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  1. BJ Upton seems like a pretty good fit for Atlanta.

    Comment by Hank — July 25, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  2. and I expect Nunez to wind up in pinstripes.

    Comment by Hank — July 25, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  3. Not a big point but JP Ricciardi got rid of the Rios contract not Anthopoulos….and I really dont think that AA is trying to make a push for Prince or Puljos in the offseason…..and I’m almost positive that he doesn’t want to trade for a “veteran starter for the back-end,” they have arms in Vegas with mlb experience…..and im suprised you didnt mention all the relievers that the Jays are shopping, considering the rumours of how active AA has been ‘making phone calls’ ect…

    Comment by Strade — July 25, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  4. Rasmus for Jordan Zimmermann makes a lot of sense for both teams; could the Nats part with a big part of their young core?

    Comment by Nestor Zucchini — July 25, 2011 @ 9:46 am

  5. I agree that BJ Upton is a good statistical fit for the Atlanta Braves, but I think he may not mesh very well in that clubhouse.

    Comment by Robert — July 25, 2011 @ 9:46 am

  6. Good catch w/Ricciardi. I’ll fix that. As for the Jays, I’d be shocked if they didn’t make a push for an impact free agent after locking up the solid parts of this core. With the relievers, I really haven’t seen or read much about it, and even if AA is shopping them, there isn’t really a pressing need to make those moves. Even if they do, they don’t HAVE to, which is the point here.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 25, 2011 @ 9:48 am

  7. not as exciting as what you all proposed above, but could something like Weglarz net the Tribe Erik Bedard?

    Comment by clevelander — July 25, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  8. “…and a right-handed outfield bat to spell Raul Ibanez in the middle of a cold spell would be swell”

    I thought Fangraphs clearly outlined a “No Limmerick” policy.

    Comment by Santos — July 25, 2011 @ 9:58 am

  9. I’ve been given free reign with regards to puns, limericks, and the like.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 25, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  10. “But unlike the Red Sox, the Yankees starting rotation is suspect…”

    Tim Wakefield, John Lackey, Kyle Weiland, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller. No, nothing suspect about this crew.

    Comment by Shaggychild — July 25, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  11. whats wrong with having 5 aces?

    Comment by Jon — July 25, 2011 @ 10:10 am

  12. Does it really make sense for the Jays to go after Fielder or Pujols though? They already have Lind at 1B for a pretty reasonable (5 million til 2013 and then 3 years of team options at 7, 7.5, and 8) contract and it doesn’t seem like locking up the 2 easiest positions to fill, 1B/DH, for a ton of money would be the smartest move when they almost surely will be a burden at the end of their contracts. Though really it would be tough to complain about adding a Fielder or Pujols to your line-up.

    I wonder if it would be more likely to try to go after Reyes and move Escobar to 2B/3B (Lawrie to the OF, where he may end up anyway). Though giving a ton of money to a brittle shortstop isn’t ideal either.

    Comment by Drew L. — July 25, 2011 @ 10:17 am

  13. Well see it was their mistake to spell the policy with two Ms.

    Comment by Santos — July 25, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  14. Kyle Weiland is actually Scott Weiland’s brother. So there’s that..

    Comment by Carlmart — July 25, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  15. Wow color me surprised that there’s nary a mention of Jeff Francoeur or Melky Cabrera as potential trade targets. These are two guys that are absolutely raking right now and could bring some big time relief to a team hurting for an outfielder like the Phillies or Braves. They are both huge upgrades over Jordan Schafer and Raul Ibanez respectively. Of course this site will never admit to Francoeur or Melk-man having good years since they would have to admit that they were all wrong about them being worthless. Typical bias is all.

    Comment by Frances Farmer — July 25, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  16. Totally agree. Trying to paint the RedSox rotation as anything but mediocre is totally dishonest. If anything they have the same amount of issues the Yankee’s have, but with less options to fill those holes.

    Comment by Tom B — July 25, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  17. Even as a Cardinals fan, seeing Bautista and Pujols in the same lineup would be awesome.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 25, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  18. Come playoff time, the rotation will be Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Lackey and probably Wakefield, with Aceves (who’s been very solid by the way), Miller and Weiland simply as backups. That looks pretty solid to me to be honest. A better top three than the Yankees for sure.

    Comment by Sam — July 25, 2011 @ 11:19 am

  19. Francouer is hitting 269/.316/.455 vs. 268/.310/.428 career

    That’s the equivalent of raking with a fork.

    Comment by Santos — July 25, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  20. Wow way to just cherry-pick stats. Fact. He has 92 assists for his career. The man is gunning down runners like a madman. Fact. He has 13 HRs and 16 SBs. That puts him on pace for a 20-20 season. You realize how valuable that is? Fact. All of Francoeur’s teammates and managers haved loved his personality and the way he plays the game.

    What, too many FACTS for ya?

    Comment by Frances Farmer — July 25, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  21. I gave his triple slash line, you cherry picked HRs and stolen bases, used anecdotal evidence about his teammates and managers loving him (not sure how that helps your case at all) and threw in assists just for good measure I guess. None of which means he is raking. he has a wRC+ of 111. 11% better than average, good but not anywhere near your description of “Absolutely raking”. I also like how you acted like you overwhelmed me with facts leaving out most of his offenseive numbers.

    Comment by Santos — July 25, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  22. Not sure how that last statement is a “fact.” Your argument is nonsensical. The type of season he is having is irrelevant. He has been an offensive liability every year since his rookie (save for maybe, just maybe 2007) and there was nothing rational to suggest he would produce otherwise this year. The only people who would have not been “wrong” about him are blind loyalists who had been wrong the past 6 years. But since you brought up him “raking” this year, he’s 115th in ML in OBP and 60th in SLG. Hard to believe a corner OF isn’t involved in MVP discussions with monumental numbers like that. And even with stealing 16/20, he’s still rated as a subpar baserunner. I’ll concede there are sample size issues, but for his career he’s rated as slightly below average which means it may not be that far off.

    Comment by gator32301 — July 25, 2011 @ 11:47 am

  23. Well I guess non-statistical evidence is just a little beyond some of us in this crowd. If you can’t understand the value of Jeff Francoeur then there is really no helping you. The guy is a one-man force on both sides of the ball. And you say that he’s only 11% better than average? PSSH. Apples to apples comparison with other outfileders will show that his is at the top of the class when it comes to right fielders. And the guy is a huge upgrade over someone like John Mayberry Jr. either way.

    Comment by Frances Farmer — July 25, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  24. Now I can’t tell if this whole thing was sarcasm.

    Comment by Santos — July 25, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  25. if it makes you feel any better, i love your personality and they way you post on this site.

    Comment by gator32301 — July 25, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  26. Frances, how’s your revenge on Seattle going?

    Comment by Kevin — July 25, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  27. Francoeur would be a big upgrade over Ibanez or at least vast improvement as a platoon partner. Realistically he can play defense and his bat isn’t dead.

    As much as a statistical pariah Frenchy is, he has also shown value over his career. He plays ok defense in the corner outfield. His wOBA is strongly tied to his BABIP and ISO/SLG since he doesn’t walk. His ISO this season is slightly above career average and he’s not suffering any BABIP bad luck. He’s acquired about 2 WAR over about 2/3 of a season. He is worthy of a bench position at least.

    Comment by domingoes — July 25, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  28. Yeah, I don’t understand why people keep doing this, the Red Sox starting rotation has been a mess all season, while the Yankees rotation has been fine all season.

    Comment by Judy — July 25, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

  29. If they actually wrote “free reign” instead of “free rein”, then you’re out of luck.

    Comment by GSS — July 25, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  30. Are people really that dense that they can’t realize Frances Farmer is being sarcastic? Jeez.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — July 25, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  31. Guilty as charged. It seems like every other comment on this site is sarcasm now. I know not to take seriously anything said about Jeff Francouer or Ryan Howard. I hope they add sarcasm (wSCSM+) to their player pages. It would be easier that way.

    Comment by Santos — July 25, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

  32. This is a nitpick on an interesting series. It would make more sense to me if you rated 1-30 on Buyers or Sellers rather than mixing the two with a should-be-most-active criteria.

    Comment by GiantHusker — July 25, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  33. I’m still trying to figure out why the Braves would want a guy they gave up on years ago when he was better then than he is right now.

    Comment by Kevin — July 25, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  34. The jays are already as good a team offensively as any team not names BOS, NY, and maybe TEX. Adding a guy like Fielder would put them right up there with all those teams offensively, and maybe ahead of them….for at least the next 5 years.

    It would be very tough for the Jays to win the Fielder sweepstakes, but the fit would be fantastic.

    …as would be signing Kelly johnson to replace Hill.

    Comment by everdiso — July 25, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  35. I think I’d prefer that as well. But I still like the series so far!

    Comment by TheGrandSlamwich — July 25, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  36. Sabathia has a better FIP and xFIP than Becket so far this year. Beckett has a shinier ERA, of course, but Sabathia’s 2.62 is nothing to scoff at.

    Colon has a better ERA, FIP, and xFIP than Lester.

    Garcia has a better ERA and FIP than Buchholz (and their xFIPs are basically identical).

    Burnett has a better ERA and xFIP than Lackey (by far, actually).

    And Nova has a better ERA, FIP, and xFIP than Wakefield.

    Beckett’s having a great year, but Sabathia’s having a better one. Add in Sabathia’s consistency over the past few years, and Beckett’s comparable (and, admittedly, injury-addled) inconsistency, and I think it’s fair to give the lead to Sabathia there (I’ll settle for a slim lead).

    Similarly, given Lester’s history, it’s also fair to give him the lead against Colon even if Colon has been better so far this year. Still, Colon hasn’t been outperforming his peripherals or getting particularly lucky or anything, so I don’t think we can just assume he’s due for an implosion. He really has been very good so far.

    Garcia-Buchholz is a toss-up. Garcia has been better so far, and both he and Buchholz appear to be outperforming themselves. I suspect Garcia will come back to earth harder than Buchholz, though, so it probably works out to about even in the end.

    And NY’s bottom two have been considerably better than Boston’s. Burnett and Nova both have ERAs well below Lackey’s and Wakefield’s xFIPs. Burnett is Burnett, and Nova’s just a kid (and might be replaced by Hughes if Hughes gets himself together), but Wakefield’s a 44yo knuckleballer and Lackey’s ERA last year was still above 4. In the end, all four are basically question marks.

    Finally, last but not least: NY’s starters (all of them, not just the top 5) have a combined WAR of 9.9. Boston’s have 7.3.

    So far this year, NY’s rotation has been simply better than Boston’s, and the only place that Boston has an undeniable advantage going forward is Lester. In every other comparison, it is, at best, a wash. NY’s rotation is far from perfect, and definitely needs to be patched up before October, but Boston’s is absolutely not a sure bet.

    *Addendum: I cheated a bit by bumping Burnett down to his rightful place in the bottom 2 spots. But even if you plug Burnett into #2 against Lester, Lester’s lead grows, but NY’s lead in the bottom 3 also grows. The gap between Colon-Garcia-Nova and Buchholz-Lackey-Wakefield is probably about the same as the Lester-Burnett gap. So, again, it’s still a wash at the end of the day.

    Comment by Rex Manning Day — July 25, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  37. I think if you must compare Colon and Garcia to Lester and Buchholz, you have confirmed the authors point.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — July 25, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  38. I’d rather them target Michael Bourn. Not really sure why people prefer Upton aside from his power potential, but to me Bourn is better at every other aspect of the game. Well, defensively they both look great, but Bourn is the better player in my eyes. Not sold on this ‘change of scenery’ stuff….

    Comment by Undocorkscrew — July 25, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  39. Well, his OBP is 40 points higher than Jordan Schafer’s, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s good.

    Comment by Luke M — July 25, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  40. Oh wait, it’s only 10 points higher now. Yeah, I’ll pass on Upton, thanks.

    Comment by Luke M — July 25, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  41. “Come playoff time, the rotation will be Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Lackey and probably Wakefield”

    If time could allow, that would be so much better. It makes so little sense to me to play 161 games with one rotation, then only need 3-4 starters in the playoffs. What goes for the regular season should follow into the playoffs, otherwise incomplete teams gain an advantage.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — July 25, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  42. No, they are still worthless, and there is no way Atlanta would have either of them back.

    Comment by Luke M — July 25, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  43. Obvious troll is obvious, but only the second time through.

    Comment by Luke M — July 25, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  44. As a Braves fan I would love Upton. The idea of having 2 of the top young outfielders as far as potential ceiling goes is awesome. This year he may not help us as much though. I’m nervous about Beltran getting injured or something after the Bravos give up prospects for him.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — July 25, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  45. With league offense waaaay down, these numbers are misleading. He a good OF hitting ten percent better than league average.

    Comment by philosofool — July 25, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  46. Passionately defending Jeff Francoeur is fangraph’s version of trolling. Good luck with that.

    Comment by RéRé — July 25, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  47. The Mariners should probably move Adam Kenedy as well.

    Comment by philosofool — July 25, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  48. I normally hate grammar/spelling police type comments, but this mini-thread really made me chuckle.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 25, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  49. Well, some of the commenters below caught my gist. Not saying the Red Sox have a phenomenal rotation, but their front three are pretty darn-tootin solid. Beckett-Lester-Buchholz is perfectly fine going into the playoffs and is much better than what the Yankees have. I’m not a big believer that Colon and Garcia will keep this up.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 25, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  50. Thanks, guys. I originally thought about doing a series on buyers or sellers, but kept coming back to this format. Hopefully when it’s done we can figure out ways to improve it since it’s something a lot of people find interesting and I’d like to make it a yearly series.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 25, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  51. I think if Colon and Garcia are performing better than Lester and Buchholz–which they are–then you can no longer argue that Boston’s rotation is significantly better and more reliable than New York’s.

    I also think that if you compare two rotations, and one of them has a better ERA, FIP, xFIP, and WAR than the other, you can no longer argue that it is substantially inferior.

    Also, just for fun: Sabathia has a higher WAR than Beckett and Lester combined.

    Comment by Rex Manning Day — July 25, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

  52. It’s such tired sarcasm that it’s annoying.

    Comment by Gregory — July 25, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  53. Or even Span (if rumors that he’s being made available are true)

    Upton is a FA after next year, so in the event he finally does put it together he’s going to get paid. Span is signed affordably thru ’14 (with a ’15 club option). I also like Bourne over Upton as well.

    Not sure why people are so high on Upton, yes he’s still young and has potential/tools… but that’ been the case for a while now. He strikes out too much and he’s going to command a premium package back in all likelihood.

    Comment by Joe — July 25, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  54. Why the down-votes? Even if they’re unintentionally so (which I’m not convinced they are), these posts are hilarious.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — July 25, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

  55. This is 2011, BJ Upton is not a top young outfielder.

    Comment by PatsNats28 — July 25, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  56. Last 2 seasons, as starter:

    Sabathia (30): 56gs, 7.1ip/gs, 2.95era, 3.15fip
    Lester (27): 50gs, 6.5ip/gs, 3.27era, 3.42fip

    Colon (38): 15gs, 6.2ip/gs, 3.21era, 3.49fip
    Beckett (31): 40gs, 6.3ip/gs, 3.94era, 3.82fip

    Garcia (34): 45gs, 5.8ip/gs, 4.06era, 4.37fip
    Buchholz (26): 42gs, 6.1ip/gs, 2.70era, 3.83fip

    Nova (24): 23gs, 5.6ip/gs, 4.30era, 4.45fip
    Lackey (32): 49gs, 6.3ip/gs, 4.96era, 4.04fip

    Burnett (34): 54gs, 5.9ip/gs, 4.83era, 4.74fip
    Wakefield (44): 32gs, 6.1ip/gs, 5.51era, 4.71fip

    Hughes (25): 35gs, 5.7ip/gs, 4.91era, 4.55fip
    Miller (26): 13gs, 4.5ip/gs, 6.60era, 5.72fip

    Comment by everdiso — July 25, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  57. No, Jordan Zimmermann is not available for anything less than an elite team under team control for 3-4 more years.

    Comment by 23553 — July 26, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  58. Jordan Zimmermann is awesome, but I don’t think he’s worth an entire elite team. Elite player, maybe, but can you really see the Red Sox trading their entire roster for one guy?

    Comment by Ian R. — July 26, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  59. Isn’t this site supposed to be objective? Any way you measure it the Yankees pitching has been better than the Redsox. And we aren’t talking by a little bit. The Yankees have been far superior. So what is this nonsense about the Yankees having unreliable pitching while the Redsox have a reliably killer rotation? If the Redsox pitching is so reliably good, why have they sucked so bad the last two years?

    At some point expectations should catch up with reality.

    Comment by Jason — July 26, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  60. I herd Jose Bautista usez stroidz.

    Comment by SC2GG — July 26, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  61. My Yank-O-Meter gives this an 8 out of 10. Your self-righteousness was fairly low and needs some work, but your accusations-of-disbelief were top notch. You need to work on your wounded pride response.

    Only two more points to go and you can be a true Self-Yanker!

    Comment by SC2GG — July 26, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  62. Wow, that trade may have made sense a few years ago, but now? Not even close. Zimmermann has established himself as a frontline starter and Rasmus has yet to prove he belongs in a starting lineup. Yeah, Rasmus has the tools to become a very good player in the near future, but Zimmermann is a very good player right now.

    Comment by Bill — July 26, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  63. Look, I’m definitely a partisan Yankees fan. However, I’m objectively correct here. If the Yankees have had a problem it certainly has not been their pitching. On the other hand, if the Redsox have had a problem, it has certainly been their pitching.

    I expected the Yankees to have pitching problems this year too. It just hasn’t happened the way we all expected. I’m pleasantly surprised. The non-Yankee fans seem to be in denial.

    Further, the Redsox returned the same pitching staff this year that they had last year. They were bad last year. No one should have expected them to be better this year and they really don’t seem to be. Of course unexpected things do happen (see, for example, the Yankees pitching this year) and the Redsox pitching might have improved, but it is, by definition, not to be expected.

    Comment by Jason — July 26, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

  64. “Beckett-Lester-Buchholz is perfectly fine going into the playoffs and is much better than what the Yankees have.”

    False. And every statistic, or fact if you will, you can compile this season disagrees with you as well.

    Awesome narrative though. Thanks for writing.

    Comment by Frank — July 26, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  65. “Rasmus has yet to prove he belongs in a starting lineup.”

    Demonstrably and completely false.

    Comment by Jason B — July 27, 2011 @ 10:09 am

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