A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hot Stove Round Up - Week #5


AUTHOR'S NOTE - I wrote the majority of this post on Saturday prior to the Dodgers signing Zack Greinke and I didn't want to re-write the entire thing.  I will delve into that signing next week.

With the Winter Meetings taking place last week I figured I would be talking today about where Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke will be playing in 2013.  Unfortunately, this year's edition of the Winter Meetings was possibly the most boring ever with neither big name choosing a destination nor any major trades going down.  I don't know why because that has historically been the reason for the Winter Meetings, but not this year.  It was just plain odd.  Even though the bigger names are still on the market, some things did occur last week and I will delve into a few of them right now.


RANGERS TRADE YOUNG TO PHILLIES


This trade is the most recent, but arguably contains the biggest name in longtime Ranger Michael Young.  After waiving his 10-5 no-trade rights, Young was traded to Philadelphia for reliever Josh Lindblom and pitching prospect Lisalverto Bonilla.

Young had spent 13 consecutive years with the Rangers and was the 6th longest serving "dean" as of the end of the 2012 season.  To say he had a bad 2012 would be a major understatement, because although he hit .277, he ranked in the bottom 10 of all players in WAR (whatever that's worth).  However in 2011, he was in the top 10 in AL MVP voting, so the verdict of this trade depend an awful lot on which version of Michael Young the Phillies get.

For their longest tenured player, the Rangers picked up reliever Josh Lindblom, who Philly acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino deadline deal.  On various sites, Bonilla was rated between the #12 and #17 prospect in the Phillies organization.  He had a really high strikeout rate and a really low ERA at AA in 2012, so he might turn into something in a year or two.

I think the Phillies win this deal especially if they get 2011 Michael Young.  Even if Young has lost a step, it only cost them two relievers to get a big bat and a starting third baseman.  So chalk one up for the Phils.


TWINS DEAL REVERE FOR WORLEY


Philadelphia was involved in the second most notable trade of the week as well acquiring center fielder Ben Revere (who just looks so happy) from the Twins for starter Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May.

Revere is the second center fielder traded by the Twins in a couple of weeks following Denard Span to the Nationals.  I have always liked Revere because he went to high school right up the road from me, so part of me hopes he does well in Philly.  The other part of me is pissed that the Rockies didn't get this return for Dexter Fowler.

Going to the Twins is starter Vance Worley.  Worley had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2012 after finishing 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011.  Trevor May was the top pitching prospect for the Phillies and the #69 prospect in the minor leagues.  He has awesome strikeout numbers in the minors, but also a high ERA so at this point he could go either way.

I gave the Phillies the win in the previous deal, but definitely not here.  Revere is an outstanding defensive outfielder and speedster, but has NO power with 0 home runs in his career thusfar.  I think the even deal was Worley OR May for Revere, with both the Twins win this trade in a landslide.


ROCKIES, ASTROS SWAP PITCHERS


The final notable trade of the Winter Meetings week involved my Rockies and the newest AL team, the Houston Astros.  The Astros traded their closer Wilton Lopez and a PTBNL to the Rockies for starter Alex White and low minor leaguer Alex Gillingham.

After the Astros traded everyone that fans had heard of in 2012, Wilton Lopez became their closer.  For the past three years his ERA has been below 3 with decent strikeout numbers.  I have not heard anything about the player to be named later other than it might end up becoming cash.

Alex White is best known as the #2 pitching prospect acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal.  For the past two seasons, White had been shuttling between the majors and AAA and wasn't very successful in either place.  Alex Gillingham was an 11th round pick in 2011 that I had honestly never heard of.  He was a starter in low A in 2012 with decent stats, but at 23 years old he was bit old for the level.

Normally I am a bit skittish when it comes to trading a starter for a reliever because a starter usually gives you 3 times the workload of a reliever.  In this case I think the Rockies did well in trading White because of the glut of starters vying for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation.  It could be a case of addition by subtraction.  For the Astros, White is still young enough to pull everything together as well.  This could be a win-win trade.


NOTABLE FREE AGENT SIGNINGS

Red Sox sign outfielder Shane Victorino  3yr/39mil

Red Sox sign catcher Mike Napoli  3yr/39mil

Nationals sign starter Dan Haren  1yr/13mil

Angels sign starter Joe Blanton   2yr/15mil

Diamondbacks sign starter Brandon McCarthy  2yr/15.5mil

Rays sign first baseman James Loney  1yr/2mil

Mariners sign outfielder Jason Bay  1yr/1mil



The Red Sox made arguably the biggest splash at the Winter Meetings by signing both Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino to identical multi-year deals.  Did the Red Sox wipe the slate clean in August just so they could overpay a new crop of free agents?  13 million a year seems a bit high for both Napoli and Victorino, but I have been wrong before.

The biggest winner so far in offseason seems to be starter Dan Haren.  He got his 15 million dollar option bought out by the Angels for 3 million dollars, then he signed with Washington for 13 million for a net gain of 1 million dollars to join a younger and better team.  Great signing for the Nats.

To replace Haren, the Angels signed Joe Blanton formerly of the Dodgers.  To say this is a step down in skill level is a bit of an understatement.  So far this offseason, the Angels rotation has lost Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, and potentially Zack Greinke and has brought in Blanton and Tommy Hanson.  I think we have a clear losing team of the off season so far.

The Diamondbacks added to their stacked rotation by signing former Athletic Brandon McCarthy.  McCarthy was involved in a scary incident in September when a comebacker hit him in the head and he suffered an epidural hemorrhage.  Arizona got him on the cheap and this has the potential be the best signing of the year.  It hurts me as a Rockies fan to think that Arizona got the bargain of the year, especially since I wanted McCarthy as a Rockie.

Finally, a pair of well-known names that have not been performing well at the major league level recently were signed to relatively small contracts.  The Rays got former Red Sox and Dodgers first baseman James Loney which could be a good fit for both him and the team.  Jason Bay was a very hot free agent three years ago...oh how the mighty have fallen.  I hope Bay turns it around in Seattle, because I always sort of liked him as a player and because it would the Mets look bad for releasing him. 


Thanx for reading.

1 comment:

Matt Perry said...

Signing Victorino for 13mil/yr I'm ok with. Napoli, I dunno.

Victorino was about the same price and same production (career wise) as Cody Ross, so it was pretty much an even swap.

Napoli was signed as 1st/catcher but my crystal ball is telling me he'll be at first 99.9% of the time. He just adds that "in an emergency" sort of depth at catcher. So, looking at him as merely a qusi-productive first baseman, we overpaid. I really really hope I'm wrong and Fenway is kind to his bat.