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Thanks for the great work as always on these Prospect Lists! I especially like Steve's look at where the team's core is. It is amazing how short-lived even a successful rebuild can be. Two-and-a-half years of a very good team was all that their famously-good farm system sustained. Maybe they can be competitive this year, but it looks to me (based on this farm system) like a team headed for a tough half-decade in the coming years.
Wow, that discussion of the Rays was the most insightful <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/transaction_analysis/">Transaction Analysis</a> I have ever read! Awesome stuff, Matt!
Happy to see <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70388">Greg Bird</a></span> heading back to the field. I'm certainly no Yankees fan, but that close to 2015 was very impressive.
Really nice analysis of the Navarro signing. Most of my viewings of Flowers were early in the season (not much reason to watch the Sox late in the year), and he looked a mess at the plate. He finished with a very strong August, but you wonder if they had made up their minds by that point that they were not going to risk a similar start to 2016.
Obviously that doesn't excuse cutting a guy loose if you can't create a better situation for yourself.
Great game recap. I anticipated reading an article focused on Cueto and got six words about him (I guess two-hitter is one word?). But I am enjoying this Escobar ride while it lasts!
I agree, what a pleasantly surprising segment!
My favorite part, "We had active minds..."
Glad you guys are (more) back! Thanks.
Thanks for the article, Patrick. Lots of interesting information in here. I feel like I was aware that pitchers threw a higher percentage of fastballs to pitchers, and I had either heard or postulated that it was to save breaking balls for the competent hitters. If your UCL has a finite number of sliders packed into it, you don't want to use them until you have to.
I like that we are presented the top prospect through fairly different perspectives. It is easy to imagine a scout dreaming on Schwarber's offensive ceiling and choosing him, while the front-office guy, who has to give his manager a guy who can actually squat behind the plate, just wants the player that he is confident will be a catcher some day.
That was a fun article. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Completely agree! This graphic seems to make it easy to recreate a game's important events, which is exactly what I do with my old scorecards.
Thanks for the look behind the design. I think a good litmus for a design is how obvious it seems once it is complete. I imagine starting with a circle would be the common approach, but the square, with outs as the corners, just seems so obvious. As a sometimes HMI developer, I appreciate the balance of complexity (shading the batter, indicating pitching changes) with a clean and attractive appearance.
This was a cool article! I've read a lot about Severino, but haven't watched him yet. This sort of painted a picture of him for me and gave me something to look for when I do see him.
Loved the contrast of the high and low opinion for the applicable tools. Feels like a nice way to engage the fan when it comes to the scouting perspective of a player.
Great article! I liked the clear explanation of the approach and that we have a way to get framing numbers going further back.
Looking forward to reading the articles devoted to the other random effects (pitcher, batter, and umpire).
"Suzuki has been a good blocker....showing again by blocking Pinto." Very nice, Ben.
Thanks, guys. I enjoyed the analysis.
Oh my gosh...so great! The Prestige! UgglaDick! I wish I could read this for the first time again. Thanks, Sam!
This is the greatest article since the Mark Reynolds Conspiracy. I stopped to write this comment after reading the Yankee's comment so I could savor the second half. But I love the thought that the Oriole's bench would clear if McCann started a fight with Jeter. Classic!
Everything about Sean Doolittle makes me smile.
Thanks Ben! The projected bench paragraph has some duplication in it.
That rotation looks pretty solid for a low-budget team, especially being November. I was wondering if Tommy Milone would get even get a mention. Do you expect to see him back up with the A's, or anyone else?
I was thinking the same thing about there surely being outliers, whether it is pitchers with more pitches or pitchers who work with certain catchers that are better at strategically unveiling their talents at ideal moments (could this be another 50 runs Jose Molina was secretly worth?), but my takeaway was that even if there are outliers, you will never be able to accurately identify who they may be. A manager is best to utilize the aggregate data then try to slice the data too finely.
And these principles need to be integrated into the managers decisions (and plans). You obviously can't just remove all of your starters after two times through the order and stack another 350 innings on your bullpen (except in the playoffs), but there are great opportunities to optimize when you use short hooks (day games and in domes) and when you let your starter ride (night games early in the season).
Oh no, I hadn't heard. RIP Sylveanus Gregg.
Fantastic article, Jason!
C.C. Lee? This Indian's pitcher isn't perchance a lefty and a love child of Cleveland's two Cy Young winners C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee is he?
I agree. It has me wondering if teams are coming to an agreement on some sort of invisible threshold that they think separates a slow start and a sort of fundamental flaw that requires work outside of the spotlight.
This may be my new favorite article of yours, Sam! The stories we'd expect are fabulous, and all more believable than the truth.
Great article! I thought of the point about Fielder batting behind Cabrera one paragraph earlier: runner on first when the batter doubles. As an outfielder I am thinking that catching Fielder chugging into second is my best play.
The Indians have the #5 overall pick, which is protected. Signing Lohse would cost them their 3rd round pick (Swisher cost a 2nd and Bourn cost a "competitive balance lottery pick" between the 2nd and 3rd). So they would only have one pick in the top 100, but one would hope that they could add a frontline talent. But then again, the Indians don't always do so well at drafting talent.
Thanks Sam. That was fantastic!
I had never heard of this brake pedal issue before listening to the podcast today. And I am now sure that I, and perhaps other listeners, will be ramming something on my drive home due to inability to find the brake pedal.
Good catch. I was so delighted with the Royals entry that I didn't even consider how Guthrie got there.
That would be a good topic for Wednesday, and you could have Jason Collette come on to discuss Cody Ross. If my memory serves he is a HUGE Cody Ross fan and is pushing for the Rays to sign him immediately.
I agree with many of your individual statements, but I wonder what your true sentiment is here. You present the high and low for each player and leave it at "within the club's reach". The Mets have seemingly been a "nothing is beyond reach" club for years, and once the effects of the Madoff situation start to diminish, I think that they will return to that position. But right now, I have a hard time seeing the Mets becoming a good team through spending on post-arb. players. It rarely works for any team, and seems especially dubious for this one (without even addressing the fact that these two would be 36 and 42 when the deals you suggest end). The Mets need to follow the course. They can get a really nice haul for each of these two and rebuild the right way.
I am excited to read Sam's response to this. If it includes more fake articles, or even just song lyrics, then I encourage everyone to petition for your favorite NL player to be included. I am counting on you Mr. Miller.
I swear I heard one cricket say in his dying breath, "why could you not have spoken of Mike Trout on this day?!"
NOTE: Cricket's speech is so 19th century.
Once again, great analysis. Even better are the potentially, predictive variables that you've presented that could add something to a hypothetical "Next Pitch Prediction Algorythm".
You mention a goal of pitch sequence being randomness. This makes sense, as even if you could determine what the "perfect" pitch would be for a scenario, if the batter knew that as well, throwing almost anything else that he is not expecting would be better. So would the output of a pitch prediction tool be percentage weights for each potential pitch type? Would we be disappointed in our pitchers/catchers if the tool could become somewhat accurate? I find this line of thinking interesting (although I am still terrible at guessing pitch sequence).
I have read that whole section over (a few times) and it just does not come across to me as "self-justifying refusal to admit the flimsiness of one's own position..." The author went so far as to present the dissenting logic and in the end offers that McCarver may have been correct.
What you have quoted reads to me like a colorful presentation of a viewpoint that was about to be dissected, not a close-minded attack for the writer's benefit. Maybe the fact that humor over the use of McCarver was interjected influences how I read the whole piece. I would like to think that I am not overly critical of broadcasters or managers (sorry politicians...I am super critical of you folks), recognizing that they are difficult jobs that I would fail miserably at. I have never felt that this site goes out of its way to pick on those that aren't part of the "statistical analysis" movement. But maybe I need to be more attuned to seeing it.
I don't call it a pot shot at McCarver, I call it what the author called it...a quibble (minor objection). If you are going to make the case that a player's actions may not have been mental lapses, then it is probably helpful to present an actual argument that was made that the player had made a mental lapse (or an egregious, indefensible err).
My first reaction to watching the play was appreciation for Ramirez's energy and competitiveness. He wasn't the tying run or even the go-ahead run, so I was comfortable with the risk. This analysis helped justify my own reaction (which does not make it right, or even not pithy). I get the impression that you have weighed the factors and feel that either a.) there is no excuse for the play Hanley made or, b.) there is never an excuse to attempt an advance to third unless you can go in standing up. Otherwise you are just upset at the use of McCarver as an object of opposition. There was no indictment of the man, and only the most gentle of pokes at his use of the overused axiom.
Thanks Will...I really enjoyed your perspective for this article. My interest in baseball has been driven a lot by stats, but the ultimate goal is to better understand the game. Content like yours would help me. And the GIFs are great. It adds a lot to be able to walk away with the real picture in your mind of these plays.
Roster moves is probably too broad, as it includes moves that would be expected to have a negative correlation to success (placed on the DL) as well as ones that we would be testing for positive correlation (contracts selected).
Adam mentions that in terms of contracts selected, the transaction category that Baltimore leads the league in, none of the other competitive teams are close (and the Rays last).
But an interesting test would be to determine the predictive value of roster moves. Multiple DL moves is likely predictive of a decline in performance. Maybe multiple contract selections is predictive of an improvement in performance (because you are replacing someone that is likely ineffective with someone that may be effective).
I always wondered if I was weird, after hours and hours of listening to the podcast, for feeling like you and Jason were good friends of mine. That sounds cliche, but I catch myself in situations thinking, "that reminds me of something Kevin said yesterday," or "I wonder what offensive thing Jason would have to say about this?" How does a grown man form this type of bond with two individuals that he has never met? As I read these comments, I am convinced that I am not alone.
I will forever associate highs and lows in my life over the past few years with events you were willing to share from your own. Your perspective on so many things will be greatly missed. I wish you loads of joy and success!
It was eye-opening to hear that the topic would be picking the team least likely to win a World Series and realize that there is a good chance it will be my team. And then, even knowing that chance was pretty good, hearing my team's name get mentioned to general agreement felt like a stomach punch. Will the sun ever shine on Cleveland?
I applaud you two for the Daily Podcast. Definitely a disproportionate number of laugh-out-loud moments for the length of your recordings. Even if Sam hates it (which I assume he was joking about, but I honestly can never tell...even when he says he is joking I don't know that I believe him) I look forward to listening. Thank you both.
Nice analyses (and thanks for the link to your previous article...great read). I appreciate your digging deeper into Strasburg's tendency. I will say that I thought that the graph of coefficients per start was slightly downward trending at first glance.
It would be interesting to see typical results for starters over a season using this analysis, or know what the ideal tendency for long-term health would look like.
Very fun read, Sam! Thanks.
It does offend me to read comments on this site that tie every article to the little bit of money that the commenter spent to access the tons of content on this site. If they don't like (or can't appreciate) a well thought out article, or they disagree with an analysis, then it immediately becomes a case where they cannot believe that they are paying for it. I love the comment section at this site, and lots of great debate is sparked when people's opinions differ from the authors, but I think it is classless (and not constructive) to wave your subscription fees in the face of the authors at this site as if what they have created as no value.
Kevin, this was a terrific article. It was my favorite 10 Pack ever. I love that the game (and more particularly an individual player) was able to so inspire you. Keep up the great work
I can't help but watch the catcher's response. He doesn't just glance back at the ball's ultimate destination, he gives a long stare that appears to be directly at the spiller. I like to image that in his head he is getting angry over the wasted brew.
When I read the Yankees comment I thought he was referring to the Yankees commitment of every resource to acquiring the best talent in hopes of maintaining a championship team. They have moved in a slightly more conservative direction since Hank took over, but the Yankees are not selling off their popular players.
Count me among those who get frustrated at the ability of the Yankees to pick from the top of the FA list every year, but I would rather have them in my league than the Marlins.
Loved the player's take on the best pitches they have faced. I am impressed that Chris Stewart would mention Dickey's fastball. I would think some part of you would not want to admit being outdone by a mid-eighties "heater".
As always, one of my favorite reads. Thanks Sam!
The hits are on the:
1. Right (misses glove)
2. Left (flat pitch)
3. Left (hanger)
4. Right (misses glove)
5. Left (less movement)
6. Right (other pitch was nasty)
7. Left (heart of the plate)
8. Right (little higher?)
9. Right (misses over the middle).
The laughter from "What is his leg doing?" brought tears to my eyes. Brilliant stuff.
I will admit to not paying a lot of attention to the Mets, so maybe this article doesn't offer anything new to most people, but it did for me. I had heard of Bonilla's deferred contract, but couldn't understand what drove the Mets to signing it.
And I am glad that the Mets attendance is up and hope that they continue to make sound decisions and become a competitive team. But that doesn't change the past decisions and the fact that there are lessons to learned from them.
I love the recounting of the Fisk-Sanders exchange. The love/hate debate in my own mind about Deion Sanders continues.
I also questioned how Cole Hammels became the torch-bearer for "old school" baseball. He is just not the guy I would've pictured going this route.
I really enjoyed this article. Though not the subject, I was most intrigued by the defensive scheme. It comes across as a logical and insightful approach.
I wasn't originally as moved by the overall premise, that we should be identifying the difficult plays. It is that part of my nature that was addressed; the difficulty accepting the subjective nature of categorizing individual plays. But there were quite a few, good arguments presented for embracing the subjective. I can definitely envision macro-level benefits based on subjective quantifying at the micro-level.
Also got a laugh from the line about when you are pretentious. Thanks Jon!
I appreciate your response. It should be noted that may father 1.) has never shied away from letting his memory aggrandize the past, and 2.) is not above the influence of any of the external factors you mentioned that may have been at work.
But I am sure that he would defend his position by pondering if the best gunfighter in the old west was necessarily the one who shot the most people. Sometimes your reputation precedes you.
I am very surprised by all of this. First that the relationship of these former teammates has dissolved so far. I have to believe that there is more to this than one player being frustrated that he didn't get a long term contract and another just defending the team.
Second the way he came off the mound was startling. I agree that it appeared premeditated to some degree. There wasn't time for something specifically said to solicit that response.
But lastly I am surprised that Jimenez is being vilified to the degree that he his. I didn't interpret his actions as "gutless". If a pitcher intentionally hitting a batter is gutless, then I think the majority of pitchers in the major leagues have earned that label at one time or another. And I also don't think coming off the mound qualifies as gutless. It seemed to me that he was willing to take responsibility for his actions (and maybe commit a few more 'actions'). Gutless are pitchers who let their team take care of the dirty work after they incite the brawl.
In cases like this I am often reminded of my father, who will talk your ear off about Bob Gibson if given the chance. He will go on and on about his intensity and his fearlessness. To have him tell it, Gibson would put the ball in your back if you looked at him funny. And my dad loved him for it. In the same vein, we criticize modern players for not caring enough; treating the game too much like a job. It just seems strange that we loved the willingness to get a little dirty in previous generations, but it is often used now to create a bad guy figure when telling the story today
I am perfectly fine with Jimenez being suspended if we are saying that is the recourse we want when a pitcher 'intentionally' hits a batter. But I am not trying to make a character judgement of Jimenez as a person from this incident, even if it was intentional.
One problem that I still have is understanding how Manny served his time. He is going to serve a 50 game suspension instead of the mandatory 100 game suspension. What did he do to earn this? He retired and walked away from the game rather than face the consequences of his actions.
And I believe that is the point of Mr. Goldman's article. It is not that Manny is too great a risk in financial terms, or even in public perception when he missteps. The risk in bringing Manny on board is the message you send to the young players on your team about the values that are important to your organization. I work in an office environment, and I see the same things. The majority of people will work to the level expected of them (or portrayed to them).
And for including the depth chart screen shot!
I applaud you for 1.) having a well thought out opinion on this article, and 2.) having that opinion so at the ready you could simply drop it into this little comment box and make the largest comment I have ever scene! Nice work.
And to Ben...you do nice work too!
This reminds me of something Nate Silver would write, but with more laughs. Kudos to you, Ben. Keep up the great work!
Richard, although I often disagree with your comments I have never hit the minus on you because I feel that you are providing a weighed and considered opinion. Without opposing views, the comment board offers little real value.
Oh yeah...I did minus you on this comment.
I love the requirement that you be willing to work anytime (or all the time?)...
Billy (on the phone): "I want a report showing the EqERA produced for every catcher in history receiving the ball in save situations."
Programmer minion: "But, Sir, it is 10pm on Christmas Eve?!"
Billy: "Then I will give you until 6:30 tomorrow morning to have it in my inbox. And be sure to sort it by handedness this time."
Was that also the day that Bauer stopped the runaway train by planting his feet on the tracks and holding his arm firmly out in front of him?
Thanks for another enjoyable read. Keep up the good work!
Yeah, I really enjoyed the description of Carl's delivery. It's great to be able to put statistics like his into the appropriate context.
Thanks again for the series. I agree with the comment that it provides excellent insight.
Regarding keeper leagues, I would definitely like to see some sort of quantitative analysis when it comes to keeper value. I am not sure that this format lends itself to that, because the data available is going to be heavily annual-league driven, but that would be an area of interest to me.
Sacrifice flies count as a plate appearance when calculating OBP. So if a player never walked and never were hit by a pitch, hitting a SF would make their OBP lower than their AVG.
Do you have a suggestion for improving this column, or should BP just abandon the crazy notion of identifying players trade value quantitatively because we don't know exactly how players are going to perform for the rest of the season?
And PECOTA is a statistical approach that provides a weighted average of many possible outcomes, some of which include likely September call-ups (see Jesus Montero). If you have a more accurate method for projecting player's remaining stats, please provide. I may even be willing to subscribe to your webpage if it also had quality writing, quality analysis, updated stats, etc.
I disagree. They are both worth $0. That value is adjusted for position, so there is no adjustment needed when looking at trades.
That is not to say that there may not be market inefficiencies at certain positions. If you can always get a few more dollars in value when trading for a catcher, then that is the result of people not properly evaluating the position in light of market scarcity.
I really like this column idea and am looking forward to getting more of it! The cards are great, and I like the brief write-up for each player. And it is a very useful presentation of a players market value (the perceived vs. the actual). As you say, that is sorely missing in the typical FBB trade article.
Another great podcast guys!
I loved the "It's an implied mustache" line. I laughed out loud at a moment where it was not acceptable to do so. Thanks!
I really enjoyed this week's music. It is right there with The Bear Coat for the my favorite podcast music.
Make it eight. Someday I hope to be able to identify "real" humor.
I disagree with you on every point. It is not necessary to compare to average draft rankings only for drafts that use the same categories, unless the Phillies have some innate characteristic which enhances them relative to everyone else for a specific statistic. The examples given do not show that (it is clear why Madson's was picked much higher, but not Halladay, Lee, Utley, Hamels, Victorino, Rollins, or Ruiz). 2.) Players taken by autopick are either ordered by the owner (would indicate bias) or by a known, pre-draft rank, which could perhaps be more favorable to Philadelphia players, but would go hand-in-hand with knowing your enemy (or your enemy's default-ordered list). 3.) If you knew that someone WAS working with the CBS rankings, having a measure of the differences in valuation (either by position or perhaps statistic) could be useful, but more often than not someone who was working off an ESPN list would not care about the variance between their list and a list they were not using.
I appreciate you providing some more details about this league, I think that adds to the article. But the article pretty clearly proves that there is some favoritism here, and a good owner would try to exploit it. I think that ESPN rankings were used is somewhat irrelevant.
I would also be interested in some theories for exploiting this knowledge (since this is a snake and not an auction draft). I am somehow sure that this information would only end up hurting my draft.
The only Francisco I see is Francisco Liriano. He's a left handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic.
Something here is confusing me. Sabathia has a 6.6 WARP in the Spreadsheet and a 5.5 here. His stats look basically the same. And I can't image adjustments for playing time raise the replacement level (since you are reducing the playing time for lots of players who won't be in the majors).
I understand that WARP is not correlated to Scoresheet value, but it accounts for total defense (range and errors), while your run estimator only adjusts for range. Is there something you do besides review a players error history to consider the effect that errors could have on future value?
I am also interested in the inner-workings of your run estimator. You probably don't want to share too much, like converting from OBP' and SLG' to R/G, but I don't see what R/G is. It is too big for Runs per Game and it is too small to be Runs per Week. I can see that you multiply by 17 to get total runs. I must be missing something.
He is also on Mike Trout's comp list. Anybody who is anybody has a Gary Sheffield comp.
Very good points. That was a really horrible attempt to play on your art school background. I was going to come with something about organ harvesting but I couldn't make that work either. Should've just stuck with "really looking forward to reading your stuff!"
And you are right about refrigerators. They are not all 50 grade. I had a landlord in college who stocked his apartments with classic icebox-style frigges. The kind with a lever you have to manipulate to open that your parents warned you against crawling inside because you will die. This was in 2003. It also didn't cool well which was the real shame of it all. That was a 30 grade refrigerator (assuming a 20 grade is reserved for refrigerators that fall on and crush people...cold or not).
I am really looking forward to Jason's upcoming series of prospect articles. I am excited about the "heartbreak" angle for analyzing prospects, but am concerned that this contrarian approach may be a little outsider. As we learned from the discussions about art, you are usually an outsider because you are just no good. At the very least I am confident that I will not find the analysis to be reductive.
Much better format. Thanks for incorporating the feedback!
I also love the Dos Equis ads. "He is the life of parties he has never attended."
I really enjoyed this article, and am delighted at the idea behind it. You can never have too many reasons to follow baseball, especially near the end of the season.
The Indians are still following the same model for mid-market success; they just have not gotten the wave of development that occurred in the early to mid-90's.
It is amazing that they only have three players (Carmona, Hafner, and Sizemore) under "fair market" contracts for next season. All other players are either arbitration eligible or pre-arb. With so much young, intriguing talent, it looks like it will be another year of hoping that the next wave comes in.
My instinct tells me that it may be easier for a pitcher to "put it all together" if we assume that everyone on the list is potentially capable of being a Major League talent.
I am going with Walden and Withrow, because I think those two organizations have shown the most competence in developing arms.
In general I do believe in the tenant that winning makes money, but right now Strasburg is the type of transcendent figure that generates revenue on his own. For all the talk that went around his "record breaking rookie contract", Strasburg is making the Nationals barrels of money. I have been guessing that it is close to $1M a start after tickets, concessions, parking, jerseys, etc.
Hype like he has now doesn't seem to last long these days, but it would take a VERY forward-thinking GM to consider any trade for S.S.
In terms of stolen bases/reputation runs, Brownson used average SB opportunities per inning to determine reputation. I bet that there would be some value in using play-by-play data to determine the actual number of SB opportunities as well as the actual number of attempts. It seems to me that catchers on teams with poor pitching staffs would face more opportunities (more runners on base), therefore would face more SB attempts, and look like they are more desirable to run on.
Play-by-play data would also allow greater depth of analysis. Each stolen base opportunity can be categorized by factors such as what base is open, pitcher handedness, outs, inning, and run differential. Opportunities to steal second have different likelihoods and values than opportunities to steal third. Teams losing by four runs are less likely to attempt a steal of 2nd with no outs in the 8th.
Agreed. I appreciated the real-life examples. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for sharing this...awesome article!
I enjoyed this article, but when I started reading it, I thought it was going to love it. This is a great macro look at the strikeout from the batter vs. pitcher perspective. What I was hoping for was a conclusion or observation that could be applied to an individual plate appearance. When I watch baseball, who wins the duel between pitcher and hitter is my favorite subplot. I do not think that this information will change my perception of who wins that duel. Not intended to be a negative comment on the article, I just got a little excited hoping that was what I was going to get.
My favorite part of the whole fantasy baseball experience is the player valuation. Taking a list of stats and coming up with values for players. I always start the process by treating each stat equally, and my results always have stolen base guys higher than most other lists (although closer to BP lists than other sites).
The bottom line is that it depends on your competition. You don't want to be valuing stolen bases (or for an even more basic debate, hitters vs. pitchers) out of line with the rest of your league. It doesn't necessarily sound correct to "follow the crowd", but you want to avoid creating your own market inefficiencies by valuing certain types of players out of line with your competition.
Enjoying this years articles more than ever, Marc!
The same point that was made about Apple, making profit by appealing to the largest base it can, is true of ESPN. They get ripped in this space quite frequently for their shallow analysis, but the OPS example Will cited demonstrates that the majority of their customers are not interested in advanced metrics.
My wife ordered me ESPN the magazine last year, and I think that it is their best source of intellectual analysis. Their football coverage often incorporates new (to me) perspectives courtesy of Football Outsiders, and their baseball articles often take an angle not presented elsewhere in the mainstream (thanks to BP). Let's just hope partnerships like these are working for all involved to improve the end product for us fans. Baby steps...
I highly doubt that the Nationals are disappointed in the Dunn signing. An over-3 WARP for $8 million. And they only inked him to a two-year deal, which fits nicely with your conclusion.
He was part of an exciting offense that I found myself watching a disproportionately-large amount for a 60 win team. Zimmerman, Willingham, and Dunn were always capable of some fireworks. And I love the way Nyjer Morgan plays the game.
In general I agree with not drafting highly for saves; however, I have found that more and more owners are adopting the stratedgy of getting cheap closers late. When multiple owners take that approach, you can find yourself over paying for the higher risk closer.
There are 17 pitchers that have 3 or more saves so far this season. Going back to the February 24th Player Forecast Manager, 10 of those were ranked in the top 15 for projected saves. Only 3 of the 17 (Morrow, Ziegler, and Rodney) were not projected to lead their team in saves.
While you may get lucky and land three quality closers from the bottom third of the projected closers pool (such as Bell, Sherrill, and Francisco) those are also the most likely closers to lose their job. The three closers mentioned above who were not projected to lead their clubs in saves all replaced closers in the bottom third of the pool.
I hate to argue a point in support of the Yankees, but Teixeira\'s projected VORP is greater than that of Abreu and Giambi combined. Add Swisher who is 7 years younger than either of them and in his prime, and on paper their line-up has improved. I understand that the games aren\'t played on paper, but I haven\'t found a team whose line-up projects better. I certainly wouldn\'t make the assertion that they need Posada to keep their offense going.
Taking catchers out of the lineup, the Yankees have a projected VORP of 185 and the Red Sox have a projected VORP of 150. The Red Sox are paying less for their questions at catcher, but I think it is just as glaring of a weakness.
I think that everyone is making too big of a deal out of the Yankee\'s catcher concerns. I would argue that even with Molina starting, their offense is better than any other teams\'. At least they are running out a solid defender if Posada isn\'t his old self. And I disagree that the Red Sox lineup is better equipped to handle a lack of production from the C position.