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Marlins/Dodgers trade analysis


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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sport...ard/9347176.htm

 

 

Bullpen bolstered, but team weakened

 

DAN LE BATARD

 

 

The whiz kids in baseball are doing new math.

 

They study on-base percentages, not batting averages.

 

They study slugging percentages, not RBI.

 

They measure pitchers right down to the kind of parks they call home, and whether those parks are arm- or bat-friendly.

 

And this is what they've deduced:

 

The Dodgers got the better end of the recent trade with the Marlins.

 

Why?

 

Because, based on slugging- and on-base percentages, Hee Seop Choi and Paul Lo Duca are the same bat, except Choi's is cheaper, younger, will hit more home runs in the future and, unlike Lo Duca's, doesn't fade badly in the second half under the brutal strain of catching every day.

 

And because, while reliever Guillermo Mota can give you a dominant half-inning, Brad Penny can give you a dominant nine. The lanky Mota, too, has a history of tiring over a season, while Penny presently has an ERA of 2.98 -- which is among the top 10 in the National League and would be the best in the American League. The first-place Dodgers acquired an ace in Penny, and you are going to be reminded how much that hurts every time Ismael Valdez pitches.

 

CHOI NOT VALUED

 

Choi was very underrated here. He is patient and promises a future of 30 homers an inexpensive season. He was better at getting on base than every Marlin. His .388 on-base percentage means he made fewer outs than any Marlin. He is exactly the kind of bat a payroll-handcuffed team needs.

 

The Choi-for-Lo Duca swap by itself isn't so bad, especially because catcher was a position of need and Florida got a gritty All-Star, but the Marlins also gave up a good prospect for Juan Encarnaci?n, who whiz kids say is one of the worst hitters in baseball.

 

Here's why: Encarnaci?n's on-base percentage is below .300. That's dreadful, well below the league average. Encarnaci?n makes way too many outs, and he'll cost you $5 million a season to make those outs. He'll hit you a few home runs, but he's basically Alex Gonzalez at a power position where you can't afford to have an Alex Gonzalez, and gives Florida such a flimsy 7-8-9 part of the order that Florida's offense is basically going to be giving away three innings a game.

 

BAD SWAP

 

Even if you believe Lo Duca is substantively better than Choi, which he isn't, you are negating that perceived improvement by putting Encarnaci?n in your lineup with him.

 

The Marlins replace Penny with Valdez, whose ERA is over 5.50 three of the past four seasons, so what you've done is weakened your starting staff while improving your bullpen, weakened your first-base spot while improving your catcher and weakened your farm system and right field without any kind of improvement at all.

 

Florida's bullpen is better, but its lineup and starting staff is worse.

 

That's not a good trade.

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Even if you believe Lo Duca is substantively better than Choi, which he isn't, you are negating that perceived improvement by putting Encarnaci?n in your lineup with him.

 

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Lo Duca not substantially better than Choi? Exactly what numbers are Le Batard looking at? Two-time all-star hitting .300 this season vs a player with "promise to hit 30 homers". I liked Choi...but so far he's just that, promise, and promise doesn't win ball games in August.

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Well I disagree with one big statement there. He said "Choi does not fade badly in the second half". Please tell me how the hell he can know this seeing as though Choi has had one career second half and he barely even played then. But whatever if Le Batard had used to arguments of many on this board how it hurts for the future much more it would have been a more credible article.

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Well I disagree with one big statement there. He said "Choi does not fade badly in the second half". Please tell me how the hell he can know this seeing as though Choi has had one career second half and he barely even played then. But whatever if Le Batard had used to arguments of many on this board how it hurts for the future much more it would have been a more credible article.

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i think his point was that choi wont get worn out by having to play a difficult position like catcher every day...the rest of the quote:

 

"and, unlike Lo Duca's, doesn't fade badly in the second half under the brutal strain of catching every day."

 

but yeah, i agree, he should have harped on the "choi is cheaper now and in the future" a lot more in his argument than he did.

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There is so much faulty logic employed in this article, it is laughable. Le Batard is an idiot. He makes me want to get a s job in sports journalism just to shut him up and put him in the unemployment line.

 

Just remember this: "breast implants on a corpse". That was La Retard's reaction to Fudge Rodriguez signing with the Marlins last year.

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He's right. Even if you think LoDuca is a better batter than Choi the offense has only slightly improved when considering Enc and Redmond/Treanor. That and 30 innings of relief does not make up for the loss of a solid starter and payroll flexibility.

 

 

We'll see how it works out. Until then can we please retire the following posts:

- 'Our offense wasn't this good before' when commenting in or after games LoDuca did not play in or Enc did better than 1-4 in.

- 'The bullpen was killing us.' Us and every other team, or so says their fans. The statistics show the Marlins had an average bullpen. Middle of the pack in blown saves, and a very good record when leading after 7.

- Complaining that LoDuca, Mota and others aren't in the game. They need their rest just like every other Marlin.

- LoDuca's leadership. He was a leader for an organization he's been with his entire professional career and the starting catcher with for 4+ years. He's been here for a week and there is no evidence of his leadership helping the team.

- Personal attacks on Penny and Choi

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It was still a good trade in the sense that we filled our holes. You have to give up something to get something. You can always form an argument against trading Bautista for Conine, Adrian Gonzalez for Uggy. But we wont it all. I am not saying that we have made similar deals here, but when you deal Penny and Murphy for Lo Duca and Mota, Choi for Enc, Nunez for Seanez and Travis Chick for Valdez - you can make the argument that this team has also filled up some gaps and made itself a better team.

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You have to give up something to get something.

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Don't give me that. I doubt many GMs in baseball feel Penny is a 'fatass' and 'only cares about his contract', or that Choi was nothing more than 'an average 1B'. We could have gotten something better. Hell, the package of Choi, Penny and Murphy was better than what the Dodgers were supposedly going to send to Arizona for Randy Johnson.

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