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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A study of Neal Huntington’s trades using WAR, DOLLAR & SALARY

What I have compiled below is an attempt to provide some objective measures by which to assess the trades executed by Neal Huntington.

TOTALS FOR ALL TRADES:

Pirates received: 16 WAR, $70.4 DOLLAR, $25.0 SALARY
Pirates traded away: 45.2 WAR, $188.9 DOLLAR, $117.7 SALARY

Neal Huntington’s trades have resulted in the Pirates paying approximately $25,000,000 in salary for production that would have cost them $70.4 on the free agent market. They have traded away 45.2 wins-over-replacement-players to teams that have gotten $188.9 worth of production, while paying $117.7 in salary.

NewGrass Posted: June 16, 2011 at 06:52 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Chicago Joe Posted: June 16, 2011 at 08:45 PM (#3855072)
So what you're saying is that the Pirates traded 71.2 DOLLAR of surplus production and got 45.4 DOLLAR of surplus production in return?
   2. Brian Posted: June 16, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3855113)
Yeppers. A beautiful tradition lives

-- Cam B.
   3. Busted Flush Posted: June 16, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3855154)
Interesting. I would have liked at least some mention of OPSBIs received vs OPSBIs traded away however.
   4. NewGrass Posted: June 16, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3855163)
True, but on the other hand, much of the production they traded away is no longer very productive and, if productive, they are costly.

Some of what they got in return is just starting to produce - Tabata, Karstens, Morton, McDonald and perhaps Hanrahan (although he is 29) - or, have the potential to produce - Bryan Morris, Gorkys Hernandez, Lambo, or Alderson - at low cost. As it stands they are at a 3:1 dollar-to-salary ratio. That will likely only improve or the next few years.
   5. McCoy Posted: June 16, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3855225)
How do you trade a free agent? You can't so you can't use free agent dollars to measure their trades nor can you look at production past the existing contracts for these traded players.
   6. Eric P. Posted: June 16, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3855252)
Capitalization is the new market inefficiency. Somebody get TOLAXOR on the phone, stat!
   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 17, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#3855344)
I'm surprised actually. Who did the Pirates trade away who has been any good? Bay put up 7 WAR, mostly for Boston (so that definitely counts) but even Freddy Sanchez isn't up to 2 WAR since he was traded (and that only if you count his post-contract production). LaRoche is at 2 WAR, Wilson is at 2, Morgan is nearly 3 and, again, that's assuming you count all of that against the Pirates. Where in the world are those other 29 WAR coming from? Certainly not McLouth or Nady. I don't think he was there for the Mike Gonzalez trade (nearly 7 WAR). Am I forgetting some star traded away?
   8. mange Posted: June 17, 2011 at 01:15 AM (#3855356)
Am I forgetting some star traded away?


Jose Bautista.

EDIT - obviously not a star at the time of the trade, but over 10 WAR since then.
   9. Russ Posted: June 17, 2011 at 01:17 AM (#3855364)
Am I forgetting some star traded away?


Jose Bautista probably makes up about 25% of that total (something like 11 or 12 WAR since the trade).
   10. Russ Posted: June 17, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#3855388)
And also its not really fair to compare them on WAR value, considering the Pirates were getting mostly prospects back (who have a chance to produce very good WAR/$$$ until they hit arbitration and, most importantly, can't put up any WAR while in the minors).
   11. Walt Davis Posted: June 17, 2011 at 07:09 AM (#3855594)
Oh yeah, Joey Bats. OK.

And also its not really fair to compare them on WAR value, considering the Pirates were getting mostly prospects back (who have a chance to produce very good WAR/$$$ until they hit arbitration and, most importantly, can't put up any WAR while in the minors).

Yes and no. It is certainly early to compare them, given the Pirates still have these guys producing. But part of the "problem" is that they didn't get much in the way of "prospects". They got a number of failed prospects and some system depth guys. But the prospects were Tabata (so far so good), Alderson (hurt) and, to an extent, LaRoche (bust). Oops, Lambo too (what a horrible season he's having). There weren't even a lot of A-ball flyer types. Some of those guys they picked up might pay off (a C named Eric Fryer has hit pretty well lately) and obviously they might pick up 1 or 2 WAR of relief here or there, but mostly the value they'll get from those trades is in the majors.

And the Jason Bay trade at this point is a total bust.

But this comparison is kind of whack in that it seems to include production after their Pirates' contract would have run out.
   12. NewGrass Posted: June 17, 2011 at 07:18 AM (#3855597)
Walt, I don't have my original tabulations with me, as I'm on the road for the weekend, but I quickly went over some of the numbers again (fangraphs) and I have the following for some of the players that were not mentioned in the original post: Bautista 13.7, Duke .9, Hinske 1.8,, Paulino 3.2, Torres .3, Morgan 5.2, Burnett 1.4 and Laroche 2.7 = 29.2. When I return home I'll post the numbers I had as of the afternoon of June 15.

Russ, I agree with you completely. As I stated in the original blog post and in a comment above, this study is unfair to Huntington if you just look at WAR. He was trying to gather prospects, while his trading partners were often looking for immediate production. That is reflected in the lopsided WAR numbers. However, he is beginning to see some production from the guys he picked up. At the moment, Tabata, Karstens, Morton, McDonald and Hanrahan are inflating their WARs, and doing it at a low cost. The 3:1 ratio between salary and dollars is likely going to get better as the WAR of each player increases over the course of this season and next. Moreover, since none of these players except Hanrahan will be free agents, the Pirates should be able to continue to pay well below "true" or "free agent" market value for high levels of production.

McCoy, I struggled a lot with both of your points. If I understand DOLLAR correctly, the value is supposed to give us an idea of the "price" one could expect to pay to replace a certain level of production based upon the market price for that value. So, if trades end up allowing the Pirates to end up paying $50 million in salary for a production level that would cost them $150 million on the free agency market to replace, isn't that indicative of some type of resource efficiency? That was my intuitive idea, but it is certainly subject to debate. To you second point, I thought a lot about that. The Pirates were not going to re-sign Jason Bay (although if you read the newspaper accounts from the days leading up to the trade, there was some talk of doing so). So is it fair to count his production after his contract was up with the Pirates? I don't know. I guess, I wanted to get an idea of what they were giving up, assuming they kept all of these guys in comparison to what they ended up getting in return. It is an unrealistic assumption, but it gave me something to which compare the value of the players they received.
   13. NewGrass Posted: June 17, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#3855661)
I took another crack at that after-contract issue again this morning at http://from-the-upper-deck.blogspot.com/ . Before I do any of the comparative studies between NH and other GMs, I would like to resolve this issue. Thanks for the comments.
   14. NewGrass Posted: June 22, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3859382)
In light your comments I have added the contract/control years to my study. http://from-the-upper-deck.blogspot.com/2011/06/this-is-continuation-of-study-that-i.html

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