• Sean Rodriguez

    Posted by on March 29th, 2010 · Comments (17)

    I caught two seconds of the Rays-Bosox game tonight on the MLB Network – when Sean Rodriguez was at the plate. First time I ever saw him in my life – and, my reaction was “My, goodness, it’s Randy Velarde.” And, that was before I found out that he can play all over the field.

    How do the Rays keep getting all these young and talented players?

    Comments on Sean Rodriguez

    1. Evan3457
      March 30th, 2010 | 4:29 am

      They trade Scott Kazmir for them?

    2. Evan3457
      March 30th, 2010 | 4:32 am

      Alex Torres is a good starting pitching prospect, but Rodriguez was the most famous and advanced of the three prospects the got from the Angels for Kazmir…

      …in a salary dump deal. That’s how the Rays got Rodriguez.

      The Yanks don’t do those. Well, not as the dumper, only the dumpee.

    3. Raf
      March 30th, 2010 | 7:35 am

      It was a legit trade. If it were a salary dump, the Rays wouldn’t have gotten back that much talent.

    4. MJ Recanati
      March 30th, 2010 | 7:54 am

      I’ve never seen Sean Rodriguez play but if he evokes memories of Randy Velarde, is that even a good thing? I imagine he’s better than Velarde, if only because the MiLB numbers look good (even factoring in the kind of hitting environments he played in at AAA in the PCL).

    5. Jake1
      March 30th, 2010 | 7:55 am

      It was a pure salary dump.

      Ask the Tampa fans who felt the team punted last season when they traded their all time best pitcher for prospects when they were a few games out of the WC

    6. MJ Recanati
      March 30th, 2010 | 8:02 am

      @ Jake1:
      I tend to agree with you that it was more of a salary dump trade.

      I would point out, however, that the fact that Kazmir was the Rays’ “all time best pitcher” is completely irrelevant. First, obviously, that franchise hasn’t had much in the way of good pitching in their brief history and, second, unless Kazmir goes back to the pitcher he was in 2007, the Rays really only traded away a guy that maxes out as a #3 starter making $22.5M over the next two years. That’s a somewhat overpriced commodity for a mid-rotation starter when you’re Tampa.

    7. Corey Italiano
      March 30th, 2010 | 8:20 am

      He can hit, he ripped the Yankees a new one in the beginning of spring training (it was televised).

    8. Raf
      March 30th, 2010 | 8:48 am

      Jake1 wrote:

      It was a pure salary dump.
      Ask the Tampa fans who felt the team punted last season when they traded their all time best pitcher for prospects when they were a few games out of the WC

      That they feel that doesn’t necessarily make it the truth. I’d ask those fans what they knew about David Price, Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson.

    9. MJ Recanati
      March 30th, 2010 | 8:49 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      He can hit, he ripped the Yankees a new one in the beginning of spring training (it was televised).

      Everyone rips the Yankees a new one. I’ve never seen a good team make more chumps look like All-Stars (not saying S-Rod is a chump, just saying that if Marco Scutaro can make like Joe Carter, anyone can).

    10. Evan3457
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:51 am

      Raf wrote:

      It was a legit trade. If it were a salary dump, the Rays wouldn’t have gotten back that much talent.

      In my opinion, it was a salary dump. The amount of money left on his contract was reasonable to the Angels, but not for the Rays, considering his off-year, and the contracts they knew they would soon have to pay for. If all the Rays had wanted was to push Davis into the rotation, they could’ve kicked Sonnanstine out of it.

      Well, heck, maybe we just have different definitions of “salary dump”. To me, a trade is a salary dump if a team is forced to trade a valuable player it would like to keep but can’t afford, even if they get something valuable in return.

      For example, the Yanks trades for David Cone or for Bobby Abreu are both obvious salary dumps, as the Royals and Phillies got virtually nothing out of it. I think everyone can agree that those were salary dumps.

      But I also regard such trades as the Roger Clemens trade to be a salary dump as well, because even though the Yanks gave the Jays a good pitcher in David Wells, the Jays traded the Yanks a better player it still desired and regarded as more valuable but could no longer afford.

      The Twins’ Santana trade is also a dump deal, even though they got two of the Mets better prospects in return (Gomez and Guerra). They were able to turn Gomez into Hardy, a pretty valuable shortstop.

    11. BOHAN
      March 30th, 2010 | 1:08 pm

      Dude can mash. Sweet lefty swing.

    12. Raf
      March 30th, 2010 | 3:14 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      To me, a trade is a salary dump if a team is forced to trade a valuable player it would like to keep but can’t afford, even if they get something valuable in return.

      That definition doesn’t apply to the Kazmir trade. The Rays had guys who stepped in that could produce at Kazmir’s level. They could’ve afforded him if they wanted to. Kazmir was hurt, his velocity was down, the Rays sold high on him.

    13. BOHAN
      March 30th, 2010 | 4:55 pm

      to correct myself hes righty. i was watching the rays/sox game and someone that was lefty was up while i was writing that last comment

    14. 77yankees
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:50 pm

      He has a career .203 average in almost 200 major league at-bats w/ the Angels. Now he’s only 24, so he could still evolve into a very good major leaguer.

      My question is, could you see the Yankees giving say, Montero or Austin Romine that much slack with a sample size like that?

      Didn’t think so.

    15. Evan3457
      March 31st, 2010 | 12:20 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      To me, a trade is a salary dump if a team is forced to trade a valuable player it would like to keep but can’t afford, even if they get something valuable in return.
      That definition doesn’t apply to the Kazmir trade. The Rays had guys who stepped in that could produce at Kazmir’s level. They could’ve afforded him if they wanted to. Kazmir was hurt, his velocity was down, the Rays sold high on him.

      Not the point. The weak link in the rotation was Sonnanstine. Davis should’ve replaced Sonnanstine. They didn’t because the Rays wanted to dump Kazmir’s salary. Kazmir went on to pitch well for the Angels in the regular season. They dumped Kazmir to save money to make a push to sign Crawford long-term. That’s my take.

      If they traded Kazmir when he was hurt, and then he goes on to pitch well for the Angels, that’s not selling high, that’s selling low.

    16. Raf
      March 31st, 2010 | 1:31 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not the point. The weak link in the rotation was Sonnanstine. Davis should’ve replaced Sonnanstine. They didn’t because the Rays wanted to dump Kazmir’s salary. Kazmir went on to pitch well for the Angels in the regular season. They dumped Kazmir to save money to make a push to sign Crawford long-term. That’s my take.

      If they traded Kazmir when he was hurt, and then he goes on to pitch well for the Angels, that’s not selling high, that’s selling low.

      Selling high regarding that the Rays felt they got the best out of Kazmir. His peripherals with the Angels were in line with what he did as a Ray. What I did find strange was that with the move west that he started to give up more fly balls as opposed to groudners. His line drive percentage stayed about the same. K’d a little less, walked a little less as an Angel, but I don’t know if that is because of a smaller sample size.

      One other thing stood out to me
      FIP/xFIP
      TBR: 4.70/4.91
      LAA: 2.93/4.79

      Sonnanstine wasn’t in the rotation when Kazmir was traded, IIRC he took Kazmir’s place, having had been sent down. Price and Davis were already in the rotation at that point.

    17. Evan3457
      March 31st, 2010 | 2:26 pm

      You’re correct that Sonnanstine already out of the rotation when Kazmir got traded.

      It was Price, Niemann, Shields, Garza and Kazmir at that time. Davis was not yet in the rotation. Sonnanstine got Kazmir’s 1st scheduled start after the trade, and stunk it up. He made two more starts after, only because the Rays had two make-up doubleheaders. Davis took the 2nd regular turn in what had been Kazmir’s slot.

      They did feel the need to open a slot in the rotation to test Davis on the big league level. They chose their most expensive rotation starter to deal. Maybe he was the weakest link at the time as well.

      OK, this is not a pure dump trade, then. I concede that. At the time, the Rays VP Freidman said that salary was not the primary motivation, but it was one factor. The Rays team seemed to take it as a salary dump, though. They won 3 of their next 5, then dropped 11 in a row to fall out of the race for good. I’m drawing an inference that these are connected. Maybe they’re not. But it sure seemed that way at the time.

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