The Best Transactions of the 2015 Off-Season

With the James Shields signing bringing the off-season to something of a close, it’s time to look back at some of my favorite moves of the winter. A year ago, I was quite high on moves like the Doug Fister acquisition and the Jose Abreu signing, but also the Yankees landing Brian McCann and the Cardinals picking up Peter Bourjos, so you know, grains of salt and all that. Still, I do think there are some moves that appear to be demonstrably better than others, and look likely to push their organizations forward into the future. Below, you’ll find my top 10, plus a handful of other small moves that I liked.

Honorable Mentions

These deals aren’t quite significant enough to really move the needle, but they’re solid moves that I think will help their teams overall.

Blue Jays acquire Devon Travis
Blue Jays acquire Michael Saunders
Astros sign Jed Lowrie (3/$23M)
Rays sign Asdrubal Cabrera (1/$8M)
Pirates sign Jung-Ho Kang (4/$16M, including posting fee)
Indians acquire Brandon Moss
Nationals acquire Trea Turner and Joe Ross
Astros acquire Luis Valbuena
Red Sox sign Justin Masterson (1/$10M)
Dodgers acquire Jimmy Rollins

The Top 10

10. Dodgers Sign Brandon McCarthy
Cost: Four years, $48 million

I have a long history of preferring higher risk pitchers at lower prices over paying for proven durability, and McCarthy is probably my favorite example of spending moderate money on an arm with real upside. There was a lot of focus on the four year guarantee for a guy who just cracked 200 innings for the first time in his career, but the AAV of the deal is low enough that the four year term isn’t a big deal. McCarthy signed for the kind of total commitment that good relievers and mediocre outfielders were getting, but if he can put together even a couple of fully healthy years in out of the next four, the Dodgers should come out ahead here. At this price, they don’t need 200 innings per year from him to justify the contract.

9. Reds Acquire Eugenio Suarez
Cost: Alfredo Simon

My favorite of all the small moves this winter, the Reds somehow turned one year of a below average #5 starter into a fairly interesting young middle infielder. Suarez might top out as nothing more than a utility guy, but even as a part-time shortstop who won’t embarrass himself offensively, he’ll have real value while making the league minimum. And if he’s anywhere near as good as the statistical projections think he might be, then the Reds stole six years of a potentially league average player for an eminently replaceable back-end starter. There might not be the kind of upside in acquiring Suarez that there is in flashier moves, but this is exactly the kind of move the Reds needed to make this winter.

8. Padres Acquire Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft
Cost: Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Mallex Smith, and Dustin Peterson

The Padres did a lot of things this winter, but this was my favorite A.J. Preller move. Upton isn’t the superstar he was projected to be as a prospect, but he’s a solid above average player and a borderline star when he plays acceptable defense. Acquiring one year of a good-not-great player isn’t the home run that it will be made out to be, but landing Upton for a broken pitcher and some spare parts is a pretty solid move. Perhaps Carson’s affection for Jace Peterson will eventually be proven correct, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the draft pick the Padres got for losing Upton proved to be as valuable as any of the four players they gave up to get him in the first place.

7. Blue Jays sign Russell Martin
Cost: Five years, $82 million

Like with McCarthy, it’s best to not focus on what this deal might look like when it ends, as five years for an aging catcher likely means there’s some albatross years coming. In the first few years, though, this should be a big win for the Blue Jays, as Martin’s impact on both sides of the ball could make him the most important player to change teams this winter. At the least, he should be one of the game’s best catchers for the next couple of years, and with the Blue Jays pushing in on 2015 before Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion hit free agency, this was the best signing Toronto could have made to try and make a run at the division. $82 million isn’t particularly cheap, but given the size of the contracts handed out to similarly valuable free agents, it’s still a bargain.

6. Blue Jays Acquire Josh Donaldson
Cost: Brett Lawrie, Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, and Sean Nolin

I don’t see this as the total heist that many others do, as Graveman and Nolin are exactly the kinds of pitchers that I value higher than many, and I’m not giving up on Brett Lawrie just yet. Toss in Barreto’s upside, and the Blue Jays gave up plenty of value, but they also are getting one extremely good chip in return. Even as a Super Two, Donaldson provides four years of team control at discounted prices, and has legitimately developed into one of the best third baseman in baseball. The upgrade over Lawrie didn’t come for free, but these are important wins for Toronto, and there is some benefit to consolidating value within one position. I am fine with this trade from the A’s perspective, but given Toronto’s situation, taking the risk to land Donaldson should prove worthwhile.

5. Red Sox Acquire Wade Miley
Cost: Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster

Miley isn’t sexy, and probably never turns into more than a solid mid-rotation innings eater. That said, that profile currently commands $15 to $20 million a year on the free agent market, and the Red Sox were able to snag three years of team control — then turn it into four years with a nifty new contract — in exchange for two guys who probably profile as relievers. Maybe either de la Rosa or Webster will eventually get their results to match up with the raw stuff, but I’d rather bet on a guy who has shown he can give you 200 perfectly acceptable innings on a regular basis. This move might have lowered the Red Sox ceiling, but it significantly raised their floor, and used up only a tiny fraction of their payroll. Miley won’t get much of the credit for a Red Sox team that should be much better in 2015, but acquisitions like this one are why they project for a big turnaround.

4. Yankees sign Chase Headley
Cost: 4 years, $52 million

Yeah, there are legitimate reasons to think that Chase Headley is not likely to be a +4 WAR player going forward. Defense doesn’t always age gracefully, and Headley’s second half surge might have been mostly about taking advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field. But that’s still going to be his home park, and even with the drop in power, Headley’s still been an above average hitter with real defensive value. Given any sort of bounce-back at the plate, he’s a very nice contributor, and if the defensive value sticks around for a little while, as good as players signing for two or three times what he cost. It’s another high floor/moderate upside acquisition that isn’t always in favor, but it’s hard to figure out another way $50 million could have been better spent in free agency this winter.

3. Dodgers Acquire Yasmani Grandal and Joe Wieland
Cost: Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz

I didn’t really hold back when this trade was announced, comparing the trade to the Blue Jays dumping Vernon Wells on the Angels prior to the 2011 season. That was a bit of an extreme example — Wells complete collapse should not be the expectation for Kemp in San Diego — but there are a lot of similarities here, perhaps especially when looking at the catchers that went to the team dumping the salary. Like Mike Napoli‘s inclusion in the Wells trade, Grandal is an under-appreciated piece of this deal, and could prove to be more valuable going forward than Kemp himself. Catchers who can hit reasonably well don’t have to be defensive aces to be worth playing, and Grandal’s framing numbers suggest he isn’t Ryan Doumit behind the plate either. To dump $75 million in future salary and pick up an interesting pitching prospect for the right to exchange a defensively challenged player they didn’t need for one that filled a clear hole makes this a big win for Los Angeles.

2. Dodgers acquire Howie Kendrick, Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes, and Chris Hatcher
Cost: Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas, cash

While it wasn’t technically a three way trade, the two Andrew Heaney deals are best viewed as one larger transaction, with the Dodgers using Gordon and Haren to land a significant second base upgrade and a pair of prospects who both might be better than Gordon long-term. To this day, I still can’t entirely figure out how the Dodgers managed to turn Gordon into Kendrick — probably a +2 or +3 WAR upgrade in short-term value — and receive a couple of prospects for the right to make that swap. Yes, they gave up some team control, but Gordon is exactly the kind of player that you don’t want to be giving arbitration raises to, and Hernandez can probably replace most of the value lost by not having Gordon on the roster going forward. Toss in Barnes, who is an odd but potentially very useful role player, and I expect the Dodgers to get more future value from the players they acquired than the one they gave up. Toss in the big short-term improvement, and this deal was a total home run for LA.

1. Dodgers Acquire Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi
Cost: Cash

The last two moves only exist because of this one, and so while I hesitate to put a front office hire ahead of every player transaction, it’s impossible to ignore that this move was directly responsible for all the other good moves that came afterwards. A year ago, the Dodgers were a a financial behemoth that was wasting its resource advantage on lousy relievers and overrated outfielders; now they’re maybe the best team in baseball while simultaneously getting younger and improving their farm system. That’s no small accomplishment, and the dramatic turnaround began when the team decided to use their capital to overhaul their front office instead of buying more broken closers. It was the best decision they could have made, and now the Dodgers are probably the scariest organization in baseball. That isn’t solely because of their two new hires, but no team changed course more dramatically than the Dodgers this winter, and it began with the hiring of Andrew Friedman.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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yolo
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yolo
1 year 3 months ago

Wasn’t a fan of the Samardzija deal for the A’s? A one for one deal for Semien would’ve been excellent for the A’s going by the Steamer numbers, and they got a bunch of interesting extra pieces as well.

Paulie
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Paulie
1 year 3 months ago

The A’s didn’t get very much for Samardzija, outside of Semien who is probably a utility player. This past November Kiley McDaniel ranked Ravelo the 16th best prospect in a thin White Sox system. Bassitt didn’t crack the top 22. Phegley, who turned 27 today is nothing more than organization filler.

The draft pick the White Sox will get if they offer Samardzija a QO will probably be a better prospect than anything they gave up. Plus they received a lottery ticket in Ynoa.

Not Drank
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Not Drank
1 year 3 months ago

Not Drank likes this list. I am biased

Forrest Gumption
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Forrest Gumption
1 year 3 months ago

I like the Shields deal more than McCarthy – any reasoning for thinking McCarthy won’t be injured? He’s kind of chronic when it comes to health. Also Yasmany Tomas got far far less than the $100M+ most pundits had him receiving. Furthermore, when is everyone going to realize all these current crop of Cubans are the real deal? So far every single one of the hyped guys has been better than advertised. It takes a leap of faith because we don’t have metrics on them, but there’s nothing to say Tomas and Castillo won’t be all-stars come July.

agam22
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agam22
1 year 3 months ago

I think its fair to assume McCarthy won’t get hit in the head with a line drive again, which was probably the injury that cost him the most

No
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No
1 year 3 months ago

That just isn’t even close to being true. He missed 1 month due to being hit in the head. He has missed the majority of his time due to numerous DL stints because of shoulder and forearm injuries. Last year was the first year in his career he was not placed on at least the 15 day DL due to his shoulder, forearm, or elbow, including 3 separate injuries causing him to go on the 60-day DL.

indyralph
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Member
indyralph
1 year 3 months ago

I guess Alexander Guerrero and Miguel Gonzalez are not a part of “all these current crop”? Or Alonso, Hechavarria or Viciedo? Heck, I’m not even sure Cespedes is quite what he was cracked up to be.

Dave Pomerantz
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Dave Pomerantz
1 year 3 months ago

It’s still rather early to judge Alex Guerrero. He was absolutely destroying the ball in AAA before he missed 6 weeks because his teammate bit his ear off. All we know for sure is that he’s not a very good defender.

David
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David
1 year 3 months ago

Given that Alonso was a HS and college player in the US and drafted in the first round, he really has nothing to do with the conversation about the rest of them. He (and Grandal) are both natives of Cuba. They are not, however, Cuban baseball players.

Anthony
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Anthony
1 year 3 months ago

Cespedes is a pretty darned good player. He’s not an MVP, but he’s a type of player who on a good year is All-Star caliber, 4-win caliber. He’s been fine. Guerrero is too early to tell on. Hechavarria, too. Viciedo has been a failure, and MAF too. That still leaves a good amount of successes; Puig, Cespedes, Abreu, Alexei are only the most prominent four. I’m a big fan of people like Leonys Martin too. I also like guys like Despaigne, Grandal, and older ones like Contreras a lot too.

indyralph
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Member
indyralph
1 year 3 months ago

I forgot about Alonso being drafted – fair point. Guerrero is a 28 year old without a position. Forrest’s comment was “every single one of the hyped guys has been better than advertised”. I think that’s ignoring all of the guys who aren’t good, and all of the guys who are good, not great. Hechavarria is 26 and needs 1.7 WAR next year to get back above 0 for his career. Cespedes is a nice player, very good contract – a 3.5 WAR player if you assume health – maybe even “better than advertised”.

omyblaze57
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omyblaze57
1 year 3 months ago

You can’t mention any Cuban baseball players doing their job at the bigs right now without mentioning Aroldis Chapman…

JH
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JH
1 year 3 months ago

You’re forgetting the opt out on Tomas’s contract. It’s worth a ton and means you can’t just look at his contract and say it was “only” $68 million. He got less, but he signed a deal where he gets most of the upside and the Dbacks absorb all the downside.

Jim
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Jim
1 year 3 months ago

Tomas can not be on this list because that would require Dave acknowledging that a Dbacks move actually had some merit.

Bip
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Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

He signed for Jose Abreu money and isn’t nearly as good as Jose Abreu. The market for Cuban defectors is adjusting rapidly, so it’s very unlikely the Dbacks got a total steal. It’s probably a good deal, but maybe not a top-10 deal.

The Dude Abides
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The Dude Abides
1 year 3 months ago

@Forrest – McCarthy had never before incorporated a weight training program in-season. He’s been on a year-round one, including in-season, since the 2013 off-season. He not only stayed more healthy, his avg FB velocity ticked up by 1.5 MPH, IIRC.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

This. It’s hard to say how much this will actually impact his health, given it’s not very easy to construct comparables in this regard, but this explanation is very plausible. Personally, I’m drawing hope from the fact that he gained velocity. Staying healthy for a year can be good luck, but pitchers around 30 almost never gain velocity, so the fact that he did suggests he’s really made a significant change.

K
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K
1 year 3 months ago

Even if the Shields and McCarthy deals were even on value otherwise, Shields cost the Padres the 13th overall pick this year. That hurts a bit.

BMarkham
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BMarkham
1 year 3 months ago

“any reasoning for thinking McCarthy won’t be injured?”

from the article-

“At this price, they don’t need 200 innings per year from him to justify the contract.”

At $7.5M per win, McCarthy only needs to worth about 6 1/2 wins over those 4 years to be worth his contract. If you consider him a 2.5 WAR/200 IP starter, which is a half a win regression from his 2014 performance, then he only needs to throw about 550 innings over the course of the contract, or a shade less than 140 a year.

Contrast that with Shields, who needs to provide 10 wins over the course of his deal and is 2 years younger. Shields of course is less of an injury risk but factoring age and the fact that every work horse eventually breaks down and the difference likely isn’t that substantial.

BMarkham
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BMarkham
1 year 3 months ago

should say “two years older” of course

semperty
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semperty
1 year 3 months ago

I’m really surprised to see Francisco Liriano’s 3/39 not on the list, but I definitely agree with number one overall.

PWR
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PWR
1 year 3 months ago

interesting. i thought you were the guy saying GMs arent worth that much compared to players

BJ Birdie
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BJ Birdie
1 year 3 months ago

The power of $$ – Blue Jays make four shrew moves but Boston outspends and will probably win.

Jason B
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Jason B
1 year 3 months ago

Those shrews are likely to be tamed…

Hurtlocker
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Hurtlocker
1 year 3 months ago

Pablo Sandoval?? Selling those panda heads should generate millions for the Red Sox.

Jonathan
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Jonathan
1 year 3 months ago

Sandoval signed for pretty much exactly his assumed market value.

As a Sox fan, I don’t mind his signing, but he’s way down the list of Sox transactions from this offseason for me. I much prefer Hanely’s signing from the standpoint of big ticket stuff (Signed way below predicted market) or Porcello and Miley (Both traded for useful, but redundant pieces).

Doug Lampert
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Doug Lampert
1 year 3 months ago

True, he signed for what he was expected to sign for. But lots of other players signed for a lot more.

My own (no doubt flawed) calculation of the cost of a WAR this winter has it at about $9 million, Sandoval went for closer to the expected roughly $7 million.

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
1 year 3 months ago

When a guy who has been identical offensively, and much better defensively, over the last 4 seasons signs for about half the price, it probably wasn’t in the top 10 best moves of the offseason.

Michael Scarn
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Michael Scarn
1 year 3 months ago

Headley is 2.5 years older than Sandoval. Their AAV is similar (although Pablo is paid a bit more), but looking at the total value is disingenuous because Sandoval’s deal is longer due to his age.

Shayce
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Shayce
1 year 3 months ago

Sandoval’s AAV is 19 Mil, Headley’s is 13 Mil. They aren’t really close imo.
Headley isn’t that much older to justify such a difference. Also, the age difference might be offset by Sandoval’s body type. Could easily have to move to 1st for the last 1-2 years of his contract and he doesn’t have the bat for that position.

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
1 year 3 months ago

Like Shayce said, we have data telling us that athletically built players age much more slowly than non-athletic players do.

It’s not just “the eye test” (or common sense).

JayT
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JayT
1 year 3 months ago

My guess is that we will see Sandoval on tomorrow’s list…

Kyle H
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Kyle H
1 year 3 months ago

Homer? yes. But I’d expect the trade for Travis Snider an honorable mention candidate (given the alternative of Nick)

Hannah Hochevar
Member
Hannah Hochevar
1 year 3 months ago

Does the Orioles not resigning of Cruz and Markakis count as an off-season deal?

Joey Belle
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Joey Belle
1 year 3 months ago

Maybe one of these years Baltimore will start spending again

Jason B
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Jason B
1 year 3 months ago

Just not on bad contracts, which they wisely avoided.

KJ
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KJ
1 year 3 months ago
KCDaveInLA
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KCDaveInLA
1 year 3 months ago

Hey Dave, I’d think that KC’s 2-year deal with Kris Medlen would get at least an honorable mention, but somewhat understand given that you’re probably thinking of 2015 impact. As for KC’s other free-agent deals, waiting for them to show up on your “worst” list (but not THE worst…that would have to go to either the Billy Butler deal or Miami’s side of the Dee Gordon deal).

KCDaveInLA
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KCDaveInLA
1 year 3 months ago

Then I remember the Markakis deal…yikes.

Brett W
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Brett W
1 year 3 months ago

What about $46 million for a one-legged DH?

KMiB
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1 year 3 months ago

So THAT’s what you think of Jonathon Crawford…

CrazyPants
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1 year 3 months ago

“To this day, I still can’t entirely figure out how the Dodgers managed to turn Gordon into Kendrick — probably a +2 or +3 WAR upgrade in short-term value — and receive a couple of prospects for the right to make that swap.”

I don’t get this. Yes it’s all the yrs of control which normally matter a lot. And the prospects the Dodgers rec’d are more of the “and stuff” variety which aren’t likely to ever matter. Look, the Fish know more about Andrew Heaney than anyone and were willing to move on very early from him. Time will tell whether they were correct on that one. At least by the first impressions of him they won’t be missing much.

Thing from the Dodger standpoint is, what is the plan after 2015? I mean, when did the acquisition of rental players become so favorable?

Some Guy
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Some Guy
1 year 3 months ago

I’m sure Friedman has plenty of post-2015 plans. They have tons of flexibility going forward, that’s the genius of all these moves. LA improved for 2015 and didn’t give up any of their big 3 prospects. They also acquired a few lesser prospects and dumped Kemp’s contract. They can continue to trade and sign FAs to fill holes next off-season if necessary. They will still have money. They might also have Yoan Moncada on the way in 2016, who knows. I expect they will try to extend Kendrick but if not he gets a QO which means an extra 1st round pick. There’s tons a ways to go.

Locking up aging stars for huge long-term deals is not the way to plan ahead!

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
1 year 3 months ago

“Locking up aging stars for huge long-term deals is not the way to plan ahead!”

You are absolutely and totally correct, but many GM’s have not figured that out yet.

emdash
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emdash
1 year 3 months ago

Even if they were to sign Moncada, 2016 would be aggressive to expect anything from him in the majors. He’d only be 20.

Some Guy
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Some Guy
1 year 3 months ago

That’s true. I meant he might be in the system then. The point is, they don’t need to worry about losing the years of control over a guy like Dee.

Bip
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Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

A lot of people are expecting him to debut for good in 2016, for what it’s worth.

Connor McC
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Connor McC
1 year 3 months ago

Acquisition of rentals becomes so favorable when you have many good potential options going forward.

Post 2015 outlook?
Fairly likely: Pederson in CF, Seager at short (even if he only sticks there a couple years)
Safety nets: Enrique Hernandez 3b/2b, Austin Barnes 2b/C, Darnell Sweeney 2b/3b/OF
Maybes: Howie Kendrick extension 2b, Juan Uribe 1-year deal 3b
Pipedreams: Moncada 3b, Hector Olivera 2b

Farm system that is getting deeper every year + money coming off the books for declining and/or veteran players + young elite talent on the cusp of ready = Plan after 2015.

Johnston
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Member
Johnston
1 year 3 months ago

It’s a good plan.

Fernando
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Fernando
1 year 3 months ago

Come on….Freidman had nothing to do with the elite young talent on the cusp. Seager, Pederson and Urias came on the previous watch…but all the media will give him credit for them.

matt
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matt
1 year 3 months ago

I think it’s very safe to say the Marlins made a huge mistake trading Heaney.

Rivers
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Rivers
1 year 3 months ago

I would say the bigger mistake is trading FOR Gordon rather than just trading Heaney

Bip
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Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

I understand that there is limited value in acquiring players with one year remaining, but look at what they gave up:

-4 years of Dee Gordon, someone who doesn’t even project to be an average player going forward.
-Dan Haren, who they didn’t want anyway
-Miguel Rojas, defensive replacement with no bat
-cash

Considering the Dodgers are not limited by cash, only Dee Gordon potentially has value that they are missing out on, and again, he is unlikely to be above average. In return they got a second baseman who is above average, a solid reliever which they needed, a backup who projects well, and an interesting player who can catch. Except for Kendrick, the other three players they got have as much or more team control than Gordon, and each has a chance to be more valuable than Gordon on their own.

Joshua_C
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Joshua_C
1 year 3 months ago

I think you (CrazyPants) are underestimating the value of Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez. Even if you don’t like Heaney (and I’m far from sold on him), who cares? Maybe the Dodgers don’t, either, and simply used him as currency to acquire Kendrick.

I mean, I’m not entirely sure that we should expect Gordon to be materially better than Hernandez in isolation over the next six years, let alone Hernandez plus Barnes plus a markedly superior second baseman in Kendrick who, even if he leaves after this year, will grant the Dodgers a first-rounder.

In order for the trade, as it’s analyzed today, to be anything less than a coup on the Dodgers’ part, you pretty much have to believe that Gordon is going to exceed his 2014 performance moving forward.

Fernando
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Fernando
1 year 3 months ago

22M for one year of Kendrick when you factor the “cash” in that deal (Haren, Gordon and Kendrick). Two “prospects” that don’t even rank in the top 20 for the Dodgers.

They basically are eating a lot of money and just spending. Seems odd but that is the same strategy that the Yankees had, but one that is criticized….at least it is when the Yankees do it.

Getting rid of Kemp was a plus, but they spent a lot of money for McCarthy and Anderson who come with significant injury risk.

Milby
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Milby
1 year 3 months ago

I’m surprised the Nori Aoki signing didn’t even get an honorable mention, especially after Dave penned an article about the “Giants get[ing] a steal.”

TKDC
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TKDC
1 year 3 months ago

I’m a little surprised that the Cardinals acquisition of Jason Heyward didn’t make this list.

Matthew
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Matthew
1 year 3 months ago

That trade nearly entirely depends on their ability to extend him. It might be an overpay for a strict rental.

Chad Lewis
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Chad Lewis
1 year 3 months ago

While you’re right, that he probably didn’t make the list because it’s only a 1 year impact… Valuing the trade based on their ability to extend him isn’t really right. They traded Miller and Jenkins for 1 year of Heyward. Beyond that, they have the same opportunity as every other team.

john
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john
1 year 3 months ago

No they have more opportunities than other teams. they have the whole season to wine/dine Jason. No one else has that window.

TKDC
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TKDC
1 year 3 months ago

I can’t see a justification for thinking Upton was a better trade. Heyward is better, he is cheaper, the acquiring team is actually on the part of the win curve where a trade like this makes sense, and they got him for a non-difference maker in Shelby Miller.

I’ll put it this way – as a Braves fan I hated the Heyward trade, even beyond the fan boy reasons.

Matthew
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Matthew
1 year 3 months ago

I think you are too low on Miller. If he can figure out what scouts saw, you have cheap team control on a mid rotation guy for a rental.

The Cardinals gave up more. Fried could never pitch in the majors for all we know

David
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David
1 year 3 months ago

The difference in value between Fried/Smith/Peterson/Peterson and Miller/Jenkins is noticeably greater than the difference in value between Heyward and Upton.

matt
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matt
1 year 3 months ago

Shelby has more upside and less risk than Fried. Heyward is absolutely better tho

BMarkham
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BMarkham
1 year 3 months ago

@Matthew The scouts saw a great fastball, which is true. Scouts have never seen him with a plus secondary pitch, they just projected that he would of had one by now.

As a Cardnals fan, I was tired of waiting to see if he developed one. Eno’s arsenal scores had his curve (closest thing to second pitch for him) as one of the worst, with well below average break and speed. Good for him if he does actually develop another pitch, but despite the great fastball he is limited as a starter until he does. Maybe he can be a great closer/set-up man though.

Back to the trade as a whole though, it was Heyward and Walden for Miller and Jenkins. Jenkins is a B- prospect as is the expected comp pick for Heyward. So basically it was 1 year of Heyward and 2 years of Walden for 4 years of Miller. If Heyward puts up another 5 WAR season as projected, and Walden manages say a win a half in his 2 years of control (I’ll leave out the option year from his new extension as that came after the trade) then the Cardinals acquired 6 1/2 WAR for Shelby, the large majority of it coming this year, in a pennant race. 6 1/2 WAR over 4 years will be a tough assignment for Miller considering he’s been barely above replacement level the last 1 1/2 years. He was worth 2 wins in the first half of his rookie year in 2013, but worth just one win in the following 265 innings. Adjustments have been made and he has yet to adjust back.

And then finally, the Cardinals traded from depth to fill a replacement level hole. They could afford to trade Miller because Martinez and Gonzales would be set to compete for the 5th spot. Moving Carlos to the rotation would have created a hole in the pen, except they got Walden back in return. All in all a great trade for the Cardinals

TKDC
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TKDC
1 year 3 months ago

@BMarkham

One other note – if Miller approaches that value, it will come at a financial cost much higher than what the Cardinals are paying Heyward/Walden.

I honestly think Jenkins has to hit for this to not be lopsided in favor of the Cardinals (or Jason Heyward gets hurt this year).

Matthew
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Matthew
1 year 3 months ago

I might be a bit higher on the Donaldson trade simply because trades like that don’t happen. We don’t see MVP type players on the market ever and especially with a reasonable price tag. And we have to look at it for what it is: A team going all in. Joey Bats,E5,Reyes, and their pitching are getting up there is age. You have to admire a team putting it out there and going for it all when they should be going for it all.

The Blue Jays have the farm to withstand this trade and have to be AL favorites along with the Red Sox for the next couple.years.

Mark
Guest
Mark
1 year 3 months ago

It also depends on what you think of Nolin/Graveman and Barreto I don’t think either of the pitchers are capable of starting (they’ll be relievers in the long term), and I don’t think Lawrie is capable of staying health over a full year. To me, the Jays sold high on all 3, and basically gave up an 18 year old prospect who some of the better scouts on this site aren’t even sure he’ll stick at SS.

brendan
Guest
brendan
1 year 3 months ago

I think As sold high on donaldson as well. He’s 29 w/ back-to-back seasons over 6 WAR. He has plenty room to regress. I thought they would get more, though, selling high!

Uncle Mumbly
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Uncle Mumbly
1 year 3 months ago

Hard to say the Jays sold high on Lawrie. His value is pretty much as low as its ever been.

La Dee Da
Guest
La Dee Da
1 year 3 months ago

Donaldson was at peak value. Two straight MVP-type seasons (age 27 and 28). That’s “selling high.” Not saying Donaldson WILL regress, just that the likelihood of him regressing outstrips peoples’ perception of that likelihood. He seems like a sure thing, with that two-year track record, but… he was 27 and 28 when he had those seasons, now he’s one year older, and last year his OPS v RH dropped 86 pts (from 813 to 727) and his line-drive rate plummeted (from 21% to 13%).

Blue Jays didn’t sell high on Lawrie. They seem to have received great value for him (Lawrie and prospects for DONALDSON!), but the Jays sold low on him, I think. Graveman and Nolin are exactly the kinds of pieces you ask for as filler. If one can crack the rotation, that’s a cheap 1/5 of the rotation Beane just filled with a “spare part” in a trade. Got to fill each fifth of the rotation, and the A’s have a history of finding cheap, effective #4s and #5s in trades.

brendan
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brendan
1 year 3 months ago

In fairness to Mark, I think he wrote that jays sold high on the 3 prospects, not on Lawrie.

Thed Hepstein
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Thed Hepstein
1 year 3 months ago

Not a single Cub transaction?! Friedman but not Maddon? Cubs get their ace in Lester? Cubs gave up almost nothing for AS catcher, Montero?

Be serious.

Joe
Guest
Joe
1 year 3 months ago

Acquiring a 31 year old catcher who has been worth an average of one win the last two years is not going to make many “best transactions list”

As for Lester, the article states “I have a long history of preferring higher risk pitchers at lower prices over paying for proven durability”

Maddon is a manager and hiring a new manager shouldn’t be on a list like this. FWIW, I’d say the same about the hiring of Friedman, but it’s not my list.

Shayce
Guest
Shayce
1 year 3 months ago

A GM like Friedman chooses the product that is put on the field. Maddon only gets to play around with what he is given.
I think that is the reason Maddon is not on the list.

Skmd
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Skmd
1 year 3 months ago

Seriously – Astros acquiring Luis Valbuena gets a mention, but none of the Cubs transactions do, including signing joe Maddon? Pfft.

Jim
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Jim
1 year 3 months ago

You must not watch a lot of baseball if you think signing an aging pitcher longterm is the best possible transaction

db
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db
1 year 3 months ago

Jim, one question, do you know any pitchers that are not aging?

Ted Brogan
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Ted Brogan
1 year 3 months ago

I hear there’s some guy named Ben Button who just keeps getting better as the years go by…

Dorian Grey
Guest
Dorian Grey
1 year 3 months ago

I approve of this comment.

skmd
Guest
skmd
1 year 3 months ago

um – brandon mccarthy who somehow made this list is 6 months older than john lester.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

Signing a high-profile free agent to a market-value deal rarely makes a list like this. It’s only when the cost is less than the team is likely to get in return that this happens. That is almost never the case with a 150+ million deal. With those deals, at best they appropriately valued, and at worst they are huge overpays.

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
1 year 3 months ago

The only $150M+ deals that should be applauded are pre-free agency contracts for young elite players; see Kershaw, King Felix, Stanton.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

Even Kershaw and Felix were more or less market-value deals, and in Kershaw’s case were practically free agent deals. I would say that the chances Kershaw or Felix outproduce the value of their deals is small, and given that they are pitchers, there is a chance they significantly underperform.

Jim
Guest
Jim
1 year 3 months ago

If the Gordan to Kendrick upgrade made this list even though Kendrick is a one year rental how did the Cardinals replacement level upgrade in RF to Heyward not make the list? Gordan is a stub compared to what the Cards ran out in RF last year. Plus by any projection method Heyward will be worth more than Kendrick next year. I also don’t feel like they gave up the farm either with Miller and Jenkins.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
1 year 3 months ago

He’s a stub all right!

Dee Gordon
Guest
Dee Gordon
1 year 3 months ago

I was in the pool! I was in the pool!

Expo45
Guest
Expo45
1 year 3 months ago

The Dodgers turning Gordon into Kendrick may be a smaller upgrade than bringing in Heyward, but the difference is that the Cards paid a decent price for Heyward, while the Dodgers actually got more back in secondary pieces than they gave up. Hernandez, Barnes & Hatcher is better than Haren, Rojas and $10 million to the Dodgers. So they upgraded at 2B and got paid to do it, in essence.

Run on
Guest
Run on
1 year 3 months ago

“Gordan is a stub”

Fernando
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Fernando
1 year 3 months ago

Yeah that’s the ticket.

matt
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matt
1 year 3 months ago

Heaney for Kendrick was high way robbery for the Angels

Shankbone
Guest
1 year 3 months ago

Don’t mess with the Andrew Friedman is a genius storyline matt. This is fangraphs!

Igloo
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Igloo
1 year 3 months ago

That’s a great argument!

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
1 year 3 months ago

I don’t see why people think Heaney is anything more than a back-end SP. 90 mph fastball, slider lefty doesn’t scream quality SP, its more Tom Gorzelanny.

matt
Guest
matt
1 year 3 months ago

It’s really easy, sits low 90s, plus slider, current average/fringe changeup with upside to improve, + control. That’s a 2/3 not a backend guy

everdiso
Guest
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

how can Masterson possibly even be mentioned, he produced all of a whopping 0.3 WAR last year.

The prospects the Jays gave up to get Donaldson were nobodies. I’d have expected to see that move #1 as it pushes the Jays’ infield far, far past the Red Sox (not to mention the yankees, rays, and Orioles) for best in the division:

2014 IF WAR (including Catcher):
Blue Jays: 14.9
Red Sox: 11

Veteran performance is incredibly static so there’s no reason not to expect that same breakdown this upcoming season.

If you expand it to OF the Jays come out just as ahead (and that’s including Pompey who barely played):
Blue Jays: 8.4
Red Sox: 6.2

The Yankees, Orioles, and Rays would slot somewhere in between on all three, so I only included the extremes to prove the point. Basically any way you slice it the Jays are clearly the favorites for this year

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
1 year 3 months ago

Barretto is a major breakout candidate, and Brett Lawrie is younger than Stephen Souza.

They didn’t give up nobodies to get Donaldson.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

And, even if they were relative nobodies, the chances are pretty good that, given four nobodies, one of them turns into a somebody. Even though none of the pieces the A’s got back for Donaldson are nearly as good as him, there *is* value in numbers, and the A’s got four for one.

Ms. Frizzle
Guest
Ms. Frizzle
1 year 3 months ago

This evaluation isn’t really fair. None of the projected regulars in the Sox outfield played there for more than half the season, so a counting stat like WAR isn’t really a great indicator of what their performance will be.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
1 year 3 months ago

because using past season war as a proxy for next seasons war makes perfect sense and totally doesn’t leave it significant portions of valuable information.

Tim
Guest
Tim
1 year 3 months ago

Wow, this is one of the most offensive misuses of WAR I’ve seen here.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

agreed.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
1 year 3 months ago

I like Lawrie, but I dont think the Jays are going to regret giving him up. There may be one or two years in his future where he figures the hitting thing out AND stays healthy, but mostly i think he will never be on the field enough to approximate Donaldson’s production, who actually comes with more years of control.

I think you have to tip your hat that the Sox are the better team on paper, but it’s plenty close enough for baseball to happen and reverse their fortunes. Ortiz could show up and be pretty much done as an offensive force. Sandoval, Napoli and Pedroia could continue their downward power spirals. Castillo, Vasquez, even Betts may not transition to the MLB smoothly. Bogaerts could still not figure the hitting thing out. Ramirez might get hurt and/or be horrific in LF. Masterson’s knee and command continue to be problems, bad-hurt-Buccholz shows up again in 2015, Miley gets roughed up at Fenway…

all of those are bad scenarios for their various roster questions, and you can do this exercise for every team, but i think the point is that when teams are relatively close, baseball can and often does happen.

Shayce
Guest
Shayce
1 year 3 months ago

Keep in mind that Lawrie seems to think that the turf in Toronto was responsible for most of his injuries.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

“I think you have to tip your hat that the Sox are the better team on paper”

not sure you do actually.

I think even the projections admit that the jays have the advantage at the top of the rosters, while the sox advantage comes at the bottom of the roster, where projections are toughest due to a lack if track record.

K
Guest
K
1 year 3 months ago

You are a below replacement level commenter.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

looks like the terrorists are winning. dammit.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

yeah, not the real everdiso there, as you csn tell by the poor arguments.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

though I have to admit, this was one of the best troll everdiso posts yet.

I actually do agree with the masterson comment, for example.

but limiting a war analysis to just IF makes no sense, and I really like lawrie, barreto, and nolin. graveman not so much though.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

though the dead giveaway is that the everdiso trolls will always say the jays are favorites, when the real everdiso has never ssid that.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

dammit this was good trolling. just subtle enough to work.

respect.

Alice Cooper
Guest
Alice Cooper
1 year 3 months ago

Hard for me to figure out why McCarthy at 4/48 is any better than Liriano at 3/39.

Seems like the justification is “The Dodgers have more money than the Pirates”

Meh

JimL
Guest
JimL
1 year 3 months ago

“Hard for me to figure out why McCarthy at 4/48 is any better than Liriano at 3/39.”

Jason Hammel at 2/$18 (with a 3rd year $10 option or $2 buyout) seems a better value proposition than both of them.

Dave
Guest
Dave
1 year 3 months ago

Hammel was a great signing. I think liriano and McCarthy are superior to him as pitchers, but that was one of the best moves for sure.

Jeff in Alameda
Guest
Jeff in Alameda
1 year 3 months ago

That may be true, if Hammel is who he was with the Cubs and not the A’s. His performance with Oakland was an absolute dumpster fire.

NBarnes
Guest
NBarnes
1 year 3 months ago

The justification IS ‘the Dodgers have more money than the Pirates’. Isn’t that a good reason? Baseball thinks it’s a really good reason.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
1 year 3 months ago

Well, if you think Russell Martin’s downside is being “one of the game’s best catchers for the next couple years,” you have no reason to apologize for liking the McCann deal for the Yankees, seeing as how McCann’s 2014 was pretty much identical to Martin’s 2012, and better than his 2009 and 2010!

I’m not sure I’d say that McCann was “one of the game’s best catchers” last year, but I’d certainly agree that he was well above average when pitch-framing is considered, which is the same as Martin’s demonstrated downside.

JS
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JS
1 year 3 months ago

Brewers getting Lind is a pretty big upgrade for them

LOJWO30
Guest
LOJWO30
1 year 3 months ago

Solid trade for them, for sure. That Overbay-Reynolds platoon was awful.

StroShow
Guest
StroShow
1 year 3 months ago

Between the two trades
Lind for Estrada, then Happ for Saunders

It’s like the Jays traded Lind for Saunders, which would have been viewed as a huge steal for the Jays.

Instead, they just had to re-arrange 5th starters a little bit.

ANGRY FAN
Guest
ANGRY FAN
1 year 3 months ago

HOW COULD YOU FORGET [insert favorite ballclub’s noted transaction here]!?!? THAT WAS SUCH A STEAL FOR [insert favorite ballclub]!!!”

YOU ARE SO BIASED AGAINST [insert favorite ballclub] THAT YOU SHOULD STOP WRITING THIS LIST. SERIOUSLY!?!? NOT EVEN THE [insert small NRI invite by favorite ballclub to certain player] OR [insert acquisition of player who has a big name by favorite ballclub]?!? IT’S GOING TO PUT MY TEAM OVER THE TOP!!

UGHHH

scout finch
Guest
scout finch
1 year 3 months ago

Where’s Brian Sabean on this list? Dude’s got 3/5 of last titles and he gets no respect for bringing back the gang and adding Nori Aoki and Casey McGehee.

He gets no respect, no respect I tell ya…

JasonJ
Guest
JasonJ
1 year 3 months ago

I guess Sandoval isn’t part of the gang?

StroShow
Guest
StroShow
1 year 3 months ago

The McGehee move might be the worst of the offseason, remember these words next August when he’s just hit his 5th HR with a .240 BA and leading the league into GIDP.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
1 year 3 months ago

Agreed, I think it’s highly amusing that you want some credit for signing Casey freakin’ McGehee .

Jeff in Alameda
Guest
Jeff in Alameda
1 year 3 months ago

Troll

Spa City
Member
Member
Spa City
1 year 3 months ago

I like the Kang Jungho signing more than most of the top 10, and certainly more than the Headley signing. 4/$16m for 27-year-old shortstop Kang vs 4/$52m for 31-year-old 3Bman Headley… I think many people would prefer the former.

That said, I like the Headley signing for the Yanks. I just don’t think as highly of it as you.

I also think the Rays made a great move trading (in essence) Will Myers for Steven Souza and Travis Ott. That would make my top 10.

Gin and Bourjos
Guest
Gin and Bourjos
1 year 3 months ago

The consensus is that Kang won’t be a shortstop in the MLB.

BMarkham
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BMarkham
1 year 3 months ago

yea, except Headley is projected for 4 wins this year and Kang less than 2. That might make quite a difference right?

Sarcastic Fan
Guest
Sarcastic Fan
1 year 3 months ago

We have such an extensive history of hitters coming from KBO to MLB that I put TONS of weight on the Kang projections!

Thomas Rickard
Guest
Thomas Rickard
1 year 3 months ago

I can see signing Moncada but wow,when you consider penalty and the fact that it’s up front,maybe as much as 40mil a sum that’s half of many total payroll,or bonus+penalty is more than SD is paying Shields for 4yr seems kind of risky, as for signing Olivera I wonder were he’s going to play if Dodgers get him.

Run on
Guest
Run on
1 year 3 months ago

Nice sentence

matt
Guest
matt
1 year 3 months ago

I would think 3B for Olivera

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

I’m a little curious why you listed the Howie Kendrick/Dee Gordon trade as a three-team deal, but not the Matt Kemp/Jimmy Rollins deal. You didn’t mention that the Dodgers also got Zach Eflin from the Padres, who went with Tom Windle to Philadelphia for Rollins. Considering you had Rollins as an honorable mention, looking at the deal as Matt Kemp, Tim Federowicz, Tom Windle and cash for Joe Wieland, Jimmy Rollins and Yasmani Grandal might look even better, altogether.

TommyLasordid
Member
TommyLasordid
1 year 3 months ago

Agree wholeheartedly Bip. You have to figure in Jimmy Rollins in the Kemp trade since Eflin was the key piece going to Philly. In that light, I think this trade equals if not exceeds the Kendrick deal.

dwan
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dwan
1 year 3 months ago

I hope the Dodgers fall apart.

cjm
Guest
cjm
1 year 3 months ago

Diamondback-fan, Padre-fan, or Marlin-fan? Is that you?!

Dan
Guest
Dan
1 year 3 months ago

How is Aoki not on this list?

Run on
Guest
Run on
1 year 3 months ago

He sucks

Chaz
Guest
Chaz
1 year 3 months ago

He’s not a star, but should provide very good value for what he cost. The author of this same article called him a “steal” in a previous post.

Fangraphs Sycophant
Guest
Fangraphs Sycophant
1 year 3 months ago

So does Valbuena’s.

jsalin
Member
jsalin
1 year 3 months ago

“Miley isn’t sexy”

Stick to baseball, Dave.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
1 year 3 months ago

She was sexy, once, but now she’s the sexual equivalent of a Superfund site.

Dave Cameron
Guest
Dave Cameron
1 year 3 months ago

Don’t pay attention to offseason winners and losers.

Here’s my arbitrary list of winners **wInK**WiNk**

Ted
Guest
Ted
1 year 3 months ago

Did you forget White Sox DFA Dayan Viciedo?

:syas deT Ted
Guest
:syas deT Ted
1 year 3 months ago

?odeiciV nayaD AFD xoS etihW tegrof uoy diD Did you forget White Sox DFA Dayan Viciedo?

Ted says: :syas deT :syas deT Ted
Guest
Ted says: :syas deT :syas deT Ted
1 year 3 months ago

Did you forget White Sox DFA Dayan Viciedo? ?odeiciV nayaD AFD xoS etihW tegrof uoy diD ?odeiciV nayaD AFD xoS etihW tegrof uoy diD Did you forget White Sox DFA Dayan Viciedo?

jhm
Guest
jhm
1 year 3 months ago

the cardinals acquisition of heyward helped to heal the wound from losing OT and redirect the bad karma lingering over the team. the kid will be resigned and the loss of Shelby cant be discounted. big move for both teams.

bookbook
Guest
bookbook
1 year 3 months ago

The Headley signing seemed great to me, too. But it worries me that I think of that “steal” in the same breath as the ones the Indians got last season on Nick Swisher and Bourn. Almost as if the other teams who could have used the help knew not to bid full price–or even 90 cents on the dollar–for those particular items.

This leads me to some sort of cockeyed hypothesis that front offices are seeing signs of incipient decline that the analyst outsiders aren’t privy to/haven’t figured out yet.

If Headley tanks (and the Indian duo don’t bounceback), my suspicions will deepen.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

and the plot will thicken

Joshua_C
Guest
Joshua_C
1 year 3 months ago

Why would you reference the Bourjos signing as if it was a bad call on your part, Dave? It worked out for both teams, but if I’m the Cards I’m still perfectly happy with that deal. Liked it at the time, still like it.

Gin and Bourjos
Guest
Gin and Bourjos
1 year 3 months ago

I think Matheny’s less than stellar usage and Jay’s ungodly babip was the only thing that kept that from being a clear win for the Cardinals. Not Mo’s fault or Dave’s for liking it.

croggs
Member
croggs
1 year 3 months ago

Jon Jay’s BABIP was definitely high, but I don’t think he was “ungodly” lucky. He has a career .345 BABIP, he had an insane LD% (28.3%), and he didn’t pop out (1.5% IFFB rate). I don’t think the BABIP is sustainable, but it wasn’t just a product of luck last year or anything.

Shayce
Guest
Shayce
1 year 3 months ago

Yup, Bourjos was still worth 1.6 WAR last season and the Cardinals also got Grichuk in that trade and he’s probably a more useful piece long-term than Salas. Also Bourjos will only cost 1.65 Mil next season while Freese will cost almost 4 times as much.
The trade is probably not as awesome as we initially thought, but Bourjos is still getting paid basically nothing while providing decent value.

Viva Machiavelli
Guest
Viva Machiavelli
1 year 3 months ago

Bourjos hasn’t been worth over 2 WAR since 2007. Grichuk projects as a 5th outfielder. Salas projects as a 13th pitcher. Freese projects as Scott Rolen in his prime.

Thomas Jefferson, the original Tommy J surgery
Guest
Thomas Jefferson, the original Tommy J surgery
1 year 3 months ago

Bourjos has been the eighth most valuable outfielder over the past 3 years. Grichuk projects as a consistent 3-4 WAR player, if not quite a true star. Salas projects for negative WAR next year. Freese projects similarly as Casey McGehee.

Joshua_C
Guest
Joshua_C
1 year 3 months ago

Don’t know whether Viva Machiavelli is trolling, but . . .

A. Freese, while a decent player, ain’t no Scott Rolen
B. Bourjos put up 1.6 fWAR in limited playing time, which means that when he *did* play, he was very, very, productive.
C. Money.

John
Guest
John
1 year 3 months ago

Joe Maddon to the Cubs?

Padraic
Guest
Padraic
1 year 3 months ago

Believe it or not, I think Amaro should get credit for flipping Byrd for a pretty decent prospect (Lively, possible 3/4 guy). They only had to pay 1/2 of Byrd’s salary this year, and are not on the hook for any of the 2016 vesting option (which Byrd will likely reach).

All told, Byrd may be the only good signing/deal of the late-Amaro era.

Cracking Chang
Guest
Cracking Chang
1 year 3 months ago

The Sox dealing Cespedes, with an absolute glut of OFers, for a young starting pitcher in Porcello is my favorite deal of the off-season. Detroit did fine, also getting Alex Wilson, a serviceable, young reliever. But Sox were desperate after losing Lester, for starting pitching. Great deal by Ben under the circumstances.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
1 year 3 months ago

definitely the sox’ best move of the offseason.

MLB Rainmaker
Member
Member
MLB Rainmaker
1 year 3 months ago

Not a terrible list, but the last two do seem pretty sabremetrics fanboy-ish. I get it, Friedman has a great track record, and its positive for the Dodgers, but I don’t think its really in the spirit of these other moves….it was a hiring. Throwing it on this list, let alone making it #1 seems a juvenile and biased.

And the same goes for #2 on the list, likely in the same vein. You can’t really argue it was a coup for the Dodgers to flip Haren for a prospect like Heaney, but then to flip him for Kendrick….doesn’t make any sense. The Dodgers are already sitting on Alexander Guerrero who seems MLB ready and have Justin Turner as insurance, which ain’t so bad after his performance last season. After dealing with weak rotation depth all season last season, the Dodgers now go into 2015 relying on three guys that with major injury histories in Joe Weiland, Brett Anderson and Juan Nicasio to fill in the back of their bullpen, and only an underperforming Zach Lee and long-way-out Julio Urias in the wings.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

They’re relying on those three injury-history guys to fill one spot. It’s unlikely they all stay healthy, but it’s probably more unlikely that all three are injured at the same time.

I’m a Dodger fan, but I agree, it does seem a little, I don’t know, tacky to put, as you said, a hiring above actual baseball transactions. I’m very excited about what Zaidi and Friedman have done and will do, but this placement suggests that they are operating on another level from the rest of baseball. The fact that AJ Preller – the architect of what many others consider to be the best team offseason – probably wasn’t considered for this list gives this impression, and it’s something I would be highly skeptical about.

crazycorgi
Guest
crazycorgi
1 year 3 months ago

Only at Fangraphs would we rank non-baseball players as the best transaction of the offsesason.

Sigh….

KJ
Guest
KJ
1 year 3 months ago

The Braves made a TON of great trades this offseason and not a one of them even made the honorable mention list. I would have thought the Upton trade would have been listed as a good one for the Braves, not the Padres. The Padres gave up two top 100ish prospects plus more for ONE year of Justin Upton. The Astros gave up a top 50 and a top 100 prospect plus more for Evan Gattis, a man with no position on an NL team. Getting a solid mid-rotation pitcher plus a top 100ish prospect for ONE YEAR of Jason Heyward. They traded Kyle Kubitza for a very exciting young pitcher, Ricardo Sanchez.

The moves the Braves made this system moved their farm system from one of the worst in baseball to one of the best. There is a reason for that….they made a ton of good moves.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 3 months ago

Maybe Cameron is falling for exactly what he told us not to fall for – the moves that improved the team outlook for 2015 – while overlooking the moves that were more forward-looking.

Sandy Kazmir
Guest
1 year 3 months ago

People need to stop giving Friedman a pass for giving away Heaney for one year of Kendrick.

isasson
Member
1 year 3 months ago

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BestShapeDeals
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BestShapeDeals
1 year 3 months ago

All I want to know is who among these is in the 4th best shape of their lives

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