Friday Links (2 Nov 07)

Hey, look, it’s links…

  • A nod to good management and a nudge to spend more (Friar Forecast). MB gives the Padres front office staff props for procuring good talent on a small budget, but would like to see what they could do with more money.
  • ‘Tainted supplement’ excuse outmoded (San Diego Union-Tribune). I love Victor Conte’s quote:

    This isn’t drug testing, this is IQ testing. All you have to do is look at the list and find one of the 30 that’s not on the list and use that. This guy (Cameron) didn’t fail a drug test. He failed an IQ test.

    Man, that’s harsh. It’s funny, but it’s harsh.

  • Needs and Luxuries: San Diego Padres (MLB Trade Rumors, via Steve C in the comments). Quick reset of where the Padres are now and what their winter priorities should be.
  • Derek is proceeding as though Matt Holliday was called out at the plate and has replayed the rest of Game #163.
  • NL West Hot Stove Preview (SI.com, via KRS1 in the comments). Nate Silver examines what the NL West teams should and will do this winter. I pretty much agree with his assessments. Nate does a great job of distilling the Dodgers’ problems into a single sentence: “There is no bigger disconnect in baseball than the Dodgers’ ability to develop talent and the front office’s lack of appreciation for that talent.” As long as that disconnect continues to exist, I’ll be happy. Ned Colletti for president!
  • Why Is Torre Managing the Dodgers? (Knuckle Curve). Speaking of the Dodgers, the more I think about the Joe Torre hiring, the less sense it makes to me. Not that I’m complaining, of course…
  • Jays To Retain Stairs, Cut Towers? (MLB Trade Rumors, via Phantom in the comments). Josh Towers? Eh. The Padres have similar options that are already under contract.
  • The Elias rankings are out and available at USA Today (NL | AL). What do I think of the system? Michael Barrett is a Type A free agent; Mike Cameron is Type B. Systems don’t get much more broken than that. And I hope the Padres resist the temptation to offer Barrett arbitration.
  • A-Rod Survivor (Baseball Prospectus, via Ben B. in the comments). Nate Silver thinks that Alex Rodriguez is coming to California, but probably not San Diego. Might I suggest the Angels?
  • Top 10 A-Rod destinations (Yahoo! Sports, via LynchMob in the comments). Hey, look, Jeff Passan has the same teams at the top of his list of potential suitors for Rodriguez.
  • Astros interested in Hunter, Rowand (MLB.com, via Tom Waits in the comments). Houston is looking to upgrade in center, which Tom suggests might make Luke Scott available. Of the names I’ve heard so far, he and Ryan Church interest me most. Given the free-agent market for center fielders, and assuming the Padres don’t re-sign Cameron, I wonder if a trade might make more sense?
  • “Moneyball” Will Never Win In October (Sacrifice Bunt). Sweet, there’s a new blog in town. C’mon, folks; we need more Padres blogs. This entry contains a simple truth that never goes out of style:

    I think it’s human nature to to look for evidence that agrees with your conclusion instead of creating a conclusion based on evidence.

    Amen, brother Melvin. And thanks for all the strikeouts; I’m still enjoying the breeze.

  • What happened to Josh Barfield? (Hardball Times). Pimpin’ my own stuff.

Winter Leagues

  • Team USA 3, Saguaros 0 (box | recap). Will Venable, batting cleanup and playing right field, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Matt Antonelli was back at second base and singled in three at-bats.
  • Navojoa 9, Guasave 7 (box). Oscar Robles went 1-for-3 with a walk. Luis Cruz went a bit nuts — triple, homer, two walks in five trips to the plate.

That’s all I’ve got. Happy Friday…

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75 Responses »

  1. Eckstein will be 34 years old in 2009.

  2. no thanks to eckstein at short

  3. and the UT was really scaring me with kendall as the backup catcher, i meant to put that in the prev post.

    hopefully no arbitration to barrett, that would be a mess and i really like the ideas they had for CF. i also have no problem with jenkins splittin time with hairston as long as hes not really that expensive.

    i dont want prior, but i’d take a shot with clement. and i LOVE the Josh towers idea. i really think he’d thrive here.

  4. The continual desire of some to move Khalil perplexes me. Imagine the offensive upside with Khalil Greene. 44 doubles -27 home runs and 97 rbi’s (albeit a ton of strikeouts) and he may still improve !

    Defensively he is one of baseball’s best.

  5. 53: on the radio (XX w/ Philly Billy & Darin) KT said they might try to work something out w/ Barret so they can offer him Arb. where he will not accept it.

  6. 50: I don’t think Eckstein is a viable option at short right now, just saying that’s a possible fallback plan to keep 2B open for Antonelli.

    54: I don’t want them to move Khalil but he will be moved at some point, unless they can come to terms with some sort of reasonable long term deal. If I was in Khalil’s position I’d be looking to go to a more favorable home park, Petco hurts him more than any other Padre (.280/.335/.515 on the road for his career). Unless he just loves San Diego he’d be crazy to sign a long term deal to stay here.

    55: Isn’t that technically against the rules? I’m sure it happens all the time but I seem to remember you can’t do that.

  7. In Sunday’s UT, Fuson floated the idea of Antonelli playing CF.

    “Grady Fuson said Double-A star Matt Antonelli should be ready to help as a second baseman/leadoff man in 2008, but if he doesn’t cut it there, his speed could allow him to move to center field. ”

    I believe that has allready been mentioned here.

  8. #56 Understood. His next contract could be huge if he has a big year in 2008. Let’s hope that he has a huge year and the Pads win the pennant so that the organization’s hands will be tied and are obligated to sign him.

  9. 17. & all the other Peavy posts: I read the Bill James piece as well, and it kind of struck me as uninformed. I did a little statistical looking and found that even using park adjusted numbers Peavy is the best pitcher in baseball. I just started a Pads blog of my own, and there’s a little more detail over there. Check it out if you are interested:

    http://322feet.wordpress.com/

  10. OT – When was the last time “the highest paid player” was on the WS champ? Seems like I’ve read that it’s been a long time …

    So, here’s my bold prediction … if the Dogs or the Angels sign A-Rod, they will win the 2008 WS … mark the tape … you heard it here first.

    I’m not happy about it … this is more coming from a perspective of “I hope I’m wrong and I hope that by saying it this foolishly it will be wrong” … it just occured to me that both of those teams are close enough to having a team that can make it to the playoffs that A-Rod almost certainly will put them over the top … and then the law of averages says that he’s bound to have a dominating post-season one of these years, so why not 2008?

    I hope that the Padres + Rox + D-backs again make the Dogs non-factors in September … and I think all three teams have the talent to do just that … especially if they don’t sign A-Rod … but I think that Boras sees that the Angels and Dogs will be bidding against each other to get A-Rod to his “market value” … and that, at least in the early years of this contract, he will indeed be “worth it” because he will be pushing a team from the edge of the playoffs solidly into the playoffs (as he’s done with the Yankees, especially this past season).

  11. 59 … Nice job, BryanS … I like the blog name … and I like your first entry … keep it up!

    Two comments … I’m not going to judge “the best pitcher in baseball” on just the stats from 1 season … look back 3-5 years rather than just at 2007 … for my money, Santana clearly holds the title of “the best pitcher in baseball”, yet he didn’t get a mention in you blog … also, while James’ comment about Peavy is what raised the question of “the best pitcher in baseball”, his relatively-low ranking of Peavy was done in the spirit of “Ranking baseball’s top 50 up-and-coming stars”, and Jake is hardly “up-and-coming” … ie. Jake’s getting ding’d for his age (26) more than his talent/results …

  12. 47: If Schilling posts here, I will not again. If he plays for the Padres, it will be hard to be a fan of them.

    60: How are the Dodges close? Not with Torre and their penchant for playing stop-gap veterans over their young talent and Torre’s penchant for doing the same.

  13. James is evaluating “Young Talent” — a combination of age and proven results.

  14. 61. Thanks for the feedback. Still getting the hang of this thing…thought about Santana, probably should have dug a little deeper into the numbers in retrospect. He’s definitely up there but since he had an off year he wasn’t showing up in the upper portion of some of the stats I used…might update that tomorrow if I get a chance…anyway, thanks for stopping by!

    60&62. I don’t trust Colletti to do the smart thing and hold onto the young talent they have.

    He’s just like Sabean, his mentor, in that he likes to buy high on veterans just as they begin to decline (see Furcal, Pierre, Schmidt et al.) instead of playing the kids that can get them to the next level. Now, with Torre, the pressure is on to build a club that can win now instead of building to contend for the next 3-4 years. I think Colletti will try to bring A-Rod on, then trade at least 1 of their big 3 prospects (Loney, Kemp, Billingsley; I don’t think they will deal Martin since he has already proven himself to a point) to bring in veterans under the guise of “We can’t afford to give these guys playing time to grow since we’re so committed to winning.” That penchant for playing the older guys will be their downfall, if the fates are on our side :) .

  15. Bryan, I too like the creative name & first post… I wanted to add some discussion to one of your comments:

    “Even taking into consideration the fact that Jake came up small in the two biggest games of the year…”

    Obviously the concluding game against Colorado was 1, what was the other one, BoSox game against Becket, the 3-game rest game against the D’Backs, another?

    Against Colorado, I can’t help but wonder how the game would have looked with Cameron in CF… Against Boston he actually pitched well. He gave up 9 hits, but several were broken-bat types, or bloop-hits where the batter was fooled but still made contact and only hit was an XBH (3B by Varitek). Against Arizona, he was on short rest – dismiss it…

    I don’t think we can completely let Jake off the hook, but the next time he has a big game on normal rest with his normal defense behind him, I bet he shines.

  16. Anthony (56), if so, I don’t think KT would have said something on the air about it… It would make sense that it should be against the rules, but it’s probably the Padres (and soon other teams as well) taking advantage of a loophole…

  17. 55,56,66: I don’t know anything about it being against the rules, but it would be really dumb of Barrett to agree to that because it would diminish his value by so much. Last year the Padres apparently had agreements with Klesko and Park not to accept, but since they were type B free agents, and the team signing them didn’t have to give up a pick, it didn’t make a difference to their value.

  18. Baseball Analysts have a nice (favorable) review of Geoff Jenkins…

    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/11/know_your_free.php

    Geoff Jenkins was linked to us by the UT this AM…

  19. 65. Thanks Peter. The other one I thought of was Arizona on 3 days rest. I put that more on Black and his staff than Jake, but a lot of people I’ve talked to pin it on Jake for “not being a gamer.” B.S. The Boston game was big too; as you mentioned, his line was not bad. I was at that game, and it seemed to me like he got too amped up, as he does every now and then, and never really found a rhythm (111 pitches over 5 innings in spite of just 1 walk and 3 K’s). The Colorado game was an anomaly, but then again he showed some of the same signs of…I don’t think nervousness is the right word, but he definitely was unsettled early on. It seems like a trend for him in big spots to get too hyper and lose control of himself; however, there were several spots this year where he really seemed like he was learning how to manage himself a little better throughout the game. He could come up huge his next time out in a big spot (here’s hoping he does), or he could implode; given his stuff and his history, I don’t think either result would surprise me at this point.

    In any case, still a killer year for him, in spite of the recent unpleasantness.

  20. I dont see the Padres going after Schilling unless they expand thier payroll or fill all of thier other needs (CF, LF, 2B, C) with trades for pre-arbitration guys.

    I also would not mind if the Padres got Kendall to back up Bard, If they signed him to be a back up catcher im sure it would be for low money and only one year, whats the risk in that?

  21. Running late this morning. Will have something up by 8:30 a.m. PT.

  22. 70 … the risk in signing Kendall is that every AB he gets results in an out and every baserunner that gets on advances via the SB … not likely … but that’s the risk … he seems to be much worse of a player than Barrett … heck, I’ll bet he’s worse than Colt Morton and Luke Carlin …

  23. Funny that we were talking about Kendall exactly three years ago:

    http://ducksnorts.com/blog/2004/11/jason-kendall-another-story-that-wont-die.html

    Worse than Carlin? Ouch. Carlin hit .220/.326/.300 as a 26-year-old in the PCL. That’s pretty brutal.

  24. 73 … I notice no one’s mentioned Kendall’s number … here’s what he did before the A’s unloaded him … .226 .261 .281 … in 292 brutal & wasted ABs … that is in the big leagues, whereas Carlin’s feeble numbers are AAA … but I think Carlin has a defensive advantage … I may be wrong …

  25. #37, 40: Just to close the loop, I ran into Neyer yesterday at BlogWorld. Not surprisingly, he confirmed Kevin’s take.