ALOHA JOSE-To Trade or Not to Trade That is the Question (pt. 2)

Filed Under (NL East Chatter, Uncategorized) by davidw on 17-05-2011

Tagged Under : American League, Baltimore Orioles, Jose Reyes, Kansas City Royals, MLB, National League, New York Mets

Reyes pondering future?

To briefly recap, Monday I wrote about the Jose Reyes trade chatter so far this season and rather or not the Mets should or would trade them. The question I raised was if they did shop him around to other teams who might they call and which teams could inquire about obtaining Reyes. I decided to look at the AL first and eliminated a few prospective teams. That left me with four potential suitors for the SS’s services. Since the Mets needs, particularly pitching, are somewhat immediate I predominately focused on AAA or AA talent when talking about minor leaguers.

Let’s check out the first team.

Baltimore Orioles

Postseason play is a pipe dream in ’11 for the O’s or is it? A quarter of the way into the season and the baby Birds are nipping at the heels of .500, only 3. 5 games back. It’s early but with the Yankees relying on the likes of Freddy Garcia and a retooled Bartolo Colon not to mention the Bosox maddening inconsistency, Baltimore could conceivably make a run. They’re an up and coming team that has a lot of talented young arms (something the Mets need) and J.J. Hardy as their SS. Nothing against Hardy but when you have a chance to acquire a premier talent in his prime like Reyes you don’t hesitate.

O's top prospect Machado a future Met?

This team is still a year or two away. They also have their own highly touted SS prospect in 18 year old Manny Machado. So do you jettison Machado in a deal for Reyes? Probably not, and the Mets would most likely not be interested since losing Reyes would create a large void on the left side of the diamond that would need to be filled immediately.

Taking a look at the Birds AA/AAA affiliates, other than a couple of intriguing possibilities, there’s really not much to choose from on the farm. At AAA top prospect Ryan Adams currently hitting .297 for Norfolk appears to be for real and former first rounder Brandon Snyder is carrying a .462 SLG percentage and appears ready for MLB action soon. AA Bowie slugger Ronnie Welty has some pop and lefty reliever Pedro Viola throws gas but neither could be a centerpiece of a deal. Most importantly, aside from Viola, none of them address New York’s primary need-pitching.

Future Oriole ace Brian Matusz

For a deal to materialize Orioles GM Andy MacPhail would have to part with one of his young starters: Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen or Brian Matusz. If they put a package of say Matusz or Arrieta along with Viola or Welty and Hardy (the Mets will need a SS, and he’s more than serviceable) then possibly an ancillary A or low A player it could make an interesting scenario. The wild card would be if the Orioles were willing to part with Matt Wieters. The Mets would definitely ask and the O’s would most like say no.

Unless the Orioles centered a deal around one of their young stud major league arms or Wieters the possibility of Reyes in black and orange is nil.

Kansas City Royals

The surprising Royals are looking more like contenders than pretenders at this point. It’s only May however and when Bruce Chen is your ace, well you need a lot of things to fall in your favor. A raft of youngsters await the call to arms in Omaha but throwing a pack of untested hurlers into the heat of a pennant race is not usually a recipe for success.

But let’s say the Royals find themselves still in the hunt around the All Star break. A move for an established arm and an electrifying shortstop atop a line-up featuring Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and possibly Mike Moustakas would be tempting for any GM. Tempting enough to part with one of their Grade AAA Prime pitching prospects? If it is, this could be one helluva a trade. Yes, the Royals have young, slick fielding Alcides Escobar at SS but that is exactly why this is a deal that if the pieces fall into place could get done. A caveat would be that Mike Pelfrey continues his recent streak of solid starts or maybe Chris Capuano stays healthy and pitching well.

Let’s say the Mets offer Reyes and KC has interest, the Mets obviously would want one of those stud pitchers in the pen down on the Royals farm. The Royals however need a 2 or 3 to shore up their current rotation, someone to provide some veteran savy for their next generation staff. So the Mets package Mike Pelfrey (or Chris Capuano) with Reyes. Now the Mets are solving two of KC’s immediate problems and by sending Escobar in return the Royals are providing the Mets with a replacement shortstop who was recently a highly sought after prospect. At 24 he is also still young enough to develop into something more.

At this point the Mets would look into that deep well of AA and AAA Kansas City pitching talent, drop some lines and go fishing.

Touted pitching prospect John Lamb

They’d find:

(L) Mike Montgomery 2.84 ERA at Omaha (L)-Danny Duffy 41K’s in 32 IP at Omaha (L)-John Lamb 3.49 ERA at AA and (L)-Jake Odorizzi 3-0 1.97 ERA at high A. (R)-Jeremy Jeffress is pitching well in relief for KC and although (R)-Chris Dwyer is struggling this year at AA, he rung up 113 batters in 102 IP last season.

Lesser known Royal prospects like AAA righty Kevin Pucetas 3-0 1.57 and hard throwing Wil Smith (NWArk) are more examples of the depth within the KC minor league pitching vault. Farmhands RF David Lough, ex-Brewer Lorenzo Cain, C/OF Wil Myers and SS Christian Colon are position players who also fit well with the Mets current needs.

There are so many options here that trade possibilities are endless. Reyes and Pelfrey for Lamb, Pucetas, Lough and Escobar. Reyes and Pelfrey for Myers, Escobar and Dwyer or Odorizzi, Reyes for Myers and Escobar, Reyes for Escobar and Duffy, etc…

Royals GM Dayton Moore would want to lock up Jose long-term before finalizing any deal. The question is would Reyes take his act from the bright lights of the Apple to the “show me” state. Kansas City does have a few things going for it though: great bar-b-que, Blues plus he’d have a lot of fun in the coming years on top of that developing line up. As dynamic as a KC/NYM trade could be, I believe the Royals would have to be in serious contention heading into August for anything to develop. The Mets would also, in effect, have given up on their season. If that scenario develops a trade to the Royals I believe would hinge upon Reyes signing a pre-trade deal with KC.

Reyes heading for a new home in KC?

Would Reyes sign on the dotted line and say yes to the Royals?

In my opinion Reyes is the kind of ballplayer who prefer’s a bigger stage to perform on. That’s not a criticism of him or the city of Kansas City. It’s just that some players live for the bright lights and adulation found in places like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago for example. Jose likes the limelight and he’d be to far away from it here. Reyes in Royal blue? No way, Jose.

(next we’ll look at the two other possible American League destinations for Reyes)

NL East Recap 6-19

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 20-06-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, Brian McCann, Chad Durbin, Chicago White Sox, Chris Coghlan, Chris Volstad, Cole Hamels, Curtis Granderson, Dan Uggla, Danys Baez, Florida Marlins, Fredi Gonzalez, Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Jake Peavy, Jayson Werth, JD Martin, Jon Rauch, Jorge Sosa, Jose Reyes, Josh Willingham, Kansas City Royals, Kris Medlen, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira, Mike Pelfrey, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Nyjer Morgan, Phil Hughes, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ross Gload, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Tampa Bay Rays, Troy Glaus, Washington Nationals, Wilson Valdez

Mets vs. Yankees

The Mets got off to a fast start in the Bronx, but the Yankees answered back and went on to defeat their crosstown rivals 5-3 to end the Mets’ winning streak at eight games.

mets-620Jose Reyes led off the game with a home run off of Phil Hughes, and added a two-run shot in the third inning to give the Mets an early 3-1 lead.  However, Mike Pelfrey allowed two-run homers to Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson in the third and fourth innings to put the Yankees on top.  Pelfrey (9-2) settled down after Granderson’s homer and gave the Mets seven innings, but took the loss.  Hughes (10-1) shut down the Mets after Reyes’ second home run and earned the victory.   Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his 16th save on the season.


Phillies vs. Twins

The Phillies and Twins played home run derby at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon.  Philadelphia was poised to take their second straight from Minnesota, but the Phillies could not hold onto a five run 9th inning lead and fell to the Twins 13-10 in 11 innings.

Twins Phillies BaseballThe Phils jumped on Twins starter Kevin Slowey for seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, powered by home runs from Wilson Valdez (yes, that’s right) and Ryan Howard.  Longballs by Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth helped the Phillies build a 9-4 lead in support of starting pitcher Cole Hamels.  Jose Contreras started the ninth for the Phillies and allowed a two run homer to Jim Thome before giving way to closer Brad Lidge.  Lidge allowed an RBI single to Denard Span and a two run shot to Joe Mauer to cap off the Twins’ five run ninth and tie the game at 9.

In the 10th, Chad Durbin allowed a solo homer to Drew Butera to give the Twins a 10-9 lead, but the Phillies answered back with a Ross Gload home run in the bottom of the inning off Twins’ closer Jon Rauch to tie it up.   However, the Twins went ahead for good in the 11th off of Danys Baez (2-3), scoring three runs thanks to a Delmon Young RBI single and a two run double from Matt Tolbert.  Rauch (2-1) bounced back from his blown save to pitch a scoreless 11th and earn the victory.


Nationals vs. White Sox

The Nationals and White Sox engaged in a pitcher’s duel for the second straight day in Washington.  The pitchers were different, but the result was the same as the Sox defeated the Nats 1-0 on Saturday.

nats-620Jake Peavy (6-5) was the story of the day, allowing just three hits and pitching a complete game shutout.  Nationals starter J.D. Martin (0-3) pitched well, allowing just one run over six innings, but that one run was the difference.  Carlos Quentin singled home Omar Vizquel in the fourth for the game’s only run.  The Nats threatened in the ninth off of Peavy, but couldn’t break through.  Nyjer Morgan walked to open the inning and was sacrificed to second.   However, Ryan Zimmerman struck out, and after an intentional walk to Adam Dunn, Peavy got Josh Willingham to pop out to seal the shutout.


Braves vs. Royals

The first place Braves hosted the Royals on Saturday night in Atlanta and used a walk-off home run to defeat Kansas City 5-4.

Royals Braves BaseballThe Braves jumped out to a 3-0 lead off of Royals’ ace Zack Greinke, scoring two in the first and adding one more in the fourth on Brian McCann‘s solo homer.  Braves starter Kris Medlen entered the top of the seventh with a 4-2 lead, but Medlen and reliever Eric O’Flaherty allowed two runs in the inning as the Royals tied up the game at 4 apiece.   The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth, when Troy Glaus led off the inning with a home run off of Robinson Tejeda (2-3) to win it for the Braves.  Closer Billy Wagner (5-0) pitched a scoreless ninth and picked up the win for Atlanta.


Marlins vs. Rays

The Florida teams played a wild game in Miami on Saturday night.  Played to a soundtrack of vuvuzelas (you know, those air horn instruments that have been the “buzz” of the World Cup), the Marlins scored three in the 8th inning to send the game to extra innings.  Florida mounted another furious comeback in the 11th, but couldn’t bring home the tying run and fell to the Rays by a score of 9-8.

Rays Marlins BaseballThe Marlins got solo home runs from Chris Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez  off of Rays’ starter Jeff Niemann, but the Rays scored four runs against Marlins’ starting pitcher Chris Volstad and entered the bottom of the eighth with a 5-2 lead.  However, Ramirez doubled in two runs, and Ramirez scored the tying run after Evan Longoria couldn’t field Cody Ross‘ ground ball cleanly.

In the top of the 11th, the Rays scored four runs thanks to the wildness of reliever Jorge Sosa (1-2).  Sosa allowed an infield single and walked two to load the bases, and then walked B.J. Upton and Reid Brignac with the bases full to force in two runs.  Jason Bartlett added a two run single as the Rays built a 9-5 lead.

The Marlins fought back, as Chris Coghlan singled home two and Gaby Sanchez singled home another to cut the lead to 9-8.  With runners on the corners and no outs, the Rays called on Andy Sonnanstine, who had pitched 4 2/3 innings the night before.   Sonnanstine struck out two and got Dan Uggla to fly out to right to end it and earn his first career save.  James Shields (6-6), who started on Thursday for the Rays, pitched the 10th inning and earned the victory in relief.

The Florida Marlins “Model”

Filed Under (NL East Chatter) by dangeluzzi on 09-10-2009

Tagged Under : A.J. Burnett, Antonio Alfonseca, Armando Benitez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Carl Pavano, Carlos Delgado, Chicago Cubs, Cliff Floyd, Derek Lee, Detroit Tigers, Don Levinski, Dontrelle Willis, Florida Marlins, Graeme Lloyd, Ivan Rodriguez, Jose Cueto, Josh Beckett, Juan Encarnacion, Juan Pierre, Julian Tavarez, Justin Wayne, Kansas City Royals, Luis Castillo, Matt Clement, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell, Mike Mordecai, Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Preston Wilson, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Jorgensen, Ryan Snare, Todd Jones, Wilton Guerrero

pavanoSince 1997 only one National League East team has managed to win multiple World Series titles. That team is the Florida Marlins. Despite existing in a league that features the high spending New York Mets, the consistent Atlanta Braves, and the offensive juggernaut known as the Philadelphia Phillies, Florida has managed to remain competitive and successful.
The Florida Marlins are a remarkable story not because they win but because of how they win. The Florida Marlins operate with the knowledge of two incontrovertible facts. First, the team will not spend a tremendous amount of money in the free agent market or on payroll, period. Second, low attendance at home games does not present a financial problem due to league revenue sharing and a low payroll. Thus, it is possible to still make money as a business despite the fact that no one really wants to buy your product.
However, simply having a low payroll does not necessarily equal success. The key to the Marlins success is that the Marlins maintain the team’s low payroll by combining young players still playing out their rookie contracts and questionable veterans who are willing to play for short, minimum contracts. The inherent quality in both of these types of players is that they have the need to prove themselves. Young players know that the Marlins have no desire to pay top dollar for a valuable player, but the organization is more than willing to either flip that player for prospects or let the player leave during free agency and recoup draft picks. Thus, it is in the player’s personal interest to perform at his highest possible level to ensure continued, gainful employment as a professional baseball player. The same can be said about veteran players. Guys brought in on one or two year deals for about the league minimum know that if they want to continue playing and/or get paid more money, they have to take the opportunity given by the Marlins to show that they can produce.
For example, players such as Miguel Cabrera (traded to the Detroit Tigers, signed to 8yr/$153.5 million), Dontrelle Willis (traded to Detroit Tigers, signed for 3yr/$29 million), Josh Beckett (traded to Boston Red Sox, signed for 3yr/$30 million), Mike Lowell (traded to Boston Red Sox 3yr/$37.5 million), Cliff Floyd (traded to Expos for package of prospects including Carl Pavano), Luis Castillo (traded to Minnesota Twins, signed by New York Mets for 4yr/$25 million), Preston Wilson (traded to Colorado Rockies for Juan Pierre and Mike Hampton), and Derek Lee  derrek-lee1(traded to Chicago Cubs, signed 5 yr/$65 million) all represent the Marlins’ plan to allow young players to develop and then trade them when they are at or near peak value. These players have then received more valuable contracts than the Marlins would have ever been willing to offer. In addition, players such as Ivan Rodriguez, Armando Benitez, and Todd Jones are examples of veterans who used their time as Marlins to procure more lucrative long-term deals.
Admittedly, the ability to continue to find successful and talented young players is vital for this type of organizational approach. However, to simply say that the Marlins have a talented scouting department dismisses the fact that when the Marlins trade talented players, they usually receive numerous prospects in return; thereby increasing the chance that at least one of those prospects will turn out to be talented. Prior to the 2002 season, the Marlins traded Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Chicago Cubs for Julian Tavarez, Dontrelle Willis, Jose Cueto, and Ryan Jorgensen. Only Dontrelle Willis developed into an upper echelon player, albeit for a limited amount of time. Further, that same season, Cliff Floyd was traded back to the Expos for Carl Pavano, Justin Wayne, Mike Mordecai, Graeme Lloyd, Don Levinski, and Wilton Guerrero. Ryan Dempster was also traded for Juan Encarnacion and Ryan Snare. The point of this is to demonstrate that the Marlins turned 4 players into 12 players, but only two or three of those players turned out to be valuable. By trading valuable young talent at the right time, the Marlins were able to increase the quality and quantity of the talent they received in return, thus minimizing the irodriguez1impact of failed prospects.
This is one of the reasons that differentiate the Marlins from the Royals, Pirates, and Orioles. These organizations wring their hands when it comes to trading players away for fear of angering their fanbase. Thus, players are held onto longer and the team loses leverage when dealing with other teams. Another major reason these organizations have not found the success that the Marlins have is that they attempt to sign high priced free agents to give hope to their beleaguered fan bases. Without analyzing the moves of each organization, suffice to say that by paying someone drastically more than the rest of your team does not fuel the players desire to prove themselves, but rather creates questions like, “If they have the money to pay Player X, why am I not getting mine?” Not to mention that by allocating valuable resources of a small market team into such a limited asset the organization is prevented from investing throughout the team. Lastly, the Marlins traditionally do not trade for established talent by giving up prospects but vice versa. This way, the farm system of the Marlins is constantly infused with young players.
Now, this is not to say that the Marlins have not signed a high priced free agent, ex. Carlos Delgado, or that they will trade away every promising player. It is simply a unique organizational approach that may or may not change with the building of a new stadium and higher expectations. Thus, it should come as no surprise when the Marlins find success despite a meager payroll. Its not that the Marlins win, but how they win that makes them an organization that should be emulated by small market teams in both the National and American leagues.