Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Transaction Oracle > Discussion
Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 ZiPS Projections - Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays obviously had a tremendous 2008 season and while a lot of things went the team’s way, there really wasn’t a single performance on the team that just shouted out “fluke.”

There’s every indication that the Rays can repeat their success.  The offense, which is generally very young with the exception of Carlos Pena and Pat Burrell, isn’t one of the elite offenses in the league, but they’re good enough everywhere and have a lot of depth.  At almost every position, there’s a player that could fill-in for the starter and, while not necessarily replacing the missing production, not be a complete embarrassment.

The pitching staff and the defensive improvement is the team’s biggest strength.  The pitching staff is extremely young and extremely deep, with ZiPS seeing a full rotation with a few spare starters, even before taking into account development of Hellickson and Rollins and the return of Clockhands McGee from Tommy John surgery.

What also makes the Rays a good bet to repeat is that they haven’t fallen into the trap into which a lot of winning teams fall.  There’s a tendency, when a team attains a high level of success, to not want to tinker with the team, when in reality, teams always need to improve.  The teams that tend to compete the longest are the teams that can put a great season behind them just as easily as the bad seasons, and improve where they need to improve.

The AL East should be incredibly exciting in 2008 and while everyone wants to win the World Series, the 2009 AL East Division Champion is a crown that will have a lot of value, no matter what happens in the ensuing playoffs.

[Condensed version - I accidentally deleted what I wrote when putting in the projections with Joyce -DS]

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
CATCHERS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+  RNG

AVERAGE
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Dioner Navarro#      c   25 .257 .324 .375 117 405 43 104 22 1 8 48 39 73 2 3   87   Av
John Jaso*          c   25 .251 .322 .369 119 423 52 106 18 1 10 54 43 56 1 2   86   Fr

FAIR
Shawn Riggans         c   28 .240 .291 .373 64 217 20 52 11 0 6 26 13 48 0 1   75   Av

POOR
Michel Hernandez       c   30 .249 .304 .316 78 253 23 63 9 1 2 18 18 33 1 1   67   Fr
Mike DiFelice         c   40 .237 .283 .317 74 240 20 57 10 0 3 24 13 53 0 0   58   Av

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
FIRST BASEMEN
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

VERY GOOD
Carlos Pena*        1b 31 .251 .379 .509 134 458 70 115 23 1 31 88 88 142 1 1 135 Av

FAIR
Eric Hinske*        rf 31 .234 .327 .430 97 265 38 62 14 1 12 32 34 68 4 2 101 Fr
Chris Richard*        1b 35 .245 .326 .409 92 323 43 79 15 1 12 43 33 85 4 1   95 Fr

POOR
Willy Aybar#        3b 26 .253 .327 .389 130 442 45 112 26 2 10 48 45 64 2 3   90 Av
Rhyne Hughes*        1b 25 .239 .298 .372 117 444 52 106 20 0 13 50 34 114 2 1   78 Vg

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
SECOND BASEMEN
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

EXCELLENT
B.J. Upton           cf 24 .271 .377 .434 146 532 92 144 31 1 18 80 91 152 36 13 117 Pr

AVERAGE
Akinori Iwamura*      2b 30 .268 .347 .373 136 557 84 149 25 8 6 39 67 122 9 6   93 Av
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

FAIR
Ben Zobrist#        ss 28 .245 .337 .373 101 351 47 86 17 2 8 33 46 62 9 3   90 Fr
Willy Aybar#        3b 26 .253 .327 .389 130 442 45 112 26 2 10 48 45 64 2 3   90 Fr

POOR
Ray Olmedo#          ss 28 .252 .300 .326 106 337 33 85 14 1 3 26 22 49 9 6   67 Av
Reid Brignac*        ss 23 .221 .268 .348 116 448 53 99 22 1 11 48 29 100 10 3   65 Av
Elliot Johnson#      2b 25 .218 .275 .331 128 472 46 103 20 3 9 40 34 131 16 7   62 Fr

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
THIRD BASEMEN
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

VERY GOOD
Evan Longoria         3b 23 .264 .342 .489 139 515 78 136 30 1 28 91 56 122 6 0 120 Vg
B.J. Upton           cf 24 .271 .377 .434 146 532 92 144 31 1 18 80 91 152 36 13 117 Pr

AVERAGE
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Eric Hinske*        rf 31 .234 .327 .430 97 265 38 62 14 1 12 32 34 68 4 2 101 Pr

FAIR
Akinori Iwamura*      2b 30 .268 .347 .373 136 557 84 149 25 8 6 39 67 122 9 6   93 Av
Ben Zobrist#        ss 28 .245 .337 .373 101 351 47 86 17 2 8 33 46 62 9 3   90 Av
Willy Aybar#        3b 26 .253 .327 .389 130 442 45 112 26 2 10 48 45 64 2 3   90 Av

POOR
Joel Guzman         3b 24 .232 .261 .377 133 496 47 115 19 1 17 64 21 126 5 2   68 Fr

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
SHORTSTOPS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

AVERAGE
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Ben Zobrist#        ss 28 .245 .337 .373 101 351 47 86 17 2 8 33 46 62 9 3   90 Fr
Jason Bartlett       ss 29 .274 .332 .360 138 489 65 134 25 4 3 40 35 71 16 5   85 Av

POOR
Joel Guzman         3b 24 .232 .261 .377 133 496 47 115 19 1 17 64 21 126 5 2   68 Pr
Ray Olmedo#          ss 28 .252 .300 .326 106 337 33 85 14 1 3 26 22 49 9 6   67 Av
Reid Brignac*        ss 23 .221 .268 .348 116 448 53 99 22 1 11 48 29 100 10 3   65 Av
Elliot Johnson#      2b 25 .218 .275 .331 128 472 46 103 20 3 9 40 34 131 16 7   62 Fr

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
CORNER OUTFIELDERS
————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+  LF RF

VERY GOOD
Pat Burrell         lf 32 .251 .376 .477 140 499 72 125 28 2 27 84 101 131 0 0 117 Pr  

AVERAGE
Carl Crawford*        lf 27 .287 .332 .437 132 540 84 155 23 11 12 71 34 83 40 8 104 Ex  
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

FAIR
Gabe Gross*          rf 29 .245 .344 .411 127 302 44 74 16 2 10 37 44 70 3 1 101 Av Av
Cliff Floyd*        lf 36 .253 .340 .408 85 265 35 67 11 0 10 38 29 52 2 0   99 Fr  
Gabe Kapler         cf 33 .276 .327 .432 84 192 30 53 13 1 5 25 13 32 2 1 102 Av Vg
Eric Hinske*        rf 31 .234 .327 .430 97 265 38 62 14 1 12 32 34 68 4 2 101 Av Av
Chris Richard*        1b 35 .245 .326 .409 92 323 43 79 15 1 12 43 33 85 4 1   95 Fr Fr
Justin Ruggiano       rf 27 .252 .321 .405 130 432 59 109 23 2 13 55 40 129 21 6   93 Av Av
Matt Joyce*          lf 23 .246 .316 .443 140 460 61 113 25 3 20 61 45 117 3 4 101 Av Av  

POOR
Jon Weber*          rf 31 .240 .300 .356 77 275 33 66 15 1 5 25 22 55 6 4   75 Av Av
Ray Sadler           cf 28 .221 .276 .386 123 435 47 96 17 2 17 56 29 110 7 5   75 Vg Vg
Fernando Perez#      cf 26 .237 .307 .315 135 523 80 124 15 4 6 30 51 146 36 13   68 Vg Vg
Joel Guzman         3b 24 .232 .261 .377 133 496 47 115 19 1 17 64 21 126 5 2   68 Fr  
Elliot Johnson#      2b 25 .218 .275 .331 128 472 46 103 20 3 9 40 34 131 16 7   62 Av Av

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
CENTERFIELDERS
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG

EXCELLENT
B.J. Upton           cf 24 .271 .377 .434 146 532 92 144 31 1 18 80 91 152 36 13 117 Vg

AVERAGE
Carl Crawford*        lf 27 .287 .332 .437 132 540 84 155 23 11 12 71 34 83 40 8 104 Av
Gabe Gross*          rf 29 .245 .344 .411 127 302 44 74 16 2 10 37 44 70 3 1 101 Fr
Gabe Kapler         cf 33 .276 .327 .432 84 192 30 53 13 1 5 25 13 32 2 1 102 Fr
Justin Ruggiano       rf 27 .252 .321 .405 130 432 59 109 23 2 13 55 40 129 21 6   93 Fr
Matt Joyce*          lf 23 .246 .316 .443 140 460 61 113 25 3 20 61 45 117 3 4 101 Pr  
———————————————————————————————————————————————————

POOR
Jon Weber*          rf 31 .240 .300 .356 77 275 33 66 15 1 5 25 22 55 6 4   75 Pr
Ray Sadler           cf 28 .221 .276 .386 123 435 47 96 17 2 17 56 29 110 7 5   75 Av
Fernando Perez#      cf 26 .237 .307 .315 135 523 80 124 15 4 6 30 51 146 36 13   68 Vg
Elliot Johnson#      2b 25 .218 .275 .331 128 472 46 103 20 3 9 40 34 131 16 7   62 Fr


* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

—————————————————————————————————————————————
STARTERS
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+

TOP THIRD
Scott Kazmir*        25   3.40 13   7 30 30   174.2 145   66 21   73 201 127
Jamie Shields         27   3.61 13   8 31 31   206.2 195   83 25   40 170 120
Matt Garza           25   3.93 10   8 27 27   160.1 154   70 17   55 121 110

MIDDLE THIRD
David Price*          23   4.25   7   6 22 20   114.1 112   54 15   40   80 102
Andrew Sonnanstine     26   4.32 12 11 30 30   187.1 197   90 24   38 124 101
Mitch Talbot         25   4.43 10 11 29 28   160.2 169   79 16   58   99   98
Jason Hammel         26   4.53   5   6 29 13   95.1   98   48 12   39   63   97
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Wade Davis           23   4.75   8 10 27 27   147.2 151   78 18   70   93   92

BOTTOM THIRD
Derek Rodriguez       26   5.05   5   8 37 15   117.2 124   66 17   52   67   87
Jeff Niemann         26   5.06   7   9 23 23   117.1 121   66 19   55   86   86
Jacob McGee*          22   5.18   5   7 19 19   92.0   94   53 14   49   62   84
Ben Hendrickson       28   5.36   7 11 27 24   136.0 154   81 16   68   59   81
Heath Rollins         24   5.46   7 12 27 25   145.0 163   88 29   42   77   79
Christopher Mason       24   5.69   5 10 31 21   123.1 142   78 22   50   69   76
Jeremy Hellickson       22   5.73   6 10 24 24   125.2 142   80 30   30   80   76
Jeremy Cummings       32   5.74   5   8 22 19   102.0 115   65 21   38   63   76
James Houser*        24   5.87   2   5 20 20   87.1   94   57 18   45   52   74

—————————————————————————————————————————————
RELIEVERS
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+

TOP THIRD
Grant Balfour         31   2.67   5   1 49   0   57.1   40   17   3   29   74 159
Chad Bradford         34   2.95   6   2 70   0   61.0   61   20   1   15   29 150
J.P. Howell*          26   3.20   5   2 71   0   90.0   73   32   9   38   97 137

MIDDLE THIRD
Joe Nelson           34   3.65   3   2 63   0   69.0   57   28   9   31   79 121
Juan Salas           30   3.66   4   2 41   0   51.2   45   21   5   23   48 117
Dan Wheeler           31   3.97   6   4 69   0   65.2   58   29   9   22   61 110
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Randy Choate*        33   4.09   2   2 45   2   50.2   53   23   4   19   33 105
Dale Thayer           28   4.26   4   3 56   0   67.2   68   32   6   30   47 100
Jason Childers         34   4.53   3   3 47   0   53.2   54   27   7   22   36   96
Troy Percival         39   4.58   1   2 42   0   39.1   32   20   7   20   39   96

BOTTOM THIRD
Lance Cormier         28   4.75   5   5 37   8   89.0   94   47   8   38   51   92
Kurt Birkins*        28   5.21   4   5 36   7   67.1   71   39   9   39   46   83
Dewon Day           28   5.52   3   5 39   6   58.2   62   36   8   38   43   78
Julio DePaula         26   5.95   3   7 54   2   81.2   91   54 15   45   45   73

* - Throws Left

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Evan Longoria
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .264 .342 .489 139 515 78 136 30 1 28 91 56 122 8 6 120

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Adrian Beltre, Ron Santo, Bob Bailey

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   41
2nd Quintile   31
Mid Quintile   16
4th Quintile   8
Low Quintile   4

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        4     .400+  1     10+    0     200+  0
140+        17     .375+  9     5+    4     150+  13
130+        35     .350+  36
120+        49     .325+  76     2B     %
110+        70     .300+  96     45+    1
100+        84               30+    50
90+        94
80+        98
60+        100

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  13     50+    1     70+    0
.325+      1     .500+  39     40+    8     50+    0
.300+      7     .450+  79     30+    38     30+    0
.275+      33     .400+  99     20+    88     10+    17
.250+      73     .350+  100   10+    100

(Based on Projected PA)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Carlos Pena
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .251 .378 .509 134 458 70 115 23 1 31 88 88 142 1 1 135

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Jim Gentile, Don Mincher, Boog Powell

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   47
2nd Quintile   29
Mid Quintile   12
4th Quintile   9
Low Quintile   3

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        16     .400+  23     10+    0     200+  0
140+        41     .375+  57     5+    1     150+  0
130+        61     .350+  87
120+        74     .325+  98     2B     %
110+        87     .300+  100   45+    0
100+        94               30+    11
90+        98
80+        99
60+        100

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  21     50+    3     70+    0
.325+      0     .500+  49     40+    14     50+    0
.300+      3     .450+  85     30+    50     30+    0
.275+      19     .400+  99     20+    93     10+    0
.250+      53     .350+  100   10+    100

(Based on Projected PA)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Matt Garza
              ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection      
3.93 10   8 27 27 160.1 154   70 17   55 121   110


Top Near-Age Comps:  Larry Dierker, David Palmer, Brad Penny

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 52
Mid 1/3 39
Bot 1/3 10

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   8     >27   2
>140   14     >36   9
>130   21     >44   23
>120   33     >53   49
>110   52     >62   73
>100   72     >71   88
>90   88
>80   97     HR     %
>70   100   >12   23
          >18   65
K/9   %    >23   87
>160   6     >28   96
>142   16
>125   38
>107   70


(Based on Projected IP)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - James Shields
              ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       3.61 13   8 31 31 206.2 195   83 25   40 170   120

Top Near-Age Comps:  Dennis Eckersley, Alex Fernandez, Kevin Millwood

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 69
Mid 1/3 27
Bot 1/3 4

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   16     >34   36
>140   24     >46   73
>130   35     >57   91
>120   53     >69   97
>110   69     >80   99
>100   84     >92   100
>90   94
>80   98     HR     %
>70   100   >16   12
          >23   44
K/9   %    >30   78
>207   12     >37   92
>184   29
>161   58
>138   85

(Based on Projected IP)
——————————————————————-

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

OPS+ 140+

Pena     41
Longoria   17
Burrell   12

OBP .400+

Burrell   23
Pena     23
Upton     18

SLG .550+

Pena     21
Longoria   13
Burrell     8

BA .325+

Crawford   6
Bartlett   2
Upton     1

2B 45+

Joyce     2
Upton     2
Longoria   1

3B 10+

Crawford   61
Iwamura   31
Perez     3

HR 30+

Pena     50
Burrell   42
Longoria   38

SB 50+

Upton     30
Crawford   15
Perez     9

ERA+ 140+

Balfour   67
Bradford   67
Howell     52

K/9 9+

Balfour   94
Kazmir     83
Nelson     78

BB/9 1.5-

Shields   36
Sonnanst’ne 19
Bradford   12

HR/9 0.7-

Bradford   97
Balfour   73
Cormier   53

All figures in % based on projection playing time - Min. 300 PA/50 IP for inclusion

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2009. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.44 ERA and the NL having a 4.38 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected.  More information
is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting
the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Positional offense is ranked by RC/27 and divided into quintiles based on what the
most frequent starting players at each position did in 2006-2008.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on. 

ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions

ZiPS 2009 Archive

Rangers

Pirates

Phillies

Padres

Orioles

Nationals

Mets

Marlins

Mariners

Indians

Giants

Dodgers

Diamondbacks

Cubs

Cardinals

Brewers

Braves

Blue Jays

A’s

Astros

Angels

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:13 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3060865)
Is there a Matt Joyce projection?

Oh and what a pitching staff!
   2. Mike Webber Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:37 PM (#3060875)
Thanks Dan!
   3. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3060883)
Are you not dividing position players into tiers anymore?
   4. flournoy Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:47 PM (#3060889)
How do you pronounce "Jaso?" I want to pronounce it phonetically (Jay-Soe), but it reminds me too much of Jason Jacome.
   5. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:51 PM (#3060895)
I know a guy with the name, and he pronounces it HAH-SO.
   6. AROM Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3060898)
I know Joyce had a good rookie year for the Tigers, but the Rays can't play him. It would ruin their plans of always starting Gabe in right field.
   7. Mike Green Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3060900)
What a beautifully constructed club. They may not win, but you do have to tip your hat.

Thanks Dan.
   8. DKDC Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3060901)
That bottomless pit of young pitching is the envy of the league. Their offensive core is merely impressive by comparison, but I see no reason they can't swap excess pitching to plug any holes.

Do we have any idea what kind of payroll constraints the Rays will have going forward? They appear to be pushing $65MM for 2009 and that could approach $80MM in 2010 with Upton and Garza qualifying for arbitration among other raises.
   9. sotapop Posted: January 26, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3060902)
I'll take the over on Price. that is, over for ERA+ and IP and K. Under on ERA. I think. I'm confused.

oh, and the opposite on Kazmir. man, he looked hurt late last season. but can you believe he's only 25? seems like he's been a D-Ray forever. (sorry, Mets fans...)
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 26, 2009 at 11:10 PM (#3060909)
I did project Joyce, but forgot to add him to the team.

Tiers later, had to leave my computer and wanted to get the projections up since they were ready.
   11. Obama Bomaye Posted: January 26, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3060938)
I don't think Upton is playing second base again any time soon.
   12. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 26, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3060946)
I take a very wide view on position assignments.
   13. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 26, 2009 at 11:54 PM (#3060950)
Only average range? But I thought Bartlett was defensive Jesus!
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 27, 2009 at 12:08 AM (#3060980)
Only average range? But I thought Bartlett was defensive Jesus!

Relative to Brendan Harris, he is!

It's funny, Bartlett's defense was hated in Minnesota and now loved in Tampa and it's the same defense!
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 27, 2009 at 12:13 AM (#3060993)
"Clockhands McGee"?
   16. Willie Mayspedester Posted: January 27, 2009 at 12:58 AM (#3061032)
Is there something smart about having old relievers and young starters or am I looking too much into this?
   17. J. Michael Neal Posted: January 27, 2009 at 12:59 AM (#3061033)
Wow. The #8 starter projects to a 92 ERA+. Yoicks. This team could get away with trading another young pitcher to fill a hole somewhere.
   18. John DiFool2 Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3061112)
AVERAGE Carl Crawford* lf 27 .287 .332 .437


This is his age 27 season, and before '08 he hit .300 3 straight seasons. I'll probably take the over on this one.
   19. *BaseClogger* Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:23 AM (#3061116)
Wow. The #8 starter projects to a 92 ERA+. Yoicks. This team could get away with trading another young pitcher to fill a hole somewhere.


What holes?
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:29 AM (#3061121)
I am surprised Eric Hinske hasn't gotten more attention on the FA market. I would think he would be a very low cost bench player who can play a number of positions adequately.

And I thought for sure he'd be getting a lot of "clubhouse leader" love for being a rare vet on a very young pennant winning team. A few winters ago, the Royals, Pirates or Orioles would have handed him a 2 year $10 million deal to be their clubhouse leader and play 1B every day.
   21. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:37 AM (#3061125)
"Clockhands McGee"?


First thing that jumped out at me, too. That's a great nickname! Very 19th century. I picture "Clockhands" McGee with a handlebar moustache, which he twirls madly while looking in for the sign from the catcher.
   22. flournoy Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:43 AM (#3061129)
Is there something smart about having old relievers and young starters or am I looking too much into this?


I think relievers tend to be older than starters in general, since they are mostly failed starters.
   23. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 27, 2009 at 02:50 AM (#3061133)
I have no idea whether the nickname is true, I just saw at his poorly written wiki page a month ago or so while researching his recovery. But it should be true because, as noted, it's an awesome nickname.
   24. kwarren Posted: January 27, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3061138)
Mike Green Posted: January 26, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3060900)
What a beautifully constructed club. They may not win, but you do have to tip your hat.

Thanks Dan.


Really makes you wonder why JP couldn't have done something like this in Toronto, being as how he is a Moneyball expert and all that.

But no. He had money to spend and by geez he was gonna spend it. So Bush & Gross go for Overbay. Hudson and Koskie go for Glaus. Felipe Lopez goes for err...ummm.....never mind. Werth goes for .....err.....umm....never mind. Hinske goes for.....well you get the idea. Thomas for $18 M.......yea. And in a 2004 interview with Peter Gammons he explains why he turned down a Wright for Lilly NY Met proposal because Hinske was signed for the long term at 3B. Say what.
   25. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 27, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3061139)
I am surprised Eric Hinske hasn't gotten more attention on the FA market. I would think he would be a very low cost bench player who can play a number of positions adequately.


I'm surprised too. He didn't look horrible in the OF to me (merely crappy, he seemed to at least get fair reads on balls and didn't screw up), he can still handle third base if really necessary, and is fine at first. I imagine you could look at least ten teams and see a decent spot for him.

What holes?



They could use an everyday RF of course but at least for now they've continuing to do a good job of plugging it on the cheap and temporary route (and yes, the all-Gabe platoon potential is awesome).

Do we have any idea what kind of payroll constraints the Rays will have going forward? They appear to be pushing $65MM for 2009 and that could approach $80MM in 2010 with Upton and Garza qualifying for arbitration among other raises.


Not the slightest clue, even having a local perspective doesn't help with this question. I've read that it's expected to be around $60 million in '09 though I haven't calculated it myself, but Friedman has said that their financial flexibility is limited at this point after the offseason signings. In the future though there's just no way to tell because nobody has ever seen what this market will do with a consistent winner. Mock the low attendance last year if you want but it was still a significant increase and this area just caught fire with support in the playoffs. I work in retail and in the week after they won the ALCS we must have sold at least 250 AL Champions shirts, probably over 150 in the first 48 hours after they arrived. If one store can do that kind of merchandise business then there HAS to be widespread support for the team even if it didn't always look like it during the season. The economy hurts of course and Florida is worse than a lot of places right now but it's not like they're needing to draw 35k every game to keep things going, they're starting from so much lower than that in past years. Also this offseason they signed a new deal with FSNFL for the TV broadcasts and had their radio flagship station switched to the most popular local sports station which has a much, much stronger signal that the crappy one WHNZ put out. So there's definitely a lot of growth potential locally even with a poor economy and I THINK, though we know nothing either way from the team, that they can maintain their core going foreward.
   26. Greg K Posted: January 27, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3061143)
While I'm no JP apologist, Hudson and Miguel Batista for Troy Glaus wasn't too bad.

And I'm not sure what you mean by Koskie for Gluas...Koskie was traded for Brian Wolfe, and considering Koskie's career after that trade I don't see how in the world that can be a negative for JP.

Lopez was good in 2005, but with his less than terrific defence I don't know if he'd be a decent SS any other year. (Mind you the Jays could have used even a mediocre SS the last few years)

Werth looks like a pretty bad trade at the moment.

Like most analysis of JP, these trades strike me as a mix of decent, bad and largely meaningless trades. The more I think of it the more he strikes me as an entirely average GM.

As a final note I don't really see the situation in Tampa over the past 7 years in any way comparable to Toronto in that same span.
   27. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 27, 2009 at 03:56 AM (#3061153)
I'll take the over on Upton and Longoria both, esp. Longoria's OBP and Upton's power.
   28. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 27, 2009 at 04:07 AM (#3061156)
Same here - I'll take the over on a Upton, Longoria, and Navarro - but the under on most of the bullpen.
   29. kwarren Posted: January 27, 2009 at 04:16 AM (#3061160)
While I'm no JP apologist, Hudson and Miguel Batista for Troy Glaus wasn't too bad.


When you consider the additional payroll added to pay Glaus, the deal is a disaster. Hudson has played Gold Glove calibre defense and posted .800+ OPS, at 20% of the cost of Glaus, while Glaus was terrible at 3B until going to St. Louis. In addition keeping Hudson would have allowed Aaron Hill to stay at shortstop which has been a black hole for the Jays ever since.

And I'm not sure what you mean by Koskie for Gluas...Koskie was traded for Brian Wolfe, and considering Koskie's career after that trade I don't see how in the world that can be a negative for JP.


Koskie was given to Milwaukee and his salary paid by the Jays after Glaus was acquired. Before Koskie suffered his concussion his WARP was far ahead of Glaus's for the 2006 season. If you want to say that Koskie's concussion vindicates JP, go ahead, but it strikes me of kind of silly.


Lopez was good in 2005, but with his less than terrific defence I don't know if he'd be a decent SS any other year. (Mind you the Jays could have used even a mediocre SS the last few years)

Werth looks like a pretty bad trade at the moment.

Like most analysis of JP, these trades strike me as a mix of decent, bad and largely meaningless trades. The more I think of it the more he strikes me as an entirely average GM.

An average GM would likely have won more games with a 100 M payroll, than a 50 M payroll. JP didn't. And don't forget that 127 million Vernon Wells deal to complement the Frank Thomas signing.



As a final note I don't really see the situation in Tampa over the past 7 years in any way comparable to Toronto in that same span.


JP has always claimed that being in the AL East with the Yankees and Red Sox made it impossible to make the playoffs no matter how much the payroll was increased. Well the Rays got to the World Series from that division with a payroll that was only 60% of the Blue Jays. Pretty embarrassing to JP who claims that the Jays have had excellent drafts. Picking one slot ahead of the Rockies in 2005 he chose Ricky Romero and then watched the Rockies take Tulowitzki with the next pick...one year after turning down a David Wright for Lilly proposal from the Mets. I didn't see the Rays turning down Kazmir when the Mets offered him to the Rays. If JP has been average I'd hate to see how a "poor" GM would have re-built the Blue Jays while doubling the payroll.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2009 at 05:46 AM (#3061185)
Grant Balfour 31 2.67 5 1 49 0 57.1 40 17 3 29 74 159

And the folly of reliever projections has never been more apparent. :-)

I take a very wide view on position assignments.

As evidenced by Crawford's 16 innings in CF over the last 3 years. :-)

But really, nothing much to argue with in the projections. I could quibble with Upton's BA (at least for that K-rte) or Pena's SLG but not enough to make any difference. Good to see a sane Longoria projection (as I expected it would be). The bullpen projection is too high.

Say, ever thought of producing an aggregate bullpen projection? Conceivably you could do it either to 500 IP (which is about the median needed these days) or the number ZiPS might expect based on starter IP. Not sure if you'd take the top 500 innings or weight it in some way. If I take the top 500 for the Rays I get an approximate ERA+ of about 128 for the pen which does seem way too high. (But that could be true for all teams since you don't really expect the Rays to be able to distribute all 500 innings among their best 8 or so relievers, especially since only a handful of relievers top 60 innings a year anyway.)
   31. Greg K Posted: January 27, 2009 at 05:54 AM (#3061187)
Well you can look at Baltimore or Seattle to see how to make a crappy rather than average team with a payroll around 100m

I'm not saying JP is good, he's good at some things, bad at others. Your criticism I think points out what JP is good at. I think he's good at picking up useful role players. Zaun worked out very well, Scutaro was useful in 2008, he's made an excellent bullpen out of spare parts the last couple years. He's improved on the draft over time.

In other words, I think I'd trust JP to put together a decent team on shoe-string budget more than most GMs, but his big moves (as you point out, Wells) leave a lot to be desired. Maybe JP doesn't have the smarts to take a team like the Jays over the top...but I really don't see how he's in the bottom 3rd of GMs in the game.

I also think Glaus doesn't deserve the poor opinion some Jays fans seem to have of him. In his two years here he was really the only guy to hit well both years, and his defence, while awkward-looking, didn't seem bad to me at all. UZR agrees with a -1.9/150 in 2006 and +1.8 in 2007. And let's not forget Hudson hasn't been spectacularly healthy in Arizona. An ill-advised trade I think, but disaster is an exaggeration I think.

I think it's natural for JP to get a lot of heat from Jays fans. There's a lot of frustration about the lack of improvement since the payroll got bumped up. Maybe JP isn't the guy that's going to bring the Jays back to the playoffs, and it's probably time to move on to someone else...but I just don't see the need to disparage everything he's done. There are worse GMs out there for sure.
   32. Greg K Posted: January 27, 2009 at 06:38 AM (#3061218)
Just to throw it out there fangraphs values for Glaus and Hudson

2006:
Glaus $14.2 value for a cost of $10
Hudson $8.6 value for a cost of $2.3

2007:
Glaus $11.8 value for a cost of $10.5
Hudson $12.5 value for a cost of $3.9

2008:
Rolen flipped for Glaus at $12.4 value at a cost of $11.6
Hudson $8.7 value at a cost of $6.3

Hudson was a bit better in 2007, but on the whole the move taken by itself improved the team. However, as you say an improvement of $2.9 a year at the cost of $6.5 more per year isn't a great bargain. I agree, I think this trade didn't work out great, but isn't this what you want to do when you are upping your team's payroll? When you upgrade your team by taking on a higher salaried player I think it's a necessary expectation that you'll be giving up a bit of cost efficiency. I would argue JP gave up too much in this trade, but not by a great deal.

I just feel like JP has become too polar a figure. To me, JP's tenure has been a mix of hope and failure, and now that his time is just about up it seems like Jays fans want to take all their frustration out on him and paint him as this moron of a GM. The claim that JP is under-performing what should be expected of with a 100m payroll doesn't hold up for me. His ranks in payroll and wins in the AL the last few years

2008: 7th in payroll, 7th in wins
2007: 8th in payroll, 7th in wins
2006: 8th in payroll, 7th in wins
2005: 11th in payroll, 8th in wins
2004: 10th in payroll, 12th in wins
2003: 8th in payroll, tied for 6th in wins

Not to over simplify, but that to me screams "average GM".
   33. kwarren Posted: January 27, 2009 at 06:56 AM (#3061227)
Greg

You're right about JP's ability to put together on a shoe-string budget. He was actually doing fine until the payroll increased. That's when his focused changed from getting "value of each $1" to "how much can I spend". He was like a kid in a candy store and spent like the Yankees with only half the the resources. Cheap talent such as Hudson, Gross, Werth, Bush, and Lopez was still necessary to complement the big contracts of Burnett, Ryan, Halladay, Koskie, Wells, & Hinske. But he dealt his best "bang for buck" players for more big contracts - Glaus, Overbay, Wells and then lost his mind in offering Thomas $18 M when the next best offer was a one-year 2 million offer.

In terms of WARP and Win Shares Hudson has been the 2nd best second baseman in baseball behind only Utley over the past three seasons. And his contract was less than 1/4 as costly as Glaus's.

When he came to town he said he could build a playoff team in the AL East with a 50 million payroll just like the Twins and A's did. Three years later he said he needed 70 M a year. So he was given 215 million over the next three years. Then he said he needed 100 million and was given 90 million and 100 million for the next two seasons. At no time did the team ever improve. Meanwhile his division rivals, who he has often referred to with contempt, the Rays, have gone and done exactly what he said he was going to do. Except they didn't just make the playoffs. They won the AL East and defeated the Red Sox in the ALCS, and went to the World Series.

And to top it off, he is very arrogant insulting fans and media alike on call-in shows and press conferences. He lied about BJ Ryan's health in 2007, told a caller that the fans were too un-informed to see why Adam Dunn was unsuitable to be the Blue Jays DH (and then explained that Dunn didn't like baseball, struck out too much, and wouldn't help the Jays....on the air). He sent Frank Thomas to the A's while still paying him (the third time he has paid a player to play on another team) and tried to replace him with Mench and Wilkerson two guys he has always sung the praises of. I guess they liked baseball. He also allowed his manager John Gibbons to challenge Shea Hillenbrand to a fight in the dressing room, and then tackle and challenge Ted Lilly in the runway to the dressing room when Lilly wouldn't give him the ball on the mound. He even allowed Gibbons to manage half the 2008 season before eventually firing him. And he insists on living in Boston during the season, commuting to Toronto when necessary to actually GM the team. Never missed a team road game in Boston. During his tenure he has fired three managers, three assistant GM's and more scouts than one can count.

Of the other 29 GM's in the league when JP was hired, all of them have either made the playoffs or been fired in the interim. Only JP has been allowed to hang around without any post season appearances. I think it is safe to say that he makes the bottom third of GM's with room to spare. When you consider his people skills, his attitude and arrogance, and his record he may well be one of the worst GM's ever. There will be no tears shed when he says his final good-byes.
   34. regfairfield Posted: January 27, 2009 at 07:30 AM (#3061234)
Being able to pick up useful role players is somewhere around "looks good in a suit" when it comes to what makes a good GM.
   35. karkface killah Posted: January 27, 2009 at 08:26 AM (#3061248)
espn reporting peavy to cubs.
   36. frenchredsox Posted: January 27, 2009 at 05:38 PM (#3061501)
WOW this team is loaded - heck as Dan pointed out the winner of the AL East will be the toughest division in Baseball & the team that finishes 3rd could have won the other 2 divisions.One has to feel sorry for the Jays & the O's..........every step forward they make is countered by the others & now the Rays are starting to spend too (Burrell)!
   37. Rocco's Not-so Malfunctioning Mitochondria Posted: January 27, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3061559)
How do you pronounce "Jaso?" I want to pronounce it phonetically (Jay-Soe), but it reminds me too much of Jason Jacome.


It's pronounced Jay-soe. It was confusing when Jae Seo was also on the roster.
   38. Rocco's Not-so Malfunctioning Mitochondria Posted: January 27, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3061561)
I have no idea whether the nickname is true, I just saw at his poorly written wiki page a month ago or so while researching his recovery. But it should be true because, as noted, it's an awesome nickname.


For the record, I've never heard that nickname, and I follow the Rays farm pretty closely.
   39. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: January 28, 2009 at 02:34 AM (#3062014)
For the record, I've never heard that nickname, and I follow the Rays farm pretty closely.

I think it's up there with Oil Can, we should repeat it until it sticks!
   40. Diamond Research Posted: January 28, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3062513)
The bullpen projection is too high.


I agree. Almost every line is optimistic. The bullpen is too much guile and not enough stuff. Even Balfour is a one pitch guy. OTOH, there are so many viable backup options that Hickey could make it work.
   41. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 29, 2009 at 09:39 PM (#3063553)
Bummer to see such a crappy ZiPS for Fernando Perez. I heard an interview with him a couple weeks ago on MLB Home Plate and was really impressed with how bright and personable he seemed.

Oh well...if this whole baseball thing doesn't work out, he can always fall back on that Ivy League education.
   42. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 29, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3063555)
Also, there doesn't really seem to be any evidence that Clockhands McGee is a real nickname. I say we just repeat it over and over until we make it a real nickname.

Because it's awesome.
   43. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 29, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3063556)
Son of a crap. Link didn't work. This one should.
   44. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 03, 2009 at 08:48 PM (#3066781)
How do you pronounce "Jaso?" I want to pronounce it phonetically (Jay-Soe), but it reminds me too much of Jason Jacome.


The phonetic way is correct.

I've drawn the comparison between Carlos Pena and Jim Gentile before, so it doesn't entirely surprise me that Gentile shows up among his comps (nor do the other two, especially). I see Pena as having a 50/50 chance to make a quick decline this year or next. Longoria's comps are interesting, to say the least. He's probably closer to Beltre, in terms of overall skill set, than either Santo or Bailey.

-- MWE

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Darren
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.8707 seconds
68 querie(s) executed