Friday Links (13 Oct 06)

The day job is completely kicking my butt right now, so just a few links for you today without much commentary.

  • Over at Padres RunDown, Peter’s posted the first few installments of his Top 25 Padres Minor League Players: 21-25, 16-20, 11-15, and 6-10.
  • Eight years later, opportunity knocks for Hoffman (ESPN). Nice piece by Jayson Stark on everybody’s favorite closer.
  • Family tragedy impacts Williams (San Diego Union-Tribune). Wow, I had no idea. Woody Williams’ older sister shot and killed her husband in June 2005. Hard to imagine trying to focus on baseball when you’re dealing with something like that. [via Nick G. in the comments]
  • Alderson says he doesn’t expect regime change; Padres CEO hints that Towers, Bochy to return (North County Times). Makes sense to me. The front office has been pretty successful over the past three years. They can do better, but they already have improved, so why can’t that continue? (And just because Bruce Bochy has been granted permission to talk with other clubs doesn’t mean he’s not returning.) Article also indicates what we’ve long suspected, that Dave Roberts won’t be re-signed. I love what Roberts has done in his two seasons with the Padres, but that kind of production is so out of line with his career norms and at his age, the only way I could see him returning is as a fourth outfielder. And with the numbers he’s put up here, Roberts probably can find someone to sign him a starter. I’ll be sorry to see him leave — he’s about as wrong (in a good way) as I’ve been about a player — but it’s probably best for both sides. Carlos Lee is mentioned as a potential replacement, which is fine with me as long as the price is right. What would that be? I dunno, haven’t looked at the market real close just yet.
  • Shop ’til they bop (San Diego Union-Tribune). There’s a handy chart in this one showing how the Padres’ contracts shake out through 2009. The usual suspects show up here: Adrian Beltre and Barry Zito, as well as Japanese veterans Daisuke Matsuzaka and Akinori Iwamura. Quoth Kevin Towers: “We plan to be very aggressive in the Japanese market.” Okay, I guess we’ll see.
  • A brave look at the future? Winning Padres hoping to emulate Atlanta model (North County Times). Brian Hiro sees reason for optimism. He mentions some intriguing names, including Andy Pettitte and Kerry Wood.
  • Speaking of Zito, Baseball Crank has good things to say about him and backs it up with data. There’s another guy on the Crank’s list who is a free agent and who isn’t getting as much play: Mark Buehrle. He’s an extreme finesse pitcher coming off a down year, but Buehrle has a pretty solid track record. I wonder how much he’d cost.
  • Nothing to do with baseball, but there’s no such thing as a bad Spinal Tap reference. As someone who owns a car and a few guitars, I have to admit, I don’t get the tie-in. That said, this is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while.

Happy Friday, folks. Enjoy!

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38 Responses »

  1. One thing I don’t understand about CHP – everyone wants to sign him on the cheap. Isn’t he a Boras (bor-ass) client???

    If so, I don’t think signing him on the cheap is a possibility.

  2. CHP is a boras client, I would not want to resign him because we dont know if he can stay healthy. Internal bleeding is not like a torn ACL.

  3. I really like the idea of Mark Buehrle. I also really hate the idea of Adrian Beltre. Carlos Lee depends on price to me…Soriano would seem to be a perfect fit, but I can’t see us committing as much to him as he would seem to demand.

  4. Interesting ideas…Word out of Washington today says that Soriano turned down 5yrs/$70mm. Can’t imagine Pads offering more than that…not to mention he has little incentive to come to SD.

    A totally different subject…The article on Woody got me thinking about a leave of absence that Linebrink took earlier in the year. Did we ever figure out what happened?

  5. As long as it’s Link Day, I hope no one minds if I de-lurk to mention that I’ve put up some Petco photos…

    September 24, until Trevor

    just Trevor

    Rookies after the game
    (I am SO not responsible if you click that last link and then wish you hadn’t.)

    Posting fee on Matsuzaka could be as high as $28 million, per Bob Bavasi of, and then you’ve got Bora$$…

  6. Rich, there is NO WAY I want Buerhle here… I think Iread somewhere that there are less 10 (I think it was close to 3) starters in baseball history who are successful despite striking out fewer than 5.0 per 9 IP (successful = 1/2 or 1 run of ERA below league average or something like that over several years). Mark was one of them, but I still don’t trust non-strikeout pitchers (they don’t have to get a ton, but 6+/9 please).

    C-Mike, I’d do 5/$75 for Soriano… But we can’t offer it first. And I don’t know if that gets the job done now…

  7. From Truth & Rumors:

    In what could be a fast-moving chain of events, San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy may be available and could become the Cubs’ front-runner. While the Cubs have not contacted Padres’ management yet for permission to speak with Bochy, that could happen at any time, according to sources close to the situation.
    – Chicago Tribune

    No matter whether you like him or not, the Pads without Bochy would be a little weird.

  8. 4:

    We’ll probably find out what it was sometime in ’07.

  9. I just read the Zito article… A few weeks ago in an IGD, I calculated that the Padres had several pitchers (Mike Thompson, Woody Williams, Chan Ho Park, Dewon Brazelton, plus maybe one or two others) start 66 games for the Padres. In those 66 games those pitchers compiled a 4.79 ERA (if we remove Woody’s contributions the ERA ballooned to 5.25ish – I included Woody’s starts among the 66 starts b/c I wasn’t sure he’d be back in ’07) w/ a like 4.25/9 K9 and like 450 hits in 388 IP…

    As good as the Padres pitching staff was in ’06, what would it look like if we had Zito pitching 200-220 IP of 3.75 ERA w/ 210 hits and 140 K?

    I’ve long-advocated avoiding the Zito-stakes, and although I said I’d take Soriano for 5/$75… I’d rather have Zito at 5/$75 plus Sheffield at 2/$15 (by the way, that’s less than Roberts, Park, Klesko, Williams combined to make).

  10. I don’t think any contract longer than 3 years guaranteed is coming out of the Padres’ front office.

  11. 8: Do you think 2/$15 gets it done for Sheffield? I know he had the injury and he’s getting old but with his track record I’d think he could get closer to $10 mil a year. I do like the Zito/Sheff combo, it’s a better use of the money than Soriano anyway. But what about 3B? Will Beltre finally be a Padre? One of the articles above mentions Craig Counsell platooning with Branyan, which is something the pre-Petco Padres would have done and isn’t acceptable for a team that’s serious about winning. I like Counsell in the Geoff Blum role, just not as half the 3B platoon. We can’t afford to have one position be a black hole like it’s been the last few years. The Dodgers are serious about winning and the DBacks and Rox have some good young talent, it’s not going to get any easier next season.

  12. #6: Related to this, I was contacted by Goat Riders of the Apocalypse to give a little info about Bochy. My responses were pretty off-the-cuff but honest and, I hope, accurate. Feel free to correct/augment here or there as appropriate.

  13. Dave Magadan was hired by the Red Sox:

    A little odd in that they fired their hitting coach but have not explicitly stated that Mags was hired to be the new hitting coach, even his agent doesn’t know what his role will be.

  14. A fun fact that seems worth sharing …

    Detroit set a record for its earliest measured snow, breaking by one day the mark set on Oct. 13, 1909. The Tigers, coincidentally, played a World Series game on that afternoon, with Ty Cobb getting a hit and scoring a run in an 8-4 loss at Pittsburgh.

  15. #11: Good interview, Geoff. I think I agree with most of it. As for his inane ability to call for hit-and-run at the most inopportune time, I think Bochy hasn’t been doing that much since Petco. I’m not sure but it seems like it to me. Is that just because of the players he has or the effect of the park?

    I think he’s staying put for another season. But if he does leave, who would the Padres get to replace him? After all, the team shouldn’t settle for somebody worse, right?

  16. 14

    I have heard good things about Ron Washington.

    I also like Girardi a lot — I think the Marlins upper management is making some stuff up about him to soften the blow for their fans.

    If we’re going to get someone new in here, just please, please do not let it be one of the following

    Dusty Baker
    Art Howe
    Lou Pinella
    Buck Schowalter

    Basically, no recycled crap, please.

  17. Peter:

    Great job on the prospect report. Where’s Matt Bush? Ha Ha

    Didn’t realize C. Ramos really hasn’t been doing that well. Here’s hoping he gets it together and lives up to management (and our) expectations.

  18. What about Davey Johnson? He’s working for the Nats but apparently not in the running to manage. Maybe he just doesn’t want to manage anymore.

    The one tendency Bochy has that drives me crazy is leaving a pitcher in too long if he’s due up the next inning. Usually the pitcher comes out to start the 6th or 7th, gets rocked and he goes with the double switch even if it’s not needed.

  19. Yeah, Ramos is a tough one to rank. On everything I could dig up on him statistically said I should rank him 17-20 but the Padres keep saying GLOWING things about him on and off the record. Maybe he will get it together.

    Art Howe would not bother me at all. When left to his own devices (New York) we saw how (Howe?) he could mess things up, but when he was taking orders in Oakland he was fine.

    BA rated our AAA manager highly, but I don’t know much about him. Jonothan Williams at would be a good one to ask about him.

    I’ve spoken openenly about my near-man-crush on Larry Deirker but I’m not sure he wants to get back into managing.

  20. GY, nice interview, honest and straight forward. I am not in the “get rid of Bochy” camp. In that regard, I heard a clip of him on XX and he said, essentially: “San Diego is my home. I’ve coached this team for 12 years and have been involved with the organization a lot longer. I don’t want to leave the city or the team.”

    I think he wants to stay. But, given that he hasn’t got a contract after next hear, he has to look at security and money issues. I’m guessing that his agent is trying to bargain for a bigger contract with a long term deal. But, I’m thinking that he negotiates elsewhere, uses that as a bargaining chit and cuts the best deal he can with the Pads, ala Giles and Trevor.

    Just my thoughts.

  21. Given the choice, I’d rather sign Mulder on the cheap and get a big league 3B than overpay for Zito and rough it at 3B (Branyan + Counsell, etc).

  22. Any interest out there in signing Luis Gonzalez next year? If the Pads are going to let D.R. go, Gonzalez may be a nice insurance policy at the right price.

  23. 20: I like the Mulder possibility, as well. If we go that direction, though, we’ll need to add even more depth in starting pitching going in, in the event that Mulder’s not the same coming off the injury. So, we may have to look to sign Mulder and one or two lesser starting pitchers, instead of one premium guy. I still thinks that’s less expensive than signing Zito, though, absent his taking a SD discount, which Boras won’t let him do.

  24. I LOVE the Mulder idea!!! I’d love to re-unite Zito & Mulder…

    Ranger (#21), L-Gonzo had diminishing power numbers in Coors-Lite, there’s no way his power numbers would rebound here… He wouldn’t be a bad idea if we had more power at other positions, but without it… Probably not.

  25. Are you guys seriously buying the fact that Bochy is undervalued by making 1.9M next season?

    Is Bochy really 1M better then Ron Washington or Bud Black?

    Just wondering…

  26. I’ll third or fourth the support for Mulder. Any idea how much he would cost?

  27. What would be really nice is to see both Mulder and one of Zito/GryoBall/Schmidt.

    Is Mulder even going to be healthy for spring training?

    Coming off major surgery it may be a low base(2-3M) plus incentives.


  28. Even coming off surgery, I can’t see Mulder accepting less than $4-5…

  29. I tend to agree with Peter I don’t think Mulder is going to be exactly “on the cheap”. I am all for taking a risk and going after him but I think St. Louis will be fairly commited to not letting him just walk.

  30. Well if the bidding really reaches a 5M guarantee then I wouldn’t want him anywhere near a Padres uniform….at this point you don’t think if Mulder is going to pitch at all in 2007, even if he pitches his effectiveness is certainly at question after his 2006 performance.

  31. No offense Mark, but we’ll need to have our Dr.’s check him out thuroughly (sp?) and trust their opinions. If they think his shoulder is going to get back to 100% and we can get him for 3/$16-18 then yeah, we take him. Keep in mind, concerns about Andy LaRoch’s health prevent the Padres from signing him, now he’s one of the Dodgers top prospects, concerns about Vlad’s back kept the Padres from going after him even though Vlad & his agent basically asked the Padres to sign him, now he’s ripping up AL pitching for Angels at $12m per… The Padres can’t be stupid and just offer big money on blind luck, but they can take educated risks on a guy who has legitimate 1-2 starter stuff.

  32. Peter, why in the world would Mulder take anything along the lines of 3/18? If you were in his shoes wouldn’t you take a 1 year deal, show that you are healthy and then get yourself something along the lines of 5/55?

    My assumption is that it is going to be a 1 year deal, under those circumstances wouldn’t you rather have a full year of Ted Lilly instead of a very questionable Mulder?

  33. If we agree that SA is not going to agree to any long-term, big money FA contracts, doesn’t that mean that the top tier free agents won’t bother with us, deeming it a waste of time, recognizing other teams will pay them more for a longer period?

    If that’s the case, then doesn’t that mean that we have to build from within, supplementing our existing roster with trades and lesser known FA’s, assuming our minor league system advances to the point where we have the minor league talent to act as trade assets? Although it’s made progress, I don’t think we have reached that point with our minor league system.

    Given that Oakland’s payroll was approximately $62,000,000, while ours was only $69,000,000 (figures taken from the same source,, what advantage do we have over the A’s, except we may be able to sign our younger talent to a little longer contract through their arbitration years, with this year being an aberration because of the $30,000,000 coming off the books?

    Just random thoughts I thought I’d throw out there.

  34. #31: I agree that Mulder might go with the 1 year incentive.
    I see not reason for him not to sign for the 3/16 that might be offered, however. The Padres has proven to be a contending ballclub the last three years and that will be an added incentive for Mulder to sign for a longer term on the cheaper end.

    I wouldn’t want a full year of Ted Lilly in the Padres uniform, however. His track record is no better than Brian Lawrence’s.

  35. Wasn’t Mulder one of the worst pitchers in the Majors this past year or am I thinking of someone else? (I’ll check later)

  36. Mulder was pretty bad but I think it was determined that the rotator cuff/labrum issue had been affecting him for quite some time and there was actually some relief when they realized he was hurt, rather than just sucking.

  37. Yeah… Mulder is now recovering from shoulder surgery. If he’s healthy he’ll be good, if not…

  38. 36: That sounds about right.