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Sunday, April 25, 2021

These 25 Players Opted Out Of MLB In 2020. How Are They Doing In 2021?

Obviously, all of these trends come with the usual small-sample caveats for early-season baseball stats. But on average, the opt-out players are playing more2 than they did in 2019 and producing more value3 (with an average of 1.5 wins above replacement4 per 162 games, compared with 1.0 in 2019). Some of that is skewed by Michael Kopech, who missed all of the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery. But even without including Kopech, the average 2020 opt-out has seen his WAR per 162 essentially stay steady from 2019 (1.1) to 2021 (1.3). We don’t know if rust will eventually set in, but it hasn’t yet, by and large.

Of course, some have struggled early in their returns. Most notably, that group includes a quartet of pitchers (Shelby Miller, Collin McHugh, David Price and Joe Smith) and Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who was hitting just .154 before going to the injured list with a strained quad. But others have returned from the year away with few signs of deteriorating skills.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman struggled to an uncharacteristically poor season (90 OPS+) even as Washington was winning the World Series in 2019. This year, he is hitting much more like his old self (129 OPS+). The same goes for Giants catcher Buster Posey, who had the worst full season of his career in 2019 but is currently playing at his best WAR-per-162 pace since 2017. The year of rest appears to have helped Posey recover from a hip injury that ended his 2018 season and affected his performance even a year later.,

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:38 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:09 PM (#6015358)
In contrast, I took a quick look at the "surprise" non-tenders from this offseason and mostly not doing well. A few were their usual average selves but many were well down into disaster land. I didn't bother checking the relievers who were about half of the non-tender and only have 6-10 innings so far. It's early yet of course and a lot of these guys are probably a couple of good games away from being "meh."

The "big" names starting with the good:

Naquin 139 OPS+
H Alberto 92 OPS+, good defense
M Franco 107 OPS+, average-ish defense
Duvall 88 OPS+ but apparently stellar defense so far

then the bad:

Schwarber 58 OPS+
Rosario 74 OPS+
Casali 14 OPS+ (solid backup C)
Dahl 49 OPS+
Mazara 89 OPS+
T Shaw 75 OPS+
DeShields not playing
G Garcia not playing

The sole starting pitcher healthy enough to start was Carlos Rodon, who was re-signed by the White Sox for about $1.5 M less than he'd have gotten in arb, has been insanely good with a 878 ERA+ and his 0.9 WAR might be enough to pull this whole group back above replacement.

I thought Joc Pederson was a non-tender but he was a regular FA. Still got only 1/$7 (plus option) out of the Cubs and has a 42 OPS+.
   2. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6015379)
In contrast, I took a quick look at the "surprise" non-tenders from this offseason...


Kinda like a non-tender, Brad Hand is doing well so far for the Nationals—6IP, 0 Runs, 3 Saves, 0.83WHIP.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 25, 2021 at 11:00 PM (#6015380)
We don’t know if rust will eventually set in
That’s kind of the opposite of how rustiness works.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: April 25, 2021 at 11:09 PM (#6015382)
That’s kind of the opposite of how rustiness works.


Except with actual rust.
   5. The Duke Posted: April 25, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6015392)
Wong is doing alright too. He wasn’t a non-tender but effectively a non-tender
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 25, 2021 at 11:36 PM (#6015400)
Except with actual rust.
Which never sleeps.

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