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December 17, 2009

Transaction Analysis

Threesome or Foursome?

by Christina Kahrl

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IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

OAKLAND ATHLETICS
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Signed LHP Cedrick Bowers, RHPs Matt Wright, Marcus McBeth, and Fernando Hernandez, and 1B-R Matt Whitney to minor-league contracts. [12/13]
Acquired OF-R Michael Taylor from the Blue Jays for 3B-L Brett Wallace. [12/16]

For the A's, a Taylor-for-Wallace exchange makes for an interesting upside play, not an exchange of "equal talents," but a challenge trade where the challenge isn't about swapping like for like, but that what comes out of the wrapping on your side of the exchange turns into something more than what's in the other box. The Jays get presumed certainty while the A's get considerably greater upside possibilities, and the real mystery, given the two teams' irrelevance in their respective division standings, is why the Jays would prefer certainty.

Wallace might have reached Triple-A sooner and be nine months younger, but Taylor's development curve has been arcing upwards as he's come into his own as a pro, producing projected peaks in Equivalent Average around .320 in both his Double- and Triple-A stints, significantly higher than Wallace's projections from the Texas League (.278) or the PCL (around the same, between his work at Memphis and Sacramento). Position scarcity might help Wallace's case for career value some if he can stay at third base for a good chunk of his career, and certainly moving Wallace does put the A's in the odd position of really having to count on Eric Chavez at third base (at least on paper) while also clearly putting Chris Carter on the spot, either as Daric Barton's rival (at first) or teammate (with one of them DHing).

Given that last place in the short stack seems unavoidable for the immediate future, and that so much of the longer term depends on how well the rotation shakes down over the next several seasons, it makes much more sense to bet on Taylor's potential to become a new Jermaine Dye-level offensive force in a lineup missing that sort of impact hitter, than it does to bank on Wallace's shot at being a pretty good third baseman now and later, and then, before his six years are up, a potentially pedestrian first baseman. Add in that you're potentially swapping in Taylor for placeholding talents like Ryan Sweeney and/or Scott Hairston, and it's potentially a net gain this year as well, and a Scoan Sweenston platoon in an outfield corner by the end of 2010 could wind up as a two-way asset, helping convert a present problem into a temporary virtue.

SEATTLE MARINERS
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Acquired LHP Cliff Lee from the Phillies for RHPs J.C. Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont and CF-L Tyson Gillies; signed SS-L Pedro Okuda to a minor-league contract. [12/16]

As genius moves go, I'm not sure it gets better than this. One year of Lee and the draft picks he'll bring if they don't re-sign him, for three age-20 talents who, impressively enough, are all poised to graduate to Double-A, but none of whom is so magnificent that you're in Bagwell-for-Andersen territory. This is exactly the sort of win-now move you like to see a team in this position make. Winning now and during the remaining time left on Felix Hernandez's service-time clock seems like an entirely doable proposition. The Angels' '09 season is very much starting to look like the last big push, the Rangers' burgeoning greatness is still very much as-yet unrealized, and if Jack Zduriencik's sweetest skill as a GM was supposed to be his eye for player development, as sweet as that might be, it'll take years to overhaul the system to his design.

So, taking all of that into consideration, while not scrimping on the long-term goal of improving the entire organization, why not go for it in the meantime, if you have the means and a few of the elements to do it with? For all of talk from general managers as different as J.P. Ricciardi or Ed Wade, Bill Bavasi, or Paul DePodesta, all of whom came in with win-now or win-soon agendas, it's fascinating to see someone who came into the job with a career in player development trying to build a worthy foe for the AL East's titans by hitting the two highest notes in the performance-analysis songbook:

  • Add premium talent. The more in-depth arguments for how many wins you add by putting Lee into an equation-five, six, plenty-are compelling enough. You've got King Felix, and you just added an obvious short-lister for somebody else who's likely to rank among the 10 best starters in whatever league he's in. This gives you an incredible shot at leveraging that nice regular-season wins tally into a run of dominating postseason matchups very much in your favor. Just make sure to discourage changing that Entish post-season schedule, since those long pauses can come in handy. Leave middle-class acquisitions to teams with middle-class ambitions. "That guy" wasn't on the market, so the Mariners had to be creative to find him, and by getting themselves invited to this dance, they wound up with a tremendous prize.

  • Deal from strength. Franklin Gutierrez is under club control for at least the next three years, and having enjoyed the benefit of getting him, it isn't inconceivable they'll strike a deal that takes away his first year of free agency. With other outfield talents already in the organization to consider for the corners in the seasons to come, and the need to add a more potent bat for left in the present, Gillies was tantalizing, but also entirely worth including. The arms are both promising, but place your faith in Jack Z., and you can expect more of the same. That's easier to say than do, of course, and I'm not suggesting that Zduriencik can conjure them prospects out of thin air; he's not about to stand hundreds of years of research proving spontaneous generation isn't true on its head. However, if the man has reasonable confidence in his acumen, betting on his own ability to replace prospects with other prospects, can you blame him?

Here again, there won't be a bestseller in the offing written about this activity, but there should be, because it speaks to Zduriencik's operating on a level as an executive that delivers on what really needs to be harped on: decision-making informed by performance analysis and scouting, not handicapped by a reductionist choice between them. Zduriencik's ambitions for what he can do to shore up this year's bid are by no means fully realized, of course. They may get Jason Bay, fulfilling their need for right-handed power now while benefiting from the eventual end of Ken Griffey Jr.'s career as an avenue to escape from Bay's unglovely contributions as a left fielder. They can continue to play chicken with Russell Branyan, until either he accepts a short deal or they find the free-agent first baseman who will. A utility infielder of the Jamey Carroll stamp and a veteran catcher wouldn't be bad things to get, but they're also more on the optional side of the shopping list at this point. Both kinds of commodities are available in this market, and will cost less than $2 million to get per year per player.

As for the player development side of the equation, while it's a slower, more sub-rosa process easily overlooked while the organization's busy playing for high stakes at the highest level, signing the Brazilian-Japanese Okuda demonstrates they're keeping themselves busy with the farm system. Whether he pans out is no sure thing, but the 19-year-old has the benefit of playing some high school ball in Japan after a childhood in Brazil. He should wind up assigned to the organization's Venezuelan academy for summer-league action, and as that MLB.com report indicates, they've been following Okuda for almost four years. Since Portuguese and Japanese aren't exactly common languages in pro leagues in this hemisphere, it makes for a potentially interesting problem as far as instruction. Somehow, I suspect the solution does not depend on locating Jose Pett's translator.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
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Signed C-R Raul Chavez and OF-L Joey Gathright to minor-league contracts. [12/13]
Traded RHP Roy Halladay and $6 million to the Phillies for RHP Kyle Drabek, OF-R Michael Taylor, and C-R Travis D'Arnaud; signed C-R John Buck to a one-year deal for $2 million; signed RHP Lance Broadway to a minor-league contract. [12/16]

Credit Alex Anthopolous for doing what his predecessor could not, and landing an interesting, variegated group of prospects when he was dealing with something of a distressed property. Joe Sheehan noted earlier today how this looks a lot better than the deal for Johan Santana did two years ago. (And believe me, that trade looked terrible then.) But frankly, I think this deal looks great in comparison to the deal that put Lee in Philadelphia in the first place.

Consider the merits of the packages. Drabek's a tremendous pitching prospect, and as much as you hate to say this about anyone on the way up, someone with a better shot than most to become, if not the guy he's replacing, at least a front-end rotation regular of quality. The Jays have done a fine job of finding a number of people who can round out a rotation; Drabek becomes the hoped-for eventual center piece you can groom to put in front of them. He's a better prospect than Carlos Carrasco or Jason Knapp. Or Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp.

Maybe because we're talking about Kid Drabek and the Walrus being Blue Jays, it almost seems as if the addition of D'Arnaud has gotten undersold. He's not Buster Posey, but he's on the short list for best catching prospects in the game; J.P. Arencibia is not. For catching prospects, I'd rather take my chances on D'Arnaud, a smooth receiver with more pop than Lou Marson, and one with worthwhile full-season experience at 20. And to complete the Tribe's trade back in July, no, utility infield aspirant Jason Donald for utility outfielder Ben Francisco does not make up the difference, and that's without getting to the third element of the deal.

If there's a misstep, it's arguably there, turning around and trading Taylor for Wallace. Not that Wallace isn't a good prospect, but as I noted in the A's segment, whatever virtues you get with Wallace as a third baseman who's worked hard at staying on third base probably get lost to you in time. Sort of like asking "why" as far as the Phillies adding the Lee deal to their getting Halladay, I wonder about the value of adding Wallace as the second half of the Jays' side of the Halladay exchange. If the Jays are out of it (and they are) and have an immediate future colored by whether or not they can keep ahead of the Orioles, why go for the safety school choice of prospects in Wallace, when you might be better off employing the upside risk Taylor has going for him? As cool as it is to have Wallace join Aaron Hill and Adam Lind and Travis Snider in the near future, giving you a core four in a lineup that should score runs a'plenty, you could swap in Michael Taylor into that Fab Four a la Stuart Sutcliffe and have something equally wonderful.

Not that Wallace is the new Eric Hinske, of course, but it's generally taken for granted that he's a prospect whose eventual future will be at first base. I don't expect that to be now, of course-in the near term I'd expect it's more likely that Edwin Encarnacion's going to be invited to move to another lineup slot (if not another franchise) than Wallace will be. Snider might be a future DH, creating the odd medium-term problem of having young veterans at the old men's positions. Adding Wallace exacerbates an issue already anticipated with Snider, and already added to by trading for Encarnacion. In contrast, Taylor seems like a relative lock as a quality defender in an outfield corner.

Still, it's not that sour a note to finish on. Anthopolous got good stuff for the one year of Halladay he had to work with, and the page has been successfully turned. It won't help ticket sales, of course, but the negative publicity that the club risked by bartering with a popular player all summer long figured to hurt those already, and the matter would only be worsened by any ill-will spill over into 2011 by stretching the drama out to the last moment. Instead, the organization's made a clean break with one of the last major bits of unfinished business from the old regime, and can sort out its priorities as far as the immediate future.

To that end, add Buck to the list of "people employed to fill out the roster," no differently than the decisions to retain John McDonald or sign Alex Gonzalez. Not that he'll get the Jays to 80 wins, but he'll provide some pop, and we'll see how much of his flagging performance against stolen-base attempts was a product of the unbearable burden of being a Royal.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
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Signed 1B/OF-L Ross Gload to a two-year, $2.6 million contract. [12/15]
Acquired RHP Roy Halladay and $6 million from the Blue Jays for RHP Kyle Drabek, OF-R Michael Taylor, and C-R Travis d'Arnaud; traded LHP Cliff Lee to the Mariners for RHPs J.C. Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont and CF-L Tyson Gillies. [12/16]

As much as I almost reflexively like to go against the grain to avoid a charge of groupthink (cussedness is a virtue for some), there's less here to like than you might expect. Taylor's a tremendous upside play, as is Drabek, and d'Arnaud's a catching talent whose position-relative ceiling puts him among the top 10 prospects behind the plate. That's a lot to give up, but getting an exclusive opportunity to get Roy Halladay at $9.75 million (since the Jays are paying the balance of his 2010 pay) and the equally exclusive opportunity to lock him in for three more years for a less-than-market rate, with health-dependent options determining whether you got one or two more years of him beyond... well, that's just a thing of beauty. Given Lee's odd career path, it's not an unreasonable suggestion that Ruben Amaro Jr. chose well in preferring Halladay.

Less certain is the necessity of coupling this trade with the deal that put Lee in Seattle. Even if you accept for the sake of argument the suggestion that Amaro had to work within a budget, and that he had to have one or the other, this seems to suggest that the Phillies just blew it by being active early and, true to form, acted fast. If payroll's a problem, then the money spent on Placido Polanco or Ross Gload or Juan Castro or Brian Schneider-in short, the entire pack of elective add-ons, these veteran talents barely above the free-talent alternatives or players making close to the minimum-deserves to be seen collectively as needlessly spent money on players who don't significantly alter the Phillies' chances at a third pennant, not nearly so much as having a rotation with Doc and Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels gives you a rotation that might have been able to handily beat the best the AL might throw at you, and start a case for elevating the Phillies to dynastydom.

Similarly, if payroll's a problem, as Matt Swartz pointed out today, there are also the arbitration-related considerations involving Chad Durbin and Joe Blanton to consider; non-tendering Durbin's an obvious missed opportunity, of course. But just as holding onto Lee into February to haggle over the best-possible package of prospects from the neediest possible bidder would have been smarter than doing this now to get it done, then holding Blanton out there to the winter's increasingly unhappy shoppers who didn't get a Halladay or a Cliff Lee or a John Lackey in their stocking becomes more and more plausible. If the argument that you can't have Halladay, Lee, and Blanton on the payroll on Opening Day, 2010 is true, that does not mean that you can't have them all on your roster now, or next month, or in March, while taking the time to help yourself the best way possible. Fighting and losing or winning or winning and losing Blanton's arbitration case is simply not that odious a mid-winter chore that it compels you to pick between he and Lee right now.

Which leaves us with the other line of defense for the unhappy dependent clause appended to the positive action of adding Doc: "re-stocking the farm system." If that's a major right-now priority, that's fine, but was this the best way of achieving that? Aumont might wind up a reliever, both are 20, and if standard rates of spoilage apply, you could end up with only one of them panning out; that's the nature of pitching prospects, where survival's part of the job description. Nevertheless, it's worth remembering that Kevin Goldstein rated the pair as the sytem's best starting arms before 2009, as did Baseball America. Is that worth a year of Cliff Lee? If not, Gillies may well make up a large amount of the difference; he could be a premium center fielder if his walk rate can get up to 10 percent in the higher levels and on into the pros, and if he develops any power that isn't just park- and league-aided. If not, he might be a premium defender with speed, the sort of player you can carry in a great lineup; he could simultaneously be someone who becomes part of the problem in something less than a great lineup. Given that he's only heading in his age-21 season as well, and that all three should be in Double-A next season, and it makes for a fine trio of entirely desirable prospects. All three are very young, and while I'd rate them further behind what they surrendered to achieve this deal, it's somewhat amusing that this lot seems a lot more interesting as prospects than what the Phillies gave up to get Lee from the Indians in the first place. To give Amaro further credit along this line, in an industry where flipping prospects might be harder now than it used to be to get Gussie Busch to spend an extra nickel, he managed to add three worthy of the label.

Which brings us back to the problem: would you rather have these three prospects and a year of Joe Blanton and all those mostly-harmless expensive veterans Amaro so speedily signed? Or would you rather have a year of Cliff Lee, the draft pick or picks you'd get in the 2011 draft once he leaves (and you offer arbitration), whatever middling prospect you get in trade for a year of Joe Blanton, and maybe take a few chances on whatever equally fungible fun you stock the last four or five slots of your roster with to help control costs? The money the Jays added to the deal minimized the expense of employing Halladay in 2010, and while I'd accept in the abstract that Amaro got decent value for a year of Lee (and the picks the Mariners might now get instead), that abstraction depends on the suggestion that the Phillies were in something like the same position as the Jays, and not where they are, gunning for another pennant.

We can argue that he might have been able to get a better package for Lee than the one he received from the Mariners, but prospect exchanges aren't easily achieved, so there's an element of unrealistic wishcasting attached to such a proposition. Instead, the real shame here is the path not taken, keeping Lee as part of going for it now, taking that post-Halladay priority to restock the farm system and doing so via the draft (which letting Lee leave next winter helps), trading Blanton sometime between now and Opening Day, and skipping some of the needless veteran frippery stocking the bottom of this roster, as old-timers sign on for a shot at playoff shares and dogpiling they won't substantively contribute to. Here as with last winter, I wonder if the story here isn't that Amaro made a move to achieve something big, it's that he moves fast, and this time around lost out on a chance to do something even bigger. After all, if payroll's a problem, spending top dollar on Raul Ibanez then, in a market where corner outfielders were taking big pay cuts, cut into their ability to afford a truly magnificent rotation now, and into the future.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

mltepper

I'm glad that people are starting to recognize Michael Taylor's talent. I feel like people kept on discounting him for his difficulties in college which seemed to have a reasonable explanation (Stanford messing with his swing). While I feel he is what I'll miss most about acquiring Halladay, I'll take it.

Of course as a Phillies fan, I hate everything else about these trades, that is giving up Lee and I've been using various comment sections on this site to vent about this. I guess I should apologize about that.

I also, like how you noted how the Ibanez signing works into this. It's starting to feel like Ruben Amaro's necessity to sign people so quickly is become a liability rather thing a quirk that can be lived with as long as he doesn't do something too drastic and silly. (I'm saying that because my first reaction to the Polanco signing was like, "I don't like it but it's not awful." Of course now it looks much worse.)

Dec 17, 2009 20:10 PM
rating: 3
 
bflaff

I wanted to congratulate you for "Entish post-season schedule".

Dec 17, 2009 20:26 PM
rating: 10
 
Scott D. Simon

Agree.

Dec 18, 2009 06:55 AM
rating: 0
 
mglick0718

OK, I'll admit it: I have no idea what that means.

Dec 18, 2009 12:39 PM
rating: 0
 
Alex Nixon

Ent, a walking tree from the Lord of the Rings. Known for walking, talking, and acting unnecessarily slowly.

Hmm, I'm a little concerned that I remembered this without any trouble. I think we may have discovered the reason I've had perpetual problems with my love life.

Dec 18, 2009 13:20 PM
rating: 2
 
ktr

Taylor is a curious case. Going all the way back to the trade talks at the deadline, it seems like the Jays and Phillies have been fighting over Dom Brown with Taylor as the leftover consolation prize. Brown's exciting and has great tools but also carries risk-- it seems strange that both organizations greatly prefer him to a physical and fairly athletic OF who has posted impressive numbers at the upper levels and appears ready now. Makes you wonder if there's something we're missing with the guy.

Dec 17, 2009 20:48 PM
rating: 1
 
dcarroll

Two things in Brown's favor are that he is two years younger and a left-handed bat. I would think that would tip the balance toward Brown, but I am not sure by how much.

Dec 18, 2009 09:31 AM
rating: 0
 
Benjamin Harris

Is it possible the 2009 Dick Martin Award winners know something we don't? Lee threw 272 innings this season, including the post-season -- nearly 50 inning more than he's ever thrown in a season. It seems like there have been a number of examples of players pitching in the post-season one year, only to regress significantly or be injured the next. Cole Hamels last year and Jeff Francis the year before come to mind. Has anyone done any research on this? I've always wondered if it's something that actually happens, or some connection I just make up in my mind. It still doesn't explain why they didn't wait until Spring training rolls around to see if they could get more though.

Dec 18, 2009 05:18 AM
rating: 10
 
G. Guest

Halladay next year?

Dec 18, 2009 07:55 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Guess I'm a bit confused. If the Mariners need so many parts to contend, why pick up Lee in the first place? Seems like they're banking on the Rangers stagnating and the Angels declining for the AL West, or the wilder shot at the Wild Card. Does a contender really hope to sign Russell Branyan and "a utility infielder of the Jamey Carrol".

As far as the Wallace thing goes, since the A's acquired Wallace via trade for Holliday, does that mean they picked the wrong batch of prospects when they traded off Holliday?

Dec 18, 2009 08:41 AM
rating: 0
 
ScottyB

The Angels have been shedding talent for two years now (Tex, KRod, Figgins, Vlad, Lackey) and at some point, they won't be as competitive.
I really don't get the hype around the Rangers- they have too many holes in their lineup (1B, LF, RF, DH) and are relying on Harden, Feldman, etc.
The Mariners' time is now. Now with Lee and Figgins on board, one big bat (Bay, Holliday) puts them in a commanding position.

Dec 18, 2009 09:33 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

A contender hopes to have a starting first baseman; at present, the Mariners don't have one. That's not a bad thing, since it leaves them free to mull the virtues of who's out there.

As for the 'wrong batch' notion, I think I liked having Wallace less than I liked getting Carlos Pena upon a time, or getting Carlos Gonzalez, but that's because of this same factor: upside. Superficially, most of what the A's sent to the Rockies for Holliday isn't worth regretting: Greg Smith before his value cratered (and then he got hurt), two years of Huston Street (easily replaced), and CarGo. Guess which one of those things is not like the others?

Look at the A's situation: there are pretty much just two ways they can wind up with a star-caliber player: getting him before he's established via development or trade, or acquiring the tail end of an affordable, contract. Taylor or Chris Carter might be in the former category, while the mixed results from pickups like Holliday, Johnny Damon, and Jermaine Dye don't speak that well to the latter.

Dec 18, 2009 09:35 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Most of what the A's sent the Rockies was replaceable. On the other hand, the A's haven't done a great job maturing hitting prospects with upside in quite sometime. Perhaps they should've kept Wallace, just so they could say they had a league average first baseman without using up three roster spots to do so :)

Back to Lee. If the M's had a "handshake agreement" on the Bradley trade when they were negotiating for Lee, then their rationale for "going for it" makes more sense to me since the M's had more of the pieces they needed in the fold to become contenders. Picking up Bradley by "reappropriating" Silva's wasted contract is just extra icing.

Dec 18, 2009 16:12 PM
rating: 0
 
Peter7899

I think what most writers are missing, or are gleaming over is that Halladay was willing to give the Phillies a big time discount and Lee wasn't. Lee wants market value which will be 5 or 6 guaranteed years at $20M a year. The Phillies simply concluded that they couldn't afford both pitchers longterm, so they chose the least expensive and better option.

As unbeatable of a rotation including Halladay and Lee would have been, they'll still be heavy favorites with only Halladay. They made the right move to aquire legitimate prospects instead of just the draft picks next winter.

Dec 18, 2009 09:21 AM
rating: 1
 
Matt Kory

I've heard this argument over and over, but the question that it doesn't answer is, why not keep both? The Red Sox just signed John Lackey, you don't see them turning around and trading Josh Beckett. They're both championship level clubs and championship level clubs don't often trade off pieces like Lee for three A ballers, especially when they're super cheap (comparatively of course).

Its nice the prospects the Phils got from Seattle all have potential, but the point of potential is to help win a World Series and Lee was right there willing and able to do that.

To me, either Amaro had/has no plan and this was simply a seat-of-the-pants maneuver, or he screwed up.

Dec 18, 2009 10:37 AM
rating: 0
 
Peter7899

Actually, it might make sense for Boston to deal Beckett (it was written about on this site), but that's beside the point. I don't disagree with you that having both Lee and Halladay would increase their chances of winning, but in the NL, with their lineup, it's almost overkill. They won the 2008 WS with Hamels, Blanton, and Moyer for crying out loud.

The Red Sox also didn't trade the majority of their Top 10 prospects to sign Lackey. Couple that fact with the Phillies inability to sign Lee longterm and I don't see how they wouldn't severly compromise their future by keeping them both for this year alone.

Dec 18, 2009 13:18 PM
rating: 1
 
W. Clark

Some random thoughts...
Phillies may have the intention of trying to lock up Blanton to a reasonable contract extension this season, which was not a possibility with Lee following the Halladay contract. Also, Blanton is a 3+ WAR pitcher himself and while Lee is certainly a step above, I can see the appeal in retaining him now with the hope of locking him up for a couple more years at a cost that fits the budget.

And while losing Lee would mean we would have 2 more high draft picks, to imply that the Phillies could simply have restocked through aggressive drafting, failing to mention the several millions more that would cost as opposed to trading for 3 bonafide prospects whose bonuses have already been paid, is not entirely fair.

Speaking of group-think, BP now seems to refer to the Polanco signing as more or less an accepted gaffe, but I would point out that many well-informed journalists are not nearly so down on it, and actually defend the signing as having some attractive upside.

Finally, I hate the concept of "going for it now." The Phillies will be a strong contender to make the playoffs as composed, and will be for the foreseeable future. There is so much that can go wrong over the course of a season, and even more so the course of a single playoff series, that to mortgage the long term outlook, when that outlook is so consistently promising, seems imprudent.

Which brings us back to, is the value for Lee sufficient. By the time we know that, this trade will be a distant memory.

Dec 18, 2009 09:24 AM
rating: 2
 
W. Clark

Score one for me. Blanton at 3 yrs at 24 million seems reasonable. I do think this changes the analysis a bit.

Jan 21, 2010 18:00 PM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

And the M's are about to acquire Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva!

Geez, talk about a makeover!

Dec 18, 2009 10:34 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

Off topic, but wow are the Cubs dumb.

Dec 18, 2009 11:13 AM
rating: 1
 
yekkel

Sometimes Hendry does good things (filching Aramis Ramirez from the Pirates; trading Hee Seop Choi to the Mariners for D-Lee), but the stupid things he does are so very stupid (ignoring on base %, throwing piles of cash at a declining Soriano, signing Bradley instead of Abreu, Ibanez or Adam Dunn). This might be the dumbest move he has ever pulled. The Cubs would be better of trading Bradley for a bucket of baseballs, or maybe a Safeco beer vendor. Anything that doesn't combine the wondrous virtues of sub-replacement ability and being owed a minimum of $16 million.

Dec 18, 2009 14:13 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

Yes, it wasn't a fine day here on the North Side, not least because the weather's ghastly. And yet I'm sure there are thousands happy to see the back of Milton Bradley. It's the sort of move where there's a lot less to say about the talent and a lot more to say about everything else.

Dec 18, 2009 15:28 PM
 
elm
(41)

Although I agree with CK that if budget was an issue, they shouldn't have signed Polanco et al. But they did, maybe thinking there was no way they would get Halladay. So now that mistake is made and they have Halladay and can't afford Lee. Maybe it would have been better to wait on trading Lee, but I wonder if the negotiations over Doc led to the immediate trade.

The early rumors had the Phillies not putting Drabek in the deal and needing to use some of the Mariners prospects instead, in which case a trade of Lee was necessary to even acquire Doc. Once they agreed to put Drabek in the Doc deal, this was no longer necessary, but if they liked the package that Seattle was offering, why not just pull the trigger since and move on?

Dec 19, 2009 06:43 AM
rating: 0
 
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