Odds & Ends: Rays, Reds, Pettitte, Robertson

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20 Comments on "Odds & Ends: Rays, Reds, Pettitte, Robertson"

5 years 6 months ago

I think the Nate Robertson acquisition was a really good one. A guy looking to redeem his career and there is no better place to do it.

5 years 6 months ago

As a former visually-impaired youth player, I’ve always dug the specs. I hope my Braves beat the tar out of him every time he goes against ’em, but you never like to see classy and relatively young players flame out.

5 years 6 months ago

The Tigers ate just about all of his ’10 salary. The Marlins didn’t really give up much for him, and he’s had some success in the past. It’s hard not to like this deal for the Marlins.

5 years 6 months ago

its been andys last season for about 5 seasons now, get off the pot already!

5 years 6 months ago

He’s just following in the footsteps of his buddy Roger Clemens.

5 years 6 months ago

What does pot have to do with this?

5 years 6 months ago

Andy “Brett” Pettitte

5 years 6 months ago

Jim Hendry? A pleasant surprise? Blasphemy! Wait until the sabermetric faithful hear this! Actually, there’s been a few things Hendry has done that I like so far this year.
1) He didn’t go out and spend money and/or prospects on a mediocre relief pitcher. Relief pitching performance is so variable from year to year. Why not try a young arm who won’t cost you anything and may have as much chance at succeeding as some middle reliever off the scrap heap.
2) He recognized the need for bench help on an aging, increasingly injury-prone team. Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy were much needed additions. Nady may not be healthy in April, but by the time the long hot, humid Chicago summer comes along, he’ll be ready to fill in for Soriano and Fukudome.
3) He seems to have begun a phasing in of younger, cost-controlled talent. While they may not be the core of future teams, prospects like Esmailin Caridad and Tyler Colvin will be useful additions (in fact, I think Caridad will surprise this year) and more highly regarded prospects like Starlin Castro, Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson aren’t far behind.

It hasn’t been perfect. He paid too much for Grabow and probably too much for Nady, considering he’s relegated to pinch-hitting for one month but it hasn’t been bad considering the circumstances the Cubs were in. Now admittedly, some of those circumstances were created by Hendry himself. But it’s impossible to know how much of the recent spending splurge was solely his idea or a mandate from the Trib corporation trying to quickly increase the value of a team it intended to sell at a huge profit. I’ve been critical of Hendry at times, but I’ll give him some credit for doing a decent job this offseason. Maybe he’ll fit better with this new ownership. If they plan to keep Hendry, I would like the Cubs hire a sabermetric foil to team with Hendry and Wilken’s heavy emphasis on old school scouting, just to cover all areas and provide a sort of crosscheck when evaluating talent.

5 years 6 months ago

“Jim Hendry? A pleasant surprise?”

Remember, this could solely mean “they arent nearly as brain-dead as you would expect them to be.”

As far as your likes:
“1) He didn’t go out and spend money and/or prospects on a mediocre relief pitcher.”

Unfortunately, with the injury to possibly the single most important arm in our pen (Guzman), we now need another reliever though. We are sitting with Mediocre-at-best Grabow, Long-man Marshall, Inconsistent and unpredictable Marmol and then 4 kids. Its a recipe for disaster – especially considering Shark and Berg have the lack of control that plagues our system

“2) He recognized the need for bench help on an aging, increasingly injury-prone team.”

This is true, but I do not share the same warm fuzzy feeling about Nady as you. If he was still injured to the point he cant play the field, how did he pass our physical in the first place in orrder to land a 3.3MM deal with 2 million in incentives for “games played” (not “started” or “innings played” or “PA” – just something along the lines of the stupid “75 Games played” that Bradley had I fear)

“3) He seems to have begun a phasing in of younger, cost-controlled talent.”

This was mainly forced by his previously putting his back against the salary cap wall.

5 years 6 months ago

Well…it’s spring and I’m feeling optimistic! It’s not a bad offseason by recent standards (which I admit were very low)…but I think the Trib had at least something to do with the gluttonous spending spree. Besides, the NL Central is always winnable by 3-4 teams every year. The Cubs weren’t world beaters but they did enough to give themselves a chance.

You know me by now…”Always look on the bright side of life! Do do, do do do do do do…”

5 years 6 months ago

“The Cubs weren’t world beaters but they did enough to give themselves a chance.”

But we had a better club then :(

Anyway, really replied because of this though
“but I think the Trib had at least something to do with the gluttonous spending spree.”

Why? They didnt under MacPhail. The free-spending started almost as soon as Hendry took over and has seemingly slowed mainly because he has his back completely against the wall eliminating the possibility of continuing. Plus, we all feel the Ricketts were looking over the shoulder on future commitments. Calling it a Tribune thing is really rather random in my mind.

But the contracts to Grabow and Nady shows the same Hendry mentality as before, while the contract to Byrd shares many similarities to those in the past. That is, too long of a contract to a 32 year old career bench player off peaks seasons in a hitters-dream of a park for him to play a position he has never played full time. Oh, and a higher overall commitment (relative to market) then you would expect when we were the only team negotiating with him in the first place!

5 years 6 months ago

The Trib actually didn’t allow for a big budget until they were ready to sell the team and, suddenly, with John McDonough leading the charge, opened up their wallet, hoping that they could quickly add value by creating an instant contender and packed houses. Remember that prior to that spending spree, the Cubs attendance declined late in 2006. Rumor has it that the fiscally conservative McPhail was fired for sticking to his principles and refusing to partake in the Cubs spending orgy of 2006-2007. McPhail was established and well-respected. He knew he could easily find another job, which of course, he did. Hendry, on the other hand, took the full control as GM and did what the Trib asked. I think it was part, “Hey this is my big break” and part being a good soldier. None of this can be proven, of course, but it’s plausible. It wouldn’t be the first time, a big corporation engaged in a reckless policy, made big cash and walked away relatively unscathed and unblamed for the aftermath. I’m not saying Hendry is just an innocent pawn, even with a tight budget he managed to find a way to overpay on Grabow and, to a lesser extent, Nady, but I’m also not laying all the blame on him for spending wildly for those years. I honestly think we won’t see that again anytime soon, whether we retain Hendry or not.

5 years 6 months ago

Has Damon caught any Red Wings games yet?

5 years 6 months ago

The Reds make a couple of mid-season moves?

The only mid-season moves I see them making is trading Harang and Arroyo so as to save Ca$htellini some money and doing so because the team is, yet again, under .500 and NOT in contention for a Play Off spot.

5 years 6 months ago

And Brandon Phillips, let’s not forget him. With the Reds dead in July, he’s as good as gone … that is, if anyone can be tricked into paying him 11 million in 2011.

J. Alora
5 years 6 months ago

I hate this trend of prospects who are ready to be in the majors spending time at AAA to delay their service time. Financially it’s a smart thing to do, but baseball shouldn’t be about that. It should be about putting your best team on the field. They need to get rid of the slave labor aspect of baseball and force teams to pay young players what they’re worth from the start.

5 years 6 months ago

The reality is that delaying a prospect a few months will generally have ZERO impact on teams ability to compete.

Take a great rookie – we’ll use Tommy Hanson as an example. He plays 1/3rd of the season in AAA and the other 2/3rds in the bigs. He is dominant when he comes up. Does far better than 99% of rookies. His WAR for the season is 2.6. Over a full season maybe he gets to 4. Now, for that time he spent in the minors, had he come up and performed at the same level (which is not likely), he would have meant maybe 1.5 additional wins over a replacement player. The Braves won 86 games last year – maybe with Hanson they win 88. Even in that scenario, really the absolute best case scenario, you have no impact on the Braves chances of getting into the post-season. They fall 4 games shy of being a wild-card team.

So, while their 2009 prospects weren’t altered, delaying Hanson’s call up has HUGE impacts on the team’s future. Assuming Hanson is as great as everyone says he will be, that extra meaningless 1.5 wins in 2009 could translate into $8-10m in cost savings.

In a vacuum, yes, you want to field the best team possible. However, in the real world you have to focus on the present and the future. Financial considerations are a major part of the game.

As for younger players getting paid what they are worth – I’m with you on that. Let’s not stop there though – all players should get paid what they’re worth. The problem is the players though – not the owners. When the Players Union agree upon non-guaranteed contracts and promote contracts that are entirely based on performance incentives I will be a happy camper. I don’t think you will be though. My guess is that you want all players to maximize their earnings while at the same time assuming no risk. Make the rich owners hold the bag when a player underperforms or gets injured. Not me – play and you get paid would be my motto. I have no problem with Pujols earning $35m/year so long as the Angels don’t have to pay GMJ the remaining $22m on his dog of a contract.

5 years 6 months ago

It isn’t nearly that simple. Maybe Hanson would only provide 1.5 wins on his own, but just a slightly better performance over a replacement player in a few games could net several more wins. Although I agree that it is the smart move to keep players down and delay their clocks.

5 years 6 months ago

What they need to do is correct the completely backwards arbitration process which has players who would be lucky to get 1-2MM making as much as 5-6. If the arbitration system wasnt broken then there wouldnt be nearly as many of these cases. But “cost controlled” has now become “ballooning cost”, resulting in teams doing what they can to lessen it a little bit.

5 years 6 months ago

nat e. roberts on