Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lets Trade Our Closer in April!!

If you've never seen dugoutcentral.com (formerly thebaselinereport.com), you should check it out regularly. It's sort of like "goofy speculative shit central" for Mike Pagliarulo and his team of crack(head) scouting professionals.

In one of today's new posts, some guy named Jeff Moore thinks the A's should dump their closer. The Brewers need one, and Billy Beane can probably pull another of his famous back-alley muggings if he sends Huston Street to Milwaukee, so here we go...

General Manager Doug Melvin took a $10 million flyer on the once-dominant veteran of the Mitchell Report Eric Gagne. After his success as a closer with Texas last year, Melvin thought it was worth the one year commitment to give Gagne a chance, and overlooked his flop in Boston in a set-up role. Apparently the Boston Gagne showed up to Milwaukee. Whether it’s the over-sized uniform, lack of shaving, age, injury, or some combination, Gagne clearly is not the pitcher he once was.

So lets recap. $10 Million on Gagne? Check. Pitched terrible in Boston? Check. Still fat? Check plus. Injury-proned? Check. Took steroids? Checkamundo! How could this signing possibly not work out for the Brewers? I know... it must be his fucking beard.

While back of the bullpen arms are not exactly growing on trees, it just so happens that Billy Beane, always willing to trade a closer for the benefit of the rest of his team, has one growing in Oakland.

Why yes! This is true, because according to Beane's philosophy (which is rather well documented), closers are highly overvalued, and the kind of team who'll give $10 million to this guy, will probably deal off 400 years of cheap, quality minor league service time for Huston Street. So tell me Jeff Moore, what should Billy Beane get from those gullible Brewers?

Milwaukee gets:
Houston Street (CL)

Oakland gets:
Mat Gamel (3B)
Cole Gillespie (LF)
Gabe Kapler (OF)

Lets start with Mat Gamel. A little bit of research reveals that Gamel is 22 years old and was promoted to Double-A to start this season. He seems like a solid enough prospect, but the reason Jeff Moore cites for going after him is:

In Gamel, the A’s would get a 22-year old 3B who is currently tearing up Double-A (.367/.433/.633 with 19 extra base hits in 30 games), and has a career minor league .861 OPS.

Do I need to explain that 30 games is a pretty small sample size rendering these numbers pretty useless? For the record, Gamel's minor league career stats are in the .300/.360/.500 realm, which is very good, but doesn't leap out as a Beane-type player. Lots of strikeouts, not too many walks. A complete hack on defense (53 errors in 128 games in 2007). I guess this guy's a decent start.

Gillespie is a polished college hitter who shows solid plate discipline and would be another nice addition to Beane’s collection of potential major league outfielders in the minors.

Cole Gillespie is 24 years old, just made the jump to Double-A, and is struggling there. He's getting a little old to be considered a "potential major league outfielder." And why in tarnation would the A's want Gabe Kapler?!

Kapler would help the A’s in the short term as they justify trading their closer to their fans while they sit a game out of first place. He would also help balance out their outfield situation and could start in centerfield against lefties with Ryan Sweeney struggling. Kapler no longer has a spot in the Brewer outfield now that Mike Cameron is back.

Gabe Kapler would help justify giving away your closer for a couple of Double-A players? It all makes sense now! The A's could replace Gabe Kapler with Cole Gillespie at the All-Star break... and by then, Kapler will have sucked so bad that Gillespie will look like an improvement! Great thinking Jeff Moore!!!

Kapler is a bad fourth outfielder. He no longer has a spot in the Brewers outfield because a less bad fourth outfielder (Mike Cameron) is back, which shows you how bad of a fourth outfielder that Gabe Kapler really is.

In closing, I'm not saying that Beane won't trade Huston Street. I'm sure he will, around the all-star break, when a few teams are desperate for back-end bullpen help.

By then the Yankees will need someone for the 8th inning if they move Joba Chamberlain into their rotation.

The Red Sox will probably be interested in Street, if only to prevent him from going to the Yankees.

The Mets will almost definitely want bullpen help. The Brewers will still need a closer. And there will probably be at least 4 other teams in the hunt for Huston Street.

And when there are six or seven teams in the market for one of Billy Beane's players, he usually walks away with whatever he wants. Therefore, the entire premise of making a deal in early-May for a couple of Double-A guys and a bad fourth outfielder is asinine on a level for which I do not have a word.

Feel free to contact me if you know a word which might apply to this situation.

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