Posts Tagged ‘Jon Garland’

Padres Get A Bargain In Jon Garland

January 28, 2010

Here are the career pitching lines for two pitchers. Both pitchers have pitched 10 years in the major leagues.

Pitcher A: 30-years-old, a career record of 117-102 with a 4.42 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, and a 44.5 percent groundball rate.

Pitcher B: 31-years-old, a career record of 87-79 with a 4.39 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP, and a 48.6 percent groundball rate.

Pitcher B is a year older and hasn’t enjoyed the same success throughout his career as Pitcher A. However, there was a “sweepstakes” for Pitcher B and Pitcher A didn’t have much of a market.

Garland will be pitching in San Diego in 2010

Both pitchers recently signed contracts. Pitcher A signed a one-year, $4.75 million contract with a mutual option for 2011. Pitcher B signed a two-year, $16 million contract.

Pitcher A is Jon Garland and Pitcher B is Joel Pineiro.

Pineiro went into this offseason as the second or third best starting pitcher on the market and Garland was an afterthought. Can someone explain to me why?

Oh wait, I know why. Pineiro had a career year in his walk year and Garland didn’t. Instead of looking at a pitcher’s overall success, teams usually sign a guy off of their performance in their walk-year. It’s a mistake that teams–and especially the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim–make time and time again.

While Pineiro had the better year in 2009, Garland throughout his career has been the better pitcher. I know Garland gives up a lot of hits and peripherals aren’t sexy. But the bottom line is, this guy knows how to win games.

From 2005-20008, Garland is 60-38 with a 4.12 ERA. His 60-38 record equals a .612 winning percentage. That is pretty impressive.

I know wins for a pitcher is becoming less relevant in this day and age of advanced statistics, but Garland knows how to win baseball games. Jack Morris (I am not comparing Garland to Morris. I just using him as a reference) didn’t have the greatest peripherals, but he knew how to win games.

Sometimes we and myself included, forget the bottom-line is winning.

Will Garland help the San Diego Padres win the National League West? Not a chance. The Padres are still a couple of years away from really competing for a NL West crown.

But Garland will give them innings (averages 208 innings over the last five years) and just as good of a performance as Joel Pineiro, for less money. Best case scenario? Garland pitches like he normally does and the Padres flip him for prospects at the trading deadline.

The Padres got a great bargain in Garland.

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

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Free Agent Primer: What To Look For This Offseason

November 19, 2009

At 12:01 tomorrow morning, the free agent signing period begins in baseball. Will you see players signing with teams at 12:05 like in the NFL and NBA? No, you won’t.

This will be a very long offseason in baseball. Just like last year, you will see some quality players still available going into the month of February. And just like last year, you are going to see GM’s try to wait out players hoping to get their version of a Bobby Abreu deal.

With the free agent signing period just a mere 12 hours away, here is a free agent primer on this year’s batch of free agents.

Best Free Agent Starting Pitcher: John Lackey. The same people who are concerned with Lackey being “injury prone” are the same people who thought Adrian Peterson was “injury prone” coming out of Oklahoma.

Kind of silly.

Best Free Agent Hitter: Matt Holliday. Holliday is the best hitter in a weak free agent hitting class. I am not sold on Holliday being paid like a franchise player, but he will be.

Best Free Agent Relief Pitcher: Rafael Soriano. Soriano is only 30-years-old and is entering the prime of his career. 12.1 K/9 in 2009 is very impressive.

Biggest Free Agent Hitter Bust: Marco Scutaro. I am sorry, but I just don’t see it from this guy. He has been a scrub all his life and now at 34-years-old he is worth a mutli-year deal? No thanks.

Biggest Free Agent Hitter Bust II: Chone Figgins. This is Juan Pierre Part II. Some team is going to give this guy a four-year, $42 million deal and regret it from the first day. In the third year of this deal he will be a pinch runner off the bench.

Biggest Free Agent Starting Pitcher Bust: Joel Pineiro. Back in August I wrote about how teams should stay away from Pineiro. My feelings towards him haven’t changed. He has Jeff Suppan and Kyle Lohse written all over him.

Biggest Free Agent Relief Pitcher Bust: Brandon Lyon. If a team signs Lyon as an eighth inning, set-up guy, I have no problem with that. But if a teams signs him to be their closer, all bets are off.

If you go into 2010 with Lyon as your closer, you are pretty much telling your fan base we have no shot to win in 2010.

Perfect Match Most Likely To Happen: Mark DeRosa to the Philadelphia Phillies. When you look at the Phillies team and then you look at the type of player DeRosa is, this is a perfect match. DeRosa is a “baseball player” and on a team filled with “baseball players,” DeRosa fits in perfectly.

Perfect Match Most Likely NOT To Happen: Orlando Hudson to the New York Mets. Hudson wanted to play for the Mets last year and it didn’t happen. He wants to play for them again this year and it won’t happen again.

Hudson is just what the Mets need, but since Luis Castillo and his horrific contract are holding down the fort at second base, Hudson will need to look for work somewhere else.

Biggest Free Agent Surprise: Jason Bay will not be back with the Boston Red Sox. As I told my buddy Odie, Bay is like the girl in high school who appears all sweet and innocent, but has slept with the entire football team.

Bay won't be a Red Sock in 2010

Everyone thinks because Bay is a soft-spoken nice guy and has thrived in Boston, he will just accept whatever Theo Epstein offers him and money doesn’t matter–not the case. I think Bay gets a five-year deal from another team and takes the years and the money and runs.

And I wouldn’t fault him for that.

Player Who Will Make The Most Money Who You Never Heard Of: Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is the 22-year-old Cuban defector, who is a starting pitcher and just happens to throw 100 mph. It looks like it will be a two-team race for Chapman’s services–the Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

This is Jose Contreras Part II.

Best Low-Risk, High-Reward Hitter: Xavier Nady. Last year, I correctly predicted that Russell Branyan would be the 2007 version of Carlos Pena–a journeyman guy, who finally gets a chance to start and has a big year.

Nady is that free agent this year. Let a small market team sign him to a one-year deal, let him play 1B/DH and watch him hit 30 home runs.

Best Low-Risk, High-Reward Hitter Part II: Troy Glaus. Glaus is relatively young at 33 and just two years ago hit 27 home runs and had an .856 OPS. Can he play third at this point in his career? Probably not.

But he can probably play first or DH and still be a power threat at a very low-cost.

Best Low-Rick, High Reward Pitcher: Ben Sheets. Sheets missed all of the 2009 season because of flexor tendon surgery. But Sheets should be 100 percent healthy by the start of spring training and I think could have an impact in 2010.

Remember, Andy Pettitte had the same surgery in 2004 and he has fully recovered from the injury. A team like the Texas Rangers would be wise to sign him to an incentive laden deal.

Pitchers Who Have To Stay In The NL In Order To Be Successful: Randy Wolf and Brad Penny. American League teams should really stay away from these guys. Hopefully both of these guys know where their bread is buttered and won’t pull a Jeff Weaver after the 2006 season.

Bedard won't work in New York or Boston

Big Market Teams Should Stay Away: Erik Bedard. Bedard just strikes me as a guy who would rather pitch in Kansas City and not be bothered than pitching in a pennant race in New York of Boston.

Worst Pitcher To Be This Offseason: Kevin Gregg. Gregg is a Type A free agent and he stinks. Very bad spot to be in.

Worst Hitter To Be This Offseason: Jermaine Dye. Dye is a Type A free agent, is 37-years-old, and can’t play a lick of defense. He is a DH in a strong DH market. I think it will be a while before a team looks at Dye.

Hitter Who Should Get More Love, But Won’t: Mike Cameron. Despite being 37-years-old, all Cameron is going to do is play a Gold Glove caliber center field, hit around .265, and hit 20-25 home runs.

Something tells me because of his relationship with CC Sabathia, Cameron signs with the Yankees on a one-year deal.

Pitcher Who Should Get More Love, But Won’t: Jon Garland. Why Garland was sitting the bench, while Hiroki Kuroda was starting playoff games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year is beyond me.

I know wins for pitchers are overrated, but all Garland does is win. That does count for something. He is going to win games and pitch 200 innings. Teams could do a lot worse.

The Milwaukee Brewers would be smart to sign him.

Best Utility Player: Jamey Carroll. Great club house guy, who can play second, third, left, and right. Every team could use a player like Carroll on their roster.

Non-Tender Candidate Sleeper: Kelly Johnson. On December 12th, hundreds of players will not be tendered contracts. The sleeper out of this bunch–Kelly Johnson.

Johnson was put in Bobby Cox’s doghouse in Atlanta in 2009, but in 2007 he had an OPS of .831 and in 2007 he had an OPS of .795. He is a classic change of scenery guy.

You can find a full list of this year’s free agents here.

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

Bronson Arroyo: What’s His Trade Market?

November 16, 2009

One of the bigger stories of last week was the Cincinnati Reds desire to cut payroll. It’s been reported that the Reds want to have a payroll less than the $73 million it was in 2009.

The easiest way to reduce payroll, of course, is to trade away some of your highest priced players. If the Reds were to trade some of their players, Aaron Harang, Brandon Phillips, Francisco Cordero, and Bronson Arroyo are the most likely trade candidates.

Bronson Arroyo

Arroyo plays the guitar just as well as he pitches

For the purposes of today’s post, let’s take a look at Arroyo. Here are the pros, the cons, and the teams who might be interested in trading for the Reds’ Guitar Hero.

PROS

Ever since Arroyo was traded to the Reds from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Wily Mo Pena (not one of Theo Epstein’s finer moments, though I didn’t mind the deal for the Red Sox at the time) in March of 2006, Arroyo has been one of the most durable pitchers in the game.

Arroyo over the last four years have averaged 34 starts a year and 218 innings pitched. Twice in that span he has led the National League in starts (2006 & 2008) and once led the league in innings pitched (2006).

In a game where starting pitchers average five innings and are constantly on the DL, Arroyo makes all his starts and goes deep into games.

Teams also have to like the fact that as Arroyo gets older, he is throwing more groundballs than ever. Arroyo’s groundball rate of 44.8 percent in 2009 was the highest of his career.

Lastly, Arroyo gained valuable postseason experience pitching for the Red Sox in 2003, 2004, and 2005. While he didn’t pitch well (7.41 ERA in 10 games) in those October’s, he usually does he best work late in the season.

Arroyo is 22-9 with a 3.22 ERA in his career during September and October.

Cons

While Arroyo is one of the most durable pitchers in the game, there is a lot of tread on his tires. Over the last three years, Arroyo has thrown 10,275 pitches. That ranks him sixth amongst all starters in baseball.

That’s a lot of pitches for a guy who is going to be 33-years-old in 2010.

And while Arroyo’s contract seems reasonable at one-year and $11 million with a club option for $11 million for 2011, we are in a down economy in baseball.

Normally, $11 million for a pitcher like Arroyo is not outlandish, but not only does a team have to assume his contract in a down economy, but they would also have to surrender a couple of prospects.

That’s a lot to ask a team for essentially a number three pitcher on a contending team.

Now that we have seen the pros and cons of Arroyo, let’s take a look at what teams could be possible trade partners.

New York Mets: Right now, the Mets rotation is Johan Santana and a bunch of question marks. The Mets can afford Arroyo’s contract and he would give the Mets a solid number two or three starter going into 2010.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Vicente Padilla, Randy Wolf, and Jon Garland are all potential free agents leaving only Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers’ rotation.

For a team who’s starters ranked 11th in the National League in innings pitched, Arroyo would be a welcomed site for Joe Torre.

New York Yankees: If the Yankees don’t feel Phil Hughes is ready to start and Andy Pettitte decides to retire, then Arroyo is a realistic option for the Yankees.

Minnesota Twins: I know this is a stretch because of Arroyo’s salary, but the Twins are looking to add a veteran starter or two this offseason. I would much rather have Arroyo than Carl Pavano, who they are looking to re-sign.

Seattle Mariners: The like the Mets, the Mariners have an ace in Felix Hernandez and then a bunch of question marks. With the Mariners great defense, Arroyo could thrive in the great northwest.

It would be a shame if the Reds had to trade Arroyo. With a great, young nucleus, the Reds are closer to contention than most people think.

I would say if the Reds were to shed salary, Arroyo is the most likely to go. His one-year contract and his performance to date would make him attractive to teams who need a starter.

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

National League Championship Series Preview And Pediction

October 15, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Best-of-seven series

Game One: Thursday, Oct. 15 8:07 ET. Cole Hamels vs. Clayton Kershaw

Game Two: Friday, Oct. 16 4:07 ET. TBD vs. Vicente Padilla

Game Three: Sunday, Oct. 18 8:07 ET. Hiroki Kuroda vs. Cliff Lee

Game Four: Monday, Oct. 19 8:07 ET. Randy Wolf vs. TBD

Game Five*: Wednesday, Oct. 21 8:07 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Game Six*: Friday, Oct. 23 8:07 ET. TBD vs. TBD

Game Seven*: Saturday, Oct 24 8:07 ET. TBD vs TBD

*If necessary

Prediction: Here we go again. Last year, these two team met in the NLCS with the Phillies winning in five games. In the National League, there have only been two times where teams met in back-to-back NLCS’s. Each time, the team that won the year before, won the next year.

So history says the Phillies will once again be playing in the World Series. While some might use the phrase “history repeats itself,” I will use the phrase “there is a first time for everything.”

I believe the Dodgers will win this series.

Here are five reasons why I like the Dodgers:

Hamels hasn't been right all year

Hamels hasn't been right all year

5. Cole Hamels is not Cole Hamels. At some point we are going to have to realize that Hamels is not the same pitcher he was last year. With every start we were hoping he would turn it around, but it just never happened this year.

There is no evidence to suggest that Hamels is going to turn it around in this series. John Kruk on ESPN said that Hamels didn’t pitch well against the Colorado Rockies in Game Two because his he and his wife were expecting a baby.

Well, what was the excuse for the last six months?

4. I think Manny Ramirez has a big series. Ramirez looked as clueless as I have ever seen him look in that final weekend series against the Rockies. He didn’t do much the first two games of the NLDS either, but then had a huge Game Three against the Cardinals.

I just have a feeling that Game Three was a sign of things to come.

3. The Dodgers have home-field advantage. This postseason is shaping up to be a home-field advantage postseason. All four teams that had home-field advantage in the first round won. I think that trend carries over in this series.

The difference between last year’s series and this years is that the Dodgers will have that extra game at home. Despite the lack of fan support (I’ll get to that in a minute), the Dodgers play very well at home.

2. The Dodgers’ bullpen. The Dodgers’ bullpen is the difference in this series. The one-two punch of George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton can make any game in this series a seven inning game.

I also like the fact that if any of the Dodgers’ starters get in trouble early, they have two guys who can give quality innings in long relief–Jeff Weaver and Chad Billingsley. That is something the Phillies don’t have.

Kershaw will start Game 1

Kershaw will start Game 1 for the Dodgers

1. Kershaw is to the Dodgers what Bret Saberhagen was to the Kansas City Royals in 1985. In 1985, Saberhagen was a 21-year-old prodigy who led the Royals to a World Series championship.

I really believe Kershaw, who is also 21 by the way, has that type of ability. Not only does Kershaw possess nasty stuff, but I think he can carry the Dodgers’ rotation on his back if need be.

I love the fact that Kershaw is starting Game One. Kershaw had a 1.83 ERA at home this year and I expect him to pitch very well in this series.

Dodgers in six

MVP – Clayton Kershaw

Now let me talk about the Dodger fans. As of 9:21 pm ET last night, there were plenty of good seats available for Game’s One and Two at Dodger Stadium. I went to Ticketmaster, put in for best seats available, and plenty of seats were available for purchase.

That is pathetic.

You can’t sniff a playoff ticket for face value in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, or St. Louis. Even the Tampa Bay Rays sold out in their ALCS in five minutes last year.

Just a terrible job by Dodger fans. No excuse for that.

10 Things We Learned About Baseball In August

September 2, 2009

Oh those dog days of August. It’s hot, it’s steamy, and people in the mid-west don’t flinch when it’s 120 degrees outside. It’s a month where teams make their late season push or fade away like a fart in the wind.

August 2009 was no different. We saw records broken, milestones reached, a milestone contract, and of course, teams battling it out for a playoff berth.

Here are the top 10 things we learned from baseball in the month of August…

10. Derek Jeter breaks the all-time hits record for shortstops. When Jeter set the all-time hits record for shortstops with his 2,675th career hit, two things crossed my mind. 1. I can’t believe in the history of baseball, there hasn’t been a SS who has gotten more than 2,700 hits and 2. Is Jeter the second best SS of all-time (No. 1 being Honus Wagner)?

I can’t believe the lack of great shortstops in the game. Wasn’t it always as a kid, the best player on the team played shortstop? What happened? Shortstops are like quarterbacks in the NFL. There should be more great ones, but there aren’t.

The team Jeter plays on…

9. New York Yankees put a stronghold on the AL East. Going into the four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, all you heard about was how the Red Sox were 8-0 against the Yankees in 2009. Four games and outscoring the Red Sox 27-8 later, the Yankees swept the Red Sox and put a stranglehold on the AL East.

On the subject of the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry…

8. Pedro Martinez made his return to the mound. Martinez waited, waited, waited, and waited all season to get the call he was looking for. The Philadelphia Phillies made the call, offered Martinez a chance to start, and Martinez made his first start since last September on August 12th against the Chicago Cubs.

For me personally, it was great to see Martinez back on the mound. While he is not the Martinez I remember with the Red Sox, he still can get hitters out.

In four starts in August, Martinez was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA.

Speaking of former Red Sox pitchers…

7. John Smoltz and Brad Penny weren’t good enough for the American League. Plan A for the Red Sox in the offseason was to sign Mark Teixeria. When that plan fell through, they went to Plan B. Plan B was to sign fill out the roster with high-risk, high-reward players like John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Rocco Baldelli.

Plan B has turned into Plan D — as in Disastrous. Smoltz was 2-5 with a 8.33 ERA in eight starts and Penny was 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA in 24 starts. Both pitchers were released by the Red Sox in August.

When Smoltz was released he joined the St. Louis Cardinals…

6. Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are a solid one-two punch. In the month of August, Carpenter and Wainwright went a combined 9-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 66 K’s, and only allowed 71 hits in 86.2 innings pitched.

No wonder why the Cardinals opened up a nine game lead in the NL Central in August.

I said it before the season started and I will say it again. Carpenter is the key for the Cardinals. As he goes, so goes the Red Birds.

Staying in the NL Central…

5. The Milwaukee Brewers shake things up. On August 12th, Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin saw enough and the Brewers really shook things up.

They sent former All Star SS JJ Hardy to the minors, DFA’d 3B Bill Hall, fired pitching coach Bill Castro, and called up top prospect Alcides Escobar.

Have those moves helped? Well, on August 12th, the Brewers were two games under .500 at 53 and 55. On September 1st, the Brewers were three games under .500 at 64 and 67.

Many feel JJ Hardy will be traded in the offseason, but…

4. There were plenty of players who changed teams in August. The waiver claim period was just as hectic as the period leading up to the July 31st trading deadline.

Jim Thome, Jon Garland, Billy Wagner, Alex Rios, Aubrey Huff, and Scott Kazmir were all traded in the month of August. Perhaps the biggest shocker of all was Scott Kazmir.

The Tampa Bay Rays unloaded Kazmir and the remaining $23 million on his contract to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, while still in the middle of the AL Wild Card race. Many felt, including myself, that the Rays were smart to make this move.

I don’t think the Rays players and fans felt the same way.

Now that Kazmir is on the Angels, he won’t have to face this guy…

3. Vladimir Guerrero hits No. 400. How many people know that Guerrero is one of only six hitters in the history of the game to have 400 homeruns and a .320 lifetime batting average? I was shocked when I first heard this.

Guerrero joins Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig as the only players to accomplish this feat. When you put Guerrero’s name in that list, it’s almost like a who doesn’t belong question. But Vlad does.

I never thought of Guerrero as a Hall of Fame type player. I am definitely rethinking that now.

Guerrero started out with the Montreal Expos, which are now…

2. The Washington Nationals sign Stephen Strasburg. If the Nationals didn’t sign the No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft, they might of as well folded up the franchise. This deal had to get done and it did — at the 11th hour.

Right before the deadline to sign draft picks expired, the Nationals and Strasburg agreed to a record contract that will pay the former San Diego State righty around $15.1 million.

This deal broke the previous record of $10.5 million signed by Mark Prior back in 2001.

And the No.1 thing we learned about baseball in August was…

1. The NL Wild Card race is the best thing going in baseball. Four teams separated by a grand total of four games. The Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, and Atlanta Braves are all battling for one postseason spot.

The Rockies and Giants are tied for the Wild Card lead and have played some memorable games in the last week. On August 24th, the Rockies and Giants played in my opinion, the game of the year. The Rockies won that game 6-4 in 14 innings on a walk-off grandslam by Ryan Spilborghs.

Less than a week later, the Giants staged a comeback of their own. On August 30th, Edgar Renteria hit a go-ahead grandslam of his own against Rafael Betancourt in the seventh inning to help the Giants sweep the Rockies.

I am guessing this race goes down to the wire.

That’s a wrap for the month of August. Hasn’t this year gone by fast? It seems like yesterday, I was writing my April recap.

I can’t wait for my September recap. We should have a good feel by then, who is going to the playoffs and who is playing golf in October.

Los Angeles Dodgers Stock Up For Stretch Run: Acquire Jim Thome And Jon Garland

September 1, 2009

Late on Monday night and on the last day players can be traded and be eligible for the postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their starting rotation and bench by acquiring DH Jim Thome from the Chicago White Sox and RHP Jon Garland from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bye bye Chicago, hello LA

Bye bye Chicago, hello LA

One move I love and one move I really can’t figure out.

Let’s start with the move I love. I am probably more of a fan of Garland’s than most people, but this is a very solid move by the Dodgers. I begged the New York Mets to sign Garland instead of Oliver Perez and just last week, I thought the Boston Red Sox should trade for Garland.

Garland, along with Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and Randy Wolf gives the Dodgers a very winnable four-man rotation in the playoffs.

How happy do you think Garland is this morning? Going from one of the worst teams in baseball in the Arizona Diamondbacks to one of the best. He’s as happy as an 18-year-old freshman at Nebraska around Erin Andrews on College Gameday. Just giddy.

The best part of this deal for the Dodgers, is that the Diamondbacks will pick up the rest of Garland’s salary for this year, as well as the buyout for his 2010 option. How fast do you think Ned Colletti agreed to this deal?

The Diamondbacks will get the ever-so-popular Player to be Named Later. Rumor has it, it might be 24-year-old Tony Abreu, but that is not confirmed.

Now to the move that is a little puzzling to me. The Dodgers also acquired Jim Thome from the White Sox for 26-year-old minor league infielder Justin Fuller.

Look, I get what the Dodgers are thinking here. They want a big bopper off the bench to hit late in the game and a possible DH if they make it to the World Series. They want a guy to do to other teams what Matt Stairs did to them in the NLCS last year.

That’s fine.

However, Thome is a DH and nothing else. Despite being the third best opposite field power hitter I have seen (Manny Ramirez and Mike Piazza being one and two), at this point in his career, he can’t field and he can’t run.

If Thome were playing softball, he would be one of those guys that would ask for a courtesy runner.

To give Thome maybe one AB a game and make him strictly a pinch hitter is such a waste of a player. If you are going to turn a guy into a one-dimensional player, he better be really good at what he does. In the last two years, Thome is just 1-for-19 as a pinch hitter.

How ever you feel about these two moves, there is one thing you can’t argue. GM Ned Colletti has done everything he can to try to improve the Dodgers over the last couple of months.

Now we will have to wait and see if all these moves payoff in the playoffs.

The Boston Red Sox Are Pursuing The Wrong Guy…

August 22, 2009

After watching Brad Penny’s disgusting performance last night where he was probably thinking more of the good ole days with Eliza Dushku than he was thinking about getting New York Yankee batters out, I think I speak for everyone in Red Sox Nation in saying I never want to see Penny start another game for the Red Sox again.

The Red Sox have a serious starting pitching problem right now. What many considered a strength at the beginning of the year, is now a major weakness.

Tim Wakefield has the never ending calf injury, Daisuke Matsuzaka was more concerned with pitching for Team Japan in the WBC than the Red Sox and now his shoulder looks worse than one of those Ed Hardy shirts, and John Smoltz has already been sent on his merry way.

Outside of Jon Lester and Cy Young candidate Josh Beckett, the Red Sox have a hodge-podge at the back-end of their rotation.

Despite all this, the Red Sox decided to pursue relief help yesterday. The Red Sox made a claim for New York Mets LHP Billy Wagner. The Red Sox and Mets have until Tuesday at 1 pm to work out a trade for the former closer.

I find this pursuit very odd. What is more important right now? Having another lefty in the pen to compliment Hideki Okajima or getting another starting pitcher to relieve Penny of his softball pitching duties?

Hmmm, I wonder?

The guy the Red Sox should be pursuing is Jon Garland of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Garland has already cleared waivers, he probably the best pitcher available on the market, and I am going to venture to say he would be more effective than Penny.

The Red Sox could use Garland right now

The Red Sox could use Garland right now

Say what you want about Garland – he doesn’t strike guys out, he gives up a lot of hits, he always has a high era, etc… The bottom line is – the guy knows how to win baseball games and knows how to win in the American League.

From 2005-2008 with the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Garland was 60-38 with a 4.27 ERA. The Red Sox could use someone with those stats right about now.

At the end of the day, the Red Sox will most likely land Wagner. However, they should be pursuing Garland.

The Red Sox need starting pitching and they need it right now.

As July 31st Approaches, What Do The Contenders Need Update..

July 28, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on what do the contending teams around baseball need at the July 31st trading deadline. With already a couple deals taking place and the trading deadline just a couple of days away, I thought I would update this post.

Here are the needs of the 21 contending teams and who they could potentially target.

Philadelphia Phillies

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Phillies are going for it again and are looking for a big time pitcher.

The Phillies signed Pedro Martinez.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny, Cliff Lee, Jarrod Washburn

Florida Marlins

Needs – Bullpen. With Lindstrom out, the Marlins need help in the pen.

Potential Targets – Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, Matt Capps, John Grabow, George Sherrill

Lee is very popular these days

Lee is very popular these days

Atlanta Braves

Needs – Leftfield. The Braves have already traded for Nate McLouth and Ryan Church, but their offense could use another bat.

Potential Targets – David Dejesus, Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff

New York Mets

Needs – Leftfield, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Mets should not be contenders, but in New York, there is no such thing as sellers.

Plus, after Omar Minaya’s press conference yesterday, it’s official – Omar Minaya is out of his mind.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Luke Scott, David Dejesus, Aubrey Huff

St Louis Cardinals

Needs – The Cardinals acquired Mark DeRosa and then acquired the best hitter on the market in Matt Holliday. The Cardinals also acquired Julio Lugo from the Boston Red Sox

I don’t think the Cardinals have any prospects to deal to make another trade.

Potential Targets – None

Milwaukee Brewers

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Brewers’ starting rotation has fallen apart recently. Offense is not the issue with this team.

The Brewers have already acquired Felipe Lopez from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Jarrod Washburn, Ian Snell

Chicago Cubs

Needs – Bullpen. The Cubs just need the players they already have to play better. They could use another arm in the pen.

The Cubs have signed BJ Ryan

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Danys Baez, Jamey Wright

Houston Astros

Needs – Third Base, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Astros are now in the thick of the NL Central and Wild Card race. With Lance Berkman going on the DL, the Astros could now use a solid bench player for insurance.

Problem Astros will have making trades is that their farm system is not that good.

I love Mark Teahen for the Astros. Can play 1st, 3rd, 2nd, and the outfield.

Potential Targets – Jon Garland, Brian Bannister, Doug Davis, Bobby Crosby, Mark Teahen

Cincinnati Reds

Needs – Offense. With Jay Bruce now out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured wrist, the Reds are desperate for offense. They should really be sellers, but they are still only 7.5 games out of first in the NL Central.

Potential Targets – Mark Teahan, David Dejesus, Marco Scutaro, Scott Rolen

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs – Bullpen. With Roland Belasario out with an inflamed elbow (it was only a matter of time before Joe Torre blew someone’s arm out) and Jonathon Broxton suffering from a toe injury, the Dodgers could use some insurance in the pen.

The Dodgers have also been linked to ace’s Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, John Grabow, George Sherrill, Danys Baez, Ron Mahay, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Jarrod Washburn

San Francisco Giants

Needs – Offense. The Giants can use all the offense they can get.

The Giants acquired Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians last night.

Potential Targets – Jermaine Dye, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Nick Johnson, Alex Rios, Josh Willingham

VMart could be traded

VMart could be traded

Colorado Rockies

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. Everyone thought the Rockies would be sellers at this point, but they are the leaders of the Wild Card race. As usual, the Rockies could use some pitching help.

The Rockies acquired Rafael Betancourt from the Cleveland Indians.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Takashi Saito, Danys Baez, Miguel Batista

Boston Red Sox

Needs – Offense. I don’t want to hear the Red Sox are fourth in baseball in runs scored – they need offense.

The Red Sox acquired Adam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chris Duncan from the St Louis Cardinals last week.

Potential Targets – Victor Martinez, Mark Teahan, Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Roy Halladay

New York Yankees

Needs – Starting Pitching, Bullpen. The Yankees are having back of the rotation issues right now and they could use another arm in the pen. The Yankees have been linked to Halladay, Cliff Lee, Washburn and Bronson Arroyo.

The Yankees have already traded for Eric Hinske

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Joe Beimel, John Grabow, Cliff Lee, Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Washburn, Ian Snell

Tampa Bay Rays

Needs – Starting Pitching, Catcher, Right Field. I still think the Rays could use another solid, depandable arm in the pen, but they seem to have targeted Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

They are also looking to upgrade the Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler platoon in right and also at the catcher position. Dioner Navarro has been disappointing this year.

Potential Targets – Jamey Wright, Danys Baez, Mark Teahan, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez

Detroit Tigers

Needs – Bullpen, Offense. The Tigers have two top of the rotation starters in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. However, after watcing them versus the Yankees, I think they could use another bat

I also think they could use another arm in the pen to go along with Rodney. Joel Zumaya recently landed on the DL.

Potential Targets – Matt Capps, Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Mike Gonzalez, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Jarrod Washburn

Minnesota Twins

Needs – Middle Infield. Freddy Sanchez makes so much sense it’s scary.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, Adam Kennedy, Orlando Cabrera, Marco Scutaro

Where will Doc land?

Where will Doc land?

Chicago White Sox

Needs – Starting Pitching. Kenny Williams already tried for Jake Peavy, will he go after Roy Halladay?

The White Sox have already acquired reliever Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. For the first time in a long time, the Angels offense is not the problem. The Angels need bullpen help in the worst way and of course, they might be in on Roy Halladay.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir, John Grabow, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, George Sherrill

Texas Rangers

Needs – Starting Pitching. Isn’t it always about pitching with the Rangers? The Rangers have the farm system, but do they have the money? That is the question with the Rangers.

The Rangers bullpen might get a boost with Neftali Feliz. He has been pitching from the stretch recently and is preparing for a bullpen stint with the Rangers for this year.

Potential Targets – Doug Davis, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Ben Sheets (free agent), Takashi Saito, George Sherrill, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee.

Seattle Mariners

Needs – Third Base, Leftfield, Shortstop. The Mariners might hold the key to the trading deadline. The have potentially one of the most desirable pitchers on the market, if the Mariners should pack it in – Jarrod Washburn.

Erik Bedard picked the worst time to go on the DL for the M’s.

The Mariners are 51-47 and 7.5 games back of the Angels in the AL West. They have dropped 3.5 games in the standing since this original post. I still see them trying to add instead of giving up players.

They have already acquired 3B Jack Hannrahan from the A’s.

Potential Targets – Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jack Wilson, Marco Scutaro, Orlando Cabrera, David DeJesus

So there are the 21 teams and the players they might be interested in. Who do you want your favorite team to target? Let’s discuss.

As July 31st Approaches, What Do The Contenders Need?

July 15, 2009

One of the best days of the year is quickly approaching – the July 31st major league baseball trading deadline. July 31st and the days leading up to that day are the days where your favorite team can make a trade to put them over the top.

However, in the New York Mets case in 2004 when they traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, it could be a day where your team morgages the future just for a chance to make the playoffs.

The big name on the block for this year’s deadline is Toronto Blue Jay ace, Roy Halladay. If Halladay doesn’t get traded (50-5o at this point), it might be a quiet trading deadline. The main reason for that – parity.

Out of the 30 teams in baseball, only 9 are considered sellers. Those 9 teams would be the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland A’s.

This year we might even see contenders trading with contenders, just to open things up a bit. It’s hard to make trades when there are so many teams who think they have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. However, that won’t prevent me from taking a look at what those 21 contending teams need come the trading deadline.

Here are the needs of the 21 contending teams and who they could potentially target.

Philadelphia Phillies

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Phillies are going for it again and are looking for a big time pitcher.

Hallday is a wanted man

Halladay is a wanted man

The Phillies signed Pedro Martinez today.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny

Florida Marlins

Needs – Bullpen. With Lindstrom out, the Marlins need help in the pen.

Potential Targets – Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, BJ Ryan (free agent), Cla Meredith, Matt Capps, John Grabow, George Sherrill

Atlanta Braves

Needs – Leftfield, Second base. The Braves have already traded for Nate McLouth and Ryan Church, but their offense could use another bat.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, David Dejesus, Adam Kennedy

New York Mets

Needs – Leftfield, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Mets should not be contenders, but in New York, there is no such thing as sellers.

Potential Targets – Matt Holliday, Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Luke Scott, David Dejesus, Aubrey Huff

St Louis Cardinals

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Cardinals have already acquired Mark DeRosa. They have been one of the most aggressive teams this year in terms of pusuing trades

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Gil Meche

Milwaukee Brewers

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Brewers’ starting rotation has fallen apart recently. Offense is not the issue with this team.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Jon Garland, Doug Davis

Chicago Cubs

Needs – Bullpen. The Cubs just need the players they already have to play better. They could use another arm in the pen.

Potential Targets – BJ Ryan (free agent), Joe Beimel, Danys Baez, Jamey Wright

Houston Astros

Needs – Third Base, Starting Pitching. How this team is at .500 and only 3.5 games out is mind boggling. Problem Astros will have making trades is that their farm system is not that good.

Potential Targets – Jon Garland, Brian Bannister, Doug Davis

Cincinnati Reds

Needs – Offense. With Jay Bruce now out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured wrist, the Reds are desperate for offense. They should really be sellers, but they are still only five games out of first in the NL Central.

Potential Targets – Mark Teahan, David Dejesus, Marco Scutaro, Luke Scott, Jermaine Dye

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs – Bullpen. With Roland Belasario out with an inflamed elbow (it was only a matter of time before Joe Torre blew someone’s arm out) and Jonathon Broxton suffering from a toe injury, the Dodgers could use some insurance in the pen.

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, John Grabow, George Sherrill, Danys Baez, Ron Mahay

San Francisco Giants

Needs – Offense. The Giants can use all the offense they can get.

Potential Targets – Jermaine Dye, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Matt Holliday, Nick Johnson, Alex Rios, Adam LaRoche

Colorado Rockies

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. Everyone thought the Rockies would be sellers at this point, but they are right in the thick of the Wild Card race. As usual, the Rockies could use some pitching help.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Takashi Saito, Danys Baez

Boston Red Sox

Needs – Offense. I don’t want to hear the Red Sox are fourth in baseball in runs scored – they need offense. They also need insurance for Mike Lowell.

Potential Targets – Victor Martinez, Mark Teahan, Scott Rolen, Jack Wilson, Roy Halladay

New York Yankees

Needs – Starting Pitching, Bullpen. The Yankees are having back of the rotation issues right now and they could use another arm in the pen. The Yankees have already traded for Eric Hinske

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Joe Beimel, John Grabow

Tampa Bay Rays

Needs – Bullpen, Right Field. I still think the Rays could use another solid, depandable arm in the pen. They are also looking to upgrade the Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler platoon in right.

Potential Targets – Jamey Wright, Danys Baez, Cla Meredith, Mark Teahan, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham

Detroit Tigers

Needs – Bullpen. The Tigers have the offense and they have two top of the rotation starters in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. I think they could use another arm in the pen to go along with Zumaya and Rodney.

Potential Targets – Cla Meredith, Matt Capps, Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Mike Gonzalez

Sanchez would be perfect for the Twins

Sanchez would be perfect for the Twins

Minnesota Twins

Needs – Second Base. Freddy Sanchez makes so much sense it’s scary.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, Adam Kennedy

Chicago White Sox

Needs – Starting Pitching. Kenny Williams already tried for Jake Peavy, will he go after Roy Halladay? The White Sox have already acquired reliever Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. For the first time in a long time, the Angels offense is not the problem. The Angels need bullpen help in the worst way and of course, they might be in on Roy Halladay.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, John Grabow, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, George Sherrill

Texas Rangers

Needs – Starting Pitching. Isn’t it always about pitching with the Rangers? The Rangers have the farm system, but do they have the money? That is the question with the Rangers.

The Rangers bullpen might get a boost with Neftali Feliz. He has been pitching from the stretch recently and is preparing for a bullpen stint with the Rangers for this year.

Potential Targets – Doug Davis, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Ben Sheets (free agent), Takashi Saito

Seattle Mariners

Needs – Third Base, Leftfield, Shortstop. The Mariners might hold the key to the trading deadline. The have potentially two of the most desirable pitchers on the market, if the Mariners should pack it in – Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard.

The Mariners are 46-42 and only four games back of the Angels in the AL West. I see them trying to add instead of giving up players.

They have already acquired 3B Jack Hannrahan from the A’s.

Potential Targets – Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, David DeJesus

So there are the 21 teams and the players they might be interested in. Who do you want your favorite team to target? Let’s discuss.

Weighing In On The Garland Signing….

January 29, 2009

One of my favorite writers, Rob Neyer likes the Diamondbacks signing of Jon Garland.

One of my favorite sites, Fangraphs.com hates the signing.

So where do I weigh in with the Diamondbacks signing of RHP Jon Garland to a 1 year deal with a mutual option for 2010? I agree with Rob Neyer and like this signing.

Now I know all about the negatives with signing Garland. K/9 in decline, high era of 4.90 in 08, is he better than Randy Johnson at this point? and a ground ball pitcher with potentially a bad infield defense behind him.

While I am much of a fan of stats as the next baseball fan, sometimes you have to throw them out the window. Despite not looking pretty the majority of the time, all Garland does is win. He is 106-89 lifetime and was clutch in the White Sox World Series run of 2005.

Garland will be Arizona’s #3 starter (behind Webb and Haren) headed into the season. I will take 12-14 wins, 200+ innings and a guy who just knows how to win from my 3rd starter any day of the week