Jul 27, 2014|
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.
Welcome back to another edition of down on the farm the trade deadline is upon us which raises a pair of important questions. How valuable our prospects. And how accurately our prospects being evaluated. After all the Red Sox have what's considered a loaded farm system of guys who look like they have a chance to be really good I've told you that not I'm not alone. But obviously they aren't already to be good yet. That's plenty of people to suggest that I overstate the value of prospects a question that I actually think that I need to consider pretty seriously. So I'll try to consider that matter with Jim callous of mlb.com. But first a check in with the question of how prospects are valued with a player who has a unique view of the matter. Red Sox lefthander Andrew Miller was ranked by baseball America as the number ten prospect in the game. When he was traded from the tigers to the Marlins. Along with number six prospect Cameron Maybin and others for lefthander Dontrelle Willis and a little known young slugger whose name's Miguel Cabrera. It seems they've just heard almost seven years later that the tigers won that trade like pulling for the established star that no doubt helped to shape Miller's view the prospect value. But at the time his reaction of course wasn't about the kind of value that he should have but instead a more basic. To me it was more just shock I -- I felt like I was. Part of the Detroit Tigers organization have just so I just started and everybody started you know in the trainers my you know my teammates all that kind of stuff I just -- -- -- Pretty big shock to the census. We were pretty big package and you know he set I was the centerpiece adding Ian Cameron Maybin was one of the top prospects in the space all the time he went missing. The guys that you the other four guys are treated I've played with the slow mean they were they were all really good -- players and you know. I felt like it was a pretty big package -- to send in order to get them time -- go -- and Dontrelle Willis. And to me my outlook was just a shock of you know and I got to learn some place and in that same time -- -- -- on somewhere close to home. I mean at that point do you how do you how did you view yourself you're your own. Kind of potential did you being -- of course like this is this this makes all the sense in the world it. You know the Marlins would wind you know -- -- me a potential Frontline starter like how do you. How do you make sense of a trade like that in terms of making the pieces match up. Honestly at that time I think I knew who go from Burleson is a good player and whatnot I think he had been so. You know sheltered being down in Miami you know on the smaller crowds and only see television you know other. Other teams that have seen so yeah I don't think I realized how do player Miguel Cabrera was I think -- -- and to his legacy and got better better. After he got trees Detroit it. You know. Really it's hard to figure out I was six for -- trade in you know young guys -- established guys you know. Two guys that want a World Series and -- on the playoffs vs six guys that you know. Had you know tougher on the -- leaves little bit you know so it was it was a pretty wide -- captain. It's a pretty big bet by Florida you know -- that to establish guys that bring back you know. Process but you know there's so many things that go on between you know the money -- those guys I think a lot of you know. Brees and the Marlins right Fernando Cabrera is his contract the -- that he's going to be financially tough injury to retain the teen Perelman first her first year for the summer it's like -- point point five million dollars or not. I would imagine his arbitration case would have put him somewhere around half of that number at least something like that so. You it's one of those things are so many you know angles commented for me it was just finally go to Florida and perform like. In retrospect at the time I think that there were probably people there were at least some who would have made the case -- the tigers are giving up too much in order to acquire. In order to acquire these guys in. You know they're there you see the reaction to almost any trade at this point days someone's going to say all of the prospect of Turner's two great. From your vantage point having been a part of that understanding. What it is to be one of those prospects in with the path it's like to actually kind of fulfilling you know fulfilling that potential. Do you do you ever look at the trade -- kind of think all the prospector turned this is too great -- do that. You know at this point that I think is so difficult not only get to the big -- -- fine you know which in the success of that leads him. Clearly that's going to be my approach is it was it was hard for me it's been really hard for me it's been a battle. That anytime you can get a known quantity you know I think that. You know there certainly value -- that and -- my personal opinion be that you know and a sense maybe a lot of prospects are overvalued now on track extra value because. There's just so many things can happen -- uses you know we see guys come up all the time that are held as the next big thing. It takes a while for a lot of guys have figured out very few guys that you know come -- the the league and have success as a very young age it's not a whole lot of -- Longoria is once comes out there you know does the umpires that the more regular pattern of no matter how high they are. Even if they ever find success takes a long time so you know I think. You know -- My opinion is right now -- probably -- these guys and maybe we'll have overvalued but if you at the lottery ticket get you have Longoria and you know six years control the guys you know. Control. Finances and -- not you then that might make a franchise so I guess maybe teams that are smaller markets need that occasional success. That. As someone who's you know you're very involved in union matters you know you're on the you're on the players -- -- -- -- I'm I'm sorry I missed him the title of your role. But you know from the vantage point of of the players association. Is this conversation that you guys have about the about the valuation prospects and in the degree to which they're being kind of coveted by. -- organizations almost more than like the actual so called franchise player. It's not conversation that you know I'm involved in when it comes to barring anything like that I think we leave that to the people that are far smarter than -- and you know more -- haven't gotten a -- you know of -- degree in your in your free time you know I believe we have some people are much smarter and I am much. Greater education and I do. You guys certainly comes up and it's one of those things that. Yeah it's so hard to put a value on on you know. Somebody has -- what they're worth and you know -- you see on occasion we see these guys you know particularly I think have a -- of the Cuban guys right now come over niece who happens. When a bidding war is traded in somebody's essentially freeagent purses you know like these guys are pretty young but -- draft picks -- -- by one team and yes it's just a part of such a thing on what these guys are worth and you know and that's the part of the fun that I am thinking that's exciting part in some teams can take the approach that we're gonna sign Major League establish free agents that. You know at their peak ages other teams are gonna have to you know be as successful drafting and signing international free agents. You I think it allows you know different teams to achieve success in different ways to maybe fill different pitches in the month. As someone who has you know on number six overall draft pick an elite and a so called elite prospect when you when it got done any of the rankings and all that stuff. How difficult was it. For you to accepts that success didn't necessarily you're -- required to figure out -- how to be successful immediately that it like a normal career path. Would indeed mean taking a few years to figure out you know to forget how to be good. You know I think for me I think a lot of times I had a -- Think any games harder than it was when I got here I've been so convinced that you know these these guys were so good that you know. A homicide I don't know but the thought I belonged to Kirsten you know I think that was just. You I would kill to have maybe some more confidence when I was in between one point two years old and in pitching in the big -- some guys have too much I think -- -- just got to find a way I think we ought to you know -- feel like I've certainly grown up to maturity you know and a lot of ways and hopefully that's mania better ball player and you know help me. Find a way to. You know find the right amount of focus -- right amount of you know. Wanted to be successful facility just took me along or maybe than than other guys the latest and it's not you know it's a slam dunk to give -- be successful so. You know. However you get there however you do is that accomplishment in itself. With apologies for the job for the fact that this is always awkward question this time your -- you know find yourself and a potentially potentially on the other side of the trade rumor mill right in. At a time when you are approaching your your free agency a marker of the fact that you now have had some longevity in the major leagues. You know they're going to be teams that are there are always teams looking for a dominant ratings lefty. Is their curiosity on your part to see like you know. To see oh well now I get to find out how. How how I have measured in terms of the so called prospect -- right or. Or at this points to you is is there no curiosity whatsoever. About what kind of value you know possessing these traders -- Honestly I don't really care to find out what I'm worth the team's seventh best prospect -- -- 150. You know. Based on their -- I I would have no idea where to begin or anything like that that's for general managers and and the scouts figured out that. -- worthless things that as far as the trade deadline -- being mentioned it it's impossible to avoid you to my parents my wife you know my -- everybody. You're the rumblings -- -- -- newborn son inquire yet is -- his first words MLB trade rumors no not yet but. Maybe one day help them around long enough that he's old enough to yeah actually it's. You know at the same time. You can you know he can be aware of that stuff that night the ballpark and -- for it and focus on the task at hand that's when in the ball game and -- well. Do you take an interest in in knowing having been a part of of the -- dynamic like when you see trades going down. Do you try to wrap your head around me like you know so what are they getting in terms of prospects are not as there was this team. But just general for a generally mean is like when you see the eighth straight for -- Smart equipment is represented by your agent. You know do you take particular interest and say okay why was the guy who's got this kind of team control work. You know this as torture. A little bit I think it's easy it's easy -- that for me is he at all is the guys I've played with here are some -- prospects given Boston you know we get to see a lot of in spring training a lot of them. He needs to get mentioned our names that. You know may have come up and made a couple starts are -- 120 days on the team -- you know the players we got return for the big trade in 2012 so it's it's kind of interesting to see how guys are -- office. You know from that perspective I firsthand experience I know you know so we got Alan Webster and got you Rudy for all those guys whose numbers you see that kind of guys -- and their impact type players it's just. You know I guess that I think it's really hard to. You judge what performance gonna get out of somebody loses in 1920 years older -- you and point five years on I think it's really difficult. And I expect any of those players to do anything positive I mean you holy city gets a flash in the paint did you get the out -- that is really successful round game as a really good young player. It's really hard to figure out those guys aren't and I think come. That talent is what -- paying for the -- actual outcome is still you know over the Campbell. So circling back to the first question as a last question you you know just the fact in retrospect and hindsight is so obviously when she went to get beyond the shock. -- having the organization with a new -- pro treating your way. Is that something that is now cool you know several years after the fact about having been involved in in a trade about kind of having your career. In some ways forever entwined with out of this guy who's a generational talent. I'm just trying to make sure at least make the footnotes it's not the 66 random guys and accomplish anything. I don't think anybody can measure up to what he's done in the game you know at this point time you know I I think. I'm just trying to be -- -- -- and be the best I can be in you know make my own name but you know as far as trying to measure up to go cover caller yeah. Dontrelle Willis and it's something that is not. My focus on it's out of nine worry about that probably can't be done so yeah eyes not -- -- -- about. But young Max Miller like one day we'll be able to relate to when he is tricky baseball reference dot com like you know. Click through your page to see a link to Miguel Cabrera that's a nickel. Yeah I think that -- the vehicles stories you know I mean he certainly looks like a slam dunk hall of Famer right now you know I think. It would be funny at times when you know in -- -- McClain has at least you know 116. The reward for Miguel Cabrera. You know he's he's an incredible player and it's just it's nice and it's not worth trying to you know matchup today and all right well we'll look forward to the I'll check back. In and let you you can you can critique me and let me know if -- overvalued and prospects. That are getting moved one way or the other is the trade deadline approaches to keep you -- And our live in I guess that it is -- because clearly if I think overvalued summit thinks under you know -- actually the market works. That's I think it's critical I think it -- if he nails it you know. Who's gonna win the days come straight I don't know we look back at five years and you make the cut -- the ones even if there is still on and accomplish them this season. In the -- stolen them when in the country knows. Thank senator thank you.