Results tagged ‘ Martin Prado ’
Money, and lots of it, has been thrown around in the Los Angeles area since Frank McCourt sold the Dodgers to the Guggenheim group last season. The trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford out west was just the beginning, as the team spent $159 million on Zack Greinke, bid against themselves by giving Brandon League $27.5 million to (possibly) steal the closer’s job from Kenley Jansen, and $61.7 million (including the $25.7 million posting fee) on Hyun-Jin Ryu, a 25-year-old, seven-year veteran of the Korean Baseball Organization.
With the addition of Greinke and Ryu, the Dodgers have a loaded starting rotation; however, is it too loaded?
Clayton Kershaw will lead the group as the ace and even before signing and acquiring Greinke, Ryu, and Beckett, the team still had Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, and Ted Lilly signed for the 2013 season.
But, you have to wonder whether the Dodgers spent money in the right places this winter. Surely, there wasn’t a large market of free agent third baseman, but is Luis Cruz the real answer there in 2013? The club had Hanley Ramirez playing there last season, but they’ve moved him back to shortstop, even with Dee Gordon, who struggled in 2012 as a rookie but can change a game with 56 stolen bases in just 143 games, still with the organization and probably going to Triple-A.
The club had pursued Scott Rolen before he decided to take some time to think about his options after the Cincinnati Reds moved on from the veteran. He could still become an option if the club doesn’t move Ramirez back to third or actually go with Cruz all season. Based on MLBTradeRumors.com Free Agent Tracker, the only remaining free agents at the hot corner are Rolen, Orlando Hudson, Adam Kennedy, and Miguel Cairo…not really the cream of the crop.
The issue becomes, is any team willing to part with a third baseman that could actually improve the Dodgers lineup?
Jordan Pacheco, Ryan Wheeler, or Chris Nelson could be a decent fit, and the Colorado Rockies seem to be a team constantly in need of starting pitching help, but as the team is finding its identity, why would they take on a veteran when they could give a rotation spot to Juan Nicasio, Christian Friedrich, or Tyler Chatwood?
With the Arizona Diamondbacks acquiring Martin Prado, could Matt Davidson, a slugging third base prospect, become expendable? While it would be a nice addition, the Diamondbacks are loaded at pitching right now, with Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy, and Randall Delgado, not to mention Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin, and a soon-to-return Dan Hudson, so why would they need another arm?
While the Dodgers may want Ramirez at short, he’s probably better off at third so that the club can play Dee Gordon and see what they have in the 25-year-old, but the abundance of pitching will still be an issue. Can they keep Harang, Capuano, and Lilly in a relief role? Should they deal the veteran starters for any kind of minor league depth, considering the current state of the farm system for the Dodgers?
It’s great to have a lot of money, but that doesn’t change the fact that each team keeps 25 players active and has a 40-man roster…nothing more. While the additions of Greinke and Ryu could lead the Dodgers to the World Series, they were a part of a series of questionable moves considering the pieces that were already in place and the money that was spent.
The Arizona Diamondbacks just couldn’t help themselves. They just had to get rid of 25-year-old right fielder Justin Upton this offseason, and they finally found the right deal, which appeared to be any deal when the sent the potential MVP-candidate to Atlanta, with third baseman Chris Johnson, for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury, and Zeke Spruill on Thursday afternoon.
Upton, a two-time All-Star who finished 4th in NL MVP voting in 2011, is due $38.5 million between 2013 and 2015 before he reaches free agency. Considering the Diamondbacks thought that Cody Ross was worth $9.5 million per season from 2014 through 2016 (when he’ll turn 35), it seems completely unreasonable that the team felt that Upton wasn’t worth $12.8 million per season over the next three years before he turns 27 and can cash in again. Ross had a fine 2012 season, but is the potential that Upton brings not worth the extra $3.3 million that they would have paid Upton per season, had they not signed Ross to join an already-crowded outfield?
While B.J. Upton has been quite unpredictable when it comes to his consistency, he was still worth a five-year, $75.25 million deal this winter. It just seems unreasonable for the Diamondbacks to have rid themselves of the talented, young slugger, given his 108 home runs, 80 stolen bases, and .832 OPS in his six seasons, Kirk Gibson, the Diamondbacks’ manager, or Kevin Towers, their General Manager, must have had some personal belief that Upton wasn’t going to improve.
Maybe someone in Arizona should read what Keith Law thinks of Upton’s 2012 season:
Upton has some of the best bat speed and the strongest wrists in the game, generating hard contact and easy power, similar to Andrew McCutchen when he’s squaring up the ball consistently. In 2012, Upton’s timing was off for much of the year, and he was popping up a lot of pitches on the inner half that, the year before, he would have driven to the left-center gap or out of the park. Much of this probably was tied to a thumb injury he suffered in the third game of the season but never addressed with time off. Hand injuries of any sort tend to sap power by reducing a hitter’s ability to make hard contact, and that was a major issue for Upton all year.
Martin Prado is a solid major-leaguer, one of the better contact hitters in all of MLB, but he certainly shouldn’t have been a centerpiece to a Justin Upton trade. Randall Delgado, who turns 23 in February, has a solid 3.95 ERA over 127.2 innings and he has the potential to become a solid No.2 or No.3 starter for Arizona. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Diamondbacks will flip Nick Ahmed, with a pitching prospect, to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello. Spruill has back-end starter or long relief in his future, while Drury has struggled to make consistent contact and lacks plate discipline.
The package that the Diamondbacks received from Atlanta was a far cry from the offer that the Seattle Mariners supposedly made (Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush, and Stephen Pryor), but you can’t blame Arizona since Upton had the ability to veto the trade, and he did.
The Diamondbacks have made some interesting moves this winter, dumping Upton today and Trevor Bauer earlier this winter in their three-way deal with Cincinnati and Cleveland. Were these deals purging of players that weren’t willing to mold to the goals of management at the expense of acquiring equal talent in return? It certainly looks that way on paper.
Upton apparently needed a change of scenery and the Diamondbacks seemed to do whatever it took, even taking a lesser offer, to help make that happen. The team was forced to make the deal when they signed Cody Ross and as the season crept closer, Upton’s value and his potential suitors seemed to be dwindling. Unfortunately, this offer was probably the best that they could do, and it is another example of indecisiveness and a lack of direction for a team that appeared to have built a strong minor league system to match production at the major league level in recent seasons.
According to Fox Sports John Paul Morosi, the Tigers and Braves are working on a deal that would send Martin Prado to Detroit. The Tigers would be sending Delmon Young back in the deal, possibly more. Why are they doing this? To get a leadoff hitter. Martin Prado is apparently their goal for that. It’s funny and sad. Dave Dombrowski could become Dumbrowski.
Prado has a career .341 OBP, with a career low .302 OBP in 2011. He is arbitration eligible and he made $3.1 million in 2011. He is 28-years-old.
Austin Jackson is or was the Tigers leadoff hitter of the future when he was acquired from the Yankees in the three-way deal with the Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy, Curtis Granderson, and Max Scherzer were also in that deal, which was a win for everyone). Jackson turns 25 in February, isn’t arbitration eligible until 2013, and won’t be a Free Agent until 2016. His OBP last season was an abysmal .317, still better than Prado’s, and his career .331 OBP isn’t far off considering he hasn’t had a breakout season and his speed (49 SB in 304 games) far outweighs the “danger” that Prado brings if he gets on leading off (his career 13 SB in 527 games). Jackson brings an element that can’t be replaced, creating runs in a spacious ballpark. He’d still be on the team, as Prado would be in left field or at third.
Which brings us to Delmon Young. Young is 26, he’ll be a Free Agent after the 2012 season, and he’ll make about $7 million in arbitration in 2012 after making $5.38 million last year. Young is taking the position player Edwin Jackson approach, playing for his 3rd team at such a young age. While he probably isn’t worth what he’ll earn in arbitration based on his production so far in his career, he has shown glimpses of stardom and he is entering his prime. While Young has been an enigma, he hasn’t been an enema, especially as a Tiger. The man played in just 40 games for Detroit and if you multiply his production by four (to get to 160 games), he could have posted 112 R, 184 H, 20 2B, 4 3B, 32 HR, 128 RBI and a 120/20 K/BB with a .274 AVG and .756 OPS. While the AVG and OPS are underwhelming, his statistics are pretty sexy. He’d be someone who would fit in nicely by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the lineup if he finally breaks out.
If the Tigers can get Prado and have him play third, that would be a solid deal. They shouldn’t get him to play left if it means giving up Delmon Young. They shouldn’t get him to lead off because he isn’t really a good guy to have clogging up the bases IF he even gets on. This is another addition of a veteran who might do something to help, but probably isn’t the answer. The Tigers had a solid team this past season. They seem to overthink things. They STOLE Young from the Twins for the playoff run and he did a nice job producing for them.
It’s about time they make minor changes instead of reaching for a splash. They need to keep the players that got them to where they were last season. They need to dump guys who are hurt and cost too much like Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen. They don’t need to trade guys in their prime for overvalued, underproducing corner players. Do you want a guy hitting 11-15 homers in LF/RF/1B/3B? Especially if he is below average defensively at 3B and LF like Prado is? Wilson Betemit is below average and has posted a .378 and .343 OBP and .889 and .795 OPS the last two years, but no one is giving him a job. Even the Tigers, as he was allowed to walk as a Free Agent. Seems like a bad move.