Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prepare for the worst: Melky Cabrera

In his on going quest to take all of the power out of the Brewers lineup, Doug Melvin is closing in on a Cameron for Cabrera trade. The addition of Mike Lamb and Melky Cabrera into regular roles will drastically cut down on strike outs. It will also slash run production, on-base average, and power while vaulting the club to the top of the charts in terms of weak ground balls.

Good God. Melly Cabrera has terrible numbers for a catcher, much less an outfielder. This move would be absolutely terrible for the Brewers, even considering that the Yankees would benevolently throw in a pitching prospect, though supposedly not one as "promising" as Ian Kennedy.

Apparently the only road block was Melvin's hopes that Cameron would trump union demands and keep Sabathia in Milwaukee. Since that didn't happen, Melvin is free to slash some payroll.

Supposedly this deal could happen as soon as today.

Disgusting.

UPDATE: More New York papers are reporting it as a done deal. Brewers 09 season: date of death 12/11/2008.

31 comments:

Chris said...

Well now signing Adam Dunn makes even more sense

You need to start looking for some of the silver linings in the brewers news

E.S.K. said...

No it doesn't. Melvin has his center fielder, and he is barely a major league baseball player.

This is looking like a salary dump year.

Cabrera is a cheap stop gap to Lorenzo Cain, a prospect of questionable ability.

Chris said...

Well in the current economic state I can understand the salary dumps.

Maybe the Brewers management is thinking like you that they will struggle to get to 82 wins so they are taking a step back and will focus on staying solvent through this season.

I hate to say it I cannot see they selling out games like they did if people are worried where their next paycheck is coming from I had to let my 20 pack lapse since my partners wife was layed off and he cannot spend that kind of money on tickets right now.

There is still a lot of Winter left who knows what could happen but I think we headed to a hangover type of season it will be hard to match the magic of last season no matter what they do.

PaulNoonan said...

While this is not my favorite trade ever, it's not as bad as all that. (I'm using last year's PECOTA as this year's is not out yet, obviously.) BP like's Melky to put up 4.7 WARP and 13.4 VORP in 2009, and it only likes the 36 year old Mike Cameron for 2.8 WARP and 16.8 VORP.

PECOTA, for what it's worth, sees Cabrera as a fairly significant defensive upgrade. Here is his 2007 scouting report:

Before the season, Baseball America listed Cabrera as a player for whom `time is running out for.` Little did the know that, by late May, `Got Melky?` T-shirts would be spotted around the Big Apple. The lesson, of course, is that when evaluating a player you should never end a sentence with a preposition. They actually weren`t that far off base; in his brief 2005 audition, Cabrera had seemed tentative and intimidated, swinging at everything at the plate and dropping flies in the outfield. After that, the only thing still in his favor was youth. Melky 2.0 had exactly one day like that--his first. Thereafter he was a defensive asset, displaying a cannon arm; at the plate he showed surprising patience and an ability to hit for average, if not for power. Still, he blew hot and cold, spoiling his numbers with an artic September. The overall package doesn`t quite add up to a starting corner outfielder--yet.

E.S.K. said...

I'm not buying into the "young player bound to get better" projections after PECOTA had a boner over Weeks going into this year.

The system has to win me back. Hopefully Melky is the one to do it, but I don't buy it.

The defensive comment does surprise me, though.

tracker said...

Ugh. We already got a Melky. His name is Tony Gwynn Jr and he can't play in the bigs either.

Chris said...

Now if they manage to move Hall and his salary in this deal would that make you feel any better ESK?

I need to pull up Cots and do some math but at this pace the Brewers are either freeing up money at quite a pace or slashing their payroll by at least a third at the moment.

My guess is they lock Hardy up I would have said Hart too until the fell apart at the end of last season.

E.S.K. said...

Honestly, moving Hall makes the Brewers worse. He is valuable in a platoon (and only in a platoon) and the Brewers have a ton of money to spend. So no, including Hall doesn't make me feel better because he is useful to a point.

Chris said...

Ok now I am officially confused.

tracker said...

I like the Hall-Cameron package if it gets either Hughes or Kennedy. It won't -- or shouldn't -- but who else do the Yankees have that we'd want?

E.S.K. said...

No one.

Chris, moving Hall makes Mike Lamb the only third base option. As such, Hall is valuable by comparison.

PaulNoonan said...

Bill Hall sucks, but they need him as long as Mike Lamb is their only other 3rd baseman because he can still hit lefties a bit, whereas Mike Lamb is pretty hopeless against them.

PECOTA isn't perfect, but it was basically right about Hardy, Fielder and Braun, and now it thinks Weeks needs to play in the outfield or not at all.

PaulNoonan said...

It also predicted that Obama would win.

tracker said...

Unless Hardy-at-third gets some traction. I'm not for it, but it does become more plausible, and Lamb becomes the backup/pher he deserves to be.

PaulNoonan said...

The more i think about it the more I think they need to trade either Escobar or Hardy. Short stops are more valuable than almost anything else, and moving Hardy to an easier position really robs him of most of his value. His bat isn't big enough for third (though maybe his defense would make up for that, I'm not sure) and his defense would be wasted at 2nd. You get the max value out of him by dealing him (or Escobar). And I say this as a guy who owns a Hardy jersey.

The fact is, if you have a logjam of starters at one position, and a dearth at another, then you are not using your assets properly.

tracker said...

The problem I have with Hall in a platoon is that we owe him $16 mil over the next two years. That's a lot to pay a platoon player, expecially a rher. If giving him up frees resources to get a productive player at any position, moving him does not make the Brewers worse.

tracker said...

Agree, Paul, and I'm for moving Escobar. His glove sounds great, but it's not a tremendous upgrade over what we already have at short. And while Hardy gives us above average prodution for a shortstop, it's a little less impressive from a corner infielder. Escobar was a .797 ops at AA. I dunno. While that might be more bat than a lot of DR infielders bring, I'm not fully impressed yet. I say trade him while his value is high, while the market still believes the can't-miss tag the Brewers have everybody believing.

E.S.K. said...

Hall is expensive, but so is not having a third basemen.

I've been on board trading Hardy/Escobar and Fielder all off-season. I too love Hardy but he is valuable as shit. If the Red Sox get Tex, maybe the Crew goes after Youkilis/Lowell?

PECOTA is awesome when it has something to work with. When projecting prospects I remain less than convinced.

PaulNoonan said...

I'm inclined to agree, however money will probably keep Escobar in town. (Does anyone know what we have left on Hardy?)

Hall is probably untradeable, and if we were to trade him we would almost certainly end up paying most of his salary, so I don't think we can get rid of his big ol' sunk cost. So we might as well play him. The Twins, by the way, are paying almost all of Mike Lamb's salary.

PaulNoonan said...

Cabrera's been around awhile now, so it does have something to work with. I agree on pure prospects, but that's what they have Kevin Goldstein for.

I love the Lowell idea (I assume they keep Youk in that sceanrio. I would. Although the crew would be helped by the Greek God of Walks more than perhaps any other player in baseball.)

tracker said...

Hardy is arb eligible for two more years. He made 2.75 last year.

E.S.K. said...

It'd be interesting to see what the Red Sox would do for Hardy. Putting him in that lineup makes it the best in baseball top to bottom, without question.

I would pay Mike Lamb to retire.

E.S.K. said...

Cabrera is all over the place though, which is why I still think of him as a prospect. His MLB numbers look more like your average minor leaguer who has bounced around levels.

He could be the classic change of scenery type guy, but I don't see the value in making that gamble.

E.S.K. said...

Christ...Heyman thinks they'll be asked to eat salary in return for a pitcher.

My God Cashman is running laps around Melvin this morning if all of this is true.

tracker said...

Somehow this deal is gonna include Kennedy or Hughes, then it will make sense.

OC Lurker said...

Yes I'm back and I found you guys thanks to a brewcrewball link.

Cameron for Cabrera is uninspired but how many times has it been said there is virtually no worth to having a payroll of $90M to win 80-82 games? If the Brewers brass feels like the playoffs aren't happening in '09 then they might as well save money and wait for the kids to be ready in '10. I think the value in any trade would be to get rid of Hall's salary even if it means Lamb plays a lot. I think we'll see Gamel taking most of the playing time anyways. Speaking of Lamb the Brewers are paying him the league minimum of 400K. The Twins are still on the hook for his '09 contract.

I'm ok with dumping Cameron's 10M and getting Cabrera. The rumors of talking to the Rangers to get either Padilla or even worse Millwood and their huge contracts scare me more. My stomach can only take one Jeff Suppan.

E.S.K. said...

OC,

Good to see you back.

My problem with the notion that the Brewers dumping is that it doesn't appear they are doing it wholeheartedly. Like you said, they've talked to the Rangers and they are pedal to the metal on Fuentes. If they are dumping salary then dump salary, don't chicken shit around it to try and keep a few fans in the stands.

Tracker,

If the Brewers get Hughes I am willing to bet they will be picking up 50% of Cameron's salary.

tracker said...

I'd be good with that.

E.S.K. said...

Lou Palmissano was taken in the Rule 5 draft.

Thank God.

DannyNoonan said...

This sucks.

Also, Buster Olney thinks we're done: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3761935&name=olney_buster

tracker said...

Buster's a dumb name.