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July 30, 2009

Transaction Analysis

Major Moves Roundup

by Christina Kahrl

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American League
National League

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Activated 1B-L Adam LaRoche; designated 1B/OF-L Mark Kotsay for assignment. [7/24]
Traded 1B/OF-L Mark Kotsay to the White Sox for OF-R Brian Anderson. [7/28]

Having moved past shooting Old Yeller, the Red Sox actually wound up moderately the better off for it, having exchanged a reserve they had no use for to acquire a backup center fielder (which they lacked) who also bats right-handed (which is handy, given that two of their starting outfielders bat lefty). Once rosters expand, that'll come in handy, of course, but it will be interesting to see if the Sox find a way to squeeze Anderson onto the roster beforehand so that they can limit Rocco Baldelli to starts in the outfield corners or DH.

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Activated OF-R Carlos Quentin from the 15-day DL; optioned OF-R Brian Anderson to Charlotte (Triple-A). [7/20]
Optioned LHP Aaron Poreda to Charlotte; recalled RHP Carlos Torres from Charlotte. [7/22]
Optioned RHP Carlos Torres to Charlotte; activated RHP Bartolo Colon from the 15-day DL. [7/24]
Traded OF-R Brian Anderson to the Red Sox for 1B/OF-L Mark Kotsay. [7/28]

Optioned 3B-R Josh Fields to Charlotte; activated 1B/OF-L Mark Kotsay; returned RHP Bartolo Colon to the 15-day DL (elbow inflammation), retroactive to 7/25; purchased the contract of LHP Randy Williams from Charlotte. [7/29]

For all of the somnolent hue and cry over the fate of Mark Kotsay, it was just a DFA, not a funeral, people. You could have been sure that Kotsay would be found littering somebody else's bench, and sure enough, here he is. It's definitely an odd little pickup, in that he's a left-handed hitter who can't really play first that well, can't hit well enough to spot Paul Konerko, and while you could spot him in either outfield corner for righty-batting Jermaine Dye or Quentin, there again the bat isn't enough to make a point of playing him instead of Scott Podsednik or Podzilla's fleeter feet in DeWayne Wise. Maybe the brass had tired of taking the random question over Anderson's role with the club, in the same way that it had tired of seeing Fields flail.

As for re-losing Colon all over again, this can't really be taken too seriously as a setback for the squad. It just means that Clayton Richard remains in the rotation without having gotten back on the mound as a reliever, and on the heels of his having spun a pair of nifty eight-inning outings against playoff aspirants from Detroit and Tampa Bay. Richard's performance, however unpredictable it has been so far, still rates better than Colon's; he has a .480 SNWP to Colon's .464, and also rates ahead of Jose Contreras, who has cooled off since his eruption back into the majors in June to manage just one quality start (one that was blown in the seventh) in his last three. In short, the Sox are better off if Richard's in the rotation until he clearly demonstrates he should take a back seat to either veteran, let alone both.

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Recalled LHP Jeremy Sowers from Columbus (Triple-A). [7/25]
Acquired RHP Jess Todd from the Cardinals to complete the deal for Mark DeRosa, and optioned him to Columbus. [7/26]
Traded 1B-R Ryan Garko to the Giants for LHP Scott Barnes. [7/27]
Purchased the contract of 3B-R Andy Marte from Columbus. [7/28]
Traded LHP Cliff Lee and OF-R Ben Francisco to the Phillies for RHPs Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, C-R Lou Marson, and SS-R Jason Donald; recalled RHP Fausto Carmona from OF-S Trevor Crowe from Columbus. [7/30]

Well, these weren't the worst deals, but they also weren't necessarily the best. Getting Barnes from the Giants for an entirely fungible first-base bat like Garko's was reasonable enough; he's not a high-velocity southpaw, but good command and an excellent changeup have yielded a 99/29 K/BB ratio in 98 IP while allowing just 3.3 runs per nine in the Cal League in what is his full-season debut as a 21-year-old. Knapp's interesting as a high-velocity arm pumping gas in the Sally League (as noted in the Phillies segment). Marson's a decent OBP type and a good receiver, but limited power potential makes him a better backup or second-division starter behind the plate, and his presence in the organization that employs Carlos Santana seems to suggest his future's as the Kelly Shoppach (Lite) to Santana's V-Mart; it's certainly not the whole potato, but it beats Bako bits as backstops go.

Donald is an athletic shortstop, with a good swing that's far from slappy at the plate, but even allowing for the knee injury that has hampered him this season, he's a player who next year will be headed into his age-25 season with a track record of showing some power, but not a lot, and some speed, but not a lot. In this, he's very much like Asdrubal Cabrera, the man he'll be paired off with up the middle, giving the Indians a nifty pair of defenders around the bag, neither of whom should be offensive zeroes, but neither of whom look like burgeoning offensive stars either. The 2010 Indians will have to get their runs from other departments, and while Grady Sizemore's a start and Victor Martinez a part of a quality lineup, it's looking like 2009 is the year when they really did have to give up on all that and turn the page towards building anew.

Now certainly, Knapp might be a part of that, not to mention Todd in the pen, and Marson and Donald could be supporting players on a future Indians contender as well. But for the Indians to really feel they got mileage out of this exchange, they're going to have to get good stuff from Carrasco. Placing that much pressure on a young arm might seem harsh, but the Indians will manage his workload appropriately as well as anyone in the industry might. He's not exactly been dominant in Triple-A, giving up 5.7 runs per nine but nevertheless striking out 112 in 114 2/3 IP, and walking just 38 (or just under three per nine). His power fastball/curve combo has delivered somewhat bass-ackwards results for the Iron Pigs (righties have touched him for a .457 SLG), and he's had troubles holding baserunners (potential thieves are 17-for-20 off of him), but these are things you work out over time or learn to live with, and the Tribe knew it wasn't getting a perfectly polished, ready-now blue chip prospect, but a quality arm who should be able to step into their rotation and stick sometime next season.

As for the other odds and ends, it looks as if Andy Marte's taking over Garko's role as Victor Martinez's right-handed foil at first base, which is fine, while Crowe re-adopts a bench role; trading both Francisco and Garko should open up left field for, say, Matt LaPorta, but for whatever reason, he's not here yet.

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Acquired OF-R Wladimir Balentien from the Mariners for RHP Robert Manuel. [7/29]

I like this deal quite a bit, but that's because Manuel's a decent but replaceable arm, while Balentien's a power hitter moving from a barn to a bandbox and potentially into a situation where he might reap far more regular playing time; if Jonny Gomes can work out OK in the Gap, after all, why not Balentien? That said, if he doesn't become the new Wily Mo Pena or Glenn Braggs or whatever, that's also not the end of the world; they didn't give up a monster prospect to take a chance on the 25-year-old, and between his age, the excuse of sporadic playing time, the park, the weaker league, and the lack of quality competition already in-house, Walt Jocketty might end up feeling good about this particular minor add-on.

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Acquired LHP Cliff Lee and OF-R Ben Francisco from the Indians for RHPs Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, C-R Lou Marson, and SS-R Jason Donald; optioned OF-R John Mayberry Jr. and RHP Steven Register to Lehigh Valley (Triple-A). [7/30]

There's an ease in expending superlatives on behalf of this deal that really can't be understated. Instead of fussing over a bullpen hit hard by injuries, they went straight towards a top-line improvement, and having dispensed with the suggestion that they pay Toronto's price for Doc Halladay, they did the next-best thing by getting another top 10 starter, one who was also signed through 2010. What's surprising to me is the extent to which this deal has a double benefit for the Phillies, in that it cost them less in both talent and cash; Lee's deal for next season is an $8 million club option, against Halladay's $15.75 million. Add in a PECOTA projection that, from before the season but run as if Lee was a Phillie, still suggests better than six strikeouts per nine, around two walks per to book, and a conservative, median estimate of a 4.22 ERA and a Support-Neutral value of 4.1. That's worth having, not just because he's the best pitcher in the Phillies' rotation right now, but also because he's a pitcher so good they could not have gotten him at these prices—in blood or money—on the open market this winter.

Given the valuation of prospects and the cash situation around the industry, you might have expected that the cheaper contract might yield a better package of prospects, but barring the Indians' scouting achieving some unanticipated coup, that doesn't look to be the case at first blush. Up-the-middle talent might be hard to trade in the abstract, but Marson wasn't a great bet to unseat Carlos Ruiz, and Travis d'Arnaud's probably the better prospect behind the plate in the long run; Donald was never the kind of talent to push the organization to ponder the alternatives to Jimmy Rollins. For the Phillies, they were chattel, developed to be dealt. Knapp's certainly interesting, a power arm good enough to rank in the team's top 10 prospects before the season because of his mid-90s heat, and teenagers in full-season leagues holding their own are hard to come by. Knapp was doing just that at the age of 19 in the Sally League, striking out 111 in 85 1/3 IP (but also beaning an even dozen while walking 39). Carrasco was the signature player in the deal, and was the team's best blue-chipper before the season, but between J.A. Happ's breakthrough and the retention of pitching prospect Kyle Drabek as well as outfielders Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, the Phillies might just have kept their best stuff for themselves despite making this sort of major move.

Adding Francisco's a nice minor touch, since he's perhaps more of a National League type of reserve outfielder, in that he bats righty and is more of a contact-oriented hitter, he can play center in a pinch, and can run faster than his lefty complement, Matt Stairs. This all may add up to bad news for John Mayberry Jr. as far as manning a spot on the bench,

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Acquired 1B/C-L Jeff Clement, MI-R Ronny Cedeno, and RHPs Nathan Adcock, Adam Pribanic, and Brett Lorin from the Mariners for SS-R Jack Wilson and RHP Ian Snell. [7/29]
Acquired RHP Tim Alderson from the Giants for 2B-R Freddy Sanchez. [7/30]

Credit Neal Huntington for perhaps saving the best for last. The deal with the Mariners, like so many of his other exchanges, is another depth-minded mass acquisition, but it's not bad depth. Clement is still a prospect of interest, although it remains to be seen whether he goes back behind the plate (and challenges Ryan Doumit), or goes to first base and wipes out the future of Steven Pearce (while also channeling Pedro Alvarez into a one-on-one fight with the last LaRoche standing at the hot corner). He's been spending most of his time at DH for Tacoma, so I'm reluctant to get serious about his going back behind the plate; he's also been doing most of his damage against right-handers (.318/.397/.576), so it isn't hard to wince a bit and see a newly minted Adam LaRoche in the making, although with three weeks to go until his 26th birthday, the future for Clement is now, bordering on yesterday. He's the name in the deal, sure, but not so much that he alters this being a depth deal. Cedeno's a straight replacement for Wilson at short, and to that extent, he's a good one. It seems increasingly doubtful that he'll live up to the sporadic power he's shown in the minors and for brief stretches in the majors, but his bail-and-wail approach at the plate was probably engendering a few too many Rey Quinones flash-backs in Seattle.

The arms are interesting, certainly, in the way so many are: tall and in A-ball, with the odor of promise and short track records, but also keep in mind that none of them rated as top prospects before the season. Lorin perhaps represents the best of the bunch as a giant (6'7" and ~240 pounds), albeit one without a dominant power assortment, although he has struck out 87 in 88 2/3 IP as a 22-year-old down in the Midwest League. Pribanic, also 22, has a huge ratio of ground balls to flies (2.7 grounders to every one fly), so you can ponder his potential to improve the way so many ground-ballers do upon promotion to better defensive support at higher levels. Adcock's getting hit in the Cal League, but High Desert's cruel to all moundsmen.

But for whatever the trio from Seattle don't do to out-and-out tantalize, getting Alderson makes up for it and then some. There's no other way to call it: if the Phillies getting Cliff Lee was the big coup on the veteran add-on front, getting Alderson from the Giants for a middling middle infielder is the prospect-nabbing feat par excellence of deadline season so far. While this isn't John Smoltz-for-Doyle Alexander or close, it's an outstanding addition of a pitcher good enough to be a solid third starter in a big-league rotation for a starting second baseman barely a cut above fungible. One of those things is easier to find than the other, and to get it at low cost, with Alderson already shining at Double-A as a precocious strike-throwing 20-year-old who lives up to pre-season observations that his knowledge of his craft far exceeds what you'd expect from his birth certificate. He'll be part of the next contender in Pittsburgh, and the real question is whether or not it happens before he gets too far into his arbitration-eligible seasons by 2013 or 2014 or so.

The really interesting development in terms of the decision to deal Sanchez is that it holds out the hope that the Bucs will get the added benefit of seeing whether or not Delwyn Young can cut it at second base over the season's last two months. It certainly won't be pretty at different points of time, and you can anticipate that the virtue of having added Cedeno in the Wilson trade is that they've kept the lineup stocked with a slick defender at short to help compensate for the experiment at the keystone. For as much was initially made by some over the Pirates' defense-mindedness, it should be even more interesting to keep in mind that they're the team that, under present management, properly identified that Doumit's greatest value was behind the plate (although Doumit's commitment to working at it made a huge difference), didn't get too enamored by the purported greatness of Nyjer Morgan, starting left fielder, and is now embarking on this experiment at second base. Young's bat will certainly play better at second than in left.

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Optioned OF/1B-L John Bowker and 2B-R Matt Downs to Fresno (Triple-A); recalled UT-S Eugenio Velez and 1B-R Jesus Guzman from Fresno; acquired 1B-R Ryan Garko from the Indians for LHP Scott Barnes; placed OF-L Nate Schierholtz on the 15-day DL (strained hip). [7/28]
Transferred LHP Randy Johnson from the 15- to the 60-day DL. [7/29]
Acquired 2B-R Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates for RHP Tim Alderson. [7/30]

If the Phillies and Pirates, and perhaps even the Mariners should all feel relatively good about what they've achieved with the deadline descending upon us, the Giants should wonder what it is they really accomplished. Yes, Garko's an improvement of sorts over Travis Ishikawa, and Barnes wasn't a premium prospect as much as an interesting arm—as Kevin Goldstein likes to say, for every 10 lefties with command and potential but no truly dominant pitch, one winds up in the pen, another becomes Doug Davis if things go right, one becomes an up-and-down tweener or a pen man, eight wash up in Triple-A, and for however many times people glibly make the comparison, there's only one Jamie Moyer. There, the price was right. Garko's not as good as his .299 EqA might make you think—a lot of that is mashing lefties in part-time play (.333/.395/.565, against .265/.349/.424 against northpaws) and a hot streak since the break (.355/.412/.613), and even with the virtue of going to the weaker league, it seems worthwhile to put this down as getting an average offensive first baseman for a normal, interesting, Grade C prospect. Fair enough.

It's dealing Alderson for the former batting titleist that is going to bite them in the butt, because as Joe Sheehan noted on Monday, it was the only deal they might swing for high stakes, given their stars-and-scrubs farm system, and all they got was... a year and two months of an adequate second baseman? The positional average at second base is .264, in no small part because the Giants took it that low due to the MLB-worst .215 put up by their keystoners; Sanchez is producing at a .276 clip, decisively better than some, a major relative improvement for this team, and something less than what they should have settled for having made the decision to deal Alderson in a prospect-hungry environment.

Now, sure, taken together, this might make that much of a difference in the team's run-scoring that they'll be able to take their best shot, and you put that rotation in the postseason and maybe a pennant's in play in the weaker league. Certainly, that's the sensibility that's motivating a move this major. But in surrendering Alderson, this was really all they could get? We may have to credit Neil Huntington for driving a seriously hard bargain, and getting Brian Sabean back into his old, high-stakes ways in favoring veterans for prospects. But the Giants could have used a lot of things to round out their roster down the stretch, and to have settled for this in exchange for Alderson's future, and when even getting Ramon Vazquez or Tom Gorzelanny or something with all of its fingers and toes would have helped, strikes me as an ill-considered and desperate reach. Add in Sanchez's spotty health history (perhaps exacerbated by his career-long problems with his feet and legs), and it isn't like the Giants acquired a sure thing in just this one addition.

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

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

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i agree.

and it breaks my heart as a Giants fan.

This year, I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Sabean to screw up and do something stupid. And here it is.

Jul 30, 2009 09:56 AM
rating: 3

Blood, treasure and Brian Sabean-

Whether or not Sabean personally valued Alderson less than others is beside the point: he should have been able to get more on the open market for a top prospect than a 31 year-old who doesn't hit for power and can't steal a base.

What's so irritating about Sabean's insistence on overpaying for guys that he likes is that as a Giants fan you end up resenting players like Sanchez and Rowand that you really want to root for simply because of the circumstances under which Sabean acquired them. It's like he's drunk dialing his latest man-crush at the trade deadline.

To make the Sanchez trade even worse is that current 2b Uribe at .284/.314/.431 isn't that much worse than Sanchez at .296/.334/.442. Really? A top prospect for that kind of upgrade?

Why not make a move for Brandon Wood and dump Renteria, who is truly awful at this point in his career? Even Jake Fox would fill a need better than Sanchez, and could probably have been had for less. Sabean makes a move like this every year: a move to keep the team just competitive enough for Sabean to hang onto his job.

And this takes me back to my original point: I like Freddy Sanchez, and I want to root for him. I like the man- I just don't like the trade.

Jul 30, 2009 21:53 PM
rating: 1

i disagree on the giants. yes, he is a good prospect, but as BP says, there is no such thing as a pitching prospect :). But seriously, Bumgarner is way better. They have Tim and Matt at 1,2. Sanchez is easily good enough for #4. Slap Bumgarner at #3 for next year, maybe a late season call up. All you have to worry about is a #5 starter if Zito is no longer servicable there. And they improved hitting even though its Sanchez and Garko, but considering the alternatives, that might be enough given that 1-2 punch, especially if they get in the playoffs.

Jul 30, 2009 10:07 AM
rating: 0

So after all these depth-adding moves, where does the Pirates farm system rank now, after being 22nd at the beginning of the year? Up 10 spots? More?

Jul 30, 2009 10:09 AM
rating: 1

I think the Indians IF is gonna be pretty crowded, as one person Christine did not mention in MI equation for Cleveland is Valbuena. He is younger than Donald (as is Cabrera), and having a modicum of success already at the major league level. With Peralta having already slid over to third, it will be interesting to see how this plays out next spring.

Jul 30, 2009 10:12 AM
rating: 0

ooops...meant "Christina"! My bad...

Jul 30, 2009 10:13 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff

No worries, Tim, no offense taken. Fair points re: Valbuena, although his extreme streakiness and perhaps overly sporadic production might reduce the Tribe to a frustrating cycle of trying to wait around for one or the other to get hot and "win," when the real problem could end up being that both just might not really be all that great.

Jul 31, 2009 08:28 AM
Richard Bergstrom

The Royals picked up Josh Anderson from the Tigers for cash.

Jul 30, 2009 10:17 AM
rating: 0

I told ya Sabean wasn't smart enough to make a decent trade.

Jul 30, 2009 10:21 AM
rating: 1

I have to say, I was surprised at how cheap Lee went, and even more so at the Alderson deal. As a Dodger fan, I am happy that the deal -in my mind- won't be of significant help in the short term, and won't be any help in the long run. OTOH, the Phillies and Cardinals both should be easily favored over the Dodgers in a short series.

Jul 30, 2009 10:28 AM
rating: 4

Christina, I've been reading your column for quite a while. And to this day, I have never seen anyone else but you call Great American Ball Park "the Gap". I know that the nickname makes reasonable sense, given the abbreviation and the "notch" built into the park's outfield- but you just don't hear or see the nickname from anyone else out there. Just thought you might like to know that.

Jul 30, 2009 10:49 AM
rating: -2

I think it has more to do with nobody else putting Ball in their stadium name. The Reds did it merely to keep the acronym from being GAP, and then made ballpark two words to keep it from being GAB.

Jul 30, 2009 11:40 AM
rating: 0
Lou Doench

We call it"The Gap" all the time here in the QC

Jul 30, 2009 11:58 AM
rating: 2

Uh...lots of people call it "the Gap" dude. Most Reds fans I know have called it that interchangeably with "Great American" and the "Smallpark."

Jul 30, 2009 12:44 PM
rating: 1

The problem with the Alderson deal isn't that the Giants were counting on him to be a key part of the rotation. The problem was it appears they undervalued him because he doesn't look as good as Cain, Bumgarner, or Lincecum. An Alderson should have fetched more of a bat. It should have been a centerpiece to bring in Holliday or Dunn, or they should have been able to acquire Sanchez or a similar improvement at less of a cost.

Just because you have a surplus in one area doesn't mean you should give away some of the assets in the surplus for fifty cents on the dollar. That's what this is. The Giants can afford to part with Alderson and will improve with Sanchez, but that doesn't make it a good deal.

Jul 30, 2009 10:54 AM
rating: 18

disagree. you just defined a good deal from the giants point of view. and that is all that mattered. every one is so worried about what's next and not what's now. Alderson might be next, might not be, the bottomline is they might have found out next year but they are playing for a shot this year. But given what they have right now in pitching and whats next, he is extra. If extra gives you an improvement over what you have, that is a good deal.

And given its this year, two decent hitters plus that 1-2 punch is better than some prospect pitching in AA and the below replacement level crud they ran out there in the IF wo/ Sanchez and Garko. I would say even better next year. Linceum, Cain, Sanchez, Bumgarner, Zito is a pretty good rotation that most teams would like to have.

I am amazed at how the world has come to love the prospects and what's next. You win with what is now.

Jul 30, 2009 11:04 AM
rating: -1

The Sanchez deal may make the Giants better, and it may be better than them not making any deal at all. However, I think the point here is that they could have gotten more for Alderson. If, for example, they could have gotten Dunn instead of Sanchez and they didn't, then this was a bad deal. If Sanchez was really the most they could get, then dguretz may be right and this may be an OK deal for them.

I personally don't believe it was the best and herein lies the criticism of Sabean.

Jul 30, 2009 11:34 AM
rating: 4

well, unless someone here can point to more than Sheehan's article (Which was really good,I agree with, but was NOT a report on what was being offered) to substantiate in any way that they could have gotten more or turned down more, etc then you deal with what you know. Speculating that they should have called the Nats, etc, is just that speculation.

Further, maybe they read Joe's article. The one problem I have with Dunn is defense. Is his defense worth it in that park? I would say no. I would rather have a small ball team that plays good defense to further surpress runs from that pitching staff than a homer hitter whose average and power gets further lowered in that park and could easily cost them more runs.

Play to your strengths, in this case they did, they have oodles of pitching, no hitting. Is an infield three of Sanchez/Sandoval/Garko really that bad? Sure its not Utley/Rollins/Howard but Lincecum/Cain is better than Lee/Hamels.

The beauty here is, if the Giants make the playoffs, we get to find out what wins. So again, spectulate that they could have gotten more but until its proven that they could have, you deal with what they got and go from there.

Jul 30, 2009 11:47 AM
rating: -3

Blood, treasure and Brian Sabean-

This comment is exactly right- whether or not Sabean valued less than others, he should have been able to get more on the open market for a top prospect than a 31 year-old who doesn't hit for power and can't steal a base. What's so irritating about Sabean's insistence on overpaying for guys that he likes is that as a Giants fan you end up resenting players like Sanchez and Rowand that you really want to root for simply because of the circumstances under which Sabean acquired them. It's like he's drunk dialing his latest man-crush at the trade deadline.

To make the Sanchez trade even worse is that current 2b Uribe at .284/.314/.431 isn't that much worse than Sanchez at .296/.334/.442. Really? A top prospect for that kind of upgrade?

Why not make a move for Brandon Wood and dump Renteria, who is truly awful at this point in his career? Even Jake Fox would fill a need better than Sanchez, and could probably have been had for less. Sabean makes a move like this every year: a move to keep the team just competitive enough for Sabean to hang onto his job.

And this takes me back to my original point: I like Freddy Sanchez, and I want to root for him. I like the man- I just don't like the trade.

Jul 30, 2009 21:47 PM
rating: -2

I will defend Sabean on this deal a little even though I have mixed feelings about him overall -- he grossly overpaid guys like Rowand, Winn, Renteria et al. (who knows if he wanted Zito or if upper managment made that deal) and all his other trades combined have not made up for the hit the Giants took in giving up Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano for a one year rental of Pierzynski.

Having said that, I'll first quote Kevin Goldstein on Tim Alderson: "There are questions about Alderson's ultimate upside; he has a highly advanced understanding of how velocity, command, and movement can work, but he doesn't have the kind of stuff to project as an impact starter."

Yes, I am impressed that he's holding his own in AA at age 20. And he's a legit prospect. But let's not get carried away. He is giving up more than a hit per inning, with a 4.15 ERA and 46/14 K/W in 72.2 innings. 5.7 K/9 does not signal someone who is necessarily going to be a dominant MLB pitcher.

Freddy Sanchez and his 18.5 VORP to date this year would rank second on the Giants' offense, behind only Sandoval. He's under control for next year. According to reports he is willing to convert next year's $8 million option into three years at $20 million total (locking in someone over declining years seems to appeal to Sabean). He's a lifetime .300 hitter (I know it's heresy on this site to give any credit to batting average, but there are only a handful of lifetime .300 hitters out there; it's not like they are getting a guy who is worthless.)

I for one have not seen any indication the Giants could have had Adam Dunn for Alderson, but even if they could, their biggest problem was the gaping hole at 2B. They addressed it. They didn't give up Posey, Villalona, or Bumgarner. They are tied for the wild card lead right now.

We can all invent bag-of-balls-for-Adam-Dunn scenarios, but there's not way to be sure those alternatives were reasonably available. If the question is whether they should have kept Alderson and continued to go with Frandsen-Velez-Uribe-Downs at second, I think they probably did the right thing making the trade and taking a shot at a playoff appearance. If they get there, with Lincecum and Cain pitching the first two games, there's a chance they could go deep into the playoffs.

Jul 30, 2009 12:05 PM
rating: 8

As a Giants fan, I'll take it. Remember, this is the franchise that traded Liriano, Nathan and Bonser for AJ Pierzynski. Compared to that trade, the Giants fleeced the Pirates and stand to see trememndous immprovement over what must have been one of the worst-played positions in baseball this year (Giants 2b).

but as a Giants fan it is also frustrating in that this trade exemplifies several strategies of Brian Sabean that have repeatedly failed: batting average over OBP, veteran bats over rookies or prospects, known MLB averageness over unknown but high potential of MLB above-averageness.

If you had a veteran who refuses to take a walk and doesn't have much power, who would you call to get the most value but Brian Sabean?

Jul 30, 2009 13:33 PM
rating: 0

Ned Colletti's affection for Juan Pierre might give Sabean a run for his money.

Jul 30, 2009 14:07 PM
rating: 0

Dayton Moore.

Jul 30, 2009 17:24 PM
rating: 2

Dayton Moore?

Jul 30, 2009 19:59 PM
rating: 0

The problem that I have with the Alderson for Sanchez deal is that Sanchez only gives the Giants a .020 improvement in OBP and a .011 improvement in SLG over the immortal Juan Uribe. Maybe that extra base runner every 10 games is enough to put the Giants just over the top in the wild card race, in which case, it was an OK deal. But I kind of doubt it.

Jul 30, 2009 17:08 PM
rating: 1

Uribe's BABIP and BA is much higher than his career numbers. I'm not sure why the Giants should pretend that his 200 at-bats have more predictive value than his career.

Jul 31, 2009 16:03 PM
rating: 0
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