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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Key Perspective
2006-11-14 13:32
by Jon Weisman

From Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus:

The thing to tuck away as we head into the Winter of the Massive Cashier's Checks is that our scales are not correctly calibrated for what we're about to see. Every contract is going to be a head-scratcher, because all the new money coming into the industry is, as it has done for decades, going through the owners' pockets and into the players'. The notion of cost-per-marginal-win, or the examples of contracts that have been signed in past seasons, won't help guide our evaluations. It may be impossible to evaluate the deals we'll see beyond the skills, age and projected performance of the player being signed, and how that impacts his team's chance to win. There will be no bargains in this market, at least not in the moment; it will take a year or two before we know again what "overpaid" and "underpaid" means.

Comments (159)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-14 13:48:35
1.   Uncle Miltie
Yup, some of these contracts are going to be insane. Aramis Ramirez at $15 million a year is going to look like a bargain.

The madness has already started today
El Duque re-signed with the Mets for 2 years/$12 million
Mark DeRosa signed with the Cubs for 3 years $13 million

I now expect Nomar to get at least 3 years $30 million. I could definitely see Ted Lilly getting close to $40 million over 4 years. It's time for Ned to turn his attention to guys like Pat Burrell and David Dellucci.

The Rockies have apparently put Jason Jennings on the trade market. He'd be a nice pickup depending on what the Dodgers would have to give up.

2006-11-14 14:05:17
2.   ToyCannon
At the going price I wouldn't mind Lilly for four years at 10mill. Why quibble over an extra 2 mill per year:)
In this environment I can't imagine any team trading their cheap youngsters because they will need them to mitigate the crazy deals.
2006-11-14 14:19:43
3.   dkminnick
If player salaries are increasing due to the new CBA, wouldn't that logically reflect a corresponding increase in team revenue, allowing those salary bumps?

In other words, if the Dodgers now have $120 million to spend (instead of $100 mil), then comparing player values to previous years is moot. All boats are being floated.

2006-11-14 14:21:06
4.   dkminnick
3 - Which is okay as long ticket prices don't continue floating, too. Okay, I'm dreaming...
2006-11-14 14:22:33
5.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
2- That's an interesting point about the "cheap youngsters."
While FA salaries are about to skyrocket, pre-arbitration players now go from "bargain" to "outright steal." The minimum salary for the 2006 season was $327,000, and I can't imagine that going much higher in 2007.
Next season, Mark DeRosa - a 32-year-old utilityman with a career OPS+ of 90 - will make more than 13 times more than what a rookie will make. As I see it, teams would be wise to spend big dollars only for the blue-chip FAs, avoid bidding wars for middle-level talent and invest, invest, invest in the farm system.
2006-11-14 14:23:50
6.   Icaros
If LA gets Lilly, he can compete with Brad Penny for "Best On-Mound Disrespect Shown To The Guy Taking You Out Of A Game You Are Clearly Blowing."
2006-11-14 14:26:22
7.   dzzrtRatt
I'm betting Colletti ends up making an offer to Drew.
2006-11-14 14:26:54
8.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
6 - Not Dodgers-related, but I recall a pitcher disgustedly flipping the ball to Frank Robinson before walking off. F-Robby grabbed the player's belt and yanked him back to the mound. I dislike Robinson's attitude, but that was kinda cool to watch.
2006-11-14 14:27:24
9.   natepurcell
it feels like im preparing for the apocolypse.
2006-11-14 14:27:57
10.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
7 - I agree.
2006-11-14 14:28:43
11.   regfairfield
5 It's 380,000 this year.
2006-11-14 14:28:53
12.   Uncle Miltie
8- Bob's new favorite player...
2006-11-14 14:29:05
13.   King of the Hobos
5 Minimum salary will be $380,000 in 2007, $390,000 in 2008, and $400,000 in 2009.

With these crazy contracts, the Marlins' stragegy looks even more brilliant. I also like the Nationals strategy, don't overpay for mediocre free agents and sign several minor league free agents, who could be just as effective as guys making 10 times their salary.

2006-11-14 14:31:15
14.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
13 - With this new salary structure, the "middle class" of players may get squeezed. Imagine a team with two or three top-flight players surrounded by roster of kids.
2006-11-14 14:35:10
15.   dkminnick
I know the contracts seem "crazy" to all of us, but it's not as if the owners all got together and decided to make less money with the new CBA. They must feel like they can afford all of this; the increasing minimums and FA salaries.

I've always preferred bargain players, but since they've already priced me out of live-game attendance, why should I care anymore? If I'm just gonna watch on TV anyway, let's win.

2006-11-14 14:36:06
16.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Btw, next season's rookie salary will be a little more than 1/12th of what DeRosa will make.
2006-11-14 14:37:33
17.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
15 - Of course the owners will still make money. What's happened, I think, is MLB's online properties are returning a huge and unexpected dividend.
2006-11-14 14:38:20
18.   Uncle Miltie
A few days ago, someone suggested that we target Ray Durham as a center fielder. This might actually be a good idea. Durham is one of those guys who might slip through the cracks since he's lost his base stealing ability and is getting up there in age. I'd definitely offer him $18 million over 2 years. Durham is a great athlete, but has had some hamstring problems the past 2-3 years. Durham would fit nicely in the number 2 hole. He gets on base at a pretty good rate, gets a lot of extra base hits, and usually hits 20 bombs. He'd be a big upgrade over Lofton offensively.
2006-11-14 14:42:07
19.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Durham's age-34 spike in power seems worrisome because I don't think he can do that again. I foresee 280/360/440/800 - good, but it would be folly to expect 20 HRs.
2006-11-14 14:47:36
20.   dzzrtRatt
"Spike in Power" would be a good name for a book about the steroid era in baseball.
2006-11-14 14:49:02
21.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
19 - Or a name for a metal band.
2006-11-14 14:50:58
22.   sanchez101
18. Durham didn't seem to like the move to CF all that much when he was with the A's. Besides, I would guess that he would rather play 2B for the Padres and they would probably pay him more as well.

Face it, we're getting either Moises Alou or Luis Gonzalez to replace Drew. And Kemp will be in CF.

Is there some way we can get Alou and Gonzalez? I'd rather pay them a combined $10 million over one season than what Soriano and Lee are asking.

2006-11-14 14:53:41
23.   Icaros

I thought that was the title of a movie about a former Boston/Seattle banjo-hitting shortstop being elected US President.

2006-11-14 14:55:14
24.   Jacob L
Hi everybody. I've been missing from the comments here for some time due to some sort of passing obsession with Cal football. Its good to be back.

There's no way Colletti is making an offer to Drew.

I think you guys are missing the point somewhat about the need to keep young, cheap guys around. The reason for the anticipated big money deals this winter is that teams can afford them. They have the money. That doesn't mean its not important to have young cheap guys to fill out a roster, but I don't think its any more important this year than before.

2006-11-14 14:56:55
25.   Snowdog
7 - what kind of offer could Colletti make to Drew?

Given our other SoCal team, The Pasadena* of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and their GM/Owner's proclaimation to bring in a bat, would an offer of 5/$75 be surprising?

*Pasadena is where Drew and wife love to live.

To me, I'd pass on Drew, knowing Boras will likely get someone to sign him for 5/$75 in this seller's market.

2006-11-14 14:57:40
26.   Icaros
Is there some way we can get Alou and Gonzalez?

I like your plan of two decent players for the salary of one good player, but an outfield of Gonzo, Ethier, and Alou would also need Furcal out there playing rover.

2006-11-14 14:57:40
27.   natepurcell

id rather have Alou then Gonzalez. At least Alou is still a beast with the bat.

2006-11-14 14:57:47
28.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
24 - I get your point. But my point is, yes, salaries are going up but that's no reason to pay a lot for junk just because you can.
2006-11-14 15:00:01
29.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Alou, over the last two seasons, played in only 221 games. That, combined with his age (40 at the '07 ASB), is a big red flag.
2006-11-14 15:00:49
30.   Snowdog
18 - Didn't Lofton tag from third on a pop-fly to Durham, who was playing 2B at the time???

Not sure we want his arm anywhere near CF.

2006-11-14 15:01:55
31.   natepurcell

i realize that. I understand that signing alou for 2007 basically means you can only pencil him for 100-125 games or so. But in those games, you can probably expect an OPS+ of 120-130, which is pretty good production. the rest of the games can be given to someone like Kemp.

2006-11-14 15:02:18
32.   Jacob L
30 I bet Lofton would tag from first and take second on a fly ball hit to himself in center.
2006-11-14 15:03:01
33.   Curtis Lowe
I don't understand why there seems to be this reluctance to dish out a huge contract to Either Lee or Soriano. If a big bat can be had without having to trade away any of our farm then why not?
2006-11-14 15:05:29
34.   Andrew Shimmin
33- Especially if we're going to end up dumping draft picks, anyway. Both Alou and Gonzo are type As.
2006-11-14 15:07:00
35.   Icaros
Is Dave Roberts type A?

(free agent, not personality)

2006-11-14 15:07:19
36.   dzzrtRatt
Let me just say: If Baseball Prospectus is correct, then maybe we can table the boring discussion of whether player X is overpaid or underpaid at whatever dollar amount the Dodgers cough up. I love all the sabermetrics learnings for benefit of glorious nation of Dodger fans, but seeing those stats applied to dollars always strikes me as a bridge too far, in that the optimal logical market based on production does not and will never exist. It's an auction ruled by (usually scarce) supply and (Steinbrenner-driven) demand.

When you're talking about a high-budget team like the Dodgers, it's even less relevant. There's a shape to the market, but the only relevant comparisons for salaries are what happens during one specific season, e.g. who is worth more, Zito or Schmidt? Assume both will be overpaid. But which one should you overpay more?

Yesterday's "overpaid" is next seasons' bargain (Furcal, Drew if he'd stayed) And I'm sure Florida, Minnesota and Oakland would jump into the FA market feet first if they could afford it.

2006-11-14 15:08:49
37.   D4P
Like I've said before: If only there were some kind of strategy GMs could follow that focuses on identifying undervalued skills and finding bargains in the market...
2006-11-14 15:10:23
38.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
33 - I'd rather have Soriano.
2006-11-14 15:12:05
39.   Curtis Lowe
What is confusing to me is when trades for Pat Burrell and Vernon Wells are brought up when you could just lose money and not talent for roughly the same amt of power.
2006-11-14 15:13:22
40.   Andrew Shimmin
35- Yep.

2006-11-14 15:14:57
41.   Jon Weisman
Is Dave Roberts type A?

(personality, not free agent)

2006-11-14 15:17:15
42.   D4P
Is Dave Roberts type A?

(blood, not personality or free agent)

2006-11-14 15:17:17
43.   dzzrtRatt
37 but as soon as one appears, the advantage goes away. Beane knew all along his edge was temporary, based on a market dysfunction; and it was mostly applied in his case to the draft and minor league systems.

There are few secret major league stars. Everyone patted Beane on the back for using his secret sauce to find Milton Bradley, but we Dodger fans knew he was a fine player without having to dive too deeply into the numbers. He got traded for his off-field conduct, period. (That trade was more of an Al Davis move than a Billy Beane move.) Beane isn't letting Zito go because his slide rule says he should. He's letting him go because he can't afford him.

2006-11-14 15:17:24
44.   natepurcell
I love all the sabermetrics learnings for benefit of glorious nation of Dodger fans

i chuckled.

2006-11-14 15:21:37
45.   D4P
but as soon as one appears, the advantage goes away

To some extent, yes. But it's not as if all GMs buy into whatever undervalued/underappreciated skill, stat, etc. that Beane or Depo or anyone else believes they have discovered. I doubt, for example, that Ned is checking out EQAs and WARPs and RATE2s. You may not be able to outwit every other GM, but you can probably outwit a lot of them.

2006-11-14 15:26:54
46.   Steve
Death, taxes and the Cubs.
2006-11-14 15:34:04
47.   dzzrtRatt
I doubt, for example, that Ned is checking out EQAs and WARPs and RATE2s.

I bet he pays someone to do that. I bet most of them do. Why not -- it's basically public information, for the price of a subscription to BP, for about the same price as Derek Lowe's pedicure budget for spring training.

Why would you avoid helpful information? I'm sure our loyal reader Josh Ravitch has told him about those lively boys at Dodgerthoughts and all their talk about these wacky acronyms. He might use his gut to override what those numbers say, but by this time I should think it would be part of a front office's duty to keep track of this stuff--if for no other reason, to help in negotiations with agents.

"My boy's got the highest EQA of any left handed first baseman in the game! Pay up!"

"The EQ-what now? Me, I prefer usin' VORP. His VORP is crap."

2006-11-14 15:35:42
48.   Greg Brock
So, the Giants are in talks with Juan Pierre.

Um...Yay! (Sorry EJM, you Pierre lover you).

2006-11-14 15:42:05
49.   sanchez101
33. While we can't be sure yet who will be overpaid and who will be bargains, it seems like Lee and Soriano are pretty good bets to be overpaid in any offseason.

I don't like Lee because he has no defensive value and his career OBP is .340. With him youre basically paying for power and little else; I'd like my big ticket items to be much more versitle than that.

I'd don't like Soriano because, like Lee, he's a corner OF with serious OBP issues. In his case your paying for the power and the speed, the two most consitently expensive skills in the game. Besides, he had his career high in SLG and OBP last year, the chances of him matching that at any point in his contract are pretty small, yet he'll be paid like an 900 OPS guy. He'd be a nice addition for the right price, but I really doubt the we'll be lamenting the Dodgers not signing him in the years to come.

My guess is that Soriano and Lee go elsewhere, there are more than enough teams interested with plenty of cash. I'd rather pay a half-decent vet (as unexciting as that sounds) and rely on Logan White and his staff to find another Ethier in the rough.

2006-11-14 15:43:13
50.   sanchez101
48. Don't get too excited, supposedly the Dodgers are interested in Pierre as well, but who knows how true that may be.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-14 15:43:48
51.   thinkblue0
Just because we have money doesn't mean we have to spend it...that should be Ned's motto this offseason.

The only player out there that I think is worth paying big money to is Soriano and he's still a bit iffy. I'm talking about position players, not pitchers here.

Nothing...nothing is more irritating to me than giving complete average players money to do the job someone else could do for the minimum. I'll take Nate said, the guy can still hit...he may not player 162 games but the guy hits well enough to warrant giving him a shot with Kemp filling in for him on days off.

If I'm Ned I might make a nice offer to's tough to turn down a 40 HR guy especially when our lineup is severely lacking in power. Other than that, I go after Schmidt and maybe look into a salary dump type trade (i.e. Burrell)

2006-11-14 15:44:15
52.   D4P
Why would you avoid helpful information?

That's not the issue. The issue is whether you think the information is helpful in the first place.

2006-11-14 15:49:51
53.   sanchez101
I think its pretty clear that Ned relies more on scouts than stats at this point, which isn't necessarily the wrong choice, especially when you have Logan White's scouting staff at your disposal. I say you play to your strengths, and the strength of the Dodger front office seems to be on the scouting side of things.
2006-11-14 15:54:42
54.   sanchez101
51. I don't think Kemp is well suited to bench duty. It seems like people here are very bearish on Kemp, what is wrong with him playing CF on a daily basis? His defense will certainly be better than Lofton's, and while he probably won't match Lofton's OBP, he will trump Lofton in the power departement as well as improving on Lofton on the basepaths. Im willing to trade the OBP for defense, power, and speed, not to mention the millions of dollars in salary. And if youre going to advocate Gary Matthews Jr. for CF, I don't even want to hear it.
2006-11-14 16:02:35
55.   Andrew Shimmin
His defense will certainly be better than Lofton's

It wasn't this year. At least not certainly.

2006-11-14 16:04:14
56.   WellsforKemp
54. sanchez101

I feel the same way about Kemp, why pay pierre or GM JR. when Kemp can do a suitable job and I think only get better. Either way Id say its a net upgrade over last years Loften....... I get the feeling that Ned doesnt feel the same way about it though.

2006-11-14 16:06:14
57.   WellsforKemp
It wasn't this year. At least not certainly

Im going to argue sample size unless there are horrid defensive #s in the minors which I have no idea of.

2006-11-14 16:07:30
58.   dzzrtRatt
On Kemp, I just saw a guy who, once things got more challenging, kind of vanished. He's a great talent, but he needs more seasoning. I don't want to spoil him. That's why you'd bring in someone else for the short run.
2006-11-14 16:08:19
59.   Johnson
40 (A list of players and their FA classification)

Did anybody notice that Lugo only just barely made the A-type FA cut? Wow. I mean, that could have hurt.

2006-11-14 16:11:18
60.   WellsforKemp
58. dzzrtRatt

might be the right answer, its just Im personally sick of the yearly stopgaps, especialy if this team doesnt come together before April id just say let um play

2006-11-14 16:12:52
61.   sanchez101
55. I honestly don't know how you can say that. Im not saying Kemp is Willy Mays or anything. But the metrics say that Lofton was a replacement level fielder last year, and I believe them. His routes were curious, his raw speed had dissapeared by May, and his arm was a wet noodle. Kemp at least has the speed and the arm, even if his routes weren't any better, he'd be an improvement. And then there is the whole age thing.

More importantly, it seems like your making a judgement on Kemp's defense from watching him with the Dodgers last year, and unless your a scout or you saw a lot of him in the minors, I'd don't think your opinion on the matter should hold much, if any, weight.

56. If I was Ned, I'd sign Lofton to a small one year deal (say, $2-3m) and if Kemp really needs more time in AAA, then you platoon Repko and Lofton until either Kemp is ready or the production from those two is so unimpressive that you move Kemp into the position anyway. The key is building the rest of the lineup strong enough so that you can bat your center fielder 8th the whole season.

2006-11-14 16:12:59
62.   StolenMonkey86
56 - Here's the end of the article in the Times on Drew opting out:

Colletti said Drew's decision would not make him any more likely to surrender top prospects in a trade.

"We've got some good young players here," Colletti said. "At this stage, you're not going to fix everything by buying up contracts or by buying free agents."

2006-11-14 16:16:13
63.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
I don't think Kemp is well suited to bench duty.
I don't think Kemp, at the moment, is well suited to duty in the majors. After that great start, he fell off hard. After his homer on June 14, in 109 at-bats Kemp hit 202/233/275/508. Over his final 76 ABs, he struck out 29 times and his line was 171/192/224/416. There's slumping, and there's overmatched.
Unless Kemp pounds the Grapefruit League, he should start the season in Las Vegas not in LA.
2006-11-14 16:17:42
64.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
But the metrics say that Lofton was a replacement level fielder last year...
Didn't the metrics say Kemp was worse? That's what I remember.
2006-11-14 16:20:04
65.   Andrew Shimmin
61- My opinion is based only on his major league time, since I don't have any way of evaluating minor league fielding. He looked bad in the outfield, and put up a -4 FRAR, eight points worse than Lofton, admittedly over a significantly smaller sample. I'm not saying he won't be better next year, I'm only saying he wasn't "certainly better" than Kenny this year. Which makes me skeptical that he will be certainly better next year. Could well be; I just don't see why I should be certain of it.
2006-11-14 16:24:49
66.   sanchez101
58. I agree with that stopgat strategy, I just can't quite figure out how people can make such sweeping judgements based on 154 ab's, many of which came in pinch hitting opportunities.

Consider Kemp and Grady Sizemore at the same age. Sizemore debuted in the majors in 2004 at age 21 for 138 ab's, his OPS was 739. Kemp debuted last season, at the same age, and with similar playing time, had a 737 OPS. Continueing the Sizemore comparison: Grady's career minor league line (through age 21) was .293/.383/.417 and Kemp's is .309/.357/.516. It may seem like Sizemore was a much more polished hitter, but Sizemore had a 1.7 K/BB ratio in his last minor league season, and Kemp had an identical 1.7 K/BB ratio last year.

And it's not as if Kemp struggled as much as people think, BP had him with a .260 EQA last year (league average). Because he 'looked' bad to the untrained eye he's not ready? That's not convincing to me in the slightest.

2006-11-14 16:28:19
67.   sanchez101
64. The metrics for Lofton were over a full season, for Kemp they were in such a limited amount of playing time that they are next to meaningless. Case in point, the metrics have Loney being terrible defensively in a similar sample size, which is clearly wrong. BTW, according to the metrics from past minor league seasons Kemp clearly above average.
2006-11-14 16:33:47
68.   sanchez101
65. You should be certain of it because Kemp is faster, has a better arm, and more importantly is two decades younger. Remember, were not comparing Kemp to an average fielder, or even a below average fielder, we're comparing him to probably the worst defensive CF in the game last year, who isn't getting any better. I'd say its certain that almost ANY other CF would be better defensively than Kenny Lofton.
2006-11-14 16:35:05
69.   WellsforKemp
51 Nothing...nothing is more irritating to me than giving complete average players money to do the job someone else could do for the minimum.

case and point,... Ramon Martinez

2006-11-14 16:36:08
70.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Because he 'looked' bad to the untrained eye he's not ready? That's not convincing to me in the slightest.
So, if we can't trust our vision can we trust the numbers?
for Kemp they were in such a limited amount of playing time that they are next to meaningless.
Apparently not.
2006-11-14 16:39:28
71.   King of the Hobos
Isn't Gary Matthews Jr. suppose to the best defensive CF free agent? Because his rate2 (94) is basically the same as Lofton's (93). What do the other metrics say? (I'd look at my Fielding Bible, but it's at home and I'm not)

Combine this with his career year at age 31, I'm really hoping Colletti doesn't sign Matthews Jr., especially when we could just resign Lofton for nearly the same production (albeit he wouldn't play nearly as often).

2006-11-14 16:45:23
72.   Andrew Shimmin
Lofton: RF-2.29 ZR-861 FRAR-4 Rate2-93
(LF/CF/RF)Kemp: RF-(2.36/1.76/1.13) ZR-(.783/.771/1.000) FRAR-(2/-4/-2) Rate2-(115/63/73)

68- Rowand, Brady Clark, Andruw Jones, and Griffey were worse, this year, in just the NL, according to Chris Dial's version of UZR. Reed, Baldelli, Bloomquist, Kotsay, Mackowiak, Crisp, and Gary Matthews were worse than Kenny, in the AL. Kenny was bad, no doubt about it. But he probably wasn't the worst in the game.

2006-11-14 16:47:19
73.   WellsforKemp
71. King of the Hobos

does rate2 take in consideration of balls Loften couldnt reach? there is also the fact that Loften's arm probably took away several attempts at base runners going to 3rd for example, which Matthews may have committed an error on, similar to the Soriano theory of assists

2006-11-14 16:50:19
74.   Vishal
[61] i don't think anyone here needs to decide whose opinion counts about something, or for how much. everyone's entitled to say their piece.
2006-11-14 17:06:24
75.   Uncle Miltie
72- can you really trust a list that rates Juan Pierre as the best defensive cf in the NL?

I'd love to see the Dodgers buy low on Ryan Langerhans. I've always thought that he could become a great defensive cf.

2006-11-14 17:12:43
76.   Andrew Shimmin
75- I'm glad you asked me that. This list was once linked by THE regfairfield. Indisputable proof that it's right!

I don't much trust any rankings. But I also don't trust my eyes. And I don't trust anybody else. So, then what? Can't just ignore it entirely.

Red Sox officially winning negotiation rights to Matsuzaka. Bob's smug dinner-eating attitude fails to bite him in the butt. . . this time.

2006-11-14 17:14:28
77.   sanchez101
70. That is a strawman argument. Im not saying we can't trust any numbers, Im saying we can't trust defensive metrics in extremely small sample sizes. Moreover, Im not saying people can't trust their eyes, Im saying we shouldn't trust untrained eyes.

72. The fact that those metrics think guys like Rowand, Jones, Baldelli, Clark, Matthews, and Kotsay were worse than Lofton should tell you how much they're worth. As for Bloomquist and Mackowiak, they weren't full time players, which was my point, I should've made that clear. As for Griffy and Crisp, I can believe those guys could've been worse than Lofton.

The main point here is that I don't think any defensive stat is really that great, and when you try to use them in a small sample size, its useless.

74. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion, I'm not saying anyone can't. Im just saying that I don't find some opinions all that meaningfull, and I feel the freedom to express why.

2006-11-14 17:17:46
78.   sanchez101
76. I'd say you can trust the eyes of scouts. Fans obviously can't judge things like scouts can, but you don't have to be a scout to tell that Kemp has a stronger arm and better footspeed than Lofton.
2006-11-14 17:19:32
79.   Andrew Shimmin
77- The bit about my opinion's being worthless is the only thing we agree on, so far. Although, it's not very nice to come right out and say so.

78- Have the scouts said Kemp was better than Lofton, last year?

2006-11-14 17:21:41
80.   Andrew Shimmin
Oh, and now I see Bob beat me to the Matsuzaka announcement. So, that's a little embarrassing.
2006-11-14 17:22:29
81.   thinkingblue
Good news on Loney in the dominican: his Isolated Patience is .104. The bad news is that his batting average is .242, but I think that will improve. Does this mean anything, or are Dominican baseball stats generally worthless?
2006-11-14 17:24:35
82.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
That is a strawman argument.
I see it as less an argument than making a point about inconsistencies.
2006-11-14 17:30:09
83.   Bob Timmermann
Shame made me come back sooner.
2006-11-14 17:34:56
84.   Andrew Shimmin
83- Did you get to watch the presser? By the time I tuned in, it was some guy talking to himself, promising to take phone calls. Then it cut to a color test chart. For some reason.
2006-11-14 17:36:47
85.   Bob Timmermann
I don't watch pressers. I find it boring to watch someone iron clothes.
2006-11-14 17:41:27
86.   adraymond
Seems that the DRays won the bidding for Akinori Iwamura

2006-11-14 17:47:14
87.   underdog
51 million just to win the rights to offer Matsuzaka a contract?! Yikes. So much for the Red Sox "we're poor paupers compared to the Yankees" days.
2006-11-14 17:51:36
88.   Vishal
wow. i wonder if they really plan to sign him or not.
2006-11-14 17:52:54
89.   das411
86 - Cool! And they had us all thinking they'd be going after Mulder! ;)
2006-11-14 18:04:24
90.   thinkblue0
with all this talk about the free agents available does anyone have any out of the box ideas for possible trades and/or free agent acquisitions?

Off the top of my head, what about Ryan Church? Nice talent, wouldn't cost us a boatload to get him...Anyone have any other ideas?

2006-11-14 18:04:28
91.   Sam DC
LAT -- if you see this, can you shoot me an email at sam DOT brodsok AT comcast DOT net?

I swear, I'm not trying to horn my way in on the Lerners.

2006-11-14 18:11:27
92.   Uncle Miltie
On Adam Dunn
"He's a very strange package," said an American League executive. "The power is incredible, obviously, and he does walk a lot. But the defense is brutal and the strikeouts are brutal. I think they'd move him if they could."
That quote has to be from Bill Stoneman.
2006-11-14 18:13:51
93.   thinkblue0

hahahahaha. I'd take him. His k's are brutal but it's hard to deny a 400 OBP that hits 40 HR.

2006-11-14 18:26:14
94.   das411
Wow, did that commerical just say "It's Shat-tastic!"??
2006-11-14 18:40:11
95.   Bob Timmermann
From a book blurb on

"Lynn Robinson, M.Ed., is one of the nation's leading experts on the topic of intuition."

I sort of had a feeling that she was.

2006-11-14 18:48:01
96.   dianagramr
95 everybody needs to run to Bob's wish list on Amazon and start shopping NOW :-)
2006-11-14 18:53:35
97.   Rocc
86. Beat me to the punch, but I'm happy nonetheless.

Dodger fans, I know that you may not want to hear this or want the player but Cantu may be on the trading block. He's 25, has 20+ HR potential but just has a horrible glove and lacks range.

2006-11-14 18:53:51
98.   Sam DC
8 Am told it was Jim Barr.

2006-11-14 19:22:47
99.   Ladderkite
Do we have an accurate total for our current payroll now that JD is gone and we have yet to sign any current freeagents?

Where does Delwyn Young stand in the Dodger outfield projections? I don't have a concrete feeling about where his development is. Mid-season replacement, one year, two years, one good spring training away? Anyone?

2006-11-14 19:23:40
100.   Ladderkite
I hate being 99, 49, etc...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-14 19:38:48
101.   trainwreck
I have read in various reports including Keith Law that Gary Matthews is an overrated defensive player amongst other things.
2006-11-14 19:39:37
102.   Steve
97 -- You have good instincts.
2006-11-14 19:40:56
103.   trainwreck
Let's get Upton or Dukes from the D-Rays!!
2006-11-14 19:42:52
104.   regfairfield
99 My count is at $72,155,000 for 2007. This includes the 25 man roster, all players under contract, and contracts that were bought out.
2006-11-14 20:01:45
105.   twerp
For the legions of Gary Sheffield admirers out there, this from him on negotiating his Tiger contract, sans agent:

"Don't challenge me at things I am good at," Sheffield said. "I am a businessman first. Playing baseball is what I do. People said I needed an agent but I got what I wanted. Nineteen years later I got my point across: You can't beat me on or off the field."

All that talent. So humble, too.

2006-11-14 20:03:48
106.   trainwreck
I do not think anyone admired Sheffield for his personality. Buying a car made out of gold is hilarious though.
2006-11-14 20:07:40
107.   Jon Weisman
Sidebar updates. My Achilleez Heel.
2006-11-14 20:16:35
108.   natepurcell
i cant believe the drays won the bidding rights for iwamura.

what are they going to do with upton?

2006-11-14 20:31:09
109.   Uncle Miltie
108- trade him along with Crawford to the Dodgers :)
2006-11-14 20:37:28
110.   Terry A
108 - My sources tell me they have no intention of signing him. They just wanted to block the Royals from doing so.

Rivalries. Can't beat 'em.

2006-11-14 20:40:50
111.   twerp
Profile of He Whose Name Is Much Discussed...and Cussed:

2006-11-14 20:56:14
112.   Jose Habib
Maybe I'm naive, but for some reason I never imagined Boras having a staff of 45 people working under him.
2006-11-14 21:03:17
113.   D4P
The first sentence: Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti is screaming insults on the telephone

And this caught my eye as well: Just another day for 54-year-old Scott Boras, baseball's most powerful agent

I just don't understand what makes Boras special. What's to stop other agents from making the same kind of demands Boras makes? What's so special about him? Can't anyone choose to do what he does? Ask for more than what the team wants to give you, and don't give in. What's so clever and unique about that?

2006-11-14 21:05:44
114.   trainwreck
I really think we should go after Dukes. He is going to have low value for off-field issues, they have so many outfielders (adding Iwamura makes Upton a possible outfielder), and he has the power we need.

Think we could get him for Stults and Alexander or some mid tier pitching prospect?

2006-11-14 21:11:00
115.   natepurcell

Want Zito? Boras says Zito, 28, is destined to be the finest left-handed starter since Steve Carlton by the time he's 35. There's a fancy 74-page glossy book to prove it.

Boras works hard for his (top) clients. he prepares a novel for each of his clients to prove their worth.

2006-11-14 21:12:20
116.   Greg Brock
114 I've mentioned it before but I have a friend in the D-Rays farm system who always tells me hilarious stories about the D-Rays.

He does not tell me humorous Elijiah Dukes stories. The dude is flat out nuts. Cantu is nuts in a "fight for my teammates" kind of way. Dukes is nuts in a "dear lord, this guy is bad news" kind of way. No thanks.

2006-11-14 21:14:42
117.   natepurcell
The roughly 45 employees on site at his office range from marketing folks to attorneys, an investment team, five personal trainers, a psychologist, a 14-person research staff and Dave Hardee. His job? Watching games every night and relaying the latest information to Boras, who has a suite or season tickets at all five of California's major league ballparks.

I want to be Dave Hardee.

2006-11-14 21:16:28
118.   D4P
That's all well and good, and but do owners really feel more compelled to give into Boras because he produces glossy books of his clients than to give into agents who don't produce such books? I don't get it.
2006-11-14 21:17:50
119.   Bob Timmermann
One day Dave Hardee is going to a really long letter to everyone else in Scott Boras's office telling people that what really matters is how they relate to people and then he will get fired and he will start his own agency and only one secretary will follow him and he will fall in love with her, but it turns out that she has a child and their relationship will be troubled ...
2006-11-14 21:18:46
120.   Terry A
Information I did not know (courtesy of that there story on Boras):

Boras, insisting (Alex) Rodriguez does not want to leave the New York Yankees, wants to subtly remind clubs it's foolish for any to even consider trading for Rodriguez. Rodriguez can opt out after each of the next three years. He can be an unrestricted free agent after 2007. If he does not get a $5 million raise for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, he can leave any preceding year.

"I'm sure (Rangers owner) Tom Hicks would like to see that happen," Boras says, "but teams don't realize the cost involved trading for (Rodriguez). The reality is ... he doesn't want to go anywhere."

2006-11-14 21:19:45
121.   Greg Brock
118 Agents are just like human beings, except they are murderous robots. Some are really good at what they do, some are great, and some are Scott Boras.

He's the best. It's like saying "Hey, just do what Pujols does, and you'll be great." Well, Boras is the Pujols of agents (except, again, not human).

2006-11-14 21:23:32
122.   D4P
It's like saying "Hey, just do what Pujols does, and you'll be great."

I don't buy that. Not many people can hit a ball as far as Pujols. But who can't make ridiculous demands and not back down from them? That's not to say that everyone would make such demands, but I don't see why they couldn't if they wanted to.

2006-11-14 21:26:11
123.   trainwreck
Well atleast having him and Kent on the same team would be interesting.
2006-11-14 21:27:16
124.   Greg Brock
122 I don't know what to tell you. He's the best at what he does, so I'm guessing that:

A) He's very smart
B) He works harder than everybody else
C) He has great management skills
D) He has a long range vision for his clients

That's usually how it works. I know I probably sound sarcastic, but I'm not (I wouldn't insult you! You're D4P...COME ON!).

2006-11-14 21:33:24
125.   Greg Brock
And since I haven't had a chance to comment on this yet:

Matsuzaka...51 million dollar bid...WOW.

2006-11-14 21:33:28
126.   D4P
That's right, I am D4P.

Whether or not he is what you say he is doesn't really seem to matter. The bottom line seems to be: make ridiculous demand and don't back down. I just don't see what else is necessary. If one team turns you down, go to the next, and repeat until someone gives in. If they don't give in, well, that doesn't really seem to have happened yet, so a backup plan doesn't even seem necessary.

The "negotiations" between owners and agents seem increasingly one-sided, and agents/players pretty much have all the "hand" right now. Just hold your ground and someone will be desperate enough to give in. It's fine to think that this is what agents should do, but I don't see anything impressive about it. It's what I would expect any agent to do.

2006-11-14 21:37:14
127.   Greg Brock
Do you expect all defense lawyers to "Just defend you client, say the right stuff to get them off, and move on?"

There's a reason why Clarence Darrow was Clarence Darrow, and Larry H. Parker is, well, Larry H. Parker.

2006-11-14 21:37:59
128.   Greg Brock
Of course, he did get me 2.1 million dollars...

And man, I'm enjoying it.


2006-11-14 21:40:06
129.   Rocc
103. Dukes, if we get the right offer, may be dealt very soon(Florida likes what they see out of him and I've heard Vargas being mentioned for him, not sure if we want Vargas though).

Upton, not gonna happen this year. The Rays aren't likely to trade Upton without giving him a full year at 3B. Now, if we traded him and the other team moved him to the be it. Won't be moved to the OF by the Rays, though. Crawford, Baldelli and Young are proven stallwarts.

Iwamura, if the rumor is true, means that Cantu's days are numbered. He's far worse of a fielder than Upton. Upton's only problem is footwork, while Cantu's glove-work/footwork/range make him horrible all-around as a fielder. I believe he was voted the worst fielder in baseball, according to the Fielding Bible or something.

108 & 109- Upton is safe, for now.

Crawford isn't going anywhere unless we basically got Lowe, Ethier and Elbert for him. I know that it seems insane and I'm pretty much choosing names randomly, but that's what kind of a deal that the Rays want for Crawford. If there's 2 players that the Rays are going to overvalue, it's Crawford and Kazmir.

114- The Rays would want a near-MLB starter for Dukes, just because we could easily place him at 1B and make due with him. Probably not asking for a top-notch SP prospect, though.

116- Your friend isn't lying.

2006-11-14 21:40:31
130.   Greg Brock
If your premise is that "anybody can just demand ridiculous contracts, and move from team to team," and no other agent is as successful, I think it's reasonable to assume that the art of being an agent is more than that. If it were just that, you would be correct. Therefore, there has to be more to it.
2006-11-14 21:42:43
131.   D4P
But there are big differences between agents and defense lawyers. For one thing, ff a defense lawyer can't convince the court of his/her client's non-guilt, that's all she wrote. But if an agent fails with one team, s/he can just go to the next. S/he can fail up to 29 times before the client is out of luck. Plus, teams compete for the client, which doesn't happen in the courtroom. An agent doesn't even really have to make a compelling argument on behalf of his/her client. Just put up a number, and someone will probably be dumb enough to accept it.

It's really apples and oranges, for more than just the reasons I've listed here.

2006-11-14 21:43:53
132.   natepurcell
i am kind of looking ahead here but the rising player salaries had me thinking.

If players like Martin, Billingsley, Broxton and Betemit improve next year to the point that they become players to build the team around, we should lock all of them up and buyout their arbitration years to go along with a couple of vesting team options for the first couple free agency years.

basically what the Drays did with Carl Crawford and his 4yr 15.25mil deal + 2 team options after his 2nd major league season.

the risk is obviously injury and regression down the line. But the payoff is huge salary saved and a fixed cost that would make it easier for payroll management down the line.

I dunno, im bored and free agency this year is boring.

2006-11-14 21:44:42
133.   Greg Brock
131 Well, I'm sorry. If the guy is the most successful agent out there, I'm sure there are reasons. If it were a simple as you seem to make it, everybody would be Boras. They aren't, so it isn't.

So, anyhoo, I'm thinking of getting into the bee business. You in?

2006-11-14 21:45:46
134.   natepurcell
Crawford isn't going anywhere unless we basically got Lowe, Ethier and Elbert for him.

that is really reallly...reallly tempting actually.

2006-11-14 21:49:01
135.   D4P
I just don't see why an owner would have to pay a player more money if that player's agent were Boras than if that player's agent were someone else, given that both agents made the same demand. Oh well. I guess I'm not meant to understand.

Bees? Or beads...? BZZZZZZZZZ

2006-11-14 21:50:09
136.   natepurcell
cliff floyd could actually be a bargain if you can get him for a one yr + vesting team option for the 2nd year.
2006-11-14 21:52:13
137.   D4P
that is really reallly...reallly tempting actually

Ethier is a year younger than Crawford, and yet out OPSed Crawford by 12 points this past season. If, nevertheless, Crawford is better than Ethier, is he really "Lowe + Elbert" better...?

2006-11-14 21:53:59
138.   trainwreck
That is what Billy Beane has been doing for years. It is once they get past that initial extension the A's have problems.
2006-11-14 21:55:10
139.   trainwreck
Once again I say why give up Elbert when everyone is looking for pitching? I think this off-season will prove it is best to build from within.
2006-11-14 21:55:33
140.   natepurcell

beane never extended them beyond their arbitration years like what the rays did with crawford.

2006-11-14 21:55:44
141.   trainwreck
Which should have already been obvious.
2006-11-14 21:57:30
142.   trainwreck
Didn't he sign Haren, Crosby, and Harden through their arbitration years and at least one season past?
2006-11-14 22:10:43
143.   Greg Brock
Hey Jon, I noticed that House M.D. has failed to garner a post over at Screen Jam. Has the good doctor fallen out of favor at stately Weisman Manor?
2006-11-14 22:18:18
144.   Bob Timmermann
"House" and "Veronica Mars" are on at the same time. Jon has to have priorities.
2006-11-14 22:21:14
145.   Greg Brock
So, House is losing to Veronica Mars...

Duly noted. And filed in the archives.

2006-11-14 22:21:47
146.   Greg Brock
Oh, I keep files on everybody.

Have I not mentioned that already?

2006-11-14 22:26:08
147.   Bob Timmermann
That's what my file on you says.
2006-11-14 22:28:32
148.   Jon Weisman
143 - House is fine. But House is a procedural, and I tend not to have much to say about those.

I think the stuff with David Morse has been excellent, but I haven't watched tonight's episode so don't tell me anything about it.

2006-11-14 22:29:14
149.   Greg Brock
For those of you with ESPN insider, you'll get a fun little treat in the MLB Rumor Central section.

For Alfonso Soriano, there are 11 suitors. They are as Follows:


Somebody needs a better proofreader over at the WWL.

2006-11-14 22:30:49
150.   Greg Brock
147 Your file is on my Enemy's List.

You, however, are not.


Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-11-14 22:32:02
151.   Jon Weisman
And by the way, D4P, Greg Brock is right. It isn't just that Boras makes ridiculous demands. Through effort and personality, he has the ability to convince GMs to accept those demands. I can't sell J.D. Drew as a $60 million player, but I'm guessing Boras can.

Negotiation isn't just about the demand. It's not a one-sentence conversation.

2006-11-14 23:09:56
152.   Uncle Miltie
Like (almost) all agents, Boras uses scare tactics. The reason why Boras is successful at what he does is because he's proven that he's not willing to back down. Most agents probably don't always get what they expect for their clients. Boras is very rigid. He's proven this in the past when he's had his clients hold out in the draft. We saw it most recently with Luke Hochevar. In the past, it's been Matt Harrington and JD Drew. Sometimes it works out (Hochevar), sometimes Boras' strategy fails miserably (Harrington).
2006-11-14 23:23:06
153.   ToyCannon
GB and Jon are right on the Boras issue. If I was Boras I'd be able to convince GB that D Eckstein is one of the great baseball stories of the 21st century and not worth the disdain that is heaped him upon just because he's revered as the scrappiness god which he himself has nothing to do with. You'd have to be 5'7 and weigh 150 and the arm of a broken down mailman to really understand what Eckstein has accomplished in the world of baseball. Boras could convince you, I however don't have the ammunition.
2006-11-14 23:25:01
154.   ToyCannon
Tommy Tanzer was the idiot agent for Matt Harrington not Boras.
2006-11-15 00:15:25
155.   Vishal
also don't forget the market power that boras has. there is SO much prized talent on his roster of clients. it's almost impossible to NOT deal with him. and then when you do, he convinces you that other teams will outbid you and on and on... it's brilliant.
2006-11-15 05:33:05
156.   D4P
Through effort and personality, he has the ability to convince GMs to accept those demands

I understand what everyone is saying, but I just can't buy it. If I'm an owner, I don't care how many glossy books I'm shown or how many times I'm told player X is the best (insert position name) in the league. It's not as if I have no familiarity with the players myself or with their stats. I can make my own assessments of their worth, and don't have to rely solely upon their agents' evaluations.

While I have no desire to defend the owners, I also don't think they're generally gullible enough to believe Boras. Rather, the bottom line seems to be that competition for scarce resources demands that they have to give in if they want good players. Unless they want to go the "Moneyball" route, they don't have much choice.

2006-11-15 07:40:46
157.   Andrew Shimmin
I think a distinction needs to be made between why Boras is great, and how he got great. I don't know how he got great, but expect that Jon and Brock are largely right. Why he's great now has a lot to do with the leverage his client list wields. Signing with Boras means you very likely get more money, but possibly get none. When the magic works, which it mostly does, you hit the big payday. When it doesn't, you're part of the reason it did for the other clients. Which, come to think of it is what Vishal said.

This has been your summary of other people's thoughts with your host, Andrew Shimmin. Yakshimash.

2006-11-15 08:23:09
158.   Andrew Shimmin
Now that I'm reading the article a question pops to mind: Roy Oswalt is lefthanded?
2006-11-15 08:32:14
159.   Jon Weisman
156 - Certainly, your resistance in this discussion testifies to your ability to withstand argument.

I agree with your second paragraph, and I think Andrew makes good points in 157. I just question how dismissive you are of Boras' glossy books. I suspect that in many cases, Boras can cause GMs to think of players in ways they hadn't considered. It might be small, but it might be the only edge he needs.

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