Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dollars and Sense

I never thought much about money and contracts much when I was a younger fan. These days, I probably think too much about them. (Cot's Contracts is one of my favorite sites.) Unfortunately, we can't ignore the economics of the game anymore. The "dismal science" is a part of baseball analysis whether we like it or not. Good thing, then, we have FanGraphs to help us sort it all out.

Take a look at Jack Moore's recent post about Adam LaRoche, or Matt Klaassen's on the Holliday deal. Both stories have something to do with the Giants. Both make you think about transactions with an eye toward value. The San Francisco Sabeans are the poster child for bad deals, as we know. Who does their analysis? There seems to be no end of smart guys out there in cyberspace doing first-rate work. Do we employ these fellows? And if we don't--why don't we? I have to think we'd make better use of our dollars if we did.

Then again, we got some amazing value over the last two years out of Tim Lincecum for about a million bucks. Maybe I'm being too hard on The Three Stooges (Nuke, Sabes, and Baer). I suppose as long as our farm system can continue to produce talent like Jonathan Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval, we'll be OK.



Ron said...

Which makes you start to wonder even more, when you read something like this:

Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that Adam LaRoche turned down a two-year $17 million offer from the Orange and Black."

Should we ever, in a million years, be offering a mediocre player like Adam LaRoche $8.5M per year? Is he really worth half as much as Matt Holliday? On the other hand, yet again, are we going to be left with nothing? Our supposed best option was Nick Johnson, & the Yankees, of all people, jumped in & signed him. And, for they signed him for less money than we just offered for an inferior player???

Why don't they just create a Super League for the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Angels, Phillies, & Cardinals? Then, the other teams could compete in relative parity in a lesser developmental league. It might be more satisfying than living under the illusion that our intention is to build a strong team.

By the way, aren't Vlad & Carlos Delgado still available? I'd rather have either of them on a 1-year $8.5M deal than Adam LaRoche on a 2-year $17M deal.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm guessing we signed Uribe for two reasons: (1) in case Renteria has to be DFA'd or (2) to play 3B, moving Sandoval to 1B.

LaRoche is a lefty, I think that's his big appeal. His career OPS (.834) and OPS+ (116) beats every current Giant (other than Pablo), but first baseman are usually decent hitters. Last year's .843 mark puts him 19th out of 25 MLB regulars at 1B, though, beating out no. 21 at .831, Nick Johnson.

If you go for wOBA, LaRoche is 21st at .357 and Johnson is 16th at .373. LaRoche, as a 2.4 WAR player (same as Johnson), winds up in the bottom third of the same group.

LaRoche and Johnson would both be upgrades--that's the scary part.