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Recent events: A-Gon, Dunn & Other Stuff

Recent events: A-Gon, Dunn & Other Stuff

PostPost #1 by Lucky Jim » December 4th, 2010, 7:27 pm

Just trying to gauge the feelings about the recent trade by Boston for Gonzalez and the Chi-Sox signing of Dunn. Lots of hysterics and histrionics throughout Birdland.

Do folks understand just how good a DH has to be to be worth $14m a year, do you think? Frankly, given Dunn's up and down performance over the years and some frightening peripherals this past season, I think the's O's 40m-ish valuation was just about right. I wouldn't even have gone a fourth year, but if you do, you've got to keep the $$$ down.

As for A-Gon, I think he's a great short-term pick-up for the Sox, and though their farm system isn't as good as some make it out to be, they were smart to get rid of Kelly while his value was high, as his stuff hasn't matched his early projections. Wasn't ever a feasible deal for the O's though because there's no way he extends. And there's no way for the O's to leverage a single year of A-Gon into contention, making the prospects slightly more worth it.

I get the frustration, obviously. But I really do think the O's priorities this offseason - particularly Hardy and Reynolds aren't just smart, they're almost exactly right. That's about five wins w/ little outlay, even at the injured/erratic 2010 performance levels for both players.
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Re: Recent events: A-Gon, Dunn & Other Stuff

PostPost #2 by Don » December 4th, 2010, 9:10 pm

Adam Dunn - Glad he was able to get a better contract than that Nationals contract. Super Glad the Orioles did not spend that money. I like Dunn and think his bat is solid. I do not think it is worth 14 million simply for offense. I would rather pay 9 million more per year and get better all around offensive production, lineup protection, and the gold glove in Gonzo.

Gonzo - Padres made off like bandets in that reported deal. No way should any team give up a ton of talent and still be on the hook for a contract extension, but the Red Sox did not have that guaranteed. If they do not lock him up, Kelly will be greatly more valuable than a short term rental that Gonzo would become for that team. Casey Kelly is not going to be a star, but at least he is cheap bullpen for the next 6 seasons and back of the rotation in Petco can make him Chris Young, potentially.

Prince - Brewers will now use that as the trade starting point. He is a borderline out of shape, eat yourself out of the league and he is playing for a huge pay day. Think when he gets his money. He also has Scott Boras as a agent and will not sign any extension even if you pay him Ryan Howard type of deal. Who in thier right mind gives up 4 solid talented prospects for a rental that may or may not sign long term. At least C.C did not cost the Brewers the farm and two picks came in return.

This offseason is funny money again and I prefer the money throw around last season. These guys are making hand over fist and no where near deserve the dollar figures. Benoit deal, Dunn deal, etc... will look foolish in 365 days. Orioles making no noise beats the day they signed the great Gonzo closer (boy I knew it was a mistake one minute after it made it off the presses.)
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Re: Recent events: A-Gon, Dunn & Other Stuff

PostPost #3 by Esskay » December 5th, 2010, 6:13 am

Adam Dunn: I do think that we will eventually have to overpay for free agents, and he seemed like a pretty good choice. 2010 peripherals notwithstanding, he's been one of the game's best hitters since 2004, he's extremely consistent (OPS between .890 and .940 for four years running), and he's only going to be 31 this coming season. Initially, it wasn't clear that he was willing to DH on a regular basis, and I wouldn't have wanted to pay him for his terrible 1B defense. I think the White Sox got a good deal, and I think he would have been a good place for the O's to spend some money - I would have been happy if the O's signed him to a 4/$60M or even 5/$65. The risk is there, but I think it's overstated: among his chief comps by age (BB-ref), Rocky Colavito fell off a cliff at age 30. Darryl Strawberry and Ralph Kiner did too, but they were injured. Guys like Richie Sexson and Pat Burrell were never as good as Dunn is. And Canseco, Sosa, Killebrew, and Thome were all very productive through ages 31-35.

Adrian Gonzalez: I'm generally happy to see division rivals trade away prospects for win-now players. I'm less happy when players like Gonzalez are locked up long-term. I would have loved to see the O's sign him next offseason. I'll be ecstatic if somehow the Red Sox fail to work out an extension and trade for him anyway.

Even worse, if the Cardinals work out a deal with Pujols, the only marquee FA 1B next offseason will be Prince Fielder. He strikes me as about the same player as Adam Dunn, just 4 years younger. Both have the "I'm not athletic, so I might fall off a cliff" risk attached, both have similar career OPS, Dunn's been more consistent season to season while Fielder has had better single years. Texas and Washington, as well as possibly the Cubs, will want him. That means a bidding war, most likely. Washington, in particular, has been willing to make huge offers. He's been rumored to want $200M, and I could see Washington possibly offering 10/$200M or perhaps a Teixeira-esque 8/$160M. Regardless, it will take massive amounts of money to get him, he's probably a DH sooner rather than later, and he'll be in a seller's market next season.

I signed up for the slow growth plan and accepted that it would mean years of pain. I'm willing to stay the course - I still believe that our young pitching may get us there (2013-2015). I thought Adam Dunn would make sense, but the lack of comp picks, the general weakness of the farm system, a lack of creativity/general cheapness on the part of the FO - all this concerns me much more than the lack of big name FA signings.
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Re: Recent events: A-Gon, Dunn & Other Stuff

PostPost #4 by Lucky Jim » December 5th, 2010, 12:45 pm

Good stuff. Thanks. And very reasonable, too.

Re: Dunn, basically, to earn his keep at DH, Dunn will need to be a .900+ OPS guy each year of the contract. I don't see that as likely, myself (remember, any time he plays the field he loses value, so you're subtracting from the already devalued DH role). You're right about overpaying, but - even though I'm a Dunn fan, in certain respects (I like guys who do one thing really really well), I just couldn't follow the Sox up the ladder. Particularly because it's possible we would have to beat them considerably to compensate for not being a contender. SK, it appears you'd be willing to do it, and that you're aware of the risk, so I think it's safe to chalk this one up to "different minds."

As for your other concerns, I think the comp-pick thing might be a little overblown, but is something worth keeping an eye out on. We need to be better about getting them, but last year - with the general level of tumultuousness and desperation - may not have been the best year to start plucking guys off the market who were going to walk. I was visibly upset by not offering Koji arbitration, but information after (Koji's desire to stay, particularly) leads me to believe that MacPhail took the right risk there. Sure, it was only a million or so on the line, but I can't fault him for accurately assessing the risk/benefit. He's been pretty good at that on the transactional side, at least.

This will be an interesting year on the farm. We were hit so hard last year with injuries that I think you're bound to see some serious re-calibration of our top-10. Our system looks weak right now - due to the promotion of a ton of guys, and even the struggles of Bell and Tillman, but there's a lot that could go right this year. I think that estimates of our farm were inflated last year, and too low this year. I suspect that we'll see some breakout performance that surprise us, and give us a bit more hope in Jordan and Co.

There's lots we need to do better: scouting, int'l development, generating picks, taking risk among them. I feel I've seen progress in many of these, but no huge breakthroughs. I think all of us will keep eyeballing these with our fingers crossed.
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Re: Recent events: A-Gon, Dunn & Other Stuff

PostPost #5 by BuckMagic » December 5th, 2010, 8:01 pm

Don wrote:Gonzo - Padres made off like bandets in that reported deal. No way should any team give up a ton of talent and still be on the hook for a contract extension, but the Red Sox did not have that guaranteed. If they do not lock him up, Kelly will be greatly more valuable than a short term rental that Gonzo would become for that team. Casey Kelly is not going to be a star, but at least he is cheap bullpen for the next 6 seasons and back of the rotation in Petco can make him Chris Young, potentially.


Looks like the deal may not go through after all. I'm not sure exactly what the Red Sox are thinking here. Casey Kelly has above-average command and potential for 3 plus pitches. Without an extension, that's not worth Gonzalez for me. It would seem signing Adrian Beltreto play third and keeping Youkilis at 1B would make much more sense for the Sox.
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