Bye bye, Farnsy. We hardly knew ye.
I for one am disturbed by the dumping of Farnsworth. He seemed like for the first time in his career he had found his identity. Word is that he was offered a three year contract at second tier closer money and refused.
So the Turtles did what they always do, they dumped talent for prospects. They simply decided that if Farnsworth kept closing games like he was the rest of the season that they would have to pay him too much. Now, I hear a lot of talk that the Tigers will not be afraid to spend money next year on FAs, so why couldn't they find a way to resign Farnsy if he should perform as an elite closer?
It just doesn't make sense to me. Especially when considering who they got in return. Pitching prospects? We need position players, not mediocre pitching prospects. And from the Braves, no less. Pitchers don't have a good record when they leave Atlanta, and these guys weren't good enough to begin with. Geezus, the AAA dude, Minor, sounds like he wouldn't be the third best pitcher for the MudHens. And Ramone Cologne? Wow, hold me back. How will the Braves survive such a talent loss. <heavy sarcasm>
The Turtles better hope that Farnsworth implodes or they will have taken a major step backward at a time when mometum has been hard enough for them to come by.
I wonder what the mood in the clubhouse was? Nevermind, they showed what they thought out on the field. Nice effort boys. Bonderman pitched like he was pretty upset about something. Couldn't be that he lost one of the few teammates he knew would go to battle with him. Hey Pudge, you ever hear the one about the guy who runs out every play? Yeah, he doesn't get doubled off when his liner is dropped and he is walking to the dugout. What were you thinking? Maybe that this team management has given up on this season. Or maybe it was that you wish it were you that was traded.
Dombrowski, you got me scratching my head over this one. I fear you have out-smarted yourself with this one. Please prove me wrong.
Yeah, it just seems like Farnsworth was worth more than this. I don't really mind them trading him considering I've heard that Farnsworth was determined to test the free agent market, but did Dombrowski even try and drive a hard bargain at all? Based on what I've heard about Miner I consider him negligible leaving this as a Farnsworth for Colon straight up trade. I've heard that Colon has a "nice arm", but his track record indicates he is probably nothing more than a middle-of-the road middle relief prospect. I decided before the season that I have a lot of faith in Dombrowski based on some of the moves he's made to get us where we are today, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding much upside to this trade. If the point is to get something for a guy who has a good chance of leaving after the season, then why are Rondell White and Jason Johnson still here?
That gets me to my next point. Both Dmitri Young and Rondell White are still here. Rondell White cannot currently (and may continue to) play the field, leaving the "no range" Dmitri Young in LF. Granderson remains blocked. Monroe is not a good CF and needs to go back to being a corner OF. I feel that Granderson in CF gives us our most competitive lineup possible, and a couple of months of full-time MLB experience can do him no harm after an overall successful 2/3 of a season in AAA.
I agree totally with your post. Given out history of being polar opposites I am disturbed by this Those are just the questions that leave me with such a bitter taste. Why would you not just tell Farnsy-hey kid, after the season is over we'll talk. What do you have to lose? If he finishes the year like he is pitching now, then knock him on his ass with a top dollar contract.
I trust no pitcher that the Braves have decided can't cut it in their system. Good we traded a possible emerging stud closer for a #5 SP at best on this team and a future journeyman minor leaguer in Minor. Did the fact that he couldn't dump Johnson (which surprises me considering what a premium on SP there is and he has done well) mean that he thinks Colon will fill out next year's rotation? Please tell me you have a better plan than that.
I do have to agree with the Tigers on one point, they do need Granderson to play every day. It should just be in the bigs. Sit White or Young on a regular basis since the season is lost now . So develop your players. Now they should also bring up Verlander and let him pitch every fifth day.
I will go even further. Inge has plumetted back down to Earth and isn't a great defensive 3rbman. So bring up our future at 3B......oh, wait, we don't have a future at 3B. How can this be. We have a whole minor league system and nobody to play third base. So we trade our ace closer for lower tier pitching? WTF!!! The more I look at this deal the angrier I become.
Do you know what else scares me? If they traded Farsnworth because they couldn't sign him to what was reported as a second tier closer contract, how close were they to trading Palanco? Was his injury the only thing that kept him here? And what does this mean in the off-season? Is he going to test the market? They desperately need to keep this guy, but I see nothing that indicates that they are willing.
I keep hearing that some people (GM's, scouts etc.) rave about Roman Colon, so hopefully they are seeing something that is not evident in the numbers he has throughout his career. I don't know who these people that like Colon are (I'm guessing Dombrowski is one of them), but they seem to be out there.
Nearly 50 general managers, executives, scouts and managers were polled on the following questions, with the vote leaders:
Who are the best defensive infielder and outfielder in the game?
1. Cesar Izturis, Dodgers 2. Alex Gonzalez, Fla. 3. Omar Vizquel, S.F. 4. Scott Rolen, StL 5. Brandon Inge, Det Orlando Hudson, Tor
Which current minor leaguer will be playing in the 2007 All-Star Game?
1. Delmon Young, OF, Tampa Bay 2. Conor Jackson, 1B, Arizona 3. Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle 4. Justin Verlander, RHP, Detroit (starts Monday in Cleveland) 5. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston 6. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee (now with the Brewers)
Also receiving multiple votes: Andy LaRoche,3B, Dodgers; Daric Barton, Oakland; Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington; Craig Hansen, P, Boston; Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia; Roman Colon, RHP, Atlanta; Alex Gordon, Kansas City.
What does that mean about Colon? I really don't know if this "poll" has much worth at all, but it's tough to find anything very positive about him, since his minor league numbers leave a lot to be desired. All's we can do is wait and hope this guy is a diamond in the rough.
And if you're looking to the future at 3B if it doesn't turn out to be Inge, then you're right, the closest thing we have to a "3B of the future" is Kody Kirkland, whom doesn't really project too well as a future regular at this point. But there is talk that a couple of years down the line if Giarratanno develops, Guillen could move to third, but thats a big IF. Likewise at C, when Pudge is ultimately gone we don't have any signs of any future MLB starting catchers in the minors. We will be depending heavily on Free Agency should the need for a starter at those positions come up over the next couple of seasons.
As far as the Rondell/Dmitri/Granderson situation goes, no matter what we do, there will be a downside.
A) Bench Rondell, we lose the one of the teams best and most consistent hitters.
B) Bench Dmitri, if he falls short of his 500 ABs to have his player option kick in, he will likely file a grievance.
C) Leave Granderson in the minors, lose an opportunity to have Granderson gain valuable MLB experience, while having a crappy defensive OF in the meantime with Dmitri in LF.
Not really an easy choice, but somehow Granderson should be in the mix as pretty much an everyday player given that this Farnsworth trade shows a little more of a "looking to next season" attitude.
There's quite a bit of work to do this offseason. A lot of salary comes off the books after this year. It's still early to speculate about what kind of Free Agents this team will go after, but the resources will be there and the holes to fill are plenty.[/url]
I hear good things about Colon, too. But when has Atlanta ever traded a pitcher and had them get better? But it doesn't make as big a difference as losing a solid closer who was well liked in the clubhouse. Since the trade there have been rumblings from Pudge about being upset about the Tigers not trying to win now. It's not a good sign that your under-achieving all-star catcher is openly voicing displeasure in the clubhouse. Signing Palanco was a great move, but the affect was lost due to the disheartening Farnsworth dumping.
And let's make no mistake, it was a dumping. The message sent was 'we are not going to risk having to pay this guy alot or lose him (for draft picks) to FA just to win games this season. Or pack it in, boys, the season's lost. And we're not talking about an aging vet, but a player with rare ability to throw 100 MPH who entering his prime.
As for Colon, if he were that good why would the Braves trade him? They are shrewd evaluators of talent, especially pitching. And have you seen what they have to say about the trade? In the News Mazzone was Quoted as saying he was "happier than a pig in slop" and "Schuerholtz did it again...he picked up the best reliever possibly available". Yeah, sounds like they're pretty broken up over losing Colon and Minor.
As for the Granderson situation. I agree the Tigers are playing it wrong. Let the kid learn how to hit major league pitching now instead of next year when we might be counting on him. Not trading White is a mystery. Give him away to someone. It's that simple. He has no value to a team that has thrown in the towel. None. I wouldn't even mind if they tell him 'hey, we're going to waive you so you can hook up somewhere'. What's the line in Bull Durham. "The team has decided to go in a different direction" But they need to do what they can to get Granderson up here so not only he can see if he can hit, but the team needs to know if he is an answer or just another Tiger AAAA player.
As I said before, I remain confident in Dombrowski despite the fact that I have trouble agreeing with the Farnsworth trade, because I'm not a big fan of what we got in return. I would have rather held onto Farnsworth grooming him as a closer. If we lost him in the offseason, then we are not really any worse off than we are now. Yeah we got Colon and some negligible organizational filler, but I remain unimpressed with Colon. The guy's what, almost 26 or something and has had nothing but moderate minor league success at best? By the way, I seriously hope this team isn't counting on Percival as their closer next year.
Good news is that Rondell apparently thinks he will be able to play the field again as early as Sunday. I'm wondering if his inability to play the field hurt his trade value at all. I'm guessing it had some impact. Also, the lack of aggression by most every team at the deadline probably didn't help matters. A trade could still happen, although I'm not exactly holding my breath. Bad news is until that trade happens (which it probably won't) or Rondell or Dmitri get hurt, Granderson won't likely regular at-bats up at the MLB level for the time being. I'm starting to see him as a September callup rotating in and out between him, Monroe, Rondell, and maybe Dmitri at this team's current pace.
Can you see where my frustration stems from? This organization seems to lack a clear path to success. You cut lose a player that is heading into his prime and excelling at a very tough position, closer, because you don't want to pay him enough to stay. But you just months ago decided to take a chance on an injury prone aged closer. And you got him by over-paying. You could have done the same with Farnsworth at the end of the season. And gotten a guy who might have found his nitche.
So you decide to trade him, and you demand a middle relief pitcher? When your minor league system is just set to bear the fruits of Dombrowski's drafting of pitcher after pitcher? And when your minor and major league system is suffering from a dearth of position player talent?
Okay, so you make the deal and get what you get, and even your manager says that if the players wouldn't have lost 5 of 6 on the west coast they would have kept Farnsy. Message sent by the GM in making the trade is that the season is lost, let's work on next year. Message confirmed with Tram's statements.
Now you have an unhappy clubhouse. Oh, did someone forget to consider the impact of such a trade? Pudge is pissed, feels betrayed. The team did supposedly tell him they would bring players in to win. Then he sees his top three relievers disappear. So he gets in a spat with an ump and will sit for three.
So you realize the team is upset, so to appease some vets you weaken the D by playing Young and/or White. This goes against the message sent that we are looking to next year. You now will stunt the growth of your future OF in Granderson because you didn't manage the egos on the team properly.
They should have cut White and went into the clubhouse and said we need to look to the future starting right now. If there are any of you who don't want to be a part of it, now's the time to say so. Instead they buckled to the pressure and took the easy way out. Which was to sell out the future to keep the babies happy.
"Well there's always next year". Oh yeah, that's like this team's motto or something since what, the late 80's or early '90's. The bullpen is now too thinned out and the starting rotation is following the opinion many had of it of fading down the stretch, so meaningful games down the stretch are very unlikely now. I think it is clear that this is the case that the team is looking to next year.
With that said, however, I do like the core team that will be returning in 2006 better than pretty much any other team I have seen in previous years. It's just unfortunate that the season probably won't end with much in the way of positive momentum going into next year.