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  1. I would love to get my hands on some of Boras’ books. What a read.

    Comment by Jason T — November 7, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  2. Luckily it looks like my Mets aren’t buying the BS either

    Comment by David Foy — November 7, 2008 @ 5:37 pm

  3. I like Oliver Perez. He’s not one of the top 5 lefty starters in the game. He’s WAY too inconsistant to be in the top 10. But I have to say, the times that he’s pitching well he’s damn near unhittable. Unfortunately those times don’t happen on a consistant basis. One thing you have to give the guy credit for is, in a big game he’s ‘on’ more often than he’s ‘off’. I wouldn’t pay him anywhere near what he’s asking for. if I was a GM my top offer for the guy would be like 4 years at $7mil per. He’s a decent #4 or 5 starter. I’d like to see him back on the Mets, but not if he’s asking for $15mil a season. I’d rather see the Mets overpay CC.

    Comment by Erik Christensen — November 7, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  4. I am not an Oliver Perez fan, but to state that each of these players is definately better than him is ridiculous. I’ll give you CC, Johan, Lee, Hamels, Kazmir, and Lester. R. Johnson is ancient, and is just playing to get to 300 wins. Danks had a great season this year, but let’s see him do it more than once to put him in with these guys. Buehrle is a good pitcher but I am not sure that he is easily better than Perez. Moyer had a great season this year, but his ERA the prior 4 years was around 4.70. Saunders has had one good season, and I think we can all agree that he is not that good of a pitcher and certainly is not better than he pitched this year. Pettitte is definately not a better pitcher than Perez right now, and Lilly is basically the same pitcher. If you disregard win/loss record, which is very much reliant on the offense and bullpen, then they had very similar seasons. Perez started slow, but from 6/03/08 on he went at least 6 innings in 17 of his 22 starts, while striking out about 1 batter per IP with a 3.56 ERA. In ’07 he had a 3.56 ERA while striking out 174 in 177 IP. Is he Sandy Koufax, of course not, but he is certainly as good as nearly 1/2 the pitchers you named, and at least he has a little upside, unlike Johnson, Moyer, Buerhle, Saunders, Pettite, or Lilly.

    Comment by dwight ford — November 7, 2008 @ 6:44 pm

  5. Of course Boras’ claim that Perez is a top 5 lefty is BS, but I don’t get why so many otherwise bright people seem to take such personal offense to his statements.

    By most accounts, Boras does know a lot about baseball. Surely he knows that all those guys are better than Perez. But it’s his job to make the claim, even if we all know it’s BS. Most GMs will probably brush it off as such, but maybe someone’s foolish enough to buy it. Or, in a likelier scenario, maybe every GM says “Scott, you’re full of it”, but since the conversation starts with Boras asserting that Perez is a top 5 lefty, maybe he’s able to fool someone into thinking that he’s in the top 10. In any case, these claims can only help his client, which is his only job.

    You can apply the same logic to his statements about ARod last year (the MSM wanted to gloat about a Boras “defeat”, but the guy got his client a fat raise) and Manny this year.

    Comment by pete — November 7, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  6. Perez is probably one of the most inconsistent players ive ever seen play. Its not even inconsistent games, its inconsistent innings. Ive seen plenty of his games where he starts off on fire only to give up 4 runs in the 5th inning. I really hope the mets pass on this guy, because he really isnt worth the cash hes asking for. He was good on pittsburgh because there was no one else on that team worth talking about.

    As for Boras, I agree with post 5. Last i checked, an agents job is to get the most money possible for his client. Boras is gonna get a 10% cut of the paycheck he gets for his client, so why shouldnt he do whatever he can for more money? Im pretty sure thats what capitalism is all about

    Comment by Cgio07 — November 7, 2008 @ 9:02 pm

  7. Dwight said it all….I’ll give you some of those guys but it is laughable to say that Buehrle, Moyer, Saunders, Pettite and Lilly are unquestionably better than Perez. Johnson is iffy at this stage in his career too. At some point in their careers, Johnson Pettite and Moyer may have been better, but do you really expect the guys I mentioned to put up better numbers than Perez in ’09? I put Perez at #7 on that list, so Borass (misspelling intentional) isn’t all that far off in my humble opinion.

    Comment by Jim — November 7, 2008 @ 9:22 pm

  8. Wins? ERA? I guess we still have a long way to go…

    2008 FIP:

    Pettitte: 3.71
    Johnson: 3.76
    Buehrle: 3.94
    Moyer: 4.32
    Saunders: 4.36
    Lilly: 4.41

    Perez, 4.68

    For comparison, Barry Zito had a 4.72 FIP.

    Oliver Perez isn’t very good.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — November 7, 2008 @ 9:28 pm

  9. How is it possible that even on a site like fangraphs you get people that have such rudimentary knowledge of baseball stats? Good post, though I wouldn’t have put only 10 or 11 of those guys on a ‘no argument Perez is better’ when you consider the FA contract is for the upcoming years.

    Comment by Lukas — November 7, 2008 @ 9:34 pm

  10. Good thing Boras isn’t representing Burnett – otherwise he might try and claim that AJ is one of the top 3 right handers in baseball…

    Comment by Steve — November 7, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  11. Luke that is quite an arrogant post.


    Andy Pettite is admittedly better, but is 36 years old. Some decline has to be expected, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Perez surpass him in FIP in the next year or two.

    Randy Johnson is 45 (!!!!) years old and will be 46 next season. He won’t last forever.

    Buehrle’s FIP from the last 3 years: 5.26, 4.26, 3.94.

    Moyer is soon to be 46!!!! And his FIP from the last 3 years: 4.95, 4.93, 4.32 (his career FIP is 4.41)

    Saunders has been slightly better the past couple years (4.26 and 4.36 compared to 4.35 and 4.68 but there is no reason Perez couldn’t be better this year judging by those numbers. Comparing Saunders to Perez is like apples and oranges: Saunders is a more hittable control artist and Perez is a strikeout pitcher with bad command.

    Lilly from the past 3 years: 4.79, 4.16, 4.41

    Perez from the last 2 years : 4.35 and 4.68. I excluded 2006 because he was injured. How is he a lock to be worse in FIP than any from the above group? He has also shown high upside when he can find the plate and stay healthy (3.45 FIP in 2004).

    Despite what you seem to think, I don’t use stats like wins (that’s even a bit insulting haha) or ERA to base pitchers on.

    Comment by Jim — November 7, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

  12. Dave, Moyer, really? Theres no way you would take Moyer over Perez.

    That being said there are still guys that Dave didn’t list that probably belong in Bedard, Liriano, Kershaw, and Price. Obviously there are the injury and unproven concerns there, but they are better than Perez. Also, this one is arguable but Wandy Rodriguez, who no one ever talks about.

    Comment by Sean — November 7, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

  13. To put it simply, GMs and other management make their own beds, Boras just tucks them. When you look at his arguments, they nearly always involve combinations of simple stats, taken out full context, which in his carefully crafted light put his client in select company. It’s the same formula every time.

    This crap wouldn’t fly in an environment where measures of true skill were widely used. But when GMs eschew advanced analytical methods, they leave themselves prone to the sort of elementary abuse Boras subjects them too. But when professional management types choose to ostracize those who could undermine Boras arguments in their sleep, they allow him to run roughshod.

    Because of the nature of free agency, it only takes a few bidders to drive the price through the roof. In a way, it drives a natural bifurcation of the market. Those unwilling to arm themselves against the weak arguments of a snake-oil salesman end up with the stomach-ache.

    Comment by Rick — November 8, 2008 @ 12:00 am

  14. You know what else doesn’t bode well for Perez as he enters his age-27 season? In 2008, his FIP was 4.68 but his xFIP, courtesy of THT, was 5.02 meaning he was lucky to escape with 4.68. An extreme flyball pitcher like Perez is going to live and die by those strikeouts, and when you throw in shoddy command you’re looking at traipsing through quite a viper pit–especially if you pay him elite money.

    Also, I nominate Ubaldo Jimenez for the list of lefties better than Perez.

    Comment by Brian — November 8, 2008 @ 12:30 am

  15. Man I wonder if I can purchase a few copies of his books. See my issues of better home and gardens and SI in my bathroom and I need some new toilet time reading material…… Boras you suck!!!

    Comment by Jeff O — November 8, 2008 @ 8:22 am

  16. I have been a Mets fan my whole life. I can only respond to this piece with…AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN

    Comment by Eric Zendell — November 8, 2008 @ 10:22 am

  17. Oliver Perez sure fooled the arbitration committee last year. They awarded him $6.5 million, while turning down Chien Ming Wang’s request for $4.6 million. And don’t tell me that Perez is a better pitcher than Wang. Nor is he a better “citizen” than Wang.

    And I’d take Moyer over Perez any day. It’s true that Moyer may fall apart because of his age, but Perez can fall apart any day, regardless of his age. Look at his (one-plus inning) start against the Pirates.

    The Mets did not get a bargain of Perez for Nady, even with the reliever thrown in.

    Comment by Tom Au — November 8, 2008 @ 11:27 am

  18. Tom, I don’t see how you could take a 46 year old who has averaged a 4.73 FIP over the past 3 years (4.62 over the last 2) over a 27 year old who has averaged a 4.51 FIP over the past 2 (He was injured in 2006).

    Comment by Jim — November 8, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

  19. Why do people keep saying Perez was injured in 2006? He made 32 starts in the regular season at various levels of professional baseball AND and another 2 in the postseason just for good measure. He stunk in 2006, plain and simple.

    If someone has a link showing that Ollie was indeed injured in 2006, I’d love to see it!

    Comment by James K. — November 8, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  20. Where is Liriano?

    Comment by Dane — November 8, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

  21. Brian,

    Ubaldo Jimenez as a better lefty than Perez? I guess Jimenez has been pitching with his off hand this whole time… maybe you were talking about Franklin Morales?

    Comment by Aaron B. — November 8, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  22. My bad I was confusing 05 and 06. I don’t think that significantly affects the fact that Moyer is 46 and has been outperformed by Perez over the past 2 years combined though.

    Comment by Jim — November 8, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  23. Try this comparison between Oliver Perez and Wandy Rodriguez in 08:

    Perez listed first

    ERA: 4.22; 3.54
    FIP: 4.69; 3.62
    K/G: 8.2; 8.6
    BB/G: 4.8; 2.9

    Perez is only 2 years younger than Wandy Perez’s home park is more of a “pitcher’s park” than Wandy’s. I certainly wouldn’t claim that Wandy is the next Koufax. And it is ludicrous to say so for Perez.

    Comment by C Johnson — November 9, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  24. Aaron B.,

    Ha. I’m a fool. Sorry.

    Comment by Brian Gallagher — November 10, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  25. Dave, you still haven’t responded to my argument. I am curious how you can justify using only 2008 FIP to argue that a) I know nothing about baseball and b) that Moyer, Johnson, Pettite, Saunders, Buehrle, and Lilly are all locks to be better than Perez in ’09.

    Comment by Jim — November 10, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  26. Just to make it clear, my main argument with Moyer and Johnson and Pettite is that they are old and cannot maintain their 2008 numbers. Plus, Moyer has a middling 4.41 career FIP.

    Saunders is, in the words of a RotoGraphs writer, is an “average joe.” His FIP has gone up in every season he has pitched in the bigs, and although he is more consistent than Perez, it is laughable to say that he is unquestionably better, especially comparing their recent FIP’s.

    Buehrle has settled back down from his 2006 season, and if there is one guy on my list I would give to you, it’s him. Looking at his whole career, it seems that listing his last 3 seasons alone would be taking things out of context, as I feel you did by listing only 2008 FIP’s.

    Lilly has a career FIP of 4.56 and gives up a ton of fly balls. He has pitched 1 more season (with more than 30 IP) in the bigs and is 5 years older than Perez. Give Perez a few years of his prime before you start saying that a 32 year old with a similar career FIP is unquestionably better. Perez pitched 5 semi-full seasons before the age of 26, and still has a career FIP only .11 higher than Lilly.

    Comment by Jim — November 10, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  27. Again, for clarification, I agree with you Dave that Perez is no Koufax. Just arguing about who belongs on that list.

    Comment by Jim — November 10, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  28. “my main argument with Moyer and Johnson and Pettite is that they are old and cannot maintain their 2008 numbers.”

    Thats the worst argument ever then. Moyer isn’t better to begin with, so I disagree with Dave there. Johnson is so much better than Perez some miracle would have to happen for him to be better next year. And Pettitte actually improved from his 2007 #s this year, despite what his ERA says. Pettitte also plays in the toughest division in baseball so his numbers should be even that more much impressive. It would be silly to project Perez as a better pitcher then either next year even with them being old as dirt.

    “Lilly has a career FIP of 4.56 and gives up a ton of fly balls. He has pitched 1 more season (with more than 30 IP) in the bigs and is 5 years older than Perez. Give Perez a few years of his prime before you start saying that a 32 year old with a similar career FIP is unquestionably better. Perez pitched 5 semi-full seasons before the age of 26, and still has a career FIP only .11 higher than Lilly.”

    Um, does any of this make Perez better than Lilly? Answer, no. Lilly is better than Perez.

    Comment by Sean — November 10, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  29. wow almost everyone here is trashing Ollie with the stats.
    Me personally i’m not really a stat person… i think Oliver perez could be a good 4 or 5 starter..don’t tell me you wouldn’t like to have him on your team cuase you know you’d be lying… his last season record (10-7) should be higher it’s just that the mets didn’t support him very much..he could have ended up with 13 or 14 wins….people never think about that.

    Comment by Antonio — November 13, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  30. Man, can everyone start thinking a little bit? he is just 27 y/o he has indeed 1000 k’s plus, with a good pitching coach that helps him with his mechanics to lower a his BB issue i’ll say he could turn into a great pitcher, he surely does not worth 60 millon but, he has a lot of potential and hopefully a team will notice it.

    Comment by Josh Warner — November 13, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

  31. “Um, does any of this make Perez better than Lilly? Answer, no. Lilly is better than Perez.”

    A difference of .11 over the course of their fairly short careers is completely negligible. How can you come out and just say “Lilly is better” with absolutely no argument? My point is not that Perez is better than Lilly, but that Lilly is not unquestionably better than Perez. Again, you presented absolutely no argument telling me otherwise.

    If Pettite and Johnson being old is a bad argument, who do you really think would be better over a 5 year contract? Because that’s basically what Boras is trying to get for Perez by calling him a top 5 lefty.

    Comment by Jim — December 27, 2008 @ 11:28 am

  32. This thread is a way-above-average-argument of this sort.

    I come at it from a sligthly different angle – one which may be difficult to support with metrics, but can be widely illuminated by anecdotal evidence.

    Everyone on this board knows that left-handed pitchers – like, say, renovators of historic properties, or Civil War re-enactors – are a different breed of cat. Wildness is as common as shower mildew in the lower minors. (Maybe there’s a link between the disproportionate number of fine artists who are left handed . . .?)

    ALL METRICS ASIDE, isn’t it fair to assert that the best of O. Perez is roughly equivalent to the best of Cole Hammels, or the best of John Lester? (This is the point several posters have been trying to make, I think.)

    Perez is certainly not approaching the Santana/Sabbathia realm, but his cracklin’-best stuff can’t help but set every Mets’ fan, and several pitching-starved GMs, to imagining Perez authoring a season like some of the Santana gems.

    The larger questions are: what’s this “potential” worth in the open market?; how does one unleash this potential?; and – most importantly – is this particular guy capable of gettin’ all the Clydesdales hitched to the same wagon, headed in the same direction?

    Bo Belinsky at one extreme; Sandy Koufax at the other?

    This is a post from the far side of baseball reverence. The nut that must be cracked is not – to me, at least – one which will be compliant to a metrics tool. This is a case where a large portion of the analysis is off to the “art” side, irreconcilably divorced from the “science” side by the rare circumstance of intermittently- (and unpredictably-) demonstrated dominance.

    Comment by Tyrone Shoelaces — June 29, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

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