Thursday, December 4, 2008
Yesterday, I asked readers to feel free to submit questions to me on pretty much anything. Not many responded, which is unfortunate, but it also means that I don’t have to write as much! So, here are the questions that I got:
For what reasons do teams not offer type A and B free agents arbitration? It seems like a no-brainer to offer to most players because they are looking for better deals, but there is a risk that they could accept, at what point does that risk outweigh the possibility of gaining draft picks? Do large bonuses for high draft picks really have anything to do with this?
Kyle, this is a very good question and really one that should be better explained. Let me start with why a team would NOT offer arbitration to a Type A or Type B free agent… the player might accept it! If the player is one that the team really, really does not want to have back, certainly not at the same cost (or higher, sometimes significantly higher) as the previous year, they will not offer arbitration unless that player is sure to sign elsewhere. An example would be Adam Dunn. The Diamondbacks made the decision that he was not worth one year at whatever value he would get in arbitration, likely $15 million or so. Now with Dennys Reyes, he is a Type B free agent. The Twins made the decision that the were willing to risk Reyes accepting and maybe needing to pay him $4 to $5 million in 2009. Something to remember is that a team that is in the bottom half of the league’s standings, so the team’s with the first 15 picks in next June’s draft, have those first round picks protected. So, if a team like the Cincinnati Reds or Pittsburgh Pirates were to sign a Type A free agent, they would not lose their first round pick in 2009. Last year, it was rumored that Torii Hunter may sign with the Texas Rangers. Instead he signed with the Angels. Because the Angels were so good in 2007, the Twins got the #27 pick in the 2008 draft and a supplemental pick after the 1st round. Had the Rangers signed him, their first round pick would have been protected. The Twins would still get that supplemental draft pick, but would have received Texas’s second round pick instead. That kind of helps answer the part about large bonuses for high draft picks because the highest are generally in the first half of the first round. There are obvious exceptions that fall later, like Rick Porcello and others that are exceptions.
I want to get your opinion on a trade rumor I heard with Delmon Young going to the braves for Yunel Escobar. I think it helps both teams and I’m not real high on trading Young but the chance to get a future star at shortstop for only an underachiever I think would be a good deal. My question is A. do you think its a good and fair trade and b. Can you see this trade happening?
Travis, let me start by saying that I do not think a 22 year old (he was 22 until mid-September) hitting .290 with ten homers and 69 RBI is an underachiever. Maybe he didn’t meet our expectations of him, but is that his fault, our fault, Baseball America’s fault, or what?
Like I said yesterday, the answer to whether I would trade Delmon Young for Yunel Escobar could change daily, maybe even more frequently. This morning I told you that I thought a Young for Escobar trade was probably fair, but I probably would not accept it but that since the Twins have depth in the OF and Escobar could be a fixture at SS for several years, it isn’t far-fetched. Tonight, after learning that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire sees Young as a probably fourth outfielder, I then would absolutely trade Young straight-up for Yunel Escobar and just hope that the Braves brass has not read the Gardenhire quotes.
I do still believe that given another year of regular, daily playing time, Young will become a better than average big league corner outfielder. He could become an occasional All-Star. But if the Twins and Gardy, in particular, are so down on him and won’t give him daily playing time, then the answer to this trade possibility is absolutely… today!
Can I see it happening? I don’t know. I don’t know if the team’s are talking at all. I would hope they’ve had the conversation. The Braves could use a LF, and the Twins desperately (my opinion) could use a SS.
What do you know about Tony Abreu? He has good minor league stats. Had a cup of coffee with the Dodgers and is only 25 years old. I know he was hurt last year. I was hoping the Dodgers would make an offer that included him last year for Santana. Is he Rule V eligible? Could play him at 2nd and move Casilla to short.
Well, Rick, I know that his given first name is actually Etanislao, so that’s pretty cool. He did miss the whole 2008 season. He had hernia surgery and went on the 60 day disabled list. He was a very solid prospect after leading the Florida State League in hitting with a .327 batting average as a 20 year old. Like you, I was excited about him a couple of years ago and think his name was mentioned in some Twins rumors. He is not eligible for the Rule 5 draft for one reason, he is still on the Dodgers forty man roster. So, the next question would be is he someone that the Twins could or should be interested in acquiring via a trade. The answer to that, in my opinion is, maybe. I mean, I think it all depends on if the Twins think he can be an every day 2B, and if they feel that Alexi Casilla could be an every day SS. I personally really like Casilla at 2B, but the most optimistic of Twins fans could see a lot of Rafael Furcal in Casilla in terms of body type, speed, and defensive mannerisms, so maybe there are those with the Twins who still believe Casilla could be a solid SS. If that is the case, sure, the Twins could give up a prospect to acquire Abreu. You hate for injuries to hurt a player’s role, but with Abreu missing all of 2008 and Blake Dewitt becoming a Dodgers regular, it is possible that Abreu could be available. I think you can see from my response that such a deal would not make me terribly enthusiastic, but I’m glad you asked it because I am more interested in acquiring Abreu than overspending on some of the other names that have been rumored.
What do you think of the Office?
I think it is a very OK show… I really like Steve Carrell, but I just have not been able to get into it at all. Sorry! In reality, I only watch a few shows religiously. They would be:
· Sundays – Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters (arguably the best show right now!)
· Monday – I really like The Big Bang Theory, and I usually watch How I Met Your Mother after it.
· Wednesday – Ghost Hunters on SciFi – Great stuff!
· Thursday – Grey’s Anatomy
Sadly, that is about it! I remember the days when I had to tape shows because there were multiple shows on each night that I watched. Maybe I’ve grown up and become a responsible adult… I don’t know.
Favorite baseball site? Non-twins.
That’s a tough one, I spend a LOT of time on Twins blogs. But obviously I’m a big fan of MLBTradeRumors. I check that several times a day, and have the RSS Feed. I check John Sickels’ Minor League blog most days, hoping to find postings on the Twins like this one discussing the long-term value of Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez. There are a lot of blogs that I check out every couple of days or so.
Any must have books?
I assume you mean, besides Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009, which is now available for purchase at LuLu.com? Well, of course I also have to mention Marty Andrade’s updated Twin Cities Burger Tour and Chris Coste’s 33 Year Old Rookie. But beyond that, I have a few that I enjoy reading. Dave Mona’s Beyond the Sports Huddle was an incredible read. Others that I enjoyed were Fantasyland, Moneyball, Bo Knows Bo, Kirby Puckett: I Love This Game, Jim Kaat’s Still Pitching. As you can tell, I don’t read much beyond baseball! In my bookshelf though, you will find a couple of Conversations with Nostradomus books, The Millionaire Next Door, Jen-X, a couple Bible’s, and a LOT of books.
Do you read Bill James? Ron Shandler?
Short answer? Not really. I do have Whatever Happened to the Hall, and a Win Shares book from 2002.