Tag Archives: Derek Lowe

Free Agent Review – Cliff Lee to the Phillies


Wow. That’s pretty much all I can say.

With the news overnight that there may have been as much as $50 million left on the table by one Clifton Phifer Lee, it has been a complete shock to see that Cliff Lee has agreed to sign with the Phillies. The terms appear to be for 5 years, $115 million dollars, with an option for a 6th year that might be reasonably achievable.

From the Phillies Perspective

Honestly, I’m not sure I understand this entirely. Clearly, Lee is more than $10 M better than Joe Blanton ($20M salary for Lee, $10.5M for Blanton), but this seems a bit excessive. Adding Lee now brings them a 4th ace to go with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt for next season. The part that could really kill the Phillies long term is the amount of money they have tied up. The Phillies will most likely have the highest payroll of any team not playing in the Bronx next year, and have a ton of money committed to their roster already for 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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Original Draft Series: #3 – Seattle Mariners


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #3: Seattle Mariners

General Managers(since 1994)

Woody Woodward (1994-1999):458-445
Pat Gillick (2000-2003):393-359
Bill Bavasi (2004-2008):359-451
Jack Zduriencik (2009):85-77

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Last
0 0 4 3 4 5 4 0

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Jason Varitek 1994 – 1st Rd (14) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to SEA – 7/31/97
1B Raul Ibanez 1992 – 36th Rd 8+5 986 gm, .284/.346/.464, 127 HR, 547 RBI, 21 SB Left via Free Agency – 12/21/00, 10/30/08
2B Jose Lopez
Int’l FA – 2000 10 1 All Star Appearance
853 gm, .266/.297/.399, 77 HR, 422 RBI
Currently with Org.
3B Alex Rodriguez 1993 – 1st Rd (1) 7 4 All Star Appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers
790 gm, .309/.374/.561, 189 HR, 595 RBI, 133 SB
Left via Free Agency – 10/30/00
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
Int’l FA – 2002 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CLE – 6/30/06
LF Shin-Soo Choo Int’l FA – 2000 6 14 gm, .069/.182/.103, RBI Traded to CLE – 7/26/06
CF Adam Jones 2003 – 1st Rd (37) 4 73 gm, .230/.267/.353, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB Traded to BAL – 2/8/08
RF Ichiro Suzuki
Int’l FA – 2001 10 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, 10 All Star Appearances, 9 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver Sluggers
1564 gm., .331/.376/.430, 89 HR, 550 RBI, 88 SB
Currently with Org.
DH David Ortiz Int’l FA – 1992 4 No Major League Appearances Traded to MIN – 9/13/96
SP Felix Hernandez Int’l FA – 2002 8 1 All Star Appearance
69-51, 3.23 ERA, 1124.1 IP, 1019 K, 347 BB
Currently with Org.
SP Brandon Morrow
2006 – 1st Rd (5) 3 8-12, 3.96 ERA, 197.2 IP, 204 K, 128 BB Traded to TOR – 12/23/09
SP Joel Pineiro 1997 – 12th Rd 11 58-55, 4.48 ERA, 996 IP, 658 K, 327 BB Left via Free Agency – 12/12/06
SP Derek Lowe
1991 – 8th Rd 6 2-4, 6.96 ERA, 53 IP, 39 K, 20 BB Traded to SEA – 7/31/97
SP Gil Meche
1996 – 1st Rd (22) 10 55-44, 4.65 ERA, 815.1 IP, 575 K, 363 BB Left via Free Agency – 10/31/06
RP Damaso Marte
Int’l FA – 1992 8 0-1, 9.35 ERA, 8.2 IP, 3 K, 6 BB Left via Free Agency – 10/18/00
RP Matt Thornton 1998 – 1st Rd (22) 7 1-6, 4.82 ERA, 89.2 IP, 87 K, 67 BB Traded to SEA – 3/20/06
RP Rafael Soriano Int’l FA – 1996 10 4-8, 2.89 ERA, 4 SV, 171 IP, 177 K, 53 BB Traded to ATL – 12/7/06
RP Ryan Franklin 1992 – 23rd Rd 13 35-50, 4.34 ERA, 811.1 IP, 427 K, 238 BB Left via Free Agency – 12/21/05
RP J.J. Putz 1999 – 6th Rd 9 1 All Star Appearance
22-15, 3.07 ERA, 323 IP, 337 K, 104 BB
Traded to NYM – 12/11/08
CL Brian Fuentes 1995 – 25th Rd 6 1-1, 4.63 ERA, 11.2 IP, 10 K, 8 BB Traded to COL – 12/16/01
BN Omar Vizquel
Int’l FA – 1984 9 1 Gold Glove
660 gm, .252/.309/.303, 6 HR, 131 RBI, 39 SB
Traded to CLE – 12/20/93
BN Greg Dobbs Amat. FA – 2001 5 100 gm, .257/.291/.351, 2 HR, 32 RBI Selected off waivers by PHI – 1/15/07
BN Yuniesky Betancourt Int’l FA – 2005 4 588 gm,. 279/.302/.393, 27 HR, 202 RBI, 24 SB Traded to KC – 7/10/09
BN Jeff Clement 2005 – 1st Rd (3) 4 75 gm, .237/.309/.393, 7 HR, 26 RBI Traded to PIT – 7/29/09
BN Luis Valbuena
Int’l FA – 2002 6 18 gm, .245/.315/.347, RBI Traded to CLE – 12/11/08

June Amateur Draft

The Mariners have actually not been as active in the draft as I thought they had been. Clearly, the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr in the middle of the season removed him from this team, although to be honest he probably would have only been a bench player like he was in real life. The Mariners are unfortunately not seeing nearly as much success as they be expected to considering the quality level of the players listed here. Alex Rodriguez has clearly been the best player to this point overall, at least coming out of the draft. But the story for a lot of these players has been that they achieved their greatest success while with other teams. Morrow is very rapidly turning into a top starting pitcher, Lowe and Varitek were both traded short-sightedly to the Red Sox for a reliever, and of course the group of players who were dealt to acquire Erik Bedard (Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, among others).

International Free Agency

The Mariners have clearly done their best work in the international market. Ichiro, while not an amateur free agent, has clearly been the cream of the crop and has helped to define the organization ever since he arrived. But there have been so many other excellent players that were brought in by the Mariners as well, with King Felix Hernandez probably providing the most to the team while on the team. They have had some solid players go through the organization via this method as well, but unfortunately the story is very similar to the amateur draftees. The two that stand out to me are Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo, who were traded for a pair of platoon first basemen in Eduardo Perez and Ben Broussard. Both were just prospects when they were traded, but have turned into at worst solid major league regulars.

Overall Grade

A. The Mariners are one of the few teams where I had to ignore quite a few players. There were probably another 10-15 players that could very well have ended up on the rosters of other organizations further down the list. I think that they did receive quite a bit of production from these players, and clearly the one who retired (Griffey) also helped the team stay in Seattle practically. They had an All-Star closer in J.J. Putz, a clear Ace in Felix Hernandez, and a future Hall of Famer in Ichiro Suzuki. Every position has someone who has become a major league regular, as well as players on the bench who have in some capacity as well. The pitching staff has 5 pitchers who have closed for at least some time in their careers, and a solid pitching rotation as well. Overall, they were immediately on my mind as one of my top teams overall.

Trade Retrospective: Curt Schilling to the Red Sox


On November 28, 2003, the Red Sox acquired SP Curt Schilling from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitchers Jorge de la Rosa, Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, and minor leaguer Michael Goss.

The Background

The Red Sox were in need of a starting pitcher after one of 2003′s main starting pitchers, John Burkett, retired. While Burkett was not an amazing starting pitcher for the Red Sox, he still was a useful innings eater (181 innings in 2003), and the Red Sox were clearly going to need to replace the numbers.

The Diamondbacks were coming off of an 84-78 season, but had finished in 3rd place in the NL West and were 16 games back. Schilling would be a free agent after the 2004 season, and the Diamondbacks were hoping to cut their payroll for the following season.

The Moving Pieces

In Boston, Schilling agreed to a contract extension prior to approving the trade, and he was slotted into an already high end rotation led by Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe.

Arizona received 4 reasonable players, with both Casey Fossum and Brandon Lyon both having spent time with the Red Sox in each of the previous 3 seasons. Here’s what Jim Callis of Baseball America had to say about some of the prospects back in 2004:

Q: Kevin from Springfield, MA asks:
Where would some of the prospects that got traded have ranked, Sanchez, Dumatrait, Pelland, De La Rosa and Goss?
A: Jim Callis: Another good question from Kevin, who got many in early. Freddy Sanchez would be No. 2, ahead of Shoppach. Jorge de la Rosa would be right behind Shoppach, so that would make him No. 4 if Sanchez was in the mix. Phil Dumatrait would be in my mix of three lefties toward the end of the top 10, and I’d probably slot him in behind Alvarez, which would make him No. 10. Tyler Pelland would be in the 11-15 mix, while Mike Goss wouldn’t have made the Top 30.

What Happened Next

Schilling was ecstatic to be going to pitch with the Red Sox.

“I want to be a part of bringing the first World Series in modern history to Boston,” Schilling said. “And hopefully more than one over the next four years.”

And clearly, the goal was accomplished with the Red Sox winning their first world championship in 86 years in 2004.

In Arizona, Casey Fossum was slotted into the Diamondbacks rotation and Brandon Lyon was sent to the bullpen, eventually closing out games for the Diamondbacks in 2004. Jorge de la Rosa was only a Diamondback for less than a week, as he was sent to the Brewers in a trade that netted the Diamondbacks power hitting 1B Richie Sexson. Michael Goss was sent to Single-A South Bend in the Midwest League

The Net Moves

Red Sox – First Level

  • Curt Schilling went 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 2004, helping to lead the Red Sox to the 2004 World Championship. He was with the team through 2007, posting a 53-29 record with a 3.95 ERA, and helped to lead the Red Sox to 2 World Championships in that time. He retired after the 2007 season.

Diamondbacks – First Level

  • Casey Fossum went 4-15 in 2004 with the Diamondbacks, and was unceremoniously traded to the Devil Rays in early February 2005 for Jose Cruz Jr.
  • Brandon Lyon spent the 2004-2008 seasons with the Diamondbacks, working entirely the bullpen. He posted an 11-15 record with 42 saves and a 4.03 ERA in 234 appearances. He left via free agency after the 2008 season, and the Diamondbacks received a compensation draft pick for losing him to the Tigers. The Diamondbacks used this pick to select Michael Belfiore.
  • Jorge de la Rosa was traded on December 1st, 2003 as a part of the Richie Sexson trade. The trade acquired Richie Sexson and Shane Nance from the Brewers.
  • Michael Goss never spent a day in the Majors, spending the 2004 season with the Diamondbacks before ending up in Independent ball for the next 4 seasons.

Diamondbacks – Second Level

  • Jose Cruz Jr. spent 64 games with the Diamondbacks, hitting .213 with 12 homeruns before being traded to the Red Sox on 7/30/2005 for minor leaguers Kenny Perez and Kyle Bono.
  • Michael Belfiore is currently with the Diamondbacks.
  • Richie Sexson spent the 2004 season with the Diamondbacks, but spent most of the season hurt. He played in only 23 games, hitting .233 with 9 homeruns in his brief time there. He left via free agency after the 2004 season, but earned the Diamondbacks two compensation draft picks. They used these picks on Matthew Torra and Micah Owings.
  • Shane Nance made 19 appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2004, posting a 1-1 record with a 5.84 ERA. He was released by the Diamondbacks during the 2005 season, and never appeared in another Major League game.

Diamondbacks – Third Level

  • Kenny Perez spent the rest of the 2005 season and all of the 2006 season with the Diamondbacks in the minors, but did not make any appearances with them or any other organization in the Majors.
  • Kyle Bono spent the remainder of the 2005 season and the 2006 season with the Diamondbacks, and also did not make any Major League appearances.
  • Matthew Torra is still with the Diamondbacks organization to this day, but has never progressed past AAA, where he currently is. He may not get a good shot at this point, as he is now 26 years old.
  • Micah Owings was with the Diamondbacks through part of the 2008 season. He posted a 14-17 record with the team as a starting pitcher, but was known more for his hitting skills. He hit .313 with 5 homeruns in 112 at bats over the two seasons he was with Arizona. He was included in the trade that netted the Diamondbacks Adam Dunn in August 2008.
  • Adam Dunn spent the remainder of the 2008 season with the Diamondbacks, hitting 8 homeruns down the stretch for them. I also there being a lot of surprise as the Diamondbacks did not offer him arbitration, which made them ineligible to get draft pick compensation.

Overall Reactions

Clearly, the Red Sox got exactly what they were hoping for and more. Schilling helped to anchor the rotation both in 2004 and in 2007, including the “Bloody Sock”. He helped them to get the first 2 World Championships in nearly 90 years, and the image of the “losers in Boston” has been extinguished forever. The Diamondbacks had a lot of potential from the moves that they made surrounding this trade, but unfortunately it was almost like the players that came back were cursed of their own accord. Fossum wasn’t really a high quality starting pitcher at any point, but was particularly bad in Arizona. Lyon was probably the best return they got out of anyone in these trades, as he was a valuable bullpen piece for 4 seasons. I think I would have to give the Red Sox the advantage on this one, as flags fly forever.

Trade Review – NYY/ATL


New York Yankees receive SP Javier Vazquez and RP Boone Logan
Atlanta Braves receive CF Melky Cabrera, RP Mike Dunn, and P Arodys Vizcaino

The Yankees
The Yankees did pretty well here in my opinion. Vazquez is coming off of what could be his best year ever, where he posted a 15-10 record with a 2.87 ERA (2.77 FIP), 238 strikeouts, and a solid .297 BABIP. While it would appear that he could potentially see a severe regression due to moving from the Braves’ home field to the Yankees, I am confident based on his groundball ratio that he will not see a huge change in stats.

2004 (with the Yankees) GB/FB ratio: 0.88
2009 (with the Braves) GB/FB ratio: 1.20

I believe that if he can maintain that groundball ratio from 2009, he should be a solid #2-3 starter for the Yankees. Which will be excellent since he’s really slotting in as the #4 starter behind Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte. I am inclined to believe that this move allows the Yankees to keep Philip Hughes in the bullpen where he really excelled last year. This also makes it really likely that the Yankees are going to keep Nick Swisher in the outfield, with Brett Gardner playing the other corner outfield spot. Adding Logan just gives them another arm that they can mix and match into the back end of their bullpen as well.

The Braves
The Braves had a definite excess of starting pitching, with Lowe, Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, and Kawakami all under contract for 2010. Moving Vazquez not only saves them some money (about $11.5 Million owed to him), but also acquires a solid young outfielder, a useful reliever in Mike Dunn (99 K in 73 IP in AAA last season), and a very young high-potential arm in Vizcaino (52 K in 42 IP at Staten Island last season).

Overall Review
This is one of those trades that looks like it really helps out both teams. The Braves move one of their excess starting pitchers for a useful outfielder and two good arms. The Yankees move one of their few excesses (corner outfielder type), and turned him into one of the best pitchers currently. And they only need him to be a 4th starter really.

Yankees win now, Braves win long-term