Blog Entry

The John Schuerholz Years: Year 2 - 1992

Posted on: February 22, 2008 8:28 pm
 
First off, Otis Nixon, Jim Clancy, and Alejandro Pena became free agents.  In 1991, they had contributed 7.3 wins to the team.  I'll use this as a new stat that tracks net losses for the particular offseason.  The team starts off 7.3 in the hole, so to speak.

Every time the team gets rid of a 1991 contributor, I'll make a special mention of it, to let you know how many 1991 wins were, at that point, off the 1992 team.

What's the point of this? The goal is to have the "Immediate gain/loss", which measures productivity specifically in 1992, outweigh the "in the hole" number, which measures productivity from 1991 which isn't returning.  Be careful not to mix the two up.

12/9/91: Released Jeff Parrett.  Parrett, after two subpar seasons in Atlanta, moved on and would provide solid relief work at several points in his career, including 1992 with Oakland.
Net gain/loss: - 10.3
Average per year: -2.06 (total) - Parrett missed 1995 season, so average loss for years he pitched was -2.58.
Immediate gain/loss: -3.4

* Parrett played so poorly for the 1991 team, this actually helps the "in the hole" rating, meaning the team only needed to recoup 7.0 wins in the offseason.

12/9/91: Released Randy St. Claire.

* St. Claire contributed .3 wins in 1991, bringing the "in the hole" total to -7.3.

12/10/91: Traded Rico Rossy to Kansas City for Bobby Moore.  Rossy was no longer a prospect and had nowhere to play.  He spent two years in KC, then toiled away in AAA for 4 years, and returned to baseball in 1998, but that won't be included in the analysis.  Moore became a fixture in Richmond, spending 1992-1996 with Atlanta's AAA affiliate but never getting the call-up.  After being a baseburner with the Royals' system, he never found his speed in our system.
Net gain/loss: -2.2 (-2.2 Rossy) (0.0 Moore)
Average per year: -1.1
Immediate gain/loss: -1.6

12/12/91: Signed Otis Nixon to a 2 year, $4,625,000 deal.  Nixon was a valuable member of the '91 team, and he would remain one of the league's best leadoff hitters throughout the life of this contract.
Net gain/loss: +11.1
Average per year: +5.55
Immediate gain/loss: +5.9

12/20/91: Released Mark Grant. Grant didn't have a whole lot left in the tank, and hadn't been a big contributor in Atlanta.  He would go on and pitch elsewhere, but not really that well.
Net gain/loss: - 1.5
Average per year: -0.75
Immediate gain/loss: -1.7

1/1/92: Signed Randy St. Claire to a contract.  He didn't have much left, and he had helped the 1991 team minimally.
Net gain/loss: -0.1
Average per year: -0.1
Immediate gain/loss: -0.1

1/8/92: Signed Steve Lyons to 1 year, $650,000 deal.  Lyons was remembered for yanking his pants down at first base once, a rare feat considering he wasn't on base often.  He was so bad for Atlanta this counts as a loss.
Net gain/loss: -0.2
Average per year: -0.2
Immediate gain/loss: -0.2

1/23/92: Signed Jeff Manto to a minor league contract.  Manto hit .291/.374/.436 for Richmond that year.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0

2/9/92: Signed Dave Pavlas to a minor league contract.  Pavlas was cut in spring training.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0

2/16/92: Signed Eddie Williams to a minor league contract.  Williams was terrible for Richmond for a month before he was released.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0

2/28/92: Signed Alejandro Pena to a one year, $2,650,000 contract.  Pena would provide mediocre relief work for Atlanta in 1992.
Net gain/loss: +1.7
Average per year: +1.7
Immediate gain/loss: +1.7

3/5/92: Signed Pascual Matos as an amateur free agent.  7 years later, he'd finally debut and get 8 meaningless at-bats.  In 1997, he looked like a solid catching prospect, hitting 18 HR for Durham, but never could get his plate discipline in check.
Net gain/loss: -0.1
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0

3/31/92: Released Dave Pavlas.  He returned to Iowa in Chicago's system, but then took two years off for unknown reasons - probably injury.  I won't count what he did later, which still wasn't much,  against Atlanta here.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0


As the offseason ended, Atlanta was essentially just staying the course.  Atlanta lost 7.3 wins from the 1991 team which won 94.  Essentially, Atlanta had an 87 win team without any player improvement and any signings, which isn't bad at all.  Resigning Otis Nixon boosted them back to 93 win territory, and Alejandro Pena's resigning took them to nearly 95 wins.  Atlanta won 98 games in 1992, and had they kept Jeff Parrett, Rico Rossy, and Mark Grant, I think they might've pushed 100.  Still, the offseason's goal was to stay the course, and Atlanta certainly did that.  John Schuerholz made sure Atlanta kept the main pieces from the 1991 team and although Pena wasn't quite worth the money, he still helped the team.

Best offseason move at the MLB level: Resigning Otis Nixon
Worst offseason move at the MLB level: Releasing Jeff Parrett
Best longterm move: Resigning Otis Nixon.
Worst longterm move: Releasing Jeff Parrett.


4/30/92 - Released Steve Lyons.  Lyons, as stated earlier, was abhorrent for Atlanta in his month here, played for two more teams in '92, and did nothing whatsoever to hurt or help them.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0

5/14/92 - Released Eddie Williams.  In 24 games at Richmond, this MLB "vet" who had more than 100 big league games under his belt, hit .203/.244/.284.  He had some baseball left in him, but not a lot of good baseball.
Net gain/loss: -3.8
Average per year: -0.76
Immediate gain/loss: 0.0

5/28/92 - Traded Ben Rivera to Philadelphia for Donnie Elliott.  Rivera had a solid 1991 in AA Greenville, going 11-8 with a 3.57 ERA, and made Atlanta's opening day roster, but struggled in relief, which was admittedly out of his element.  Philadelphia gave him a starting opportunity and he wound up helping them immediately.  Elliott moved extremely slowly through the Philadelphia system but was considered a talented prospect.  In 1991, at high A ball, Elliott had finally put it together, going 8-5 with a 2.78 ERA.  Atlanta slotted him at Greenville on what might be the best minor league team ever assembled, and Elliott played his part - he went 7-2 with a 2.08 ERA for the Greenville Braves.  Atlanta would later use Elliott in the best trade of the decade and the best deal of Schuerholz' career.
Net gain/loss: -4.3
Average per year: -1.43
Immediate gain/loss: -3.1

JUNE AMATEUR DRAFT
Round 1 - P Jamie Arnold - After a great 1993 season with Macon, Arnold fizzled at the upper levels but always hung around thanks to his talent.  Atlanta finally released him after the 1998 season.  He finally reached the majors with the Dodgers and Cubs, but didn't do a whole lot.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate: 0.0

Round 2 - P Jamie Howard - Held out in 1992, didn't reach Macon until '94, when he did ok, but missed all of 95, probably with an injury, and struggled badly upon his return, and was out of baseball by 1997.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate: 0.0

Round 3 - P Carey Paige - A guy who excelled at the lower levels, but couldn't put it together at the lower levels.  Injuries derailed him as well.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate: 0.0

Round 4 - OF Damon Hollins - He's still bouncing around pro systems, thanks to his gifted athleticism, but never quite got it all put together.  In 1994 at Durham Hollins looked like a future stud, hitting .270/.335/.470 with 23 HR, but struggled when he reached AA.  He spent three years in AAA as a decent but not very good OF before finally getting a call-up with Atlanta in 1998, where he didn't impress.  Out of options at that point, Atlanta traded him to LA for a prospect.
Net gain/loss: -0.2
Average per year: -0.2
Immediate: 0.0

OTHER NOTABLE PLAYERS DRAFTED
Round 10 - P Brad Clontz - Clontz had that crazy underhanded throwing motion and he reached Atlanta in 1995 to help the Braves win a title.  He pitched in Atlanta three years and was helpful in all of them.
Net gain/loss: +6.0
Average per year: +2.0
Immediate: 0.0

Round 12 - P Chris Brock - Brock had a slow rise to the majors, and finally played with Atlanta a little in 1997.  He became a free agent after that, though, and reached his pinnacle in 2000 for Philadelphia.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate: 0.0

Round 46 - P Darrell May - May had a fantastic minor league career, never posting an ERA higher than 3.71, and that was at Richmond in 1995.  He pitched 4 innings (badly) for the '95 Braves, which means he has a WS ring.  He wound up pitching quite successfully for Kansas City about 5 years ago.
Net gain/loss: -0.1
Average per year: -0.1
Immediate: 0.0

Draft summary: Not a great draft for Schuerholz and his scouting department.  Brad Clontz was the only pick that positively effected Atlanta at any point, and he was hardly a player Atlanta built around.  Not a good draft for Atlanta by any measure.

6/18/92 - Released Scott Taylor - After a phenomenal 1991 season at Durham (10-3, 2.18 ERA), Taylor seemed like a top prospect, but presumably injuries set in, because he didn't play again until 1995.  Too bad, really.  That '91 season was impressive.
Net gain/loss: 0.0
Average per year: 0.0
Immediate: 0.0

6/25/92 - Signed Marty Malloy as amateur free agent - A pretty good scrappy 2B in the mold of Kelly Johnson, Malloy was a solid player for a few years with Greenville and Richmond, finally reached Atlanta in 1998, but just never had a spot with the Braves.  He wound up playing more than 1200 minor league games before retiring after 2003.
Net gain/loss: +0.1
Average per year: +0.1
Immediate: 0.0

7/2/92 - Granted Jerry Willard free agency - In baseball circles, Willard is probably remembered for his time with Cleveland in the 80's.  In Atlanta, he hit that huge sacrifice fly in the 1991 World Series.  Willard would play a little with Montreal and Seattle.  Willard had helped a little in '92, but would soon decline badly, so Schuerholz picked the perfect time to pull this trigger.
Net gain/loss: +.4
Average per year: +.2
Immediate: +.5

7/17/92 - Signed Randall Simon as amateur free agent - Simon was ok for Atlanta in 1999, but had his better years after he moved on.
Net gain/loss: +.7
Average per year: +.23
Immediate: 0.0

7/21/92 - Traded Juan Berenguer to Kansas City for Mark Davis - We were fond of Berenguer thanks to his impressive relief help early on in 1991, but in 1992 he was mostly average.  He wound up helping KC a little after the trade, but wouldn't pitch in MLB after that.  Davis was about as bad as anyone can be in 16 2/3 innings with Atlanta in 1992.  Most people forget that he was a former Cy Young winner, having saved 44 games for San Diego in 1989.
Net gain/loss: -.6 (loss of .4 for Berenguer and -.2 for Davis)
Average per year: -.6
Immediate: -.6

8/30/92 - Traded Nate Minchey and Sean Ross to Boston for Jeff Reardon - Minchey was a top prospect who floundered with Boston, Ross never reached the majors, and Reardon was supposed to lock up the closer job for the Braves, but really didn't impact the team that much, though he was phenomenal for the 15 innings he did pitch.
Net gain/loss: +1.6 (Minchey +.1 / Reardon +1.6)
Average per year: n/a
Immediate: +1.5

Total Net gain/loss for '92 season: -1.8
- Overall, Schuerholz really didn't help the team in the longterm that much, although I suppose not trading its young stars was good.  Sometimes GMs screw that up.

Effect on 1992 season: As stated earlier, Schuerholz got this team to 95 win level, and that assumes equal performance from 1991, which is pretty much what we got.  Had we given Ben Rivera a legitimate shot as a spot starter, we probably could've won 100 games, but we wound up at 98, which was still good enough to win the division by 8 games.  The Reardon deal is probably what pushed us into that 98 territory, from the 95-97 win area.

Final verdict: B+

Schuerholz didn't need to do much, and he knew that.  For his control over the major league roster, he gets an A, and gets bonus points for quicly correcting his mistakes, like Steve Lyons.  I drop him to a B+, though, because this 1992 draft was just so bad.  Atlanta got one middle reliever out of it, and no regular every day players.  That's just not good enough, and Schuerholz would improve down the road.
Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: August 23, 2008 4:10 pm
 

The John Schuerholz Years: Year 2 - 1992

Wow! And I thought people from the south were stupid hicks!



Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: June 19, 2008 11:50 am
 

The John Schuerholz Years: Year 2 - 1992

I'm just curious danger - are you looking at win shares, or VORP, or what to quantify the wins added (or subtracted) by these players?  i guess WARP, but also, where do you find this info?  is it available publicly anywhere?

this is a great topic for your blog, and very well done btw.  the front office management of the braves in the 90s is fascinating to me.  i'm sure other teams have looked at it as well.  to have such sustained success is pretty amazing.  it's interesting for me personally because the '93 braves onward were my introduction to baseball "fandom" more or less.  can't wait until you get into the mid- to late-90s



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2008 11:07 pm
 

The John Schuerholz Years: Year 2 - 1992

First time I'd really read on of these, and it was really interesting. Nice job.



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2008 8:28 pm
 

The John Schuerholz Years: Year 2 - 1992

Fascinating.. no doubt Scheurholz knew who the stars were in Kansas City and wasted no time picking them off one by one.  A lot of wheeling and dealing with the Royals.

C'mon now Danger, where is year 3? It'll be a good one.  (I think) its when The Professor Greg maddawg Maddux comes to town!

-BC10


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