Updates of some of the more fragile arms around the game, but also on scrappers like Ryan Doumit and Jeff Keppinger.
I thought I'd left the days of doing Time Value of Money calculations behind, but the spate of recent low-service, high-dollar contracts is getting me back to the days when my lack of math skills probably cost me some commission. The signings of Evan Longoria, Scott Kazmir, Ryan Braun, and others are turning the way we think about low-service baseball players on its head. These deals go well beyond what former Indians GM John Hart was trying to do in the early '90s, which was mostly centered on achieving cost certainty and avoiding arbitration. Instead, these contracts are more about fairly valuing talent and avoiding distractions with the cost certainty a nice secondary value. I'm sure we'll see more of these deals as they work out far more often than not. The interesting thing is taking a look at the values of these deals versus the MORP calculated by Nate Silver's PECOTA projections. In almost every case, the teams are getting the better end of the deal, though it's not as if becoming a multi-millionaire is ever really a bad outcome:
Finishing up a romp through past deals involving Cy Young winners to compare and contrast them with the Santana deal.
This week we conclude our Johan Santana-inspired look at Cy Young winners traded less than two seasons after winning their award, all part of placing the Santana trade in some kind of context. After last week's installment, I received a note from a reader (I seem to have misplaced it, so apologies, sir, for not recognizing you by name), saying that these trade capsules really ought to indicate if the Cy Young-er being dealt was felt to have the same kind of value that Santana does. It's a good point, and we'll endeavor to make note of that this time around. Once again, we're indulging in a speculative exercise here, one which has the benefit of hindsight in the case of the older trades, and the conceit of foresight in that of the Santana trade, a deal that has already been rated a loser for the Twins by many critics.
J.P. Ricciardi made his Lone Star State center fielder change his travel plans, keeping him in Toronto until at least 2011. Was it the right move?
How well off the Jays will end up remains to be determined. Wells does not have the same problems in his batted-ball data that I usually work with in these profiles, but instead has a stark contrast between his home and road statistics that brings his true value into question.
Before all the IBA ballots are counted, staff picks give a hint as to what hands the awards may find themselves in.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Travis Hafner posted the highest OBP in the AL while nobody noticed, while Neifi Perez ended up getting playoff PT. The young guns had their day and then some. Jermaine Dye gave a lengthy spanking to his 90th percentile PECOTA projection (PECOTA's .288/.359/.516 versus an actual .315/.385/.622). The crop of AL rookies included a guy with a 0.92 ERA finishing third, and rooks like Jered Weaver (105:33 K:BB) and Francisco Liriano (144:32) threatening to be Johan Santana's biggest challengers in 2007. The National League featured tighter races, including a four-way brawl for the Pitcher of the Year and another impressive crop of newbies.
Eight staff members weighed in on the season that was, casting their ballots for the Internet Baseball Awards. We summarized their findings below, and then let them have their individual say.
Jay suffers the exquisite torture of a Jeff Weaver-Kenny Rogers duel in Game Two of the World Series. Go along for a sometimes rocky but always informative ride.
From the second inning through the eighth, Anthony Reyes faced just one hitter over the minimum (a seventh-inning single by Carlos Guillen), retiring 17 batters in order and finishing the frame in 10 pitches or less five times. Ten of those 22 plate appearances ran just one or two pitches, and overall, Tiger hitters saw just 3.14 pitches per plate appearance against him. That's not a recipe for a productive approach at the plate. A simple matter of rust, or a reversion to the team's hacktastic regular-season approach? Tonight should provide us with more insight into that. It also, of course, provides us with an even more compelling storyline, what this Yankee fan will call the I [Heart] NY matchup between two Bronx busts, Kenny Rogers and Jeff Weaver.
Dan reviews the no-longer funny Padres and their bid to take down the somewhat more embarrassed Cardinals in a rematch from last season's playoffs.
Okay, so things aren't anywhere near that bleak. In fact, the rematch of these two division winners beginning Tuesday afternoon at PETCO Park should be much more compelling than the 2005 version, in which the 82-win Padres impersonated a playoff team on their way to a three-game thrashing at the hands of the 100-win Cardinals. The fact that these are two teams going in opposite directions of 2005 also adds to the fun.