Posts Tagged ‘Andruw Jones’

White Sox Continue To Add, Trade For Juan Pierre

December 15, 2009

Guess which team has been the most aggressive this offseason?

The New York Yankees? Nope. The Los Angeles Dodgers? Not even close. The Boston Red Sox? Maybe.

How about the Chicago White Sox? Bingo.

On top of adding Jake Peavy and Alex Rios towards the end of last season, the White Sox have added Mark Teahen, Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, JJ Putz, and now they have added Juan Pierre this offseason.

According to various sources, the White Sox have acquired Pierre from the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor league pitchers. The Dodgers will get to pick two minor league pitchers from a list provided by the White Sox.

Pierre is waving goodbye to LA

Pierre has two-years and $18.5 million remaining on his contract. However, the Dodgers will pay $10 million of Pierre’s contract. The White Sox will pay Pierre $3 million in 2010 and $5 million in 2011.

The White Sox are really being aggressive this offseason. There is no reason for the White Sox not to be aggressive playing in the weak AL Central.

The Cleveland Indians are rebuilding, the Kansas City Royals are a mess, and the Detroit Tigers are selling off pieces left and right. That leaves just the White Sox and Minnesota Twins to compete in the AL Central.

Does Pierre put the White Sox ahead of the Twins in 2010? Probably not because I really don’t see how the White Sox are better because of this trade.

Player A hit .308 with zero home runs, a .365 OBP, a .392 Slugging Percentage, and 30 stolen bases in 2009.

Player B hit .304 with seven home runs, a .353 OBP, .412 Slugging Percentage, and 30 stolen bases in 2009.

The difference between these players is negligible. Player A is available via trade and Player B is available via free agency. So if all things are pretty much equal, wouldn’t you go with the player that is going to cost you less?

Player A is Pierre and Player B is Scott Podsednik.

I have no idea what prospects the White Sox are giving up. But I don’t care if they include me in the deal–a prospect is still a prospect and a prospect is a commodity.

Why give up two prospects and pay Pierre when they could have had essentially the same player (Podsednik) for no prospects and probably less than what they are paying Pierre?

I don’t get it.

I like the fact that the White Sox are being aggressive, but sometimes they would be better off making the simpler move. The simple move here would be to just re-sign Podsednik.

As for the Dodgers, this is a pure salary dump. The Dodgers are in such a financial mess right now that saving $8 million is a big deal for them right now.

I’ll update this story once it’s confirmed what prospects are going to the Dodgers.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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New York Mets Re-sign, Overpay Alex Cora

December 1, 2009

According to the Associated Press, the New York Mets have re-signed utility infielder Alex Cora to a one-year, $2 million contract with $2 million vesting option for 2011 if Cora starts 80 games.

Cora is a "Veteran Presence"

This is a classic “Veteran Presence” vs. “Glue Guy” signing by the Mets.

My definition of a “Veteran Presence” is a washed up player, who tries to latch on with a team. They really have nothing to offer a team except being a good clubhouse guy.

Cliff Floyd last year with the San Diego Padres is a perfect example of a “Veteran Presence.”

My definition of a “Glue Guy” is a veteran guy, who still has something left and comes to a new team and brings them together both on the field and off. The greatest example of a “Glue Guy” would be Terry Pendleton of the Atlanta Braves in 1991.

The Mets decided to re-sign a “Veteran Presence” in Cora. Normally I don’t have a problem with a signing like Cora. Most teams in baseball have a player like Cora on their team.

However, paying a player like Cora $2 million is ludicrous.

Look at it from this perspective. The Chicago White Sox just signed Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel for a COMBINED $1.7 million.

Vizquel, despite being 43-years-old can still play defense with anyone. Jones still has the ability to hit a home run off the bench.

Cora has the ability to do neither. Cora’s OPS dipped from .719 in 2008 to .630, he can’t hit for power off the bench, and at 34-years-old (Cora will be 35 at the end of next season) Cora is a mediocre fielder at this point in his career.

Why Mets GM Omar Minya felt the need to sign Cora for $2 million at the beginning of the free agency period is beyond me. There were no other teams in on Cora.

Minaya could have waited until February to sign Cora and probably could have signed him to a deal anywhere between $500 thousand and $1 million.

Essentially what Minaya did was bid against himself.

A move like this shouldn’t be surprising to Mets fans because this is the same GM who gave a 48-year-old Julio Franco a two-year contract in 2006 when no other team was even willing to give him a one-year deal.

The more moves the Mets make, the more I am convinced they have no clue how to do business. Signing a “Veteran Presence” to a $2 million contract is just another example of that.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Andruw Jones Finds A New Home

November 25, 2009

Another day, another move for the Chicago White Sox.

On Monday, the White Sox inked SS Omar Vizquel to a one-year deal. Today, the White Sox signed another star of the late-90’s/early-2000’s.

According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, the White Sox signed OF Andruw Jones to a one-year, $500 thousand contract. Jones has a chance to make another million in bonus incentives.

Jones, who hit .214 with 17 home runs and had a .782 OPS in 82 games last season with the Texas Rangers will serve as a backup outfielder for the White Sox in 2010.

As long as Jones isn’t playing on a regular basis for the White Sox in 2010, then this is a nothing with nothing move. Jones doesn’t have much left in the tank and his career is quickly coming to an end.

If there is a situation in 2010 where Ozzie Guillen should use Jones in, it should be as a pinch-hitter against right-handed pitching. Jones hit 13 out of his 17 home runs in 2009 against righties and his OPS was 31 points higher against righties than it was against lefties.

Jones will be 33-years-old next year.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Curtis Granderson: What’s His Trade Market?

November 12, 2009

One of the biggest shocks coming out of this weeks general manager’s meeting in Chicago was that the Detroit Tigers have let it be known that OF Curtis Granderson could be had in a trade.

This was shocking to everyone because I don’ think the word trade and Granderson have ever been used in the same sentence. Why would the Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski look to trade Granderson?

Here are some of the contracts the Tigers are paying in 2010:

Nate Robertson: $10 million

Dontrelle Willis: $12 million

Carlos Guillen: $13 million

Jeremy Bonderman: $12.5 million

Magglio Ordonez: $18 million

That’s *$65.5 million committed in 2010 to a bunch of players who probably aren’t worth $15 million. Since those contracts are untradeable, the Tigers are looking to trade some of their more valuable pieces.

Curtis Granderson

Granderson could be on another team in 2010

Hence, the Granderson and Edwin Jackson trade rumors.

For a GM to say a player can be had and for him to actually trade that player are two different things. But if a team were to look into trading for Granderson, what are they getting?

I did this last month with Brad Hawpe, so let’s now look at the trade market for Granderson. What are his pros, his cons, and what teams could be interested in the Tigers’ center fielder.

Pro’s

I think we can all agree on that Granderson is one of the great ambassadors for the game of baseball. He is extremely smart, he extremely well spoken, he has worked for TBS during the playoffs, and has traveled all across Europe promoting baseball.

Off the field, he is everything a team would want.

On the field, he is no slouch either.  Last year, he set a career high with 30 home runs and continues to be one of the better defensive center fielders in the game. He also is one of the more durable outfielders in the game as he has averaged 155 games played over the last four years.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Granderson is his contract. Granderson is due only $5.5 million in 2010, $8.25 million in 2011, and $10 million in 2012. Granderson also has a club option for $13 million in 2013.

That is a very reasonable contract for a guy who is only 28-years-old and in the prime of his career.

Cons

While Granderson’s power numbers have increased over the last two years, everything else offensively seems to have declined.

His average has gone from .302 to .280 to .249 in the last three years

His OPS has gone from .913 t0 .858 to .780 in the last three years

His walk percentage decreased from 11.4 percent in 2008 to 10.2 percent in 2009. Not good for a leadoff hitter.

You really have to start wondering if Granderson thinks he is a legit power hitter? His groundball percentage was 29.5 percent in 2009. By far and away the lowest of his career.

It’s like he has Willie “Mays” Hayes syndrome.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Granderson, now let’s take a look at what teams would be interested in trading for Granderson.

Chicago Cubs: Anytime you have Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley manning the corner outfield spots, you have one of the worst outfield defenses in baseball.

Granderson would give the Cubs a plus outfielder and someone who could track down balls that Soriano and Bradley couldn’t get to. Kosuke Fukudome is basically a fourth outfielder at this point.

Born in Illinois, Granderson would be perfect for the Cubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks: If the Diamondbacks are willing to pick up Brandon Webb’s $8.5 million option and they are looking to sign pitchers on multi-year deals this offseason, then trading for Granderson is not the craziest thing in the world.

A Chris Young for Granderson swap might make sense for both teams. Granderson would bring leadership to the Diamonbacks locker room, which is something they desperately need with all of their young talent.

Young would provide a young, low-cost replacement for Granderson.

New York Yankees: Granderson would be a great fit in the media capitol of the world. He would also be a major upgrade over Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner. Both of whom are fourth outfielders.

A package including David Robertson would be a good start for the Tigers.

Texas Rangers: With Marlon Byrd and Andruw Jones free agents, the Rangers could use a center fielder. Now, they do have Julio Borbon who can play center field and they could put David Murphy in left and Nelson Cruz in right in 2010.

But if they can get Granderson, then they can put him in center, put Borbon in left, and Cruz in right. This would give the Rangers a superior fielding outfield and would allow Murphy to move into a outfield/platoon roll.

Of course, in both scenarios Josh Hamilton would be the DH for the Rangers.

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox need a center fielder, but there is a better chance of me playing center field for the White Sox than Granderson.

What is fascinating, is that if this was five years ago the Tigers would have no problem finding a suitor for Granderson. But now, there are so many teams who have young, good center fielders, that the market for a player like Granderson is pretty thin.

There is probably more talent now at the center field position than there has been in the last 25 years. From Grady Sizemore to Drew Stubbs to Matt Kemp to Andrew McCutchen, baseball is flooded with talented center fielders.

I am going to say, at the end of the day,  there is a 10 percent chance Granderson gets traded.

*All contract information was supplied by Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg


Rangers Will Survive Without Hamilton…

June 3, 2009

The Rangers yesterday placed Josh Hamilton on the 15 Day DL with an abdominal strain. Hamilton could miss anywhere from two weeks to two months. That is kind of a wide range, but there is a possibility of surgery if the injury doesn’t improve in two weeks. While losing Hamilton for an extended period of time would be a tremendous loss for the Rangers, all is not lost.

While losing Hamilton for an extended period of time would be a tremendous loss for the Rangers, all is not lost.

Let’s take a look at Hamilton’s contributions to the Rangers so far—they really haven’t been much.

First, Hamilton has only played in 68 percent (35 out of 51) of the Rangers’ games this year. Second, when he has been in the lineup, Hamilton hasn’t been up to the standards he set during the first half of last year.

Hamilton has put up a .240/6/24 hitting line this year and has a dreadful .290 OBP. Granted, Hamilton has played most of the season hurt, but there is no excuse for having only a .290 OBP.

Despite Hamilton’s limited contributions, the Rangers have the second-best record in the AL with a 30-21 mark and currently have a 4.5 game lead in the AL West, so it’s not as if the Rangers have been dependant on Hamilton to win games.

The Rangers have enough good hitters to make up for the time Hamilton may miss.

The Rangers still have four very capable OFs who can hit with anyone. Nelson Cruz is putting up a .295/15/39 line and may be an All Star this year. Marlon Byrd has found a second life with the Rangers and has turned into a very good fourth OF type player. Byrd has hit .303 with four homers and 24 RBI so far this season.

Speaking of second lives, Andruw Jones is back, kids. After being left for dead by the Dodgers and the rest of baseball, Jones has hit .282 with five homers, 14 RBI, and a very, very solid .415 OBP in just 25 games. Jones isn’t a CF anymore, but he has turned himself into a more than capable RF of LF.

The Rangers also have David Murphy, whom they acquired from the Red Sox in the Eric Gagne trade two years ago.

Now, before everyone says that Murphy is only batting is .237 this year and can’t cut the mustard, remember, Murphy did hit .275 last year with 15 home runs and 74 RBI in just 108 games. Over a 162-game season, that’s a 22 home run and 110 RBI pace. Not too shabby.

Let’s also take a step back here for a second. I am not suggesting the Rangers won’t miss Hamilton at all. For me to suggest that would be the height of comedy. Hamilton is the leader of the Rangers and has a certain “aura” about him that makes his teammates gravitate toward him. Any time a team loses their leader, it hurts.

But I do think the Rangers will be able to survive without Hamilton, and I will say this: Whenever Hamilton does comes back, whether that is in two weeks or two months, the Rangers will still be in first place.

Fantasy Week In Review 4/27-5/3

May 4, 2009

The first weekend of May got off to a flying start thanks to a record tying performance from Carl Crawford. Crawford wasn’t the only player who had a good week. Here are the fantasy studs, players we are concerned about and some other fantasy news from the week of 4/27-5/3

Fantasy Studs

Raul Ibanez – .500/3/9. Ibanez is quickly making everyone forget about Pat Burrell.

Todd Helton – .478/1/7. My pick for NL Comeback Player of the Year is starting to rake.

Jorge Cantu – .346/4/14/.432. Cantu is out to prove last year was no fluke.

Jose Guillen – .357/3/10. Guillen is back with a vengeance. I watched a lot of that Royals and Twins series and Guillen was a force in the middle of the lineup. 

Chase Utley – .462/3/5. The 2nd Philly to make this list, Utley’s fast start will give confidence to other players trying to come back from hip surgery.

Dan Haren – 2-0 with a 1.59 era and 21 K’s in 17 IP. Haren is keeping the Dbacks afloat while their young hitters continue to struggle. Haren will be in the Cy Young running this year.

Verlander was lights out this week

Verlander was lights out this week

Justin Verlander – 2-0 with a 0.64 era with 20 K’s in 14 IP. Verlander dominated both the Yankees and Indians in a 7 day span. This is the type of performance that both the Tigers and fantasy owners were looking for from Verlander.

Trevor Hoffman – 3 saves with a 0.00 era and 5 K’s in 4 IP. Hoffman has come off the DL and has provided some stability to the Brewers bullpen.

Reasons for Concern

Brian Fuentes – 0-1 with a 13.50 era with 1 blown save and 4 H in 3 IP. Fuentes has been a disaster so far for the Angels. I watched his blown save against the Yankees and Fuentes was terrible. Couldn’t get anyone out and looked like he has no confidence on the mound.

Chris Davis – .158/0/1 – Everyone’s mancrush has gotten off to a slow start in 2009. Davis is too good to be this bad. He could be in line for a huge 2nd half

David Ortiz  – .208/0/12/.298 for the season. How bad has Ortiz been this year? Using Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis Tool, a lineup of the legendary Nick Green would outscore a lineup of Ortiz, 5.8-2.9. That’s right, a lineup of just Nick Green would score double the amount of runs that a David Ortiz led lineup would. Ouch!!!

Josh Beckett – 0-1 with a 13.50 era with 10 H in 4.2 IP. Outside of his first start against the Rays, Beckett has been terrible this season. By all accounts Beckett is healthy so I am really not sure what is wrong with the Red Sox ace.

Injuries

Josh Hamilton – Placed on the 15 Day DL with a strained rib cage. Eligible to come off on May 12th

Brandon Morrow – Placed on the 15 Day DL with biceps tendinitis. Hopes to return when he is eligible to come off the DL on May 9th.

Carlos Delgado – Day to day with a hip injury. This is an injury that fantasy owners hate. Not hurt enough to go on the DL but is healthy enough to pinch hit from time to time. What a waste of a roster spot. He should be on your bench until he proves to be healthy

Carlos Zambrano – Left Sunday’s start with strained hamstring. He may be in jeopardy of missing his next start.

Potential Pickups

Chris Ray – According to Orioles manager, Dave Trembley the orioles will go “day to day” in regards to their closer situation. If Sherrill ultimately losses his job, Ray would be next in line for the closers role. If you have a roster spot open, might be a good idea to pick him up now.

Homer Bailey – Bailey was rushed to the majors by the Reds when he clearly wasn’t ready to pitch in the majors and it showed. It seems like Bailey has been a “top prospect” forever but he is still only 23 years old and it looks like Bailey is starting to pitch like he is capable of. Bailey is off to a great start in Triple A going 3-0 with a 1.86 era so far. With Micah Owings struggling out of the gate (1-3 4.84 era), Bailey might take over his spot in the rotation sooner rather than later.

Luke Hochevar – I wrote a couple of weeks ago that Hochevar should be called up and with Sidney Ponson now 0-4 with a 7.16 era, I feel even stronger about that statement. Ponson is a waste and everytime the Royals send him out there, they are basically saying “we don’t want to win today.” Hochevar is 5-0 with a 1.13 era in Triple A and should take Ponson’s spot in the rotation shortly.

David Aardsma – With Morrow on the DL, Aardsma should get some save opportunities for the Mariners.

Andruw Jones – Yes Andruw Jones is alive and is actually doing quite well in Texas to the tune of .333/3/8 in 33 ab’s. With Hamilton going on the DL, a spot should open up in the Rangers lineup for Jones to play everyday.

Rangers Come Out Swinging….

April 10, 2009

One of the more interesting matchups the first week of the season was the Indians vs the Rangers. 2 teams that can slug the ball but 2 teams that have high aspirations heading into 2009. And boy, did the Rangers make a statement.

Kinsler had a huge series

Kinsler had a huge series

The Rangers swept and outslugged the Indians, a team many predicted to win the AL Central 29-14 in the 3 game series. They hit .346 with 7 HR’s, a rediculous OPS of 1.059 and were led by Ian Kinsler (.500/1/6, 13 total bases) and Nelson Cruz (.364/2/4, 10 total bases). The Rangers also made Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona and Carl Pavano look like minor league pitchers. Heck, things were going so well over the 3 game series that even Andruw Jones went 3 for 5 one game.

We all know the Rangers can hit. There lineup is one of the best in baseball. It will be up to their pitching staff to hold up their end of the bargain. In the 3 game series against the Indians, the Rangers got solid solid starts from Kevin Millwood and Brandon McCarthy. I know McCarty only went 5 innings and threw 105 pitches but that is better than what most Rangers starters do. McCarthy is the real wild card of the pitching staff. It seems McCarthy has been around forever (like Kyle Davies) but he is only 25 years old (also like Davies). If he can give the Rangers innings, quality starts and finally realize his potential, the boys of Texas will be in line to challenge the injury and emotionally riddled Angels.

What Is Andruw Jones Thinking??

February 8, 2009

There are some people in baseball that just confuse me. Like Mets GM Omar Minaya thinking signing Luis Castillo to a 4 year deal was a good idea or Jeff Weaver finding success for the first time in baseball in the NL with the Dodger and then signing with the Angels in the AL. Just confusing.

So when I read this morning that Andruw Jones signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers, I wondered what Jones was thinking? I wondered this because it was reported by Jon Heyman earlier in the week that he turned down a similar offer from the Yankees.

Jones, who was released by the Dodgers after seeing his waste line rise and his bat speed decline is trying to get back into a major league line up. Mainly because him and his agent, Scott Boras want to get at least one more pay day. But if Jones really wanted to get back into a line up and play every day why would he sign with the Rangers instead of the Yankees?

The Yankees currently have Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner slated to compete for the CF job. Both spent the majority of time in AAA last season and both haven’t proved they can be every day CF’s in the major leagues. The Rangers on the other hand, have Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy patroling the OF in Arlington Stadium. Both Cruz (.330/7/26 in 31 games) and Murphy (.275/15/74 in 108 games), last year proved they belong in the line up every day and obviously Josh Hamilton speaks for himself. On top of that the Rangers also have Marlon Byrd and Frank Catalanotto on the roster as well. Even if Jones does make the team, where is he going to get playing time?

The Rangers I am guessing don’t have room on the roster for 3 reserve OF’s. Which is why this move is so confusing and I am wondering what Andruw Jones is thinking?