West Notes: Upton, Colon, Bloomquist, Billingsley

Colorado is the epicenter of scouting activity this afternoon as Cole Hamels starts against the Rockies. The Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers are scouting the Phillie left-hander, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (Twitter links). The Tigers are on hand taking a look at Marco Scutaro, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of Root Sports.  Here's the rest of the news from the AL and NL West with the most recent up top:


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39 Comments on "West Notes: Upton, Colon, Bloomquist, Billingsley"


johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

Bloomquist has been one of my favorite utility guys for years. Plays every position, everyone gripes about him, signs cheaply.. yet is ALWAYS in demand at the deadline…

i wish Boston would for once get this guy, rather than the typical Cora, Punto type rubbish they go out and waste money on…

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

they are defensive specialists brought in to save runs, not produce them. bloomquist is a butcher who doesn’t save or produce; he just fills in all over the place

this observation has no predictive value, but both punto and bloomquist have about 900 games under their belts. splitting the difference between fWAR and rWAR, the tally is 12 wins to 1

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

” he just fills in all over the place”

That is a very important job and saves roster space.

I wouldn’t exactly call Bloomquist a butcher tho.. he is not a GG by any means, but there is a major use on any NL team for someone who plays fair defense in the IF and well below in the OF in emergency and can steal bases. Not to mention isn’t 1 dimensional at just defense and being way over paid like Punto is and Cora was.

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

he doesn’t play any positions that punto can’t – and you’re overstating the value of OF/IF versatility anyway. there is going to be an extra outfielder regardless of whether the utility infielder can stand out there as well

given that neither one can hit, it’s much better to have a utility infielder who can actually save runs and work the count a bit when he does have to bat

Whole_New_World
3 years 1 month ago

Having a guy who can play INF/OF does have value in flexibility. You can short the bench and add an arm to the bullpen more easily. Not discounting the value of a good defensive infielder. But Bloomquist’s play has more or less paved the way for a painless (from the fan’s point-of-view) parting with Drew.

And Bloomquists .293 average isn’t awful. Not overselling a guy with an OPS+ of 89. But, you could do worse with a versatile bench guy.

davbee
3 years 1 month ago

Nick Punto 75 career OPS+
Alex Cora 72 career OPS+
Willie Bloomquist 77 career OPS+

All three are rubbish, it’s just that Bloomquist is the neighbor’s trash that somehow looks better to you from across the fence.

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 Bloomquist can play 7 positions and runs very well. Cora SS/2b (no arm for 3b, but could field it) and Punto 3b/ss/2b.

Bloomquist is a superior version of what Alfredo Amezaga was for the Fish a few seasons ago before he suffered those micro fractures in his leg and has never recovered. The versatility of being able to play every position and P/R when needed. Bill Hall for instance can “stand” at every position, but is useless at them and strikes out one third of his AB’s. There is a difference in a usefull player who can play everywhere and one who cannot.

davbee
3 years 1 month ago

 Yes, I will grant you that Willie Bloomquist is able to be well below average at many positions.

davbee
3 years 1 month ago

 BTW, Amezaga is a career 69 OPS+.  He is the worst of the four.

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 LOL. he could wave a towel and be a team cheerleader better than the rest :-)

On the marlins? his value went far above what he did on the field and fans of the Fish will tell you that from 06-08, then he suffered that terrible injury.

Colin Christopher
3 years 1 month ago

Exactly. Bloomquist’s glove has been worth -29 runs over his career, while Punto has saved 70 runs and Cora saved 26.

Man, that’s crazy. When I went to look up those numbers, I knew Punto was good but didn’t realize he’d been that good. He’s been 99 runs better than Bloomquist with his glove alone.

blagblag4488
3 years 1 month ago

I’ve always wondered: why do teams send scouts to the games?  Why not watch it on TV?

vtadave
3 years 1 month ago

There is a lot to see that isn’t seen on TV – how a guy prepares before the game, how he conducts himself if he struggles, body language, etc.

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 Which players will throw balls to the crowd during warmups, which guys hit the longest “blasts” during BP :-)

Yep.. Lots of things to watch early for sure..

Willy Mo Pena gets my vote for both of what I listed ^^^^^

Lunchbox45
3 years 1 month ago

scrappiness & heart cannot be measured on tv

cubs223425
3 years 1 month ago

They probably can talk to each other for intel on trades, get better angles on the action, and get to use their own equipment for clocking and such, which they probably trust more.

cubs223425
3 years 1 month ago

How is it that Bartolo Colon can be expected to bring back 1-2 decent prospects, while people dog Soriano, despite playing well and a wilingness to eat that contract?

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

not sure if that’s a sincere question, but the answer is mostly in the length of commitment. soriano is playing well so far this year, but he’s 36. even with the contract largely paid for, a team is stuck with him for his age 37 and 38 seasons when he has already proven that he can be worthless at ages 33-35

maybe that is worth trading a decent prospect for, but the argument against it is pretty reasonable

3 years 1 month ago

Colon is a 1/2 year commitment and Soriano has a very bad contract.  Colon = starting pitcher and Soraino = terrible defense liability.  That is the difference if Soriano could only play good defense many more teams would be lining up for him.  Instead he is a DH which most teams already have somebody there. 

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

soriano is an average defender in left. defense isn’t the problem

3 years 1 month ago

Average?  He is Jack Cust in the outfield.

vtadave
3 years 1 month ago

But the way he jumps for flyballs hit right to him is pretty entertaining.

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t think he’s done that for quite a while now.

3 years 1 month ago

his D has improved this year

melonis_rex
3 years 1 month ago

soriano isn’t good, but he’s not in the manny ramirez/adam dunn/jack cust/jonny gomes school of “left field defense.” not even close.

he’s not awesome in LF, but he’s not a defensive liability.

cubs223425
3 years 1 month ago

We’re talking about Soriano for MAYBE $5 million over 2 years. If you haven’t yet realized that the Cubs are offering to pay a LARGE amount of the contract, you’re missing a lot of news updates.

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

I’m not sure “a team is stuck with him” is a particularly good argument if the Cubs are absorbing the amount they are rumored to be willing to absorb.  If he really can’t play at a level of a couple million bucks, then just let him go.  Meanwhile, as you say, he’s playing well this year and there’s value in taking a shot at it for a contending team.  The risk is pretty minimal.

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

he’s just not that good. you take the last 4 seasons (3 seasons worth of games – which itself is a negative) and you’ve got an average hitter (102 wRC+) with average defense (+15 UZR, -35 DRS, -15 TZL)

if he only costs a few million, that has some value. but at 36-38 with a history of inconsistency, there isn’t a lot of reason for optimism. the risk might not be huge, but the potential reward is pretty modest

as i said originally, maybe that’s worth a prospect to somebody. but i can definitely understand why it wouldn’t be. average LFers aren’t so hard to find that anyone thinks they’ve got to jump at the chance to get a guy who isn’t even a sure bet to be one

cubs223425
3 years 1 month ago

You’re saying Soriano’s a liability based on his age-33-35 season? From his age-33 to age-36 season, Colon totaled 2.1 WAR. In Soriano’s age-33-35 season, his 4.4 WAR was MUCH better than Colon’s. Soriano’s on-pace for 3.8 WAR this season, if he hits the same 508 PA from 2011. Colon’s on-pace for 2.2 WAR if he reaches 2011’s 164 1/3 IP.

So, when teams are being told that the Cubs will pay a LARGE portion of Soriano’s contract, what logic is there in saying Sorian0’s AVERAGE play (about a 1.5 WAR average) from 2009-2011 is bad, while Colon’s HORRID play and health issues (never reaches 100 IP, averaged about 0.5 WAR per healthy season) from 2006-2010 is acceptable?

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

your question is answered in the post you’re responding to. yes, they both have show they can easily be worthless. but each player is committed to for different durations, which means each needs to counted on to not-be-worthless for very different periods of time in order for things to work out

the other factor is scarcity. quality starting pitching is much more scarce than are average left fielders

personally, i wouldn’t trade for either of them. i’m just answering the question you asked

cubs223425
3 years 1 month ago

That’s totally illogical. Soriano’s provided TWICE the value that Colon has over his age-33-35 season, compared to what Colon did from 33-36. On top of that, Soriano’s ALMOST at twice Colon’s WAR this season (2.5 to 1.4).

Soriano is a LF/DH, and I can pretty much say right now that there aren’t 10 full-time DHs outhiting him right now, so it’s irrelevant if pitching or hitting is more scarce when there’s a need for both. I mean, you say pitching is scarce, yet there’s a market with Greinke, Hamels, Garza, Dempster, Maholm (who isn’t THAT much worse than Colon when you consider his lack of a long injury record), maybe Marcum (not sure if he’ll be healthy in time to be traded), and maybe a few more arms as others fall out of contention.

There are maybe 3-4 full-time designated hitters who are hitting better than Soriano (Ortiz and Dunn, then arguably Butler and Doumit). The difference is that even if you want to believe that Soriano is an absolute defensive butcher (which is an overstatement–he’s solid, not great), he can field better than 3 of those guys easily (IDK how Doumit does in the OF).

So positional scarcity or not, there are definitely teams who could use Soriano, without question. There are probably more pitchers on the market than LF/DHs, but there are more teams in need of pitching (some with multiple rotation holes).

The thing that makes it different between Colon and Soriano is that Soriano’s arguably the best hitter REALLY on the market (I’m not 100% sold that Upton’s going to be out there unless a crazy offer comes in), while Colon’s MAYBE top-10 on the market for SPs. I’d say Garza, Hamels, Greinke, and Dempster are the obvious names that have more value. Then you have perhaps McCarthy, Lester (not that I believe he’s really out there either), Beckett (if the Red Sox don’t catch up), and so on.

notsureifsrs
3 years 1 month ago

soriano’s bat is average. you keep switching back & forth between [this year] and [the last few years] to hide from that fact

his wRC+ over the last few years (this is how projections are made) is 102. he’s exactly average offensively. not DH material. not at all

his defense, too, is average. UZR likes it, DRS hates it. TZL hates it. fans hate it. but we’ll call it average

so if he didn’t get any older, we could reasonably project an average overall left fielder. important to note: that is not a player in high demand in the first place

next, factor in contract. let’s assume the cubs pay almost all of it. that leaves a few million per year over 2.5 years. would anyone sign an average left fielder to that kind of contract as a free agent? probably not, but maybe

but then factor back in age. 36 this year, signed through age 38. definitely not getting a 2.5 year commitment as a free agent now

then factor in health. poor history

then factor in performance consistency. poor history

then factor in prospect cost

why are we doing this again?

look, i’m open to arguments against giving up a prospect for colon; i’ve said that twice. you don’t need to beat up on colon. but all colon has to do is perform for a couple of months and the deal is over. and because contending teams tend to be so much more desperate for pitching than for hitting, it’s easier for someone to rationalize that risk

cubs223425
3 years 1 month ago

I’m not switching between the two, I’m addressing both. Soriano AS A WHOLE has been about average over the past few season, yes. However, Colon was MUCH worse over that time.

What I’m getting at is that you say you’re open to arguments against giving up pieces for Colon, then tell me not to beat up on him. What’s the line between offering reasons (his health issues, his lack of production, his age, etc.) and beating him up? You said you’d listen to arguments, so what am I offering that ISN’T an argument against doing so?

And to offer another manner of defending Soriano: look at his BABIP. His three worst offense seasons (2005, 2009, and 2011, according to wRC+) were his three wrost seasons by BABIP as well. In the past 5 seasons, his below-average seasons by wRC+ have been his two bad BABIP seasons (2009 and 2011). When his BABIP has sat around his career average of .303 (2008, 2010, and 2012), his wRC+ has been above-average (wRC+ of 121, 133, and 117, respectively). So it’s not otally ridiculous to say that there was some bad luck. Everyone experiences it, but when he’s sitting around his average BABIP, he’s been pretty well above-average.

Ultimately, the point is this: Soriano’s been on of the most productive bats on the market. 36 or not, the numbers are there. He’s on his way to a season worth 3.5-4 wins. There’s an outside chance that he could stop that if he stays healthy for the full season. He’s looking good for about 140 games this season (on-pace for 148, but he might get added rest in the second half). Going to the AL as a DH will lessen the health risks if he’s not an everyday fielder. He’s averaged 129 games per season since joining the Cubs.

He’s doing a LOT right this season, and I’m trying to state that he deserves the recognition, and the Cubs deserve compensation if they trade him.

3 years 1 month ago

I’m not glad Bills is hurt but I am tired of seeing him pitch, finally he’ll be replaced!

Doug
3 years 1 month ago

I think the Dodgers could get Dempster AND Garza for a lesser prospect package….if they also take on Soriano and a big part of his ridiculous remaining salary.

jb226
3 years 1 month ago

Prior to this year I would have agreed with you, but unfortunately Jackson isn’t exactly forcing the Cubs to bring him up so we don’t need the outfield spot urgently.  Saving money is never a bad thing, but it only really helps if the Cubs plan on making a huge free agent splash 2-3 years before they actually plan to contend.

In other words, we don’t NEED to get rid of Soriano so I’m not sure getting rid of him and taking less in return is the right course.  The most important thing right now is maximizing the value of the trade chips the Cubs have and getting the best possible talent into the organization. If that is accomplished by keeping Soriano, or eating a huge chunk of his contract to move him, then so be it.

jed_hoyer
3 years 1 month ago

don’t get travel expenses,free hotel,food and drink watching the game on tv either.

BobOfArslan
3 years 1 month ago

If Bourjos isn’t “available”, somebody tell me please, what will the Angels do with Wells when he returns?

ugotrpk3113
3 years 1 month ago

If Bartolo Colon nets a good prospect, let alone 2, that team should be ashamed.