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Friday, November 23, 2012

Passan: Royals willing to part with top prospect to land frontline starting pitcher

The Kansas City Royals are pushing hard to contend in 2013, considering almost every option to upgrade their pitching staff. And that includes trading the best hitting prospect in baseball.
In their search for a top-of-the-rotation starter, the Royals have dangled outfielder Wil Myers, the consensus 2012 minor league player of the year, two sources told Yahoo! Sports.

This would really stir up the hot stove season if the Royals go through with this type of move.

Dan Posted: November 23, 2012 at 10:50 PM | 171 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dayton moore is an idiot, prospects, royals, trade rumors, trades

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   101. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4309913)
But you can't use Bruce's past salaries as a baseline for Myers' future excess value because those salaries were determined in a different environment. If Myers performs exactly like Bruce over his first 4 full seasons, he will likely be paid more than Bruce was over his first 4 seasons, giving him less excess value.


You could goose the hell out of Bruce's past salaries without really making a dent in his edge in surplus value. And you don't really need to tweak them all that much, because three out of the five are his pre-arb years where he was earning near-minimum salaries.

It's not as if there are specific concerns with Niese, and it's not as if Myers has no risk of injury in the next six seasons.


Yes, but we already explicitly recognized and acknowledged Myers's bust risk elsewhere in the thread, in the comparisons to Kubel and Young and the like.

Your point is a general one that pitchers are at more significant long term risk for injury and performance degradation than hitters. I agree with that, but it seems to be the Royals idea to trade hitting for pitching.


I believe that they plan to try and get a better pitcher than Myers is a hitter, as a way of compensating for that additional risk. That might or might not work, of course.
   102. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4309931)
Well, he might not start throwing 95 mph, but I see no reason why he couldn't improve his control, refine his pitches, increase his stamina, learn how to better approach hitters, etc.


Is there much of a performance curve for pitchers? I thought the general rule was that within two years they were pretty much going to be the pitcher they are going to be.

I think Niese is a nice pitcher and a huge upgrade for the Royals, but certainly not anything you part with Myers for. Maybe Hosmer.
   103. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4309947)
You'd trade Hosmer for Niese but not Myers? I don't get that. Hosmer had a lousy year, but he still seems to have a lot of upside.
   104. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4309951)

You'd trade Hosmer for Niese but not Myers? I don't get that. Hosmer had a lousy year, but he still seems to have a lot of upside.


Maybe. Hosmer is definitely less valuable than Myers, no? He's older, has less cheap years, less years til FA, and has had one crummy season under his belt. He may have upside, but not nearly as much as Myers.
   105. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4309955)
You'd trade Hosmer for Niese but not Myers? I don't get that. Hosmer had a lousy year, but he still seems to have a lot of upside.

Well, two years of cheap service time is burned, and you've got a 1B with a career 97 wRC+, and bad D (~-10 by UZR and TZ).

He needs a huge improvement to be even average; he was -1.0 WAR last year.
   106. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4309981)
So why was Hosmer so bad last year? Was he hurt, or what?
   107. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4310025)
So why was Hosmer so bad last year?


He is being developed by the Royals.
   108. Zach Posted: November 26, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4310045)
Trading Hosmer is just the wish fulfilment thing all over again.

I'm convinced some Royals fans have a death wish. They don't believe they deserve to succeed, so they want to trade away all of their good players with a rationale that "You have to give value to get value" (quote from Royals Review re the Myers rumor). Last year Hosmer was the savior, this year he struggled. So now we've got to trade him away for whatever the market will bear.

Hosmer is 22 and has been in the majors for two years after destroying AAA. He has a lifetime OPS+ of 100 and a great lefty power stroke. Just last year, there were some people lobbying to keep him stashed in AAA all year to manipulate his service time seven years down the road. He's not Jesus, and he's not a bust yet, either. Just play him and stop panicking. The Royals can easily survive one more year without Jonathan Niese.
   109. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4310051)
I'm convinced some Royals fans have a death wish. They don't believe they deserve to succeed, so they want to trade away all of their good players

No, it's the opposite. Royals fans have no conception that a Royals prospect will be less than a crushing disappointment in a Royals uniform, so they want to trade their prospects before they turn into massive flops and lose all their value. If Wil Myers had an identical twin with identical stats in the Braves organization, they would be desperate to exchange one for the other.
   110. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 26, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4310154)
So why was Hosmer so bad last year?


There doesn't appear to be anything unusual in the numbers; he wasn't hitting the ball as hard. Often that's a guy hiding an injury.

-- MWE
   111. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4310193)
Rob Bradford is reporting that the Red Sox and Royals have been talking about Jon Lester, possibly for Wil Myers.
   112. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4310207)
Reports are they are also talking about James Shields.

This is why we can't have nice things.
   113. Topher Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4310246)
How does trading Wil Myers make any sense for a pitcher that will only be under contract in 2013 and 2014? Dayton Moore must have been told that he needs to make the playoffs (or get close?) to keep his job.

The Royals position players look like they might be better than league average, but I'd be pretty surprised if that happened in 2013 and 2014 might be a bit early as well. In the next five years, I would assume that the next two years are going to be the least talented Royals teams. Going all-in right now seems quite odd.

I would be curious to know how much of this may be driven by the fact that Dayton Moore views Wil Myers as being blocked since he's behind Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur on the depth chart.
   114. JJ1986 Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4310253)
Maybe the Royals called and asked about Buchholz or Moore, but the other team countered with Lester or Shields. That could count as "talking about".
   115. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4310275)
he next five years, I would assume that the next two years are going to be the least talented Royals teams


Really? Who is coming along in 2015? They have some decent depth, but I don't think there are many impact guys. Starling strikes out a ton, Cuthbert had a terrible year, Zimmer has barely pitched, Ventura is probably a reliever, Odorizzi has a low ceiling, Bonifacio looks good, but is probably just a guy, and its too early to say on guys like Mondesi or Elier Hernandez.

I suppose you could assume the young guys they have now will be better in 2016, but if they're going to be good, its probably going to be in the next two years.


I would be curious to know how much of this may be driven by the fact that Dayton Moore views Wil Myers as being blocked since he's behind Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur on the depth chart.


Well, they had Myers primarily play CF, even though its pretty obvious he's stretched there, instead of having him learn RF, despite the fact they had the worst position player in baseball in RF. They also had him play some games at 3B for the first time in his career. So yea, I bet they think he's blocked. Dayton is an idiot.
   116. Topher Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4310286)
@115 I was just talking about the position players. Who knows about the pitching, although it would be a low bar for the starters to be better in 2015 than they are now.

Even with very moderate development, I would imagine that Perez, Hosmer, Escobar, and Moustakas are going to be the core of a better starting 8 with a couple of more years under their belt compared to what they are right now. If they flat out don't replace Butler and Gordon with anything, then they might be worse five years out than they are right now. But I'll roll the dice that the hitting and defense is better in 2016 and 2017 than it will be in 2013.

Heck, just by not having Frenchy in the lineup, you have to favor the 2016 and 2017 group over the current lineup, no?
   117. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4310295)
Maybe the Royals called and asked about Buchholz or Moore, but the other team countered with Lester or Shields. That could count as "talking about".

Would Buchholz actually be considered more valuable than Lester? I understand he's under contract for longer, but Lester is a better pitcher.
   118. Benji Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:22 AM (#4310377)
I think this is KC trying to do a Bait And Switch routine on a dumb GM, getting him to overpay for Gordon or even Frenchy. I can think of 3 GMs dumb enough, but they all work for the Mets.
   119. Zach Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4310400)
I think this is KC trying to do a Bait And Switch routine on a dumb GM, getting him to overpay for Gordon or even Frenchy. I can think of 3 GMs dumb enough, but they all work for the Mets.

If Frenchy got moved for pitching, it would be about the canniest thing that Moore has ever done. Or dreamed about, probably. Trading an expendable player to get help at a position of need? You might want to write that one down.
   120. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4310401)
An, Dayton Moore. Of all the Dayton Moores in the game, you're the Dayton Mooreiest.
   121. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4310404)
I think this is KC trying to do a Bait And Switch routine on a dumb GM, getting him to overpay for Gordon or even Frenchy. I can think of 3 GMs dumb enough, but they all work for the Mets.
Alex Gordon is an established major league star signed to an extremely team-favorable contract (3/31 with an option). If the Royals are considering trading Gordon, I think just about every team in baseball would be in on it.

One of my pipe dreams for the offseason was getting Gordon to be the new Red Sox RF. If only we had Jon Niese to trade for him.
   122. Benji Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4310405)
I wasn't trying to denigrate Alex Gordon. I just can imagine luring someone in the door using Myers then trading Gordon, opening up the spot for Myers, saving money and getting a good SP. I would think long and hard about a Niese-Gordon deal.
   123. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4310406)
The Royals wouldn't.

EDIT: I just don't understand the Niese thing. He's not going to project any better than a league average pitcher, and his contract is not all that favorable once you account for injury risk. I can maybe see offering a package headlined by a borderline top 100 prospect for Niese, but a top 10 prospect or a major league star is so many streets ahead of Niese's value that I'm having trouble believing the conversation is still going. (Though it was sort of my fault with the snark in 121.)
   124. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4310407)
I can see offering a package headlined by a #60 or #80 prospect for Niese, but a top 10 prospect or a major league star is so many streets ahead of Niese's value that I'm having trouble believing the conversation is still going. (Though it was sort of my fault with the original snark.)


I obviously really just don't get this. Niese is a legitimate #3 starter. He is signed to an extremely team friendly contract for the next six seasons. There are pitchers who rank between the #60 and #80 prospects in baseball who have projected upsides as #3 starters, and that's supposed to be a fair trade for Niese. I think a lot of people on this thread are either seriously underrating Jon Niese, or seriously undervaluing cost controlled mid rotation starters.
   125. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4310409)
Niese is a legitimate #3 starter.
For an average club. He's a roughly league average pitcher with - as for any pitcher lacking elite stuff - more downside than upside. For a playoff club, he's somewhere between a #3 and a #4. Guys like that get free agent contracts in the range of 3/25 or so. That'd be my guess at a free agent contract for Niese, He gives you some excess value, but not much more than that, and little upside.
There are pitchers who rank between the #60 and #80 prospects in baseball who have projected upsides as #3 starters, and that's supposed to be a fair trade for Niese. I think a lot of people on this thread are either seriously underrating Jon Niese, or seriously undervaluing cost controlled mid rotation starters.
Prospects are cost controlled at 500k per season. Niese wouldn't be worth a damn thing if he weren't on a favorable contract, and prospects are effectively on far more favorable contracts.

EDIT: That last sentence sounds like I'm saying Niese is worthless, which is not my point. My point is that "cost control" makes Niese valuable, and if he were on a non-favorable contract, he wouldn't be valuable. The same is true of prospects, though they also tend to give you more significant upside as well.
   126. formerly dp Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4310414)
If MCoA's valuation of Niese is shared by GMs, there's no way they should deal him. Of all the players currently on the roster, I think Niese has the best chance of 1) being on the next good Met team, and 2) significantly outperforming his contract. A lot depends on how you read his 2012-- if teams are treating it like a fluke, then obviously he's worth more on the team than he is on the trade market.

Benji, it's worth re-mentioning that the GM you're complaining about snagged Zach Wheeler for a player, going into the 2011 season, everyone thought was valueless.
   127. Benji Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4310417)
I thought he had value, especially when I saw him starting the All-Star game.
   128. formerly dp Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4310423)
I thought he had value, especially when I saw him starting the All-Star game.
Beltran was gone at the end of 2011. Though a lot of it was the right place at the right time, you have to give Alderson some credit for getting a quality prospect back. You won't, of course, because that's your thing, but you should.

I know this isn't 2008, and Mets hijacks have gone out of fashion, but: their best play right now is to bundle Wright and Dickey-- those two together would be the sort of short-term swing that could turn an also-ran into a contender, similar to what the Marlins/Jays deal did for the Jays.
   129. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4310439)
Just going back, here are BA Top 10 Prospects in all of baseball that were traded within a year of making the list.

Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for Miguel Pineda and Jose Campos
Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie for Matt Garza, Jason Barlett and Eduardo Morlan
Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De la Cruz, Mike Rabelo, Dallas Trahern for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis
Andy Marte for Edgar Renteria. Traded a few weeks later with Guillermo Mota, Kelly Shoppach, Randy Newsom for Coco Crisp, Josh Bard, and David Riske
Hanley Ramirez with Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, and Harvey Garcia for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota
Carlos Pena with Jeremy Bonderman and Frankly German in a three-team trade that netted Ted Lilly, John Ford-Griffin, and Jason Arnold
Brad Penny with Abraham Nunez and Vladimir Nunez for Matt Mantei
Paul Konerko with Dennys Reyes for Jeff Shaw
Ruben Rivera and Rafael Medino for Hideki Irabu, Homer Bush, Vernon Maxwell, and Gordon Amerson
   130. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4310448)
Paul Konerko with Dennys Reyes for Jeff Shaw


That one really shouldn't count, since Tommy Lasorda was the GM in question.
   131. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4310457)
would be curious to know how much of this may be driven by the fact that Dayton Moore views Wil Myers as being blocked since he's behind Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur on the depth chart.


Serious question, does Moore think the "real" Frenchy is closer to 2012 or 2011?
I mean 2011 Frenchy was actually a useful player, 2012 Frenchy was a suckhole of suck even by pre 2011 Frenchy standards

Having seen a good deal of Frenchy in his Met/Braves incarnations my take is that 2012 is much closer to the real Frenchie than 2011... but what does Moore think? Does he really think that Frenchy makes Myers expendable? Is that even possible?
   132. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4310483)
I know this isn't 2008, and Mets hijacks have gone out of fashion, but: their best play right now is to bundle Wright and Dickey-- those two together would be the sort of short-term swing that could turn an also-ran into a contender, similar to what the Marlins/Jays deal did for the Jays.

Nobody is giving up massive prospects hauls anymore.
   133. formerly dp Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4310499)
Nobody is giving up massive prospects hauls anymore.
That's a joke, yeah? Because the Marlins got 3 of the Jays top 10 in one deal, plus DeSclafani and the young/cheap/potentially good Henderson Alvarez. And Jeff Mathis.

The Mets won't get a package like that for Wright/Dickey, at least not without sending some other parts along with them, but it's not like there's no precedent here. For not much salary, Dickey and Wright will provide a ton of value in 2013.
   134. Nasty Nate Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4310500)
I know this isn't 2008, and Mets hijacks have gone out of fashion, but: their best play right now is to bundle Wright and Dickey-- those two together would be the sort of short-term swing that could turn an also-ran into a contender, similar to what the Marlins/Jays deal did for the Jays.


Nobody is giving up massive prospects hauls anymore.


We can quibble over defining 'massive,' but teams would certainly give a lot for a Wright-Dickey combo platter.
   135. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4310515)
That's a joke, yeah? Because the Marlins got 3 of the Jays top 10 in one deal, plus DeSclafani and the young/cheap/potentially good Henderson Alvarez. And Jeff Mathis.

How many of those 3 were top-100 prospects? Probably just Marisnick, and I doubt he's top-50. They didn't even get the Jays top prospect; they got #2, #5 and #8, as per BA.

I wouldn't trade Wright and Dickey for the Jays package, much less a lesser one. The Mets will have money when they get good. They can afford both Wright and Dickey.

Dickey, in particular, is likely to be very underpaid for his production, given the age/knuckleball. What other Cy Yound contender would even consider a 3/45 extension?

   136. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4310548)
Someone has already said this in passing, but for serious: the Braves should be in on this. It's not like we don't have good young pitching; I'd want to shovel off Hanson + Teheran for Myers, which I think is not actually impossible given Moore's lust for ex-Braves, but would be us ripping the Royals off. We do, on the other hand, have Minor, Beachy, and Medlen too, and while I would not like to trade one of them, I would pretty desperately like to slot Myers in at LF or even center.
   137. formerly dp Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4310552)
How many of those 3 were top-100 prospects? Probably just Marisnick, and I doubt he's top-50. They didn't even get the Jays top prospect; they got #2, #5 and #8, as per BA.
You may be undervaluing Alvarez, or I may be overvaluing him. I'm not a fan of Hechiavria or Marisnick, but the latter is well-regarded. I wouldn't be thrilled with that package, mostly b/c 1) Hech seems like Tejada-lite, and they already have Tejada, and 2) the Mets need hitting more than pitching and defense.

The Mets will have money when they get good. They can afford both Wright and Dickey.
I don't understand their financial situation, which makes it really difficult to speculate. I don't see Dickey being part of the next good Met team, unless he ends up being good 4-5 years from now, but I've grown pessimistic about their ability to spend money in the short-term. If they give Wright 7 years, I think that will be a mistake-- the Mets should be able to afford those sorts of mistakes, but as of right now, they're not.
   138. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4310595)
That's a joke, yeah? Because the Marlins got 3 of the Jays top 10 in one deal, plus DeSclafani and the young/cheap/potentially good Henderson Alvarez. And Jeff Mathis.


And last winter the A's got Brad Peacock, AJ Cole, Derek Norris and Tom Milone for Gio Gonzalez. The Padres got Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger (and Edinson Volquez) for Mat Latos.

That being said, I think you're generally better off trading big players separately rather than together.
   139. JJ1986 Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4310599)
Buck had negative value and Buehrle might have had negative value too. A package for Johnson and Reyes without them could have fetched more.
   140. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4310664)
For an average club. He's a roughly league average pitcher with - as for any pitcher lacking elite stuff - more downside than upside. For a playoff club, he's somewhere between a #3 and a #4. Guys like that get free agent contracts in the range of 3/25 or so. That'd be my guess at a free agent contract for Niese, He gives you some excess value, but not much more than that, and little upside.


Again, I think you're underrating Niese. He was 52nd in the majors in WAR among starting pitchers in 2012 and 56th in 2011. Over 2011 & 2012, he was 44th. I've taken a quick spin through the lists, but even among good teams you might find 2 starters ranked higher than Niese. Sure, there are occasionally teams like the Giants or Phillies where Niese would be the #4 starter, but that's more the exception, even among good teams. Niese is a #3 starter for most every team in baseball and he's a #2 on a handful of teams.

Also, in a world where Kyle Lohse got 4/40 coming off of his 2008, I think you're way light on what Niese would get on the open market.

I really don't want to be the Jon Niese guy, but he's a good, young pitcher with an established level of performance who is under team control for a very long time at an under market rate. I don't think those facts are in dispute, and I don't see how those facts don't make Jon Niese very, very valuable.
   141. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4310675)
Buck had negative value and Buehrle might have had negative value too. A package for Johnson and Reyes without them could have fetched more.

You think Buehrle gets less than 3/48 in the open market? And, John Buck only makes $6M.

   142. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4310687)
And, John Buck only makes $6M.


That just means that the amount of negative value is fairly small. He still wouldn't get claimed if the Jays put him on waivers tomorrow.
   143. JJ1986 Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4310691)
You think Buehrle gets less than 3/48 in the open market?


He just got a contract with a lower AAV last year.
   144. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4310696)
Again, I think you're underrating Niese. He was 52nd in the majors in WAR among starting pitchers in 2012 and 56th in 2011. Over 2011 & 2012, he was 44th
That's Fangraphs WAR. Based on B-Ref's pitcher WAR, which considers the value of a pitcher based on the actual runs they allowed or prevented, Niese was 61st - his comparables include Jason Vargas, Ivan Nova, and Homer Bailey. Those are Niese's peers, and none of them passes the laugh test in a package for a top 10 prospect or a major league star.
   145. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4310698)
he's a good, young pitcher with an established level of performance
No, he isn't. He has struggled to prevent runs at a better than replacement level rate in two of his three major league seasons. I think he's somewhat better than that, but he has in no way established a high level of run prevention ability.
   146. Machine Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4310702)
Niese probably doesn't have the ceiling of a #1 starter but you're talking about a very good pitcher that will probably make 2-4 All-Star teams over the course of his career that is locked down to an amazingly team friendly contract. Considering the contract, Niese is one of the 10 best values in baseball. That ignores the pre-arb guys like Mike Trout. Skipping over those plyaers, Niese is about as good as it gets.

The Mets better be getting a lot more than a single prospect if they are going to trade him. I wouldn't hang up the phone if I was offered Wil Myers for him, but I'm going to be asking for more than just that.
   147. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4310705)

He just got a contract with a lower AAV last year.


And MLB got a dump truck full of money since then.
   148. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4310706)
Niese...will probably make 2-4 All-Star teams over the course of his career


I'm sorry, but I really can't see this at all. I mean, look at John Danks... he's generally been more valuable than Niese, even if you assume that Niese's 2012 is sustainable, and Danks has never even made one All-Star team, much less 2-4.
   149. Dan Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4310707)
Comparing Jon Niese and Jeremy Hellickson via Fangraphs' pitcher WAR is pretty hilarious. I do think Niese is probably a little better than his run prevention so far and Hellickson is probably a bit worse, but it's still a stark contrast to their actual performance in run prevention.
   150. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4310710)
I didn't know were all these Jon Niese superfans out there. Are there people who think Mike Leake will probably make 2-4 All-Star teams? Or Bud Norris?

It's hard for a starting pitcher to make an All-Star team. Half of them are made unavailable by their starting schedule and then half the places for pitchers are taken by token relief pitchers from bad teams.
   151. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4310713)
I've seen Niese pitch for the Mets a couple of times and was generally impressed. I'd love to have him on the Yankees.

Having said that, if Myers were a Yankee prospect I'd be hoping for a much better haul that Niese alone, and would be fairly disappointed if that's all he fetched in return.
   152. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4310718)
He has struggled to prevent runs at a better than replacement level rate in two of his three major league seasons. I think he's somewhat better than that, but he has in no way established a high level of run prevention ability.


Now we're going to get into semantics as to what it means to prevent runs and who bears responsibility for what. Suffice it to say I think that the component based metrics are better. The other way leads you to the conclusion that a pitcher who had a K/9 rate of 7.9, a BB/9 rate of 2.5 and a HR/9 rate of 0.8 (like Jon Niese in 2011) was below average at run prevention. That's fine if you want to make that case, and you're right in a strict sense, but I just don't think it's a very meaningful point, at least on a going forward basis.
   153. Conor Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4310724)
I like Niese more than the consensus here seems to be but 2-4 all star teams seems crazy to me.
   154. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4310748)
The other way leads you to the conclusion that a pitcher who had a K/9 rate of 7.9, a BB/9 rate of 2.5 and a HR/9 rate of 0.8 (like Jon Niese in 2011) was below average at run prevention.
He was! He gave up shitloads of hits. He failed to strand runners he allowed to get on base. I think it's probably wrong to say he was replacement level, but I don't buy for a second that a guy with an 83 ERA+ should be immediatley evaluated as a league average pitcher because FIP says so.

Pitchers differ significantly in ability to prevent hits on balls in play, and ability to strand runners with situational pitching. Assuming those abilities away because they're hard to measure is bad analysis.
   155. Nasty Nate Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4310752)
He just got a contract with a lower AAV last year.


And MLB got a dump truck full of money since then.


C'mon - do you think teams were ignorant about the future of baseball economics 12 months ago?

I would guess that his contract has neutral to slightly negative trade value. We will have a better sense once the FA pitchers sign. FWIW, Peavy got a worse deal than what remains on Buerhle's.
   156. Danny Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4310754)
How do people think Niese compares to Trevor Cahill at this point last year? Cahill had a similar contract to Niese (4 years plus two option years, though Cahill's was a bit pricier), and he netted BA's #26 prospect.
   157. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4310776)
Pitchers differ significantly in ability to prevent hits on balls in play, and ability to strand runners with situational pitching. Assuming those abilities away because they're hard to measure is bad analysis.


I'm not assuming those abilities away just because they're hard to measure. I'm assuming those abilities away because they are hard to measure, perceived differences in those abilities are more likely than not to be noise and because Niese just had a season in which he did the things well which he previously is alleged to have not done well. If the explanation for that is a choice between "He figured out the magic" and "There was no magic to figure out in the first place", I'll take the latter explanation. Of course, the former explanation would be a stronger argument for Niese in the future.
   158. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4310788)
If the explanation for that is a choice between "He figured out the magic" and "There was no magic to figure out in the first place", I'll take the latter explanation. Of course, the former explanation would be a stronger argument for Niese in the future.


There's also Door #3: He got lucky for a year.
   159. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4310808)
I think the best estimate of Niese's hit prevention ability is a weighted, regressed average of his career numbers to date. I'd guess he'd be projected in the range of a .310 BABIP. Niese's BABIP between 2011-2012 - .308. So I stand by my Jason Vargas / Ivan Nova / Homer Bailey comp. He's an averageish, probably slightly below average starting pitcher.

Projecting baseball players isn't about either/or. It's about both/and, properly weighted. Neither 2010 nor 2011 nor 2012 is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the talent Jon Niese. 2012 wasn't the season where he "figured it out" or "got lucky" or any of those, and neither was 2011. All of his baseball appearances are snapshots in time, with error built in, and we put them together to get the best composite projection we can.
   160. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4310817)
There's also Door #3: He got lucky for a year.


That's fine. There's also: He was unlucky for the two previous years. I think attributing poor performance in certain areas in two years to lack of skill and then good performance in those same areas in a third year to luck, rather than increased skill, is really just a strained attempt to explain the data in a way that supports your prior opinion.
   161. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4310846)
That's fine. There's also: He was unlucky for the two previous years.


Sure, that's possible too.

None of it adds up to Niese being a "pitcher with an established level of performance", though, as you said in #140.
   162. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4310899)
None of it adds up to Niese being a "pitcher with an established level of performance", though, as you said in #140.


His peripherals are actually quite consistent from 2010-2012
what's not consistent is his BABIP/strand rate...

lets talk Brandon Morrow

2010: 10.9 k/9, 2.7 k/bb, good HR rate, yet somehow had an ERA+ of 93- a .344 BABIP will do that to you

2011: drops that BABIP a good 40 points, Ks over 10/9 again and raises his K/bb to 2.94- and his ERA+ gets WORSE, to 90???? batters hit .288/.366/.523 against him with RISP

2012: K rate plummets from over 10 to under 8, and yet has a career bets ERA+ of 144- BABIP of .253, held batters to a .182/.263/.232 line with runners on...

who is the real Brandon Morrow?

   163. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4310903)
who is the real Brandon Morrow?

Nobody knows. As a Jays fan I certainly have my hopes as to what kind of pitcher Brandon Morrow is. But one thing he's not is a pitcher with an established level of performance.
   164. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4310923)
I've seen Niese pitch for the Mets a couple of times and was generally impressed.

I've seen him pitch a couple of times and been impressed, I've also seen him pitch a couple of times and cringed

He could be Ricky Nolasco and his 2012 could be Nolasco's 2008...

OTOH if he could have his BABIP hover around league average his ERA+ could probably hover around 100-110...
   165. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4310928)
who is the real Brandon Morrow?

Nobody knows.


Who is Clay Buchholz?
I'm not sure but I do know this:
a 6.2 K -rate and a 3.5 BB rate should not turn into a league leading 187 ERA+ (he had a flukily good year in HR prevention and was absolutely unsustainably unhittable with RISP)
The Redsox really should have tried moving him after 2010...
   166. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4310944)
None of it adds up to Niese being a "pitcher with an established level of performance", though, as you said in #140.


Again, it depends on what metrics you pick and what you define as "performance". If you want the conversation to basically end after you cite ERA, I apparently can't convince you otherwise, but I think that's the wrong way to look at things.
   167. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4310947)
For me, "established level of performance" requires general agreement between multiple systems of evaluation. ERA+ doesn't end every conversation, but no pitcher with ERA+ of 83 and 93 in 350 innings two and three years ago has an "established level of performance" at or above league average.

The same would be true of Jeremy Hellickson, from the opposite side.
   168. billyshears Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4311010)
For me, "established level of performance" requires general agreement between multiple systems of evaluation. ERA+ doesn't end every conversation, but no pitcher with ERA+ of 83 and 93 in 350 innings two and three years ago has an "established level of performance" at or above league average.


I don't think this is unreasonable, but I think you also have to determine a reasonable level of agreement. Does ERA, FIP, xFIP, WAR etc. have to move in unison, or can they vary from year to year so long as there is general convergence. I wouldn't have claimed that Niese had an established level of performance at at or above league average after 2011, but his 2012 gives me reason to believe that it was merely luck that led to his ERA diverging from his peripherals, and to rely more on the metrics that have been consistent in evaluating his true ability.
   169. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4311034)
FWIW, Peavy got a worse deal than what remains on Buerhle's.

This may have something to do with the fact that Peavy's deal came after his first 200-inning season in 5 years, and Buehrle's came after his 11th 200-inning season in 11 years.
   170. vivaelpujols Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4311119)
That's Fangraphs WAR. Based on B-Ref's pitcher WAR, which considers the value of a pitcher based on the actual runs they allowed or prevented, Niese was 61st - his comparables include Jason Vargas, Ivan Nova, and Homer Bailey. Those are Niese's peers, and none of them passes the laugh test in a package for a top 10 prospect or a major league star.


So you're arguing that B-R WAR is more predictive than fWAR. Good luck with that.
   171. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4321088)
So it turns out that this culminated in the Shields-Myers trade. I still cannot believe that's what the Royals judged as the best offer...
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