Thursday, February 5, 2009

Teams getting smarter?

Nats Journal has a discussion of the Sheinin piece on the 90 or so FA's left on the market at this late date.

Explanations range from collusion to the economy to steroids??

Perhaps another factor is the rise of more nuanced measures of player value.

For example, the two big sluggers left, Dunn and Ramirez, have the gaudiest set of power numbers you could imagine. I doubt many in baseball think that either of them will significantly decline from their prior performance next year.

But they also share something else in common. They are both atrocious defenders. In fact, they are so bad, they give up almost all their positive hitting value. Or at least they give up enough to make their demands (based on their offensive contributions) far higher that teams (basing value on offense AND defense) are willing to go.

Mark Texeria had no trouble finding plenty of suitors willing to pay top dollar. He provides offense and defense.

Sheets is haunted by the ghosts of Jason Schmidt. No one wants to give a guaranteed contract to a guy who's arm may fall off at any time (although that didn't stop the Yankees giving A.J. Burnett 85 million.)

And can someone please do a study about players and their decline phase? Did Nolan Ryan use HGH to throw 96mph at 46? Did Pete Rose load up on andro when he broke the hit record in his mid 40s. There have always been players who perform well at advanced ages. There have always been players who's performance has fallen off a cliff in their mid 30? Remember Dale Murphy? 2 time NL MVP . . . became replacement level for the last 5 or 6 years of his career. And I've never heard anyone explain that by saying he suddenly stopped juicing.

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