FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. I peg him at .290/.344/.505. Wait, that is Carlos Lee’s career line! Granted, Carlos Lee has been better the last 3 years than his career numbers indicate, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to think of Juan Rivera as being Carlos Lee with 20 points off all three of his triple slash numbers, which is a worthwhile player.

    This is a great series Dave, many kudos. Its too bad way too few GM’s will pay any attention, they are missing some great info here!

    Comment by mymrbig — October 27, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

  2. Juan Rivera would be a “natural” for the Oakland As. Forget about “league average hitting.” What would interest the As most would be that .362 OBP.

    Comment by Tom Au — October 27, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  3. Juan Rivera 2008 = Jose Guillen 2006. Great signing for a GM smart enough to take the risk.

    Comment by JH — October 27, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  4. I agree 100%. Nice work. If River never broke his leg the Angels would never have had to sign GMJ and we’d be looking at a guy who hit .290-.300 with 20-25 HR’s the past couple seasons.

    Comment by Charlie Saponara — October 27, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  5. As if the M’s weren’t in bad enough shape, now you’re sharing your roster bargains with the rest of the non-USS Mariner world? Oy vey.

    Comment by Donovan — October 27, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

  6. Jose Guillen was fools gold in ’07 and ’08. He is the antithesis of intelligent GMing.

    Comment by Terry — October 27, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  7. The Mariners paid Guillen about $5.5 million in 2007 for his .290/.353/.460 line, with half his games played in a park that is very tough on righty power hitters. So I don’t see how he was fools gold in 2007.

    That said, his 2008-10 signing by the Royals was pretty clearly a reach, though crappy teams sometimes have to overpay to get free agents interested. Still, they should have overpaid someone else.

    Comment by mymrbig — October 28, 2008 @ 12:46 am

  8. Yeah, no. Guillen in 2007 was a legitimately plus bat. A 116 OPS+ is a very good player, and the Ms got that production for $5 million. 3 X 36 might’ve been too much to pay for him, but 1 X 5 was very, very good.

    Comment by JH — October 28, 2008 @ 1:23 am

  9. Guillen wasn’t just a bat. He was also a pourous piece of leather that bled his OPS+ back to a shiny no range, near replacement level overall value.

    $5M for him was at best no bargain. He was a body and that’s about it.

    In ’08 and beyond? Well there is a reason KC stinks.

    Comment by Derris — October 28, 2008 @ 5:57 am

  10. For Guillen’s glove to shrink him back to near replacement level with his bat in 2007 he’d have to be the worst right fielder in baseball. He wasn’t. RZR placed him 14th overall, and 7th in the AL among regular right fielders. Tango’s fan scouting report put him right around league average. At worst he was -5 < -15 with the glove, which would kick him down to a league average bat if you assume the absolute worst. The numbers don’t seem to support even that pessimistic a reading, though. There’s no way that glove turned Guillen into anything resembling a -2 win player.

    If you’d said league average I’d be with you. Calling Guillen’s 2007 near replacement level is just nutty.

    Comment by JH — October 28, 2008 @ 10:52 am

  11. Riveria would be a good fit with Atlanta. I also believe that Baldelli would be a high risk/high reward move until their prospects are ready.

    Comment by CK — October 28, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  12. I’m comfortable calling Guillen a -10 defender over the period being discussed based upon a survey of UZR, Dewan’s +/-, Justin’s translations and even Chone’s ’09 projection.

    I’m also comfortable with the argument that Guillen was roughly an average player in 2007 suggesting Bavasi ultimately paid market value for him. Good for Bavasi.

    Does that make it a good decision? Pecota forecast this line for Guillen in ’07: .260/.310 /.432. Guillen had to dramatically outperform that projection (.290/.353/.460) to be roughly an average major leaguer. You be the judge concerning Bavasi’s judgment.

    Looking past 2007, Guillen’s contract with KC is pretty difficult to defend and suggesting 3 X 36 “may have been too much” somehow just doesn’t capture how poor of a decision it actually was.

    Comment by Terry — October 28, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

  13. PECOTA doesn’t do a good job of assessing people who are coming off of poor performances due to injury. Nate Silver would be the first to admit this. A spreadsheet-based calculation can’t properly weight the effect of a player hitting .217/.276/.398 in an injury-plagued third of a season. Guillen’s 2007 numbers were perfectly in line with his 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons, and Bavasi did a good job in recognizing him as an undervalued commodity. It was one of the few good low-risk, high-reward moves he made while with the Mariners.

    Rivera’s the same kind of deal, only with better defense thrown in.

    Comment by JH — October 28, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  14. Bavasi got lucky and Moore got the chamber with the bullet.

    Comment by Terry — October 28, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  15. No, he didn’t. There was way more evidence that Guillen was a good hitter going into 2007 than that he was a bad one. The PECOTA spreadsheet doesn’t have an entry field where Silver can input the exact type and extent of the performance-hampering injury. It only sees the numbers and physical comps and runs its algorithms accordingly. Relying on that as the crux of your argument that Guillen’s 2007 was an unforeseeable fluke is misguided.

    I won’t defend the Royals contract. It was a clear overpay. The 1-year deal was a very good move, though.

    Comment by JH — October 28, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

  16. You seem to be suggesting Guillen’s elbow in ’06 caused Pecota to significantly lower his ’07 projection. Pecota was suggesting a decline was eminent before his ’06. Also, why shouldn’t his injuries of ’06 effect the expectations of a 31 year old?

    Bavasi had to ignore age and injury to expect Guillen to happily pick up where he left off in ’05. It’s almost a certainty that Bavasi wasn’t anticipating a decline in his range.

    Comment by Terry — October 29, 2008 @ 6:13 am

  17. BTW, my argument isn’t characterizing Guillen’s ’07 as an “unforeseeable fluke”. I’ve argued that it was less likely than you’re willing to admit.

    Comment by Terry — October 29, 2008 @ 6:15 am

  18. Yeah, I found this piece because I am hoping I can find something that says the Rays are interested. He would be a great guy to have in their lineup most days and it wouldn’t kill them to have him play RF in about 80 games or so. Three years, $10 million seems like it could reel him in. Correct me if I’m wrong about that.

    Comment by SilverMan — October 31, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  19. Rivera would be a perfect fit for the Reds. They are looking for a solid RH hitting corner OF and I think he provides the most bang for the buck. Reds are always looking for a bargain. He would slot nicely in the lineup as a RH presence between Votto and Bruce for the next couple years and be a 30 HR guy in that ballpark.

    Comment by Mr Redlegs — December 12, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  20. How good defensively is Rivera these days?

    Comment by John — December 18, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

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