Winning in 2015
5 more WAR at short? Dr. D is hypnotized by the prospect


There is a lot of alarm in Seattle over Miller-for-Ian Desmond.  Um, remember, kiddies, those talks "haven't gained traction."  Zduriencik came out with a public statement a day or two ago.  Yes, people are very interested in our SS's.  However, we are also very interested in our SS's.  Cut the guy a break.

There's a good reason the other org's are grabby after Taijuan and the Logo, you realize.  The Russian and Chinese space programs know at least as much about UFO's as we normal citizens do.  Take the Craze over Crazy Legs as a confirmation that Miller is the natural choice over Chris Taylor.
One year of Jeff Zimmerman for Taijuan?  That is about the going rate, we're sorry to say.  Don't shoot the messenger.

Jeff Sullivan researched the 8 most-similar trades done recently -- that is to say, the last 8 young SP's traded right after being named top-25 prospects by Baseball America.  
Typical was Casey Kelly and another top-100 prospect for one year of Adrian Gonzalez.  You see, that gave Boston a whale of an inside track on re-signing AGone, which they did.  Doug Drabek and two other top-100 prospects were given for Roy Halladay, who also was a quick re-sign.
If the Stars team doesn't have any Go signs from the incoming Star, it may only give up one Taijuan and nothing else for the Star.  That was the Shelby Miller for Jason Heyward deal.
Jeff also points out:  a #15 prospect who pitches is equal to a #75 prospect who hits.   That's important.   Trevor Bauer, at #14, was essentially traded for #80, Didi Gregorius.  Consider also that Michael Pineda, who far transcended all prospect rankings with a ROY season, was traded even steven for a hitting prospect, Jesus Montero.
So, you say, if that's the game, you're not playing.  "I believe in Taijuan Walker.  I think he might even outpitch Zimmerman this year."  Dr. D says that too.  So does Jack Zduriencik.  He's not trading his starting pitching, says he.  But!  Taijuan for Upton, or Taijuan for Kemp, would be a perfectly reasonable idea.  Pitchers get hurt.
Zduriencik was asked if he had the MINOR league mojo to make a deal for Kemp or Upton.  He said, of course he does.  But does he want to?
Even after the stuff said in the papers about Taijuan ... if Jay-Z wanted to pile the prospects real high, sure he could knock them over with hitting itself.  The Dodgers would take Miller, D.J. Peterson and ? for Kemp.   The report is that Miller and Saunders almost had it done, with shared salary.
But Zduriencik won't pay $1.25 on the dollar, even when he's going to wind up Rule 5'ing that 25 cents anyway.
Meanwhile, G-Money points out that Billy Beane will sacrifice one whale of a lot in order to make one Kansas City-type run.  Even if it's only once every 5 years.  A World Series appearance is worth maybe $75-100M in long-term returns.  Beane would be okay with this.
The Mariners could, in the reductio ad absurdum:
(1) swap Miller for Desmond and sweeteners, raking in a 25-homer, 115-OPS shortstop for 2015
(2) then swap Taijuan for Zimmerman
(3) then give Melky Cabrera the 5th year, writing off year 5 by AAV, and
(4) then give Dustin Ackley and Happ and ? (kidding, kinda) for Justin Upton, or
(5) give D.J. Peterson, ?, and ? for Matt Kemp, and 
(3) field a Walking Death Machine in 2015
There you go.  The 1975 Dodger pitching staff and the 1975 Reds lineup.  Wait.  The 1995 Braves pitching and the 1995 Mariners hitting.  The downside:  our minor league system plays .500 ball.
No, LrKrBoi29, losing Miller and Taijuan would not "mortgage the future" or "sell our souls."  Danny Hultzen and Roenis Elias and James Paxton have a few years of club control left, too.  So does a hitter or six.  
Or suppose Taijuan's shoulder blows out.  Does that mean your whole future is gone?  :- /
In "practical" payroll terms, the Miller-Taijuan for Desmond-Zimmerman-? deal is what we're talking about here.  Then you still get a RF added.  You would need overtures about contract extensions from one of the two Nats.
Desmond was worth 4.9, 5.0, and 4.1 WAR the last three years, you do realize.  Getting that at short, alongside Melky and Cruz, wow.
I'm in the GM seat?  You can bet I'd find some way to pull the trigger on a 2015 juggernaut.   You think Pete Carroll would hesitate to do something like this?  Would Billy Beane, for that matter?
Unlike Beane and Dr. D, Jack Zduriencik is resisting temptation to cash in.  Hard to see how.  If you were a GM, you'd be rather interested in putting a championship onto your resume.  Zduriencik is being awfully principled here.  That, or he's missing the point, one of the two.
Dr D
See more of Dr. D's dancing monkey act at his second site, Detect-O-Vision.
Hey!  You can probably skip past the "Time Warps" on SSI by hitting the "Refresh" button once or twice.



Appreciate the context. Quick question. I mentioned yesterday the Cards trade of Steve Carlton. You cut your teeth (as did my kid brother) on the Big Red Machine. Did that team trade away any big prospects you dreamed on to win those two pennants? If not, should they have? The starting pitching was rather thin, IiRC.

Taro's picture

Why not target a one year rental in Zimmerman AND a long term solution in Souza that the Nats have no space for? Do Walker +.

Good Guy Andrew's picture

I'm soaking in the Ian Desmond rumors and I come across a few Tweets/posts out in the, somehow, more popular Mariner blogs. Something along the lines of Steamer projection think Taylor and Miller project to more WAR this year than Desmond will. The conclusion on 'that side' of the blogosphere was the M's would be stupid to have anything to do with Desmond because of these projections that are calculated in... Wait, where again?
Now, I'm not naive. I see Brad Miller's upside and, boy, it's hard to not get excited. Taylor could turn into Jack Wilson in his prime, with a little more contact. They both have upside but we're talking about winning a world series in 2015, if I remember right. There's a chance that these 2 put up better seasons than Desmond (there's also a chance J.A. Happ could somehow be worth more than Michael Saunders, Heaven forbid...) but it seems like these other blogs (mainly just one that I'm thinking of) are taking these projections as gospel. To me, I'd much rather rely on the last 3 seasons of actual results than what anyone tries to project going forward. Those results tell me that Desmond hasn't had a WAR below 4 since Brad Miller was drafted. They also tell me that, while Miller/Taylor have tons of talent, I should be a bit concerned about them winning us a pennant in 2015.
What do you think about this Projections vs. Past Results thinking?

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.