Holliday Vs Teixeira

As we discussed this afternoon, Scott Boras has taken to comparing his star free agent of this winter to his star free agent of last winter, as he aims to get Matt Holliday a contract similar to what the Yankees gave Mark Teixeira a year ago. In the comments, the question was raised why I placed Holliday in a lower tier than Teixeira, despite the fact that Holliday has the superior WAR rating.

Before we get into the specifics of Holliday versus Teixeira, let me say something about WAR. Obviously, we’re big proponents of it has an evaluation tool. We think it’s the best single value metric out there for players. We do not think its perfect and infallible, however. There are portions of the game that are currently not measured (non-steal base running, catcher defense, and league differences being the most notable), and we’ve discussed the limitations of UZR ad nauseam (I believe that Teixeira is probably a bit better than his UZR has shown). There is room for discussion when two players are within the same general range.

As it pertains to Holliday and Teixeira, the key here is league differences. For various reasons, we don’t incorporate those into the WAR ratings, but they have been fairly significant for the last five or six years. The AL is just a better group of talent than the NL, and as such, when two players who post equal numbers in the different leagues, the AL player has to be presumed to be better. He’s facing better competition and creating the same results, which is inherently more valuable.

The best estimates for the differences between the AL and NL range between +0.25 and +0.5 wins per season. When comparing players across leagues, this is not an insignificant factor. That Holliday has had the bulk of his success come in the NL requires a downward adjustment to the value of that performance. Likewise, Teixeira’s ability to perform in the AL enhances his value.

Now, that doesn’t mean that Holliday’s going to turn into a pumpkin upon arrival in the AL. After all, he gave the A’s +3 wins of value in 400 PA, which was still quite valauble. However, we just can’t translate his Colorado and St. Louis performances over to the AL without an adjustment, and those are the places where Holliday has performed like a superstar.

Even after the league adjustment, though, Holliday and Teixeira come out as similar in value. They’re essentially the same age. Why would I prefer Teixeira going forward?

All types of past performance are not equally predictive of future performance. One of the driving forces of Holliday’s offensive value is his strong batting average on balls in play. Over the last three years, his .363 BABIP is tied with Chone Figgins for the third highest in baseball, behind only Ichiro Suzuki and Matt Kemp.

BABIP is simply more subject to variance than Teixeira’s preferred method of production – hitting the ball really far. Even though Holliday has been able to sustain a high BABIP, we still have to regress his projcted BABIP further towards the mean than we do Teixeira’s ISO, as the latter has simply shown to be more stable historically. Even though their results over the last few years have produced similar value, Teixeira’s taking the safer path to those results. Holliday’s dependence on a high BABIP for his offensive value makes him a greater risk, and increases in risk drive down value.

I expect that we’ll see these concerns manifest themselves in the marketplace as well. My guess is that Holliday will end up signing for 10 to 15 percent less than what Teixeira got, because teams are also a bit skeptical of unadjusted National League numbers and don’t see him as the same kind of power hitter.

Holliday is a very good player, and certainly the best free agent on the market. But when comparing him to Teixeira, it’s important to not stop at a simple WAR analysis.




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


59 Responses to “Holliday Vs Teixeira”

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  1. Steve says:

    wow, that was…refreshing.

    good piece.

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  2. Kevin S. says:

    Also, even though they are the same age, the Yankees got an additional prime-age year out of Teixeira. With long-term deals that get you both prime and decline, unless the contract is significantly front-loaded, teams tend to extract excess value during the prime years and pay for it on the back end. Holliday has one less prime year to offer, so that should also depress the value of the contract he deserves.

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  3. Nick C says:

    I think that Holliday will get 10-15% less than Texeira simply because the Yankees won’t be bidding.

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    • Temo says:

      The Yankees are losing Matsui, Nady, and Damon coming off payroll and have a thin outfield (relatively speaking) behind those 3. They will most certainly be bidding on Holliday.

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      • Lance says:

        I definitely hope not. Holliday may be better than either Damon or Matsui (obviously), but he would cost more than both combined, and I don’t see him as being that much more valuable, considering the hole at DH. I think as far as Yankees and Type A free agents go, it’ll be Lackey or no one.

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      • Lance says:

        And I’m a Yankee fan, so when I say I hope not… yeah.

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      • jason says:

        The Yankees should be biding, not to win but to drive up the contract size. If they can cost another team an extra $15 – $25 million then that is less money that can be spent competing for the other free agents.

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      • R M says:

        Lance, I’m not a Yankees, fan, but come on….do you honestly think Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui are near Matt Holliday in value?

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      • lincolndude says:

        Also, as the Yankees demonstrated last year, if you’re going to get one Type A free agent and lose your first round pick anyway, why not get multiple?

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      • The Hit Dog says:

        This is important. This flaw in the system that the Yankees exposed and exploited last year is something that a team with resources should do every year. The diminishing cost of signing multiple Type As in the same offseason inherently increases the value of each Type A that follows the first.

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      • noseeum says:

        “This is important. This flaw in the system that the Yankees exposed and exploited last year is something that a team with resources should do every year. The diminishing cost of signing multiple Type As in the same offseason inherently increases the value of each Type A that follows the first.”

        It’s not often that all of the following criteria exist:
        -3 free agents of Teix, CC, and AJ’s caliber are available
        -The economy implodes, eliminating many teams from the hunt
        -The Yankees, or Red Sox (only 2 teams who might even do it) have needs that match up exactly with the players that are available.

        What needs to be eliminated is any compensation whatsoever for losing a free agent. These teams that can’t afford a player should be trading him before the deadline if they don’t plan on signing him. It’s a major disincentive to trade if you expect to get a first round pick for a guy. Players like Varitek shouldn’t be screwed because they cost a first round draft pick to sign. Compensation is stupid. The guy played out his contract. Why do you have any further right to him?

        These rules were made when the draft was an afterthought.

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      • R M says:

        Noseeum, I’m not sure where your logic lies that the Yankees and the Red Sox are the only teams that would sign multiple type A’s in one season. The Red Sox had the 4th highest payroll last year, and there were 4 other teams with payrolls within $8 million of the Sox’s payroll. It is a problem that could, and will happen again at some point, and needs to be addressed.

        I agree with you that the compensation system is screwy though. There was a post here about it a couple days ago….isn’t it crazy that a team would have to give up their first rounder to sign Billy Wagner?

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  4. DavidCEisen says:

    Teixeira also spent a seasons worth of games in the NL over the past three years. So assuming the high end of the league adjustment to WAR, Teixeira would be a 16.7 WAR player over the past three years.

    Holliday has spent 2.5 years in the NL, so his adjusted WAR over the past three years would be 17.5.

    Maybe Teixeira has been better on defense than UZR says, but who is to say Holliday isn’t?

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Keith Law and others have noted that catcher and first base are the two positions where their observations tend to disagree with UZR, +/-, etc. Perhaps it’s because defense at those positions is less dependent on range than others.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      Scouts, for one. The fans scouting report, for two. Most people believe that Teixeira is a better defensive 1B than Holliday is a defensive LF.

      But, again, to the point – a +16.7 WAR and a +17.5 WAR is basically the same thing. The data is not precise enough to haggle over decimals.

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      • Rocco says:

        Tex is slightly more valuable than Holliday because he’s a switch hitter. None of that other garbage you’ve thrown out there means anything other than you trying to justify your comments earlier.

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    • Kincaid says:

      I think that is too close together for their WAR’s. Without adjustments, Holliday is 19.8 over the past 3 years and Teixeira is 15.6. From there, you can either adjust both to the AL (subtract .5 for every full season in the NL, assuming the high end of the difference), adjust both to the NL (add .5 for every full season in the AL), or to a neutral context between leagues (subtract .25/NL year, add .25/AL year). To get them that close together, you would have to adjust Teixeira’s WAR all to the NL and then adjust Holliday’s WAR all to the AL, but with the caveat that Holliday has the full 3 years of the AL bonus to add to that (so he’s really more like 3 wins ahead).

      If the high end of the difference between the two leagues is .5 wins, and Holliday’s unadjusted WAR over the last 3 years is over 4 wins higher than Teixeira’s, there is no way to make up close to that much in league adjustments, even taking the high end of the estimated difference. If you take the low end or a value between as the estimated league adjustment, obviously Holliday’s advantage grows.

      Whether you look at career WAR totals, the last 5 years, the last 4 years, or the past 3 years, whether you take the straight average or weight more recent years more heavily, whether you assume the high or the low estimate of the league adjustment, I don’t see how they are that similar in value, at least by WAR. Holliday consistently comes out a good win better per year. That’s a huge difference to just dismiss away with a large sample of BABIP and a caveat about UZR, especially without providing any kind of projection or regressed values of the supposed problem areas.

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  5. Mik says:

    Fact of the matter is Tex is a better all aorund player at a more important offensive position. Holliday is the class of he FA market this year, do not get me wrong, but this is a very weak group. He should come out of this in the top 3 highest paid for FA this winter along with Lackey and Bay. I see Holliday signing 6 years 100-110 mil.

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  6. Mik says:

    Along with Bay 5 years 75-80 mil and Lackey 5 years 85-90 mil

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  7. TNS says:

    I’m curious how far behind Jason Bay (arguably the second best available bat this offseason) compares to Teixeira & Holliday.

    Thanks.

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  8. Burn says:

    Holliday will sign with the Mets. 7 yrs for 120. That’s 17.1 mil a year

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  9. PL says:

    Matt Holliday is definitely a superstar player, his numbers in Oakland were nowhere near as bad as people were saying, he had a bad opening month, as he obviously would as he is consistently a slow starter, he then heated up when he always does, and that just so happened to coincide with his trade. I have no problem believing he would have put up slightly similar numbers in Oakland as he did in STL (league differences notwithstanding).

    Does he deserve the same contract as Teixeira? Due to league differential and his rep built at a hitters paradise, Id say no, but not by too much.

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  10. CJ says:

    The hard part about this is that “franchise player” can be defined so many different ways. When I think of “franchise player,” what comes to my mind is a player who is so valuable to a team that he is considered untradable. (Untradable because of value, but not because of a no trade clauses.) This is the so-called “face of franchise” player, implying that there can be only one (maybe two) franchise players per team. I admit that my view is influenced by the concept of “franchise players” in the NFL.

    A lot of the same players make the list….I mean, Pujols is the face of the Cardinals franchise and he is too valuable to trade. However, I suspect it tilts the list more toward older players who have been around long enough to build up a consistent track record with the team. For example, I think the Astros view Berkman as their franchise player. And maybe a guy like Holliday, who has been traded around a bit by now is less likely to fit the definition.

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  11. Darren says:

    Isn’t Holliday’s skill set one that tends to age better? He’s more athletic, plays a tougher position, and is faster. Also less dependent on walks and HRs. I’d rather have him from ages 34-36 than Tex for those same ages.

    Dave’s prediction of 10-15% less than Tex would mean Holliday would be getting $150M to $160M or so. Even that sounds higher than I think it will be. Someone’s going to get a very nice deal on this guy.

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  12. Alex says:

    Scott Boras utters these two players’ names in the same sentence, and suddenly so-called analysts and pundits are falling over themselves to generate paragraphs upon paragraphs of text comparing these players? Think about it – no baseball fan cared about this particular two weeks ago. And why should they? Holliday and Tex have played in very different contexts, at different positions, etc.

    Congratulations, you have been played. Nobody is talking about Holliday in terms of Bay’s reported offer (4/60) any more. Now all of a sudden the masses are thinking “10-15% less than Tex” and so on.

    This is what makes Scott Boras so good at his job. And certain baseball writers so bad at there jobs.

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    • Alex says:

      *their*

      Note that I suck at writing (and editing) as well!

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    • Travis L says:

      How do you figure we’ve been played? While I agree with your framing argument (and you have done well to point that out), I fail to see how I’m getting screwed by a top player making more money.

      I’m sick of people acting like it’s a personal offense for a player to make huge gobs of money. Why does it bother folks when A-Rod takes home $27 mil / year for doing something that is both economically valuable and extremely difficult?

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    • Rob in CT says:

      Actually, we were having this exact debate over at Replacement Level Yankees Weblog yesterday, and it had nothing to do with Boras’ brain droppings. It had to do with “should the Yankees go for Holliday.” The “No” camp basically thinks he will get paid as much or more than Tex and that’s a bad idea. The “Yes” camp thinks that such fears (of the contract size) are a bit overblown and besides, he’s pretty close in value to Tex. And so it went.

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  13. Patrick says:

    Darren,

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but isn’t it true that speed/athleticism fades more dramatically than power and batting eye (walks)?

    Sure, Holliday in 5 years will STILL be more athletic than Texeira is today… But… So? I think the idea is that his athleticism will decay more, relatively speaking, than Texeira’s power and batting eye.

    It seems to me like we see a lot of older guys still drawing many walks and hitting home runs. But not near so many running the bases with abandon and chasing down fly balls like a gazelle. (Not that Holliday is exactly a gazelle.)

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  14. MBD says:

    Little speedy guys age well. Big speedy guys (Holliday is 6’4″ and 235 pounds) turn into old slow guys. And, not to sound like Joe Morgan, but does Teixeira’s consistency count for anything when one is making projections? Each season feels like a repeat of the previous one, in a good sense. His walk rates and ISO are better than Holliday’s, those skills age well, and 1Bs put less wear and tear on their bodies.

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  15. Fresh Hops says:

    Has anyone ever done a study on differences between leagues regarding positional defense? My guess is that since defense tends to be undervalued, there’s no league difference. But it’s just a guess.

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  16. Patrick says:

    Hey Alex,

    Really? It sounds to me like we’re accounting pretty well for context. I mean, wOBA (the offensive component of WAR) is adjusted for home ballpark, unless my memory has gone completely off.

    And the high end of the leauge to leauge adjustment is generally considered to be ~0.5 WAR, at least from what I’ve read. Perhaps it’s worse than that – But WAR says Holliday has been better than Texeira by several wins over the last few years.

    You can’t wriggle the numbers in a way that makes the two of them significantly different in value over the last few years. (And yeah, I know, 1 win a year isn’t insignificant, but it’s not a HUGE difference either.)

    So at that point, we’re working context out of the equation. I don’t like Scott Boras, but Matt Holliday deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Mark Texeira. Unless you have some numbers or clear ideas that show why he shouldn’t, I’m going to keep believing what WAR and other stats tell me… Which is that Matt Holliday and Mark Texeira are pretty darn similar in their total value.

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    • mjmetro says:

      is wOBA adjusted for ballpark? I recall reading at one point that it wasn’t.

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    • NRFB says:

      wOBA isn’t park adjusted. If you want to use a park adjusted rate stat, it’s better to go with EqA.

      On that matter, it’s interesting that according to EqA Teixeira, Bay, and Holliday are basically the same player in terms of offensive value when park factors are taken into account.

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      • Wally says:

        So someone remind me, if wOBA isn’t park adjusted, but WAR is, how does WAR park adjust on offense?

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      • Kincaid says:

        There is a park adjustment in going from wRAA to the run values used in WAR. I am not sure what park adjustments FanGraphs uses, but if you compare the wRAA in the “Advanced” stats section to the batting runs int he “Value” section, they’re not the same even though both come directly from wOBA and PA. The difference is that wRAA is the straight conversion of wOBA and PA to runs, while the Value runs are park adjusted.

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  17. yeahsure says:

    Teixeira was over-paid, that’s what needs to be taken into context first.

    Texeira also signed before Obamanomics crapped all over this country.

    Holliday has batted behind Pujols, in Coors field with Helton in front of him and Hawpe behind him, allowing him to see more lefties, and he *sucked* (in comparison to the rest of his career) when he didn’t play with a legitimate Hall of Famer behind or in front of him (see Oakland’s weak lineup).

    Holliday also has a far worse reputation than Teixeira defensively and Greg Maddux told his teammates not to worry about stolen bases because a stolen base only increases the chance of scoring by 15%, so you have to steal at 85% to break even on steals and better than 85% to have it add value to you. Ultimately you have to steal 30-40 bases minimum for it to truly be a positive statistic and Holliday doesn’t have a great success rate and doesn’t steal 30 bases or more regularly. So base stealing/speed mean nothing in terms of value.

    At the end of the day the Yankees pay about 20-30% more than a player is worth. Alex Rodriguez is worth 20MM a year not 30MM a year. Texiera is worth 16-17MM a year not 23MM a year.Sabathia is worth 18-19MM a year.

    Only the Yankees pay equal value to a players overall worth and then they outbid themselves by paying 130-140% of what a player is truly worth. See also Posada, Rivera (great yes, but a closer is NEVER worth $15MM or anywhere close, I think $10MM is the ceiling for an ELITE closer), they just don’t influence the success of the team enough. At the end of the day, an ELITE closer still blows almost the same number of saves as a mid-tier closer, but gets paid more for reputation, longevity, sustained dominance.

    I don’t think Rivera is worth significantly more than say Broxton, Papelbon (hate the guy, he annoys me, but he’s still solid), Aardsma, Soriano, in fact I think he’s not even the best closer in baseball at all, I just think he’s been amazing in the post season, but historically almost all closers are excellent in the post season because pitching doesn’t falter the way hitting does.

    Many teams have been successful with only decent closers and this is the same thing with all other positions. Would the Yankees be that much worse with say Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate than Posada? No probably not considering the game calling and overall defensive value, but yet Rodriguez has stayed healthy, productive, and still yet he made a fraction of the contract of Posada.

    Trying to use the Yankees contracts as barometers is silly and pointless, they over pay for players which in turn drives up the costs of utility players and role players for smaller markets. The difference between Holliday and Texeira is that Teixeira offered value at a position of need for the Yankees and was compensated out of desperation by the Steinbrenners and Cashman for a position they felt needed more long term stability.

    With more LF options this season, Holliday will fall far short of the Teixeira deal. Look for him to make about 16-17MM over 5 or 6 seasons. Probably they negotiate to $100MM at 6 years even, no more. Especially with his dropped ball that cost the Cardinals their lead in a game that eventually was the difference in their post season.

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    • John McCain says:

      Even I know he’s just trolling with that Obamanomics comment.

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      • Rob in CT says:

        Which is GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN!

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      • yeahsure says:

        I’m not trolling, I make the Obamanomics comment because it’s VALID. I live in Peru right now with my wife and children (finally just got here two weeks ago in time for the birth of my daughter). When I was here in March/April/May visiting them. The dollar to Peruvian Soles was: 3.31 Soles was equal to 1 Dollar. Now the exchange rate in 6 months has gone to as low as 2.78 and looks to fall again in the next few months. When the Peruvian Soles is gains 50 centimos in 6 months, it’s time to start worrying. It took them a decade to shave the difference from 8.+ to 3.50 soles per dollar which is a 4.50 difference over 10 years. So yes economics is a big part of this topic, grow up and start realizing that if the economy is failing teams like the Tigers are selling players and not signing long term deals like 5-10 years ago. How childish.

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      • Hmm says:

        Wow not only you don;t know anything about baseball, you don’t anything about American economics either. THe economy’s failing started with Mr. Bush. The hell even the government bail outs started with bush. When obama took office the US was already in an economic recession. I don;t like Obama, but blaming him for the economy is a joke, just like your post above

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    • Steve says:

      thank you for a giant pile of nonsense.

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    • Hmm says:

      Here’s the faults in all your arguments and ur anti yanks bias…Tex this year has played up to his value in his contract. Fan graphs assesses him as $23.2 this year while his salary is around the same amount. (oh did you also forget the Sox offered Tex nearly the same amount as the yanks?) Hell even Arod, aside from this year (mainly due to injuries and lack of laying time in the early season) usually plays up to his contract numbers through the years. It may surprise people like you who goes with their gut rather than the numbers but Yankees don;t always sign bad contracts…

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  18. Patrick says:

    Wow. That was a lot of cliche’s and definitive statements without much in the way of numbers behind them.

    Why don’t the Yankees want stability in left field? They wanted stability at first base… But not in left field? I’m pretty sure the Yankees are big fans of locking up excellent players for a long time. And while Texeira may be a better defender than Holliday – Though I really doubt it, his avg. UZR/150 over the last three years? Zero. Totally average. Holliday’s? Right around 10. So, according to UZR, Holliday is consistently a MUCH better defender. – Holliday plays a tougher defensive position with at least reasonable competency.

    And… As a guy with a history of being at least OK defensively, Holliday is NOT going to get pilloried for dropping ONE BALL at an inopportune moment. No – Ryan Franklin giving up multiple runs by walking everything in sight and giving up hit after hit is the only reason Holliday’s catch mattered. He has a much larger share of any blame.

    And on protection in line ups. I know, I know… It’s heresy. But… Statistically, it’s actually not worth very much at all. It has nothing like the huge effects it’s credited for, and by the way…

    While I’m not sure of a good place to find month by month splits, I believe it was cited above – After his horrible first month in Oakland, Holliday – while still getting ridiculed in the media – put up essentially the same numbers as in the second half of the season in St. Louis.

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    • yeahsure says:

      The Yankees don’t want stability because they have Austin Jackson coming up to play CF and Montero is going to become the LF, they are looking for a band-aid. Additionally the caveat was not that they wanted stability at 1B and not in LF it was merely that they felt they did NOT have stability for the last few years from Giambi and were looking to fill that void. Damon while throwing like a girl and having barely better than average glove skills, does cover some ground and put up good numbers offensively, so they don’t have a NEED to fill LF. They already have stability in LF from Damon and there is no need to pay additonal money for a guy that will in all likelihood produce a similar effect in LF.

      UZR is not accurate for 1B and also 1B makes much of their UZR from the competency of the infield they are a part of AND the amount of groundballs and line drives induced by the pitching staff. The Rangers, Braves, and Angels are all flyball pitching staffs that pitch to the big part of the field. That’s why on a team of pitchers that force groundballs, Jeter who is a marginal defender at best, came away with a gold glove this year. Stats are great, but you really need to learn how to interpret them and also you need to see past the initial stats and see how they all fit together.You only need to watch Teixeira and watch Holliday to see that they are not even close to relative. Watching Holliday in LF makes many flyballs look anything but a can of corn. Teixeira however is one of the slickest fielding 1B in all the league and watching him play the position tells you all that you need to know.

      Actually, he will get pillared as you say because for one, it showed him to falter in a clutch situation. He missed not a difficult catch, but rather a simple can of corn. Furthermore, nobody is going to forget the way he akwardly flipped his glove around and over ran the ball. That’s an image that will stay in the minds of all GMs. As the saying goes “what have you done for me lately?” Lately he dropped a ball that would have kept the Dodgers from winning that game. Blame Ryan Franklin all you want, but he got the 3 outs, it’s just that Holliday failed to convert one of them. In 10 years, Holliday will be remembered for dropping the ball, while nobody will even remember that Franklin was on the mound. Is Franklin equally to blame? Sure. Will history remember it that way? Nope. Look at Bill Buckner, the guy was one of the best defensive 1B in the last 50 years and he is remembered for being a fool that couldn’t field a simple ground ball. Look for Holliday to share that negative fame, while not having anywhere near the reputation Buckner had created for himself before the groundball he missed.

      Lineup protection does matter, when you have a .400 OBP guy on base in front of you, it means that the pitcher is going to feel an increased amount of pressure to not walk you. When Pujols is standing at 1B, they are not going to walk Holliday to put Pujols into scoring position, same with Helton. When you bat after and before two lefties, you are going to see a fair number of southpaws. If you have 1 LH specialist in your bullpen in the 8th inning you aren’t going to use him for 1 batter, you are going to take a chance on him getting Holliday out or walking him, so you can throw him against Helton and Hawpe in the same appearance.

      If you want splits, go to baseball-reference.com, there are so many splits you can split everything.

      In 93 games with Oakland: 400 PA, 346 AB, 52 R, 23 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 54 RBI, 12 SB with a slashline of .286/.378/.454/.831

      In 63 games with St. Louis: 270 PA, 235 AB, 42 R, 16 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB with a slashline of .353/.419/.604/1.023

      Yeah, not so even.

      Historically he’s an almost even hitter before the all-star break (.315/.382/.517/.898) as he is after the all-star break (.322/.394/.579/.973). 20 less homeruns in the first half of the season over the course of his career has led to the difference in the slugging percentage, but because of the weather, the Rockies have routinely played a larger number of away games in the first month, which could account for the 20 HR difference since they usually play on the road for 3 weeks in April and play the minimum of 9 or 10 games at home. The reality is that guys who get paid $20MM a year aren’t 1st half/2nd half players. If the argument is that he’s a 2nd half player, than he shouldn’t make $20MM a season because he isn’t consistent enough over the course of the year. If he’s consistent and it was only being in Oakland that caused the problem, well then it’s either the A.L. or the lineup. But you can’t have it all your way. He’s not a $20MM player because either he can’t produce the same in the AL, he can’t produce without a lot of protection in the lineup, OR he is a 1st half/2nd half player, who fails to provide the consistency expected of a player who makes that much.

      Thank you by the way for not commenting about the 1/2 of my first post that was very factual and pointed and choosing to pick tangents to distract from the overall point that Holliday is not Teixeira and Teixeira is over-paid. Technically the defense not being calculated in Teixeira’s favor would tell you that he’s probably worth 1-1.5 WAR more defensively if they could ever find a proper way of evaluating the position. At the end of the day, Holliday is going to be lucky to make $100MM over 6 years. Coincidentally about the same contract signed by Pujols. One last final thought, Holliday will in all likelihood be a 1B within 3 years, so no team will sign him that can’t eventually make space for him in the infield. His range is questionable now and will get worse in the next 3 years, so figure when he’s 35 or 36 he’ll be moved to 1B, especially at his build of 6’4″ and 235 lbs. ( a great target to throw to at 1B).

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  19. John says:

    How much of Holliday’s inflated BABIP is a byproduct of his tenure in Coors Field? In Oakland, that number plummeted to .315, but we know that Oakland’s expansive foul territory suppresses BABIP, not to mention its unfriendly confines (for hitters) . A “conservative” 15 point BABIP adjustment in Oakland renders a .394/.471 OBP and SLG, or a 133 OPS+. It’s not a perfect measuring stick, but it’s worth noting that Jason Bay, mediocre defender, posted a 132 OPS+ last year.

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  20. Glen L says:

    It would be really great if someone far smarter than I could come up with a new defensive stat for 1B … I think UZR and +/- are great for 2b, 3b, ss, and OF .. but I don’t think it properly measures the important aspects of 1b defense.

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  21. noseeum says:

    I think this is the perfect illustration of where statistical analysis meets it’s limit. These “total value” statistics like WAR and wOBA have so many assumptions built into them that they break down when two players are very close in value.

    Teix gets dinged .5 WAR (each year I assume?) compared to Holliday just for being a first baseman, which is the same amount a pinch hitter would get dinged?

    I mean, just look at the explanation of defensive adjustments and how arbitrary it is. That’s not a criticism of them. It’s a criticism of those who put too much stock in them.:

    The positional adjustments are:
    +1.0 wins C
    +0.5 SS/CF
    +0.0 2B/3B
    -0.5 LF/RF/PH
    -1.0 1B
    -1.5 DH

    These are needed so that an average fielding 1B is not valued the same as an average fielding SS. The DH and PH should be at -2.0 wins (that is, a poor fielding 1B and a DH have the same fielding+positional value). However, as per The Book, it’s harder to DH, so we give them a 0.5 win boost. The PH gets an extra 1 win boost over the DH, because PHing is much harder.”

    http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/how_to_calculate_war/

    Do we know an average LF is worth .5 wins more than an average 1B? No, we don’t. It’s close enough for most analysis purposes though. Do we know how much UZR is off because range matters less at 1B and above average 1Bs don’t get credit for improving the UZR of their teammates? No, we don’t.

    Teix is not an average first baseman. Don’t say he is because UZR says he is. Say something is fishy about UZR and first basemen.

    To me, there’s no way LF is equivalent to RF in terms of defensive difficulty. LF is much closer to 1B than it is to RF. And MLB teams must agree, considering the terrible gloves so many teams are willing to throw out there.

    So yes, both of the players are great, but I would rank Teix higher. How much higher? Who knows?

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  22. Bruce says:

    If they’re going to insist on player compensation, they need to have a better way than Elias, who seem to have no idea what constitutes value, ranking the players based on a system that has never, ever worked.

    How about basing the compensation system on the value of the player as determined by the size of the contract they receive?

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  23. Samuel says:

    One thing that probably shouldn’t be ignored is Holliday’s swing in Oakland. Obviously this is a stats based site so something like this may be more liable to get ignored, but Holliday started the year trying to play without his patented leg kick. When he decided to bring it back, he went on a massive hot streak and was absolutely railing the ball while still in Oakland even before he got traded.

    Granted there’s no real way to quantify what I’m saying above, and playing the AL and in a huge pitchers park were certainly part of the equation in his perceived struggles, but there were other factors, too. It’s also not like Busch isn’t a pitchers park, either, but he still managed to hit fine in St. Louis.

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  24. beau says:

    The Cardinals are bidding against themselves at this point. I hope Albert decides to test the market. He s been with the Cardinals for his career like Roy Halladay, and should see what his true value is to MLB, he’s earned that right.

    If Holliday doesn’t win a WS after signing with the Cardinals , this should stop the comparing of him to Tex. Yankees immediately felt Tex’s impact, I doubt the Cardinals are NL favorites to WIN. The.y will win the division, and fade.

    The Cardinals GM Mozeliak is so DESPERATE to sign Holliday, that he’s missed the opportunity to beat the demon seed (Boras) at his own game, because he has no other bidder for Holliday, he could hold out for less yrs and money.

    Instead Losing Albert if they don’t get him is the reasoning for over paying, Stoopid!!.

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  25. JoeIQ says:

    I demand a followup saying that Holliday was better all along.

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