Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Proposed Deal: If I Were GM

Phil Hughes
I was looking through the free agent list of starting pitchers in the offseason, to see if there were any interesting targets for the Padres to go after, and one name caught my eye. Phil Hughes is a 27-year old righty who has thrown for the Yankees his entire career, and has been mediocre. In parts of seven seasons, the hurler has put up a 55-42 record (mediocre for a Yankee) and a 4.47 ERA. He tends to have a high strike out rate and a low walk rate, which is always good, and give up a fair amount of home runs. The home run prone Hughes would thrive in a pitcher's park like PETCO (still a pitcher's park, just not as extreme as before).

Hughes is the absolue perfect trade deadline acquisition for the Padres. I honestly couldn't think of a better target. For a young team that doesn't have many players that have been in the spotlight and have postseason experience, Phil Hughes boasts 7 years in a Yankee uniform, and about 40 innings of postseason baseball. This season, Hughes is 3-6 with a 5.09 ERA, so he is a buy low. I think if he pitches well in San Diego, and likes it, he becomes more than a rental. A four or five year deal keeps him in San Diego until age 31 or 32, so it isn't as risky as usual with a free agent pitcher, since he is so young.

With Michael Pineda coming back from an injury, an underperforming Phil Hughes might end up being the odd man out. A trade to San Diego benefits all three parties involved. The Yankees add whatever prospects the Padres give in the deal and open a spot for Pineda, as well as gain salary relief (to get under the luxury tax). Hughes gets to lay low in San Diego and make the media go away, and San Diego gets a veteran leader who will move from the AL East to the NL West from one of the most hitter friendly parks to the most pitcher friendly park in the majors. I think Hughes could be exactly what the Padres are looking for.

Proposed Deal:

Padres Acquire:
RHP Phil Hughes

Yankees Acquire:
RHP Brad Boxberger
RHP Miles Mikolas

I personally think that New York would be looking for some young relievers to deepen a bullpen that is  losing Mariano Rivera, the second best closer of all time. Boxberger and Mikolas are two high upside arms that could end up successful in New York. 

Trade Deadline Update: Padres Interested In Arrieta (Again)

Jake Arrieta
Josh Byrnes really likes Jake Arrieta. This is the second time in the last year that Byrnes has been in talks with the Orioles about Arrieta, to go as far as offer the Orioles a deal for Chase Headley revolving around Arrieta and two prospects at the trade deadline last year, which was swiftly rejected. The Orioles are now kicking themselves over that deal. Headley finished last year with 31 home runs and a .286 average, and Arrieta finished to a 3-9 record with a 6.20 ERA. Rumors have been swirling that several teams are interested in pitcher Edinson Volquez, who was "effectively-wild" last night, striking out 7 and taking a no hit bid into the 6th inning, but was tagged with the loss, 5 runs (2 earned), and 7 walks. I think of all the scouts that were at the ballpark, at least one liked that stuff.

Anthony Bass
It has also been made aware that the Orioles scout at the ballpark was also looking at long reliever Anthony Bass. He suggested a possible swap of Arrieta and Bass, or a deal of Arrieta and more for Volquez. Edinson Volquez has had a pretty miserable season, posting a 5-6 record with a 5.67 ERA. The interesting part of Volquez's year, is that his walk rate is actually down from his career trends, his strikeout rate is also down, and his hit rates are up. His FIP is under his career rate, despite his ERA being over, and his BABIP is up, suggesting that he is having a great season with terrible luck. One would think when a player gives up less home runs and walks, he would give up less runs. I am thinking bad luck when digging deeper.

Edinson Volquez
I personally can see Edinson Volquez being dealt if the Padres are still in contention. Volquez has been the second worst pitcher on the Padres staff, and at first, I was surprised at the interest in him. It took a look into his peripherals to understand that he was just unlucky, and he could provide major value if he is "on" down the stretch. I was actually down on this team this year, which was a first for me. I think that we do end up keeping this incredible run that has put us in 2nd place and 2.5 games out of first and we reach the deadline as contenders. Here are my proposed deals.

Padres trade RHP Edinson Volquez to Orioles for RHP Jake Arrieta and a prospect.
Padres trade 1B/OF Jesus Guzman to the Royals for a prospect or two.
Yankees trade RHP Phil Hughes to Padres in exchange for prospects.
Indians trade RHP Chris Perez and RHP Ubaldo Jimenez in exchange for prospects.
Marlins trade OF Giancarlo Stanton to Padres in exchange for prospects.*

If I was San Diego's GM, these are the moves I would make. I think the first three are really interesting, and I will break down a proposed Hughes swap soon. I think the 4th trade is a little bit of a stretch, but it is possible that San Diego acquired Jimenez, and obviously the 5th deal is really not going to happen, but I can get my hopes up. I think San Diego could pay a price around Max Fried and Rymer Liriano plus more to get Stanton, but any move seems like it will wait for the offseason.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Padres Acquire Pedro Ciriaco

As San Diego heads into a series against the first-place Diamondbacks, only 5 games out of first and on a hot streak, the Padres made their first trade of the year. San Diego acquired 27-year old SS Pedro Ciriaco for a player to be named later and designated third baseman James Darnell for assignment. The deal provides infield depth to a Padres team that just saw rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko hit the disabled list. Ciriaco will get some at bats, but in reality he is a 27-year old journeyman who is now playing for his third organization. He did show some promise last season, hitting .293 in 259 at bats and stealing 16 bases l for the Red Sox. Don't expect too much though, but you could potentially see something similar to Alexi Amarista or Everth Cabrera, who were both under the radar type acquisitions. Amarista was acquired in the Ernesto Frieri deal and Everth was a rule 5 guy. Expect a utility player who might be something a little more, but probably won't. Ciriaco was designated for assignment June 10th.

The reason this move is interesting, is it shows how bad James Darnell's injury (dislocated shoulder) actually is, as the once highly touted prospect was just given up on.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day One Review: Rays, Padres, Mariners

Hunter Renfroe
Via Baseball America

Last night, the San Diego Padres held the 13th, 50th, and 69th overall selections in last nights draft (It was only the first of three parts). They took Hunter Renfroe, a big outfielder from Mississippi. The college junior boasts major power, hitting 15 home runs so far this season. Once a raw talent, a toolsy player that needed refinement, Renfroe broke out this season, raising his college batting average over 100 points in one of the toughest baseball conferences in the country. The young slugger has become slightly more polished, and once he signs with San Diego, he will start his season in Eugene with the Emeralds.

The pick has grown on me since last night, as he should infuse some much needed power in a Padres system that has been derailed by injuries and is weak in outfield depth. I was hoping for high school bat Clint Frazier, who went 5th overall (over Colin Moran!), but was projected to fall. This draft was a very weak draft to begin with, having no strong candidates for number one overall, and a lack of depth. There were a lot of surprises, one of the biggest ones being how collegiate RHP Jonathan Gray fell down to 3rd overall (Rockies).

With the 12th overall selection, the Mariners took college third baseman DJ Peterson out of New Mexico, while his little brother, SS Dustin Peterson, was drafted 50th overall by San Diego.

Austin Wilson
There were two picks last night that stood out to me as steals. In my opinion, the Seattle Mariners made the best selection throughout all of day one, when they took Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson. Wilson for a while was a projected top 10 selection, but ended up falling, quite a bit. The Mariners took the young outfielder that was projected as a potential 6th or 7th overall pick at pick number 49. My other pick that I really like is the selection of Ryne Stanek by the Rays at pick 29. Stanek was talked about as high as seventh overall hours before the draft. The Rays capitalized on Stanek slipping, by grabbing a potential 2/3 starter.

The draft starts again tonight for rounds 3-10!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Draft Updates: Astros, Padres, Royals, Twins


  • The Houston Astros are expected to take RHP Jonathan Gray (1) with the first overall selection, despite his positive test for Adderall.
  • The Royals are expected to draft RHP Phil Bickford (21), with the 8th overall selection. There are rumors that the Royals and Bickford have already reached a deal. I assume this will be to help the Royals afford later round picks, maybe Seth Manea?
  • The Padres' main target appears to be OF Clint Frazier (5), with the 13th overall selection. I really like this pick here, if it is the case.
  • The Twins are expected to take Kohl Stewart if Kris Bryant falls to fourth overall.

Jonathan Gray and Adderall

Projected to go first overall by many, including myself, fellow If I Were GM writer Alex Monseth, and many others, young right hander Jonathan Gray found himself in one of the most interesting of predicaments. The NCAA released a statement that Oklahoma flamethrower tested positive for Adderall, a drug (over)prescribed for ADD. It seems as there are now two groups, people who understand that the drug is used extensively by college students to focus on studying for important exams. Finals at Oklahoma were last week, and the drugs could have stayed in his system until the drug test. The other group sees the drug as having a benefit in athletic performance, by improving reflexes and increasing focus. The deal is, in all honesty, if Gray needs Adderall to pitch well, (it doesn't cause his 100 mile an hour fastball) then he would easily be able to go to a doctor who could diagnose him with one of the most commonly overdiagnosed disorders in America, and get Adderall immediately.

The interesting thing that stems from this, is that Gray actually could be seen as more favorable for the first overall pick, due to the monetary restraints via the new CBA. Gray could end up signing for a considerable discount, and the Astros could end up spending that money that they saved later in the draft, like last year, when they passed up on RHP Mark Appel for SS Carlos Correa in order to later draft Rio Ruiz and Lance McCullers. Gray could also be marked down by some teams, due to character, but I would think that the scenario would be unlikely.

I personally really like Gray, and think he will see a major league uniform one day, as a dominant starter, but not quite an ace. I still think he trumps Mark Appel.

CBA Rules Explained: Draft Lottery

Good morning! Right now, I am taking my civics exam, but I wrote this last night to be published now! I will have another post up at 10 AM EST as well, and possibly another at 12 PM EST.

The competitive balance draft lottery is Bud Selig's attempt (and not a good one) and "evening out" the inequality of major league baseball economics. The bottom 10 lowest revenue and the bottom 10 smallest market teams (quite a bit of overlapping), with the odds of winning being determined via the wins from the previous season, for example, the Astros would have a better shot than the Cardinals at getting a pick. There are 12 picks available, and these selections are actually able to be traded. There are a number of stipulations on draft pick trading though...

The picks available are six selections immediately after the first and supplemental rounds, and the second set of selections are immediately after the second round. The current holders of the selections are listed here:

If a team is crossed out, then they were the original owner, and traded it to the other team that isn't crossed out.

After Round 1:
Marlins Tigers

After Round 2:
Tigers Marlins

This is a new twist that hasn't been done before, but will make the draft slightly more interesting. Considering three of the first six were playoff teams last season, I don't know how well the competitive balance part worked out...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2013 MLB Draft List (Top 27 Players)

  1. Jonathan Gray
  2. Kris Bryant
  3. Colin Moran
  4. Ryne Stanek
  5. Clint Frazier
  6. Austin Meadows
  7. Kohl Stewart
  8. Reese McGuire
  9. Braden Shipley
  10. Seth Manea
  11. Mark Appel
  12. DJ Peterson
  13. Trey Ball
  14. Dominic Smith
  15. JP Crawford
  16. Ian Clarkin
  17. Devin Williams
  18. Aaron Judge
  19. Hunter Renfroe
  20. Austin Wilson
  21. Phil Bickford
  22. Alex Gonzalez
  23. Ryan Eades
  24. Trevor Williams
  25. Aaron Blair
  26. Stephen Gonsalves
  27. Nick Ciuffo

Just a reminder, this is only a list of players who I would predict having major league success...

SLEEPERS: Karsten Whitson, Dylan Covey

This is a really weak draft overall, but there is some talent if you know where to look for it. Guys like Dylan Covey, Karsten Whitson, Stephen Gonsalves, Trevor Williams, and others have had major stock drops, from being considered top 10 picks to out of the first round. Whitson recently underwent Tommy John surgery, so he probably won't be back until next season, but if you think about it, it makes a lot more sense for him to sign with a team rather than go back to college. If a team takes him in the 6th round and signs him for slot, he can use major league quality rehab facilities and have access to trainers, while in college, he wouldn't even start his senior season at full strength, and he would lose precious development time. 

I don't think that Mark Appel will be an ace. I can see Mark Appel as a respectable back end starter, remember, Luke Hochevar was also a number one overall pick! I don't think Appel should go first.

I am going to try to get a mock draft in for the first round, and an in depth on the Padres pick, but this is no promise, because this is finals week! After the draft, I will try and do a shadow draft for the Padres. I might also be able to get something up that will explain the draft rules from the CBA.

Monday, June 3, 2013

2013 MLB Mock Draft

With the amateur draft rapidly approaching now that summer is nearly in full force, here's my take on how the first round will play out.  The MLB Draft will take place from June 6th to June 8th.

1. Houston Astros: RHP - Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma

Tall righty from Oklahoma.  Not necessarily a consensus number one with Appel behind him, but the Astros have options here.  His slider is going to be good... not saying it isn't incredible already.  He and Cosart would be a great one-two at the top of the rotation if both pan out.

2. Chicago Cubs: RHP - Mark Appel, Stanford

There's Gray and Appel... and then the rest of the pack.  Mark profiles to be another front of the rotation pitcher, something the Cubs could certainly use.   Theo hasn't done much to put pitching in the Cubs farm system outside of Maples and maybe Johnson.  Big need to address here.

3. Colorado Rockies: 3B - Kris Bryant, San Diego

Someone's going to have to play first when Helton finally ends his career.  Bryant's the best hitter in this class, and he'd make a great trio with Tulo and Arenado in the infield.  Personally, I think Colorado may be overlooking its pitching issues with this pick, but there's nothing at first in the system.

4. Minnesota Twins: RHP - Kohl Stewart, Texas HS

What's this, the Twins drafting a power pitcher over another control guy?  What they have obviously isn't working, so I think GM Terry Ryan goes for Stewart.  I could see Manaea here possibly as well.

5. Cleveland Indians: 3B - Colin Moran, North Carolina

Let's face it, Lonnie Chisenhall isn't working at third.  Moran is the next best hitter on the board after Bryant goes.  The Indians could go after pitching as well; they need pretty much everything.

6. Miami Marlins: LHP - Sean Manaea, Indiana State

Big lefty.  He got roughed up a bit but has started to bounce back as of late.  Marlins, like most teams at the top, could go pretty much anywhere.  Maybe Meadows, maybe McGuire.  Lot of options for them.

7. Boston Red Sox: OF - Clint Fraizer, Georgia HS

I almost when with McGuire here, but Swihart is in the farm system, and I think Boston's set on him for at least this draft after using their first rounder on him.  Fraizer looks like a 5-tool guy, lots of speed.

8. Kansas City Royals: LHP/OF - Trey Ball, Indiana HS

K.C. again needs pitching.  And while Ball is a hybrid at the moment, he would go well with last year's first rounder righty Kyle Zimmer at the top of the rotation.  The Royals will have a lot of options here, but I think they go for the high upside Ball.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates (failure to sign Mark Appel): RHP - Braden Shipley, Nevada

He just took to the mound for the first time in college.  If he pans out, the Pirates could be looking at Gerrit Cole, Jameson Tallion, and Shipley as their one-two-three in 2016.  If they go pitching here, they go hitting at #14, and vice versa.

10. Toronto Blue Jays: OF - Austin Meadows, Georgia HS

Anthopoulos is probably hoping to leave the top half of the first round after this season, but things aren't exactly going their way at the MLB level.  Meadows has nice tools.  He could go higher, but this just might be Toronto's lucky day.

11. New York Mets: OF - Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State

A power bat in the outfield here.  Again, could have gone with McGuire, but this is D'Arnaud's catching job to lose, and I can't see New York drafting another young catcher this high.

12. Seattle Mariners: 1B/3B - D.J. Peterson, New Mexico

The Mariners are desperate for offense at the major league level.  This pick gives them someone in the minors who can replace Smoak or the "one-hit wonder" Kyle Seager.  Peterson's your stereotypical power bat.  Passing on McGuire again because Zunino was drafted last year.

13. San Diego Padres: RHP - Ryne Stanek, Arkansas

A lot of talk about Clarkin going here, or even (again) McGuire.  But I think Stanek's improved enough over 2013 to be picked ahead of them.  Hedges was a first rounder, so again, can't see San Diego going for a guy in the backstop.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates: C - Reese McGuire, Washington HS

Ahhh, finally.  Everything looks great in McGuire as a catcher for the future.  The Pirates would get two solid building blocks in McGuire and Shipley.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks: LHP - Ian Clarkin, California HS

He's got one nasty curve, so I wouldn't be surprised if he goes earlier.  But the D'backs need pitching after Bauer go jettisoned after ousted to Cleveland.

16. Philadelphia Phillies: C - Jon Denney, Oklahoma HS

Carlos Ruiz isn't getting any younger.  Drafting the power-hitting slugger here gives the Phillies a catcher for the future.

17. Chicago White Sox: RHP - Chris Anderson, Jacksonville

I think the White Sox need pitching here.  Sale's good, but it's just Sale at this point.  They could also go with one of the few good outfielders still on the board.

18. Los Angeles Dodgers: SS - Oscar Mercado, Florida HS

He looks really good, and the Dodgers could use some offense with Matt Kemp becoming non-existent at this point.

19. St. Louis Cardinals: 1B - Dominic Smith, California HS

The Cardinals have faired well drafting over the past few years.  Most recently, RHP Michael Wacha last season.  Smith gives them a solid hitter for team with a lot of good young pitching.

20. Detroit Tigers: SS - J.P. Crawford, California HS

The Tigers don't have many needs as the defending American League champions.  Crawford could be a steal this late in the draft.

21. Tamba Bay Rays: OF - Phillip Ervin, Samford

The Rays have been the kings of the amateur draft for quite some time, and now find themselves with the 21st pick.  Why not grab this young speedster here?

22. Baltimore Orioles: OF - Aaron Judge, Fresno State

He can mash the ball, and although the Orioles could use a top pitcher to complement Bundy, outfield is also a hole for this squad.

23. Texas Rangers: C - Nick Ciuffo, South Carolina HS

The Rangers could use some a catcher at this point.  Ciuffo's got a nice bat, but he may be a tough sign this season.

24. Oakland Athletics: RHP - Hunter Harvey, North Carolina HS

He's possibly one of the top two high school right handed arms in this draft with Kohl Stewart.  I could see Oakland going for Thurman as well.

25. San Francisco Giants: OF - Michael Lorenzon, Cal-State Fullerton

The Giants simply take Lorenzon here because he's still available and is such an intriguing player.  Lots of speed on the bases, and he can even hit the mid-ninety's on his fastball.

26.  New York Yankees: RHP - Andrew Thurman, UC-Irvine

He's definitely got a lot of pitches to choose from, and the Yankees could use another solid arm in their farm system.

27.  Cincinnati Reds: OF - Austin Wilson, Stanford

Wilson has a lot of potential, but injuries have held him back.  At #27, the Reds might as well aim for the fences with the last pick of Round 1.