Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dodgers after Carlos Lee, Corey Seager signs, Puig contract official

Look, I understand the Dodgers are struggling right now. They've lost six games in a row, Matt Kemp is still on the disabled list, Andre Ethier could end up there and the they've scored a grand total of 15 runs in their last 11 games.

Still, that's no reason to panic. That's no reason to trade valuable assets for Carlos Lee.

As I'm sure you've heard, rumors popped up last night of the Dodgers' interest in Lee. But, as often happens on Twitter, the first reports weren't accurate.

It went from Zach Lee and Garrett Gould for Jed Lowrie to Zach Lee and Gould for Carlos Lee to Gould for Lee in the span of 20 minutes.

Lowrie would be a nice acquisition, as the 28-year-old has an .839 OPS and 14 home runs while playing shortstop. That's premium production, but Lowrie's problem has always been staying healthy. His career-high in games played is 88, established last season.

But as it stands, Houston isn't including Lowrie in this deal. And I wouldn't give up Zach Lee to get Lowrie either.

As it stands right now, the offer appears to be Gould for Lee. It's up to Lee to waive his no-trade rights. That's the hold up.
"Carlos Lee says Dodgers have made an offer and he's mulling whether to accept it."
I don't like this deal one bit. Chad Moriyama, per usual, nails it.
"As I was expressing on Twitter, I’m not thrilled with the idea of trading prospects for Carlos Lee. A solid segment of fans disagreed though, as they were generally enamored with acquiring an upgrade over James Loney. I’m just not sure Carlos Lee is the guy they’re looking for.

Carlos Lee’s current slash line is .290/.342/.412/.754, which is in line with his recent production, and he projects to hit .276/.328/.434/.762 the rest of the way. Additionally, consider that he’s a terrible defender in the outfield and a fringe to poor defender at first base.

James Loney’s current line is .236/.303/.323/.626, which is partially the result of lower than normal BABIP. He projects to hit .266/.327/.387/.714 the rest of the way. Plus, he plays above-average to plus defense at first.

Now 50 points difference in OPS is nothing to scoff at, but factor in the defense and then consider that Loney has a .802 OPS career against righties (.669 against lefties) and Juan Rivera has a .821 career OPS against lefties (.747 against righties). Now the gap is basically non-existent.

You know how to tell that this trade is an iffy upgrade? When it’s even arguable as to whether a potential acquisition is an improvement over James Loney and Juan Rivera."
Someone needs to forward this to Ned, Stan and Co. Yes, Loney sucks with the bat and Rivera isn't much better. But when combining the two, you basically get Lee with better defense.

This doesn't even qualify as an upgrade. And if the Dodgers are so hell-bent on acquiring Lee (seems like just a matter of time now), they shouldn't be giving up quality, tradeable assets to get him.

I wrote a scouting report on Gould over at Moriyama's blog and I know he's not a lock to be a No. 3 or No. 4 starter in the majors, but that's his potential. Potential has tradeable value. Using this value to acquire a player who is of little value makes no sense.

If this was the Lee of three years ago, OK. But he's basically a singles hitter right now and has some extreme reverse platoon splits:
  • .335/.383/.456 vs. RHP
  • .143/.213/.268 vs. LHP
Maybe the Dodgers trade for Lee and he goes all Bobby Abreu on us. But Abreu (like the entire team) is slumping and the shine is wearing off.

I'm all for trading prospects to get quality players in return. And I know fans tend to overvalue their own team's prospects, but this proposed deal doesn't make a lot of sense.

Seager signs

The Dodgers are set to sign first-round draft pick Corey Seager. The deal should be announced today. He'll receive a $2.35 million bonus.

That's a spot of good news. Seager, 18, was drafted at No. 18 in the 2012 MLB Drat by the Dodgers earlier this month. There was little question that he'd sign with the team, it was just a matter of how much he was going to get.

The slot recommendation for the pick is $1.95 million. The Dodgers were a little more than $300,000 under budget, so this signing leaves them $98,500 over budget with second-rounder Steven Rodriguez still to sign. In all likelihood, he'll sign for at least $98,500 less than slot to avoid the Dodgers having to pay a luxury tax.

The signing leaves 12 unsigned draftees, with just one (Korey Dunbar, 39th round) saying he won't sign.

Martin to the DL

Jarret Martin was placed on the 7-day disabled list and has returned to Arizona -- presumably Camelback Ranch -- to rehab.

This isn't particularly newsworthy, but I'm going to do a little speculating.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to send Martin from Michigan (where the Loons play) to Arizona for a one-week rehab stint. There are two possibilities here:
  1. He'll be on the DL for more than seven days
  2. He'll be on his way to Rancho when he's healthy
I'd like to think it's the latter, despite his struggles in the last month. The main thing is he gets healthy and back to pitching.

The man who replaced him on the roster was 15th-round pick (Duke) Dalton Von Schamann. He made his Low-A debut last night and fared pretty well: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Not bad for a guy who was pitching in college a month ago.

Dodgers finalize Puig deal

The Dodgers finalized the Yasiel Puig's 7-year, $42 million Major Leauge contract on Friday. He was assigned to the Arizona League and placed on the temporary inactive list. He'll need a stint there before being moved up.

Also, since the contract was a Major League deal, a 40-man roster move needed to be made. Justin Sellers was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Puig. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Sellers is healthy and another spot is needed (or when the Dodgers inevitably acquire Lee). Guys on the short list include Matt Angle, Michael Antonini and Stephen Fife. I'm betting Angle and Fife are the ones to go.

Photo credits
Lee: SBoyd, Flickr
Seager: Courtesy of Perfect Game

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