Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rating the trading

If you didn't make a trade this year, well, you're the Crybabies. Apparently one LPL title in a row is enough for them. Everyone else jumped into the pool sometime during this season. The last two days before the trading deadline saw four trades involving 31 players. OK, half of those players moved in one trade, but that's still more trading since Gregg Micale lost his 1984 complete Donruss set to Susie Arnold at third-grade recess.

They always say you have to wait a couple years to evaluate trades. They are wrong. Here's the official LPL trade evaluations, scored in terms of baseballs.

STEINS GET: OF Alex Rios (2.9/B), Brian Roberts (2.8/B), David Huff (.5/C)
OF Carlos Quentin (1.0/C), Jason Hammell (.5/C), Eddie Bonine (.5/C)

Here's the deadline deal with something more rare than gorillas in the Congo -- not a single A-contract player changed hands. And there's the possibility that every player will be protected next season.

Why would the Steins trade one of the best values in the LPL? Well, in getting Roberts and Rios, the Steins might lose out in HRs but figure to keep pace in every other offensive category while making a big jump in steals. And if either Rios or Roberts turns it on over the final two months, watch out. David Huff came along so the Steins could try to flip him for something else. They failed to make something happen before the trade deadline, so now will be holding onto him in hopes that he impressive the Indians enough to make him protectable next season.

This trade rates:

TOPPS GET: P Brian Bannister (.5/B), C Jeff Clement (.1/B), P James Cox (.5/C), P Philip Hughes (2.0/C*), P Boone Logan (.5/C), SS Donnie Murphy (.2/C), P Neftali Perez (0.0/d), OF Ryan Raburn (.5/C)
UNICORNS GET: P Erik Bedard (4.1/C), C Kevin Cash (.5/C), OF Carl Crawford (5.3/C), 2B Mark Grudzielanek (.5/A), P Kasey Kiker (0.0/d), DH Frank Thomas (1.9/C), P C.J. Wilson (.5/B), OF Delmon Young (1.5/A*)

Hey, Unicorns, there's a reason the Topps are in 11th place. It's because these guys are having lousy years! Erik Bedard's spent more time on the DL than the mound. Delmon Young and Carl Crawford are slugging under .400 (and Crawford hasn't played since joining the Unicorns). Wilson and Grudz are probably out for the year. Thomas is scary in name only. Kevin Cash is a dime catcher with a 50-cent salary.

Slapping "The Unicorns" on the front of their uniforms doesn't make them any good, it makes you stink! (At least that's what the Chip Dips, Hersh-Hysers, Steins, Winos, and Coalition hope.)

Total output for these new players three days in: 1-for-11 with one RBI.

The Unicorns can take solace that they gave up a whole lot of nothing for this bunch. Heck, two of them already have been cut! That leaves six. If more than two of them are still on the Topps in 2010, it will be only to prove this sentence wrong, not because they are keying the effort for the fourth Mika.

This trade rates:

SMACKERS GET: OF Milton Bradley (2.1/C), 3B Matt Brown (.5/C), OF Brent Clevlen (.5/C), C Ivan Rodriguez (1.7/B)
CHIP DIPS GET: 3B Akinori Iwamura (1.4/C), P Bobby Jenks (3.3/C), C A.J. Pierzynski (1.0/C)

Odds on any amount of these players being on the Smackers protected list next year:

Four: 8%
Three: 16%
Two: 35%
One: 60%

Bradley and Rodriguez are free agents at the end of the year and could wind up in the NL. Brown and Clevlen are nearing their expiration dates as prospects. Maybe you shouldn’t expect a huge haul for Iwamura, Jenks, and Pierzynski, but shouldn’t you get someone you’re sure will be on your roster next year? Heck, the Chips might keep all three of their new guys!

This trade rates:

if you're the Smackers

CHIP DIPS GET: P Masa Kobayashi (.5/C)
DAVS GET: P Clayton Richard (.5/C)

Prediction -- both these players are worthless the rest of this year and are reserve picks in next year's draft! (This was written before Masa Kobayashi committed hari-kari on his closer chances Wednesday.)

This trade rates:

(i.e., irrelevent)

STEINS GET: P Jon Garland (2.0/C), P Darren O'Day (0.0/d), C Mike Redmond (.2/C)
SMACKERS GET: OF Ben Revere (0.0/d), P Jose Arredondo (.5/C), C Shawn Riggans (.1/C)

What? Another Steins trade in which everyone's protectable for next season? Perhaps this is becoming their specialty.

High upside for the Smackers here, but lots of room for crash and burn. Like sending your jewelry into, the Smackers could end up with lots of valuable things just like the people in the commercial. Or they could end up with a reason to call the Tennessee attorney general, like everyone not in the commercial.

The Steins did what you're supposed to do by cashing in a couple prospects for a (very) known quantity. Maybe they'll regret it in the morning when they turn on the lights and see Jose Arredondo in the closer's role for Anaheim, but they'll always have the memories.

This trade rates:

HERSH-HYSERS GET: P A.J. Burnett (2.5/C), 3B Chone Figgins (1.4/A*), 3B Mike Lamb (.5/C), 3B Wilkin Ramirez (.5/C)
COOLS GET: 3B Wes Hodges (0.0/d), 3B Brandon Inge (.5/C), 1B Bryan LaHair (.5/C), OF Jeremy Reed (.5/C), P Chien-Ming Wang (1.5/B*)

What's up with the Cools passing out steals like candy on Halloween to anyone who says trick or treat? The Hersh-Hysers grabbed more than their share out of the bowl, as they've not only picked up four steals from Figgins but two wins in two starts from Burnett.

The trick might be on the Hersh-Hysers in the long run, as Hodges doesn't have much in front of him in the Indians organization, Inge suddenly became a dirt-cheap catcher, and Chien-Ming Wang should be a part of the next good Cools team. The Hysers will be happy to enjoy their sugar high for now, though.

This trade rates:

WINOS GET: 3B Adrian Beltre (2.2/B), OF Jermaine Dye (3.1/C), C Jason Varitek (1.2/C)
SAMINOLES GET: OF Wladimir Balentien (.3/C), OF Austin Jackson (.5/C)

If they hadn't insisted on getting Jason Varitek, this would have been a great trade for the Winos. Jermaine Dye has hit 10 HRs while posting .325/.404/.621 ratios for the Winos. Adrian Beltre has been Adrian Beltre, with .276/.335/.423 ratios. And then Jason Varitek has wiped out all the progress, going .200/.313/.280 with one HR in 100 ABs.

Not to brag or nothin', but Shawn Riggans has four HRs and 16 RBI and much better ratios in less at bats. And all for a dime!

This trade rates:

COALITION GET: P Joe Borowski (2.4/B), OF Vladimir Guerrero (5.1/C), C Kenji Johjima (1.6/B), P Jensen Lewis (.5/C -- cut), P Shaun Marcum (.5/A), SS Juan Uribe (.5/C)
DAVS GET: OF Ben Francisco (.3/C), P Luke Hochevar (.4/C), P Eric Hurley (.5/C), P Brandon Morrow (.1/C), P Glen Perkins (.5/C), SS Edgar Renteria (2.3/C), P Dontrelle Willis (1.9/C)

In June the Coalition were in first. They held a 27½-point lead over the FrankenSteins. The Potato Chip Dips were sixth, 39 points behind. The Hersh-Hysers were 10th, almost 75 points behind!

Now the Coalition are behind all three teams. Why? This trade.

Joe Borowski -- awful, then out of baseball. Kenji Johjima -- 111 ABs of fail (.198/.237/.279). Jensen Lewis -- never even made the Coalition active roster, then cut. Shaun Marcum -- 0-2 with a 5.71 ERA. Juan Uribe -- hardly even plays for the Coalition. Thank goodness for Vlad Guerrero's 12 HRs and 32 RBI, or this trade would be an even more complete disaster for the Coalition than it already is. Of course, the Coaltion had to give up the 8 HRs, 24 RBI, and bright future the Davs have received from Ben Francisco, among a few other things.

This trade rates:

CHIP DIPS GET: SS Erick Aybar (1.0/A), P Todd Jones (1.3/A)
SAMINOLES GET: 1B Lars Anderson (0.0/d), P David Purcey (.5/C), 2B Danny Richar (.1/A)

If a trade falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, do the players still change teams? In a parallel universe this trade was never made, and the world is a much better place.

WINOS GET: 3B Alberto Callaspo (.5/C)
SAMINOLES GET: P Kyle Farnsworth (.5/C)

Alberto collapsed. So did Farnsworth.

This trade rates:

STEINS GET: DH Jim Thome (3.4/A)
CHIP DIPS GET: P Jeremy Guthrie (.5/B)

The only preseason trade, and one that’s turning out well for both teams. But could the Steins have found a Thome-like hitter for 3.4 or less in the draft? (Considering that they landed Quentin and J.D. Drew for 2.9 combined, probably.) Guthrie has given the Dips a very nice season for 50 cents.

Maybe the Steins thought they were selling high on Guthrie while getting a sure thing. Maybe they’d be in first place instead of the Dips if they didn’t think that.

This trade rates:

DAVS GET: 2B Asdrubal Cabrera (.5/B), P Masa Kobayashi (.5/C), OF Clete Thomas (.5/C)
HERSH-HYSERS GET: P Joe Blanton (3.0/A)

Hahaha, Kobayashi has been worth something twice! Man, you’d think we’d figured something out about fantasy baseball after 17 years.

Apparently Joe Blanton really sucks if this is all you can get for him.

This trade rates:

for the Hysers

CHIP DIPS GET: 3B Joe Crede (1.3/A), OF Torii Hunter (3.4/C), P Gil Meche (.3/A), P Tim Wakefield (1.5/C)
DAVS GET: P Brett Anderson (.5/C), 3B Eric Chavez (1.2/C), P J.J. Putz (1.5/C*), SS Sean Rodriguez (.5/C)

And now we know why the Dips have taken over first place. At least Joe Crede is on the DL!

The Davs will be laughing if either Brett Anderson or Sean Rodriguez live up to the hype. Both are probably at least a couple years away, making this trade one that should have been made next year.

This trade rates: