Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, November 22, 2003
A trade and signing to report on...

1. The D-Rays send a righthanded minor league pitcher and a PTBNL to the Cardinals for Tino Martinez. This is an interesting trade, as the D-Rays are left on the hook for only 1.5 million dollars (I think its a 8.5 million dollar deal). He did have a .352 OBP last year, but only a .781 OPS, and has become a below average hitting first baseman. He plays good D, but really hasn't done much at the plate during the last five years. But in my opinion, this should be only the first step for the D-Rays at first base.

2003 Splits:
vs. Left: .235/.323/.346 (.669 OPS)
vs. Right: .281/.358/.446 (.804 OPS)

2001-2003 Splits:
vs. Left: .237/.311/.402 (.713 OPS)
vs. Right: .283/.350/.473 (.823 OPS)

That would be Tino. That would be a over .800 OPS against righties, which looks a little better. I think with a nice homecoming, he could go .280/.355/.470 (.825 OPS) against righties. His SLG has been dropping lately, but going up 24 points from last year wouldn't take a miracle. And the answer to the other side of the platoon against lefties? Well, he's back

2003 Splits:
vs. Left: .324/.421/.528 (.949 OPS)
vs. Right: .262/.331/.424 (.755 OPS)

2001-2003 Splits:
vs. Left: .295/.383/.467 (.850 OPS)
vs. Right: .253/.315/.388 (.703 OPS)

I've wrote about this idea before, except he was coming to the Mets and playing RF. If you haven't clicked on the links yet, its Wil Cordero. He only made $600,000 this year and at most, will cost 1 million dollars. I think he can put up a .310/.400/.480 (.880 OPS) against lefties and maybe give them something around a .835-.840 OPS from Tino and Cordero. It would only cost 2.5 million dollars and 1B is Cordero's best defesive position.

At 2.5 million dollars, a .835 OPS from the 1B would provide some offense to a lineup that really needs it. Cordero shouldn't cost much of a draft pick, if any, and Tino is already there. So, if the D-Rays invest 1 million dollars more, they could probably get there 1B OPS up by around 50 points (Considering what Tino put up last year).

2. Angels reportedly sign Kelvim Escobarto a 3 year, 6.25 million dollar a year deal. I talked about him the other day and how I wanted the Mets to go after him. I suggested a 3 year, 5 million dollar per year contract at most. Guess I was wrong? I still love him, and think this is a good signing for the Angels, even if they did overpay a little.

Because I've been lazy with the sidebar, here's the links I've been meaning to add...

Seth Speaks- Minnnesota sports fan, but talks everything, and does a lot of talking. Very good site.

Will Carroll Weblog- It's Will Carroll. You all know who he is.

Transaction Guy- The Cub Reporter turned Transaction Guy! Has all the latest on signings and trades. It's very good work.

Also, while on the subject of the sidebar, I've been mulling over what is going up there next year, and I've come up with these ideas...

The Brian Giles NL MVP Watch (Yes I'm already naming him my pick for MVP. I don't know about you, but Aaron Gleeman had Johan Santana as "The Official Player of Aaron's Baseball Blog", which means I might have to make Brian Giles the official player of Jeremy Heit's Blog. I swear, I love the man. Go here for proof.)

Ted Lilly: Breakout Pitcher of the Year in the AL

Carl Pavano: Breakout Pitcher of the Year in the NL, if he is still there (I might need to make him official pitcher of my blog, considering how much I love him. And yes, Wil Cordero would then be official platoon player of my blog.)

That's all for now. See ya next time.

Thursday, November 20, 2003
Killed post... but I'll re-type it (shorter though... you would think I would have learned to use a word processor by now), I got the time...

Brad Ausmus signed to a 2 year, 4 million dollar deal- A "clubhouse guy" if you ever saw him. Good defensive player, terrible hitter. Well, sorta...

2003 Splits
vs. Left: .237/.383/.368 (.751 OPS)
vs. Right: .227/.285/.275 (.560 OPS)

2001-2003 Splits
vs. Left: .248/.361/.385 (.746 OPS)
vs. Right: .238/.290/.316 (.606 OPS)

Career Splits:
vs. Left: .258/.350/.372 (.722 OPS), 6.8 AB/K, 7.32 AB/BB
vs. Right: .255/.321/.353 (.675 OPS), 6.0 AB/K, 11.15 AB/BB

Yes, the first split is only 76 AB's vs. lefties. But, the second split is 234 AB's and the career split is over 900 at-bats... basically, he is good catcher to have against lefties (seems to be that way because he's more patient... look at the AB/BB numbers). But unfortunately, he mostly faces righties.

Final Verdict- A platoon catcher (who is not overly great against the side he's good against) is not worth two million a year, no matter how well he plays D.

Bobby Kielty to the A's for Ted Lilly- I love Bobby Kielty. If you want the info on him, go to Aaron's site.

Of course, I love Lilly more. From the second I saw him pitcher with the Yankees, I thought he had a shot at greatness. Now, apparently, he's a headcase and is very stubborn. He actually has a nice 7.84 K/9 rate and a 2.44 K/BB ratio for his career, but the 1.4 HR/9 have killed him. This year it was 1.21 HR/9, but this is the interesting part...

2003 Splits
Home: 86.2 IP, 1.56 HR/9
Away: 91.2 IP, .88 HR/9

2001-2003 Splits
Home 211 IP, 1.71 HR/9
Away: 188 IP, .91 HR/9

He played with Oakland and the Yankees during that time. He might be a headcase at home, who knows, but interestingly, look at this...

2001-2003 Splits
Home: 7.42 K/9, 2.45 K/BB, 1.17 HR/9, .251 BAA, 4.52 ERA
Away: 7.76 K/9, 2.35 K/BB, .91 HR/9, .246 BAA, 4.45 ERA

With all other stats being the same, you would think there would be a big difference between the home and away ERA's. And considering that those numbers don't look all that bad for away, you would think his ERA there would be better. Has he been a little lucky at home and unlucky on the road. Who knows? But then again, who can explain the homerun thing when 1 and a half years were spent in a big ballpark like Oakland.

Final Verdict- Toronto gets a slight edge in this, only because I think Lilly has the potential to be a very good #2 left-handed starter behind Halladay. And while I think Kielty is great, his potential is nothing more than to become a second tier corner OF. So, with both guys hitting their prime years, Toronto wins based on Lilly's potential to be great.

I probably won't post tomorrow unless its late (real late), but I have a lot of time this weekend to write some stuff. So check back then, and for now, I'm going to watch and hope TCU wins, just so the BCS can have more controversy (It is 24-6 So Miss as I type this).

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Busy busy times for me. This is basically what I'll tell, stuff that I can hopefully get into more detail with tomorrow...

SD-OAK trade- I'm not thrilled either way. Kotsay provides decent D in center and does a decent job getting on-base. He's got some patient, but doubles power. Hernandez is a nice defensive catcher, but he only had his breakout year this year? Is it a fluke? Possibly, though I would expect something slightly above league average. And Long. The wild card. This guy could be good, and with a change of scenery, it may happen. Though then again, SD is my bandwagoning team next year (Anyone hear of Brian Giles... I swear, I'm in love with the man), and I expect all to go positive.

TOR-OAK trade- I love Bobby Kielty. I love Ted Lilly more. We'll get into why I think Riccardi gets the better end of the deal and maybe explain my absolute love for Ted Lilly tomorrow.

M's sign Raul Ibanez- Umm... go here... flip down a little and you'll find my basic sentiments (meaning this move sucks).

Back tomorrow, and I should have a lot more time to actually write.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
I'm not sure about the SD-OAK trade. When I am, I'll tell you about it (Though I am sure any team that gives Jose Vizciano 1.2 million dollars for one year is nuts. He's had two years over a .700 OPS and one of them was in the hitter friendly Juice Box (That's my new name for Minute Maid Park... the Juice Box... I like it.) And yes, that means you, Houston Astros).

The only thing of note I have today is this simple stat: Rod Smith has 608 career receptions. 608! Who frickin' knew? He's also 33, which came to me as a shock as I thought he was much younger. If he is able to get 32 recs the rest fo the season, do you realize if he can average 80 a season for 4 and half more years, he gets 1,000 receptions for his career. He would be in his age 38 season. It might not be a great possibility, but it still is one.

Oh yeah, this too... Keyshawn done for season- He was deactivated by the Bucs. That's how much he didn't get along with them and especially Gruden. And if you didn't realize, this news makes me unbelievably happy.

Monday, November 17, 2003
I had a tiring weekend and I was too tired last night to type something up. I saw my house for all of about 5-6 hours this weekend from the time I got to school on Friday morning (not counting sleep). Anyway, before we get to rambling thoughts about professional sports, Clifton lost 21-13 to Morristown. It was a good game and Clifton played well, but just didn't have enough. Disappointing, but absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. It was a good season and they should all be proud.

Be warned, I'm just rambling without any idea how I really wanna list these (or whether I'll remember everything I wanted to talk about)...

-Aaron Gleeman and Bryan Smith both do a very good job of breaking down the Twins-Giants trade. I think its good both ways, though if Brian Sabean was the GM of my team, I'd be afraid that he might just trade away my whole farm system. And sign guys who hit .256/.285/.348

-Speaking of Bryan, he talks about OPS trends for the NL East on his blog. He basically points out Mike Piazza and Cliff Floyd as two guys who, because of their trends, will struggle next year. I would agree on Piazza, and that's why I'm dying for the Mets to trade him before they can't get good value for him. I slightly disagree about Cliff Floyd though...

OPS for Cliff Floyd
2001- .968
2002- .921
2003- .894

The good sign on this is that his OBP's are .374, .388, .376 over the last three years. The downfall comes from the SLG, where he was .578 in 2001, .533 in 2002, and .518 in 2003. Interestingly, he played in FLA in 2001, a extreme pitcher's park. But, he was 28 that year (a peak year), and to be honest, probably had his top season as a pro. He has never slugged that well in his career and his next highest slugging is 40 points below that. In 2002, he started off the year in BOS and had a .561 SLG in 171 AB's. He went to MON, had 53 AB's, and sucked to the tune of a .415 SLG. He then went back to FLA for 296 AB's and had a .537 SLG. Last year he had the .518 SLG, but was also hobbling around on some pretty crappy knees. I think his year will depend on how truly healthy his knees are. If he's back at full strength (or close to), I think he can slug something a little over FLA (Shea is still a pitcher's park, though Baseball Reference gave it only a 99 (100 is normal)), maybe in the .550 range. With a .375 OBP, that's a .925 OPS. That might be shooting a little high, but I still think he can get .900 easily. Maybe I fell into love with Cliff at the end of last year, but I still think at 31, he's got a lot left in him. As for Mikey... I don't know... I have major doubts.

As Avkash says when he talked about Cliff Floyd...

"If he's in the lineup, he'll rake."

And well, as were learning, Avkash knows plenty when it comes to stats and numbers. I agree with his sentiments on Cliff. As long as he's healthy, we can expect a good 5 hitter.

-It's good to see Damien of Shea Daily back after about a three week hiatus. The first Mets blog I started reading, and as always, he provides a couple of good posts this weekend, that range from the topics of rumors to the whole Bill Singer incident (which to be honest with you, I don't feel like discussing... basically I agree with Steve's sentiments, which say can his ass).

-Speaking of Steve, he makes his suggestion that the Mets should sign Fernando Vina for one year to play second, I have a few problems, though the first is from Vina's side, which is that I don't think he wants a one year deal. From the Mets side, this is a guy who's OPS have gone from .357 to .333 to .309 in the last three years. And well, he's 35 next year and made a little over 5 million dollars this year. Which means someone will be stupid enough to give him 2-3 years for 3-4 million dollars a year. And to be honest, I'd rather let Jorge Velandia play the year out at second than spend the money on a guy for even one year who looks to be going for a under .300 OBP. Plus, the draft pick he'll cost completely makes it not worth it. Though, I do agree with the other part about moving Wiggy to second and letting Wright play third in '05. Just a question... Does anyone know if either Danny Garcia or Victor Diaz hits righties extremely well, just in case Wigginton's .669 OPS against righties doesn't get any better? (Avkash suggested Mark Bellhorn, who had a .891 OPS against righties from 2000-2002. Plus, he's a very patient hitter, though he does strike out a lot.)

-And finally, A-Rod finally won the AL MVP. Thank god, as this is the fifth year in a row he probably deserved it. The funny part is that is that his traditional stats dropped a little this year. His AVG dropped under .300 to .298. He only hit 47 homeruns, not topping 50 like he had the last two years. And his RBI's were down to 118, the third lowest of his career (in years with a significant amount of AB's) and far below his totals the last three years, which were all over 130. And even for you people who like OPS, it was under 1.000 (.996) for the first time since 1999. Funny how in what was probably the worst of his last four years, he gets recognized. Of course, he has deserved it unanimously (though this vote was hardly unanimous) every single year.

That's it for today. Back tomorrow, with whatever the baseball world brings me. Plus, I'll probably throw in some football (With some good luck tonight I'll be alone on the top of my fantasy football league at 8-3) and whatever other assorted things I feel like talking about.

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