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Friday, November 19, 2004

Guillen Traded To Washington

Raul reports Jose Guillen has been traded to the Washington Whatisits for RF Juan Rivera and SS Maicer Izturis, Cesar's little brother. Guillen has apologized to Mike, apparently, and Raul promises more later. Thanks for the nod, Raul.

Update: now on MLB.com.

Brief analysis:

Izzy's little brother is a -1.9 VORP player, which is to say, bad hitting seems to run in the family to a degree. The fact that his PECOTA projection has a bunch of nondescript nobodies in it -- guys like Alfredo Amezega at worst, Chone Figgins and big brother Cesar at best -- is not encouraging, but the number of comparables is low (32, anything over 50 is considered typical in PECOTA). No data on his glove yet from BP, so that will have to wait until later.

As for Juan... well, his 22.3 VORP obviously represents a big step down from Jose Guillen's numbers, and his glovework is hardly above average at any position. PECOTA doesn't like him much, either, though he actually fell between the 75 and 90 percentile projection this year. The notes declare him tradebait, a barely-above-average player of the sort the Yankees love to flip for established veterans.

In short, the Angels took a slight hit on this trade, but the probabilities of either of these two players becoming anything other than useful spare parts on opening day are slim. If Izturis is a better-hitting version of Alfredo Amezega (hey, at least he can stay over the Mendoza line) and Jose replaces the substantially older (24 vs. 30) Jeff DaVanon as the Angels' fourth outfielder, the Angels effected an acceptable trade, provided they realize that they still need some more offense.

Update 4:25 pm: Chronicles has two pieces on this. He's much more positive on this, linking to the BTF analysis, which declares the trade a coup for Stoneman. I still see this as being pretty even considering the offense involved, but if Maicer develops to anywhere near the glove man his big brother is, David Eckstein needs to start looking for another line of work. That's the odd thing about this trade: considering all the talent in the Angels' minors up-the-middle, why pick up Izturis? Again, to me, this is all about the bench and not about starters.

Update, 8:30 pm-ish: Richard has a nice little summary of the reaction around the blogosphere, including David Cameron, who sneers that Bowden is "breaking the major league record for worst week ever." I just don't see it. Let's use WSAA as our metric, which is much more all-encompassing:

Player           WSAA
Jose Guillen      +6
Maicer Izturis    -2
Juan Rivera       +2
As I said in the U.S.S. Mariner comments, the problem here is you get two guys who haven't contributed anything at the major league level, so Stoneman's betting on the come. I don't think it's a terrible trade, I just think it's not an especially good one, either. Cameron suffers from too many years of GMs who can't trade, no matter the time of year; perhaps he's stir-crazy.

Transaction Guy thinks Bowden snookered the Angels. With reaction all over the map, it's pretty clear there's no concensus -- which means we'll know who won this at the end of the year.

Rivera performed on a similar level as Guillen last year (.279 to .282 EqA) - given a choice, I'll take Rivera by virtue of the fact that he stands a good chance of being just as good as Guillen this year for a tenth the cost.

Throw in a shortstop with decent on base skills, and you've got yourself a heck of a deal.
I guess it depends on how much you like MLVr vs EqA as the basis for your offensive comparison, doesn't it? I still say the Angels need a better-hitting outfielder to replace Guillen. If that's Beltran, so be it, but the price better not be the rumored $100M/5 year deal. That's too much, even for a centerfielder of Beltran's caliber.
The Angels' middle infield talent is all a couple years away from the majors, whereas Izturis is ready for a shot now. What’s more, I like Izturis more than Callaspo and Aybar.
I guess, Richard, but who's to say that Izturis, like his brother, isn't another couple years away from being competent offensively? Also, there were reports about Izturis the Younger having a less-than-stellar glove at short for the Expos.
Izturis had an .886 ZR in his time in the majors, which would have ranked first in the NL for SS.

I agree with Richard; Izturis is a couple of years ahead of the Angel MIF trio, so he's not necessarily blocking them. If he doesn't pan out, he can easily be pushed aside when one of those guys is ready. If he does, then MIF become a source of strength for the organization.

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