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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Diamondbacks trade Paul Goldschmidt to Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired slugger Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder Andrew Young, it was announced Wednesday.

The Diamondbacks also receive a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick from the Cardinals.

Goldschmidt is a free agent next winter.

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:25 PM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, diamondbacks, hot stove, trade

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   1. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5794333)
Andy Young’s BB-ref page. Old for his level, but .289/.379/.479 with 21 homers as a second baseman...that would be pretty cool.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5794334)
I'm happy to have Goldschmidt, and Kelly needed to go to an organization that would give him a legit shot for a job, not happy about losing Weaver though for a one year rental. But I guess you trade from a strength... Cardinals still have a ton of young pitching etc.
   3. Master of the Horse Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5794337)
   4. bbmck Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:54 PM (#5794342)
Single Franchise active HR leaders:

322 - Ryan Braun 2/40 or 3/51 left on contract
269 - Joey Votto 5/132 or 6/145 left on contract
264 - Ryan Zimmerman 1/20 or 2/36 left on contract
242 - David Wright most likely has played his last game, 2nd Ed Kranepool 118
240 - Mike Trout 2/68 left on contract
209 - Paul Goldschmidt 1/14.5 left on contract
189 - Freddie Freeman 3/65 left on contract
186 - Nolan Arenado 2019 is 3rd arb year
184 - Bryce Harper free agent
175 - Kyle Seager 3/60ish to 4/75ish left on contract
173 - Alex Gordon 1/24 or 2/43 left on contract
   5. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:12 PM (#5794347)
I don't get this. Diamondbacks are stuck with Grienke for $35M and trade away their HOF-quality homegrown superstar.

If I were anything but the A's or Rays, I would do everything I could to ensure that my Goldschmidt-quality star stays with the team.
   6. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:31 PM (#5794353)
I imagine Greinke is already halfway out the door.
   7. Ziggy's screen name Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5794354)
Holy #### I didn't see that coming! Rich get richer, story of the world. Carpenter has to move again, but you don't let that get in the way of acquiring Goldschmidt.

The package, well, it's got promise. These are all players that I'd be happy to have, although none of them look like they've got particularly high ceilings. Weaver is interesting, but he's not young, and ZiPS projects him to a mid-4s ERA next season. Kelly looks like he's useful. Young isn't. He just finished an age 24 season in which he broke into AA. But he's an infielder with power. Maybe a late-blooming regular, maybe organizational guy. I think that if I was trading Goldschmidt I'd want to get a guy with a Goldschmidt level ceiling back. Obviously this particular trade wouldn't work, but I'd be looking for someone like Jo Adel.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5794355)
I really liked Weaver.... The results last year doesn't match up with the confidence I felt when he pitched. He just 'looks and feels' like a better pitcher than his results. I think his upside is pretty high.. Kelly and Young I don't really care about to be honest. I think Kelly is at the age that he needs to be given 100 games at the major league level to see who he truly is, and that wasn't going to happen in St Louis.
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5794356)
I think it's a good trade for the Snakes. Goldy was walking after one more year. Apparently they tried to get him to sign an extension but he knocked it back, indicating the Snakes won't be able to resign him next year either.

They've decided LA and rest of the West is out of reach next year, let's see what they can get...and I think the return is pretty good. It's not a case of trading "PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT" It's a case of getting something for Goldy before he walks next year anyway.

The Snakes are reloading and got some interesting pieces before they'd get nothing for Goldy next year. Makes sense to me.
   10. bbmck Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5794359)
The Snakes would get two draft picks next year after Goldy declined the qualifying offer and signed with another team for at least $50mil.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5794362)
The Snakes would get two draft picks next year after Goldy declined the qualifying offer and signed with another team for at least $50mil.


Instead they got a couple of legit prospects, a wildcard prospect, and a draft pick, and save money on salary.. Ultimately it depends on whether or not the D-backs were going to compete next season.
   12. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5794365)
Looks like the Dodgers are in line for their seventh consecutive division title.=
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5794366)
Ultimately it depends on whether or not the D-backs were going to compete next season.


And they've decided no. With Pollock being an FA, losing JD last year, they've just figured no way in 2019, let's see what we can get for what we have on the roster. This makes sense to me.
   14. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:55 PM (#5794368)
So CFB, you are happy with the trade? I assume the Cardinals think they have a great shot at signing him after 2019 at a reasonable price.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5794369)
This makes sense to me.


Agreed... I don't see any way a D-back fan can find fault with this trade other than the fact that they didn't lock up their first legitimate homegrown star for the rest of his career. If they made the decision 1. that Goldschmidt was not going to sign a long term contract with them (whether it's because they wouldn't offer the money or he just didn't want to be there...doesn't matter) 2. that it was iffy that they would compete with the loss of Pollock or other reasons.... then I can see a moderate rebuild being important... and basically they added probably two players who will be on the major league roster for the entire season, and under team control for several years... heck is there anybody better than Kelly anywhere in the organization at catcher?
   16. The Duke Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5794371)
I assume this is likely it for the Redbirds. They’ll make a run at Harper but at the end of the day they’ve got $54 million tied up in Fowler and I don’t see them signing Harper AND throwing away another $54 million. Worst case is he platoons with O’neill. O’Neill can probably match Harper’s baseline WAR.

Happy for Kelly. He’s a great pickup for d-backs. He alone would have been a good deal. Add in Weaver and Young and that had a chance to be a great trade. young had the Matt carpenter thing going, prospect from nowhere that might turn all-star.

D-backs fans should be very happy. For the cards, this trade will turn on whether they can entice Goldy to stay.
   17. salvomania Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:05 PM (#5794373)
I'm pretty happy with this deal. For the last couple years I've thought Andrew Knizner---not Carson Kelly---was the Cards' catcher of the future, so as long as Knizner wasnt included, I love getting a guy like Goldschmidt, if only for a year.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5794376)
So CFB, you are happy with the trade? I assume the Cardinals think they have a great shot at signing him after 2019 at a reasonable price.


Not happy.. not sad... it seems like a fair deal to me, that has the potential to bite the team in the ass if either Weaver or Kelly develop to an all-star level player... But of course they are prospects and Kelly hasn't done crap at the major league level to really warrant worrying about losing him... Weaver is different to me....but I just think he's better than his results...but again the Cardinals were trading from a position of strength...

The team has the money to sign him if they like what they see in him after the first month or two of the season, and if he shows an interest in playing for St Louis...then they'll legit try and sign him...if not, as a one year rental.... that gives us a pretty interesting lineup.

You have a three/four combo of Goldschmidt/Ozuna..you have Carpenter leading off (I think trying him at any other lineup spot is not going to happen unless we can get him out of that mental block) You have DeJong who is a 30 hr shortstop in a full season, Martinez a professional hitter (I'm assuming either he or Fowler is gone before the first pitch of the season) and Gyorko off of the bench. Heck Wong is a "disappointment" and yet averages about 3 war per full season. (thanks to defense though)

Ultimately though, it helps the team for next season, which was it's design... There is no Cardinal fan who is going to look at this deal and says "well that hurts us next year." It's very possible that the D-backs get 5 war out of Kelly/Weaver and the Cardinals get 5 out of Goldschmidt, but even that would be a win, since neither Kelly or Weaver would have produced that value for the Cardinals next year.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5794377)
So how many teams are capital T Tanking this year?

Mariners
Orioles
Marlins
Diamondbacks, probably

ALC buddies Tigers, Royals and White Sox are all terrible and so bereft of established talent that they could barely tank if they tried

   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5794378)
Looks like the Dodgers are in line for their seventh consecutive division title.


There were whispers that the Rockies were in on Goldschmidt. As bad as they've been at first base the past couple seasons, and as good as Goldschmidt is, he might have made them the favorites in the division.
   21. The Duke Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:18 PM (#5794379)
d- backs just got two major league starters. Not convinced they are tanking. They will dump Greinke for sure but let’s see what else they do first. Might be more of a retool.
   22. aberg Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5794383)
Young will try to join the long line of MLB stars from North Dakota, taking after all-time greats like Travis Hafner, Darin Erstad, Rick Helling, and Matt Strahm.
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5794384)
So how many teams are capital T Tanking this year?


Would the Blue Jays be considered "tanking"?

They can't dump Martin or Tulowitzki but Justin Smoak is probably out the door in July, and all the kids start grabbing full time slots (Bichette, Guerrero, Jansen, Tellez, Gurriel, Alford) this year.
They don't have any expensive pitchers right now, so nothing big should happen there (unless someone wows them big time for Stroman or Giles).
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5794390)
Boring to see a team give up on December 5th.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5794395)
d- backs just got two major league starters. Not convinced they are tanking. They will dump Greinke for sure but let’s see what else they do first. Might be more of a retool.


Don't usually agree with Duke, but he's right here... these are two major league starters by pretty much any reading of the cards.... and one at a position that they were pretty horrible at last year... mind you, Kelly hasn't really shown up as a legit major leaguer, but I'm thinking that is as much environment as anything else, he's at the age and has the background that he should be considered a legit major league starter at his position...until he shows he can't... and the same with Weaver.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5794398)
That's true, they went for MLB-ready talent, not the lottery pick guys. They might not be tanking. Guess we'll find out.
   27. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:47 PM (#5794401)
If you take as stipulated that the Diamondbacks decided they didn't want to sign Goldschmidt long term at his asking price, this looks like a pretty decent trade for Arizona to me.

I presume the Cardinals intend to extend him, and I'll be interested to see how that turns out. He has a long track record of both success and health, but even so, an 8-year megacontract, probably with an opt-out, for a 31 year old who plays first base only... better you than me. I wouldn't be in a hurry to sign that contract. I think the Diamondbacks made the right decision.
   28. Skloot Insurance Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5794404)
Help me see the value of Luke Weaver as a centerpiece or co-centerpiece. Last two years: 4.62 ERA, 86 ERA+, 4.06 FIP.

In 2018: below-average chase rate, below-average swinging-strike rate, negative pitch values across the board. Same deal in 2017, though his changeup scored much better in terms of run value, and his CHG was his top pitch as a prospect.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5794405)
I think he'll age fine, as much as you'd expect any 1B to do. He's a great defender, a great baserunner, good athlete for his size, super consistent hitter.
   30. Greg K Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5794406)
Would the Blue Jays be considered "tanking"?

They can't dump Martin or Tulowitzki but Justin Smoak is probably out the door in July, and all the kids start grabbing full time slots (Bichette, Guerrero, Jansen, Tellez, Gurriel, Alford) this year.
They don't have any expensive pitchers right now, so nothing big should happen there (unless someone wows them big time for Stroman or Giles).

It's kind of interesting. Put yourself in the shoes of the GM and tank the Jays. Then play GM and don't tank.

I'm not sure the two off-seasons you'd get would look all that different.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5794414)
They've decided LA and rest of the West is out of reach next year

LA -- check
Rest of West -- huh?
Other NL WC contenders -- huh?

Sure, chances are the Dodgers won't somehow sputter for half the year; the Cubs look to still be the Cubs which may not be as awesome as I'd hoped but is still a solid shot at 92+ wins. The Brewers need to show that last year wasn't overly lucky, I suspect the Braves get hit by the flexiglass principle, the Nats are the Nat, the Mets are the Mets, the Phils have a long way to come, the Rox will likely muddle as usual ... and the Cards ... well, they just took a big step forward to NLC title/WC contention thanks to the guy the DBacks just chose not to compete with. Instead turn yourself into the Padres.

Which isn't to say this is a bad trade. 1 year of Goldschmidt for a couple of decent young players could work out just fine. But it's a decision that should have been made with the understanding that they could in fact compete this year -- if you still choose this path, that's certainly defensible. But if it was made from a starting point of "we can't compete this year", that's not true.

As to retooling ... sure doesn't look like it. Best position player right now is probably Ketel Marte -- it's him or the late-bloomer Peralta or Nick Ahmed's glove hand. They would seem to now have a massive hole at 1B to go with their massive hole in CF and the massive hole left by Corbin and hoping Kelly is a big upgrade. About 14 WAR from last year's team is gone -- sure, most of that was gone anyway, but that's a lot of retooling. MLB.com puts their top prospect -- lead singer of Jethro Tull -- at #34.
   32. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 09:24 PM (#5794415)
Aren't the Cardinals a bit like the braves and Yankees in that they only trade their crap prospects?
   33. The Duke Posted: December 05, 2018 at 10:12 PM (#5794435)
Dan haren would like to have a word with you about that.
   34. TVerik. Old Java Rodney. Posted: December 06, 2018 at 12:50 AM (#5794467)
It's not a case of trading "PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT" It's a case of getting something for Goldy before he walks next year anyway.


I get your point, Hugh, but they definitely traded PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT. I checked.
   35. shoewizard Posted: December 06, 2018 at 01:46 AM (#5794468)
Aren't the Cardinals a bit like the braves and Yankees in that they only trade their crap prospects?


To this point, why did Francisco Pena get 31 starts at catcher and Kelly only received 11 ?

When Yadier was out May 6th to June 5th, Pena Started 17 games and Kelly just 8. Kelly got just 3 more starts in September, and Pena ended up with 31 starts. I know he didn't hit much but still...... why is Pena getting 31 starts and Kelly 11 ?

Should this factoid give a DBacks fan pause ?
   36. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:17 AM (#5794469)
Busch decreases HR's for righties by about 20% and he also plays much fewer games in Denver.
   37. KJOK Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:46 AM (#5794470)
When Yadier was out May 6th to June 5th, Pena Started 17 games and Kelly just 8. Kelly got just 3 more starts in September, and Pena ended up with 31 starts. I know he didn't hit much but still...... why is Pena getting 31 starts and Kelly 11 ?

Should this factoid give a DBacks fan pause ?


Matheny was still manager, and Kelly went a few games without hitting, so suddenly Pena was starting. Kelly should have been starting almost every game while Molina was out, so he could get into a hitting rhythm, and maybe the team could see if he were any good or not.

Weaver's not going to be a star, but he's a healthy starter with several years of team control, so he's valuable.
   38. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:58 AM (#5794472)
d- backs just got two major league starters. Not convinced they are tanking. They will dump Greinke for sure but let’s see what else they do first. Might be more of a retool.
They also lost Corbin, and will probably lose Pollock. They haven't really trumpeted their teardown, but it looks like a tank to me.
   39. Spahn Insane Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5794492)
not happy about losing Weaver though for a one year rental. But I guess you trade from a strength... Cardinals still have a ton of young pitching etc.

Uh, yeah. Was Weaver even assured a rotation spot?

If Goldschmidt hasn't been the most lethal Cub-killer per PA in recent years, he has to be close. Guess I can look forward to loathing him with even greater frequency and intensity next year.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5794496)
If Goldschmidt hasn't been the most lethal Cub-killer per PA in recent years, he has to be close.
Eugenio Suarez has to be up there. In the non-Heyward division, at least.
   41. Spahn Insane Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5794500)
Eugenio Suarez has to be up there.

Yeah, he's a more recent addition to the club, but a worthy one.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5794504)
Carson Kelly looks pretty weak as far as top prospects go.
   43. bbmck Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5794509)
Highest regular season OPS min 8 games vs Cubs 2016-2018

1.333 Bud Norris 5 PA, 667/667/667
1.297 Ozzie Albies 47 PA, 450/522/775
1.187 Curtis Granderson 37 PA, 344/405/781
1.167 Kelly Johnson 20 PA, 444/500/667
1.159 Paul Goldschmidt 79 PA, 328/456/703

1.151 Aaron Altherr 36 PA, 357/472/679
1.144 Nolan Arenado 82 PA, 364/378/766
1.132 Charlie Blackmon 58 PA, 311/466/667
1.106 Yairo Munoz 44 PA, 417/523/583
1.104 Kirk Nieuwenhuis 63 PA, 300/444/660

Top 3 min 100 PA:

14th 1.070 Randall Grichuk 104 PA, 316/356/714
16th 1.052 Joey Votto 232 PA, 349/453/599
31st 0.905 Eugenio Suarez 232 PA, 281/379/526

Using raw OPS does give an advantage to players who got around half their PA against the Cubs in Colorado or Arizona.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5794514)
In the non-Heyward division, at least.


Oof, shots fired.
   45. Zonk is One Individual Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5794517)
If Goldschmidt hasn't been the most lethal Cub-killer per PA in recent years, he has to be close.

Eugenio Suarez has to be up there


I may have found a use for Tyler Chatwood...

Damn. Forgot he's not exceptionally good at hitting the broad side of barn.
   46. Brian Posted: December 06, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5794553)
Carson Kelly sure is getting the benefit of the doubt that he can hit here and I just don't see it. He has been pretty weak with the bat throughout the Minors and word has it the pitchers in the Majors are even better. Why do you think he'll hit?
   47. salvomania Posted: December 06, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5794623)
Based on watching him the last two years, I don't think he'll hit at all.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5794627)
Carson Kelly sure is getting the benefit of the doubt that he can hit here and I just don't see it. He has been pretty weak with the bat throughout the Minors and word has it the pitchers in the Majors are even better. Why do you think he'll hit?

Based on watching him the last two years, I don't think he'll hit at all.

Well, his miLB numbers aren't that bad. Steamer projects him to an 85 wRC+, which is about average for a catcher. That seems reasonable.

He'll never be a good hitter, most likely.
   49. salvomania Posted: December 06, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5794684)
Kelly's cumulative stat line in 651 AB at AAA is .278/.373/.416, with 17 homers and 92 walks.

That's very similar to the MLB production of a Bobby Grich, who had 10 seasons between 12 and 20 homers and (in a very different era) a line of .266/.371/.424, while averaging 88 walks per 162 games.

So if Kelly can simply do at the big-league level what he's done at AAA, while playing a premium position, then I imagine we'll all be talking about his HOF case in 15 years.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5794687)
That's some quality analysis.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5794695)
So if Kelly can simply do at the big-league level what he's done at AAA, while playing a premium position, then I imagine we'll all be talking about his HOF case in 15 years.
A lot sooner than that...
   52. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5794702)
Busch decreases HR's for righties by about 20% and he also plays much fewer games in Denver.


This is countered by getting 18 games against the Reds pitching staff, which increases HR's for everyone by 100%. :-)
   53. Brian Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5794710)
I repeat:

the pitchers in the Majors are even better. Why do you think he'll hit?


So if Kelly can simply do at the big-league level what he's done at AAA


Simply? I will simply be amazed if he hits well enough to hold a job.

Simply ... ha.
   54. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5794744)
Somebody add a sarcasm detector to Brian's Xmas wish list.

I don't see anybody suggesting Kelly will "hit" at the ML level. The sense I get is that Kelly has a decent shot at being an average ML C. Last year AZ was replacement level at C. If he's average then, depending on playing time, that's about a 1.5-2 win upgrade right there. He has 6 years of control left (but will be a super-2). If the DBacks can get 4-5 years of average catching for 1 year of Goldschmidt, that's not a terrible swap under the circumstances.

Everyone seems to agree that this is not a major haul for AZ. But they traded away 4-6 WAR for 1 year ... if even one of Kelly/Weaver deliver a few years of full-time average-ishness, they'll at least be even when it comes to total WAR. There's a very good chance (possibly even the expectation) that they will win the total WAR comparison. Winning the total WAR comparison isn't exciting when it's spread out over 5+ years but it's potentially a couple of roster spots they don't have to worry about and can fill pretty cheaply. Worst-case scenario, they both flop and they missed out on one final year of Goldschmidt.

As Hugh hints at, they didn't trade PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT, they traded one year of Paul Goldschmidt. Nobody will intentionally trade you Mike Piazza for that.
   55. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5794753)
It’s major league average hitting for a catcher at really low salary. D-backs value here is sky high.
   56. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5794765)
It’s major league average hitting for a catcher at really low salary. D-backs value here is sky high.
And they're replacing Jeff Mathis. Jeff Mathis, people.
   57. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5794769)
Winning the total WAR comparison isn't exciting when it's spread out over 5+ years...


arent you the one arguing that WAR is better than WAA for these HOF comparisons?
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5794777)
It’s major league average hitting for a catcher at really low salary. D-backs value here is sky high.

I don't think anyone expects Kelly to be an MLB average hitter. He may be average for a catcher though.
   59. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2018 at 06:31 PM (#5794829)
His minor league stats would suggest otherwise. I put little value on his major league tally given that it was so haphazard
   60. Brian Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5794889)
#54

Walt, do they come in a pinstriped model?? Get me two, I might need a backup.
   61. Walt Davis Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5795228)
arent you the one arguing that WAR is better than WAA for these HOF comparisons?

Is Carson Kelly being compared with Paul Golschmdit in terms of HoF-worthiness? Not to belabor the point but in an HoF comparison, for two comparable players, a WAA gap amounts to a relatively small difference spread out over 10+ seasons and is equivalent to the WAR gap over those many seasons. If the lower WAA player manages to close that WAR gap, that usually means they produced that equally-sized WAR gap in fewer years than the WAA gap. In short, a 10-WAR gap spread over 10 years (the WAA component) is compared with a 10 WAR gap over 3-5 years during which the higher WAR player didn't play. So why is 10 WAR over 10 years more valuable than 10 WAR over 5 years?

Still I don't see any inconsistency but yes, a (potentially) 4-5 WAR gap in the first year being compared with a corresponding 4-5 WAR gap spread over the subsequent 4-5 years is not the same comparison as 10/10 vs 10/5. Further, I said it "isn't exciting" to win the total WAR when it's spread over 5+ years, not that it wasn't good.

Another piece you're ignoring is the "time value of WAR" (analogous to time value of money but not really the same thing). Basically, of course you want a return on your investment. If you "sell" 4-6 WAR for 2019, you hope to receive more than 4-6 future WAR in return, otherwise it's not at all clear why you sold off your asset. But, like this trade, nobody ever considered (prime) mortgage lending an exciting activity.

Another piece you're missing is that an HoF comparison is a comparison between two players. Part of the "WAA is most important" argument is that the "team" will replace the short-career player and on average, will get average production from his replacement, and so the longer-career player is not adding value to his "team." That ignores that, especially in the FA era, the "team" in question is hypothetical but, most importantly, ignores that we are comparing the quality, value, HoF-worthiness of two PLAYERS and the fact that one player remained good (and healthy) enough to add another 10 WAR of value while the other did not is clearly a big point in the more durable player's favor. So that Dick Allen's hypothetical future teams may have replaced him with a player equivalent to late-career Eddie Murray deosn't have anything to do with a comparison of Allen with Murray.

But this isn't a player-to-player comparison, this is the question of whether the TEAM will extract sufficent value from Kelly/Weaver over the next 6 years to compensate for giving up the 4-6 WAR that Goldschmidt was likely to give them this year. But the answer to that is largely the same -- they hope that, at a minimum, these guys will produce as much WAR over 6 years as Goldy in one. What they are hoping for is that Kelly will be a 3-WAR catcher. The difference is that, since we aren't comparing individuals, the question of whether AZ has other (cheap) average options they could acquire without trading Goldy is actually relevant.

So ... fans always hope their team is going to trade 2 months of Chapman for 6 years of Torres. Smarter fans hope that at least if they are trading a superstar that they will get, say Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen or Mike Cameron in return. But sure, the team will probably be happy if they can trade 1 year of a superstar for 5-6 years of Konerko ... but nobody's excited about it.

OK, rambling on too long now but ... most of the "peak is all, WAA is king" argument comes from rare/non-existent comparisons. Would you rather have 5 seasons of 8-WAR Koufax or 20 years of an average pitcher ... hey they're both 40 WAR! Not only is that extreme and not a comparison anybody has ever needed to make in real life but that's already looking at things from a team's perspeective. It's not a question of "which would you rather have" it's a question of which individual was "better" or "more deserving" or even "produced more value."

And of course as I say in virtually every post where I discuss this, my top HoF criterion is GREATNESS. I state from the very beginning that it is NOT VALUE although the two obviously are closely related. Both the WAA and WAR crowd are arguing from a value standpoint and, by value, it's obvious that equal WAR is equal WAR ... or, if antyhing, 10 WAR over 10 years is not as valuable as 10 WAR over 5 years, giving the edge to the lower WAA player. It's not my fault that folks are arguing HoF-worthniness based on value then misunderstanding how WAR and WAA work. (Greatness is my top criteria not my only one, even I am bigger HoF than that.)

Now a greatness criterion still leads to valuing "peak" more than career -- though I think "peak" here should generally be more in the 8-10 year range, not 5. But sure, Mike Trout proved in his first 5 years that he's one of the greatest players to ever play the game and he was HoF-worthy no matter what happened for the rest of his career. The same holds for Koufax. Sometime around 2014-15, I started saying that all Kershaw needs to go into the HoF was to throw at least one pitch in 2017 (year 10 of his career). If you're among the very, very best in the game for several years and you perform at an historically elite level in those years, you're probably in as far as I'm concerned. Of course in reality, the vast majority of these great peak players go on to play for a long time and amass plenty of career value too, pass milestones, etc. saving us from having to worry about this scenario very often.

And if the WAA/WAR argument was limited to that handful of historic peak-only cases, there'd be little point of discussion. But it's regularly trotted out for borderline cases where somebody like Vlad compiles about 50-60 WAR over 10-12 seasons, is compared to some other very good player who amassed 10 fewer WAR over those same seasons ... then went on to play for another 10+ WAR whle the Vlad-type either didn't play or played very poorly. Vlad was an excellent player but, even at his best, he wasn't great. As somebody pointed out the other day, he has no important black ink (TB twice is his best); he never was better than 3rd in WARpos, only 4 seasons in the top 10.

So, in WAR/WAA terms ...

50 WAR/40 WAA in 5 years -- I'll put that player in right now
50 WAR/35 WAA in 7+ years with 3 CYA and 65 points of black ink -- yep
60 WAR/35 WAA in 12 years ... excellent start, not there yet

but, most importantly ...

60 WAR/35 WAA in 12 years compared to 50 WAR/25 WAA in 10 years ... player 1 is clearly better over that stretch but the gap is not huge.

Even from a team perspective, that extra 1 win per year generally does not make a big difference. You're not adding pennants relative to the other player. Sure, we can probably dig up a player whose 60 WAR in 12 years was 40 WAR in 6 and 20 WAR in 6 and one whose 50 WAR was a flat 4 WAR/year and then maybe there's a small pennants-added type advantage ... but 40 WAR in 6 years is getting mighty close to 50 WAR in 7 although, possibly unfairly, I am less impressed if those seasons are spread out rather than consecutive. Anyway, even if you want to use WAR/WAA as a measure of HoF-worthiness, a 10-WAR gap over 10-12 years can easily be made up for by durability.

Let's take what seems like about the most extreme case on the surface -- McGwire vs Murray. Mac had 62 WAR in 7660 PA. He had one undeniably great season and, impressively, 3-4 more that were at a great level on a per-PA, per-game basis in several injury-marred seasons. In his first 12 seasons, Murray had 7790 PA, arguably no great seasons and ... 56 WAR. That's a trivial gap over 12 seasons. From that point Murray didn't do much of value (much less greatness) with 5000 PA for 12 WAR, -4 WAA. But McGwire did nothing.

There's certainly no value-based argument that McGwir's prime establishes him as a clearly more deserving player even when compared with just Murray's prime. There may be a greatness argument resting on those injury-marred seasons but that's obviously pretty speculative. It's not at all clear why Murray's 12 WAR over nearly 8 full seasons (compared with Mac's 0) shouldn't be seen as equally valuable to Mac's 6 WAR/WAA edge over the first 7500+ PA. Yet if we look at career WAA (totally useless), it's Mac at 37 and Murray at 27.

So Mac had a 6 WAA gap then was no longer capable of playing MLB ... and saw his "edge" grow to 10 WAA because Eddie Murray had several average years (and some bad years) left in him. Career WAA tells a story that is the exact opposite of what actually happened which is why it is totally useless. Peak/prime WAA is a perfectly fine comparison of peak/prime value -- but it tells you the exact same story as peak/prime WAR (basically by definition). Career WAR is the only (easily available b-r) value stat that captures both their peak/prime comparison and the reality of their post-prime comparison.

But, without question, watching Eddie Murray add 5000 PA of 12 WAR was not very often "exciting." That doesn't mean it wasn't valuably boring, that doesn't mean it didn't make up Mac's surprisingly small prime advantage.

Now if you want to spend your time crafting a great peak vs. average argument by comping Mac to Konerko, be my guest.
   62. Sunday silence Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5795256)


OK, rambling on too long now but ... most of the "peak is all, WAA is king" argument comes from rare/non-existent comparisons.


well let's just focus on this one part for now. If WAR and WAA are pretty similar, or any huge difference is "rare", then how is that an argument FOR WAR? It's not. All you're saying is neither one is better than the other. You keep saying they are about the same or it's only in rare cases, etc. Maybe not verbatim what you said, but I think you said something similar.

I dont see that logic here. Your main argument seems to be that they are not that dissimilar or it's only in rare cases, etc. something like that. But that's not an argument for or against...

But its precisely those edge cases we are talking about where that sort of choice actually matters. Like I dunno, say Dizzy Dean, or Dick Allen, or Reggie Smith. THere's actually quite a lot of them if you think about it, and I dont think its fair or intellectually honest to say that these sorts of situations are rare or not worth the details or whatever your argument is there.

No one's arguing about the top 150 HOFer's and no ones arguing about the 12,000+ guys who arent close to the HOF. But there's a brisk and interesting debate about maybe 60-80 guys who are borderline. To dismiss all those cases and say WAA doesnt make a difference except in rare cases, well it just doesnt sound logical to me.

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