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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wright suggests he badly wants to stay a Met, and now it’s time for the Wilpons to repay him

Just how loyal is Wright? Well, for one, Wright said he is sticking with his embattled agents, the Levinson brothers, who are being investigated by MLB and the players union for representation of Melky Cabrera and possible ties to Kirk Radomski.)

But more to the point, after nine years as a Met, now a majority suffered in the second division (barring a huge finish, this will be the fifth year out of nine with a losing record), he couldn’t summon one bad word about the Metropolitans.

“There’s not a single complaint that I have,’’ Wright said. “(The Mets) drafted me as a kid. They developed me. They’ve given me an opportunity to make a living playing a game. There’s a tremendous amount of mutual respect. They’ve gone above and beyond.’‘

That doesn’t sound like a man on the way out, now does it?

Perhaps taking a lesson from Jeter eight miles away, Wright has expertly guided the minefields of New York, and that includes his handling of the negotiations so far. Wright short-circuited the Mets’ intentions to try to negotiate an extension during this season, saying he didn’t want to be distracted while recalling how distracted he was when he agreed to his $68-million extension early in the 2006 season. Wright still maintains he did it to eliminate the distraction, but a side benefit has been to see the baseline likely go from friend and fellow Virginian Ryan Zimmerman’s $100-million, six-year deal to $140 million for seven.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:49 AM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4227385)
Wright is having a pretty mediocre second half. .251/.340/.401 with 47:25 K:BB ratio in the second half vs. .351/.441/.563, 47:50 in the first half. I love the guy but my confidence in resigning him to a big contract was a lot higher a few months ago than it is today.
   2. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4227843)
Obviously, I don't think it'd be a great idea for the Mets to give Wright Pujols money but I'd be happy if the Mets re-signed him. He's the face of the franchise and I think that means a lot for this franchise at this point in time.
   3. bobm Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4227866)
Just how loyal is Wright? Well, for one, Wright said he is sticking with his embattled agents, the Levinson brothers,


If there is anyone one can spot loyalty to a player agent, it's Jon Heyman.

Thank you, Mr. Heyman, for supplying the player agent information in your article instead of making me go to B-R.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4227910)
Wright is having a pretty mediocre second half. .251/.340/.401 with 47:25 K:BB ratio in the second half vs. .351/.441/.563, 47:50 in the first half. I love the guy but my confidence in resigning him to a big contract was a lot higher a few months ago than it is today.


I've been trying to counsel people to ignore in-season splits. Sadly, my sage wisdom is not being heeded.
   5. bobm Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4227917)
[4] I've been trying to counsel people to ignore in-season splits. Sadly, my sage wisdom is not being heeded.

Wright had 356 PA in the first half and 215 PA so far in the second half. The BAbip dropped from .385 to .301 and the K/PA rate has gone up and the SO/BB rate has gone up.

Why ignore the in-season split? ISTM it cannot be a sample size issue.

                                                                                                                         
Split       G GS  PA  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS  TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1st Half   82 82 356 302 56 106 27  2 11  59  9  7 50 47 .351 .441 .563 1.004 170   8   1  0  3  10   2  .385   122   177
2nd Half   50 49 215 187 23  47 10  0  6  20  3  3 25 47 .251 .340 .401  .741  75   5   1  0  2   6   1  .301    64   105
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4227920)
I've said that that Mets must keep Wright until Kranepool is deleted from the top of the franchise leaderboards. Turns out that is mostly done.

Wright only has to get 18 more hits to pass Kranepool in Hits. Kranepool still has a lead in singles, games played and PA that would require a multi-year stay to overcome. He also leads in DP and outs, his real strengths.
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4227921)
Why ignore the in-season split?

Because it's 100% BA-driven. You know, I know, everybody knows that batting average fluctuates without rhyme or reason.
   8. bobm Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4227941)
[7] Understood. However, his 2012 BA split by month seems merely to decline rather than meaningfully fluctuate up and down.

Split          G GS  PA BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
April/March   20 20  89 16 14 .389 .494 .569 1.064  .446   136   200
May           27 27 114 16 16 .347 .439 .561 1.000  .400   121   174
June          28 28 122 16 11 .340 .426 .563  .989  .344   118   170
July          25 24 111 11 27 .255 .333 .520  .854  .277    86   131
August        28 28 119 15 23 .272 .361 .359  .721  .338    61   102
Sept/Oct       4  4  16  1  3 .200 .250 .200  .450  .250     2    27

   9. Elvis Posted: September 06, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4228017)
Why ignore the in-season split?

Because it's 100% BA-driven.


1st Half ISO -- .212
2nd Half ISO -- .150

1st Half BB% -- 14.0
2nd Half BB% -- 11.6

Finally
2011 - .254/.345/.427 OPS .772, K% 21.7
1st -- .351/.441/.563 OPS 1.004, K% 13.2
2nd -- .251/.340/.401 OPS .741, K% 21.9

In 662 of his last 1,018 PA (65%) Wright has been essentially a .760 OPS kind of guy with a K rate near 22 percent.
   10. Conor Posted: September 06, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4228034)
He's definitely not been as good in the second half as the first, but I can't find myself too bothered by it. The All star break is a nice dividing line, but looking at his July numbers, for the month he hit 255/333/520; so lots of lower, just his BABIP was down in that month, which it probably just a fluke. (Especially since it rebounded the next month).

His worst month of the season he had a 102 OPS+, and his second worst he had a 131. The strikeouts are up in the second half, but for the season they are still way down from the level they were at the last 3 years. He's at 16.5% after being around 22% the previous 3 years. I'd definitely like to see him cut the strikeouts down a bit in the final month of the season though. The K rate was scary high the last 3 years.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4228095)
Why ignore the in-season split? ISTM it cannot be a sample size issue.


Why not?

In any case, I don't ignore the overall numbers; I ignore the splits. The timing of them can be completely random, and yet people want to draw conclusions from that timing. So Wright had a great first half - BA-driven - and then a mediocre send half. And? The fact that the mediocre half came after the great half is likely just dumb luck.

Pujols illustrates exactly what I'm talking about. He started off very badly last year, and then hit like he can hit. He started off horribly this year, and then hit like he can hit. What's the overall take-away from that? It's that he's still an outstanding hitter, but he seems to have declined a notch. His overall numbers tells us more than the splits do.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4228107)
In 662 of his last 1,018 PA (65%) Wright has been essentially a .760 OPS kind of guy with a K rate near 22 percent.


Well, yes. If you ignore the time that Wright hit great, he looks like a mediocre hitter. I don't know what that tells you, other than you shouldn't be doing that.

Look at what you've done: you've ignored 35% of his PAs where he hit to a 1.000 OPS (!), simply because the splits happened to work out in the way that they did.

Yes, he got lucky with BABIP in April and May this year, with a BABIP in those months (.446 and .400) well above his career average (.341). But he got unlucky in 2011 (.302). You're ignoring the parts where he got lucky, while counting the parts where he got unlucky. That is flawed.

Overall stats tell the story: Wright had a 141 OPS+ from ages 22-25, and has had a 131 OPS+ from ages 26-29 - with decreased durability. (And with a somewhat changed profile, part of it probably due to changing ballparks, part of it probably due to him declining from his peak and making adjustments as he declined from his peak.) So he's not the hitter that he was. But claiming he is a .760 OPS hitter is bizarre.
   13. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4228108)
1st Half ISO -- .212
2nd Half ISO -- .150


I know it's pretty easy to calculate ISO but I don't think it's a particularly great stat because the effect batting average has on it. I prefer to divide slugging by batting average, essentially to get the number of bases per hit. In the first half, Wright was averging 1.6 bases per hit (563/351) and is averaging 1.6 bases per hit in the second half (401/251).

I pretty much agree with Ray.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4228154)
I'm with Ray.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4228174)
Viewed another way: League average in the NL is a .720 OPS. I don't know what it would be if we ignored pitchers. .735 or something.

But what would the .735 be if we ignored a 35% chunk of the league's best PAs? You've ignored the best 35% chunk of Wright's last two seasons, deemed him to have a .760 OPS, and then essentially viewed that .760 OPS against a .735 OPS league where you've counted all of the league's best PAs. And so Wright's worst performances are essentially being compared to a league average performance that includes the league's best. There are multiple errors going on here.
   16. Conor Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4228182)
So what kind of contract are we looking at for Wright? (And Dickey, while we're at it). Zimmerman got something like 6 years/100 million. That might be an overpay (well it probably is, a 6 year contract to a guy who is turning 30 is probably not a good thing) but as a Met fan I can swallow something like that. Wright has been pretty much been my favorite Met since the winter of 2003 when I saw that he lead the Florida State league in both BB and XBH and it would be pretty depressing to see him in another uniform.

As for Dickey, I saw a mention on Metsblog that he could potentially get like a 4 or 5 year deal if he were a FA. That blows my mind. I know he's a knuckleballer and normal aging curves probably don't apply to him, but still.
   17. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4228212)
So what kind of contract are we looking at for Wright? (And Dickey, while we're at it). Zimmerman got something like 6 years/100 million.

Do you expect Wright to sign for less than half of what Prince Fielder got? Maybe, but I'd be pretty surprised.

I doubt that RA would get a five year deal but I guess four years could happen.
   18. Conor Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4228229)
Do you expect Wright to sign for less than half of what Prince Fielder got? Maybe, but I'd be pretty surprised.


I honestly hadn't thought too much about it. I love Wright but that would be a pretty rough contract.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4228238)
For the record, the rest of season ZiPS forecast for Wright calls for the following numbers: .289/.375/.470 ... so next year's projection will probably be reasonably close to that.

I'm concerned that Wright's phenomenal plate discipline has once again disappeared, but I agree with Ray that there's no point in parsing it out of the overall numbers. Those ABs were real and that's a level of performance that he is capable of, so they have to be included.

It's also worth noting how much better he's doing defensively. He's shown the range and athleticism of his early GG years combined with a confidence that he has never had. In the last couple years he looked like someone that would have to be moved off the position.

As far as a contract ... Beltre, Zimmerman and Reyes all signed for about 6 years and $100 million. But you never know. Jayson Werth signed for $120.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4228246)
I think Wright can probably get something like 7y/$140m. The game is swimming in money.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4228259)
I think Wright can probably get something like 7y/$140m. The game is swimming in money.

Anything is possible. Crawford and Hamels were in that neighborhood.
   22. billyshears Posted: September 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4228354)
Obviously, I don't think it'd be a great idea for the Mets to give Wright Pujols money but I'd be happy if the Mets re-signed him. He's the face of the franchise and I think that means a lot for this franchise at this point in time.


I don't think being the face of the franchise means a whole lot. The Mets will likely win a few more games in 2014 with Wright than they would without him, and the team will probably sell a few more tickets. In conjunction with Wright's contract, that will either be marginal economic benefit to the Wilpons, or it won't. But Wright won't be the difference between the Mets being a contender and not being a contender, and the financial impact probably won't be significant.

I would like to officially state my opposition to any transaction (or the failure to enter into a transaction) which is based on a reason other than maximizing the likelihood of the Mets becoming a legitimate contender in the foreseeable future.
   23. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4228414)
I could see the Yankees being in on Dickey pretty good. He's shown he can "handle" the NYC thing, which they weigh pretty heavily, he's a character guy / media favorite, ditto, and he's a heck of a pitcher.
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4228440)
Cot's says the Mets have a $5 million option on Dickey. Is there a chance in hell they don't pick that up, outside of declining it as part of a newer, larger deal?

I also have not a clue what kind of deal Dickey would command on the open market. When was the last time there was an actual, established knuckleball pitcher as a free agent?
   25. Conor Posted: September 06, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4228508)
Cot's says the Mets have a $5 million option on Dickey. Is there a chance in hell they don't pick that up, outside of declining it as part of a newer, larger deal?


No

Edit: I hope
   26. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4228589)
Cot's says the Mets have a $5 million option on Dickey. Is there a chance in hell they don't pick that up, outside of declining it as part of a newer, larger deal?

Unless Alderson et al. are complete idiots, they have to pick up that option. Even if they thought that a guy who is competing for a Cy Young isn't worth 5 million on a one year deal, they'd have to think they'd be able to trade him.

Seriously, 5 million isn't even Frank Francisco money on the open market.
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4228618)
I frankly would pick up Dickey's $5m option for 2013 rather than sign him to the largest contract ever for a pitcher of his age.
   28. bunyon Posted: September 06, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4228638)
I frankly would pick up Dickey's $5m option for 2013 rather than sign him to the largest contract ever for a pitcher of his age.

Right, I really like what I see of Dickey in the media and I would probably rather he had, say, $100 million than the Wilpons. But it would be a contract of unbelievable stupidity.


I would pick up his option and if a good deal could be made next July, make it. The Mets need a lot of parts.
   29. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 06, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4228652)
What would be the largest contract ever for a pitcher of his age?

Let's see, Randy Johnson got a 2-year $32 million extension that started when he was 40. He got another 2-year $33 million extension that started when he was 42.

Tom Glavine got a 3-year $35 million deal with the Mets that started when he was 37.

Greg Maddux got a 3-year $24 million deal with the Cubs that started when he was 38. (this would be the Cubs reacting negatively to Glavine's first year with the Mets)

The year after that John Smoltz got a 2-year $20 million deal that started when he was just about to turn 38.

Smoltz's was an extension, which the team did instead of picking up his one-year $12M option. For the other two the Braves had already chosen to pick up their option (for twice as much as Dickey's) and then let them walk.

When Roger Clemens was 38 he joined the Yankees for 2 years and $20.6 million, plus a $10.3M player option in the third year.

Curt Schilling got 3 years and $37 million at age 37, when he waived his no-trade clause in exchange for a new contract.

Source: Cot's contracts, which does still exist
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4228653)
I frankly would pick up Dickey's $5m option for 2013 rather than sign him to the largest contract ever for a pitcher of his age
Well, obviously. No one thinks the Mets should overpay RA Dickey when they already have him under contract. The thing is, R.A. Dickey might be happy to sign for 3/24 or something. I'd sure as hell do that.

It should be noted that age is an extremely rough measure of likelihood to decline - strikeout rate is a much better measure. On top of that, knuckleballers have wildly atypical aging curves. I'm not saying Dickey should get 4/60, but I think that his age is not a terribly significant concern (certainly it's nothing compared to concern over his age-35-and-younger numbers). I don't think that 4/60 is likely to be his asking price either.

EDIT: Also, Ray's 100% right about Wright. There's nothing that sticks in my craw quite like pseudo-stathead arguments that use the wide world of splits to make statistically-illiterate claims.
   31. bunyon Posted: September 06, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4228665)
EDIT: Also, Ray's 100% right about Wright. There's nothing that sticks in my craw quite like pseudo-stathead arguments that use the wide world of splits to make statistically-illiterate claims.

In all the posts I've read in the last 5 minutes, MCoA agrees 100% of the time with Ray.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4228677)
Well, obviously. No one thinks the Mets should overpay RA Dickey when they already have him under contract. The thing is, R.A. Dickey might be happy to sign for 3/24 or something. I'd sure as hell do that.


So would I. And I would also probably sign him for any of the k's noted by Crispix in #29, so I'm essentially amending my statement above now that I have more information/context (thanks, Crispix). It's when we start talking about 4/60 -- or more -- that I put the brakes on. And people have been talking about giving him a mini mega-deal.
   33. bunyon Posted: September 06, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4228686)
Okay, but are the Mets about to contend? I suppose a mini-deal wouldn't cripple them but I don't think Dickey is part of the next Mets championship. Or even wild card.

Am I just wildly off on what they have coming up?
   34. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4228727)
Okay, but are the Mets about to contend? I suppose a mini-deal wouldn't cripple them but I don't think Dickey is part of the next Mets championship. Or even wild card.


I hate this, I hate this and all associated "success cycle" reasoning. That's loser talk. Was it stupid for the A's to sign Yoenis Cespedes this offseason? People on this site couldn't imagine him being part of "the next good A's team" at any point during his four year contract. You cannot just punt five years at a time and then allofasudden, when you feel that your prospects have matured enough, sign veterans to plug your holes.
   35. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4228947)
I agree with PF. Also, if Sandy et al. can't build a contender after Bay's and Santana's contracts expire, then they aren't nearly as good as we thought they'd be.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4228953)
Do you just release Bay at this point? That contract is brutal. $16 million for 2013, and $3 million to buy out his $17 million vesting option (600 PA in 2013) for 2014.

They have paid him $43 million for 1.3 WAR. My god.

If Ollie Perez was run out of town, Bay should be.
   37. JE (Jason) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4228955)
As for Dickey, I saw a mention on Metsblog that he could potentially get like a 4 or 5 year deal if he were a FA. That blows my mind. I know he's a knuckleballer and normal aging curves probably don't apply to him, but still.

Compare with Hiroki Kuroda. He pitched great for the Dodgers in '10 and '11 and was uninjured throughout. Nevertheless, he could not get more than one year from the Yankees last offseason.

EDITED for clarity.
   38. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 07, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4228964)
I think part of the reason Kuroda didn't get more is that he basically limited himself to the Yankees or the Dodgers. With the Dodgers being somewhat financially strapped at the time, he kind of fell in the lap of the Yankees. I might be remembering this wrong though.

In addition, there's always one or two guys who get a lose less than you'd expect. Seriously, Edwin Jackson got less guaranteed money than Frank Francisco. How does that make sense?
   39. bunyon Posted: September 07, 2012 at 04:49 AM (#4229016)
Okay, but are the Mets about to contend? I suppose a mini-deal wouldn't cripple them but I don't think Dickey is part of the next Mets championship. Or even wild card.



I hate this, I hate this and all associated "success cycle" reasoning. That's loser talk. Was it stupid for the A's to sign Yoenis Cespedes this offseason? People on this site couldn't imagine him being part of "the next good A's team" at any point during his four year contract. You cannot just punt five years at a time and then allofasudden, when you feel that your prospects have matured enough, sign veterans to plug your holes.


That's fair. I'm not saying don't sign him, just don't pay too much. And be open to offers. If he has a first half like he's pitched this year and the Mets are out of it in July, he should be shopped. That's all. If he were 30, I would feel differently.
   40. Lassus Posted: September 07, 2012 at 07:03 AM (#4229031)
Do you just release Bay at this point? That contract is brutal. $16 million for 2013, and $3 million to buy out his $17 million vesting option (600 PA in 2013) for 2014.

I'd give him like a very very strict month next year, maybe less, then do it. As outfielders don't grow on trees and we're paying him anyhow, I don't see the harm.
   41. JE (Jason) Posted: September 07, 2012 at 07:41 AM (#4229039)
Seriously, Edwin Jackson got less guaranteed money than Frank Francisco. How does that make sense?

IIRC, Jackson turned down a three-year, $30M deal from the Pirates.
   42. formerly dp Posted: September 07, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4229050)
I'd give him like a very very strict month next year, maybe less, then do it. As outfielders don't grow on trees and we're paying him anyhow, I don't see the harm.


Outfielders who hit .168/.246/.305 do pretty much grown on trees. I feel for him-- he tries hard and has taken his relegation to backup OF with dignity--but there's no reason to keep him around. What's the best that can happen?

Bay has struck out 51 times in 187 PAs this year. He wasn't playing terrible before he got hurt, but since then, he has been an utter disaster.
   43. Ron J2 Posted: September 07, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4229184)
Why ignore the in-season split? ISTM it cannot be a sample size issue.


In fact it is a sample size issue. The standard deviation for a half-season's stats is something on the order of 28 points of BA, 33 points of OBP and 68 points of SLG. And Wright's second half stats aren't even a half season.

I'm not precisely with Ray in that I think there is profit in considering true outliers separately, but as a general rule of thumb you want the sample size to be as large as possible,



   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 07, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4229198)
I'm not precisely with Ray in that I think there is profit in considering true outliers separately, but as a general rule of thumb you want the sample size to be as large as possible,


I think the best use of in-season splits is to consider the possibility that the player is injured in some way. Beyond that, it's hard to make much use of them because even if something is going on (e.g., the player really has declined), the far more likely reason is just that it's dumb luck.

You get these splits in DMB also. It's almost impossible not to, with a set of hundreds of players.
   45. PreservedFish Posted: September 07, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4229217)
The one thing about Wright's splits that seems potentially significant is the difference in K rate. Wright's strikeouts have exploded since 2008 and have been a major problem for him - and, just when it looked like he solved the issue, they explode back onto the scene. K rate stabilizes very very quickly, which suggests that it isn't just a sample size fluke, and that the substantial and real gains that Wright made early in the season have at least somewhat evaporated.

But I still agree with the larger point. Even if Wright's K rate has settled in at this crappy level, we don't just ignore what was happening in the first half of the season. He's the same dude and still capable of doing what he did in May.
   46. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4229343)
As an aside, you know who would be a good guy for the Mets to sign this offseason? Angel Pagan.

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