27 January 2010

I am not Andy MacPhail: 2010 Off Season

So the 2010 offseason is coming to a close. We can probably expect about 5-6MM more in contracts to be doled out. Erik Bedard is expected to eventually sign here. Mark Hendrikson or Takahashi are also supposed to come in as the lefthander in the pen. Andy MacPhail's moves are summed up as:

Kevin Millwood 1/9MM (or ~11MM considering that Chris Ray has value)
Garrett Atkins 1/5MM (essentially with the buyout)
Mike Gonzalez 2/12MM (essentially 14MM with the incentives or 15MM with the loss of the draft pick)
Miguel Tejada 1/6MM (essentially 6.5MM with incentives)

A total of 26MM for 2010 (28MM with incentives) or 32-34MM by the end of the off season.

I would not have done the above. The moves MacPhail completed were largely short-term without much effect to the future. All of these millions could be spent on future parts. The best case scenario is for Millwood and Tejada to reestablish their value and qualify as type B level free agents.

After the jump, what I would have done.

1. Sign Miguel (Angel Sano) Jean for 3.5MM (down to 30.5MM).
The money used to sign Garrett Atkins is better placed in someone who may actually help the Orioles in the field or in a trade. Jean is considered to be a fringe top 100 prospect. He has amazing raw tools and has more worth to 2013-2017 than Atkins does. Atkins has really no above average tools left.
2. Sign Dallas McPherson to a split contract to compete for 1B (30MM).
McPherson fills in for another bat to compete for the first base position with Aubrey and Wigginton. He is a low cost option who could DH at AAA or just be released if he cannot make the parent club out of spring training.
3. Sign Matt Capps as closer 1/3.5MM (26.5MM).
Is Capps as good a closer as Gonzalez? No. But, a closer is really one of the last pieces to add. For a team with no hope of competing . . . paying twice this amount would be inefficient. Capps is also just 26 and under team control.
4. Sign Brad Penny 1/7.5MM (19MM).
Brad Penny had good peripherals last season even though his straight numbers looked poor in the AL East. If Penny gets injured, there are suitable replacements in the pen (i.e. Hernandez, Berken) or at AAA (i.e. Arrieta).
5. Sign Aroldis Chapman 5/25MM (14MM).
Chapman is a large investment, but not considerably so when you consider the added cost of players like Atkins, Gonzalez, and Millwood. By scaling back on those salaries, two seasons of Chapman are paid for already. His addition to the club would put another B+ arm in the system that fits in at worst around the 50th best prospect in baseball.
6. Sign Mark Hendrickson 1/1.5MM (11.5MM).
Hendrickson is a cheap, yet effective lefty situational pitcher.
7. Sign Adrian Beltre 2/23MM+1/14MM w/4MM bo.
This might be the more controversial idea that I have here and assumes that Beltre would be open to signing here. The reason why I think Beltre would be a good fit here is because he is a great defensive 3B with average to above average hitting ability. SafeCo is tough on right handed hitters and Beltre should do much better outside of Seattle. I also think this gives Josh Bell a full season in AAA to play third base and, occasionally, first base. Bell's rookie season (2011) will be a competition between him and Snyder with Bell also being able to back up third base. The tricky season will be the option year. If both Snyder and Bell distinguish themselves, then buying out the last season makes sense. If neither or only one distinguishes themselves, then it makes sense to pick up the option.
8. Trade Felix Pie, Chris Ray, and Kam Mickolio for J.J. Hardy.
J.J. Hardy was traded for another failed prospect in Carlos Gomez. The Brewers have some need for a centerfielder as well as more depth in their bullpen. This deal gives the Orioles two years of J.J. Hardy as their shortstop. At worst, he is Izturis and at best he is a premier offensive SS with Izturis' glove. It is a move that have major upside and resolves a major hole in the Orioles infield.

C Matt Wieters
1 Aubrey/McPherson/Wigginton
2 Roberts
3 Beltre
S Hardy
L Reimold
C Jones
R Markakis
D Scott

P Guthrie
P Penny
P Bergesen
P Matusz
P Tillman

The projected wins for this team is 81.1. That is greater than the projected wins for the current team while using the same resources and devoting 8MM to future players. The odds are:
332:1 against losing 100 games
1:1 breaking even
13:1 against 90 wins
82:1 against 95 wins

I think MacPhail has been inefficient in his use of resources. There are no glaring errors in terms of locking down players long term (i.e. Aubrey Huff, Danys Baez, Jaime Walker) or dealing away useful young player (i.e. John Maine), but the upside on these deals are minimal. Basically, the hope is that players like Tejada and Millwood qualify as type B free agents. Nothing more than that. Very average, uninteresting moves in my opinion. At least, when given with a valuable veteran, MacPhail tends to get good value (i.e Tillman, Bell, Jones).


Daniel said...

Agree 100% on (1)

(2) Is fine - low risk, medium reward

(3) The team control part makes it look better

(4) Ambivalent at that price, but I highly doubt he'd come here for the same money. At $9+ M just as base salary (he got incentives too) is doesn't look all that good.

(5) Likewise, getting Chapman would have cost more. I wouldn't have been that comfortable giving him $30+ M, though I would have liked to have the arm in the system.

(6) That's likely coming anyway, but sure.

(7) I had the same thought when he signed with BOS, but it sounds like he rejected other higher multi-year deals (like the one you suggested) to go to Boston and build up value for next off-season. It would have been nice though.

(8) I don't like adding in The Almighty, but I think a deal could have been done without him. Hardy being a free agent in 2 years isn't ideal, and figuring out what to do with Izturis would also be a small issue.

As I said about a Pie-hardy swap previously though:

"It would have been a solid move, and if they could have resigned Hardy to a below market rate then it could have been a steal. I’m comfortable with going into 2010 having Cesar Izturis at shortstop for the O’s and I’m a Felix Pie fan, but I will admit that picking up a player of Hardy’s caliber would have been exciting. I can understand not making the move if they don’t feel like they can compete at all in the next couple years though."

Jordan said...

I agree. I wouldve loved to get Beltre for 3B, but Tejada is fine too. Signing Sano would have been good not just because he is a good prospect, but it would show that the Orioles are making strides in international free agents.