Sunday, November 26, 2006

Depodesta's Reign Part 1: One busy off-season!

As promised Part 1 of the Article on Depo...enjoy!

Hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2004, Paul DePodesta was viewed as the next great young General Manager in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, it did not work out and he was fired in October of the next season. During that time period he completed 17 trades, a number that is even more impressive with the knowledge that all these transactions were completed in a year's span between March 29, 2004 and March 31, 2005. So was he that bad a General Manager to be fired after his second season? Was it a problem with management that led to his firing? In this article, we will examine his trades with a closer look to attempt to identify why the prodigal son was fired so quickly.

1: Traded Jason Frasor to Toronto in exchange for Jayson Werth
Just before the season, the Jays figured out that although they had no room for Werth on the roster, he had impressed enough through spring training that he would not be able to get through waivers. The Dodgers were interested and willing to give up young reliever Jason Frasor in what would be DePo's first trade as General Manager. Both players were earning the minimum in their first season and produced well with VORPs over 15. Frasor continued his solid pitching for the Jays throughout the next two seasons while Werth was not on the Dodgers roster in 2006. The Dodgers were able to get a good reserve outfielder for a reliever that they didn't feel they had much use for, although he has been quite solid as a Blue Jay.

2: Traded Steve Colyer to Detroit for Cody Ross
Cody Ross barely got a chance to play for the Dodgers (39 at bats) before being shipped to Cincinnati in 2006. The left-handed Colyer came out of the Detroit bullpen 41 times, even winning a game while establishing an ERA+ of 70 and a VORP of -1.7. Pretty inconsequential trade all around.

3: Traded Andrew Brown and Franklin Gutierrez to Cleveland for Milton Bradley
The slap hitting Gutierrez had 137 at bats with Cleveland in 2006 with an OPS+ of 69 while slugging only .360 and achieving a VORP of -3.6. Andrew Brown, 23 years old, threw 10 innings for Cleveland in 2006. Bradley had two good seasons with the Dodgers, with OPS+ of 108 and 121, a total VORP of 49.2 along with 29 total win shares. He was traded to Oakland before the 2005 season with Antonio Perez for outfield prospect Andre Ethier.

4: Traded Jolbert Cabrera to Seattle for Aaron Looper and Ryan Ketchner
* Traded Aaron Looper to Seattle for Glenn Bott
Looper was designated for assignment to make room for Bradley, Seattle was interested and he was traded back to Seattle soon after for Glenn Bott. Unfortunately, neither player would ever play in the Majors again; actually Jolbert Cabrera was the only player involved that would following the transaction. He would play 7 different positions for Seattle in 2004 while achieving an OPS+ of 87, a VORP of 7.5 and driving in 47 runs.

5: Traded Jason Romano to Tampa Bay in exchange for Antonio Perez
Jason Romano's stay in Tampa Bay lasted only 4 games before he was plucked off waivers by Cincinatti. Perez had a solid 2005 with an OPS+ of 104, VORP of 15.7 in 259 at bats before being traded with Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier. This is definitely one of the better trades of the off-season, acquiring a player who would help out the team in the present and was then used as a piece to acquire a good young player with a bright future.

6: Traded Rick White to Cleveland in exchange for minor leaguer Trey Dyson
After signing Rick White in the off-season, he was quickly shipped to Cleveland in exchange for a minor leaguer who would never see time in the Majors. White, meanwhile, would pitch adequately for the Indians; in 78 innings he had an ERA+ of 86 and a VORP of 2.7.

7: Traded Tanyon Sturtze to the Yankees for Brian Myrow
Mynow would barely play for the Dodgers with 20 at bats in 2005 while Sturtze became a mainstay in the Yankee bullpen although he never threw exceptionally well. His ERA+ was of 82 in 2004 and 94 in 2005 in over 150 total innings between the two seasons while establishing a total VORP of 9.1 during his three season with the Yankees.

No comments: