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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Angels trade for Tigers’ Ian Kinsler

The Angels will take on the entirety of Kinsler’s $11 million salary in 2018, the final year of his contract. The price for Kinsler was outfielder Troy Montgomery and right-hander Wilkel Hernandez, who were ranked as the Angels’ Nos. 20 and 24 prospects, respectively, by MLBPipeline.com.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 14, 2017 at 06:12 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, ian kinsler, tigers, trade

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   1. Steve N Posted: December 14, 2017 at 07:08 AM (#5592321)
The link to the article doesn't seem to be working.
   2. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: December 14, 2017 at 08:00 AM (#5592328)
100 losses, here we come!
   3. BDC Posted: December 14, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5592335)
100 losses, here we come!

Although – Kinsler is 35 and slowing down, and would seem to be entering the Dodger-Chase-Utley phase of his career. It's not like he's a great bet to help keep the Tigers above the 100-loss mark even if he'd stayed.

Most similar to Kinsler through age 35 by PA and OPS+, middle infielders with comparable dWAR:

Player          dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR RBI  SB   BA  OBP  SLG        Pos
Bobby Wallace   24.6 7794  111   
-9.1  34 985 175 .276 .336 .374 *65/194873
Ian Kinsler     16.1 7484  109   40.6 234 839 225 .273 .342 .447     
*4/DH5
Johnny Evers    15.4 7207  106    2.3  12 535 324 .270 .356 .334    
*4/56H9
Jim Fregosi      7.9 7377  113    9.5 151 705  76 .265 .338 .399   
*635H/D7
Buddy Myer       6.0 7820  108   
-6.9  38 810 149 .304 .390 .408   *465/H78
Del Pratt        5.7 7137  113   
-6.3  42 902 241 .292 .345 .403  *4/36H598 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/14/2017.

Interesting that Kinsler's SB total factors into such a huge Rbaser compared to the others. Overall, that is a select group of ballplayers, HOVG types with a couple of HOFers included.
   4. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 08:52 AM (#5592337)
More like 110,
   5. Rally Posted: December 14, 2017 at 08:58 AM (#5592341)
Interesting that Kinsler's SB total factors into such a huge Rbaser compared to the others.


Must have something to do with his success rate. Kinsler has only 63 CS. Also because we actually have data on him compared to the others. Del Pratt had at least 138 CS, with 4 years missing data. Evers and Wallace played before CS was kept track of, so we have almost no data for them. Their baserunning runs is just a regression aided guess, based on speed score type things like triples, SB attempts, and runs per time on base.
   6. fra paolo Posted: December 14, 2017 at 09:19 AM (#5592347)
Straightforward salary dump.

The results from trading away JD Martinez, all the Justins and Ian Kinsler have been somewhat underwhelming, to be sure.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: December 14, 2017 at 09:23 AM (#5592349)
Tremendous trade by the Angels IMO.
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM (#5592375)
Kinsler's career value took me by surprise when I looked at his bb-ref page a few weeks ago, probably due to my NL provincialism. I knew he was a solid player but he's now at 55 WAR. He was playing exceptionally well through his 30s until last year, and even then he was an average player thanks to his still solid defense and baserunning. If the change of scenery gets him to bounce back for a couple of years he's in the HOF discussion, at least around here.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: December 14, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5592386)
In 2015 and 2016 the Angels totaled about 0 WAR at second base. Last year Angels fans were doing that "if we just get mediocre performance, it'll be a huge improvement" thing. Then Danny Espinosa happened. Kinsler can easily be a 4 win bump
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: December 14, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5592399)
I assume that's about it for the Tigers sell-off for the moment. They probably need some decent on-field performance of Martinez, Zimmermann, and Cabrera in order to move worthwhile chunks of their contracts.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5592400)
Tremendous trade by the Angels IMO.

Concur.
   12. Astroenteritis Posted: December 14, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5592439)
Yep, I like this for the Angels.
   13. Rally Posted: December 14, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5592485)
Kinsler has provided value by being good all around, and surprisingly durable. Through his first 5 seasons he only averaged 124 games per year. He was 28 and I would not have been willing to bet on him suddenly becoming durable as he aged. But he did, and averaged 151 games over the next 7 years.

His best OPS+ is 134 (in 121 games), next best is 122. Seems like he puts up 5-6 WAR seasons like clockwork but when he gets to the HOF ballot he'll have a Lou Whitaker problem. Even Lou had a 141 OPS+ once, and 5 years at 133 or better. For awards he's made 4 all star teams, one gold glove, and one 11th place showing in MVP.

Whitaker had 5 AS, 3 GG, and in 1983 finished 8th in MVP. I'll give him a fair shake when I cast my fake HOF ballot on this site, but for the real voters he's got good value compiled in a steady, non-flashy way with even fewer accolades than Whitaker.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5592491)
Seems like he puts up 5-6 WAR seasons like clockwork but when he gets to the HOF ballot he'll have a Lou Whitaker problem.

It seems like it has become easier to accumulate career WAR in the last generation. I'm guessing it's the far superior medical care now available. Career altering injuries are now fixed surgically all the time.
   15. Adam Starblind Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5592549)
It seems like it has become easier to accumulate career WAR in the last generation. I'm guessing it's the far superior medical care now available. Career altering injuries are now fixed surgically all the time.


"Those players don't belong in the Hall."

-Joe Morgan
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5592565)
The Angels appear to be going all in, or at least their version of it. Kinsler was an excellent player for years, a sub-rasa star for both the Rangers and Tigers when they had more famous guys around. I'm hoping that last year was a blip, though at 35 it's probably not.

Anyway, the Angels are unlikely to catch the Astros this year, even if Ohtani is healthy and hits, but they might be able to back into the playoffs and, with an infusion of cash, get in the conversation by 2019. It really is fascinating how landing that one player changes the whole vibe around a franchise.
   17. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5592584)
Figured the Tigers could at least get a "B" type guy back but it looks like they got a C guy and a C+ type. Maybe B- on the 19 year old pitcher but he's at least 4-5 years away and many of his timelines never get past AA.
   18. TJ Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5592614)
Figured the Tigers could at least get a "B" type guy back but it looks like they got a C guy and a C+ type.


C'mon, this haul is great, at least as much as the guy the Tigers got for Cameron Maybin! Oh, wait, they just designated that guy for assignment...
   19. Rally Posted: December 14, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5592690)
It seems like it has become easier to accumulate career WAR in the last generation. I'm guessing it's the far superior medical care now available. Career altering injuries are now fixed surgically all the time.


I was curious to see what the numbers say about this. There are 12 active position players and 6 pitchers with 50+ career WAR right now. Looking back a generation, in 1997 there were 11 position players and 9 pitchers who fit the same criteria (final season 1997 or later, 50+ WAR through 1997).

The surgical fixes have a greater effect on the pitching side, but we're seeing fewer high WAR careers there. It's because top pitchers don't pitch as much as they used to. Improved medicine gives them a chance to come back, but it also keeps many other pitchers around, making it harder for the top pitcher to stand out.
   20. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 14, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5592775)
The Angels appear to be going all in, or at least their version of it. Kinsler was an excellent player for years, a sub-rasa star for both the Rangers and Tigers when they had more famous guys around. I'm hoping that last year was a blip, though at 35 it's probably not.
It'll still be better than what they've gotten the last three seasons out of that position. Plus, there's no such thing as a terrible one-year contract.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5592847)
It's a steal for the Angels and any team with an opening at 2B that didn't beat this offer needs to say 10 Hail Marys right now. Seriously, the Dodgers didn't want to do this deal? Even with Torres in the wings, the Yanks didn't see value here?

Whitaker is a reasonable comp for Kinsler. Lou got started much earlier (10 WAR before Kinsler made the majors) and it looks like Kinsler fade has started two years earlier. But from 24-34, it's 53 WAR to 52 WAR in Kinsler's favor, but Lou's was more offense-heavy.

Positional flexibility and extra saber love aside, Zobrist is another pretty good comp. Zobrist didn't really get started until 28 and had some monster WAR seasons that Kinsler didn't but from 28-35 it's still 43 to 38 WAR in Zo's favor, not a huge difference but again a big offensive edge for Zobrist.

Another reasonable contemporary comp is Pedroia. He got started a year earlier but may be fading two years earlier. It's 55 WAR to 52 WAR at the moment, both on 30 WAA ... again, a bit more offensive tilt in Pedroia's production.

Can we stir some controversy? Kent 55 WAR, 26 WAA; Kinsler 55 WAR, 30 WAA. Huge offensive edge for Kent, equally huge edge for Kinsler across the rest. Kinsler has some big Rfield years but when you average it out, it's just 10 runs (1 win) per season which just makes him excellent, not historic ... and adding 3-4 runs on the bases. Kent's not horrible on any of that stuff -- 0 dWAR, average running, one extra run of GDPs per year. All of the negative Rfield comes at the end of his career when maybe he should have been moved to 1B. Kent wins the "narrative" side easily with the MVP and the 2B HR record (at least) although I'm a bit surprised to see he made only 5 AS games (Kinsler 4).
   22. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5592850)
I definitely think that Kent was too easily overlooked for the Hall.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5592881)
Even with Torres in the wings, the Yanks didn't see value here?


The Yankees are dead set on getting under $197M. The estimates I've seen have them at $176M.

From that $21M, they need a 3B and a SP. I don't think Kinsler would have worked without Detroit eating some money.

Of course, they have the prospect resources to make a deal where Detroit buys Kinsler down to $5M or so.
   24. BDC Posted: December 14, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5592892)
I definitely think that Kent was too easily overlooked for the Hall

There are no careers as closely similar to Kent's as there are to Kinsler's. With generously-expanded parameters, here are the comparable middle infielders:

Player              dWAR    PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI  SB   BA  OBP  SLG      Pos
Luke Appling        19.0 10254  113   
-0.1  45 1116 179 .310 .399 .398  *6/5H43
Lou Whitaker        15.4  9967  117   32.1 244 1084 143 .276 .363 .426    
*4H/D
Joe Cronin          14.3  8840  119   
-4.1 170 1424  87 .301 .390 .468 *6H/5347
Barry Larkin        13.8  9057  116   80.2 198  960 379 .295 .371 .444   
*6H/4D
Ryne Sandberg       12.8  9282  114   32.9 282 1061 344 .285 .344 .452  
*45/H6D
Charlie Gehringer   10.7 10245  124    9.4 184 1427 181 .320 .404 .480   
*4H/35
Jeff Kent           
-0.6  9537  123    1.1 377 1518  94 .290 .356 .500 *453/HD6 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/14/2017.

Kent stuck at 2B, early and late, despite metrics that say he was terrible (though in the middle of his career he held his own). Hence the problem in finding comps for him: if you have a career of such exceptional length and you were a really, really strong hitter for a second baseman, you typically are a plus fielder as well, and Kent was not (not by reputation either: zero Gold Gloves).

He's a very unusual case.
   25. toratoratora Posted: December 14, 2017 at 06:51 PM (#5592945)
It's a steal for the Angels and any team with an opening at 2B that didn't beat this offer needs to say 10 Hail Marys right now. Seriously, the Dodgers didn't want to do this deal? Even with Torres in the wings, the Yanks didn't see value here?


Agreed.
The Sox should have been all up on this considering Pedroia's status.
$11 mil/year and these prospects is chump change for a solid replacement
   26. QLE Posted: December 14, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5592993)
#14- Eccentric that I am, I decided to test this sentiment with position players, using the following criteria:

1) 50 or more WAR for their career by BB-REF;

2) Did not accumulate 50 or more WAR in their ten best seasons, and;

3) Is lacking in some factor (WWII, the slow pace of integration, time stuck in the minors, strikes, career bulk, the nature of the position, or the reliability of certain metrics) that either makes them clearly deserving or at least requires some more thought.

After doing all that, I came up with a list of 33 position players with over 50 WAR who strike me as not deserving of HOF induction. In theory, given eight positions and thirty-three players, this should be roughly four per position (using JAWS as the arbiter of these positions when debate is possible). In actual practice, it ended up as such:

C: None.
1B: Cash, Cepeda, W. Clark, Giambi, McGriff, Olerud, Ortiz, Perez, Teixeira
2B: Kent, Phillips
3B: Elliott, Hack, Harrah
SS: Aparicio, Campaneris, Tinker
LF: Berkman, Cruz, Downing, Gonzalez, Wheat
CF: Carey, Cedeno, Damon, W. Davis, Hunter, Lynn, Puckett
RF: J. Clark, Giles, Hooper, S. Rice

When we arrange them in order of when their careers started, meanwhile, we end up with this:

Joe Tinker: 1902-1916
Harry Hooper: 1909-1925
Zach Wheat: 1909-1927
Max Carey: 1910-1929
Sam Rice: 1915-1934
Stan Hack: 1932-1947
Bob Elliott: 1939-1953
Luis Aparicio: 1956-1973
Norm Cash: 1958-1974
Orlando Cepeda: 1958-1974
Willie Davis: 1960-1979
Bert Campaneris: 1964-1983
Tony Perez: 1964-1986
Toby Harrah: 1969-1986
Cesar Cedeno: 1970-1986
Jose Cruz: 1970-1988
Brian Downing: 1973-1992
Fred Lynn: 1974-1990
Jack Clark: 1975-1992
Tony Phillips: 1982-1999
Kirby Puckett: 1984-1995
Will Clark: 1986-2000
Fred McGriff: 1986-2004
John Olerud: 1989-2005
Luis Gonzalez: 1990-2008
Jeff Kent: 1992-2008
Johnny Damon: 1995-2012
Jason Giambi: 1995-2014
Brian Giles: 1995-2009
Torii Hunter: 1997-2015
David Ortiz: 1997-2016
Lance Berkman: 1999-2013
Mark Teixeira: 2003-2016

Or, to make it clearer, the same list, by decade of career start:

Pre-1900: None.
1900s: Hooper, Tinker, Wheat
1910s: Carey, Rice
1920s: None.
1930s: Elliott, Hack
1940s: None.
1950s: Aparicio, Cash, Cepeda
1960s: Campaneris, W. Davis, Harrah, Perez
1970s: Cedeno, J. Clark, Cruz, Downing, Lynn
1980s: W. Clark, McGriff, Olerud, Phillips, Puckett
1990s: Berkman, Damon, Giambi, Giles, Gonzalez, Hunter, Kent, Ortiz
2000s: Teixeira

Based on this data, what meanings can we get?

One the one hand, the cluster of players with careers that started in the mid-1900s to mid-1910s demonstrates that this accumulation issue is one that is not new. At the same time, however, it seems clear that there are elements about the game in the 162-game era that seem to have far more of these players than before- whether it is the product of more games, better health care, more money, expansion (both of the number of teams and of the player pool), or anything else that you can imagine is harder to tell.

However, there are, even granted this, a few points that become clear:

1) The number of players that fit the form have been relatively standard at five or so a decade since the 1970s- the extreme cluster in the 1990s seems to have been a fluke (I'll give it to all of you to debate the cause), and one that may or not be negated by fewer players fitting this pattern with careers that started in the 2000s than could be expected (depending on how much career is left for Wright, Granderson, Braun, Holliday, Tulowitski, Zobrist, Adrian Gonzalez, and McCutcheon).

2) Certain positions have this sort of player a lot more than other positions. That no catchers fit this pattern is not a surprise, as career catchers with 50+ WAR tend to be among the all-time greats at that position. More notable, perhaps, is how certain infield positions are weak in this category- there are fewer third basemen (especially few from the post-1952 era when so many of the notables in that position have been clustered), second basemen, and shortstops than random chance would suggest. In contrast, there are almost as many first basemen and center fielders as everyone else put together.

3) In general, these seem to be largely players who were not especially impressive defensively- it may be telling that, of the two second basemen, one (Kent) was notorious for the level of his defensive play relative to the position, and the other (Phillips) only spent around 34% of his career at the position.

4) Especially with the first basemen, there is a pattern for quite a few of them to have about three or four years as one of the best players in the league, followed by a long stretch of being just somewhat above average, but rarely (if ever) be outright below-average. In other words, they accumulated their WAR by consistency over a duration of time, rather than through dominance in a shorter period.

Obviously, while there is no constant that links all of these players, it seems that there is something about the game in the last fifty years or so that has enabled certain kinds of players to accumulate a good number of WAR while being short in terms of a peak. These points are meant as a starter for this discussion- I sincerely am not sure what, if anything, is the main cause for this.

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