Hey Doc - Adam Jones


Mojo:  We already have George Sherrill in the fold.  Now, Z should concentrate on putting the band back together.  We'll send them Gutierrez, Trayvon, and some UZRs.

Heh!  It can be tough to get the Jimmy Page or John Lennon component into the bargain...

At a glance, Jones looks like a solution to the M's center field woes, and he's available.  Does the idea hold up to scrutiny?  Good discussion today on that very point.  Have you seen the comments thread to this article, Mojo?  The article was just published this morning, and there are already 60+ interesting replies.  It's a think-tank type of thread in the comments section.

Not trying to be contrary, I can't agree with the method in the original article.  For example, a comps list for the 2008-11 Adam Jones should have taken into account his non-existent walks, and his lack of a star season to date.  

A key-attributes template for Adam Jones should include the criteria of [no walks] and [no individual seasons with WAR over 3, or perhaps over 4].  Because guys were included who can tell a ball from a strike, and guys were included who had big seasons in their early 20's, you had guys like Steve Braun and Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp come up in the comps.  

Adam Jones isn't going to be Matt Kemp.  Kemp demonstrated All-Star caliber performance at age 22 and 24, before his MVP performance at age 26.  Adam Jones, at age 26, has a career OPS+ of 101.  Granted, he's making subtle progress as a hitter, and as he nears free agency he's climbed up to 114.

So the comps list is, from my seat, not a comps list, but the comments are enlightening.


=== Football Players Dept. ===

I had the pleasure of a thunderous insight the other day.  James was asked his opinion of where B.J. Upton was going.  James said something that stopped me short.  "Upton looks so good when he runs into a pitch occasionally," James said acidly, "that people don't notice the fact that he is a bad hitter."

That turned a light bulb on for me, regarding football players in baseball.  They're wearing camoflage.  You have to find some way to look at their pitcher-hitter battles in a dispassionate way.  How do you watch Derrick McKey play basketball, but turn off your "oooh, aaaah" meter?  When you do, many of these athletes (such as B.J. Upton) can be seen to be getting abused on a day-in, day-out basis.

A lot of these guys start off with a bang, just because their reflexes, and strength attributes, are so amazing.  IMHO, Jones is a guy who will always OPS+ 100-to-110 and play dubious CF defense (because of the questionable reads).  Never wondered why B.J. Upton was a star at age 22, and then never made an inch's worth of progress against AL starters?

A 100-110 OPS+ in center field, despite the dubious glovework, would help the 2012 M's.  But Baltimore seems to be asking Joey Votto return ;- ) for Jones' 5th and 6th years, the priciest ones before free agency.  Baltimore apparently asked Atlanta for two 4-WAR players, plus two good prospects, for Jones.

Safeco may be the worst park in the league for Adam Jones, and with Baltimore trying to finagle an MVP-candidate package for him, it looks like the band may be in Beatles mode.


=== Bedards and Fisters and ... Bears, Oh My ===

The M's gave up half of an All-Star* rotation, largely to acquire Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson.  SSI wouldn't mind seeing MLB(TM) vets at all the other positions, if necessary, and for Wells/Robinson to get a shot in center.

Do they like Wells and Trayvon, or don't they?  

Shandler's Baseball Forecaster certainly likes Wells.  130 speed index -- more than enough for CF -- and "UP:  25+ HR, 15 SB."  For two cents, SSI would campaign for Wells to lead a CF job share...





I was thinking about Jones because he is an average bat who is established at the position.  A mediocre CF bat sounds great right now, as I think about the prospect of another year cheering for Gutierrez and Saunders and their 1 for 50 kick me in the gut slumps.
It would be great to have Casper Wells, or Trayvon get a shot at CF, but so far, I've only seen Trayvon there, and it appears he isn't quite ready.  I'm not sure the Mariners are ready to unleash the beast and give Casper his shot there.
The Mariners have not had a good center fielder since Ichiro.  The last good outfield was Ibanez, Ichiro and Guillen.
The Mariners have been a bad team ever since the organization started to field a bad outfield.  Coincidence?  I think we have a strong case that the poor hitting outfield has been a substantial factor to the Mariner's losing ways.
One of the reasons for getting Jones, or someone just like him, is that it would get rid of Gutierrez, whose great glove is getting him way too much playing time.
Another reason to get Jones in particular, is to undo one of the great wrongs of the Bavasi regime.  When you topple a dictator, you're supposed to bring the freedom fighters back out of exile, right?


Wells is here, costs nothing, and may prove to be a good as a player as Jones.
Jones is a .325 (OPB)-.455 (slg) guy who hits 25 doubles and 20 homers a year.
Wells looks to be a .330-.470 guy who hits about 25 doubles and 20 homers a year.
What's the point of the trade?
Give him CF.  Let him play.


If he can play it, then I would make him play it.  It would help SO much.  My hope with the Seth Smith talk, or even the Fielder talk, is that we'll put Wells in CF and see if the "ball floats" effect of Safeco can help him on defense.
I like Trayvon as a person, but to me Wells looks ready to go right now and should have the inside line on getting the CF job.
Will we feel stupid paying 5 million bucks to Guti as a late-innings glove-man?
I'd rather feel stupid than play stupid.  Wells is the better hitter, and we need hitters on the field.
Wells for CF.  Jones can stay on the East Coast, especially for the asking price.


And worthy of consideration.  My own consideration leads to the null hypothesis :- ) but most ideas should wind up in that basket eventually, right?
Good stuff!


Would be that Wells' reads off the bat are prohibitively bad.  It's possible that's the case, but is there any reason to believe that?
Wells has a GOOD shot at being a 20-20 offensive player.  And we know for a fact that he is quite speedy.
Lonnie of MC sez, Ichiro CF and Wells RF.  Hey, as long as we're not carrying a .275 SLG out there in center, I'm game for that too.


I'd rather feel stupid than play stupid.

It's comments like this that make me wish you were Jack's aide-de-camp. Pithy, point-blank, dead-on.
The M's should not be expending their resources on duplications of what they already have when those kind of guys are not scarce. It makes sense to sign Fielder because the M's don't have an anchor for their lineup and such anchors in their prime are scarce. It makes sense to part with valued prospects for a bona fide third baseman or an elite left fielder. But not for a center fielder whose type is not all that scarce while you have a guy who's ready to show he can fill the bill just as well.


The M's should not be expending their resources on duplications of what they already have when those kind of guys are not scarce.

... Vargas and Maholm?

Taro's picture

I wish the Ms would just figure out Gutierrez' digestion issues. It would solve so much of our OF woes..
Wells is a good LF, it wouldn't hurt to try CF if Gut implodes again.


 ..... would really have to label Jones as one of the most overrated players in the game. CF is indeed a thinning position around the league, and he's a legitimate everyday player. However, how many true premium players are out there without a single plus tool?
.280ish average.You could argue the 20-25 HR's show the potential for plus power, but I'd argue the lack of gap power pushes this tool down to a definite averageNonexistent walks and high strikeoutsMediocre speed, especially for a CFInconsistent fielding ability which is arguably a liabilityMaybe you could argue he has a plus arm
You want to stay away from the guys who do everything decent but nothing great. Jones really doesn't even do everything decent.
Don't know much about Martin Prado, but if he's a legitimate defensive 2B then I could see him being fair value straight up for Jones. Then to add in a 25-year old SP who's already notched 50 Wins with a 3.40 career ERA, *AND* demand a top prospect on top of that? No thank you, haha....
Wouldn't even consider Jones to be in Upton's class. Upton plays elite defense, steals 40 bases per year, and does take a lot of walks. Jones is low maintenance with a better contract, so MLB GM's are going to offer more - but Upton is clearly the better overall player.


I know that Franklin Gutierrez got the official diagnosis of "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" last year, but my suspicion is that's just a catch-all term that obsfucates the real issue.  I firmly believe that the real issue at hand for Gutierrez is that he has Celiac Disease (i.e. he's gluten intolerant.)  It is truly one of the very hardest issues to diagnose.  My mother-in-law struggled for over 30 years with terrible stomach pains and went to doctor after doctor -- none of them ever figured it out.  She ended up diagnosing herself after hearing about Celiac and then divesting herself of all Gluten -- and all of those pains that she'd dealt with for years ... vanished. 
I know in reading up on Guti that doctors ended up putting him on medication of some sort.  Honestly though, if Gluten is the true issue ... all that's going to do is mask the true problem ... and those meds might eventually cause additional problems all their own.  Wish I could somehow put a bug in Gutierrez's or someone's ear attached with the M's to see if that's what the real issue is after all. 


Shandler's xPX (expected Power Index) shows 94, 104, 99, 106 for his four years as a starter.  The homers really overstate his actual power.  Right on.
His speed scores have been 109, 129, and then 99 last year.  (As a rookie they were very high.)
Couldn't agree more about fielding players who are mediocre at EVERYthing, especially if they're not $$$ bargains.  Jones is being sold as though he's a near-JUSTIN Upton.
B.J. Upton is a good couple notches ahead of Jones, agreed, because (1) at least he's got the All-Star season on the resume (300 / 385 / 500), (2) he's got the 1-1 pedigree to suggest upside and (3) Upton draws walks, 75 a year.
It's partly a tribute to Dave Cameron's impressive influence, I think, that Adam Jones is perceived as such a special player.  And four years on, he's still P.R.'ing Jones.


You might be aware MA that Grumpy is a GI surgeon.  
Last time we discussed this, IIRC, Dr. G said that gluten intolerance was one of 9,000 possible syndromes and that the Mayo Clinic (to which Guti went) was as good a place as any to go for treatment...
In my circle, we are huge on gluten avoidance too my friend... there is no telling how many Americans suffer from gluten intolerance... the whole concept of gluten is, um, nauseating...
I always wonder about simple laxative treatments, such as magnesium citrate, but IIRC Dr. G (although friendly to homeopathic remedies) wasn't too keen on the idea for Guti.  Could be wrong.
Energy or not, Gutierrez has as static a swing as you'll ever see -- weight already on a stiff front knee as he swings -- and ol' Dr. D was never bullish on his ability to hit.
You've got the progressive Death-By-Safeco disease well into its advanced stages here, too...


It is super awesome to see you at SSI.  :- )  That's worth two normal blogs right there....
Now if we could just get you posting some of your stuff on the front page ...

anonymous's picture

Gluten is a protein, comes from wheat. It's natural and organic, and it's good for most people because it's a protein. It makes bread elastic instead of crumbling apart, and is used in myriad other foods to increase protein content or improve texture.
As many as a few people out of 1000 may have Celiac disease, or a wheat allergy, or an idiopathic sensitivity. Everyone else should eat up. :-)
Agreed on Guti. He's bumping his ceiling, getting expensive, and getting Safeco'd. Not enough bat for the leather.


True.  Some people are allergic to Eggs, tree nuts, shellfish, etc.  Cow's milk is pretty hard to digest and mucogenic.
The issue with gluten is that is is in many products, and you can't look at the product and know, the way you can look at a shrimp and see that it is a shellfish.


Doc has pretty much summed things up.  Let me hedge upfront and note that I am a surgeon (cancer, inflamatory bowel disease) and Celiac is a nonsurgical issue and not something I treat on a regular basis, although I am familiar with it..
That said, Celiac/Gluten intolerance is now the "fad" diagnosis for any GI complaint.  At one time, not long ago, it was less well known but now it is inconceivable that this diagnosis has not been considered for Guti.  Especially at Mayo.  There's a spectrum of disease, and there's several ways to make the diagnosis from biopsies to blood work.
The problem is that the GI tract is probably thesecond most complicated organ system after the central nervous system.  It has its own immune system, hormone system, nervous system, muscular system, and it interacts constantly with the outside world including thousands of different types of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, recognizing and allowing nutrients in while keeping pathogens out, secreting caustic digestive compounds while protecting native tissues, encountering toxins, and maintaining water and electrolyte balance.  It's incompletely understood.
Any small issue in that seething cauldron of complexity can cause pathology.
Of course, we have zero details on Guti's specific situation.  We don't even know if it is constipation predominant or diarrhea predominant.  Mg Citrate is fine for constipation but not in any significant way different from Milk of Magnesia, or Miralax or other osmotic laxative (eg I wouldn't call it homeopathic).


in my book. Jack seems to prefer stockpiling pitching in the offseason rather than having to chase it during the season. Not a bad move if your home park is Safeco and late July usually finds some teams desperate for pitching.
But not significant resources. And certainly not serious young talent for mediocre veteran pitching, especially after signing Iwakuma. Use your premium young talent to go after premium bats, preferably young ones.


Good Rx there Dr. Grumpy!  Really quite an eye opener as far as all the complexities of the Digestive System (and naturally the myriad of things that can go wrong).
I realize that I was a bit presumptuous in my comments regarding Guti ... but I just know what a bugger that particular diagnosis is to nail.  You'd think that if anywhere would have been able to give him the correct diagnosis -- it'd be the Mayo.  As I said, I just know my mother-in-law went to doctors for over 30 years ... and she only figured out that she has Celiac Disease (really does have it) within the last year.
I myself recently was diagnosed as having a food sensitivity to wheat.  All those goodies that I once enjoyed when I was out and about (pizza, cookies, pastas, etc.) -- anything that has wheat in it whatsoever -- all gone.  The lengths that I now go to whenever I look to go eat out anywhere are ridiculous.  So, I've suffered with allergies all my life.  And like my mother-in-law, I've been to numerous doctors for over 30 years myself.  I've suffered from allergy symptoms related to the wheat all those years.  It's only been within the last 6 months that someone within the medical community finally figured this issue out.  I'm just saying ...


I hear you.  There is a definite tendency in the medical community to dismiss complaints or even to label people "crazy" if an obvious source of the complaints can not be found.  My experience is that there are in fact some "crazy" people, but that usually they actually do have something physically wrong with them.

Taro's picture

Stories like this make it seem very unlikely that Gut is going to figure his stomach issues out in the short-term. Perhaps he needs to be aggressively shopped.
From an impact player to a 4th OF overnight.. sigh..

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