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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Angels and Trout agree (Report)

Seems like Trout will spend his whole career in LA. Money seems reasonable, but I’m curious if this supersedes the last two years of his current deal, or is an add-on starting in 2021.

Awaiting confirmation from the team…

JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: March 19, 2019 at 10:35 AM | 134 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, hall of fame, mike trout, money

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   101. eric Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:31 AM (#5823923)
Well, it wasn't that long ago they had a team that finished with the best record in baseball. They gave up a lot of future value trying to put a good team around him, they just did a terrible job of it. Say all you want about the Hamilton and Wilson deals, but you can't say they weren't trying to make the team better.

They can't keep a pitcher healthy at the moment. The Upton deal was a good one, and the brought in Ohtani. They made moves that looked good last year, just by trying to improve a couple positions from awful to around average, but then Cozart got hurt and Kinsler sucked. They're not going be great overnight, but they're on the right track.


I think the problem is that they keep trying to build a team through paying high prices rather than through their farm system. Obviously Trout's been great, but every single other decent player on the team has come from trades or free agency (or equivalent): Simmons, Pujols, Ohtani, Upton. And of course implying Pujols is even a decent player any more is laughable. They're paying a lot of money to keep staying around .500. They're definitely trying, but on the right track? Eh..

I guess of Adell blossoms and Barria isn't a mirage and the rest of the cast keeps playing at the top of their game they could sneak into the playoffs. But to really be a contender they still need a lot of work and they're short on both luxury tax-free space and prospects.
   102. Jack Sommers Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:54 AM (#5823924)
Trout missed 22 games last year and 48 games the year before that.

   103. bbmck Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:38 AM (#5823925)
Minimum 10 position player WAR, fewest PA per position player WAR by baseball age:

18-20: Mike Trout 70.4
19-21: Mike Trout 74.1
20-22: Mike Trout 75.7
21-23: Ross Barnes 66.3, Willie Mays 66.5, Ted Williams 70.5, Ty Cobb 70.9, Joe Jackson 71.6, Rogers Hornsby 74.1, Eddie Collins 79.2, Eddie Mathews 80.4, Mike Trout 80.9
22-24: Ted Williams 60.2, Ty Cobb 61.2, Willie Mays 66.6, Babe Ruth 67.1, Joe Jackson 68.9, Mickey Mantle 70, Eddie Collins 72.2, Ross Barnes 72.9, Stan Musial 75.2, Mike Trout 75.5

23-25: Mickey Mantle 59.6, Babe Ruth 60, Ty Cobb 61.1, Ted Williams 63.3, Rogers Hornsby 70.5, Mike Trout 70.6
24-26: Babe Ruth 54.8, Mickey Mantle 61.8, Ty Cobb 64.8, Mike Trout 65.8
25-27: Mookie Betts 56.3, Babe Ruth 58.2, Ted Williams 61.7, Mike Trout 66.4
26-28: Babe Ruth 56.8, Mike Trout 59.6

60 and lower:

27-29: Babe Ruth 58.4, Rogers Hornsby 59.6
31-33: Babe Ruth 59.6
32-34: Willie Mays 60
36-38: Barry Bonds 55.7
37-39: Barry Bonds 56.3
38-40: Barry Bonds 59.8
   104. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:10 AM (#5823930)
Barry Bonds through the same age: 133. While it's far more likely Mookie will regress, although remain a great player, it's also possible he just found his new level.

Which is why I said we shouldn't get carried away about Betts "yet." And I hesitate to bring it up but while the ordering is different, ranking OPS+ best to worst for ages 22-25:

Harper 198/156/133/114
Mookie 186/133/117/108

And that 108 was in 2017. It's 137 Rbat for Harper, 118 for Mookie. Mookie obviously wipes the floor with him on all the other measures of WAR.

On the ARod contract vs. Trout ... that same offseason is when Manny signed his 8/$160 contract so 80% of ARod's AAV, 64% of his total. Trout's total might stand out there for a long time but his AAV is barely more than Greinke's, only about 20% more than Manny and Miggy, only about 20% more than what Stanton has left and (depending on how it's structured) will make only $4 M more than Stanton from 2023-25. Mookie just got $20 M in an arb year with one more to go. And as I've noted before, MLB revenues have roughly tripled since the offseason of the ARod contract while Trout's AAV is only about 40% higher and total amount only about 72% higher.

On Bregman, $100 M for 3 arb years and 2 FA years seems high by the standards of buyouts. 3/$50 (guessing) for the arb years is $18 M more than Machado got, the same as what Arenado got in the last 3 years of super-2 and is about the track that Bryant was on before tailing off last year. He's in Bryant's class obviously but the Cubs are going year-to-year, not getting a discount by taking on injury risk. Two FA years for $50 could end up being a bargain or he could derail in any number of ways by then. All these arb guys are underpaid of course and these buyout deals are almost always to the team's benefit but, by the standards of these deals, looks like the Astros went a bit high. Cleveland is going to have to at least match this to keep Lindor. (Of course Cleveland timed the Jose Ramirez buyout perfectly so it shouldn't be much of a stretch for them.)
   105. manchestermets Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:26 AM (#5823931)
Going to be awfully hard for any future free agent to make more than $36M a season. The negotiations will include a "Do you think you're better than Mike Trout?" question.


I guess, but that has a fairly simple answer doesn't it? "No, I think that Mike Trout was negotiating from a less advantageous position, and therefore accepted a salary below his market value. I am the top free agent currently on the market [which will inevitably be true if that question's been asked] and a number of teams are interested in my services."
   106. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:50 AM (#5823932)
Where's the omnichatter?
Piscotty smokes one to dead centre in the first, A's up 1-0 in Tokyo
I'm in Sydney so game is on at a civilised time for me!
   107. bunyon Posted: March 20, 2019 at 06:41 AM (#5823936)
MLB on pace for 9 HR per game.

   108. bbmck Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:02 AM (#5823938)
Born since 1989, Mike Trout has 6 seasons of 7+ position player WAR and 14 others have 1 or 2; 3 have one season of 7+ pitching WAR. Earliest FA season if team picks up option year(s):

Age 39: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout
Age 35: Jose Altuve
Age 34: Kevin Kiermaier
Age 31: Nolan Arenado, Matt Chapman, Aaron Judge, Manny Machado, Aaron Nola, Jose Ramirez, Andrelton Simmons, Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich
Age 30: Kris Bryant, Kyle Freeland, Blake Snell
Age 28: Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor

1988 - Jacob deGrom FA at Age 33, Clayton Kershaw 34
1987 - Paul Goldschmidt 32, AJ Pollock 35, Buster Posey 36
1986 - Jake Arrieta 37, Lorenzo Cain 37, Felix Hernandez 34, Corey Kluber 36, Andrew McCutchen 36
1985 - Josh Donaldson 34, Carlos Gomez 34, Evan Longoria 38
1984 - Alex Gordon 36, Ubaldo Jimenez 35, Josh Johnson 35, Matt Kemp 35, Tim Lincecum 35, Max Scherzer 37, Ryan Zimmerman 36

Goldschmidt, Donaldson or someone even less likely winning the MVP and then pursuing a 1/36.1 contract eight months from now could in theory beat the AAV but only Betts and Lindor have a reasonable chance to beat the total value, old men like Bryant and Chapman simply don't a reasonable path to $400mil. Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna or Ozzie Albies might continue on the path to $400mil in 2019 and Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Fernando Tatis Jr or Julio Urias might start on the path.
   109. Rally Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5823946)
Carlos Correa looked like he was on that path last year. Back to back 6 WAR seasons, the second in only 2/3 playing time. A shortstop who just turned 24, has shown power, defense, and ability to hit for high averages.

Just depends if he can get past his injuries. His second half was brutal last year, batting line of 180/261/256 in 37 games. Has missed 50+ games 2 years in a row. Seems like the talent is there for an MVP type season, but who knows what his health situation will be. Maybe he's not the next A-Rod, but the next Nomar.
   110. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5823958)
I think the problem is that they keep trying to build a team through paying high prices rather than through their farm system.
Except that they've kind of done the opposite lately. They got Simmons and Upton for very little. Ohtani is club controlled for five more years, and currently makes peanuts. They had arguably the worst system in baseball a couple years ago, and now they're arguably in the top ten. You can't change that overnight. With Pujols, they weren't really trying to build a team around Trout, as he hadn't arrived yet. Their problem was giving up draft picks to sign veterans who ended up sucking. But they haven't done that in years. Just about every deal from the last few years that carried any risk for the Angels has worked out pretty well.
And of course implying Pujols is even a decent player any more is laughable.
Where did I imply that Pujols is still a decent player?
They're paying a lot of money to keep staying around .500.
So what? That only matters if they could pay that money to be good. They can't. They're stuck with Pujols. Upton easily outplayed his contract last year, as did Simmons. Cozart and Kinsler were good gambles that didn't work out (Cozart still may). Saving money wasn't going to help them get better.

With the system they had a couple years ago, and the roster they were working with, they had two options. One was to Dump salary (to the extent possible), cut payroll, and basically tank. The other was to focus on rebuilding the farm system while not mortgaging any future, and adding some pieces that would make the team competitive on a daily basis. It's more fun to watch an 80 win team than a 60 win team, and if they can take the steps to field an 80 win team while still rebuilding the farm system, I'd much rather they go that route. It's also more likely to convince the best player in the history of your franchise to stick around. If they hadn't added Simmons, Upton, and Ohtani (and Cozart and Kinsler to some extent), Trout may never have agreed to extend.
   111. eric Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5824000)
Where did I imply that Pujols is still a decent player?


Sorry, I was not responding to you with that comment. I was mocking my own implication from this line (emphasis added):

every single other decent player on the team has come from trades or free agency (or equivalent): Simmons, Pujols, Ohtani, Upton. And of course implying Pujols is even a decent player any more is laughable.


I think viewing their farm system as top-10 is looking at them through rose-colored glasses. And viewing the current team as anything more than four strong players and a bunch of filler is the same. I hope things work out, but I'm not as optimistic. Teams that have succeeded recently did so primarily from having a team of strong, young, cost-controlled players that are then supplemented by free agency or trades. The Angels are a small group of high-priced players supplemented by iffy young players, with not a whole lot of help on the horizon. We'll see how far Trout, Ohtani, Simmons, and Upton can take them. But, a lot can change in a few years and we now know Trout will still be there.

   112. Ithaca2323 Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5824017)
Cozart and Kinsler were good gambles that didn't work out (Cozart still may).


But neither player was really a guy you'd build around. Kinsler was turning 36. Cozart was an injury prone player on the wrong side of 30, who sported an OBP of .305, even with 2017's out of nowhere 80-point spike. He's maybe a 3 win player, if you can keep him on the field for 150+ games, but why would you expect that?

Kinsler actually turned out pretty good (2.5 bWAR in just 91 games) but with his age, did they really sign him thinking he was going to be the guy on their next contending team?
   113. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5824018)
60 and lower:


Some players missing there. I have Wagner with 62.7 from 31-33 and 60.7 from 32-34.
   114. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5824024)
24-26: Babe Ruth 54.8, Mickey Mantle 61.8, Ty Cobb 64.8, Mike Trout 65.8


This basically tells you what you need to know about Mike Trout. And about Babe Ruth.


I have Wagner with 62.7 from 31-33 and 60.7 from 32-34.


The list is just 60 PA/WAR or lower, so Wagner misses the cut off.
   115. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5824030)
But neither player was really a guy you'd build around. Kinsler was turning 36. Cozart was an injury prone player on the wrong side of 30, who sported an OBP of .305, even with 2017's out of nowhere 80-point spike. He's maybe a 3 win player, if you can keep him on the field for 150+ games, but why would you expect that?

Kinsler actually turned out pretty good (2.5 bWAR in just 91 games) but with his age, did they really sign him thinking he was going to be the guy on their next contending team?
Well, it depends on how you define "contending". They weren't going to compete with the Astros, but in 2017 they were in the mix for a WC slot late into the season, which is why they acquired Upton. Cozart and Kinsler were signed to fill two of the many gaping holes on the 2017 roster. Just getting average production for 2B and 3B would have been a pretty big upgrade to a team who was in the WC mix the year before. They got -1.3 WAR from guys that saw time at 2B and 3B in 2017. Cozart and Kinsler cost virtually nothing in terms of resources, and if they had just had average years, they would have added 8.3 wins. They obviously didn't have good years (combined 2.4 WAR for the Angels), but still an upgrade. You could argue that they could have spent the money they used on those guys more wisely, but there weren't really many better bets. I'm not going to lose any sleep over extra money that didn't go into Arte Moreno's pockets. It's not like they could have bought more draft picks. Kole Calhoun's big decline didn't help much either.

But signing those types of guys to short/medium length deals that don't cost a lot are exactly the kind of deals a team in their position should have made. They didn't block a budding starter in the minors (because they didn't have any). They allow you to field a moderately competitive team while you rebuild your farm system. And they don't use any resources that you plan to employ in the future. They traded minor league depth players for Kinsler, and when it didn't work out, they flipped him for a couple guys that actually saw the majors last year, one of whom was actually somewhat effective. Cozart was a FA signing that didn't cost the Angels any draft compensation.

It's easy to play GM simulator and decide to tank so that you can compete in a couple years. But like him or not, I think Moreno is committed to at least trying to provide a quality product on a day to day basis. With the Angels in their current state, from a fan's perspective, I would like to see them try to be reasonably competitve now (as opposed to throwing in the towel on April 5th), acquire players that can reasonably be expected to improve the team, and do so without compromising their wherewithal to restock the pipeline and prepare for the future. The Simmons, Upton, Cozart, and Kinsler acquisitions basically all fit that mold, in my opinion anyway.
   116. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5824033)
Sorry, I was not responding to you with that comment. I was mocking my own implication...
Gotcha. No worries.
every single other decent player on the team has come from trades or free agency (or equivalent): Simmons, Pujols, Ohtani, Upton. And of course implying Pujols is even a decent player any more is laughable.
Well, if I didn't make it clear, they didn't have the luxury of choosing to get decent players via acquisition or getting them via their farm system. When Eppler took over, the choice was acquire decent players, or don't have decent players at all. It's easy to sit back and say they may have been better off by doing the latter, but you still have 81 home games for which you'd like to sell some tickets, and a generational talent that you'd like to convince to stick around.
   117. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5824036)
Which is why I said we shouldn't get carried away about Betts "yet."


if you can't get carried away with the second best player in the majors who's just entering his age 26 season, who can you get carried away with? Mookie might not post an OPS+ over 180, but sitting somewhere between 140-160 over the next half decade wouldn't be at all a surprise... and with his defense makes him a 7-9 WAR player. Since his first full season baseball he's racked up more WAR (by either fWAR or bWAR) than any player not named Trout... and that includes his 108 OPS+ year.
   118. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5824050)
He's got some work to do if he wants to catch Willie Mays for most WAR with one franchise at 155.

This Mays guy was pretty good.


Meh, just one of three HOF CF in NY during the 50's. He was OK, I guess.
   119. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5824053)
Mantle and Ott aged very well too. They were done after their age 36 seasons

By "aged well", I meant how they did after the age of 35. I think that's the common usage, but maybe I misunderstood.


I don't think that's common usage at all, especially if you're talking about professional athletes whose peak is in their 20's. In this instance we're talking about the very elite of that group who have been in the league for 15 years or more by the time they're 35. Aging well would be continuing to produce HOF, and above average seasons into the mid-30's; doing so after age 35 is just icing on the cake, and extremely rare. For example, from 1871 though 2018, all seasons of B-R's data, there have only been 215 player seasons of at least 1.5 WAA (so using the .5 to try to insure it was an above average season) for players 36 and over.
   120. Mefisto Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5824059)
The context here was a HOF discussion in which Trout was being compared to the greatest players of all time. As I said in subsequent comment, how well Trout ages -- that is, how well he performs in the last years of his contract (ages 36-39) -- will determine where he stands among the greats.
   121. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 20, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5824073)
Dan Woike on Twitter:
$430 million for Trout? What is this, Nobu?
   122. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5824074)
The context here was a HOF discussion in which Trout was being compared to the greatest players of all time. As I said in subsequent comment, how well Trout ages -- that is, how well he performs in the last years of his contract (ages 36-39) -- will determine where he stands among the greats.


I'm aware of the context. The idea that where he would rank is dependent on his ages 36-39 is just as far off as how well one ages as a baseball player being how they play after age 35. He already ranks amongst the very best in terms of individual peak seasons. He already has 5 of the top 200 seasons by WAA to date. Although none of them rank among the top 20, he does already have as many or more of the top 200 by WAA as A-Rod, Collins, Aaron, Foxx, Morgan, Griffey, Mantle, Schmidt, Henderson, Musial, and Speaker. By career WAA he's already in the top 50 position players all time. What he does from 36-39 is not going to determine his standing amongst the greats, that's already well and clearly established. There are only 13 position players who put up at least 10 WAA from 36-39. Yes, most of them are inner circle, all time greats. But if Trout doesn't do that, I don't think anyone is going to put him lower in the pantheon than Edgar Martinez, or Luke Appling, both of whom just made that cutoff.
   123. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5824077)
The context here was a HOF discussion in which Trout was being compared to the greatest players of all time. As I said in subsequent comment, how well Trout ages -- that is, how well he performs in the last years of his contract (ages 36-39) -- will determine where he stands among the greats.
Mike Trout thru age 26 (64.3 bWAR) + Albert Pujols age 27-35 (53.8) = Alex Rodriguez (117.8, #12 all time among position players and just behind Ted Williams).

At that point, you're just picking nits.
   124. alilisd Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5824079)
Mike Trout thru age 26 (64.3 bWAR) + Albert Pujols age 27-35 (53.8) = Alex Rodriguez (117.8, #12 all time among position players and just behind Ted Williams).

At that point, you're just picking nits.


Illustrates what I was trying to say much more succinctly, thank you.
   125. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5824082)
You know who else didn't add any value age 36-39?

Mike Trout thru age 26 + Lou Gehrig age 27-35 (73.3, 137.6 total) sits just behind Hank Arron (#5, 143).

EDIT: Or the guy he's often compared to, who had one more season after turning 36?

Mike Trout + Mickey Mantle age 27-35 (46.2, 108.5 total) slides all the way down to...Mickey Mantle (#15).
   126. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5824108)
I'm not a math guy, or at least I do not know how to calculate WAR. How much of Trout's WAR is due to the positional adjustment he benefits from in CF? And as we try to project what the rest of his career looks like, assuming he keeps putting up terrific offensive numbers, how much of a hit is his WAR going to take if/when he moves to a corner slot, first base, or dh? Just trying to look at comps, JD Martinez had similar numbers to Trout in 2018 (though slightly worse), yet he had four fewer WAR. How much value does Trout lose simply by changing positions?

Hypothetically, it could happen as soon as this year. Peter Bourjos and Kole Calhoun are both having nice Springs, but if Calhoun reverts to last season's first half, and Bourjos has a resurgence, I suppose it's possible that Bourjos could play a lot of CF with Trout sliding to RF (not saying likely, just possible). Point being that Trout could be exactly the same player he was last year, but due to circumstances somewhat beyond his control, he changes positions and suddenly becomes a less valuable player.
   127. Mefisto Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5824120)
There's no fixed answer to that question. The positional adjustment (rPos in the Player Value table) for CF is roughly +3, while LF is roughly -6, assuming a full season. If Trout fields, say, LF at the same relative level as he fields CF, that would mean a "loss" of about 1 WAR/year ceteris paribus. Of course, Trout would probably be a better fielder in LF, so he may lose nothing. Or he may have trouble adjusting to the new position and lose more.

I doubt he'd move to 1B, but that would be about -9. DH, IIRC, is -15.

"Not a math guy"? I thought you were an accountant. :)
   128. TDF, trained monkey Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5824122)
I'm not a math guy, or at least I do not know how to calculate WAR. How much of Trout's WAR is due to the positional adjustment he benefits from in CF? And as we try to project what the rest of his career looks like, assuming he keeps putting up terrific offensive numbers, how much of a hit is his WAR going to take if/when he moves to a corner slot, first base, or dh?
1. A guy who's a better than average CF is unlikely to be a DH in the foreseeable future - especially on a team that has Pujols on the roster.

2. Specifically, he gets a little boost as a CF (+2 last year; 125 games in CF, 15 as DH) while a DH takes a big hit (Martinez was -11 playing 57 games in the OF and 93 at DH).

3. If he does eventually slide to a COF spot, you would assume he would play it better than average, considering he's a better than average CF today.

4. The difference between Martinez and Trout is pretty broad-based: half a win in baserunning; almost a win and a half in position adjustment (CF->DH is a big gap); almost a win and a half in defense (Martinez, as little as he plays defense, is almost Dunn-like in awfulness).
   129. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5824125)
Not a math guy"? I thought you were an accountant. :)
I'm a sales tax expert. I pretty much need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide when it comes to math. Reading statutes, regulations, rulings, and cases is far more important.

I was assuming a potential move to 1B/DH much later in his career.
   130. Mefisto Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:40 PM (#5824133)
I was joking, but fair point.

Trout hits so well a move to DH is certainly possible, especially if he has injury problems.
   131. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:01 PM (#5824143)
Yeah, if Trout went from being an above average CF to being a very good RF (and IIRC he has the arm to be a good RF) it probably won't hurt his WAR much. Mookie Betts plays right (albeit in a very large RF) because Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of the best defensive centerfielders of the current generation. And yet Mookie regularly racks up 2+ WAR defensively in right. So if Trout moves to right he'll probably fight the positional difference to a draw since while he's not Mookie Betts good defensively he'd still be good enough to stand out.
   132. bbmck Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:44 PM (#5824158)
Position and pitching WAR leaders not named Mike Trout who leads the spans starting with 2008-2016:

2018: Mookie Betts 10.9, Aaron Nola 10.5
2017-18: Mookie Betts 17.3, Max Scherzer 15.9
2016-18: Mookie Betts 27, Max Scherzer 22.2
2015-18: Mookie Betts 32.9, Max Scherzer 29
2014-18: Mookie Betts 35.2, Max Scherzer 34.8

2013-18: Josh Donaldson 37.3, Max Scherzer 41.2
2012-18: Robinson Cano & Paul Goldschmidt 39.8, Max Scherzer 45.5
2011-18: Robinson Cano 45.6, Clayton Kershaw 50.3
2010-18: Robinson Cano 53.8, Clayton Kershaw 55.9

2009-18: Robinson Cano 58.3, Clayton Kershaw 60.6
2008-18: Adrian Beltre 60, Clayton Kershaw 62.1
2007-18: Robinson Cano 65.1, Clayton Kershaw 62.1
2006-18: Adrian Beltre 69.2, Justin Verlander 64

Albert Pujols is the only other active player to lead either with Alex Rodriguez taking the lead at 1998-2018. Justin Verlander leads as far back as 2000-2018 thanks to Roy Halladay's historically terrible 2000.
   133. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:37 AM (#5824192)
I pretty much need to know how to add, subtract,

Might I introduce you to WAR, a complicated methodology that, y'know, adds stuff up. The calculations of various components may be a bit tricky but the question you asked is just adding/subtracting. :-)

So go to his b-r page (a bit easier to work with than fangraphs WAR). His "player value" table is the second there. It lists the component of his WAR including "Rpos" which is the positional adjustment. They've already done the hard work involved with how often he was in CF, how often at DH or, back when Bourjos was useful, how often in a corner. For his career, he has 12 Rpos so about 1-2 per year. Admittedly, it's not directly obvious what a standard LF would get but that's easy enough to answer by looking up a full-time standard LF (if such a beastie still exists). I used some earlier Ryan Braun seasons, comes in around -5 to -6 per year (I thought -7 but no biggie). So the difference between +1-2 and -6 is about 7-8 runs. Now we do speculate a bit but the old 10 runs = 1 win works well enough.

Now we get a little trickier conceptually but not mathematically. dWAR combines defensive position and quality relative to average at the position. In theory, which position you play shouldn't matter for your dWAR. For OF, that's probably pretty close to being true. In short, as others have mentioned, if Trout moved to a corner today, we'd expect him to be better than an average LF -- he'd lose nothing from WAR.

But really the question you're asking is more "how much defensive value can we expect Trout to lose as he ages." And that's really hard to say for CF. Some guys stay good out there for a long time (Finley, Cameron, Mays, etc.) some not so much. I'll WAG that, barring injury, it would be about 1 win per 5 years. Roughly ... he'll probably be an average corner at 31-32 then either a bad corner or a DH around 36. Or he'll be Mike Trout.

Or if the question you're really asking is "how good is Trout purely as a hitter" then the WAR table gives you that in Rbat (which is in runs but again you can divide by 10 to make it roughly comparable across eras). Trout's already up to 410 Rbat -- that's 410 runs better than an average MLB hitter. One way to put that in perspective is that Sammy Sosa had just 333 for his entire career. Brett had 427.

Where he's falling a teeny-tiny bit "short" is that, for Rbat for ages 24-26, he's "only" 10th all-time. He's more than 100 runs behind Ruth who seems to have been pretty good. More directly, he's more than 50 behind Mantle, slightly behind Pujols and Thomas, "only" 12 ahead of ARod at those ages. Impressively, he's 20+ ahead of F Robinson, Aaron and Mays.

This though is where his ranking "among the greats" pops its ugly head. Just for CF in that age range, he's behind Cobb, Mantle and, by the thinnest of margins, DiMaggio ... and Speaker is just behind and Mays further behind but, as somebody sorta noted, Mays put up another 417 Rbat over the next 8 seasons. Those guys are tough acts to follow. Barring war or a gambling scandal, there aren't many scary stories among the hitters anywhere near him at these ages -- Kiner's among the worst and he still added another 200 Rbat. Chuck Klein had only 6 useful years left but added 200 Rbat in those years (then lost some). Medwick is the worst adding only about 100.

In terms of all-time, he needs 900+ to catch Ruth -- which, amazingly, is not out of the question. A bit over 700 to bet to Bonds, about 650 for Williams, a but under 600 for Cobb and all-time for "CF", about 460 for Aaron and 400 for Mays/Mantle. But even if he's Kiner/Klein from here, he'd still be about 23rd all-time between Eddie Collins and Bagwell. Thomas still had over 400 left in him, ARod 350. Either of those put him in the range of Foxx at #13 and Speaker at #9.

But even if he passes Speaker, he'd still have Aaron, Musial, Cobb, Williams, Bonds and Ruth ahead of him in Rbat. This is certainly the sort of thing I meant about his standing among the all-time greats and I think it's what (whoever that was) meant too. So we turn to WAR. If he can repeat Mays' 27-35 then he'll be (give or take) tied with Cobb for 4th all-time. But of course all three ahead of him are OFs -- Bonds, Ruth, Mays. But they are barely ahead of him but, technically, it still would come down to how he did from age 36 on. ARod at #12 is the first modern IF on the career WAR list then it's Schmidt and Morgan at 19-20, Mathews, Ripken and Beltre not far behind them.

So if he's Willie Mays then he'll indeed be among the very top all-time before turning 36 but still technically 4th best OF and 2nd best CF by WAR. He needs 60 WAR to be in the top 10 by then which is Clemente territory but would leave him a bit behind Cobb and Speaker for that age range. But that's what we're talking about -- is he going to be top 5 (#1?) or "just" top 10 or maybe (alas) not even crack 100. The last doesn't seem very likely -- that's Felipe Alou, Don Buford, Toby Harrah, George Foster territory ... but it's also a bit above DiMaggio, Vlad, Doby, Griffey so it's not impossible.
   134. SandyRiver Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5824239)
4. The difference between Martinez and Trout is pretty broad-based: half a win in baserunning; almost a win and a half in position adjustment (CF->DH is a big gap); almost a win and a half in defense (Martinez, as little as he plays defense, is almost Dunn-like in awfulness).

Was he really that bad? Had a couple of Luzinski-type gaffes, but the range factors on BBRef have him above league average in RF and below in LF, both typical for most who play half their games in Fenway.
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