The Best Transactions of the 2016 Offseason

While the offseason isn’t quite over yet, we’ve reached a point at which most of the major transactions have probably already been made. Sure, we might see Jonathan Lucroy moved in a deal over the next few weeks, but outside of some unforeseen blockbuster, it’s mostly going to be minor moves from here on out. So, with the heavy lifting behind us, it’s time to take a look back at the 10 moves that I most liked this winter.

Overall, I’ve tried to balance the value added by acquiring a player — not just his own performance, but his impact on the team’s chances of reaching and advancing in the postseason — with the price paid to make the move. In some cases, teams on this list made themselves worse in the short-term, but the potential long-term benefit suggests that it was a worthwhile sacrifice. Other teams are here for making shrewd additions that improved their chances in 2016, and one of these moves even manages to potentially improve the franchise in both the present and future; you’ll find that rare big win at the very top the list.

Of course, these are all just based on my perceptions at this point in time, and several of these moves won’t look so hot as time goes on. Last year, I really liked the Chase Headley deal for the Yankees and put the Red Sox’ acquisition of Wade Miley one spot ahead of the Blue Jays’ pickup of Josh Donaldson, so, you know, don’t take this as gospel. But based on how I look at these moves right now, without the benefit of hindsight, there are the 10 moves I’ve liked the most this offseason.

Honorable Mentions

Rays Acquire Brad Miller, Danny Farquhar, and Logan Morrison
Rays Acquire Corey Dickerson and Kevin Padlo
Yankees Acquire Aaron Hicks
Cubs Acquire Adam Warren
Mets Acquire Neil Walker
Dodgers Sign Howie Kendrick
Mariners Sign Hisashi Iwakuma
Cubs Sign John Lackey
Giants Sign Denard Span

#10: Phillies Turn Reliever Into Assets
Acquire: Vincent Velasquez, Mark Appel, Brett Oberholtzer, Thomas Eshelman, Harold Arauz
Cost: Ken Giles, Jonathan Arauz

Let’s make no mistake about it: Ken Giles is an excellent reliever, and with five years of team control remaining, the Phillies gave up a valuable piece in this trade. However, rebuilding teams don’t have much need for elite relief pitchers, and turning one guy with an expiring shelf-life into a bundle of interesting pitchers is exactly the kind of move the Phillies needed to make this winter. Velasquez’s health and Appel’s ability to get high-level hitters out are both still in question, but there’s more than enough upside here to make this a terrific deal for the Phillies.

#9: Cubs Add Excellent Veteran Depth
Acquire: Ben Zobrist
Cost: 4 years, $56 million

With Addison Russell, Starlin Castro, and Javier Baez around, the Cubs already had a crowded middle infield, and could have simply gone forward with the kids. With perhaps the best roster in baseball heading into 2016, however, they saw an opportunity to upgrade at a good price and took advantage. Adding Zobrist as their everyday second baseman not only makes them better at the position than they would have been with either Castro or Baez, but it allowed the team to ship Castro to New York for Adam Warren, who bolsters the pitching depth. For the extra $4 million per year they took on with Zobrist as opposed to keeping Castro, they significantly improved their lineup and their bullpen; it’s hard to make that kind of upgrade for such a modest cost these days.

#8: Brewers Smartly Rebuild
Acquire: Chase Anderson, Isan Diaz, Aaron Hill
Cost: Jean Segura, Tyler Wagner

This is the kind of small move that isn’t going to draw a lot of attention in offseason recaps, but it exemplifies the fantastic rebuilding plan that Milwaukee has executed this winter. Rather than keeping Segura around for any longer, letting even more of his distant prospect-sheen wear off, the Brewers managed to turn the last vestige of his 2013 All-Star reputation into a starting pitcher who is potentially more valuable both now and in the future, along with a young infield prospect whose early statistical indicators suggest he could turn into a player of legitimate value. The Brewers had to take on a portion of Hill’s contract in order to facilitate the swap, so they didn’t quite turn a bad shortstop into a better pitcher and a nice prospect, but for the small cost of throwing away some money in a rebuilding year, this was still a fantastic acquisition for Milwaukee.

#7: Angels Upgrade at Shortstop
Acquire: Andrelton Simmons, Jose Briceno
Cost: Sean Newcomb, Erick Aybar, Chris Ellis

This summer, I ranked Andrelton Simmons as the 30th most valuable trade chips in all of MLB; a few months later, he was traded for a high-risk pitching prospect and an average player in the final year of his contract. Certainly, teams don’t pay for defensive excellence like they do for offense, but no one questions Simmons’ value in the field, and despite the truth that defense peaks early, previous defenders at this level have proven to be quite valuable even as they age. This is the kind of return that you’d expect for a short-term upgrade, but Simmons is signed through 2020 at below-market rates, giving the Angels some real value even beyond 2016. The fact that no one else stepped up to outbid the Angels suggests that the league doesn’t place as high a value on Simmons as the public does, or maybe the industry thinks we’re selling Sean Newcomb short, but from my perspective, the Angels added one of the best shortstops in baseball for a pitcher with a high likelihood of failure.

#6: Cubs Add Another Young Star
Acquire: Jason Heyward
Cost: 8 years, $184 million; opt-outs after third and fourth years

With a core group of young stars that carried the team to 97 wins a year ago, the Cubs didn’t need the best free-agent position player on the market, but they had the resources to poach him from their division rivals, and in doing so, they swung the balance of power in the NL Central for years to come. While signing Heyward to play center field adds an element of risk to the deal, his overall value should make him a high-quality contributor even as he adjusts to a new position, and the Cubs are buying enough prime-years that Heyward’s elite defensive value shouldn’t be expected to dissipate too quickly. The dual opt-outs limit the upside here, making it almost impossible for the Cubs to get a long-term bargain, but the price for an elite talent was right, and the Cubs are in perfect position to take advantage of Heyward’s short-term value.

#5: Mets Bring Back Yo
Acquire: Yoenis Cespedes
Cost: 3 years, $75 million; opt-out after first year

All winter, the Mets told anyone who would listen they weren’t re-signing Yoenis Cespedes. They even signed Alejandro De Aza to serve as outfield depth, signifying that they were moving on, but as his price began to drop, the Mets found themselves in a position where they simply couldn’t ignore the benefit any longer. Cespedes isn’t a great fit as a center fielder, and Juan Lagares probably would have been just fine out there if given the opportunity, but you don’t get too many chances to sign an above-average player with this kind of limited risk. Clearly, the market didn’t love betting on Cespedes’ future value as he aged, but with just a three year commitment — and the dangled carrot of the opt-out as motivation — it’s hard to see this deal going too terribly wrong. And if Cespedes continues to hit for power the way he did last year, this could end up being the free-agent steal of the winter. For a team with elite pitching and a chance to get back to the World Series, $75 million to bring Cespedes back to New York was just too good of a deal to walk away from.

#4: Padres Get a Haul For Their Closer
Acquire: Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Carlos Asuaje, Logan Allen
Cost: Craig Kimbrel

I’ve been pretty down on a lot of the moves A.J. Preller has made since taking over in San Diego, but the second of his Craig Kimbrel trades could very well turn out to be a massive win for the franchise. While Kimbrel remains one of the game’s best relievers, he’s not all that young or cheap anymore, and yet the Padres still managed to turn some high-risk years of a guy they didn’t need into a massive talent return. In Margot and Guerra, the organization landed two top-100 prospects, and Allen is interesting in his own right; this is the kind of return that the Padres could have only dreamed about when they realized they’d have to ship out some of their veterans. While minor leaguers are always high-risk propositions, getting this kind of talent back for a declining reliever makes this a big win for the Padres.

#3: Royals Retain Their Best Player
Acquire: Alex Gordon
Cost: 4 years, $72 million

While Lorenzo Cain may be more obviously exciting, and Salvador Perez gets more headlines as the team’s leader on the field, Alex Gordon is the Royals’ best player, and one of the primary reasons they’ve been able to turn their franchise around in recent years. Despite his advancing age, Gordon has sustained his across-the-board skills, and while he won’t be a gold glove left fielder forever, he’s good enough to justify this contract in the next couple of years, even if he’s not that good by the time it expires. Gordon is easy to take for granted, but he may very well have been the second best available free-agent position player, and the Royals managed to bring him back to Kansas City for the kind of price that gets you a back-end starter these days. I have been a pretty vocal critic of a lot of the moves the Royals have made the last few years, but re-signing Gordon was one of the best decisions anyone made this winter.

#2: White Sox Find a Third Baseman
Acquire: Todd Frazier
Cost: Frankie Montas, Trayce Thompson, Micah Johnson

A year ago, the White Sox tried to go for it despite a flawed roster, and ended up struggling due to the vast amount of at-bats wasted on replacement-level scrubs. This winter, the White Sox have again attempted to push their chips to contend in the short-term, but those hopes got a nice boost when they somehow managed to convince the Reds to give them Todd Frazier for a package of talent that won’t cripple the organization. Frazier’s second-half swoon may have dragged his value down below a reasonable level, since teams saw him hit just .220/.274/.390 in the second half, but kudos to Rick Hahn for taking advantage and turning some spare parts into a +3 to +4 win third baseman. With Frazier at third base, the team has turned a black hole into a real strength, and while they could still use some additional improvements, the Frazier acquisition should go a long way to getting the White Sox back into the AL Central race.

#1: Braves Reload and Improve Simultaneously
Acquire: Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair
Cost: Shelby Miller

It’s still actually hard to believe the Braves pulled this off. Shelby Miller is a solid pitcher, having been worth between +2 to +3 WAR per season depending on how much weight you put on FIP or ERA. With his three arbitration years remaining, Miller represents a nice value for a mid-rotation starter, and is still young enough that it’s not crazy to think he might have some room for improvement. But in a market flooded with free-agent pitching, and plenty of other teams looking to sell their starting pitchers as well, the Braves still somehow managed to flip three years of Miller for five years of Ender Inciarte — arguably a player of nearly equal value on the field, and one who has five years of control remaining himself — as well as the #1 pick in last summer’s draft, plus they got one of the Diamondbacks better pitching prospects just for the heck of it.

Inciarte and Blair for Miller would have been something like a fair swap on its own. Or, separately, maybe the Braves requesting Swanson straight-up for three years of Miller could have been justified as a reasonable asking price, given the risky nature of prospects. But to somehow land all three players in the deal? It’s still remarkable, even a couple of months later. Inciarte probably offsets almost all of the lost value the team gives up in 2016 by not having Miller on the mound, and it’s not unreasonable to think Blair could be pitching in Atlanta this summer, so it’s possible that the Braves actually improved their 2016 record by making this deal. Except they get two additional years of control on the big leaguer they acquired, plus whatever Blair turns into, and a top-20 prospect who could be their franchise shortstop beginning in 2017.

We don’t see too many trades like this anymore. This is the kind of move that has a chance to be the modern-day version of Bartolo Colon for Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Phillips. It probably won’t turn out that way for the Braves, but the fact that they were able to make a move that has that kind of upside made this an easy pick for the best move any franchise made this winter.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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scott
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scott
3 months 9 days ago

Surprised the Chapman trade wasn’t on here.

The Ghost of Stephen Drews Bat
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The Ghost of Stephen Drews Bat
3 months 9 days ago

Dave said, “but his impact on the team’s chances of reaching and advancing in the postseason”.

Dave has said both Chapman and Justin Wilson had similar WPAs last season, therefore Chapman is not a huge upgrade over Wilson.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
3 months 9 days ago

Chapman is projected to be an upgrade over Wilson in 2016, and that’s what matters when you’re talking about reaching and advancing in the 2016 postseason. I highly doubt Dave left Chapman off because of Wilson’s 2015 WPA. The most likely reason he’s not on the list is the very reason that the Yankees got him so cheap in the first place.

The Ghost of Stephen Drews Bat
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The Ghost of Stephen Drews Bat
3 months 9 days ago

I agree with that.

sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo
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sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo
3 months 9 days ago

Maybe Chapman couldn’t be a big upgrade over what Wilson did in 2015, but I have to think Chapman’s projected 2016 is much better than Wilson’s projected 2016. Wilson is a fine pitcher, and had a great year last year (thank you!) but I don’t think anyone expects a repeat.

domxbomb
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domxbomb
3 months 9 days ago

this winter I’ve seen a lot of “Yankees bullpen won’t be much better this year because Justin Wilson pitched well in 2015” sentiment, accompanied by WAR and WPA numbers. Reliever WAR is extremely flawed because it’s context neutral and WPA from last year is not very predictive of the context in which these guys will pitch this year. it’s my opinion that K% is the most important statistic in evaluating/predicting reliever performance because getting guys out without balls in play is very important to the situations they inherit and K% represents an inarguable skill. Chapman is a historically great strikeout pitcher, possibly the best RP in baseball, and the yankees bullpen will be much better in 2016 with him and not Justin Wilson.

also, it’s not like Wilson was traded in the Chapman deal, he was used to bolster another part of the organization (SP prospect depth).

johansantana17
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johansantana17
3 months 8 days ago

But Chapman is more likely to repeat his 2015 success than Wilson is.

jimithin9
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jimithin9
3 months 9 days ago

Kimbrel is younger than Betances and Chapman, and just had the highest velocity of his career.

I don’t disagree its a nice deal for the Padres, but a ‘declining reliver’?

The Ghost of Stephen Drews Bat
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The Ghost of Stephen Drews Bat
3 months 9 days ago

Increasing HR/9 and decreasing K/9 rates is your clue.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
3 months 9 days ago

And by far the worst ERA of his career – almost a full run over 2014, which was already higher than the prior two seasons.

And by far the worst FIP of his career – almost a full run over 2014.

The worst xFIP since his 20 inning debut in 2010.

He’s obviously a very good closer, and any time would be happy to have him. But he’s past the point where you can reasonably expect an ERA/FIP below 2.

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

Kimbrel had a 1.5 ERA from June on. He just had two bad months to begin the season in April and May.

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

So he’s not really declining. He just had a bad start to the season. Outside those two months, hes the consensus best closer in baseball. I think he is very capable of having sub 2 ERA seasons. The guy is still in his prime

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

Here we go

2nd half: 1.78 ERA 13.5 k/9 2.77bb/9 0.73 WHIP 120 OP AVG

All numbers in line with his career averages. His numbers are even better if you include his June stats. Just two bad months to start the season in April and May

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

Sorry for all the comments!

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
3 months 9 days ago

Brock, two months is 1/3 of the season. You can’t just ignore that.

From 2012-2014, he didn’t have a single month with an ERA above 3.00. In April/May last year, his ERAs were 5.19 and 4.35. And he had an ERA over 3.00 last August as well.

I’m certainly no slave to ERA, but when his 3 highest-ERA months over the last 4 years were all last season, I’m not going to chalk it up to being traded before Opening Day.

He’s shown that he can still be lights out, but prior to 2015 he never really showed any signs of being mortal. Last year, he did.

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

I guess my point was, you can’t say Kimbrel is done posting sub 2 ERAs when you are basing your output on a 2 month sample size. Sure he was terrible in those 2 months, but he also regained form for the later 4 months of the season. I think it’s safe to say he’s still a top 5 closers heading into next season.

No velocity drop and from June on, no drop on k or bb rates and an era of 1.5. I

I think he just had a fluky 2 month start to the season which was likely a result of being traded a day before the season started

websoulsurfer
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websoulsurfer
3 months 6 days ago

Taken in a vacuum, Kimbrel’s 2015 numbers are scary indicators, BUT EVERY pitcher on the Padres had both of those numbers go up along with FIP compared to their numbers in 2014. Do you REALLY think that all of a sudden every pitcher on the team had a performance dip? Or do you think its far more likely to be that a combination of the catcher calling the game and the absolutely putrid defense had a lot more to do with all of those pitchers having a dip in performance in 2015?

Common sense says it is the latter.

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

Agreed. Kimbrel had a rough start to the season, which likely had to do with being trading a day before opening day, but he was back to his career averages by the second half. He isn’t declining at all, he just had two bad months to start the season, which inflated his season numbers. He’s still a top 5 closer.

That said, it was a good trade for the Padres.

0bsessions
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0bsessions
3 months 9 days ago

I’m pretty sure that most are in general consensus that the Padres won the Kimbrel trade, but under what standard is Kimbrel entering his high risk years?

He’ll be 28-30 for the years the Red Sox have him under team control and while, yes, trends show a decline between that timeframe, it’s not a significant one. By and large, the risky years seem to be right after he hits free agency.

websoulsurfer
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websoulsurfer
3 months 6 days ago

Trends show that pitchers start to decline at age 31.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
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3 months 9 days ago

Lee and Sizemore are both basically finished, and Phillips will probably retire when the Reds won’t extend his contract.

Which leaves only one guy from that trade still playing in 2017.

Blinzler
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Blinzler
3 months 8 days ago

Best comment of 2016 sp far

jmsdean477
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jmsdean477
3 months 8 days ago

And the last one playing from the deal as a whole still has a chance to be Bartolos old ass.

senor_mike
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senor_mike
3 months 9 days ago

The Diamondbacks are an interesting animal huh?

They are the other side of two of the best deals on this list, obviously implying they made two of the worst deals of the entire off-season. If someone makes that worst deals list, it may also include giving a starter $214m to pitch until he’s 37.

They have completely comprised their long-term perspectives, yet they may actually be pretty good next year. Unlike the Padres last off-season, the upgrades they made are actual upgrades – specifically in the rotation – on top of what seems to be a true-talent 79 win team in 2015. In addition they get Corbin back for a full year. It wouldn’t be all that surprising for them to have a little luck fall their way and sneak into the playoffs.

Still, they have so little margin for error. If they don’t make it to the playoffs (which is still more likely at this stage even if they are better), they are in some serious trouble.

BenSharp
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BenSharp
3 months 9 days ago

We are right on the edge of the playoffs for sure, but at least we have three years to get in. It isn’t just a one year window. I wouldn’t think the Greinke signing would be on the worst deals list since it was generally well accepted as a good value signing for the Dbacks. You can argue the merits / risks of those types of FA signings, but that wouldn’t put it on the worst deals list by itself.

johansantana17
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johansantana17
3 months 8 days ago

The Diamondbacks are the Padres of this offseason. They made all the same type of mistakes. The three bad teams in the NL West are all under hilariously awful management.

thestatbook
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thestatbook
3 months 8 days ago

The difference between the Diamondbacks and the Padres last year is that Arizona had much more to work with going into the offseason.

I don’t think the moves the Diamondbacks made good trades by any means, but comparing them to the Padres forgets how bad the Padres were going into last season prior to their trades. They had very little to work with and tried to build a contending team completely through trades.

thestatbook
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thestatbook
3 months 8 days ago

By “Arizona had much more to work with going into the offseason”, I thought I wrote more, but I didn’t.

The Diamondbacks had (and still have) Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. Those two guys are significantly better than any piece the Padres had going into last season before, or after, all the moves they made.

Bubba Starling
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Bubba Starling
3 months 9 days ago

I’m assuming the Royals’ acquisitions of Volquez and K. Morales were pretty high on the 2015 list at the time, right?

thestatbook
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thestatbook
3 months 7 days ago

Do all Royals fans have a persecution complex?

By the way, Bubba, you should have played at Nebraska.

thestatbook
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thestatbook
3 months 7 days ago

Wait, this is the wrong article. I thought this was the “worst acquisitions”.

My question still remains, as does my point about Bubba Starling playing at Nebraska.

jdbolick
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Member
3 months 9 days ago

There are a lot of interesting points to debate in this piece.

turning one guy with an expiring shelf-life into a bundle of interesting pitchers is exactly the kind of move the Phillies needed to make this winter.

I absolutely agree that Philadelphia doesn’t benefit much at all from Giles in 2016 or 2017, but that still leaves three team controlled years on the back end unless you’re telling your fanbase that you’re not expecting to contend at all for a prolonged period of time. So to support this trade, either that’s the case or the return needs to be compelling, which in this case I agree that it should be. It’s hard to envision where Velasquez doesn’t become a late-inning reliever of comparable quality to Giles barring catastrophic injury. This question of rebuilding time versus remaining team control applies more strongly to something like the Davis-Nottingham trade where one of the justifications for the very light return was that some significant portion of Davis’ remaining team control would be wasted on a team going nowhere for the immediate future. That time table aspect of trades is an interesting angle that could merit more scrutiny, as I feel like there’s a little too much cavalier dismissal of present value on non-contending teams. The notion that any team not expecting to be competitive should dump its talent, even if for less value as long as that value is shifted into the future, is one that makes sense for the NBA but doesn’t sit as well with me in major league baseball. What if Giles becomes the new Kimbrel? There’s no guarantee that a Dombrowski-type offer would be forthcoming, but it’s why I’m discomfited by the notion that any player not immediately useful to a non-contender should be dumped immediately. Utility and market value are two very different things that each need to be considered.

The fact that no one else stepped up to outbid the Angels suggests that the league doesn’t place as high a value on Simmons as the public does, or maybe the industry thinks we’re selling Sean Newcomb short

This was the sentence that really prompted me to comment, as it is chock-full of debatable assumptions. I have been shouting the notion that teams don’t value defensive WAR as much as sites like FanGraphs do, yet I found myself disagreeing with this assertion simply due to the characterization of this situation as an open negotiation. Maybe Mr. Blengino could give us more insight into how a trade goes down in the front office, but in my admitted ignorance I’m fairly dubious about the idea that teams around the league were all made aware that the Braves were genuinely intent on moving Simmons. Even if it was known that he was available, were all teams sufficiently convinced about that to put their best foot forward or were some of them dismayed by the Angels’ trade and feel that they could have offered something better had they been more aware of the Braves’ direction? Then after you get through that, we come to the suggestion that there may be a difference between our opinion of Newcomb and that of “the industry.” It’s possible that is true, and it would make the deal look better for Atlanta, but I don’t see where we can extrapolate the industry’s opinion of Newcomb from Coppolella’s valuation of him. The industry might agree with us that the return was too risky, but it wouldn’t matter, since the opinions of the two trading teams are the only ones that ultimately define a completed trade.

While signing Heyward to play center field adds an element of risk to the deal, his overall value should make him a high-quality contributor even as he adjusts to a new position, and the Cubs are buying enough prime-years that Heyward’s elite defensive value shouldn’t be expected to dissipate too quickly.

This is yet another interesting angle that could easily warrant its own column. We all agree that a hefty portion of Heyward’s value is defensive. What makes this signing so fascinating is that Heyward will be changing positions, so the value we have attributed to Jason’s defensive performance (which I have contended is overrated to begin with due to my disagreements with Inside Edge’s classifications and values) doesn’t necessarily apply. We assume that the consensus top defensive right fielder in the game will retain most of his defensive value following a move to center, yet we also assumed that a below average shortstop would be able to handle left field. Obviously in Hanley’s case there were attitude and effort issues that shouldn’t apply to Heyward, but it’s still interesting to consider that Heyward’s perceived value is tied up in a position his new team does not expect him to play.

With Frazier at third base, the team has turned a black hole into a real strength, and while they could still use some additional improvements, the Frazier acquisition should go a long way to getting the White Sox back into the AL Central race.

This is a more minor point than the others yet still merits mentioning. Todd Frazier is obviously an upgrade at the plate as well as a slight defensive upgrade over the collective that Chicago trotted out in 2015 (much better than Olt & Gillaspie yet worse than Beckham & Saladino), but it’s the ramifications of this move that interest me. Brett Lawrie is unconscionably bad at second base, while it’s plausible that Saladino will be worse at shortstop than the departed Alexei Ramirez. So even though Todd Frazier on his own is a clear individual upgrade, it’s entirely possible that the effects on the players he is displacing will actually make that team even worse.

Inciarte probably offsets almost all of the lost value the team gives up in 2016 by not having Miller on the mound

Unbelievably fantastic deal for the Braves, no question, yet didn’t you just spend the Simmons and Heyward parts of the column noting that the industry doesn’t place as much value on defense as defensive WAR does? If defensive WAR is accurately calculated then this sentence is justified. If the industry is correct and defensive WAR overstates defensive value then it is not justified.

Having so many discussion-worthy tangents shoved into one column is no easy feat. Kudos, Mr. Cameron.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

Re: Heyward in Center

The notion that Heyward’s value is primarily derived from is his defense is a myth. 60% of his fWAR from 2015 was generated by his hitting and base running. He would have ranked 5th in wRC+ among CF’s, ahead of Betts and behind Cain. His +7 BsR would have ranked 4th. Even if he is an exactly neutral defensive center fielder, his skill set would be elite.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/who-is-baseballs-most-well-rounded-position-player/

jdbolick
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Member
3 months 9 days ago

I didn’t say that most of his value was defensive, I said “a hefty portion,” which is accurate. Furthermore, the concern isn’t that Heyward may only be a neutral defensive center fielder, it’s that he might be below average in center.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

You are making an argument that Heyward isn’t elite in right field, which goes against the opinion of mostly everyone – scouts, analysts and executives, up to and including the Cardinals, Cubs, Nationals and allegedly the Angels who offered him in excess of $184 million. Perhaps you are correct and he isn’t elite. That would make him good-to-great. Moving him to center would downgrade him then to average. Suggesting he is going to be a below average CF means you think at least 15 CF’s will be better than him. That won’t be the case, by the scouting or the data.

He is going to be, at worst, as good (or bad — given your dour position on metrics) as Fowler was for the Cubs in 2015.

Otter
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Member
Otter
3 months 9 days ago

If Heyward is only as good as Fowler was last year, the Cubs over paid big time.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

Heyward is a better hitter and baserunner than Fowler. He is very likely going to be a better defender as well. Fowler was neutral on defense and was worth +3 fWAR. Heyward projects around +5 but even if his defense is substantially worse, he’s still likely to be one of the best CF in the sport.

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 9 days ago

You are making an argument that Heyward isn’t elite in right field

What is it with people accusing me of saying things I most certainly did not? I very, very clearly said that Heyward is “the consensus top defensive right fielder in the game.” I am part of that consensus, but I am of the opinion that the gap is not as large as Inside Edge’s classifications and valuations make it appear. Please either quote me accurately or do not respond at all. Being accused of saying things I very clearly did not is pretty irritating.

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 9 days ago

Suggesting he is going to be a below average CF means you think at least 15 CF’s will be better than him. That won’t be the case, by the scouting or the data.

That’s precisely the assumption I am highlighting. It’s reasonable to think that the premier right fielder would be at least an average center fielder, yet we don’t know that to be the case, yet that’s far from the given people like you assume it to be.

dl80
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dl80
3 months 9 days ago

I agree with jdbolick that we don’t really know for sure what Heyward will be in CF. For what it’s worth, Inciarte is an excellent defensive RF (+16/150) and an even better CF for his career (+22) but was “only” +9 in CF this year when he also split time in RF.

In reality, someone like Alex Gordon or Kole Calhoun probably fits better as a comp because they have more of Heyward’s body type, but even they are more than 4 inches shorter. And we don’t know what they’d be in CF.

Is there any comp of a super tall, not lanky outfielder playing both RF and CF in the UZR/DRS era?

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 9 days ago

Well this was asinine. Your first point on giles just annoyed me so i will reply. So say he is kimbrel the next 2 or 3 years on 65 win teams, for his last 2 yeara when you are competitive you are basically pahing him market rate by letting him rack up those saves. Secondly the bullpen is the easiest thing to acquire during a rebuild. Say they sign a david freese or jeremy hellickson turns things around and they are able to flip them at the deadline, in any trade of them you will be able to acquire some type of big stuff big control problems guy with 5 or 6 years of control that you can get an above average reliever out of them. Aquiring the highest upside they can right now is whats most important at this stage. See what you hit on and sign some role players and an ace when you are ready.

ice_hawk10
Member
ice_hawk10
3 months 9 days ago

on your first point, looking at any reliever as a long term asset seems kind of dicey. I’m sure Houston isn’t really thinking 3-4 years down the line with Giles despite his age. if they are it’s probably in the sense that what they get in those years will be gravy. when the very best at their position are worth maybe 1.5 wins, it doesn’t take much in form of decline or injury to make them very replaceable.

HarryLives
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HarryLives
3 months 9 days ago

Every GM’s mother knew the Braves were shopping Simmons. Short of replacing “Simmons” on the back of his jury “Trade bait”, I don’t think the Braves could have made it any more clear. I think it’s correct of Dave to say that no team in the majors was willing to make an offer for Simmons that the Braves perceived to be better than the one the Angels made. Still, that doesn’t mean the Braves didn’t sell too low on Simmons. The prospect rankings from various outlets are probably a decent proximation of how Newcomb is viewed within “the industry”. Those are #32 (BP), #24 (BA), #19 (MLB.com).

UZR and DRS don’t use Inside Edge’s classifications and values.

Kid Charlemagne
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Kid Charlemagne
3 months 9 days ago

One thing I’ve always wondered is this – what is the value to the player of staying with one team for their whole career? If you’re a major piece of a team (like Alex Gordon), and you stay in that city your entire career there is a wealth (pun intended) of opportunities to cash in on that loyalty. Businesses, post-career announcing gigs, endorsements, etc. I wonder if it is possible to estimate that value, and if anyone has ever tried.

Obviously going to a big city like NY would give one the immediate endorsement opportunities, but I’m thinking more of long-term financial benefits lasting through out the player’s life, and not directly tied to payments from the team (so ruling out things like deals that pay the player to be an ambassador post-retirement, etc).

sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo
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sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo
3 months 9 days ago

Conversely, he could limit his value bu only having one market to sell his skills/endorsements. If the Royals don’t need an announcer, he will likely not be an announcer. If a KC brand already has a George Brett endorsement deal, Gordon is likely shut out of that product. A guy who plays for a few teams can send his resume to more places. (I don’t know if this is really how it works, I am just thinking in hypotheticals here.)

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 9 days ago

It’s undoubtedly an overall $$$ negative for a player to tie himself to one team, especially now when salary so dwarves other considerations. You do it anyway for nonfinancial reasons.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 9 days ago

For at team, on the other hand, there’s marketable value in such guys. Over the long haul. Which again may not matter much to an owner who figures on selling out quicker for tax purposes.

Shauncore
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Shauncore
3 months 9 days ago

Specifically to Gordon, he doesn’t appear to be that kind of guy who wants to be say a broadcaster or a front office guy (I’m basing this 100% on external knowledge and assumptions). He seems to be more like a guy who would want to coach, which for a player of Gordon’s caliber would probably be easy to find. Definitely easier to get a job in KC’s org if he stays in KC’s org his whole career.

He does endorsements now for KC and I’d imagine those will continue for a very long time. Also maybe he has an interest in returning back to Nebraska (where he was as well a star…even a legend) to coach. I’m sure college head coaches make more than minor league head coaches, especially at a a prominent school like Nebraska.

somaholiday
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somaholiday
3 months 9 days ago

The outlay for Zobrist is reasonable given the Cubs value of a marginal win in the next couple years, but I don’t think this is value for his age 35-39 seasons. Only time will tell, but it seems like the Brewers sold low on Segura. That seems incredibly difficult when dealing w/ Arizona. Latos for $3m is a terrific low risk move offering more value and less risk than the other free agent pitching signings. That seems more appropriate to recognize than long-term market deals (Heyward, Zobrist, Cespedes).

Otter
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Otter
3 months 9 days ago

I think for 2016, the Zobrist deal is smart/good, which I assume is why it’s on the list. But after that, I’m with you. I’d rather roll the dice with Castro, especially in 2018-2019.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

Unless Castro is an above average defensive 2B or develops 20 HR power, he has already peaked. Both of those could happen, and he is a skilled player, but if he is a below average hitter going forward as the projection systems think he is, Zobrist has a good chance to be better than Castro for most-to-all of their contracts.

Otter
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Member
Otter
3 months 9 days ago

Big difference between Castro is 26 and may have peaked and Zobrist is going to be 35 and has peaked. And if UZR is any indication, Zobrist’s glove might be going/gone. Thus, I think it’s a totally reasonable conclusion to believe Castro will have more value in 2018 & 2019 and the question is will Zobrist provide enough value in 2016 to make up what is probably going to be average production in 2017 and below average production in those last two years.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

Castro has been worth 1 fWAR per season over the last three years. There is a nonzero possibility he is a below average hitter — which would all but negate his value, as he is a below average shortstop and not a good baserunner. There’s no question 30 year old Castro should be better than 39 year old Zobrist, but Castro has had 1.5 replacement level seasons out of the last 3. It’s not as if he doesn’t have bust potential, as well. In the case of Zobrist, we’ve had one year of bad defensive numbers, but with good baserunning and hitting. Yes, the defensive decline is worrisome, but some may be injury related. And even if it is all true-talent decline, he is still an excellent hitter.

Richie
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Richie
3 months 9 days ago

Roll the dice on Baez at 2nd, not Castro.

Otter
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Member
Otter
3 months 9 days ago

I’d like both the Cespedes and Heyward deals if they were playing right field. I’d move both down for that reason. I liked the Upton signing by the Tigers, though that’s more of a fair deal than a ‘steal’. And the Span contract has the makings of a great deal for the Giants.

gbaked
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3 months 9 days ago

If Ces filled a corner spot for the Mets with that deal it would prob be a top 3 move.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

Mat Latos for $3 million has an inside track on best $/WAR pick up of the offseason if he pitches even 150 innings.

Brock244
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Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

Surprised you didn’t even mention the Carson Smith trade.

Ken Giles vs Carson Smith

Giles: 1.80 ERA 2.13 FIP 3.05xfip. 11.19 k/9 44.8%GB 2.0 WAR

Smith: 2.31 ERA 2.12 FIP 2.36xfip 11.83k/9 64.8% GB 2.1 WAR

Smith is just as good, if not better than Giles

In a market that saw both the Astros and redsox pay crazy prices for dominant reliever, the Redsox were able to get 5 years of one of the better and most valuable relievers in baseball AND 5yrs of a serviceable starter in Roenis Elias for 3 years of Wade Miley at an average of 9mil aav.

Elias alone, is actually projected to have more surplus value than Miley as he’s projected for about 1.5 WAR over a full season at 500k where as Miley is projected for 2 WAR at an average of 9mil aav .

I thought that was a great value trade for Boston. Especially in a market that was valuing good relievers

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
3 months 9 days ago

I thought that was a solid trade for the Red Sox based on how good Smith was last year, but I’ve never really seen him pitch. I think part of the reason he’s not considered in Giles’ league is because Smith relies on command and movement. And Giles had 45 lights out innings in 2014, whereas Smith’s ML track record is essentially just one season.

Even if they were comparable last year, a lot of people think Giles is the better bet to keep it going over the next several years.

Brock244
Member
Brock244
3 months 9 days ago

I can buy people thinking Giles is better given the velocity and trade rumors. Looking at their numbers though, theres really nothing to suggest Giles is better going forward.

You could actually make the case for Smith being better going forward given his ability to get both groundballs and k’s as opposed to just k’s for Giles. Gilies also had that 3.3% HR/FB ratio which is likely going to go up. Steamer is actually projecting Carson Smith for the better season, although it thinks both pitchers take a step back.

jdbolick
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Member
3 months 9 days ago

FanGraphs has been higher than most on Miley.

Phillies113
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Member
3 months 9 days ago

“See? Even FanGraphs said we had the best move of the offseason! I eagerly await all your apologies.”

-Dave Stewart

Noah Baron
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Noah Baron
3 months 9 days ago

I think the only trade I can remember being as lopsided as the Shelby Miller trade was the Mets-Blue Jays RA Dickey trade, which netted the Mets Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.

At least Dickey was an elite pitcher when he was traded though. You can’t say the same thing about Shelby Miller.

bjsguess
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Member
bjsguess
3 months 9 days ago

Go to the doctor and get your head checked. The Vernon Wells trade will be seared into my memory forever. The beginning of the end for the Angels.

jpg
Member
jpg
3 months 9 days ago

To be fair though, they are lopsided in different ways.

The Wells trade was essentially the trading of a bad player with a horrific contract for a player that wound up being better than they could have imagined evidenced by the fact that Blue Jays flipped Napoli for the immortal Frank Francisco. It was essentially the greatest salary dump of all time. That’s what made it great for Toronto.

The Dickey trade was a guy coming off a Cy Young year who openly stated that he’d sign an incredibly cheap extension. What made it great for the Mets was that they hit it big with the two main pieces of the deal and got a lottery ticket to boot in Beccera.

People love to bring up the Colon deal as the worst/most lopsided ever but conveniently leave out the context. For one it was deadline deal and Colon was coming off a Cy Young (albeit probably undeserved) season. Two, the Expos were making a playoff push and were in the hunt. Third and most importantly, the team was facing the very real possibility, if not probability, of contraction. So in that light, you can’t really blame Omar Minaya for grossly overpaying when it looked like the team was bound for nonexistence anyway.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 9 days ago

The Cub moves were awful in a systemic sense. You play your promising young players, then spend those savings where you actually do have need. Now Baez is blocked barring catastrophic injury, and Soler may be too, unless Heyward can both carry center and stay healthy there.

They could have had Price and Span for a bit less $$$ and less opt-out cost. That would’ve been so much better of a fit.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 9 days ago

And if Zobrist’s defensive numbers last year were a harbinger – which at his age they often are – rather than a 1-year blip, his contract period will be lousy. Even this coming season, $14 mill for a good-hit/mediocre field 2nd baseman is probably just about the going rate.

dl80
Member
dl80
3 months 9 days ago

Baez’s bust rate is extremely high.

There’s nothing in his background to make one believe that he’s anything other than a 5% BB, 30% K guy who has to rely on either super high BABIPs or a huge amount of HRs to have a serviceable batting line.

He’s hit for a substantial amount of power in the minors, but he’s basically got 2015 MIchael Taylor’s line as a comp.

output gap
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Member
output gap
3 months 9 days ago

Having two 30 year old pitchers for $350 million both get hurt would be awful in a systemic sense. Price was logical, but the deal the Red Sox offered him was beyond what risk the Cubs could handle. Guys do get hurt and even if it’s just minor injuries the opportunity will be there for Soler and Baez to get 500 PA’s this season. It doesn’t hurt to have depth.

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 8 days ago

1) they raised their floor substantially which is important in that division.
2) who cares about blocking young players when the rebuild is over and its winning time.
3) those blocked players are now depth and or currency to upgrade where they see fit at a later point.

tz
Member
tz
3 months 9 days ago

I’d like to give a very special thumbs up to the Cespedes deal for the way it is structured.

You have a star (non-superstar) player in his prime who is worth a lot for the next few years but could decline quickly after that. He’s finding a tough time getting the long-term deal guys like him typically have gotten, while his old team (who would love to have him back) is trying not to overspend.

It seemed like once the Mets got it that the next few years are a great window to ride their young pitching studs against a rebuilding NL East, they put forth a deal that pays Cespedes reasonably whether he chooses to stay all three years or opt-out after the first. Very well played, and also a great way to stoke the Mets fan base.

530fireman
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530fireman
3 months 9 days ago

The Giants acquiring 2 starters who can pitch 200+ innings a year, with the best defense in the NL will end up being better than half of the top ten in this list. #EVENYEAR

Deelron
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Deelron
3 months 9 days ago

As a Giants fan, naw.

Paying market rates for starting pitching, while likely very helpful to the teams succes (at least in the short term) is never going to crack a top 5 list headed with a prospects & good player for a good player trade.

530fireman
Member
530fireman
3 months 9 days ago

As much as I would of agreed with you in the past, the Giants didn’t over pay(like some teams did and the Giants overpayments of the past). They filled the biggest hole they had, which was who the hell was gonna be pitching behind madbum. In a pitchers park, with the help of raggs and the defense(plus the offense isn’t very shabby either) cueto and smardj could potentially make the Giants staff top 3 in the league this year. Big it’s, maybe sabean knows what he’s doing.

Luy
Member
Luy
3 months 9 days ago

Perspective, bro.
No one is saying those are BAD deals. Merely – and I’m sorry that this offends the typical Giant-fan’s delicate sensibilities – that they weren’t the best deals.

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 8 days ago

As long as shark keeps his e.r.a under 5. In all seriousness i like the signings but they fall in to the good not best section. Me no likes their bullpen though.

Yanks123
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Yanks123
3 months 9 days ago

Loved the Span, Kendrick and Heyward signings. I really would consider moving those up.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
3 months 9 days ago

I wonder, why no mention of the Miley for Smith/Elias swap, even as just an honorable mention? I’m not privy to the methodology here, but that was a trade that was highly regarded on Boston’s end on a pure value basis, and would seem to stack even better in terms of “helping the team advance to the postseason”. After all, Miley’s best value is in reliability, but the quality of his innings was fairly lacking. While Boston likely won’t replace his arm with any one other arm, the odds are that not much will be lost (and there are odds that something is even gained) over the collection of starts made in Miley’s place.

That means, in return for a pitcher whose lose seemingly won’t make a major impact on Boston’s 2016 chances, Boston added an impressive-looking young relief arm, along with a versatile pitcher who could be an added LH relief weapon or whose options would give Boston a passable starting pitcher for maybe the 8th-10th spot on the SP depth chart.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 months 9 days ago

Wiley’s added 2 WAR per year over the last 4 while filling in @ 200 innings each one. That has considerable value. Sure I’ll take the Red Sox side of that trade, but innings-munchers are both needed and somewhat rare. While relievers are volatile. I bet ‘starter-for-reliever’ trades usually benefit the team grabbing the starter.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
3 months 9 days ago

I don’t disagree with anything you said. I think Miley is a nice get for the Mariners too, and it isn’t impossible to have a win-win trade (though the Mariners definitely lost some things to gain him).

My point is that Boston losing Miley isn’t a vacuum move, as the team will replace his 32-35 starts with other players. Given that the team’s current SP depth is solid, the odds are that the combination of arms, whatever they may be, that pitches in those 30ish starts won’t do significantly worse that Miley would have on a quality basis.

By that logic, Boston didn’t really “lose” anything by giving up Miley, and in fact even freed up some payroll overall (and freed up the rotation spot to upside too). Meanwhile, the team without a doubt gained something. So yes, on a pure value basis Boston gave up an asset (as you also rightly said), but on a “helping the team win basis”, Boston moved a piece it could afford to do without and in return got a flexible arm as well as a potentially dominant setup man. I would think that’s a lot of needle moving for a team in a single transaction.

gnomez
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gnomez
3 months 9 days ago

I’m pretty shocked the Maeda signing didn’t even make your honorable mentions list. He could be a massive bargain.

thestatbook
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thestatbook
3 months 8 days ago

Isn’t the problem with Maeda’s deal though that the better he is, the more expensive he gets?

With all the incentives, an 8/25 deal could turn out to be an 8/100 deal. While not bad, if you’re getting a decent pitcher, you’ve paid market price for him.

halidonhill
Member
halidonhill
3 months 4 days ago

Not really. If he’s great and triggers all the incentives they got an #2/3 level pitcher for $12.5 million a year. That’s well below market value. If he’s terrible then they can move him to the bullpen or ship him elsewhere and he’s still not getting terribly overpaid because the incentives wouldn’t kick in.

Shirtless Carson Cistulli
Member
3 months 9 days ago

Getting a Whizzinator would have been THE best transaction of the 2016 off-season :(

skmd
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skmd
3 months 9 days ago

for those worried that Hayward loses value playing in CF, consider that the Cubs have been working out Baez in CF and have minor leaguer Matt Szczur who is out of options and is likely to put in time in CF for late game defense. Hayward may only play as little as 50-60% of his innings in CF, shifting back to left for the rest.

skmd
Member
skmd
3 months 9 days ago

sorry, I meant shifting back to right

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 8 days ago

Dont even think szczur makes the team unless they still think alcantara can still develop in triple a. Otherwise i ghink alcantara makes it because of maddons desired versatility. So much more upside as well.

Hmmbug
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Hmmbug
3 months 9 days ago

Looking over the list from last year, I came across the Masterson 1/10 deal as an honorable mention. That one still hurts.

MLB Rainmaker
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Member
MLB Rainmaker
3 months 8 days ago

Can’t trust Dave’s judgment that implicitly…

redsoxu571
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redsoxu571
3 months 8 days ago

Why not? It was a nice risk-reward deal. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean it was a bad idea (as evidenced by Masterson being as bad as could be imagined last season, and yet Boston was able to move on completely this season due to him having not future contract).

The salary invested could be spared, but the upside was very real. And, after all, all those factors still made it just an “honorable mention” selection.

So, sorry, Dave Cameron’s judgement is still just fine.

Radermecher
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Radermecher
3 months 9 days ago

Actually playing out the season,has a wonderful way of settling disputes.Many trades take several years to evaluate.Wilson,Zimmerman,and Upton were gets for the Tigers.

gbaked
Member
3 months 9 days ago

As a Mets fan, that Atlanta deal may be a thorn in my side for the better part of the next decade. Ugh.

JediHoyer
Member
JediHoyer
3 months 8 days ago

Lol im a cubs fan but im still jealous the braves got to commit highway robbery.

Noah Baron
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Noah Baron
3 months 8 days ago

The Dickey trade was even worse. I think we’ll get over it.

MLB Rainmaker
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Member
MLB Rainmaker
3 months 8 days ago

I don’t know, I kinda think its a cop out to call a Free Agent signing a “great transaction”. The Cespedes/Gordon deals I can kinda see, because those do seem like hometown discounts….but Zobrist/Heyward are pretty much market deals.

scottaz
Member
scottaz
3 months 8 days ago

Disagree with your 1. choice. One of the myths circulating in the national media regarding the D’backs – Braves trade is that all #1 draft picks are superstars. I’d challenge that assumption in Dansby Swanson’s case. Go back to the 2015 pre-draft analysis. The 2015 draft was considered by all experts as a weak draft at the top, with no clear cut first pick. The D’backs settled on a “safe” selection, a college SS who was strong across the board, no weaknesses, but no outstanding tool. Swanson is a good kid and I hope he has a long, solid big league career, but he is not a superstar. In your article, the first mention is not “Dansby Swanson”, but rather “the #1 pick in last summer’s draft” leaving the reader with the impression that this is the mythical superstar. Also, bear in mind that Ender Inciarte was a failed Rule 5 pick up 2 years ago, who was returned to the D’backs. Everyone focuses on his breakout year, but forgets that it’s a one year track record. Did the D’backs sell high on Inciarte’s one year outlier? I don’t disagree that it was a good trade for the Braves (I’d add for the D’backs too!), but I do disagree that it was the No. 1 fleecing of the off-season.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
3 months 8 days ago

Sorry, you whiffed on that thought, scottazsays.

Were Swanson a “typical” #1 overall pick, that trade wouldn’t have been highway robbery…it would have been making off with Fort Knox. High-end #1 overall picks simply don’t get traded, because there is nothing even close to that player’s value. Swanson has a terrific floor with ample upside, so he’s still a very nice prospect, and FAR MORE than what you would have figured on Miller getting given the other pieces that were in the deal.

Also, the route Inciarte took to getting where he is is largely irrelevant now. He is whatever we think he is, not what he was. Two years before Johan Santana put up really impressive numbers at the AAA and MLB levels, he was just a Rule 5 pick valued evenly with Jared Camp. That doesn’t mean he was viewed as a surefire future Cy Young winner, but he was past his Rule 5 origin by that point too.

scottaz
Member
scottaz
3 months 8 days ago

Sorry, I don’t understand this non-sensical statement “He (Inciarte) is whatever we think he is”?!?!?!? I think I’m the richest person in the world! Am I? Watch Inciarte regress significantly this season compared to his stats in extreme-hitter-friendly Chase Field. I like him, but when the hype wears off he’ll be an average at best CFer.

thestatbook
Member
thestatbook
3 months 8 days ago

He was responding to your phrase:

“Also, bear in mind that Ender Inciarte was a failed Rule 5 pick up 2 years ago, who was returned to the D’backs. Everyone focuses on his breakout year, but forgets that it’s a one year track record.”

In your exaggerated response to redsoxu51’s reply (which you took out of context), you failed to see his point.

Who cares what route Ender Inciarte, or any player, took to get where they are. Just because he was a failed Rule 5 pick-up doesn’t remove any chance of him being a successful long-term player. Matt Duffy was an 18th round pick with almost no outlook of having major league success. As redsoxu51 pointed out, Johan Santana was a Rule 5 pick.

thestatbook
Member
thestatbook
3 months 8 days ago

Also, (and I apologize if this comes across as petulant), your comments seem to be ones stemming from someone who can’t handle his team being spoken ill of.

It’s a classic defense comment of trying to spin a trade as better by talking down the players you gave up. Almost no one agrees with your sentiments. And if I were a betting man, I would put money on the fact that if Inciarte were still a D’Back, you’d be raving about how great he is.

scottaz
Member
scottaz
3 months 8 days ago

Thestatbook, you missed my point. You said “”Who cares what route Ender Inciarte, or any player, took to get where they are.” I was asking the question “Where is Ender Inciarte?” Or “Who is Ender Inciarte?” Is he the Rule 5 bust? Or is he the one hit wonder? He had one fine and much appreciated year in Arizona. Was that his “career year”? Or is he a great player on his way up from that platform year? The national media, and you by your comment, have decided that he’s a great player on his way up from last year’s breakout year? I say it’s too early to anoint him thusly. He may be a bust, or he may be great. But he doesn’t have enough track record to decide which at this point. I personally hope he becomes great. He’s a good kid. I’m just not ready to anoint him a sure fire HOFer like so many others have. So my question stands, “Who is Ender Inciarte?”

thestatbook
Member
thestatbook
3 months 8 days ago

Curb the hyperbole, Scott.

No one is lauding him as a Hall of Fame outfielder yet, at least no one who is worth being listened to.

And for what it’s worth, you didn’t ask about Inciarte, or if you did, you stated that question poorly and it leads to a lot of confusion. Your quote: “Also, bear in mind that Ender Inciarte was a failed Rule 5 pick up 2 years ago, who was returned to the D’backs. Everyone focuses on his breakout year, but forgets that it’s a one year track record.”

And then you made the statement, and I quote: “Watch Inciarte regress significantly this season compared to his stats in extreme-hitter-friendly Chase Field. I like him, but when the hype wears off he’ll be an average at best CFer”

You seem to have already answered your own question regarding Inciarte by dismissing him completely.

scottaz
Member
scottaz
3 months 7 days ago

Whoa! Who are you? Sigmond Freud? I feel like I just got psychoanalyzed! Answer the question, is the jury still out on Inciarte? Or has he conclusively proven that he’s a star? Analytics guys say he’s going to have a regression because he’s playing half his games in Atlanta, not Arizona, and he doesn’t have the track record of multiple productive years to prove his last year wasn’t an outlier. So it’s equally possible that he’ll regress as it is that he’ll put up those same numbers. Everybody is talking about the D’backs trade with Atlanta as if they are convinced that he’s going to repeat last year’s production. I’m just saying that’s a stretch and I prefer to hold judgment for a year or so.

thestatbook
Member
thestatbook
3 months 7 days ago

Sometimes, err, most times, a player’s value is seen most by when he’s replaced. The Giants learned quickly how valuable Hunter Pence was to that team last year.

If the Diamondbacks had a viable replacement in the outfield, sure, losing him and picking up Shelby Miller would have been an okay trade, although I’m not sure people would still love it. But when his replacement is Yasmany Tomas who was 4.6 wins worse than Inciarte last year, and isn’t projected to be much more than a replacement level guy, if we buy into the projections, it’ll become clear how valuable Inciarte was when he’s replaced by Tomas.

So if we agree that value is subjective, which I’d imagine we do, Inciarte will be quite the loss if the projections are correct.

Ethbob21
Member
Ethbob21
3 months 8 days ago

Taking a step back makes the Braves deal look even better. Throwing in the deal last off-season essentially means that the Braves gave up one year of Heyward, two years of Walden (with an option for a third), and the compensatory pick for Heyward for last year’s number one pick, a solid outfielder with five years of control, and two pretty good pitching prospects in Blair and Jenkins. Pretty incredible work by the front office.

websoulsurfer
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websoulsurfer
3 months 6 days ago

Kimbrel is 27. 4 years younger than the age pitchers typically peak at. So can you explain just how he is “not that young anymore”? The Padres atrocious defense and lack of a decent game caller behind the plate certainly contributed to any issues he had early in the 2015 season, much as it did every other pitcher on the Padres staff who all saw dips on performance, so just getting away from the Padres will lead to better performance from him. So if he only continues to do what he has done on average over the past 3 seasons including 2015, for the next 2-3 seasons, he is top 4 in the game and much, much better than Darren O’Day. If he is able to make the difference and they don’t repeat the 33 one-run games the Red Sox have led and then lost the last 2 seasons, then he is a bargain. It could mean the difference between the playoffs and sitting home in October. A run in the playoffs with worth a lot more than a few prospects that will not help the Padres anytime soon. Kimbrel is a known commodity and the prospects the Padres got are certainly not guaranteed to even be able to play at the major league level. Even Guerra, by far the best of the prospects, is a minimum of 3 years away from the majors and not guaranteed to make it. Margot ceiling is a regular starter, but not a star. Maybe a 2 WAR player at his peak. Logan Allen is so far away it’s not worth discussing. Asuaje is a throw in whose ceiling is a utility player. IF, and it’s a huge if, all 4 make it to the majors and play to their ceilings, then its a bad trade. If not, then the Red Sox have a real good shot at winning this trade just by making a run into the playoffs in one of the next 3 seasons. Chances are, 3 of the 4 prospects flame out and its Kimbrel for take your pick. Even if its Guerra and he becomes the All-Star most scouting services believe he can become, then it’s STILL a win for the Red Sox if they make the playoffs once in the next 2-3 years.

Lanidrac
Member
Lanidrac
3 months 15 hours ago

I wouldn’t include the Lackey deal among the honorable mentions. While he has aged extremely well to this point, the dude is still 37 years old. It’s not a terrible move, since the salary isn’t outrageous and it’s only for two years, but the odds are he’s going to wind up pretty overpaid by the end of it.

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