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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Zack Cozart is concerned the Rays ‘have an ulterior motive’ in starting Sergio Romo

“I feel like teams have an ulterior motive when they are doing this,” Cozart said before the Angels’ game on Tuesday night. “Less starting pitching means you don’t have to pay guys as much.”
...
“I’m more concerned about the financial aspect of three or four years down the road, if your whole staff is bullpenning except a couple guys, your payroll is going to go down because you don’t have to pay starters anymore,” he said.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2018 at 01:53 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, it's a conspiracy, rays, sergio romo, zack cozart

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: May 24, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5679195)
Depends. (1) if "not quite starters" allow themselves to be paid as "standard relievers" rather than "guy who throws 150-180 innings a year" then this will indeed save money for teams but that will be because the individual players are dumb. (2) Cozart is probably more concerned about "bullpen days" than whether Romo pitches 1 inning followed by the "not quite starter" for his usual 5-6 innings. In that scenario, the team is replacing a #5 starter with (usually) 3 relievers. But 5th starters are usually pre-arb, low-paid-arb or low-paid FAs (say $8 M); relievers are often pre-arb, low-paid-arb or even lower-paid FAs ... but you're multiplying that by 3.

So at best a regular bullpen day would replace a $8 M vet 5th starter with 3 kid relievers ... but more realistically maybe 1 pre-arb, 1 arb and 1 FA reliever who are probably making $5-6 M between them. If you put an actual "pretty good" reliever in the mix, that guy's probably making $5-6 M himself. On a per-inning basis, relievers aren't always cheap and it takes 3 of them to replace a regular starter's innings.

In discussing pitcher usage and the rise of the relievers, replacing a single starter with a bullpen game had not occurred to me. Under current roster rules, we've already pushed the limits of how many innings can be covered by relievers without radically increasing the number of innings individual relievers will have to pitch. But replacing a 5th starter's innings -- already capped at only about 150 -- especially for a crappy 5th starter and assuming that 5th starter becomes a multi-inning, mostly low-leverage reliever ... If that former 5th starter can be a 90-inning low-lev reliever then you only need to find another 60 innings among your current 8 relief slots and while that may not be a good idea, it certainly seems feasible.
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 24, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5679198)
Seems like if the Rays can spend less money without sacrificing performance on the field, they'll do that 100 times out of 100. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Why wouldn't they do that?

That said, the first Romo start featured a pretty standard distribution of innings. A kid who's been a starter for virtually his entire pro career threw 92 pitches over 6.1 innings and a handful of short relievers split the rest of the game. The only thing that made it unusual was which innings Yarbrough threw.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 24, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5679214)
Seems like if the Rays can spend less money without sacrificing performance on the field, they'll do that 100 times out of 100. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Why wouldn't they do that?

Well, if the incentive structure of MLB were better, they spend the same money, and assemble a better team.
   4. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 24, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5679316)
Seems like if the Rays can spend less money without sacrificing performance on the field, they'll do that 100 times out of 100. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Why wouldn't they do that?

That's what I was thinking. If the Rays' "ulterior motive" is to save money, so what? Eventually the salary structure should catch up, as Walt points out. Relievers don't get paid less than starters because they're relievers; they get paid less because they do less work and generally are worse pitchers (and are probably younger/earlier in their careers, on average).
   5. PreservedFish Posted: May 24, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5679330)
Seems like if the Rays can spend less money without sacrificing performance on the field, they'll do that 100 times out of 100. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Why wouldn't they do that?

Well, it's like saying "if Large Employer X can gut pensions without sacrificing revenue, they'll do that 100 times out of 100." On the one hand, duh, on the other hand, it's ok to be disappointed.
   6. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: May 24, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5679352)
So, just for the helluva it, I spent halftime pulling up....ARBITRATION RESULTS FOR BORINGLY EFFECTIVE STARTERS VERSUS BORINGLY EFFECTIVE RELIEVERS

Starters first:

Jeremy Hellickson: 3.6, 4.2, 7.0
Andrew Cashner: 2.4, 4.0, 7.1
Patrick Corbin: 2.5, 3.9, 7.5
Miguel Gonzalez: 3.2, 5.1, 5.9
Kyle Gibson: 2.9, 4.2, ???
Tom Koehler: 3.5, 5.7, ???
Collin McHugh: 3.8, 5.0, ???
Tommy Milone: 2.7, 4.5, ???
Wily Peralta: 2.8, 4.2, ???

________

And now, Relievers!

Brad Brach: 1.2, 3.0, 5.2
Bryan Shaw: 1.5, 2.7, 4.6
Justin Wilson: 1.5, 2.7, 4.2
Adam Warren: 1.7, 2.3, 3.3
Jake Diekman: 1.2, 2.5, 2.7
Aaron Loup: 1.0, 1.1, 1.8
Nick Vincent: 1.3, 2.7, ???
Dan Jennings: 1.4, 2.4, ???

   7. dejarouehg Posted: May 24, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5679410)
Just got back to hotel after Rays-RedSox game. Worst stadium I've ever been to, though they have certainly tried to make it appealing to fans. Just have too little to work with. Walked in around 5:45 when gates opened for BP and it was quiet as a morgue.

Why would they spend money when the gate doesn't generate sufficient revenue? (Though it is surprisingly expensive.)
   8. dejarouehg Posted: May 24, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5679411)
Just got back to hotel after Rays-RedSox game. Worst stadium I've ever been to, though they have certainly tried to make it appealing to fans. Just have too little to work with. Walked in around 5:45 when gates opened for BP and it was quiet as a morgue.

Why would they spend money when the gate doesn't generate sufficient revenue? (Though it is surprisingly expensive.)
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: May 25, 2018 at 12:52 AM (#5679420)
I don't know which was the home team, and I like that
:)
clues on both ends
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 25, 2018 at 07:19 AM (#5679428)
Why would they spend money when the gate doesn't generate sufficient revenue?


*cough*
   11. Walt Davis Posted: May 25, 2018 at 05:25 PM (#5679729)
FWIW, Brad Brach got onto the faster track thanks to posting 150 and 200 ERA+s back-to-back. All told a 4-year run of 153. That's better than "generic" and I'd think especially better than the guys you use to cover the first 5 innings of your bullpen game. Shaw was consistently around there too before getting 3/$27 from the Rox. Those guys have been hi-lev relievers (7th-8th innings mostly).

Adam Warren may be the ideal type of the guy we're talking about. He should still be capable of giving you a couple of innings, a consistently solid but rarely spectacular pitcher.

But yeah, leveraged relievers are closing in on $5 M in the last year of arb, really good ones presumably pushing above that and arb closers can easily make $9-11. In FA, those leveraged guys can go for as much as $9 to maybe $10 now while the generic ones can usually make it to at least $5. Those numbers all seem sensible if you think you might get 180 innings of 140 ERA+ for $21 M if you sign the right 3 FA non-closers.
   12. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: May 26, 2018 at 01:05 AM (#5679907)
They were bad examples, but, man, you'd be surprised to learn how freakin' HARD it is to find examples of boringly mediocre relievers who've stuck around for 6 full years of service time! (The rest get either hurt, non-tendered, or turned into closers.)
   13. Colin Posted: May 27, 2018 at 08:01 PM (#5680435)
Seems to me that if Tampa Bay's experiments were to lead to lower paydays for their pitchers, they'd find themselves having a harder time getting pitching on the free agent market, as guys simply wouldn't want to go there. The money they might save on arb salaries could end up offset by having to pay a premium to sign outsiders.

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