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Solid, solid move for the Cubs and a sign of the times.
50-55% of a free agency budget? No way, it's April 29 not gonna burn half of my season's transaction budget on a guy with Martin Prado's upside.
The thing is everyone in the world saw this coming, except for Gibson and Towers and the "we need more grit and contact hitters" crowd. The Dbacks are fools.
Ugh Sanchez caught his 2nd start too
Yes, I heard a radio pre-game interview with Bochy where he said that they were abandoning Sanchez as Lincecum's personal catcher this year but were starting Sanchez due to Belt's flu bug.
He only really had one year with great power so it's more a case of regressing to the mean. But his BA, OBP, and defense are so outstanding, like for Boggs, that I agree that he's truly a great player. As with all catchers it's a matter of keeping him on the field.
Sigh if only this was a forum where we could put our money where our mouth is.
It is cool that the staff predictions have ignored PECOTA'S unjustified bullishness on the Yankees in particular.
But there's good reason for that. A 2nd half record for young teams is often more predictive of the next year's record than the entire season record. Sabrmetricians are down on the Oriole's chance because they outperformed pythagorus, which has a better track record at predicting the following season than a team's actual record. The O's relative youth gives them a decent chance of actually improving as a team while not witnessing an improvement in their record for 2013. They were good last year, but very very lucky.
I devalue closers and saves in my auctions but this is a year where the top 3 guys are really a cut above the rest and many, many closers have even more tenuous holds on their jobs due to performance and pedigree issues. I'm gonna be willing to price enforce on the 4-5 closers after Kimbrell, and if I wind up with one of them this year, so be it.
Evidence? Tested clean repeatedly and all year long.
In his contract negotiations a couple of years ago I suggested that the Yankees put 50 million dollars in a bag two steps to his left, because he'd obviously never get there.
Braun is "off his cycle"? How do you explain his 2012 season?
And I, in turn, never said that there was zero luck involved in the Giants championships, just that the growing overall meme that they were lucky was bogus. I freely admit the Reds series was extremely tight and the Bruce-Romo battle towards the end of game 5 in particular was epic and touch and go for the Giants. However, the Giants outscored the Cardinals 20-1 in the last three games of that series. They dominated, that wasn't lucky bounces. It used to be the case that coming back from those type of deficits, particularly playing stellar, smothering defense under that tension, was viewed as a team skill. It's now frequently cited as "luck" which is unfortunate.
I believe that a lot of people are having trouble accepting that the Giant offenses weren't built around high secondary averages like "Moneyball teams". That also clashes with previous notions of what it takes for the Giants to win, an image burnished by the Bonds/Kent era
Of course postseason series are small enough samples to involve a lot of luck . But it is also true that the Giants as a team ran two regular season gauntlets into their two championship seasons and won 86 during a third where they lost Posey. That's not being "lucky". And in toto they won 22 out of 31 postseason games during that span rather than just winning 4 out of 7. That's domination over a larger span. As a whole they were excellent not lucky. Which doesn't mean you can't cite to lucky moments along the way, but it does mean that attaching the lucky meme to their 2010-2012 run, as seems to be in vogue, is bogus. Because that run ain't no small sample size.
BP's own stats on this site show that the Giants were above average defensively during the regular season, ranking 13th in team defensive efficiency, moving up one notch to 12th once you adjust for their home ballpark effects. And yes you're right they performed at an elite level during the postseason which featured a healthy Sandoval and Scutaro at 2b.
This "good not great but lucky" meme that surrounds much of the fan and pundit commentary about the 2010-2012 Giants is laughable. In one of the most competitive eras in baseball history the Giants, with basically the same exact pitching and coaching staffs + Posey have won Championships in 2 out of three years with an 86- win, largely Posey-less season sandwiched in between (gee the Giants sure were "lucky" that Scott Cousins veered left and plowed over their best player while he was a sitting duck). They went 22-9 over two postseasons against the best teams in baseball. What they did was remarkable, and the remarkable residue of design and a lot of roster and management continuity, not luck. Their performance hasn't really been matched a short period in the wild card era unless you count the Yankees, who operate with the luxury of a much higher payroll (is their large fan base and revenue stream "luck" moreso than the Giants reliance on other ways to win besides home runs?). The Cards and Sox have put up similar performances spread out over 4 years but not 3 like the Giants. Had Poseu not been injured in 2011 who is to say they wouldn't/couldn't have pulled off a trifecta? Maybe Giant critics should consider the possibility that the Giants have been unlucky to not advance 3 seasons in a row. When you repeatedly over course of years find gold at the trade deadline that other teams are missing out on (Burrell, Ross, Scutaro, Beltran) then its an organizational talent not a four leaf clover
Reports of Texas' demise have been greatly exaggerated
The loaded nature of this list explains why the Angels have, at best, drawn even with Texas thru FA
Yes I do. I think PECOTA is much too bullish on Timmy.
Yeah, and by this metric PECOTA did very well last year.
Dantroy, I agree with you about the Nats. I think they are baseball's best team at this point. The Mets at 80 wins? that's in the ballpark to me, perhaps a little high.
Team-wise, I think PECOTA is too bullish on the Cubs, Indians, and Yanks, and too bearish on the Giants, Braves, Royals. To a lesser extent too bearish on Jays, Phillies, Rangrs.
Me too, he just didnt make my "top 5".
Did the same thing quickly for hitters not as many stood out to me as head scratchers.
On the "too bullish" side I'd list (obp/slug)
Yasmani Grandal .360/.423 (PEDs and ballpark make it hard for me to think he's gonna be that good that soon)
Mauer .401/.455 (Highest obp I think of all the projections, I love the guy but find it difficult to see given his age and increasing durability concerns that he's gonna outpace all of baseball in obp)
Youkilis .362/463 (Moreso on the obp side at this point)
Perhaps VictorMartinez and Berkman too (.360/423 and 379/476) given , again, my concerns about their perceived skills aging more rapidly than I think PECOTA is building into its projections. Again, less obvious to me than some of the pitching errors.
All just my opinions. On the "too bearish" side there were a LOT more in my view than on the "too bullish" side, maybe I'm just perceiving more leaguewide offense than PECOTA.
Several Angels (Kendrick, Trout, Hamilton), Astros (Wallace, Altuve 311/380?!, JMartinez), Rays (KJohnson 310/388, Escobar 328/352, Joyce 341/441, Jennings 319/381) seem low to me. Pitcher's parks that I'm undercorrecting for?
Also, Kemp 344/487 seems way too low, Bruce .325/480 is consistent with past performance but skills and age/development curve augurs better IMO, Heyward .346/443 seems low for similar reasons, Castro .326/421 same. REddick .295/424. Moustakas .307/434. Granderson 328/466. Crawford .316/399.
Lot of outfielders and/or younger prime guys in my list.
Again, BP thanks for getting out PECOTA early, and I should say that overall I think your system is the best, and I intend to ride it to fantasy glory this year.
Havent looked at the hitters, just the pitchers so far. obviously
Thanks for getting the PECOTA projections up early, love it!
I raced through all the depth charts to find the projections that left me scratching my head, and I came up with 5 "too bearish" and "too bullish" categories (IMHO of course).
PECOTA has love for (IP/ERA)
I think the common thread here is a veteran group of pitchers with excellent, lengthy performance histories before last year, but I see last year's drops as "real" because of observable major losses in "stuff" or "health".
PECOTA is hating (relative to my expectations) on...
Here, we see the opposite phenomenon at work where these guys dont have lengthy histories of performance excellence yet PECOTA, in my opinion, is missing the boat.
Dickey's age kills him per PECOTA yet he's a knuckleballer so we know the normal rules dont apply. PECOTA has whiffed on Vogelsong for two straight years, I think he has been so outstanding, and with better peripherals than normally acknowledged, that you have to give more weight to the last two seasons than the absence of excellence banked in PECOTA's database during his 20's. He's really a new, unprecedented guy whose "stuff" and repeatable delivery suggest that he can repeat his performance. Miley I dont get, I expect regression too but up to a mid 4 ERA? Dont see how the peripherals from last year justify that unless his minor league numbers before were far weaker. Samardjza is another guy who seemed to have the requisite perhipherals last year, which is more probative to me than his lack of them two years ago. PECOTA disagrees.
All interesting, thanks again for putting these up.
PECOTA continues to have a blind spot for Vogelsong. He's done it for two years running there's gotta be more of a problem with how the system evaluates him than Vogelsong himself.
Thanks for getting these depth charts up early. I think PECOTA is being way too bullish on Hanson whose stuff and performance degradation led the Braves, a smart organization, to deal him for a short reliever.
Already reports are surfacing that the med exam has revealed some concern over Felix' elbow. Terms may be changed.
Hold up. A rebuilding franchise far behind 3 divisional competitors pours 2 team payroll's worth of money into one player after he logged 950 innings over four season's and experienced velocity issues the year prior and you don't see the element of risk? A case can be made that its a good deal for Seattle but come on, it's clearly risky. Personally, I think they bid against themselves two year's prior to it being necessary. King doesn't have to decline much for this contract to become problematic. The history of long term expensive pitching contracts isn't exactly a thumb on the scale favoring the deal.
When your best pitching prospect projects as a set up guy that's a weak system.
How does Stassi's .330/.430 obp-slug performance at A ball for two season's project into a major league hitter of value as the article suggests. Seems like he can't hit once you translate those numbers up three levels to the Bigs.
The Nats meanwhile have a big 3 to match the Phillies in addition to Dan Haren in the 4th spot and an outstanding starting lineup. The Phils are depending on Utley and Howard to be the core of their order, and both those guys are injury prone and several years removed from peak performance levels. Ben Revere is about as much of a leadoff man as Paul Revere.
No, a Giants fan. The Phillies still have "the big 3" but that's about all they have at this point. And Halladay's velocity and performance was way down last year to boot, so it may be more of a big 2.5 considering the tread on his tires.
The Phillies are in a tough spot. They have a huge payroll, a veteran roster that isnt really good enough to compete with the big boys in their division or league anymore, and the cupboard is bare on the farm. 2013 is their last year of faux competitiveness for a fifth wildcard spot at best then it's steadily downhill with the mirage dissapating like smoke.
I totally forgot to mention the headscratching trade of Chris Young for Pennington.
This has been an unusually bad offseason for the Dbacks. They trade 5 years of cost control on Trevor Bauer for a no hit shortstop propspect. They commit to 3 years of a past 30 Cody Ross, who was not really more than a platoon player in his prime, albeit a good one. They continue to think about dealing a young, pre-prime Upton whose upside is monstrous, and who produces even in a "down" year. The only move I sort of understand was the relatively cheap deal given to McCarthy which seems like a worthwhile risk if he can overcome his head injury. But man, I just dont understand where this franchise is going, particularly given their excellent performance in 2011 and their assemblage of a still decent core of young talent.
Except that the Rangers window is now. A shorter term , higher AAV deal for Bourn would make sense for the Rangers.
Win win trade
Not a good deal.
The problem is the Giants' window is right now. That trade would weaken them for 2013 as you have to assume some regression-related improvement from Timmy and Pence as well as developmental improvement from Belt. Timmy's rotation spot would be replaced by Yusmeiro Petit and Belt world be replaced by Brett Pill, big enough dropoffs to cost more than a Stanton-Pence upgrade. Thus while the trade would make huge sense in the abstract it would make little sense for the Giants , as currently constituted, to do it. Their window is now.
Just doesn't make any sense to me for the DBacks to trade a guy like this, young-prime, pre-FA, MVP upside. Seems like this is a guy all franchises should want to keep
Melky is an unreliable data point upon which to support a cold market conclusion. IMO the deal is a steal but it's hard to draw much overall predictive value from a post PED signing. The League, Affeldt, and Hunter deals are all suggestive of inflation occurring to moderate degrees. Baker and Colon's deals seems like good value. Ross, feh. If the rumors of a small market of middling teams for Hamilton is true that would be some evidence of a non inflationary market, although Hamilton shares some similarities to Melky in terms of risks involved.
Trout matters because his 2012 performance was the best in baseball by a fairly large margin yet the voters voted for someone else. The voting is improving over the years (see King Felix' cy a couple years back in spite of the 13-12 record) but its not perfect. Every time I hear the nonsense "but Cabrera was more 'valuable' because he was on a better team" nonsense I want to punch his defender in the mouth. Nonsense, absolute nonsense.
It's a brilliant deal. 16 million over 2 years aint gonna break anybody's budget if Melky craters. If he is a 2 warp player next two seasons its a bargain. If he is a 3 warp player and up its a steal. He doesnt have to repeat a 5 warp season for this to pay off big time for Toronto.
I think the Jays improved themselves for 2013 by 8 wins with this trade.
These two claims can't be true simultaneously. Loria is either wise for getting Toronto to take on a bunch of risky contracts or he is bailing out of the contracts too early
Trout is a full 2-3 wins superior to Cabrera. There is zero argument to be made that Cabrera had the better year. Cabrera wasn't even the second best player in the league, Cano was
The limitations of WARP and Cabrera bring poor defensively but somehow exceeding low preseason expectation are not arguments for his candidacy. Neither is a willingness to move to a more important defensive position which enhances his market value.
If only the BBWAA voters were this good. The net voters nailed the correct top choice in all 4 categories. Wisdom of crowds indeed...
4 years at the same AAV is reasonable
Several curious things about this piece. YOu have the Phillies outbidding the Giants for Pagan when the Giants have more cap room and more current incoming revenue to spare, plug Pagan loves playing in SF. Instead, you have the Giants settling for Ichiro? Doesnt make sense. You also peg the Redsox to be one of the two teams throwing out the most money this offseason when really they arent particularly close to contending and demonstrated through the Dodger trade that they are largely in rebuilding/get cheaper mode. Plus, Hamilton to Seattle? They just arent close enough to contending regularly to justify that kind of risky expenditure. If you have a chance can you elaborate on your thinking regarding the above issues, thanks.
He sent Colleti to LA
The pitch was so fat it turned out being the last type of pitch and location that Cabrera was looking for, and he left his bat motionless on his shoulders. Either blind luck or poetic brilliance on Romo's part.
Sick of the "Tigers imploding" memes and "Giants are getting lucky bounces" memes. The Giants are up 3-0 because they are an excellent team that is outclassing the Tigers in every area. The better team.
The Giants have twice faced two game deficits in these playoffs needing to win 3 in a row to survive, and they survived. They weren't devastated by their situation. If the Tigers are devastated after going down 1-0 in a 7 game series well then the Giants are simply the better team.
The luck whines begin. The Tigers got smoked plain and simple by a team that outplayed them. The Goliath analogy implying that the Tigers are the more talented team is , well, laughable. The great catches by Blanco reflect that the Giants play excellent defense, and Young's bounced throw to home reflects that the Tigers don't. Pagan's ball hitting the bag was the difference between an infield single and double not the difference between a hit and an out. The Tigers are certainly good enough to still win the Series, but the Giants are an exceptional team of exceptional talent not luck
Giants in 6.
Giants in 6. Much better pen, much better defense, a smaller gap in the rotation then you're allowing (Zito-JV excepted), clear magical "cachet", and a deeper offense beyond 3-4 spots that is better suited for the two parks.
Holliday's slide was Bush League
The "but so and so was great down the stretch" arguments frustrate m to no end. A game won by Cano in April is equal to a game won by Cabrera in September. Period. End of story.
BP has ranked the AL as the superior league all year long, as reflected in it's Daily Hit Lists. I'll say it now though; the NL will win the Series. Both AL teams have serious flaws, and they were exposed last night.
I love the unfounded conspiracy theories that MLB "wants" SF and St Louis to win. YOu can't reason with something so brilliant.
SF is not in a huge market, and it shares it's market with another successful team. Stop crying.
No way the Reds were "glaringly obvious" competitive underdogs vis a vis the Giants in terms of finances. SF is anything but a big market. The Giants have built the best ballpark in baseball and constructed outstanding teams year after year which is why they draw. Cinci's broadcasting deals enabled them to sign Votto to a megadeal, something that blows away any contract on the Giants' end. The Giants were so cheap they couldnt/wouldnt sign Carlos Beltran for 2/25 million, a relative bargain price, because they had already re-upped the likes of Lopez and Affeldt.
In what "realistic context" were they the underdogs? It certainly wasn't in terms of inherent talent or massive payroll and revenue advantages on the part of the Cards and Giants.
Tigers in 7
The underdogs only lost in the AL, and all 4 series went a spectacular 5 games. If you didn't enjoy watching them, you're rooting for the wrong sport. The Tigers haven't won it all in nearly 30 years and the Giants only have one Flag in longer than that. There is a lot to be excited about going forward
A's in 5, not enough mojo behind Verlander.
Giants in 5. Starting Zito over Vogelsong is a dumb move, unless they pull a 90's Leyland move and yank Zito very, very early. As in 1-2 innings regardless of score, then put in Vogelsong against a lineup written to face a lefty.
Who should win the major awards: Posey, Trout, Gonzalez, Verlander.
Who will win the major awards: Posey, Cabrera, Dickey, Price.
As an overall proposition the Dodgers have improved themselves for 2012 and 2013, but probably not enough per Pecota to overcome the Giants' banked 3.5 game lead for 2012, thus denying them the critical postseason revenue. And as far as 2013 and beyond goes, they didnt get bang for the buck, they spent a HUGE amount for moderate improvements. Luxury tax and other financial walls will kick in. I'll take my chances with the Giants, Dbacks, and Padre younger and cheaper cores going forward.
Gonzalez is at .344obp/mid 4's slugging for the year, in a hitter's park. How is that not a major decline from his status as the best non Pujols player in baseball?
My take is similar to Dave Cameron's at Fangraphs. For this to have a chance at working out LA needs to advance deep into the postseason this year and reap the immediate large revenue stream that builds from that. If they miss out...and 2.5 games behind the talented Giants means they probably will by Pecota...they are looking at being over cap for 2, maybe 3 years. Yes, it's a talent upgrade, but one not commensurate with the salary upgrade. Gonzalez has massively declined this year; if it's a one year fluke due to a shoulder injury, then maybe they get some value back on this. Maybe...
Sox made out like bandits. Dodgers made out with their sister.
Boston's GM and ownership must be laughing uncontrollably behind the scenes while they smoke big ole fat stogies and knee slap over the number they just pulled on the Dodgers. What profligate waste on the Dodgers' part.
Nobody should ever swing on a 3-0 count. That's right nobody. That's right ever. In fact if I'm a manager in many base-out situations I'd put up a forced take sign for many hitters on 3-1.
Interesting article thanks. The one predicted change that doesnt pass the smell test with me is the idea that the Rangers' odds declined by replacing Oswalt/Perez with Dempster. Dempster has been a lucky pitcher this year, but he's objectively outpitched Oswalt who has recurring back and attitude issues. He aint Greinke, but he should help.
Cubs won that trade with the Braves. Maholm is a soft tossing lefty and Johnson has no role with that outfield. Vizcaino is a good young arm.
7 million a year for a 1 warp player is roughly FA market value, however teams like the Padres shouldnt be paying FA market value for closers as the 7 million represents 1/8th of their entire payroll and righty relievers are the easiest commodity to find off the minimum salary minor league/Rule 5 scrap heap. Bad move.
I think it's a fine move for the Sox. They hardly gave up anything and Liriano has a better performance history than what he's shown recently. At a minimum they've got a competent 5th starter or anti-lefty/longman bullpen piece. It's possible they'll get number 3-4 starter production outta him on the upside. I just dont see how this isnt a good move for them.
It's a minor improvement for the Giants, but an improvement nonetheless, and at next to no cost in talent.
I actually think this trade is a win win
The Phillies are at the wrong spot in the competitive cycle to be dropping approximately 150 million dollars (or one entire season roster's payroll) for an ace through his mid 30's. This is particularly so given the 65 million per year that they have tied up in Howard, Halladay, and Lee for a while yet. All the young talent in this division is on the Nats and Braves, and the Mets and Marlins have more young bats than the Phillies do. This contract is a mistake.
The Giants possess some strengths now that may allow them to overcome the regression predicted by the above tables. Sandoval is now healthy, and Belt is finally getting regular playing time while Huff is not. The Blanco illusion has disappeared allowing them to be realistic and work Christian in against lefties and maybe even motivating them to seek an upgrade by the trade deadline (thanks again Mr. Sabean for re-upping AFfeldt and Lopez' 15 million in options, while passing on Carlos Beltran). Barring injury, Lincecum can only improve as his FIP suggests. Unlike the Dodgers they dont rely on a few stars, they are deeper and less susceptible to injury-related dropoffs.
Thus, Melky could regress a bit to the mean and they are still in a decent position to win at the same rate. I have my doubts about Vogelsong's sustainability but he's defied the odds so far. Remember, Bruce Bochy's teams historically outperform pythagorus due to his excellent bullpen leveraging/management.
By contrast the Dodgers have gotten some really lucky onbase performances from the likes of Ellis and Ellis, Herrera and Hairston. Capuano is over his head, and it seems like Janssen has pitched every day. The Dbacks are dealing with the loss of Hudson and Kennedy's return to normalcy. I certainly fear them more going forward with the expectation that Upton should improve.
It's still early, but it's the Giants division to lose.
What the Dodgers need is to be transferred to another division because their early-season smoke and mirrors act has played out. The Giants are the best team in the NL.
Because make no mistake about it, the Chisox won this trade. Stewart and Lillibridge is kind of a joke of a return.
bobby V damaged his trade value with his public rant about Youk's work ethic. Whether true or false (I say false) it was an idiot move in that sense, plus it was just classless to go public with that kind of thing. Youk has won a lot of important games for the Sox.
Marge Schott was so vile.
Much better subject choice BP than "how do you feel about Cain's perfecto Dodger fans"? Who cares how they feel, if you're a baseball fan you give him a perfect 10 and are happy. 3.5 out, we're comin fellas, you better get Kemp back quickly. :)
It's an overpay. Not a backbreaking gigantic one, but an overpay nonetheless. He's a poor risk to be worth 3 WARP per season at he's 34-36
Great bullpens have been a hallmark of Bochy's career.
Their start is fool's gold.
Braun demolishing the naysayers. 3 bombs tonight, up to 7 on the year. So much for the nonsense that he's a steroid creation.
They have had weak competition so far and above level performances from Kemp, Ethier, Harang, Billingsley, and Guerra. Dropped a one run game tonight. Yes the wins are banked but, come on, this remains a mediocre team talent wise, albeit one in a division bereft of dominant teams. The Dbacks and Giants remain an echelon above on talent. One could make the case that LA is 4th or 5th in the division talent wise.
It's 5 million per warp now not 6. And that's the going rate to buy wins on the free agent market. Not the going rate for what wins costs overall. Point being its much cheaper to buy out someone's pre free agent, arbitration years like the Rays are doing, and like the Reds originally did with Votto, than to pay full market price for wins at the free agent rate. And that's the point, Votto wasnt' even scheduled to hit the market for two full years. Mid to small market value teams cant afford to invest one fifth of their available payroll in one guy.
The appropriate way to view the Votto deal is to say that they extended him 10 years for a period that he is expected to rack up 31 warp. Because you have to subtract out the approx 10 warp that he is scheduled to put up the next two years when he was already under contract. So, we're talking about 7/million plus per win over the life of that 10 year extension. It's not a wise move in the slightest.
Yeah the commentary was too trite, biased to be useful.
You're entire opening about the evolution of your thoughts re mandatory testint was excellent, except for your repetition of the canard that Braun was freed on a "technicality". No, the rest result was proven unreliable.
I think Pecota has this division too compressed. IMO Texas and the Angels should blast over 90 and the A's and Mariners will struggle to win 70.
The protocols do NOT allow for lab tech to take samples home and store them in kitchen refrigerators. They must be kept by authorized authorities in lab settings and under lab refrigeration, and they must be delivered there immediately. That's what prevents claims of tampering and framing, but it's also necessary to ensure the scientific reliability of the test result. You cant leave a urine test or blood test at room temperature for very long before it becomes unsuitable for accurate testing of any kind.
Lochner was a federal case though involving the court citing to the 14th amendment to find a substantive "liberty of contract" right nowhere mentioned in the Constitutional text to limit state regulations. Similarly, the Court was blocking federal regulations for similar reasons. The Lochner era ended when rightfully so the court abandoned such judicial activism and largely left it up to the elected political branches to decide what was wise regulation, rather than leaving it up to court to find rights that werent written in. When the Lochner era ended, it ended the trend of invalidating both state and federal legislation on "liberty of contract" or restricted "commerce" definition grounds. Fact. You both are 8 decades behind the times and probably would prefer to return to an era of judicial activism where your economic philosophies serve as a judicial veto on the popular branches.
Mike you do realize that Lochner has been emphatically rejected by the next 8 plus decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence; ie, Congress' exercises of commerce power are routinely upheld rather than routinely rejected. Congress' regulation of contractual relationships need only meet a deferential rational basis test. Fact. Moreover the personification of corporations in Citizens is highly relevant to the court's intention to attribute them a higher level of due process than individuals. AFter all, corporations wont get put in jail for yelling fire in a crowded theater.
Due process nowadays actually is as tilted in favor of corporations as its ever been , with the Supreme Court "reading" the First Amendment somehow in Citizens United to deem corporations to be "people" and corporate campaign contributions of money to be "free speech". Moreover, the Constitution applies to relationships between individuals and their govt, not relationship of individuals to their employers. Although hopefully, its lofty ideals are in practice applied in those disputes as well. SAdly this whole episode reveals that many Americans give lip service to presumptions of innocence and requirements of evidentiary proof.
The arbitrator absolutely made the right decision. Let's review the evidence in timeline fashion:
1. Braun repeatedly tests clean during the entire regular season.
2. At no point in Braun's career including the 2011 regular season have witnesses, reliable or shady characters, ever accused Braun of roiding.
3. At no point in Braun's career up to the present day has Braun undergone the sorts of documented behavioral and morphological indicative of, and incapable of being hidden by, roid use: no mood swings, no statistical performance swings correlated with roid cycles, no hair loss, body acne, unusual muscular or head growth (all of which were easily documented in the cases of guys like Bonds, Bret Boone).
4. He tested positive for "insanely high levels of testosterone" a single time in mid October 2011, levels that exceeded boundaries characteristic of positive tests of known, undisputed users. Something was out of ordinary from the start.
5. He immediately demanded a re-test and proclaimed his innocence to MLB authorities, and underwent a re-test within 1-2 weeks with a clean result. This is repeatedly being ignored in the media coverage and fan rants on the subject.
6. There are no known masking agents that can be reliably used to "beat" the current steroid test regime that MLB employs, which contrasts with the state of the science at the heart of the late 90's steroid era.
7. Proper handling and immediate refrigeration of biological samplesare not "technicalities" of drug testing in the scientific, criminal justice, or other arenas; rather they are essential for insuring that the results themselves are reliable. This applies to narcotic testing, blood alcohol testing, roids, the works.
8. Braun's sample was neither handled properly nor immediately refrigerated, but rather taken home overnight by a lab tech. This is not the same thing as a confession getting thrown out because a cop didnt read a suspect his rights first; this undercuts the test result reliability itself. This is not the same thing as a pound of narcotics seized from a trunk getting excluded from court because the cop pulled the car over to mess with the driver because he's black. Emphatically, Braun's defense was a substantive one not a technical one.
9. Roid tests involve known "false positives" a non trivial percentage of the time, perhaps as large as 10% in the scientific literature. That can occur regardless of proper chain of custody or refrigeration protocols being followed; ie the test regimes themselves, like all other scientific testing, have margins of error. Related examples include the fact that poppy seed ingestion can cause a false positive for heroin use, 10 stop watches timing a race will produce 10 different results even if properly calibrated, and when improperly calibrated, will produce a wholly wrong result.
10. Braun's lawyers are prohibited by the operating agreement, as is Braun himself, from making a specific defense to the media, so their vague protestations that he'd be vindicated do NOT indicate a lack of belief in his actual innocence. They followed the rules, MLB did not by "leaking" the test result to the media before the process played out. It is incorrect to assert that Braun is the only one vindicated by MLB's process. He is the only one PUBLICALLy vindicated, BP itself in prior articles has discussed the many private exonerations that MLB hasnt released to the public.
11. The immediate conviction of Braun in the court of the public opinion was disgusting and un American. We almost want the high paid atheletes to be knocked from their pedestal to make us feel good about ourselves. The continued conviction of Braun even after his vindication by the arbitration process is also disgusting. His critics know very little about what was presented in the hearing yet cite to unsourced conspiracy theories to explain Braun's acquittal. They made a decision long ago before hearing the evidence that he was guilty because it made them feel good to do so; their current protestations about Braun just demonstrate that once one's mind is made up no matter of hell on earth evidence can make many people change their minds. Hopefully they are never accused of any wrongdoing themselves in the public arena and someday must rely on a jury of their like minded peers to subjugate the actual evidence to their preexisting prejudices.
I'd take the over on Pecotas projections for Phil and Wash, and the unders on Atl, Fla, and NY.
Look the Giants offense is going to be better simply by virtue of regression to the mean and greater health/playing time opportunity for the likes of Posey, Belt, and even Sandoval. But the offseason "improvements" to the offense were a joke, and involved playing it cheap after they re-upped 10 million dollars in options for two aging 50 inning loogies. All of this on the heels of making a ton of postseason revenue and drawing the third most home fans and overall fans in all of baseball. That they couldnt find money in the couch cushions for a viable shortstop and/or Beltran is inexcusable. Because while their offense will revert to the mean somewhat, their great pitching is similarly likely to revert to the mean too. Cant count on Vogey repeating his brilliance, as one example. Losing Ramirez in the pen another. Wilson's health is a legit issue, the starters have had heavy workloads etc.
Where can I find pecota w/l projections for all teams? Not present in the depth charts
Drafting pitching early in rotisserie drafts is a chump move. The experts are wise
Man that system is weak. Long gone are the days when the Dodgers' player development system was considered the class of baseball.
I think the Pena move is a huge, underrated signing for the Rays. Their competitors in Detroit and New York need a DH badly, as did the Rays, and they are likely to settle on overrated "names" like Damon, or Vlad, or Matsui. Pena is far younger and better when obp assumes it's rightful spot in the discussion over BA. That the Rays would be able to outmaneuver their far richer competitors on this gives me no end of joy.
It's pretty funny to watch the voters snub Raines while electing Rice Dawson and perhaps Morris. Dummies.
Schilling was a better pitcher than Morris. Schilling deserves entry to the HOF. And I say that as someone who thinks he's a total douche.
I understand why there is a "debate" over Morris' Hall worthiness in the general media and among traditional pundits. But in sabrmetric circles there really shouldn't be any debate at all. He's not close to the cutoff from an analytical point. He, emphatically, does not belong in the HOF.
Just a head scratcher. Makes little sense
I'd call it weakness. All of the great 80's pitchers that you mentioned, Gooden/Fernando/Stieb/Scott had lesser peaks than the 90s greats Maddux/Pedro/Unit/Clemens. It's not just that the latter four had longer careers.
Morris is so not a HOFer and the continued advocacy for him from various media pundits is ridiculous. It does also speak to the weakness of the 1980s starting pitching class, particularly compared to the 90s.
Meant to say, arent "close enough" to Rangers or wild card level IMO.
Well I heard today that now the Ms are considered favorites to sign him, the GM has a personal history with and liking for Prince. It'd clearly make them a better team but I dont think its cost justified yet. They arent closer to the Rangers or wild card level.
Of the teams you mentioned, the Rangers, Jays, and Nats makes sense, the others dont. The Cubs are way too far off the mark to justify that massive an investment at this point. IMO, the same pretty much goes for the Mariners. Florida has committed a ton of money already and has Sanchez at first, and the Brewers play in baseball's smallest market in spite of their recent good attendance. They wont be able to offer enough to get it done, he's gonna get more than 6 at 20 per.
But of those 3 teams that make sense, the Rangers have gone on record as saying they are committed to Moreland and arent willing to invest more money to replace him. that doesnt make a lick of sense to me given how close they are to a ring and their revenue stream, but it's what they've been saying. Which leaves the Jays and Nats, and a move to either of those teams makes a ton of sense, but the Nats have publically said they are going to stick with LarRoche, again I think that's dumb but whatever. So it looks to me like he'll become a Jay unless they can't beat Milwaukee's 6 at 20 per.
Dodgers just dropped another 6 million today for two years of Jerry Hairston. Colletti is aggressively cornering the market this offseason on the worst FAs in the game, and at hefty prices.
The Nix move just seems flat out boneheaded. Dom Brown is a better player than Nix right now, the outs saved on offense and defense would be large. Why delay his development again, its not like he's 18-20? The Reyes deal, though exciting for Fla, carries a lot of risk obviously. Short term though the NL East is looking like a loaded division, Mets excepted. Still cant understand why Alderson didnt trade him at the deadline last year, now they wind up with neither Reyes nor adequate compensation for him. Isnt it a GM's job to look beyond the short term anger that such a move might generate? It's better than the anger that is generated now by him signing with Fla.
I love Anthopolous, particularly his shrewd trades last year for Napoli and Rasmus for largely a bunch of spare parts and fungible relievers. But the only way I can successfully interpret his trade for Mathis is that he totally felt guilty for pawning off Vernon Wells and his .250 obp and massive contract for MVP candidate Mike Napoli. Guilt, and guilt alone, is the only explanation for willfully acquiring Mathis with intent to put him on a major league roster. Even for a struggling reliever.
Wait, I thought that the Dodgers were supposed to use money "saved" somehow by Kemp's long term extension to re-up Kuroda and pursue a big bat like Prince Fielder? Instead, they sign Ruben Rivera, Mark Ellis, Chris Treanor, Chris Capuano, and soon Aaron Harang for in the neighborhood of 20 million when all is said and done? Spending 75% of that on one more season of Kuroda would have been a better way to spend money. 2012 is looking grim for LA.
Valentine is so overrated due to the Mets success in '90. He did a good job that year but there are many other years of blah surrounding it.
The Mike Young votes are a joke. He's caught up with Jeter as the most overrated player in the game. A solid player for your roster, sure, but he's not all that.
Doumit is a huge bargain at one year for 3 million, although on the Twins that's a tree falling in an empty forest until/unless he gets traded. Barmes is a classic waste of money by the Pirates on a veteran mediocrity. A case for the Barmes signing would be to stabilize the young defense as an encouragement for the young pitchers to throw strikes. I said a "case", not necessarily a good case.
Again, the Internet voters did well, getting 3/4 right in my opinion, and I can't complain too much about Kershaw edging out Doc. If only the baseball jouralists did as good a job at voting.
However, it was his misevaluation of Napoli that caused him to be traded, which in my view is the single largest reason the Rangers beat the Angels this year. So, Leyland and Maddon get my nods for 2011.
And I havent even mentioned Scioscia yet but year after year his team outperforms its statistical components. I pegged them to be a high 70's win team on talent preseason. (Yes, I know maybe its my predictions that are off but I noticed a lot of other sabrmetric predictions had similar positions on the Angels and Tigers and Rays). A case can be made that his performance was as impressive as Leyland and Maddon but he isnt getting props because he didnt advance to the postseason. Certainly his record of overachieving expectation goes back far, even farther than Maddon's.
I hear ya Randy about batting Austin Jackson first, and I agree that Maddon is an outstanding manager. Most of the research that I've seen on batting order reveals a 4 win difference over a season between optimum lineups and worst possible lineups. Leyland's lineup, though suboptimals, wasnt the worst possible, and fairly conventional. So the marginal cost of his lineup compared to the median manager I suspect was in the neighborhood of one less win over 162, perhaps two-three less than an expert "Strat" player.
In the end a manager does a lot of other things besides order his starting 9 into a lineup. Playing time allocations, bullpen management, who starts when, pushing Verlander to high but not breaking point pitch counts, etc etc. When I compare the Tigers 95 wins to how I evaluated their talent pre-season (low 80's wins, in a 3 way race for division, prob behind Chisox and Twins a bit) versus the Rays (mid 80's wins, probably finishing behind Bos and Ny) I find the Tigers' overachievement a bit more impressive. They blew away their division by 15 games, the biggest in baseball, and racked up the largest margin of victory over their opposition. The Rays, also impressive, benefitted in part from the Bosox historic collapse. That's part Maddon outplaying his teams expectation by a few games, part fortuity.
Going forward I'd rather have Maddon because I think over several recent years he's demonstrated himself as a superior manager to Leyland. But just juding on 2010 performance alone, I'm a little more in awe of Leyland's result in pushing his team far beyond reasonable preseason expectation. Both did great jobs.
The crowd was truly wise, getting all awards right except, IMHO, they should have Leyland edging Maddon. I suspect Verlander , Cabrera, or Ellsbury beat Bautista for MVP in real life, which will be a shame, JB deserves it, proved the haters wrong. Well done IBA voters.
I think he gets 5 years for 80-85 million. Don't see 6 at 120 happening.
Hill isnt old either.
All of the players mentioned in the link are below average to downright bad, certainly not worth the money spent. The exception in my mind is Aaron Hill which at 5 million per for two years seems a worthwhile gamble. Not because I think he's going to return to a 5 win player , or even probably a 3.5 win player. But an upside of 3 isnt totally out of the question, and even a more realistic 1.5, maybe even two wins would justify the contract. A mere single win would be market value at 5 million a warp and the DBAcks are obvious contenders, so it's a better play to put Hill there than sucking up replacement value out of the likes of Counsell or Ramon Santiago.
An interesting exercise in this article, but, as you advise, this has little practical chance of becoming a reality. Now if the Phils are out of it by the trade deadline that's another story entirely. But then of course the price would change at that point, whereas the article judges what the price would be this Winter.
Terrific article, thank you.
It's hard to argue with someone who thinks Dee Gordon is a superior player to Rafael Furcal. The Dodgers havent upgraded anywhere, and you cant count on the two stars to have career years again. You can however count on Posey and Belt to represent upgrades. And of course, Bochy's superior record in one run games spans his entire career, so it's utterly unsurprising that pythagorus didnt put the Dodgers and Mattingly ahead of Bochy and his bullpen management alchemy.
Colletti just came out today saying that they are going to cut payroll for 2012 and admitted that they have little chance to sign a big bat like Fielder. So if I understand correctly, they've dropped 6.5 million in 2012 payroll to retain Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis with another million coming for Matt Treanor, and, maybe if he doesnt bolt for Japan, another 10-13 for Kuroda. But no Fielder etc. Call me a Dodger hater if you must but ovjectively those "upgrades" aren't enough to push them past Zona or SF in 2012.
Not hardly Ray, I prefer it when the Giants and Dodgers are both winning teams, its a great rivalry and makes it more enjoyable. Why would I be upset about the Giants' performance relative to the Dodgers? The Giants have dominated them for a decade plus. And as to your distraction from the Kemp issue, when did I ever say Melky was an upgrade over Torres? He's better with the bat but lesser with the glove. I hate the Huff signing, but odds are he'll improve over '11 without returning to his '10 quasi Mvp production. You can have Kershaw beating Lincecum; I'll take the 2010 trophy. The Giants are due to improve not cuz of Melky, but due to a healthy Posey and a developing Belt. The Dodgers don't have two hitters of that quality emerging or coming off injury.
Oh no, I recognize Schierholtz is a platoon player. The difference between the Giants is they also recognize that, whereas the Dodgers lose games by starting Eithier against lefties. And the point was narrower, he is a much better defensive player than Eithier. And no the extension is for ages 28-35; This season he is 27 and already under contract. The extension is for 2013 and beyond. But hey if you want to take away financial incentive for Kemp to produce in 2012 because he already scored his deal, as a Giants fan I'm all for that.
The extension is for his age 28-35 seasons. Over half of it is post prime. He's already under contract for age 27
Look I know that LA fans must be extremely frustrated by 24 years of failing in spite of playing in the second largest market in baseball and all their structural advantages, but getting personal with a Giants fan whose franchise has dominated yours for a solid decade misses the point. The Dodgers , as currently constituted, objectively suck. It's unwise for that team's incompetent ownership of juvenile spouses to drop 160 million on a one trick pony for his nonprime years. Because they'll still suck, but they'll have less financial flexibilty to start rebuilding from ground up at multiple positions, not just a defensively stretched centerfielder. What does Eithier have over Belt other than veteran cachet? Being injury prone and powerless is who he is, not a one year fluke. And unless you've drunk the kool aid as to his gold glove, Schierholtz is twice the fielder Eithier is. The Dback analogy is inapplicable; they were a younger team of considerable potential. The Dodgers best chess move is to quit acting like they are a mega contract away from competing. Really, I'm trying to help.
For example, their next reported target is Matt Treanor. Lol.
Well, how much money do you expect that they'll have available to spend after maybe reupping Kuroda for 10 mil? They've already spent 5 on Mark frickin Ellis. Mind you they are spending all this money just to retain their existing roster, not bring in new improvements like Fielder.
Sands in left not Rivera. Same conclusion, they will be mediocre in '12.
Dodgers contend in '12? Their lineup now is C Ellis 1b Rivera 2b Ellis SS Gordon 3b Uribe Lf Rivera Cf Kemp Rf Eithier. They are either going to lose their second best starter in Kuroda or have to pay a pretty penny to keep him. They will be weaker than they were in '11, and the Giants will be stronger with a modicum of better injury luck and the development of Belt.
I guess I dont see the wisdom in locking up 15-20% of one's payroll in a single player for nearly a decade, with most of those years coming after he's 30 and with the Dodgers unlikely to contend immediately anyway in the earlier years.
BTW, when are you guys going to publish the results of the IBA award voting?
I find the Giants' supposed cooling on signing Beltran puzzling. If $125 is a hard cap then why exercise 10 million in options on two 50 inning lefty specialists Affeldt and Lopez? They sold out all year and enjoyed big postseason revenue from their 2010 championship. They can easily stretch the budget to 130-135 to get Beltran. And lord knows they need his bat, and their window is now with the pitching still intact. As in 2012. I just don't understand them playing it cheap.
Yeah I subscribe to the view that there is almost always a home field advantage based on umpiring, sleeping in a familiar environment with a familiar routine, and that in season splits are subject to random variation whereas historically the overwhelming evidence is that teams play better at home. Thus, a team witha "reverse" split one year may still have benefitted in its home games (ie, it may have lost even more had it been playing on the road) and been hurt in its road games. There'd have to be particular reason to believe Texax' roster wasn't tailored for their park, or particularly tailored to do well in STL, before I'd conclude that a reverse in season split eliminated their advantage of playing an extra game at home.
Question: Hasn't the Cardinals home field advantage been omitted from this analysis, or is it implicitly built in somehow? I know that only affects 1 out of 7 games, but still I'd like to see it explicitly accounted for and weighted as I evaluate the prediction of Texas in 6 (which incidentally, is my prediction as well). Thanks.
The Cubs are looking absolutely awful. Epstein has his work cut out for him to beat out the Astros for last place.
Weeks has been hobbled by a bad ankle so whether the decision to bunt him was correct enough you can't assume that Rickie Weeks is hitting like Rickie Weeks when making the decision.
I am shocked there has been no commentary on this but Gibson should have bunted Hill with 1st and 2nd , game tied in top of 9th and no out.
An excellent wisdom of the crowds. I agree across the board except I'm torn between Doc and Kershaw, and I think you gotta give Leyland the nod over Maddon for ALMOY. Granted, Maddon would garner the 2nd place vote in my book. too much love for Girardi, insufficient love for Scioscia in your ranks. But really, you guys pretty much nailed them all.
Thanks. Is it your view that Weeks is clicking at all cylinders health wise and ready to perform at his normal level?
Kennedy gives up .8hr/9, 2.2 bb/9, and 8k/9 in a 106+ hitters park. I agree that his won/loss record is lucky, but how are those peripherals not excellent across the board even accounting for the Dbacks ddefense?
I think you're right to favor the Brewers, but not by the margin you're suggesting. Kennedy and Hudson are having big years, their peripherals dont suggest that their perfomances (other than Kenn's w/l are particularly lucky). If you're making the point that Gallardo and Greinke have visibly better stuff than Kennedy and longer pedigrees of excellent performance I agree. But if you're suggesting that Kennedy and Hudson's CURRENT peformance levels are fluky, well that's only true by half given their excellent peripherals this year. I wouldnt be surprised by any result to this series, including a Dback sweep. The Crew wins in 5 is my call, could be a hugely entertaining war. The tipping point of this series; how healthy is Weeks, is he close to performing at his A game?
Never mind, found a way to link to it. So "sequencing" issues account for a 1 warp diff betweeen Halladay and the others, while offense accounts for .6 warp?
.6 warp for the offensive difference is one thing, but dont you have Halladay 1.5-2 warp behind Lee and Kershaw. I cant access the article about sequencing.
Hardly script it better than this? The divisions were decided about a month ago and we're only having this "drama" due to epic collapses on the part of Braves and Bosox. Overall, this has been a terrible year for stretch run baseball and competitive balance overall, with big money largely dominating everything again.
The young core is in place to contend for another Title for the next several years. Time to open up the pocketbooks for Reyes and/or a corner outfielder. Not the time to play it cheap.
It seems as if the 3 of them have very similar overall numbers even after adjusting for context and that Halladay's relative offensive weakness shouldnt acount for 1.5 less warp.
Jay, can you explain to me why Halladay is so far behind Lee and Kershaw in BP's overall WARP
Poor analogy since Riggleman is no longer collecting a paycheck like your "unhappy" players. He's taken a 70-72 win talent team and gotten them to 500 without the services of his best player and while building a fine, no name pen and correctly but unconventionally hitting Werth 1-2. I sympathize with him. Most clubs would have exercised the option by now
No way do the Giants play Tejada full time at short after Pablo's return. You havent done your homework, Sabean and bochy dig Crawford. A platoon maybe.
FRAA underrates Bonds and overrates Mantle.
Problem solved never mind
Colin when I substitute "hits" as an offensive category for the typical BA in a 5x5 league I get numbers for all hitters on the other 4 categories except hits. If I leave it at BA, it does give me a BA.
What's wrong with hits as a category and are the zeros across the board affecting auction values
You're underprojecting the A's and Rangers, although you have them in the right order.
I'm not surprised that you have the Sox and Yanks 1-2 with a significant gap from the rest of the division, but I must say that I'm surprised that you have the Sox only 1 game better than the Yanks. I think unlike most pundits you do have the Rays correctly sliding back pretty close to .500 for 2011, not all the way but close given the O's improvements and the Rays' losses. But I still have got to think that about 3 games separates the Sox and Yanks now.
If the Cards lose Albert they are done for a few years. Think Giants after Bonds' forced exit.
Does not deserve a HOF induction. Period. He had a fine career, but is not a top 1%er
...and Shandler took Ethier in the 2nd round, Napoli in the 7th. Dont get me wrong Shandler is the man, just noting the overreaches is all.
Shandler's draft is very interesting in that he picks several "overreaches" within his first 10, at least as compared to ADP position. Braun, Konerko, etc.
And now the Jays go and trade Napoli for Frank Francisco? Wtf? I'm glad they sloughed off Vernon Wells' salary but Frank Francisco? Napoli is way more valuable than that. Perhaps its just a further salary dump as they retool until Arrenciba is ready. But Frank Frickin Francisco? I guess I like Napoli a lot, dude can rake.
This is an absolutely abysmal move for the Angels.
sorry for my lousy spellchecking. . is=it, cheaps=cheapens
"The 1% standard effectively eliminates the HOF case of every reliever in history"
As well is should. They just dont have enough impact on creating enough wins to get into the HOF as the best of the best players. Leaving someone like Ron Santo, or McGwire, or Palmeiro, or Blyleven before this year out and letting Hoffman in, personality and politics aside, cheaps the "objectively great" standard beyond all recognition.
Now on the other hand if the HOF changed things to allow for votes by position, so you could vote for DHs going in "as DHs", well then I'd vote for Edgar Martinez in a heartbeat. Same with closers or relievers. If there was a separate category I'd vote Hoffman in in a heartbeat.
But there is not a separate category, all players are lumped in together, and if those old school curmudgeons intend to keep anybody who played in the modern era out on the mere guilt by association with roiding, then I say let the closers wait too.
Trevor Hoffman's entire hall of fame case is built around the mythical power of the save statistic instead of an objective evaluation of whether he caused his team to win more games than all but 1% of the baseball players in history. He didn't do the latter, not by a long shot.
The move marginally improves the Yankees right now. The contract is terrible. Not even the Yankees have 35 million to blow (efficiently) on set up men. They will regret this.
Last year Beltre was worth 6.1 wins over replacement just using baseballreference.com's metric, even higher if you use baseballprospectus' calculation of WARP. Over 12 full seasons (he played a partial 13th) he's compiled 42 WARP per BR, or about 3.5 WARP per year. I do agree with you that Texas "way" overpaid for him for his age 32-36 seasons, particularly the back end of it.. But my point was that before the signing, for 2011 purposes, Texas and the A's were about even talentwise with Texas having a slight edge. The Beltre signing changes that calculus for 2011, and that's a shame because of all the under the radar run prevention talent that the A's have acquired. "Overpays" tend to be justifiable if they produce enough additional postseason revenue, or even rings.
I think the loss of Lee to the Rangers, as well as Guerrero's production if not the player, brought them back fairly close to level with the A's after Matsui, Willingham, Dejesus et al were brought on board. This is why the Beltre sweepstakes became vital, because that's worth +4 wins or so to the team that acquired him, even if that meant a strong overpay for the out years #4-6 on the deal. I think , as is, the A's have a slight edge on the Angels and a large one on the Mariners, and, with Beltre, would have been the slight favorites to edge the Rangers for the division. Right now I see them falling short by about 5-6 games, and that's a shame considering that they could be a wonderful darkhorse contender with Beltre, and seemingly could be in a position to duplicate the Giants' formula from last year.
Bers: I was giving Garza the benefit of the doubt in assuming a 2-3 win improvement in order to make my point that the upside of this for the Cubs is that they still fall behind the top 3 teams.
jon, let's assume you're right and the Cubs still have decent prospects behind. That still doesnt explain why they should trade away from that depth to obtain Garza and a 2-3 win improvement over Gorzelaany that won't push them past the top 3 teams in the their division. Might as well save Archer and Lee and the others and build the next great Cubs team.
I just don't see how this trade helps the Cubs. With Garza they are still behind the Reds, Cards, and Brewers talent wise, admittedly closer to the latter two. Their farm system is mortgaged now. Meanwhile the Rays needed to reload this year anyway. I think the conventional wisdom is correct here.
Casey Blake sucks and Uribe is under contract for 3 with LA. The Aramis option is somehwat intriguing , but even then, we're assuming a reversal of his health and performance regression the last couple year. Possible yes, but probable? By waiting to the deadline you can at least see what comes, but in my view its better to bank those wins at the beginning of the season by paying, admittedly over, for Beltre.
jack of=jack up
Arguably , the A's are slightly ahead of the Angels right now even without Beltre, and a tad behind the Lee-less Rangers. IMO
Richie, normally I feel exactly as you do, and in fact when taken in isolation I agree that 5/65 is an overpay for Beltre. When the A's offered that to him at the beginning of the offseason I felt exactly as you did for the same reasons.
But its all about context, and the context has changed given how the hot stove season has progressed. The Rangers lost out on Lee and are consequently 4-5 wins weaker. The Angels lost out on Crawford and consequently havent improved by the 4-5 wins that we thought they would. There are no real big players left, Beltre excepted. And finally the A's are exceptionally close to the Angels and Rangers now talent wise.
Thus, I now see the A's signing Beltre as a poker bet that itself has negative expectation, but which carries with it sufficient "implied odds" if they make the postseason in terms of revenue generated to be worth it. And the downside at making him an offer in the Angels' range is that you lose out but jack of the Angels payroll in the process.
As for a platoon DH I assume you meant Willingham as Matsui's right handed caddy not Cust. But they have announced plans to start both, with Willingham in left. And given what they had to give up to get both of those guys...ie next to nothing.. they seem like reasonable, if aging, gambles that improve their offense from the admittedly putrid status quo.
Bellis, I think the answer to your question is that Beltre is in negotiation mode. The A's made their 5/65 offer very early in the offseason, and Beltre and Boras are gonna kick the tires on what they can get before jumping on the first offer. Reportedly, they rejected the Angels similar , slightly sweetened offer of 5/70, which the Angels have now pulled. Supposedly a 6th year is his line in the sand. Fat chance of either of those franchises taking that bait, but I think the point is that the two offers are close enough that I'm not convinced that Beltre would rule the A's out completely at this point. We'll see.
Bellis, there are two benefits to them going after Beltre. Either they get him or they drive up the price that the Angels have to pay to get him. The A's offer of 5/65 wasn't cheap in the slightest. Actually in my view it's an overpay.
The A's can win that division, mark it down. The contours of the team make it possible that they become this year's SFGiants...they are that good at run prevention. In my view they should now renew their efforts to secure Beltre. Yes, they will have to overpay, but they are operating extremely cheaply everywhere else. This denies a division competitor 4 wins or so, in addition to swinging 4 wins to the A's. With the Rangers vulnerable after losing out on Lee, the Mariners suckitude, and the Angels' decline, the time is now to get Beltre.
It's hard for me to say that because I think Beltre is overrated and hits into a ton of outs, but the A's are so close to taking the West the time to push is now.
It's an absolute crime that he wasn't inducted. When the owners ran the show players were glorified serfs. What a joke.
Bull, that cutter is filthy. And control is part of stuff anyway
You're wrong, Lee is money. If you're the Yanks you HAVE to sign him otherwise it's bye bye division for 2 years. If you're the Rangers you can pass on him because of the financial risk and the weaker division, but kiss a 2011 repeat goodbye although you are positioned well beyond that. Lee's stuff is top shelf, and I think you're exagerrating the likely decline in his value.
He walked 16 guys all year and struck out about one per inning. Repeat that a few timesin your head. A case can be made for him being the league's best pitcher last year if you wanna bust out Voros McCracken for Xmas!
Actually James had Adrian Gonzalez having a slightly better season than Albert or Votto, with 35 win shares to 33 for Votto, 32 for Albert. one win share equals 1/3 warp.
And again, there is absolutely no mention of "being on a playoff team" as a tiebreaking factor in the actual rules, and I think rules matter, and it shouldnt be about the voters making up their own criteria as they go along. Otherwise the whole business devolves into this subjective popularity contest. We might as well award the MVP to David Eckstein every year because of his obvious hustle being arguably more "valuable" as an example to young players and in maintaining team "chemistry" and all that rot.
The problem with using "being on a postseason team" as a tiebreaker is that it tends to overestimate the amount of time that there are actual ties and lead to lazy evaluation decisions. BP and baseballreference have Pujols an entire win over replacement better than Votto, yet that's deemed "close enough" that Votto gets the award for being on the better team. A 1-win difference is real, even if it isnt close to the 2.5 warp gap between Bonds and Pendleton 20 years ago, for example.
The better tiebreaking factor is to give the award to the more established player on the theory that his performance is more likely the result of greater portions of skill and less luck and is more repeatable. In other words, we all know Pujols is the better player going forward because of his superior history to Votto, who was merely achieving a career year. So in case of a tie -- and again I dont think this was a tie-- one should give the "defending champ" draw odds and the benefit of the doubt and give him the MVP. But of course in practice the voters do the opposite, they award the MVP to the shiny new toy because its the Cinderella story in a relative sense. Pujols becomes a victim of his own success, and effectively voters create a higher bar for him to cross than any other player. Personally, I think that's bullshit.
Otherwise it'd be called the "best player from a playoff team" award
Nonsense, the MVP is not intended to be a subjective popularity contest it is intended the best player. The voting criteria do not mention team strength a single time as a permissible factor in choosing the MVP. Value is specifically as "a player's contribution to his team accounting for his offense and defense". A player "need not come from a winning or playoff team to be eligible". No mention of team strength period.
One problem with your comment is that Tampa actually played as the best pitcher's park in the American league this year. Bill James' handbook scores it an "80", meaning that Rays/their opponents scored only 80% the amount of runs that they combined for in road games.
So while its definitely appropriate to say that park effects close the gap between Felix and CC somewhat, it doesn't apply to Price, who is being overrated by the pundits who say (1) hey he's 19-6 better than Felix, and (2) hey, his ERA was .40 better than CC. Considering Price's fewer innings and park, baseball prospectus puts several AL pitchers ahead of his, including CC Lester Felix Bucholz Weaver etc.
The big four should be Halladay, Felix, Pujols, and Hamilton. The big four will be Halladay, Felix, Votto, and Hamilton.
Pujols was an entire win over replacement better than Votto, but Votto was close enough that his being on a winning team will convince the voters to vote for him.
As for the reliever arb eligibles they should pass on Ramirez and Ray, both suck. Ramirez has some utitlity as a roogy but they can do better giving a spot of theirs to Runzler and a waiver wire minimum salary claim. Agree that they should offer arb to Casilla and Lopez, both studs.
You're correct to pass on Huff, but you didnt mention Brandon Belt as a reason. Let Ishikawa play for a couple months to delay Belt's arb clock then bring him up to stay. A stud in the making and much cheaper than Huff.
Agree with you on Uribe, the ss market is very thin. I'm hoping the Giants make a play for the Japanese ss, forget his name. You gotta bank on Panda improving from 2010, and leave him at 3b where his bat has most value.
No Rowand ever as a starter at any of the three positions period. An injury or offday replacement for Torres only. Need I repeat myself.
And of course they should pursue an outfield corner very very hard you are right. I think they need to hedge against Crawford by engaging WErth actively too. Either one would do, Werth is better suited to hit bombs in that park and may come with a contract a couple years shorter. But those are the only two worth having, and they should, nay must, go after them hard.
All four awards were given to the right man. Now watch the journalists rob Felix of his Cy.
That's why GMs run teams, the fans dont. No way do the Yanks stop selling out if they refuse to give in to Jeter's exorbitant demands, and instead make the playoffs by spending the 20 mil on crawford, Izturis, and a reliever.
Pujols is one win over replacement better than Votto. Close enough to snooker the voters, far enough to not snooker sabermetricians. Tie base should go to the established str, and this isn't tie base
All correct choices except Pujols should be MVP over Votto. The wisdom of the crowds is looking fairly wise today
1. Duh 2. Good call, interesting 3. Not hPpening in this universe with SD budget 4. Far less important than you contend. VMart ain't that good and The Sox have bigger needs, and better FA options, at 3b and Of corners, 5. Good call, Dunn remains underrated and therefore relatively cheap and a three true outcome productive monster.
Wrong. The Giants' domination was unexpected, and therefore a thrill to behold for most viewers. David slew 3 Goliaths this postseason, that is what the majority of baseball fans outside of NY want to see. The Giants' crowds and city celebration was unique. It was an electric series, and it's little surprise that your regression analysis and laughable focus on Nielsen ratings failed to pick up
Well well well. I fully expect articles from the BP staff tomorrow emphasizing Bumgarner's complete domination of the Rangers, and secondarily, how well Washington actually managed his pitching staff this game. He brilliantly got Hunter out after four and put the right guy in, no? Yet, the Giants for the third game out of four were flat out the better team. Can we just admit that now, or at least have that be our lead?
P.S. I'm a subscriber to this site for a reason, which is I love the content and respect the writers, including Kahrl and Perroto, but its time for them to give credit where its due...The lead to their articles needs to be how the Giants to this point have been the better team and are worthy of their position. Period...
BP writers on the Series games: When the Giants win, its because of Washington's bullpen mismanagement. When the Rangers win, its because their players outplayed the Giants, because of course BP thinks its the better team.
Thus, if the Giants win, the postseason is a crapshoot, and if the Rangers win, the writers predictions are vindicated as brilliant.
Christina I think your breakdown of Washington's tactical mistakes is excellent, but your ultimate conclusion that these two games have been close is ludicrous. You're giving far little credit to the Giants for absolutely kicking ass and blaming the losses on Washington. His errors aside, and they are legion, the Giants have won both games on the merits and they havent been close.
Can the rest of the series tighten? Sure. Can it run away from the Rangers downhill even faster? Sure.
Nobody is respecting what the Giants have accomplished. Nobody.
Yeah the Yanks had a "series of advantages", starting with a 200 million dollar payroll year after year. Cue the BP apologetics and focus upon the post-hoc critiques of other teams' decision making while ignoring that the Yanks can outspend their own errors.
When this site calls for meaningful sharing of the Yanks cable TV revenues then we'll know their as tuned into structural reality as they are for things like BABIP. I applaud BP's statistical metrics but condemn their constant acceptance of the status quo.
Not a single BP writer would join a fantasy league where one team was allowed to spend 200 million a year the rest less than half that. So let's get real here. If not Duensing who else should they have started? That's how the other half lives.
Padres are better than those three too
No way is the AL that much better than the NL such that the Chisox , BJays, and A's are the 6th, 7th, and 10th best teams in baseball. All 4 NL playoff teams, Reds excepted, are better than they are, and frankly so are the Cards and Rockies. Your methodolgy is deeply flawed and produces results that do not pass the smell test. Within leagues it's ok, combining them it's not. Sorry, but it's not up to Bp standards, which thankfully are high
What a mess with the 3/12 Standings updates. Add up all the teams won/loss records and you have way too many wins overall. What's going on?
You can buy a pennant.
And what I'm referring to is large market team to small market team revenue sharing as opposed to player/owner splits which is a different issue entirely.
Nobody is talking about a salary cap as a solution to the Yankee problem. I'm suggesting true revenue sharing is the solution without the perverse incentives. Honestly, would any of the Yankees reveneue be possible without other teams to play. They have a right to demand more from NY or let them play with themselves, a solution no less than Bill James suggested 25 years ago.
They get to the postseason every year. Hence payroll equals success.
I love how BP and Yankee apologists act like the Yankee's making the postseason EVERY year but one for about two decades has nothing to do with their massive payroll/revenue advantage.
"It seems the Yankees are the bane of every mid-market and small-market team in baseball. Whenever the Yankees have success, it seems people associated with those clubs and fans in those cities discredit it because of payroll issues."
I love baseballprospectus but to a man/woman you are Yankee apologists. EVERY year they have a payroll that more than doubles the MLB average and the gap between them and the next highest team usually equals a small to medium market paryoll for an entire team. Try starting a fantasy baseball league with that kind of payroll disparity and see how many takers you get.
Frankly the Yanks should be winning rings more often than they do given their inherent structural advantages.
And its getting worse not better with only one small market team sneaking into the playoffs on day #163 and the rest being large market teams.
Honestly, it is a measure of how far sabermetric analysis has come in influencing front office decisions throughout baseball that money, rather than analysis, separates winners from losers. Until meaningful revenue sharing is imposed dont expect things to change either; geniuses like Beane will constantly be behind the 8 ball.
The same thing can be said bout the Giants. Had they spent 15 million for a right side of the infield of Dunn and Hudson they would likely have a slim lead in the wildcard right now.
The Pedro signing is defensible, but the Pudge signing is not. The Stros need to see what Towles can do. We know what Pudge will do, give you good defense, poor OBP, middling power, lots of GDP. Pedro on the other hand wouldnt be blocking any talented pitchers worth noting in a short contract.
Clay how do the Yanks lose Arod and somehow shoot past Boston in today's update? How did the Angels lose 3 games to fall into a tie with the A's? Is something wrong with today's updates?
I think this "Manny/Boras gambled and loss meme" is ridiculous. They got 45 million even though no other teams stepped up as serious suitors. Frankly if anyone is getting soaked here its LA, although their marginal win improvement and postseason revenue expectation makes this a truly win win situation. Manny gained 5 mil by forcing Boston's hand. Deferred or not, to say he lost is ridiculous.
Will , why give Cain a red?
The HOF voting process is fundamentally flawed. All these old school moralist journalists with little to no sabermetric training who , you watch, will screw over all modern players with a broad steroid claim. Jim Rice while leaving Blyleven and Raines out? Come on man, the few dozen who refused to vote for Rickey Henderson should be declared incompetent and stripped of their voting privileges immediately, and dont give me that nonsense about tradition somehow requiring a nonunanimous vote. Any joker that would vote Rice in without Rickey should be shown another line of work.
I know I am on the extreme side of this argument, but in all honesty I believe that the 5% of voters who failed to include Rickey Henderson on their HOF ballots should lose their voting privileges. At a minimum they should be subjected to a relentless collective interrogation by sabermetric analysts and the blogosphere as to the reasons for their vote. There is NO rational argument against putting Rickey in the Hall.
Taveras is outstanding....as a 4th outfielder. As a starting centerfielder he flat out sucks. Low obps and slugging. He has a good arm in center and his speed gives him upside defensive potential and his offensive skills, such as they are, are smallball skills that play best off the bench. But handing him 650 PA\'s in that homerpark is a travesty of epic rallykilling proportion.
I just love the Bonds haters who cite to him as the irrefutable data point that roids enhance performance. You never see them mention the scores of no-names actually disciplined for positive tests by MLB who sucked before, during, and after roids. Prospectus has studied the issue and concluded that roids have a very slight positive effect if you compare that group before and after testing. Certainly nothing to take away from Bonds legitimate greatness as a player, not as a man.
It\'s near impossible to find a writer from the Prospectus team do anything other than minimize the Yankees\' massive revenue advantage and consequent competitive advantage. When sabermetric principles saturate the industry\'s front offices, as is pretty much the case now, payroll acts to separate the teams not player evaluation. Yet none of them want to admit it. It\'s time for a major restructuring of revenue distribution in mlb.
The current HOF voting system is a joke, as is the gaggle of journalists who get to make the votes. They have turned the HOF into a big character contest which includes guys that gave them great interviews. They have zero ability to objectively analyze steroids and they punish the modern player for being rich. It should be about who produced the most wins on the field, nice guy or not, but its a glorified High School student council election.
The difference between the Pirates and the Yanks is that the Yanks can make a ton of boneheaded evaluations and spend their way out of it. The fact that Tampa succeeds in one year out of 15 doesnt take away from the Yanks ability to spend its way into contention every year. Heck the Yanks dramatically underperform, they really should be in the Series every single year with the ability to outspend the average team by about 2.5 to 1.
Get real yourself. You fail to admit that the Yankees greater revenue stream allows them to spend far more than all teams, not just Pohlad\'s crew.
Excellent point. The Yankees only get to keep their territorial rights per agreement with the other clubs. They have no inherent right to a territory. Thus, the other clubs can refuse to play them if they don\'t share their broadcast revenue more extensively. That is as free of a market as the current system, no govt intervention involved, and has the added advantage of levelling out the revenue playing field.
The Twins have had an even b etter player development system but they dont add the free agent pieces the way the Yankees can, and accordingly are less competitive. The Yankees derive a HUGE competitive advantage simply from being able to outspend their mistakes in a way that Billy Beane cannot. Let\'s get real here.
As a Pirates fan, one cares.
I am absolutely opposed to salary caps as a solution. Players should be able to competitively shop their servcies, and if the market bears it, get big money and freedom to move. I AM a huge proponent of redoing the revenue distribution system to prevent the Yankee domination. That doesnt necessarily have to take the form of higher luxury taxes either. But it DOES involve greater sharing of the local broadcasting revenue that the big market teams hoard to themselves. If the other 29 teams said \"hey Yankees, go play with yourself, not us, if you wont share a much greater share of your local broadcasting revenue\" as Bill James has repeatedly suggested, then the Yankees could, in a free market, elect to depart the leave and see if they could make as much money by creating their own competition. Or they could realize that they only make so much money because they have other teams to play in Mlb, and those other teams have a right to demand a far greater share of the Yankees\' pie that they help make possible. But MLB has chosen to let each team go at it atomistically, and competitive balance suffers as a result. You can have both....no evil salary caps but with smaller market teams banding together and forcing the Yankees to the table.
Joe, I agree that you can\'t blame the Yankees for trying to win within the system we have, but I dont believe the criticisms of the system itself amount to \"shrill voices\". There is something incredibly wrong about a revenue allocation system in a competitive sports industry that permits one team to be systematically more competitive than the others. The problem is ownership sits on its hands and doesnt implement a system like Woolner suggests. Think of the problem this way. Every single fantasy baseball league that starts up puts each team on even footing...i.e., with equal budget money to start the year. That way its a skill contest to see whose evaluation skills are best. You never see a league where one team is allocated 200 dollars to spend every single year, the next highest team 130, the average team 80, some teams stuck at 50. I defy you or any other prospectus types to claim that that is fair, particularly since the rich team, like the Yankees, is just as likely to engage in sabermetric evaluation as any other.
I just dont see how Tex ( or anyone besides maybe Pujols) is worth 8 years at 20 million plus. Tex is already 28, the first 3-4 years of the deal you can expect close to peak performance, but the back end is a fool\'s errand. Add to the mix the fact that he is filling an unimportant defensive position where talent is abundant and you wind up with opportunity losses when your farm system develops big hitters that Tex blocks. In a rational market a team like the Sox would offer him $35mil per for 3 years. This would blow away the other offers in terms of annual value, and give Tex the flexibility that Sabathia has to reexamine his career in a few years. And you wouldnt be committed to him in his middle 30\'s for 20 million a pop.