Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2 comments I Think I'm Just Confused About This Premise

The title of the article I am covering for today's post is "One Plausible Move Each Team Could Make to Shock Fans." Everyone who reads this knows I nitpick. Probably too much, but I guess that's my thing. It probably drives everyone in my life crazy (they don't really tell me if it does not or not, they just ignore me), especially since I tend to deconstruct nearly everything, including my own actions. So that leads me to the article for today. My big question concerning the title is whether something that is "plausible" can really be shocking. Plausible is defined as:

"Seeming reasonable or probable."

Can something shocking to fans really be plausible, since in the definition of "plausible" is the idea something is probable, thereby not shocking? I would say not. So I find a flaw in the very title of this article.

It is a little past the Christmas season, so I will be nice and say the author of this sounds nice. I recognize Bleacher Report articles aren't always by professional writers. In this author's bio he says:

I'm here to write, write, write. If I improve it's because you've helped me. Hopefully you find my pieces engaging, and if you don't you'll let me know.

That's actually a pretty good attitude and one I share. Let's get to the de-constructing and start the slideshow!

The following moves aren’t conventional, prudent or likely. But they are, for the most part, exciting.

But the title says the moves are "plausible." This means these moves are probable, which is a synonym for "likely." So the premise behind this article is all over the dang place at this point. These moves are plausible, shocking, but not likely.

New York Yankees: trade for Felix Hernandez

Once upon a time, the Yankees pawned up-and-comers with such regularity that their inveterate prospect-dumping became an organizational trademark. That was the old Yankees. Since then the Bombers have doubled down on their player development and shown an uncharacteristic reluctance to part with young talent.

What will follow is a proposed trade where the Yankees prospect-dump and do not show a reluctance to part with young talent. So we get words written about how the new Yankees don't do what the old Yankees did...and then the author immediately has the Yankees do what the old Yankees did. It's all very confusing.

As a result they control a front line of talented youngsters—led by Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos—capable of big-league greatness. Some combination of the three might convince the Mariners to part with ace Felix Hernandez.

The Yankees of recent vintage haven’t pursued those types of deals, but they do have the prospects to make things mighty interesting.

The Yankees haven't pursued these types of deals? Really? From earlier in this very slideshow:

As recently as 2009, the Bombers traded Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves for Javier Vazquez and dealt Ian Kennedy in a three-way swap for Curtis Granderson.

So the Yankees of recent, being the last two years (isn't that recent), haven't pursued these deals...except when they have pursued these types of deals naturally.

Toronto Blue Jays: Sign Yu Darvish

This really wouldn't be shocking and is pretty conventional since the Blue Jays have been in on the bidding for Darvish since it was rumored he would be posted. It is also rumored the Jays won the posting for Darvish. Even before winning the posting, it was not shocking for Darvish to go to Toronto.

Baltimore Orioles: Trade Adam Jones

Again, Jones has been the subject of many trade rumors this winter. A trade of Jones by the Orioles wouldn't be shocking. I will agree it is plausible though.

That doesn’t mean the Orioles don’t have prospects, Adam Jones chief among them.

Jones really isn't a prospect anymore. He has been in the majors for four full years now.

The 26-year-old still projects as a productive center fielder, and the combination of his youth and relative affordability should draw ample interest.

The problem at hand is that Jones isn't relatively affordable after 2012. He is eligible for arbitration after 2012, so a team would get an affordable, young player for only a year or so. After that, Jones reaches arbitration and would need to improve his performance .280/.319/.466 for him to be worth what he could very well receive in arbitration.

(Maybe I'm still bitter about Jeff Francouer's continuing decline with the Braves, yet somehow he managed to clean up in arbitration for being an average-to-below-average outfielder)

Detroit Tigers: Trade Jacob Turner

This would be shocking because it would be incredibly stupid. Turner has a high ceiling, is 20 years old, and is under team control for quite a few more seasons.

An urgent need to capitalize on that good fortune drives the Tigers' search for rotation depth.

Great, then they'll keep Jacob Turner. Glad that's decided.

But would they float a pitcher so young with so much promise?

They wouldn't, which makes any discussion about it irrelevant and a waste of time.

So far they haven’t, demurring when the Oakland A’s asked for him in a proposed Gio Gonzalez trade.

Exactly. Turner is the rotation depth the Tigers need.

Cleveland Indians: Trade for Carlos Lee

Adding Carlos Lee and his mammoth contract would fit the new Indians m.o.

The Indians added a young, front-line starter in Ubaldo Jimenez who has an affordable contract. They didn't add a 35 year old, fat outfielder making 18.5 million this upcoming season.

Houston wouldn’t ask for much in return either, just the simple pleasure of dodging the $18.5 million they owe Lee for next season.

So the Indians would just have to take on Lee's $18.5 million salary ($19 million according to Cot's Contracts) and then they probably wouldn't re-sign him after this year? Sounds like a good deal for a team that would probably never dream of doing this since it is almost the exact opposite of acquiring a young, front-line pitcher. Not to mention, I'm not sure why the Indians would trade for Carlos Lee as a one year rental when they already have Michael Brantley in LF and Travis Hafner at DH.

Chicago White Sox: Trade a Big Package of MLB Players for Prospects

That’s the question floating around the South Side as GM Kenny Williams entertains offers for Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Gordon Beckham, Brent Lillibridge and Carlos Quentin.

Trading any of the above mentioned players would deliver a mild surprise,

It really wouldn't be a mild surprise at all considering Quentin has been on the trade block since mid-summer and there have many rumors over the entire offseason of Floyd and Danks getting traded as well. A trade is to be expected by White Sox fans at this point.

Other than that, it probably would shock White Sox fans if two or more of these players (outside of Lillibridge packaged in with a pitcher) for prospects.

Kansas City Royals: Joakim Soria

Jayson Stark reports that the Royals would want a “controllable, front-line starter” in exchange for Soria, who is under team control through 2014.

So if there is an actual return in a trade discussed by the Royals for Soria, how in the hell would it be shocking if he got traded? That's the problem with Bleacher Report. The slideshows and lists they use are just too long. There can't be just a few shocking trades, it has to be a shocking move or trade for every team. So then we end up with a "shocking" trade like this which has not only been openly discussed, but teams already have knowledge of what the Royals would want in return for Soria.

Texas Rangers: Trade for Matt Garza

ESPNChicago’s Bruce Levine reported conversations between the Rangers and Cubs about Chicago ace Matt Garza. In return Texas would have to yield a top prospect like Martin Perez or Leonys Martin.

So, again, this would be a shocking trade for what reason again? Trade talks have already begun.

Los Angeles Angels: Trade for David Wright

What would be shocking is the package the Mets would get for Wright.

Enter ESPN analyst Jim Bowden and his ticklish notion that the Angels could add Mets third baseman David Wright.

First off, I would say if you believe what Jim Bowden writes then you probably deserve the knowledge you will receive.

The way Bowden sees it, the Mets might opt for total surrender in the wake of Jose Reyes’ departure and look to deal their All-Star third baseman. The Angels, who need help at the hot corner, could give the Mets Hank Conger and speedster Peter Bourjos in return.

That's it? I know David Wright had a down year last year, but all the Mets could get back is Hank Conger and Peter Bourjos? Trade ideas like this are why Jim Bowden no longer has a job. If I were the Angels and had the payroll room, I would probably do this trade in a minute.

Oakland A's: Move to San Jose

Commissioner Bud Selig should announce whether or not Lew Wolff can move the franchise to San Jose some time in the next month. With the commissioner’s blessing, the A’s could set into a motion a plan to leave their home of 43 years.


Miami Marlins: Trade Hanley Ramirez

Plausible? Yes. Shocking? No.

First there’s the possibility that Miami would cede some of its considerable offseason momentum to jettison an unhappy player. Anything less than optimal return on Ramirez could easily torpedo a promising season in their new ballpark.

Maybe not. Ramirez has a history of being an unhappy player. The Marlins' fans probably wouldn't get behind him in his insistence on being traded rather than learn a new position, mostly because he isn't Michael Young (a player who could sleep with a teammate's wife and then still get MVP votes because it didn't affect the chemistry of the team). It may be seen as a positive to trade Ramirez, no matter the return received by the Marlins, if only for clubhouse chemistry.

ESPN’s Jim Bowden

You have to quit listening to Jim Bowden. He isn't a GM anymore for a reason.

even gauged the viability a Ramirez-for-Ryan Zimmerman swap, one riddled with franchise-changing implications.

Jim Bowden used to be the GM of the Nationals, back when they weren't building a good team not coincidentally. So what position would Ramirez play in Washington? Ian Desmond is at shortstop and would he be moved to third base? I'm not sure how this makes the Nationals a better team to get rid of Zimmerman for Ramirez. Of course, Bowden wasn't concerned with trades that made the Nationals any better when he was their GM. So I'm not sure why he would care after he didn't work for the Nationals anymore.

Chicago Cubs: Sign Yoennis Cespedes:

Signing Prince Fielder would feel more status quo than shocker.

What? Because the Cubs are supposed to be a team that always signs one of the best hitters on the free agent market?

Same goes for a Matt Garza trade.

What, again? And yet while signing one of the best players on the free agent market, the Cubs also have a history of trading away their best players?

Mere mention of the powerhouse Cuban defector’s name gets fans’ imaginations cooking. Swiping the MLB-ready outfielder fits the “big splash” mindset folks expect from Epstein and constitutes a significantly smaller financial commitment than a Fielder deal.

Because the Cubs would never sign an international free agent to a large contract. That's not the status quo at all, is it Kosuke Fukudome? The Cubs would never sign an international free agent.

The rest of the list contains somewhat-plausible trades that aren't shocking at all. So the list contains plausible trades that aren't really shocking and shocking trades that aren't really plausible. I'm still confused as to how something that would shock a team's fan base could also be as plausible.

I will say this article was much better than this list of "The Most Unlikely Stars in Sports." This list contains a few first round draft picks and uses the term "star" very lightly. Here is the total list.

10. J.J. Redick- He's not a star, but he was co-National Player of the Year and a lottery pick coming out of college.

9. Peyton Hillis- Not sure he's a star, but he is unlikely. I'll give him this one.

8. Stephen Curry- REALLY? It's unlikely he would be a good NBA player, only if you had not watched him in college. Even if you say he was unlikely to be a star just based on his ability coming out of high school to college (which the author based Curry's "unlikeliness" only on him unlikely being a star coming from college to the NBA), Curry was the son of an NBA player. So he had the NBA pedigree. Whatever that may be.

7. Tyler Hansbrough- He is not a star. Again, did you not watch him play in college? He was a beast, so it isn't unlikely he would be a good NBA player.

6. Mark Sanchez- Again, he is not a star currently. But he was the #3 overall pick in 2009. I would hope to God he would be likely to be a star when getting drafted in that spot.

5. Jimmer Fredette- Fine...whatever. He's an unlikely star.

4. David Eckstein- Not a star, but just a simple guy who just wants to play baseball and do whatever it takes to help his team win...as long as whatever it takes to help the team win means Eckstein can start and doesn't have to come off the bench.

3. Jordy Nelson- He was a second round pick. He's been very good in the NFL, but this is expected from a guy drafted in the second round.

2. Tim Tebow- Was it unlikely he would be a star? Maybe if you are basing it on perceived talent, but Tebow was a first round pick and he had a ton of intangibles coaches look for in quarterbacks. So I don't know if it was unlikely.

1. Jose Bautista- Fine, you win another one.

I hope you enjoyed more correspondence from Bleacher Report. A place where something shocking can be probable and Stephen Curry is an unlikely star.


rich said...

There is absolutely no way Hanley goes to Washington.

Zimmerman has WARs of 5+, 5+ and 3ish the past three years.

Ramirez - 6+, 3+, 0.5.

Salary wise it doesn't make sense either as Ramirez is set to make 46.5M over the next three years, while Zimmerman has 26M over two years left on his deal.

Then you have the fact that trading Zimmerman for Ramirez means Ramirez has to play 3rd, which is the reason the Marlins would look to trade him and this deal makes no sense for the Nationals.

Zimmerman had a down year last year, but still manged a good year in terms of OBP and BA and still had an OPS+ over 110, so it's probably safe to say he's still a very good player.

Ramirez on the other hand declined two years ago in a similar fashion and then fell off the face of the earth last year.

Basically, any team that trades for Ramirez and his 46.5M contract needs to be convinced that he'll get back to 2009 form, which after last year isn't exactly a safe bet.

Even for the Marlins the deal is stupid. Sure they have Reyes at SS now, but considering Reyes' injury history, having a guy who can shift over and cover short while Reyes is out seems like a really smart idea.

Then you add in the earlier issues with Ramirez's sudden decline and there's no way the Marlins can get much value for him unless a GM is absolutely convinced that Ramirez will rebound, which I'm not so sure of.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I agree for all the reasons you just raised. My bottom line is just wondering why the Nationals would trade for a player who didn't want to play the position they want him to play? So the Nationals would be trading a very good player for another good player, but also create a hole they will have to fill at 3B. It just doesn't make sense.

You mean to tell me players with bad attitudes who could be in decline aren't hot properties?