Tag Archives: Kevin Kouzmanoff

Trade Retrospective – Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks


On December 14th, 2007, the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired SP Dan Haren and RP Connor Robertson from the Oakland Athletics for pitchers Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, and Greg Smith, 1B Chris Carter, and outfielders Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez.

The Background

Dan Haren had been in Oakland since the start of the 2005 season, and had established himself as one of the top pitchers in the American League. Following the 2005 season, he had signed a contract extension which would keep him under team control at very reasonable prices through the 2010 season (it would have covered the 5 seasons at a total cost of $19.15 million overall). Haren was also being asked to fill the role of the staff ace, with Barry Zito having departed via free agency after the 2006 season. Haren had his best season with the Athletics in 2007, going 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA in 222.2 innings pitched, and a 138 ERA+. However, the team did not perform well, going 76-86 and finishing 3rd in the division despite going to the ALCS in the 2006 season.

The Diamondbacks had finished in first place in 2007, with a 90-72 record. However, they had been swept in the NLCS by the Rockies, and it appeared that they could use another starting pitcher behind 2006 Cy Young winner Brandon Webb. They did have, however, an extremely deep farm system available to them to go out and acquire what they would need to help in the 2008 season.

The Moving Pieces

In Phoenix, Haren slotted into the starting rotation between 2 former Cy Young award winners in Brandon Webb and Randy Johnson. Connor Robertson was sent to AAA Tucson, to be used mainly out of the bullpen.

In Oakland, Greg Smith and Dana Eveland both slotted into the back end of the starting rotation for the Athletics. OF Carlos Gonzalez was sent to AAA Sacramento to play every day. OF Aaron Cunningham was sent to AA Midland, and 1B Chris Carter and P Brett Anderson were both sent to High-A Stockton.

What Happened Next

The Diamondbacks were fairly happy with the performance of Haren, who went 16-8 with a 3.33 ERA and topped the 200 strikeout threshold for the first time in his career. Robertson made some spot appearances with the big club, but was essentially a non-factor on the team’s performance in 2008. Unfortunately, the team regressed a fair amount, and went 82-80 to finish 2nd in the NL West that season.

The Athletics were in full rebuilding mode, but did get some useful performances out of Dana Eveland and Greg Smith in 2008, who provided a lot of innings. Carter finished the season as one of the California League’s top hitters, clubbing 39 homers and driving in 104 runs in only 137 games. Carlos Gonzalez (BA’s #22 overall in 2008) hit fairly well in AAA, posting a .283 batting average and getting a midseason callup to the big club. Unfortunately, his performance in the Majors left a lot to be desired, hitting .242 with 4 homers and 4 steals in 89 games. Brett Anderson (BA’s #36 overall in 2008) posted an 11-5 record between High-A and AA, striking out 118 in just 105 innings. Aaron Cunningham hit .329 between AA and AAA, and also added 17 homers, 66 runs batted in, and 15 steals to those totals. He got into 22 games with the Athletics in 2008, hitting .250 with 1 homerun.

The Net Moves

Diamondbacks – First Level

  • Dan Haren made 2 All-Star appearances with the Diamondbacks, and posted a 37-26 record with a 3.56 ERA. He threw 586 1/3 innings over 3 seasons, and struck out 570 to just 107 walks. He was traded on July 25th of this season to the Angels for Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez, Patrick Corbin, and Tyler Skaggs.
  • Connor Robertson went 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in just 7 Major League innings for the D’backs. On December 12th, 2008, he was traded to the Mets for Scott Schoeneweis.

Athletics – First Level

  • Carlos Gonzalez appeared in 85 games at the Major league level for the Athletics in 2008, posting an underwhelming .242/.273/.361 line with 4 HR, 26 RBI, and 4 SB. He, along with Greg Smith and closer Huston Street, were traded to the Colorado Rockies on November 10th, 2008 for OF Matt Holliday.
  • Greg Smith went 7-16 with a 4.16 ERA in 190 1/3 innings pitched in 2008, but had a rather pedestrian 111 strikeouts compared to 87 walks. He was a part of the trade mentioned above.
  • Aaron Cunningham appeared in 45 games with the Athletics, posting a .211/.271/.338 line with 2 HR, 20 RBI, and 2 SB. He was traded on January 16, 2010 to the Padres along with Scott Hairston in exchange for 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff and minor league 2B Eric Sogard.
  • Dana Eveland went 11-13 with a 4.92 ERA in parts of 2 seasons. He threw a total of 212 innings, and had 140 strikeouts compared to 103 walks. He was traded to the Blue Jays on February 7, 2010, but no player was received in return.
  • Brett Anderson made his debut with the Athletics in 2009, and has posted a 14-14 record with a 3.79 ERA so far. He’s thrown 225 innings and has a very solid 184 strikeouts to 52 walks. He also recently signed a contract extension as well.
  • Chris Carter recently made his Major league debut, and was up for a cup of coffee so far. He was recently sent back to AAA, but is likely to be up for good by the end of the season.

Diamondbacks – Second Level

  • Scott Schoeneweis went 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA in just 24 innings pitched in 2009. Sadly, he was dealing with the death of his wife Gabrielle, who died in May of that season. He was a free agent after the season.

Athletics – Second Level

  • Matt Holliday played in 93 games for the Athletics, posting a .286/.378/.454 line with 11 HR, 54 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. The team fell out of contention, and he was traded on July 24, 2009 to the Cardinals for prospects Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortenson and Shane Peterson.
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff has played in 111 games, and hit .259/.2984/.390 with 10 homeruns and 55 runs batted in.
  • Eric Sogard has been the starting 2B for the Rivercats, and is more of a glove than a hitter. He’s hit an empty .296 with 2 homers and 13 stolen bases so far.

Athletics – Third Level

  • Shane Peterson has spent time at AA, hitting .263/351/.361 with 5 homers, 50 rbi and 9 steals.
  • Clayton Mortenson has had some success at AAA, but not a lot at the Majors yet. His line with Oakland is 2-4 with a 7.22 ERA in 33 2/3 innings pitched.
  • Brett Wallace finished the 2009 season with the Rivercats, and was traded to the Blue Jays as a part of the group of trades involving Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. The Athletics acquired OF Michael Taylor in the trade.

Athletics – Fourth Level

  • Michael Taylor has spent the 2010 season at AAA Sacramento, hitting a disappointing .264/.342/.387 with 5 homeruns, 64 RBI and 12 steals. It was thought he would be called up before the end of the season, but I’m not sure that will happen this year.

Overall Reactions

I was extremely annoyed at the time of the trade, because I thought that the A’s were giving up an up and coming ace starting pitcher, and while they got a lot of good prospects back for him, they were still just prospects. As the 2008 season progressed and we saw the pieces that played at the Major League level (Smith, Eveland, and Carlos Gonzalez) all play to average levels, it just sounded that much worse for the Athletics. Over time, I think this one has become a bit more evenly matched to both teams. The Diamondbacks got 3 very solid seasons from their acquisition, and while they ended up trading him this season, there is some hope for the players that they received in return.

To me, the Athletics are going to end up winning this one, as the players they got back are going to help to lead them to their next good run. Brett Anderson has become a bona fide top of the rotation starter, and would be for a lot of teams in the Majors. Chris Carter needs to show more at the Majors before he can be really viewed as a great part of the trade, at least in my opinion. The one downfall of this trade was the move that they made to try to compete in 2009, which sent Carlos Gonzalez to the Rockies for what ended up being 93 games of Matt Holliday. Gonzalez has really exploded onto the scene this year in Colorado, while Holliday went nuts after being traded to St. Louis and drove in nearly a run per game. Michael Taylor has some upside to be sure, but the luster has kind of fallen off of his top prospect status.

Overall, I think that this trade is going to end up beneficial to both teams, and it really gives the A’s an definitive advantage as the winner of last week’s trade retrospective, with Mark Mulder going to the Cardinals.

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Trade Deadline Thoughts


With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, I put out a call to some of the team-centric bloggers from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance with 3 questions each, dependent on whether or not they considered their team to be a contender or not. Below are the questions, along with each of the responses.

Note that most of these responses were received over the last week, so some may be a bit out of date with the information now known, but that has more with my inability to sit down and write it all down and not with the respondents themselves.

The Respondents

Bill Ivie from I-70 Baseball (Responses are for the Cardinals)
Daniel Shoptaw from C70 at the Bat (Cardinals)
Bee Hylinski from Contract Year (Athletics)

For Contending Teams:

1.  What would you say is your team’s most pressing need to help them get to (or stay in) the playoffs?

Ivie: I will take the opinion side of this.  I have said it for months now.  The Cardinals need some strong help in the middle infield.  When they get production and table setting from the 2b/SS position, they produce and win.  When those positions are quiet, the team loses.

Shoptaw: There are two glaring holes on this team–middle infield, most especially shortstop, and the back of the rotation.  With the hopeful emergence of Tyler Greene to replace Brendan Ryan‘s woeful production, getting another starter would seem to be the most pressing need.  The team can not continue to run out Jeff Suppan and Blake Hawksworth on a regular basis and expect to play in October.

Interesting to me is the fact that both writers agree that the Cardinals’ middle infield is pretty much a black hole in terms of offense. I’m also inclined to agree with Daniel about the fact that the Cardinals need something in their rotation, but I think they are going to have to either make a small acquisition or wait to find out if and when injured pitchers Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse will be able to return to the rotation.

2. What player(s) do you think would most effectively fit that need? Generally, these would only be players that actually have a decent chance of being traded, so no offers for Albert Pujols 🙂

Ivie: What if I want to offer for Albert…oh, wait…we got ’em.  Dan Uggla is always and intriguing name.  I also like the discussions that are suggesting Stephen Drew at SS.  Other than that, I think the market is kind of small for help, but hopefully they can find something out there.

Shoptaw: While the Cardinals would be well-suited to a Dan Haren or a Roy Oswalt, their contract situation most likely leaves them out of the crosshairs of GM John Mozeliak.  All moves must be filtered through the prism of the potential Albert Pujols extension.  Therefore, they’d much rather have someone that was a free agent after this season rather than someone taking up space in the next year or two.  You would think, in that case, they’d look for someone like a Jake Westbrook or perhaps a Kevin Millwood.

I actually really like the idea of the Cardinals acquiring Dan Uggla for a playoff run. While he is a bit expensive at $7.8 million for this season, he is under team control for next season as well, and could conceivably be moved during the offseason if they feel he will be too expensive. I actually really like the Stephen Drew thought as well, but he has more seasons under team control and would realistically cost more to acquire than Uggla. The Cardinals also seem like they would be a good team to take a risk on a Jake Westbrook/Kevin Millwood/Jeremy Guthrie type, and pair them up with Dave Duncan and let him do his magic.

3. What player(s) in your system are most likely to net you the player(s) for those needs?

Ivie: This probably is the biggest obstacle for the Cardinals.  I would say that Bryan Anderson (AAA Catcher), Mitchell Boggs (ML Reliever), and Brendan Ryan (ML Shorstop).  Brendan may be thrown in for a change of scenery and take a team that feels that is what he needs, but it will be hard to tell.

Shoptaw: What they can give up is another story.  Since they used a lot of their chips last year acquiring Mark DeRosa and then Matt Holliday, there’s not a lot on the farm.  There are potentially useful players such as Mark Hamilton and Joe Mather, along with current big leaguers Jon Jay and Allen Craig, that could be used as parts of a deal.  Most likely, St. Louis would have to take on payroll, something that ownership has said there is flexibility to do, and give away lesser quality prospects.  Expect that Brendan Ryan could be a part of a deal as well, especially if they do make a deal for a shortstop.

After looking at the Cardinals system myself, it’s pretty empty at the higher levels. The biggest name that I have heard for them is pitcher Shelby Miller, who I would assume would have to be included in a trade if they were to get themselves someone like Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren. The other thing to remember at this point is that if they acquire a player who has a longer term contract, they may start running into a problem with their payroll limits after 2011 when they will need to resign Albert Pujols.

For Non-Contenders:

1. Which player(s) on your team do you think are most likely to get moved before the deadline?

Hylinski: Pitcher Ben Sheets, notwithstanding Billy Beane’s comments that he doesn’t plan on moving anyone.  Sheets has pitched better with every start recently.  His fastball is up to the mid nineties and all his other pitchers are working more accurately.  He’s a veteran presence and great with the young pitchers.  Speaking of the latter,  if a team would give up a great player and need more than Sheets, the A’s have a plethora of young pitchers in the minors to sweeten the pot.

I really thought that they were going to move him, and that despite his veteran presence he could bring back a fair amount in return. Unfortunately, he was placed on the disabled list on Saturday, and could potentially miss the rest of the season.

2. What would you like to see the organization get in return (ie, a 3B prospect, starting pitching prospects, salary relief, etc)? Specific players aren’t necessarily a requirement, unless you see a specific good match.

Hylinski: A slugger, a 3 or 4 hole hitter who can also play in the field (not another Jack Cust, please)  Someone like Hanley Ramirez would be terrific: a young major league hitter (or major-league ready hitter) with substantial pop in his bat.

I agree that this is definitely what the Athletics need, because the lineup just isn’t good enough in terms of power. Even when Sheets was healthy, I’m not sure I saw a player on the A’s current roster that could have brought that in return. Maybe catcher Kurt Suzuki, but with him now signed to a contract extension, I don’t think he’s going anywhere for at least a couple of seasons.

3. Do you see a good fit for these players that you think could get a deal done?

Hylinski: I am not convinced that Billy Beane and the ownership will pay top dollar for a hot bat.  But that’s what the team needs.  The only 2 bats at top of the A’s minor league system (Sacramento River Cats) are Chris Carter who can only play 1st base, so unless something happens to Daric Barton who has been a hitting and field machine, he’s not coming up; and  Michael Taylor who is at least a year off.

Another possibility might be 2nd-baseman Mark Ellis (though I’d really hate to see him go).  I understand the Phillies and maybe the Red Sox are looking for a 2nd baseman.  Probably Kevin Kouzmanoff will not be traded unless the other end of the deal is too good to pass up.

I’m inclined to agree with these points also, unfortunately. With the stadium situation continuing to drag on in Oakland, and with the team possibly moving to parts unknown, San Jose, or half a dozen other places, they just seem extremely unlikely to pay to get someone like that. The two prospects Bee mentioned have unfortunately been disappointments at AAA to this point, and signs are pointing that they may actually have to repeat the level again next season.

Overall, I thought it was interesting to get the perspective of some writers who are clearly very knowledgeable about their teams, and see if their observations about their teams were similar to mine as someone who sees it a little more at arm’s length. Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions, and you should check out their blogs at the links above as well.

Also, Allen Teruel over at Prorumors.Com had a series of writeups regarding potential trade targets for each team and certain types of players as well. You can find these stories here:
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/national-league-west-buyers-and-sellers/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/american-league-west-buyers-and-sellers/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/nationals-league-central-buyers-and-sellers/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/american-league-central-buyers-and-sellers/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/national-league-east-buyers-and-sellers/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/american-league-east-buyers-and-sellers/

Here are a few Top 10 lists that can help you out too:
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/top-10-mlb-power-hitters-that-could-be-traded-by-july-31/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/top-10-mlb-starting-pitchers-that-could-be-traded-by-july-31/
http://blog.prorumors.com/2010/07/rumors/top-ten-prospects-that-could-get-traded-by-july-31/

Original Draft Series – Team # 18 – Cleveland Indians


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

Team #18: Cleveland Indians

General Managers(since 1994)

John Hart (1994-2001): 718-509
Mark Shapiro (2002-Current): 635-661

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 1 7 7 3 3 2 0

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Victor Martinez Int’l FA – 1996 13 3 All Star Appearances, 1 Silver Slugger
821 gm, .297/.369/.463, 103 HR, 518 RBI, 413 R
Traded to BOS – 7/31/09
1B Russell Branyan 1994 – 7th Rd 8 + 1 294 gm, .232/.311/.472, 55 HR, 139 RBI, 2 SB, 124 R Traded to CIN – 6/7/02
2B Marco Scutaro Int’l FA – 1994 6 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MIL – 7/28/00
3B Jhonny Peralta Int’l FA – 1999 11 902 gm, .265/.331/.424, 101 HR, 447 RBI, 9 SB, 469 R Currently with Org.
SS Maicer Izturis Int’l FA – 1998 6 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MON – 1/5/04
LF Manny Ramirez 1991 – 1st Rd (13) 9 4 All Star Appearances, 3 Silver Sluggers (OF)
967 gm, .313/.407/.592, 236 HR, 804 RBI, 28 SB, 665 R
Free Agency – 10/27/00
CF Willy Taveras Int’l FA – 1999 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Rule 5 Draftee HOU – 12/15/03
RF Ben Francisco 2002 – 5th Rd 7 235 gm, .261/.332/.437, 28 HR, 99 RBI, 17 SB, 123 R Traded to PHI – 7/29/09
DH Jim Thome 1989 – 13th Rd 13 3 All Star Appearances, 1 Silver Slugger
1377 gm, .287/.414/.567, 334 HR, 927 RBI, 18 SB, 917 R
Free Agency – 10/28/02
SP C.C. Sabathia 1998 – 1st Rd (20) 10 2007 AL Cy Young Award, 3 All Star Appearances
106-71, 3.83 ERA, 1265 K, 498 BB, 1528.2 IP, 1.265 WHIP
Traded to MIL – 7/7/08
SP David Huff 2006 – 1st Rd (39) 4 13-17, 5.76 ERA, 99 K, 71 BB, 198.1 IP, 1.603 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Jeremy Guthrie 2002 – 1st Rd (22) 4 0-0, 6.08 ERA, 24 K, 23 BB, 37 IP, 1.757 WHIP Selected by BAL – 1/29/07
SP Fausto Carmona Int’l FA – 2000 10 39-43, 4.53 ERA, 384 K, 265 BB, 632 IP, 1.453 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Brian Tallet 2000 – 2nd Rd 5 1-2, 4.04 ERA, 16 K, 15 BB, 35.2 IP, 1.486 WHIP Traded to TOR – 1/17/06
RP Aaron Laffey 2003 – 16th Rd 7 16-20, 1 SV, 4.59 ERA, 143 K, 116 BB, 294.1 IP, 1.522 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Tony Sipp 2004 – 45th Rd 6 2-2, 4.29 ERA, 75 K, 44 BB, 65 IP, 1.508 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Rafael Perez Int’l FA – 2002 8 10-9, 3 SV, 4.02 ERA, 211 K, 81 BB, 221.2 IP, 1.349 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jensen Lewis 2005 – 3rd Rd 5 5-11, 14 SV, 3.84 ERA, 162 K, 79 BB, 182.2 IP, 1.401 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP David Riske 1996 – 56th Rd 9 17-12, 16 SV, 3.55 ERA, 318 K, 135 BB, 317.1 IP, 1.261 WHIP Traded to BOS – 1/27/06
CL Danys Baez Int’l FA – 1999 4 17-23, 31 SV, 3.92 ERA, 248 K, 125 BB, 291.1 IP, 1.318 WHIP Free Agency – 12/20/03
BN Luke Scott (OF) 2001 – 9th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to HOU – 3/31/04
BN Ryan Church (OF) 2000 – 14th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MON – 1/5/04
BN Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B) 2003 – 6th Rd 3 16 gm, .214/.279/.411, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 R Traded to SD – 11/8/06
BN Trevor Crowe (OF) 2005 – 1st Rd (14) 5 108 gm, .244/.295/.340, 2 HR, 35 RBI, 16 SB, 44 R Currently with Org.
BN Jeremy Sowers (P) 2004 – 1st Rd (6) 6 18-30, 5.18 ERA, 174 K, 132 BB, 400 IP, 1.440 WHIP Currently with Org.

June Amateur Draft

The Indians have gotten some pretty good players out of the first round, with Manny Ramirez and C.C. Sabathia being the clear front runners of the group. The rest of the group out of the 1st round has been a bit of a mixed bag, as you have players like David Huff, Jeremy Guthrie, Trevor Crowe, and Jeremy Sowers who have had a minimal contribution to the Indians’ long term success. They have done well to get some of their players up quickly, with Huff being an example of one who is already up from the 2006 draft. Top picks Beau Mills and Lonnie Chisenhall (2007, 2008) are both performing well in the minors, although Mills has run into a bit of trouble of late. Another excellent choice turned out to be 13th round selection Jim Thome, who was the face of the franchise when Manny Ramirez left via free agency after the 2000 season. Looking at the last decade of 1st round picks, they’ve had a full 9 players who were taken in the first round, but have still never played in the Majors for even a single day.

International Free Agency

The Indians have done extremely well in the international markets, and have a wide variety of countries represented. They have found players from Cuba (Baez), the Dominican Republic (Carmona), and Venezuela (Martinez), among others. While quite a few of them did not play any significant role for the Indians (Scutaro, Izturis, Taveras), many of them have become Major League regulars for at least some period of time. There aren’t necessarily as many players coming through that pipeline as there were before, but it does take quite a while for most international free agents to end up on the radar of the top prospect sites.

Overall Grade

C+ – The Indians have had a few bonafide stars, with Ramirez, Sabathia, Thome, and Martinez to help lead the team over the years. They’ve also had some players who have become major league regulars, even if they didn’t do it for the Indians (Guthrie, Scutaro, Izturis, Kouzmanoff). The quality level of some of the positions isn’t amazing, and I think that is what is leading me to not be able to give them a grade of B or higher. Overall, they’ve done fairly well, although these players haven’t necessarily lead to a lot of on-the-field success in the past few years.

Trade Review – OAK/SD


Oakland Athletics acquire 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
San Diego Padres acquire OF Scott Hairston and OF Aaron Cunningham

The San Diego Padres

The Padres take a bit of depth in Kouzmanoff, and turn him into a pair of useful outfielders that will help them. Moving Kouzmanoff allows them to move Chase Headley back to 3B, and plug either of the newly acquired outfielders into LF, and allow the other to play CF, moving Will Venable to a 4th outfielder role if they so desire.

The Oakland Athletics

The A’s have added another third baseman, and another very good fielder. Kouzmanoff posted the 8th best UZR rating at 3B last season, and his acquisition fits well with the A’s decision to acquire some players who are solid fielders. Kouzmanoff also brings some pop to the lineup, having hit 18+ homers in each of the last 3 seasons. He’s a bit of a break from the usual OBP machines that the A’s have been known for in the past, but Moneyball was never about OBP, it was about exploiting market inefficiencies. The A’s are apparently going to be receiving a prospect to go with Kouzmanoff,

The A’s are really gathering quite a bit of players at this point. Between 1B, 3B, OF, and DH, they now have the following on the roster: Daric Barton, Jake Fox, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Eric Chavez, Dallas McPherson, Rajai Davis, Jack Cust, Ryan Sweeney, Coco Crisp, and Michael Taylor. So if there are problems out of spring training, they have some depth to fall back on here.

Overall Review

I think that this trade is essentially moving excess parts for both teams. It allows them both to move some depth and fill needs from other positions. I actually like this trade pretty equally for both teams.