An Extension for Bedard?

Dave · January 31, 2008 at 9:28 am · Filed Under Mariners 

As part of the never-ending rumor mill surrounding Bedard and the trade, there are now reports that Baltimore is considering offering him a long term contract, and will only go ahead with the trade if he turns it down. The Baltimore Sun threw out 7 years and $100 million as a possible figure. Since many people assume that the M’s would want to work out a contract extension with Bedard after acquiring him, I figured we should answer the question of what Bedard’s worth in terms of a long term deal.

Figuring out what a players worth is simply combining several calculations – how many wins will that player add to the roster and how much are those wins worth? Due to a lot of hard work by guys like Tango and others, these questions are actually pretty easy to answer.

If we assume Bedard stays healthy, then for 2008, he’s worth about 5 wins above what you could expect to get out of the Baek/Morrow/Ramirez/Rowland-Smith crop of pitchers – in other words, he’s a +5 win player when compared to replacement level. That’s his 2008 marginal win value.

How much is a marginal win actually worth in 2008? Approximately $2.5 million. Major League Teams are going to spend about $2.7 billion on their payrolls next year, when they would only spend about $360 million if everyone paid the league minimum to every player. So, they’re spending that extra $2.34 billion to try to win more games than their opponents. Since we know that a team full of replacement level, minimum salary guys could win about 50 games, the amount of wins a team buys beyond that 50 win mark are the marginal wins. So, there are approximately 930 wins in MLB to be bought, and teams will spend $2.34 billion to try to buy as many of those 930 wins as they can. $2.34 billion divided by 930 = $2.5 million. This has been the dollar value of a win for several years now – it hasn’t changed all that much.

So, if Bedard’s a 5 win pitcher, and a win is worth $2.5 million, then basic math tells us that Bedard is worth something like $12.5 million in 2008. That’s his actual value to the team in dollars.

However, market value doesn’t care so much about actual value, because MLB’s system is setup to steal money from young players and give it to older players. Since teams have these low cost young talents making far below their actual value, the extra cash savings from those players goes to the guys who are eligible to have their contracts decided either through arbitration or free agency. Since teams have money to fight over a limited pool of players, inflation kicks in, and the market value for a win is more like $4 million. That is, teams will pay $4 million for a win in free agency to fill out their rosters, hoping that the sum of their 25 man roster works out to something less than $2.5 million per win.

So, if we say that market value is $4 million per win, and Bedard’s still a 5 win player, that makes his market value for 2008 $20 million. You can see why the M’s want him so badly – a $12.5 million player (with a market value of $20 milllion) who could only ask for $8 million in arbitration is quite the bargain.

Now, because Bedard doesn’t have free market leverage yet, no team is going to want to get anywhere close to that $20 million per year figure by locking him up now. And Bedard, knowing that he’s only 12 months away from being able to demand something close to market value, isn’t going to want to give up his big payday for something close to his actual value.

So, in reality, an extension for Bedard will have to come in north of $12.5 million per year (to encourage Bedard to sign) and less than $20 million per year (to encourage the team to sign). If Bedard was only one year away from free agency, he could probably get closer to his $20 million figure, but since he’s two years away, the line will be closer to the $12.5 million mark.

In reality, I’d expect that neither the Mariners nor the Orioles will be willing to go past $14 million per year on an extension and for no longer than five years. That would put the deal at 5/70, far short of the 7/100 that has been tossed out as a starting point. After all, if Bedard will only command (estimates of) $7 million this year and $15 million next year, then both teams would have him under control for 2 years and $22 million, then by offering him 5/70, they’re really buying out his first three years of free agency for $48 million, or $16 million per year.

This is the decision Bedard will have to make – does he believe that the extra $4 million (or so) per year he’ll be able to command next winter after a successful, healthy season is worth the risk of having him blow out his arm and potentially lose out on a big payday. If he can get 5/70 now, or he can wait 12 months and try to get 5/100 then, is the shot at another $30 million worth the risk?

If I’m Bedard’s agent, I tell him its not – this is a guy with a long history of arm problems coming off the year of his life. The nature of pitching is so fragile that his $70 million could turn into $30 million very quickly, even if he stays healthy – just ask Dontrelle Willis or Josh Beckett.

So, if 5/70 (or something close to it) is the magic number at which Bedard should be signing a long term deal, is that a deal the M’s should be interested in?

Its a big risk, but I’d lean towards yes. I wouldn’t do much beyond 5/70, but at that point, I’d swallow hard and hope his elbow stays glued together.

Comments

90 Responses to “An Extension for Bedard?”

  1. bakomariner on January 31st, 2008 9:35 am

    I hope he takes the money from the Os and runs…SAVE ADAM JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. terry on January 31st, 2008 9:39 am

    Thanks for posting this.

    Why not tack on a few options years (perhaps vesting based upon performance) in order to get to that magic 7 yr duration?

  3. terry on January 31st, 2008 9:40 am

    Also, would a hypothetical extension change your opinion of trading Jones?

  4. okdan on January 31st, 2008 9:41 am

    I agree with you here, Dave. If we do happen to get Bedard, it only makes sense to lock him up for longer than the remaining 2 years on his contract.

    And for what it’s worth, this is one of the better posts I’ve read on USSM in a while, reminds me of why I started visiting in the first place.

  5. warren on January 31st, 2008 9:42 am

    About the cost for marginal wins, your number suggests it is a linear relationship. I wonder if it isn’t more logarithmic, meaning that a 5-win player is worth more than 5 times a 1-win player. The reason is because if a team has 25 1-win players, they still only win 75 games a year. Because the number of contributors is finite, it would seem that the more a single player could contribute, the more the value of each of those marginal wins. I’m sure you have already thought of this, so tell me where I went off the track.

  6. Wood Dog on January 31st, 2008 9:43 am

    I think that if we can sign EB long-term, say the 5/70 Dave is suggesting, that the Jones vs Bedard debate is not quite as clear cut as it was before. Bedard for 2 years isn’t worth it… but Bedard for 5? Getting a $20 M per year pitcher for $12 M a year? This is starting to sound a lot better IF we can sign him up. Then the question is who would EB rather sign long term with, the M’s or the O’s?

  7. CaptainPoopy on January 31st, 2008 9:46 am

    Question:

    Why can’t Bavasi make the trade dependent on if he’ll sign an extension? Just like the Mets did with Santana. Makes sense.

  8. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 9:49 am

    re 4 & 5

    Good smart comments and questions. If we get Bedard, you pretty much have to drive hard on an extension. And there is value in packing extra wins into one player…but I think it gets pushed back down by how much the team is willing to spend/overspend. We;re getting into the elite All Star/Hall of Fame players here, and the history of the site authors show that they think it’s of value to spend for those players.

  9. oar68 on January 31st, 2008 9:50 am

    Roch Kubatko, of The Baltimore Sun, reports Mark Pieper, the agent for Baltimore Orioles SP Erik Bedard, disputed a report on MLB.com that said the Orioles contacted Bedard Sunday, Jan. 27, to talk about a contract extension. “The report that appeared yesterday regarding Erik Bedard on MLB.com is wholly inaccurate and contains nothing factual. Quite honestly, that type of journalism is irresponsible and reckless,” Pieper said via email.

  10. billT on January 31st, 2008 9:50 am

    Also, would a hypothetical extension change your opinion of trading Jones?

    For me it does, but not much. You still have a problem of replacing Jones’ total contribution to the team. We could throw someone like Reed out there and get decent defensive value, but next to none offensively. Alternatively, the M’s could sign one of the remaining OF on the market and probably approach Jones’ offensive contribution to the team (for this year at least) but have a dismal OF defense.

    Trading Jones for Bedard in a vacuum is pointless – you’re just filling one hole while creating another (possibly larger looking at the state of young position players in the M’s system) one. If the M’s would have had any forethought on this at all, they would have made a play for someone like Jenkins earlier in the offseason and then had the personnel in place to make up for the loss of someone like Jones in the near term.

  11. HamNasty on January 31st, 2008 9:51 am

    7- I thought Santana said he would veto the trade if he wasn’t given a long term contract? And Bedard would want to seek out his 7/100 after 2 years with the M’s.

  12. bakomariner on January 31st, 2008 9:52 am

    7- Because Bavasi is desparate…I’m sure most GMs would…

  13. Dave on January 31st, 2008 9:52 am

    Why not tack on a few options years (perhaps vesting based upon performance) in order to get to that magic 7 yr duration?

    Players don’t look at team options as a benefit, and teams don’t look as player options as a benefit – the M’s generally settle on mutual options, so that’s possible, but it shouldn’t change this calculation much at all.

    Also, would a hypothetical extension change your opinion of trading Jones?

    Nope – I still maintain that Jones is worth more than Bedard by himself.

    About the cost for marginal wins, your number suggests it is a linear relationship. I wonder if it isn’t more logarithmic, meaning that a 5-win player is worth more than 5 times a 1-win player.

    Teams shouldn’t treat it as linear, but all the research on the object says that they do. If you look at what the great players get – Johan, A-Rod, Pujols, etc… – then it’s clear that MLB teams pay like wins are linear. It’s one of the reasons why I believe that the upper tier of players are relatively underpaid.

    The reason is because if a team has 25 1-win players, they still only win 75 games a year.

    Remember, we’re talking about marginal wins, not absolute wins. We’re assuming that every team starts with 50 wins and each win is added to that total. So a roster of 24 replacement level players and Erik Bedard would win 55 games. Adding a two win player would push you to 57 wins, etc…

    Why can’t Bavasi make the trade dependent on if he’ll sign an extension? Just like the Mets did with Santana. Makes sense.

    I don’t think Bill wants to sign Bedard to an extension right now, honestly. He’s made it clear that he’s only williing to part with this caliber of talent because Bedard doesn’t cost huge money, and he’s outright said that you can only give up talent or money, but not both. I doubt the M’s will pursue an extension with Bedard until next winter.

  14. HamNasty on January 31st, 2008 9:57 am

    Dave-
    Do you think Jones is just a better player then Bedard?
    Or is your Jones > Bedard because the M’s would be creating other holes and letter cheap years go to waste?

  15. jeffinfremont on January 31st, 2008 9:59 am

    I am so hoping that Angelos blinks and Bedard cleans ‘em out. I simply don’t understand how you can justify signing a guy who hasn’t pitched 200 innings in one season to a 5/70-type deal.

    Plus, Jones’ defense in right field everyday is worth more than Bedard’s arm every fifth, or until it gives out.

  16. Dave on January 31st, 2008 10:01 am

    I have Jones as a 2 win player right now and Bedard as a 5 win player right now. So, clearly, I don’t think Jones is better than Bedard.

    However, if Jones is worth 2 wins in ’08, 2 wins in ’09, 3 wins in ’10, 3 wins in ’11, 4 wins in ’12, and 4 wins ’13, then he represents 18 wins over the next 6 years, and those 18 wins will be extremely expensive to replace going forward. The cost difference between Jones and Bedard outweighs the win difference.

  17. Alaskan on January 31st, 2008 10:03 am

    Dave,
    Maybe I missed something, but it seems as though you are expecting Bedard to maintain his +5 wins over the length of the contract. Is that really a reasonable assumption? I had the impression that Bedard, at 29 years old in April, is at the typical pitcher’s peak. So wouldn’t we expect his wins to taper off by the 4th and 5th years as he ages? The teams don’t ignore that, do they?

  18. Tek Jansen on January 31st, 2008 10:03 am

    Also, if the M’s play poorly in 2008, yet Bedard pitches well, Bavasi, or another GM, could trade Bedard if Bedard truly wants to test free agency. The M’s would not get back what they are giving to the O’s, but they could get something useful. Unlike Santane, Bedard does not have a no-trade clause, which means that he cannot leverage the M’s in the way that Santana leveraged the Twins. Hopefully this all becomes moot and the M’s play well in 2008. That is my wish anyway.

  19. Wood Dog on January 31st, 2008 10:03 am

    Oh, I think 5/70 is very reasonable for Bedard. In fact you are getting a discount taking a risk on his health, but isn’t 10+ K’s per 9 innings, almost 4:1 K:BB, 1.1 WHIP, 3.2 ERA is worth taking a risk on?

  20. Dave on January 31st, 2008 10:07 am

    Maybe I missed something, but it seems as though you are expecting Bedard to maintain his +5 wins over the length of the contract. Is that really a reasonable assumption?

    Remember, we’re trying to figure out what is actually probably, not necessarily what we’d do in a perfect world. Teams have basically set themselves up for a system where they sign players to deals that pay based on the current talent level, believing that future inflation and degradation of skills will essentially cancel out.

    I don’t necessarily believe that, but that’s how teams do these deals. Bedard will get paid like a 5 win player because that’s what he is right now. The fact that he’s likely to be a 2-3 win pitcher in 5 years won’t factor in to the salary that much – it will factor into the years, though.

  21. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 10:08 am

    but isn’t 10+ K’s per 9 innings, almost 4:1 K:BB, 1.1 WHIP, 3.2 ERA is worth taking a risk on?

    In a vacuum, yes.

    If we’re talking about a larger context, it depends.

  22. msb on January 31st, 2008 10:10 am

    “The report that appeared yesterday regarding Erik Bedard on MLB.com is wholly inaccurate and contains nothing factual. Quite honestly, that type of journalism is irresponsible and reckless,” Pieper said via email.

    Jim Street? inaccurate?

  23. busplunger on January 31st, 2008 10:15 am

    With regard to teams paying for linear wins… yeah, it makes sense to “overvalue” high win players because you can cram more value into one roster spot. Then, if you have the resources (payroll/farm), you can still look for wins at 24 other spots.

    I’m guessing MLB teams look at the risks with throwing that much cash at one player (injuries being the most obvious) and scale it back to a linear equation for simplicity’s sake. Whether that’s proper risk management or not… well, I’m no Kenny Bania.

  24. bakomariner on January 31st, 2008 10:16 am

    [ot]

  25. Carson on January 31st, 2008 10:20 am

    Dave – Thank you for finally addressing this in [its] own thread. I’ve been curious about your stance. I’m pretty much in total agreement. I don’t think it would be a good idea to give him the range he wants, and will probably get when he hits FA.

    For what its worth, Buster Olney is now reporting that the trade was hung up due to rules around physicals.

    It’s expected to be resolved today.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3224091

  26. dcmarinerfan on January 31st, 2008 10:31 am

    Couple questions:

    1) What do people mean by “In a vacuum,” in this baseball sense?

    2) Given the mantra of our team over the last three offseasons, and given that we gave Carlos Silva 4 years / 48 million, wouldn’t you be relatively pleased to have Bedard at 5 / 70?

  27. billT on January 31st, 2008 10:41 am

    1) What do people mean by “In a vacuum,” in this baseball sense?

    In my case I was referring to the trade without considering possible future moves. Like signing Wilkerson (yuck.. I think I’d rather put Reed in LF and hope he goes back to being a slap hitter who can put up an average OBP) to try and fill the offensive and defensive contributions of Jones.

  28. Gregor on January 31st, 2008 10:41 am

    For what its worth, Buster Olney is now reporting that the trade was hung up due to rules around physicals.

    Olney’s theory doesn’t make the first bit of sense. If the M’s and O’s had an agreement pending physicals, then it would be just that, regardless of what Adam Jones tells a reporter, no?

  29. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 10:41 am

    1) What do people mean by “In a vacuum,” in this baseball sense?

    I don’t know what people mean, but what I mean is the whole context. If we’re talking about as an extension/ signing, there’s no question to go ahead on it. If we’re talking at the expense of signing other needed talent, it depends on who’s available. If it’s in the context of giving up Jones, I’d say that it wasn’t worth the gamble because of the difficulty in replacing the absolute numbers this year and the impossibility of replacing his numbers at Jones’ price over the next few years.

  30. msb on January 31st, 2008 10:47 am

    the line in Olney’s piece that is a kick in the teeth:

    “Jones, 22, is regarded by scouts and executives with other teams as a rising star. “He’s going to be a monster,” said an AL talent evaluator. “If you put he and Nick Markakis in the same outfield, that is the start of something.”

  31. Mr. Egaas on January 31st, 2008 10:51 am

    Oswalt got 5/$73m last year, so I don’t think 5/70 is unreasonable for Bedard.

  32. Wood Dog on January 31st, 2008 10:53 am

    1) What do people mean by “In a vacuum,” in this baseball sense?

    I thought it meant that this Bedard trade sucks so much it’s almost like it’s “in a vacuum”.

  33. bat guano on January 31st, 2008 10:54 am

    Great post. I’ve been telling people that the only way I see this deal making sense is if the M’s can lock up Bedard for more than two years; Dave has quantified what many of us believed instinctually. I still agree that the odds of us “winning” the trade are low in the long run, but it seems like those odds improve dramatically if we could get Bedard for something like 5/70.

  34. coasty141 on January 31st, 2008 10:58 am

    Is there really a chance that the Mariners do this trade without having an extension for Bedard?

    I don’t like this trade, but doing it without having a extension lined up just seems retarded.

  35. Logger on January 31st, 2008 11:01 am

    You better believe it!

  36. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 11:04 am

    Is there really a chance that the Mariners do this trade without having an extension for Bedard?

    Yes.

    I don’t like this trade, but doing it without having a extension lined up just seems retarded.

    Double yes.

  37. Kirk D on January 31st, 2008 11:09 am

    Dave, regarding the injury history of Bedard I’ve so far only found notes on what sidelined him this past season, which appears to have been a strained oblique and a stiff neck. Has he had shoulder and/or elbow issues?

  38. msb on January 31st, 2008 11:18 am

    he had TJ surgery in 2002. Sickels put up a history on Monday

  39. CaptainPoopy on January 31st, 2008 11:27 am

    37- plus he’s never pitched 200 innings in a season and averaged only 167 innings during the last 4 years.

  40. Oolon on January 31st, 2008 11:44 am

    “Since teams have these low cost young talents making far below their actual value, the extra cash savings from those players goes to the guys who are eligible to have their contracts decided either through arbitration or free agency.”

    Reminds me of the general store in Alaska that had a motto, “We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you.”

  41. Bender on January 31st, 2008 11:47 am

    So given this news, is the deal still 99.9% certain to go through? Is there any chance that leaking this story is a tactic on the part of the O’s?

  42. xeifrank on January 31st, 2008 11:47 am

    I would just like to say that that was a very well written post. It had good numbers and was explained very clearly (not too complicated for the average reader) and made alot of sense.
    Thank you.
    vr, Xei

  43. JMHawkins on January 31st, 2008 11:54 am

    Jones gt or lt Bedard?

    I look at is this way.

    Jones is +2 marginal wins right now, and Bedard is +5. The odds are, over the next five years, Jones will go up and Bedard down, but let’s assume they stay that way for the next five years, and Jones’ salary goes 500k, 500k, 2M, 3M, 4M (numbers picked to make the math easy), and that Bedard signs a 5/70 deal.

    The M’s have about $100M is marginal salary to play with, and need at least 40 marginal wins to compete for the playoffs. So, they need to pay about $2.5M per margina win to be competitive (fits with the league average, so if the M’s are more efficient than the league in buying talent, they’ll compete and if they’re less efficient they wont).

    If they keep Jones at the assumed numbers above, they get +2 wins at an average of $2M per year, leaving them $98M to buy 38 wins, letting them pay $2.58 M per MW, giving them an advantage over the rest of the league.

    If they sign Bedard at those numbers, they get +5 wins at $14M per year, leaving them $86M to buy 35 wins, letting them pay only $2.45 M per MW, giving the rest of the league an advantage over them.

    So, assuming the projections most favorable to Bedard (e.g. he doesn’t decline and Jones doesn’t improve, but Jones still gets good arbitration cash), Bedard leaves them less able to compete for a division title over the next five years.

    If Jones improves at the rate Dave suggested, and or if Bedard declines in his early thirties, then it’s even worse.

    Bedard is good, but Jones is good and cheap. If we could sign Bedard for 5/70 while keeping Jones, I’d be interested (though still, signing long term contracts with pitchers is risky). But that’s not the offer on the table.

  44. jamesllegade on January 31st, 2008 11:58 am

    If we “lose” out on Bedard… has anyone thought about what the prospect cost would be for Ian Snell? Will it be guys that we can justifiably say “Just Prospects” without running for our lives in here?

    Best case… we get Snell and keep AJ. With the vagaries of Pitching Snell could have a better year at the Safe than Bedard at the Jake and I would not even be surprised.

    Freakin’ Pitchers.

  45. et_blankenship on January 31st, 2008 12:15 pm

    Louie Gonzo reached a preliminary 1/$2 agreement with the Marlins today. Thank goodness.

  46. Logger on January 31st, 2008 12:20 pm

    44 – Do we even want Snell? I hear he projects to a 3/4 starter. Does anyone have an information on him?

  47. tangotiger on January 31st, 2008 12:22 pm

    JM/43: well said.

    You have 600MM to buy land and building materials over the next 5 years. This is all a question as to how you allocate that money to get the best house and location, location, location you can get.

    If you’ve got a good but not great player (Jones) at a steep discount, that’s great. If you’ve got a very good player (Bedard), at a small discount, that’s good. If you’ve got a great player (Santana), at a tiny discount, that’s barely ok.

    Whatever happens though, you can’t be caught with your pants down and only spend for 500MM of talent, with 100MM hanging out of your pocket because you didn’t want to overbid on players.

    Works out fine for the owner either way (keeps 100MM in his pocket, but has 100MM less in revenues because the team won’t win as much). Works out great for bdanwagon jumping fans, since they won’t pay for a ticket at all. But, hardcore fans lose out, since they’re going regardless.

  48. Steve Nelson on January 31st, 2008 12:51 pm

    One of the difficulties with some of the marginal wins discussion here is that it assumes teams have relatively easy options to deploy the money available to purchase marginal wins. If Player A is going to be overpaid, we assume the money can easily be plowed into one or more other players who will provide the same marginal wins at lower cost.

    The reality doesn’t play out quite that easily. Marginal wins players – especially the valuable ones – aren’t available across a continuum and the more valuable ones are rare. If you decide a particular valuable player is too expensive, there may not be an equivalent player available. If you try to produce wins using multiple players, your have to filter those options to reflect how those players will fit into your roster.

    So if that superstar valuable player fits your roster and the other options to generate the marginal wins have logistic or practical difficulties, it may be worth it to overpay for that player. If you need 10 marginal wins to contend and Roster Construction Alternative A gets you ten marginal wins at $3.5 per marginal win and Roster Construction Alternative B gets you seven marginal wins at $2 per marginal win, you’re probably going to go for Option A because Option B is a decision to field a team that probably won’t compete. If the player is represent by Boras, Boras will deduce your situation and get you to pay $4 per marginal win, and until the ink dries on the contract you will be convinced it was a bargain at that rate.

    Of course, in a bigger perspective an effective management team tries to shape a roster to minimize the chances of being stuck in that situation. Which includes things such avoiding Sexson like contracts where at the time the deal is inked it’s clear there’s an very high probability the contract is going to be an albatross in the last year or two.

    This is one reason why teams ought to be willing to pay more per marginal win for elite players. Those elite players give much more flexibility in filling out the rest of the roster. When teams build marginal wins via small increments spread across the roster, they have to find roster pieces that mesh together properly. Then a team can easily get stuck overpaying for certain a certain player because that player, while not generally valuable, becomes the only available player that fits the team’s need.

    ***

    I believe this comment to be free of spelling errors. I don’t vouch that it is free of grammatical errors, missing words, duplicated words, or phrases that don’t make sense because I bungled the editing.

  49. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 12:55 pm

    re 48

    Stars ‘n Scrubs vs. the 25 Civics model, hm?

  50. AKMarinersFan on January 31st, 2008 1:02 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3224335

    Whew…that was close. Hopefully Angelos can string this out long enough that the rest of the “Veterans that Have Been Through the Wars” all are all signed.

  51. Mere Tantalisers on January 31st, 2008 1:07 pm

    “…he’s worth about 5 wins above what you could expect to get out of the Baek/Morrow/Ramirez/Rowland-Smith crop of pitchers”

    So Morrow is now ready to contribute at the major league level? ;)

  52. xeifrank on January 31st, 2008 1:13 pm

    One thing that hasn’t been brought up in the marginal wins Jones v Bedard debate is the variance in performance projections. For example, Jones may have a high ceiling but he may or may not have more risk associated with projecting him 3,4 or even 6 years down the road because he doesn’t have much of a track record to project off of, whereas Bedard does. On the otherhand Bedard’s projections could also have more variance because he is a pitcher and one serious arm injury could put an end to his career. Thoughts?
    vr, Xei

  53. Dave on January 31st, 2008 1:25 pm

    You’re right, if there’s one thing we haven’t talked about ever on this blog, it’s projecting young players…

  54. xeifrank on January 31st, 2008 1:28 pm

    53. Snark?
    vr, Xei

  55. Dave on January 31st, 2008 1:29 pm

    One of the difficulties with some of the marginal wins discussion here is that it assumes teams have relatively easy options to deploy the money available to purchase marginal wins.

    Steve’s points are all correct, except I disagree with this part – no one here is advocating for decision making to be 100% based on dollars per win calculations. Obviously, there are scenarios where its worth it to overpay, and you still have to be efficient with your resources.

    However, it’s important to start from the basis of real value, then work your way from there. There are times when it’s a viable decision to make a “bad” decision based on dollars per win because of a factor that isn’t included in that analysis.

    However, you still have to do the dollars per win analysis so that you know just how far you’re straying from actual value. Dollars per win needs to be the starting point, and from there, you can adjust for other factors.

  56. et_blankenship on January 31st, 2008 1:31 pm

    52:
    Include too many hypothetical variables and the end result is goulash. It’s worthless. There has to be a base model, a foundation to build upon, something that keeps the numbers in line across the entire player universe. That base model starts and ends with money/time/performance. Variables like risk and “what if” should definitely be considered, but not until after you can compare the apples in question to the rest of the orchard.

  57. Logger on January 31st, 2008 1:35 pm

    Do you think our FO conducts said dollars per win calculations? If not, do others?

  58. msb on January 31st, 2008 1:37 pm
  59. AKMarinersFan on January 31st, 2008 1:42 pm

    58 – He didn’t take into account the rebound that Sexson will have this year nor the new life that Raul will find in his legs. Irresponsible reporting if you ask me.

  60. galaxieboi on January 31st, 2008 1:45 pm

    Wow, that’s pretty well thought out. Good for him.

    Did you see the first comment? After reading it I clicked on the ‘report inappropriate content’ link. Jeez, if you have NO idea what’s going on don’t type anything.

  61. et_blankenship on January 31st, 2008 1:48 pm

    Logger:
    All FO’s calculate $/win . . . but individually, faith in its validity and the role it ultimately plays in the decision making process probably spans the board.

  62. marc w on January 31st, 2008 2:13 pm

    “One thing that hasn’t been brought up in the marginal wins Jones v Bedard debate is the variance in performance projections.”

    Jones minor league stats offer a wealth of data with which to refine his performance projections. He’s got good size chunks of 2 seasons in AAA, and it’s generally quite easy to use those numbers to project major league performance. Bedard, on the other hand, is a pitcher with a not-exactly-spotless injury history. I think Bedard is an absolute ace, and yet I’d have to say projecting HIM 5-6 years down the road is a crapshoot.

    “However, it’s important to start from the basis of real value, then work your way from there. There are times when it’s a viable decision to make a “bad” decision based on dollars per win because of a factor that isn’t included in that analysis.”

    How does this help you/me/any of us evaluate a trade like this one? If they simply refuse to do that $/win analysis (and say so publicly), sure – that’s a clear process failure. But this ‘exemption’ that Steve talks about seems to cast some doubt about the value of the tool. Let me be clear: Steve’s right – there are times when you need to make a move that doesn’t quite pencil out for a $/win standpoint.
    But if that’s so, then is the ‘league average’ $/win or not-position-specific $/win process the right one? In your mind, would a team tailor the broad idea to the specifics of how many ‘wins’ their core is likely to produce + problem areas in the roster + ETA/quality of top prospects? Or does that sort of tweaking lead to tunnel vision wherein only a right-handed starter who throws GBs will do, and you end up spending 3x what you ‘should’ have?

  63. Ralph_Malph on January 31st, 2008 2:18 pm

    40 – Reminds me of the general store in Alaska that had a motto, “We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you.”

    Not a general store; a bar. Chilkoot Charlie’s in Anchorage. ‘Koot’s, to locals.

  64. CaptainPoopy on January 31st, 2008 2:24 pm

    [ot]

  65. ooter on January 31st, 2008 2:29 pm

    64 – source?

  66. Dan W on January 31st, 2008 2:30 pm

    [ot]

  67. AKMarinersFan on January 31st, 2008 2:34 pm

    [ot]

  68. CaptainPoopy on January 31st, 2008 2:37 pm

    [ot]

  69. katne123 on January 31st, 2008 2:45 pm

    [ot]

  70. galaxieboi on January 31st, 2008 2:45 pm

    [ot]

  71. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 2:45 pm

    [ot]

  72. Mike Honcho on January 31st, 2008 2:46 pm

    [ot]

  73. qwerty on January 31st, 2008 2:49 pm

    How does Tango decide He’s worth 5 wins? wouldn’t there be a variable based on what team he goes to? ballpark? which league? etc.

  74. bakomariner on January 31st, 2008 2:49 pm

    [ot]

  75. msb on January 31st, 2008 2:49 pm

    What else do you expect to hear from the team? “He’s on the downside of his career and might have injury problems, but he’s the best we can get that’ll accept our offer”?

    “He’s on the downside of his career and might have injury problems, but he’s the best we can get that’ll accept our offer since we were stupid enough to trade away our RF without planning for his replacement?

  76. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 2:51 pm

    [ot]

  77. Mike Honcho on January 31st, 2008 2:51 pm

    [ot]

  78. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 2:52 pm

    [ot]

  79. OppositeField on January 31st, 2008 2:53 pm

    [ot]

  80. galaxieboi on January 31st, 2008 2:53 pm

    [ot]

  81. msb on January 31st, 2008 2:55 pm

    [ot]

  82. msb on January 31st, 2008 2:57 pm

    [apologising for being ot]

  83. Bilbo on January 31st, 2008 3:03 pm

    OppoField, just watch every fifth day to take the sting out.

  84. shortbus on January 31st, 2008 4:13 pm

    With the Wilkerson signing it’s now official…the FO doesn’t have an answer for replacing the offensive and defensive contribution of Jones. This fact alone annihilates the notion that adding Bedard will help the team win now — and I seriously doubt the M’s will be able to sign him to an extension. Basically they are hanging their hopes on Richie Sexson hitting 40 home runs. Not to mention hoping that none of the players over 30 years of age on this roster spends any length of time on the DL. This move is going to be completely ineffective…but at least it’s really expensive too. Is there any other kind of move this team knows how to make?

  85. terry on January 31st, 2008 7:09 pm

    With the Wilkerson signing it’s now official…the FO doesn’t have an answer for replacing the offensive and defensive contribution of Jones.

    They have an answer in year one-cross your fingers. It worked well last season….

    BTW, this has been a fascinating thread.

  86. djalakas on January 31st, 2008 8:43 pm

    I understand that the whole world revolves around stats. I get that Bedard is worth maybe about 5 extra wins, but could it be more?
    I do feel that Adam Jones could very well come back and make the Mariners decision a bad one. Shocker! I can’t help but wonder why he has been thought off as such a solid fielder. He is still young, but I don’t see him winning any gold gloves any time soon. I don’t mean to be trashing on Jones. I think he can be a very good player in this league, but I can’t help but wonder why no power hitters want to play in Safeco. That’s right.. It’s a pitchers park.
    Bedard may be worth 5 extra wins, but how about the pressure he will be taking off Hernandez as the #1 guy. Maybe we see Felix pitch without the pressure this year, and maybe he hits 20 wins.
    I don’t think this is the greatest trades in the history of trades, but I don’t think it’s the worst.

  87. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 8:21 am

    I understand that the whole world revolves around stats. I get that Bedard is worth maybe about 5 extra wins, but could it be more?

    Probably not. That sort of uber-production is quite rare…that’s Randy-Johnson-in-his-prime level…maybe. He’s not at that level. Too, a lot of the wins Bedard will get would have been gotten by the bullpen. Lastly, there’s his durability….ain’t gonna get wins if he’s on the DL.

    I can’t help but wonder why he has been thought off as such a solid fielder.

    What’s the single most important attribute for an outfielder? It’s not his arm. It’s not his glove. It’s being able to get to the ball. That means speed and taking good routes to the ball. We know he has speed. Scouting reports indicate that he has learned to take good routes.

    And focussing on Bedard as a pitcher ignores the effects of poor outfield defense on the other three starters (and the bullpen for that matter).

    Make no mistake about it…this is a very bad trade to make.

  88. mikelb420 on February 1st, 2008 8:28 am

    Just out of curiousity, if Bedard is lights out in April-May-June, and the M’s are totally out of it, does anyone think the M’s would consider trading him again? Maybe they could recoup some or even more talent than they just gave away? It’s kind of the baseball equivalent of day trading, but just wondering what the M’s might fetch in return? If not this year, then next year if it becomes apparent he will not sign an extension.

  89. nathaniel dawson on February 1st, 2008 9:59 pm

    Wow.

    I can’t think of a single thing in that whole analyses that I could take argument with. I mean, really, really excellent breakdown of what could happen with Bedard and his contract situation. Sort of a back-of-the-envelope, pencil sketch of the possibilities, but one that captures the issues facing both sides, and will likely end up close to actuality.

    Unless some team goes apeshit and offers him 8/160 or something stupid.

  90. Wolfman on February 2nd, 2008 1:47 pm

    Fascinating thread. I would HATE to lose Jones but isn’t it easier to find a good OF than a top-of-the-rotation pitcher? Seems Bedard could be a rare chance to put the rotation into the elite. Am I wrong?

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