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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bryce Harper’s Future in the League

“Whichever team that Harper signs with will instantly become a contender.”

Funny, that didn’t work for the Nationals, unless you think 82-80 is being a contender.

Hank Gillette Posted: October 18, 2018 at 04:25 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, free agents, washington nationals

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   1. Rally Posted: October 18, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5770083)
Statement will likely prove somewhat true, as the finalist teams bidding for Harper will likely be contenders. But probably contenders before they sign him anyway.

Certainly not literally true as:

1. Harper is not as good as Mike Trout, and Trout was not enough to make the Angels contenders
2. The Orioles and Royals exist. These teams could resurrect Babe Ruth and not be contenders, even if the Bambino were able to simultaneously hit like 1921 and pitch like 1916.
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5770318)
2. The Orioles and Royals exist. These teams could resurrect Babe Ruth and not be contenders, even if the Bambino were able to simultaneously hit like 1921 and pitch like 1916.

This is pretty remarkable. The Orioles won 47 games, but let's assume they won 55 since that was their Pythagorean total. If you replaced Chris Davis with 1921 Babe Ruth at 1B, you'd gain 12.9 - (2.8) = 15.7 WAR. And if you replaced the worst 323.1 innings worth of pitchers (well, 325.2 to make it easier) on Baltimore's staff with 1916 Babe Ruth (even though most of those are relief innings, and Ruth couldn't have thrown 323.1 innings in relief, especially in today's game), you'd gain 8.8 - (4.2) = 13.0 WAR. If you add all of that to Baltimore's Pythagorean win total, they'd win 84 games. Maybe give them a little extra credit and say 85, since Ruth was only playing a 154-game schedule and could probably have produced a bit of extra value in an additional 8 games :)
   3. Batman Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5770352)
I read the headline as an announcement. "Bryce Harper announces his future plans: I want to play in the major leagues"
   4. wjones Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5770396)
2. The Orioles and Royals exist. These teams could resurrect Babe Ruth and not be contenders, even if the Bambino were able to simultaneously hit like 1921 and pitch like 1916.

This is pretty remarkable. The Orioles won 47 games, but let's assume they won 55 since that was their Pythagorean total. If you replaced Chris Davis with 1921 Babe Ruth at 1B, you'd gain 12.9 - (2.8) = 15.7 WAR. And if you replaced the worst 323.1 innings worth of pitchers (well, 325.2 to make it easier) on Baltimore's staff with 1916 Babe Ruth (even though most of those are relief innings, and Ruth couldn't have thrown 323.1 innings in relief, especially in today's game), you'd gain 8.8 - (4.2) = 13.0 WAR. If you add all of that to Baltimore's Pythagorean win total, they'd win 84 games. Maybe give them a little extra credit and say 85, since Ruth was only playing a 154-game schedule and could probably have produced a bit of extra value in an additional 8 games :)


Wonder if Babe would give them a hometown discount?
   5. GregD Posted: October 18, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5770397)
This is pretty remarkable. The Orioles won 47 games, but let's assume they won 55 since that was their Pythagorean total. If you replaced Chris Davis with 1921 Babe Ruth at 1B, you'd gain 12.9 - (2.8) = 15.7 WAR. And if you replaced the worst 323.1 innings worth of pitchers (well, 325.2 to make it easier) on Baltimore's staff with 1916 Babe Ruth (even though most of those are relief innings, and Ruth couldn't have thrown 323.1 innings in relief, especially in today's game), you'd gain 8.8 - (4.2) = 13.0 WAR. If you add all of that to Baltimore's Pythagorean win total, they'd win 84 games. Maybe give them a little extra credit and say 85, since Ruth was only playing a 154-game schedule and could probably have produced a bit of extra value in an additional 8 games :)
This is amazing. Thanks for doing it!
   6. QLE Posted: October 18, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5770426)
1. Harper is not as good as Mike Trout, and Trout was not enough to make the Angels contenders


For that matter, Buster Posey's been a more valuable player than Harper five of the seven years they've been in MLB together, and no one would argue that Posey could make a team a contender by himself.
   7. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: October 18, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5770595)
I read the headline as an announcement. "Bryce Harper announces his future plans: I want to play in the major leagues"


lol.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 18, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5770604)

For that matter, Buster Posey's been a more valuable player than Harper five of the seven years they've been in MLB together, and no one would argue that Posey could make a team a contender by himself.

Manny Machado's also got 23% more WAR than Harper in almost exactly the same number of games.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: October 18, 2018 at 08:24 PM (#5770607)
pedantics aside, if a team signs Harper, it's a signal that they plan on trying to compete over the next 5 plus years. Outside of the Nationals with the Werth Signing, no team has signed a big name free agent and more or less said this is not about next year, but long term... if you sign Harper, you are telling your fan base you have every intention of competing the next season... which isn't really a big leap of faith for probably 22-25 teams in baseball..

I'm curious what are the teams that are right now considered true non-contenders next year? Based simply upon their rosters, minor leagues and budgetary constraints, and not based on perception of their front office competency. And assuming that any team signed Harper, how does that move their needle in contending territory?
   10. Walt Davis Posted: October 19, 2018 at 04:15 AM (#5770893)
For that matter, Buster Posey's been a more valuable player than Harper five of the seven years they've been in MLB together, and no one would argue that Posey could make a team a contender by himself.

Fair enough but Harper is SIX years younger than Posey. What we've seen is Posey's prime ... in theory, Harper is just moving into his.

And I'm pretty sure the reason the Giants signed Posey to a 9-year contract (with 3 more years to run plus an option) is that they were confident he'd be a big help towards contending. In the years covered by that contract (which came after his MVP year), the Giants won a WS and made a playoff appearance. In those two years, they won 88 and 87 games and would not have made the playoffs without his contribution. They also had a season of 84 wins which is usually enough to keep you in contention but that was the year the NLC went nuts. And he had led the Giants in WAR for 4 of the 6 years, in WARpos one of the other years and was 2nd in WARpos in the 6th season.

So yeah, signing Posey pretty much makes you a contender unless you're just a pretty #### team outside of that.

I'm curious what are the teams that are right now considered true non-contenders next year?

Tigers and Royals. I'd add the CWS but that's a weak enough division they could pull a Braves. Orioles obviously, probably the Jays. Texas looks pretty terrible. Also I don't see any reason (other than future injuries) to think that Hou, Bos and NYY won't win a ton of games again, pushing some decent teams out of contention quickly.

In the NL, Miami, probably San Diego (I'd be very surprised if they actually made the playoffs but I guess they could be on the edge of contention in mid-Aug), probably Cincy (decent offense but I just can't see them getting their pitching together). I'm not going to write off the Giants yet, still good vet talent there and while it's unlikely they'll all click, magically healthy seasons from MadBum and Cueto could push them there. But everybody in the NL was between a 391 and 589 win %age and I expect something pretty similar next year.
   11. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 19, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5771097)
Tigers and Royals. I'd add the CWS but that's a weak enough division they could pull a Braves. Orioles obviously, probably the Jays. Texas looks pretty terrible. Also I don't see any reason (other than future injuries) to think that Hou, Bos and NYY won't win a ton of games again, pushing some decent teams out of contention quickly.


IDK about CWS.

A lot of the top shelf talent they brought into the minors is about to arrive - and it sure looks to me like there is plenty of room for a corner OF.
   12. GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag) Posted: October 19, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5771377)
Long-shot-crack-pot Prediction:

The Oakland Athletics sign Bryce Harper to carry them into the new stadium.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: October 19, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5771413)
I think he'll end up with a non-obvious team such as the Phillies, White Sox, or Rangers.
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: October 19, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5771457)
Future Mets GM Doug Melvin says hard pass.
   15. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 19, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5771470)
Considering how much money the Phillies have I don't think they're really a non-obvious team.

I think Machado is more likely to surprise with a random destination. I think Harper is definitely going big ticket, meaning Yanks, cubs, or dodgers.
   16. McCoy Posted: October 20, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5771652)

IDK about CWS.

A lot of the top shelf talent they brought into the minors is about to arrive - and it sure looks to me like there is plenty of room for a corner OF.


The White Sox always have top shelf talent that is about to arrive in the majors. Who could forget the great Joe Borchard, Joe Crede, and Jon Rauch?
   17. PreservedFish Posted: October 20, 2018 at 07:58 AM (#5771654)
I think Harper is definitely going big ticket, meaning Yanks, cubs, or dodgers.


Why? Do you think that these teams are actually going to offer the most for him? Or that he's attracted to a team with history and large market?

I think that with his disappointing results and the possibly declining defense, the smarter teams are going to be less excited about the guy. And he'll take the biggest offer he can get. So there's a good chance that some random team will jump out to get him in one of these ownership driven moves, like ARod to Texas, Fielder to Detroit, Grienke to Arizona.

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