Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sweeney Traded: Sweet for Ortmeier

Mark Sweeney has been traded to the enemy - the LA D-gers - for the same old, same old, the noted PTBNL (Player To Be Named Later). This is the first trade between old buddies (and twins) Brian Sabean and Ned Colletti, and the first trade between the Giants and the D-gers since 22 years ago when we acquired the immortal Candy Maldonado (gee, are Giants RF's cursed, he had the slide long before Jose Cruz Jr.'s dropped easy flyball) for Alex Trevino, a catcher we had. Despite the slide and missed flyball, we got the better of that exchange.

We are not going to get much of a prospect for Sweeney, in terms of near-term help, maybe we might get a long-term project like 1B Kyle Orr, a nice power-hitter they drafted last year but still way down the system, or a failing/failed prospect like 1B Cory Dunlap, but none of their more interesting prospects like Andy LaRoche, Chin-Lung Hu, or Blake DeWitt. Still, a prospect is a prospect, he should be better than whatever we get in compensation with Sweeney as a free agent, though I kind of doubt we get anything for him.

Sweeney was a clear B-free agent rating last off-season, so he probably would still yield a B this off-season, though it might be close because the eliminated 10% of the A's, which moved up the score he needs to be a B. Since it is cut off at the 40% level, it should be around 45 this year and he was tied for 41st last year. However, his stats this year, as stellar as it has been as a pinch-hitter, is down from 2005, as the rating is based on two-year production, so it looks like he might have fallen down to the C level, which gets no compensation this year. So any prospect for him right now is probably better than the nothing we probably would have gotten once he signed with anyone (though even that would be in doubt, we would have to offer arbitration as I doubt any team is going to sign him before the deadline for compensation, as I doubt there is a lot of competition for him).

To sum, Sweeney was a good soldier, though he was a little miffed early this season when it was speculated that he might be dropped off the roster, so it is good that we got someone for him, even a spec. And he has been a great teammate, setting up the Giants Idol competition both years, generally being a good influence in the clubhouse. Or maybe he's one of those Morris was sniffing at about accepting losing? :^) As a Giants fan, I salute him and his contributions, but wish him nothing but nothing since he's with the evil D-gers now, sorry, can't wish him good hitting.

Ortmeier Promoted

Dan Ortmeier, come on down! He's the lucky prospect who gets the call-up, and not a moment too soon, given Roberts injury - Roberts will probably be out for at least a few days. Sweeney was a luxury a losing team don't really need, we needed someone more like Ortmeier on the roster instead, one who could be a true 4th OF, who can play all three OF positions, and who is young and can hopefully learn and develop up here.

I like Ortmeier, and there must have been something there that Bonds saw because he actually was helping Ortmeier before spring training, I think in 2006, and given how Bonds don't normally give his teammates the time of day, that seemed significant to me. Besides, how can you not like a guy who is that tall and yet can steal bases in double figures plus hit the long ball as well?

Other Compensation Thoughts

First, for those who don't think much about Morris, he was rated an A-compensation pick last season, but will drop to a B this off-season because of the change in the latest CBA. A lot of Giants fans (and other fans) like to disparage him and his stats, but he really was a good pitcher, that is how far ERAs has risen in our era, due to whatever started runs to rise in the 90's (I'm going to post one expert's very logical take on this; I just realized that not everyone has seen everything I have).

Given that Rajai Davis looks to be good enough to be Dave Roberts platoon buddy in 2008 and to play the other OF positions OK, I think we got pretty good value for Morris, better than what a B-compensation pick, which is at best a 2nd round pick, but could fall to later rounds easily. And the player to be named later - which will probably depend on how well Morris does, so wish him well, except against the Giants (I'll bet he'll be amped up like he was last year and have a poor start against us, much like he has since mid-June) - will be like a cherry on top.

Other vets on the trading block possibly:
  • Klesko was a B after 2006, but with the change in the ranges and his good but not improved hitting overall, he's probably a C after this season, and we would not be due compensation for him.
  • Durham was clearly an A, but with his collapse this season and smaller A-range, probably falls to a B but if he recovers next year, he should be still around there.
  • Aurilia was an A, but he'll be a B even without his poor season. I think he'll be lucky to be a B after next season, even if he recovers in 2008.
  • Vizquel was an A bare would barely be one this season after the reduced A-range, and his poor season would appear to sink him, but as I noted in my pre-season discussion, he seems to alternate good and bad seasons so he was due to be bad this year, just not this bad. But he has suddenly come alive and if he can keep this up for a while, he might be able to catch up with here he was in 2005 and keep his A-compensation rating. Unfortunately, we have no SS ready - though Ochoa looks interesting - so the Giants might be tempted to re-sign him, particularly if he is willing to take a big paycut (he mentioned he prefers to stay in SF). We will see, but if a good team signs him, we get a back of the first round pick possibly (if he is that team's best A signing) plus a sandwich pick, very rich for him.
  • Feliz was a B last year, but that rating would only earn a C this off-season, plus he's hitting worse this season, so he's probably not going to earn any compensation. Then again, who would want him?

I don't think Molina, Roberts or Winn will be traded, so I won't cover them.


  1. I posted this stuff on Lefty, so I put it here too. First, about Ortmeier:

    Unfortunately, though Ortmeier is a SH AND he throws lefthanded, he is hitting much better against LHP than RHP this season. This held true for AAA last season too, but not AA. However, in AA in 2005, again, he hit LHP better than RHP. They should just force him to hit LH all the time, he would be a good complement to our lefties if he could hit RHP.

    Lewis has to stay down, if I recall right since he was just recently sent down. Don't know if Roberts going on the DL (if that happens), allows a waiver of that. In any case, if Roberts is out, Schierholtz would see more starts, as they move Winn to CF in that case or maybe play Rajai there anyway.

    Only problem is the Pirates have a ton of LHP starters, so we really need a righty. However, I think Schierholtz has held his own this season against LHP, though obviously that's at AAA level, but still, that's progress, I think he had big problems before.

    But first, we see what happens to Roberts.

  2. About the PTBNL, I found a great explanation as I've been wondering the same too:

    One key thing: "The player may not be an active Major Leaguer player during the interval between the trade and the date the player is named. As a result, most players to be named later are minor leaguers."

    It must be completed in 6 months and sometimes there is a pool of players agreed upon. Sometimes the player is agreed upon but for a few reasons, is untradeable at the moment (draftees cannot be traded until a year elapses; prospects on minor-league reserve list may not be traded between Nov. 20 and Rule 5 Draft in Dec.)

    So it looks like we are only getting someone who is probably down in the minors for Morris. We automatically cannot get anybody they call up after the Morris trade. Most probably the strength of the prospect depends on how well Morris does, I see no other reason for waiting, we aren't getting anyone from this draft, and last year's draft is eligible.

    Not sure what the hangup is with the Sweeney trade. Perhaps performance dictates here as well, but he's just a pinch-hitter, performance can vary widely for him and he'll still be as good as he's been, whereas a starting pitcher will influence one-fifth of the games, or about another 10-11 starts in Aug-Sept. Maybe Sabean wants to see how each prospect finishes out the season before selecting?

  3. Oh, as usual, I added on additional thought. If you haven't already guessed, that's why I tend to have long posts, one thought leads to another, most start out short with an initial thought...

  4. What stats are used for free agent compensation?

    They must use OBP and/or BA heavily, otherwise, I can't see how Vizquel or Klesko could be ranked ahead of Feliz.

  5. It's a secret. Elias sport bureau does the ranking, I believe.

  6. Thanks Marco, yes, it is a secret proprietary formula that Elias uses to calculate the ratings.

    The reason Vizquel and Klesko is ranked ahead of Feliz is two fold, first, to me, it appears that the rating is a function of rate stats and not counting stats, and Feliz's OPS was below both Vizquel and Klesko for the 2005-6 period, second, each ranking (not rating) is based on players at a common offensive position (Elias groups, I think, 1B plus DH plus OF, the middle infielders plus 3B, catchers alone, starting pitchers, and relief pitchers; plus they separate it by AL vs. NL. Obviously, not all will agree with groupings, but that's how it's done). Thus it matters how each player does relative to players in their own grouping.



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