FanGraphs Baseball


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. 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?

    Comment by LaLoosh — June 17, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

  2. Mets have stated over and over again this season they will not trade Parnell, there was even a mention of it again today in the Daily News:

    Comment by Gordon Shumway — June 17, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

  3. Too bad Detroit values the words “experienced” and “proven” over words such as “good” and “cost effective”.


    Comment by Andrew — June 17, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

  4. Sadly, you’re exactly right.

    Comment by theroundsquare — June 17, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

  5. This is RAJ’s final test. If he fails getting value for Papelbon, there is absolutely no hope.

    Comment by Nik — June 17, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

  6. Please trade for Papelbon.


    Mike Adams

    Comment by Steve — June 17, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

  7. After Amaro’s string of blunders over the years, failing to get “value” for a 32 year old reliever whose contract is a massive albatross is going to be the final straw?

    Comment by Sparkles Peterson — June 17, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

  8. Not defending Papelbon’s contract overall but given his performance so far under it and the fact that there are just two years left after this year, it’s hardly as “albatross”

    Comment by Tim — June 17, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

  9. The contract is expensive, but is justified by his performance.

    Comment by Nik — June 17, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

  10. A man visits a yard sale. While walking past the open garage he sees a pair of skis of a brand he favors. He approaches the homeowner.

    “Hey, how much for the skis in the garage?”
    “Oh, those skis aren’t part of the sale.”
    “I’ll give you $400 for them.”
    “Enjoy your new skis!”

    Comment by Manic M — June 17, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  11. I watch almost every appearance, and I feel like he throws his curveball like 60% of the time. Crazy humbling looking at the numbers. I cannot believe he only threw it 6% last year.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — June 17, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

  12. 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.

    Comment by Synovia — June 17, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  13. 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.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — June 17, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  14. Well, a good chunk of that is probably that most of the hitters he’s facing haven’t spent a whole lot of time watching tape of him. Its a relatively recent thing.

    When he playoffs come, that changes. If guys know they’re going to get a first pitch curve, if its up at all, its going to get crushed.

    Comment by Synovia — June 17, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

  15. 2012: Earns $11M, Worth 1.4 WAR and $6.1M (Yeah, sunk, I know)
    2013: Earns $13M, ZiPS (U) 1.1 WAR worth $6.1M

    He’s going to have to get really, really good in his mid 30s to justify that contract.

    Comment by Sparkles Peterson — June 17, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  16. What would you expect from Crain in the second half of 2013? To me that’s the interesting question. Are his 2011-2012 better predictors than the 33 innings he’s pitched so far in 2013?

    Comment by nsacpi — June 17, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  17. Really, using WAR for relievers as your sole criteria? How about that .689 WHIP this season? Looks pretty good for contending teams looking for BP help, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Nik — June 17, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

  18. His 2012/2011 FIP is a full 2 points higher than this year (3.7 vs 1.7). If this isn’t real, hes not a particularly valuable reliever.

    Comment by Synovia — June 17, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

  19. I don’t know how you would weight 2011 vs. 2012 vs. 1st half 2013, but I would assign the least weight to ’11. Maybe something like 20/35/45 or 15/40/45?

    Comment by Jason B — June 17, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

  20. 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

  21. 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 Synovia — June 17, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  22. FIP

    2011: 3.70
    2012: 3.45
    2013: 1.7

    2011: 1.53
    2012: 2.83
    2013: 2.61

    Now, Craine might actually be this good, but there’s certainly larger error bars on him. Which is why Papelbon is worth more.

    When you’re at the top of the league, you want to minimize volatility.

    So, same price? I’d take Paps. If Craine was significantly cheaper though….

    Comment by Synovia — June 17, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

  23. This is silly. Glen Perkins is your man!

    Comment by Ivan Grushenko — June 17, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

  24. 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.)

    Comment by Bip — June 17, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

  25. 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

  26. 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.

    Comment by LaLoosh — June 17, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

  27. Should I pick Crain up in my fantasy league?

    Comment by JJ — June 17, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

  28. Since when did FanGraphs turn into FantasyGraphs?

    Comment by Rippers — June 17, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

  29. FanGraphs – FantasyGraphs.

    Comment by Warriors — June 17, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

  30. 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.

    Comment by LaLoosh — June 17, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  31. Blue Jays have tons of good bullpen depth for cheap – target them

    Comment by Darren — June 17, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

  32. Start dealing Mr. Hahn. Thornton too.

    Comment by Matt — June 17, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

  33. And Rios. And Peavy. And Alexei Ramirez. Blow it up.

    Comment by Froglegs Jackson — June 17, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  34. Unlike Papelbon’s fastballs down the middle.

    Comment by NS — June 17, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

  35. There isn’t a prayer in the world Perkins gets traded.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — June 17, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

  36. 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.

    Comment by chasfh711 — June 17, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

  37. Its not that the job is more difficult, its that it swings the course of a lot of games. And no, WAR does not incorporate leverage. At all.

    It doesn’t matter that a certain appearance only gives up 1 run, if that 1 run loses the game.

    A Closer can be worth -1 WAR, and lose you a whole lot more than 1 game.

    Comment by RC — June 17, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

  38. Papelbon has been throwing that fastball for years now, and hes a significantly above average pitcher doing it. There’s nothing for people to suddenly figure out.

    Comment by RC — June 17, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

  39. 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

  40. 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.

    Comment by statsman — June 18, 2013 @ 1:03 am

  41. It seems to me that the Tigers don’t really have much of a bullpen problem, when they have Smyly and Benoit sharing 9th inning duties. They are certainly capable enough.

    Comment by statsman — June 18, 2013 @ 1:10 am

  42. Please trade for Mike Adams.


    Phillies fans

    Comment by hk — June 18, 2013 @ 6:31 am

  43. How would Crain bite them in the ass? He’s a free agent after this season.

    Comment by hk — June 18, 2013 @ 6:36 am

  44. The problem is if the manager insists on using a proven “closer” in the 9th inning instead of Benoit and Smyly.

    Comment by hk — June 18, 2013 @ 6:37 am

  45. 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.

    Rondon, sure. That guy’s a mess.

    Comment by ToddM — June 18, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  46. Sorry, misread your post. Still think the ChiSox would be crazy to turn down that kind of offer.

    Comment by ToddM — June 18, 2013 @ 8:56 am

  47. it’s all baseball talk

    Comment by josh — June 18, 2013 @ 9:05 am

  48. WAR is designed to be predictive, not descriptive. The primary way that Closers affect wins is not really predictive, its descriptive.

    Saves and blown Saves clearly aren’t a skill, but they’re highly valuable.

    You can’t lose .1 game.

    Comment by Synovia — June 18, 2013 @ 9:23 am

  49. 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.

    Comment by Matt — June 18, 2013 @ 9:34 am

  50. Nobody likes to trade a good player to a division rival and see him come back and bet him that season, and since they play each other 12 times after July 31, that’s a not unlikely proposition.

    Comment by chasfh — June 18, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  51. I don’t think it’s unlikely that the Tigers deal Smyly–just unlikely that they deal him for Crain.

    Comment by chasfh — June 18, 2013 @ 10:07 am

  52. 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

  53. 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

  54. who would they deal Smyly for? another stick if VMart doesn’t come around?

    Comment by LaLoosh — June 18, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  55. 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.

    Comment by ToddM — June 18, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

  56. 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.

    Comment by ToddM — June 18, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

  57. 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.

    Comment by chasfh — June 18, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

  58. 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.

    Comment by hk — June 18, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  59. 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.

    Comment by statsman — June 18, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  60. Yeah, what Synovia said. Very well said, kind sir.

    Comment by Jason B — June 18, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  61. 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.

    Comment by LaLoosh — June 18, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Close this window.

0.295 Powered by WordPress