July 31, 2003

Moving Day! By 4 pm EST, the MLB trade deadline will have come and gone. This, to me, is one of the most exciting days all season long. There are a lot of players rumored to be available and as I write this, a few deals have been unofficially announced on local Boston radio (Freddy Sanchez to PIT for Suppan and Brandon Lyon??) I'm so nervous, I can't stand it.

posted by jerseygirl to baseball at 01:39 PM - 29 comments

Lyon came back in the Suppan deal? Theo is making good trades. Suppan is nothing special but he didnt give up much. Meanwhile, Yankees get Boone and waste Claussen, their last good thing in the minors. All for an overacheiving mild upgrade. But ESPN is saying now that they might turn and send Ventura to LA for a reliever - that would be a bit better, depending on who it is. They were saying that a lefty reliever was coming with Boone but now he may not have. Yankees also talking about Reggie Sanders. For the love of god no... he sucks and is a "clubhouse cancer"... It's gonna be a dogfight in the AL East... down to the wire.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:55 PM on July 31, 2003

From Rob Neyer chat: The Giants traded Kurt Ainsworth and Damian Moss to the Orioles for Sidney Ponson. Seems like a great deal for the Giants, who are loaded with young pitching prospects, but can use a veteran like Ponson when October rolls around.

posted by corpse at 03:11 PM on July 31, 2003

yeah, great deal for the giants, though ponson won't sign. Ventura to LA for pitching? looks partly done.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:14 PM on July 31, 2003

Ponson trade - good one for Orioles too - Moss looks good, Ainsworth is a good add on for a club with holes everywhere and to be honest - Ponson's success is a little mystifying to me. Big guy, not a flameballer, not a lot of strikeouts for innings pitched - but he should do well at Pac Bell.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:25 PM on July 31, 2003

< telepathic message> J.P Riccardi, don't trade for J.D Drew, we need pitching, not another gawd damn outfielder. You can only put 9 hitters on the field, just so you know. < / telepathic message>

posted by therev at 03:38 PM on July 31, 2003

They were saying that a lefty reliever was coming with Boone but now he may not have. Gabe White is on his way.

posted by therev at 03:39 PM on July 31, 2003

Man, unless the Giants utterly and completely have Ponson locked up for a multi-year deal after the season, I think this is a terrible trade for them. Sure, they get some more help this year, but Ainsworth (assuming he heals, and he should) is a future top-5 hurler, and Moss should correct his propensity for issuing free passes within a year or two. Ponson, on the other hand, has been good, but he's not overpowering, and has a career record below .500. I understand wanting to win the World Series, but man.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:57 PM on July 31, 2003

Highway robbery. I still can't figure out how Pittsburgh agreed to this deal today... Boston got a steal. Last week, Lyon and [minor leaguer] Anastascio Martinez went to Pittsburgh for Sauerbeck and a minor leaguer. The Pittsburgh medical team detected minor amount of tearing around Lyon's elbow. Squabbling ensued and Boston and Pittsburgh have been trying to work out the problem... In today's transaction... Boston took back Lyon and Martinez and gave up minor leaguer Freddie Sanchez. Pittsburgh took back the minor leaguer they gave up for Sauerbeck and gave Boston Suppan. For those playing along at home, when the dust settles from those two trades, Boston gave up minor leaguer Freddie Sanchez and got Suppan and Sauerbeck.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:01 PM on July 31, 2003

Freddie Sanchez is a pretty good prospect, and Sauerbeck is a pretty average reliever. Suppan is also at his maximum value right now, but is a 5.00 E.R.A guy who can eat some average innings. I don't see it as that much of a steal.

posted by therev at 04:06 PM on July 31, 2003

Sanchez is almost 26 years old.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:12 PM on July 31, 2003

Jose Guillen proved this year that sometimes players just need a chance to develop. An older, talented prospect is a pretty decent thing, in my books, and to get one in exchange for a couple of journeymen is not a bad deal. He'll actually get a chance to play in Pittsburgh too, whereas he only got a cup of coffee here and there with the Sox.

posted by therev at 04:18 PM on July 31, 2003

Okay, fair enough. I agree to an extent. Sanchez wasn't going to get any time at SS while Nomar was around, and he wasn't cutting it at 2B. I wasn't excited about getting rid of Sanchez because it kind of pushes the ownership's hand for signing Nomar for after 2004... But, I am really excited about these new additions to the team. The pen is shored up, the rotation is much better, plus we have... for the first time in a long time... depth all around. The offense is terrific up and down the lineup, and pitching is solid. it feels different this year. different than the "different" of previous years.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:28 PM on July 31, 2003

The Cardinals.......sit on their hands. Blah. JD Drew must have polaroids of TLR with some of those pets he's so passionate about.

posted by mbd1 at 04:40 PM on July 31, 2003

We were talking about Sanchez at work this morning (as in "How much will we miss him if he's traded?"). He's certainly a solid prospect and maybe he'll thrive in the NL, but I was a little leery after seeing him get a few hacks in the majors (and watching the odd PawSox game the last two years). He looked overmatched. The Jose Guillen Story is one case and it's not over yet; hitters who look overmatched in the majors at age 26 don't usually become All-Stars. I think Sanchez for Suppan and Saurbeck, besides being alliterative, is a solid deal. Seems like the Bucs could have gotten more for the two of them by trading to different teams: were the Yankees offering nothing at all for Saurbeck? Suppan never turned out to be "The Next Greg Maddux" as he was billed coming up through the Sox organization, but he beats the pants off of Ramiro Mendoza (in fact, I hope that's his first act upon entering the clubhouse) and also beats trading Trot Nixon for The Enigma of Freddy Sanchez in that 4-team trade Peter Gammons imagined in a fever dream and then reported on ESPN.

posted by yerfatma at 04:48 PM on July 31, 2003

The Mariners stood pat (as the radio jocks like to say, in honor of Pat Gillick) too, and they could have benefitted the most from one or two sharp deals. The Seattle natives are restless, but I have no problem with what the Mariners are doing. They're being fiscally responsible while fielding a competitive team. They have a strategy and they have some discipline, and they chose not to deal. Watch out for the A's, the Mariners might end up playing for a wild card when all is said and done. Here's something to consider...what is Ichiro worth on the free agent market? He is a true six tool player (I like to add in "good head" as an additional tool - seems to be a good compromise category between sabermetricians and traditionalists...). 15 million a year at least, I believe. But I also believe he'll stay in Seattle for less.

posted by vito90 at 12:40 AM on August 01, 2003

Oops - let me clarify this point. Ichiro can hit for power. Players on the Mariners concede that he is among the most prolific BP HR hitters on the team, and if he was willing to sacrafice some points on his BA (possibly as many as 30 to 40 points, putting him around .300) then he would hit 30 to 40 HR's. I believe it. His talent is really incredible. I would have his children, if only God hadn't denied me a womb. You see it sometimes when he comes up in situations, late in the game, runners on in scoring position, when really driving the ball is key, he'll rip doubles and triples off the wall or hit it out.

posted by vito90 at 12:45 AM on August 01, 2003

Wade Boggs could hit home runs too. It wasn't his strength though (the one year he tried was his lowest BA with the Sox and possibly his worst year). If I paid for Ichiro (I think $15 million is probably the salary ceiling nowadays and I'd put Ichiro near but not at it), I wouldn't want to see him uppercutting trying to hit home runs. You'd be foolish to hit him anywhere but first in the lineup (even though lineups don't matter &c.). He might be the fastest player I've ever seen in the bigs. He's definitely the fastest who can actually get on base. Let him hit down on the ball, get to first, steal second, steal third and score on a SF. That's not too far from a home run.

posted by yerfatma at 08:57 AM on August 01, 2003

Well, at least we know where Ponson won't be signing next year. Good info here on the trade in the sidebar.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:20 AM on August 01, 2003

Yerfatma, you know who might have given little Ichiro for his money to first base? E.T., the most beloved player in Cardinal history. I have to add that the first link up there has one of the most amazing features I've ever seen. If you look at the career totals for a player, it also shows you where they rank in each category historically. Clinking the link will then take you to the place (within 50) where that player falls on the list. It's an easy way to instantly find out where a guy ranks with the greats. For example, we tend to think of Pete Rose as a good baserunner, a guy who always zipped from first to third on a single. But Rose, while he stole 198 bases in his career, was thrown out 149 times! That puts him 312th on the all-time stolen base list, but 17th on the all-time list for caught stealings (how do you pluralize that?!?). I can't imagine how many rallies he ran the Reds out of, and there were many years where he was caught more times than he was successful. I guess he was giving himself the green light, because I sure as hell wouldn't have been sending him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:43 AM on August 01, 2003

Yeah, I should have qualified my statement some more. My list of fast players who could hit would also include Willie Wilson, considering somewhere around half of those home runs are probably inside the park. Someone add an entry on all-time ITPHR leaders to this. Please mention Bill Buckner's in Fenway as well.

posted by yerfatma at 10:44 AM on August 01, 2003

He is a true six tool player (I like to add in "good head" as an additional tool I wish I had a six-tool girlfriend.... :) I disagree with you about "Stand Pat", vito90. While they've built a good team, that doesn't mean they can't get a little better without increasing payroll or killing the farm system (the theory supposedly being that the playoffs and WS is something of a crapshoot; just build a decent team and cross your fingers, since expensive trade deadline upgrades tend to have little value for the money). Gillick seems to be an off-season GM: he puts together a good team to start in April, but then apparently just stops working. The fact is, over the course of the season, injuries and just bad performances mean that the team you built in April is not going to be the one to carry you into, much less through, October. 2001 was the only season Gillick could say "don't touch a thing", for obvious reasons. But look at Theo Epstein in Boston: their much-maligned "closer-by-committee" wasn't a bad idea, it just didn't have the right personnel in April. He makes moves over the course of the year, and now the Beantown Boys have a very solid pen, one built for the stretch run as well as the playoffs.

posted by hincandenza at 07:25 AM on August 02, 2003

Sorry but Red Sox will not make the playoffs this season. Yankees will take the East and Mariners the wildcard. Their GM does seem like a very intelligent guy and may even one day break the Bambino Curse, but not this year.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:56 AM on August 02, 2003

Ventura, Henderson, Burnitz. Dan Evans are we playing baseball or canasta?

posted by lilnemo at 06:24 PM on August 02, 2003

Sorry but Red Sox will not make the playoffs this season. Don't you dislike baseball? Is Oakland your pick for the AL West, or is there no winner? Also, let's be very clear on this: The Curse of the Bambino is something made up to sell books for one sick, deranged individual. It would be as if art fans in Illinois spent a fair percentage of their time pimping the paintings of John Wayne Gacy.

posted by yerfatma at 08:24 PM on August 02, 2003

The jilted side of this Red Sox fan agrees with Billsaysthis, just because I've been burnt so many times before. It's August, it's time for the slide. The ever-optimistic side of this Red Sox fan is holding out hope. Offense is unbelievable (save for the last 4 games) and the bullpen is much much better. ...and both of this Red Sox fan thoroughly enjoys Yerfatma's firey hatred of Shank.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:34 PM on August 02, 2003

I don't like baseball much, it's true, but I do read the sports page and have for 35 years so I think, as long as I'm not just spouting off negativity in general commenting is fine. And yes, Oakland is my pick in the West. The new pitcher (Harding?) is on the verge of being a fourth Amigo especially given his latest performance where he didn't have the fastball working but was strong with other stuff. And the addition of a top outfielder might get Zito some run support like today's seven runs. I also don't believe in curses but this one about Ruth is just very amusing especially in the SpoFi setting. Plus, it is true that the team hasn't won a WS since the trade. And this year will be no different.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 AM on August 03, 2003

Ok, how about some reasoning behind the opinion?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:51 AM on August 03, 2003

jg, are you asking me? I just think the Yankees have too much pitching and are too deep on the field for any sustained slump that would allow them to be overtaken. There was a very interesting article in the Merc today on how pitching has changed in the last 20 or so years and complete games are now an anomaly rather than expected. I think the section on the Yankees, starting with the following quote, supports my thinking: "In today's game, protecting the starters, as well as the lead, is so important that teams might spend as lavishly on their bullpen as they do on their rotation. The New York Yankees understand the value, having put together a string of championships that hinged mightily on Rivera and an embarrassment of relieving riches." Theo Epstein no doubt made out the best in last week's trading activity but overall I don't see how the RS can beat out Seattle or Oakland for the WC or the Yanks in the East. Then again, I'm often wrong with predictions, otherwise I would have made a fortune at the Vegas sports books by now.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:42 PM on August 03, 2003

Yep. Just wondering what your thoughts behind the opinion were. Good link, too.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:54 PM on August 03, 2003

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