Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Still Hardened

Craig Calcaterra says this about the trade:
Look, I don't like the trade on paper, but remember back when Beane traded Jeremy Giambi -- who believe it or not, people thought was gonna be real good, myself included -- for John Mabry? I'm pretty sure they're still rebuilding after the post-trade riots for that one. The point is that Beane was right. He knew something -- that Giambi was an overrated, drug-addled, head case of a player who had already reached his ceiling. Obviously Harden is a different deal, but one has to think that Beane again knows something we don't -- likely to do with Harden's health, which may make the Mulder trade the better analog -- that will make this trade look good for Oakland eventually.

Okay, here is what I don't get. Isn't it the other way around? Isn't it more that "We" have to "know something" about these players the Cubs are trading for this to be a bad trade? Among Gallagher, Murton, and Patterson, the numbers are clearly there; we have to believe that their major league performance will not be as good as their performance seems to indicate to assume that they aren't that valuable. The talk about Gallagher is that he's just a 3rd or 4th starter, but to dismiss Gallagher's chances of being a #1 or #2 we are basically saying that the scouts know something the stats don't. And while Murton may be just a bench player, I don't see anybody else pointing out (I assume it's because I haven't looked hard enough) that the A's desperately needed a good RHB because they are loaded with lefty OF/DH's. Mark Ellis is the best RHB on their roster, though Thomas is better than Murton if he can manage a return. Murton may be a minor piece, but that's a piece with a particularly high ability to be leveraged by the A's. And Patterson is a second baseman who has had above average hitting at each minor league stop; if the glove is substantially bad, then yes, he's not of much value, but otherwise he looks like a nice pickup; it's up to whether we actually "know" he can't cut it with the glove. I don't think Billy Beane (in actuality, we are probably talking about David Forst and not Beane) has to "know" anything for this to work out; we have to "know" something about the players to think it won't work out.


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