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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Diamondbacks - Acquired Haren, Traded Valverde

Arizona Diamondbacks - Acquired P Danny Haren and P Connor Robertson from the Oakland A’s for OF Carlos

Gonzalez, 1B The Black Chris Carter, OF Aaron Cunningham, P Brett Anderson, P Greg Smith, and

P Jumbo Eveland.


Acquired OF Chris Burke, P Chad Qualls, and P Juan Gutierrez from the Houston Astros for P Jose

Valverde

Let’s just make this the super-sized Transaction Oracle!

For the first part of the trade, the Arizona-Oakland one, I like this trade from both sides.  The A’s simply aren’t good

enough to catch the Angels this season and not good enough to catch 2 of New York-Boston-Detroit-Cleveland, so, as Beane

hinted at the end of the season, they’re going to rebuild here.  They better be as that’s the only justification for

letting Haren, who’s signed cheaply for 3 more years, leave town.  This does a good job at filling out some of the holes in

the minors for the green-and-gold and while none except for Gonzalez are real impact prospects, the A’s need to fish for a

real impact hitter and they’ve been very good at developing solid starters out of a mass of pitching prospects.  Gonzalez

isn’t ready this year and Carter won’t be ready for a couple, but the A’s have 1B-DH-OF options to sort through the next few

years anyway.  Same issue with Cunningham - they’re going to also play him at AAA while they sort out the aforementioned

options.  So they gamble that one of Eveland-Smith-Anderson becomes a solid pitcher and come out ahead on the deal if it

works out.  You have to give credit for Beane for discipline - when the time comes to rebuild, no half ass “OK, we’ll take

lesser prospects if you throw in a guy who’s a major leaguer!”

From the Diamondbacks point-of-view, they have farm system that’s developed a lot of value and are one of the better teams in

the NL, so it was time to condense some of that talent pool.  Minor leaguers aren’t just for using - they’re also for trading

when they need arises.  This is something Terry Ryan didn’t do several years ago when the Twins had a lot of young

outfielders with trade value, they just sat on them until they disappointed, for one reason or another.  One can’t help but

feel that Byrnes is smiling at the idea of Webb-Haren pitching a lot in the playoffs.  He no doubt knows he’s giving up value

and that some of the players will be good players someday, but I think he recognizes the cost.

Then, there’s the other half of the trade.  It’s OK from Arizona’s perspective - I’m not a huge fan of the players coming

back.  Qualls shouldn’t be that steep of a downgrade and Burke has role player use and Gutierrez still has upside, but given

that Valverde’s a Magical Proven Closer, I would think he could get a little more in return.;

As for the Astros, they get another really solid reliever, but from a tactical standpoint, this is an absolute nightmare. 

They’ve emptied out what was left of the scraps of their farm system and still only have 1 starting pitcher.  If any

starting position players get injured, this could get ugly fast - Loretta will have to replace an injured Matsui at some

point, leaving them essentially with Cruz Jr. and Blum.  No team that thinks they’re in contention should be a couple of bad

hops from Geoff Blum, Starting 1B.  Yes, the bullpen should be pretty good.  When they come in for the 6th inning with the

team behind 7-1, they’ll keep that lead from becoming 7 on the way to an Astros 7-2 loss.

Now, could teams stop making huge trades and ex-Senators stop releasing cover-your-ass reports for a few days so I can finish

the damn Rockies projections?

More projections soon!  I’m late for a dinner reservation - I didn’t expect something like this to pop up.

Addendum: Alberto Callaspo was also traded for Billy Buckner.  The Royals get the wife-beating discount here.  The Diamondbacks clearly didn’t have him in their plans and with the Royals looking to acquire young players that can hit anything, they figured it was worth a shot for a soon-to-be organizational pitcher.  Grudz is still the starter, but the team doesn’t consider German good enough defensively to play 2nd full-time, so Callaspo might get a shot at a starting job in 2009, provided he behaves himself.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Danny Haren
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 14 11 33 33 216 214   94 27 46 177 3.92   120
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 17   8 34 34 232 208   79 23 40 207 3.06   153    
Pes. (15%)  9 11 27 27 174 190   94 28 46 128 4.86   97
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Mike Mussina, Don Newcombe

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Juan Gutierrez
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 5 11 29 28 153 173 101 27 64 89 5.94   79
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  8 10 32 29 176 180   91 23 58 118 4.65   101
Pes. (15%)  3 10 24 22 123 152   92 25 57 64 6.73   70
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jay Hook, Buck Ross

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Connor Robertson
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 3   4 45   0   62   65   33   7 29 49 4.79   98
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  5   3 50   0   72   68   30   6 25 62 3.75   125
Pes. (15%)  2   4 37   0   50   57   32   7 27 34 5.76   81
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jay Powell, Terry Adams

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Chad Qualls
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 6   5 79   0   84   85   39 10 27 59 4.18   112
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  8   5 90   0   97   94   39   9 28 70 3.62   130
Pes. (15%)  3   6 68   0   69   79   41 11 28 41 5.35   88
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Bob Scanlon, Rawley Eastwick

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Brett Anderson
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 8 11 24 24 122 140   70 19 33 83 5.16   83
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 11 10 27 27 139 144   66 18 31 110 4.27   100
Pes. (15%)  5 11 20 20   98 125   70 21 31 59 6.43   66
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jerry Garvin, Dick Ellsworth

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Greg Smith
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 7   9 24 24 134   151 75 16 52 71 5.04   85
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%) 10   8 26 26 153   158 70 14 49 92 4.12   104
Pes. (15%)  4 10 20 20 108   135 73 17 47 46 6.08   70
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Wade Blasingame, Fred Heimach

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Dana Eveland
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 3   4 21 15   80   83   40   6 38 57 4.50   95
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  5   3 23 17   92   87   37   5 37 72 3.62   118
Pes. (15%)  2   4 18 13   64   74   41   8 36 41 5.77   74
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jim Kaat, Dave LaPoint

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Jose Valverde
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 4   2 64   0   69   54   24   7 27 88 3.13   138
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  6   1 70   0   79   54   19   6 25 110 2.16   199
Pes. (15%)  2   3 53   0   55   49   26   8 26 65 4.25   101
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  John Wetteland, Crazy Jeff Nelson

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Chris Burke
——————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+
——————————————————————————————————————-
Projection   398 64 101 24 1   8 45 35 66 16 .253 .330 .380   80
——————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  465 89 132 34 4 14 68 48 71 22 .284 .365 .465   109
Pes. (15%)  297 39   67 15 1   5 30 20 58   8 .226 .284 .333   57
——————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Mike Lansing, Frank Bolling

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Chris Carter
——————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+
——————————————————————————————————————-
Projection   503 37 110 22 2 21 71 45 131   2 .219 .289 .396   82
——————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  538 47 133 26 2 25 88 53 126   5 .246 .323 .446   103
Pes. (15%)  471 31   96 18 0 18 61 38 131   0 .204 .265 .356   65
——————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Hawk Harrelson, Tom Brunansky

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Carlos Gonzalez
——————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+
——————————————————————————————————————-
Projection   499 47 114 33 1 11 58 26 122 10 .228 .271 .365   68
——————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  552 62 140 41 4 16 77 37 116 17 .254 .305 .429   94
Pes. (15%)  439 34   89 25 0   8 43 18 117   7 .203 .236 .314   46
——————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Mel Almada, Charlie Grimm

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Aaron Cunningham
——————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+
——————————————————————————————————————-
Projection   483 56 123 28 4 12 52 36 98 22 .255 .316 .404   91
——————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  524 74 148 36 6 18 83 44 90 30 .282 .348 .477   118
Pes. (15%)  452 43 102 24 2   9 49 28 99 15 .226 .275 .347   65
——————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Mel Almada, Charlie Grimm

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Billy Buckner
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
Projection 6 13 33 25 152 173   97 26 72 98 5.74   82
————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  9 12 36 27 174 180   92 24 69 126 4.76   99
Pes. (15%)  4 12 27 20 123 152   91 24 65 88 6.66   71
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Herm Wehmeier, Ryan Dempster

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Alberto Callaspo
——————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+
——————————————————————————————————————-
Projection   486 67 140 25 4   7 49 42 31   4 .288 .345 .399   89
——————————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  525 84 163 32 7 10 70 53 26   8 .310 .374 .455   110
Pes. (15%)  441 50 115 18 3   3 41 31 34   0 .261 .309 .336   64
——————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jerry Browne, Brent Gates

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2007 at 02:17 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. SacBunt Posted: December 15, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2646201)
Enjoy dinner, Dan. We always appreciate your diligence.

I haven't followed the A's moves closely in recent years, but this looks like the move of a GM who understands exactly where he is in the success cycle. Paging Mr. Sabean...
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2646206)
Way too much for the D'backs to give up for Haren, although I understand why they did it.

-- MWE
   3. Robert S. Posted: December 15, 2007 at 03:38 AM (#2646207)
This is something Terry Ryan didn't do several years ago when the Twins had a lot of young outfielders with trade value, they just sat on them until they disappointed, for one reason or another.

It's also what Byrnes didn't do with Hairston or Quentin.

I like the gamble for Arizona. They could've been conservative and waited another year to see what progress was made by Reynolds, Drew, Young, and Upton to make the all-in move, but I like this specific bit of aggression from Byrnes because Haren fits their needs perfectly.

I think Valverde is just the opposite sort of move - Byrnes playing it safe. Maybe they could've hauled in more down the line, but it would've been risky and too expensive. I don't think they could've afforded for Valverde to get hurt or implode, however.

That said, the offseason moves have me concerned about the team's depth.
   4. The Artist Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2646215)
Whoa - that projection is pretty awful, going from the AL to the NL. I understand Bank One is more of a hitters-park than Oakland, but is this just regression to the mean on Haren's part?
   5. The Artist Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:05 AM (#2646218)

Way too much for the D'backs to give up for Haren, although I understand why they did it.

-- MWE


Mike, as per the best player (or best potential player) rule, I'd say the D-backs won, though they did give up about 5 potential regulars (which strikes me as ridiculous) - I see Gonzales and Anderson as the key prospects (none of whom is going to better than Haren IMO), Cunnningham as the solid regular, Eveland/Smith as flier arms (4th/5th SP) types and Carter as the raw power shot. Its certainly a price, but is it that ridiculous?
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:19 AM (#2646221)
Does this make the D'Backs the early favorites in the NL? I really like their roster right now.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:24 AM (#2646226)
Whoa - that projection is pretty awful, going from the AL to the NL. I understand Bank One is more of a hitters-park than Oakland, but is this just regression to the mean on Haren's part?

It's a 120 ERA+ projection. That's damn good and better than Haren's career mark of 113. That would put him 11th in the NL last year.

And the "regression" may be mostly unearned runs -- Haren gave up 15 last year! But not sure how ZIPS deals with those.
   8. 1k5v3L Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:30 AM (#2646229)
Dan, could you include the analysis of the Callaspo-for-Buckner trade in this trade as well?
   9. Danny Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:41 AM (#2646238)
It's a 120 ERA+ projection. That's damn good and better than Haren's career mark of 113. That would put him 11th in the NL last year.

I think he was probably surprised that Haren went from a ZIPS of 3.91 in the stronger DH league to 3.92 in the NL. But, yeah, it's the park.
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2646244)
Dammit, Arizona keeps doing stuff!

If I wake up in the morning and the Diamondbacks acquired Santana for Young, Scherzer, Parker, and another Chris Carter they found somewhere, I'm going to be really pissd.

As for Haren

Year ERA FIP
2005 3.73 3.84
2006 4.12 4.06
2007 3.07 3.82

He didn't really get lucky with $H, being about the level he usually was, but he did get lucky on how everything combined. Pitchers don't just outperform the combination of their HR/BB/SO, they also can outperform the combination of known hits and HR/BB/SO.

ZiPS regresses him a lot because there's no history of Haren outperforming any of the component based measures while ZiPS gives Glavine more the benefit of the doubt.

The park differences are quite large. Oakland's pretty dependably strong for pitchers and Arizona the reverse and there's usually not a huge variance in Oakland's park factor because the foul territory's always there and always large.
   11. Kyle S Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:50 AM (#2646245)
I think this is a fantastic deal for the D-backs, but I haven't seen any of the minor leaguers play as Emeigh likely has. How old is this Chris Carter? This isn't the kid who was just traded from the White Sox, is it?
   12. Danny Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:16 AM (#2646253)
Do Gonzalez and Cunningham really have the same comps?

I'm liking the Kaat comp for Dana. I don't really see it, but I like it.
   13. AROM Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:25 AM (#2646258)
Yes, this is the young Carter who was traded from the White Sox. Other Chris Carter plays for the Red Sox. Another one writes in Hollywood, probably on strike right now. Yet another one, missing the H, is retired but there was a time when all he did was catch touchdowns.

Without looking at the stats, I'll take David Wells for an Eveland comp. Terry Forster too.

For CHONE I'll publish an update before the year is out, but I've got Haren's ERA going up .04 points, park offsetting league. But he's slightly more valuable in fantasy because he gets a 20 strikeout boost.
   14. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:53 AM (#2646276)
Dan, another trade - this one with the Pads/Cards, not Arizona. Think of it as Winter Meetings 2, Ecletic Swaparoo.
(pause)
Or don't. I wouldn't.
   15. Robert S. Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:57 AM (#2646281)
One thing I'd like to add: part of this trade is about maintaining momentum and credibility for the organization in Phoenix.
   16. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 15, 2007 at 06:29 AM (#2646304)
Top Comps: Mike Mussina, Don Newcombe


ZiPS thinks Dan Haren is gonna be a HOF pitcher or close to it!

Alberto Callaspo was also traded for Billy Buckner


Isn't Billy Buckner the guy that let the ground ball go through his legs during the 1986 World Series?
   17. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:53 AM (#2646348)
Minor leaguers aren't just for using - they're also for trading when they need arises.


You sure you're from around here?
   18. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:55 AM (#2646350)
Callaspo's pessimistic prediction has an OPS+ just two points lower than Tony Penita's 2007 OPS.

Little secret, Penita is overrated.
   19. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: December 15, 2007 at 10:12 AM (#2646385)
Little secret, Penita is overrated.

I don't think that's true, Brandon.
   20. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2007 at 10:42 AM (#2646389)
Mike, as per the best player (or best potential player) rule, I'd say the D-backs won


I'm not sold on Haren over the long haul. I see him, like Zito, as picking up a good portion of his value from the ballpark, especially since he's got flyball tendencies (albeit not nearly as strong as Zito's). I don't see "elite pitcher" in his numbers. Gonzalez is the best potential player in the deal, IMO.

-- MWE
   21. shock Posted: December 15, 2007 at 10:43 AM (#2646390)
When I first read about it I thought it was Billy Butler, and wondered why there wasn't any outrage.
   22. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:00 PM (#2646449)
Is Carlos González that good? I would think the A's could have gotten at least one legit A prospect for Haren--why didn't Beane hold out for Justin Upton?
   23. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 15, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2646456)
IFIFIF Upton could be part of the deal, I would expect it to be Haren+something for Upton, quite frankly. Gonzalez is a very good prospect, and him plus 5 more guys is pretty good.
   24. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2646495)
I dunno, I always thought B prospects had very little value--if you're trading a current star, you want to be damn sure you get a future one, not just a bunch'a'guys.
   25. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2646502)
You sure you're from around here?

I've always said minor leaguers are for trading for players that you can't get otherwise. It's trading minor leaguers for mediocrity or making minor leaguers for for jobs against the mediocre I have an issue with. Haren's not really a 3.00 ERA guy, but he's a guy you can't get in the FA market and even if you could, it'd probably cost *twice* what he's getting the next 3 years.
   26. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:16 PM (#2646503)
fight for jobs, not for for jobs.
   27. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 15, 2007 at 05:30 PM (#2646516)
I'm not sure whether this is a good trade for the A's, but it sure is exciting. And I agree with the blow up the team strategy.
   28. shoewizard Posted: December 15, 2007 at 06:00 PM (#2646538)
Here are Haren's last 3 seasons neutralized into 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks context:

2007) 219 IP 3.41 ERA 1.279 WHIP 25-57-188 (HR-BB-K)
2006) 221 IP 4.27 ERA 1.238 WHIP 32-46-174
2005) 215 IP 3.93 ERA 1.260 WHIP 27-54-161

I think Dan's projection of 3.92, 120 ERA+ is spot on. Haren is not "Elite"...but he's really good. But he is pretty streaky within the season. Each of the last 3 seasons is marked by stretches where he was great for 2-3 months, and pretty mediocre or even poor for a couple of months at a time.

I think Dan's projection shows just how far away Carlos Gonzalez is from being a useful major leaguer. On November 11th I wrote Here:


He is just simply overrated.

Can't hit lefty's. Strikes out too much. Doesn't walk enough. Has a poor attitude and is lackadaisical in the field.

I hope they can trade him before the rest of the league figures it out, although I am sure they have.


Actually, I've felt this way about him for a Long time
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2646575)
Can't hit lefty's. Strikes out too much. Doesn't walk enough. Has a poor attitude and is lackadaisical in the field.


Watching him play a little in 2006 and a little more a year ago, I didn't see anything that would have led me to believe that either the first sentence or the last sentence is true. His K rate is well within the 1/4 cutoff that I use. It is true that he doesn't walk a whole lot, but he makes up for it by stinging the ball when he puts it into play (.339 hBIP a year ago for Mobile, with .115 in-play ISO; Mobile's not the easiest place in the world to hit). One thing I did notice was that even when he was struggling, in 2006 after his promotion, he did hit the ball hard and with gap power when he connected.

-- MWE
   30. Danny Posted: December 15, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2646584)
While Gonzalez struggled against LHP in 2007, he hit .278/.345/.571 against them in 2006 (better than his line against RHP). I wouldn't take too much from a single season L/R split.
   31. shoewizard Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:03 PM (#2646602)
Almost all of that line was put up in Lancaster Danny. He only had 18 at bats vs. lefties in Tennessee in 2006 so of course you can't tell anything from that, other than that he struggled. Basically I discount almost everything that happened in Lancaster. I learned the hard way.

Did you happen to take a look at Gonzalez's home road splits for 2006?

Lancaster 361/414/693
Road 239/295/433

I really think if you are just looking at statistics, you can pretty much throw 2006 out the window. It has no use for evaluation purposes. The Lancaster environment is just so extreme that it makes it impossible to make any sense of the numbers.

I could be wrong about Gonzalez....I am certainly open to that possibility. But until he proves otherwise, he is a platoon player in my mind, not a full time regular major leaguer.
   32. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:16 PM (#2646620)
No one noticed "Cummingham"
   33. Honkie Kong Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2646632)
No one noticed "Cummingham"

Talk of a horny pig..
   34. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2646634)
Consider these home/road splits for Haren for his three years with Oakland:

Home BA/OBP/SLG: .242/.285/.381
Road BA/OBP/SLG: .264/.311/.439

Home in-play BA/ISO: .274/.069
Road in-play BA/ISO: .302/.095

Home GB%: 45.4%
Road GB%: 46.5%

Home LD%: 21.8%
Road LD%: 20.0%

Home HR/FB: 10.7%
Road HR/FB: 12.9%

Normal in-play BA/ISO, the way I calculate it (excluding bunts and pitcher hitting) is around .300/.075
Normal GB% is around 47-48%; Haren is a mild flyballer
Normal LD% is in the low-20% range
Normal HR/FB rate is around 10%

The only thing he does better on the road is to allow fewer line drives. Everything else is better at McAfee Coliseum, in some cases substantially better. The in-play numbers, in particular, are a reason for concern; Haren's giving up fewer FBs on the road, which would drive the in-play BA up (marginally) but should drive in in-play ISO down (marginally fewer doubles and triples). That's not happening.

-- MWE
   35. shoewizard Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2646652)
So whats your projection for Haren next year Mike?
   36. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2646664)
So whats your projection for Haren next year Mike?


ERA around 4.40 and a near-500 record.

-- MWE
   37. shoewizard Posted: December 15, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2646666)
OK, well noted. Thanks for the input. Certainly something to think about. Hope you are wrong. ;)
   38. Robert S. Posted: December 15, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2646709)
What about defenses, though? Haren's moving into a worse park, but he's also moving in front of a better outfield.
   39. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2007 at 09:01 PM (#2646727)
Haren's moving into a worse park, but he's also moving in front of a better outfield.


Not significantly better last year, and I'd expect Swisher to get less PT in CF this year, which will help both CF and RF. Young and Upton are still learning the hitters.

-- MWE
   40. shoewizard Posted: December 15, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2646737)
So basically you are saying that Haren is Javy Vasquez.
   41. Kant Posted: December 15, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2646800)
ERA around 4.40 and a near-500 record.


I think this is horribly pessimistic. What about the fact that Haren is entering his year 27 season, which for many pitchers is the prime of their career?
   42. Master Shake Posted: December 16, 2007 at 09:22 AM (#2647173)
Consider these home/road splits for Haren for his three years with Oakland:

Home BA/OBP/SLG: .242/.285/.381
Road BA/OBP/SLG: .264/.311/.439

Home in-play BA/ISO: .274/.069
Road in-play BA/ISO: .302/.095

Home GB%: 45.4%
Road GB%: 46.5%

Home LD%: 21.8%
Road LD%: 20.0%

Home HR/FB: 10.7%
Road HR/FB: 12.9%

Normal in-play BA/ISO, the way I calculate it (excluding bunts and pitcher hitting) is around .300/.075
Normal GB% is around 47-48%; Haren is a mild flyballer
Normal LD% is in the low-20% range
Normal HR/FB rate is around 10%



Now, after light consideration, I too will throw out an arbitrary projection based on this mess of numbers that I will overanalyze.

Haren will put up a 0.4129 ERA and have a winning percentage of around forty-sixty.
   43. shoewizard Posted: December 16, 2007 at 04:23 PM (#2647253)
I have a lot of respect for Mike. I don't agree with him here, (how could I?). But that doesn't mean I dismiss his thought process or conclusions out of hand. He's basically just saying, in a roundabout way, that Haren is homer prone and people are underestimating the differences between the two ballparks. I agree on both points, and have labored to inform the "average Diamondback fan" of the same things, I just feel he is overstating the effects. If you talk to the D Back fan in the street, they think we got somebody who is going to post a sub 3 ERA now that he's in the NL, and will be in lock step with Webb for Cy Young Contention all year. Me telling them ...no....Haren is more likely to be somewhere around 4, and be solidly above average, but not a true Cy Young contender ....well,....they don't take it so well. My reasoning is based on more or less the same things Mike is talking about. I just don't agree on the SIZE of the effect.
   44. Justin Upton's #1 Fan (SPB) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 01:36 AM (#2647518)
Shoe - I, also, have been saying essentially the same thing in my limited circle of Dback fans. But I confess I lost a little confidence in my own personal outlook for Haren after reading Mike's comments. Even if I agree with the direction of Mike's adjustments for Haren, I do not take lightly disagreeing with the magnitude of those adjustments.

Nonetheless, given the current assumption for the 2008 AZ roster, I would take the UNDER on a 4.16 ERA (midway between Dan's and Mike's projections) and the OVER on a .520 (midway) winning percentage.
   45. Justin Upton's #1 Fan (SPB) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 01:38 AM (#2647521)
that should read "I do not take lightly disagreeing with Mike on the magnitude of those adjustments."
   46. bibigon Posted: December 17, 2007 at 02:38 AM (#2647539)
I'll project a 3.92 ERA, and a winning percentage of of .560 for Haren this year.
   47. Kant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 04:35 AM (#2647628)
My prediction: 3.25-3.50 ERA; 210 innings.

2007 may have been a career year for Haren, but I still think his ability is right around 3.25-3.50 ERA going forward. He's moving from a great pitcher's park to a great hitter's park, but I think that's offset by four factors:

(1) Weaker NL lineups and no DH.

(2) Haren's entering the prime seasons of his career.

(3) Outstanding AZ outfield defense. Brynes is possibly the best defensive LF in baseball; Young is already a good CF and likely to get better; and Upton is inexperienced in RF, but has speed and an arm.

(4) Pitcher's parks in the NL West (LA, SD, SF).
   48. Kyle S Posted: December 17, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2647846)
I agree with bibigon. I like to go out on a limb.

---

Mike, I understand where you're coming from, but I think you over-react. Look at Javy Vazquez's year in Arizona, which as has been pointed out is very similar to the year you project Haren to have. Vazquez gave up a ton of homers, had horrible luck on balls in play, played in front of a terrible defense, and gave up very few unearned runs... and STILL had an ERA of just 4.42, with K/BB numbers right around where Haren should be. So while I think Haren could easily have a season like you describe, I don't think it's the median expectation. Do you disagree? If not, why would you project an "unlucky" season? If so, with which part(s) of my analysis?
   49. shoewizard Posted: December 21, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2651543)
I was looking at the strength of competition report at baseball prospectus:

Haren .274/.341/.425 .766 OPS
AL Average .271/.341/.423 .763 OPS

For Comparison, the guy who he's replacing in the rotation, Livan Hernandez

.263/.338/.412 .748 OPS

NL Average .266/.334/.423 .757 OPS
   50. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 21, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2651627)
Look at Javy Vazquez's year in Arizona, which as has been pointed out is very similar to the year you project Haren to have.


I did.

Going into 2005, Vazquez had:

-- a better K rate for his career than Haren has now, by 3/4 of a K per game (Haren's best year, last year, was about equal to Vazquez's career rate entering 2005).
-- about the same rate of hits allowed.
-- a lower rate of HR/FB allowed (Vazquez was more of a FB pitcher than Haren).

Vazquez did NOT have horrible luck on BIP in 2005; the in-play BA against him was .300, which given his increased GB rate represents a more or less normal fluctuation.

Haren allows more balls in play than Vazquez, AND a higher percentage of the ones in the air leave the park, even in a relatively friendly park like Oakland's. His in-play BAs have been relatively low (.288 for his years in Oakland; during Vazquez's last three years in Expoland, FWIW, his in-play BA was virtually identical to Haren's). Haren's peripherals of a year ago suggested an ERA of around 3.60, not the 3.07 he actually posted, which is more consistent with his previous two years in which he posted ERAs of 3.73 and 4.12 (with peripherals that supported ERAs in that range) - so he's probably not as good as 2007 would have you believe. HR hitters, IMO, are a little more prevalent in the NL (adjusted for pitching, the average NL team had about 1 more HR per lineup slot than the AL), even though overall hitting is weaker; that plays right into Haren's biggest weakness, his high rate of allowing HR when the ball is hit into the air.

I can easily see Haren allowing 35-40 HRs in Arizona, and that alone will likely push his ERA into the 4.30-4.50 range, even if nothing else changes. If he also allows more non-HR hits - something that I also see as having a good chance of happening - that, too, will bump the ERA upward.

Haren's not as good as Javy Vazquez was when he was in Montreal; he doesn't miss as many bats and he allows the ball to be hit harder, on balance. For those reasons, I think that Vazquez's 2005 season represents the BEST that can be expected of Haren, not the median.

-- MWE
   51. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2651634)
> I can easily see Haren allowing 35-40 HRs in Arizona

It's a game of adjustments. I think Haren can adjust his style to avoid that, throw the slider more.
   52. 1k5v3L Posted: December 22, 2007 at 05:40 AM (#2652074)
I think that Vazquez's 2005 season represents the BEST that can be expected of Haren, not the median.


Well, just shoot me then.
   53. 1k5v3L Posted: December 22, 2007 at 05:53 AM (#2652075)
Not sure if the following David Pinto article was posted here (was away for a week), but I found it interesting.

Haren trade gives D-backs the bigs' best 1-2 punch

Webb and Haren, as you see, blow away the competition. I will offer one caveat, however. Haren's projection of 79 earned runs allowed is based on his career in Oakland, a good park for pitchers (park factor 0.93). He is moving to a park that favors hitters (Chase Field's park factor is 1.11). Adjusting his earned-runs-allowed projection for this brings the projection up to 97 runs (79*[1.11/0.93]).

That would reduce the Webb-Haren combo to 54.6 earned runs prevented, still best in the majors.


Not sure about a Webb-Vazquez combo though...
   54. qudjy1 Posted: December 29, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2656433)
Not a big fan of the Javier Vazquez comparison - comparing one pitcher who was in his prime years - to another entering them.

Also, mentioning the difference between Haren's Home/Road splits is fine, but I think AZ would take those 07 road splits (ERA 3.34, 735 OPS) at chase - and take thier chances with him going on the road to Petco / LA / SF to improve his numbers. He did compile those pretty good road numbers by going to Jacobs / Arlington / DET / NYY / Etc with a DH.
   55. qudjy1 Posted: December 29, 2007 at 11:37 PM (#2656549)
Then again, JV has been 2 different pitchers from when he was with MON, and his time with NYY and AZ. He was pretty messed up (head and mechanics) with NYY and AZ - so who knows. IF you are comparing Haren with Montreal Javy - than that doesnt sound that bad to me. I know it isnt that black and white..
   56. 1k5v3L Posted: January 05, 2008 at 10:35 PM (#2661203)
John Sickels has the post-trades Dbacks top 20 prospect list

Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 Prospects for 2008

Top 5 are B+ or B, the rest are B- or below

1 Jarrod Parker, RHP, Grade B+
2 Max Scherzer, RHP, Grade B+
3 Gerardo Parra, OF, Grade B
4 Billy Buckner, RHP, Grade B
5 Wes Roemer, RHP, Grade B

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