Posts Tagged ‘Mat Gamel’

Brewmors - Cards Were Swept Edition

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

This is interesting: MLBTraderumors.com believes that Mat Gamel is definately on the block. Just a couple months ago, he was untouchable. So now you have to figure that the Brewers would trade J.J. Hardy, Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee, and Mat Gamel for pitching.

Ooooh, you're totally gonna put me on the block? Not cool, brah

Also, since the Brewers seem to go after Cardinals Cast-Offs, the Cards have many players that will be free agents. The Cards will probably go after Holliday, but they still have DeRosa, Pinero, Smoltz, LaRue, and Wellemeyer. Honestly, I don’t want the Brewers to go after any of those players except maybe DeRosa (but he’ll be overpaid this offseason).

By the way, I enjoyed seeing the Cards get swept in the first round. I know that maybe I’m supposed to root for the NL Central, but I guess I’m still angry. The Dodgers seem to own the NL Central in the playoffs.

Rick Peterson, the Pitching Coach that helped bring us Oakland’s original big 3, said Milwaukee is on the top of his list.

Halladay’s Trade Value

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

As is often the case in trade speculation, there is a wide range of opinions on what Roy Halladay is actually worth on the trade market. His perceived value — in the media, amongst fans and on blogs — ranges from obscenely slanted in favor of the Blue Jays (any five players in any minor-league system) to ridiculously weighted in favor of whatever team the Blue Jays trade him to (salary dump for marginal prospects). Obviously, the truth is somewhere closer to the first suggestion, but I still feel Halladay’s perceived value is skewed way too high in general right now.

Luckily, Halladay wouldn’t be the first ace to be dealt in the past few seasons. We have precedence to go on. Johan Santana, C.C. Sabathia, Jake Peavy, Dan Haren and Erik Bedard all have ace-like numbers and have been dealt in recent seasons. Let’s analyze those trades on the surface and see if we can come up with any conclusions.

Johan Santana

The Mets sent four players to the Twins — their #2, 3, 4 and 7 prospects, according to Baseball America.

Santana was younger than Halladay at the time of the trade, has better numbers than Halladay and the Twins offered the Mets a window of time to sign Santana to an extension. The Jays will not do that with any Halladay trade. So, the Blue Jays should get slightly less value in a trade of Halladay than the Twins got for Santana.

C.C. Sabathia

The Brewers sent four players, including their #1 prospect, according to Baseball America, to the Indians. Michael Brantley, a highly regarded AA outfielder at the time, likely would have been in the Brewers’ top 10 this year if he was still in the system and he was ranked #9 in the Indians system. Rob Bryson was a lower level prospect and Zack Jackson was a failed prospect.

Sabathia was younger than Halladay and as good of a pitcher as him, but was just a half-season rental in this trade. The Blue Jays should get more for Halladay than the Brewers paid for Sabathia.

Jake Peavy

Peavy nixed the trade, but the White Sox were prepared to send their #2 and 3 prospects, according to Baseball America, and two players to be named later to the Padres in a deal for the San Diego pitcher.

Peavy is younger and has very similar numbers to Halladay. He is signed to a reasonable deal through 2012 with a 2013 option so any team that would trade for him would be getting him for a handful of years. That increases his trade value to some degree, but the financial risk involved is also greater. I think the Blue Jays should expect a similar return on Halladay to this nixed deal.

Dan Haren

The Oakland As received six players, including their #1, 3, 7 and 8 prospects, according to Baseball America, for Haren.

Haren was younger than Halladay, had similar numbers and was signed to a low-cost deal for three years. The Blue Jays should not expect as much as the Diamondbacks paid for Haren if they trade Halladay.

Erik Bedard

The Orioles got five players, including former Mariners #1 prospect Adam Jones (he was entering his second year in the majors at the time) and their #3 prospect, according to Baseball America. The Orioles also received a nice MLB relief pitcher, George Sherrill, and two other minor leaguers.

The Mariners got Bedard for two full seasons. The pitcher was younger than Halladay and had great numbers in 2007, but was less proven and more of an injury risk. The Blue Jays could probably expect a similar return on Halladay.

What Have We Learned?

First of all, this all very subjective since prospect rankings within individual systems depend on how good that minor-league system is, but it can at least give us a general idea of what Halladay is worth.

Based on recent trades of aces, it looks as though the Blue Jays should be able to reasonably expect to get two top 5 prospects, another prospect in the top 10 range and one additional player for Halladay.

What Could the Brewers Offer?

I made a post yesterday about the possibility of including shortstop J.J. Hardy in a trade with the Blue Jays. The tough thing there is it’s hard to peg down what Hardy’s value would be to the Jays or if they would even be interested in him. They definitely need a shortstop of the future, but Hardy is only a season and a half away from free agency. If the Jays thought he could be the answer at the position for them, they could trade for him and hope to work out a long-term deal before he reached free agency. With so many ifs in that scenario though, I’ll go with a simpler proposal for now.

The Brewers could offer third baseman Mat Gamel (the Brewers #1 prospect according to Baseball America), catcher Angel Salome (#5), pitcher Zach Braddock and one additional prospect.

The Brewers could afford to deal Gamel because they have another highly regarded third base prospect, Taylor Green, climbing up the system. Likewise, the Brewers could trade Salome because catcher Jonathan Lucroy is a level behind but equal or ahead of Salome in prospect rankings. Lefty Zach Braddock is having a breakout season this year and has moved up to AA. He was not listed on the BA top 10 before the season, but would likely be near the bottom of the top 10 if they redid the rankings now. In fact, Braddock is the Brewers #7 prospect, according to the most recent BrewerFan.net Power 50. The final prospect would probably someone in the #10-20 range in terms of prospect rankings. A high-ceiling pitcher like Wily Peralta, Cody Scarpetta, Evan Anundsen or Jake Odorizzi would probably fit the bill.

So, What Do You Think?

Should the Brewers offer a deal of something like Gamel/Salome/Braddock/Odorizzi for Halladay?

The Brewers are in a unique position where the top two prospects in that proposal would have other highly regarded prospects at their positions that could move up the totem pole behind them if they were to be dealt. It would make the deal’s blow to the minor-league system a bit easier to take, in that regard anyway.

However, it would hurt to lose the pitching prospects since the Brewers’ minor-league system is starving for pitching at the higher levels and the Brewers hope those players will develop into big-league arms in the coming seasons.

The addition of Halladay would be a huge boost to the team though. The starting rotation is the clear weak spot and an upgrade is necessary if the team is expected to make the playoffs this season. A top two of Halladay and Gallardo would be imposing in regular season match-ups and even more so in a post-season series. The money Halladay is due would certainly be an issue as it would put major constraints on an already tight budget for this season and next, but if the front office can make it work, it’d certainly help set up this team for success. Furthermore, the NL Central and the NL as a whole are pretty weak this season so any boost, and especially an addition as good as Halladay, could mean a big difference in how far the team can go.

Since the Brewers would have Halladay again next season, it would set up well with the window this team has to compete. Many of the key young players will reach free agency years by 2011 or 2012, meaning the Brewers will have some tough decisions to make in regards to contracts and who should be traded to restock the minor-league system by the time those seasons roll around. Realistically, 2009 and 2010 are probably the last years this core group will be together.

The more I think about a move like this, the more I support it. I’m usually not in favor of gutting a minor-league system, but the circumstances seem to be right in this case for the Brewers to make an aggressive push for the postseason.

If you were the Brewers GM, would you offer Mat Gamel, Angel Salome, Zach Braddock and Jake Odorizzi for a season and a half of Roy Halladay?

J.J. a Jay?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

It’s rare for a team to deal a key member of the team in the middle of a season in which they hope to compete in the playoffs, but the Brewers are in a unique position. With one of the best prospects in baseball, shortstop Alcides Escobar, knocking at the door, the Brewers could choose to deal J.J. Hardy for pitching. It would be a calculated risk that would involve losing a veteran leader and risking clubhouse camaraderie, but it might be in the best interest of the Brewers for this season and possibly beyond.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports recently reported on the possibility of a Hardy trade:

A team that talked to the Brewers was told that shortstop J.J. Hardy could be available “in the right deal.”

“In a right deal” is a pretty vague term, but one would have to assume a trade involving the Brewers receiving Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay would be the “right deal.” Halladay would give the Brewers the legitimate difference maker in the rotation that they need.

There are many questions surrounding a possible deal involving Hardy, however.

Would Halladay be worth it?

Yes, he’s been one of the most consistent, injury free starters in baseball for the last several years. He’s widely considered one of the best pitchers in baseball and his stats should only improve with a move to the NL.

Could the Brewers afford to go with a rookie at short in place of Hardy if they still want to compete this season?

Hard to say… Escobar might be ready for the jump to the majors right now, but he also might struggle. By all accounts, he is a perennial gold glove talent at short, so the defense should actually improve at least a little (since Hardy is no scrub defensively either). Offensively, Escobar does not have the power or experience Hardy has so there would likely be a dropoff. That said, Hardy is having a bad year at the plate. He’s hitting just .229 this season with only 11 home runs and an OBP under .300. Meanwhile, Escobar, who was once considered a long-term project offensively, has made great strides with the bat in AAA. He’s hitting .295 with three home runs and a .349 OBP for Nashville this season. Those numbers likely wouldn’t translate to MLB at those levels, but one would think Escobar should at least be able to match Hardy’s offensive contributions to this point. He won’t hit as many home runs, but he has a lot more speed (33 stolen bases so far this season). Also, with the recent acquisition of Felipe Lopez, the Brewers have some protection if Escobar were to struggle. Lopez could shift from second base to shortstop in that scenario.

Why not trade Escobar instead of Hardy?

Hardy will be a free agent after next season. As the young Brewers players become free agents over the next couple of years, the team will have to make some tough financial decisions. With Escobar coming at a much lower cost and already on the cusp of the big leagues, Hardy is expendable. The Brewers will control Escobar more cheaply for more years. He is the future at shortstop.

Trading Hardy would also make it a little bit easier for the Brewers to take on Halladay’s big contract (the rest of the $14.25 million he’s owed this year and all of the $15.75 million he’ll get next year).

How much more would it take?

The Blue Jays aren’t going to swap Halladay for Hardy alone. Not even close… They’ll want at least one top prospect and probably two additional high-ceiling types to fill out the deal. I’d say Hardy, third baseman Mat Gamel and two B-level prospects should be close to getting it done. That’s a proven MLB player, one of the top prospects in the Brewers system and two other high-ceiling prospects (probably at least one and possibly both of them being pitchers). The Brewers could afford to trade Gamel since they have some depth at third both in the majors and the minors and there is no guarantee Gamel will stick at the hot corner anyway. The system is thin on starting pitcher prospects in the high levels, but there are a number of intriguing pitching prospects in the lower levels. While it would hurt to lose one or two of the quality young arms the Brewers are trying to build up, it would be worth it for a season and a half of a surefire ace like Halladay.

Will the Blue Jays even want Hardy?

Most reports say that the Blue Jays are interested in Escobar, which isn’t surprising, but the Brewers aren’t interested in moving him. So, would the Blue Jays want J.J.? Hard to say… Hardy has struggled this season so far, but was an All-Star two years ago and had an All-Star-caliber season again last year. He has significant power for the shortstop position and is above average defensively. He’s still young and you have to believe he’ll shake out of this slump at some point, especially since he’s a notoriously streaky hitter. He has one more year of arbitration left after this season, so the Blue Jays would have him through the 2010 season. The Jays could hold onto Halladay through the 2010 season if they wanted, so with Halladay on the trading block right now, it’s unlikely they view 2010 as a season to go for it. That said, the organization needs a shortstop of the future since Marco Scutaro is not a long-term answer. They could view Hardy as the man. While the Jays would have a hard time coming up with the coin to lock up Doc Halladay for the long term, they could likely sign Hardy to a multi-year deal if both sides were interested.

So, what if the Blue Jays don’t want Hardy?

I think Hardy remains the Brewers’ best trading chip (both in terms of what other teams value and what the Brewers can afford to give up), so if the Blue Jays aren’t interested in Hardy, the Brewers should shop him elsewhere.

Would the Red Sox swap Clay Buchholz for Hardy? That deal would benefit both sides as the Sox would upgrade a major team weakness without giving up a player on their MLB roster and the Brewers would get a talented young starter that they’d control for the next several years. Buchholz has proved he’s ready for the bigs again and could have a strong second half in the majors.

A well-known Mariners fan blog suggested last week that a trade of starters Erik Bedard and Wisconsin native Jarrod Washburn, both free agents to be, for Hardy would make sense for both teams. Would former Brewer head scout and current Mariners GM Jack Z actually consider this? If so, that’s a great alternative for the Brewers. They’d get two quality starters and could collect some draft picks when the pitchers leave in free agency after the season.

Asdrubal Cabrera is a pretty nice option at shortstop for the Indians, but he can also play second base, where the Indians don’t have a solid starter. Would the Indians be interested in taking Hardy as part of a Cliff Lee deal?

I wouldn’t give up Hardy for other options that are out there right now (Brad Penny, Doug Davis, Jon Garland, etc.), but who knows what else might happen before the trade deadline. The Brewers should keep all options open.

The Bottom Line

Hardy is a fan favorite and a respected veteran in the clubhouse. Dealing him in the middle of the season would shake up the fanbase and the clubhouse, but if the team can get quality starting pitching for him in a deal, it might be the right move to set the team up for a big second half.

In the News (4/22)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

 

Moyer Beat Manny Tuesday

Today’s Game: Brewers 4, Phillies 11
Record: 4-9, Last in the Central

 

Today’s Game

- Brewers pitching got eaten up again and the Brewers lost a rain-delayed game against the Phillies, 11-4

- Manny Parra and Jorge Julio gave up a combined 10 runs (9 earned)

- At least Ryan Braun showed up…5 for 5 with two home runs!

- Rickie’s face is having a rough April… Rickie collided with JJ Hardy’s shoulder and was taken out due to dizziness. You know it must have been a shot if he was taken out from that and not after being hit in the FACE by a pitch!!

Brewers News

- Cory Provus has a mailbag. I love that he’s kind of an ass to one of the people who sent him an e-mail.

- Parra is underachieving. I don’t know what’s going on…if he’s just not controlling his pitches or what, but the Brewers need him right and fast…and I’m sure you will see more opinions like this in the coming days.

- Man, Bleacher Report is going to hate me…Some guy who isn’t an 8th grader is asking for a catching platoon. First of all, doesn’t a platoon require one player who can hit left handed and another who can hit right handed? Secondly, most people understand Kendall isn’t known for his bat. He’s known for helping young pitchers through hard times and to play solid defense.

- The Brewers have already hit 2 million tickets sold this year

- These guys at BrewerFan are just a little faster than I am, comparing Coffey to former closer Dan Kolb. I had a small blurb in an upcoming post about a Brewer fan thinking that Todd Coffey was the second coming of Dan Kolb.

- The Love of Sports blog lists their favorite batting stances and Craig Counsell is numero uno! He even beat out Jeff Bagwell…impressive.

- FYI, it was April 21st, 1982 that Rollie Fingers became the first pitcher to save 300 games

Minor Leagues

- Gamel lead the Sounds to their fifth straight win…Chase Wright pitched well, also.

- The Brewers signed a catcher, Patrick Arlis, from the Golden Baseball League and designated him to AAA Nashville

- No T-Rats game on Tuesday means doubleheader on Thursday!

- Hoffman isn’t coming to Appleton. I didn’t think he was.

- Rattler Radio brings you up to speed with Cody Scarpetta (who looked real good opening night) and Efrain Nieves.

- Still hungry for T-Rats? How about a video preview?

- Has TGJ finally realized he needs to step it up? Here’s hoping.

NL Central

- The Pirates (4-9) beat Florida again, the Cubs (8-4) beat the Reds (7-6)  7-2, Houston (5-9) beat the Dodgers, and the Cards (9-5) beat the Mets.

- Lance Berkman (or Fat Bam Margera) is in an “uncharacteristic slump”. What a tick…didn’t he slump most of 2007?

- This is embarrassing. Not only did the Pirates sell only 8,700 tickets, but only 4,500 went through the turnstiles.

Other News

- Free Matt Murton? Geoff Jenkins says “Be glad you have a job, kid.”

- An uplifting story about Beloit-born Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer.

- More on Dustin Yount trying to find his way back into an organization.

Brewers Fan Favorite Vote - Round 2 Concludes

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Braun and Gallardo blew away their opponents again. It really puts it the Looper beating Suppan in fan voting in perspective; Looper beats Suppan and Looper gets destroyed in popularity by Gallardo, hence Suppan is about as popular as Jose Hernandez’s and Glendon Rusch’s lovechild.

As far from close as those two were, the other two match-ups were the opposite. For awhile, the Cameron/Hart battle was very close, but Hart pulled away late Thursday night. Bush against Villa was decided by less than 10 votes, the slight edge to Bush. Here’s the final results:

Braun DEF Kendall 96% - 4%

Hart DEF Cameron 61% - 39%

Gallardo DEF Looper 97% - 3%

Bush DEF Villanueva 54% - 46%

Round 2 concludes already with these match-ups (including some very interesting pitching ones). Vote away for your favorite Brewers because these polls close on Monday evening.

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Brewers Fan Favorite ‘09 Continues

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

All the top seeds advanced again, but at least Brad Nelson made it interesting for awhile. The final scores were:

Hardy DEF Rivera  87% - 13%

Hart DEF Nelson 65% - 35%

Hoffman DEF Julio 97% - 3%

Bush DEF Coffey 89% - 11%

The Bracket currently stands like this:

Will we have our first upset this weekend? Vote away for your favorite Brewers once again!

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This round of voting closes Monday Night!

In the News (12/31)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Brewers News

- Winter League update from Brew Crew Ball.

- Matt Gamel had an interview last May while in Huntsville. Check it out. That channel on Youtube also has Angel Salome, Ryan Braun, and Jeremy Jeffress.

- Newly Drafted Brett Lawrie won Canada’s Langley Advance’s Sport Personality of the year.

- Bernie’s Crew profiles Lee Haydel. They see him as a C+ prospect.

Rumors and Speculation

- Brew Crew Ball says that the Brewers are paying close attention to Mark Mulder. I really hope if they’re paying attention to this injury prone pitcher, that they are still paying attention to a certain Ben Sheets.

- Are the Brewers getting a Sunday Night game on Fox? The Twins may have leaked the answer.

- We’re not sure how interested the Brewers were in him, but Brian Fuentes seems to be going to the Angels.

NL Central

- Cubs might send Jason Marquis for former Brewer Luis Vizcaino. Sean Marshall is predicted to step into his spot in the rotation. Fun stat note: Vizcaino has a 6.61 ERA in Wrigley.

Other News

- Orioles are considering Richie Sexson.

- Claudio Vargas was signed by the Dodgers for 400K.

Notes: Gamel Wins Award

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Folks around baseball, however, know just how accomplished a player Gamel is. To that end, it was not much of a surprise when it was announced on Wednesday that the former fourth-round selection was named as the 21st annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner, emblematic of the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year.

Congrats to Gamel for the honor.

Insomniac Ink