Stat Guy Strong Arm

Dave Cameron of USS Mariner and Fangraphs provides this prescription to begin fixing the Mariners woes for 2012.

Here’s the clip from the above link:

Transactions

Trade RHP Michael Pineda, RHP Brandon League, OF Greg Halman, 3B Chone Figgins (with Seattle absorbing $16 of remaining $17 million on Figgins’ contract), and SS Carlos Triunfel to Cincinnati for 1B Joey Votto and C Yasmani Grandal.

Trade 1B Mike Carp to Milwaukee for 3B Casey McGehee and RHP Marco Estrada.

Trade OF Michael Saunders and RHP Dan Cortes to Florida for RHP Chris Volstad.

Trade LHP Cesar Jimenez to New York for OF Angel Pagan.

Sign Chris Snyder to a 1 year, $3 million contract.

Sign Erik Bedard to a 1 year, $4 million contract.

Sign Jamie Moyer to a 1 year, $500,000 contract.

That’s only part one; I can’t wait for part two. Maybe there he’ll send Miguel Olivo and Brendan Ryan to the Yankees for Jesus Montero.

This thinking epitomizes what one William Lamar Beane—aka Billy Beane—said to Tom Verducci in one of the “it’s not Billy’s fault” pieces that came out to defend Beane (in advance of the homage known as Moneyball, THE MOVIE) for putting together a bad Athletics team; a team that Verducci himself picked to win the AL West before the season.

Beane’s argument was that the new breed of GMs have burst into baseball and are doing essentially what Cameron is doing; they’re saying “here’s what we’ll give you and if you’re smart, you’ll take it” in a Luca Brasi (or Frank Wren) sort of way.

Short of kidnapping his family or putting a gun to his head, I don’t know what Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik could do to Reds GM Walt Jocketty to get him to accept the above package for Votto.

Though I see Tommy John in his future, Pineda’s very good; League is a guy you can find very cheaply on the market; Halman strikes out too much, doesn’t walk and from his numbers is a bad outfielder; Triunfel hasn’t shown he can hit in the minors; and you can have Chone Figgins and we’ll pay him. For that, you can give us a top catching prospect and one of the best hitters in baseball. We all done? Okay. Good.

The other deals are just as delusional.

What is this obsession with Erik Bedard and the Mariners? Haven’t they had enough?

Moyer? Again? He’s had a wonderful career, but he’s almost 50. Move on.

You want Pagan? He’s yours.

Why the Marlins would take Cortes and Saunders at all, least of all for Volstad, is unclear and unexplained.

Without getting into a long-winded “my way’s better” critique of Cameron’s plan, how about—before anything else—Zduriencik walking into ownership on hands and knees and begging to let him get rid of Ichiro Suzuki? Signing Josh Willingham? Pursuing Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder? Making a major bid for Yu Darvish? Jim Thome? David Ortiz?

Wouldn’t these be preferable options than making a lunatic proposal for Votto that would be rejected?

These deals are typical of the concept that outsiders with a forum and a stat sheet envision as the simplicity as to how deals are made. We call you, you accept and we’re done.

Much like the same people have the audacity to say—in a grudging tribute to Tony LaRussa on the day of his retirement and immediately after he wins a World Series—“I didn’t always agree with his strategies, but…” they have this vision of innate knowledge that doesn’t exist; of what they’d do.

They cling.

They cling to Moneyball being “real”; cling to the likes of Charlie Haeger, R.J. Swindle and Dale Thayer; and cling to a so-called revolution that was self-serving from the start.

It’s fine to print an off-season prescription of a scenario that could only exist in Tolkien, but this is reality; you’re not getting Votto for that package even if you do put a gun to Jocketty’s head and/or kidnap his family.

Jocketty would say, “kill me first”.

And I would say that too.

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  1. #1 by norm depalma on November 4, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    As always, Paul, excellent piece.
    Question: what is your estimate for the chances the Blue Jays trade for homeboy Votto and what kind of package will it take to get him? A couple of weeks ago, I put forth a possible package of Yunel Escobar, Adam Lind and 2 stud Double A pitchers. What you think?

    • #2 by admin on November 4, 2011 - 5:40 pm

      They just signed Escobar to a reasonable extension and then they’d have to get a shortstop—I guess Zack Cozart could come along with Votto; you’d have to give up Morrow and/or Drabek. The Reds have Yonder Alonso to play first and wouldn’t have a place for Lind. Maybe add Arencibia or Lawrie.
      It’s gonna take a lot to get Votto. The Blue Jays could do it if they want.

  2. #3 by Dave Wakeman on November 7, 2011 - 12:03 am

    I fascinated by this love of Bedard. Actually, I’m sort of confused why anyone would pay him more than about $1M a year because he is famous for saying that he felt that the Seattle media was too tough on him. They don’t know tough. So to me Bedard is a non starter anywhere.

    This talk about how these guys throw out these trades and act like they are the most incredible deals that anyone could hope to make reminds me of a good old fashioned baseball trade: Roberto Alomar for Joe Carter.

    That worked for everyone.

    That’s also what’s wrong with a lot of GMs now. They are all into making trades like its a fantasy league and they are making trades with the one guy that signed up for the league and got a new, better job in the third week of the season so he can’t spend 6-7 hours a day obsessing over his team and so you try to rob him at every turn….that’s what these trades remind me of.

    So I wish people would stop with these obnoxious ideas and offers.

    Just stop it.

    • #4 by admin on November 7, 2011 - 3:00 pm

      Bedard is clubhouse poison. And he can’t really pitch anymore. Why anyone would want him is beyond me.

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