Monday, August 18, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Veteran Leadership

I can think of no better example of the necessity of veteran leadership:

Tamba Bay Starting 3rd Basemen
April 11-August 7: .278/.352/.533
March 31-April 9, August 8-18: .328/.403/.625

I stand by my 2004/5 offseason argument for Aybar over Young.


Oh, another veteran making news is Greg Maddux. I'm guessing the Dodgers will give up two players whose loss will be mildly agitating, but I won't entirely rule out that this will turn out to be a really horrible move when the names shake out. I sort of implied in the THT article that I thought Gammons got gamed on his Baseball Tonight report; I think San Diego was trying to get Gammons to spill and oversell the story, since people seem ready to believe a lot of things about LA's front office. That way, they'd have more leverage when... I'm sorry, did I say when rather than if? How silly of me.

But I guess Greg Maddux is still a better option than Stults or Jason Johnson. And Tanyon Sturtze is on the roster. (I want Colletti to trade him for Myrow.) So Maddux makes three starts in August and gives the Dodgers a little more flexibility in September, maybe? He'll save like 2 runs over Stults and hopefully will turn it over to the bullpen quickly; with Johnson and Stults in the stable, especially with September call-ups coming, the Dodgers have enough bullpen options that that figures to work out fine.

In the playoffs, Maddux is more an insurance policy. He could end up helping a bit and he probably won't take playing time away from better options, though that could happen.

So were I the Dodgers owner, I'd be fine adding $1 million and a far-away prospect with a bench-player upside to acquire Maddux, provided that such a decision didn't impact the future dealings of the GM.

With San Diego having no leverage whatsoever - can they really even try to get picks for Maddux? - then I would think the Dodgers would be able to close this with some pocket change and linty PTBNL. But if McCourt has simply extracted every last stray coin from the sofa, then we're in for pain.


To Paul in the comments: I'll do a full post on Logan White some time, hopefully soon. I've studied White, and I'm not one to parrot hype. I've certainly never said he was the best, but the Dodgers' amateur scouting since he took over has easily yielded among the top 10 in results among Major League teams and, depending on how you assess the resources available, have arguably been among the top five. The statements in the THT article are pretty clear and aren't attempting to differentiate between what component is luck and what component is skill, precisely because that is NOT something I have studied at great length.


At 8:21 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I'll be very interested in your analysis. I am curious about what you mean that you "make no attempt" to account for luck. Hopefully whatever analysis you use would not give Tommy Lasorda credit for drafting Mike Piazza on pick number 1390. Maybe that is not what you mean. I guess I am just repeating what I said in the earlier threads. Any analysis that would credit the full production value of a player like Martin (pick number 511) I can't see as being terribly fair when attempting to evaluate Logan White. With that comment, I'll wait and see.

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Actually, rather than waiting and seeing, I'll make one other short comment. Whatever evaluation system you use, it will presumably be quantitative. It seems like a quick fudge would be to weight the draft picks on their round or on their pick number. Throughout baseball history, there has to be a certain relationship associated with draft pick Number and probability of being at least a below average (but above replacement) level player in the major league. Possibly, a reasonable assessment would be to use relative probability (assign the highest probability (presumably 1st round picks) a value of 1 and adjust all others accordingly) as a proximate stand-in for skill. Perhaps, however, you have something far more sophisticated than that in mind.


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