Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012, 8:05 PM EDT
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.
Amid swirling Miami Marlins trade rumors, the currently composed Marlins are actually doing pretty well. The Fish won with fireworks and many runs last night, but tonight's pitching matchup leans more towards a close, low-run scoring affair. Josh Johnson will go to the mound after a solid outing that was ruined by a case of hit-itis. Jeff Samardzija has been pretty good thus far this year, but his ERA hasn't shown it and his work lately has left something to be desired. The Marlins are hopeful that their offense can pounce on him once again.Pitching Matchup
Johnson struck out six batters and walked none in his last start, but he was plagued by 11 hits allowed and ended up being sunk by the Washington Nationals. But that parade of hits cannot be too discouraging, as not all hits were created equally and you have to expect Johnson to do better going forward, especially with his continually strong strikeout rates. It seems most of his early season problems with strikeouts have been overcome despite his lost velocity.
Samardjiza had an awesome first two months of the season, posting a 3.09 ERA and a 3.03 FIP, primarily on the back of a stellar 24.8 percent strikeout rate. Since then, however, his strikeout rate is down to 20.5 percent and his ERA is up to 7.47 and a 4.73 FIP. It's been a tale of two seasons, but with decent performances in July, maybe Samardzija has found his true rhythm in 2012.
The Greg Dobbs love is now officially hurting this team on both ends of the field. It is bad enough Ozzie Guillen and company think a hitter batting .298/.329/.383 (.303 wOBA) is good enough to be in a platoon. but to put Dobbs in right field when he is clearly uncomfortable and poor at the position is asking for trouble. The Marlins have Justin Ruggiano (.368/.440/.705, .473 wOBA) on the bench as the small half of the platoon, but even his glove over Dobbs's is enough to justify play. The team continues to manage its way back into a paper bag.
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Cubs 3-1
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Bob Nigthengale of USA Today reported a potential blockbuster trade involving the Miami Marlins and Boston Red Sox that would send third baseman Hanley Ramirez and reliever Heath Bell to the Red Sox for left fielder Carl Crawford and a prospect. The deal would be a blockbuster in the sense that many large contracts would be traded; Crawford is in his second season of a seven-year, $142 million deal that would span into 2017, while Ramirez and Bell are locked into the Marlins franchise until at least the end of 2014 at around $16 million and $9 million annually, respectively.
ESPN's Buster Olney immediately shot down rumors that the trade discussions were ongoing.
Sources:There is no current discussion involving Crawford and Hanley Ramirez/Heath Bell. Was brought up briefly as concept,immediately died.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 18, 2012
That sounds appropriate. I am certain one of the teams brought it up, and I am certain they discussed this trade for a time. But for the Marlins, the deal makes little sense for the Marlins and a whole boatload of sense for the Boston Red Sox. In the end, the trade ends up being bad contracts for bad contracts, and the Marlins would be getting the worst of the deal.Consider where Carl Crawford currently is right now. He was injured for most of 2012 after the worst season of his career in 2011. He was not a positive neither at the plate nor in the field and was essentially a replacement level player last season. He returned just this past week and has started red-hot, but ZiPS projects him to hit a respectable .282/.326/.441 for the rest of the year. If he is still the elite +10-run outfielder he was in Tampa Bay, he would be worth a decent 3.5 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in a full-season.
Essentially, Crawford is in the same boat as Ramirez, who has been awful in his last two years. Since the start of 2011, Ramirez has hit .246/.330/.408 and has been worth between one and three WAR in the last two seasons (in 768 PA). Given his current ZiPS hitting projection and a very negative outlook on his third base play (-10 runs per season), we can reasonably expect 3.2 WAR from a full season of him.
So Crawford and Ramirez are similar, and the team would be handing away Heath Bell in return for receiving a prospect of some kind. The problem is that, as much of a money sink as Bell is, the team's contract situation still is not as bad as it would be if the team took on Crawford's deal. Bell and Ramirez will make a combined $25 million per season through 2014 (with a possible extra year for Bell at $9 million), but Crawford will make $20 million annually for the next five seasons starting in 2013. The Fish would be committing to be on the hook for an above average starter making 20 percent more than he should be making now, when he is still reasonably close to his prime. By as early as 2014, Crawford may very well be a Todd Helton-like money sink, whereas Ramirez and Bell would have likely been off contract.
The prospect would have to make up for significant value, but it would have to be an elite prospect to make up for the losses incurred from 2015 onwards. The bottom line is that a potential Crawford / Ramirez / Bell deal would simply involve the Marlins taking on a worse contract and getting similar on-field value in return. They would sacrifice the flexibility the team initially built when the club entered free agency this season. Previously, the Marlins could have rebuilt their team after 2014 if this current core failed to produce a championship. If Crawford came aboard, the Marlins would commit to yet another long-term contract without getting back requisite on-field value. It would have been a bad move all around, and that is why the Marlins are unlikely to consider this any further.
Pay no heed, Marlins fans. Smoke, but no fire.
George Foster 1982 Topps Traded Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the first baseball card of George Foster in his New York Mets uniform!! Far from a stunner, this card does mark a moment in baseball history that … Continue reading →
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Today, the Royals got the #1 pick in the 1st ever Competition Lottery held under the new CBA. It gives the Royals a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd round. One interesting note about this pick is that it can be traded. It is the first time in MLB history that the trading of draft picks can happen. Trades can only occur during the season and a pick can only be traded once. The ability to trade the pick adds an interesting wrinkle for teams looking to improve themselves, but the pick has little real value.
In order to get an idea of the value of the pick, I looked at 2 studies done on draft pick value, one by Sky Andrecheck and the other by Rany Jazayerli. In Sky's article that ran back in 2009 at Baseball Analysts, he found the average career and 6-year WAR values for each draft pick. With the 32nd pick, the Royals would expect to get a player that produced ~2 WAR over his 6-year career (value extracted from this graph). In Rany's article at Baseball-Prospectus, he came up with the same conclusion, a player contributing 2 WARP over 6 years (I used his formula to get this number). Basically, if a teams gets one good season worth of production from a good reliever, they should be happy with the pick. At least the Royals got in the first group of picks. The 6-year value for a pick between the 2nd and 3rd rounds is around 0.7 WAR
I am not sure how teams will value the picks, but on the surface, they have little value. I could see them being used in just a few ways:
It is exciting for the Royals to actually win something, even if it is a draft pick. The pick may seem like it has added value since it can be trades. Fans may need to temper their expectations of the true value of the pick and not expect much return if it is traded.
Monday, Jul 16, 2012, 9:05 PM CDT
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.
Jan 18, 1979
Sep 12, 1983
Competitive Balance Lottery
Today is the Competitive Balance Lottery.
The Royals have multiple chances in the lottery for having a top 10 smallest market and top 10 lowest payroll.
Picks won will fall between the first and second round of the draft or the second group picks will come after the second round.
Unlike regular draft picks, the CBL picks CAN be traded but only during the season and only one time.
Lottery is at 12:15 and picks are announced 75 minutes later.
The Rockies look to take the series behind Jeremy Guthrie, who needs a bounce back from last week if we want him to retain the trade value he had started to rebuild before the break.
Oct 19, 1984
Apr 08, 1979
In a corresponding roster move, the Marlins have optioned right-hander Ryan Webb to Triple-A.
Mujica has been on the DL since June 30 with a fractured bone in his right pinky toe. He sustained the injury when he was hit by a comebacker off the bat of Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco.
Prior to hitting the DL, Mujica, 28, had maintained an ERA and WHIP of 4.46 and 1.223 with 4.7 SO/9 and 2.4 BB/9 over his 35 appearances for the Marlins.
Webb has appeared in 38 games for Miami this season. Over his 36 innings pitched, the 26-year-old has posted an ERA and WHIP of 5.50 and 1.361 with 6.5 SO/9 and 2.3 BB/9.