Bingo on the chill pills.
We gave up a nice part-time player who just careered it but still with an obvious downside (who duplicates the position of 2 of our 4 best very young hitters...maybe our two best).
We got a MOTO presence, with an obvious crash-burn potential (which applies to Upton, Swisher, etc), but with a smashing-mashing-bashing past and every chance that he contiues with that for another couple of years.
All is good*.
And there is more yet to come.
* = Except the logic-defying Rauuuuul signing. If he's a player/bench coach who gets 40 starts and a bunch of PH's then I stand 50% corrected on this point. At that point it is only a 50% logic-defying addition.
In addition to the famed wOBA, wRC+, and WAR statistics, we'd like to recommend that Fangraphs include the following metrics on each player card. If these factors were viewed in formal publication on a reputable geek site, these variables would then be deemed to actually exist in space-time, and much GM-fan disconnect and heartbreak could be avoided.
Including but not limited to:
REUP - the chance, expressed as a percentage, that a newly-acquired player will sign a below-market extension with his new club.
Last season, for example, SSI mis-stated this number as "2" for Hisashi Iwakuma, whereas the accurate input would have been "70."
Adjust statistic accordingly if the player states, upon hearing that he has been traded to the acquiring club, that the English language is an insufficient mechanism for capturing the emotions the player is experiencing. Adjust again if the club is a re-aquiring club, if the player has a following (mostly of relatives) in the acquiring city, and so forth.
NULLFRM - a WAR penalty of -0.5 to -1.0 per 150 games, applied to catchers not taken seriously by major league umpires. All rookies receive this penalty.
MLB(TM) catchers who in any way resemble the pre-Tusk, strung-out Lindsey Buckingham of course receive the penalty, but may in compensation receive quarters from fans in the box seats.
URDUNN - a positional adjustment of -21 runs (which is -7 runs below the DH adjustment) if a player would be of most value to his team as a DH, but is actually not playing DH. In the view of many with propietary defensive data, this adjustment applies to both sides of the recent Jaso-Morse deal.
SUNBURN - the chance, expressed as a percentage, that a great-looking "emergent" platooooon player will decline precipitously when thrown into the chopping blades of daily-grind MLB competition. Probably more appropriate for Rotographs than for Fangraphs.
BOSNYY - a 50% premium, to be incorporated (as FLD and BSR is) within the WAR of any player whose primary value occurs within the batter's box itself (see Ortiz, David). This "hard" skill, unlike UZR for example, is reproducible in all contexts.
VNSH - that percentage of a player's walks and OBP which will evaporate when his SLG dips below .420.
ISOMEAN - a WAR adjustment made to players with arm swings who, never having slugged above .399 in the past, are currently slugging over .450.
Similar to xFIP, which adjusts ERA based on the assumption that "lucky" home runs will normalize in the future, and which therefore predicts future ERA based on underlying "real" skill.
Where SLG might misleadingly read .456 in a particular season for a slender arm-swinging blues guitarist, ISOMEAN would more predictively read .408.
LIND - applied to players who have had one OPS+ over 140, with all other seasons below 99.
This is not a suggested statistic as such; it is represented as an asterisk in the wOBA column and leads to a footnote explaining tonelessly "DO NOT SINGLE OUT THIS PLAYER'S MOST RECENT SEASONAL WAR AS HIS ESTABLISHED LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE, YOU FEEBLEMINDS." See Casey Kotchman, Lukas Duda, Jacoby Ellsbury, Garret Jones, etc.
TAIJ - Payroll savings, in prospect net value dollars, when a .408-ISOMEAN'ing DH is traded in the stead of AAA pitchers worth $30M or more. Club-controls relief pitchers are eligible for calculation in this statistic, provided that their FIPs begin with the number 2.
TIDE - incremental rise by other players, caused by this player. Calculated conservatively but frequently a nonzero number.
MNTRO - Value added to the team overall when a quality fraction of a jobshare is absorbed by the superior half of the jobshare. Where good players' exits would cause superior players (or more precious longterm assets) to assume the vacant at-bats, the MNTRO value for the good player will actually be negative. Expressed as whole runs and leveraged victories.
SMOKMASK - Addition-by-subtraction value, provided by an incoming player who "freezes out" any player who would otherwise have accumulated negative WAR for the club.
For example, where the acquisition of a Kevin Millwood means realistically that Eric Wedge will no longer place Anthony Vasquez into the rotation, this nasal filtering of the -1.0 WAR gas cloud is credited on Millwood's player card.
Legitimate MLB(TM) cleanup hitters are worth more to teams "featuring" -0.3 WAR first basemen. The SMOKMASK metric captures the contextual value of a true slugger to a ballclub that would otherwise be deploying badminton players; a 900-yard receiver is worth far more to the Seahawks than the same receiver is worth to the Falcons. Fangraphs does not yet have a metric to capture this team-contextual reality.
ZUNZDUR - This statistic is obtained by simply subtracting two numbers: (1) the #26 roster player's WAR from (2) the current player's WAR.
If the MLB/AAA roster carousel revolves to present Blake Beavan in the place of Michael Pineda, the ZUNZDUR statistic on Pineda's card will be positive and large. If the AAA carousel rotates to presents a young super-stud who is of more interest than the 29-year-old journeyman leaving, the ZUNZDUR statistic will be negative on the journeyman's card.
JOKE - Percentage chance, expressed as a whole integer in excess of 10, that a convergence of remodeled playing dimensions, change of scenery, etc., produce a freakish 50+ homer season.
MAGIC8 - statistic not calculated. GM's hand-figure at own peril.
The above stats might not be the right ones, I dunno. But one thing I do know: you can't use any three stats, even "2012 WAR," "POS" and "CLUB CONTROLLED YEARS" and declare the future predicted. There are present and future contexts to weight here. It's very poor form to oversimplify, bust a guitar over your knee, and then when somebody calmly goes "Jaso's pitch framing is -0.9 WAR per year" to just reply with "we don't know that for sure," returning to the tantrum without further ado.
"But we'll probably HAVE Morse for three years! Why so worried about 3 years vs 1?" ... "Re-sign Morse? That's the only thing that could make this worse!" ... :: resume laugh track ::
::: sidles to door ::: I'll just let myself out, m'kay?
The question is where these 25-man rosters will BE in 4 months, 12 months, and 24 months. What was Jaso going to be to the Mariners, in 12 months and 24 months, after Zunino got here and joined Jesus Montero, and the M's DH was also something slightly better than Casey Kotchman?! That question isn't answered with three stats.
Look, homies, if John Jaso's 140 OPS+ survives consistent exposure, even to RHP's, and if he's a reliable defensive catcher, and if Mike Morse is gone in one year, then oh yeah. It's a deal you can compare to the Fister one.
But! If Morse gives us Tulowitzki/Cano action for two or three years, while Jaso falls back a bit to his previous levels of [lukewarm DH and excellent backup C], then it's going to be genius in hindsight.
John Jaso has a downside scenario. Morse's career wOBA is equal to that of George Brett and Juan Gonzalez.
John Jaso isn't "better than Morse, one year for one year." You're talking about an actual Major League cleanup hitter, Mike Morse, against a guy who might or might not sustain his next 350 at-bats, that being John Jaso. The only reason Morse was available was BECAUSE of the walk year. Baseball doesn't consider stars like Morse equal to emerging platooners IRRESPECTIVE of the contracts.
Remember when the locals were claiming that Endy Chavez was equal to Bobby Abreu? That's what we're sounding like, right now, to everybody outside Seattle. They're going, Whuuuh? You're mad about giving up the epic John JASO? For THAT guy?
I like Jaso's OBP. But Casey Kotchman has shown OBP too, a couple times now, and it doesn't mean I want that guy as my DH. Looka the bright side: you got a better hitter than Upton, and you didn't give up Taijuan, Furbush, and Pryor.
Still haven't spent much of the payroll.
Take two chills and call me in the morning,
Bingo on the chill pills.
Odds that both Morse and Morales are in an M's uni come September? Mighty slim.
If we're in contention in July...those odds go to 100%.
If we're not...those odds go to near 0. :)
ACTUALLYPLSD= Value factor of signing players who actually want to play for the team. This stat is a component stat of REUP and there is a correlation between strong ACTUALLYPLSD and high JOKE (Also known on other sites as CNDRLLA, or on the Stalk as GLDNYR).
KDSPLAY= Value of having a spot on roster for your number 1 farm player rather than letting him sit on the farm. Also known by some circles as keeping it fresh. Another factor correlating strongly with Team CNDRLLA.
FANBUZ= Value of having a baseball team that is interesting enough for people to pay money to watch them. This metric correlates strongly with positive values in all stats.
Doc/Jeff, I just have to say I love this site, and especially for posts like this. Balanced, thought provoking, holistic analysis. Plus as a bonus I get all the other contributors on here; this site has the best comment section of any site I've seen on ANY topic.
The other big M's blogs (excluding Baker) have jumped the shark for me so many times with their hysterical, entirely predictable, simplistic reactions to every move made by the M's. Plus, I know that I can come here and see their exact arguments restated more thoughtfully by you or the community.
I think it comes down to self-awareness. You have guys like Cameron who write things in an all-knowing tone - that literally every person in every MLB front office already knows - and has long ago moved on from, in favor of other more complex analysis (the type of analysis that I see here and on Baker regularly). It is weird and seems to be just a personality-based thing for the M's - not a Seattle thing, since you don't ever get this type of attitude on say Field Gulls.
It reminds me of my day job - I work in the business side of the music industry. I read the most prominent music bloggers, whose work I enjoy, and there still are so many things they just don't really get about the real complexities of the business. I can count on one hand, maybe one fist the number of outside ideas I've read where I went, huh that's useful, we hadn't thought of that.
Re the trade, truthfully, cut through the analysis and the only thing that worries me about losing Jaso is that Beane wanted him =) But, the guy's not ALWAYS right...right??
Anyway how about a couple Fangraphs TEAM metrics:
RSPCT - % chance of team having one actual single player (not a platoon combo or theoretical park-adjusted player) hit 30 HR in a season. This could be also be called WSODDS since 7 of the 9 post-steroid WS winners and 8 of 9 runner ups have had at least one. (Exceptions being the two SF winners and the 06 Tigers who had 28, 27, 26, 24).
BLOGUMILITY - confidence of a team's most prominent local bloggers in their analysis and predictions, divided by # of all-time WS appearances by said team. This could be broken into the two component parts - the M's would be near the league lead in blogger confidence, while they and the Nationals/Expos would be the only teams to have 0 WS appearances (and who wants to bet on which one gets there first?). The combined stat column on Fangraphs would just read ERR for the M's.
My problems with this deal:
1) Both Morse and Morales are on 1-year deals. Perhaps we can re-sign Morse, but it would likely be to play 1B. If not, we traded 3 years of a contributor for 1. At least Vargas/Morales was a 1-for-1 deal that dealt from a position of strength to fill a position of weakness.
2) Jesus Montero needs to play 1B if we're gonna keep him. The writing's on the wall: Zunino is gonna catch by 2014, and probably by June 2013. We don't like Montero behind the plate, even though HE much prefers it. We could DH Montero, but he seems to want to play the field, which makes him a 1B/30-games-C type.
3) Just gave up our most productive LH hitter and best OBP guy, who also doesn't seem to suffer when DHing, for a RH masher who abhors DHing and doesn't walk. We could have traded minor league pieces and kept Jaso's 2-3 WAR while still adding Morse's to the mix.
4) This park hates right-handers. Moving the wall should fix that...right? Because right now we have Morse, Montero and Zunino all lined up as key bats. If the park still does what the park usually does in April and May to right-handers, we'll be 10 games out of first by Memorial Day - again. Jaso could have gotten his ABs easily on this team around some of these righties. Now we'll need someone else to do that (Raul, I guess).
Reasons it could work out fine:
1) the one-year deal thing will ALLOW us to move Montero to 1B if we need to.
2) Mike Morse does not have platoon splits, nor Home/Road, nor did he suffer in Safeco when he was here. He's posted an OPS well over .800 in ALL those scenarios. He's the safest bet for a RH hitter we've seen in a while.
3) we kept all our trade bait for a huge future deal instead of spending some significant minor league capital here. Franklin, Maurer and the bullpenners all remain to back up our monster arms and slugging catcher.
4) OBP is only really useful if someone is around to drive in runs. Last year Jaso's ~.400 OBP only led him to cross the plate 41 times, and he did 10 of those himself. With Morse + Morales, and improvement from the kids, the hope is that we don't have our normal blizzard of random singles that net 1 run in a game that Felix loses in the 9th.
I'm less annoyed than I was yesterday. We now have some sort of legit MOTO. Ackley, Seager, Morales, Morse, Saunders and Montero sounds pretty good for a top-6. If the Ms surprise me and bring Franklin up for his lefty awesomeness, then a pair of semi-platoons in Franklin/Ryan and Wells/Ibanez makes the back of the lineup more interesting as well. We'll see how much Guti plays, but that's a better lineup than we've seen in a while.
And Zunino should be knocking on the door soon, maybe Posey-style if we're reeeeeally lucky.
I'm still not sold that the Ms are gonna pull out the whuppin' stick with Zunino, Hultzen, Paxton etc all ready to go out of Spring Training (or in May, if we're worried about free agency). In fact, with this lineup it looks like they're trying to push Zunino back to save Super Two status, as he'd only really be able to come up if we fall out of it and trade Morse at the deadline (or there's an injury).
But I'm definitely intrigued to see how all these pieces fit together. It's about time to find some lightning and charge up this Frankenstein's monster.
This is why SSI is my go-to place. It was comedy reading people jump over LL and USS.
I could see this trade working out nicely for the upcoming year just as I could see the Morales trade working out nicely. The M's just added a potential 45 home runs from where we were last year, plus you have the Ibanez signing and the 3 run homer may be back in vogue in Seattle. The kids aren't blocked and we will have trade chips come July. These trades are geared for this year and if things break remarkably well we will have an entertaining summer. Next year the M's will be throwing out Felix, Iwakuma, Ramirez and two of the big three (who will be more seasoned and ready for the wars).
I will be surprised to see Bay make the team this year and if he does it will be on account that he has actually earned it through his play during Spring Training. I'm very optimistic about the offense next year. If Ackley can make a plateau leap, not asking too much is it, then I see the M's being in the top half of the AL in scoring.
How do you see his PT breaking out Moe?
If these players went to ST, I'd gingerly predict that Bay would get cut, that Rauuul would get like 40%, 50% of the games ... most from a corner OF spot, with Wells/Guti or Wells/Saunders out there with him. Under those circumstances, playing against selected pitchers, I could see him making a quasi-Gomes type contribution.
Beane just finished beating the Angels and Rangers (!!) with this "Frankenstein Monster" quilt as G aptly put it. Personally, I'm in the mood to attempt it. Can't be any worse than 513 runs, right.
Which is what I did for Mr. WBC-san. So hopefully I'm jinxing it.
Kendrys Morales rakes in 2012, you gotta figure him to seek a 4/$75M deal or somesuch. Morse on the other hand, I just don't see him getting 4 years from anybody, under any circumstances - his player comps are a catastrophe past age 30.
But maybe my distinction is artificial?
Your "component" PLSD and correlation to JOKE made me actually chuckle Mojo. : -) HEH.
I think your KIDPT should be a component of team CNDRLLA, like BSR is for WAR.
FANBUZ would be a component stat under INFLAT, where a team's payroll expands, creating an EFFSALARY stat on each player card. A 130 FANBUZ index would be next to a SALARY column of $18M and an EFFSALARY column of $16M. Teams that generate more cash pay, in effect, lower salaries.
The punch line here is that if a few of these stats actually were on Fangraphs, the discussion would indeed change radically. The sheer dogma and self-assurance with which people applied WAR (only) to this trade "analysis" was mind-blowing.
Jaso had a higher WAR than Morse last year. That easy, is it, guys!
(Thanks a ton for the kind words BSR. And would love to hear about the music bidness sometime.)
It's important to remember that this series is not addressing the questions of:
Could the Mariners "lose" the Morse deal?
Are the Mariners likely to "lose" the deal?
We are not addressing those questions. We are only addressing the debate proposition of "please hold Jack Zduriencik's head under water and beat him with a ball peen hammer, somebody."
John Jaso very easily could go on to become an impact player in the American League. Beane thinks he probably will. Zduriencik thinks he almost certainly won't. I'm pretty dubious that Jaso's offensive value will hold up quite this high, but if he's a 70-game catcher and 70-game DH for the next five years, he's a minor star. That's a whale of an OBP he's got there.
Mike Morse ain't chopped liver. The M's just traded for a Billy Butler. People are underestimating the return value.
Did those guys set a personal record there? The sawdust off their chipped teeth was asphyxiating.
Did they react like this to Fister, or Bedard, or those deals? Was this the all-time New Orleans Moment for the Seattle blog-o-sphere? :- )
Could be wrong, but he looks like a Millwood type in ST - either he shows he's got a plus season in him, or they powerflush him about March 17.
Top half in scoring? With the walls coming in, and the bat-first players at every conceivable position, it's POSSIBLE that the M's pull some kind of 1977 Sox thingie. Top three offense in runs scored.
... then fuhgeddaboudit amigo.
As I recall, you and I were in stereo on the day of the Doug Fister trade -- this deal will stand or fall with Casper Wells becoming a 125 OPS+ everyday outfielder, or in lieu of that, Furbush proving that he's 90% of Fister all by himself (as I think Zduriencik disastrously believed).
Morse doesn't become our David Ortiz type, the deal's going into the trash bin. Simple as that, for me.
Great comment, bsr. One quibble though, Field Gulls's former lead writer, John Morgan, was Cameron-esque in his denunciation of a few of Team Carroll/Schneider's personnel moves back in 2010. Dumping Josh Wilson for a 5th round pick and trading Darryl Tapp for Chris Clemons.
Morgan summed up his objection to the philosophy thusly:
Is it fair to say Schneider has a pretty ardent size bias? Or is it Carroll? Whoever it is, I used to talk about how to identify a potential Tim Ruskell pick, and after an offseason with Schneider, I feel like I can comfortably pencil in under preferences "big and tall".
Targeting big, fast players is going into the teeth of the market. Everyone gets that if a player is big and fast, that's good. A successful general manager finds those elusive qualities that make a player successful.http://www.fieldgulls.com/2010/9/4/1670646/seahawks-notes-9-4-10
I have nothing but respect for Morgan's knowledge of the game of football, but boy do those posts sound like howlers two years on.
It's a funny thing -- the more you look at this, the more you like the idea of keeping Paxton, Hultzen and Taijuan, vs. shedding the part-time catcher who was being squeezed out of your future.
The epic-ly horror trades in ML history involve giving up Taijuan Walker, not 29-year-old journeyman catchers. That's the really cool side of this, bringing in the 3-4 hitters without coughing up your org upside.
Nick Franklin .... hm. Whether he goes in this same category, that's a tough one.
... but some bloggers, maybe not including him, they get good and then they start to forget that they'll still always have 800 of 1,000 light bulbs that are dark.
One reason I like Sullivan so much at LL. As he gets (even) better, he gets more nuanced in his conclusions. The comedy over there was down in the comments. ;- )
As you said, we kept everybody down on the farm this offseason (so far; things could always change).
Our two swaps were of Vargas (last year, getting expensive to be a BOR starter) and Jaso (still on a good contract, but a lefty platoon bat at DH/C who's light on power).
Franklin and Paxton, both I whom I think the world of, are still here. Since I think Franklin is Stephen Drew and Paxton is Clayton Kershaw, I would obviously trade Franklin first. But we still have the option of deploying them for us. Walker's still here, Pryor...
All the kids who could make this thing explode remain on the club. There's something to be said for that. At some point you'd think we'll have to trade one of the Big Three, as well as one of Ackley/Franklin/Miller. But that trade should net us quite a bit. If it's not gonna get us the right guy this offseason, then don't do it.
Trade the players you can live without, instead.
I just wish it was Morse for 3 years, so that we were fixing a problem with more permanence, instead of a one-year patch job. I don't want Morse for 4 more after this one, though - the contract deal will be a dicey thing.
*shrugs* We'll see how it plays out. We look better offensively, with the chance to get MUCH better. We just added a career OPS+ of 126 and one of 121 to a team that posted a 90 OPS+ combined last year, and still have ALL of our TOR phenoms and hitting blue-chippers intact.
Be happy. :-)
I wouldn't drink the punch at the next LL/USSM meetup.
Pardon the interruption but the Mariners are WERE a top half offense in the AL. Away from Safeco. They were fifth in the AL in R/G in 2012 outside of Safeco Field.
With the fences coming in and two big bats to MOTO us through some jams...the kids are almost CERTAIN have their home/road stats even up some. There's no compelling reason why Seager should hit .200 at home and yet that's what happened. I know he pops the ball up a lot so that helps explain some of his Safeco struggles, but he uses all fields, bats lefty and hits the ball pretty hard. So...why the split? Confidence. Seager, Ackley, Smoak and Montero all had wicked platoon splits due to lack of confidence hitting at Safeco more than due to the conditions of the park itself.
In 2013, I would not be surprised if the Mariners suddenly had 30 HRs out of three line-up spots and a team R total over 800.
Completely agree, this is the best site on all of the M's Blog-o-sphere, and we are blessed as M's fans to have a GREAT internet presence. I love LL as well and frequent a lot of the other sites, but this one (and I include spec's blog as a part of this one) is the best, bar none :)
Felix goes something like 25-6 and wins the Cy by acclamation. Heck, if they are top half in runs scored Felix still goes 22-10 and wins it.
I admit my first reaction to the trade was "Why Jaso?!?" although I certainly wouldn't have traded any of the top prospects to get Morse. But if Jaso wasn't going to get any more playing time this year than last, why not get get a (mostly) everyday player with considerably higher production for him? Jaso and Morse played essentially the same number of games last year (108/102) but Morse had 70 more plate appearances in his 6 fewer games. A lot of Jaso's AB's were as a pinch hitter. Granted, he excelled in that role, but I think there's more value in a player who can put up the higher numbers over the course of every game rather than a spot start or pinch-hitting appearance. One could even argue that if there had been a Morse in last year's lineup there may not have been the need for so many late-game pinch-hitters to try and win or tie a close game. I usually say that I figure whoever the GM is knows more about baseball than I do (I exclude Bavasi; my little sister could out-GM him) so I'll hold off until I see how all of the pieces in this puzzle fit together. And I'm pretty sure that some of the pieces we have right now aren't going to be in the final picture.
You hit the nail on the head there. It is the "certainty" of the USSM-style analysis that is amateur hour IMO. "Jaso was better than Morse in 2012, case closed, this trade is obvious garbage and by implication I'm smarter than Jack Zduriencik + all of his staff".
This is a central theme of Nate Silver's book (which I recommend, fun read) - that the very best forecasters still barely beat a coin flip, and that probabilistic / scenario-based / multi-disciplinary thinking (with a heavy dose of humility) is the best way.
I think you and the crew here are usually putting things in terms of, here are the possible outcomes, here's what I think is most likely, but if I was wrong here's what it would look like. And that's just a far more productive way of analyzing problems. I like the 1,000 lightbulbs analogy you often use, but also the point is there are a lot of lightbulbs that NOBODY has on...because dynamic systems (like baseball) are impossibly more complex than we 2013 humans are capable of predicting. Hey how are the Red Sox doing lately with a huge budget and the best baseball analyst ever on payroll?
LL I see as more of an entertainment site for a certain type of fan to have a place to bs about the M's on game day. Never been especially impressed by the analysis, but at least Sullivan's a funny guy and a good writer.
I find it interesting that there is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over calling Jaso "just a LH portion of a platoon" that he hasn't had an adequite chance against LHP. And I also see a lot of the Beane argument, the one you brought up that since Beane is trading for him we MUST have lost the deal. However, the reports out of Oakland is that Beane went and got Jaso precisely because Jaso is "just" a platoon bat and that is how Beane is going to use him (with Norris the RH side) and because he is just a platoon bat he came a lot cheaper. So either he isn't just a RHP batter or Beane is a genius who sees Jaso's tru greatness, but not both ;)
Genuine question, does USSM have any access to actual Mariner front office staff? DC frequently seems to posit all sorts of theories about what the M's are thinking and how they make decisions. Is there any substance to this based on his having interactions with the people on the M's? Or is it just his take. Because, he sure likes to demonize the M's and criticize their very premises and level of intelligence, not just make critiques of their specific moves.
"A few years ago, the Mariners were focused on adding value in any form they could find it; today, the Mariners are focused on scoring more runs. It’s an understandable reaction to the offensive struggles of the last few seasons, but it’s regrettable at the same time, and the focus on simply improving the team’s run scoring instead of their run differential is going to make it less likely that the team is competitive in 2013."
One - can it be possible for any sentient human, let alone a highly decorated blog "expert", to have watched the M's put up a couple of literally the worst offenses ever in the past few years, and walk away somehow thinking that improving offense is not a critical priority? Two - in any case, is there any reality to this description of the M's "focus"? I find it impossible to imagine Jack Z could be that simplistic in his strategic thinking.
I hate to always be piling on the guy, I'm sure he's a good dude in real life, but I just always walk away so unimpressed by his thinking and writing - and struggle to understand why he is so popular. I guess a lot of people like the illusion of certainty, and feeling of moral-intellectual superiority.
... but Dave Cameron is getting well networked these days, outside Seattle. His career is taking off, good on him, and this past year seems to have mellowed a bit (on Clubhouse Confidential last week he was positively Jamesian). Perhaps the industry contacts are having their influence. You can't be inside baseball without people skills.
When USSM says "the M's intent is XYZ" that's undoubtedly their intepretation. But that's not to say they can't be a good source for gleaning insight as to what baseball people are thinking around the game.
Scientific method. this is the case study, what answers can we find for and against. Other sites often seem to just pick a side and preach either pro or con and if you don't get it from all that evidence it's a lot of name calling hyperbole and even being booted from commenting for showing another side.
It's ok to disagree and continue a conversation without insults here. please never change.
A) The park also affects the opponent. If we have the better offense (and especially more XBH), we will probably win more. Especially with Felix every 5th day.
B) The (otherwise mediocre) pitching will be helped by the park. If we're down by 1 in a Beavan start after 5 innings and bring in the bullpenners, we will win most of the games. Orioles 2012 strategy. Enough offense, lights out bullpen.
C) Come summer, Jaso would have been #25 #27 on the roster after a Zunino promotion, spelling him to 100-150 PA for the second half. Walking is nice, but it's only part of the equation.
The 85 win scenario mentioned before only counts until June. Then one or two of Cerberus will replace Beavan and Starter X, giving us one to two (or more?) extra WAR. And Zunino and Franklin could be up, upgrading Ryan and spelling Jaso to the bench role (and really taking away roster options, because then we'd have to carry three catchers and 5-6 1B/DH types).
The trade came half a year early, but the reasoning is the same as for the Upton trade that fell through. I expected Z to bring in one respectable hitter for 2013. He brought in two. On the expense of a platoon catcher (albeit a good one) and a subpar SP in a walk year. If we now get a bounce-back-year from the young core in a less pressure situation, this is an offensive monster, with really god pitching come June/July.
A) Yes, the park affects the opponent, but that's the problem with bringing the fences in. It's not like it only comes in for our right-handers. The kind of pitcher who can excel here will likely change. Assuming we keep our monster young arms maybe that's not a problem, but we're not gonna get a lot of effective home innings from the Vargases of the world any more (ERA 5 on the road).
B) See A. I like our pen because it has a ton of power arms who aren't likely to suffer too much from a fairer ballpark, but the illusions will be unlikely to see a lot of mound time. I dunno that the Orioles had a viable strategy so much as ridiculous luck in 1-run games. 29-9? Don't plan on that happening again.
C) Jaso could have played C/DH/1B for several hundred ABs a year easily, considering we'll have some RHBs for him to give days off to. It's not the end of the world to trade him, but a great lefty platoon bat is a weapon. A righty platoon bat isn't nearly as much of one.
Like I said, I'm prepared to get behind Morse being a force on this team, and then seeing if we can keep him around. Jaso was useful in many ways but Zunino and Montero should lock down the catching duties nicely. If Saunders and Seager can repeat their 2012s (with better home #s) then our lefty bats shouldn't take a large hit either.
Looking forward to Spring Training and seeing the final makeup of this team. The pitching spots especially should be interesting, although I still expect to add another veteran arm before then a la Millwood last year.
A) Of course a Vargas will not be as effective anymore. Mostly the park change affects the LHP, that got a huge advantage in the past, which will now be a little smaller. But as of now we don't have one in the rotation, and the two that might be coming up are no soft-tosssing lefties. =)
B) Of course there was a lot of luck involved in the 1-run games. But also: 16-2 in extras might be not _only_ random noise, but hinting at a skill (although there was luck involved too). In this case, my theory still is "lights out bullpen coupled with average offense".
C) But wasn't the lineup lefty-heavy anyways? Seager, Ackley, Saunders, Morales, Ibanez (and Smoak). Plus, without a third C there was almost no way that Montero and Jaso would have started in the same game. It's not that Jaso wasn't useful, and I loved him as a person and a player, but that was more or less based on timely hits, charisma and overall approach. But come on, we got a nice piece back, one that we're going to use more. It's not like we traded him for Ryan Langerhans.
We definetely were not clear winners of this trade, but I don't think there were any losers either. All teams got what they wanted and gave up things they didn't need as much.