Daily Archives: December 7, 2011

Maddux Brothers Reunited in Texas

Wednesday December 7, 2011

Sam Evans: The Maddux brothers may have stopped playing the game years ago, but they definitely haven’t left it. Greg Maddux was the best pitcher of the 90’s and Mike Maddux enjoyed a long career. Now they have finally been reunited, working for one of the smartest organizations in baseball: the Texas Rangers.

When I heard that Greg Maddux (aka “The Professor”) was going to the Rangers, the first thing I thought was, ‘ As a pitcher or a coach?’ I still have vivid memories of Greg Maddux and his command unlike any other pitcher in the history of the game. Maddux controlled games. He wasn’t necessarily intimidating, he was just so intelligent and he had such great consistency.

Greg is only 45, four years younger than Jamie Moyer, and the Rangers are in need of pitching, so on some levels a comeback would have made sense. Maddux has no reason though to come back. He hasn’t pitched since 2008, so there was no real chance of that actually happening. He just seems like the perfect kind of pitcher that would pitch at the age of 45 if the desire was there.

Greg threw an amazing 5,008 innings in his career, with a 3.16 ERA and a 3.26 ERA. Mad Dog earned four Cy Young Awards and was an eight-time All-Star. There is no doubt that Greg Maddux is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. He is not only appealing to the newer generation of voters ( 120.6 WAR ), but to old-fashioned voters as well (a whopping 18 Gold Glove Awards).

Mike Maddux was mainly the “other guy”. Greg Maddux’s older brother had a lengthy career playing for nine years, but he was never as successful as his younger brother. He threw 862 innings in his career, with a 4.05 ERA and a 5.6 K/9.

Now in 2011, things are very different. Mike is now doing better than Greg at something baseball-related. Mike Maddux has become known as one of the best pitching coaches in baseball, first for the Brewers, and now for the Rangers. Meanwhile, Greg had been working as a coach with the Cubs. While it is impossible to find the true impact of a coach, so far Mike has had a much larger effect to-date. Mike was even considered for both the recent Red Sox and Cubs managerial openings, but he opted to stay put in Texas.

News broke late in November that Greg would be joining his brother with the Rangers. Greg was hired as a special assistant to the general manager. According to GM Jon Daniels, Greg will help with the development of their young players.

This truly is a great story. Two brothers who have never played or worked for the same team, not even in high school, will finally get the chance to do so. They will be working alongside Nolan Ryan molding one of the most talented teams in all of baseball. I’d be surprised if having these two studs working with the Rangers young pitchers doesn’t work out perfectly.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter***

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Adam Dunn: 2012 Trade Bargain of the Year

Wednesday December 7, 2011

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  Tonight has been an exciting circus of winter meetings trades and free agent signings.  With all the names thrown around this week, one that has not come up enough has been that of Adam Dunn.  Whenever he has been mentioned, it has usually been in a negative context.  But the time has come to consider a Dunn acquisition in a positive light.  We could be looking at the 2012 Trade Bargain of the Year.

The value of Adam Dunn has been discussed in previous editions of the Reports.  The debate on Dunn has fallen essentially into two categories.  Whether 2011 represents an outlier in his career…or the beginning of the end.  I argue the former rather than the latter.  At age 32, I do not believe that Dunn all of a sudden lost his skills overnight.  His decline in Chicago can be traced to many possible factors.  First year in the American League, new city, new position, Ozzie as a manager, etc.  Whatever the reason, the fit for Dunn did not exist with the White Sox in 2011.  There could be a rebound if he stays put, but my instinct is that the White Sox would move Dunn in the right deal.  With the team apparently in sell-mode and rebuilding, given the trade of Sergio Santos to the Jays yesterday, impending loss of Mark Buehrle and other key veterans on the trade block, teams would be wise to jump on Dunn immediately.

So how do we fix Adam Dunn?  Simple.  Get him into a new environment, DH him for the majority of the time with an occasional start in the OF and 1B and he will rebound to his previous slugging ways.  Teams like the Orioles, Red Sox, Jays, Yankees, Angels, Athletics and Mariners would all be well served to give GM Kenny Williams a call.  Dunn is owed a whopping $44 million over the next 3 years.  If the right deal is presented (top prospect in return), the White Sox could perhaps be sold into eating half of the contract.  At $22 million, approximately $7 million per season for the next 3 seasons, I would happily take 40 home runs, 100 RBIs, .400 OBP and .500 SLG.  The Adam Dunn I watched last year looked very similar to the Nick Swisher on the White Sox in 2008.  Things ended up rebounding for Swisher in New York and the same could happen for Dunn on a new squad.

In the age of $100 million contracts being discussed for C.J. Wilson and $200 million deals for Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, $20-$30 million for a proven slugger like Dunn is a bargain.  Building a baseball team, is like building a stock portfolio.  Buy low and sell high.  Buying C.J. Wilson now is buying high.  Good luck on moving that contract in a year (see Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford from a year ago).  There is no evidence that Adam Dunn is indeed on the trade market.  But if he is (with Kenny Williams, everyone is expandable), teams should be targeting Dunn.  He is a definite buy low candidate.  With many teams looking for a proven bat in their lineup, there were fewer sure things in baseball going into this year than Adam Dunn.  The White Sox thought so when they signed him to a 4-year contract.  Clearly there was not a fit for Dunn in Chicago.  But again, that does not mean that the player is finished.  Dunn is young enough to rebound.  Grab him while you can, as the price will be going up in 2013 after he is named Comeback Player of the Year.

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

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