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Per the Sun, O's looking at Izturis

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Count me in the "this is crap" camp. I've seen enough of Olsen. What I see is a guy who barely breaks 89 mph and has questionable control of his pitches and emotions. I have trouble believing this report is accurate; if it is, it's a terrible decision by MacPhail.

If you're trying to build a contender, who would you rather have in your organization?

Choice A A 25-year-old pitcher who has proven himself at 'AAA' with a 3.1 ERA after 29 starts, but who hasn't done very well in the majors after one full season. He still has an option year, so you can send him to 'AAA' if you want. You have to pay him maybe $350,000 for 2009. Depending on how much time he spends in the minors, the organization has him locked up cheap through 2013 or 2014.

Choice B A 29-year-old SS who hit .213 with a .260 obp last year. People say he'll play better away from his current home stadium, but he hit .212 with a .225 obp away from home last year. The 'season long slump' was so bad that he punched a storage chest at his home stadium on July 31st. The attack on the innocent storage chest fractured his hand and ended his miserable season prematurely. His current team has filed a grievance to try to recoup $1.5m from him due to the self-infliction of his injury.

If he rebounds to his best year (2007), that's still an obp below .300 (.322 away from home), but you really have no idea whether he'll rebound anyway. If he doesn't, he's locked into your active 25-man roster, or you can eat his salary. You'll have to pay him $6.5m, and he becomes a free agent after this season. So you may be looking for another SS at that point, anyway. And now you don't have the pitcher from 'Choice A' either.

No, ladies and gentlemen. Regardless of whether you believe Garrett Olson will make it in the majors, Khalil Greene is not worth Garrett Olson to this organization. He's worth a flyer if San Diego wants to dump his salary. He's worth guys whom you'd classify as minor league filler. What you're really giving San Diego is an offer to take his salary off their hands. He's not worth any real prospects.

Edited by TakebackOPACY

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I can't argue with turning down that trade, one year of Khalil Greene is hardly worth giving up on a 24 year-old (soon to be 25) with a minor league ERA under 3 and a Minor league K:BB or 3:1... If Greene was under club control for a couple more years I would consider it but not for a rental...

Seems the word minor league is used a lot in that statement. I do however agree with the fact that Greene will be a FA after 2009, so if you could work an extension it may be worth it, but otherwise I probably wouldn't do it even tho Olson has pitched poorly for the most part in the bigs, besides obvisouly a few good starts.

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I don't think MacPhail and Trembley could make it any clearer than they already have: when it comes to SS, defense is priority no. 1, 2 and 3. If they can get some offense, great, but what they want is above average defense at SS. Let's just accept that as a given, and move on.

So now I pose the question: how good is Izturis' defense? The answer seems to be, pretty darn good. In the Fielding Bible awards, Itzuris finished 7th, and got a top 10 vote from 7 of the 10 voters. On the +/- system, Itzuris finished fourth, at +19. He finished 2nd in RZR, and 3rd in OOZ. Baseball Prospectus gave him a Rate/Rate2 of 105/107.

So while I am not wild about the idea of Izturis, at least I feel like that move would accomplish a key objective of MacPhail and Trembley, which failed miserably last year.

I think Izturis is the best FA option for SS. I'd much rather give him $1-3M than give Furcal or Cabrera $30-40M.

There are guys I would prefer in trades, like Greene or maybe even Crosby or a variety of younger guys. But that is of course offset by how much we would have to give up to get them.

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This year is a building year. This guy is a stopgap, but he is apparently a solid defensive SS. Any decent hitting a bonus.

The aren't going to throw away money in an expensive FA SS and they are stupid to trade much of anything for obne.I'm hoping that they trade Huff for somebody who can help in a year or two. But right now, you need to plug the hole with a decent glove.

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Why not just let him go somewhere and then sign him as a FA after next year?

Exactly, we are not going to be in contention this year, so Greene does nothing for us except fill a role. A role which Izturis should fill just fine this year. If Greene shows he can be a solid ML SS then we can sign him and not have to give up a prospect.

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It would be pretty much ridiculous to give up anything of value for Greene - if you have to pay his salary. The guy hit worse than Izturis last year - and you can't blame it on the stadium, because he hit worse on the road. I'm not an Olson believer, but I wouldn't trade him for Greene.

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We have the pitching depth to sustain that loss... especially for an everyday position player that has the potential to be an everyday player.

If you obtain an Izturis, the O's should see if they can get either Nelson (Colorado) or Lillibridge (Atlanta)..... both had horrible 2008 seasons, but both showed good promise prior to that... if their value is at a low, you would think their organizations would keep them... but perhaps Colorado and Atlanta are just ready to dump them for nearly any return.

Disagree here, we don't have pitching depth, until some of these young arms come up to the major league level and perform well. We have no guarantees on any of these young pitchers that they will be productive at the major league level.

So, until some of the young pitching comes up and does well, we need to keep all of our young arms. When a few come up and become established, then I believe we can consider moving a few.

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If they are going to sign Izturis, they have to upgrade elsewhere... like at 1B.
That's a good point, something we really haven't discussed much.

So, how do we upgrade at 1B?

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Signing Izturis makes sense to the O's on a lot of levels. With the young pitching we are going to be bringing up, we want out defense to be as good as possible. With Wieters, Izturis, Roberts and Jones up the middle I think we're in good shape.

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I suggested Izturis this summer. I think it's a great low-risk move, and you can probably land him without investing more than 2-3 years and $6-10mios. That works for me! If you grab a shortstop elsewhere while he's under contract he can shift to the 24th man role and give you some bench defense up-the-middle.

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If you're trying to build a contender, who would you rather have in your organization?

Choice A A 25-year-old pitcher who has proven himself at 'AAA' with a 3.1 ERA after 29 starts, but who hasn't done very well in the majors after one full season. He still has an option year, so you can send him to 'AAA' if you want. You have to pay him maybe $350,000 for 2009. Depending on how much time he spends in the minors, the organization has him locked up cheap through 2013 or 2014.

Choice B A 29-year-old SS who hit .213 with a .260 obp last year. People say he'll play better away from his current home stadium, but he hit .212 with a .225 obp away from home last year. The 'season long slump' was so bad that he punched a storage chest at his home stadium on July 31st. The attack on the innocent storage chest fractured his hand and ended his miserable season prematurely. His current team has filed a grievance to try to recoup $1.5m from him due to the self-infliction of his injury.

If he rebounds to his best year (2007), that's still an obp below .300 (.322 away from home), but you really have no idea whether he'll rebound anyway. If he doesn't, he's locked into your active 25-man roster, or you can eat his salary. You'll have to pay him $6.5m, and he becomes a free agent after this season. So you may be looking for another SS at that point, anyway. And now you don't have the pitcher from 'Choice A' either.

No, ladies and gentlemen. Regardless of whether you believe Garrett Olson will make it in the majors, Khalil Greene is not worth Garrett Olson to this organization. He's worth a flyer if San Diego wants to dump his salary. He's worth guys whom you'd classify as minor league filler. What you're really giving San Diego is an offer to take his salary off their hands. He's not worth any real prospects.

This is exhibit A of why baseball fans, even dedicated, smart ones, pay too much attention to statistics and prospect "hype" and too little attention to what they see right in front of them. Garret Olson is not a high-ceiling guy. You can point to his minor league numbers all you want. There are a zillion guys in baseball history who could dominate AAA even more than Olson has but can't cut it at the ML level. Olson doesn't have dominating, or even very good, stuff. IF he can improve his control and IF he can get his head straightened out he might become a decent swingman or lefty out of the bullpen. That's it. That's his ceiling. Comparing him to Guthrie is laughable. Olson does not miss bats. He doesn't have a go-to pitch. His control has been very bad. And he clearly has a bad mental approach.

Last year at this time I was in the minority who said that Loewen was not going to make it in the Os starting rotation. In fact, I predicted he would be out of baseball in 3 years. I was probably wrong, but only because he will stick around as a hitter. He had terrible control but slightly better velocity than Olson, a much better curveball, and he was bigger and more athletic. We fall into the trap of paying too much attention to draft rounds and minor league success, and not to the tools that can achieve major league success. I'll go on record as predicting Cabrera, Liz, and maybe even Penn will have better major league careers than Olson.

I recognize Greene is not a great player. He is pretty talented and has contributed offensively even playing in the worst hitting ballpark in modern baseball history. Even for a year, I'd take my chances. My concern about Olson becoming the next Maine and having to regret the trade for years to come is zero. Rather my concern is that we will regret not making this trade.

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Olson has excelled at every level. There is always an adjustment period and most likely the move from AAA to MLB will take a little longer. I think Olson will be ok.

I could not agree more. Olson always had a bit of an adjustment phase every time he moved up a level, and this has been no different. He struggled when he first got to AAA, and he has obviosly struggled in the bigs. I am still confident that he will put it together and be a solid pitcher for us.

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