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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Comments

Jason, I'd say Miller's potential upside is better than the back of the rotation; he's a No. 2 or 3 if he gets back to his old form (obviously a big if with shoulder surgery involved). So I agree, a smart move for the Cubs; this is the kind of guy Gillick should be scouring around for. Sign 2 or 3 guys like this and hope one works out, a la Paul Byrd.

Interesting item on Aurelia; I didn't realize he put up those kind of numbers in Cincy. This could be an economical way of filling the 3b hole, or the righthanded half of a platoon with Nunez. Actually, I liked the idea of Wes Helms, not because he's that good but because he's versatile (played a good bit of OF last year) and now has experience pinch-hitting.

On the other hand, I've seen a lot of Crede on TV and am not impressed. If Rowand goes back to the Chisox I'd rather get back pitching prospects, if they still have any. I really like Vazquez, or rather I've liked him when I've seen him pitch against the Phils. Even with his rather mediocre numbers, he would be the No. 1 starter on this team.

I have a hard time seeing how Vazquez would be a #1 on the Phils. Myers has posted a lower ERA and WHIP than Vazquez in both of the last seasons, and his ERA was nearly a full run lower in 2006. I do like Vazquez and think he would do well in Philly (although I don't think you'll see much of a AL-to-NL boost based on his numbers in Arizona in 2005), but he's not anywhere close to an ace.

I wouldn't mind seeing Aurilia in Philly either - 35 is not really that old anymore, he can obviously still hit, and from what I've seen he's solid defensively. I would *much* rather have Aurilia than Helms, who is very poor defensively, is coming off his best year with the bat, and only has one season on his career with more than 275 AB. Helms looks very average to me, and I would bet he gets a longer and more expensive contract than Aurilia.

in that last post, the second sentence should read "both of the last two seasons."

auriila would be an upgrade over nuni for sure. hell vinny castilla is about nuni's equal...sad.

i just don't see the chisox trading one of their pitchers for rowand. i imagine that when thome was traded we would have asked for a pitcher before we asked for rowand. maybe i could see rowand and one of our higher pitching prospects for garcia or vazquez and josh reed, but only if the sox think reed will never be a quality mlb player. i could also see lieber being part of a three team deal to get the phils one of the sox pitchers. but now i'm just making things up.

make that brian anderson - i thinking jeremy reed but he's on the mariners. duh

I would take Crede for Rowand straight up

>The 30-year-old right-hander made just five
>starts last season after returning from
>arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder to
>finish 0-2 with a 4.57 ERA.

That sounds suspiciously close to Wolf's story. Next year is a gamble, and he sure as hell should sign with the team that saw him through the recovery. Need to take a chance on Wolf.

Ya know, I think that we may be undervaluing Rowand. If the ChiSox want him that damn badly, maybe he *is* that good in the clubhouse.

Look at the Moyer sigining. That didn't just add an 44 yr old back of the rotation, it improved the brains of the front of the rotation as well. Maybe Rowand brings that type of intangible.

joe, I definitely think that Rowand's attitude is great in the clubhouse. His gritty, all-out attitude is inspirational. However, I also believe in the law of diminishing returns. Basically my feeling is that Utley, Howard, and also Vic and Rollins, are such good postive clubhouse guys, that the addition or subtraction of Rowand shouldn't effect the clubhouse too much. The clubhouse can only get so positive.

For Rowand Fields or either Garcia or Vasquez is worth it. Crede has back problems, would that concern anyone? CWS do have 6 SP right now and would like to move one of those guys to make room for McCarthy

Aurillia's career high for games at 3B is 52, from last year. I imagine he could be an everyday player there, but his range factor there has always been below average (though it's a small sample size).

I'm a little suprised he hit so well too, because his last few years in San Fran and his time in Seattle and SD were brutal. I'm sure a lot of the difference is due to park factors (SF, SD and Seattle extreme pitchers parks, Cinci a hitter's park), but he would probably be better over the course of a season than Nunez. I'd rather get a more established 3B like Crede, but Aurillia would represtent a slight upgrade.

At this point, I would put Vazquez behind Hamels and Myers, but I would trade Rowand for Garcia or Vazquez in a heartbeat, simply because of the relative depth we have in CF (lots) and starting pitching (little).

Umm, so hey, anyone see this:

"Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said yesterday the club forwarded a bid for the negotiating rights to Japanese third baseman Akinori Iwamura, viewing the versatile 27-year-old as a candidate for second base, an outfield spot or a super-utility job.

The Padres will find out next week if they outbid others from a group believed to include the Devil Rays, Red Sox and ****Phillies****. San Diego's bid is larger than the $300,000 bid that won the rights to pitcher Akinori Otsuka in December 2003."

This is from the San Diego Tribune...is this a misprint or are the Phillies beat writers a few scoops short of a sundae.

Full link: http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/20061111-9999-1s11padres.html

Aurilia . . . No thank.

If the Phils can trade Rowand straight up for Garcia or Vazquez, I hope that Phils make that deal in a heartbeat. Either guy is a 2 or 3 on this team.

Rowand for Crede . . . Not a big Crede fan but he is a huge offensive upgrade over Nunez (career .763 OPS vs. .631 OPS). Don't want to see another season of Nunez hitting .230 with a bunch of weak grounders.

The Phillies should spin Rowand for a pitcher, but they should jump on Crede as well. Nunez is an atrocity in terms of offensive production, and his defense isn't that great, either. Heck, according to Baseball Prospectus, Nunez is DAVID BELL'S inferior in almost every way. While the Phillies' management is filling us with dreams of Alfonso Soriano, they seem to be ignoring the main problems. Soriano is (hopefully) a smokescreen, but for what? Ideally, its for Gillick to be able to obtain a 3b and some P's. Realistically, its probably so the management can spend as little money as possible this offseason while sayings "well, we tried for the big prize, but didn't get it, so here's to another close, mid-80 finish.


You can see the future salary dumps coming already. Pat Burrell is being maligned by beat writers and employees the same way Abreu, Padilla, and others were. Here's a fact : Burrell had the 21st highest OPS in the NL last year. Abreu had the 18th highest in the AL. David Bell had an OPS 160 points higher than Nunez. Padilla had similar stats to Barry Zito, despite pitching in perhaps the biggest hitters park in the MLB. All were or are on their way to being traded, because they're "clubhouse cancers" or other such nonsense. Even Soriano's career year this year does not exceed Abreu's off-year by that much. Hope for Rowand for Vazquez, accept Rowand for Crede, get Rowand for nothing.

I would like to point out that none of those player have won anything. Yet the Phils seem to be a better team.

As a starter, I am not really interested in Rich Aurillia. I would be interested in him as a super-sub, *if, and only if,* we addressed the starting third base position with Aramis Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, or Joe Crede. Aurillia had off years in 2002, 2004, and 2005, so there is some concern there, however, even those weak years are better than what Nunez does (or doesn't do) at the plate.

By the way, how bad is Crede's back? I haven't really heard anything about that. He played in 150 games last year. He also played in 132, 144, 151 games the three previous years.

Anyway, I would definitely deal Rowand for Crede or any of the two pitchers mentioned above. It would be even better if we could hold out for a Brandon McCarthy or Josh Fields. It would be nice to see us come out on the better end of a deal with a quality young prospect for a player who supposedly is in such high demand.

PhillyRocks: Are you a baseball fan?
Even a bad player can win something if he's on a good team and a good player never win anything if he's stuck on a bad team. By your idiotic measure, Ted Williams and Ernie Banks were bums!
And you don't believe the Phillies could've used Abreu or Padilla during the last couple weeks of the season?
You should think before you post.

Jon: I'm with you on dealing Rowand for Garcia or Vazquez. I think both are past their primes, but both are also better than Leiber or Moyer and maybe Wolf too depending on whether he improves a year after surgery.
Crede has 2 herniated discs in his back and doctors have recommended surgery. However, they also say he can live with the problem by intensive rehab and exercise. For now, he has chosen the latter, although surgery is inevitable. The high risk involved means Crede could probably be gotten cheaply.

I agree the free agent pitching pool is shallow and overpriced, but I wonder if Kerry Wood, a huge injury risk, might wind up going cheaply? Love to have him as a setup man. Worth a roll of the dice?

Wood is definitely worth the risk. I would give hime a contract primarily based on incentives. I would prefer Speier or Foulke as pen upgrades, but Wood is intriguing nonetheless. That being said, there is probably another team out there that will give Wood more than he deserves at this point, which could end up being foolish on their behalf. If the price is right, get him in here. Otherwise, let him walk.

rowand for a starting pitcher?...pull the trigger on that deal!

nuni cannot be the starter again. all you morons out there that think the phils will emain the top producing nl moffense with him in the lineup are fooling yourselves.

sunday, sunday, sunday...let the free-for-all begin!

My first post on this board and I find it fascinating to read all to thoughts and comments. So thought I might try to stir things up a bit.

Jon...don't you think Polanco would have been a nice fit at 3B if Bell didn't have a huge contract?

As for 3B, once upon a time Burrell was a thirdbaseman...he moved to OF because of Rolen...and yes, no way he could play it now, but do we have anyone on the team beyond Nunez that could? How about Utley?

Oh, what about 2nd base? Give me a young kid with a good glove, contact hitter, with speed and bat him 8th. No immediate names come to mind. Must be one of them out there somewhere.

If they can't move Burrell, and if Soriano is a possiblity and he prefers 2B I'd be talking with Chase about early spring.

One more dumb question, anyone recall the speed on Fabio Castro's fastball? Would he be the type of arm to try to develope as a closer??

Now that I've given you all a laugh. Have a great day.

Salisbury mentioned a couple of pitching possibilities I hadn't thought about. One was Tomo Ohka. I looked at his numbers the last few seasons and I'm not sure what to make of him. He didn't have a great season last year with Milwaukee, but he's been okay in previous seasons. Would he help the Phillies as a long man or sixth starter? His splits indicate he might be better as starter. I would probably pass on Ohka.

gramps: Nothing dumb at all about your post. The Phillies made a big mistake when they chose to keep Bell over Polanco. It is most unlikely that Burrell could play the position now, he wasn't great there in college, defensively.
I wouldn't mess with Uts at 2B, that's a position that's working and he is improving defensively although he'll never be gold glove.
I wouldn't touch Soriano with a 10-foot-pole although I'd love to see them sign Aramis Ramirez.
Fabio is a hard thrower, 95 mph, has an OK change-up and nothing else. Big problem for him at this point is command within the strike zone. Hopefully, that will come with experience.

Thanks Clout, regarding Fabio I was looking at his poise this year for a 21 y/o and he has time to develop a pitch or two and work on control. My question was more about what they want this kid to become. Closers make primo money too.

I'm not Gramps for nothing and old school says that you get the power from the corners. Ramirez would be a nice fit, but no more bad back thirdbaseman [a.k.a Bell, Crede]. Chase would excell at any position and 2B is just fine.

I would like to see one more RH bat in the lineup, but the offense will survive with some creative management.

For now it should be all about the pitching. More old school, a good pitcher will always beat a good hitter - quote from Connie Mack or someone like that.

Gramps: Castro was 90 to 94 on his fastball. His best pitch is his curveball. He also throws a change. There is talk of the Phils using him a starter at Reading. I don't see many 5-8, 150 lbs starters, so I question this decision. At his age and stuff plus being a lefty, he should be solid contributer.

Thanks Mac, I see this kid with a big upside, and I saw him as a closer or set up man. I hope he's pitching in Reading this year [where I live]. Showing my age again, he reminded me of a Latino Bobby Shantz.

Ohka is nothing special. At best, he is nothing more than average (and I think those days may have passed him by). From what I recall, I think he is a fly ball pitcher too. He had a 4.82 ERA and a 50-35 K-BB ratio with 12 HR allowed in 97 IP last season. That does not bode well for CBP. I would pass on him as well.

If the Phils need a long man, I would take Batista over him. At the same time, I think Condrey could fill that spot, as long as the Phils bring in a couple of other relievers (ala a Speier and/or Foulke and/or Borowski) to round out their other bullpen holes.

Gramps, I may be in the minority here, but I did not have a problem with the Phils moving Polanco for Urbina. It's not like Urbina was an unproven player, plus it got Utley into the line-up on a daily basis. I highly doubt the Phils could have gotten anything near Urbina for David Bell.

Also, I am not crazy about moving any more people out of position. I don't think the Phils necessarily need Soriano. I won't complain if they end up with him, but I would rather they spend their money on A-Ram and address their pitching needs.

uh-oh. I just found this quote from Aramis Ramirez's agent: "There is a very short list of teams, just three or four, Aramis would play in if he did leave Chicago and Boston is on that list."

Somehow I doubt the Phillies are one of them.

Yep, I don't think we have a shot at Ramirez.

Gramps, I know 3B is traditionally a power position, but since the Phillies get plus power from 2B and SS, I can live with a 10-15 HR guy there...I really just want someone with basic defensive abilities who can put up a .330-.350 OBP. As has been pointed out many times on this board, offense is not this team's problem. An average 3B would represent a 1-2 win upgrade over Nunez.

Also, if you look at the FA list, there are a lot more proven third basemen than second sackers.

????

Robothal reports that A-Ram stays in Chicago for 5/70. That's not a bad contract at all. Weird.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6163558

Ramirez's agent said that he really liked Chicago and was going to give them a "hometown" discount.

Not too dissapointed since he never seemed to be a real possibility, but it is still one more 3B off the market.

Of possible interest, the Boston Globe today claimed that the Phillies were still in the market for Manny. Depending on how much the Phillies have to pick up, he is a FAR superior option to Sheffield or Soriano. Considering that the Sox were willing to release him outright last year, it isn't impossible that we could get him...possibly for something like Burrell and Gonzalez (or Carrasco) with no money being exchanged. I know the Sox haven't expressed much interest in Pat the Bat, but you would think his skills would be appreciated by a team that likes OBP...also they would save about $7M in salary and get a prospect. Burrell could probably play LF or 1B. Probably a pipe dream, but hey, that's what the Hot Stove League is all about!

It's amazing to me how teams repeatedly mis-read the offseason landscape in-season. The Cubs could've extended A-Ram but didn't, and now they're paying the price (and, given the fact that they need to give Zambrano his payday next year, and owe big money to Lee, I don't see them being huge players in FA at this point).

Wagner always stuck me, by and large, as a lying turd, but if there's any truth to what he said about offering the Phillies the chance to extend him before he hit free agency we definitely blew that chance. At least we're not the only ones.

I don't understand why Manny would be viewed as a superior investment to Soriano. He's older, his defense is atrocious (Soriano, for all his defensive faults, let OF in assists last year, something I guarantee Manny will never do) and he's never brought the kind of game-disrupting speed to the table that Soriano offers. He's also a major pain in the ass.

A better pure hitter? Absolutely. More patient, more power? Definitely. Better investment at this stage in his career? Not sure about that.

I'm always amused by what fans think we can get in trades. Rowand straight-up for one of the White Sox starters? Dream on. There's a big difference between wanting a guy at his fair price and being willing to overpay. His fair return would be Crede, who has never lived up to his phenom billing.

alby- i don't think we can get garland, vasquez, or garcia fron chisox for rowand straight up, but people have suggested it, so i was simply echoing the notion.

stolen bases are possibly the single most overrated "asset" in baseball. we're not talking about Vince Coleman or Lou Brock here - Soriano averages only 35 stolen bases. not to mention the small issue that Manny Ramirez is a guaranteed 1.000+ OPS, while Soriano is probably an .850 - absolute best case, .900. Ramirez has posted a top-five OPS every season for the last eight years. Soriano has never been among the league OPS leaders, ever. there is absolutely no comparison between the two. I can't conceive of how anyone could seriously claim that Soriano would help this team more than Manny Ramirez.

also, you should actually check defensive stats before you make blanket statements about how good a player is. Soriano's 22 assists is only five more than Ramirez had in 2005 while playing over 100 fewer innings. also, Ramirez's 2006 fielding percentage was 20 points (20 points!) better than Soriano's. does that mean Ramirez is a good defensive OF? obviously not, but I don't think there's as much difference between the two as you seem to think.

soriano is an exciting player, but manny is one of the best offensive machines ever.

maverick: Soriano is a different kind of ballplayer than Ramirez, but in the end, the best measures of a player's value on offense is OPS and runs created per 27 outs. By those measures, looking at stats over the past 3 seasons, Soriano isn't qualified to hold Ramirez's jock.

alby: I also doubt the Sox would deal one of their starters straight up for Rowand BUT they are looking to clear a spot for McCarthy and I don't think it's unrealistic at all to think they'd deal a starter for Rowand plus something else, a propsect or two, for example.

ae, carson, and clout, thanks. I just about jumped out of my chair when I saw Mav try to claim Soriano was a more "valuable investment" but saw the response it generated.

The only thikng I would add is that while Manny may be more expensive, he is only signed for three more years whereas Soriano would require (at least) a five year commitment, a scary idea since both Howard and Utley will be due major paychecks by then.

Oh, and Soriano's top OPS+ is 132, a mark Ramirez has surpassed TWELVE YEARS IN A ROW! And SOriano is 30, Manny 35, so it's not like they are too far apart in age.

And outfield assists, c'mon, they are usually an indication of BAD fielders because teams think they can run on you (Manny and SOriano being prime examples).

Oh and why not, for the hell of it, list their respective comps on B-Ref (stars indicate HoF)
Ramirez:
1. Ken Griffey (864)
2. Juan Gonzalez (858)
3. Jeff Bagwell (843)
4. Frank Robinson (836) *
5. Willie Mays (829) *
6. Frank Thomas (827)
7. Barry Bonds (818)
8. Mickey Mantle (815) *
9. Duke Snider (812) *
10. Jim Thome (805)

Soriano:
1. Howard Johnson (892)
2. Tony Batista (883)
3. Matt Williams (880)
4. Bob Horner (873)
5. Jeff Kent (873)
6. Danny Tartabull (873)
7. Geoff Jenkins (870)
8. Ken Boyer (870)
9. Joe Gordon (869)
10. Raul Mondesi (864)

Hmmm, which group do I like best?

While we're cherry picking our favorite stastics and pretending that they are the only way to possibly evaluate players, let me say that the B-Ref comps are possibly the most bizarre example of analysis I've ever seen.

My outfield assist statement would have been inaccurate if Ive said Manny had never led the league; instead I said he likely will never from this point and I stand by that statement. I find it hard to believe his 2005 was anything other than a fluke. Not that assists matter so much; it was simply the only defensive stastic offhand that I knew of that showed Soriano in a positive light.

The truth is I'm not sure who a better investment would be, which is what I said. I just find it hilarious that everyone is so certain a 35 year old outfielder with creaky knees and a bad attitude is worth betting the house on.

Also, the $58 million for the next three years, the $8 million in deferred salary, and the blanket no-trade bother me.

I would put Manny over Soriano in every facet aside from health and athleticism. Don't need that extra speed really unless he bats high which isn't what we would need. I think Manny is superior to Soriano as protection for Howard, . I don't know how well Manny would do in Philadelphia with his antics. But undeniably have to pencil us in for top 5 in runs scored with Utley Manny Howard or Howard Manny Utley. And you might be able to leave Nunez in the 8 hole and get away with Vic as a starting OF with Manny. So getting him might fix or band-aid more then 1 problem.

I have no idea the package it would take to get Manny.I don't think Boston would want Burrell back as they've shown no interest in him. If Sheffield on a 1 yr deal gets you Sanchez+, I have no idea what it would take to get Manny. Unless the Red Sox have to seriously dump payroll because they overbid on the Matsuzaka fellow. Lieber, Gio, Carrasco +. I'd see about Gordon honestly. Red Sox have more ? then us in the bullpen. And if they'll bite, I dont know if dealing from a weakness to a strength is ever smart but Manny is Manny. Open up more worms to fix without any good bodies to fix it.

OK, Mav, what statistics would you like to use that demonstrate Soriano is anywhere near Ramirez as a hitter? Seriously, you pick the stat...I won't hold my breath.

As for B-Ref comps, not sure what's bizarre about noting that one player's career so far has been similar to at least seven HoF (current and future) while the other's is most similar to Tony Batista and Howard Johnson!

Oh, and I specifically used the B-Ref comps that are "through age X" so that it could tell us something aout future performance. Not only are Soriano's comps weak, there isn't a player other than Kent or Gordon that didn't collapse after age 30.

Ramirez has some burnouts too (Gonzalez, mMantle, etc.) but even a diminished Manny is worth more than peak Soriano.

It's ashame to see A-Ram re-up with the Cubs. The Phils need to do something about third base. I don't care if it's Beltre or Crede, something must be done!

to be fair, the most striking thing about the comparisons - which are not, by the way, based on any baseball-reference formula, but as the website says, "Similarity scores are not my concept. Bill James introduced them nearly 15 years ago, and I lifted his methodology from his book The Politics of Glory (p. 86-106)." - is that neither Soriano nor Ramirez is truly similar to any other player. when the top score is under 900, that's generally a sign that the usefulness of similarity scores is even more reduced than in a best-case scenario.

Manny also had 19 assists in 1996, so I don't think 2005 was a "fluke", or that any of the other four years he had double digit assists were flukes.

Assist totals tend to fluctuate a lot because of the learning curve. Because Soriano was so hideous in every other aspect of fielding, players thought they could run on him.

I agree ae, below 900 means that they really aren't all that similar. With SOriano, I can completely understand this (there aren't many 2B-turned-LF who combine power, speed, and attrocious plate discipline) but Ramirez seems to be a classic take-and-rake slugger.

What's most interesting is that Manny used to be more similar to players like Snider (age 27), Thomas (31) and COlivito (age 25) but isn't anymore. The reason: he got better! He is very similar to Thomas through age 31, but the gap widens because Manny has been a much better player post-31 than THomas.

Also, Manny doesn't have the insane peaks of guys like Mantle or Bonds...he has just been CONSISTENTLY amazing. I think the differences in similarity scores actually bolster the case that Manny is a good investment.

"stolen bases are possibly the single most overrated "asset" in baseball."

I would argue the other way all day long. There needs to be a more open minded sabremetric debate on SB's. Statistically, sabremetricians have only focused on the "stealer" from a statisitical standpoint. There needs to be a study doen on how a guy who MAY steal a base, effects pitch counts, types of pitches and the type of gam ea catcher will call with him on base. it is not as cut and dried as you tihnk.

I agree with dude that speed not the SB is perhaps overlooked. A few things he did not mention. Speed maybe draws the infield in a little because you can beat out a weak dribbler or hurries a throw to 1st. Or a guy who can consistenly go 1st-3rd on a hit or score from 2B. Alot of that can be done with good base running but if you are a burner you should be able to do the same things.

All that said Soriano's speed I feel detracts from his value to our team. We would use him as a middle of the order power threat. Not as much running, but if somehow Burrell and Soriano were both in the lineup, say Utley Howard Soriano Burrell 3-6. Burrell has the patience to let Soriano get himself into scoring position perhaps. That said its unlikely both are on the team or playing the same day.

Wow, two double-digit assist seasons in ten years. Those other 8 seasons are DEFINITELY the stastical outliers.

Every commodity goes through overrated and underrated phases. I just don't understand why Soriano is so consistently underrated by the sabremetric (or, even just stastistically-minded) community. Kdon, ae, seriously - did you guys think Soriano would even crack 30 HR at RFK? Didn't you guys get on that ballpark bandwagon? I know a lot of people who claimed that Brad Wilkerson by himself was more valuable than Soriano. I'm sure you didn't go that far, but I know a lot of very smart people who did, and I still can't figure out why.

Soriano's speed absolutely is a commodity that is discrete from SBs. This applies just as much in the middle of the order as it would at the top. We've all watched Phillies baserunning blunders for years; wouldn't it be nice to have about half the lineup (Vic, Utley, J-Roll, hypothetically Sori) be able to go 1st to 3rd on a regular basis?

Both Burrell and Ramirez have 2-years left on their deals (Burrell - 07:$13M, 08:$14M vs. Ramirez - 07:$18M, 08:$20M, 09:$20M club option). Ramirez is a far superior offensive player to either Soriano or Burrell.

The only issue with Manny is his attitude. Every year, it seems as if Manny has several minor incidents and at least one major incident. Last year it was his "phantom" hamstring injury. Basically Ramirez just quit on his team in September as the Sox folded. Not the first time he has done that either.

Still, I think the whole Ramirez-Burrell is just a ridiculous rumor. Sox are looking at possibilities to move Ramirez but they want a starter, closer, or 2B. Sean McAdams (best source on Sox) said on WEEI that Sox have no interest in Burrell about 2 weeks ago.

re: Soriano's baserunning. from Conlin's column a couple days ago - "But despite Soriano's speed and stolen-base totals, he is not a particularly good baserunner. According to a formula devised by James to rank a runner's success ratio going first to third on a single, scoring from second on a single, scoring from first on a double and extra bases taken (moving up in a variety of situations), Soriano is barely middle of the baserunning pack.

Using No. 1-rated Angels flier Chone Figgins' plus 28 as the gold standard, Soriano's plus 5 is underwhelming. In 23 chances to race from first to third on a single, he did so just seven times. He was just 20-for-32 scoring from second on a single and 2-for-4 scoring from first on a double.

Looking back at his season, you won't be surprised to learn that, according to the King James version of the Cyber Bible, the No. 2 baserunner in all of baseball was Chase Utley. The second baseman with the hair-on-fire intensity was just a tick behind Figgins with a plus 27. It's easy to see why. Utley simply refuses to be denied any base he thinks he has coming to him. He went first to third on 12 of 28 chances. But it was second to home where he did his best work - in 28 chances, he failed to score just nine times. Chase was equally efficient from first to home, nine runs in 11 chances."

as far as the other question - did I think Soriano would hit 30 HR? hell no. which doesn't prove anything except for the old cliche that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. if Soriano's 2006 season is the "real" Soriano, why was he average to below-average in 2005 and 2004 when he was playing in a very good hitters' park with a ton of lineup protection? honestly, I don't know, and I guess it is possible that he just suddenly put it all together at age 30 (although obviously I think it's unlikely). but either way, to me that's not a risk worth taking at 6-7 years and $17-19 per.

7 years at 19 per would be $133 million, so yeah, I'd say that's way too much. But given that A-Ram just signed for $73 million I would be surprised if it came to that.

I never heard of the baserunning metric before but was sure it existed and like I suspected, decent speed hustle and good base running skills are all you need (Utley). 1 season of it may be misleading though. Soriano on a team going nowhere in his walk year probably won't be busting it 1st to 3rd every time and risk a groin or hammy injury that could cost him. That said I don't think he'd be remarkably higher in his previous years.

Not having those stats what does the top ten look like? Speed demons like Crawford, Pierre, Rollins and Reyes or more Eckstein Utley decent ability+ hustle types ?

Ramirez signed for cheap because he wanted to give the Cubs a hometown discount. Soriano and his agent has said in every comment/interview/whatever that all he's interested in is the contract, and that he wants a Beltran contract - i.e. 7 years, $15M per. I would assume that a shorter contract would require more annual money.

Mav, pay attention. My initial comment was:

"Manny also had 19 assists in 1996, so I don't think 2005 was a "fluke", or that any of the other four years he had double digit assists were flukes."

You responded with:

"Wow, two double-digit assist seasons in ten years. Those other 8 seasons are DEFINITELY the stastical outliers."

Mathmatical ineptitude and sarcasm aside (I actually like sarcasm a lot, but you better know what you are talking about when you use it), that is SIX seasons out of ten with double-digit assists.

I thought Soriano would probably get somewhere near 30 HR and that the Rangers got the better end of the bargain...so far I'm definately wrong. In their careers, Soriano is at 5.83 RC/27 and Wilkeson at 5.48...and that includes last season, when Soriano had his best season and WIlkerson had by far his worst. Before that, they were fairly comparable hitters and WIlkerson was a much better defensive player (and one year younger), so I don't think predictions that Texas won the deal were outrageous, or examples of some sabermetric ignorance.

maverick I give you credit for standing your ground in a debate you can't possibly win. By any measure, stats, sight, you name it, Manny is a far greater offensive force than Soriano. You might also be the first person I've ever seen who says OPS and runs created are no more or less important than things like stolen bases! Good luck trying to convince someone there are better ways to measure offensive value!

There's a certain quality in this thread that reminds me of those debates some guys like to indulge in: "Who would you rather sleep with, Pamela Sue Anderson or Anna Nicole Smith?" You almost hesitate to point out, "Fellas, you can talk forever, but you ain't gonna get to sleep with either one."

Using either WinShares or any of BP's defensive metrics, Soriano ranks as a much better defensive OF than Ramirez. He is, though, a corner OF, and you don't have them out there for their defense. Its always a plus to have a speedy LF with a cannon arm, but the fact of the matter is a substantial difference in hitting ability should outweigh defense at LF or RF almost every time.

"it is not as cut and dried as you think."

That phrase needs to be sandblasted into the minds of certain posters here. Really sick of the imperious attitudes.

Well hell, I just like to argue.

I would trade Rowand for 2-3 pitching prospects from ANY team.. Buy me Soriano get DeRosa or Iwamura,and play Victorino in CF and sign Trot Nixon as RF Sign one more starter (Wolf, Marquis), and Borowski.. That SHOULD help you overtake the Mets.

the above scenario assumes Burrell is traded

"By any measure, stats, sight, you name it, Manny is a far greater offensive force than Soriano."

You should probably change "is" to "was" as Manny is getting up there in age.

Wasn't talking about you, Mav.

Boston Globe is reporting that red sox have already offered J.D. Drew a proposal.

You're all missing the most important part - Javier Vazquez's no trade clause. When Javy was a free agent a couple years back, the Phils had a lot of interest in him, but his no-trade clause at the time allowed him to name something like Six teams he didn't want to play for. Guess who was on it - Vazquez. Speculate all you want. Its either Garcia or Crede. What we should do is package Rowand with someone like Gavin Floyd for Garcia AND Crede.

To the person who mentioned getting Brian Anderson, he sucks, he's the reason the Sox want Rowand back.

And finally, don't the White Sox have a hole to fill in left field? I believe they're looking for a power bat there to hit sixth behind Thome, Konerko, and Dye. We have one of those and Gillick has worked with the Sox before on a player with a huge contract. I dont know what it could mean in return, but its something to think about. Maybe Burrell, Burrell's salary (they count separate), Rowand, and Floyd for Garcia and Josh Fields

Crede with his back is available before Fields and Garcia. I like getting Crede and Garcia but the White Sox have shown no interest in Burrell along with everyone else.

And Burrell before said he would waive to go to SF NY maybe AZ Boston, though they could pay him to change his mind.

Rowand for Crede straight up is the only realistic trade. Floyd isn't more then a throw in. So it would take a good prospect or 2 to get Garcia included.

Also I would rather have Garcia then Vasquez. Javier was lights out the one year in MTL but has been forgettable ever since even in AZ. Garcia might improve slightly coming to the NL for the first time.

Back to the bad name topic. I had voted online for another name. Part of the voting process was to provide one's email address. This morning, I received an email telling me about the new name. Below is the text of my reply to them:

"Dear Sir or Madam:

I think you are making a terrible mistake naming your team the Iron Pigs. It is a horrible name which will cause your team to be the subject of ridicule. It reminds me of the Johnny Cash tune called "A Boy Named Sue." Sure, he became tough because of the name, but he hated the name. You need to give your team a name that the players and fans can be proud of. This name, the Iron Pigs, is not it.. Thank you for letting me express my opinion."

Absolutely yes to Rich Aurilia. I've been pushing for this over the last month. He'd be a low-cost 1 or 2 year stop gap until they can develop or sign a major guy. He wants to be a starter and he'd have the opportunity here. With Ramirez gone, I'd take Aurilia in a heartbeat. Plus, he's a hard-nosed tough guy who supposedly would be a fit for the Phillie fans that want their players crashing through brick walls to show their heart.

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