AL West Trade Value

Dave · July 20, 2006 at 11:55 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Since everyone enjoyed the concept last offseason, and last week’s Mariner spinoff, I’ve decided to do another in the series of Trade Value posts. This time, it’s the AL West Trade Value. For the whole rules, see version 1.0 from last winter.

Essentially, the goal is to look at which teams are setup best for the future in our division – stopping at 50 players is pretty arbitrary, and so don’t take this as a gospel, but it does paint a pretty good picture of who has valuable talent hanging around and who does not. Ignoring the whole payroll/front office ability issue, and just based on current talent in the organization, things look good in Seattle and Anaheim, and not quite as hot in Oakland or Texas. But I’d argue that Oakland and Texas have the better management teams in place, so let’s not feel to sorry for them.

Also, I took a slightly different approach to assessing value on this list than I did with last week’s Mariner-only list, so the order won’t match exactly. This list leans a bit more towards players who provide a true competitive advantage in the division, whereas the Mariner-centric list was geared more towards filling out our roster going forward.

Anyways, on to the list, and apologies if the formatting doesn’t work perfectly, but I’ve never mastered the pre tags.

1	Felix Hernandez	SEA
2	John Lackey	LAA
3	Mark Teixeira	TEX
4	Dan Haren	OAK
5	Howie Kendrick	LAA
6	Vladimir Guerrero	LAA
7	Ichiro Suzuki	SEA
8	Ervin Santana	LAA
9	Jose Lopez	SEA
10	Rich Harden	OAK
11	Brandon Wood	LAA
12	Jered Weaver	LAA
13	Nick Swisher	OAK
14	Rafael Soriano	SEA
15	Barry Zito	OAK
16	Ian Kinsler	TEX
17	Michael Young	TEX
18	Huston Street	OAK
19	F. Rodriguez	LAA
20	Adam Jones	SEA
21	Bobby Crosby	OAK
22	Hank Blalock	TEX
23	Y. Betancourt	SEA
24	Erick Aybar	LAA
25	Mike Napoli	LAA
26	J.J. Putz	SEA
27	Eric Hurley	TEX
28	Juan Rivera	LAA
29	Eric Chavez	OAK
30	Jeff Clement	SEA
31	John Danks	TEX
32	Nick Adenhart	LAA
33	Travis Buck	OAK
34	Vicente Padilla	TEX
35	Gil Meche SEA
36	Thomas Diamond	TEX
37	Edison Volquez	TEX
38	Kenji Johjima	SEA
39	Casey Kotchman	LAA
40	Dan Johnson	OAK
41	J. Duchscherer	OAK
42	Daric Barton	OAK
43	Joe Blanton	OAK
44	Raul Ibanez	SEA
45	Kevin Millwood	TEX
46	Ryan Feierabend	SEA
47	Mark Lowe	SEA
48	Orlando Cabrera	LAA
49	Mark DeRosa	TEX
50	Jeff Mathis	LAA

Some notes from the list:

The Angels have all kinds of talent. While they have 14 guys on the list, 10 of those are in the top 28, and 6 of those are in the top 13. They have 4 of the top 8 guys on the list. And I’d imagine most Angel fans think I’m underselling Brandon Wood. The Angels probably have the best core to build a roster around in the major leagues.

The A’s are in trouble. They have 12 guys on the list, but 4 of those are in the 40-50 range, and 2 of their top 4 (Harden and Zito) are huge question marks for the future. It’s not easy to look at the A’s current talent base and see how they’re going to contend going forward, but Billy Beane cures a lot of ills. If the A’s keep winning for the rest of the decade, it will be his greatest triumph yet.

The Rangers might be in worse shape than the A’s. Only three guys in the top 20, and nearly half the guys on their list are young pitchers with no major league track record. Attrition could thin their talent base out pretty quickly. The Rangers are basically counting on their four young arms to develop – if even two of them fail to make any impact in the majors, it spells trouble for Texas.

The M’s are sitting in a pretty nice spot. They’ve got significant young, cheap talent on the roster, plus some guys performing well in the majors at salaries far below market value. Once the next wave of guys from Tacoma reach the majors, there won’t be much additional help from the farm system coming for a couple of years, but the team has a strong enough talent base to build around. Their problem continues to be choosing the correct role players to fill out the roster, and the M’s clearly have the worst management team in the division.

Also, the bottom of the list could be populated by any number of guys. There are a whole host of guys that you could make a case for over Mathis and I’d basically shurg my shoulders and say “yea”. Laird, Mench, Wilkerson, Snelling, Matthews, Choo, Figgins, and Morales could all have a case to one degree or another. So try not to get too caught up in over who got snubbed – once you get down that far on the list, there’s a lot of guys of comparable value. It’s the guys at the top who are going to decide who is in charge of this division for the next few years.

Right now, the edge goes to Anaheim. Or Los Angeles. Whatever.


98 Responses to “AL West Trade Value”

  1. Dave on July 20th, 2006 4:36 pm

    Not that I’m insinuating anything, but unless the bullpen has some kind of chemical substance laying around, I’m not sure it would help Joel.

  2. Max Power on July 20th, 2006 4:39 pm

    Not that I’m insinuating anything, but unless the bullpen has some kind of chemical substance laying around, I’m not sure it would help Joel.

    maybe, but why wouldn’t it hurt at this point to try? he has shown flashes of adequacy in the past, maybe the extra 1-2 mph (I don’t remember what the exact number you get back in the bullpen is) would allow him to be effective for 1-2 inning stretches (ala gagne)?

  3. MarinerDan on July 20th, 2006 4:42 pm

    I understand that you are not dipping down too far into young guys just into the system (for example, Morrow and Conger), but I was wondering if you’ve seen what Tony Butler has done so far in AZL action. Massive K rate (and a high BB rate). Are you starting to get a little higher on him?

  4. Dave on July 20th, 2006 4:49 pm

    AZL stats are totally and completely useless.

  5. Envirohawk on July 20th, 2006 4:49 pm


    Great article – made even better by your willingness to stick around and answer follow-up questions. Thanks for the discussion and thanks for humoring all of our random thoughts.

    Now, if you could just do something about Hargrove . . . . .

  6. MarinerDan on July 20th, 2006 4:56 pm

    25 Ks in 14 IPs is pretty sweet, even in the AZL.

    But, moving on, I was little surprised that Kinsler is so high on the list. Would you trade Jones for Kinsler? Clement?

  7. Dave on July 20th, 2006 5:03 pm

    25 Ks in 14 IPs is pretty sweet, even in the AZL.

    It’s a complex league with no fans, a non-public schedule, loose rules, playing against guys who should be wondering who to ask to junior prom. I’m not trying to be a curmudgeon, but there’s really no reason to take anything that happens down there seriously. Scouting reports from the AZL can be useful – statistics cannot.

    But, moving on, I was little surprised that Kinsler is so high on the list. Would you trade Jones for Kinsler? Clement?

    No, because we have Jose Lopez. But Kinsler has a good bit of value around the league.

  8. MarinerDan on July 20th, 2006 5:07 pm

    I do see your point re the AZL. I think it will be interesting when Butler is promoted to short season to see how he adjusts. Looks like he has a live arm, but not much command. Of course, I guess you could say that about a lot of young guys who never amount to squat.

  9. MarinerDan on July 20th, 2006 5:12 pm

    Any thought about putting Greg Halman on the list, or does he fall into the “too new” category? If that wasn’t an issue, do you think his talent level would put him on the list?

  10. Dave on July 20th, 2006 5:16 pm

    Halman’s in the group of guys who are interesting but far away. All four organizations have guys like him.

    His power is legit, but we really won’t know what kind of player he’s going to be until we see how hard he works to improve. His approach at the plate is so terrible now that he’s going to have to put it in overdrive to get better. Some do, some don’t. We don’t know how hard he’s willing to work, so until we do, he’s a project. A project with a lot of upside, but a project nonetheless.

  11. dnc on July 20th, 2006 5:18 pm

    On Butler, I agree AZL stats are pretty useless. Do you have any scouting info on him, positive or negative?

    Regarding Lowe, he’s been very impressive in his brief callup, but you’ve moved him ahead of four people in 9 days (Snelling, Choo, Tuiasosopo, Cruceta). Has the small sample really raised his trade value that much, or was this just a case where those guys were all pretty bunched up on the previous list and Lowe’s run gave him the slight nudge he needed to move past them?

  12. Steve Nelson on July 20th, 2006 5:40 pm

    #61: Has the small sample really raised his trade value that much, or was this just a case where those guys were all pretty bunched up on the previous list and Lowe’s run gave him the slight nudge he needed to move past them?
    Remember that rankings such as this are almost always pyramidal, with very flat sides. Near the top, every guy is uniuqe and distinguishable. At the bottom there are almost no discernible differences in trade value.

    I doubt that there’s much difference at all in trade value between any guy ranked below about 35, as well as with any of the next 20 or 30 guys who didn’t quite make it on to the list.

    If you were looking at a list such as this for contructing a paper roster, you would secure as many of the premium guys that you can (the top 10), then secure a bunch of very good guys (maybe slots 11 to 25) and after that start filling the gaps around the guys you now have on your roster. Remember that even if you get to the end of the lit of 50 and you’ve still got holes, there are a bunch of guys who didn’t make the list who are really jsut as valuable as the guys at the bottom.

  13. CCW on July 20th, 2006 5:43 pm

    I’m curious why Rafael Soriano is so high. The only way to justify that ranking would be if he’s a starter, right? So, are you really that confident he’s ever going to be a successfuly starter, given his injury history, smallish frame, lack of a third pitch, etc.?

  14. Hooligan on July 20th, 2006 5:45 pm

    If Felix adds 2-3 mph back to his fastball, I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the world not named Pujols. Wright and Cabrera could be greats, but the pitcher we saw last year – at 20 – could become baseball’s version of Gretzky…the unquestioned Greatest.

  15. JMB on July 20th, 2006 6:08 pm

    Pujols is a stud, no question. But on the issue of Pujols vs. Wright/Cabrera, I think a few things make it much closer. For starters, Pujols makes $14M whereas the other two haven’t even hit arbitration yet. You can buy quite a bit for the difference between what they make and $14M. They’re also each three years younger (not that Pujols is old, or anything). But the big thing to me is defense — I’ll take a 3B over a 1B almost every time.

  16. dnc on July 20th, 2006 6:11 pm

    I’m with JMB on this one.

    I’d go Cabrera, Wright, Pujols, Felix.

    Although I’d spend a long time debating Johan Santana versus Felix. In the end, I’ll take Felix’s lower rates.

  17. Dave on July 20th, 2006 6:22 pm

    David Wright is a great player, no doubt, hitting .317/.389/.575 as a 23-year-old this year. But the difference between Pujols and Wright at the plate is still pretty vast.

    Pujols at 23: .359/.439/.667

    Pujols career: .332/.419/.629

    His career EqA is .342. Wright’s EqA this year is .316. The difference between Pujols bat and Wright’s bat is something in the range of 20-25 runs a year.

    David Wright is great. Albert Pujols is Greatest.

  18. Hooligan on July 20th, 2006 6:42 pm

    Yep, Pujols is in a league of his own at the plate.

    Felix could get there at the mound. I wish I could blame his loss in velocity on mechanics, but I’ve reviewed some film and nothing looks much different than last year. His release point might vary a bit more than it did before (but let’s not kid ourselves, it has always varied from heater to heater, change to change, even last September) and he doesn’t look to be in the best shape, but I’m not satisfied that either factor has consistently cost him power. It would be nice if his body’s motion would catch up with his throwing motion…his legs are always playing catch-up with his arm.

    If his mechanics improve – and there’s no reason they shouldn’t – I’m not sure I’d trade him for Pujols. And I have a man crush on Pujols.

  19. dnc on July 20th, 2006 6:53 pm

    Pujols is obviously in a class by himself.

    Is 20-25 runs a year worth $10-12 million in salary difference?

  20. dnc on July 20th, 2006 6:57 pm

    To add to number 69, IIRC, 20-25 runs is going to amount to amount 2 to 3 wins per year.

    I understand wins above average are costly. I’m just not sure they are worth that much. I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this.

  21. dnc on July 20th, 2006 6:58 pm

    re 70 “going to amount to amount”

    Sorry for that. I have no idea what happened.

  22. Hooligan on July 20th, 2006 7:05 pm

    Call it bias (it probably is), but I don’t think Pujols is overpaid, and the chance to watch the greatest hitter today (ever?) over the prime of his career is too good to pass up. I want to see the best swing ever swing every day. Even if the first few years wouldn’t be at the discount Wright and Cabrera play for, I’ll take the best. It won’t be too long before the youngsters will be making their share, either.

    Babe Ruth only comes around every so often. Twice so far.

  23. dnc on July 20th, 2006 7:12 pm

    I’m certainly not suggesting that Pujols is overpaid. I think he’s clearly worth more than he’s getting.

    But that’s not really the point of this argument. The point is, would Wright + that much cash to improve your team be more valuable than Pujols alone?

    I suppose it comes down to which GM is determining how to spend that cash.

  24. Matthew Carruth on July 20th, 2006 7:27 pm

    re: Yuni, way above

    His low K rates due lend weight to his ability to hit for a high average. Putting the ball in play a lot is a good way to hit close to .300.

    re: Lowe and Soriano

    Nice to hear some other people share the same idea. I doubt it would work out, but seriously, how cool would a rotation of Felix, Daisuke, Washburn, Lowe, Soriano be? And you’d have Cruceta, Feireband, Blackeley, Livington, Morrow pushing up from the system. Granted, it leaves the pen a bit sparse, but that’s WAY easier (and cheaper) to shore up than 3/5 of your rotation.

    re: “would Wright + that much cash to improve your team be more valuable than Pujols alone?”

    In the short run? Almost surely. All you’d have to be able to do is buy a 1B who’s x number of runs (20-25 I think was quoted) above replacement level for $Pujols – $Wright and you’d come out ahead.

    That being said, Wright will eventually be making as much as Pujols and then you’re stuck with the inferior offensive player, but then it gets interesting because then you’d be comparing replacement level 1B vs. 3B to determine if the difference in favor of the 1B outweighs Pujols’ outproduction of Wright.

  25. dnc on July 20th, 2006 8:34 pm

    You also have to take into consideration Wright’s abilities as a third baseman. He’s an above average defender over there. Pujols may be an above average defensive first baseman, I’m not sure, but even if he is, I imagine Wright’s contribution with the glove has more of an impact.

  26. JI on July 20th, 2006 8:56 pm

    You’d have to be nuts to trade Pujols for Wright. Not only did Pujols put up Jimmie Foxx numbers in his age 23 season, he’s getting better, he’s taking more walks, his OBP is up, and his SLG% is up into the .700s. Players who can domainate a game like he can on offense are irreplaceable.

    The only person I’d trade Pujols for is a Alex Rodriguez– if Rodriguez was 26-27 instead of 30-31.

  27. BelaXadux on July 20th, 2006 9:03 pm

    Interesting list, Dave; interesting thoughts.

    I’m a big fan of Stoneman. He’s done a great job of development, and has an awesome group coming up from the minors, definitely the best core in the game. They’ll be very hard to compete with. The big question for them is depth in the starting rotation, and that’s where the Ms will have some hope in taking some series from the Lost Angels. And Stoneman has an owner with the right idea: ownership gave Stoneman money to buy vets to keep the team competitive for several years and _not_ trade away the minor league blue chips while guys sorted themselves out. And given the money, Stoneman signed one of the best players in the gamer in Big Vlad. Stoneman also signed Colon and Escobar, and while I’m not a huge fan of either they kept the team in it during these years and put a buzz on for the fans. Bill S. can be forgiven for pick-ups like Steve Finley and Orlando Cabrera in the circumstances.

    Just as a point of comparison, given money to spend Bill Bavasi has picked up: Beltre, Sexson, Everett, Washburn, and you could add Guardado and Ibanez to that as ‘team acquisitions.’ Raul is the only player even to make it onto this list, and he’s valued right where he should be, his career year notwithstanding. In fact, it’s these ‘stay competitive veteran signings’ by the Ms which are _weighing the team and organization down NOW_. There’s no way, NO WAY that Stoneman trades Asrdubal Cabrera for Eddie Perez, either. I have no problem at all in saying that the Ms have the worst management team in the division. They’re not KC/TB bad, but they’re . . . not competitive, as we see.

    As always, Oakland looks worse in the stats than on the field somehow. I have to like what Beane has done with the pitching staff there, although the injury issues with Harden really hurt ‘The Plan.’ Oddly, if Oakland can come up with even one significant bat, I think they’ll stay quite competitive. But it’ll take some Magic Beane(s) to get that one big bat, so we’ll have to see.

  28. joser on July 20th, 2006 9:06 pm

    Is 20-25 runs a year worth $10-12 million in salary difference?
    Is this some kind of trick question? That’s what, four or five games? Do you think the AL West is going to be won by more than that? How often is a division or wild card decided by less than that?

  29. joser on July 20th, 2006 9:12 pm

    Something else to consider is the relative financial resources of the various teams, because if you don’t have a lot of cash for FAs you have to hope your farm produces. From that perspective, the Angels are even better off, and the A’s are even worse. Though of course Beane manages to pull rabbits out of hats on a regular basis. I sometimes wonder if he wishes the A’s were doing as poorly as they should be this year, so he could move Zito at the deadline for some cheap and talented kids. Even if Harden seems healthy (and that’s an “if” for sure) the cupboard is going to look pretty bare this offseason.

  30. imfinkspa on July 20th, 2006 9:21 pm

    Re: Pujols and Wright.

    Its worth keeping in mind that Pujols is a well above average first baseman and baserunner. Moreover, he only moved to first base (via the outfield) to accommodate the acquisition of Scott Rolen. He was at least average at third and was above average in the corners. While Wright projects to be above average at third, all of the measures I’ve seen to date indicate that he is currently somewhat below average, though he appears to be quite good on the bases. In the end, I tend to agree that 3-5 marginal wins is well worth $12-$13 million per year on division contender. Pujols is kind of the exception who proves the rule in that respect insofar as I would rather have cheap and good, than old and very good in most circumstances. In the case of Pujols, I’ll take great, young, and signed long term under market for his unique skills. If he wasn’t valuable enought at 1st, I’d move him back to 3rd.

  31. BelaXadux on July 20th, 2006 9:28 pm

    I do agree that the Ms have put together the parts of a fine team core, though. Felix, Ichiro, Soriano, Lowe, Morrow?, Lopez, Jones, Clement, Doyle?, Betancourt, Putz, Sherrill; Johjima and maybe Sexson as helpmeets. That’s a well-balanced bunch, OF, INF, starters, and relievers, and some superior defenders among the group. If management sensibly fills out the roster around that group, the Ms could do a lot of damange—but not THIS management team. They have a history of disappointing. The most important acquisiton for the organization is a GM who can and will build out the 25-man to a team that actually wins rather than just shows up, and Bill Bavasi has a demonstrated history of NOT being that guy.

    Ichiro: yeah, straight up for any of the guys above him, and I love Ichii, but he’s still very, very valuable.

    Lopez: If anything, he’s slotted _low_ on the list; that’s what a major hole in your game like his miniscule OBP will do for you. He’s 22 and rakes line drives all over the yard; more and more of those will turn into HRs as he matures. He’s having no trouble making contact, which was a real worry when he was pull-happy, and will beat you with the RBI single just as much as the towering XB hit. I’m hoping that his OBP will creep up a little bit. And Safeco hurts him quite a bit like other RH hitters. Bats like his are rare indeed at 2B, and he’s holding his own there, although I think he’ll end up at 3B in a few years, but the defense even boosts his value now, yeah. I’m with Dave: the other GMs would swap Chavez or Kinsler for him in a second.

    Lowe and Soriano: The thing about Lowe isn’t the 5 innings, it’s his control so far this year. Even in the low minors, hiw K/BB was stupid good. It won’t stay at this level, but it’s an extremely important sign, and speaks a great deal to why he’s having such success: he’s pounding the zone with good pitches. Yes, I want to see him tried as a starter. Oh, and Soriano _has_ three pitches: fastball, slider, and split, and it’s a great combination. I want to see him as a starter, too, but I can’t disagree with the org’s decision to have him in the pen all this year. While he’s not out there long, you can still see him really learning _how_ to pitch, which he didn’t know before, how to use his breaking pitch to set up the fastball, how to finish a guy off with the split and still throw a good enough pitch to get the called strike out of it if necessary. Rafe as a starter next year will be in a much better position to succeed, I think. I don’t see the Mariners current management team as having the confidence and perspicacity to put both of them in the rotation, in part because it would open them to criticism about ‘weakening the pen,’ and the Ms management/ownership group can’t is terrifed of being second-guessed to the point that it cripples their thinking about appropriate talent utilization. . . . But one can hope that the group has a ‘wild and crazy’ moment, so.

    Betancourt: Remember, he has very, very little professional experience; this is the middle of his _second year_ in OB. He’s making pretty good contact, and not trying to do too much at the plate. We’ll have to see how he and the league’s pitchers adjust to each other next year before we can really get his value sussed, but he’s hitting better than many other starting middle infielders right now. Oh, and don’t forget his defensive value.

    Adam Jones: He’s way over his head, but we knew we were going to see that. The good news is that he isn’t striking out in bunches despite getting little but breaking balls. Next year, we can look forward to something of value from him. This year, he should be in Tacoma, and it’s hurting the Big League club to have him here. Yep, that’s our FO at work for us.

    All in all, I like our core group. I DON’T like our management group. The latter liability will in all probability spoil the former asset unless changes are made, so here’s a vote for an overhaul at the proper level.

  32. BelaXadux on July 20th, 2006 9:30 pm

    Yeah, it would be very much to Bean’s long-term advantage if he could trade Zito now, but given the standings he can’t do it. Oh well. It’s all about winning, right??

  33. JI on July 20th, 2006 9:41 pm

    [i]He was at least average at third and was above average in the corners. [/i]

    I dunno about that, he took some funky route when he played out in left.

  34. gwangung on July 20th, 2006 9:57 pm

    Organizationally speaking, what would the priority be in getting improvement?

  35. Matthew Carruth on July 20th, 2006 10:23 pm

    “Is this some kind of trick question? That’s what, four or five games? Do you think the AL West is going to be won by more than that? How often is a division or wild card decided by less than that?”

    You misunderstood the question.

    You have two positions to fill, 1B and 3B and $15M to do it with.

    Player A generates 80 runs above replacement, plays 1B, and costs 15M
    Player B generates 55-60 runs above replacement, plays 3B, and costs 3-5M

    So, do you want:
    Player A + replacement 3B, net of 80 runs
    Player B + 10-12M 1B, net of 55-60 + ? runs

    I’m pretty sure the second option is going to be higher.

  36. Steve Nelson on July 20th, 2006 10:27 pm

    #77: I have no problem at all in saying that the Ms have the worst management team in the division. They’re not KC/TB bad, but they’re . . . not competitive, as we see.
    Considering that the Mariners continues to run Everett out game after game after game, I don’t think you can a priori conclude that the Mariners are not KC/TB/Pitt bad. Maybe the Mariners are better, but if so they’re not enough better to make that a foregone conclusion.


    If KC/TB/Pitt consistently had a top ten payroll, those teams would certainly perform better than they have. They would hang onto a few players they would otherwise deal away or let walk, and they wouldn’t always scrape the bottom of the barrel in FA signings.

    IOW – they would become generally mediocore, with an occasional shot at the postseason mixed with some cellar finishes.

    Which is to say, the Mariners might very well be a picture of what those teams would look like if their baseball operations staff had Mariner-type payroll and resources.

  37. BelaXadux on July 20th, 2006 10:35 pm

    Beltre: If he were pulling down $6-7M a year, he wouldn’t be that bad a value. He’d sucked offensively 3 months of every 6—like now—but give fair offensive value the other months—like now—while playing friggin’ outstanding D—like now—and staying in the lineup even when nicked up. So if Tower of the Pades called and said, “I’ll give you some more of the junk I’ve palmed off on you before for Beltre and half his salary give or take,” it would make considerable sense. It’s the contract which makes Beltre the team liability he is. Unless Beltre keeps hitting like he did in April, I don’t see any way that the Ms kick in significant money, if ANY money, in dealing him, though, and they shouldn’t in the kind of scenario just mentioned. The Ms are paying him twice what he’s worth, but still he’s worth something and to trade that something _and_ a pile of money to get nothing isn’t the way to go. And I say that as someone who’s been advocating moving Adrian Beltre, Team Liability since last September.

    And if Beltre is dealt, which I think should happen, who replaces him? The scenario had been to slide Jose Lopez over to 3B, where his bat looks a little less special but his production is the same and his defense probably better, and move Asdrubal Cabrera up to play 2B when he could hold his own. With Cabrera gone, it’s a big step down offensively to guys like Ishmael Castro or Oswaldo Navarro. If Lopez stays at 2B, Dobbs or Bloomquist are laughable non sequiturs at 3B offensively, and mediocre defensively. Thus if Beltre is moved now, say for pitching or just to dump his contract, the team gives up what he can do to insert a total hole in the lineup.

    —So the solution is to move Beltre and a big chunk of his contract for an infielder who projects for 3B or ideally 2B. Not easy to do, not easy at all. One would be looking for a match (speaking entirely hypothetically since this one would never happen), of moving Beltre and a chunk of his contract for Eric Aybar, or the like. Really hard to do. But it’s what I’d like to see tried.

    . . . Of course, I’d far rather have seen Asdrubal Cabrera kept, since Eddie Perez can’t help at all going forward. But Our Brain(t)rust doesn’t do roster building like that.

  38. Mr. Egaas on July 20th, 2006 10:53 pm

    If Beltre is moved, I have a feeling it’ll be in the offseason, where there’s more opportunities to obtain a replacement.

    Many people forget that Eddie Perez has a 1.8 million dollar option for next year. That’s one half of a killer DH platoon opposite of an Aussie.

  39. John in L.A. on July 20th, 2006 11:06 pm

    I would hate to see the M’s trade Beltre for nothing. The cash is irrelevant to me, and should be to any fan without some indication on how or IF that savings would be spent. I have zero faith that it would be. I have heard that line before.

    I don’t want to trade Beltre to begin with, but doing so for cash instead of talent horrifies me. And if we get suckered into giving him to someone so he can be an all-star again in the NL, well, we suck.

    This team should be able to overpay a third baseman without blinking. It can’t survive its 1st baseman and DH not hitting at all, but it could survive a weak-hitting defensive whiz at third if they pulled their heads out of their collective ass about Everett.

  40. Adam S on July 20th, 2006 11:39 pm

    I’m surprised no one has commented on the #2 on the list. Is John Lackey really that good?

    His xFIP is 4.28, smack in the middle of his 2004 and 2005 xFIP. It seems like he’s actually a bit worse of a pitcher than he was last year — K rate is down a bit, BB rate up a bit, GB% down a bit. OK his FIP has consistently been 1/2 run below his xFIP, and is very good, but I’m not sure what that means — he consistently prevents fly balls from becoming HRs, which isn’t a real skill?

    Is it simply that he’s cheap for a couple more years for a #3 starter? I wouldn’t swap Ichiro or Lopez for him (though I wonder about Ichiro’s value after he signs a FA contract).

  41. heyoka on July 21st, 2006 12:32 am

    Haha, remember when Dallas McPherson was so high on lists like this?

    Beltre is still young-ish. He’s filling the hole at third, which was the conceivable least he could do when he signed that contract. I wouldn’t trade him just to dump the salary, there would have to be good bait.

    Yeah, Lackey seems about #2. Front rotation starter for 3 mil.

  42. BelaXadux on July 21st, 2006 12:46 am

    It’s one thing to overpay your ‘hitter-as-rockhead,’ defensive whiz 3bman; it’s another thing to overpay him by ~$7M. Yes, the Ms can afford that—or could up to this year, though the presence of said Team Liability hurts both the Win column and attendance, methinks. But ~$7M: that’s a mid-rotation starter. We have Joel Pinada taking his turn every five instead of a solid pitcher in part because that 3bman is sucking up the budget quota for somebody else better. Although having that dough committed to Adrian means, perhaps, that we _don’t_ have Millwood’s deal to worry about, so there’s some upside: he’s saving the FO from itself. Hmmm, I hadn’t seen it that way . . . .

    I’m against giving Adrian away, and a smart FO would build up the rest of the roster enough to compensate for his failures, kick him down to 6th or 7th place in the line-up, demote him in the team’s strategy, and live with it. Team’s which continue to build their offense and expectations around disappointments like Beltre turn into the Blue Jays of five years ago.

    On another note, Doyle doesn’t need a platoon partner, so Perez just becomes a terrific pinch hitter who for one AB will force the other team to bring in a RH reliever to eliminate him every third game.

  43. BelaXadux on July 21st, 2006 12:49 am

    Oh, and the Ms 1Bman is _significantly_ outhitting it’s 3Bman; last year, this year, and I suspect every year that they’re both here.

  44. John in L.A. on July 21st, 2006 1:04 am

    Well, the M’s 1st baseman certainly should be outhitting their 3rd baseman… as should their DH.

    But I dont know how you can say there is anything at all _signifigant_ about how much Sexson is outhitting Beltre this year. Their OPS is .010 points away right now.

    And that’s with Beltre having an April so hideous it is unlikely to repeat.

    I don’t terribly disagree with you on a lot, but I do not assume that the M’s don’t have anything because of their 3rd baseman. That’s a false dichotomy. The M’s can have both. And we’ve seen their accounting before when they “saved” money on a player.

  45. Typical Idiot Fan on July 21st, 2006 1:24 am

    Figure I’ll stick a prospect update in here:

    Choo – .326 / .395 / .500, 12 HR, 19 2B, 3 3B, 24 SB, 4 CS, 40 BB, 67 Ks. Before today’s action (BFTA) (2 for 3, 1 HR, 3 RBI)

    Doyle – .270 / .385 / .410, 4 HR, 12 2B, 4 SB, 1 CS, 26 BB, 39 Ks. BFTA (0 for 4, 1 K). Doyle’s slumping again. Maybe he’s angry that Everett’s still here.

    LaHair – .301 / .364 / .388, 1 HR, 6 2B, 2 SB, 11 BB, 27 Ks (103 ABs). BFTA (1 for 4, 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SO). Yeah, I know he’s not a prospect.

    Clement – .235 / .287 / .346, 2 HR, 3 2B, 3 BB, 19 Ks (81 ABs). BFTA (1 for 4, 2 Ks).

    Cruceta – 8-6, 4.21 ERA, 107 IP, 56 BB, 132 SO(!), 13 HR(!). Gopheritis! Stirkeouts! It’s pandemonium!

    —-San Antonio—-
    Chen – .313 / .352 / .567, 3 HR, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 SB, 4 BB, 8 Ks (67 ABs).

    Balentien The Destroyer – .263 / .351 / .494, 17 HR, 20 2B, 11 SB, 6 CS, 40 BB, 97 Ks. God have mercy! Wladamir has nearly brought his K:BB ratio to 2:1!!!

    Wilson – .344 / .425 / .634, 6 HR, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 SB, 9 BB, 25 Ks (93 ABs). Legit? Small sample size.

    Tuiasosoppo – .182 / .240 / .205, 2 2B, 1 SB, 7 BB, 29 Ks (88 ABs). Ouch Matt. Thank God you’re young.

    Blackley – 7-7, 4.17, 108 IP, 29 BB, 69 SO, 12 HR. Travis has improved quite a bit lately. I don’t think he has given up a home run in a few starts.

    Feierabend – 7-7, 3.96, 102.1 IP, 27 BB, 92 SO, 11 HR. Getting better and better.

    Bazardo – 5-3, 3.20, 95.2 IP, 30 BB, 55 SO, 7 HR. Getting by on smoke and mirrors still, but has actually done better recently.

    Rohrbaugh – 2-1, 2.73 ERA, 33.0 IP, 8 BB, 26 SO, 5 HR. Made the leap to AA rather well so far.

    Kahn – 0-2, 5.64 ERA, 22.1 IP, 13 BB, 19 SO, 2 HR. Has not.

    Chick – 1-0, 2.84 ERA, 12.2 IP, 9 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR (2 starts). Not much to go on here.

    O’Flaherty – 2-0, 1.21 ERA, 29.2 IP, 12 BB, 31 SO, 0 HR, 2 SV. Also has done well with his promotion.

    —-Inland Empire—-
    Needs some damn batters. With the exception of Casey Craig, who wont get a shot in the Mariners organization (so sayeth Dave), nobody here is hitting for snot and doesn’t appear to be a prospect at all (or has already moved up to San Antonio). So I’m skipping this section until someone interesting comes along.

    Nottingham – 4-7, 3.90 ERA, 110.2 IP, 38 BB, 100 SO, 8 HR. Why mother he’s cured!

    Thomas – 5-2, 5.68 ERA, 44.1 IP, 18 BB, 52 SO, 6 HR. Having the same problems as Felix. Seems to be pitching well, but getting hit hard.

    Rivera – 5-4, 4.30 ERA, 58.2 IP, 27 BB, 50 SO, 8 HR. Still having control problems.

    Lo – .353 / .450 / .471, 2 2B, 1 3B, 6 SB, 1 CS, 5 BB, 7 Ks (34 ABs). Advancing rapidly, and probably wont stay here in Wisconsin for long. This is definately a guy to watch.

    Valbuena – .286 / .371 / .400, 3 HR, 16 2B, 6 3B, 21 SB, 7 CS, 44 BB, 44 Ks. Luis, I think, has found his groove again.

    Williams – 2-4, 3.44 ERA, 68 IP, 64 BB(!), 82 SO(!), 5 HR. Somebody teach this guy some control before he kills someone.

    Guaramato – 2-3, 7.17 ERA(!), 42.2 IP, 32 BB, 39 SO, 4 HR, 6 SV. Shawn Chacon anybody?

    Woerman – 2-2, 2.12 ERA, 34 IP, 14 BB, 54 SO(!), 1 HR, 7 SV. Graduated to Inland Empire (Yay!).

    Bibens-(BIBENS!)-Bibens-Dirkx – 0-1, 2.25 ERA, 8 IP, 1 BB, 11 SO, 0 HR, 1 SV. That’s 22 strikeouts in 14 professional IP for those following along here. Might be a stud righty setup guy.

    Halman the Dutch Apple Bunkerbuster – .271 / .310 / .514, 4 HR, 6 2B, 4 3B, 10 SB, 4 CS, 3 BB(!), 29 Ks(!). Somebody learned how to hit the baaaalllllll… Duck!

    White – .288 / .463 (WTF?) / .413, 3 HR, 1 2B, 2 CS, 25 BB, 24 Ks. Can we give this guy some steroids please?! His plate discipline is great, now if only he’d actually put WOOD on the ball!

    Pimentel – .270 / .356 / .508, 4 HR, 1 2B, 1 3B, 9 BB, 9 Ks. Small sample size.

    Schilling – 2-3, 2.88 ERA, 34.1 IP, 8 BB, 26 SO, 2 HR. Roughed up last outing.

    Uhlmansiek – 2-1, 3.12 ERA, 26 IP, 14 BB, 27 SO, 0 HR. Ditto.

    Fister (hee hee hee) – 1-2, 0.84 ERA, 21.1 IP, 4 BB, 20 SO, 0 HR, 4 SV. Moved to bullpen, doing well in all aspects.

    Orta – 2-1, 6.35 ERA, 11.1 IP, 3 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR. I have faith that they drafted him for a reason.

    —-AZL Mariners—-
    Disclaimer: These stats mean jack.

    Avila – .367 / .419 / .620, 5 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 SB, 1 CS, 5 BB, 21 Ks.

    Van Gaalen – 3-1, 2.45 ERA, 25.2 IP, 2 BB(!), 19 SO, 0 HR.

    Salinas – 1-0, 1.93 ERA, 18.1 IP, 5 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR.

    Morrow – 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR.

    Tillman – 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR.

    Campillo(!) – 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR. Seeing a pattern here?

    Varvaro – 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR (2 HB, hee hee hee).

    So the question is, are they going to get any of these pitchers any more time throwing professionally or just stretch them out, work them out, and wait til Winter Ball to do jack? With Campillo, obviously, you have an injury rehab assignment, but will he be moved up anywhere? Morrow was supposed to be relatively advanced compared to a lot of other drafted college pitchers (the unsigned Andrew Miller notwithstanding), so it seems odd to not do anything with him so far.

    Oh, and because I know you’re all just DYING to know:

    Garciaparra – .385 / .385 / .846, 1 HR, 3 2B, 1 SB, 1 CS, 0 BB, 0 Ks. Rehabbing in the AZL.

  46. BelaXadux on July 21st, 2006 5:40 am

    Wlad the Impeller.

    Not only has Balentien brought his BB rate way up, he’s also edge his K rate down slightly I believe. I want to see him do it next year in AAA for sure, he has to earn it, and I’m glad he’s the one guy in the system the development folks haven’t ridiculously over-promoted since he’s got a lot to work out in his approach at the plate. He’s made some strides this year—but God knows, he needed to do so.

  47. msb on July 21st, 2006 8:02 am

    speaking of trade value– from the Freep about Detroit’s interest in Soriano: “The Nationals recently asked for prospects Humberto Sanchez, Jair Jurrjens and Cameron Maybin in exchange for Soriano”

  48. tino on July 21st, 2006 9:38 am

    Where is the value for Meche coming from? My impression is that most of the authors (and readers) of this site would trade him for ~any (+) in the contribution/salary equation. I sure would. Especially Kotchman.

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