Tag: Jason Bartlett

Padres Starting Position Players 2011- Who ARE These Guys?

Adrian Gonzalez? Gone. David Eckstein? History. The Hairstons? Adios.

Miguel Tejada? Auf Weidersehen. Yorvit Torrealba? Movin on..

You get the picture. The Padres will be a different team in 2011.

The question becomes “Is different better?” I know that what I see on paper right now looks much better than the last two seasons teams did at this same point. Lets take a look at what should be the Padres starting line up for opening day.

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Tampa Bay Rays: Carl Crawford and Free Agent Losses Will Cripple Team in 2011

The Tampa Bay Rays have gone through baseball’s version of a liquidation sale in the 2010 offseason. It is almost as if any player with any value has left the team or has been rumored to be traded with few exceptions.

Starting with the expected departure of Carl Crawford to the Boston Red Sox and the subsequent departures of players including Carlos Pena and Jason Bartlett the team will look very different in 2011.

When a fan asked David Price on twitter about how the team will be different in 2011, he responded jokingly by saying, “the field will still look the same.”

Here is an examination of the impact the departed players will have on the Rays in 2011.

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San Diego Padres Shake Up Infield, Trade for Jason Bartlett, Sign Orlando Hudson

I will say, if nothing else, the San Diego Padres have had one interesting offseason.

I really believed that after surprising baseball by winning 90 games, finishing just two games behind the San Francisco Giants and seeing a close to 200,000 attendance increase, the Padres would capitalize on their 2010 by adding to their team for 2011. Instead, well, I have really have no idea what they are doing.

For every one step forward, they have taken two steps back. The latest examples of this? Their two middle-infield acquisitions this week.


After a couple of weeks of going back and forth with the Tampa Bay Rays, the two sides finally completed a trade that sends SS Jason Bartlett and a PTBNL to the Padres for minor leaguers Adam Russell, Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos and Cole Figueroa. Then the Padres signed 2B Orlando Hudson to a two-year, $11.5 million contract.

Let’s start with the Bartlett trade.

What on Earth are the Padres doing on this one? I don’t care if the four guys the Padres gave up are the Barry Horowitz’s of the Padres’ minor league system. There is no way I am giving up four bodies for Bartlett. That just can’t happen.

Bartlett’s 2011 season was less than stellar. If you take out Bartlett’s 2009 season, he has averaged a .284/.343/.369 hitting line with three home runs throughout his career. Well, that was pretty much in line with what Bartlett produced in 2010.

Bartlett hit .254/.324/.350 with four home runs in 135 games. Outside of his low average, everything else fell into place.

GM Jed Hoyer had to ask himself if his 2009 season was an aberration or if Bartlett had a really down year because he seemed to be hurt all the time. It’s a fair question, but I think 2009 was just an aberration. Apparently, Hoyer did not.

That’s the only explanation can I think of because not only did the Padres give up four players for Bartlett, but they are going to have to pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million in arbitration in 2011. For all that, the Padres might have been better off just bringing back Miguel Tejada on a one-year deal earlier in the offseason before he signed with the Giants.

I will get into the Rays side of things and the four players they acquired in a separate post.

Now on to the Hudson signing.

I have always liked Hudson as a player, but I don’t see how Hoyer can justify giving him a two-year deal.

In 2008, Hudson hit .305/.367/.450 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and in the offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers only gave him a one-year deal. In 2009, Hudson hit .283/.357/.417 with the Dodgers and still only managed to get a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.

So now Hudson has his lowest OPS of his career in 2010 with the Twins, only played in 126 games, and gets a two-year deal? Makes zero sense to me.

I can understand the Padres thinking with the acquisitions of Hudson and Bartlett. Their goal is to win with pitching and defense in 2011. Hudson and Bartlett should form one of the best double play combinations in baseball.

However, the goal of the game of baseball is to score more runs than your opponent. I have a hard time seeing how the Padres are going to able to outscore their opponents in 2011. I also have a hard time trying to figure out why the Padres would give up four players for Bartlett and why they would give Hudson a two-year deal.

I guess it’s just another confusing day in the offseason of the San Diego Padres.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Fantasy Baseball Fallout: Winter Meetings Days 3 & 4: Crawford, Konerko & More

The past two days were extremely busy at the winter meetings, highlighted by some shocking developments.  Let’s take a look at everything that happened (for my thoughts on Days 1 & 2, click here and here): 


The Boston Red Sox Signed OF Carl Crawford

Talk about the rich getting richer.  All indications had been that Crawford was headed out to Los Angeles before the Red Sox swooped in with a seven-year, $142 million deal.  It is hard to figure exactly where Crawford fits into the lineup, though you have to figure he’ll hit either third or sixth at this point.

The bottom line is that the Red Sox lineup got so much deeper with the addition of Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.  Either way, the top six in the lineup features Crawford, Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.  You will be hard-pressed to find a group with that much talent and that much potential to score runs.  All of their stocks went up just a little bit.

However, if Crawford does ultimately hit sixth you have to think that at least a little of his value will be lost.  He needs to be hitting in front of Gonzalez, Youkilis and Ortiz, where he will be able to utilize his speed and score a significant number of runs.  I have to believe the Red Sox will hit him third, but time will tell. 


The Baltimore Orioles Signed P Koji Uehara

When Alfredo Simon and Michael Gonzalez went down with injuries, the Orioles turned to Uehara to close out games and he responded with flying colors.  He posted a 2.86 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, showing great strikeout potential (11.25 K/9) and impeccable control (1.02 BB/9).  It’s hard to imagine him maintaining those types of numbers, but given the unknown in the Orioles bullpen he will likely get an opportunity to close once again. 

The strikeouts will likely fall.  The walks will probably rise slightly.  Still, he posted his success with a .317 BABIP, so a little more luck and the numbers would still be solid.  He’ll be worth owning in all formats, though it’s hard to call him a lock to close for the entire year.


The Padres Acquired SS Jason Bartlett from the Tampa Bay Rays for P Adam Russell and P Cesar Ramos

The Rays get two bullpen arms, something they desperately needed.  Both pitchers will likely fill a middle relief role, however, so don’t look for them to have much value.

Bartlett is a nice player, but his fantasy appeal is limited.  He offers no power (29 career HR in 2,501 AB despite hitting 14 in ‘09 alone) and moving to San Diego, he’s going to have even less.  There’s a little bit of speed there, but you are probably talking about 20 SB with little upside in runs and average.  He’s a low-end option, at best, especially in what figures to be a low-powered offense. 


The Phillies Signed P Dennys Reyes

The Phillies get their left-handed reliever.  That’s good for them, but it is meaningless to fantasy owners.


The Royals Signed OF Melky Cabrera

Now things get interesting in Kansas City.  You would have thought that they’d want to give their youngsters an opportunity, like letting Jarrod Dyson be a spark plug at the top of the order and in center field.  Instead they bring in an outfielder who brings no power and no speed.  Hopefully he’s going to be the fourth outfielder for the Royals and not take at-bats from someone who could be useful.


The Chicago White Sox Signed 1B Paul Konerko

His value would plummet if he left Chicago, though you have to expect a regression anyway.  He posted a 19.5 percent HR/FB rate and a .326 BABIP, two numbers that could fall in 2011.  He’s going to be usable for sure, but we’ll go into much more detail in the near future.


The Seattle Mariners Signed DH Jack Cust

He’s one of those potential high power, low average guys.  Of course, his HR/FB has fallen for four straight years, from 31.7 percent in 2007 to 14.9 percent in 2010.  If he’s not going to hit over 30 HR, he’s not going to have any value.


The Kansas City Royals Signed OF Jeff Franceour

I feel like he has been rumored to be going to the Royals for the better part of a year, but he finally landed there.  He’s a streaky hitter and really doesn’t bring enough in the power, speed or average department to justify trusting him.  However, when he gets hot, he has value.  Hitting in the middle of the Royals lineup, he could be worth using in five-outfielder formats at times.  Keep an eye on him, but don’t consider him a regular.


The Milwaukee Brewers Signed C Will Nieves

He’ll be a backup for the Brewers and as a career .227 hitter with five HR in 701 AB—you can easily forget him.


The Atlanta Braves Signed P George Sherrill

He was once a closer, but those duties will likely fall to Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel or a combination of the two.  There’s little chance that he gets opportunities for saves, so he’s not going to have value to fantasy owners.  Obviously, if something changes you’ll want to scoop him up off waivers, but for now he can be ignored.


The Cincinnati Reds Signed INF Miguel Cairo

He’s a utility infielder, meaning his value is nil.


The Los Angeles Dodgers Signed C Dioner Navarro

Navarro could share time with Rod Barajas to replace the departed Russell Martin behind the plate.  There was a time that people thought Navarro could develop into a must-use option, but he’s never hit more than nine home runs in a season and sports a career .249 average.  Maybe he finally puts it together, but even those in two-catcher formats can ignore him for now.


The New York Mets Signed P Boof Bonser

At this point Bonser figures to be organizational depth and nothing else.  He’s not worth worrying about.


The Arizona Diamondbacks Signed P Mike Hampton

Remember when he actually was fantasy viable?  Not anymore.


The Seattle Mariners Signed C Miguel Olivo

He certainly has power, consistently posting a HR/FB of 12 percent, leading to 12-16 HR a season (outside of his 23 HR breakout in 2009).  He’s not going to hit for an extremely high average, though then again most catchers aren’t going to.  Considering he figures to get regular at-bats (the only other option they have is Adam Moore right now), who should be worth considering in two-catcher formats.  As far as where he sits in the rankings, we’ll address that soon enough.


The Baltimore Orioles Acquired SS J.J. Hardy and INF Brendan Harris from the Minnesota Twins for P Brett Jacobson and P Jim Hoey

Hardy’s one and only season in Minnesota did not go as planned, hitting .268 with six HR and 38 RBI.  He still holds significant upside, as it wasn’t long ago that he hit 50 HR over two seasons with the Brewers.  As a late-round flier, he’s well worth the risk.  It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hit in the 18-HR range.

It appears that the Twins are prepared to hand everyday at-bats to Alexi Casilla.  He has some speed, but no power and likely is only going to hold value in the deepest of formats.


The Houston Astros Signed P Ryan Rowland-Smith

He’ll likely battle for the fifth starters spot, but with a career 5.46 K/9, he’s not going to hold much value.


What are your thoughts on these moves?  Who is the biggest winner?  Who are you now targeting?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:


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MLB Trade Rumors: 10 NL Central Deals That Could Swing The Division In 2011

In baseball, divisions can be won or lost based on what a team does in the winter months, and perhaps more so than any other division, the NL Central could be decided by a few key off season moves.

The division looks to be a three team race between the Cardinals, Reds, and Cubs. The Brewers are also capable of making some noise, while the Astros and Pirates are in the middle of rebuilding and could see marked improvement in the years to come.

What follows are the ten moves that could be the difference in the NL Central this coming season, whether it is by strengthening one of the front runners or improving one of the divisions bottom teams and making for a tougher division top to bottom.

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What is Jason Bartlett’s Trade Market?

This upcoming offseason marks an offseason of transition for the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s all but a forgone conclusion that they will lose Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano to free agency and they may lose 1B Carlos Pena as well (though I think he will re-sign).

Not only may they lose Crawford and Pena, but because of budget constraints, the Rays may be forced to cut payroll in 2011. In the offseason, the Rays may look to trade James Shields, Matt Garza, B.J. Upton or Jason Bartlett.

For the purposes of this post, I wanted to focus on Bartlett. I think with Reid Brignac in the mix for the Rays, Bartlett may be the one who gets shipped out of town.

If that’s the case, let’s look at the pros, cons, and who may be interested in the former Oklahoma Sooner.



If there is a team interested in a steady, but unspectacular shortstop, then Barlett might be there guy. If we are just talking about shortstops, then Barlett has been one of the more consistent ones over the past three seasons. Here is where Barlett ranks amongst his fellow shortstops…

SB – 5th (61)

OPS – 7th (.752)

AVG – 8th (.288)

WAR – 10th (7.4)

A lot of Bartlett’s overall success over the last three seasons can be attributed to his breakout 2009 season. Bartlett hit .320 with a career high 14 HR, 30 SB, and .879 OPS.

It looked as if Bartlett finally turned the corner offensively, but then…


His 2010 season was less than stellar. If you take out Bartlett’s 2009 season, he has averaged a .284/.343/.369 hitting line with three HR throughout his career. Well, that was pretty much in line with what Bartlett produced in 2010.

Bartlett hit .254/.324/.350 with four HR in 135 games. Outside of his low average, everything else fell into place.

A GM has to ask himself if his 2009 season was an aberration or if Bartlett had a really down year because he seemed to be hurt all the time. It’s a fair question, but I think 2009 was just an aberration.

Speaking of hurt all the time, Barlett has never played more than 140 games in a season. On the flip side, someone like Orlando Cabrera has played in 150 games eight out of the last 10 years.

I always viewed Bartlett as one of the “good glove, no hit” shortstops, but statistically that’s not even the case. In the last three years, of the 18 shortstops that qualify defensively, Bartlett ranks 17th in terms of UZR (-13.9).

In Bartlett’s defense, I have watched him on a pretty consistent basis over the past three or four seasons and I don’t believe that he is that bad. He gets to all the plays he needs to.

As for Barlett’s contract, he is a third-time arbitration eligible player. He earned $4 million last year and stands to earn more than that in 2011. Considering that he produced around $11 million in value on average to the Rays in his three years on the team, it’s not such a bad deal.

Of course, a lot of that production and value is tied into his 2009 season. He produced like a $22 million player that season.

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of the soon-to-be 31-year-old, let’s take a look at the teams who might be interested in trading for him…

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers have a $7 million option on Jhonny Peralta and are expected to decline. They are also expected to try to resign Peralta at a more cost effective (corporate term for “cheaper”) rate, but if the two sides can’t come to an agreement, Bartlett could be an option.

Seattle Mariners: Jack Wilson is god awful. Bartlett or anybody for that matter, would be an upgrade over him.

Baltimore Orioles: I think the Cesar Izturis experiment is over in Baltimore. The Orioles figure to be better than they were in 2011 and surrounding their young players like Josh Bell with veterans isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Cincinnati Reds: Orlando Cabrera has a $4 million option that like Peralta, will most likely be declined. If the Reds don’t feel Paul Janish is the answer at short, Bartlett could be an option.

San Francisco Giants: Both Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe are free agents after the World Series. I would guess the Giants will bring back Uribe, but Bartlett would be a nice replacement for the National League champs.

Washington Nationals: Bartlett could used the same way Ivan Rodriguez was used in Washington last year. He could be a guy that nurtures Washington’s young infield talent like Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Major Underachivers: Biggest Disappointments of 2010 in the AL East

As part three of a six part series, the biggest underachievers in Major League Baseball this year are being called out. The AL East is no stranger to the disappointment that a handful of players have brought to their team.

The AL East has had its own battles. There’s a close division race, a team struggling with plentiful injuries, and a home run happy club. Each has seen their fair share of those who have not been producing like they have in the past.

Here are eight beasts from the East who seem to have been tamed for most of the 2010 season.

AL West: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/439609-mlb-underachievers-biggest-disappointments-of-2010-in-the-al-west

AL Central: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/440895-major-underachievers-biggest-disappointments-of-2010-in-the-al-central

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Rays-Angels Series Preview: Tampa Bay Looks to End Struggles in Anaheim

A day after all 27 batters failed to reach base, the Tampa Bay Rays head to Anaheim for a three-game series against the Angels. Looking to break out of a slump, the Rays would probably prefer a different venue. The team has lost 23 of their last 26 games in Anaheim, including the last five.

While the Rays still boast the best record in baseball at 22-9, their bats have been kept silent of late, hitting just .189 as a team over the last nine games. Tampa Bay is 5-4 in those games, which speaks volumes to how good the starting pitching staff has been.

This year’s Angels may need the extra support of playing at home and the added assistance of the Rally Monkey. The team is off to a 14-19 start, the worst in recent memory for Angels fans.

Matt Garza takes the mound in the first game, having already won five games this season. He’s struggled against the Angels though, with a 6.46 ERA in three career starts. The Angels counter with Joel Pineiro, who’s had similar struggles against the Rays.

Game two is the most intriguing as it features Scott Kazmir, the Rays all-time leader in numerous pitching categories, who was traded to the Angels last season. Kazmir has said it will be weird facing his former team and that he may have a hard time not laughing when some of his buddies, namely B.J. Upton, step up to the plate.

The Rays counter with Jeff Niemann, who’s been one of the AL’s better pitchers this season. On Wednesday the Rays send David Price, who’s off to an even better start, against Angels ace Jered Weaver.


Projected Lineups


1. Jason Bartlett – SS

2. Carl Crawford – LF

3. Ben Zobrist – RF

4. Evan Longoria – 3B

5. Carlos Pena – 1B

6. B.J. Upton – CF

7. Willy Aybar/Pat Burrell – DH

8. Dioner Navarro/John Jaso – C

9. Reid Brignac/Sean Rodriguez – 2B


1. Erick Aybar – SS

2. Bobby Abreu – RF

3. Torii Hunter – CF

4. Kendry Morales – 1B

5. Hideki Matsui – DH

6. Juan Rivera – LF

7. Howie Kendrick – 2B

8. Brandon Napoli – C

9. Brandon Wood – 3B



TB: M. Garza (5-1, 2.09)
LAA: J. Pineiro (2-4, 5.30)

Batter vs. Pitcher: Carl Crawford has seen Pineiro the most, going 5-for-17 with a home run. Carlos Pena is 2-for-11 with six strikeouts. Kendry Morales in 2-for-2 with a homer off Garza. Hideki Matsui is 1-for-9.


TB: J. Niemann (2-0, 2.23)
LAA: S. Kazmir (2-2, 7.11)

Batter vs. Pitcher: A few of the current Rays have seen Kazmir when they were on other teams. Jason Bartlett is 3-for-7. Matsui has seen Niemann the most and is 1-for-7. Mike Napoli is 3-for-5 with a triple.


TB: D. Price (4-1, 1.91)
LAA: J. Weaver (4-1, 2.66)

Batter vs. Pitcher: Bartlett is 2-for-10 with a homer off Weaver. Evan Longoria is 2-for-5 with two doubles and Crawford is 1-for-9. The Angels haven’t seen much of Price. Jeff Mathis is 2-for-4.

Game Notes

-Rays manager Joe Maddon is 1-13 in Anaheim against his former team.

-Former Angel Sean Rodriguez, traded in the Kazmir deal last year, will play against his former team for the first time.

-Tampa Bay was 12-21 against the AL West in 2009, 6-2 this season.

-The Angels went 4-2 against the Rays last season, 3-0 in Anaheim.

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