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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mets agree to two-year deal with Anthony Swarzak

Swarzak, acquired at the trade deadline from the rebuilding Chicago White Sox, bolstered the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen down the stretch as the they made a push for a National League wild-card spot. He finished 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA and two saves in 70 relief appearances combined with Milwaukee and the White Sox.

The 32-year-old right-hander spent the first five seasons of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins after his second-round selection in the 2004 amateur draft. He also has pitched for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

Seriously? Reports are that it is for 14m/2y deal. Seriously. 

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:48 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. asinwreck Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:19 PM (#5592135)
Good investment for the Mets. Swarzak was lights-out for the White Sox this year.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5592138)
...bringing the total 2017 offseason contracts for Relievers I've Never Heard of in My Life to approximately $189 million.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5592141)
...bringing the total 2017 offseason contracts for Relievers I've Never Heard of in My Life to approximately $189 million.

It's crazy. We're seeing guys go from scrub/virtually out-of-baseball to lights out, and then get tens of millions thrown at them immediately. I bet a lot of these guys go back to being scrubs pretty rapidly.
   4. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 13, 2017 at 07:04 PM (#5592152)
I did not know who Swarzak is before I read this article. He had a good 2017 but he's only had 2 healthy and good years in eight seasons. He has pitched predominantly as a reliever and has allowed more than a hit per inning and has a whip of 1.33. Statistically, he looks like a guy who is going to regress.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5592180)
Fangraphs article that points to some good trends for Swarzak. I mean, he's still just a reliever, so whatever.
   6. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:46 AM (#5592309)
I remember Swarzak as one of the Twins starting pitchers back when they seemed to bring up three new white-guy starting pitchers with bad strikeout rates every year for five years. Some, like Swarzak and Brian Duensing and Liam Hendriks, lost their jobs as starters and became good relievers. And some, like Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey, just lost their jobs as starters.
   7. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 14, 2017 at 02:27 AM (#5592317)
This team needs relievers and isn't going to spend a ton on a bullpen arm. I'd take Swarzak over Petit or Neshek, who got similar contracts.

In short, I approve.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5592401)
This team needs relievers and isn't going to spend a ton on a bullpen arm.

$7M per isn't "a ton" for a middle reliever?
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 14, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5592413)
I didn't see it reported here, but the Rockies signed Bryan Shaw for 3 years at $27 million. Shaw's not a bad pitcher, but he seems to be benefiting from a halo effect for being part of that great Indians bullpen.

   10. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 14, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5592440)
Snapper, see the contracts given to Neshek, Petit, and Morrow. Nothing out of line about Swarzak's deal.

And 2/14 may be a "ton" for a MR, but it's a fraction of what someone like Wade Davis is going to get. I thought it was obvious that's what I meant when I said Alderson won't spend big on a reliever.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 11:11 AM (#5592451)
Snapper, see the contracts given to Neshek, Petit, and Morrow. Nothing out of line about Swarzak's deal.

And 2/14 may be a "ton" for a MR, but it's a fraction of what someone like Wade Davis is going to get. I thought it was obvious that's what I meant when I said Alderson won't spend big on a reliever.


Okay. But I just think all these deals are crazy. All the guys you mention were waiver wire fodder within the last 2 years. Why would anyone expect them to be reliable going forward? I'd rather spend $1-2M each on 3 or 4 guys I think could be the next success story, and get myself some option years.

Wade Davis at least has a history of consistent excellence.
   12. Adam Starblind Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5592538)
I'd rather spend $1-2M each on 3 or 4 guys I think could be the next success story, and get myself some option years.


But then you have to let them pitch.
   13. Banta Posted: December 14, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5592552)
I don't like this deal. I guess that is the going rate now, but saying he's had two good years undersells his inconsistency. Best seasons were last year and 2013, everything else is injured/bad. He's gonna be 32 and I don't feel that you can say he would definitely be better than other options and I don't think the likeliness that he is is worth 7 million. For a team with the Mets budget restrictions, this is another uninspired move from a front office that specializes in them.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5592734)
But then you have to let them pitch.

Right. But every team runs through 15 relievers a year now. There are plenty of low leverage innings to sort out who's good and who's not.

If you start paying $7M p.a. for fungible relievers, and more for the good ones, you'll end up with a $50M bullpen.
   15. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 15, 2017 at 01:32 AM (#5593070)
They're not willing to pay more for the good ones. That's the point. And Swarzak has plenty of uncertainty, but he was one of the better relievers in the game last year, pitching with increased velocity and a very different style than in the past. I have no idea if he can keep it up, but it's not fair to simply dismiss him as fungible.

The Mets' bullpen is a mess. They have a fairly deep supply of live arms in the high minors but a major league bullpen that ran about 3-deep before this signing. Swarzak now projects to be their best reliever. I much prefer that over a few extra lottery tickets.
   16. manchestermets Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:33 AM (#5593077)
He had 2.7 WAR last season. While past performance is obviously no guarantee of equivalent future performance, if he puts up 4 WAR over the next 2 seasons, you're getting a good return on $14 million, no? It seems a reasonable bet to me.

My main issue with this, as a Mets fan, is the dullness of it. The Mets seem to do nothing but acquire middle relievers. If they trade someone away, the return is inevitably a couple of minor league middle relievers. If they sign a free agent, it's probably going to be a middle reliever. They seem to acquire about 20 every season - what do they do with them all?
   17. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: December 15, 2017 at 07:44 AM (#5593085)
the more relievers come off the board the more I like the Nats deal for Kintzler
   18. Banta Posted: December 15, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5593095)
I don't think that Swarzak's over/under on WAR is anything close to 2 per year. He's had 5 WAR in his 6 years as mostly a reliever. Cut out the injured years and he's averaged about 1 WAR per year (but again has only had any positive value in half of his healthy seasons). So, I think 2 to 2.5 WAR is probably a reasonable estimate if healthy for the two years, but obviously pitcher health is no guarantee.

At the money, this isn't a bad deal, may even be a little discount... but also won't likely impact their chances of being a good team (or not) in any way. I just hate the Mets spending their limited resources to "fix the bullpen", as I think that's pretty hard to do for any team with any degree of certainty.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5593226)
I just hate the Mets spending their limited resources to "fix the bullpen", as I think that's pretty hard to do for any team with any degree of certainty.

This. Smart teams can find relievers among their own failed starters, and the cast-offs on the FA and waiver markets. It's the easiest place to find value from nothing, and also the easiest place to have a "reliable" reliever turn to crap overnight.

I'd spend my money somewhere with a more consistent return profile.
   20. Buck Coats Posted: December 15, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5593341)
He had 2.7 WAR last season. While past performance is obviously no guarantee of equivalent future performance, if he puts up 4 WAR over the next 2 seasons, you're getting a good return on $14 million, no? It seems a reasonable bet to me.


But he's going to be 32 and never put up 4 WAR over 2 seasons in his life! His best 2-year stretch is 2.6! (-0.l in 2016 and that 2.7 in 2017) His next best 2-year stretch is 1.8, from a 1.7 and a 0.1.
   21. Adam Starblind Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5593470)
Wouldn't 1 WAR per year make the contract break even at market value? Not that i would count on that either.
   22. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5593493)
I'd spend my money somewhere with a more consistent return profile.

7M doesn't buy much. If you're using it in a way where you're expecting a consistent return, that return is likely pretty crappy.

Wouldn't 1 WAR per year make the contract break even at market value? Not that i would count on that either.

Yeah, and that's about what he projects to, albeit with a greater variance of outcomes than most.

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