Thursday, July 20, 2006

Agnostic about Shapiro

Before this season, I had been very impressed with Mark Shapiro. I'd predicted last year that he would win the Executive of the Year Award, and he did. I had faith that he, almost single-handedly, would keep the organization strong despite Dolan's very very short arms and thin wallet. I've lost the faith. He gave away Brandon Phillips. He couldn't see how bad Jason Johnson was even as Johnson got bombed game after game. He was sleeping while Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez were given away. And now, he got royally pantsed in a fire sale. Perhaps not to be outdone by the Reds, he ended up being the one giving away talent.

I'm bitterly disappointed. Shapiro gave away Wickman for Max Ramirez. Ramirez is an interesting young catching prospect, who has a chance to be a good solid catcher who can hit, but I thought we already had that in Kelly Shoppach. Moreover, the odds that a 21-year-old catcher playing single A ball will be a good catcher in the bigs are remote. That applies to any young catcher. They're the riskiest prospects in baseball---even more risky than young pitchers. If you don't believe me, check out any MLB draft list and see how few of the catchers chosen in the first round even played in the bigs. There are a lot more guys like Crash Davis than Johnny Bench. Hell, most teams would be happy if one of their young catching prospects turned out like Einar Diaz. Would you be happy with a Wickman for Einar Diaz deal? I wouldn't be either.

Listen, I didn't expect Wickman to bring a player like Kearns, but I expected that the Indians would receive an solid player or a prospect who had proven himself at least at AA or higher.
Don't listen to the horse's asses on talk radio who say stuff like, "Well, we'll have to wait at least 5 years to evaluate this trade." It's a bad trade now. It will remain a bad trade even if Max Ramirez turns out to be a good player. The bottom line is that we should have gotten more.

I'm now filled with doubt about the competence of this front office. That's too bad. I liked going to church at the Jake.


Ms. Anotop said...

Glad to see you're finally starting to agree with me...M.A.

Vinny said...

A buddy of mine, Mike M., who may understand the Indians better than anyone in that front office suggested that Shapiro's next move will be to trade Blake for some magic beans.

Stay tuned.

Jon said...

I listened to steve phillips (same guy responsible for depleting the mets farm system) praise shapiro during a spring training game earlier this year. so much so that his co commentator had to interrupt him just to call the game.

I was startled that some people actually believe this guy knows what hes doing.

Maybe dolan is the one to blame this mess on, but Shapiro is not innocent by any means.

anyways, great blog. if you dont mind i'll link you from my site..

I host

take care.

JDW said...

A lot of people seem very upset over this trade, and I would think I'd have stronger feelins one way or another, but I don't. Wickman isn't going to be playing after this season and every team knows it. Any team trading for Wickman knew they would be trading a player for a player who's only playing for the next three months. Plus Wicky has 10-5 rights, not that I think it made much of a difference.

Shapiro said in a conference call that there were a slew of AA and AAA players Atlanta was willing to trade, but he wanted to take a player with a higher upside. Shapiro has done very well in the past when trading for prospects (Lee, Sizemore, Hafner, even Phillips) so I'm not going to assume that Ramirez is a bust just because he won't be in the majors in the next few years. And if Ramirez turns into a regular player this trade will be great.

Ben said...

I thought I'd be a bit more pissed at this trade as well, but I can't seem to get too worked up.

Wickman will probably retire after the season anyway, so at least we got something, even if it's a single A catching prospect.

Of course, you'd like to think there was someone out there who would offer, oh, I dunno, a AA prospect, or even a AAA.

But even after all that, I still don't really care that much. We all knew that trades were coming, and ya, we wanted more, but I don't think this trade is that big of a deal.

Brian Sipe said...

I can't believe so many people are so quick to bash this trade. Here's a couple of points.
1. Like everyone else has mentioned, Wick is done after this year. If we don't make this trade, we get nothing once he retires. Add the fact that the Wick rarely gets used because of the lack of save situations in Tribe games (20 save situations in 94 games), and we were lucky to get what we did.
2. The point about catchers often not panning out is true--many don't. But this guy isn't Einar Diaz. Ramirez won the Appalachian League MVP last year, and was a South Atlantic League All-Star this year. Diaz didn't hit over .300 until his 8th (yes 8th) season in the minors. Ramirez is a raw talent, but he's proven himself to be a very good hitter. Apparently you would rather have Wickman for 2 months than a possible Victor Martinez for the next 10 years.
3. Blaming Shapiro for Jason Johnson is fair--he shit the bed on that deal. No GM bats 1.000. For his limited resources, Shapiro has made some incredible moves, highlighted by that amazing Colon deal. Without Shapiro, we don't have Hafner, Sizemore, Lee, and others.

All in all, this trade was a good one. Nobody was chomping at the bit for Wick. He's a decent closer, but keeping him around does us no good.

Vinny said...

Jon thanks for your comments about the blog.

As to Ramirez, don't get me wrong. He's an interesting prospect. He has the possibility of being good, even very good. But, Atlanta was desperate. The Tribe could have gotten more.