Adam Jones and Erik Bedard, Quantified

Dave · January 8, 2008 at 1:31 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Time is not on my side, so I won’t be able to go into as much detail on this as I would like, but with the Bedard rumors picking up steam again, I figured I should put this out there. What follows is my calculations of the value of Adam Jones and Erik Bedard from a win value standpoint. You don’t have to believe that this is the be-all, end-all of analysis, but if you’re serious about having an opinion on this issue that anyone should care about, you at least have to understand what win value analysis is telling you. If the Mariners aren’t looking at this kind of information (and, let’s be honest, they’re not), they’re not doing enough work to figure out if acquiring Erik Bedard at the cost of Adam Jones is a move worth making.

Here’s the basic concept – every player adds a quantifiable amount of wins to the roster above what could be expected of a league minimum, freely available player. Those wins have tangible economic value – the more wins a player generates, the more they should be paid. But players also cost money in terms of salary, and the difference between their win value and their cost is their net value. We all make these kinds of decisions every day – gas costs $3 a gallon, but it gets me to work so that I can earn $100 a day, so buying gas is a viable economic decision if you have to drive to get to your job unless you live really far away.

So, here’s what the numbers say, based on a conservative estimate of Jones’ abilities (I project him as a league average player this year with small, incremental improvements through 2013, his last year under Mariner control) and a very optimistic estimate of Bedard’s abilities (basically, he retains almost all of his 2007 form, then resigns with the Mariners to a 3 year, $60 million contract after 2009). The variables have all been tilted in favor of Bedard, because I like to present something like the best case scenario for the side I don’t agree with, especially when I think the issue is this cut and dried.

All that said, here are the numbers (I’ll try to post the calculations later when I have time to make a table look decent).

Adam Jones, 2008 net value: $8.7 million
Erik Bedard, 2008 net value: $12.5 million

Adam Jones, 2009 net value: $14.0 million
Erik Bedard, 2009 net value: $9.0 million

Adam Jones, 2008-2013 net value: $61.0 million
Erik Bedard, 2008-2013 net value: $33.1 million (assumes 3 year, $60 million extension after ’09)

In terms of value added to the Mariners franchise over the next six years, it’s not even close. Jones blows Bedard out of the water even in a scenario where Bedard is projected to be the significantly better player (I’ve got the total wins added from ’08-’13 at 17 for Jones and 26 for Bedard). Even if you only look at the next two years, Jones is expected to outvalue Bedard $22.75 million to $21.5 million.

Even if Adam Jones was a free agent after 2009, given their respective abilities and salaries, I wouldn’t trade Adam Jones for Erik Bedard straight up. The fact that the Mariners then control Jones from 2010 to 2013 makes this an obviously horrible trade.

I’m all for acquiring Erik Bedard, and I’d give up practically the whole farm system to get him. But Adam Jones is the kind of player that good organizations just don’t trade. He’s one of the most valuable players in the game, and by himself, more valuable to the club than Erik Bedard.

Comments

187 Responses to “Adam Jones and Erik Bedard, Quantified”

  1. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 1:38 pm

    Even if Jones is league average for the rest of his contract, he’s worth more than Bedard to the M’s. Also, I think people shouldn’t be expecting Bedard to repeat 2007, at least not entirely. I think he’s in for a little regression. I could be wrong, but I think it’s safer to assume that. He’s a good #2 starter.

  2. King on January 8th, 2008 1:45 pm

    Why couldn’t you expect that? He was as good as it gets last year, lights out. Is he going to lose his “stuff”?

  3. smb on January 8th, 2008 1:48 pm

    I think Bedard’s stuff is on par with a #1, and the question of his realized value to us after a trade is likely to be more affected by his health and the defense put behind him than whether or not last year was a career year of sorts. I don’t think there’s any question he’d be our ace, unless Felix decides this is the year to consistently dominate every lineup in the AL. As a 1-2 punch, you have to like it, but to give up Jones to make it happen? I hate the idea. If we pull the trigger and Bedard comes over and immediate implodes like Schmidt or Hampton, I’ll probably throw up in my mouth a little, yet again.

  4. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 1:49 pm

    Why couldn’t you expect that? He was as good as it gets last year, lights out. Is he going to lose his “stuff”?

    If you’re injured, yes, you do lose “stuff.”

    Hm. Bedard has a history of injuries…

    Hm. At 29, many pitchers lose “their stuff”….

    Hm.

  5. King on January 8th, 2008 1:50 pm

    I don’t think you can make the argument that a league average outfielder is worth more than a proven staff ace.

    I realize that Jones projects to be more than a league average outfielder, but your argument of a league average outfielder being worth more than Bedard is just silly.

  6. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 1:55 pm

    From a $ per marginal Win point of view you can make that argument.

  7. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 1:56 pm

    Also, you HAVE to regress someone like Bedard. If you don’t, you’re gonna get bit 70% of the time. I think there’s a very good chance Bedard is a better pitcher.

  8. Dave on January 8th, 2008 1:57 pm

    I don’t think you can make the argument that a league average outfielder is worth more than a proven staff ace.

    I don’t think you understand this post.

  9. bakomariner on January 8th, 2008 2:02 pm

    i pray this deal doesn’t go through…

    give them clement, tui, tillman, sherrill, and morrow…hell, throw in jose lopez…

    they just can’t trade jones…

  10. johndango on January 8th, 2008 2:05 pm

    Simply put… they MUST KEEP JONES. I can’t believe the heartache this team causes me sometimes…

  11. bakomariner on January 8th, 2008 2:08 pm

    10- sing it loud, brother!

  12. Carson on January 8th, 2008 2:08 pm

    Dave’s sense of urgency to post this only makes my stomach twist even more.

    You know that feeling you got after the Slocumb trade, and still get every time you remember your favorite team made it? Yeah, well, at least this new feeling will make us forget about the old one for a while.

  13. Broadcast James on January 8th, 2008 2:10 pm

    From a purely business Standpoint wouldn’t “the more REVENUE a player generates, the more they should be paid” be the correct statement.

    Contributing to wins is a huge part of it, however when players like Ichiro and Griffey come along with special star quality they have the potential to generate revenue far beyond what would normally correspond with their VORP.

    A young-dynamic all star center fielder who can be aggressive on the base paths will always generate more secondary cost benefits than a guy who only plays every fifth day. Adam Jones seems to be a family friendly ballplayer who also happens to have a pretty significant upside.

    Feel free to tell me I’m completely wrong about this, but while winning is a huge part of making money, I believe there’s more than just wins and losses being considered when somone decides to go to the game. Personally, depite the above .500 record I felt the 2007 was a very exciting team to watch. They lacked charisma, something I saw glints of when Jones played. It’s because they’re old. :)

  14. bakomariner on January 8th, 2008 2:10 pm

    did we somehow jinx ourselves with the “Free Adam Jones” campaign? did bavasi take it literally and decide to let him go to another team to be “free”? i’m rambling, but trying to think of ANY reason they would do this…

  15. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 2:10 pm

    But I expecting 2007 over and over is crazy. If he goes up and puts up an xFIP in the low 3′s again, then sure, but usually a guy improves that much, declines somewhere closer to his last few years. That’s why Marcels works so well even though it controls for nothing.

  16. bakomariner on January 8th, 2008 2:12 pm

    13- don’t forget that Jones is African-American…there has been a bunch of talk about the decline in MLB of players from AA backgrounds…having him as the future face of the franchise could only help from a PR point of view…

  17. Salty Dog on January 8th, 2008 2:13 pm

    Isn’t net value only relevant under the assumption there’s value in having excess $$?

    In other words, subtracting the player’s “salary cost” from the player’s “gross value” presumes an opportunity cost from not having that salary around to spend on other things.

    Jones’ net value is significantly enhanced by this. I presume Bedard would come out significantly ahead in gross value.

    If that’s the case, I think we have to ask ourselves: is the extra money really useful to the Mariners? Seriously – there isn’t a huge line of premiere free agents lining up to take our cash. It’s not an attractive destination for star players.

    So, let’s assume the money saved between Jones and Bedard would be wasted on average players. Doesn’t that tilt the discussion in Bedard’s favor, since the extra salary didn’t buy us anything useful?

  18. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 2:17 pm

    I presume Bedard would come out significantly ahead in gross value.

    1 Win or so, and there’s a good chance the gaps smaller than that. That’s significant, but is that worth so much wasted net value?

  19. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 2:18 pm

    #12, I had the same thought. I’m worried.

  20. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 2:19 pm

    It looks like the rumor is killing Churchills site.

  21. sbaxamusa on January 8th, 2008 2:19 pm

    Well done, in the spirit of Tango’s blog.

    However, I always question a) whether real teams think this way and b) whether teams should think this way. The idea is not to get more bang for the buck, but to get more bang, period. This is how I imagine almost all teams that want to win a pennant (as opposed to make $$$) operate.

    In other words, it all depends on where the M’s fall on the win curve. If the M’s were an 88-win talent, and if Bedard = 5 WAR and Jones = 2 WAR for each of the next three years (all numbers come strictly from my a**), then acquiring Bedard for Jones might make sense because of the relative importance of wins 92 and 93. (Of course, I don’t believe the M’s are an 88-win team as constituted and I made my case in the THT annual).

    It doesn’t make sense to treat players like securities unless a team is trying to accumulate wins (either now, like we hypothesize the M’s are trying to do, or in the future, like the A’s). But if a team is trying to accumulate wins, then they are also probably trying to win a pennant. If that is the case, then there are points on the win curve when does make sense to give up the net value Jones generates in favor of the additional wins that Bedard brings.

    One might think that the addition net value that Jones generates can be reinvested in the team in a way that leads to additional wins (either from free agents, paying for arb raises, etc.). But from a practical perspective, we have to identify 1) do teams recognize this net value as a kind of revenue that can be spent and 2) on which real player or players this money should be spent. Otherwise, hey great, you saved 25+ MM but what happened to that cash?

    Teams that aren’t trying to accumulate wins have no reason to submit to analyses such as these unless we accept that wins correlate to revenue or franchise value appreciation, when in fact wins are only one part of generating revenue of franchise value appreciation.

    So, I appreciate this type of analysis, I believe in this type of analysis, but I still question the utility of this analysis for practical purposes. While I agree that Jones for Bedard will be a disastrous trade for the M’s, given where the M’s lie on the win curve and their prospects for immediate competition, I still am left wondering whether this is the appropriate way to show it. Also, I hope the M’s do this trade because I’m an A’s fan and I’d rather not have Adam Jones knock us out of the race in 2011 :) (Unless – and here’s a nutty idea – do you think the M’s would trade Jones for Blanton?!?)

  22. SDRE on January 8th, 2008 2:24 pm

    Dave, I remember when you started doing the Groz radio show last year that I believe you said Bedard would be the one guy you’d trade Jones for. If my memory is accurate, what has changed your mind?

  23. _David_ on January 8th, 2008 2:26 pm

    17, however the Mariners sometimes do useful stuff with their money like sign Beltre and Ichiro, or sign international prospects.

  24. IHaveALittleProject on January 8th, 2008 2:29 pm

    I’ve been reading the blog this offseason, and really have enjoyed the intelligent, logical suggestions and analysis of what is wrong with our team, and how to fix it.

    I understand and agree with your value analysis of Jones and Bedard. Where I disagee is using the value analysis as justifying a “no” vote on a potential trade.

    Adam Jones, to my “serious fan but not talent scout” eye, looks to have a ceiling at *gasp* Raul Ibanez type hitting skills, but with superior speed and defense. I’m not minimizing the importance of defense (we’ve all seen Ibanez lumbering in left helplessly over and over), but players with that kind of skillset, like Torii Hunter, are availble for high salaries almost every year.

    Dominant starting pitchers like Bedard, Santana, and Haren are rarely available as free agents, and more rare in general. As far as free agents go, the most sought after pitchers recently have been Carl Pavano, Jason Schmidt, Gil Meche, Carlos Silva, et al.

    In baseball’s financial system, Baseball Prospectus has suggested that just making the post season produces huge future revenue – post season appearances generating a large chunk of extra revenue, and even every win (especially over 90 or so) generating revenue as well.

    If you can spend an extra $15M a year on an outfielder to replace Adam Jones with a similar player, on top of signing Bedard to a mammoth extension, you’ve improved the team; I think we all agree. If you get to the playoffs as a result, the value analysis changes: the playoff appearance and added wins pay for a portion of the salaries, making them better values.

    I realize that’s all irrelevant if the Mariners still aren’t good enough to make the playoffs, and without other intelligent moves to go with such a trade, I still don’t see them making it.

    I guess what it comes down to is if the Mariners can acquire Bedard for Jones, Clement, and Tuiasosopo or less, and add another quality outfielder in the next year, I’m all for it.

    However, I do agree with past posts outlining the problems with Morrow, and I think he’s even marginal as a reliever…I just don’t see him adding control AND more usable pitches to become a useful starter. If Bavasi has been pumping him up to make him the eventual centerpiece of the whole deal, I’ll wear an official Mariners jersey with Bavasi on the back to the games this year.

    Once again, great site, I look forward to getting shelled in these forums for a long time.

  25. johndango on January 8th, 2008 2:39 pm

    #24 – You have some good points. You actually made me feel a little better about these rumors… still not HAPPY about them… but now I’m not angry about them…

  26. shortbus on January 8th, 2008 2:45 pm

    24 = the problem is that by trading Jones you HAVE to sign an OF or rely on Balantien to fill the gap…most likely inadequately…until you do. You create a hole to fill another hole…and spend a bunch of money and talent to do so. Then what do we do to fill the new hole? Most likely spend more money and / or talent. You’re grinding down the resources of the franchise.

    What is the concrete solution in the M’s outfield if we trade Jones and don’t get a quality defensive AND offensive OF in return?

  27. DMZ on January 8th, 2008 2:48 pm

    I don’t even know where I should start, except to say those are not good points, and I believe that if you think through it you’ll see where it starts to fall apart quickly.

  28. IHaveALittleProject on January 8th, 2008 2:49 pm

    #26 – they shouldn’t make the trade if they aren’t committed to paying for that Jones-level replacement. My point was that spending the money/players for Bedard and paying monetarily for a Jones-level replacement can be justified, but only as a package deal.

  29. thefin190 on January 8th, 2008 2:49 pm

    Dave, or anyone else, if you were forced to make this trade, what package would you think would be the most reasonable that the O’s would accept minus Jones?

  30. Mat on January 8th, 2008 2:50 pm

    No ZiPS projection out yet for Bedard, but Bill James’ system has him at a 3.69 ERA next year, which seems fair. Last year’s PECOTA is decidedly less optimistic, so back-of-the-envelope-style, I’d put Bedard at about 3.75 ERA next year and 4.00 ERA the year after. I’ll give him 180 IP in ’08 and 160 IP in ’09, which seems kind of generous to me. Assuming a 5.50 ERA replacement level, that means he’d save about 35 runs over replacement in ’08 and about 27 runs over replacement in ’09. (I’m also assuming that using a defense-independent metric instead of ERA would shift up the replacement level ERA as much as it would shift up Bedard’s ERA.)

    Can Adam Jones be a 3-4 win per season player over the next two seasons? He probably won’t be, but he could probably be a 2-3 win per season player if he plays good defense. If the Mariners were just on the cusp of winning, this might make some sense, but since the Mariners aren’t that close to contending and they have to throw in some other goodies, the win disparity just doesn’t justify the significant cost difference between the two players.

  31. shortbus on January 8th, 2008 2:52 pm

    #28 — I see your point, but I don’t see an FA on the market we can easily sign to replace Jones. And you have to figure in the opportunity cost of the money spent to replace him. What could have been acquired with that money?

  32. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 2:56 pm

    #30, that’s more or less what I think. I think we should project Bedard to be a 3.75 type pitcher, a 3-4 win pitcher. I think the difference between Jones and Bedard win wise isn’t as big as most people are thinking it would be. And I agree, if we were a few wins closer to begin with, and we had a viable replacement for Jones, like Jenkins, or even Guillen, then it’d make a lot more sense to try and improve by even 1-2 wins despite the cost (like what Detroit did w/ Cabrera). We’re not that team, and we’re going to need Jones to be competitive in a couple years.

  33. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 2:58 pm

    #28, I agree, if we’d signed Jenkins or traded for a viable OF, then I could see trading for Bedard. A 3-4 Win improvement improves our playoff chances a lot. Jones for Bedard w/o a viable alternative is probably not a 3-4 win improvement.

  34. sbaxamusa on January 8th, 2008 3:00 pm

    DMZ – was that directed my way? (No snark, I just can’t tell)

  35. Steve T on January 8th, 2008 3:05 pm

    From my perspective, a 3-4 win improvement gets us to 83 or 85. That’s not going to win anything. Remember, we were outscored last year; that’s unsustainable. We’re not really starting from 88.

    And if Jones – junk outfielder is more than Bedard – junk starter, we’re not getting the 3-4 wins, either. And then we’re looking at a disaster in the coming decade, when we desperately need more Joneses and Triunfels but don’t have them anymore.

    Personally, I don’t think the M’s are ever going to win 90 games in a season again in my lifetime.

  36. MOJOhideen on January 8th, 2008 3:05 pm

    I think even with the simple and quick analysis Mr. Dave posted and in light of a billion other posts on this site recently it should be clear that this trade would be a bad idea. We have hashed out just how far from assuredly competing the M’s are next year. We have hashed out how interesting, at least from a probabilistic standpoint, Adam Jones is (the race issue is, interestingly for me, as easy to interpret as a non-issue for the Mariners front office as it is to be a positive, but that’s a deeper, more qualitative analysis best shared over some brew at a bar). Eric Bedard is also a good baseball player. However, it seems clear he is not the Sole Provider the M’s seek. In fact, it’s Michael Bolton they should sign.

  37. bakomariner on January 8th, 2008 3:07 pm

    35- 90 win seasons…i remember them well…getting misty-eyed here…realizing the loss of jones means it won’t happen for a LONG time…

  38. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 3:08 pm

    I also want to say that Jones is “just a prospect” is not a good argument (it was in the day 18 thread). It’s a terrible argument. So there’s risk involved. Hate to say it, there’s risk w/ Bedard too, and Santana. Jones is more than just a prospect, for one, for two, prospects at various levels are projectable, Jones being more projectable because of age and playing time than many guys.

    You have to way risk and reward. Jones is a lot lower risk than a lot of guys, and just as high reward. Triunfel is VERY high reward, and a pretty big risk. So, if you think Triunfel has a 12% chance of being a 6 win guy, and Jones a 25% chance of being a 3 win guy, maybe they’re value to the club is similar. Those numbers are out of my a$$, but I’m saying, there’s risk in non-prospects too, AND the chance to land a cheap talent is worth considering.

  39. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 3:09 pm

    #35, I think there’s a good chance the M’s stumble into 90 win seasons once in a while, despite themselves. They could increase the odds quite a bit if they were smart.

  40. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 3:10 pm

    Even from a traditional baseball (i.e., non-stathead based) viewpoint, you’d only think about this kind of deal if you had some outfield options. Like, say, a Jose Guillen or something like that.

    Oh. Wait….

  41. lailaihei on January 8th, 2008 3:13 pm

    If Jones+Triunfel gets traded… I’m going to become an A’s fan.

  42. Evan on January 8th, 2008 3:14 pm

    In terms of future performance, EVERYONE is just a prospect. No future performance is guaranteed, so we have to examine the players’ histories and the careers of similar players and consult with scouts to determine the likely future performance, and the probability that future performance will deviate from that likely future, and by how much and in which direction.

    No future performance is guaranteed, so by that standard all players are just prospects when you first acquire them. The argument that actual prospects are less valuable either understates the predictive value of minor-league performance or overstates the predictive value of major-league performance.

  43. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 3:15 pm

    I also want to say that Jones is “just a prospect” is not a good argument (it was in the day 18 thread). It’s a terrible argument. So there’s risk involved. Hate to say it, there’s risk w/ Bedard too, and Santana.

    Ding! Ding! Ding!

  44. Evan on January 8th, 2008 3:15 pm

    If Jones+Triunfel gets traded… I’m going to become an A’s fan.

    I’ve been closet A’s fan for years. I still support the M’s, but I can’t bring myself to dislike a team that’s being run that well.

  45. Teej on January 8th, 2008 3:25 pm

    if you were forced to make this trade, what package would you think would be the most reasonable that the O’s would accept minus Jones?

    I’m guessing that since the team appears unwilling to trade Brandon Morrow, the O’s wouldn’t accept any package that doesn’t include Jones.

  46. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 3:30 pm

    I wonder if Morrow would even do it. Does he really have that much trade value?

  47. TAYTAY20 on January 8th, 2008 3:33 pm

    46 – That’s a good idea. Morrow straight up for Bedard.
    Probably the O’s would want more in return, though.
    Maybe Morrow and Clement for Bedard.

  48. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 3:34 pm

    If Morrow isn’t in the package, then where is he going to pitch???? AIN’T NO ROOM! (And there won’t possibly be until the Washburn contract expires….)

  49. bubblegumcrisis on January 8th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Exactly, that’s why it makes no sense for Bavasi to label Morrow untouchable when a trade for Bedard would make Morrow expendable.

  50. msb on January 8th, 2008 3:41 pm

    Geoff Baker weighs in with his own quantifying

  51. bakomariner on January 8th, 2008 3:46 pm

    48- on an ealier post i mentioned that ONE upside to this deal would be that there would be no room for morrow and they’d have to send him down…but knowing them he’d go back to the pen…

  52. marinerjunkie on January 8th, 2008 3:48 pm

    Trading Adam Jones for Eric Bedard straight up is a moot point in itself since the Orioles are demanding much more than that anyway.

    What I can’t seem to figure out is the infatuation with Brandon Morrow and is supposed “untouchable” status in all of this. Honestly, if the M’s should acquire Eric Bedard, that leaves Morrow either in the minors (which Bavasi says won’t happen) or in a setup role for at least the next two years. His value as a setup man plummets to the point where he wouldn’t be untouchable, and yet, the brass seems to want to exclude him from the trade negotiations altogether. How does that even make any sense?

    If I’m Bill Bavasi, I need Adam Jones in right field. Balentien showed in Venezuela that he isn’t quite ready, nor does he have Jones’ range defensively, which will be all the more valuable with guys like Washburn and Silva around. Beyond that, the M’s don’t have another MLB ready outfielder for 2008. Saunders is still a couple years away and outfield depth will invaluable when Ibanez’s contract is up after this year.

    But on top of all that, why give up Jones when you don’t even necessarily have to? It seems obvious to me the Orioles are hell bent on getting either Jones or Morrow. So why not just give them Morrow? They won’t be needing him with Bedard around anyway. And in the two years it’ll take for rotation spots to free up (Washburn and Batista each have 2 years left), at least one of Tillman, Butler, and Vavaro should be ready to step up.

    And to argue Morrow’s value as a setup man negates the point of making him untouchable in the first place. If there’s anywhere the M’s are strong, it’s the bullpen. He won’t be a closer as long as Putz is around. And if you’re counting on Lowe to come back (which they are), where is Morrow’s value there?

    If that weren’t enough, the M’s are about to see a surge of MLB ready relief talent coming in this year. Cesar Jimenez is all but knocking the door down, Kam Mickolio and Brodie Downs have appeared ahead of schedule, and to top it all, Ryan-Rowland Smith, Eric O’Flaherty, and Sean Green were all dependable options as rookies last year.

    Bavasi, I implore you. READ THIS. Pick up a damn article once in a while! You’re in a position not only to make the M’s better now, but to do so without screwing up your ideal plans for the future. If you can find a way to acquire Bedard without giving up Jones, Clement, or Triunfel, I suggest you take it and RUN.

    This is a pure and simple logical progression. It doesn’t take into account potential win shares or scouting tools or anything to that nature that you GM’s are so high on. It’s just plain and simple logic, and I think any baseball fan would agree it’s a rather compelling case to leave Jones alone.

  53. Bender on January 8th, 2008 3:49 pm

    It seems like the blogosphere thinks this trade is basically done. Is that accurate?

  54. Jeff Nye on January 8th, 2008 3:52 pm

    No disrespect intended, but the more I read of Geoff Baker, the less I am inclined to pay any attention to what he has to say.

    He talks a lot about “market realities” in the same article where he points out that the Reds are considered to be behind the M’s in the “race” for Bedard because they are refusing to give up their own highly valued outfield prospect. Could there maybe be a REASON that the Reds are refusing to do so?

    He also spends a lot of time breaking down why he thinks Bedard is valuable, but does not spend any time trying to figure out what Jones’s value is, dismissing him as Just Another Prospect (and he even goes out of his way to downplay Jones’s value, buying into the M’s party line that he is less valuable than Morrow).

    Honestly, at this point, I almost hope for Adam Jones’s sake that he DOES get traded. The Mariners clearly don’t appreciate him, and maybe he’ll have an All-Star career someplace that will realize how talented he is.

  55. galaxieboi on January 8th, 2008 3:58 pm

    Every time I read a post or column such as Baker’s “analysis” of Bedard/Jones, it strengthens my desire to go back to college and major in journalism. Good grief.

  56. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on January 8th, 2008 4:00 pm

    I think the question we should be asking is what did Dave mean by, “Time is not on my side, so I won’t be able to go into as much detail on this as I would like . . .”

    Personal time, not on your side, Dave, or time until we all choke because the team has done something foolish . .?

  57. Willmore on January 8th, 2008 4:17 pm

    I think that the more correct way of quantifying Jones would be not as himself alone, but:

    Jones + Bedard replacement vesus Bedard + Jones replacement.

    So it would be Jones + Feierabend vs. Bedard + Balentien.

    Even over the next 4-5 years, I’d take the latter. Jones is a hot prospect, but I feel that the attachment the blogosphere feels for him is borderline psychotic. It’s the same thing as with Doyle. Yes, we all love him, he’s the talented yet oft-maligned great personality guy, but at the end of the day, we have to look rationally at the situation. Doyle was injured all year the past year and his prospects have been diminished to “Go play cricket, you don’t have the knees for baseball.” Now getting Vidro for him was not a fair trade, in fact it was borderline disasterous, yet you can’t say that Bavasi, and for that matter the baseball community didn’t have Snelling’s value correct – low, very low.

    In the end, it’s not up to us to decide if we trade for Bedard or not, and how much to give, but for Bavasi. And Bavasi has a very clear agenda – win now – else, pack your bags.

  58. Sports on a Schtick on January 8th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Since when did the Mariners have Bedard for five years?

  59. Jeff Nye on January 8th, 2008 4:27 pm

    Even though we all loved Doyle, we realized that he was playing on the shreds of his knees, and that probably limited his future upside.

    There is zero reason to believe the same about Adam Jones.

    So, thanks for your attempt to write this off as THOSE DARN BLOGGERS being irrational, but it’s not even remotely the same situation.

  60. marinerfaninvenice on January 8th, 2008 4:29 pm

    Bedard’s numbers have improved dramatically each of the past three years pitching in a division that has had improved offensively each of the past three years. I’m not predicting further improvement, but substantial drop off considering change of divisions and ballparks seems highly unlikely.

    I stated it in the last post, but in addition to the win calculations, you have to think about the positive impact this would have on Felix and the rest of the rotation — you in essence would be adding another stopper to the rotation, which certainly would have been helpful during last year’s swoon.

    And I do think that adding Bedard in exchange for prospects puts the M’s in position to compete in the AL West or wild card in 2008, which bolster’s the teams overall ability to attract and retain other free agents and also establishes a culture of winning throughout the system.

    And general thinking seems to be that if Bedard goes, so does Roberts. Toss in Lopez and another prospect for Roberts by all means — that guy at the top of the lineup next to Ichiro would be unstoppable.

    Lastly, if you look at the coaching staff that the M’s have assembled, it’s not exactly a bunch of progressive thinking coaches that are good with young kids — we have an AARP crew that has deep baseball knowledge, but probably won’t be that great at helping our younger players along.

    Grab Bedard, make a run at things this year and then if it doesn’t work out Bavasi will be gone and we’ll have a GM who would know how to sell some vets and restock with prospects.

    And shame on all of you threatening to become A’s fans — that is the most disheartening thing i’ve ever read.

  61. bergamot on January 8th, 2008 4:41 pm

    Baker’s scribbling about the “market value” of pitchers like Bedard is mostly off the point. We don’t know the market value of Bedard because there appear to be only two bidders, and the seller has rejected one of the bids. Econ 101 supply / demand analysis doesn’t apply in this kind of market.

    The point is not to settle for the “market value” of Bedard, anyway. The point is to improve the team. It’s far from clear that any of the speculated trades would do this long term, and some of them (e.g. trades involving Sherrill) would not even do it short term.

  62. Matthew Carruth on January 8th, 2008 4:42 pm

    Pfffft. Dave conviently ignores the most telling statistic.

    Eric “Proven Ace” Bedard: 13 wins last year
    Adam “Prospect” Jones: 0 wins

    Come one people! We get to add 13 wins next year by trading for Bedard!!!1

  63. mark s. on January 8th, 2008 4:42 pm

    Dave,

    What would be a fair trade for Bedard, were both teams were better without giving up Adam Jones? That would be an interesting post to read.

    thanks

  64. Willmore on January 8th, 2008 4:43 pm

    Since when did the Mariners have Bedard for five years?

    That was Dave’s scenario that we can extend him in addition to the trade.

    A best-case, to be sure, but he proposed it.

  65. galaxieboi on January 8th, 2008 4:43 pm

    but at the end of the day, we have to look rationally at the situation

    Dave did that at the beginning of this post. That’s a pretty logical, rational way to look at this trade.

    So it would be Jones + Feierabend vs. Bedard + Balentien

    No, not really. It could be Jones+Butler or Jones+RRS or Jones+Tillman. See, it IS the 4 years down the road we’re concerned about. Do you think the M’s are a decent shot at the playoffs the next two years? Because that’s as long as we’ll have Bedard. Anything past that is gonna cost the team $15+M/year IF he wants to stay.

  66. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 4:44 pm

    And I do think that adding Bedard in exchange for prospects puts the M’s in position to compete in the AL West or wild card in 2008,

    Against the Yankees and Tigers????? Not to mention the up and comers like the D-Ray?

    I think you’re being over-optimistic, particularly since some of Bedard’s value is taken away by losing Jones in the outfield, and that any replacement for him won’t have the defensive value and probably may not have the offensive value.

  67. Bender on January 8th, 2008 4:46 pm

    I think the question we should be asking is what did Dave mean by, “Time is not on my side, so I won’t be able to go into as much detail on this as I would like . . .”

    That’s the exact phrase that makes me nervous.

  68. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 4:53 pm

    This proposed trade is the very essence of a short-term quick-fix, to me. There’s nothing long-range or fundamentally sound about it.

  69. MarinerDan on January 8th, 2008 5:00 pm

    Well, I didn’t think the rumors would heat up this much. Somehow, I thought someone else would swoop in and get Bedard. Now, we have to consider the very real possibility that it will be the M’s.

    Putting aside the loss of Jones — difficult to do, I know — let’s look at how the move would impact our team next year. (The future, not so much.)

    Our rotation would be pretty damn good:

    Bedard
    Hernandez
    Silva
    Washburn
    Batista

    Our defense would be pretty horrible.

    And, frankly, I don’t think our offense would be that great, either:

    Ichiro
    Beltre
    Ibanez
    Sexson
    Johjima
    Vidro/???
    Balentien??
    Betancourt
    Lopez

    That is pretty horrible, really. Ugh.

    So, my analysis is: If Bavasi is making this move because he is under a “win now” edict, this ain’t enough. While the rotation would be good, the defense/offense would be below average. Result? .500 season. Result? Bavasi is canned.

  70. bubblegumcrisis on January 8th, 2008 5:05 pm

    Good break down, MarinerDan. If this trade goes through there needs to be a trade following it that brings us back an above average OF bat. But, man, that rotation is very solid.

  71. Bender on January 8th, 2008 5:07 pm

    Well, to be fair, Bavasi’s job is on the line here.

  72. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 5:07 pm

    Bedard’s numbers have improved dramatically each of the past three years pitching in a division that has had improved offensively each of the past three years. I’m not predicting further improvement, but substantial drop off considering change of divisions and ballparks seems highly unlikely.

    The value is relative, playing in Safeco and the AL West doesn’t make him better, even if his ERA may or may not be prettier. Also his K #’s jumped big this year, you SHOULD expect regression to the mean, otherwise you’ll fail more often than not. For something K%, something like Marcels (5/4/3 for last 3 years) is probably best, since K rates are very stable year to year. If I use K/9, even though K% is better, K/9 is easier, I get 9.45, which is something like a .50 run difference in ERA, or a full win.

    I stated it in the last post, but in addition to the win calculations, you have to think about the positive impact this would have on Felix and the rest of the rotation — you in essence would be adding another stopper to the rotation, which certainly would have been helpful during last year’s swoon.

    I don’t get that, it does improve the team, replacing HoRam w/ Bedard, but how does it improve Felix?

    And I do think that adding Bedard in exchange for prospects puts the M’s in position to compete in the AL West or wild card in 2008, which bolster’s the teams overall ability to attract and retain other free agents and also establishes a culture of winning throughout the system.

    I disagree, I think Bedard for Jones is a 1, maybe 2 win improvement if things break right, which I don’t think makes a hill of beans difference in people wanting to sign here. Free agents are overrated anyway, and I think the whole “attractive to Free Agents” things is overstated as well.

    And general thinking seems to be that if Bedard goes, so does Roberts. Toss in Lopez and another prospect for Roberts by all means — that guy at the top of the lineup next to Ichiro would be unstoppable.

    I might do that, if we were a little closer, but we’d still need a RF or LF. I also would be careful about giving up on Lopez yet. It depends too, AJ for Roberts AND Bedard might not be so bad, especially if we can include Lopez for an OF.

    Lastly, if you look at the coaching staff that the M’s have assembled, it’s not exactly a bunch of progressive thinking coaches that are good with young kids — we have an AARP crew that has deep baseball knowledge, but probably won’t be that great at helping our younger players along.

    That’s a fixable problem, tell McLaren etc, that it’s play the kids or get new jobs. Our coaching is hardly untouchable, is it?


    Grab Bedard, make a run at things this year and then if it doesn’t work out Bavasi will be gone and we’ll have a GM who would know how to sell some vets and restock with prospects.

    If it doesn’t work, we’ve blew our chance for ’09, IMO.

    And shame on all of you threatening to become A’s fans — that is the most disheartening thing i’ve ever read.

    That I’ll agree with! I’m too much of an M’s fanboy, bad trades or not.

  73. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 5:08 pm

    The value is relative, playing in Safeco and the AL West doesn’t make him better, even if his ERA may or may not be prettier. Also his K #’s jumped big this year, you SHOULD expect regression to the mean, otherwise you’ll fail more often than not. For something K%, something like Marcels (5/4/3 for last 3 years) is probably best, since K rates are very stable year to year. If I use K/9, even though K% is better, K/9 is easier, I get 9.45, which is something like a .50 run difference in ERA, or a full win.

    was me, not marinerfaninvenice, got my tags wrong. Wish we had a preview button.

  74. Willmore on January 8th, 2008 5:09 pm

    No, not really. It could be Jones+Butler or Jones+RRS or Jones+Tillman. See, it IS the 4 years down the road we’re concerned about. Do you think the M’s are a decent shot at the playoffs the next two years? Because that’s as long as we’ll have Bedard. Anything past that is gonna cost the team $15+M/year IF he wants to stay.

    In all seriousness can you present a scenario under which the Mariners can compete for the World Series in the next 4-5 years, even if we keep Jones? Remember that most prospects don’t pan out and Tillman, Butler, Aumonte can all be busts for all we know. Can you say with difinity that the Mariners as a franchise have built a farm system and 25 roster that can be sufficiently adjusted to compete in the next 4-5 years?

    No, the best we can hope for is to compete in the playoffs and hope for a lucky break in the championship series, when, say, and earthquake happens and the truck carrying the jock straps for the New York Yankees overturns, forcing the Bronx Bombers to go commando for the series. A-Rod suffers from an unfortunate bounce and is out for the playoffs with a raptured … well, let’s leave the details out.

    With Bedard, at the very least we can compete in the next 2 years, and then be what may. Jones can’t be the savior of the franchise, we might as well use him as a stop-gap, and hope that Larson takes over the ownership group sometime in 2009 to bring in a new era of smart baseball management.

  75. MarinerDan on January 8th, 2008 5:10 pm

    [see comment guidelines on cite/copyright issues]

  76. Grizz on January 8th, 2008 5:10 pm

    I am sure the O’s would be happy to help us out and “throw-in” Jay Gibbons, Jay Payton, or Aubrey Huff. Win-Win-Win!

  77. marinerfaninvenice on January 8th, 2008 5:15 pm

    I’m curious why everyone thinks that Jones’ defense is so spectacular. He’s bound to improve, but he’s still very rough and OF speed does not = good reads on the ball or good fundamentals.

    We definitely need another OF (I’m afraid that Bloomquist is being pencilled in in RF) and like the suggestion of a Cameron or someone like that since we already dropped the ball on Jenkins. If defense is the concern, pick up Corey Patterson or Cameron; for offense — Shannon Stewart. But I don’t know how these guys would fit into the budget.

    In general on defense I think that Ibanez is servicable, Ichiro is Ichrio and RF is a huge questionmark, but the M’s have one of the top IF defenses in the league — especially when Lopez shows up mentally. Sexson’s range may be limited (from what I’ve read here, not from what i’ve seen) but it helps having a huge target to throw to at 1B.

    Bigger concern is offense — even if Sexson manages to hit HRs other than on opening day (somewhat likely), Betancourt needs to continue to improve (likely) and Beltre keeps up his modest improvement (likely) there’s still the huge loss of Guillen’s bat and the painful fact that we have a slow singles hitter at DH.

  78. Jeff Nye on January 8th, 2008 5:19 pm

    In general on defense I think that Ibanez is servicable

    In 2007, Raul Ibanez was one of the worst everyday defenders in all of baseball.

    If you think that Raul Ibanez is “servicable”, you may want to rethink how you evaluate defense.

    If only there were a helpful link somewhere you could click on that would assist you with that…

  79. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 5:21 pm

    #77, the fact that he’s a CF moving the LF or RF is why people project his defense to be good. Even if he was a poor CF, he’d have to be AWFUL to be a bad LF/RF.

    We need hitting, I agree. We need to improve defense too. The whole S
    Sexson is a bigger target = Sexson improves run prevention is a fallacy, and his range is atrocious, in a worst of the worst kind of way. Also, no I don’t consider Betancourt improving all that likely, or even Beltre. The loss of Guillens bat can be negated on by getting a superior defender, which I think Jones would be, since Guillen was pretty bad in the field last year.

  80. shortbus on January 8th, 2008 5:23 pm

    MarinerDan makes, I think, the central point here. Bedard for Jones is a “win now” move that won’t help us win now if we can’t find one or two quality outfielders. If you support this move you MUST provide the names of the player(s) the M’s can to acquire to provide outfield defense that’s at least average, and will provide the production at the plate we lost with Guillen.

    If we make the deal, my prediction is we go into the season with Ibanez in left, Balantien in right. That means we see a significant improvement in pitching one day out of five, worse offense every day and similar defense (slightly improved defense in RF, worse in LF due to Ibanez aging). This is not going to be a better team unless you believe Balantien will hit as well as Guillen did and Sexson is going to “return to form” (whatever THAT would be).

    My guess is we will play about .500 ball and miss the playoffs by about ten games.

    I suggest that those of us who typically buy one or two beers at a game pledge now to be T-Totallers for Jones and refuse to pay the exorbitant beer prices to a cut-rate front office. No Jones…No beer. (This is seriously going to hurt me more than them.)

  81. Tanner Boyle on January 8th, 2008 5:27 pm

    When did Adam Jones become Willie Mays? John Sickels has him as a B+ prospect (Ellsbury is an A-). These could be the cries of Royals fans talking about the superior prospect Alex Gordon one year ago or Angels fans and the hitting genius that may or may not be Brandon Wood (or Howie Kendrick). Would you trade Adam Jones for Matt Garza?

  82. xeifrank on January 8th, 2008 5:29 pm

    To do a fair analysis, don’t you need to take into consideration the difference between Adam Jones and what his replacement would do, and the difference between Bedard and the 5th starter that he would be kicking to the bullpen. I am not familiar enough with the Mariners roster to know which side this favors, but it seems logical to take this into account. vr, Xeifrank

  83. DMZ on January 8th, 2008 5:30 pm

    You’ll note that Dave puts Jones as average and improving slightly from there. That’s not Mays territory.

    Alex Gordon’s still extremely likely to be a top-notch hitter.

    And that Sickels rates Ellbury higher doesn’t invalidate any of the problems here. If you think Ellbury would be even more valuable, then you’d be even worse off trading him.

  84. Tanner Boyle on January 8th, 2008 5:56 pm

    My point is that the list of can’t miss minor league wonders of the future is too long for this blog. Eric Bedard is an ace. The Mariners only other hope to land an ace pitcher in the forseeable future is Brandon Morrow and some guy from Quebec who has never thrown 100 innings.

    Barry Bonds is available to fill Jones’ shoes. Bonds at DH would actually make the Mariners scary.

  85. Ruminations on January 8th, 2008 6:06 pm

    The reservation that I have about Dave’s argument is that it supposes that the Mariners spend the dollars they save by sticking with the more win per dollar option wisely so that they wind up with more wins overall. He points out that Bedard may well be worth 26-17=9 more marginal wins than Jones. So the only way they come out better in the standings is if they more than make that difference up by other moves with the money saved. Based on most of their moves of the last couple of off-seasons, I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to take the marginal wins. I’d feel better about it, though, if they still had Guillen.

  86. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 6:09 pm

    My point is that the list of can’t miss minor league wonders of the future is too long for this blog.

    People keep saying this,

    I don’t think they’re correct.

    It relies on the very questionable assumption that you can’t project younger players very well, but you can veteran players.

    I think you better defend that assertion that you’ve made.

  87. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 6:11 pm

    By the way…don’t point to singular examples. Point to aggregate data.

    Sure there are can’t-miss prospects who burn out—but if they make up only 1% of the can’t miss prospects out there, you’re flat out stupid for focussing on them and not the 99% who did make it.

  88. Bender on January 8th, 2008 6:13 pm

    Tanner, you miss the point entirely.

    Why is an ace pitcher better for the team if he doesn’t help the team as much as the guy you’re trading for him?

  89. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 6:14 pm

    well first i dont know where you got these dollar amounts, no stats or anything were posted you just kinda put money amounts.

    trading adam jones is something we should do if we’re getting bedard. everyone says he’s a future star, but the thing is he has potential to be a star, who says he’ll live up to that potential. He hasn’t proven anything. In his ABs at the major league level he has done absolutely nothing.

    Yes, bedard could get hurt, but the chances of that happening are equal to the chance of jones being a bust. I’ve been reading articles about him, and personally i’ve thought he would be a bust since 3 years ago

  90. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 6:18 pm

    Also, Bedard can win games if we just score 3 or 4 runs for him, say jones gives us a 5th run that game but then we have HoRam Pitching, we’re still gonna lose even though adam jones scored our 5th run of the game

  91. Graham on January 8th, 2008 6:20 pm

    Yes, bedard could get hurt, but the chances of that happening are equal to the chance of jones being a bust. I’ve been reading articles about him, and personally i’ve thought he would be a bust since 3 years ago

    Well, personally I think Adam Jones will cure cancer. My opinion is validated by the fact I’ve read many articles about both Adam Jones AND cancer.

  92. Typical Idiot Fan on January 8th, 2008 6:25 pm

    And now the scariest question to ask:

    How likely is this deal to happen?

  93. xeifrank on January 8th, 2008 6:29 pm

    90. That’s why I said earlier that you need to compare Bedard with the person he is kicking out of the rotation, and Adam Jones with a likely replacement. vr, Xeifrank

  94. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 6:35 pm

    trading adam jones is something we should do if we’re getting bedard. everyone says he’s a future star, but the thing is he has potential to be a star, who says he’ll live up to that potential. He hasn’t proven anything. In his ABs at the major league level he has done absolutely nothing.

    Sorta like how Edgar first started out in the majors, eh?

    Quite a few perenniel All Stars start out like that. Like to project from THEIR starts?

  95. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 6:39 pm

    yea, thats true gwangung, but prospects are projected wrong all the time so people say that he’ll be good, that doesn’t mean anything until he proves something

  96. Bender on January 8th, 2008 6:40 pm

    Yeah, I love the whole ‘hasn’t proven himself in the major leagues’ canard. People who hide behind that must think that mlb players spring fully formed from the head of zeus or something.

  97. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 6:45 pm

    no, i dont think that i know they, in most cases, get better with more experience. i’m just saying he’s projected to be great. you know what? so was ryan anderson. he’s not quite adam jones but he was also our top prospect not to long ago

  98. lailaihei on January 8th, 2008 6:48 pm

    cossgo17, don’t give stupid case examples. There are examples of ace pitchers getting injured, too, does that make you not want to get Bedard?

  99. Taylor H on January 8th, 2008 6:49 pm

    Any updates?
    Is this trade going down anytime soon?
    How long do we have our precious Jonesy for?

    But seriously, I feel like this could be a false alarm.
    Like when Santana was ABOUT to be traded to the Sox.

  100. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 6:51 pm

    Not at all but i’d rather get some wins in a season, rather than have someone whom i think is a bust, and talking to alot of my friends that are baseball fans, not mariner fans just to get someone elses view, and not many of them like jones either. i have a friend thats a huge orioles fan and he hates the idea that they might give up bedard for jones

  101. will B on January 8th, 2008 6:54 pm

    Zips projections:

    Adam jones 276/335/477
    average left fielder 263/343/432

    Zips is very possibly being optimistic here- but after considering defense Dave’s projection of Jones as average certainly shouldn’t be criticized as overly hopeful.

  102. Jeff Nye on January 8th, 2008 6:54 pm

    Man, can we maybe make a ridiculous statement equating Adam Jones with, I don’t know, Manute Bol?

    There is zero, repeat ZERO reason to undervalue young players because of some supposed higher tendency to not be a valuable player in the future. “Established major leaguers” have the exact same tendency.

    If you doubt this statement, Bret Boone says hello.

  103. galaxieboi on January 8th, 2008 6:58 pm

    It wouldn’t just be Jones either. The O’s (and I havn’t read or heard anyone disagree on this) would get quite the haul for Bedard.

  104. Ms_in_Vancouver on January 8th, 2008 7:01 pm

    Does anyone think that Bavasi could be posturing with Morrow – insisting that he’s untouchable? If Bavasi can pull off a deal for Bedard that doesn’t include Jones, I would be wholeheartedly in support. Even if it involved Trunfiel.

    However, I think losing Jones makes the M’s too vulnerable going into 2008. We’re counting on Jones to maintain Guillen’s production and upgrade our defense. Losing Jones and Bedard is two steps forward, then two steps back.

    On the other hand, if we can sign Cameron to replace Jones, I’d be all for it.

  105. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 7:03 pm

    here’s a link to tell you the kind of deals that are being thrown out there. I don’t really consider any of these as getting a haul

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/01/erik-bedard-rum.html

  106. galaxieboi on January 8th, 2008 7:12 pm

    Are you serious? Jones + Clement + Tillman/Triunfel/Butler isn’t a haul for a 28 year old pitcher who hasn’t been entirely healthy, who’s ERA+ numbers are: 100, 108, 121 and 146? The Orioles aren’t gonna get a deal with the Reds at all. With the M’s they get a guy ready to start in CF, a guy who’s bat is probably ready for the big leagues but who’s catching needs some work and one of the M’s other top
    prospects. We’re not talking about a pitcher who has a long track record of success here.

  107. Jeff Nye on January 8th, 2008 7:12 pm

    Setting aside the extremely dubious credibility of that site for the moment…

    You don’t think that Jones, Triunfel, and George Sherrill for Bedard is a steal?

    Seriously?

  108. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 7:15 pm

    no, i dont think that i know they, in most cases, get better with more experience. i’m just saying he’s projected to be great. you know what? so was ryan anderson. he’s not quite adam jones but he was also our top prospect not to long ago

    So, basically, you’re focussing on the 1%.

    Ghahhhhhh…..

  109. cossgo17 on January 8th, 2008 7:17 pm

    yea well i wil admit that i don’t want to give up clement but that still doesn’t seem to be a haul to me, not the best deal but we have kenji now and if we do trade clement then we’ll probably try to resign kenji

  110. DMZ on January 8th, 2008 7:18 pm

    There are shift keys located to the left and right of your keyboard.

  111. Sports on a Schtick on January 8th, 2008 7:22 pm

    I think he needs more than shift keys.

  112. s.bender21 on January 8th, 2008 7:22 pm

    It looks like they might trade Roberts to the Cubs for Pie and prospects. If that happens we may be able to get Bedard for Lopez, Morrow and Clement plus maybe a throw in. I would be all for that. I am not as high on Morrow as Bavasi obviously is.

  113. msb on January 8th, 2008 7:25 pm

    Well, thank God, at least we have Miguel Cairo.

  114. Taylor H on January 8th, 2008 7:28 pm

    Oh good.
    I actually think Bavasi made a good move!
    Quick, someone call Geoff Jenkins!

  115. marinerfaninvenice on January 8th, 2008 7:28 pm

    104 – I’ll refrain from speculating on the only trade posture that Bavasi is familiar with, but it certainly isn’t one of strength.

  116. Marcel on January 8th, 2008 7:30 pm

    Well, it looks like the streak is over. Because what team doesn’t need two weak hitting utility men?

  117. Mat on January 8th, 2008 7:33 pm

    Not at all but i’d rather get some wins in a season, rather than have someone whom i think is a bust, and talking to alot of my friends that are baseball fans, not mariner fans just to get someone elses view, and not many of them like jones either.

    Adam Jones, who is 22 years old, and who has 139 major league at-bats to his name, is a bust? Words escape me. Well, kind words anyway.

  118. marinerfaninvenice on January 8th, 2008 7:33 pm

    Miguel Cairo? Isn’t he a hybrid of Bloomquist and Vidro? Why a major league deal for someone who should be a training camp invitee? Why have a bench full of marginally talented players that all posses the same skill?

    As much as I want to see the M’s go out and get Bedard for Jones + ?, it is these type of moves (e.g., not offering arbitration to Guillen) that make me highly skeptical of the Bavasi not getting completely fleeced on that transaction.

  119. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 7:35 pm

    Not at all but i’d rather get some wins in a season, rather than have someone whom i think is a bust, and talking to alot of my friends that are baseball fans, not mariner fans just to get someone elses view, and not many of them like jones either.

    Dude, that statement is SERIOUSLY not helping your case….

  120. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 7:37 pm

    As much as I want to see the M’s go out and get Bedard for Jones + ?, it is these type of moves (e.g., not offering arbitration to Guillen) that make me highly skeptical of the Bavasi not getting completely fleeced on that transaction.

    Churchill seems to think that a lot of this is pressure from above him.

    Given the little I know about Lincoln and Armstrong, I wouldn’t be surprised at that….

  121. msb on January 8th, 2008 7:43 pm

    ummmmmm.

    MacPhail really wants Willie F., and so they had to grab Cairo?

  122. msb on January 8th, 2008 7:50 pm

    fwiw, both Bavasi & Cairo are supposed to be on the KOMO hot stove show tonight.

  123. Greg08 on January 8th, 2008 7:57 pm

    Willie Bloomquist + Jose Vidro = Miguel Cairo

  124. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 7:58 pm

    I dunno…more like WFB-Vidro=Cairo…

  125. Chris Miller on January 8th, 2008 8:12 pm

    I dunno…more like WFB-Vidro=Cairo…

    I think you mean Vidro-WFB. I think WFB-Vidro would have negative value, because WFB completely sucks.

  126. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 8:15 pm

    Damn, you’re right….and math was always my strong suit.

    Too much politics-watching, I thinking. All the media “pundits” are forcing me into a cranial rectal inversion….

  127. terry on January 8th, 2008 8:26 pm

    My point is that the list of can’t miss minor league wonders of the future is too long for this blog. Eric Bedard is an ace. The Mariners only other hope to land an ace pitcher in the forseeable future is Brandon Morrow and some guy from Quebec who has never thrown 100 innings.

    Actually the list of prospects rated similarly as Adam Jones that didn’t become at least useful major leaguers is much smaller than you’re arguing. It’s reasonably to assume Jones could be a league average right fielder next season.

  128. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 8:32 pm

    Actually the list of prospects rated similarly as Adam Jones that didn’t become at least useful major leaguers is much smaller than you’re arguing.

    That’s the ol’ 99%/1% argument he’s invoking. People like that seem to be so scared of uncertainty that they’re clinging to the 1% chance of failure so they won’t look like they’re wrong…

  129. Wishhiker on January 8th, 2008 8:32 pm

    The team has so far gone backwards offensively. There are 2 players on the team that have a good chance to be a positive in that department next year that weren’t on the 25 last April. Let’s watch the good options to replace Guillen in the OF get signed by other clubs, then trade the only other guy we have ready for that spot as well as the only other ML ready bat we’ve got for a SP who HAS NOT PROVEN HE’S AN ACE. I’ve always heard that an ace is also a guy that you can count on for 200 IP a year. At least 190…Let me know when Bedard fits that. Trading Jones and Clement for a SP who has had exactly one dominant year is a bad idea. The teams present offensive and defensive needs make this an even worse idea. The 3 fielding positions that need an upgrade more than anything right now are LF, RF and 1B. Jones can only cover 1 OF spot, but if Clement gets traded he will end up at 1B. Think about that for a minute. These are 2 guys that fit the teams biggest positional needs RIGHT NOW. Clement needs work at 1B in order to be ready there, but Baltimore’s willing to give it to him. Forget the Pitching needs long enough to realize that this trade is not dealing from positions that you have excess, but rather trading guys that can fill 2 needs you have to instead fill one. Hopefully. This is insanity to even talk about it like it’s a good idea. Now add in the Dollars more you’d be paying for Bedard (and Jones’ replacement) while apparently pushing Morrow to the bullpen!?!?!? How can anyone rationalize this move? If you really want Bedard he should be available in 2 years. I don’t see a package for Bedard that makes sense at all. If Bavasi would rather have Morrow in the Pen than starting in the minors and a deal for another SP is going to happen then just trade him for Bedard…He should be starting, but if he’s not going to do that here anyway, let someone else show you how to play him.

    I say no trade at all for Bedard. Let Morrow work on his secondary pitches in the #5 spot if you refuse to send him down.

  130. et_blankenship on January 8th, 2008 8:43 pm

    Miguel Cairo? The Egyptian Magician? Why? Maybe Brian Roberts is coming to town . . .

  131. msb on January 8th, 2008 8:46 pm

    say, Oh Moderating Team, is there an appropriate place to post the KOMO nuggets of Bavasi Wisdom?

  132. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 8:47 pm

    Forget the Pitching needs long enough to realize that this trade is not dealing from positions that you have excess, but rather trading guys that can fill 2 needs you have to instead fill one.

    Like I said, this “deal” doesn’t make sense from a stats-oriented view OR a traditional baseball view

    Guess we do have a Pittsburgh-type front office….

  133. John D. on January 8th, 2008 8:50 pm

    Re: # 77…the Ms have one of the top IF defenses in the league

    Really?
    According to ESPN, Sexson was ranked 2nd among 1B, Lopez, 5th among 2B, Beltre 9th among 3B, and Betancourt 8th among SS
    That averages out to 6th.
    Top?

  134. El Laberinto on January 8th, 2008 8:50 pm

    Bedard is the real deal. He had a number 1 year in the AL East, with a horrible team behind, and often slogging against the Red Sox and Yankees. Put him in a big park, with a good defense, and he’d be lights out. He has the stuff too. Considering how bad the Mariners pitching was last year, 2 years of Bedard is highly valuable to them. Whether that’s worth Adam Jones, Clement and a pitcher, I’m not sure.

  135. Mr. Egaas on January 8th, 2008 9:01 pm

    At least with Broussard on the bench we had a guy who can swing the stick.

    We’re looking at a bench of what? Bloomquist, Cairo, Burke and Morse?

  136. Wishhiker on January 8th, 2008 9:05 pm

    The Yankees and Red Sox haven’t kept Bedard from pitching 200 innings. Last year he had starts that were under 6 innnings against Tampa, Oak, Minn, Col and Chicago. The Yankees and Red Sox were notably absent from those starts.

    It’s not whether he’s “the real deal”, that can be said about Jones. Proven, however, cannot. Solid chance to be an Ace is accurate. Proven Ace is not.

  137. hawgdriver on January 8th, 2008 9:10 pm

    Excellent analysis as always. It strikes me as the height of hubris that the organization doesn’t keep you on retainer.

    I think #13 made a great point in that revenue generation affects the assumption of a fixed payroll. If I’m not mistaken, the central assumption in the theory that maximizing net value leads to the optimal winning season is the assumption that available resources are fixed. It would be good to allow available resources to adjust for ‘star power’ and number of wins in past seasons.

    To clarify, we would most prefer unlimited resources and the ability to bring in those players that will provide the most wins over minimum. However, the resource constraint forces ownership/management to field a team that overall provides the most wins over minimum given a fixed payroll. But overall wins and star power affect payroll, so our model should account for those effects.

    I think in this case it appears that this effect (if you quantified the excess wins of Bedard and also the increased ticket sales from ‘star power’) would still not tip the scales in favor of a potential trade, given the unusually conservative assumptions. However, I think revenue modifying effects should be accounted for in a complete analysis. Are they there, and I’m just ignorant of their presence?

  138. Boy9988 on January 8th, 2008 9:53 pm

    I decided a while ago that you guys on this site, for all the things that you do know, your just not totally informed. The problem with your analysis is two fold. One, Erik Bedard has done it once before. He has proven he has the talent to be good and the ability to apply that talent. Adam Jones has not. He has never played a full season in the majors. There is no guarantee that he can be the player that he is hyped to be. Two, you cannot compare win values of position players to pitchers. Yes hitters may play everyday, but pitchers face all 9 men three times. Hitters are just one man in the lineup; with exception to maybe Alex Rodriguez, no one man can make as great a difference in five games as a good pitcher can in one.

  139. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 9:56 pm

    Adam Jones has not. He has never played a full season in the majors.

    And you talk about the site authors not being informed?

    You’re betting on the 1%….you know that, right?

    That’s pretty stupid.

  140. billy1 on January 8th, 2008 9:57 pm

    132- 99.1%? Really? You are absolutely in the wrong line of work. Even if these arguments were not forced into the funnel of despair where we assign phantom real dollar vs. expected net value over the life of the deal stuff, you seem to set yourself apart in your prospect evaluation. Why not scan the minors and find 100 players whom you expect to make the bigs, let alone prosper, post a list, and we will see in a few years how accurate you are. Methinks you over-estimate your forecasting abilities.
    Useless labels aside, Bedard is a very good pitcher, entering his prime (not leaving it, as you keep belaboring) and worth a great deal on the trade market. Whether he is worth Jones depends on what we do to replace Jones, imo. The discussion doesn’t take place without him on the table, and mgmt. stated that the rotation rightfully would be upgraded this off-season. Eggs get broken in that environment.

  141. okdan on January 8th, 2008 9:59 pm

    As pointed out elsewhere, it’s not genuine, or useful to evaluate this move as “Bedard for Jones”, but rather, “Bedard and Jones’ replacement for Jones”. Does that make sense? Someone will fill Adam Jones’ spot on the roster. Let’s say it’s Wlad. We then need to evaluate this move as “Bedard and Wlad for Jones”. Wlad is not the same level of an athlete that Jones is, but the drop-off in production isn’t enormous, especially with Jones in RF instead of CF (which is where he would be, since we all know Raul would still be in LF unfortunately).

  142. gwangung on January 8th, 2008 9:59 pm

    132- 99.1%? Really? You are absolutely in the wrong line of work. Even if these arguments were not forced into the funnel of despair where we assign phantom real dollar vs. expected net value over the life of the deal stuff, you seem to set yourself apart in your prospect evaluation. Why not scan the minors and find 100 players whom you expect to make the bigs, let alone prosper, post a list, and we will see in a few years how accurate you are. Methinks you over-estimate your forecasting abilities.

    No, no, no.

    YOU made the claim. YOU have to support it.

    You’re saying that young players are less predictable than older players. DEMONSTRATE IT.

    Otherwise, you’re blowing hot air.

  143. Jeff Nye on January 8th, 2008 10:03 pm

    *puts mod hat on for a moment*

    Let’s not feed the trolls too much, guys.

    *takes mod hat back off, puts I HATE WILLIE BLOOMQUIST hat back on*

  144. Wishhiker on January 8th, 2008 10:11 pm

    I did acknowledge that he had a solid year. 1 solid year.

    Adrian Beltre is one of the best cleanup hitters of his generation if I go by one year.

    Point out that the team needs not only the SP, but his left-handedness. That’s where bringing him in really fills a need that is hard to find (LH TOR), but hardly anyone even points that out. I don’t think the Orioles would go for Morrow, Balentien, Sherrill, Reed or really anything that doesn’t include Clement or Jones. I would only include Clement if Morrow is not included and Jones should be entirely off the table (as well as Triunfel.)

    It used to be that trades like this were for players that were a year plus away. I can handle the idea of that, but these are players that are ML ready that the O’s want 2 of. And the 3 we’re talking about are options at the 3 (4) spots that the teams needs to improve. It’s stupid to even be talking about trading any of these 3 guys, let alone 2 of them.

    Boy9988…………

    I’ve read many comparisons of what an average (All-Star, Replacement level, etc.) Starting Pitcher and comparable Starting Fielder at varying positions bring to their team. You are the one who is not totally informed. The difference is not a difference. I can not agree that a SP is worth more or less than a hitting/fielding equivalent. 1/5 of starts is not 1/5 of your teams pitching. The best of both end up with an effect on about 10% of their teams outcomes of Defensive (SP) or Offensive (SF) contributions. The fielder also has an effect on defensive plays they make. A player who has the ability to steal some bases can effect the AB’s of teammates who hit after them (Jones). From the overall things that I’ve read on it I’d say that preferring one to the other for the effect they have on team wins because they are a SP or hitter is very short sighted.

  145. billy1 on January 8th, 2008 10:15 pm

    Let’s see here, how does this go? NONONONO
    I made not such claims as to my ability to forecast talent. I would, however not suggest that my abilities are in the 99th percentile. You assigned the number, stand by your bragging. The hot air blows from your direction on this one. If you don’t value proven big-league performance over your own projecting abilities (on a one off basis) that is silly. Lastings Milledge (while not totally on the scrap heap) would like to know where gwangungs slam dunk projections are.
    Young players are far more likely to exhibit a non-accounted for flaw (or ability as the case may be) upon entering the majors than a veteran with the dreaded track-record. That’s just common sense.

  146. DMZ on January 8th, 2008 10:31 pm

    Minor league performances are an accurate predictor of major league performance. Bill James found this decades ago, and there’s never been a lick of proof it’s not true.

    It’s even more true when you’re smart about how you look at those stats, and how you combine them with traditional scouting-type evaluation.

    Jones is a fine prospect. I still don’t know if he’ll be a top-tier star, but he’s a good bet to be very good for years through his career, and that’s immensely valuable.

  147. Marcel on January 8th, 2008 10:34 pm

    “Bedard is the real deal. He had a number 1 year in the AL East, with a horrible team behind, and often slogging against the Red Sox and Yankees.”
    It was also by far the best year of his career, which, up until last year, showed him to be a decent #2/#3 starter. And this career year also came at 28 years old, so the likelyhood of decline starts to become a real concern. And as far as the Red Sox and Yankees are concered, both of those teams have major struggles against lefty pitchers. Kazmir, Santana, Bedard, Saunders, etc… They all have good numbers against the Sox/Yanks.

    Call me crazy, but, as long as Beane is tearing his team apart, would hurt to give him a call and offer up Clement + a pitching prospect or two (sorry, I don’t really know the Mariners system too well) for Blanton. He’s not as good as Bedard, but he’s a horse and he won’t cost the M’s nearly as much in talent.

  148. Steve T on January 8th, 2008 10:43 pm

    To be more precise, Derek, minor league performances are AS ACCURATE a predictor of major league performance as previous major league performance. There’s a big difference between “as accurate” and “accurate”, and the sad fact is that neither is what you could call EXTREMELY accurate. But minors numbers, if looked at in the right light, are exactly as good as majors numbers.

    There might not be any facet of baseball analysis that’s harder for old-line thinkers to absorb than this.

  149. Mat on January 8th, 2008 10:46 pm

    We then need to evaluate this move as “Bedard and Wlad for Jones”

    No, that’s just shifty accounting. Wlad is an asset under team control regardless of whether or not the Mariners trade Jones. The Mariners could trade Wlad for a pitcher and upgrade the rotation while keeping Adam Jones. Adam Jones is an asset to the team, and he’s a more valuable asset than Eric Bedard. Losing Jones (plus other goodies) and gaining Bedard puts the Mariners in a more difficult spot than they were to begin with.

  150. billy1 on January 8th, 2008 10:54 pm

    I won’t drag this out, DMZ, but might I ask if those truths are found in hindsight or foresight? It seems to me that there are a myriad of ways to flesh out a particular players numbers. Account for some, discount others, and so on. In the end, with so many of the metrics having at least some contradictory info, its awful tough to state that “x” player will do this in the bigs and be accurate. What might be more difficult is to stick with a metric or 2 accross the board, then living with the results. A bunch less flak would come the way of those who adhered to one philosophy if they were successful.

  151. thefin190 on January 8th, 2008 10:55 pm

    Who needs Jones when Miguel Cairo can provide veteran grit?

  152. Wishhiker on January 8th, 2008 10:59 pm

    149 I kept meaning to say something along those lines…If the deal isn’t made they still have Wlad as a back-up if Jones, Ichiro,…the starting LF or DH gets injured and you can’t maneuver Clement into a spot by it happening or he’s more ready. The depth at DH, C, 1B, LF, RF and CF are lost with this move even if Wlad is still here.

  153. Wishhiker on January 8th, 2008 11:06 pm

    Isn’t this the best feilding/hitting prospect to come up for this team since…A-Rod? I don’t even think Cruz with his much more suspect feilding at the time was considered as much of a talent at the same age. I keep hearing floors (not ceiling’s) that I’d be happy with from him. I’d take that over wasting money on players who will give you less (Vidro, Sexson, etc.)

  154. Mat on January 8th, 2008 11:06 pm

    One, Erik Bedard has done it once before. He has proven he has the talent to be good and the ability to apply that talent.

    In 2002, A.J. Pierzynski hit .300, played 130 games, and was an All-Star. He had proven that he had the talent to be good and the ability to apply that talent.

    Adam Jones has not. He has never played a full season in the majors. There is no guarantee that he can be the player that he is hyped to be.

    In 2002, Joe Nathan had not proven he could be an elite closer in MLB. He had about 180 IP to his name and a career ERA around 4.50 in a pitcher’s park.

    In 2002, Francisco Liriano had not proven he could be a useful starter in MLB. He had injury problems, was 19 years old, and had never pitched above A-ball.

    In 2002, Boof Bonser had not proven that he could be a useful starter in MLB. He was 21 and had never pitched above AAA.

    Do you suppose Brian Sabean might want a mulligan on that trade? Silly rules of thumb like “proven players are more valuable than unproven prospects” are no substitute for evaluating talent.

    Adam Jones is more likely to succeed and be valuable than any one of Nathan, Liriano, or Bonser was in 2002. When you look to make a trade, you need to consider all of the possible outcomes and figure out just how likely you are to improve your teams. All of the possible outcomes in this case include Adam Jones becoming an All-Star, Adam Jones being a replacement level hitter, Erik Bedard winning a Cy Young Award, and Erik Bedard pitching 10 innings over the next two years, not to mention a zillion other scenarios.

    Nothing is guaranteed for any player going forward. You need to weigh each of the possible outcomes and figure out what a player’s value is likely to be in the future. Dave has done that and determined that Jones is more likely to be valuable than Bedard going forward. I haven’t seen anyone make a compelling case to the contrary, because no one has shown any evidence that Adam Jones is likely to fail.

  155. okdan on January 8th, 2008 11:07 pm

    #149 – “The Mariners could trade Wlad for a pitcher and upgrade the rotation while keeping Adam Jones.”

    We’re talking about an actual rumor that is out there right now… Sure they COULD use Wlad to nab another pitcher. But would that pitcher be better or more of an upgrade to the team than Bedard? I doubt it. At least not with another significant group of talent involved. And if they trade Jones for Bedard, they won’t be parting with Wlad. So since we are talking specifically about a Jones and Bedard trade, that is what my argument reolved around.

    Jones if definitely an asset to the team, that’s true. But adding Bedard to our rotation would be a huge upgrade. And having a stud like Wlad in RF would also be an asset.

    I want to see Jones in our outfield next year, he’s gonna be a stud. But I’d also be stoked to see Bedard in the rotation. I’d rather trade Morrow than Jones, but getting Bedard for Jones is not a terrible move at all.

  156. schmicky on January 8th, 2008 11:09 pm

    Hmmm? well, lets also take alook at the excitement value. To me that would have to go to Jone and that being said usually transfers into other teammates picking up the excitement facter too. Keep Jones , I say. Get Bedard in another transaction.

  157. marinermojo on January 8th, 2008 11:17 pm

    Adam Jones is probably not a young superstar in waiting. I hate to break the news to you. Let’s look at some comparisons based on facts. Jones will be 23 years young next year.

    Perspective. By the time Griffey, Jr. turned 23, he owned 4 gold gloves and was an all-star MVP. At age 23, Griffey hit 45 homeruns and had his 3rd season of knocking in at least 100 RBIs. At age age 23, Griffey had already hit over .300 four times and had yet to strike out more than 91 times in a season and was a perennial all-star.

    Heading into the season, Adam Jones has a career .230 MLB batting average. He has struck out 43 times in 139 career at bats (which projects to 185 a year if he were to get 600 at bats). Jones has 3 career homeruns. Adam hasn’t shown any ability to hit right handed pitching–witness his .194 career batting average and .506 OPS.

    Adam Jones is more realistically a future Mike Cameron. Cameron, like Jones, was a fast, ball hawking CF who had two brief major league appearances at age 22 and 23 with minimal success. At age 24, he became the White Sox starting CF. In 379 at bats, hit .259, banged 14 homeruns, stole 23 bases, and struck out 105 times.

    If you project Cameron’s age 24 season to 600 at bats. It would have looked like this. 22 homeruns, 36 stolen bases, 166 strike outs, 28 doubles, and 88 RBI’s (in addition to playing great defense). Which is quite likely what Adam Jones stats will look like if he were to play an entire season in right field.

    Now, I liked Mike Cameron, but I would have traded him for a 28 year old proven ace in a second.

    Now, I know the argument. The trade is just straight across. The Mariners will have to give up a talent like Clement, too. In my opinion, in a best case scenerio, Clement becomes the second coming of Todd Hundley. Besides, in dealing Clement, we are dealing from an area on strength.

    The Mariners NEED to make this trade.

  158. okdan on January 8th, 2008 11:23 pm

    #149 -

    With all due respect, Dave has not shown us how he came up with any of his dollar figures. At this point, they seem a bit arbitrary to me until proven otherwise. How he came up with $14M figure for the 2009 season is still unknown, and considering that is near Torii Hunter levels of performance in Jones’ second full year of MLB, forgive me if I’m not entirely convinced yet.

    I think Jones is going to be a fantastic player, personally. But, like you pointed out yourself, nothing is 100%. The fact that Jones posted a .34 eye ratio in AAA is a bit worisome, but I think he can overcome it.

    Bedard is an excellent pitcher, a top-shelf LH pitcher in Safeco field. A #1 or great #2 in our rotation, and if we make it to the post-season, his value to the team in a 5/7-game series only skyrockets from there.

  159. DMZ on January 8th, 2008 11:38 pm

    I won’t drag this out, DMZ, but might I ask if those truths are found in hindsight or foresight? ..

    How about this: go read James’ work, read the projection work of guys like Nate Silver, get yourself up on the research, and then if you still don’t understand how this is done, and how well it works, we can chat.

  160. gulsrudp@msn.com on January 8th, 2008 11:55 pm

    Great analysis and discussion of the Bedard situation. I may live in dreamland, however the Mariners need Bedard without losing Jones, Clement, Morrow, or other promising prospects. I would also like to trade for Roberts and ideally Markakis to complete our outfield. What could possibly get this done??? My suggestions would include Lopez, Sherill, Baek, H. Ramirez, Morse, along with prospects R. Johnson, Tuiososopo, and Aumont. We could even swap Sexson + cash for A. Huff to get another left-handed bat for the bench. If the Orioles won’t part with Markakis, we would still have an outfield of Ichiro, Jones, + Vlad/Reed/FA Patterson?, with Ibanez as DH/1B. If we must part with one of the top 3 players, I say include Morrow to make it happen!!! The Mariners must have a #1 pitcher on the pitching staff to have a chance against the Angels and in the playoffs.

  161. Boy9988 on January 9th, 2008 12:26 am

    Wishhiker –

    I do get that and point taken. But I still believe in pitching first. You can have the greatest offense in the world, but if you can pitch your way out of a box, your still going to lose. I believe it is more important for the M’s to hold onto Morrow than it is to hold onto Jones. In the end, i think Morrow will be a better player, and for some strange reason, i just have this feeling that Jones isn’t going to be the real deal. I was against the Bedard deal when the word was out that Jones, Clement, and Morrow were in the deal; and i cannot stomach that. But swapping out Morrow for Tuiasosopo, as Rosenthal is reporting; that i think i could live with it.

    And just a thought, If we did give up Jones for Bedard, Can anyone imagine Cameron coming back?

  162. Walrus on January 9th, 2008 12:27 am

    In all this discussion, with only 2 exceptions, no one has discussed the issues with Bedard.
    - There are many reports out of Baltimore that have said Bedard is NOT A GOOD TEAMMATE, and that Bedard is ADAMANT to test the free agent market.
    - He is 28, will be 29 before the season starts.
    - He has only pitched 4 years in the majors, and he has missed an average of 7 starts a year
    - in 2007, Bedard’s LOB% spiked up to basically 78%, versus having been 72% his prior 3 years… so a very likely regression to place there.

    This not to say that Bedard is not a GOOD pitcher. Bedard has many stats that have been very steady or improving each of the past years, but…he has issues, and he has not PROVEN to be a top 10 pitcher yet.

    By the way, at his current age, Bedard’s closest comp is Bud Black….ooohhhh.

  163. billy1 on January 9th, 2008 12:30 am

    Wow, USSM personified. Won’t make the mistake of posing a legitimate question again. Do you use those methods when making yearly free-agent suggestions? Mocking all discourse undermines your credibility moreso than the poster you are trying to embarrass.

  164. Mat on January 9th, 2008 12:40 am

    With all due respect, Dave has not shown us how he came up with any of his dollar figures.

    Well, let’s put our thinking caps on. Dave posted net values. The cost of Jones over the next two years is less than $500K per year. I’d guess Bedard will make $6M next year and $9M the year after in arbitration, especially if he pitches the way that his supporters suggest. That would make the total value of Bedard $18.5M in 2008 and $18M in 2009. I figure Bedard’s something like 4 wins above replacement in ’08 and ’09, so that would work out to about $4-5M/win. Over at inside the book, they seem to be using about $4M/win. (See for instance, the implication that a 4/$48M contract should bring 3.2 wins above replacement per year.)

    As far as I can tell, Dave’s using roughly $4M/win, projecting Bedard for roughly 4.5 wins/season, and projecting Jones for 2 wins in ’08 and 3.5 wins in ’09. Being an average hitter and average hitter for the season gets you about 2 wins above replacement. So in ’08 Jones could be something like a -1 win hitter and a +1 win fielder to make his net value $8-9M. In ’09 Jones would have to be something like a +0.5 win hitter and a +1 win fielder to get to $14M. Based on his ZiPS projection and the most comparable guys there (Ellis Burks and Vernon Wells), I’d say those are reasonable projections. (I actually don’t think that Bedard will be worth 4.5 wins per season the next two years, but Dave did say he was giving the Bedard side the benefit of the doubt.)

    I could be wrong, but I’d bet I’m pretty close to Dave’s reasoning. And even if I’m not, that still looks like a reasonable way to get to those values.

  165. DMZ on January 9th, 2008 12:41 am

    I don’t understand why you see that as mocking, though on re-reading, it certainly does read as too curt. I don’t know what “USSM personified means” but if you read that as insulting, well, I’m sorry.

    I’m entirely serious in my suggestion, though — you want to know how Bill James did his work, go check his work out. You’re asking a series of questions that have been deeply researched by far better minds than mine. Go read his stuff, and Nate’s stuff on how PECOTA works, and you’ll see the answers.

  166. Steve T on January 9th, 2008 12:47 am

    billy1, seriously, go read Bill James on the subject. It’s good reading, and it will open your mind so that concepts like “hindsight and foresight” and “account for some, discount others” can fly out of there.

    The essence is this: if you adjust minor league performance for league and park (both of which vary dramatically, many times the variation for the major leagues, and for the age curve of the player, you’ll get numbers that are exactly as valuable for predicting next year as major league numbers. Note that if you’re not doing these adjustments for the major league numbers as well, the minor league numbers might well be substantially BETTER than the major league numbers.

    These are mathematical adjustments to the basic statistics — playing time, on-base, slugging, or choose the advanced metric that thrills you. It IS the same across the board. Good statistics contain all the information that is available about a player, and rigorously sift that information into numbers that express actual value.

    Remember that major league performance isn’t nearly as predictive as people think it is. Players break out or fall off a cliff all the time, for reasons that are unknown and unknowable. Age, injury, mental makeup, training regimens, voodoo, all kinds of things have an effect.

    This is not theoretical. It holds up under real-world results. If you look at projection systems, Pecota for example (I know Pecota isn’t popular around here but it’s handy) you find that while the projection systems make lots of errors on individual cases, they are overall surprisingly accurate. The accuracy is not worse for minor leaguers.

    Like all systems the more data you have the more you know. Extremely young players’ projections are worse not because they’re in lower leagues but because they simply don’t have as many plate appearances (or pitches/innings) to go by. Sample size is hugely important when you’re trying to figure out what’s going on.

    If Derek sounds dismissive it’s because it gets tiresome to have to explain the same basics over and over. We’ve been talking about this for twenty years now, or longer (I bought my first Bill James Annual in 1983, good God, that’s a quarter of a century). Bill James is old hat now, largely superceded, but his explanations of how to think about the problems are unsurpassed. If you haven’t read them, you’re just going to have a lot of trouble following the conversation. Really. See if your library has a copy of “This Time Let’s Not Eat The Bones” (terrible title).

  167. Mat on January 9th, 2008 12:50 am

    We’re talking about an actual rumor that is out there right now… Sure they COULD use Wlad to nab another pitcher.

    See, to me, I think the case is already out there that Jones > Bedard, once you consider the contracts involved. So in my view this reads a lot like “We’re talking about an actual way the Mariners could hurt the team today. Sure they could wait around and hope to improve the team, or shift hitting talent to pitching talent in an even trade.”

    As Wishhiker notes in 152, even if you don’t trade Jones, and Wlad starts in Tacoma, he provides depth at the corners, which will become important when someone gets injured or slumps.

  168. fetish on January 9th, 2008 1:31 am

    #13

    Jones isn’t near the vicinity of Star Quality as Griffey and A-Rod were. To paraphrase Mercury Morris, call me when he’s on the block, not when he’s on the on-ramp in the next county.

    A-Rod, Griffey, Ichiro – those guys were unmitigated stars and draws the first time they stepped to the plate. Jones might have all the skills in the world, but he could hit 60 home runs next year and still not be as a half the star as any of those three their first full season (89, 96, and 01 respectively).

  169. milehighmariner on January 9th, 2008 1:34 am

    I really don’t have the time to research it but figured a lot of you guys on here might know how many ace pitchers have ever pitched an entire year in relief before becoming front-end starters? It seems the M’s think Morrow can do this. I’ve been watching baseball for three decades and really can’t think of too many, if any. Maybe Pedro when he was with the Dodgers? It seems most pitchers are either big-time starters or not right off the bat. I guess I’m wondering why Morrow is off-limits and Jones isn’t? If I could substitute Morrow in the deal to get Bedard instead of Jones I would. Jones helps our major league team immediately and for years to come with his contract and defensive ability alone not to mention his upside on offense too. If I could swap one pitcher, Morrow, for another, Bedard, and a few prospects not including Jones, it just seems better to me. Help me figure out their reasoning…

  170. musicman on January 9th, 2008 2:11 am

    First off, I’m a new poster, but not a new reader. To those of you who have chosen to post and blast Dave, or the “numbers” behind the post, or argue on the exception(rather than the rule), do yourselves a favor and find a new blog. It’s tiresome to read, and doesn’t help me gain any insight at all. Dave, Derek, and the guys (thanks new moderators, it’s getting better)litterally NEVER post something on a whim, without research, and DEFINATELY without solid baseball knowledge.

    **Peeks both ways** “Clear?”

    On this topic I think everyone is one the same page, we want the M’s to win. Some say now is the time, while others aren’t willing to go for broke. I think the most important thing to remember is that we aren’t exactly hurting for dollars. So I’m sorry Dave, but using the net value for the M’s equates to exactly nill.

    Instead of deciding what the M’s should do, much like when Dave came up with two plans for the offseason, I have come to terms with what the M’s WILL do. Bavasi has to make a major move this offseason, his job depends on it(assumption, but I think you will agree). What this post needs for constructive deconstruction and criticism is to go back and analyze the M’s need for the offseason.

    (Feel free to correct me if I am missing something here)

    As I interpret the M’s needs going back to the end of the ’07 season we had a lineup that was in need of a left handed bat(power a plus), a lot of starting pitching help (batista, ho ram, and weaver? I was sick 3/5 games), our starters couldn’t handle left hand heavy lineups, Richie had a fluke BABIP year (live by stats and die bye stats folks, if a cheap Sexy was available on a 1 yr deal we’d be all over it for rebound potential), we F’d up and gave away our chance at Guillen, the franchise loves RAUUUL, and Lopez blew up.

    So where does the current proposition put us according to our needs? Let’s evaluate the deal from the perspective of our (probably inept) front office. AJ is a right handed batter who would be amazing to watch play the game in our uni for many year to come. Clement is the only LH bat we’ve got, but (as far as I can remember and has been posted) has been boosting his numbers on soft throwing lefties. Other prospects not named Carlos and Brandon aren’t really a topic.

    Getting Mr. Bedard will gain us a LHP, who gets lefties out (check), can give us a fearsome 1-2 combination (check), and allow our staff of #3 types to pitch where they belong (check). We lose basically our only viable option for RF (big minus). I don’t think we can really be concerned with losing a sketchy (correct me if things have changed) and poor fielding LH bat in Clement (neutral).

    After being incredibly long winded, and tiring from my effort, I contend that this is not such a terrible deal. We have money to spend, and as such the M’s we have the right to trade an incredible young talent for two years of (hopefully) incredible pitching. If we can make another deal for a slightly better than replacement value RF, we for sure have a chance, and definately a reason to watch/show up/support our club.

    No matter how hard it is, we have to realize who is making the decisions, and make the best. I understand many (including myself), think that Big B, should get canned, but we cannot change that now. When this deal is finalized, I will still follow AJ (and he WILL be an all star), but I will also know that this was the best that our current organization could do. Despite the pessimism, if (it’s a big if) we can pick up a better (even slightly better) than replacement value RF, (Cameron fits in great with the swing away M’s -25 games), we are better off for the season.

    If this deal goes down, we shore up the pitching staff (pray that this means Morrow to AAA to work on his stuff), we don’t go anywhere with LH bats (but we still have Rauuul… sarcasm), Richie WILL be better this *cough* contract *cough* season (unless he can manage to drastic statistical outlier seasons in a row), landing a RF with VORP+ negates Guillen (doubtful, but hopeful still), and the M’s are as much better for this season as Bavasi can manage.

    My 2 cents… feel free to decimate me with counter arguments. However, leave the $$ topic out, we are a top spender in MLB, and I have to agree with Mr. Baker (as much as I routinely curse to myself while reading his blog) that in all intents, money does not factor into the M’s decisions. Plain and simple, the M’s don’t have to follow the MLB economy, and play the market…. see Silva (who isn’t a terrible aquisition, but terribly overpaid)

  171. Graham on January 9th, 2008 4:46 am

    Some people really need to realise that ‘upgrading the pitching staff’ is no better than ‘upgrading the defence’ or even ‘upgrading the lineup’. It’s all runs, guys, and fixating on pitching to give you that upgrade is crazy.

    Also, when you don’t understand the details of someone’s argument, that does not mean they are wrong.

  172. gwangung on January 9th, 2008 8:42 am

    Some people really need to realise that ‘upgrading the pitching staff’ is no better than ‘upgrading the defence’ or even ‘upgrading the lineup’. It’s all runs, guys, and fixating on pitching to give you that upgrade is crazy.

    Some folks should consider that trading Jones for Bedard means upgrading the pitching AND downgrading the defense (because I doubt you’ll find an OF with the range of Jones).

  173. Graham on January 9th, 2008 8:53 am

    Some folks should consider that trading Jones for Bedard means upgrading the pitching AND downgrading the defense (because I doubt you’ll find an OF with the range of Jones).

    Well, yes, but I figured that was painfully obvious, and I was therefore too lazy to type it out. It also means downgrading on offense, too.

  174. DMZ on January 9th, 2008 9:35 am

    …how many ace pitchers have ever pitched an entire year in relief before becoming front-end starters?

    Entirely, as in “no games started”? Probably very few.

    As a development path, it used to be much more common than it is now: Earl Weaver loved to break in his young pitchers like that when he could, using them in long relief and spot starts to get them used to facing major league hitting and so on, and moving them to the rotation as the opportunity presented itself.

    Today, you’re much more likely to see the team push them into a back-end rotation slot or call them up to cover for injuries and then send them back down to the minors to get them consistent work, and the rewards for having a cheap, effective starting pitcher are so huge that teams are a lot more aggressive about trying to push them into the role early.

  175. tangotiger on January 9th, 2008 9:13 am

    Dave’s data breaks down as follows:

    Adam Jones will generate 15.75 wins above replacement for the next 6 years. Presuming a 10% payroll inflation, that kind of production would cost 94 million$ on the open (free agent) market.

    Because you get to control Jones’ salary, it will actually cost you 40 million$ for that kind of expected production.

    For Bedard, he’s a 4+ player, meaning he’s a free agent after the 2009 season. He’d have to sign a 4 year contract get him him to 2013.

    Presuming he’s a 4 WAR pitcher and maintains that level, he will give you 24 wins over 6 years. On the open market, that would cost you 138 million$. With a 20MM, 4 year extension, and another 20MM for his 2 arb years, that’ll cost you 100 million$.

    So, that’s your comparison point: do you want real estate that is worth 94MM but will cost you 40MM, or do you want real estate that is worth 138MM but will cost you 100MM?

    You’ll obviously make more money with the first one. But, what if you REALLY need a 138MM property? Well, buy the first one (94MM) for 40MM, and you buy another one for 44MM on the open market for 44MM. That gets you two properties, total cost of 84MM, whose total value is 138MM.

    It’s on this basis that you would not give up your young player.

    Now, if you decide to make do with only a 94MM property, well, you will be worse off, since you are depriving your mind, body, and soul of what you really want: a 138MM property.

    But, the market is open enough that you can spend that money that’s in your pocket.

  176. gwangung on January 9th, 2008 10:16 am

    Well, yes, but I figured that was painfully obvious, and I was therefore too lazy to type it out. It also means downgrading on offense, too.

    Well, yeah, it’s painfully obvious…but some folks (see Ms front office) seem to have a rather high pain threshold (or they’re masochists….)

  177. tangotiger on January 9th, 2008 11:46 am

    Someone on my blog made the observation that Carlos Silva would fit the bill here. (Jake Westbrook would have been a better example, but, let’s go with what we’ve got.)

    Adam Jones + Carlos Silva for 6 years
    OR
    Eric Bedard + Willie Bloomquist for 6 years

    (And if not WFB, then whatever dreg of MLB is floating around…. remember, you used up all your money on Bedard.)

  178. Thoan on January 9th, 2008 12:46 pm

    Dave, your analysis needs to address an obvious issue to be meaningful. And that issue is, whether pitchers have the same win value range as everyday players. Since starting pitchers work only every fifth day or so, intuitively it would seem that their win values would overall be much lower than, say, a three-tool fielder. And if this is so, then the win values of disparate traded components will not be 1:1, i.e., a quality starting pitcher will be worth a higher win value in fielders than in other starters. Hopefully, you can address this in your analysis.

    This is brought up not in support or denigration of the rumored trade of Adam Jones + for Bedard (though I have confidence in Bavasi’s skills at getting fleeced). Bavasi probably is also considering (among other things, including his chair temperature) that 1) starting pitching is a scarcer commodity than hitting/fielding, and thus commands a higher price, and 2) having a Weaver or HoRam on the mound makes players like Jones less valuable, as they never get a chance to make a difference before games turn hopeless (and, they get neck strains watching balls fly over their heads and out of the park). These are not illegitimate concerns for a GM, but the use of win value doesn’t fully address them.

  179. Graham on January 9th, 2008 12:53 pm

    And that issue is, whether pitchers have the same win value range as everyday players.

    Isn’t this the point of a run conversion?

  180. tangotiger on January 9th, 2008 1:02 pm

    A win is a win is a win.

    If Dave is marking Bedard as being 4 wins (or whatever) over the dregs of MLB (i.e., the guy you can have for 400,000$), and if he is marking Adam Jones as being 2 wins over the dregs of MLB, then that’s that.

  181. jamesllegade on January 9th, 2008 4:39 pm

    Bavasi or who ever the Japenese ownership hire to replace him (you can bet it won’t be a stat-geek but another old school type) will just [seriously, the various profanities with one letter replaced are getting very old, please find another way to express yourself] that extra Jones money away on someone horrible anyway.

    So you can’t compare Jones and Bedard win shares in a vaccum… I would rather have Bedard locked up than Bavasi roaming the streets like a drunken sailor with 44 mill in his pocket.

  182. jes1181 on January 9th, 2008 8:23 pm

    Long time reader, first post…

    The idea of trading Jones is not one that is high on my list. I think Jones is going to be a special player. That being said, I have seen only a comment or two of maybe growing this trade to include more players.

    If Baltimore is considering dealing Roberts to Chicago, why not see if we can get him included with Bedard.

    Obviously we would send Lopez (even suggested by a prior post) in the deal.

    Bedard + Roberts for Lopez + Clement + Balentien + Morrow + Tillman

    Baltimore isn’t going to compete next year or even in the next couple, but in adding 5 young players would be a good start.

  183. thefin190 on January 9th, 2008 11:21 pm

    182 – Dave suggested something similar to that a couple weeks ago.

  184. jamesllegade on January 10th, 2008 10:38 am

    What about Bedard/Roberts for Jones and Lopez and some lesser lights of the farm system?

    How does that pencil out?

    If we do indeed ship Jones to Baltimore… is there anything we could get back that would make win-shares sense? What about a lefthanded slugging OF? Huff? Luke Scott?

    also… is there a list somewhere that I can read to see what counts as profanity on this site? I thought i was being overly cautious when I replaced that “i” with a “!”.

  185. Thoan on January 11th, 2008 12:44 pm

    179, 180: Yes, a win is a win. But Dave’s table isn’t just about wins. It’s about “win value,” which contemplates not just wins the the dollar cost of getting there. My question is whether the “value” part of the win, i.e. the dollar cost, is higher across the board for starting pitchers than for fielders.

  186. skyking162 on January 11th, 2008 2:58 pm

    My question is whether the “value” part of the win, i.e. the dollar cost, is higher across the board for starting pitchers than for fielders.

    It shouldn’t be, if a win is a win. But if pitchers do cost more, why would you want to put your money into pitching? Isn’t that the overhyped mantra of Moneyball — spend your money more efficiently? It pitching is more expensive, then you’d only put money into it when you’ve maxed out your offense. That’s not much of an issue for the Mariners.

  187. grayrockravens on January 14th, 2008 1:20 pm

    Hi all. O’s fan here. I see the overwhelmingly pro-Jones chatter in here, which is to be expected on a Mariner’s fan site, but I am just wondering how many of you have actually seen Bedard pitch. He has legitimate #1 stuff and was on his way to challenging for the Cy Young last season before they shut him down with his oblique. He has steadily improved the last couple of seasons and has come up big despite playing in the brutal AL East. His numbers against the BOS and NYY last season:

    W L IP H BB K ERA
    3 0 34.2 16 10 34 2.08

    I’ve never seen Jones or any of the other prospects being discussed so I’m definitely not qualified to determine whether it’s a good trade for the M’s. Keep in mind also that Bedard has been playing his entire career for a terrible team with mostly subpar defensive players behind him.

    As a miserable O’s fan for over the past decade, I’m sad to see home grown products Roberts and Bedard about to leave, but this is something that we should have done years ago… Good luck to you guys

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