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Sunday, December 08, 2013

FanGraphs: Blengino: The Cano Decade

Hey, Tony Blengino here. You might remember me from such Mariner classics as “MMIX – Negative Run Differential Theater” , or “2010 – A Spaced Odyssey”. For some years, I was a scout with the Brewers, and in more recent years I was an assistant to the GM with the Mariners. While I’m between baseball adventures, I’ve been given the privilege of writing on the storied pages of FanGraphs. I know the bar is high here, and I’ll do my best to reach it.

Alas, I am no longer a Mariner, but I was one long enough to help assemble a crew of talented, relatively inexpensive youngsters that made the Robinson Cano Era possible. This article will not attempt to say whether a 10-year, $240M commitment to Cano is a sign of the apocalypse, the gateway to a golden era in Mariner baseball, or something in between. There will be plenty of other articles for that. In this one, I will simply take a look at the player’s potential aging curve, from a couple of different perspectives — one historical, one more qualitative. Let’s get this out of the way from the get-go — Robinson Cano is pretty good. Clearly the best bat on the free agent market, and certainly a sturdier asset than Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton were at the time they entered the free-agent market. He has been remarkably consistent, and remarkably healthy throughout his career. He provides offense at a position where it is not plentiful. But where does Robby Cano fit in with other offensive 2Bs in baseball history, and how did they age? Let’s take a look.

bobm Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:47 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: #6org, mariners, robinson cano

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4613793)
The article notes something I've noticed before -- there have been a lot of spectacular age 31-32 seasons at 2B.

Morgan 11 WAR
Hornsby 10
Lajoie 10
Robinson 10 (32)
Morgan 10 (32)
Biggio 9
Boone 9 (32)
Hornsby 9 (32)
Gehringer 8
Sandberg 8 (32)
Gehringer 8 (32)
Lajoie 8 (32)
Robinson 8
Alomar 7
Kent 7 (32)
Sandberg 7
Gordon 7 (32)
Franco 7
Biggio 7 (32)

You can add Carew 10 but he was mostly at 1B then. Molitor also had his best 3-year WAR stretch from 30-32.

There have been 43 2B seasons (70%) of 8+ WAR, 18 of those from age 30 or later. Some other positions

3B: 8 out of 33, only one after 31
CF: 10 out of 53
1B: 8 out of 28
SS: 9 out of 31
LF: 13 out of 37 (9 Bonds, 7 Williams)
RF: 9 out of 26

So 43 such seasons out of 2B is the second-most of any position and they have the most from age 30 on by count and percentage. I fully expect Cano to do well at ages 31-32.

That there's any problem for 2B it's sometime after that. From age 34 on, using a 5 WAR cutoff:

1B: 17
2B: 19
SS: 29
3B: 14
LF: 25
CF: 19
RF: 15

Of course both lists miss seasons where guys were split among 1B/LF/RF, etc. Anyway, 2B continue to hold their own on this list and maybe we shouldn't be so scared of aging star SS either. Of course that is largely just Ozzie, Appling and Wagner.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:12 PM (#4613814)
I've got to say that for a guy who was a MLB stats consultant this looks like rather odd analysis. Fine if he's trying to write down to the punters but "through 30 OPS+", "9-year OPS+" etc. are both mostly redundant but also not that predictive for a guy at this stage. Surely Cano's 141 OPS+ and 30 WAR from ages 27-30 is the more important point for predicting his future.

Still, he ends up with the standard comp list and the fairly standard conclusion. What he seems to be potentially under-rating is that even if he becomes a non-star at 34-35 he might produce a ton of value before then. I've noted in other threads that the good 2B seem to almost always make it to 20 WAR from 31 on and a few have made 30 and a couple have passed that -- with the vast majority of that production coming age 31-33/34. I would guess Cano will produce something close to 20 WAR over the next three years if healthy. The problem is he's got to total at least 30 and more likely 35+ WAR for this deal to break even. Which of course he might.

Back to the article:


Cano has already had his best season.
He will never hit 30 homers again.
He won’t ever hit his career-best .342 again, but he will bat at least .330 one more time in his career, and will have multiple future .300 seasons.
He will hit 50 doubles in a season.
His legendary durability will take a hit, beginning sometime in the next couple of seasons.
By age 34 or 35, Cano will cease to be a star, and will hit for a decent average, with few extras.
He will then hang around to reach milestones and collect his handsome paycheck.
He will reach 3000 hits and someday be deservedly enshrined in Cooperstown, while the equally deserving but comparably counting-stat-poor Chase Utley and Bobby Grich will not.


#1 I wouldn't count on that
#2 Probably but this might be more park than anything
#3 Duh. He hit that at age 23 and hasn't topped 320 since. I wouldn't count on that 330. But you never know -- I think Molitor is a pretty good hitting comp and his BA peaked in his late 30s.
#4 See #2
#5 Well, eventually sure ... but if it's not soon then it doesn't matter a lot unless it's catastrophic later
#6 Depends on your definition of star I suppose but my post above suggests it's no less likely for Cano than anybody else.
#7 I completely agree he is unlikely to retire and leave tens of millions on the table.
#8 I think it's a little too early to speculate that Utley will be equally deserving. He's 4 years older and only 13 WAR ahead right now. I ain't gonna call it the other way either. Grich is sitting on 71 WAR which makes him the easy leader in the clubhouse among these three. Of course Whitaker wins on career WAR and post-30 production ... just sayin'

What might be interesting (exceptionally unlikely) is that sometime around 34-35, Cano moves into Whitaker's platoon role. More likely of course is the Carew/Molitor/Brett 1B/DH route.

And I do find it interesting that I don't think he once raised the idea that Cano might have to be moved elsewhere. That would be fine if he can produce like them -- 29 WAR for Brett, 32 for Carew, 40 for Molitor from 31 on.

He comps him to Sandberg who folks like to pull out as a collapse. Well, he did decline substantially at 33 but was still a 3+ WAR player. He looks like a collapse because he missed over 1.5 seasons due to the Cindy retirement. After missing that time, he came back at 36 for 3.2 WAR ... then was done at 37. Give him another 4-5 WAR for the missed time and he's up to 27-28 WAR from 31 on. That's not a problem ... well, unless maybe you're paying a guy $240 M for it.

The more I look at it, the more I think Cano has a pretty good chance of reaching 30 WAR whereas I was thinking more an expectation of 20-25 before.
   3. madvillain Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4613822)
I would guess Cano will produce something close to 20 WAR over the next three years if healthy.


I'd be uncomfortable projecting anyone other than Mike Trout with 20 WAR over the next 3 years. Cano isn't such a hitting superstar or glove wizard that he's a lock for that sort of projection, and as I said, I don't think anyone in today's game other than Trout is.
   4. Tim D Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4613843)
More sour grapes from Blengino, who would like nothing better than to see Cano flame out. From a non-SABR perspective, Cano is an elite player, durable at a position where durability is a skill, going to a park that will hurt his HR and RBI totals, but not much else. He is going to be very good for quite awhile and while Seattle has mega-overpaid, that is all academic if they can put together a winner and change the Mariner brand. With the young talent they have and 2 bonafide stars they could do it, although I am not sure Jack Z is the guy to pull it off. Anyway, the more I hear of Blengino the less impressed I am.
   5. Esoteric Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4613855)
More sour grapes from Blengino, who would like nothing better than to see Cano flame out.
Dave Cameron has pointed out that he asked Blengino to write that article a few weeks ago -- an analysis of Cano's future value -- and it was essentially finished days before Cano signed with the Mariners. (And, thus, also before the Mariners were seriously thought to be a realistic contender for Cano's services.) Perhaps you didn't notice, but nothing other than the introduction really relates to the actual contract Cano signed with the M's. It's all about future value and makes no reference to years, dollar values, or teams. It was clearly written up before the news of the M's signing him dropped, which of course Cameron has confirmed.

So, whatever your other disagreements with the analysis, the 'sour grapes' accusation is misplaced.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4613866)
Dave Cameron has pointed out that he asked Blengino to write that article a few weeks ago


It is amazing, though. I wonder if Blengino thought about asking him not to run it.
   7. tfbg9 Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4613888)
I first read the headline as "Beningo", as in Joe Beningo, the ultra lunch pail WFAN sports talker.

All I got.
   8. Publius Publicola Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4613892)
Now that I see Blengino writing this stuff, I'm less inclined to grant him credibility for the stuff he said in the Seattle Times article.

Give it up already. You don't work there now. Move on, for Christmas sake.
   9. Tim D Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4613911)
Yeah I'm sure nothing at all was changed in the 3-4 days between the apparent Seattle signing and the release of the article. Wouldn't want to change anything too obvious, but those tricky conclusions, well, you know, I would guess there was a little late editing.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4613914)
More sour grapes from Blengino, who would like nothing better than to see Cano flame out. From a non-SABR perspective, Cano is an elite player, durable at a position where durability is a skill, going to a park that will hurt his HR and RBI totals, but not much else. He is going to be very good for quite awhile and while Seattle has mega-overpaid,

I don't see anything in the article that says any different.

I'd be uncomfortable projecting anyone other than Mike Trout with 20 WAR over the next 3 years.

C'mon now, I use weasel terms like "close to" for just this reason. Also "guess" is not meant as "official projection", it's got gut feeling in there too.

P-I turns up 11 2B who produced 15+ WAR (not so close to 20) from 31-33, 8 with 18+ (which is "close to 20"). That's rare obviously but the reasonably recent names are Morgan, Biggio, Alomar, Sandberg and Kent -- exactly the guys we'd comp him to right now. Add Carew at 17, Grich at 13 (the strike of 81 may have cost 1-2 WAR), Molitor 14 (missed 1/3 of a season), Brett 15 in 1600 PA, Yount 15.

If you look at 2B from 27-30, the only modern guys ahead of him were Morgan and Utley with Carew right on his butt ... and they're 7 WAR ahead of the next closest (Knoblauch, the cautionary tale, but he was clearly a step down already at 29 and 30). The guy was 7+ wins better than Sandberg, Biggio, Alomar from 27-30. He was 6 wins better than Brett, 10 wins better than Yount. He has been way, way out there on the 2B spectrum, he's just never had that 10 WAR season like Morgan or Carew. I'm guessing (and it's a guess) that he will have one of those monster years over the next three.

I will add the caveat that this assumes reasonable health which, yes, is a big cop out. Utley is this cautionary tale but it hasn't been a big drop-off in quality -- 13 WAR in about 1300 PA. So what I really mean is that I don't see any reason to project a substantial decline in quality from Cano over the next 3 years ... and I pretty much consider injury a random event (after adjusting for past injuries).
   11. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 08, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4613922)
Anyway, the more I hear of Blengino the less impressed I am.


You should consider how opinions of you change with every post you make. If you can't criticize the analysis, save the aspersions on motive, I don't think anyone cares. I haven't read any cogent defense of the Cano signing that paints it as anything other than a massive overpay and long term disaster.
And "Change the brand" is a marketing term to cover fuzzy thinking, the only way to change the brand is to win, the real question is this the best route to winning?

The Mariners can't win solely with pitching, their position players are a wasteland nearly devoid of league average talent. They can't win unless a significant number of their young players take big steps forward, ask the KC Royals how long that can take and how often young prospects take one step forward then two steps back. This deal surpluses their second most valuable position player at age 22 to pour $240m into a player who is likely to be league average in 4-5 years. Why couldn't the Mariners spend $24m a year filling two holes with above average players and building team depth? If Cano goes down so are their playoff hopes. If Franklin is their only successful position player in another uniform the deal is a disaster. Even if the wins are roughly equal, signing some decent veterans to win now while youngsters serve as cheap backups means they also wouldn't have to punt on nearly $100m in future spending during the portion of Canos career where he slides from asset to liability.
   12. Tim D Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4613934)
"the only way to change the brand is to win, the real question is this the best route to winning?"

More to the point is it a plausible route as opposed to "the best." In the next 3-4 years it might be. Cano is a top 5 player, those don't grow on trees. With Cano on board they just might "spend $24m (more) a year filling two holes with above average players and building team depth." The Tigers were an ultra-disaster 10 years ago. They threw money at Pudge and Magglio, drafted well, continued to spend and "changed the brand." Perhaps some very good players will realize Seattle is a great place to live and play. Perhaps not, but as you point out they don't have much else happening. If it's all monopoly money (and these guys sound really loaded) then who's to say it can't work.
   13. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:54 AM (#4613980)
That 2006 Tigers team should be more along the lines of Dumbrowski acquiring some very good players (Guillen, Infante, Polanco types), his first couple of drafts started to pay off (Verlander, Granderson, Zumaya) and they filled in the blanks with the Maglio, Pudge, and Kenny Rogers types.

I would argue that Dumbrowski started throwing money around after the foundation was built. I guess you could argue the same thing with the Ms with the farm system starting to pay dividends, but I think that whole "pay someone so other free agents come here" is way more complicated when you actually take a look at the examples that people use.

Plus, Dumbrowski had way more credibility in 04-06 when he was attracting guys than Jack Z may ever have. By that time, he had built a World Series winner and made significant contributions to another.
   14. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4614019)
If Franklin is their only successful position player in another uniform the deal is a disaster.
This is the part I don't understand. The Ms aren't one player away; they aren't one player plus some seasoning of other players away. Spending big on Cano still doesn't make them a good team, and it blocks their best prospect forever.

   15. Tim D Posted: December 09, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4614573)
That's what everybody said about the Tigers and Pudge. (and Magglio)
   16. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 09, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4614675)
That's what everybody said about the Tigers and Pudge. (and Magglio)
Is that in response to me?

The Tigers signed Pudge before the '04 season, replacing Brandon Inge who at that point was entering his age-27 season with a career 55 OPS+. Among their top 10 prospects, none were catchers.

They signed Ordonez before the '05 season, replacing 33 year old has-been Bobby Higginson in RF (he only had 27 career PA after '04, making over $327,000 for each of those PAs). I can't find the BA top-10 list, but John Sickles thought they almost all sucked (and they almost all did). Granderson was the only OF whom he liked even a little, and Ordonez hardly blocked him.
   17. FrankM Posted: December 09, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4614730)
Add Carew at 17, Grich at 13 (the strike of 81 may have cost 1-2 WAR), Molitor 14 (missed 1/3 of a season), Brett 15 in 1600 PA, Yount 15.

Grich went on the DL with a broken finger just before the strike and probably would have missed most, if not all, of the cancelled games anyway. He was activated when the season resumed.

Just feeling nitpicky here.

   18. Walt Davis Posted: December 09, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4614737)
it blocks their best prospect forever.

No, you move Franklin to another position or possibly trade him for equal value. He played as much SS as 2B in the minors ... I assume he has the arm for 3B. He's stolen a decent number of bases and had positive baserunning numbers in his debut so I'm guessing he's got the speed for CF. Franklin's only 22.

I haven't read any cogent defense of the Cano signing that paints it as anything other than a massive overpay and long term disaster.

Well ZiPS projected him to 35 WAR. There's the article of a couple weeks ago arguing the true price of WAR on the FA market is $7 M per ... which seemed sensible given he actually looked at contracts long-term. Add inflation over the next 10 years, don't know if the thing is backloaded or deferred ... if he actually projects to 35 WAR (which means a reasonable chance of 40-45 WAR) then 10/$240 is not out of line.

I can't believe he, or anybody really, projects that well over ages 31-40 but, based on ZiPS, this seems at best a small overpay.
   19. Tim D Posted: December 09, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4614740)
My point with Pudge and Magglio was that the SABR community condemned the signings as a waste of $$$ because the Tigers had too many holes and were not ready to contend. They were wrong. Of course Pudge and Magglio didn't block anybody; the Tigers had nothing, but with FA signings, a couple of good trades and some player development they went from historically inept to the WS in three years, and they have been good since. The Mariners could do the same, not to say they will.

As for blocking their best prospect, Franklin is nowhere near the M's best prospect, nor their best young player. He has thus far not turned out as well as Seager, Smoak or perhaps even Ackley, who finally started to hit a little the end of last year. Miller is an offense first SS and he pushed Franklin to 2B, which tells me Franklin is likely done as a SS. He may be a ML regular but he sure doesn't look like a star and if they trade him for something they can use what is the tragedy there?
   20. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:35 PM (#4614834)
No one is saying Franklin is their best prospect. I'm saying if he's worth 2-3 WAR for free the next 3-4 years, you are spending $24m a year to add 2-4 wins. The Ms are unlikely to get close to full value out of trading him, the market is inefficient because the number of buyers are limited, and they also know the Mariners can't get full value out of keeping him.

If Franklin generates 12 wins the next 5 years for another team while Cano creates 35 over the course of his contract, then the Ms paid $230mish to add an incremental 23 wins, or $10m per win.

I think the far more sensible route is to get a pair of older 2-3 WAR position players for $25m-$30m a year over 3-4 years, say an outfielder and an infielder. And keep all those talented youngsters, the ones you block as either backups or developing in the minors. Now as players develop or not, get hurt or not, you have a multitude of options to put out a competent MLB lineup and defense and that's all you need to do with this staff to win. And when you figure out which youngsters become solid starters and stars, you have contracts expiring at the right time to retain your stars or fill in other holes.

Right now they have Seager and Cano, and pray the rest of the youngsters step up. As KC has shown prospects don't all don't step forward at once. If none step up it sucks especially if Franklin starts putting up 4 WAR seasons for another team. And it's a disaster if Cano gets hurt, which he is more likely to do over time in his thirties. Even if Cano puts up multiple 6 win seasons, they can't win if 2-3 position players are sub replacement level.

I'm in favor of a flexible roster construction. They cemented a huge amount of the budget in an aging player in a position that wasn't a need, They now have much less dry powder left to address other gaping holes, or to handle injuries and unforeseen positional needs (say if Seager mysteriously regresses to replacement level).
   21. The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4614840)
I think that balancing free agents vs. upcoming prospects in your organization is a basic tradeoff type of thing. If you have a situation where the prospect is good (but not great) and major-league ready like Jackie Bradley Jr., and the free agent is good (but not great) like Jacoby Ellsbury, then I think the prospect should be a huge factor in whether you pursue the free agent (i.e., you probably shouldn't). If the prospect is super-great like a Bryce Harper, then don't ever sign a free agent who blocks him. And if the free agent is super-great like a 27-year-old A-Rod, then don't worry at all about your prospects who play the same position. Franklin vs. Cano is much closer to that last case, to me. If your logic is that your prospect who projects to 2 WAR is more efficient in terms of WAR/$ than signing a projected 7 WAR player, I suppose you're not "wrong" per se... but you should also write off the free agent market together, because spending huge money on projected 7 WAR free agents is a lot better idea than spending half as much money on projected 3 WAR free agents.

Now that doesn't mean that signing Cano for 10 years -- well past the point where he will be a 7 WAR player -- is necessarily a good idea. I'm saying that how the contract turns out will depend on what Cano does, not on the presence of Franklin.

I'm undecided on the Cano contract, but I do know that I'm super-sick of hearing about what Pudge Rodriguez signed ten years ago. Apparently that one contract justifies any contract anyone will ever sign.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4614849)
No one is saying Franklin is their best prospect. I'm saying if he's worth 2-3 WAR for free the next 3-4 years, you are spending $24m a year to add 2-4 wins. The Ms are unlikely to get close to full value out of trading him, the market is inefficient because the number of buyers are limited, and they also know the Mariners can't get full value out of keeping him.


All of this math seems fuzzy.

For starters, 2-3 WAR is pretty darn good. That's a really solid player. That's Howie Kendrick or Neil Walker. You cannot project Franklin to provide that type of value.

And you can't hand wave away his value in the trade market. The M's may not be able to get full value back, for any number of reasons. But they would get something back, and you need to add that into your ledger. Franklin doesn't immediately turn into a zero.
   23. Tim D Posted: December 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4614856)
"....and it blocks their best prospect forever."

"No one is saying Franklin is their best prospect."

Am I missing something here?

Even assuming Franklin is worth 2-3 WAR, a stretch, the M's can move him now for an equivalent player at a position of need and add that WAR to Cano's. It's an overpay for Cano, maybe a huge overpay, but it could work. Stranger things have happened.
   24. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 10, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4614857)
Cano is a top 5 player, those don't grow on trees.


Cano WAS a top 5 player, he's unlikely to be one much longer.

For starters, 2-3 WAR is pretty darn good. That's a really solid player. That's Howie Kendrick or Neil Walker. You cannot project Franklin to provide that type of value.


He produced 2.3 WAR in only 102 games this year at age 22, and had a minor league .819 OPS at relatively young ages. I'd be surprised if he is projected to produce less than 2-3 WAR a year.

And you can't hand wave away his value in the trade market. The M's may not be able to get full value back, for any number of reasons. But they would get something back, and you need to add that into your ledger. Franklin doesn't immediately turn into a zero.


This is true, and if the Ms swap him for an equally useful player then that addresses one of my complaints. The Shields/Meyers trade, which is still terrible, but was even more terrible before Shields signed an extension a few days later. That extension showed Dayton Moore had a plan that alleviated one of the worst problems with the trade.

So if the Ms find a way to get great value out of Franklin that certainly addresses one of my objections to the trade, that the incremental WAR is over-stated because Cano isn't sliding into a replacement level hole in their lineup.

Well ZiPS projected him to 35 WAR. There's the article of a couple weeks ago arguing the true price of WAR on the FA market is $7 M per ... which seemed sensible given he actually looked at contracts long-term. Add inflation over the next 10 years, don't know if the thing is backloaded or deferred ... if he actually projects to 35 WAR (which means a reasonable chance of 40-45 WAR) then 10/$240 is not out of line.

I can't believe he, or anybody really, projects that well over ages 31-40 but, based on ZiPS, this seems at best a small overpay.


I'm skeptical as well about the 35 WAR figure. I think the sample size of comparable players is so tiny that statistical forecasting has massive error ranges, and that even if the averages seem reasonable the mean may be significantly different.

I suspect that it's closer to something like 30% of the time he produces 45 WAR, and 70% of the time 28 WAR, and that spreading the investment over multiple players leads to more success because of the teams greater roster flexibility and ability to overcome injuries and performance busts.

Edit: And lastly, Buffett became the worlds richest man with a firm belief in the necessity of a significant "margin of safety" in purchasing assets for BELOW their market value. Even if Cano is being paid roughly market value (extremely unlikely with todays story they raised their bid to beat a mystery bidder that was... ta da themselves);, it seems that better value can be had elsewhere.
   25. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 10, 2013 at 01:01 AM (#4614859)
Am I missing something here?

Even assuming Franklin is worth 2-3 WAR, a stretch, the M's can move him now for an equivalent player at a position of need and add that WAR to Cano's. It's an overpay for Cano, maybe a huge overpay, but it could work. Stranger things have happened.


I'm not saying he's their best prospect. I said he was their 2nd most valuable position player last year, which he was by cost/WAR.

And how the heck is it a stretch to think a good prospect cannot duplicate 102 games of age 22 season value in a 150 games?

Let's see if the Ms can turn him into equivalent value, but again the smart safer route would be to use those funds to upgrade multiple positions and have a deeper roster.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4614880)
He produced 2.3 WAR in only 102 games this year at age 22, and had a minor league .819 OPS at relatively young ages. I'd be surprised if he is projected to produce less than 2-3 WAR a year.


Funny, Fangraphs has him at 0.4 WAR. I think that projection is optimistic.

Edit: And lastly, Buffett became the worlds richest man with a firm belief in the necessity of a significant "margin of safety" in purchasing assets for BELOW their market value.


This Buffett analogy is totally useless, and I'm sure you can name even more reasons why it is so than I can.
   27. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 10, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4615282)
This Buffett analogy is totally useless, and I'm sure you can name even more reasons why it is so than I can


Since you can name none, I'm guessing it's a pretty good analogy. Though I had a typo.

And lastly, Buffett became the worlds richest man with a firm belief in the necessity of a significant "margin of safety" in purchasing assets for BELOW their edit: ACTUAL value.


Value investing is very similar to being a baseball GM. You seek to invest your resources in a portfolio of assets aquired at a substantial discount to their actual value, as the market reprices it's opinion of those assets to market value or higher, you often sell them and acquire new undervalued assets.



   28. madvillain Posted: December 10, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4615308)
Even if Cano is being paid roughly market value (extremely unlikely with todays story they raised their bid to beat a mystery bidder that was... ta da themselves);, it seems that better value can be had elsewhere.


The analogy doesn't hold, you can only field 9 guys at a time and build a roster with 25. Getting 6 WAR from one position is worth more, how much more I'm not sure, than getting 2 WAR x 3.

Not even saying this is a good deal for the M's, but getting a superstar has value more than just a linear cost per WAR calculation shows.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4615311)
The Shields/Meyers trade, which is still terrible, but was even more terrible before Shields signed an extension a few days later. That extension showed Dayton Moore had a plan that alleviated one of the worst problems with the trade.

Did this happen? I have no recollection of it, and neither Cot's, nor B-Ref have any record of a Shields extension with KC.

AFAIK, Shields is only signed through 2014.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4615325)
Value investing is very similar to being a baseball GM. You seek to invest your resources in a portfolio of assets aquired at a substantial discount to their actual value, as the market reprices it's opinion of those assets to market value or higher, you often sell them and acquire new undervalued assets.


This can be better rephrased as: it's smart to buy low and sell high. Thank you for your fresh and insightful take on the subject.

Tell me what the stock market equivalent of Robinson Cano is? An extremely high priced stock that you know will lose value but in the meantime is virtually certain to produce tons of money in the form of dividends?
   31. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 10, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4615347)
This can be better rephrased as: it's smart to buy low and sell high. Thank you for your fresh and insightful take on the subject.


If you think value investing is simply buy low and sell high than you don't understand value investing.

It's buy at substantial discount to actual (intrinsic value) and don't sell until the market realizes intrinsic value, which may not be ever. Buffett has famously said he has stocks he never wants to sell because their IV increases every year. He gets richer even if he doesn't sell.

Tell me what the stock market equivalent of Robinson Cano is? An extremely high priced stock that you know will lose value but in the meantime is virtually certain to produce tons of money in the form of dividends?


Robinson Cano is a very valuable player who will slowly become less valuable over time. If you think he'll produce $240M in value on average over those 10 years, paying $240M means you will get reasonable value at most 50% of the time (maybe less due to the weighting of bad outcomes vs. exceptional outcomes). Paying $200M makes it much more likely you get reasonable value, maybe as much 60-65% of the time.

Whether that story about the Mariners upping their bid because they read a news report about their bid is true or fake, they clearly bid against themselves. There wasn't another offer over $180m according to all reports, and a Mariners $200M offer had a net value north of $210M due to tax advantages other suiters didn't have.
   32. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 10, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4615355)
Did this happen? I have no recollection of it, and neither Cot's, nor B-Ref have any record of a Shields extension with KC.

AFAIK, Shields is only signed through 2014.


This apparently did not happen. My memory told me Dayton Moore was able to get another year after signing the deal, but when I google for it all I get are recommendations for senility treatments, stating that I'm old and confused and conflated the Upton trade with the Shields trade.

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