A Low Cost Gio Gonzalez Alternative

Last week, reports began to surface that the Marlins were interested in acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the A’s. Depending on how much credibility you put in various rumors, the A’s have asked for the likes of Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison in discussions, and no matter who you believe, they’re clearly not going to sell Gonzalez on the cheap. Any team looking to acquire his services is going to pay through the nose to get him, so being the helpful soul that I am, I’d like to suggest a significantly cheaper path to acquiring a pretty similar talent.

Gonzalez debuted in 2008, and since then, he’s posted the following career numbers:

BB%: 11.3%
K%: 21.9%
GB%: 47.5%
BABIP: .293
LOB%: 73.9%

Over those same four years, here are Edinson Volquez‘s numbers:

BB%: 12.4%
K%: 23.3%
GB%: 49.0%
BABIP: .292
LOB%: 73.7%

Pretty hard to spot any differences between them. Volquez’s walk and strikeout rates are both marginally higher, but their ratios of walks to strikeouts are nearly identical. Their ground ball rates are also almost exactly the same, as are their rate of allowing hits on balls in play and the amount of runners they’ve stranded. The only area where there’s much of a gap is in HR/FB rate, where Volquez’s 12.5% is a bit higher than Gonzalez’s 10.6%, which explains the slight advantage that Gonzalez has in the results categories.

Gonzalez, ERA-/FIP-/xFIP-: 96/100/95
Volquez, ERA-/FIP-/xFIP-: 100/102/96

In terms of skillset, both pitchers have demonstrated some success with the a combination of plenty of strikeouts, some groundballs, and too many walks. In both cases, iffy command has kept them from being truly great pitchers, but they’ve done other things well enough to produce decent results.

Of course, we’ve left out one pretty key fact, and it’s the reason that Gonzalez is currently a highly coveted trade chip while Volquez is an after-thought who might not even crack the Reds starting five next year – the sequence in which those numbers have been accumulated over the last four years. Instead of putting up cumulative results, here are the two pitchers minus stats by year, 2008 to 2011:

Gonzalez:

2008: 182/168/118
2009: 133/104/90
2010: 81/93/97
2011: 79/93/92

Volquez:

2008: 73/81/89
2009: 105/98/94
2010: 102/116/108
2011: 145/135/106

They’ve been on essentially opposite paths over the last four years, as Volquez started off strong and has gotten worse each year since. Meanwhile, Gonzalez’s results have improved dramatically, and the memories of his early career struggles have now mostly faded. With their most recent performances fresh in our minds, Gonzalez looks like a young ace in the making, while Volquez appears to be more of an erratic arm who hasn’t adjusted to life in the big leagues. However, the reality is that both pitchers have essentially performed in about the same manner over the last four years – they’ve just taken different very paths to get there.

That isn’t to say that recent performance shouldn’t weigh more heavily in our evaluations of players, or that a team should see the two as equals going forward. Clearly, recent performance should weigh more heavily than older data in shaping our projections, and the divergents paths they’ve taken suggests that Gonzalez is certainly a better bet for 2012 than Volquez. I just wonder whether recent performance is weighing too heavily on their respective market values.

In talking with Dan Szymborski about projecting pitchers, he noted that he’s found that the weights that work best are something in the 8/5/4/2 range for players whose prior four year totals stretch back prior to age 24. In other words, the projection will count the most recent year as 42% of the total, 26% for the second most recent year, 21% for the third most recent, and 11% for the fourth most recent.

Running the last four year totals using these weights to give more influence to the most recent years, we come out with the following results:

Gonzalez:

BB%: 11.0%
K%: 22.1%
GB%: 48.1%
BABIP: .292
LOB%: 75.6%
xFIP-: 94

Volquez:

BB%: 12.9%
K%: 22.9%
GB%: 50.6%
BABIP: .291
LOB%: 72.2%
xFIP-: 100

Giving more weight to recent years shows that you’d prefer Gonzalez going forward, but the gap is perhaps less significant than you might expect. This reflects that most of the divergence in their results over the last few years have been directly related to their HR/FB rates, which have gone in very different directions since 2008. While there may be some skill in turning fly balls into outs, it’s certainly minimal when compared to skills like throwing strikes or missing bats, and in those two areas, Volquez and Gonzalez haven’t actually been all that different, even when you give more weight to the most recent performance.

There are certainly times when trends for pitchers can be important to look at – velocity loss being a clear example – but it is also possible to get too carried away with looking at the sequence of performance and putting too much emphasis on the results that are still fresh in our mind. If I’m a Major League team shopping for a new arm for my rotation, I’d be pretty tempted to see Volquez as a bargain-bin version of Gio Gonzalez, and question why I should pay the full market price for that skill set when there’s a chance that I could get a similarly talented pitcher for a fraction of the cost.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

73 Responses to “A Low Cost Gio Gonzalez Alternative”

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  1. Dave says:

    Isn’t a bigger problem with this comparison Volquez’s inability to stay healthy? Last 3 years IP totals: 49, 62, 108.

    Gonzalez: 98, 200, 202.

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  2. Pat says:

    If he goes to a team with a great pitching coach, maybe they can make some adjustments because he does have good stuff and talent, he just fell apart the past two years on and off the mound. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Pirates inquire on him, he may be a non-tender candidate as well.

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  3. Resolution says:

    I’ve definitely thought the Rockies should kick the tires on Volquez if the price is low enough. I think he just needs innings to regain his form and get something of an acceptable walk rate. He seems to be a forgotten man out there.

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  4. One other big difference unmentioned is that Gio is left-handed whereas Volquez is right-handed…

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  5. Luke says:

    Good luck getting this ball of shit to stick against the wall, Dave.

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  6. MC says:

    The trend is just too powerful to ignore, whether you want to or not.

    And anyway I don’t think Volquez would be that cheap anyway, he would be cheapER sure but who knows what you’d be getting. Volquez could flame out entirely for all anyone knows.

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  7. I find it interesting that WAR is not mentioned once in this article, given that most discussions on Fangraphs feature WAR prominently.

    Maybe this is why:

    WAR over last three years:
    Gio: 1.1, 3.2, 3.5
    Edinson: 0.2, 0.9, -0.3

    I am not saying that all discussions should begin and end with WAR, but it is a significant stat that should be included when comparing these two pitchers (especially on this site!), and it shows Gio to have been much superior over the last three years than Edinson.

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    • bluejays49 says:

      WAR is just FIP anyway, multiplied by an innings multiplier, and the author did reference FIP and xFIP as important stats.

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      • I recognize that, but by not invoking WAR (a stat generally viewed as more authoritative than other stats), Dave is able to ignore the IP difference, as well as de-emphasize the trends each has been on. Though I guess the latter complaint is focused more on Dave’s inclusion of 2008 before Edinson got his Tommy John (which skews the results STRONGLY inf avor of the argument Dave is making).

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    • Resolution says:

      It’s because WAR doesn’t matter as much in this case.

      The issue is that Volquez looked like an excellent pitcher, then went down with TJ surgery. This past season he threw 190 innings and still featured strong k rates, groundball rates, and fastball velocity. His control still sucks post TJ surgery (and was never very good to begin with). He’s had limited time in the majors so WAR isn’t necessarily telling you anything that IP couldn’t.

      To use war would be to use a telescope to examine something close by.

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  8. Colin says:

    Having watched Volquez a lot last year for the Reds, his stuff was all there but the control would come and go in waves. He would toss a couple of lights out innings and then walk four guys in a row.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds traded him because he’s out of options, but would be equally unsurprised if they let him try to win a job in the spring because of his past performance. Maybe they will run him out of the bullpen and if he pitches well give him first crack at the rotation when someone gets injured. Likely won’t start in rotation that will definitely have Cueto, Leake, Chapman, Arroyo, and Bailey or Wood.

    He

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    • Tim_the_Beaver says:

      As an A’s fan:
      Having watched Volquez Gio a lot last year for the Reds A’s, his stuff was all there but the control would come and go in waves. He would toss a couple of lights out innings and then walk four guys in a row.
      he was better this year than in previous years, but this was the typical knock on Gio- over-thinker prone to lapses in control

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  9. gus says:

    Are park factors built into the xFIP- score? If not, you’d figure this would only strengthen the comparison.

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  10. Flharfh says:

    It’s not only as if his performance has been declining, this is the guy who gave up 7 runs and blamed his offense for the loss. Milton Bradley, Zambrano, late career Manny Ramirez, etc. – there is lots of evidence that players with those types of attitude problems are seen as headcases that aren’t worth the trouble, regardless of their potential.

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  11. Dan says:

    I don’t think this so much shows that Volquez is a reliable rotation option for a team looking for a starter (I’d be very willing to bet he isn’t), but that Gio is possibly being overrated as a legitimate rotation anchor. If I’m acquiring him, I’m betting that he’s a mid-rotation guy (ERA right around 4) and letting anything above that be icing on the cake.

    Also, it needs to be mentioned here, as with any post that lists expected value projections without volatility (which I see far too often), that Volquez is far riskier than Gio. Gio has been relatively stable over the last couple of years, whereas Volquez has seen significant fluctuations in performance, even between the last couple of seasons. The relative security Gio provides has more value that is given credit for with the simple “here are the expected performances” level of analysis.

    There’s also a significant age and injury disparity. The early part of the Gio sample came at ages 22 and 23, when he sucked massively, before emerging as a quality pitcher over the last two years. Volquez, on the other hand, was freakin’ awesome at 24, the first year of his four-year sample, then had TJ, and has been really awful since. Lumping together pre-TJ performance with post-TJ performance as apples-to-apples is a sketchy assumption at best (and provides an even greater case for Volquez being highly volatile). If I’m acquiring Gio in the first place, it’s because he’s a fairly stable producer, so I just don’t see someone who is as big of a question mark as Volquez is as a natural substitute.

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    • Jason461 says:

      This. Also, it’s worth noting that Volquez’s walks and HRs weren’t randomly distributed. Watching him, it was very clear that he either had it or he didn’t. Sometimes this would change from inning to inning, but there is nothing about his performance last years that indicates he should regress to the mean. Whoever ends up with Volquez (and I don’t think it will be the Reds), will be betting on the small (but decidedly non-zero) chance that he gets his act together.

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  12. Matt says:

    Here are some problems with your article:

    Gio Gonzalez is 26; Edinson Volquez is 28.

    Gio Gonzalez has 4 years of team control remaining; Edinson Volquez has 2 years of team control remaining.

    Gio Gonzalez is left handed; Edinson Volquez is right handed.

    Gio Gonzalez has played exclusively in the AL; Edinson Volquez has played exclusively in the NL.

    Gio Gonzalez has 7.3 WAR over the past four years, almost all of which came in 2010 and 2011; Edinson Volquez has 5 WAR over the past four years, almost all of which came in 2008.

    You cherry picked a few numbers that matched up and are trying to spin that into an argument that they are similar in talent. You conveniently used a cutoff of four years (yeah, we get it, it’s because Gio debuted four years ago) which brings 2008 – the only year in the sample that could make this argument remotely plausible – into the discussion. To make things even worse, by simply casting Volquez as a “bargain-bin version” of Gonzalez you are ignoring the fact that part of the reason Gonzalez would cost so much more to acquire is that he comes with two more years of team control.

    To reiterate that last point: when you say that you could acquire a “similarly talented pitcher for a fraction of the cost,” you are ignoring the difference in years of team control.

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    • LTG says:

      Some of the points you make here are fine, but the last one is clearly not. The truth conditions of “similarly talented pitcher for a fraction of the cost” (when turned into a complete sentence) are independent of years of team control. The truth conditions depend on the claims that Volquez is a similarly talented pitcher (up for debate) and that he would cost much less than Gonzalez (seems true). That’s it. If team control is part of the explanation for the lower cost, great. But it’s irrelevant to evaluating the claim, since the claim is not that Volquez is as valuable to a team as Gonzalez.

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      • Matt says:

        Part of the higher cost is for years team control rather than talent. That’s my issue with the statement. It’s misleading.

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      • LTG says:

        Right. But it’s only misleading if you read a different sentence than the one that is actually written. It is unfair to criticize authors for things they did not write. If cost is an issue, it does not matter the source of the cost (i.e., even if a higher cost item is more efficient, it’s affordability is still relevant).

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    • voice of reason says:

      way better counter argument than “Good luck getting this ball of shit to stick against the wall, Dave.” This is how its done.

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    • Franklin Stubbs says:

      I question your use of “exclusive”. The Rangers were part of the AL back when Volquez pitched for them, yes?

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  13. MiLB says:

    Do not forget my Louisville stats, senor! (195 IP all together this past year, and over 100 the year prior).

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  14. Do not forget my Louisville stats, senor! (195 IP all together this past year, and over 100 the year prior).

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  15. Eminor3rd says:

    This feels like what Scott Boras would say if his client was Volquez. You did cherry-pick some good stuff, but why is Gonzalez a 3-4 win pitcher when Volquez is a replacement-level guy who spent half the season in minors? I’m guessing health is a huge factor, but I bet there’s more.

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  16. Ron Paul says:

    Dave….nary a mention on Volquez having Tommy John surgery or his horrible walk rates in ’09/’10/’11 of 5.80, 5.03, 5.38/9 inn?

    He has little control or command, and flat-out hasn’t performed since having reconstructive surgery 2 1/2 years ago. I think he’s a great flyer, as his K’s are there and he’s pitched in a major HR haven…..I just don’t really see this as being much of a comparison.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      Average FB velocity, 2008: 93.6 MPH
      Average FB velocity, 2011: 93.7 MPH

      Strike%, 2008: 61%
      Strike%, 2011: 60%

      Swinging Strike%, 2008: 11.0%
      Swinging Strike%, 2011: 10.9%

      I didn’t mention the TJ surgery because there’s no real evidence to suggest that pre and post surgery Volquez are different pitchers. His results have been worse, but that’s almost entirely due to his massive spike in HR/FB rate, which is not very predictive at all.

      But, even if you want to throw out 2008, the reality is that the two still look pretty similar with the exception of HR/FB.

      Volquez, 2009-2011: 13.4% BB%, 22.2% K%, 51.3% GB%, .285 BABIP, 103 xFIP-
      Gonzalez, 2009-2011: 11.0% BB%, 22.0% K%, 47.9% GB%, .296 BABIP, 94 xFIP-

      The only way you can portray Gonzalez as massively better than Volquez is by focusing on the difference in home run rates. If you want to argue that Gonzalez is far better, then you have to come up with a reason why Volquez’s HR/FB rate isn’t due for significant regression.

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      • A 9 pt difference in xFIP- (already adjusting for the HR/FB rate that you are latching on to, as well as the park factors others are pointing out) is a significant difference, especially when accounting for the IP difference between the two.

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      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        The park factors are only going to help out Volquez. Oakland is a better park for a pitcher than Cincy is. Of course there’s the league thing to consider too, so that may be a wash.

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      • I was trying to say that xFIP- already accounts for park factors, so those are no longer relevant for that stat.

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      • Tom says:

        When you say no discernible difference…..

        1) Would you consider scrapping his slider signficant (unless this is a pitchf/x classification issue)
        2) Throwing a lot more curveballs significant?
        2) Would you consider less horizontal movement on his fastball significant?
        3) A change in GB rates? (for the better)

        Is this based on seeing Volquez pitch pre and post surgery or basically relying on fastball velocity and AGGREGATE strike and swing %’s (which can be misleading if distributions within those aggregates have shifted).

        Also could you define what you consider significant delta’s for xFIP-? In some article (can’t remember which one) you considered a difference of 3 points significant, now 9 points (over a 3 year period) is deemed not that big a deal? For a stat correcting (theoretically) for parks and HR/FB rates, that seems like a rather large delta.

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  17. Bill Waite says:

    Ron Paul has a good point there. If a guy has had Tommy John surgery in the past couple years, the weight you put on his pre-surgery and post-surgery years would have to be different from the weight you put on the last 4 years for a pitcher who’s been healthy the whole time.

    The age thing is also a factor. There’s not that much difference between 26 and 28, but there is a bigger difference between 22 and 24, and writing off weak numbers from a guy’s rookie season is not out of line. (I’d say Gio could probably be weighted at 8/5/2/0 instead of 8/5/4/2.)

    Overall, the article’s got a good idea behind it — to show how much our evaluation of a player depends on how we weight each year — but obviously it’s not a perfect comparison.

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  18. “With their most recent performances fresh in our minds, Gonzalez looks like a young ace in the making, while Volquez appears to be more of an erratic arm who hasn’t adjusted to life in the big leagues. However, the reality is that both pitchers have essentially performed in about the same manner over the last four years – they’ve just taken different very paths to get there.”

    How about Adam Dunn and Jose Bautista? Both have exactly an .858 OPS since 2006. Should we say:

    “With their most recent performances fresh in our minds, Bautista looks like one of the best hitters in baseball, while Dunn appears to be more of a useless player. However, the reality is that both players have essentially performed in about the same manner over the last six years – they’ve just taken different very paths to get there.”

    Or should we say that trends matter?

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    • Anon says:

      Useless? Didn’t Dunn break some records in 2011?

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    • J says:

      I’m surprised at how many people wasted their time taking shots at an interesting and well researched article…The differences between Dunn and Bautista are obvious and numerous. The first is that both players have actually had their abilities as hitters change significantly over that time-Dunn saw his K% take a big jump last year and Bautista BB% has steadily increased. Additionally, there is evidence to show that hitters (unlike pitchers) can control their HR/FB rate. This is a pretty obvious reason that 2011 Dunn vs. 2011 Joey-Bats isn’t comparable to Gio vs. Edinson. To pile on, there aren’t even strong trends for either Gio or Edinson. Edison’s xFIP went from 3.84 in 2008 to 4.10 over the next three years. This is not a major increase, and his xFIP has come down since his TJ bounceback year in 09 saw him post a 4.58 xFIP over a small sample. Gio has gone from a 3.96 xFIP in 2009 to a 4.04 xFIP in 2010 to a 3.73 xFIP in 2011. Not much of a trend there. The only major difference in the performance (per inning) between the two pitchers has been HR/FB rates, and as DC mentioned multiple time, this stat isn’t predictive. So don’t confuse the issue by making bad comparisons and claiming significant trends exist when none do. If you want to argue that pitchers have a large degree of control over their HR/FB rate go ahead, but many have tried and failed.

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      • The above comparison was meant for parody, not to refute what Dave had written. BUT, as far as HR/FB rate goes, I am not assuming that a pitcher necessarily has control over that. Rather (as noted above in a comment), even if you control for HR/FB ratio and park factors that favor Gio, the stats from 2009-2011 show Gio to be a clearly superior pitcher (especially if you add in IP, which various rate stats obviously do not). The only way to get Gio and Edinson to look similar is to include 2008, Edinson’s one awesome year (that was also pre-Tommy John) and Gio’s rookie year (when he put up horrendous numbers).

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      • I should clarify that in the above post I am referencing the xFIP- of Gio and Edinson.

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      • J says:

        Gio 2010-11 xFIP: 3.88
        Edinson 2010-11 xFIP: 3.96

        And a .08 difference xFIP is probably not significant given two seasons worth of data. So even ignoring Edinson’s 2008 (and 2009), hard to say that one pitcher is better than the other. Which wasn’t even the point DC made, just said that pitchers are “pretty similar”.

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      • Nice random removal of 2009 as a relevant year, which would have shifted the xFIP numbers strongly in Gio’s favor.

        Not saying that my selection of three years is necessarily better than your selection for the last two….but, you can’t disprove my argument merely by changing the years I was referencing.

        Still, I can agree with the following claim: “Edinson has been similarly (though slightly less) effective when compared to Gio on a per inning basis over the last 2-4 years.” This, however, doesn’t mean that Gio and Edinson should be valued similarly at all, unless one can reasonably argue that Edinson should be expected to throw a full season of innings in the majors.

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      • Tom says:

        J… when doing xFIP compairsons, might want to consider the league the guys play in….

        One pitcher had an xFIP- of 94, the other 102 (in the time period you quoted)…. pretty much the same, right?

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      • Awesome says:

        Somehow I suspect that playing half your games at the Great American SmallPark might affect your HR% more than playing in the cavernous Oakland behemoth. So what if it is in the NL the 2-5 hitters are likely just as good as they are in the NL. Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks are easily as good or better than anything Gio is facing in OAK

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      • Awesome,

        xFIP- (the stat Tom was quoting) already adjusts for both league and park. And xFIP- shows Gio to be a significantly better pitcher.

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      • Amish_Willy says:

        Agree, Dave’s got one of the worst/best jobs out there. Write about something your passionate about, only to spend the remainder of the day wiping the salt that has been thrown at your eyes. Not to be melodramatic, but that’s the way some people’s points are being read. One of the more annoying nuisances in the internet age.

        I always enjoy when similarities between two players are pointed out. Personally if I’m looking to add a starter, and let’s not assume the rotation is shit to begin with, I very well might prefer giving up what amounts to be probably 1/3 as much in talent/prospects. While getting a guy with plenty of upside who appears to be healthy (’11 IP) and only have to pay him 2-2.5m with an additional year of control.

        Edinson Volquez, being the live-armed Dominican that he is, would make for a great addition for the Miami Marlins, IMO. Assuming they spend some serious money on free agents, he’d make for a costconcious final touch to what should be an exciting off-season.

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  19. IvanGrushenko says:

    If FIP and ERA are not park-adjusted, then Gio benefits from the Coliseum or whatever it’s called now while Edinson is hurt by GAB. Still, I gotta think the fact that Edinson has been bad since TJ has to make him a lot less attractive.

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  20. Carl says:

    I draw from this analysis the moral that Edinson Volquez is a decent option for a team looking to gamble on a pitcher with upside for their starting rotation, rather than the moral that Volquez is a Gio Gonzalez substitute. Too many factors separate the two; I’d much rather have Gonzalez in a vacuum. But if you leave that comparison out of it, Volquez does look like an interesting trade option, given the potential he’s still got and the Reds’ apparent dissatisfaction with him.

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    • Hason Jeyward says:

      I think you’re the only person who got the point. Dave Cameron’s articles are lightning rods for people who can’t wait to go, “NUH UH!”

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  21. Brett says:

    Not to completely sidestep the substance, but, aren’t the Reds looking to add a starter, not ship one out? In other words, isn’t part of the reason Gonzalez is all buzzy while a guy like Volquez is not is because Gonzalez is theoretically available, and Volquez is, like, not?

    I guess it’s possible Volquez won’t crack the Reds’ starting five, as you said, but it seems like that subpoint would have been worth digging into a little bit more, as it obviously impacts their respective value on the trade market.

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    • therealscottym says:

      That’s exactly what good articles should do … promote discussion on both sides. The people that think writers are out to prove something and trying to get a “ball of shit” to stick, need to get a life.
      Sure, it seems crazy, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Volquez went out and put together a season similar to 2008.

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  22. Rex says:

    What motivation do the Reds have to sell-low on Volquez. Granted they may be tired of him, but they’re a team that is in a position to contend right now, and if they’re sitting on a front-line starter, who has had his fair share of struggles, they’re either going to throw him out there or try to boost his trade stock. There’s no point for the Reds to trade him now unless they get a good offer, which is unlikely.

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    • Jason461 says:

      The Reds have an abundance of totally fine to kind-of-bad starters. What they need is a front line guy. Volquez is not that. The impression, I have from following the Reds closely is that they are willing to trade Volquez because they don’t want to bet on him getting better.

      It’s hard to explain how big of a train wreck last season was for him if you weren’t watching it. Dave’s use of xFIP is misleading because, as I mentioned in a comment above, there is nothing about last season that says anything should normalize. He was a disaster.

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  23. mister_rob says:

    didnt volquez get popped for PED’s too? Like right after he attained most of his career WAR?

    If so, I’d think it would be mentioned somewhere in the article or 1st 30 comments

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    • Flharfh says:

      50 game suspension for PED use in April 2010

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      • mister_rob says:

        seems like something that should be relevant to the discussion, especially considering how is performance has dropped

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    • Chris says:

      His PED use appears to have been to aid his recovery from TU surgery. There’s never even been rumors of him using prior to that.

      In any event, the surgery makes it hard to use Volquez’s long-term numbers to any good use. He was hurt during ’09, came back too soon in ’10, and inexplicably sucked in ’11.

      As someone noted, he was pretty binary last year. For example, he allowed 4+ unintentional walks in 8 of his 20 starts. In the other 12 starts, he only walked 24 (unintentional) in 72 IP. So when he had his control, he walked 3.0 per 9 IP (sorry, not doing the math for BB%). When he didn’t, it was 9.3 per 9 IP.

      Not sure what we can take from this, exactly. I think it means that Volquez is even more volatile than he might appear on the surface.

      As a Reds fan for over 30 years, I can tell you that I’ve never seen a more exasperating player than Volquez was this year. He’d just inexplicably melt down, with this clueless look on his face. I think the organization got just as frustrated as the fans did.

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  24. Keystone Heavy says:

    I think that people are missing the big talking point of this article. Seriously, are the Marlins looking to increase their team WAR by 40 points or something? The rumors surrounding that team have been ridiculous.

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  25. YazInLeft8 says:

    I wasn’t exactly watering at the mouth for Volquez to be on my AL (in an obnoxiously pushy tone) roster. Also, you get two more years from Gonzalez at a younger age.

    It feels like you did research for this article, weren’t incredibly pleased with the results, but decided to type it anyways.

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  26. Dan says:

    lol at guy countering with 2009-2011 WAR. Think maybe the 281 inning difference might skew things a bit?

    Nice article Dave

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  27. Joe says:

    Volquez is more than 2 years older and has walked over 5 per nine two years running – in the NL Central, no less. Yeah, he’d be much easier to snag, but he’s not as valuable, even when you disregard years of team control, salary, age, etc.

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  28. Chris says:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the NLC, at least in favor of the ALW. Take a look at where the runs are being scored in each league.

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  29. Alex says:

    id still take gio over volquez any day of the week. Gio is 1 walk-per-nine away from being in the same class as someone like gallardo

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