Posts Tagged ‘J.J Putz’

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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White Sox Add Another Reliever, Sign J.J. Putz

December 11, 2009

Is it me or do the Chicago White Sox spend more time on trying to improve their bullpen than any team in baseball? I feel like they are always trading for or signing relief pitchers.

Today, the White Sox added yet another relief pitcher to the mix. MLB.com’s Noah Coslov has reported the White Sox have signed J.J. Putz to a one-year, $3 million contract. The deal also includes $250 thousand in incentives and Putz can earn another $3 million if he finishes a certain amount of games.

Do you think Putz is rooting hard for current closer Bobby Jenks to be traded?

Putz didn't work out for the Mets

All kidding aside, this is a good low-risk, high-reward signing by GM Ken Williams.

Since Putz had his career year in 2007 where he had 40 saves and a ridiculous 1.38 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in 71.2 innings for the Seattle Mariners, injuries have really derailed Putz’s career.

Putz only appeared in 47 games for the Mariners in 2008 because of injuries and during the following winter he was traded to the New York Mets as part of a three-team trade between the Mariners, Cleveland Indians, and Mets.

The Mets acquired Putz to be the set-up man to the then newly signed Francisco Rodriguez, but things just didn’t work out in Flushing. Putz got off to a dreadful start giving up 17 earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched.

Putz was put on the DL in June with bone spurs and fragments in his elbow. He was sent to Brooklyn on a rehab assignment in August and after complaining about soreness in his forearm, he went for an MRI.

The MRI revealed a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and Putz was done for the season.

Williams believes Putz is healthy now and if he is healthy, he definitely gives the White Sox options out of pen. That is one thing I like about Ken Williams–he always gives his managers a lot of options.

The White Sox always seem to have players who can fill a couple of different roles. Perhaps that is why they have been pretty successful over the last five years.

A healthy Putz can replace Octavio Dotel, who is a free agent or he can close if Jenks is ineffective. A healthy Putz could also give Williams the option to trade Jenks down the road to improve another area of the club if need be.

I still think the White Sox could use another lefty in the pen to compliment Matt Thornton (Thornton was the one who recruited Putz to come to Chicago by the way), but this is a good signing by the White Sox.

Something tells me Putz is going to pitch well in Chicago.

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

Who Got The Better Of Some Offseason Trades?…

June 3, 2009

This past offseason we saw a lot of teams wheeling and dealing. There were some blockbuster trades, like the Matt Holliday trade and there were some under-the-radar trades, like the Edwin Jackson trade that are proving to be difference makers.

Now that we are two months into the season, let’s take a look at some of the offseason trades that took place, and which team (so far) has gotten the better of the trade.

The Trade: Matt Holliday traded from the Rockies to the A’s for Huston Street, Greg Smith and Carlos Gonzalez

Advantage: Colorado Rockies

Analysis: After a really slow start, Holliday has turned it on as of late. Holliday is putting up a .275/7/30/.368 hitting line. However, Holliday was brought to the A’s so the A’s could win. The A’s aren’t winning and they are in last place in the AL West.

Another factor in why this is advantage Rockies, is that because of Holliday’s slow start, it doesn’t look like A’s GM Billy Beane will get more back than they gave up, if they decide to trade him at the deadline.

The Rockies got three players for Holliday and all three have performed well for Colorado so far this season. The key to this deal was Carlos Gonzalez and he is putting up Ruthian numbers in Triple A. Gonzalez is hitting .348 with 10 HR’s and 59 RBI in 46 games.

The Rockies could also trade Huston Street (3.38 ERA 8 saves) at the deadline for prospects.

The Trade: Edwin Jackson traded from the Rays to the Tigers for Matt Joyce

Advantage: Detroit Tigers

Analysis: This might be the steal of the offseason. Jackson, along with Justin Verlander have become one of the best one-two punches in the AL. Jackson is currently 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA and has an impressive eight quality starts in 11 total starts.

Matt Joyce on the other hand, has spent the majority of the season in the minors. Granted Joyce did hit .315/5/27/.408 in Triple A, but he has not nearly made the impact that Jackson has had.

The Trade: Coco Crisp traded from the Red Sox to the Royals for Ramon Ramirez.

Advantage: Even

Analysis: Probably the most even trade of the offseason. Both players have done exactly what their teams have asked them to do. This is a very rare occurrence in baseball or in any sport for that matter.

The acquisition of Crisp allowed David Dejesus to shift to LF, which has stabilized the Royals’ outfield defense. Crisp has played a very solid CF, which his 2.9 UZR indicates. The Royals would like Crisp to hit better (.233/3/14), but he does have 11 steals to pace the Royals.

Ramirez has been a rock in the Red Sox bullpen. He is 4-2 with a 1.33 ERA and has seven holds in 24 games. Ramirez has been a very good bridge to closer, Jonathon Papelbon.

The Trade: Mark DeRosa traded from the Cubs to the Indians for Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer and John Gaub.

Advantage: Indians

Analysis: When this trade happened back in December, I thought it was a steal for the Indians. Now that we are in June, I still think the Indians got the better of the Cubs, but not by much.

DeRosa has been solid for the Indians, but the Indians are in last place and look to be seller at the trading deadline. One of the players the Indians might be selling is DeRosa. DeRosa has hit .266 with 8 HR’s and 33 RBI so far this and since he can play multiple positions, he has a lot of value.

Even though Stevens (0-2 1.80 ERA in 19 games), Archer (2-0 1.29 ERA in 9 starts), and Gaub (2-1 3.50 ERA) have pitched well in the minors, the Cubs miss DeRosa’s bat and more importantly, his versatility dearly. Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles have not been able to fill DeRosa’s shoes so far.

The real winner of this trade will not be determined until we find out how the prospects the Indians get for DeRosa fare (he will be traded) and how the three prospects the Cubs got from the Indians turn out.

The Trade: Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira traded from the White Sox to the Yankees for Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez

Advantage: Yankees

Analysis: The Yankees bought low on Swisher and have gotten great results so far. Not only does Swisher have 10 HR’s and 31 RBI, but has loosened the normally uptight Yankee clubhouse and has brought a “Kevin Millar” type attitude to the bronx.

Many people don’t know the Yankees also got Kanekoa Texeira (no relation to Mark) in this trade as well. Texeira is 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA for Double A Trenton.

Wilson Betemit has been useless for the White Sox.  He is batting .209 and doesn’t fit in the White Sox long-term plans. Jeff Marquez has been terrible in Triple A. Marquez is 0-4 with a 14.54 ERA in four starts. Nunez has been a little better posting a 1-0 record with a 2.97 ERA in 16 games in Double A.

The Trade: Khalil Greene traded from the Padres to the Cardinals for Mark Worrell

Advantage: Nobody

Analysis: Khalil Greene – .200/2/14. Currently on the 15 Day DL

Mark Worrell – 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA

Enough said.

The Trade: JJ Putz, Sean Green and Jeremy Reed traded from the Mariners to the Mets for Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Mike Carp, Maikel Cleto and Ezequiel Carrera. Joe Smith traded from the Mets to the Indians. Franklin Gutierrez traded from the Indians to the Mariners. Luis Valbuena was traded from the Mariners to the Indians.

Advantage: Mariners

Analysis: This trade involved three teams and 12 players. At the end of the day, I like the Mariners side of this deal. They were able to restock their farm system with Carrera and Carp (Carp is hitting .302/9/26/.419 in Triple A, by the way) and the players they got for the major league team have made valuable contributions.

Endy Chavez has hit .284 while swiping eight bases and Jason Vargas is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA and has two quality starts in four starts. The Mariners were also able to flip Heilman to the Cubs for Garrett Olson and Ronny Cedeno. I’ll chalk that one up as a win for the Mariners as well.

JJ Putz and Sean Green have been terrible for the Mets. Putz is 1-4 with a 4.76 ERA and already lost his role as 8th inning set-up guy to Bobby Parnell. Green has been even worse. He has a 6.95 ERA with an 0-2 record. Jeremy Reed is nothing more than a 4th OF/defensive replacement type player.

Joe Smith has been useless for the Indians (7.11 ERA in 9 games) and is currently on the DL. Luis Valbuena looks like a promising second base prospect and put up a .321/3/13/.436 hitting line in Triple A this year.

Valbuena was just recently called up.

So there you have it. There were a lot of trades involving a lot of players and it looks like the Rockies, Indians, Tigers, and Mariners have gotten the better of their deals so far.

I will revisit this post at the end of the year to see if anything has changed.

The WBC And The Affects On Pitching Part 2..

May 18, 2009

Back in January, I wrote a post title “The World Baseball Classic And The Affects On Starting Pitching.” I wrote the post to show that most pitchers who pitched in the WBC in 2006 had a worse era that season than they did in 2005. Now that we are over 30 games into the season and the WBC is well behind us, I think is now a good time to see how some of the WBC pitchers are fairing this season.

Cueto is off to a good start

Cueto is off to a good start

Pitcher-Record-ERA

Jose Arredono – 1-0 5.51 era

Johnny Cueto – 4-1 1.93 era

Felix Hernandez – 4-2 3.53 era

Ubaldo Jimenez – 3-4 4.73 era

Rafael Perez – 0-1 15.19 era. Optioned to Triple A in May.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 0-1 12.79 era. On the DL since April with Shoulder Fatigue.

Ian Snell – 1-5 4.93 era

Roy Oswalt – 1-2 4.50 era

Ted Lilly – 5-2 3.27 era

Jonathon Sanchez – 1-3 5.06 era

Jake Peavy – 2-5 4.30 era

Jeremy Guthrie – 3-3 5.21 era

Scot Shields – 1-3 7.90 era

JJ Putz – 1-2 3.86. Is currently pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow.

Joakim Soria – 1-0 2.08 era and 7/7 in saves. Currently on the 15 Day DL because of a sore shoulder. Royals GM, Dayton Moore wonders if the WBC led to Soria’s issue.  “I don’t think it helps,” Moore told the Kansas City Star. “We couldn’t control his work. If you can’t control a pitcher’s workload and you can’t script their preparation during spring training, it’s a problem.”

JP Howell – 0-2 2.81 era

Joel Hanrahan – 0-1 5.51 era and 3/6 in saves

Jonathon Broxton – 4-0 1.50 era and 9/11 in saves

Matt Lindstrom – 1-1 5.40 era and 7/9 in saves

Heath Bell – 1-0 0.00 era and 9/9 in saves

LaTroy Hawkins – 1-1 2.70 era and 5/7 in saves

Brad Ziegler – 0-0 3.86 era 4/5 in saves

Perez is having a terrible 2009

Perez is having a terrible 2009

John Grabow – 1-0 5.29 era

Oliver Perez – 1-2 9.97 era. Placed on the 15 Day DL because of a knee injury. In reality it was because he is terrible.

So that is 24 pitchers with a combined 37-41 record on a 5.08 era. Now can all these poor starts be solely attributed to the WBC? Absolutely not. That wouldn’t be fair saying that was the case. However, I do believe there is some connection between these poor starts and pitching in the WBC. Out of those 24 pitchers, it seems only Johnny Cueto, Heath Bell and Jonathon Broxton have pitched in the WBC and have pitched exceptionally well in 2009.

There is no evidence to suggest that the WBC is going away any time soon.  So when the next WBC comes around and if you see a pitcher on your favorite team on the roster, don’t expect a good year out of him.

*Please note all stats were calculated prior to Sunday’s games.

Mets Bullpen Shines On Opening Day…

April 6, 2009

The Mets spent the majority of the winter trying to revamp their bullpen for 2009. With the additions of JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez the Mets envisioned their starters going 7, then handing the ball to Putz in the 8th and then to Rodriguez in the 9th. There is nothing more gratifying to a team than having their offseason moves payoff on Opening Day.

Krod earned his 1st save as a Met

Krod earned his 1st save as a Met

In a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day, the Mets offseason moves were put to the test right away. Santana went 5.2, scattering 3 hits, walking 4 and striking out 7. With Santana at 99 pitches, the Mets had to go to their bullpen. Normally Mets fans would cringe at the thought. Not any more. Another new addition Sean Green went a perfect 1.1 IP and then handed the ball off to Putz, who after allowing a walk to Chris Dickerson got out of the 8th. In came Rodriguez and got 3 outs in just 10 pitches to earn his first save as a New York Met.

I know it’s only 1 game but the Mets brass and their fans have to be very happy that the Mets offseason plan worked to perfection on Opening Day.

The Mets Need Eric Byrnes

December 29, 2008

If there is a team I have always rooted for to do well besides the Red Sox it has been the New York Mets. I think this is for 2 reasons. 1. I grew up 5 minutes from Shea Stadium and I probably have attended over 200 Mets games in my life. 2. Besides his family one of the things that gives my dad great joy is to see the Mets win. 

So on September 28th, when for the 2nd year in a row the Mets collapsed down the stretch the question that my dad and all other Mets fans had was “what is wrong with the New York Mets?” The common answer and the scapegoat for their collapse was the bullpen. A bullpen era of 4.27, 29 blown saves, a save % of 60% and having Louis Ayala as your closer in the final month of the season makes for an easy scapegoat.

While Mets GM, Omar Minaya has done a good job of addressing the bullpen in the offseason with the signing of Francisco Rodriguez and trading for J.J. Putz, I believe the Mets problems run a little deeper.  The Mets as currently constructed are lacking “Gamers”. Those gritty, dirtdog, get-under-your-skin types that every winning team has. The Yankees had them in the 90’s (Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez), the Phillies have them now (Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino), and so do the Red Sox (Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis). The Mets do not.

The Mets do not have a player on their roster who would punch a wall after he struck out, they don’t have a player who would take out a SS while sliding into 2nd and they certainly don’t have players who will run into walls to win a game.  This is why the Mets need to trade for Eric Byrnes.

Byrnes is a perfect fit for the Mets. Besides the Mets needing a left fielder (it was clear last year Daniel Murphy can’t play left), the Mets need a player who’s nickname is the “crash test dummy,” they need a player who is a gamer and will get his uniform dirty every game and they need a player who brings energy and intensity to the ballpark everyday. Byrnes was the heart and soul of a Diamondbacks team that made it to the NLCS in 2007 and it is no coincidence that when Byrnes was lost for the season with a hamstring injury the Diamondbacks missed the playoffs in 2008.

The Mets have the talent, now they need the heart. Eric Byrnes has the heart the Mets need.