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Friday, December 02, 2005


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Gillick is going nuts signing guys and I love it!

Of course, Gordon is overpriced, but that's the way the market is these days. He'll give it his best that's for sure.

I am really looking forward to these winter meetings, should be really interesting to say the least. Where J-Mike and Abreu end up, hopefully when the smoke clears we'll have our ace starter that we need.

You stole my headline. I was going to do "The GM that Loves Tom Gordon" [I still might]. The length of the contract makes me skittish, but the dollar amount isn't so bad (when you look at Ryan and Wagner getting 10-ish per year).

That's really weird, Tom. About a minute before you commented, I changed it to the more RSS Feed-friendly title you now see above. You are free to use it.

I'm new here, but I feel the urge to comment on this one. If they were signing Gordon as a setup man that would be one thing. But after being tantalized by Gavin Floyd-for-Danys Baez rumors for the last couple of days I can't feel anything but let down that this guy is going to be closing. For this organization to tie up nearly $20 million on a 3-year contract to a 38-year-old reliever is a page right out of Ed Wade's book. Gillick made a big splash with the Thome deal, getting more for him than I ever thought possible, but between Gordon and this week's three other penny-ante signings, that splash is sounding, to me anyway, more like a thud. . .But of course I'm willing to withhold final judgement for now. Let's see what happens at the Winter Meetings and beyond.

I think we have two people to blame on the prices or length of contract: Ricciardi and Minaya. Gillick doesn't strike me with his moves to far to be the kind of guy to shrug his shoulders and pay market price without a fight (stand up Ed Wade), but we know there was going to be a fight over all the remaining closers, so if gillick(and manuel) didn't like the idea of Baez it was going to be a large amount plus extra year for gordon. Ryan and arsey southern babby's deals combined with the contracts which the cubbies signed early on has pretty much set the parameters on the market for relief and closers.

I'll be interested to see if hoffman gets less than gordon now. Measure up the figures against the other deals come Spring training and we'll see how good a job Gillick did.

Well, who else was going to close for us? I think it was the best possible move at the time.

I'd still pursue a Baez for Floyd deal, or for that matter, any deal that gets us a proven pitcher in return for Gavin, who is going backwards in effectiveness and marketability.

Wagner and Urbina made a combined $13MM last year (I think), so in my eyes we can still spend some money beyond Gordon to shore up the pen.

so giving a 38 year old who hasn't been a closer in years a 3 year deal for $6 mil per is better than giving a proven 34 year old closer a 4 year deal at $10 mil per? I don't get it. Wagner would have been as old as Gordon is now at the end of his 4 year deal. but somehow this makes sense? this is Gillick's first big mistake. how can you let your plans A and B go, then decide the best guy on the market is flash gordon? why not make a run at farnsworth? heck, if you're going to sign an old man, why not make a move for trevor hoffman?

I think that Gavin Floyd is the ace that the phillies are dangling abreu for.
Hopefully Gillick sees that, and that's why hes not going to trade for baez.

Blaming a previous signing for Gordon's contract is truly backward thinking. This is a game of musical chairs and as long as there are more contestants than chairs, the chairs are valuable.
What's interesting is that while a bunch of teams were playing the musical chairs game for closers, Ricardi steps in from his own game which was to get Giles, Burnett or Ryan before the winter meetings. He had no great interest in replacing Batista as closer otherwise.
In typical reactive fashion the other GMs began playing harder for a closer when Ryan's chair was removed. This speaks more to their own desperation than to Ryan's contract. In fact if the Phillies had stepped up and grabbed Ryan for 5 years and 50 million it would have actually dampened the closers market. Suddenly Wagner has less bargaining power since the Phils and Mets were the only teams talking 10 per. And so on down the line.

Will his intro music be the old Queen song "Flash"? :)

To me, the Flash signing is the second-most intriguing Phillies signing of the day.

Fasano signing is very interesting. The way I look at it, it clears a path to allow Carlos Ruiz to be the backup by the end of the season. Even though this is a major-league contract, Fasano is a career Triple-A catcher, nothing more. I have a feeling the Phillies said "Look, we'll give you $425,000, more than you'll probably get elsewhere, but we've got this kid Ruiz we are looking to bring up. It's worth it to us to have a backup plan. Will you accept?"

This is a small contract for a major leaguer, so they'll designate him for assignment when the time is right, he'll almost certainly clear waivers. It's up to Fasano to accept and go to Scranton.

I wrote about it early and hope people will take notice of that post more than the Gordon signing. I'm absolutely indifferent on Flash. They needed a closer, they got it over with, now they must move on and get starting pitching ...

... and get creative with the rest of the bullpen.

Winter ball report today on Baseball America:

Yoel Hernandez, "great control". His ERA is 1.25 as a closer.

Larry --

Are you saying that $9M+ per year for 5 years for a guy with 42 career saves is a good investment?

Time will certainly tell, but right now I'd say that's a clear case of overpaying.

why are people so hot-and-heavy about danys baez? take a close look at his numbers: they look pretty mediocre to me - esp. concerning is that he doesn't strike a lot of guys out, so there was a decent amount of luck involved with his OAV this year. in addition, he only has 1 year left. are you really in that much of a hurry to give up on floyd for what could be a 1-year rental of a JAG (Just Another Guy) type? granted, i'm sure we're all concerned about floyd's struggles in 2005, but given his stuff, shouldn't we be a little more patient to see if he can develop some command?

i wholeheartedly agree on baez...i think all the enthusiasm over him is predicated on the fact that there aren't many closers out there, especially on noncontenders like the d-rays. i think he could be a good pitcher, especially on a team with experienced pitching coaches, but he's just not that good right now.

regarding the whole "proven closer" mindset - first, i think it's the most widespread fallacy in baseball today that your closer has to be experienced at closing. that's not the case - he just has to be good. (case in point: would you rather have jose mesa - experienced and bad - or tom gordon - less experienced and good - closing for you?) second, being the setup man for a high-profile team like the yankees is a pretty high-intensity job. i don't think anyone questions gordon's psychological toughness (and if they do, they're crazy).

i think the gordon signing isn't bad - i like him better than farnsworth at that price range. it's going to be important that we keep the rest of the bullpen solid though, because i think gordon's too old to be the only reliable reliever on the staff.

Floyd for Baez seems a bit nutty to me. Hell, a starter (albeit unproven) for a closer who has only closed for really bad teams seem crazy.

The bottom line is that we got a closer who won't be bad, who as ae points out has dealt with pressure situations before, and who seems to have been fairly durable over the last two seasons. No, he's not great, but we paid what is now reasonable money for a reasonable closer.

To put it in perspective - the cubs signed howry, a solid relief guy, at 4 mill a year for three years. We sign an on older closer for 2 mill more and the same contract. It's not great, but it's not bad. And here's a thought - what if after a while it looks like one of the younger kids is better suited to closing? move him in, and we have solid relief in Gordon. Like Jason said, we need to see them get creative with the other players we've got in the system.

I agree that the obsession with a "Proven Closer" is a huge fallacy in today's game. However, I have tried to analyze the situation from the perspective that our GM is one of those guys locked into that attitude, so, acccepting that limitation, what is the best move?

As a side note on Howry - my money is that is an awful, awful signing. Obviously he had a MONSTER season in 2005, but looker closer at the numbers. He somehow only gave up 49 hits in 73 innings despite only striking out 48 guys. That is not sustainable. Regression to the mean will be swift and brutal, I think.

Now that Kyle Farnsworth has been give $17 over 3 years, this Gordon deal bothers me less and less. Sure, KF is younger... but he still reminds me a little too much of former Tigers fireballer Matt Anderson.

JW: Interesting post over at Swing and a Miss about perhaps flipping Rowand. Esp. if they could do so to get Pavano or someone at $.25 on the dollar and then flip Bobby out for Vernon Wells plus. Of course, bringing Pavano in could cause clubhouse tensions. If you'll recall last year's program noted that both Pat Burrell and J-Mike had adolescent crushes on Ms. Milano... former GF or Pavano's... and Zito's... and Brad Penny... We don't need Pat reverting back to sappy Nickleback at bat music... Holy Diver is working well.

Pat the Bat uses Dio as his music? Surprising.

Yes, my theory is that Pat is a South Park fan and uses it to loosen up at the plate.... I wrote Marcus Hayes that fans needed to know about these things.... No response.

Bill James needs to start compiling this stuff. What is Chase Utley's OPS for Kashmir vice that creepy Six Flags theme song?

Jason (or anyone else out there)
Is Gordon indeed a better buy than Farnsworth? Yes? No? Maybe a little? And why?

You can compare the stats of Gordon, Baez, and Farnsworth at the URL above. Thanks to Brian Michael at for the useful link.

Tom Gordon- 80.2 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 68 K's.
Kyle Farnsworth- 69 IP, 2.22 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 87 K's.
Hector Carrasco- 88.1 IP, 2.04 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 75 K's.

Here is a comparison of the three recently signed relief pitchers. My biggest concern is obviously Gordon's age, although it appears as if he is losing something based off his K/9. I know he was in the AL, but when that number drops, it's a classic sign age is creeping up on a pitcher.

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