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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:41 pm 
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chetthespian wrote:
No one wants to trade Jack Wilson for a bag of balls. Who has said this?


I wouldn't have been surprised to hear Littlefield say that... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:49 pm 
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chetthespian wrote:
No one is saying we should trade our players for nothing. We're not asking for a firesale to save money. We're asking to trade our older players for high upside minor leaguers who can be under team control for six years. That way they come up through the system and mature together giving the team six affordable seasons where the team can compete.


I think that we are all in agreement that the players would be dealt for as much as can be had in return.

The concern that MM notes, and that I share, is the fact that the failure rate of minor league prospects is so high that the odds of getting a really good player in return are pretty low.

The players that the Pirates are looking to deal will not get a top-10 prospect (a guy like McCutchen) in return. Those type of minor league players have too much value. So, you hope to get a good prospect in return, and then hope that the guy turns out to be Jair Jurrjens (and not Ty Wigginton or Brian Rogers or Jesse Chavez).


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:54 pm 
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chetthespian wrote:
No one wants to trade Jack Wilson for a bag of balls. Who has said this?


Go back and look at the flirtation the Bucs had with Detroit.


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Go back and look at the flirtation the Bucs had with Detroit.


Jair Jurrjens was the key player in those trade talks. Tigers eventually dealt Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria, a better player than Wilson.


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
chetthespian wrote:
The concern that MM notes, and that I share, is the fact that the failure rate of minor league prospects is so high that the odds of getting a really good player in return are pretty low.


BINGO!


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:

The players that the Pirates are looking to deal will not get a top-10 prospect (a guy like McCutchen) in return. Those type of minor league players have too much value. So, you hope to get a good prospect in return, and then hope that the guy turns out to be Jair Jurrjens (and not Ty Wigginton or Brian Rogers or Jesse Chavez).


Nothing to argue with here, except to point out that shrewd talent evaluators are generally quite capable of sorting out the Jurrjens types from the Rogers types. Also, depending on what team you are trading with, there are some great talents available that are not top-10 prospects.

If Littlefield were still here, I would fear deadline deals for Bay, Nady, Marte, or even JVB as potentially disasterous. Thus far, NH has shown nothing to make me doubt his talent evaluating skills (Rivas and Kim notwithstanding), so if he feels he can get a good package in a trade that will improve the team for 2009, 2010, etc, then I'm all for it.


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:58 pm 
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BBF wrote:
Bucfan wrote:

The players that the Pirates are looking to deal will not get a top-10 prospect (a guy like McCutchen) in return. Those type of minor league players have too much value. So, you hope to get a good prospect in return, and then hope that the guy turns out to be Jair Jurrjens (and not Ty Wigginton or Brian Rogers or Jesse Chavez).


Nothing to argue with here, except to point out that shrewd talent evaluators are generally quite capable of sorting out the Jurrjens types from the Rogers types. Also, depending on what team you are trading with, there are some great talents available that are not top-10 prospects.

If Littlefield were still here, I would fear deadline deals for Bay, Nady, Marte, or even JVB as potentially disasterous. Thus far, NH has shown nothing to make me doubt his talent evaluating skills (Rivas and Kim notwithstanding), so if he feels he can get a good package in a trade that will improve the team for 2009, 2010, etc, then I'm all for it.


The one good thing about the Kim situation is that NH saw he made a huge mistake and corrected it. Under DL, Kim would have been on the roster until the All Star break or later.


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:01 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
chetthespian wrote:
The concern that MM notes, and that I share, is the fact that the failure rate of minor league prospects is so high that the odds of getting a really good player in return are pretty low.


BINGO!



Can someone give me some support for this point, aside from anecdotal cases like Hermansen? What says the failure rate of, say a teams top 30 prospects, is greater than the chance that Nady fails to put up these numbers again next year, or even the rest of this year?

I'm honestly asking. I've been researching first round draft picks, and at least in dealing with top ten picks, the failure rate isn't as bad as you would think. However, extending that to a team's prospect list will undoubtedly drive the failure rate higher, but would it be so bad that a competent GM couldn't reliably obtain talent in a trade?


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:09 pm 
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BBF wrote:
Can someone give me some support for this point, aside from anecdotal cases like Hermansen? What says the failure rate of, say a teams top 30 prospects, is greater than the chance that Nady fails to put up these numbers again next year, or even the rest of this year?

I'm honestly asking. I've been researching first round draft picks, and at least in dealing with top ten picks, the failure rate isn't as bad as you would think. However, extending that to a team's prospect list will undoubtedly drive the failure rate higher, but would it be so bad that a competent GM couldn't reliably obtain talent in a trade?


Are you looking for names or stats?

The thing about talent evaluation is that it's part art and part science. I'll agree with you that a good GM will probably be able to tell the difference between good talent and grab bag talent.

But every trade is a gamble. You have to weigh the risk versus the reward. Part of the risk is the wash out rate of prospets. The AA world beater can turn in to the AAA scrub almost overnight.


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:29 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
chetthespian wrote:
No one wants to trade Jack Wilson for a bag of balls. Who has said this?


I wouldn't have been surprised to hear Littlefield say that... :roll:



Was that Littlefield?

It could have been Tracy too!!!

Jim didnt like Jack and I'm sure Jack wasnt a fan of Jim either...

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:14 pm 
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BBF wrote:
Can someone give me some support for this point, aside from anecdotal cases like Hermansen? What says the failure rate of, say a teams top 30 prospects, is greater than the chance that Nady fails to put up these numbers again next year, or even the rest of this year?


I could not find a site that listed the percentage of players who made the major leagues from the minors for all years. One reference source analyzed the 2002 draft (the subject of "Moneyball" and Billy Beane's draft strategy), and found that the percentage of players who reached the majors by 2006 or were likely to reach the majors was just 104 out of 1484, or 7%.

http://baseballevolution.com/guest/rich ... eane1.html

This does not reflect the percentage who reach the majors and stay, and become regular contributors - just the number who make it to the majors.

The number who become regular contributors is much, much, much lower - maybe 30 in the 2002 draft, out of 1484 picks - or about 2%.

Another site reported that 5% of minor league players will reach the majors.

"Players have to live outside baseball at least for a time even as they strive to be the one in 20 minor leaguers who make it to the big leagues."

http://www.drexel.edu/univrel/drexelink ... l=11&num=6

Obviously, the chances of a minor league player reaching the majors increase as the level of play is higher. A greater percentage of players in AA reach the majors than those in high A, and so on.

Further, players who are successful in the minors at high A or AA have a greater chance of reaching the majors - probably much greater - than the overall talent pool.

So, if we presume that the chances of reaching the majors for a touted prospect in AA are 10x to 15x greater than the total talent pool, that would mean that the likelihood that the player makes it to the Pirates is something on the order of 50% to 75%.

And what are the chances that the player makes the starting rotation and performs, or is a regular position player and hits 20 HR's and drives in 75 runs?

Pretty darn low. In 2007, there were a total of 202 minor league teams (including independent leagues). There were a total of 185 affiliated minor leage teams. Each team has on average 13 position players, for a total of 2405 minor league position players. A number of guys are promoted and occupy a spot on more than one team, but an equal number are released.

In 2007, a total of 86 players had at least 20 HR's. A total of 89 players drove in at least 75 runs. There are 30 major league teams, with an average of 13 position players on each team, for a total of 390 position players.

Add the major league players to the minor league rosters yields 2795 players. A number of those guys were in the minors and the majors, so move the number down to 2700 players.

So, overall, using last year as a measuring stick, the chances are 1 in 31 that a player on a professional roster will hit at least 20 HR's in the majors or drive in at least 75 runs.

Additionally, of the players who drove in at least 75 runs, 69 also had at least 20 HR's. That means basically that the chances of a player in the minors reaching the majors and hitting 20 HR's and driving in 75 runs are approximately 1 in 39.

So if the Pirates trade Bay or Nady, the chances of them getting a player who hits 20 HR's and drives in at least 75 runs would appear to be maybe 1 in 3 or 1 in 2, presuming that the talent level for the prospect obtained is 10 to 15 times better than the entire pool of minor league talent. (1/39 x 10 = 10/39 or 26%; 1/39 x 15 = 15/39 or 46%.)


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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:43 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:54 pm 
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Elmer wrote:
Willton wrote:
McLouth in 2007: .258/.351/.459 in 382 plate appearances
McLouth in 2008: .324/.406/.640 in 161 plate appearances

Nady in 2007: .278/.330/.476 in 470 plate appearances
Nady in 2008: .349/.411/.558 in 146 plate appearances

McLouth had better hitting averages than Nady did in 2007 and 2008 combined. And, he did it from CF, while Nady remained in RF.

So, how was Nady the best?


Your post showed averages, not actual production. The numbers you posted show that McClouth did more in the at bats given to him than Nady.

When I say best player of the past two seasons, I am talking about the player who contributed to wins more than any other player. It's basically impossible to consider McClouth the best player because he wasn't even a full-time starter last year so therefore contributed to fewer wins.

Cumulatively (actualy production mind you) consider that:

Nady
Hits - 166
HR - 25
RBI -106
Walks - 35

McClouth
Hits - 130
HR - 22
RBI - 67
Walks - 56

However, most telling is that Nady has stared 147 games in that time while McClouth has stared 101. Calling him the best player of that span when he hasn't even been in there doesn't make sense.

Has McClouth been the best player in 08? Begrudingly, yes he has. But not over a two year span. Nady has produced more.

Well, if you'd prefer looking at things that way, then consider this:

Runs - Nady 77, LaRoche 82
Hits - Nady 166, LaRoche 176
Doubles - Nady 36, LaRoche 46
Triples - Nady 1, LaRoche 0
Home Runs - 25, LaRoche 24
RBI - Nady 106, LaRoche 99
Walks - Nady 35, LaRoche 77

It seems to me that Nady's 1 triple, 1 home run, and 7 RBIs are more than offset by LaRoche's 5 runs, 2 singles, 10 doubles, and 42 walks, so you must conclude that LaRoche has produced more than Nady since Opening Day 2007. Right? Not to mention that LaRoche has played 185 games compared to Nady's 161. I believe that you said that the games played was "most telling".

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
chetthespian wrote:
The goal is to break the .500 barrier? That was the problem of the last administration. Yes, you want to start winning because we're not going to win a World Series overnight. But there is no reason to fight for .500 if its not going to help you move towards what the real goal is: a championship.


So improving from year to year isn't moving towards the goal of a World Series? Breaking through that huge mental barrier of .500 isn't moving towards a World Series?

I can tell you this right now, selling off all the decent talent on this club would be one of the worst mistakes that could be made. All that's going to do is send a message to anyone paying attention that the Pirates have totally given up any hope of winning anything and are willing to be the AAA team to the stars.

Pearce and AM might be good prospects, but they damn sure aren't ready for prime time yet.

The goal is not to improve a little every year. The goal is to put a championship quality team on the field. If the best way to do that is to trade off everybody over the age of 26 who has any value, then that's what you should do.

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
The Pirates are not likely to get a middle of the line-up hitter or a number one starter via trade. Those players, be they already in the majors or top-tier minor league talent, are just too valuable and too rare to be obtained for something less than a Josh Beckett.


I would point out to you that the Pirates currently have four players who would fit comfortably into the middle of just about any lineup in baseball based on their production so far this year.. Two of them are homegrown, and two (Nady and Bay) were acquired through trades. Further, I'd point out that two thirds of the middle of the order back in the glory days of the early nineties were acquired through trades, and it didn't take a Josh Beckett level talent to get any of them. If you want to say that Brian Giles was a Beckett level guy, I won't argue with you, but he was clearly an aged Beckett level steroid monster who was traded on the cusp of drug testing. You may not be able to get a major league ready cleanup hitter for what we're offering, but you definitely can get a guy who will become a major league cleanup hitter.

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:29 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
But that strategy isn't any better than what's going on right now! You can't bet on the farm system in baseball. Weiters might be a total stud. Or he could go out tomorrow and tear his ACL and never be anything more than a backup. Remember Phil Nevin? He was everyone's can't miss prospect coming out of Cal State-Fullerton. Golden Spikes Award winner and all that.

But then what happened? He missed is what happened. He simply never lived up to his potential. And I won't even start about Brien Taylor. Even if you conduct a fire sale and load up on propsects, the best case scenario is you become the Florida Marlins and even they admitted that what they did was a bad idea.

We can sit here all day and say Pittsburgh needs to be more like Tampa Bay or Cleveland. But the bottom line is you can't sacrifice the present for a chance at a good future. You work with what you have. If you get a killer offer for Bay or Nady, take it. But don't sell these guys for a bunch of "could be" AA d-bags.

Your strategy is precisely the one that the Pirates followed for most of this 15 year losing streak. It's what brought us Ed Sprague, Mike Benjamin, Pat Meares, Wil Cordero, Derek Bell, Omar Olivares, Pokey Reese, Daryl Ward, Randall Simon, Jose Mesa, Brian Boehringer, Matt Lawton, Mark Redman, Rick White, Sean Casey, Jeromy Burnitz, Joe Randa, and Matt Morris. It led to ridiculous contracts for Jason Kendall, Kevin Young and Meares. It's the best way I can think of to extend our losing streak out to 30 years.

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:41 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
I just want to see smart trades instead of trades for the sake of making trades.

Now THERE is something we can certainly agree on, and it doesn't contradict anything I've said. You don't deal Nady, Bay or anyone else if you don't get the right offer. Huntingdon has already shown that he's willing to hold off if he doesn't think the right talent is available in a trade over the off season. All we need to find out about him is whether his idea of the right offer is usually a good one.

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:47 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
But I am not sure that it makes sense to deal both Nady and Bay.

It all comes down to how comfortable you are with Pearce, or with Corley, Boone or Delany. And it also depends on who you get in return for them.

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
BBF wrote:
I completely agree that we should trade at least one outfielder and at least a reliever. However, I think that if we are sitting at .500 and trading Bay, some would call that "mortgaging this season", in the words of MM. Where my point of view comes from is that this season was probably mortgaged back when DL was given his last contract extension, and we shouldn't mortgage the future trying to salvage a season, to get 81 wins.


I would have a tough time accepting dealing one of the outfielders at the deadline if the Pirates are at .500, since that record would have them in the hunt for the division title. 85 to 88 wins probably takes the division.


I would as well, but not because I think that 88 wins will take the division. I don't think that it will. I'd just like to see the sub-.500 monkey off of the team's back. But I think that the best thing is to go ahead and deal them if the deal is right.

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Bay and Nady are different. I just fear dealing Nady and getting in return a guy we hope is as good as Nady.


I'll go you one further and say that I wouldn't deal Nady for a guy that we KNOW is going to be as good as Nady. You don't build championship teams around Xavier Nady's. You fill holes in championship team with guys like Xavier Nady. I'd rather deal Nady for a guy in low A ball who has a 25% chance of turning into Chad Hermanson, a 50% chance of being Nady or a little worse, and a 25% chance of being an All Star.

I wish we could deal Nady to the early '90s Pirates. They could have used him.

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 Post subject: Re: How much longer?
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:05 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
chetthespian wrote:
No one wants to trade Jack Wilson for a bag of balls. Who has said this?


I wouldn't have been surprised to hear Littlefield say that... :roll:

Only because Jim Tracy talked him into it.

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