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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beane Dumps Garbage In Chavez Ravine As Dodgers Claim Loiaza Off Waivers

I have nothing more to say about the $8M the Dodgers will pick up here, other than to repeat those sentiments already voiced by Andrew Grant at True Blue LA:
Why does our roster get filled with proven veterans? They aren't nearly as much of a risk as rookies. Coming into this season, many people thought that there was very little difference between Nomar Garciaparra and James Loney, yet Ned went with the proven veteran because it represented less of a risk. Maybe James Loney wouldn't be able to hit big league pitching, who knows? Nomar had been there before, and we knew what he would do. Somewhat ironically, Nomar has proved to be a much bigger risk than Loney ever could be.
By this metric, Loaiza and his injury-pocked season are less of a risk than playing Eric Stults and finding out what he can be. As Jon ably points out, this certainly means Randy Wolf is done as a Dodger. It's hard not to agree with Andrew's closing:
A good GM needs to be bold. A good GM needs to take risks. If you just sit there and make safe acquisitions all day, you just turn the game into an auction for overvalued talent, and that's a game that no team but the Yankees can win. Until Ned Colletti starts making moves that have some chance at upside with some risk attached, we'll be watching the same type of mediocrity we've been accustomed to the last 20 years.

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Andrew Shimmin and I are two entirely different people.
A good GM needs to be bold. A good GM needs to take risks. If you just sit there and make safe acquisitions all day, you just turn the game into an auction for overvalued talent, and that's a game that no team but the Yankees can win.

Jon and I must be two different people too. Just look across town and you'll see a fine GM in Bill Stoneman, who's ability not to be bold and not to take risks is paying off.
The difference being that Bill Stoneman is willing to give the kids plenty of at-bats, or in the case of Ervin Santana, too many innings. That's the risk you take, but with Santana, you could certainly understand it; he led the team in wins last year.
I don't understand how you can berate this move with the scarcity of pitching that is available now and in free agency. Do you really think Stults was going to continually post quality starts? Did you see his ERA in triple A? He's done fairly well, but I don't see him continuing to do well. And if one of the young pitchers steps up next year, then they can trade Loaiza. As we've seen this year, you can't have enough depth. Ah, what's the use, I'll rely on Jon for insightful opinions.
What makes you think Loiaza is any better? If he is an injury risk — and he is that, most assuredly — then he is an invitation to more Stults. If he is as good as Stults, then he is much more expensive. Only if he is both good and durable enough to give the Dodgers a decent number of starts in 2008 does this make any sense. This is a foolish waste of resources, re-making the Randy Wolf mistake all over again.
I'm confused here, and maybe someone can smarten me up.

I don't understand why the Dodgers have to pay all of Loaiza's contract. Did the rules chance recently? It used to be that when a team put a player on waivers and he was claimed, the waiving team was responsible for all the player's pay for the rest of the contract except for the league minimum. That's what happened when we waived Appier, right?
Pardon the typo in the above. I meant "change", not "chance", in case that isn't clear from the context.
All revokable waivers mean (my understanding, your mileage may vary) is that there is an orderly process by which other teams may place a claim, commencing from the team with the worst record to the best. Once a claim is made, the team may elect to make a trade, or revoke the waivers. In this case, the A's are sending Loaiza to the Dodgers for salary relief, i.e., they are dumping him.

The other kind of waivers are irrevokable waivers, used when a team designates a player out of options for assignment to the minors. Once a team puts a player on irrevokable waivers, they have ten days to trade or release the player. This happened last year to Jeff Weaver; the Angels ended up making a trade with the Cardinals, but the Angels have also released players like Hector Carrasco after putting them on waivers. In the case of Appier, the Angels were unable to find a taker, and so had to eat his salary. Since the Royals later signed him after his unconditional release, the Angels were on the hook for all but the prorated major league minimum while he with Kansas City.
Thanks, Rob!
"The big -- only, really -- news before today's game was the announcement that the Blue have claimed former A's (and Nationals, Yankees, White Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers and Pirates) right-hander Esteban Loaiza off waivers. No players changing hands. Oakland is content to let the Dodgers pick up the mil or so owed Loaiza this season and the $6.5 he'll get in '08. Given the paucity of quality pitchers that will be available this winter and the goony-bird economics of modern sports, it's not a bad move for L.A. Pricey, but not bad. Anytime all something costs is money (as opposed to players), there's an upside, and I think the last two seasons have taught everyone that you can't have too many arms."

The Kamenetetzky's- in case you hadn't seen it. All upside!
It's always safer for a manager to bring in a vet instead of starting a kid. When a manager brings in a vet who doesn't perform, the player picks up a part of the heat for not performing to expectation. When a manager brings in a kid who doesn't perform, the manager picks up all of the heat.
Fiend -- if that's all upside, so were the Wolf and Schmidt, who were "only money".

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