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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Royals - Acquired Crisp

Kansas City Royals - Acquired CF Coco Crisp from the Boston for P Ramon Ramirez

While I appreciate the fact that Dayton Moore is willing to trade reliever at the height of their value, but this is kind of puzzling.

The Royals, a team that has a lot of needs, has had this organizational obsession with making one of their best players, David DeJesus, much less valuable to the team.  While Moore has done a reasonable job on a pure value-for-value standpoint, he’s yet to do another important task of GMs.  Put most simply, a GM should be able to identify organizational strengths and utilize those strengths as much as possible.  The Royals have not been a team overflowing with organizational strengths in recent years, but one of them has been DeJesus.  As a centerfielder, he’s one of the better defensive centerfielders in the league and hits enough that he’s a borderline star as a centerfielder.  Moving him to left dilutes his strengths.  DeJesus isn’t a valueless player in left, but as a leftfielder, the value his glove can bring to the team is diminished and his offense becomes merely adequate.  Simply put, DeJesus is not an organizational strength as a leftfielder.

Offensively speaking, Crisp isn’t really a starter if he isn’t playing in centerfield.  Should Coco Crisp be in centerfield?

Let’s play ‘One of These Things is Not Like the Others.’  Crisp has played in centerfield in at least 50 games in every season in the majors but two.  Here are how his zone ratings in center would rank him among qualifiers (he didn’t qualify all years). 

Year     ZR       Rank
2008   .826     19th out of 19
2007   .911     3rd out of 18
2006   .837     21st out of 21
2004   .865     15th out of 22
2003   .865     14th out of 21

You don’t need Elmo to find out which just does not belong.

The Royals lose this trade unless they get something substantial in trade for Teahen or DeJesus.  Crisp simply downgrades the team wherever he plays full-time, so the Royals need something worth Ramirez, the opportunity cost of Teahen or DeJesus, and compensation for the significant downgrade of actually playing Crisp.

Thumbs down for Royals.

The Red Sox, unlike the Royals, have a strong organization with no gaping weaknesses staring them in the face.  So they had the luxury of picking and choosing whatever the best value they could get for Crisp, nearly regardless of position.  Crisp probably didn’t have a lot of trade value and even if it’s more efficient to grow your own bullpen, a serious contender with money to invest can choose to be a little less efficient in order to be a little more risk averse.  Ramirez, if he repeats his 2008, will give the Red Sox a ridiculously good 6th-best reliever.

ZiPS Projection - Coco Crisp (CF)
—————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+
—————————————————————————————————————-
2009       434 63 116 22   3   7   49 39   68 20 .267 .327 .380   85
—————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Brian McRae (I swear!), Randy Winn

Oddsinator (Based on 471 PA)

Offense %
STAR   9
AVG   48
REP LV 92

OPS+  %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
>160   0     >.400   0     >10   0     >200   0
>140   0     >.375   2     >5     20     >150   0
>120   1     >.350   20
>100   21     >.325   57     2B     %
>80   71     >.300   88     >45   0
>60   98               >30   9

BA     %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
>.350   0     >.550   0     >50   0     >70   0
>.325   0     >.500   0     >40   0     >50   0
>.300   8     >.450   5     >30   0     >30   13
>.275   36     >.400   40     >20   0     >10   90
>.250   76     >.350   85     >10   29

 

ZiPS Projection - Ramon Ramirez
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
2009     4   3 66   0   65   62   29   5 29 56 4.02   116
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Jay Powell, Turk Farrell

Oddsinator (Based on Projected Batters Faced)

ERA   %
Top 1/3 30
Mid 1/3 42
Bot 1/3 28

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   16

<11 0
>

140   23

<14 0
>

130   32

<18 6
>

120   44

<22 18
>

110   57

<25 31
>

100   70

<29 48
>

90   83
>80   92     HR     %
>70   98     <4 28
<7 73
K % <11 93
>65   26     <14 100
>58   43
>51   68
>43   94

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 19, 2008 at 05:49 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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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. Willie Mayspedester Posted: November 19, 2008 at 06:54 PM (#3012434)
If Crisp has a 90% chance of getting more than 10 steals why is his mean 5?
   2. HOLLA(R) Posted: November 19, 2008 at 06:57 PM (#3012441)
Considering the Royals need power and OBP, I'm mystified. Maybe Dayton was lying when he gave the OBP interview to try drive down the trade value of the hackers on the trading block.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 19, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#3012442)
Meh, Zone Rating, Schmone Ratings. Don't other defensive metrics have him as pretty good other than last year?

Not that it makes me like this trade. But I do think this represents a significant upgrade defensively....and a slight decrease offensively. Not worth it IMO.
   4. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 19, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#3012443)
If Crisp has a 90% chance of getting more than 10 steals why is his mean 5?

Because I put his CS instead of his SB.
   5. a wider scope of derision Posted: November 19, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#3012444)
As a centerfielder, he's one of the better defensive centerfielders in the league and hits enough that he's a borderline star as a centerfielder.


I'm not sure the first part of that statement is true.
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 19, 2008 at 07:05 PM (#3012455)
I'm not sure the first part of that statement is true.

Smith's combined STATS and BIS ZR have him a bit above average and he's well above-average in THT's RZR (right behind Gomez and Melky) Smith has him projected as 3 runs above average for 2009 and I have him at 5.
   7. David Cameron Posted: November 19, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#3012484)
Yes, moving DeJesus to left will diminish the amount of balls he gets a chance to track down, but it's not that big of a deal. if you've got him projected at +5 as a CF, then you should have him projected for something like +14 as an LF. The difference in defensive performance relative to the average at LF is almost as large as the difference in offensive performance.

Moving DeJesus to left maybe knocks a couple of runs off his value, but there's no way he goes from borderline all-star to "not an organizational strength". DeJesus is a very good player whether he's in left or center. Which spot he plays doesn't really matter all that much.
   8. Valentine Posted: November 19, 2008 at 07:34 PM (#3012489)
I'm not sure the first part of that statement is true.

According to Zone Rating, all of the Red Sox outfielders are below average. Several of the lines are worse than any of the qualifying regulars.

According to Revised Zone Rating, all of the Red Sox outfielders (except Manny and Bay) are good to excellent. Not many out-of-zone plays, but there may be a logical explanation for that.

Take your pick. :) IMHO Crisp is above-average defensively in CF. Weak arm but good instincts and good range.
   9. zenbitz Posted: November 19, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3012565)
Anyone want to comment on how this might set the trade value of Randy Winn? (1 year/9M left on contract)
   10. Zach Posted: November 20, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#3012716)
I don't get to watch the Royals as often as I'd like, but DeJesus is noticeably slow. Moore has been trying to move him off center for a couple of years now.
   11. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: November 20, 2008 at 12:56 AM (#3012722)
The Royals, a team that has a lot of needs, has had this organizational obsession with making one of their best players, David DeJesus, much less valuable to the team. While Moore has done a reasonable job on a pure value-for-value standpoint, he's yet to do another important task of GMs. Put most simply, a GM should be able to identify organizational strengths and utilize those strengths as much as possible.

He's kinda Jim Bowdenish, in other words.
   12. Lassus Posted: November 20, 2008 at 01:15 AM (#3012731)
Dan - you kinda went loony on your first sentence, you may want to give that a quick edit.
   13. Darren Posted: November 20, 2008 at 02:20 AM (#3012759)
It's a good deal for Boston and a bad one for KC. One year of Coco at market rates (with an option for the 2nd) is not nearly as valuable as 5 years of RamRam at discounted rates. What's more, Coco was redundant and RamRam won't be.
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 20, 2008 at 02:25 AM (#3012760)
According to Zone Rating, all of the Red Sox outfielders are below average. Several of the lines are worse than any of the qualifying regulars.

According to Revised Zone Rating, all of the Red Sox outfielders (except Manny and Bay) are good to excellent. Not many out-of-zone plays, but there may be a logical explanation for that.


It's called the odd dimensions of Fenway Park, which force the outfielders to play in positions that are not conducive to racking up high zone ratings.

-- MWE
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 20, 2008 at 02:38 AM (#3012767)
If DeJesus is an average or better CF defensively, this trade makes no sense for the Royals.
If Crisp is a below-averge or worse CF defensively, this trade makes no sense for the Royals.
If both of those is true, this is a significant blunder.

I am confident in my guess that Moore's appraisal of their defensive attributes differs from Dan's. I am not confident Moore is right. To be fair, I'm not confident Dan is right either -- the vagaries of measuring defensive performance.

And I'll go out on a limb and say that Crisp must be better than Gathright so, at least in that sense, this must be a small step forward for the Royals. Unless he's awful defensively, I suspect he's better than Teahen too.

Is there really no money going to the Royals?
   16. Gaelan Posted: November 20, 2008 at 03:54 AM (#3012799)
if you've got him projected at +5 as a CF, then you should have him projected for something like +14 as an LF. The difference in defensive performance relative to the average at LF is almost as large as the difference in offensive performance.


I was going to make this exact point but in question form. This makes intuitive sense to me and if David says the numbers back it up then I believe it. In which case the problem isn't with use of organization resources, it is that Crisp might not be a good major league player. However if Crisp is good defensively and an average hitter it is hard to see how this is a bad trade for the Royals.
   17. Darren Posted: November 20, 2008 at 03:58 AM (#3012800)
I thought the rule of thumb was that it was 6 runs difference for each step down the ladder on defense, but the reduced chances in LF made that even lower.
   18. David Cameron Posted: November 20, 2008 at 07:59 PM (#3013207)
Of the guys who split time between CF and a corner spot, the mean is right around a 9-10 run difference in defensive performance.

Corner OFs are better hitters than CFs by about 12-14 runs.

The reduced chances are the reason for the slight difference, but all in all, it's only a couple of runs worth. It's just not a big deal.
   19. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: November 21, 2008 at 01:39 AM (#3013535)
Having watched Crisp in center for the Sox, he LOOKS like a good centerfielder. He gets good reads on the ball, he covers a good amount of ground, and he has a solid glove.

If he can ever rebound hitting wise to what he was when the Sox got him, he's a star CF. Otherwise, he's probably more average.
   20. Charles Kinbote Posted: November 23, 2008 at 11:58 AM (#3014496)
I'd much prefer to watch Jacoby flail and fail at the plate, and tell myself that he's a dumb kid finding his way, than to watch Coco flail and fail at the plate, and wonder whether I should hurl my drinking glass at the television.
   21. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: November 24, 2008 at 04:43 AM (#3014675)
The trade may be bad (or not), but it's hard to argue that Crisp won't being an upgrade over Teahen offensively, or that DDJ+Crisp won't be an upgrade over DDJ+Teahen in the outfield.
   22. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 24, 2008 at 05:31 AM (#3014679)
it's hard to argue that Crisp won't being an upgrade over Teahen offensively

Not that Teahen's been particularly good, but Crisp has been worse every year but last. I think it's pretty easy to argue that he won't be an upgrade offensively.
   23. Drexl Spivey Posted: November 24, 2008 at 05:34 AM (#3014680)
"it's hard to argue that Crisp won't being an upgrade over Teahen offensively."

So this is the type of insight that a baseball think factory produces...
   24.   Posted: November 24, 2008 at 07:14 AM (#3014696)
Obviously he meant "defensively." Come on guys.
   25. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: November 24, 2008 at 07:43 AM (#3014701)
They're close offensively too.

Of course I though Coco (who I hate) could have benefited from regular playing time, and I got to watch Teahen (who I love) play everyday.

I'd bet on CCC having a higher OBP, and his steals negating MT's HR/slugging advantage.


Again, I love Teahen, but just don;t see where this is going...
he's really streaky, but his hot stretches are now just league average and he can't carry a team with them.
he's not a .300 hitter.
his power isn't coming on
and even with his eyes he can't walk to enough to compensate for his other shortcomings without more power.
he's not on base enough to make the most of his great (and it is) baserunning skills.
he's more or less become a 1B/DH/corner guy, and despite his arm he had some bad stretches in right last year.

He reminds me of a hybrid of a dozen or so sabr-archetypes, the high-OBP/no power minor league guy, the near-average lefty corner guy, the sabr-darling who's sheen has worn off and now people are bitter about defending him...

I really hope his problems are somehow KC related, and that he turns it around somewhere.

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