FG On Fox: How the Rays Made the Most Rays Move They Could

The Rays traded David Price and people don’t like it. Everyone, for the most part, accepts the position the Rays were put in. But consensus seems to be the return is underwhelming. There is no Addison Russell. Perhaps there could’ve been an Addison Russell. An ace was turned into non-ace-level talents, but when you’re able to step back and separate yourself from the initial shock, you can see sense in the move that was made. You can see how it addresses the Rays’ goal to keep winning on a budget.

When you talk about moving a player like Price, you’re always looking for that key to the return. You figure he ought to be worth a top-level prospect and change, and there was talk the A’s made Russell available to the Rays shortly before they shipped him to the Cubs. Russell’s quite probably a top 10 prospect in the league, and you can’t say that for Drew Smyly, or Nick Franklin, or Willy Adames. The Rays didn’t end up trading for a potential young superstar. What they traded for instead was greater certainty, greater odds of lower ceilings. The value they got is the value of being young and major-league ready.

The most valuable asset in baseball is the young and cheap star. That’s the guy who delivers a great performance for something close to the league minimum. Then you’ve got the high-level prospects who are knocking right on the door. This is a player like Oscar Taveras, but based on reports, the Cardinals didn’t make Taveras available, and in fact they cleared the path for him to play more often by subtracting Allen Craig. After that you’ve got a choice to make. You can look for greater talent at a lower level, or you can take lesser and more polished talent high in the system. With the former, you’ve got higher ceilings and higher bust rates. With the latter, you’ve got safety and projectability.

Read the rest at Just A Bit Outside.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Chris
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Chris
1 year 11 months ago

Would the Cubs trade Addison Russell for Smyly, Franklin and Adames? No. Would the Rays accept an offer of Addison Russell for the same? You would think so. You offer Tavares as an example of the most valuable commodity there is – he wasn’t offered, but Russell was and is a very similar prospect at a far more premium position (they both were/are Top 5 prospects in the game).

It seems to me that the likely explanation is that Russell was offered early and the Rays held out hoping to get other similar/better offers. The Cubs pounced on it, and then the Rays never got an offer that good again. They didn’t want to pay Price $20 million next year and/or see his value decline so took what they could.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
1 year 11 months ago

I don’t think Russell and Taveras are the same. Top 5 prospects can be that way for a variety of reasons. Taveras has more proof at the higher levels.

I’m actually not convinced the Rays would trade their package for Russell. They want guys who are ready to play in the bigs now and, it seems that Smyly and Franklin’s floors are decent big leaguers each with upside.

Other side of the coin I don’t think the Cubs want the Rays’ package. They are looking for higher upside even if that upside may not show up until 2016 at the earliest. It’s all about windows. Think about it like retirement and investing. The Cubs are like a 25 year old. They are investing in high risk, high reward stocks. The Rays are like a 40 year old who needs to keep it moving with somewhat safe, but still higher growth investments (like ETFs I’m thinking), the Tigers are the 65 year old looking to retire and wanting bonds.

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 11 months ago

And another thing – the A’s may not have not had any interest in Price unless the Rays kicked in enough money towards the 2015 salary to make him fit their payroll. Which is exactly in opposition to why the Rays had to consider trading Price in the first place.

And the A’s most likely weren’t comfortable with the “get Price, then trade him in the off-season” option that gets posted a lot. There’s a real risk that the A’s would get lowballed by teams knowing that they couldn’t afford Price.

So, in short, Addison Russell was never a real option for Tampa Bay, short of a creative three-way deal.

jdbolick
Member
Member
1 year 11 months ago

Franklin’s floor is not a “decent big leaguer.” His first 464 major league PAs were pretty ugly.

Jason
Guest
Jason
1 year 11 months ago

But that’s not even a whole season’s worth of PAs. Is that really a large enough sample size to demonstrate what his floor is?

jdbolick
Member
Member
1 year 11 months ago

Yes.

ValueArb
Guest
ValueArb
1 year 11 months ago

At age 22? When a plus defender?

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
1 year 11 months ago

Your floor is about the minimum you can be expected to do at the big league level within reason, right? (IE any player could have a theoritical injury that kept them from playing baseball again, but you don’t project that as the floor because it is not reasonably likely)

“The lowest expectation that an expert has for a player’s major league career is called their floor, and the highest level of success they can reasonably foresee for a player is termed that players “ceiling.””

464 isn’t a whole season’s worth of PAs, but it is getting close (119 games played). We can assume that his “floor”, AKA what can be reasonably expected without upside, is something similar to what we have seen, perhaps slightly better (If you bump his .283 BABIP to .300). How LIKELY his floor is would be up for debate, but with a near-full season we can assume that his floor is probably something like that. On the flipside, for example, Smyly’s “floor” is likely something like an average major league pitcher or a bit better.

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
1 year 11 months ago

Also, it seems more likely Franklin would be a – than a + defender, going purely by the stats/sample size so far: He was a -6.0 defender (-4.3 after positional adjustments) in the 102 games he played last year, while his 4.3 defense (4.3 after positional adjustments) has come in only a 17 game sample size.

a eskpert
Guest
a eskpert
1 year 11 months ago

he’s also playing out of position though.

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
1 year 11 months ago

I thought his natural position was 2B? Because that’s what he primarily played in his poor year.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

How does Tavaras have “more proof at the higher levels?”

As Dave Cameron just pointed out, Tavaras has a 117 RC+ at AAA, with a 6% BB rate, and a .172 ISO. For a corner OF, those numbers are hardly proof of high-level big league potential.

At AA, which I’m not sure if you’ve included in higher levels, Russell has hit just as well at the same age, with nearly identical wOBAs: while playing SS. That makes Russell’s performance more predictive of future success.

And that ignores Tavaras’ struggles in the majors, where he has put up a 55 RC+ in 109 PAs.

So it is incorrect to say that Tavaras has proven himself moreso than Russell at multiple high levels: Russell gets the edge at AA, Russell hasn’t played AAA but Tavaras didn’t impress at that level, and Tavaras has bombed so far in the majors.

I think most commentators who like this article/trade are simply unaware of how well Russell is hitting and how close he is to producing serious value at the MLB level.

Peter 2
Guest
Peter 2
1 year 11 months ago

Russell hasn’t played AAA (besides a short stint last year in which he struck out in 9 out of 13 plate appearances) and Taveras was a well above league average hitter (according to the wRC+ you cite) over 100+ AAA games.

Sure, Russell has hit well at AA—if you squint, just as well. Except he’s done it over 36 games, whereas Taveras did it over 124 games.

Fairly straightforward to see why someone would call a player with 225+ games of well above average offense in AA/AAA more proven at the high minors than another with 36 games at AA…

Cason Jollette
Guest
Cason Jollette
1 year 11 months ago

All dependent on where you on the win curve. Players like Smyly and Franklin are able to contribute right away and based on most projection systems, at an above average rate. Like the author states, even top prospects come with a level of risk. It’s the same reason the Athletics were able to afford losing Russell, with their position on the win curve, present wins carry more value than “potential” future wins. So yes, you could argue that Smyly and Franklin are more value than Russell for a team that is trying to conpete for the next few years.

KK-Swizzle
Guest
KK-Swizzle
1 year 11 months ago

Yep…key words: “for a team that is trying to compete for the next few years.” Deriders of this trade are ignoring team context. In a vacuum, Addison Russell is more valuable than Smyly, Franklin, and Adames. But not for this team at this time. The way this went down, you can be sure that it was exactly what Tampa was looking to get for Price: a safe, projectable rotation piece, a cost controlled position player with upside, and a bit of organizational depth. The trade package sent to the Cubs doesn’t help them recoup lost performance from giving up next year’s David Price, so they didn’t to it. Plain and simple. It wasn’t a panic move or misplay, per se, it just doesn’t fit either of the standard models for deadline treads: superstar acquisition and prospect hoarding.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

KK Swizzle,

This comment of yours could hardly be more incorrect-

“The trade package sent to the Cubs doesn’t help them recoup lost performance from giving up next year’s David Price, so they didn’t to it. Plain and simple.”

Russell is mashing AA this year, with a wOBA well over .400. As JDBolick pointed out, his ETA was this year until he tweaked his hamstring, and is now early next year: depending on how the Cubs want to play the Super2 game.

It appears that you made this comment without checking out how Russell is doing this year.

stuck in a slump
Guest
stuck in a slump
1 year 11 months ago

But we all know that the Rays were going to play the super two game and don’t like rushing prospects. So, for the Rays, Russell’s ETA may have been September 2015. That would mean a significant drop in overall WAR until then.

jdbolick
Member
Member
1 year 11 months ago

Whoa. Did you mean to say “above replacement” instead of “above average”? Because I’m not aware of any projection system that had Franklin being an above average major leaguer in 2014 or 2015. Also, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that Russell is far away. He was expected to make his major league debut this season until he injured his hamstring, and he should definitely be contributing next season.

Cason Jollette
Guest
Cason Jollette
1 year 11 months ago

Depending on how much weight you want to put into particular projection systems, Oliver has him as a 3+ WAR player and ZIPS has him projected similarly going forward. It’s amazing how quickly we write off a prospect. A year ago Franklin was the second best prospect in the Mariners system and a top 50 overall talent. Now people are relegating him to being a replacement level player? While he has never been a top 10 overall player like Russell, you can’t possibly write him off after a 400 PA

jdbolick
Member
Member
1 year 11 months ago

You’re right about Oliver, my mistake. I don’t think anyone is writing Franklin off, merely being realistic about his probable outcomes given what we’ve seen so far.

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
1 year 11 months ago

ZIPs actually, at least if you take his numbers given ATM and prorate them to a full season (I will admit I do not know where to just find full season projections that are updated), has Franklin as closer to 2.5 WAR. Which I find kind of hard to get, actually, because it projects him to be a below average hitter (98 wRC+) and a scratch fielder wotj 0.1 bSR. Shouldn’t he be projected to be a bit lower than average?

(I actually don’t think Franklin should be written off, but I do think his floor is definitely not an average major league player.)

a eskpert
Guest
a eskpert
1 year 11 months ago

He’s being projected as a 98 wrc+ second baseman. He doesn’t have to hit that well to be above average.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

Russell will be ready next year, he is mashing at AA right now.

This is a ridiculous article, Fangraphs has really gone down hill since it started working for Disney Sports and News Corp Sports.

jpg
Guest
jpg
1 year 11 months ago

I agree 100%. Friedman misplayed this. Badly.

semperty
Member
semperty
1 year 11 months ago

They Cubs say no to that because they’re not ready to win in 2015. They can afford to have a prospect sit in the minor leagues for the next year or two while they continue to assemble their roster.

The Rays don’t have that luxury. They’re ready to win in 2015, and subtracting Price while adding nothing to the ML roster doesn’t help them in any way, shape, or form. Like Jeff said, they could’ve chose a lower floor with a high ceiling or they could’ve chose a higher floor with a lower ceiling. Given their position to be winners immediately, they went with the option that will help their teams do so.

vonstott
Member
vonstott
1 year 11 months ago

“You offer Tavares as an example of the most valuable commodity there is –”

Read it again.

“The most valuable asset in baseball is the young and cheap star. That’s the guy who delivers a great performance for something close to the league minimum. Then you’ve got the high-level prospects who are knocking right on the door. This is a player like Oscar Taveras.”

Taveras is clearly part of the second group, not the first.

BubbaBiscuit
Member
BubbaBiscuit
1 year 11 months ago

The Cubs would certainly consider trading Addison Russell for Smyly, Franklin and Adames depending on how much money is included, how badly that money is needed to them, where they think they are on the win curve this season and the near future, and how much they, internally, value the 4 players involved individually and in comparison to players they currently have.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

No the Cubs certainly would not consider trading Russell for Price/Franklin/Adames.

Russell is going to debut in the bigs next year. The Cubs are no in any place to compete this year, so the soonest they would look to compete is next year. Oliver projects Russell to be a 4+ WAR starting in 2015 and going forward, becoming a 5+ WAR player in 2017.

You can’t logically argue “the Cubs would make ‘X-crazy trade’…depending on how much they need money and how much money was thrown in” when you know that they do not need the money. Sure, any club would make a terrible trade if $400M were thrown in, but that is an unrealistic amount of money. It is obviously not true that a few million could cause the Cubs to trade Russell for Smyly/Franklin/Adames.

Ruben Amaro Jr.
Guest
Ruben Amaro Jr.
1 year 11 months ago

Also, you like a lot of other people seem to be forgetting that Hammel was part of that trade too. And he wasn’t an insignificant part.

jdbolick
Member
Member
1 year 11 months ago

Drew Smyly and Tommy Milone are left-handed starting pitchers both entering arbitration for the first time after this season. Smyly throws a little harder and therefore gets strikeouts a little more often, but otherwise the two are extremely similar. Minnesota acquired Milone for a backup defensive outfielder. Tampa Bay acquired Smyly as their main piece for David Price. I don’t understand why Sullivan and Cameron are trying to sell the narrative that Friedman did the right thing here when he very clearly did not. If this is the absolute best the Rays were offered, they should have waited and moved Price during the off-season.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

You are obviously correct that Milone and Smyly are similar pitchers by nearly every metric. Milone has a 4.19 xFIP for his career, Smyly has a 3.96 xFIP over two seasons as a SP. No doubt, Smyly is slightly better, no one is arguing Milone is “just as good.”

But likewise, there is no doubt that they are similar. The 0.23 difference in xFIP equates to 5 Runs, or about 0.5 WAR. The difference, measured by FIP (4.13 to 4.02), is half that size, about 0.25 WAR: so long as people don’t compare apples to oranges by throwing in Smyly’s relief numbers. Milone has a better ERA (3.84)than Smyly (4.00) as a starter, but I think we’d all agree that park difference cancels out that advantage for Milone.

Coming into this year, Oliver has Milone as a 2.7 WAR pitcher over each of the next 3 seasons, projecting 176 IP for each. Smyly has a little less than 3.0 WAR in his career as a starter, over 205 IP. That is an identical rate of WAR to IP. Milone’s career average, however, is only 2.3 WAR per 205 IP. So you could argue that Smyly is actually 0.7 WAR better as a starter. Still, the difference between a 3.0 WAR SP and a 2.3 WAR SP is not huge, and it’s close to the 0.5 WAR difference suggested by xFIP.

I made the same point in the “Don’t Write off the Ray’s Haul” article: my point was boo’d by the fans and commentators.

This site has simply gone way downhill since Disney Sports and Fox Sports starting paying big money and calling the shots on fangraphs content.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
1 year 11 months ago

You make some cogent points and top it all off with a gigantic unfounded dump that uncle Walt is somehow dictating content. We’ll wait for the evidence of such…

…waiting…

…gets comfortable, imagines it will be a while…

Seriously, it’s OK to disagree with folks without someone taking a ridiculous leap that the writers are somehow puppets of some shadowy corporate overlords. Sometimes folks just disagree with you, even if you think you have made superior, ironclad points that no one could dare refute.

cs3
Guest
cs3
1 year 11 months ago

Im not sure how Franklin can be said to be major league ready if Russel is not.

jdbolick
Member
Member
1 year 11 months ago

Right. Franklin has more high minors experience on his résumé, but he also has major league failure. While he may yet figure things out, he could be one of the many prospects that never does.

grandbranyan
Member
grandbranyan
1 year 11 months ago

Russell career plate appearances at AA or above: 162
Franklin career plate appearances at AA or above: 1,557

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

Russell’s wOBA at AA or higher: ~.405
Franklin’s wOBA at AA or higher: ~.355

Russell is a plus runner and a plus defensive SS,
Franklin is a negative runner and negative defense SS.

Furthermore, elite prospects like Russell have historically often needed only a small number of PAs at AA or above in order to be ready.

Brad
Guest
Brad
1 year 11 months ago

This is a dumbshit post

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
1 year 11 months ago

If the A’s thought Russell was ready, he’d have been up with them. They’re playing Eric Sogard and Alberto Callaspo at 2b. Lowrie could move to 2b, opening up SS for Russell.

EDogg1438
Guest
EDogg1438
1 year 11 months ago

The Rays are intentionally trading for inferior players because they can’t afford to pay the better ones? Seems to me that’s what this article is about.

I’ve rooted for the Rays the last few years because of how they are run, but this is ridiculous.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for Friedman to screw up once in awhile. If this was the Royals or Phillies making this move it would be roundly criticized, and deservedly so.

Rauce
Guest
Rauce
1 year 11 months ago

This is clearly Friedman getting the benefit of the doubt that Moore and Amaro never would for a similar move, which is not an unreasonable position to take but it should be acknowledged by the author.

randplaty
Guest
randplaty
1 year 11 months ago

yeah I wouldn’t have a problem with it if he said, I don’t quite get it… I’m giving the benefit of the doubt because of all the great moves he’s made… but this is how I see it.

The way he wrote it comes off as spin.

grandbranyan
Member
grandbranyan
1 year 11 months ago

Andrew Friedman has proven to be an astute individual over numerous transactions spanning multiple years.

The large majority of internet commentators, not so much.

If Friedman thought this was the best deal available I’ll trust him and see how things play out before making any definitive judgements.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

Ah the old “trust the experts, the interwebs is stupid” argument.

SteveV
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SteveV
1 year 11 months ago

Keith Law called it a “shocking low return for Price”. I agree. They should have done better.

SteveV
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SteveV
1 year 11 months ago

And on twitter, GM sources were equally surprised.

Cason Jollette
Guest
Cason Jollette
1 year 11 months ago

Did you read the article or just the title? If you read the article you will see Law actually justifies the trade from the Rays perspective.

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 11 months ago

And it also helps to know that Law was enthralled by what the Astros got for Cosart et. al. So the return for Price seemed relatively “meh”.

SteveV
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SteveV
1 year 11 months ago

Yes, I did and in the body of the article it says this, “I’m floored that this is all the Rays got for David Price — as are some of the execs I’ve talked to so far — and I can’t imagine that the return this winter would have been any worse.”

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

Every single word or phrase in the Keith Law article that addressed whether the deal was a net positive or net negative for the Rays cautioned that it was likely a net negative.

In addition to the “I’m floored that this is all the Rays got” quote above, here are the others:

“The three-way trade… nets out as an outstanding move for the Tigers and a solid exchange for the Mariners. But for Tampa Bay, it may end up as a huge missed opportunity to restock their system.”

“Rays fans…had to be disappointed to see the total return today.”

There are zero quotes in the Law article that say anything like, “but this could end up being a good deal for the Rays,” or “but in some ways, the deal makes sense for the Rays.”

The people who are liking this Fox News article are simply having a hard time seeing what is right in front of them.

BranchRickey11937
Guest
BranchRickey11937
1 year 11 months ago

This defense is based on the assumption that the Rays are a win-now team. Even with Price that’s not clear and without him even less. They’re starting to look a lot like the Mets– a competent but not dominating starting rotation, a star third baseman, and not much else. Wil Myers will have to come back as a legit middle-of-the-order force to keep the Rays in the picture the next few years.

Cason Jollette
Guest
Cason Jollette
1 year 11 months ago

Are you just going to ignore all of the above average WAR position players like Jennings, Zobrist, Keirmaier, and Joyce in addition to the aforementioned Longoria and Myers. Then you have guys like Loney (2.7) and Escobar (3.9) who posted above average WAR last year but have struggled this season.

The Rays are built like the Athletics, not much superstar power but average or better at every position. Further, you need to factor in a good bullpen, rotation and team defense. If it wasn’t for a cold month stretch in the middle of the season, the Rays would be firmly in playoff contention. Add in the fact the Rays will get Myers back in a couple weeks and Moore early next year, this team is clearly in a position to contend again next year. Oh yeah, the Rays aren’t losing any players to free agency so this playoff caliber team, substitute Smyly for Price (a couple win difference that should be offset with the addition of Moore), will all be back next year. Please tell me more how they compare to the Mets without a lazy observation.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

I agree that the Rays are better than the Mets, but I’d say it’s mostly due to usually being smarter, and not a huge disparity in talent. There are some decent similarities between the Mets and Rays.

They have roughly the same record this year, roughly the same Pythagorean record, both are dealing with injuries to their ace SP.

While you cite Zobrist, Jennings, and Kiermaier as Tampa’s other good position players, the Mets have Murphy (2.3 WAR), Lagares (2.3 WAR), and Duda (2.3 War) who are not as good, but are playing nearly as well. Granderson and Joyce are putting up comparable performances as paid veterans. Young and Guyer are both producing similarly as role players. And Longoria and Wright are producing somewhat similarly, as Longoria is going through a power drought. No other position players have produced more than 0.7 WAR for either club.

Tampa has the better player with all of these comparisons, so overall, Tampa is quite a bit better. The Rays also have a better collection of arms, both by talent and performance.

Still, it’s interesting that the comparison can be made, and it’s probably a bit more valid than some people would think, since the performance of guys like Lagares, Familia, Meija, and Degrom have arguably flown under the radar a little bit this year.

jim fetterolf
Guest
jim fetterolf
1 year 11 months ago

My understanding is that the Rays, like the Rangers, have a solid team riddled with injuries, so, with health, expect to compete next year even with Wil Myers doing his Frenchy impression in RF. Rays got some talent and saved a bunch of money and that is how they work.

Barnard
Member
Barnard
1 year 11 months ago

I agree that this trade is the Rays choosing somewhat known commodities over a haul of prospects. While the Rays have slipped this year, I think this signals that they are not going to try and revert back to rebuilding mode. If they traded David Price for a package of prospects a few years away, that signals to an extent that they aren’t immediately trying to get back to the 90 win platform. Another period of rebuilding would also hurt any chance of obtaining a new stadium I would think.

BranchRickey11937
Guest
BranchRickey11937
1 year 11 months ago

I guess it would be too lazy to note that the Mets have a better Pythagorian W-L than the Rays. Even with Price, the Rays have scored fewer runs than they’ve allowed, and aside from a Myers breakout I don’t see a lot of offensive upside there. It’s hard for me to consider a team starting Jose Molina, James Loney and Yunel Escobar as a win-now contender.

Cason, it seems you are endulging in some wishful thinking. If all of the Rays having bad seasons bounce back (Loney?), the guys having good seasons don’t regress (Joyce, Kiermaier, Boxberger), Moore comes back as the pitcher everybody hoped he would be, then yes, the Rays can contend in 2015. Or if, as I noted in my first comment, Myers emerges to give Longoria some offensive help. But that’s a lot of ifs.

My comment was not intended to slight Zobrist, who has been everybody’s favorite workingman ballplayer for a while now. But he’ll be 34 next season and shows pretty clear signs that his best is behind him. Cason sees a scenario where everything goes right. That’s not planning, that’s hoping. I see a scenario where Zobrist plays older, the the starting pitching regresses a bit, the role players remain role players, and the Rays sink into a Mets-like mediocrity. Unless, as I said before, Myers emerges like Ike Davis never did.

Steve-o
Guest
Steve-o
1 year 11 months ago

I got it along time ago, so to have the sycophants, Friedman can do no wrong. Somebody wrote in a comment section for yet another article defending this trade that Fangraphs has become a caricature of itself. The zeitgeist has gone into overdrive here.

Jason B
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Jason B
1 year 11 months ago

…or there are plenty of people agreeing that Friedman and the Rays didn’t do well and that Sullivan is incorrect. You know, either way.

randplaty
Guest
randplaty
1 year 11 months ago

If another less respected organization made this trade (given similar team situations), it would be derided. But because it’s the Rays, people are doing spin. Spin spin spin.

ValueArb
Guest
1 year 11 months ago

It’s almost as if the other GMs viewed Price as just a 4 WAR pitcher owed $20M+ next year.

Craig Kline
Guest
Craig Kline
1 year 11 months ago

Which would be goofy, since Price is projected to compile between 5.5 and 5.8 WAR this year, and at age 28, is still well in his prime for a lefty.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
1 year 11 months ago

The narrative is that the correct decision is defined by whatever the Rays do. How then can you spin this deal to fit the narrative? The Rays are in win now mode! …clearly win-now teams should trade their best player for three inferior players. After all, this decision is, by definition, the correct one because the Rays made it.

Frank
Guest
Frank
1 year 11 months ago

I’m not sure how people here are telling jdbolick he’s wrong…his points seem perfectly valid, as well as substantiated, to me. How fangraphs has written two very positive articles about this trade is a bit confusing to me.

Johnston
Guest
1 year 11 months ago

Unpopular opinions are unpopular.

Johnston
Guest
1 year 11 months ago

Now those opinions may well be valid or even correct, but if they are unpopular, out comes the red ink.

I’m starting to view more and more red numbers as simply a reflection of independent thinking.

Parsing the statements
Guest
Parsing the statements
1 year 11 months ago

Reading between the lines, you seem to be implying: “I got lots of down votes on some of my comments (particularly regarding the Shark trade), so it couldn’t be that reasonable folks reasonably disagreed with me, or that they actually thought I was *gasp* wrong!

No, it’s that they are all engaged in groupthink and can’t think for themselves, and I am the reasoned, independent, and fair-minded one here.”

Or, it could be that folks just thought you were wrong. Just like many, many people seem to believe that Friedman (and Sullivan, in defending the deal) are wrong here. I know it’s tough to believe sometimes, but most commenters on here seem reasonably astute and can think for themselves. And may disagree with you (or Jeff even!) from time to time.

Mcneildon
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Mcneildon
1 year 11 months ago

I could be wrong, but I have always been under the impression that independent thoughts are not dependent on any relationship with any other thoughts.

bill
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bill
1 year 11 months ago

I’d like to give the Rays the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t see it. Price is better than Shark and Hammels. Russel is more valuable than Smyly and company. I don’t buy that Beane and Friedman see this any different. Jeff, I understand your argument that we don’t know what was offered in the proposed A’s-Rays trade, but I can’t see Beane asking for more from the Rays than he asked from the Cubs and the Cubs clearly got more from the A’s than Tampa ended up with. Friedman overvalued Price when he turned down Beane. To Friedman’s credit, he knew when to cut his losses and he ended up making an ok trade, but the Russel trade would have been better.

bmarkham
Guest
bmarkham
1 year 11 months ago

you’re comparing apples to oranges. The Rays wanted MLB talent, the Cubs wanted prospects. The A’s didn’t want to pay Price next year, and they didn’t want to deal from the MLB team at the time. The guy they did trade off the MLB team eventually wouldn’t have been a fit for the Rays.

Different teams value different types of players differently, because they have different needs. Trades are more about finding another team with complementary needs than extracting maximum value without context for when and where the value comes from.

bmarkham
Guest
bmarkham
1 year 11 months ago

This was a good move by the Rays. They want to compete next year as well as the next few after that. They just couldn’t afford Price. They have always wanted major league talent for Price they just had to lower the quality they wanted. Earlier in the year they wanted Pederson or Walker or Taveras or Polanco. But that was a case of them having their cake and eating it to and as you said, they needed to choose between high ceilings of prospects farther away or the high floors of MLB regulars.

They ended up choosing the higher floors, and while Rays fans won’t be able to dream on Smyly or Franklin, they won’t have to, as they should help the team stay competitive starting in 2015. Those upset should read up on Surplus value and how teams like the Rays need to have a whole bunch of it to be competitive.

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