Pondering Some Ponderances
Scott (Philadelphia): If you did have an east coast bias, wouldn't you at least answer one question about the Phillies? Will Drabek recover from TJ?
Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) I forgot to mention the Phillies . . . No reason Kyle Drabek can't recover, because the TJ track record is good. But he is kind of flaky and still has to prove that his makeup won't be an issue. It's a bigger setback for him than most, I think, because he hadn't had much pro success and probably won't get his killer curve back until 2009 or even 2010.
I have no intentions of speaking about Kyle Drabek specifically, though it does sting a bit that the Phillies picked him up with a Mets pick that was surrendered to them, but this 'killer curve' that Jim speaks of brings someone to mind. Drabek actually got his surgery around the same time of year that Humber got his as well.
Presumably, Drabek will be back next year for some obligatory innings before he gears back up for his first full pro-season in a similar fashion to Humber. Though Drabek has more overall talent and a more electric arm, both Humber and Drabek both used a devastating curveball as their out pitch.
Phil still was 10th in ERA in the PCL. His 4.27 ERA does not look pretty, but only four guys actuall managed to post a sub 4.00 ERA versus twleve in the IL. Maybe that speaks more lack of good pitchers than just pitching in the PCL, but I tend to think it is the latter. He also finished first in WHIP with 1.24, which would be tied for 6th in the IL, 5th in strikeouts with 120, which would be good for 8th in the IL, a 7.77 k/9 and a 2.72 k/bb ratio, and had a respectable .244 BAA.
If you really want to start to cherry picking numbers to sway your pro-Humber argument, you can point to his Post All-Star ERA of 3.80 with a .183 BAA and a 8.22 k/9. Of course he walked over four guys per nine, but things happen. Most people these days classify him as a throw in or a non-essential piece. However, I beg to differ. How quickly everyone forgets the kid had surgery on his money maker and had his first full season back in 2007.
His curveball lost a little? Probably, but as Callis states above, it might take another extra season to fully get back into sync. Humber's 2007 numbers were better than people think and he also deserves to get some extra time before people pass judgement. If he is indeed a thrown in, I would be more than happy to see the Mets swap him out for another throw in because I think he can be a solid big leaguer in 2008.
Robert Parnell, RHP, New York Mets
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 180 DOB: September 8, 1984
A ninth round pick out of Charleston Southern in 2005, Parnell has a 90-95 MPH sinking fastball, and a slider which is often overpowering. He gets plenty of ground balls, but his changeup is below average, and Double-A hitter exposed this weakness. His track record, in college and as a pro, is erratic. He clearly has the arm strength to succeed, but is still making the transition from thrower to pitcher. He's a least a year away from being ready for the majors. My guess is that he'll have to move to the bullpen to succeed in the majors. Grade C.
Good fastball and an overpowering slider? I'd take that out of the bullpen. I am not sold on him as a starter despite him being many fans sleeper candidate year in and year out. As Johnny stated above, he has been rather inconsistent and that wreaks reliever to me.
But for the Mets to actually land Santana it will take at least two significant hurdles being cleared, and that doesn't include having to negotiate a long-term contract with him. First, the Mets have to agree to send over a package of many real prospects, probably five or more, which would considerably deplete their minor-league resources. Second, the Red Sox and Yankees, who are both better stocked at the upper reaches of the minors, have to continue to take a less then enthusiastic approach in the competition to add one of the game's top two pitchers.
Five or more? No thanks. Why no thanks? I've been saying it for weeks and weeks.
The current prospects on the table appear to be outfielder Carlos Gomez plus pitchers Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey. None of these players is likely to make the immediate impact of a Lester, an Ellsbury or a Hughes. But some scouts believe the overall talent will be greater in a Mets package, and that they should work it out with the team from Queens.
To review...Yankees package is Hughes and spare parts. Essentially, it is for Hughes. How that would be enough is perplexing to say the least even with his skill set, but the Twins appear fixated on him. The Red Sox packages feature closer to the bigs help and very good talent top to bottom, which is certainly appealing. The Mets package has talent top to bottom as well and is more risky, but possibly the best.
It appears the Twins may favor Gomez over Fernando Martinez because Gomez can play center field, a need since the defection of fan favorite Torii Hunter to the Angels, and may actually like Humber as much as the Mets' more ballyhooed pitching prospect Mike Pelfrey, whose stock waned last season. In any case the Twins aren't as desperate for immediate pitching help as some might imagine, since they are well-stocked with minor-league arms.
Good thing on Gomez and why the fuck not in regards to Humber? Coincidently, I gave him some time in my little corner of the internet as this came out to explain why I think they way I do.
"Kennedy's as good as Hughes," opines one scout, "They shouldn't do that." Still, some are surprised at the restraint being showed by the Yankees, considering the threat of Santana going to the rival Red Sox. "If Boston gets Santana, they lock up the division the next three or four years," one competing executive says.
That deserves one of these. Kennedy as good as Hughes? I like Kennedy just as much as the next baseball fan, but this would be the first time I heard this one. Even if you are not as high on Hughes as other people, Kennedy just does not have the stuff that Hughes has.
This also begs the question, can the Indians afford CC? The short answer is yes, but I am going to give you the long answer. They could give him the contract he is looking for. Afterall, the Indians laid out over $100,000,000 on players before. Sure, they lost $4,0000,000 in that season, but baseball is much stronger these days. It also cannot be glazed over that they made $34,600,000 in operating profits this season with a $70m payroll. Is it a risk based on the amount of payroll he would be taking? Yes, but they could certainly handle it.
He roughly made $9m in 2007 and 2007 so the difference would be $12m to $15m or so to their current payroll if you just factor in his salary alone. That would bring them up to the mid $80s if everything remains the same and gives them another $20m to play around with for other players. It could be argued that it is not smart, but he would also be a very tradeable commodity providing he does not get hurt, which is the big risk here isn't it?
Either way, the Indians could do it, but the question remains if they should. Let us not forget that the Indians have built up a warchest over the past few years. Profits of $15m, $19m, $17m, $4, $10m, $27m, $35m, and $25m since '98 compared to only two years and $5m of losses adds up to a lot of money. That is $137m in total before you even consider what they should rake in this season. Of course they need a lot of that money for other things, but they have cash because they are one of the best run franschises in the bigs. Check out their Forbes team valuation:
I am not one of those people who thinks that the owner, if rich enough, should pony up cash to buy those special players. That just does not jive with me and that is not fair to ask of them. However, a lot of these teams have a ton of money from past seasons and have the ability to dig deep. It all comes down to whether or not they want to and for a player as special as CC, they might have too.
"I agree 100 percent with Omar [Minaya]," Wright said. "If it's the right price, 30 teams would want him. You don't want to give up the farm system. I've faced Johan. I know how nasty he is."
This article says Wright wants him despite the above caveat.
Look, I know it is a slow news day, but can we not ask Sugar Pants inane questions that we know the answers too? I feel the pain too as I have NOTHING to write about either.
"He's a guy I would go to battle for any day, but when you're talking about steroids, you're talking about something that's illegal," Wright said of Lo Duca. "Steroids are something I could never - no matter how close of a friend it is - condone."
I am going to apolgize to Wright again for thinking Reyes took over this franchise. I will never, ever make that mistake again.