I could see both Rafael Furcal and Bobby Abreu being potential landmines. Furcal was arguably the most productive player in the game early on in the season and despite his awful defensive game against the Phillies had a good showing in the playoffs, especially against the Cubs, doing the little things that so many teams wildly overvalue. His numbers are unsustainable and some team is going to regret giving him the huge contract he will most likely receive.
Abreu can still hit, but his defense is so just so awful. I think both of these guys will hold back whatever big market team signs them.
Call me crazy but I’d put Ryan Dempster on that list, too. His health record is checkered, and he threw 140 more innings than he did in his previous year. Regardless of his success on the field I’d be wary of him breaking down next season. Dempster is also entering his age 32 season which doesn’t help matters. It especially doesn’t help matters if Hendry signs him to a three or four year deal.
What about his performance? Dempster has always had control issues, and those were painfully apparent in his 4.2 innings against the Dodgers. However, his control was better than ever this year. It’ll get worse next year–especially if he’s fatigued from that jump in workload.
Oh, wait, Eric wrote about Dempster at BP. I’m not saying anything new here. All I’m saying is I think next year (and for the remainder of whatever great contract he gets) Cubs fans will need help picking the shrapnel from each others’ faces.
Comment by Brian Gallagher — October 23, 2008 @ 1:29 pm
Who wants to bet that Manny was hitting the roids while in LA. Pure motivation just isn’t strong enough to raise his batting average 100 points, not over 61 games, not at 36 years old. Whatever team signs him will get exactly what Boston got over his 6 years there: a lazy, spoiled brat who fakes injuries, causes trouble in the clubhouse, and doesn’t care about winning. All Manny cares about is signing the next contract, and once he does he’ll be like a woman who let’s herself go after signing the marriage contract.
Any team signing him should place performance triggered salary options to keep him motivated, otherwise he’ll just do the least he can get away with, which won’t be much.
I don’t understand why anyone would label Manny an “icon” because he has no skills other than hitting homeruns and even in that one aspect he’s not anyone talks about when talking about homerun records. He’s not going to break Bond’s records, not even close, he hasn’t even hit 50 homeruns in a season. A-Rod is the real deal, Manny isn’t a icon, he’s A-Rods waterboy. At this point in Manny’s career, even $45M/3yrs sounds like too much, as I’d bet that his Boston replacement, Jason Bay, Puts up better numbers next year than Manny.
Franklin, I hope you’re not serious. Are you even slightly aware of how steroids work. Steroids aren’t magics. They help a lot, but you have to work pretty damn hard to see results, and to think that Manny could start using steroids once he ended up on the West Coast AND see immediate results is pretty foolish. As a person in touch with a few users, let me tell you that it’s not like a switch turns on. It takes a little bit of time. Plus, you would have been able to see it on him.
Manny is definitely older and will almost surely decline over the next few years, but he is still a very good hitter. His peripherals were pretty much in line with his career norms. Outside of a bit of BABIP luck, he was the same player he was for most of his career. It appears that last year was an off year, not the quick deterioration of a great player.
What’s a few typos between friends, Isaac? Franklin, I’ll take that bet, and I’m guessing Isaac–along with most Fan Graphs writers and readers if I may boldly speak on their behalf–will too.
I’ll agree with Dave that he has landmine potential due to his age and health over a long-term contract. Manny outpaced his 90th percentile PECOTA projection this year, but maybe PECOTA saw 2007 as Manny’s last rites when it may have been more fluke than anything. It’ll be interesting to see how PECOTA interprets this year’s data.
As for Marcel, he outslugged his 2008 Marcel projected SLG by 80 points and bested his projected OBP by 40 points. To wit, he had an extraordinary year even by extraordinary standards. If Marcel has its way, the safe money is on him falling back to Earth next year, and things shouldn’t get rosier after 2009, and it’s tough to bet against Marcel, PECOTA, etc.
All that being said Manny should be able to continue his slugging, walk-heavy ways, and I think, while he will likely regress some next year, he’ll still be a very valuable slugger. But David isn’t questioning next year’s contributions in a vacuum but in the context of a contract equivalent to Kyrgzistan’s GDP over the next half-decade. I’d hate to be financing a 42 year-old Manny’s Jimmy Buffet tickets if I were a GM.
Comment by Brian Gallagher — October 23, 2008 @ 4:36 pm
>Isaac said, “Steroids arenâ€™t magics.”
Then what was the magic that enabled Manny to hit .400, almost a full 100 points above his career avg of about .300, while he was with the dodgers? Whatever it was, it was certainly more than enthusiasm for a new contract, because it wasn’t for a week or two, since enthusiasm wanes quickly over time, it was for 61 games.
Look how great Bonds was when he was on the juice, and look how he fell back down to earth once he came off the roids. It kind of reminds me of something… I can’t quite put my finger on it… oh yeah I remember now, Manny’s stint in LA.
Steroids aren’t magic, because if they were, Manny would have hit .950, not merely .400, so you excusing Manny from using steroids are terribly poor. Manny has never come close to hitting .400, and even if he did, his best years are gone, so it seems even more suspicious that he performed so well.
>”to think that Manny could start using steroids once he ended up on the West Coast AND see immediate results is pretty foolish.”
What’s pretty foolish is assuming that he started that late. Manny probably started doing steroids the minute he realized he wasn’t getting a new contract from the Bosox, which was months before he got traded. Or maybe he’s been doing them on and off for his entire career. Canseco did mention both Manny and A-Rod as steroid users when he as pushing his book, not that he can be trusted, but he can’t be dismissed outright either considering how right he was on Bonds and Clemens.
>”Plus, you would have been able to see it on him.”
Considering the baggy uniforms he wears, it would be difficult to discern if he put on 50 pounds, and maybe that’s why he wears such oversized clothes, to disguise his steroid use.
>”Outside of a bit of BABIP luck, he was the same player he was for most of his career.”
Hitting .400 for 61 games is NOT luck, especially when he couldn’t do it previously in his career, like the prime of his career. Now that he’s in the autumn, the decline, of his career, now he’s suddenly hitting .400? Sorry, just doesn’t happen without chemical assistance. And let’s put things in perspective, we’re talking Ted Williams type numbers, Ted Williams in the prime of his career, and Manny is no Ted Williams, not even close, especially at 36yo.
And one final thing about steroids, it just gives enough of an edge to increase a fastball 2 to 5mph, or increase the bat speed enough to square up on a fastball, or like Floyd Landis, of Tour de France shame, to “climb the hills like he was riding a Harley” (quoted from the head of the anti-doping agency which busted Landis for steroids). The day before Landis had bonked and lost 10 minutes, but one dose of steroids and then suddenly wins by almost as an equally exaggerated margin… that’s what steroids can do. There’s no doubt whatsoever, because he was tested, caught, and retested several times all confirming the initial positive test. Sounds exactly like what Manny did. So don’t tell me what steroids can or can’t do, because we’ve all seen it with our own eyes, and detailed in exquisite agony. Manny’s good, but he’s not .400 good, not without steroids.
You’re cherry picking stats, Franklin. He hit .332 over the course of the year. Everyone goes through hot and cold stretches, but over time they even out. Chipper Jones hit .400 for a lot longer than Manny, and nobody reasonably contended he’s a .400 hitter.
Manny hit .321 in 2006 and .332 this year. 2007 was a down year. He’s a career .314 hitter so he was pretty much in line with those numbers. Sure, this year’s number is a little higher but batting average varies greatly from year to year. I wouldn’t put too much stock–and I certainly wouldn’t accuse him of using steroids–for a getting lucky on a few more hits over the course of a year.
Comment by Brian Gallagher — October 23, 2008 @ 5:00 pm
.305/.419/.548 + 527 PA = 15 runs above average? I’d love to know how you arrived at that figure because you’re only off by about 20 runs.
Franklin, what enabled him to hit for that high average in LA was an immense hot streak built off of an unsustainable BABIP. If steroids were the reason for his .400 average, wouldn’t it follow that more players would be hitting for high averages when you consider the number off steroid users out there? Not necessarily .400, but there would be much more .330-.340 hitters who happened to also be muscle machines.
Also, baseball player’s wardrobes aren’t limited to their on-field attire. Manny does wear real clothes which are not nearly as baggy as his uniform. And no, he doesn’t appear to be all that muscular while wearing his normal clothing.
You must be new to statistical evaluation. Players go on prolonged hot all of the time, and while not many hit .400 for two month periods, it does happen occasionally. Actually, Chipper Jones hovered around .400 for quite a while himself. It would be something if he hit .400 all year long, but he “only” hit .332 on the season.
I could go on, but I don’t need to. You can go look at Manny’s player page yourself and come to these same conclusions.
Your statistical view on Manny is baloney. You can compare his projected statistical impact compared to the “average left fielder” or dh all you want, you cant measure Manny’s hitting ability and presence in a lineup. Manny can hit good pitching, a rarity, and as a Dodger fan that watched Manny play left field for 50 games I found his defense to be fine. He won’t make a ton of diving catches, but he reads bounces very well and has a decent arm, one only hopes he wont cut off to many throws.
Age smage, Bonds was still doing his thing well into his forties, plenty of pitchers do it. Manny showed everyone this year that he clearly is no where near being done. At age forty couldn’t you see Manny going 285 350 500 with ease? I could.
Just one thing to add in the defense of Manny’s hot streak, he went from the AL to the NL. In other words, he went from seeing real pitchers to getting to tee off on such immortals as Jeff Suppan, Shawn Estes, and Joel Pineiro. That is a built in boost to his numbers.
As a Yankee fan I would like to sign Manny for one year at a time to DH a bit, LF a bit (although the new stadium might not have a tough a left-field as the old) and give him a try at first. This would be for two reasons, firstly, he is a bronx native and secondly, stick it up the red sox ass. But first of all let us get into the rumors dealing with some starters. Ian Kennedy and Melky for Peavey, and let them pick their next stopper, say Brian Bruney. Sounds fair to me.