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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

UPDATE: Pirates acquire Dickerson from Rays

Hudson is owed $5.5 million this season. No word on how much cash the Pirates sent to Tampa.

The Pittsburgh Pirates today acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash considerations. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.


Rays made two other moves yesterday.

The most perplexing was designating for assignment 2017 All-Star DH Corey Dickerson, giving away leverage in hoping to bring trade talks to conclusion during the 10-day window or just surrender and release him, though paying just one-sixth of his $5.95-million salary, roughly $1-million, in termination pay.

And the most intriguing was acquiring right-handed hitting first baseman/DH C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player – a minor-leaguer, and likely not a top prospect – to be named later, giving them better balance in their lineup.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:17 PM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, trades

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5626594)
Seems really weird to DFA Dickerson like that. You have to think that they have another deal lined up already.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5626597)
Doesn't seem like they got much of a return for Odorizzi, either.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 18, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5626608)
The Rays are being awfully financial risk-averse here, unless there is something we don't know about. Dickerson would have cost less than $6M, and eventually you'd think injuries elsewhere would have improved the trade options. He had the Rays 3rd highest WAR for returning players, and I don't see anything mentioned about opening up his slot for anyone they consider to be better. The Rays save just over $4M - a bit more if they decide to go with a 24-man roster to maximize the "benefit" of their move - but hurt the ballclub and forgo the possibility of a better deal if another team's needs change or Dickerson gets off to a good start and improves his value. That's placing a very high value on not spending that $4M.
   4. Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 18, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5626623)
How is Corey Dickerson not worth $6m? I mean, Cron is making $3m, so really the question is: how is Corey Dickerson not worth $3m? Did he die during the off-season? He had as many WAR last year as Cron has had in his entire career.
   5. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 18, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5626626)
The Rays beat writer tweeted:

Sounds like #Rays don’t have a deal in hand for Dickerson, but did the DFA move to spur conclusion of some trade talks. Neander: “We’ve had enough conversations where we felt this was best way to get things resolved for him and for us."
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 18, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5626630)
The Cron trade is confirmation that the Angels are going to stay true to their promise to Shohei Ohtani: He'll get a chance to hit. A day off before and after pitching starts, and DH more often than not, with Valbuena spelling him on the off days. Very exciting for the Angel fanbase.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5626633)
So the Rays need to clear $3 M from Dickerson to bring some other exciting trade to fruition? Bestill my heart.

Now, the Odorizzi trade -- any opinions on that prospect? Unless I missed him, he's not in mlb.com's top 100. In which case I'm glad he didn't end up on the Brewers.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5626647)
Now, the Odorizzi trade -- any opinions on that prospect?


Looks like a future UT IF, based on what I've read.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: February 18, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5626650)
Sickels had him as a b-/c+ and like 17th in Minnesota's system.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2018 at 08:03 PM (#5626712)
If the return for Odorizzi was that trivial, why weren't more teams in on him? The Cubs spent 3/$39 on Chatwood and sounds like they could have had Odorizzi (1/$6.3) for the 5th best prospect (probably about as good as the Twins' 17th). Heck, the Cubs gave Smyly 2/$10 to spend this year re-habbing and have him around next year at 1/$7.
   11. Quaker Posted: February 18, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5626715)
Odorizzi also had a FIP & XFIP north of 5.00 last year.
   12. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 18, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5626717)
Is it possible the Rays are not trying this year? I heard something about that...
   13. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5626797)
Is it possible the Rays are not trying this year? I heard something about that...


And yet somehow BPro has the Rays in the playoffs, stealing the 2nd WC with 84 wins. Think I would take the under on that one.
   14. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 19, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5626803)
Sickels is higher on Palacios than seemingly anyone outside of Tampa - he didn't make BA's top 30 for the Twins, for instance. (I thought he was underrated, fwiw.)

I think the low return had to do with Odo's lousy peripherals in '17 (making him replacement level by some measures) / declining utility of his high fastball ... the Rays had shopped him for awhile ... and that they likely do rate Palacios higher than others do.
   15. Stormy JE Posted: February 19, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5626810)
If the return for Odorizzi was that trivial, why weren't more teams in on him?
Yeah, I'm guessing it wasn't only the Rays who were down on him, whether or not you think $6.3M is chump change.
   16. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 19, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5626829)
I said this in the Cubs thread, but the timing of the move makes this curious to me. I doubt the Rays would have dumped him for so little prior to losing the arb case against him.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: February 19, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5626833)
If the return for Odorizzi was that trivial, why weren't more teams in on him?


I feel like I've heard this a thousand times lately. There's something happening in the market that we fundamentally just don't get.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5626859)
There's something happening in the market that we fundamentally just don't get.

What's not to get? A significant fraction of teams don't want to spend any money on getting better, even when the expenditure is at a favorable rate of $/win (e.g. Dickerson).
   19. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5626866)
What's not to get? A significant fraction of teams don't want to spend any money on getting better, even when the expenditure is at a favorable rate of $/win (e.g. Dickerson).


The wonder of market economics is how it magically assigns resources in aggregate more efficiently according to its criteria than any central actor could do so. The tragedy of market economics is sometimes the criteria it uses for efficiency is not the one we would desire.

Are teams collectively being dumb? I doubt it.
   20. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5626873)
We don't know what will happen with Dickerson yet - I'd reserve judgment here.

Odo Arb: It's worth noting that Tampa and he weren't *that* far apart on terms (6.3m v. 6.05m). They were going to move him no matter what, imo.

To be clear, I think this was a good deal for Minnesota but get why one might think that he's a diminished commodity going forward.
   21. Zach Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5626882)
There's something happening in the market that we fundamentally just don't get.

Personally, I wonder if teams are getting spooked by the thought of cable TV money running out. If I worked in sports and saw ESPN laying people off, I wouldn't even buy green bananas.
   22. JAHV Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5626947)
What's not to get? A significant fraction of teams don't want to spend any money on getting better, even when the expenditure is at a favorable rate of $/win (e.g. Dickerson).


Is there a good resource for how that $/win figure is calculated? I remember when it first started popping up several years ago as a way to evaluate free agent signings, it was about $4.5 - $5 million per win. It's now up anywhere in the $7 - $9 million range, although $8 is the number I see thrown around most often. How do we know $8 million is the right number? It's been rising the past few years based on what teams have been spending. Is it reasonable to expect it to go down on occasion?

I don't disagree with the point that tanking is causing some teams to eschew spending altogether, and that the luxury tax is keeping some competitive teams from further extending themselves. I'm just questioning whether $8 million per win is the right number to use in evaluating signings this offseason. I'd love to see how we arrived at that number.
   23. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5626958)
The idea of reducing wins to a dollar figure is really old - I remember having it in a paper that I wrote in the mid-90s. (I'm now super out of the loop, if I ever was in it - I'm not claiming expertise in this area.) Googling estimating dollars per win baseball turned up a few articles from the last few years that I thought were good at the time and likely still are. A few issues to bear in mind:
- not all wins are worth the same ... going from 86 to 89 wins is more valuable than going from 70 to 73.
- teams might be getting less linear in terms of how they view $/win from player to player. I mean ... you'd pay more for a 7 win player and a 1 win player than you would for two 4 win players.
- the above aside, not everyone agrees on what the replacement level is (which also moves around - it's lower during the season than in November, etc...), the opportunity cost of draft picks, and on and on and on.
- also, to construct this framework, you oughta first figure out what teams are maximizing (wins, profits, championships), over what windows/discount rates, and so on.

--

I think ownership should be getting spooked by the idea of cable money running out as well... but am saying that somewhat ignorantly.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5626988)
The wonder of market economics is how it magically assigns resources in aggregate more efficiently according to its criteria than any central actor could do so. The tragedy of market economics is sometimes the criteria it uses for efficiency is not the one we would desire.

Are teams collectively being dumb? I doubt it.


Baseball is nothing like a free market, not even close. There's zero reason to expect efficient outcomes.

You clearly don't understand market economics. For a free market to be efficient, it has to have a large number of buyers and sellers, all of them without any market power to set prices. A cartel negotiating with a handful of players, represented by a single union, is so far from that, it would be shocking if the market wasn't highly inefficient.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5626992)
Personally, I wonder if teams are getting spooked by the thought of cable TV money running out. If I worked in sports and saw ESPN laying people off, I wouldn't even buy green bananas.

This would explain a reluctance to sign long term deals, but doesn't shed any light on economies that only affect this year.

The Rays know with certainly what their cable revenue will be in 2018. They have no obligation to Dickerson or Odorizzi beyond 2018, so I don't know why fear about their 2022 revenue would affect those decisions.
   26. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5626993)
Personally, I wonder if teams are getting spooked by the thought of cable TV money running out. If I worked in sports and saw ESPN laying people off, I wouldn't even buy green bananas.


This is a likely winner IMO. For a while rating on everything but sports seemed to be dropping, but sports seems to have "caught up" and even there ratings look to be kind of bad.

New technologies and the younger generations growing up in the new landscape seems to be changing things pretty quickly. I am glad my profession is no where near media, as it is very volatile. Not that good jobs, careers and opportunities don't exist of course.
   27. Hank Gillette Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5627044)
You clearly don't understand market economics. For a free market to be efficient, it has to have a large number of buyers and sellers, all of them without any market power to set prices. A cartel negotiating with a handful of players, represented by a single union, is so far from that, it would be shocking if the market wasn't highly inefficient.


The players could have had complete free agency, but Marvin Miller negotiated it away. I really wonder if that was the right decision. I think Miller came from industries where senior people in the union were paid more. The deal he made has worked out great for senior members of the player’s union, but it really screws the rest of the players.

OTOH, Miller was an expert on unions, and I am just a guy with an opinion.
   28. Hank Gillette Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5627052)
For a while rating on everything but sports seemed to be dropping, but sports seems to have "caught up" and even there [sic] ratings look to be kind of bad.


The price paid for sports programming will probably not continue to rise at the rate it has in the past, but it does have one major advantage for advertisers. Sports are one of the few programs on television where the overwhelming majority watch live, and thus are exposed to the commercials. I live alone and can avoid seeing the scores, so I watch almost all sports on a delayed basis. Most people don’t want to do that.
   29. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5627061)
Odorizzi also had a FIP & XFIP north of 5.00 last year.


Seems like this is the part that lots of folks aren't getting. Why spend $6M to suck when you can just as easily suck for $600k?
   30. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5627074)
I think a big part of what we're seeing is the "Rise of the New Analytics" (I've got a book title!). Performance as we're used to measuring it seems to matter very little -- possibly also performance history matters very little. I suspect Odorizzi is being judged by velocity, what his high fastball does, what his low fastball does, the spin rate on this and the movement on that. The Cubs signed Chatwood for 3/$39 seemingly based on his statcast performance more than his real one -- which is fine too but 3 years for a guy who struggles to reach 150 innings and missed nearly two full seasons?

I've also noted that while teams used to sign big name position player FAs through age 36 (sometimes 35, sometimes 37 and of course Pujols, Cano and Miggy), they seem to be holding the line around 34 now. That might just be because we've had some quite young FAs (Heyward, Upton, Hosmer) that aren't good enough to command a 9-10 year offer. But this seems to be the hold up between the Red Sox and JDM. This too might be a reliance (over-reliance?) on projections, standard aging curves, etc. ... or at least using those as an excuse to hold the line.

On cable TV money, the question is to what extent this simply gets replaced by local streaming rights money. Sure, folks don't want an expensive (still?) cable package that ties them to their TV to watch the game ... but cable companies are already offering phone/tablet options for subscribers and presumably this will be the delivery mechanism of the near future. It's uncertain how to package that (a single local sports streaming package? baseball only streaming? a broader "cable" streaming service?), how much folks will pay for it, how much will flow through to teams. But if it made sense to pay $300 M a year for the broadcast rights to Phillies games then it should be worth about $300 M a year for the combination of broadcast/streaming rights. (Whether it was ever worth $300 M a year is another question.)

In short, I don't see any reason to think that the demand for viewing the local nine without attending the game has gone down dramatically in the last 5 years. What's changed is that people want flexibility on the device and don't want to pay for an entire cable package. There is the question of whether all the free content on the internet means people aren't willing to pay for any entertainment anymore -- the demand may still be there but just not willing to pay much for it. This has certainly happened to music.

Irony being MLB was on the forefront of sports streaming and has had a great system for non-local streaming operating for years. They (understandably) didn't take on local content but (much less understandably) didn't provide a model for how to locally stream** nor seem to apply much pressure on teams/broadcasters to figure this out before it became an issue.

** I'm thinking MLBAM could have fairly easily offered a (cheap/non-profit) service to the rights owners for team broadcasts to market and stream a local subscription service with the revenues flowing to the broadcasters. So $100 per year for MLBTV non-local and $100 for MLBTV local (and maybe a discount if you buy both) with the vast majority of MLBTV local net revenue going to the cable companies. Local streaming could have been here 10 years ago, probably through a better service than what the cable companies cobbled together trying to play catch-up.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5627083)
I've also noted that while teams used to sign big name position player FAs through age 36 (sometimes 35, sometimes 37 and of course Pujols, Cano and Miggy), they seem to be holding the line around 34 now.
I think this neglects the players' role in the negotiations. Teams would buy those late 30's years if players sold them cheap enough. Likewise, star players would take really short deals if the guaranteed money was (insanely) high.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5627095)
#29 -- oh we get it. We just don't buy it. The attitude that everything under 81 wins is "sucking" and there are no gradations of "sucking" is one that many of us don't share and believe is wrong economically (a league can survive only so many Cleveland Browns at one time) and "morally" (teams are obligated to "compete" ... which has the economic flipside of why watch the Cleveland Browns). We also understand that the financial set-up of MLB with large chunks of common and shared revenue give teams incentive to suck at low payrolls and hope to build a briefly competitive team through development and luck.

Now Jake Odirizzi the individual player may be so broken/ineffective at this point in his career that he no longer provides extra value over the $600 K player in which case, sure, it certainly makes financial sense to not pay $6 M for that production if you can find somebody else to. And possibly Dickerson is so broken or ineffective to not be worth anything either -- although that raises the curious question of why the Rays didn't just non-tender him when they had the chance but instead signed him for 1/$6. (Hilarious headline on an earlier article at mlb.com on how Dickerson could be the key to the Rays' offense in 2018). But chances are both of these players are better than their replacements, a pretty good chance they are collectively at least $12 M better than their replacements.

Eons ago when the Yugo came to the US, I noted that you could buy (I think) 12 Yugos for the same price as a lower-end Mercedes. You could drive a different car every month of the year and, crappy though they were, chances are those 12 Yugos would last you longer than the Mercedes and you'd never be driving a car with more than about a year's wear and tear on it. Needless to say nobody (not even me) actually accepted this argument. Now it's all the rage in baseball. (Granted in Odorizzi's case it's 4 Yugos vs a used Camry but you're only looking for a car for one year.)

Dickerson to the Red Sox or DBacks seems so obvious I can't believe the Rays couldn't work out a trade. JDM should sign ASAP.
   33. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5627119)
Now Jake Odirizzi the individual player may be so broken/ineffective at this point in his career that he no longer provides extra value over the $600 K player in which case, sure, it certainly makes financial sense to not pay $6 M for that production if you can find somebody else to.


That's all I meant. I am definitely not in the "everything under 81 wins is 'sucking' and there are no gradations of 'sucking'" camp. I just think that the return for Odorizzi sucked because Odorizzi sucks.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5627121)
Now Jake Odirizzi the individual player may be so broken/ineffective at this point in his career that he no longer provides extra value over the $600 K player in which case, sure, it certainly makes financial sense to not pay $6 M for that production if you can find somebody else to.

But, if the Rays believed this, why did they offer him arbitration?
   35. Buck Coats Posted: February 19, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5627134)
Because they could trade him for something rather than cut him for nothing? I mean I think this trade sucks for the Rays but it's obviously better than if they had non-tendered him
   36. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 19, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5627148)
I think even a pessimistic view of Palacios would give him a mid 6-figure value in a cash trade.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:27 PM (#5627178)
Because they could trade him for something rather than cut him for nothing? I mean I think this trade sucks for the Rays but it's obviously better than if they had non-tendered him

Then he's not "so broken" that the $600K player is better.
   38. Zach Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5627179)
I don't like dollars per win analysis, because I think it values every player on a scale that really only works for 1-2 WAR veterans, who are the most expensive source of wins in baseball.

The scale doesn't work for young players, who are cost controlled. It doesn't work for established stars, whose salaries top out in the $30-35 million range. It doesn't work for teams either, since nobody can afford to buy 30 marginal wins at $8 million a pop. As far as I can tell, all it really means to say that a free agent win costs $8 million is that if you sign a mediocre free agent, it will probably take 8 or 10 million to get the job done.
   39. ReggieThomasLives Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5627188)
Jakes medicals must be scary. He was worth over $20M both in 2015 and 2016, meaning the Rays must think the odds of s bounce back are less than 1 in 3.
   40. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5627196)
the Rays must think the odds of s bounce back are less than 1 in 3


I think this is right. And other teams seem to agree, or the Rays would have gotten more back.
   41. manchestermets Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5627238)
This would explain a reluctance to sign long term deals, but doesn't shed any light on economies that only affect this year.


If you think the lean years are coming, you don't keep spending like you think they'll never come.
   42. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5628946)
Dickerson traded to Pittsburgh, primarily for Daniel Hudson.

-- MWE
   43. Rally Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5628958)
The scale doesn't work for young players, who are cost controlled.


It does not mean the player will make 8 million/win, because he's cost controlled. But a win from a cost controlled player is worth exactly as much to a team as a win purchased on the FA market.

It doesn't work for established stars, whose salaries top out in the $30-35 million range.


I does when you consider that the good ones are signing multiyear deals even though (for 99% of players on the FA market) their skills have peaked and are expected to decline. In theory a 5 win player could sign a 40 million, one year contract, but good players always sign multiyear deals unless there are mitigating reasons, like an injury concern. The player knows that in future years he won't be worth 40 million, his value will likely drop, and instead he signs for 5 years and 125 million.

It doesn't work for teams either, since nobody can afford to buy 30 marginal wins at $8 million a pop.


True that nobody can afford to do that, but so what? Nobody has ever been in a position where they have to do so. Even the worst teams at developing talent have plenty of cheap, cost controlled talent.

Take the Angels, who have been ranked towards the bottom of farm systems for the last 5 years or so (though they are looking better this year, even without including Ohtani). I won't even include Trout:

7 WAR from Simmons, 4+ years service entering 2017. He was acquired for one of the Angels' #1 draft picks.
2 WAR from Calhoun, 3+ service, drafted by team
1.7 WAR from Maldonado, 4+ years, acquired for another cost controlled catcher

A whole slew of pitchers, up to 2.0 WAR, in their cost controlled years, on and off the active roster depending on the status of their elbows. Their highest paid pitchers (Nolasco and Street) weren't worth very much. 11 pitchers had between 0.6 and 2.0 WAR, 8 of them were cost controlled.

WAR/$ works for these players not in the sense that you have to pay 8 million for a 1.0 WAR cost controlled guy. But if you trade him, you need to get 8 million of value back (less his actual salary).
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 22, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5629014)
Dickerson traded to Pittsburgh, primarily for Daniel Hudson.


Seems reasonable to me. The Pirates didn't really need Hudson in the pen, and Dickerson is a good fit as the big half of a LF platoon.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 22, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5629022)
Seems reasonable to me. The Pirates didn't really need Hudson in the pen, and Dickerson is a good fit as the big half of a LF platoon.

Seems like a steal for the Pirates, unless they're paying Hudson's salary.
   46. Chris Fluit Posted: February 22, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5629111)
Rays also got a minor leaguer (Tristan Gray) and cash
   47. Walt Davis Posted: February 22, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5629114)
The question is how did Hudson ever get a 2/$11 contract to begin with. Once upon a time he had been a promising SP but then he missed the better part of 3 years with injuries. He came back as a reliever and over 2015-16 threw 128 innings with just a 96 ERA+ -- that's -0.9 bWAR. As an FA, the Pirates gave him 2/$11 -- why on earth would you do that? He gave them more of the same with 62 innings of 99 ERA+ and 0 WAR. Even if he had pitched to his 2015-16 FIP, that would have been about a 115-120 ERA+ which is pretty standard stuff for a short reliever.

Not a big deal but a small thing the MLBPA could push for is that if you are going to get rid of an arb guy on or prior to the date where you can get out of paying him for the year, he should be immediately released and become an FA rather than a DFA. I find the 10-day window on a DFA a strange, illogical thing anyway but it seems doubly odd in a case where a team tenders a player, reaches some agreement (arbitrated or not), exercises an escape clause ... but the player remains under their control for 10 more days. The Rays could have non-tendered him if they didn't want him, they had all offseason to trade him ... now that they've declared they don't want him, they get 10 more days to trade him.

Seems like a steal for the Pirates, unless they're paying Hudson's salary.

They have to be paying some chunk. Unless there are personality issues or something, they DFA's Dickerson so they only had to pay about $1 M of the $6 M they owed him. It would make zero sense to take on Hudson at $5.5. But I can't imagine the Pirates are picking up all of it, probably they split the difference and the Rays save about half as much money as they would have.
   48. Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 22, 2018 at 07:47 PM (#5629125)
I don't get the Dickerson situation. He has positive value, that is, your expected marginal revenue for having him on your team (even the Rays) is greater than his salary. "Cutting payroll", in this case, actually means losing money. Why would you want to lose money?
   49. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 22, 2018 at 08:01 PM (#5629133)
Wait, doesn't Dickerson keep his arb salary now that he's been traded? And don't the Pirates pay all of it?
   50. puck Posted: February 22, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5629142)
Good questions on Dickerson's salary. It would seem they take on the contract since they traded for him?

An "all-star Dickerson": 33 2b's, 4 3b's, 27HR, and 62 RBI. He's a Brook Jacoby all star!
   51. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 22, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5629152)
I was a Brook Jacoby fan; sigh
---
Pittsburgh is only sending a mil; they'll pay Dickerson, Tampa pays Hudson.

It's a pretty good deal for the Pirates, even though I'm down on CD compared to some here.
--
By chance, I had been curious as to Hudson's trade value prior to this deal (knew he was on the block) and had wondered if it was slightly negative. Vlad and others, your thoughts?
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5629199)
It's a pretty good deal for the Pirates, even though I'm down on CD compared to some here.

If you just look at projections, the Pirates trade a 0.4 WAR RP for a 1.7 WAR OF, and it only costs them $2M and a non-top-25 prospect. That seem quite good.
   53. Walt Davis Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5629202)
Yes, I didn't mean to imply Dickerson wasn't getting paid by the Pirates. The first "they" is Pirates, the second "they" is Rays. So if #51 is correct, the Rays pay Hudson $4.5 M instead of Dickerson $5.95 M which seems ... sub-optimal. Does statcast love Hudson or something? OK, they get this Gray kid in the deal too -- 13th round pick, did OK at A- ball at 21, I assume nobody's too excited about him.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5629208)
Yes, I didn't mean to imply Dickerson wasn't getting paid by the Pirates. The first "they" is Pirates, the second "they" is Rays. So if #51 is correct, the Rays pay Hudson $4.5 M instead of Dickerson $5.95 M which seems ... sub-optimal. Does statcast love Hudson or something? OK, they get this Gray kid in the deal too -- 13th round pick, did OK at A- ball at 21, I assume nobody's too excited about him.

Yeah, seems likes they be better off just releasing Dickerson and paying him $1M.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5629213)
For the record, I'm not "up" on Dickerson. Back when the Rays picked him up, I recall that caused a bit of a stir here with me tending more towards not being convinced Dickerson was all that and certainly wanted to see how he came back from injury. And he is still what he is -- a decent hitting, late-blooming corner OF who is probably at best mediocre defensively and will probably be done by 32-33 and could go at any moment. But that day isn't here yet and he only cost $6 M. He's not the sort of player you pursue but he's better than a player you give away.

Not as extreme and likely far less impactful but I'm kinda reminded of Carlos Guillen. Guillen had been a perfectly average SS for the Ms but they went out and made the mistake of signing Rich Aurlia on the edge of the cliff. This made Guillen "surplus", they sent him to the rebuilding Detroit for nearly nothing and, as extra bad luck would have it, he broke out with the Tigers. The 2004 Ms not only got a terrible season out of Aurlia (0.3 WAR) but also 3B Spezio (-0.8) and 2B Boone (0.4). Their main acquisition was Ramon Santiago who they never even gave a chance to before releasing him then he landed back in Detroit and eventually (a couple years later still) became a solid bench IF.

And coincidentally enough, happy 36th birthday to (not that one) Juan Gonzalez, the other player picked up by Seattle in that trade.
   56. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:11 PM (#5629248)
Yeah, seems likes they be better off just releasing Dickerson and paying him $1M.


If they just wanted to save a few million bucks, maybe they would have made a move that saved them a few million bucks. So doesn't this make anyone at least consider the possibility that the Rays actually like Hudson?
   57. Rally Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5629258)
Rays also got a minor leaguer (Tristan Gray) and cash


Whose twin brother is a billionaire married to Don Johnson’s daughter.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5629395)

If they just wanted to save a few million bucks, maybe they would have made a move that saved them a few million bucks. So doesn't this make anyone at least consider the possibility that the Rays actually like Hudson?


Well sure, but that would be even more curious. Hudson hasn't been above replacement level since 2011.
   59. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5629406)
Vlad and others, your thoughts?


On the whole, I think this is a solid move for the Pirates. Dickerson isn't super-special, but he's a reasonably priced solution that fills a big area of need. Hudson isn't terrible and feels like a bounceback candidate, but the fans in town hate him because he got off to a really slow start, and the Pirates have RH relievers coming out of their ears right now. Gray is interesting, as day-3 college picks go, but he's not the sort of guy you hesitate all that much to use as a throw-in to get a deal done.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5629412)
Hudson isn't terrible and feels like a bounceback candidate,

I'm curious, what makes you say this? He hasn't had a single decent season since becoming a RP.
   61. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5629417)
He feels like one to me as well (just from watching him, very small sample size - also bounce-back meaning solid 7th inning guy, not guy worth his contract), but I certainly wouldn't bet much on it - hints are few and far between in terms of "box score" stats.

You noted, snapper, that Hudson hadn't been above replacement level since joining the pen which seemed impossible to me (not good - sure - but not replacement level?) so I checked. And, by bb-ref, that's true!, though I'm not sure how frankly.

(The following isn't about the trade - or really about Hudson - but about reliever WAR in this instance.)

In 2015, he posted an ERA+ of 107... and -0.2 WAR. (His FIP was better, so 0.7 FG WAR. I'm not big on FG's WAR for retrospective looks at pitcher value. Fangraphs has Hudson above replacement level for every year of his career.)
Last year, his ERA+ was 99 ... with 0 WAR.
Now, he allowed a slightly more than average number of unearned runs and benefited from solid defense... but I'm still not sure how that 2015, in particular, was below replacement level. What am I missing?
   62. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5629419)
Also, I feel like I've been defending the Rays a lot in recent days. What I'm defending, though, is the roster churn "plan". They've made several trades of late that I think they've lost - the Pittsburgh deal being one.
   63. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5629422)
For anyone furrowing a brow over #57, it seems to have something to do with show business.
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5629424)
In 2015, he posted an ERA+ of 107... and -0.2 WAR. (His FIP was better, so 0.7 FG WAR. I'm not big on FG's WAR for retrospective looks at pitcher value. Fangraphs has Hudson above replacement level for every year of his career.)
Last year, his ERA+ was 99 ... with 0 WAR.

Now, he allowed a slightly more than average number of unearned runs and benefited from solid defense... but I'm still not sure how that 2015, in particular, was below replacement level. What am I missing?


The average RP has a much better RA/ERA than the average SP. I think the average SP is around 92-94 ERA+. So, a 107 ERA+ is probably about average for a RP. In the 2015 season with the 107 ERA+, you'll see Hudson gets -0.29 RA to his opp RA baseline for being a RP.
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5629435)
I'm curious, what makes you say this?


Good stuff (fastball sits 95-96, above-average change and slider), misses bats, and not overly homer-prone. His big issue is that he's prone to losing his mechanics, which means a couple weeks every year of terrible command/control, and all the problems that go along with that. But I think that could be fixed (or at least mitigated) if he hooks up with the right coaching staff.

He hasn't had a single decent season since becoming a RP.


His 2015 looks pretty good to me. 67 innings with more than a K an inning, along with a 3.61 xFIP. And his 2016 was really two seasons in one: the contiguous stretch of 15 games where his mechanics went out, in which he put up a 24.21 ERA with 33 hits and 7 walks allowed in 9 2/3 innings, and the rest of the year, where he was quite good.
   66. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5629439)
Right - a 107 ERA+ is about average (the value I keep in my head for that threshold is 108; 96 for starters). He was about average by that metric.

Now, the gap between that ERA+ difference and the -0.29 RA adjustment to his baseline accounts for the idea that starters, on average, are "better' than relievers. I'm not sure, however, that that difference should be enough to pull his value from average reliever to below replacement level player. (This ties in with a question I asked Rally on a different thread about the value of an average reliever.)

If people think that average relievers are worth 0.2, 0.3 WAR (or negative WAR, though I feel comfortable saying that Hudson was probably slightly below the mean in reliever performance in 2015) - they are probably undervaluing relievers. (I also think the market is overvaluing relievers.)
   67. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5629443)
Well sure, but that would be even more curious. Hudson hasn't been above replacement level since 2011.


I know nothing about Hudson, and don't have an opinion either way, but his FIP is usually better than his ERA, and so if you believe in FI as a better predictor of future success than straight ERA, there may be something there:

ERA:FIP:

2017 - 4.38 : 4.34
2016 - 5.22 : 3.81
2015 - 3.86 : 3.49
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5629484)
In unfortunate Rays news, their top pitching prospect Honeywell is hurt. Elbow.
   69. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 23, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5629511)
Likely Tommy John, out for the year (and some of '19). It's too bad...
   70. Walt Davis Posted: February 23, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5629803)
On Hudson's 2015 -- I have my uncertainties about pitcher bWAR but they lay all the numbers out in the table. So first, yeah, it's all those UER. ERA of 3.86 but RA of 4.52. Then some might have been competition "luck" as the average RA9 of his competition was 4.28. So he's already starting off giving up .24 R/9 more than the average pitcher (not reliever) -- not a huge deal but that's 2 runs already. Then they give Pitt credit for an excellent defense (.34) and there's the role component (-.29).

So now we're at him giving up .87 more R/9 than an average (adjusted) pitcher (or .58 more runs than an average reliever, whichever way you want to look at it). He does "benefit" from being in a hitter's park ... and the final tally is that an average pitcher "should" have given up 3.81 R/9, not 4.52 putting him, as it says, 5 runs below average. Then he gets piled on by having been below average in fairly high leverage situations (1.33 gmLI) which means those 5 runs below average in higher leverage situations were equivalent to 7 runs below average at medium leverage. Things get a bit mysterious at this point but apparently 67.2 IP is about 5 runs of replacement value. Probably after some disadvantageous rounding, that comes out a bit below replacement.

Granted I don't have a clue what to expect but he gives up 4-5 UER a year which seems quite high for a reliever. To take an equally mediocre reliever with stuff, Justin Grimm has given up 10 UER in 4 seasons, 7 of those in 2015 and none the last two years. 2015 was the year he posted a 192 ERA+, a number that is much less impressive when we consider he had 7 UER to go with his 11 ER.

See also whatever thread it is where I provide a long exigesis on the pointlessness of the "average" reliever. Hudson's at best a #4 reliever in a bad pen, more likely a #5. "Average" reliever is pulled way down by some really lousy performances in slots 5+ in mostly garbage time. The "average" top 4 (but non-closer) reliever is about a 125 OPS+, 1 WAR per 60 IP pitcher. Hudson's clearly a decent pick for the guy to have around for garbage time, 6th innings and occasional hi-leverage 7th inning use when other guys are hurt/tired but he's shown nothing to think he's better than that.

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