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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Braves agree to terms with Ervin Santana to one-year deal | MLB.com

It will be interesting to see the contract dollars. I suspect Ervin was wise to wait.



Edit: John Heyman reports the contract is $14.1MM. I guess he just breaks even.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:57 AM | 204 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, ervin santana

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   1. Natty Fan Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4670039)
Would the Braves have signed Santana if they didn't have the cost certainty of the Freeman/Simmons/Kimbrel/Teheran extensions? If you think "no," then it makes those extensions look even better. If the Braves are hosting a division series in October, this could be remembered as Wren's key offseason move.
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4670045)
What happened to his Blue Jays "contract"?
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4670047)
Would the Braves have signed Santana if they didn't have the cost certainty of the Freeman/Simmons/Kimbrel/Teheran extensions? If you think "no," then it makes those extensions look even better. If the Braves are hosting a division series in October, this could be remembered as Wren's key offseason move.

Why would those extensions matter at all for a one-year deal? They're not paying those guys any less in 2014 b/c of the extensions.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4670049)
He's a fun guy to root for, who gives up a lots of home runs and is an injury risk. He'll either be a solid 3 WAR player or a disaster. Good signing for the Braves though.
   5. Matthew E Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4670052)
What happened to his Blue Jays "contract"?
Oh well.
   6. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4670055)
This is perfect. I didn't really want the Orioles to sign him and give up another pick, but I also didn't want him to sign with the Blue Jays.
   7. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4670056)
Reposted from the other Ervin thread - my response to a response to my noting that I wasn't big on this deal:

***

It is in large part because of the pick. I'm receptive to the idea that picks have been become overvalued but...

Using the CW of the day: the EV of that pick is a bit over four WAR and, in monetary and simplistic terms, that's roughly 6M per win. So, we're forfeiting an asset with an estimated value of, eh, 22M? (once you net out the signing bonus). To be clear, under the current system, you can't just instead spend that money on other players - it is now a lost option for talent acquisition and development.

In exchange, we get to pay Ervin Santana, a player I'm not terribly fond of (he's okay - the high HR rate bothers me + I worry that he'll struggle to sustain the low BABIPs... he's a #3 pitcher), 14.1 million dollars for a year of his services. While you're looking at it as "we only have to have him for a year!", I see it as "we only get to depreciate the lost of the draft pick over a year of services".

Let's assume that that initial calculation is wildly overestimating the value of a pick - that it's only worth, say, 11M. Would you offer Santana 1/25 (absent FA compensation rules), given the limited other options on the market, or stick with what you've got? Maybe you would, given where Atlanta is relative to the rest of the league. I wouldn't.
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4670058)
What pick do the Braves give up here? Has to be higher than Baltimore's would've been.
   9. Paul d mobile Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4670059)
AA on the radio says the the Jays had Santana signed but that Santana backed out at the last minute.
   10. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4670063)
#26 overall.

Left unnoted in my above bit: if Santana has a boffo season, the Braves could extend a qualifying offer themselves...
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4670066)
Using the CW of the day: the EV of that pick is a bit over four WAR and, in monetary and simplistic terms, that's roughly 6M per win. So, we're forfeiting an asset with an estimated value of, eh, 22M? (once you net out the signing bonus). To be clear, under the current system, you can't just instead spend that money on other players - it is now a lost option for talent acquisition and development.

I think you're greatly overvaluing those 4 WAR. A lot of that comes in arb seasons and you do pay for it. Plus, there's player development cost, and the time value of money. Those 4 WAR aren't coming for 3-10 years.
   12. philly Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4670072)
the EV of that pick is a bit over four WAR


But doesn't the when of those 4 WAR vs the now of Santana's projected ~3 WAR make a huge difference? That 4 WAR average for a 2015 draft pick probably should be expected to cover 2020-2026. Maybe move that up a year for solid college player if you like, it doesn't matter. And, of course, 4 WAR over 6 pre-FA years "averages" out to less than 1 WAR per year.

With draft studies and valuations it is so easy make the cost of losing a pick look huge - derive an average that is mostly driven by a very small number of huge successes, then multiply that (imo) inflated number by another big number like the cost/WAR of 6M and voila - each pick is like gold.

But it is every bit as accurate to say the Braves will pay Santana 14.1M to project for 3 WAR in a year they project to be fighting for a playoff spot with the additional cost of losing out on .75 WAR/year in the years 2020-2026.

That doesn't seem so bad to me.
   13. philly Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4670079)
From some old research I did and based on the 1987-1996 drafts (teams may be better now):

Pick #26: (I actually have that at 2.3 WAR, there is - or was - a big WAR drop in the 20s)

DNP - 31%
<5 WAR - 59%
5-10 - 1.6%
10-20 - 3.3%
20-40 - 3.3%
40+ - 1.6%

So that's a 90% chance that the player picked in that slot has a completely negligible career. Obviously it hurts to miss out on a 20+ or 40+ WAR player, but that's just a 5% chance.

Even bumping up the success percentages a bit if you think teams are drafting better these days, I think these percentages give a much truer picture of the effect of the lost draft pick than the simple average WAR*cost of WAR.
   14. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4670081)
I think you're greatly overvaluing those 4 WAR. A lot of that comes in arb seasons and you do pay for it. Plus, there's player development cost, and the time value of money.


Player development costs will be incurred regardless. As to PV considerations / arb, that's part of why I halved the number in the end calculation.

***

Santana's projected ~3 WAR

Who outside of Steamer has him at 3 WAR? Try 2. Then add in that several of our alternatives have projected WAR above 0...
   15. philly Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4670088)
Just grabbed the 3 WAR from post #4. Doesn't make much of a difference to my point, I don't think.
   16. Drexl Spivey Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4670093)
From some old research I did and based on the 1987-1996 drafts (teams may be better now):

Pick #26: (I actually have that at 2.3 WAR, there is - or was - a big WAR drop in the 20s)

DNP - 31%
<5 WAR - 59%
5-10 - 1.6%
10-20 - 3.3%
20-40 - 3.3%
40+ - 1.6%

So that's a 90% chance that the player picked in that slot has a completely negligible career. Obviously it hurts to miss out on a 20+ or 40+ WAR player, but that's just a 5% chance.

Even bumping up the success percentages a bit if you think teams are drafting better these days, I think these percentages give a much truer picture of the effect of the lost draft pick than the simple average WAR*cost of WAR.


Mike Trout and Matt Cain were #25 picks.
   17. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4670099)
#26 Draft Picks:

2013: Jagielo, Eric
2012: Trahan, Stryker
2011: Swihart, Blake
2010: Parker, Kyle
2009: Arnett, Eric
2008: Schlereth, Daniel
2007: Simmons, James
2006: Morris, Bryan
2005: Hansen, Craig
2004: Robnett, Richie

Having lost their nominal #1 to ligament damage this weekend, you sacrifice a #26 pick for a 200ish innings guy of 100 ERA+.
   18. AROM Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4670106)
Mike Trout and Matt Cain were #25 picks.


So they are (or should end up as) part of Philly's 1.6%. More common at #25 are guys like Brad Sullivan, Kyle Waldrop, and Aaron Poreda.
   19. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4670108)
In other news, this signing pushes the Braves payroll up to something like $115m, which is 10 mil more than it's ever been by my rough accounting.
   20. Honkie Kong Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4670109)
Mike Trout and Matt Cain were #25 picks.

The individual picks don't matter. To be more fair, make it a band from 25-35.

Responding to Der-K..
Allowing that from these picks, you get a player who is valued at 4 WAR on average ( This is incorrect as pointed out by philly. This is a highly skewed distribution ).
Now thats 4 WAR over 6 years or 0.66 WAR per year.
Assuming no depreciation ( once again, 1 WAR in the future is not as valuable as 1 WAR now for Atlanta. Might be different math say for the Astros ), the cost comes to $4 mil for a year.
So you are signing Santana for $18 mil for one year.

Pricey..but its not the $ per WAR game we are talking about. Will the contract shackle the Braves from making moves this year? Most probably yes, at midseason.
But at midseason, they are most likely going to be looking for pitching! So why waste half a year, and not make the move now?

Also, you have a slightly higher opinion of the minor league pitching the Braves have. They don't have any serviceable starter in the upper minors this year.
Would you take a gamble of Cody Martin being a league average pitcher who chews up innings or pay a little extra now to have a surer bet?
And once more for emphasis, its innings which the Braves need chewed up.
900 IP from the starters. I have to squint really hard to see 700 ip from the rotation and depth as it currently stands.


   21. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4670110)
Just grabbed the 3 WAR from post #4. Doesn't make much of a difference to my point, I don't think.

Eh, the point you are missing, is that they are paying 14m on top of giving up the pick. There is nothing forcing them to spend that money in that way. They could spend that money in a way, that doesn't cost them a pick (like an FA who wasn't offered a QO, or take a salary dump from another team), and get 2-3 wins, plus keep their 4 win pick. Or spend it on a FA that is at least going to stay for a few years, so the cost of the pick is spread over multiple years at least...

This is a dumb panic move in response to an injury, plain and simple.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4670113)
They could spend that money in a way, that doesn't cost them a pick (like an FA who wasn't offered a QO, or take a salary dump from another team), and get 2-3 wins, plus keep their 4 win pick.


Who is available that fits that criteria?
   23. philly Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4670123)
The individual picks don't matter. To be more fair, make it a band from 25-35.


The numbers I used were from rolling averages centered on pick #26. Can't get big enough samples just looking at 1 pick.

This is a dumb panic move in response to an injury, plain and simple.


So I'm taking a long road trip and I blow out a tire in some small town. The replacement tire is a bad value in a context neutral vacuum. I'm still buying that tire because I need to complete my trip, not because I'm in a panic.

Why is "response to injury" automatically equivalent to panic and not simply re-assessment of the situation given important new information?
   24. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4670127)
Who is available that fits that criteria?
Right. I would not be surprised if someone cheaper and without a QO does in fact add 2-3 WAR at low cost this year. But predicting who is a lot harder!
   25. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4670129)
This is a dumb panic move in response to an injury, plain and simple.


The Braves won their division last year. They are playing to win their division and advance further in the playoffs this year. They are at the height of whatever "competitive window" exists. Their #1 starter just tore his UCL by all likely indicators. The guy they were counting on as a #3/4 has biceps soreness and can't break 85MPH. They needed a starter to avoid punting the season. They went out and got the best starter available, for one year, for the cost of $14.1 mil and the plus/minus bands of Eric Jagielo's career projection. In addition, they also got the right to extend a qualifying offer to the guy next year, so they'll either keep him at a reasonable cost for another year, or they'll get that low level pick back again, delayed 12 months.

To call this panicked and dumb is absurd. This is the kind of move that makes Frank Wren better than most of his counterparts.
   26. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4670133)
This is a dumb panic move in response to an injury, plain and simple.

The Braves have a good team and a real shot at the playoffs if Santana pitches reasonably well. That's easily worth a late 1st round draft pick and $14M. And I don't see what other options they had. Nobody is going to trade them a decent starter in the middle of spring training.
   27. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4670135)
Who is available that fits that criteria?

Dunno, it's kind of the GM's job to figure that out, instead of doing insanely dumb shit... Are you trying to tell me that of the 29 other teams, not one of them has a serviceable pitcher that they would be willing to part with.

So I'm taking a long road trip and I blow out a tire in some small town. The replacement tire is a bad value in a context neutral vacuum. I'm still buying that tire because I need to complete my trip, not because I'm in a panic.

Well, that or you could use your spare you have in your boot, to get you to a place that isn't going to rip you off. Plus it was a trip, where you had about an 80% chance of blowing out at least one tire at some point. So it should have been expected at some point. If it caught you completely off guard, your travel preparations suck.

Seriously, pitcher injuries are part of baseball. They should be expected, and built into the roster you are going to war with, not trigger a panic move. If your staff couldn't handle one injury, then your plan sucked.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4670139)
Are you trying to tell me that of the 29 other teams, not one of them has a serviceable pitcher that they would be willing to part with.


Probably, but that price will almost certainly be worth more than the #26 pick.
   29. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4670146)
Allowing that from these picks, you get a player who is valued at 4 WAR on average ( This is incorrect as pointed out by philly. This is a highly skewed distribution ).

Sure it's skewed. Comparing to the median outcome isn't the way to go either, though - you're foregoing your shot at the high value outcome... the kinds of players that help you win championships (in a league where most teams don't make the playoffs, this is the kind of risk you ought to embrace).

As for internal candidates...
Freddy Garcia doesn't inspire confidence, but projects to 1-1.5 WAR if you prorate him over the course of a season. Floyd, theoretically, will be available to us at some point. JR Graham is better than replacement (and, if you believe ZiPS, about league average as a starter now). David Hale's name gets brought up - eh, he's not so great. Aaron Northcraft looks usable. There's others...and that excludes other available FAs or out of options guys.

I'd rather have Santana and the present internal options than no Santana while retaining those options - but I'd also rather have no Santana + 14M (which could possibly be used in another way^) + the pick + retain our internal alternatives than what we have now.


^ This is part of the catch, isn't it? Is the availability of this money a one-time offer by Liberty, use it for this or lose it and there's no chance that it'll be somehow removed from future/other budgets accordingly?

To be clear, I get the arguments in favor of this move. I just don't agree in this instance.
   30. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4670149)
Probably, but that price will almost certainly be worth more than the #26 pick.


Right. The Braves were interested in Jeff Slamalamadingdong in the off-season, but the Cubs were reportedly asking for either Justin Upton or Jason Heyward. Accepting that was just an opening bid by the Cubs, it's a good indicator that the price was going to be steep. Any other similarly solid starter was going to cost a bundle in trade at this point, especially considering that other teams are not exactly ignorant of the Braves' need.

Giving up the #26 pick is a better option than whatever pound of flesh other teams would try to extract from the Braves, especially considering that Atlanta is still re-constructing the farm system after a series of trades and promotions.
   31. Russ Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4670152)
Probably, but that price will almost certainly be worth more than the #26 pick.


Exactly. Another way to think about it is that Santana had the least amount of leverage of anyone that Wren would likely be dealing with. This is a good move to solve a problem. The Braves are good enough that they need to make sure their lower bound is not too low (rather than a team outside of contending that needs to take big risks to increase their upper bound).
   32. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4670160)
Piggybacking CFBF @30, the Braves had long discussions about Sazmaditjackaitadioatorian with the Cubs, and about David Price with the Rays. They know pretty well already what the asking price is for one of those guys on the trade market, and they know they're not going to be paying those prices any time soon. The idea that you should trade away a prospect who has already performed well enough for another team to value them above their own in-house prospects, rather than signing a guy for one year of market value and trading away the guy who comes in at #26 in next year's draft, is ludicrous.
   33. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4670180)
David Price might be a teensy bit better than Santana.

Again, if your rotation couldn't withstand one injury, the time to worry about that was at the start of the offseason. There were a bunch of guys available, who signed for only money, and are similar to Santana in terms of expected performance.

Arroyo 2/23.5
Burnett 1/16
Colon 2/20
Scott Feldman 3/30
Dan Haren 1/10
Phil Hughes 3/24
etb. etc. etc.

Hell, the Braves could have kept Tim Hudson, or at least made him a QO to make up for the loss of this pick.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4670182)
There were a bunch of guys available


Those guys were available, back when Kris Medlen was healthy. They aren't available now.

Hell, the Braves could have kept Phil Hughes, or at least made him a QO to make up for the loss of this pick.


I'm guessing you're talking Maholm. Maholm almost certainly would have accepted a $14 million offer, considering he took 1/$6 mill, so that would be a drastic overpay.
   35. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4670186)
Ervin Santana is better than Paul Maholm.

The other guys you list aren't available today - the day Kris Medlen announced he will have to have a second TJ surgery.

You are drastically overvaluing the worth of a #26 draft choice.
   36. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4670192)
I'm guessing you're talking Maholm. Maholm almost certainly would have accepted a $14 million offer, considering he took 1/$6 mill, so that would be a drastic overpay.

I meant Tim Hudson, sorry brain cramp. edited the OP
   37. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4670193)
I do think there's some room to criticize the Braves for their rotation construction. Medlen already had one Tommy John procedure, Beachy was always a question mark and it was a young rotation overall. There was undeniably a lot of risk there. And that risk just made itself known in a big way.

But when you're in the Braves' position, trying to contend with an ownership intent on maintaining a mid-market payroll (in freaking Atlanta), you have to take risks somewhere. You can't build redundancies into every spot on the roster like you're the Dodgers. And, yes, some of the limitations are self-imposed with the Upton and Uggla contracts.
   38. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4670194)
The other guys you list aren't available today - the day Kris Medlen announced he will have to have a second TJ surgery.

Gain, if your plan can't deal with on eSP injury, you plan sucked.

You are drastically overvaluing the worth of a #26 draft choice.

You are drastically undervaluing them.
   39. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4670200)
Gain, if your plan can't deal with on eSP injury, you plan sucked.


The problem with that argument is that this isn't a response to one SP injury. It's a response to three. Minor is having shoulder difficulties and won't be ready for Opening Day, probably, and Beachy is feeling "bicep tenderness" and can't throw harder than 87. I think if both of those guys were healthy, we don't sign Santana today.
   40. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4670201)
Gain, if your plan can't deal with on eSP injury, you plan sucked.

No team's plan can deal with losing their #1 starter to Tommy John surgery in spring training.
   41. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4670203)
Ok. So...
- what do people think the pick is worth? What would it go for on the open market? (That said, that's not an option for Atlanta, so its value to them is necessarily that or less.)
- absent the pick, what is Santana worth to Atlanta?
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4670204)
Gain, if your plan can't deal with on eSP injury, you plan sucked.


Of course you can deal with one injury. But why be complacent and not do something to mitigate that damage, especially if the cost is only a late first round pick which isn't terribly valuable. They're trying to win a championship, not BA's "Best Minor League Organization" in 2016.

Also, what #39 said.
   43. JJ1986 Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4670205)
From two minutes browsing, here is a rough list of guys who started games last season and are neither signed nor retired:

Jason Marquis, Jon Garland, Clayton Richard, Jeremy Bonderman, Ramon Ortiz.

Jeff Karstens and Jeff Niemann are also unsigned.
   44. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4670210)
The Braves were interested in Jeff Slamalamadingdong in the off-season, but the Cubs were reportedly asking for either Justin Upton or Jason Heyward.


"Just an Upton? We'll send one right over!"
   45. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4670213)
Here's a list of the Braves first round draft picks from 2000 forward:

2013 Jason Hursh RHP Oklahoma State (31)
2012 Lucas Sims RHP Brookwood (Ga.) High School (21)
2011 Sean Gilmartin LHP Florida State (28)
2010 Matt Lipka SS McKinney (Texas) HS (35)
2009 Mike Minor LHP Vanderbilt (7)
2007 Jason Heyward OF Henry County HS, McDonough, Ga. (14)
2006 John Johnson OF A. Crawford Mosely HS (Panama City, Fla.) (24)
2005 Joseph Devine RHP North Carolina St (27)
2002 Jeff Francoeur OF Lilburn, GA (23)
2001 Macay McBride LHP Screven County HS, Sylvan (24)
2001 Josh Burrus SS Wheeler HS, Marietta, Ga (29)
2000 Adam Wainwright RHP St. Simons Island, GA (29)
2000 Scott Thorman 3B Cambridge, Ontario (30)

I've highlighted the picks that I think map to the 26th rounder they gave up in addition to money, for Santana.

The Braves are pretty good at finding value in the late first round. Sometimes really good (Wainwright), but usually something like Joey Divine or Macay McBride. But let's use Lucas Sims as our model. The Braves gave up, in addition to the money, at best Lucas Sims - 2 additional years of development. Just as likely they gave up Josh Burrus.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4670216)
Ok. So...
- what do people think the pick is worth? What would it go for on the open market? (That said, that's not an option for Atlanta, so its value to them is necessarily that or less.)


Top young international FAs (not 25-30 y.o. Japanese and Cubans), pre-bonus caps, got what? $1-5M?

I'd have to say the 26th pick is worth less than the absolute best international 16-17 y.o.'s. Maybe $2-4M for the pick on the open market?
   47. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4670220)
If teams could trade picks, and Santana had been in a final year of a multiyear contract for the Royals at a salary of $14M, I'd trade the Braves 1st round pick to the Royals for him. In fact, I'd probably ask for another low level prospect if I were the Royals GM.
   48. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4670222)
And I'm reposting my response:

Using the CW of the day: the EV of that pick is a bit over four WAR and, in monetary and simplistic terms, that's roughly 6M per win. So, we're forfeiting an asset with an estimated value of, eh, 22M? (once you net out the signing bonus).


I'm suspicious of this type of accounting. The 6M per win number is derived from the bizarre and distorted free agent market, I don't like when it's applied across the board.

If the pick is worth 4 WAR (over 6 years), say Santana is worth 2 WAR (in 1 year, this year) ... on talent alone it seems like a reasonable swap.
   49. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4670225)
The key to justifying this signing is that at the present the Braves are very much competitors for a post-season spot. It seems very worth the cost to go for the marginal wins right now, rather than going the scrap-heap now.
   50. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4670228)
If the pick is worth 4 WAR (over 6 years), say Santana is worth 2 WAR (in 1 year, this year) ... on talent alone it seems like a reasonable swap.


Of course, the pick is not worth 4 WAR. It's worth a guy they would take with the pick, who may generate 4 WAR, or may generate 14 WAR, or may never make it out of AA. This model of projecting pick value is fundamentally broken.
   51. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4670232)
I'm suspicious of this type of accounting. The 6M per win number is derived from the bizarre and distorted free agent market, I don't like when it's applied across the board.

That's very fair. OTOH, I reject the assumption that the Braves' alternatives are worth 0 WAR - the "true replacement level" is higher at this time of year and in the specific instance of what Atlanta has available.

Of course, the pick is not worth 4 WAR. It's worth a guy they would take with the pick, who may generate 4 WAR, or may generate 14 WAR, or may never make it out of AA. This model of projecting pick value is fundamentally broken.

Pshaw. They haven't taken the guy yet - the pick is worth a projected value (let's say 4, with a huge range of expected outcomes) ... after they take somebody (had they), then you get more specific, you've got added information.
   52. AROM Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4670234)
"Just an Upton? We'll send one right over!"

Well done. Funniest thing I've read today.
   53. AROM Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4670239)
One thing you need to consider here is that the successful draft pick may be discounted, but he's not free. You've got to look at (expected WAR * value of win) - (player salary through 3 league min years + 3 arbitration years + signing bonus).
   54. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4670241)
Pshaw. They haven't taken the guy yet - the pick is worth a projected value (let's say 4, with a huge range of expected outcomes)


Then the pick is actually worth "something within a huge range of expected outcome values", not "4".
   55. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4670242)
53 - I accounted for everything but the added salary from non-arb years, which isn't trivial. Well, unless you assess the guy at 4 WAR over 6 years, then it would be. :)

--

Dan has his analysis up on the WWL - ZiPS likes Santana quite a bit more in Atlanta than KC (WAR estimate goes from 1.9 to 2.9, values the pick at 3.5 WAR / $19.6M. He's quite a bit harsher than I am here, though we use a similar methodology (I don't think this is a panic move + agree with many of the caveats expressed upthread).

--

54: No, what the pick will have been worth is different than what the pick is worth now. If I flip a coin and give you $10 if it lands on heads and nothing if it's tails, you'd likely be willing to sell your eventual return before the flip for something around ~$5, depending on your preferences/risk tolerance.

--

Sorry PF/48 - hadn't seen your post in the other thread until now. I figured I'd leave that thread for BJ talk.
   56. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4670248)
If I flip a coin and give you $10 if it lands on heads and nothing if it's tails, you'd likely be willing to sell your eventual return before the flip for something around ~$5, depending on your preferences/risk tolerance.


The flip itself is never worth $5. Someone might pay $5 for the chance at $10, but the flip is only ever worth 0 or 10. Never 5.
   57. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4670250)
Afterward, yes. Beforehand, no. It has an expected value, not two.
(Not sure if we should make Bayes jokes or Schroedinger, at this point. The latter is more baseball-y.)
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4670251)
if your plan can't deal with on SP injury, you plan sucked


It seems like they are dealing with it just fine, by acquiring Ervin Santana.
   59. smileyy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4670258)
In other news, this signing pushes the Braves payroll up to something like $115m, which is 10 mil more than it's ever been by my rough accounting.


With more and more money in the league, is this better expressed as a % of league payroll?
   60. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4670260)
what do people think the pick is worth? What would it go for on the open market?


This is the most interesting question for me concerning all these QO's. How much do teams value the picks/slot money? I haven't seen a good estimation. I would guess that agents are trying hard to calculate it.
   61. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4670265)
Then the pick is actually worth "something within a huge range of expected outcome values", not "4".

Remind me, that if I ever get an opportunity to play poker against you, to jump on it.
   62. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4670267)
It seems like they are dealing with it just fine, by acquiring Ervin Santana.

For about twice what he is worth.
   63. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4670269)
(Not sure if we should make Bayes jokes or Schroedinger, at this point. The latter is more baseball-y.)


Six of one, half dozen of the other. Flip a coin.

This is all complicated by the fact that you're not exchanging future-possible-value-X for for value-Y. You're actually exchanging fpv-X for fpv-Y, where fpv-Y is only a month removed from beginning to accrue actual-value-Y, where fpv-X is a good 4-6 years away from accruing any possible av-X.
   64. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4670272)
For about twice what he is worth.


Market says otherwise.

(Aside from the snark for the sake of snark, consider that every available system for projecting "cost per win" for current or future players is predicated on...free agent market value. The exact same free agent market value that Ervin Santana's one-year free agent contract is tweaking up or down, in relation to "cost per win," at the margins. The point is that the snake is already eating its own tail, and people should recognize that.)
   65. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4670277)
This is the most interesting question for me concerning all these QO's. How much do teams value the picks/slot money? I haven't seen a good estimation. I would guess that agents are trying hard to calculate it.

I think based on the difficult time non-elite guys with a QO have had getting signed, it is evident that teams don't view them as fungible. Stephen Drew is still unsigned. It took a panic move before a team with a pick under 50 became interested in Santana... etc
   66. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4670279)
Market says otherwise.

(Aside from the snark for the sake of snark, consider that every available system for projecting "cost per win" for current or future players is predicated on...free agent market value. The exact same free agent market value that Ervin Santana's one-year free agent contract is tweaking up or down, in relation to "cost per win," at the margins. The point is that the snake is already eating its own tail, and people should recognize that.)

Oh, 1/14 for Santana is fair. The Braves are giving up 1/30+, that is the problem.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4670280)
I think based on the difficult time non-elite guys with a QO have had getting signed, it is evident that teams don't view them as fungible.


I agree. But I meant specifically. I have seen a huge range of estimates.

I haven't seen any reporter get a sourced value amount from any individual team. (e.g. "A front office source said Team X valued pick #43 at between $4 and $5 million)
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4670288)
I agree. But I meant specifically. I have seen a huge range of estimates.

I haven't seen any reporter get a sourced value amount from any individual team. (e.g. "A front office source said Team X valued pick #43 at between $4 and $5 million)


We had a free market is Int'l amateur FAs before 2013. Why are those prices not good analogues for what US amateurs are worth?
   69. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4670292)
The Braves are giving up 1/30+, that is the problem.


The problem is that you think they're giving up 30+ mil, yes. That is...special math. There is no way the #26 draft pick for 2015 is worth 16+ mil.
   70. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4670293)

We had a free market is Int'l amateur FAs before 2013. Why are those prices not good analogues for what US amateurs are worth?


Maybe they are. But doesn't the mechanism of the draft coupled with the new rules complicate things a little?
   71. Drexl Spivey Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4670296)
One thing you need to consider here is that the successful draft pick may be discounted, but he's not free. You've got to look at (expected WAR * value of win) - (player salary through 3 league min years + 3 arbitration years + signing bonus)


Nate Silver wrote an article about this in 2005. here's the article

He has first round picks #26 and above worth a surplus value of $3.24MM (at a then marginal cost per win of $2.15MM). He factors in the salary through the arbitration years (without the signing bonus).

At $6MM per win that's 6/2.15*3.24= $9.04MM in surplus value before the signing bonus of ~$2MM = ~$7MM in surplus value for the pick.

So the Santana signing is worthwhile for the Braves if he is worth $21.1MM (minus the expected value of a draft pick they'd recieve if they offer him the QO next year and he signs elsewhere).
   72. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4670301)
The problem is that you think they're giving up 30+ mil, yes. That is...special math. There is no way the #26 draft pick for 2015 is worth 16+ mil.

Well, you seem to have given up on math entirely, so that isn't surprising coming from you.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4670302)
Maybe they are. But doesn't the mechanism of the draft coupled with the new rules complicate things a little?

It complicates it, but it still provides a range. If the very best amateur Int'l talent wasn't worth more than $5M in an open market, then then 26th best US talent can't be worth $10M or $20M.
   74. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4670304)
Well, you seem to have given up on math entirely, so that isn't surprising coming from you.


No, I'm good with math. What I'm not good with is making up numbers out of thin air and pretending like that's cash spent on Ervin Santana.
   75. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4670306)
Nate Silver wrote an article about this in 2005.

That's not transferable, because of the new draft rules, which are much more favorable to teams.
   76. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4670309)
We had a free market is Int'l amateur FAs before 2013. Why are those prices not good analogues for what US amateurs are worth?


Because Warren Buffett turned $40k in $60B (or $10m-ish into over $200B if we ignore his personal fee assisted returns, and focus on total returns on invested capital) in free markets with participants smarter than baseball GMs?

Price != Value
   77. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4670311)
The problem is that you think they're giving up 30+ mil, yes. That is...special math. There is no way the #26 draft pick for 2015 is worth 16+ mil.


You fear complexity, don't you?
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4670314)
Because Warren Buffett turned $40k in $60B (or $10m-ish into over $200B if we ignore his personal returns cause first 10 years were fee aided, and focus on total returns on invested capital) in free markets with participants smarter than baseball GMs?

Price != Value


WTF does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Somebody is always going to amass fabulous market beating returns, and somebody is always going to draft the best player in baseball.

The fact that Mike Trout was a #25 pick doesn't mean a #25 pick is worse $25M any more than the fact that Buffett amassed incredible returns means I should pay a money manager 5% of AUM as a fee, in case he might be the next Buffett.

BTW, I'm anxiously waiting for Buffett's death so we start seeing the revelations of what he actual did. I'd guess he engaged in truly massive insider trading. That's been the story with pretty much every major "market beating" hedge fund and investor. "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime" is much truer than people want to admit.
   79. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4670316)
Price != Value


In no uncertain terms, the Atlanta Braves National League Baseball Club(ABNLBC*) has as it's primary business goal winning the 2014 National League Pennant and advancing to the 2014 World Series.

The #26 pick in the 2014-15 MLB amateur draft will contribute precisely zero (0) "wins" to that effort.

The #26 pick of the 2014-15 MLB amateur draft has precisely zero (0) value to the ABNLBC's primary business goals.

*That's actually how Liberty refers to the Braves internally, for P&L reporting, etc. It amuses me.
   80. Drexl Spivey Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4670317)
That's not transferable, because of the new draft rules, which are much more favorable to teams.


The new CBA codified the existing "recommended" slot signing bonus system while removing the outliers. The data from previous drafts is still useful.
   81. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4670318)
You fear complexity, don't you?


Not at all. I'm a big fan of complexity, actually. What I'm not a fan of is making up #### out of thin air to prove how super duper smart you are.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4670321)
Not at all. I'm a big fan of complexity, actually. What I'm not a fan of is making up #### out of thin air to prove how super duper smart you are.

Oh come now Sam. Anyone who can call themselves an "arbitrageur" with a straight face has to specialize in that.
   83. AROM Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4670325)
The Braves are giving up 1/30+


Whatever you decide the value of the draft pick is, you have to at least consider the chance the Braves get one back next year when they make a qualifying offer and Ervin signs somewhere else.

Might not happen - if he pitches like he did with the 2012 Angels he won't get one - but the chance of that has to be considered.
   84. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4670327)
Maybe they are. But doesn't the mechanism of the draft coupled with the new rules complicate things a little?


It complicates it, but it still provides a range. If the very best amateur Int'l talent wasn't worth more than $5M in an open market, then then 26th best US talent can't be worth $10M or $20M.


Weren't the best int'l free agents signed when they were further away from the majors than US amateurs? That would lower their value, wouldn't it? And isn't there an opportunity cost difference, too?
   85. DA Baracus Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4670332)
Oh no, a playoff contender that was one of the youngest teams in the league last year signed a solid veteran in the wake of two players being hurt. Doom: impending.
   86. AROM Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4670335)
In no uncertain terms, the Atlanta Braves National League Baseball Club(ABNLBC*) has as it's primary business goal winning the 2014 National League Pennant and advancing to the 2014 World Series.

The #26 pick in the 2014-15 MLB amateur draft will contribute precisely zero (0) "wins" to that effort.

The #26 pick of the 2014-15 MLB amateur draft has precisely zero (0) value to the ABNLBC's primary business goals.


So 2014 is all that counts, and anything beyond 2014 has zero value?

Exactly why have they not traded the farm system for David Price then?
   87. philly Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4670338)
It dawned on me that we're talking about the trade value of picks without remembering that in the new CBA teams can now trade the newly created compensation picks. I think there were multiple trades but this is the only one I can find:

July 31, 2013: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Baltimore Orioles for John Hader (minors), L.J. Hoes and 2014 round A competitive balance pick.

That pick was #35. All draft research will show a modest drop in expected value from #26 to #35.

Norris for his career has 4.1 bWAR over 740 IP. Let's charitably call him average? The Os were getting 2 months plus at least 1 more year.

Hader is nothing special as a prospect. Hoes is a fringy MLB player. Is the inclusion of the comp pick in this trade consistent with a valuation of these picks of ~16M?

Is this price much different (better? worse?) than what the Braves just paid for Santana?
   88. DA Baracus Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4670339)
*That's actually how Liberty refers to the Braves internally, for P&L reporting, etc. It amuses me.


Externally too, it's on the tickets. I too find it amusing.
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4670344)
Weren't the best int'l free agents signed when they were further away from the majors than US amateurs? That would lower their value, wouldn't it? And isn't there an opportunity cost difference, too?

Sure, the age matters. But I'm just trying to set an upper bound.

If the very best int'l 16 y.o. is worth $5M, the 26th best US 18-21 y.o. can't be worth $20M.
   90. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4670348)
There is no way the #26 draft pick for 2015 is worth 16+ mil.


The last time first-round draft picks were available on the free agent market (the loophole free agents of 1996), the #2 pick signed for $10M, the #5 pick signed for $6.075M, the #7 pick signed for $10.2M, and the #12 pick signed for $3M. And that was almost 20 years ago - prices for talent haven't exactly gone down since then.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4670349)
Norris for his career has 4.1 bWAR over 740 IP. Let's charitably call him average? The Os were getting 2 months plus at least 1 more year.

The O's are paying Norris $5.3M. If he projects around 2 WAR, that's only about $6M surplus value.

Hoes and Hader have to worth be something. $500k each? $1M each? More? $3-5M seems a reasonable estimate of the pick's value
   92. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4670350)
Ah, I have such fond memories of the glory days of the Atlanta Braves National League Baseball Club. Remember when the Atlanta Braves National League Baseball Club defeated the Cleveland Indians American League Baseball Club in the Major League Baseball World Series Championship? Or when American-Born National League Baseball Player And Pitcher Of Manufactured Horsehide Spheres Gregory Maddux defeated The New York City Yankees American League Baseball Club by throwing only 80 Official Major League Baseball-Sanctioned Spherical Hurlings?
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4670353)
The last time first-round draft picks were available on the free agent market (the loophole free agents of 1996), the #2 pick signed for $10M, the #5 pick signed for $6.075M, the #7 pick signed for $10.2M, and the #12 pick signed for $3M. And that was almost 20 years ago - prices for talent haven't exactly gone down since then.

So double those prices, triple them. Those quotes, and the rapid downward slope of the price curve would suggest a #26 pick is way less than $5M.
   94. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4670356)
So 2014 is all that counts, and anything beyond 2014 has zero value?


Not to their primary business goal (the 2014 NL Pennant.) Of course, they have secondary and tertiary goals, which include strong incentives to remain competitive into the future. That's why they invested so much money in locking up their core talent this winter. That's why they were not interested in acquiring a starter like Santana before the rash of injuries and setbacks to their 2014 rotation this spring. It was only when their primary business goal came into conflict with some moderate aspect of their secondary goals that they made the move for Santana. Because, by definition, their primary goal comes first.

They have not in any way undermined their long term goals of competitiveness, either. They still have a bevy of young talent in house through 2017-2020, plus quality arms and spare parts in the minors. It's unlikely that they were going to get a better player than Lucas Sims or Jason Hursh with the #26 pick this year, so it's not like they've torpedoed their 2017 opening season in White Flight Field. In fact, they've merely traded down from #26 (now #28 for Kansas City) to #32 (comp for McCann going to NYY.) In the meantime, they've staunched the bleeding of the gaping chest wound their starting rotation had become this March, which again, contributes greatly to their primary goal of the 2014 NL Pennant.

This notion that the #26 draft pick is worth $16+ million dollars added onto the cost of signing Santana is absurd.
   95. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4670360)
The Braves are giving up 1/30+




So does this mean the Royals are receiving $10+ mill? Woo-hoo! Where can we cash this in? Any local payday lender?
   96. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4670363)
The O's are paying Norris $5.3M. If he projects around 2 WAR, that's only about $6M surplus value.


There is no such thing as surplus value in this equation. Norris gets paid what he gets paid.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4670368)
There is no such thing as surplus value in this equation. Norris gets paid what he gets paid.

Surplus value is the whole crux of this argument. If the #26 pick was going to be paid market value for his future production, the pick would be close to worthless.

If Norris wasn't worth more than he was getting paid, the O's wouldn't trade anything of value for him.
   98. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4670385)
Sure, the age matters. But I'm just trying to set an upper bound.

If the very best int'l 16 y.o. is worth $5M, the 26th best US 18-21 y.o. can't be worth $20M.


I agree. And we can make inferences about how much the Braves themselves price their own pick based on this signing (whether or not they are under- or over-valuing the pick is another interesting matter).

If we imagine the exact same scenario except with no compensation attached, I don't think the Braves give him something like 1/$22 or higher, no matter how panicked they were. But, as others point out, we have to factor the potential pick the Braves could get from offering him a QO next offseason.
   99. Al Kaline Trio Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4670388)
How much extra revenue will the Braves get if they make the playoffs vs missing out by a game or two? How likely is it that the Braves offer a QO to Santana next year?
   100. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4670394)
Agree that these are important questions, Willie/99 (as well as what is the non-revenue value of making the playoffs ... though I'd change your hypothetical w/ the first to 'what is the lift in playoff odds from signing Santana v. not signing him?'). If he's worth, say, 2 WAR above the alternative - then possible outcomes include winning the division by 10 games instead of 8, missing the playoffs by 4 games instead of 6, etc...; also, you'd want to factor in the increase in our odds once we're in the playoffs (in that contingency).
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