It's Also a Kick in the Junk
Our pal Tim Souers was inspired by Saturday's post and gave me this awesome graphic. And I don't really care to harp on the trade, but let me give you my final thoughts. The Cardinals got a good player and it should help them...a little. DeRosa was a 3.8 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) last year, he's been 1.1 so far this year as his defense at third hasn't been too great (at least according to UZR). The Cardinals are going to get him for a little over a half year and the 2 main guys he's replacing are Joe Thurston and Brian Barden who have combined for 0.8 WAR to this point. You can't just simply add and subtract it though, so my rough back-of-the-envelope guestimating says he's probably gonna be good for anything between 1-3 more wins on the year for the Cardinals, which is indeed significant for an individual player.
As for the Cubs not getting him, if we go by prospect lists and assuming the Indians like our pitchers as much as they liked Chris Perez and a supposedly top-end player to be named later, it would have cost something in the neighborhood of Jeff Samardzija and Jay Jackson. Samardzija has a no-trade clause of course, so maybe it would require Sean Marshall or Randy Wells and maybe that second player would be Kevin Hart or Angel Guzman instead of Jackson or another decent arm that could be ready for the majors by next year. It's a whole lot of speculating on who the Indians might like and who the Cubs are willing to trade, but let's take some educated guesses.
So in theory if the Cubs met the Indian asking price, it would be something in the neighborhood of (let's just say) Marshall and Jackson for John Gaub, Chris Archer, Jeff Stevens and a half a season of Mark DeRosa, plus the $2M or so added to the Cubs payroll that is owed DeRosa. That actually doesn't sound too terrible for the Cubs, they basically replace some of the arms they would have had to given up to reacquire DeRosa with the initial trade and the Cubs get back the wind beneath their wings.
Looking at the WAR values of the guys that DeRosa would be taking playing time from (Fontenot, Miles, Blanco, Scales and Jake Fox), they add up to -0.1 WAR so far and as I said you can't just simply and add and subtract due to playing time and small sample sizes and all that, but had the Cubs been able to make this trade back in early May (and the asking price was reportedly higher back then), you're talking probably 2-4 wins over a full season and 1-2 over the last two months (once again, more a guestimate than anything). The impact probably would have been less if Lou would have had just sucked it up and played Jake Fox at third to begin with instead of having his Neifi/Lee 2006 moment. With Aramis Ramirez due back soon, that impact is going to be a bit limited, although we still don't know if we're getting the old Ramirez back and how many days off he'll have to take. I guess I would have liked for Hendry to pull the trigger, DeRosa's a quality player that has been able to get it done with runners on this year. Whether that would translate to the Cubs or not I can't say for certain, the slump and inexplicable inability to get a hit with runners on seems to be nearly a team-wide affliction and maybe DeRosa would have caught it like a cold.
I'm disappointed that DeRosa could be the dagger in the Cubs 2009 hearts and it sure does seem like the Cubs could have avoided some of this mess back in January. But he's a Cardinal now and be damn certain I hope he strikes out everytime he comes up. And every moron at Wrigley that ends up cheering for him in a Cardinals uniform, go jump off a cliff with the other lemmings.
In other news, Aaron Miles is back to the disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow and the Cubs have called up Sam Fuld. Soriano has had four mult-hit games in his last five so I'm guessing that Fuld won't get a shot at being a leadoff hitter/center fielder for a few games, not that I really thought he had shot at that, but maybe he can spell a still struggling Kosuke Fukudome. Fuld's warmed up with the weather down in Iowa with a 398/474/506/980 OPS line in June.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.