Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yet Another Article Condemning Colletti's Moves

Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus thinks Ned Colletti paid too much for Casey Blake:

Across the country, the Dodgers were also adding a right-handed bat, trading two prospects to the Indians for Casey Blake. Although Blake, who turns 35 next month, was desired for his experience and perceived leadership qualities, his bat is adequate, a .270/.340/.440 hitter who can play all four corners and is actually a pretty good third baseman. Trading for Blake isn't a problem in and of itself, but the Dodgers have both paid too much talent for his services and are using him to block a comparable, perhaps even better, player.

First, the price: Power right-hander Jonathan Meloan, whose 5-10 record and 4.97 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas are less reflective of his talent than they are of the context in which he's pitching, is half the package. Meloan, 24, is about ready to be a middle man in the majors, and his upside is that of a high-leverage, high-strikeout reliever. The other prospect, Carlos Santana, is a catcher who is a little old for the Florida State League (22), but he has hit very well this year and has earned good grades for his defense. These prospects haven't gotten the play that Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and the rest of the Dodgers' youth has gotten, but they're also very talented and can't be treated as free resources. Trading two prospects of this caliber for 200 at-bats of Casey Blake is a ridiculous waste.

Moreover, Blake is reportedly slotted to take time from 24-year-old Andy LaRoche, who is almost certainly as good Blake, and has upside that Blake doesn't have. The Dodgers could improve their situation by playing Blake in the outfield in lieu of Andruw Jones and/or Juan Pierre, as those two are among the worst players in baseball in 2008, and Blake isn't. Playing Blake, or if you prefer, those two outfielders ahead of LaRoche, is actively hurting your team's chances of winning. This is nothing new for the Dodgers, who have come to value experience over performance, but it is a sight to behold.

This is a great package for Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro. It's actually a better package, relative to what he gave away, than the Matt LaPorta-plus one that he received for CC Sabathia. Meloan will probably be a big part of the Indians' 2009 bullpen, and Santana could be Victor Martinez's replacement two or three years down the road, and at the least will be a solid major league backup catcher.

Lucky for us that we have a reasonably stocked farm system...which I suppose only provides more chips for Colletti to deal away...