Friday, 25 May 2012

Roster Foundation, Part 1

Hey, do you guys remember that time the Jays acquired Jose Bautista, utility OF/3B for a AA catcher?  Yeah, me neither.  Like, literally, I don't remember that happening.  I know that it happened, and I know that it's a pretty important event, as far as the evolution of franchise goes.  I also know approximately how long he's been on the team, and therefore when the trade in question occurred (August 21, 2008).  Finally, I know who he was traded for (PTBNL Robinzon Diaz).  But the actual event... yeah, can't really think back and say "Oh yeah."  This is obviously because, at the time, this trade wasn't really anything.  Bautista was making $1.8MM in 2008, and probably would have been non-tendered by the Pirates at the end of the season, considering it's the Pirates, and the trade, to me, in hindsight, looks like it was meant to be a salary dump of sorts.

It's shit like that that I'm looking in to; little deals turn in to big deals, big deals turn to little deals, and sometimes, as we'll see, little deals turn in to other little deals, which turn in to medium sized deals twice, which turn in to little deals again, if that makes sense.  Basically, I'm going to track every player back to the origin of either a free agent signing or a draft pick.  This would be a fun, but exhausting, exercise to do with the Tampa Bay Rays franchise.  We could make a fun little flowchart out of this, but we also probably won't. All WAR figures are from unless otherwise stated.

Part 1 will focus on position players, Part 2 on pitchers, and then Part 3 will focus on guys in the farm system who are there as result of free agent compensation.

  • Kelly Johnson: Acquired from Arizona in August of 2011 for Aaron Hill and John McDonald.  Since coming to Toronto, Johnson has a .258/.357/.413 line in about half a season's worth of AB's, and has been worth roughly 2 WAR since then.  Arizona appeared uninterested in keeping Johnson for another year at his price, and probably would have ended up non-tendering him if they couldn't find a trade partner.  Hill was set to be a free agent, since the Jays certainly weren't picking up his option(s) and weren't interested in his mediocre-at-best play (ARI declined his options, but re-signed him for two years this offseason).  McDonald was thrown in for his defensive magic, with Stephen Drew being on the shelf, but re-signed with ARI for two years as well this offseason.
    • Hill was drafted by the Jays in 2003 draft, as the 13th overall selection.  He had two pretty good seasons, sandwiching a missed season or so, due to a concussion.  Over parts of 7 seasons, Hill put up 15.1 WAR, though he was worth -0.3 in his age 28 and 29 seasons (as a Jay).
    • McDonald was essentially named as a PTBNL in a trade for himself, so we won't bother with that.  He was also granted free agency and eventually re-signed with the Jays in 2009, so again, we won't bother.  We'll instead go back to 2004, when he was first acquired by the Jays, for Tom Mastny.  As a Blue Jay, he was worth 4.1WAR over parts of 7 seasons as a benchy and fan favorite.
      • Mastny was drafted by the Jays in the 11th round of the 2003 draft, totalling 94 innings of -0.8WAR ball, before being sold to a Japanese team.
  • Yunel Escobar: Acquired from Atlanta, along with Jojo Reyes, in exchange for Alex Gonzalez, Tyler Pastornicky and Tim Collins.  Atlanta was growing frustrated with Yunel's flashy play, or something retarded, which was apparently enough to warrant not having a decent starting shortstop for the next  however long [from that day until whenever Andrelton Simmons gets good enough to take the starting SS position away from Pastornicky].  Escobar, in a little over 1000 PA's, has a .280/.351/.383 slash line, and has been worth 6.5 WAR in Toronto with some pretty good defensive numbers backing him.  Jojo Reyes also happened, for a while.
    • The Jays drafted Pastornicky in the 5th round of the 2008 draft.  As a 22 year old, he's been worth -0.8WAR so far this season, and probably won't turn in to anything, since he's just a right-handed Eric Thames who does a poor job of playing shortstop, instead of LF.
    • Collins was signed as an undrafted free agent by JP Ricciardi, and has since been flipped to KC in a 5 player deal.  He's been worth 1.3 WAR to KC in 88 innings out of their bullpen between last year and this year, and probably shouldn't have been included in the Yunel deal, since he was killing minor league pitching, and was obviously not really in the plans in ATL.
    • Gonzalez was signed to a 1-year, $2.75MM deal with a club option.  He was mostly a stop-gap until AA could find something better.  Well, he did.  Granted, Gonzalez was worth 3.2 WAR over 85 games, thanks to his hitting 17 HR's.  The Jays sold very high.
  • Jose Bautista: As mentioned, acquired from Pittsburgh for Robinzon Diaz.  Bautista has been, arguably, the best hitter in baseball over the last few seasons.  17.5WAR since joining the Jays, -2.8WAR with all other clubs.  Nice.
    • Diaz has 148 career PA's, good for 0.5 WAR.  Better than I thought.  It's too bad he's been out of the bigs since after the 2009 season.  He's bounced around various minor league systems, and is currently in the ANA system.  He was signed as an amateur free agent in 2000.
  • Edwin Encarnacion: This one's fun, pay attention.  Edwin was a part of the return for Scott Rolen, and since joining the Jays, he's been demoted, DFA'ed, released, granted free agency, re-signed, and had an option exercised.  For the purposes of this excercise, we're just going to pretend that he wasn't in the Oakland system for like 10 days, and out of the Jays' care for a month.  Edwin has been worth about 4 WAR over part of 4 seasons (2 full seasons of AB's, give or take).  He tore the cover off the ball over the second half of 2011, and has been pretty good so far this year, with 14 HR's in 45 games.  Zack Stewart (more on him in a minute) and Josh Roenicke (claimed off waivers by Colorado, -1.2WAR with the Jays over 36 innings) were also involved in the deal.
    • Rolen should be a hall-of-famer when his career is over; 65.5 WAR over 17 partial or full seasons.  His time in Toronto was more-or-less brief-- 203 games of 6.9WAR baseball before being moved to Cincincatti.  I think there was cash involved in the deal, but I don't see that listed here.  He was acquired from STL for Troy Glaus, in a weird 3B-for-3B deal, though I guess the turf was fucking with Glaus' feet, and the Jays liked Rolen's defense better than they liked Glaus' offense, I guess?
      • Glaus was worth 7.1 WAR for the Jays over 2 seasons, though injuries caught up to him in the second, limiting playing time and production.  Glaus came to Toronto, with Sergio Santos (1.0, the shortstop version) for Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson.  Santos didn't appear in games for the Jays (yet), before being claimed off waivers by the Twins.
        • Hudson was drafted by the Jays in the '96 (33rd round) and '97 (43rd round) drafts, eventually signing the second time.  He was a fan favorite in Toronto over parts of 4 seasons, until the trade.  He put up WAR totals of 2.9, 5.0, and 3.1 in his three full seasons in Toronto, earning his first of 4 gold gloves.  He's fallen off a cliff these past two years though.
        • Batista signed with the Jays as a free agent (3y/$13.1MM), before being traded back to where he came from.  In two years with the Jays, he was worth 1.7 WAR, including -0.1WAR before being moved.  So yeah, Orlando Hudson helped the Jays get Edwin.
  • Colby Rasmus: You guys probably remember this one.  Rasmus (and Brian Tallet, PJ Walters, Mark Teahen, and Trever Miller) was acquired in a big rigamarole of a deal.  Rasmus has been okay, in a small sample, and plays nice defense, and we can hope that the bat comes along the way it acted in his 2009 and 2010 seasons.  The Jays gave up Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczysnki, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson (and cash) in the deal.
    • Jackson was acquired earlier in the day with Mark Teahen (instead of cash) for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart, so really, he wasn't ever a Blue Jay.
      • Frasor was re-acquired this past offseason, after spending a few months in Chicago, much to the behest of White Sox fans.  In a roundabout way, Edwin Jackson was acquired for Stewart, Miles Jaye (17th, 2009), and Daniel Webb (18th, 2010).  Either way, Frasor was acquired for Jayson Werth before either were any good. 
        • Werth was acquired in 2000 for John Bale, a Toronto 5th rounder, who threw 5.2 innings for the Jays.
      • Stewart appeared in a couple of games for the Jays, tallying 16 innings.  He's since provided some mop-up duty out of the bullpen, and might not ever really perform to the hype that was surrounding him while he was a top prospect in the Jays' system.
        • Stewart was acquired in the Scott Rolen deal, listed above (Rolen for Edwin, Stewart and Josh Roenicke. Rolen was acquired for Glaus, who was acquired for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista, who were drafted and signed as a free agent, respectively).
    • Rzep was a Jays' draft pick, going in the 5th round in 2007.  Scrabble started for a little while, and definitely showed some potential, but didn't really appear to have the upside to stay in the rotation heading in to the 2011 season.  As result, the Jays moved him to the bullpen, where he kicked some ass as a lefty specialist.  He was worth 2 wins over 160-ish innings during his time in Toronto, and was apparently a deal-breaker for the Cardinals.
    • Dotel made a quick stop in Toronto, signing a 1 year, $3MM deal before the 2011 season.  He was worth 0.4WAR during his 29 inning stint, though he wasn't exactly used correctly (that is, he was allowed to pitch against more than 0 lefties).  He was worth 0.2WAR for STL after the trade, though he was pretty good in the playoffs, which isn't counted there.
    • Corey Patterson signed a minor league deal with the Jays for $900k before the 2011 season.  His season started pretty amazingly, carrying a .293/.323/.462 line in to June.  He got the Adam Lind treatment, staying in the 2-hole for the next 8 weeks, as he OPS'ed .503 and .463 in June and July, respectively, to drop to -0.7WAR.
    • Teahen, Tallet, Walters and Miller were all DFA'ed between the time of the deal and the beginning of the 2012 season, and were alternatives to cash considerations.
  • Brett Lawrie: Acquired straight up for Shaun Marcum.  Probably a big mistake for the Brewers.  Lawrie has been worth an astonishing 6 WAR in 84 games, over parts of two seasons as a 21 and 22 year old, and half of that has come during an offensive slump.  Look out.
    • Marcum was drafted by the Jays in the 3rd round of the 2003 draft, and provided the Jays with 9.1 WAR over parts of 5 seasons (plus a missed year due to Tommy John), including a 3.8WAR year in his last year as a Jay.  He's given the Brewers 3.2 WAR in a year+, and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
  • Rajai Davis: Davis was acquired from Oakland for Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnusson.  Pretty much a bench guy, though he's serviceable as a platoon bat.
    • Magnusson was re-acquired for cash.
    • Farquhar was re-acquired in exchange for David Purcey, after he was DFA'ed.  Purcey was selected 5th overall by the Jays in 2004, and began sucking right around the time he made it to the majors.
      • Purcey was traded to Detroit for Scott Sizemore soon after. That deal looked awesome for Oakland until Sizemore was sidelined with TJ surgery, but an injured Sizemore is probably better than Purcey, who was released by the Tigers after the season. 
    • So basically, Davis for Purcey and Cash.
  • Ben Francisco: Acquired for Frank Gailey. Only 37 PA's as a Jay, and he's not making the most of them.  He had two respectable years in Cleveland in '06 and '07, but hasn't gotten much playing time since then. Francisco would get playing time if he was still in Philadelphia this season, thanks to injuries to everybody, but he's frankly a bench bat with little to no defensive value, and he's making nearly $2MM this year.  Salary dump
    • Gailey is 25 and still in AA.  He was a 23rd rounder for the Jays in '07, and has struggled every time he's moved up.
  • Jeff Mathis: Acquired for Brad Mills.  Mathis has been a serviceable backup for JP Arencibia so far, despite having a reputation as the worst hitter in the history of the big leagues.  Over 37 PA's, Mathis has been worth 0.4 WAR.
    • Mills was drafted in the 4th round of the 2007 draft, and appeared in 48 innings over parts of 3 seasons for the Jays, giving them -1.2WAR and 81MPH of fastball.
  • JP Arencibia: Drafted in the 1st round (27th overall) of the 2007 draft.
  • Travis Snider: 14th overall in the 2006 draft.
  • Eric Thames: 7th round of the 2008 draft
  • Adam Lind: Taken in the 3rd round of the 2004 draft, via the Angels, as compensation for the loss of Kelvim Escobar, who signed a 5 year, $41.5MM.  He gave the Angels 13 WAR, and missed most of the second half of that contract due to injury.  In parts of 7 seasons with the Jays as a starter and reliver, Escobar put up 9.6WAR.
    • Escobar was signed by the Jays as an international free agent in 1992.
  • Yan Gomes: Drafted in the 10th round of the 2009 draft.
  • Omar Vizquel: Signed this past offseason (2011/12) to a minor league deal.
  • Vladimir Guerrero: Signed as a minor league free agent.

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