Death Match: The Wells Trade Versus the Zito Contract

Did you hear that the Toronto Blue Jays traded Vernon Wells and his Massive Albatross Contract to the Angels? Probably. It has received plenty of commentary here and elsewhere, and that should be enough, but then someone asked Dave Cameron how the Angels’ trade for Wells was better or worse a move than the Giants notorious seven-year, $126 million contract with Barry Zito signed before the 2007 season. The Zito contract looked like a bad move at the time and pretty much everyone currently agrees that the Wells trade is, too. But the Nerdosphere demands an answer: which was the worse decision?

The idea when looking at a contract or trade retrospectively is not to judge the contract in hindsight, which is relatively easy and not terribly illuminating. The idea is to try and reconstruct the information we (and the front office making the decision) would have had at the time and judge the decision on that basis. There isn’t any hindsight to be had yet on the the Wells trade, but the Zito contract requires some “reconstruction.” I will do my best to keep things “neutral.” Almost everyone agrees these are two really bad moves, but teams do these things for reasons (even if we don’t understand or agree with those reasons), so when there is ambiguity I will try to give the respective front offices the benefit of the doubt.

Beginning with Zito: the 2006-2007 off-season was a long time ago, literally and figuratively. Although free agent salaries were a bit smaller per win, they also seemed to be increasing at a higher rate. Still, Zito’s contract was astounding (all hail Scott Boras). According to a salary chart from the time (assuming $4 million per marginal win and a 10 percent average annual increase in that price, along with a half-win-a-year decline curve), the Giants were paying Zito as if they thought he was a 5 win pitcher. According to FanGraphs WAR, Zito hadn’t ever been worth that much during a season, and hadn’t been worth more than four wins since 2003. Taking a look at his 2007 ZiPS Projections and converting it to FIP scaled for the time, we get 4.53. Without going through every step here, over a generously projected 220 innings and 33 starts, Zito comes out as a 2.3 WAR pitcher.

If that is where we want to leave things, then this contest is probably over, as that would mean the Giants overpaid by two years and more than $90 million. However, I said that I would be charitable when it was reasonable, and Zito did have a history of his ERA being better than his FIP. If one prefers Baseball-Reference’s WAR, Zito had averaged about 3.5 wins from 2004-2006, and had been 4.7 WAR in 2006. If we use ZiPS’ projected ERA/RA (4.00 ERA, although for calculating WAR [whether using FIP or ERA] we use RA-scale, so 4.38) and the same playing time as above, we get 2007 projection of about 3.5 WAR, which would indicate a maximum market contract of seven years, $69 million. In that case, the Giants “only” overpaid by $57 million dollars, give or take a few.

Can the Wells trade top that? While we’ve been assuming something like an average of $5 million per marginal win (as we need to compare this trade for the Angels with what they could have bought on the open market rather than spending it on Wells), surprising fluctuations in recent years in that market have led us to project a more conservative annual growth in the average cost of wins, so most of us are using five percent. On those assumptions, a four-year, $86 million dollar commitment to Wells (the remaining portion of his own seven-year, $126 million dollar contract) means he is being valued at somewhere between 4.5 and five wins. Wells has only been worth 4.5 wins or more once in his career according to FanGraphs WAR (in 2006). While we estimate his value as about five wins in 2010, the prior year he was replacement level and he was at 1.5 in each of the two seasons before that. His 2011 ZiPS projection puts him at about nine runs above average per 700 plate appearances once converted to wOBA/wRAA. Wells’ defense in center, once well respected, is now considered to be very poor, and while he could move to a corner for the Angels, that would decrease his overall value. Let’s call his neutral position-plus-defense five runs below average. Adding it altogether and adjusting for playing time, a 2.5 WAR projection for Wells in 2011 seems fair. That would call for about a $39 million contract on the open market given the assumptions from above, so according to this projection, the Angels are overpaying Wells by about $47 million.

The Zito contract is still in the “lead,” so far, but the Angels also gave up two players: outfielder Juan Rivera and catcher Mike Napoli, History’s Greatest Monster (according to Mike Scioscia). Rivera had a nice comeback offensively and defensively in 2009, but 2010 saw a return to earth. ZiPS sees him as merely a +3 hitter over a full season in 2011. His defense has generally been considered poor, although both UZR and DRS were very impressed with his 2009 performance in the field. Again being charitable to the Angels, let’s assume his outfield defense is below average (the Fans’ Scouting Report confirms this), and that given his recent performance, he’s likely to be something like a 1 WAR player in 2011, which would make his $5.25 million salary basically a wash.

Napoli is the bigger question. ZiPS saw him as the Angels’ best hitter for 2011, and his projected line converts to 19 runs above average per 700 plate appearances. The question is how much catcher Napoli can be expected to play, and just how bad he really is back there. In limited 2010 playing time behind the plate, one measure found him to be about six runs below average. But even if we assume that he’s so bad that he eliminates the positional adjustment, he’s more than a three-win player after adjusting for playing time. Again being generous to the Angels, let’s assume that he’ll be that bad behind the plate and also need to spend some time at first base and designated hitter. That might take his projection down to 2.5 wins (the same as we got for Vernon Wells above). Even if he gets the $6 million he is asking for in arbitration, that’s still an additional $7 million surplus value that Angels are giving up.

When I first thought of doing this post, I thought it would be somewhat close, but with the Zito overpay still being the clear “winner.” However, after taking account of not only how much Wells will be overpaid relative to his projection, but also the (conservatively estimated) surplus value list by trading Napoli (and assuming Rivera adds none), the Angels $54 million overpay in 2011 is practically indistinguishable from the Giants $57 million dollar overpay in 2007. These projections and estimates aren’t assumed to be precise enough to say that a $3 million dollar difference four years and a very different economy apart is significant. Moreover, if I was generous to the Giants in using RA rather than FIP for Zito, I think I was if anything even more generous to the Angels in my valuation of Napoli (and I didn’t even account for his potential 2012 surplus value) and perhaps also Rivera.

I was originally thinking of titling this post “Two Bad Decisions Enter, One Bad Decision Leaves,” but given the outcome, “Two Bad Decisions Enter, No Bad Decisions Leave” would have been more appropriate. If some Angels fans are made more upset about this trade by this post than they already are, they might be consoled by the knowledge that in four years, they will win the World Series with a non-rostered Vernon Wells watching from the bench.

[Author’s note added Wednesday morning, 8:35 A.M. EST: At the time I wrote posted this, there were no official reports that any extra money had changed hands in Wells trade. Since then, Jon Heyman has confirmed that Toronto did send $5 million to the Angels, but this was not originally disclosed. For posterity’s sake, I’ve left the original post as it was. However, while it isn’t a large amount, it is probably enough to give the Zito deal a bit more of an “edge.” So feel better, Angels fans! World Champions in only three years, right?]



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Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.


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Ben
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Ben
5 years 6 months ago

It’s hard to quantify, but shouldn’t we at least discuss the risk each team was taking on as well? An overweight 32-year-old centerfielder definitely carries some injury risk over four years, but probably not as much as a 29-year-old pitcher with more than a thousand innings under his belt being signed to a seven-year contract.

Vegemitch
Member
Vegemitch
5 years 6 months ago

I would agree with Ben, the length of the contract for the pitcher puts the actual decision over the top as worse since there would be a much higher probability that he would fail to meet expectations due to limitations in playing time. However, given that contracts are insured, a catastrophic injury to Zito would actually alleviate the financial burden of his contract at least to some degree.

SteveM
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SteveM
5 years 6 months ago

Most contracts are not insured, and those that are, are not insured past three years, or four MAXIMUM. In all likelihood, the Zito risk belongs entirely to the Giants.

joe
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joe
5 years 6 months ago

The pticher has more injury risk even at 3 years younger.

BZF
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BZF
5 years 6 months ago

Even if this pitcher has NEVER been on the DL. I happen to think Zito might even have a good year or two left in him. Don’t let his ridiculous contract blind you to some of his strengths. He pitches a lot of innings and doesn’t go on the DL. His team winning the WS makes it look like the franchise that signed him didn’t hurt themselves as much as Texas did when it signed ARod.

Harrill Lovelace
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Harrill Lovelace
5 years 6 months ago

Sort of puts the Cliff Lee contract into perspective doesn’t it? Zito may look like a bargin if Lee blows his elbow the next year or two. Baseball will kill itself with guaranteed contracts at some point-and no salary cap or spending limits. The first team to fold will be one that has contracts like Wells, Zito, and Lee have.

SteveM
Member
SteveM
5 years 6 months ago

There ARE spending limits and salary caps in baseball. It’s just that each team gets to decide their own! Individual team/s may hang themselves with that rope, but baseball as a whole is in no such jeopardy.

Scout Finch
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Scout Finch
5 years 6 months ago

If this was the Death Match finale, what other contracts were in the semi’s ?

Did the Rowand contract at least make the quarter’s ?

Vegemitch
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Vegemitch
5 years 6 months ago

Looks like the authors can do some pre March Madness bracketology with this one.

KB
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KB
5 years 6 months ago

ooh, this would be an excellent idea

ndbrian
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ndbrian
5 years 6 months ago

I’d have to think that Matt Morris to the Pirates would be there, wouldn’t it?

William
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William
5 years 6 months ago

napoli has been traded for frank francisco. Doesn’t really alter the results of this trade however

Vegemitch
Member
Vegemitch
5 years 6 months ago

Does it make it any more significant that Napoli’s value which had been thrown away by the Angels in this deal is now being used against them by the greatest threat to their ability to reach the post season?

NEPP
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NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

That’s what we call “irony”.

I guess the BlueJays wanted a legitimate closer more than they wanted a poor defensive/good power bat catcher.

Eric
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Eric
5 years 6 months ago

the Jays just decided to screw the Angels over, just for the hell of it.

Napoli for Francisco? i’d def. take Napoli

phoenix2042
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Member
phoenix2042
5 years 6 months ago

that is hilarious. now they can see napoli hit against them while vernon wells sucks for them! oh those poor poor angels, missing out on crawford, beltre, soriano, taking on wells’ contract, losing napoli and having him play for a division rival. makes me feel a lot better as a yankees in an offseason when the red sox acquired AGon and crawford and the yankees signed soriano to a massive contract that he can opt out of at any time if he actually manages to earn the money!

SC2GG
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5 years 6 months ago

In a twist of fate, Napoli just got traded to the Rangers, so now not only do the Angels get to see Wells be average in LF 19 times a year, they also get to see the player they gave someone $75 million to upgrade from launch bombs into their stands an equal amount of times.

Gotta wonder why AA made this Napoli for Francisco deal, though. It seems like a bad trade, but with AA you are at this point where you have to wonder if there isn’t some sort of secret motivation or reasoning that you just aren’t aware of.

Or maybe he’s continuing his quest to be the biggest star on the Jays team.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 6 months ago

t seems like a bad trade, but with AA you are at this point where you have to wonder if there isn’t some sort of secret motivation or reasoning that you just aren’t aware of.

Yeah, I think that’s pretty much a double-standard that exists here at FG.

When a saber-metrically inclined GM makes a “bad trade”, it’s always because he has some super-secret alternative plan.

When an “old-school” GM makes a bad trade, it’s because he’s dumb and subscribes to na outdated philosophy.

We see it whenever TB, OAK, MIN, BOS, TOR makes a move that doesn’t qualify as “good” by our rigid criteria. Compare to how we’d react if this trade was made by SFG, KCR, HOU, CWS.

GM’s make both good and bad moves.

giantsrainman
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giantsrainman
5 years 6 months ago

Mike Napoli was just traded to the Rangers for Ben Francisco. The Blue Jays have joined the Angels in not thinking much of him. It appears to this observer that these two teams (the Angels and the Blue Jays) think Napoli is a -30 run catcher and a -5 run 1B when he plays defense and therefore a DH no mater where he plays.

NEPP
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NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

Frank Francisco, not Ben Francisco.

Ben Francisco is still an OF on the Phillies.

giantsrainman
Member
giantsrainman
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah my mistake. I knew it was the reliever not the outfielder but I got the names confused. My point still stands though that this shows the Blue Jays do not think Napoli is a viable option at catcher. I am betting the Rangers do not either and they will use Napoli almost exclusively as a DH when Young plays defense (especially against lefties when Moreland is likely to sit).

NEPP
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NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

I agree. Obviously neither team sees Napoli as a catcher.

I fully expect that he ends up as the Rangers DH/platoon 1B/emergency catcher.

bender
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bender
5 years 6 months ago

Although all details aren’t clear, supposedly it’s for Francisco and cash. Cash can mean anything from 1 to many million (although almost certainly under 10) so it might not be that they judge Napoli’s defense so bad

phoenix2042
Member
Member
phoenix2042
5 years 6 months ago

its under 1mil

Mateo
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Mateo
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t’ think it has anything to do with valuing Napoli. It’s doubtful the Jays are planning on either one being on their roster past the trade deadline, so the question is merely which one do they have a better chance of flipping to a contender for some prospects – a good reliever or a catcher? The good reliever would be my guess. Everyone’s looking for bullpen help in July.

Max G
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Max G
5 years 6 months ago

Ok, this is getting weird. I guess the path has been cleared for Arencibia to be the starting backstop for the Jays now?

Frank Francisco beefs up a bullpen being worked over this offseason. Not sure if he is to be part of the closer competition or intended as a setup man for Frasor/Dotel.

I’d have thought Napoli had more value than that, I’m not sure Francisco is better than some of the relief talent already on the roster. I sincerely hope Anthopolous knows what he is doing…

jkjkljlk
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jkjkljlk
5 years 6 months ago

Francisco will be a type A at the end of this season too… Plus, AA now has a monopoly on the RH RP market. Wouldnt be surprised to see one or two of the bullpen arms traded at the deadline.

Then again, you have to imagine Napoli would be worth more than this.

sssox24
Member
sssox24
5 years 6 months ago

I wonder if the fact that the Angels seemed to value him so low and he was traded directly before being flipped again compressed his value somewhat. It would be interesting to determine if subsequent trades of the same player do indeed have an effect on market value of the player even if that does not match their true value.

But if that is the case, there is no need to push him out the door when his value is lowest.

Mario Mendoza
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Mario Mendoza
5 years 6 months ago

Does the added fact that Napoli has wound up in Texas where he can contribute to the Angels’ division rival tip the balance?

Jason
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Jason
5 years 6 months ago

Your methodology is flawed. Your looking at the player’s value, but the issue is the price. Price is set by the market, and in this case Zito had a much greater market than did Wells at the time of the acquisition. If we take media reports at face value than the Mets, Rangers, and Mariners were all in on Zito to some degree, with the Mets reportly offering $105M over 6 years. If true, the Giants overbid the market by about $20M over a six year period.

On the other hand there was no market at all for Wells, the Angels set their own prize, which obviously way exceeded what the rest of the industry thought was appropriate.

bc
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bc
5 years 6 months ago

I think I agree with Jason. The galling thing about the Wells deal is that you have to figure Wells could have been had for so much less. Alex Rios’ contract was less horrendous than Wells’ and they surrended Rios for literally nothing. In fact, the expectation was the Jays would have had to kick in money to boot. If there was no money coming along with the contract you would have thought a prospect at least. When I first heard the deal I kept thinking, as apparently a lot of people did, … and how much money? what prospect is it going to be? A straight WAR vs. contract amount doesn’t seem to properly capture the true wrtechedness of this trade.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 6 months ago

I’m wondering how this happened.

When approached about LAA wanting Wells, did TOR’s GM really start playing coy, “Well, we really like Vernon as a player …. it would take something extra to entice parting with him, because he’s such a good player, great guy, and team leader.” After LAA refused to sweeten the deal with Mike Trout, only then did AA say “Okay, I guess Napoli and Rivera will suffice, although it breaks my heart to part with V-Dub.” Party in Toronto ensues.

Seriously, did LAA contact TOR offering Naps and Rivera or what?

ThatApologist
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ThatApologist
5 years 6 months ago

As an Angels fan, I’m astonished by this trade. I think the best move was probably to let our roster sit and wait for something to open up later, like midseason before the trade deadline to fill any real holes that appear throughout the season. But, as an Angels fan, I must look to the greener side of things…

I think the problem with the value analysis (and this speaks to “what the team sees” side of things) is that it is only effective in a vaccum. I love sabremetrics, I think more managers should use it to determine moves and plays, etc. But, there are a gross amount of confounding variables that statistical analysis cannot account for, albeit some legitimate, some wanky and apologistic.

Napoli generated all of those offensive numbers the author uses to determine value when it didn’t matter. He hit most of his homers when the Angels were already winning. He also hit most of those homers when there was no one is scoring position. In fact, he was terrible in the “clutch” and with RISP in general. I do not know how to effectively and reliably weigh these problems with the value analysis, but it seems that, like carbs, his WAR is empty.

Wells is a strange story. Some have claimed that the switch to natural grass will reinvigorate him like it supposedly did for Torii Hunter, but I am skeptical. I wonder if there is a way to statistically plot out performance based on turf surface reliably. Instead, I think a far more persuasive consideration is whether Wells is more willing to put out with a change in venue. The effect is demonstrative in players like Adrian Beltre, who appear to play harder when it matters more for them (i.e. increased contract). Maybe the wild variation is partially explained by such psychological circumstances, especially with the ridiculous and random explosion of players like Bautista. Moreover, the Angels are a contender if only because of the weak AL West. The Blue Jays are perennially behind in their division, even though they post respectable W-L splits and general performance. Maybe Wells just cared less, especially after having scored the jackpot with his contract in 07.

This is all an apparent crap shoot – stranger things have panned out. But, unfortunately, I’m resigned to believing this might be GMJ part deux. I hope Hank Conger or Bobby Wilson can save us offensively at catcher. Or that we successfully fill 3B…

How do you say… wah wa.

Vegemitch
Member
Vegemitch
5 years 6 months ago

You do know that there are stats to measure “clutch”, right? Although Napoli was slightly negative in 2010 you simply can’t write off his value like that. For some perspective, T. Hunter was a fair bit worse in the clutch than Napoli in 2010 and V. Wells was also worse in 2009 than Napoli in 2010.

Additionally, all of the psychological factors, etc. that you mention are accounted for in player performance anyway. If a player “doesn’t care” or any other myriad of factors you can point out actually are present, they are 1. not able to be accounted for and 2. should translate into future performance anyway, meaning that those traits are a part of the players game. An MLB season is also sufficiently lengthy that these factors should wash out in the end. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that the players should care more about their own performance for their own enrichment given the free market in baseball even if their team is not in a playoff hunt.

But if I can’t persuade you that your argument is fatally flawed, lets just say that everyone knows that Napoli has played in his managers doghouse for years and this probably negatively affected his performance or made him cringe in the clutch. I would expect him to flourish under management that has faith in him. :)

NEPP
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NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

You know, I was gonna dispute you on the “Napoli isn’t clutch” but I looked at his career splits and wow…he really does seem to come up small in clutch situations (RISP, men on, High Leverage, etc).

I checked an entire career to get a legitimate sample size too…not just 2010.

Eric
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Eric
5 years 6 months ago

maybe he’s just really really unlucky?
what’s his BABIP during RISP?

Eric
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Eric
5 years 6 months ago

he is pretty unlucky during Runners on and RISP (or maybe he hits too many flyballs when RISP)

BABIP
Bases Empty: .310
Runners On: .274
RISP: .252!

Eric
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Eric
5 years 6 months ago

and thats career numbers

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 6 months ago

maybe he’s just really really unlucky

Why are athletes the only ones that get to use this as an excuse?

It’s not fair.

If I receive a poor evaluation, I just wanna respond “Sorry Boss, been really unlucky this year.” Of course, when I am receiving a raise I won’t mention anything about good luck.

When someone consistently performs a certain way, luck is diminished.

Maybe with RISP, Napoli is intentionally trying not to hit a ground ball (GDP) and makes poorer contact. makes he poops his pants. Maybe he tries too hard. We don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. What we do know is that over his career, “he don’t hit real good with men on”.

We don’t need to know how or why to make the statement.

When a pitcher consistently is 30 points below average on BABIP, we stop yucking it up to luck.

I do agree that that a single season’s worth of data is not really useful in terms of projecting what the player might do the next year in regards to “clutch”.

siggian
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siggian
5 years 6 months ago

As a Blue Jay fan, I can assure you that there is no chance that “Maybe Wells just cared less, especially after having scored the jackpot with his contract in 07”

Wells is one of those baseball players who always runs hard to first even on a slow roller to 2nd or a pop up. I have never questioned his level of effort or commitment. I have no doubt that he should have taken more time off to heal in those terrible years but taking time off is not in his nature. He’s an all effort guy.

The sad thing is that Wells is not a good enough player for his contract and that is not his fault. But he is a good enough player to enjoy watching, despite his annoying tendency to pop up.

Chris
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Chris
5 years 6 months ago

It seems to me the Wells trade is worse because they had the benefit of hindsight. Everyone could see what a disaster the contract was for the Blue Jays, yet the Angels who were armed with this knowledge traded for the player anyway. In addition, they took on the worst part of the deal (the final 4 years, with the most dollars, during Wells’ age 32-35 seasons), despite the fact that the Jays had absolutely no leverage whatsoever. It was commonly known the team wanted to rid themselves of that contract, and very well would have given him away for nothing. If that wasn’t enough, they didn’t even make the Jays offset some of the cost, and instead gave up assets in the deal. A terrible signing at least has the promise of rewards if the player pans out, but being able to see the Wells contract backfire horribly, then trading for him, is quite obviously crazy.

Eric
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Eric
5 years 6 months ago

consider that the Jays only payed 1/3 of the entire contract for 3 years.
The Angels really, really, fcuked up

ToddM
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ToddM
5 years 6 months ago

The Wells trade is worse because he’s paid like Josh Hamilton from 2010 should be, but he hits like Delmon Young. Apparently, in recent years, he’s starting to play the outfield like Delmon, too.

walt526
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walt526
5 years 6 months ago

Did the Giants lose a draft pick when they signed Zito? Or did the A’s not offer arbitration?

If so, that should also probably factor into this analysis.

chuckb
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chuckb
5 years 6 months ago

It definitely should. I’d be stunned if Beane didn’t offer Zito arbitration.

bjbirdie
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bjbirdie
5 years 6 months ago

Oakland did offer arbitration.

The Giants first round pick was protected. They surrendered their 2nd round pick, 74th overall to Oakland, who selected…Grant Desme.

Oakland also got Sean Doolittle out of it by way of supplemental draft choice.

JWTP
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JWTP
5 years 6 months ago

I can’t tell if it’s worse that the Giants wasted similar money for a longer period of time or if it’s worse to be committing so much over a shorter period of time. All I know is I’m looking forward to paying Timmy a Ducktales bank vault worth of cash more than I did Zito. I’d also like to see the Pierzynski trade analyzed in comparison, although I know this would be so-called useless hindsight… it was SOOO bad.

sbtokyo
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sbtokyo
5 years 6 months ago

One point against the Wells contract: It happened AFTER the Zito contract.

Bad-dive
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Bad-dive
5 years 6 months ago

Well… Yes this was a horrible trade an a an Angels fan can not understand why we only got 5 million back from the Jays. They should have paid 30 million of the contract! Anyway, I would rather have Wells playing left and batting 5th than having Rivera anywhere in the lineup or on the field. This trade while it hurts the teams financially, they will be better this year because of it. I think management panicked because it is the 50 anniversary and they wanted to put a better starting lineup on the field. Bottom line this trade does help them this year but hurts them for the next 3. Another thing is that Wells is accustom to batting in the heart of the lineup while Naps was a back end guy. Naps would not get many at bats with the Angels if he would have stayed. So as far as which was the worst….I would say at least Wells will make the Angels better for at least one year while Zito did not. How much better Wells makes the Angels depends on many factors but the clubhouse Will be much better off with Wells and without Rivera.

rectin
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rectin
5 years 6 months ago

“I would say at least Wells will make the Angels better for at least one year while Zito did not.”

Given that Zito was significantly better than the Giants’ 6th starter, it’s pretty safe to say that he did make the Giants better. In fact, given the way they sneaked into the playoffs, they probably wouldn’t have won the whole thing without Zito.

What matters, though, is that the Giants greatly overpaid for Zito, and the Angels greatly overpaid for Wells. Maybe the relevant stat to compare isn’t WAR, but instead the value each player provides above that of the actual replacement in each case (WAAR – Wins Above Actual Replacement player? :P).

Vegemitch
Member
Vegemitch
5 years 6 months ago

I would argue that LAA is worse after this deal. Wells is probably 2 WAR better than Rivera over a full season in LF, but Napoli is about 3 WAR better than Mathis as a full time C even if his defense is brutal.

The LAA management, of course, improperly utilized Napoli and would probably continue to do so. This would negate the 1 WAR benefit of not making the trade. So the WAR is a wash whether the deal is done or not.

We don’t know if the Angels will be in contention but even if the deal doesn’t effect W-L negatively, it certainly effects the Angels ability to make a trade or any other pickups. This is a very marginal negative for 2011 but becomes significant in 2012 and beyond just like the Zito contract is for the Giants. They are going to need to get rid of at least one of their young pitchers, perhaps even Lincecum, because the budget is stretched.

gdc
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gdc
5 years 6 months ago

Is it possible that Texas was after Napoli and the Angels would not deal with them, so they were offering Francisco to 3rd parties if they could get Napoli in trade? And even that they would not announce it for a couple of days so it would not look like a 3-way?

Maximus
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Maximus
5 years 6 months ago

The Zito contract is universally acknowledged as a bad contract, but at least he eats up innings for the Giants. What about the contract that the Dodgers gave to Jason Schmidt? They got virtually no return for their $47M investment! Far worse, in my opinion.

gonfalon
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gonfalon
5 years 6 months ago

Following up Scout Finch’s post above, I’d guess that Jason Schmidt’s contract was eliminated along with Aaron Rowand’s contract in the semifinals.

Bill
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Bill
5 years 6 months ago

If you agree with the (generous) valuation of Zito skills, the Zito contract was a waste of 53 million. The Schmidt contract was, at worst, a loss of 47 million.

bjbirdie
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bjbirdie
5 years 6 months ago

Based on interviews done by AA in the Toronto market, the Wells deal was made largely independent of the Francisco deal.

AA knew that there was a fair amount of interest in Napoli from back at the Winter Meetings. When discussions on the Wells deal were entering final stages with Reagins, he asked what teams had been in on Napoli and they were basically the same teams he’d known about from the Winter meetings. (Hence – Reagins wasn’t blindsided by the fact that Napoli might get flipped).

With Texas, AA had tried a bunch of different packages to get Francisco – Minasian and the other Pro guys seem to particularly like him. When word came down on the Wells deal, Daniels approached AA about Napoli and it came together pretty quick.

Yes, Daniels gave just under 1M to AA.

BillyBeaneismyHero
Member
BillyBeaneismyHero
5 years 6 months ago

What about the Soriano contract? 7/$136m, and he’ll be done with that deal at 39. That might end up being worse than both of them.

Joey B
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

My question would be, what would’ve happened if the Angels asked TO to put Wells on waivers? Would TO have refused to do so? I doubt it. And I doubt anyone would’ve claimed him. They could’ve at least kept Napoli by picking up Wells on waivers, and then have been able to trade him for the equivalent of Fransisco.

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