7-13-2010: All-Star second-guessing, trade candidates

Congrats to David Ortiz, who took the Home Run Derby crown last night. Too bad he can’t face BP pitchers all the time. Heckuva time to ask for a contract extension, though I doubt this will factor too much into the calculation.

The All-Star rosters and starting lineups are out. Ubaldo Jimenez and David Price will get the ball first. Not terrible choices, but Jon Lester is more experienced, plays in a home park that inflates runs, and is just better. People point to the ERA gap, but our numbers suggest that Lester’s ERA should be at 2.58 (2.21 FIP) in a “neutral” AL run environment. Price would be at 2.48 (3.40 FIP); the ERA is better, but not by much at all. Price would have 89 Ks and 41 walks, while Lester would have 119 Ks and 43 walks. Not much of a contest here.

In another ballpark-unadjusted injustice, Paul Konerko was selected over Kevin Youkilis because he had “better numbers”. Not sure which numbers Joe Girardi is looking at, since Youk owns a .421 wOBA and Konerko is at .401. But if you mean the traditional stats, let’s adjust those for home park and league:

Youkilis: .292/.411/.572 with 17 HR and 54 RBI
Konerko: .298/.380/.544 with 19 HR and 56 RBI

It’s close, and maybe not as different as you might have thought. People forget that the White Sox play in the most HR-inflating park in baseball, and Youk slugs better even with all the Fenway doubles taken away. Well, at least Joey Votto made it in. And he is grateful to Sox fans for their help.

Trade Possibilities

To help me keep track of all the players that are supposedly available, I’ve made a Google spreadsheet. Please let me know if I’ve missed obvious people.

As far as who I think are good potential acquisitions, I like the following guys right now:

RP – Scott Downs, Brandon League, Joel Hanrahan

You can see that I generally don’t like going after closers, because they’re more expensive to acquire; but we’re not after a closer, but a good setup man.

OF – Austin Kearns, Coco Crisp, David DeJesus

I’m in favor of guys who can play some defense, and perhaps CF in a pinch; we need some Mike Cameron/Jacoby Ellsbury insurance this year. DeJesus would be a great addition, but I’d only go after him if his price drops some.

MI – Ryan Theriot

Theriot intrigues me a bit, and he’d make a great fill-in, but we don’t need him unless we’re without Dustin Pedroia for more than the next 2-3 weeks.


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