I'll spare you all the long read, and just summarize what I posted in the Talkin' Live today in Game 1 against the White Sox.
Basically, what I said in my long post there, was that this team is FILLED with inconsistent performers. I backed up everything with stats of players that I thought were consistent throughout their careers like Dunn, Teixeria, Abreu, Ibanez, Ray Durham, and Kenny Lofton, and how Lee, Soriano, and Bradley miss completely on the key statistics which measure consistency: avg, OBP, hr, RBI. If you're making consistent contact with the baseball, and your stats aren't a by-product of dumb luck (as seems to be the case with Lee, Soriano, and Bradley in their career years before they signed contracts with us), then it'll show particularly in your avg and OBP, where hr and RBI are essentially a by-product of that.
But since Hendry already blew it with Miles and Bradley, we have no choice but to look internally for different options, especially considering how he's sat on his ass, not improving the offense while ARAM has been on the DL. (just as he did in 2006 when Lee went down).
Right now, as I've mentioned before, we have essentially 5 automatic outs on our team in Soriano, Bradley, Soto, Blanco, and Miles...you could even throw Fukudome in there as well at this juncture, and when he's playing, that means we have 5 everyday players as automatic outs, with only Theriot, Lee, and Fontenot (and he's even a question mark). You simply cannot win games with that many automatic outs. Notice that a majority of Bradley's hits have been of the bloop hit variety, and that's why I'm including him...he doesn't make solid contact.
Thus, our only options right now are to DL Soriano and bring up Sam Fuld to take his place in lead-off. DFA Miles, and bring up Scales. And when ARAM comes back, you option out Blanco. You sit Fukudome's ass on the bench until he stops twirling into the ground, and you put Jake Fox in for Soriano when he's on the DL. Hoffpauir gets the starts in RF when Bradley is ineffective and/or hurt.
Our position players would then consist of:
Catchers: Soto and K Hill
Infielders: Lee, Hoffpauir, Scales, Theriot, Fontenot, Blanco
Outfielders: Fox, Fuld, Bradley, Fukudome, Johnson
the bench would essentially be: Hoffpauir, Hill, Blanco, Fukudome, Johnson
The lineup becomes:
Fontenot-3B (though I like Scales better there b/c of height...Piniella doesn't seem to agree)
Fuld is the biggest key here. With 19 SB on the year, he's got the speed to be a table-setter, and the track record in college and so far in the pros with OBP (averages nearly .370+OBP in pros....400 +OBP in college), and has rarely struck out more than he walks, which is what you love about lead-off hitters. At 26 years old, I think it's time to get him up here.
Miles is not cutting it, and we've reached the point in the season where even veteran players start getting DFA's because they're not producing. With an avg under .200, and an OBP in the .250 and below range, no power, limited defensive ability (mostly because of height, diving for balls left and right and jumping, missing the ball by a few inches) renders him completely useless on this team, especially since he's a starter right now.
The thing that we must consider right now, is the fact that our team, after this season, is going to be a VERY old one as far as the lineup is concerned. Hoffpauir, Theriot, Fontenot, ARAM, Lee, Bradley, Soriano, Fukudome, Johnson, and Hill will all be over 30. Only Jake Fox and Soto will be under 30.
Additionally, we need to consider players without no trade clauses, and how we might be able to get better immediately: Lilly, Harden, Wells, Marshall, Ascanio, Guzman, Heilman, Patton, Marmol, and Gregg for pitchers...and Theriot, Fontenot, Miles, Johnson, Hoffpauir, Fox, Koyie Hill, and Freel for the position players. Really, of the position players, only Theriot has significant value. Next, would probably be Fox, Hoffpauir, Johnson, and Fontenot in that order, with Hill, Miles and Freel having next to no value. The pitching, just about everyone has pretty decent value except for maybe Patton and Gregg. Heilman has more value as a starter than reliever.
So, assuming you could only trade, DFA those I listed above. What would you do first?
Here's my DFA list in order (if you had to use all the above names):
Here's my trade preference in order:
If you notice, the younger guys are at the bottom for the most part. I'd have them there, because you can build off that talent in the future.
If you had to trade Harden, Lilly, and Marshall in different trades, we could easily bring up Hart, Mathes, and Samardzija to replace them in the rotation...and/or move Ascanio back to the rotation as well. We'd also have Stevens, Gaub, Parker, and others to replace the arms in the pen.
As for the position players, we'd have Nate Spears, Tony Thomas, Colvin, Deeds, and others in line to replace them, not to mention the haul of young talent we'd get for the likes of Theriot, Harden, Lilly, and Marshall in particular (which would bring in the biggest hauls)
I do think that if we fall out of contention even further, we might be able to convince Soriano to waive his no-trade, along with Lee and Fukudome. I don't think it's possible with Bradley, unless you humiliate him by sitting him on the bench the rest of the year.
Soriano, Lee, and Fukudome are all candidates to be traded to the West Coast with the Giants, Dodgers, and Angels frequently mentioned in the past as likely destinations. The Giants and Angels both need a 1B, so Lee would be the logical fit. They also need power, which is why Soriano would be a good fit. The Angels have an equally uninviting contract in Gary Matthews Jr. Normally, I wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole, but if the Angels are willing to throw in Brandon Wood, and a few minor league prospects, I'd gladly take on Matthews and even part of Soriano's deal. Hell, if we wanted to win now, I'd do Soriano and Lee for Figgins, Wood, and prospects.
If it's to the Giants, I'd ask for Jonathan Sanchez, and a guy like Sandoval for both Soriano and Lee. If they don't want Soriano's big contract, then we swap straight up for Barry Zito and an OF/1B prospect.