Friday, July 25, 2008

Trade Deadline Idiocy: Or how number 22 in the 2006 MVP Voting Becomes Untouchable

Mixing up here at FDB with a guest post. Reds were off yesterday and someone wanted to step in. Kinda like on Boose's favorite show Regis and Kelly, when they have those special guests while Reeg is on vaca. He didn't give me a pseudonym so we will just call him the mystery guest:

Please excuse this diversion from sending hugs out Dusty Baker, if you want hard hitting analysis of the Reds, I suggest you check out Grady’s “ESPN Featured Comment of the Day” from the 22nd. As we sit a week away from the non-waiver Trade Deadline, it’s nice to take a step back and look at all the insane trade proposals that the professional journalists report on and how we buy into the same hype of our own players. It’s only natural we at times become a bit clouded in our views of our own players, I mean just a few weeks ago Tom was hear discussing the merits of trading Jr. Griffey, because as we all know teams around the league are clamoring for a 38 year old aging slugger who before last season had not played in more than 130 games since 2000 and have an appropriately average 100 OPS+ and could potentially lose out on a Gold Glove to Manny Ramirez (assuming they played the same position and were both in the same league). Trust me Tom, I’m sure the Rays would be more than happy to give you David Price and his minor league contract for the right to Griffey’s 16.5 million dollar option next season. Of course we all know Tom’s true preference is to see Griffey hit 700 home runs at as a Red, which at his blistering pace of a home run per 26 at bats, should only take another 4.5 years (well worth the 16 million dollars). Naturally, this goes both ways and for as much unconditional love one city can have for a player there can just as easily be irrational hatred, as some around Cincinnati seem intend on shipping Adam Dunn out of town, though not in these parts of the intertubes. Before you think I just stopped by to just bash the “surging” Reds, rest assured I can well criticize the lunacy of my own teams fan base (if there is anyone still reading this will surely end that), in full disclosure I am a World Champion Boston Red Sox fan, the team that plays just down the road from the World Champion Boston Celtics. Just this offseason the knights of the typewriters spoke out and the screams could be heard in all corners of the commonwealth when it was suggested that we ship out the newly anointed heartthrob Jacoby Ellsbury – the 2008 lead off man with a Juan Pierre-esque .327 OBP, it would have been just stupid to trade him for one of the best pitchers of the last 5 years (but then trades have never been Theo’s strong suit), and who could forget how beloved 2008 All-Star MVP JD Drew was in Boston last year.

Before I lose anyone else, let me get to the crux of what I wanted to say, there is no place better for insane trade rumors than the city of New York, and the official mouthpieces of the city of New York, the New York tabloids. For example, today, Mr. George A. King III Link (hopefully you can work out the HTML on that Tom) floats the rumor that the Dodgers are interested in Robinson Cano for the package of Matt Kemp and Derek Lowe. Normally we would all laugh and say no way to the Dodgers give up one of their outfield anchors for the next decade for a career .338 OBP second basement, unfortunately, Ned Colletti is not a good GM, thank god the passionate Dodgers’ fan base drove DePodesta out of town (no need to go down that road). Anyway let’s start with the money, Kemp is not even arbitration eligible at this point, he’s got 1 year MLB service so you’ve got him for a couple cost controlled seasons after this, DLowe is a free agent after the season and you only owe him about 5 million for the rest of the season. Cano is owed 25 million through 2011,, and then there are club options at 14 and 15 or 2 million dollar buyouts, so minimum you are trading away Kemp cost controlled through 2012 for 30 million on a second baseman over the same period of time.

That should be enough of an argument against this trade, but from a baseball standpoint it makes no sense either, Lowe is not that good right now but gives you innings in a division with 3 pitchers ballparks. Kemp is only 23 years old and before he becomes a free agent he has the potential to become the centerpiece of a young outfield and strong offensive lineup with Russell Martin and James Loney. Instead you are going to give the Yankees their RF for the next decade at no cost financially to them, for an overpriced second basemen who you don’t need this year since you have Jeff Kent (who sucks but is off the books at the end of the year) – Cano started slow granted, but he’s at best a .340 OBP guy who will give you 20 HRs and 90 RBIs, Kemp is a 23 year old who can be a power guy and give you 120 RBIs and 35 HR’s a year and even though I could care less about SB, he’s the type of guy who can give you 30 SB’s a season – on the open market a RF of his caliber is good for 12-14 million for 4 years – and you have him for nothing.

So the point of all this, I guess it’s the New York Media and Yankees fans have taken a guy who one season “almost” won the batting title and every other season has floated around .300, a slow starter every season, who by virtue of playing on a star studded team in the biggest media market in the country has become a star himself and given a ridiculous contract, when if he were playing in Cincinnati he’d be just another player. I know the argument will be he’s better than the numbers and his defense is great, unfortunately 2nd base defense does not impress me enough to justify the rest of the hype. I don’t mean to pick on Cano because he is not a bad player, instead I just am decrying the insanity of the trade deadline where we take a player like Cano and have the Yankees fan side saying Lowe and Kemp are not enough to get him. I don’t know maybe it’s short sighted or the problems of having a huge passionate fan base that cares about players. Bottom line I would take Kinsler, Kendrick, Utley, Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, BJ Upton, Brian Roberts, and Dan Uggla before Cano, yet one fan base feels he’s untouchable.

Hopefully I didn’t lose you, but I really wanted to spark the discussion about how we overrate our prospects and “stars” to the detriment of what is probably best for the team. So Tom, if any team is willing to give up anything of value for Griffey forget about sentimentality and the memories and trade him, because just as Elton Brand, Josh Childress, and Brett Favre will tell you at the end of the day it’s just a business. It’s inevitably we are going to become attached to players, however, at the end of the day winning a championship with a team of Eddie House, James Posey, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen means just as much as winning one with Tedy Bruschi and Tom Brady (it’s like it’s something in the Boston water we cannot help but being smug). And with that trade Manny.

No comments: