The Bridge Over Probies

September 29, 2010


Until 2012 with the new bargaining agreement and supposedly Commissioner Selig having stepped down (with early indication, at least), it’s foolish for Mr. Moreno to contribute of augmenting marquee player salaries under the current conditions.  Unlike my Hot Stove stances previous seasons, gung ho the Halos go investing in key free agents of boosting their rankings, the big picture unfolds uglier and uglier until MLB makes that essential elemental change. 

I won’t allude to the politically argumentive, Glen Beck “special interest corruption,” though I agree with him economically as I enjoy watching the Keynesian abuse bum progressives dropping out of the White House, such as Christina Romer and Larry Summers.  Let’s just stick to “protectionism” the problem, as certain external forces, ahhh hemm, the Players Union, free agency, and showbiz deciz (show business decision) ruin baseball’s biz.  Until MLB expands the central fund including local TV revenue sharing and instilling a per team mandatory annual investment floor to the competition committment, Arte’s just pumping into this lopsidedness with the game of his own money until it establishes the ideal model symmetry. 

It seems as if I posture as the conservative, politically, yet progressively for the change to MLB, correct?  Irrelevant!!  MLB’s behaving an out-of-character, miss-boss managed, brick and mortar building that is to a business.  Anyone is dumbfounded, believing the commissioner without the access by the forces involved, without recognizing the universal difference.  It starts with Yankees fans.  Abandon the “soft” deligation with the office and insert a “Mountain Landis” on the basis of this argument and the rest takes the back seat.  Management of MLB and the teams comprised as the show biz product is not exclusive to any other business.  Baseball’s evolved favoritism hand has forced tightened competition as the ultimate entertainment value to the best interest of all parties with it’s revenue resource.                

To Selig’s ambassadorship with MLB and his legacy as the official commissioner since 1998, he’s admirably recovered it’s marketing share since the 1994 strike, but done so with a revenue skew to the elite few holding only to that entertainment value.  The Yankees the apex, followed by Red Sox, the rest to squander, and whoever risks to spend on this king-of-the-hill crawl.  It’s long overdue for a commissioner to put his foot down with the mechanism of smoothening out the baseball operation, with inclusion, to EVERY team responsible of making the game the REAL business.        

Then, as it began in 1992 until their 2002 WS Championship: 92, Disar; 93, Salmon (RF); 94, Edmonds (CF); 95, Anderson (OF); 96, Erstad (CF and 1B); 97, Glaus (3B); 98, Molina (C).  They interchanged between OF, 1B, 2B, and SS but with the core to their own corps until Scioscia put them over the top with all on the same page for quality at bats and execution.  Might as well refrain from exhorbitant free agent spending for the re-establishment until the league indicates for the better balance of establishment to it’s own; it’s just not worth it if you’re not on the apex by the game’s decisions, today.  Callaspo’s of ideal ingredient toward the objective (despite the nagging wrist of putting a dent into his production this season) for the time-being until Kaleb Cowart might arrive.  Looking at their present rooted players, on track are Aybar (SS), Kendrick (2B), and Morales (1B).  Bourjos (CF) and Conger (C) are (love the term) “probies”  to maybe fit the mold as Trout (OF) might join them next year.  Aybar declined down this season stretch but I’ll hold too that it’s been the knee since the Brewers McGehee late June collision aggravating, and see him through.  Whether I end up suggesting Aybar replaced, Wood, Napoli, and Mathis are off track.  Face it, Bengie Molina proved the offensive and defensive unique system catcher they’re attempting now with Conger.  Hold to Mathis for the defense and mentorship but cash in on Napoli’s power value now of trading him and to his service with the attempt of better fit into another system. 

Unless, they might want to move Kendry to 3B and Callaspo to LF?  Certainly a way without fueling the present, discouraged against, free agent fire of buying the overvalued Crawford, who will be by how thin the best of the OF is with free agency.  And though the risk, they could take advantage of the time using the bridge over probies toward the core re-establishment.  I don’t have a problem with it but that it might be too risky to assume with the changes involved and without Napoli executing though working on it.   

Between the non-rooted players comprising the rest of the lineup, Torii, our honored 2010 All Star representative played a horribly overvalued, head way ahead of his body, older, misfit.  He missed Morales but was a rally-killing KO, GIDP. CS (fool), 180!  Sign of age?  Maybe, but he’s no-trade by clause and stock that they’re stuck with him.  Abreu’s a true champ at the plate, adjusting up and down the lineup, reaching 20+ SB, discipline, execution, with DH/OF platoon for his 2011 contract year.  Matsui, better late than never.  Too late.  There’s the Japanese media yield, nimbler healing off the knee surgery, showing the typical late season slugging…favorable enough to retain?  He’ll be 37 next season, Abreu’s replacing while they’ll be exploring for the complete player lost to the OF this season, this Hot Stove.  Torii needs help, don’t get caught up in the “keep Matsui” last ditch effort campaign!  With Rivera, see Torii but without the glove, hold him to the bench or find a taker offering the chance at regular, but he’s regressed to the part timer he once was.

Depending on their decisions, they still may need that key, complete player for LF.  But stay away from free agency and seek by bargain trade with Bourjos and Trout under the bridge.     



By Way of the Bargain Belt

August 22, 2010

X-Facto Callaspo, the great executioner, quiet assassin, Calypso – choose your weapon that he is for the nickname.  Especially, as he overcomes that sore left wrist since early June before the Halos nabbed him.

Early season, people on the boards just chirped at him with my suggestion as this former Halos farmhand a key ingredient added to Scioscia’s (pressure PITA – pain in the ***- to deal with) offensive strategy if Brandon Wood showed he couldn’t execute.  We’re starting to see Alberto blend in nicely toward that goal now, aren’t we?!

As bold as for me to say, and probably Scioscia would too, give me 9 “Calypso’s” (to my lineup) with the starting pitching and I will beat you, day in and day out.  One weapon alone begins with striking out the least of anybody, even Kurt Suzuki on the AB weight, multiple hit games, all fields, gap power, double digit HR’s on a season…pretty tough to defend 9 of those up and down.  

Add Jason Bulger soon to reinforce the bullpen (and possibly Brian Stokes), Texas’ SP problems down the stretch with what looks to be toppling from the Lee-Wilson anchor now (with Harden back to the DL) toward an overspent bullpen, Vlad cooling, Matsui heating…and the Halos could actually catch them down the stretch here.

Abreu, Callaspo, Aybar, Kendrick, Bourjos, Izzy (is it a wonder why Scioscia puts him in there while he can?), Hunter (who blends in but hopefully refrains from stupid on base paths), Matsui (who I’m counting on for typical clutch hitting stretch)…all on line with the plan.  Go by way of the “bargain belt” (of actually trading for Beltran) that nobody sees but me and think I’m crazy about, and it could be lethal.      

Napoli and Rivera have pop but can’t execute and I throw up to their own base coaching on the base paths.  Depending on the savings yield with getting Beltran – Napoli yielding more, Rivera less for a trade – I’d be inclined to consider either one of them at this point and gamble on Beltran’s bat returning to impact.  If it does, the Halos leverage for renegotiation at a bargain despite that he’s Boras’ client.  His age and proven current over-valued contract expiring next year make it inevitable.  So, if you’re the Halos, catch others snoozing, seize him with this potential opportunity (while beating Boras to the punch at the same time), and you wouldn’t need Carl Crawford with the money to point at Cliff Lee instead with.  Even over the Yankees, expected to have shelled out a lot of dough for Crawford.      

Weaver, Lee, Haren, Santana, Kazmir while I still have leverage to trade Piniero and can continue to shape “the bell” (Trevor Bell).  Take Beltran that I might pin him down to a bargain with Lee to my rotation, amen!!

A part of the execution has been taken out of the lineup now with Izzy on the DL, and looking worse with batting Napoli and Mathis back-to-back or within the same lineup.  That Izzy was working better with Kendrick at 1B, it needs help all of a sudden.  Choose 1 catcher with Wilson this year.  Might as well be Mathis with Conger waiting in the wings for next year and trump Napoli or Rivera for a trade.

It’s a Gambling Game, Take Millwood-Tejada

July 11, 2010

Is Millwood a man necessarily to pass on?   He actually might be a bargain!  

Contract final year.  Horrible this season, 2-8 for a horrible team within hitter friendly confines.  Respectable 3.67 and 13-10 for Texas last season.  2.86 ERA in 2005 with CLE though 9-11 the losing record.  I’m only gauging off the last five years.    

Consider tossing the first half of this season out, just throw it away.  Still, his lifetime home ERA is 3.97 with his road, 4.23, has held a 6 IP avg, while pitching for PHI, CLE, TEX, and BAL since 2003, rather unfriendly confines.

Throw in a change of venue to pitcher-friendly Anaheim with that lifetime and he might turn out a pretty nice reinforcement compliment to a strong rotation for a run at the second half.  Millwood’s reputably been a good competitor and I’d take the chance he and that mound presence matches well in a key/pivitol game, regular or post season.  

To top it off, a Millwood-Tejada, SP-3B double whammy answer to Texas’ Lee at this point before the deadline, intrigues.  Tejada, whom I’ll also chance a bargain.  It might not take that much and leave the flexibility trading for 1B later by the deadline. Meanwhile, they fill two present apparent holes with no way out of rental they prefer to avoid.  Kazmir’s been ugly lately, but I’ll say he’s hit rock bottom and bounces up under Mike Butcher’s tutelage and offer Saunders.  It’s a gambling game to save this season all the way around, but considering the alternative, it’s showing the attempt at a bargain versus it lost. 

I’ve posted at earlier suggesting Ted Lilly an alternative, but am turning away from him now while a fly ball pitcher.  Let the Mets have him, the more I look at it, he’s strictly contoured for the NL and that park to begin with and too risky for the AL and the DH.  

Talk Saunders (under control but arbitration eligible) originally from the beltway the compensation, throw in Wood, and discuss a few more players or prospects around with Baltimore and we might have something started.  And though 36 years old (Dec. 24), if they like Millwood’s fit to Anaheim by season end, they might re-sign him with the payroll flexibility indicated.  Boras his agent, but like I say along with many, there’s no way to avoid him and there’s still the player.     

Throwing a Life Preserver with the S.O.S.

June 28, 2010

Shift Of Schedule as I suggest for MLB with S.O.S. 

Unless your team is the Chicago Cubs, in order that each team maximize their attendance on the season, I suggest they do away with the ridiculous early get-away day game time starts of recent years by simply laying down the following:

1.  All teams play to the same calendar. 

2.  Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday established as “official travel” days where teams switch off between home and the road.      

3.  Replacing 2 and 4-game with 3-game series’ flat across the schedule. 

Mon., Tues., and Wed. make home stands and road swings incrementally possible between 6, 12, and 15 with the 3-game series multiple to begin with.  9 games is excluded because they fall on Fri., Sat., Sun., or Thurs. as primary play days preferred protected altogether. 

I’ve understood Thursday the occasional off day for before the weekend 3-game game series whether for travel or awaiting the next visitor.  But I haven’t from the fan perspective and it’s because of the 7-day calendar.  MLB should make their own around that calender, mandate Thurs. play as as part of it, and never include it an off day.  From the spectator psyche, Friday is the least productive business day of gearing up for the weekend while Thurs. is that launching point.  No wonder why the NFL Network and NCAA establishes Thursday night football.  Especially during the summer with the kids out of school, MLB’s wasted that day of opportunity.        

I assembled such a schedule prototype to demonstrate for 2011.  Working backward from the All Star Game Break beginning July 11, The season would begin Tues., Apr. 5.  Then working forward after the break from Thurs., July 14, the season would end Thurs., Sep. 29., fulfilling 81 home and away games.  I made certain to avoid bias and skewness for an advantage, mixed in a 6-game breather after 12 and 15-game stints that all teams have a total of 15 travel days off (excluding the All Star Game break days) for the season, while Memorial, 4th of July, and Labor Day are protected (of upholding baseball tradition) for playing.  Comparatively, teams have roughly 18 days off for the 2010 season.  I think it’s close enough.  Otherwise, substituting two 6-game series’ for a 12-game does the trick, that simple.          

Acknowledging, if the scheduled travel day falls on a Tues., the 3-game series ends on a Monday, and for Wed., Tues.  Unlike normal tradition awkward as it may seem for some series’ to begin Sat. or Sun., it’s necessary to fulfill the goal.  The debate over whether visiting teams travel on a Fri. or Sat. between cities within their block on schedule may persist, also.  

Here’s that calendar, now plug the teams in! > Year > 2011 > April 2011.  Please cut and paste the URL to view and follow the path, the link’s not coming up now. 

Note on how to read the calendar:

Travel H6, 6 (for example) denotes that travel off day of coming home for 6 games and the cumulative game count toward 81 on the season.  The empty days to calendar follow according the number.  “A” preceding would be going on the road for that number with it’s cumulative count also toward 81.  Obviously, a mirror applies, also.  Where some teams draw H, others draw A within the number.  This is just an example to the template.  Arrow between the months for the full schedule.  Keep in mind, too, where you see Season Begin or Begin (after the All Star Game break), games include that day as part of the count.        

A (w/ a Halo) Mock Rub with the Draft

June 3, 2010

Let’s talk about those 3 picks of the 1st 32 coming their way, shall we? Getting psyched up here! has the Halos picking,

18: Dylan Covey
Ht/Wt: 6-2/200 lbs
Position: RHP
School: Maranatha HS (CA)
29: A.J. Cole
Ht/Wt: 6-5/190 lbs
Position: RHP
School: Oviedo HS, Fla.
30: Delino DeShields
Ht/Wt: 5-8/185 lbs
Position: 2B/CF
School: Woodward Academy (Ga.)

Looking within the mock, allow me to reason like this. Unless the player
shows absolutely premier at 1 position, the Halos tendency has been to
draft the athletic, with the bat and good arm of playing the 2-way
position. Then again, we all know what’s
transpired with those eggs in 1 basket with Brandon Wood, so far.  With that in mind, if showing to pitch and play the hot
corner, SS, or OF, they pick that way.  Should
they decide along the safer route, therefore, I’m calling they take
Brett Eibner (along that fast track from college)
or Kaleb Cowart, instead. I’d rather they take Eibner.  But, if
Castellanos is there by 18, nab him because that’s the guy after
Longoria in Tampa if he’s bolted by the time of his FA.  Taking a little rub off
that Rays talent evaluation.  

In fact, keep this in mind for a possible draft strategy. As some have
questioned the Halos recent talent evaluation trend, it might not hurt to
steal it off the others showing. Picks 14 to 32 w/in the mock involve
the following organizations that are: Brewers, Rangers, Rays, Twins,
Red Sox, Marlins, Giants, Rockies, Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees. So, as
analysts concoct their mocks to organization draft tendency and needs trend,
playing off the consensus might be ideal.  

Thus, for 29, take Matt Harvey (before the Rays) but Paxton from my Alma Mater if (the Phillies don’t) and he’s still there (along the fast track from those colleges).

For 30, take Justin O’Conner (if the Dodgers don’t) and he’s still there, Harvey if he’s still there, or Jenkins (before the Yankees do) and if he’s still there.  

Hold Lackey at Bay for the Cab

December 7, 2009

Before I begin, I’m taking a moment to remember those men who defended at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.  Thank you!  

Without the GMJ Rays connection, the Halos might have the following opportunity to look into.  They were prepared to shell out (or believed to be) $160 million over 8 years for Tex last season.  They were also in on the Miguel Cabrera (M-Cab) trade talk during 2007 Hot Stove before he went to Detroit.  Now, Cabrera has $126 million remaining over 6 years, would the Angels be willing to assume that now? 

Considering, Detroit has some holes to fill: OF, 2B, SP.  Placido Polanco’s signed with Philadelphia while Carlos Guillen can play between 1B and OF.  Adam Everett has re-signed, plugging their SS need, but moreover may serve as stop-gap, depending upon who may emerge.  If given the opportunity to take Cabrera’s money off the books, it would appear to give the more preferred flexibility to hold onto Granderson (under contract until 2013) and even the arbitration eligible Edwin Jackson (commanding quite a raise at this point). 

Supposedly the Angels have opened talks with Jason Bay.  If and with Cabrera persisting from Detroit, though, I’d rather see them direct that money to Lackey and call GM Dave Dombrowski about Cabrera.  With Lackey sealed, right off the bat, Dombrowski can look at the Angels with either of two quality starting pitchers – Weaver or Santana – to bolster and improve their rotation and position with keeping Jackson and the payroll breathing room around the rest of the field (of keeping Detroit city’s present economical flux with the domestic auto industry in mind).  On top of that, the Angels would give a nice valued OF (with GMJ tough to move) in Juan Rivera, a promising though hit-or-miss Brandon Wood for SS, plus a prospect.   The Angels might even consider giving up Kendrick for 2B, instead, leaving Wood to play 3B and put Morales in the OF with M-Cab at 1B, and avoid giving up the prospect.  Whichever decision, M-Cab might play 1B, 3B, or OF for the Angels. 

Dombrowski has said no about trading Cabrera.  Understandable, a player like that yields a great farm residual for any team, but there’s no denying the spread of opportunity here on this trade match with the Angels: given a top of the starting rotation pitcher, a proven LF, a proven 2B or potentially potent SS and a prospect, plus the payroll room. 

A match like this between these two clubs might be difficult to pass up. 

The GMJ Rays Connection

December 7, 2009

According to…
GMJ has $ 11 mil for 2010 and $12 mil for 11, awarded another $.5 million if traded. 

With all of GMJ’s performance bonuses entailed while he appears fully
healed, the Halos might as well play him out if he might still yield
that production, seeing it through of having him DH or revolving it around him and the OF.  After the Angels invested in GMJ, 2007, off his 2006 MVP candidate season, his injury uncertainty forced the Angels to invest in
Hunter of 2008 and Abreu of 2009 of the insurance.  Now he’s healthy.  Proceeding with GMJ and the same 2009 season treatment for the next 2 years remaining would be too costly for them if they bought another DH.  Thus, it would be in the Angels best interest to play him regularly or trade him, with no in-between.   

The best use of trading him appears to be with the Rays that might yield them better OF corner depth if the Angels enticed of including Rivera and over GMJ’s remaining
money.  Suppose to propose, the Halos assume GMJ’s remaining $23.5 million (through 2011) while the Rays would Burrell’s $9 million (through 2010). The Rays would also assume Rivera’s remaining $9.5 million (through 2011).  If all indicates to Rays GM, Andrew Friedman, that they’ll be unable to retain Carl Crawford beyond 2010, then the Angels might offer to take his $10 million off their books for 2010, added.  With the Angels adding a quality (or sleeper) prospect as icing on the cake, Friedman might be inclined to take it, provided Crawford agrees to extend with the Angels to avoid the open market.  Rivera plus the chance for the Rays to regain with GMJ what the Angels are leaving behind, paid along with it, and a prospect, might have the workings for a deal:

Outlined within the conditions above: The Angels send Rivera, GMJ, and a prospect for Crawford and Burrell from the Rays.      

While there are those, included of my recent call-in to MLB radio with former Orioles GM, Jim Duquette, that it would be too much money for the Angels to assume through 2011, allow me to remind?  It would be just as much without playing GMJ regularly, too.  They’re going to eat it either way, and if it’s Crawford the opportunity here, I’d rather eat it that way.