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2015 Off-season thread

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Numbers and potential are not always the same thing............

A bad player can have a good year, making the very most of his abilities. In that scenario, he's unlikely to ever get any better and make the jump from AA to MLB.

A player with a lot of talent can have a bad year, be playing a level ahead of where he should, have a lot of bad luck, etc.

You can't just sort the team by batting average to determine who has the best chance to be a major leaguer some day.

He got cut by the Padres, signed on with us and had two pretty good seasons of MiLB. Who knows...maybe something happened to him when he crossed the mighty Mississippi and he got a clue. He's still young, pretty cheap and since we're not likely to cut Gose loose, fills a need as a platoon partner. I haven't seen what he can do against higher level pitching. I've seen Moya...I've seen Collins.

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Yeah, you're right. I forget we had 5 guys with a 3.75 ERA or better on this year's roster....Where would we ever find a spot for a guy like this?

I like Zimmerman because I view him as a step below the top guys but still very good AND I view him as someone being within our price range. Of course if we have an unlimited budget, I would rather sign Price, Greinke or Cueto. But I am assuming we are not going to be involved with those guys.

Another guy I would be very interested in is Chen. His numbers the past two years are very good in the AL. He's under the radar, though he is a Boras guy. But I think he would be worth a 4-year deal for $50/60M or so if we can get him for that amount.

If you want to give $132M-$150M or even $100M for a 3.75 ERA, you're gonna have a bad time. That'd just be a waste of money. Chen, who you mention, has done about the same and will cost half that. You could throw in Anderson or Happ and have 2 guys who will be almost as good as Zimmerman for the same price.

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I think Ilitch will go over the threshold for a big name signing. He seems to get antsy in January and is liable to sign someone like Greinke if he is still available. I don't think he'll go over it to sign a bunch of pretty good free agents though.

I get the opposite impression. Avila has mentioned repeatedly what he wants, and it's not 1 big name, it's 2 SPs, bullpen help, and potentially a LF. That doesn't preclude a big name, but it certainly doesn't seem a part of the current budget plan.

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I get the opposite impression. Avila has mentioned repeatedly what he wants, and it's not 1 big name, it's 2 SPs, bullpen help, and potentially a LF. That doesn't preclude a big name, but it certainly doesn't seem a part of the current budget plan.

I agree Avila's stated plan is how they will probably go. However, I don't think he'll be budgeted to go over the threshold with that approach. I don't expect them to go over the threshold. I'm just saying if they do go over over the threshold, it will be because Ilitch decides he wants a star like Pudge or Ordonez or Fielder.

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Wow... Sabathia is checking himself into rehab for alcohol. Nice timing. Glad for him that he's doing it but wow.

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I agree Avila's stated plan is how they will probably go. However, I don't think he'll be budgeted to go over the threshold with that approach. I don't expect them to go over the threshold. I'm just saying if they do go over over the threshold, it will be because Ilitch decides he wants a star like Pudge or Ordonez or Fielder.

They didn't go into the luxury tax with any of those signings, nor were they heavily involved in FA earlier those years, iirc. And they've let Max and Price basically go since.

So just reading the tea leaves, I don't think there's going to be any owner override that changes the budget midstream. It's <1%.

I could tho see a scenario where Illitch asks Avila what he needs to make the team good again, and maybe gives it to him (or most of it) from the word go. But yeah I think the most likely scenario is the luxury cap, i.e. same budget as last year, i.e. $40-$45M, and it's not going to waver by any more than a couple million.

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That link didn't work for me..what does it say?

Basically asking everyone to pray for his wife and family.

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They didn't go into the luxury tax with any of those signings, nor were they heavily involved in FA earlier those years, iirc. And they've let Max and Price basically go since.

So just reading the tea leaves, I don't think there's going to be any owner override that changes the budget midstream. It's <1%.

I think the Cabrera deal put them over the luxury tax and I believe Ilitch helped to make that happen. I believe those other deals put them over their original budget (even if it wasn't the luxury tax). I do suspect Ilitch is more flexible with his his budget for a star than he would be for a non-star. That's not to say I expect it to happen this year.

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That being said, I think it's accurate to say that they are pretty much screwed as far having any good position players that are close to the majors.

Yup. I know it's just piling on, but you just wouldn't think that your AAA club could open the season with 3 LH OFs and not one them capable of replacement level play in the majors.

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Yup. I know it's just piling on, but you just wouldn't think that your AAA club could open the season with 3 LH OFs and not one them capable of replacement level play in the majors.

That's why LHH LF would be my top spending priority--it helps both short and long term.

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I get the opposite impression. Avila has mentioned repeatedly what he wants, and it's not 1 big name, it's 2 SPs, bullpen help, and potentially a LF. That doesn't preclude a big name, but it certainly doesn't seem a part of the current budget plan.

If you are not committed to trading Fulmer, Boyd, Greene (assuming Norris is close to a lock to start in '16) and expect one or more of them to turn into rotation pieces, then maybe it makes sense you would not want a Grienke, you would want less expensive more marketable players since you may only need at least one of them relatively short term as a placeholder for an up and coming Fulmer for example.

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I think the Cabrera deal put them over the luxury tax and I believe Ilitch helped to make that happen. I believe those other deals put them over their original budget (even if it wasn't the luxury tax). I do suspect Ilitch is more flexible with his his budget for a star than he would be for a non-star. That's not to say I expect it to happen this year.

Miggy didn't put them over by much, and it was for 1 season. I doubt Illitch will go over by $20M for multiple seasons on a whim. Unless the tax is erased or goes way way up for 2017 and beyond, which we might not know for a while, I don't see any chance of it happening.

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Basically asking everyone to pray for his wife and family.

I don't like the sound of it either.

Damn.

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Of course it's not good business sense and it's something I'd never advocate, but if winning a World Series meant as much to Illitch as he and the media make it out to be than why would he let a 30 million dollar luxury tax stop him from potentially doing so? That money isn't going to hurt you or your future generations at all, and if you truly want to just win a World Series than why wouldn't you just bite the bullet and splurge?

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Of course it's not good business sense and it's something I'd never advocate, but if winning a World Series meant as much to Illitch as he and the media make it out to be than why would he let a 30 million dollar luxury tax stop him from potentially doing so? That money isn't going to hurt you or your future generations at all, and if you truly want to just win a World Series than why wouldn't you just bite the bullet and splurge?

He didn't really need to do it in the past because they had contending teams without going over the threshold. It might be difficult to stay under this year (or next year at the deadline) and still be a contender.

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Basically asking everyone to pray for his wife and family.

That does sound ominous. I will hope for the best.

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If you are not committed to trading Fulmer, Boyd, Greene (assuming Norris is close to a lock to start in '16) and expect one or more of them to turn into rotation pieces, then maybe it makes sense you would not want a Grienke, you would want less expensive more marketable players since you may only need at least one of them relatively short term as a placeholder for an up and coming Fulmer for example.

I was thinking the same thing. With the opposite luck of this season, adding two starters might put them in a pretty good trading position come deadline next year.

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Another thing the Tigers could do is to sign a guy like Plouffe to play 3b and move Castellanos back to LF. Avila has already mentioned that they will probably sign 2 starters, and also they will bring in a closer. I don't think they should trade for a closer, especially Aroldis because he's close to FA. I'd rather sign O'Day, and make him the closer; or even bring back Soria. I also like Tony Sipp for the pen.

I think that'd be terrible, to be honest. Reports out of his time in the minors when the transition was tried indicated that this was a poor choice. Plus, Commercial Park's LF is pretty expansive, almost too expansive according to some hacks. Watching him run the bases doesn't make me a believer that he'd have the range to cover that territory. Granted, base running and defensive range aren't necessarily parallel.

I think Castellanos should be left alone right now. His defense improved nicely, and his offense perked up after a bad start. He's not going to be Brooks Robinson at 3B, but let him keep learning and honing his craft over there while he has shown the ability to pick up on some things.

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Slugging at .404 in AA is zero power. yes. Forget about being called up to MLB, if the Tigers saw much in him I suspect he'd at least have tasted AAA.

I agree that saving money for other more important positions is a good idea, but in that case I expect they'd try to bring back Davis cheap or just go with Collins.

I guess if he was seen as having any major league future, or at least a possible option for next season, he'd have been brought up for a look in September. He doesn't need to go through AAA to make it to Detroit (although mapquest does say Erie to Detroit takes you through Toledo). And there really wasn't much in Toledo to block him anyway had they decided to promote him last season.

Maybe Bernard was a Dombrowski prospect but Avila sees it differently?

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Nori Aoki is on a team option for next season. If San Francisco doesn't pick it up, is he worth a cheap one year deal with a team/vesting option for a less expensive everyday LF? Probably a better overall option than a Collins/? platoon in LF, you lock up an everyday position and get average OPS. Focus other resources on pitching and a RHH CF to platoon with Gose. Edited by Casimir

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The master has spoken and told us that he is "not a good player." Which makes me wonder how bad everyone else on Erie must be, since he was seemingly better than all of them. We're screwed.

It has nothing to do with being the "master," and everything to do with understanding how to scout a player and project them to a Major League role. I've been through the brief version of this before, but I'll give you the elongated one.

Run - 70-grade raw runner; athletic with good strides; shows true 70 grade once underway but can take a while to get going; lacks instincts for speed to play; doesn't read pitchers well when on the bases; extremely aggressive taking extra bases and was consistently cut down by any outfielder with a decent arm and some accuracy; success rate on stolen bases will be abysmal against quality catchers at higher level, negating any positive value his speed could provide; instincts hinder speed playing well on defense as well; speed plays below raw 70 grade, more to 60 range.

Defense - 40-grade glove that doesn't fit in CF; at least a half step late on nearly every ball hit to him; doesn't track well to the gaps taking indirect routes and often making routing fly balls looks like an adventure; horrible going back on balls over his head and hesitates coming in on the ball; complete circus on defense; was aided significantly by having quality defenders on either side of him (Harrell and Krizan) in Erie.

Arm - 40-grade; takes too long to release and doesn't have the velocity to make up for it; ball comes out of his hand without pace; lacks carry; accuracy is poor; arm fits in LF only; many throws consistently worse than that grade.

Hit - 40-grade; shows some aptitude for contact; can hit mediocre fastballs and will drive the occasional hanging breaking ball; routinely beaten by even solid-average (90-92 mph) velocity and had no chance on anything plus or better (93-94 mph and up); quality breaking balls were a myth to him, flailing at them out of the zone; consistently hits off front foot with poor timing in swing mechanics; inside-out swing with fringe bat speed; load and path to the strike zone are inconsistent; contact was often weak and sprayed opposite field; limited strike zone knowledge; swings at too many pitches; will be carved by advanced arms on a consistent basis; limited hit projection.

Power - 30-grade; fringe bat speed; ball comes off the bat in sluggish fashion; frequently quiet contact to opposite field; any power will be generated by legs, not ability to drive the ball; no physical projection to suggest more power is in the tank; singles hitter at the highest level.

Makeup - Effort questions on and off the field abound; heir of cockiness to his game, even with his teammates; not necessarily well liked based on what I know from his last two minor league stops.

Add this all up and you have a guy with a 70-40-40-40-30 tool profile that isn't a max effort player. That's a recipe for a Role 30 player, or an org guy. Fourth outfielders have a tool -- and that tool has to be more than good speed -- that makes them worth keeping on a big league bench, be it good defense, an ability to hit for average, some pop with contact questions, something. Bernard doesn't have that. He runs fast in a race, but can't use it in a game. His defense/arm doesn't stack up to make him a late game defensive replacement. He's not going to hit enough to compensate for all of that. Bernard's an org guy, and he'll be a nice guy to have around in Erie and Toledo over the next couple of years, but if he's carrying a bench role in Detroit, people are going to be complaining about the quality of the bench even more than they already do.

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Nori Aoki is on a team option for next season. If San Francisco doesn't pick it up, is he worth a cheap one year deal with a team/vesting option for a less expensive everyday LF? Probably a better overall option than a Collins/? platoon in LF, you lock up an everyday position and get average OPS. Focus other resources on pitching and a RHH CF to platoon with Gose.

I like Aoiki quite a bit, I'm all for getting him, but from what I've read though, San Fransisco liked him quite a bit, too.

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GIANTS GENERAL MANAGER BOBBY EVANS SAID MONDAY THAT IT WILL BE A "CLOSE CALL" AS TO WHETHER THE CLUB PICKS UP NORI AOKI'S $5.5 MILLION OPTION FOR 2016.

Aoki hit .287/.353/.380 for the Giants in 2014 but was plagued by injuries, playing in just 93 games. His season ended prematurely due to a concussion, but the Giants don't expect it to be a long-term issue. They'll owe Aoki a $700,000 buyout if they decide to decline his option.

I liked him as an option last offseason, but that was before Cespedes was acquired.

I understand he isn't going to put up the production that the top FAs are going to. But I think he's an upgrade over what is in house for LF, he won't require much in terms of salary or years, and he can fill an everyday role. Might be an option to hit 2nd in between Kinsler and Cabrera.

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