Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Good Laugh from the Chicago Tribune

A brief tip of the hat to the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, and a wag of the finger to the Chicago Tribune:
For Danks, Carlos Quentin (or Juan Pierre, if the Yankees preferred a veteran table-setter) and Mark Teahen, the Sox could seek a couple of top-tier prospects such as catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Dellin Betances, either Curtis Granderson or Brett Gardner (more available than you would think after he hit .185 last October), Chamberlain, Mitre and one or two lesser prospects.
Perhaps it would be prudent to look at this objectively ... before pointing and laughing derisively.

John Danks is a solid pitcher. He posts league-average strikeout, walk, and groundball rates, tosses about 200 IP per season, and maintains slightly above average run prevention numbers (both in terms of traditional and fielding-independent metrics). He's under team control for 2011 and 2012.

Carlos Quentin had a very good 2008, but has struggled with injuries throughout his career - he may not have been completely healthy in either 2009 or 2010, but he was mediocre nonetheless. He's under team control for 2011 and 2012.

Juan Pierre is ... Juan Pierre. He won't walk or strikeout much, he'll steal a ton of bases at a decent rate when he manages his way on base, and he won't hurt the team in leftfield. He's a free agent after 2011.

Mark Teahen is a staggeringly mediocre four-corners player. He won't hit much, he won't field terribly well, and he'll earn $10.25 MM over the next two seasons.

Overall, it's not a terribly appealing deal. Danks is a fine pitcher, a capable number two starter and a tremendous third starter, but that's about it. Quentin is incredibly brittle and Pierre and Teahen just aren't very good. Let's break down the sort of return the author expects for this package.

In his top-hundred prospects list, Keith Law ranked Jesus Montero 4th and Dellin Betances 73rd. That in and of itself is at least on-par with the return for Shaun Marcum - and Montero alone is far more valuable than any piece brought back in the Zack Greinke deal. The White Sox would have both Montero and Betances under team control for six seasons.

Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner are fine everyday centerfielders. All things considered, I would prefer either over Quentin and Pierre, though I suppose a healthy Quentin may be the best of all (as a leprechaun riding unicorn would be a wondrous discovery). Granderson is signed through 2013 and Gardner is under team control through 2014.

Joba Chamberlain is under team control through 2013 and serves as a fine high-risk, high-reward type. It's tough to compare him to Teahen ... but it would be even tougher to find a less worthwhile player making over $10 MM over the next two seasons. I suppose at the most basic level, we're comparing three years of a middle reliever and two years of a bench player.

Do I really need to point out the hilarity in the author expecting more? Sergio Mitre is essentially a replacement level player, but he's a decent long relief type. On top of that, another 'lesser prospect' or two? Seriously?

Okay - it's time to point and laugh derisively.

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