How I feel about the Gryboski trade

“Great trade. Who’d we get?”

— Lenny Dykstra, 1991, upon hearing that the Phillies had traded Von Hayes.

41 thoughts on “How I feel about the Gryboski trade”

  1. Yup.

    Goodbye Gryboski.

    And don’t let the door hit your fat, ugly ass on the way to Arlington.

  2. At the risk of possibly inciting Alex, I will post the following quote from some random guy named Rick Bozich:

    “It simply does not matter if the Braves are depending upon Adam LaRoche and Wilson Betemit or Sid Bream and Jeff Blauser, the NL East goes through Atlanta. Bobby Cox is the best coach or manager in pro sports.”

    Thank you, Rick. In honor of your quote, I’ll link to the whole article, which is actually a PUBLISHED rant in a NEWSPAPER about how the Yankees and Red Sox get WAY too much airtime. And some other stuff, but it’s good that this problem is finally getting some publicity, even if it is from a guy named “Bozich”:

    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050721/COLUMNISTS01/507210433

    Mac, that was probably the most poignant, succinct explanation of one’s feelings in modern history, even if it wasn’t very…okay, not at all original. So maybe Lenny Dykstra should get the credit for being clairvoyant. However, I applaud you. That was great.

  3. Lorenzo is an ex-Techie BTW but at least had the good sense to transfer the hell outta there after a year.

    from the Rangers site:
    “Lorenzo was the Rangers’ fifth round selection in the 2003 June draft out of Kent State University. He has gone 4-9, 5.47 (61 ER/100.1 IP) in 19 games/18 starts between Frisco (AA) and Bakersfield (A) this season. ”

    I remember hearing that he has a good arm, maybe he could make use of it with a switch to the pen (getting out of those hitters leagues will help too)

  4. About post 2

    Anyone know what the AL wild card race is like?
    How possible is it that Baltimore could win the East and neither the Sox or the Yanks would even get a wild card bid?

    Unlikely at best, im sure….id love it though

  5. Well by my count we save about 500,000 on the trade (since Gryboski makes over 800,000 and the rookie minimum is about 300,000). All we have to do is trade away a few more of these pieces and we may be able to trade for a mediocre middle infielder…

  6. I find it pretty comical that you guys have not trust in your GM. He’s the best in the buisness. Millwood for Estrada, for example – you said Schuerholz was an idiot, right? Who are the idiots now? Just look in the mirror.

  7. Because here’s what he does: Bobby brings him in with two runners on and one out in the seventh. He gives up a double to score both runners, then gets two ground balls to get out of the inning. His ERA looks good and the guy he “relieved” gets screwed. Repeat.

  8. Paul, we’re complimenting him. He made a good move, even if the new guy never pitches above AA. Gryboski was flotsam and taking up space that could have been used for a real pitcher.

  9. Over/under on Grybo’s ERA in the AL and at the Ballpark in Arlington? I’m putting it at 6.00.

  10. “Just to point it out, Millwood for Estrada was a terrible trade.”

    Yeah, based on the information at the time it was horrible. You’d never do it if you didn’t have to, and that’s the sign of a bad move to me. 999 times out of 1,000 that trade’s a flop — the fact that it didn’t is just luck. In fact, he’s been pretty mediocre this year and Millwood’s been pretty good, so it’s not really a slam dunk anymore.

    On Grybo — huzzah!

  11. I don’t understand why the Braves took Lorenzo. What happens in these cases? Do the Braves look at a list and pick one with their eyes closed? or Do the Braves request Lorenzo? Surely Grybo’s stats are worth more than the stats of Lorenzo? Did our scouts have a say on this? etc. etc. etc.

  12. The problem with the Millwood-Estrada deal is that the Braves couldn’t afford him. See, the braves tendered Greg Maddux a one year deal expecting him to decline it and go elsewhere, and thus they would recieve compensation in the form of a draft pick. Instead, he unexpectedly accepted the deal (around $10. million i believe). Thus, trading Millwood was a neccessity. I am sure the braves knew what they were getting in Estrada. Anyone who questiong their front office is on crack. They know what they are doing and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Lorenzo turns out better than expected.

  13. Let’s see, $10 million salary on a pitcher with a dead arm history for a minor leaguer? It looked crazy, but not 999 out of 1,000 crazy. Johnny gets $460,000, made the All Star Team, and got a Silver Slugger award, Millwood $7 million with a no-hitter then the DL a lot. I’d take Estrada and Hudson over Millwood and someone like Henry Blanco.

    That’s why the Braves don’t sweat giving up the likes of Odalis Perez, Jason Marquis and others. They know what they are doing.

  14. Game over, the Braves are now offically in 1st place, with a better home record than the Nationals, who are 1-5 in their last 6 one-run games.

  15. I would say that it was a bad trade, but as noted it was forced by circumstances. And even when forced, JS came out of it pretty well, as he usually does.

  16. Tanto:

    You really must be joking with that post. You think Millwood has been good this year while Estrada has been mediocre? Granted, we are all a little upset at Johnny for being too gun-shy after the Erstad incident, but he’s already thrown as many runners out stealing this year than all of last year. He’s also hitting over .250 and has driven in 33 runs while only striking out about once every 10 at bats. That’s definitely not the year he had last year but I don’t think he’s doing worse than Millwood.

    Calling Millwood “good” is givin him way too much credit. Millwood is 3-9 on a Cleveland team that would look pretty good in their division if the White Sox weren’t in it. As a matter of fact, Millwood is 3-9 on a team that is still 2 games over .500. In the three years since the trade, Millwood is 26-27, with the best year being the year after the trade in 2003 when he went 14-12 (the no-hitter year), and has gotten progressively worse since.

    Yeah, Millwood is having a good year pitching in the majors compared to whom? I guess me since I haven’t won 3 games like he has.

  17. Millwood/Estrada bad trade???

    I recollect that Maddux excepted arbitration after not getting many bites and was given $15 million for 1 season. If you are a GM that has to saw the payroll down 10-20 million, resign Javy “Jeff Blauser” Lopez who remembered how to work out in his K year, Glavine (who as Union-bitch, would drown a GM’s puppy for an extra $100), and Maddux snookered you into an automatic 15 million, you have to get pretty creative. We needed an offensive catcher, Estrada showed a good bat. Millwood, as time would tell, never should have been more than a 3rd starter. He’s back in that role now and meeting (not exceeding) expectations. Not that I knew at the time. I mockingly named my fantasy team Estrada for MVP, only to then leave it up all season. This year, I’m flying the flag under Schuerholz for MVP and havent been let down yet.

  18. Davy, Millwood has little control over whether the Indians decide to score runs in his starts. His ERA is 3.34, seventh in the AL, which is a much better reflection of how he’s pitched.

  19. I have to agree. Millwood is doing better this year than in years past even though his record doesn’t show it.

  20. The Braves were in a rush to move Millwood because Maddux accepted arbitration(and Millwood was going to get a huge raise in arby, ended up at 9.9). I understand all of that. And maybe I am just bitter because Kevin was my favorite player. However, consider:
    Millwood was coming off a very good year, and his value was the highest it had been since 1999. Millwood has also ALWAYS pitched better than his ERA, his career FIP is very, very good. Kevin Millwood is one of the more underrated pitchers this generation. And in return we got a C who had never done anything in the minor leagues (and we gave our rival a very good pitcher). The fact that Estrada turned out to be better than we thought is a feather in the collective hat of the Braves scouting group, but still doesn’t excuse the fact that we traded an All-Star pitcher for basically nothing. Johnny Estrada is the type of p[layer(or was at least) that you get as a throw in in a deal, or you trade a problematic minor leaguer for, or when you are dumping a MR at the deadline you get him, you don’t trade a legit All-Star caliber SP for him.

    Also, Johnny Estrada is really not a very good player. He is good with the bat(his career numbers in the MLB of .339/.399 are basicaly perfectly average for a position player, above average for a C) for a C but is still hardly special with it. He is also at best average defensively.

  21. Well by my count we save about 500,000 on the trade (since Gryboski makes over 800,000 and the rookie minimum is about 300,000).

    Bear in mind that both have now been paid for half of the year. So the savings are closer to a quarter million.

  22. Man, I must be living in the Twilight Zone. Marte gets credit by some for hitting balls hard but going 7 for 44 and Millwood gets credit by some for going 3-9 thus far because his team doesn’t score when he pitches. I guess it can’t be that, coincidentally I know, that the other pitchers pitch better than he does on those nights. Incidentally, just to throw it out there, if all of the runs Millwood has given up were earned, he would be dropped to about 15th on the era list. I also doubt that his team says, “Hey, Kevin’s pitching tonight. Let’s not score for him.” There’s only one thing that matters in this game to me–wins and losses. Why else does this team that I have pulled for for so many years get reamed by the media and get me upset at them year after year? For not winning more than one World Series in this run. It’s that simple. If Ws and Ls aren’t enough of a gauge for saying if a pitcher (or team) is “good” or not, then maybe I have it all wrong.

  23. Davy, that’s ridiculous.

    “if all of the runs Millwood has given up were earned, he would be dropped to about 15th on the era list.”

    You could say that about many pitchers. He hasn’t allowed a particularly high number of unearned runs, just five. His ERA reflects how well he’s pitched.

    Millwood has no control over the number of runs his team scores for him. He doesn’t even get to hit. The Indians are a team with a slightly below-average offense, and he’s been unlucky.

    His first game, he pitched six innings, gave up no runs, and got a no decision. He’s had three games where he allowed one run and got a loss, and in his last game he allowed two and got one. How in hell is that his fault?

    Look, if you’re going to ignore decades of analysis showing that wins and losses simply aren’t a good gauge of pitcher quality, at least not on the level of individual seasons, fine. There’s no need to join the 21st century.

  24. Nothing about Millwood for Estrada was terrible. There’s a lot more to a trade than just talent for talent. Money IS part of the equation of whether a trade is good, not just part of the reason for it.

    As for the other argument, ERA is a much better indicator than wins. Clemens had about 6 wins when Willis had 12 if I recall correctly, that hardly makes Clemens half as good as Willis.

    The other point is just stupid. If all the runs MIllwood gave up were counted you’d have to count all the unearned runs the people you are comparing him to have given up, and you’d end up with the same damn ranking just about.

  25. Take a look here. Millwood is 9th in the AL in DIPS ERA. I don’t know what we’re accepting as a measure of how good a pitcher is, but that’s certainly one of them. He had two awful years for Philly but it’s good to see him turning the corner.

    In any case, it’s hard to argue that the Millwood for Estrada trade worked out badly for the Braves. I’d say it worked out rather well.

  26. Well, I was comparing apples to oranges I guess when I wasn’t factoring the other pitchers runs allowed that weren’t earned as well. It’s been a long week. Won’t be the last time I screw up a point.

    I do stand behind wins and losses as the best indicator for a starting pitcher (flame me all you want, since you already have insulted me). I guess it’s a binding custom that may be changing for some people, but I look at that first before ERA when I look at the Cy Young candidates each year. Once again, wins are what matters for the team, and the pitcher is part of the team, however crappy the rest of them are.

    Yes, his team hasn’t scored for him in two games, not three, but I can tell you that although his ERA might look good at the end of the year if the wins and losses aren’t there it probably makes it tougher for his agent to negotiate a better contract. Blame that on the binding custom and/or even a bias of which I spoke.

    But hey, I guess I’ll go “join the 21st Century” Mac since I’m “stupid” Grst. Mac, I’ve been reading your board for a couple of years and I post occasionally. I’ve never been insulted on here until tonight. I’m not going to be a whipping boy and hang around like some people do. I guess you’ll say “good riddance,” and that’s your right. I won’t have much time to read anything in Kuwait soon anyway with the hours I’ll be working. If either of you feel like saying anything to me other than insults, you can feel free to e-mail me. I’m not checking these boards again.

  27. FWIW, the league leader in wins has only won 14 of the last 30 CYA’s. In the 21st Century, it’s 3 of 10 so far. Guess I’ll need to email this to Dave.

  28. JC, you are one of the smartest people I have come across on the internet. But I disagree, Millwood has been very good for a long time. He is certainly not mediocre. I am in the middle of moving and can’t find my Bill James Handbook(and I don’t know where to look on the internet), but go look at Millwoods ERC(which is similiar to DIPS, and FIP, and all of those) for the last 5 years. He is pretty consistently good. He was overpaid, but that doesn’t make it a good trade. JS turned a 27 year old, 3.24 ERA and 18 game winner(read as very desirable) into a C that had showed no one anything. He hadn’t shown he could hit, and had a terrible defensive reputation. Millwood was ooverpaid, but the Mets gave up Scott Kazmir and Justin Huber for worse pitchers. JS put himself in a bad situation by offering arbitration to the wrong player(a player who could get less on the open market than he could in arbitration), and getting a league average C(he has proven that last year was in fact a “fluke season” and is hitting almost his exact career line right now) doesn’t really fix it. JS is a great GM, but he doesn’t get a free ride on this.

  29. Here is a list of Kevin’s FIP ERA+’s (it’s adjusted for the ERA of the league and park provided from Baseball-Reference).

    Year/ Team/ FIP+
    1998/ ATL/ 114
    1999/ ATL/ 118
    2000/ ATL/ 112
    2001/ ATL/ 88
    2002/ ATL/ 117
    2003/ PHI/ 110
    2004/ PHI/ 113
    Career/ 112

    While Kevin has been above the league average, I don’t think he was worth anywhere near what he was going to get from arbitration. JS signed Paul Byrd for two years (a pitcher with similar stats) for what Millwood would have made in just one season. I guess it depends on your definition of mediocre. Maybe I should have said good, but not that good to describe him. My question is this: if this was such a bad deal why didn’t JS get more than Johnny Estrada. I think it’s because every GM knew Millwood’s contract was bad.

  30. “Also, Johnny Estrada is really not a very good player. He is good with the bat(his career numbers in the MLB of .339/.399 are basicaly perfectly average for a position player, above average for a C) for a C but is still hardly special with it. He is also at best average defensively.”

    You make being a league average catcher (heck, above league avg this year considering how unimpressive NL catching has been) sound so bad….

    Also Estrada cost almost 10 mil less.

  31. JC, that is really nice work. I’d nitpick and say that it should be compared to a leaguewide(and parkwide) FIP, but that is very interesting indeed. Does anyone here know the proprietor of baseballreference? I’d have to think they would be interested in doing something like that.

    As for Millwood, it is true that he wasn’t worth 10 mil(certainly). And it is probably true that I overrate him(favorite player and all). But the money just doesn’t matter. We had the budget built on the assumption that he was going to make 10 million. Otherwise, we would have traded him earlier in the offseason before teams had spent all of the budget room they had. JS screwed up in offering arbitration to Maddux, which forced another bad deal. I love JS, and maybe I’m just being difficult, but I still don’t see it as a good move.

    NMS, my point is that Estrada is percieved as a good player when in fact he is perfectly average. To have an average player is very good, teams win championships with average players in positions all the time, but he isn’t Pudge, or even Charles Johnson. League average C aren’t that rare(hell, I’d say we have 3 in our system in Estrada, McCann, and Pena) and so Estrada wasn’t exactly a steal, he is a useful stopgap and nothing more. And when we traded him he had shown nothing. The best numbers he had ever put up where .314/.345/.489 in A ball, which are very good numbers, 6 years before we acquired him. The year before, as a 26 year old in AAA he had posted a line of .279/.322/.417. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but those aren’t great MLE either.

  32. Yes, there is no doubt JS screwed up on the arbitration to Maddux part. So, he does deserve blame on that count. I think he would admit that.

    Sean Forman runs Baseball-Reference. He’s hoping to add some stats like that, but I don’t know the status of the project.

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