November 5, 2009 at 8:00 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Player Analysis, Transactions
Matt Capps has been mentioned as a possible trade target for the Braves this off-season. With the potential (and likely) departure of Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, the Braves presumably have a void at the back end of their bullpen. Capps, a Georgia native, has closing experience. In 2007 and 2008 he was Pittsburgh’s closer and posted a 2.58 ERA, a 0.995 WHIP, and a 103-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 132 and 2/3 innings while successfully converting 83% of his save opportunities. 2009 was a different story, however.
In 2009 his ERA ballooned to 5.80, his WHIP to 1.656, and he posted a 46-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 54 and 1/3 innings. Some of this has to do with his .364 BABIP, but a lot of it has to do with his walk rate jumping from 1.4 BB/9 in ’07-’08 to 2.8 BB/9 in ’09. His FIP was 3.18 in 2007 and 3.28 in 2008, but, despite the increased strikeout rate, his FIP rose to 4.90 in 2009.
There’s much evidence that his control suffered greatly in 2009. His stuff was just as good, if not better, than it had ever been. The fastball velocity and slider velocity were higher than they’d ever been in 2009, perhaps evidence that he was attempting to throw harder and sacrificed control in the process (leading to the increased walk rate). The change-up (which he only threw 6.2% of the time) was not good and the average velocity of that pitch was up to 87.1 MPH after never being above 84.6 MPH.
I’m useful for analyzing the past, but I have no idea what Capps is going to do. If the Braves believe they can improve Capps’ control/command and reverse some of these patterns, he’s probably an excellent buy-low candidate. He won’t ever be a guy who will blow away hitters, his secondary stuff isn’t good enough, but if he can ditch or improve the change-up and start throwing strikes again, there’s no reason he can’t be a reliable closer. I’d have more to add if I were a scout, but I’m not, so I probably haven’t gotten any closer to an answer.
If the Braves do pursue him, it’ll be because they think they can work with him and he’ll improve in 2010.
November 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Player Analysis, Transactions
Depends on a lot of things, obviously, but what parameters would make signing him a net positive. First of all, let’s look at Adam LaRoche, the player™.
LaRoche was re-acquired for Casey Kotchman at the 2009 trade deadline in the hope that he would provide some much needed power for the line-up that had been largely starved thereof. Even though Kotchman wasn’t slated to become a free agent until after the 2011 season and LaRoche would be a free agent at the end of 2009, the organization believed that he would help them out enough to justify parting with 2 additional years of Kotchman.
LaRoche had previously spent his entire development period (minor league career) and 3 major-league seasons with the Braves before he was traded to Pittsburgh during the ’06-’07 season in a deal that sent Mike Gonzalez, the closer™ to Atlanta. In LaRoche’s 2 and 1/2 seasons with Atlanta (2004-2006), he hit .274/.337/.504/.841 (114 OPS+) with 65 HR. He was with Pittsburgh for another 2 and 1/2 years (where he posted nearly identical numbers), then he was shipped to Boston for a pair of interesting, albeit unspectacular, prospects. A week later Boston, having acquired Victor Martinez, flipped him to Atlanta for the slick-fielding, light hitting Casey Kotchman.
LaRoche didn’t disappoint for the Braves, hitting .325/.401/.557 over the season’s final two months, even though the Braves failed to make the playoffs. This was fueled by an insane .399 BABIP (career avg. .313), but it was also to be expected–somewhat. LaRoche has historically been a 2nd half player. His hits like Nate McLouth (and we won’t get into McLouth, but his bat certainly doesn’t play at 1st) in the 1st half – .252/.326/.447/.773 with 63 HR (4.0% of AB’s), but he turns into Derrek Lee in the 2nd half -
.300/.363/.546/.909 with 73 HR (5.7% of AB’s). It isn’t like this happened just once or twice, either, he hasn’t deviated from the patter for a single year of his career. I’m yet to see one scientific study that suggests this phenomenon is an actual attribute and not simply fluctuations of chance, but I do tend to believe he is destined to hit better in the 2nd half. The Braves experienced that first hand in 2009, but counting on him to produce like he did for those two months over an entire season is probably foolish.
He’s painfully slow–thus a below-average base runner–and, despite the organizational mouths trying to convince you he’s defensively equivalent to Casey Kotchman at 1B, he’s a below-average 1B. UZR has rated him below-average in every season, save one (2007, +6.3 UZR) and his career average (we’ve got a big enough sample size that makes our results statistically significant) UZR/150 is -4.1. +/- pretty much tells the exact same story. The lesson–don’t believe everything you hear, always ask, “is that true?”, empirical data is a more reliable source of knowledge than an organizational mouth spitting out the company line.
All in all, he’s been worth about 2.25 wins, on average, over the past 4 years. This doesn’t include non-SB base running, which would undoubtedly make the number go down, though probably not significantly. Someone that produces 2.25 wins should, in theory, get around $10 million a season on the open market. Maybe the market will be depressed this coming season, but I’d bet on him getting something in the $8-10 million range. A raise from his $7.05 million salary in 2009, but not an extremely significant one.
The fact that he hits better in the 2nd half probably lessens his value on the FA market, so I’m guessing a $9 million salary is probably what he gets this coming off-season.
The question: should the Braves re-sign Adam LaRoche?
Well, he’s a left-handed hitter who hits righties much better than lefties (career .857 OPS vs. RHP, career .751 OPS vs. LHP). The Braves have publicly stated that they’re in the market for a right-handed bat. LaRoche isn’t that. Re-signing LaRoche would also narrow the search for the big right-handed bat down to the corner OF positions. I think the Braves are right, they need a right-handed bat.
Then there’s Freddie Freeman, the organization’s future 1B. There’s no telling when he’ll be ready for MLB. Could be at some point in 2010, could be 2011, could be 2012–we don’t know. Signing LaRoche to a long-term contract could inhibit Freeman’s path to the big leagues. The Braves don’t want to block him, should he be ready soon. Personally, I don’t see any harm in giving LaRoche 2 years. If Freeman is ready at some point in 2011, trading LaRoche is an option. Three years is a different story, but I don’t think demanding a 2-year deal is enough to deter the Braves from signing him.
LaRoche could certainly be a piece of the puzzle. His career .491 SLG% is certainly something the Braves could use in their batting order. However, if signing LaRoche in any way obstructs the acquisition of a big RH bat (presumably for LF), I would be adamantly opposed to it.
In general, I believe the following three things need to fall into place for the Braves signing Adam LaRoche to be a good decision:
1) A contract of no more than two guaranteed years.
2) An annual salary of less than $9.5 million.
3) An accompanying move for a big right-handed hitting left fielder.
If those three things happen, I’m all for re-signing LaRoche. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.
Final note: I apologize for the lack of updates. I’ve been busy and rather uninspired by what’s going on in baseball these days. I should have more time/motivation to write once the world series is over.
October 24, 2009 at 8:00 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Pitching, Transactions
Apparently the Braves began negotiations with Tim Hudson’s agent about a contract extension that would keep him in Atlanta. Mark Bowman has all the details. The money quotes:
Braves general manager Frank Wren and Hudson’s agent, Paul Cohen, began negotiations on Thursday and they are expected to continue talking over the course of the next couple of days.
Specifics about the early extension talks weren’t revealed. But it is believed the Braves would be comfortable providing Hudson an offer of three years worth $27-29 million.
I think this is probably good news. I take away a few things from this. One, Hudson is going to be back next year and the extension will likely be announced by this time next week.
There were, basically five ways to deal with the pitching excess. The first would’ve been to let Hudson walk and get nothing for him. You save $11 million or so, but letting a valuable commodity walk and receiving nothing in return–not even draft compensation–doesn’t seem like the best move. Option number 2, keep the staff intact. I’m as big of a proponent of depth as you’ll find, but with other needs–namely acquiring a bat and shoring up the bullpen–I don’t believe the organization has the resources to field a complete ball club with all six starters around. Option three is to trade one of the young, pre-arb starters for a bat with similar contractual status. I wouldn’t be opposed to this idea, really. We’ll see how it plays out. Option four, trade Vazquez for a bat. I wouldn’t be opposed to this either, but with only 1 year left on his contract, you’re not going to get a young player with a ton of cheap years ahead of him. So you’re looking at either swapping Vazquez for another 1-year contract (I don’t see any matches) or a bad contract, which would be stupid considering Vazquez’ s trade value. Option five, trade Lowe or Kawakami for something of negligible value and salary and use the money you save to sign a bat. Everyone’s ideal scenario is trading Lowe. I fall under the umbrella of everyone.
I don’t have any idea how it will actually play out, but I’m glad Wren has elected to not go with Option 1, let Hudson walk and receive nothing in return. Getting nothing for Kawakami or Lowe is better than getting nothing for Hudson, if you ask me.
October 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Transactions
Everyone has their dream off-season. After a month or so of speculating and playing around with salaries, I have come up with mine. It’s relatively simple in theory. It involves one trade, and bringing in only 3 players from outside the organization. Let me state that the operative word here is “dream” and this scenario is rather unlikely to happen. Nonetheless, here’s what I’m dreaming about.
First, the Braves sign both Javier Vazquez and Tim Hudson to 3 year, $30 million contracts, replacing their current deals. Saves ~$3.5 million in payroll. Second, the Braves trade Derek Lowe for nothing useful in 2010. If it’s useful beyond 2010, even better, but it doesn’t have to be. Strictly a salary-minded move. Third, the Braves tender contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Ryan Church, and Peter Moylan. I estimate Moylan will make $1.5 million, Johnson and Church will make $3.75 million, and Diaz will make $3 million. Fourth, the Braves sign two of the buy-low candidates I mentioned last week (we’ll say Kiko Calero and Chan Ho Park) to 2-year deals worth $2.5 million annually. Fifth, the Braves retain Adam LaRoche on a 2-year, $15.5 million deal ($7.25 annually) with an $8 million club option for 2012 with a $500,000 buyout. Guarantees him $16 million over 2 years with a possibility of $24 million over three. Finally, the Braves sign Matt Holliday to a 5 year, $87.5 million contract ($17.5 annually) with a $20 million club option for 2015 with a $2.5 million buyout. Guarantees him $90 million over 5 years with a possibility of $110 million over 6. Here’s what the roster with salaries looks like:
|SP -||Javier Vazquez||$10,000,000|
|SP -||Tim Hudson||$10,000,000|
|SP -||Kenshin Kawakami||$7,333,333|
|SP -||Jair Jurrjens||$400,000|
|SP -||Tommy Hanson||$400,000|
|RP -||Kiko Calero||$2,500,000|
|RP -||Chan Ho Park||$2,500,000|
|RP -||Peter Moylan||$1,500,000|
|RP -||Eric O’Flaherty||$400,000|
|RP -||Kris Medlen||$400,000|
|RP -||Boone Logan||$400,000|
|RP -||Craig Kimbrel||$400,000|
|C -||Brian McCann||$5,666,666|
|1B -||Adam LaRoche||$7,250,000|
|2B -||Martin Prado||$400,000|
|SS -||Yunel Escobar||$400,000|
|3B -||Chipper Jones||$13,000,000|
|LF -||Matt Holliday||$17,500,000|
|CF -||Nate McLouth||$5,000,000|
|RF -||Matt Diaz||$3,000,000|
|BC -||David Ross||$1,600,000|
|UT -||Omar Infante||$1,850,000|
|UT -||Kelly Johnson||$3,750,000|
|OF -||Ryan Church||$3,750,000|
|OF -||Jason Heyward||$400,000|
The Braves have the luxury of calling up Heyward and Schafer whenever they feel like they’re ready.
That team makes me drool.
October 20, 2009 at 2:02 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Pitching, Transactions
One of the primary concerns among Braves fans this off-season is how the team will deal with the back end of the bullpen. With the impending free agency of Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, the Braves are losing their two best relievers and many fans worry about how the team will fill the void. A lot of people will ask: How will the team expect to compete without a “proven closer”?
I don’t pretend to know how the team will attempt to fix the problem, but I do have some thoughts on how I believe they should do it.
First of all, the whole “proven closer” thing is hogwash. Plenty of teams have gone into a season with no such reliever and had no trouble closing out games. Even more teams have gone into a season with a “proven closer” only to see him fail miserably and have to scramble to close games. Take the 2009 Phillies for example. Brad Lidge was 41/41 in save opportunities with a 1.95 ERA 2008. For his efforts, he received a grotesquely large contract only to post a 7.21 ERA and blow 11 saves in 2009.
This stems from the fact that relievers are, in general, a gamble. Granted, there’s instability everywhere, but a team’s bullpen is particularly volatile. Relievers are relievers for a reason. A starting pitcher of equal ability is more valuable than a relief pitcher. Teams convert pitchers to relievers because a) they weren’t good enough to make it as a starter or b) their arms wouldn’t hold up for 200 innings. No matter which way you slice it, relievers are inherently risky. I can think of very few examples of relievers that didn’t, at one point, experience a complete meltdown and lose their effectiveness.
Therefore, building a successful bullpen is about managing these risks. The best way to manage risk with relievers, just like the stock market, is to diversify. Investors spread their resources around, investing in various markets, so that their overall financial health isn’t dependent on one particular investment performing well. Because, after all, there’s an inherent risk of failure with every investment an investor makes. They manage their risk and pit it against their upside by diversifying, such that they’re able to survive in the event of an investment’s failure. If you invest $100 in 1 stock and the stock fails, you lose $100. If you invest $1 in 100 stocks and one fails, you lose $1, and you’re largely un-phased. You may lose the battle, but you live to fight another day.
Furthermore, predicting the failure of investments is a fool’s errand. You can study the markets to your wit’s end, but at the end of the day you only have a slightly better idea of which investments will fail than someone who simply chooses them randomly by picking them out of a hat.
The same is true with relievers. Because relievers are so risky and unpredictable, diversification is the best play. For instance, say a club has $10 million to spend on shoring up their bullpen. They can either a) spend all $10 million to bring in a premium free agent closer or b) spend the money on two or three relievers of the buy-low or set-up variety. In doing b, sure, they probably sacrifice a bit of upside. However, they also minimize their risk. What are the chances that one reliever turns into a bust? Pretty high. What are the chances that three relievers all turn into busts? Not nearly as high. Provided they have the same rate of failure, it’s 8 times more likely that you’ll have a successful closer if you spend the $10 million on 3 relievers rather than one. This is a vast oversimplification, of course, but you get the point.
Dave Cameron of USS Mariner discusses this phenomenon in general baseball terms in his brilliant piece on roster construction theory. I think it’s even more applicable when specifically discussing the bullpen.
It’s tempting for teams to pay market rate for these premium closers for obvious reasons. If it works out, you’ve got an excellent closer. But in doing so, you’ve also assumed a great deal of risk. When you throw all of your eggs into one basket, you’re always one injury or episode of ineffectiveness away from not having a viable option, which disproportionately weakens your team. It’s not that other players aren’t at risk to the same phenomenon, it’s that relievers are particularly vulnerable, more so than other players in general, to said injuries and episodes of ineffectiveness.
You’ll undoubtedly read various articles this off-season written by national analysts, local columnists, and beat writers that suggest the team needs to go out and sign Jose Valverde or to retain Rafael Soriano or to ship a bag of prospects off to Boston for Jonathan Papelbon. Don’t buy it. Having a premium closer is a luxury, not a necessity, and just because a pitcher is labeled as a premium closer doesn’t mean they’re any less risky than the guys you’ll find on the scrap heap after teams like the Cubs and Mets overpay everyone else. The smart teams realize that managing their risk is more important than the upside play. I’m sure one of these moves will make a GM look very smart. But it’s just as likely to make a GM look very stupid (I’m looking at you, Francisco Rodriguez).
This may seem counter-intuitive to the casual fan. After all, how is a proven, known commodity more risky than a buy-low proposition? But again, it’s not that the buy-low relievers are individually less risky than a premium closer, it’s that having multiple viable options–even if they don’t possess the upside of a Francisco Rodriguez or a Jose Valverde–minimizes your overall risk. The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts, so to speak.
I don’t pretend to know what the Braves will do. They could go out and spend all their money on a Jose Valverde or a Billy Wagner. And it may work, I’ll certainly be happy if it does. Though if it doesn’t, they’re in deep doo doo. And I think that managing their risk by diversifying their resources and picking up two or three quality set-up men or buy-low candidates is the smarter play.
October 19, 2009 at 8:00 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Transactions
For the antithesis of my last post, the 5 best decisions the Braves made in 2009*.
Number 5 – Releasing Tom Glavine in favor of Tommy Hanson.
I’m a huge Tom Glavine fan for so many reasons. He was drafted and developed by the Braves, he was a mainstay in the rotation for so many years, he was such an excellent competitor and an even better mentor, and perhaps most of all, game 6. But Tom Glavine is 43 years old and wasn’t too good in 2008. After a setback caused him to miss 6 more weeks than expected, the organization elected to release Tom Glavine in favor of calling up Tommy Hanson. It was a bitter way for the organization to depart with a Braves legend and first ballot hall-of-famer, but it really needed to be done. Hanson ended up going 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts. What would Tom Glavine have done had he not been released? Well, I can tell you one thing. Not what Hanson did.
Number 4 – Trading Casey Kotchman for Adam LaRoche.
I’m generally opposed to selling low on a player and failing to maximize value on the trade market, but a deadline deal that sent 2 years and 2 months of Casey Kotchman to Boston for 2 months of Adam LaRoche is probably an exception. LaRoche, in 2 months, hit .325/.401/.557 with 12 HR for the Braves and was right in the middle of most of the offensive turn around that saw the Braves make a promising run at a playoff berth. While the Braves did fall short, they showed life for the first time in 3 years and gave the fans reason to believe they have a chance in 2010. Looking back, I’m rather glad that Kotchman isn’t around anymore. A career .742 OPS at 1B just isn’t going to cut it, no matter how good with the glove he may be. I always liked him, but he’s at the point in his career where he’s probably not going to get any better, and I’m glad the organization has flexibility at 1B. They can either re-sign LaRoche or go with another external option. All I know is that the team will be better off in 2010 without Kotchman’s contract on the books.
Number 3 – Signing David Ross to a 2 year, $3 million deal.
A quality back-up catcher is something the team has lacked for awhile, now. Not only did they fill the void, it couldn’t have come at a better time, as McCann was forced to miss over a month with vision issues in 2009. Ross performed excepti0nally well in McCann’s absence and on his off days, hitting .273/.380/.508 with 7 HR in 151 PA’s and played phenomenal defense. Additionally, he’s helped McCann improve behind the plate, becoming a league-average defensive catcher. This move didn’t get a whole lot of attention, but it was a crucial acquisition. One of the more underrated moves of the 2009 off-season.
Number 2 – Trading Jeff Francoeur for Ryan Church.
I know, I know. You’re all shocked I didn’t put this one at number 1. Number 2 is plenty good, though. Jeff Francoeur hit .250/.282/.352 with 5 HR and 12 BB’s in 324 PA’s for the Braves before he was traded to the Mets for Ryan Church, who hit .260/.347/.402 in 144 PA’s for the Braves. Ryan Church didn’t have a huge impact, but there is such a thing as addition by subtraction. I think Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory’s analysis of the trade is more adequate than anything I could write:
Mets – “Acquired” Francoeur
New York Mets – Acquired OF Delta Airlines® Presents Jeff Francoeur from the Atlanta Braves for OF Ryan Church.
I like trades that are easy to dissect.
Ryan Church is a better baseball player than Jeff Francoeur. Ryan Church is overwhelmingly likely to always be a better player than Jeff Francoeur. I am amazed that Dayton Moore only did the second-dumbest thing today.*
Ryan Church upgrades the Braves outfield. Ryan Church increases the chances that the Braves will win the NL East in any season that the team plays Ryan Church at the expense of Jeff Francoeur.
Jeff Francoeur downgrades the Mets outfield. Jeff Francoeur increases the chance that the Mets will not win the NL East in any season that the team plays Jeff Francoeur at the expense of Ryan Church. Or possibly a galvanized metal garbage can. When was the last time your garbage can swung at a slider halfway to Peoria? Francoeur actually might be good enough to play for the Peoria Chiefs.
If you made a trade this one-sided with your little brother as a child, you parents would instantly negate the trade and send you to your room. It’s like giving your little brother an empty can of Fanta for his Boba Fett. Now, Ryan Church isn’t as awesome as Boba Fett, but I don’t have to pay a million dollars to an empty can of Fanta either. Ryan Church is not a star, but I wouldn’t trade minor-league shortstop David Church for Francoeur either and he’s a player I just made up.
FRANK WREN GO TO YOUR ROOM AND DONT LET ME CATCH YOU PLAYING HALO!
*The Royals acquired Yuniesky Betancourt the same day as the Mets “acquired” Jeff Francoeur.
Number 1 – Trading Tyler Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gilmore, and Santos Rodriguez for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan.
Name the most valuable player that changed teams in the 2008-2009 off-season? Yep, it’s Javier Vazquez. Of course, Tyler Flowers is an excellent prospect, but Javier Vazquez went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.026 WHIP, and a 238-to-44 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Braves. He was also the MLB leader in xFIP and anchored a strong rotation that almost took the Braves to the post-season for the first time since 2005. Javier Vazquez was also an excellent mentor for the young pitchers on the staff (Hanson, Medlen, Jurrjens, etc..). Also, the Braves picked up a very interesting relief prospect in Boone Logan, who has a live arm with plus velocity from the left side. Overall, an excellent acquisition that bolsters Frank Wren’s resume as a GM of the year candidate. (I think he should win it).
*I realize that a few of these decisions were made in 2008. They were made with 2009 in mind and most of their ramifications existed in 2009. I’m less interested in the technicality of our calendar and more interested in the dynamic of the baseball season.
October 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Pitching, Transactions
Now that the Braves have parted ways with Buddy Carlyle, Jorge Campillo, and Vladimir Nunez, Frank Wren is challenged not only with finding a solution for the end of the game, but adding competent mid-relievers and bullpen depth. I suppose most of the depth is at AAA right now (Reyes, Redmond, etc.), but apart from Moylan, Medlen, O’Flaherty, Logan, and Acosta, I don’t see much of anything there. So, some potential buy-low candidates on the Free Agent Market for any bullpen role*:
*Frank Wren isn’t in a position to be limiting his search. If I’m him, I get the best players I can and make it work.
Billy Wagner – He’s rather old and coming off a Tim Hudson-like year (was out with TJ surgery for most of the season). If healthy, he could be a heck of a bargain. He’ll probably cost the Braves’ 1st round pick, though.
Kiko Calero – He’s never been a closer, totaling 7 saves in 7 seasons, but he has a career 3.24 ERA and 9.6 K/9. He’d be getting a lot more attention if he didn’t play for the Marlins.
Chad Cordero – If he’s healthy, we all know what he’s capable of. He’s also the youngest reliever on the market.
Kelvim Escobar – Career 4.15 ERA in the AL, mostly as a starter. Plus, gives Yunel another Cuban to relate to.
Chan Ho Park – Posted great numbers for the Phillies last season in relief. His strong post-season showing before last night was hurting his buy-low status.
Takashi Saito – Career 2.05 ERA and 10.9 K/9. His numbers are down a bit this season, so if the Red Sox decline his option, he could be a great buy-low proposition.
Luis Vizcaino – Always posted excellent K rates despite a mediocre ERA.
Alan Embree – Our old friend is probably going to retire this off-season, but if he doesn’t, he’d be a nice veteran piece to have. The Rockies hold a $2.75 million club option that they’ll almost certainly decline.
Will Ohman – Another old friend. Posted rather bad numbers for the Dodgers and could come on the very cheap.
Jose Contreras – Has nasty stuff. He’s getting old and hasn’t had much success as of late. May seek a starting gig, but if the Braves could lure him as a reliever, I’d be all for it.
Brett Myers – Recent run-ins with the Phillies and a lost season have certainly hurt his value. Like Contreras, he may be looking for a starting job. This one’s a stretch.
Mark Prior – If he’s not finished, he’s probably relegated to relief. And he could be the definition of a buy-low proposition.
Ben Sheets – I imagine he’ll be able to land a starting gig. Also a huge stretch.
And a few trade candidates:
Kerry Wood – Numbers faded and he’s owed ~$10 million in 2010, but if the Indians were willing to eat some salary, I like his chances of rebounding in 2010.
Matt Capps – A good bet to rebound in 2010, despite his bad numbers in 2009.
Carlos Villanueva – His 5.34 ERA doesn’t look good, but his 4.09 FIP looks a lot better.