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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Pursuit of Furcal Reopens Door for Bradley
2005-12-02 10:00
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Forget for a moment whether it's sensible for Dodger general manager Ned Colletti to be interested in signing free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal - forget for a moment whether it will even happen - and just think about what the interest itself means.

It would have been easy for Colletti to enter the season with Oscar Robles as the starting shortstop while Cesar Izturis recovers from his surgery. Robles can field, comes up with a clutch hit every couple of weeks, and has a good personality, a nice backstory and Vin Scully's fond support. Robles, like Izturis, generally matches what has been the idea of what a shortstop should be for most of baseball history.

Instead, Colletti has decided that however adequate the Dodgers might be at shortstop, the team should explore being better. Of course, this may mean that Colletti realizes that the Dodgers are far from adequate at shortstop at all - offensively, neither Robles nor Izturis were in the top 25 in EQA last season at the 6-hole, according to Baseball Prospectus. Furcal, on the other hand, was 10th. The fact that Robles and Izturis often batted leadoff adds to the importance of the distinction. In any case, Colletti is showing he isn't satisfied with mere acceptability - that even an incremental improvement is worth considering.

Colletti's interest is also a signal that the 2006 Dodger payroll might prove higher than some have predicted. Considering Furcal will make at least $10 million next season, his signing alone would boost the Dodgers above $80 million. Now, that doesn't mean the Dodgers wouldn't stop there - or even reverse course and trade some salary away. But the idea of eight figures for a shortstop is forcing payroll pessimists to raise an eyebrow.

(Remember, for the time being we're not discussing the sensibility of the offer. Just bear with me.)

Another noteworthy aspect of the speculation is that Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported, without attribution, that the Dodgers offered Furcal $13 million over three years. I'm passing this along despite my distaste for unsourced reports, because it is worth talking about even as a hypothetical.

First, it might be more savvy of Colletti to offer a player $39 million over three years than, say, $55 million over five years. While your annual cost is higher, your overall committment is lower. Three years from now, when the current Dodger crop of prospects has matured, the Dodgers might not need Furcal as much - and they could make up the extra 2006-2008 expenditures then, rather than being burdened by what ultimately would be an extra $16 million.

Second, this offseason, we've seen middle relievers, like B.J. Ryan, get five-year contracts. We've seen 38-year-old relievers, like Tom Gordon, get three-year contracts. All for big money. Baseball's salary structure, which had shown some signs of being tamed following the 2003 season, is gorging on donuts again and exploding in the middle. Last year, barely there starting pitchers like Russ Ortiz got huge deals. Now, in December 2005, we've only just begun to spend. Greenbacks and promises. A kiss for luck and we're on our way.

As a result, the extra money that the Dodgers might spend in the offseason might not yield any more talent than you might have expected to get. It just might mean a recogntion that inflation has hit again, and that while the Dodgers are still going to do the minimum to keep up with the Joneses, they realize that the minimum is higher.

Finally, and in some ways most importantly, there is the character issue. Furcal has two, count 'em, two convictions for drunk driving. Colletti's willingness to even meet with Furcal - regardless of whether he signs him or has even offered him a contract - surrenders any claim to populating the Dodgers with squeaky clean ballplayers. And you know the ramifications of that. We're back to talking to Milton Bradley.

So there is news this week, even if Furcal signs with the Cubs or Braves the second after I publish this piece.

Now, should the Dodgers be talking to Furcal?

Well, at 28, Furcal is a great age. His EQAs of .279, .267 and .274 are higher than the career-high of Izturis (.253 in 2004). Izturis tumbled at the plate last year, although I'm fairly certain some of that was due to physical ailments. Furcal might also be one of the few guys out there who matches or tops Izturis as a fielder, at least statistically - Furcal had a Rate 2 of 113 last year, while Izturis' best is 108.

So Furcal is a worthy ballplayer. If you're just adding him on like another children's drawing on your refrigerator, without regard to the other artwork and grocery lists already there, he's not going to hurt you at all.

He also might grant the Dodgers the luxury - or the necessity, depending on your point of view - of entering the season by giving Hee Seop Choi three months (the amount of time before Izturis is expected to play) to prove himself once and for all at first base.

However, if the offer to Furcal isn't a sign of organizational largesse, if it is instead a large commitment of scant resources to a specific area, then you have to be a little concerned. Because by summertime, if you're careless, you could end up with an infield of Jeff Kent at first, Izturis at second, Furcal at shortstop and Robles at third base. Not to mention continued questions about outfield depth.

Which brings us back to Bradley.

Let me reiterate - by showing any interest in Furcal, the Dodgers have already crossed the character line. Convictions for DUI are as serious as allegations of domestic abuse. At any moment, while operating a vehicle while under the influence, you put multiple lives in jeopardy. It is incredibly dangerous.

Perhaps Furcal has since been treated for his alcoholism - if so, that's wonderful. Regardless, Colletti, and by extension, Frank McCourt, can no longer talk about past character crimes (short of something even more serious, like murder or having been a fan of Home Improvement) as a reason not to allow someone in a Dodger uniform.

If the Dodgers had wanted to draw a line on Bradley based on his having gone anywhere near domestic violence, I would have understood, even though it ultimately might hurt their win-loss record. But now instead of drawing a line, they've erased it.

They can still bring up the chemistry issue if they want, but that is a much, much weaker position. So far, Bradley has not been reported to have had clubhouse friction with anyone besides Jeff Kent. So far, Bradley's passion for winning has been a net asset for the Dodgers. Public relations can take care of paving the way for Bradley's next chance.

They can still bring up the health issue if they want, although Bradley figures to heal, if not by April, probably by June. His salary could be adjusted accordingly.

But to sum up, the news of the week has already happened. By opening the door to Rafael Furcal, the Dodgers have re-opened the door to Milton Bradley. In my opinion, the Dodgers this week just improved their outfield depth.

Update: On a related note, Lost scored the rare double DUI, according to People.com (via Defamer), with the arrest of Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia) and Cynthia Watros (Libby).

This wouldn't be the first driving-related mishap for Rodriguez, who last year pleaded no contest to three misdemeanors (a hit and run, driving with a suspended license, and driving under the influence) stemming from two 2003 incidents in L.A. She was sentenced to 48 hours in jail, community service and treatment in a 30-day alcohol program.

We've got parallel situations going. ABC fired a supporting cast member from "Desperate Housewives" amid gossip reports of indecent exposure. That's the juicier crime, but not more serious than this.

In anticipation of the ensuing tangential discussion, let me say that, apparently unlike many others, I like Ana Lucia's character.

Comments (358)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-12-02 10:34:58
1.   Marty
Man, I hated Home Improvement.
2005-12-02 10:40:22
2.   Vishal
i'd say convictions of drunk driving are more serious than "allegations" of domestic abuse, because allegations are just that. they are not convictions in a court of law.
2005-12-02 10:43:03
3.   Bob Timmermann
It's a more serious crime not to know who Jim Rice is.
2005-12-02 10:43:41
4.   scareduck
Wasn't Guillermo Mota convicted of DUI at one point? I don't seem to recall it made any difference with him...
2005-12-02 10:46:57
5.   Jesse
I hope that's the case, however, I'm skeptical. Aside from Bradley's dealings, the rumblings, rumors, and attemps this offseason by Colletti have been admirable. I read somewhere that we were maybe minutes away from Giles signing when Towers called him.

Mccourt and crew are still schmucks, Depodesta was treated horribly, but Ned isn't looking too bad at all. The fact that he's even thinking about signing Furcal shows that he's willing to take some heat from the press over the percieved upgrade of a scrappy warrior like Izturis. I wouldn't doubt that he might entertain trading Gagne if Broxton, Kuo, and Brazoban are lights out.

2005-12-02 10:48:30
6.   the OZ
FLA trades Luis Castillo the the Twins for a couple young pitchers, Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler. Supposedly, Bowyer could be the Marlins' closer next season.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2245065

2005-12-02 10:48:39
7.   Vishal
hahaha, sorry bob. but at least i know now!
2005-12-02 10:49:11
8.   Jesse
I heard Karros killed a bum in Puerto Rico in 1996.
2005-12-02 10:49:20
9.   Bob Timmermann
I believe both Guillermo Mota and Raul Mondesi got stopped for DUI by the Glendale Surete.
2005-12-02 10:50:36
10.   dzzrtRatt
As Ron Zeigler used to say, McCourt will soon declare his prior statements on Bradley to be "inoperative."

(BTW, Vishal, Ron Zeigler used to play for the Chisox back in the 70s.)

I agree with you Jon, except what we don't know is whether Kent is being a diva about Bradley. If forced to choose, obviously I'd want Kent. But hopefully, Colletti can smooth that piece over.

2005-12-02 10:50:49
11.   molokai
Forgetting MB's mental history, his domestic abuse issues, and his problems with Jeff Kent, do we want to be putting our hopes on a guy with his physical history? In 2003 he missed the last 1/3 of the year with a back problem. In 2004 he played most of the year while battling several injuries. In 2005, he had the freak finger injury and then the knee injury. It is very possible that he won't be able to play CF in 2006 with anything close to what he was before the knee injury. Most of his value is tied up in him being a CF not being a corner outfielder. I'm just saying hanging onto MB is not all roses. If we keep him great but I still want another OF cause if we go into the season with MB/Drew/Cruz/Werth as the guys were hanging our hats on then were going to be very unhappy since only one of those 4 will even be ready to play ball come April.
2005-12-02 10:51:26
12.   Jon Weisman
4 - I've made the Mota point so many times, I decided to leave it out today.
2005-12-02 10:53:52
13.   Jon Weisman
10 - Yes, that's what the manager and GM should be able to do.

11 - Notice I used the word "depth in my post" I don't count on Bradley for 150 games. But he could be a piece of the puzzle.

2005-12-02 10:56:48
14.   Vishal
[10] great, now i've become the DT poster child for ignorance :P

come on, man. i may not know my 70s baseball but i do know some history.

2005-12-02 10:57:26
15.   scareduck
10 - McCourt won't even mention them, as the requirements "must be a former Dodger" and "must know how to win" have been silently forgotten in the managerial search.
2005-12-02 10:57:54
16.   Marty
I like Ana Lucia too. Sounds like in real life she's a little wild. Defamer is calling her Michelle "four strikes" Rodriguez.
2005-12-02 10:58:38
17.   Jon Weisman
I've updated the post above. Somebody warn Xeifrank.
2005-12-02 10:59:30
18.   Telemachos
I'll happily be a third member of the Ana Lucia fan club. :)

So, what happens first?
- Dodgers sign a name free agent
- Dodgers get a manager

2005-12-02 10:59:35
19.   Rob M
13 I agree. At Bradley's current bargain salary, a partial season (120 games?) is still a good deal.

Now if Drew is hurt again this year...

2005-12-02 11:00:14
20.   Bob Timmermann
14
Vishal, we're laughing toward you, not at you.

There's a difference.

Our problem stems from those of us who are feeling old with all the young whippersnappers around here for whom Kirk Gibson is just a guy in scratchy video limping around the bases or Steve Garvey is just a guy who does commercials for Bosley Hair Replacement.

2005-12-02 11:01:25
21.   Marty
Next thing you know, we'll have to explain who Fred Lynn was.
2005-12-02 11:02:53
22.   Bob Timmermann
Don't know if anyone else got a notice, but Lulu said they are shipping my copy of "The Best of Dodger Thoughts".

Woo hoo, something to read on the plane on the way to Michigan!

I would give it to the library to add, but it's best not to know what happens to gift books.

2005-12-02 11:03:33
23.   Monterey Chris
Hi Jon,

Thanks for your continued good work. I continue to enjoy this site very much.

This site has consistently focused on domestic abuse as Bradley's key sin. While certainly serious, I'm not sure if that was the key problem he has with the Dodgers. When he continually ran back to the press in his mess with Kent last year, he was acting in direct defiance of Tracy, DePodesta and McCourt. His insubordination (of a level that most of us would be fired) was the key cause of his problem. Meetings took place immediately after this. The domestic violence allegations surfaced a week later.

Am I remembering all of this incorrectly?

2005-12-02 11:04:09
24.   Jon Weisman
22 - Be sure to tell the guy in 22B where you got the book.

Why Michigan? Why now?

2005-12-02 11:05:20
25.   SMY
Don't we still have Ledee too? That's 5.
2005-12-02 11:09:29
26.   Bob Timmermann
24
My oldest brother lives in Michigan. I won't be going until Christmastime.

Actually I'll be in 21C from LAX to ORD.

2005-12-02 11:12:38
27.   Sushirabbit
23 I agree with that. It also seemed to me that the only person that really said anything about Kent, was Bradley. So, that could just be that's his perception, while the rest of the crew (like Kent or not) didn't have problems with him. Bradley seems to still need to grow up some. I feel no need at all to keep him because the Dodgers might appear to be hypocritical hypocrites (It's a mess starting from the top), but nothing would be cooler if Bradley could learn something from Kent and they could be buddies. Based on what former managers have said, Kent seems to be capable of that. The doubt, for me, is that Bradley could.
2005-12-02 11:13:19
28.   Lefty
I believe the Rodriguez character on Lost is supposed to represent the current President Bush.
2005-12-02 11:13:39
29.   fanerman
It certainly seems like Colletti has a plausible plan. Logic has escaped the McCourts, but hopefully not the "Gang of Four." Perhaps there's been zero Bradley talk because they want him out of the limelight for awhile and just quietly bring him back. Though I'm not sure if (assuming they bring him back) they're better off giving him a big PR campaign in the offseason or not mentioning him much and just giving him one more chance.
2005-12-02 11:14:03
30.   Jon Weisman
23 - No, Chris, your memory is very accurate, except for your use of the word "continually." I recall there only being one big flareup with the press following the warning to Bradley not to speak.

In any case, at this point, I don't see the insubordination as a firing offense from the Dodger perspective - not one that an apology couldn't cure. After all, even if Gagne wasn't specifically given a gag order, his remarks after the season were just as damaging to the Dodgers. Assuming he has been told to cool it now, would the Dodgers cut him if he spoke again?

2005-12-02 11:14:33
31.   Tim B
3 My first "real" glove was a Jim Rice edition. Love that glove.
2005-12-02 11:15:09
32.   sanchez101
everyone keeps forgetting ledee, whats up with that? if we keep Bradley, thats five outfielders on the 25 man roster, there is no space for another outfielder. On top of that Delwyn Young isnt far from contributing, and if Guzman is moved to the OF (a certainty if furcal is signed) that gives us another young OF. And then there is Repko. Depth in the OF is not the problem, the problem is that outside of Cruz, the outfield has only played a full season twice (drew and bradley's 2004). If one of Werth, Drew or Bradley puts in a healthy-145 game season, then the Dodgers are fine, otherwise we're hoping for Delwyn or Guzman to breakout in ST.
2005-12-02 11:18:32
33.   Jon Weisman
28 - I really don't want this to become a political discussion, so let me say that seems like a real stretch and cut things off there.
2005-12-02 11:18:43
34.   Bob Timmermann
"Continually" would imply that Bradley's insubordination happened a lot more than it did. I don' think it even falls under "repeateadly".

It's just that most people don't have a lot of tolerance for insubordination. I refer you to the case of Owens v. Reid.

2005-12-02 11:20:39
35.   Jon Weisman
32 - "Depth in the OF is not the problem, the problem is that outside of Cruz, the outfield has only played a full season twice (drew and bradley's 2004). "

This sentence is inherently contradictory.

Werth and perhaps Bradley will start the season on the D.L. Drew, Ledee and Cruz all have health concerns. Depth will be an issue - not an insurmountable one, but an issue nonetheless - for the 2006 season.

2005-12-02 11:21:30
36.   dzzrtRatt
I like Defamer's post. When is "Lost" going to do their re-enactment of Hamlet as a musical? Or have a dream sequence about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Do they use football players to play cannibals? I still haven't seen the show.
2005-12-02 11:22:12
37.   kngoworld
This leads me to believe that a Furcal signing would eventually lead to a Kent trading if Bradley is kept at the same time. I thought Kent said the dodgers had to choose between one of them, because he wont play with Bradley.
2005-12-02 11:25:21
38.   Jon Weisman
And what's Kent going to do if Colletti says, "You're playing with Bradley. Make the best of it."
2005-12-02 11:26:30
39.   regfairfield
38 Cry, obviously.
2005-12-02 11:26:33
40.   Vishal
[20] well, if it makes you feel a little better, while garvey is mainly the hair replacement guy (and ron cey is the 1-800-the-law-2 guy, IIRC), kirk gibson & co. provided one of my first defining baseball memories in 1988. i had gotten into baseball a year or two before and i was playing t-ball around that time, but it was the '88 series that made me a lifelong fan, so it's more than just a highlight reel to me. i guess that means you can go ahead and feel half-old :)
2005-12-02 11:26:49
41.   fanerman
As it stands, if Izturis isn't back until the all-star break and if $10 million is tied to Furcal, finding another 1B probably won't happen. Colletti probably won't want to add another infielder, and even if he did, 3B has to be a more glaring hole than 1B. So if that happens, Choi should get 3 months to finally prove himself.

But hasn't Izturis said that he might be back earlier? If he does come back earlier, that could mean more problems for Choi. A Jim Tracy-like manager would want to move Izturis to 2nd base and Kent to 1st. I guess it depends on when Izzy comes back and how well Choi does when he gets the chance (assuming he gets the chance). If Choi can finally keep the 1st base job for good, that leaves Izzy out of the loop (unless he makes an A-Rod like move to 3rd), but I suppose he could good trade bait, given the crazy contracts in the league.

An infield of Aybar-Furcal-Kent-Choi is pretty solid, assuming Aybar doesn't regress too much and still gets on base 35% of the time.

2005-12-02 11:27:13
42.   Monterey Chris
I'm happy to drop the word "continually" from my post.

I have a question that Jon or Bob can probably help me with. It seems like in your analysis of players that strikeouts are not a key factor in analyzing batters ("just another out") but they are a key factor in analyzing pitchers (concerns of dropping k/9 rates seem to come up often). Why aren't strikeouts consistent in their importance?

2005-12-02 11:27:27
43.   Bob Timmermann
38

Kent would just turn up the volume on his headphones.

If Kent could put up with Barry Bonds for several years, I can't imagine that Milton Bradley is that much harder to deal with.

They each have their own peculiarities.

2005-12-02 11:28:18
44.   Jesse
Sickles has his Dodger prospect review up at minorleagueball.com.
2005-12-02 11:28:31
45.   jasonungar05
Milton Bradley had successful surgery to repair the torn patella tendon in his left knee yesterday, according to the LA Times. No damage to his ACL was found.

---from WebMD

If the quadriceps or patellar tendon is completely ruptured, a surgeon will reattach the ends. After surgery, the patient will wear a cast for 3 to 6 weeks and use crutches. If the tear is only partial, the doctor might apply a cast without performing surgery.

A partial or complete tear of a tendon requires an exercise program as part of rehabilitation that is similar to but less vigorous than that prescribed for ligament injuries. The goals of exercise are to restore the ability to bend and straighten the knee and to strengthen the leg to prevent a repeat knee injury. A rehabilitation program may last 6 months, although the patient can return to many activities before then.

---

so Milton should be ready.

2005-12-02 11:28:32
46.   Blu2
16
How can you like her? She killed Shannon!
(I hated her from her first appearance on the show. I hope something really bad happens to her.)
2005-12-02 11:29:10
47.   fanerman
43 - If Kent and Bradley just had a sincere talk to each other (or several), I would be more surprised if they couldn't work out their differences enough to put up with each other for one more season.
2005-12-02 11:29:38
48.   Dolphin 7
New to the board--thanks for the chance to offer my comments.

What about the "creep" factor? I guess if I had my druthers, I'd rather suit up next to someone who's had a couple of DUI's than I would someone who is prone to flying off the handle.
I've known people like Milton Bradley all my life--decent enough from day-to-day, but you're always keeping an eye on the dude and making sure you don't say or do something that makes him twist off.

2005-12-02 11:31:05
49.   Michael G
8 "I heard Karros killed a bum in Puerto Rico in 1996."

What? Why did that make me laugh?

2005-12-02 11:31:26
50.   regfairfield
48 But, to go back to that old chestnut, how does this hurt the team?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-12-02 11:31:28
51.   Bob Timmermann
42

I'll take a stab at it.

For a hitter, the goal is to get on base. If you don't and you're out, you're out. It's like dying of a heart attack or cancer. You're still dead. I think the "productive out" is on a par with the "productive death". (OK, that metaphor may be stretched a bit.)

With a pitcher, you want to keep the batter off base. What's the best way to keep the batter off base? The best way is to strike the batter out. Why? Because if the batter hits the ball, there are things that can happen. Bloops fall in, fielders make errors, wind blows balls over the fence. But a strikeout (unless Doug Eddings is behind the plate) means the batter is going back to the dugout.

This is analysis can be generously described as crude.

2005-12-02 11:32:21
52.   Marty
I was happy to see Shannon take one for the team. :)
2005-12-02 11:32:26
53.   Jon Weisman
46 - I don't like what she did. That's completely different from liking her character. (I don't mean "character" in the Plaschke sense.)
2005-12-02 11:35:53
54.   Bob Timmermann
I believe that while Ana Lucia and everybody else on the island thinks that Shannon's death was accidental, it probably wasn't as I think evil forces were manipulating the chain of events.

I would point out that I believe it is strictly against LAPD policy (and the entire city of LA) to have your parent as your supervisor as Ana Lucia does. There are strict nepotism rules. They don't even let husbands and wives in the library supervise each other.

2005-12-02 11:36:00
55.   Blu2
53-- She's a paranoid whacko, you can NEVER trust her. Like Bradley???
2005-12-02 11:37:17
56.   molokai
I don't think the normal person that wedmd is talking about is the same as a person playing CF. What you really need to do is look at the rehab time for baseball players and use that timetable. Almost all baseball rehab times are optimistic but reality always intrudes and setbacks are the norm. Being ready to play and being the same player you were before the surgery are two different things. The Izzy case is the opposite. The Dodgers have given a very pessimistic time frame for his return. Izzy himself said he felt great after the surgery but who knows what that means. If we get Furcal and it turns out to be a good signing then the Izzy injury will have ended up being a blessing in disguise because they never would have made an offer if Izzy was healthy.
2005-12-02 11:37:31
57.   scareduck
51 - "productive death" == throwing oneself on a grenade to save your platoonmates. It doesn't help the manpower situation any.
2005-12-02 11:38:18
58.   fanerman
42 - With pitchers, strikeouts show their ability to make batters miss. Pitchers only have a small amount of control with batting average on balls in play, ie, it fluctuates for any given pitcher on a year to year basis. So it's best to minimize the number of balls in play, ie, it's best to strike as many people out.

With batters, strikeouts just don't correlate with batter effectiveness. The top ten list of high strikeout batters tends to include many of the game's best sluggers. Strikeouts often come with power hitters and patient hitters. If you put the ball in play a little less often but hit more home runs, missing the ball a little more and striking out isn't such a big deal. Patient hitters often strike out because by working the count, they're more likely to be working with 2 strikes, so hence the strikeout rate goes up. While other outs are more "productive" than strikeouts, the effect is minimal compared to the power/patience benefit many "strikeout" hitters have.

2005-12-02 11:39:40
59.   Linkmeister
Local newspaper story about the arrests:

http://tinyurl.com/74gdd

45 I have a little experience with patellar tendon repair (long story--see http://tinyurl.com/azzzl if you're interested). I wore a cast for 12 weeks (ankle to hip) and had 2 sessions of PT per week for about 2 months, mostly on an exercise bike getting range of motion back.

The tendon was reattached with a wire and has since broken into four bits. My knee works fine but has had an odd feeling to it ever since. I've described it as a piston within a sleeve, which makes no sense to anyone but me.

2005-12-02 11:40:11
60.   Jon Weisman
55 - Are you missing my point on purpose or just for fun?
2005-12-02 11:40:17
61.   Jacob L
The potential Furcal signing is either really fascinating or really dumb. Bear with me.

As Jon points out, singing a shortstop is an area that can't rank that high on our list of needs. Albeit, we'd be getting a good one. In a vacuum, Furcal is analagous to the Angels' Cabrera signing last year. Lots of money, long term commitment, and no matter how you look at it, not the best way to improve the team. On the face of it, the Dodgers' interest is that he's a good player, and he's available. That's the dumb part.

The fascinating part is how it might set other things in motion. Exhibit A is that Guzman's future as a shortstop would be pretty much over. Exhibit B is, Izzy iz expendable. C is that with at least a credible offensive player on the infield, we can entertain the trade Jeff Kent discussion again. And if C is true, then, notwithstanding whether Furcal's personal shortcomings give Bradley a pass, we can keep Milton.

To me the key is, can you sign Furcal, trade Kent, and still put a decent offense out there. A bonus would be if a Kent trade can improve the offense and pitching at the same time.

As a side note, I doubt that the local media is going to harp on character issues any more. That red herring was pretty much used to beat up Depo. Depo's gone. Ned, on the other hand, hangs out at batting cages. He knows the cut of a man's gib. After all, they've already ignored the influence of Bonds on the Giants' (and by extension, Ned's) success.

2005-12-02 11:42:44
62.   sanchez101
35. how do you sign a player knowing your going to play him for a month until werth or bradley is ready, then demote him to the minors? Put another way, what do you do with a player you brought in to cover for Bradley/Werth's early absence when they come back from the DL. It cant be a player from the FA market, or with significant experience. You have to use a minor leaguer or a player with little Major League playing time, and the Dodgers already have those players.
2005-12-02 11:43:16
63.   SMY
54 Unfortunately this does not apply to the Dodgers.
2005-12-02 11:44:17
64.   Jon Weisman
59 - That stuff about Holloway and his wife being robbed at gunpoint is scary. The show is cursed!
2005-12-02 11:44:33
65.   Marty
Isn't Furcal a "lead off" hitter? I think Flanders is obsessed with getting a lead off hitter and doesn't care if the position he plays is not one of the gaping holes on this team
2005-12-02 11:44:45
66.   bigcpa
42 Pitcher K's are valued highly because they don't rely on the defense to convert outs. See DIPS and FIP studies for more on this.

Hitter K's correlate with many good things like doubles and HR's. Hitters with low K rates (Pierre, Eckstein) tend to have poor power and create fewer runs in total. Also striking out provides the side benefit of cutting down GIDP's. Also hitter K's are often confused with poor plate discipline. Swinging and missing at strikes is a good thing so long as you're productive overall (see Dunn, Adam). Swinging at bad pitches is bad period.

2005-12-02 11:45:09
67.   Bob Timmermann
Ned, on the other hand, hangs out at batting cages. He knows the cut of a man's gib. After all, they've already ignored the influence of Bonds on the Giants' (and by extension, Ned's) success.

Colletti doesn't strike me as a guy who knows what a gib is.

Then again, I don't either, but I have a dictionary around.

[scurries to dictionary]

I think the word we are looking for is "jib". "Gib" has many meaning. Many of them dealing with castrated felines.

2005-12-02 11:45:25
68.   sanchez101
furcal is not analagous to Cabrera, Furcal has a career 284/348/409 line, Cabrera has a 267/309/365 line. Since 2003, Furcal has also been a considerably better player defensively
2005-12-02 11:46:10
69.   Rob M
51 I think there's more than just that. I think that strikeouts are bad for hitters if they aren't accompanied my power and walks - i.e., some hitters that have good patience, will take strikes to wait for their pitch, and who swing hard, tend to have high strikeouts and high OPS. That is a good tradeoff.

For pitchers, you want high K, low BB, and low HR/IP. Those are the measureables that a pitcher controls on his own. A pitcher's periferal stats may not reflect a good performance, due to poor defense or other factors. It isn't that K's are not bad for hitters, it's just that you can go straight ot OPS and ignore the K rate. High K's with low power and poor batting eye is just plain bad, and it shows up in all the periferal stats (except SB).

2005-12-02 11:47:29
70.   Rob M
58 Not only was I late, I didn't say it as well.
2005-12-02 11:48:02
71.   Rob M
And I can't spell peripheral.
2005-12-02 11:48:40
72.   Jacob L
67 How do you know that's not what I meant?
2005-12-02 11:49:05
73.   Jesse
Strikeouts aren't a good thing. They are; however, overvalued in terms of how bad they're percieved. The strikeout seems more humiliating than "putting the ball in play," thus making them an easier target for cranky disingenuous talkshow hosts and bad beat writers. People who have a lot of strikeouts (like Dunn, Jose Hernandez, etc), usually (but not always) walk a lot (working deep into counts can sometimes get you into a hole) and hit for a lot of power. Thus, hitters who strike out a lot are in a way undervalued. These types of hitters also run up pitch counts, aiding in the constant battle of attrition that baseball is.

Take Jose Hernandez and his infamous 2002 season. 188 strikeouts overshadowed the fact that he had a brilliant offensive season for a SS. Though, not good, they shouldn't have overshadowed, which I think is more the point.

On the other hand, the more batters a pitcher gets out without putting the ball in play, the better. An out, is an out, is an out... sort of.

2005-12-02 11:50:48
74.   Bob Timmermann
My favorite meaning of "gib" from the OED:

2. A cat, esp. a male cat (cf. Gib a male ferret in Chester Gloss.); in later dialectal use, one that has been castrated. to play the gib: (of a woman) to act the cat

2005-12-02 11:51:46
75.   Bob Timmermann
Strikeouts are bad to the Bill Plaschkes of the world because Hee-Seop Choi has more of them than Oscar Robles.
2005-12-02 11:52:37
76.   sanchez101
1/2 season of izturis(2004 version) = 2.2 warp
1/2 season of robles = 1.8 warp
that comes to a total of 4.0 warp for next season, assuming izturis comes back to his 2004 self, for a combined cost of $3.4 million. Furcal is generally a 5 warp player. So for the additional 1 win the Dodgers would pay $6.6-$9.6 million. That doesnt seem like a good idea, even if izturis plays like he did in 2005 and furcal plays up to his highest potential, it wouldnt be worth it.
2005-12-02 11:53:22
77.   Vishal
[57] there's an interchange just south of LAX on the 405 named after one sadao s. munemori who did just that, and received a posthumous congressional medal of honor for it.
2005-12-02 11:54:36
78.   Jon Weisman
76 - For what it's worth, you can't just add the WARP of Izturis and Robles together - they played side-by-side for a while.
2005-12-02 11:55:12
79.   Bob Timmermann
Medal of Honor, not Congessional Medal of Honor.

Army people get upset about that I've learned.

http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_1940_wwii/munemori_sadao.html

2005-12-02 11:55:59
80.   SMY
When I was playing little league, I vaguely remember walks being a bad thing for a hitter. Unless, of course, you couldn't hit at all, in which case it was "A walk is as good as a hit". I think #73 is right about the embarrassment aspect -- people remember how it felt when they played baseball growing up.

If I have children who play baseball, I'm going to coach them based on OPS. I'm also going to force them to throw left-handed.

2005-12-02 11:56:45
81.   Jon Weisman
77 = "sadao s. munemori" - born before Jim Rice?

That was my last jibe (not jib or gib) on the matter :)

2005-12-02 11:56:53
82.   SMY
I was talking about strikeouts being embarrassing, of course.
2005-12-02 11:57:26
83.   sanchez101
78. why?
2005-12-02 11:57:38
84.   Steve
they played side-by-side for a while

My eyes! AAAAGGGHHHHH!! THE BURNING!!!

2005-12-02 12:00:09
85.   scareduck
61 - As Jon points out, singing a shortstop is an area that can't rank that high on our list of needs. Albeit, we'd be getting a good one. In a vacuum, Furcal is analagous to the Angels' Cabrera signing last year. Lots of money, long term commitment, and no matter how you look at it, not the best way to improve the team. On the face of it, the Dodgers' interest is that he's a good player, and he's available. That's the dumb part.

Aside from the "singing"/signing issue, it was an even dumber mistake for the Angels because it blocked not one but two quality shortstop prospects (and though they couldn't have known it at the time, one of them a potential superstar in Brandon Wood), and ejected David Eckstein, one of the few Angels who knew how to take a walk, from the team. I'm pretty sure that in this case, Furcal

a) is not blocking a quality offensive shortstop in the minors
b) gives as good or better defense than the player currently occupying that position as a starter
c) is consistent offensively.

The years will probably kill the Dodgers, but I don't see a potential Furcal signing as necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. Certainly, it makes more sense than the Cabrera signing did at the time for the Angels, and as Jon mentioned, it indirectly helps to stabilize the outfield.

2005-12-02 12:00:32
86.   Jon Weisman
83 - Oh, I see - you used a half season for each. I guess that's okay, if the WARP isn't too affected by the time Robles played third base.
2005-12-02 12:04:22
87.   molokai
62
That is the problem. Given the extent of the surgeries for JD/MB/Werth we could start the year with all 3 on the DL. Maybe we start the year with Guzman in right, Cruz in center and Ledee in LF. Are you okay with that? It is a huge gamble. I'd be more willing to roll the dice if the 3 players on the DL didn't already have a huge history of missing time. But your right, we may not have any choice.
2005-12-02 12:05:58
88.   Vishal
[79] well, nomenclature preferences aside, we're talking about the same award, i think:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_Honor#Congressional_Medal_of_Honor

2005-12-02 12:07:29
89.   Jon Weisman
62, 87 - I think you all are overthinking. You just get the best possible 6th outfielder that you can get. That might be a minor leaguer, or a fringe major leaguer, or an infielder who is forced to play outfield.
2005-12-02 12:07:57
90.   sanchez101
87. depends on if you think significant playing time for repko is a gamble
2005-12-02 12:08:04
91.   Vishal
[81] haha, i suppose so. i might not have known his name though, if the interchange was in an american league city :P
2005-12-02 12:08:05
92.   regfairfield
I don't see where that 1.8 WARP for Robles comes from. Even if you take is higher WARP2, it still comes out to 1.6 when projected over a full season.
2005-12-02 12:08:40
93.   Mark
Jesus, people, how hard is it to limit your drinking to one or two beers, and then water the rest of the night, when you're driving?
2005-12-02 12:09:11
94.   fanerman
What I wonder is... how much were injuries the reason for Izturis's HUGE slump. And if they were the primary reason, how lucky was he when he was Ichiro-lite?

If he can actually produce at .260+ EQA levels, then the Furcal signing makes less sense... Unless Izzy is willing to play 2B and we trade Kent at the deadline. I get the feeling that unless Choi goes crazy in the at-bats he does get, he'll be the oddman out between Furcal, Izzy, Kent, and himself.

2005-12-02 12:09:17
95.   sanchez101
89. you mean delwyn young, jason repko, or brian myrow? my point is that if Bradley is retained, all the players the Dodgers can use already here.
2005-12-02 12:09:27
96.   molokai
76
Yesterday you seemed to think it was a good idea or did I misread your statements?
2005-12-02 12:11:46
97.   scareduck
85 - BTW, I'm excluding Guzman because it's said he's going to have to make a position change anyway. If that doesn't happen, I'm wrong and this signing looks less interesting.
2005-12-02 12:11:56
98.   dsfan
Molokai's post about Bradley's litany of injuires to many body parts makes an excellent point.

Keep Bradley but weigh not only his fragility but the brittleness of the team's others OFs.

Which LAD outfielder is a good bet to make 135 starts? Drew? Bradley? Ledee? Werth? Cruz?

Not a one and it seems pretty likely that as many as three won't be 100 percent when the season opens. And it's easy to envision all of them breaking down later.

How many LAD outfielders in the minors are close to being major league starters?

Not a one.

Guzman is two years away with the bat and hasn't played OF. Matt Kemp is 2-3 years away. D. Young projects as a super-utility guy or an offensive 2B. Repko has come a long way in the last 18 months, but as an everyday guy he's got a ways to go.

All the more reason to see if the Indians will give up LF/CF Coco Crisp and a decent arm for Gagne/Ledee.

Crisp would seem a good bet for 140-50 starts. He has pretty good pop (15-17 HRs), decent on-base skills, good speed, covers a lot of ground in LF and is decent in CF.

Cleveland is unlikely to deal him, but LAD should go after him very hard. When Hoffman shoots down Cleveland, Gagne could be a nice option for the Tribe.

Coco is the way to go.

2005-12-02 12:12:44
99.   sanchez101
96. yesterday my point was that Furcal, in absolute terms was worth $10 million per year. I scoffed at $13 million per year thought. I dont think i really confronted the issue of furcal's relative worth over izturis/robles, but it seems like a bad idea.
2005-12-02 12:13:15
100.   Jon Weisman
95 - Maybe yes, maybe no. Again, you're overthinking. All 25 players the Dodgers can use are already here - unless they find better ones. There are incremental improvements possible at every position.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-12-02 12:13:34
101.   molokai
89
If I knew that all these rehabs would end and the players in question would then jump right in and play and be productive then any ole Repko would do. I don't have that faith. I'll be surprised if we get 120 games from any of the trio.
2005-12-02 12:15:15
102.   sanchez101
98. jose cruz jr. has played more than 140 games four times in his career, and more than 150 three times. Did he miss time last year due to injury or did Arizona not play him because he was hitting .213?
2005-12-02 12:19:14
103.   molokai
98
Are you a Tribe fan who wants Gagne or are you thinking in the best interest of the Dodgers?
The Tribe could just fallback to Wickman, they have Cabrerra and the best setup man no one knows about in Betantcourt. Do they really need Gagne?
If were going to trade Gagne to Cleveland then give me Coco/Betancourt or Cabrerra/Garko
or Sizemore straight up:)
2005-12-02 12:21:13
104.   Jesse
My mind was wandering (as is often the case) and I was dreaming of the Drew, Giles, Abreu outfield that might've been...

It's not out of the question that a few very good prospects (a couple untouchables) could land Abreu... and if we would've got Giles we could've been talking about an outfield that could easily draw 450 walks plus... I don't even know why I'm posting this, but I think, until Giles signed, I actually thought we could do something like this.

2005-12-02 12:21:20
105.   Jesse
My mind was wandering (as is often the case) and I was dreaming of the Drew, Giles, Abreu outfield that might've been...

It's not out of the question that a few very good prospects (a couple untouchables) could land Abreu... and if we would've got Giles we could've been talking about an outfield that could easily draw 450 walks plus... I don't even know why I'm posting this, but I think, until Giles signed, I actually thought we could do something like this.

2005-12-02 12:21:35
106.   molokai
102
He had a bad back which he attributed to his dismal showing in Arizona. When he was picked up by the RedSox he said it was the 1st time all year that his back was pain free. Depo's last move was one of his best totally making up for the Dave Robert giveaway.
2005-12-02 12:21:48
107.   Jesse
a dumb post and i had to post it twice.
2005-12-02 12:23:34
108.   Jacob L
68, 85

My new policy is to claim all typos are intentional. Of COURSE, the Dodgers should SING a shortstop. Who doesn't like that tune?

In re 68, I wasn't really saying that Cabrera and Furcal were analagous players, just that the signings were/would be huge dollar and year commitments done without much heed to the organizations' assets and needs.

In re 85, yeah, the Angels problem is more obvious and compounded by the fact that Cabrera's simply not worth what they're paying him, but if you allow any of Izturis, Robles, and Guzman as at least options for the Dodgers, then its still hard to see the Dodgers valuing Furcal as much as they seem to. (Submitted for long-sentence award)

If, however, the point is that Furcal is that good of a player that merely having him allows you to do other things with the roster, things that do address the more obvious needs, then that's at least not crazy.

2005-12-02 12:23:46
109.   sanchez101
100. i think the argument should be that one of bradley, werth, or ledee should go. LA needs at least one more full time OF, and they dont currently have a place for him on the 25-man roster. If you can find that player from the rule 5 draft or by way of a minor league FA, great, but we really need a corner guy and im not sure that youll find a 140+ game corner outfielder there. It would be real nice if Young or Guzman can really breakout in ST.
2005-12-02 12:24:21
110.   Jesse
did it make up for keeping nakamura, grabowski, repko, and erickson around for as long as he did? (not to mention nomo last year)...
2005-12-02 12:27:43
111.   oldbear
76. Cesar Izturis 2004 was the anomaly of his career. Also, Furcal's numbers the last 3 years look pretty good to me. .775 OPS, 90% steal rate, great defense. Furcal's about a 150pt OPS improvement over what we have currently at SS (which is zilch).

I'm surprised some dont consider SS the weakest position on the team, and in the organization. Because the numbers and personell would suggest it is.

We've got nothing in the minors.
We've got a Cora/Castro clone playing everyday at SS.

If thats not beggin for an improvement, I'm not sure what is.

Of course there's always the cost to consider. But find me an OF'er available that will OPS 150+ over Cruz/Werth/Bradley...Cant think of any.

2005-12-02 12:29:16
112.   molokai
110
Nakamura got very few at bats but for the rest of my life I'll never understand why Scott Erickson was allowed to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005.
2005-12-02 12:31:22
113.   regfairfield
Off topic question: Did Ted Lilly resign with the Blue Jays when I wasn't looking? Today's Baseball Prospectus talks about the Blue Jays possibly non-tendering him, and he's not on the free agent tracker.

Did I just imagine his free agency?

2005-12-02 12:32:27
114.   molokai
From my favorite scout at baseball HQ. Deric is a scout who combines performance analysis with old school scouting. He has his own book coming out this year in which he profiles 1000 prospects. The Western division prospect writeup just came out. I'm sure the prospect hounds will have some issues with the seedings but the bottom line is that we are DEEP. When your 15 th best prospect still projects as a starting 2nd baseman something is right.

LOS ANGELES Dodgers
Organizational Grades: Hitting (A)…..Pitching (A)…..Top-end talent (A)…..Overall (A)
1. Chad Billingsley RHP…..21…..2003 (1) high school (OH)
Strengths: 90-97 MPH two-seam fastball, 85-89 MPH slider, and 77-81 MPH curveball. Command. Solid build. Setting up hitters
Weaknesses: Repeating arm speed on change-up. Efficiency
Comments: Maturely-built hurler with three above average pitches and the means to use them. Blows fastball by hitters and can get outs with both breaking pitches. Struggled with efficiency in a mid-season slump, but finished strong. Could end-up in Dodgers' rotation if he can improve change-up.
2006 MLB Role: Fifth starter
Potential: Number two starter

2. Joel Guzman SS…..R/R…..21…..2001 FA (DR)
Strengths: Athleticism/speed. Bat speed/plus power. Arm strength. Projectable body
Weaknesses: Long swing. Strike zone judgment. Speed (4.4). Average range
Comments: Solid, but unspectacular follow-up to breakout season, as upper-level pitchers were able to exploit long swing and plate discipline. Plus power from bat speed and strong body, and has been able to maintain BA despite over-aggressiveness. Defense at SS remains solid, but will likely change positions.
2006 MLB Role: Starting 3B
Potential: Starting 3B

3. Andy LaRoche 3BR…..R/R…..22…..2003 (39) Grayson County CC
Strengths: Athleticism. Bat speed/power. First-step quickness. Arm strength. Quick/soft hands. Instincts
Weaknesses: BA ability. Pull-conscious. Strike zone judgment. Speed
Comments: Makes hard contact with bat staying in strike zone, flirting with minor league HR lead in early season. Hits for both BA and power and improved plate discipline with promotion to Double-A. Adapting to 3B where he shows arm strength and soft hands, projecting to an average defender.
2006 MLB Role: Platoon 3B
Potential: Starting 3B

4. Russ Martin C…..R/R…..22…..2002 (17) Chipola JC
Strengths: Athleticism/agility. Contact ability/line-drive power. Plate discipline. Arm strength. Quick release (1.85)
Weaknesses: Pull-conscious. Blocking pitches
Comments: One of top catchers in the minor leagues. Contact hitter with moderate power and strike zone judgment, giving him a solid OPS. Runs well for a catcher and will steal base when given. Releases ball quickly with good arm strength, halting running game (31% CS%), but footwork could be cleaner.
MLB Debut: 2007
Potential: Starting catcher

5. Jonathon Broxton RHP…..21…..2002 (2) high school (GA)
Strengths: 89-98 MPH two and four-seam fastballs and 81-84 MPH slider. Command. Strong body. Aggressiveness
Weaknesses: Repeating arm speed on change-up. Repeating high ¾ slot. Tendency to overthrow
Comments: Large-framed reliever with aggressive approach and fastball that explodes on hitters. Slider became put-away pitch when moved to relief and may fare better in that role. High ¾ slot shows baseball too much and may want strikeout too much, but can be dominating when he's on.
2006 MLB Role: Short reliever
Potential: Setup reliever

6. Scott Elbert LHP…..19…..2004 (1) high school (MO)
Strengths: 89-93 MPH two-seam fastball and curveball. Command. Arm action/¾ slot
Weaknesses: Repeating arm speed on change-up. Efficiency
Comments: Solid arm action allows ball to flow freely from hand, giving him excellent movement and velocity. Can get strikeout with both fastball and curveball, and improved command and ability to keep ball down. Change-up needs work in its deception, but has makings of a top-flight pitcher.
MLB Debut: 2009
Potential: Number two starter

7. James Loney 1B…..L/L…..21…..2002 (1) high school (TX)
Strengths: Bat speed/power/contact ability. Plate discipline. Arm strength. Soft hands
Weaknesses: Pull-conscious. Speed
Comments: Marginal power is baffling considering bat speed and contact ability, but ball comes off bat with a lot of topspin and transfers weight early. Healthy for first time, he did hit much better in the second half, as he began using whole field. Defense at 1B is Gold Glove-caliber and may get look in RF.
MLB Debut: 2007
Potential: Starting 1B

8. Matt Kemp OF…..R/R…..21…..2003 (6) high school (OK)
Strengths: Athleticism/strength. Bat speed/power to all fields. Average arm strength
Weaknesses: Strike zone judgment. Speed (4.3). Range
Comments: Impressive power in a pitcher-friendly league, but lack of plate discipline/pitch recognition will see his BA swoon at upper levels. Drives ball to all fields with good bat speed and runs bases well for strong build. Average arm and poor range will limit him to corner outfield.
MLB Debut: 2007
Potential: Starting corner outfielder

9. Chuck Tiffany LHP…..21…..2003 (2) high school (CA)
Strengths: Plus curveball, 87-91 MPH two and four-seam fastballs, and circle-change. Command. Arm action. Setting-up pitches. Power-pitcher build
Weaknesses: Stamina (shoulder)
Comments: Projectable pitcher with easy velocity and a plus curveball. Repeats delivery well for experience level, allowing him to disguise change-up and demonstrate command. The Dodgers haven't given him a lot of rope from an IP standpoint and did come down with a tired arm late in the season.
MLB Debut: 2007
Potential: Number three starter

10. Hong-Chih Kuo LHP…..24…..1999 FA (Taiwan)
Strengths: 90-96 MPH fastball, split-fingered fastball, curveball, and change-up. Command. Arm action
Weaknesses: Setting-up pitches. Stamina (elbow)
Comments: Dominating when he pitches, but has succumbed to two elbow surgeries and may make permanent move to bullpen. Fastball is explosive, can change speeds, and gets excellent movement to splitter and curveball. Needs experience, but may move quickly.
MLB Debut: 2007
Potential: Closer/setup reliever

11. Travis Denker 2B…..R/R…..20…..2003 (21) high school (CA)
Strengths: Athleticism. BA ability/moderate power. Strike zone judgment. Arm strength
Weaknesses: Average speed (4.3). Range. Stiff hands. Small stature
Comments: Hard-nosed player whose bat was pleasant surprise, hitting for power and leading FSL in walks. Tends to strike-out too much, but if power is present, no one will matter. Making defensive transition from 3B to 2B, where he lacks range, hands, and double-play turn.
MLB Debut: 2009
Potential: Starting 2B

12. Blake DeWitt 3B…..R/R…..19…..2004 (1-C) high school (MO)
Strengths: Athleticism/strength. Bat speed/BA ability/power to all fields. Soft hands
Weaknesses: Plate discipline. Speed/agility. Average arm strength. Reading groundballs
Comments: Mature hitter for level of experience, generating bat speed with BA ability and power potential. Showed more patience at the plate, but needs to recognize pitches better. Playable arm strength and soft hands should make him a solid-average fielder with more repetition.
MLB Debut: 2008
Potential: Starting 3B

13. Chin-Lung Hu SS…..R/R…..22…..2003 FA (Taiwan)
Strengths: Athleticism/speed. Bat speed/BA ability. Arm strength. Soft/quick hands. Instincts
Weaknesses: Hitting for power. Plate discipline. Need to add strength
Comments: SS of future for Dodgers, combining outstanding defense with offensive contributions. Swings good bat for diminutive size, driving baseball to gaps and maintaining high BA. Running instincts improved, making him a threat on bases.
MLB Debut: 2008
Potential: Starting SS

14. Tony Abreu 2B/SS…..R/R…..21…..2002 FA (DR)
Strengths: Athleticism/speed. Contact/BA ability/moderate power. Plus range. Soft/quick hands
Weaknesses: Strike zone judgment. Baserunning efficiency. Average arm strength
Comments: Continues to hit for BA, leading FSL, despite lack of plate discipline, but did experience a drop in power. Likes to use field from gap-to-gap. Possesses above average speed, but doesn't always read pitchers' moves well. Can be Gold Glove-caliber at 2B and play adequate SS.
MLB Debut: 2008
Potential: Starting 2B

15. Wily Aybar 2B…..B/R…..23…..2000 FA (DR)

Strengths: Bat speed/BA ability/moderate power. Plate discipline. Arm strength. Hands. Instincts
Weaknesses: Hitting for power. Average speed/agility
Comments: Traded some of his OBP for power, but may not have enough for a MLB 3B. Plate discipline remains strong and was more aggressive early in the count. Defensive shift from 3B to 2B fits his offensive profile better and only lacked range at the keystone spot.
2006 MLB Role: Utility infielder (2B/3B)
Potential: Starting 2B

I asked him some questions about having Guzman and LaRoche projected for 3b and why Denker was ahead of DeWitt. Below is his answer:

"My thinking on Guzman and LaRoche being listed as 3rd basemen for 2006 is this. I believe Guzman will be the first to arrive, likely around mid-season if all goes well. I don't see them sticking him at SS unless Izturis would get injured, and even then, I think they'd use someone else. RF and 1B would also be a possibility for Guzman, but I didn't want to go farther south on the defensive spectrum on him. Guzman can handle 3B at the Major League level, and that's the point I wanted to come across. As for LaRoche, I could see him coming-up in September and getting a fair amount of AB's. At that point, I think the Dodgers make a final determination on Guzman. If you were to put a gun to my head and make me say where Guzman will end-up, I'll say RF. I know both can't be starting at 3B.

I debated on DeWitt and Denker for the 11th spot and elected to go with Denker as he showed more secondary skills offensively. The Vero Beach sample is small for both players and I realize DeWitt is almost a year younger. Neither are exceptional defenders, but Denker should be better at 2B and his bat plays better at their respective positions. I've heard the same rumors about DeWitt moving to 2B, and if that were the case, I'd have to put DeWitt ahead of Denker.

I have not given-up on Miller, but you have to seriously worry about his arm. Originally, he was ranked between Elbert and Loney, but with the latest injury experience in the AFL, even though it was reported to be minor, he is just too much of a question mark to rank in the top 15 in an organization as strong as the Dodgers. One player whose bat I really like (Delwyn Young) didn't make the cut either."

2005-12-02 12:33:44
115.   Monterey Chris
Thank you for helping me understand the strikeout issue. The area I was struggling with is that it seems that if it is good to have a pitcher strikeout a batter because it eliminates the opportunity for errors/bloop hits, etc., then it also seems like it would be good for batters not to strikeout because they then have the opportunity to get on base by error/bloop hits, etc.

It sounds like the answer to that issue is that it depends on the batter. However, we do not even need to look at batter strikeout numbers because we have a better statistic to use...OPS.

2005-12-02 12:34:47
116.   D4P
114
Do I understand correctly that Guzman's speed is both a "strength" and a "weakness"?
2005-12-02 12:36:30
117.   Monterey Chris
112--That would have been DePodesta's area of responsibility.
2005-12-02 12:42:22
118.   bigcpa
111 I'm thinking 2005 was the anomaly, especially since we know injuries played a part.

Age 22 .232/.253/.303
Age 23 .251/.282/.315
Age 24 .288/.330/.381

Already at age 24 you've got Furcal-lite. A healthy Izturis could give you .725 OPS for 1/3 of Furcal $$. Now the idea of Izturis at 2b makes me cringe, but who else is slotted there for 2007?

2005-12-02 12:45:14
119.   molokai
116
Can't answer for him. It is curious.
2005-12-02 12:45:37
120.   regfairfield
118 Perez and Aybar, both of whom can hit better than Izturis for a ninth of the cost.
2005-12-02 12:46:58
121.   Warren
Respectfully Jon I couldn't disagree with you more on the Bradley=Furcal issue.

I live 90 miles north of Turner Field so of course I get Braves news/comments constantly. Never once have I read anything about Furcal being a locker room distraction or taking shots at his teammates. Further, I have never read about him disobeying Bobby Cox. The DUIs are clearly a stain on his character and I while I won't defend those I think off the field problems and a seperate issue from clubhouse problems.

If Bradley and his wife were having problems I think that is a personal matter that we should stay out of. But when he's ripping off his Dodgers' jersey, throwing balls, hurling soda bottles, charging teammates of being racists, directly violating an order from his manager (who he called a second father), etc. that is completely different in my opinion.

I'm not sold on Furcal. But I am sold that Bradley should go somewhere else. He had two years to get it together in LA and there is no indication he has done so.

2005-12-02 12:52:25
122.   Dave
84 Hilarious! You are much more fun post FJT. And, since I haven't said it before, Congratulations on passing the bar.
2005-12-02 12:54:36
123.   D4P
121
I'm not here to defend Milton, but from what I understand of the Bradley-Kent incident, Kent "started it." Milton had done much better up until that point, and had Kent not confronted him, he may very well have made it through the entire season without a hitch. That's not to say he handled the Kent incident correctly, but he wasn't exactly looking for trouble either.
2005-12-02 12:57:20
124.   Warren
123
Bradley doesn't get the benefit of the doubt with me and I'm not a Kent fan so this is as objective as I can be.

If this were it for him I'd give him a pass. But if you exclude the incident with Kent you still have a list of other things to choose from that embarassed the team and caused clubhouse friction.

2005-12-02 12:58:01
125.   dsfan
Molokai:

My push for Crisp/Gagne trade with other part is from a LAD perspective.

You cite Wickman as Clevelan'd fallback at closer and express doubt that Cleveland is hungry for a closer.

Reading the tea leaves, it appears Cleveland sorely wants a better closer than Wickman. The Tribe is courting Trevor Hoffman and went after BJ Ryan pretty hard. Wisely the Tribe appears to doubt Wickman's ability to replicate last year's results.

Cleveland would not move Sizemore. Getting Crisp would be hard, but that's the guy to go after. Gagne could get the ball rolling.

Coco is the way to go.

2005-12-02 12:59:36
126.   Bob Timmermann
Coco Crisp would be the coolest name for any Dodger since Ed Vande Berg.
2005-12-02 13:02:42
127.   dsfan
The above scouting report on LAD prospects states that Kemp's footspeed is a weakness.

Actually it's a strength.

Matt Kemp has slightly better than average speed. That was the consensus entering the AFL season and Kemp affirmed it this fall at a time when many players are exhausted.

A 4.3 clocking to first isn't his best, even still, for a RH power hitter, that's not a "weakness" for going home to first.

Kemp's first to third speed and OF speed are slightly faster than average.

Kemp's footspeed is a nice bonus to his exciting hitting potential.

2005-12-02 13:03:11
128.   oldbear
118. I judged Izturis based on his 9 seasons. If you look up his minor league, and mlb stats at thebaseballcube, you'd see why I believe 2004 is an anomaly.

No one is at 2nd for 2007. Thats why the Dodgers should sign Furcal now, move him over to 2b, and play Guzman at SS.

OR, they could move Guzman to 3b, LaRoche to 2b, and play LaRoche at 2b in 2007. (I'd like this idea) Maybe Nate can discuss whether he thinks Andy LaRoche can move to 2nd base and Guzman to 3b.

2005-12-02 13:09:07
129.   scareduck
111,118 -- nope, 2004 was the anomaly. An easier way to make this point is to look at VORP:

Age Izturis Furcal
======================
21 -12.5 -
22 -2.2 -
23 29.7 38.0
24 0.7 24.4
25 - 57.6
26 - 38.0
27 - 49.4

I just don't see a 50+ VORP season in Izturis's future.

2005-12-02 13:13:50
130.   regfairfield
I don't know if anyone would argue that Izturis is better than Furcal, but is Furcal really worth three times the money?

Considering Izturis is making Neifi Perez money (interpret that as you will) he was severly injured last year, and Antonio Perez is capable of playing shortstop (if anyone will let him), I don't see how Furcal is a worthwhile signing.

2005-12-02 13:20:11
131.   molokai
When discussing SS I think you need to use WARP1 if your going to use BP stats. VORP is just an offensive minded stat and for a SS I want the defense as part of the package.
2005-12-02 13:20:33
132.   dsfan
In 2004, Izturis was a big contributor in the team's first NL West title since 1995.

Tracy batted him too high in the lineup, but that's not Izzy's fault and not wholly Tracy's fault given the roster construction.

Izzy's improvement in 2004 appeared to carry over to April 2005. Lots of quality at-bats, pretty good results as I recall.

Then he just cratered. It's logical to say the true measure of Izzy's talents were thus revealed when you look at his dreadful OBPs year after year in the minors.

But I do place some stock in his improvement in 2004 and early 2005 at a young age and after Wallach got him to improve the strength in his left hand.

Izzy's repeated hamstring injuries last year should be considered as well. He appeared to be playing hurt as early as May. The LAD were hasty in returning him to the lineup last summer after Izzy's hamstring injuries were made known, but Izzy's competitiveness got the best of him as well.

Maybe he ends up being an nifty utility man. Still, with the dearth of bona fide SSs, I could also see him returning decent value as a starting SS again if he's able to recover physically.

2005-12-02 13:21:43
133.   razzle nugent
I found this at oaklandtribune.com:

ITALIAN COMBO: Sabean chuckled when asked if he had fielded any trade calls from Ned Colletti, his old assistant turned archrival in Los Angeles. Yes, Colletti called the other day, though he was having lunch at a Chinese restaurant with Tommy Lasorda.

"Ned didn't do too much talking," Sabean said. "I hope he spends a lot of time with Tommy. He won't have any time to talk trades."

2005-12-02 13:23:47
134.   dsfan
The Scouting Report above list Travis Denker as a better prospect than either Aybar or Abreu.

That's unfair to Aybar and Abreu.

2005-12-02 13:23:59
135.   underdog
Just catching up here...

114Interesting scouting report... I had thought Loney's fielding skills were supposed to be above average, but recall someone posting here that he's a terrible fielder. Steve, was it? I really like Loney and think he's a year away.

I'm not sure Kemp is 2-3 years away, i think 1.5 might be more like it.

Man, I hope Kuo works out (and his arm holds out). It's nice the Dodgers have quite a few great LHP prospects.

Why does this discussion often seem like a Star Trek script, with all the WARPs and VORPs.

2005-12-02 13:26:13
136.   scareduck
130 - that's an unqualified "yes".

131 - fair enough if you've got it; I don't. Defensively, though, using BPro's Rate2, Izturis has had three seasons in significant innings as a below average fielder, while Furcal has been an above average fielder all years of his career but two. The numbers say Furcal is a noticeable but not huge improvement in the field.

2005-12-02 13:28:09
137.   D4P
135
I'm pretty sure Steve's tongue was in its usual location (his cheek).
2005-12-02 13:28:45
138.   blue22
The Benson-for-Julio swap appears off for the moment. Considering Benson has 2yrs/$15.5M left on his deal, would Benson solve our 4th starter opening? Braz or Duaner would have to be more attractive to the Mets than Julio.
2005-12-02 13:31:24
139.   underdog
137 Whew!

Did the Yankees just overpay for Farnsworth or what? Does Steinbrenner care? No, he probably paid that money out of his loose pocket change.

2005-12-02 13:31:43
140.   dsfan
Izzy a below average fielder?

Not in 2003-04 according to field personnel and scouts who saw him every day or close to it. They rated him among the majors best and a major factor in LAD's first NL West title since 1995.

2005-12-02 13:33:05
141.   regfairfield
136 Okay, forget Izturis and think about Antonio. Since There's no way to actually calculate WARP, compare him to Eckstein last year

AP - .297/.360/.398 114 rate2
Eckstein - .282/.351/.362 101 rate2 5.6 WARP

Is it expecting too much for AP to put up similar numbers to Eckstein (maybe a little worse defensively, a little better offensively.)

Assuming AP can put up the 5.6 WARP1, you are then paying someone 30-40 times as much for three wins. Is that worth it?

2005-12-02 13:36:32
142.   regfairfield
140 Well the stats, which see everything, call Izzy a below average fielder every year but '03 and '05.
2005-12-02 13:37:00
143.   jasonungar05
I know Steve will shoot me but Pierre is fine by me. He has not missed a game in 3 years. He is 28. He avg's pretty much 100 runs and 50 steals a year. His OF arm is horrible so play him in LF.

He made 3.7 million in 2005.

2005-12-02 13:39:36
144.   Bob Timmermann
143
Steve will shoot you and I will join in.

It will be a bloodier version of "Murder on the Orient Express"

2005-12-02 13:41:08
145.   D4P
144
And there will probably be many more than 12 co-murderers.
2005-12-02 13:42:43
146.   Paul B
141 In the end, these questions are utterly unanswerable in isolation. As Jon's post suggests, the money spent on Furcal could mean any of a number of things. We can't know if any single transaction is "worth it" unless we have a pretty good sense of what else is out there and how much we have to spend on it. I myself remain uncertain about Furcal's value. But I've definitely warmed to the idea more than I ever thought possible, based on the context and what it might mean (again, as per Jon's post).
2005-12-02 13:47:32
147.   dsfan
Defensive stats see everything?

Do they weigh consequence of error, which runs the spectrum?

The human eyes of field personnel can certainly measure the consequences of errors or other miscues.

Do the stats weight consequence of success, which also runs the spectrum?

The human eyes of field personnel certainly do.

Do you truly believe Izzy was a below average SS in 2004?

Depo, who has accesss to better stats, appeared to believe Izzy was pretty significant in the team's first NL West title since 2004.

Didn't he give him an extension thereafter?

Are you wholly dismissive of the field personnel and scouts who saw Izzy regularly and said his defense was above average at a premimum position in 2004 (and 2003)?

Perhaps you are privy to the defensive stats the teams like the A's have.
Are these AVM-like reports?

One other thing Reg: I cited Choi's post June 14 slugging percentage as .365 based on a Baseball Musings database. You said that number was way low. Did you verify?

2005-12-02 13:48:55
148.   scareduck
140 - BPro had him tagged with a 99 Rate2 score that year, a hair under league average.
2005-12-02 13:50:05
149.   dsfan
Would you guys have shot Pierre's backers in 2003?

Or better, Pierre himself?

Yankees fans wish you had. Pierre and the Marlins would have one fewer WS ring if you'd taken him out.

2005-12-02 13:50:11
150.   dsfan
Would you guys have shot Pierre's backers in 2003?

Or better, Pierre himself?

Yankees fans wish you had. Pierre and the Marlins would have one fewer WS ring if you'd taken him out.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-12-02 13:51:46
151.   scareduck
*Depo, who has accesss to better stats, appeared to believe Izzy was pretty significant in the team's first NL West title since 2004.

Didn't he give him an extension thereafter?*

Depo also signed Jose Valentin. Are we to read into that signing all sorts virtues as well?

Depo also signed Derek Lowe and Odalis Perez. Your point?

2005-12-02 13:51:48
152.   Uncle Miltie
His OF arm is horrible so play him in LF.
At a position where you expect players to post a minimum of an .800 OPS? Pierre is a below average defender and hitter. He'd be a downgrade from Cruz.

Great post Jon. I'm still not optimistic about Bradley returning. Another thing I found interesting:
"If Furcal is on this team, we'd still have a place for Izturis," Colletti said. "He's a good player."
"At this point in time, I'm open-minded," Colletti said of keeping Bradley. "We'll see how it goes. He's a very good player."
At least he doesn't see Izturis and Bradley as equals.

I think Ned is saying all the right things (about Izturis and Bradley) because he plans on trading them (in Izturis' case, only if he lands Furcal).

2005-12-02 14:00:48
153.   the OZ
147 -

Unique paragraph structure...Distrust for statistical defensive measures...Bearish on Choi...

Could it be...Plaschke?!?! :)

2005-12-02 14:02:41
154.   scareduck
153 - :-)
2005-12-02 14:05:12
155.   regfairfield
147 I was wrong about the Choi thing, because I didn't realize he went 5 for 37 the rest of the month. I apologize. However, the point still stands that in his career, Choi is markedly better when he gets playtime and he deserves a chance.

According to what I saw, no I don't believe that Izturis was below average.

However, I can't measure every ball hit to him, taking into account where he started from, where he finished and the final result. No one can. Because stats are a measure of what happened, and can pay far more attention than I can, I'll believe them.

2005-12-02 14:12:50
156.   dzzrtRatt
I keep reading this idea of trading Gagne. This is the definition of taking an idea to its absurd extremes.

Sure, every team could gain great value by trading their biggest star, best player and biggest gate attraction. Teams would give up a lot to get Albert Pujols or Johan Santana. But it doesn't happen very often, because it doesn't make any sense. You can't replace a player who makes that kind of impact, no matter who you get back. There are a few players in the MLB who exist on another plane of talent and production. Getting two or three very good players back for one of these supermen-types might pencil out if you're playing with a pencil, but on the field, it's a whole other thing.

Add to the fact that Gagne is coming off an injury, which means you wouldn't even accomplish goal #1. Trading him now would require accepting some level of discount as the risk of his recovery shifts to the other team.

You voluntarily trade your biggest star only when it's a situation like the D-backs had with Randy Johnson--the team finished last, by a lot, and Unit wasn't going to help them. Even then, that trade was a net loser for Arizona. They were forced to take a player who'd made it clear he was a one-year stopgap.

It was one thing to trade LoDuca. He was never as good as he was popular, and he was in decline. But anyone who wants to trade Gagne just hasn't seen him pitch.

We just have to hope his injury and recovery hasn't negatively affected the special gift he has. But it should be the Dodgers who get to find that out.

2005-12-02 14:16:11
157.   jasonungar05
I get so sick of stats sometimes and I am a stat guy. We all complain that we have 4 OFers who have never once played 162 games and here is a cheap guy that has not missed a game in 3 years and all I hear about is his OPS. He can be added to the mix, and can be had for not that much

Out of curiosity, Who was the last dodger to score 100 runs from the leadoff spot? This guy has essentailly done it for 5 straight years. Isn't that a worthy stat?

Last 10 WS Series champs:

2005: Posednick-80 runs in 127 games at leadoff.

2004: Damon-123 runs from leadoff spot.

2003: Pierre-100 runs from leadoff spot

2002: Eckstein or Erstad 103/99 runs from leadoff (can't recall who batted 1 or 2)

2001: Arizona didn't have a 100 run guy.

2000: Jeter or Knoblach. Jeter had 113 runs, Chucky 75 in 102 games with the yankees.

1999: Chucky or Jeter- chucky 120 runs. Jeter 134

1998: Chucky or Jeter-chucky 117/Jeter 127

1997: Marlins-no one.

1996: I belive Jeter was leadoff, I may be wrong 103 runs.

1995 Braves-no one.

I realize you gotta have guys to knock them in. But I can see why Ned is targeting a leadoff guy. I feel that if Furcal was not a leadoff guy, he wouldn't be a potential dodger.

2005-12-02 14:23:10
158.   dsfan
Not sure I'd compare Gagne to Pujols or Santana.

Better comparison: Nomar in decline when Theo dealt him.

I'm advocating finding his worth.

If you get a very good deal...maybe you do it.

I'd move him for Coco Crisp in a package.

The LAD have precious little leverage in player acquisition. Gagne could be the exception.

2005-12-02 14:29:56
159.   dsfan
Trading Randy Johnson was a great move by Az, not a net loser.

Ariz. saved $19 million, a huge sum for a franchise that has loads of debt.

Pitching in a hitters home park, Javier Vazquez was decent last year and LHP Halsey was OK given his youth and small salary. Navarro gave them pretty good value, too.

Even with the big contract, Vazquez should have pretty good trade value. Minaya's so goofy, he might give Az. Milledge and another arm for Vazquez.

2005-12-02 14:31:53
160.   Marty
I don't see how you can get anything for Gagne until you find out if he can throw 95 mph again. Until we know how he recovers, his value is nil in my opinion.
2005-12-02 14:33:13
161.   Jacob L
OK, I just looked up Coco's numbers. Am I missing something?
2005-12-02 14:34:39
162.   Jacob L
159 Couldn't you say that Ariz used most of their savings on Unit to extend Shawn Green?
2005-12-02 14:45:44
163.   dzzrtRatt
Maybe I've had too much coffee but...COCO CRISP??? He's a nice little player, but he's a small piece at best, not a difference-maker. You're right -- that's the kind of player we'd get for Gagne. We could get two or three of them. But it wouldn't make up for losing a guy like that.

Gagne "in decline"? What's the evidence for this? Gagne got hurt. Was he declining at the end of 2004? That's the last time any of us saw him healthy. The comparison to Nomar is instructive. Who did the Sox get for him? Basically, two rentals: Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mantciewicz, neither of whom particularly essential to their WS win that year. That trade was addition by subtraction--a Nomar dump.

To me, the only thing I'd consider for Gagne is whether he should be a starter, so the Dodgers can get more value out of his incredible talent.

I'll give you this: IF at midyear the Dodgers have already lost 50 games, and IF it's completely clear Gagne will leave as a FA, THEN you might trade him--without expecting a whole lot in return. Otherwise, the idea is a non-starter.

2005-12-02 14:46:31
164.   Bob Timmermann
I was wondering who was the leadoff hitter for the 1996 Yankees. Jeter batted leadoff at the end of the year and in the postseason, but for most of the year, Boggs led off. Jeter batted 9th more than any other spot.
2005-12-02 14:49:12
165.   King of the Hobos
The Angels signed Hector Carrasco for 2 years with an option. Rumor is it's $3 mil a year, that seems like way too much

Wilson Alvarez made his first appearance in a winter league yesterday (pitched 3 scoreless innings). What happens if he decides he can pitch next year?

Ponson has reportedly stopped drinking, lost weight and grown his hair out. The last being by far the most important. He also says he wants to be a starter, unless a team will allow him to close. I think he's crazy

2005-12-02 14:52:46
166.   Steve
and can be had for not that much

Says you. Says ESPN, the Marlins asked for Eric Duncan from the Yankees.

2005-12-02 14:56:32
167.   molokai
165
He is under contract. A healthy Wilson would be a nice surprise.
2005-12-02 15:02:16
168.   King of the Hobos
The Blue Jays have DFA'd Chad Gaudin. He gave up a lot of homers and hits in 13 IP, giving him a very high ERA, but he was pretty good in AAA and prior. Not to mention he'd only be 23 next season. Could be worth it.

The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks released Tony Batista despite a year left on the 2 years, $15 mil contract he got. I'm not recommending him, but he's out there now

2005-12-02 15:04:43
169.   SiGeg
161 OK, I just looked up Coco's numbers. Am I missing something?

Well, sometimes there is a prize at the bottom of the box, right?

DzzrtRatt is right on Gagne. And it's one thing to muse about whether trading him would be a good idea. But I hope you don't actually believe that Colletti might be doing the same, especially before the season starts. It's simply not going to happen.

2005-12-02 15:04:52
170.   dsfan
Gagne's elbow is a ticking bomb and the Vitamin S reputation isn't comforting. LAD aren't going to the 2006 World Series and Boras will take him to free agency.

Crisp would help the offense and the defense and you get $8 million or so extra to spend.

Crisp would be the only OF on the LAD who projects as as a good bet to start 140 games or more. Above average defense in LF, OK in CF, some pop 15-17 HR, good speed, decent OBP skills that could be on the rise.

Coco's worth pursuing as the main piece in a package with a young Clev. arm such as Sowers or a Miller.

It isn't easy to replace a closer but the A's did it a few times and maybe Brazo or Sanchez has it in him, though I'd gulp and sign a stop-gap such as Todd Jones.

2005-12-02 15:07:25
171.   Marty
170 How much would you give for someone with a ticking time-bomb elbow and steroid rep?
2005-12-02 15:07:38
172.   dsfan
I don't know how Az. spent its $19 million in saving on RJ.

Shawn Green wouldn't have been a great choice. Certainly they committed real dollars to him.

2005-12-02 15:12:55
173.   molokai
168
Hey, he is one of my favorite players that hasn't worked out. Saw him pitch for the DevilRays when they brought him up to early. He looked nasty for someone so young. I think the Devilrays ruined him but I would love for us to give him a chance.

Coco Crisp is just as good as Milton without the baggage. He just turned 26, he's a switch hitter, he's not a good CF, but he's an above average LF.
Coco
2004/297/344/446
2005/300/345/465
MB
2004/267/362/424
2005/290/350/484

But using BP translated numbers from the DT card and you get
Coco
2004/307/356/470
2005/316/370/505
MB
2004/275/367/436
2005/295/355/505

No he's not worth Gagne but he's a solid ballplayer who at 26 has some upside.

2005-12-02 15:14:32
174.   dsfan
I wouldn't give up a ton for Gagne, but it's all about finding what the marketplace might say and what better time than now and you could attach a Ledee and a prospect to get more options.

The marketplace can produce some pretty interesting results. Two months ago, would you have believed that BJ Ryan would get $47 million, that Tom Gordon would get $18 million or that the Indians would be throwing big money at Trevor Hoffman?

Thorough medical contingencies to finish a Gagne deal would be attached and lessen some risk.

2005-12-02 15:15:18
175.   King of the Hobos
The problem with Crisp is he's only good for a .750-.800ish OPS, isn't a very good base stealer, his doubles power could diminish at Dodger Stadium, and at 26 isn't especially young (although he's hardly old). Bradley is as good if not better than Crisp, and wouldn't cost Gagne
2005-12-02 15:23:15
176.   SiGeg
Rob Neyer today lists Weaver as one of this year's possible FA bargains -- but only if he gets a contract similar to Loaiza's ($7million/year).

He also lists Byung-Hyun Kim:
"But while Kim is fantastic (.204 batting average allowed) against right-handed batters (just like Bradford), he's also plenty effective against the lefties, allowing a .249 batting average. Still only 26, Kim has been successful in his career as both a starter and a reliever, and he might spend another decade or more in the majors. But because Kim was hurt in 2004 and pitching for the Rockies in 2005, right now he's exactly the sort of pitcher who might be signed for pennies on the dollar."

Kim's been mentioned very little here. Any thoughts?

2005-12-02 15:24:30
177.   dsfan
Molokai:

Thanks for your research on Crisp.

Indeed he's offensively comparable to Milton B. without the baggage. Less capable in CF but certainly a good defender in LF.

And again, one of the key points (though not my primary one) to my advocacy for Crisp is that he's a pretty good bet to play 140-plus games.

Can that be said of any other LAD outfielder, including the 26-year-old Bradley?

Crisp is a tad more than a "nice little player." He's an everday player with assets on both sides of the ball and a low salary. As for his upside, there's the rub. Very, very tough call.

I kind of doubt Cleveland will move him. They've turned down many clubs.

2005-12-02 15:27:15
178.   Sushirabbit
(re: izzy fielding), he just looked good because of Cora.

I agree that SS is a position of weakness, but defensively there he and Cora were pretty darn good. I think the crappy outfield, accentuated the fact that Izturis wasn't really a lead off hitter, even though he had some speed. He was always a number 8 hitter.

2005-12-02 15:28:18
179.   dsfan
King of Hob:

I'm not advocating moving Bradley should the LAD get Crisp.

I'd keep Bradley in CF.

A Crisp/Bradley/Drew OF works just fine with Cruz a very good fourth OF and Werth the fifth guy.

Playing time shouldn't be an issue given the injury histories of Bradley, Drew, Cruz (terrible back problems last year) and Werth.

I'd toss Ledee to Cleveland.

Repko's in Triple-A.

2005-12-02 15:30:20
180.   Sushirabbit
uh, er, I can hear the chamber getting loaded... I mean, to me, after Dave Roberts left, LA lacked a prototypical lead-off guy, I would have stuck with Bradley-Choi as 1, 2. But my big pappy didn't see it that way, but that's ok he's my pappy in Pitts-burgh, PA, now. That will be as much fun as the McCourt sideshow.
2005-12-02 15:30:40
181.   dsfan
Reg,

Just saw your earlier post. Cool of you, and much props on the Choi stat.

Again, I believe LAD could do worse than Choi at 1B for those dollars but am less enamored of him than many of his backers.

2005-12-02 15:38:30
182.   werthgagne31
From the scouting report that i read in this discussion, it said that guzman could contribute at 3b mid season and said it could be his permanent position.

It also said loney would be ready for 2007.

So with that and colletti pursuing furcal, could laroche move to 2b permanently and we will see an infield of loney or choi at 1b, laroche at 2b, furcal at ss, guzman at 3b in 2007. It also said that kemp should be ready for 2007, so drew, kemp, ? outfield in 2007.

But in 2006, could we have choi 1b, kent 2b, furcal ss, aybar/robles/perez 3b till mid season then kent 1b, izturis 2b, furcal ss, guzman 3b or kent traded at trade deadline if we are out of it and choi still at 1b.

I was surprised to see that the report said tiffany would be ready for 2007.

It also said billingsley would be our fifth starter this season.

2005-12-02 15:54:20
183.   dsfan
Call me a skeptic on every LAD pitching prospect, Billingsley included.

Gagne, who arrived in 1999, has been golden, yes. But how much production have LAD received from ther homegrown pitchers the last 3-5 years?

In particular, what LAD homegrown starting pitchers have given major league value with any consistency the last 3-5 years?

Every other team in the NL Worst, even Colorado, has done a better job of it, which is pretty incredible when you consider the resources at LAD's disposal and a fringe benefit of having a pitchers park to nurture tender young arms.

Such a dismal record should be considered when people get giddy over the present farm system and "all that pitching."

Depo gave us a clue last winter when he spend $50 million on two starting pitchers. This pipeline is far from a sure thing.

2005-12-02 15:55:41
184.   FirstMohican
I can't believe you guys like Ana Lucia.

Can't stand her.

(I think I'm a little late on this)

2005-12-02 15:59:31
185.   werthgagne31
http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20051202&content_id=1275116&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la

Winter meetings checklist from dodgers.com

It says dealing strengths are of couse the prospects and it said either navarro or martin, and it also said both perez's odalis and antonio along with sanchez,brazoban.

Interesting.

2005-12-02 15:59:59
186.   Bob Timmermann
Ana Lucia is not for everyone's tastes.

She strikes me as a high maintenance type.

"Honey, I told you to buy Charmin, not Scott!" BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

2005-12-02 16:05:27
187.   scareduck
183 - Depo gave us a clue last winter when he spend $50 million on two starting pitchers. This pipeline is far from a sure thing.

That's a good point, but you could also read it as giving the kids some breathing room so they don't have to be the solution.

2005-12-02 16:08:39
188.   FirstMohican
The whole leader/follower thing was already dramatized with Jack and I felt like it went too far with Ana Lucia. Her orders were ludacris and people grudgingly obeyed for no reason apparent to me. Saving everyone's ass once only goes so far. Maybe there's a reason for the ridiculous obedience.

I also don't care for how her characters all seem exactly the same. I'll pass on the overcompensating badass girl.

2005-12-02 16:10:16
189.   dsfan
183 agreed
2005-12-02 16:13:22
190.   Rob M
183 - not developing a starter besides Gagne the last 5 years means nothing for the future. What about all the starters we developed in the 80s and early 90's? Fernando, Orel, Ramon, Pedro, Astacio, Park, etc. That didn't tell you much about the future either. There seems to be a consensus that we have a lot of quality arms on the farm. At least a few should come through.
2005-12-02 16:16:04
191.   blue22
185 - If the Mets were willing to accept Julio from Balt for Kris Benson, surely they'd prefer Brazo, right?

189 - Really going out on a limb agreeing with yourself there dsfan... :p

2005-12-02 16:17:17
192.   FirstMohican
183 - The system wasn't hyped until the last year or two.

If your argument was "yeah, the system has been hyped for 10 years, there's no results, so why's this hype any different?" then I could see where you were coming from.

I'm not necessarily saying that the past is no indicator of the future, but like 190 says, if the past was a perfect indicator of the future then we would've had a Pedro every two years coming from the farm.

2005-12-02 16:19:02
193.   Bob Timmermann
Just like a financial investment prospectus says:

"Past peformance does not guarantee future results."

But right now, Baseball America and John Sickels are sort of the S&P and Moody's of the minor leagues.

2005-12-02 16:20:05
194.   Jon Weisman
114 - Molokai, I understand part of your post was from an e-mail that scout sent you, but regarding the main part of it, that's too much of someone else's work to post here, unless he gave you specific permission to do so.
2005-12-02 16:21:04
195.   trainwreck
When comparing Coco Crisp to Bradley it is important to point out Bradleys's 2003 season... .321/421/501. I would say Bradley is the better player and he has the potential to be very good. What I have noticed is that Bradley has gotten too aggressive and tries to hit for too much power now. He needs to go back to being his patient self and not trying to swing for the fences on every pitch.
2005-12-02 16:30:27
196.   dsfan
oops, agree with 187
2005-12-02 16:38:31
197.   dzzrtRatt
Are we going to hear any news today? I'm getting impatient with speculating about Coco Crisp who, if he ever joins the Dodgers, will be pushing 40. I want something to actually happen.
2005-12-02 16:39:15
198.   trainwreck
The ESPN chicago radio station is saying the Cubs have upped their offer to Furcal to 5 years 56 million with a player option for a 6th. I believe Furcal is meeting with Flanders tonight.
2005-12-02 16:40:34
199.   blue22
197 - Any news? The Yankees made a move today - that's more than enough for one day.

When does Steinbrenner regret the Farnsworth deal - August? June?

2005-12-02 16:42:07
200.   Jon Weisman
By the way, while every player has a price worth being traded for, let me go on record as saying that the Dodgers shouldn't worry or even think about trading Gagne until/unless they are out of the pennant race on July 31. If need be, they can get plenty of value for him then. To do anything sooner would, in all likelihood, be premature.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-12-02 16:42:46
201.   blue22
198 - I understand the security of a long-term contract and all, but if Furcal takes the reported 3/39M from LA he would be a free agent again at age 30. To break even, he'd simply need to sign another 2/17M deal at that time.
2005-12-02 16:47:15
202.   trainwreck
Haha what happens if Flanders does not get Furcal? Who is the next person to get insane money thrown at them? Do we start dealing?
2005-12-02 16:47:48
203.   dzzrtRatt
The Farnsworth deal seems straight out of the Yankees of the 80s. Farnsworth is going to wind up in the same loony bin as Ed Whitson and Steve Trout.
2005-12-02 16:51:01
204.   dzzrtRatt
I don't know if the report on the Dodgers offering Furcal more dollars/year in a shorter deal is true, but that seems like the best way to differentiate ourselves from the Cubs. Colletti should be telling Furcal he'll want to test the FA waters again after 2008, not be locked down for a measly $11.2 million for five long years for a team that's got nowhere near the Dodgers' upside.
2005-12-02 16:53:39
205.   blue22
203 - I personally think that Farnsworth is a good-to-great reliever, who puts up terrific numbers but gets a bad rap because of some untimely failures (similar to Armando Benitez in the late '90s). But $5M+ to pitch the 8th inning - wow. They must think that Rivera's clock is ticking.
2005-12-02 16:56:39
206.   trainwreck
205-
How much should a player get to pitch one inning? Because we pay Eric Gagne a ton to do just that.
2005-12-02 17:00:51
207.   blue22
206 - The Yanks currently pay Rivera Gagne-money to pitch the most important (two) innings. Farnsworth is earning Paul Byrd-type money, to pitch 1/3 the innings. He better make them effective innings.
2005-12-02 17:05:56
208.   blue22
Stark on Bradley:

"OK, it's true Bradley isn't a threat to appear on the cover of Model Citizen Monthly. But he is A) still only 27 years old, B) not half as volatile as he's made out to be and C) a heck of a talent. So he will be traded -- and probably sooner than later. The Dodgers have had nibbles from the Yankees, Astros and Cubs. But the team most interested is (surprise) Oakland, which has never met a talented bargain it didn't like. "

Good to see this non-tendering talk is going away.

2005-12-02 17:07:29
209.   Telemachos
In other news, Congress decides it has nothing better to do than look into the BCS.

http://tinyurl.com/8xmym

2005-12-02 17:08:04
210.   Bob Timmermann
From checking a Japanese baseball website, Nikkan Sports is reporting that the Orix Buffaloes are interested in

GRABOWSKI

2005-12-02 17:13:58
211.   Jon Weisman
209 -

Oh. For. Crying. Out. Loud!

Next, Congress calls out the NBA for not enforcing the traveling rule. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

2005-12-02 17:18:08
212.   dzzrtRatt
205 What I was driving at was Farnsworth's ability to survive adversity in New York. A lot of good pitchers got their confidence shattered in Yankee Stadium. You got rats on the Westside, bedbugs Uptown....
2005-12-02 17:21:27
213.   TheDictator
OK, I was not reading this site when Dave Roberts was on the team. What exactly was wrong with him, besides the fact that he was always hurt which didn't seem to matter to DePo anyway?

He has a lifetime OBP of .340, is that not good enough?

Thanks

2005-12-02 17:22:45
214.   natepurcell
Maybe Nate can discuss whether he thinks Andy LaRoche can move to 2nd base and Guzman to 3b.

i personally dont think laroche can move to 2b and be effective there. laroche has a third basemen's build, thick lower body. His feet are also not quick enough to move to 2b.
i would just leave laorche at 3b.

but a certain 3b that i do advocate a serious inquiry in switching positions is blake dewitt to 2b; which is something the dodgers are seriously thinking about as well.

hey molokai, those scouting reports were awesome man. i appreciate those. its grea to get more opinions from respected scouts (not dayn perry). can you give me a link to where i can buy his book or just peep around the website some more?

2005-12-02 17:26:33
215.   Jon Weisman
213 - DePo said earlier this year that his biggest regret as GM was trading Roberts.
2005-12-02 17:27:16
216.   natepurcell
nevermind, its baseballhq.com

i was stupid there for a second.

2005-12-02 17:27:36
217.   King of the Hobos
Stoneman announced that the Angels will pull out of the hunt for Paul Byrd. Instead, they plan to use Carrasco in the rotation. The guy will be 37 and has 6 career starts. Saunders and Weaver could compete for the spot
2005-12-02 17:27:53
218.   Jon Weisman
213 - The Steve theory about trading Roberts was that Roberts was not as good as Werth, and that DePodesta traded Roberts to keep Tracy from making the wrong lineup decisions.

But the Dodgers' subsequent needs for fourth and fifth outfielders to play a lot of games caused DePo to have regrets.

2005-12-02 17:30:41
219.   dzzrtRatt
213 Also the arrival and/or emergence of Bradley, Werth and Choi made Roberts appear expendable. After the July trade that brought in Choi to play 1B, Green was moved back to RF temporarily (until Tracy decided Choi should be benched.) During that brief period is when Roberts was tossed away.
2005-12-02 17:31:20
220.   natepurcell
ohhh, we should swoop in and get byrd. he would be solid in DS.
2005-12-02 17:32:01
221.   dzzrtRatt
217 another example of FA-reakonomics.
2005-12-02 17:36:30
222.   scareduck
209 - better that (from their point of view) than investigating why there's a secret American gulag where prisoners are being detained forever, tortured, etc., not to mention shipped to third countries where this kind of thing is perfectly illegal if just as immoral.
2005-12-02 17:37:31
223.   trainwreck
I really like the idea of giving Kenny Rogers a one year deal. He had a very good VORP, a DERA of 3.40, he eats up a lot of innings, his k/bb ratio was not anything to brag about but the previous two years it was much much better, and he did all this in Arlington. Yea he is a jerk, so what haha.
2005-12-02 17:39:34
224.   Marty
212 Nice Stones reference.
2005-12-02 17:41:05
225.   Jon Weisman
The Carrasco thing is reminding me of Terry Adams' signing a contract to be a starting pitcher with the Phillies. Except even Adams had more starting experience.
2005-12-02 17:41:47
226.   natepurcell
getting either byrd or rogers on a one yr, second yr option deal would be very wise moves.
2005-12-02 17:41:51
227.   trainwreck
Maybe Rogers hits Plaschke I think that makes him an automatic signing.
2005-12-02 17:42:17
228.   Jon Weisman
224 - No love for my Carpenters quote this morning???
2005-12-02 17:47:13
229.   Marty
228 I missed it. But I avoided the Carpenters like the plague, so it may be wasted on me.
2005-12-02 17:51:50
230.   GoBears
He has a lifetime OBP of .340, is that not good enough?

For a guy who brings nothing to the table (performance-wise) besides speed (no power, lousy OF arm, adequate range), and who is supposed to lead your team in plate appearances if only he can stay healthy, NO, a .340 OBP is not nearly good enough.

He seems like a great guy, but he's a 4th OFer at best.

2005-12-02 17:52:58
231.   willhite
226 -

Byrd supposedly already has at least one 3-year offer. No way he would take 1 + 1 and have to call Frank McCourt his boss on top of it.

I doubt Rogers will settle for a 1 yr deal either. Someone out there will give him 2 or 3.

2005-12-02 17:56:51
232.   GoBears
I should add to 230 the admission that Roberts is of course better than Repko, but (1) DePo didn't know that'd be the tradeoff, and (2) not every player who has been a fulltime starter is all that pleased about moving to the bench, or capable of it. Choi did so without complaining, but wasn't good off the bench. I wonder if Roberts would have, and I now wonder Werth would. Nice idea to have a 5th OF with Werth's skills, but it might not work unless he really started to play every day due to injuries elsewhere.
2005-12-02 17:58:27
233.   Jon Weisman
230 - In a year, Roberts went from being overrated to being underrated. His .284 EQA in 2005 was a career-high. Over 475 plate appearances, I'll take that.
2005-12-02 18:02:13
234.   Linkmeister
228 I saw it, but I've only added one comment all day, and the Carpenters reference was extraneous to what I was saying about my patellar tendon. ;)
2005-12-02 18:25:51
235.   dzzrtRatt
I loved the Carpenters' reference. Alleged hipsters like me used to turn up their nose at the Carpenters, but now I think Richard Carpenter was the only true heir to Brian Wilson for arranging vocal harmonies. And Karen's voice was really different. Prozac-like. Their records are brilliant and much more subversive than they appeared.
2005-12-02 18:32:58
236.   Marty
Point me to the Carpenters reference. I'm so ignorant of them (other than the anorexia thing) that I wouldn't know it if I saw it.
2005-12-02 18:33:16
237.   GoBears
233 Didn't realize he had THAT good a year last year. Some of that is those unexpected HRs to the RF corner. But still, at 475 PAs, due again to injury, he can't do that as a full-time starter.
2005-12-02 18:34:48
238.   GoBears
236 "we've only just begun to spend. Greenbacks and promises. A kiss for luck and we're on our way."
2005-12-02 18:36:02
239.   scareduck
235 - I think a lot of people have confused engineering quality (the Carpenters' records were all meticulously recorded) with musical quality. Brian Wilson seems a bit of a stretch to me; the Carpenters weren't really ever that adventurous. But Christ did they make a ton of money. A lot of it got donated to the CSULB music department (they have some fine performing arts facilities with the name Carpenter attached), which isn't surprising because that's where they studied. My mom knows the backstory a little better than I do, but I seem to recall there were one or two guys in the choral music department there who really, really shaped their musical style.
2005-12-02 18:40:04
240.   Linkmeister
Well, I'll admit it. I have most of their albums on vinyl. She could really sing, and Richard was a helluvan arranger.
2005-12-02 18:40:34
241.   YLT
Clearly, we need another outfielder. Now that Giles is off of the table, what do we do? I'm interested in Wilkerson. What do you think we'd have to give up to get him, and do you think it would be worth it? I haven't seen much discussion of Wilkerson's credentials as compared with other "available" outfielders.
2005-12-02 18:54:39
242.   molokai
[241
I think most of us would love to get a hold of Wilkerson but according to reports the Nationals are asking alot.

OT: Just finished seeing "walk the line". The signature guitar continues to pulsate within my brain. That is a good thing. If anyone is a Johnny Cash fan they should check out the last Rosanne Cash disk. He sang one small part on one song and his voice just carried all of humanity on it as he knew his time was up. A deeply stirring song for anyone whose watched their family get old.

2005-12-02 18:58:28
243.   molokai
231
Rogers gets no respect. He is like the Reggie Sanders of pitching without the pennants. Six different teams in 9 years. I've always wondered how he would do in a pitchers ballpark. Most of his career he's pitched in hitters ballparks. I thought he'd make a great fit here because he starts out great and runs out of gas in July just when Billingsly would be ready.
2005-12-02 19:09:10
244.   dsfan
Depo should regret trading Roberts to the same extent that Theo Epstein rejoices over obtaining Roberts from Depo.

Epstein rightly perceived that for a contending club, Roberts was a valuable reserve.

While Roberts gave Boston good value in several roles in the Sox drive to the playoffs and the World Series, Jason Grabowski, the man Depo retained over Roberts, was an obstacle to the LAD winning a tight race for the NL West title. Grabo and newcomer Choi were terrible LH pinch-hitting options for Tracy, who could've used Roberts versatility in those September chess matches.

But the bigger story here relating to Robert is that Depo made a critical mistake the likes of which Theo would not:

He failed to get a decent marketplace valuation of Dave Roberts before trading him.

That's a big no-no for a GM.

And it's probably why Depo, to his credit, lists this seemingly two-bit transaction as his lone regret while Depo backers fail to see the big picture.

Even a dubious leadodff hitter/CF such as Roberts had a LOT more value in the marketplace than Depo perceived. And it's the marketplace that matters more, of course.

While many GMs were unaware that DR was available, Theo got Roberts for a six-pack of Pabst -- the redoubtable Henri Stanley, whose sexy OBP numbers have beguiled many sabermaticians but mask other flaws that make Henry 4A Lite.

After Roberts gave Theo excellent value in the 2004 season/ALCS, Epstein then plugged him into the marketplace with far greater aplomb than Depo did.

Of course, Theo is a more dynamic personality, one who has many contacts in the industry and is plugged into the information network in a vital way that gets overlooked in these forums, where trades and transactions are made in a virtual vacuum.

In return for little Davey Roberts, Epstein got:

* 2.65 million in cash.
* Jay Payton, who while overpaid at the time is legit major leaguer who last summer gave stellar returns to the A's after Theo dealt him for Chad Bradford.
* Ramon Vazquez, a utility man who alone has more value than Stanley.
* David Pauley, a pretty good Double-A pitcher. Pauley alone certainly now has more value than Stanley, who will turn 28 next week.

Hopefully Depo also realizes that if he had wished to keep Roberts and the mighty Grabo -- who plagued Tracy again this year -- that indeed was possible. Just 30 days later the 25-man roster could be expanded. A ribcage strain for the indispensable Grabo would've bought the needed time to keep both he and DR on the roster. Tracy could've had Roberts for his chess matches.

2005-12-02 19:16:08
245.   LAT
Maybe someone mentioned this before, but McCovey Chronicals, a Giants blog, has a well written analysis of why the Giants should use the inside track with Mr. Ned to trade for Hee Sop.

http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/

How ironical.

2005-12-02 19:22:18
246.   the OZ
239 - A friend of mine played guitar on some of those Carpenters records. He's done a ton of session playing and composing with a different artists since the 70s. He remarked that Karen Carpenter had the best voice of anyone he'd ever heard live.
2005-12-02 19:49:42
247.   Vishal
[188] is that ludacris the rapper or ludicrous the adjective? :)
2005-12-02 19:59:06
248.   natepurcell
is saenz a type anything free agent?
2005-12-02 20:03:08
249.   King of the Hobos
248 No
2005-12-02 20:04:30
250.   PadreJeremy
Could the Dodger franchise be in any more disarray? They have a solid ss, 2b, and a 1b with power(which the Dodgers lack) who has yet to be given a full year to see what he can do, combined with having some premium infield prospects, and a current OF that includes two injury prone players who may or may not produce consistently even if healthy and they are discussing signing Rafael Furcal at 10 mil a year for 5 years?

From a franchise who just fired their GM, this has to be one of the most messed up situations and it isnt getting better. If you have Yankee money, fine, sign him, but if you have Dodger money, you take the 10 mil and buy an OF with some power and stick him in LF. That is just for starters.

Dodger fans have to be going crazy. This sure isnt the 70s anymore.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-12-02 20:07:56
251.   natepurcell
is dessens a type anything fa?
2005-12-02 20:13:32
252.   molokai
250
And the Padres are a shining example of how to run a franchise? Hope you enjoy Mr. Castillo.
2005-12-02 20:15:55
253.   natepurcell
sweet elmer dessens is a type B free agent.

we will get the royals 2nd round pick. woohoo!

2005-12-02 20:16:02
254.   King of the Hobos
251 Yes, B. Weaver is the only other one (he's an A). Alvarez and Carrara are both A's, but I don't belive we receive compensation for them

Colletti is done with the first set of managerial interviews. Hopefully we can get a manager soon

2005-12-02 20:18:13
255.   natepurcell
if carrera signs with another team before the arb deadline, we could conceivably still offer arby to him and garner the picks.

hey, in this crazy relief pitchers market, it could happen!

2005-12-02 20:18:17
256.   TheDictator
I have read Moneyball but that is all I know about statistical analysis. So just be patient with me.

I can see the merits of a traditional approach and a "moneyball" approach. The traditional approach with a speedy leadoff guy stealing bases, playing good defense, and hitting the cutoff man is exciting baseball that would make me want to go to the ballpark. But it seems that an approach based on OBP plus other factors could help determine how to put a winning team on the field. However, whenever I have had the chance to watch the A's, I have been bored out of my mind. The seem to either walk, hit a home run, but in any scenario it is pitch after pitch after pitch.

Thus, as a fan I think Dave Roberts was a great player who just got hurt too much. As a stat cruncher, I see Dave Roberts as a good backup who is useful when needing only one run, like the BoSox.

As a fan, I would prefer to watch the traditional style. But as a stat person I would want to take a more "moneyball" approach.

However, the fan and stathead in me converge on the issue of Hee Seop Choi! Give the man a chance!

I'm so confused . . .

2005-12-02 20:18:21
257.   trainwreck
How is it decided what type a free agent is?
2005-12-02 20:18:55
258.   Uncle Miltie
"
Dodgers Offer Furcal 3-Year, $40-Million Deal
The Dodgers are so intent on signing free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal that they have offered him a three-year contract worth close to $40 million, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday night."
LA Times
George Steinbrenner would have offered $39.96 million because he hates even numbers.
2005-12-02 20:20:07
259.   trainwreck
256-
Clearyly you did not watch the A's this season. While they are not stealing bases left and right they are not just hitting home runs to score runs.
2005-12-02 20:22:49
260.   dzzrtRatt
239 With all due respect, nah. The Carpenters' records are earphone heaven because of the elaborate multi-tracking of Karen's voice, using harmonies that are extraordinarily dense, and richly dissonant at times. Brian Wilson is a far greater intuitive artist; he's on a level by himself. Richard Carpenter, on the other hand, composed and arranged his music quite consciously applying an education steeped in 20th century harmony as practiced by composers like Hindemith and jazz performers like Monk--or so it seems anyway. And then wrapped all of that in the context of love songs that seem at first to be happy, shimmering and insubstantial, but manage to convey another level--of doubt, fear, insecurity. Even their wedding-day standard "We've Only Just Begun," has duelling sections in major and minor keys, underscoring the ambivalence of the title phrase, almost like it's saying, "...and we might not make it." Given what eventually happened to Karen, I suspect Richard was sending out clues of the family desperation, only partly concealed behind the happy face.
2005-12-02 20:23:16
261.   natepurcell
wow, 3 yrs 40 mil. hot damn, i guess furcal is ours.
2005-12-02 20:23:23
262.   TheDictator
259 - Given that I live in Ohio, I don't get many A's games (or Dodger games for that matter). The only time I did see them was on ESPN with Joe Morgan going on and on. That kinda ruins the experience (even for a person who grew up watching Pete Rose and the Reds)
2005-12-02 20:25:39
263.   natepurcell
How is it decided what type a free agent is?

some crazy formula the Elias Sports Bureau use that talks into account the players previous two season and compares his production with other players of the same position in the same league, free agent or not.

2005-12-02 20:27:38
264.   trainwreck
Yeah I think the A's are pretty much the most represented team in history of sports. Majority of people think they have these crazy strict beliefs. On one of my sports boards this guy said the A's would not want Lastings Milledge because he was drafted out of high school...what?
2005-12-02 20:28:10
265.   trainwreck
*misrepresented
2005-12-02 20:28:44
266.   Vishal
[256] so many people read moneyball and take away "OBP and 3-run homers", but the real idea is that of exploiting market ineffeciences. the value of speed and defense have historically been difficult to quantify and therefore they tend to be overvalued in the market for players. at the time the book was written, OBP was undervalued. it's not so anymore, so the A's (and other smart ballclubs) will adjust and build their teams accordingly.

if you watch the A's these days, you'll find that they're a very good defensive ballclub. perhaps they've figured out a good way to measure defense. they also tend to have a lot of good pitching, which i think is always great to watch. i also like watching a patient at-bat too, though.

2005-12-02 20:30:57
267.   natepurcell
"we fight for furcal!"

-dodgers offseason battle cry

2005-12-02 20:31:02
268.   TheDictator
261 - I think Furcal stays in Atlanta. It is late on the Eastern Time Zone, so I will put this a delicately as possible, Furcal isn't the only one in Atlanta with legal issues. The good ol' boys stick together.

(According to AJC articles I read when I lived in Atlanta, Andruw Jones has problems with strippers and alcohol, Bobby Cox has had issues with Alcohol, and I thought Chipper had some legal issues too but I am not certain)

The Braves have covered up/helped him in the past. Why would he leave that for an organization in disaray that will probably turn on him like they have Milton Bradley.

Just my opinion . . .

2005-12-02 20:31:40
269.   King of the Hobos
It seems Furcal has to decide between more money for fewer years (Dodgers), less money for more years (Cubs), or familiarity (Braves). I have no idea which he prefers
2005-12-02 20:34:08
270.   natepurcell
im impressed with colletti. he got creative to differ the dodgers from other clubs. if i am furcal, the dodgers offer is damn enticing.
2005-12-02 20:34:17
271.   trainwreck
Really how does Ned recover if Furcal rejects him because he seemingly is putting all his eggs in one basket.
2005-12-02 20:35:10
272.   TheDictator
261 - And don't forget that Andruw was called to testify about his association with organized crime back in 2001(?).

I read that Andruw went to a Hawks game recently with Furcal to pursuade (OK I am tired, I can't spell anymore) him to stay in Atlanta.

2005-12-02 20:37:20
273.   trainwreck
Sure looks like handling stardom has been a problem for Andruw Jones.
2005-12-02 20:37:25
274.   Vishal
i don't know how watching the hawks is going to put anybody in a good mood.
2005-12-02 20:38:59
275.   trainwreck
He could probably buy the Hawks with $40 million.
2005-12-02 20:43:20
276.   TheDictator
266 - OK my last post, I agree Moneyball was about exploiting market ineffeciencies and how the A's found a market ineffeciency and exploited them. I also thought statistical approaches were kinda like Platonism for baseball.

I have even taught the Republic using parts of Moneyball as examples! Of course the Dodgers are the Gold philosopher ruler type baseball players with the Giants as the bronze hedonistic people.

So, I do understand the book. And I take more from it than simply OBP and 3 run Hrs.

2005-12-02 20:43:55
277.   dzzrtRatt
261 As has been said, if Furcal turns this down, it will be an incredible boost to the "nobody wants to work for the dysfunctional McCourts" meme. It might be a turning point, one that prompts trade requests from our established stars.

I don't know how to credit what's said above about Furcal's potential legal issues. I remember hearing stuff from an insider about Paul LoDuca, claiming the real reason he was traded was something other than "to get Brad Penny." I expected, based on this tip, that it would come out imminently. It never has, and now I think it's BS. Baseball's like politics and movies--a rumor stew.

2005-12-02 20:48:42
278.   King of the Hobos
Assuming the $18 mil figure is real (for the sake of discussion; I kinda doubt it), and Furcal signs for $13 mil, what do we spend the money on? A backup catcher and lefty masher could be had for the league minimum, or we could get some proven guys. Do sign something like Pratt/Bako, Saenz/Lecroy/Helms/Franco, and maybe a few cheap pitchers? Or do we sign minor league free agents/Rule 5/in-organization for those 2 positions and so for someone like Byrd? Colletti seems intent to allow Jackson, Houlton, Billingsley, Broxton, etc. compete for the last 2 spots of the rotation.

And in an unrelated manner, anyone interested in Marquis? I'm guessing he could be had for one of our major league ready 2Bs, and maybe a reliever or lesser prospect, assuming we pick up his contract. Being his contract year, and looking at his away splits, he could be a very good 4th guy/Weaver-clone for the rotation

2005-12-02 20:50:46
279.   natepurcell
wow. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

We've been talking about Milton Bradley for a week now, and talks are heating up with L.A. Another name the Cubs are seriously considering is Derek Lowe. Lowe had a resurgent year in Los Angeles, and Hendry would feel much safer being able to pencil in 32 starts from him for '06. You can never have too much pitching.

Here and there, you may have heard that Carlos Zambrano could be had in a trade. That's absurd, of course.*

2005-12-02 20:54:51
280.   TheDictator
277 - OK I lied, I am writing again.

All I have mentioned was what I read with my own eyes out of the AJC from 1998-2002. So what I posted was legit to the best of my knowledge.

I did have a friend at Emory who did an internship with the Braves. He told me some crazy stories about the players. But I couldn't tell you if all players acted like that or if it was specific to the Braves so I have kept my mouth shut on it.

Wasn't it David Justice who openly complained about the good ol' boys in Atlanta by saying if you weren't a favorite of management or Cox you were treated as second class citizens? But the favorites could do no wrong.

It would be interesting to have Furcal on the Dodgers but my guess is that he stays with the good ol' boys network.

2005-12-02 20:57:44
281.   King of the Hobos
The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins could be close to dealing Mr. Heart&Soul to the Diamondbacks. No mention of players Arizona would give up
2005-12-02 20:59:06
282.   trainwreck
The Spanish broadcast can be heard at the same time as the English broadcast for the Laker game and it makes things really annoying as everything is muddled and you hear a bunch of noise.
2005-12-02 21:01:29
283.   natepurcell
i hope the dbacks give up quentin, jackson or nippert.
2005-12-02 21:04:55
284.   King of the Hobos
279 I'm really not liking that site. He had one deal, Ronny Cedeno for Brad Wilkerson. His source was some guy who met Barry Larkin's cousin at Thanksgiving. Apparently the cousin leaked the deal to his source. A lot of his other stuff is just known stuff. I wouldn't be completely surprised if he made the Lowe thing up
2005-12-02 21:05:44
285.   trainwreck
What could the Cubs offer us for Bradley and Lowe? I know they will not trade their top pitching prospects and I doubt Pie. If that article was trying to infer Zambrano for Lowe and Bradley, there is no way the Cubs are that stupid.
2005-12-02 21:08:12
286.   natepurcell
i found this interesting. the latest furcal article out of atlanta

Why would the Dodgers offer so much more per year for Furcal than other teams? Perhaps because of insurance. Teams can insure most players' contracts for only three years; the Dodgers might prefer paying more while insured.

2005-12-02 21:11:13
287.   Jon Weisman
271 - Welcome to dating.
2005-12-02 21:19:11
288.   trainwreck
286-
Flanders is an evil genius.
2005-12-02 21:23:47
289.   trainwreck
Tony Kornheiser on PTI:
"I had no idea who Drew Olson was until today and now I have to ask how come he is not the leading Heisman candidate."

30tds to 3 interceptions people need to start paying attention.

2005-12-02 21:26:58
290.   trainwreck
According to NESN, Manny has told his agent to convey the message to teams interested in his services that he would be willing to take a pay cut if it would accelerate a trade out of Boston.
Assistant GM, Jed Hoyer, has stated that the Red Sox have received interest from 12-13 teams regarding Ramirez, with 5 believed to have serious interest, meaning they match up well with Boston in possible trade scenarios.
2005-12-02 21:30:17
291.   trainwreck
Nomar to possibly play for Tracy after all...

http://tinyurl.com/db7ac

2005-12-02 21:54:05
292.   trainwreck
Lakers seem to have forgotten there are two halves to a basketball game.
2005-12-02 22:14:11
293.   D4P
292
And that there are two halves to a basketball court.
2005-12-02 22:14:38
294.   natepurcell
http://www.bravesbeat.com/bravesjournal/archives/2005/12/seems_official.html#comments

speculation there is that furcal took a physical with LA this morning and will be announced tomorrow....

2005-12-02 22:21:18
295.   D4P
294
Who will be next year's "high-priced free agent from the Braves to be signed by the Dodgers"?
2005-12-02 22:26:27
296.   Izzy
The A's have apparently shown some interest in Bradley. And that's not altogether surprising. Couple that with a possible desire to move Zito, and he just might be had for MB and a good young arm. I can't imagine Beane wanting to deal with LA now, but maybe a deal is a deal, and it's not an issue.
2005-12-02 22:33:54
297.   natepurcell
bradley, orenduff and tiffany for zito?
2005-12-02 22:40:48
298.   fawnkyj
Im thinking Bradley, Orenduff and Navarro for Zito. After Kendall's contract is up they will need a catcher. Jeremy Brown wont do it. And last season Kendalls #s werent great. Suzuki i dotn think ill be ready for 2 years IMO.
2005-12-02 22:41:08
299.   LAT
First, this is too much $$$ for Furcal, but what the hell its Frank's dough and if I'm paying for overpriced season tickets he might as well pay for overpriced players. In such, a weak free agent year, there is not a lot of better use for that money.

Second, LoDuca to Az has been roumered for awhile at Az Snakepit I'm wondering why there is no news regarding Glaus? Wish we had enough cash to get him. Furcal leading off, then Choi, Kent, Drew and Glaus. Some one would drive Furcal home. (No pun intended re: "someone should have driven him home before he got those DUIs).

Third, why trade Lowe. Its not a great contract but with Weaver on the way out Lowe is at least respectable and there was a reason he was thought to be well suited to DS.

Finally, becasue none of you know who I am I'll admit it: I like the Carpenters. Leaving on a jet plane. Who's next?

2005-12-02 22:50:24
300.   Vishal
[299] i love singing "top of the world" when i'm doing karaoke :)
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2005-12-02 22:52:27
301.   natepurcell
hmmm

ss furcal
cf bradley
rf drew
2b kent
3b glaus
1b choi
lf cruz
C navarro

2005-12-02 22:55:13
302.   blue22
301 - ok, I'll bite...who did you trade for glaus?
2005-12-02 22:57:03
303.   natepurcell
something probably unrealistic

Trade Odalis Perez joel hanrahan and Eric Hull to the Dbacks for Troy Glaus and 2mil in 2008

2005-12-02 22:58:51
304.   trainwreck
What do you do with LaRoche?
2005-12-02 23:00:12
305.   natepurcell
use glaus for a year, let him hit 30+ homeruns and then trade him next offseason :)

or, when glaus blows out his shoulder, laroche can take over.

2005-12-02 23:01:23
306.   trainwreck
If Furcal does not choose us let's offer some prospects for Ichiro haha he wants out of Seattle I bet.
2005-12-02 23:01:51
307.   blue22
Trade Kent to the Mets if you get Glaus.
2005-12-02 23:03:33
308.   natepurcell
Trade Kent to the Mets if you get Glaus.

for milledge!?!?!

2005-12-02 23:04:52
309.   blue22
308 - Go ahead, you deserve it.
2005-12-02 23:06:39
310.   King of the Hobos
David Wells is apparently telling friends that he will not show up at spring training if the Red Sox don't trade him. He doesn't want to go to an AL team, mentioning the Padres, and possibly the Giants, as his two most desired teams. Strange that he doesn't want to come here...
2005-12-02 23:10:12
311.   LAT
I'm guessing AZ wouldn't require too much in that they want to get out from under his contract.

With Vazquez's departure they desperatly need pitching. Give them Odalis.

They also need a SS as Clayton is a FA. Give them Robles.

With Green and Gonzo they need a 4th outfielder, give them Repko.

They need a catcher if they don't get LoDuca. Give them Phillips. And I do mean give, as in put him out on the curb at night and hope he is gone by morning.

These are all win/win deals. Well, um at least for us.

2005-12-02 23:11:59
312.   GoBears
Has anyone heard any rumors involving Jeff Weaver? I haven't seen anything at all. Weird, because even if he's just league average, he's a horse, never misses a start, and he's better than a lot of guys out there. I figured we'd have heard about some interest somewhere at the very least. Perhaps he's not taking offers yet.

I'm not real excited about the Furcal idea. Unless the budget is bigger than we believe. Because we still at least short-term holes at 3b, LF, and SP. He'll help, but is he worth the cost (and the opportunity costs)?

2005-12-02 23:15:32
313.   natepurcell
boras clients usually sign around late december. Notice you dont hear many rumors about damon either.
2005-12-02 23:15:43
314.   scareduck
290 - According to NESN, Manny has told his agent to convey the message to teams interested in his services that he would be willing to take a pay cut if it would accelerate a trade out of Boston.

What a joke. The same thing happened with A-Rod and the player's union wouldn't let him do it. He can say whatever he wants to, the union won't let him or anyone else take guaranteed money off the table, because then it becomes... unguaranteed, and down that path lies an NFL-style weak union.

2005-12-02 23:16:09
315.   popup
I would say no to Furcal for lots of reasons, including the DUI. I don't demand that a team I root for consist of nothing but upstanding citizens. However, there is a limit to the number of jerks I am willing to accept on a team. Bring in Furcal and Kenny Rogers to join with Jeff Kent, and I would have difficulty wearing a Dodger cap in public. There are other options besides Furcal and Lugo. When I saw Antonio Perez in Vegas he looked like an acceptable shortstop. I would rather root for him than for Furcal/Lugo.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-12-02 23:17:10
316.   scareduck
311 - I expect you could ask for help here --

http://tinyurl.com/62mk4

2005-12-02 23:17:17
317.   trainwreck
I have heard about the Nationals being interested in Weaver.
2005-12-02 23:18:16
318.   scareduck
315 - talk about a clubhouse full of hate! You'd have to put Tanqueray in the Gatorade to keep everyone well-lubricated during games.
2005-12-02 23:26:48
319.   LAT
316. Good call. I wonder if there is a "haul-away" fee associated with this transaction.
2005-12-02 23:31:29
320.   trainwreck
According to mlb.com Dotel has said we are amongst a few teams to offer him a contract. Also the Giants are shopping Feliz so they can sign Mueller.
2005-12-02 23:34:40
321.   natepurcell
Also the Giants are shopping Feliz so they can sign Mueller.

isnt that a downgrade.. or more a lateral move?

2005-12-02 23:34:40
322.   molokai
311
The Diamondbacks have a smart new GM and won't be making to many goofy deals.
They have a young SS by the name of Drew. In two years he will probably be the best SS in the NL.
They have a 4th outfielder named Quentin. He is already probably the best outfielder on the team.
They don't need our scraps. The Diamondbacks are going to be very tough. When they sign Upton's brother they will quickly have the best prospect in baseball. That is not my opinion because I've never seen him play but the opinion of many scouts.
2005-12-02 23:38:04
323.   trainwreck
So much for that talk by Dotel that he would play for the A's for free (or more realistically at a severely discounted price).
2005-12-02 23:40:16
324.   King of the Hobos
322 If Drew is about as healthy as his brother, then maybe he won't be the best SS. Or maybe they could trade him here to be with his brother, then I wouldn't mind him becoming a great SS. We could even sign Tim if we must
2005-12-02 23:43:18
325.   molokai
He could be as unhealthy as his brother and still be the best SS. It is not like the NL is crawling with good shortstops. Not when Lopez or Furcal are the best.
2005-12-02 23:47:37
326.   trainwreck
It should be Joel Guzman. All I hear is that he will grow out of the position, well I doubt he is going to grow anymore and if he apparently plays the position with average or above average efficiency now as people say then why can't he play the position in the bigs? At least let him play there a while then move him if necessary. It would make more sense to me if he was a horrible at defense.
2005-12-02 23:48:02
327.   natepurcell
i thought i read somewhere that scouts dont think hes going to be any good defensively..
2005-12-02 23:50:14
328.   natepurcell
if fergosi is our manager, does that give us another edge in getting furcal?
2005-12-02 23:51:18
329.   trainwreck
Shouldn't we know by now? Are there defensive statistics for minor leaguers. I mean a lot of people think Antonio Perez is a terrible defensive player and then of course there was the whole Kent can not play a lick of defense debate.
2005-12-02 23:52:21
330.   natepurcell
Are there defensive statistics for minor leaguers.

if there are, i havent seen any.

2005-12-02 23:53:31
331.   trainwreck
One would think someone would have thought to do that by now.
2005-12-02 23:54:31
332.   LAT
I was mostly kidding. Trying to clean our house in one fell swoop. The D'Backs have a well stocked farm system. Some say Steven is better than JD. For the D'Backs sake, let's hope he is more durable. And don't forget Conner Jackson. Although with the log jam they have at first and his percieved defensive weakness he may not be untouchable. Not sure if it was here, but somewhere I think I read a roumor of Jackson and another player to the Cubs.

The D'Backs do need pitching, starters and relievers, in the worst way. OP might be a nice fit. On the other hand, OP and Russ Ortiz in the same rotation--that will cause a Mylanta shortage in Phoenix.

2005-12-02 23:57:53
333.   King of the Hobos
The problem is advanced defense metrics require a lot more than, say, counting the number of errors. There are a lot of minor league teams, around 180. At that point, it's just easier to rely on the scouts
2005-12-03 00:00:57
334.   trainwreck
It would just be so great to have a shortstop putting up Tejada in Baltimore type numbers.
2005-12-03 00:02:22
335.   dsfan
Molokai,

I'm slightly less bullish on the Diamondbacks over the next 2-3 years. They should be decent, but they have many issues to solve. Such as:

Scant pitching and five players whose best spot is 1B: Tracy, Glaus, Jackson, Green and Clark. The pacts to Gonzo and Green are pretty inefficient, too, and their catching stinks.

As for S. Drew, no question, he's an exciting prospect with a premium bat, but in his first professional season last year, injuries sidelined him for stretches of at least five games with three different clubs: Independent club, Single-A and Double-A.

Durability gets undervalued so often. Let's see if S. Drew can weather the meat grinder -- which is what a major league season is, especially for a SS.

As for J. Upton, Az. has yet to sign him. He wants $6 million, hasn't played since last spring and is 18 years old. Even Az. finally signs him -- no sure thing -- he's probably 3-4 years away from helping. That's a ton of dough in one basket for a teenager.

Arizona's pitching is pretty thin from top to bottom. Until it rallied in Sept. the Arizona bullpen was on track to be the majors' worst since 1950.

As for bright young GMs, most of them make mistakes that can be attributed to inexeperience. Take Arizona's bright not
so young rookie CEO last year who gave $33 million to Russ Ortiz.

The Rockies let Josh Byrnes make a trade and took away the keys to the car after he dealt Josh Bard and Jody Gerut to the Tribe for Jacob Cruz. Bryne seems to have a lot going for him, no question, but he'll have to learn a few things.

For me Arizona is more interesting than it is impressive.

2005-12-03 00:08:13
336.   das411
298 - Where are they having Daric Barton play these days?

Also, did I miss any talk about this?

http://tinyurl.com/aaeb8

2005-12-03 00:08:59
337.   trainwreck
I have heard Barton to DH or play the outfield.
2005-12-03 00:10:14
338.   trainwreck
Well do both. Oakland has no problems moving Dan Johnson to DH and making Swisher the first baseman since Ron Washington says Swisher is the best first baseman.
2005-12-03 00:14:12
339.   dsfan
If you trade for Glaus, ultimately you probably move him to 1B. He's a big dude in "advancing years" and has got a chronic knee problem. He was really laboring last year.

He's probably better off in the AL.

Look for Az. to send him to Toronto or Boston or Anaheim.

If the Angels swallowed their pride, Glaus would be a nice fit. And Az. could reap a nice windfall: Maybe 2B Kendrick and a decent arm to go with about $30 million in savings.

Shoot, the Angels offered five years, some $50 million for Konerko. Getting Glaus at about $32 million for two prospects seems reasonable.

Glaus is a decent fit for the LAD but a better fit for the AL.

2005-12-03 00:21:00
340.   Steve
Of course, what the Red Sox got for Dave Roberts is not relevant. Roberts' value went up due to one stolen base -- a skill (if one can call it that) everyone already knew he had. He did not have that stolen base in July. It is fairly clear that the Red Sox came away favorably in their subsequent trade, but that is because they rooked an easy-to-fool GM, er, parlayed Roberts' playoff success into perceived value.

Roberts was garbage, is garbage. If DePodesta thinks that should be his biggest regret then he is kidding himself (Offering Jim Tracy an extension and Scott Erickson should head the list, with Edwards, Grabowski, not DFAing Phillips in August, and a list as long as my arm in an utterly incompetent 2005). Roberts had to be cleared from the roster lest he kill us. Tracy-proofing is an end in and of itself. And lest we forget, Werth had a great year, if not as s(crappy). This revisionist love for Dave Roberts is nonsense.

2005-12-03 00:25:50
341.   molokai
He traded the starting CF for a career AAA player. Dave Roberts value didn't go up because of that one stolen base. His whole career he's had an above average success rate and every GM knew it. He was a decent outfielder with no power but alot of speed. You personally may not like that type of player but plenty of GM's do or they wouldn't be trying to trade for Pierre and Gathright right now. It was easily his worse move of 2004.

You are very right that all the other moves you mentioned in 2005 totally trumped that move. Starting and ending with the extension that cost him his job.

2005-12-03 00:30:02
342.   molokai
Evidently the gang of four have no confidence in Robles or A Perez or Guzman as a stopgap until Izzy is ready if the Times story is to be believed that even if they don't get Furcal that they will be signing a SS before ST.
2005-12-03 00:40:43
343.   Steve
Tracy-proofing is Tracy-proofing. Roberts' value was in being removed from the roster. Dave Roberts was never going to be a reserve on a Jim Tracy managed team, so any talk about him being a "fourth" or "fifth" outfielder is ludicrous. I might agree that that's what he is, but since he never would have been that, he had no value at all, and in fact, had negative value since he would have always been blocking someone more productive (see, e.g, Edwards, Mike; Phillips, Jason). Nor will I concede that there was some kind of burgeoning untapped market for Dave Roberts. Juan Pierre is the type of "proven winner" that dumb GMs love, because he gets them good press regardless of his ability. It becomes a win-win. Joey Gathright is, at least, in his early 20s. Dave Roberts was an over-30 fourth outfielder with a bad hamstring. And now he's had his career year. Jason Repko will have one for the Pirates one of these years too.
2005-12-03 05:59:18
344.   TheDictator
What if, given that Furcal does sign with LA, this is all a prelude to moving Guzman to the OF, keeping Bradley, but trading Jeff Kent.

All I hear is Kent moving to first. He could be moving to third. Or he simply could be moving to another team. Wasn't Colletti a part of the group that dealt with his motorcycle incident and let him walk out of SF?

Moving Kent would also explain the rumored interest the Dodgers have in Soriano.

2005-12-03 06:18:06
345.   scareduck
343 - this is true only if you accept that Edwards' -2.2 VORP is greater than Dave Roberts' 25.5. Roberts has posted 10+ VORP three times in the last four years, though I'll agree with you that the great danger with using him as a starter is the inevitability of calling in his bench replacement. As to your comments in 340, remember this is baseball. Saying something negative about anyone is a career death sentence; had DePodesta busted out with the truth -- i.e., told the Times that Tracy was an incorrigible moron who needed re-education with a blackjack and a tire iron -- he may as well have called his pals at Lazard Freres, say, and gotten back into investment banking. We have reason to think DePodesta is a shrewd fellow; keeping his mouth shut is the wiser course. On the other hand, he wasn't so constrained talking about the Indians' front office under John Hart, so perhaps I give him too much credit.
2005-12-03 06:52:53
346.   Vishal
[345] i'm not steve, but i think he meant edwards and phillips as examples of people who were "blocking someone more productive", not as examples of players who were more productive than and being blocked by dave roberts. so comparing edwards and roberts is not the question. roberts < werth, edwards < perez, and phillips < either choi or navarro, so that's why all three needed to go.
2005-12-03 08:50:28
347.   RMAPasad
Jon, I think that the differences between Furcal and Izturis/Robles are more than incremental. Last year, they were substantial - Furcal with 9.1 WARP2 and Izzy/Robles combining for 4.5 (that's assigning most of Robles 2.2 WARP2 to SS where he did his best hitting). In fact, comparing Izzy and Furcal through the age of 25 (where they both had identical # of PA's), Furcal was generating 2.5 wins per seasons more than Izturis. Upgrading a spot by 2.5 - 4 wins per yr. is a big deal.
You're right, however, that if this all results in shifting Izturis to 2b, it is ridiculous. Izzy has been an inadequate hitter even by SS standards for 3 of his 4 seasons here. He would be woefully inadequate - perhaps even a worse alternative than returning Cora to 2b.
2005-12-03 08:51:21
348.   Steve
Why doesn't anybody whine, moan, and pass out over DePodesta including Encarnacion as a throw-in in the LoDuca trade? He VORPed 28 last year. Sometimes, these things just happen. They're not likely, they're not predictable (though of course everyone loves to come out of the woodwork to claim they predicted it after the fact); for heaven's sake, Jeromy Burnitz was mildly productive last year. Roberts wasn't even productive due to the one skill he actually has -- if I'm reading right he was 23 for 35 in stolen bases.

Werth VORPed 9, and he wasn't even competent enough to walk and chew gum at the same time.

2005-12-03 08:52:16
349.   Screwgie
The pursuit of Furcal may reopen the door for Bradley, but it slams the door shut for JD Drew.

If the Dodgers actually sign Furcal for what's being reported in the neighborhood of 13 million/year, there is no way Drew sticks around. If Drew plays at his 140 games per season average next season, 11 million/year is a paltry sum in comparison to Furcal's contract. JD and Boras have gotta' think they can get more on the open market and they will surely opt out and test it.

2005-12-03 09:10:54
350.   willhite
349 -

We can always re-negotiate Drew's contract. After the Royals offer him 60 mil over 4 yrs to leave the Dodgers, we can counter with an offer of 75 mil for 5 years with an option for an additional 5 or 6 years to lock him up for the rest of his career :)

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2005-12-03 09:19:50
351.   LAT
349-Perhaps McCheap is banking on it.
2005-12-03 10:23:30
352.   Jon Weisman
348 Because Encarnacion was part of the Choi-Penny-Murphy deal, while Roberts only netted Stanley. Trading Encarnacion did what you like - getting an overpaid mediocre player off the team - but also brought something in return.
2005-12-03 10:26:58
353.   scareduck
339 - Glaus is in no way a good fit for the Angels. They're already stacked three deep in first basemen (Erstad, Kotchman, Morales), one of whom shouldn't be a major league starter anymore. Kotchman is going to be the next Todd Helton, and Kendry Morales has a bright future ahead of him as well. The only place Glaus could reasonably play is 3B, where he would block Dallas McPherson. McPherson got injured last year, or maybe more appropriately, he was injured all along with a bone spur on his hip that finally caught up to him. He should be healthy next year and will probably be Glaus's defensive superior at 3B perhaps as early as next year.

Glaus at this point in his career is really a 1B/DH type. One of the reasons the Angels let him go was allegedly because of his lackadaisical training regimen, failing to get shoulder surgery in the offseason instead of in-season 2004, when it really hurt the team. I'm not saying he's not a valuable piece, but not at the contract Arizona paid for him.

As for 348, Steve, you said Roberts has no value. That's ridiculous. He had some value, but that's declining every year he ages. His skills are a young player's skills, and he is no longer a young player. Encarnacion is superficially similar to Roberts; he has a much worse eye (a career K/BB rate of about 3:1) and a worse success rate at stealing bases (just under 70%, vs. Roberts' 82%). Roberts can take a walk; Encarnacion's a hacker with little power. Neither of them is a starting player on any championship team. But they are not without value.

2005-12-03 10:38:54
354.   Fearing Blue
Someone mentioned this in the previous thread, and I'm officially on board with taking a flyer on Byung-Hyun Kim as an expensive Elmer Dessens replacement. He'll only be 27 next year, he has career 3.76 ERA, and he has 570 Ks in 568.2 career innings. The fact that he pitched poorly / injured in 2004 and pitched for the Rockies in 2005 just means he should be cheap (or so thinks Rob Neyer). Based on standard growth curves, he may have his best years ahead of him, which would make him a tremendous bargain. How much would it take to get him? Perhaps 2 years / $7 million with a $4 million option or $1 million dollar buyout for the 3rd year? If he's good, he can take a rotation spot, if not, he's still a valuable piece out of the pen.
2005-12-03 11:01:36
355.   Steve
353 -- Rob, I am not comparing players. I am comparing people's reactions to those players. Dave Roberts is small and scrappy and liked. Juan Encarnacion is not small, not scrappy, was not liked, and nobody whines about getting rid of him. If Dave Roberts' name was "Player X" and Juan Encarnacion's name was "Player Y," people would not consider them differently.

Closing summation:

1) There is no on point evidence as to Dave Roberts' market value as of July 31, 2004. Plaintiffs propound a number of theories regarding Dave Roberts' value as of November 2004, and 2005. It was only after the "stolen base" that Dave Roberts reached the Juan Pierre pantheon of "proven winners."

2) As of July 31, 2004, the only relevant time period, the only skill for which Dave Roberts was known to excel was running.

3) As of July 31, 2004, speed merchant Dave Roberts had spent much of 2003, and part of 2004, on the DL with hamstring problems.

4) Much has been made of the fact that Dave Roberts has the "skills" of a fourth or fifth outfielder (faint praise indeed from his counsel). Assuming that he received the playing time appropriate for a fourth or fifth outfielder, Roberts would no doubt VORP somewhere from 8-12 (he VORPed 11 in 270 AB with the Dodgers in 2004). Jayson Werth, as a 25 year old, VORPed 15. Furthermore, Werth had a marginal lineup value of 8, whereas Dave Roberts had a marginal lineup value of -4.5. For those who take a sensual approach to the game this comports with what we can see: Jayson Werth can create his own offense, while Dave Roberts, when not grounding out to second base ad nauseum (though running it out with panache, I must say), must stand around the basepaths waiting for someone to drive him in. Given the make-up of the 2005 Dodgers, one is hard-pressed (generously) to argue that this would have been helpful.

5) Hypothetically, what does one expect to "get back" for an admitted "fourth or fifth outfielder" or had VORPed "over 10" for three of the last four years? At least one who is not bizarrely credited with ending the Curse of Babe Ruth?

6) And finally, of course, any value that Roberts might hypothetically have had was washed out by the situation. Tracy's idiocy became common knowledge in 2005, but was present in 2004, 2003, and every year since he started. He does not care about talent. He cares about playing his poker pals. The value, again, was in removing Roberts from the roster. That was inherently valuable and necessary, regardless of the return.

2005-12-03 12:57:46
356.   fanerman
254 - Nice to see you back, Fearing Blue.
2005-12-03 13:49:01
357.   dzzrtRatt
There are a lot of smart people who post here. But Fearing Blue is the one who I think could succeed as Dodger GM. I hope his commentary is prominently featured in Jon's book.
2005-12-03 14:03:26
358.   Fearing Blue
#356: Hi fanerman. It's good to be back.

#357: Thanks dzzrtRatt! That's high praise indeed, though I don't know if it's nice to wish the McCourts upon anyone :).

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