I remembered to go back and look at an old post today: “Here’s the Bet”
This off-season, at least one free agent pitcher who has superior numbers to Washburn will sign a one-year deal for under Washburnâ€™s 2010 salary of $10m. And here, I mean numbers indicative of a pitcherâ€™s ability:
* Strikeout rate
* Walk rate
* Line drive rate (and HR rate)
* Ground ball/fly ball split
I predict this year weâ€™ll see at least one pitcher who is clearly superior enough to Washburn to make arguing moot, but hereâ€™s our specific criteria: at least 180 IP in 2008, K rate equal or better than Washburnâ€™s, walk rate equal or better than Washburn, LD/HR rate equal or better than Washburnâ€™s. They will sign a deal for one year for less than $10m. Bonus points for 2y under $10m.
Oh, there were skeptics. Dave was one. But I claim my rightful victory.
Randy Johnson pitched 184 innings in 2008. He struck out 22% of hitters who faced him, Washburn got 13%. Randy walked 6% of hitters, Washburn 7% (I knew this would be the toughest hurdle). Randy’s line drive rate was 18%, Washburn’s 23%. Randy’s ground ball rate was 40%, Washburn’s 36%. And they’re both lefties, so there you are.
Randy signed a one-year, $8m deal with the Giants. Sure he wouldn’t have signed here but that’s not at all the point. We were right back in August when we were screaming about what a dumb move Armstrong made to veto his interim GM because he wanted “value” back.
Here’s the value you’re not getting, at current market value: for the money Washburn will cost next year, your new GM could have gone out and signed Daniel Cabrera, Tim Redding, and Brad Penny for next year’s rotation. There’s some potential value for your dollar.
Or, to view this another way, given current market prices to replace Washburn, that move’s value was -$2.5m at the very least. Given what we’ve already seen them do, we know the front office would have been able to spend that bringing in a host of quality minor league free agents, non-roster guys, rehab projects… whatever.