The Point Is…

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 21-12-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, Atlanta Braves, Ben Sheets, Brett Myers, Doug Davis, Hank Blalock, Jason Bay, Jayson Werth, Jeff Weaver, Kelly Johnson, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark DeRose, matt holliday, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Octavio Dotel, Orlando Hudson, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Scott Podesednik, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Xavier Nady

Crickets. Nothing is really going on. After last week’s flurry of activity, it is all quiet on the Free Agent/Trade front. I think it is safe to assume that the Bay/Holliday sweepstakes will not be over until sometime in January. There may be minor free agent signings over the next couple of days, but nothing major.

Surprisingly, this article is not about me.

Surprisingly, this article is not about me.

Though I admit, I find it more exciting to find out where the under the radar free agents end up as opposed to the high priced stars. We all know Jason Bay is going to a handful of places. Same with Matt Holliday. Its guys like Orlando Hudson and Ben Sheets who will be interesting and it is those types of signings that make the difference.

Orlando Hudson signed a 1 year deal with the Dodgers and suffice to say, he was a major part of the Dodgers offense for most of the season. Certainly the Dodgers got a great return on their one year investment.

For example, Jayson Werth signed a one year $850,000 deal with the Phillies prior to the 2007 season. I think that has worked out quite nicely for the Phillies. Adam Dunn signed with the Nationals last season for 2 yrs/$20 million, which while high, isnt too bad considering the Nationals received 38 HR’s, 105 RBI, and a .267 average for their money. If I remember correctly, no one wanted to pay him because of the cost/value differential. Think the Braves or Mets wouldnt mind having that kind of production in the lineup?

The point is, unless you are the Yankees, and you fill almost every position on your roster with a big name free agent signing, teams win and lose from 1-40 on the roster. This means that you have to maximize your budget and find the best deals. Typically those deals are for guys, like Ben Sheets, who may end up being the Comeback Player of the Year next season. We could be talking in July saying things like, can you believe the Rangers signed Sheets for only $3 million for one season, when Sheets has a 10-2 record with a 3.13 ERA. Or how could a team NOT sign Matt Capps after he gets his 20th save.

I know it is a fairly obvious point but I think it often gets overlooked, especially during free agency.  Many fans overlook the value guys.  Sure Mark DeRosa or Adam Kennedy may not be stars, but what they add to their new teams might be more valuable than adding merely one big star.  Every season it seems like players who no one wanted in December end up playing a big role during the season.  Jeff Weaver for the Dodgers is another example.  Pedro Martinez for the Phillies. 


Does anyone want to sign me?  I will bring my attractive wife!

Does anyone want to sign me? I will bring my attractive wife!

Here is a list of guys, in no particular order, who I think will be a steal when they are finally signed:  (A steal reflecting a positive production/cost ratio as compared to other players)

-Doug Davis (P)

-Brett Myers (P)

-Hank Blalock (1B/3B/DH)

-Octavio Dotel (P)

-Kelly Johnson (2B)

-Xavier Nady (OF)

-Scott Podsednik (OF)

Now, I think there are more guys available who are valuable and not included on this list, but I think this is representative of the players who can definetly help a team win.  These are guys who I am interested in seeing where they end up and following them next year.


Happy Holidays!

The Point Is…

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 15-12-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Kennedy, Adrian Beltre, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Boston Red Sox, Brian Bruney, Brian Schneider, Chris Coste, Cliff Lee, Curtis Granderson, Daniel Schlereth, Edwin Jackson, Florida Marlins, Gregor Blanco, Houston Astros, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, Jeremy Hermida, Jesse Chavez, Kyle Drabek, Lance Armstrong, Mark DeRosa, Matt Lindstrom, Max Scherzer, Michael Taylor, Mike Lowell, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Placido Polanco, Rafael Soriano, Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino, Takashi Saito, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals

TPI took last weekend off and you have my sincerest apologies. On a rather humorous note, the Red Sox have tried to trade the Lance Armstrong of the Baseball World (Mike Lowell) to the Texas Rangers and would look to replace him with….drumroll….Adrian Beltre. I am not a general manager, though I do manage several fantasy baseball teams, but do you think it would be wise to bring in a guy who underperforms and is overpaid, into a fishbowl like Boston???? Do you really think Boston’s fans will have the patience for .250, 20 HR, and decent range/arm???? Not a wise move IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Yes, I speak in acronyms sometimes.

The NL East has been busy this off season. First let me address the Granderson trade. Love this move. Absolutely love it. But not for the Yankees. I love it for the Diamondbacks. Dont get me wrong, Granderson will make a fine addition to the already potent/imposing Yankee lineup. But you have to love what the Diamondbacks did. They imported Edwin Jackson, and Ian Kennedy. They have now added two starters to their rotation. Scherzer was good, and Schlereth might end up being a good reliever, but any time you can get a #2 guy to be your #3, it is a good move. Kennedy is definetly a #4 guy and he will thrive in that roll. Great move all around for everyone involved although I think the Tigers got the worst of the deal, which is not a knock on them. It was a fair and balanced trade all around.

Pudge Rodriguez. 2 years from the Nationals. I like what they are doing here. Sure, it is not 2001, but you have to like the fact that the Nationals are trying.   Getting Bruney from the Yankees is a good move.  Strengthens the bullpen.  If they could get another starting pitcher, they might be decent to watch.

Welcome Back, Enrico Polazzo!

Welcome Back, Enrico Palazzo!

Placido “Enrico Palazzo” Polanco has rejoined the Phightin Phils. I like Polanco as a player. I have a soft spot for guys who take pitches, work the count, and make contact. Very valuable. Like a Shane Battier of Major League Baseball. Does the fundamental things right, but isnt a superstar. My question is, where does he hit in that lineup? Are the Phils going to move him down in the order, which kind of negates his value.  Are they looking to move Victorino down?  That is the only downside of this move.  Polanco would not be a good #6 or #7 hitter.  Mark DeRosa/Adam Kennedy I think would have been a better fit. 

Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!

Apparently, not thankful enough to be playing professional baseball!

The Mets and Phillies each got a new backup catcher.  The Phillies picked up Brian Schneider while the Mets got Chris Coste.  Calling this move minor would still overplay its signifigance, but what makes it interesting is Chris Coste’s statements about his remaining “a lifelong Phillie”.   Further, Mr. Coste found it “difficult” to sign with the Mets.   Frankly, I am glad players have a little more invested in their employers than simply their loyalty to the all mighty dollar.  However, Mr. Coste, the Phillies just cut you.  They deemed you worthless, so worthless in fact, that they signed Brian Schneider to replace you.  Mr. Schneider  hit .218 last year.  .218!!!!  I think it would be wise for Mr. Coste to close his mouth, cash his paycheck, and thank the heavens above that someone wants to pay him to play baseball.

Moving on, the Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito and traded away Rafael Soriano, who had accepted arbitration.  Really, the Braves moved laterally here, unless you count what was received from the Tampa Bay Rays, right handed reliever Jesse Chavez, as an improvement.  It seems a right of passage for baseball teams to turnover their bullpens.  Usually, guys who one team didnt like move to a team that likes them slightly more.  Is Billy Wagner better than Rafael Soriano?  Not really.  Maybe cheaper, but otherwise, pretty much the same pitcher with similar injury concerns.  Saito is interesting but I think he has fallen from his spot as a stable bullpen presence. 

The Marlins yardsale continues as they have traded away Matt Lindstrom and Jeremy Hermida this offseason.  From Boston, the Marlins received, what else, young talent, in two left handed pitching prospects.  I dont even know what the Marlins got from Houston for Lindstrom.  Let’s just say, for arguments sake, it was a bag of magic beans. 

I cannot comment on rumors because they are just that, rumors.  I am sure there were other moves I missed, such as the Mets setting the world on fire by signing Henry Blanco who should not be confused with Gregor Blanco, because they are not related. 

Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....

Wait a second, you are not Cliff Lee....

Oh yeah, another thing, the Phillies just traded for Roy Halladay and three prospects.  If you read NLEastChatter, you knew I said that the Phillies needed pitching.  Well, they got it.  Just not in the way I imagined.  It is a shrewd business move, trading one star for another, especially since it looked unlikely that the Phillies could retain Cliff Lee past 2010.  However, do the Phillies actually get better?  They trade away 2 prospects in Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor and get three players back.  So essentially, for Roy Halladay, several months of Cliff Lee, and three prospects the Phillies traded 5 prospects, which really isnt a bad deal.  However, at the end of the day, entering next season, the Phillies still have one true ace, a solid number two/maybe ace/maybe bust and J.A. Happ.  This is exactly what they had when the season ended.  While Halladay is a great, great pitcher, the rest of the National League East cannot be any more afraid of the Phillies than when they had Cliff Lee. 

The rest of the offseason will be filled with what the hell the Mets will do.  The Mets, surrounded by Boston, the Yankees, and the Phillies, have watched all three teams pull off great moves and great signings.  They will be pressed into action.  The Nationals are essentially waiting for the dust to settle to see who will accept signing with the Nationals as opposed to playing in Japan, the Braves are quietly trying to put together a team in a city that cares slightly more about the Braves than the Hawks, but well below the Falcons and college football.  Lastly the Marlins appear to be determining who will show up for Spring Training to decide who they should sign.  With that said, feel free to show up to Marlins spring training.  If you manage to look official you might just join the 40 man roster.