January 5, 2003

Coming back to bite me in the...

Thanks to all the advice I received in regard to my Diamond-Mind keeper league team from everyone last week, I decided I would try to make some trades.

Most people felt that I should try to unload Carlos Pena, so I decided to do that.

I was in the middle of trade discussions with a team and the deal we were discussing was Carlos Pena, Olmedo Saenz and Mike Fetters for Johnny Damon.

I was trying to convince him to leave Olmedo Saenz out of the deal and give me Damon for Pena and Fetters.

After a couple of minutes of negotiating with the other guy, let's call him "Matt," this is what transpired:

MATT: I don't know if I want Carlos Pena.

ME: Why not?

MATT: I read an article on Baseball Primer a while ago that wasn't very high on him.

ME: Oh...

MATT: Here is what it said about him, and I quote:

"Pena is still a good bet to be a very good player, but if the average keeps dropping, the walks keep disappearing and the strikeouts keep piling up, he is going to be just another low average, good power, decent walk first baseman, which would make him a huge disappointment."

Wanna take a guess as to who authored the article that the Pena quote appeared in?

That would be none other than yours truly!

"Matt" went on to say that he was pretty sure I was looking to "dump" Carlos Pena.

I really wasn't.

I think Pena will be a very good player, but I was looking to trade him, which I told Matt.

After a few more minutes, I gave in and included Olmedo Saenz in the deal, he accepted the trade proposal, we had a deal and I had Johnny Damon as my starting center fielder.

I am pretty sure the only reason he brought up my article and what I said about Pena was because he wanted to get Saenz from me too.

And I can't blame him, because it definitely worked.

I guess that is why real General Managers don't write articles for baseball websites, huh?

The lesson here is that no one in either of my Diamond-Mind leagues should be allowed to read any of my various writings.

So, to Vinay, Craig, Chris, Joe and especially Matt, you are no longer allowed to view this blog or any of my Baseball Primer articles!

And, just for future reference, I think that all the players currently on my roster have incredible futures and will do nothing but improve every year.

And, contrary to what you may read on this web site, I am not a big believer in the greatness of Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds, so if I happen to inquire about their availability in trade talks, you will not be able to squeeze every last decent player on my roster out of me in a trade for them.

Thank you.

Speaking of websites...

Geoff Young has some great stuff going on at his website, "Ducksnorts."

Geoff is a big Padres fan and Ducksnorts in the best Padres-related blog on the internet.

Currently though, Geoff is publishing a little study he did in regard to minor league prospects.

He took John Sickels' minor league scouting notebook from 1996 and figured out the Win Shares totals for each and every player in the entire book, through 2002.

Then he calculated the average Win Shares for the guys Sickels gave A grades to and C grades to and all that.

It is really an awesome study and I know I was really interested in finding out the results when he mentioned to me that he was doing it last month.

So, go check it out and tell him I sent ya.

My birthday entry generated a massive amount of emails.

Most of them were people showing me what their "birthday team" looked like.

I have to say that pretty much every single one of the 364 days of the year that aren't my birthday make up a better team than the January 3rd guys.

A few of my fellow bloggers even followed my lead (which was really Jay Jaffe's lead originally) and came up with their birthday teams.

Cristian Ruzich, aka "The Cub Reporter," features none other than Cy Young (and Billy Beane!) on his birthday team.

While the world famous John Perricone from "Only Baseball Matters" has a great #1 starter (Bob Gibson) and a hell of a manager (Whitey Herzog) to lead his November 9th squad.

Eliot Shepard, the author of the always witty and entertaining "Darn Sox" blog had a lack of middle infield depth among players sharing his birthday, so he inserted himself as second baseman and even included his little league stats (and calculated an OPS+ for himself too!).

Also, I just found out that my team's starting catcher, Darren Daulton, recently got arrested on a DUI charge!

So I might be elevating Chico Hernandez into the starting role, which is good news for everyone but my team.

The last line of the Associated Press story on the Daulton arrest reads as follows:

"He served as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' bullpen coach in 2001."

Yeah, I could see where that could drive someone to drink.

Let's run through a couple of the recent free agent signings...

The Mariners signed Greg Colbrunn to a 2 year deal worth approximately $3.6 million.

Colbrunn will likely serve as a pinch hitter off the bench and spot starter against lefties (in place of Olerud possibly), but he really deserves to be a lot more than that.

Check out his numbers over the past 3 seasons:

vs Righties = .317/.398/.531 (309 ABs)

vs Lefties = .313/.387/.566 (288 ABs)

That's a guy that deserves a chance at a full-time 1B or DH job and will be under-utilized as a bench player.

There are at least a half dozen teams that Colbrunn would be a huge first base of DH upgrade for and he obviously could have been had very cheaply.

Very good move for the Mariners, particularly if Edgar Martinez misses significant time again this year, which is probably fairly likely.

The Twins signed Chris Gomez to a 1 year minor league deal and invited him to spring training as a Non-Roster Invite (NRI).

Chris Gomez is obviously no great shakes (which, incidentally, is one of my favorite sayings) but if the Twins are in need of anything, it is middle-infield depth, at all levels.

Everyone reading this probably knows about my feelings towards Luis Rivas, and Cristian Guzman hasn't been reminding anyone of Alex Rodriguez lately, so adding a capable backup shortstop/second baseman is always good news.

Actually, having Gomez and Denny Hocking as the team's 2 backup infielders is a perfect fit.

Gomez does reasonably well hitting against right handed pitching and stinks horribly against lefties.

Hocking does well against left handed pitching and less well against righties.

So, if either Rivas or Guzman goes down with an injury, a Hocking/Gomez platoon wouldn't be too bad.

Here are Gomez's #s from 2000-2002:

vs Righties = .275/.319/.425

vs Lefties = .208/.245/.290

That's a really strange platoon split because Gomez is a right handed hitter.

.275/.319/.425 probably doesn't look great and it certainly isn't, but it is better than Luis Rivas hit last year (or in 2001).

Plus, unlike Rivas, Chris Gomez is a capable defender at either second base or shortstop.

In case you're wondering, here is what Hocking did from 2000-2002:

vs Righties = .264/.327/.363

vs Lefties = .280/.361/.369

A platoon of .275/.319/.425 against righties and .280/.361/.369 against lefties is actually pretty productive for second base.

Overall, a very nice little pickup for the Twins, which is basically all a Twins fan like me can hope for - a nice little pickup.

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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