Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 2:18 pm
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
"Moneyball" hit movie theaters everywhere late this past summer and Brad Pitt-as-Billy Beane told us the A's have to be creative to compete in an unfair baseball landscape. There are haves and have-nots, the protagonist would tell us. And we all know the Oakland Athletics are have-nots in the salary-capless land of Major League Baseball. So what if the A's could afford to keep all their own guys? Surely they'd be much better, right? Uh ...
1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
2. Nick Swisher, CF
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Jason Giambi, 1B
5. Ryan Ludwick, LF
6. Kurt Suzuki, C
7. Ramon Hernandez, DH
8. Mark Teahen, 3B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS
1. Tim Hudson
2. Trevor Cahill
3. Dallas Braden
4. Tyson Ross
5. Joe Blanton
Yes, Braden was out for the season in real life, but we've got Rich Harden waiting in the wings. Oh, and yes, Harden is hurt all the time. So then we'd turn to Barry Zito.
Closer - Andrew Bailey
Set up - Huston Street, Santiago Casilla, Henry Rodriguez, Joel Peralta, Sam Demel
Long - Harden, Zito
Notable Bench Players
Miguel Olivo, John Baker, Gerald Laird -- yes, those three are all catchers, just like our DH -- Eric Chavez and Travis Buck.
Hey, at least we'd never run out of catchers with this group. There are four major-league caliber starters, even if some are lower-tier, and one quality backup in Laird. So the Athletics churn out catchers. Really, though, the strength of this team is unsurprisingly the pitching. The starting rotation is good, but not great. Hudson is steady and Cahill was very good in 2010. Blanton was good in 2009 but has battled injuries and ineffectiveness since then. Ross did show great promise before his injury last season, though. The bullpen is pretty good, too. Bailey is a solid closer and Street would be a fine eighth-inning man with Casilla and fireballer Rodriguez also setting the table.
Giambi and Ludwick in the middle of the order isn't near as potent nowadays as it would have been a handful of years ago. Plus, could Giambi even play everyday anymore? If not, our next option is playing a catcher, Chavez or Buck at first base. That's weak. In fact, at this point in time, there aren't many spots where the hitter is well above average for his slot. Swisher and Ethier are good, but they aren't elite second or third hitters. Weeks could prove an elite leadoff hitter as soon as 2012, but we don't have a large enough sample yet to declare that. Ramon Hernandez had a good past two offensive seasons, but take him out of the NL Central and Great American Ball Park and put him in the AL West in Oakland. That's a big difference. So while the offense isn't atrocious, it's not very good either -- and there is no bench depth anywhere but catcher. Also, Swisher's out of position in center, but, again, we don't have any other options.
Comparison to real 2011
While the rotation and bullpen are good, they are far from great, and the position players here just aren't enough. This team would be below average, an 85-90 loss ballclub. The real-life A's went 74-88, so I'd say it's just about the same result.
And we can now see the biggest problem. Of course it's tough to compete as a small-market team in a football stadium, but the A's haven't been drafting very well. They've made some good trades, sure, but also some pretty bad ones. For example, they spun Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith for Matt Holliday back in 2008, but then dealt Holliday at the next trade deadline for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson. So, yes, one reason the A's can't compete anymore in the AL West is because they don't have the money to retain or sign new expensive veterans. But another reason is they just aren't churning out draft picks like the Rays, for example, are.
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Tags: Andrew Bailey, Athletics, Barry Zito, Billy Beane, Cliff Pennington, Dallas Braden, Eric Chavez, Gerald Laird, Henry Rodriguez, Homegrown, Huston Street, Jason Giambi, Jemile Weeks, Joe Blanton, Joel Peralta, John Buck, Kurt Suzuki, Mark Teahen, Miguel Olivo, Nick Swisher, Ramon Hernandez, Rich Harden, Ryan Ludwick, Sam Demel, Santiago Casilla, Tim Hudson, Travis Buck, Trevor Cahill, Tyson Ross
Posted on: March 29, 2011 10:42 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
It's less than 48 hours until the 2011 Major League Baseball season kicks off, do you know who your closer is?
Joe Maddon doesn't.
"Well, there isn't one," the Rays manager told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, "and I'm not going to declare one, because I think if you are not absolutely certain, then you shouldn't do that, because you're only setting yourself up for problems later on."
Maddon said he was happy with his rebuilt bullpen with just one holdover from last season, Andy Sonnanstine. He'll be joined by Jake McGee, a September call-up a year ago, along with Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta, Juan Cruz, Cesar Cabral and Adam Russell. The team will also add J.P. Howell in May.
It appears Farnsworth is as close as the team will have to a conventional closer, but Maddon may not save his closer for the ninth inning and obvious save situations.
"What I've learned over the last couple of years is that it's really about the leverage of the moment," Maddon said. "Why permit the game to get away in the seventh or eighth inning and have no chance to win it in the ninth and then you're using somebody entirely different anyway. I'm going to do my best to parcel out the work nightly and match them up as well as we can, try not to abuse anyone by warming them up and not putting them in the game."
Just the use of the word "leverage," Maddon is going to get a lot more fans in the sabermetric world. In hypothetical baseball, the prevailing theory is that a closer isn't needed, but no team has really tested that since the 2003 Red Sox, and that was abandoned during the season. Maddon doesn't have much of a choice, there's no lights-out closer sitting in the Rays' pen -- there may not even been a dimmer switch -- but he's got to try something. It will at least be something interesting to watch as the season goes along.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 19, 2010 7:11 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2010 7:12 pm
In an offseason where the Rays have had to build up an entire bullpen from the ground up, Tampa has instead been left on the inside looking in as the relief market has exploded.
"It's been," GM Andrew Friedman told the St. Petersburg Times, "a very good offseason to be a reliever."
With all the three-year deals flying around, Friedman has had to adjust his expectations and as a result has brought in small names in former Nats reliever Joel Peralta (pictured), drafting Red Sox left-hander Cesar Cabral in the Rule 5 draft and trading for Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos and Brandon Gomes from the Padres in the Jason Bartlett deal.
So yeah, there's a bullpen -- but not one long on quality or recognizable names.
"It's not something we anticipated," Friedman said. "Especially in an offseason when we needed to remake our bullpen, it's not necessarily ideal. But you have to react accordingly and do what you can."
The club also expects J.P. Howell to return from Tommy John surgery at some point, although not likely by Opening Day. Howell likely would have been set up to close if the timetable afforded enough time in spring training. As is, Peralta is set to be the closer. That's rather odd for someone non-tendered by the Nationals, although the non-tender decision was curious given the 34-year-old posted a 2.02 ERA in 49 innings, whiffing 49 and walking a scant nine.
Posted on: December 16, 2010 11:12 am
The Rays, seeking to rebuild their stripped bullpen, are set to add former National Joel Peralta for $900,000, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
Peralta was brought up by Washington in late June and put up great numbers, including a 2.02 ERA in 39 appearances with nine strikeouts and 1.7 walks per nine innings. But the Nationals non-tendered the 35-year-old, making him a free agent.
This looks like a nice signing for the Rays, an undervalued player they can afford.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: December 3, 2010 12:28 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:37 am
The deadline to tender contracts was Thursday night at 11:59 p.m., and here's the players who were not tendered contracts and are now free agents:
A's: Edwin Encarnacion, Jack Cust, Travis Buck
Angels: Kevin Frandsen
Astros: Sammy Gervacio
Blue Jays: Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis
Braves: Matt Diaz
Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett
Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco
Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen
Giants: Eugenio Velez, Chris Ray
Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith
Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino
Mets: Chris Carter, Sean Green, John Maine
Nationals: Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta, Chein-Ming Wang
Orioles: Matt Albers
Padres: Scott Hairston, Tony Gwynn Jr., Luis Perdomo, Matt Antonelli
Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres
Rangers: Dustin Nippert
Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell
Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Taylor Buchholz, Andrew Miller
Rockies: Manny Delcarmen
Royals: Josh Fields
Tigers: Zach Miner
White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets
Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Mosley
-- C. Trent RosecransFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2010 free agency, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Angels, argenis Diaz, Astros, Athletics, Augie Ojeda, Blaine Boyer, Blue Jays, Bobby Jenks, Braves, Brewers, Brian Burres, Chein-Ming Wang, Chris Carter, Chris Ray, D.J. Carrasco, Diamondbacks, Dioner Navarro, Dodgers, Donnie Veal, Dustin Mosley, Dustin Nippert, Edwin Encarnacion, Erick Threets, Eugenio Velez, Fred Lewis, George Sherrill, Giants, Hideki Okajima, Hot Stove League, J.P. Howell, Jack Cust, Jeremy Accardo, Joe Inglett, Joel Peralta, John Maine, Jose Veras, Josh Fields, Kevin Frandsen, Lance Cormier, Lastings Milledge, Luis Perdomo, Manny Delcarmen, Mariners, Marlins, Matt Albers, Matt Antonelli, Matt Diaz, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Rockies, Ronny Paulino, Royals, Russell Martin, Ryan Church, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Sammy Gervacio, Scott Hairston, Sean Green, Taylor Buchholz, Todd Coffey, Tony Gwynn Jr., Travis Buck, Trent Oeltjen, White Sox, Wil Nieves, Willy Aybar, Yankees