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October 12th, 2010 by

During last week’s chat with XX (which we covered in part here), Jed Hoyer said that payroll will start with a four, meaning we’ve got a range of $40 to $49 million*. This means that Hoyer, and Jeff Moorad depending on when he’ll start meddling, have some decisions to make about the Padres’ roster.

As of right now, the Padres have about $10 million locked up after Adrian Gonzalez’s option and all of the pre-arbitration eligible players. These are no-brainers, leaving decisions about the other thirteen or so roster spots on the 25.

The first three choices involve Chris Young, Jon Garland, and Yorvit Torrealba. As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the San Diego Padres will not be paying Chris Young $8.5 million in 2011. They might bring him back at far far less, but his option will not be picked up. As far as the other pitchers concerned, though he’s no All-Star, Garland is who he is: a pitcher who will give the team 200 innings and an above-average ERA. And with the premium this team seems to have put on chemistry, his veteran leadership and Been Thereness will likely come in handy. Six point seven five million dollars handy? I’ll say yes. Same goes with Torrealba. Three point five million dollars might be a bit much for a platoon catcher, especially given how deep this year’s free agent class is in backup catchers, but Torrealba has a rapport going with the team and the pitchers. Why change horses? This brings us to $20 million or so.

Now we come to the arbitration eligible guys. Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, and Ryan Ludwick are all on their third go, Mike Adams is on his second, and Tim Stauffer, Edward Mujica, and Anthony Junior are here for the first time. Immediately, I have to imagine that Hairston will be non-tendered. He’s just very replaceable, with Aaron Cunningham and Chris Denorfia more than capable of doing what he does. Then we have the first timers, who will probably not make much more than $3.5 million between them. Of the three, Mujica’s the most likely to play somewhere else next year, as it’s not a high price to pay for a starter (Stauffer) or a superb defender (Junior). Twenty three million. Adams will come back and I’m guessing he’ll get around $3.5 million himself, a little less than closer Heath Bell got at the same time. Let’s say twenty seven million, before Heath Bell and Ryan Ludwick are counted.

Hoyer’s already committed to bringing Ludwick back, and we’ve already commented that we agree with the decision. Even if Ludwick does end up a bust, $7.5 million, which I’m guessing he’ll get, is a fair price for someone with Ludwick’s potential. Think of it this way: who else can the Padres go get for that much money to hit twenty home runs and play above-average defense? Looking at the pickings, they look rather slim. Thirty five million.

Depending on what number the Padres payroll digits ends in, we’re looking at $5 to $15 million left in the piggy bank. And that also leaves us with a hole at second and question marks at short and center. Theoretically, the Padres could plug Everth Cabrera in at short and AJ in at center, but then we’d have to go back in time and pull Jeff Kent out of 2001 to get enough offense to be credible. And plutonium’s still expensive. They could go with Miguel Tejada at short, but he’s neither a good player anymore nor cheap. Hoyer’s going to have to get creative to fill these holes, especially if he plans on paying Heath Bell $8 million.

This is were I reassure everyone that Bell is a great player. He’s been worth two wins in three of his last four seasons, and this year he was the third most valuable closer in baseball, behind Carlos Marmol of the Cubs and Brian Wilson of the Giants. He’s the rightful successor to the Hoffy throne, but unfortunately he’s gotta go. At the price he’ll command, and that others such as Bobby Jenks and Jonathan Papelbon have commanded before him, he’ll become the highest paid player on the team next year and such a small market team can not afford to invest so much of its payroll into such a speciality position. Especially when Mike Adams can come in and do the job with little to no drop off. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Bell might bring back something good in return.

Michael Bourn. Franklin Gutierrez. Adam LaRoche. These are just a couple names of players who have been acquired for premium relief pitching. With a pitcher of Bell’s caliber, the Padres have the opportunity to build upon their 2010 success. It just seems that Bell’s more valuable on the open market than he is in a Padres uniform.


Posted in hot stove, players | 5 Comments »

What the Padres gave up: Corey Kluber and Nick Greenwood Edition

August 2nd, 2010 by

San Diego Padres ProspectsSunday, the Padres acquired Ryan Ludwick from the Cardinals. Let’s take a good luck at what the Padres gave up and why this, on the surface, seems like a great deal for the home team.

Corey Kluber goes to the Indians in the three-way deal and is without a doubt the better of the two prospects shipped away by the Friars, a Padres 4th round selection in 2007. His main weapon is a low 90’s fastball that is complimented by a slider and change. Over his minor league career he’s consistently proven himself able strike people out, boasting a robust k/9 of 9.5. His sustained ability to miss bats as he progresses up the system is a good sign for the Indians, and his 2010 k/9 with AA San Antonio of 10.0 is outstanding. In fact, Kluber leads the Texas League in strikeouts with 136 in only 122.2 innings.

This year has been the best of Kluber’s career, as he’s dropped his bb/9 to 2.9 and given up about a hit an inning. Throughout his career Kluber’s 4.29 ERA has somewhat betrayed his outstanding peripherals. The bottom line here is that Kluber misses bats, and has seemingly improved as he’s moved up the system. He has a chance to see time in Cleveland this year and projects to be a #4 or #5 starter in the majors. He’s a kid that would have been a good fit for Petco and would have probably contributed next year, but both Simon Castro and Cory Luebke are better prospects. For the Padres to hold on to both of their top pitching prospects was a pleasant surprise, and Padres fans should see this trade as a real boon.

Nick Greenwood is the player the Padres shipped to the Cardinals to complete the deal. Drafted in the 14th round last year, Greenwood is simply organizational depth. A pitchability type lefty, he shows an uninspiring 6.1 k/9 as a 22 year old in low A Fort Wayne, with a 4.15 ERA. Although he enjoyed a nice debut in Eugene last year, he seems just a throw in with little projection, at best he’ll be a middle reliever. His greatest traits are his control and his left handedness, that’ll be what keeps him moving through a system.

All in all, the Padres held onto their top pitching prospects and received an instant upgrade to their lineup in Ludwick. The Padres gave up only a fringe #4 or #5 starter in Corey Kluber and a player who was little more than organizational depth in Nick Greenwood. I love this move.

Posted in hot stove, the seminary | 2 Comments »

What the Padres gave up: Wynn Pelzer Edition

August 1st, 2010 by

San Diego Padres ProspectsMelvin’s note: Welcome Will Cunnane! Will joins The Sacrifice Bunt to cover the minor leagues from an informative and entertaining perspective. Glad to have you on board, Will!

The first rumors of the Padres having interest in acquiring Miguel Tejada almost exclusively mentioned two names going over to Baltimore in the swap: Simon Castro and Cory Luebke. Although Castro has underwhelmed a bit in San Antonio, seeing his K/9 dip from 10.1 in 2009 at Fort Wayne to 7.1 in 2010 with San Antonio, the rest of his numbers are right in line with his career averages, and at the age of 22 he is undeniably one of the best arms in the Padres system. Luebke, since returning from an oblique strain that had him on the DL to start the year, has done nothing but impressed in 2010, with a 2.44 ERA and a sterling .905 WHIP that has earned him a promotion from AA San Antonio to AAA Portland and could see him pitching for the Padres once the rosters are expanded in September. Considering Tejada’s steep decline from 2009 and diminishing value defensively (which Ray covered in great detail below), fans familiar with the Padres’ farm system balked at the idea of giving up either of the top two arms for an aging infielder. Thankfully, so did Jed Hoyer.

Wynn Pelzer was drafted by the Padres in the 9th round of the 2007 draft out of South Carolina. From the start the Padres brass touted Pelzer’s makeup and work ethic. He has a live arm, throwing a heavy fastball that can reach 95-97 and sits around 93-95. He is essentially a two pitch pitcher, throwing an above average slider as well. The combination of Pelzer’s strong makeup, live arm, and inability to develop a 3rd and 4th pitch have all pointed to Wynn making a move to the pen and having a good shot to close. Until this year he had been used almost exclusively as a starter, and after a strong debut season in Fort Wayne, Pelzer had an even more impressive year in Lake Elsinore. Pitching in the hitter friendly Cal League, Pelzer posted his highest K/9 (8.8) of his career, striking out 147 batters in 150.2 innings, had less hits than innings pitched (134 allowed), and most impressively only allowed 6 home runs on the season.

This season has seen Pelzer struggle mightily in AA with the San Antonio Missions. Beginning the year as a starter he has since been moved to the bullpen after allowing 56 walks and 8 HBPs in only 94.1 innings. Scouts have wondered if he can repeat his delivery and he is clearly struggling to do so this year. Throwing in a pitcher friendly environment Pelzer has seen his hr/9 sky rocket to 4.5, a shockingly high number considering that in no previous year had he allowed a hr/9 over 1. His strikeout to walk ratio also fell to 1.48, by far the lowest of his career. At age 24 he’s certainly not young for AA, and his struggles this year have shown, at the very least that he won’t be a starter.

Although Pelzer’s career numbers are strong enough to suggest that his recent struggles are somewhat of an aberration, he was an extremely expendable prospect for the Padres. On the same San Antonio Missions squad alone he was outperformed by several other relievers who have the potential to close. Brandon Gomes, Craig Italiano, and Evan Scribner all have saves for the Missions, and all boast better peripherals than Pelzer. This made Pelzer expendable for the Padres, although Pelzer might just have the most electric arm and upside out of the bunch.

To put it simply, this trade was a low risk move by both sides. Two players who became expandable for the organizations in which they were in were traded because they offered more value to their new teams. Since Pelzer moved exclusively to the bullpen only a month ago, he certainly could learn how to clean up his delivery, find the strike zone consistently, and more effectively utilize his two above average pitches. His makeup, work ethic, and live arm make him a strong candidate to close, but in a Padres system rich with young, controllable relief pitchers, the loss is negligible. All in all, the Padres gave up about what you’d expect for a 36 year old player with limited defensive ability and a declining bat. Pelzer could wind up thriving in his switch to the bullpen, but his struggle to find the plate consistently may always hamper his ability to be a successful closer.

Posted in hot stove, the seminary | 1 Comment »

Good Ludwick the rest of the season

July 31st, 2010 by

Remember how nonplussed I was with the Tejada trade? I couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a witty title. Now look at the title for this post. So witty. So plussed.

Earlier today, the Padres pulled the trigger on a trade for Ryan Ludwick, getting him away from the Cardinals in a three-way deal that also sent Jake Westbrook from Cleveland to St. Louis.

After flirting with Jayson Werth earlier in the week, the Padres may have made a better deal. While Ludwick doesn’t have Werth’s mighty beard (Werth doesn’t have it anymore either), he’s got the type of numbers that should make you excited.

Ludwick’s in the middle of another solid season, posting a 123 wRC+ with an 8.8 UZR. From 2007 (his breakout season) through 2009, he had a line of .280/.350/.512 while playing in the new Busch Stadium, which is not hitter-friendly. It’s no Petco* but there’s no reason to fear that Ludwick will collapse once he gets to San Diego.

Defensively, Ludwick is a great right fielder who will likely bump Will Venable over to left field. Since 2007, his defense’s been worth +15.7 runs (that’s with a little left and center sprinkled in. At right alone, he’s been worth +12 runs). While he doesn’t have the best range, which should be interesting moving to Petco’s humongous right field**, he’s got the kind of arm you want from the most storied position in Padres history.

While I would have loved for the Padres to acquire Jayson Werth, he would be a two month rental as Werth is a free agent at the end of the year. Ludwick isn’t. Ludwick is a player that we can pencil into the four hole for the next year and a half and watch as he offers Adrian the type of lineup protection that he’s never received in his career. If Adrian wanted the team to show him they’re serious about winning, then he got his wish.

But wait, it gets better! For everything I just spelled out, the Padres gave up nothing. Were you worried about having to part with Simon Castro or Corey Luebke to improve them team? Then you’ll be glad to hear that the Padres received Ludwick in exchange for Corey Kluber*** and Nick Greenwood. If you’re asking who those guys are, my point exactly. And we’ll tell you, just not right now****. Along with Kluber and Greenwood, the team also sent some money St. Louis’ way. That’s right, us broke-ass busters sent another team money. And Ludwick’s arbitration eligible and likely to become the highest paid player on the team next year. Anyone questioning whether or not Moorad’s going to open up his pocketbook can stop asking.

If you wanted proof that the new regime is serious, here it is.

*Keep in mind that Petco makes hitters look bad, but it doesn’t make them actually bad. The Padres offense is currently ranked fourth in the NL when you take park factors into consideration, and I’d bet that you don’t believe me when I tell you that.

**Not to editorialize, but I wouldn’t be against the Padres putting Ludwick in left. With a starting trio of Ludwick-Gwynn-Venable, I’m not sure anything would fall in that outfield.

***With Luebke and Kluber, and the once rumored Corey Hart, this year’s been the Deadline of the Coreys for us.

****Coming soon!

Posted in hot stove, statistics | 2 Comments »

Padres acquire Miguel Tejada

July 30th, 2010 by

Let’s get this out of the way: Miguel Tejada is no longer the player you remember. In fact, he is no longer a good player.

This season, Tejada has been worth 0.1 wins, making him a slight upgrade over current awful Padres Everth Cabrera and Matt Stairs (-0.1 wins) and Oscar Salazar (-0.3), and assuming that he takes Everth’s shortstop job, Tejada will become the worst hitter on the team and it won’t be close (-10 runs). The next lowest position player is Salazar at -3.6. While all current Padres have Petco Park pulling their numbers down, Tejada has Camden Yards lifting his up. Yet he’s still only managed a wRC+ of 81. On the road, that number drops to 60.

But wait, it gets worse. Tejada will likely become our everyday shortstop, a position where he couldn’t find a job last offseason. In the 16,000+ innings he’s logged at short in his career, Tejada has been worth -30.2 runs on defense (-3.6 UZR/150) and from 2007-09, the last three seasons (almost 3,800 innings) he played at the position, he was worth -6.3 runs (-5.3 UZR/150). We don’t have enough information to draw any conclusions, but early returns on Tejada’s play at the hot corner have not been inspiring (-7.3 UZR/150 in 808 innings).

Sounds awful, right? Why would Hoyer make this trade? For starters, it didn’t cost a whole lot. While Wynn Pelzer, our contribution to this trade, was ranked seventh in our system by Baseball America before the season, his lack of control and modest projections make him a small loss. And despite his apparently fading abilities, Tejada has maintained his reputation as a great teammate, earning high praise from none other than Mark Loretta:

Loretta said Tejada was one of the best teammates he ever had.

“He’s just a fun guy to be around,” Loretta said. “He really pulled for his teammates, kind of one of those guys that people are drawn to. Funny, plays every day, plays hurt. He’s a gamer.”

I don’t think I need to tell you that no one, save for Bryan Cranston, has benefited from chemistry like these 2010 San Diego Padres and it sounds like it just got better.

Ultimately, this is an uninspiring-but-inoffensive trade. The team didn’t add the missing piece, but they didn’t just trade Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps either. Tejada hasn’t been a good player so far this season and while it’s possible that a jump into the fire could do him good, he’s still replacing a player worse than him even if it doesn’t.

If nothing else, Tejada makes this team that much easier to build on MVP 2005, so let’s call it a win.

Posted in hot stove, statistics | 5 Comments »

Help us (insert name here), you’re our only hope!: Episode III – Fall of the White Sox

June 7th, 2010 by

Previously on The Sac Bunt: We discussed the Padres meager offensive production and the various aging veterans who could come in and theoretically provide some punch.

At the time, the Padres were 13th in the NL and 23rd in the majors with a .312 wOBA. Today, our wOBA remains at .312, but it is now good for 14th in the NL and 25th in the majors. Now that’s consistency! At the time, I threw out Jermaine Dye and Andruw Jones, and later Pat Burrell, as players who might-or-might not be able to help. Burrell has since signed with the Giants and Dye seems to have fallen off the radar, so it’s Andruw Jones who has prompted the writing of this article.

Today, Buster Olney reported that the Chicago White Sox are officially open for business, looking to move the players that they can from their underachieving team. While they have some bench players that might be of interest to us, including Omar Vizquel, we’re focusing on Jones.

When I first brought him up, Jones had a .949 OPS and a .424 wOBA. Those numbers have since dropped to .823 and .363, respectively, after a rough May: .208/.301/.417/.718, .322. It should be noted that Jones’ May is better than entire season for Venable, Gwynn, and Blanks. Faint praise, I know, but notable. While Jones is still drawing his walks, but he’s not hitting the ball very hard, so it’s not out of line to think that he was the beneficiary of a hot start. Fortunately, what hasn’t changed is his contract.

Along with his $1 million worth of performance bonuses, Jones is still signed to the $500 thousand contract he was at the beginning of the year. Depending on who Kenny Williams asks for in return, Jones could be a low-risk/high-reward chance for the Padres to take. If Jones figures something out back in the NL, the Padres have an outfielder who can actually hit the ball and if not, they’re only on the hook for less than half a million dollars and (hopefully) a mid-level prospect with no real future in San Diego.

With the lack of any real optimism in our lineup, this could be the kind of a risk a team vastly exceeding everyone’s expectations should take. If nothing else, they can at least point to this and say that they tried, after they move Adrian and Bell for some prospects.

Posted in hot stove | 17 Comments »

Help us (insert name here), you’re our only hope!: Episode II – Attack of Pat Burrell

May 22nd, 2010 by

After Tampa Bay handed Pat Burrell his walking papers earlier this week, he became the latest aging slugger to be named as the new must have item for our San Diego Padres. Here are a couple of reasons why that would not be a good idea:

1. He can’t hit

This seems obvious enough. If you can’t hack it as a DH in the American League (obviously) in a neutral-to-slightly-pitcher’s park (.970 PF since 09), you’re probably not a good hitter. During his time in Tampa Bay, Pat’s bat was worth -0.8 wins, and that was with him playing a total of nine innings in the field. Speaking of which…

2. He can’t field

On his career, in almost 10,000 innings, Burrell has a UZR of -44.6 and a UZR/150 of -7.8. That’s not quite Jermaine Dye, not even close really, but it’s still bad. And who’s to say how he’ll handle playing in Petco. Or how he’ll handle playing the outfield after taking the last year and a half off.

There is the idea that despite all of this, we should take a waiver on Burrell because Why not? With Tampa Bay left footing the bill on the remainder of Burrell’s $16 million contract, he could be had for as little as $300 thousand. But would Burrell really sign for that little? More to the point, would Burrell sign for that little to play on the Padres, in a ballpark that will almost assuredly torpedo the little value he has left going into free agency?

Now, in reasons why he might be a good idea, It should be noted that it’s not unusual for a player to just be unable to make things work going from one league to the next. Edgar Renteria was an All-Star for the Cardinals before signing and failing with the Red Sox*. The next year, he was back in the NL, in Atlanta, back to his old ways. Two years after that, he was traded back to the AL, to Detroit, where the wheels fell back off. These things happen, and it’s possible that Burrell is just an NL-kinda guy.

Also, Burrell doesn’t have to start to be of use to this team. Age (or whatever it is) has caught up with Matt Stairs and fast, so the Padres could find themselves in the market for a new aging slugger who can come off the bench and hit the ball over the fence. Last season, Jason Giambi’s reunion with the Oakland A’s was cut short, leading him to sign with Colorado on a minor league deal. He rewarded the Rockies with a 162 OPS+. If Burrell was willing to do something like this, especially the minor league contract part, what could it hurt to check him out?

*It should be noted that Renteria’s reputation in St. Louis was blown out of proportion and his bad season in Boston wasn’t much worse than some of the ones he had in STL. But this is baseball, so Shhhhh.

Posted in hot stove | 1 Comment »

Help us (insert name here), you’re our only hope!

May 14th, 2010 by

With the Padres the proud owners of the best record in the NL (and tied for the second best in all of baseball), the tone of our story has changed. Where everyone had been wondering when the team would trade Adrian Gonzalezand Heath Bell, now people are beginning to wonder if we’ll be buyers instead.

Jed Hoyer started off the talk mentioning he’s not completely happy with the way the offense has been playing:

Frankly we’ve been fortunate to score as many runs as we have given some of the guys we’ve had struggling. The way our pitching staff has thrown has allowed us some patience. At some point our hitters will have to pick up our pitchers. We’re not going to continue to pitch at this rate all season. I think it’s unrealistic to think that.

The team, as of the writing of this article, ranks 23rd in the league in wOBA (13th in the NL) at .312. The team leader is Scott Hairston at .371, followed by backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba at .360, Adrian at an underachieving .359, and Chase Hadley at .349. Everyone else is well below average, with the most egregious offenders being sophomore slumping Kyle Blanks at .305, Evert Cabrera at .250, and Jerry Hairston at .234*.

To this point, the pitching (1st in ERA and xFIP) and defense (2nd in UZR) have led the way, but as Hoyer noted, we can’t just count on getting by with a below-average offense. So who are some candidates to come fix this thing?

TSB favorite Tim Sullivan starts us off throwing Carlos Lee, Jose Guillen, and Jermaine Dye’s names into the hat. Sullivan adds that the price tags hanging from Lee and Guillen might push them out of range. This leaves Dye, who’s become something of a boogeyman around baseball. Following a disappointing contract year (-0.4 WAR), Dye failed to find a job this past offseason. He received interest from a couple of teams (the Cubs and Milwaukee were mentioned) but its believed he’s priced himself out of different situations, which makes it all the more interesting that he’d be willing to come here:

“San Diego was one of the places Jermaine was excited about playing,” (Dye’s agent) Bob Bry said Tuesday. “He continues to work out every morning and hits most days and is still waiting for an opportunity with a team that has a chance to advance to the playoffs. San Diego, seemingly, would be a good fit.”


Dye’s bat could bring some added oomph to this lineup. Even last year, in a down season, Dye hit 27 home runs with a .344 wOBA. Unfortunately, he was also the worst defensive player in all of baseball. His UZR/150 was -26.4 and on his career, Dye is a -16.3 outfielder. This team definitely needs some offense, but what happens to our pitching and defense with Jermaine Dye roaming around the spacious confines of Petco Park?

Moving on.

Another aging former All-Star whose name is in the mix is Andruw Jones. You might remember him from the monster bombs he hit in Petco as a member of the Atlanta Braves. Or you might remember him from the monster bomb he was as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. With his/Jake Peavy’s Chicago White Sox off to a 14-20 start, Jones has made himself into a trade candidate with his .260/.360/.604 line. MLB Trade Rumors has made up a list of teams that might have interest, and said the following about ours:

The Padres have Kyle Blanks in left field, Tony Gwynn Jr. in center field, and Will Venable in right field. Of the three, only Blanks profiles as a top prospect, so the other two could be vulnerable to a Jones acquisition, should San Diego remain in the race.

I’m assuming they mean that AJ and Venable are vulnerable to losing their spot in the lineup to Jones, and not their spot on the roster. At $500K, Jones is a steal not a deal for the production he’s put up, but will it last? I dunno, but Fangraphs took a shot at figuring it out:

Why so pessimistic? Because at this exact point last season, 111 PA, Andruw’s production ceased. For those first 111 PA he hit .278/.405/.544, which amounts to a wOBA, .424, that is nearly identical to his mark this year. Yet from his 112th PA through his 331st, he produced very little. His triple slash sat at .183/.282/.419, a .320 wOBA. His only saving grace was power, as he hit 12 home runs and produced a .236 ISO during that span. Other than that, though, he showed few redeeming qualities.

Yet even if he avoids the drop-off he experienced last year, there’s almost no chance he continues at his current pace. Even during his prime years he never produced a .400 wOBA. His peak year came in 2000, when he produced a .390 mark. He came close, too, in 2005, when he hit 51 home runs and produced a .382 wOBA. He might be able to help a contending team, but it won’t be with the numbers he’s producing now.

Jones is a gamble, more so than Dye, because it’s hard to know who exactly we’ll be getting. While he’s slimmed down, this is still the guy who almost ate himself out of the league. He still has the power he’s ever had and if the stars align, he could be the big bopper to help Adrian see more fastballs, but that’s a big if.

As the season progresses, teams will start seeing their dreams of success slip away (but not us) and more and more players will start falling off the tree, leaving us with a better idea of what’s out there. It is only May afterall. Still, isn’t it nice talking about the stars we could trade for instead of the ones we could trade away?**

*Making matters worse, Hairston is fourth on the team in plate appearances. This jack of all trades is truly the master of none: he’s also contributed a -0.9 UZR.

**Buster Posey and Dustin Ackley are future stars, jes’ sayin’.

Posted in hot stove | 6 Comments »

What it takes to get along

March 22nd, 2010 by

Last month, when the Joe Mauer extension was simply an inevitability, I wrote about it and what it means for the Padres and Adrian Gonzalez.

The Twins got Mauer at 8-years $184 million, and that’s a steal not a deal, but there’s no way he’ll make less than 16% of their payroll anytime soon, which likely means they won’t win the World Series anytime soon. Despite this, it’s created an excitement for the Twins, Minnesota, and the game of baseball. While the Twins may not be raising any pennants in their new park anytime soon, they will be one of the few teams in the game who can say that they have an honest to goodness Mr. (insert team name here).

Even if you don’t think he’s quite a Mr., there’s no denying that Adrian Gonzalez is a special player and locking him up would ensure he wears the right hat into the Hall of Fame (you know, assuming). It would also put us beyond where Mauer puts the Twins, and it’s unlikely that Adrian would make less than 26% anytime soon.

You play to win the game, but is that the only reason?

Posted in hot stove, players | 9 Comments »

From his agent: Gonzalez wants Teixeira money

March 2nd, 2010 by

Via Tim Sullivan, skip to the middle of the article for the good stuff:

Boggs said his preliminary discussion with Padres General Manager Jed Hoyer was so superficial that “you couldn’t characterize it as a negotiation.” Boggs said Hoyer inquired as to Gonzalez’s expectations; that Boggs cited the eight-year, $180 million deal of New York Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira, and that that comment effectively ended Hoyer’s exploration.

Case closed right? Maybe not. Agent John Boggs goes on with an important follow up, buried at the bottom for some reason:

“You always shoot high and adjust to the marketplace,” John Boggs said. “Who knows what might happen? When Jeff (Moorad) was in Arizona, everyone thought the Diamondbacks had no money, and they signed (Troy) Glaus and Russ Ortiz.

Is Boggs taking a page out of the Scott Boras book by throwing out a crazy figure via the media to gain an upper hand in expectations? Or does Adrian Gonzalez actually expect 8 years and $180 million? Either way, it’s obvious what that means  for the Padres’ chances of keeping Adrian, and it should have been obvious before.

If I were in charge, I’d accept an offer as soon as I think it is the best the team will get, whenever that may be. They need to plan on contending around 2012, and any hesitation playing to win now means sacrificing talent during that run, when the stakes are so much higher. That would be a mistake.

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a poll. Lets have some fun.

How much service time (not necessarily which example) would you would you want from a player at the top of a package for Gonzalez?

  • Some service time (ex: Gordon Beckham) (52%, 17 Votes)
  • Ready now (ex: Fernando Martinez) (33%, 11 Votes)
  • 2+ Years away, (ex: Dustin Ackley, Casey Kelly) (15%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 33

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Posted in hot stove | 3 Comments »

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