Someone explain this to me

DMZ · January 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Milton Bradley to the Cubs, 3y $30m
Pat Burrell to the Rays, 2y $16m
Raul Ibanez to the Phillies, 3y $32m

Raul going early may be the savviest move of any player this offseason.

Comments

48 Responses to “Someone explain this to me”

  1. gag harbor on January 5th, 2009 5:03 pm

    Man, the Phils would have been so much better off sticking with Burrell @ 2 years than signing Ibanez for 3 long (expensive) years. Amazing that such big dollar decisions are still made on a “gut feeling” or some other intangible that can’t be explained. If that was my company, I’d be firing people for that kind of performance.

  2. Typical Idiot Fan on January 5th, 2009 5:11 pm

    I think a proper meme for this would be “LOL GILLICK”, except he’s not totally in charge anymore.

  3. SonOfZavaras on January 5th, 2009 5:11 pm

    I think the Rays screwed up by not signing Ibanez. It’s not like they have a heavily-lefty lineup.

    And gag’s right…where’s the business logic by the Phillies?

    Dumb moves by those teams, on the surface. But part of me is happy Raul got the best deal. Nice to see class acts get their piece.

  4. KingCorran on January 5th, 2009 5:24 pm

    I agree with SoZ. There’s no way I want Ibanez on the 2009 M’s, and those draft picks are looking very tasty right now. But someone was going to sign him, and I’m glad that he has been paid the most of any comparable player. His defense is horrible and his bat’s going to age, but his character is incredible… and that’s enough reason to rejoice in his payday.

    I mean, since it’s not the M’s picking up the bill. ^_^

    Now… where’s our cheap zero-D big bat? If this is the going rate for these kind of players, maybe Dunn taking 500ish ABs at 1B/DH makes more sense than we would originally have imagined…

  5. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 5th, 2009 5:25 pm

    It’s even more interesting when you look at their respective 08 values:
    This is Player, Position, Plate Apps, Value Wins and equivalent Dollars, 08 contract, new deal
    Raul Ibanez OF 699 2.2 $9.7 $5.5 3/32
    Pat Burrell OF 638 2.8 $12.6 $14.3 2/16
    Milton Bradley OF 510 3.7 $16.9 $5.3 3/30

    Some others for fun…
    Ken Griffey Jr. OF 575 -0.1 (o.2) Made 8.3 M
    Adam Dunn OF 651 1.9 8.7 Made 13 M
    Manny Ramirez OF 654 6.5 29.2 Made18.9 M
    Barry Bonds OF (based on 07) 477 4.7 19.1 Made15.5 M

  6. Evan on January 5th, 2009 5:27 pm

    That Milton Bradley costs less than Raul Ibanez for the same years is just laughable.

  7. msb on January 5th, 2009 5:41 pm

    do you suppose it is just the potential injury bug dropping his value?

  8. Tek Jansen on January 5th, 2009 5:43 pm

    Bradley and Ibanez are essentially the same price. The difference is less than one million annually. Now Bradley does have a history of off and on-field behavior issues (mostly unjustified) and a history of being injured (very justified). Ibanez carries none of that baggage. I suspect that Ibanez’s durability and likability helped him overcome his weaknesses (defense) when negotiating that nice contract.

  9. Breadbaker on January 5th, 2009 5:44 pm

    It’s always interesting to see what teams do with success money. The Phillies, as World Champs, will have some serious funny money this year from increased sponsorships, local broadcast rights, additional ticket sales, etc. The Rays, compared to 2008, will presumably have more (their attendance was still pretty low, particularly during the early part of the season). The Cubs, of course, are nearly recession-proof, certainly baseball-failure-proof.

    The Phils go out and buy themselves some Raul, for money that is going to look pretty ridiculous at the end of his contract when they’re actively trying to flog him back to the DH league.

    The Rays pick up a short-term solution in Burrell and pay pretty reasonable short-term money.

    But it’s the Cubs (in ownership limbo, for that matter), who end up with the bonus prize, at ridiculously low money.

    If this were a stock market, I’d be shorting the Phils and buying me some Cubs.

  10. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 5th, 2009 5:48 pm

    Bradley and Ibanez are essentially the same price. The difference is less than one million annually. Now Bradley does have a history of off and on-field behavior issues (mostly unjustified) and a history of being injured (very justified). Ibanez carries none of that baggage. I suspect that Ibanez’s durability and likability helped him overcome his weaknesses (defense) when negotiating that nice contract.

    Did you see the big 1.5 win and 7.2 Mil. value differences? No offense to Raul, whom as an M’s fan I love, but based on last year, there was no comparison.

  11. Joe C on January 5th, 2009 6:04 pm

    In light of how Milwaukee got cheated out of a first round pick from the Yankees for signing Sabathia when they Yankees also signed Texeira, is there anyone that we should be rooting for the Phillies not to sign that might be ranked higher than Ibanez?

  12. Ben Ramm on January 5th, 2009 6:04 pm

    Explanation: the nice guy premium. The other two guys have tainted reputations and Ibanez doesn’t.

  13. Aaron on January 5th, 2009 6:05 pm

    Mariners lose biggest bat
    Of all the free agent sluggers who have signed deals this off-season, former Mariners’ 3-hole hitter Raul Ibanez has been valued the highest by other teams. That kind of production will be nearly impossible to replace based on who is left on the market and the team’s budget constraints. But one possibility is Ken Griffey Jr., who is still available.
    -Jim Street

    OK, not really, but you totally believed that he would write that, didn’t you?

  14. diderot on January 5th, 2009 6:07 pm

    I am normally opposed to wiretaps, but now that the free agent sky is falling, I would love to hear the conversations between Manny Ramirez and Boras.
    If Manny now carries through on his threat to quit if he doesn’t get what he wants, does he still owe Boras anything?

  15. Breadbaker on January 5th, 2009 6:17 pm

    If Manny now carries through on his threat to quit if he doesn’t get what he wants, does he still owe Boras anything?

    There’s an old Tank McNamara with the punchline, “you know what ten percent of nothing is, don’t you?”

  16. Mere Tantalisers on January 5th, 2009 6:17 pm

    Well if you figure on Bradley sitting out half of his contract…

    And then there’s the fact that many people in Philadelphia (I just talked to a couple of these last night) are under the impression that Raul is a major defensive upgrade over Burrell. No, really.

  17. Slurve on January 5th, 2009 6:20 pm

    Well there was this…

    ljs1993 wrote:
    Since I was cut off on my last post let me finish. With the tear repaired in his knee, watch out, the man is primed for a comeback. No matter what Griffey says, I believe he wants two things at this point in his career. One, a World Series title, and two, THE HOME RUN RECORD which is rightfully his. Look out, he said he has “things to do” before retirement, and he just may do it.
    1/5/2009 4:55:10 PM

    ljs1993 wrote:
    Well since the Devil Rays just signed Pat Burrell, it looks like Seattle is going to be the place for Griffey, which to me is outstanding. First off, anyone who makes disparaging remarks about Griffey and his injuries is not a real baseball fan and is truly ignorant and disrespectful. Griffey received those injuries playing full bore and not cruising like players such as Sosa, Bonds, McGwire, etc…… Anyone who is an athlete knows that your hamstrings are critical in your performance and are very fragile and slow to heal when injured. Couple that with the fact that Griffey has titanium screws holding his left hamstring together shows just truly how great he is. Even with those injuries he can still man a corner slot in the outfield and has been working out at first base. The best swing in baseball is still in Griffey and he is still a threat when healthy. Supposedly he’s dropped fifteen lbs, extra pounds that did take away some hip rotation and power in his swing to go with th
    1/5/2009 4:52:11 PM

    This was in the M’s main site in the comments of us being linked to Griffey.

    “Griffey received those injuries playing full bore”

    What about the cup incident?

  18. Mere Tantalisers on January 5th, 2009 6:20 pm

    On a related note, I’m really curious to see what will happen to Raul’s +/- UZR etc after the switch to a smaller field. In part because of what he had said, and in part because he’s a great case study for such changes of scene being such a consistent(ly bad) fielder.

  19. joser on January 5th, 2009 7:09 pm

    Oh, c’mon. This kind of fielding is easily worth an extra few million a year.

  20. joser on January 5th, 2009 7:13 pm

    Griffey broke his left hand while playing with his children in December ’06. He tripped over a foot locker and wrecked his knee for all of last season. Apparently full-bore fielding involves more than we realized.

  21. Willie G on January 5th, 2009 7:29 pm

    Like someone else said, the nice guy factor plays a role. You can’t get get much better character than Raul. Also:

    Raul’s lefty.

    Bradley has had a 500 at bat season only once in his whole career–and it wasn’t even that great a season.

    Burrell strikes out a lot.

    And most importantly, Raul racked up comparable numbers while hitting in an incompetent, un-scary lineup, in a pitcher-friendly park. I’m sure the Phils expect him to do great things infront of Rollins, Utley and Howard.

    Obviously it’s a questionable call, but Raul’s been underrated forever, and at this point I think the Phils should be perfectly happy with their decision.

  22. msb on January 5th, 2009 7:40 pm

    well, as Jr himself said, “You know the Griffey family can be clumsy”

    hey– right now FSN is showing win #116, with starting pitcher Denny Stark. I miss Mike Cameron.

  23. JI on January 5th, 2009 8:10 pm

    I don’t think the Phillies’ acquisition of Ibanez was savvy at all.

  24. cheeseheadtransplantmax on January 5th, 2009 8:41 pm

    JI, I think Derek meant Ibanez signing when he did, before Bradley and Burrell, as Ibanez’(s?) savviness. Not Philly’s. By the way, excellent clip joser.

  25. Breadbaker on January 5th, 2009 8:44 pm

    Oh, c’mon. This kind of fielding is easily worth an extra few million a year.

    I’ve thrown like that. Of course, it was while putting a shot.

  26. gwangung on January 5th, 2009 9:11 pm

    And most importantly, Raul racked up comparable numbers while hitting in an incompetent, un-scary lineup, in a pitcher-friendly park.

    That should be a lefty friendly park. That might change the meaning of your statement.

  27. sbrune40 on January 5th, 2009 9:38 pm

    its nice to be making fun of other team’s dumb moves instead of the m’s.. feels good!1

  28. SonOfZavaras on January 5th, 2009 9:46 pm

    In light of how Milwaukee got cheated out of a first round pick from the Yankees for signing Sabathia when they Yankees also signed Texeira, is there anyone that we should be rooting for the Phillies not to sign that might be ranked higher than Ibanez?

    Joe C, the only guy I can think of is Orlando Cabrera. He’s the only available guy that has a higher Type A rating (barely) than what Ibanez does. The Phils sign him, we get Philly’s 2nd-rounder.

  29. SonOfZavaras on January 5th, 2009 9:59 pm

    I should really clarify that last post. Manny Ramirez and Cabrera are the only unsigned Type As that I can think of that have a higher FA rating than what Ibanez does.

    And I don’t see the Phils making a play for either of them.

  30. Breadbaker on January 5th, 2009 10:00 pm

    Joe C, the only guy I can think of is Orlando Cabrera. He’s the only available guy that has a higher Type A rating (barely) than what Ibanez does. The Phils sign him, we get Philly’s 2nd-rounder.

    The depth of the stupidity of the MLB compensation rules continues to amaze. Maybe the crime on the Brewers (I’m assuming the Phillies aren’t in the market for a shortstop) will cause something to be done in the next CBA.

  31. Mike Snow on January 5th, 2009 10:16 pm

    Of course, you all realize that these comments are implicitly pointing out the reason Ibanez is worth more than Bradley – it’s all in the money the Phillies are going to save by not having to sign a first-round pick this year.

  32. eponymous coward on January 5th, 2009 10:27 pm

    Raul’s lefty.

    Bradley’s a switch-hitter.

    Burrell strikes out a lot.

    … which is nearly irrelevant to the discussion of his performance as a hitter, since the important part is what he does when NOT striking out.

    Raul racked up comparable numbers while hitting in an incompetent, un-scary lineup

    … which has exactly nothing to do with individual performance. Really, it doesn’t.

    Raul’s also 5 years older than Burrell, and is going to be under contract in his year 40 season. That’s four-zero. As in, OLDER than Ken Griffey Jr. will be during the 2009 season.

    Raul’s been underrated forever

    His defense has deteriorated to a level where he’d have to hit like Albert Pujols to be “underrated”.

    Wait… Raul signed and Gillick retires… haven’t I seen this movie before?

  33. DaveValleDrinkNight on January 5th, 2009 10:35 pm

    Good Luck to Ibanez, but none of those guys are worth the money they’re getting.

    I think it would be an interesting post to compare the WAR values and salaries of the Rays line-up and the highest paid free agent signings.

    Crawford and Longoria combined can’t be making anything near these three.

    Watching the re-play of win #116 tonight, man that was a great season.

  34. Willmore2000 on January 5th, 2009 10:48 pm

    You know, between the 10/200 mil contracts, we forget that 2/16 is basically a lottery ticket, it’s more than most CEOs make, more than most hope to make in a lifetime.

    No statistical analysis, I’m not trying to say anything, I just thought that we forget about it sometimes.

  35. DMZ on January 5th, 2009 10:54 pm

    Who forgets that?

  36. Willmore2000 on January 5th, 2009 11:05 pm

    Well, I do. I really don’t think behind the numbers when they are posted … this guy gets 2/16, that guy gets 5/60. I forget that that 60 is in millions of dollars, and that that 60 million is a hell of a lot of money to play a game.

    I’m not complaining about the salaries, it’s a capitalist economy, they are paid what anyone is willing to pay them, but still, I can’t help but think that 40-50 years ago, the salaries of baseball players weren’t much bigger than those of army officers and those of army officers not much smaller than private sector executives.

  37. SonOfZavaras on January 6th, 2009 12:06 am

    Willmore2000- $60 mil is a helluva lot to do anything.

    But, regarding what you say of the ballplayers of yore- specifically, how they stood in the socioeconomic circles- I’ve read Jim Bouton’s Ball Four, and what Bouton said was that ballplayers of his day were quite well-paid in relation to other occupations- and that young, attractive women looking to marry knew it. This was in 1969- 40 years ago- and Bouton made $22,000 that season. The average American household cleared, what, $10,000?

    I’ve zilch idea how much an army officer got paid back then, but I am guessing it wasn’t all that comparable.

    And, to me…if you’re a major-league ballplayer, that means you’re one of the top 800 in the country at your profession. Anyone want to guess what the top 800 lawyers make in this country? Top 800 doctors? Salesmen? CEOs?

    You’ll see a lot of seven and eight-figure numbers out there.

  38. DMZ on January 6th, 2009 7:50 am

    So in any event, should we mention that it’s a lot of money every time we include a salary in a story? What’s the desired solution here?

  39. Teej on January 6th, 2009 8:56 am

    Good Luck to Ibanez, but none of those guys are worth the money they’re getting.

    I’d argue that Burrell is worth $8 million a year. The past four years he’s been worth roughly $14M, $9M, $8M and $12M, according to Fangraphs’ calculations. And he’s so bad in the field that moving to DH should actually improve his value.

    Crawford and Longoria combined can’t be making anything near these three.

    Crawford and Burrell will make about the same amount this year. Longoria, on the other hand, will be underpaid for a long, long time.

  40. msb on January 6th, 2009 9:28 am

    So in any event, should we mention that it’s a lot of money every time we include a salary in a story? What’s the desired solution here?

    a wacky emoticon of a giant pile of money appended to the story?

  41. Willmore on January 6th, 2009 11:19 am

    So in any event, should we mention that it’s a lot of money every time we include a salary in a story? What’s the desired solution here?

    Nah, but maybe a giant banner of starving
    Papua New Guinean children at the top of the page would be nice.

    No, but regarding the pay rate in 1969, some generals made over 20,000$ a year. A Major with 15 years of service could expect to make about 12-15,000$. And I think there were also allowances for housing, if you didn’t live on a base, plus other pay, not to mention pension, medical, etc.

  42. Willmore2000 on January 6th, 2009 11:20 am

    So in any event, should we mention that it’s a lot of money every time we include a salary in a story? What’s the desired solution here?

    Nah, but maybe a giant banner of starving
    Papua New Guinean children at the top of the page would be nice.

    No, but regarding the pay rate in 1969, some generals made over 20,000$ a year. A Major with 15 years of service could expect to make about 12-15,000$. And I think there were also allowances for housing, if you didn’t live on a base, plus other pay, not to mention pension, medical, etc.

  43. Willie G on January 6th, 2009 11:03 pm

    Eponymus:

    I respect your opinion, but I think you came out of your shoes swinging and missing at mine.

    Yes, obviously Bradley’s a switch hitter which nullifies Raul’s lefty bat as an advantage, but you could have noticed that I also mentioned how he’s had only one 500 AB season, which seems to me like a clear disadvantage compared to Ibanez who’s had 500 or more each of the last seven seasons, and 600 or more each of the last four. Bradley’s also hit 20 homers only once in his career, something that Raul’s done each of the last four seasons. Finally, as we all know, Bradley’s psyche has always been a concern.

    As for Burrell, to a common observer who happens to have an inexplicable urge to quickly tear apart my argument, he might seem like an obviously superior choice, and hell, maybe he woulda been. However, shoudn’t we give a World Series winning club more credit than to confidently assume that they’re acting out of stupidity? Maybe the Phillies don’t like the fact that he was 1 for 14 in the World Series last year. OR, maybe they shied away from him because the last time they gave him a big contract, he hit .209 the subsequent season.

    Also, how does Raul hitting in a horrible lineup have absolutely nothing to do with his individual numbers? Doesn’t he need guys on base in order to rack up RBIs? (see Mariners’ terible OBP) Wouldn’t he see more pitches to hit if the bases weren’t perpeturally empty, or if he had someone better than Vidro or Sexson or Lopez hitting behind him?

    Finally, I think those who are ripping Raul’s defense to such a great extent are letting the memory of a few appalling plays cloud their opinion. He’s not Willie Mays out there, but his fielding percentage was exactly the same as the league average for LFs last year.

    Again, even I don’t think that the Raul signing was definitely the right one, but I certainly don’t think it’s as clear cut as some others do. And Eponymus, you might be the smartest guy (or gal) in the world and are completely equipped and prepared to tear this argument a new one. I just felt compelled to respond since you totally dismissed my first argument so effortlessly.

  44. Jeff Nye on January 6th, 2009 11:22 pm

    RBIs and fielding percentage are terrible ways to evaluate a player.

  45. Willie G on January 6th, 2009 11:47 pm

    Maybe so, but am I really wrong in thinking that Raul would see better pitches if the bases weren’t empty, or if he had some protection?

    As for Raul’s fielding, I shouldn’t try to defend at all. He’s pretty awful, but hey, so is Burrell!

    I dunno, I’m clearly in the minority thinking Raul could be a smart move. I just feel like the Phils were thinking his performance would jump to an above-Burrell level with the benefit of a good lineup around him, and that Burrell did so incredibly bad last time they gave him a new contract.

  46. joser on January 7th, 2009 1:37 am

    Maybe so, but am I really wrong in thinking that Raul would see better pitches if the bases weren’t empty, or if he had some protection?

    Yes, you are.

    The entire point of protecting a batter is to improve his offensive output (wOBA) by forcing the opposing pitcher to pitch to him. And indeed, we saw above that opposing pitchers pitch to protected hitters, something that is evidenced by the fewer walks. However, when the ball is put into play, we see no significant difference between how the two sets of hitters perform. The unprotected hitters have a wOBA of .395 (counting only balls that are hit), compared with .391 for protected hitters. The difference of .004 is not statistically significant.

    So a better batter hitting behind Raul wouldn’t give him “better pitches to hit.” Tango also addresses potential intentional walk situations (ie when there’s bases open):

    However, what we hoped to find was that, when pitchers pitch around the corners, batters tend to make worse contact (if they make contact at all). And we don’t see this. Instead, we again find that, if walks are ignored, the two types of hitters perform equivalently in wOBA. (The slight increase in strikeouts is compensated by a slight increase in the fraction of balls hit well when contact is made.) In short, we simply cannot find any evidence to suggest that the pitcher’s approach has any significant impact on the batter’s stats, aside from the obvious changes in walks and strikeouts.

    In other words, with the bases empty he may see more balls (and thus more walks) but he won’t see “better pitches to hit.”

    It’s really a fascinating piece of work. I had to read through it a couple of times to fully digest it, but it’s worth it.

    Tango doesn’t address it in the article, but there’s actually some evidence (at times) for “reverse protection” — a batter may see better pitches to hit when there better batters in front of him, because if the bases are loaded the pitcher is compelled to throw strikes.

  47. eponymous coward on January 7th, 2009 7:51 am

    However, shoudn’t we give a World Series winning club more credit than to confidently assume that they’re acting out of stupidity? Maybe the Phillies don’t like the fact that he was 1 for 14 in the World Series last year. OR, maybe they shied away from him because the last time they gave him a big contract, he hit .209 the subsequent season.

    Evaluating someone based on fourteen at bats, even if they are in the World Series, is making a poor evaluation based on a ridiculously small sample size (aside from the fact that he has 65 postseason appearances).

    The same problem exist in evaluating someone based on a contract he signed 6 years ago- you don’t know whether or not it’s a complete coincidence.

    As for “well, you don’t know”… I think it’s pretty clear you can make a solid objective argument that the Phillies overpaid for Raul. When we signed him and a lot of Internet commentary though it was a bad deal, Raul was at something like 4-5 million a year, and was NOT purchased at a big premium to other comparable players. Now, Raul will be making MORE than Burrell, not half as much.

  48. Willie G on January 7th, 2009 8:09 am

    I suppose you guys are probably right. I think I’m just foolishly trying to defend Raul because he was a shining beacon of competence in our sea of crappy hitters last year.

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