Weekend Winter Wrapup (29 Oct 07)

Congrats to the Red Sox on their World Series victory or whatever. Stephen said it best in the comments:

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing Tom Werner standing on the podium to accept the WS trophy.

For those who may have forgotten why we detest Werner in these parts, here’s a handy reminder. Aside from the fact that he almost destroyed baseball in San Diego, I’ve got no real problems with the guy.

To the winter leagues…

Friday, October 26

  • East Rising Stars 3, West Rising Stars 2 (box | recap). Matt Antonelli batted second and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Interesting that he bats in the #7 or #8 hole for the Saguaros but moves to #2 in a “showcase game.” (Speaking of Antonelli, the second entry in Sunday’s U-T letters to the editor is hilarious. Sample size, anyone?)

Saturday, October 27

  • Scottsdale 3, Saguaros 0 (box | recap). Will Venable went 1-for-4. Started in right field and batted cleanup again. Antonelli also went 1-for-4 in the #8 hole. Jonathan Ellis needed six pitches to work a perfect eighth.
  • Navojoa 4, Mexicali 1 (box). Oscar Robles went 2-for-4 with a double for Navojoa. Robles has played only shortstop this winter, but he’s been mentioned as a possible successor to Marcus Giles at second base in 2008. Luis Cruz, playing third base, went hitless in four at-bats. Fernando Valenzuela, days short of his 47th birthday, pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief for Mexicali.
  • Caracas 2, Aragua 1 (box). Paul Abraham worked a scoreless eighth in this 14-inning affair. Ex-Padre Eric Cyr got the start and worked five solid innings.

Sunday, October 28

  • Navojoa 8, Mexicali 2 (box). Robles singled twice in three at-bats, and started two double plays in the field. He’s hitting .282/.363/.394 in 71 at-bats. Cruz, again at third, went 1-for-3 with a solo home run, his second of the season. He’s at .220/.288/.322 in 59 at-bats.

Rained wiped out most Dominican games over the weekend. Their Sunday scores were unavailable as of this writing.

Tunes: Alison Krauss/Robert Plant, Pinback, Silverchair.

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53 Responses »

  1. Wow A-Rod waited until the night that Red Sox won to announce that he is opting out of his contract, he couldn’t wait until I don’t know tomorrow to announce it?

    Also I hope he goes to the Giants and ties up $30 Mil of thier payroll for the next 10 years.

  2. MLB trade rumors did a Padres 08 preview:


    They had some interesting Ideas/theories. They think the Pads may move Bell for a big bat (Dunn or Bay). They also say that the Pads may trade Kouzmanoff or Hairston to make a spot for Headley. Who knows, at this time last year I thought there was no way the Pads would trade Barfield but hey that worked out pretty well.

  3. Looking over at the comments on mlbtraderumors.com, there are a whole lot of Kouz and Headley nominations for playing 3b for the Yankees next year. Amazing what a difference a year makes.

  4. G.Y. your 2B poll depresses me. I know thats who KT said was in the running but you have to think they will get a Vet in there as well.

  5. Well, I guess RS Nation deserves to celebrate, but for the rest of the country, that was the worst playoffs ever. Boring. boring boring. 9-days off for Col killed thier momentum and now we all have to live with the fact that the RS are baseball’s new dynasty. Too me, RS Nation is like Raider Nation, with all the histrionics and drama included. Please, get a life, people. And the media got what it wanted, a RS victory. Now the nation can turn it attention to Colts and NE next Sunday. We, KT, we don’t need HR hitters at petco, we need avg/gap hitter with some speed on the bases.

  6. Just look at the Red Sox! Rookie at 2nd and Rookie in center and Leadoff.

  7. 2: I think it would be suicide to trade Bell. Unless someone dangled something awfully exciting out there for him, I gotta think he is one of the few “untouchables.”

    I have no problem with Robles as an option to start at second next year. It will be great to have someone on the team that knows how to bunt in a key situation. /sort-of-snark

    Apparently Joe Torre is a Dodger now? My mom told me that this morning, which is interesting. I also am hoping that the McCourts don’t open their wallets for A-Rod.

  8. 7:

    Bell – It’s never suicide to trade a reliever.

    Robles – He’s had some success before, but he should be one of the last options as a starter. He could replace Blum adequately, but Blum is going to be ours from now until the sounding of the trumpet, as long as he’s willing to sign in the 1 million region.

  9. I would love to see the Pads load up this year and make a final run before going young. Trade for Dunn (if they can get him to waive his NTC), sign Jones to a big one year deal, get a guy like Loretta at 2B and sign Shilling to a 1 year deal. It would be alot of payroll for this year but it would all come off the books (including Maddux, Giles and Hoffy) in 09. Then bring up all the young kids and see what they can do.

  10. Wow, Peter Gammons UNLOADED on Scott Boras / A-Rod for having the news come out during Game 4 about their decision to opt-out.


    Of course the timing of the news was intentional – Boras is too smart for our own good and took advantage of the entire baseball world being tuned in to the final game of the WS. Upstaging the Fall Classic in this manner is HIDEOUS and disrespects the game. Could this not have waited a day or two (or 10?) since he has up to 10 days after the end of the series…

  11. Sorry about posting a link that only has ESPN insider (paid subscription) access gang…

    I’m not opposed to trading HBell but what I’d want back in return for him likely means ‘no sale’. Not to diss on Hoffy or anything, but I do believe that Bell can and will close for this ballclub in due time. If I understand right, Crisp has two years left ($11 mil total) on his contract. Not terrible numbers and he plays a great CF, but I’m not very interested if it means giving up someone like Headley to the Sox.

    Glad i’m not making player personnel decisions for the Pads.

  12. Re 10: While Boras & A-Rod say they are still willing to neogiate with NYY, I think the timing is an intentional slap at NYY and an indicator of how bad A-Rod wanted out of NY.

    If you truly were willing to stay in NY, wouldn’t you keep that door open until the last possible moment (10 days after WS conclusion) therefore allowing a “good faith” negotiation? Furthermore, Boston is going to want to bring Lowe back. A-Rod is obviously HUGELY talented, but I don’t think he fits in Beantown and with Lowe’s selfless demeanor and WS performance, I think Boston tries real hard to get him back on a 2-3 year deal… He can bat 5-7 and won’t complain about it and he will contineue to provide stellar defense at 1/3 of A-Rod’s cost.

    I think LAD and SF are the front-runners for ARod… I don’t expect the Padres to sign (or even be major players in the A-Rod sweepstakes), but I do expect them to kick the tires…

  13. Can A-Rod play centerfield?

  14. 13: Probably. At least in the sense that Derek Jeter can play shortstop.

  15. 13 … seems more likely he could play 2B :-) Or let him play SS and move KG to 2B? If nothin’ else, there’s LF …

  16. Man, wouldn’t it be nice to dream of A-Rod as a Padre? Of course, then you could deal either Kouz or Headley for SP, or move one of them to the OF. Maybe Kouz could learn 2B?

    I agree with Peter, A-Rod is clearly done with NY. Good for him. He’s probably one of the – if not the – best players to ever play the game. He should be somewhere that people appreciate him.

  17. Tigers acquire Renteria from Atlanta.


    I really like Atlanta as a possible trade partner. I don’t know if Lillibridge would develop into a top-flight CF, although he has the athleticism to do it, but I’d rather try that than trade for Crisp.

  18. No on A-rod for me, he’s too expensive and, taking my cue from Gammons/Olney today, you pretty much have to sell your team’s soul to him and Boras to get him. No position player is worth that. Interesting that Detroit went and got Renteria, they were rumoured as an A-Rod destination. I betting (hoping?) that the market for A-Rod dries up and he ends up with less than the $25MM/yr (or whatever it was) he had w/ NY. Course, I thought that would happen to JD Drew and not only did he get $70MM he’s holding a WS trophy.

  19. IDK TW, Lillibridge seems to have every bit of Crisp’s pop-gun power…

    AA&AAA combined: .282/.341/.417 w/ 22 2B & 13 HR and a 40/119 BB/SO ratio

  20. I wouldn’t mind Gorkys Hernandez (sp?) that ATL just got from DET in the Renteria trade…

  21. 18: Some of the criticism from Gammons may be due to the timing of it. There was no reason for Boras to announce it when he did, it’s disrespectful of the game and of Gammon’s hometown team, who were about to sweep.

    Arod’s the best player in baseball and if you sign him for 5 years you’ll get a big marketing bonus when he gets close to the HR mark. But it’ll be interesting to see. He took himself off the Yankees, who wanted him the most and had the greatest ability to pay him. Detroit doesn’t need him. Texas and Seattle won’t. But LA might, either LA, and it only takes one.

  22. I like Lillibridge a lot too, but it doesn’t seem like we match up well with the Braves. They need starters, a centerfielder, and a left fielder just like we do.

    Seems like the Twins could be a good trading partner. They desperately need a decent third baseman and have all kinds of major league ready pitchers (or even Santana if we wanted to go especially crazy).

  23. 21 – undoubtedly. But, I think the larger point which is what Olney said too, is this is the kind of “Alex is bigger than anything else” circus you get if you sign him – mostly generated by Boras and the Media, not necessarly by ARod (though who works for who? Alex is partly culpable in all the Boras circus by allowing it to happen)

    To me, he’d have to hit 80HR/200RBI every year to justify the cost+the sideshow. He’s a fantastic player, the best right now certainly, but I couldn’t see paying him even what the Yankees owed him, let alone something bigger.

    If he said “I’ve always wanted to be a Padre and I’ll sign there for $15MM” I’d say go do it in a heartbeat of course.

  24. Gosh, the Coach is just clueless about what “Moneyball” is. He even drowned out some caller Philly Billy-style. Kentera even asked the caller, “When has a Moneyball team won anything?”

    “Uh, Boston?”

    He dismissed the connection and went on to say that Moneyball doesn’t value pitching as much as it should or defense period. Big guy was in rare form. The problem with people like him is I doubt he ever reads up on something to expand his knowledge base or challenge his perceptions. He knows what he knows and that’s all that matters. What a dope.

  25. 19: He may not have power, but we’d be paying him 1m over the next 3 years instead of 11 million for the next 2 (with buyout) or 18.5 million for the next 3 (with option).

    He’d also be worth considering as a SS if we trade Greene somewhere.

    22: Agree.

    23: I don’t think the sideshow cost the Yankees any game. A bad rotation and a bad postseason performance from most of the roster (including Arod) sent them home.

  26. I listened to 1090 on my lunch break and 3 consecutive callers had some great ideas for the Padres:

    1. Sign Posada for $13 million a year because he’s a left handed power hitter and we need a catcher who can throw guys out.

    2. Move Khalil to centerfield because he’s our best athlete and Blum can be our shortstop. Hey, Mickey Mantle was signed as a shortstop and became a great centerfielder so it could work, right?

    3. Trade Brian Giles for T. Gwynn Jr.

  27. 23 … what if he said $20MM?

    24 … youkilis is the classic moneyball player … litterally! remember when the book was written (2002, iirc) and then check out what youkilis looked like at that time … http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/Y/Kevin-Youkilis.shtml … moneyball!

  28. 27: I’d sign Posada, but if the Yankees are going to guarantee that third year, we’re probably not in the running. The other ideas are….well, you gave them what they deserved.

    I’m surprised the radio shows haven’t talked more about Morgan, the young CF from Pittsburgh, because he had a 1.124 OPS in Petco!

  29. I remember seeing a comment about the waiver claim of Zarate … but somehow I missed the news that we’d waived NOG …


  30. The Posada thing is interesting, but what in the world did Josh Bard do wrong? Sure he got off to a slow start, but heck, he was maybe the best hitter on the team down the stretch (next to maybe Kouz). Plus, Posada won’t throw base stealers out with our slow-as-molasses delivery pitchers. Our problems with base stealing wasn’t totally on Bard’s head.

    Also, can I just restate my desire to be very careful with free agent contracts.. it seems every year we talk about being excited about a contract “comming off the books”… which means we regret a guaranteed contract.

  31. 31: Josh Bard didn’t do anything wrong, but he’s not going to hit 20 HR or slug near .500 unless he uses an aluminum bat. It’s a substantial upgrade in rate stats and the one counting stat that matters. But it’s most likely not happening.

  32. 28: A-Rod at 20M…YES! I would love to see us get involved on him, but I don’t see how we could outbid the Giants or Dodgers…He’d have to want to be here, and I think that he really just sees the $$$

    I don’t know about Lillibridge’s availability–I think he’s the Braves CF next year. I’d also rather not have someone trying to learn the position in the majors in Petco.

  33. It was stupid for Boras/A-Rod to disrespect Boston, because you’d think they’d want the Red Sox in on the A-Rod sweepstakes if for nothing else than to drive the price up for everoyne else.

    If anyone is interested, I’m using a simulation program to continue the 163rd game and “see what might have happened”. Hey, I figured with the season over it’s as good a way as any to pass the time. I’ll finish that game first, and if the Padres come out on top I’ll continue them thru the playoffs as far as they go.

    Check it out on my site below (disclaimer, don’t expect anything great):


  34. Antonelli’s small Winter league sampling (.200) wouldn’t be so bothersome to me if he hadn’t struggled down the stretch as well. He slumped the last month of season and wasn’t much of a factor for the Texas League Playoffs either.

  35. 24: That was me… Coach knows a lot about the physcality of the sport of baseball (i.e. pitching mechanics, swing mechanics, etc.) – love the guy – but he’s freakin’ clueless when it comes to strategy. He asked what teams succeeded w/ Moneyball, I didn’t think of it at the time, but the White Sox won their series w/ a Moneyball approach (power, walks, pitching — don’t even get started w/ their supposed “smallball” approach, that team walked a bunch and slugged a ton)…

    36: There’s no question Antonelli would benefit from another year of minor league ball…

  36. 37: I’m tired of Kentera. I’ll be happy when I can listen to Ello instead.

  37. I wondered if the caller might have been a DSer. Good job, Peter. It’s kinda funny to still hear these debates about exactly what constitutes “Moneyball.” He said MB doesn’t care about defense. I e-mailed him that Toronto and Boston were 1, 2 in defensive efficiency, not that that stat means anything to him.

  38. Lo Duca is a free agent now, any interest in signing him?

  39. 39/Re Kenterra: Just another guy who doesn’t understand “moneyball” …

  40. er, Kentera.

    Good job with the winter league updates, Geoff.

  41. 40: Why? He’s a 36 y/o catcher coming off a .272/.311/.378 season. Also, he’ll probably be paid like a player who doesn’t suck, which is a bad thing to pay a player who sucks.

  42. Can you really call Boston Money ball? sabermetric oriented maybe but not money ball they have the 2nd highest payroll in the leauge.

  43. 40: Nope. No interest in LoDuca. I think that I’d prefer Bard even if the costs were equal, which they won’t be.

  44. 43: I think when most people who didn’t really read the book talk about Money Ball they mean building a team around OBP and power, so I think the Sox would qualify.

  45. 44: but of course that’s not the real “definition” of moneyball, yet I still think the Red Sox qualify as a moneyball team.

  46. my last post was supposed to be in response to 46 … I’m strugglin’ tonight.

  47. I agree with Steve here. A team that handed out a 5 year, $70 million deal to J.D. Drew, a 4 year, $40 million contract to Jason Varitek and invested over $103 milllion for six years of Daisuke Matsuzaka is not a “Moneyball” team. These are New York Yankees types of contracts with a lot of risk. Theo Epstein is an enlightened GM, but he has his share of leeway.

  48. Looks like Torre to the Dodgers is just about final. Grady Little was bad, but I feel good with Torre in the division. Only the Arizona manager is on par with Black, as far as the division goes.