Wednesday, November 18, 2009

After Further Review: Why I Still Hate The Carlos Gomez Trade.

I know some of you don't think the J.J. Hardy for Carlos Gomez swap was all that bad, since Hardy's trade value had plummeted, and since we (allegedly) weren't going to get Major League-ready pitching for J.J., and since Gomez is a terrific defensive centerfielder, and since the trade allowed us to let Mike Cameron and his $10 million salary walk.

I disagree with those points, obviously -- my responses: Hardy's value plummeted largely because Melvin sent J.J. down to AAA in August, last season was an aberration at the plate for J.J., we could have gotten at least a back-of-the-rotation starter for him, and we had a better option for center field next season already in Jody Gerut -- but, after giving this some thought, I've finally figured out what bugs me so much about this trade:

Bringing in Gomez, and giving up Hardy, brings another huge "IF" to the 2010 team and its chances of contending for a post-season spot.

Here's what I mean: to be in a position to compete for the playoffs next year, a whole bunch of things are going to have to go right. Of course, that's no different than any other season for a mid-market team like the Brewers, but we just added a huge question mark at the cost of two (and maybe three) lesser question marks.

As things currently stand, here's how I break down the "ifs" going into next season. (End each of these lines with: "then the 2010 Brewers might have a chance to contend.")

MATTERHORN-SIZED "IFS"
If Jeff Suppan can reverse his career-ending death spiral and can post an ERA south of 5.75 ...
If Manny Parra can finally harness his obvious physical gifts and stop nibbling at the corners like he's Jamie Goddamn Moyer ...
If Carlos Gomez can post an OBP over .310 ...

SIGNIFICANT AND WORRISOME "IFS"
If Casey McGehee can duplicate his impressive rookie year, or if Mat Gamel turns out to be a capable everyday player ...
If Alcides Escobar can OPS around .700, while playing the spectacular defense everybody says he's capable of playing ...
If Dave Bush can once again become a competent fourth or fifth starter ...
If Rickie Weeks can stay healthy and continue the marked progress he showed at the beginning of this year ...
If Corey Hart can learn how to be selective at the plate without completely compromising his ability to actually, um, hit the fucking ball ...
If we can find/sign/create a catcher who's able to OPS over .650 ...

LESS WORRISOME, BUT STILL A BIT CONCERNING "IFS"
If Trevor Hoffman can continue to pitch well at age 53 ...
If Yovani Gallardo can make the leap from very good pitcher to top of the line, unquestioned ace pitcher ...
If Todd Coffey (and, now that I think about it, you could probably include Mitch Stetter under this one, too) doesn't suffer any ill effects from his use (and overuse) last season ...

There are more "ifs" than this, I'm sure (and feel free to add any I've missed). My big picture point is this: Hardy, in my mind, was a semi-worrisome "if": you knew you were getting very solid defense, but could he return to '07 and '08 levels at the plate? (I think he probably can; I know others think last year will prove to be the rule rather than the exception.)

Cam was also a semi-worrisome "if": could he continue to play outstanding defense, and OPS between .750 and .800, as he got longer in the tooth?

Now, with the trade (and the decision to let Cam go), we've cashed in those two lesser "ifs" for a massive one -- can Gomez turn into a minimally-competent hitter? And if we take that money we saved on Cam and J.J. and add a Doug Davis or a Jarrod Washburn (and it hurts just to type that) or a Mark Mulder, we're adding even more significant question marks. All told, none of this inspires confidence for our chances in 2010.

As per usual: your retorts and taunts are both welcome and expected.

4 comments:

Master Reid said...

I can find nothing to argue against in this post. It's all very true. I think that every team has to contend with the "ifs" every year. But when you're a small market team like the Brewers, it's tougher to overcome when some of those don't pan out as you had hoped (see: 2009 season). You don't have the luxury of being able to mortgage the future every July 31st to fill in your holes. Bigger market clubs can do that because they can always cover what they lost with their checkbooks in the offseason. It's not always the besst idea, but they can do that if they so choose. If I had to pick the most important out of those "ifs", I'll go with Parra, Weeks, and Gomez. If those 3 pan out, they should be able to piece together enough to cover the rest.

PS (I especially like "create a catcher" like he's been grown in a lab, cloned out of DNA recovered from Carlton Fisk's toothbrush.)

Charlie Marlow said...

Rubie, are you and I twins separated at birth? I feel a little bit like a douche castle, but it seems like you and I are always in complete agreement both here and at BCB.

Huh.

Rubie Q said...

Based on that picture that's in your profile, Charlie, I'm going to assume we'd disagree quite strongly on college basketball.

Charlie Marlow said...

Ooooh. Are you a Marquette fan?

I can neither disown my alma mater, nor can I pass up the opportunity to put a picture of Bo Ryan looking like that in a profile picture.