The Padres avoided arbitration with all five of their remaining eligible players on Tuesday. Jed Hoyer appears to share his predecessor’s distaste for the “you stink, but we love you anyway” method of determining salary.
Heath Bell signed for 1 year at $7.5 million. He still wants a long-term deal, and Hoyer says they’ll talk. I don’t like long-term deals for relievers (hello, Scott Linebrink), and the current market concerns me (if Joaquin Benoit can get 3 years, $16.5 million…). Bell seems like a cool guy and I hope he finds the security he seeks, but maybe at some other team’s expense.
Ryan Ludwick signed for 1 year at $6.775 million. I still don’t understand why he’s here. Say hi to Aaron Cunningham if you’re ever in Tucson.
Mike Adams signed for 1 year at $2.535 million. If he stays healthy, Adams is one of the best bargains in baseball. Over the past three seasons, among pitchers who have worked at least 150 innings, only two men have a better ERA+ than Adams:
Player IP ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 ERA+ Rivera 197.0 1.64 5.85 0.59 1.32 8.86 265 Soria 186.0 1.84 6.58 0.68 2.47 9.97 236 Adams 169.0 1.81 5.91 0.53 2.66 10.22 207
Chase Headley signed for 1 year at $2.325 million. He did a capable job in his first full-season at third base, although the collapse at the end (.215/.282/.262 in Sept/Oct) left something to be desired. Headley notes that he lost 15 pounds during the season and “was running on fumes” at the end. With the departure of Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres need Headley’s offensive game to catch up to his defense. If it does, they could lock him up for a while; if not, they could turn to James Darnell at some point.
Tim Stauffer signed for 1 year at $1.075 million. Stauffer remains one of my favorite stories in baseball. He’s overcome a great deal to achieve success, and he’s done it with class. Here’s to his health.
Meanwhile, the Padres have brought on several other players over the past few weeks:
Isn’t he a quarterback? Or that creepy dude from wood shop who’s, like, way too into glue guns? Actually, he’s Bob Uecker without the comic genius… which, come to think of it, is funny. So maybe he is a comic genius… or just a guy competing to back up Nick Hundley behind the dish in 2011. Johnson once was a decent prospect in the Mariners organization (no. 10 in 2006 according to Baseball America) but hasn’t done anything since then.
Frandsen turns 29 in May and plays everywhere. The non-roster invitee is either a poor man’s Luis Rodriguez or a better Sean Kazmar, depending on how badly you want to depress yourself. BA rated Frandsen no. 9 among Giants prospects in 2006, ahead of Brian Wilson (12) and Pablo Sandoval (15).
Quiroz is easily the best Padres catcher whose last name starts with “Q” since Humberto Quintero played here in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, BA rated Quiroz the no. 3 prospect in the Blue Jays system, noting that at one point, “coaches used videotape of Quiroz taking batting practice as an example to hold up for other players.” His hitting exploits didn’t accompany him to the big leagues, where he has been — in admittedly limited duty — a poor man’s Rob Johnson. The folks at Batter’s Box interviewed Quiroz back in the day.
Rick Dempsey’s nephew, who turns 40 in April, signed a minor-league deal. Zaun is kind of like former Padres catcher Greg Myers. Since I’m leafing through old prospect books, and since getting these things right is damned hard, I thought I’d share a little of what John Sickels wrote about Zaun in 1996: “He will have a long career as a backup, and could possibly hit enough to earn a regular job eventually.” I can’t speak for Sickels, but I’d imagine that being right about a guy like Zaun takes some of the sting out of missing on, say, Steve Gibralter.
The veteran right-hander signed for $1.5 million in 2011 with an option for 2012 that includes a $1.05 million buyout. Like Brad Hawpe, Qualls used to be good and then stunk in 2010. He should be an adequate replacement for Edward Mujica as the guy who soaks up low-leverage innings out of the bullpen. Here’s how they compare over the past three seasons:
Player IP ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 ERA+ Mujica 202.0 4.37 9.18 1.47 1.56 7.80 87 Qualls 184.2 4.48 9.70 0.78 2.24 8.04 100
Assuming last year was a fluke for Qualls (he’s only 32), that’s close enough for me.
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These may interest you as well…
- Omar Vizquel and 20 seasons under 100 OPS+ (Baseball-Reference). It troubls me that Vizquel apparently is considered a serious Hall of Fame contender, particularly in light of the fact that more worthy candidates have been dismissed (e.g., Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, and a slew of others).
- Trading 500 for 325 (Joe Blogs). Speaking of which, Joe Posnanski offers up more discussion of Trammell and Whitaker. Bonus points for comparing Tim Raines to Tony Gwynn.
- Blyleven has show of support (Fort Myers News-Press). Here’s a fun article about Rich Lederer and Bert Blyleven meeting in person. Rich also gives his own account. Very cool. [h/t Hardball Times]
- Trying to remember the 2010 Padres: Game 1 (walk-offs are nice) (Avenging Jack Murphy). I’m loving this series. Part 2 is here.
- The Twilight of the Gods (Baseball Prospectus). Colin Wyers discusses the modern closer. [h/t reader LynchMob]
- Buddy Black was traded from Cleveland to Toronto (MLB Trade Trees). Oh, this is all kinds of awesome. It’s a graphical version of an idea I toyed with a while ago. There’s tons of cool stuff here, but the linked post reveals the surprising fact that Bud Black and Corey Kluber are at opposite ends of a series of trades that featured Kenny Lofton and David Justice, as well as former Padres Willie Blair, Ron Villone, Milton Bradley (who, sadly, can’t stay out of trouble), and Josh Barfield. [h/t Hardball Times]
- 2005 Draft Results: Career WAR to Date (Beyond the Box Score). Justin Bopp examines the ’05 draft. Headley and Will Venable appear on the top 25 list, as does USD alum Brian Matusz.
There you go…