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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yankees - Acquired Swisher

New York Yankees - Acquired OF Nick Swisher and P Kanekoa Texeira from the Chicago White Sox for P Jeff Marquez, IF Wilson Betemit and P Jhonny Nunez.

Given how far Swisher’s stock has fallen, he must be holding a lot of toxic mortgage-backed securities.

While it’s tempting to bash Kenny Williams for getting so little for Swisher, that’s more Swisher’s fault than KW’s.  Yes, he hit with his usual power and walks, but you have to be a secondary monster to be valuable hitting .219.  “Sure, he hit .219, but he’s less awful than most guys that hit .219!” won’t convince anyone to part with much value.  Maybe Ed Wade if Swisher announced he wanted to move to the bullpen.

The main problem with the Yankees taking a flyer on Swisher, which might be a good idea for a lot of teams, is that the Yankees could use help in center if they’ve soured on Melky and Swisher probably shouldn’t be in center.  Sure, it would remind Yankee fans of Bernie Williams Comedy Central-Field Yukathon, but that shouldn’t be the goal.

It’s not much of a haul.  Marquez is still young enough to have a career, but he was bad enough for Scranton that one has to hope that he’s still injured.  Betemit’s glove only plays at the corners at this point and he’s not a good enough hitter to start at either.  Nunez is more interesting since being converted to relief, but he’s still a ways away and a relief prospects.  I hope he doesn’t make it to the majors because I don’t think it’s a good idea to reward people for naming their kids “Jhonny.”  Then again, there are actually more Americans named Bong, Fish, or Hack than Jhonny, so maybe it’s not too bad.

2009 ZiPS Projection - Nickforth Swisher (CF)
—————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+
—————————————————————————————————————-
2009       498 85 126 26   1 24   86 83 137   1 .253 .366 .454 115
—————————————————————————————————————-
Offense %
STAR   33
AVG   65
REP LV 95

OPS+  %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
>160   2     >.400   15     >10   0     >200   0
>140   8     >.375   44     >5     4     >150   3
>120   36     >.350   74
>100   75     >.325   93     2B     %
>80   93     >.300   99     >45   2
>60   98               >30   32

BA     %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
>.350   0     >.550   5     >50   0     >70   0
>.325   0     >.500   14     >40   4     >50   0
>.300   2     >.450   46     >30   9     >30   0
>.275   15     >.400   77     >20   71     >10   4
>.250   50     >.350   91     >10   94
—————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Don Lock, Chili Davis

 

2009 ZiPS Projection - Wilson Betemit (3B)
—————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+
—————————————————————————————————————-
2009       278 38 69 16   0 14   47 28   83   1 .248 .318 .457   99
—————————————————————————————————————-
Offense %
STAR   12
AVG   33
REP LV 82

OPS+  %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
>160   0     >.400   0     >10   0     >200   0
>140   2     >.375   3     >5     0     >150   14
>120   14     >.350   15
>100   44     >.325   41     2B     %
>80   78     >.300   71     >45   5
>60   96               >30   47

BA     %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
>.350   0     >.550   7     >50   0     >70   0
>.325   0     >.500   21     >40   10     >50   0
>.300   2     >.450   49     >30   36     >30   0
>.275   14     >.400   77     >20   75     >10   2
>.250   43     >.350   93     >10   96
—————————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  John Hattig, Greg Norton

 

2009 ZiPS Projection - Jeff Marquez
————————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
————————————————————————————————-
2009     6 13 21 21 114 143   80 21 47 43 6.32   73
————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Beltran Perez, Josh Rupe

ERA   %
Top 3rd 4
Mid 3rd 10
Bot 3rd 86

ERA+  %    BB/9   %
>150   0

<1.5 0
>

140   0

<2.0 3
>

130   1

<2.5 15
>

120   1

<3.0 29
>

110   3

<3.5 46
>

100   8

<4.0 68
>

90   17
>80   33     HR/9   %
>70   61     <0.5 0
<1.0 14
K/9 % <1.5 37
>9     0     <2.0 67
>8     0
>7     0
>6     0

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:57 AM | 174 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 01:04 PM (#3008937)
I'm sorry, but this is an outright fleecing. A 115 OPS+ is 2.1 batting wins above average per 162. Add on +5 defense in LF (according to Sean Smith) and you're at 2.6 wins above average per 162, and a further 0.9 for the gap between league average and a replacement LF and you're at 3.5 wins above replacement per 162. So in 148 games, that's 3.2 wins above replacement, or just about what you can expect from Manny Ramírez next year. And Swisher's nearly a decade younger. That's worth some $15M a year on the 2009 free agent market. Using an 8% discount rate, here are Swisher's market values and salaries, in millions of 2009 dollars:

Year  Mkt  Act
2009 15.4  5.3
2010 15.4  6.3
2011 15.4  7.7
2012 15.4  8.1
TOTL 61.4 27.4 


That's surplus value of $34 million 2009 dollars, which is worth one absolute superstar prospect (surplus value $20-$25M) and one very strong B+ guy (surplus value $10-$15M). Williams got...a bag of baseballs. This is a total, total ripoff.
   2. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: November 14, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#3008949)
Is a 115 OPS+ 2.1 batting wins above average for LFers? Because that sounds pretty marginal, first blush.
   3. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 14, 2008 at 02:58 PM (#3008989)
Sure, it would remind Yankee fans of Bernie Williams Comedy Central-Field Yukathon

Pat, lazy analysis.
   4. The Original SJ Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#3008998)
The fat toad delivers again.

Yanks get Irabu, trade him to the Expos for Westbrook and Ledee for Justice, who they traded to the Mets for Robin Ventura, who they traded to the Dodgers for Scott Proctor, who they traded back to the Dodgers for Wilson Betemit, who they traded to the White Sox for Nick Swisher.
   5. AROM Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#3008999)
Roy, Dan adds in the position adjustment here: "and a further 0.9 for the gap between league average and a replacement LF and you're at 3.5 wins above replacement per 162."

If he had adjusted the batting runs relative to LF, then he'd use 2.0 for the gap between average & replacement. It all works out the same.

On my blog I called Swisher a CF/1B, since the Yankees currently have questions at both positions and Swisher played them, but since Abreu is gone, Swisher fits perfectly in right field. He's a good defender as long as you don't overmatch him with CF. And in center, he's not as bad as some people think, he's no Bernie or Griffey.
   6. AROM Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#3009002)
Forgot about Nady. Not sure I'd want him starting anyway.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#3009004)
"Bong, Fish, or Hack"

That'd be an awesome game show.
   8. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3009018)
I'm sorry, but this is an outright fleecing. A 115 OPS+ is 2.1 batting wins above average per 162. Add on +5 defense in LF (according to Sean Smith) and you're at 2.6 wins above average per 162, and a further 0.9 for the gap between league average and a replacement LF and you're at 3.5 wins above replacement per 162. So in 148 games, that's 3.2 wins above replacement, or just about what you can expect from Manny Ramírez next year. And Swisher's nearly a decade younger. That's worth some $15M a year on the 2009 free agent market. Using an 8% discount rate, here are Swisher's market values and salaries, in millions of 2009 dollars:

You can't just assume that he'll bounce back, so that 115 OPS+ is far from a sure thing. That uncertainty has a huge impact on his trade value.
   9. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:33 PM (#3009023)
I hope he doesn't make it to the majors because I don't think it's a good idea to reward people for naming their kids "Jhonny." Then again, there are actually more Americans named Bong, Fish, or Hack than Jhonny, so maybe it's not too bad.


It's a Dominican thing. I spent a few days in Punta Cana DR this past summer and found a lot of the staff with the name Jhonny. Nunez is from the DR and Peralta is from the DR as well.
   10. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:56 PM (#3009040)
The 115 is taken right from the top of this page, dude.
   11. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:59 PM (#3009043)
You can't just assume that he'll bounce back, so that 115 OPS+ is far from a sure thing.


If he "bounces back" he'll be back to 125-127.
   12. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:00 PM (#3009045)
You can't just assume that he'll bounce back, so that 115 OPS+ is far from a sure thing. That uncertainty has a huge impact on his trade value.

It is true you can't assume he'll bounce back. But he'll be 28, and his two seasons prior to last year were 125 and 127. So he has upside also.

His BABIP was .249, 4th from the bottom at .244 (Konerko).

2007 BABIP was .301, 2006 was .283, 2005 was .265. You can expect at least a bump in BABIP, if he is just a little lucky it will be over .280. His walks and power last year appear to be inline with the previous two years.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#3009048)
Does Arnold Johnson still own the Kansas City A's? I don't get why teams help the Yankees out voluntarily.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#3009054)
It cost the Yankees nothing (nothing but money) to take a shot on someone who is, most likely, an above average player. Certainly a great trade for the Yankees.

The question comes in how this informs their future choices. Swisher's value is greatest at RF/LF/1B, and the Yankees have pretty ok players at the corners, and should be in the market for Teixeira at 1B. If this trade portends the Yankees not even really going after Teixeira, it marks a weakness in their offseason plans. It doesn't make the trade any less good, but it makes me less annoyed about the trade being good.
   15. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:16 PM (#3009066)
The 115 is taken right from the top of this page, dude.

Oh really, dude? Wow, I didn't realize that.

The point is that he had a 92 OPS+ this year, and there's a decent chance he won't be any better next year. I'm not saying he won't hit the projection (or completely rebound), and I agree that he's a good risk for the Yankees, but I don't think this is nearly the steal that you're making it out to be.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:21 PM (#3009072)
I don't see how it isn't a steal. The Yankees gave up nothing, and they received Nick Swisher.

There is a chance that Nick Swisher isn't a very good player, but in that case, they won't have given up anything for him. And he could be a solidly above average player at a reasonable contract, and he could turn into an all-star on a bargain contract.
   17. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:30 PM (#3009079)
There is a chance that Nick Swisher isn't a very good player, but in that case, they won't have given up anything for him.

They did take on Swisher's contract. It's not a lot of money and certainly shouldn't be a big deal for the Yankees, but Williams might have decided that he couldn't risk getting stuck with the contract if Swisher continues to suck.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:31 PM (#3009082)
I guess that's true, but the White Sox have a nine figure payroll of their own. A $10M pricetag in three years shouldn't make much difference for them. I could see it if it were the Royals dumping Swisher, but the White Sox and Yankees are rich.
   19. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#3009087)
Dudes, where do you think the Yankees might have Swisher in the lineup?

Wouldn't he be a lock for 90-100 runs hitting in front of Pay-Rod?
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#3009089)
I should be clear I take your point that Swisher is a case where a team should trust their scouts and weigh those observations heavily in their evaluation of Swisher. And if the White Sox have concluded he's got a low chance of bouncing back, their move makes some sense.

But this trade is basically a straight salary dump, and Swisher's salary is not something that should make much of a dent in the White Sox' plans.

I guess the logic is that while the White Sox could certainly get more for Swisher later in the offseason, once the best FAs are off the market, they don't want the uncertainty of trying to build a roster while planning to move a key part and not knowing exactly what they'd get in return. So the Yankees get a bargain for being willing to move now.
   21. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#3009090)
I ask because Swisher could be a bargain in fantasy drafts...of course, I thought the same thing in 2008.
   22. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#3009091)
Maybe Williams is preparing to make a big push for a FA, and was told that he couldn't raise payroll significantly. Sabathia maybe?
   23. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:37 PM (#3009095)
Yeaarrgghhhh--what do you think you know that ZiPS doesn't? Of course there is a decent chance he won't be any better in 2009 than he was in 2008--about 18%, according to ZiPS. There is also the same 18% chance that he puts up an oustanding 133 OPS+, making him a strong All-Star. The weighted average of those possibilities and all the rest is, of course, the 115 listed at the top of the page.

Give me the complete Yeaarrgghhhh projections for 2009, and if you can hold your own with PECOTA, ZiPS, and CHONE, then by all means, respek. Until then, I'll take my chances with Szymborski and friends.
   24. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:37 PM (#3009096)
But this trade is basically a straight salary dump, and Swisher's salary is not something that should make much of a dent in the White Sox' plans.

I also mentioned in the main thread that it's possible that Williams is in love with Betemit for some reason. Now, I don't think he's anything special, but given the recent performances of Quentin and Danks, you have to wonder if Williams sees something that the rest of us don't.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#3009101)
Yeaarrgghhhh--what do you think you know that ZiPS doesn't?
I think the issue is whether the White Sox know something we don't about a player they've watched more closely than anyone else in the world for the last year. Seems a reasonable thing to give credence too, even if it might be wrong.

And I really think that making arguments about aggregate projection performance is silly. In the aggregate, a very silly monkey projection does 97% of what you could expect in the aggregate. What's interesting are the particular cases where we can engage closely with a variety of data through a variety of methods.

Ecological fallacy and whatnot.
   26. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#3009102)
Yeaarrgghhhh--what do you think you know that ZiPS doesn't? Of course there is a decent chance he won't be any better in 2009 than he was in 2008--about 18%, according to ZiPS. There is also the same 18% chance that he puts up an oustanding 133 OPS+, making him a strong All-Star. The weighted average of those possibilities and all the rest is, of course, the 115 listed at the top of the page.

Give me the complete Yeaarrgghhhh projections for 2009, and if you can hold your own with PECOTA, ZiPS, and CHONE, then by all means, respek. Until then, I'll take my chances with Szymborski and friends.


There's no need to be snotty. Projections are very valuable, but no one -- certainly not Dan or Nate -- is going to claim that they're infallible. Swisher may very well match his projection or even rebound to a 125 OPS+, but we don't really know what happened to him this year, so there's also a decent chance that he's cooked. As MCA notes, Swisher is a case where scouting might be far more important in evaluating a player.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#3009103)
Sorry, misspoke. Stupid lack of edit function. Obviously real value is gained from measurements of and arguments about aggregate performance of projection systems.

Demanding that someone have a projection system capable of producing aggregated results in order to engage in the projection of a single player, that's silly.
   28. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 04:57 PM (#3009110)
No one ever suggested that projections were "infallible." Projections are nothing more than a means of aggregating all the information we have about a player, and using it to generate a range of forecasts, weighted by the likelihood of their taking place. My snottiness was not intended to suggest that Swisher will have precisely a 115 OPS+ next year--in fact, that particular outcome (as opposed to 114, or 116 etc.) is extremely *un*likely. It was aimed at your implication that your assessment of Swisher's downside risk--either the probability that he doesn't rebound, or the depths to which he is capable of sinking--is somehow more accurate than ZiPS's.

Needless to say, a guy who has a year as bad as Swisher's in the heart of his prime is a rare bird, and therefore by definition an extremely high-variance player, one who will have a wider range of forecasts than many others. But all of those possibilities are already baked into the final weighted-mean line, so I don't see any reason why you would emphasize the probability that he's cooked any more than the probability that he kicks ass.

And I don't see what scouting has to do with it--Chicago's scouts may be sending one message, but clearly, New York's scouts are sending another, so I don't see why we'd believe one group of professional subjective observers more than another.
   29. The Essex Snead Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#3009114)
I ask because Swisher could be a bargain in fantasy drafts...of course, I thought the same thing in 2008.

I inherited a team in a keeper league where Swisher was a 9th round pick, and I thought I had a super-duper steal. Yeah, that didn't work. But now, on the Yankees...
   30. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:07 PM (#3009119)
Yeaarrgghhhh--what do you think you know that ZiPS doesn't?
***
Give me the complete Yeaarrgghhhh projections for 2009, and if you can hold your own with PECOTA, ZiPS, and CHONE, then by all means, respek. Until then, I'll take my chances with Szymborski and friends.


See Dan, this is what I was talking about in that HOM thread.
   31. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:11 PM (#3009124)

I inherited a team in a keeper league where Swisher was a 9th round pick, and I thought I had a super-duper steal. Yeah, that didn't work. But now, on the Yankees...


I did pretty much the same thing - I thought I was sooooooo smart. I kept him around until August (AUGUST!) before I realized he wasn't coming back.
   32. Mister High Standards Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:17 PM (#3009132)
JPWF - please reference that thread, I'd like to look at it.
   33. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:19 PM (#3009134)
Oh, I'll completely cop to being confrontational here, although I would point out that the snark started with Yeaarrgghhhh's post #15. But I do think it is important to keep our discussions grounded in some sort of empirical basis--this is Baseball Think Factory, after all. If people are going to make assertions without anything to back them up--whether it's Yeaarrgghhhh suggesting that ZiPS is overrating Swisher, or sunnyday claiming that a bad defensive 2B in the deadball era hurt a team much less than one does today--I'm going to call them out and challenge them on it. If they can produce any hard evidence to support their claims, then the frontier of objective knowledge about baseball has been ever-so-slightly extended, to the benefit of all. If not, then at least we've stopped our forums from devolving into a Joe Morgan vs. Jay Mariotti fabrication-fest.

I myself have been challenged similarly by those who dislike my WARP system on countless occasions, and I take no umbrage. To the contrary, I very much appreciate that fellow posters have taken the time to study and critique my work, which in turn provides me with the opportunity both to explain more clearly how it is done and to make improvements.
   34. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:20 PM (#3009137)
Needless to say, a guy who has a year as bad as Swisher's in the heart of his prime is a rare bird, and therefore by definition an extremely high-variance player, one who will have a wider range of forecasts than many others. But all of those possibilities are already baked into the final weighted-mean line, so I don't see any reason why you would emphasize the probability that he's cooked any more than the probability that he kicks ass.


Off the top of my head, Pat Burrell, 2003
Konerko 2003

Cheating now (using PI)
Johnny Damon 2001
Cedeno 2002
Reed Johnson 2004
Matt Lawton 1999
Tatis 2001/02
Sean Casey 2002
Erstad 2001
Crisp 06/07

Burrell's probably the best match regarding type of hitter...

A lot of injuries/nagging injuries
most guys had some bounce back... the ones who didn't were either injured or extremely sensitive to any diminishment of athletic ability (Cedeno...)
   35. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:23 PM (#3009142)
That thread (starting with post #31 at http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/election_results_starting_in_right_fieldruth_aaron_ott_and_robinson) was a very minor skirmish, I'd say. The big bash-on-Dan party at the Hall of Merit starts at post #171 at http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/2005_results/P100.
   36. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#3009144)
JPWF - please reference that thread, I'd like to look at it.


It was either the RF or LF vote or ballot discussion, actually a moron was driving Dan to exasperation...
I told the moron that someone needed to take Dan down a peg or two- but that the moron wasn't the one to do it...
Dan wanted to know what I meant by that- I went looking fro examples and really could find any at the time...

I think the debate concerned Mel Ott v. Frank Robinson
   37. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#3009146)
Jimmy Wynn's 1971 sure leaps to mind...but I think that's cause his wife stabbed him or something, right?
   38. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#3009147)
DOH!

Beat me to it.
   39. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:27 PM (#3009152)
I did pretty much the same thing - I thought I was sooooooo smart. I kept him around until August (AUGUST!) before I realized he wasn't coming back.


Yep, same here (not a keeper league, though), I got him with one of the last five picks in my draft, thought I had scammed everyone. I was totally swayed by his career numbers at The Cell.

Man, I got my ass kicked in that league.

I still think he's worth a bottom-five pick, IF the Yankees are going to play him full-time.
   40. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:28 PM (#3009155)
If people are going to make assertions without anything to back them up--whether it's Yeaarrgghhhh suggesting that ZiPS is overrating Swisher, or sunnyday claiming that a bad defensive 2B in the deadball era hurt a team much less than one does today--I'm going to call them out and challenge them on it.


I don't think Yeaarrgghhhh pointing out how ZiPS might be overrating Swisher calls for demands of "hard evidence". I have huge amounts of respect for ZiPS, but they're still a blunt instrument, and there are a lot of other valid forms of information that the projections don't (and can't) take into account. It's not necessary to come up with your own model in order to talk about how another model could be more complete.
   41. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:30 PM (#3009158)
Jimmy Wynn's 1971 sure leaps to mind...but I think that's cause his wife stabbed him or something, right?


I never heard that.

There are, what, 750-1000 MLBers playing in any given season- the vast majority of whom will be in the MLB during their age 27 season- some just by random chance will have off years in that age 27 seasons.

Statistically Swisher's big problem in 2008 appears to have been the evaporation of his BABIP- he didn't seem to lose much power- even in the 2nd half when his BABIP went Mendoza on him- I'm guessing that he's a good bet for a bounce back.

Swisher's other problem is that no hitter looks as bad as a high K, work the count batter in a slump- watching Swisher hit was probably more painful for Whitesox fans than watching Pierre was for Dodgers fans- but we know Pierre was less productive. Aesthetically watching Swisher everyday last year was probably like enduring a root canal with insufficient anesthesia for Williams and Ozzie.
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:32 PM (#3009163)
Oh, I'll completely cop to being confrontational here, although I would point out that the snark started with Yeaarrgghhhh's post #15.

Post 10 wasn't at all confrontational?

But I do think it is important to keep our discussions grounded in some sort of empirical basis--this is Baseball Think Factory, after all. If people are going to make assertions without anything to back them up--whether it's Yeaarrgghhhh suggesting that ZiPS is overrating Swisher,

All I'm saying is that the possibility that ZIPS is overrating Swisher has to be factored into his trade value, and that because Williams and his folks have spent more time watching Swisher this year than anyone else, we should accept that they might know something we don't. I'm not saying Williams is right or that Swisher is done, just that it's worth thinking about this trade from Williams' perspective.
   43. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:33 PM (#3009166)
I never heard that.

It's what it was. Wynn was physically completely healed, but (not surprisingly) he was emotionally a mess that year.
   44. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:33 PM (#3009167)
I don't see why it's controversial to suggest Swisher is done. He's got old player's skills, he's not particularly fast or athletic, and the reports from Sox fans suggest he's becoming overly passive at the plate. That's a set of attributes we've seen a lot recently where a mid prime former SABR darling stops being good. I hope it's not the case with Swisher, but it seems like a very realistic possibility.
   45. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#3009170)
That's a set of attributes we've seen a lot recently where a mid prime former SABR darling stops being good.

Who are these other cases we've seen a lot recently?
   46. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:36 PM (#3009171)
They did take on Swisher's contract. It's not a lot of money and certainly shouldn't be a big deal for the Yankees, but Williams might have decided that he couldn't risk getting stuck with the contract if Swisher continues to suck.


I think it's partially that -- the contract never really gets ridiculous, but if Swisher replicates his '08 performance in '09, there's no way Kenny can trade him.

My concern, based on reading Rosenthal's article, is that Swisher was traded because he had some serious issues with Ozzie. I'm an Ozzie fan, and have stood up for him before, but lately he seems to be hampering Kenny's ability to do his job. (First with his comments re. Vazquez, and then with Swisher.) That's just speculation, but otherwise I can't understand why Swisher would be traded right now. Why not wait and see what happens with Teixeira? Do you really need to save $8 million or so* right now?

*That figure is based on the assumption that Betemit (probably $1.5M in '09) replaces Uribe (who made $4.5M last year) and Swisher (who makes $5.3M in '09)
   47. The Good Face Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#3009174)
I don't see why it's controversial to suggest Swisher is done. He's got old player's skills, he's not particularly fast or athletic, and the reports from Sox fans suggest he's becoming overly passive at the plate. That's a set of attributes we've seen a lot recently where a mid prime former SABR darling stops being good. I hope it's not the case with Swisher, but it seems like a very realistic possibility.


It's certainly a possibility for the reasons you list, but I see no evidence to think it's a probability.

Who are these other cases we've seen a lot recently?


Ben Grieve?
   48. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#3009176)
There is always uncertainty in projections, and more in Swisher's than in most others. But Yeaarrgghhhh isn't merely saying that the projection is inexact, which of course we all know--he's saying that it is biased to the upside. ZiPS obviously "knows" that Swisher had a terrible 2008, and is factoring in historically similar players for whom the poor season represented a true collapse as well as those who bounced back. Yeaarrgghhhh is implicitly arguing that the balance of the unknown information about Swisher (or, at least, the information unknown to ZiPS) is less favorable to him than the balance of the known information about him. That, I think most definitely does call for hard evidence to support it. Otherwise, it's just as likely that his 2008 is equivalent to Jason Bay's 2007 as it is that it is equivalent to Andruw Jones's 2007--and if you weight those possibilities in line with their historical frequency, you get a forecast OPS+ of 115.
   49. Mister High Standards Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#3009177)
But I do think it is important to keep our discussions grounded in some sort of empirical basis


I don't see how Yearghh's wasn't epirical, it wasn't based on some unfounded theory but on fact. Swisher was quite mediocre last year. Empirical, does not mean state of the art quanatative methods but can also mean observations as long as its grounded in solid evidence.

I think there is solid evidence, that ZIPs is overrating Swisher, as the model doesn't have a control for GM, with very good trading history has soured on him after 1 year and traded him for considerably less than he was aquired for. I'd say that signal is much stronger than the cashman aquired signal, as cashman didn't lock in a "loss" with the trade while Williams did.

Anyway, assuming the distribution of outcomes is 50% above 115 and 50% below 115 I'd take the under.
   50. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#3009182)
Who are these other cases we've seen a lot recently?


Yes do tell?


IIRC Bill James first advanced the "old players skills" idea- but when he looked into it the effect was there- but it was very slight- no really enough to base decisions on regarding individual players ahead of the time.
   51. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#3009184)
but on fact. Swisher was quite mediocre last year.


"medicore" let's give credit where it's due- he was quite bad last year.
   52. Mister High Standards Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#3009185)
Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Kielty, Ben Grieve, Mark Bellhorn. I'm betting there are more, those are off the top of my head.
   53. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#3009191)
Oooh! Mister High Standards, are you a betting man? Judging by the probability distribution posted above, it looks like Swisher's 50th percentile forecast is 113 (not 115, because of skewness, as Szymborski notes). What odds would you give me that Swisher's 2009 OPS+ is at least 114? Give me 3:2 and I'll plunk down, say, $100 (e.g., my $100 vs. your $150). We on?
   54. Danny Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#3009193)
I don't think it's fair to say Jeremy Giambi declined early because he had old man skills. He put up a 147 OPS+ in 400 PA at age 27 and then suffered a career ending injury the next year.
   55. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#3009195)
That's a set of attributes we've seen a lot recently where a mid prime former SABR darling stops being good.

Who are these other cases we've seen a lot recently?


Brad Wilkerson.
   56. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#3009196)
He also was a big non-sliding bag of Winstrol.
   57. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#3009197)
Who are these other cases we've seen a lot recently?

On top of the ones already mentioned, I would add Phelps, Ensberg, and Craig Wilson.

It's certainly a possibility for the reasons you list, but I see no evidence to think it's a probability.

I don't think it's probable, but I do trust the White Sox scouts over the Yankees' ones.
   58. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#3009199)
Yeaarrgghhhh is implicitly arguing that the balance of the unknown information about Swisher (or, at least, the information unknown to ZiPS) is less favorable to him than the balance of the known information about him. That, I think most definitely does call for hard evidence to support it.


I don't want to put words in Yeaarrgghhhh's mouth, but the qualitative information I'd argue we've received is that Swisher was traded for very little because CHW's scouts or whatever don't think he's very good, or are concerned that he might not get better. They didn't have to trade him - if they thought that he was just unlucky or a good bet to be better, then they could have either demanded more or just held onto him. I'd say that that information leads towards a more negative assessment of Swisher. Of course, the information itself is imperfect and may be faulty, but it's still is a negative assessment.
   59. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3009200)
I think Giambi had other issues when he cratered at 28- but that is a data point
Kielty never had any kind of sustained performance as high as Swisher 2006-07

Grieve... just kind of faded away young
123
118
116
103
111
96
103

Just failed to develop and slowly eroded, whereas swish has gone 125, 127, 92
Belhorn- all over the place, one year good, one year awful.

All players are individuals, they're not clones of other players- and even if they were- you would still see random career paths.

Swisher COULD be done, he hit 92 last year, he might hit 89 in 2009- it's almost as likely that he will hit 125,127 again in 2009/2010.
It's more likely he'll hit 110-115 in line with his Zips/Marcel projections

No specific career path is 50%+ likely.
   60. Mister High Standards Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3009202)
You should be giving me 3:2 if based on your comments your as confident as you are.
   61. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:51 PM (#3009204)
But Yeaarrgghhhh isn't merely saying that the projection is inexact, which of course we all know--he's saying that it is biased to the upside.

No, I'm just saying that ZIPs is dumb -- it doesn't know whether 2008 is some real change in talent or if it's just a down year that needs to be viewed in context with the rest of his career. ZIPs might be right of course, but it's also possible that the "real" Swisher is the 2008 model.
   62. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:52 PM (#3009207)
Top Comps: Don Lock, Chili Davis


One of the things I like to look at, when Dan does these, is who comes out as the top comps. I think it's very valuable, on occasion, to look at how those careers developed.

Don Lock actually isn't a whole lot different, in terms of his career progression, than was Swisher - and they did have somewhat similar skill sets, although Lock was a right-handed hitter all the way. Lock had good years in 1963 and 1964, hitting 27 and 28 HR in what was an extremely difficult park for power hitters, then had a decline very much like Swisher's at age 28 in 1965. He rebounded some over the next two years, but his power stroke never came back, and he was toast by age 31.

Chili Davis, the other comp, is not a guy that I would have thought of as being comparable to Swisher; his career progression was very different, and he didn't strike out as much or walk quite as much.

I would think, off the top of my head, that Lock's career progression is more relevant, in terms of the shape of his performance and the skill set involved, than Davis's. It'd be interesting to see some of the other ZiPS comps.

-- MWE
   63. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:53 PM (#3009210)
I don't think it's fair to say Jeremy Giambi declined early because he had old man skills. He put up a 147 OPS+ in 400 PA at age 27 and then suffered a career ending injury the next year.

Yes. And Kielty didn't decline; he just was never all that good to begin with (unless one chooses to think that his 136 OPS+ in 2002 was his true ability level. Same basic story with Bellhorn; I think it's safer to assume the one big year was the outlier.

Grieve is the only case that really seems valid. Unless there are a bunch of others I'm overlooking.
   64. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#3009214)
I think there is solid evidence, that ZIPs is overrating Swisher, as the model doesn't have a control for GM, with very good trading history has soured on him after 1 year and traded him for considerably less than he was aquired for. I'd say that signal is much stronger than the cashman aquired signal, as cashman didn't lock in a "loss" with the trade while Williams did.

MHS makes a good point here, one that I tried in the other thread to make but didn't get it quite right. I realize what the projections say, and that this looks like a great trade for the Yankees, but isn't it the case that a) Kenny Williams probably has a better idea of what Swisher is capable of at this point than any of us do and b) that he has a better idea of Swisher's value than any of us do?

Like I said, I agree that this looks like a nice trade for the Yankees: low cost (unless Betemit finally breaks out - but still, where were the Yankees going to play him anyway?) and high upside (if Swisher does bounce back). However, Kenny Williams is no fool when it comes to making trades, and to prounounce this trade an unequivocal success for the Yankees the day after it happens is short sighted at best.
   65. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:54 PM (#3009215)
I don't want to put words in Yeaarrgghhhh's mouth, but the qualitative information I'd argue we've received is that Swisher was traded for very little because CHW's scouts or whatever don't think he's very good, or are concerned that he might not get better. They didn't have to trade him - if they thought that he was just unlucky or a good bet to be better, then they could have either demanded more or just held onto him. I'd say that that information leads towards a more negative assessment of Swisher. Of course, the information itself is imperfect and may be faulty, but it's still is a negative assessment.

THat's exactly right. And, again, I'm not saying the Yankees are making a mistake -- there's certainly a good chance he'll bounce back. It's just that that chance might not be worth a whole lot more than what they gave up for him.
   66. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#3009220)
Lock had good years in 1963 and 1964, hitting 27 and 28 HR in what was an extremely difficult park for power hitters

A quibble: DC Stadium wasn't a bad HR park at all.
   67. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#3009221)
Wasn't Craig Wilson's hitting destroyed by a shoulder injury?

I'll substitute Hee Seop Choi in his place.
   68. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#3009222)
Unless there are a bunch of others I'm overlooking.

Several other guys have been listed.

Erubiel Durazo is another guy off the top of my head. I'll be sure to keep posting them.
   69. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#3009223)
I realize what the projections say, and that this looks like a great trade for the Yankees, but isn't it the case that a) Kenny Williams probably has a better idea of what Swisher is capable of at this point than any of us do and b) that he has a better idea of Swisher's value than any of us do?


I can't wait to see the answers you get to these questions. Time to fire up some popcorn.
   70. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#3009224)
Mister High Standards: Why would I give you 3:2 on something that I think is 50% likely??? I'd give you 3:2 that he tops 103, since that seems about 60% likely (if I'm doing the math right). The point is that if YOU think ZiPS is being too generous, then you think that ZiPS's 50th percentile forecast is in fact, say, a 75th percentile forecast, in which case you'd come out ahead by offering me 3:2.

Yeaarrgghhhh: Do you "know whether 2008 is some real change in talent or if it's just a down year that needs to be viewed in context with the rest of his career?" If so, I'd highly recommend you submit your résumé to some major league teams--I bet they could use a guy like that. Again, of course "it's possible that the 'real' Swisher is the 2008 model"--about 18% likely, according to ZiPS. If that were not a very realistic possibility, his forecast OPS+ would be in the 120's, not 115.

Of course, ZiPS is only one system--clearly having PECOTA and CHONE as well would enrich the discussion.
   71. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:07 PM (#3009234)
I'm an Ozzie fan, and have stood up for him before, but lately he seems to be hampering Kenny's ability to do his job.

FWIW, I haven't seen this based in anything more than speculation. Basically the wonderful beat writers of Chicago (Cowley, maybe Gonzalez too) started pining in September that Swisher was in Ozzie's doghouse because Swisher was benched.

Then again, it's as good a reason as any. This trade just seems so much the opposite of how Kenny usually operates. That, or he likes Betemit a lot more than any of us can imagine (which could be the case -- if I'm reading it right I see that ZiPS gives him non-terrible chance of being a 105-110 OPS+ player). Because the minor league pitchers that are coming back look rather 'meh'.
   72. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:07 PM (#3009235)
Do you "know whether 2008 is some real change in talent or if it's just a down year that needs to be viewed in context with the rest of his career?"


Echoing Joe C, here: Is KW likely to know the best answer to this?
   73. Mister High Standards Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:09 PM (#3009238)
Mister High Standards: Why would I give you 3:2 on something that I think is 50% likely


Because you asked me to do the same, which was equally obsurd. I've decieded you're an ####### , which I knew when you asked for 3:2 on a 50/50 bet but I didn't think you'd come right out and admit it.
   74. RJ in TO Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:09 PM (#3009239)
Wasn't Craig Wilson's hitting destroyed by a shoulder injury?


Didn't Wilkerson have similar shoulder problems, as did Ensberg? Most of the guys listed had declines linked with severe injuries, rather than just a sudden random loss of skill.
   75. Mister High Standards Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:09 PM (#3009242)
HA! obsurd. thats what happens when i get firedup.
   76. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#3009244)
Several other guys have been listed.

Erubiel Durazo is another guy off the top of my head. I'll be sure to keep posting them.


I guess what I'm curious about is whether there is anything about the "SABRness" of these guys (by which I assume you mean high-power high-OBP limited speed) that is associated with before-30 decline/disappointment. In other words, couldn't we also list a half-dozen slappy singles hitters who faded early over the past decade?
   77. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:11 PM (#3009246)
Yeaarrgghhhh: Do you "know whether 2008 is some real change in talent or if it's just a down year that needs to be viewed in context with the rest of his career?" If so, I'd highly recommend you submit your résumé to some major league teams--I bet they could use a guy like that. Again, of course "it's possible that the 'real' Swisher is the 2008 model"--about 18% likely, according to ZiPS. If that were not a very realistic possibility, his forecast OPS+ would be in the 120's, not 115.

How many times to I have to say this? Of course I'm not saying that I know if it's a real change in talent. I'm just saying that Williams might know. (Sabean too -- it's entirely possible that his scouts see then same thing as Williams', and that he's decided that the X% chance that Swisher will rebound is worth Betemit and Marquez.)
   78. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#3009249)
DOn't know why I said Sabean. Obviously I meant Cashman.
   79. AROM Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#3009252)
Of course, ZiPS is only one system--clearly having PECOTA and CHONE as well would enrich the discussion.


I wrote about the Sisher trade yesterday, click on my screen name for a link to my blog. Short answer, CHONE is very close to ZIPS on Swisher.

Yes, projection systems are "dumb" about any non-stat input that could affect Swisher's projection. But outside of injury, I don't think anyone has a reason that is any less dumb that Swisher will flop. As far as I know, there is no injury here.
   80. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:19 PM (#3009262)
I guess what I'm curious about is whether there is anything about the "SABRness" of these guys (by which I assume you mean high-power high-OBP limited speed) that is associated with before-30 decline/disappointment.

High strikeout too. I don't know if there's anything special about the skill set, I would guess most of these guys with that skill aren't all that athletic (in part because their skills don't really require a ton of athleticism compared to the rest of the baseball population) and because of that, their body is more likely to fade or fall apart relatively quickly.

In other words, couldn't we also list a half-dozen slappy singles hitters who faded early over the past decade?

Sure, but I don't think you would find many slappy singles hitters who were very productive hitters at 25 and terrible by 31. Mostly because slappy singles hitters aren't usually good hitters.
   81. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#3009263)
Yes, projection systems are "dumb" about any non-stat input that could affect Swisher's projection. But outside of injury, I don't think anyone has a reason that is any less dumb that Swisher will flop. As far as I know, there is no injury here.

I may be wrong - but I think the conflict here, if there is one, is between the "F-ing A trade for the Yankees, hands down" and "Looks good for the Yankees on first glance, but maybe it's not all that simple" camps. I don't know think anyone is saying there is definitive evidence that Swisher won't bounce back, simply that the return that the White Sox got in the trade indicates that there might be more than meets the eye with Swisher. That's all.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#3009267)
The problem with most of the comps being mentioned is that they are not comparable Swisher.

Phelps, Wilson, Choi and Durazo put up their good numbers as part timers. Those guys, and Grieve, were likely pretty bad athletes, given their lack of defensive value, whereas Swisher must have pretty good athleticism to be a passable CF.

Ensberg was an injury case.

Unless Swisher is hiding an injury, I think a bounceback is very likely. He hit enough HR and 2Bs to make me think the BABIP was a fluke.

Why do people assume that a GM (even a good one) can't act out of frustration sometimes? Swisher was plenty frustrating last year.
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#3009271)
PS: As a Yankee fan, I'm very content with Swisher as the primary 1B next year.

If they can get Teixeira at a reasonable price, I'd be happy moving Damon to CF, putting Swisher in RF and Nady in LF. I don't think that's a bad OF at all.
   84. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:26 PM (#3009272)
Durazo put up good numbers as a full-timer - he had a 138 OPS+ playing full-time in 2004. He had major surgery on his elbow (or was it his wrist?) that he never recovered from.
   85. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:27 PM (#3009274)
The problem with most of the comps being mentioned is that they are not comparable Swisher.

Phelps, Wilson, Choi and Durazo put up their good numbers as part timers. Those guys, and Grieve, were likely pretty bad athletes, given their lack of defensive value, whereas Swisher must have pretty good athleticism to be a passable CF.

Ensberg was an injury case.


Yeah. I'm inclined to think there isn't much in this theory that provides predictive value regarding Swisher. I'd be far more persuaded to expect him to be toast if we knew that he was playing with some manner of injury in 2008.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#3009278)
Durazo put up good numbers as a full-timer - he had a 138 OPS+ playing full-time in 2004. He had major surgery on his elbow (or was it his wrist?) that he never recovered from.

Forgot about that year.
   87. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#3009279)
I think Swisher will fall of a cliff in his early 30s, but he is going to be 28.
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#3009284)
High strikeout too. I don't know if there's anything special about the skill set, I would guess most of these guys with that skill aren't all that athletic (in part because their skills don't really require a ton of athleticism compared to the rest of the baseball population) and because of that, their body is more likely to fade or fall apart relatively quickly.

This shouldn't really apply to Swisher. He's athletic enough to play CF. He's not great there, but, that still put him in the top half (at least) of the baseball poplulation for athleticism.
   89. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#3009290)
I may be wrong - but I think the conflict here, if there is one, is between the "F-ing A trade for the Yankees, hands down" and "Looks good for the Yankees on first glance, but maybe it's not all that simple" camps. I don't know think anyone is saying there is definitive evidence that Swisher won't bounce back, simply that the return that the White Sox got in the trade indicates that there might be more than meets the eye with Swisher. That's all.

what he said.
   90. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:40 PM (#3009292)
Sure, but I don't think you would find many slappy singles hitters who were very productive hitters at 25 and terrible by 31. Mostly because slappy singles hitters aren't usually good hitters.


I just went to PI, looked for players between 24-26, 400+ PAs with an OPS+ over 100, with an ISO less than 100 (1999-2008) and got...
1 name- Luis Castillo the year he hit .334

so "slappy singles hitters aren't usually good hitters" is an understatement

changed parameters, ISO less than .120, 1989-2008: got these guys:
Cnt Player OPS+ ISO PA Year Age Tm
+----+-----------------+----+-----+---+----+---+---+
1 Roberto Alomar 129 .117 671 1992 24 TOR
2 Derek Bell 125 .108 499 1995 26 HOU
3 Luis Polonia 123 .077 436 1990 26 TOT
4 Dave Magadan 123 .107 429 1989 26 NYM
5 Roberto Kelly 123 .115 496 1989 24 NYY
6 Kenny Lofton 121 .083 657 1993 26 CLE
7 Craig Biggio 118 .092 721 1992 26 HOU
8 Carlos Quintana 114 .117 550 1991 25 BOS
9 Craig Biggio 113 .079 609 1991 25 HOU
10 Mark Loretta 112 .108 491 1998 26 MIL
11 Jose Offerman 112 .088 511 1995 26 LAD
12 Jody Reed 112 .105 619 1989 26 BOS
13 Jose Oquendo 112 .081 650 1989 25 STL
14 Marlon Byrd 111 .115 553 2003 25 PHI
15 Luis Castillo 111 .054 626 2000 24 FLA
16 John Olerud 111 .113 581 1995 26 TOR
17 Mike Bordick 111 .071 572 1992 26 OAK
18 Mark Grace 110 .104 662 1990 26 CHC

Terrible by 31:
Operation Shutdown
Polonia- terrible post 30 except foe fluke age season
Quintana
Offerman
Reed
Oquendo
Castillo?
Bordick- special case, was terrible by 31, mysteriously became a wholly different type of hitter for a few years after that.

Some guys weren't so much slappy hitters, as they just happened to have an off year power-wise .
   91. Danny Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#3009296)
Erubiel Durazo is another guy off the top of my head. I'll be sure to keep posting them.

Old man skills (and I thought hitting for average was a young man skill) cause Tommy John surgery?
   92. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:49 PM (#3009300)
Old man skills (and I thought hitting for average was a young man skill) cause Tommy John surgery?

Too much fist shaking at those damn kids on your lawn.
   93. AROM Posted: November 14, 2008 at 06:49 PM (#3009302)
I may be wrong - but I think the conflict here, if there is one, is between the "F-ing A trade for the Yankees, hands down" and "Looks good for the Yankees on first glance, but maybe it's not all that simple" camps. I don't know think anyone is saying there is definitive evidence that Swisher won't bounce back, simply that the return that the White Sox got in the trade indicates that there might be more than meets the eye with Swisher. That's all.


Your right in that things aren't that simple, and no trade is guaranteed to work out. If, after the 2007 season, the Indians traded 5+ ERA Cliff Lee to the Angels for 18 game winner Kelvim Escobar, it would have been hailed a F'n A trade for the Indians. Obviously it would look different today.

With Swisher, he could:
A) turn into Brad Wilkerson, bad trade for the Yankees
B) play at the projected level of 115 OPS+, very good trade for the Yankees or
C) bounce back to 125-130 OPS+ - F'ckn A trade for the Yankees.

Odds are greater he'll hit the median or high mark than the low mark.
   94. Gaelan Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#3009312)
The problem with most of the comps being mentioned is that they are not comparable Swisher.


This is the ecological fallacy that Matt mentioned earlier. The power of projections comes from the law of large numbers. The problem with projections is that the law of large numbers can't tell you anything about an individual player and decisions on trades are always decisions about individual players.

Take two players that were horrible in 2007, Andruw Jones and Jason Bay. One of them was even worse in 2008, the other bounced back strongly. All projection systems are going to split the difference and will do pretty well when speaking about the group however. However splitting the difference isn't good enough for a GM. It is his job to be able to tell the difference between Andruw Jones and Jason Bay, between a blip on the radar and stick a fork in him. No projection system can help him with that decision and hence the mathematical calculation of value of the kind that Dan R employs radically distorts the actual decisionmaking calculus of GM's.

That said, since the Yankees got Swisher for free, this is obviously a great trade.
   95. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#3009316)
AROM,

Objectively, the one down side to the Swisher trade from the Yankee standpoint (at least in 2009), may be that the Yanks refrain from going after Teixeira.

Granted, Teixeira may not be as good as advertised and he will demand an expensive long term contract, but again, the 2009 Yankees would benefit greatly from having Teixeira at 1B and Swisher at RF (assuming outcomes (b) or (c) from Swisher).
   96. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:11 PM (#3009320)
DC Stadium wasn't a bad HR park at all.


The Senators hit fewer HRs at DC than they did on the road every year but two that they played there; the typical home team hits more at home, and in a good HR park will hit significantly more. DC Stadium wasn't Griffith Stadium, but it was not HR-friendly.

-- MWE
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:12 PM (#3009321)
Objectively, the one down side to the Swisher trade from the Yankee standpoint (at least in 2009), may be that the Yanks refrain from going after Teixeira.

If the Yankees can get Teixeira at a reasonable price, they can always slide Damon back to CF (and limit his games to, say, 135 to keep him healthy).

If they only have the money for one of Tex or CC, then Swisher/CC is a much better combo than Tex/$5M FA SP.
   98. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#3009331)
If the Yankees can get Teixeira at a reasonable price, they can always slide Damon back to CF (and limit his games to, say, 135 to keep him healthy).

Or make Nady a 4th OFer. Or come up with some elaborate platoon, since they don't really have one complete OFer anyway.
   99. JPWF13 Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:22 PM (#3009338)
If the Yankees can get Teixeira at a reasonable price


we will see more complaints about other GMs trying to help the Yankees
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 14, 2008 at 07:29 PM (#3009343)
Or make Nady a 4th OFer. Or come up with some elaborate platoon, since they don't really have one complete OFer anyway.

CP, I know you follow the Yanks closely. Do you really think that a Damon, Melky/Gardner, Swisher OF (L to R) is better than a Nady, Damon, Swisher OF?

I'd guess that defensively Nady is average in LF, Damon maybe -5 runs in CF, and Swisher +5 in RF. That seems worth it given the offensive upgrade.
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