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Why Do Teams Obsessively Hold On the Their Draft Picks at the Expense of Making their Team Better?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on February 13, 2014

I watched the Cubs sign 2 below average starting pitchers today: James McDonald and Jason Hammel. The Cubs have one decent starting pitcher: Jeff Samardgjjadjgiigjaca. They need tons of help, and J-Mac and J-Ham don’t fry it hard enough to make that happen. They sizzle, but they ain’t the steak…..

Theo isn’t a dope. And the Cubs have money. Why would he sign those 2 stiffs with Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez still available? I don’t care about either of these players enough to look this up. I do know that signing Ubaldo would also cost you a 1st round draft pick. I don’t think the same is true for Santana (but correct me if I’m wrong).

Still, it makes zero sense to me why a team like the Cubs would  pad their already shitty starting 5 with guys like McDonald and Hammel when they have the resources to sign either Santana or Ubaldo. Or both.

And the draft pick? Why is the draft pick an issue? Baseball is the worst when it comes to predictability with draft picks—1st rounders or 40th rounders. It’s a total crap shoot. You don’t pull the trigger on Ubaldo because you’re worried about a draft pick? Huh?

What is the likelihood that a team would draft BETTER than an Ubaldo Jimenez with a late first round pick? Ubaldo was positively Koufaxian in the 2nd half of last year. He finally learned how to pitch with lost velocity (Tim Lincecum: call Ubaldo, STAT). And Ubaldo’s pedigree at the mlb level is layered and deep. There MIGHT be one or two Ubaldo’s coming out of the first round of next year’s draft. Maybe none. You like those odds?

Anyway, P’s and C’s report tomorrow. The sun tilted a little different today to me. I noticed it on the drive home and smiled. Spring is coming. Can you dig it?

15 Responses

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  1. snarkk said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Preaching to the choir here, BF. Why does Sabes think so much of first round picks that he won’t give ’em up to get a FA player? Yeah, Buster, Tim, Cain, MadBum, I get it. But, let’s lay out ALL Sabes first round picks. How many were big winners? Check it out below since ’95 when he joined the Giants, became GM in ’96 (the end number is number of pick in 1st round). I have no clue what Sabes’ hit rate is in 1st round picks vs. other GMs hit rates. I think the next CBA should allow trading of say, any pick in the first 3 rounds. After that, of course it’s nothing but a crapshoot, lower picks wouldn’t be worth spit. Trading of high picks as well as bodies would liven up the off season in MLB, IMO. Every other league allows trading of picks, why not MLB?

    2013 Christian Arroyo SS Hernando High School, Brooksville, Fla. 25
    2012 Chris Stratton RHP Mississippi St. 20
    2011 Joe Panik SS St. John’s 29
    2010 Gary Brown CF Cal State Fullerton 24
    2009 Zack Wheeler RHP East Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga. 6
    2008 Buster Posey C Florida State 5
    2007 Madison Bumgarner LHP South Caldwell HS, Hudson, N.C. 10
    2007 Tim Alderson RHP Horizon HS, Paradise Valley, Ariz. 22
    2007 Wendell Fairley OF George County HS, Lucedale, Miss. 29
    2006 Tim Lincecum RHP Washington 10
    2003 David Aardsma RHP Rice U. 22
    2002 Matt Cain RHP Germantown, TN 25
    2001 Brad Hennessey RHP Youngstown State U 21
    2001 Noah Lowry LHP Pepperdine U 30
    2000 John Bonser RHP Pinellas Park, FL 21
    1999 Kurt Ainsworth RHP Louisiana State U. 24
    1998 Nathan Bump RHP Penn State U. 25
    1998 Anthony Torcato 3B Woodland, CA 19
    1998 Arturo McDowell OF Jackson, MS 29
    1997 Jason Grilli RHP Seton Hall U 4
    1996 Matt White RHP Waynesboro, PA 7
    1995 Joe Fontenot RHP Lafayette, LA 16

    Note Sabes has drafted only 2 OFers in the first round his entire tenure. One flop (Arturo McDowell) and one apparent flop (Gary Brown), and you can include Torcato, I suppose, as a flop OFer.

    BTW, who the F was Nathan Bump?

    Matt White? Here’s the Wiki entry, I have no recollection of this at all (Borasss has a history of playing the Giants before Zito, apparently): “White was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 1996 amateur draft, but his agent Scott Boras found a loophole that allowed White to become a free agent after the Giants failed to offer him a contract in the required 10 day time alloted. He received a $10.2 million signing bonus in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Shoulder and back injuries limited White to 122 minor league games during his career. He never played in the major leagues. He was selected to the 2000 Sydney Olympic team but suffered an injury on the plane ride and was forced to return without participating.”

    • zumiee said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      $10.2 million, and never played in the big leagues? Now, that’s some CHEDDAR!! 🙂

      • snarkk said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm

        Extra sharp…

    • Flavor said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      He suffered an injury on the plane ride and was forced to return without participating? WTF? What, lol, happened on the plane ride? Food poisoning? Did someone in front of him slam their seat back into him? Did the plane crash into a mountain and he was the lone survivor?

      • snarkk said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm

        Sounds as mysterious as how / why the Giants made Gaudin disappear after a season where he was arguably their #2 Starter for about 2 1/2 months, and now he’s also phailed a Philly physical. Very weird…

      • zumiee said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm

        “The Groper.” That’ll rank in the top 10 of ‘Flapper nicknames for Giants’ all-time list.
        Along with “Trashcan” Taschner, another classic.

    • gianthead said, on February 13, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      What happened to Alderson?

  2. twinfan1 said, on February 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm


    • gianthead said, on February 14, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Cool. Lost track

  3. Salty said, on February 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Cubs wanted Tanaka bad. I think failing there, they said fuck it. They weren’t contending anyway, bit Tanaka at 25 is someone to anchor your young staff around. Ubaldo and Santana are 30 and both would cost the Cubs their #4 draft slot plus 50-75 m. They have been brilliant as times but also highly erratic. Two yrs ago both had era’s over 5. Now in a contract yr they pitch well. Pay em the big bucks who knows, they could go sour on you.

  4. gianthead said, on February 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Ubaldo may pitch well enough for the AL, but I think he is a big question mark in the NL with the reduced velocity.

    I dont see Santana in the NL either. But I still dont know what Theo and the Cubs are doing. They lost big time on Tanaka…thought they go after the Korean guy. I think I would rather have Arroyo than either one of the two they signed…

  5. paulinasia said, on February 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Agree about the somewhat questionable approach of saving draft picks in lieu of trading or signing someone who would cost a pick. This was discussed here a bit earlier in this off season when Sabean said he would NOT be going after any free agents (Choo, some top pitchers) that would cost the team a pick. From what I remember, most here didn’t really have a problem with that approach; draft picks are important, afterall…. but when the available player will *likely* be better (certainly more predictable) than a completely unforeseeable draft pick, this is something that should be considered. I was disappointed Sabes made that comment and stuck with that approach. I give him high marks for mostly a cost-effective off-season, not paying some of the ridiculous coin that other teams paid, but to just outright ignore signing anyone who could’ve helped immediately at the cost of a draft pick seemed to tie his hands a bit. Yet… in Sabean I trust… so, on we go. Should be an interesting Spring.

  6. unca_chuck said, on February 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Didn’t we trade our #1 for Michael Tucker back in 2004?

  7. salty said, on February 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Not sure, but may have lost their 05 pick signing Alou.

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