Saturday, November 11, 2006

Beane count Part 3: Trade deadline 1999!

Trade number 11: Jeff Davanon, Elvin Nina and Nathan Haynes to Anaheim for Omar Olivares and Randy Velarde

In need of an upgrade at 2b over incumbent Tony Phillips and chasing down a Wild Card spot, Oakland pulled the trigger on a deal that brought in second baseman Randy Velarde along with pitcher Omar Olivares. Velarde performed very well for
Oakland; in 255 at bats he had a line of .333/.301/.378, an OPS+ of 125 and a VORP value of 25.7. He returned the next season and was not as good but performed adequately with an OPS+ of 95, VORP of 23.3 in a full season with the Athletics, he was later dealt before the 2001 season. Olivares performed above average in his 74.7 innings with the A’s; winning 7 games while posting an ERA+ of 111 and a VORP of 8.7. He struggled after signing a $4 million contract with Oakland during the 2000 off-season with an ERA+ of 70, a VORP of -12.6 and a record of 4-8 and he was sold to Pittsburgh before the 2001 season.
Out of the three minor leagues the Athletics traded for these two players, only one spent significant time in the Majors: outfielder Jeff Davanon. The youngster did not spend significant time in the majors until he turned 29 in 2003. He spent three years with the Angels’ big club with VORPs of 17.3, 13.3 and -3 in those three seasons. His performance was above average during those three seasons although it declined every season as evidenced by his OPS+ of 118, 107 and a below average 81.

Trade number 12: Jeff D’Amico, Brad Rigby and Blake Stein for Kevin Appier
Beane and co. also went out to acquire a starting pitcher at the trade deadline and struck a deal with Kansas City who was struggling through a season of averageness after an injury plagued 1998. The 31 year old came over to
Oakland and performed below replacement value (-2.6 VORP) while establishing a 7-5 record and an ERA+ of 84. He came back the next season and pitched better with a 25.2 VORP and an ERA+ of 105 while going 15-11. He was unable to be the missing piece for the 1999 playoff chase however and that is where the value was hoped for.

The three players traded for him were all pitchers 26 and under. D’Amico never became a regular major league pitcher while Brad Rigby was awful in two short stints in the majors for KC with ERA+ of 69 and 31. Blake Stein gave effective innings to the Royals while putting up an ERA+ of 120, 108, 103 and 65. None of the pitchers really became anything of value for the bad Royal teams.

Trade number 13: Billy Taylor for Jason Isringhausen and Greg McMichael
After finally being given a good shot at the Majors, and the closer’s job, at the age of 34, Billy Taylor spent three and a half years as the Oakland closer until this trade. At the time of the trade,
Taylor had an ERA+ of 121 and 26 saves, however he didn’t perform as well in a setup role for the Mets; in 13.3 innings he had an ERA above 8 and an ERA+ of 54! What did the Mets give up for this performance? A closer and a bullpen arm!

Jason ‘Izzy’ Isringhausen was given the closer’s job upon his arrival in Oakland and flourished, finishing the year with 8 saves and an ERA+ of 226. He continued his steady play over the next two years with 67 saves, VORPs of 13.5 and 21.3 and ERA+ of 125 and 164. He was then allowed to walk through free agency in exchange for two first round picks that Beane coveted so. McMichael was ok as an Athletic, throwing 15 innings for a VORP of 2.3 before he was granted Free Agency at the end of the year.

How about that? Three updates in three days! We're hours away from the start of free agency, don't expect any updates until Monday but you never know when I'll have some time to access the laptop!

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