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Proposed trade with the Rays. No, not Price

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#1 JP3700

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:30 PM

Per MLBTradeRumors..

"Also from Topkin's article, the Rays will now turn their attention to adding bench and bullpen pieces with catcher Jose Lobaton and outfielder Matt Joyce as possible trade chips."

With threads discussing catching, trades and bullpen pieces this seems like the perfect storm.

Lobaton is a 29 year old catcher with 4 years of team control remaining. He's arbitration eligible for the first time this year as a Super 2 player. MLBTradeRumors projected him to earn $1M through arbitration.

Lobaton is a switch hitter with relatively neutral career splits, although he was better from the left side in 2013. He was slightly above league average in 2013 posting a 103 wRC+ with a .249/.320/.394 slash line.

Defensively Lobaton has been credited with only 2 passed balls in his 1312.2 innings of work. While not spectacular at pitch framing, Lobaton doesn't cost his team in that department. He was rated at (0.3) RAA. Compared to free agents Suzuki (-9.1) RAA and Buck (-20.4) RAA. The knock on him defensively is his throwing arm. Over his career Lobaton has thrown out just 22 of 136 attempted basestealers (16%).

Looks like a trade that could match up well for both teams.

Edited by JP3700, 15 December 2013 - 07:38 PM.


#2 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

Maybe somebody like Fien? He certainly doesn't warrant Perkins.

#3 Chance

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:13 PM

I would not give Fien for him. Maybe a Duensing/Parmelee or Burton/Parmelee lands both?... If be more interested in Joyce than Lobaton.

#4 stringer bell

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:19 PM

Lobaton had just a handful of ABs vs. lefties IIRC. I understood his defense to be pretty bad, but I would take average with average (for a catcher) offensive numbers. I thought the Whities had acquired him, but maybe that was just a rumor.

#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:44 PM

Yeah, I could see something like this working. Burton or Duensing... Shouldn't take much.

#6 Otwins

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:07 PM

Never trade with Tampa Bay. EVER

#7 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:29 PM

I don't like the never trade with anybody logic. Just don't let yourself get tricked. Know what you want. Know what you are willing to pay. Easy enough. Consensus is forming around a Burton/Duensing type. I'd be fine with that, nobody not replaceable.

#8 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:33 PM

Never trade with Tampa Bay. EVER

Why? Is there some stigma against trading with them? I think Terry Ryan is a much better talent/trade evaluator than you are giving him credit for. He deserves a hand for putting the Twins in a position to succeed once again, and if that involves adding a piece through a trade with another organization, so be it.

#9 kab21

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:49 PM

Never trade with Tampa Bay. EVER


The same used to be said about Ryan.

#10 Kwak

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:21 AM

Neighbor's grass always looks greener.

#11 JP3700

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:00 AM

I understood his defense to be pretty bad


Not an elite defender, but he's not bad. Above average at framing, good at blocking pitches, and poor at throwing out base stealers. Lobaton is just the odd man out after Tampa resigned Molina and then traded for Hanigan. They highly value pitch framing and those guys are two of the best at it.

FWIW Matt Moore liked him as his personal catcher over Molina. Here's a quote from Moore on Lobaton..

"I love when Lobaton catches. He can come out there and tell me something to get me giggling or he can come out there and get after me a little bit. It's big for me to have him back there. He sacrifices his body every night for me... He's back there working, protecting the umpire and getting me stuff. It's big for me having him back there."

It makes sense though since Moore is a wild pitch machine.

I would take average with average (for a catcher) offensive numbers.


This is the big thing. Catchers who can hit are very rare. In 2013 Lobaton was 1 of 14 catchers who caught 700+ innings and provided above league average offense. Out of those 14, he was only 1 of 7 who was rated above average at pitch framing. Catchers who can hit and defend are even more rare.

He and Pinto could form for a nice tandem and stabilize the catcher position for at least the next few years. Not the huge, bold move that people are looking for. Just one of those moves that help you become a winning team.

#12 johnnydakota

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:17 AM

The same used to be said about Ryan.


Now they line up to trade twice broken pitchers and failed AA starters

#13 zchrz

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:02 AM

This would be a nice move they need to bring someone in. Suzuki or Buck could be league average serviceable but a younger player with more control and upside would be much larger upgrade. Fien might be a slight overpay, but really a setup guy can be replaced. Parms + AAA reliever not named Tonkin maybe.
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#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:05 AM

Never trade with Tampa Bay. EVER


Because Ryan has been hosed by bad trades so many times in the past?

#15 cmathewson

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 07:38 AM

Actually, the one really bad trade was at the hands of Bill Smith. If you can't get a fair trade with the best talent evaluators, you don't deserve to keep your job.

As to this trade, I would not trade either Burton or Fien. Duensing would work for us, but the Rays will probably ask for someone like Thielbar, Pressley or Tonkin.

I'm not sure this particular catcher is worth it. I'd rather just sign Suzuki.
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#16 kab21

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:13 AM

I would trade Burton (old and fairly priced), Thielbar (not very good) or Pressly (not very good) for a solid piece. Tonkin I keep (good potential) and Fien (very successful with numbers to back it up).

#17 jokin

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

Not an elite defender, but he's not bad. Above average at framing, good at blocking pitches, and poor at throwing out base stealers. Lobaton is just the odd man out after Tampa resigned Molina and then traded for Hanigan. They highly value pitch framing and those guys are two of the best at it.

FWIW Matt Moore liked him as his personal catcher over Molina. Here's a quote from Moore on Lobaton..

"I love when Lobaton catches. He can come out there and tell me something to get me giggling or he can come out there and get after me a little bit. It's big for me to have him back there. He sacrifices his body every night for me... He's back there working, protecting the umpire and getting me stuff. It's big for me having him back there."

It makes sense though since Moore is a wild pitch machine.



This is the big thing. Catchers who can hit are very rare. In 2013 Lobaton was 1 of 14 catchers who caught 700+ innings and provided above league average offense. Out of those 14, he was only 1 of 7 who was rated above average at pitch framing. Catchers who can hit and defend are even more rare.

He and Pinto could form for a nice tandem and stabilize the catcher position for at least the next few years. Not the huge, bold move that people are looking for. Just one of those moves that help you become a winning team.


Good catch, JP. Very cheap option, tradeable at the right point in time, and a potential partner for Deduno and Pressly currently, and future partner for Trevor May and Alex Meyer, who are also prone to the wild pitch.

We have duplicatable relievers available at a lower cost to the arb-eligible and vetran options. Suzuki has been unhealthy recently. What's Matt Joyce due to make in arb this year? He's a pretty steady left-handed bat, and a good bounce-back candidate, could fill the L-R-L gap created in the batting order when Morneau departed (Joyce has a career .893 OPS in the #5 spot). But also like Justin, not real good against lefties.

#18 JP3700

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:20 PM

I would trade Burton (old and fairly priced), Thielbar (not very good) or Pressly (not very good) for a solid piece. Tonkin I keep (good potential) and Fien (very successful with numbers to back it up).


I pretty much agree with all of this. I like Pressly a little more than I probably should though. He's 25 with good stuff. It was his first full year as a reliever, so I think he still has potential. He needs to miss more bats though.

If these teams were to talk, I think Tampa would hold out for Fien. He's very underrated and I'd think Tampa knows that. I'm sure they love his elite K/BB rate. With the depth currently in the bullpen and the glut of power arms coming up in the system, I think I'd make that trade. It's close though cause I like me some Casey Fien.

#19 JP3700

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:32 PM

What's Matt Joyce due to make in arb this year? He's a pretty steady left-handed bat, and a good bounce-back candidate, could fill the L-R-L gap created in the batting order when Morneau departed (Joyce has a career .893 OPS in the #5 spot). But also like Justin, not real good against lefties.


Joyce is projected to make $3.7M and has two years of control remaining. I like him as well, but he would need a platoon partner. Plouffe would be a viable option, but he is currently the everyday third baseman.

It would take some additional moves to clear some of the current OF/DH options and acquire an everyday third baseman, but it could be done.

I'd give the Brewers a call to see if they're interested in moving Aramis Ramirez and his salary. Seems like he would a good fit as a stop gap to Sano. He could convert to DH when the man-beast is ready.