Tag Archives: do something

On the Jepsen Trade

I know this was discussed yesterday, but I was out of town, so I thought I'd put my opinion down.  Feel free to ignore it.  Short version:  I wouldn't have done it, but I'm not down on Terry Ryan for doing it.

I wouldn't have done it because I see it as a trade with small upside potential and large downside potential, and I don't like trades like that.  The upside potential is that Jepsen becomes a useful set-up reliever.  That's not nothing.  In fact, a pitcher like that can be very important.  But Jepsen's not going to be shut-down set-up guy like the Yankees and Kansas City have.  He may be useful, but that's all he'll be.  The downside, of course, is that either Hu or Tapia becomes a star.  Given that, I would not have made the trade.

The reason I'm not down on Terry Ryan, though, is that I think he was under a lot of pressure to make some kind of a move.  That pressure did not just come from fans and media--I think it came from the clubhouse and from ownership as well.  Had Ryan not done anything, I think the reaction from all those groups would have been, "Here we are with a shot at the playoffs, and we're not even trying to improve!"  It not only would've been a PR hit, it would've been a problem throughout the team.

I assume Ryan would like to have brought in an impact player who could've propelled the team to the playoffs and beyond, but such a player either wasn't available or the price was higher than he thought it was wise to pay.  I suspect, in that situation, he'd have preferred to do nothing, but he didn't think that was one of his options.  So he made a move for a player who might be able to provide some help at what he hopes will be a small cost.

And it could very well turn out that way.  There's a good chance that Jepsen, while again nothing special, will be a useful reliever.  I don't really know anything about Hu or Tapia beyond their stat lines.  Those lines look good, but they've been compiled at Class A or below.  There are lots and lots of players who have great stats at those levels who never make the majors, and lots more who make it to the majors but never do anything significant there.  So, while I wish Hu and Tapia well and I don't see anything that proves they can't be stars, the odds are certainly against it happening.  The chances are better that they will be two more players who looked good in the low minors but ultimately didn't pan out.

To sum up, then, what I think is that Terry Ryan would rather have done nothing at all.  Since he thought he had to do something, he did something that was as close to nothing as he could get.  I'd rather we hadn't done it.  But I'm not particularly upset about it.