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Indians Looking at Teahan?


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Looks that way, according to Bob Dutton:


Posted on Sun, Oct. 26, 2008

Royals exploring deal to send Teahen to Indians for outfielder


The Kansas City Star


PHILADELPHIA | The Royals are discussing a possible trade with the Cleveland Indians in which they would acquire an outfielder in exchange for Mark Teahen, according to sources with both teams.


Talks are believed to center on three possibilities for the Royals in the deal: Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco and minor-leaguer Trevor Crowe.


The Royals previously tried to pry either Gutierrez or Francisco from the Indians when shopping reliever Octavio Dotel midway through the 2007 season.


All three trade targets are capable of playing center field, which would permit the Royals to shift David DeJesus, as they have long desired, on a full-time basis to left field.


No deal appears imminent, but general manager Dayton Moore has consistently cited the club’s need for improved offense as his top offseason priority. The Royals finished 12th among 14 American League teams last season in runs and on-base percentage. Only Minnesota hit fewer homers.


The Miami Herald also reported the Florida Marlins had serious talks last week with the Royals in their efforts to trade first baseman Mike Jacobs. The Herald said the deal fell apart “because of a medical issue involving the minor-league pitcher that Florida would have received.” The Marlins have also shopped Jacobs to Toronto and San Francisco.


Teahen, 27, has failed to become the consistent run-producer envisioned when acquired from Oakland in June 2004 as a central figure in a deal that sent outfielder Carlos Beltran to Houston.


It required a strong finish last season for Teahen to boost his average to .255 with 15 homers and 59 RBIs in 149 games. He spent most of the last two seasons in the outfield but would likely return to his natural position, third base, if obtained by the Indians.


The Indians are searching for a third baseman after souring on Andy Marte as a replacement for veteran Casey Blake, whom they traded in July to the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Cleveland also has a surplus of young outfielders. Grady Sizemore is a fixture in center field, and Shin-Soo Choo appears set after batting .309 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs in 94 games.


Further, the Indians obtained two top outfield prospects, Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley, in the June trade that sent pitcher C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee.


Gutierrez, 25, batted .248 last season with eight homers and 41 at-bats in 134 games. Francisco, 27, batted .266 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 121 games. Both are right-handed hitters.


Crowe is a switch-hitter who turns 24 in November. He batted .302 last season while splitting 84 games at Class AA Akron and Class AAA Buffalo. He also had nine homers, 41 RBIs and a .381 on-base percentage.


Any of the three would free up some salary for the Royals as they enter the free-agent market. Neither Gutierrez nor Francisco is yet eligible for arbitration -- Francisco won’t likely gain eligibility until after the 2010 season. Crowe has never played in the big leagues.


In contrast, Teahen is in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He made $2.3375 million last year, which positions him for an increase to $3 million or more in 2009.


http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals ... 59354.html



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Teahen was talked about quite a bit in Moneyball and he'll forever be attached to that book. Here's an article from a couple of years ago:


Rethinking Moneyball

By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports

August 17, 2006


CHICAGO – Another Jason Giambi.


Mark Teahen was called that once. During the preparation for the 2002 draft, the Oakland Athletics' scouting director, Eric Kubota, said if there were someone in the class who could develop like Giambi – from a big, strong singles hitter into a powerful corner infielder – it was Teahen. And this is public knowledge only because the A’s opened their doors that year to author Michael Lewis, who chronicled Oakland’s methods in the seminal book “Moneyball.”


“I’d like to say I’m past all of it,” Teahen said, “but it’s always going to be with me. It’s always going to be with all of us.”


It’s been more than four years since the Moneyball draft, in which the A’s had seven first- and sandwich-round picks, and their modus operandi that day still divides even the greatest baseball minds. Considering Oakland selected all college players, with the idea they were closer to the big leagues and safer bets, it seems like a fair time to look back at that draft, particularly with what Teahen has done for the team to which Oakland traded him, the Kansas City Royals.


Since they recalled Teahen on June 3 after a month-long demotion to Triple-A Omaha, he has been among the best third basemen in the American League, if not the best. In 68 games, he’s hitting .307 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. His on-base percentage, the a la mode to the A’s pie, is a robust .392. For the time being, Teahen has turned into everything Kansas City hoped when it acquired him as the centerpiece of the Carlos Beltran trade – and just as much as Kubota hoped, seeing that Teahen’s numbers in that span are not only similar to Giambi’s but better than his teammate Alex Rodriguez’s, too.


“We couldn’t possibly be happier for anyone,” said A’s assistant general manager David Forst, one of general manager Billy Beane’s trusted lieutenants in 2002. “He’s such a good kid. We knew from the limited amount of time we had him, his potential was very high.


“Along the line of things that were unfair to players, [the comparison to Giambi] was near the top. Eric hears that one just about every day. It was just a sign of confidence that he was going to be a good player.”


Teahen has graduated to that level, much like outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher, chosen by the A’s with the 16th pick in 2002, and pitcher Joe Blanton, taken 24th overall. They are big leaguers, no question about it, and any scouting director will contend that a draft class with three established big-league players is a success.


At the same time, with seven of the first 39 picks in 2002, the A’s did their share of busting. Shortstop John McCurdy is still stuck at Class A, as is pitcher Steve Obenchain, who underwent arm surgery last season. Pitcher Ben Fritz, coming off Tommy John surgery, is up to Triple-A and should get a shot sometime next season.


The final player in the class, catcher Jeremy Brown, has bounced between Triple-A Sacramento and Oakland this season. Along with Teahen, Brown boiled the scouts’ blood. They barely knew of him, and those who did dissected his rotund physique like a panel of Mr. Universe judges.


Today, the debate rages, albeit not nearly as publicly as it did upon the release of “Moneyball.” It is not so much scouts vs. stats anymore as it is finding the right balance between information gleaned by scouts and statistical analyses. That the Moneyball draft has produced three successful big-league players, a pair of busts and two on the fence only adds to its polarizing nature.


“It’s hard for anyone to be objective about that draft because of the publicity it got, because of the discussion it created over the last four years,” Forst said. “Ultimately, what we took out of the draft and that book is that it brought a lot of attention to what we do and what players do. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, it’s been good for the game.”


While Forst is right – anything that challenges baseball’s staid traditions is welcome, if for no other reason than to see if those traditions are, in fact, what work best – there remain skeptics. They are referred to as “baseball men,” as if those who crunch numbers aren’t.


Teahen’s manager is a baseball man. His name is Buddy Bell. He played third base for 18 seasons in the major leagues, won six Gold Gloves and made five All-Star teams. He likes players who do things “the right way,” which is another baseball term that means they show up on time, work hard and don’t forget the fundamentals. He preaches aggressiveness at the plate and rarely consults statistics. He has not read “Moneyball.”


“There’s so much more to this game than just stats and OPS, PMS, whatever it’s called,” Bell said. “Stats do have some influence on me. I try to look at a minimum of them. Matchups over a course of time. I do a lot of that, and it tells me some stuff. But I have found that knowing the little I do about it, the guys that come up through that system – it’s almost like they’re too passive. They’re not aggressive early in the count. There’s probably a stat out there that tells me I’m wrong.”


Bell is tan, his face creased with wrinkles from scowling so many times at the woebegone Royals, but players like Teahen give him faith. Since Teahen returned from Triple-A, Bell sees a different ballplayer, one who no longer panics with two strikes.


On Thursday, Teahen was facing his former teammate, Chicago White Sox reliever Mike MacDougal. He worked the count to 2-2, then fouled off three consecutive pitches. On the fourth, a sinker riding away, the left-handed Teahen extended his arms and drove an opposite-field home run.


“Pitchers are pitching him differently, too,” Bell said. “He’s a threat. If I’m the pitcher and see a guy who’s a run producer, I’m going to pitch him differently. He’s probably swung through more balls since he came back than he did before he went down. He’s not afraid to swing through balls. It doesn’t have to be the perfect pitch for him to get after.”


Oakland values players who have the eye to pick a perfect pitch and the discipline to hold back if it isn’t the right one. They draft kids from high school and college who show it – though high school data is far less reliable than that of college players – and instill it further at each level. Bell believes this neuters the natural instinct of a player, and he trusts his scouts will find the players with the most innate ability.


Teahen? He knows Oakland drafted him because he values taking pitches … yet sometimes he can’t seem to lay off some really bad ones. He is like the swing voter, with both sides tugging at him and trying to get him to buy into the platform.


“It hasn’t hurt me,” Teahen said. “In Oakland’s organization, they were pushing (Moneyball) guys to prove they were right. And at the same time, people around baseball weren’t exactly rooting against us, but if we failed they wouldn’t be sad about it.”


Teahen read the book. He liked the behind-the-scenes action that Lewis captured so well, and for a while, whenever he spoke with his peers in the class, they talked about it.


Now, not so much. While Teahen chats with them frequently, the book rarely makes its way into the discussion. Even though “Moneyball” is stuck on them, they’re no longer stuck on it.


Because Teahen’s got a career to carve out. He’s only 24. He’s batting cleanup against right-handed pitchers. He might move to right field next season to make room for Alex Gordon, perhaps the top prospect in baseball. He wants the kind of career Eric Kubota alluded to, as wild as it seems.


“You can feel success,” Teahen said, “and at every level I’d had it. For my first year in the big leagues last year, and for the start of this season, I didn’t remember it.


“Finally, I’m staring to get it again. It’s vindicating”


The more the Moneyball class succeeds, the more the Oakland A’s know what he means.


http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=A ... &type=lgns



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I think the guys at Rotoworld pretty much nail it when they say this about the rumored deal:


We're surprised that the Indians would opt to settle for Teahen at third base when he's put up OPSs of 763 and 715 the last two years. And it's not like his triple crown stats are any better. He's also average at best defensively. The Indians can afford to spare an outfielder, but if they're going to bother trading for a third baseman rather than move Johnny Peralta to the position, they should attempt to do better.


http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/player ... lb&id=1155



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I know I monkeyed around with that guy on 2-3 different occasion in our fantasy league, and he sure didn't impress me.


I know....not very scientific...and probably pretty dumb.....but like i said icon_e_wink.gif

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Paul from the DiaTribe put up a pretty good take on the Teahen talks yesterday.

http://clevelandtribeblog.blogspot.com/ ... mpets.html


I tend to agree with him...giving up Crowe for a solid platoon player or even a pinch hitter at the big league level seems like a pretty good deal. I think I'm one of the last remaining Francisco fans so if he has to go, I'd like more in return. Gutierrez is a quick "No."


His offensive numbers aren't much better than Jamey Carroll's and his defense doesn't compare, but some pretty good pop against RHPs might be worth giving up a 4th OF (or 8th OF as the DiaTribe calls Crowe)


Let's just all hope this isn't the big move Shapiro is going for this offseason....

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Dayton Moore is none too happy with this rumor:


Tribe, Royals see pitfall of rumor mill

Reports of potential trade between two clubs proves baseless

By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com


CLEVELAND -- The Indians and Royals got an early taste of the ridiculousness of the winter rumor mill, and it was a bitter taste, to be sure.


The World Series wasn't even over yet, and the two American League Central clubs were already the subjects of a trade rumor run rampant earlier this week, when multiple published reports indicated they were discussing a trade involving Mark Teahen.


As it turns out, these reports were nothing more than a bunch of Hot Stove hogwash.


"That's an absolute lie," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com, "an absolute lie. It's a lie."


Tribe general manager Mark Shapiro declined to comment specifically on the rumor. But he, too, made it pretty clear the reports were imaginative, to say the least.


The basis of the rumor was as follows: The Indians were looking for a third baseman to replace the departed Casey Blake and the disappointing Andy Marte, and the Royals are looking for an outfielder to possibly man center field, bumping David DeJesus to left.


It was reported that trade talks between the two clubs centered around Teahen coming to Cleveland and moving to his natural position at third after two seasons in the Kansas City outfield, and the Indians sending one of three outfielders -- Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco or Minor Leaguer Trevor Crowe -- to the Royals.


Run with it?


Uh, not so fast.


"Not only have I not been discussing it," Moore said, "but it's a flat-out lie, and you can print that."


The tall tale involving Teahen speaks to a larger issue in today's game. The Internet has drastically increased competition among scribes covering clubs and has allowed the faintest whispers of a rumor to become the loudest rumblings of a deal in a matter of mere hours, if not minutes.


While not addressing the Teahen situation specifically, Shapiro said it is difficult to conduct the business of the offseason in such an environment.


"When baseless rumors get generated, it's unfair to the player and potentially damaging to the completion of a deal," Shapiro said. "Beyond that, it's just not the way you want to do business."


The supposedly baseless Teahen talk was rare only for the time of year in which it was generated. Such rumors are commonplace as the Hot Stove season unfolds, and particularly during December's Winter Meetings.


The only oddity to this rumor was that it surfaced during the postseason, when teams are more likely to be gathering information on other clubs, rather than sealing any deals.


In fact, teams are forbidden from announcing any major moves during the World Series, so as not to divert attention from the Fall Classic. Of course, that doesn't preclude the basis of a deal from being formed. But more often than not, teams are looking for an alignment, not acting upon one.


"This is a time of intense due diligence," Shapiro said. "Every team is determining fits, needs and potential alignments for trades."


Apparently, the Indians and Royals, at the moment, are not aligning on a trade involving Teahen. But this certainly won't be the last time the two clubs are aligned with the rumor mill.


Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd ... p&c_id=mlb



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giving up Crowe for a solid platoon player or even a pinch hitter at the big league level seems like a pretty good deal. I think I'm one of the last remaining Francisco fans so if he has to go, I'd like more in return. Gutierrez is a quick "No."


Castrovince addressed just that question in his latest entry. I'm still a Francisco fan, Cimo, though I think I like Gutierrez a bit less than you do. The stuff about his glove is spot on:


The Teahen Trade Tease, as it shall now be known (although "tease" implies that Indians fans wanted the trade to happen, and I don't think that was the case with the majority of you... but you have to like the alliteration, if nothing else) forced some of us with nothing better to do to take a good, hard look at the Indians' outfield depth.


If the Indians were to trade one of their outfielders, who would you feel most comfortable with letting go? Grady Sizemore, obviously, isn't going anywhere, and it's pretty safe to assume the Tribe wouldn't get rid of the two high-profile acquisitions of the CC trade -- Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley. And David Dellucci is pretty much untradeable.


So... Shin-Soo Choo? Ben Francisco? Franklin Gutierrez? Trevor Crowe? None of the above?


"Big League" Choo and Francisco strike me as the most likely to be everyday Major League outfielders. Crowe has potential, but he's unproven, and you have to be concerned with his slow starts the past two seasons at Double-A Akron.


And then there's Gutierrez, who the Indians remain enamored with, even after a disappointing '08 in which he hit .248 with eight homers and 41 RBIs in 134 games.


This is what Mark Shapiro had to say about Gutierrez earlier this month:


"He has the ability to impact the game defensively in center, right or left. He saves runs. When he does struggle offensively, that offsets some of the downside he can have offensively. As the season went on, he made some fundamental adjustments in his swing and got better offensively. He is certainly a valuable Major League outfielder. I have no doubt Franklin Gutierrez is a Major League outfielder, and one we feel good about having on this team."


With all due respect to Shapiro, I have my doubts. Gutierrez has been in professional baseball for eight years and has spent the better part of the last two and a half years in the big leagues, and he still can't hit a breaking ball.


But the point about his defense is spot-on, and that's backed up by the announcement today that Gutierrez has won a 2008 Fielding Bible Award for his work in right field. A panel of 10 experts, including Bill James and John Dewan, the author of The Fielding Bible, chose Gutierrez and eight others for the award, which is announced in the forthcoming Bill James Handbook.


http://castrovince.mlblogs.com/archives ... bible.html



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Here's Dewan's note about the Fielding Bible:


Three strikes and you're out. But three wins of a Fielding Bible Award puts you in pretty exclusive company. How does it feel, Albert, to belong to a club that has only you as a member?


The 2008 Fielding Bible Awards have been officially announced and Albert Pujols has won his third-straight award at first base. While there were other repeat winners this year, no other player is three for three. Yadier Molina repeated at catcher from last year; third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielders Carlos Beltran and Carl Crawford each won the award in 2006, took a year off, then won again this year.


Here are the Fielding Bible Awards for the 2008 season:












The numbers in the parentheses show the final point tally each player accumulated to win their position. A first place vote received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score is 100 because we used a panel of ten experts. They examined the 2008 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball.


There are several important distinctions that differentiate the Fielding Bible Awards from most other baseball awards, such as the Gold Gloves:


We have only one winner at each position, instead of separate winners for each league.

We vote for nine distinct defensive positions—in other words we vote for the three different outfield positions. Now we can see who is the best in left field, center field, and right field.

This system recognizes the runners-up for each position, instead of just focusing on the winners. We show every player who received a vote.


Complete details of the voting, results, and the panel of experts are in The Bill James Handbook 2009, available now, or at http://www.fieldingbible.com.



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I actually am a pretty huge Gutierrez fan...I guess when he has that kind of talent and versatility defensively I tend to overlook his offense, but what do you expect. I don't see him as more than a 7, 8 or 9 guy in the lineup. He bat .266 with 13 homers in 100 games in his first real taste of the majors in '07. He's been back and forth since '05 but this year seemed like his sophomore slump. He had a pretty embarrassing summer but after the all-star break he was batting .285 with a .816 OPS, with a great August and September.


I think anything in the .270s would be great with his defense. If he can get some of that '07 pop back and get back around 15 homers, even better. He has pretty good speed on the bases even if he never turns into that 20 steal guy we were wishing for. But it all comes back to the defense...I guess I'm just willing to accept adequate offensive numbers the way he plays right field.


I won't shed a tear if he gets traded, but I would want a lot more than a Mark Teahen in return...

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I don't see him as more than a 7, 8 or 9 guy in the lineup. He bat .266 with 13 homers in 100 games in his first real taste of the majors in '07. He's been back and forth since '05 but this year seemed like his sophomore slump. He had a pretty embarrassing summer but after the all-star break he was batting .285 with a .816 OPS, with a great August and September...I guess I'm just willing to accept adequate offensive numbers the way he plays right field. I won't shed a tear if he gets traded, but I would want a lot more than a Mark Teahen in return...


After a further look, I agree with every word. It's my own damn fault that I stopped paying closer attention to the Tribe this Summer. I focused more on his overall drop in OBP, SLG, BB%, ISO and RC/27 than taking the time to look at what was just an awful 60+ game stretch during the middle of his first full season in the majors.


Yeah, given his promise, his defense and his age I'd want a lot more than a Mark Teahan in return.



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