Will they ever learn?

JS Online: Brewers trade Kolb to Atlanta

Apparently it’s Danny Kolb to the Braves, Jose Capellan to the Brewers. This is basically the same trade as last year brought Chr*s R**tsm* to Atlanta — trading pitching prospects for another team’s closer coming off a big save season. Almost exactly the same, except for the timing. Kolb’s a good pitcher, but he’s a command-and-control type like R**tsm* (theoretically) rather than a blow-them-away guy. Last year, Kolb threw 57 1/3 innings and only struck out 21, walking 15; those are practically Gryboski numbers. I don’t know if Capellan will be a star, or even a major leaguer, but they just traded a guy who throws 101 MPH for a guy with 110 strikeouts in 177 2/3 career innings.

Similar pitchers to Kolb through Age 29:

# Doug Henry (979)
# Joe Boever (972)
# Bill Wilson (971)
# Lance Carter (967)
# Roy Thomas (962)
# Julio Navarro (961)
# Dave Tobik (960)
# Fred Lasher (960)
# Daryl Patterson (958)
# Nellie King (957)

Ugh. You never want to see the B-word come up in a closer context.

20 thoughts on “Will they ever learn?”

  1. This isn’t the world’s most beautiful trade, but I’m not really shocked or surprised with it. I hoped Cappy could get us more in return than Dan Kolb, but it seems that we are doing whatever we can to get Smoltz back into the rotation. Obviously, I would have liked to see if Cruz could close instead, and hang on to Capellan, but that wouldn’t be a JS type of move. This one is.

  2. This trade has important, direct implications. This pretty much sends the message that Smotlz is going back to the rotation, Kolb will close, and JS probably won’t seek an ace like Hudson. I hope JS revives the Hudson trade, though, and puts Smoltz back in the rotation. A Hudson-Smoltz-Hampton-Thomson-Ramirez rotation would satisfy me, but I’m still dreaming. Looks like JS isn’t going to rebuild the rotation and will probably pursue a fan-friendly hitters lineup. JS also probably wants to give Cruz a chance, since he doesn’t command much money. I might be assuming too much with this trade, but I think the message is clear.

  3. I’m not certain that Kolb will be the closer. Reitsma and Cruz are still options. Kolb keeps the ball in the park, without the BB-rate of Grybo. He might just be a bullpen addition.

    We also just acquired a good starter for $5-6 mil season, which is lower than the going market rate. Smoltz was getting $12 mil no matter what. Now he gets $3 mil extra, the rest is added by whatever Kolb adds to the payroll.

  4. Kolb: $1.5 million salary in 2004 and is eligible for arbitration, which would likely push his salary to $3 million or more.

  5. His last two seasons have been good. He’s young. What’s the problem with all you people? You negative nancies just have to poo poo everything. I like this deal. A Smoltz-Hampton-Ramirez-Tompson-Byrd rotation is good enough. There’s no reason to trade Giles for one year of hudson now. That would be wastefully stupid.

    We have one of the best farm systems in the majors. This is how you use it. The yankees use money to make things happen, we use people. And we still got plenty left for ourselves.

  6. I’m sorry Grst, but there have to be numerous questions surrounding a Smoltz-Hampton-Ramirez-Tompson-Byrd rotation. If you recall, all 5 of these pitchers had injury trouble last year. So did Hudson, but aside from Hampton and Thomson, the injuries to current Braves pitchers could have major implications all of next year. While I seriously doubt Hudson coming to Atlanta and understand the risks of trading for his services for possibly one year, this rotation has serious questions. If everything goes our way with these 5 pitchers, we could still have a good year. Roman Colon could also fill a relief spot of the staff, as his performances last year were much better than Capellan’s.

  7. JC,
    What good starter did the Braves acquire for $5-6 million? Are you referring to Byrd or another acquisition?

  8. Raoul, he means Smoltz. Smoltz will get about $3 million in bonus money for moving to the rotation — if his contract isn’t renegotiated — and Kolb will cost about $3 million more than a league-minimum pitcher. Of course, that ignores the very real difference in quality between Smoltz as closer and Kolb.

  9. This trade is fine by my lights. I tried to make fun of a kid in my fantasy league last year when he drafted Kolb, but I had to eat my hat. I don’t think that the book on Kolb is that he’s a finesse guy, not at all. BP.com says he still throws a sinker in the low 90s and a hard slider. The K rate the year before last was real good. Earlier, he was a hard-throwing starter coming up who threw way too many innings in A-Ball, blew out his elbow and then his shoulder (or maybe the other way around) just as he was making it to the bigs, and is now 2 and half years removed from his last surgery.

    I didn’t really like Capellan, and I think Kolb is positioned to be healthy and productive. Ground-ball guys infuriate DIPS all the time. I don’t think we can look at his low K rate last year and take it to be the bad sign that it is for most players. Glavine managed to defy all expectations with his K rate.

  10. His last two seasons have been good. He’s young.

    You consider 30 years of age as being young?

    We have one of the best farm systems in the majors. This is how you use it.

    Yeah, but if we keep trading away our best pitching prospects, it won’t be so good anymore in the near future…

  11. So they’ll spend $3m and Capellan to get this guy, when they could have kept Alfonseca for $3.5m and still had Capellan. Swell.

  12. They couldn’t have kept Alfonseca for that amount. He would have gotten more in arbitration. And his season screams “fluke” anyway.

    I don’t disagree with the idea of trading away pitching prospects for real players. I just think that Kolb is a type of pitcher the Braves already have too many of and who isn’t really dominant, and who will get paid for his save stats when saves are basically irrelevant to actually winning baseball games.

  13. I’m really glad to hear that the Braves’ front office thought trading Giles for a year of Hudson was as much folly as many of us thought it was.

    I also think it’s a good goal to get more innings from our best pitcher, Mr. Smoltz. Moving him to the rotation may give him something like 200 innings rather than just 80. That, to me, is way more valuable than the 60 innings Kolb will throw, even if it’s the ninth. We’re already paying Smoltz to pitch like a No. 1 starter, we might as well let him try. It’s just silly to pay a closer $12 million a year.

    As for giving up Capellan . . . we’ll, the Braves seem to know when to part ways with top prospects — I hope they’re right this time.

  14. Smoltz isn’t really “getting” a new pitcher, since he is already a Brave. There are some problems with the language or our interpretation of “acquiring a new starter.”

  15. I also think it’s a good goal to get more innings from our best pitcher, Mr. Smoltz. Moving him to the rotation may give him something like 200 innings rather than just 80. That, to me, is way more valuable than the 60 innings Kolb will throw, even if it’s the ninth. We’re already paying Smoltz to pitch like a No. 1 starter, we might as well let him try. It’s just silly to pay a closer $12 million a year.

    I think so, too. I’m not that high on Kolb, but Smoltz has been underutilized, and his return to the rotation is the real (and real good) news here. The more Smoltz pitches, the better off we are

  16. So they’ll spend $3m and Capellan to get this guy, when they could have kept Alfonseca for $3.5m and still had Capellan. Swell.

    Actually, I misposted here – Alf is actually going to be making $2.74m a year over the next two years, so he’d be cheaper than Kolb. I don’t think he’d get more than $3m after this season, not without the magic “saves!” stat. At worst, they’d be in the same ballpark.

    Yes, Mac, Alfonsecca may well have been a fluke, but what Kolb pulled off given only 21 K’s screams fluke to me also.

  17. Who in their right mind thinks that Smoltz is gonna rack up 200 innings? The reason he was in the bullpen to begin with was because he couldn’t start. He’s pitched 146 innings in the last two years and all of a sudden he’s gonna pitch 200 in one season? Right…

    Don’t get me wrong; I still like this trade a great deal. With that said, our rotation still is inadequate. Call me nuts, but Giles is expendable, and he should be traded for Hudson. However, I’m not saying Giles will not/isn’t a great hitter. The comparisons of Giles to Andruw Jones are way off. Andruw has been in the league for 8 years, and is no more than a slightly above average offensively player. Giles is leaps and bounds better than him. He’s had barely two full seasons, and he already has as many .900 OPS seasons as Andruw, and he will have many, many more by the time his career is over, so long as he stays healthy. Still, he is expendable. Tim Hudson is a great pitcher in a great situation economically for the Braves. If he can be the pitcher he has been the past 4 seasons and the Braves can sign him to an extension, he is much more valuable than Giles. I agree with the person that said that there are maybe 10-12 real aces. Even if there are 15, that leaves one for every two teams, and Hudson is one of those. If we can get Polanco at 2B, then trade Giles for Hudson. Heck, if the deal depends on it, give them Meyer too.

    I totally agree with Mac that the Braves have the right idea about trading prospects. Even without Capellan now, and Meyer after the potential Hudson trade, we still have Roman Colon, Horacio Ramirez, Macay McBride, Jake Stevens, Chuck James, and Andrew Lerew. Even if one of those five (plus Ramirez recovering) pan out to be effective pitchers, the Braves will be in great shape.

  18. I was on the Hudson bandwagon for awhile, simply because it looked like the deal that could bring the Braves closer to the 1990s pitching teams. However, Billy Beane is shopping Hudson around in hopes that he could steal a good player for someone he knows he can’t resign. It would be too big of a risk to give up Giles for one-year of Hudson pitching and the POSSIBILITY of resigning him. JS surely would have pulled the trigger if he was guaranteed several years with Hudson, but Hudson won’t pass up a chance to hit the free-agent market. Players wait their whole careers to test the open-market, especially elite players like Hudson. I REALLY want the Braves to return to a pitching-first ballclub, but the more I think about it, the Hudson deal wouldn’t have accomplished that for more than one year.

  19. I hope that the Brewer system is going to use this guy. It sounds like they unloaded him to a pretty nice team. That is nice. I think that he is going to just get wasted. Jose does not seem like he is polished. I guess he will throw fast. It sounds like the Braves got something in mind. I would not doubt a Free agent signing. You guys probably know better than I do. Im just ad libbing.

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