Trade Analysis: Meh

Analyze and breakdown all Brewster Baseball Association deals here
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Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by Ted » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:24 pm

Brett Golden has been busy with his Charlotte Cougars. Let's tell him what he did wrong!

Number Uno!
Charlotte Receives:

2B Eddy van Wingerden, Short Season A

Chicago Receives:

CF Niccolo Machiavelli, Charlotte DFA/waivers

Chicago is trying to get into the playoffs and was getting replacement level production out of center field. That stinks. So they got Machiavelli, who I just need to be a better player in a more devious fashion. Maybe his true deception was convincing anyone that he should get 6.5 million a year. Poor Niccolo is basically a 1-1.5 win player these days, and will likely be overpaid for two more seasons. However, centerfield is never easy to fill, and the Black Sox had to do something. If the salary doesn't hurt them down the road, this is a fine enough deal, as they didn't give up much.

Eddy van Wingerden is an odd prospect. The game somehow thinks he is 45 potential, despite not having a defensive position other than first and not having any power. He seems a classic case of OOTP doing a bunch of math to come up with a potential rating, but not being sophisticated enough to realize that strengths don't combine in any useful way. He's also 21 and developed at a SA/A level, so there's that.

I don't know how to feel about this. Golden clearly wanted out of Machiavelli's deal, which is a reasonable want. They also weren't going to get much for him, so this is probably fine. It's just nice to not owe money to a guy you don't need who isn't that good anyway.

Nummer Zwei!
Charlotte Receives:
-- 3B Ignacio Venegas (BBA/IL)

Brooklyn Receives:
-- 3B Ira Sánchez (BBA/DFA)

Okay, so the most remarkable part of this deal is that Ira Sanchez has had an 8 year BBA career. His career WAR is 3.7. For those of you mathing at home, that's a robust 0.4625 WAR per year. Now, he's largely been used as the short side of a platoon, so that's almost acceptable. What's not is that he was given a 4 mil per year deal prior to this season for two years with a third year at 6 mil. At first I was please to see Brett fix that mistake. In part time duty this year, Sanchez had a blistering 68 wRC+ prior to being traded.

Then I saw that Charlotte retained 70% salary. Man I hope they got something. Woof. Ignacio Venegas. He of the career 77 wRC+. Venegas has no business facing right handed pitching. But at least he's cheap. Sort of. He'll arb in the 1.5 mil range, which isn't bad for a backup/short side platoon with a super glove. And frankly, a rebuilding team can do worse than sticking him in as a starter at short and just dealing with the crud bat. He's a backup on a contender, but a useful enough player.

Here's the problem though, he's really being paid like 3.5 or 4 million next year considering the retained Sanchez money, and that will only go up. So what really happened is that Charlotte swap out a terrible signing to overpay another backup/platoon type player. I tend to think Venegas is slightly better than Sanchez, given his versatility. So not awful.

On the other hand, I have no idea why Brooklyn would pick up Sanchez, even with Charlotte eating most of his deal. Venegas is still cheaper this year and next, and again, more versatile. Sanchez is less terrible against RHP, but he's still quite bad. If you want a 3B upgrade, I think you could do better than Sanchez. Or maybe not. And they didn't give up much.

So far, we're absolutely nocking it out of the park with these moves.

Numero Trois

Charlotte receives:
OF Ramon Pagan BBA
$10 million cash money

Sacramento receives:
OF Fernando Reyes BBA
OF Vinnie Coalman BBA

Okay! Here we go! Some real players that MATTER! Ramon Pagan was off to a poop start in Sacramento, and Shoeless the Patient is not what they call him. Fernando Reyes also is a new free agent signing, and to understand this deal, you have to know the contracts invloved.

Pagan - 23, 23, 11, 11, opt out, 11 (T0), 11(T0), starts age 27, ends 32
Reyes - 7, 7, 6.5, opt out, 7.5, 9(T0), 11(T0), starts age 27, ends 32

Ratings: ovr, vsr, vsl, def, spd/stl
Pagan 7/6/8/6/7, same, same, 8LF/8RF, 8/10
Reyes 7/6/7/5/6, 8/7/8/6/6, 4/4/5/4/5, 7LF, 2/1

Batting Performance 2044||Career: tripleslash, wRC+
Pagan .218/.306/.439 , 101 || .268/.334/.522 118
Reyes .284/.332/.465, 110 || .279/.325/.783, 106

Okay, so there's some baseline data. Same age. Pagan is historically a better batter. He's a better defender, and has better wheels. However, one could argue he is no longer a better hitter than Reyes, at least against right handed pitching. So the question is, can you find a platoon partner for Reyes for less than difference in contracts that is 7/6/8/6/7 ish versus left handed pitching? I would argue yes. I would also argue that the Reyes deal is less risky. Both of these players are youngish for FA signings, but the lump zone starts at age 27/28 for the early guys. Pagan IS a better player than Reyes, but is he some 35-40 million better? I'm not sure. Vinnie Coalman is an okay backup, but I don't care about him much.

I like this deal for a rebuilding team like Sacramento. Similar production, cheaper player. Makes sense. For Charlotte, I'm not as sure. The Cougars aren't going anywhere this year or probably next. Why add the money now? Even is you get slightly better production? Does 2 more wins matter this year or next year for Charlotte? And I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable with any prediction on either of these guys more than two years down the road. There's nothing specific about either one that makes me expect lumping, but late 20's and early 30's are when it starts to go.

Nummer Fire
Charlotte receives:
2B Nolan Sterling (AA)

Edmonton receives:
RP Zhi-xin Chien

Whelp, I think I've learned my lesson. Just because a team makes a lot of trades, it probably doesn't mean I should spotlight that team. Oh well, last one. Chien was picked up from Rockville earlier. Decent enough relief arm on an expiring deal. Wow has he been bad as a starter. 23.82 ERA in 5.2 innings over 3 games. That's ... unfortunate. As a reliever though he has 30 innings of 3.6 ERA ball. Those are both really small sample sizes, but Chien's recent history backs up those performances. I don't like eating money on multi year deals, but I wonder if Charlotte had advertised that ERA and offered to eat this years money, they could have maybe gotten more than Sterling.

Sterling is a 20 year old RHB in AA who looks like a guy with a AAA ceiling. He's a 2B/3B due to his range not being enough for short. He's also not suited to face BBA level right handed pitching, and maybe not even LHP. In my mind, this really looks like giving Chien away for basically free. It's also hard to find a real market for a guy like Chien though, so I get it.


That's that. Four moves. I don't really like any of them for Charlotte. I also don't really hate any of them. Just kinda meh everywhere. I'm not even gonna proofread this one. I got so bored writing it. Hooray for Boobies is a fun album. Bloodhound gang is seriously underrated due to the absurdity of their subject matter.
Last edited by Ted on Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by jleddy » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:47 pm

Ted wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:24 pm
Hooray for Boobies is a fun album. Bloodhound gang is seriously underrated due to the absurdity of their subject matter.
The Ballad of Chase Lang?
"My $#!? doesn't work in the playoffs." - Billy Beane Joe Lederer

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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by Ted » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:54 pm

jleddy wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:47 pm
Ted wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:24 pm
Hooray for Boobies is a fun album. Bloodhound gang is seriously underrated due to the absurdity of their subject matter.
The Ballad of Chase Lang?
I sure as heck hope that's an on purpose reference.
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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by GoldenOne » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:27 pm

We all love Ted's analyses, until he focuses on you. :) Just kidding Ted. Its all good. As you've mentioned before, you dont have the depth of knowledge on each team their GMs do, and you dont know what the thinking, or, The Plan®, is so all you can do is look at each trade as it stands. I'm generally not one that likes to share my thinking all the time, just in case I come across and idea or plan-of-attack that works and I dont want people copying it. I have shared from time to time, and will do so this time, mainly to kind of see if my thinking for each is still off base. So, here we go.

1) Yes, we wanted to get rid of Machiavelli. Badly. Have tried every which way for a while. Yes, CF is hard to find but honestly, I have 3-4 guys that can plat just as well in CF and I can get the same amount of production from for $6M less. Lorenzo 'Little GM' Bueno, in 33 games, is hitting .339/.359/.435 and is 6 for 6 in SB attempts. If he can keep playing like that, great. If he can be what he was in 2041-2042 in L'ville, I'll still be happy. If not, next man up and we are still saving $5.5M. Van Wingerden, he aint much, but he's better than anything else I was going to be able to get, including hoping for a Comp Pick if we were lucky, for Machiavelli.

2) Venegas for Sanchez. Sanchez just wasnt getting the playing time I imagined when I signed him. Menne was a disaster (trust me, we knew it was going to be) but the emergence of Bob Irwin meant there hasnt been much time open at 1B. Then there came Rafael Gutiérrez, who will be at 3B as long as he can get on the field. Yes, I probably could have talked Ben down on the retention percentage a little but, he needed to get under the cap and honestly, the difference of 70% and say, 40%, is only about $1.25M for next year and is almost nothing for the 2 months left in this season. Yes, the difference gets a little bigger in 2046 but my fingers are crossed he doesnt make it to the 500 PAs need to vest. As for Venegas - he immediately becomes my starting SS. If he hits his career averages and plays defense the way he can/should, he's already a big upgrade over Jeremy Webb, who is about to find himself on waivers.

4. That's not a typo. I'm skipping #3 for now because this one is easier. Chien wasnt thrilling me. He was part of the trade with Rockville because they needed to shed the salary to make the deal work. He was okay in the pen for me. Definitely not a starter or opener. Sterling, yeah, he's not much. Maybe a AAA 2B/SS at max with a shot at an injury replacement in the BBA if you have to. But, put together enough guys in your minors that can play 2B/SS and eventually one will be your future and the rest are there to be traded, right Ted? So, Sterling instead of losing Chien to waivers or even cutting him, even if at the end of the season and eating just the $2M - worth it.

3. Yes, the big one. When Ted says Pagan is the better batter, defender, and runner, career wise, I'll take it. I see both contracts going 4 more seasons. (I dont see Reyes opting out and leaving that money on the table, but it could happen.) Reyes was starting to hit for me, finally. But, he was only hitting vs RHP. I've tried platooning and I dont find myself a big fan of it. I'll do it again in the future, if I have to, but if I can avoid it I will. Ted is right though - why add the money, even if I get slightly better production? Well, if Pagan's production in Charlotte gets anywhere near where he was in his short time here last season (.292/.351/.553, all better than career averages), the extra cost wont hurt as much. And its really only one more season where its painful, after 2045 its not so bad.

But, here is the kicker that Ted didnt see but is a big deal for Charlotte - Pagan is Extremely Popular. Charlotte fell below 100 on the FI index earlier this season; the first time it had done so in team history. It dropped all the way to the low-mid 80's! That's a huge shock to the financials, especially after a recent, slight overpay for an IFA. As that FI went down, ticket prices went down also in an attempt to keep the crowds and keep making money. Pagan comes in, we're back in the lower 90s for FI, and ticket prices have been raised almost back to what they were just a couple of months ago. Attendance is only up 1% this year because of the FI hit (well, and the losing I suppose) but revenue per game is still up at 10%, though that is a season-low number.

And oh yeah, Coalman was one of those plethora of CF prospects I have/had. He's got the D and some awesome wheels but he's semi-limited in his batting. And that $10M will let me cut a couple of guys, as I was planning before the IFA incident, without hurting too much more.

All-in-all, gained some salary, shed some pieces for something instead of nothing, grabbed a better SS than what I had/have (not something to be overlooked), bumped the FI and brought back some fans, and reset the timeline to start thinking about big things happening in the 2046 (at best) to 2047 timeframe. So, while not exciting for Ted, its exciting for Charlotte. And after all, that's the part that matters! :)
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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by Ted » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:37 pm

Good moves don't have to be exciting. I was wondering about FI on Pagan. Should have said something, sorry. I feel like I came off as more negative than I meant. I was just hoping to see some big cohesive move towards a rebuild or retool, and instead it's a bunch of smaller stuff, so I got bummed.
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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by GoldenOne » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:32 am

Ted wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:37 pm
Good moves don't have to be exciting. I was wondering about FI on Pagan. Should have said something, sorry. I feel like I came off as more negative than I meant. I was just hoping to see some big cohesive move towards a rebuild or retool, and instead it's a bunch of smaller stuff, so I got bummed.
Its there, but like in chess, its a couple of more moves away and sometimes you have to sacrifice a piece or two to get yourself where you want to be.
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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by lordtoffee » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:57 pm

Interesting analysis Ted, and I certainly can understand where you are coming from. I made the trade because I needed a 3B to give myself the best chance. Also, I do feel that it is important to give myself the best chance, especially within the playoff context.
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Re: Trade Analysis: Meh

Post by Ted » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:14 am

lordtoffee wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:57 pm
Interesting analysis Ted, and I certainly can understand where you are coming from. I made the trade because I needed a 3B to give myself the best chance. Also, I do feel that it is important to give myself the best chance, especially within the playoff context.
I just don't know that Sanchez really improves you much. You certainly didn't overpay, and you now have him at a reasonable price I suppose. He's just not very good. That being said, I get your desire to upgrade a weak position, and the 3B market doesn't seem too robust. Not like you had a lot of options.

The problem with me doing these analyses is that I'm very much a guy who rarely makes smaller deals. Finding a trade partner is work, and I'm not willing to do that work for a half win upgrade. And I'm not sure Sanchez even provides that. He might. I think he won't.

But that means I'm always going to come down on these type of deals with a "What's the point?" kind of mindset. And that's really not fair to you guys. Sorry about that. I'll try to keep that in mind in the future.
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