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   1. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2009 at 06:34 PM (#3404345)
Why is there both Replacement and Positional? I understand one fudge factor for him being a SS, but why two?
   2. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 05, 2009 at 06:38 PM (#3404351)
If the Sox were to sign Bay to a 2-year deal worth $6 mil/year, I think people would be a bit more excited

To be fair, he's 3 years younger and has a track record that seems to be a lot easier to believe in. Over the next 2 years, there's more certainty that Bay would be the better player (or, I guess you could say, less risk of him being worse).
   3. philly Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:08 PM (#3404368)
The Sox will never pay him 8 figures not to play for them. Do we need more context than that post-Renteria, post-Lugo?
   4. Joel W Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3404382)
KM,

Replacement is a non-positional replacement calculation. What fangraphs does is calculate batting runs over an average player, then fielding runs over an average player, then there is the positional adjustment, then it has a replacement adjustment that is essentially an average player is 20 runs above replacement per 600 PAs.

So first they say how many wins above average is this player, and then how much did he play.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:28 PM (#3404387)
I agree with the general thrust of Darren's comments. I wouldn't project Scutaro as anything better than average at shortstop. For his career, he's exactly average at second base and third base, and -3 at shortstop. He had one crazy good defensive season at age 32, but it looks completely wrong next to the rest of his career. But subtract 5 runs from the numbers, and Scutaro's still a solid shortstop.
That’s an average of about 3.3 WAR per year, just about what Jason Bay has averaged the past 2 years (3.2 WAR/season). If the Sox were to sign Bay to a 2-year deal worth $6 mil/year, I think people would be a bit more excited. And the fact is, there are many more available alternatives to Jason Bay who provide similar value to fill the LF hole. Scutaro’s really the only shortstop in his class on the free-agent market.
I highlight this because it's an interesting comparison from another direction - Jason Bay isn't really all that good. If he's a -10 defensive player, and that seems about right to me, Bay is decisively not worth the 4/60 the Red Sox have reportedly already offered him.

And this isn't only about the defense. Bay is a good hitter, but he projects about 30 batting runs above average by wOBA, while Holliday projects closer to 40. The difference between Holliday and Bay, just on offense, is similar to the difference between Bay and Damon.
   6. Darren Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:40 PM (#3404391)
I considered making Scutaro's defense average but decided that +5 was closer to what had actually happened. (The crazy-good 208 did actually happen so I counted it in.) I also felt it was more accurate to go with +5 every year so as to smooth the small samples.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:42 PM (#3404393)
I considered making Scutaro's defense average but decided that +5 was closer to what had actually happened.
I mean, we're arguing about 5 runs with regard to a statistic that has much wider error bars than that, so it's not a very big deal. But I find it hard to believe that Scutaro is currently an above average shortstop when over his career he hasn't even been above average at second base or third base.
   8. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:45 PM (#3404396)
Thanks very much for the explanation; I now understand it and it makes sense. An average hitter who was also an average fielder at shortstop would be 2.75WAR(0+0+20+7.5), which seems a reasonable projection for Scutaro. However average is not going to win you anything in the AL East. I am more and more convinced that these expensive just-above-average players are not what they need, they need one or two superstars, a Pedro or a Manny, to have a decent chance of actually winning. Drafting at around #25 they're unlikely to get one internally, although one can always get lucky.

With the exception of a partial fluke in Ortiz, this regime is yet to sign one, in almost 8 years. Maybe Pedroia and Lester will develop into them, we'll see, but the odds must be against it.
   9. ekogan Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:46 PM (#3404398)
Free Jed Lowrie!
   10. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 05, 2009 at 07:57 PM (#3404406)
An average shortstop would be a massive improvement over pretty much everything the Sox have run out there since Cabrera left town. I'll take it.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: December 05, 2009 at 08:10 PM (#3404418)
He had one crazy good defensive season at age 32, but it looks completely wrong next to the rest of his career.


Yeah, but didn't Scutaro in 2006 have one crazy bad "year" at SS, in a slightly larger number of innings, 573 to 472, that sticks out as similarly "wrong"? It appears safe to say he's average at SS.

The one year where Marco was a SS the whole time, 143 games, 1252 frames, he came out as a +1.

But, again, when one year of state-of-the-art fielding stats are only as reliable as two months of batting stats, who the hell knows, right?
   12. Joel W Posted: December 05, 2009 at 09:24 PM (#3404467)
KM,

On some level you need superstars to compete in the AL East, of course you do. At the same time, you can't be a stars and scrub team. You need 3-5 players who are worth 20-25 wins above replacement and then average the rest of the way.

I also think you are wrong as to the quality of the Red Sox players: If I go by fan graphs, the Red Sox had the 14th, 19th, 27th, and 31st most valuable position players in baseball on their team last year, if you count Victor Martinez (Youk, Pedroia, Victor, Drew). They had the 8th and 15th most valuable starting pitchers in baseball last year. They have a group of very very good players. The problem for the Red Sox last year was that their DH, C, 3B, and SS were below replacement for much of the year, as was the entire back end of their rotation.

Adding Scutaro, if he's average, is worth at least one win. Replacing majority catching Tek with majority catching Victor might be worth two wins or so. Etc. They don't need superstars as much as they need fewer players that really suck.
   13. Dan Posted: December 05, 2009 at 09:26 PM (#3404468)
Also keep in mind that for about 2 months this year Scutaro was playing with a hurt foot. His fielding stats were pretty damn good this year again until the injury slowed him. Reportedly the Red Sox worked him out to see if his foot was healed up, so I suspect +5 defense is a reasonable estimate going forward.
   14. Darren Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:23 AM (#3404641)
ZIPS LOVES Scutaro in Boston.
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3404810)
As long as Scutaro doens't hit a woman and plays excellent defense, I will be Ok with him.
   16. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3404812)
ZIPS LOVES Scutaro in Boston.

To say the least! If he hits that projection, I think we'll all be doing backflips.
   17. 1k5v3L Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:41 PM (#3404813)
Didn't ZIPS also love Renteria and Lugo in Boston?
   18. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:53 PM (#3404818)
I don't remember. Perhaps you'd like to look it up and tell us.
   19. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3404823)
I don't remember. Perhaps you'd like to look it up and tell us.


I can't find any ZiPS projections for Renteria with the Red Sox. Annoying. There are times when Google is just epic fail.
   20. 1k5v3L Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3404828)
Renteria ZIPS

Projected .324/.381/.467 line over 598 at bats.
Somebody forgot to tell Renteria, obviously.

Lugo ZIPS

Projected .292/.355/.407 line over 545 at bats.
Actual batting line for his car trunk: 1.000

Scooter ZIPS

Projected .297/.376/.420 line over 462 at bats.
The next Sox SS will project for 356 at bats...
   21. ekogan Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3404836)
A little bit of date from Transaction Oracle's Boston beat:

Lugo, prior to signing with Boston: .277/.340/.402
Lugo, ZIPS on signing with Boston: .292/.355/.407
Lugo, 2007-2008: .247/.314/.343

Renteria, prior to signing with Boston: .289/.346/.400
Renteria, ZIPS on signinig in Boston: .324/.381/.467
Renteria, actual in Boston: .276/.335/.385

Scutaro, prior to signing in Boston:.265/.337/.384
Scutaro, ZIPS on singing in Boston:.297/.376/.420
Scutaro, actual in Boston: ?????

ZIPS loves Boston
   22. 1k5v3L Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:37 PM (#3404861)
I wonder if Dan sadistically injects steroids in his projections of all newly acquired Red Sox shortstops so he can quietly giggle in the corner as Red Sox fan scratch their heads thinking "WTF happened? Look at the ZIPS!" Heck, Dan was the devil himself the day he revealed Big Papi's career ZIPS line...
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3404862)
More specifically, ZiPS loves low- to moderate-power RHB playing in Fenway.

Dustin Pedroia would be a good example of what ZiPS is expecting, I'd guess - he's that sort of hitter, and he's clearly received a significant Fenway boost.

Mark Loretta would be another counter-example. ZiPS: 320/387/441 ; Actual: 285/345/361
   24. Darren Posted: December 06, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3404873)
Way to kill a buzz, dudes. Those lines in #21 are a little misleading because they consider the entire careers of the players involved. How Renteria hit at age 21, for example, had very little to do with how he'd do in Boston at 28.

But in the larger sense, yeah, ZIPS gives a little too much love to this type of player, it seems. Funny that Dan's comment about Lugo was that he would help the Red Sox not go into 2007 without any "black holes" and then he immediately became one.

Between the debacles that were Lugo and Crisp* it's amazing how well this team did over the past few years.


(*I know Crisp was not a bad player for the Sox but he looked like an excellent player when they acquired him.)
   25. Darren Posted: December 06, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3404877)
Also, it may not just be weak righties that ZIPS loves.

Coco upon being acquired: .321 / .370 / .466
   26. Textbook Editor Posted: December 07, 2009 at 08:21 AM (#3405356)
[sigh]

Looking at those likes in #21 makes me think we would have killed--killed!--to have had Renteria's 2005 season at SS last year... It just makes me realize how ####### futile the position was in 2009. Ugh.
   27. tjm1 Posted: December 07, 2009 at 09:34 AM (#3405364)
Looking at those likes in #21 makes me think we would have killed--killed!--to have had Renteria's 2005 season at SS last year... It just makes me realize how ####### futile the position was in 2009. Ugh.


Renteria's hitting wasn't great, but it wasn't too bad. He did score 100 runs (although thanks in large part to leading off in front of a juggernaut). It was his fielding that got him run out of town.
   28. Marcel Posted: December 07, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3406002)
This is probably the best place to post this: Amalie Benjamin is reporting that Kelly will be going forward as a pitcher full-time. Apparently the Red Sox left the decision up to him and he was smart enough to make what currently appears to be the correct call for his future.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3406015)
without having put any thought into it, maybe they should develop him as 90% pitcher and 10% infielder. No reason to let those skills atrophy.
   30. villageidiom Posted: December 07, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3406021)
Apparently the Red Sox left the decision up to him and he was smart enough to make what currently appears to be the correct call for his future.
TINSTAASSP?
   31. JB H Posted: December 10, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3408671)
Does anyone know how Scutaro's mutual option works? Cot's says:

6M club option/$3M player option ($1.5M buyout)

Can Scutaro buyout and become a FA if the Red Sox pick up his option?

Depending on how it works, this deal could be such that the Red Sox wouldn't trade it for a standard 2 year/10 million deal

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