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  1. Papelbon!

    Comment by Pelly — August 30, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  2. “I ain’t gonna setup for nobody.”

    Comment by Eminor3rd — August 30, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  3. Don’t forget Cole Hamels. He is a great pitcher, probably a great #2 instead of a true ace. He isn’t a top 5 pitcher in the league like his numbers this year have shown, though. He should commandeer about 10 years, 250 million this offseason.

    Comment by Cole Train Hamels — August 30, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  4. Call me crazy, but that one seemed almost too easy.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  5. michael cuddyer seems like a person Brian Sabean would overpay for. He was interested in him at the trading deadline, he can play multiple positions, he’s a “gritty veteran”.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — August 30, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  6. He’d be on my shortlist of GM’s I’d anticipate would overpay for Cuddyer.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  7. All time greatest candidate for an offseason overpay: Russ Ford, who (had free agency existed at the time) utterly dominated through what would have been his last arbitration year… but then in the offseason MLB outlawed his signature pitch (which involved, uh, cutting the leather open with a razor), and he was out of the league.

    Comment by JimNYC — August 30, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

  8. Jose Reyes will likely get paid as though he plays 162 games a year.

    Comment by SC2GG — August 30, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  9. Funny, CC Sabathia did, too.

    Comment by cobradc23 — August 30, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  10. And some schmuck of a GM will open the vault for Prince Feilder, who will earn his contract for about 3 seasons and having fans crying “Why? Why? Why?” for the next 5-7 seasons.

    Comment by bluejaysstatsgeek — August 30, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  11. Prince Fielder

    Comment by Dave — August 30, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  12. Jinx

    Comment by Dave — August 30, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  13. I agree Cuddy will be overpaid, and as a Twins fan, I hope the Twins aren’t the team that will do it. However, I think traditional fielding metrics short-change his skill in right field. He doesn’t have much range, but he has a strong arm and throws very accurately, even from the pitcher’s mound. He also plays balls off the wall really well. I don’t think that skill is reflected in any stats (correct me if I’m wrong), so I think he saves more runs than he is given credit for.

    Comment by drewcorb — August 30, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  14. You’re joking right? I can respect your opinion that you don’t think Hamels is an ace but you think he’ll command a 10 year 250 million contract? That would put him behind only A-rod…

    Comment by Snoth — August 30, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  15. Andre Ethier. Somebody’s gonna pay him, and he’s gonna be just as ‘meh’ as ever.

    Comment by Matt — August 30, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

  16. Pitchers like Hamels get 250 million all the time.

    Comment by drewcorb — August 30, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  17. Albert Pujols

    Sure he’s worth a ton now, and probably will be for a few years. But 4,5,6 years into his contract when he’s 35+ (ahem, 38+) and his elbow finally disintegrates? Somebody is going to have some buyer’s remorse.

    Comment by Gibbles — August 30, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  18. CC regularly leads the league in innings pitched.

    Comment by William — August 30, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  19. Now that he’s brought it up, ahem absolutely.

    Comment by Richie — August 30, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  20. It’s easy . . . but that doesn’t mean you aren’t crazy.

    Comment by Choo — August 30, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  21. LOL

    try 5/100

    Comment by jim — August 30, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

  22. reeks of being another werth

    Comment by jim — August 30, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

  23. And try it next year – he’s got another year of arb left.

    Comment by Kyle — August 30, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

  24. Werth is eons better than Ethier!

    Comment by Havoc — August 30, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  25. Can Francoer get grandfathered onto this list or something?

    Comment by John R. — August 30, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

  26. I will LoL if Betemit gets a lucrative deal.

    Comment by Havoc — August 30, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

  27. CC has only lead in IP once in his career.

    Comment by Anthony — August 30, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

  28. I realize Dave Duncan is a Certified Wizard (TM) hut so was his last pitching coach – Don Cooper. So if Coop couldn’t turn him around, maybe Dunc can’t either.

    Comment by MikeS — August 30, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  29. @drewcorb

    You nailed it sir. Anyone who follows closely (or has season tickets in section 102, right field corner, like myself) can see that while his range is poor, his strong, accurate arm helps cover some of that ground. He is also a master at playing the tough bounces off the facade. He is abysmal at second and looks like his cleats were dipped in concrete prior to the game. He is improving at first but is merely average and as was stated before, the bat doesn’t play.

    I’m really worried as the stupid braintrust in Minnesota loves clubhouse guys and MN lifers so I think we’d love to overpay for him, that being said, I don’t think we have the coin lying around.

    Comment by MNzach — August 30, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  30. I agree. Reyes is about a year away from having maybe the worst contract in MLB.

    Comment by Robbie G. — August 30, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  31. Unless he is leading the league with 1400+ IP he is still coming up short of playing 162 games a year.

    Comment by Dexter Bobo — August 30, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

  32. Indeed.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

  33. He’s got a rocket of an arm, but that’s easily neutralized by not being run on as much.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  34. Probably should be.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  35. So will I, Javier. So will I.

    But honestly, I could see him getting three years from someone.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  36. Lots of money coming off the payroll in Minnesota after the season. Something could work out.

    But unless he’s willing to take ~5 million a year, if I were Bill Smith, I’d pass.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 30, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  37. i think you’ve id’ed a really interesting question with cuddyer.

    IMO you’re too quick to dismiss the multi-position thing. not because that makes him gritty or full of heart or whatever, but because he’s been playing out of position (not maximizing his personal value) for the past few years. you really can’t fault him for his manager’s or organization’s lack of luck/preparedness, can you? this kind of reminds me of polanco playing 2nd for the tigers all those years when he should have been playing 3rd.

    you should do a contract crowdsource on him.

    Comment by joshcohen — August 30, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

  38. It is working if people aren’t taking the extra base. its valuable to keep people from trying to take the extra base, because it means they can’t take the extra base.

    Comment by Cliff Lee's Changeup — August 30, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

  39. I doubt he asks for that much when he’s got another arb year left. I mean, arbiters are often crazy, but not that crazy.

    Comment by Levi — August 30, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  40. Nope. That distinction will still be between Barry Zito and Vernon Wells

    Comment by piratesbreak500 — August 30, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  41. Betemit is the worst defensive 3b I have ever seen!!

    Comment by Colin — August 30, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  42. Don’t worry, I got that the 10/250 was a joke.

    Comment by Kirkwood — August 30, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  43. He gets more PA’s against than any hitter gets PA’s. Interesting tidbit to think about courtesy of the Verlander MVP article

    Comment by Chris — August 30, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

  44. I gotta disagree with you on this one. His defense is atrocious. At all positions. And not atrocious in the sure-handed-but-no-range Jeter-esque way. More like atrocious in the booting-balls-everywhere-every-bunt-is-an-adventure E5-way.

    I will be very surprised if he gets 3 years from anyone, much less 3 lucrative years.

    Comment by The Nicker — August 30, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  45. In my view it’s more of an extrapolation. He won’t magically get better in RF by simply playing there 150 games a year. At least not in my view.

    But, you bring up a great point and one that I’ll definitely bring up to the staff.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 12:07 am

  46. Chris, I’ve always thought that was sort of a compelling way to look at that pitcher v. hitter argument.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 12:09 am

  47. I can’t speak to this statistically, but I feel like that makes his arm more of a ‘break even’ entity rather than a positive thing, if that makes sense.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 12:10 am

  48. I never said anything in regards to his defense. In fact, his “standing near x number of positions” was a subtle jab.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 12:11 am

  49. His 2010 run with Coop was probably his best stretch of baseball in his career.

    That, extrapolated (I feel like I’m using this word a lot) out over a contract would probably make him among the 5-10 most valuable pitchers in the game.

    There’s a lot of boom or bust potential with Jackson, but I just think as an exec. I’d expect it to be more bust.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 12:13 am

  50. Sorry to be off-topic, but curiosity is killing me… are you the same Brandon Warne as the one on PSD? If so, hope you’re doing well, I’m sure the Twins forum misses you. If not, you have no idea what I’m talking about, so I seem really strange right now.

    Anyway, good article. I could definitely see Betimit especially being considerably overpaid. Also, it seems like this list is made for Frenchy, who is almost a lock to get some decent money.

    Comment by jetsfan28 — August 31, 2011 @ 12:29 am

  51. Yeah man, that’s me. Haha.

    Frenchy inked an extension in the last week or two.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 12:30 am

  52. Really, Havoc? Hmmm . . .

    http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=1327&playerid2=6265&playerid3=&position=OF&page=8&type=full

    Comment by baumann — August 31, 2011 @ 1:22 am

  53. How can you say Cuddyer’s bat is “grossly inadequate” at first base? MLB first basemen have an OPS of .798 this year compared to Cuddyer’s .832.

    Comment by austin — August 31, 2011 @ 1:38 am

  54. I see him being offered arb by the Red Sox and accepting. Which would be an overpay, but not a massive multi year deal.

    Comment by BX — August 31, 2011 @ 2:54 am

  55. He’s also not a free agent this offseason.

    Comment by BX — August 31, 2011 @ 2:55 am

  56. “in other words, even fewer than the similarly-shorthanded second base and shortstop spots”

    It seems like we hear this every year, which to me, says the positional adjustments aren’t nearly large enough. Too many 1Bs with extremely high WAR.

    Comment by RC — August 31, 2011 @ 5:07 am

  57. Ryan Howard says hi.

    Comment by Voxx — August 31, 2011 @ 5:11 am

  58. first you type out “cuddyer’s bat is grossly inadequate at first base” then hit publish

    Comment by jim — August 31, 2011 @ 7:59 am

  59. Probably has something to do with the fact that he’s clearly been playing over his head for most of this year.

    Comment by Bill@TPA — August 31, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  60. Which was meant to be a reply to austin rather than jim, but whatever.

    Comment by Bill@TPA — August 31, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  61. Too be picky…there are actually nine 3B with 3+ WAR this year. Lower the cutoff for PA. That adds Beltre, Sandoval, and ARod. Since WAR is more of a counting stat rather than a rate stat, I don’t think we should limit it to qualifiers for rate-stat awards.

    Comment by Mike K. — August 31, 2011 @ 8:44 am

  62. So that means that stolen bases really aren’t worth much? And errors that allow extra bases have little negative value?

    Comment by JTC — August 31, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  63. Alfonso Soriano is in the discussion, but I think it will be tough to top the Barry Zito contract. That winter of ’06/’07 was a great offseason.

    Comment by drewcorb — August 31, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  64. I feel like that is an insane thing to say, “because his arm is so good, nobody takes the extra base. Therefore his great arm has no effect.”

    that’s nuts.

    Comment by JDanger — August 31, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  65. How about,

    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/1327_6265___sgraph_%20_8_31_2011.png

    Comment by JDanger — August 31, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  66. Great conversation starter, Brandon. Betemit doesn’t add anything to a team and it’s amazing he’s had this long of a career. But you’re right about the lack of third basemen.

    Another overpay might be Freddie Garcia after this season.

    Comment by WilliaminMaine — August 31, 2011 @ 10:13 am

  67. JTC, I don’t know what point you’re trying to make.

    Austin, that would be pretty nuts, but that’s not what I’m saying.

    I’m saying that all of the value that he added by throwing people out is mostly neutralized by those players not attempting at taking the extra base. I’m suggesting, while that is a positive in and of itself, it then lessens the amount that his arm counteracts his lack of range in the outfield. Which is another way to go all the way around the block to prove my point, I suppose. Does that make sense, though?

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  68. JTC, I don’t know what point you’re trying to make.

    Austin, that would be pretty nuts, but that’s not what I’m saying.

    I’m saying that all of the value that he added by throwing people out is mostly neutralized by those players not attempting at taking the extra base. I’m suggesting, while that is a positive in and of itself, it then lessens the amount that his arm counteracts his lack of range in the outfield. Which is another way to go all the way around the block to prove my point, I suppose. Does that make sense, though?

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  69. If your prerogative would be to spend $10 million on a guy like that, well…..cheers to ya.

    But, my notion is that his platoon splits will become more disparate as he ages. That, and I think lefty mashers without any real position are easier to come by than $10 million and/or multi-year deals.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  70. Terrific note Mike. I missed that button. I’d still suspect that those WAR figures are way down from years past, but I couldn’t attest to that off the top of my head.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  71. I like to think of him as the rich man’s Esteban German, William. :)

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  72. So the baserunners not running as much brings the effect of his arm “closer to zero”, but it does not “make it zero”. I suppose I over-reacted to the word “nuetralize,” taking it to mean “make zero”.

    Comment by JDanger — August 31, 2011 @ 10:48 am

  73. His arm has been good for a whopping 6.9 runs over the course of his career. Perhaps more if you count the times when runners don’t challenge it. Still, his lack of range is only getting worse and probably far outweighs any “strong arm” benefit.

    Comment by Bill — August 31, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  74. The reverse Ben Revere?

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  75. A point I was trying to make is that although he has poor range, he still plays the position well. He is not clumsy and doesn’t often make avoidable “errors” by misplaying balls hit to right field. So although his fielding metrics are low, he is not nearly as poor of a fielder as they indicate.

    I realize my argument doesn’ t fit well on a statistical analysis website, but I typed it out already so deal with it.

    Comment by drewcorb — August 31, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  76. I don’t disagree. He ‘seems’ to pass the eye test as someone who watches the club play frequently (I live in Plymouth, Minn.).

    But with that said, last season the Twins’ rotation member that I checked out (as I recall, Baker, Slowey, and maybe it was Pavano) allowed much worse than league average triple-slashes on line drives and fly balls.

    I can only attribute that to poor LF and RF play. Denard Span by most accounts was sterling in CF.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — August 31, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  77. As a fellow Twins fan, I’d really like to re-sign Cuddyer since he has at worst a heavy platoon value, and at best is a reliable bench guy for when the other china dolls on the team hurt themselves. But I know the Twins already place a premium value on his “leadership” and “grittiness” and “goes bowling with Gardyness” that they don’t need to also overvalue his truly average outfield arm.

    Comment by Bill — August 31, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  78. Lance Berkman.

    Comment by Ben — August 31, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  79. Don’t forget about the magic tricks he does at Twins charity dinners. That’s easily worth another 1-2 million per year.

    Comment by drewcorb — August 31, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  80. Brandon,

    I am saying that the value of an extra base should be the same regardless of if it is taken (a steal), given (an error), or denied (a throw out, or simply a player doesn’t try when he normally would on Mr. Replacement Player. I am not saying that this would be very easy to quantify, but the intrinsic value should be the same. Therefore, to dismiss the fact that baserunners are less likely to take an extra base on Cuddyer as of minimal value equates to steals and extra-base errors as having the same minimal [absolute] value.

    Comment by JTC — August 31, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  81. p.s. I realize that a throw out also involves an out, but, hopefully the point comes through.

    Comment by JTC — August 31, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  82. What gave you the idea that I think he’s worth ten million? You might as well have asked me why I don’t marry Cuddyer if I love him so much. I’m trying to help you out – when you use needless hyperbole like “grossly inadequate” it makes me wonder if maybe you might not know what kind of offensive value to expect from an average MLB first baseman. Moreover, there’s no need for it as your overall argument is sound without it.

    Comment by austin — August 31, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  83. And Johan Santanna.

    Comment by shthar — August 31, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  84. Howard’s is bad. A Rod’s would be worse for most teams.

    Comment by The Nicker — August 31, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

  85. I got that, but teams aren’t going to pay somebody with a (perceived) slightly above average bat if they are truly awful at all positions.

    Comment by The Nicker — August 31, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  86. Ethier, Werth, Edwin Jackson, hmmm what do those three guys have in common?

    Comment by David K — September 1, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  87. I meant to add Betemit to the list above

    Comment by David K — September 1, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  88. Does anyone know why Shaun Marcum has a higher strikeout rate in 2011 as Edwin Jackson.

    Marcum 2011: 7.18 K/9, BB/9 2.55, HR/9 0.90. GB% 36.3%, FB/HR% 7.8%, FBv 87.6 mph

    Jackson 2011: 6.68 K/9, BB/9 2.75 HR/9 0.81. GB% 45.6%, FB/HR% 9.4 %, FBv 94.7.

    For comparison with ground balls and home runs, Ted Lilly has a similar GB% (34.7%), but his FB/HR% (12.4%) is higher than Marcum. I think luck explains why Marcum isn’t a right-handed version of myself. My hypothesis for Marcum’s relatively high strikeout rate for his velocity is that he reduces his GB% in exchange for more Ks. However, Edwin Jackson doesn’t have to trade a high strikeout rate for a high GB%, because he has the inherent talent (velocity) to miss bats.

    Comment by Ted Lilly — September 3, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

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