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Winter Meetings


This is a post from today's Morning mug that someone suggested I turn into a full on fan post regarding thoughts of the Brewers sending Mat Gamel and Manny Parra to Tampa Bay for James Shields.... a thought posted by Christina Kahl at Baseball Prospectus:

Baseball Prospectus has an article posted today regarding small moves that could/might/should be made next week where teams deal from a position of surplus for needs and they mention 2 very interesting deals (one directly related to the Brewers).

The writer Christina Kahl says the Rays trade James Shields to the Brewers for Gamel and Parra. She cites the Rays depth at pitching and need for salary relief as well as opening a spot in the rotation for Jeremy Hellickson, and Gamel as a positionless player whose bat may be better suited to DH/AL and Parra as a guy with great stuff who the Brewers cant really get a handle on.

I would put Shields’ value at about $10 million surplus, but if the Brewers didnt unloade him before the remaining two years of his contract, that value drops. Shields has a contract through 2014 with the last 3 years of the deal having club options with buyouts attached. I would rate Gamel at around $5.5 million surplus value, and Parra at around that same value. Might not be a bad trade for the Brewers, probably improves them by a couple of wins as he slides in front of Randy Wolf in the #3 spot in the rotation.

Here's the math, all projections are based on PECOTA and salary data coming from Cot's:

James Shields      
   
Year Sal (M) WAR Val (M) Net (M) Sal (M) Arb %
2011 $2.5 2.3 $10.8 $8.3 $2.5  
2012 $4.3 2.1 $9.9 $5.6 $4.3  
2013 $2.0 0.0 $0.4 -$1.6 $2.0  
2014        
2015        
2016        
FA Picks $0.0  
Total $8.8 4.4 $21.0 $12.3

This value is based on the assumption that any team that picks him up, keeps him for 2 years while he is still above average and the salary is relatively cheap, from 2013 on he starts to project as below average and the salary ramps up each year with buy outs.  The $2m number for 2012 assumes he gets traded to a team for whatever they send over, plus the cost of the buyout for that year.

I come to a number for Mat Gamel based on his ranking prior to 2010 as a top 100 Prospect for Baseball America and the dollar amount assigned to that rank according to Victor Wang of The Hardball Times.  The value is stated at $11.1 million for a hitter ranked in the 76-100 range.  if I am not mistaken Mat Gamel was ranked 89 last year by BA in their pre-season ranking, could have even been in the 90s somewhere.  Regardless, you could liberally, or conservatively cut that value in half for him and probably be close to what he is worth: $5,550,000.

And when it comes to Parra its a complete upside (but fair) valuation, whether he starts or is a bullpen arm for them. 

Manny Parra      
   
Year Sal (M) WAR Val (M) Net (M) Sal (M) Arb %
2011 $1.2 0.6 $3.1 $1.9   40%
2012 $2.1 0.7 $3.6 $1.4   60%
2013 $2.8 0.7 $3.6 $0.7   80%
2014        
2015        
2016        
FA Picks $0.0  
Total $6.2 2.0 $10.2 $4.0

If this deal were to come to fruition, the Rays dump about $11.25 worth of salary obligations, and get a promising bat, and a pitcher with great "stuff" in return to come out of their bullpen.  At worst the Brewers throw in a couple of lower level prospects to make it worth the Rays while.

The other note referenced the A’s dealing Kevin Kouzmanoff to the Orioles for Nolan Reimold. I’ve become a big fan of Kouz this off season and if he were available, say in a McGehee/Cain for Kouzmanoff/Cahill type of deal the Brewers should be all over that.

If the two deals were done, it doesnt dramatically improve the team as far as W-L projections go the next couple of years.  What it does is it allows the Brewers to move Fielder more comfortably for prospect arms instead of mlb ready arms, all the while not making the team worse in the standings.  Once the prospects arrive, if all is well, you have yourself a team that instead of flat and starting over, perhaps 6 or 7 wins improved from where they are now.

Thoughts?

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