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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pickoff Moves

Dodgers Re-Sign Tanyon Sturtze

Diamond Leung reports the Dodgers have re-signed reliever Tanyon Sturtze to a split contract that will pay him up to $550,000 if he spends the whole year in the majors; otherwise, it's a non-guaranteed minor league deal.

Mariners Deal Aaron Heilman

The Mariners have traded Aaron Heilman to the Cubs for utilityman Ronny Cedeno and LHP Garrett Olson. Lookout Landing:
So, in exchange for a 30 year old righty with a bad 2008 and a desire to be thrust into an even more challenging role, Jack Zduriencik was able to land a utility infielder with the potential to start at 2B or SS and a #5 starter with the potential to improve by one or two slots. Two young players with good minor league track records that haven't yet translated to the big leagues, but that still have time to do it. It's possible that Cedeno doesn't develop any further. It's possible that Olson's career stays where it is. But it's also possible that we just traded a flame-out righty for two future regulars, and after weighing all the different odds in my head, this just strikes me as being a great, great deal. In the organizational big picture, it's all upside. Every last bit.
Having seen Cedeno myself, he's a good-not-great fielder of the Cesar Izturis variety, post-Dodgers career who will never amount to anything offensively. The Cubs undoubtedly traded high on him, and while it seems likely he's going to get a good year in here or there, he's a seven- or eight-hole hitter at best. It looks to me like an equal trade of junk for junk, but that's without looking too closely.

Dodgers To Start Season With McDonald In The Pen

It makes sense. I'd like to see him in the rotation, or at least get a crack at it, especially considering the dreck the Dodgers are looking at to fill the back end these days. However, the most important point is that, you have to ask yourself whether you want to be hauling him anywhere close to that magical 200 innings pitched mark (the most he's ever thrown is 142 in 2006), and whether that would likely (yes, it would) lead to injuries. I'd just as soon take it slow.

Diamondbacks Sign Jon Garland

Former Angel Jon Garland signed a one-year deal with Arizona with a two-way option for 2010, dollars unknown.

Update: From Diamond Leung:

Had Garland re-signed with the Angels, he would have made more than $12 million on a one-year deal in arbitration. He declined, and seems ready to settle for a $6-8 million deal with an option for 2010.

Many will look to blame Garland's agent, Craig Landis, for making a disastrous business decision, but the situation is a bit more complicated. Sure, the economy affected free-agent paydays more than anyone could have imagined. But Garland had a somewhat precarious standing with the Angels.

The Angels will get a sandwich pick for their former starter.

Update 2: Here's the BTF thread, and from which, Rob Neyer's "snap judgement":

This is a great deal for the Diamondbacks. Given average luck, Garland should give the Diamondbacks 200 innings and an ERA somewhat better than National League average. That's worth more than $6 million, and it's worth more than $8 million.
The best thing is that it takes Garland off the table for the Dodgers. The worst thing is it leaves them with Randy Wolf and Braden Looper (see the MSTI link in the James McDonald story, above).

Update 3: David Cameron does not like it one little bit, and has lots of purty graphs to show you why.

The highest FIP Johnson has ever posted, in his entire career, is 4.29. That was back in 1990, when he was still trying to figure out how to throw strikes in the big leagues. Since 1992, he’s posted a FIP over 4.00 just once, when it was 4.27 with the Yankees in 2006. He rebounded in 2007 with a 3.20 FIP, and was among the league leaders again last year. Jon Garland has never posted a FIP below 4.00. Ever. Only once, in 2005, did he post a FIP (4.24) that was lower than the worst of Johnson’s career. At his absolute best, Jon Garland is worse than Randy Johnson at his absolute worst.

Joaquin Benoit Has Shoulder Surgery, Will Miss First Half

Update: Texas Rangers reliever Joaquin Benoit has had shoulder surgery to repair his right rotator cuff, and will miss the first half of the season.

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I thought Neyer's point was that Garland is durable league average, which is what the D-backs need to shore their young rotation. Isn't that exactly what Johnson isn't?

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