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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tigers - Signed Rogers

Detroit Tigers - Signed P Kenny Rogers to a 2-year, $16 million contract.

Rogers is supposed to be the Gambler, not you, Dombrowski.  This is why, when you’re going after pitchers on the open market, you should be willing to get Ryan at 9 or Burnett at 10.  Because if you don’t, you might end up with Rogers at 8.  Rogers was good last year, except for his busted cameras in play average, but he always seems to be that type of pitcher whose effectiveness is always balanced on the edge of a knife.

It’s funny the way things turn out sometimes.  Kenny Rogers broke into the majors and spent 4 years as a middle reliever, not entering the rotation until 1993 at the age of turning 28.  Whoever thought that a bullpen guy for the Rangers would end up with 200 wins, handily beating all of Wilson Alvarez, Andy Benes, Kevin Tapani, Ben McDonald, Jim Abbott, Kevin Appier, Alex Fernandez, Charles Nagy, Steve Avery, Pat Hentgen, Jeff Fassero, and Darryl Kile?

I think Rogers will be a league-average innings eater for the Tigers and way overpaid at $8 million per.  There’s also a sizable chance that in one of those two years, Rogers will Go Leiter.  He’s not the type of pitcher to slowly decline - when he goes, it’s going to be quick, ugly, and if his history is any indicator, loud.

On a side note, will teams please stop making moves tonight?  It’s going to snow a lot tomorrow and I’d like to get some food here.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Kenny Rogers
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
12 11 32 32 200 214   98 18 61 97 4.41

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 09, 2005 at 12:26 AM | 24 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. Robert S. Posted: December 09, 2005 at 01:36 AM (#1768792)
"No, dig up, stupid."
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: December 09, 2005 at 01:43 AM (#1768810)
If Bud Selig is really worried about the less fortunate teams in baseball, he should make sure that the Tigers GM and Scott Boras are never in the same room, ever, unless they're tied up, gagged, and several naked women are pouring hot wax on their private parts. What Boras is doing to the Tigers is just ungody. Magglio, Rogers? As if the Tigers didn't have enough problems figuring out which broken down reliever to overpay. At least we can hope that some poor cameraman catches Rogers fellating Todd Jones in the showers... before he dies.
   3. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 09, 2005 at 02:37 AM (#1768884)
Levski, you are very weird.
   4. Alternative Baseball Thinker Posted: December 09, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1769023)
Hello this is my first post here.

This type of deal shows how far away Baseball has gone from the past couple years of controling spending. So much for the luxury tax working. And this is a pretty weak free agent class. Scott Eyre and Bobby Howry's contracts are the only ones that are worse so far. In general all of them are overpiced this year.
   5. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 09, 2005 at 04:00 AM (#1769025)
Actually, considering the market, if Rogers posted that line, he wouldn't be significantly overpaid. He'd be overpaid by $1 million each year.
   6. Bhaakon Posted: December 09, 2005 at 04:02 AM (#1769027)
On a side note, will teams please stop making moves tonight? It's going to snow a lot tomorrow and I'd like to get some food here.


No. And you forgot to report on the Giants signing Mark Sweeney.
   7. NBarnes Posted: December 09, 2005 at 05:50 AM (#1769150)
Vaux has a point. Starting pitching prices are getting high enough that the insane part of this contract is the length and the lack of incentives to keep the price down if Rogers implodes. If he puts that line up twice over 2006 and 2007, there are much worse ways the Tigers could have spent that money.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: December 09, 2005 at 06:45 AM (#1769205)
NBarnes hits on what's really wrong with this contract, and it's actually something the Tigers have paid attention to the last two seasons with Pudge and Ordonez.

I may not like the idea that a league-average innings-eater like Loaiza gets 3/$21, but if that's the market, that's the market. As NB says, if Rogers can post those sorts of lines in 06-07, then he's overpaid somewhere around $1 M (i.e. Byrd/Loaiza money). But obviously Rogers has a better chance of injury/collapse than those 2. I'm pretty sure I'd rather have Loaiza at 3/$24 and maybe Byrd at 2/$16 than Rogers at 2/$16. This is like the David Wells contract without the protection against collapse and I thought that was a bad deal. Bob Tewksbury wishes he was still pitching.

This makes that AJ Burnett signing look better (and it looked OK to begin with though I don't like 5 years). If this is what $7-8 M buys you these days, then Burnett is already worth $11 and in a couple years he may well be a bargain. Or in a couple years, he'll be on the shelf again.

And yes, while I also don't like the length here, the BJ Ryan contract looks a lot better now too.
   9. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 09, 2005 at 07:00 AM (#1769221)
On a side note, will teams please stop making moves tonight? It's going to snow a lot tomorrow and I'd like to get some food here.

Apparently the Dodgers have signed Bill Mueller.
   10. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 09, 2005 at 07:07 AM (#1769231)
Apparently the Dodgers have signed Bill Mueller.

Any word on the terms?

Solid signing assuming it wasn't for more than two years.
   11. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: December 09, 2005 at 07:16 AM (#1769237)
8-10? Do we have any money left for a starter?

My post from the Todd Jones signing. I shouldn't have underestimated my Tigers.
   12. chemdoc Posted: December 09, 2005 at 03:25 PM (#1769504)
Bold prediction du jour:

If Kenny Rogers is a .500 pitcher next season, the Tigers will be a .500 team.
   13. Buddha Posted: December 09, 2005 at 06:37 PM (#1769894)
As long as the deal is only for two years, it's not that bad.

You can ##### about him being "overpaid" but that's what the market is. If I'm the Tigers, I'd rather have Rogers for two years than have signed Burnett for five years. If Rogers breaks down, he'll be out of there soon. If (when) Burnett breaks down, you'll be paying for it for a long, long time.
   14. Sir Loin- My dad owns a dealership Posted: December 09, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1770294)
It just seems like a lot of money for a 41-year old anger management case. If that's what he costs, so be it.
I actually like his passion for the game, maybe he'll light a fire under some behinds in the clubhouse (yeah, Pudge, I'm talkin' to you) and help the good players play up to their ability.
   15. peter21 Posted: December 10, 2005 at 04:26 AM (#1770891)
If Kenny Rogers is a .500 pitcher next season, the Tigers will be a .500 team.

The Tigers might be improved in 2006, but, unfortunately for them, the rest of the AL (nearly every single team, literally) has also improved for 2006.

The Tigers would have to win 81 times to be a .500 team, and I just don't see it---the AL has too many good teams.

I would argue that Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Oakland, and Anaheim would all make the playoffs without a doubt if they were in the NL. Furthermore, Minnesota, Texas, and Toronto would all have an excellent chance in the AL. All of those teams are better than Detroit, without a doubt. The problem for the Tigers is that Baltimore, TB, and Seattle have also improved this year. Tigers look to be in the 70-75 win range, despite the "improvements" they made (even if Kenny Rogers manages to hit his projection).
   16. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: December 10, 2005 at 04:30 AM (#1770895)
I actually like his passion for the game, maybe he'll light a fire under some behinds in the clubhouse (yeah, Pudge, I'm talkin' to you)

I was under the impression that Rodriguez needed a needle in his behind more than a fire under it.
   17. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 10, 2005 at 10:02 AM (#1771060)
This type of deal shows how far away Baseball has gone from the past couple years of controling spending. So much for the luxury tax working.

Since when have the Tigers paid luxury tax?
   18. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 10, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1771157)
He's not the type of pitcher to slowly decline

I'm not snarking here, I promise. But is there more to this? Is it generally accepted that a certain type of pitcher declines more precipitously? If so, which type?
   19. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 10, 2005 at 04:27 PM (#1771158)
By the way, welcome to the club, Alternative. Hope to see you around.
   20. DCW3 Posted: December 11, 2005 at 06:10 AM (#1771983)
Whoever thought that a bullpen guy for the Rangers would end up with 200 wins, handily beating all of Wilson Alvarez, Andy Benes, Kevin Tapani, Ben McDonald, Jim Abbott, Kevin Appier, Alex Fernandez, Charles Nagy, Steve Avery, Pat Hentgen, Jeff Fassero, and Darryl Kile?

Well, Kile might've made it if not for that career-ending injury.
   21. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: December 11, 2005 at 01:30 PM (#1772193)
#1 made me laugh....really hard.

Best Regards

John
   22. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: December 11, 2005 at 01:34 PM (#1772195)
Well, Kile might've made it if not for that career-ending injury.


I wouldn't consider Kile's injury to be career-ending. I've seen team's sign worse stiffs than this.

Time to pack the asbestos undies and marshmallows for my one-way trip to hell.

Yo Backlasher, be sure to drop over when you lay down for your dirt nap and we'll talk about old time over some Miller-Lite (well, it is hell after all) and wallow in the misery than neither one of us got Mahnken.

Best Regards

John
   23. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2005 at 06:50 AM (#1773184)
I'm not snarking here, I promise. But is there more to this? Is it generally accepted that a certain type of pitcher declines more precipitously? If so, which type?

Well, 41 year old pitchers, even those with good late-career track records, do tend to decline precipitously when they decline -- in terms of reliability or performance. I looked at this in some, though certainly not exhaustive, detail when Wells signed his contract last year and came to the conclusion that the most likely outcome was they'd get about 1 season's worth of Wells out of the two years. Wells is Rogers' #2 comp through age 40.

Rogers also saw a healthy, though probably not statistically significant, drop in his K-rate last year, to below 4.5/9. It may not signal anything, but it's certainly not comforting.

Of his top comps through age 40, only two have a sim score over 900 so the comparison is even dicier than usual. And worse, most were either already done at age 40 or had been mostly relievers for some time. Of the decent comps (his top 3 as it turns out), one turned out well, one turned out OK, and one was a disaster:

Moyer pitched 400 innings ages 41-42 with one awful and one league-average year.
Wells threw 380 above-average innings.
Hershiser threw 25 innings of awful baseball (after 380 IP of about 95 ERA+ at 39-40)

But I don't think that's what the poster was referring to. As to the "type" of pitcher, Bill James did a study (and others have replicated) showing that high-K pitchers lasted longer. Of course whether such a finding still holds at age 40 is, as far as I know, untested. It makes sense that a low-K, ball-in-play pitcher is already pitching on the edge so even a small erosion in ability could be disastrous. If a power pitcher starts to decline, he might learn to become a "pitcher." Rogers is not gonna start blowing people away.

So yeah, it's an open question to some extent. But any 41 year old pitcher, except a knuckleballer, is in serious danger of precipitous decline.
   24. chemdoc Posted: December 12, 2005 at 07:12 PM (#1773754)
The Tigers might be improved in 2006, but, unfortunately for them, the rest of the AL (nearly every single team, literally) has also improved for 2006.

The Tigers would have to win 81 times to be a .500 team, and I just don't see it---the AL has too many good teams.


What I'm saying (perhaps unclearly) is that Rogers won't be a .500 pitcher unless the Tigers are a .500 team. Whether they have improved enough relative to the rest of he league to make that likely I haven't yet decided. But I don't think Rogers will be good enough next year to put up a good W-L record for a team that doesn't have one.

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