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Monday, February 27, 2012


When they say 'sidearm' are we talking Kent Tekulve/ submariner style? This kid is one of hte players I'd really like to see this spring.

I wonder if the $/WAR factor is simply too linear. There may need to be a scaling factor, as it seems to work out that great to elite players are in much more demand (and at a much smaller supply), that owners are more willing to "overpay" for them, whereas bad players who are generally willing to accept whatever deal they can get their hands on, and GMs can look to get a bargain on them, since they are a dime a dozen.

It probably works out that the vast majority of players are paid near their true value, while great players are overpaid and badplayers are underpaid.

If this is generally the case, then contracts ought to be judged on a non-linear, tangential curve, where it is accepted that elite talent will be overpaid relative to the average $/WAR mark. The amount of overpayment can be judged relative to their WAR last year (or 3 year WAR average). I don't know, just a thought, since there is obviously still a question of value, even if you ascribe to the theory that you "overpay for talent"; even if this is completely and utterly true, there is still a range of overpayment in which you are getting a good or fair value, and a threshold at which it is no longer justified.

Looks like Worley's cousin.

As an aside, I'm in Milwaukee this week (and have been most the winter) and Wisconsin has official Brewers license plates. I wouldn't mind Pennsylvania providing an option for a Phillies plate.

I dont expect much from Diekman at all, but sounds like this kid has some upside to hope for that Savery, Horst, etc. don't really have.

Diekman has walked 6.1 batters per 9 innings in each of his last 2 minor league seasons. Unless that new arm slot has resulted in substantially improved control, the odds are slim that he'll ever be a viable major league pitcher. But changing the arm slot worked for Roy Halladay, so who knows?

Hey BAP, if a 6.1 BB/9 was good enough for Brad Lidge last year, surely this kid can pull it off!

AWH - I have a slight problem with your first statement below. Of course we'll know in the future if this was or was not a good deal. What does that even mean? This is a baseball blog. We often guess at what will happen, just like a GM has to. If this were a baseball history discussion, then we would wait for hindsight.

And the second post below addresses what you do if the player won't give you a hometown discount. That's easy. You wait until his contract is up and decide whether you want to pay the going rate at that time. If he slides, you may get a better deal. And if he declines badly, you may have saved yourself 100 mil. But you don't simply sign and pay him the market rate out of panic or fear.

Yeah, I understand he's had injury problems. But he's a rare player as a third baseman these days. Were he a first baseman or corner outfielder, he would not be that special. And he would have had to take a lot less money.

smitty, as with any contract, we'll see if it's a good one or bad one.

As I mentioned above, given his injury history, I'm not sure this was as big a "discount" as you and some of the others think.

Posted by: awh | Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM

BTW, smitty, you address RAJ as to what a hometown discount "looks like".

Even assuming you're right, what do you do if the player won't give you one, and there isn't another comparable layer out there?

Zimmerman is an example.

Posted by: awh | Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM

I saw Diekman throw an inning in Reading last season and it was love at first sight.

Fat: Yeah, if you have great strikeout stuff or ground ball abilities, it's actually not completely impossible to have a solid big league career even with a 6+ BB/9 ratio. Granted, it's very, very difficult. But not impossible. J.C. Romero's BB/9 for his entire Phillies career was 6.4. and he was certainly a viable (even pretty good) reliever for most of that time.

Of course, I would tend to think that 6.4 BB/9 in A and AA would translate to something even worse in the majors.

I think Zimmerman's injury risk is being somewhat overstated. He had two unrelated injuries in 2008 and 2011. In between those 2 years, he played 157 and 142 games, posted huge numbers, and played Gold Glove defense.

The Nats basically paid him less than what you'd pay to get his 2009/2010 seasons, but more than what you'd pay to get his 2011 season. Considering that he's only 27, that seems like a good risk.

BAP, that was the absolutely crazy thing about Lidge last year. He always was a higher strikeout pitcher, but somehow last year (small sample abberation most likely), he was inducing ground balls at a 57% clip, while still K'ing batters at a 10.71/9 rate (and also stranding 90% of runners).

Sustainable? Not in the least. But it made us forget about that abysmal 6.1 BB/9.

Cardinal rule though as a situational reliever though is that you can't BB hitters that frequently. Always been Diekman's issue.

I am curious to see how Diekman looks in camp but would be surprised if he even makes the first cut.

Fatalotti: I agree with your skepticism about the linearity argument.

In other words, a 6-WAR player and 2 0-WAR players are expected to produce the same as 3 2-WAR players, but the former is much more valuable than the latter because possible improvements on the latter trio are more scarce than possible improvements on the former trio.

With so many young arms seemingly ready, it makes the Dontrelle Willis signing very puzzling. Willis has been bad for a few seasons in a row now, making me think a minor league deal would have been the better route. I know Willis holds value if he's used properly (LOOGY), but that' yet to be seen.


Normally I would root for almost anyone who is attempting to make a comeback but I really hope that Manny blows out a hamstring in spring training with the A's & that is baseball career is over.

Actually he did drop arm slot and has been improving steadily. This spring will be big because he is 25 and has to do something. Saw him in fall league and really eats L batters up. Nasty 3/4 little lower arm slot. Fastball explodes. Hitters have hard time with pick up ball out of hands. Hope he does well.

Carson: Going into this offseason, the Phils had 1 left handed reliever with MLB success. They had to sign another guy instead of just pray for a minor leaguer to have a good spring. You can argue the choice of Willis himself, but I don't think you can argue the thinking of bringing in someone who has gotten LHB out in the majors.

Little tid bit. Our friend gregg Dobbs proclaimed the Marlins are the team to beat in the east!!!

And the rest of the NL East, sans Philadelphia, responds: "Who?"

"I dont expect much from Diekman at all, but sounds like this kid has some upside to hope for that Savery, Horst, etc. don't really have."

I think Savery showed enough last year, that he has upside as a lefty reliever too. Looked good and composed in September. We must not forget that there was legit talk about him in September being chosen on the playoff roster.

He probably starts the year in Lehigh and with a solid month or two out of the pen, could be one of the first in line for a promotion.

Any word on DeFratus status? I really like his potential and would hate to see him sidetracked by injury.

Carson, I agree about Dontrelle Willis. He has been anything but stellar in his last few years. He'll probably clog up a 25 man roster space for us for most of the season and lose us a few ball games, too, in his LOOGY role before he's finally cut loose.

As always with the Marlins, it comes down to Josh Johnson's health. In the three seasons he's made at least 24 starts, he's posted 3.4 bWAR (24 starts), 5.3 bWAR (33 starts) and 6.3 bWAR (28 starts).

If he can stay on the field this season and give the Marlins 225 innings, he's a 7 WAR pitchers hands down (going by his rate over 60.1 IP last year, he'd actually be a 9.3 WAR pitcher).

Which is to say, they could be a dengerous team with JJ healthy and at the top of his game all season.

I look forward to the annual "Marlins could be dangerous if JJ is healthy" post.

I did forget Beerleaguer rule number 1:

No complimenting any other team in the NL East.

My apologies.

Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano in the same clubhouse should take care of any chance the "much improved" Miami Marlins should contend. I know they are friends but I have to think that clubhouse will be so volatile that homeland security should be concerned. Would love to be a fly on the wall when they experience their first 4 game losing streak.

I look forward to a bunch of new posts using WAR as the record of analysis...happy 2012 season everyone!!!

Donc: Miami will be nothing if not entertaining this year. I would love if MLB did something akin to the NHL's road to the winter classic; Road to Anger Management, maybe?

WAR? Huh...

What's it good for?

Fatty - No doubt they are better than last year. But Dobbs is missing brain cells if he really thinks that anyone beyond an extreme fan (are there any in Miami?) expects them to place above the Phils.

Don't get me wrong. They might. But no one expects it.

Maybe the quote was out of context and he actually said "Team to beat up on."

But even that would be wrong. Because the Mets {snickers} are the team to beat {guffaw} up on.

I am seeing a foot specialist today. My ankle makes a noise like a bendy straw everytime I move. Rube says I should be ready for May.

Andy, I don't actually expect the Marlins to make much noise this year, especially because I don't expect more than 20 starts from Johnson.

But a rotation with Sanchez, Buehrle and JJ could be pretty formidable Their offense is still a question mark, since we don't really know how Han-Ram is going to rebound, nor do we know how many games they get out of Reyes. Also, does Stanton take the next step?

They shouldn't win the division, but if there are two Wild Card spots, I wouldn't be shocked to see them there if they don't get killed by injuries.

the kid needs a smaller cap.

Fata: Good post. Young team that's been snakebit by injuries past 3 years. Lotta "ifs" but if everyone stays healthy, if HanRam takes to 3B and if hot prospects like Stanton, Morrison and Coghlan move forward instead of backward, they'll contend.

Also, Ricky Nolasco is not too shabby as 4th starter.

Dont forget to add Reyes and Hanley in that mix. Ramirez is not happy about playing 3B and we all know how Reyes is. Combine them with Zambrano and with Ozzie at the helm...I give them 'til the middle of May for the fireworks to start.

I just wanted to thank you again for this amazing website you have made here.

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