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His motion reminds me of John Tudor.
I also seem to remember a BP article indicating that the acquisition of S Drew would make no difference in their playoff drive, when in fact he (and the platoon of Pennington and Rosales at 2B) seemed to strengthen their lineup quite a bit.
Younis Cespedes OPS per month, April through August: .762, .534, 1.106, .961, .810. Pre ASB - 198 AB, .791, post ASB -- 126 AB, 1.102.
If he stays healthy -- a big if -- they are a different team down the stretch than they are without him.
Norris and Weeks hitting better, as well, could give them some of the boost you are looking for.
I agree with the "no looking up" rule comment by myshkin, you have to answer off the top of your head:
5. As mentioned, last out of the 89 WS, I was there;
4. Most games played at 3B by an SF Giant?
3. You gave us this one.
2. Ron Kline seemed to be on every team at one time or another -- I am going to guess he gave up Mays' 512th to pass Mel Ott, since Mike Corkins gave up the 600th.
1. Bob Lacey -- 6 walks in an inning? I remember when he came up with the A's.
Exactly. It is a price fixing cap on total draft expenditures. The extra money will go into either player salaries or owner pockets. My guess is some teams will put all their allotment in the early rounds and skip some picks in rounds 6-10 or just make pre-draft handshake deals on guys who would likely go later -- "I'll take you in the 5th if you'll commit to taking 15th round money". Also, prospects who make big pre-draft demands for expected bonus may find themselves dropping more than before.
So, Geoff, how high do I go on Ross in the Rotisserie draft?
When the Messersmith arbitration occurred, Charlie Finley said "make 'em all free agents." He understood that a distorted market in which most players are tied up and only a few are available would cause prices to spike (and then cause blowback as those prices became the expectations for others).
Mark Cuban also observed once that the NFL "has it right" in that no contracts are guaranteed. If you get hurt, it is "88 and out." But this means that players who produce are paid more because the limited pool of funds is not siphoned off into contracts for non-performing players.
My recollection of watching Thornton pitch against the A's last year is that he had trouble getting his breaking pitch over and the A's hitters laid off of it. They couldn't always catch up with his heater but they fouled some off and hit a few. They were pretty good at laying off the fastballs up and out of the zone which is tough since he hit 96. He was still a nasty pitcher but not as dominant as before.
I really think most of these "character" issues are really our gloss on underlying physical issues.
Not sure why you say that. Swisher's season highs in runs, homers, RBI and walks all occurred in Oakland.
That's actually an oft-repeated bit of misinformation. The A's offered Beltre $72m for 5 years and he held out for more, with the Angels bumping it to $76m/5 then the Rangers going $96m/6 with the last year a vesting option. Scott Boras correctly guessed the market would come up to his target eventually.
Beane and Scott Boras both knew the market underpriced Beltre a year ago which is why Beltre took a one tear deal to fatten up his stats in Fenway, instead of three years guaranteed the A's offered then. Beane and Boras also both knew that the market ("market" being what at least one team will pay) underpriced Beltre again this year which is why Boras waited through the winter and ignored the A's offer. It had nothing to do with not wanting to play at the Coliseum. 5/64 vs. 6/96 speaks for itself. That's why he's a successful agent and makes the big money.
The A's biggest loss will be if they can't keep Josh Willingham, the only guy in their lineup with any power. If they use the money they are spending on DeJesus, Crisp, Matsui, Jackson and Kouz on keeping Willingham and add one other impact hitter to play RF they'd be better off. They seem to be able to come up with back-end pitching to fill out behind Gio Gonzales and Trevor Cahill; Brett Anderson will be back later next year; I don't think their long term outlook is so dim.
Of course, if they decide to keep spending $66 million per year while everyone else in the division is spending $30-$60 million per year more, they will always be scrambling.
The whining about the stadium is all propaganda. The A's have drawn close to 3 million fans per year in the very same stadium (2.9 million in 1990). If they would invest more in player salaries, they'd draw more fans. But they are not doing that, trying to create a self-fulfilling prophesy that they can't compete without a new stadium.
According to the local A's talk shows Cardenas cannot cut it at third but has been doing much better in LF.
Here's the John Shea article on Fuentes. Frankly he has not pictched very well lately and the team has been struggling. I don't think anyone should complain about being brought into a tie game in the 8th on the ground that he needs to be "saved" for closing situations. For one thing there are a limited number of games recently where the A's had the luxury of waiting to develop a lead going into the 9th.
As for Mike Sweeney complaining that he didn't get to start on the road in KC, I remember when that happened; he was not the starter at that point and was not playing very well, either, when he did play. This isn't Little League where everyone gets to play a few innings regardless of merit.
Fortunately Bailey should be back this weekend and Fuentes won't have to worry about being saved for closing duties any more.
I give the Royals credit for promoting their player on merit rather than screwing him over, like the Giants did with Posey last year. I only wish the Giants had lost last year by one game after what they did.
88 wins might lead the division. If Hosmer tears it up, and some other breaks go their way, who is to say the Royals could not sneak in? And if they regress, what would keep them from sending Hosmer back down for a few weeks later to stop the service clock?
I think there's some value in letting all the players know that the best player starts, regardless of side considerations of CBA rules and money 3 or 6 years from now.
I agree with HalfStreet. If you are going to analyze the Nats' acquisitions you should consider all of the moves including essentially replacing Dunn with LaRoche and Willingham with Werth, plus the players picked up from the A's in the Willingham trade. Werth's contract is ludicrously long and expensive but you could argue they overpaid a little to get someone to put on the cover of the programs and in advertising.
Plus I think the article undersells the need to show the fans progress, some wins, and some stars to root for. BP readers can look with admiration on a building team that endures multiple last place finishes while keeping an eye on the long term, building through the draft, but the team has to convince fans to buy tickets or watch the team on TV in the meantime.
The Nats had their first round pick protected by their position in the standings, so I'd say the lost second round pick was more than paid for by Henry Rodriguez (23 year old flamethrower picked up from the A's) alone.
Roger Salkeld. Pablo Ozuna. Alex Escobar. Peter Bergeron. Esteban German.
Just going back ten years on this site, here's a list of players who were in the top 20 of BP, BA and Sickels from 2000.
Ruben Mateo, Sean Burroughs, Dee Brown and Matt Riley are on all three lists, Ben Petrick is on two of them (BA had him in the top 40).
Sil Campusano. Back in the days of Mazeroski's Gold List he topped the list, two years running I think, as a 5 tool can't-miss stud.
A lot of this is subjective. in the 1980s Tom Boswell (I think, or was it Roger Angell?) published a book of baseball essays in which he surveyed parks and decided that the Coliseum was the BEST BALLPARK in the majors. He was looking at transport, food, viewing experience etc.
Since then of course former owners Schott/Hoffman took blood money for permission to ruin the stadium with a giant "Mount Davis" addition that blocked views of he Oakland hills and gave the place a closed-in feel.
But there is a big difference between saying the aestehetics have been compromised and saying that it is a "dump" that needs to be replaced.
How about spending some of the $461 million on player salaries? Nothing attracts fans like winning. How about spending part of the amount on sprucing the place up a little? It would be a lot cheaper installing new seats and food courts than building a stadium from the ground up. And, as mentioned above, how about the current owner not demeaning the product on a regular basis?
You said this about Carter: "He understands the strike zone well and waits for pitches he can drive, and is willing to take a free pass if one doesn't arrive."
Maybe in Sacramento, but that wasn't the guy I saw going to A's games or watching them on TV last year. He waved at sliders a foot off the strike zone and pitchers set him up easily. When they tried to come inside, though, especially below the belt, he hit the ball a loooong way. I think the Willingham and Mastui moves tell you the A's don't conisder him reliable yet; but Matsui is a one year rental, probably. If Carter hits well in spring they'll find plenty of at bats for him.
As an A's fan I for one am glad they got off the Beltre Bandwagon. I'd rather have Kouzmanoff and an extra $11 million per year in my pocket to help sign long term contracts with the young starting pitchers.
"I see voting by the BBWAA like possession of the card itself as a privilege and a duty to be taken seriously, not reduced to a patronage scam or an exercise in petty revenge."
I agree completely, but abuse has been around for a long time. As it turns out, the story about a Boston writer leaving Ted Williams off the ballot in 1942, after he won a triple crown, is probably apocryphal, but serves as a myth that tells a larger truth:
I want to add to the chorus of people who like scouting reports. I also like the comments from the front offices about what they are thinking as well.
BP readers already have access to a boatload of statistics and can screen for "who's hot/who's not" themselves. What we can't normally get is the insight on who's throwing a new pitch, who's progressing by covering the strike zone better even if the statistical success is not obvious or glaring yet, etc. -- the human element, if you will.
Your columns are the first thing I go to, since they never fail to entertain and inform.
It seems to me that if an athlete's career typically follows an age progression curve, subject to individual quirks based on injuries, moving to a different park or league, etc. the curve should look similar whether the player played in the dead ball era, the sluggin' 30s, or any other era. It is true that modern sports medicine or training techniques or financial incentives might affect the curve but shouldn't it generally follow the same pattern?
The Fielder and Jenks money would go most of the way toward keeping Carl Crawford, wouldn't it? I s'pose it depends on how many years he will insist upon.
In 1987, Dave Kingman hit 35 homers and had 94 RBI but no team offered him a contract the next year, as I recall. True, he hit .210 with a ton of Ks, but to me he's the example that first comes to mind of a guy who was offered a contract by no one, in part because he was such a jerk no one though he was worth the headache.
In Bonds' case, mention should be made of how he treated the Giants the last year, ditching the home run derby, declining to play the last several games after the team indicated it would not be offering a contract the next year, etc. And it seemed pretty clear Selig put out word that baseball did not want him back.
I don't believe the reported stories that he would have played for any offer. His agent was looking for $10 million according to other stories I read at the time. Saying he'd play for nothing was just posturing agent talk.
I think Adrian Cardenas passed Weeks on the A's depth chart at 2B.
"An Anthology of One"
(Basically a mash of the slogan "An Army of One" and "The Baseball Anthology" -- think of a collection of essays by a disparate group of writers, but here it is a group of essays reflecting many facets of one diamond-obsessed mind.)
Do the A's get compensation draft picks if they keep Sheets all year and he signs elsewhere next year? Will he likely be a type A free agent yeilding two draft picks?
1 mph difference is "massive"? Nolasco's fastball per fangraphs has averaged 91.5, 89, 91.2, 91.5 and 90.5 over the past five years. A 1.0 drop seems to be within the normal variance.
And the 1961 Orioles won 95 games, finishing third, 14 games behind the Maris/Mantle Yankees and 6 behind the Cash (.361/41/132)/Colavito (.290/45/140) Tigers.
The O's that year had Jim Gentile with his .302/46/141 season and, -- I didn't know this until looking it up -- Dick Williams playing LF and Whitey Herzog playing RF.
So many players had outlier seasons that year, I have to think it was fueled in part by expansion (the AL went from 8 teams to 10 that year.)
"I have no idea what the Red Sox manager meant by that ..."
I hope it was a joke, if so, it's pretty funny, as in, my OF has been declared a disaster area ...
I would put Garrett Jones back at first and Ryan Church in RF if I ran the Pirates, before calling up Pearce.
Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza for Delmon Young has not worked out very well for the Twins but the Pierzynksi trade for Bonser, Liriano and Nathan is one of the all time steals.
Pierzynski was not even signed, the Giants only traded for the right to take him to arbitration (and lose) then decline to offer arbitration the following year.
As for trading Santana, the package they got back does not look too good now, but at the time I recall the concensus being that the Twins had turned down better offers.
Is PECOTA always forward looking? In other words, does it only consider 20 year old Mays and his 20 HR in 524 PA (and 4 more HR 144 PA in 1952 before going in the Army) and not the 41 HR he hit in 640 PA at age 23? I had always thought his time in the Army cost him about as much as 70 HRs.
What about Ted Williams and his 6 years in the service? What would he have hit (per PECOTA) but for WW II and Korea?
Hindsight is of course 20-20, the Giants are making decisions throughout the winter. When they committed to Sanchez they could not be certain that DeRosa would be available later at the price they were ultimately able to negotiate. They filled a gaping hole at the time with Sanchez (didn't they avoid a buyout option for 2010 on his old contract, too?).
When DeRosa came along at an affordable price, they acted. If contracts were terminable at will like in the NFL, maybe the Giants would have done that with Sanchez once DeRosa signed, but that's of course not how it works. Considering Sanchez' injury history and DeRosa's positional flexibility, they may be well served by having DeRosa platoon with Huff at first, play some 2b when Sanchez is out, and some LF. Uribe similarly can fill several spots.
Isn't it a bit misleading to lump Sanchez and his EQA in as a comparison with a bunch of 1b/OFs? He should be compared to the 5 2Bmen you surveyed under the Astros note, and DeRosa. That's what they could have anticipated as the available player pool at the beginning of the off season to fill the 2B hole.
We also don't know for a fact that they could land Delgado and Church or Ankiel and Branyan for the $9 million combined that you are budgeting, although we'll find out in the next month or so when they each sign with someone. Even if they could, I'm not so sure that it would be better than having DeRosa and Huff, their January choices from among the January available market. None of those other four guys can fill in at 2B or 3B as DeRosa can.
Um, WOW. Didn't know I'd be reading this when I logged in today.
Joe, when you had a subscription newsletter, I subscribed. Never done that before or since (paid for a subscription newsletter) but your writing is so entertaining and informative that I'd do so again, if you go that route again.
Best wishes. Cream always rises to the top, I look forward to finding your writing at some other reputable source.
They each have around 300 plate appearances, the 50 point difference in OBP translates to 15 extra baserunners over 300 plate appearances; leaving aside platoon differentials, if you assume either one would have put up the same stats given all the plate appearances, the decision to split them between the two players "cost" the Giants 15 baserunners over the course of this season. To me that means Lewis' offensive stats are a "little" better but don't make the difference of five wins by which the G'ints trail the Rox, Joe's original premise.
I am not sure what your stats show but Lewis is regarded by Bay Area fans as a poor outfielder with a minus arm, and Schierholtz is regarded as superior to him in both respects. Lewis has put up 266/355/404 while Schierholtz has put up 272/305/409 -- a little better for Lewis but can you really say that is the reason for a five game gap behind Colorado?
Why no mention of the highly paid Randy Winn, who carries around a 262/320/355 over 569 plate appearances?
The Giants may have a slightly tougher scheudule, but starting on Labor Day, they play within their division for the rest of the year (except for one series vs. the Cubs who will probably be mathematically eliminated by the time of that series) and they have 6 games left vs. the Rockies, all at home. So they can make their own fate.
I have read that if the Bosox offer Wagner arbitration and he declines, the Bosox get two supplemental draft picks. But how can Wagner be a type A free agent when he is going to throw 15-20 innings this year? I thought Type A status was measured by some type of performance metric.
I read this on ESPN's site a couple of minutes ago:
"SI.com reported Monday that the Nationals' offer to Strasburg was approximately $12.5 million. Mark Prior received the highest contract ever given to a draft pick when he got $10.5 million from the Cubs in 2001."
The article ran with a video in which the ESPN Reporter claimed this was going to the last minute because "that's the way Scott Boras always runs this thing ..." and repeated the team's line that this was "more than any previous draft pick has gotten."
I am always amused at how reporters are willing to adopt the company talking points and play them back in news stories.
Here's a guess -- the Nats are willing to go to $21 million in total for the first three years (bonus and salary combined) and the GM, Rizzo, has offered only a little over half of his bargaining authority to this point.
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.
Would have been a lot cheaper to sign Dunn over the winter for the same price and not have to give up a prospect like Alderson to do it. Or, it would have been cheaper trading for Willingham just to take the salary off Marlins' books, as the Nats did, and it would not have cost an Alderson to do it.
Flags fly forever. If I have the chance to start Halladay down the stretch vs. the Bosox and Yanks several times (each game representing a two game swing) instead of Kazmir or Sonnanstine, I'd pay for that chance. If they make the playoffs he will start the first game of each series. Dominant players like that rarely become available.
I have looked at a lot of PECOTA "cards" and don't recall seeing one that has 50.0 of "upside" for a player with uniformly negative projections of BRAA and FRAA. 50.0 is a pretty big "upside" number. At the beginning of the year I use the Player Forecast Manager and sort players by upside, and while there are a lot of players over 50.0, it's not as many as you might think initially.
Also the comparable players seem to be relatively decent players. It's not as if the PECOTA card for Betancourt lists a bunch of guys who played only a year or two in the big leagues, or never made it; all but a couple of them played in the league 10 years or more.
So I wonder if the initial assumption -- which I shared until looking at the PECOTA card made me rethink it a little -- that Betancourt is simply a terrible player, is not a little too extreme.
Wasn't the Dye deal a three way deal in which Dye ended up being traded to the A's? I thought Beane orchestrated the deal at both ends.
Exactly what I meant but stated better.
The Morgan-May trade is my all time favorite for an example of teams taking the wrong lessons from relying on Steve Garvey statistics (avg-hr-rbi). At the time you could see the Astros thinking "we don't hit enough home runs" and trading for Lee May, a solid, proven power guy -- to play in the least friendly hitter's park of the era, one that would blunt the player's best asset. They gave away a guy who was ideal for a park like the Astrodome -- speedy, high OBP, gap power, and improving defense. I don't think anyone in 1971 thought at the time that Morgan was going to develop into a Hall of Fame player, but all of the players in the deal indicated that Astros managment was trying to sail into the wind, fighting against their park characterics instead of building to them.
I am voting with the other unnamed BP analyst on this one.
276/356/497 last season with 76 extra base hits. Signed for ages 27-28-29 at $5.5M per year which is well under market. Gold Glove, whether you agree with the voters or not.
Seems like an awfully meager return to the Pirates for what they gave up.
I'd also add, here, that Joe should have considered making a counterproposal that the other owner could have said yes or no to. I try not to make offers that are conditional -- you add someone to the deal and then I'll tell you if I want to agree. That's not really an offer, it's a passive aggressive way to try to invite an offer. If you want to close the deal, make an offer that only needs a yes or no to accept. It can even be "I'll offer Hamilton and X for Verlander and your choice of Zobrist or Crosby."
Particularly in a keeper league, those throw-in details can be very important.
Hard to believe that you can write an article on Scutaro and Byrnes without mentioning that Billy Beane spotted both of them, got some productive use out of both, and let them go when they got a little more expensive. (Although, in Scutuaro's case, considering the injury histories of Ellis and Chavez, he should have ponied up the $1.1 million per, instead of trying to backfill with players being paid the minimum.)
I had Volstad in an NL-only fantasy keeper league but threw him back because of the terrible PECOTA projections he had for the coming year. He was gleefully scooped up by another owner on auction day at more than twice the salary I could have frozen him at, after a spirited bidding war, as other owners wondered "why the heck was he thrown back in, anyway?"
I am still hoping it does not turn out to be the collossal blunder that it appears to be, so far.
From what I read, San Diego's owner mandated a drastic reduction in team salary in a short period of time. So it's not surprising that they have a stars-and-scrubs makeup. For that I blame the owner, not the GM. My only question about the GM is whether the asking price for Peavy was unrealistic, and whether the decision to hang onto him was the right one. My impression is that it was the right decision. If they don't keep him through the contract, and still decide to trade him, they may get a better return in July (like the Indians did with CC Sabathia) than they were offered in the off season.
I hope yours is a keeper league because that\'s a great list of top young players.
I blame the way the rule is written such that a middle reliever who throws only 50-60 innings per year can be designated a Type A free agent. Same thing for a light hitting, slick fielding shortstop like Cabrera.
Having said that, I agree with Joe\'s comment that Type A free agency was instituted for a reason, although I would not say the only reason is to depress the market for free agents. It is also to promote competitive balance and provide some reward to small market teams who lose their players after 5-6 years to the big market teams.
As the article reads, the only rule change being considered is the one that prohibits a team from trading a free agent signee before June. I don\'t see anything wrong with letting the team that is losing the free agent have an exemption from the rule by mutual agreement with the player. The team still will get compensation in the trade and the purpose of the rule will be supported. If the team does not want to agree, and wants to hold out for draft picks, it can do so.
When I think of Rice I tend to think of Dale Murphy too, both guys who put up huge counting stats for a few years then spent years with average stats and lots of GIDPs. Like Murphy, who was the star of WTBS (as the first cable network to broadcast into other local markets) Rice was on a contending team the networks loved to broadcast, so everyone saw lots of them on TV.
You have convinced me that spending controls are bad. You have not convinced me that the current revenue structure makes any sense.
The Yanks sit in the most lucrative market and by rule exclude anyone else from moving there; they keep the great majority of the ticket and all of the local TV revenue (plus a healthy subisdy from local government well beyond the means of other municipalities). Year after year they cherry pick the most expensive free agents.
Their response as a team is rational given the economic system the leagues have created, but that system is itself corrupting.
Make every team fork over half of the ticket income to the visiting team (and a prorated share of luxury box income based on per game ticket sales) and half the local TV revenue to the league to be divided equally among all teams. Teams will still have the incentive to be competitive because they will increase home ticket income if they win, and will increase draw on the road as well.
I remember years ago that Bill James was commenting on Larry Bowa\'s low range factor and concluded that having Mike Schmidt next to him suppressed the numbers because Schmidt had superior range and cut off balls that Bowa might otherwise handle. It makes me wonder whether Bartlett\'s numbers are affected by the switch of 2B partners.
The revenue rules that let home teams keep 80 or 90 percent of the ticket revenue and all the local TV revenue (and block franchises from moving to higher revenue areas) are entirely league-created. You can\'t blame the Yankees for responding appropriately to the incentives that are placed before them.
Blame the other owners for agreeing to this setup.
Posted in the morning by Joe:
\"Nothing happens in the last ten days of the year, especially when Christmas falls midweek as it does this year.\"
Later the same day (the \"Dewey defeats Truman\" moment):
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
Published: December 23, 2008
The Yankees have reached an agreement with Mark Teixeira, a free-agent first baseman, on a long-term contract, according to a person in baseball familiar with the matter. The move would represent the third major off-season move by the team and deal a blow to the Boston Red Sox, who had made signing Teixeira the main objective of their off-season.
\"Rodriguez is a power arm who misses bats, and though his command has been backsliding a bit the last few seasons, the upgrade on the available options for the Mets is significant.\"
Joe I wonder where you get this from.
I remember looking KRod up on Fangraphs last year and it indicated he had lost 5 mph off his fastball in the last three years, and significantly increased the number of changeups he throws. I checked again today and can\'t find the speed gun numbers (did they delete them?) but it indicates that over the last three years the number of changeups he has thrown has increased from 2 to 9 to 16 percent.
It seems to me that he shows the markings of a player who has lost a lot of zip on his fastball (now it\'s just good instead of dominant and sufficient all by itself) and is now relying more on mixing up pitches; nothing to be surprised about given his age and history.
BTW I would never pay $12 million for a one inning pitcher, not even this one, if I had control over a team budget. Find a $4 million guy, give him the job, and spend the rest somewhere else.
I love articles like this about fixing bad teams, but I think this one\'s a bit too optimistic.
The M\'s lost 101 games last year, finished 39 games out, and are losing Ibanez, their best hitter. The top four pitchers in your article went a combined 23-22 last year. Silva and Washburn finished a combined 9-29 and may well be holding down two rotation spots again next year.
I agree that improving their defense would make them a better team but doubt that it could get them to 87 wins.
A team with Willie Harris, Jeremy Reed and Ichiro Suzuki in its outfield (not to mention the black hole of Johhima at C, and Betancourt is not all that good offensively, either) is going to have a very, very hard time scoring runs regardless of who you plug in at DH and 1B.
You could take almost any team and say \"add Adam Dunn and their offense would be better.\" In this case addition of Dunn would simply offset the loss of Ibanez and leave you with essentially the same team that finished 28th in MLB in hitter VORP last year.
I think they are three Dunns short of having a decent lineup that might support an 87 win team. Even that would be for the privilege of finishing 13 games behind the Angels.