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December 6, 2010

Transaction Analysis

Adrian Gonzalez and Shaun Marcum

by Christina Kahrl and Kevin Goldstein

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IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

BOSTON RED SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired 1B-L Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for RHP Casey Kelly, 1B-L Tony Rizzo, CF-L Reymond Fuentes, and a PTBNL. [12/5]

CK: The Red Sox may not have had a premium prospect to deal, but they did the next best thing by rounding up a pair of first-round picks plus their latest young first-base prospect to get the right to negotiate their A-Gonz extension beyond the 2011 season, tacitly sub rosa or not. As the exchange goes, you have to love it from Boston's perspective, whether you operate from the assumption that they're getting a game-changing bat for several seasons to come or not.

First, consider that they did not end up having to deal from their MLB-ready outfield depth, or surrender any of their overlapping middle-infield options. So all of that is still there, for Theo Epstein and company to employ or deal from, having already achieved job one.

Instead, they bundled up a Low-A maybe, a slow-go pitcher reconversion effort, and Rizzo; a year earlier, and it would no doubt have been Lars Anderson in Rizzo's place, which ought to say something about the benefit of being wary about Boston's oversold, overhyped prospects. As much as Jed Hoyer knows them better than anybody, and as easy as it is to say the eventual scorecard for this deal is years in the making, this move did little or nothing to provide the Pads with the bopping outfielder they'll need (especially after Ludwick leaves a year hence), or a pitcher who will help them in the next two years, or a first baseman guaranteed to be ready to replace Gonzalez by 2012. Anything conclusive that we can say about this deal before 2013 for the Padres will be bad, while Epstein and company still have plenty to work with to shore up their bid for relevance right now.

Second, for that pocket full of maybes, they got exactly what they needed right now: the premium bat that lets them comfortably move Kevin Youkilis to third base, at a price that allows them to afford their generosity in retaining David Ortiz for one last spin at $12.5 million. Haggling over the particulars and then deciding that the best way to go was choose not to settle now (waiting until April or later) seems like a bit of gaming the system to avoid any luxury tax penalties. Maybe a game with Bowie Kuhn at Commissioner would care about such chicanery, but then again, a game under Bowie Kuhn wouldn't have achieved the luxury tax in the first place. If Czar Bud rules with a loose reign in dealing with his liege lordlings within baseball's medieval business practices, who are we from the autonomous collectives to complain?

Which leaves Boston with what? Adding the eighth-best batter in the major leagues for at least a single season, his age-29 season, taking him out of Petco and liberating him to mash everywhere else. The incredible likelihood that he'll be around for longer than that, and the benefit of swapping in the fifth-best batter in the game at third for the departed Adrian Beltre. Away from Petco, Gonzalez has hit .298/.370/.559 on his career. If you're fidgety, as I am, and want to also deduct his hitting in frequently visited bandboxes like Coors Field and the Now-Bob-less BOB as well as Petco, you're still looking at a guy who hit .292/.362/.546 on his career. Add in quality work on defense, mitigating the hit the Sox will take with Youkilis replacing Beltre, and it's an immediate win-now pickup of the best available first-base option this winter.

Is it worth it? Absolutely, and not just because by the time they have reason to re-evaluate whether there's any cause for regret, Theo may very well have retired again, bought an island, or starred in his own reality TV show. Balanced against that moderate risk, you can always suppose that Anderson pans out, this year's draft replaces Fuentes and/or Kelly. In short, it was not just a move Boston could afford to make, in terms of talent, it was a move they couldn't afford to reject.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
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Signed OF-S Brandon Boggs to a major-league contract. [12/2]
Acquired RHP Carlos Villanueva from the Brewers for a PTBNL. [12/3]
Acquired 2B-R Brett Lawrie from the Brewers for RHP Shaun Marcum. [12/5]

KG: While the Brewers sent a top prospect in Lawrie to the Blue Jays, one wonders if playing for his home country's team will help bring out the best in him. He had an impressive season at Double-A for a 20-year-old, but it wasn't without its fair share of concerns.

Packing 215 pounds onto a compact, thick six-foot frame, Lawrie is remarkably athletic for his size and shape, showing off 50-55 scouting-grade speed while smacking 16 triples and stealing 30 bases in 2010. He's good hitter with fine bat speed and outstanding hands, and with 60 extra-base hits, he's going to hit much more than the eight home runs he launched last year, projecting for at least average power as he matures. Neither Eddie Yost or Alfredo Griffin in terms of his approach, he's an aggressive hitter, but doesn't swing at bad pitches.

Add it all up, and it's a star-level ceiling, but for many scouts he'll only be as good as he wants to be, as questions about his makeup have tailed him ever since he was the 16th overall pick in the 2008 draft. The Brewers drafted him with the understanding that he'd be willing to catch, but Lawrie reversed that decision when he reported to camp the following spring. Hoping he could catch on in the infield, Lawrie has proven to be a sloppy and at times indifferent defender, including 25 errors last season. At times, the indifference comes with him to the plate as well, as multiple sources have used terms like, "min-effort," "bad body language," and "cruise control" when describing Lawrie's energy. There's always the chance that he's misunderstood and just calm, cool and collected, but when there's smoke, there's usually fire.

This trade could provide the spark he needs in order to live up to his potential, or could hold him back... it's really up to him.

CK: I'm just going to keep on being impressed with most everything Alex Anthopolous does. Deferring to Kevin on Lawrie's potential, I'm just impressed by the Jays GM's willingness to take on Villanueva's arbitration case, instead focusing on the fact that guys with 29 percent strikeout rates don't grow on trees. If Ned Yost or Ken Macha couldn't find a way to use that kind of pitcher, maybe that just goes begging for a reason to get a guy out of the organization employing them. He's not a ground-ball pitcher and he's not a starter, but the off chance that the Jays just added a below-market pitcher ready to be a high-leverage set-up man looks fairly tasty at this undetermined price.

As for surrendering the surgically-repaired Marcum, and assuming the two deals aren't interconnected, this seems like a sensible deal from depth. Two seasons of arbitration eligibility with Marcum, to get a blue-chip position-playing prospect? The Jays were short on position players with upside as is, so as a one-to-one exchange, getting what Lawrie's first six years in the majors might be for the surgically repaired Marcum's next two isn't that bad a swap. The Brewers will look good initially, but Toronto will be able to replace Marcum with Kyle Drabek or the like.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS
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Traded RHP Carlos Villanueva to the Blue Jays for a PTBNL. [12/3]
Acquired RHP Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays for 2B-R Brett Lawrie. [12/5]

CK: While the Villanueva deal is a fairly straightforward bit of arbitration avoidance, the Marcum trade is much more significant. While it is a case of dealing a major prospect for an underrated starter with an extensive track record for fragility as well as two years of arbitration to boost his price tag, credit Doug Melvin for getting a better starter for two seasons than you'll generally find on the market. If Lawrie wasn't the only coin paid to get Marcum, at least the Brewers won't have to pay market pricing for a quality starter.

Marcum's 2010 campaign didn't exactly slip under the radar, but a .542 SNWP on top of a 3.59 SIERA that suggests his 3.64 ERA was very much for real? There are no obvious performance maguffins to make you think that the story of Marcum's 2011 will be writ from any bitter cup; he was just flat-out good, improving slightly on his career rates in strikeouts and homers and the rest, making a marked improvement in walks allowed, and holding up well after losing all of 2009 to injury. Pure and simple, that's a quality starter, ranking 42nd in the majors among pitchers with 100 IP last year, contributing 20 quality starts in 31. Then, you put him in the NL, and I expect we'll see his strikeout rate cross 20 percent.

Whatever the panel decides to do with his compensation, he's liable to cost less per annum than whatever Carl Pavano makes in the next two seasons, and for a club still searching for people to line up behind Yovani Gallardo, he's exactly what the doctor ordered if they want to encourage Prince Fielder and/or Rickie Weeks to stick around and keep Brewers baseball relevant in the NL Central's balance of power.

However well Lawrie turns out, this was an excellent move from Melvin, and while it might be a win/win trade where the Brewers win now and the Blue Jays win later, that's not such a bad thing when Melvin's responsibility is to leverage something out of a win-now collection of talent that may start leaving in short order if they're not given a reason to stay and play.

SAN DIEGO PADRES
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired RHP Casey Kelly, 1B-L Anthony Rizzo, CF-L Reymond Fuentes, and PTBNL from the Red Sox for 1B-L Adrian Gonzalez. [12/5]

KG: In a world of instant reaction, where winners and losers must be declared within seconds of any move, such instant certainty just isn't possible in a deal like this. While the Red Sox get one of the best hitters in the game, the Padres received three youngsters who have yet to reach the majors. This could take years and plenty of complex formulas to figure out, with the Red Sox winning for now, and the Padres hoping to catch up and pass up over time. It was a negotiation conducted by two smart men, and with Jed Hoyer having intimate knowledge of the Red Sox system, there really wasn't any chance for anyone to get taken. There is room for a quantity versus quality debate, however, with the Padres failing to get a truly elite prospect from Boston simply because one does not exist. Nonetheless, San Diego gets back the top pitching and hitting prospects in the system, as well as a classic high-risk/high-upside type as a third.

To judge Casey Kelly by his 5.31 ERA or rate of 11.2 hits per nine is to go with a small percentage of the necessary information. In many ways, he was simply at the wrong level, not just as a 20-year-old at Double-A, but also focusing on pitching full-time for the first time, and learning lessons at a level where the competition is advanced and highly unforgiving. On a pure stuff level, Kelly was as good as ever. One of the most athletic pitchers in the game, Kelly doesn't have monster offerings, but projects as a pitcher with no weaknesses. His fastball is already plus in terms of both velocity and movement, while his curveball and change both project to be above-average pitches. He struggled with command at times in 2010, but his history and squeaky-clean delivery will help him develop that as well. He needs to repeat Double-A, but he'll still be young for the level, and he still projects as a star-level rotation piece who will look even better pitching in San Diego. One of the more memorable conversations I had with a scout this year came at midseason, when after seeing one of Kelly's worst starts he said, "It takes a hell of a pitcher to be that bad and have me put that big a number on him." Kelly is definitely a player where the scouting reports trump the status.

Kelly will have a familiar face joining him at Double-A in first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo is at a crossing point in his career, one where he's discovering what kind of prospect he is. He hit for consistently high averages early in his career, but scouts saw plenty of power potential in his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame, and a swing that features plenty of lower-half leverage. That power showed up this year with 25 home runs, including 20 in 107 Double-A games before he was legally able to drink. Unfortunately, along with that power came a much lower batting average and much higher strikeout rate. As either an average-driven hitter or a power-producing hitter, he's a good prospect; he's proven an ability to do both, and if he can combine them at the same time, he has the potential to be a special one. Unfortunately, that's no guarantee.

With just a few weeks before the 2009 draft, outfielder Reymond Fuentes was the best Puerto Rican native available in the draft, but was seen as more of a top-100 pick as opposed to a sure-fire first-rounder. Then came a series of private workouts that moved him up to the point where it was actually surprising to see him last to the 28th pick. Comparisons to Carlos Beltran are unfair, and wouldn't even exist if he wasn't also the All-Star's cousin, but Fuentes still has lots of tools, and showed them off to good effect in his full-season debut. He's a plus-plus runner who covers a ton of ground in center, and he already knows how to utilize his speed on the basepaths, as evidenced by 42 stolen bases in just 47 attempts. The questions that exist revolve around his bat; while he hit .270 for Low-A Greenville, he also whiffed 87 times in 374 at-bats with less than 20 percent of his hits going for extra bases. Physically, there could be double-digit power in his frame, and there's a lot to dream on, but there's also considerable risk that he doesn't produce enough offensively to take advantage of the athleticism he has at his command. High-A Lake Elsinore will make him look way better than High-A Salem would have, and we might need time at Double-A to properly gauge his upside.

The final, fourth player is expected to be a mid-range prospect, so the three above represent 90 percent (and that might be low) of the return.

CK: The other worthwhile considerations to note here are that this won't do the Padres' season-ticket drive any favors whatsoever. But think that's going to sell well to folks who just saw their team punt the best position player to wear a Pads uni since the original Tony Gwynn? I think not. Last year, the Pads finished 11th in the league in attendance, but with this, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they dropped from 26,000 to closer to 20, and 14th overall. Add in the unlikelihood that they'll be spending much in payroll, and you have a primary candidate for "ward of the state"/revenue-sharing ignominy, plus the inevitable ire of the MLBPA for not spending their revenue-sharing cash.

Operating from the proposition that they'd get better talent than Gonzo would yield in terms of compensation picks, on that score perhaps Kelly, Fuentes, and Rizzo add up, but as Kevin has noted, it'll be a while before we know if they got a rotation regular and/or a replacement at first base and/or an eventual star player in center field. In the meantime, if they elect to let things ride instead of exploring a market well-stocked with help at first base, that probably means the path is clear for Kyle Blanks to take over at first. With the addition of Cameron Maybin to play center and the retention of Chris Denorfia as their fourth outfielder type, they'll have Ryan Ludwick in one corner, and perhaps the Venablingham platoon in the other, with Will Venable and Aaron Cunningham splitting time and getting used to good effect.

For a team looking for help at second, short, and catcher, that just sounds like another exercise in embittering non-relevance after last season's run, which doesn't strike me as a great way to grow much brand loyalty after the indignities of the last couple of decades. If anything, it sounds like a disappointing echo of the horrors of the Werner era, right down to Roseanne Barr's suggestion on how to spend your time in the meanwhile, at least until this particular gaggle of hatchlings come home to roost.


Christina Kahrl is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christina's other articles. You can contact Christina by clicking here
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

46 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

David Laurila

Noteworthy in the Padres-Red Sox deal is the fact that San Diego's assistant GM, Jason McLeod, used to be Boston's scouting director and drafted Fuentes, Kelly and Rizzo.

Dec 06, 2010 04:26 AM
rating: 0
 
Nater1177

With San Diego's intimate familiarity of the Sox prospects, it can argued either: 1) they know them so well, they know which ones are really good or 2) they see what they want to see and may be overly enamored with them precisely because they drafted them and obviously already beleive in them.

Dec 06, 2010 06:05 AM
rating: 5
 
jayman4

I hate baseball economics.

Dec 06, 2010 07:00 AM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

I'd love to know what the Padres are spending their revenue sharing and luxury tax dollars on ...

Dec 06, 2010 08:49 AM
rating: 1
 
mark1623

The team. The owners really couldn't afford the team when they bought it in 2009, so the payroll is being kept artificially low while the ownership gets its finances in order. Jeff Moorad said last year that the payroll would rise back into the 70-80 million dollar range, but that it may take 2-3 years to get there. Us Padres fans can only hope that he is telling the truth.

Dec 06, 2010 11:52 AM
rating: 4
 
Schlom

Well, they aren't going to spend it on an 8 year contract for a 1B. And whether or not they are cheap, I don't think anyone could blame them.

Dec 06, 2010 14:00 PM
rating: 2
 
Hoff

plus youk would only be downgrade vs. beltre for one of the last 4 seasons. beltre would be for sure too expensive.

Dec 06, 2010 07:03 AM
rating: 0
 
smocon

Although I agree with the point made regarding open market value for pitching, I feel that Doug Melvin (big surprise) got screwed in this deal. He gave up a $25 million bat for a $10 million arm.

Dec 06, 2010 07:44 AM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

Shawn Marcum (2010) K/BB 3.84 (8th in MLB, 140+ innings)
WHIP 1.15 (13th)

This for a an extreme flyball pitcher in Toronto in his first year after surgery. I knew Marcum was one of the most under-rated players in the game, I just didn't know it was by his own (ex-) team.

As for Bret Lawrie and his $25 million bat --- you might be overpaying the kid a bit there. I'll take Shaun Marcum at $10 million and laugh all the way to contention.

Dec 06, 2010 13:56 PM
rating: 1
 
Agent007

The Blue Jays have continued to struggle with attendance and TV ratings since the '94 strike (they are owned by a cable TV company). Having a Canadian star could boost both. I suspect that played into the calculations for Toronto. Now if only Votto or Morneau were available...

Dec 06, 2010 08:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BrewersTT

I'm glad to see the Brewers take some steps regarding the rotation. I've been growing nervous as a number of decent FA starters got signed up. None were superb players, but the Brewers don't need superb, they need league-average. smocon's math doesn't seem to average in the value of Lawrie if he doesn't pan out so well, nor the need to win now.

Dec 06, 2010 08:29 AM
rating: 1
 
smocon

The Brewers dont need to "win now", they need to develop a long term strategy of developing in house, premium talent. That's never going to happen with Doug Melvin in charge, and unless someone hits Mark Attanasio over the head with a hard bound copy of Moneyball, while he is the owner it proably wont happen either.

Marcum is a nice player. Id put him up at 2.5 WAR for his 2 years with the Brewers each, and maybe worth another $2.5 mil for draft picks. He's going to probably be paid somewhere around $10 mil in salary over those 2 years, so he's worth about $13 million.

Lawrie is a top 10 bat. He is most likely going to hit and there is a good chance he can be an all star RF. His value of $25 million was arrived at by someone a heck of a lot smarter than me (Victor Wong of The Hardball Times), and I think he is a safe "bet" that the Brewers lost big on, in pursuing this pipe dream of a 2011 playoff spot.

Dec 06, 2010 09:35 AM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

There's theoretical WAR and then there's the the real world ---- the actual guys you're actually replacing. An upgrade from Capuano/Bush/Parra to Shaun Marcum? That may be a two-win improvement in a swiss lab somewhere but in the NL Central it's got to be somewhere between five and ten.

I'm not a Brewers fan. You clearly know more about 'em than I do. But I'd encourage you to make distinctions between your general dislike of Doug Melvin and the individual moves he makes. With Fielder and Weeks in their final contract years, a genuinely impressive lineup, an under-rated bullpen and a rotation that now features Gallardo, Marcum, Wolf and Narveson, I just don't see the pipe dream you're referring to.

Dec 06, 2010 14:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Pat Folz

...what? Marcum was worth 2.4, 3.1, and 4.6 WARP the last 3 years in Toronto, so he's at -least- a 3-win talent. At $5 mil/win, 3 WARP each for two years is $30 mil value plus the draft picks like you mention, less the $10 mil you figure, and he's worth $23 million surplus (trying to follow your method). Taking $25 mil as Lawrie's value, that's basically even value, using your numbers. This is all before considering the expected bump in Marcum's performance from switching to the NL (and specifically away from the AL East), or whether Lawrie is overrated.

At any rate, Lawrie's hardly a can't-miss All-Star, and Marcum's a proven quality starter (borderline #2 the last two years, actually) with two years of arbitration left. It's not like they traded Jesus Montero for Carlos Silva or something. No need for histrionics.

Dec 06, 2010 15:22 PM
rating: 4
 
smocon

Just some hair splitting here, but I put an extra win at 4.5 mil and the only way this deal works out in favor for the Brewers, is if he repeats his 3.5 numbers for 2 straight years, which I dont think he will.

I like Marcum. I think he is a nice pitcher, but hes a solid #3 at best, and it doesnt really drastically improve the Brewers playoff chances.

If the Brewers were so willing to unload Lawrie, and do it with Toronto, the better player to pick up would have been Brandon Morrow. You get him for a year longer than Marcum, and he is more likely to repeat his numbers from 2010.

What the Brewers, its GM and owner particularly, did here was give up the best trading chip in the organization for a #3 starter. Thats not very good. It improves the team by 3 wins, big deal. Now they are a .500 team, and for what? Your top prospect gone, and money out of your pocket, and less leverage down the road when trading Lawrie may actually ahve brought you something significant back in return.

Dec 07, 2010 08:32 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

As much value as anyone might want to attach Lawrie already, you might have been able to say many of the same things about Mat Gamel after 2008. And what if he's not a second baseman?

Dec 07, 2010 11:15 AM
 
smocon

I have a suspicion that Lawrie will crack the top 20 in BA's top 100 prospects list. Highest Gamel ever got was 38, so there is a bit of a difference.

With Gamel though, the organization pretty much screwed him, Macha was never very fond of him, and made him ride the bench for 3 months in 2009, wasting valuable MiLB at bats and development time.

And with both players, I believe that the bat will carry their value. They probably both wind up as corner OF, so even if Lawrie isnt a 2B, I would put his value as high as $25 mil.

Dec 07, 2010 11:37 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

I don't disagree with optimism--there's obviously cause. But it isn't the same thing as certainty, at least not from a certain point of view.

Dec 07, 2010 13:56 PM
 
Matt L.

I wonder how the Gonzalez trade affects the Albert Pujols negotiations. Seems that having the Yankees (presumably) and Red Sox (assuming a long-term deal with Gonzalez gets done) out of the picture, the two teams most likely to drive up the market for Pujols are out of play. I suppose the White Sox and Angels still could be players (and there may be others I am not thinking of), but would have to think this makes it more likely that Pujols re-signs with the Cardinals.

Dec 06, 2010 08:37 AM
rating: 3
 
Matt Kory

The Cubs.

Dec 06, 2010 09:19 AM
rating: 1
 
Patrick

I was thinking the same thing. The price for Pujols will be lower, which makes it more likely the Cardinals re-sign him. But it also makes it more likely that other teams get involved in the bidding. I can see the Cubs and Rangers (if they don't sign Lee) being players, with the Orioles making a run, too. If the Dodgers and Mets get their finances in order, they could be in it. Maybe even the Mariners.

Dec 06, 2010 09:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Peter7899

I'm not sure Pujols will come any cheaper than Gonzalez. I keep hearing Pujols is intent on getting $30M a year. If an extension doesn't get done with the Cards, I would think the Cubs will be overwhelming favorites to sign him next winter. Quite a bit of money coming off the books for the Cubs after 2011.

Dec 06, 2010 11:26 AM
rating: 0
 
Patrick

I agree that he won't be cheaper than Gonzalez; he shouldn't be. I think it just makes it more likely that the choice won't be between staying in STL or taking more money elsewhere.

It will also be interesting to see what effect this has on Prince Fielder's free agency, too.

Dec 06, 2010 13:59 PM
rating: 0
 
sbnirish77

I was ready to crown the acqusition of Adrian Gonzalez as Boy Wonder's finest moment. The Red Sox finally went with plan "A" unlike the past two years when they settled for options more appropriate for the filmimg of a 'MASH' episode than a baseball team.

Not only did they get a premium player for yet another overrated, overhyped Red Sox prospect (# 10 in baseball, really) and another player 3 years removed from Hodgkin's lymphoma, they avoided overpaying for the contract year sinkhole known as Adrian 'the lesser' Beltre.

Theo was smart to conclude this deal before getting to the winter meetings, as he just acknowledged in the press conference, before other bidders might enter the picture.

But as Lee Corso would say 'not so fast'...

All of the accolades thrown Theo's way are entirely contingent on that 'goodwill' he cited in doing the deal WITHOUT getting a long term extension signed ahead of time.

Does anyone really think Adrian Gonzalez has any reason to value his services below that of Mr. Werth at $18 mil for 7 years?

Don't the Red Sox have a history of coming up short in these things for the sake of a few mil?

For this to be Boy Wonders finest moment he has to sign Adrian Gonzalez to a long term contract. And with Mr. Werth's signing, that job just got infintely more difficult.

So Theo's "A" just becomes an "Incomplete" for now.

Dec 06, 2010 09:27 AM
rating: -3
 
Drew Miller

"Does anyone really think Adrian Gonzalez has any reason to value his services below that of Mr. Werth at $18 mil for 7 years?"

No--but I wish GM's wouldn't use that deal as a bench mark. It's an outlier, or should be.

Dec 06, 2010 09:52 AM
rating: 3
 
BurrRutledge

I'm reminded by the notion that the market in baseball is not set by supply and demand, but instead it's set by the stoopidest front office.

Dec 06, 2010 11:11 AM
rating: 3
 
Sam F

Theo's initial offer was more than Werth, 6 years at $20 mil.

Gonzalez and his agent are using Teixeira, not Werth, as the basis for comparison. Teix is a slightly better player - although the differences in both park-adjusted batting and defense are less than the perception - but the market has clearly gone up this year with the Werth signing and probably should based on the explosion in MLBAM revenue.

As a Sox fan, I'd be perfectly happy with a 7 year deal at $22 per year that buys out his 2011 making it effectively a 6 year extension. I'd add an option if needed. And I wouldn't backload it, but I applaud gaming the system by waiting until after Opening Day to announce a signing bonus.

Dec 06, 2010 09:56 AM
rating: 0
 
Lyford

Teix is a slightly better player

Based on what, exactly? How do you come to that conclusion? I'm not saying that you're wrong, just that everything I've seen suggests the opposite.

Dec 06, 2010 12:04 PM
rating: 1
 
BrewersTT

@smocon re Brewers: Your points are all sound. But the players at the core of today's Brewers are internally grown. We're already at the point in such a program where the team is within reach of winning. Some now are on the verge of leaving. It makes more sense to me to try to make 2011 pay off before key cogs leave, and then re-adjust back to building. With decent pitching, I don't understand why a 2011 playoff spot would be a pipe dream.

Dec 06, 2010 10:09 AM
rating: 6
 
Robotey

Christina & the BP Community-- Can we all back a concerted effort to help the new Bosox first sacker to a better nickname? enough with the A-Gone's and Car-go's and V Marts and K Rod's --there will be many more superstars named Gonzalez, Rodriguez and Martinez for generations to come--please keep us from relegating them to these K Mart inspired nicknames that reek of unoriginality and renders them as a series of baseball accessories. Adrian Gonzalez has a sweet swing of incredible fluidity that's a beauty to watch. Surely there's a better way to identify him than "A-Gone".

Don't get me wrong--there are a few cases where the name seems to fit. Something about A-Rod does seem accurate in an uncanny way, but please don't make these automatic.

Dec 06, 2010 11:12 AM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

The Pesky Polester? Prometheus Unbound?

Dec 06, 2010 14:25 PM
 
Robotey

Ha! - In honor of Movember, "The 'stache with bash"

Dec 06, 2010 15:08 PM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

Gon in 16 seconds (time it takes him to round bases on homer)

Dec 06, 2010 16:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

Trying to think of a good one is tough. Maybe something on his initials? "All Good" is lame.

Dec 06, 2010 17:24 PM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

Blaster Master.

Dec 06, 2010 11:37 AM
rating: 0
 
Jim ONeill

In the unlikely event that the full parameters of a proposed deal between the Sox and Gonzalez haven't been agreed upon (to subvert the luxury tax)it would still appear that Theo retains a great deal of leverage here. If no extension occurs the Sox get him at bargain prices for 2011 and two top picks when he leaves.

But doesnt Gonzalez have a dilemna as well. With surgery and rehab imminent (shoulder) does he leave 160 mil plus on the table on the gamble that he can play well enough to outperform that offer.

Theo did well here.

Dec 06, 2010 12:06 PM
rating: 2
 
klipzlskim

It's nice to have two perspectives in this article. If you took out the players' names, I would have had a very hard time aligning Christina's and Kevin's interpretations of the Sox-Pads deal. I'd never have guessed that the turd CK described was the same Casey Kelly whom KG says, "projects as a star-level roation piece."

Dec 06, 2010 14:51 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

Well, I wouldn't go quite that far, as far as flushing Kelly's upside, but I've seen far too much Kool-Aid brewed up on the subject of the latest great Red Sox prospects, going back a good 20 years. (Or, maybe it's my reaction formation to one too many Andy Yount touts.)

Dec 06, 2010 17:01 PM
 
Matt Kory

Christina, I'm a fan of yours, but I think that's a bit unfair. If you're evaluating a prospect on his merits, what difference does it make a) what organization he plays for (besides park effects) and b) what the prospects did for that organization 20 years ago? I understand hype as far as media goes, but do you really think Jed Hoyer fell for a bunch of Boston media hype on a guy he drafted and a guy who most Boston writers would struggle to tell you more than a sentence or two about?

Dec 06, 2010 17:49 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

Quite right, as far as a clarifying point--Hoyer's not the one being oversold, but as others have noted, he's familiar with the overselling. ;-)

Dec 06, 2010 18:32 PM
 
Eric M. Van

Well, you'd better send a memo to Clay, because the last time I crunched the numbers on his Davenport Peak Translations*, he had Anthony Rizzo and Lars Anderson as the 6th and 7th best hitting prospects in baseball (after Montero, Freeman, Hosmer, Moustakas, and D. Brown. Not adjusted for position).

*Combining across levels and adjusting for the fact that promoted guys tended to gain a little value, indicating that his level-adjustments weren't quite neutral.

Dec 08, 2010 01:41 AM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

Huh? I don't see CK describing anyone as a "turd".

Dec 06, 2010 17:22 PM
rating: 2
 
R.A.Wagman

I want to chime in on Shaun Marcum. As a Toronto bum, I've seen quite a bit of Marcum since his first full season (2007). I have really enjoyed watching him pitch. His change-up is one of the best I have seen (Keith Law also called it one of the best from a RH pitcher on ESPN today). He can make hitters look very silly when its on. And it is rarely that far off - although when it is - he can be prone to the long ball. He gets more weak contact against him than most other pitchers as well. I've long thought he has no-hit stuff, if only...he could get out of the 7th inning. For all that he brings, only twice last year did he get more than 21 outs. The year before the TJ, he managed that feat thrice. Lack of stamina is what prevents him from being a true ace. A really nice #2, but not a #1. With the pitching depth here in Toronto - and Marcum being the oldest of their big arms (29 next week), now was the right time to make that trade, and while Lawrie may never pan out, but the gamble is one, that, as a fan, I support.

Dec 06, 2010 19:01 PM
rating: 2
 
R.A.Wagman

All that said, Marcum only rarely gets knocked out of the box. He pitched less than 5 innings only 4 times in 2008 (pre-TJ) and only 3 times last year. I'd be curious to know where he sits in the leaderboard for least flakey pitchers.

Dec 07, 2010 09:33 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

You have to hand it to the Padres. They got a nice return for a player they had no chance whatsoever of keeping after '11. Boston gave them more value than they would have received at most stops. That was a win/win trade.

Dec 08, 2010 17:58 PM
rating: 1
 
Taldan9
(107)

How did 3 Canadians - Melvin, Anthopoulus and Gord Ashe, pull off a deal and no one at Prospectus notice? Forgetting for the moment that one of the players is Canadian and forgetting about Villaneuva, is something fifth-columnish going on here? After all, can any American tell who is Canadian and who is not...y'all?

Dec 09, 2010 13:25 PM
rating: 1
 
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