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July 31, 2007 12:10 pm

The Mill: The Day

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Baseball Prospectus

Down to the wire on the non-waivers trade deadline.

  • Jim Hendry denies that he's made Felix Pie available, and states that he hasn't talked to Jon Daniels. He's not lying, but once you grasp the mechanics of how a trade is actually made, you'll realize that what Hendry says is not mutually exclusive from the reports that Pie was discussed. It's not just Hendry, Daniels, or any GM that's making calls. It's also a club's scouts, assistants, and even some owners get involved. In the course of those discussions, players get named and then discussed among everybody in the other organization. Teams try to read the other, like poker players. The Indians' DiamondView system is reported to actually have a system for collecting this type of information, with their staff supposedly recording mentions of players year round to try to divine who might be mentioned and who might actually be available. I can assure you that Pie was discussed by at least two teams that thought he might be included in a later offer-offers that never materialized.
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    Notebook looks at recent pickups by the Indians and Marlins, and checks in with the Dodgers.

    It's not an exact science to evaluate trades the following way, but look at the "three degrees of separation" of the left field progression for the Cubs this season, from Opening Day to yesterday:

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    March 25, 2005 12:00 am

    Fantasy Focus: Inflation in Keeper Leagues

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    Erik Siegrist

    When $35 players are going for $55, you know you're seeing the impact of inflation. Here's how to anticipate it, and how to handle it.

    In keeper leagues, however, there is a regulatory shadow cast over that heart. Well-drafted minor leaguers are locked up cheaply, below their perceived market value, and might not be up for bid until well into their primes. Similarly, a previous year's auction bargain could be hidden away, further tainting the market's essential purity.

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    Prospectus Triple Play breaks down the effects of the Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett trades in Chicago, looks at St. Louis and teams past with five All-Stars and pedestrian records, and examines the trade market for Texas and Rafael Palmeiro.

  • Morning After: The acquisitions of Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett have accomplished exactly what the White Sox hoped they would, drawing praise from the Jay Mariottis of the world (well, sorta), grabbing some attention away from the Cubs on the eve of the All-Star game, and extending the life of the Williams administration at least for half a season.
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    April 3, 2003 12:00 am

    Minor League Q&A

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    Craig Elsten

    Bill "Chief" Gayton has spent 18 years in the scouting profession, working for the White Sox, Athletics, Yankees, Rockies, and Padres, and enters his third full season as the Director of Scouting in San Diego. BP correspondent Craig Elsten recently sat down with Gayton at the Peoria Sports Complex, while watching many of the Padres' top minor leaguers play on a back field in a Double-A game against Texas. Elsten asked Gayton about the effects of technology on scouting, the challenge of evaluating high school talent, and balancing performance analysis and scouting principles.

    Baseball Prospectus: What do you enjoy the most about your job on a day-to-day basis?

    Bill Gayton: You know, you get a lot of satisfaction in different ways. Sometimes, it's just a matter of making everything come together. The easiest thing we do is go and evaluate talent; the difficult part of the job is (logistics). Making the schedule work, making the airline reservations, the hotels, the rental car...just getting from point A to point B. Even though, with modern technology, the ability to communicate is so much greater, it's frustrating when we can't make some of our plans come together. But in terms of coming out to the ballpark--hey, it's 75 degrees out here, the sun's out, and we get to watch a baseball game, maybe several different baseball games. That's what's fun.

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    ANAHEIM ANGELS Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28] I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.

    Recalled RHP Matt Wise from Salt Lake; optioned RHP John Lackey to Salt Lake. [6/25]

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    May 24, 2002 11:17 am

    Transaction Analysis: May 20-22, 2002

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    Christina Kahrl

    Nevertheless, in the wake of the most bizarre deal we've seen in a very long time, I couldn't help myself; I peeked around. Now, I have a lot of respect for Rob Neyer, and for Rob's work. As a fellow product of the analysis revolution of the '80s, I suspect we share a basic philosophy of trying to inject some element of quantitative analysis to provide better qualitative commentary. That said, I think any attempt to quantitatively assess the trade of Jeremy Giambi--regardless of your opinion of Win Shares and their utility--ignores two basic problems.

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    February 28, 2002 11:22 am

    Prospectus Feature: The Success Cycle

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    Jonah Keri

    Dave Littlefield had an opportunity to make an immediate impact after being hired as the Pirates' general manager last June. He could have traded Jason Kendall and Brian Giles to contending teams for a bushel of top prospects and started a new era in Pittsburgh baseball.

    Dave Littlefield had an opportunity to make an immediate impact after being hired as the Pirates' general manager last June. He could have traded Jason Kendall and Brian Giles to contending teams for a bushel of top prospects and started a new era in Pittsburgh baseball.

    He didn't do that, of course, and now the Bucs enter spring training with the same problems they faced a year ago. The major-league roster lacks talent. The farm system lacks top prospects, thanks largely to the Pirates' jones for toolsy players and their inability to teach plate discipline. The team has posted exactly zero winning seasons since Barry Bonds left town nine years ago. Rebuilding efforts have failed miserably.

    For Littlefield to make a positive impact in his first full season as GM, he'll have to ask himself a question that should guide most of his decisions. Namely, "where in the success cycle does my team stand?"

    The cycle is a baseball continuum on which every team resides. To measure a team's place in the cycle, assess its talent in the majors and minors. Can the players in the organization, mixed with a few trade acquisitions and free agents the team could reasonably sign, yield a competitive team? More precisely, can the team expect to compete while its current core of major-league players remain productive and under contract?

    Apply this test to the Pirates. Can they reasonably expect to build a strong enough supporting cast around Kendall, Giles and Aramis Ramirez to compete this year? What about in 2003 or 2004? A weak major-league roster, a barren farm system and a pile of lousy long-term contracts say the odds are against them.

    While asking where your team stands may seem like a simple proposition, how many teams truly take stock of their entire organization on a regular basis? How many devise a coherent plan for success? How many see that plan through by making consistent, intelligent decisions?

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    February 28, 2002 12:00 am

    The Success Cycle

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    Jonah Keri

    He didn't do that, of course, and now the Bucs enter spring training with the same problems they faced a year ago. The major-league roster lacks talent. The farm system lacks top prospects, thanks largely to the Pirates' jones for toolsy players and their inability to teach plate discipline. The team has posted exactly zero winning seasons since Barry Bonds left town nine years ago. Rebuilding efforts have failed miserably.

    For Littlefield to make a positive impact in his first full season as GM, he'll have to ask himself a question that should guide most of his decisions. Namely, "where in the success cycle does my team stand?"

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