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View Full Version : Morosi: Giants should trade Lincecum now



savafan
11-05-2011, 01:20 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/San-Francisco-Giants-Tim-Lincecum-will-team-trade-ace-110311


Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Vogelsong are on pace to become free agents after the 2012 season; Lincecum is up the year after that. Meanwhile, an offense that scored the fewest runs in the National League is in need of major upgrades. Hoping that Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez return at 100 percent doesn’t constitute an offseason plan.

So if the Giants wish to maximize their odds of returning to the World Series, they have two choices.

1. Spend big for Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes or at the very least Carlos Beltran.

2. Trade one of those prized starters for impact bats, because the day is fast approaching when the Giants won’t be able to afford them all.

And if the Giants blanch at the going rates in free agency, the most practical move might be to trade Mr. Two-Time Cy Young Award Winner himself.


So, here's the natural question for this forum. If the Giants are not able to land a big bat via free agency, should the Reds approach San Francisco about a swap involving Votto and Lincecum?

I love Joey Votto as a Red, but even I have to admit that the thought of Alonso at first with Lincecum on the mound sounds better to me than Votto at first with Edinson Volquez pitching.

The Operator
11-05-2011, 01:46 PM
Adding Lincecum would be nice, but taking Votto out of the lineup would kill this offense. No deal for me.

Lincecum is great but with his delivery he's always an injury risk, and besides... he's not under contract any longer than Votto is so there's no help there. If The Reds want to win, they need to build around Joey Votto. Not rebuild with out him. I'm sick of the "rebuilding" bill of goods we've been sold since GABP was initially conceived.

redsfandan
11-05-2011, 01:52 PM
Adding Lincecum would be nice, but taking Votto out of the lineup would kill this offense. No deal for me.
Whether someone agrees with that probably has alot to do with what they think of Alonso.


Lincecum is great but with his delivery he's always an injury risk, and besides... he's not under contract any longer than Votto is so there's no help there. If The Reds want to win, they need to build around Joey Votto. Not rebuild with out him. I'm sick of the "rebuilding" bill of goods we've been sold since GABP was initially conceived.

I wouldn't get your hopes up about that.

The Operator
11-05-2011, 02:07 PM
Whether someone agrees with that probably has alot to do with what they think of Alonso. I like Alonso, but expecting him to fill Votto's shoes in his first full year or two just isn't going to happen.


I wouldn't get your hopes up about that.Thing is, adding Lincecum doesn't help us there either. If we can't afford to keep Votto long-term, we sure can't afford to keep Lincecum long term.

redsfandan
11-05-2011, 02:18 PM
I like Alonso, but expecting him to fill Votto's shoes in his first full year or two just isn't going to happen.

Thing is, adding Lincecum doesn't help us there either. If we can't afford to keep Votto long-term, we sure can't afford to keep Lincecum long term.

He wouldn't have to be as good as Votto for that trade to work for the Reds. Or to prevent the offense from suffering. I agree that Linc probably wouldn't be a long term Red either. But that kind of deal could help the Reds win in 2012-2013.

kaldaniels
11-05-2011, 02:47 PM
All things being equal for 2012 and 2013, I'd take my chances with Lincecum and Alonso vs Votto and Alonso (on the bench). That said, Joey is the best of all those guys.

Strikes Out Looking
11-05-2011, 05:03 PM
I heard Morosi on the radio yesterday; he makes John Fay look like Albert Einstein.

dunner13
11-05-2011, 05:37 PM
No way there trading Lincecum, this is one reporter trying to get some people to read his website. However if the reds are going to use votto to get an elite young SP I would suggest Clayton Kershaw. Not sure if theres any chance that the dodgers would trade him but if they miss out on Pujols/Fielder and the new owner wants to make a splash adding Votto would certainly do that, and they could afford to sign him long term.

Vottomatic
11-05-2011, 10:48 PM
Until the Reds get a TOR starter, all the Votto's in the world aren't going to get this team to the World Series.

savafan
11-05-2011, 10:59 PM
Until the Reds get a TOR starter, all the Votto's in the world aren't going to get this team to the World Series.

Who was the TOR starter for the Texas Rangers?

Vottomatic
11-06-2011, 08:00 AM
Who was the TOR starter for the Texas Rangers?

CJ Wilson

savafan
11-06-2011, 10:54 AM
CJ Wilson

I would argue that CJ Wilson is not a TOR starter, even if he is about to be paid like one.

nemesis
11-06-2011, 09:18 PM
I wonder if they would do Stubbs for Timmy? :lol:

757690
11-06-2011, 10:43 PM
CJ Wilson

Wilson really isn't significantly better than Cueto, so if Wilson is a TOR, then Cueto is close enough to being one that the Reds don't need one.

dougdirt
11-07-2011, 12:09 AM
Wilson really isn't significantly better than Cueto, so if Wilson is a TOR, then Cueto is close enough to being one that the Reds don't need one.

CJ Wilson brings you a lot more innings and he misses a significant number of more bats. He also pitches in the AL, where he doesn't get to face the pitcher. Wilson is a lot better than Cueto is when you look at it all together.

757690
11-07-2011, 01:09 AM
CJ Wilson brings you a lot more innings and he misses a significant number of more bats. He also pitches in the AL, where he doesn't get to face the pitcher. Wilson is a lot better than Cueto is when you look at it all together.

Over the last two season (since Wilson has only been a starter since then):

Innings pitched per game:

Cueto - 6.2
Wilson - 6.4

K/BB

Cueto - 2.33
Wilson - 2.30

FIP

Cueto - 3.67
Wilson - 3.40

HR/9

Cueto - 0.69
Wilson - 0.54

I give the edge to Wilson, but not by much. They look pretty similar to me in their key stats.

dougdirt
11-07-2011, 01:59 AM
Over the last two season (since Wilson has only been a starter since then):

Innings pitched per game:

Cueto - 6.2
Wilson - 6.4

K/BB

Cueto - 2.33
Wilson - 2.30

FIP

Cueto - 3.67
Wilson - 3.40

HR/9

Cueto - 0.69
Wilson - 0.54

I give the edge to Wilson, but not by much. They look pretty similar to me in their key stats.

I don't care much about IP/G when Cueto has made 55 starts over the last two years to Wilson's 67. That is a month's worth of extra starts each year. Wilson also had similar rates or better across the board without facing the pitcher 2-3 times per start and instead facing a first tier level hitter with a DH. Put Wilson in the NL and his walk rate drops, hit rate drops, strikeouts go up and HR rate drops because he goes from facing DH's to pitchers.

mth123
11-07-2011, 04:40 AM
Wilson > Cueto. Neither is a number 1.

klw
11-07-2011, 09:12 AM
Wilson > Cueto. Neither is a number 1.

Cueto = 25
Wilson =30

Cueto is getting better, Wilson is probably at his peak.

REDREAD
11-07-2011, 03:01 PM
I don't care much about IP/G when Cueto has made 55 starts over the last two years to Wilson's 67. That is a month's worth of extra starts each year. Wilson also had similar rates or better across the board without facing the pitcher 2-3 times per start and instead facing a first tier level hitter with a DH. Put Wilson in the NL and his walk rate drops, hit rate drops, strikeouts go up and HR rate drops because he goes from facing DH's to pitchers.

That's a solid point.
If the Reds could get more quality starts out of the #3-5 starters, it would help negate that edge though.
As far as "who would you rather pitch game 1 of the playoffs, Wilson or Cueto?" I think it's very close.

dougdirt
11-07-2011, 03:21 PM
That's a solid point.
If the Reds could get more quality starts out of the #3-5 starters, it would help negate that edge though.
As far as "who would you rather pitch game 1 of the playoffs, Wilson or Cueto?" I think it's very close.

I would take Wilson over Cueto. It is interesting though, I feel Cueto has better pure stuff than his ever declining strikeout rate suggests and it kind of leaves me confused as to where the strikeouts are at. I think Cueto is a good #3/solid #2 pitcher right now with how he plays. There is room for improvement too, so it isn't like he is limited to that ceiling. But right now, Wilson is the guy I would feel more comfortable about.

mdccclxix
11-08-2011, 11:05 AM
I can see Cueto jumping between 5.5 and 9 k's per 9 innings throughout his career. He's sure to have at least one year where he puts it together in that regard.

REDREAD
11-08-2011, 01:36 PM
I would take Wilson over Cueto. It is interesting though, I feel Cueto has better pure stuff than his ever declining strikeout rate suggests and it kind of leaves me confused as to where the strikeouts are at. I think Cueto is a good #3/solid #2 pitcher right now with how he plays. There is room for improvement too, so it isn't like he is limited to that ceiling. But right now, Wilson is the guy I would feel more comfortable about.

In an inteview this season, Cueto said that he's focusing less on K's and more on reducing his pitch count per batter so he can go deeper into games.
It seemed to be pretty effective. Cueto could K more guys if he really wanted to, but this seems a smart strategy (as long as he continues to get results).
IMO, this is why metrics like K/IP, FIP, and xFIP need to be taken with a grain of salt when comparing pitchers.

Superdude
11-08-2011, 02:02 PM
In an inteview this season, Cueto said that he's focusing less on K's and more on reducing his pitch count per batter so he can go deeper into games.
It seemed to be pretty effective. Cueto could K more guys if he really wanted to, but this seems a smart strategy (as long as he continues to get results).
IMO, this is why metrics like K/IP, FIP, and xFIP need to be taken with a grain of salt when comparing pitchers.

Not saying Cueto should go back to being the 5 inning homer prone strikeout artist he was his rookie year, but how does choosing to sacrifice some effectiveness in favor of innings discount the value of FIP?

TRF
11-08-2011, 03:03 PM
The TOR on the Rangers was labeled as Wilson it's probably Holland or Ogando now.

That is a young talented rotation.

dougdirt
11-08-2011, 04:13 PM
In an inteview this season, Cueto said that he's focusing less on K's and more on reducing his pitch count per batter so he can go deeper into games.
It seemed to be pretty effective. Cueto could K more guys if he really wanted to, but this seems a smart strategy (as long as he continues to get results).
IMO, this is why metrics like K/IP, FIP, and xFIP need to be taken with a grain of salt when comparing pitchers.
Cueto can say and do what he pleases, but striking guys out is better than allowing guys to hit the ball, even if it saves some pitches. In the long run, you are going to very likely wind up doing worse with such a plan.

Vottomatic
11-08-2011, 04:34 PM
Cueto can say and do what he pleases, but striking guys out is better than allowing guys to hit the ball, even if it saves some pitches. In the long run, you are going to very likely wind up doing worse with such a plan.

Huh?

It worked really well for him.

CySeymour
11-08-2011, 05:03 PM
Huh?

It worked really well for him.

I think what Doug is saying is that it isn't a good formula for future success. It tends to not hold up over time.

RedsManRick
11-08-2011, 05:03 PM
Huh?

It worked really well for him.

Sort of. Cueto was very lucky on two fronts in 2011.

1. His BABIP was unsustainably low. Even if he's among the best in baseball at preventing hits, his BABIP was about 30 points south of sustainability.

2. His HR/FB was unsustainably low. He allowed basically 50% as many HR per FB as can be expected moving forward. It's well established that pitchers simply don't have much control over HR/FB and that it tends towards 10-11%. Matt Cain has been the most extreme outlier on this front and he has averaged 6.5% HR/FB -- Cueto was at 5.8% against a career average north of 11% prior to 2011.

Let's see what his ERA looks like at the end of 2012 if his peripherals don't change. It's been established that FIP is a better predictor of future ERA than is ERA itself. In other words, if he puts up similar peripherals in 2012, he's likely to get an ERA closer to 4.00 than to 3.00.

dougdirt
11-08-2011, 05:08 PM
Huh?

It worked really well for him.

This season it did. He is incredibly unlikely to see a BABIP that low again. Sow hen his BABIP returns to normal, he starts allowing more hits and more runs and his ERA goes up, starts facing more hitters and throwing more pitches and thus fewer innings.

It is going to happen. The question is, how far does the ERA increase go? Probably not too far, but his ERA was 4th best among a group of 53 players within a 1% mark of his strikeout rate, walk rate and a 0.1 rate of his HR rate with 150 IP from 1960-2009. That suggests his ERA is likely to go up.

There were a few players on the list several times. Tom Candiotti was on there three times and his ERA's were 2.65, 3.12 and 4.12. Tom Glavine was on there twice with ERA's of 2.47 and 3.08. Tommy John with a 1.98 and 3.09 ERA. Jerry Koosman with a 2.08 and 3.36 ERA.

If they are striking out the same rates, walking the same rates and allowing the same rates of HR's, their ERA's should all be similar shouldn't they? Even with the same pitchers we see 0.50 to 1.50 increases.

mdccclxix
11-08-2011, 05:30 PM
I believe that Cueto will adjust if and when needed. The nice thing is he has the tools to build on and to adapt, as we've seen. That doesn't change our need for a #2 starter, though.

Vottomatic
11-08-2011, 06:18 PM
I think what Doug is saying is that it isn't a good formula for future success. It tends to not hold up over time.

What I'm saying is that some people analyze things to such an extreme to put a negative spin on any positive situation.

Vottomatic
11-08-2011, 06:23 PM
I believe that Cueto will adjust if and when needed. The nice thing is he has the tools to build on and to adapt, as we've seen. That doesn't change our need for a #2 starter, though.

Amen. I agree.

dougdirt
11-08-2011, 06:37 PM
What I'm saying is that some people analyze things to such an extreme to put a negative spin on any positive situation.

I analyze things to try and figure out how good/bad the Reds are going to be next year. I don't do it to be negative. I do it because I am trying to figure out how good the Reds are going to be and if/how much they need to improve.

REDREAD
11-09-2011, 04:46 PM
Not saying Cueto should go back to being the 5 inning homer prone strikeout artist he was his rookie year, but how does choosing to sacrifice some effectiveness in favor of innings discount the value of FIP?

His new approach (less emphasis on K's) hurts his FIP and K/IP
Isn't the whole point of FIP that a pitcher can only control Ks and HR allowed
If Cueto can reduce his K's per 9 IP, but go deeper into games and still have a sparkling ERA, how is that a red flag?
I don't care if Cueto's K's are declining.. He's maturing as a pitcher and finding more efficient ways of recording outs. Some people are saying his declining Ks are a red flag.

Just saying FIP and K/9IP should be taken with a grain of salt. Every stat is useful, but some people think FIP is THE best stat for pitchers. It isn't, especially for starting pitchers.

REDREAD
11-09-2011, 04:47 PM
Cueto can say and do what he pleases, but striking guys out is better than allowing guys to hit the ball, even if it saves some pitches. In the long run, you are going to very likely wind up doing worse with such a plan.

I disagree. Give me this year's version of Cueto anytime. In the end, the starter's job is to give up as few runs as possible. His secondary goal is to give as many good innings per start as possible.

Volquez K's a lot of guys, but he's horrible.

dougdirt
11-09-2011, 05:38 PM
I disagree. Give me this year's version of Cueto anytime. In the end, the starter's job is to give up as few runs as possible. His secondary goal is to give as many good innings per start as possible.

Volquez K's a lot of guys, but he's horrible.

The point is, this years Cueto isn't likely to be next years Cueto. Guys with his peripherals don't tend to repeat seasons like this.

As for Volquez.... he "is horrible" because he walks 4-5 guys per 9 innings. Not because he strikes guys out.

dougdirt
11-09-2011, 05:42 PM
Just saying FIP and K/9IP should be taken with a grain of salt. Every stat is useful, but some people think FIP is THE best stat for pitchers. It isn't, especially for starting pitchers.

Here is where I stand with FIP.... it isn't good at telling me what did happen. But it is good at telling me what I should expect moving forward without a change in the pitchers approach.

RedsManRick
11-09-2011, 06:21 PM
I disagree. Give me this year's version of Cueto anytime. In the end, the starter's job is to give up as few runs as possible. His secondary goal is to give as many good innings per start as possible.

Volquez K's a lot of guys, but he's horrible.

FIP includes Ks, BBs and HRs. Volquez was horrible because he walked a ton of people and gave up a ton of HR. This year's FIP is a better predictor of next year's ERA than this year's ERA is. That's a proven fact. No stat is inherently good or bad, it just is. A stat is good or bad when you try to say something with it. And if the idea is to predict what ERA Cueto will put up in 2012, the best tool we have for that is FIP (or similarly constructed metrics).

One of the traps people fall in to is assuming that because a stat is associated with a player, it's measuring that player's performance. Just like RBI is a heavily influenced by how many guys the batter had on base (and thus not a great measure of a player's offensive ability), ERA is a measure of how many guys who got on base (by means other than an error) while said pitcher was on the mound ended up scoring. Sure, the pitcher himself is a big factor in that -- the biggest one. But it's also measuring the performance of his fielders among other things. And just like a pitchers can get good or bad run support in a given year, a pitcher can get good or bad defense support -- we can't just assume that having a "good" defense behind him means he's always getting good defensive play. ERA purports to take defense out of the equation, but it does so in a grossly insufficient way.

Get this, in 2011, Cueto had the 3rd greatest difference between his FIP and ERA of 107 pitchers with 150 IP. Or looked at differently, he had the 2nd highest percentage of runs allowed that were categorized as unearned, 22% (league average is 9% and only 7 were above 15%). That could mean that Cueto had horrible defense behind him. But his low BABIP suggests that wasn't the case. Rather, it suggests that Cueto may have had some extra help from the official scorer, or at minimum from the "timing gods" whereby an early in the inning error let Cueto off the hook for going on to allow some runs that were really of his own accord.


Will it be true in Cueto's case? We'll see. What we know about pitchers is that you cannot put up the peripherals Cueto did this year and sustain the ERA he put up. And if he does sustain the ERA without his peripherals improving, it's because he continued to have good batted ball luck (which is a combination of randomness and legitimately good defense) and good timing (think HR, BB, BB instead of BB, BB, HR). And we know that those things have a strong tendency to regress back towards "average".

All that said, I think the most persuasive argument in Cueto's favor for putting up an ERA lower than his FIP is because he became a strong GB pitcher last year and the Reds have very good IF defense -- and it's still going to be there in 2012. But just don't expect it to be a full run lower. If I had to put an ERA projection out for Cueto in 2012, I'd say 3.50.

Some good info:
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/how-well-can-we-predict-era/
FIP: A New ERA - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuWoLBhnJ1g&feature=player_embedded)

REDREAD
11-11-2011, 09:51 AM
The point is, this years Cueto isn't likely to be next years Cueto. Guys with his peripherals don't tend to repeat seasons like this.
.

Ok, give me a prediction of what Cueto will be next year, if healthy.

REDREAD
11-11-2011, 09:55 AM
If I had to put an ERA projection out for Cueto in 2012, I'd say 3.50.


Not saying FIP is useless, but it's overrated.
Cueto changed his approach and got results.
Is he likely to repeat this season next year?
It will be difficult, because if you look in the history of the game, how many pitchers have had back to back 2.31 ERA seasons? Not many.
So it's easy to predict that Cueto's ERA will increase next season, regardless of any stats.

My main point is that people think Cueto's declining K's is a red flag.
It isn't IMO. He obviously has the ablity to strike out players when he needs to. No point in trying to strike out the side every inning.

mth123
11-11-2011, 07:41 PM
Ok, give me a prediction of what Cueto will be next year, if healthy.

I'll bite.

180 IP, 3.90 ERA, 135K, 55 BB, 20 HR

A very solid number 3 starter who doesn't always go deep enough in games, but I'd be thrilled if they had one more like him who could be a very good bet to put up a season like this one. I'd say that season is a tick better than we can expect from Leake and 2 or 3 ticks better than we should expect from Arroyo (though Arroyo will provide more innings). Beyond those three its mega question marks from everybody else.