Bedard’s upcoming Elias ranking

DMZ · June 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Baker:

Besides, Bedard is likely headed to Type A free-agent status. You’ll likely get two high draft picks for him if he leaves as a free-agent at season’s end. It would take quite a haul to pry him away from Seattle in June, I’d suspect. We’ll know the answer to that in three weeks or less.

It’s possible, but he’s a lot farther than likely. Here’s the Elias system, as best I know it. You take everyone’s two-year stats in a bunch of categories, and assign everyone ordinal ranks. Then you add that all up.

For starters, I believe it’s total games (as starts + 1/2 relief appearances), IP, Wins, W/L percentage, ERA, strikeouts. Then the top 20 percent get rated A, 21-40 percent are B, and then everyone else bites it.

Bedard only got 6 wins last year (68th in the AL among all pitchers), his win percentage was 60%, his ERA was 3.67, and 72 K put him at 70th among all pitchers. Bedard gets helped a little by his decent rate stats and hurt by getting killed on counting stats.

For 2009, he looks great — among qualified starters, he’s #12 in wins, his win percentage looks great, he’s 4th on ERA, and 9th in K.

To be an ‘A’ Bedard needs not only to pitch a lot (which… yeah), and do really well (which he’s entirely capable of). Or think of this another way: how many pitchers can you name quickly that will end up ahead of him when rated over two years on all those stats? You only have to get to the top 20%, because the ratings include all pitchers. When I rattled off a list this morning while discussing this on the Mariners Blogosphere Conspiracy Conference Call, it was

Burnett, Halladay, Meche (I can’t even believe that i just typed that), Greinke, Beckett, Lee, Floyd, Sabathia, Shields, Millwood, Joba probably, Garza, Jered Weaver maybe?, Edwin Jackson, Marcum (?), Wakefield…

That’s 16 I can name off the top of my head. And as much as Bedard might do well on the rate stats, there are going to be some random starters out there who luck into getting ranked well on the wins, say, or with fluky ERAs.

So I asked Eddie, who’s been working on this over at Tiger Thoughts, and he said yup, Bedard’s in the middle of the Type Bs.

Which is better than being in the others. And he’s talented… but say he pitches with the M’s the rest of the year. He needs to stay lucky on wins and win percent, stay healthy, and you’re still going to be crossing your fingers that he sneaks up to the last spot on the Type A list.

Now, I know this, and the M’s know this, and I would bet the brain trust already sent someone out to project this and see what the chances are that Bedard ends up as a Type A. And maybe they talked to Baker and gave him the nudge nudge that they’re expecting a little something, wanted to get that aired for other teams to note as well…. but it’s a tall order. Given the way it’s calculated, and who’s ahead of him, I don’t see how he’s a likely Type A.

Comments

31 Responses to “Bedard’s upcoming Elias ranking”

  1. wsm on June 8th, 2009 4:57 pm

    Last offseason Bedard was dead last in the Type A category. Basically awesome 2007 + crappy 2008 barely got him in.

    Essentially he needs to repeat 2007, all other things being equal, which they aren’t. One way or another 2009 won’t measure up to 2007, so I’d say it’s always been a longshot for him to reach Type A.

    Incidentally, Beltre was also dead last in his Type A group last year. So same story; he needs to live up to 2007. Not off to such a great start.

  2. Milendriel on June 8th, 2009 5:08 pm

    Thanks for the post, Derek! It’s nice to read a good explanation of such an arcane process.

  3. wabbles on June 8th, 2009 5:37 pm

    Alas poor Erik, we hardly knew ya. Any chance we can get a young starting outfielder, closer candidate and three minor leaguers for him? But seriously folks, what is a reasonable expectation for him in trade (acccounting for the fact that, as noted, other teams know our hands are tied)?

  4. BillyJive on June 8th, 2009 5:44 pm

    I’ll probably take flak for this but I say re-sign him.
    We all know how good Bedard can be…love him to live up to expectations as a Mariner…

  5. jimmylauderdale on June 8th, 2009 5:52 pm

    We also know how often he can be injured. He is just not the type of player smart teams make big investments in.

  6. Matt the Dragon on June 8th, 2009 5:57 pm

    One thing to watch out for is that because he had DL time his stats get “made up” for a part of the time he was unavailable (up to 60 days revaluation of counting stats, if I recall correctly).

    That puts him a lot closer to likely.

    I’d still project him as a ‘B’ but that’s more based on expecting him to lose more time yet. If he makes it through the rest of the season unscathed he’s got maybe a 40% chance of being an ‘A’, I’d guess.

    He’d need to average a rank of around 16th in those categories (two-year totals) and currently I make him 39th (40th in W; 23 in W%; 9 in ERA; 35 in SO; 55 in IP; 52 in GP*) but that’s before removing pitchers who haven’t played this year and others who will end up on the relievers list.

    Still, have to agree that “likely” is a stetch, but his chances are not unreasonable.

    ((Rankings courtesy of B-P’s Play Index)

  7. chris d on June 8th, 2009 6:01 pm

    Whatever happens we M’s will never get return value for Bedard and it is horrible that we lost Jones for him but I am ssssooooo glad we have the Z because we can count on him to do the best thing for this team. He knows what he is doing.

    I keep pinching myself expecting to wake up and have Bavasi as GM.

  8. DMZ on June 8th, 2009 6:09 pm

    Do you have a cite for the DL thing? I didn’t see that anywhere when I was looking it up.

  9. dchappelle on June 8th, 2009 7:15 pm

    Keith Law has it here. Not sure of what his source is. Second to last paragraph.

  10. Dobbs on June 8th, 2009 7:50 pm

    Wow… they rank them based on wins and win percentage? That’s seriously messed up and a big advantage for clubs that are already winning games.

  11. DMZ on June 8th, 2009 7:54 pm

    Eeeyup.

  12. JMHawkins on June 8th, 2009 9:04 pm

    Do you have a cite for the DL thing? I didn’t see that anywhere when I was looking it up.

    I can’t find my reference, but I remember reading the same thing about adding in up to 60 days of assumed stats for DL time. I can’t remember where it was, but I do know it wasn’t Keith Law, though that blog entry of his gets referenced a lot so he could be the ultimate source for what I read.

    Seems like MLB could just make the stupid formual public – or are they ashamed of it?

    Regarding resigning Bedard, does anyone have any semi-competent projections for what he should go for on the open market? I figure he’s worth $15 million a year, but would be (plesantly) surprised if we could sign him for that.

  13. TranquilPsychosis on June 8th, 2009 9:52 pm

    Whatever happens we M’s will never get return value for Bedard and it is horrible that we lost Jones for him but I am ssssooooo glad we have the Z because we can count on him to do the best thing for this team. He knows what he is doing.

    While I do agree that we won’t get the value that we gave to get him, is it possible, with the money being freed up (with the salary restrictions, I’m seeing it to be around 20m/yr) that we can sign Bedard?

    Yes, I do realize that is a stretch. But if he stays on, does not the loss in the trade become diminished?

  14. eb on June 8th, 2009 10:01 pm

    It is hard to find a perfect comp for Bedard. Seems like he should get at least Gil Meche money, 5 years/55 million. Or more recently, Derek Lowe money which is 4 years/60 million. Derek Lowe is older, but is also considered more reliable and goes deeper into games, less downside but lower upside than Bedard. Even in this market I could see a team such as the Braves or Phillies or Boston giving him 4 years/50 million so about 12.5 million per year. More like 11 per year if he wants a 5 year deal. He is really making himself a ton of money by pitching so well in his contract year. So needless to say the Mariners are not offering that to him before the season is over and likely not at all, so bye bye Bedard. Keep doing what you are doing for as long as we have you, that curve has been a pleasure to watch.

  15. joser on June 8th, 2009 10:19 pm

    As cryptic, arcane, and obscure as the Elias system may be to those of us on the outside, I’d be pretty certain the M’s FO knows exactly how it is calculated, and can do fairly accurate projections of where Bedard will fall (depending on his durability and performance this year). And if the M’s FO can do it, so can all the others. So while I’m sure they send messages through the press all the time, I don’t know if that’s the case here vs. Baker just thinking outloud for himself.

    Setting aside all of that — how did Elias end up in charge of this anyway?

  16. JMHawkins on June 8th, 2009 10:28 pm

    So needless to say the Mariners are not offering that to him before the season is over and likely not at all, so bye bye Bedard. Keep doing what you are doing for as long as we have you, that curve has been a pleasure to watch.

    5 years $55 million? 4/50? I’d sign him to either one. If he doesn’t get hurt this year, his last five years will have been worth north of $80 million. He’s probalby going to be worth $50M over the next three years.

    And let’s be realistic – the M’s need to add some +5 WAR guys on the roster. Bedard is one of those guys. This wouldn’t be like signing a back-end starter like Silva to big money.

  17. JMHawkins on June 8th, 2009 10:37 pm

    Setting aside all of that — how did Elias end up in charge of this anyway?

    Because Al and Walter Elias were the original Statheads. If we think their stats are antediluvian today, it’s because, well, they are. They started compiling stats for sportswriters before World War One. (flood, world war, whatever).

    We can shake our heads at what their company is today, but I think Al and Walter deserve some props.

  18. Matt the Dragon on June 8th, 2009 11:19 pm

    Do you have a cite for the DL thing?

    Sorry, I don’t, just very faded memory.

    As cryptic, arcane, and obscure as the Elias system may be to those of us on the outside, I’d be pretty certain the M’s FO knows exactly how it is calculated

    Definitely, the formula was patr of the original CBA way back when so all the clubs are aware of the “how”.

    It’s probably what some teams have meant when they’ve claimed to use sabermetrics in the past!

  19. Breadbaker on June 8th, 2009 11:30 pm

    I think the story is told by Marvin Miller in his biography that when this compensation system was negotiated, he considered that the classification system wouldn’t matter, so he just accepted whatever MLB had. Elias works for MLB, ergo you have their system. (When I Googled to find a source for this, the fourth item was a USS Mariner entry from August 17 by Dave, but the words that showed up were a comment by yours truly; echo chamber anyone?)

  20. SonOfZavaras on June 9th, 2009 2:13 am

    Thanks for this post, DMZ.

    I feel a little bit vindicated.

    A few weeks back, I was arguing with some dude in here about Bedard’s Type A possibilities- my statement was that he needed something like a 2008-Cliff Lee season to have a shot, ’cause Bedard’s ’08 season sucked all across the board.

    That dude (wish I could remember who it was) countered with a point that essentially said “If Bedard has an ’09 season similar to what he had in ’07, then he’ll get it…because he was barely Type A at the end of 2008″.

    And I’ll freely admit I was the one who was wrong when I countered with “like hell he was Type A after 2008″. Turns out that he was, though I forget what Bedard’s accumulated points were.

    Still, my point was that Bedard needed an off-the-charts-performance to gain that status, and what smart organization would gamble on him being good and healthy all throughout 2009 in order to cash in?

    Not us, hopefully.

  21. Tek Jansen on June 9th, 2009 6:07 am

    I also thank you for the post, DMZ. I saw that comment on Baker’s post and thought it was curious.

    I assume that if the M’s don’t deal Bedard (because they are within a game or so of first), then they would offer him arbitration, no matter whether he is given A or B status. Am I correct in my assumption? And am I equally correct in thinking that Bedard would almost certainly turn it down?

  22. msb on June 9th, 2009 8:00 am

    thanks– I get frustrated when I read or hear (usually) it being tossed out that “you’ll get a couple of picks if you let them walk”. No, no you won’t. The other thing are blithe discussions of the packages you’ll get when you trade Bedard & Washburn, forgetting to take into account who you are trading and that you also need someone who is willing to be a trade partner. That is a whole other post, though.

  23. CCW on June 9th, 2009 8:46 am

    It’s going to be tough to justify trading Bedard unless/until the M’s fall further back in the race. LAA isn’t any better than the M’s if Lackey, Santana and Escobar aren’t throwing well (and they aren’t… yet), and there’s a decent argument that Texas is no better than the M’s, either. The M’s are about to play series against Baltimore, Colorado, Arizona and San Diego (X2). They could easily win a large percentage of those games. If they do, then it will probably be 2 months before the M’s fall far enough out of contention to start tearing down. I just don’t see it happening, even if Bedard is only a Type B.

  24. msb on June 9th, 2009 9:33 am

    What about if Oakland passes them in the next few days?

  25. Mike Snow on June 9th, 2009 9:34 am

    Baker chimes in to defend his analysis. He’s still not grasping all the dynamics involved – he seems to think Bedard will pass Cliff Lee because Lee is regressing from his Cy Young performance last year. He correctly understands that Bedard’s 2007 drops out, so that’s the level Bedard has to match to have any chance of being Type A. But then with Lee, he completely disregards the point that 2008 counts just the same as it did last year, and whatever Lee does this year is replacing his horrific 2007, so there’s no hope of Bedard catching him.

  26. CCW on June 9th, 2009 9:51 am

    I’ve heard Baker on the radio, and he really has his act together. He works hard, and he’s trying to improve. I think he has come a long way, largely as a result of his bank and forth with USSM. That said, the way his logic works (or doesn’t work) is often baffling. Either he’s just not that bright or he’s too stubborn to admit he was wrong. It’s weird.

  27. joser on June 9th, 2009 9:56 am

    get frustrated when I read or hear (usually) it being tossed out that “you’ll get a couple of picks if you let them walk”.

    Yeah, but the funny thing is that the conventional “wisdom” among a lot of fans until very recently when a player departed was that the team let him leave “for nothing.” (Granted, this was often true in the Gillick years since he seldom offered arbitration and otherwise showed little interest in the draft system).

    The other thing are blithe discussions of the packages you’ll get when you trade Bedard & Washburn, forgetting to take into account who you are trading and that you also need someone who is willing to be a trade partner. That is a whole other post, though.

    Yeah, well, there are few suggestions as idiotic as the typical “you could trade X for Y” ideas. “Our garbage for the other guys’ jewels!” Somebody gets an idea in their head (“We need a MI; the Rays already have Bartlett, so they’ll trade Tim Beckham!”) Or even worse, they get a pair of oxymoronic ideas in their heads (“Beltre sucks, he should be traded! Other teams will give lots of value for him in trade!”) Whatever. Thanks to WAR we’re only just getting a common basis for value, but it certainly hasn’t yet reached the wider world.

    But as you say, that’s a whole other discussion.

  28. geo on June 9th, 2009 10:13 am

    Found some info via Tangotiger that could significantly alter the Bedard Elias equation. Assuming the formula has not changed for a very long time (link is to a 1984 article) which it probably has not. Apparently “the analysis is adjusted for time on the disabled list. Does anyone know how it is prorated? [use the link button]

  29. DMZ on June 9th, 2009 10:26 am

    It has been adjusted.

  30. joser on June 9th, 2009 10:35 am

    It’s going to be tough to justify trading Bedard unless/until the M’s fall further back in the race. … I just don’t see it happening, even if Bedard is only a Type B.

    I agree that LAA is the weakest it’s been in years (especially if its pitchers, and Wlad, don’t get back to peak form for a while). And Texas pitching still has to survive the Texas summer. Plus they’re out Hamilton, Young is skuffing (yesterday: 0 for 5, ouch), etc. They may not be as strong as they’ve looked the past few weeks.

    But the M’s are 5 back right now, and the wild card is out of reach (also 5 games back, but with 6 teams ahead of them). As I pointed out in the Walking the Tightrope post (man, we’ve been having this discussion for a while) Billy Beane dealt Rich Harden on July 8 when the A’s were 5 games behind the Angels and just 3.5 games out of the wild card.

    Now, the situations aren’t exactly comparable — thanks to injuries, the A’s were unlikely to be better in the second half than they were in the first, and the Angels were much stronger then — and of course Beane likes to sell high on his pitchers.

    But the Harden trade is interesting nevertheless because it involved a very talented but fragile (and Canadian) pitcher. Harden still had one (team option) year left on his contract, at a very team-friendly $7M, so he was actually more valuable then than Bedard is now for an acquiring team. A team looking at Bedard is really only getting him for a few months, gambling that he can make all his starts in that time. At least with Harden, there was a chance to extract some value the following year.

    And considering all that, and even offset by Harden’s injury risk, the A’s didn’t seem to get their usual haul for him. I’ll admit my knowledge of minor leaguers is spotty at best, but at the time no one seemed particularly blown away by the package of Josh Donaldson, Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton and Eric Patterson.

    So while I’m sure Zduriencik would be willing to jump on an offer that blew him away, I just don’t see any offers like that happening.

    Incidentally, Speaking of being 5 games back: this offseason would you have predicted that the M’s on Draft Day would be closer to the AL West lead than the Rays are to the AL East lead? The Rays are 6 back and have three teams ahead of them (though one is the alternatingly surprising and swooning Jays). We knew that the AL East race was going to be insanely tough, of course, and we know the Rays have a much better-constructed team who still have an opportunity to tear through some of the weaker teams on their schedule. Not to mention coming in second in the AL East will probably be good enough for the wild card. But still, it’s kind of a crazy thing to see on June 9.

  31. SonOfZavaras on June 9th, 2009 2:53 pm

    Tek Jansen-
    yes, the Mariners would offer Bedard arby, regardless of whether Type A or B- it’s a pre-requisite to being awarded compensations.

    And Bedard would most certainly refuse it.

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