Rob McQuown wonders if there's a "Curse of the Value Picks", as Carlos Guillen makes the 3rd outfielder to hit the DL after being featured. Two new players join the list and risk the curse.
Carlos Gomez wasn't pushed off stage last week, despite being relegated to a platoon situation with Jim Edmonds. And anyone who “trusted the process” (or at least had a desperate “need for speed”) was rewarded with a useful .318/.423/.409 week with 3 steals and 6 runs scored. Of course, the historically epic beat down that the Brewers continued to put on the Pirates was responsible for these numbers being so fine in spite of Gomez being on the wrong side of a platoon, so he gets dropped this week along with Carlos Guillen, who fell prey to “Curse of the Value Picks” by hitting the DL shortly after being spotlighted.
Replacing los Dos Carlos, a couple platoon players join the list this week, Jeremy Hermida and Will Venable. Also noteworthy is the fact that Austin Jackson has not been featured here, as he has a .520 BABIP and 61% contact percentage (32 K in 83 AB/91 PA), suggesting he's soon to go off the precipice into a steep decline. He has a lot of job security, as he's a rangy center fielder on a team with old side outfielders and no other viable options for center field, but he's one of the best “sell high” candidates among outfielders now.
Who went where, with a blow-by-blow as the action unfolded.
1. Washington Nationals
Pick: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State Kevin Goldstein Says: "Congrats Nats fan, you just got a potential franchise-changing talent. Now the REAL fun begins with the negotiation. I really should start a pool on bonus and total package. I'm guessing $8-9 million dollar bonus and total package around $25 million"
Quotable: "The first thing I'd say is 'good luck.' Then I'd say sit on the fastball, because at least you know he's going to throw strikes. So just step in there and compete and try not to strike out on three pitches."-Texas Christian infielder Ben Carruthers, on how to hit Strasburg.
Read more about Strasburg here.
Reports on the Yankees, Padres, Rangers, and D'backs, plus news and notes as the Opening Day lineups and rosters take shape.
The Yankees hope to at least be competitive this season. OK, there's a (weak) April Fools' Day joke for you, because expectations are obviously higher than that after the team's winter activity. Hal and Hank Steinbrenner opened their checkbook wider over the winter than their free-spending father George ever had, spending a whopping $423.5 million on three free agents, giving first baseman Mark Teixeira an eight-year, $180 million contract, signing left-hander CC Sabathia to a seven-year, $161 million deal, and enticing right-hander A.J. Burnett with a five-year, $82.5 million offer.
David files his final column of the calendar year with a sampling of the best quotes from 2007.
The Prospectus Q&A series became a regular Sunday feature in 2007, so as the year comes to a close it seems appropriate to finish with a "best of" collection of quotes from those interviews. While "best" may not be the optimal word--these choices are purely subjective--they are representative of what 50 personalities from within the game of baseball shared with the readers of BP over the past 12 months. Being the primary author of this series, I hope that you found them to be an entertaining and informative group. From January to December, here are some of their best quotes:
Examining the past draft tendencies of major league scouting directors, Bryan predicts which amateurs teams will nab in this June's frenzy.
In football, every coach is assumed to have tendencies that can be discovered and schemed against, and as a result, coaches spend hours each week looking at game tape. Tendencies are a natural part of being in a high position in the sporting world -- in stressful situations, people go with what has worked before. It's natural, but yet we don't identify when it happens enough in the baseball world.
Bryan Smith wonders about the draft pick/free agent tradeoff, and considers how the Padres specifically may have fared had they let all three star players walk this winter.
In the end, veterans Giles and Hoffman gave the Padres the "San Diego discount," while Hernandez opted into the richest deal he could find. There are certainly concerns that the Padres let the youngest of the three leave, while investing $43.5 million into two players older than thirty-five. The arguments against these contracts are centered around the fact that the team could have spent its money on younger players, while simply collecting first-round draft picks for their losses.
Historically, however, this would have been the Padres worst move. Not only were Giles and Hoffman two of the best free agents at their respective positions, but also because San Diego has a spotty history at cashing in on draft picks. I went back and looked at the last ten San Diego drafts (prior to 2005, which is simply too recent to judge), in hopes of finding whether Jacque Jones, Bob Wickman, $22.5 million and four draft picks was a better option than the one Kevin Towers took. The findings, to say the least, do not support such a claim.
Prospectus Q&A returns, as Jonah Keri talks to Rangers Assistant General Manager Jon Daniels about the new blood in major league front offices, the challenges of playing in a big hitter's park, and more.
After gaining experience working on draft history, park effects and other studies, the Rangers hired him as Assistant Baseball Operations Director in 2002. Promoted to Director of Baseball Operations when Dan O'Brien left the Rangers to take the Reds' General Manager job, Daniels then ascended to the role of Assistant General Manager last summer, solidifying his status as right-hand man to Rangers GM John Hart. Now one of the youngest AGMs in the game, Daniels' duties include contract negotiations and an array of broader strategic decisions. Daniels recently chatted with Baseball Prospectus about the new blood in major league front offices, the challenges of playing in a big hitter's park, and more.