Adios, Yung-Chi Chen

Dave · November 12, 2008 at 2:19 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

And the first transaction of the Zduriencik era is in:

The A’s claimed Yung-Chi Chen off waivers from the M’s today.

Chen was probably never going to be more than a super utility guy, so it’s not the end of the world. Still, he’s a better prospect than Mike Wilson, who the M’s just put on the 40 man last week, so losing him wasn’t really necessary.

Hopefully, the moves get better from here.


22 Responses to “Adios, Yung-Chi Chen”

  1. ernier on November 12th, 2008 2:30 pm

    Also, according to Larry LaRue the M’s picked up a guy from the Independent league

    From Larry LaRue: Ian Michael Bladergroen, 25, is a long (6-foot-4) and lanky (195 pounds) left-handed hitter with power who played last year with the Independent League Lancaster Barnstormers, batting .260 with 15 home runs and 51 RB I in 89 games.

  2. BBOneFive on November 12th, 2008 2:40 pm

    They also purchased the contract of Steve Moss from the Long Beach Armada of the GBL.

    Moss, 24, 6-2, 190 lbs is an outfielder who was drafted out of high school in Sherman Oaks, California in the 29th round of the 2002 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.

  3. msb on November 12th, 2008 2:48 pm

    I’d assumed Wilson was the call of the previous FO, as it happened what, a week? after Zduriencik was hired, and his comment at the time was:

    “He’s a tremendous power guy and we lack a little power”

  4. TomTuttle on November 12th, 2008 3:17 pm

    Better than signing Carlos Silva for a 4 year contract.

  5. JasonAChurchill on November 12th, 2008 3:24 pm

    Chen isn’t a better prospect than anyone if he can’t stay on the field, and there is a good chance that his shoulder problem zaps even the below-average power he had to begin with.

  6. abender20 on November 12th, 2008 3:36 pm

    If Chen is more or less a defensive whiz with limited bat skills, the M’s organization clearly has enough of that in Luis Valbuena and to some extend Tuglett. While you never want to lose players to Billy Beane (why do GM’s even answer the phone when they see it’s Beane calling?), Chen isn’t a huge loss.

  7. Osfan on November 12th, 2008 3:41 pm

    I’ve seen Bladergroen play a couple of times -saw him hit a homerun off an ex-big leaguer. I’m glad to see him get another shot in the bigs. He was one of Lancaster’s best players. Although, in ’07, Edgardo Alfonzo lit up the Atlantic League with Long Island to earn himself another shot in the bigs in this year. He didn’t make it out of spring training with the Giants. That doesn’t say much for the league, I guess.

  8. robbbbbb on November 12th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Question: How much of current M’s policy is run by Zduriencik (sp?), and how much is run by Pelekoudas’s guys, who are still in place?

  9. thr33niL on November 12th, 2008 4:32 pm

    If I had to choose, it would definitely be Wilson over Chen. A switch hitting corner outfielder with power that had a really good minor league season in ’08 or the slappy, injury risk guy at second base?

    I can’t see how anyone likes Chen over Wilson at this point.

  10. andrew_s_c on November 12th, 2008 4:35 pm

    Wilson is no longer a switch hitter.

  11. marc w on November 12th, 2008 5:03 pm

    I liked Chen a lot, but this isn’t a big loss. Poor guy couldn’t stay on the field, and his gap power just never developed. Yes, it’s a great buy-low move for the A’s, but I seriously don’t know where Chen would play next year with Hulett and Valbuena in Tacoma. Both are better hitters and defenders than Chen (and Chen’s nearly the same age as Hulett; he’s not a spring chicken anymore).

    Wilson is intriguing enough to burn a 40 man spot on. Z made the right call that if anyone would get through waivers, it was Chen. He can also start in Tacoma with Halman and Saunders, though I don’t know what that means for Redman. They may just give Wilson some DH at-bats.

  12. SonOfZavaras on November 12th, 2008 5:27 pm

    No tears here over Chen. I think the guy was well on his way to being damaged goods with a very limited future, big-league or otherwise. Me, I do what Z-dude did, and give Wilson the spot on the 40. Not that I think Wilson is going to be a star-not the most injury-free resume you’ll find and too many bouts of strikeout-itis, historically…but he’ll probably provide more to the big club than what Chen would.

  13. msb on November 12th, 2008 5:50 pm

    Question: How much of current M’s policy is run by Zduriencik (sp?), and how much is run by Pelekoudas’s guys, who are still in place?

    what do you mean by policy?

  14. msb on November 12th, 2008 6:03 pm

    I see that along with Chun, “Pitchers Jared Wells and Joe Woerman accepted assignments to the minors, but Jake Woods did not and became a free agent.”

  15. Jon on November 12th, 2008 6:12 pm

    ^Woods didn’t have a spot here anyway. Dickey is a more versatile swing-man, even though I don’t like him much either.

  16. TheVanillaGorilla on November 12th, 2008 6:16 pm

    Who will take the 40 man spots? I assume Saunders and Gaby Hernandez. Is there any one else that needs to be protected or will they save a couple spots for FA?

  17. DarkKnight1680 on November 13th, 2008 8:59 am

    I’d like to point out that your own future forty has Wilson as a better prospect than Chen.

  18. Dave on November 13th, 2008 9:04 am

    No, it doesn’t.

    It has Wilson with slightly more potential, but further away from the majors. A tad more reward, but more risk. Wilson has almost no chance of being a decent role player in the majors – he’s either going to make it or he’s not, with no in between.

    Chen has a chance to be a nifty bench player. If forced to pick between those two, I’d take Chen.

  19. marc w on November 13th, 2008 12:03 pm

    Well Dave, I think we agree on most of the facts, just not the conclusion.

    I agree that Wilson is either a make-it-or-not guy, and that he’s more of a long shot to become a long-term MLB player. Still though, I’d take a 10% chance of a 3 WAR player over a 40% chance of a 0.5 WAR player.

    Chen’s skills seem to indicate he’d be a decent bench player, but he simply doesn’t have the positional flexibility to really add value. He’d be a better on-base threat than Willie Bloomquist, but there’s simply no way he can play up the middle defense except at 2b. The guy got to play multiple positions in Tacoma, but only going *the other way* on the defensive spectrum. He can fill in at a corner IF spot, but then you’ve got Chen’s bat at a corner. Again, this is a no-risk move for the A’s to bet that his power will return after the long layoff. But I’m not betting on his defense returning after a year and a half layoff for knee and shoulder problems. Hulett is a better bet to be a nifty bench player given that he’s played SS and has more power/OBP potential. Valbuena’s simply a better player, and might be a potential starter down the line. Chen can’t compete with these two, and it’s an open question whether he’d be better as a bench guy than Navarro (Oswaldo’s defense is much better, Chen’s bat is much better).

    Meanwhile, Wilson’s a long-shot, but I can see him turn into Marcus Thames or something.

  20. Dave on November 13th, 2008 12:26 pm

    I’d put Wilson’s chances at being a 3 WAR player at 0.0%. Beltre and Ichiro are 3-4 WAR players. Wilson has no shot of ever being that good.

    Marcus Thames isn’t the worst comparison in the world, even though he’s quite a bit better than Wilson, skill wise. But Thames is like a 1.5 WAR player at best, and that’s really Wilson’s upside. He’s just not very good.

  21. marc w on November 13th, 2008 2:01 pm

    Fine, 3 WAR is too much. But even if his skills aren’t up to Thames’, he should be able to match at least 1.5 WAR due to the fact he doesn’t have Thames’ ridiculous platoon splits.
    Thames is/was a better contact hitter, but through age 25, I think it’s really, really close. Wilson K’d more often, but hits for better ISOs (so far); this advantage is partly due to park factors, so… it’s close.

    Finally, if Wilson makes it and is 1.5, what are you envisioning for Chen? There’s no way he can play enough to really rack up wins, because he can’t play CF/LF/SS. Where do you think he might stand as a defender now that he’s had major knee surgery?
    Putting Wilson aside, Chen seems like he’d rank 4th or so on a list of potential bench players in the M’s org in the high minors. Agree/disagree?

  22. Dave on November 13th, 2008 7:55 pm

    I’m saying 1.5 WAR is Wilson’s upside, and I think he’s got about a 10% chance of being that good. Math says I think Wilson’s value is like .15 WAR. Basically, replacement level/non-prospect.

    Compare with Chen, who maybe has a 1.0 WAR upside, but has a 25% chance of making it. That’d make him a .25 WAR value – still replacement level/non-prospect, but a shade better.

    As for Chen’s spot, I’d agree that he’s behind Valbuena/Hulett, but I’d argue that Hulett’s probably not a bad option for the major league bench, and Chen should have been able to get enough at-bats in Tacoma that keeping him wouldn’t have been a total waste.

    It’s not a big deal, and I probably made this post sound more negative about this than I am. They’re both basically replacement level guys, so losing one or the other isn’t the end of the world. I just don’t happen to think Wilson’s particularly interesting.

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