Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mid-Term Grade for Neddy

I think the Lofton signing was excessive and would have liked to see that money poured into a better starting pitcher than Tomko. But Tomko is what he is (a 4th or 5th starter), so I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch about him signing. He replaces Weaver as the stretch of efficiency followed by a barrage of HRs guy in the rotation.

I like Mueller and I like Nomaaaaah if he's playing left or a super utility role and not being counted on to play any more than 120 games. But he's a short-term gamble that won't hurt if he can't play. I'm OK w/ Furcal too. A lot of money, but nothing long-term. Bringing back Wunsch was a great move that further solidifes the bullpen.

If forced to give a grade, I'd say B. There haven't been any real wow moves, but it's not as if one was needed by any means. Expensive, albeit short-term, contracts were what were needed and he's fulfilled that for the most part. I'm OK with Houlton as the 5th starter, but if there's someone better out there who fits sensibly into the budget, all the better. If the season started today, this team would win 87 games I think, which would be enough to take the division.

Arizona sends Glaus to Toronto, Vasquez to the ChiSox, get Estrada from the ATL

Why do I get the uneasy feeling that Josh Byrnes is going to make the rest of this division look stupid here in a couple years...

I think the Glaus move is a great trade for Arizona. They unload the bad, long-term contract of the injury prone Glaus and pick up an inexpensive 5th starter/bullpen piece in Batista and a good overall player in Hudson. He doesn't do any one thing in particular that stands out, but he's solid overall.

Those aren't even the best reasons why the deal was a good one. It frees up 3rd base for Chad Tracy and allows them to play Conor Jackson at 1st w/ Tony Clark as insurance just in case. It also saves them a boatload of money for down the road, which will be important with horrible deals like Russ Ortiz's and Shawn Green's still on the books.

Trading Vasquez is another great long-term move, even though I don't believe he is as "bad" as he has shown the last couple seasons. El Duque will be serviceable for a year in the rotation, Luis Vizcaino will be a better bullpen arm than most of their options last year and Chris Young looks to be a stud to go alongside Carlos Quentin in the D-back OF.

They picked up a quality everyday catcher (which don't grow on trees nowdays) in Estrada for a couple of defective parts in Oscar Villareal and Lance Cormier. Schuerholz must have forgotten that Mazzone doesn't work for the Braves anymore. Granted, they have McCann to play full-time now, but couldn't they have done better for an everyday MLB backstop?

Weaver please leave...r

The problem with re-upping Weaver is that there is no rotation flexibility, barring trades of course. It'd be sink or swim with the pitchers that are currently in the rotation, as everyone is tied up for 2 more (Perez, Tomko), 3 more (Penny, Lowe) or 4 more (Weaver) seasons. If everyone pitches as they have the ability to, that'd be fine. However, how often is it that 3-5 members of a rotation perform as or better than expected? Plus, it'd also be about 40 mil going to a starting rotation, which seems a little excessive to me.

With the thought that Neddy has $100 payroll to work with, that's why I felt the Garciaparra and Lofton signings were unnecessary as at least one of those positions were basically filled. But when you're shopping for pitching in January, beggars can't be choosers.Of course, if there were easy answers we'd all be ML GMs.

4 Comments:

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Aaeamdar said...

Agree on AZ. That particular move was great and Byrnes will make the rest of the Division look like a joke in a few years. The one scarry rumor I heard was the possibility of DePodesta going to COL. Byrnes and DePo in the same division as the Dodgers will be sad for the Dodgers.

The Vasquez move was a tough one, but not much choice. Vasquez was traded or he declares himself a FA. Pretty much exactly what he said he would do last year when moved to a west coast team. Good thing DePo turned down that trade with AZ/NYY that had everyone up in arms against him...

An additional note on Weaver - we need him to be picked up or we are screwed in the next draft. Because Colletti was too stupid to offer Dessens arbitration when he was very clearly going to sign with KC, we are short on early draft picks. We keep our #5 first round pick, but lost our second and third round picks with Furcal and Mueller. Weaver represents another 2 high draft picks - one in the first (or second if a Top 15 team) round and one in the sandwich round between R1 and R2.

I cannot agree with your grade on Colletti, however. Outside of the very good Furcal signing, every move Colletti has made has either made the team worse or not improved it but cost us rescources. He did not give a way the farm (litterally) as I had expected him to do, but he has made the team worse than it was at the end of 2005. Of course we will have a better record in 2006, but that will be because of no Tracy and (I assume) a lot fewer injuries.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger John said...

Maybe I'm grading Colletti on a curve because I expected the worst, but aside from the moves I thought were excessive, I can't point to anything he has done that has been downright horrible (like signing Cristian Guzman or Russ Ortiz to a big money, long-term deal). I would give him an incomplete right now if not pressed to give him a letter grade, though. We won't know until March what context all of these moves were made in.

The moves he has made has encouraged me to believe that he is listening to the 3-headed monster (I think that's what nate and rock call them) of Smith, Ng and White. He's made his PR moves for Frank (getting Nomah, trading Bradley) and seems to have generally pleased everyone.

I feel a good clubhouse manager would have been able to defuse the Bradley situation. But Colletti had neither the time nor the inclination to familiarize himself w/ the situation and I feel the Mueller signing was contingent on Bradley being jettisoned. While I don't necessarily agree, he justifiably felt that Bradley's upside was a luxury the Dodgers could not afford when leveraged against his injury history and off-field issues.

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous kimchimonkey said...

You mention "would have liked to see that money poured into a better starting pitcher than Tomko" while later on you say we shouldn't resign Weaver because "Plus, it'd also be about 40 mil going to a starting rotation, which seems a little excessive to me."

I think Ned did as good or above beyond what he could have done that is why under the circumstances he deserves an A. Our team was in shambles before his hiring. We didn't have a GM a Manager.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger John said...

Kim: What I'm saying is I would have rather had that money poured into an Esteban Loaiza and allow the 5 spot to go to a Jackson, Houlton or Billingsley. Or maybe resign Dessens. That would have put the rotation at about 33-35 mil rather than 40.

Colletti was handicapped by getting in on the game late and like I said, I'm OK with Tomko because he is what he is and he's on a 2 year contract. If he bombs in year one, he can be released or some team desperate enough for pitching will think they can turn him around. I think he'll be very average, which should work just fine.

His difficult situation has been helped by having White, Ng and Smith around, which shows he's willing to listen to competent people, which is a plus. Like I said, I'd like to truly reserve judgement until February, but if pressed to, he has a B in my book.

 

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