Gio vs Latos (vs Pineda)


Merks wants to know, how do you rate these three SP's, and what does it tell us about Gio Gonzalez' trade value.

Start with the understanding that Gonzalez, Matos, and Pineda are loosely comparable.  They're all very young, very TOR, and very valuable young aces.  We're not going to lose clarity by --- > taking a scalpel to the differences.

Objectively speaking, Mat Latos should be a bit more valuable than Gio .... except to any GM who is confident, like Dr. D is, that Gonzalez is about to leap forward.  I mean, you wouldn't argue that Gio should bring more than Mat Latos.


Q.  What's the bottom line?  What would be the M's package similar to the one the Reds gave up?

A.  Mike Carp, Nick Franklin, Jason Vargas, and Chance Ruffin for Latos.  Or for Gio.  That's a super good 4-for-4 comp to the Reds' package.  The M's package is better, but the Padres' GM was high on the Reds' players.  It comes down to which players a GM likes or doesn't.


Q.  Did the Reds give up a ton?

A.  Fans were aghast to see the Reds give up three of the really high-recognition names, plus Boxberger as their #10 org prospect.

In my view, though, Alonso and Volquez are prriiiiiiimme examples of names that are hot with the fans and not with the GM's.  Both have been hyped prospects forever, high upside, exciting, all that stuff, but both come with huge caveats that the fans haven't fully absorbed.

Yasmani Grandal is a top-50 prospect, mostly because he is a catcher.  It's not like he's going to make All-Star teams.  But Grandal is a very desirable commodity, the key to this deal, and a worthy feature piece of a package like this.


I was fascinated to see that the paradigm has changed on the saber sites.  This article does not even attempt to balance [WAR-vs-Salary net value, 4 young players vs 1 star], the way this one did four years ago.  

So, that's progress.  Apparently the scouting and saber sides have agreed that you can package young players for ML stars.  Not an issue any more, I guess?


Q.  Alonso and Carp?

A.  Alonso has had the hype in past seasons.  But both players are late bloomers who (finally, at long last) finished 2011 as cleanup hitters.

Both have serious Q's about defense.  Both hit LH and would be mediocre 1B's or dubious LF's.

Hey, don't undersell Alonso's problems.  Last year he repeated AAA -- played it for the second time -- and didn't improve his slash line even a tick.   Alonso has never slugged .500 in the minors, even once, and he's a first baseman.  It says here that you're hoping for a Sean Casey career, if he gets rolling.

Meanwhile, Mike Carp just slugged .649 in AAA, not .449, and only one year later.  Carp has 44 homers in his last 176 AAA games.


I'd be inclined to equate Seager to Alonso, not Carp, but whatever.


Q.  Volquez and Vargas?

A.  Volquez has -0.2 WAR over the period 2009-11.  He is a stopgap for San Diego, a guy just to show the fans for the rotation for this year, maybe next.

Vargas is worth a lot more than Volquez, but of course Volquez does come with a certain amount of sex appeal.  Which of the two SP's would saberdude Billy Beane take, as a stopgap pitcher, Vargas or Volquez?


Q.  Grandal and Franklin?

A.  Grandal #39 at Seedlings to Stars, Franklin #43, both middle-of-the-diamond hitters.  They're loosely comparable in value.

The takeaway for M's fans would be that, for a team that wants Nick Franklin, he also is a worthy feature piece (#1 piece) in a blockbuster.


Q.  Would Beane want more than the Reds' package for Gio?

A.  I think he would, because the Reds didn't give up all that much.  They gave up name recognition.

Not often that SSI picks a clear "winner" of a deal.  But the Reds are dancing a jig today.  Grandal isn't even the Reds' best minor-league catcher.  

The Reds just gave up four pieces that aren't in their plans ---> to get an Opening Day, club-controls starter.  The only ever time I can think of, a team doing that, was the Doug Fister deal :- )


It says here that Nick Franklin, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp / Kyle Seager, and a Chance Ruffin type would be the AL version of the Reds' package.

I'd work hard to keep Mike Carp out of the package, to sub in somebody else, because of those 40 homers pro-rated in AAA and the 30 pro-rated HR's he hit in the second half in the AL.  The Reds' prospects are so well thought of, that they can give their second tier to get exactly the star they want.  Zduriencik may be headed towards the same trade-market nirvana.

Hey, the Reds gave up one top-50 prospect and then some players with question marks.  If the M's could pull that off for Gio, I'd be all in.


That's my opinion I could be wrong,

Dr D



There, I said it. Not those guys. I'm not going there. Find other guys....
Vargas, Seager & Ruffin...Probably. Most probably.
Vargas  612 career innings, 1.35 WHIP, 9.2 hits/2.9 BB/5.7 K's per 9 innings.
Gio       535 career innings, 1.41 WHIP, 8.3 hits/4.4 BB/8.6K's per 9 innings.
Of course, Gio is trending upwards


Vargas notably has poor stamina for a long season. However, he may also be trending up with the addition of the "twist" and added velocity.

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