Open thread #3

In case the comments close on the previous post, here’s a new one. Also, if you’re wondering what the college football bowl schedule looks like for the next three weeks, I posted ESPN’s list at my other place.

Update: The Kemp trade is on hold for the moment because a physical showed Matt’s got arthritis in each hip. As Mark Saxon explains, this could blow up “two other trades and three other teams.” That’s because some of the secondary players were being sent on to other teams for yet more players by both the Padres and the Dodgers.

  • WBBsAs

    The sooner handegg season ends, the better.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Go Raiders!

      • WBBsAs

        Back to LA, or anywhere that’s not Oakland!

  • package206

    Well, guess the Padres are really trying to make a run at the NL West. Obtaining Will Myers to go with Matty and also picked up Hennigan to catch. These trades make sense unlike the ones that the Dodgers have done. After all, they could have resigned Hanley, not traded Matt and Dee and maybe picked up Cole Hamels for the staff and not traded Dan Haren. Not seeing any improvement.

    • It was clear almost from the end of last season that they didn’t want Hanley back.

      • package206

        It is also clear that they did not want Kemp, Gordon, and Dan Haren.

        • WBBsAs

          I doubt they wanted to give up Kemp, but he was the cost of obtaining a quality catcher with several years’ team control.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Yeah, sure that his was not the big outfield salary that they wanted to move, but had little choice. Didn’t seem to make much sense for the Padres to take him, so they drove a hard bargain and now have a tremendous hitting outfielder at $13 million per year. The Padres are now using that to gear up for a run.

          • package206

            I think that getting rid of Matt, Hanley, and Dan was a political move. I don’t think Donnie personally liked any of the three. Dee could have been shaped but they dangled him and found a taker. It makes no sense to weaken the team for no reason except for maybe money. The thing I find strange is that no one from management has said what a good job any of the three did for the team. Silence.

          • WBBsAs

            Replacing Dee with Kendrick strengthens the team, though Kendrick’s salary is higher.

      • WBBsAs

        I disagree. They would have loved to have Hanley back, but not at the price that an AL team could pay for a defensively challenged middle infielder.

    • package206

      Update. Now the Padres have obtained Justin Upton from the Braves, Will Meadowbrooks from the Red Sox and Bud Norris from the A’s. A pretty good add to Matt Kemp and Wil Myers. How do you like that lineup??

  • john galt

    I think maybe San Diego is getting cold feet on Kemp. Maybe they realize they have a lot of outfielders already. I’d be happy to get Kemp back but I don’t want to return Grandal. Think maybe they’d take Ethier or Crawford and the same money they got with Kemp? That would be more than half of what’s owed Ethier, almost half for Crawford.

    • WBBsAs

      The Pads are making some bold moves. I doubt it will put them in serious contention this season, but they could edge out the Gnats for second place.

      • john galt

        So why did they take Justin Upton today. Bud Black must be working on a 7 outfielder defense…

  • John_from_Aus

    poll question on espn baseball, “Is Kemp still an elite player?” 59% No, 41% Yes. I hope the majority are correct in this case 🙂

    • WBBsAs

      Not an elite player, perhaps, but still a very good one whose production the Dodgers will miss.

  • package206

    Looks like Bumsrap had it right. The Dodgers needed to teach Puig to play 3rd base, then they would have had room for Pederson and Kemp.

    • john galt

      Do I detect a tongue in cheek there? Instead, why not trade Agon and teach Kemp to play First Base?

      • Because Kemp’s arthritic hips won’t let him play infield? (See above) 😉

      • package206

        I think we should keep the left handed hitting power. Don’t you? Don’t tell Friedman or might just do it. Out with the old, in with new.

    • Bumsrap

      If the Dodgers had a need for an outfielder, they might have re-signed Ramirez to play left like Boston did. Puig at third, Ramirez in left, Kemp in CF, and Ethier in right field and Friedman in the hospital with stomach acid.

      • And the entire pitching staff in open revolt.

  • John_from_Aus
    • “The Padres did ask for additional compensation from the Dodgers after Kemp’s physical, but Los Angeles refused.”

      I can hear the Dodgers’ F.O. now: “Damn, guys, we’re already giving you Kemp, Fedex and 32 million bucks!”

  • package206

    One thing is for sure, the Dodgers better not roll into Petco expecting to win every series. The Padres have assembled a good team. Get ready. Good luck thinking they will win 94 games in 2015

    • WBBsAs
      • john galt

        Many a slip ‘tween cup and lip…

        • John_from_Aus

          I also can’t see us as being the only team in baseball with more than 90 wins

          • WBBsAs

            But finishing at least nine games ahead of the Gnats is more than likely.

          • WBBsAs

            The projections would suggest parity.

  • Here are some Friedman quotations on the moves so far.

    • package206

      Its like you said. We will have to wait and see to determine how well the trades have done. I think the chances of losing is much greater with the trades than not doing them. Except for the Dee Gordon trade which I believe Kendrick is better than Gordon. The Dodgers did not have to trade Kemp, and they could have resigned Hanley. The Dan Haren trade also makes no sense as signing McCarthy is not impressive. Also signing a injury riddled player like Anderson is not very smart in my opinion,

      • WBBsAs

        They could have re-signed Hanley but, without the DH option to offer him – sooner rather later – it would have been foolish to try to beat the price the Sawx ultimately paid him.

  • john galt

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were the Dodgers who posted the $5MM for negotiating rights to the Korean shortstop, Kang. He wants 3 or 4 years at $4MM to $5MM, peanuts to them. They could have openings at second, third, and short next season. Seager can fill one, maybe Guerrero another, so at least one opening. He looked good in Korea but that’s no guarantee over here.

  • WBBsAs

    Greatest seasonal song ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P37xPiRz1sg

  • package206

    I just wish someone would tell me exactly which stats or reasons were used to decide the trading of Matt and the letting go of Hanley. If it is sabermetrics then say which ones. I keep hearing that the lineup is now functional but don’t know what that means. To me it just means they got rid of salary because they won’t say that now the Dodgers will win more games than 94, in fact they say they will win 91. Go figure??

    • It was pretty clear, at least with Hanley. They didn’t think he was worth upwards of $16M a year for four years.

      As to Kemp, I gotta believe they knew the same stuff that Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs did in July when he wrote

      Over just the four years between 2010 – 2013, he ranked third-worst in
      UZR/150, and fourth-worst in DRS/150. This is one of those situations
      where both the advanced metrics agree, and they agree on the idea that
      pre-operation Kemp was a comparable defensive center fielder to Shin-Soo Choo, who is not a center fielder.

      Here’s a primer on Ultimate Zone Rating, in case you (like me) need to brush up. Likewise, here’s one on Defensive Runs Saved.

      • package206

        Thanks for the info. I still don’t understand some of it but hopefully I will get it as we go along.

        • john galt

          It is spilled milk now. Makes more sense to worry about what we have.

          • WBBsAs

            To analyze and appreciate, perhaps, rather than worry.

          • package206

            Even though you are correct about it being spilled milk, I would like to know why Friedman does what he does. Even if I don’t agree I would like to understand his thought process. So far sabermetrics will not change my thoughts.

          • john galt

            Good luck. I often try to figure out why my cat does what he does, until I remember that that way leads to madness.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Not to beat a dead horse (too much), but this does not take into account post July when Matt was healthy and playing RF. He was atrocious in CF and LF, based on Baseball References Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) projected over 1,200 innings with -44 and -26, but in RF he was -7. By comparison Puig was 3 in RF (and 0 in CF). Somewhat apples and applesauce, but on offense, using BR numbers, Matty was at 21 runs over average. His output over the second half was on par with his 2011 season when he was worth 56 runs over average. The bet that management took was that the second half was not sustainable perhaps in the short run and most likely in a 2-4 year span. Joc better have a great glove (as a benchmark, Bourjos a very good fielder with the Cards had a DRS of 12 in CF).

        • package206

          Even if his glove is outstanding the fans want offense and so do I. RBIs overcome a lot of bad glovework, just like the Dodgers of last year.

  • john galt

    Story referenced at MLBTR says the Pads need a first baseman. They seem to be overloaded with outfielders; Wouldn’t it be funny if they flipped Kemp to Philadelphia for Howard, maybe getting some more cash thrown in?

    • WBBsAs

      Nobody wants Ryan Howard. The Phillies have even told him so.

      • john galt

        A $30MM dowry might make him acceptable for awhile. In net, that would be Grandal for Howard and $60MM. Hell of a deal in anybody’s book…

        • WBBsAs

          It’s unlikely anybody wants Howard even as a DH.

  • john galt

    Ethier AND Crawford and $40MM for Cole Hamels…

    • I assume that’s a suggestion, not a report. 😉

      The Phillies are trying to get younger about three years after they should have started doing so. Adding two 30+-year-old outfielders doesn’t accomplish that.

      • john galt

        It’s only money but…. $40MM plus $96MM saved from Hamels, minus $23MM a year for E & C. Keep them a year ($23MM), then give them away for a bag of balls.

    • WBBsAs

      A nice idea, but one the Fillies will never accept.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Can we keep Crawford? We do need a leftfielder to platoon with SVS.

      • WBBsAs

        That’s probably the best option in LF, but I wouldn’t assume it’s etched in stone.

  • package206

    I just love the way Freidman frames his off season moves like “We are a more functional team now” and “before we were just a collection of talent”. Instead of saying we were too expensive and I am cheap and the guys we had were lousy teammates.

    • WBBsAs

      Meanwhile, the Dodgers have supplanted the Yanquis as the team with the highest payroll.

      • package206

        True but not because of Friedman.

        • WBBsAs

          Not likely to change any time soon.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Combined salaries of Rollins and Kendrick are only $3 million less than Hanley and Dee would have cost us..

      • john galt

        True enough. But Hanley is very, very close to being a DH, he can’t carry his weight in the field. I keep saying we should adopt the DH; If we did, then Hanley and/or Kemp might have jobs with the Dodgers. On Dee, the brass simply don’t think he will continue to play as well as he did last year. Maybe they’re right. maybe not, but it is done, over. Worry about today, not yesterday.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Yes, I certainly understand the thinking behind the moves, just trying to clarify some of the parameters of what they did.

        • package206

          I think that Hanley is being colored as worse than he was in the field. He certainly was not bad enough with the glove to equal out his great bat. Again, just another person that Freidman wanted to be rid of and dump any more future salary.

          • Bob Hendley

            They didn’t resign him for a lot more reasons than Hanley’s fielding, but he is a pretty bad fielder, especially compared to Rollins. The question is really, so what? Current sabermetrics would say that the difference (based on last year’s crunching) between the two is that Rollins will save you 16 more runs a year.

          • package206

            So you are saying that Rollins is 16 runs a year better than Hanley if you crunch numbers offensively and defensively together?

          • Defensively Rollins saves you 16 runs Ramirez would have let in. Offensively, by Wins Against Replacement (WAR), last season Ramirez was at 3.5, meaning he was 3.5 wins better than the average replacement you could find for him. Rollins was even better at 3.9. So barring a sudden decline Rollins is a clear upgrade, even at his advanced baseball age.

          • package206

            My question to you is if you needed a SS on your team and only Hanley and Rollins were available, which would you select??

          • Rollins. Ideally a Rollins of five years ago, but still. Hanley’s brittle as well as a poor defender.

          • package206

            Link, I respect your judgment but in Rollins prime he could not command the money that Hanley has and will make. He will average over 21 mil for the next 4 years. I promise you that he might have gone to the AL but he could still get much more than Jimmy could ever hope to see.

          • What’s money got to do with it? I don’t measure players by their wages. If I did that A-Rod would be the best player in history, right?

          • package206

            I don’t think Sabermetrics is completely reliable, either. My point is that RIGHT now if you compared both players that Hanley is more valuable. Right now A-Rod is worth nothing. The Red Sox are not paying all that money because Hanley is weak

          • john galt

            The trouble with Saber-metrics and the old style stats is exactly the same, they deal entirely with past performances. Any future similarities is strictly wishful thinking. Giving players long term contracts couldn’t be more stupid than it is. And I don’t think Friedman will operate that way. I think when a star type player nears the end of club control (That means reasonable costs) that he will be traded for very good prospects. If it is done right, the club will have a continuous string of good players coming up the system. Fans will need to be flexible and not fall in love with players but cheer for the team as a whole.

          • package206

            Not sure you can win a W.S. doing it that way because without some history of what a player can do, you can’t determine whether or not you can expect the player to play well. If a player has been performing at a high level wouldn’t you expect him to continue?? Of course this bars any injury. Also, with a constant stream of kids and no vets I don’t think the team can win year after year. Some of those kids are not going to make it. Also without some stars I doubt you would build much tradition. I sure am glad I had Koufax, Drysdale, Snider and others to grow up with. These all stayed longer than you would have us stay.

          • john galt

            That’s true but back in the good old days we had The Reserve Clause. A club owned a player as long as they wanted to keep him and pretty much pay him what they wanted to, if he didn’t like it, he could quit but he couldn’t go to another club for more money. Free Agency caused the constant escalation of salaries and player movement as they followed the Almighty Dollar. Loyalty works, or doesn’t work both ways.

          • package206

            One thing for sure, if Rollins does not do well, I will not be saying that he suddenly got old and you shouldn’t either.

          • Bob_Hendley

            To keep it at runs above average, Hanley was at 34 (512 PA) and Rollins at 21 (609 PA).

      • package206

        I continue to question the trades that Freidman has made so far. I keep hearing Grandal, Grandal, Grandal but frankly I think the jury’s still out on him. If you look at his numbers he is not very good. No question that this was a poor trade and done simply to dump salaries and rid the club of Matt. To just dump salaries I think they could have dumped Either or Crawford just as easily. True, Kemp would have traded higher but the Dodgers did not get equal value for sure.

  • WBBsAs

    Disqus has been agonizingly slow and unreliable lately.

    • I’ve seen it in my email, but not particularly on screen, which makes no sense whatsoever. There is a new upgrade, however, so I just installed it. Let’s see if that helps.

      • WBBsAs

        I get three or four consecutive reload suggestions.

    • john galt

      What do you mean lately? It loses my identity at least once a week and I have to re-register.

      • WBBsAs

        It seems to lose mine briefly, but if I refresh it returns.

  • WBBsAs
  • foul tip

    Wonder which of today’s Cuban players are likely to join some future list like this?

    Writer thinks Grandal might.

    http://www.si.com/mlb/2014/12/18/all-cuban-team-rafael-palmeiro-luis-tiant-aroldis-chapman

    • WBBsAs

      Not much competition at catcher.

  • WBBsAs

    Bah, humbug, everybody!

    • Au contraire, mon ami! Joyeux Noel to all!

      • package206

        Merry Christmas Everybody!!

        • John_from_Aus

          just about to sit down to a lovely roast Christmas lunch. Merry Christmas to you all 🙂

          • As in Roast Beast, like the Whos? The one the Grinch initially stole? 😉

          • John_from_Aus

            Ham and Turkey

      • WBBsAs

        Meanwhile, in Sweden, my relatives will celebrate tinyurl.com/bq7xtbk

        • I think I heard that tradition mentioned on NPR today, but I wasn’t paying very close attention. That’s strange, but I guess no more so than Americans watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” every year at Christmastime.

          • WBBsAs

            I got an email from my cousin in Uppsala today telling me their family’s been doing it for 50 years.

          • WBBsAs

            I’ve never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but I understand that it’s at least set in the season. Those Donald Duck cartoons are not.

    • john galt

      One more week till they restart life! I hate the Holiday season…

      • WBBsAs

        The non-stop music makes it infinitely worse.

  • WBBsAs

    In the true spirit of the season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KneOdEDwDEc

  • John_from_Aus
  • WBBsAs

    The Nats (gnot the Gnats, unfortunately) have signed the Swedish Owl to a minor-league contract.

  • NPUT