Just a short post on the GM rankings I came across on the Fox web site. He ranks Friedman pretty low. Its real easy to say the Rays did not impove the pitching with household names. However, if you take a detailed look at what came the Rays way from the Dodgers , Royals(Gathwright) , and Astros (Huff) deals, there is some talent there now in Rays pitching ranks. I score it an incomplete.
Archive for the ‘Free Agent Signing’ Category
The New York Mets trying to find magic in a bottle have signed free agent pitcher Jorge Sosa. Sosa started his baseball career as a position player before being converted to pitcher, and got his first chance at starting in majors with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Known at times to have some nasty stuff, he never had achived any consistency in majors until his breakout season with the Braves a year ago. Even then, the critics lined up saying he was not a good a pitcher as his numbers that year would indicate.
Jorge without Leo Mazzone last season with the Braves again resorted to giving up the home run stroke and and continued to allow to many baserunner as indicated by the high WHIP. The Braves tried him in many roles last year as starter, middle relief, and closer before sending him on his way to St. Louis.
Each year in the Baseball Prospectus Annual they list a statistic that measures how good a pitchers stuff is. I would think Jorge measures high on that scale. But, his inability to throw strikes consistently is what hinders him. Rick Peterson who claimed to be able to fix Victor Zambrano and failed will have his work cut out for him with Sosa.
If I had to choose between Dewon Brazelton, Victor Zambrano, and Jorge Sosa, I would certainly pick Sosa first, a healthy Zambrano next, followed by Dewon.
The Mets seem to have a crowded pitching staff so I view Sosa remaining in the swing role as spot starter. Given Sosa’s track record, he has found a good place for himself as inexperienced pitching coaches have never been able to do much with his talent.
The Devil Rays were fortunate enough to have the services of Julio Lugo the past several seasons. His tour with the Rays only happened because the Houston Astros were trigger happy in releasing Julio Lugo when charges were brought forth on spouse abuse. But, the charges never stuck and the Rays were the ones who were rewarded by showing faith in Lugo. He was a young player with Houston who was just getting his career underway. For a brief time their was talk of moving him to second base with the Rays with phenom B.J. Upton on the way, but Lugo’s production kept the Devil Rays from ever making a change. The Rays brain trust got smart and finally moved Crawford off leadoff . They went with the one two punch of speed in Lugo followed by Crawford. Lugo never asked to be traded but when it seemed like he was destined for a big pay day, the team player in Lugo was shipped to the Dodgers and the Devil Rays were rewarded quite nicely for a rental by L.A. in a package of prospects headlined by Joel Guzman. Recently, Gammons was asked in Q&A from Boston Globe in regards to new Red Sox SS Julio Lugo:
WMass_Fan Hi, Peter! It’s great to see that you’re back on stage again. Rock on. Here’s my question: If Coco Crisp had had the year that everyone expected him to have, would Alex Gonzalez still be playing shortstop for the Sox. In other words, did Boston go out and spend a ton of money on Julio Lugo to play short and bat leadoff because they didn’t feel comfortable with Crisp in that spot. I know they’ve had their eye on Lugo for some time, but it seems like a lot of money for a leadoff batter with only an average glove and better than average speed (a gift not likely to be used much given Francona’s past practice and the 2-5 batters they have).
Peter_Gammons That’s a very valid question. But I think Gonzalez’s inability to hit decent pitching and his unreliability made him someone that they were very unlikely to bring back. You have to play and being in only 110 games isn’t good enough. I do think that Crisp is a much better player than we saw. once he broke his hand he was missing fastballs that for three years in Cleve. he hammered. One major factor with Lugo is that David Ortiz is his best friend. Joe Madden told me he thought Lugo is one of the most positive energy players that he’s ever been around.
The date was Januray 2004. It was Chuck LaMar announcing they signed Aubrey Huff to the first contract of its kind where they locked up a player who came up through their system to a three year deal worth $14.5 million over three years. Now fast forward three years and with baseball’s escalating pay scale, how did Aubrey Huff enter the free market and only get a modest pay raise of $20 million for three years?
You can look at this two ways. Either the Orioles just signed the most expensive utility player to date, or given his track record of several successful seasons with the bat, alot of teams come next year will be kicking themselves for the opportunity they passed up. I tend to think he will have a successful three year run and again will be faced with his name being floated in trade rumors. He will handle it better this time around and won’t get tagged with a player with a bad attitude or not being the best teammate.
The S.F. Giants found their #1 pitcher to make up for the Jason Schmidt defection. However, several points come to mind. It was thought Zito wanted to step into a big market where he could market himself as a media darling off the field. In signing with the Giants, he does not make himself any more marketable than he did with the Billy Beane Oakland A’s. The signing also seems to indicate that he was more of a West Coast guy all along, who was just trying to land the big pay day. I never really got the feeling he was serious about heading to the East coast with the N.Y. Mets, where he would have to live under tremendous pressure on a daily basis to back up the big bucks. It was the Mets Frank Cashen who used to say you never want to sign a pitcher for a contract more than three years because of the tenderness of a pitchers arm. You are putting yourself at risk by signing a pitcher more than a three year deal. The Giants clearly overpaid on the dollar figure handed out to Zito, and secondly on the length of the contract. However, if you look past this year they really had no impact pitchers on the horizon and this atleast gives them hope. If you are a fan of the S.F. Giants that is all you can ask for. Its called ownership showing the fans you are going to atleast try to help your ball club compete, even if you do fail. Welcome to the National League Barry Zito!
The Dodgers have added an Ace to their pitching rotation. Now, its hard to tell which Jason Schmidt they are getting. The one prior to 2006 was a dominant pitcher who was one of the best pitchers in the National league. Was he hurt last season or was it just the start of a decline. So, the question is what can the Dodgers expect out of him in the upcoming season. I easily can see 15 + wins and ERA under 3 and about 180 Ks You add a top of the rotation pitcher to what the Dodgers have coming back this season, there is excitement surrounding this team for next year.