Friday, 30 July 2010

And the Crowd Gose Wild

You knew I had to work in a pun, right?

Obviously I'm not breaking any news here so i'll be right to the point in reaction to today's deal. first things first, while there's some legitimacy to the idea that Adam Lind will be our next full time 1B (more on that later) let me say right out in front - the next 1B may be a player who's not in the organization yet. let me throw out a name no one else has mentioned today (to my knowledge: Kila Ka'ahue!!!

Sure he's 26 and at AAA again - but that's because the Royals are run by morons. Dude has EIGHTY SIX walks so far this year, his OPS is over 1.000 and it was so two years ago (when he was 24) in AAA. The Royals have a 1B they like, though he's not setting the world on fire, and mysteriously can't even find DH at bats for Kila. Myself, I'd see if they'd bite on Jesse Litsch for him. but I won't presume to dictate terms because Alex has shown he can win a duel with a good GM, I shudder to think what he could do to Dayton Moore.

Now - a couple of thoughts regarding the conversation about Wallace. Two big things I see out there. One is that the Jays "soured on Wallace" - I call that nonsense. If you think the player you are acquiring is a better player than the guy you are dealing, it doesn't necessarily follow that the guy you are dealing is out of favor. Let me ask you this - if the Rays called up and offered us Carl Crawford (potential free agency aside) for Fred Lewis - do we HAVE to be down on Lewis to take that deal?
Now certainly it's POSSIBLE they learned something this year they didn't know from being obsessed with him for years, but i find it doubtful. Anthopoulos reports that he wanted Gose over Wallace last winter and the Phillies wouldn't give him up. If this is true, then why is it necessary that he (Wallace) lost value in his eyes in order to make the deal now? Mainly, I think a lot of armchair analists are bending over backwards to poor-mouth Wallace unnecessarily. Wallace doesn't have to be a disappointment for this to be a good deal.

Second, and related to the first, is the extent to which we trust what AA has told us here. I've seen it argued that, for instance, all the praise Wallace got was just blowing smoke and the Jays knew he was nothing more than Overbay 2.0 without the glove. But the one thing Alex said all winter long is that "if I can't tell you the truth I won't tell you anything at all - I'm not going to lie to you" and he's followed through on that by repeatedly declining comment on sometimes even fairly routine things because he didn't feel he could afford to tell the truth publicly (either because he wanted to be fair to the players, or because he couldn't show his hand, or whatever). Anthopoulos has done NOTHING to make anyone assume he's obfuscating or take his words "with a grain of salt."
If he says "Wallace was very much a big part of the future" or that his defense was coming along fine or whatever, I'm going to assume that's FACT unless he shows himself false with me. If he says he wanted Gose last December (and since) then I'm gonna take that too the bank.

Beyond that, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of the deal: is there a risk in dealing a guy who might have a lower ceiling but had a lot better chance at reaching it for a 19 year old walking tool box with a very high ceiling - but a lot of room for things to go wrong? Yeah, there's significant risk. what that tells you is that AA has cast iron stones. Time will tell if he has made or continues to make the right calls about what players he targets, but he has the vision to gird up his loins and go right out and find a way to get the guy he wants, and that's not nothing.

Also, you gotta love the aggressiveness to hang around the fringes of the biggest deal so far and find a way to make his team better in the wake of that deal.

On the whole, I'm confident in allowing him to work and reserving my comments - he hasn't made a major false step yet.

About Lind at 1B - assuming no one else is acquired that changes this, it seems to be a prominent possibility. McCowan describes him as "going everywhere with a 1B mit" in the Anthopoulos interview this afternoon and it really opens up some flexibility. if Lind is the 1B then the DH could be Snider, or Lewis, or EE, depending on whether the team sees Bautista as the RF or the 3B. In theory, the DH could be any of those three, and also Wells, on a rotating basis. (assuming you are okaw with snider shifting back and forth from left to right).

I'll say again, my spidey sense says there's an import coming. But if not, there's no real downside to lind being the 1B going forward if he can come up to at least average defense. and yes, in case you are wondering, the Jays WILL miss Overbay's scoop because it's not a common sight to see.


Kasi said...

I think Wallace would have been solid. But we already have had a solid 1b for several years. .290 with 20-25 home runs and a .335 OBP as 1B just automatically puts us behind NY and Boston who can run Tex and Youk out there.

I also don't like the drop in defense that would have happened, since Wallace won't have Overbay's glove skills for at least several years. Wallace was a high floor low ceiling player. We traded him for a low floor high ceiling player. I guess we'll see if it works out.

Anonymous said...

What's the actual likelihood that Gose pans out into something worthwhile?

The Southpaw said...

Response the first - you have to balance both likelihood of panning out and likelihood of being a major impact player.

Wallace has considerably better odds of being a serviceable major league player, but he has no greater odds of being an All-Star type talent than Gose does. On the other hand, Gose has better odds of being an All-Star than Wallace BUT if he fails to reach that he could be Corey Patterson or worse, too.

Response the second- BA ranks Carlos perez, Gustavo Pierre, and Jake Marisnick among our most talented prospects. Marisnick is still in the GCL at the same age as Gose, and the other two are in Auburn and also 19 (and Pierre is having a rough go of it)

so just BEING in A+ and not getting killed like Jackson & Co. did the last couple of years is significantly encouraging.

Response the third - Other than our own Michael McDade, the youngest player in the FSL with an OPS of at least .755 will turn 22 within two weeks.

The FSL is a BIG TIME pitcher's league. don't get too down on Gose's numbers there this year.