I can top that suggestion in two words – Bobby Parnell. Earning just $1.7M this year and two more years of control!! FIP is a miniscule 2.19 this year after 2.99 a year ago. He’s finally holding down 9th inning duties comfortably. Not only a very good 1 inning P but also cheap and controllable! All of which makes him not only valuable but possibly not available… tho if I’m the Mets I have to take advantage of that value now if he can return a solid position player prospect. Chris Owings?
The reason why teams want Papelbon more than Crain is that Papelbon is more likely to actually be this good.
Crain’s walk rate is drastically lower this year than it has been at any point in his career, and thats whats driving FIP/xFIP. There’s not a whole lot of reason to believe its real/sustainable at this point. We’re talking about 30 innings.
I think the drastic change in strategy (getting ahead with the curveball) makes it more likely that it’s “real,” otherwise I;d agree with you.
If you haven’t seen his curve, it really is a pretty good and unique pitch. It has very tight 12-6 break and he throws it pretty hard — it seems to come out of his hand straighter than most curves, as in with less immediate “rise.” It’s not totally unhittable, of course, but it’s plenty good enough that hitters are NOT going to swing at it first pitch and is thus good for first pitch strikes so long as he can control it in the zone.
It looks pretty good, until you realize that he’s making $13 million a year until he’s 36. It’s a bad contract. Amaro had better hope that Colletti holds onto his job, because he’s the only other GM who might think Papelbon is worth it.
Comment by Sparkles Peterson — June 17, 2013 @ 4:02 pm
WAR is a terrible metric for relievers. Especially late inning guys.
The leverage of a particular inning is important, and a bad close can cost you 3 or 4 games really quickly.
Comment by Ivan Grushenko — June 17, 2013 @ 4:11 pm
The Dodgers believe in the “proven closer.”
The Dodgers do not care how much players cost.
The Dodgers have had a terrible time in the 9th inning this year.
The Dodgers, given how much they’ve spent on the roster, will be very unwilling to concede this season.
The Dodgers have some outfield depth.
Welcome to the Dodgeres, Jonathan Papelbon. Enjoy the Phillies, Joc Pederson. Sigh…
I’m not totally aware of where the Phillies are attempting to add, but they strike me as one of the few teams that kindred to the Dodgers in its love of older players. Could a Papelbon for Ethier deal work? (with the Dodgers eating some of Ethier’s salary of course — I can’t see a deal involving Ethier going down without this.)
WAR incorporates leverage, albeit in a way that very well could be overvaluing or undervaluing it slightly. You may think WAR undervalues closers, but that’s because you overestimate the difficulty of the job.
Comment by Sparkles Peterson — June 17, 2013 @ 4:14 pm
yeah that was via Andy Martino, so you can take it fwiw. That said, whether or not he ultimately gets traded wasn’t the issue. His value is the issue a a commodity is.
yeah, Parnell & Perkins should be the two most valuable closers on the market in the next few weeks… tho I think the Twins are prob a little closer (no pun intended) to contention than the Mets are so I can see them hanging on to Perkins. That seems a little more understandable to me than the Mets hanging on to Parnell.
Granting that Dave’s analysis is 100% valid, I don’t think the Tigers and White Sox would make this trade. If I’m the White Sox, I want to guy out of my division so he doesn’t come back and bite me in the ass.
So if the Tigers come calling, I’m charging them a premium over what I ask from anyone else, and the conversation basically starts with Smyly or Porcello or Jackson, and none of that is happening, because the Tigers dont want those guys to bite them in the ass, either. And the Tigers ain’t gonna pry away Crain with Garcia, Rondon, Vazquez or Thompson, and everyone below that is basically flotsam.
I think the Tigers end up with Papelbon, and as a Tiger fan, I don’t like that any better than any other Tiger fan for 2014 or 15.
That completely contradicts what Cameron posted in “WAR and Relievers,” 1-18-2010. He states that reliever WAR gives half of the suggested value for leverage, to account for the fact that an uncertain percentage of the increased leverage wins could be picked up by a lesser reliever in the same bullpen. It’s an unsatisfactory compromise (By necessity, I guess), but I lean more towards it overcounting leverage.
Comment by Sparkles Peterson — June 18, 2013 @ 12:06 am
In 2009, Detroit signed Brandon Lyon, who was not exactly proven. Then ended up going with Fernando Rodney, who didn’t have much much experience closing.
A Tigers fan that thinks Avasail Garcia is flotsam? I wouldn’t give up Garcia for Crain. I know he has some work to do in terms of strike zone control and power, but guys that come up at 21 and hold their own in the bigs generally aren’t traded for career setup men of average value.
Agree here that I don’t see the ChiSox trading within the division unless it nets them over market value in return. If Detroit is willing to deal Smyly, jump all over it, obviously, but that’s highly unlikely.
Somewhere between “Papelbon has been really valuable by these descriptive statistics, though the predictive stats say he’s not all that valuable” and “Teams should be really excited to acquire Papelbon” is a series of steps that I can’t quite get around to accepting as logical.
Comment by Sparkles Peterson — June 18, 2013 @ 10:53 am
Bobby will not come cheap to any team. Remember what the Mets asked for and got for Carlos Beltran. I’m sure they would trade him for the right offer but I’m not sure that any team (and rightfully so) will meet the price.
Comment by Dan the Mets Fan — June 18, 2013 @ 11:10 am
who would they deal Smyly for? another stick if VMart doesn’t come around?
Actually, I think it’s very unlikely the Tigers deal Smyly. At some point, every team hits a payroll limit. Verlander gets PAID, Sanchez got paid, and Fister and Scherzer are going to get paid soon as well. Even Porcello’s running out of reasonably priced years.
I’d expect Smyly in the rotation no later than next April, because someone in there needs to make less than 10 million a year.
It’s hard to be bitten when you’re already playing for next year, which seems pretty likely for the Sox. That said, if they’re planning on trying to resign Crain, letting him get comfortable somewhere else isn’t a good idea.
That’s a good point, Todd. They will probably shop Porcello because now is the time to do it, while he is hot. Smyly is controlled for a longer period of time.
My early prediction here is that Porcello and others go for Papelbon. Porcello can slot right into that rotation to replace any one of the three mopes they have pitching there now. I just hope that the Tigers are not so besotted with Papelbon that the package includes Andy Dirks or Matt Tuiasosopo and not Avisail Garcia.
If they concede that they are out of it and the return that they get for Crain is sufficient, it’s worth it, even if he (a) helps Detroit beat them in their games the remainder of the season and (b) gets comfortable in Detroit. If the Sox want to re-sign him after the season, he’ll most likely go to the highest bidder.
Have you checked out the last few games? where those 2 guys got the saves. Already this season, Benoit has 4 saves, while Smyly has 2. So it’s not like the manager is insisting on anything. Seems that Valverde has lost his closers job, and that it’s being delegated on a game to game basis.
that’s purely conjecture. Bobby Parnell is not Carlos Beltran. That said, teams can get irrational at deadline time. It’s also about leverage. I guess Papelbon will be made available tho clearly he’s owed a lot more $ than Parnell (and may be a more reliable option too). The Brewers can make Henderson and/or Axford available. Maybe the Jays make Janssen available. And the Fish prob make Cishek available. Considering what he earns and 2 more yrs of control Parnell should be one of the most attractive options unless I’m forgetting someone.
and no one thinks Parnell is going to return someone’s top prospect either. A good position prospect but not a #1. I think a guy like Chris Owings makes sense.