Olney’s Latest: Sabean, Dunn, Red Sox

ESPN.com's Buster Olney has a new Insider-only blog entry up, so let's dive in and take a look at the highlights….

  • One American League general manager says that many of the trades we see this July will look like the Bengie Molina deal, in which the Giants picked up the remaining cost of Molina's salary. "There's going to be a lot of salary relief," the GM predicted.
  • Expanding on a point from an earlier column, Olney writes that rival general managers consider Brian Sabean the most difficult GM to trade with simply because they can't get him on the phone. According to Olney, many GMs contact assistant Bobby Evans rather than Sabean, since the Giants GM doesn't return calls.
  • Sometime this month, the Nationals will have to decide whether to trade Adam Dunn or to fully commit to locking him up with an extension. Olney speculates that four years for about $48MM would get it done.
  • Replying to a Nick Cafardo piece for the Boston Globe in which Theo Epstein addresses how the Red Sox will replace Dustin Pedroia, Olney says Mike Aviles, Mike Fontenot, or Ty Wigginton might be good fits for the Sox. If Epstein makes a move, he'll be looking for a player who will have value elsewhere on the field when Pedroia returns to second base.


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26 Comments on "Olney’s Latest: Sabean, Dunn, Red Sox"


aap212
5 years 2 months ago

But if Sabean answers his phone, someone might offer him a player with home run power. And then he would get cooties.

5 years 1 month ago

^ hysterical

Jason_F
5 years 2 months ago

It’s too bad that one of the only calls he did answer was Aaron Rowand’s agent on the other line a few years back…

In all seriousness, wtf? That’s not a very good way to build rapport in the GM community.

BravesRed
5 years 2 months ago

What about Zito’s agent?

Jason_F
5 years 2 months ago

I considered including him in the comment, but I spared him for two reasons:

1) Over his last 31 starts, he has tallied a 3.20 ERA and 7.03 K/9
2) Given the fact that Sabean offered him, what, $40M more than anyone else did, it is more likely that Sabean was the one placing the call to his agent.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 1 month ago

Number 1 still doesn’t justify the contract.

But I agree with number 2.

Jason_F
5 years 1 month ago

Of course it doesn’t, which is implied in #2. The worst part of that contract, and I’m flabbergasted every time I think about it, is the buyout after the 2013 season, which will essentially bring his 2013 salary up to $27M. Unbelievable…

5 years 1 month ago

What about Mark Derosa’s agent? Come to find out … he tried to phone and tell Sabean that he was looking for a 2 year deal because his client was injured. Obviously, he didn’t take the call and signed Derosa anyway. Huh, wonder why nobody else offered a 2 year deal? Weird.

5 years 1 month ago

What about Mark Derosa’s agent? Come to find out … he tried to phone and tell Sabean that he was looking for a 2 year deal because his client was injured. Obviously, he didn’t take the call and signed Derosa anyway. Huh, wonder why nobody else offered a 2 year deal? Weird.

jdub220
5 years 2 months ago

Is there anybody else showing messed up comments today?

ReverendBlack
5 years 2 months ago

I’m sure Theo, like every other GM, has Olney on speed dial for his amazing insight and trade ideas.

bobbybaseball
5 years 2 months ago

The problem with Fontenot is that, while he has plaed shortstop, he really can’t play shortstop. A utility infielder who can’t play SS means you need another utility infielder who can.

Guest
5 years 2 months ago

I wouldn’t give Dunn 4 Big Mac combos to lock him up.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Yeah, those guys who hit 300 home runs before turning 30 and draw walks by the bushel aren’t worth a happy meal.

Guest
5 years 1 month ago

I was being sarcastic, I guess you didn’t get it.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

There are too many people who would say it unsarcastically for me to tell.

rainyperez
5 years 1 month ago

“Hey Brian this is Doug Melvin from Milwaukee I would like to trade Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder for Aaron Rowand and his salary plus three wiffle ball bats. Please return my call within one hour and we’ll do the deal”

Two days later….

“Brian I was totally serious about the trade and I have given you two days to respond, but I regret to inform you the deals off.”

Yankees420
5 years 1 month ago

Committing 4 years and nearly 50MM to a soon-to-be 31 year old horrible fielding K machine is probably not the smartest move. Add to it that Dunn’s BB% is down this year, and that his AVG will probably normalize as soon as his BABIP drops from .341 closer to his career norm of .295, plus the Nats don’t have the ability to slot him in at DH during the last year of two of the deal.

johnsilver
5 years 1 month ago

Add all of that together and you come up with another “brilliant” off season signing by Omar Minaya that quickly turns into Pedro Martinez, Ollie Perez, Carlos Beltran and probably Jason Bay after another year.

Cyyoung
5 years 1 month ago

That bullpen could blow 18 saves in a row, and we should be worried about 2nd base. This man is not a good Baseball Reporter. Or what I meant is they could not protect the lead for 18 straight games, he’ll still be worried about 2nd base. This is the weak link to this team.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 1 month ago

If Adam Dunn agrees to 12 mill a year, he is by far one of the most charitable players out there. He’s going to want more, and teams will be willing to pay if. Nats better be ready to cough something like 4/60 up. Luckily for him, his defense at 1st base has improved enough that we won’t have to be completely brutal in w/e albatross of a contract he signs. Just partially brutal.

redsox4120
5 years 1 month ago

Wiggington doesn’t play second, catcher, or outfield and Fontenot can play second but the Sox already tried to get him before Eric Patterson. The only one that would work is Mike Aviles is one of the best players on the Royals(I’d put him third, with Dejesus and Grenkie ahead of him) so the Sox would probably think he’s “to expensive”. I think all the focus of the sox front office should be on bullpen help. The offense is there, it’s been there all year, the pen is what’s going to be their downfall.

Jason_F
5 years 1 month ago

Wigginton has started 35 games and played 290+ innings at second this season, more than any other position. Billy Butler and Joakim Soria disagree with where you rank them among Royals players. Aviles is making $429k this season and has three more years (maybe four?) of team control left. Even if he goes to arb next year, he won’t make much because he has very little time (or success, for that matter) at the major league level.

So, pretty much everything you mentioned in your post is incorrect. Oh, except for the Red Sox bullpen, they do indeed suck.

5 years 1 month ago

umm…Billy Butler is a hitting machine, hes the best guy on their team in my opinion.

redsox4120
5 years 1 month ago

Wiggington doesn’t play second, catcher, or outfield and Fontenot can play second but the Sox already tried to get him before Eric Patterson. The only one that would work is Mike Aviles is one of the best players on the Royals(I’d put him third, with Dejesus and Grenkie ahead of him) so the Sox would probably think he’s “to expensive”. I think all the focus of the sox front office should be on bullpen help. The offense is there, it’s been there all year, the pen is what’s going to be their downfall.

5 years 1 month ago

Weird, Brian Sabean is the worst GM for trades because he doesn’t answer phone calls.. And all this time I thought he actually did something productive (trading Bengie) when really it wasn’t even him..