Wednesday, 1 October 2008

You Go, Gibby, and . . . stuff.

I know the Drunks have already commented on this - I'm kind of ashamed of myself how slow I am to break the latest story lately - but given that I have such a high level of contempt for the notion that John Gibbons was a bad manager, I take a lot of satisfaction in pointing to Jeff Blair's blurb today that Gibby is under consideration for employment on the staff of both the Padres and the Rangers.

I am sure there's a great number of malcontents in the Jays fan base who were certain he'd never work in the majors again, perhaps even they were happy to think that this would be true. Sometimes I think sports fans can be unreasonably vindictive and nasty and this is one of those times.

I, for one, hope Gibby gets the San Diego job and that if the ax happens to fall on Bud Black that he get's another crack at major league managing. And I think he'll do a bang up job.
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ESPN'S Buster Olney writes on the quality starting pitching potentially available in trade. For all the speculation about the Jays needing to sign a front end SP, I don't see anything on the free agent market that impresses me enough to pay the prices they will cost. In my opinion, a well done trade (which, despite the flack he takes, has been JP's strongest suit on the whole) will bring us a better solution than the FA market, assuming of course, we can find the right players to send in return without sacrificing our future. I think we can all agree that Snider is a keeper and that almost no available starter is worth including Cecil or Arencibia. Beyond that though, everyone - including Adam Lind - should be negotiable.

As explained at MLBTR, Olney mentions specifically Jake Peavy, Zach Greinke, Matt Cain, and Edwin Jackson. Jackson may have upside but he's not now a front end guy, nor would the Rays want to help a division rival, so I'll disregard him. Tim speculates that Greinke, with 2 years left, would command a package similar to the Bedard deal of a year ago. He mentions specifically middle infield, catcher, and center field as places of interest though you know the Royals always need pitching. One wonders how much proximity to the majors matters to the Royals, and whether something like Romero/Campbell/Jeroloman might be in the ballpark?

Peavy, only 27, is, of course, one of the best pitchers in the game, and signed long term to a team-friendly deal (with a no trade clause that would need compensating for - though he has publicly complained about the direction of the Pads). He makes only $8 million next season and then jumps to 15,16,and 17 the following three years and there's a $22 million option for 2013 with a four million buyout. In other words, if AJ Burnett took the offer the Jays have reportedly made, they would pay him $54 million over the next four years, if they had Peavy they would pay him at least $60 million over the next four years even if they bought out the option year.
Which would YOU rather do?

That said, the cost for Peavy would be Haren/Santana level. Can the Jays pull that off? The first thing you'd have to do is put Adam Lind on the table. The Padres would of course ask for Snider but they'd have to know that a team almost never trades it's #1 guy. Then, you have to come off Cecil I think. I love him as much as anyone but the Padres are going to need a high upside pitcher who's close to the majors. But I'd try REAL hard to sell them on Purcey instead, even if I had to include something extra in the deal. Simply because of their relative ages. To that, you have to add probably three more guys. One guy out of our catching depth seems likely, probably one other SP (maybe someone like Ginley?) and a "toolsy" throw in. Would you do that? I'm inclined to say yes. It's true that Cecil might be very good, but when you think about a 2010 rotation of Doc/Peavy/Marcum/McGowan/whoever, that's drool worthy.

One alternative her might be to agree to take on Khalil Greene's contract in return for them taking Purcey over Cecil and Lind over Snider - assuming they consider Greene to have negative value which I'm not certain they do.

That leaves Matt Cain. Tim speculates his value falls somewhere between Peavy and Greinke since you'd be getting three years of him, which is probably true (albeit the next three years of Cain cost less in dollars than Peavy even with Peavy's friendly deal). I think though, that you'd have to wait on the Giants to sort out the potential for deals like the speculated "Cain for Fielder" deal to pass first. with the Giants though, we'd get to hold onto more of our young pitching. they need bats. Start with Lind and Campbell and pad it out from there. This probably depends more on what other teams offer. I'm wondering what a guy like Arnsberg would do to polish Cain's amazing stuff. Is Sabean so stupid that we could get him to take Overbay and another minor leaguer and let us keep Lind? I doubt it...but I'd sure lead with that if I were making an offer.
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There's some discussion around the boards and blogs of potential "scrap heap" signings the Jays might make to supplement their rotation next year. The term is kind of misleading since what we are really talking about is guys who have enough risk associated with them that you might get them on a one year or one-plus-one contract. There are probably more names than anyone can list off the top of their heads, but here's a decent list for your consideration:

Mike Hampton
Mark Mulder (probably won't be ready)
Eric Milton (status unknown)
Kris Benson
Matt Clement (status unknown)
Bartolo Colon
Jason Jennings
Pedro Martinez
Carl Pavano
Brad Penny (Dodgers are reportedly going to decline his option)
Mark Prior
Freddie Garcia

The names that interest me here are Martinez (highest upside, IMO, but was very ordinary down the stretch when ostensibly healthy) Garcia (maybe slightly safer choice since he actually pitched in the majors). Prior (who I would assume would be loyal to his home town team) and, as much as I hate to say it, Bartolo Colon who pitched well in seven starts for the BoSox this year. He might have pitched well enough though, to have pitched his way out of the one-year-deal crowd.

Still, if we could do a one-plus-one with Colon he might be the ideal guy to plug into Marcum's spot.

Food for thought in any case.



Lloyd the Barber said...

I love Penny in a make-good deal. Arnsberg may have a bug in his ear already.

Scott said...

Re: Peavy:
Can the Jays pull that off? The first thing you'd have to do is put Adam Lind on the table.

At a *minimum*. I'd think the Jays would have to offer *at least* Lind, Cecil, Campbell, and at least two other prospects to get close to a deal for Peavy, and if I'm the Padres I'd say no deal unless Snider was in the package. We're talking about one of the best pitchers in baseball here, who's cheap and entering his prime.

The Jays' farm system is getting better, but I don't think they have the pieces required to get someone like Peavy or Cain.

ari said...

"and that almost no available starter is worth including Cecil or Arencibia"

We don't all agree on that. Don't get married to Jays prospects. Cecil may turn out okay, but Arencibia? That BB:K ratio is beyond atrocious, and leaves me in serious doubt as to what he can accomplish in the majors. His best comparison may just be Rod Barajas. The bottom line is that if a Lind/Cecil/Arencibia package can net you a top, controllable SP it should be done without thinking twice.

The Southpaw said...

I'm in agreement on that point. Cecil could be Cole Hamels... or Homer Bailey. Lind is looking like he'll end up the .770 OPS complimentary piece fangraphs predicted rather than the offensive cornerstone we hoped. If you take that and something else and turn it into Jake Peavy, kudos to the GM.


The Southpaw said...

The point on that is that if you take the top tier for whom you WOULD include those guys, most are not available.

when you look at the guys who are on the market, even tentatively, the list of guys for whom you clean out the farm system is damned short.

3,4, maybe 5 guys tops. Would you give up - for instance - JPA and Cecil for, for instance, Kevin Millwood? or Scott Baker? or Bronson Arroyo?

I wouldn't.

The Southpaw said...

Yeah, but we're talking about Jake freakin Peavy here. Not Milwood. If the Padres ask for Cecil, Arencibia, pretty much anybody outside of Snider I say go for it. I'd make a similar trade for Greinke too if I had too. And I'd have no problem trading both Purcey/Cecil in the same deal.

Our SP prospects are kind of irrelevant if you get either pitcher. You end up with Doc, Peavy/Greinke, Marcum, McGowan, Litsch with Janssen and a couple others available to fill in for injuries or ineffectiveness.

Getting Greene would be a intriguing. He's still a really good defender, and for a RH power hitter he'd do much better out of Petco.


The Southpaw said...

Did I make the point poorly? If so let me be clear - I was saying that you don't want to give up Cecil or JPA for any BUT the very best. I was NOT saying I would pass on Peavy at that price - Hell, I SAID flat out that Cecil would likely have to go to bet Peavy....and said I'd make the deal.
Why is there confusion here?