Friday 23 December 2011

Two More Bite the Dust

... in terms of potential Blue Jay acquisitions that is.  Sidenote- Queen is fantastic.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I can't say I'm overly surprised, but bear with me.  Big news yesterday, as the A's traded Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals for an absolute haul of prospects, AJ Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, and Tim Milone.  The former three are ranked 3,4 and 9 in Baseball America's top-10 Nationals prospects list.  Peacock and Milone could contribute to the MLB-team this year.

There are some rumblings all over the place, saying that Gonzalez really wasn't worth quite that much, and was simply a product of pitching in a positive run-environment.  The Coliseum in Oakland is certainly favorable to pitchers, though not by a huge margin, and the Oakland defense has been pretty good in the last few years, so it's certainly possible that Gio isn't as good as his numbers suggest, but his OPS-against at home isn't terribly different from his OPS-against away, especially when you look at the babip differential between the two.  He does walk an awful fucking lot of batters though.  I expect his numbers to get a fair bit uglier next year playing in the NL East.

It will be interesting to see what the A's do for the rest of the winter.  They already unloaded Trevor Cahill for a few prospects (Jarrod Parker being the main guy in that one), and now have gotten 4 more for Gio.  I'm told that two of them shouldn't really offer a whole lot in terms of upside, but they have a pretty solid minor league setup right now in terms of stockpiling young arms (and Norris is a highly touted catcher with power).  I'd look for Billy Beane to keep on unloading stuff for the rest of the offseason.  They have Kurt Suzuki under contract until 2014, and there's always a market for catchers since there is so much attrition at that position, and they still have a few arms.

I'm not sure what they could get for guys like Brian Fuentes or Grant Balfour, but their value probably rises as the trade deadline nears.  There are still a few surplus arms available, though none really need to be moved for salary purposes, and I can't see a huge haul for any other than Brett Anderson.  I can see Anderson, Dallas Braden, Guillermo Moscoso, Brandon McCarthy, Josh Outman and Tyson Ross (plus Peacock and Milone, if desired) all being logical options for the rotation, though Anderson has missed time in each of the last two years due to injury, and Braden is coming off Tommy John surgery or something, so maybe he'll just stand pat.  Maybe Ryan Sweeney or Daric Barton could bring something back?  Andrew Bailey is still an obvious trade candidate, and is almost a guarantee to be moved this offseason.

Noteworthy, I suppose, is that the price for starting pitching is outrageous now, and with both John Danks and Gio Gonzalez off the market, Alex Anthopoulos will have to pay a fucking bounty if he wants to acquire a top starter.  He could always take the Roy Oswalt route, or go after Edwin Jackson, but if he actually wants to trade for, say, Matt Garza, I'm pretty sure the Epstein/Hoyer combo are smart enough to realize what the A's got for Gio and adjust their asking prices accordingly.  There's obviously a difference in terms of price, age and years of control, but Garza is a better pitcher and has handled the AL East just fine in the past, so I'm sure the tag on Garza would be pretty comparable to Gio's.  Now that Washington has acquired Gio, Chien-Ming Wang, Ross Detwiler, or John Lannan could be available, though none of them are really front-line guys.

The other piece of news from yesterday, or the other dust-biter, if you will, is Carlos Beltran signing in St. Louis.  The move ships Lance Berkman to 1B, and allows for Allen Craig to recover from injury/surgery before kicking Jon Jay to the bench (presumably).  This is all something that could have been avoided by keeping Colby Rasmus, but hey, I'm not complaining.  I'd expect Jay to still get plenty of playing time, such as strategically placed days off for Beltran when the Cards play on turf, or when Beltran DH's in AL parks.

In a world where Michael Cuddyer gets 3y/$31.5MM, 2y/$26MM for Beltran is a fucking steal.  The Giants didn't offer arbitration, per a clause in Beltran's contract, so the Cards aren't giving up a draft pick, nor are the Giants getting one.  Brian Sabean probably doesn't even realize how fucking stupid he is, but he gave up Blake Wheeler for 2 months of Beltran and then didn't even bother offering him market value, though, based on this, maybe he just didn't want to be in SF. (Note- He actually vetoed a trade to Cleveland last year, and allowed a trade to SF, sooooo.....)

The Jays were rumored to be interested in Beltran as well (they're rumored to be interested in everybody!) as a DH/LF kinda guy, but that's too bad.

Other Stuff
The Reds have finalized the Travis Wood-for-Sean Marshall deal, sending two prospects to Chicago with Wood.  They should be getting a prospect or two if anything, but instead they're giving up two decent-to-not-terrible guys, in Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes.  Sappelt has some halfway decent minor league numbers as a LF over the last few years.  Torreyes is 19 years old and is listed as 5'9'', 140lbs, which I assume is wrong, but he's completely raked in two seasons of A-ball and the Florida rookie league as a 2B/SS/3B/LF.

The Jays announced their coaching staffs for the 2012 season.

A couple of tweets from Ken Rosenthal (I'm just linking his profile here and you can find them yourself if you care that bad) claim that the Red Sox were looking to trade for both Gio and Andrew Bailey for the last few days, only to focus solely on Gio once the Nats jumped in to the picture.  They're still looking to acquire Bailey.

Fangraphs has more on the A's new batch of prospects.

I wrote on Nowhere Plans the other day and can't remember if I linked to it or not, but don't really care if this is a second reminder on the matter or not.  It's part two of the Albert stuff, this time looking at what the contract is going to do to the Angels' lineup and payroll going forward.  Part one is here as well if you missed that one.

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