What Makes a Successful Organization – Trade Edition

I sat back to ponder what the difference between consistantly successful organizations and organizations that tend to flounder. So I took the last decade of trades and drafts for the Braves & Royals to see what seemed to be the difference. I rated trades from a -3 to a 3 as far as value and impact for each team. It was interesting because I expected the difference to be in the number of successful trades and the number where it was a dramatic advantage for one team, but in truth the difference was the number of trades that the teams LOST. And those numbers I found staggering.

I will give the stats and some examples and then at the bottom I will include all of the trades so that you can evaluate them yourself if you want.

Royals Trades rated 0 (even): 31
Braves Trades rated 0 (even): 29

The interesting difference here is that the majority of the Royals’ 0 trades were of no benefit to either team. The Braves had a higher number that benefitted both teams.

Royals Trades rated 1: 20  (ex: Octavio Dotel for Kyle Davies)
Braves Trades rated 1: 22  (ex: Max Ramirez for Bob Wickman)

I was impressed with this number as the Royals really have had their fair share of good trades through the years.

Royals Trades rated 2: 4  (ex: Juan Lebron for Joe Randa; Benito Santiago for Leo Nunez)
Braves Trades rated 2: 5  (ex: Horacio Ramirez for Rafael Soriano)

Interestingly the Braves were more prone to have multi-player trades be rated a 2 rather than 1 for 1. The Braves have been very adept at packaging groups of prospects that don’t end up working out.

Royals Trades rated 3: 1
Braves Trades rated 3: 0

This is a little bit of artistic license on my part, but trading $50,000 for Joakim Soria was a steal. Granted the Twins taking Johan Santana for the same price would have created a category 5.

Now we look at where things have fallen apart for the Royals. The trades that went wrong were staggering. The Braves only have 8 that fall into any negative categories. And the reality is that even in these the Braves got useful players. In negative trades the Braves still acquired: Casey Kotchman, Mark Kotsay, Octavio Dotel, Mark Teixeira, Ron Mahay, JD Drew, Eli Marrero, & Johnny Estrada. That’s amazing. The Royals however, often got nothing useful in return.

Royals Trades rated -1: 15 (ex: Matt Diaz for Ricardo Rodriguez; Jeff Keppinger for Russ Haltiwanger; )
Braves Trades rated -1:  8  (ex: Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada)

Now we get to the big swing. The Braves have no trades that I could rate at -2 or -3. So no one ever destroys the Braves in a trade, whereas the Royals have made 4 such trades:

Royals Trades rated -2: 2  (ex: J.P. Howell for Joey Gathright & Fernando Cortez)
Royals Trades rated -3: 2  (ex: Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez)

Considering the Royals’ need of good arms in the bullpen and Howell’s emergence as the best arm in the Rays’ pen combined with the release of Gathright this spring has taken that trade to the -2 level. And the Dye & Damon trades are too egregious to even talk about without nausea seeping in…

And very quickly, check out the talent evaluation differences in their recent drafts, expecially considering that the Royals always had better draft position each year:

Braves:
Adam Wainwright
Kelly Johnson
Zach Miner
Adam Laroche
Tony Gwynn
Kyle Davies
Jeff Francour
Brian McCann
Chuck James
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Jo-Jo Reyes
Joey Devine
Yunel Escobar

Royals:
Mike MacDougle
Mark Ellis
David Dejesus
Zack Greinke
Jonah Bayliss
Mike Aviles
Billy Butler
J.P. Howell
Alex Gordon
Luke Hochevar

So it’s as non-scientific as they come, but it simply seems that talent evaluation and not making huge mistakes in trades are the x-factors to building a classy organization.

1999  Rating
Juan Lebron for Joe
Randa 
2
Shane Halter for Jonathan Guzman  -1
Scott Chiasson for Jay Witasik  1
Jeff Conine for Chris Fussell  -1
Jose Cepeda for Mark
Pisciotta 
0
Kevin Appier for Jeff D’amico, Blake Stein,
& Brad Rigby 
-1
Jeremy Jackson for Derek
Wallace 
0
Glendon Rusch for Dan Murray  -2
Ken Ray for Jerry
Spradlin 
0
Sean McNally for Todd
Dunwoody 
0
Jeremy Giambi for Brett
Laxton 
-1
2000 
Brad Rigby for Miguel Batista  1
Jay
Witasick for Brian Meadows 
-1
Nick Ortiz for Wilson
Delgado 
0
Johnny Damon & Mark
Ellis for Angel Berroa, AJ Hinch, & Roberto Hernandez 
-3
Michael
Curry for Endy Chavez 
1
2001 
Jose Santiago for Paul Byrd  2
Cary Ammons for Donnie Sadler  0
Sal
Fasano & Mac Suzuki for Brent Mayne 
1
Jermaine Dye for Neifi
Perez 
-3
Rey Sanchez
for Alejandro Machado & Brad Voyles 
-1
Shawn Sonnier for Michael
Tucker 
1
2002 
Bryan Rekar for Eduardo
Villacis 
0
Jeff Austin & Brian
Shackleford for Alan Moye & Damaso Espino 
0
Odannys Ayala
for Fernando Lunar 
0
2003 
Victor Rodriguez
& Scott Mullen for Travis Dawkins 
0
Alejandro Machado & Wes
Obermueller for Curtis Leskanic 
1
Jeremy Hill for Graeme
Lloyd 
0
Aric Leclair for Paul
Abbott 
1
Kieran Mattison & Trey
Dyson for Brian Anderson & Chris White 
1
Chris Tierney
& Brian Sanches for Rondell White 
-1
Jason Suzminski for Rich
Thompson 
0
Shawn Sedlacek for Jaime
Cerda 
0
2004 
Chris Fallon & Zach
McClellan for Justin Huisman 
0
Chris Dawkins for Damian
Jackson 
0
Jason
Grimsley for Denny Bautista 
1
Carlos
Beltran for Mark Teahen, John Buck, & Mike Wood 
-1
Rick Short for Scott
Randall 
0
Jose
Bautista for Justin Huber 
0
Rudy
Seanez for Abraham Nunez 
-1
Mike Venafro for Elvin
Nina 
0
Ryan Bukvich &
Darrell May for Terrance Long & Dennis Tankersley 
0
Benito Santiago for Leo
Nunez 
2
Jorge Vasquez for Eli
Marrero 
1
2005 
Eli Marrero for Pete
Maestrales 
-1
Tony Graffanino for Juan
Cedeno and Chip Ambres 
0
Chad
Blackwell & Jonah Bayliss for Mark Redman 
0
Fabio
Castro for Esteban German 
1
Matt Diaz for Ricardo
Rodriguez 
-1
Chris Demaria for Justin
Barnes 
0
Wilson Valdes for Jarod
Plummer 
0
2006 
J.P. Howell for Joey
Gathright & Fernando Cortez 
-2
Ruben Gotay for Jeff
Keppinger 
1
Mike MacDougal for
Daniel Cortes & Tyler Lumsden 
0
Tony Graffanino
for Jorge De La Rosa 
1
Elmer
Dessens for Odalis Perez, Blake Johnson, & Julio Pimentel 
0
Matt
Stairs for Jose Diaz 
-1
Jeremy Affeldt &
Denny Bautista for Ryan Shealy & Scott Dohmann 
-1
Ambiorix
Burgos for Brian Bannister 
2
Andrew
Sisco for Ross Gload 
1
Jeff Keppinger for Russ
Haltiwanger 
-1
Erik Cordier for Tony Pena
Jr. 
1
Max St. Pierre for Ben
Hendrickson 
0
$50,000 for Joakim Soria –
(Rule 5 Draft) 
3
2007 
Danny Christensen for Roman
Colon 
1
Octavio Dotel for Kyle
Davies 
1
Billy
Buckner for Alberto Callaspo 
1
Henry Arias for Brad
Salmon 
0
Jorge de la Rosa for Ramon
Ramirez 
1
2008 
Justin Huber for PTBNL  0
Angel
Berroa for Juan Rivera 
1
Horacio Ramirez for
Paulo Orlando 
0
2009 
Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs  0
Ramon Ramirez for Coco
Crisp 
-1
Ross Gload for PTBNL  0
31 0
20 1
4 2
1 3
15 -1
2 -2
2 -3

1999  Rating
Rob Bell, Denny Neagle and
Michael Tucker for Bret Boone and Mike Remlinger 
2
Matthew Targac for Justin
Speier 
1
Mark Wohlers for John Hudek  0
Marc Pisciotta for Jose
Cepada 
0
Joey Nation, Micah Bowie and
Ruben Quevedo for Jose Hernandez and Terry Mulholland 
2
Greg Dukeman for Freddy
Garcia 
0
Bret Boone, Ryan Klesko and
Jason Shiell for Wally Joyner, Reggie Sanders and Quilvio Veras 
0
Freddy Garcia for Dennis
Russo 
0
2000 
Bruce Chen and Jimmy Osting
for Andy Ashby 
1
Trenidad Hubbard, Fernando
Lunar and Luis Rivera for Gabe Molina and B.J. Surhoff 
1
Steve Sisco for Jesse Garcia  0
2001 
Troy Cameron and John Rocker
for Steve Karsay and Steve Reed 
2
Alejandro Machado and Brad
Voyles for Rey Sanchez 
1
Winston Abreu for Rudy Seanez  1
Andrew Brown, Brian Jordan
and Odalis Perez for Gary Sheffield 
1
Elvis Perez for Kevin
Gryboski 
0
Paul Bako and Jose Cabrera
for Henry Blanco 
1
Eddie Perez for Jason
Fitzgerald 
0
2002 
George Lombard for Kris
Keller 
0
Ryan Baker and Tim
Spooneybarger for Mike Hampton 
1
John Foster and Wes Helms for
Ray King 
0
Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez
for Russ Ortiz 
1
Kevin Millwood for Johnny
Estrada 
-1
Chris Spurling for Matt
Coenen 
0
2003 
Matt Belisle for Kent Mercker  1
Ray King, Jason Marquis and
Adam Wainwright for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero 
-1
Richard Lewis and Andy Pratt
for Juan Cruz and Steve Smyth 
1
Bubba Nelson and Jung Bong
for Chris Reitsma 
1
2004 
Matt Merricks for Tom Martin  0
Alec Zumwalt and Jose
Capellan for Danny Kolb 
0
Eli Marrero for Jorge
Vasquez 
-1
Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer and
Charles Thomas for Tim Hudson 
2
Nick Green for Jorge Sosa  0
2005 
Kevin Gryboski for Matt
Lorenzo 
0
Roman Colon and Zach Miner
for Kyle Farnsworth 
-1
Angelo Burrows and Todd
Blackford for Todd Hollandsworth 
1
Danny Kolb for Wes
Obermueller. 
0
Johnny Estrada for Lance
Cormier and Oscar Villarreal 
0
Andy Marte for Edgar
Renteria 
1
Ricardo Rodriguez for Matt
Diaz 
1
2006 
Brad Baker for Franklin Nunez  0
Max Ramirez for Bob Wickman  1
Wilson Betemit for Willy
Aybar and Danys Baez 
1
Jorge Sosa for Rich
Scalamandre 
0
Luis Atilano for Daryle Ward  0
Horacio Ramirez for Rafael
Soriano 
2
Jamie Romak and Adam LaRoche
for Mike Gonzalez and Brent Lillibridge 
0
Tony Pena for Erik Cordier  0
2007 
Macay McBride for Wilfredo
Ledezma 
0
Beau Jones, Elvis Andrus,
Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Ron Mahay and Mark
Teixeira 
-1
Kyle Davies for Octavio Dotel  -1
Will Startup and Wilfredo
Ledezma for Royce Ring 
0
Edgar Renteria for Gorkys
Hernandez and Jair Jurrjens 
1
Oscar Villarreal for Josh
Anderson 
0
Jose Ascanio for Omar Infante
and Will Ohman 
1
Jamie Richmond, Joey Devine
for Mark Kotsay 
-1
Tyler Yates for Todd Redmond  0
2008 
Chase Fontaine and Willy
Aybar for Jeff Ridgway 
1
Nelson Payano for Greg Norton  1
Sal Fasano for PTBNL  0
Mark Teixeira for Stephen
Marek and Casey Kotchman 
-1
Mark Kotsay for Luis Sumoza  0
2009 
Jon Gilmore, Santos
Rodriguez, Tyler Flowers and Brent Lillibridge for Boone Logan and Javier
Vazquez 
1
Josh Anderson for Rudy Darrow  0
29 0
22 1
5 2
0 3
8 -1
0 -2
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