“Bring Out Your Prospects!” *Thock*

Courtesy of El Guapo’s Ghost, the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Renewed talks about a trade in which the Rockies would send first baseman Todd Helton to the Boston Red Sox hit another snag Sunday as the Rockies remained firm in their demand that one of the elite prospects in the Boston system be included if a deal is made.

The two teams have scheduled a conference call this morning to see if they can find common ground according to a source close to the situation.

The hold up? The prospects, of course.

Boston has offered right-handed pitcher Julian Tavarez, who is guaranteed $3.1 million in 2007, and third baseman Mike Lowell, who is guaranteed $9 million, money to help make up the difference between those two salaries and the $16.6 million that Helton will make this season.

In addition, the Rockies gave the Red Sox a list that includes five prime prospects — center fielder Jacob Ellsbury, and right-handed pitchers Daniel Bard, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen and Clay Buchholz — and have said one of them would have to be in the deal. They did indicate they would consider substituting Jon Lester, who underwent chemotherapy for a non-hodgkins lymphoma last year, pending medical approval. Boston general manager Theo Epstein has refused to expand his offer past Lowell and Tavarez.

Yeah, so um… Not Ellsbury, not Bard, not Buccholz. I could stomach either of Hansen or Delcarmen. But just to make it a bit more interesting, the Larry-Theo rift rears its head once again:

There were indications in Boston that the trade possibility is developing into another power battle between Lucchino and general manager Theo Epstein, who is reluctant to give up young players after trades in the past year in which he sent shortstop Hanley Ramirez and left-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez in a package to Florida, and right-handed pitcher Cla Meredith to San Diego.

Remember what I said about interesting off-seasons? Yeesh. Careful what you wish for.

If the Rockies are really OK with taking Tavarez and Lowell while paying half of Helton’s salary, and only want one of Hansen/Delcarmen, I have a hard time seeing why this deal shouldn’t get done.

29 comments… add one
  • I’m wondering if we could convince them to go for someone like Breslow or Murphy. That would be a complete steal.
    Mike Edelman

    Mike Edelman January 28, 2007, 11:36 pm
  • …theo’s nuts…or he thinks the guy from colorado is…lowell, tavarez?…no prospects?, case of fenway franks?, leftover byk jersey?…i can’t believe he’s gotten gunshy because of sanchez and ramirez…he should toss delcarmen into it and run like hell…

    dc January 29, 2007, 12:15 am
  • Agree completely, dc. I fear he’s begun overvaluing his own prospects, a question that was first raised at the deadline last season. If all the Rox want is Delcarmen, why is this deal not done?

    Paul SF January 29, 2007, 1:06 am
  • …i guess part of it is the perception of the rocks’ being somewhat desperate…the theory someone mentioned earlier is that theo might test the depth of that desperation, but i think he might run the risk of insulting them…[“insulting” is not the right word, but you know what i mean]…

    dc January 29, 2007, 1:17 am
  • If Theo’s position is being accurately reported (big if), then it is stupid.
    The chances that all five of the Sox’s top prospects prove to be more valuable than Helton are slim. Given what that addition could do for the Sox lineup, it would be crazy not to roll the dice. Theo would still have four top prospects.

    Hudson January 29, 2007, 2:00 am
  • Theo Esptein on August 21, 2006:
    Boston could not afford the more than $27 million Abreu would have cost them in salary and luxury taxes in this season and next, Epstein said.
    “We have tremendous resources, don’t get me wrong. But that’s not something we can do,” Epstein said. “We have a plan. We’re in a position competing with less resources where we have to keep one eye on the future. We can’t do certain things.”
    “That’s not our dynamic,” Epstein said. “We’re not going to have an uber-team every year.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 29, 2007, 9:00 am
  • August 21, 2006 is the key part of that quote, Trisk. Amazing what an additional 5+ weeks of nosediving in the standings can do to a GM’s willingness to open his wallet over the winteer.

    Hudson January 29, 2007, 9:21 am
  • evil empire, meet evil empire

    dc January 29, 2007, 9:42 am
  • Someone said that The Coors Field Effect doesn’t play with Helton because he played good/better away from home. Umm… (sunny615)
    2006 stats:
    Home (Coors Field)
    AB 275
    Runs 57
    Hits 93
    Doubles 21
    HR 8
    RBI 51
    BB 53
    SO 24
    Avg .338
    OBP .445
    SLG .531
    OPS .976
    AB 271(-4)
    Runs 37(-20)
    Hits 72(-21)
    Doubles 19 (-2)
    HR 7(-1)
    RBI 30(-21)
    BB 38(-15)
    SO 40(+16)
    Avg .266 (-.072)
    OBP .360 (-.085)
    SLG .421 (-.110)
    OPS .781 (-.195)
    2004-2006 stats:
    Home (Coors Field)
    AB 807
    Runs 184
    Hits 285
    Doubles 70
    HR 42
    RBI 163
    BB 175
    SO 96
    Avg .353
    OBP .469
    SLG .613
    OPS 1.082
    AB 795(-12)
    Runs 117(-70)
    Hits 233(-52)
    Doubles 64(-6)
    HR 25(-17)
    RBI 93(-70)
    BB 149(-26)
    SO 120(+24)
    Avg .293(-.060)
    OBP .409(-.060)
    SLG .473(-.140)
    OPS .882(-.200)

    Russell January 29, 2007, 11:13 am
  • No one ever said Helton was better away from home, Russell. I fail to see how .293/.409/.473 is anything but good, however.

    Paul SF January 29, 2007, 11:15 am
  • No one every said that Helton’s .293 is anything but good, SF. The simple point was to show that the 2004-2006 stats are slightly higher b/c of Coors Field. That doesn’t mean they are shitty, that just means they are high. And yes, somebody did say something to this extent, not in this post, but every time a new post comes up as an update of the same topic, conversation gets moved there.

    Russell January 29, 2007, 12:00 pm
  • Helton would be good even if he played all his games in Yellowstone National Park. He can hit and field. Gulp, I agree with Paul.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 29, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • And a .072 difference in 2006 and .060 from 2004-2006 is something that fits well in with the discussion about whether Helton will be a good fit. Considering he is on the decline and is headed to a more talented division, I thought it might be worth mentioning.

    Russell January 29, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • Sheesh, this is turning into a war. All I’m doing is stating the facts…

    Russell January 29, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • Not sure where the war is coming from. I agree Helton will not put up the same numbers outside Coors Field, and I agree his numbers fell off significantly last season, both home and away and between home and away.
    The question is what caused the falloff, and whether he can rebound. For the cost of one prospect and at half price, I’m willing to see.

    Paul SF January 29, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • I thought it was common knowledge that his balky back caused the falloff.
    He can hit for average, it’s just his power that’s completely sapped. He’s basically a superior version of Kevin Youkilis at this point, except he only plays first. So, worth it? Meh. Power-hitting first basemen are a dime (or $120 million) a dozen. If the Sox can get a good deal out of Colorado they should go for it, otherwise further depleting their thinning farm system isn’t worth it.

    Andrew January 29, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • further depleting their thinning farm system
    Can you back this up, please? I am all for critique of this purported deal (I am iffy on it myself), but this claim isn’t really substantial, Andrew.

    SF January 29, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • It was turning into a war b/c trisk said he agreed with u that Helton can hit, as if I said he couldnt.
    I’m glad that you acknowledge his numbers will not be the same, that’s all I was saying in the first place.
    I doubt old age caused the falloff and somebody mentioned bad back and intestinal flu but i dont see why anyone would be playing with an intestinal flu (maybe it wasnt that bad?)
    intestinal flu – inflammation of the stomach and intestines; can be caused by Salmonella enteritidis (sounds a little painful)
    Someone also mentioned a humidor being placed in the park to offset the thin air.
    Could be an unknown also, maybe the reason why Colorado wants to get rid of him in the first place, but that should be shown in the physical.
    If the package is good (half price and only giving up 1-2 no-names) then why not, but then again you have to consider all the injuries from the end of bostons last season and why they need any more question marks, especially since he will be locked till 2011. Not everyone can have a JD Drew Medical Contract.

    Russell January 29, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • War? Relax dude.
    First off if the Sox were going to get Konerko would you call for a drop off? If the Sox were going to get Conor Jackson would you call for a drop off? What about Adam Dunn? Coors field IS NOT the most hitter friendly park in the league anymore, update the data one and all. Helton if he does become a Red Sock, will not drop off, not in that lineup, not with that short porch in right and wall to pepper in left.
    FYI Russell, I am a Yankees fan.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 29, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • Not intestinal flu- (symptoms of) Crohn’s disease. A chronic intestinal disorder that results in painful inflamation of the intestinal wall, but can also also affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and (here’s the important one) weight loss.
    Last season, Helton suffered through all this for a couple of months before doctors figured out what was going on. By the time he began treatment, he’d already lost somewhere between 10-30 pounds; since he was never really that chubby a guy, it’s safe to assume that much of this was muscle. I’m going to make a wild guess that this had at least as much to do with his power outage as the balky back. While it’s true that Crohn’s is chronic and its symptoms can reoccur at any time, with diet changes and medication its effects can be, for the most part, controlled. If Helton and his docs have got a handle on his illness, then his decline should subside…if not do a bit of a reversal next season. This is, of course, assuming he doesn’t have other lingering injury woes.
    Heh…I haven’t been here in a while. Sorta fell out of the loop over break. Count me among those who want this to go through IF the prospect is no greater then a Delcarmen and Boston’s AAV is >$10MM.

    desturbd1 January 29, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • Welcome back, d1! Missed you ’round these parts.
    Considering James predicts a pretty significant rebound, I’m guessing that’s why the Sox are even giving Colorado the time of day. All the projection systems, fwiw, project Helton to improve. Even if he is no better than a Youk-plus, is there any doubt Youkilis would get $7-10M per in this market?

    Paul SF January 29, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • I know u are a Yanks fan, I see ur posts on other sites too. War… I was being silly. He he, ha ha. Ya know?

    Russell January 29, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • James who? I predict that Helton will hit 285 on the Red Sox so… Considering Russell predicts a pretty significant de-rebound, I’m guessing that’s why I am skeptical of the deal… does it really matter what anybody predicts? I have heard it all. Considering he hit 15 hr last season, how can he not improve?
    And once again, like a lot of people appear to be doing, you are comparing the money the red sox would spend on helton to the money that would be spent on another player without considering/mentioning the players also going over. OK, Lowell has little value to the Red Sox with Youkilis being a slight improvement (subjective) but he does have trade value. Lowell was mentioned in trades for Linebrink. Wouldn’t that be beneficial to the Red Sox considering the state of their bullpen? What if they include Hansen, what about the value he would be to the organization (not to mention the low $ he would be making)?
    That is why I am done w/this argument. We must wait and see who is included, what $ too, and then look into the season to see how the traded players do considering there might be 1-2 youngsters headed over.

    Russell January 29, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • “James who? I predict that Helton will hit 285 on the Red Sox so… Considering Russell predicts a pretty significant de-rebound, I’m guessing that’s why I am skeptical of the deal… does it really matter what anybody predicts?”
    I genuinely can’t tell…is that a joke? Bill James? Ring a bell? Sorry, I don’t want to sound like a dick or anything…but he’s sort of like the father of sabermetrics, and his predictions and statistical analyses highly respected by…many of the people this site, and baseball statheads in general. In other words…a Jamesian prediction actually carries some weight.
    Further…though his HR/FB ratio was (clearly) down last season, Helton’s other numbers were pretty damn good. Probably not pre-2003 good, but good. His LD% remained a sparkling 23.6, his BA/RISP was an absurd .347 (not really an anomaly…in 04 and 05 it was .318 and .322 respectively). And for what it’s worth…Marcels (A projection system on Hardball Times…no clue how it compares to PECOTA et al.) likes a rebound as well, calling for a .320/.420/.518 line with 588 PA’s and 19 HR.
    Lowell for Linebrink won’t happen, because the Pads already swapped Josh Barfield for Kouzmanoff, a slugging 3B prospect. And I’m not sure that was ever a real possibility or just an idea shopped on message boards. Anyway, I agree with the rest of your post…that we need to wait and see what happens. That said, for a reasonable price, I’d love to have him on my team.

    desturbd1 January 29, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Even if you disagree with everything SABR, Bill James works for the Sox, which means if you analyze the situation, you can at least assume what he thinks carries some weight.. with the Sox.

    Lar January 29, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • I’m suspicious of these rumors—I heard a story that there was a Manny-for-Helton swap imagined, and the whole thing just strikes me as imaginary.
    That said, the prospects they’re asking for are too steep a price, and although the farm system has continued to be strong, too many elite prospects were lost in the last coupla years (Sanchez, Han-Ram, Marte) for Theo not to be understandably nervous about this.

    Jack Roy January 29, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • The AP has an interview with the Rockies owner, and the story makes it sound like the Rox want both Hansen AND Delcarmen. No thanks, if that’s the case.
    He says the Rockies will not simply dump Helton’s salary for nothing, and that they must get young pitching in return. Of course, what else would he say in the midst of negotiations? “We’re willing to dump Helton for anything the Sox want to give us.” Unlikely.

    Paul SF January 29, 2007, 4:57 pm
  • Maybe I’m in the wrong place. Bill James was hired by the Red Sox so it is clear that any skepticism of his work, or any related work, is hell freezing over in this forum.
    Be that as it may, James is another mathematician that has invented new ways to criticize/analyze players. The statistics are better indicators than current statistics but there is a such thing as overanalyzing a very simple game. He is an objective man in a sport that is extremely subjective.
    “he’s sort of like the father of sabermetrics, and his predictions and statistical analyses highly respected by…many of the people this site, and baseball statheads in general. In other words…a Jamesian prediction actually carries some weight.”
    Not with me but I guess you’re not allowed to be subjective in these forums. I am not a stat guy nor do I find them anymore than than just ADDED support on top of other reasons why a player should be considered.
    You are preaching to the wrong person if you’re gonna tell me that somebody else’s projections based on statistics are going to accurately predict another human beings performance the next year.
    Also, neither the loss of players, length of contract, or injury issues seem to concern you as much as a mans BA/RISP/HR stats so I am arguing with the wrong person.

    Russell January 29, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • Umm…no, I wasn’t trying to say James was God, I couldn’t tell if you had any idea of who he was. I still can’t. Subjectivity’s all well and good…but so are numbers. Sorry if I put more stock in what Bill James and PECOTA have to say then what you do. Incidentally, if I had to go with my own ‘gut,’ I’d call for a season somewhere in between 2004 and 2005 out of Helton. Simply because last year wasn’t really all that bad, and, like I already explained, he was extremely sick for a couple of months. (And Rotoworld says he dealt with its symptoms all season, before getting a handle on it this offseason and getting his weight back up)
    “Also, neither the loss of players, length of contract, or injury issues seem to concern you as much as a mans BA/RISP/HR stats so I am arguing with the wrong person.”
    Yeah…actually I said “Count me among those who want this to go through IF the prospect is no greater then a Delcarmen and Boston’s AAV is <$10MM" (I reversed the < before by accident...) and addressed his entire injury history in a previous post. Let me clarify now: I expect him to be worth $9-10MM (more, if we use the payscale where Juan Pierre is worth $9MM per) for at least 3 years; after that all bets are off, but Boston can afford a year or two of a $10MM bench player. They need a corner IF pretty badly, next years FA crop sucks, and this would have solved the problem. So yeah...probably should have taken the 30 seconds to read what I wrote before. And I never said the projections were set in stone...but they do tell us some idea of what we can reasonably expect...namely, that there's a good chance for a rebound. Anyway it's all moot now anyway, since apparently the talks are dead.

    desturbd1 January 29, 2007, 9:14 pm

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