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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nationals - Signed Marquis

Washington Nationals - Signed P Jason Marquis to a 2-year, $15 million contract.

I’m pretty gobsmacked.  If you told me a month ago, after Marquis won 16 games, was named an All-Star, and had numerous puff pieces about his legendary streak of playoff appearances, that Marquis would only sign for 2/15, I would have thought you were nuts.  But that’s what happened.

Marquis is the best kind of the inning-eater species.  With the exception of one season, Marquis is always pretty healthy and always a bit above-average and this is something the Nationals are desperate for.  Suddenly, the 2010 rotation has one less gaping hole and assuming some luck with Strasburg and a successful recovery from Zimmermann, the Nats suddenly have a pretty decent 2011 rotation.

The Nats still have a lot of work to do, but they might stop being in contention for one of the top draft picks in the near future.

ZiPS Projection - Jason Marquis
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
2010     11 12 30 30 184.2 195   89 16 65 87 4.34   101  
2011     11 12 29 29 178.1 190   88 15 66 89 4.44   97    


Dan Szymborski Posted: December 23, 2009 at 11:16 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 24, 2009 at 12:21 AM (#3421299)
It's surprising that no contending team was willing to match this. Makes you wonder what the Mets are up to ... well, other than spinning their wheels, twiddling their thumbs and casting come hither looks in Bengie Molina's direction.
   2. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 24, 2009 at 12:27 AM (#3421301)
Maybe the Mets after Garland?
   3. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 24, 2009 at 12:45 AM (#3421318)
I'm beginning to believe that d-bag who came on here claiming to have inside knowledge of Minaya's budget. The Mets are pathetic.
   4. Chris Needham Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3421381)
But Dan! They overpaid by $700,000 per marginal win! Damn stupid Nats. Why would they need a league average mediocrity?
   5. Esoteric Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3421398)
But Dan! They overpaid by $700,000 per marginal win! Damn stupid Nats. Why would they need a league average mediocrity?
As much as I appreciate the analysis of guys like Matthew Carruth and the Fangraphs guys, it's stuff like this that is their major blind spot. Stripping all the context from a signing to judge its value. Steve Biel had a great rebuttal on the Fangraphs post covering the Marquis contract.
   6. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 27, 2009 at 06:01 AM (#3422614)
I love the fangraphs site, but I am constantly staggered by how uninsightful their transaction analysis tends to be. It seems that they have a number of writers who are great at pointing out obvious statistical arithmetic ("His WAR was worth X, he signed for Y; Y > X, ergo WORST FA SIGNING EVER"), but who never bother to actually think about the concepts they are using, what their purpose and true utility might be, or how context could affect them.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: December 27, 2009 at 06:24 AM (#3422622)
fangraphs works on a linear option.... they consider an 80 win team, equivalent to a 90 win team in signing free's massively silly but they use a mathematical formula that doesn't seem to recognize the value relative to a teams placement in the standings..

a number like their is useful in a vacuum, but then you need to work around (and of course their war stat for pitchers is competly ####### useless)
   8. Good cripple hitter Posted: December 27, 2009 at 07:27 AM (#3422628)
fangraphs works on a linear option.... they consider an 80 win team, equivalent to a 90 win team in signing free agents

I don't read the editorial pieces on fangraphs, but I do read Cameron and Carruth's stuff on Mariners blogs, and I was under the impression that they hold the exact opposite position.

Let's say late career Roger Clemens was doing his typical midseason free agent routine. They'd claim (I believe) that it wouldn't make sense for a team like the Nats or Orioles to sign him. Even if he'd be worth the contract by performance, it wouldn't help the team out in terms of attendance / profit. But if there was a team that was around 85 wins talent-wise, they should overspend to sign him, because the value of each win over the 85th win (or thereabouts) is incredibly high. That's because making the playoffs generates a lot of revenue, both for that season and the next season. Similarly, a team that was a 95-100 win team shouldn't overspend to sign him, because they're already likely going to make the playoffs, and once there, it's a crapshoot, so having Clemens might not help them so much.

Again, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's the position of at least some of the fangraphs writers.
   9. McCoy Posted: December 27, 2009 at 11:46 AM (#3422643)
I think the fangraph dollar values are a bit useless since they put all players on the same payscale regardless of service time.

You can't say 4 year service time player X is worth Y on the current markeet because player X and similar players like him are not on the market. If they were on the market then there worth would be different.

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