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October 22, 2007
  
Hot Stove

Okay, since there´s not much activity on the news, on the threads, or in the journals, I thought I´d try to get some ideas going for the offseason. I´m not talking about ¨trade for Johan Santana¨, or ¨Sign Posada¨, or ¨don´t trade ITAM¨. Instead, I´m trying to think of other names that might be potential trade or FA targets that haven´t been talked about lately. Given Omar´s tendencies, do you think he´ll go after these guys? Some ideas:

Catcher:

Brian Schneider is making $3.5 million with the Nats. In 2007, at age 30, he hit .235BA/.326OBA with 21 2B and 6 HRs. He bats left, throws right. While his BA is nothing to write home about, he´s reportedly a good catcher, and might be great as a platoon player with Castro. Omar liked him in Montreal. Maybe a package for Schneider and C.Cordero???

Ronny Paulino (26) hit .263/.314 with 25 2Bs & 11 HRs for Pittsburg. Supposedly a good receiver.

Dioner Navarro (23) hit .227/.286 with 19 2Bs and 9 HRs for Tampa. He´s a switch hitter and throws right.

Second Base: 

I´d definately want to kick the tires on Orlando Hudson (29). He hit .294/.376 for AZ with 28 2B, 9 3Bs, and10 HRs. Plus, he´s a switch hitter. He´s entering his walk year, and AZ has a replacement ready to take over in Callaspo. I don´t know who his agent is, but if we could get a 72 hour window for negotiating an extension I´d be all for it. Otherwise, if we didn´t have to give up too much I´d take the chance anyway–even if we re-sign Castillo we might be looking again next year anyway.

Erick Aybar didn´t do too well this year in Anaheim ( .237/.279, 5 2B 1HR in limited action), but is blocked in LAA. Maybe they´ll be ready to move him for a reasonable price (did the LAA GM resign or get promoted?? If so, a new approach might be in the offing).

OF:

If Milledge gets traded for pitching, some possibilities are:

Geoff Jenkins from Mil (potential FA – depending on his option) (33)- hit .255/.319 with 24 2Bs and 21 HRs. Is a lefty hitter. Could be a 2-3 year stopgap, playing RF in 2008 and LF in 2009 if Gomez is ready. Or maybe a future 1B??

Johnny Gomes (26)-Tampa. Hit .244/.322 with 20 2Bs and 17 HRs. is a righty. Questionable defense, but has serious power. Tampa has too many OFs anyway.

Starting Pitching:

I´d love to have Aaron Harang (29). In a hitters park he pitcher 232 innings in 34 starts, allowing 213 hits. He had 52 BBs and 218 Ks with a 3.73 ERA. Yikes.

Given Omar´s tendencies, I could see him going after Javier Vazquez (31) from the CWS. He´s durable and has never had injury problems. In 2007, he pitched 217 innings in 32 starts, allowing 197 hits with 50 BB, 213 Ks and a 3.74 ERA in the AL.

Relievers are too hard to assess at this point, so I´ll pass on that one.

So, without going into detail about trade packages or anything, it wouldn´t surprise or disappoint me to see a 2008 Mets team something like this:

Reyes, Hudson, Beltran, Wright, Delgado, Alou, Jenkins, Schneider, Pitcher

Pedro, Vazquez, Maine, Ollie, Duque

Wags, Sanchez, Cordero, Smith, Feliciano, Sho, Mota(Ok, that would disappoint me), Muniz/Willliams/FA/Trade

Any thoughts? Anyone else you think is a dark-horse candidate for 2008? Fire up the Hot Stove!


41 Responses to “Hot Stove”

  1. Comment posted by andyglass1 on October 22, 2007 at 9:07 am (#550287)

    Hudson, Jenkins, Schneider; 3 non-Latinos ??? are you out of your mind ??? wasnt the last home grown player added either Warren Spahn or Duke Snider in 62/63 ? My sources say the plan is to bring Sammy & Manny. Just imagine, every time Sammy hits an infield fly rule popout he can jump sky high into his little trot and Manny can bust it down to 2nd and get doubled up. Then he say, man there’s always next year !!!

  2. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 22, 2007 at 9:08 am (#550288)

    1-Omar will go after a better catcher than Schneider.
    2-Silva is younger and will probably put up similar numbers to Vasquez, and he’s a FA, no trade package required.
    3-Castillo is the most likely 2B next year.
    4-The pen will be where most of the offseason effort will be focused, unless Omar can pull off a blockbuster for a top SP, but that’s a long shot, so Heilman will be part of the pen, I won’t count on Sanchez until he’s gotten about 20 IP under his belt with no problem. I could see Omar signing Percival, if he passes the physical, and possibly making a run at F. Cordero, but I doubt that either he or Wagner would take the setup role.

  3. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 22, 2007 at 9:29 am (#550294)

    Hey Gus–
    First of all, this journal isn´t about what I think will happen; rather it´s about alternatives/possibilities/speculation, which is what the Hot Stove season is all about.
    1. Omar may go after a better catcher, but who is out there? With a lot of offense elsewhere in the lineup, he may choose to go with a veteran who is a good defender.
    2. There´s no indication in Silva´s history that he´ll put up numbers like Vazquez´s. Silva has a comparatively lousy K/BB ratio, and a lot more hits than innings pitched.
    3. I agree, Castillo will most likely be back. That said, I´d still like to kick the tires on Hudson first.
    4. I think Omar may try to do a big name pen acquisition (C.Cordero?? He tried before…). But he´s also said in the past that bullpen guys are notoriously hard to predict, and can vary greatly from year to year. Given that, the most reliable way to avoid taxing your pen is to have your starters go longer. Vazquez does that; and he´s an Omar/Montreal guy.

  4. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 22, 2007 at 9:29 am (#550295)

    ps– I forgot about Sosa in the pen. He´ll probably be back.

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  6. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on October 22, 2007 at 9:42 am (#550299)

    Manny and Sammy are not coming to the Mets, so let’s lose those silly ideas, than you.

    Some good ideas, Dave, and I’m happy to see some METS chatter in here rather than all the football talk! :)

    As for Schneider and Jenkins….I don’t see them coming here because they both fit too well on their own respective teams. Plus, Jenkins here would be like bringing back Jeromy Burnitz – the occasional homer, but mostly he’d be booed for all the key outs he’d make as well as for his defense.

    I don’t think getting a top starting pitcher is a long shot at all. Or even a big bat for that matter. As one writer pointed out on SNY’s web site recently, the Wilpons desperately fear the Mets becoming irrelevant in NYC again after the collaspe and all the Yankee press of late. I think they DO operate on that mindset somewhat, so I therefore see Omar making at least one fairly huge splash this winter.

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  8. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on October 22, 2007 at 9:43 am (#550301)

    Manny and Sammy are not coming to the Mets, so let’s lose those silly ideas, than you.

    oops, meant to type THANK YOU….sorry

  9. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 22, 2007 at 12:52 pm (#550431)

    Hi Dave,

    I think Barrett should be better than Schneider, for one, 07 will probably be a typical, possibly good year, as far as Schneider goes, for the next two or three years, it will probably be Barrett’s worst.
    I’m not sure CWS would trade Vasquez, they’d rather move Garland or Contrares, I think.
    Hudson will cost(talent-wise), don’t think ARI will give him up for MiL spare parts.
    The FA market as a whole is pretty thin, outside of CFs. Trading Milledge creates a hole in RF, I’m not sure how much Pelfrey, Humber, Mulvey, or Carp would get you. That basically leaves Guerra, Gomez, Fmart and maybe Neise as valuable prospects. Who do you trade?

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  11. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 22, 2007 at 1:53 pm (#550452)

    Screw O-Dog. Get me Conor Jackson!!!!

  12. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 22, 2007 at 3:13 pm (#550567)

    Gus- I´ve heard that Barrett is good offensively, but not so good defensively. Schneider has a good rep defensively.
    Garland wouldn´t be bad. CWS might trade Vazquez if they could get value. Would Omar do Milledge and Pelfrey for Vazquez? Would you? I think Milledge is replaceable by a FA, and if he can get a good durable starter who eats innings, that´s a valuable commodity.
    Hudson is the classic rent-a-player debate for both teams: Should we trade him now and get something rather than let him go for draft picks? vs Should we give up talent for him in hopes that we can sign him. Cost benefit analysis…
    I think Pelfrey, Humber, Mulvey and Carp have value. I also think Heilman could bring value. Some teams might also be interested in some of our AAA guys as add-on pieces in trades. I think that trades could be structured for Vazquez (or Garland) and Schneider. If Cordero comes too it increases the price.
    Say Heilman, Brett Harper and Niese for Schneider & Cordero? Harper could back up the always injured Nick Johnson. Maybe you´d have to do Mulvey instead of Niese. Or add a Muniz to give them a future closer candidate?
    I wish I knew more about what the other teams needs and concerns are. I´m waiting for mlb4u.com to update their Team Needs and Budgets feature…

    For now I want to keep Guerra, Gomez and FMart for sure. I´d love to keep Pelfrey and Humber, but I´m leaning toward more of a proven quantity in pitching than the potential that those guys have. If a team was more interested in Gomez than Milledge I´d be happy to keep Gomez.

  13. Comment posted by andyglass1 on October 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm (#550703)

    just to clarify – If Omar brings in Sammy & Manny I will not watch a Mets game ever again. I dont want the Latino Big Head or Manny on this team. My fear is that Omar is obsessed with Latinos only. Why should we be so eager to give up the young affordable talent we have for mediocrity like Vasquez ? How many times has he won 20 ? How about 15 ? Has he ever been an All Star ? Havent we seen enough give aways (Bannister, Bell, Owen, Kazmir & Lindstrom). The Jacket has enough projects to fix on our team as it is… A defensive stud is all we need for a catcher; there are no Piazza’s out there.

  14. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 22, 2007 at 10:05 pm (#550729)

    Dave- I think Heilman and Milledge have the most value of possible trade chips, I think Ollie and Maine are untouchable except in a serious pitching upgrade. Trading Milledge would probably cost in the range of $10+M/Yr over the next 3 years, I rather take my chances with him and spend the money elsewhere. As far as Harper goes, this was the 4th year he’s been in AA, missed most of last year on the DL and he’s hurt now. I don’t think he’d make or break a deal. I’m not sure you could get Cordero for Heilman, Harper and Neise, It depends on what WAS thinks of Neise, or Mulvey(most scouts don’t seem to be that high on Mulvey, they like his attitude and work ethic, but not so much his stuff). As far as a SP goes, unless it’s a top line starter, I’d rather they take their chances with Pedro, El Duque, Maine, Ollie and Pelbervey, than trade for a mid-to-back of the rotation guy.

  15. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 22, 2007 at 10:14 pm (#550734)

    One other thing on Harper, if WAS has any interest in him, they can probably take him in the rule 5 draft, I don’t think he’ll be on the 40 man roster in Dec.

  16. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 22, 2007 at 10:18 pm (#550736)

    Sosa in the pen. He´ll probably be back.

    Sosa will be back, he’s not a FA until after 08.

  17. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 23, 2007 at 1:52 am (#550786)

    Gus- You´re right on the above assessment of our minor league guys, but I´m definately not comforable with a rotation of Pedro, El Duque, Maine, Ollie, and Humfrey. Vazquez would solidify the front end of the rotation, as would a handful of other trade targets. When Duque goes on the DL where does that leave us? If Pelfrey or Humber fall short of hopes/expectations (as neither has proven anything yet) what do we do? Do you want two unproven guys in the rotation at once? I think Omar will go after a proven starter and that he will consider Vazquez a target. A consistent history of 200+ effective innings per year is a very strong selling point for me.

    And Andyglass1– I never mentioned Sammy or Manny– there´s no way those guys come here. You´re the only one talking about that. And I wouldn´t characterize Vazquez as a mediocrity–look up his career stats; the only place he falls short is W/L record, and that´s largely a function of team. I agree with your catcher comments–we probably have enough offense elsewhere, though I´d prefer a guy who isn´t an automatic out…

  18. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 23, 2007 at 12:16 pm (#550946)

    Dave-I’d take Vasquez, but not if it cost Milledge+, like I said, I’d rather spend the $10+M (+ $12M for Vazquez), who is coming off one of his best years and will probably regress to a 4.5 ERA, which is not ‘front end of the rotation’. I’d be more interested in him as a FA, plus as I said before, I think CWS prefer to keep him and move Contrares and Garland.

  19. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 23, 2007 at 2:24 pm (#551064)

    Contreras´ERAs, Innings pitched, Batting Average Against, and K/BB from 2001-2007 are as follows:
    2001 3.42 NL 224IP .235BAA 208K/44BB
    2002 3.91 NL 230IP .271BAA 179/49
    2003 3.24 NL 231IP .229 241/57
    2004 4.91 AL 198IP .255 150/60
    2005 4.42 NL 216IP .266 192/46
    2006 4.84 AL 203IP .259 184/56
    2007 3.74 AL 217IP .242 213/50

    Those are damn good numbers.
    I´m not sure why he should ¨regress to a 4.5 ERA¨, especially when he´s moving back to the NL. All of his NL ERAs have been under 3.91 except for his year in AZ, where he was unhappy and uncomfortable. Even that year, his worst NL year, was less than 4.50.
    With that said, I agree that CWS prefers to keep him, for obvious reasons– he pitches well for a lot of innings and keeps his teams in games. Just what we need. And I think that qualifies him for front end of the rotation– not a #1, but a solid #2 behind Pedro.

  20. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 23, 2007 at 2:27 pm (#551071)

    I meant Vazquez!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those are Vazquez´s numbers.

  21. Comment posted by sheadenizen on October 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm (#551122)

    I’ve read that White Sox will make Garland and Contreras available…not Vasquez. There’s also Livan Hernandez who’s a FA ( I think) and would cost nothing. Assuming past performance….you’ll get the innings from him. Not bad for a number 4 or 5.
    And no love for Yorvit? I think he’s also a FA, but I’m not sure.

  22. Comment posted by rfloh on October 23, 2007 at 3:43 pm (#551163)

    Dave in Spain,

    What would you give up for Vazquez?

    Vazquez’ career ERA+ is 105. The last time he had less than 180 IP was 1999. Typically averages 200 IP. He is 30. $34.5 M / 3 left on his contract. He is coming off a very good year: 127 ERA+, so Ken Williams would probably have a fairly high asking price.

    Carlos Silva’s ERA+ is 102. Ever since he became a regular, he has exceeded 180 IP. He is 28. ERA+ this year of 103.

    Let’s assume Carlos Silva’s market value is $50M /4.

    Is Vazquez + $16M > Carlos Silva + prospect?

    If prospect is Milledge, no F****** way. NO.

    If prospect is Gomez / FMart / Guerra / Pelfrey, still NO.

    The Mets aren’t the Marlins or some cheap small market team. They shouldn’t be choosing money over good young prospects. Especially not someone like Milledge who is not a prospect anymore; but rather is already arguably league average.

  23. Comment posted by rfloh on October 23, 2007 at 3:45 pm (#551166)

    #19

    UGH, typos.

    That should have been, “Carlos Silva’s career ERA+ is 102”

  24. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 23, 2007 at 5:34 pm (#551245)

    OK, I´m the first to admit that I´m no stathead. I don´t know ERA+ from a hole in the wall. But what I do see is this:
    Carlos Silva´s stats 2004-2007

    2004 4.21 ERA 203 IP .310 BAA 76K/35BB
    2005 3.44 ERA 188 IP .290 BAA 71K/9 BB
    2006 5.94 ERA 180 IP .324 BAA 70K/32 BB
    2007 4.19 ERA 202 IP .287 BAA 89K/36 BB

    When you compare those numbers to Vazquez, i´ts clear that Vazquez is a much better pitcher for our needs. Every stat of Vazquez is better than Silva´s by a substantial margin (except BB/IP, but that is offset by BAA). We need a durable pitcher who eats innings, keeps runs off the board, and keeps the bullpen pitchers in the pen as long as possible. Silva averaged 193 IP over 4 seasons- Vazquez averaged 217 IP over 7 seasons. That´s more than 2/3 of an inning more per start over 33 starts. Plus Vazquez has the ability to get the strikeout when he needs it.
    I would trade Milledge. League average outfielders can be found relatively easily- durable reliable starters can´t. And I love prospects, but I´ve been burned before– the names Gregg Jefferies, Shawn Abner, Stanley Jefferson, Billy Beane pop into my head- and that doesn´t even count pitching prospects that have fizzled. If Pelfrey or Humber had shown any dominance at all this year I would hold off on a trade, but I haven´t seen that.
    I don´t want to trade the farm; if the asking price is too high, we should go with what we have (or can get cheaply) and hope for the best. But I don´t want to see the same situation unfold in 2008 as in 2009– a pen that is so exhausted from overuse (or mis-use, but that´s another journal), that it can´t survive September. IMO, we have 3 starters that we can count on (Pedro, Maine, and Ollie) barring injuries, and Ollie is inconsistent. Duque should be in the pen- when he´s good he´s great, but he can´t hold up for a full season. I´m happy to try one of Pelfrey or Humber in the 5th slot, but we need another seasoned pitcher. You win with pitching.

  25. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 23, 2007 at 9:46 pm (#551355)

    Dave-Basically, my fear would be that in 07 Vasquez had the best year of the rest of his career (he’ll be 32 next season)and if the next three years his pitching line looks like 04-06, 11 to 14 wins and losses and a 4.5+ ERA, I’d rather take a chance on Pelbervey, at the same time I feel fairly confident Milledge will continue to improve and be better than an average OF, at a value price. I’m just not nearly as enamored with Vazquez as you are.

  26. Comment posted by sheadenizen on October 23, 2007 at 10:34 pm (#551386)

    And with the Reds spending money to hire Dusty Baker…there’s no way Aaron Harang gets traded, Dave. Although I’d love him, too.

  27. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 24, 2007 at 1:46 am (#551466)

    Yeah, I don´t think Harang or Haren gets traded either. Or Vazquez for that matter. But I can dream, can´t I?
    ;-}

  28. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 24, 2007 at 1:48 am (#551467)

    Shea-
    Yorvit is a FA, but I´m sure the Rocks will bring him back. I was trying to look at viable alternatives that hadn´t been discussed much if at all.

  29. Comment posted by rfloh on October 24, 2007 at 4:00 am (#551469)

    Dave in Spain,

    ERA+ is park, and league, adjusted ERA, scaled to 100. 100 is league average for all pitchers. League average for starters is about 96, since starters tend to perform worse than relievers. A player with a 105 ERA+ is 5 percent better than league average. A player with a 95 ERA+ is 5 percent below league average. The player with the 105 ERA+ is 10 percent better ERA-wise than the player with the 95 ERA+.

    Vazquez’ career ERA+ is 105, Silva 102, a trivial difference. ERA over a single season is not a good predictor for future performance. ERA over several seasons, over a career, OTOH, IS a good predictor of future performance. Once you adjust for park, Silva and Vazquez have essentially the same ERA over their careers.

    League average OFs are easy to find. League average OFs at the age of 22 are not. According to a study that Bill James did some time back, guys who can hold their own in MLB at the age of 22, nearly always go on to good, long careers.

    You mention Billy Beane. Beane career high in OPS+ was 74, in 8 PA at the age of 23. At 24, he had an OPS+ of 49! in 194 PA. OPS+ is park adjusted OPS. 100 is average. So, at the age of 24, Beane was 51 percent BELOW league average!

    Abner’s and Jefferson’s careers were much like Beane’s, though slightly better.

    Gregg Jefferies is a better comparison. He had a pretty good career offensively: 2 AS apperances, 3rd in RoY voting. Maybe he didn’t live up to (high) expectations, that doesn’t meant that he was a bad player.

    Milledge had an OPS+ of 78 in 2006, at 21. This year, at 22, he improved, an OPS+ of 105. Let me put it this way, do you consider Chris Young of the DBacks a player you want? Or maybe you like Adam Jones, the Mariners CF prospect? Milledge is as good as, I would say better than them.

    As for pitching, give Silva $50M. If you want to trade Milledge you should be trading him for Oswalt or Haren not Vazquez. Vazquez, over his career, is similar in ERA terms to Ted Lilly, Jeff Suppan, Carlos Silva. And while he has a below market value contract, it isn’t that far below market value. Slightly better than league average innings eaters are available in FA. The Ted Lilly’s, Jeff Suppan’s and Carlos Silva’s only cost money, not young talent with high upsides.

  30. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 8:28 am (#551471)

    thank you, rfloh!

  31. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 8:31 am (#551472)

    and, rfloh, do you know what the std. dev. of ERA+ is, in a typical year? just curious.

  32. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 24, 2007 at 9:26 am (#551483)

    rfloh– Great summary–very clear. You make a very convincing argument. The thing that ERA+ doesn´t address is innings pitched and K/BB numbers & ratios. So which numbers are more valuable for us?

    My point with Beane, Abner, Jefferson, and Jefferies is that prospects are just potential until they do it at the big league level. All 4 of those guys were highly touted prospects at the time, and all were disappointments. We really don´t know what Milledge, Gomez, and Fernando! are going to give us, though Milledge is a lot more projectable than the others at this point.

    It all comes down to how patient we as fans will be next year. I´ll admit, I´ve been feeling a bit impatient lately with the Mets, and I want them to put up or shut up. But maybe 2009 is the year for that.

    What do you think of the 2B and C positions?

  33. Comment posted by rfloh on October 24, 2007 at 9:31 am (#551487)

    Gus Gloom,

    No. But from a study by Chris Jaffe, this are the results that you can expect form your starters in each slot, ie #1 starter, in the 2006 AL, 2006 NL, 2005 AL, 2005 NL. So a typical #3 starter has an ERA+ that is slightly below league average, while a typical #2 starter has an ERA+ that is slightly above league average.

    #1 slot: 118, 123, 118, 128
    #2 slot: 103, 107, 104, 108
    #3 slot: 98, 96, 97, 101
    #4 slot: 89, 86, 90, 88
    #5 slot: 79, 77, 78, 80

  34. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 9:48 am (#551496)

    thanks, rfloh, that gives me an idea of the distribution. std. of starters is probably just above 20. Do you know what the ERA+ was of Maine, Perez, El Duque, Glavine, and the combined for our #5? do you think the ERA+ is a better representation of a pitchers value than VORP? or DIPS ERA?

  35. Comment posted by rfloh on October 24, 2007 at 10:08 am (#551505)

    Dave in Spain,

    Think of ERA+ as ERA on steroids. Because it adjusts for park, it makes it more realistic to compare a player playing in a pitcher’s park with a player playing in a hitter’s park. ERA+ indeed doesn’t take into account IP. That is why guys like Javier Vazquez, Jeff Suppan have value. Their ERA / ERA+ numbers don’t look impressive, but combined with their IP totals they are good players. I am NOT saying that Javier Vazquez is a bad player. NO. He is a good player. But, players like him are available in FA. Javier Vazquez is not Roy Oswalt or Mark Buehrle or Carlos Zambrano. The Mets have money. They can afford to sign a player like Javier Vazquez or Jeff Suppan in FA.

    K / BB is great to get a picture of how a pitcher is keeping runs off the board. If a guy has an ERA / ERA+ that doesn’t match his K / BB numbers in a season, like Brian Bannister with the Royals this year, he might have been lucky. Though even an “unlucky” Bannister would have been useful to the Mets.

    OTOH, ERA over several seasons, over a career, is not as subject to luck as ERA in a single season. Glavine is the most famous example. His real ERA numbers have always been better than his “projected” ERA numbers.

    It’s not my job to think about 2b and C, that’s Omar’s job :) Afterall, he lost Jesus Flores :) I would try to trade for a real catching prospect like Jeff Clement of the Mariners. Yes, I would be willing to give up Milledge or Pelfrey + Humber for him. Though the Mariners don’t need Milledge since they have an OF logjam. Failing that, something like Yorvit + Ramon.

    For 2b, I would ask Milwaukee about Bill Hall, and see if they’re willing to trade him. If they are not willing to trade him, or want something ridiculous like Milledge + Pelrey + Humber, I’d probably play it safe and sign someone like Castillo / Iguchi / Eckstein to be a stopgap.

  36. Comment posted by rfloh on October 24, 2007 at 10:23 am (#551507)

    Gus Gloom,

    You can find out ERA+ and OPS+ for every player on Baseball Reference. It’s a great site. And if you’re a maths nerd, Sean Forman explains the formula that he uses, so it’s not as if ERA+ and OPS+ are blackbox stats.

    ERA+ is basically ERA on steroids. It adjusts for park, making it more feasible to compare a player playing in a pitcher’s park versus a player playing in a hitter’s park. If you’re trying to predict future performance, ERA+ for 1 year is better, but not much better than ERA, that is fairly useless. For predicting future performance 1 year ERA+ is much like 1 year VORP. Not very useful. ERA+ over several seasons, a career, is useful.

    If you want to use Baseball Prospectus’ stats, Runs above Average is probably better than VORP. VORP sets replacement too low, thus overvaluing durable but crappy players. According to VORP, a replacement player is a AA player. That is way too low. On the BPro site, you can find Runs Above Average on each player’s card.

  37. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 11:20 am (#551561)

    rfloh- the thing that doesn’t make sense to me is the Park Factor, the same park, different year, very different PF, i.e. CLE 2007 1.12, 4th best hitters+ park, 2005 .880 4th best pitcher+ park. I get the math, that kind of fluctuation, attributed to the park, doesn’t really make sense.

  38. Comment posted by rfloh on October 24, 2007 at 12:15 pm (#551617)

    Gus Gloom,

    Wait, where did you get those numbers?

  39. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 1:17 pm (#551646)

    espn

  40. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 1:18 pm (#551647)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

  41. Comment posted by rfloh on October 24, 2007 at 2:22 pm (#551746)

    Gus Gloom,

    BBRef has different park factors. The ERA+ and OPS+ that I’m posting are from BBRef, thus they are based on BBRef’s park factors. Sean Forman uses 3 year park factors for the ERA+ and OPS+ numbers, to account for yearly fluctuations. His park factors appear to have less year to year fluctuations.

    Just a friendly warning, Forman’s formula is much more difficult that ESPN’s simple formula.

    Also, park effects can change. Whether due to weather, the team changing the amount of foul territory to accommodate more seats etc.

  42. Comment posted by Gus Gloom on October 24, 2007 at 4:44 pm (#551866)

    The 3 year makes more sense, but the fact that the stat is still based on ERA tends to make me think dERA(or a similar peripheral based ERA stat) is a better at capturing the value a particular pitcher would have to a generic team(as well as a predictor of future performance).

  43. Comment posted by rfloh on October 25, 2007 at 3:34 am (#552031)

    Gus Gloom,

    Well, how do you define value? Some would argue that it is lucky to be good and so on. Results, whether good or bad, are results, regardless of how or why they happened. VORP is also ERA based, for pitchers. Not peripherals based.

    Yes, BABIP, LD%, GB%, K / BB, are much better predictors of future performance than single season ERA. But unless the pitcher’s peripherals suddenly change, either for the better or the worse, ERA over several season is actually a pretty good predictor of future performance.

  44. Comment posted by MetsSailor on November 3, 2007 at 6:32 pm (#556348)

    Brian Schneider would be a great pickup for the Mets. He is widely considered one of the best defensive catchers in the game, which is something we haven’t had since…since…wait when the hell was the last time we had a good, not merely adequate, but GOOD defensive catcher? Carter was ok but on the downslide defensively when we got him, so I dunno. Was it Mackey Sasser? no? Oh well.

    Still Schneider would fit well and I would honestly see him as more of a platoon with Castro than a backup. He calls a much better game, doesn’t hit for power, but anyone who watched him in the last couple of series we had against the Nats knows he can come up with a clutch hit.

    Finally, and I think this is big, he’s a very nice guy and would be an excellent clubhouse addition. His experience would be a big help to Pelfrey and Humber. Castro has the bigger bat, but with those two being in the rotation for this year (probably) and the following years (most definitely) having a catcher who knows the game better from behind the plate would be a big bonus to their growth.

    Lo Duca showed that a power hitter behind the plate isnt a necessity in 2006, the problem this year was Delgado’s falloff and Reyes second half woes. Finding a big bat at 1B would rectify that (as I see Reyes problems as an abberation) if they accomplish that, and get Schneider somehow, I think that could work out very well. If not, then Castro should be the primary option.

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