More Buzz

It sure seems to me that if they really wanted Jason Bay (as in "really, really") they could have signed him by now.  Z seems to be sufficiently lukewarm that's willing to wait out Bay and see if a better fit doesn't develop.  Also a sign, I think, that they are high on Saunders.

Now there is buzz that Milwaukee's interest in Morrow could be related to a trade for Mat Gamel: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/minorleagues/prospects/y2009/profile.jsp?t=p_top&pid=451143  Hey, big surprise, a left-handed bat with a high OBP and moderate power.  LaRoche, Johnson, Luke Scott . . .    Seems fairly certain that Z will be ordering someone off that menu.  Gamel has the advantage of being young and cheap. Branyan is probably still on that list, too, but obviously he's dropped off the "really, really want" category.

So if you go relatively cheap at 1B and pass on Bay (and barring the AGonz blockbuster), then you've got money to spend on LF.  Maybe a guy who's a better defensive fit than Bay, and who won't command as much of a long-term deal?  On cue, enter one Johnny Damon.  Hmmmm.  http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/damonjo01.shtml

That's a pretty solid-gold-plated resume in terms of hits, walks and xbh.  36 doubles, 24 HR, 71 walks at age 35.  You know what you're getting, and he's easier to slide into a DH role as Saunders and Ackley come along.  Damon was not offered arb, so no draft pick.

If they truly rotate Saunders and Tui off the bench, that's an intriguing setup.

Then maybe add a flyer on a damaged-goods pitcher -- Bedard, Sheets, K. Escobar?

And you've still got all your prospects to add somebody at the trade deadline.

Comments

1

Johnny Damon has even been a passable outfielder since 2001.  It's not 2009. LOL
Just say NO to 14 million dollars even on a one year deal for Johnny friggin' Damon.
*VOMIT*

2

Gamel is a better version of Tui - better suited to our park, better power results in the minors, has some of the same recent K issues and some fights with the breaking ball, etc.
I would be more than willing to trade Tui if we added Gamel, unless Gamel absolutely cannot stay at 3rd.
But then I'm not the believer in Tui that you are, Doc.  I just see Big Ben, I guess - how could a tall strapping lad like that with all the athletic talent in the world NOT work out?
*shrugs* It happens.
And BECAUSE I'm not necessarily a believer in Tui, it's hard to trade Morrow for a better version of his template. Still, with his being LH he's a better park fit, and we could Garrett Atkins several interesting years out of Gamel.
I agree, we're looking at landing ONE of Gamel/LaRoche/Branyan/Johnson/Scott/whomever, but I think it's a fallback plan for not adding a huge bat like Dunn/Fielder/A-Gone.
And I don't really want to use our Morrow trade chip on a fall back plan unless we absolutely have to. 
~G

3

Yeah - LaRoche, Branyan and Johnson don't require a trade return, while Luke Scott wouldn't take Morrow.
I like Luke Scott as a 1B/LF guy in combo with one of the old slugging 1B/DH types. But heck, whatever Jack is going to do it's probably something completely off our radar.

4
misterjonez's picture

MLBTR says something like 1 year at $5.5m.  I'd have bitten at that, and I'm guessing Jack would have, too.  Johnson probably prefers his original team, and i can't say I blame him, after all that time away from the short porch.
 
Branyan/Cust/LaRoche/Scott are all good fits for the team.  We'll end up with one of them.
 
Aside from my confidence in that, I'm not sure who we end up with.  Jack is too stealthy.

5

The thing with Gamel is the salary.  Yeah, you can add Adam Laroche, but he's gonna cost 8 figures more than Gamel, so how much is Morrow worth to you?  In essence, trading Morrow for Gamel then STILL allows you to add Bay or whomever, so it's the same as trading Morrow for Bay/Laroche.
And you get Gamel for 6 years, instead of the 2 you could count on from Gonzalez/Fielder.
It all comes back to how much you believe in Mat Gamel's ability to OPS .800-.830 or whatever from 3B.  If he's not a 3B, then his value drops.  .780-.800 at 1B is what Carp is likely able to post in 2 years, and he's already on the team.  I don't need to trade for that.  Raben and Poythress are still coming up.  We have options there.
Can he exceed that?  Gamel's .920 OPS in a full-season at AAA at 22 was impressive, but Saunders just did that in a half-season at the same age, and Matt can't wait to get rid of him.  Gamel also didn't follow that up with a 1.000 OPS at AAA - he fell back to Earth.
Betting on Mat to exceed that .800 to .830 isn't really fair.  He might Glaus it, I suppose, but Troy was already in the bigs at 22 after absolutely manhandling the minors in his one season there. 
Gamel still hasn't completely put it all together - which is why he's available and not totally off-limits.
Jack has a far better idea of whether Gamel can stay at 3rd than I do, I'm sure.  If we added him, it's because he can - or because Jack is positive he WILL Glaus it and have some .900 seasons, and that his production will be fine from 1B.
If we traded Morrow for Gamel and added Bay or Laroche, I'd find that interesting.  It's a different approach to try to maximize the same results.
After all, we just paid Beltre 8 figures for his .683 OPS.  Gamel stepped up to the bigs and posted a .760 in his first cup of coffee.  He's no Beltre with a glove (AT ALL) but maybe Safeco won't castrate him the way it did Adrian.
We'll see.  I still don't expect Morrow to break camp with us.  I just want to know what we're gonna trade him for.
~G

6

Gamel is very intriguing.  Great catch.  Got a link to the 'buzz' mayhaps?
..........
On Bay ... Geoff Baker's update today fires a shot across USSM's bow and re-asserts that the M's remain interested in Jason Bay.  Baker also has a link to a KC interview in which Zduriencik apparently speaks favorably, in code, as to the chances there ...

7
M-Pops's picture

Some issues with Gamel that I would think would give Z pause:
Overall contact issues (66%), at almost Dallas McPherson levels (64%) 
Defensive issues at 3B
M's several options for the corner IF spots that do not require one of our top trade chips
Lack of MLB experience, which could send one or both of Tui and Saunders back to AAA to start the season
My hope is that Hoyer (SD's GM) prefers Gamel to Morrow and this could be actually part of a 3-way for their 1B :) 
=====
As for Damon, I personally can't stand watching him at the plate or in the field (or even during postgame interviews :/), but as plan C or D for LF/DH on a 1-year deal, we could do worse: runs relatively well, hard AL East OPS, LH...
Could live with it if Bay goes to NYM/LAA and Saunders goes in a deal for the SD 1B.

8

that it isn't Tui's physique, as such, that wow's me G.  It's his willingness to stick his face into a low-away slider, to wait on the pitch and hit it explosively to RF.
He moves like a basketball player as opposed to a linebacker, has the swagger that comes from the background.
He's not a guarantee, but he has some things that other blue-chippers don't.

9

My hope is that Hoyer (SD's GM) prefers Gamel to Morrow and this could be actually part of a 3-way for their 1B :)
:brilliant!: (Guinness)

10
Taro's picture

Brilliant indeed!
I don't want Bay or Damon, but Ad.Gon is A-OK from where I sit.
Still you wonder if Fielder isn't going to be cheaper, a thousand times more likely to extend, and a much better bat anyways. A.Gon is a good fielder, but probably slightly overrated. Fielder also isn't as poor as his reputation.
Even considering a 10 run difference in defense, Fielder might still be the better player (or at least equal). The Brewers like Morrow right? I don't see the need to overpay for Gonzalez if Fielder is available.

11

The only reason Gamel's numbers look better is because he wasn't rushed through the minors nearly as fast. When Gamel was in low-A, Tui was going from High-A to Double A. When Gamel was in High-A, Tui Spent the whole year in Double-A. When Gamel was in Double-A, Tui was in Triple A. Despite this, Tui's eye ratio has been just as good. If you take a look at their numbers last year when they were finally at the same level at the same age thier stats were identical, even though Tui was recovering from a serious injury.
I would rather have Tui, and it's not really close. He is much more likely to be a complete hitter than Gamel.

12

I am not that enamored with either of them, but Tui's swing is more compact that Gamel's from what I've heard about Gamel and seen from Tui.  And Tui is a better fielder than Gamel...by a lot.  Far more athletic too.

13

Even though they have the same "baseball age", Gamel is almost a full year older than Tui. That means things are skewed even more against Tui than it appears. He really could be a year further from his peak than Gamel is.

15

You just have to talk the Brewers out of Prince Fielder.  The Padres don't have GREAT incentive to trade A-Gone now, but they're not gonna re-sign him, so they're in an 18 month trade window.  To get the most for him, probably a 1 year window.
I don't think the Brewers can re-sign Fielder AND Braun, so they're gonna wanna move one.  Fielder is he one. But they're also within shooting distance for competing for a division title.
07: 83-79
08: 90-72 (wildcard berth)
09: 80-82
 
Their team OPS+ in '09 was 104. Their ERA+ was 83.  So obviously they need pitching.
 
But if they can get it for minor leaguers like Gamel...I dunno.  It might actually be easier to pry A-Gone from SD.   If we can convince them to keep Gamel, take some pitching from us, and give up Prince, that'll be fine with me, but I expect the price of both to be about the same in prospects, and Fielder's making twice as much in salary.
~G 

16

I picked it up from a comment on another site, but the original rumor was from Ken Rosenthal:
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/121409-Latest-MLB-buzz
Source: Mariners trying to trade Morrow for hitter -- 10:48 a.m.
The Mariners, on the verge of losing free-agent first baseman Nick Johnson to the Yankees, are trying to trade right-hander Brandon Morrow for a hitter at first base, third or DH, according to a major- league source.
The Mariners also have not ruled out re-signing third baseman Adrian Beltre and first baseman Russell Branyan.
General manager Jack Zduriencik, the Brewers’ former scouting director, spoke with his former club about a Morrow-for-Mat Gamel deal. The talks failed to progress but could be revisited later, the source said.
If the Brewers traded Gamel, a third baseman, they would commit to Casey McGehee at third. -Ken Rosenthal

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