Marginally Important News
In which the author tells the truth, but tells it slant.
Winter Meetings Acquisitions, Complete List
MLB Trade Rumors has an exhaustive list of all the moves teams have made since this past Sunday. I don’t know exactly how you’d do it, but I’m almost positive that some sort of drinking game could be made of this.
Mariners Are Intercontinental, Even When French Toast Is Absent*
The Constantly Handsome Ben Badler informs us that, amidst the chaos of the Winter Meetings, the Mariners gave 17-year-old Dominican Esteilon Peguero (see video below) the fourth-highest signing bonus ever for an international free agent, at $2.9 million.
*Approximately 13 seconds of googling reveals that the Dominican Republic is, indeed, considered part of North America. The sentiment, at least, remains the same.
Complete Rule 5 Analysis
I don’t know for a fact that John Sickels is a gangsta, but he certainly plays one on the internet.
The Red Sox Lineup, Optimized
It’s pretty clear that, with their recent acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, that the Boston Red Sox will feature a bonkers lineup this season. But how bonkers? And which shape, exactly, will it take?
ESPN’s Buster Olney has opined that the Sox lineup will take shape as pictured above.
That very well may be so. It’s generally known that Crawford doesn’t care for leading off. The other player who profiles as a “traditional” leadoff-type — i.e. Jacoby Ellsbury — has only 84 plate appearances and a negative WAR to show for his 2010 season.
For the benefit of esses and gees, I ran those same players from above through the lineup optimizer tool at Baseball Musings. For the two inputs, on-base and slugging percentages, I used the (generally optimistic) Bill James projections available here at the site. For Gonzalez’s numbers — which are adjusted for the cavernous and horrible PETCO Park — I used something closer to, although slightly less optimistic than, the Fan Projections, which have been entered largely after he signed with the Sox. (In any case, Gonzalez had both the highest OBP and SLG, so he ends up in the spot where the best player should go.)
Here are the results:
• By this method, Drew and Pedroia are roughly interchangeable.
• Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury bat eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 30-best permutations of the lineup.
• Youkilis bats leadoff in over 20 of the optimal scenarios.
• Approximately 0.3 runs separates the very best and very worst lineups.
• That’s a difference of about four or five wins over the course of a season.
Using the Bill James numbers, this lineup produces 5.951 runs per game — a number that would exceed last year’s league leaders, the New York Yankees, by 0.65 runs and the Sox’ own 2010 lineup by 0.90 runs.Those are both unlikely contingencies.
The Olney version of the lineup is projected to produce about 0.05 runs fewer per game — or about a win fewer over the course of the season. Of course, the Baseball Musings tool accounts neither for baserunning of any kind, nor something more abstract like “player comfort,” so that number could well be even lower.
Image shamelessly stolen from Red Sox West.
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