Thursday, 8 December 2011

Winter Meetings -- Day 4

9:00: The Cubs and Rockies have gotten together on that rumored deal from yesterday.  Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers have been sent to Chicago for DJ LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin.  This is basically hot garbage for hot garbage.  Colvin and Stewart are the obvious centerpieces, but neither was at all good in any way this past season.  Stewart has piled up about 2WAR over parts of 5 seasons since debuting, whereas Colvin hit a rather hilarious .254/.316/.500 in 2010 before going to .150/.204/.306 this season.  Colvin in Colorado could lead to some pretty hilarious slash lines.  Colvin also got pierced with a broken bat at some point in the last 2 seasons, which was exactly as funny as it sounds.  I'd much rather Stewart, though that might just be the Coors bias.

7:15:  Something I haven't mentioned, mostly because of conflicting reports about what the actual laws are for each jurisdiction, is the difference between Pujols making $255MM in California and $275MM in Florida (assuming he gives a shit about that extra $20MM), as it pertains to income tax. Pujols is going to be giving a whole bunch that back to the government, and based on a lot of what I'm seeing, the $255MM in California is roughly equivalent to the $275MM in Florida based solely on take-home pay, though I can't really comment on the cost of living.  And really, when we're dealing with numbers this astronomical, especially with someone who has already completed a $100MM contract, not to mention endorsements, does it really matter what his take-home is?  Does it matter how far the take-home on $255MM goes?  I'm sure some economist will have something about this exact topic within the next day or two, but worst case, my friend Mike DH seems to know a lot about this stuff, so maybe he'll write something for me.

6:25: The 6:15 update was a joke, but it appears to have pushed Jonah Keri back a bit on his Primetime sports FAN590 interview.  Should be on any minute though.

6:15: The Lakers have traded Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to Charlotte for Chris Paul.

5:35: Per the Jays official facebook, they have chosen 3 players in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft.  RHP Javier Avendano from the Cardinals, 1B Gabriel Jacabo from the Angels and C Hector Alvarez from the Mets.  I know nothiing about these gentlemen, but the point of the minor league rule 5 is to get guys above the level that they would have otherwise been playing.  Presumably, all three of these guys will be playing AAA in Las Vegas (at least at the start of the year), or will be sent back to their original teams' AA affiliate.

In other news, a guy on my facebook got 23:1 odds on the Angels winning the World Series this year, which is a steal.  By the looks of things, once the Pujols deal was made official, Pro-line changed their Angels' WS futures from 23:1 to 12:1.  12:1 is fucking retarded, by the way.

5:05: Filed under "meh", Alex Gonzalez has signed with Milwaukee.  1 year guaranteed, with a vesting option for a 2nd.  Average defense at short will be a welcome change for Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum.

4:35- Stoeten has some AA comments from the last day or so, mostly from Gregor Chisolm.  There's an interesting one at the bottom about Kelly Johnson and the overall equation of [Current team - KJ + 2 draft picks - prospects in exchange for new 2B.]
"Sure if he left we would have gotten two draft picks, but I think the players we would have had to give up in trade would have been significantly better than the two draft picks. From that respect, one, I think we are a stronger team and two we’ve kept some of younger players."
I still think he would have preferred two draft picks over having Johnson back, but the way he says that they'd have had to give up significantly more than two picks worth of value, he was probably going to make a trade for someone who he feels would be less of an impact player than Johnson.  If Johnson left, I just kind of assumed that he'd go after a fringe-type infielder to fill the gap, and maybe make a deal midseason if needed, but that doesn't appear to have been the case.  There's something that probably went wrong in my "KJ is Gonso" piece two-ish weeks ago.

That player that AA is discussing when talking about the price to pay vs. draft picks is probably Gordon Beckham of the White Sox, but who knows for sure?  You'll notice that Beckham is much worse than KJ as a player, and that he doesn't get on base particularly well, with a .318 career clip over the equivalent of about 2.5 full seasons.  Johnson is clearly a better player offensively, and is certainly passable in the field, but is going to cost in the neighborhood of $6.25MM. Defensively, Beckham is better than Johnson. He's also only 25 years old, and he still has 4 years of control, making the league minimum, which explains the apparently high pricetag in a trade.

Beckham could turn things back around at any time, I suppose, but he appears broken right now, and it's probably good from a wins and losses standpoint that Johnson is back, especially if Beckham was the option. He ranked 17th of 18 qualified 2B's in WAR (ahead of only Aaron Hill), and ahead of only Mark Ellis on wOBA.

Other options could have included Robert Andino, or Jason Bartlett or Emilio Bonifacio if either wanted to convert from shortstop to 2B.  All of those players were worse than Johnson this past year.

I would not be surprised if, instead of going to arbitration, the Jays agreed on a deal with Johnson that includes two guaranteed years with some kind of options attached, though they may just prefer to sit and wait.  Even in an off-year, Johnson's 93 wOBA was above average for 2B, as were his slugging percentage, isolated power, and walk rate.  GB%, FB% and LD% on his batted balls are all pretty well in line with his career rates, so I think we can assume a return to form.  The only thing I see that scares me at all is his whiff rate rising.  He's swung, and missed at more strikes in each of the last two years than he has over his career, which explains elevated strikeout totals obviously, but it seems as though his eye and plate discipline are both fairly solid.

3:30- Red Sox sign Jesse Carlson to a split contract.

Rockies in on Michael Cuddyer for a 3-year deal.  That will likely need to be in the $27MM range to work, since he has an offer on the table from the Twins for $25MM.

1:00: The Marlins offered 10y/$275MM to Pujols.  10/$276MM would have made him the highest paid player ever, but meh.  10y/$254MM is the official deal.

12:40:  Fangraph's Dave Cameron did a live chat, mostly about the Angels, Rangers, and ramifications of the Pujols/Wilson signings on Fielder and the Marlins.

I should also point out that this is pretty much it for the Meetings, though there should be some random rumors trickling in, and that there are definitely still GM's hanging around.  I think most of the media is about ready to pack up and head out though.

Apparently CJ Wilson could have gotten $100MM from the Marlins if he really wanted to, but didn't really care about money, as much as playing in California for a winner.  "If this were about money, I'd be a Florida Marlin right now."

Gregor Chisolm has tweeted some AA comments.  I'm waiting to find them elsewhere so they're easier to copy and paste in one fell swoop though, presumably

Noon: Other than the obvious Albert Pujols signing, we missed some stuff while we slept.  At least I did.  Review!

The Angels have spent $327.5MM over the last 24 hours, possibly more, depending on Pujols' final value, which hasn't been released yet.  It's at least $250MM, plus the now confirmed $77.5 over 5 to CJ Wilson.  Yeah, fuck you Miami.  Here's Dave Cameron's take on the Pujols deal. [Edit] Oooh, and here's Jonah Keri's.

The Blue Jays have DFA'ed Brian Jeroloman again, this time to make room for Kelly Johnson.  Jeroloman was DFA'ed last week, and claimed by the Pirates, who DFA'ed him to make room for Clint Barmes.  The Jays then claimed him, but acquired Jeff Mathis, making Jeroloman expendable again.

The A's and DBacks are still discussing trades, and have discussed Trevor Cahill and 2011 first rounder Trevor Bauer.  Players can't be traded until a year after they've been drafted (or is it signed?), so he would end up being a PTBNL if that even happens... which it shouldn't.

It seems like teams aren't willing to go past 5 years on Prince Fielder, which seems to be really opening the market up.  Now that Pujols has signed, expect things to start heating up on that front, and look for somebody to break down and give him 6+ guaranteed years.  The Rangers are a pretty good fit, especially now that Pujols has signed with a division rival.

Yu Darvish has been posted, as reported last night.  Expect the Jays, Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox to be very interested.  New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine coached in Japan for a few years, so he got plenty of looks and apparently loves Darvish, according to Ken Rosenthal.  The Red Sox and Yankees could use a rotation upgrade and have a shitload of money, so I don't see any reason why they wouldn't beat the shit out of each other trying to get him, if for no other reason than to keep him away from a division rival.  We'll find out who won the posting 4 days from now.

Last night I mentioned that the Rangers were looking at Matt Garza, but those talks have cooled.

The Rockies looked in to Hiroki Kuroda immediately after moving Huston Street and $7MM off their charts.

The Orioles acquired Dana Eveland for some reason, giving up two minor leaguers.

12 players were selected in the Rule-5 draft.  The R5D is a way to keep players from being held back in minor league systems when they could have otherwise useful roles in major league rosters.  Drafted players must remain on the MLB roster for the entire season, or be returned to their original team.  I've never heard of any of the drafted players, and most resort to nothing, so let's just move on.

The Yankees are looking in to trading Hiroyuki Nakajima, the Japanese shortstop to whom they won the negotiating rights.  I'm not sure if they'll sign him first, and then trade him, or simply trade away the negotiating rights, nor am I sure if they're even allowed to do that.  By my count, they've now got 29 days to negotiate a deal.

Now that the Mets have signed FrankFrank and Jon Rauch, and traded for Ramon Ramirez, they might look to move some bullpen depth for a position player.  Bobby Parnell could be expendable now.

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