July 30, 2006

Deadline Drama II

Monday, 12:45 AM There was talk during tonight's game about a possible straight Loretta-for-Lugo deal. I'd do that, but that doesn't help our pitching staff.

For what it's worth, there was also this SoSH post at 10:44 PM: "A fellow Sosher embedded at Fenway just called and told me the Loretta for Lugo deal is done. Loretta was seen leaving Fenway earlier." ... Two follow-up posts after the game: "loretta was in the clubhouse after the game laughing off the rumor according to cbs" and "Per CBS-4 (Sports Final), Loretta was in the dugout during the game".

Jayson Stark says the Red Sox have inquired about Giants starter Jason Schmidt, along with the Mets, Rangers and maybe the White Sox. Stark says the Giants are warning teams that Schmidt will be "expensive" -- either two top-tier young players or one player like that and a young starting pitcher who could replace Schmidt.

Sunday, 5:40 PM -- Will Carroll reports that the Cardinals are about to acquire second baseman Ron Belliard, so that likely removes St. Louis from any Loretta discussion.

Sunday, 4:22 PM -- It's official: the Yankees have picked up Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle from the Phillies for shortstop C.J. Henry, lefty Matt Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez and righty Carlos Monasterios.

Only Henry (the Yankees' first-round draft pick in 2005, batting .237 in 76 games Charleston (A)) and Smith (who did not allow a run in 12 appearances in New York and has a 2.08 ERA in 24 games for Columbus (AAA)) are worth talking about.

So, in exchange for little more than money (Abreu: $13 this year, $13 in 2007 and a $13 option in 2008 (which they actually may not be obligated to pick up)), the Yankees got a decent right fielder and an upgrade over dreck like Ponson in the #5 starter spot.

But does it really help them? Lidle's NL ERA has hovered around 5.00 all year, and when he was with the Blue Jays in 2003, he posted a 5.75 ERA in 31 starts. Abreu has some speed, but in June and July, he has slugged .404 and .313, respectively. I'm not convinced. Lidle is not the answer to their need for pitching.

The Red Sox acquired Bryan Corey, a right-handed reliever who was DFA'd by the Rangers a few days ago in exchange for AA RHP Louis Mendoza. Corey has pitched in the big leagues in 1998 (Arizona, 4 innings), 2002 (Dodgers, 1 inning) and 2006 (2.60 ERA and 15 hits and 8 walks in 17.1 innings).

Theo is just clearing his throat. ... Right, Theo?


laura k said...

But does it really help them?


anonymous educator said...

Abreu's OBP is very good, but I don't like his physical appearance. He reminds me of Sammy Sosa.

Sean O said...

No, it doesn't really help them. they take on $40m in payroll for .100 OPS points. Big whoop.

I am just praying Theo doesn't do anything. Sorry folks, the only way he ever helps us is with the moves he doesn't get a chance to make, since otherwise he just screws up both the present and the future of this club.

Do nothing Theo, save the club.

laura k said...

they take on $40m in payroll for .100 OPS points. Big whoop.

Why should we care about the Yankees' payroll? That's not our problem. Abreu is better than whoever's filling in for Sheffield, and Lidle is not great, but he doesn't suck. So it helps them.

That doesn't mean they're suddenly a first-place team. Just that the trade improves their chances.

Saying so doesn't make you any less of a Red Sox fan.

Sean O said...

Speaking as a general fan of baseball, taking on $40m for the difference between Bernie's .750 OPS and Abreu's .850 OPS is stupid. It will help them, but it's not the sea change that people are making it.

Plus, Abreu's going from the Not-a-real League to the AL East, which should make a significant difference.

San Francisco Red Sox Fan said...

I'm not surprised about the St. Louis trade falling through. I almost wondered if it was a Theo cover to throw off the Yankees from whatever real trade may or may not be happening. I'm very intrigued that Foulke didn't have his session today...

allan said...

While it's true that we shouldn't care about what this will cost the MFY, it is pretty clear that the Red Sox could have matched the Yanks offer of low-level prospects, but felt (correctly (and wisely)) that they couldn't assume the financial burden.

The Sox are saying Foulke had a problem with his back. Can't imagine any team having an interest though.

laura k said...

it's not the sea change that people are making it.

Definitely not. Just an improvement.

Jack Marshall said...

The trade doesn't surprise me...we all assumed something like this. To the extent that it takes Bernie W.out of the line-up, though, I'm beginning to think it will hurt, not help. We have to face the fact that it is damn impressive that the Yankees didn't fold after losing Matsui,Cano,and Sheffield with Johnson in and out and Damon and Posada hurting. Some of this was luck, as the Yankees have had more than their usual share of meltdowns by teams that should have won and game-changing botches by unpires, and some is steroids, as Giambi carried the load for while, but most of it is proven championship players....Jeter, Williams, Damon, Posada...toughing it out and playing great in the clutch. Williams is waaay over the hill, but he has been a godsend during this period, and if they just bench him, I think they'll regret it.
Lidle...eh. He helps, but he's 4th starter that could be on any team. If I had to bet, I'd still say the odds favor age pulling the Yankees down and out in August.

We'll see, won't we?

Count me as someone who finds Sean's comment inexplicable and unfair, by the way. But then, he also was dead certain that the Sox would be a losing team this year, if I recall...

laura k said...

Count me as someone who finds Sean's comment inexplicable and unfair, by the way.

His comment re Theo? Inexplicable is an understatement. It's the Twilight Zone. I'm tempted to make a list... but I'll behave myself.

Sean O said...

Go ahead, make a Theo list, and I'll make my own. Clement, Crisp, Renteria are hard to tiptoe around.

Face it, he hasn't made a good move in exactly 2 years.

allan said...

way too early to pass judgment on crisp.

Sean O said...

No, it really isn't. 50 ABs is too early, 100 ABs might be too early, 245 ABs is plenty. He can't steal, can't field (according to the Davenports, at least, and Dewan's system in the past), can't walk, and can't hit for average.

He's hitting more groundballs compared to liners, so he's not even making good contact. What is there to be happy about here?

When he comes to the plate, do you expect him to produce? I usually wait for Gonzalez to come up, since he's been having a far better season to this point.

thatdietcokegirl said...

whatever, typical yankees: get the big flashy name in the big flashy deal. it's psychological.
bobby abreu will hit, but cory lidle is nothing to write home about.

allan said...

It's a three-year deal. We are a little past the halfway point of the first year.

Even if he doesn't turn it around much in the next two months, he could still put up (or improve on) the numbers he had in Cleveland in 07-08 and I'll be happy.

Jack Marshall said...

Sean, that's just nonsense. Crisp is young and a proven talent; he'll deliver. Renteria was a good and sensible move; who could know that he was a weenie? So we dumped him; good management: when a move doesn't work, fix it. Clement had a more than respectable year in '05...I have NEVER seen a pitcher so vilified based on one high profile start. Meanwhile you ahave Schilling, the Nomar deal, Foulke, Cora, Kaplar, Timlin, signing Ortiz from the Twins. ...good moves large and small
Tell me again how Beckett is going to have a losing record and the Sox will be lucky to be a .500 team....

Sean O said...

1). Coco - Just saying something does not make it so. How is he a proven talent? As far as I can tell, he's had 2 good seasons, and that makes him a proven talent? Isn't it a bit worrisome to anyone that he's putting up the exact same numbers as he did in 02 and 03?

2). Renteria was not a sensible move. We gave, what, 12m a year for someone who had one great year (at age 27, which smelled of fluke), and 1 other good year, but was otherwise terrible.

To make matters worse, everyone he knew said he shouldn't go to Boston, because they didn't think he could handle it. Lo and behold, they were right.

3). Clement did not have a respectable 2005. He had a good May-June, then had an 8-something ERA from July on. It had nothing to do with the Crawford liner, or anything else, he simply lost the ability to hit. And, in 2004 he collapsed at exactly the same time.

Let me ask you this, did you hear of a single Cubs fan upset that Clement left? I lived in Chicago at the time, and everyone was excited to be free of him.

4). I never once said the Sox would be a .500 team, I said we would finish third in the East. And if Lowell and Youkilis hadn't exceeded everyone's expectations, and Papelbot not been the best reliever in the Majors, where would we have been?

And for Beckett, I said he would have a 4.5-5 ERA, and he would get killed in the AL. How did that turn out? I never said he would have a losing record, because anyone who knows baseball doesn't care about win/loss records. I was exactly right about Beckett.

Jack Marshall said...

That's ridiculous, Sean, all of it. Crisp's 2003-2004-2005 development is consistent with what was projected for him. I'd call him a proven talent who's had a tough couple months after an injury. Renteria has always been a solid star, a gold glove level fileder who hits with average and power. The Sox over-paid, but not by a lot. "Everybody" knew he couldn't handle Boston: nonsense. Nobody knows until a player actually plays in a city how they'll react. "They" said Foulke couldn't handle Boston, but when he's been healthy, he's done just fine. ...Clement won 14 games in 2005: that's a solid season. I know, I know...you think winning 6 games with a great ERA is an All-Star season for a starter. Well, you're nuts. I'll take the 14 wins, thanks.

WHO didn't expect good performances from Youkilis and Lowell? The Sox obviously did; I did. They didn't expect to lose 3/5 of the rotation to injury, though. Picking them third showed that you misjudged their talent then, just as you are now.

"Anyone who knows baseball doesn't care about win/loss records." Juuust a bit overstated, doncha think?

So Becket just happens to be the only pitcher with 12-13 wins who is a lucky mediocrity? What a coinkydink!! W-L records can be misleading, but that doesn't make them meaningless, especially for starters. Becket was a great pick-up, and high ERA notithstanding, 98% of baseball people would agree with that assessment.

Sean O said...

You honestly believe that Kevin Millwood deserves to go 9-11 last year with a 2.86 ERA? What was he supposed to do to get wins, inspire his team to hit better? He's in the AL so he can't bat, so what should he do?

All this talk about win-loss rates meaning anything is laughable. Roger Clemens had an all-time great season last year, and he went 13-8. In 2004, Derek lowe was horrible, with a 5.42 era, and won 14. Do you think their seasons can be compared at all? Should we chide Clemens for not hitting .400 and providing more runs for his team?

The point of a pitcher should be to keep runs from scoring. Clemens and Millwood did that amply, while Clement, Lowe and Beckett fail at that task. If Beckett were playing for the Brewers, he would have a very different record, since they wouldn't score anywhere near as many runs as we do.

Just because something is projected for Crisp doesn't mean that's what should happen. Players don't always peak at the same time, and it's entirely possible that Crisp peaked a few years early. Are you saying there's nothing to him hitting exactly, down to a couple of points in ba/obp/slg, the same as he did in 02 and 03?

As for Renteria, he was never a solid star, he was a guy with a .750 OPS who had 2 good seasons. Tejada, meanwhile, has over an .800 OPS, with several seasons approaching .900. As for the "everyone" I mentioned, a large, large group of people who were really close to Edgar warned him against going to Boston, saying he didn't have the makeup for it. Wouldn't they know him pretty well?

Are you saying that you expected Youkilis to be a .300 hitter with ample power, which his major league numbers didn't even hint at? If so, you should be a scout, post haste. And after everyone was talking about Lowell's bat speed and looking old for his age, you expected a .293/.342/.503?

I don't doubt that 98% of baseball people believe that w-l records mean something, and that's why 98% of baseball people think Jeter is a great fielder whose intangibles make him a godlike figure. The point is, baseball people don't look at the right things.

You can either look at something that values what the player himself can control, or you look at superstitious nonsense. Most people seem to pick the latter.

DanM said...

EGADS! I have been on the sidelines - getting my fantasy-brains beat in - but reading the Joy of Sox from time to time.

Man, this diatribe has been truly entertaining. Crisp quite simply, though I love him, has been no replacement for Damon (he isn't leading off, he isn't hitting (except into DPs) and while he can run a mile and catch the ball he can't throw it - so he is a swap with Damon in the outfield - NO way at the plate.

How about the trade with Cincy - remember Arroyo?? We still have Clement clogging up our arteries - bad Theo!

I am/was a Renteria fan - it didn't work in Boston and it was expensive. Gonzalez has been much better for us - and he worked out his batting woes to boot! Good for him, and us. Good Theo.

Anyway, this has been an inexplicable year - we need pitching badly. Perhaps we need steroids too?? Oops - my bad!

Go Sox - its hot and when thimgs cool down we will get hot again, I hope!

PS - Except for the money I would take Abreau over Trot night and day and day and night, etc etc etc.
Going, going and GONE!

Stankyfish said...

4). I never once said the Sox would be a .500 team, I said we would finish third in the East. And if Lowell and Youkilis hadn't exceeded everyone's expectations, and Papelbot not been the best reliever in the Majors, where would we have been?

That's the whole point. The players have lived up to (and in many cases exceeded) the high expectations placed on them.

Where does that leave your prediction? Are you really going to justify that if not for a handful of independent factors going a complete unexpected (in your opinion) way, you'd have been dead on?

Sean O said...

So we're to expect that 1/3rd of our roster should be performing at 90-100% of their PECOTA forecasts? PECOTA is obviously just a glorified guessing tool, but Youk would be at about 85%, while Lowell would be at about 90%.

The point is, at the beginning of the year, all the posts I read said "we'll be ok if any of the following happens: if Schilling and Foulke are healthy, if Youkilis can perform, if Loretta can recover, and if Lowell can produce like he used to." The fact that 4 of those 5 things happened is somewhat miraculous, don't you think?

When you field a team of old players, you have to wonder what the results will be. Going into this season, if you honestly expected Lowell would have an .850 OPS, kudos to you.

From the Vined Smithy said...

I don't agree with a lot of Sean's point of view, but I do think that doing nothing is probably the best thing for the Sox right now. I think the price for a pitcher we'd want would be too high.

But as I said on YanksFanvsSoxFan, I'd drool over one Oswalt, who's apparently available, though again, they'd probably ask for way too much.