Friday, December 11, 2009

Anywhere but the Angels

I am not a professional baseball scout (stop me if you've heard that before).

I'm just a dude with a passion for the game and opinions - some of which are unquestionably uninformed - and a rudimentary understanding of baseball statistics and evaluation metrics (for good times & baseball nerditry, go here).

Now that I've thrown that disclaimer at you, allow me to explain why I'd rather see Doc traded to anywhere but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, United States of America.

First, a few other points of clarification:

(1) I've come to accept that the Jays will not receive the "shoot for the moon" package we all dream will happen.

(2) I've settled (my stomach) on deciding that Anthopoulos should take the best package out there - AL East rivals be damned.

So here's why it bothers me to hear that the Angels are the rumoured frontrunners - depending on the day of the week, I suppose - in the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes:

I just don't like the package. I see nothing in any of the names within the rumoured/proposed deals that excites me as a Jays fan - not for now, and not for three years from now. Have a look-see:

Joe Saunders
I'm befuddled, really. Strip away the shiny win totals from the past few seasons, and then explain to me why he is the apparent focus/centerpiece of any deal. In fact, let's compare and contrast a few stat lines from this past season:

Pitcher A: 186 IP, 4.60 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 4.9 K/9
Pitcher B: 178 IP, 4.30 ERA, 1.522 WHIP, 7.1 K/9
Pitcher C: 61 IP (I know - sample size alert!), 3.67 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, 8.8 K/9

and just for fun....

Pitcher D: 166 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.235 WHIP, 6.5 K/9

Now what if I told you that Pitcher A was Saunders, B was Ricky Romero, C was Marc Rzepczynski....and D was the Phillies JA Happ? Does Saunders really present as a better rotation option than either of the Jays' young lefties? Of course, I'm ignoring the aspects of durability, longevity, etc....but why should we care about established mediocrity when "building" the core?

And if we're talking about players as the centerpiece of a deal....does Saunders - even after adjusting for pitching in the more difficult AL (of course, there's the potentially offsetting matter of home ballparks) - represent a better option than the Phillies' Happ? Not to these eyes, they don't. So help me out here. Why Joe Saunders?

Peter Bourjos
I'm sure he's a nice enough prospect. Maybe he's great defensively. He can run like hell. But check the statlines, and you'll find a player who hasn't OPS'd above .800 since the lowest levels of Rookie ball. I don't know. Am I missing something? Let's do another stat compare:

Prospect A: Class AA, 437 AB, .281 AVG, .354 OBP, .423 SLG, .777 OPS
Prospect B: Class AA, 318 AB, .333 AVG, .408 OBP, .569 SLG, .977 OPS, and
Class AAA, 110 AB, .282 AVG, .359 OBP, .491 SLG, .850 OPS

Pretty clear who you would choose, no? There's no way you'd prefer Prospect A (Bourjos) in a deal over Prospect B (Phillies Michael Taylor), would you? (And to be conservative, I've compared Bourjos to Taylor over the Phils more highly coveted OF prospect, Dominic Brown.)

Erick Aybar
Here's where my logic breaks down. No question, he's a great shortstop. Tonnes of range defensively, speed to burn, and a nice enough hitter as a middle infielder. But Aybar is heading into season 5 of his major league career, is only under team control for what - 2 more seasons? And really.....he's only had one real plus season offensively.

Like I mentioned - a good player, a definite upgrade, and I'd enjoy him as a Blue Jay. But enough to overlook Saunders/Bourjos? Not for me.

Mike Napoli/Jeff Mathis
Napoli can mash. Absolute upgrade behind the plate. But again, 4 full seasons under his belt, club control for a few more (non-contending) seasons, and then what? And Jeff Mathis? One season with an OPS +.600 screams defensive backup.

So there you have it. That's why I vote "No" to a Saunders/Angels trade. In all sincerity - convince me otherwise. Maybe my opinion changes if you sub Saunders for one of Weaver/Santana. Maybe. But from where I stand, a Phillies package around Happ/ Taylor-Brown/plus is preferable. And I was violently opposed to that package during last season's trade deadline.

Of course, any Yankees package centred on Hughes-Joba/Montero, or a Red Sox deal with Buchholz probably trumps either one, but it remains to be seen if either of the big boys will come out to play.

Fuck the market.


Anonymous said...

I agree that I like the Phillies package better, hate Saunders as well, but it's worth mentioning that Bourjos is three full years younger than Taylor and can play a great CF.

You can't just leave that out.

Ian H. said...

Ack, I'm also on the hate train for Joe Saunders. He has an impressive win/loss total, but that just doesn't cut it. I'd rather have Napoli/Aybar - but I don't think the Angels would be willing to part with both guys.

Dane lorg said...

I am with you on this 100%. I absolutely do not want anything to do with the rumoured Halo package. I kind of...well no - I completely hate it.

I hate it because it just makes no sense to target these arbitration eligible players - guys who can leave after 2/3 years. How does that in any way resemble what AA has been saying publically...that he seeks young controllable players - Bourjos is a player like that but Saunders & Aybar (whom I like), make little sense & it's infuriating. We need youth to go w/ the Sniders & Cecils. We need to trade for guys who are going to be here a good long while.

BTW, there are a couple of Angels blogs reporting that Gammons (i know) has said the Jays turned it down & are asking for 5 players.

Also, I'm really concerned about Beeston meddling here. I have this fear that he's gonna see the Halos offer & insist on something like that due to the Major League Player content. 'Oh I see there's a big league catcher & shortstop...we need those'. Prospects / building blocks be damned.

At any rate, I hope we get something down w/ the Phils. I like those young outfielders a fair bit & as much as I'm cynical about Happ - I prefer him to Saunders.

Tao of Stieb said...

Fucking nails, Ack. Nails.

eyebleaf said...

I echo the Tao's statements.

"Fuck the market." - The calling card of 2009.

SP said...

Yep, what we were calling a shitastic package in July from the Phillies is now looking golden compared to the Angels. I don't care if Saunders "wins", it's just baffling that he's considered a serious part of this package, and I don't even like Happ either.

I say let's wait the Phillies out and make them offer more than they want, because we know they really want him despite their public ambiguity. Unless they sign Lackey or somehow trade for King Felix or Josh Johnson, there isn't one available starter that would come close to a Doc trade. With Hamels struggling, Pedro being an FA, and Moyer a couple years from getting a birthday shout out from Jaime Campbell, they really need Doc to compete with that Braves rotation and guarantee a return to the playoffs.

I'd ask for Drabek, Brown, and D'Arnaud.

Peter Gentleman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Gentleman said...

I'm squarely on the "fuck Joe Saunders with a branding iron and then pour vinegar on the burns" bandwagon. If Halladay really HAS to get traded, I'd like to see Anthopoulos swing a 3-way trade with the Angels and Phillies where the Jays get Naples, Domaeiou-and-sometimes-ynic Brown, and the Phillie Phanatic.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of the Angels package for many of the reasons you just listed, but also....we just spent money on two shortstops. Aybar is better than A-Gon and Johnny Mac, no question, but then what we do with those two guys?

Blue Jays Daze - Mat Germain said...

Entirely Agree, right on.

I've always said the Jays would be better to go for Trevor Reckling and 2 other SP prospects like Manuarys Correa and another instead of Suanders for 4 reasons:

1. Ceiling
2. Saunders will hate playing for TO
3. Time of control over the players
4. Saunders will be a FA in 3 years

The Ack said...

@ first anon - Bourjos DOB March 87, Taylor Dec 85...hardly 3 full years. Besides, we'd still be getting essentially all of Taylor's prime, and he's closer to being ready (regardless of position - I'd rather trade for talent than position).

Gil Fisher said...

If we're desperate for a no-slug, all-speed-and-defence CF, I'd like to wait a year to see how Mastroianni develops.

I agree that Napoli and Aybar have some appeal, but there has to be prospects. The Angels system has some interesting pieces, though I'm not sure they're all eligible for trades yet (a lot were drafted this year).

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...apparently the Angels are hosting the all-star game this year. I'm sure they'd love to make a huge splash at that. A new franchise type player would do the trick.

Ty said...

Apparently the Jays want Trevor Reckling if they're going to trade Doc to the Angels. I'd like this a LOT more than any trade involving Joe Saunders.

The Phillies stuff in that article, though it's clearly been pulled directly out of Kenny's ass, would also be really interesting if it ends up being true.

Bruno Van Rottweiller said...

Ack, you'd really want the best package from the Yankees or the Red sox. I live in the NYC area and the Yankee fans are gloating at getting're sure about trading in the division? Montero is fat and will be a DH not a catcher, they fucked Joba up when they dicked him around from starter to closer to starter, and the dickhead Yankee fans have been throwing in Class A chump Ramiro Pena as shortstop,too! And Hughes has excelled only as a reliever. II'd rather take the Angels package , I don't want to see him pitch for the two evil empires. The yankee haul is not much better than the angel one when you compare stats. I live in the NYC area, so I don't need to hear anymore Yankee triumphalism from these frontrunning Yankee fans.

The Phillies? Amaro is dying to get Doc. I think that Jays can get Drabek AND should. If they want to extend him, that's the price they'll pay. I like Happ BUT just not in the AL East.

Mattt said...

The Phillies have the greatest need for Halladay so it makes sense as these negotiations continue that their package will likely end up the best. By greatest need I mean he is likely the only piece they need to get another championship. Hopefully the AL East rivals will force them to up their package.

Gil Fisher said...

Montero's as fat as Snider.

Gil Fisher said...

I think the Sox have a big need for Halladay too. Wtihout him, they might not make the playoffs. With him, they could take out the Yanks in the ALCS.

Yankees will likely have the offence to carry them to the Pennant, but I'll take Doc-Lester-Beckett over CC-AJ-Petitte in a seven game series.

Bruno Van Rottweiller said...

Mattt, If the Phils get doc in a 7 game series Lee and doc will pitch 5 times. You can guess how many of those games they can win.

Gil, The sox might have a need BUT don't want to pay the price for him. Theo, Henry and Lucchino are the type of people that if a Lambroghini was at 200,000 dollars they'd want it at 199,999.99 to save the penny!;) The Red Sox could get Doc over the Yanks with their prospects (which don't suck as much).

Anonymous said...

I want Granderson in a fucking Jays uni!!!!

Doc & Wells
Granderson & fat fuck Joba

Gil Fisher said...

Granderson's a glorified platoon player.....who'll put up Ruthian power stats in that joke of a stadium in the Bronx.

Anonymous said...

So, Chavez was not tendered a contract. We have zero catchers at the moment. Could be that the Jays are going to offer Chavez a minor league deal or that the Blue Jays / Angels are reaaaal far down the road & Napoli is headed here. Maybe that rumored Accardo / Doumit thing happens.

Hmm..ok. I've contributed nothing!
But yeah. Zero catchers right now.

Anonymous said...

I've got to admit my dislike for Saunders but take this into consideration...
What if Aybar's offensive stats weren't a fluke? He's young and he could just be growing into a all-star.
Now that presents the question, would you rather have A) A platoon of two veteran shortstops who have never hit or B) A potential young budding all-star who can hit and would be an excellent lead-off man which we are in dire need of.
I think a trade with the Angels should start with Aybar and then be built up with some farm pieces.
IMO anyways