I don’t expect the Astros to trade either Bourn or Pence unless the new ownership comes in with a drastic eye toward tearing everything down and rebuilding from scratch. I suspect Crane will not want to alienate fans by getting rid of either of those players, who are both fan favorites, and will instead seek to continue Ed Wade’s policy of bridging the gap and gradually rebuilding instead of blowing everything up at once. If Bourn is eventually traded, I doubt it will be this year. The Houston front office will instead seek to see what they can get in return for Wandy Rodriguez, who is older and more expensive, but still would be a nice piece for a contending team.
Isn’t there a competing interest here where the Astros have to field some level of a competitive team (i.e. a team including Bourn and Pence)? The Astros, from a business standpoint, probably can’t punt the next 3 seasons and play all young kids because I don’t think the fans would show up to see it, even though from a logical standpoint, it would make sense.
Regardless, a gap exists between his value per all-encompassing statistics like WAR and his perceived value on the open market. Much of his value is tied to an area that many treat with large doses of skepticism.
Maybe he switched to Bora$ because he figures that Bora$ can overcome that.
Comment by The Ancient Mariner — May 27, 2011 @ 10:03 am
The fans aren’t showing up to see Bourn and Pence. Trade them and Wandy to get premium return. As a life time fan of the Astros, I submit that I would be more willing to go see a game with young players than I am currently with Carloss Lee, Bourn, and Pence playing the OF.
The Astros are not a small market team and can afford to pay some players to play on a team even if they’re not going to compete. Plus if the Astros can sign him obviously they’re getting a great deal out of signing him which should be the goal of any team, not just competing ones.
Plus it’s baseball as much as we like to pretend we can foresee the future, it doesn’t always work out that way.
I think he’d be a great 2012 fit for the White Sox. It would allow them to push Rios back to RF and Quentin back to LF, an overall upgrade to the OF defense simply by subtraction of Pierre. Offensively, Bourn shares the same theoretical profile as Pierre, except he’s actually good at it. Plugging him into the leadoff spot would help the OBP a lot, greatly improve SB%, and allow Ozzie to run the offense the way he insists on running it anyway.
Looking at Baseball Reference’s numbers, Brett Gardner looks pretty equivalent to Bourne. A little better at offense, a little worse at defensive (though still REALLY good at defense, plus he’s now playing LF). WARs are about the same.
Bourn wouldn’t provide much of an upgrade in OBP over Pierre, and he strikes out a lot. The primary difference is that Bourn is younger and faster and thus covers more ground in the OF and is more successful at stealing. Bourn doesn’t have much of an arm, but relative to Pierre he has a cannon.
I think you hit the nail on the head about the defensive #’s
One thing that never gets mentioned about Crawford when he signed his deal… Career UZR/150 at the Trop: ~22.5, on the road ~7.5. This is an 8 year sample size (so effectively 4 years on each split)… is he really that much better at the Trop or is there something potentially off with the metrice (input data, park factor, input bias). His arm rated ~5 runs better at home than on the road (again /150).
Any contract that is based as much on defense as on on offense needs to be scrutinized beyond a UZR based WAR model…. How would Crawford’s contract look if he you saw him as a 7.5 UR/150 defender instead of an overall 15 defender?
I think their is just too much assumption that UZR is nailing it (don’t get me wrong it is a significant step up from past defensive metrics)… but at some positions (anecditally for me corner OF and 1st base come to mind), I wonder if it is missing something that might be significant.
Bourn doesn’t have that same volume of data, but he’s been about 15 runs better at home over each of the last 2 years…. if that trends continues this year and next, it might be worth looking at why some folks have such pronounce home/road defensive splits.