Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Musings (Trade deadline talk, Royals, Seahawks, AL ROY, Sharks)

I guess the good news is the Twins didn't do anything stupid at the trade deadline.  Then again, their inability to realize they should have been sellers, not buyers and not do-nothingers, probably cost them a little bit in the prospect department as there were reports that teams were sniffing around Kubel, Cuddyer, Thome, and Slowey, all of whom could fetch value and should have been traded along with Pavano, Capps, and Nathan if possible.  Of course, the two moves the Twins came closest to making were Span to the Nationals for a couple relievers and Slowey to the Rockies for either a  mediocre and old reliever or a mediocre and old infielder, both of which would have been disasters, so maybe not doing anything is like winning due to apathy.  Or something.  Anyway, here are your trades that mattered in the AL Central, for your reference:

  • WHITE SOX:  Acquired RP Jason Frasor and SP Zach Stewart from the Jays for SP Edwin Jackson and IF Mark Teahen.  Do you find it a bit curious the Sox would trade Edwin Jackson, especially since he's having a pretty good year this year and gives them five capable starting pitchers, when they are 3 games out of first in a crappy division?  Well it wasn't to get Frasor, who is a top notch reliever but they already have a good bullpen.  The real center piece for them is Stewart, who was one of the top 5 prospects in the Jays system.  He didn't fare too well in his three big league starts this year, but he was making the jump from double-A.  He's a flamethrower who has struck out more than a batter an inning in the minors, and if he can cut down on the hits allowed he could be a potential top of the rotation starter.  Even if he can't hack that with his stuff he could be a very good bullpen arm.  As a fan of an AL Central team I dislike this trade immensely.
  • INDIANS:  Acquired OF Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs for P Carlton Smith and OF Abner Abreu; Acquired P Ubaldo Jimenez for P Drew Pomeranz, C/OF/1b Matt McBride, P Alex White, P Joseph Gardner; traded IF Orlando Cabrera to the Giants for OF Thomas Neal.  The Cabrera trade was a no-brainer since they've basically committed to Jason Kipnis at second these days and they got a pretty good prospect back in Neal, but that's about the only good move they made.  The Fukudome trade makes no sense because he's not really any better than what they already have in the outfield and is a mediocre hitter with no power and a subpar outfielder, and Abner has a shot to be as starting outfielder someday (although Smith is probably a straight bust.)
          The Jimenez trade, however, reeks of going with your heart and not your head.  Think about it:  both the Red Sox and the Yankees back off and neither team is exactly known for NOT getting what they want.  Jimenez has been awful this year (4.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) but I'm guessing the Indians somehow just fixated on him as exactly what they needed to push them into the playoffs and were unable to pull out of a trade, effectively giving the Rockies the leverage they needed to ask for whatever they wanted - and they did.

           Pomeranz is probably the best arm in their system with a decent shot at becoming a legitimate ace, and if he's not the best arm in the system that honor probably goes to White, who profiles as a #4 type inning eater starter at worst.  The other pitcher they gave up, Joe Gardner, ranks as a top 10 prospect in their system on basically every list, and McBride has a pretty solid bat.  Basically the Rockies got an absolute haul for a pitcher who has been every bit as uneven this year as he was dominant last year.  In order to make this trade not a complete disaster for the Indians he'll need to regain his ace form and push them into the playoffs, but based on his subpar second half last year and this year, it's unlikely.  Great job, dummies. 
    • TIGERS:  Acquired SP Doug Fister and RP David Pauley from the Mariners for 3b Francisco Martinez, P Charlie Furbush, OF Casper Wells, and a player to be named; acquired IF Wilson Betemit from the Royals for P Antonio Cruz and C Julio Rodriguez.  Detroit gave up a huge haul to acquire Fister (Fister?  I hardly know 'er!) who is a decent middle of the rotation pitcher but is certainly nothing special and not a difference maker.  Wells has already proven himself to be an adequate 3rd/4th outfielder type, Furbush will be a back of the rotation starter or decent middle reliever, and Martinez is a very toolsy type.  Basically they gave up three top-20 prospects for Fister and a non-descript middle reliver.  If that wasn't enough, however, it's believed that the player to be named is either 3b Nick Castellanos (#2 prospect in the system), SP Chance Ruffin (#7), or SP Drew Smyly (#9).  At least Cleveland gave up way too much to get a guy who has difference making potential.  Detroit gave up way too much to get Nick Blackburn with better stats due to playing in a pitcher's park.  And the Betemit trade is so meaningless I'm not even going to bother.
    • ROYALS:  Acquired the two dudes above for Betemit; traded IF Mike Aviles to the Red Sox for IF/OF Yamaico Navarro and RP Kendall Volz.  I'm a little surprised they traded Aviles because I always figured he was in their future plans, but I suppose he's a decent middle infielder with a decent bat so he's pretty expendable, especially since they have Escobar basically entrenched at SS for the next a whole lot of years.  Giving him up to grab some upside in Navarro (#15 prospect in Boston's system) and an A-ball arm who strikes out more than a batter per inning is probably worth it.  The two guys the Tigers gave up to get Betemit are system filler, which is probably still too much to trade for Betemit. 
    • TWINS:  Not a goddamn thing

    So, whatever.  The Tigers and Indians went for it in a big way that could totally backfire, the White Sox stood mostly pat but built for the future, the Royals build a little more organizational depth but didn't make any big moves (like trading Soria, Cabrera, or Francoeur), and the Twins stuck their collective thumb up their collective ass and were too confused to do anything at all.

    Other things going down:

    -  Since we're talking about the Royals and I love them more than life itself have you guys noticed Billy Butler lately?  He's gotten hits in 13 of his last 14 games, which includes five home runs in the last week, bringing him up to 12 on the year.  Guy is just nails.  He's going to give you a .300/.360/.450 line every year with 15 homers and 40 doubles.  And in case you missed it (I did) the Royals signed him to an extension through 2014 (team option 2015) so it looks like he's the DH of the future, which also means that Kila Ka'aihue is pretty much shit out of luck since Hosmer has turned out to be the next George Brett is Brett played first or Hosmer played third.  If I'm the Twins, or several other teams, I'm looking to figure out a way to get Kila on my team.  Guy's basically an Adam Dunn clone but with a fancier name and the Royals don't seem to realize it.

    -  If you will allow me one more indulgence of writing about someone I like who you probably don't care about, have you noticed what Desmond Jennings' of the Rays is doing since he was called up?  Before an 0-11 skid in his last three games he had multiple hits in 6 of 7 games and overall has put up a line of .333/.463/.576 with five steals, almost half of his hits for extra-bases, and nearly as many walks as strikeouts.  And that OPS of 1.039 would be behind only Jose Bautista in all the majors.  Why do I point all this out?  Mainly because I picked him as AL Rookie-of-the-Year.  His call up may have happened to late, but it kind of looks like I'm a genius.  Again.

    -  NARD-DAWG!!

    -  Looking at the NFL, can anybody inform to me what the hell the Seahwaks are doing?  I suppose this is one way to build your team, but to me it seems more in the David Kahn team building mode rather than the build a championship mode.  First you address your quarterback need by signing both Tavaris Jackson and Matt Leinart, which says "hey we don't really have a lot of money or a real plan, so we're going to grab a couple of bargain basement QBs with some upside and hope one of them works out."  Then they throw waaaay too much money at Sidney Rice in a move that says "we have way too much money so let's give it to an overrated receiver who had one good year because he had the perfect QB for his talents and was terrible with every other QB including the guy we just signed."  Finally they signed o-lineman Robert Gallery in a move that says "we know this is high risk high reward but we are just one piece away from being good" even though they're not.  So confusing, especially since Marshawn Lynch is still their only running back.  Needless to say, I took the under on their team total wins of . 
    -  So Randy Moss retired, which I guess is a pretty big deal in the Football.  I'd call him the best receiver I've ever seen play.  Jerry Rice put up better stats and, unlike Brett Favre and Pete Rose, was far more than just a compiler and the second best receiver I ever saw, but Moss blows him away.  I have two very distinct memories of him that immediately spring to mind - the Monday night game against Green Bay and the Thanksgiving game against Dallas.

    The Monday night game I remember because I was in college and we were watching the game with a Green Bay fan (Hi WSCT-QB) and I remember by the second quarter he basically decided he was done with the game and proceeded to pound beers at a 2-1 rate to the rest of us.  The Dallas game I remember because Moss was just ridiculous, including a touchdown where the safety had the angle on him to the sideline, he put one move on, and somehow raced down the sideline blowing right past the Dallas guy - it was just amazing and his third TD of the game.  I was at the future Mrs. W's parents place for the day and basically made a fool of myself in front of my girlfriend's family celebrating, especially because her family wasn't exactly into the sports.  But I could help it.  It was incredible.  He was amazing to watch and in a way he saved Viking football.  I'll always love him.  JUNGLE FEVER!

    -  As a commenter pointed out in the comments, which is where a commenter would naturally be found, it's Shark Week and I'm pleased to say I believe they fixed it.  The last few years Shark Week has kind of pissed me off for two reasons:
    1. Not enough shows.  Basically the shark stuff was on from 8-10 each night and replayed from 10-12, but that was the extent of shark week.  And then the weekend was just replays from the previous shows that week, so really you were only getting 10 hours of shark programming each shark week.
    2. Forcing their other programming into Shark Week.  A big chunk of the "new programming" each year was becoming Discovery taking their existing shows (Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, etc.) and shoehorning Shark themes into.  Gay.  Just show some sweet shark footage and get the hell out of the way.
    So this year they're showing new shoes from 8-10 each night (replayed 10-12) all seven nights and filling in almost the entire week of programming, all 24 hours or 20 hours or whatever amount of time isn't filled in with infomercials for the food dehydrator or various Ronco products (SET IT AND FORGET IT!!) with older shark shows and the new stuff is the good kind of stuff - sweet shark footage without gimmicks and straight science learnin'.  And as an added bonus, you'll notice National Geographic is running there own parallel, if not official, shark week although most of their shit is from 2007 or earlier.  Still.  Sharks galore.

    -  I sent this out via the Twitter as well, but check out this little article from The Onion on your precious Twins:

    -  Finally, Dustin Ackley is a complete pimp.  Also Angie Harmon is still pretty hot.  Is she still with that white cornerback guy?

    What an incredible body.  He must work out.


    Kate J said...

    Gawd, I love Billy Buttface.

    Also, I think you need to call Billy Smith about Kila, you know, since you're right. He would be a good fit for the Twins.

    When everyone leaves next year and we have a shit-ton of money to spend, who are we gonna overpay to play the middle infield? Who will we overpay to be our ace?

    I must know.

    Dawg said...

    I was reading Gleeman and it appears that he stole your bit about pitchers allowing more homeruns then walks without giving you any credit. What a thief! Unless you stole that from one of his previous blogs and didn't give him credit.

    WWWWWW said...

    Nope. He would be the thief. How unprofessional.