At Least We’ve Got Adrian

Right now there is exactly one reason to watch the games, and his name is Adrian Gonzalez. I wonder if this is what it was like to root for the Padres back in ’72:

  Player Team Player/Team
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference and are through games of June 3, 2008.
Nate Colbert, 1972 38 111 102 488 .373 .227
Adrian Gonzalez, 2008 17 55 49 222 .347 .248

Nate Colbert: 38 HR, 111 RBI
next two guys combined: 19 HR, 91 RBI

Adrian Gonzalez: 17 HR, 55 RBI
next two guys combined: 15 HR, 49 RBI

The ’72 Padres finished 58-95. That’s a .379 winning percentage. This year’s squad is pretty much on pace with a .383 winning percentage.

Hooray for us…

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65 Responses »

  1. #49@Schlom: Giles has been a good to very good fielder for the Padres.

  2. #48@Schlom: You have to partially grade a trade on what was known when it was made. The Adam Eaton deal looked like a bad trade for the Texans at the time it was made. That deal isn’t comparable.

    What does it have to do with anything? Well, the point of the game is to win and Giles has been a big part of the winning that has gone on here. The Mirabelli trade isn’t comparable because he wasn’t one of the key reasons they won. Rather they won in spite of him.

    Obviously, if you make enough trades some of them aren’t going to work out and there is a valid argument that this trade was less successful than others Towers has made. But you can’t honestly refer to this trade as getting “burned.” Giles has by some metrics (WS for instance) outperformed Bay. The net value here if negative is not especially so. It certainly isn’t in the same ballpark as giving up Gonzalez and Young for Eaton and Otsuka. That’s one of the most lopsided deals ever.

  3. How many teams in the draft go over “slot”? Five?

    We already knew that the Padres were going to intend to stick with the commissioner’s recommendations, so there is no use in crying over spilt milk. Just hope that they pick the best available player (reading DePo’s blog and other sources indicate they are going to go “talent” over “need”) and they can get that guy to sign for “slot”. With the extra comp picks, the Padres are still likely to spend more on the draft than most other teams, just like last year.

    Don’t expect them to draft Boras clients and/or people who are believed to be demanding substantially more than slot. Lie back, enjoy, and get used to it – that is how it was, is and will likely be as long as the pro-Selig Moores owns the team. And despite all the crud they get for it on this forum from certain vocal critics, they have moved their system from 29th to 12th in the eyes of Baseball America. They must be doing something right – it appears that is stockpiling draft picks to replenish the system.

  4. #52@Richard Wade: Unfortunately for a small market team paying $30m more for the same caliber of player can’t be considered a win. Throw in the fact that the Pirates got Oliver Perez and it was a clear loss for the Padres. Maybe having Bay and his lower salary instead of Giles prevented them from signing someone like Fukudome this year (or then again maybe not).

    #53@The Fathers: If they aren’t going to go over “slot” then they aren’t going to draft the “best available player” but rather the best available player that doesn’t want too much money. Those aren’t exactly the same thing. As far as the ranking goes, most of that is because of the prospects in the low levels, not in the higher levels. Teams with good farm systems don’t have to rely on pitchers like Shawn Estes and Wil Ledezma.

  5. #53@The Fathers:

    Just because that is the way it is doesn’t mean that everyone should just climb on board with it and not say anything if they disagree.

    BTW if you are going to give them credit for improving their system in the eyes of Baseball America then you should also point out that if they had taken Porcello last year then they would probably be 5 or 6 out of 28 instead of 12. They could have even shelled out an extra $200k on Toledo and Colon and been in the top 10.

  6. #54@Schlom: I’ve already acknowledged that fact. Yet you refuse to acknowledge that they took on the additional salary because Giles was more of a sure thing to produce the way they both did. Also, it’s not like Perez has lit the world on fire. He had one very good season in 2004 that was completely out of line with expectations and his performance since then. The Pirates were lucky to get that out of him. The trade was not a particularly good trade, nor was it a particularly bad trade. Apparently around here a near wash is equivalent to the worst trade ever.

  7. #55@KRS1: But the fact that it ain’t going to change no matter how much one cries about it and the fact that it has been relatively successful in improving the farm system over the last couple years is probably a good reason to stop crying about it incessantly.

  8. #53@The Fathers: No, many more than that. Last year it was close to half, depending on how far over they have to go to qualify. This year fewer teams may go over because they revamped the slots upward after last year’s near-collapse.

    Again, in hopes that perhaps someday it will sink in, people can’t use Baseball America’s (or anyone else’s) rankings to claim that the Padres are doing well and simply ignore those experts when they strongly criticize the approach employed by the Padres (and other teams) when it comes to signability and upside. Those same evaluators who ranked the Padres 13th (not 12th) are highly critical of an excessively college-heavy approach that is devoted to the slot system. It’s intellectually dishonest to accept their praise and ignore their critiques. Yes, the system has gotten better. Yet somehow in all that success and all that praise, Baseball America never ranked us has having one of the 5 best drafts in any year. Washington climbed quite a bit in the rankings, too; in fact they leapfrogged us to land at 10, and a big part of the reason is they went over-slot to get Smoker and they took a chance on Burgess, the HS kid with huge hitting tools.

    When a team graduates young players, it necessarily falls in the farm system rankings. The minor leagues will also benefit from astute trades and international signings, neither of which means that the draft is being conducted as well as possible.

  9. #58@Tom Waits: Goldstein, formerly of BA now of Baseball Prospectus, is the one who ranked them 12th I think.

  10. #57@Richard Wade: It’s the day before the draft, the major league club is back to playing other major league clubs and is therefore losing, we’re in 4th place, and the farm system this year has hardly set the world on fire. The Padres themselves talk about the need to build from within almost constantly. DePodesta’s own blog has been all about the draft for a week. Hell, even GY, the most even-tempered of bloggers and hardly a firebrand, wants the Padres to do things somewhat differently.

    What do you expect people to be talking about?

  11. #56@Richard Wade: I never said it was the worst trade ever, just in retrospect it was a bad move. I think we can both agree on that. Look at the trade with the Rangers and the Padres in 2006. The Rangers thought that Gonzalez wasn’t a great prospect plus he was blocked at 1B. It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption at the time since A-Gon hadn’t hit much in the majors. Eaton had better “stuff” then Young, plus Young was an extreme flyball pitcher in a hitters park. Again, not unreasonable. Plus the Rangers also got Aki and their bullpen was terrible in 2005. Again, all those assumptions were reasonable at the time. Unfortunately Young was younger, cheaper and most importantly better then Eaton (who was also a free agent after the season) and Gonzalez turned into one of the better 1B in the league (yet still not better then the Rangers’ one at the time). For a trade that seemed somewhat reasonable at the time, it’s going to go down as one of the worst in baseball history.

    Would the Padres have been better off if they didn’t make the trade for Giles? Almost certainly. And don’t forget that Giles was a free agent after the 2005 season, if the Padres wanted him so bad they could have signed him as a free agent.

  12. I don’t understand why they’d be so intent in not going over slot. If a really good talent dropped to them, why wouldn’t you take him, especially if it was just over a few million dollars (granted, easy to say since it’s not my money).

    The Padres decided on slot last year, how did that move make out? Instead of having the 21st ranked prospect this season (before even throwing a pitch professionally) and a likely top ten prospect next year, they drafted someone who has a good chance of not contributing at all to the major league team. All to save a few million dollars.

    If the Padres front office is so smart (and I think they are) shouldn;t they avoid making the same mistakes year after year?

  13. #60@Tom Waits: Not this week necessarily, but this is a constant refrain. I expect people to talk about the draft, but complaining about something that isn’t going to change instead of discussing the draft within the context we know it will take place in seems overly pointless.

    #61@Schlom: The trade at the time it was made was recognized as a bad deal for the Rangers. It turned out to be even worse than believed. The Padres’ deal for Giles looked like a reasonable move for both parties at the time and has been a near wash production-wise. It’s a bad comparison. It just strikes me as ridiculous to continue bitching about a trade four years later that wasn’t all that bad of a deal in the first place.

  14. #63@Richard Wade: Pirate fans dont see it that way. They unloaded a high priced Giles at near peak, and got young talent in return. Go on any Pirate site, and the Giles/Bay trade is always mentioned as a very good trade for them.
    I like Giles a lot. I will hate to see him go. That doesnt change that the Padres gave up too much to acquire him.

  15. #64@parlo: It was definitely a good trade for them. They got a couple young guys with potential for a veteran who wasn’t going to be around when they started to compete seriously. They were lucky enough to get a good season out of Perez and two good seasons out of Bay. Of course, there’s a chance he’ll be gone by the time they’re ready to compete, too.