Friday, May 27, 2005

Carnage! Mayhem! Li'l Kim!

Wipe them out---all of them

Yesterday brought the most startling roster shuffle since the Duke Boys were replaced by their cousins (?), named Coy and Vance (?), so that Bo and Luke could join the stock car circuit or demand for more money from Warner Bros. Or whatever. Anyway, Chris has provided us with an elongated skinny on the day that was. Let us be thankful.

In his entry, Chris expresses befudwilderment (my word) or exasperation that Claudio Vargas was designated for assignment. I can't say I blame Chris, but just so we get the context, here you go:

This makes absolutely no sense to me. Obviously I don't want the guy
starting. And I'm not sure I even want the guy relieving.Being DFA'd means the team frees up his roster spot while he's in a state of limbo. The team can trade him, or let him go via waivers. If he clears waivers, he can continue to play for the team in the minors.In this case, though, they're giving up on him completely. If they had wanted to send him to the minors, he still has option years. They could send him down with zero risk of losing him. Doing it this way means they're either releasing him, or trading him.The only other possible reason that they would do it this way is to clear a spot off the 40-man roster.
But, why do it in a way to risk losing a player?

And, yes, I did copy-and-paste all of that just to make my post here seem more substantial.

Anyway, I generally posted my crackpot thoughts in the comments section of Chris's entry linked above, but I guess I'll repeat the gist of it here: I have this feeling, not based on any evidence (in fact, contrary to some recent examples---see, e.g., Cust, Jimenez), that designating a guy for assignment somehow makes the guy a more alluring trade prospect to other teams. The simple reason is that the other teams (unless you're, say, the Texas Rangers, and you're just plain in butt-need of pitching) wouldn't look at a guy like Vargas unless there existed a reason to---which is exactly what a DFA move creates. It is like the player has to be lowered to a quivering mass of jello---in a sense, at least---to be seen as marginally attractive by another team. Otherwise, the other team wouldn't even have reason to look at the guy.

Of course, the hole in that theory (other than counterexamples) is that the guy could just end up being released, anyway.

But, assuming a trade is initiated within the "DFA period" (and the reason my thoughts came to fore over Vargas is that it does happen), it's like a sop to the original team: a problem player is removed, and a little something is brought back.

Of course, the hole there, as applied here, is that it's fairly widely known that other general managers pretty much hate Jim Bowden. (Except maybe Ed Wade; how else to explain the Endy-for-Byrd trade as a favor to the Nats?)


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