03 November 2017

Would You Be Happy With Carlos Gonzalez And Jason Vargas?

The baseball season is over, and fans are desperate for things to talk about. That leads us to one of the an annual exercises of MLB Trade Rumors, when Tim Dierkes and/or a combination of writers predict free agent landing spots. As you'd imagine, it's an incredibly difficult job to correctly forecast which free agents will land where, and more than anything, it's just for fun.

The 2017/2018 predictions were published yesterday. For the O's, they include two signings: Carlos Gonzalez (1 year, $12M) and Jason Vargas (1 year, $10M).

If you read any part of our blueprint series, or are just vaguely familiar with the current makeup of the O's roster, you know they desperately need starting pitching. An offseason in which the main starting pitching signing is Vargas would, to put it mildly, not inspire confidence!

Again, though, MLB Trade Rumors' post just features a bunch of guesses. Some of them are right; most of them are wrong. If you tried the exercise yourself, you'd probably do just as well, or close. Just as an example, I looked back at the last five years of predictions for the Orioles. Here they are (with top 50 rank in parentheses):

2013: Nick Swisher (6), Joe Saunders (25), Jeff Keppinger (41)
2014: Scott Feldman (27), Nate McLouth (41)
2015: Nelson Cruz (9), Nick Markakis (24), Jung-ho Kang (50)
2016: Scott Kazmir (18), John Jaso (45), Justin Morneau (48)
2017: Mark Trumbo (8), Michael Saunders (20)

Of the 13 predictions over the last five offseasons, the Orioles signed one player: Trumbo.

Dan Duquette has said the Orioles intend to reload this offseason. Signing Carlos Gonzalez and Jason Vargas would not qualify as reloading. The O's don't like to spend big in free agency, especially on starting pitching. So what are they going to do? Make a few trades? Sign a lefty like Vargas as the main rotation upgrade? Grab a couple of starters off the scrap heap? Let it ride with sort-of interesting but unproven starting options like Miguel Castro and Gabriel Ynoa?

If the Orioles are actually going to reload, they'll have to do a lot more than those two signings. But then again, the O's version of reloading a starting rotation or roster is much different than other teams'.


Anonymous said...

To answer the title question ..... NO WAY!!!! Just about every blueprint written here was better than that. WRT Baltimore and DD, I think the article reeks of MLBTR thinking that DD can't (or won't) play with the big boys. I mean, really, which would you rather have - Ubaldo at 4/$50M or Cobb for 4/$48M? And the prices for Util/Platoon types listed are better than anything BORAS projected. At those prices, you'd want to jump all over them. Why in all that's decent would you take Vargas at 1/$10M (or Tillman at 1/$10M) when you could get J. Garcia at 2/$16M or Chatwood at 3/$20M???? If you want a LH DH, sign Pedro for the minimum plus a bag of peanuts. Dyson at 2/$12M? A steal. Nunez at 2/$14M? Another steal. If you could sign Garcia, Chatwood, Dyson, and Nunez for those prices, you could still fit a one year Tillman in the budget. You could platoon Davis and Trumbo without any hesitation.

Unknown said...

A root canal and a crwon?

Pip said...

Matt, I looked up Carlos Gonzalez at fan graphs, and he's pretty dreadful on both sides of the ball, and away from Coors Field he hit .203 this past season.
In the two years previous he was about a 2 1/2 win player, but there doesn't seem to be any reason why he would be worth $12 million for a single season, because he doesn't appear to offer anything. Do you know what the reasoning was in fan graphs suggesting that he might end up with the Orioles? Yes he's left-handed, but that's hardly a reason to pony up 12 million bucks.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

It was an MLB Trade Rumors prediction, and it's maybe a little high. But for anyone taking a chance on him, the hope would be that he could return to form. I would be skeptical and hope they look elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Golly, why would the O's go for speed and defense with a little OBP thrown in when they could have a decrepit power hitter for more money??? *sarcasm dripping*

Pip said...

Roger, A good outfield is a need for us, but it won't come from gonzalez. according to fan graphs, Carlos Gomez was a negative defender at all three outfield positions last year. He was also a negative at the plate, and away from Coors field, he hit 203. I do not know whether you are advocating signing him, but I think it would be a bad idea to do so, especially at the projected price. There's every possibility that Mancini will be stable, Hayes will break camp with the club, Mullins will arrive during the summer( depending on how the team is doing) and the risk of signing CarGo outweighs both the benefits, and the need.
If Dan had trusted Mancini, he might not have re-signed Trumbo.
It's good to avoid a repeat.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm advocating signing Dyson (or Jay as a Plan B) - the O's should stay far away from C. Gonzalez. I think there is no chance Mullins is promoted this year- he'll need some time at AAA. I had the same thought, though, that Trumbo was a backstop to Mancini not making it. The bloggers here had no confidence that Mancini would succeed (bat was too slow). If they sign Dyson and have to keep Santander for 45 days then Hays will start in AAA. Hays will be brought up if Santander is sent down (likely) or Trumbo is traded or they institute a 1B/DH platoon with Trumbo/Davis/Mancini.

Benana said...

Not confident Santander has any enduring qualities. I say buy 3 pitchers to replace 3 and extend Machado. Rest of current team is fine.

Rob S said...

Honestly, if I'm paying for a position player, I go for Cain. Speed, some pop, excellent defense. Sorry, AJ. You are moving to right. Your below avg CF defense likely becomes well above avg defense in right. You can play as shallow as you like. No more trying to shag a 400 ft fly ball. If the ball is hit that far to right you aren't catching it anyway. Dyson would be a great pick up too. Otherwise, spend on pitching.

Pip said...

Yes I agree. I misunderstood your comment. We are in the same page, I think.
We don't need what CarGo offers, and the money is better spent elsewhere, which means that Dan will bring him on board by Wednesday.

Jon Shepherd said...

"No confidence" is an overstatement because we thought Mancini should get a shot over Trumbo last season.

Anonymous said...

OK, Jon, I was a little hyberbolic. And I know you guys were not in favor of the Trumbo signing either as he was largely a duplicative piece with little overall value due to his defense.

To "Unknown", Cain is way too expensive and would prevent Orioles from aggressively pursuing FA pitchers. The O's need to stick to 1-3 year contracts in case Machado cannot be re-signed and the team needs to be rebuilt.

Santander does have a lot of potential. He is young (22) and needs more seasoning, but to keep him, we need to follow the Rule 5 rules. I am quite sure he will go down to AAA or AA after 45 days. He'll be a good complement for Hays/Mancini/Mullins once they are all ready to play in the bigs - especially if AJ is not re-signed, too.