Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2012 FA catchers
Ryan Doumit (31)-----.330/.420, 55 simple runs created
Ramon Hernandez (36)-.335/.410, 55 src
Chris Snyder (31)----.330/.395, 52 src
Kelly Shoppach (32)--.310/.400, 50 src
Average MLB C, 2011--.313/.389, 49 src
Rod Barajas (36)-----.275/.410, 45 src

In a word, sucky. If Kottaras would be non-tendered, I'd rather have him than anyone except the top four. Also hard to believe Doumit wouldn't find a job behind the plate even if he is weak defensively. FYI, UZR does not rank catchers, and DRS barely notices a difference.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I've been delinquent in my FA updates, as FA season has officially opened. Will try and get the remaining positions, 2B, OF, C, SP, and RP up before the end of the weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2012 FA SS, projected production

Jose Reyes (29)----------.355/.420, -3D, 79 simple runs created
Rafael Furcal (34)-------.335/.410, +1D, 76 src, PT concern
Jimmy Rollins (33)-------.320/.395, +3D, 73 src
Clint Barmes (33)--------.310/.370, +7D, 70 src
Jed Lowrie (28)----------.315/.400, -1D, 68 src
Ramon Santiago (32)------.320/.350, +6D, 68 src
Jerry Hairston Jr. (36)--.310/.375, +2D, 66 src, age concern
Average MLB SS, 2011-----.317/.380, 0D, 66 src
Alex Gonzalez (34)-------.282/.385, +5D, 65 src
Jamey Carroll (37)-------.350/.333, -2D, 62 src, age PT concern
Nick Punto (34)----------.330/.315, +4D, 61 src, PT concern

Just a listing for now, but while I do have Reyes as the best, Furcal is very close, and will not cost nearly as much, especially in long-term commitment.

I was also surprised how many games Reyes has played, his health is not much of a factor at all. Furcal is far moreso, and will likely only get 1-2 years.

Hairston is looked at as a utility player, so that may hold his price down, as is Carroll and Punto. That and their maturity might hold their cost well below market value.

ADDED: Lowrie, as Scutaro's option has been exercised and Lowrie may well be non-tendered.

UPDATE: Chart and text updated as Scutaro's option picked up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2012 FA 3B
Aramis Ramirez (34)-----.350/.495, -6D, 89 simple runs created
Edwin Encarnacion (29)--.325/.455, -10D, 71 src
Wilson Betemit (30)-----.340/.440, -12D, 70 src
Ave MLB 3B, 2011--------.317/.390, 0D, 68 src
Kevin Kouzmanoff (30)---.290/.380, 8D, 68 src
Nick Punto (34)---------.330/.315, 10D, 67 src

3B suddenly is almost as weak as SS and C. Encarnacion and Betemit both are poor fielders, and neither Kouzmanoff or Punto can hit a lick...but are very good defensively, so they are grouped together in a strange, have warts but also have strengths type of way.

Teams with a pair of 3B, like the Brewers (McGehee and Green) or Cards (Freese and Descalso), are likely to field plenty of phone calls this winter.

Also, Ramirez is strong enough offensively to be considered the 3rd best FA 1B, behind only Fielder and Pujols.
Albert Pujols (32)----.400/.570, 3D, 128 simple runs created
Prince Fielder (28)---.410/.575, -4D, 126 src
Derrek Lee (36)-------.345/.450, 2D, 87 src
Ave MLB 1B, 2011------.345/.452, 0D, 86 src
Michael Cuddyer (33)--.340/.470, -2D, 86 src
Carlos Pena (34)------.340/.450, 0D, 84 src
Wilson Betemit (30)---.340/.440, -1D, 81 src
Casey Kotchman (29)---.335/.380, 3D, 73 src
Ryan Doumit (31)------.330/.420, -3D, 73 src
Lyle Overbay (35)-----.320/.395, 1D, 71 src

Pujols and Fielder are about four wins better than average, and that's why they'll get the big bucks. I'm surprised there isn't a bit more gap between Cuddyer, Pena, and the rest, and that Lee ranks even higher than them. Betemit, who has barely played 1B, fits right in as a mediocre, relatively cheap option.

If your team needs a 1B and they do not get Prince or Albert, they may well be looking at a platoon of some sort, as guys like Eric Hinkse, Brad Hawpe, Xavier Nady, and Wily Mo Pena would likely match the production of all but the first and second tier, which to me, ends with Betemit.

For those who follow the Brewers and are just visiting here from Ramblings, Mat Gamel's projection? He put up a .338/.422 line in 2009, in about 150 PA's. Without going into too much detail, just expecting him to match that would put him at 78 src. Any improvement at all would result in him being about equal to Betemit or Pena, though in reality, Mat, along with Betemit and Pena, will all probably be involved in a platoon of some sort (Wilson hits far better as a LH hitter, while Carlos has struggled versus LHP his entire career).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Teams looking to replace a 1B and unable to afford Prince or Albert should look at picking up Wigginton from COL, pay half his salary, and sign Carlos Pena as a FA.

Pena, '11 vs. RHP-----.388/.504
Pena, career vs. RHP--.370/.514
Ty W, '11 vs. LHP-----.370/.426
Ty W, career vs. LHP---.353/.461

Ron Roenicke managed to get Morgan to the plate 89% of the time versus RHP, effectively hiding his horrendous performance versus southpaws. Some suggested Pena had a bad year, but he was superb, he just can't hit lefties.

Xavier Nady, Ryan Doumit, and Derrick Lee might also fit...as would my favorite, Wily Mo Pena, who has a career 792 OPS versus LHP, and would create a Pena/Pena platoon.

Prince or Albert would probably project at a 900ish OPS, but one of the above would probably get you a 820-850 OPS...for about a third of the cost, and without a commitment longer than many marriages last.

Quickly, using simple runs created, and ignoring defense:

Fielder/Pujols--.400/.500, 110 src, $22M
Above platoon---.355/.475, 93 src, $8M?

That's equal to about twenty runs, or a couple wins using the rule of ten. I think I can better uses for $14M than a couple victories myself, and I'm sure many GM's feel the same way.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kevin Kouzmanoff will be a free agent, after being non-tendered by the Rockies.

I think he'll be a great deal for someone, much like James Loney will. Kevin has played in horrible ballparks for offense, except for his handful of games in COL. You don't put up good offensive stats in SD and OAK, and predictably, he's put up solid numbers as a visitor.

Kouz, career road--.311/.460, 771 OPS
Ave 3B, 2011-------.317/.390, 707 OPS

Add into this that Kouz is +24 runs on defense the past three years, according to UZR (+13 per DRS), he looks to be an undervalued player, especially if MLBTR is correct and he ends up with a minor league contract for 2012.

As is often the case, where I see value, many others do/will not. Kouzmanoff has regressed every year offensively, with declining OPS's since his first year of playing full time: 786, 732, 722, 679, 656. He turned 30 during the '12 campaign, so he is what he is, there's no improvement to be had. And his last name is a pain to spell, there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Of course, you have to remember here, we're talking about a guy the Rockies, in effect, just let go. He's not going to be Ryan Braun with a good 3B's glove. Last year, I said nice things about Nyjer Morgan, and was scolded because he was a "cancer" by an e-mailer. No team is built with 25 stars.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hi, and welcome. For the most part, this site will not have short messages, it will review MLB players who may have more value than you might think at first glance.

Back in days of Moneyball, Billy Beane built winners cheaply, using OBP and other metrics that many teams did not. Those days are past, but the search for inexpensive MLB talent has not.