CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/07)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/08)
Next Article >>
The BP Wayback Machine... (12/08)

December 7, 2011

Transaction Analysis

Three's Company in Miami

by R.J. Anderson

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

FLORIDA MARLINS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Signed P-L Mark Buehrle to a four-year deal worth $58 million. [12/7]

It isn’t Albert Pujols, but the Marlins have signed a third well-known free agent to team with Jose Reyes and Heath Bell.

The soon-to-be 33-year-old Buehrle—who feels older, for whatever reason—is renowned for his consistency. For instance, did you know that Buehrle has won double-digit games in each season dating back to 2001? If not, you will soon. Some of Buehrle’s other consistencies prove more reliable in illuminating his value, such as his streak of 200-plus innings that also dates back to 2001. The southpaw’s steadiness extends to Wins Above Replacement Player, too, as Buehrle has racked up WARP scores of 2.4, 2.6, 2, 2.4, and 2.4 since the 2007 season.

There is reason to believe those WARP scores may undersell Buehrle, who has made a living out of making attempts to quantify and project his performances look silly. Nate Silver wrote in 2006 about how Buehrle continued to elude PECOTA’s sweet embrace for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, how Buehrle pitched with runners on base and when behind in the count. As you can see below, Buehrle has consistently outpitched his Fair Run Average in relation to his run average:

Season

FRA

RA

FRA-RA

2001

4.76

3.62

1.14

2002

4.67

3.84

0.83

2003

4.59

4.85

-0.26

2004

4.93

4.37

0.56

2005

3.89

3.76

0.13

2006

5.70

5.47

0.23

2007

4.58

3.85

0.73

2008

4.53

4.36

0.17

2009

5.07

4.09

0.98

2010

4.36

4.49

-0.13

2011

4.21

4.08

0.13

Do it once or twice and people will scoff and bet against a continuation. Do it nine out of 11 years and people will take notice. Projecting Buehrle proves difficult. He could continue to produce two-plus WARP throughout the life of this (and his next) contract, or he could fall from grace despite a move to the National League. The most consistent pitcher in the league might be the one with the most questions moving forward.

The market seems to be geared towards giving league-average starting pitchers $4-to-$5 million guaranteed. You had to figure that Buehrle, with a 113 adjusted-earned run average and a 62 percent quality starts since 2009, would eclipse that annual average value by a fair amount. Sure enough, his contract calls for an AAV of $14.5 million—or a slight raise over the $14 million he has made in each of the past four seasons. Ideally, teams would pay players for what they will do, not what they did, but who knows what Buehrle will do.

On a similar note, wandering minds have to worry about Buehrle’s ability to stay healthy. His clean slate of health is remarkable and admirable, but pitchers are zany, unpredictable creatures. Even so, no other creature has more innings pitched since 2001. In fact, only C.C. Sabathia and Livan Hernandez are within 100 innings of Buehrle. Some pitches can get through a lengthy career without missing significant time due to injury. Buehrle very well could be one, but nobody should be too sure either way.

Just as no one should have the Marlins’ rotation all figured out already, either.  Josh Johnson, Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez are tentative locks, but the identity of the Marlins’ final starter hinges on the rest of their offseason. The incumbent, Chris Volstad, is a non-tender or trade candidate, while Javier Vazquez’s status is in limbo. Besides, the Marlins continue to show interest in C.J. Wilson. Alternately, the Fish could sign Prince Fielder, thus precipitating a Gaby Sanchez deal, which may net them a readymade starting pitcher. 

Two things are certain: the Marlins have plenty of options… and so do their fans when choosing a new favorite player.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

4 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/07)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/08)
Next Article >>
The BP Wayback Machine... (12/08)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 29, 2014
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: This Article Mentions Fehlan...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 29
Premium Article The Call-Up: Dilson Herrera
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Augu...
Prospectus Feature: Roast A Parks
Premium Article Raising Aces: Mis-Priced

MORE FROM DECEMBER 7, 2011
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Two Buc Gamble
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Sweeping Street From T...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Mets Build a Bullp...

MORE BY R.J. ANDERSON
2011-12-09 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: More Moore in St. Pete
2011-12-09 - Transaction Analysis: Wrapping Up the Winter...
2011-12-08 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Winter Meeting Winners
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Three's Company in Mia...
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Two Buc Gamble
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Sweeping Street From T...
2011-12-06 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Swapping Santos
More...

MORE TRANSACTION ANALYSIS
2011-12-09 - Transaction Analysis: Wrapping Up the Winter...
2011-12-08 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Winter Meeting Winners
2011-12-08 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Boston Brings Back Ort...
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Three's Company in Mia...
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Two Buc Gamble
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Sweeping Street From T...
2011-12-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Mets Build a Bullp...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2012-12-05 - The Lineup Card: 9 Winter Meetings Memories