Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Baseball Think Factory ruminates on FJB

Baseball Think Factory had a little chat about our posts over the last 2 days.

There are a bunch of commenters who didn't read very closely at all and missed the whole point of the post (which I'll not repeat here), and about half the chat is spent saying that I'm dumb for saying the Loaiza move was bad, when in fact I said it was good, but whatever...

It's cool that we're generating discussion.

If you wander over there, Walt Davis's posts are most on point with what I was trying to do here, so be sure to read what he said. And I added a little coda responding to what people had to say at the end. Cuz I like to have the last word like that.


Brian said...

And you are mis-stating what some of us are trying to say about the Loaiza signing and its importance of an example of how a team can use such veteran signings to rebuild.

Signing low risk veteran free agents to one year deals is exactly the type of thing the Nationals should have done, be doing, be planning on doing as part of their effort to rebuild.

First, in 2005 (and even up to today) there was no one who was being blocked in the minor leagues meaning signing such players doesn't hurt developmentally.

Next, I will grant you the Guzman & Castilla signings were bad because they cost draft picks (and were multi-year which is whole other discussion). But signing guys like Loaiza who did not cost a draft pick is actually a good thing. It allows the Nationals to reap the potential rewards of their major league performance while at the same time assembling a group of candidates that can (a) be dealt to a contender for younger players or minor leaguers or (b) turned into compensation-able free agents in the off-season. Teams like the San Diego Padres have been very adept at gaming the free agent compensation system for multiple extra picks. For a team so bereft of talent, every extra pick is valuable.

Yes, there are going to be mistakes with that strategy, but it's a gamble a team like the Nationals can take. Sign 3,4, or 5 veterans to one year market deals or minor league contracts (for the reclamation projects). But do not sign them to multi-year deals. And avoid losing draft picks unless you have identified a younger free agent who they can envision as part of the organization for 5 or more years going forward.

Someone made this statement ... "Signing Dmitri Young to a minor league deal was good. Signing Dmitri Young to a two-year extension was not"

And I understand your point about trying to get a higher draft pick but there is no way any GM is going to punt like that from day one. Especially one who had zero job security in 2005.

Trust me, I'm not an advocate of Jim Bowden and I am keenly aware of the value of rebuilding the farm system. My point with the Loaiza comment is that signing these types of players is precisely what the Nationals should be doing to make themselves better in the long term, while at the same time putting a competent team on the field.

Nationals Fan said...

Fair enough. I don't disagree with anything you are saying here. Like I said, I was just trying to do the thought experiment in an intellectually honest way without cherry-picking. But if you feel like it's intellectually honest to say everything I said and still keep the Loaiza signing, then fine. That strengthens my case even more that Bowden *could* be in a way better place than he is now. Remember, the question on the table is this: are Barry Svurluga and the Bowden apologists right when they said he HAD NO CHANCE.

Forgive my snippiness, the main thing I was reacting to was this little game of telephone:

Allow me to paraphrase for effect (and make fun a little, in fun):

FJB says: Bowden would have been better off avoiding FAs and going with the current commitment to rebuilding from the get go, although I admit that the Loaiza move is one FA signing that seems to have worked out in the short and long term. In fact, if we had been total geniuses and use that pick for JOba, then it REALLY would have been a stroke of genius. Not that I'm saying we should have take Joba, just saying the potential for really high value was there.

BBTF commenter #1: did you see this idiot who says Bowden should be fired, and he's so dumb he doesn't like the Loaiza signing. And he even thinks the Nats should have signed Joba.

BBTF commenter #2: yeah, what an idiot. I miss Chris.