that game….

  114. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 4:23 pm

    Dave, you’ve convinced me. The real question is how to get any of that info into Bavasi’s head. Is it even possible at this point that he doens’t trade Reed?

  115. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 4:23 pm

    Jeremy Reed is hardly the first player to have a rough first full season:

    George Brett, 1974: .282/.312/,363 2 HRs and 21 walks in 457 ABs

    Robin Yount: 1974: .250/.276/.346, 3 HRs, 12 walks in 344 ABs

    Ken Griffey Jr., 1989: .264/.329/.420, 16 HRs, 44 walks in 455 ABs

    Johnny Damon: 1996: .271/.313/.368, 6 HRs, 31 walks in 517 ABs

    Lloyd Moseby, 1982: .236/.281/.365: 9 HRs, 25 walks in 389 ABs

    Chet Lemon, 1976: .246/.298/.328: 4 HRs, 28 walks in 451 ABs

    Jim Edmonds, 1994: .273/.343/.377, 5 HRs, 30 walks in 289 ABs

    Bernie Williams, 1991: .238/.336/.350: 3 HRs, 48 walks in 320 ABs

  116. msb on December 29th, 2005 4:25 pm

    do we actually know that the FO is trying to move Reed? From what I gathered, the first approaches about him were made by Boston, and the rumoring over the last few weeks all seem to spring from Finny’s pen….

  117. Dave on December 29th, 2005 4:27 pm

    To be fair, Jim, Robin Yount was *18* when he did that in the majors. Jr was 19. Brett was 21.

    Reed has a 0.01 percent chance of turning into a hall of famer. He’s just not that kind of player. But he has about a 75 percent chance to be an above average CF next year, and I’m sorry, but that’s just more valuable than a generic B+ pitching prospect.

  118. msb on December 29th, 2005 4:29 pm

    OT, the Pokester has moved on to sit on the DL for Florida

  119. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 4:39 pm

    True, Dave. My point is that history proves that there’s no shortage of players who moved on to have careers that overshadowed their first full seasons. A lot of excellent players needed that “calibration year,” for lack of a better term.

    Some more:

    Ray Lankford, 1991: .251/.301/.392: 9 HRs, 41 walks in 566 ABs

    Torii Hunter, 1999: .255/.309/.380: 9 HRs, 26 walks in 384 ABs

    Marquis Grissom, 1990: .257/.320/.351: 3 HRs, 27 walks in 288 ABs

  120. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 4:42 pm

    To back up what Dave has been saying about Papelbon and Lester being B+ or B prospects, here are John Sickels’ ratings from Spring 2005:

    (hope I did the xhtml right)

    Sickels’ opinions aren’t the be all, end all, of prospect analysis but he has made a career of it. For this year I believe Sickels would probably bump Lester to a B+.

  121. sparky on December 29th, 2005 4:46 pm

    #109–You are right; I neglected to figure that in.

    #110–If we give Reed another year and he doesn’t start hitting, his value is depressed that much more. Right now, people are willing to buy high on potential. Each year where that potential isn’t realized lowers his value.

    #111–13 hits doesn’t seem like a lot, until you consider it is over 10% of his hit total from last year. That being said, if he does turn into a .350/.400 hitter, he is definetly more valuable that what is reportedly being offered for him.

    #115–Good point, but I’m sure one could find just as many first year players with similarly bad lines who never made even that 10 percent jump that is expected by so many

    I guess my point is that there is some chance (I’m not sure I’m capable of quantifying it) that Reed’s value as a trade chip will never be any higher than it is right now–even when that value is adjusted for the perceived lack of a suitable replacement. Really, I’m still unsure if the odds that this is the case are high enough to warrant trading him for what has been rumoured. This ambivalence does seem to put me in the minority among most of you though.

  122. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 4:51 pm

    Who cares if this is as valuable as he will be for a trade? We flat don’t have anyone to play CF if we lose Reed. It’s that simple. If we have a combination of Ichiro, Ibanez, Everett, Lawton and WFB out there we are in serious trouble. Suddenly all those fly ball pitchers will be giving up tons more hits that should have been caught. Not only that but why would we trade something we have no replacement for for guys that we have clones of? It just doens’t make sense. We have lots of young arms. We have one CF.

  123. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 4:57 pm

    #121: Yes, but as long as we can find a ton of players who did need that palate-clearing first year, the effect can’t be dismissed as invalid. You have to concede at least the possibility that what we’ve seen so far of Jeremy Reed is NOT the sum of Jeremy Reed. And there are far better reasons that that to concede that Jeremy Reed has a lot of uptapped upside — namely, many of the various numbers in his record.

    And, for the nine millionth time, all of the navel-gazing at offensive numbers ignores the fact that Jeremy Reed played a fine defensive center field, and that defense cannot be discounted just because we don’t have marquee Triple-Crown-type stats to readily measure it. Defense is NOT some sort of “nice-if-it-happens” add-on value. It’s at least half of a center fielder’s value.

  124. James T on December 29th, 2005 4:59 pm

    #105. I think your memory is faulty. I don’t recall either De La Rosa or Fossum getting a buildup like that. Could you please supply any evidence to corroborate what you say? Sorry. It just seems like hyperbole for the sake of debate.

    I don’t remember much of any buildup for Fossum. As for De La Rosa, I think the most ever written about him was Gammons quoting former Sox GM Dan Duquette to the effect that he thought De La Rosa could be the mexican John Rocker.

  125. terry on December 29th, 2005 5:19 pm

    #21: Alright, this one requires metrics that are over my head….please somebody help…..just out of curiosity, how many .350/.400 hitters were in the league last season……how many played centerfield?

    I think its been easy to knock Reed because he doesnt hit homeruns and God knows everyone on the team needs to hit for power in order to win the world series (the 95-2003 Mariners were a dynasty right?). However, if Reed develops into a .290/.350/.420 guy, frankly, in a few years, the M’s wont be able to afford to keep him…

  126. Godori on December 29th, 2005 5:19 pm

    Hey snarky jerk, thanks for this thread. I was hearing how Lester and Paps were the Sox’s version of King Felix and to me it was all that Eastern Media bias ballyhooing!!!

    This thread just reaffirms my feeling that Reed’s gonna continue to improve and if it was just 13 hits (while playing half his games in SafeCo) that separated him from meeting last year’s expectations, then we can’t give him away now. I predict he’ll get 13 more hits in 06 for the one’s he was robbed of in 05 and finish with a .295/.360/.405

    Then we can really rub it the Red Sox nation by refusing their offer of both Lester AND Papelbon for Reed.

    Oh and Meche will revert back to a solid #3 or #4 SP. Sure he won’t be an ace but considering what JWash is gonna get paid, something tells me we’ll all be glad we didn’t make this Billfoolery trade.

  127. Jeremy on December 29th, 2005 5:24 pm

    #123: The huge blind spot for defense is one of my biggest beefs with lockstep believers of the SABR community (painting with a broad brush).

    Many people who have recently embraced SABR take a “because I can’t quantify it, it doesn’t matter” attitude which is simply arrogant. If defense really doesn’t matter, why not set the balls on tees and play with ghost runners.

    Jeremy Reed is a very valuable piece on this team and unless we are getting a TOR starter who is signed very cheaply, Reed should be our everyday CF next year.

  128. John D. on December 29th, 2005 5:27 pm

    That BASEBALL AMERICA Top 100 Propect List – Many of the people citing it don’t seem to have noticed the date: March 3, 2005.
    (It shouldn’t be until March, 2006, that we know how they now regard some of these prospects.)

  129. AQ on December 29th, 2005 5:31 pm

    If trading Reed means that we either have Carl Everett, Matt Lawton, or (worse yet) Bloomquist patrolling CF in ’06, then count me in the “nay” when it comes to trading Reed. And, the domino effect of that trade would probably mean more time for Morse in LF, which I am also not a fan of. Unless we’d like our OF defense to be a crapshoot and a total adventure out there, I’d say keep Reed.

  130. sparky on December 29th, 2005 5:33 pm

    #125–There were 15 centerfielders with an OPS last year-this includes a few who Yahoo calls CF’s but played there only part of the time (e.g., Matsui, Wilkerson). Reed never needs to develop power if he can get on base 35% of the time he bats. But there’s a big difference between 32% and 35%. If he has 290/350/420 you suggest, there’s no question he’s an extremely valuable commodity.

  131. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 5:34 pm

    But do you really think they plan on keeping Reed now that we have so many outfielders? We’ve got Ibanez, Everett, Lawton, Morese, WFB, and Ichiro. If you keep Reed that’s a logjam. As much as I’d love to believe Bavasi was getting Lawton to build the bench I’ve just seen nothing to substantiate that. In fact, if his history here tells us anything it’s that he doesn’t care how terrible the bench is and we should all be very worried.

  132. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 5:35 pm

    I’ve used the BA top 100 as a reference to Duke being at one point listed just under Reed. My comment was past tense something like “I wonder if Pittsburg ever would have traded up?”

  133. AQ on December 29th, 2005 5:37 pm

    #131 – I was kinda hoping that Bavasi would remove the logjam by trading or releasing Bloomquist or Morse. I don’t see how there’s room enough for both of them on our team. Morse really only has value at SS and that’s a place where he’s getting next-to-no playing time next year. And the value that Morse has at SS is marginal at best anyhow. Bloomquist has some value as a pinch hitter/utility guy, but at best he’s Mark McLemore Lite. Both are expendable to me.

  134. sparky on December 29th, 2005 5:38 pm

    Again, I’m not saying he isn’t as valuable as most here seem to believe (and his defense is a big part of this), but I’m still not completely sold.

    My other question remains…what is the FO’s expectation for this team this year? How does Reed play into the plans for this year? Subsequent years? If the M’s want to have a fighting chance this year, they NEED a CF of Reed’s caliber. But, what indication do we have that the FO thinks that this is a likely possiblity?

  135. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 5:39 pm

    I agree, but they’re expendable to *us* not to Bavasi. I honestly think that Reed is more expendable to him at this point.

    Or maybe all these trade rumors and talks are some double secret feint, plans-within-plans, thing that Bavasi is doing and I’m too dumb to figure out.

  136. AQ on December 29th, 2005 5:43 pm

    #135 – That’s what scares me (that Bavasi thinks that Reed is expendable). Does he really think that filling one hole by creating another is a sound strategy? CF is not one of those places where you just throw anybody in, especially in a stadium like Safeco.

  137. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 5:45 pm

    I think he honestly thinks you can just move Ichiro to CF and that takes care of that.

    Personally I think that’s madness because then you have Ichiro somewhere other than his natural position and flanked by something like Everett and Lawton….SCARRRRRRRRRRY

  138. BigPapi on December 29th, 2005 5:48 pm

    “Lester will probably be in the 30-40 range because he’s left-handed.”

    Or because he has a major league fastball, curveball, cutter, change, and a superb track record in AA.

    “You can argue that Papelbon might be 102 percent of what Nageotte was considered, and I won’t really care.”

    That’s the spirit Dave!

    “The point is that Papelbon and Lester aren’t special prospects?”
    “Almost every organization has a guy like Papelbon or Lester.”

    So the approx 5th to 7th best SP prospect in baseball isn’t special? What do you say to the other 24 teams who don’t have a Lester? I think you guys are a bit spoiled by King Felix. He is a once in ten year talent, as close as you come to a sure bet. The rest of the world has to settle with a little bit less.

    “They’re not once every ten year arms. They’re not even once every one year arms.”

    What’s your point. That Lester isn’t Felix? We’ve established this. Are you suggesting that Jeremy Reed is worthy of a once every 10 year arm? A once a year arm? Either you’re off your rocker or there is no connection.

    “Jeremy Reed is something like the 17….you guys vastly underestimating his value.”
    I haven’t heard anybody argue differently. What exactly does a slightly less than average CF’er get in a FA contract? What does a slightly less than average lefty SP get in a FA contract? You’re an M’s fan, you should know the answer to that one!

    essentially: “Johnny Damon is a star so Reed could easily be one too.”
    Yes, I root for the Red Sox, no I don’t think Johnny is Jesus nor do I think he is a superstar. He was vastly over-rated because of his public image, his ALCS heroics, and his market. I’m glad the Yankees over-paid for him. I think Reed could easily approximate Johnny over the next 4 years (which is why I hope the sox can acquire him). Just because Reed can approximate Johnny does not mean he is going to be as good as Johnny was in his prime. He put up 3 seasons with an OPS over .850. There were never questions about his CF defense as his long-term position and defensive range have never come into question (unlike Reed who’s stock takes a big drop in RF)…at least until Johnny was in his 30′s.

    “If Jeremy Reed never improves…he’s also a(n) historical anamoly.”
    I would think you’re too smart of a guy to possibly believe this. The past is littered with players who never lived up to the promise they showed in the minor leauges, never improved after their first full year. Sean Burroughs is the first to come to mind.

    I agree with the rest of that post. I like Reed’s future a lot. At this point, his future is not much more of a certainty than Papelbon or Lesters. Lots of scouts are down on Reed. In terms of ceiling, Reed ceiling (say top 1/3 of CF’s in baseball) is considerably lower than both Lester and Papelbon’s. Who still have ace potential (and are a better bet to reach it than 95% of the other pitching prospects in baseball) whether you’ll admit it or not.

    In the end this is all pointless…the sox will never trade either for Reed.

  139. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 5:52 pm

    Every time I think the FO plan is wrong, I think back to how I felt the only player for the M’s to take #3 was Clement…LH Power at C…and they did. I will give them the benefit of doubt that they don’t know what thier doing. Until spring approaches closer and most all FA are signed, there’s still time for roster changes.

    There are more CF available to the M’s than Reed, whether currently signed by the M’s, another organization or unsigned. Or for that matter signed in Japan (it’s conceivable.) We don’t know what the plan would be unless/until it’s played out.

  140. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 6:00 pm

    I don’t want to trade Reed for Lester…I want to trade Meche or less for Lester

  141. ehteam on December 29th, 2005 6:48 pm

    Meche probably has negative trade value at this point. He’s making good money. You don’t really have to *pay 2-3 million* for a 5+ ERA. He’s the kind of guy you throw into a deal to even it up when you are already on the plus end of the talent swap.

    As far as Reed, he’s great defensively but it’s hard to look at 2005 as anything other than a big disappointment offensively. He’s not really a league average CF’er at this point. It’s only his defense that is keeping him on the field. Otherwise, he’s Juan Pierre, not Johnny Damon.

    He should get better but he will need to or else he will be a 4th outfielder. 3 hrs and 3 3b’s over the course of a season isn’t going to keep you in the lineup every day.

    But I’d expect him to improve into a good regular given the strength of his defense. I can’t see him being an All-Star but a solid contributor. It still might be a couple of years away, though.

  142. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 7:05 pm

    Since when is noodle arm Johnny Damon anything special? I know there’s a dearth of CF’s in the league, but he just doesn’t seem very tood to me. Average offensive numbers pretty good range and an Al Martinesque arm. I honestly think Reed will be better than that.

    Even so, the point is we have no one to play CF if we trade Reed without creating huge problems elsewhere (see: Ichiro in center).

    Honestly I think if Bavasi is even asking after these guys it’s just to mollify his conscience or the fans that we got the best deal possible when we trade Reed for Arroyo.

  143. Mr. Egaas on December 29th, 2005 7:12 pm

    Reed is far from being Johnny Damon until he starts hitting lefties.

    2005 vs. lefties: .200/.276/.267

    I’m sorry, but unless a guy can be relied on to be played everyday vs. any pitcher, he can’t be compared to Damon. Not playing vs. lefties leaves a defensive hole in the OF everytime he’s not in the lineup.

  144. joealb on December 29th, 2005 7:28 pm

    Maybe if the deal included Trot Nixon. Reed, Piniero, Morse and Mateo for Lester (He’s the one I really want) Nixon and Clement. Ichiro to CF Nixon in RF. The problem with that scenario is the M’s would weaken thier outfield and would have to take on more salary. But a rotation of The King, Washburn, Clement, Moyer and Meche. would look ok especially if Lester is ready by the break in case Meche still sucks. I don’t know, I think I’ll go look at some PANDAS!

  145. AlvinDavisRocks on December 29th, 2005 7:30 pm

    #124 I couldn’t find the Gammo article where he said that De La Rosa would really bolster the Brewers staff. This was the best quote I could find from him . . .

    By the way, Jorge de la Rosa — the minor-leaguer the Red Sox sent to the Diamondbacks — can pitch, and will become a member of the Brewers once Richie Sexson is traded to Arizona

    BA had this to say about JDLR at the time . . .

    De la Rosa, 22, had been the Red Sox’ best pitching prospect before they traded him for Schilling. He originally signed out of Mexico in 1998 with the Diamondbacks, who sold his contract to their Mexican League affiliate, the Monterrey Sultans in 2000. When Arizona’s working agreement with Monterrey expired after that season, the Sultans kept de la Rosa’s rights and sold him to Boston in February 2001. The Red Sox signed him for $600,000, and then-GM Dan Duquette dubbed him “the Mexican John Rocker” because he was a hard-throwing lefty reliever. De la Rosa still can light up a radar gun from 90-95 mph, but he has shown enough stuff to possibly become a big league starter. He also has a curveball that’s a plus pitch at times, and his changeup has made significant improvement. He appeared in the Futures Game in 2003, when he went 7-5, 2.98 in 27 games (25 starts) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. In 124 innings, he had a 119-48 strikeout-walk ratio and held hitters to a .245 average and six homers. He’ll probably begin the 2004 season in Triple-A.

    Fossum’s glow had quieted down when they traded him, but was at fervor pitch the year before . . .

    I found this report about him from a 2002 USA Today/Baseball Weekly preview . .

    The rail-thin Fossum had always been a highly-regarded commodity: a lefthander who throws hard and throws strikes. Last season, the 24-year-old southpaw turned those expectations into results with a tremendous season at Class AA and an impressive stint with the big league club which should land Fossum on the Opening Day roster for 2002.

    Fossum, who set all the all-time career strikeout record at Texas A & M, led the school to the College World Series in his final season there. He went a hard-luck 3-7 but posted a 2.83 ERA in 20 starts for Class AA Trenton before finishing the season by going 3-2 with a 4.87 ERA in 13 games — seven starts — with the big club.

    Armed with fastball that touches the low-90s, a sharp slider, a curveball and a changeup, the 6-1, 160-pound Fossum will push for a spot in Boston’s rotation but may end up in a relief role due to the abundance of starters in big league camp.

    Which makes him sound a lot like Paplebon.

    Again, I’m not compairing them, it’s just that Red Sox prospects always seem to get a bump in the press clippings. At least to me they do . .

  146. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the breakdown on Lester and Papelbon, Dave. They had seemed solid, but non-elite, and the details confirm that; neither is established at the ML level as a starter, either. Given that, and given that the Bosox have the hole to fill, not the Ms, Reed for either of them straight up is not a go.

    —Lester and Clement for Reed, Mateo, and either Piniero or Meche as Boston prefers, _that’s_ a go. Make the deal bigger to make it enough better to be worth the hole in the OF.

  147. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 7:50 pm

    It’s a good point w/r/t the Red Sox — they’re one of the teams that, by playing well with their press corps (and that’s partially the result of the Red Sox’s business connection with a local paper, ala the Cubs-Tribune) gets a lot of attention for their prospects and is able to generate buzz around guys that might not warrant it if they played for, say, Tampa.

    The Yankees are horrible about this: whoever’s left on the farm system gets built into the next huge star until they’re traded, at which point they fall over. It’s not that the system is entirely barren, or that the guys aren’t good prospects, but just because they’re the best Yankee prospects doesn’t mean they’re blue chip guys.

  148. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 7:56 pm

    Lester and Clement (with or without Nixon) is interesting. Without the Red Sox picking up any of Clements salary. Reed and Mateo wouldn’t be enough though and Pineiro/Meche isn’t adding anything unless you pay thier salary. I don’t see that happening on top of picking up Clements salary.

  149. Chintan Desai on December 29th, 2005 8:00 pm

    Hey Derek, sorry if this is maybe off-topic but i’ve got a quick question. I know defensive metrics like UZR and FRAA determine a player’s defensive value relative to the league average, but does that assume an average defender doesn’t save any runs? In other words, could you simply add a player’s RC and UZR and determine the number of runs saved/created? I wanted to do a quick analysis on how many runs we could expect Reed to be worth next year.

  150. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 8:01 pm

    JAS in #18, I’m with you completely on Reed’s swing, which is why I hold no brief for his future as a hitter. Jeremy has a good idea of how to hit; he knows the zone, will work for his pitch, and will take a walk. He has a long, looping swing which nonetheless generates very little power. He had no success trying to pull the ball as an alternative, either. Given a long swing and an inability to pull, LF pitching erases him; while RH pitchers with good fastballs tie him up good, too. When Reed gets a pitch to drive, he hits lots of nice flyballs, some of which find gaps to land in gently. Reed runs aggressively after contact and collects some doubles and triples, but you don’t see him tattooing the outfield walls, not at all. Even his hot month in September, ’04 consisted almost entirely of singles, he was just seeing the ball very well and getting a lot of ‘showme’ pitches in the strikezone as a total rookie. Jeremy Reed is 26, and has had years to refine his mechanics and approach at the plate. I just can’t see any legal means whereby he’s going to generate significant power: he’s a Punch and Judy hitter, almost classically so, at this point and probably for the duration of what career he’s going to have.

    Snelling is so different as a hitter it’s more than night and day, with a super quick bat, and laser-like line drives to all parts of the park. He’s aggressive on pitches in the zone, but disciplined enough not to expand the zone too much and chase pitchers’ pitches. I’d go to the park just to watch Doyle take his cuts, yeah mate. With his size and swing plane, he’s not going to put too many pitches in the seats, maybe 20 HR in a very good year, but it would be easy to see him slug .475+ on a regular basis.

  151. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 8:08 pm

    Sure Doyle could slig .475+ if he could get off the bus without some part of his body falling off.

  152. Murton on December 29th, 2005 8:12 pm

    Dave, just some quibbles with your comments about Lester and Papelbon.

    Lester doesn’t just sometimes throw a cutter, he features it as much as he does his fastball. You’re right though that his curveball is terrible and the times I’ve seen him, I’ve rarely seen him throw a change. Because of his lack of even an average breaking pitch and how his success is predicated on a fastball and a variation of it in a cutter, I agree that he’s not the hotshot prospect he’s touted as. BA rated his cutter as a 65 but he’s no starting version of Mariano Rivera.

    And Papelbon doesn’t just throw hard stuff. His splitter acts like more of a changeup as it doesn’t just drop off the table like traditional splitters do but swerves like a changeup and comes in at 83-87. Hence the pitch is often called a split-change. And while he’s only thrown 38 major league innings counting the playoffs, he’s pitched them far more effectively than Nagoette has. There have been plenty of minor league pitchers who have been talented and put up fine minor league numbers who became hijacked versions of themselves in the majors. Nagoette just looks like one of those types right now.

    And just on a stuff basis, Nagoette and Papelbon aren’t comparable. Nagoette’s fastball hardly got over 89 with the Mariners last year while Papelbon ranged from 90-96 as a starter and 92-96 as a reliever.

    Whether Papelbon and Lester are overrated or accurately rated, the Boston FO seems to rate both highly. Papelbon is being counted on to be a big contributer for the pitching staff next year, whether as a starter or a setup man. And Boston wouldn’t give up Lester in the Josh Beckett deal, preferring to deal Anibal Sanchez instead. There’s no way they would trade either or both for Jeremy Reed.

  153. Dave on December 29th, 2005 8:16 pm

    Or because he has a major league fastball, curveball, cutter, change, and a superb track record in AA.

    Except that no one that isn’t a part of Red Sox nation believes he has a major league curveball and change. I talked with three scouts who saw him this year, and two of those three each saw him last year too. They all have everything except his FB as below average present value. They differ on their opinions of his future secondary pitches; one really likes his chances to be a three pitch guy, two aren’t as sold. But none of them think his secondary stuff is major league quality right now.

    So the approx 5th to 7th best SP prospect in baseball isn’t special?

    See, this is my point. The fact that you guys feel that these guys are in the top 5-7 pitching prospects in the game is why I posted this in the first place. Verlander, Liriano, Cain, Billingsley, Olsen, Reyes, and Diamond are all clearly preferable to Lester or Papelbon in my book. They aren’t even close to the top 5, who are a big step ahead of everyone else. What’s the difference between Papelbon and Jonathan Broxton (besides 100 pounds) or Fernando Nieve? Or Lester and Cesar Carillo? Or, even though he’s not my favorite, how about Yusmeiro Petit?

    That’s the point. There are a ton of guys in Lester and Papelbon’s class. These guys really aren’t that special.

    What’s your point. That Lester isn’t Felix? We’ve established this. Are you suggesting that Jeremy Reed is worthy of a once every 10 year arm? A once a year arm? Either you’re off your rocker or there is no connection.

    Look at the beginning of this thread. There’s a reference made to a “pro executive” who called Lester the best LHP of the past ten years. Which is absurd and indefensible.

    The entire point of this thread was to point out that Papelbon and Lester are not the elite pitching prospects that they’ve been painted in the media. They’re good arms, and they have potential, but calling them future #1′s is pretty ridiculous, and vastly overstates their talent level.

  154. Dave on December 29th, 2005 8:18 pm

    Jeremy Reed is 26

    Last time you went on your anti-Reed rant, you said he was 25. I corrected you, and now you’re adding to your error by increasing his age even more.

    Seriously, Bela, I think you might want to take a step back and reevaluate how much of your position on Reed is based on inaccurate information.

  155. AlvinDavisRocks on December 29th, 2005 8:21 pm

    It’s a good point w/r/t the Red Sox — they’re one of the teams that, by playing well with their press corps (and that’s partially the result of the Red Sox’s business connection with a local paper, ala the Cubs-Tribune) gets a lot of attention for their prospects and is able to generate buzz around guys that might not warrant it if they played for, say, Tampa.

    Over at SOSH they refer to this effect as “Gammo-ganda”.

    I love that.

  156. Chintan Desai on December 29th, 2005 8:23 pm

    Dave, again sorry if this is off-topic, but if you’ve got the answer to #149, I’d greatly appreciate it.

  157. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 8:30 pm

    Good way to put it smegma…

  158. Dave on December 29th, 2005 8:31 pm


    No, you can’t do that. The baseline for RC is 0. The baseline for UZR or FRAA is “league average at the position”, which is significantly higher than 0.

    If you wanted to add UZR or FRAA (or any of the other stats that are better than FRAA, which I’m not a fan of) to an offensive statistic, you need to pick one that converts the runs into an “above average” baseline. BP has RAP, or runs above position, which would do the trick.

    All that said, since each defensive statistic still has its holes, I’m not a big fan of picking one and combining it with an offensive statistic to give us an overall value. Doing so weights the accuracy of the offensive and defensive statistics equally, and we can’t claim we’re there with defensive numbers yet. I usually prefer to figure out a players offensive value and then give a range of potential defensive values. So, you’ll see me write something like “Ichiro is 10 runs above average with the bat, but 10-20 above average with the glove”. At this point in our ability to translate defense with numbers, I think it’s the most prudent approach.

  159. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 8:35 pm

    Or, re: Reed’s age, simple personal carelessness due to indifference, as is this case I didn’t bother to look up his age again before posting.

    So you’ve found something I’m wrong about in the post Dave, congrats. Now, I’d be interested to hear you break down his swing as I spent 90% of that post discussing and show me what’s wrong with that, really entirely relevant analysis. And those details really don’t qualify as a ‘rant’ since they are an assessment of his abilities which are fundamental to making an assessment of his actual value. If you have another perspective there on Reed’s swing and his potential for changing it, I’m open to hearing it. If not . . . well, how old Jeremy is really won’t matter all that much.

  160. Dave on December 29th, 2005 8:40 pm

    My take on Reed.

    Basically, I disagree with what you think you saw.

  161. eponymous coward on December 29th, 2005 8:40 pm

    I actually asked this question a weeek or two back in a Reed for Arroyo thread. I’m glad I got the answer.

    I could see an argument for doing this if we had a surplus of young OF’ers- trading a position of strength for a position of weakness makes some sense in this scenario. The problem is after trading Winn and losing Doyle yet again to injury, and Choo not really busting down the door for a job, and the team playing the game of Veteran Roster Filllout/Dumpster Diving in the form of Everett and Lawton, we don’t have a talent surplus at this point. It’s hard for me to see an OF/DH combo of Ibañez/Ichiro/Lawton/Everett as anything other than a downgrade from Ichiro/Reed/Winn/Ibanez, both defensively AND offensively (with the extra bonus of giving you more of your lineup on the wrong side of 30,, and thus fairly likely to give you unpleasant surprises), and I don’t think the pickup in prospect arm accumulation’s worth it.

  162. DMZ on December 29th, 2005 8:41 pm

    Chintan — Also with regards to defensive metrics, one of the things that messes up that kind of evaluation is that different metrics regard replacement level it in different ways, so you need to pay close attention. Some metrics regard replacement level fielding as they do batting — that is, the worst hitting performance by a regular player’s going to be about replacement level.

    With defense, it’s a lot different. Defensive stars are far easier to find than offensive ones, while the awful defenders are usually playing because they’re solid hitters. Replacement level defense, then, isn’t “worst major league”… it’s a lot closer to average. Which makes intuitive sense too: if you call up some random PCL veteran minor leaguer, they may not be able to hit a breaking pitch, but they can still catch and throw like anyone.

    However, different metrics rate defense and average against replacement-level differently, so it’s worth paying close attention to whatever stat you look up to see how they set it up.

  163. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 8:41 pm

    And say there, LF ‘Ster, if it was Lester and Clement coming back in a deal for Reed, I wouldn’t expect the Sox to pick up _any_ of Mattie’s money, no; they seem to want to move him to free up $$. I don’t know that Reed, Mateo, and a back-end starter would get the deal done, but it would get a package closer to something where nobody feels that they got jerked and everybody gets something both desirable and useful. Another package might do better but to me the issues are the Sox need Reed and to save $$ while the Ms need someone who can go right into the rotation, and want depth in good (if not necessarily elite) pitching prospects. A deal here is doable to me, but not in terms of Reed straight up for anybody. But if the Sox want Reed in a deal, they’re going to have to cough up Papelbon, Lester, or someone at least as good; if that’s too stiff for them, then there it is.

  164. Chintan Desai on December 29th, 2005 8:41 pm

    Thanks for the answer, although i’m guessing you meant to say a baseline of zero in the second paragraph. I know you’ve mentioned it before, but i’m guessing Reed’s defensive value last year is an example of where you don’t completely buy the metrics available to us? Btw, no worries about the common mispelling of my name.

  165. eponymous coward on December 29th, 2005 8:48 pm

    Another package might do better but to me the issues are the Sox need Reed and to save $$ while the Ms need someone who can go right into the rotation, and want depth in good (if not necessarily elite) pitching prospects.

    If the M’s had the money to pay Clement at this point in the budget (ignoring the fact that it’s a fairly arbitrary number), they could have been FAR more aggressive in the FA market at signing starting pitching or offense, instead of doing Washburn/Everett/Lawton. I don’t see Clement coming in any deal. It’s likely Arroyo/Lester/Papelbon or bust.

    I think the M’s are tapped out- with the possibility that they can move Meche and use his money on something else (or, worst case, dump him after his arbitration hearing for 1/6th his salary).

  166. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 8:50 pm

    By the way, a lot of people seem to have written off Snelling for ’06, but when spring training opens, he’ll be nearly eight months post-surgery on his knee, and could follow a recovery path similar to the one that brought him back to the majors in mid ’05.

  167. eponymous coward on December 29th, 2005 8:53 pm

    I’m pessimistic on Doyle not because he can’t come back in mid-’06, but he’s 0-for-lifetime in staying healthy through an entire season of pro ball. Rondell White is Lou Gehrig compared to him.

  168. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 8:54 pm

    Thanks for the link on Reed’s swing as you’ve seen it, Dave; it puts some meat on the bones. I won’t hold it against you that that was written two-and-a-half years ago, and well before Reed racked up more than a full season’s ABs against big league pitching. You described him as a gap-to-gap hitter, and smart base runner who many scouts considered questionable as far as his ability to hit for power since they first saw him; those traits are all with him still, yes, I’m with you there. If I _ever_ saw Jeremy Reed pull any significant number of pitches with authority, however, I’d read his potential as a hitter entirely differently than I do at this time; that capability didn’t get packed in his kit bag when he moved up a couple of levels, though, insofar as I can tell.

  169. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 8:56 pm

    Good call Jim…But I think we all would rather he be a surprise than prepare for him again and watch him tear his body up again.

  170. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 8:58 pm

    #167: I think that’s too harsh an assessment. Look at Paul Molitor, for instance. The guy lost huge chunks of his early career to injuries — including the kind suffered by Doyle — and made it back.

    He’s been unlucky, but, to paraphrase the USS Mariner authors, luck isn’t a repeatable skill.

    Remember that last winter Doyle went on a two-month walkabout with his brother through the Australian desert — some of the harshest and most rugged terrain known on Earth — and came through just fine. He’s not weak or frail by any means, just unfortunate.

  171. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 9:02 pm

    If Jeremy Reed’s swing was a hindrance to his being at least a solid major leaguer, I don’t think Boston would be interested in him. Just my opinion.

  172. Dave on December 29th, 2005 9:05 pm

    If I _ever_ saw Jeremy Reed pull any significant number of pitches with authority, however, I’d read his potential as a hitter entirely differently than I do at this time

    And thus the difference between you and me. I have seen Reed pull a significant number of pitches with authority.

  173. eponymous coward on December 29th, 2005 9:11 pm

    Molitor’s games played by age:

    20: 64
    21: 125
    22: 140
    23: 111


    20: 31
    21: 65
    22: 10
    23: 80

    Molitor didn’t really lose a FULL season to injury until he was 27.

    Or, to put it another way, after 7 pro seasons, Doyle’s played 441 games, with only ONE season of 100+ games (114 games, San Bernadino). Molitor did that three times in his first 4 pro seasons going up to the same age (since Molitor went to college I can’t compare their first 7 seasons since it would be a massive disparity in age).

  174. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 9:14 pm

    Further re: your reading of Reed’s swing, Dave, you describe him as having very good plate coverage; I agree, he still has that. You also mention him as having a classic lefthand hitter’s swing, a la Ole Olerud. I agree there as well . . . to a point. Reed’s swings in the same path, yes, but his batspeed is _significantly_ slower. I hadn’t thought of this especially as Jeremy’s hips being stiff, but after JAS mentioned that near the start of the thread, it’s obvious that he’s right; think about it, Jeremy’s upper body really _doesn’t_ torque through his swing. That’s what led me to post on this at all. Reed doesn’t hit the ball with any authority with his present swing, even in his gap-to-gap range. He shows _very little power_ at this point in time in consequence.

    Just going by your description here, Dave, we actually agree about almost everything in Reed’s swing, then, except: a) whether Jeremy pulls the ball effectively _at this point in time_, and b) whether Reed’s swing in the future will generate more doubles and HRs than it has over the last two years. We’ve also disagreed in the past on whether or not Reed will eventually be able to hit LH pitching effectively, so I’ll reiterate that to this point in time he hasn’t at all against superior pitching, i.e. AA and above.

    The crux of our disagreement on Reed as far as I can tell, Dave, is that I think he will continue to be exactly who he has been as a hitter for the last two years, and you have a metric regarding XBHs which leads you to believe that Reed will slug at a level he has never demonstrated, ever, and also make contact for another .35-.40 of BA. To me, Reed looks as a hitter like the second coming of Sean Burroughs, as I discussed before when we went over comparables, but if everything goes well for him I’ll concede he might, probably not but _might_ turn out to be a lefty-swinging Mike Darr, a comparable someone else threw in last week that seems quite good to Reed’s ACTUALs, not projectibles.

    And I wouldn’t hold on to Mike Darr if I could spring a deal for two starting pitchers leveraged around him, no, not at all.

  175. Murton on December 29th, 2005 9:16 pm

    One of the reasons I really like Papelbon is how he raises his pitching with men on base and/or in scoring position. I don’t have the exact numbers but he was crazy dominant in the minors when runners got on, when situations called for him to raise his level. It continued into the majors:
    with none on, he allowed hitters to compile a 324/390/514 line against him
    with runners on, the line dropped to 170/318/283 and to 160/333/360 when in scoring position.

    Against good pitchers, I always got the sense that getting men on base was just a charade before the team was shut down for the inning. The good pitcher would just reach back for something extra while still spotting his pitches and overwhelm the hitters who just couldn’t match them. I’m not saying that Papelbon is a no.1 starter type, but I think his concentration, focus and moxie as a big-game pitcher will allow him to reach his full potential, something most pitches rarely do. Those types are pretty valuable.

  176. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 9:17 pm

    The point is that Molitor got slapped with the chronic-injury tag early in his career. I remember those days well, and remember no shortage of hand-wringing articles fretting that the Brewers’ “dream infield” of Cooper, Gantner, Yount and Molitor could never be complete because Molly couldn’t be counted on to finish a given season.

    I believe Snelling will have a career. If he rests like he’s supposed to, rehabs like he’s supposed to and shows the desire to get back like he has in the past, then there’s no particular reason to believe he’ll injure himself again. Knee surgery, like TJ surgery, has gotten so routine and so advanced that there’s no reason to think that a knee once blown out is at any special or additional risk of blowing out again.

  177. Dave on December 29th, 2005 9:23 pm


    Go read the article Dave Studeman wrote for the Hardball Times site today. It basically refutes everything you just wrote. The fact that much of Papelbon’s success has been due to his performance with runners on base is a bad sign for his future, not a good one.

    And Bela, I’m sorry if you’re frustrated that I won’t get into this with you, but you’ve convinced me that your mind on the issue is shut, and as such, I don’t really want to spend a lot of time talking to a wall.

    Basically, you believe what you saw this year was the gospel truth as to Reed’s abilities. I’ve seen significantly different abilities in my prior experience watching Reed, and I also disagree with your assessment of what he looked like this year. Nothing I say will change your mind. You’re firmly in the Reed sucks camp. That’s your perrogative. But it’s also why I don’t bother getting into conversations with you about him.

  178. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 9:28 pm

    I wish, deeply, that “Doyle” Snelling could have a ‘routine’ knee surgery, and come back, ’cause I love his hitting and like him very much as a player. However, he has had so many injuries to the same knee joint, and that knee seems (from a distance) to be so unstable that his situation is anything but routine, sadly. It’s very hard to believe that this _particular_ knee will be able to withstand the demands of professional play in a field sport. Doyle will come back, but the results may not change much. *sigh*

  179. James T on December 29th, 2005 9:28 pm

    #145. So, are you saying that Baseball America is part of an east coast media bias? Their offices are in Durham, North Carolina but this is the first time I’ve heard of them being accused of that. Maybe my memory’s no good, either?

  180. eponymous coward on December 29th, 2005 9:28 pm

    Will Snelling have a career? Sure. It’s very likely to be a Rondell White-style career, where he regularly goes on the DL for one reason or another.

    Knee surgery, like TJ surgery, has gotten so routine and so advanced that there’s no reason to think that a knee once blown out is at any special or additional risk of blowing out again.

    Uhhh…not so much. Outright tendon replacement is different than repairing tears in anything. The latter is more like supergluing a plate back together- the fracture’s still there.

    (I have a father with multiple knee surgeries- though now it’s his shoulders that are going, one after the other.)

  181. F-Rod on December 29th, 2005 9:32 pm

    When talking about stats for pitchers I think you guys are giving way too much emphasis on fielding independent ERA…I find it a bullshit stat that can only be used for games such as classic fantasy baseball or for a team that has a league average defense in a league average ballpark….. Pitchers are humans and they know who they are facing and who is playing defense for their team and which ballpark they are playing in…….Giving more credit to K/BB is just ridiculous

  182. Dave on December 29th, 2005 9:37 pm

    You’re allowed to believe that. You’re wrong, but that’s perrogative.

  183. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 9:37 pm

    #181: I wouldn’t go so far as that, but I have always wondered how a pitcher’s repetoire (and stats) are altered by pitching from the stretch as opposed to pitching from a full windup. Have there been any credible studies done on this?

  184. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 9:42 pm

    Sorry about the earlier post where I botched the html link to Sickels’ site, but I have been digging around a little deeper to see if Sickels’ ratings, at least at the beginning of last year, confirm or refute Dave’s contention that just about every team has a Papelbon or Lester. Last spring Papelbon was rated a B+, Lester a B. Just looking at B+ or higher players in the American League who haven’t garnered enough MLB playing time to drop off the list, there looks to be 14 pitchers total (including Papelbon) who garnered a B+ or higher. Okay, that’s quite a coincidence.

    It can be argued that Papelbon and Lester will move to an A- next year, but Sickels’ is pretty conservative on his jumps, especially a double grade jump which would be required to move Lester from a B to an A-. Sickels likes to take a long range look at prospect grades. Recent excellent performance does get weighted higher, but past performance is not ignored.

  185. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 9:52 pm

    F-Rod, well at least you’re honest about it. I come across many who believe SO’s and BB’s are very important and nod their heads “yes” when I explain Fielding Independent ERA to them. Some even read Tippet’s long treatise in its entirety. But then when I apply FIP ERA to a pitcher that they are especially fond of, they immediately claim that their guy is the exception. But Tippet and others have already covered the exceptions. And pitchers with a garden variety of pitches aren’t exceptions.

    So I think belief in FIP ERA is a binary sort of thing. Either you believe it, or you think its bullshit as F-Rod states. There really isn’t a middle ground.

    And Murton’s description of Papelbon’s ability to leave men stranded sounds so much like Washburn’s faux skill from last year that I’m now totally scared off on him.

  186. F-Rod on December 29th, 2005 9:57 pm

    I just dont think that pitchers are robots…i think they are (sometimes) very intelligent individuals who pitch differently depending on there situation…..They treat good hitters differently than bad ones and if they have a good defense or are in a good pitchers park they are less concerned with strikeouts and try to pitch to the big parts of the ballpark

  187. AlvinDavisRocks on December 29th, 2005 9:58 pm

    So, are you saying that Baseball America is part of an east coast media bias?

    Certainly not. I think it’s more like a large market halo.

    Example, when the Padres traded for Dennis Tankersly out of the Red Sox system analysts had heard of him so they studied him closely and mentioned his name a lot, when at the same time Oliver Perez was just a level lower and putting up incredible Randy Johnson like minor league numbers, byt when it came down to ranking prospects, they went with the one they knew better and Perez was a “surprise” despite the data from both scouts and his stats.

    It just shows that large market teams have an advantage when dealing prospects.

    The Blue Jays (and their fans) gladly gave up Zach Jackson among others for Lyle Overbay and nobody blinked an eye. Yet when Lester’s name is mentioned for Reed, half the eastern seabord trembles with fear at a “top lefthander” being delt.

    Why? They would seem to be on a very similar level of prospects.

  188. Rusty on December 29th, 2005 10:04 pm

    I have only known one pitcher with professional talent. Best friend in high school in the late 70′s. Drafted by Pittsburg, bounced around in the Atlanta farm system, threw mid 90′s fastball, and never made it to the show after an arm injury.

    He wanted to strike out everyone, all the time, no exceptions.

    F-Rod, this is purely anecdotal and does not statistically refute what you’re saying about intelligent pitchers, but I think that bravado that pitchers have that nobody can hit them is part of what scouts and managers and others see that elevate them through the minor leagues to the show.

  189. Smegmalicious on December 29th, 2005 10:06 pm

    So is there any word on the Doyle rehab efforts?

  190. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 10:19 pm

    #189: I couldn’t find anything recent on Google or Alltheweb.

  191. LF Monster on December 29th, 2005 10:29 pm

    He has been in the lineup before…

  192. BelaXadux on December 29th, 2005 10:36 pm

    Dave, you could say _lot’s_ of things that would change my mind. Really. And repeatedly you have ‘gotten into discussions with me’ about Jeremy Reed. But no point of contention you have ever raised has addressed the issues and observations I’ve raised, repeatedly, which fundamentally differ from yours. Reed’s got a long, slow swing, hits the ball in the air a lot gap-to-gap, and is erased by LH pitching. I raised all those points here; I see no answer from you on any of them, here. Until and unless Jeremy changes those things, he’s going to generate very similar results offensively.

    You believe that your eyes on his past performance _in the low minors_ and your metric are superior to his present, demonstrated skills and results. That’s your prerogative. If Jeremy ‘grows into’ your projection, I’ll freely concede that you’re ahead of the curve. But I won’t concede that ahead of time, by default, since nothing in his past or present performance supports that projection. This is where we stick, every time Dave: I won’t take your word on a projection which contradicts observed performance. Reality _is_ a hard test, wall-like at times, yes.

    I will say that Reed has a chance to hit better in Boston than here. Safeco is where flies to left go to die, but Jeremy can ping some of those off the Monster for hits, and there’s acres of space in CF there to chip shot doubles into. So If Reed goes to Boston his results will look a little prettier from the same skills.

    A year from now, this won’t be an argument anymore, which was my closing the last time we went over Reed. I would very definitely prefere to have two starting pitchers in hand than the chance to find out if you are right about Reed, Dave. To me, the only really strong argument against trading Reed right now is that the Ms don’t have another legitimate CFer to put in his place. That’s a certain problem so trading Jeremy is a gamble—but so is keeping Reed.

  193. Mat on December 29th, 2005 11:14 pm

    Jeremy Reed had a disappointing year at the plate, and accepting that fact, his trade value will never be lower. Add to that the fact that the outfield, especially centerfield, isn’t a position of strength for the M’s.

    Now is just not a good time to trade Reed.

    (Actually, this proposed trade reminds me a lot of the Luis Castillo to the Twins for Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler to the Marlins trade, which I liked a lot for the Twins. The Twins got a solid (when healthy) player at a position (2B) that they were terrible at for a couple of pitching prospects whose value was never going to be higher. Except, in this case, the Marlins had a reason (cutting salary) to get rid of Castillo. The M’s have no such reason to get rid of Reed.)

  194. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 11:26 pm

    The Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Red Sox and the Devil Rays are deep in talks for a trade that would bring Joey Gathright and Julio Lugo to Boston. The appeal of that trade, obviously, is that it would fill both of the Red Sox’s lineup holes — center field and shortstop — in one fell swoop.

    But then, that would endanger the much-rumored Manny-Ramirez-and-Matt-Clement-for-Miguel Tejada deal ….

  195. mandy bot on December 29th, 2005 11:34 pm

    This is my first post here so please bear with me. People have made very good arguments about the comparative values of Lister or Papelbon versus Reed. Although I am a Mariner fan, I read the Sox Prospects Blog as well just to get their prospective on things and they made some good points too. Most focus on the pitching prospects of Lister and Papelbon, And they may indeed turn out to be great players. Still, I think the real issue is giving up Reed. Some say Reed is inexpensive and has a bright future and others say he is a singles hitter without the power to be an elite player. My opinon on trading him isn’t based on statistics, so sorry you guys looking for something brilliant. It is based on the roster and is very simplistic. If Reed goes who replaces him? Do you move Ichiro to center? I have seen debate here on whether or not he wants to make that move. If he actually does move then do Ibanez and Lawton play the corners? Assuming all those things happen I look at the flyball pitching staff we have had recently and wonder if that defensive alignment really makes sense. Reed may not have the power we ultimately want but he is in a position right now with his salary, defense in CF, and potential improvement that he has a lot more value to the Mariners in 2006 than he might to other teams. We just don’t seem to have better options. Replacing him for 2006 doesn’t look good and that is a major part of deciding whether to trade him or not. So I feel very skeptical about trading Reed.

  196. Jim Thomsen on December 29th, 2005 11:45 pm

    M’s re-sign the first of their arb-eligible players: Rafael Soriano for $450,000 plus incentives.

  197. AlvinDavisRocks on December 29th, 2005 11:49 pm

    I read the Sox Prospects Blog as well just to get their prospective on things

    I have been perusing that as well and now have decided if any deal is done it MUST include Edgar Martinez

  198. colm on December 29th, 2005 11:52 pm

    Ahh, a bargain. That’s nice to consider after all the millions thrown at Everett and (gag) Washburn.

    10 million for Washburn in 2009 is going to be ridiculous….

  199. BelaXadux on December 30th, 2005 12:24 am

    If Reed repeats his mediocre ’05, or shows marginal improvement, such as below his age-comparables, his value goes to _a lot_ lower than it is now—and stays there. If one believes that Reed is going to significantly improve going forward, than of course trading him this offseason sells that outcome short. If one does not see that as probable, trading Jeremy now moves him at maximum perceived value.

    One thing that I like very much in Billy Beane is that he trades what he sees for what he sees while letting others guess about projections. He always gets back guys who have good actuals, typically by trading guys who have poor or at least declining actuals for them.

    If I were the Sox, I’d generally prefer Gathright and Lugo, even though that deal will just as surely cost them either Papelbon or Lester just as a swap with the Ms. They fill two holes cheap for now, and can move later to upgrade. If the Bostons seriously will not trade Lester or Papelbon, than they can just go and get Preston Wilson or swap a mouldy sack of peanuts for Corey Patterson themselves. But presumably if that was acceptable, they’d have done so already.

  200. Smegmalicious on December 30th, 2005 12:48 am

    Dude, BelaXadux, who exactly do you see playig the outfield next year if we make this trade?

  201. DMZ on December 30th, 2005 12:54 am

    Beane is interested in, pays attention to, and uses projections in his moves. To say that he doesn’t look at them is wrong.

  202. cougs129 on December 30th, 2005 1:23 am

    If we trade Jeremy Reed for Papelbon and Lester I pull the trigger that gives us a surplus of young arms for the next 4 or 5 years or so lets take a look 3 years down the road and the arms we will have…

    Another thing is if they feel Adam Jones will be ready within the next 2 years than definently pull the trigger… Cause be honest I don’t see us winning a world series within the next 2 years so Jeremy Reed being here for the next 2 seasons helps the team out during those 2 seasons but if you can get 2 good pitching prospects to help you out past the 2 seasons do it cause once Jones gets here Reed will be out of place…


    Out of those 11 you have 2(Felix, Washburn) that you figure will be good Felix a top of the rotation Washburn middle to the back… That means that you need 1/3 of our pitching prospects to pan out to give us a really solid rotation in 3 years assuming we don’t have Pineiro cause he sucks it up again…

    In 3 years from now you will have Jones ready Betancourt and Lopez having a lot of experience Beltre will still be young along with Sexson… This team is young… Passing up 2 pitching prospects for a guy who isn’t going to have a starting job when this team is possibly ready to compete for a job I think wouldn’t be a good idea…

  203. DMZ on December 30th, 2005 2:01 am

    Okay, but one thing: if Reed is worth a couple guys now, and he’s young and improving, then shouldn’t we wait until Jones is ready to take over and then trade a slightly older, better-hitting Reed for even better pitching help we need then? Why trade when his value’s low.

    Also, you neglect a lot of contract issues in looking ahead 3y, but that’s almost beside the point.

  204. cougs129 on December 30th, 2005 2:11 am

    I would be suprised if in 3 years we can trade Reed for 2 pitching prospects who project to be middle of the rotation starters are better…

  205. cougs129 on December 30th, 2005 2:14 am

    Also, in 3 years we won’t be wanting to be trading for prospects we will be wanting to trade for proven guys… I believe 3 years from now is when the Mariners have the best shot to win the world series… Bavasi and us need to look at what is best for this team 3 years from now

  206. terry on December 30th, 2005 3:37 am

    #192: this is at least the third time you have agreed to disagree about this issue…..damn enough already…

    For the record, I too have watched Reed’s swing and, frankly, I dont see the same thing you keep harping about either…

    In any event, your underlying premise is that Reed cant improve which on the face of it, is an easily rejectable premise.

    Finally, its true next year represents *proof of the pudding* in a sense since Reed should be better. He’s a young guy though, and your arguments lack that perspective (he’ll be a 30 year old .275 hitter next year in your tirades). I suspect after next season poor Dave will still be snarky jerk Dave and you’ll have a different log in while still talking about Reed’s swing and how he’ll never be power hitter.

  207. DanV on December 30th, 2005 4:08 am

    Is this a blog? Or a game of “telephone?” Seems the last few posts have taken the slant of “Why in the heck wouldn’t you trade Reed for Papelbon AND Lester?!” I agree, I’d make that deal in a heartbeat!

    However, I must now remind you, that the rumor/story/report that started this whole strand was based on a possible Reed AND Meche deal for Papelbon OR Lester.

    Nice try though.

  208. BelaXadux on December 30th, 2005 4:39 am

    Derek, I never said that Billy Beane makes no use of projections; that could be inferred from my post, though, so my apologies for the lack of clarity. I am quite certain that he is aware of, cares about, and makes use of projections in his trades. My point was that he makes certain that the players whom he acquires have _demonstrated_ talents of value to his plans. Projections are more, I suspect, about whether and for how long those demonstrated talents will continue. Furthermore, when players have demonstrated craptastic seasons in Oakland, they are usually _quickly gone_ if they are moveable at all. Billy the Beane doesn’t give out mulligans. Billy trades mediocrities like Ramon Hernandez when they are still projectible rather than wait on them. He trades Berroa and Mario Ramos so that other guys can bet on their ‘potential.’ He moves formerly great guys like Muldaur and Hudson with eroding peripherals for full market value, and in the former case a premium. He trades Bonderman who could be very good but is buck naked raw and 4+ years away for guys who can help him now. Yes, I’m sure that he uses projections but he moves in and moves out actual performances.

    At 25, nobody should be using the “he’s young” argument for Reed; the future is now, baby. His age 25 season doesn’t comp to Kotsay’s age 25 season AT ALL, something I discussed with Dave previously. In a thread bannered by an analysis ending with “Just say no to trading Jeremy Reed to Boston” with the comp to Kotsay again popping up in converse, it’s by no means off topic or irrelevant to point out why those don’t seem good bets. Reed could certainly show some improvement, and I’ve never said otherwise—but considering that his season was among the worst offensive performances in the majors in ’05 to the point where the team shouldn’t keep him in the starting lineup if he does the same again, that’s not saying a bunch. If Jeremy Reed was an ‘improving player’ who could be moved for better return in a season or two when Adam Jones might be ready to step in, I’d advocate that too. If Reed in ’06 gives us something one should expect from his ’04 and ’05 seasons, then he will _never again_ fetch in trade what he will this offseason. That is the call, pure and simple: bet on improvement or leverage a trade at present perceived value. “Ladies and gents, step right up . . .”

    Who plays CF if Reed goes? Golly, you know I don’t care that much, because first of all it’s not who you give up, it’s who you get. I’ve opposed trading Reed straight up for Clement or Arroyo for various reasons; Reed has market value, and there’s no reason the Ms should take the short end of the transaction. I wouldn’t cry at all if the Ms acquired Corey Patterson and split time between him and T. J. Bohn until Adam Jones shows what he’s got, or at least until next offseason. Patterson’s a thoroughly mediocre hitter unlikely to improve much if an above average defender, but that general description fits Jeremy Reed too well also, if for different reasons. I’m completely in agreement with Dave on the value of defense, and Patterson at least brings that.

  209. Dave on December 30th, 2005 5:15 am

    Good God Bela, he’s 24, and he just turned 24 in June. He was 23 for half the season last year. Not 26. Not 25. And, for using a defense of “it doesn’t matter how old he is”, why do you bring it up every post?

    I’m amazed that you can’t see that your incorrect ability to discern how old the man is might just be a sign that you’re not evaluating him fairly.

  210. terry on December 30th, 2005 5:59 am

    #208: T.J Bohn simply is not ready to be an everyday major league player yet-either defensively or with his bat… How in the world could Reed, who is already an above average defense centerfielder at the major league level, disgust you so much while you’d simultaneously advocate a platoon of a headcase (whose numbers arent stellar compared to Reed) and an unprepared minor leaguer?

    The future is now huh? Then why argue that Reed who is already the defensive answer for CF NOW should be traded for a pitching prospect? And to top it off, Reed should be replaced by a minor leaguer who would certainly be considered *developing* if he were inserted into the M’s lineup?

    You shouldve stopped at we’ll agree to disagree…..your credibility regarding talent assessment weakens with every post.

  211. BriVT on December 30th, 2005 6:02 am

    You can argue Papelbon might be 102 percent of what Nageotte was considered, and I won’t really care. The point isn’t that one is better than the other.

    I’m curious. What in Nageotte’s record makes you seriously think that he’s 98% of Papelbon? Their histories really aren’t comparable at all, nor is their stuff, from what I know of Nageotte’s. And I think who’s better than whom is pretty much the point, right?

    As for Lester, I actually kinda agree. I think, right now, he’s overhyped, and I think it’s partly because he pitches for the Sox (although that affect was more pronounced with Hanley Ramirez). I’ve seen him pitch a few times, and he really has two dependable pitches, a FB and a cutter. The cutter is major league quality, too. But he’s very inconsistent with his curveball location. When he’s on with it, he’s a special prospect. When he’s not … eh. His change will never be a useful pitch, imo.

    They have both had very good success at AA. They both throw very hard. Papelbon throws 93-96, has good control, and has two major league pitches and a splitter that’s easily projectable into one at this point (and may already be there). Lester is a lefty, throws 93-95, has two good pitches and a curve that might make it. They’re very good pitching prospects, and young pitching is the most valuable commodity in baseball. By far. (I’m not a believer in TINSTAAP, obviously)

    Reed’s a nice, young position player. He’s good. I like him. But he’s just not all that. He’s got a good chance of being a solid major leaguer, but he’s not worth a young pitcher who struck out 9/per 9 last year in the major leagues. Nor a young lefty who dominated AA and who’s a more consistent curve away from being an excellent major league pitcher.

  212. terry on December 30th, 2005 6:27 am

    There is no guarantee that Papelbon will become a TOR guy….his secondary stuff may never be good enough. Reed is already the defensive answer in centerfield and the M’s certainly dont need another young arm in their solid bullpen.

    I say take you chances with Reed and let the BoSox assume the risk associated with a prospect’s develoment. Reed is more valuable to the M’s (and much harder to replace) than Papelbon.

  213. Dave on December 30th, 2005 6:44 am

    I had a long answer typed up before my connection died and ate it. So, we’ll see if I have the inspiration to do this twice.

    Nageotte, when healthy, throws 92-95 with a devastating slider and no discernable offspeed pitch. He’s dominated in the high minors, but had command problems in the majors despite posting solid strikeout rates. There are questions about his ability to stay in the rotation, and his future may end up as a reliever.

    Sounds an awful lot like Papelbon to me. Yes, Nageotte’s stock has fallen some due to the back problem that cost him a good chunk of 2005, and obviously, I’d do a one-for-one swap right now if given the chance. But Nageotte is a cautionary tale for people who believe that somehow Papelbon has already established himself as a major league starting pitcher.

    Success in the bullpen does not equal success in the rotation. Papelbon didn’t even pitch all that well out of the bullpen, to be honest. He stranded 88 percent of the runners he put on base, which might be impressive, but isn’t something he can sustain.

    Papelbon, to me, has something like these kind of odds

    40 percent – struggles in rotation, moves to relief full time, becomes solid setup man
    30 percent – arm goes south, never amounts to anything
    20 percent – Becomes solid middle of the rotation starter
    10 percent – All-Star level starter

    In my view, there’s something like a 70 percent chance that you guys end up disappointed with Papelbon’s career, and about a 10 percent chance that he turns out to be the #1 starter that you’re all hoping for.

    Meanwhile, Jeremy Reed’s odds look more like this:

    50 percent – Settles in as a .280/.350/.400 center fielder.
    30 percent – Rebounds to minor league form, turns into .300/.370/.450 guy, makes several all-star teams.
    20 percent – Never improves at all, becomes the new Darin Erstad

    So there’s something like an 80 percent chance that Jeremy Reed will help the Mariners, and a 30 percent chance that he’s as good as Papelbon even if both players hit their peak value.

    Sure, there are scenarios where Papelbon or Lester could turn out to be more valuable major league players than Jeremy Reed. They’re just unlikely.

  214. Chintan Desai on December 30th, 2005 6:49 am


    Not to put words in Dave’s mouth, but the Nageotte comparison was never the point. The point was that neither Lester or Papelbon are gems, the kind of once in ten years pitching prospects like what we have here in Felix. Thus, neither one of them are locks to be great starters. No, Papelbon is not Nageotte, but he’s in the same class. Trading a young, still developing position player at a defensive premium position for a B+ pitching prospect simply doesn’t make sense. Considering all the attention paid to the Nageotte, I bet Dave is already regretting bringing it up in the first place.

  215. Chintan Desai on December 30th, 2005 6:55 am

    Or, yeah, Dave can answer it for you. Honestly, I don’t see how people can look at our track record with these B+ pitching types and actually want to trade a valuable piece to acquire them. Foppert, Bazardo, Carvajal- those were all low-cost, high reward acquisitions. Would anybody here have traded Reed for either of these guys?

  216. pstargalac on December 30th, 2005 8:08 am

    Just to clarify… this whole “Papelbon/Lester aren’t Felix-grade prospects” discussion is meant to show that Reed shouldn’t be traded unless the Mariners’ socks are blown off, right? And not that Reed’s market value is a Felix-caliber prospect only? Because if it’s the latter, that’s a major reach. Dave’s best-case for Reed was Rusty Greer. Can you imagine yourself trading King Felix straight-up for Greer? I hope not.

    I’m firmly entrenched in the “Reed should stay” camp. But I’m there b/c any trade would create a gaping hole in order to plug a minor one, not b/c the prospects being discussed (who aren’t even available) are insufficient.

    Also, re: the Reed + Meche combo… the Mecheinator would be Boston’s 7th-best starter right now. Why on earth would he help convince them to give up one of their top two prospects? That makes no sense.

  217. Rusty on December 30th, 2005 8:11 am

    Bela, if the large confines of Safeco’s left field is disastrous for Jeremy’s slow swing lazy pop flies, how does Fenway’s spacious center field become a boon to him?

    Now before you tear off 5 long paragraphs in reply, understand this is a rhetorical question. I bring it up because you speak as an expert on many matters such as park effects, hitters’ swings, etc. And you do it with the power of writing. You actually write much more eloquently than I can.

    I respect the fact that you can observe the game and notice such things, but they are simply observations with your eyes. Scouts who watch baseball 24/365 obviously have it over you in sheer volume, and their conclusions are still wrong much of the time.

    I was down on Reeds’ hitting peformance last year but this board (not just Dave) has convinced me that he is still on a decent development track. Meanwhile, I don’t trust your eyes as a counter-argument to that. It’s too subjective.

    You want a comparable to Reed that has some swing implications? Try Brady Anderson. From age 25 to 27 he had over 700 AB’s and averaged .225/.330/.320 playing part time CF for the Orioles. Then his numbers took off, especially his power numbers. He never slugged under .400 again. The reason I mention him is because when he hit 50 HR’s at the age of 32 he has admitted that he was swinging as hard as he could at just about every pitch. That’s how he hit 50.

    My point is that no matter how long and slow Brady’s swings were early in his career, he adjusted as his career developed. I don’t see how we can automatically assume that Reed will never change his swing from what you seem to be seeing.

  218. Dave on December 30th, 2005 8:21 am

    Just to clarify… this whole “Papelbon/Lester aren’t Felix-grade prospects” discussion is meant to show that Reed shouldn’t be traded unless the Mariners’ socks are blown off, right? And not that Reed’s market value is a Felix-caliber prospect only?

    Obviously, I don’t think Reed should only be traded for Felix types. I was simply trying to shoot down the ridiculous assertions from the Red Sox fans that Lester was a once-every-ten-year arm, or that these guys were better than normal good pitching prospects. I just wanted to give some context to what these guys are.

    There are a bunch of young pitchers I’d trade Reed for. These two just don’t happen to be among them.

  219. Roger on December 30th, 2005 8:45 am

    The real question, I guess, is: Is Papelbon this year’s Ryan Howard?

  220. kenshin on December 30th, 2005 8:50 am

    I wonder if the M’s can acquire Papelbon and then flip him for Howard?

  221. Jeff on December 30th, 2005 10:03 am

    Just to follow up on Dave’s point about Reed and Kotsay, here are the numbers from Reed’s age 24 season (last year) and Kotsay’s 1999 (he turned 24 in December of that year):

    .271 .306 .402 .708
    .254 .322 .352 .674

    That’s pretty close.

  222. strong silence on December 30th, 2005 10:49 am

    The best case for trading Reed is that Bavasi doesn’t know how to evaluate talent in general and Reed in particular. (Already it’s apparent that he was wrong on 2/3 of the goods we got for Garcia. Is Reed the next to fall?)

    The best case for keeping Reed is the (nearly) 1/3 chance Dave mentioned above of an .820 OPS. Sweet!

  223. Chintan Desai on December 30th, 2005 11:16 am


    The other 2/3 of the goods simply were not top prospects who had an OBP higher than .400 in the minors and walked more often than they struck out. On that basis, shouldn’t we allow a little more time to Reed, who I’d say didn’t completely embarass himself in his first year as a major leaguer? And yeah, Olivo sucked, but what exactly was your expectation of Morse? All things considering, I’d say he held up pretty nicely, although he really doesn’t have a spot on this team.

  224. strong silence on December 30th, 2005 11:27 am

    #226 I say keep Reed because the M’s are rebuilding. Reed will be fine if he can keep his OPS above .700 because his defense will be outstanding.

    At this time, it appears: Garcia > Reed + Olivo + Morse. Do you think getting one prospect and two non-prospects for an established pitcher was a good trade?

    Morse doesn’t appear special. The organization doesn’t think so either as evidenced by the trade for Everett.

  225. Badperson on December 30th, 2005 12:15 pm

    Keep in mind it was a couple months of Garcia = Reed + Olivo + Morse.

  226. DMZ on December 30th, 2005 12:24 pm

    Yes yes yes, you hate the Garcia trade. There’s no need to flog it every time any related story comes up.

  227. Jeremy on December 30th, 2005 12:26 pm

    Re Reed: Ron Shandler has done considerable research on the strongest correlation for “The Leap” in the major leagues. He opines based on his research that the strongest correlation is not a “peak 27 season” but 25 with MLB experience.

    Hello? Reed? Anyone?

    Why give up a good defender whose coming into his prime over the next 5 years?

  228. LF Monster on December 30th, 2005 12:36 pm

    Morse could be better off as a bench player. There’s no way you’d consider going into the season with him as DH, but things can happen in the season that would force Hargrove to try him there. That may be what Morse ends up as:DH.

    I have faith that Reed will improve some (270/350/380). I even think he has a chance to be a borderline star (290/390/450)and make the all star team a year or two. A middle of the Lineup hitter is considered about the same as a top of the rotation starter. Anyone project Reed as a middle of the lineup guy?

    There are far more people that project Papelbon and Lester as TOR than Reed as MOTO. How does 1/9 of possitions = 1/5 of starters in the first place? Okay extra weight to catcher, SS, CF but not that much.

    As to the Garcia trade…I was Pissed that they broke the chain of trading for top prospect pitchers…from Langston on…Langston, Johnson, Garcia, Reed? I just want them to fix the mistake. The team didn’t need Reed as much as a TOR starter then and they don’t now.

  229. eponymous coward on December 30th, 2005 12:59 pm

    At this time, it appears: Garcia > Reed + Olivo + Morse. Do you think getting one prospect and two non-prospects for an established pitcher was a good trade?

    That begs the question of whether or not we would have resigned Garcia. Assuming we didn’t but we did offer arbitration, it would have been 2 months of Garcia + 15th pick in the 2005 draft. I don’t think you’d take that over a package of Olivo/Reed/Morse- especially when Reed was much closer to being a finished product.

    Yes, there’s a good case for resigning and keeping Garcia- especially in light of what’s happened to the FA market for pitching and what we’re paying a lesser pitcher (Washburn). (Dave doesn’t agree with me on this, but I don’t see a very large gap between Garcia and Millwood in terms of their overall value, if any at all.) The front office higher ups (read: Armstrong and Lincoln) decided long ago that wasn’t a priority, for whatever reason, and I don’t think what we got for Garcia was bad return.

  230. LF Monster on December 30th, 2005 1:20 pm

    The return did look good at the time, aside from the lack of pitching involved.

  231. joran on December 30th, 2005 1:21 pm

    you guys need to get this out of your head, we cant get bot papplebon and lester. One or the other. The Sox are not stupid like the mariners, although if somehow the trade does happen I might change my opinion about Bavasi,

    Ibanez Ichiro

    Betancourt Lopez
    Beltre son

    or Rivera


  232. nickpdx on December 30th, 2005 1:22 pm

    Garcia > Reed + Olivo + Morse.

    Trade evaluated in 2 or 3 years > trade evaluated right now.

  233. DanV on December 30th, 2005 1:25 pm

    #224. At the time of the Garcia trade, numerous big league scouts and front-office guys lauded the deal, and many said that they would have considered it a good deal for the M’s if they had gotten Reed for Garcia STRAIGHT UP! That’s how highly Reed was thought of. Sometimes, trades aren’t best evaluated by how each side fares 10 years down the road, but by how much value each team got in return for what they were giving up. Garcia was NOT going to re sign with us. At the time of the deal, we got extremely good value for him.

    In my humble opinion, that equates to a good trade, no matter how badly Olivo turned out to be.

  234. Adam S on December 30th, 2005 1:27 pm

    it appears: Garcia > Reed + Olivo + Morse. Do you think getting one prospect and two non-prospects for an established pitcher was a good trade?

    It’s disingenuous at best to talk about a trade of a veteran for prospects and not include the salary aspect.

    It’s Garcia vs. Reed + Olivo + Morse + $8M/year in spending money, which you could think of as Moyer (or Sexson or Washburn). I think Garcia

  235. Smegmalicious on December 30th, 2005 2:08 pm

    Not to mention Garcia was out of here at the end of the season anyway.

  236. BoSoxJro on December 30th, 2005 2:11 pm

    If you think the Sox would get rid of Papelbon or Lester you are on cloud 9. Pap showed unbelievable stuff and poise last year in many situations last year. He pitched very well starting for the Sox(I believe they won every game he started). He also was crucial down the stretch in the bullpen often going multiple innings against teams like the Yankees. Did you watch the playoffs Dave? He was simply amazing. He has a great fastball that proved to be simply dominating with its precise location, movement and velocity. He throws a good split and his slider was pretty good. His curve is up and coming and his changeup is surely more than just a show me pitch.

    Lester is in baseballs top 30 prospects and likely top 5 pitchers. He is also much better than Nageotte. He has a great fastball in all facets(movement, control and velocity(92-93). His curveball is a plus pitch albeit inconsistant, and his cutter eats up righties. I also heard you making an argument that Reed is the 17th or 18th best CF. Wow thats impressive, hes in the bottom half of the MLB. Considering there is 5 starting pitchers per team meaning 180 overall. Pap is already in the top 90, and after Lester gets some time in AAA, he will be in the top 90 too. In saying that Im assuming there going to spend most of there time in Fenway too, a hitters park for sure.

    Reed’s value isnt close to either of those players, I agree he didnt have his best season and rookie years are full of adjustments, but he does not have the potentially he had when he was younger. People have been talking about overvaluing our prospects but you are doing the same with Reed. Getting a pitcher that is likely better than Washburn for a third of the price is very good value and would allow you to take the god awful Meche out of the rotation.

    Ive talked on about a trade, here is a trade that is in between our two trades and is one that brings even value:

    Arroyo and Rozier for Reed

    I got a lot of flack for including Rozier because of his potential, but I believe this gives you a solid average pitcher for very cheap and also a prospect who is young and has a high ceiling. Forget about Lester or Pap, its not happening…period.

  237. Jeff Nye on December 30th, 2005 2:25 pm

    Bronson Arroyo and some random guy?

    Please. If we don’t want your overrated top prospects, why would we want your overrated midrange prospects and a guy who adds nothing useful to our rotation?

  238. eponymous coward on December 30th, 2005 2:34 pm

    Ah, yes, the Red Sox fans are here explaining why their pitchers are SOOOOOO much better than anyone we could offer, and offering us a younger version of Ryan freakin’ Franklin back. Yawn.

    We’ll keep Reed if that’s what’s on the table, thanks. We can resign Franklin if we’re interested in someone dependent on defense who can throw 200 innings or swing into the bullpen. Have fun getting Coco Crisp or whoever.

  239. BoSoxJro on December 30th, 2005 2:38 pm

    Nothing useful??? Meche is horrible, and he pitched in your extremely pitcher friendly ball park half the time. Arroyo is going to make about 3.5 mil and would give you a pitcher with an ERA closer to 4 than over 5 like Meche. Its a pretty good possibility that he drops under 4 considering how god awful the Sox bullpen was this year. Also, our prospects are for real, every team including yours has wanted Lester in a trade. Papelbon proved himself last year, so please cut the BS.

    Also, do some research please. No your stuff before you criticize. Rozier is a 19 yo who pitched in A ball and after a year off from baseball put up some pretty good numbers, especially because hes slated to be a 20 yo in High A next year. Also, Rozier has been compared very closely to Mulder, so Im just going to disregard you post, its completely invalid

  240. Jeff Nye on December 30th, 2005 2:43 pm

    How many times do people have to be told that ERA is useless as a predictor of future pitcher performance before it sinks in? Ten, fifty, a hundred, a googol?

    And no one has said that Papelbon and Lester are not nice prospects. They are. But they are not nearly as good as they are PURPORTED to be; they are the sort of prospects that every system wants to have, but they are not the same kind of once-in-a-generation talent that King Felix is.

    I apologize that I am not intimately familiar with the Red Sox’s A-ball prospects; I am sure your Mr. Rozier is a very nice pitcher. Regardless, if a trade for Reed involves as its centerpieces a Ryan Franklin clone and someone who’s a couple of years away from contributing at the major league level, it’s not a good enough trade to justify creating a huge hole in center field for.

  241. eponymous coward on December 30th, 2005 2:44 pm

    Rozier’s K rate in the Sally League: 5.07/9 IP. 49 BB’s, 52K’s. Yawn. He’s not dominating the Sally League- so why exactly do we need to compare him to Mulder?

    Yeah, we know Meche is horrible, thanks for pointing this out. The blog authors and contributors don’t want him, either. The front office doesn’t agree.

    Dave already spent some time discussing why Bronson Arroyo’s the younger version of Ryan Franklin.

    Looks like the Red Sox trolls have decided to show up. Oh, joy.

  242. colm on December 30th, 2005 2:45 pm

    Why are these two mouthy bums on this blog?

    Hey, Sox fans, show us a little objective corroboration for all this Prospect love.

    “Good solid prospects with a few question marks” is what I’m seeing quoted from parties not invested in the Red Sox.
    7th to 10th best minor leage pitchers. That’s WAY out of kilter with what you’re claiming, and you don’t offer much to back it up.

  243. jsinger121 on December 30th, 2005 2:49 pm

    No flame wars here, sorry

  244. Dave on December 30th, 2005 2:51 pm

    Okay, this probably isn’t going to go over very well, but tough:

    If you’re a Red Sox fan who hates me and thinks I’m an idiot, email us. If your entire point of registering is to come start some kind of flame war, your post will be deleted and you will be put in the moderation queue.

    If you want to have a rational discussion about Papelbon and Lester, that’s totally cool. If you want to start a flame war, you’re not welcome here. End of story.

  245. Jeff Nye on December 30th, 2005 2:53 pm

    Dave beat me to it.

    Feel free to delete my post also. You’re quicker on the draw than I!

  246. eponymous coward on December 30th, 2005 2:54 pm

    Hey, Dave, this goes over well with me… but I’m a fan of a team that will NEVER BE IN A WORLD SERIES OH NOES!1!1!!11 OOPS CAPS

  247. Choska on December 30th, 2005 3:23 pm

    I just want to point out that the level of animosity on this blog seems to have escalated in the past week. I attribute that to the fact that Bavasi’s moves have made all of us crazy. No one here is against trading Reed per se. But the thought of Bavasi making any more moves is just putting everyone (at least me) on edge. Hence, the passionate arguments and pleas for Bavasi to not trade Reed and to stop signing any more middling players to over-valued contracts. (Bill, just stop whatever it is you think you are doing, you are killing us.)

    Oddly, the level of passion, irrational arguments, and yelling past each other has coincided with the move to forcing posters to register. But I do think those two things are coincidence.

    To all of the Red Sox fans out there, I root for you whenever you aren’t playing us. We can at least all agree that we hate the Yanks. Understand that our arguments against your prospects are driven as much by our fear of anything our FO might do with Reed. Most of us believe Reed will improve greatly next year, and that trading him now amounts to selling low.

    Pabelbon and Lester are fine pitchers. And everyone thinks highly of Youkilis. Best of luck to you in getting a deal done with Tampa so that “trade Reed” rumors can stop.

    BTW, is Marte gonna get the start this year? I’ve had him on my keeper fantasy team for about two years now. I’d love to see that investment payoff.

    We now return to the U.S.S. Mariner blog, aka, let’s yell about the value of the Red Sox farm system, already in progress.

  248. BoSoxJro on December 30th, 2005 3:53 pm

    Thank You for that tasteful post. Marte is unlikely to start next year unless something drastic happens. Something along the lines of Manny being traded then the Sox temporarily moving him to LF. If production at first base or third base is subpar he could be called up for some support.

  249. BriVT on December 30th, 2005 4:03 pm

    Now, I’m not going to apologize for other Sox fans, ’cause it’s not like some club where I get to choose my fellow travelers … but I just want to point out that I am here for a rational discussion of Papelbon and Lester.

    And I’ve visited this blog numerous times before … now, back to the point …

    I’m not going to belabor the Nageotte comparison anymore, except to respond to one point:

    Nageotte, when healthy, throws 92-95 with a devastating slider and no discernable offspeed pitch. He’s dominated in the high minors, but had command problems in the majors despite posting solid strikeout rates.

    But my point is that his command problems were readily apparent in his stats throughout the minors, and therefore he really wasn’t that good of a prospect. If you want to see a Sox pitcher you could compare to Nageotte at this point in his career, check out Manny Delcarmen, although Manny throws harder. Throws 94-97, killer curve, dominant numbers in AA and AAA, but he walks too many people right now. And, yeah, there’s no way he’s worth anything close to Reed.

    I actually think Lester could be overrated (he projects well, but he’s not all that right now), but I’m a believer that Jonathan Papelbon has been underrated all year. He added a splitter this year that has been very effective; he even used it as a K pitch in the majors. And his command/velocity/movement profile on his fastball is top-notch. I’m telling you guys, Papelbon is the real deal. Right now. You won’t believe me now, and all this discussion is so much noise, since the Sox won’t trade him for Reed in this or any other universe, but when you see Papelbon succeed over the next two years and beyond … remember me fondly ;-)

    Papelbon only added the split this year, so he still has a rep as two-pitch pitcher (he hadn’t really refined it until mid-season). He’s also 24, so some people (wrongly) downgrade him for that. Just givin’ my reasons for why I think people under-rate him …

  250. strong silence on December 30th, 2005 4:10 pm

    Yes yes yes, you hate the Garcia trade. There’s no need to flog it every time any related story comes up.

    I will continue to evaluate the Garcia trade until the outcome is known. I’m sorry that you equate analysis with flogging.

  251. Jeff on December 30th, 2005 4:12 pm

    But how do you feel about Moyer?

  252. strong silence on December 30th, 2005 4:19 pm

    How do you feel about Superm…er..Moyer?

  253. DMZ on December 30th, 2005 4:43 pm

    I will continue to evaluate the Garcia trade until the outcome is known. I’m sorry that you equate analysis with flogging.

    Bringing up your distaste for a trade in every remotely-related topic is not analysis by any stretch. It’s not interesting, it’s not topical, and most of all, it’s boring and annoying. It’s like wanting to flog Beltre every game thread — we’ve discussed this over and over, and your position’s well-established. Let it go. Really. It’s okay.

    And what a nice, condescending closing clause for us to enjoy. Thanks for your sorrow.

  254. Jim Thomsen on December 30th, 2005 4:49 pm

    I really, really hate the Varitek-and-Lowe-for-Slocumb trade.

  255. eponymous coward on December 30th, 2005 4:54 pm


    It’s not analysis if you beg the question of Garcia being a free agent at the end of 2004 and potentially leaving us with only a draft pick (possibly a sandwich one, depending where he goes).

    Consider that the Mariner front office is more likely to know the attitude of Freddy and his agent about a new contract between them than you…

  256. Smegmalicious on December 30th, 2005 4:57 pm

    Jim, you’re not seeing the bigger picture of that trade.

  257. Jeff Nye on December 30th, 2005 5:02 pm

    Jim, you’re right.

    We should’ve traded them for Ryan Howard. :)

  258. Dave in Palo Alto on December 30th, 2005 5:03 pm

    I despise the Steve Whitaker — Lou Piniella trade.

  259. Jim Thomsen on December 30th, 2005 5:08 pm

    And Darren Bragg for Jamie Moyer? What the hell was up with THAT?

  260. eponymous coward on December 30th, 2005 5:10 pm

    I wish we had kept Mark Langston and tried to resign him at the end of the year. I mean, really, Brian Holman and Gene Harris were TOTAL washouts, and that was 2/3rds of the deal right there.

  261. chrisisasavage on December 30th, 2005 5:10 pm

    Just because Arroyo had a sub 4.00 ERA in the past doesn’t mean he will have anything like it in the future. Year to year ERA correlates less than things like SO BB and HR to ERA. That’s why the Arroyo to Franklin comparisons. Franklins ERA has gone 4.76, 3.56, 4.02, 3.57, 4.90, 5.10 so far. Arroyo had a WORSE FB rate than Franky last year. Arroyo had a terrible K/9, which dropped ALOT from the year before. If he pitched like in ’03 I’d say he’s a lot better than Franklin (but not worth Reed). If he pitches like he did in ’05 he’s practically the same pitcher. If you use his 2 year K/9 K/BB and what not (he’s only been an SP for 2 years) he’s Joel Pineiro. I’m not trying to make this an analysis of any kind, just pointing out ERA does not correlate well year to year, SO, BB, HR do. Do a google search on Voros McCracken and DIPS.

  262. chrisisasavage on December 30th, 2005 5:11 pm

    UGG, I meant HIGHER FB rate.

  263. strong silence on December 30th, 2005 5:16 pm

    But, Jim, what about so much of Ichiro’s OBP being dependent on Batting Average?

  264. joealb on December 30th, 2005 5:18 pm

    Jim, stop it now, you are going to make me wet myself! LMAO!

  265. Jim Thomsen on December 30th, 2005 5:18 pm

    If your OBP is high enough above league average, year in and year out, who cares?

  266. strong silence on December 30th, 2005 5:20 pm


    Should he try to hit for power then?

  267. joealb on December 30th, 2005 5:21 pm

    Hey Brian Holman had 2.5 good years on so-so M’s teams. To bad he tore up his shoulder.

  268. chrisisasavage on December 30th, 2005 5:29 pm

    OH, and Baseball-references list of comparables to Arroyo could easily be renamed “a list of very bad pitchers”, FWIW.

  269. AQ on December 30th, 2005 5:38 pm

    Aye, caramba. Now I see why Dave, Derek, etc are getting frustrated with moderating these threads. It always seems that this time of the year brings out the worst in baseball fans. Because nothing’s currently going (and because the things that have transpired have been mostly bad from an M’s perspective), everyone is being snarky with one another.

    The Reed trade probably won’t take place anyhow. And if it does, there’s no guarantee that Lester OR Papelbon would be included. It sounds like Boston values them both greatly and that it would take more than Reed to get them to part ways with them. The other thing that is important to note is that I recall our local paper indicating that it would likely take Reed and Meche to pry away Lester or Papelbon, not just Reed. Why the BoSox would want Meche is beyond me, considering their abundance of starting pitching already, but…

    I’m not going to sit and compare the merits of Reed versus Papelbon or Lester. I will say that I think that Reed is more valuable to the M’s now than Lester or Papelbon would be. If you fast forward 2 or 3 years, could that change? Sure, it could, but it’s all speculative/educated guessing at this point. And I will also say that I am typically not in favor of fillig one hole while creating another.

  270. AQ on December 30th, 2005 5:39 pm

    #268 – But, since the M’s lost their resident musician (Spiezio/Sand Frog), they might still want to consider Arroyo to at least fill that void for the team.

  271. LF Monster on December 30th, 2005 5:46 pm

    Arroyo looks better than his comps though…I’d far rather have Arroyo than Tomko for Christ’s sake. Lilly’s pretty close to right aside from being a Lefty…I personally would not come up with most of the same comps.

  272. chrisisasavage on December 30th, 2005 5:53 pm

    I don’t like BBRefs comps to be honest, PECOTA is better. I’d like to see his comps when the ’06 PECOTA is available. His ’05 comps aren’t terrible like BB Refs current Comps. Hence the FWIW at the end of my post. I agree though Lilly is a good comp, which is not a good thing in my book.

  273. Jim Thomsen on December 30th, 2005 5:53 pm

    #268: Then again, Jeremy Reed’s comps don’t look too good, either. And I say this as a big Jeremy Reed supporter.

  274. chrisisasavage on December 30th, 2005 6:04 pm

    #273, I suspect that is in part from a lack of MLB playing time. Of course Arroyo only has a couple years as a starter, so I don’t want to infer too much from those years. I’ll give his supporters this, his ’04 self (I meant ’04 in post #261) he’s not so bad, but I wouldn’t trade a good defensive CF for him when we don’t have one. The way I look at it is we A.) don’t trade him and have a hole at one of our rotation sports OR B.) we do and tack a quarter to half a run to all of our pitchers ERA’s.

  275. LF Monster on December 30th, 2005 6:10 pm

    Good luck to Olivo!

    I’d like the idea of acquiring Arroyo if it were not at the cost of Reed. Maybe if it were for Edgar Martinez as well.

  276. BoSoxJro on December 30th, 2005 6:54 pm

    Every good point I make against what your saying seems to get deleted, but here goes…

    Baseball perspectives comparibles are generally off. Ive seena couple that just make me laugh actually, but you also have to consider there are very few pitchers who have had a career like Arroyo. When he was very young he got rushed by the Pirates and wasnt a very effective pitcher, then he chnaged his pitching approach and has become a very effective pitcher. Also, Im not going to argue about value anymore. You guys severely overvalue Reed and undervalue Paps and Lester, while we probably overvalue Pap and Lester. I think here we value our prospects more because of a new philosophy our organization has. Someone was arguing that Paps and Lester arent as good as Felix which was out of the blue because that was never brought up. Also, Franklin was horrible the last two years in a pitchers ballpark and he was on Roids. Arroyo has better periphs than him for sure. Also, you guys have had a solid bullpen for the last couple years while ours is full of underacheiving bums.

  277. BelaXadux on December 30th, 2005 11:18 pm

    *zzzz-qhrrk!* Whazzat?? Was I operating my keyboard in m’ sleep again? Mus’ ‘member to lock the keypad, those numbersssz, bite back.

    Where wass I? . . . Tis a thin Reed *yawn* . . . th’ counts fer naught, ‘causse . . . *THUNK* *zzzzzzz*

  278. vj on December 31st, 2005 10:48 am

    #258 – Dave in Palo Alto: Nice Pilots reference right there!

  279. amarshal2 on January 4th, 2006 10:34 am

    I’m working on my Top 50 for the Prospect Handbook right now; the book goes to press Friday and will be in stores in late February, a month earlier than last year, and we’re excited about that. I had Billinglsey, Verlander, Cain, Liriano in that order, and that order changes almost daily with the exception of Billingsley staying at the top. I really believe in him as a pitcher. In fact, last night, I had Liriano ahead of Cain, but I need to re-adjust that! For me, Lester actually heads the next group that also includes Joel Zumaya, Anthony Reyes, Scott Olsen and Adam Loewen. It’s a relatively thin crop of elite pitchers in the top 50/100 right now.
    -John Manuel

  280. amarshal2 on January 4th, 2006 10:42 am

    “So the approx 5th to 7th best SP prospect in baseball isn’t special?”

    “See, this is my point. The fact that you guys feel that these guys are in the top 5-7 pitching prospects in the game is why I posted this in the first place. Verlander, Liriano, Cain, Billingsley, Olsen, Reyes, and Diamond are all clearly preferable to Lester or Papelbon in my book. They aren’t even close to the top 5, who are a big step ahead of everyone else. What’s the difference between Papelbon and Jonathan Broxton (besides 100 pounds) or Fernando Nieve? Or Lester and Cesar Carillo? Or, even though he’s not my favorite, how about Yusmeiro Petit?”
    -you know who.

    At the very least, “aren’t even close” is way, way off.

  281. amarshal2 on January 4th, 2006 11:06 am

    It would seem this is all possibly irrelevant:

    “A reliable source told me today about a three-way deal that is “imminent.” It’s always risky to throw around “imminent,” but I’m just quoting him here.

    Here’s the scenario:

    BOS gives: Bronson Arroyo, Tony Graffanino, PTBNL

    BOS gets: Jeremy Reed, Will Ohman

    CHC gives: Corey Patterson, Ohman

    CHC gets: Raul Ibanez, Graffanino, cash

    SEA gives: Reed, Ibanez, cash

    SEA gets: Arroyo, Patterson, PTBNL”

    I hope you guys are right about Reed and wrong about Lester/Papelbon!