Edgar for the Hall

Edgar Martinez Drive runs along the south side of Safeco Field

Do the right thing: Edgar in 2010

ESPN editor David Shoenfield does us all the service of laying out the case for Edgar Martinez’s rightful place in the Hall of Fame:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4755544

Griffey’s race home from first in 1995 may have saved baseball in Seattle, but it was Edgar who lined the double down the third base line which sent him home.  While Griffey will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, it would be perhaps more fitting that Edgar be the first player elected to the Hall as a Seattle Mariner.

Do it.

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The Full Deal: The Doc For A Boatload Of Prospects

Everyone is focusing on the recent deal of Cliff Lee out, Halladay in, but keep in mind that the Phillies traded for General Lee in the ’09 season meaning that they have shipped out 7 prospects in return for Halladay, Ben Francisco, 3 prospects, and cash. Cliff Lee negates himself overall.

Additionally, keep in mind this concerning prospects. According to Baseball America’s Organizational Prospect Rankings of April 1st, 2009 (so, pre-trades) running from Texas at #1 to Houston at #30, the Phillies were #12, while the Mariners were #24.

Net IN:
Ben Francisco is a backup OF for the Phillies. Generally backup OFs tend to be defensive, but BenFran is a below average fielder and the Phillies starters were all above average last season. BF has good power, but he doesn’t hit for average and his OBP is neither great nor bad (in 3 PAs he will hop on board once). I would think this spot could be used to bleed in a prospect since Raul Ibanez is a year older.

Roy Halladay is basically the best pitcher over the past decade. Ok, you can make a case for Zack Grienke over the past couple years, but no one really comes close to Halladay for the full 2000’s (Santana has unfortunately fallen prey to the Mets syndrome – “I will regress”). He moved from the AL East where he was pretty damn good to the NL East where he could be pretty damn better.

$6,000,000 will get you Cliff Lee for 2009, the next two seasons of Pudge or Jason Kendall, or almost Oliver Perez for 2008. If the Phillies have set a cap for themselves for 2010 and Halladay is getting $20 million per year from 2011-13/14 then that makes and increase of $10.25. So they will either be raising that cap a bunch in 2011 or attempting to shed salary.

You may only take as much as you can compress into a baseball.

Tyson Gillies played all last year at high A and showed remarkable improvement in batting for average, getting on base, and speed. His power seems limited to doubles and triples (speed helps) and he plays OF (CF). In Baseball America’s Organization Top 10 Prospects for the Mariners from last year (update comes Jan. 22) he didn’t make the top 10 but was listed as Fastest Baserunner and Best Outfield Arm.

Phillipe Aumont is the gem for the Phillies in this trade. He split 2009 between high A and AA displaying great K rate but struggling slightly in AA. In Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects from early 2009 he is ranked #93. Unfortunately there are usually two or three other Mariners ranked ahead of him, but the Phillies weren’t able to wrangle those better choices. In the top 10 org. prospects he was #3, the top pitcher, and the Best Fastball. He can start, but is apparently being bred for bullpen duties. He is also 6’6″.

JC Ramirez, also known as Juan Ramirez, was the second best pitcher prospect in the Mariners org. and #5 prospect overall. He spent 2009 in high A with less than appealing numbers.

Overall: Halladay – Great, Cash – Whatever, 3 Prospects – Restocking system with 2 low-minors guys and 1 better guy who is a bullpen pitcher – Not Good.

Net OUT:
Carlos Carrasco (to Cle) hit BA’s Top 100 at #52. In their Jan 6, 2009 top 10 Phillies prospects he was #2 and had Best Fastball and Best Change-up. He has shown success at every level of minor ball and even made 5 starts for the Indians…going 0-4 with an 8.87 ERA and 2.28 WHIP. He’s not there yet, but is the best prospect out of the 10 involved in these trades.

Jason Knapp (to Cle) came in at #10 in Phillies org. rankings. He has had some troubles in his A ball adventures between Philly and Cleveland, but his K rates are great and his FIP (Fielder Independant Pitching) in comparison to ERA suggests less than decent defense at his back. He has had some shoulder issues.

Lou Marson (to Cle) hit #66 on BA’s top 100 and was #3 in the org. with Best Strike-Zone Discipline and Best Defensive Catcher to boot. He has seen limited time in the Majors (76 PA), but his OBP is usually better than average to Beane-desirable. There isn’t much power and his BA has zoomed all over the place in his minor’s life (.243 to .314). He would have been at best a backup on the Phillies or a starter for anyone signing Jason Kendall or Pudge. Cleveland already has a talented catching prospect so Marson will either enjoy the backup life or get traded again.

Jason Donald (to Cle) weighed in at #69 on BA’s top 100 and #4 in the Phillies org. He is an infielder (SS) who could hit for average before bottoming out at AAA or due to injury. He has also shown excellent plate discipline in the lower minors, but has less than average power (or average power for middle infield). His plate/injury troubles at AAA could just need time for him to play it out or he could just suck against better competition.

Travis D’Arnaud (to Tor) was the next best catching prospect for Philly. He was #7 in the older BA Philly org. rank and in the newer one he bounced up to #4 and took Lou Marson’s old Best Defensive Catcher status. He is young for a catcher and his offensive abilities have been fairly loopy in his few seasons of low minors. He did display a surge in power this past year.

Kyle Drabek (to Tor) is a name that I’ve heard in every trade rumor for the Phillies for some time now. He jumped from #5 to #2 in the org. ranks and held Best Curveball for both. Given some more time in the minors (at AAA) he should develop into quite a nice top-mid rotation pitcher.

Michael Taylor (to Tor to Oak) moved from #6 to #3 in Philly’s org. rankings and has been their Best Power Hitter for both of those rankings. He has displayed the ability to hit for power, average, OBP, and run. He unfortunately is missing out on great defensive ability, but would make a reasonable RF/LF. There is a good chance that he’ll see modest to significant time in the Bigs.

Overall: From the earlier Organization Top 10 Rankings the Phillies traded 7 of those. The other three were J.A. Happ (who will most likely not see the same level of success) and two OFs (Domonic Brown – #1 twice now (remember what I said about bleeding in new talent over Ben Francisco) and Zach Collier – dropped off second ranking). They traded away significant prospects, but some of them have enough question marks/injuries that this could still be a major steal.

Over-Overall:
Trading away large amounts of your farm system really sucks. Replenishing it with less than equal prospects is better than doing nothing but still kind of sucks. Look at it this way – 4 better ranked prospects from the #12 system were turned into 3 lower ranked prospects from the #24 system. Yes, Lee was in the final year of his contract and making $9 million would push the Phillies over some arbitrary cap limit they have, but look at the (better) alternative. Keep Lee (paired up with Halladay!) and when he walks get two great draft picks. Trade one of the less necessary starters…Blanton is due for a raise in arbitration and that would cut payroll slightly…for some of those prospects (not as great as a Lee haul, but better than nothing). Two draft picks plus 2-3 mid-grade prospects with upside seems like a better deal here. I respect wanting to keep a farm system stocked and payroll at reasonable levels, but at the same time, biting the bullet and putting yourself in prime position for a WS run (rematch) seems like a no-brainer.
Right now the only thing that went right is that the Phillies upgraded Cliff Lee into Roy Halladay and no team in the NL has made any significant enough moves yet to put them ahead of the Phillies.

Promos For Detroit Just Got Interesting

Jim Leyland with a phallus-shaped likeness of himself.

PR Man for the Detroit Tigers, Reggie Cornballs, addressed the possible record-breaking situation as calmly as he could. The concept of having an all-female audience, let alone sell-out, for an MLB game is practically unheard of. Yet, in lieu of their recent promo for a specific weekend game versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the mad rush of feminine fans doesn’t seem so surprising. And no, the single game surge has nothing to do with the athletic and/or hunky figures of the Tigers team nor does it have anything to do with purported rumors of manager Jim Leyland’s sexual prowess. When a team is forced to shed star players for payroll flexibility it creates a sudden loss of interest in the product that bounces out onto the field each day. That is what the Detroit Tigers were faced with until a major sporting news story broke out and plastered itself all across the world’s webs and papers.

Tiger Woods.

The golfer with the iron libido broke out with a bad case of bad news and home strife when a domino effect followed his car crash* outside his Florida house as random flings, mistresses, and other miscellany popped out of the woodwork to admit to their carnal relations with the master driver.
*Incidentally, this gave truth to the recent quip that “Most car crashes happen within 10 feet of your house…watch out for the golf club coming through the window.”

In what is lovingly being called Detroit Tiger’s Wood Day in the press, the Tigers have extended the opportunity for one free ticket for every woman (or man) who can prove they were involved intimately with golfing’s biggest sexual deviant. Slotted roughly (haha) for one of the weekend series games starting Friday, April 30th against the Angels, the team wasn’t expecting quite the rush in interest. Further looking to cash in on their involvement with the ‘Grrr (that’s Mr. Woods), a multitude of maidens have come forward for their piece of the Comerica pie.

Imagine this overflowing with estrogen.

As it stands there are 41,782 seats in the Tigers’ Park and with all the ladies the entire weekend could be sold out if it weren’t just a one game opportunity. “As far as we can tell a large percentage of them are telling the truth. I’d say about 1 in 20 is lying to get into a free game,” said Reggie Cornballs, “We have started seeking out season-ticket holders and offering them favors if they would relinquish their seats for one game if only to set a memorable record for all of sports.”

One such season-ticket holder, Finn “Barnacle” Barnstool, told us that he would be willing to do so if only he could “personally hand the tickets over to some fortunate wench who the Woodsman had porked.”

Chev’Ron Mimbleby, another season-ticket holder, is actually married to one of the conquests. “She and her friend are ballwashers at a local bowling alley and one night, during closing time, Tiger Woods was passing through from the hotel on the north side to the hotel on the south side of the building and just there he played a quick round. Most guys would be mad, but when you think about it I am banging a billionaire by proxy. It’s an honor and it’s kinda cool.”

Cornballs informed the media that the process of checking the accuracy of every affair story is a slow and arduous process, but the team is fortunate that they have some time before the gameday comes around. The members behind the affair verification process have begun constructing theories as to the development of Tiger’s special abilities, because, when you think about it, many thousands of affairs over the course of a life devoted to becoming the best golfer there is and was seems an impossible result, and yet it all appears to have happened. The hypothesis range from the simple and stupid of “He is a robot” to the absurdly Sci-Fi “He has a TARDIS…like the Doctor…Doctor Who…DOCTOR WHO…no, it’s nothing like that Abbott and Costello bit” to the metaphysical “He exists all around us” to the further-ly metaphysical “He is a metaphysical boner shagging everything all at once…aww, yeah.”

'Not tonight honey, my sonic screwdriver is tired.'

The special day is still being planned and the team is seriously considering going beyond the usual hoopla of most other promo days, but info of those plans is being held under wraps.

It should be noted that Elin Nordegren would also qualify for a free ticket, but that she had not, as of yet, requested a ticket. She was present at Comerica and we were able to ask her a few questions. “I have no plans to comment on that at this time,” the Swede replied, “I am keeping a closed door on personal matters and am spending time with family members that are not tiny ballers.” The former swimsuit model had to cut the chat short as Jim Leyland appeared and the two walked off, arm in arm.

In all honesty, why would you cheat on this? Sorry...HER. Let's not objectify women...TIGER.

It’s cock bashing time

So I’m posting, which means a few things. A) It will probably be thrown together quickly B) It certainly will be mindless and incoherent C) It will have a Phillies slant.  Lets go through this mongo mega trade and really depict it…and who I truly see as the biggest winners.

PHILLIES:

OUT: Cliff Lee (under contract for one year at 8 mil), Travis D’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek

IN: Roy Halladay (who immediately signs 3 year extension with vesting options for two more), Tyson Gillies, Phillipe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Six million bucks

BREAKDOWN:

I love Cliff Lee…really I do.  But he wasn’t resigning here.  Just wasn’t happening.  That dude wants CC-like money at CC like length (for you bastards playing at home…thats 20+ for 6 or more years).  It’s been rumored Amaro has had a boner the size of the Comcast Building for Halladay for quite some time…he finally found a way to get him.  Now, the Phillies do give up a boat in prospects (Taylor is a potential stud, Drabek as well….D’Arnaud has potential but is only single A), but the blow is softened by getting back very quality players as well (I investigated these boys…two pitchers with very plus stuff and an absolute SPEED demon who hit .341 in A+ ball last year).

People in Philly are shitting their pants over Roy Halladay.  We’ve heard he’s so good and blah blah blah…but lemme tell you something, this guy is the fucking titties.  You know how good Cole Hamels’ changeup can be? Like how it comes directly out of the same arm slot angle as his fastball that sits at 89 mph?  Well, imagine if Cole Hamels was 6’6″, 230 lbs, and instead of having one of those devastating pitches, he had 3.  Oh yeah, and have that fastball sit at 97mph instead of 88.  Oh yeah…he’s been pitching in the most offensive division in the most offensive era in baseball, and all the while shitting on everybody’s faces.  I can’t even describe how legit this guy is.  No bullshit, a sub 2.00 ERA is a serious possibility for him in the NL East.

This is a move that makes sense, but stings a bit for the Phils.  Gave up some real homegrown depth on the farm…but dudes like Halladay just DON’T become available.  Not only that…he really gave the Phillies a bit of a discount on his extension.  For an avg of 20 mil…thats a joke.  Comparable to other guys out there (CC, Santana) it truly is a deal.  To sweeten the pot, Phils also got six million bucks to offset Halladay’s salary this year.

In time I’ll break down further how the Phillies aren’t totally fucked for salary in the future as well.

SEATTLE:

IN: Cliff Lee, two draft picks in ’10, and in one year nothing but a dick in their hands

OUT: Phillipe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, JC Ramirez

People are blowing their loads over how fuckin rad of a deal this was for the Mariners.  Yeah…they got Cliff Lee.  Everybody in Philly knows how good he can be, and with The King at the top of the roto, they’re going to be a power to deal with in the AL West.  One problem:  THIS IS A MOVE A TEAM WITH A LEGIT SHOT TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES MAKES….AND THE MARINERS AIN’T THAT.

I’d bet dollars to donuts Cliff Lee is staring at a loaded revolver and a Mariners hat, deciding which fate is worse.  He’s going to a passionless fan base where he’ll post 17 wins, MAYBE a playoff appearance and then get paid.  THEY’RE GOING NOWHERE THIS YEAR PEOPLE.  At this time next year, the Mariners and their fan base are going to be looking around at no more Cliff Lee, the King posting another monster year and saying “Pay me”, and watching the Halo’s reload and overtake the AL West.  Enjoy this year Mariners fans, because if you don’t win the world series its going to be right back to Bavasi-esque doldrums.  Oh yeah…they emptied half their farm to get Cliff for one year.  Maybe the revolver is for the front office next October? Probably.

TORONTO:

IN: BALLER PROSPECTS

OUT: Roy Halladay, six mil

Boys and girls, I present to you a very shrewd team looking to stay competitive.  I tip my hat to the Jays…they got the man they REALLY wanted (Drabek, immediately the #1 pitcher in their farm), Travis d’Arnaud who has an awesome last name and very well could develop into a good major leaguer, and flip Michael Taylor to the A’s for a prospect named Brett Wallace.  For people who don’t know Brett Wallace let me break it down.  He’s kind of big framed/kinda pudgy, and is one of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues.  For you scoring at home, people with awkward bodies who can really swat=friggin’ awesome (ask John Kruk and Princess Fielder).  A lefty 1b/3b who has an ability to actually hit lefties rocks.  The only problem with Halladay leaving is the Jays have to sell to their fan base that they’re in rebuild mode, considering Roy Halladay truly was the face of the franchise.

OAKLAND:

IN: Michael Taylor

OUT: Brett Wallace

Nice little move for the A’s here, although as you can see I have a some serious love for Wallace.  Taylor has the tools to be the next Strawberry but is still a little raw—however unlike most super athletes in the minors he’s already a contact hitter trying to develop power.  Usually its the other way around.

Bottom Line for the best god damn team on the planet: Yeah, we did give up some better prospects than we got back.  But think like we just gave up a BMW 7-Series for a BMW 5-Series; we didn’t get slouches in return.  Adios Cliffy baby, Hello Doctor.  Yay baseball.

The All-Cut Team

The days of veteran players getting contracts because they’re veterans is over.  Teams are looking to fill roster spots with young, cheap talent.  Want more proof?  Look at this team constructed of players who were non-tendered last week:

Garrett Atkins

My oh my, how quickly we have fallen

C  John Buck
1B Ryan Garko
2B Kelly Johnson
3B Garret Atkins
SS (none; apparently SS is in short supply)
LF Johnny Gomes
CF Jeremy Reed
RF Ryan Church
DH Jack Cust
  
SP Chien-Ming Wang
SP Tim Redding
RP Jose Arredondo
RP Seth McClung
CL Matt Capps

How many of those players, just within the last few years, were hot commodities?  It’s a brave new world.

Ace Swap

Roy Halladay

Doc would be one of the 3 best pitchers in the NL

There will be more about this as details emerge, but a deal is in the works that would send Roy Halladay to Philly, Cliff Lee to Seattle, and a lot of prospects flying around like shrapnel.

It remains to be seen if the upgrade from Lee to Halladay (if one can even call it an upgrade) is worth the prospects Philly will give up.  My initial reaction is two-fold:

  1. If anyone can pull Cole Hamels’ head out of his ass, it’s Roy Halladay.
  2. I hope the Mariners are trading Brandon Morrow to somebody.  He is and will always remain for me not Tim Lincecum.

Best Trade Ever! LOL!1

….since that Zambrano-Kazmir sweetness…am I right?

Three Team Deal, from a year ago today:
Mets – J.J. Putz, Sean Green, Jeremy Reed all from Seattle.
Seattle – Ezequiel Carrera, Maikel Cleto, Mike Carp, Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, Jason Vargas from the Mets and Franklin Gutierrez from Cleveland.
Cleveland – Luis Valbuena from Seattle and Joe Smith from the Mets.

Cleveland didn’t receive all that much since Luis Valbuena, while having some power for a 2B/SS, can’t hit worth a damn nor is he all that impressive as a fielder and Joe Smith, while he improved on his so-so numbers, still doesn’t make up for trading Gutierrez (more on him in a bit). Smith may improve even more and turn out to be another Mets regret, but he probably won’t.

Seattle receives a handful of Mets minor leaguers including Jason Vargas who is one of those “He will be great one day, but that day never comes” kind of guys and Mike Carp who may actually have a decent future with the Mariners. Also from the Mets came Endy Chavez, which was really kind of disheartening since he was a great guy (and that catch!), but to be honest the Mets were too thick to give him enough playing time (Willie liked him). Aaron Heilman was the final jettison by the Mets and he was shortly flipped for Ronny Cedeno and Garret Olson of the Cubs. Then Cedeno was moved with a butt-load of minor leaguers and Jeff Clement (crap) for Ian Snell and Jack Wilson of the Pirates…so a win there for the M’s again (Mariners, not Mets). Finally, from Cleveland, someone had the boneheaded idea that including Franklin Gutierrez in the deal would just be the tits, man. And so Seattle obtained possibly the most underrated OF (def. best defensive OF, Fielding Bible – Winners) and, just wow, he even had a pretty decent year at the plate. Just imagining Chavez, Suzuki, and Gutierrez running and bouncing around out there like gas particles is insane.

Hi, I'm Franklin Gutierrez and I'm really freaking awesome. Just look at my hair!

Now the fun part. The Mets received Jeremy Reed, who was a “defensive 4th OF,” which essentially means the Mets got shafted because he was slightly good defensively, but he couldn’t swing his way out of a batters box…well, he could, but out is the key word here. Sean Green is a “He’s got great stuff ,but he just really really sucks” type of guys…and he spent his season with the Mets proving that (he could have been worse I guess, but we have other pitchers to do that). J.J. Putz appeared in 29 games before crapping out entirely meaning that the Mets paid him $6 million for a K/BB ratio of 1…yup. So for every K he got paid about $315,000. For each inning he pitches he received roughly $205,000. He allowed 29 hits in 29 1/3 innings. His ERA and WHIP were his career worsts and he just sucked so much. Instead of paying him $8.9 million to get injured again or suck more the Mets paid him $1 million to not be overpaid. The possibility of getting him back was still there, which I was open to since he can’t really suck for too long (right?), but that door just closed since he signed with the Chicago White Sox for one year at $3mil.

Trade Grades
Indians: Fail
Mets: Epic Fail
Mariners: A+

Ok, now I have to go read more about how the Mets are destined to sign Bengie “Suckface” Molina.