Trade Pineda ... or Felix? for Votto


A few "net value" figures:

  • $19M x 3 ... Felix' remaining contract
  • $26M ... Felix' average production, last 3 years (include Y-3, Felix' big year)
  • $7M x 3 = $21M ... The amount by which Felix is underpaid, life of contract

And for Votto:

  • $13M x 2 ... Votto's remaining contract
  • $30M ... Votto's average production, last 2 years
  • $17M x 2 = $34M ... Votto underpay, life of contract

And for Pineda:

  • $40M / 5 ... Guess at Pineda's earnings, assuming he is the best pitcher in the AL
  • $15M x 5 = $75M ... Pineda's production, assuming he goes 5 more years, 3.70 ERA, 170 innings
  • $35M = Pineda's underpay, assuming he only goes 170 innings per year (not happening)
  • $24M x 5 = $120M ... something more like Pineda's actual production, 2012-16
  • $80M ... Pineda underpay in UP scenario (could be more)

Pineda has either (1) as much net value as Votto remaining, or (2) about $40-50MM more, if he goes on to become a 200-inning TOR starter.


... so, assuming that you assign Votto an 0% risk, you've got to figure a 40-50% chance of Pineda imploding in order to make the numbers equal out...

I dunno what Pineda's actual risk is, but it isn't 40-50%.  He already is an All-Star pitcher in the major leagues.


Felix, however, is both less-profitable than Votto and is riskier, since he's a pitcher.  (Assuming the Reds wouldn't trade you Votto, there is some Votto comp that could be had for Mr. Felix Hernandez.)

Assuming that the risk logic was sound on Pineda, it's sounder for Felix.


And yet:  that amazing macro-processor you call the human brain recognizes, intuitively, that you'd have to be an idiot to trade Felix Hernandez for Joey Votto.  

That's because the brain subconsciously analyzes 1,000 roster scenarios ensuing --- > in which the Mariners have a much easier time filling first base than in filling "Hall of Fame Opening Day Starter," and it subconsciously analyzes the myriad intangible effects of losing a Randy Johnson-category aircraft carrier.

There is real enthusiasm in Seattle for cashing Pineda in, but swap Felix in to the same logic and whoooooaaaaaaaa doggie.  Who said anything about Felix?  :- )

If you traded Felix for Votto, you would shed Felix' salary and you could then ALSO sign Jose Reyes or Albert Pujols (to play 3B) or whoever you wanted to.

Which player-combo is more valuable?

  • Felix and Votto
  • Pineda, Votto, and Reyes / Pujols / Fielder


No, major league GM's aren't in the habit of giving up great pitchers for great hitters.  So why the fascination with shedding Pineda?  The unspoken subtext, elsewhere in cyberspace, is that you better bail out of this fatally-flawed Pineda guy before the league figures out how to blast him.  

Ah'm a-gonna take the other side 'a that one.  SSI, your Michael Pineda For Mayor campaign website.


Dr D



I just post (below) about sending Felix to the Yankees in a year or two and then click back and here you have already layed out the argument.
How early do I have to get up to beat you to the punch? You're an evil man, Doc.
Cincy wouldn't send you Votto for Felix right now but if Z dangled Felix out there, how quickly would the Yankees and BoSox and Philly and Houston pee themselves and start bidding against each other?
I probably wait a year....but very good stuff, Doc. 


Yankees:  Montero and what and which young arm for Felix?
Red Sox: Lavarnway and Buchholz and ? for Felix?
OK...I've had too much coffee this morning.  But these kind of deals are light years better than Cameron's Pineda and everybody else for Votto deal.
And then you have a ton of cash to go get Ethier.
Not proposals, mind you, just starting points and very idle banter.


:- ) Actually, dealing Felix could have some logic for me, with two caveats:
(1) You'd have to find a way to do it consistent with the Stars & Scrubs paradigm - verrrrry tough to do.
It's no good to just trade him for 4 above-average players, since each above-average player then nukes the value of a player like Mike Carp, Justin Smoak, or whoever...
IMHO you'd need a 6+ WAR type player coming back, plus goodies.
(2) You've got to factor in the Franchise Icon aspect, don't  you?  Shouldn't Roger Clemens have been a Red Sox forever?
Problem #1 also applies w/r/t Pineda, although in that case you were talking about Joey Votto replacing him as the #2 player on the roster, so that doesn't violate S&S...


I was 60% of the way there...I was thinking any three.

ghost's picture

Lavarnway and Buchholz?  If those were the two top players in a Felix deal, that would estroy the Mariner franchise for 15 years.  Horrible...horrible idea there. :)  Not trying to be mean, but Lavarnway might someday be a roughly Jason Varitek level catcher...he's no Mike Piazza or Ivan Rodriguez.  And Buchholz can't stay is he worth gambling on in this context?
The Red Sox would have to start with something like Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Lavarnway and Buchholtz to even get me talking.  Which is to say...I don't want to trade Felix.  Not for anything anywhere.  LOL

ghost's picture

I know we all want ot get better instantly...including me...but I'm watching the AFL rising stars game and thinking it might not be a bad idea to wait to see where are real weaknesses are before we do something huge like trade a franchise pitcher.
Nick Franklin just hit one 400 feet the opposite way for a 2-R HR off of Garrett Cole and Danny Hultzen just struck out the side...against what amounts to the "all top-prospects" team.
I'd say...we're in good shape from an organizational standpoint.

ghost's picture

...was Nick Franklin doing his best impression of Honus Wagner...LOL  3 for 3 with two doubles and a homer, the homer and one of the doubles on liners to LCF on gas and the other double ripped directly THROUGH the first baseman's body as if he wasn't even there on a slider.  Yowza!  He also got that double by hustling into second even though the RF was on the ball quickly.  So...yeah...looks like he should start 2012 in AAA and get his June call-up assuming nothing goes wrong.
There'll be highlights on the MLB website I'm sure.  They said it was available on MLB.TV as well as MLB Network so you might even be able to watch it later on the web.
Hultzen looked REAL good...started out throwing 89-92 to get some pitches on the black and then revved it up to 95 for most of the rest of the appearance...did give up a hammered warning track fly in the second, but he struck out the side in the first and looked a lot like Cliff Lee doing it.  There's not one blinkin' thing he needs to learn in the minors.  He's ready now.  What can you possibly add to his game...he already throws with nearly perfect command, mixes his pitches well, changes speeds, and misses bats.  What's left?
I know we were talking about Paxton being a mortal lock and Hultzen needing some time to prove what he's got...but if he pitches like this in ST, he should start too.  Meaning we'll need to trade Vargas.


Since we drafted him, he's looked like a major-leaguer to me. 
He’s might be a little slowed by his need to figure out if he’s gonna switch-hit or go back to being just a lefty.  Either way, he’ll be handcuffed by em for a couple of years until he gets enough ABs against em to perfect his approach there.
But the kid is…wow.  And he’ll stick at SS.  For a couple of years now I’ve been calling him Stephen Drew 2.0 and he’s not slacking off on that one bit.  Even a concussion and mono can’t keep him down.  The fun part comes when we see whether Drew is his mid-range or his floor. *laughs*
The other fun part: Vinnie Catricala destroyed the minors this year.  It was obscene.  He was given the generic “C+” by John Sickels to start the year…and finished 5th in his Minor League Player of the Year poll after the season.  Part of the reason for that is that Vinnie has no defined position.  If he can’t play 3B (and he’s been bad there) then can he be a decent outfielder?  Does he have to play 1B?
If he does what Liddi did, and takes his fielding from atrocious to, “hey, not bad…” at the hot corner…
And can I point this out?
Catricala – not enough power to be a legit 1B, not enough glove for 3B, which is why he came to us in the 10th round.  Since 2010, has hit 89 doubles (!!) and 42 HRs in ~1000 ABs.
Franklin – “worst pick of the first round with no power” somehow breaks a 40+ year old HR record in a cold pitcher’s league at a glove position.
Seager – tweener infielder with weak swing not only hammers doubles like there’s no tomorrow, he also is somehow skilled enough with the leather to play SS
Carp – goes from “marginal power, slow-footed 1B” to trim, athletic 1B/LF who crushes the ball.
Ackley – can drive the ball out 400+ feet to dead CF in a way that makes the jaws of the opposing announcers drop wide open and causing them to wonder if he’s an Utley type after all.
Pineda – Goes from throwing 89 to throwing 98 in 2 years.
Paxton – “89-92, weak arm” in a barnstormer league to “easy 94-97, devastating curve” in his first year in pro ball.
Campos – 92-97 arm as a teen, top arm in short season, will make some top-100 prospects list
Walker – raw arm with promising power becomes nuclear in full-season A ball as a teen, hammering the plate for consistent 96 mph pain
Erasmo – was throwing 89 mph as a pure control artist.  Now rushes it up at 93-95.
Fister - velocity climbs, accuracy stays, and he pitches VERY well down the stretch and in the playoffs as a legit #2.
THIS is the reason I have hope for Brad Miller, and that picking up Hultzen with his great pitches and good (but improvable) velocity might be a monstrous add.
We're going to develop so many great athletes out of your system,'' Elliott said of the Mariners. "I guarantee it."

We just keep taking ballplayers and trusting that we’ll make them into the kind of baseball-specific athletes that will jump their performances into the stratosphere.
And so far, it seems to be WORKING. 
Fingers crossed that Franklin and Catricala can make the next jump in performance to make it to the bigs as plus players, and that Hultzen and Paxton can join them as impact starters.  All the raw material is there.
And who else is looking forward to what might happen to Chiang or Miller or Robinson at the plate with a year of this workout regimen under their belts, or whether our latest batch of pitchers can step up their stuff like our last batch did?
We have a ways to go in the remaking of the Mariners into a contender, but at least our internal raw materials will be able to help us.
First time in a long time we've been able to say that.


His MID or his floor, huh :- )
Just out of curiosity, why do you pronounce him good to go at SS?

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