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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Red Sox - Signed Scutaro

Boston Red Sox - Signed SS Marco Scutaro to a 2-year, $12.5 million contract.

This contract breaks down as a million-dollar signing bonus, $5 million in each of the next two years, and a $6 million/$3 million mutual option for 2012 with a $1.5 million buyout.

Once the Red Sox could get Scutaro to agree to only a two-year commitment coming off the best season of his career, there was no question about pulling the trigger.  Unlike teams like the Royals that should consider risk their friend, Boston is and should be risk-averse where possible.  Given Lowrie’s wrist problems and no suitable replacement at SS within the system, the team will be happy if Scutaro plays like he did for 2006-2008.  The contract’s not so big that the Red Sox will be in a corner if Lowrie’s completely healthy and playing well - they’ll still find enough at-bats for everybody.

On a personal note, it was nice to see Scutaro finally have a pretty big season.  About a decade ago, when usenet was still relevant, Scutaro was a fairly decent cause célèbre and a lot of statheads, me included, had been a little disappointed that Scutaro wasn’t regularly a 350/400 player like his minor league stats had suggested.

ZiPS really thinks Fenway will be an excellent park for Scutaro.

ZiPS Projection - Marco Scutaro (SS)
————————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+  DR
————————————————————————————————————————-
2010       462 71 137 29   2   8   50 59 61   8 .297 .376 .420 105   0
2011       464 70 135 28   2   8   49 61 64   7 .291 .373 .412 102   -1  
————————————————————————————————————————-
Top Offensive Comps: Billy Jurges, Dick Bartell, Dave Bancroft

ODDIBE

Offense
Top Quintile   35%
2nd Quintile   31%
Mid Quintile   25%
4th Quintile   8%
Low Quintile   2%

OPS+              OBP           3B         Hits
160+        0%    .400+    20%    10+    0%    200+  0%
140+        1%    .375+    48%    5+    7%    150+  20%
130+        5%    .350+    82%
120+        16%  .325+    97%    2B
110+        32%  .300+    100%  45+    4%
100+        57%                30+    50%
90+          82%
80+          95%
60+          99%

BA               SLG           HR         SB
.350+        1%    .550+    1%    50+    0%    70+    0%
.325+        12%  .500+    7%    40+    0%    50+    0%
.300+        43%  .450+    22%    30+    0%    30+    0%
.275+        78%  .400+    65%    20+    2%    10+    34%
.250+        96%  .350+    96%    10+    28%

(Based on Projected PA)

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 06, 2009 at 01:38 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. tfbg9 Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:13 AM (#3404597)
I'd gladly take those rate stats.
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:18 AM (#3404603)
Love that projection, but count me a little skeptical.

Dan, what was your take on the possibility of shifting Pedroia to short?
   3. alskor Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3404613)
Hmm... seems like a pretty optimistic reading of Scutaro's contact skills, at least compared to the other projections Ive seen.

Bill James: .264 AVG
CHONE: .262 AVG


I certainly bought into his increased contact skills (finally showing up, that is). If he ends up closer to your mark this is gonna be a steal. I love the possibility of switching him to a super utility role down the line, too. Its difficult to call this a great deal for the Sox because he's a pretty mediocre player - certainly not an impact guy... yet, I still want to say this was a steal. They got the best available SS and at a bargain. Sadly, the best available SS this year wasn't all that great, but its still a nice get, and doubly so considering the team needs and situation.

He's a pesky table setter type who sees a lot of pitchs, fouls off pitches and gets on base. He's good at the little things in an Omar Vizquel sort of way and he's at least an average defender - and there's plenty of reason to think he can be better than that. Its a nice signing. Reminds me of the article from the Bill James Historical Abstract where he speculates that teams would eventually go back to getting table setters who take walks and drop in hits behind the infielders instead of looking for power up and down the lineup. With two smart front offices going that direction I can't help but wonder if its a new mini-market inefficiency. Figgins to Seattle being the other one, though obviously he's a very good player.
   4. tfbg9 Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:41 AM (#3404622)
Hmm... seems like a pretty optimistic reading of Scutaro's contact skills, at least compared to the other projections Ive seen.


Could the .297/.263 BA difference in the projections mainly be the manner in which Fenway tends to boost BABIP?
I assume only Dan's ZIP on Marco among these 3 projections in question has him in Fenway for half his PA's.
   5. Darren Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:15 AM (#3404639)
Playing the part of Dan Symborzski in tonight's performance will be Eric M. Van. ;)
   6. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:50 AM (#3404651)
Is Lowrie toast, or is there any hope for him?
   7. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:24 AM (#3404670)
Wait, they did WHAT? Why haven't I heard anything about this?
   8. NBarnes Posted: December 06, 2009 at 11:12 AM (#3404791)
I can't say I like this as much as I liked Pedroia->SS and Polanco at 2nd.
   9. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2009 at 01:41 PM (#3404797)
I can't say I like this as much as I liked Pedroia->SS and Polanco at 2nd.

Why? That seems like a wash at best. There's not much daylight between Polanco and Scutaro offensively (might be slightly in Scoot's favor if he sustains even part of last year's improvements), nor between Pedroia and Polanco defensively at 2B.

For signing Polanco instead to be a better move, you'd have to bank on Pedroia being, at minimum, an above-average defender at SS. I don't think that's a safe assumption given Pedroia's lack of a plus arm.
   10. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3404857)
Is Lowrie toast, or is there any hope for him?

Tough to say. Lowrie's been severely injured in about 3/4 of his major league PA so far; it's impossible to make any type of judgment on him because he's never been remotely healthy. He also has displayed the incredibly annoying habit of attempting to play through the wrist injuries, which provided both terrible offense and worsened the injury until he was finally shut down.

I assume the Sox will send him to Pawtucket to start 2010 and let him prove he's healthy there first. I wouldn't write him off, but at this point I'd count on him for exactly nothing.
   11. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:55 PM (#3404864)
I assume the Sox will send him to Pawtucket to start 2010 and let him prove he's healthy there first. I wouldn't write him off, but at this point I'd count on him for exactly nothing.

Totally agree with you - I think Lowrie could have a ten year career as a .270/.350/.430 infielder, or never play effectively in the Majors again, and neither would surprise me. However, I also would not count on him for anything to start 2010, and I'd have him in the minors as well.
   12. Darren Posted: December 06, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3404872)
Health seems to be the big question for Jed. He was good in the minors and then in the Majors then got hurt and has yet to recover. I hope he stays in the Majors and acts as a supersub.
   13. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 06, 2009 at 06:30 PM (#3404903)
I hope he stays in the Majors and acts as a supersub.


I hope for more than that. God. The hype was loud enough. Sickels ####### promised us a .300 hitter. :)
   14. AROM Posted: December 07, 2009 at 03:51 PM (#3405441)
I assume only Dan's ZIP on Marco among these 3 projections in question has him in Fenway for half his PA's.


Nope, CHONE is projecting a .262 average in Fenway. And with his walks and plus defense that still is the ****** steal of the offseason. .297 seems way too optimistic for a 34 year old career .265 hitter who just hit .282 in a career year.
   15. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:22 PM (#3405470)
So, how does ZiPS get to .297?

ZiPS has Toronto and Oakland as the two worst BA parks in the AL for 2006-2009. It sees Scutaro's park and league neutral BA for the last 4 years as .284 (and 2009's performance as 295/389/422). After regression of stats and small regression for $H (ZiPS has Scutaro's 4-year neutral $H as .312, so not a lot of projected decay there).

ZiPS estimates Scutaro's most likely "true" decline from his baseline as as 1% in singles/BIP rate, 3% for doubles, 3% for triples, 5% in homers, with walks about the same and a 2% increase in K rate.

Fenway is one of the best parks for doubles and ZiPS projects Fenway as giving Scutaro 5 doubles and 4 singles, moving Scutaro from what ZiPS sees as a one-year decline in baseline ability from .284 to .277 to a change of .284 to .297.

One would expect Scutaro to get a bigger-than-average boost from the change in parks. If you retool the park factors for Toronto, Oakland, and Boston for the apparent park factor on a player with Scutaro's distribution of ability, Toronto and Oakland have two of the absolute best pitcher's parks while Fenway becomes a very strong hitter's park.

Simply put, the difference between going from Toronto to Boston is a far greater change for a player like Scutaro than it would be for Adam Dunn.
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3405508)
Bill Mueller Part II?
   17. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 07, 2009 at 06:36 PM (#3405702)
One can only dream.
   18. Russ Posted: December 07, 2009 at 06:46 PM (#3405720)
He also has displayed the incredibly annoying habit of attempting to play through the wrist injuries, which provided both terrible offense and worsened the injury until he was finally shut down.


Ahhh, the Jason Kendall approach to f**king up your career. Good luck, Red Sox fans.
   19. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 07, 2009 at 08:03 PM (#3405841)
Toronto and Oakland have two of the absolute best pitcher's parks while Fenway becomes a very strong hitter's park.


It would be interesting to see if there is any effect of excess foul ground area depressing player salaries since it probably depresses offense. If so, the dumbest thing the Henry group could have done is add those luxury boxes to the field level, thus further reducing the foul territory. They're collecting a lot of money for those seats over the course of the season, but I wonder if they end up paying for it in increased offense for their players.
   20. alskor Posted: December 08, 2009 at 05:00 AM (#3406253)
Thanks for the response, Dan.

Damn. Deep down, I was hoping it was some good reason like that... that Theo/the FO saw something like that in Scutaro. I certainly felt Fenway would help him quite a bit (just looking at spray charts and eyeballing park factors/reputation). This explanation makes a lot of sense and is very exciting to me.
   21. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3406514)
This explanation makes a lot of sense and is very exciting to me.

Of course, after the detailed explanation of why ZiPS projects what it does, Scutaro will hit .240 and be sent to Houston in August.

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