Howie Kendrick, Jean Segura, and Arizona’s Latest Mistake

Over the weekend, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks made a pair of related transactions. On Friday night, after failing to find a suitor due to the specter of a potential lost draft choice, Howie Kendrick re-signed with the Dodgers for a relative pittance; $20 million over the next two years. Given that Kendrick turned down the qualifying offer, which would have guaranteed him $15.8 million for just the 2016 season alone, Kendrick had to settle for far less than he thought he would get this off-season, and at that price, the Dodgers decided the value was too good to pass up, even though they didn’t really need another infielder.

Kendrick is better than Chase Utley and he should make the team better in both 2016 and 2017; however, they did surrender the possibility of obtaining a compensation pick if another team had eventually decided he was too good to pass up at that price as well.

For a good chunk of the winter, the assumption was that a team would make that choice, and for the last few months, the Dimaondbacks looked liked the obvious fit. General manager Dave Stewart publicly talked about his desire to add some offense at the top of the order to replace Ender Inciarte, and some combination of Chris Owings and Aaron Hill didn’t inspire a lot of confidence that second base was going to be well-handled in 2016. The D-Backs had talks with Kendrick, and had tried to trade for Brandon Phillips, so it was clear that they wanted to make a move for a more established second baseman, pushing Owings into the utility role that he’s probably better suited for.

But, after having surrendered the 13th pick to sign Zack Greinke, the Diamondbacks became fiercely protective of the 39th overall pick, a competitive-balance selection they were awarded that they would have to surrender if they signed Kendrick (or Ian Desmond, another free agent would could have helped them). Stewart even stated outright that they weren’t going to give up that pick:

“We’re not going to give up the pick,” Stewart said of the D-backs, who have the 39th selection (Competitive Balance Round A). “It’s just tough after we’ve already given up our first pick. To give up our top two picks, that would be difficult for us to do.”

So, in lieu of signing Kendrick and losing the 39th pick of the draft, the team pivoted on Saturday, making a trade to acquire Jean Segura from the Brewers. The deal sent Aaron Hill — but only half of his contract, as the Diamondbacks remain on the hook for $5.5 million of the $12 million he’s owed in 2016 — to Milwaukee along with starting pitcher Chase Anderson and infield prospect Isan Diaz. Segura, who has played shortstop in Milwaukee, is being brought in to ostensibly compete with Nick Ahmed for the starting job in Arizona, but given Ahmed’s defensive wizardry and Segura’s average-at-best glove at the position, it seems pretty obvious that Segura should shift over to second base.

So instead of giving up the 39th pick in the draft to sign Kendrick, the team gave up a major league starting pitcher and a quality prospect to trade for Segura. There are two problems with this.

1. Anderson and Diaz may each have more value than the compensation pick.

2. Howie Kendrick is good. Jean Segura is bad.

Let’s deal first with the acquisition cost of the two options. The Diamondbacks now seem to be putting a pretty high value on the 39th pick, and it is a valuable asset, but the net value of a pick in that range is somewhere in the range of $5 to $10 million. We’ve seen teams buy draft picks before — the Dodgers effectively bought the 74th pick in last year’s draft for $2.75 million by taking on Ryan Webb‘s contract before immediately DFA’ing him — and of course the Diamondbacks were involved in the Touki Toussaint/Bronson Arroyo deal, and then they traded Dansby Swanson just a few months after taking him #1 overall, so the organization’s love of draft picks seems to be a very recent development.

But instead of surrendering the 39th pick, they decided to trade Anderson and Diaz, a depth-starter who probably wouldn’t have cracked their opening day rotation and a prospect who spent last year in rookie ball. Except that Diaz’s performance in rookie ball makes him a very interesting prospect — he ranked 69th on KATOH’s Top 100, for instance — and likely nearly as valuable as anyone the team would be able to get with the 39th pick this summer. Dan Farnsworth graded Diaz as a 45+ FV prospect, making him roughly equivalent to a back-end first round selection.

And while Anderson might just be a “depth starter” due to his lack of stuff, he’s been roughly a league average starting pitcher during his first couple of years in the majors, and projects to perform around that level going forward. Without Anderson around to serve as the team’s sixth starter, the club will now be relying on Archie Bradley, Zach Godley, and Josh Collmenter when the team needs to replace someone in their rotation, and so there is a loss in expected performance even if Anderson wouldn’t have begun the year in the rotation. No one gets through a season with just five starters anymore, and Anderson would have been able to help Arizona this year, at least raising the floor for the back-end of their rotation.

In fact, I’d argue that Anderson was probably also worth more than the 39th pick. Colby Lewis — a similar kind of back-end starter surviving without much in the way of stuff — got $6 million as a free agent for the 2016 season, a year in which he’ll turn 37. Anderson might not have Lewis’ track record, but he’s also a lot younger, and I don’t think it’s any kind of stretch to say he’d have landed a deal for around that $5 to $8 million that back-end starters for signing for this winter, had he been a free agent. And, of course, Anderson is under team control for five years, so he’s got some potential long-term value that guys like Lewis, Bartolo Colon, and Rich Hill don’t offer.

So, in dealing for Segura, the D-Backs gave up a prospect that has something like equal value to the 39th pick, plus a major league pitcher who probably has more value than the pick they didn’t want to surrender. The D-Backs gave up significantly more long-term value in this trade than they would have by just signing Kendrick.

And in return, they got a significantly worse player. Segura hasn’t hit well for the last couple of years, and his career 78 wRC+ is probably in line with what the Diamondbacks should expect in 2016. As an extreme groundball hitter who doesn’t walk, he neither gets on base or hits for any power, so at this point, he’s just a contact hitter who puts the ball in play with little effect, and he’s not even that great at that one skill. He does add some value as a base stealer and he’d likely be an above average defensive second baseman, so he’s not worthless, but Segura projects as something like a +1 WAR player for 2016. Realistically, he probably shouldn’t be an everyday player for a team trying to win this year.

Kendrick, on the other hand, has been an average or above average player every year for the last decade, and projects as roughly an average player again in 2016. He’s reaching the point where his skills are beginning to decline, but in the short-term, he should still be expected to be a roughly league average hitter who can still hold his own at second base. It’s pretty likely that he will he be a good bit better than Segura in 2016.

Of course, comparing just the output between them isn’t entirely fair. For one, Segura will make just $2.6 million next year, while Kendrick will make ~$10 million even on the cut-rate deal he gave LA, and we don’t know if he would have gone to Arizona for that price. Segura is under control for three seasons, while the Dodgers get Kendrick for just two. The D-Backs also valued the cash they saved by dumping Hill, which could be spent to bring in an upgrade elsewhere, probably in the bullpen. So the team didn’t just trade for Segura; they traded for Segura and cash, both the savings they didn’t spend on Kendrick and the money they got by unloading half of Hill’s deal.

But this is a weird time for the Diamondbacks to suddenly be pinching pennies and worrying about their long-term outlook. They pushed in on Zack Greinke to accelerate their window to contend, and made the ill-advised Shelby Miller trade because they wanted to try and run down the Dodgers sooner than later. Going into the season with a bad player at second base seems like a poor way to maximize the effectiveness of those win-now moves, especially when it thins out the depth of the big league roster and removes another quality prospect from the farm system in the process.

Like with the Miller trade, the D-Backs are giving up real long-term value in a deal that I’m not even sure makes them better in 2016. The marginal difference between Segura and Owings as the starting second baseman is probably not that much larger than the downgrade in rotation performance that will come from replacing Anderson with worse depth-starters, and at this point in the winter, freeing up some cash to sign a free agent reliever isn’t going to bring back a lot of added value. Meanwhile, the team now has surrendered another interesting prospect and a cheap back-end starter who wouldn’t have been a free agent until after the 2020 season.

This off-season has highlighted the stark contrast between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks front offices, and this move continues to show that LA will pivot away from their original plans when a value proposition presents itself, while the Diamondbacks bizarre valuation of draft picks and prospects continues to lead to head-scratching decisions. Howie Kendrick could have helped the D-Backs try to beat out the Dodgers in the division race, but instead, he returned to LA because Arizona overvalued a draft pick, then paid an even higher price to acquire a worse second baseman instead. Instead of narrowing the gap between the two clubs, the pair of moves only highlights just how far the Diamondbacks really have to go, and how many things will need to go right for them to compete in the NL West in 2016.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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bwenger6183
Member
bwenger6183
3 months 26 days ago

I don’t like the deal for AZ either, but didn’t they get Tyler Wagner as well? He seems like an ok pitching prospect to me. Certainly that would need to be factored in to the equation.

Moranall
Member
Moranall
3 months 26 days ago

I don’t know a lot about Tyler Wagner, but Keith Law stated he was roughly equivalent to Anderson in terms of value (fifth starter).

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 26 days ago

Meaning Wagner is potentially or currently as valuable as Anderson? If ‘currently’, that does really change the value of the trade. Even if just ‘potentially’, well, that’s still enough value to factor in.

bwenger6183
Member
bwenger6183
3 months 26 days ago

Especially when years of control are factored in. Anderson only has 4 years left, and Wagner has 6 I believe.

Moranall
Member
Moranall
3 months 26 days ago

I don’t know the legality of how much I can quote from Law’s article (since it’s Insider), but the gist is that he saw them both as fifth starters but thinks Wagner is better in the bullpen.

Having watched Anderson, I don’t know how much more he’s got left. His strikeouts took a dive last year and I don’t see him having much value in a bullpen role. Wagner seems to play up in the bullpen, with a really good mid-90s sinker.

I do find it ironic that Wagner’s MLB debut came against Anderson and the Dbacks in a game that ended up going 17 innings. Anderson gave up 6 in 5 IP and Wagner gave up 5 in 3.2 IP. Segura also went 4-8. I don’t know what this actually means, but I find it rather amusing.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

And the AZ BP is terrible.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Chase Anderson is nothing special, but an above-replacement fifth starter is actually pretty useful. Most teams are going to give a big chunk of starts to below-replacement guys over the year. Wagner is now the DBack’s 10th best prospect by MLB.com, and they have two overall on the top 100, putting Wagner pretty far off of that.

If a team’s 10th best prospect could be expected to be Chase Anderson, that would be an amazing system. Likely that is close to Wagner’s best-case-scenario.

rosen380
Member
rosen380
3 months 26 days ago

“Most teams are going to give a big chunk of starts to below-replacement guys over the year.”

Last year the average team gave 14 starts to SPs who were below replacement…

The top 10 teams in the league by win/loss averaged only 5 while the bottom 10 averaged 27 starts, so the general point might be more than bad teams ultimately give a lot of starts of below replacement player SP…

…though ultimately maybe a large part of why you were bad is that you gave bad SPs a third of your starts [Phillies, Braves, Reds and Rockies averaged 49!]

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Ok, that’s less than I thought, but in any case, Chase Anderson was a good bit above replacement-level, so I can move the goalposts a little bit and still be basically right :)

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

This is a poorly written article. The author left out wagner and also failed to discuss the overall contact health pre and post this offseason, how they have 20 mil more to acquire talent and the possibility of additional trades from middle infeld players.

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 26 days ago

What team needs a no bat all glove middle infielder though? Basically every team has that in the system. They have traded the only assets that had real value. They can sign desmond and play him at second, thats basically their only option in the free agent market at this point. Maybe owings can bring an iffy middle reliever back. They still have tomas contract on the books which is actually the worst contract they had.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

They received value for those assets. They also shed bad contracts. Being less good than you think it should be does not equal bad.

Yes. The team has had a high volume offseason with moves that offend fangraphs aesthetic sensibilities.

The moves were almost all net positives and the sum was positive as well.

Anyone who thinks the franchise is in a worse spot now than under the previous FO is wrong.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

The Miller trade is hard to spin as a net positive. The Greinke deal also is unlikely to be a net positive, more likely a wash. The best you can say about them is they addressed needs, but more value for less value isn’t really a good move just because the less value addresses a need. You’d at least want them to trade equivalent value. And, of course, you’re completely ignoring any value lost from trading away some of these prospects, and the value of depth, which is easiest to ignore at exactly this time – before the season, where depth is only theoretical, and the “team” is comprised only of the intended starters, and there hasn’t been time to see what the prospects become.

Lastly, better than the last D-Backs FO is not that much of a compliment.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 months 26 days ago

There are like two paragraphs on the additional money part.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

There are. I was wrong on that.

jwise224
Member
3 months 26 days ago

Dave, this is really good analysis. I know some will think it’s another attack on Arizona, but as someone who writes about the team on a daily basis, these moves continue to not instill any confidence in the front office. They’ve taken the short side of deals so many times that they’re starting to run out of prospects to sell. They’ve valued cash over players a myriad of times, usually in an attempt to undo their own mistakes.

My question is this: does the fact that they’ve done this continually hint that ownership may not be committed long term? Is this the type of thing you’d expect to see from ownership that wants one last hurrah before selling? Could this be Kendrick’s going away party? Obviously this is a long shot, but at this point, one has to wonder (or hope)…

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 26 days ago

Nah, after getting permission to jettison their regular first pick to sign Greinke, Stewart simply was told by TLR+ownership “but don’t totally gut our future, OK?” So that 39th pick now has a pseudo-emotional value to them that the 13th didn’t.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

I’d, it’s not your typical win now decisions. They overpaid for Miller, probably due to his cheap control. They could have got a better pitcher with a worse contract. They chose the 39th pick and 3 years of Segura over the decidedly more productive Kendrick.

It seems like they’re setting themselves a 3 year window that doesn’t really exist given the strength of LA and SF.

david k
Member
david k
3 months 25 days ago

While I don’t completely disagree with you that LA and SF are more likely to win the division than Arizona (not to mention the other strong teams that are more likely to be in the WS: WAS, NYM, STL, CHC, maybe PIT), but a lot of folks didn’t expect much out of the Royals two years ago or the Mets and Astros this past year, and yet they were all successful. If they are going to worry about LA and SF being better than them, then they (and SD and COLO) would rarely have a “good window” to pursue a playoff run.

At least the Dbacks have enough talent where you wouldn’t be considered crazy to think they are reasonable contenders at this point. That may not be an ideal scenario, but it is an acceptable one.

joecb91
Member
joecb91
3 months 26 days ago

I am very afraid right now of ending up with just 2 or 3 good years but not good enough to do much in the postseason, and then going through 2004 again.

Some people seem to think that being critical of the Dbacks FO even going back to the KT days makes that person (Cameron, Law, etc) just a hater, but those criticisms happen because the Dbacks keep making so many odd (for the lack of a better word) moves.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

I see no commonality between the towers and prior FOs and this group. None. The team is financially well situated which is a huge difference…

tz
Member
tz
3 months 26 days ago

Quote of the year so far, Dave Stewart talking about why he targeted Jean Segura:

“Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said his team was “seeking a little bit more offense.”

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14681304/milwaukee-brewers-trade-jean-segura-arizona-diamondbacks-five-player-deal

This is a guy with back-to-back seasons below 70 wRC+. How much of an upgrade is that over Nick Ahmed?

I’m STILL laughing at this one.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 26 days ago

Just PR fluff, nothing more.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

Normally I’d agree but I wouldn’t give Stewart the benefit of the doubt.

This is the same guy who said something like “We just traded for a guy who got traded for a guy who got 190 million” about the Miller. We’re at the point where it’s safe to assume Stewart valus assets… Uniquely?

But are we sure Segura isn’t just MI depth?It’d be pretty stupid to bench your elite defensive SS after trading an elite defensive CF. Then again it is the Diamondbacks…

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Or maybe TLR value the press as uniquely as you think they value prospects?

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

I was one of the people who stood up for Copps comments after the Simmons trade. But that trade could be defended for a rebuilding team depending on your opinion of Newcombe. That was blatant posturing.

I’m not talking prospects. It’s clear they don’t love prospects. I’m talking the way they value Major Leaguers. The Miller trade is a package you would deal for an ace. The Segura deal is a move you make for a starting caliber MI. Neither of those are currently true about those players.

Maybe their valuation of Miller and Segura turns out to be correct. I’m not going to judge TLR ability as a scout, I’m saying a win now team shouldn’t need to posture. The moves should be obvious at that point.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Fangraphs is unprepared to deal with TLR’s psychology and approach to baseball. He is as aware of the data as anyone here but takes a radically different approach to the analysis. Criticising the sophistication of his approach is completely wrong.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

I’m actually more receptive to your opinion than most here. I love the approach from a philosophical standpoint. Trade expendable assets, save money creatively, etc. I think it’s unique and we should give it more thought as a community.

I don’t see it in practice working for the DBacks.

Here’s why I think Stewart’s a moron specific to this deal.
I see 2 ways of looking at his comment on Segura:

1. He truly believes Segura can hit. If that’s the case AZ and TLR don’t understand the data.

2. He’s posturing, doesn’t believe Segura can hit, and made a terrible trade.

So what exactly is their secret sauce here? Is Wagner their sneaky lefty specialist? Are they going to shop Ahmed? Owings? It seems like they’ve gutted the system for a few bucks and a marginal upgrade on the field.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

Not sure why I thought Wagner was a lefty. He throws right haha.

Point stands though. He needs to be really, really good in the pen for this to make any sense.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

I think they saw a chance to get out from a terrible contract and took it.

To me, that is how they work. They see a chance to make a net improvement and take it.

They are not worried about efficiency and in their situation should not be.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

When you have only their salary space thise few millions are crucial.

I am not sure this “gutting the system” is a real thing. Systems turnovr so fast…

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

Man, I’m like 90% with you. I think your take is far more worthy of thought than it gets on here. I just don’t see any evidence of it being executed well.

Saving money creatively like this is actually kinda cool. But why after Kendrick signs? Why not use it on a big upgrade? They effectively trade a prospect and rotation depth for a RP and 6 million of flexibility at the deadline.

They gutted the liquidity of their farm. They can no longer use their farm to improve their team today. The result was maybe a little bit of improvement.

I like the Greinke signing. I think leveraging prospects to save money and improve the team is a logical response to signing Greinke. They arguably didn’t really improve after the Greinke deal. That’s the problem. For what they gave up they needed to gain more ground on LA and SF to make it worth it.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Hill’s contract really isn’t for that much. They barely save any money considering that Segura might be a waste of money himself. They gave Anderson, a valuable player, to save, what, 3 million bucks this year?

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Sorry dude. I know. I was just being too direct I guess.

I just think better is better even by a little.

They got younger and more flexible. Almost always a good thing.

Shao
Member
Shao
3 months 26 days ago

I am curious how the draft pick trade and QO penalty thing work. Can Dback trade their No.13 away before signing Greinke, and give up their No.39 as penalty? If this is allowed, I can’t image why no teams do that. But if that is not allowed, how does the league ban that? By saying the team that takes No.13 will lose that pick if Dback sign someone? That sounds very weird to me.

In this case, can the Dback trade No.39 along with Aaron Hill to free up payroll, and then use that money to sign Kendrick and lose their next pick? If they do this way, the price to sign Kendrick is their second round pick instead of No.39. Or further, they can trade their second round as well and lose their third round for Kendrick.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
3 months 26 days ago

Teams aren’t allowed to trade most draft choices, so this wouldn’t be an option for Arizona.

DarkVoid116
Member
DarkVoid116
3 months 26 days ago

You’re only allowed to trade competitive balance picks, I think. So Arizona could actually trade the *39th* pick for a player of equal value and then give up their next pick for a QO player of lesser value, I guess. But the regular first-, second-, third-round picks and such can’t be traded, period. It’s not like NHL, NBA and NFL in that respect.

Joser
Member
Joser
3 months 26 days ago

But if that is not allowed, how does the league ban that?

By banning the trading of draft picks, period. This isn’t the NFL. They did rejigger things a bit in the last CBA, allowing teams to trade (within a bunch of caveats and limits) the newly-created competitive balance picks, but in general MLB has always looked askance at the very idea of trading draft picks. Mostly out of the worry that a team like the old Yankees, or the current Dodgers, would simply buy up the entire first round. (Case in point: the competitive balance picks are not supposed to be traded for cash).

dtpollitt
Member
Member
dtpollitt
3 months 26 days ago

I love reading Dave professionally and respectfully eviscerate a GM.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

The author is really high on the aspergers scale. I’ll give him that.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
3 months 26 days ago

Comments like this really take away from my enjoyment of this site. I have relatives with brain disorders. And now I get to think about how people like you wont view them as equals. Thanks internet.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Oh no! You went redditur sjw on me! Heh. No. I think my statement accurate and those tendencies often limit his writing. I stand by what I wrote.

And aspergers isn’t real.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
3 months 26 days ago

I don’t know what redditur sjw is. Have a nice day.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Your response was boilerplate reddit social justice warrior thoughtcrime thoughtdeath lameness.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
3 months 26 days ago

Whatever, I came here to read about baseball.

Serbian to Vietnamese to French and back
Member
Serbian to Vietnamese to French and back
3 months 26 days ago

Oh, no! You are SV redditur. Heh. Br. I think my statement was this trend and are often limited in their texts. I stand by what I wrote.

Autistiian and unrealistic.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot
3 months 26 days ago

Apparently putting up a mere email-sign-up barrier does not do much to deter this place’s more committed contrarian trolls. (Sorry, I mean THOUGHTDEATH THOUGHTCRIMINALS)

Shirtless Carson Cistulli
Member
3 months 26 days ago

THOUGHTCRIME THOUGHTDEATH Roger. Sheesh get your quotes right man.

csw117
Member
csw117
3 months 26 days ago

Better “redditor sjw” than your 14-year-old youtuber insults. I think it was you who was spreading this crap before. So, once again, what problem do you have with autistic people?

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

I have no problem with autistics. Why do you assume I do?

joecb91
Member
joecb91
3 months 26 days ago

Calling everyone who disagrees with him a sjw is a good way to make people stop taking him seriously too

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

I haven’t called you an sjw.

MonkeyMan
Member
Member
MonkeyMan
3 months 26 days ago

“The author is really high on the aspergers scale. I’ll give him that.”

Reprehensible comment. You have absolutely no class.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Ha. That was as reprehensible as you are hysterical. Man. Throttle back a little on the vicarious outrage.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Now that commenting is not anonymous, can we get some IP bans going?

dl80
Member
dl80
3 months 26 days ago

Here’s my attempt to make the best possible, most charitable case for what Dave Stewart is thinking and doing:

1) He really wants high upside players.

2) He believes that he knows right away when a player has no chance to be a real star (Toussaint, Swanson, Diaz).

3) He thinks Segura can bounce back to his 2013 numbers.

4) He thinks there is a chance he can get a really high upside future star at #39.

5) He thinks Howie Kendrick is starting to decline, perhaps precipitously.

Now, I personally can be on board with #1. But I have no faith that a former major league pitcher is suddenly so good at scouting that he can take one look at a guy, or one season, and decide his career path is destined. And I don’t think the DBacks scouts are suddenly do this either, so I think it’s Stewart.

I would say both #3 and #4 are possible, but pretty low percentage on either of them.

I guess #5 could also happen, but I have no idea how anyone would know.

That’s the best I can do.

Brent Henry
Member
Brent Henry
3 months 26 days ago

#2 is key. He only has to believe it. The organization spots flaws in their players that they believe the player will never overcome, or that the player’s ceiling is lower than common perception believes it to be, so they trade them at “peak” value. But that’s how a lot of prospects are traded, of course. My only point is this front office REALLY thinks highly of scouting/ their scouting.

It looks like terrible thought process from the outside. Probably because it is.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

This is where “process” can bleed into tautology though… not saying you are doing that but it seems very close. Outcome and process are equal despite the tendency of the community here at fangraphs with their clusterluck and sequencing black box circularities.

L. Ron Hoyabembe
Member
L. Ron Hoyabembe
3 months 26 days ago

Outcome and process are not equal when you’re working with imperfect information. If you’re playing blackjack and hit on a 12 and bust, your process was good, even though your outcome was bad.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Agreed. But you can’t judge process on that one hand either. Outcome is the point.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

And the only reason you follow that process in the first place is because of the outcomes it provides.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

There’s nothing wrong with the thought process. It is perfectly reasonable to deal high upside guys before they fail against superior competition. I think they are wise in this respect.

The fuck up is in not improving the on field product in the process. Swanson/Inciarte/Blair/Diaz/Anderson for Miller/Segura/Wagner is a terrible use of those resources.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Inciarte is the only one I wonder about. And don’t forget the jettisoned a terrible contract and still have 20 mil to invest this offseason or at the break and some mi players to trade. The staff is better by far and wagner slots into a terrible BP too.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

The staff is better by far mostly due to Greinke deal. That’s an independent move that should be disregarded when evaluating these trades.

Even if they decided those guys weren’t in their future they should end up with more of an upgrade than Shelby Miller.

The only hesitation I have in calling it downright negligent is Socrates Brito. If he can replace Inciarte value Miller is a real upgrade. If not, they just dumped the farm and really only reshuffled value from the OF to the staff.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Aesthetic disagreement does not equal negligence.

Miller was a positive.

And yes, the prosepcts they keep need to produce, but that goes for everyone.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

Inciarte produced 3 WAR last year. Miller is only a positive if the OF replacement produces.

Doctor Of Utter Clarification
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Doctor Of Utter Clarification
3 months 25 days ago

It’s not a lie Dave, if you believe it’s true.

wildginge
Member
wildginge
3 months 26 days ago

If I’ve already given up the 13th pick in the draft, I’d be even more inclined to give up the 39th. Bizarre rationale from the DBacks, whether it’s Stewart making the call or not.

raygu
Member
3 months 26 days ago

I wonder if the decision to not sign Kendrick was more due to the fact that he was already giving up a comp pick to the Dodgers for signing Greinke, and didn’t want to send another for signing Kendrick.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

They have a huge task and are doing multiple things at the same time: restructuring financially and rebuilding and contending all at the same time. That team was in horrendous shape and is getting healthier by the day.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

If that is the case, then that would be just as silly, since the Dodgers get the pick no matter who signs Kendrick. The Dodgers only miss the pick if they sign him themselves, which they did for a big bargain, because of the pick attached to him.

MajesticOwl
Member
MajesticOwl
3 months 26 days ago

Not that this is the most likely thing, but maybe Kendrick wouldn’t sign in Arizona for the price the Dodgers gave him.

Though the situation is not entirely comparable, if I were offered 50% more money to move from California to Arizona, I wouldn’t take it.

yougottalovethepain
Member
yougottalovethepain
3 months 26 days ago

Kendrick may not have signed with Arizona for the same money the Dodgers gave him, but I bet he’d have taken 2 years/$30MM from Arizona in a heartbeat. He wouldn’t leave $10MM on the table. Additionally, Arizona’s a much more tax-friendly state.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

It is funny how no one considers the fact that TLR and company just tell the press nonsense about what they are doing.

I see a team purged of terrible contacts, better on the field and 20mil under their stated salary cap.

This is a real franchise now and fielding a team one or two BP acquisitions away from contention.

Defense plus pitching plus Goldy = wins.

TLR is one of the universes greatest trolls. Do not forget that.

raygu
Member
3 months 26 days ago

better on the field? Segura was a downgrade. Miller will be average in that park. Greinke won’t ever duplicate his 2015 season. Ever. And an argument can be made that Pollock and Peralta had career years.

Oh, and they still plan to start Tomas somewhere.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

On the whole, yes. The floor is higher overall and the staff is hugely better. The BP is really not good.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Yeah I’m sure they’re real glad to be rid of those terrible Inciarte, Swanson, and Anderson contracts.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Those are not the only ones to consider. Trees != Forest.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Sometimes the forest looks healthy from the outside while trees are dying inside.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

And sometimes beautiful trees have to be removed to make the forest stronger.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Reply fail sadness.

JackS
Member
JackS
3 months 26 days ago

“So, you see, the puppy was like industry. In that, they were both lost in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy – “society” – knew where to find ’em. Except that the puppy was a dog. But the industry, my friends, that was a revolution.”

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
3 months 26 days ago

Where were all the people who were in love with these young DB players/prospects a year ago. Ah, but the moment they trade any away, they are flaming idiots for bailing on such wonderful young prospects.

Oh and say hi to Matt Davidson.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 26 days ago

I ‘+’ed him for the “TLR is one of the universes greatest trolls” observation. Which is dead on.

Granted, not as ego-fortifying as ‘I am SOOO! smarter than Dave Stewart and ought to have his job’.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
3 months 26 days ago

Yeah, FG and Dave are getting predictable in whom they like and whom they loathe.

Hey, I didn’t love this deal for the DBs but I understand them wanting to find a taker for Aaron Hill. They had to deal a prospect to make that happen. OK, it was going to cost them something. Anderson and Wagner are more or less a swap of back end SPs. And the DBs get the salary relief and add some team speed which they may have been lacking.

Assuming here that they can now do something with the $ they’ve saved, otherwise it’s hard to see the point. I figure they’ll try to make a pen add, tho there isn’t much left to choose from. Other than that, I’m not sure why it’s so hard to see the DBs making some real noise in the NLW, even winning the division.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Isn’t fangraphs the land of anyone can pitch in relief? Is bp that scarce of a resource?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

Anderson would be useful to virtually every team, and Anderson is also Wagner’s best case scenario, more or less. Anderson is a big-league pitcher, and Wagner is not close to being a top-100 prospect. Those two things are not equivalent.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
3 months 25 days ago

MLB has Wagner as the DBs #10 prospect. Clearly, he has value.

Joeys Bat Flip
Member
Joeys Bat Flip
3 months 26 days ago

None of the analysis in this article hinges on what TLR or DS has said to the media. The issues are that the rationality of the decision-making process is lacking.

Going to your point about process/outcomes, it’s possible that a poor process leads to a good outcome, so you may find that while the club has improved this off-season (which I’m not sure they have), they made some massively inefficient moves to get there. Imagine how much MORE the team would have improved if they had received a market haul for Swanson, rather than just Shelby Miller.

If compensation picks were allowed to be traded, and Stewart had been offered a compensation pick for the players he just traded away, he probably would have kept his players and foregone acquiring another pick, because that’s a rational decision. If LAD now offered Kendrick for Segura, straight up, Stewart would do well to accept that trade. So the price paid was too high, and the return was ALSO too low.

What is said to the media is totally irrelevant to this analysis.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Your efficiency is a second order concern and based on spurious precision. It is really more of an aesthetic critique than anything else. Each of these moves made the team better. That is the point.

Remember, TLR and company inherited what was on the whole a disaster of a franchise with one superstar.

As of today they are fielding an actual and competitive mlb team at 80mil salary.

Moving forward they are in a real position to compete in the NL as a whole.

They have turned it all around on the fly.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot
3 months 26 days ago

Since you seem committed to repeating this case over and over, could you maybe at least explain what on earth you think “aesthetic” means in this case? Much against my better judgement I’ve read all of your contributions to this thread as charitably as I can and I still cannot even begin to tell what you think that means or how it applies.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Efficiency is a second order concern. The first order concern is making the club better in the short and/or long term. The criticisms here pretend to be first order criticisms when they are actually second order ones. And rejecting first order success on second order bases is an aesthetic judgment.

david k
Member
david k
3 months 25 days ago

I STRONGLY disagree that efficiency is a “second order concern”. It’s opportunity cost — the probability of getting MUCH better vs. getting only slightly better given the same resources. If I have a Yugo in the garage and I pay someone $40K for a used Mitsubishi Mirage, then sure my car situation got better, but I could have made my situation way better for that $40K by overpaying for a middling car.

I find it hard to believe I actually have to argue this point.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Stewarts rationales to the media are the lynchpin of the slam dunk he is a moron case.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

Questionable decisions are the lynchpin of the Stewart is a moron case. His public statements just validate those opinions.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot
3 months 26 days ago

Quite the opposite, in fact, is true of how the “he is a moron case” (in itself a charmingly complex + nuanced description suggestive of great readerly acumen) has been made on this website. If you’d actually read previous coverage of Stewart this offseason rather than knee-jerking, you’d find that several separate FG writers and posts have bent over backwards trying to figure out rationales for Stewart’s actions that could involve taking his weird interviews as canny deceptions or simple confusion-sowing hot air rather than straightforwardly dumb statements.

JackS
Member
JackS
3 months 26 days ago

“So, you see, the puppy was like industry. In that, they were both lost in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy – “society” – knew where to find ’em. Except that the puppy was a dog. But the industry, my friends, that was a revolution.”

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Sorry “considers the posibility” not “fact”.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
3 months 26 days ago

In the high school economics class I teach, students learn about marginal costs and can explain them in the first month. This is high school. Dave Stewart’s stubborn refusal to part with the #39 pick for a free agent that could help them demonstrates that he has no clue about this very basic economic concept. His logic: “we can’t afford to give up the #39 pick after already giving up the #13 pick.” He doesn’t understand a fundamental concept that high school students grasp within the first month of the course. There’s no way anyone can properly understand player valuations if they can’t even grasp high school economics.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

People sometimes say things they do not really mean.

Deelron
Member
Deelron
3 months 26 days ago

Sometimes they say exactly what they mean.

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 26 days ago

Yeah, like the dbacks are in a better place now than before these trades. You say they have 20 million to spend but fail to realize whats left to actually spend that money on. They got lucky with wellington castillo last year after failing to have him included in the montero deal and then failing to aquire him brfore him being traded to the mariners for nothing.

Joeys Bat Flip
Member
Joeys Bat Flip
3 months 26 days ago

People sometimes act in a way that demonstrates that they did indeed mean what they said.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 months 26 days ago

He’s showing his means this statement by his actions.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
3 months 26 days ago

The Dexter Fowler contract is going to be hilarious.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
3 months 26 days ago

I guess if Howie Kendrick’s was hilarious, then yeah.

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 26 days ago

Any individual decision might be less insane than it appears due to inside information or being ahead of the curve, but when one decision after another looks this bizarre, you have to start questioning that person’s qualifications for their position.

Joeys Bat Flip
Member
Joeys Bat Flip
3 months 26 days ago

Plus, even if you set a strategy, how can you time and again not get market value in deals?

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Because they aren’t concerned with the market you are referencing. They are making their team better and unconcerned with you aesthetics.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot
3 months 26 days ago

At this point I’m almost less interested in articles like this one — which I still loved, to be clear — evaluating the latest trade (which I mostly do in my head when I read the news, shake my head slowly, and move on) and more interested in analysis of the weird nonstandard front-office thinking that informs the individual moves.

Can it be modeled? Is it systematic or haphazard in what aspects of players it overvalues and undervalues? Could other FOs exploit it in some predictable way? These are the questions I’d rather think about rather than demonstrating “geez, the Diamondbacks are acting pretty crazy this offseason” yet again, which I’m prepared to just grant as a premise at this point.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

From my vantage point the “model” is pretty transparent. Identify peak value assets, use them to upgrade, and more uniquely, use them to dump bad contracts. It’s an interesting take on prospect value, and I almost agree with this portion of it.

It breaks down when you don’t maximize your return on investment. Saving 6 million on Hill means nothing when every FA has signed and you have no assets left to trade for better, expensive player. Saving 10 million on Arroyo means nothing when you use that money to buy Yoan Lopez and lose a year in IFA. Trading prospects means nothing when you only get a marginal upgrade in return.

IMO TLR and DS have an intriguing take on prospect value, and a crippling inability to evaluate their major league players/roster construction.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

How is the franchise crippled? I think it measurably heathier now and going forward.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot
3 months 26 days ago

See, already this seems more interesting than just “once again, they didn’t get market value,” which I guess all of us (barring of course the thoughtcriminals) basically agree on.

Still, I’m not entirely sure I agree with your assessment, because I don’t think you can separate evaluation from decision-making entirely cleanly — even assuming these decisions are based on “sell high” thinking (which I agree is the apparent rationale) you still only know what “sell high” tells you to do, as a principle, based on your theory of which of your assets are at peak value (and what you can sell them for). And the other thing is that in most other teams’ cases the “sell” decision isn’t made before/without assessing the market the way these last few deals appear to have been done, almost unplannedly, as if based on a firm, fixed decision to sell no matter the price.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

I really think many fail to realize how much aesthetics drives this criticism.

This talk of efficiency and deriving market value is beside the point. Or at best a second order concern.

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 26 days ago

Only glove, no love, you’re attempting to overwhelm the consensus with a deluge of exuberant fandom. Maybe your goal is simply to badger everyone else into leaving the discussion, but it won’t change anyone’s mind because you’re not presenting an analytical rebuttal. This is not simply a case of Dave Stewart repeatedly failing to get what would appear to be equal value for the assets he is surrendering, it’s a case of making moves that appear to make the Arizona Diamondbacks worse.

The Segura deal is only defensible if you believe that Jean will become substantially better offensively than he has been the last two seasons. Personally I don’t think Dave Stewart believes that Segura will get any better, I think he made this deal because he doesn’t understand player values and has a grossly inaccurate view of what Segura was worth during that time span. I think Stewart is one of those old-school types that cares about batting average much more than OBP as well as overvaluing Segura’s steals. Meanwhile what did the Toussaint trade accomplish? Are you absolutely sure the Diamondbacks are better off in 2016 with Miller than the guys they traded for him? I’m not, and I presume we all believe that they’ll be worse in 2017 and beyond from that deal.

Even Stewart’s reasoning doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Once they decided to go all-in with the massive overpay for Greinke, that should have made them more willing to sign a free agent like Kendrick rather than less willing. Forfeiting draft picks is a cost of signing free agents, yet that cost becomes less and less the more you sign in the same off-season. Either you preserve your picks by not signing anyone or you sign as many as you can within your budget to help your team.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

The franchise is not crippled. They have stripped the liquidity of their farm in a win now frenzy and only marginally improved their Major league roster in a division where they needed to gain ten games. It’s a pretty piss poor way to execute an otherwise interesting philosophy.

Roger this is kind of what I’m getting at. The evaluation and the implementation, in theory, is pretty creative. It’s not being executed properly.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

And also in response to Roger—-

I think the Diamondbacks have very specific desires in executing trades. It seems calculated to me. They wanted a pitcher who was cheap and had multiple years of control. The list of available guys wasn’t very long and they identified Miller as the guy they wanted. The head scratching part is Inciarte. He’s a good player. They need players like him.

They wanted salary relief and MI. Trade Hill and sign Kendrick was the obvious play. Instead they trade for a MI. Makes sense… Except that MI is borderline replacement level.

I think they are identifying the areas of need in a well thought way. I think they identified the players they could trade in a logical manner. I think they did a good job dumping bad contracts. I don’t understand how they didn’t get that much better.

free-range turducken
Member
free-range turducken
3 months 26 days ago

Normally when a team gets a low OBP base stealer to be their leadoff guy, I want to say “you can’t steal first base!!”.

But in this case….

wildginge
Member
wildginge
3 months 26 days ago

Excellent! I’d kinda forgot all about that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZM1JcJwo9E

Still, he’s no Ruben Rivera!

samuelraphael
Member
3 months 26 days ago

If I were a GM, I’d be calling Dave Stewart to trade as often as a stalker ex-girlfriend.

dirtbag
Member
dirtbag
3 months 26 days ago

I can’t believe I’m gonna say this…

I miss Kevin Towers.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

I strongly disagree with this analysis.

What the D’Backs accomplished:

– Freed up 6.5 million dollars.
– Kept a draft pick and the pool money that goes with it.
– Got younger by 8 years.
– Replaced a player that combined has been worth close to -2 WAR over the past two seasons with a player who has been roughly replacement level or better.
– Landed a player who plays ML defense up the middle.
– Landed a healthy 26 year old that put up a .752 OPS as a 23 year old SS and hit .313/.367/.43something in the minors.

Here’s what happens if they sign Kendrick:

– They add 10+ million dollars in salary.
– They still have Aaron Hill to deal with.
– They sign a 32 year old coming off a 1 WAR season for 10+ million dollars and multiple years. Keep in mind that they still have an 8 figure salary infielder/2B who also fell off a cliff at age 32.
– They lose a draft pick and their pool.

My guess is that Cameron and FanGraphs would be trashing the D’Backs, thoroughly, if they actually went out and signed Kendrick. It’s a mediocre move with alot of potential to be an outright bad one, quickly, and for a far larger price than Segura.

I get that it’s in to knock the D’Backs, but their IF around Goldschmidt is young, talented, hit in the minors, were well thought off in relatively recent times (making top prospect lists as late as 2014), and they generally play good defense.

Segura was a clever move on their part, a good gamble. They get younger, faster, better on defense, save some salary….and all it cost was the oldest, most expensive player on their roster, $8.1 million dollars instead of $10+ million dollars to Kendrick, a depth RH, and some short season prospect nobody cared about until the D’Backs traded him.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

It should also be noted that, if you’re into the whole exit velocity thing – Segura projects more for average power than what he’s shown the past two years.That falls in line with his minor league track record and what he did as a younger player (again, we’re talking about a 26 year old).

BTW: This isn’t to say that I think the D’Backs are a good team. What I am saying is that this move could end up being pretty clever and beats the crap out of paying Kendrick and whatever team might take Hill.

Chickensoup
Member
Member
Chickensoup
3 months 26 days ago

1: the salary relief of Hill +Anderson minus Segura’s salary is about $4.5 million
2: listing minors stats from 4 years ago…..?
3: Segura had one good half of one year and 2.5 years of replacement level. He’s more than likely replacement level, which granted is better than Hill.
4: Isan Diaz is projected by This site to be almost as valuable as Josh Bell, a decently regarded prospect (31 by MLB.com) and more than Yoan Moncada (8) or Alex Bregman (21). He just doesn’t have the pedigree and is super young. You’re not going to see him on most top 100 lists because they heavily discount age. He was rated as the number 9 in the AZ system as a 19 year old though, That’s a much bigger deal than you likely believe.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

1 – That’s fine. Still beats paying him and having him on the roster.

2 – What’s wrong with that? In the grand scheme of things 4 years isn’t alot when we’re talking about a 26 year old that has hit in the majors. Even then, that only offers the hope he might hit – they’ve still upgraded in many ways if he just stays the same.

3 – Give him credit for the full year. That he didn’t maintain a .900+ OPS for the whole year while providing defense and speed isn’t some major knock.

4 – Yeah – no offense to this site but it’s not hard to imagine those projections are wrong. While it’s nice that we’ve found a new Prospect of the Week, it’s a rookie ball kid who may not play full season ball until his 4th pro season at 21 and is expected to move off SS. If he turns out to be a nice player down the road, good on the Brewers. While I would like to think being a top 10 system prospect is a bigger deal than I imagine it is, it probably isn’t. He’s a decent prospect 3-4+ years away from the majors. They’ll use that pick they saved to replace him and get a new top 10 system prospect.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

* Accidentally hit that plus button thing there,

Anyway, a better answer for two is that all available info about a player should be considered. The most recent seasons definitely need to be weighed more, I wouldn’t deny that, but years of information can’t and shouldn’t be freely ignored. There’s at least the shot, given his past, that’s he is not so dramatically bad a hitter.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Member
BenRevereDoesSteroids
3 months 26 days ago

“– They still have Aaron Hill to deal with.”

Thats the one point that makes this analysis pretty weird. This article makes it seem like instead of making this trade, they should have JUST signed Kendrick. But that wasn’t really an option with Hill taking up a roster space on that contract.

I guess they could, in theory, have traded Hill for something other than what they got. But I don’t know how they could have gotten rid of him without taking some other 25 man roster dead weight like Segura.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

Imagine the lambasting the D’Backs would get from Mr. Cameron if they were spending 15.5+ million on the 2B position this year just to have Howie Kendrick. Or worse – they had to keep Hill and has 22+ million tied into 2 clearly declining players over the age of 32. On top of that they’d be losing the pick and pool money that comes with it.

I see this analysis as nothing but short sighted, ignores entirely too much context to fit the popular narrative that the D’Backs are a dumb organization. All I can think about when reading this was how much they’d be trashed for signing Kendrick, is that was the route they took.

Doctor Of Utter Clarification
Member
Doctor Of Utter Clarification
3 months 25 days ago

Is there a gas leak here?

Why in the world would Dave Cameron be interested in trashing the D’Backs? And what is the continued concern over “having to deal with Hill” if Howie had been signed? Just waive him, eat the salary, problem solved.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 25 days ago

True, they could have eaten $12 million. There’s a practical solution for a team with an active payroll of ~$70.5 million right now. I don’t know how I missed that.

jpg
Member
jpg
3 months 26 days ago

1. I don’t know what stats you’re looking at for Kendrick but he was worth 2.1 WAR in 117 games. He was closer to playing like a 3 WAR player when healthy and not the 1 WAR player you said he was.

2. Signing Kendrick and trading for Segura were not mutually exclusive which eliminates half of your arguments. They could have still shed Hill, made Kendrick a smaller net expense, and added what Segura brings to the table. If anything, Segura profiles better in a utility role backing up Kendrick and perhaps splitting time with Ahmed.

3. You’re missing the most important part of the equation: Kendrick is a much better player and has a much, much higher floor. All Segura has left is youth and upside. Until he proves otherwise, he just isn’t a good player. His 50th percentile projection is that of a replacement level scrub because that essentially what he’s been the last two and a half years. He doesn’t have a floor, he has a cavern.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

1 – BBref

2 – In which case they’re spending 15+ million on a marginal upgrade, replacing their 34 year old declined player with a 32 year player in decline. Not a move that would get praise either. To make it worse, they’d be signing Kendrick at the exact same age their previous veteran star 2B fell off a cliff.

3 – Kendrick isn’t so much of an upgrade that spending 10+ million on him over multiple seasons and then hoping to get the same deal – paying someone to take Hill – is a smart move for their short or long term. From there, you’re eating up two roster spots rather than one on top of it all.

4 – Segura’s 50th percentile projection is still is a clear upgrade from Hill’s negative production the past two seasons – for a little more than half the cost if you include what they’re paying Milwaukee.

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 25 days ago

My guess is that Cameron and FanGraphs would be trashing the D’Backs, thoroughly, if they actually went out and signed Kendrick. It’s a mediocre move with alot of potential to be an outright bad one, quickly, and for a far larger price than Segura.

You’re unequivocally wrong: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-diamondbacks-have-a-howie-kendrick-alternative/

Your assertion that signing Kendrick could end up at “a far larger price than Segura” also makes no sense, as they would only be forfeiting the draft pick while retaining a major league asset on a team that frankly doesn’t have five good starting pitchers, as well as an exciting middle infield prospect. The price in terms of dollars would have been higher by signing Kendrick, yet the price in terms of assets would have been substantially lower. This was a dumb move.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 25 days ago

– How does an article about Ian Desmond, still a FA btw, make me flat out wrong about Kendrick?
– I completely disagree with the second point, which kind of dances around most of what would make Kendrick a bad pickup, outlined already, to lament a spare arm, their oldest and most expensive player worth ~ -2 WAR the past two seasons, and some kid who repeated rookie ball and is getting some of his 15 minutes now. They made the right move.

Desmond’s actually a good idea for them, and feasible still since they didnt blow their wad on a second 32+ YO declining 2B helping eat up a fifth of their payroll of whatever it would be.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

I wanted to create a separate comment, without all the vitriol, for a place of discussion for Only Gloves perspective. It’s not being delivered with much tact but the content of his argument has some merit.

I think what he’s getting at is that large market teams manipulate the perception of prospect value. Because some teams can afford to overpay and remain competitive, surplus value gets skewed. Arizona cannot operate like that. Dead money contracts can kill their competitive ability no matter how much surplus value they have in the farm. 10 million dollars is over 10% of their budget. Freeing up money by leveraging prospects in pursuit of wins today is perfectly logical for a small market team (AZ should be criticized for barely improving the roster).

Only Glove…. I think you offer an important counterpoint in this discussion. Just maybe try not accuse people of being on the spectrum in the future, ya dig?

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
3 months 26 days ago

As an aside….

I have zero doubts large market teams – specifically the Red Sox and Cubs, but at one point the Yankes were king – manipulate the perception of their prospects and the value those prospects carry.

BengieStacks
Member
BengieStacks
3 months 26 days ago

Care to elaborate?

jeffern_51
Member
jeffern_51
3 months 26 days ago

I agree with this 100%. Also important to note how prospects values get inflated when they are dealt due to all the attention they get from the media. ESPECIALLY if Dave Stewart is involved in trading them because he is OBVIOUSLY a future killer. Look at Aaron Blair, outside of dbacks fans, not a single person in baseball gave a damn about the great numbers he put up over his years in the minors and as soon as the ‘prospect savvy’ braves ‘steal’ him away from underneath Stewart’s nose, he becomes the second coming with ‘top of the rotation’ potential. Same goes for Diaz, he’s a teenager for crying out loud who posted good numbers in rookie ball in the most hitter friendly park in the league! Now that Stewart traded him he’s all of a sudden a top prospect? Nothing against Blair or Diaz as I was a huge fan of both when with the dbacks, but it’s a little sickening for everyone to all of a sudden value them so highly just because they made headlines.

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 25 days ago

People value Aaron Blair because he has skills that are likely to translate into major league success, and very soon at that. It has nothing to do with being acquired by the Braves, as I pilloried their Sean Newcomb trade. Similarly, no one is presenting Isan Diaz as an elite prospect yet he clearly is an interesting prospect. I will never understand why some people feel that being a fan means blindly defending that team’s decisions. If you’re a fan of the Diamondbacks then your allegiance is to that uniform, not Dave Stewart, and if Dave Stewart is potentially harming that uniform then you should be joining the chorus of criticism rather than making excuses for him.

jeffern_51
Member
jeffern_51
3 months 25 days ago

Defending blindly? I am doing about the furthest thing from defending my team blindly! Fact of the matter whether all of you guys hating on this trade will ever admit it or not is that the dbacks are an even better team following this trade. Even if you don’t value segura s upside, even on his worst day he is more of an asset than hill. Even if that means just being a pinch runner off the bench. And everyone get off Anderson, he had no place with the dbacks this year. Finally, it will be many years before any of us even know about the prospects and by then the dbacks window will be closed so go preach about your prospects to someone whose not trying to win a World Series in the next few years cuz as a dbacks fan I don’t care!

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 25 days ago

Defending blindly? I am doing about the furthest thing from defending my team blindly!

Yes, you are defending your team blindly. You claimed that “not a single person in baseball gave a damn about the great numbers he put up over his years in the minors and as soon as the ‘prospect savvy’ braves ‘steal’ him away from underneath Stewart’s nose, he becomes the second coming with ‘top of the rotation’ potential.” That’s obviously ridiculous. People like me projected Blair as a safe middle of the rotation starter before and after the trade. You’re pretending that all of us are biased and you aren’t, when you’re the only one with an actual incentive to be biased. And do you still not know that Aaron Hill had a better wRC+ each of the last two seasons than Segura? Again, being a fan should mean wanting your team to do the right thing, not making excuses when you know they screwed up.

Doctor Of Utter Clarification
Member
Doctor Of Utter Clarification
3 months 25 days ago

There are several statements needing clarification here:

1. At least one person in baseball outside of D’Backs fans gave a darn about Aaron Blair’s numbers;

2. The Braves are not necessarily considered prospect savvy;

3. Neither Blair nor Diaz rose in ranking as a result of the trades; and

4. The national media knows nothing about prospect valuation. Such trades are usually reported with the major leaguers named along with the generic “and minor leaguers were also involved”.

Dave Stewart as the Future Killer is catchy however. Sounds like a character for a Tarentino movie.

trueAZfan
Member
trueAZfan
3 months 24 days ago

Thank you doctor of clarification and jdbolick. Reason will always prevail….for those bright enough to listen to it.

Only glove, no love
Member
Only glove, no love
3 months 26 days ago

Oh yeah, I dig.

Nats Fan
Member
Nats Fan
3 months 26 days ago

Shame! It would have been nice to see some team really challenge the Dodgers in the west this season. I thought the Diamondbacks might have been able with the Grienke deal. But alas, Dave Stewart messed it up thereafter. Damn Shame, the first basemen is ungodly!

jeffern_51
Member
jeffern_51
3 months 25 days ago

How do you figure anything is messed up next season?! The only subtractions off of their major league roster from last season are inciarte hill and Anderson. Inciarte was the only one worth even missing! You can’t tell me that their team is worse because they traded a bunch of minor leaguers. Maybe their organization is worse, but last time I checked they don’t have too many championship parades when a AA team wins the league championship.

trueAZfan
Member
trueAZfan
3 months 24 days ago

Dear jeffern_51,
I have been reading your posts as I recognize your absurd comments. Your a typical part time fan who only cares about the names on the 25 man roster. If you had any understanding at all that this is an organization and that the future SUCCESS of our ball club rides on the shoulders of these young HIGHLY talented players that we have been giving away like candy. If you have any questions on what the future of our organization holds feel free to comment back and I will answer any and all questions you may have.

jeffern_51
Member
jeffern_51
3 months 24 days ago

Dear trueAZfan
I am definitely not a part time fan as I follow the team on a daily basis and am a regular commenter on several of the dbacks blogs. My comments are not absurd and I definitely do not feel obligated to explain myself to someone who obviously has no concept of the current structure of the team. However I will clarify a few things for you: first we have the youngest roster in the MLB so forgive me for feeling pretty content with our club for the next few years. I understand that building depth throughout an organization is tedious and takes years, however I also understand how much can change in 3 or 4 years and I am not going to sit here and pretend that I know more about a minor league player than an entire team of professional scouts and a hall of fame manager in Tony LaRussa does. Fact is, I trust their judgement a whole hell of a lot more than I trust yours or anyone else who floats around from blog to blog and pretends to know so much more than these professionals.
I appreciate your passion for the dbacks as it is always nice to chat with another informed fan, however I feel as though our baseball perspectives are in stark contrast.

trueAZfan
Member
trueAZfan
3 months 24 days ago

You accuse me of bouncing from blog to blog but you admitted that’s something you do constantly in your last rant. I appreciate a diamondback fan same as you but you have to look at our teams history. History is doomed to repeat itself, and considering it took us 10 years to recover from the last time we contended (2004) I’m a little hesitant. When Segura doesn’t improve and pollock and goldschmidt finally get paid what they’re worth and we are bogged down by the Greinke contract with no prospects on the horizon from the miller/Segura trades who nows how long it will take before we would be able to contend again. And all for a DECENT shot at wild card seed or maybe a division title barring injuries from the Dodgers or giants. I just want our fans to be realistic and hold the front office accountable as opposed to having our heads in the sand.

Meir-w
Member
Meir-w
3 months 26 days ago

I bet Kendrick took a HUGE discount to stay in LA. I mean, he’s played there his entire career. No way would Arizona get him at this price.

trueAZfan
Member
trueAZfan
3 months 24 days ago

I agree. If we couldn’t get kendrick, Segura is as good of second choice as any.

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