Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Problem Swap
2005-07-02 13:49
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The saga of Paul Quantrill and Mike Stanton continues today as is has been reported that the Yankees have actually convinced the Padres to offer up a pair of warm bodies and cash for the DFAed Quantrill. The two players acquired, former Royals lefty Darrell May and former Astros righty Tim Redding, are not much to write home about, but it's always nice to get something in return for a player you were planning to release anyway.

Both pitchers will report to Columbus, but it seems to me that May would be a much better choice than Wayne Franklin to fill the roll of second lefty/long man/spot starter with the big club. May, who just turned 33, is almost two years older than Franklin and just as susceptible to the long ball (1.65 HR/9 in nearly 600 major league innings prior to this year to Franklin's 1.61), but he has far better control (2.86 BB/9 through 2004 to Franklin's 4.58), a league average career ERA (5.04, 97 ERA+ to Franklin's 5.47/80) and superior splits.

Franklin has pitched well at Columbus this year (4.13 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10.74 K/9, 3.03 BB/9, 0.83 HR/9, 3.54 K/BB), but when he was called up it was reported (forgive me, I can't find where I read it) that he had held right handers to a very low batting average. As his opponents were hitting .242 against him overall, that would mean that lefty's are getting to him pretty well. In his major league career, Franklin has a proper split, but not a very strong one:

vs. L: .261/.329/.468 (.265 GPA)
vs. R: .270/.369/.483 (.287)

May's career splits are not available, but here are his splits since 2002, when he returned to the majors after four years pitching in Japan (two as Hideki Matsui's teammate with the Yomiuri Giants):

vs. L: .263/.300/.447 (.247)
vs. R: .280/.332/.518 (.279)

May has a bigger split and lower GPAs against both lefties and righties. What's more there's this split from his time with the Padres thus far this year:

As Starter: 6.94, 1.69 WHIP, .318 BAA
As Reliever: 3.52, 1.39 WHIP, .278 BAA

In addition, while May has indeed been terrible as a starter this year, he did have a strong outing against the Twins less than two weeks ago in which he allowed just one run (a Matt LeCroy homer) in six innings while striking out four and allowing just two other baserunners (both on singles).

So, while the Yankees would still be better off giving that final bullpen slot to a younger player such as Alex Graman or Colter Bean, they've already given themselves the opportunity to improve upon their current roster with the acquisition of May (which is a pretty damning statement now that I think about).

Incidentally, May, who was acquired by the Padres from the Royals in the Terrence Long trade, is making $3.2 million in this, the final year of his contract. As Redding is making $750,000 (some of which is being paid by the Astros) and Quantrill is making just $3 million, the Padres are sending some cash to New York to even things out, making this a classic "my problem for your problem" trade.

As for Redding himself, the Rochester, New York native has been absolutely terrible this year (9.10 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, .328 BAA) and was on the Padres 15-day DL with shoulder problems at the time of the trade. At the same time, those shoulder problems could explain away the terrible line. Here are some interesting snippets from his scouting report:

During an impressive rise through the minors, he was expected to one day be one of the [Astros'] best pitchers, with a two- and four-seam fastball, hard-breaking curve and slider. . . . Astros officials still believe he has great stuff and can be a strong No. 4 or 5 pitcher.

Redding turned in a solid season for Houston in 2003, posting a 3.68 ERA and 5.94 K/9 in 32 starts at age 25, and he holds a minor league career K/9 of 10.80. The problem is his control of both his pitches (career 3.71 BB/9 in the majors, 4.45 BB/9 in the minors) and his emotions (think Jeff Weaver). Still, at age 27, having now passed through two organizations in a matter of months after spending his entire career in the Astros system, there is hope that Redding can put it all together. Certainly the Yankees haven't risked anything to find out if he can. Credit to Brian Cashman for pulling this one off, meaningless as it may seem.

2005-07-02 15:09:46
1.   Simone
If either of these guys can become a solid reliever, the Yankees have done alright. I agree that Redding is the more promising of the two.
2005-07-02 15:29:43
2.   Nick from Washington Heights
Kevin Towers is really good friends with Cashman. Why make this trade if it's obvious the Yanks are cutting Q anyway? I probably don't understand how waiver pick-ups work, but it seems unneccessary for the Padres to make this deal.
2005-07-02 15:33:11
3.   JohnnyC
The problem, as Steven Goldman (finally!) eloquently posed Friday, is Torre is still managing those arms, whoever they are, Stanton and Quantrill or Anderson and Procter. One further thing: Goldman rightly chastised Torre for leaving his best reliever in the pen while Stanton handed the game to Baltimore. But, and this is a frightening point, it wasn't because Torre adheres to some sort of "code of the save," i.e., Rivera doesn't appear unless there's a save opportunity. Torre was well-known in past seasons for piling up innings on Mo's right arm by pitching him in tie games, often for multiple innings (and we're not alking about the post-season). So, the truth is, there is no rationale behind Torre's moves. Why do we assume there is one? To comfort ourselves as fans?
2005-07-02 15:35:37
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Actually, as I've said before, Torre's bullpen moves seem to be pretty easy to predict. He just pushes the usual buttons. Tie game after eight at home, Mo pitches. Tie game after eight on the road, Mo doesn't pitch. It's always been that way.
2005-07-02 15:43:07
5.   JohnnyC
Nick, Quantrill and Stanton were Designated for Assignment not waived. DFA means a ten day period in which a team can determine which of 3 scenarios it can take: demotion to the minors (needs permission of the player), a trade, or outright release. Nick, players can be and are waived all the time. Teams are fishing for trade interest. If there's a bite, they take the player off waivers and try to negotiate a deal. Quantrill and Stanton had probably already been waived, even one bit. Thus, the Yankees went to the DFA tactic. The Padres made the trade because if they had waited for the Yankees to release Quantrill, they would have faced competition for his services. This way, they get to exchange a couple of contracts they'd likely DFA themselves. They end up paying the Yankees $700,000, get Quantrill and lose May and Redding. The price of being in business.
2005-07-02 15:49:07
6.   jkay
Pavano is out with a sore arm.
2005-07-02 15:51:57
7.   Nick from Washington Heights
JohnnyC, thanks.
2005-07-02 17:21:26
8.   Simone
Seriously though, when was the last quality start from a Yankee pitcher? Maybe Wang? This is beyond ridiculous.
2005-07-02 18:19:40
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Yes, it was Wang, but it was also in their second most recent game. Before that it was Johnson in the last game against the Mets. So that's twice in their last five games (including tonight). Bad? Yes. Ridiculous? No.
2005-07-02 18:20:31
10.   Cliff Corcoran
Especially as Moose and Pavano both went 6 IP, 4 ER in that stretch, missing quality starts by one run each.
2005-07-02 18:53:58
11.   BklynBomber
Upside aside, Cano needs some patience at the plate. Heard a stat tonight: he has the lowest pitch total per AB average in AL = 3. Where's Donnie? I'm seeing this on the tube! Robbie is good enough a hitter to adjust later in a count.
2005-07-02 18:54:19
12.   BklynBomber
Upside aside, Cano needs some patience at the plate. Heard a stat tonight: he has the lowest pitch total per AB average in AL = 3. Where's Donnie? I'm seeing this on the tube! Robbie is good enough a hitter to adjust later in a count.
2005-07-02 19:04:33
13.   Simone
Womack got a hit in the 9th. I'm in shock!!!

Those Yankee pitchers have been just missing those quality starts for the whole season.

2005-07-02 19:04:59
14.   vockins
Did Tony Womack just get an RBI to take the lead in the ninth? Somebody bronze that ball.

Also, yay Bernie.

2005-07-02 19:07:29
15.   Cliff Corcoran
Simone, this chart tells the quality start story:

2005-07-02 19:37:17
16.   Simone
Bernie is raking! Mo is rolling over teams!

Cliff, RJ has more quality starts than I thought. Maybe his struggles are overstated?

singledd, you were right about the Yankees having a better ERA than the Red Sox, 4.60 to 4.85. Apparently, the Yankees just suck overall as a team. However, I do wonder if you pulled out Mariano and Foulke's ERA if the team ERAs would reverse.

2005-07-03 02:07:05
17.   Jeff P
Why should 4 ER in 6 innings be considered almost a quality start? It's terrible! Not only are you handing three innings to the bullpen, but even the best offense in the majors doesn't average 4 runs every six innings. Those starts should be viewed as nothing short of failures.

And RJ's "struggles" are largely relative. He's still a horse, pitching tremendous amounts of innings at a quality above the league average...just not at Randy's average.

2005-07-03 15:25:38
18.   sabernar
Yeah, 4 ER in 6 innings = 6.00 ERA. Just horrible.

The reason why the Padres "gave up" May is that he's earning over $2M this year. I think Redding is making $750,000. They gave up salary and guys they didn't want for salary and a guy that could possibly help them.

2005-07-04 06:50:39
19.   Clay Caviness
A quality start is 3 runs in 6 innings, not 4. This will give you a 4.50 ERA, which is still nothing to get excited about.

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