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View Full Version : An Interesting Topic to Challenge All Would Be G.M.'s


Lillian
11-23-2006, 09:23 AM
It must be incredibly challenging to be a G.M. in this environment.
There are a lot of really bright and knowledgeable people on this forum. Your discussions are so much more sophisticated than those found on the other sites.
There is a group of related topics, that while they have been discussed in various threads, they have not been addressed with any particular focus. We all love to make “fantasy” deals, and construct our own rosters, but at times there is no clear, and consistent philosophy guiding our recommendations. I think that most of us would find it very interesting to hear your personal views on the following topics below:

A) Possible strategies for player personnel:

1) Keep players until they become free agents, letting them sign elsewhere, and receive draft picks in return.

2) Trade players as they approach free agency, for either youth, or guys with longer contracts, preferably with lower salaries than the current market.

3) Try to extend the contracts of those players to long term deals.

4) Combination of the above options

5) Other options

B) What strategy do you prefer, and why?

C) What specific moves would you make to implement your strategy?

Cuck_The_Fubs
11-23-2006, 09:36 AM
It must be incredibly challenging to be a G.M. in this environment.
There are a lot of really bright and knowledgeable people on this forum. Your discussions are so much more sophisticated than those found on the other sites.
There is a group of related topics, that while they have been discussed in various threads, they have not been addressed with any particular focus. We all love to make “fantasy” deals, and construct our own rosters, but at times there is no clear, and consistent philosophy guiding our recommendations. I think that most of us would find it very interesting to hear your personal views on the following topics below:

A) Possible strategies for player personnel:

1) Keep players until they become free agents, letting them sign elsewhere, and receive draft picks in return.

2) Trade players as they approach free agency, for either youth, or guys with longer contracts, preferably with lower salaries than the current market.

3) Try to extend the contracts of those players to long term deals.

4) Combination of the above options

5) Other options

B) What strategy do you prefer, and why?

C) What specific moves would you make to implement your strategy?


You state a great point, but on the contrary, it would be simply dull to include any of these points stated above. All of the fun in fantasy has to do with the unreal trades any Gm would ever do.

Lillian
11-23-2006, 09:44 AM
You state a great point, but on the contrary, it would be simply dull to include any of these points stated above. All of the fun in fantasy has to do with the unreal trades any Gm would ever do.

You're right. It is a lot of fun just fantasizing. But I have too much respect for you guys to think that a lot of you couldn't come up with some very well reasoned, and compelling ideas regarding how to put this complicated puzzle together.

FedEx227
11-23-2006, 09:50 AM
My choice for A would more definitely be No. 2, to trade your the bulk of your players as they will become free agents for youth/better contracts, it's seemed like a time-tested formula. However, I do like rewarding people to long contracts but I would never do it to someone above the age of 30, because from then on out you have injuried, loss of love for the game, etc.

However if I have a Ryan Howard on my team right now I'm locking him up for a good while. However, signing Gary Matthews/Soriano to long ass deals is just stupid because you aren't looking at the long term implications. Gary Matthews is not worth 10 million when hes 35, plain and simple. Soriano is not going to be tradeable at 39 years old with 17 million on the hook.

I would definitely keep a team with a lot of youth, trade older veterans who scouts see is losing a bit of a step or has a flaw that might be exposed or even a veteran who many people are overrated or thinking to highly of, and send those away for some prospects.

Lillian
11-23-2006, 09:58 AM
Thanks, FedEx227. That's the kind of reply, for which I was hoping.

What kind of a draft is coming next year? I understand that it could be very deep. How would we be positioned in that draft, if we were to let some of these contracts expire? I understand that a team has to at least offer arbitration, but that shouldn't be a problem when dealing with guys like Dye, Iguchi, Buerhle and Garcia.

Lillian
11-23-2006, 10:41 AM
One of the topics, on which I'd like to get your opinions in this thread, is the entire question about player motivation, relevant to contracts. We all know that a player in his final year leading up to free agency is very motivated.
We also know that human nature makes it difficult to remain "hungry", once a player has received a huge long term contract.

And then, there is the question of pressure to perform, after signing that contract. The pressure to perform, in order to live up to the fans' expectations, when receiving an extraordinary amount of money, is different than the pressure that a player puts on himself, in order to better position himself for contract negotiations. That former, is the kind of pressure that can adversely affect performance.

These are all things that could argue strongly for seeking players in the final year of their contract. "I'm not say, I'm just saying", as that idiot on the radio would say. In other words, this is not necessarily my opinion, but something on which I'd like to have you all comment.

Jjav829
11-23-2006, 10:57 AM
A) Possible strategies for player personnel:

1) Keep players until they become free agents, letting them sign elsewhere, and receive draft picks in return.

2) Trade players as they approach free agency, for either youth, or guys with longer contracts, preferably with lower salaries than the current market.

3) Try to extend the contracts of those players to long term deals.

4) Combination of the above options

5) Other options

B) What strategy do you prefer, and why?

C) What specific moves would you make to implement your strategy?

There's no easy answer to your question. There are just too many variables to give one easy answer. To be able to answer that, you'd need to know: the size of your payroll at a given time, any foreseeable factors that could lead to that figure being allowed to rise or being forced to fall in the future, prospects in your minor league system that could be ready, the state of your entire team and how close you are to contending, the market value of similar players in similar situations, numerous things about the player himself and the probability of him continuing to perform at a high level, and on and on.

With different players you have to take different approaches. Obviously if you have a player like Ryan Howard or David Wright, it would be nice to lock them up long-term. But those types of players, the great ones who come out of the gate showing how good they can be, are the exception, not the rule. It's just impossible to give some blanket statement about how to handle player personnel decision. You have to take each player as a separate case and decide how best to handle their situation given what you know about them and your oganization at that time.

Lillian
11-23-2006, 11:34 AM
There's no easy answer to your question. There are just too many variables to give one easy answer. To be able to answer that, you'd need to know: the size of your payroll at a given time, any foreseeable factors that could lead to that figure being allowed to rise or being forced to fall in the future, prospects in your minor league system that could be ready, the state of your entire team and how close you are to contending, the market value of similar players in similar situations, numerous things about the player himself and the probability of him continuing to perform at a high level, and on and on.

With different players you have to take different approaches. Obviously if you have a player like Ryan Howard or David Wright, it would be nice to lock them up long-term. But those types of players, the great ones who come out of the gate showing how good they can be, are the exception, not the rule. It's just impossible to give some blanket statement about how to handle player personnel decision. You have to take each player as a separate case and decide how best to handle their situation given what you know about them and your oganization at that time.

Of course, you're right. There aren't any easy answers. It does seem however, that some general philosophies might be useful. Apparently, Sox management does not like to give pitchers long term contracts, for example.

Couldn't one formulate a set of principles, based upon the kinds of variable factors, to which you so astutely referred? For instance, could you say, based upon our big market payroll, and given that we are close to winning it all, and have very few minor leaguers ready to step into starting roles, we would do the following... In other words, couldn't you still exercise a basic strategy, even though it might vary from year to year, based upon the current state of your organization?

What would you do now, and why, with this team?

infohawk
11-23-2006, 11:38 AM
I don't think any of those strategies are mutually exclusive propositions, particularly for a team like the White Sox. In fact, most teams use a balance of all the approaches you mentioned, but to different degrees. These degrees are probably based upon market and payroll considerations.

The Yankees probably represent one extreme in that they don't really develop their own players and don't let players walk for draft picks. They live or die on the free agent market, counting on their ability to throw obscene amounts of cash around.

Teams like the Twins and A's are close to the other end of the spectrum. They aren't going to be able to afford high quality free agents, so they lean heavily on their farm systems and trades. Particularly trades where they will only have the player for a year or two before they can wipe the more expensive salary off the books. They can remain competitive, but there is tremendous pressure to continue making quality trades and drafts. Two or three bad drafts can usher in a "dark age."

The White Sox model seems to be somewhere inbetween. The Sox try and develop their own players to varying degrees of success. I think KW recognizes the value of the farm system and is seeking to restock it. Unlike the Twins, or even the A's, I think the White Sox view their farm system as giving them bargaining chips to engineer trades for what they need at the major league level. The Twins and A's ideally want a fresh stock of players making at or near the league minimum. The Sox are willing to trade those young players for players that have some major league experience.

The Sox will also play the free agent market, but seem to like mid-level free agents, particularly those players that have talent but some kind of a knock against them that might lower their price. For example, Pierzynski and his "attitide," Iguchi and his lack of major league experience and Dye with his injury history. For this reason, I think it would be very unsurprising to see the Sox sign a guy like Eric Gagne. The financial risk is low but the upside is potentially huge. The Sox do have the financial ability to go after an expensive free agent, but I don't think they would do it unless they were 100% convinced that the player would put them over the top. I should mention that the Sox should be commended for shelling out some money to keep Konerko, a player the Twins or A's would have likely let go.

Ultimately, the best GM would use every option available to improve a team. I think the worst strategy is the free-agent only strategy. You've got to be able to develop your own talent for promotion or trade. Relying heavily on the draft is also risky in that it's hard to recover from too many "busts." I like the White Sox somehwhat balanced approach, but would like to see an improvement in their drafts. The Sox don't produce as many decent major league pitchers or infielders as I would like. For some reason they're really good at developing outfielders, though. There needs to be a more vigorous effort to develop pitching. For this reason, I would like to see one of our starters traded for at least two close to major-league-ready starters. If we can't develop them ourselves, we have to go out and get them for the farm system.

Lillian
11-23-2006, 12:07 PM
Yes, infohawk, it would have to be a different philosophy for two disparate organizations such as the Twins and Yankees. A small market team, obviously can't do what Steinbrenner does.
However, those two teams do demonstrate that there does seem to be an underlying philosophy that guides them.
Of course, every team will try to develop its young talent, but since players all seem to be so "fungible", the question is; do you try to keep that young talent, or just use it to trade for established players. I understand that it depends upon other things, but I'm still very interested in the basic approaches.
Thanks for the insight. I agree, that the Sox seem to attempt a combination of strategies, and I like that, as you do.

infohawk
11-23-2006, 01:10 PM
Yes, infohawk, it would have to be a different philosophy for two disparate organizations such as the Twins and Yankees. A small market team, obviously can't do what Steinbrenner does.
However, those two teams do demonstrate that there does seem to be an underlying philosophy that guides them.
Of course, every team will try to develop its young talent, but since players all seem to be so "fungible", the question is; do you try to keep that young talent, or just use it to trade for established players. I understand that it depends upon other things, but I'm still very interested in the basic approaches.
Thanks for the insight. I agree, that the Sox seem to attempt a combination of strategies, and I like that, as you do.
I think the underlying philosophy that both teams follow is to maximize the financial opportunities continget upon the first seven years that a player is in the major leagues -- principally the pre-arbitration years. Of course, the A's believe heavily in metrics, such as the PECOTA system used by the folks at Baseball Prospectus. The general consensus seems to be that most players are at their peak value at around age 28 and begin to decline in subsequent years, ironically when they become more expensive. I think the A's therefore have a philosophy of finding young, cheap players ascending in ability whom they can control until free-agency, at which time they become expensive anyway. I think the Twins are less reliant on metrics (although I can't say for sure) but seek to build around young players more for cost considerations than statistical decline reasons.

Besides the philosophy of how players are aquired, we probably have to include each organization's philosophy regarding the desirable skills and abilities possessed by a player. The A's, of course, look for market inefficiencies. What skills are being undervalued that subsequently result in cheaper players. They have in recent years been built around plate discipline, drawing walks and hitting three-run homers, and drafted accordingly. Within the last year or two, they decided that run-prevention was being undervalued and began seeking good glove men, accounting for some of the difficulties they have scoring runs.

The Twins appear to value players willing and able to play team ball. What they lack in overall player statistical skill level, they make up for by drafting and training players who are fundamentally sound, aware of game situations and who are able to execute bunts, hit-and-runs, hitting behind runners, etc. I would say that, in my opinion, the Twins, more than most teams, live out the philosophy that the sum is greater than the parts. This allows them to maximize what they do have. The Twins have always emphasized run prevention, particularly through defense. In that, you could argue that the A's have suddenly become more like the Twins.

getonbckthr
11-23-2006, 09:13 PM
Each situation is unique. How old are they? Whats the market like? Whats your farm system like? What could you get for _____ player? Do you have an imposed budget from your owner? What is the character of your team, manager and the player in question? What does the future hold for your manager? Who is your manager? Who is in your division? Who, if anyone, is your financial competition as far as your city's location?

caulfield12
11-23-2006, 09:58 PM
You state a great point, but on the contrary, it would be simply dull to include any of these points stated above. All of the fun in fantasy has to do with the unreal trades any Gm would ever do.


This is both a complex and simple question.

From a competitiveness standpoint, run your teams like the A's, Twins and Marlins.

Meaning draft pitching, pitching and pitching...hold onto them while until they become unaffordable (and at risk to break down or deteriorate, like Hudson and Mulder), let them throw 200+ innings per season and take the compensation picks back in return.

Identify 3-5 younger (than 30) players (like Crede, Buehrle, Garland, Jenks, Konerko) to sign to multi-year contracts.

Draft "ready to produce" college players instead of serving as a farm system for inexperienced talent (like TB or Florida) that come into their own when they're ready to become FA's.

In the case of the Twins, scout the heck out of foreign markets and other teams' organizations. This led to the Rule 5 drafting of Johan Santana and the inclusion of F. Liriano in the AJ trade. Also, draft college pitchers like Matt Garza and Scott Baker (same reason as stated above).

Build fundamental teams that can bludgeon the opposition but also do the little things to manufacture runs against superior pitching.

Of course, the Twins and A's have failed in the playoffs. Which means you can't give up TOO much offense and replace it with cheaper, high OBP guys like Hatteberg and Durazo. The A's lost Damon, Dye, Tejada, Giambi and Carlos Hernandez....that was too much to withstand.

With the accent on pitching, pitching, pitching...build a superior bullpen with depth, like the Twins have, and the Tigers, to a lesser extent.

Magglio, El Caballo <<< Iguchi, Dye, Pods, El Duque, AJ, Vizcaino, Blum, Hermanson

Constantly look for talented but underachieving pitchers from other organizations...Loiaza (some don't work, like Gil Heredia), Contreras, Jenks, Thornton, Cotts (well, for one season)

Use your farm system largely to fill needs at the major league level...but identify the 2-3 players you won't trade. Despite all the players we've given up, we have yet to give up an All-Star to another team since Mike Cameron...and we got Konerko back for him.

Now Chris Young, Gio Gonzalez or Tyler Lumsden could become All-Stars, but they certainly aren't yet.

caulfield12
11-23-2006, 10:02 PM
I think the underlying philosophy that both teams follow is to maximize the financial opportunities continget upon the first seven years that a player is in the major leagues -- principally the pre-arbitration years. Of course, the A's believe heavily in metrics, such as the PECOTA system used by the folks at Baseball Prospectus. The general consensus seems to be that most players are at their peak value at around age 28 and begin to decline in subsequent years, ironically when they become more expensive. I think the A's therefore have a philosophy of finding young, cheap players ascending in ability whom they can control until free-agency, at which time they become expensive anyway. I think the Twins are less reliant on metrics (although I can't say for sure) but seek to build around young players more for cost considerations than statistical decline reasons.

Besides the philosophy of how players are aquired, we probably have to include each organization's philosophy regarding the desirable skills and abilities possessed by a player. The A's, of course, look for market inefficiencies. What skills are being undervalued that subsequently result in cheaper players. They have in recent years been built around plate discipline, drawing walks and hitting three-run homers, and drafted accordingly. Within the last year or two, they decided that run-prevention was being undervalued and began seeking good glove men, accounting for some of the difficulties they have scoring runs.

The Twins appear to value players willing and able to play team ball. What they lack in overall player statistical skill level, they make up for by drafting and training players who are fundamentally sound, aware of game situations and who are able to execute bunts, hit-and-runs, hitting behind runners, etc. I would say that, in my opinion, the Twins, more than most teams, live out the philosophy that the sum is greater than the parts. This allows them to maximize what they do have. The Twins have always emphasized run prevention, particularly through defense. In that, you could argue that the A's have suddenly become more like the Twins.

See...

Lew Ford
Denny Hocking
Matt LeCroy
Doug Mientkiewicz
Corey Koskie
Nick Punto
Jason Bartlett
Jason Tyner
Luis Castillo

The Twins defense has fallen off quite a bit from 02/03, but their bullpen is even stronger, and their starting pitching has also improved, largely due to Santana and the stability of Radke (until now).

Mauer, Cuddyer and Morneau have each come into their own...which, combined with Torii Hunter, is almost as strong a middle of the order as the White Sox have.

infohawk
11-23-2006, 10:33 PM
See...
Mauer, Cuddyer and Morneau have each come into their own...which, combined with Torii Hunter, is almost as strong a middle of the order as the White Sox have.
These are the first guys that the Twins have brought through their farm system in some time who look as if they can potentially crack 30 homers a season on a consistent basis. Even Torri Hunter is somewhat disappointing as a reliable power threat. He never blossomed into the kind of offensive player that the Twins thought he would become. The Twins defense is pretty good, maybe not as good as it was, but still pretty solid.

Lillian
11-23-2006, 10:44 PM
Those are some very insightful thoughts gentleman. I knew that some of you could provide that kind of analysis, and it's very much appreciated.

Of all the possible strategies, it appears like the the least attractive approach is the one the Cubs are adopting. Committing all of that money to an eight year contract, for a 31 year old player, has got to be the worst idea yet. I think some of you guys could do a better job than the people running that organization.

I really like the idea of having players at their peak years of 27 to 30, in the last couple years leading up to free agency. They are strongly motivated, not under burdensome fan pressure, and usually very reasonable, as they have not yet had the opportunity to cash in on that big contract.
The other situation that appeals to me, is the guy who signed a big contract, and can be acquired with a little salary sharing by his current team. The way we got Contreras, or the way the Yankees got A-Rod.
Of course, the best of all is a young player, who develops very quickly, and can provide 4 or 5 very productive years, before being eligible for free agency. But there aren't many guys like Ryan Howard.

At any rate, thanks again for the thoughful responses.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

caulfield12
11-23-2006, 10:54 PM
Which is the biggest reason the White Sox won't give $60 million to Dye.

KW keeps saying they want to get "younger and faster and more athletic."

Anderson, Sweeney and Fields fit in with that strategy. AJ, Crede, Konerko, Thome and Dye do not. That doesn't mean they're not good players...but that blueprint of the Twins with a very athletic and strong outfield defensive, sacrificing some offense for defense and fundmentals on the infield and then strength up the middle (Mauer, Hunter, Castillo, Bartlett) is a pretty good recipe.

And we have some weaknesses in CF and SS right now.

voodoochile
11-23-2006, 11:12 PM
Of course, you're right. There aren't any easy answers. It does seem however, that some general philosophies might be useful. Apparently, Sox management does not like to give pitchers long term contracts, for example.

Couldn't one formulate a set of principles, based upon the kinds of variable factors, to which you so astutely referred? For instance, could you say, based upon our big market payroll, and given that we are close to winning it all, and have very few minor leaguers ready to step into starting roles, we would do the following... In other words, couldn't you still exercise a basic strategy, even though it might vary from year to year, based upon the current state of your organization?

What would you do now, and why, with this team?

I agree with Jjav, no set forumlas, but I did want to comment on the part of your statment I highlighted.

Yep, that was their philosophy and the minute they dumped it, they won a WS and came close to the playoffs the next year.

As you can afford and as the market dictates. Fill your holes with quality players and don't be afraid to spend big to get the big gun you need to make your team a serious pennant contender.

You obviously have to have some kind of a farm system, because only the Yankees and BoSox can afford a team of purely FA players.

Oh and go for talent over stats when drafting, IMO. You cannot coach things like armstrength, speed and bat speed.

Ol' No. 2
11-23-2006, 11:13 PM
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each player and team is an individual case. You have to decide what a player is worth to your team and what other options you have. You may decide to pay some players big bucks, but that means you also have to have some cheaper players to balance it out. It's pretty simple math. If you have 25 players and a $100M budget, that means the average salary is $4M. So to sign player to a $10M contract you need some cheap players to offset it. You have to decide how many expensive players you can afford and which ones are worth it.

Those decisions are also influenced by what's going to be available in coming years. Kenny put a priority last year on signing all his starters so he would not have to turn to the FA market this year. So while other teams are stuck trying to fill out their rotation with overpriced mediocrity, he's now got one to spare at below the current market prices. These decisions are all part and parcel of the process. The truth is, if you look back at the big money FA signings over the last few years, very few turned out to be worth the money.

Keep key players if you can sign them to reasonable contracts. If you can't you ought to plan for that at least a year ahead of time. If you get caught with a hole to fill and wind up overpaying, it's more bad planning than anything else.

Lillian
11-24-2006, 09:47 AM
Which is the biggest reason the White Sox won't give $60 million to Dye.

KW keeps saying they want to get "younger and faster and more athletic."

Anderson, Sweeney and Fields fit in with that strategy. AJ, Crede, Konerko, Thome and Dye do not. That doesn't mean they're not good players...but that blueprint of the Twins with a very athletic and strong outfield defensive, sacrificing some offense for defense and fundmentals on the infield and then strength up the middle (Mauer, Hunter, Castillo, Bartlett) is a pretty good recipe.

And we have some weaknesses in CF and SS right now.

Since the Sox surely wouldn't want to depend upon so many young, unproven players in the same outfield, do you think that Crawford is high on K.W.'s shopping list?

I still have to wonder if the Angels aren't one of the most likely trading partners for the Sox. However, I didn't realize that Shields will be a free agent, at the end of this season. That makes him less attractive. What we do know is that the Angels want another veteran starter, covet Garcia, and are willing to trade Figgins, Shields and Santana. We also know that they are looking for another big bat. Now that they have signed Mathews, wouldn't you think that the talk of them going after Jones or Wells, seems less likely to lead to anything?

We know they covet Konerko, and we've discussed that. Maybe one of their highly touted young shortstops could be used to sweeten a deal including Konerko. If that happened, then the Sox could use that extra starter to go after Jones or Wells, or Crawford.

I'm not necessarily advocating this, but it does appear that something is cooking with the Angels. If all of these changes, could get the Sox more bullpen help, younger, better and cheaper starting pitching, more team speed, without degrading defense, then I think we could give up a few of those record home run totals.

Well, a lot of this has been covered in previous discussions, but how do you think the deals so far might effect these potential moves, and where do you suppose the Sox are in their thinking now?

caulfield12
11-24-2006, 10:08 AM
Since the Sox surely wouldn't want to depend upon so many young, unproven players in the same outfield, do you think that Crawford is high on K.W.'s shopping list?

I still have to wonder if the Angels aren't one of the most likely trading partners for the Sox. However, I didn't realize that Shields will be a free agent, at the end of this season. That makes him less attractive. What we do know is that the Angels want another veteran starter, covet Garcia, and are willing to trade Figgins, Shields and Santana. We also know that they are looking for another big bat. Now that they have signed Mathews, wouldn't you think that the talk of them going after Jones or Wells, seems less likely to lead to anything?

We know they covet Konerko, and we've discussed that. Maybe one of their highly touted young shortstops could be used to sweeten a deal including Konerko. If that happened, then the Sox could use that extra starter to go after Jones or Wells, or Crawford.

I'm not necessarily advocating this, but it does appear that something is cooking with the Angels. If all of these changes, could get the Sox more bullpen help, younger, better and cheaper starting pitching, more team speed, without degrading defense, then I think we could give up a few of those record home run totals.

Well, a lot of this has been covered in previous discussions, but how do you thing the deals so far might effect these potential moves, and where do you suppose the Sox are in their thinking now?

http://mb3.scout.com/ftampabaydevilraysfrm1.showMessage?topicID=3385.to pic

I think it would be instructive for you to read D-Ray fans' thinking on this one. The beauty of getting Crawford now is that he is 'cost controlled' for the next two seasons, just like Joe Crede.

Which makes him all the more valuable. On the down side, you have the D-Rays rotation and the impossibility of competing in the AL East without pitching while he's serving out those two years and going FA at the end.

After Kazmir, they have tons of question marks in their rotation and pen. They had a career journeyman as their closer for half the season. Obviously, they've had an issue with Lee and whoever they've thrown out at 1B for the past five seasons, but Konerko isn't the player to "put them over the top" at this point. Logically, they would ask for either Garland or McCarthy, being unwilling to accept Garcia or Vazquez due to age, cost and performance concerns.

I think we could continue to look at trading Konerko to the Angels and Orioles, but I don't think anything would happen with him until after next season.

KW wants to keep the "core" intact before making wholesale changes.

Other posters have suggested a 3-way deal to avoid us having to give up McCarthy or Garland to get Crawford. That's a possibility.

I have some concerns with Crawford...mostly his relatively low OBP for a possible leadoff hitter. He's a better three or five hitter IMO, but putting him in the middle of the order buries his speed, one of his main assets to a team acquiring him.

We know that we can bring back Pods at a relatively cheap $3/4/5 million for next year through arbitration. Personally, I prefer to go after Figgins with Josh Fields (only with the knowledge we'll extend Crede past 2008). This way, we have two viable leadoff options in case one struggles. Sweeney is going to be a much better LF/RF than Josh. And Figgins gives us a back-up at CF, 3B and LF...and is exactly the kind of player Ozzie loves. He could be the closest thing we've had to a "sure stolen base" off the bench for a LONG time. And he's only 28 and another relative bargain in this contract climate.

I have no idea what Crawford would be worth on the open market, but I think he would be slightly overvalued because he's a better "looking" player than his reality...his stats are always slightly underwhelming in comparison to his rep as the best player on his team. Not great power, some issues with arm strength (although not like Pods or Pierre), and, he's a LFer. I would feel much better giving $12-13 million per season to a Vernon Wells or MAYBE Andruw Jones.

FedEx227
11-24-2006, 11:03 AM
http://mb3.scout.com/ftampabaydevilraysfrm1.showMessage?topicID=3385.to pic

I think it would be instructive for you to read D-Ray fans' thinking on this one. The beauty of getting Crawford now is that he is 'cost controlled' for the next two seasons, just like Joe Crede.

Which makes him all the more valuable. On the down side, you have the D-Rays rotation and the impossibility of competing in the AL East without pitching while he's serving out those two years and going FA at the end.

After Kazmir, they have tons of question marks in their rotation and pen. They had a career journeyman as their closer for half the season. Obviously, they've had an issue with Lee and whoever they've thrown out at 1B for the past five seasons, but Konerko isn't the player to "put them over the top" at this point. Logically, they would ask for either Garland or McCarthy, being unwilling to accept Garcia or Vazquez due to age, cost and performance concerns.

I think we could continue to look at trading Konerko to the Angels and Orioles, but I don't think anything would happen with him until after next season.

KW wants to keep the "core" intact before making wholesale changes.

Other posters have suggested a 3-way deal to avoid us having to give up McCarthy or Garland to get Crawford. That's a possibility.

I have some concerns with Crawford...mostly his relatively low OBP for a possible leadoff hitter. He's a better three or five hitter IMO, but putting him in the middle of the order buries his speed, one of his main assets to a team acquiring him.

We know that we can bring back Pods at a relatively cheap $3/4/5 million for next year through arbitration. Personally, I prefer to go after Figgins with Josh Fields (only with the knowledge we'll extend Crede past 2008). This way, we have two viable leadoff options in case one struggles. Sweeney is going to be a much better LF/RF than Josh. And Figgins gives us a back-up at CF, 3B and LF...and is exactly the kind of player Ozzie loves. He could be the closest thing we've had to a "sure stolen base" off the bench for a LONG time. And he's only 28 and another relative bargain in this contract climate.

I have no idea what Crawford would be worth on the open market, but I think he would be slightly overvalued because he's a better "looking" player than his reality...his stats are always slightly underwhelming in comparison to his rep as the best player on his team. Not great power, some issues with arm strength (although not like Pods or Pierre), and, he's a LFer. I would feel much better giving $12-13 million per season to a Vernon Wells or MAYBE Andruw Jones.

I'd take Crawford over Andruw Jones ANYDAY

Age
Crawford: 25
Jones: 29

OBP
Crawford: .348
Jones: .363

OPS
Crawford: .830
Jones: .894

SB
Crawford: 58
Jones: 4

Zone Rating (although different positions)
Crawford: .878
Jones: .846

Outside of more home runs and RBIs Jones presents very little more than Crawford at this point in his career and even in the future. Crawford continues to show great progress and is starting to gain more and more power as his career goes on.

However, getting Jones helps NONE of our problems besides kicking Anderson to the curb because he didn't hit as a rookie. We need a leadoff hitter first and foremost, and while his OBP might not be fantastic (46th in the AL), he still presents a lot of great tools towards being a good leadoff hitter including fantastic speed and a desire to bunt when necessary.

caulfield12
11-24-2006, 11:13 AM
If I had to rank them, I would definitely go with Crawford and Vernon Wells over Andruw Jones. Obviously, Wells wouldn't hit leadoff either....which would mean we would keep Pods, trade for Figgins or get a Furcal/Rolllins/Vizquel at SS for the one spot.

jabrch
11-24-2006, 12:11 PM
The hardest part about being a GM is probably having to evaluate each of these guys as individuals and make projections based on the non-quantifiable aspects that have to go into each decision. All the statistics from last year, the last 3 years, a career, whatever, ultimately don't accurately predict next year. What will happen after a guy signs a contract? How will one year of age impact a guy? What's going on in this guys life outside of just the game that might impact him?

You can't draw any conclusions based on just the hard data. Good GMs have to make each case decision independent, based on what they believe will happen. If it were formulaic, and one approach would be "right" while other's would be "wrong" it would be an easy job.

Good GMs, besides knowing a lot about baseball, have to know a lot about the people that they are dealing with. That's probably the key.

Flight #24
11-24-2006, 12:51 PM
Bottom line for consistent winning is scouting and coaching. Pour tons of resources into those areas and you'll be able to find cheap talent.

That said, in general, I think a team is best suited to succeed by focusing the draft on pitching, pitching, and more pitching with some exclusions for what you consider top on-field talent. But when there's comparable talent, lean towards pitching.

At the major league level, target your top 2-4 position players & pitchers who are or can be superstars, and sign them long-term, ideally before they hit FA to get some kind of discount. Then fill in around them with a combination of younger players and established mid-market vets who play the way you want your team to (i.e. Ozzieball, Moneyball, whatever floats your team's boat).

As for pitching, use your top prospects out of the 'pen as long relievers for 1-2 years, then move them into the rotation as #5 starters, enabling you to ID which ones are keepers and then sign them, which lets you trade one of your existing vet pitchers for young talent or to fill a hole.

The one thing I would say you almost never do is sign a top-level FA unless it's truly an elite talent (Beltran, Vlady, ARod, etc.). And that goes triple for pitchers because by the time they hit FA, they've got miles on them and a likelihood of declining performance pretty quickly. There are exceptions, but for example I'd stay away from Zito and Schmidt for these reasons. Instead, trade for more prospects and develop from within and/or find mid-level starters that you can improve.

Personally, I prefer to go after Figgins with Josh Fields (only with the knowledge we'll extend Crede past 2008). This way, we have two viable leadoff options in case one struggles. Sweeney is going to be a much better LF/RF than Josh. And Figgins gives us a back-up at CF, 3B and LF...and is exactly the kind of player Ozzie loves. He could be the closest thing we've had to a "sure stolen base" off the bench for a LONG time. And he's only 28 and another relative bargain in this contract climate.


Not a big Figgins fan, and I think Fields can be a star, so I'd never do that deal straight up. Fields >>>>> Figgins. A guy with power & speed who's at or near MLB-ready being traded for a middling offensive player who's a defensive question mark at a number of positions? Color me excited!

caulfield12
11-24-2006, 05:29 PM
Bottom line for consistent winning is scouting and coaching. Pour tons of resources into those areas and you'll be able to find cheap talent.

That said, in general, I think a team is best suited to succeed by focusing the draft on pitching, pitching, and more pitching with some exclusions for what you consider top on-field talent. But when there's comparable talent, lean towards pitching.

At the major league level, target your top 2-4 position players & pitchers who are or can be superstars, and sign them long-term, ideally before they hit FA to get some kind of discount. Then fill in around them with a combination of younger players and established mid-market vets who play the way you want your team to (i.e. Ozzieball, Moneyball, whatever floats your team's boat).

As for pitching, use your top prospects out of the 'pen as long relievers for 1-2 years, then move them into the rotation as #5 starters, enabling you to ID which ones are keepers and then sign them, which lets you trade one of your existing vet pitchers for young talent or to fill a hole.

The one thing I would say you almost never do is sign a top-level FA unless it's truly an elite talent (Beltran, Vlady, ARod, etc.). And that goes triple for pitchers because by the time they hit FA, they've got miles on them and a likelihood of declining performance pretty quickly. There are exceptions, but for example I'd stay away from Zito and Schmidt for these reasons. Instead, trade for more prospects and develop from within and/or find mid-level starters that you can improve.



Not a big Figgins fan, and I think Fields can be a star, so I'd never do that deal straight up. Fields >>>>> Figgins. A guy with power & speed who's at or near MLB-ready being traded for a middling offensive player who's a defensive question mark at a number of positions? Color me excited!

The problem is we have a two year window to compete. If we keep Crede, then you really want Fields in LF? He would be expendable.

And if Pierre, Roberts, Lee, Soriano and Matthews are getting that kind of money, how much would Figgins be worth, at age 28, with an affordable contract?

Obviously, if KW isn't able to keep Crede and has a hunch, you have to keep Fields. I'm not buying into this whole outfield thing with Josh. His highest value is an infielder, stick him at either corner OF position and he's just average offensively and defensively.

In other words, how would you feel if KW made an announcement they were giving a "Peralta contract" to Josh Fields right now? Could you commit to paying $5-7 million per year to Fields (irrespective of his place on the pay scale the next three years)? Has he done enough in the minors or last September with the Sox for you to have that much faith in him? You could easily see them giving that to Figgins though.