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The W - Baseball - Sosa to O's Pending
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PalpatineW
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1978241

Waiting on a physical and Sosa waiving his no-trade.

Not sure what this does for the O's; Sir Sidney Ponson will still be suiting up every 5 days. Gets him off the Cubs roster, but how do they replace his production?



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SC
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.80
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    Not sure what this does for the O's


Gives the fans a star to come see and gives them something to point at doing during the offseason since they flopped on Pavano and Delgado and they were getting ripped by media for it. Other than that, nothing.


    Gets him off the Cubs roster, but how do they replace his production?


Magglio Ordonez, I would guess.

Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh do I not want Sammy Sosa's decline and attitude to be MY problem. I was more amused when he was the Cubs' problem.



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BigDaddyLoco
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.21
The O's seemed to have a good thing going, at least it looked like they might be building something. I'm surprised they were blown off by so many free agents. They have the bling bling and a friendly hitters park to boot. They still have very little pitching and Sosa does not strike fear in the hearts of opposing fans like he once did. I guess he will sell some tickets, but unless the Cubs pick up at least half of Sosa's salary I can't see how this trade will do much for the O's this season other than to give the media something else to talk about for awhile.



BigVitoMark
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.33
As much as I don't like the guy, Sosa gives the O's a potentially nasty lineup, with perhaps as much power as you'll find on one team in the American League. Will it make them a winner? Probably not, given that they still don't have any pitching, but it's better than nothing. If you can't get anybody out, maybe you can win 12-11 every night.



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Hurrikane757k
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
At least it'll be more entertaining, as the O's continue to remain the Rangers East. The players given up in the deal aren't much... Fonenot and Crouthers are mediocre prospects, and Hairston is always injured, plus the O's have plenty of viable alternatives at his positions (Bigbie and Roberts, specifically). I don't think this does much for the long term, and they still won't make the playoffs with that pitching staff, but it's not that bad of a deal, especially if the Cubs throw in a significant enough chunk of money.



Grimis
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I'm not real thrilled about this move.
    Originally posted by Hurrikane757k
    At least it'll be more entertaining, as the O's continue to remain the Rangers East.
That's my biggest problem in the deal. We could've made the same trade for pitching.
    Originally posted by Hurrikane757k
    The players given up in the deal aren't much... Fonenot and Crouthers are mediocre prospects, and Hairston is always injured, plus the O's have plenty of viable alternatives at his positions (Bigbie and Roberts, specifically).
Crouthers isn't much, but Hairston and Fontenot are. Fontenot was a killer in Spring Training last year, hit .300 at AA, and has a slick glove. I was hoping that he would take over for Roberts in a few years. Hairston is a good player for someplace else. I think he just needs a change of scenery
    Originally posted by Hurrikane757k
    At I don't think this does much for the long term, and they still won't make the playoffs with that pitching staff, but it's not that bad of a deal, especially if the Cubs throw in a significant enough chunk of money.
From the sounds of it, the Cubs are paying most of next year's contract, which is good, plus he has voided 2006 so if this doesn't work we're at least out of the contract.

The other rumor that keeps popping up is Erik Bedard and two minor leaguers to Arizona for Vazquez, so let's see if they can make that work too.





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BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.40
This one is a lot better in theory than in practice. He hit 64 HRs in 2001, but over the last three seasons, his power has sroppped each season, to 35 HRs last year, his lowest since 1997. His attitude is not good, at least in his last year with the Cubs. Which is a shame because he always seemed like the type of guy that went out and tried to please the fans and do his best. The contract is huge, too, but it seems as if we won't be paying much of that.

The upside is he's getting a fresh start in a great hitters' ballpark. What is the worse that happens? 30 HRs? Possibly as many as 40, if he has a good season. Plus, it's the big name acquisition the O's needed at this point to help maintain fan interest with the Nationals moving in on us this year.

I'd have rather given up Roberts than Hairston, but in reality they're both the same player. Hairston might be a little more versatile with his ability to play the outfield, but that is a neglible difference. Fontenot seems to have been billed as a coming attraction, but we've got Roberts, and he'll do for a while. Crouthers doesn't seem to be heralded as one of the better pitching prospects that we have.

Of course, If I'm a cynic, I can look to this as them not making a long-term, big-money commitment to a young star (Mags Ordonez), but rather a cursory move to placate the fanbase. But that's only IF I were a cynic.

I don't know about Vasquez, I mea-- wait a second, who's our fifth starter? Matt Riley? Kurt Ainsworth? Scratch that Vazquez comment.

So, I'm skeptical, but a little excited. I mean, the guy has close to 600 long flies.
SC
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.80
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    Of course, If I'm a cynic, I can look to this as them not making a long-term, big-money commitment to a young star (Mags Ordonez), but rather a cursory move to placate the fanbase. But that's only IF I were a cynic.


Magglio is 31 yesterday (happy birthday, Magglio!) and coming off some weird injury problems, plus the Tigers are reportedly willing to give him five years which I absolutely would not at this stage.

So I've been thinking more about this deal and the O's offseason in general, and I swear, the thing I notice people doing when complaining about/critiquing the Orioles' lack of free agent signings this offseason is totally ignoring that there are some positives about their two/three misses:

1. Pavano has had one good season ever and is getting $10 million a year from a team that can afford to take that risk.

2. Delgado is 33 and coming off his worst season since 1997, and he also missed 34 games in '04. The Marlins went for broke to get him and it may end up costing them more than they're prepared for. The Marlins want to compete and they made that deal. Delgado doesn't really help the O's immediately as he may Florida.

3. Magglio Ordonez was incredibly durable for six seasons in Chicago, but played in 52 games last season and his injury and the complications around it are both really strange. Plus if the Tigers are going to offer him five years, he'd be a fool to not take that. Detroit is in as good of a position right now as the O's if you take their respective divisions into account. Neither are any good but Detroit has less than the Yankees and Red Sox to deal with.

Were the Orioles supposed to:

1. Overpay for Pavano? The Yankees gave him more money than really seems sensible. If Baltimore gave Pavano $10 million a year I think that would seem excessive considering he would be absolutely relied on to anchor a staff and has, as I said, one good full season to his credit that even approaches being worth $10 million.

2. Go nuts for a slugger that wouldn't dramatically improve their team since they failed to sign any starting pitchers? Delgado would've ended up getting serious backlash for that money in Baltimore because the team wouldn't have improved much and I think 2004 Carlos Delgado is a lot more what you're going to get from here on out than the really great and underrated '00-'03 Delgado.

3. Make a very questionable gamble on Magglio Ordonez for at least three-four years for too much money? I like Maggs and he may well be worth the money, but to sign him at this juncture you clearly have to take what could be a very big risk and turn into a very messy Griffey-like situation where he can't stay healthy. And unlike Griffey, really, there are clear warning signs on Ordonez that tell you to be cautious with him. Detroit wants to make a move now, like Florida.

Honestly missing out on these guys hasn't totally ruined my offseason as an O's fan. All of them have some real questions and none of them are slam dunk signings, I don't think. If they had gotten Pavano and Delgado and Ordonez maybe we'd be talking, but one of the three or even 2/3 probably doesn't improve them a whole lot.

To say it's better in theory than in practice is a bit goofy too. It's as big of an "if" situation as anything I'm saying here. Until Sosa gets on the field for Baltimore and we see how he does, who knows. Sosa also has some serious problems potentially - he's old and declining pretty quickly being the two big ones - but they're going to get him for a year and if they're out of contention in July could trade him for worthwhile prospects to a contender that wants a slugger.

The more troubling concern for the Orioles, I think, is that they refused to really pursue mid-level free agents that were signing for affordable deals and could have ended up being bargains. They spent time bidding on guys like Pavano that were obviously attracting interest from big clubs. They could have shown more interest in a guy like Kevin Millwood or taken a low-risk chance on Wade Miller (which may end up being the biggest bargain of the offseason if he gets back into the swing of things).

If a guy like that fails, it's not a big deal. If they had signed any of those three guys above and they flamed out, it's a bit more of a disaster. One-year, rather cheap rental of Sosa falls somewhere in between those two. While it's somewhat admirable in some ways to go after top players, when you fail to sign any of them and the conclusion is basically, "Well, duh," it's also a little stupid and you end up in late January having added Steve Kline and Steve Reed and that's about it.

And to add another thing, the players they're giving up for Sosa are rather inconsequential to their success, so that's a plus. I like Hairston but like you said, he and Roberts are basically interchangable. Hairston is a little bit better hitter but Roberts doesn't get hurt all the time, so take the tradeoff there. Roberts is never going to be a star but for a 2B you can do worse than a guy with pretty decent plate discipline that has the speed to turn singles into 50 doubles like he did last season.

Lineup-wise I think the Orioles are fairly strong; not "killer" or anything, but fairly strong. Bottom line is they still won't be any good because they have no starting pitching, but acquiring Sosa is good for business in the meantime and could potentially yield something of more worth than what they gave up to get him.

As for Vazquez, I'd take him in a minute because I still think he's a really good pitcher. One terrible half of a season is no reason to write him off for good and if they can get him from Arizona for what would seem to be a rather low asking price, then great.



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Grimis
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    The more troubling concern for the Orioles, I think, is that they refused to really pursue mid-level free agents that were signing for affordable deals and could have ended up being bargains. They spent time bidding on guys like Pavano that were obviously attracting interest from big clubs. They could have shown more interest in a guy like Kevin Millwood or taken a low-risk chance on Wade Miller (which may end up being the biggest bargain of the offseason if he gets back into the swing of things).
The Miller thing really irritates me. He had the chance to, if healthy, step in and be a # 2 or # 3 when he was ready and we didn't make a move. We spent a lot of time on Pavano when everybody including himself knew that he was going to sign with the Yankees; it was just a matter of seeing how much they'd pay.

    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    While it's somewhat admirable in some ways to go after top players, when you fail to sign any of them and the conclusion is basically, "Well, duh," it's also a little stupid and you end up in late January having added Steve Kline and Steve Reed and that's about it.

I love the additions fo Kline and Reed, but between that and re-signing Surhoff and Palmeiro, nothing has happened. I'd still love to find a way to turn Julio and prospects into a starter, but I'm not holding my breath.

(edited by Grimis on 29.1.05 2013)




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BigSteve
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.40
I've got to agree on all accounts about Wade Miller. When he came on the market, and especially after he got a very small deal (relatively speaking), it made me mad that we didn't make a move. He wouldn't be an ace, but like you say the risk versus reward scenario made sense. Millwood was a little different because I think he got something like 14 million over two years from the Indiand, and he didn't pitch well in Philadelphia over the past two years. That was a bit riskier (though still probably better than nothing).

To address what you said about the risk involved with the three big free agents, I agree. I've obviously been talking like I really wanted those guys, and to some extent, I did. But at the same time, I didn't think that anyone that has been signed so far, that we had even a slight chance of getting, could really help the O's. Like you said, Sosa is just a rental, but these guys are getting long-term contracts, that might become an albatross around our neck like Belle's contract did.

My point of view is just that if we don't get anyone, namely a starting pitcher or two, we're not winning. No way, no how. If we did make a splash in the free agent market, we still might not compete, but at least the people in charge appear to be making a good faith effort to improve the team after seven years.

Essentially, I'm still living in a land where the Orioles had a chance (or so people said) to get Tim Hudson. I don't want to dredge that up again, and I know that there were problems (giving up prospects for a guy who looked to be a one year rental), but they seem to be the same problems with the Sosa deal. Yeah, Maine and Bedard is probably a better package than Hairston, Crouthers, and Fontenot, but Hudson is better than Sosa, so I call that even. It just seemed that some people in the media portrayed it as us not pulling the trigger on giving up the three prospects.

EDIT: And to add something about Pavano and Vazquez, I was browsing their stats and Pavano actually has a lower career ERA than Vazquez and throws fewer gopherballs. Which I find surprising because Pavano has definately been a guy who made his money solely on 2004. Plus, even though Vazquez has been a consistent 200+ inning guy, Pavano was in the couple couple guys in the majors in IP/GS last year. Just something to chew on.

    Originally posted by Grimis
    I love the additions fo Kline and Reed, but between that and re-signing Surhoff and Palmeiro, nothing has happened. I'd still love to find a way to turn Julio and prospects into a starter, but I'm not holding my breath.


Yeah, I almost wish they had packaged Julio into that deal as was originally reported. Julio has been, to me, a typical flamethrower who hasn't harnassed his natural talent in order to become a star player. If we could package him with prospects and get a decent, middle of the rotation starter, that has the added benefit of moving BJ Ryan to closer which should have happened over the last two months of 2004.

(edited by BigSteve on 29.1.05 2204)

(edited by BigSteve on 29.1.05 2209)
soda07
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.74
As a Tigers fan, it's interesting to me how similar the Baltimore and Detroit offseasons have been. Had the Tigers made the trade for Sosa, I'd have said it was a desperate move, done just because they didn't get any of the free agents they were after. I'd say the same for the Orioles, but they might be in a different position than the Tigers. Not sure about that. And signing Ordonez - if that happens - might be just as desperate a move.

Also, even though the Tigers got Troy Percival, I would've loved them to sign Steve Kline. The Tigers' bullpen is in starving need of a good left-hander.



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Whitebacon
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.90
Turning this back to the Cubbies...

Hendry isn't done. Hairston can lead off for us and play left if he has to, leaving right field to the Dubois/Hollandsworth platoon, but I doubt it comes to that. If he waves the Cubs' #1 pitching prospect Angel Guzman (with Prior, Wood, and Zambrano all being 27 years of age or younger, and the strong pitching prospects in the Cubs system over all, he could be traded easily to get a young bopper like Huff) and the two guys he got from Baltimore, he'll probalby get Huff.


The options available for them to trade weren't much more productive than Hairston. I would have liked for them to take Gibbons back in the deal, but since they didn't, that tells me one of three things; (A) Hendry has lost his gotdamned mind, or (possibly), (B) he's going to sign Jeromy Burnitz, (but that would also mean that A has happened), or (C) He's got a deal worked out with a third team that will go down shortly (See above)

And anyway, Hairston learned the outfield on the job in the middle of last season. I'm sure a full spring training preparing him for the position would help him tremendously. The Cubs lineup still won't look too bad from top to bottom

1 LF Hairston
2 2B Walker
3 SS Garciaparra
4 3B Ramirez
5 1B Lee
6 CF Patterson
7 RF Dubois/Hollandsworth (Flip this with Patterson if the Cubs get Huff. Barrett could also be used here. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Huff bat fifth with Lee/Patterson in the 6-7 spots)
8 C Barrett

Certainly not the powerhouse lineup of the Red Sox or the Yankees, but, they've got three guys that can get on base at the top of the order (1-3) four guys that can bang guys in (3-6) and guys at the back end that are good Major League hitters. Defense, unquestionably, will be an issue though.

(The above was cross-posted from another board. So if it seems like I'm responding to questions that weren't there, they were, just somewhere else.)

    Originally posted by Grimis
    I'd still love to find a way to turn Julio and prospects into a starter, but I'm not holding my breath.


Good decision. The Cubs, who need a closer, turned down Julio in the package.

(

(edited by Whitebacon on 30.1.05 0108)


messenoir
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
White, do you post at the Cub Reporter?

I still think Huff is sort of a pipe dream, but it could happen. Burnitz is just a waste. I'd rather eat this year and have lots of available money for next year when we pay none of Sosa's contract then get Burnitz.

I'm also not entirely comfortable with the idea of Hairston playing outfield in place of Dubois. I've actually become excited about seeing Dubois play now, and would like to cultivate some more young talent in the outfield alongside Patterson.

That said, we had to get rid of Sosa, and I suppose this was the best we could do. Hairston is definitely not a bad player, just not my first choice for this team. I saw an interesting statistic that he has been hit by pitches a lot hitting from the right side, and that elevated his OBP by a decent %, making the OBP that matters not look nearly as good.

Well, still, we got rid of two club house cancers in Alou and Sosa and that counts for a whole lot for a team. We have a player in Nomar who really wants to prove he's worth signing to a multi-year deal, and therefore should have a lot of incentive to play well. We have Todd Walker not having to deal with the idiot platoon system, which should do nothing but improve his stats. Prior will be healthy this year (knock on wood). The Cubs will hire a personal therapist for Farnsworth (knock on his head with a piece of wood). And someone will step up and close leaving LaTroy to become an excellent setup man again.

So much room for optimism this year. Cubs, World Series, going to happen.



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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.90
    Originally posted by messenoir
    White, do you post at the Cub Reporter?


Every now and again. Those threads move way too fast to try to get a word in edgewise most of the time.


    Originally posted by messenoir
    I saw an interesting statistic that he has been hit by pitches a lot hitting from the right side, and that elevated his OBP by a decent %, making the OBP that matters not look nearly as good.


I don't think HBP is factored into a players OBP.
//edit: They are...it's a pitchers WHiP that it's not factored into.

    Originally posted by messenoir
    We have Todd Walker not having to deal with the idiot platoon system, which should do nothing but improve his stats.


With Hairston there, I'm not so sure about this anymore.

(edited by Whitebacon on 30.1.05 0411)

(edited by Whitebacon on 30.1.05 1234)

Grimis
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by soda07
    As a Tigers fan, it's interesting to me how similar the Baltimore and Detroit offseasons have been. Had the Tigers made the trade for Sosa, I'd have said it was a desperate move, done just because they didn't get any of the free agents they were after.
I'd actually say it would be a good and bad deal if the Tigers had gotten him. Good because they are legitimately poised to compete in a weak division, and bad because of the fence situation at Comerica. It actually, in my view, makes more sense for the Tigers to make this trade than the O's.





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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.40
    Originally posted by messenoir
    We have a player in Nomar who really wants to prove he's worth signing to a multi-year deal, and therefore should have a lot of incentive to play well. We have Todd Walker not having to deal with the idiot platoon system, which should do nothing but improve his stats. Prior will be healthy this year (knock on wood).






Didn't the shortstop have the same incentive last season when he pouted his way out of Boston? He hasn't been the same player since he became more concerned with whether the WUSA returns rather than baseball. That, and since that pesky testing program went into effect.
Prior should be healthy this year, which gives them a dominant ace. I still don't think their #2 pitcher is anything more than an overrated 14 win pitcher though. Still, the Cubs catch a break that the Astros have slipped, while they must hope that Mulder doesn't revert to his old form, or else they might have to focus on the wild card.

(edited by redsoxnation on 30.1.05 1805)
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
      Originally posted by messenoir
      We have a player in Nomar who really wants to prove he's worth signing to a multi-year deal, and therefore should have a lot of incentive to play well. We have Todd Walker not having to deal with the idiot platoon system, which should do nothing but improve his stats. Prior will be healthy this year (knock on wood).






    Didn't the shortstop have the same incentive last season when he pouted his way out of Boston? He hasn't been the same player since he became more concerned with whether the WUSA returns rather than baseball. That, and since that pesky testing program went into effect.
    Prior should be healthy this year, which gives them a dominant ace. I still don't think their #2 pitcher is anything more than an overrated 14 win pitcher though. Still, the Cubs catch a break that the Astros have slipped, while they must hope that Mulder doesn't revert to his old form, or else they might have to focus on the wild card.

    (edited by redsoxnation on 30.1.05 1805)


Nomar did play decent with us, when he played. .296 AVG, .364 OBP. Not bad for someone supposedly playing hurt. The injury aspect will be the big question mark. But if he stays healthy and plays a full year with us, I can see those statistics improving quite a bit.

I assume you're talking about Wood as the second pitcher. If so, I agree with you he's overrated. But Zambrano could easily be a thousand times better if he can deal with his emotions, and should be our 2nd, or ace if Prior is hurt.

Unfortunately, I was much higher on Clement then the Cubs seemed to be, and think we are going to sorely miss him. I just don't see Rusch being that good. A 3.68 ERA from a fifth pitcher is something pretty awesome, and it's a shame the Cubs could never win for him, but he seemed to be the whipping boy for each opposing team's best pitcher.



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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.81
Hairston is a better 2nd baseman than outfielder. He has no power and can't drive in runs. Dubois looks like a legit 30 HR hitter, Hairston shouldn't cut into his playing time. Walker can hit, but no defense. You're better off moving Walker to the outfield and letting Hairston play second. If they think his defense is bad enough, another platoon at 2nd is likely.

Ordonez is still injured no matter where he ends up.
SC
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.80
    Originally posted by skorpio17
    Hairston is a better 2nd baseman than outfielder. He has no power and can't drive in runs. Dubois looks like a legit 30 HR hitter, Hairston shouldn't cut into his playing time. Walker can hit, but no defense. You're better off moving Walker to the outfield and letting Hairston play second.


Todd Walker has played one game of left field in his career, he's not going to start out there at 32 with his speed gone. Frankly I could see Hairston playing center, Dubios playing right and Patterson playing left, but that probably won't happen.

But if they do end up starting Hairston, which I believe is a bit unlikely since Dusty's had to hear about Todd Walker all through last season and the offseason, it really doesn't matter a whole bunch if Walker plays left field and Hairston plays second or vice versa, they're both in the lineup. The only thing that DOES matter is Hairston's a much better outfielder probably.



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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.90
I think Patterson would be the choice to play right if they're going to move him, because I hear Dubois doesn't have the arm for it, and either way, I'd rather have Hairston in left because its the least demanding position in the outfield defensively. Baker won't be giving Dubois a legit shot anytime soon though (its not Hairston that will cut into his playing time, but Hollandsworth). If they wanted to go Dubois in left and Hollandsworth in right, I wouldn't be opposed to it, but I doubt they do that. Dusty has already said that Hollandsworth was going to get the bulk of the playing time between him and Dubois, and while I feel thats a mistake, that's Dusty for you.

Scott- and in that one game in left, he was pretty brutal on the couple of balls that got hit his way. Like you said, there's no reason to move him to the OF at 32 minus the speed he used to have, especially if him and Hairston are going to be in the lineup anyway. Walker doesn't exactly put of great numbers for a corner outfielder, and a position change isn't going to magically transform him.




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Click Here (sports.espn.go.com) I can't add anything to this at all.
- Whitebacon, Julian Tavarez Revisited (2004)
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