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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

White Sox trade Sergio Santos for Blue Jays prospect Molina

Sergio: Once Upon a Time in the East…Duck, You Sucker!

The Chicago White Sox sent closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitching prospect Nestor Molina in a trade of right-handed pitchers Tuesday.

Santos, 28, saved 30 games in 63 appearances in his first full season in the majors in 2011.

Molina, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, was 12-3, pitching at Class A Dunedin (Fla.) and Class AA New Hampshire for the Jays last season. For his minor-league career he is 22-7 with a 2.21 ERA.

Santos was originally drafted as a shortstop by the Diamondbacks with the 27th overall pick in 2002.

Repoz Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:23 PM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, white sox

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   1. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#4008287)
Mildly surprised that Santos was able to make a career for himself -- I still remember him as a HS SS flameout.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#4008297)
Wasn't Santos a Blue Jays SS flameout
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:36 PM (#4008300)
Kinda surprisingly after the White Sox just signed him to a club favorable long-term deal, but I guess they're in full-rebuild mode. Seems like a high price to pay for a closer, and one that is still fairly new to pitching. I figured AA was too smart to buy into the COUNT DA SAVES nonsense.
   4. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:39 PM (#4008308)
Wasn't Santos a Blue Jays SS flameout
diamondbacks, bluejays, i think he played 3B for the twins. i'm not exactly sure what this is about:

March 20, 2009: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the San Francisco Giants for future considerations.
April 1, 2009: Traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Chicago White Sox for future considerations.



since 2005, people were talking about his potential as a pitcher, but he only actually made the switch in 2009. it seems to have worked out for him.
   5. John Northey Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:43 PM (#4008314)
Molina was viewed as a closer candidate in the future according to the Jays GM lately. Wonder if he was trying to push for a 'future closer for one today'.

Bit nervous as Santos has that 4+ walks per 9 IP ratio, but those 13 K/9 last year are a sweet thing.
   6. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#4008316)
In the ESPN article KW specifically says that they're rebuilding.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#4008318)
I figured AA was too smart to buy into the COUNT DA SAVES nonsense.

Well, he did trade Napoli for Francisco.

Still, I'm not sure that's what he's doing here. Santos is interesting -- look at the Ks! -- but maybe not worth a prospect (crikey! he's got a K/BB of nearly 6!). Still, that Santos contract is pretty sweet -- potentially 6/$31. Good "setup men" are already getting around $5 M a year. Santos could be the next Joe Nathan and he's already Kerry Wood.

But double crikey -- last year that kid pitched 130 innings with 148 Ks and 16 walks! That's a K/BB over 9! I need more exclamation points!!!!!

Unless the Jays doctor just walked into AA's office with an MRI of Molina's shoulder that looked like Marge Schott, AA is a dumb ass.
   8. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#4008322)
In the ESPN article KW specifically says that they're rebuilding.
so, how long will it be until gordon beckham and alexei ramirez are phillies?
   9. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#4008323)
WTF????? This will work out about as well as the ####### Napoli trade. Why in the name of #### you'd give up one of your best pitching prospects for another generic hard-throwing, no-control reliever is beyond me. Molina has 2.21 career minor league ERA with a 5.89 K/BB ratio - he K'd 33 and walked 2 in 22 AA innings last year.
   10. Greg K Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#4008325)
Well, he did trade Napoli for Francisco.

Counting Francisco's saves doesn't take very long. It was a stupid trade but I don't think it's evidence of over-valuing saves
   11. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#4008332)
I think this is a great trade for the Jays. They traded a guy whose upside was Santos for Santos. And Santos has a reasonable contract.
   12. Greg K Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#4008338)
so, how long will it be until gordon beckham and alexei ramirez are phillies?

Apparently the Jays are in on Beckham too
(and Orlando Hudson, and Daniel Murphy, and Kelly Johnson, and Alberto Callaspo...oh right and Martin Prado. If he plays 2B he's Jays property!)
   13. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#4008341)
I think this is a great trade for the Jays. They traded a guy whose upside was Santos for Santos. And Santos has a reasonable contract.

Molina may well turn out to be Santos, but no way in hell do I think that's his upside. Have you seen his K/BB?
   14. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#4008342)
Counting Francisco's saves doesn't take very long. It was a stupid trade but I don't think it's evidence of over-valuing saves.


Yea, he traded Napoli for someone who could not even get the stupid saves!

Edited to correct HTML debacle.
   15. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#4008344)
If he plays 2B he's Jays property!

Did AA hire Jim Hendry as a special assistant or something?
   16. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#4008347)
Does Molina throw 89 or something??? I don't get this at all.
   17. Mark Edward Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#4008352)
Kinda surprisingly after the White Sox just signed him to a club favorable long-term deal, but I guess they're in full-rebuild mode. Seems like a high price to pay for a closer, and one that is still fairly new to pitching. I figured AA was too smart to buy into the COUNT DA SAVES nonsense.


This move won't cripple the Sox pen. They still have Crain, Frasor, Thornton (for the time being), Addison Reed, Ohman, and guys like Greg Infante & Jhan Marinez.

I never got too attached to Santos though the Sox did a great job of bringing him back from the dead. Molina seems like a very good return from the little I know about him.
   18. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:03 PM (#4008356)
Molina may well turn out to be Santos, but no way in hell do I think that's his upside. Have you seen his K/BB?

Scouts are already saying that he'll have to be converted to a reliever. He's had half a good year in AA. I could very well be wrong, but that's how I see it.
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#4008361)
since 2005, people were talking about his potential as a pitcher, but he only actually made the switch in 2009. it seems to have worked out for him.

but the odd thing is, if you look at his pitching stats in 2009, they were horseshit (except for the K's/9). Somebody must have seen something..
   20. asinwreck Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#4008362)
Now the White Sox have a minor leaguer with a pulse. Let's see what Williams gets for Danks, Floyd, and Quentin.
   21. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4008371)
I think this is a great trade for the Jays. They traded a guy whose upside was Santos for Santos. And Santos has a reasonable contract.

I'm not sure about that. It assumes Molina's upside is as a reliever, which seems crazy for a guy who (a) only started pitching a year or two ago, and (b) is coming off an outstanding year where he threw 130 innings. I think fangraphs is much closer to the mark in saying that if Molina turns into a league average SP, the Sox will get more than enough value in return for Santos' (limited) ~2 WAR per season ceiling.
   22. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4008372)
Unless the Jays doctor just walked into AA's office with an MRI of Molina's shoulder that looked like Marge Schott, AA is a dumb ass.

Molina's a control guy, who is projected to be a reliever by many due to stuff and mechanics. Anthopoulos says routinely he doesn't mind trading value for value. John Sickels recently, is far and away the biggest booster of his. Interesting trade. Surprising. Time will tell.
   23. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#4008375)
Scouts are already saying that he'll have to be converted to a reliever. He's had half a good year in AA. I could very well be wrong, but that's how I see it.


I don't know, but isn't John Sickels universally regarded as the minor league expert? He rates Molina the best prospect in Toronto's system. If a performance equivalent to the 60 IP/30 BB Sergio Santos puts up is the best we can expect from that supposedly formidable group of prospects, AA should just trade every single one of them for some bats right now.
   24. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4008377)
I think he ranked Molina below D'Arnaud, and as one of 4 B+ pitchers. There were 5 B- pitchers as well.
   25. Mark Edward Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4008378)
Scouts are already saying that he'll have to be converted to a reliever. He's had half a good year in AA. I could very well be wrong, but that's how I see it.


Which scouts or publications are you referring to? John Sickels, for one, gave Molina a B+ and I don't think he does that for pitchers projected to be relievers very often.

Plus Molina seems to be a control artist who doesn't throw hard; Santos is a hard-thrower with dominating stuff who has trouble with control. They seem like 2 totally different pitchers.
   26. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#4008382)
The rumours last week were that Molina was going to be converted to a reliever, and that he was a potential closer for the Jays in the future. That was last week.
   27. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#4008387)
Well I'd rather have Molina as a closer making 500k than Santos at $3 million plus.
   28. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#4008389)
The rumours last week were that Molina was going to be converted to a reliever, and that he was a potential closer for the Jays in the future. That was last week.


Well, the Blue Jays kind of just did convert Molina into a reliever who's a potential closer, right?
   29. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#4008393)
Keith Law (the free intro):

"With the deal that sends Chicago White Sox reliever Sergio Santos to Toronto for Blue Jays prospect Nestor Molina, the Jays trade maybe their sixth-best pitching prospect for a very effective short reliever (whom they had previously when he was still a position player). This should take Toronto out of the market for free-agent closers, most of whom end up overpaid thanks to the winner's curse and the short peaks of most relievers' careers. The White Sox, on the other hand, get an extreme control right-hander without much of a breaking ball who could be a dominant two-pitch reliever, but is probably a year away from seriously contributing in the majors."

Law and Goldstein have never been fantastically enamoured of Molina. Since summer Sickle's has been far more postive. Goldstein, on Twitter since summer gets a little growly, he's that convicted in his views compared to the more favourable ones.
   30. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#4008394)
Well I'd rather have Molina as a closer making 500k than Santos at $3 million plus.

Sure, but I think the math is more like, Molina as a closer at 500k, but with a 50% flame out rate, versus Santos as a closer at $3 million, but with a 15% flame out rate.
   31. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#4008398)
Well I'd rather have Molina as a closer making 500k than Santos at $3 million plus.

Sure, but I think the math is more like, Molina as a closer at 500k, but with a 50% flame out rate, versus Santos as a closer at $3 million, but with a 15% flame out rate


Or how about if he's not as good at it? (Too soon to say, just quipping)
   32. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#4008401)
I don't know, numbers are number. Seems to me when a guy K's 148 and walks 16 he's got some talent. I don't know why Law thinks so poorly of him, but I've never seen him play.
   33. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#4008406)
Borrowed from Jerry/@NorthYorkJays via Twitter (he's also also "92-93" on BattersBox & DJF

"Enthralled by Molina's 115:14 K:BB as a 22 year old in A+? Josh Towers at 21 in A+ put up a 122:9 K:BB. LOTS of noise in minor league stats."

Like I say, Goldstein is in the same boat as Law. Obviously, the GM has some reservations as well. Again, I was surprised too.
   34. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#4008410)
There's a difference between "upside" and "most likely outcome". Molina's most likely outcome may indeed be as a reliever, but his upside seems higher than that.

Ken Williams has something of a mixed track record when it comes to trading for young pitchers. Hopefully this works out more like John Danks and less like Jeff Marquez.
   35. Endless Trash Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#4008415)
I remember in 2003 or so I was obsessed with Josh Banks. His K/BB numbers as a starter were insane.
   36. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#4008419)
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#4008420)
Enthralled by Molina's 115:14 K:BB as a 22 year old in A+? Josh Towers at 21 in A+ put up a 122:9 K:BB. LOTS of noise in minor league stats.
"Noise" isn't really the right word here. Molina really did dominate A-ball hitters, and I would bet he could repeat that performance. The issue is that there are qualitative differences between A-ball and the high minors (not to mention MLB). Strategies that work in A-ball - such as pounding the zone with mediocre stuff - will get your ass handed to you when you try them against better hitters.

I have learned, over the years, to distrust great A-ball seasons built on insane K/BB numbers - they very often result from a pitcher who is too advanced for A-ball but not actually a top prospect. Sometimes it's a great pitcher, but there's another option there to consider.
   38. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#4008422)
"Enthralled by Molina's 115:14 K:BB as a 22 year old in A+? Josh Towers at 21 in A+ put up a 122:9 K:BB. LOTS of noise in minor league stats."
to put some context to that: 145 IP for towers, 108 for molina.
   39. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#4008425)
There's a difference between "upside" and "most likely outcome". Molina's most likely outcome may indeed be as a reliever, but his upside seems higher than that.

That's why I'm a fan (from the Sox perspective). The worst case has the Sox losing a 2 WAR pa reliever while Molina completely busts. That's hardly devastating. Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum is the Sox getting back a decent reliever/league-average-or-better starter, where they either fully recoup Santos' value or get some multiple of it.
   40. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4008429)
"Noise" isn't really the right word here. Molina really did dominate A-ball hitters, and I would bet he could repeat that performance. The issue is that there are qualitative differences between A-ball and the high minors (not to mention MLB). Strategies that work in A-ball - such as pounding the zone with mediocre stuff - will get your ass handed to you when you try them against better hitters.

Small sample size and all, but he didn't exactly get killed in his 5 AA starts last year.
   41. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4008431)
Hmmm.
   42. zack Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4008432)
I know nothing about Molina, but I'm surprised a 22-year old in the FSL putting up great K/BB numbers is getting this much reaction. Especially if there are questions about his stuff. What's the difference between Molina and Yusmeiro Petit?
   43. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#4008434)
Do any of the White Sox fans know what Santos' closer music is?
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:05 PM (#4008438)
to put some context to that: 145 IP for towers, 108 for molina.


And Towers threw what, 87, 88 on a good day? I'm pretty sure Molina's got more zip than that already.
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#4008443)
What's the difference between Molina and Yusmeiro Petit?
Well, Petit repeated his crazy K-BB numbers in the high minors - 2.91 ERA and 130/18 K/BB in the Eastern League, before washing out in AAA. My understanding with Petit was that along with great control and ok stuff, he had a funky, deceptive delivery. It appears that the delivery was enough to get him over the hump in AA, but not in the majors.
   46. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#4008444)
Do any of the White Sox fans know what Santos' closer music is?


Is it this?
   47. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#4008510)
   48. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#4008541)
I just heard AA on XM. His staff projected Molina as a #3 starter, maybe #2. Sickels is very high on Molina and gave him a B+ in latest rankings. Law went with, "His breaking ball is a work in progress, to say the least, and he doesn't offer much projection, so there's still an open question of whether he can remain a starter with a midrotation ceiling or a late-game reliever. He should have a significant role in the 'pen even if he ends up exclusively a fastball/splitter guy."
   49. Mark Edward Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:57 PM (#4008557)
Does Law have a blind spot for breaking balls or something? I can't comment on Molina, because I haven't seen him, but in the recent past Law has said Chris Sale doesn't have much of a breaking ball, even though his slider produced something like a 50% swing-and-miss rate among hitters.
   50. formerly dp Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#4008581)
The Jays have been after Santos for a while, right? They're also rumored to be one of the last teams still in the hunt for Cecil's son. Edit: Nevermind, AA says they're not willing to go more than 5 years. That won't get it done.
   51. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#4008582)
I just heard AA on XM. His staff projected Molina as a #3 starter, maybe #2.

And if that's the mindset, then I'd argue that the Sox won the deal (at least from the perspective of the GMs involved).
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:21 PM (#4008586)
They're also rumored to be one of the last teams still in the hunt for Cecil's son. Edit: Nevermind, AA says they're not willing to go more than 5 years. That won't get it done.

Who's going more?

5 at a nice AAV might work.
   53. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#4008587)
At his age? No way does he settle for 5. I'd be very, very surprised at anything under 8.
   54. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#4008593)
Who's going more?

The Mariners seems to be hot choice to get to six.
   55. Eddo Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#4008594)
At his age? No way does he settle for 5. I'd be very, very surprised at anything under 8.

Someone has to offer it for him to take it.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:32 PM (#4008600)
At his age? No way does he settle for 5. I'd be very, very surprised at anything under 8.

I don't see the team that'll offer 8. Frankly 6/120 is where I see the limit. He's morbidly obese, and most big money teams don't need (NY, BOS, PHI), or can't afford (LAD, MYM) 1B.

Why would you pay Fielder significantly more than Reyes? Even with his injury issues, Reyes has matched him in WAR the last 5 years.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#4008601)
The Mariners seems to be hot choice to get to six.

Which you could counter with 5 at a higher AAV. If Seattle goes 6/120. counter with 5/110. At Fielder's age, a second bite at the FA apple isn't necessarily a negative.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#4008609)
Why would you pay Fielder significantly more than Reyes? Even with his injury issues, Reyes has matched him in WAR the last 5 years.


1 year younger, the higher certainty on offensive stats, the average games played combined with the liklihood of injury due to the more demanding position. And the last three year average war or oWar. Fielder has played 162, 161, 162, 159, 158, 157 games the last 6 seasons. Considering that Reyes top potential in a healthy season is to be equal to Fielder, then why would they get similar contracts when the certainty rests with Fielder? Of course Fielder has been somewhat of a Saberhagen type of player posting alternating very good years with just above average years, but at least you aren't missing a player.
   59. MM1f Posted: December 07, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#4008699)
I don't know, but isn't John Sickels universally regarded as the minor league expert? He rates Molina the best prospect in Toronto's system. If a performance equivalent to the 60 IP/30 BB Sergio Santos puts up is the best we can expect from that supposedly formidable group of prospects, AA should just trade every single one of them for some bats right now.


THE minor league expert? Hell no.

A minor league expert, sure.

Callis, Law and Goldstein don't share Sickels' enthusiasm for Molina. Not that they think he is a bad prospect, they just don't think he is the can't miss ace that Jays fans think he is.

For several months Jays fans on Twitter have flamed those three for not saying that Molina was the best prospect ever. It's been cute.
   60. 92-93 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 07:52 AM (#4009021)
Just to be clear - I wasn't trying to say anything with my Towers comparison other than : don't go straight to K:BB to evaluate a pitcher's performance and decide on his upside accordingly. You have to trust the reports from the people who watch the kids play and balance that with what you see on the stat sheet.

And on a good day Towers sat in the low 90s. He carried the Jays rotation in 2005 with a tremendous second half when Doc went down.

It's a little much when you start reading into a compressed tweet to quibble with my verbiage.
   61. o_dawg Posted: December 07, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#4009067)
They are both converted shortstops. In three years, both will have had TJ surgery and be on their way to oblivion. At least the Jays will get some ML innings.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#4009078)

1 year younger, the higher certainty on offensive stats, the average games played combined with the liklihood of injury due to the more demanding position. And the last three year average war or oWar. Fielder has played 162, 161, 162, 159, 158, 157 games the last 6 seasons. Considering that Reyes top potential in a healthy season is to be equal to Fielder, then why would they get similar contracts when the certainty rests with Fielder? Of course Fielder has been somewhat of a Saberhagen type of player posting alternating very good years with just above average years, but at least you aren't missing a player.


How can you say the bolded part? Even with injury, Reyes has accumulated the same value as Fielder over the last 5 years.

In the past 5 years Fielder has 802 Gs, 3500 PA and 19.9 WAR. Reyes has 614 Gs, 2883 PA and 19.5 WAR.

It's taken Fielder a full extra season of playing time to accumulate slightly more value. At his best, Reyes is clearly the better player. A perfectly healthy Fielder has put up seasons of 2.1 and 2.7 WAR in the last four years. When healthy (big if I grant) Reyes is a 5+ WAR player.

Add in Fielder's obesity and old player skills, vs. Reyes athleticism, I take Reyes as the better bet to age well. To me, Reyes for fewer years and less money is a no brainer.
   63. formerly dp Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#4009088)
Add in Fielder's obesity and old player skills, vs. Reyes athleticism, I take Reyes as the better bet to age well. To me, Reyes for fewer years and less money is a no brainer.

Hasn't Prince's weight been up and down over the last few years? With Reyes, there's a not insignificant chance that he'll have a really serious, career-altering hamstring injury. He's a durable player otherwise, but the hamstring injury risk is a significant and recurring one.
   64. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#4009092)
It's taken Fielder a full extra season of playing time to accumulate slightly more value. At his best, Reyes is clearly the better player. A perfectly healthy Fielder has put up seasons of 2.1 and 2.7 WAR in the last four years. When healthy (big if I grant) Reyes is a 5+ WAR player.
reyes, 2007-2011--52 batting runs
fielder, 2011--56 batting runs.
fielder, 2007-2011--221 batting runs

fielder, 2007-2011--(-)32 fielding runs, (-)53 positional adjustment, (-)26 baserunning
reyes, 2007-2011--(+)7 fielding runs, (+)30 positional adjustment, (+) 17 baserunning


there is a very real and very significant difference between the contributions of fielder and reyes. any illusion of them being equal is merely an accounting trick.
   65. Rusty Priske Posted: December 07, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#4009118)
This is a great deal for Toronto... and it may also turn out to be a great deal for Chicago.

Sometimes trades just work out that way.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 03:19 PM (#4009130)
there is a very real and very significant difference between the contributions of fielder and reyes. any illusion of them being equal is merely an accounting trick.

Yes, Reyes is a far better all around player, and should age very well if he can overcome the hamstring issue.

Fielder has old player skills, and the second his bat speed slips, he's going to be a $20M boat anchor.

Since when is defense, baserunning and the ability to play SS an "accounting trick"?
   67. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4009146)
I think the difference between Fielder and Reyes is,

Which issue is more threatening to the future of the player?

1) Reyes' recurring injury problems (counter-balanced by the fact that you'd expect Reyes' skill-set to age better)
2) Fielder's weight (counter-balanced by the fact that Fielder has been one of the most durable players over the past few years)

I'm not really sure how you'd go about projecting either issue.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#4009152)
I think the difference between Fielder and Reyes is,

Which issue is more threatening to the future of the player?

1) Reyes' recurring injury problems (counter-balanced by the fact that you'd expect Reyes' skill-set to age better)
2) Fielder's weight (counter-balanced by the fact that Fielder has been one of the most durable players over the past few years)

I'm not really sure how you'd go about projecting either issue.


It's tough for sure.
   69. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:12 PM (#4009176)
Which issue is more threatening to the future of the player?

1) Reyes' recurring injury problems (counter-balanced by the fact that you'd expect Reyes' skill-set to age better)
2) Fielder's weight (counter-balanced by the fact that Fielder has been one of the most durable players over the past few years)

I'm not really sure how you'd go about projecting either issue.


Personally I'd go Fielder without any hesitation if we're talking a six year deal. Realizing that players of Fielder's type have a tendency to collapse I feel confident that the first 4 years are as close to money in the bank as you can get with just the last two years (his age 32-33 seasons) being potentially risky. Just as an example Mo Vaughn was still a productive player through age 32 before missing his entire age 33 season.

Reyes on the other hand strikes me as a more high risk/high reward type. If he stays healthy he's a star but his best is not any better than Fielder's best and his track record of health is not great. I feel like there is a greater chance that Reyes becomes a bust and is not likely to be more of a star.

tl;dr Fielder is more of a sure thing in my view.
   70. BFFB Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#4009178)
Molina may well turn out to be Santos, but no way in hell do I think that's his upside. Have you seen his K/BB?


How much faith do you put in walks in AA where hitters tend to, aha, swing at everything - particularly if you are (if what another poster mentioned is true) that he is not hard throwing guy and relies on good control.
   71. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#4009180)
Since when is defense, baserunning and the ability to play SS an "accounting trick"?


the attempt to translate those things onto a scale of equal importance to offensive performance is where i have an issue. i don't at all buy the presumption that the ~160 runs that fielder loses to reyes in those 3 areas is equal in importance to the ~170 runs that fielder gains on reyes at the plate.


just like i believe that WAR/$ projections fail to hold up to scrutiny at the upper ends of the performance spectrum, i believe that the components of WAR (and the way in which they're put together) fail to hold up to scrutiny when comparing players at different ends of the fielding spectrum.

a baserunning run at SS is not equal to a baserunning run at 1B. a fielding run at SS is not equal to a fielding run at 1B. the different positions value different skills on a different scale, and to value them all equally for all players at all positions misrepresents the scale at which skills are valued at individual positions.

put it this way, if you had two 1Bmen, and they each had identical physical attributes and identical WAR, which one would you rather spend money on:

A: 5 rbat, 5 rbase, 5 rfield
B: 25 rbat, -5 rbase, -5 rfield

the resulting WAR is the same, but for a 1Bman, you've gotta take the bat. if you put together a team full of A, you're gonna be the 2010 seattle mariners. all the fielding and all the baserunning in the world won't make up for a pitcher giving up 4 walks and 3 HRs. you need offense. you need runs.



and positional adjustments are most definitely an accounting trick. there may be justifiable reasons for their existence, but they're just a number on paper; they don't affect the score of any game--ever.
   72. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#4009189)
A: 5 rbat, 5 rbase, 5 rfield
B: 25 rbat, -5 rbase, -5 rfield

the resulting WAR is the same, but for a 1Bman, you've gotta take the bat. if you put together a team full of A, you're gonna be the 2010 seattle mariners.


Uh, no you're not. The 2010 mariners as a team had a total of 4 rbase. They didn't have a single player with 5 baserunning runs, and only 3 with more than 1. Meanwhile, they had -150 batting runs, not 45 as you imply. Give the 2010 Mariners 200 more batting runs and they are a .500 team.

Do you know what 5 batting runs from a full time player looks like? It looks like Dan Uggla 2011, who had a 109 OPS+
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#4009209)
the attempt to translate those things onto a scale of equal importance to offensive performance is where i have an issue. i don't at all buy the presumption that the ~160 runs that fielder loses to reyes in those 3 areas is equal in importance to the ~170 runs that fielder gains on reyes at the plate.

I really don't get this.

Do you really have trouble with the idea that Shane Victorino's 19 BatR are not way more valuable than Carlos Pena's 19 BatR b/c he plays a good CF and can run vs. a below avg. 1B?

I mean, this is not sabremetric stuff. A bat that puts you in the HoF at SS or C (e.g. Ripken 112 career OPS+, Carter 115 career OPS+) gets you benched at 1B.
   74. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#4009216)
Do you know what 5 batting runs from a full time player looks like? It looks like Dan Uggla 2011, who had a 109 OPS+
yes, i'm sure it's perfectly normal for someone with 5 batting runs to hit 36 HRs.


Uh, no you're not. The 2010 mariners as a team had a total of 4 rbase. They didn't have a single player with 5 baserunning runs, and only 3 with more than 1. Meanwhile, they had -150 batting runs, not 45 as you imply. Give the 2010 Mariners 200 more batting runs and they are a .500 team.
fair point. the mariners were historically bad, and 5 batting runs isn't historically bad; it's just run of the mill mediocre *EDIT: it's not that, either. it's just not elite, and it's not gonna be the engine of run production for a playoff caliber team, excepting the unique case of dan uggla*

still, though, if you had 8 starting position players whose value was concentrated in the way player A's was, do you think that would be a successful team*?


*admittedly, that's a flawed scenario, since i'm fairly sure that if you had 8 players who were all above average defenders, they would cannibalize each others fielding ratings to the point where some would look better than others, despite no appreciable difference in skill.
   75. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#4009228)
Do you really have trouble with the idea that Shane Victorino's 19 BatR are not way more valuable than Carlos Pena's 19 BatR b/c he plays a good CF and can run vs. a below avg. 1B?
that's not what we're talking about here. if that component of WAR was equal, then i would completely agree that the other stuff tips the scale in victorino's favor, but again, that's not the issue.


the issue is two players with different components reaching the same output. in this case, i think the way that output is reached is more important to the understanding of their relative values than the output itself.


i'm not even projecting here--i'm just talking about what has been their performance over the last 5 years. it could be that fielder completely collapses from this point and reyes plays 162 games for the next 7 years, averaging 8 WAR per season, but that still wouldn't change my assertion that, despite the similar WAR, fielder has been more valuable over this timeframe.
   76. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#4009283)
still, though, if you had 8 starting position players whose value was concentrated in the way player A's was, do you think that would be a successful team*?


Funny you should ask. I just put together this team, which averages 5.0/4.0/4.9

Here's a team of players who fit the general description of player A (rbat/rbaser/rfield):

C - Thurman Munson 1971 105 OPS+ (4/2/6)
1B - Dale Mitchell 1949 110 OPS+ (6/4/4)
2B - Ray Durham 2001 106 OPS+ (5/5/6)
SS - Eric Aybar 2011 109 OPS+ (6/7/5)
3B - Shea Hillenbrand 2002 105 OPS+ (4/4/6)
LF - Luke Scott 2008 111 OPS+ (6/3/4)
CF - Coco Crisp 2004 110 OPS+ (6/1/4)
RF - J D Drew 2007 105 OPS+ (4/5/4)
DH - Don Baylor 1974 111 OPS+ (4/6)

That lineup would produce a 108 OPS+ with 120 HR, 128 SB, and superior defense. Given adequate pitching, say league average, yes, they could be successful. The 2010 Mariners had league average pitching, -150 batting runs, 9 baserunning runs including ROE and DP, and 41 defensive runs. So, basically give them 222 more runs, and their pythag is 85-77.
   77. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#4009291)
Do you know what 5 batting runs from a full time player looks like? It looks like Dan Uggla 2011, who had a 109 OPS+

yes, i'm sure it's perfectly normal for someone with 5 batting runs to hit 36 HRs.


Wasn't cherry picking there. I looked for 2011 players with exactly 5 batting runs and there were only 2, Uggla and Neil Walker. Uggla was listed first, so i went with him. If you prefer, Neil Walker .273/12/83, 105 OPS+.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4009310)
the issue is two players with different components reaching the same output. in this case, i think the way that output is reached is more important to the understanding of their relative values than the output itself.


i'm not even projecting here--i'm just talking about what has been their performance over the last 5 years. it could be that fielder completely collapses from this point and reyes plays 162 games for the next 7 years, averaging 8 WAR per season, but that still wouldn't change my assertion that, despite the similar WAR, fielder has been more valuable over this timeframe.


That doesn't make any sense to me. You're basically saying no up the middle player can ever be great.

Better defense and ability to play a scarcer position has to be worth some amount of batting runs.

We know teams accept far less offense at SS,C,CF and 2B. Troy Tulowitzki put up 5.8 WAR despite "only" 26 Rbat.

In 2011, are you saying you'd prefer Fielder to him (5.2 WAR, 56 Rbat)? David Ortiz (42 Rbat, 3.8 WAR)? Where do you draw the line?
   79. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4009319)
C - Thurman Munson 1971 105 OPS+ (4/2/6)
1B - Dale Mitchell 1949 110 OPS+ (6/4/4)
2B - Ray Durham 2001 106 OPS+ (5/5/6)
SS - Eric Aybar 2011 109 OPS+ (6/7/5)
3B - Shea Hillenbrand 2002 105 OPS+ (4/4/6)
LF - Luke Scott 2008 111 OPS+ (6/3/4)
CF - Coco Crisp 2004 110 OPS+ (6/1/4)
RF - J D Drew 2007 105 OPS+ (4/5/4)
DH - Don Baylor 1974 111 OPS+ (4/6)


interesting.

just for shits and giggles:
C: munson, '72: 4/-3/-2, 3.8->2.5
1B: mitchell, '50: 7/-1/0, 2.3->1.5
2B: durham, '02: 16/5/-2, 4.0->3.3
3B: hillenbrand, '03: 0/1/-3, 3.8->0.1
SS: aybar, '12: TBD
LF: scott, '09: 8/-2/-4, 2.5->1.1
CF: crisp, '05: 8/3/23(!!), 2.8->4.6
RF: drew, '08: 21/0/-4, 2.7->2.7
DH: baylor, '75: 29/-1/-8*, 1.2->2.8

*since baylor was a DH, his -8 didn't really matter.

so, from that platonic ideal team, the next year, 5 players regressed (by measure of WAR), 1 went batshit insane with the glove, and 2 saw significant improvement at the bat (though drew's WAR didn't actually improve to match). aybar's future is to be determined. in all, the team's WAR went from 23.1 to 18.6, with aybar (4.7 in 2011) still to be factored in to both numbers.

i don't have play index, so unfortunately, i can't go back and make my own team of players with a comparable WAR to compare to the above.


but just as an eyeball test, would you take the platonic ideal team if you knew you'd have to eat the following season's regression?
   80. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4009323)
yes, i'm sure it's perfectly normal for someone with 5 batting runs to hit 36 HRs.


Yeah, Uggla's unusual, but not unique. 16 players in history have hit 35 or more HR and 5 or fewer batting runs, led by Jose Canseco in 1998 with 46. Uggla himself also had a 31 HR 5 batting run season.
   81. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#4009325)
but just as an eyeball test, would you take the platonic ideal team if you knew you'd have to eat the following season's regression?


Take it over what, a team of 25 -5 -5 guys?
   82. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#4009344)
That doesn't make any sense to me. You're basically saying no up the middle player can ever be great.

Better defense and ability to play a scarcer position has to be worth some amount of batting runs.

We know teams accept far less offense at SS,C,CF and 2B. Troy Tulowitzki put up 5.8 WAR despite "only" 26 Rbat.

In 2011, are you saying you'd prefer Fielder to him (5.2 WAR, 56 Rbat)? David Ortiz (42 Rbat, 3.8 WAR)? Where do you draw the line?
now that's an interesting question.


if i was being rigidly consistent, i'd have to say that i'd take fielder and the bat. but you're right, there is *some* value to the other stuff and it bears consideration.


tulowitzki has averaged 27 batting runs over the last 3 years, and he's basically hit the bullseye on that average each year.

since this started in reference to free agency, i'd have to say i'd probably be more likely to offer more years to tulo, but the AAV would be very close between him and fielder.

Take it over what, a team of 25 -5 -5 guys?
let me rephrase, if you built the team in year 2 (the team in my post) based on their performance in year 1 (the team in your post), would you be happy with the result? *that's basically a throwaway question. it's more of a frivolity than a foundation for further discussion*
   83. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#4009380)
Here's a platonic ideal 25/-5/-5 team. I couldn't keep close the strict limits sometimes because there just weren't any players. Only 5 SS in history were 0 or less in both baserunning and fielding. Tejada at -15 total was the closest to -10.

C - Javvy Lopez 2004 26/-2/-5 127
1B Ryan Howard 2007 28/-5/-5 144 OPS+
2B Craig Biggio 1993 25/-5/-4 130 OPS+
SS - Miguel Tejada 2006 23/-2/-13 126 OPS+
3B David Wright 2010 27/-2/-7 131 OPS+
LF Jose Guillen 2004 21/-2/-5 121 OPS+
CF Torii Hunter 2010 20/-3/-8 126 OPS+
RF Bobby Abreu 2009 23/-1/-6 118 OPS+
DH Victor Martinez 2011 26/-5 132 OPS+

Biggio's certainly a head scratcher. Only 3 times in his career was he negative in the baserunning components, and the other 2 were -1 and -2. but again, it's really hard to find middle infielders that fit the profile. Only 15 second basemen had between 20 and 30 batting runs, and 0 or below in the other 2. Interestingly, 2 others were Sandberg and Joe Morgan.

24.4/-3/-6.6. Overall, +14.8 runs vs 14.9 for the other team. I'll leave any analysis or commentary to you.
   84. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#4009399)
C - Javvy Lopez 2004 26/-2/-5
1B Ryan Howard 2007 28/-5/-5 144 OPS+
2B Craig Biggio 1993 25/-5/-4 130 OPS+
SS - Miguel Tejada 2006 23/-2/-13 126 OPS+
3B David Wright 2010 27/-2/-7 131 OPS+
LF Jose Guillen 2004 21/-2/-5 121 OPS+
CF Torii Hunter 2010 20/-3/-8 126 OPS+
RF Bobby Abreu 2009 23/-1/-6 118 OPS+
DH Victor Martinez 2011 26/-5 132 OPS+

I'll leave any analysis or commentary to you.


that's a pretty good job of putting one together. i'd have all of those players on my team (though probably not all at the same time).


i'm a bit curious; everyone on that team played in, or around, the steroid era--is that just a thing, or is that because players with such a profile (25, -5, -5) didn't really exist prior to this era?
   85. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#4009410)
let me rephrase, if you built the team in year 2 (the team in my post) based on their performance in year 1 (the team in your post), would you be happy with the result? *that's basically a throwaway question. it's more of a frivolity than a foundation for further discussion*


I'll answer your question with a statement. This 25/-5/-5 team regressed even further:

Lopez - 5.4 WAR to 1.1
Howard - 2.6 to 2.8
Biggio - 3.7 to 4.8, but that was the strike year. Extrapolate that to 6.6
Tejada - 3.6 to 2.0
Wright - 3.9 to 1.4
Guillen - 2.6 to 2.6
Hunter - 3.0 to 2.2
Abreu - 2.7 to 0.5
Martinez - 2.9 to TBD

This team went from 27.5 total WAR to 19.2, leaving out Martinez since his 2012 WAR is unknown. The other team went from 23.6 to 19, leaving out Aybar.
   86. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#4009413)
just to compare WAR in the given year

C: munson, 3.8
1B: mitchell, 2.3
2B: durham, 4.0
3B: hillenbrand, 3.8
SS: aybar, 4.7
LF: scott, 2.5
CF: crisp, 2.8
RF: drew, 2.7
DH: baylor, 1.2
total: 27.8

C - Javvy Lopez 4.5
1B Ryan Howard 2007 2.6
2B Craig Biggio 1993 3.7
SS - Miguel Tejada 2006 3.6
3B David Wright 2010 3.9
LF Jose Guillen 2004 2.6
CF Torii Hunter 2010 3.0
RF Bobby Abreu 2009 2.7
DH Victor Martinez 2011 2.9
total: 26.4


that's making me think a little bit.
   87. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:52 PM (#4009418)
i'm a bit curious; everyone on that team played in, or around, the steroid era--is that just a thing, or is that because players with such a profile (25, -5, -5) didn't really exist prior to this era?


I sorted the players by year, stating with 2011, and just picked the most recent ones. I could have just as easily taken Norm Siebern 1961 (28/-2/-6) or Rusty Staub 1968 (25/-2/-4).
   88. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#4009424)
C: munson, 3.8
1B: mitchell, 2.3
2B: durham, 4.0
3B: hillenbrand, 3.8
SS: aybar, 4.7
LF: scott, 2.5
CF: crisp, 2.8
RF: drew, 2.7
DH: baylor, 1.2

total: 27.8


Well, Baylor's a little bit better than that. That 1.2 includes a -1.0 for defense. As an OF he got -7 runs for position and -11 runs in the field. As a DH, he would get -12 runs at position, and 0 at the field. A net gain of about half a win.
   89. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#4009426)
C - Javvy Lopez 4.5
1B Ryan Howard 2007 2.6
2B Craig Biggio 1993 3.7
SS - Miguel Tejada 2006 3.6
3B David Wright 2010 3.9
LF Jose Guillen 2004 2.6
CF Torii Hunter 2010 3.0
RF Bobby Abreu 2009 2.7
DH Victor Martinez 2011 2.9

total: 26.4


Actually, your math is off. Those guys are at 29.5, as compared to the Baylor adjusted 28.4 for the other team. Within a win, which is what you should expect. The only possible difference would be playing time.
   90. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#4009428)
I sorted the players by year, stating with 2011, and just picked the most recent ones. I could have just as easily taken Norm Siebern 1961 (28/-2/-6) or Rusty Staub 1968 (25/-2/-4).
good to know.

I'll answer your question with a statement. This 25/-5/-5 team regressed even further:
i don't think that's entirely surprising, given the fact that most players on this team were at the tail ends of their careers.


looking at this, i think it's fairly clear that building a team with only 1 type of player would not be very efficient, but in saying that, i think it'd be a hell of a lot of fun to see the 25/-5/-5 team mash the ball all over the field, even if they couldn't catch it worth a damn.
   91. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#4009475)
I'll answer your question with a statement. This 25/-5/-5 team regressed even further:

i don't think that's entirely surprising, given the fact that most players on this team were at the tail ends of their careers.


OK, let's adjust for that. I'll replace Lopez, Tejada, Abreu, and Hunter with younger players:

C - Joe Torre 1965 25/-9/-4 3.8 WAR to 6.4
SS - Joe Cronin 1937 22/-1/-12 4.9 WAR to 5.6
CF - Gorman Thomas 1978 23/-2/-9 3.0 to 4.3
RF - Paul O'Neill 1995 26/-3/-5 2.9 to 3.3

Oh look, a 13.8 gain in the second year over the other guys.


But I could also have chosen Earl Battey, Dennis Menke, Gary Mathews Jr, and Brad Hawpe, who put up year 2 WARs of 1, 0.7, 1.6, and -1.7, 4.2 worse than the other guys.
   92. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 07, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#4009504)
OK, let's adjust for that. I'll replace Lopez, Tejada, Abreu, and Hunter with younger players:
as i said, it's a frivolity. i think it's interesting, but it's not really the crux of any meaningful argument, and it's not really worth parsing with a fine comb.
   93. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 07, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#4009540)
as i said, it's a frivolity. i think it's interesting, but it's not really the crux of any meaningful argument, and it's not really worth parsing with a fine comb.


I agree. It was a fun little exercise. Cost me most of the day though.

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