Monday, November 26, 2007

Trade Bait 2008

Here's Matthew Pouilot of Rotoworld:

Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Noah Lowry (Giants) - I doubt that either Cain or Lincecum is going anywhere unless the Giants swing a Miguel Cabrera deal. Crawford wouldn't be a terrible return for Cain, but I wouldn't make that trade if I ran the Giants. If the Yankees offered Phil Hughes and another quality piece for Cain, that'd probably be worth doing. It's not happening, though. Lowry is the one the Giants would be willing to move for a non-elite talent. The 27-year-old left-hander is signed for $6.75 million over the next two years, and there's a $6.25 million club option for 2010. That makes him fairly attractive no matter how much his WHIP fell off last season.

Lowry and RHP Brad Hennessey to Mariners for C Jeff Clement and OF Wladimir Balentien
Lowry to Cardinals for OF Chris Duncan and RHP Mitchell Boggs
Lowry to Royals for OF Chris Lubanski and SS Jeff Bianchi

Prediction - Lowry traded to Mariners, Others stay

Caveat: this is a fantasy site. But I like the thinking, and these guys take this stuff seriously. And they are no weirder than the sabermetricians.

I'd do trade #1 in a heartbeat.


Zo said...

So you would trade two pretty good, young pitchers for a two batters one of whom is a DH (on the Mariners, or a catcher) who have, between them, 12 major league at bats? And on top of that, Clement "might not need surgery"??? Forgive my enthusiasm. Maybe one for one, keeping in mind that these guys have as much proven ability in the majors as Rajai Davis or Freddie Lewis (no, actually a good deal less). Maybe both of them for one pitcher. Let's not get in the mode of thinking of desparate trades, or we will wind up making them. I will give them good minor league stats - their apparent ability to get on base seems promising and they have some power. Can Clement use a glove? Can he run? The Dutch Antillean fellow, Wladimir, strikes out a lot. How badly does Seattle need pitchers? I am unwilling to give up too much for minor league guys who might pan out, especially for guys where we have position players - are these guys Seattle's top youngsters or are they just guys who got some time on a team that was going nowhere?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, I would. (1) We have no power-hitting prospects in the OF (except an AA guy), and (2) no prospects--at all--at catcher. We have a surplus of young pitching, and (3) Cain and Lincecum are untouched. So, yeah. I mean, I like Lowry and Hennessey, but as you've said, young pitching IS our currency. Give it a shot. It beats wasting money on Lowell or Hunter or etc. (Thanks be to almighty Zeus they signed somewhere else!)

JC Parsons said...

I would do that trade in a second, however I really doubt the Mariners would touch it. Maybe one of those two prospects but not both. Clement is HIGHLY regarded and his defense can't be much worse than Molina (who led the league in PB). The other guy is also way better than any thing we have (none of our guys have power and this youngster does!)So, I definitely disagree with Zo. This would not be a desperation trade, it would be a steal. Two OK to good pitchers are not enough to get two blue chip, although unproven, prospects. Maybe we can throw in Ray (eating his salary of course).
Getting Clement would be interesting...we would have to trade Molina (his value will never be higher!). It would be awfully bold to lose Bonds and Molina (about 75% of last year's offense)going into this season. What the hell! You can't do worse than last place, can you?

zo said...

JC, In direct answer to your question, yes, you can do worse than last place, and if you examine last year's standings, you would see that we did do worse than last place. We finished the season in bad last place, one step below last place. (Ed. note: you sometimes see this written as "badlast" place. In older texts it is often referred to as "purgatory", rarely used today due to quasi-religious overtones.) Would we have rallied to finish, say, 10 or 12 games back, we would have qualified for last place, but finishing further behind the 4th place team-that-is-better-left-unmentioned than they finished out of first is bad last place. Of course, it could even be worse. There is still hell, reserved for teams that lose more than 100 games or finish in bad last place consistently, like Tampa Bay.

Interesting couple of articles in the SF Chronic this morning by Henry Schulman, "Winter Meetings Preview Giants, GM Hopes to Retain Pitchers" and by Susan Slusser, "Winter Meetings Preview A's, Right Price Can Get Haren, Blanton. Schulman, of course, refers to Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.

The headlines suggest diametrically opposite approaches, but in fact, they say the exact same thing in slightly different ways. Sabean is willing to our trade young stud pitchers for the right deal. Of course, he would like to retain them, but the statement itself acknowledges that, gosh darn it, that just may not be possible. B. Beane says the same thing, that the A's are not going to run around trying to trade Haren or Blanton, but would listen to a good deal. Here is my favorite part of the Schulman article, quoting Brian Sabean, "We're smart enough to know that wherever the iron strikes, you have to make the adjustment." God, I hope this is an accurate quote, because it is exactly the way that I believe sportswriters should be addressed, that is, with muddled methaphors and revealing NOTHING. Note the very fine picture of Brian Sabean, caught as his eyes were darting from to to fro in hopes that no one noticed that he said nothing at all. Good job, Brian!

However, in the Slusser article, in the context of the potential of signing Bonds to DH, which apparently has been discussed with both parties, "Clearly, though, if Oakland were to move Haren and/or Blanton, there would be little reason to sign Bonds. The potential headaches that come with Bonds, in terms of public relations and legal distractions, wouldn't be worth it for a club rebuilding." Public relations distractions! Does that mean from sportswriters who will use any excuse to dump all over the man? From fans who pay money to come boo Barry and wind up on tv, which couldn't be bothered to notice the A's because, you know, the Yankees and Red Sox still exist. Did Bud Selig give Peter Magowan a stern lecture on the public relations disaster that ensued from thousands of people streaming into ball games in SF and elsewhere to see a record broken? Maybe she is referring to the public relations distractions that A's fans will have when Barry bat propels them into the playoffs. Boy, I'd hate to see that kind of a public relations distraction on my team.

M.C. O'Connor said...

"Bad" last place indeed. But, if we sign no one, and field a bunch of has-beens and AAAA players, and finish 42-120, that won't be as bad as this year. It'll just be last place, not "bad" last place. Why, you ask? Because at least we won't have made any bad trades, bad FA signings, or shipped out our future stars. Then, in '09, when Cain and Lincecum are poised to dominate the NL, and we'll have gotten rid of the old farts, we can build a team. Now, if that team finishes last, that'll be "bad" last place. Oh, and I'm putting a moratorium on talking about Bonds in non-Bonds threads. Only because it is too painful (and the public relations headaches are clogging up my inbox).