It’s two days before the deadline and nothing is happening. We join our heroes as they wait in the Google Doc of Solitude
James: I just got invited to a fantasy football league at work. I’ve been getting out of following the NFL because, you know, all the horror. But I am definitely accepting, because my job is full of good-natured goofballs that I enjoy messing with. The idea of paying attention more to the NFL is abhorrent, the notion of spending my free time reading up to be a more effective drafter is insulting (I could like, talk to my wife and stuff for goodness sake). But again, I’m going to take part, and I’m going to be just enough locked in that when I decide to start the real insanity, I have enough impact on the league to really annihilate the rational order.
Anyway, I really wish there was a MLB GM thinking like this right now. Preferably the Red Sox, though I think the Rockies are always pretty close. Watch ‘em trade Tulo for Danks. Both Dankses.
Great, now I’m anxious again.
James: Oh great!
Collin: I just saw that, too. I’ve been preparing myself for this reality for a while now. I wouldn’t be totally bummed if the White Sox don’t go into complete “fire-sale” mode. If you can’t get anything for Dayan Viciedo or Gordon Beckham, it doesn’t make sense to trade them just for the sake of trading them. And you can always try to make something work in the offseason. But in the case of Adam Dunn, not dealing him would perplex me to no end. There HAS to be a market out there for a left-handed masher, right? Keeping him makes zero sense when he’s gone after the season no matter what. Getting a return on Danks or Alexei would be awesome, but has never seemed increasingly infeasible. But the one guy who needs to be gone is Dunn. There’s always the waiver deadline I guess, right?
Matt: Seems like Dunn doesn’t “need” to be gone. In theory the left handed masher thing is to the White Sox benefit but his contract is done, he’s no longer a burden once the year runs out. I also worry about how much a team will put out for a guy that they understand to be fully capable of laying an egg for the remaining two months.
James: I feel like a kid being told his parents are going to be three hours picking them up from summer camp. I know I’m going home soon enough, but I really thought it would be on July 31! I’m freaking out. I didn’t like summer camp.
Collin: You’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that you’re going to be seeing Viciedo and Beckham do their respective things for at least another month or two.
James: I would like to see one of the other 1200 second basemen play, please. I mean, Beckham is clearly making off-day trips to Charlotte and picking them off in their bedrooms, but there’s still a few left.
Collin: Me too. Me too…
But I actually trust Rick Hahn. It’s weird to have faith in a GM making smart decisions. Like I said, he’s not going to trade these guys JUST BECAUSE. Maybe the market opens up in the offseason? Did you see the article by Ken Rosenthal and JP Morosi where league executives were basically talking about what a complete nincompoop Jack Zduriencek is? That’s who Hahn has been dealing with. Him and Dayton Moore, who doesn’t have much of a strong track record of competence himself. I’d love to see some of these young guys, too, but if Hahn doesn’t think that’s a good enough reason to trade these guys if there’s nothing to get in return, that’s good enough for me.
Matt: I saw something specifically stating that teams know Ruben Amaro is desperate and will fold at some point. Or to put a different way, he’s a feeble-minded nincompoop and will do whatever it takes to live up to that reputation. Now that I’ve shared that I realize the Phillies are on the same side of the buy/sell coin so I’ll just thank you for reading and move on.
James: I more interpreted that as Jack Z is just being insufferable trying to suss out exactly what’s available and GMs can tell he’s trying to squeeze out their best offer under false pretenses. I can see that kinda game really driving the Sox off, since they’re trying to avoid getting caught in deadlines with their trade targets.
Then again, there is a deadline coming with Dunn and they’ve ignored/are ignoring it.
Hey, Rodon just got promoted.
Collin: While I’ve resigned myself to the fate of a boring deadline for the White Sox, the one semi-possibility I’m still clinging to hope for is Danks to the Yankees. Jim Bowden proposed Danks for catching prospect Luis Torrens and middle-infield prospect Thairo Estrada. I don’t know who either of those guys are but DO IT RIGHT NOW, RICK HAHN.
James: This is what I’m saying. This would be a lot more exciting if Jim had an actual team to run and trade players for John Danks with.
Collin: Bowden For Kansas City GM.
James: If last year was like the Royals winning the World Series, winning 83 games is like, what, losing in the ALCS? You can’t fire a guy after making the LCS!
Collin: What would make you more mad: The White Sox failing to make a single move, or the White Sox’s only move being Conor Gillaspie for a PTBNL?
James: I assume it’s PTBNL because there’s a waiting period before the Marlins can trade Kolek.
Collin: Unrelated: I was having a conversation with a co-worker who is a huge Royals fan about how Beckham’s failure is a bigger bummer to me than any other failed prospect in recent White Sox history, citing Joe Borchard, Brian Anderson and Josh Fields as other examples. His response: “Sounds like he’s destined to play for the Royals one day.”
James: Just clear the way for the Beckham-Getz reunion. For me, it’s Viciedo. No question. I had followed other prospects, but I feel like he was the first where I was mature in my approach to his development. I was restrained and he still sucked me all the way in and then ruined it.
Collin: I fell for Beckham during the College World Series when he was with Georgia, before the White Sox drafted him, so I was pretty sold on him being a star for a long time.
My newest infatuation is Micah Johnson, but love for him is becoming too passe and I’m a baseball hipster so I’m starting to turn my attention toward Micker Adolfo Zapata, just because.
Hi, Nick! Hi, Matt!
James: Dayan Viciedo sucks, btw. That damn at-bat Sunday. God. Jesus. Death to all of mankind that such debauchery can persist.
I appear to still be upset.
Nick: This is a Google Doc about how Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo have gone into Death Slumps right when they might have finally been traded, right?
James: I like all of the beats getting Rodon news all at one after the W-S account tweeted it 20 minutes earlier.
Anyway, why are they entirely unmotivated to trade Adam Dunn?
Collin: And why would the Mariners prefer Kendrys Morales to him?
James: Kendrys keeps the clubhouse spirits high by doing that joke where he takes off his trick leg.
Nick: I have no idea why Adam Dunn hasn’t been on the Mariners or Brewers for a month now. The gap in 1B defense between Lyle Overbay and Adam Dunn is not as big as the gap in their hitting. Not in 2014 anyway. Just something I can’t quite figure out, unless the White Sox’ asking price is too high. Given that they traded Alex Rios for Leury Garcia I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it isn’t.
Collin: Speaking of prospects acquired last season, Keith Law compared Cleulius Rondon’s defense to Andrelton Simmons the other day. That’s, umm…. something else.
Matt: Somebody (Stoltz?) had posted a video of Rondon SS highlights that was fairly long and impressive. Oh and it was from a single game.
Collin: Can’t wait for the 2018 World Series winning team to star Rodon and Rondon.
James: Rondon really can’t hit at all.. You never actually get the lineup where you can sustain the 80-fielder with a 45 wRC+.
Collin: Keith Law: “Rondon didn't hit at all for low-A Kannapolis but has been better in a much smaller sample at the higher level. Most notably, he has cut his strikeout rate so far by about a third. He looks like he'll have enough bat speed to handle good velocity, and had a single and a double off Manaea, both well-struck, although I doubt there will ever be even fringy power here. This kind of defender with good contact rates is pretty promising, though, as he won't have to do that much more with the bat to become a regular.”
The next Brendan Ryan!
Ya never know, though. He just turned 20.
James: Dayan just misplayed a ball into...I think a 7-base hit.
Nick: Something awkward about this year’s trade deadline is that all of the rental relievers they added to convert into lotto tickets have been bad or hurt or both. Thanks, Lindstrom!
James: Lindstrom came out a discount because he was frequently hurt. Now he’s hurt. I think this is on the Sox, especially since this is Year 2 and last year was one of the best seasons of his career.
Nick: It’s not like they lose anything but opportunity cost and extra development time for relievers in their own system. I’m fine with the strategy. It just didn’t work out in terms of adding people to be used at trade chips.
James: So, what Low-A catcher is not too much of an overpay for John Danks?
Nick: At what salary? For all that Danks has been 88-90 ERA+ in the last year and a half, as Jon Bernhardt correctly points out, league average ERA for starters is lower than that for relievers. i.e. A league average starting pitcher should have an ERA+ of like 95 not 100.
Danks is hardly useless.
Collin: The kid Bowden mentioned, Torrens, is an 18-year-old the Yankees gave $1.3 million out of the international market a year ago. Here’s a thing about him.
James: The re-injury potential is high, historically. Also, with that point in mind, Addison Reed has a 101 ERA+ for his career.
Nick: I just scrolled through the depth chart and there’s just nothing here to trade other than the guys we’ve already mentioned. I would have suggested maybe getting creative and saying, “Okay, maybe Saladino is superfluous, but someone out there would give him a shot, let’s convert him into something else we can use,” but he’s hurt.
A lot of this is just stuff like this: Viciedo OPS per month -- April - .938, May - 661, June - .519, July - .610.
Not much you can do about that, other than identify that Viciedo isn’t a major leaguer a couple years ago and maybe you can fool someone with a time machine.
Matt: This roundtable is depressing.
Nick: Thanks, Matt.
James: The Dodgers are actually going to pay some money for Darwin Barney to be on their team for a while. Beckham is probably slightly better for five times the price. WHY NO TAKERS?!
Nick: Blue Jays are sniffing around again, apparently, but I don’t know why anyone would go for him. Beckham is awfully expensive for what he is.
James: Well, gee. Is there a prospect someone wants to see? What the hell. I would like to see a second base prospe--aw crap we’re caught in a loop.
I see a renewed David Price rumor and scan it with interest, and then it gets to the point where the Rays are looking for Oscar Taveras and it’s like “Whoa hey, am I in the wrong room? Ok, my bad, sorry bye-bye.”
As Nick and I are discussing in a non-publishable format. The Twins had Kohl Stewart sleep on his shoulder wrong and have to go in for examination. J.O. Berrios just left his start for an arm injury. Buxton and Sano have been hurt all year, though are probably fine, and the last time the Sox played them, Adam Dunn lined a ball off their most productive starter. They are more fundamentally sound in their ennui than the Sox, too.
Collin: Nick Nelson wrote a post for the SweetSpot where he discussed that very thing. I think he went a little overboard with the “unluckiest team in baseball” angle, but it has been a little ridiculous.
James: “Bad, but Not Cursed.” Go ahead and stash that slogan in the ideas bin, Brooks, and just send the check when you’ve got the time.