The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:07 am

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I feel like the idea that Baez might be awful is just an afterthought, which is weird. He was awful in 2014, and he would have been awful in 2015 if not for a .412 BABIP. Below-replacement awful.

It isn't an afterthought at all. You're right that his line was salvaged by the babip. However, there is also a lot of room for optimism in the adjustments he made last year. As long as there's progression, there is reason to believe he could still break through to the player we hope he could be.

Also, if you trade him, what is your plan for backup IF?
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:09 am

worst case he's a guy who can come in late as a defensive replacement who we can legitimately hope on hitting a dong when he comes up (or pinch hits when we need a dong or whatever)

obviously, that's not the most valuable thing and you can almost certainly lock in something more than that by trading him. just saying.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:13 am

Tim wrote:
Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I feel like the idea that Baez might be awful is just an afterthought, which is weird. He was awful in 2014, and he would have been awful in 2015 if not for a .412 BABIP. Below-replacement awful.

It isn't an afterthought at all. You're right that his line was salvaged by the babip. However, there is also a lot of room for optimism in the adjustments he made last year. As long as there's progression, there is reason to believe he could still break through to the player we hope he could be.

Also, if you trade him, what is your plan for backup IF?


I don't feel like backup infielders are *that* hard to find that we'd need to have a plan in place before trading Baez.

There's optimism because young and upside, but the adjustments he made last year sucked. All he did was trade almost all his power for a little contact.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:14 am

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:
Tim wrote:
Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I feel like the idea that Baez might be awful is just an afterthought, which is weird. He was awful in 2014, and he would have been awful in 2015 if not for a .412 BABIP. Below-replacement awful.

It isn't an afterthought at all. You're right that his line was salvaged by the babip. However, there is also a lot of room for optimism in the adjustments he made last year. As long as there's progression, there is reason to believe he could still break through to the player we hope he could be.

Also, if you trade him, what is your plan for backup IF?


I don't feel like backup infielders are *that* hard to find that we'd need to have a plan in place before trading Baez.

There's optimism because young and upside, but the adjustments he made last year sucked. All he did was trade almost all his power for a little contact.


I'm assuming you're just talking about at the major league level?
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:21 am

Mostly MLB, but his power was noticeably down overall. He hit 14 HRs across 393 PAs, or roughly 21 per 600 PAs last year. That's down from 29 per 600 the year before.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby vance_the_cubs_fan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:31 am

While it's a nice thought to have all the nice things, I think our team is constructed just fine right now and can wait until the season gets under way. We have enough depth to not have to make any more deals. Save whatever payroll wiggle room we may have to make a midseason acquisition once we see how things shake out.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby sneakypower » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:01 pm

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I feel like the idea that Baez might be awful is just an afterthought, which is weird. He was awful in 2014, and he would have been awful in 2015 if not for a .412 BABIP. Below-replacement awful.

this is the nice thing about a 100+ win projection, you can kind of see through ceiling gambles like Jorcules & Baez; every Cubs fan knows they've been bad in the majors to this point, but with a theoretical 11 win divisional cushion we can give them a few AB to see what exactly we've got and not have to worry about them being these landmines that are going to single-handedly torpedo our season

the upside is far greater than the downside, on this team
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby seanimal » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:42 pm

sneakypower wrote:Jorcules


did you just make this up??? i love you
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Northsider » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:00 pm

This whole TOR thing seems to illuminate a certain tension between upside and risk; Fangraphs noted the potential risk of losing Arrieta or Lester to injury, and the trade rumors we hear seem to involve trading upside to reduce overall risk. In this frame of reference, Spain's idea amounts to trading upside and time against risk; we hope that an injury doesn't force our hand (and lead to a greater overpay), while watching the value of TOR starters drop as contracts shorten, and prospects develop.

I think it may be possible to make a deal now, though, that provides TOR upside without drastically increasing risk across the team: Trevor Bauer and Dominic Brown.

As we know, the Indians are looking to convert pitching into outfield help. Since Carrasco or Salazar require a Soler centerpiece, Bauer's lack of similar success should reduce the requested OF value - we may be able to make a Coghlan/Candelario/Vogelbach for Bauer/(Mike Clevenger +? Josh Martin or Giovanni Soto?) deal.

This gives the Indians (who actually have OF depth about a year away) a chance to improve their outfield/wait for their prospects without breaking up their rotation, and near-term prospects for 3b and DH which are organizational weaknesses, while giving the Cubs a big-time Bosio project with 3-WAR potential and some pitching or bullpen depth in the suggested names above.

To replace Coghlan, Cubs sign Dominic Brown, who profiles a lot like Coghlan when we signed him (demonstrated offensive upside, hasn't quite been able to put it together in a bad organization, 15-20 K% and decent power/BB%). Risk goes up slightly, but since Coghlan was not expected to be an every day player, Brown should be able to provide an acceptable replacement with some upside of his own, protected against his injury history by playing off the bench.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:12 pm

Northsider wrote:This whole TOR thing seems to illuminate a certain tension between upside and risk; Fangraphs noted the potential risk of losing Arrieta or Lester to injury, and the trade rumors we hear seem to involve trading upside to reduce overall risk. In this frame of reference, Spain's idea amounts to trading upside and time against risk; we hope that an injury doesn't force our hand (and lead to a greater overpay), while watching the value of TOR starters drop as contracts shorten, and prospects develop.

I think it may be possible to make a deal now, though, that provides TOR upside without drastically increasing risk across the team: Trevor Bauer and Dominic Brown.

As we know, the Indians are looking to convert pitching into outfield help. Since Carrasco or Salazar require a Soler centerpiece, Bauer's lack of similar success should reduce the requested OF value - we may be able to make a Coghlan/Candelario/Vogelbach for Bauer/(Mike Clevenger +? Josh Martin or Giovanni Soto?) deal.

This gives the Indians (who actually have OF depth about a year away) a chance to improve their outfield/wait for their prospects without breaking up their rotation, and near-term prospects for 3b and DH which are organizational weaknesses, while giving the Cubs a big-time Bosio project with 3-WAR potential and some pitching or bullpen depth in the suggested names above.

To replace Coghlan, Cubs sign Dominic Brown, who profiles a lot like Coghlan when we signed him (demonstrated offensive upside, hasn't quite been able to put it together in a bad organization, 15-20 K% and decent power/BB%). Risk goes up slightly, but since Coghlan was not expected to be an every day player, Brown should be able to provide an acceptable replacement with some upside of his own, protected against his injury history by playing off the bench.

If we could get Bauer for that package, I suspect the trade would have been made already.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Northsider » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:34 pm

Tim wrote:
Northsider wrote:This whole TOR thing seems to illuminate a certain tension between upside and risk; Fangraphs noted the potential risk of losing Arrieta or Lester to injury, and the trade rumors we hear seem to involve trading upside to reduce overall risk. In this frame of reference, Spain's idea amounts to trading upside and time against risk; we hope that an injury doesn't force our hand (and lead to a greater overpay), while watching the value of TOR starters drop as contracts shorten, and prospects develop.

I think it may be possible to make a deal now, though, that provides TOR upside without drastically increasing risk across the team: Trevor Bauer and Dominic Brown.

As we know, the Indians are looking to convert pitching into outfield help. Since Carrasco or Salazar require a Soler centerpiece, Bauer's lack of similar success should reduce the requested OF value - we may be able to make a Coghlan/Candelario/Vogelbach for Bauer/(Mike Clevenger +? Josh Martin or Giovanni Soto?) deal.

This gives the Indians (who actually have OF depth about a year away) a chance to improve their outfield/wait for their prospects without breaking up their rotation, and near-term prospects for 3b and DH which are organizational weaknesses, while giving the Cubs a big-time Bosio project with 3-WAR potential and some pitching or bullpen depth in the suggested names above.

To replace Coghlan, Cubs sign Dominic Brown, who profiles a lot like Coghlan when we signed him (demonstrated offensive upside, hasn't quite been able to put it together in a bad organization, 15-20 K% and decent power/BB%). Risk goes up slightly, but since Coghlan was not expected to be an every day player, Brown should be able to provide an acceptable replacement with some upside of his own, protected against his injury history by playing off the bench.

If we could get Bauer for that package, I suspect the trade would have been made already.

Maybe not that particular package, no, especially with the rest of the suggested return. However, Bauer hasn't managed to break a 4.00 FIP yet, in about two seasons of work, so it's not like he's still the uber-prospect everyone pegged him as. The Indians have had a lot of success, with Salazar and Carrasco and Kluber, and all three of those have developed quicker than Bauer.

I did find an mlbtr article stating they wanted impact talent; maybe Torres/Candelario/Vogey for the change of scenery? Where do you think the pain points are for the Cubs and Indians if the Cubs want Bauer?

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:02 pm

I think the risk for the Cubs with Bauer is he might be genuinely not good, but proving that requires innings that could otherwise go to pitchers with better established baselines(Hammel, Warren). He's out of options so there's no way to let him marinate in Iowa, which means the risk is less in the trade return but more that you punt wins learning that Bauer is more the problem than the 2 previous orgs who had him.

Also, there's the risk that Montero might choke him out.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:19 pm

Northsider wrote:
Tim wrote:
Northsider wrote:This whole TOR thing seems to illuminate a certain tension between upside and risk; Fangraphs noted the potential risk of losing Arrieta or Lester to injury, and the trade rumors we hear seem to involve trading upside to reduce overall risk. In this frame of reference, Spain's idea amounts to trading upside and time against risk; we hope that an injury doesn't force our hand (and lead to a greater overpay), while watching the value of TOR starters drop as contracts shorten, and prospects develop.

I think it may be possible to make a deal now, though, that provides TOR upside without drastically increasing risk across the team: Trevor Bauer and Dominic Brown.

As we know, the Indians are looking to convert pitching into outfield help. Since Carrasco or Salazar require a Soler centerpiece, Bauer's lack of similar success should reduce the requested OF value - we may be able to make a Coghlan/Candelario/Vogelbach for Bauer/(Mike Clevenger +? Josh Martin or Giovanni Soto?) deal.

This gives the Indians (who actually have OF depth about a year away) a chance to improve their outfield/wait for their prospects without breaking up their rotation, and near-term prospects for 3b and DH which are organizational weaknesses, while giving the Cubs a big-time Bosio project with 3-WAR potential and some pitching or bullpen depth in the suggested names above.

To replace Coghlan, Cubs sign Dominic Brown, who profiles a lot like Coghlan when we signed him (demonstrated offensive upside, hasn't quite been able to put it together in a bad organization, 15-20 K% and decent power/BB%). Risk goes up slightly, but since Coghlan was not expected to be an every day player, Brown should be able to provide an acceptable replacement with some upside of his own, protected against his injury history by playing off the bench.

If we could get Bauer for that package, I suspect the trade would have been made already.

Maybe not that particular package, no, especially with the rest of the suggested return. However, Bauer hasn't managed to break a 4.00 FIP yet, in about two seasons of work, so it's not like he's still the uber-prospect everyone pegged him as. The Indians have had a lot of success, with Salazar and Carrasco and Kluber, and all three of those have developed quicker than Bauer.

I did find an mlbtr article stating they wanted impact talent; maybe Torres/Candelario/Vogey for the change of scenery? Where do you think the pain points are for the Cubs and Indians if the Cubs want Bauer?

Well, I think we match up reasonably well on a Salazar trade. They have needs at 3B, RF, CF & DH. They're looking for major league assets. They know they have the pitching to compete right now, but lack the hitting. Instead of a prospect package, I believe they're looking for someone to plug into the order while they have Kluber, et al in the rotation. I don't think we'd give up Soler for Bauer and I don't think Javy provides enough certainty of production for them to make the trade. The other problem for the Cubs with Bauer is that you're likely downgrading the rotation by going away from Hammel.

To trade Carrasco to us, they'd likely need more of a certain difference maker on offense.

I think Salazar provides a middle ground where both teams could work something out. I also think we could simply propose a trade around some of our higher level hitting prospects for some of their pitching prospects. Almora, McKinney, Candelario, Vogelbach and Villanueva could all potentially provide value for them considering who else they have at those positions. They certainly have depth on the pitching prospect side that we could request in return.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby spaincubsfan » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:08 am

I see a lot of what I call tier II pitchers who could or might be had for the right price. Gray, Carrasco, Salazar, and even Quintana. The problem really is basic economics, which means that the demand exceeds the supply. As I stated in OP the cost of TOR pitching has really sky rocketed to the point where teams are trying to lock up their pitching staff as early in the game as possible. New contracts are targeted to buy out as many Arb years as possible to give the pitcher some security and the team cost control as a trade off. I think for now I will stick with the idea of seeing how the south siders do this coming season and if they flounder they may well put one of their arms on the block.
And as an aside I think there are 2 avenues for acquiring said TOR pitching. You do it with either real currency $$$ which may or may not cost you a compensational draft depending on the FA. The other method is to pay in prospect or MLB player currency with the M:B player being positional or a pitcher. The norm would be for the MMLB players to have minimum 4 years control and 5 ideally. This is where we have such an advantage as all of our core basically have 5 years or more. Not advocating we pluck one of them out of the line-up but that is the growing trend. I am really excited to see how our prospects will grow in value by the TDL and then have the FO make an informed decision on whether to pounce or not.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby StylesClash » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:56 am

Andrew Cashner seems like a good buy low opportunity. The stuff is clearly there. His durability last season was fine. And with this being his walk year Cashner has all the incentive in the world to take a big step forward in his career.

I'd be glad to give up Almora or McKinney on the hope Cashner can turn his mid 90's fastball and nasty slider into some quality results. Worst case scenario Cashner could be converted back into a reliever. In that role he has as much upside as anyone in the pen (outside of Rondon).

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:31 am

StylesClash wrote:Andrew Cashner seems like a good buy low opportunity. The stuff is clearly there. His durability last season was fine. And with this being his walk year Cashner has all the incentive in the world to take a big step forward in his career.

I'd be glad to give up Almora or McKinney on the hope Cashner can turn his mid 90's fastball and nasty slider into some quality results. Worst case scenario Cashner could be converted back into a reliever. In that role he has as much upside as anyone in the pen (outside of Rondon).


I'm not sure about that price, but I'd like Cashner if he can be had relatively cheaply.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby biittner77 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:56 am

David wrote:
StylesClash wrote:Andrew Cashner seems like a good buy low opportunity. The stuff is clearly there. His durability last season was fine. And with this being his walk year Cashner has all the incentive in the world to take a big step forward in his career.

I'd be glad to give up Almora or McKinney on the hope Cashner can turn his mid 90's fastball and nasty slider into some quality results. Worst case scenario Cashner could be converted back into a reliever. In that role he has as much upside as anyone in the pen (outside of Rondon).


I'm not sure about that price, but I'd like Cashner if he can be had relatively cheaply.


Do you mean that the Pads would want more? Or maybe both teams add other pieces to balance out the deal in terms of control of the players involved.

The Pads will be tanking this year so they might want to keep Cashner around in the hope of a bigger payoff at the deadline.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:03 am

biittner77 wrote:
David wrote:
StylesClash wrote:Andrew Cashner seems like a good buy low opportunity. The stuff is clearly there. His durability last season was fine. And with this being his walk year Cashner has all the incentive in the world to take a big step forward in his career.

I'd be glad to give up Almora or McKinney on the hope Cashner can turn his mid 90's fastball and nasty slider into some quality results. Worst case scenario Cashner could be converted back into a reliever. In that role he has as much upside as anyone in the pen (outside of Rondon).


I'm not sure about that price, but I'd like Cashner if he can be had relatively cheaply.


Do you mean that the Pads would want more? Or maybe both teams add other pieces to balance out the deal in terms of control of the players involved.

The Pads will be tanking this year so they might want to keep Cashner around in the hope of a bigger payoff at the deadline.


I'm saying I wouldn't give them up. he's pretty MEH, is 29, and only has a year of control left.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby spaincubsfan » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:08 am

On the reverse side of things, the prospects that will be at the top of any GM's list surely will be:

1. Torres
2. Contreras
3. McKinney
4. Vogelbach (Throw in really as he can only be suited for an AL DH role).

I wonder if Theo/Jed would include all 4 in a trade for a TOR arm if it made us better. Like a 4 X 1.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:11 am

spaincubsfan wrote:On the reverse side of things, the prospects that will be at the top of any GM's list surely will be:

1. Torres
2. Contreras
3. McKinney
4. Vogelbach (Throw in really as he can only be suited for an AL DH role).

I wonder if Theo/Jed would include all 4 in a trade for a TOR arm if it made us better. Like a 4 X 1.

Almora should be 3rd on that list, and Contreras first, IMO.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Backtobanks » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:14 am

David wrote:
biittner77 wrote:
David wrote:
StylesClash wrote:Andrew Cashner seems like a good buy low opportunity. The stuff is clearly there. His durability last season was fine. And with this being his walk year Cashner has all the incentive in the world to take a big step forward in his career.

I'd be glad to give up Almora or McKinney on the hope Cashner can turn his mid 90's fastball and nasty slider into some quality results. Worst case scenario Cashner could be converted back into a reliever. In that role he has as much upside as anyone in the pen (outside of Rondon).


I'm not sure about that price, but I'd like Cashner if he can be had relatively cheaply.


Do you mean that the Pads would want more? Or maybe both teams add other pieces to balance out the deal in terms of control of the players involved.

The Pads will be tanking this year so they might want to keep Cashner around in the hope of a bigger payoff at the deadline.


I'm saying I wouldn't give them up. he's pretty MEH, is 29, and only has a year of control left.


I've posted a few times that the guy running MLBTR chat a few weeks ago thought that Cashner could be had for an insignificant prospect (his words) because of what you said. If that is the case, I definitely would love to pick up Cashner.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby spaincubsfan » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:19 am

Backtobanks wrote:
David wrote:
biittner77 wrote:
David wrote:
StylesClash wrote:Andrew Cashner seems like a good buy low opportunity. The stuff is clearly there. His durability last season was fine. And with this being his walk year Cashner has all the incentive in the world to take a big step forward in his career.

I'd be glad to give up Almora or McKinney on the hope Cashner can turn his mid 90's fastball and nasty slider into some quality results. Worst case scenario Cashner could be converted back into a reliever. In that role he has as much upside as anyone in the pen (outside of Rondon).


I'm not sure about that price, but I'd like Cashner if he can be had relatively cheaply.


Do you mean that the Pads would want more? Or maybe both teams add other pieces to balance out the deal in terms of control of the players involved.

The Pads will be tanking this year so they might want to keep Cashner around in the hope of a bigger payoff at the deadline.


I'm saying I wouldn't give them up. he's pretty MEH, is 29, and only has a year of control left.


I've posted a few times that the guy running MLBTR chat a few weeks ago thought that Cashner could be had for an insignificant prospect (his words) because of what you said. If that is the case, I definitely would love to pick up Cashner.


If that is the case I wonder if he would be open to an extension? I usually am more sceptical of TOR or MOR pitchers getting closer to 30 because I have become a believer of trying to get the youngest/best return in TOR. That is probably a biased and unrealistic expectation at this point.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Northsider » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:05 pm

David wrote:
spaincubsfan wrote:On the reverse side of things, the prospects that will be at the top of any GM's list surely will be:

1. Torres
2. Contreras
3. McKinney
4. Vogelbach (Throw in really as he can only be suited for an AL DH role).

I wonder if Theo/Jed would include all 4 in a trade for a TOR arm if it made us better. Like a 4 X 1.

Almora should be 3rd on that list, and Contreras first, IMO.


Agree about putting Almora on the list, but I see Torres and Candelario (and maybe Almora) over Contreras, who had a .370 BABIP in 2015 (highest previously was .345 in 17 games, or .337 in 60); Contreras has never really shown up on anyone's "tools" radar before either (at least, not that I'm aware of). While the BABIP spike did correspond with a drop in K%, I have to imagine Candelario's sustained rates and Torres' raw tools edge them over Contreras at least for this year.

Almora is a harder case, but his stats and tool-ratings in the minors seem to match up nicely with Ender Inciarte's (on an eye-test, at least), though Almora's a year younger at each level and did effectively miss a year. He has less speed and a little more power, but his crazy feel for defense largely 'hides' the lack of speed.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:51 pm

Northsider wrote:
David wrote:
spaincubsfan wrote:On the reverse side of things, the prospects that will be at the top of any GM's list surely will be:

1. Torres
2. Contreras
3. McKinney
4. Vogelbach (Throw in really as he can only be suited for an AL DH role).

I wonder if Theo/Jed would include all 4 in a trade for a TOR arm if it made us better. Like a 4 X 1.

Almora should be 3rd on that list, and Contreras first, IMO.


Agree about putting Almora on the list, but I see Torres and Candelario (and maybe Almora) over Contreras, who had a .370 BABIP in 2015 (highest previously was .345 in 17 games, or .337 in 60); Contreras has never really shown up on anyone's "tools" radar before either (at least, not that I'm aware of). While the BABIP spike did correspond with a drop in K%, I have to imagine Candelario's sustained rates and Torres' raw tools edge them over Contreras at least for this year.

Almora is a harder case, but his stats and tool-ratings in the minors seem to match up nicely with Ender Inciarte's (on an eye-test, at least), though Almora's a year younger at each level and did effectively miss a year. He has less speed and a little more power, but his crazy feel for defense largely 'hides' the lack of speed.


It's not even WIllson's slash numbers that excite me (which obv are propped up by the BABIP. It's the BB and K numbers, along with the decent Iso. Most of the prospect guys who saw him this year are believers in the changes he made too.

Candelario is pretty MEH. I don't think you'll see him ahead of Contreras on any prospect list. IIRC, he's not much of an athlete and there've always been major questions as to whether he can stick at 3B, and if he can't, he doesn't really have a position. He did have a nice year after totally falling off the radar in the last couple years, though. Hard to believe he's still only 22.
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CaliforniaRaisin
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:27 am

Northsider wrote:
David wrote:
spaincubsfan wrote:On the reverse side of things, the prospects that will be at the top of any GM's list surely will be:

1. Torres
2. Contreras
3. McKinney
4. Vogelbach (Throw in really as he can only be suited for an AL DH role).

I wonder if Theo/Jed would include all 4 in a trade for a TOR arm if it made us better. Like a 4 X 1.

Almora should be 3rd on that list, and Contreras first, IMO.


Agree about putting Almora on the list, but I see Torres and Candelario (and maybe Almora) over Contreras, who had a .370 BABIP in 2015 (highest previously was .345 in 17 games, or .337 in 60); Contreras has never really shown up on anyone's "tools" radar before either (at least, not that I'm aware of). While the BABIP spike did correspond with a drop in K%, I have to imagine Candelario's sustained rates and Torres' raw tools edge them over Contreras at least for this year.

Almora is a harder case, but his stats and tool-ratings in the minors seem to match up nicely with Ender Inciarte's (on an eye-test, at least), though Almora's a year younger at each level and did effectively miss a year. He has less speed and a little more power, but his crazy feel for defense largely 'hides' the lack of speed.


Just wanted to say Contreras has been on people's radars before this season because of his initial high signing bonus and athleticism.


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