Gimme 7 Ripkens and I'm in!
Would settle for 7 Ernie Banks.
OK, maybe I would take the Ernies first.
Can I do it that way?
When DiPoto traded Ramon Flores for Luis Sardinas, I was completely disoriented.
It says here that (Jeff King?) traded Ackley for Flores and an RP at last year's trade deadline. In other words, Ramon Flores was not exactly a bag of balls and a Good Humor frozen treat. Flores didn't look tremendously different, then, from what Boog Powell looks like now. (Flores by the way is having a nice spring training as we speak, .375 OBP, competing for a starting CF job in Milwaukee.)
So then DiPoto came in and on Nov. 16 traded Wilhelmsen and (Kivlehan) for Martin, who Texas probably would have DFA'ed if that were their only recourse.
On Nov. 5 he had already picked Brad Miller up by britches and belt, and cast him out a 6th-story window.
Four days later, DiPoto jettisoned Ramon Flores for Luis Sardinas. Dr. D imagined that the Flores deal was a Zduriencik-type move, to simply flush the old GM's players out of the system. Sardinas looked like a dime-a-dozen utility infielder to me, so this appeared to be one more "addition by subtraction" indulgence. And most likely a comment on Chris Taylor's Mariner-ness rather than one on Luis Sardinas' ability to ever take 400 at-bats in the real majors.
As y'know, DiPoto followed this up shortly after with --- > a trade of [a 7.5K, $500,000 lefty plus Carson Smith] for [a 7K, $6,000,000 lefty]. It seemed quite clear that the rationale was pyschological, not sabermetric.
Alas, Hisashi Iwakuma fell back into our laps and DiPoto outbid the madding crowd for Adam Lind, just as DiPoto had earlier done for Joaquin Benoit. The Lind and Benoit deals were based on throwing one extra teenager* into the deals, exactly as Dr. D has always moaned the M's should be willing to do. This in turn tempered the Roenis Elias deal in his mind, because you are talking about cashing in potential (Elias) for real-world major league performance.
In March, Boog Powell turned out, on closer inspection, to be a prospect of real talent and "usability." Pleasantly, Jerry DiPoto's grand plan looks far better on a third take than it does on the first.
Said all that to say this: I thought Luis Sardinas was a nonissue. He's looked like anything but, and incidentally is batting .406 (13-for-32) right now.
As G-Money and Spec of course know, but as a few SSI readers don't, the Rangers paid $1.5M for Sardinas out of Venezuela and some fans liked Sardinas better than Jurickson Profar. after Sardinas' strong 2012-2013 seasons it was nothing unusual for him to make top-100 lists. The idea was flashy SS gloverwork and a .300 HIT tool.
Sardinas' 2014-15 seasons were legitimately lukewarm, with 105 strikeouts against 31 walks in 739 at-bats. But he was age 21, then 22 in AAA, so that does not mean Sardinas couldn't become a starter in the majors. It just means he is not Derek Jeter. A few major league SS's, known for their bats, and their ages when they became ML starters:
Of course there were also the SS's who got to the bigs real early, with few interruptions in their rocket rises - Tulowitzki, Peralta, Jose Reyes, Andrus. Thing is, if a Brandon Crawford type is still a minor leaguer at age 23, it doesn't mean we get to write him off.
Does mean, however, that Ketel Marte's major league 113 OPS+ at age 21 was pretty bogue. Sardinas is -- and should be -- behind Marte, but if that doesn't work out we've got two intriguing young shortstops who can start Friday night against the Astros.
Whoops, is it two backups or fourteen of them? :- ) Yeah, you could probably deal Taylor or Sardinas for an interesting bullpen piece. TOOK a pretty good player to get Sardinas in the first place. Good stuff Rain.
You know there was a time when sabes didn't quite know whether 9 Leonys Martins would beat 9 Babe Ruths. Has anybody ever tried putting seven shortstops on the field? Let's check it out.