Monday, December 31, 2012

An Interview with Cody Decker

If I Were GM is proud to announce we have interviewed Padres farmhand Cody Decker over twitter, who graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us:

Q: Who was your favorite player(s) growing up?
A: Eric Karros and Mike Piazza

Q: What are the main differences between baseball at UCLA and in the minors?
A: Credit Card Debt...

Q: What would you be doing if you were not a baseball player?
A: A Jedi...

Q: Where is your favorite position to play?
A: Clean-Up Hitter

Q: Who is your funniest teammate (excluding yourself!)?
A: Hilarious twitter personality "Rob Delaney"

Mr. Decker slugged 29 home runs between AA and AAA last season and could make a case for the roster this spring. He will have his fair share of competition with Matt Clark, Jaff Decker, Kyle Blanks and others. We wish him the best of luck this spring!

Thank you very much! We appreciate your time and wish you luck this coming spring. We also with you and our readers a happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Case For the Padres to Acquire Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton is a 23-year old slugger with almost 100 career home runs to his name. A career .270 average and .350 on base percentage that improves every year and his first all star appearance headline a budding star's list of accomplishments. If he keeps this up for the next 15-20 seasons, you are looking at HOF numbers. Today the rumor surfaced that the Marlins were not shopping their star, but were listening to offers. Remember what the Marlins did just a few months ago and how Stanton reacted. You can expect something to happen if the Marlins get an offer they like. Here is my case for the Padres to go out and acquire him.

The Trade:

Padres Acquire:
RHP Henderson Alvarez
OF Giancarlo Stanton

Marlins Acquire:
OF Rymer Liriano
C Yasmani Grandal
RHP Adys Portillo
2B Cory Spangenberg
1B Tommy Medica
RHP Joe Ross
RHP Burch Smith

This is certainly an outrageous idea, considering there is a chance that the Marlins don't even want to deal Stanton in the first place.

This trade works well for both sides in the long run, and is enough to intrigue. The deal opens up a spot at catcher long term for top prospect Austin Hedges, and brings in one of the games top hitters. Spangenberg is hopefully blocked by Jedd Gyorko and we have quite a bit of young pitching to go around.

Henderson Alvarez would satisfy the need of another starting pitcher, and Stanton puts us in the thick of things in the NL West. Don't forget that this type of splash would bring many to a ballpark and convert skeptics into believers. A move like this puts the O'Malley's in a position to draw fans in and solidify a fan base. Giancarlo Stanton rivals Josh Hamilton and Zach Grienke in caliber, and has potential to provide a bigger impact.

Projected Padres Lineup with Hypothetical Trade:
SS Everth Cabrera
2B Jedd Gyorko
3B Chase Headley
RF Giancarlo Stanton
LF Carlos Quentin
1B Yonder Alonso
CF Cameron Maybin
C Nick Hundley

The deal gives you a very strong 2-5, and with protection, park walls moved in, and a winning atmosphere, the deal opens up a window for Headley to add on to his MVP caliber campaign of last season, and Stanton to add to his resume. This could be one of the better Padre offenses ever. The deal also brings in a young, quality starter in Henderson Alvarez, which saves enough money to potentially sign Headley long term.

Here is the Marlins side of the deal. They acquire an excellent outfielder to replace Stanton in 2014, and receive their catcher of the future. The Marlins certainly are not going "all-in" next season and can afford to wait for Yasmani Grandal to return and Rymer Liriano to develop. This could easily be a very good core to a Marlins team for years to come. The other prospects in the hypothetical trade include RHP's Adys Portillo and Joe Ross. Adys Portillo was a "bonus baby" out of the Dominican Republic a while back, and has finally figured out his groove. He lead the Midwestern League in ERA until being promoted. Ross is a safer gamble, the 19-year old righty pitched in 15 games this season, and finished the season with a k/9 ratio of 9.2. 

Cory Spangenberg was the 10th overall selection in the 2011 draft, and has had success in the minor leagues (excluding a concussion) ever since. He has hit .290 with a .365 on base percentage and 52 stolen bases over his 2 year minor league career. Cory could end up a very solid lead off or 2-hole hitter in the near future.

Burch Smith and Tommy Medica both had major break out seasons at Lake Elsinore, with Smith going 9-6 with a 3.85 ERA and Medica hitting .330 with 19 home runs in 355 at bats. The duo have pushed up top prospect lists very quickly.

As you look at the guys who have the prospects and the need, you see the Rangers, Padres, Rays and Cardinals at the top of the list.

The Rays are not likely to make the splash, due to money concerns and Wil Myers and the Cardinals may wait until David Price.

The other potential suitor is Texas, who missed out in the Justin Upton sweepstakes (who is staying put presumably), would likely have interest. The irony is, the centerpiece they could offer (Jurickson Profar) is at the one position the Marlins have a viable major league player to hold down the pitching (Adeiny Hechavarria), but could still pose a threat. If the Rangers wanted to move SS Jurickson Profar, they would have been better off trading for OF Justin Upton by using Profar. (Which they reportedly did not want to do).

I would not be surprised (I would be estatic!) if Stanton was traded to the Padres, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he went elsewhere. Fans everywhere (and GMs!) want Giancarlo Stanton on their team, but only some have the farm and the need to make it happen. Remember, this is all one big "if" assuming the Marlins are even considering trading their star in the making.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Diamondbacks To Sign Cody Ross

The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced they have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Cody Ross on a three year deal worth twenty-six million dollars, with a fourth year club option. The contract includes a signing bonus of $3 million dollars, and Ross will make $5 million this year, and $8.5 million dollars the following two. The club option for a fourth year will be at the price of $9.5 million dollars with a $1 million dollar buyout. Ross hit .267 with 22 home runs last year in Boston, and turns 32 tomorrow, the 23rd of December.. Ross will join what is an already crowded Diamondbacks consisting of incumbents Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, and Geraldo Parra, along with prospects Adam Eaton and AJ Pollock who seem to be major league ready. The signing gives the Diamondbacks even more outfield depth than the great depth they had before, and it would seem logical to see one of their spare outfielders traded away in the coming weeks. Justin Upton has been the big name on the market, but after the Trevor Bauer trade, GM Kevin Towers has said it is very unlikely he will move. Fellow outfielder Jason Kubel would draw a lot of interest from teams looking for outfielders, after hitting a career-best thirty home runs last year. This signing doesn’t make a ton of sense currently for the D’Backs, because Ross doesn’t have an obvious role with the D’Backs. However, this signings effectiveness will be determined based upon, what, if anything, Arizona can do with its excess outfield. If the snakes can manage to move Kubel or Parra for a helpful piece elsewhere on the field, the deal would suddenly look like a great move. However, if the D’Backs can’t move any of their outfielders, then it will force either Parra, Ross, or Kubel into a not just 4th, but 5th outfielder role, as it appears the Diamondbacks are set on giving Adam Eaton the reigns in center field to start the season as their leadoff man. This deal could turn out to be a sneaky good signing for the Diamondbacks, as Ross could effectively replace Kubel or Parra if they are traded. But if an outfielder is not moved, the Diamondbacks will be stuck with six MLB ready outfielders, not a bad problem to have per say, but Ross would appear to be an unnecessary signing for Arizona.

Once again this is not me writing this, welcome JT to our staff! This will be a 3-man writing staff for the next few weeks, and we will see how it goes!

The Curious Case of Matt Lollis

By Gunner Ramer

It was only a couple years ago, many scouts thought Lollis was dripping with potential to become a solid starter after finishing with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in 2010. He could become a great starter in years to come. According to Minor League Ball before the 2011 season, Lollis was the 12th best prospect in a deep San Diego system, and set for a potential breakout campaign. The Riverside native, spiraled into a poor year finishing with a rough ERA of 5.35 and and a SO/BB ratio of 2.53, far lower than anytime in his career. In 2012, the 6 foot 9, hard throwing righty, was 1-13 with a 6.57 ERA in 39 games (14 starts) across 3 levels. He was so bad as a starter in Lake Elsinore, the Padres decided to move him to a relief role, which he still performed poorly at. How did a promising 22 year old who can touch 97 miles an hour, go 1-13?

At a game I saw in Lake Elsinore this year, I had the opportunity to watch Matt. I was baffled as to why he was so bad in this start. Long story short, he went 2.2 innings, allowing 6 earned runs and 6 hits. In the start I saw, his timing was atrocious and had absolutely no balance on his follow through. His leg would always end up on the first base side, not going on a straight plane. Lollis’ knuckle-curve was flat (allowing a monster two run home run) and his changeup was nothing to get crazy about, enough movement to miss a couple bats. His fastball flirted with 94 the whole time I saw him, and had slight movement. I believe nothing will come out of Lollis, if you asked me two years ago I would've had a different answer. It seems Matt Lollis’ work ethic is not there or maybe he has not received proper coaching, as he has not made any changes to his sloppy delivery. I would be shocked if he became more than a minor league reliever at this point.

If you noticed, I did not write this. I am experimenting and adding a new writer to the staff. A warm welcome to Gunner Ramer, our newest writer. What do you guys think?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cubs To Sign Edwin Jackson

The Chicago Cubs have announced that they have agreed to terms with Edwin Jackson on a 4-year contract worth 52 million dollars. The contract also includes a full no-trade clause. Jackson will provide stability in a Cubs rotation that will also include free agent signings Scott Feldman, Carlos Villanueva, and Scott Baker as well as RHP Matt Garza and LHP Jeff Samardzija. With 6 capable startes, might the Cubs roll with a 6-man rotation?

I didn't post this signing to analyze it for the Cubs, but I decided to write about the two winners in this signing.

Edwin Jackson, who has pitched for seven different teams in his career, finally found a home. He will stay there for the next 4 seasons, and he has complete control, not to mention he makes 52 million dollars. He has finally found security, which could work in the Cubs advantage, or not.

The other winner is the Padres, their non-move of not signing Edwin Jackson will be appreciated 2-3 seasons from now, trust me. The fact is, that 52 million dollars will be better put towards Chase Headley, and we have several starters in the minors, more than six, who should be in the majors three seasons from now. I could see a 2-3 year deal, or even a 4 year deal, but the no trade clause means we can't trade him when our numerous starters are ready.

Other Notes:

  • Calling it now, expect a breakout season from a Padres pitcher.
  • Phil Mickelson will not be a part of the Padres ownership.
  • The Padres have signed SS Cody Ransom to a minor league deal.
  • I will be doing a post on a Padres prospect who had a rough season last year.
  • Another guy the Padres could go after: Shaun Marcum

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Padres in Pursuit of RHP Jackson

The San Diego Padres are in pursuit of right handed starting pitcher Edwin Jackson on according to several sources. It is believed that they have had interest throughout the offseason in the German-Born innings eater. Since the beginning of the offseason, the Padres have had interest in several high profile starting pitchers to join the rotation, most notable veteran right hander Dan Haren, who signed a one-year 13 million dollar contract with the Nationals just after the winter meetings. The Padres were said to be adding two starting pitchers in the offseason, and started the winter meetings with a marque move resigning right hander Jason Marquis to a one year, 3 million dollar contract. Fresh after Josh Hamilton (Angels) and Zach Greinke (Dodgers) both moving to Southern California, Padres fans have been feeling the need for a big splash on the market of via trade. The Padres have had lots of hype surrounded by them at the beginning of the offseason, but when star catcher Yasmani Grandal was suspended for 50-games, and reliever/starter Andrew Cashner lacerated a tendon while skinning a dear, the mood was dampened. The highlights of the offseason have also included several minor league signings and the acquisition of right hander Tyson Ross (Yes, he is Joe Ross’ brother) and Marquis’ resigning.

Several are expecting a trade rather than a free agent, and two targets could be the definition of “low risk, high reward” and “safe bet”. Both Indians, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson are two of potential top of the rotation starters. Seemingly these rumors have been shot down of late, which leaves us to Edwin Jackson. Jackson has a career ERA of 4.40 and a k/9 rate of 6.9 for his career, not so good you say? If you look deeper into the numbers, you will see he is much better than what his career numbers suggest. Since 2009, his ERA is 3.98, and he has shown glimpses of excellence and glimpses of mediocrity, such as his no-hitter with Arizona in 2010, or the fact he had 8 walks in the game. He has not thrown under 160 innings since 2006, and is only 28. We still have an excellent ballpark and two great pitching coaches. Edwin Jackson would be an excellent 3 on a very good team, and it is likely that by the end of the season if we were to sign him, he would be the 3, if Cory Luebke comes back healthy and one of the 6-8 high upside pitchers we have can break through and get to that “ace level”, like Casey Kelly, Robby Erlin, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, etc.

The market for Edwin Jackson is said to be 4-5 year deal for about 12-13 annually, and the Padres seem willing to go to 2-3 seasons at 11-12 million per season. Remember, making a smart signing is better than making an impulsive signing. 2/20 is a lot more reasonable than 5/65, which would be regrettable. Would you rather see the Padres spend 65 million dollars and have it lay wasted, or maybe use that cash to extend Chase Headley in the spring? You also should remember Josh Byrnes didn’t jump in and make the Latos deal or the Quentin deal until late December. Whatever happens, expect the Padres to add another starter at a reasonable price, in this case, reasonable looks like 2/20, which is more than what we are usually able to spend, so be thankful all my Padre fans!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Padres Sign RHP Jason Marquis

Jason Marquis
The San Diego Padres have signed RHP Jason Marquis, he received a one-year deal worth approximately three million dollars. There are no incentives or options. Marquis pitched well for us last season, chewing up innings after signing a minor league contract with the Padres in late May. General Manager Josh Byrnes said he wanted to add two starters, and there have been rumors that we are in on Jeremy Hellickson, Dan Haren, and Ubaldo Jimenez among others. There are three different ways to interpret this free agent signing:

1) The Padres have very limited funds and this is one of their two starters they are signing.
2) The Padres made a cheap signing and are saving money for another splash.
3) This is a depth signing and not one of the starters, implying that we have a lot more to spend.

2011 32 TOT 8 6 4.43 23 23 0 132.0 154 43 76
2011 32 WSN 8 5 3.95 20 20 0 120.2 132 39 71
2011 32 ARI 0 1 9.53 3 3 0 11.1 22 4 5
2012 33 TOT 8 11 5.22 22 22 0 127.2 146 42 91
2012 33 MIN 2 4 8.47 7 7 0 34.0 52 14 12
2012 33 SDP 6 7 4.04 15 15 0 93.2 94 28 79
13 Yrs 112 109 4.60 348 289 1 1803.1 1904 687 1065
162 Game Avg. 12 12 4.60 37 31 0 193 203 73 114

Other Rumors:

  • Potential trade chips include RHP Luke Gregerson and OF Jesus Guzman
  • There have been lots of rumors saying other teams are interested in 3B Chase Headley, while Josh Byrnes has said on countless occasions he won't be dealing Headley.