In case you missed parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, wherein we explored the reasons for and against trading Manny Parra and Nyjer Morgan and George Kottaras and Corey Hart and Randy Wolf and Rickie Weeks, respectively.
Hi! My name is KAMERON LOE, and my snake's name is ANGEL.* And here's why you should trade me!
* Wait, he gave the snake up for adoption two years ago? Dang. It had long been my hope that Kam would strike somebody out for the final out of a game, Lucroy would clothesline the cat, and then Loe would bring the snake and drape it over dude's body a la Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Double dang.
2012/Career vitals: Big Kam has taken a step back this year after serving as a dependable arm in the pen in 2010 and 2011 (once Ron Roenicke figured out that using Kam in the eighth inning, regardless of how many left-handed batters the opposition was sending to the plate, was a bad idea). Through 37 games, his ERA stands at 3.96 and his FIP is at 4.15 (a far cry from 2011's sterling 2.80 FIP). His strikeouts are down (6.52 K/9), his homers are way up (already 5 this year, compared to 4 all of last year), and his ground ball rate -- his calling card thanks to his power sinker -- stands at 50.8%, down thirteen percentage points from 2011.
Kam's career can be divided into two categories: before he went to Japan in 2009 (and, no, we're not going to abbreviate that time period as "BJ," you deviants) and after he came back to the States in 2010. Before he went to Japan, Kam appeared in 137 games for the Rangers, making 47 starts. He wasn't good as a starter -- he made 15 starts in 2006 and 23 in 2007, and posted ERAs of 5.86 and 5.36, respectively -- but he was OK as a reliever. When he came back from Japan, Kam found his niche: he had a 2.78 ERA in 53 appearances for the Crew in 2010, and he was at 3.50 in 72 appearances last year. Over the last two-and-a-half seasons, he's been worth 1.5 fWAR (and that's including this year's 0.0 mark through 37 games).
Contract sitch: This is Loe's second arbitration year, and he agreed to a $2.175 million contract before spring training. Next year is Kam's third and final year of arbitration, and he'll be eligible for free agency in 2014.
DEAL ME NOW! Kam's a rubber-armed menace to right-handed batters: in 2010, he held right-handed hitters to a .228/.289/.324 line in 150 plate appearances, and in 2011 he was even better, holding righties to .233/.274/.327 in 168 plate appearances. And while he's not great against lefties (.690 OPS against lefties in 2011, and .740 OPS against lefties in 2010), he's not totally a ROOGY.
Plus, when you factor in that Kam's making over $2 million already this year, and, in all likelihood, is going to be making north of $2.5 million in his final year of arbitration, he's a pretty expensive piece. And if the Crew is planning to hold onto John Axford (who's arb-eligible for the first time next season) and Jose Veras (Arb 3 next year) and Manny Parra (Arb 3, too), somebody probably needs to go to clear some money in the 'pen.
Please don't read this part, opposing GMs: OK, fine: he is kind of a ROOGY (he's got a scary .770 OPS against lefties this year, which includes a .364 OBP), and after a couple years of heavy use and a decent-sized workload in the first half of the 2012 season (he's pitched three consecutive games three times this year, and worked in five of the Brewers' final six games before the All-Star break), he might be starting to wear down a little. Perhaps relatedly, he's throwing his sinker a lot less this season: according to FanGraphs, 78% of his pitches last year were sinkers. This year, that number is down to 68%.
Fill in the blank: Kam Loe is worth his weight in: Nope. Noooope. Not making any jokes here. Dude's 6'8", two-and-a-half spins on the scale and is apparently a Parselmouth. Not touching this one.
Gratuitous note about Adam Sandler: I don't remember what I was watching last night, but I saw something about Adam Sandler's recent film, That's My Boy, and thus today I don't have a comment but a question for you, dear readers.
Who is going to see these Adam Sandler movies?
I assume a bunch of people do, because there's like two of these "Adam Sandler and his friends go on vacation and goof around and just happen to film a movie while they're there" movies coming out every year, and they must be making money or else the movie studios would stop producing them. So, if you're a member of that bunch, and you were first in line to see Jack & Jill or That's My Boy or Grown Ups or Just Go With It or I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, please: let me -- let all of us -- knowing what I'm/we're missing. Because I genuinely don't get it, and I desperately want to understand.
Why Doug Melvin probably won't trade him: Because he's a firm believer that relievers are prone to go good year-bad year-good year-bad year, and he's expecting Kam to bounce back in 2013.
How desperate should we be to move him, on the Rubie Q Patented Trade This Slug-O-Meter: If I had my druthers, I'd hang on to Big Kam and part ways with Veras and Parra (and maybe Axford???? TEASE!). As such, I give this one a 3.