The Most Fun Trade Ever

Dave · November 28, 2007 at 9:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Tampa Bay and Minnesota have finalized a trade that is, if nothing else, endlessly fascinating. Details are as follows:

Minnesota sends RHP Matt Garza, SS Jason Bartlett, and RHP Eduardo Morlan
Tampa sends OF Delmon Young, 2B/3B Brendan Harris, and OF Jason Pridie

Delmon Young is, among other things, 22 years old, supremely talented, and was the #1 pick in the draft just four years ago. He’s got all-star talent, and is at a stage of his career where players of his caliber aren’t often dealt. For Minnesota to be able to acquire a guy like Young, at age 22, is pretty remarkable. And Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie could both help them win ball games as useful role players next year. The Twins picked up three players who can all help them win in 2008, make nothing, and should be in Minnesota for several years to come. That’s not easy to do, and they should be quite happy with their haul.

But just because this trade helps Minnesota doesn’t mean Tampa Bay got ripped off. I like this trade from the Rays perspective as well.

While Matt Garza is the sexy name, Jason Bartlett is exactly what this team needed – a legitimate major league defensive SS who can hit a little bit. We’ve talked before about how bad Tampa’s defense was, but swapping out Harris for Bartlett is going to be one of the largest upgrades any team makes this winter at any position. The difference between those two with the gloves is staggering. With Bartlett at short, Akinori Iwamura shifting over to second base, and rookie Evan Longoria stepping in at third, the Rays are actually going to have an infield defense capable of getting to balls in the hole and turning double plays.

The effect this trade will have on the Tampa pitching staff goes far beyond adding Matt Garza and his mid-90s fastball to the rotation, though that certainly won’t hurt. I’m not as big a Garza fan as some, but he has a live arm and stuff that can miss bats, so he’s worth taking a risk on. Teamed with Scott Kazmir and James Shields, Tampa now has three young arms who can get hitters out by themselves, and with the addition of Bartlett, they now also have the support of the defenders behind them.

Eduardo Morlan gives their bullpen another strikeout arm, and teamed with the rumored signing of Troy Percival, the Tampa bullpen should be deep with power arms next year. With Al Reyes and Dan Wheeler already around, plus a plethora of young kids fighting for jobs in the ‘pen, Tampa’s relief core has a chance to be outright good next year – a far cry from the total debacle it was in 2007.

Yes, they gave up Delmon Young, and usually the team that gives up the best player in any deal loses, but not in this case. Minnesota got better, but so did Tampa Bay.

And for once, it’s great to have a deal that was made strictly on talent evaluations. This is a baseball trade, and a fun one at that.


116 Responses to “The Most Fun Trade Ever”

  1. thr33niL on November 28th, 2007 9:33 pm

    I couldn’t believe the rumors. Thought it was a load of tosh. This is awesome to see a trade like this go down. So where does Cuddy play after all this. Shift to left? Back to 3rd? Also who steps in to fill Young’s role in Tampa? You have to think that Tampa is turned off by his temperament to make a deal like this. Especially when they have a ton of potential starters already.

  2. joser on November 28th, 2007 9:35 pm

    But doesn’t Harris hurt the Twins as much as his depature helps Tampa? And can Young really play CF?

    I know Liriano is coming back (fingers crossed) and presumably the Twins will get at least one pitcher back in any deal involving Santana, but their rotation is going to be very different next year, with a lot of lingering questions. Meanwhile, is this the year that TB puts it all together and pushes past the Jays for 3rd in the AL East?

    (BTW, you want to change that line: With Bartlett at short, Akinori Iwamura shifting over to second base, and rookie Evan Longoria stepping in at third, the Rays… )

  3. Brent Overman on November 28th, 2007 9:40 pm

    Tampa was already had no place for Baldelli, who, IIRC, is a decent defensive outfielder. They’ve been deep in the outfield, so I can see how Delmon Young was a decent piece to move who could fetch high dollar.

  4. joser on November 28th, 2007 9:53 pm

    I wonder if the Angels are smacking their foreheads, V8 style, right about now. Whatever his issues, Young is a lot more bang for the buck than Hunter. Of course, unlike the Twins, they can afford it.

  5. Sports on a Schtick on November 28th, 2007 10:22 pm

    So Tampa Bay adds to its stable of young starting pitchers. Maybe Bavasi should give the Rays a ring…

  6. C-Dub on November 28th, 2007 10:35 pm

    Hmm… Maybe the Rays won’t be complete joke this year. With a decent top three pitchers and that offense, they might finish third, and they will finish better than the train wreck that is the Orioles. Too bad they’re in the AL East. They might have had a chance otherwise…

  7. DAMellen on November 28th, 2007 10:47 pm

    I think the Rays (not the Devil Rays…what a stupid name) came out ahead. Not by a wide margin or anything, but they came away with a pretty good player in Garza and a pretty solid player in Bartlett. If Morlan comes on, they’ll have gotten three worthwhile players for a star and two bit players. I like that ESPN mentioned that Bartlett made more errors than Harris. And how many more balls did he get to? I’m betting a lot. Also worth noting, the Devil Rays have a pretty solid and extremely young rotation now. Shields is 25, Kazmir, Garza, Jackson, and Sonnastine are 24. Not bad.

  8. Ms_in_Vancouver on November 28th, 2007 11:08 pm

    This was a fantastic deal by both teams. But I honestly don’t see the role of Garza in the deal. The Twins need him right now if Santana winds up going and the D’Rays already have an overload of young pitchers.

    So with the Twins getting Young and Pridie, does this squash the idea of trading Adam Jones et al for Santana? It would seem so..

  9. fetish on November 28th, 2007 11:21 pm

    I think I predicted in the “Top Front Offices” post that the Ray’s strategy was flawed because, even when their young guys turn into stars (or look like they’ll turn into stars) they’ll be on their way out because the organization won’t want to afford them.

    While I guess this isn’t a bad trade for them if they assume they won’t keep Young when he’s arb-eligible in 2094, I still don’t see them any closer to playoff birth (or attendance above 20,000/game)

  10. vkut79 on November 28th, 2007 11:24 pm

    Why in the world would the DRays trade for more pitching?

  11. Jeff Sullivan on November 28th, 2007 11:30 pm

    So they can deal other bits of it away.

  12. Ben Ramm on November 28th, 2007 11:31 pm

    Tony Parker’s wife plays for the Devil Rays?

  13. marc w on November 28th, 2007 11:32 pm

    Well said, Dave – I totally agree (for once).

    Bartlett’s defenisve ability make this a transformative trade for the Rays, even in the absence of a great offensive player. If Longoria is close to average with the glove, this team has just improved its runs allowed by a significant amount, and they improved their rotation as well.

    Like you, I’m not exactly a huge believer in Garza, but he’s certainly a better bet than some of the guys they’ve trotted out in their #5 spot. Maybe that’s damning with faint praise in a trade for Delmon Young.
    No matter how deep the Rays are at SP, this sets them up well for the future. And as deep as they are at SP, they’re deeper at the OF, esp. since they still have Elijah Dukes.

  14. _David_ on November 28th, 2007 11:50 pm

    I like what the Rays got in return, but did they really need another SP prospect?

  15. Mike Snow on November 29th, 2007 12:01 am

    Considering the attrition rate on young pitching prospects, why not?

  16. hub on November 29th, 2007 12:02 am

    Re #14: I like what the Rays got in return, but did they really need another SP prospect?

    Can a team have too many?

  17. _David_ on November 29th, 2007 12:07 am

    Right, but each additional one has to be worth less to a team.

  18. Joof on November 29th, 2007 12:08 am

    But the pitchers are still worth a bunch to other teams. Every team in the league seems to have a pitching shortage, so you can deal pitchers out to other teams for way more value then you’ll get out of a pitcher.

  19. Matthew Carruth on November 29th, 2007 12:11 am

    The Rays dealt from a position of relative strength and got back extra depth at a position of league-wide scarcity. You can *never* have too much pitching and the Rays have a very good front office that will know how to maximize their assets. Likewise, good move for the Twins.

  20. _David_ on November 29th, 2007 12:19 am

    19, I not sure why I’m questioning trading a corner OF for a SP prospect? Great trade for the Rays. Delmon Young also has that comination of limited baserunning, patience and defense that leads to one being overrated.

  21. Emerald on November 29th, 2007 12:29 am

    Maybe the Rays will find someone else
    to help them?
    Maybe Jose Guillen?
    That was a joke! HAHA!! Fat chance!!

  22. Malicious_Draconian on November 29th, 2007 12:48 am

    Bavasi better be taking notes….

  23. Sidi on November 29th, 2007 1:05 am

    I think the Rays (not the Devil Rays…what a stupid name) came out ahead.

    Why is it stupid? It’s an intimidating common name for the largest of the rays, which are rather amazing creatures. Really, “Mariners” is less intimidating than Devil Rays, and if you want to go into bad names teams like the “Angels”, “Rockies”, “Reds”, “(insert color here) Sox”, and such.

    Of course, I’m Pastafarian, so the whole “devil” thing doesn’t offend me as much as some.

  24. dnc on November 29th, 2007 3:34 am

    Pastafarian? You smoke noodles?

  25. Typical Idiot Fan on November 29th, 2007 4:38 am

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: i hate layovers.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: i bet it’s cold up there.

    Garzanzobeans: /wearing parka

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: whoa eskimos

    Garzanzobeans: what? nmo, im fgrom minesotra.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: what’s wrong with your typing?

    Garzanzobeans: /removes mittens

    Garzanzobeans: Sorry about that. I’m from Minesota.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: wow no joke? that’s where im goin

    Garzanzobeans: Yah? Then you’ll be wanting these.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: fluffy!

    Garzanzobeans: Yeah, I made those from the hide of a lumberjack I hunted once. Joe Mauer said they taste like chicken. They dont.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: what do they taste like?

    Garzanzobeans: Charcoal and pancake syrup. And not that Mrs. Butterworth kind of pancake syrup either. More like truck stop slophouse pancake syrup.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: well, i’ll be sure not to eat one of thsoe then!

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: so where you headin?

    Garzanzobeans: Tampa Bay.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: oh! then i must give you something in return to repay your kindness!

    Garzanzobeans: Whoa! A handgun?!

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: yeah, a.. uh.. teammate told me to clean it, y’know? then he went off and left it with me. so you can have it. when you get to tampa, just show it to people and you’ll be with the ‘in crowd’ quickly.

    Garzanzobeans: What an amazing conecpt. I mean, I have guns myself, but mostly rifles and shotguns and stuff. I’ve never owned a handgun before.

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: whoop, that’s me. i gotta get goin’. see you around man

    Garzanzobeans: Yeah, good luck in Minesota!

    DudeYerGettinADelmon: oh yeah, and if elijah dukes tries to tell you that he’s me, just ignore him. he loves clowning around.

    Garzanzobeans: I gotta show this to Johan!

    Garzanzobeans: /gets out camera phone, takes picture.

    Garzanzobeans: Now to add an appropriate text message and.. send!


    SantanaAnna: /enjoying a spot of lemon herb tea

    SantanaAnna: /opens phone, reads text message

    Garzanzobeans: Hey, dawg. It’s on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain’t even bulls——-. Your kids too, dawg. It don’t even matter to me who is in the car with you. N—–, all I know is, n—–, when I see your m—–f——- a– riding, dawg, it’s on. As a matter of fact, I’m coming to your m—–f—— house.

    SantanaAnna: …

    SantanaAnna: what?

  26. Steve Nelson on November 29th, 2007 8:03 am

    #25: Nomination for Best USSM Reader Comment. Ever.

  27. scraps on November 29th, 2007 8:04 am

    Pastafarian = worshiper of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  28. SBG on November 29th, 2007 8:16 am

    Looking at the trade, I’m not sure who won it, but at least the Twins are doing something this off-season. No more Tony Batista/Sidney Ponson sightings! Woo!

  29. IdahoInvader on November 29th, 2007 8:55 am

    If nothing else, the Rays are now even more of a threat to be a thorn in the side of the Sawks and especially the Yankees. Not saying they could finish ahead of either of course, just meaning their head to head match ups are not gimme’s anymore. (Granted, I think the Yanks already felt that way, lol)

  30. bat guano on November 29th, 2007 9:30 am

    So who plays short for Minnesota? And where does Harris play?

  31. zzyzx on November 29th, 2007 9:37 am

    So does this reduce the odds of trading Santana? It would seem that trading away a starting pitcher would be a weird move if you’re about to trade away another one.

  32. msb on November 29th, 2007 10:05 am

    #31– not if you are asking for pitching back…

  33. CCW on November 29th, 2007 10:07 am

    I agree – this trade is fun. I especially like it from the Rays’ perspective, as I think there is a pretty good chance that Young won’t turn into a superstar. Meanwhile, Upton/Baldelli/Crawford is potentially quite an OF offense and defense, with each one of them capable of (although not necessarily great at) playing CF and, as Dave points out, the newly configured Rays infield looks awesome, too, at least defensively. I really like the Rays…

  34. bat guano on November 29th, 2007 10:10 am

    I have to think that the next move is a trade of Santana for two young starting pitchers—most likely to the Yankees, but the Dodgers are another possibility.

  35. The Ancient Mariner on November 29th, 2007 10:27 am

    The thing about this deal is, it’s a trade with real significant talent involved that isn’t a salary dump, a panic move at the deadline, or one side being stupid. It may work out for the Twins, the D-Rays, or both, since there’s always a fair bit of luck involved–but there’s obvious intelligent thought and planning on both sides.

  36. marc w on November 29th, 2007 10:43 am

    “The Rays dealt from a position of relative strength and got back extra depth at a position of league-wide scarcity.”

    Wasn’t that the Angels reasoning in acquiring Garland? Yeah, Garza>Garland, but the reasoning’s the same. And hell, Delmon Young>Orlando Cabrera.

    I really can see this deal from both sides. The Twins gave up a pretty good young starter, but they’ve gotta be pretty happy with Scott Baker, Glen Perkins, Slowey, maybe Bonser etc. to slot in behind Santana. And even if the lose Santana and go into rebuilding mode, that’s not a bad nucleus of a rotation, and you’ve now got a great young OF to go with your all-world catcher.

  37. thefin190 on November 29th, 2007 10:47 am

    Trades like these still make me a fan of baseball, seeing a trade where as stated before, neither side is tricked, or left with tons of money, or rebuilding. Both teams are left with decent talent in the holes that they needed to fill.

    I was worried that there was going to be a Matt Garza for Adam Jones trade, as Ken Rosenthal said “would make sense”. Now that won’t happen :D .

  38. thefin190 on November 29th, 2007 10:52 am

    O yea and Dave, I know you previously predicted the Rays to be about an 88 win team last year before this trade. How will this trade change that prediction? Will they win more or less?

  39. thefin190 on November 29th, 2007 10:54 am

    Correction from last post: I meant an 88 win team next* year.

  40. dcmarinerfan on November 29th, 2007 11:02 am

    36: don’t forget to add Liriano to that mix.

    Assuming they pull off some sort of Santana for Hughes/Kennedy/Cano or Melky deal, the Twins could look awfully stacked in the young pitching department awfully soon.

  41. dw on November 29th, 2007 11:06 am

    It must be nice to be so loaded down with talent that you can deal a former #1 for defense.

  42. Tom on November 29th, 2007 11:48 am

    Here’s another thing to think about when it comes to trades like this too.

    Clearly the Twins got the best player in the trade in Delmon Young, certainly there’s no doubt out of all the players involved in this deal, Young has by far the most potential to be a star, so it’s amazing to think that an up and coming organization like Tampa would trade a player like that. But at the same time, the Devil Rays seemed to do a good job with this trade filling up a couple holes and fulfilling needs such as infield defense and pitching.

    So just have to ask yourself what is the best kind of trade in baseball? Trades for need or trades for better players/upgrades?

    Any thoughts?

  43. Mr. Egaas on November 29th, 2007 12:05 pm

    Surprised the Rays just didn’t try to swap Dukes for Bartlett and leave it at that.

  44. ThePopeofChilitown on November 29th, 2007 12:19 pm

    Well, the Twins probably didn’t want a headcase. But Dukes is a talent, no question about that.

  45. heyoka on November 29th, 2007 12:21 pm

    I bet with the move to Minnesota that Delmon Young gets a triple this year.

  46. bermanator on November 29th, 2007 12:31 pm

    I love this trade in general because of the reasons Dave describes, but from the Rays perspective I feel like unless this deal is step one in a multi-step process (which I assume it must be), they’re putting a lot of faith in the idea that Baldelli can stay healthy and/or Dukes can stay out of jail.

  47. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 12:43 pm

    Delmon Young is going to hit .300, with 33 homeruns and 120 RBI’s this year.

    Great trade for the Twins, especially when adding the pieces they will get for Johan.

    You may all be high on this from the Devil Rays side of things, but I am not. The kid is 22 years old and is a prodigy. You don’t give up on that so quickly.

    Are we forgetting people, that in his rookie year he hit .288 with 13 home runs and 93 RBI’s?!?!?

    Now he is going to a dome?

    Unless Garza becomes an absolute lights out pitcher, this is a crappy trade. You don’t give up upside like Delmon’s without getting more in return, and I don’t care about character issues. Character doesn’t win championships like talent does. All things being equal, I’ll take the talented guy with character issues instead of the character guy with limited talent… Delmon? Incredible talent. Watch him blossom in Minny, and become a perennial All-Star/HoF level player.

  48. Bearman on November 29th, 2007 12:45 pm

    This deal is a very even handed deal for both clubs.
    I agree it gives the Twins solid OF help in Delmon Young shores up their corners with a power bat pickup their offense.
    Gives protection to their middle lineup bats where most of the power lies for the Twins(Mauer/Monreau).
    While the Rays I agree have just shored up their INF D by aquiring Bartlett lets them move Iwamura to his more natural position of 2ndB and lets the MLB ready 3rdBman Longoria play.
    Garza just makes their already developing rotation that much more solid and makes them very tough to beat but at least gives them a shot at a winning season even in the AL East.
    This deal should serve as example to old Bonehead Bavasi how to do a deal that actually benefits your club and nobody gets screwed.

    I don’t agree however the pitching prospect in the deal will be of much use in bullpen and I just don’t see the Rays FO spending the cash to sign Precival.
    Their FO and owner is about low payroll/high profit and stockpiling prospects to get what they need in trade.
    If they were willing to pay out the salary that is needed to sign a Precival they wouldn’t be looking to move Crawford or Kasmir at some point not because of FA year but because of arbitration eligiblity.
    Like with Santana any team that makes a offer for either player will have to give up a # of top MLB ready prospects to get either.

    Now hopefully Bavasi will be able to approach the Rays at the winter meetings and with luck aquire J P Howell and prospect of need for reasonable value say a catcher prospect(other than Moore/Clement/Johnson) and couple of RPs.
    Hopefully find a deal with Baltimore or San Francisco for Sexson that brings hole filling help.
    Hopefully during these meetings the M’s will annouce the signing of Kuroda.

  49. Graham on November 29th, 2007 12:58 pm

    Delmon Young is going to hit .300, with 33 homeruns and 120 RBI’s this year.(a)

    Are we forgetting people, that in his rookie year he hit .288 with 13 home runs and 93 RBI’s(b)(c)?!?!?(d)

    Now he is going to a dome?(e)

    a) No.
    b) We use stats that matter when evaluating players, i.e. not batting average or RBI.
    c) The plural of ‘RBI’ is ‘RBI’. Because it’s already plural.
    d) Any opinion containing ‘?!?!?’ is always wrong.
    e) Tampa Bay play in a dome, so he was in one last season anyway.

  50. joser on November 29th, 2007 1:00 pm

    I was worried that there was going to be a Matt Garza for Adam Jones trade, as Ken Rosenthal said “would make sense”. Now that won’t happen :D .

    No, now they’ll trade Jones for a lesser pitcher instead.

  51. terry on November 29th, 2007 1:11 pm

    I don’t agree however the pitching prospect in the deal will be of much use in bullpen

    Why do you think this?

  52. Sec 108 on November 29th, 2007 1:12 pm


    I was hoping you would post on this trade. It really is a cool one on so many levels. I for one found Garza to be less impactful than Bartlett. The runs he saves TB will be huge.

    Also, to see a trade that SHOULD benefit both teams is nice to see. I have grown weary of trades being salary dumps, fleecing of intelligence challenged GM’s or players forcing there way out of town.

    Now we just need to pry Howell away from TB.

  53. Chris Miller on November 29th, 2007 1:13 pm

    #47, basically the Rays got two good players and a bullpen piece for one a super high ceiling prospect. They didn’t get the short end if that’s what you mean. Also, what #49 said.

  54. HamNasty on November 29th, 2007 1:26 pm

    I don’t see how the Rays lost out. They essentially ran out of room for Young with Upton being their choice for CF and stocked up with more pitching.

    Essentially they traded a shiny piece of silver (Young) for a dull piece of platinum(Garza) and got a defensive piece. Platinum is still better then silver. The only way TB can compete in the AL East is stock up on good pitching, they will never outspend NY or BOS for A-Rod or Manny type player. But they can get a guy who will strike them out.

    In a couple years when they can’t afford Kazmir or Shields they will trade them away for an important piece of hitting and just replace with their excellent farm system.

  55. terry on November 29th, 2007 1:29 pm

    Does anyone else think it would be creepy to live in a hurricane-prone area and have to play in a stadium that was partially covered with a huge sail-like structure?

  56. Graham on November 29th, 2007 1:32 pm

    Not really, terry, because you’d leave the roof down and the tensile structure should be fine, as there’s no area for the wind to load. The field would get kinda screwed up, but the building isn’t going to fall down.

  57. PCW on November 29th, 2007 1:54 pm

    #54 Garza’s better than Young? Not sure I buy that.

  58. joser on November 29th, 2007 1:57 pm

    Hopefully they’ve learned from the Montreal experience with deployable fabric roofs. Like, this one will actually function.

    I have to say, the artist’s renderings sure make it look cool. But that’s what artist’s renderings are supposed to do. The big O looked pretty cool as a model too, as I recall.

    I wonder what players are going to think about tracking fly balls against that network of wires? (I’m betting it will be denser than the renderings suggest). I guess it wouldn’t be any worse than a dome.

  59. HamNasty on November 29th, 2007 2:03 pm

    57- I am just saying with position weights Garza is better. The value of a starting pitcher over the value of an OF. On a level market Young gets the easy advantage. However pitching talent is at its highest demand right now.

  60. Mr. Egaas on November 29th, 2007 2:06 pm

    This is the kind of trade that I pull when I start a new ‘Franchise Mode’ in any baseball video game.

  61. Teej on November 29th, 2007 2:06 pm

    The plural of ‘RBI’ is ‘RBI’. Because it’s already plural

    If I can get my nerd on for a second, that’s far from an accepted rule. There’s nothing saying RBI isn’t a singular noun. Smarter people than me agree:

    From Garner’s Modern American Usage (Oxford), probably the best usage reference book in print:

    RBI (= run batted in) makes the plural RBIs, not RBI. Using RBI as a plural form (meaning “runs batted in) isn’t usual, but it does sometimes ill-advisedly appear . . .

    From Webster’s New World College Dictionary, which is the official dictionary of the Associated Press and the great majority of newspapers, including the one I work for:

    RBIs or RBI (first listing preferred)

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary says the same thing, preferring RBIs to RBI.

    I understand the argument for using RBI as plural, but it’s based on a false assumption that RBI is already plural. It’s logical if you think of RBI as already plural, but there’s just no reason to do that. RBIs is standard English and has been for a long time, and experts in American English tend to agree.

    But I do agree with a, b, d and e in your argument. It’s going to be hard for Young to hit .300 while striking out in 20% of his at-bats and never walking.

  62. joser on November 29th, 2007 2:39 pm

    Ooooh, Teej lays down the Strunk!

  63. bakomariner on November 29th, 2007 2:48 pm

    but RBIs shouldn’t have an apostrophe because it isn’t a contraction or showing ownership…it’s just plural…

  64. Mat on November 29th, 2007 3:08 pm

    Garza’s better than Young? Not sure I buy that.

    From Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for 2008:

    .272/.344/.448 — AL Average RF
    .292/.323/.424 — Delmon Young

    He also has Garza at a 4.21 ERA and AL league average for starters at 4.39. I think it’s fair to say that Garza is better right now but that Young has the higher ceiling. It could take him three or four years before he gets particularly close to that ceiling, though, and by then he’s in arbitration, and I don’t know if that’s exactly the situation the Twins want to be in. This seems like a risky move for the Twins. Not necessarily bad, just risky.

  65. arbeck on November 29th, 2007 3:45 pm


    But the twins can let Young play this year and then buy out his arb years with an extension. This has tended to be their MO.

  66. gwangung on November 29th, 2007 3:46 pm

    It could take him three or four years before he gets particularly close to that ceiling, though, and by then he’s in arbitration, and I don’t know if that’s exactly the situation the Twins want to be in. This seems like a risky move for the Twins. Not necessarily bad, just risky.

    Yes, but I think it’s the good kind of risky, the one that good clubs should run (say, like, signing Beltre after his 2004 season…..). There are no-brainer moves out there, but usually a) it doesn’t take a genius to make them or b) they cost a lot of money.

    There’s every possibility that the Twins will get the short end of the stick here (or the Rays for that matter), but there are LOTS of reasons for them to get the LONG end of the stick, as well. That’s when you take the risk…

  67. _David_ on November 29th, 2007 4:02 pm

    I see how TB gets better in terms of improving their team defensively, but purely on talent/value/upside, how close is Garza to Young?

  68. Pete on November 29th, 2007 4:29 pm

    What about RsBI?

    Aren’t we talking about the difference between one Run-Batted-In and several Runs-Batted-In? It’s not like we are pluralizing “In”… to say Run-Batted-Ins…

    When talking about a player driving in multiple runners, I say we bite the bullet, and go with the visually-confusing, yet ultra-literal RsBI.


  69. Carson on November 29th, 2007 4:31 pm

    I like this trade for both sides, but I think Minnesota gets the better end. I’m not sure how smart Tampa’s front office is, but I am willing to give them kudos and say they gave up one good piece to the puzzle in exchange for multiple pieces that will give them a chance to win more games (and I sure would not want to be solving the puzzle for them..).

    61 (Teej) – Thanks for beating me to that. I’m just a freelance sports photographer, so I’m I could not have explained it better!

  70. msb on November 29th, 2007 4:36 pm

    the current Santana rumoring:

    Dodgers: three or four players from Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andy LaRoche, Jonathan Broxton and Andre Ethier.

    Red Sox: Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and a fourth player (Justin Masterson or Michael Bowden)

    Yankees: Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, Austin Jackson

  71. Graham on November 29th, 2007 4:37 pm

    Trust the colonials to screw up the pluralisation of contractions. Oh well.

    You folk and your Run Batted Ins…

  72. msb on November 29th, 2007 4:42 pm

    Jayson Stark on the likelihood of Seattle in the Johan sweepstakes:

    “The Twins would almost certainly start the conversation by asking for Adam Jones and Brandon Morrow. And there is practically no scenario under which Seattle could give up Jones, now that Jose Guillen is gone. The Mariners also would have trouble coming up with a third and/or fourth piece, since their most high-profile prospect, catcher Jeff Clement, wouldn’t fit Minnesota’s needs. And one more thing: Seattle probably wouldn’t be a place Santana would be anxious to waive his no-trade clause to go to, either. So never mind.”

  73. James T on November 29th, 2007 4:54 pm

    Delmon Young looked like a lousy outfielder last season. The Red Sox won one game on an Ortiz home run that Young comically misjudged and might have had a chance to catch with the low fence in right field. But he stumbled around like a drunk. He apparently doesn’t have anything better than average speed, either.

    He was a very odd hitter to watch. He swings at way too many pitches. I remember a couple back to back games of the Rays against the Red Sox in which the pitcher in the first game just humiliated Young. Then Schilling pitched the next game and Young got a couple hits seemingly because Schilling is so habitually around the plate that he couldn’t throw the ball wide enough.

    I wonder, too, about his minor league stats. Yes, they were really really good at A ball. Then they were really good at AA. Then they were, well, okay at AAA. And then his rate stats were actually kind of crappy last year in MLB. He gets credit for being really young for each league. But when does he stop getting that credit? How far should that credit go?

  74. Evan on November 29th, 2007 5:17 pm

    Trust the colonials to screw up the pluralisation of contractions.

    There’s a paragraph or two on this in the very entertaining work of punctuation humour “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”. Apparently it’s not uncommon for American users to add an apostrophe when pluralising abbreviations.

  75. Bearman on November 29th, 2007 5:31 pm

    #51:The reason I think that is Tampa Bay is a club where they load their pen with former starters and hopes they will perform.
    In order for a prospect like the one in the Twin trade to be of any use to the Rays the need to spend the cash on a Precival to achnor the backend as a closer or it’s all for nothing.

    I also notice a recuring theme in alot of these posts to a point and that being a total lasck of faith in any prospect to be anything but trade bait for MLB proven players.
    I have news for you skeptics Cleveland’s club is built on mainly prospects from inhouse MiLB system.The Detroit Tigers,Colorado Rockies,and even the Angels and A’s to a large extent the same
    overall plan.
    On top of that all top MLB stars no matter what the club all were prospects in somebody’s system if given the chance to develop and are handled correctly.
    Besides every MLB team their share of journey men backups that were inhouse promotions and can be count on to carry a team while a main starter is injuried.
    All that comes from a solid well stocked MiLB system and not one that been just maintained for trade bait and Sept callups.

  76. Teej on November 29th, 2007 5:56 pm

    Another reason to smile today: Bearman’s post coming immediately after a comment about a “very entertaining work of punctuation humor.”

  77. joser on November 29th, 2007 6:05 pm

    Grammar comedy doesn’t evolve smoothly. It is denoted by punctuated equanimity.

    (Oh, yay, grammar spat! It’s the English Majors’ corollary of Godwin’s Law!)

  78. terry on November 29th, 2007 6:31 pm

    I don’t agree however the pitching prospect in the deal will be of much use in bullpen and I just don’t see the Rays FO spending the cash to sign Precival.
    Their FO and owner is about low payroll/high profit and stockpiling prospects to get what they need in trade.
    If they were willing to pay out the salary that is needed to sign a Precival they wouldn’t be looking to move Crawford or Kasmir at some point not because of FA year but because of arbitration eligiblity.

    Troy was probably passing his physical as you were typing.

    The Rays inked him to a 2 yr/$8M contract.

  79. milendriel on November 29th, 2007 6:57 pm

    76: I’m surprised he found the comma key for his list of teams.

  80. jlc on November 29th, 2007 7:39 pm

    There’s a paragraph or two on this in the very entertaining work of punctuation humour “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”. Apparently it’s not uncommon for American users to add an apostrophe when pluralising abbreviations.

    A true statement, but that doesn’t mean that said apostrophes are accepted by the majority of American grammarians. Apostrophes are one of those things constantly in flux:

    “George Bernard Shaw acted upon his belief in the inefficacy of apostrophes by deliberately leaving apostrophes out of his plays (Crystal, 1995, p. 277).”

    I do love it when people actually discuss grammar, and because that’s not a sarcastic statement, I keep my nerd status intact. Grammar and baseball, a dweeb’s intersection of heaven.

  81. James T on November 29th, 2007 7:51 pm

    Well, seeing as No Country for Old Men is in theaters now, get the book and try and find a quotation mark in the dialog. Very weird at first but not that hard to deal with after a bit.

  82. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 8:11 pm

    [too high of an internet tough guy factor]

  83. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 9:25 pm

    Weak sauce, USSM editor. Weak sauce.

  84. smb on November 29th, 2007 9:30 pm

    “internet tough guy”

    I LOL’d.

    I hope Delmon getting out of Florida ensures he doesn’t end up like Sean Taylor. I hope he flourishes in Minny.

  85. Steve Nelson on November 29th, 2007 9:41 pm

    #79: I’m surprised he found the comma key for his list of teams.
    ‘Twas a twitchy digit, no doubt.

  86. MrIncognito on November 29th, 2007 9:45 pm

    Like several other posters, I’m a skeptic when it comes to Young. Chone sees him as a .330/.430 corner OF. While that’s good for a 23 year old, he’s going to hit arbitration and free agency well before his peak. He may well turn out to have some great seasons, but it’s likely they’ll be with a team better able to afford him than the Twins. They really need him to be good now, and I’m not sure he’s going to win many extra games next year.

  87. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 9:53 pm

    Let me revise my statement for your approval, oh USS editorial team.

    First, my apology on the dome comment, however, that dome is not such a friendly hitter’s park as the Metrodome.

    That being said Graham, I was unaware that the present focus on the USSM is in grammar and linguistics. Be that as it may I was using a colloquial language not proper formal English, and in all my experience in baseball (and it is considerable) I have come to accept as common terminology RBI’s. Or RBIs. Rarely do I hear someone say a player had 4 RBI in the game. Verbally we typically add the “s” plural, be it proper or not.

    In addition, my apology for using “?!?!?” in my statement. I was simply shocked that so many people disregard Young’s fine rookie season, and used the lazy writer’s way of expressing such a thought. That does not make the opinion automatically wrong, just too informal for your taste. Let me put it another way– Delmon Young had an equivalent rookie year as a hitter as King Felix had as a pitcher, albeit not as far ahead on the youth curve and rather farther behind on the maturity curve. However, if the M’s traded Felix for Garza et all, M’s fans would be screaming bloody murder. I doubt many Rays fans are at all happy with this trade.

    Next time I will ascertain to apply a far more stringent editorial hand to my own work. I would also advise you to check your own subject verb agreement while you mock my grammar, as you say “Tampa Bay play in a dome.”

    Frankly Graham, I was not at all impressed with your tone, nor your automatic and seemingly assured belief that you are right and I am wrong in my statements on Young. In addition, I am curious if the seemingly automatic impression that TB did well in this trade does not play in part due to the impression by the site owners that TB has a great front office, ergo every move made by the team must be a good move AND the USSM “crowd” should applaud the move.

    I have spoken with 5 friends, only one of which reads this site, 4 of which are high school coaches and huge baseball fans. Each thinks along my lines, that TB gave up an awful lot and got the bottom of this trade. Here at USSM, I feel I am the only dissonant opinion, with virtually the rest of the crowd applauding the move. I object.

    My primary point: Delmon Young is an elite prospect. Delmon Young will hit .330 with 33 HR’s and 130 RBI’s, if not this year than in the near future. You can have your other stats. I’ll take 8 guys in an order doing that year after year quite happily. In fact, I’ll take 1 guy like that. As far as I can tell in my narrow old school semi-retarded mind, that would place him as one of the M’s top 1 or 2 players.

    You can talk all you want about metrics and value of walks and propensity to be a free swinger and K frequently. Fine. I know this– the guy has talent as a hitter above and beyond Garza as a pitcher. The guy is 22 years old, and still gets the “learning curve” factor. Going to a team with legitimate and humble talents and leaders like the two M boys is going to make him an even better player, accelerating his learning curve. I remember when a man-child named Vlad was a free swinging young up and comer, and he developed nicely.

    The guy is a potential MVP, and I do not believe Garza is a potential MVP, nor a potential Cy Young. A borderline All-Star? Perhaps.

    Finally, Graham, I think your tone was quite rude, and I would be ashamed of myself for speaking like that, unprovoked, toward another person regardless of difference in opinion. If my attitude seems rude here, it is because I feel provoked. My apologies and I mean nothing personal. I am merely suggesting that the “smug tone” of so many USSM posters should be thoroughly reviewed by those accused, to make it a better site in general.

  88. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 10:01 pm

    Another random note I was just thinking about:

    If TB did so well and got the better or equal of the trade, why does every single story run a lead in headline along the lines of “Minny gets Young” not “TB gets Garza?”

    I know the media isn’t always right, but they also aren’t all that off here, and if perception is 9/10ths of reality, the reality is Young was the more highly regarded player, hence should come in trade at the higher premium. I do not believe in this case a higher premium was paid for his talents, hence TB comes out behind on this deal.

  89. Dave on November 29th, 2007 10:16 pm

    You might want to consider that they didn’t trade Delmon Young for Matt Garza. It was a six player deal. Minnesota got the best player in the deal, and then Tampa got the next three best players after that.


    Also, if you want people to take you seriously, you’d be better off starting with actual analysis and not baseless predictions of RBI counts. And, no offense, but what your friends think doesn’t really matter to anyone else. Analysis isn’t an opinion poll.

  90. HamNasty on November 29th, 2007 10:19 pm

    2nd in AB’s this year
    1st in outs
    not in the top ten in hits
    1st in GDP
    .20 K/BB ratio

    I know a lot of the trade is about his future and not his first full year. But creating more outs and DP’s then anyone else can’t be a strong suit.

  91. jlc on November 29th, 2007 10:21 pm

    entropy, your statement that Delmon Young is going to hit .300, with 33 homeruns and 120 RBI’s this year smacks to me of your automatic and seemingly assured belief that you are right . There’s no possible way you could know the exact numbers, so just on that criterion, Graham is less dogmatic than you are. (Which, presumably, is why you backed down a bit on it.)

    When you make a mistake on a big issue (not playing in a dome), it puts the rest of your commentary in a suspicious light. Using RBI and batting average figures (sidestepping the plural completely) is simply not up to the standards of this site, which are pretty easy to figure out.

    Besides, Graham was pithy and amusing.

    I generally stay out of discussions about possible/done-deal trades and upcoming performances, because they quickly degenerate into what everyone is convinced s/he “knows.” Thanks to Dave and Derek for giving us more than that, so I can watch what’s going on with a bit of knowledge. And I love it when there are reasonable disagreements with them.

  92. jlc on November 29th, 2007 10:22 pm

    Damn, I still can’t get the tags right.

  93. CCW on November 29th, 2007 10:32 pm

    Mr. Entropy. I agree with you that smugness and condescension is sometimes a problem here at USSM. I would encourage you to look past that and see that it is the exception rather than the rule. When I read your first post, though, I knew you had it coming. Here’s why:

    1) You argued that Young was good last year based on his RBI, BA, and HR total. Young was actually pretty bad last year, for a corner outfielder. That isn’t to say he doesn’t have a lot of potential… but he his numbers weren’t all that good. Reliance on old school stats to make an incorrect point is going to get you slammed. Not saying that’s OK… just saying it’s going to happen.

    2) You continue to state what Young will become, with no backup whatsoever (e.g. “Delmon Young will hit .330 with 33 HR’s and 130 RBI’s, if not this year than in the near future.”) Statements like that make it seem as though you have a crystal ball, which we assume you do not. Here at USSM, you’re always going to do better if you back things like that up with at least some sort of analysis. And, of course, you can’t, because that’s what the Twins *hope* Young will become, not what he is likely to become. It might happen. He also might turn into Dmitri Young II. Opinions differ on the guy.

    3) Your initial post read like something you’d see at an ESPN chat-place. That is, it looked like you typed it on your cell phone while having a drink at the taphouse in Bellevue. Now, I’m not trying to be rude, but I’m telling you the truth: posts that are full of conclusions, followed by lots of extra punctuation, but with no supporting analysis, are going to get slammed. They just are. It’s different here.

    Again, I’ve had plenty of run-ins with USSM folk too, usually regarding someone or other being a dick, or treating me in a way I know they wouldn’t want me to to treat them, instead of politely disagreeing. But I still come back, because, all in all, folks are generally nice and smart and the analysis is solid.

  94. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 11:19 pm

    Dave, I disagree completely that public opinion does not count in a trade of this magnitude.

    That is akin to saying the US was victorious against the Tet Offensive. It may be true from a military standpoint (numbers, analysis), but public opinion of the war suffered tremendously in the US due to the events. Just as TB may have gotten the next 3 best players in the trade (although I like Harris and think he will be a solid player as well) they appear to have lost the war of public opinion.

    Now for the Yankees or Red Sox, losing that war is not significant because they own so much influence in that arena already, however the D Rays do not. As wise as you may see it, giving up a player of Delmon’s stature for a couple less talented ones will not endear fans nor get them to rush out and support the team. If Garza and Morlan do not prove to be lights out (or allow the Rays to make other big time trades to build a stronger team) and Bartlett doesn’t rebound with the stick (regardless of his range in the field), then this is at best not a great trade for TB.

    I think it was a brave decision by TB to part with Young, but I have a hard time believing it was the correct one. By whatever stats you provide, as RBIs are currently meaningless, the man-child has obscene talent and parting with such promise is not something I willingly endorse this early in his career.

    jlc, I never implied I meant I knew the exact numbers, I was estimating. I forgot that is not allowed here unless there is some scientific criterion involved (though it is still estimating the future, be it by criterion in my head applying filters and past experience or in a computer’s equation.)

    Also, I have no idea how you considered my initial statement dogmatic.

    I do not live and die by old school statistics like RBI’s and batting average, but I also do not live and die by statistical terms that I do not know how to calculate. Throw me to the wolves, I have extensive baseball experience and knowledge which is termed “old school or the scouting approach” here. But I’ve lived hours upon hours on baseball fields teaching the game, so I feel pretty strong in my endorsement of Delmon’s talents. I saw him play live in a high school game, and I came away deeply impressed.

    Perhaps you could argue that my filters of perception were thrown off by that experience. I would argue I’ve seen a lot of players good and bad, and he was better than any, by a long shot, and he is not the only one currently in the Majors. I’ve coached and coached against many kids that were drafted, and he was in another realm altogether. I do not by a long shot think we’ve seen close to the tapping of his potential. I have no stats to back that up, I apologize in this land of non-traditional numbers. I only have my eyes and mind and knowledge of the game in support.

    And jlc, if one is to be pithy, they need to at least be correct in grammar, it makes for a far more compelling point. Particularly when mocking another’s grammar.

    Besides, I still haven’t figured out what all of his lettered bullets were answering from my original post, and if I need to go back and forth to figure it out, it is not pith.

    And no, it wasn’t amusing to me. It was no less amusing to me than my half in jest post that got edited was to the moderation gods.

    Finally, your comment about “watching what’s going on with a bit of knowledge” smacks of the self-righteousness of the “stat crowd.” Look, I value the stat perspective because I know it provides alternative value to what I already know. But to discredit the other side simply because it does not hold the same rubric as you is just as wrong as an old school guy burying his head in the ground in relation to the new statistical approach.

    Remember the scene in Dead Poet’s Society when there is an article about how to chart and rate poems? On some level breaking down the art of athleticism and sport to a statistical level is akin to rating poems by a forced rubric. Something goes missing, and it always will. The day it doesn’t it the day sport ceases to be sport. In this case, in my eyes, it is Delmon Young’s potential to be among the best players in the league that cannot be measured effectively.

    The paraphrased quote from the Supreme Court ruling on pornography years ago also applies on some level. “I cannot tell you what pornography is, but I can tell you when I see it.”

    You can replace “pornography” with “greatness” or “potential” and all the definitions in the world will do you little good.

    Remember why you got in this gig of dedicatedly following the game in the first place, and why you enjoy it game so much…

    Is it because of the rigid dogmatic statistics and charting of numbers, or it is because it is a brilliant and unique game? A game in which there is a lack of knowledge and prediction in what will happen next, like.. oh.. I don’t know… the run I watched here first hand in Denver as the Rockies reached the stratosphere. Statistics could not tell that story, not in the least bit. In fact you could even say that probabilities took a nice long vacation, and the rules of logic and competition no longer applied.

    Okay, I’m spent. I hope you at least understand my point. While I may not have initially come with the form you appreciate, know that while I differ from you in approach I appreciate where you come from, that is of course when the voice comes with humor, wit and grace. In those moments I will listen and sometimes learn.

    However, when it comes with snark and pompousness, the beauty of the statistical approach quickly loses its effectiveness. I will not automatically discredit your views, but if years spent dedicating myself to baseball in a day to day active setting are meaningless to you, then I have a hard time believing you are catching everything that is there to be had in evaluating this great game.

  95. induced entropy on November 29th, 2007 11:24 pm

    CCW, well said. I might also add that my initial posts were written with a margarita in hand. The last couple I’ve sobered up a bit. I would not have been quite as “shoot from the hip” in a more sober mode.

    However, the initial reason I posted still applies. It appears everyone here just gives this trade a 2 thumbs up or even leans it to the TB side, and I just am not seeing it. I’ve stated my case, for better or apparently in most peoples eyes, worse.

    As Hard Harry said, “So be it.”

  96. smb on November 29th, 2007 11:46 pm

    88, in regard to your “another thought”

    I think it’s a gross oversimplification to imply that Young’s name showing up in the headlines above the others is due plainly to his status as an elite prospect. His public profile is only a partial product of his apparent baseball talent…you know how the news works, and you probably would agree that American sports fans have a high level of fascination with any individual of abnormal talent who exhibits patterns of aggressive and/or self destructive behavior while in the glare of the public eye, whether actor, athlete, or politician. There are numerous prospects with numbers that warrant the same discussion Young’s budding talent generates, but they don’t get the buzz. Why?

    Same reason Vince Coleman is as generically famous for throwing firecrackers at people as he is for stealing bases. Rickie Weeks and Nick Markakis have both had close to as much or more success in the majors and they were both taken after Delmon in the ’03 draft, though more casual sports fans have likely heard of Young than either of those two. If either of them had thrown a bat at an umpire or threatened a loved one with bodily harm, their profile would grow in the same way Young’s has in the past few years. In fact, if it weren’t for his recent troubles, I find myself doubting TB would have traded him. He carries an implicit risk that they had apparently seen enough of…that’s my guess.

  97. Grayfox on November 29th, 2007 11:52 pm

    :dear mr bavasi: i hate you.

    Saying now that Jones, Clement, Morrow are no long untouchable…whats he trying to do to this organization, destroy us on his last year of his contract, just though id throw that in there since were talking about trades. whats a hypocrite.

  98. f2aler on November 29th, 2007 11:53 pm

    Just in case anyone cares the USSC quote was from Justice Potter Stewart.

    Young seems to be one of the many players out there who if they “increased their power and plate discipline” they’d be a star. Of course you could say the same thing about Jeff Cirillo. I think TB getting Garza and Bartlett better addresses their needs.

  99. jlc on November 30th, 2007 12:03 am

    induced entropy 94 – Just to be clear, let me explain a couple of my statements:

    jlc, I never implied I meant I knew the exact numbers, I was estimating. I forgot that is not allowed here unless there is some scientific criterion involved (though it is still estimating the future, be it by criterion in my head applying filters and past experience or in a computer’s equation.)

    When you said

    Delmon Young is going to hit .300, with 33 homeruns and 120 RBI’s this year

    that seemed to me to imply pretty exact numbers, but that was my inference.

    Also, I have no idea how you considered my initial statement dogmatic.

    I was using the word dogmatic to paraphrase the phrase you used to Graham: “your automatic and seemingly assured belief that you are right and I am wrong.” He called you wrong, then you called him wrong, without the consideration that you might be wrong. That’s where I got the concept of dogmatic. Again, my rephrasing.

    As far as pithiness, I didn’t have to go back and forth to figure out the comments, and I didn’t think the focus of the Graham’s disagreement was grammatical. My interpretation. One woman’s pithiness is another man’s (or woman’s) annoyance.

    To be clear, I have no particular feeling about this trade one way or the other. It’s of interest to me, but the same way I think it’s interesting that Pluto isn’t a planet anymore. I read everything I can on Pluto (always the geek), but it doesn’t directly affect me (or in this case, the trade doesn’t directly affect my team). So I don’t have a dog in the fight, I just thought you were much nastier than the original comments called for.

    Finally, this site does include a standard for grammar that is far above other sites. That’s the way it is. Sometimes it’s welcome, sometime’s it’s annoying, depending on what mood I’m in, but those are the rules. To my mind, in general, it makes the comments here much easier to read and keeps a certain air of formality and humor that discourages some of the worst nastiness which is rife on the Net.

  100. Steve Nelson on November 30th, 2007 12:18 am

    I do not live and die by old school statistics like RBI’s and batting average, but I also do not live and die by statistical terms that I do not know how to calculate.
    Actually, CCW, you do live and die by statistical terms that you do not know how to calculate. Unless you are an accomplished structural engineer with particular expertise in bridges, you do it every time you drive over a bridge, take an elevator in a high rise, etc.

    But that’s a relatively minor quibble.

    The bigger issue is that you are essentially advancing your argument by saying, in essence, “I must be right – see how many people agree with me. And they’re smart people, too.” In doing so, you’ve combined two logical fallacies, argumentum ad populum (aka, argumentum ad numerum)and Argumentum ad verecundiam. See here, here, and here for more added description of these topics.

    You really aren’t advancing your argument by resorting the rhetorical arguments found on logical fallacies. Hence the calls for you to support your argument with relevant analysis.

    I’m not saying your conclusions about the trade are correct or incorrect. What I’m saying, and other are responding to, is that if you want to advance that argument you need to do so by providing concrete information supporting your argument.


    In addition, there’s another problem to consider in your attempt to cite to authority as justification for your argument. While I don’t doubt for a moment the great experience of yourself or your acquaintances in baseball, you should also consider that there are people here who have considerable experience in some other aspects of organizational behavior that are also relevant. And some people, present writer excluded, who are probably at least as knowledgeable in baseball as you and the acquaintances you cite. Heck, we even have occasional posters who are employed by or consult with MLB teams on the baseball operations side of their business.

    Specifically, in virtually every area of human endeavor where efforts has been applied to establish and use improved measurement metrics, those efforts have shown that invariably there are traditional beliefs, rules of thumb, and endorsed behaviors that are accepted as true but really aren’t. I’m not saying all of those beliefs and behaviors are wrong; but the pattern occurs enough to make simple appeals to authority unconvincing prima facie.

    So far you have not advanced the argument that people with baseball experience are somehow immune to behaviors that have been almost universally observed in virtually all other organizations. Were you to successfully make that case, then an appeal to authority might carry weight. But until that case has been made, most of us will not be at all persuaded by an argument that says something must be true because a bunch of knowledgeable baseball people that you know also believe it to be true.

  101. milendriel on November 30th, 2007 12:18 am

    Entropy: First of all, “Tampa Bay play in a dome” is actually acceptable. As an example of metonymy, what “Tampa Bay” is really referring to is “The players who comprise Tampa Bay’s team,” which obviously IS plural. Admittedly, it’s more of a British English thing: for example, you might hear a soccer announcer say something like, “Arsenal are in really good form today.”

    Second, I don’t understand your point about Bartlett. You say he needs to “rebound with the stick (regardless of his range in the field).” Um, why would you disregard his defense? That’s what makes him a good player. As far as his offense, he’s a lot better than most defensive wizards. He put up an 88 OPS+ in 2007 and had a 99 in a part-time role the year before. That’s a far cry from the 60ish OPS+’s you see from awesome fielding shortstops like John McDonald and Adam Everett. Obviously Bartlett is not in their class defensively, but he’s pretty good and has a passable bat. And, considering he’s replacing Brendan Harris, one of the very worst SS’s in the majors (who, by the way, only had a 106 OPS+ himself, so it’s not a huge offensive downgrade), the effect he alone will have on Tampa Bay’s run differential is staggering.

    Third, I don’t know why you felt the need to devote most of a long post to Young being better than Garza. Dave already said in his original post that Young was the best player in the deal, and as far as I can tell, no one has argued this.

  102. milendriel on November 30th, 2007 12:22 am

    Apologies for plagiarism of the word “staggering.” It was unintentional but apparently creeped into my subconsious from reading Dave’s post. :(

  103. induced entropy on November 30th, 2007 1:23 am

    TB play in a dome is just as acceptable as RBI’s, which was condemned by the original grammarian.

    Steve, I appreciate your logical arguments, but the case remains that at some point, even in choosing which statistics to cull, opinion will be formed. I do not need to delve as deeply into the statistical pool to establish mine in regard to Delmon.

    I’ve given my non-linear interpretation of the trade. That interpretation is by no means adequate to the USSM crowd, regardless of what expertise, knowledge nor experience I have.

    I shall now retire to my cave, and treat that limited world as my complete universe, and I doubt I shall ever reemerge again. May you all be better for my absence, as it will undoubtedly improve the acoustics of your statistical symphony. Adios.

  104. CCW on November 30th, 2007 1:26 am

    Steve Nelson: don’t lump me in with Entropy, bro. That was him, not me. Thx

  105. AK4Sea on November 30th, 2007 1:32 am

    This thread is almost enough to make me root for career-ending injuries to Young and Garza.


  106. Teej on November 30th, 2007 2:13 am

    I know we keep coming with the word-nerd stuff, and apologies to Dave and Derek if I’m just feeding it, but since I was a part of it above, I want to point out one more thing that I hope quashes some debate. (Plus I’m defending Graham, with whom I was in disagreement earlier over RBIs. So I’m fostering good will among the M’s community!) Anyway:

    It appears that a few readers here are from the UK, where the phrase “Tampa Bay play in a dome” is perfectly correct. In American English, it’s not. Milendriel mentioned this. British English and American English have many differences, but the one that seems to always stand out to me — and, I think, most Americans — is that Europeans often ascribe plural verbs to singular nouns when they represent multiple individuals. Here in the states, we don’t do that, but it’s perfectly acceptable for our British brethren.


    And to add something baseball-related, since I guess that’s the point here, I’m really torn on Delmon Young’s first season. What sort of stats should we be looking at when considering how Young’s problems this season? I’m looking at his K% and OBP, and they don’t look good, but the dude’s 22 in his first year. Then again, weren’t we all over Francoeur when had a similar season in 06? (raw power, great tools, zero plate discipline) I know it’s very early in his career, but those 07 numbers kinda scare me. Will a regression from his high BABIP (.343) mean more problems? Can the Twins’ coaches turn him around? How teachable is discipline? It will come with age to some degree, but how much?

    That was my attempt to turn the conversation away from something I know a lot about (English) to something I want to learn more about (baseball).

  107. DC_Mariner on November 30th, 2007 2:45 am

    I just looked at the Rays new stadium plans (or I guess, the artist rendering), and while it does look very nice, I kind of get the feeling that it is a stadium that will not age well. Not in the structural sense, but in the aesthetic sense. I think that 20 years down the road this stadium is going to be really ugly.

    I sure hope I used correct grammar in this post haha

  108. terry on November 30th, 2007 3:21 am

    [too high of an internet tough guy factor]

    JOE: (To Piripero) Get three coffins ready.

    MAN: Adios, Amigo.

    MAN 2: We don’t like to see bad boys like you in town.

    MAN 3: Go get your mule. You let him get away from you?

    JOE: You see, that’s what I want to talk to you about. He’s feeling real bad.

    MAN 3: Huh?

    JOE: My mule. You see, he got all riled up when you men fired those shots at his feet.

    MAN 2: Hey, are you making some kind of joke?

    JOE: No. See, I understand you men were just playin’ around. But the mule, he just doesn’t get it. Of course, if you were to all apologize.

    (The men laugh. Joe moves the poncho aside, exposing his pistol.)

    JOE: I don’t think it’s nice, you laughin’. See, my mule don’t like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you’re laughing at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you’re going to, I might convince him that you really didn’t mean it . . .

    (Pause as music builds, men draw their guns. Joe draws his and fires five shots, then holsters his gun.)

    JOHN BAXTER: I saw the whole thing. You killed all four of them. You’ll pay all right. You’ll be strung up.

    JOE: (Draws gun again) Who are you?

    JOHN BAXTER: I’m John Baxter, sheriff.

    JOE: Yeah, well, if you’re the sheriff, you’d better get those men underground. (Lowers poncho and walks off, passing Piripero.) My mistake. Four coffins.

    Fistful of Dollars, 1964…

    Oh ya…

    You might want to consider that they didn’t trade Delmon Young for Matt Garza. It was a six player deal. Minnesota got the best player in the deal, and then Tampa got the next three best players after that.


    This is a great distillation of the trade. BTW, I think it was Neyer who indicated in a story that he didn’t think this qualified as a blockbuster trade. I think it should. How often has a prospect rated as highly as Young been traded?

  109. Steve Nelson on November 30th, 2007 7:56 am

    #104: Steve Nelson: don’t lump me in with Entropy, bro. That was him, not me. Thx

    Sorry ’bout that.

  110. Steve Nelson on November 30th, 2007 8:02 am

    One added thought I neglected to add into my post #100.

    Numeric information is never a substitute for judgment and reasoning. Rather it’s used to calibrate our thinking. The deference we give numeric information depends on the quality of the numeric information.

  111. kwk on November 30th, 2007 8:28 am

    The Rays’ defense was hilariously bad last season, so I think it’s pretty cool that the front office actually recognizes it. Tampa may not pass the Sox or Yankees next year, but they sure will steal a handful of wins from them, which is good for everyone in pursuit of the wildcard.

    By the way, keep the snooty grammar correction posts coming. They’re exactly what I look for when coming to baseball blogs.

  112. terry on November 30th, 2007 9:07 am

    Not really, terry, because you’d leave the roof down and the tensile structure should be fine, as there’s no area for the wind to load. The field would get kinda screwed up, but the building isn’t going to fall down.

    Tarantulas don’t attack and kill people (well I guess they could kill someone who is allergic to them), but many people still find the idea of tarantulas to be creepy….

  113. msb on November 30th, 2007 9:38 am

    Saying now that Jones, Clement, Morrow are no long untouchable…whats he trying to do to this organization, destroy us on his last year of his contract, just though id throw that in there since were talking about trades. whats a hypocrite.

    I don’t recall Bavasi ever naming any specific player as ‘untouchable’, so how is he now a hypocrite?

  114. et_blankenship on November 30th, 2007 12:25 pm

    I just checked out Bartlett’s player page and it appears his game is evolving rapidly. He totally revamped his hitting approach last season, raising his pitches per plate appearance from 3.62 in 2006 to 5.12, an incredible jump of 1.5 per (I’ll pass on the research but I’m guessing any change of 1 or more is rare). His OBP suffered as a result, but regression is to be expected when a player is purging habits that probably date back to little league. His newfound pateince at the plate is exactly what the Rays have lacked in a lineup full of aggressive firstball hitters. Thinking the Rays will bat him leadoff is probably asking for too much, but Bartett would make a great #2 hitter as well.

  115. rsmithx on December 5th, 2007 2:18 pm

    Fanatical Twins fan here, so I do have a “dog in this fight” as it were.

    I think this trade helps the Twins. I have always liked Bartlett and thought he could be a long term piece, it seemed apparent and this confirms it, that the Twins always viewed him as a stopgap and I think this is trade is indicative that they think they have something in Trevor Plouffe and my guess is they hope that someone from the Casilla/Punto/Harris can hold down the spot until Plouffe is ready to be called up either in September or Spring of 09. This trade also effectively fills the DH position (moving Kubel and his bum knee into a full time DH) which the Twins have sorely lacked for YEARS.

    Matt Garza also seemed very reluctant to listen to Rick Anderson and his doctrine of mixing in changeups. When Garza was mixing in the off speed pitches he would do well, but then he would fall in to the “throw harder throw faster” mode where he just wanted to over power every hitter and he would end up getting toast.

    The ONLY thing that truly worries me is Young’s plate discipline. Unless a hitter has a natural plate discipline (ex: Mauer) the Twins hitting instructors have a long history of not exactly emphasizing plate discipline (Jacque Jones, Hunter, etc) and I fear that Young’s “free swinging ways” could run rampant and become a real problem. Again it comes down to how teachable he is and that remains to be seen.

    But on the surface, the Twins organization seems stacked with prospects like Garza (Swarzak seems to be coming along nicely) so trading from what I as a fan view as a strength for a potential super star position player (something the Twins sorely lack outside of the M&M boys from the big club down to single A) is one I am happy they made.

    Whether or not this trade works out for Minnesota I for one will not criticize it, every trade involves risk and I think this was a very smart “risk” that the Twins took.

    While I will always be thankful to Terry Ryan for saving the franchise, the Bill Smith era has me genuinely excited!

  116. Taylor H on January 17th, 2008 7:48 pm

    I think induced entropy may be gone for good. We can breathe easily now.

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