Padres bloggin' since 2007

The Twenty-Five Million Dollar Man

March 4th, 2012 by

In case you haven’t heard, and you are doing it wrong if you’re using us for breaking news, the Padres and Cameron Maybin agreed on a five-year extension worth $25 million and an option for a sixth year. For the first time since 2007, the Padres have locked up a young player and made jersey-purchasing decisions easy for the rest of us.

This is a great moment for Padre fans but there is a question that I can’t quite shake: Who exactly did the Padres just lock up? Literally, they locked up Cameron Keith Maybin from Asheville, North Carolina but that’s not what I meant and you know it.

Comparisons are a big part of extensions and word is that extension talk got off to a slow start with Hoyer because he wasn’t happy with the comps Maybin’s agent was making. With a new GM, and a new agent for Maybin, those problems seem to have been cleared up but it still cuts to the heart of the mystique of Maybin.

Two months ago, MLB Trade Rumors looked into Maybin themselves and threw out the names Franklin Gutierrez, Jose Tabata, and Denard Span as comparisons. All three are defensive-minded outfielders with varying degrees of power even if none of the three will ever take part in a Home Run Derby. The three of them averaged five years and $17.25 million, so why did the Padres give Maybin eight million more?

At 6’3″ and 220 pounds, Maybin wears a mean pair of jeans. It’s easy to look at him and see Mike Cameron, a premiere defensive center fielder and perennial 25/25 guy. And it’s easy to think that Maybin sees himself the same way. When he’s at the plate, he takes hacks, which is a big reason why he struck 125 times last year. His career 25.5% K/9 is just a bit above Cameron’s 24.1%. However, whenever Cameron did make contact, he hit the ball in the air. When Maybin does, he keeps it on the ground. Over the course of his career, Maybin’s hit the ball on the ground 406 times, or 54.5%. Since 2009, the only player to hit the ball on the ground half the time (and this is out of 31 players) to average more than 20 home runs is Hunter Pence. Among the other 30 names, we see a lot of players like Elvis Andrus and the aforementioned Span. And Maybin actually comes in at eight, right behind Juan Pierre.

Fortunately, Maybin is incredibly fast so hitting on the ball isn’t that bad of an idea. Last year, he was second only to Ichiro in infield hits with 30. Maybe Bud Black should take a fictional page out of Lou Brown’s book and assign Maybin twenty pushups for every ball he hits in the air. You know, if that’s what he wants.

This could all be a moot point. Maybin could come in this year and smash shot after shot off of the Western Metal building. Or he could continue to do what he do and chase fifty steals in the process. Either way sounds good to me, I just hope nobody minds if it’s the latter, particularly the ones signing the checks.

Posted in hot stove, players | 1 Comment »

The Sacrifice Cheat Sheet: We need to go deeper

November 12th, 2010 by

If you’re like me, you’re spending your days playing fantasy Jed and thinking about what the Padres can do to improve the team going into 2011. With holes at second, short, and in centerfield, there’s a lot of dreaming to go around and I’m here to help. I’ve picked out some available players (however loosely that term might apply) at these positions and checked what Bill James thinks they’ll do next year.

2B
AVG/OBP/SLG wRC+
David Eckstein .267/.330/.334 80
Jerry Hairston, Jr. .250/.311/.370 85
Orlando Hudson .276/.351/.396 108
Felipe Lopez .270/.344/.391 104
Juan Uribe .253/.307/.434 100

It doesn’t look good for the incumbents. Eckstein had something of a career year this season, as his WAR of 2.0 was his highest since he 2005. Offensively, he’s a hole but he’s made himself into a decent defensive second baseman, a position that can handle his poor arm strength. Hairston has a similar offensive ineptitude but while Eckstein’s made himself decent defensively, Hairston’s made himself good. His career UZR/150 of 6.1 ranks number one in this group.

Offensively, Hudson is the winner here, though Lopez might be close enough to be a better bargain (Hudson made $5M last year; Lopez made $1M). Hudson separates himself defensively, though. While James didn’t do defensive predictions, Hudson has a career UZR/150 of 2.2 and is generally well regarded. Lopez, on the other hand, has a career -1.0. The Padres did show an interest in Lopez after St. Louis cut him loose so if you’re Christopher Nolan and like a lot of realism in your dreams, he might be a guy to keep an eye on.

Here’s where I admit that I crammed Juan Uribe into this group because the number of 2B options out there is weaker than at SS. Whereas Eckstein’s arm can hide at second base, Uribe’s would go to waste playing so close to the first baseman. And, truth be told, he’s a good shortstop, so if we were to acquire Uribe, we’d have to get someone else pretty good to bump him to second. Someone like…

SS
AVG/OBP/SLG wRC+
Everth Cabrera .245/.329/.329 83
Miguel Tejada .279/.324/.415 100
Jason Bartlett .279/.345/.380 100
Orlando Cabrera .268/.316/.364 88
J.J. Hardy .263/.328/.425 107

Listing Everth is really nothing more than lip service. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t start (and end) the year in the minors. I want to believe in him, but he has made it hard.

Tejada is the other incumbent, though I suppose Hairston deserves a shout out (career 2.1 UZR/150 in a little over 1,000 innings). With Tejada, it’s easy to be caught up in the player we saw in August and September (111 wRC+, -0.3 UZR) but it’s doubtful we saw the real Miguel Tejada. James, for instance, sees his offensive production regressing and defensively, he’s always been a below average guy (-3.4 UZR/150). For $6 million or so, is it worth it?

Like Tejada, Orlando Cabrera is another guy who seems to get a long way on his name and reputation. He’s never been a real offensive player, getting by mostly with his glove which, while still above-average, seems to be slowing down. Cincinnati recently declined his $4 million option, so he’ll likely be cheaper than Tejada while providing similar-yet-different production.

Neither Bartlett nor Hardy are free agents, but they’re both non-tender candidates who might be available in a trade. Bartlett, who we once traded for Brian Buchanan never forget, built his reputation as a glove man but his production has been slipping over the past couple of years. Whether these were flukes or age catching up to him quick is yet to be seen and while James thinks he’ll be average with the bat, is he worth the $5 million (or so) risk?

Looking at the projections, it’s easy to think Hardy is worth the risk and it gets even better when you look at his defensive numbers. Over the course of his career, Hardy has a +11 UZR/150, which is pretty great. He might be expensive, but he’ll earn his paycheck. That is, if he can stay on the field. Hardy only made it into 101 games this season, but he was still worth 2.4 wins. With a good enough backup, Hardy might be the kind of risk a team with one year left of a megastar should take. Especially if his offensive production opens up a spot for a certain poor hitting, phenomenal fielding center fielder.

CF
AVG/OBP/SLG wRC+
Tony Gwynn, Jr. .252/.333/.318 86
Rajai Davis .287/.336/.381 102
Jacoby Ellsbury .300/.355/.409 119
Colby Rasmus .261/.343/.468 123
B.J. Upton .255/.345/.419 116

Oh, AJ. If I really was Jed, this conversation would be over. Tony the younger would be installed in centerfield, free to make all the amazing catches he’d like. But I’m not and he surely won’t, so let’s look at the other four.

Ellsbury’s is a popular name when the conversation turns toward trading Adrian and he is an elite base stealing threat, but I’m not sure he’s a center fielder. He has a UZR/150 of 0.2 in a little over two thousand innings, but the Red Sox brought in Mike Cameron to push Ellsbury to left last year and as much as I love Mikey C., that’s a little telling, isn’t it? Especially because Ellsbury’s not as young as he seems. He’ll be arbitration eligible next winter and with his 136 career stolen bases, I’d bet the arbitrator will like him and that’s no good for us small market folk.

A younger option would be Colby Rasmus, whose very public spat with Tony LaRussa may or may not have put him on the block. If he’s available, I’m not sure the Padres have enough to go get him. Surely the conversation would start with Simon Castro, but where would it end? A player with Rasmus’ potential seems worth whatever price St. Louis asks, but the question becomes whether or not we’ll be able to hang once some deeper-pocketed teams get involved.

Upton’s a more realistic change-of-scenery guy, though also arbitration eligible next year. While he’s never fully lived up to his potential, he’s become an excellent center fielder (career UZR/150 5.7) and he’s still only 26. Think of him as a better case Venable, with the potential to be a 30-40 guy. He could also remain a 10-40 guy but then if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Then there’s Davis, the bubble burster. Not as dreamy as the rest, he’s a decent fielder (2.6 UZR/150) who’s stolen 91 bases over the past two years. He’s the wild card, and a good one at that because put him on a field in Peoria with Dave Roberts and who knows what will come out of it.

And that’s it. I hope you found this helpful. I sort of feel like a jerk for taking you past the bike aisle when you’re likely to get some cans of soup for Christmas, but such is dreaming. Enjoy it while it lasts, before the season begins and we’re stuck with reality.

Posted in hot stove, players | 1 Comment »

The Sacrifice Cheat Sheet: Centerfield

November 24th, 2009 by

With Jed Hoyer busy eating burritos and going for jogs on the waterfront, I thought I’d give him some help with the state of the team and what he could to do make it better.

At the end of the 2009 season, Tony Gwynn, Jr. seemed to have cemented his place as the Padres center fielder. And yet, maybe he didn’t. Before Hoyer came onboard, Bill Center wrote the following in the U-T:

The Padres like Gwynn as a center fielder, to a point.

When you are a singles hitter, you better have a lot of singles and a high on-base percentage. Gwynn hit .270 with a .350 on-base percentage.

The Padres love him as a fourth outfielder, spot starter, defensive sub and left-handed pinch-hitter. But not so much as an every-day regular, unless he hits over .300.

Will Padres manage?

While this may simply be one man’s opinion, let’s take Center at his word. Let’s say that the team loves AJ (I’m going to start calling him AJ) as a fourth-outfielder, and that his lack of offense scares them off. Who else would be an option then?

Center suggests former Padre, and TSB ex-boyfriend, Mike Cameron. In his second year with the Brewers, Cameron posted a WAR of 4.3, his highest mark since 2006, his first season with the Padres. With Cameron, we’ll know what we’re getting: twenty home runs and dependable defense. But Cameron left San Diego for a $7 million deal after a poor 2007, in which he posted a 2.2 WAR. That’s down from his 4.6 mark in 2003, his previous contract year. Cameron signed a $20 million with the Mets then; will he be willing to take the necessary pay cut to come back to San Diego? If not, who else is there?

Another name bandied about is Marlon Byrd. He meets the right-handed requirement that Center lists in his article and, while he’s not the defender AJ and Cameron are, he posted a wOBA of .348. That puts his 2009 offensive campaign exactly even with Cameron, and better than AJ. If the price is right, might the Padres consider taking a chance on him? That would require the price to be right. What does Byrd expect to get? Let’s ask him:

“If people offer me a contract at two years and the right numbers, I’ll sign,” Byrd said. “If people offer me three years at the right numbers, I’ll sign.

“I’m not interested in a one-year deal. Do I want a three- or four-year deal, yes. But I don’t know what will happen. Last year, I thought Orlando Hudson would get a five-year deal, and he ended up getting one year and an option. The more seasons the better, but I just want fair value.”

Byrd’s future home up in air

That doesn’t sound to me like a player ready to take the San Diego Discount.

With Cameron and Byrd both positioned to cash-in, who’s a cheaper centerfield option for the Padres? Well, AJ.

While Center is correct to label him a singles hitter, AJ’s IsoP of .074 was at the bottom of the league, he still posted an only slightly-below-average wOBA of .332. This was thanks in large part to his decent BB% of 10.9. That still isn’t enough to make AJ an offensive equal to Cameron or Byrd, but maybe he doesn’t have to be.

Of the San Diego Padres not named ‘Adrian Gonzalez,’ AJ was the second best in terms of wins above replacement in 2009, with a WAR of 2.8. He achieved this despite being worth negative 1.7 runs offensively, because he was valued at plus 13.6 runs defensively. In fact, AJ’s UZR/150 of 12.2 was best for fifth in the league, amongst fielders with 800 innings played. All things considered, Fangraphs listed AJ as worth $12.6 million this season. He made only $400 thousand, and he’s not in line to make a raise for 2010.

This is the point where I tell you that any conclusions drawn on AJ’s defense are incomplete, as he doesn’t have nearly enough innings played to compose a proper sample size. But given the price tag, is it worth finding out?

The answer, Mr. Hoyer, is yes. Rather than go in on Cameron for $10 million, or Byrd for $5 million, the correct answer is to go with Tony Gwynn, Jr. for less than half of a million dollars. AJ will not solve all of our problems, as the team will have to find another source of power somewhere (unless the confidence in Blanks and Venable is there), but he does come with the promise of superior defense at the position where it comes the most in handy.

Ray Update:

Beyond the Box Score has posted an article projecting the WAR for free agents. They list Mike Cameron at 2 and Marlon Byrd at 1.9.

Posted in hot stove, players | 9 Comments »

Chase Gon’ Give It to Ya

June 4th, 2009 by

A little more than four years ago to the day, on June 2nd, 2005, Miguel Ojeda started the day’s game in right field. Though he was a backup catcher, Ojeda starting in the outfield wasn’t entirely out of a line, as he had a handful of starts in left earlier that year. The craziness comes in who Ojeda was starting over.

Xavier Nady was drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 2000 draft and was named the Padres number one best prospect by Baseball America in 2003. yet in his three years with the big league club, Nady never received consistent playing time, and was shipped out to New York in 2005 for Mike Cameron. Since then, Nady has jumped to Pittsburgh and then to the Yankees (the other New York team), breaking out last year with a .374 wOBA in 148 games, a career high.

On that fateful June day, Nady sat on the bench and watched Ojeda run out in right and go 0-for-3. And then five months later, he was gone.

Get to the point, Ray

Right.

The Padres have had a tremendous lack of success in developing homegrown talent. Outside of Jake Peavy, the second best player the Padres made for themselves this decade was Khalil Greene, and we all know how that turned out. Most of them busted, but at least Sean Burroughs got a chance. Nady never really got that chance in San Diego, and I’m beginning to worry about how big of a shot Chase Headley’s going to get.

Kevin Towers went on XX Radio last night for his weekly call-in. The topic of Headley, and why he’s been sitting so much, came up. Among other things, Towers said that he thinks Headley’s confidence level is down, that the strike outs are a concern, and that the team is out there trying to win games. He also said that it’s up to a player to make adjustments in game, and that maybe Headley should go back and look at video from the minors to see what’s changed.

Let’s start at the beginning: the team is out there trying to win games. Towers brought this up to explain why Headley’s sitting for Scott Hairston, but it begs the question: What are Kevin Kouzmanoff and Brian Giles doing in the lineup night-in and night-out?

Now, Giles has run into a hot streak, posting an .899 OPS in the past two weeks, which has raised his season mark up to .568. That’s an OPS+ of 52. He’s also played in 50 of the team’s 53 games. Kouzmanoff, meanwhile, has an OPS of .503 over the past two weeks, with a season OPS of .612, or an OPS+ of 63. He’s played in 51 games.

Giles’ recent hot streak and Kouzmanoff’s hot defense are two valid reasons for why these guys are still in the lineup, but I wonder why it comes at the expense of Chase Headley.

Like Nady, Headley is a former number one prospect, taking the title in 2008. And he’s also only 148 games into his major league career, but confidence in him already seems to be dwindling. In yesterday’s Union-Tribune, Headley was quoted as saying:

I’ve never had so few at-bats over a month. Since I hurt my shoulder, I haven’t played every day. I haven’t been given a chance to battle through this.

For a good number of my at-bats in May, I was fighting to get through the weakness in my shoulder. It was really weak. I had to change my stance because I couldn’t hold my hands in the same position.

Headley returns after Hairston hurt

Headley is referring to a shoulder injury he sustained in early May when he ran into the wall in L.A. This knocked him out for a couple of games, but based on Headley’s use of the past-tense, it doesn’t seem to still be bothering him. Surely not as much the position he’s found himself in.

He goes on to say:

It’s frustrating, the circumstance I’m in right now. I didn’t forget how to hit. I feel I have the capability. I think that in any capacity, I can help this team out. But this wouldn’t be the capacity I would choose.

That doesn’t sound to me like a player whose confidence is down.

Why is the team sitting on Chase Headley?

Headley’s supposed to be one of the young cornerstones of this franchise, but he’s sitting in favor of a 38-year-old in the last year of his contract. I hear Towers say that Headley’s strike outs are of concern, but more so than Kouzmanoff’s inability to draw a walk? Headley may be striking out 30% of the time, but his BB/K is still well above Kouzmanoff’s. Headley’s been the superior player of the three all year, but I don’t expect to hear the front office say so.

Finally, with Hairston on the DL, a spot in the outfield opened up. But last night, the newly recalled Will Venable got the start in left field over Headley, going 0-for-4 with an error.

One can only assume that Henry Blanco forgot his outfield glove at home.

Posted in gripes | 7 Comments »

Now you’re Jennifer Aniston

November 7th, 2008 by

Have you ever had two friends who dated each other? Two friends that both hung out with you in the same group, that you had many mutual friends with? Did they ever break up?

That’s what Jake Peavy and the Padres are doing.

As Mel pointed out, Peavy’s desires are all over the place. He wants to play on a contender, but he also wants to play on the Braves and Astros, and he wants to stay in San Diego. This we can easily chalk up to confusing. Break-ups are hard to go through. But then there are the comments his agent is making. Comments like:

“It’s a big decision,” said Axelrod, who noted a no-trade clause would have to be part of any trade. “You have to look at all the factors and moving parts. We’re usually pretty deliberate. … At times, (Peavy’s frustration) bubbled over. He’s a fiery competitor. You don’t want to take that out of him. You don’t want to tame that too much. But I heard Jake say it, I heard Brian (Giles) say it and I heard Trevor (Hoffman) say it —- they’re not that far away. I think if they kept (Mike) Cameron, (Geoff) Blum and (Doug) Brocail, they’re in it last year —- 84 games wins this division.”

Cooling off period for Peavy talks

Oof.

Much like the break-up of your friends, this has gotten ugly. Jake has always been one to tell Kevin Towers how to do his job/suggest better alternatives to his own teammates (like Kenny Lofton). I’m even surprised Jake’s agent didn’t throw Milton Bradley in everyone’s face. But those two aren’t done yet. They’re piling on:

“One of the things we will want to look at some point is, ‘Who are you giving up? How much are you weakening your team to make this deal?’” Axelrod said. “If Team X trades three starting pitchers and a starting shortstop to get Jake Peavy, that lessens their chance of being a successful team.”

Peavy throws a curveball into Padres’ trade talks with Braves

The specific player in question is Yunel Escobar, who is looking more and more like the centerpiece of a deal with Atlanta.

It was one thing when Jake told Towers what to do. But now he’s telling Frank Wren, the G.M. of the Braves (the team Jake is not on), how to do his job. What if Wren had a plan that didn’t involve Escobar? Jake’s all but gone from San Diego, but he’s also making it very difficult for the Padres to send him anywhere else.

It’s almost as if he’s playing a game of chicken with Towers. “Trade me for nothing or keep me. Your call.” The scary part is that Towers might actually blink.

Posted in hot stove, players | 3 Comments »

My breaking heart

April 29th, 2008 by

Posted in gripes, players | 1 Comment »

A moment of silence

January 11th, 2008 by

Brewers, Cameron strike deal to bolster outfield depth

The Milwaukee Brewers have reached an agreement with center fielder Mike Cameron.

According to The Associated Press, the deal is a one-year, $7 million deal with a club option for 2009.

Cameron, 34, hit 21 homers and drove in 78 runs for the Padres last year. He will miss the first 25 games of the 2008 season, as he serves a suspension under the terms of baseball’s drug-testing program.

This is a dark day for us here at the Sacrifice Bunt. We’ve made no secret of our affinity for Michael Terrance Cameron, so a part of us has died with the news that he’s signed with Milwaukee. But, like any good ex-girlfriend(s), we’re happy for Mike.

Milwaukee has a solid team and is one that will actually appreciate what he does for them. He’s not only bringing his superior glove to the middle of Miller Park but he’s allowing Ned Yost to move Bill Hall back to third and out of center (where he was overmatched), which moves Ryan Braun out of the position (where he was overmatched).

Milwaukee comes to Petco in August, so maybe we’ll sponsor a Sacrifice Bunt night at the park.

For Mike.

Melvin Update: For Mike. Also for The Sacrifice Bunt.

My feeling about appreciation is that things soured with the negotiation breakdowns at the beginning of the year, then again during this off season.  It looks like his demands for a longer term may have backfired. People may see a one year deal with Mike as a better option than Edmonds.

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1-4 Sacrificial Links

January 4th, 2008 by

Beyond The Box Score interview with Paul Depodesta

Paul comes across as such a smart guy. I wish he would have answered this question:

QUESTION: Not too long ago the new Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington did a Q&A session with MLB.com and answered a question about the metrics they use to judge players, I’d like to pose that same question to you: what are some of the statistics you to evaluate potential targets?

Depo responds by saying he can’t divulge the proprietary methods the team uses. Statheads probably already knew that, but couldn’t Paul just say “VORP” so we feel smarter?

I just logged on to Gaslamp Ball to find the link to their Depodesta interview, which is fantastic by the way, and saw they also linked to this story. I take one day off work, and think I’ll be getting ahead of things but noooo.

The only solution here is to take more time off work.

Alex Rodriguez endorses Mike Cameron in the Bronx (New York Times)

The two were teammates on the 2000 Mariners squad. The bulk of the article is of the rare Yankees speculation variety, so you may want to check it out before the coverage is bumped for the most recent Devil Rays rumor.

Analysis of Mark Prior’s Mechanics (Hardball Times)

I’m still disappointed (and encouraged) about Arizona’s hiring of Carlos Gomez. Before being snagged by the evil Snakes, Gomez broke down the delivery of Mark Prior (among others) for the Hardball Times. Short version: Prior needs to be more aggressive.

Worst Hall of Fame Arguments of 2008 (Vegas Watch)

Link stolen from Fire Joe Morgan. Who can’t resist a good fun making of baseball writers ever now and again?

P.S. This post is by no means an attempt to bite Ducksnorts’ Friday Links. Sacrificial Links are crazy enough to come out any day of the week, this is just a coincidence. This will probably happen on one out of every seven Sacrificial Link posts.

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I am so smart, S-M-R-T

December 14th, 2007 by

Walk with me, won’t you, down memory lane.

It was but three days ago when all hope in Padresland seemed lost. The coveted Kosuke Fukudome chose the Chicago Cubs over us, leaving our 2008 season in jeopardy. In response to this, your’s truly wrote:

Jim Edmonds

Hollywood Jim could be a classic turnaround story. He’s already on the team’s radar and if he’s as healthy as he says he is, why not? If he bounces back to an average player by his standards, he’ll still be a middle of the lineup guy.

Why not indeed.

The Padres have agreed to a trade that will bring them center fielder Jim Edmonds, a 37-year-old who has won eight Gold Gloves.

After negotiations with Cameron were called off, the Padres acquired Edmonds for prospect David Freese.

Like I said a couple days ago, if he’s as healthy as he says he is, Edmonds could compliment the Z-Boys (© R. Lankford) [Kouzmanoff and Gonzalez] quite nicely.

The flip side to this joyousness, however, is the departure of Mike Cameron. For two seasons, Cameron patrolled Petco Park like no one before him, solidifying what may be the most crucial defensive position in that park. I hope to be in Petco for his first game back so I can show him my gratitude in person.

Thank you, Mike.

Posted in hot stove, players | 1 Comment »

We’re Fuk-ed

December 11th, 2007 by

No, not really. But that’s a hard headline to pass up.

The Union-Tribune is reporting that the Padres have lost out on Fukudome.

The Padres found out Tuesday night that they lost out in their bid for Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. The star outfielder is headed to the Cubs.

The Padres, rating Fukudome as the prime piece to their offseason plans, bid more than $10 million per season as part of a guarantee of at least three years. It was the most the club had offered a non-Padre since tendering a $55 million to $60 million proposal nine years ago to pitcher Kevin Brown, who chose to accept more than $100 million from the Dodgers.

While it would have been nice to have Fukudome, I’m almost relieved we didn’t get him. His centerfielding ability got a less than stellar review from Trey Hillman and his offensive ability does not project to be a player that would warrant the money the team was offering him. And considering we don’t know if he’ll be Hideki or Kaz, we may have just dodged a bullet.

Of course, we still have a hole in center and the options left on the market are dwindling. With that in mind, I propose three options the team could look into:

Mike Cameron

Yes, he’ll be suspended for the first month. And he usually takes a month to get his swing going, so he’ll be worthless until June. But he knows this team and he knows this ballpark and we know what we’ll be getting from him. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t type of deal. Not to suggest that Cameron is the/a devil, but you get the idea.

That, and he’s got style.

Jim Edmonds

Hollywood Jim could be a classic turnaround story. He’s already on the team’s radar and if he’s as healthy as he says he is, why not? If he bounces back to an average player by his standards, he’ll still be a middle of the lineup guy.

Matt Antonelli

Whaaaaaaaat?

I really can’t back this up (because I can’t find the link) but I recall reading Fuson or one of those guys say that Antonelli is such a gifted athlete that he might be able to handle center. Since second is such an easy position to fill, why don’t we at least find out?

Melvin Nieves to the Rescue: Tom Krasovic special from June, 2006:

The Padres are intrigued about his potential in center field. Antonelli’s foot speed, Fuson said, warrants a 70 on a scouting scale that tops out at 80, and center field is a thin position within the system.

I have a feeling this is a reference to a scouting report published elsewhere. I also haven’t heard anything about Antonelli in center more recently. I think it could make sense, but it’s quite the impossible call to make without much working knowledge of the guy.

We tend to hang our hats on these throwaway sentences without any background a bit too much, in my opinion.

Melvin’s unhelpfully vague suggestion:

Corner Power Guy / All D No Bat Guy

Grab a Willy Taveras type in center, then make up the power and obp loss in left. This might mean Chase Headley or Kevin Kouzmanoff, or it could involve dealing Headley for someone like Jason Bay.

You hate to trade the young, homegrown Headley, so signing Geoff Jenkins might make sense as a backup plan. Headley could spell Jenkins, Giles, and Kouzmanoff if he is even deemed ready for the bigs.

Posted in hot stove, players | 4 Comments »

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