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Friday, December 15, 2017

Winter Meeting Signings

Angels sign Zach Cozart, 3 years, $38 million

A bunch of relievers got signed:
Chicago Cubs sign Steve Cishek, 2 years in the $12-14 million range

Houston Astros sign Joe Smith, 2 years, $15 million

Minnesota Twins sign Fernando Rodney, 1 year,  $4.5 million + $1.5 million in incentives

Washington Nationals sign Brandon Kintzler, $2 years, $10 million. Second year is a mutual option.

 

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:40 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dollah dollah bills, y'all

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   1. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5593416)
Cozart for $38M over 3 years is a terrific signing for the Angels, who now have one of the best defensive infields in the history of the game.
   2. Rally Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5593417)
Carlos Santana signed with the Phillies, 60/3.
   3. Rally Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:55 PM (#5593420)
Cozart has never played anywhere except SS in the big leagues. Professionally he has played shortstop exclusively except for 11 games at 2B. A good SS should be able to handle third, I hope he takes to it like Alex Bregman did in Houston. But you can never be sure till you see it.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5593422)
A bunch of relievers got signed
In addition to those mentioned, the Rockies signed Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee to juicy contracts.
   5. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5593428)
The Angels might actually make the playoffs next year. Some luck with starting pitcher health (maybe sign an innings eater) and they could be pretty good.
   6. Blastin Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5593432)
Trout may yet play in a 6th playoff game! He has more 7 War seasons than playoff games, sadly.
   7. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5593434)
Hector Rondon got 2/8.5 for HOU, which seems like a pretty good deal for the team.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5593435)
Carlos Santana signed with the Phillies, 60/3.

That strikes me as a lot to pay for a decent offensive player with no defensive value, confined to 1B, entering his age 32 season.
   9. Rally Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:31 PM (#5593445)
He has more 7 War seasons than playoff games, sadly.


Understatement. He has more 9 WAR seasons than playoff games.
   10. Shredder Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5593446)
Trout may yet play in a 6th playoff game! He has more 7 War seasons than playoff games, sadly.
Well, he's not entirely blameless in that, at least with regards to 2014. He's mostly blameless, just not entirely.
   11. Blastin Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5593450)
He has more 9 WAR seasons than playoff games.


Yeah I totally thought that series went longer than it did.
   12. salvomania Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5593451)
I had no idea Cozart's as old as he is (turns 33 in August).

Before last season, here are his OBPs, starting in 2012:
.288
.284
.268
.310 (missed 2/3 of the season, so SSS)
.308

Then in 2017 he more or less doubles his walk rate while BABIPing .312 (career: .280), hits .297 (career: .254) and puts up a .385 OBP....
   13. Rally Posted: December 15, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5593452)
Yeah I totally thought that series went longer than it did.


By innings it was longer than 3 games
   14. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5593466)
That strikes me as a lot to pay for a decent offensive player with no defensive value, confined to 1B, entering his age 32 season.


I'd rather have Santana at that price than HOsmer for whatever he's going to get.
   15. stevegamer Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5593478)
Phillies have been active. The Santana deal has a club option year at the end of it.

Signed Tommy Hunter, 2 years in the $18 million range
Signed Pat Neshek, 2 years in the $16 million range

Freddy Glavis dealt to the Padres for a prospect.
   16. stevegamer Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:36 PM (#5593480)
I think the Santana deal is reasonable, but I'm not a fan of filling 1B with a veteran, when the team seems to have a solid prospect for the spot, and it also means that Hoskins has to be a LF, crowding that picture. I know they won't all work out, but I view 1B as the place you don't spend big money, unless it's close to the only issue you have.
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5593485)
Minnesota Twins sign Fernando Rodney, 1 year, $4.5 million + $1.5 million in incentives


Good for Fernando Rodney, and this will be his 6th team since 2015.
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5593489)
Here is a defense of the Carlos Santana signing. He's better defensively than Hoskins at 1B and Hoskins has played 60% of his MLB time in LF anyway.

Not easy to decide what happens with O. Herrera, N. Williams and A. Altherr now. They all have plenty of value.

   19. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5593494)
Cozart for $38M over 3 years is a terrific signing for the Angels, who now have one of the best defensive infields in the history of the game.
I don't know that there's a candidate to regress more offensively than Cozart in the last five years. I believe the glove, but I do not believe his bat, not at all.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5593495)
#7: Rondon seems broken so guaranteeing 2 years seems odd to me. He's not a bad gamble at 1/$4.5 with an option. He is a reasonable bounceback candidate -- the main change has been the HR rate has gone through the roof, this led to some nibbling last year that pushed his walk rate up without bringing the HR rate down. But you usually don't guarantee years to bounceback candidates.

The Cozart signing seems fine. Even ignoring 2017, from 2012-16, it's 11 WAR, 3 WAA. That's entirely defense but even if you dock that, he was average. Sure, maybe he won't transition to 3B but chances are very good that he will. If the offensive improvement sticks at all (and he's been hitting for power for 3 years now), then he's an above-average 3B; otherwise probably average; worst-case scenario, you've got an overpaid but very good bench IF. If everything goes haywire for the team, it gives the Angels room to trade Simmons and put Cozart back to SS to cover.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5593512)
On my team's signing ... I can never keep Cishek and Neshek straight anyway but, according to b-r, they do look pretty similar stat-wise and the Cubs grabbed the younger guy for less money so I guess I'm happy. Depending on how many oodles of cash it was, I might have preferred McGee or Shaw but I'm OK with this. Seems more sensible than our Morrow signing.

Santana at 3/$60 does seem a smidgen high and I agree that it seems silly to push Hoskins out to LF to accommodate Santana. Regarding #18, "60% of Hoskins' MLB time" is a whopping 237 innings. In the minors, Hoskins played exclusively 1B with the exception of 27 innings in LF, probably just before he was called up. Moving him to LF is a real risk.

Tommy Hunter got 2/$18? Between Morrow and Hunter, it seems all it takes now is one "season" (read 50-55 innings) of 10 K/9 and probably good statcast numbers to get you $9-11 M a year.
   22. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:15 PM (#5593513)
I don't know that there's a candidate to regress more offensively than Cozart in the last five years. I believe the glove, but I do not believe his bat, not at all.

Of course he'll regress offensively. But the Angels aren't paying the market rate for a 5 win player (what he was in 2017) or even a 2.5 win player (what he was in 2016). $12.67M/yr means that they're paying him the market rate for a 1.5 win player, which is what he averaged in 2012-15 (including an injury shortened season). He's only 32 and it's only a 3 year commitment. Very good chance that he'll produce some surplus value over the course of the contract.

   23. Howie Menckel Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:21 PM (#5593519)
Not easy to decide what happens with O. Herrera, N. Williams and A. Altherr now. They all have plenty of value.

Tommy Joseph had a 113 OPS+ in 2016 and an 89 in 2017. total, 880 PA at 98

not good enough, and he turns 28 at midseason, but has power (41 HR) and just needs to raise his .247 AVG and/or his .297 OBP. in a new environment and new hitting coach, if I squint...... ok, still not QUITE seeing it
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5593521)
The first big move of the last time the Phillies went from losers to winners was a surprising signing of a veteran first baseman.

Carlos Santana = Jim Thome

And like today, we had a hotshot young first basemen who had just started his Phillies career.

Rhys Hoskins, 2017:
18 HR
.259/.396/.618
165 OPS+
212 PA

Jeremy Giambi, 2002:
12 HR
.244/.435/.538
162 OPS+
211 PA

Conclusion: Rhys Hoskins will now be traded to the Red Sox for a 24-year-old rookie relief pitcher.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:37 PM (#5593529)
Conclusion: Rhys Hoskins will now be traded to the Red Sox for a 24-year-old rookie relief pitcher.

Hey, gotta shore up that bullpen. You can never have enough.
   26. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:41 PM (#5593531)
Of course he'll regress offensively. But the Angels aren't paying the market rate for a 5 win player (what he was in 2017) or even a 2.5 win player (what he was in 2016). $12.67M/yr means that they're paying him the market rate for a 1.5 win player, which is what he averaged in 2012-15 (including an injury shortened season).
Color me skeptical. A lot of his defensive value — all of it — came from shortstop, and he's not playing shortstop in Anaheim. Also, the Angels were one of the worst offensive teams in the league. If Cozart becomes yet another offensive hole, that exacerbates the Angels' biggest problem.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 15, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5593533)
Hey, gotta shore up that bullpen. You can never have enough.

It'll be a good trade if Rhys has major problems with both recreational and steroidical drugs like his precedessor.
   28. Shredder Posted: December 15, 2017 at 06:15 PM (#5593538)
Color me skeptical. A lot of his defensive value — all of it — came from shortstop, and he's not playing shortstop in Anaheim. Also, the Angels were one of the worst offensive teams in the league. If Cozart becomes yet another offensive hole, that exacerbates the Angels' biggest problem.
How could it be "another" offensive hole? The hole is already there. If does better than slash 238/318/395, he's an improvement over what they got from 3B last year. At worst, they just aren't filling a hole. But that's a worst case scenario. Even take out last year, and his numbers are generally better than that. More importantly, he can play 2B, SS, and 3B, giving them flexibility in the infield, which they're going to desperately need if they go to a 6 man rotation with Ohtani.
   29. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 15, 2017 at 06:37 PM (#5593544)
Love the Cozart signing. He changed his swing last year so there is at least some reason to believe the regression won't be precipitous. The ss shift to 3b usually goes pretty smoothly. 12.6 m/per year is really low for somebody who put up 7 war last year. And they probably upgraded without having to pay the money and years Moustakis (who is also a candidate for regression, no?) is going to get. Health caveats apply, of course, but 90 wins is a real possibility.
   30. stevegamer Posted: December 16, 2017 at 02:47 AM (#5593645)
One thing I do take away from the Santana signing is that Klentak limited term to an older slugging 1B, and that's a very good thing.

I thought it was very nice of Neshek to say how much he enjoyed Philly, and would like to return in the future, thinking it just a very classy move that builds goodwill. The fact that he came back is somewhat surprising to me still. It's not "Cliff Lee's mystery team is the Phillies" mind-boggling, but still.
   31. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 16, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5593685)
In the minors, Hoskins played exclusively 1B with the exception of 27 innings in LF, probably just before he was called up.


Your assumption is correct.
Hoskins was not originally thought of as much of a prospect, maybe the Phils don't really believe in him either. If they keep him, Altherr, Herrera and Williams, they have 2 LH bats and 2 RH bats to rotate around the OF and supply an occasional break for Santana. Altherr, Herrera and Williams can play any of the slots, so there is great versatility.

Good to see Neshek back from a fan perspective, he and the fans seemed to hit it off.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5593814)
#30 ... agreed on the 3 year commitment. I'm curious what impact this will have on Hosmer. Sets the AAV (probably a floor for Hosmer for some silly team) but since Santana apparently couldn't get a contract through age 36, maybe a team won't have to make a super-long commitment to Hosmer. Maybe he goes for 5/$100 or so ... which would make him a FA again at 33 which is about the last thing he wants. Of course the first thing he wants if $100+ M so he'll probably manage OK.
   33. Sunday silence Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:34 AM (#5593934)
the Angels were one of the worst offensive teams in the league. If Cozart becomes yet another offensive hole, that exacerbates the Angels' biggest problem.


why do people continue to argue like this? Its not as if when you have 3 good OBP guys you're runs suddenly double, or when you have 3 power hitters you suddenly get much better.

If a guy is worth 3 WAR hes worth 3 WAR, no matter how he gets there. It doesnt matter if exaggerates a problem, or exacerbates a problem or if he alleviates a problem. Hes still 3 WAR.

Or do some people disagree with that?
   34. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2017 at 06:33 AM (#5593936)
#33 I agree with you.
   35. Leroy Kincaid Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:13 AM (#5593938)
If a guy is worth 3 WAR hes worth 3 WAR, no matter how he gets there. It doesnt matter if exaggerates a problem, or exacerbates a problem or if he alleviates a problem. Hes still 3 WAR.


The object is to have more runs than your opponent at the end of the game. I think you're right in that it doesn't matter how you get there.
   36. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 17, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5593983)
Or do some people disagree with that?


Seems to me that "a run is a run" probably breaks down at the extremes. A team of "perfect" defenders who were also replacement level hitters probably wouldn't win many games, nor would a team of absolute mashers who literally couldn't catch the ball.

OTOH, the Angels were actually 8th in the league in both R/G and RA/G, so it also seems to me that improving on one side of the ball will probably help them as much as the other.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5593986)
A team of "perfect" defenders who were also replacement level hitters probably wouldn't win many games, nor would a team of absolute mashers who literally couldn't catch the ball.


Well this isn't quite fair. We get suspicious whenever the defensive stats show someone creating more than about 15 runs. But hitters? We have no problem accepting that a guy can create 60 more runs than his peers, as Mike Trout does routinely. The absolute mashers have much more potential to win games. They'd murder the perfect defenders.

Unless by "perfect" you mean that they literally do not allow non-homerun hits. Like, allowing a .000 BABIP. I suspect they'd do pretty well!
   38. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 17, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5593991)
Unless by "perfect" you mean that they literally do not allow non-homerun hits. Like, allowing a .000 BABIP. I suspect they'd do pretty well!


That's exactly what I meant. I also meant "literally" literally -- a team that, if not allowing a 1.000 BABIP, was giving back every single out as an error. Of course, if you really had a team that literally could not catch the ball, you would never record an out, even on strikeouts.

So, yes, it was hyperbole.

EDIT: IOW, consider it conceded that in the realm of what is plausible, the team that catches "everything" and can't hit a lick gets killed by the team than mashes but doesn't catch "anything."
   39. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5594000)
Replacement level is set at something like 42 wins. If they were all extraordinary Ozzie-level fielders (+30 runs) then you'd get (8*30)=240 or about +24 wins and you're still stuck short of 81 wins. Let's be friendlier. An Ozzie at 1B may well be +50 runs. At 2B, 40 runs. At 3B, 40 runs. Etc. So let's say it's 32 wins. Still short of a winning record.

But a team of 8 Ruths would be +800 runs hitting. So they're starting at about 160 wins. That's not too shabby. If we say each one of them is a -30 fielder at 1B or LF, -75 at SS and C, we can deduct say 500 runs. So the poor team of mashers will be stuck around 110 wins. I'd love to watch that team.

Warning, all the math above might be bullshit.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: December 17, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5594011)
why do people continue to argue like this? Its not as if when you have 3 good OBP guys you're runs suddenly double, or when you have 3 power hitters you suddenly get much better.

If a guy is worth 3 WAR hes worth 3 WAR, no matter how he gets there. It doesnt matter if exaggerates a problem, or exacerbates a problem or if he alleviates a problem. Hes still 3 WAR.

Or do some people disagree with that?


I disagree with that, kinda. If you are looking at it after the fact, then it doesn't really matter how he got there, but if you are using his career numbers(or recent seasons) and are projecting his spot on a new team and the value, you have to understand that defense and baserunning are stats that are connected to other players. A CF who had average RF/LF on his previous team, and now gets plus RF/LF is probably going to see his rField take a hit. (same if he goes from a flyball team to a groundball pitching staff) And a guy who goes from the Marlins, a running team, to say the Cardinals, a team not known for running who has good rBase is going to see a hit there maybe. A guy who is an above average(league average, not position average) hitter who bats sixth on one team, and then goes to another team where he bats 3rd is going to see a bump in his offensive value by war. Or if you have the opposite, a guy who is below average hitter who on one team(a saber smart team) has him bat 7th, and then he goes to a team run by an old school manager, who likes to bat contact guys second, then his rBat is going to take a hit because of more opportunities.

   41. Sunday silence Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5594019)
I can see that a little bit CFB. There are probably a few other situations we can list; such as a lineup of all Right hand hitters or something. There is some advantage to having a few lefties in the line up. It would be hard to measure that effect, and impossible to charge any sort of negative effect to any one player.

Also speed, but maybe more for bench players. A team w/o any speed on the bench might be at a disadvantage. So yeah maybe a few situations but its very hard to measure.

You do see this synergistic effect more in sports such as football. Where say a 5'11" QB is very good in college and suddenly gets to the pros and hes nothing. Could be a lot of reasons of course, but one way might be on any given saturday in college he faces maybe one lineman who's 6'5". And then he gets to the NFL and suddenly every lineman hes up against is 6'5" or greater.

Now instead of having to elude on guy with his arms up to throw a pass,hes facing a whole wall of guys each one with their arms up and the suddenly his size is a major liability when before it was not a factor.

You see weird stuff like that in football all the time.

In basebal not so much. The more I look at it, the more it seems most situations is one man for himself whether hes facing a fastball or a tailing line drive or whatever.
   42. Sunday silence Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5594020)
Replacement level is set at something like 42 wins.


I think its 48 last time I checked. There was an agreement a couple years ago between fangraphs and whatever else out there to standardize this measure.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5594021)
A CF who had average RF/LF on his previous team, and now gets plus RF/LF is probably going to see his rField take a hit.

This is a reasonable expectation, but I believe it's as yet unproven.

Sincerely,

A guy that watched Robin Ventura put up 27 rField the same year that Rey Ordonez put up 33.
   44. Sunday silence Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:16 PM (#5594023)
If they were all extraordinary Ozzie-level fielders (+30 runs) then you'd get (8*30)=240 or about +24 wins and you're still stuck short of 81 wins. Let's be friendlier. An Ozzie at 1B may well be +50 runs.


I sort of agree with some of this then you lost me.

Near as I can figure about the best a superlative defender at a central position should be about +35. Talking SS 2B cf, not sure how to measure catchers. I dont think you can get a plus 50 defender at 1b just dont think they can make enuf plays.
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: December 17, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5594037)
In basebal not so much. The more I look at it, the more it seems most situations is one man for himself whether hes facing a fastball or a tailing line drive or whatever.


This is why I don't like calling baseball a team sport, yes you play as a team, but most of the actions are one vs one or one vs a couple, there are a few team concepts/situations, but it's best to call it an individual sport played with a team. Yes you win and lose as a team, but the better you do as an individual, the better off the team is. In other team sports like basketball a guy could score 30 points and because of his ball handling and greed he's costing the team, same with football, you could be Walter Moon, a great quarterback, and have a game where you are playing at will, but refuse to do proper time management and lose a game that you had a big ass lead because you insisted on plays that stopped the clock when they failed instead of running out the clock as much as you can.


A guy that watched Robin Ventura put up 27 rField the same year that Rey Ordonez put up 33.


That was a weird year, but overall the team only put up 22 rField thanks to a craptacular outfield, and it's possible they just got a lot more chances than a normal year for them because the outfield was allowing so many more balls to drop. (in comparison the Reds that year had 96 rField)
   46. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2017 at 06:30 AM (#5594208)
That was a weird year, but overall the team only put up 22 rField thanks to a craptacular outfield, and it's possible they just got a lot more chances than a normal year for them because the outfield was allowing so many more balls to drop.


That effect must be extremely minor and much less significant than the fact that, for example, the Mets pitching staff was among the league leaders in strikeouts. The point is, you theorized that playing next to another excellent defender limits how high your rField might get (because you two overlap and he's taking away your opportunities), but that 1999 Mets team is a point against that. Your supposition makes total sense but I've just never seen a study that confirms it.

A better example may be Lorenzo Cain & Alex Gordon, who somehow both put up +20 seasons like clockwork, playing right next to each other. And Dyson kept it up whenever he was in CF too.

And yes, that outfield defense was brutal. That was the year that Bobby Bonilla didn't care and showed up like 30 pounds overweight. Rickey Henderson had also stopped caring, on defense, it seems. Roger Cedeno may have been drunk during most games. Benny Agbayani was build like a mini fridge. Darryl Hamilton and Brian McRae were both too old to play CF anymore. But it was also when the A's were playing guys like Ben Grieve and Matt Stairs all the time and I had concluded that outfield defense didn't matter all that much.
   47. Rally Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:19 AM (#5594251)
Near as I can figure about the best a superlative defender at a central position should be about +35. Talking SS 2B cf, not sure how to measure catchers. I dont think you can get a plus 50 defender at 1b just dont think they can make enuf plays.


Statcast can help us make a good estimate for outfield. It breaks down catches by 1-5 star probability, with the 5 star having a catch % of 0-25%, and 1 star 91-95%. It excludes the plays that are easy routine catches, and catches that a human cannot make (screaming line drive to center that falls on the outfield grass 100 feet in front of the fielder).

Byron Buxton was the best fielder at +25 outs last year. Between the 1-4 star categories, he failed to make only 6 plays. For the 5 star, the extreme highlight reel catches, he made 3 of 26. So he could have been, if he were the perfect fielder, +54 outs.

Perfect Aaron Judge would have been +40. Perfect Jason Heyward +34. Down at the other end a perfect replacement for Matt Kemp would have been +33, for Melky Cabrera +60.
   48. Rally Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5594255)
Catcher is a real tough one as I don't know how to handle perfect framing. Especially since the umpire can see the framing data just like everyone else, and maybe seek to correct a bit when that guy is catching. Perfect on the bases means nobody will attempt to steal on him, so he's not going to be able to save you runs by throwing anyone out.

An average team will have about 70 wild pitches/passed balls, the perfect catcher won't have a PB and can probably save at least 80% of the wild pitches (excluding balls thrown over their head to the backstop).

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