Saturday, 23 August 2008

Manny vs Holliday vs Burrell

I threw in my 2 cents on Johnny's Manny vs Holliday, but I'll expand my thoughts over here. Realistically, I don't think trading for Holliday is reasonable without giving up 2-3 of our big prospects or current major leaguers, and by that I mean any of: Marcum, McGowan, Snider, Lind, Cecil, JP Arencibia. If you think I'm making this up, check out this article by Jayson Stark:

Happy Hollidays: Clubs that have felt out the Rockies about Matt Holliday's availability say that if they do decide to dangle their biggest star, they are not using last July's Mark Teixeira deal as their blueprint. Instead, the Rockies are telling other teams that:
Matt Holliday

Holliday

(A) They don't need quantity. Since their young core group is basically in place virtually all over the diamond and their farm system is in good shape, they don't need to rebuild their system with one trade, as Texas did.

(B) They would want "impact" back, but aren't asking for a specific number of impact players. They could settle for a two-player package if it's the right two. They could even, conceivably, take one player back -- assuming the one player was in the
Jay Bruce/Evan Longoria/Cameron Maybin mega-impact category.

(C) They wouldn't even necessarily ask for young players. The only condition would be getting back someone they could control longer than Holliday, who can be a free agent after 2009.

(D) If they move any bats at all, they would be in a mode to trade Holliday
or Garrett Atkins, but not both. All of this, by the way, is contingent on the Rockies finding themselves clearly and hopelessly out of contention next month. And there are no signs at the moment they've even remotely considered themselves done.

Well, the Rockies did find themselves out of the race, and are currently 9 games back. So had they gotten a deal for "impact" type players, one would assume Holliday would be gone. And like I said earlier, unless you're willing to deal the impact type prospects for Holliday, you might as well kiss that theory goodbye.

Sorry Johnny - Holliday's a terrific player, and exactly what this team needs, but Dowd wants the top guys in the system, not Cecil and filler. Which is too bad, because Holliday would make a great fit in TO.

As for Manny - there's another important reason why I don't want to sign him - again, I'll take some quotes from another article by Jayson Stark:

"It really bothers me," one GM said this week of the Manny-mania lovefest that has unfolded in L.A. "What he did in Boston was criminal. Now he goes there, and everything's OK? No, sir. It doesn't change the fact that how he got there was criminal."

....

If Manny Ramirez wanders into the free-agent market this winter and gets anything close to the four years and $100 million he believes he'll get, think about the message that would send, the precedent that would set. It would, in effect, be an open invitation to every selfish superstar in baseball to pull a Manny. Act up. Stop hustling. Stop trying. Refuse to play. Make up an injury. Whatever you have to do to get back out there on the free-agent market. It's all worth it. Why not? If bad behavior winds up delivering a $100 million reward for Manny Ramirez, why wouldn't two or three, or 50 or 100, other great players think, "Heck, it worked for him. Why not me?"

Normally I wouldn't care about about stuff that can't be quantified - if it can't be put into a statistic I'll ignore it. But they bring up a good point - if Manny can do what he did and get paid, then others are going to do the exact same thing. And I don't want the Jays to be the ones to 'reward' him for what he did in Boston.

As for Burrell - he's a free agent after the season, and I hope the Jays are smart enough to make him a fair offer (probably in the 16-20 million range over several years). He'll be a type A free agent, but hopefully AJ will be one too so in the end we should break even.

Burrell's known to be a poor defender, but he ranks quite high on ZR for LF with enough playing time. He's fourth on the list with 885. I assume he must have quite the arm because he leads qualifying LF with 12 outfield assists. It's possible he could even play LF over Lind, but I'd have to watch how he does in order to really compare the two. Otherwise, he'd be an excellent DH.

Fun facts:
  • He's currently hitting 264/388/546 (934 OPS, 138 OPS+).
  • Over the past 3 years (05-07) he hit 266/392/503 (895 OPS).
  • Since 05 his lowest OPS+ is 122
  • Since 05 he's hit between 29-32 HR's a season.
  • During the 05-07 split he hit lefties to the tune of 294/434/552 (986 OPS) and against righties he hit 257/374/483 (857 OPS).
  • This year his vs RHP/LHP splits are nearly identical - 932 vs RHP and 942 against LHP.
So why is Burrell the better option?

Holliday is the better hitter, and maybe even a better fielder. But there's no chance we acquire him without giving up several of our top young players. And I don't know if that's something we're really willing to give up. I don't see it happening, to be honest.

Manny - He's a terrific hitter, but he shouldn't be rewarded for the crap he pulled in Boston. I realize how lame it is, and that Ramirez has a 149 OPS+ between Boston and LA. But if you're not willing to sign Bonds because of the crap he pulled, I find it hard to make an argument to sign Ramirez for that bullshit.

And yes, I know this is the type of lame argument that gets laughed off by FJM.

Burrell - He's not on the same level of Manny or Holliday, but he's a terrific hitter nonetheless. He clogs the bases, he takes his walks, and he's a pretty safe bet to hit 30 HR's a year. He hits righties, and he crushes lefties. And while some would argue that his home park in Philly helps his production, if he came to TO he'd still be in a pretty good hitters park so you wouldn't need to worry about a drop off in production.

Burrell is exactly what the Jays need right now. Git-R-Done.

Edit: I'll be out of town for the next week, so I hope all of you have a nice end to the summer.

Twitchy.

12 comments:

Birdsongs said...

you can bet on one thing....Manny being a fanny AGAIN.

The Southpaw said...

I'd be down like a clown for Pat Burrell as a plan 1(b). He's been a model of consistency over the past four years and is essentially a sturdier version of Troy Glaus.

Questions:

* money? will he sign for 4 years/$60 mil?

* would he accept DH-ing, at least occasionally?

JW

The Southpaw said...

^^

His defense might be an upgrade over Lind's. I don't think he'd mind DHing, but I also think he'd get a fair amount of playing time. He has a strong arm, and you could theoretically go with an OF of Lind--Rios OR Wells (CF)---Burrell if one of Rios/Wells needed a day off.

The #'s I've heard for Burrell range from 14-17 mil (Rosenthal).

Twitch.

Tim said...

Wow, a baseball GM finally figured out that Manny (and players like him) get away w/ abusing the honour/spirit of the game. Hope that guy isn't late for his next Mensa meeting. Manny will get the cash without a doubt. Ray Lewis of the Ravens was guilty of obstruction of justice in a double homicide and he got paid. Manny's an angel relatively speaking.

The Southpaw said...

I'm all for signing Burrell, especially since my throat clenches up every time we start talking about dealing our best prospects (irrational I know but still...).

I do think it comes down to how you deal with the DH situation. Rotating it around the way the Angels do is one solution. I just don't want to see Lind pigionholed as a DH this early.

To me though, if we do this it opens up the possibility of seeing what we can get for Overbay and moving Lind to 1B and then maybe signing a Giambi as a one-year DH.

Bottom line, I'm not up for trading for production we can get on the FA market.

~Will

Jays2010 said...

I don't think Burrell would be horrible, but there are better options, such as Aubrey Huff. I know that the O's refused to trade Bedard within the division, but considering Huff cleared waivers and Baltimore seems to want to unload his contract, I'd say we'd have a shot. Maybe Davis Romero and another average pitching prospect would do it. Considering Huff will probably also be a type A free agent after 2009 like Holliday, I think he's a FAR better trade option. I also feel it would set up our lineup perfectly, because Huff could fill the 1B/3B role that Shea Hillenbrand filled in 2006 (the last time we had a top offense) while primarily DHing. Consequently, having Huff play 3B if Rolen is injured allows us to keep someone like Stairs in the lineup and relegate Scutaro to the bench where he is best suited. Id also rather go after someone such as Giambi (who I do expect will be available for a team like us) for one yr instead of Burrell and I doubt the Jays want to tie up well over 200 mill in their outfield and, subsequently, have no flexibility among their OF/1B/DH for 4 yrs if we have Burrell/Rios/Wells/Lind/Snider. Even though Manny/Holliday/Burrell have more flash, I think we'd get similar production for far less money/prospects by going after someone like Huff...

dave said...

Thank you.

Eventually, as an organization, you have to decide how much you're willing to put up with and Manny might have gone too far this time(and is willing to do it again).

I think the Jays made a similar type of decision in '93 with Derek Bell.

Jays2010 said...

Prospects/unproven major leaguers should have a dollar value; for example, if I were Seattle I'd rather have traded prospects to acquire Jesse Litsch than sign Carlos Silva (Litsch is the best comparable I can think of). Silva costs 48 mill over 4 yrs, while Litsch will probably cost around $12-15 million for 6 years. Hence, giving up 2 hitting prospects for Litsch makes more sense than signing Silva (of course, those prospects have a dollar value as well).

Personally, I place a very high dollar value on Cecil/ JPA/ Snider, but would have no qualms about moving the Romero's, Litsch, Campbell and others for the right, controllable hitter. As ridiculous as it may seem to others, Id rather trade Litsch and Ricky Romero for Matt Laporta than Matt Holliday. I also think Milwaukee would have been better off trading Laporta and another prospect for Matt Cain, for example, over CC Sabathia. I'd leave the exact players to acquire up to JP, but evaluating other teams' young players is as important as evaluating other teams' established players or free agents and obviously has a higher reward potential as well.

In regards to the Jays acquiring a slugger like Holliday/ Manny/ Burrell, you're looking at 60 million minimum for 3 or 4 yrs of production. Acquiring one year of Holliday is almost counter-productive, considering 2010 is their best year to win because Cecil, Arencibia and Snider may all be cheap, f/t, above average major leaguers and the rest of the core of the team will still be here (except for possibly AJ). It will also be Halladay's last yr potentially. So, at the least, the Jays should acquire players that they can control/extend for a 2 yr window (i.e. Khalil Greene/JJ Hardy, Aubrey Huff, Ryan Ludwick). Technically, Burrell and Manny fit this description, though they'd eventually be blocking positions assuming they want more than 2 year deals.

The Jays already have a top 10 major league team in my opinion(even though they are the 3rd or 4th best team in the AL East, and the 6th or 7th best team in the AL overall). If JP can keep Burnett and/or integrate prospects into the big club properly and use excess prospects to acquire a quality SS and OF/1B/DH, they can be a 90 win/playoff team in 2009 and have an even better chance in 2010.

The Southpaw said...

Jays 2010 (and I quote)

". I also think Milwaukee would have been better off trading Laporta and another prospect for Matt Cain, for example, over CC Sabathia."

Thing is, the GIANTS had no interest in that package, or moving Cain. So it's irrelevant that Milwaukee might have been better off. Plus, now Milwaukee gets 2 top draft picks when CC leaves. It's a terrific deal they made based just on how CC has pitched so far. He's like their version of Cone - he's unstoppable.

CC is 8-0, with a 270 ERA+. That's just ridiculous. A 1.60 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, I mean, LaPorta MAY turn out good, but damn, CC is fucking awesome since they got him. He may singlehandedly put them in the playoffs.

Also I believe you suggested Huff as a replacement, but I believe he'll regress to a 100-110 OPS+ player. I could be wrong, but I don't see him continuing this level of production.

Twitch.

Jays2010 said...

Southpaw - obviously CC is dominating and I completely agree with you that he'll lead them to the playoffs and they could win the world series with Sabathia and Sheets. And, yes, I am aware that Cain is supposedly unavailable (meaning that the Giants aren't dumb enough to consider him a below .500 pitcher). Cain is just one example...maybe Greinke or Duscherer were available. Point being, I'd rather build a team that has a chance to grow together and win for years (like the Rays have done due to their high draft picks/player development) than have a one yr window and then regress into a mediocre team again (something I think is very possible in Milwaukee, though they still have a bounty of prospects and may very well acquire a pitcher like Cain via trade in the offseason).

As for compensation picks, they are not worth nearly as much as high level prospects such as LaPorta (a point I think you would agree with). The year we drafted Ahrens, JPA and Cecil with our first round pick and Texas' compensation for signing Catalanatto is considered a very good draft, and while there are other examples of quality compensation pick prospects, there are many examples of comp picks not panning out.

To me, the only real disappointing move that JP has made (though this is more to do with Godfrey I'm guessing) is extending Vernon Wells. I wanted us to trade Vernon for two quality playerssuch as Billingsley/Kemp, Penny/Kemp or E Santana/B Wood. I would have then wanted us to sign Aubrey Huff to replace Vernon's production and take advantage of the fact that Rios can play CF.

Acquiring Holliday, Burrell or Manny would essentially make us a big market team (instead of middle-market) and the Jays have to make the playoffs frequently to justify that. I don`t know why people are so down on a guy like Huff and so high on Holliday or Burrell. Neither really make sense considering we know what it takes to acquire them.

In Holliday`s case, he is a sub .900 OPS player outside of Coors and nobody should expect him to remain a .1000 OPS guys on another team. As for Burrell, can you really see the Jays locking up 200 mill in their OF and effectively blocking David Cooper or any other prospect that comes down the road...

These are my predictions (barring injuries which could happen to anyone)

1. Huff will be more valuable next yr (wherever he is playing) than Burrell or Holliday (if Holliday is outside of Coors) when factoring in the prospects and contracts involved (Huff is one example, there are multiple better options for the Jays).
2. 6 years of Laporta will be more valuable than Holliday, whether Holliday is extended to a ridiculous contract or ends up giving the team that trades for him comp picks upon his departure (one needs to consider what comp picks are typically worth, because they could boom or bust and is a far greater gamble than a top prospect like Laporta).
3. Over the long haul, signing Giambi, trading for Delgado, Thome, Huff will all seem like better options than signing Burrell and handcuffing future roster flexibility.
4. If the Jays acquire players for a minimum of 2 years, even if they sign guys like Burrell, 2010 will be better than 2009 and, thus, it makes little sense to go all in for 2009 instead of 2010.

Southpaw, I think you have good opinions and would welcome your thoughts on the following...

-do you agree that the Jays have a better chance in 2010 than in 2009
-do you think it would take more to acquire Ryan Ludwick or Matt Holliday (personally I think we match up more with St Louis because they may need pitching and could use depth more than Colorado, thus a quantity package may be possible). BTW, Litsch and a bit for Ludwick is never going to happen; even if Ludwick is a one-yr wonder, it costs more than a number 4 NL starter like Litsch for an MVP candidate.
-would u rather have Ludwick for say, 3 yrs and 20 mill, or Holliday for one yr at 13.5 mill, if the prospects we`d have to give up were similar. As I have said, I`d rather pay for future performance than past performance and even if Holliday is better than Ludwick, trading for someone like him is a far better gamble than signing Pat Burrell, IMO. Sorry for the long essay...your thoughts are welcome

SP said...

I'll never understand the argument for trading prospects in return for player who will cost a lot and who you'll keep for only a short time, despite the fact that the player would be proven. Prospects are valuable because they are young, cheap, and controllable. The only risk with them is that they don't pan out. This is a significant risk but I'll take that risk any day over having nothing in your system to look forward to. Trading prospects for talent makes even less sense when there are cheaper and sometimes better options available in the FA market without having to give up prospects.

With the Jay situation, I don't think it's dire enough that we need to purge our best prospects for Holliday who is only marginally better than a Burrell, Delgado, or Giambi. Actually, if Wells, Rios, Hill, Overbay and everyone else even had average seasons, this team would be so much better than 67-63. Adding even a Delgado or Giambi would suffice. Burrell would be splendid. And Holliday would be overkill and would just hurt the team in the future, especially when we've just finally started to build back the farm to where it was.

Jays2010 said...

SP i totally agree - acquiring Holliday sounds like something Bill Bavasi would do(and did, with bedard) - trading a lot of cheap, controllable talent for flash. It`s something a big market team does - I can`t see JP ever getting a one yr rental and turning a top 15 farm system (it will be when 2009 ratings come out) into a bottom 10 system; in fact, JP seems to be more protective of his prospects than just about every GM in the league. If we trade, I`d rather trade cheap players for cheap players and utilize our impressive stock of pitchers in the minors and majors for hitting, and perhaps JP will use his abundance to avoid a future 40 man roster crunch.