AL Notes: Millwood, Soria, A-Rod, Barton

MLBTR sends its condolences to the friends and family of Ernie Tyler, who passed away on Thursday night.  The long-time umpire attendant at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards worked 3819 consecutive games between Opening Day 1960 and July 27, 2007, only halting his streak when the Orioles' other iron man (Cal Ripken Jr.) invited Tyler to Cooperstown for Ripken's induction into the Hall of Fame.  Tyler, 86, is survived by his wife and 11 children.

Some news from the Junior Circuit…

  • The Yankees are still considering signing Kevin Millwood, tweets's Jon Heyman.  We heard about New York's interest in the right-hander last week, and recent rumors have linked him to Cleveland, though the Indians don't want to pay Millwood the $4-5MM he's seeking.
  • In a recent online chat with fans, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star said it is "unlikely bordering on inconceivable" that the Royals will look to move Joakim Soria at the trade deadline.  We heard earlier this winter that K.C. was firm on keeping Soria in the fold, despite interest from a few other clubs.
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron argues Andy MacPhail's recent statement that Alex Rodriguez's contract with the Rangers was "the worst signing in the history of baseball."  As Cameron notes, the problem wasn't Rodriguez, but rather the fact that the Rangers surrounded him with mediocre talent.
  • Is Daric Barton a better first baseman than Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira?  Citing wOBA, defense and contracts,'s Evan Brunell believes so.
  • John Tomase of the Boston Herald profiles Te Wera Bishop, who is trying to become the first New Zealand-born player in Major League history.  Bishop, 17, starred for New Zealand's national softball team before being signed to a $60K contract by the Red Sox.

68 Responses to AL Notes: Millwood, Soria, A-Rod, Barton Leave a Reply

  1. selw0nk 4 years ago

    I think Daric Barton is better than Ryan Howard, but not Mark Teixeira though.

    • RepOak 4 years ago

      According to bartons defensive numbers he is better. But because of popularity teixeira won the gold glove

    • nepp 4 years ago

      Here’s the thing…defense simply isnt that important at 1B…and Howard is actually pretty good at the parts of 1B defense that are important like scooping bad throws.

      There’s a reason that 1B is considered the least important defensive position by a good margin.

  2. Pete 4 years ago

    I’m absolutely convinced Barton will develop into the next Kevin Youkilis. Great defense, tons of walks, mostly only doubles power as a young player, but certain to develop the long ball swing by the time he’s 30. There’s no doubt in my mind Barton will be launching 20-30 HR by the time he’s 30 (He’s only going to be 25 in 2011). He’s really really great and will hopefully break Teixeiras illogical stranglehold on the gold glove next year (He wins because he hits, not because of his actual defense, which has been getting worse year by year).

    • not_brooks 4 years ago

      Tex over Barton was possibly the biggest Gold Glove gaffe in the history of the award. Well, I guess aside from the Franklin Gutierrez snub in 2009…

      Barton was just absolutely unbelievable as a defender. Bill James’ Fielding Bible had Barton saving 20 runs last season. Ike Davis was a distant second with 13 runs saved. I don’t have access to the full results, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every other AL first baseman cost his team at least three runs in 2010.

      • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

        Derek Jeter over just about anybody was a pretty big gaffe as well.

        • In the AL west every SS had better numbers than Jeter’s defense. It is sad how it comes down to a popularity contest.

          • MB923 4 years ago

            You do realize gold gloves are voted on by the coaches and managers, not writers. Maybe it’s time the writers do some interviewing of the coaches on why they pick players like Jeter to win it.

      • Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

        The Gold Glove is obsolete because players don’t take it seriously when voting. The trophies are just another door stopper.

        Tino Martinez should have won the GG 1B in 1997, but Palmerio won based on reputation. He only played 20 games at first that year.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        I respect the use, or at least the attempt, the UZR represents but their numbers for IF is wayyyyy to shakey for me to give them any real weight. They are SPOT ON when it applies to Jeter but for Cano and Tex, way off.

        Why do I think that? Because those two, Cano and Tex, rank at the top of every counting stat that goes into the formula. Cano, ranked @ #1 in just about ever defensive stat among all 2nd baseman in baseball. The one thing that they allegedly are poor at, range, is also the one thing highly dependent on human “eyeball” observation that is then used in some sort of formula. However, according to Bill James and just about every other person that matters, Tex historically, and Cano in 2011, were among the best at their positions.

        So, go ahead and swear by UZR but I think it’s kind of off how Bill James is often highly regarded withhis fielding bible but then dismissed when UZR disagrees.

        And if you compare the two findings, UZR vs BJ’s fielding bible, Cano and Tex are the two that scream “wtf”?

        And I’m not specifically directing this to you “xub”, just in general.

        • RidiculousPage 4 years ago

          Public fielding statistics are not nearly advanced to the point where anyone should be swearing by any of them. UZR, and UZR/150 (which I think is more effective) is supposed to give a general idea and point out major discrepancies, a la Derek Jeter. However, UZR isn’t advanced to the point where the difference between 3.0 UZR and 5.6 UZR, for example, means much at all.

    • Backup_Slider 4 years ago

      It’s difficult to imagine a guy who’s never hit more than 13 HR in any of his 7 professional seasons suddenly/gradually transforming into a consistent 20- to 30-HR guy. I’d be happy with the .270ish batting average and the .380ish on-base percentage (and the exceptional defense) rather than trying to make the guy into something’s he’s not just because he happens to play a position that’s typically manned by a slugger. My hunch is that if you try to make Barton into more of a longball threat, he’ll wind being a .230ish hitter with a .340ish on-base percentage and a similar slugging percentage as before, at which point it would be difficult to keep his glove in the everyday lineup.

      • nepp 4 years ago

        Jeff Bagwell was somewhat similar but he went from being a 15 HR guy to a 40 HR guy so its a bit different. I could see Barton becoming a 20ish HR guy with maybe 25ish in a career year. He’s pretty young so his power could still be developing. He’s good enough with his glove that he doesn’t need to hit 40 HRs to be valuable as a 1B.

  3. MB923 4 years ago

    Prior, Colon, Garcia, Jones, Milwood

    Apparently Cashman’s calendar says it’s 2002.

    • $1519287 4 years ago

      can we please move on from this tired joke that has been said a million times. Whenever a gm makes a minor-league deal which is no risk this comment comes up.

      Let’s move on, it isn’t funny. Either is player x is taking his talents to x.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        If you were a chick I would marry you MLBTRCM.

  4. Exposfan 4 years ago

    Barton is really underrated mainly because he plays at a power position and don’t have the numbers to compare himself to Howard (and he plays in Oakland stadium 81 times). His defense is incredible and he has a really good approach at the plate.

    Last year, he had more BB than K’s!! (110 vs 102) Howard had a -100 differencial.

    With Willingham, Matsui and maybe the emergence of Chris Carter, Barton will prove it’s worth this year in the A’s lineup

  5. TrueYankeeFanNYC 4 years ago

    Then Evan Brunell ate his Boston baked beans. Somebody tell him Barton doesn’t have close to the pop that Tex, Howard and Albert have. No ones even heard of Barton. 9 out of ten fans don’t even know this guy exists. Oh and don’t compare a two spot hitter to three spot and clean up hitters.

    • GiantsWSchamps2010 4 years ago

      I didn’t realize that you are supposed to judge how good a player is by how well known he is, and how does Daric Barton have anything to do with Boston?

      • TrueYankeeFanNYC 4 years ago

        Evan brunell writes a Boston blog hence he’s naturally a Yankee hater.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      Did a Red Sox fan steal your lunch money or something?

      • MB923 4 years ago

        Remember that old movie Milk Money? Kevin Youlkilis was in it, he was 14 years old, and stealing money from kids in the school in that movie

        • JohnPaulP 4 years ago

          Wow, I initially thought this was just a joke, but it was just obscure enough for me to go look up. Excellent.

          How long did you have this one lined up waiting for someone to reference the Red Sox and bullying for lunch money?

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Haha, didn’t have it lined up. I just actually remember hearing about this a few weeks ago. It’s on YouTube, when I saw him I’m like whoa haha.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          That’s freaking awesome!

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Did you see the clip. 1 brief 10 seconds clip or so with him- “Let me see the money”.

            Makes me wonder if Scott Boras was like that as a 14 year old.

  6. the reason the Rangers surrounded ARoids with “mediocre talent” (even though Blalock, Kinsler, and Young were all quite good at certain points with him, I digress) is that his salary constituted a large portion of the team’s payroll. Kind of hard to win when more than a quarter of your payroll is locked up in one player. One guy = 25%, 24 guys = 75% of payroll…

    • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

      Why don’t you read the article, that’s exactly the statement that Cameron is arguing against.

    • JoeSeadog 4 years ago

      Sort of sounds like you’re blaming Arod. Not his fault that the Rangers bid against themselves and overpaid him. Who refuses money?
      I am NOT an Arod fan and wish the Yanks had never re-signed him, but the steroid thing is long gone. When he was tested he KNEW he would test positive and we have to believe he stopped using them, figuring out that he never needed them. (umm – DUH!) His mammoth contract made him believe he had to be a superman. I’m not making excuses for him, but I do understand the human condition and he wanted free acceptance that fans would believe he was worth the money. Of course we all know no one is WORTH that money, or near any of the money the players make.
      Once 5 million began being tossed around as a good salary it should have leveled off there and then maybe we could get a decent ticket for a game for $20 or 30. Don’t forget that the same nitwit owner gave $63 million to Chan Ho Park the next year for 5 years. Park was 75-49 as a starter to that point in his 5 years as one. Decent numbers, but not deserving of that contract at that point in time.I think he’s only 50-50 since, so I guess he’s enjoyed the money. I don’t believe in salary caps but wonder if the commissioner couldn’t have an ethics panel to slap owners out of whatever haze they might be in, at times. We used it in Original Rules Rotisserie Baseball for “the betterment of the league” and it worked. The Rangers, with the talent they had and the talent coming up, deserved a much better fate at the time.

  7. GiantsWSchamps2010 4 years ago

    Daric Barton had 110 walks last year and only hit 10 Home Runs. So he got all of those walks because of how good his eye is and not because pitchers were scrared to pitch to him. That is pretty impressive. He’ll eventually get more agressive ahead in the count and hit more home runs, he is only 25.

  8. MB923 4 years ago

    Mediocre talent around A-Rod?

    In 2001 they had Pudge, Palmeiro, Catalanotto, Ruben Sierra

    2002- Again they had Pudge and Palmeiro, had Juan Gone, and Michael Young started developing

    2003- Tex, Juan Gone, Palmeiro, Michael Young, Hank Blalock

    I think they’ll want to re-think this, UNLESS they were referring to the pitching talent of the Rangers, but that has nothing to do with A-Rod

    There is no way A-Rod was surrounded by mediocre talent.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      Yeah I was going to rewrite the same thing I did a week ago and you covered it nicely. Arod was surrounded by what would easily be called HOF or HO Very Good talent offensively, plus they traded away even more talent (Hafner, Agonz, etc). What the writer should have narrowed the discussion down to was the fact that they failed to surround him with good pitching. They routinely had the “bash the opponent to death” mentality and when they did draft or spend money on pitching they made poor choices (see trading Danks and signing Chan Ho Park). If they had Ryan at the helm back then they probably would’ve had a better mix of power offense and good pitching. It’s quite obvious that the only time the Rangers became a serious contender was when they made better efforts to develop and acquire top pitching.

  9. There is NO WAY the royals trade Soria…none

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      So there’s no way, no way ever, that in the next year or two, a team that barely surpasses 65 wins over the last 6 or 7 years and is currently in rebuild mode, wouldn’t give serious consideration in trading their closer, the guy who only matters if his team has a lead in the 9th inning, if they were approached with an overwhelming offer?

      I’m not saying he’ll go to the Yankees (don’t need him right now), but if some team approaches them with a great offer then they better take it or that GM should be fired.

      Factor in the ETA of all their top prospects and the time it would take for them to graduate, acclamate, produce, gel and for the FO to acquire the missing pieces to truly be playoff contenders. How likely is it that will happen within the next 4 years? It would be an amazing job if it were done by 2013. In 2013 Soria would be 1 year away from FA and the only way the Royals could afford to keep him is if he’s willing to sign yet another very team friendly deal and by that time some of their younger players will be approaching their arbitration years as well.

      I can agree that a deal doesn’t have to be done in 2011, but if his value remains high and they are approached with a great haul they better grab it. Closers of Soria’s caliber are hard to find but you know what, lesser closers have won WS rings too (see Wilson, Lidge)

  10. slider32 4 years ago

    I’m sick of these sabermetric guys rating players. Howard and Tex are better baseball players than Barton. I don’t hear anyone talking about Barton whether its scouts, mlb network, or other players. Sabermetrics are a good tool, but I would only say 30% of the piture when you look at a player. The stats aren’t even 75% valid when it comes to rating fielders.

    • MB923 4 years ago

      Well for those who use UZR for defense (very fair to do of course), I hear it is unreliable to use for 1B. There was another stat I heard called TZL (Total Zone with Location) which can show other things although I’ll have to look into it more.

      For example, UZR, Mark Teixeira was about an average. Barton ranked 1st in UZR. TZL, Barton was ranked 1st in that also, who was 2nd? Mark Teixeira

      If interested in who was arguably the worst defensive 1B, that would be Ryan Howard. 2nd to last in UZR, dead last in TZL

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Just the fact that UZR’s 2010 #’s had Tex being just a tad bit better than Adam Dunn was enough for me to question their findings this year. Tex is easily a top 5 defender w/o question.

  11. HAHAHAHA….Daric Barton…who? Oh the A’s formerly of Philadelphia. Call me when this kid averages 50 homeruns and 140 rbi’s a season like Ryno does. NEXT!

    • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

      You obviously didn’t read the article. Do yourself a favour and read it.

    • Natinals 4 years ago

      Wake up and watch a team other than the Phillies Patricio, Barton’s flat out more valuable than your boy Ryno

      • MB923 4 years ago

        He probably also didn’t realize that Howard was the worst defensive first basemen in all of baseball last year. Last in UZR, Last in TZL

        • Its first friggin base, not shortstop. Who the hell cares about defense when you are comparing firstbasemen? Its a premium offensive position. If you have a great hitter that can defend then that is a bonus.

          • MB923 4 years ago

            So defense at 1B is unimportant?

          • Yes compared to every other position but left field it is unimportant. That is why the fatties and unathletic have been playing there since the days of the dinosaurs.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Having seen Giambi butcher many baseballs for a 4 or 5 seasons I would have to disagree. That being said, Howard needs to be an elite hitter inorder to make up for his defensive lapses. I’m talking 45-55 hrs and an OBP north of .370. That being said, if there were a position to “hide” a 30+ hr bat, it would be 1b and if given the choice between Howard and his power hitting ability and Barton and his OBP and defense I would probably lean towards Howard and I think Beane, considering the ballpark and his inability to find elite power of late, I think he would too.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          Actually, Konerko was the worst.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        You can say that Barton is a way better defender than Howard but there’s no way you can say that Barton is more valuable. If their salaries were equal and there was a one to one trade for each other then 99% of baseball would say the Phillies were robbed. Beane would do that deal in a heartbeat.

  12. JohnKruksWaistline 4 years ago

    “Tyler, 86, is survived by his wife and [ELEVEN!] children.”

    Yet we’re wasting our time talking about Barton v. Teixeira/Howard.

  13. nick1538 4 years ago

    In my opinion, the A-Rod contract was the worst in baseball history because of what it did for contracts going forward. Rodriguez could have taken a 7 year contract for 160-170 million (while still making 23+ million a year), but he got greedy and took 10 years, 252 million (the most lucrative in sports history). Now the big market teams are the only ones that can even keep a player like A-Rod, Pujols, etc.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      ” but he got greedy and took 10 years, 252 million”

      What planet do you live on? It was offered to him. If anyone is to blame then look at Hicks. It’s the agents job and the players desire to get the most money possible. If you were applying for your 1st “real” job and were willing to accept a salary of $100k and your perspective employer offered you $150k would you turn it down? I doubt it.

      Now that being said, Arod was a precedent setting contract, but blame the owners for these deals and not the player or his agent. If Hicks didn’t offer it then I don’t think anyone else would’ve have.

      • nick1538 4 years ago

        Ok, fair enough. I don’t think Arod is completely to blame and more of the blame can be placed on Hicks, but it is a shared blame between Hicks, the Agent and Arod. We also don’t know for sure if it was straight up offered, or if Arod and/or his agent pushed for that much. I can’t imagine why anyone would over pay, and to that extent, unless they needed to.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          It’s 0 blame for Arod and Boras. It’s their job to ask for as much as possible. Arod was a FA, and not a player they drafted, developed and invested in like AP and the Cardinals. Hicks could’ve walked away and not paid the asking price. It’s Hicks responsibility to be fiscally responsible and not Arod’s.

          • nick1538 4 years ago

            I don’t know why I even bother trying to have a dialogue with Yankee fans…

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Why? I can just as easily say that the Yanks owners were foolish to give Arod a 10 year extension let alone a raise. Even Cashman felt that way. I would NEVER blame a player for taking what’s offered to him. It’s not a moral issue at all.

            And even though it’s the Yankees, a team that has the ability to absorb a crazy contract, the deal DOES have a negative effect based on a) It’s relevance towards other players (see Jeter negotiations), their roster flexibility (having to pay a 40 yo $20 mil and not having a position other than DH to move him to) and possibly blocking better prospects from graduating to the mlb level (Laird possible @ 3B and Montero @ DH in 3 or 4 years if he can’t stick @ C).

          • nick1538 4 years ago

            Alright, that is a good dialogue. My original statement was aimed at the effect Arod’s contract had on teams overpaying for “star” players. If you look at the other players that have received large contracts (Vernon Wells, Barry Zito, Todd Helton, Alfonso Soriano) the team had to overpay to get them. Taking the “who to blame” part out of this dialogue, the contract was bad for baseball because it drove up the cost (and length) of contracts across the board.

          • Cosmo3 4 years ago

            Meant to hit Reply, not Like. I don’t like ARod or root for the Yankees, but YanksFan is 100% right here–how is ARod to blame for trying to get the highest salary possible for his services? Even if he were the one to push for more money and drove a hard bargain, that’s natural and you or I would do the same. The fact that he was successful in driving up the price to such a ludicrous level is what did the real damage in affecting player’s salaries in general, and the blame for that rests entirely on Hicks.

          • nepp 4 years ago

            Exactly. Its not Arod’s fault that Hicks drove the dumptruck of money up to him. Anyone would have taken it and anyone should take such a deal.

    • nepp 4 years ago

      You should go tell your boss that you want a 25% pay cut…I mean, otherwise, you’d be greedy for accepting your current salary. Nobody FORCED Hicks to massively outbid every other team. Only an idiot would turn it down.

  14. Good comparison Brunell. Now here’s mine:

    2005 ROY
    2006 NL MVP
    2008 WS Champion
    2009 NLCS MVP
    Top 10 in MVP voting every year of his career
    Top 30 in OPS in the history of baseball
    Bad defender


    2010 UZR Champ
    Hits like a 1980’s shortstop

    yeh, don’t really see the comparison.

    Barton is only valuable to a small market team with salary restraints. To the good teams in baseball (the ones that actually have fans that go to games and support their teams) his value would be much much smaller.

  15. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    And when I say better prospects I’m not saying that Laird or Montero are better than Arod just that Laird might be a better fit @ 3B in 2 or 3 years than Arod and Montero might be more of an offensive force in 3 or 4 years.

  16. Eh, I already like him better than Stark and co. At least he uses wOBA and UZR to make his arguments, instead of RBIs, HRs, and BA.

  17. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    (YFS78 looks overhead and wonders wtf?) ‘splain Lucy? Missed that joke.

    FTR: I would give Sarah a ring just to get the milk but I would leave her standing at the altar ala Levi J/Bristol (w/o getting her pregnant though).

  18. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    What, you must mean 3rd and Madison, as in a new condo right? Sorry, no one can Pull Hoes like Arod can. No room for another $30 mil 1B/3B on the Yanks.

  19. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Well yeah, take away his power and Howard gives you little. That’s as insightful as saying “take away Sarah Pailin’s looks and cute eyeglassed and she’s nothing”. But factoring in all of the above that each player has and I think a lot of teams will take the guy who can give you 40-50 hrs each year. Maybe a team, given the opportunity, would rather move Howard to DH and have Barton @ 1b, but for an NL team, Howard still delivers more +’s than -‘s, despite the lack of defense and the lower WAR rating, when he’s delivering 40-50 hrs and a .370 OBP which has been par for his career aside from 2010.

  20. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Oh ok.

  21. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Ok. Fair enough. I’m not anti-Barton but I still would take just about any guy that can hit 40-50 hrs and supply a decent combo of ba/obp and would happily stick him at 1B. As long as he can make the simple plays then I would be ok with that. I would say that Barton is a luxury to have on most teams. He would be fine on an offensive heavy team but not so much on a team that struggles to score. If he can up his avg and hit 18-20 hrs then he could be an all-star sort of Keith Hernandez with better OBP.

  22. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    That extra $30 mil pushes the Yanks payroll around $220 mil w/o a single upgrade to the pitching staff and with decisions needing to be made in the upcoming two years with Cano, Granderson and Swisher (extending them w/ a raise likely due or replacing them most likely via FA). Plus it basically means the end of any thought of Montero staying with the Yanks, which may or may not be an issue. The thought of Pujols, Cano, Tex and Arod in the same lineup sounds great from a video game standpoint but not when you think about 2016 when you’ve got 4 players making around $100 mil with an average age of around 35.

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