Saturday, 5 November 2011

A few more tradeables?

As expected, we're hearing about a few more guys who could be had in trade discussions, now that the offseason has begun.  Let's have a look at some of the names who have come up so far this offseason:

Derek Lowe: Traded to the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians got the Braves to eat $10MM of the $15MM he's owed, so a $5MM Derek Lowe is pretty solid.  The Braves could still use a little bit of payroll flexibility, though not necessarily right now.  They have a young core of guys who are going to get pretty expensive throughout the next year or two, which explains...

Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado:  In my original tradeables series, I said this about the Bravo's situation:
 I don't think they're overly fussy about moving any of their young guys, MLB or AAA, because guys like Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson  are getting pretty old and Jair Jurrjens is only good every 3rd season.
In terms of 2B, I wonder if Martin Prado could be had?  He played LF for most of the year after the Dan Uggla signing, and played a lot of 3B over the last two years with Chipper Jones being injured or needing to go eat at 4:30.

Well, we found out either yesterday or the day before that both Jurrjens and Prado are "kind of" being shopped.  Jurrjens just isn't all that special, and I'd sooner Brett Cecil in the rotation than Jurrjens, especially at that pricetag.  If AA goes there, I guess I could get behind it, but only if he doesn't give up anything of substance, or gets some big salary relief.  Prado hasn't played more than 140 games in a season in his career, and hasn't played a full season of 2B, so he's not a great candidate, but there's not really much out there for 2B's.

I hope we stay away from JJ, but I'd be cool with something like Thames+ a prospect outside of the top 20 in the system for Prado straight up.  I suggested this in the MLBTR comments in the link above, and got kind of laughed at, but Braves' fans seem pretty retarded as a general rule, but I can also see why it would be really, really easy to overestimate Prado's value right now.  His 2010 was really, really good, but he was below average offensively last season, and is an injury concern.  Beyond that, the offer of Thames+ for Prado considers both the fact that Thames (probably) isn't as good as Prado, nor will he (likely) ever be, but we're talking about 6 years of control of Thames in exchange for 2 years of Prado, coming off a down year.  Thames describes what ATL needs in this deal-- a power-hitting outfielder and a cheap one at that.  Thames, in a bit more than half a season, hit 12 HR's, slugging .456 and a .193 ISO, good for 8th among rookies.  I wouldn't be overly surprised to see something happen here, though I'm not too sure how the Jays see Thames right now, especially until we figure out what the deal is with Snider.

Jonathan Sanchez: Someone I didn't really consider in my original piece was Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants, who is apparently being shopped.  He's also in danger of being non-tendered, which makes his trade value pretty hilarious.  He's set to make $5.2MM this year, which doesn't really offer a whole lot of surplus value, explaining the non-tender thing.  SF wants offense pretty much across the board, but I'm not sure if Sanchez is enough to get anything of substance.  Again, Thames is there, but also again, Sanchez only has another 2 seasons of team control left if he's even worth keeping around once his price rises again next year.

Tim Lincecum: Yeah, I know... bear with me though.  I know it sounds absurd, but all the reasons of trading Jonathan Sanchez make a whole lot more sense if the name Tim Lincecum is stuck in there, as Dave Cameron from Fangraphs does here.  The price would be outrageous, but if the Giants think that they can improve, there is absolutely no reason not to do it, especially if they can lock up Matt Cain with the savings.  The big thing from Dave's post, in my opinion, is this:
Even if Lincecum is a +6 win pitcher going forward, the Giants have historically been able to coax +1 to +2 win seasons out of run-of-the-mill arms, and it’s been going on long enough to no longer just be considered a coincidence.
I mean... Ryan Vogelsong?  I know, right?

Here's where I think we're getting started: The Giants are set at C, with Buster Posey, and 3B, with Pablo Sandoval.  Either can play 1B, and the plan might be to eventually get Posey out from behind the plate after his season ended prematurely this year with a broken ankle.  Beyond those two positions, I don't think there are any sure things in SF around the field.  Brandon Belt can also play 1B, but he can be inserted in to the outfield just as easily, which leaves some flexibility here.

Timmy's K-rate has dropped in each of the last 2 years, and his bb-rate has risen, with mostly everything else staying static.  He's been lucky with HR's, thanks to pitching in San Francisco, which explains why he's outperformed his xFIP 3 out of the last 4 years, but when the market for starters is so thin, it's something you've got to at least consider taking.

Dave thinks that Jesus Montero+Eduardo Nunez+cash would be enough; something I don't necessarily agree with, especially with the leverage SF would have, though Dave is a lot smarter than I am.  If that would be enough to get it done, I bet the Giants could have any two of Snider/Lind/Thames/JP/Hech, with a varying amount of cash depending on which they took.  I honestly think we're starting with JP and Snider and throwing in more if this gets done, but the Jays have the prospects and cash to recover from losing something like that, especially if it were to acquire TIMMEH.

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