A couple of things have me scratching my head this morning:
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Over at Baseball Prospectus today, Dayn Perry looks at platoon park factors (subscription required).
Buried in the article is the fact that for 2002-04, the Coliseum has a Home Run factor of 97 for left-handed batters, but a factor of 114 for right-handed batters. So the Coliseum suppresses LHB homers somewhat, but helps RHB quite a bit.
I'm trying to figure out why this would be. The Coliseum is symmetrical. There aren't really any strong prevailing winds. If there were, you'd think the wind would blow out towards right field (helping LHB, not hurting them), since that's the direction the wind comes through the Golden Gate.
If you've got any explanation for this, I'm all ears.
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The other head-scratcher was the trade idea that Peter Gammons floated on ESPN's Baseball Tonight: Jairo Garcia, Juan Cruz, Dallas Braden and Kurt Suzuki for Adam Dunn. (Note: Gammons never said this deal was in the works; it was just his idea.)
I suppose that this deal might be fair, but something about it makes me hesitate. First of all, if I'm Cincinnati, I need at least one sure-fire prospect if I'm giving up Dunn. None of those A's prospects qualify.
Cruz and Garcia both have electric stuff, but neither has ever harnessed it on a consistent basis. Braden is the kind of slop-thrower who tends to dominate at lower levels but struggle as he moves up the ladder. Suzuki is, to me, certainly a future major league catcher, but I doubt he'll be a big star.
On the A's side, the issues are:
Whither Daric Barton, Dan Johnson, Nick Swisher, Bobby Kielty, Andre Ethier? None of these guys are as good as Dunn (although Barton could be, eventually), but that's a lot of similar players crowding the LF/1B/DH end of the defensive spectrum. And they all bat left-handed (although Swisher and Kielty are switch hitters).
Giving up four prospects weakens the organizational depth. The A's aren't loaded with pitching prospects to begin with, and they'd be giving up three of them. You'd be strengthening the position where the A's have the most organizational depth, and weakening the position where they have the least depth.
Can they afford Dunn? Next year, probably. He's gonna add $9-10 million/year to the payroll. As it happens, that's about what they're paying Durazo and Dotel this year. Dunn takes Durazo's role, and Street pitches for the minimum, so you fill those two roles for about the same combined salary.
But the year after that, they might end up with a choice: pay Adam Dunn, or pay Barry Zito? Given that the A's have a lot of Adam Dunn-types already, I'd choose Zito.
The A's are hot. Why mess with success?
Adding Adam Dunn would cause some roster problems, and force Billy Beane to do some more shuffling, but that's OK. Beane loves that kind of stuff. Power hitters like Dunn are very hard to come by. So I'd probably pull the trigger on this deal if I were the A's. On the other hand, I probably wouldn't do this deal if I were the Reds. So I doubt it will happen.