Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Stove Update: Indians, Reds and D'Backs in a 3-Way

OK, gotta make this one quick as I have an early meeting, but this is a substantial trade to give you readers and commenters something to chew on today.  These 3-ways get complicated, so I'll try to keep it simple by just listing the players each team is acquiring:

D'Backs:  SS Didi Gregorius, LHP Tony Sipp, 1B Lars Anderson.

Indians:  OF Drew Stubbs, RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Matt Albers, RHP Bryan Shaw.

Reds:  OF Shin Soo Choo, IF Jason Donald.

Quick Takes:

1.  D'Backs used their pitching surplus to acquire a defense first SS who hit .265/.324/.393 in AA and AAA last year.  Funny how the Giants have become a driving force in MLB trends.  They win the WS with a defense first SS and now everybody wants one!  Shows why it's too early to give up on Ehire Adrianza.

2.  Choo has only played something like 16 MLB games in CF, but the Reds had obviously soured on Stubbs rampant K's and infrequent HR's.  Choo is a big upgrade to their lineup and CF is probably not as big a priority in their park as, say, AT&T.  Choo will be a FA next year and is seen a likely just a placeholder for Billy Hamilton.  Reds can give him a qualifying offer to get the draft pick.

3.  Indians get several power arms.  Bauer high reward/high risk.  Can he turn himself into the next Tim Lincecum or is he a guy pretending to be Tim Lincecum?

Upton now probably stays with the D'Backs.  Rangers options for OF are rapidly dwindling.  Asdrubal Cabrera surprisingly stays put in Cleveland.


  1. The Giants a driving force in MLB trends.

    Will there be a book coming soon about our genius GM?

    Who will play him in the movie?

    1. Brian Cox? I must have the wrong guy in mind, I thought he was Hollywood handsome and tall and lanky.

      Nathan Lane? One of the actors who played Truman Capote in recent movies? Oh, who is that guy, Eddie Izzard? he might be right too. The clown in Modern Family, partnered with the son, might work too (in the show and real-life, the actor used to be a clown). Oh, Rosanne Barr's ex-husband, was in True Lies, could be good too, though a little too old maybe, but he can do Sabean's rage pretty good I would bet, like when he and Barbieri got into it.

      Given Hollywood's off casting (like Busey for Holly and Lou Diamond for La Bamba), that British guy in the old Indiana Jones would have been good, at his peak, though he would be too old today. Mr. C of Happy Days too, back then (but dead now, I think). Brian Dennehy would have been good too, when younger.

  2. Was Crawford a defense first SS coming out of college? I thought he was considered a potential 1st round pick more for his bat than his defense.

    1. I think he was valued for both his bat and defense going into that season, but had a horrible offensive season, resulting in his drop to the Giants.

      Nobody would ever want to do that, but he got picked by his boyhood team and has now won a ring, so I think he's grateful now that he did suck in junior year.

  3. craw had a subpar jr year offensively. his stock dropped

    re bauer....snakes wanted him to conform. he rebelled. giants shouldve traded for him, he is a perfect fit and i have no doubt he wouldve excelled within the system...according to kruk, he was ridden by the snakes vets, who didnt get him...giants are a gaggle of characters...nobody would ride him

    kid idolizes there any question that he wouldve taken any suggestion timmy gave?

    snakes still have to pay the kid's bonus, so low cost, low risk

    doc, you questioned why i was so interested in the giants wives...well go and listen to angel's comments about you well know, when your wife is are happy

    as i type this, craw may have become a proud papa...congrats to the whole craw family...will have to add another name to the brick

    and very, very, very sad news

    ariel lost her brave battle with cancer...there is a great disturbance in the force

    here is more sad news...she and the thousands of kids who die each year, may be dying needlessly, as only 4 percent of all monies for cancer research go to pediatric cancer...that is a crime

    and there is now an org that wishes to fight this

    here is their website


    1. Sorry to hear that Bacci. There are some great places that do good work with pediatric cancer. My wife's best friends daughter survived, thanks to heroic efforts at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. Thank you for being an advocate.

  4. Only Kevin Towers would do a deal like that. Trade your top prospect for a fringy SS who might not even be able to hold a starting job. Heck, even the Royals to me made a mistake in trading Myers but still they got something wayyyy better than Gregorius. I know Giants fan would not have approved if the Giants had traded Lincecum (when he was a prospect) for a defense first SS even if a team had won a WS with that.

    1. Dayton Moore is probably sending Towers a gift basket for taking all the attention away from his trade.

    2. the trade was made because the snakes didnt know how to deal with bauer's personality quirks

      if indians dont try to tame him, and instead work with him, he will be fine

      if not, im hoping that sabey sabes keeps him on his radar

      never saw him throw in person, but have seen plenty of vids and there is talent there


  5. I think it is also instructive to know what each team lost for the players they gained above.

    D'Backs +: SS Didi Gregorius, LHP Tony Sipp, 1B Lars Anderson.
    D'Backs -: RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Matt Albers, RHP Bryan Shaw

    Sipp had a bad 2012, but was pretty good in 2011, so the question is who is he in 2013 at age 29? And Lars is a long gone top prospect on the decline despite being only 25 YO for 2013. Gregorius represents the full value in this trade, meaning that the D'backs did not value Bauer, Albers, Shaw that much. Though I would expect some sort of bounce back year for Sipp in 2013, but he's not even loser material or even set-up (1.5 HR/9 career!), he's basically a Loogy.

    Gregorius was #8 in BA's 2012 handbook. Noted for his arm and defensive tools. "His combination of solid bat control, good pitch recognition and plus speed lead some scouts to project him as an above-average hitter." But no power, no walks, and no stolen bases. Though looking at his career stats, he's been OK at taking walks, roughly 0.50 BB/K, which is OK, so I wouldn't call him no walks.

    I'm warming up to him. He does have nice bat control, his contact rate is 86% for this career, roughly 84% in 2012. Got to remember that he's only 22 playing in AA and AAA, so he is actually not that bad a prospect, I would put him on a better trajectory than Crawford, he's got the great defense reportedly, his contact rate is great given his youth against competition, he don't have Crawford's power, but he's a better hitter for batting average potentially due to his good contact rate, plus speed.

    I wouldn't give up a potential ace pitcher for him, but it is not like the D-backs got nothing much in return either, as most comments suggest.

    Indians +: OF Drew Stubbs, RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Matt Albers, RHP Bryan Shaw.
    Indians -: OF Shin Soo Choo, IF Jason Donald, $3.5M, LHP Tony Sipp, 1B Lars Anderson.

    Drew I assume it was to make the trade more even in salary, as he's going into arbitration for 2013. Plus he could play OF for the Indians. But the scary thing is that he's not playing in GAB anymore, his road batting line: .221/.293/.337/.630. My best memory of Stubbs is that the Reds picked him just two spots ahead of us, when we picked up Lincecum.

    Bauer is the headliner for Indians, clearly. Basically for one year of Soo Choo. The rest seems to balance each other, mostly.

    Reds +: OF Shin Soo Choo, IF Jason Donald, $3.5M.
    Reds -: OF Drew Stubbs, SS Didi Gregorius

    Donald seems a throw-in, he's a classy platoon utility guy. Hits LHP well (.282/.349/.426/.775) but horrible against RHP (.245/.288/.330/.618). Defensively average mostly except SS. So one year of Choo plus a draft pick is how they value Stubbs and Gregorius. As noted, basically a placeholder for Hamilton to take over CF in 2014. Seems fair enough from their end, if not positive since they should get a good performance for one year from Shin, whereas who knows from Drew and Didi.

    Overall, I think the D'backs over paid, but not horribly so. Didi looks pretty good. Reds get a nice sidestep move to transition to Hamilton in 2014. Indians pick up a nice lottery ticket, better than they could have gotten if they held onto Shin and took the pick.

    1. Oh, so good trade for the Indians, as they went from a bad lottery ticket in the supplemental first round, to a very nice and probable prospect in Bauer, and they didn't really give up much, though one could view this as buying ($3.5M) a good prospect, but in any case, you rarely can simply buy a good prospect like Bauer, so that was pretty good. And they seem to know how to handle position players (they are to position players, it seems to me, as the Giants are to pitchers).

      The Reds already had Cozart, who was considered a better prospect than Didi in 2012, and he was valued as above average, 2.4 WAR while playing 85% of the games, so they were trading from a position of strength to get Choo, who should boost up their offense in 2013 greatly over Stubbs. They also picked up Donald, who at minimum is what Gregorious' floor is. I think it was a nice sideway step to boost their chances of winning in 2013 (much like Giants trade of Wheeler), while also transitioning to Billy Hamilton in 2014. I'm starting to see this more as an overpay by the Reds to win in 2013, as I'm liking Didi more and more.

      The D-backs definitely overpaid, but got a nice Loogy in Sipp who could fill the role for them in 2013 when they had nobody doing it for them in 2012 (the Joe Paterson miracle ended for them, leaving Sabean Naysayers looking elsewhere for complaints) and I think Gregorious can be an above average SS for them, much in the same vein that we see Gary Brown - OK to average offense coupled with stellar defense up the middle. That is too little to get for Bauer, a potential ace.

      But is he? This trade looks great from their perspective if the D-backs don't think that he's an ace level pitcher, or at least ace level without years of struggles, a la Homer Bailey, who is only starting to look like he's figuring it out, but meanwhile, there goes all his cheap years. A young starting SS good for offense and defense, probably starting in 2014, which is probably the earliest we can expect Bauer to figure out the majors.

      Like most prospect trades, it will probably be years before the true impact can be measured. I think Indians are clearly a winner, but the margin obviously depends on how well Bauer does. The Reds paid a lot for one year of Choo, and I'm beginning to lean towards them as the loser in the deal in terms of talent, but if they are trying to win in 2013, it is a legitimate way to deal with a surplus of similar talent (Cozart, Gregorious) to make the push to win. They probably think they need something to get them over the hump in 2013, since they were soooooo close to beating the Giants.

      And the D-backs, I'm liking their deal more and more, assuming that they see something about Bauer that means that they can never realize his value, whether ever or simply in their system. Pennington is a good seat warmer for until Gregorious is ready, and he would be OK transitioning to 2B, as he is very good defensively there. They already have four good pitchers in Kennedy, Miley, Corbin, and Cahill, plus Skaggs still is in the system, so they traded from surplus (potentially a suspect prospect in their minds), to fill a position of need, as defense is something Towers loves to have. Plus Didi might eventually be good offensively there as well, he has good contact rates and possibly blossoming power, as he hits to the gaps and use his speed.

    2. I liked the footage I saw of Didi. He looked like he had some game. Of course, its only highlights...

  6. Great comments everybody. Wow! You guys are on fire! I can't keep up with them all. The Top 50 Prospects post is up to 97 comments. Will it be the first WTGCTT post to go over 100 comments? Unbelieveable! Keep 'em coming!

  7. OT: Whiteside moving again, popular guy.

    Eli Whiteside is packing his bags again.

    The backup catcher was claimed off waivers Wednesday by the Texas Rangers, who become his fourth team in two months.

    The Yankees claimed Whiteside off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on Nov. 5, and he signed a one-year $625,000 contract with New York on Nov. 26.

    The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Whiteside off waivers on Dec. 3, but they lost him to Texas on Wednesday.

    1. Yanks figured he would clear waivers? Signing and waiving seems a little odd.

      Same for Toronto. Claim a guy, but he's exposed a week later? Strange.

      Who knew Whiteside was in such demand?

  8. OT: Weird story by Passan claiming Royals copying Giants:

    Really? I think every winning team since the first one probably has talked about the chemistry that they had.

    He just likes to take potshots at the Giants, it seems every time I read him writing about the Giants.

    I thought the way he was headed with the story was about pitching, too. If he researched a bit better, he would have learned that Pence was stellar when RISP, that's why he drove in so many runs, that's why the team was behind him in the playoffs, he delivered when we needed it. People, particularly sabers, talk so much about what is "expected" to happen that they forget that the game is about what DID happen. Sure, RBI depends on opportunity, but when he had the opportunity, he drove them in! I won't hold it against him that he couldn't hit much with nobody on base, in any case, that is not why we got him, we got him to drive in runs, and he did that well.

    So he didn't do so well in the playoffs. Him and a thousands of other star level players have had that happen. He's not the first.

    And the Giants didn't say that he was a winner, as Moore said about Francoeur, all Pence preached about was spending one more day playing with his teammates. Winning was not the goal, per se, being with his teammates for another day was. Winning enabled that. It spoke to a higher calling than just "being a winner."

    I just feel like this was just a backslap at the Giants, in terms of tone, the Giants said plenty of times that they won because of their pitching. The Hunter Preacher garnered the attention, but the players knew it was the pitching. Too bad Passan missed that.

    1. I stopped reading Passan years ago, even though I frequent Yahoo! for sports news, box scores, fantasy, etc.