A Very WSD Christmas

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Hey there, New Guy again, Rice and I had a very baseball nerdy conversation on Christmas night and we’d like to share it with you on “back to work day.” Full transcript is here, I’m going to pull the good stuff and add my own thoughts.

Rice Cube

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I think they would’ve checked the price tag and the declined serious pursuit

Rice Cube

  • I think in order to appease the free agents they’re pretty much going to have to bump Travis Wood to the bullpen when Scott Baker is ready, at least until Baker is traded or sucks
  • signing both Sanchez and E-Jax would have made that more difficult to finagle

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Yep. I might’ve liked it better tho. And I think Garza starts the year in another uni
  • Shortly after ST

Rice Cube

  • would he even get fair value in return?
  • I get the idea, you trade him before Opening Day to allow the next team to get the option of the qual offer, but seems like that would be shortchanging on the return due to injury/unknown

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I think there’s a deal in place. Just a hunch

Rice Cube

  • that’s interesting

I don’t have any insider info on this, my idea is simply that they have a weird surplus of pitching, albeit not good pitching, and it doesn’t make sense to retain Garza in a lost year for a team that won’t compete. The Cubs pursuit of Sanchez and the Jackson signing show that they are looking for another arm for either insurance against the other pitchers or to take Garza’s spot in the rotation. Garza’s a 3 nowadays, so let’s look at what we thought his value may be.

Rice Cube

  • Samardzija would probably net the same return as Garza at this point
  • i.e. not much, but still someone who could be useful
  • I’d be able to tell you better for sure if I knew how to do the WAR$ calculations

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Maybe you can trick someone into giving a smidge more but yeah. Same value
  • Haha I think it’s 7mm per WAR now (it isn’t, it’s still 4.5)
  • Or close to that (nope)

Rice Cube

  • so if you presume that Samardzija is a 2 WAR pitcher at best, he’s going to make about…$3MM in arbitration and will have approximately $9MM in surplus trade value for this season, plus the other two arb seasons he’s still eligible for
  • or was it just one…gotta look that up
  • yeah, two more
  • this is his first arb-eligible season

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • So, what would you give up for Samardzija from the Cubs system?

Rice Cube

  • if you presume a Vogelsong-like extension as I guesstimated you’re talking about approximately $20MM in surplus trade value if you traded Samardzija now
  • for a guy with high-90s heat and a killer splitter and some residual upside, maybe you cough up a couple B-/C prospects, but I don’t think you go much higher than that due to the unknown
  • i.e. does Samardzija repeat his 2012 season or does he revert to shitty mode?

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Shitty mode still nets a potential closer IMO

Rice Cube

  • right, but I think they’d want better than a closer in return
  • especially if you consider Fujikawa is around for a wee bit, and Arodys Vizcaino, if he craps out a bit, is already closer material

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I’d give up The mid level guys, which means you’re getting guys like Brett Jackson back
  • Dudes with tools but dudes with holes in their game

The Cubs aren’t going to get super prospects in return for Garza. It doesn’t happen all that often anymore and when it does it’s usually a weird trade scenario. Rice is on the right track figuring that the haul for Samardzija might be a bit more than the haul for Garza, which sounds weird as hell. Let’s face it though, trades are weird and they happen for odd, arbitrary reasons. The underlying point is: don’t expect the farm for Garza, expect some mid level guys that can start at the MLB level, but probably won’t be All Stars.

Let’s review some possible trade scenarios:

Rice Cube

  • Lake + BJax + pitcher of note for either Justin Upton or Drew Smyly
  • I’d fap till I bled if one of those happened

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I would prefer Smyly but yeah that’s be interesting
  • Haha!

Rice Cube

  • I don’t know if that trade scenario sounds fair to the D’Backs or Tigers, respectively, but it seems like it would work in my mind

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I have a really uncomfortable Smyly boner
  • Less so for the Tigers, it would work more for AZ

Rice Cube

  • then you have to wonder how much the Cubs themselves value Lake and BJax and random pitcher of note
  • if they were to do that and steal Upton from the Rangers who were trying to work that trade, I think you might actually see Jon Daniels’ head explode

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I am starting to like Lake a lot, but he still has a ways to go. Obvious power.
  • Haha

All I’m going to say here is that I really, really hope the Tigers give up Smyly to the Cubs somehow.

Let’s take a quick Cubs break and look at the AL East:

Rice Cube

  • maybe we can expound a bit on the Red Sox thing
  • I just found it really strange that they cleared all that money from Theo’s so-called “bad” contracts and then signed a few more questionable contracts, albeit short-term contracts but still not-inconsequential amounts of money

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I don’t like their offseason
  • I find it very short sighted and without a real goal

Rice Cube

  • the Hanrahan trade seems like it had no real purpose
  • sure, you have a decent closer now, but gave up quite a bundle for just a closer

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Yeah no I don’t like that trade much
  • He’s a good pitcher but he isn’t worth the haul
  • And the AL east is a major bitch right now.

Rice Cube

  • I get Toronto’s trades a lot more than I got Boston’s trades
  • Tampa Bay didn’t really do much more than jettison Carlos Pena and I think they’ll still be better than the Red Sox

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • The Red Sox didn’t make moves for the future nor did they make moves for 2013 really

Rice Cube

  • I think the Yankees are going to be good even if they’re old as dirt

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I think they slip actually
  • All the way down to 87 wins haha

Rice Cube

  • the rotation is MEH after CC and probably Pettitte
  • lineup is full of old

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • And they will miss Swisher

Rice Cube

  • I’d be very surprised if Toronto and Tampa didn’t get the top two spots
  • and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Baltimore performs much closer to their Pythag from this past season

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Agreed. I don’t like Baltimore much.

Rice Cube

  • the depth of Toronto’s farm system and the way they were able to make those trades without completely obliterating the minors was admirable

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Teixeira is slipping a lot, A Rod isn’t automatic anymore, Granderson might have another good year or he might hit .250 with 20 bombs, too many ?’s For me

Rice Cube

  • I think they were actually trying to trade Granderson

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I think Gose has a good year

Rice Cube

  • Yankees are hell-bent on getting under the luxury tax threshold
  • good on Toronto for keeping Gose around

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • Still are, no real takers. He might make sense for the White Sox

No way in hell are the Orioles and Red Sox making the playoffs IMO. The transcript also has a small section on what we’d like from the Yankees.

This next part pertains to a line up discussion Rice and I had where he proposed a batting order and I did a quick back of the envelope calculation using wOBA to determine how many Runs the order would score. I had it at 4.1

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

Rice Cube

  • wow, I guess you don’t want Castro anywhere near the top of the lineup then

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • haha prob not
  • not yet anyway

Rice Cube

  • at the same time the projections are taking into account past production and not hypothetical future improvements
  • TROLOLOLOLOL @ Barney being #3 hitter in a couple of the “best” lineups

Mauricio Rubio Jr.

  • I know, I still think it hovers around 4.2

Rice Cube

  • I think given his need for development and the negligible difference in runs scored you just give Starlin the extra plate appearances and hope for the best”

I like Starlin Castro a lot. A LOT. I fall in love with MIF’s that can hit. The only reason to bat him 2nd is to give him more reps at this point though, unless he proves that the gains from the second half of last year a legitimate. Ideally Castro is the 4th or 5th hitter in a playoff lineup. That isn’t a crisis or a knock on Castro at all. You just want better offensive talent around him. He’s clearly not Alex Rodriguez, but he’s not an empty wizard, nor is he a blase offensive SS like Alcides Escobar.

Them’s the highlights, There some IQ stuff towards the end that I’m saving for Monday. You can read it if you want  on the link posted up top (Spoiler alert: Baseball is really fucking hard).

Thanks for your time and try to make it through work today. I know it’s rough.

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