Offseason Notes for January 16th

Neither Bert Blyleven nor Bert from Sesame Street have much need for pants.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Assorted Headlines
2. Projecting: ZiPS for Kansas City
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Minnesota Television

Assorted Headlines
Baltimore With Two More Interesting Acquisitions
New Baltimore GM Dan Duquette has found talent a number of ways this offseason, acquiring infielder Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs during the Rule 5 draft, signing left-handers Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada out of Japan, and using a major-league deal to secure the services of infielder Matt Antonelli. Nor do the team’s two most recent acquisitions represent a departure from this trend. This weekend, the O’s signed (per Patrick Newman, per Nikkan Sports) 36-year-old left-hander Yoshihiro Doi out of the NPB and (per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun) 24-year-old infielder Peter Fatse out of the independent Can-Am League. Here are stats for both players: Doi, Fatse.

Kansas City Signs Kouzmanoff
The Kansas City Royals signed 30-year-old third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff to a minor-league deal early in the weekend, reports Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. If Kouzmanoff makes the 25-man roster, he’d be paid $1 million, plus incentives. Despite cosmetically poor batting lines, Kouzmanoff posted a total of 11.0 WAR between 2007 and ’10 (or, ca. 2.75 WAR/year) with the Padres and A’s — largely on the basis of park adjustments and defensive ratings.

Aoki Deadline for Milwaukee Is Tomorrow’s Adam McCalvy reminds us that the deadline for the Milwaukee Brewers and Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki to reach an agreement is tomorrow (Tuesday, January 17th). The Brewers won the right to negotiate with Aoki for $2.5 million last month.

Projections: ZiPS for Kansas City
Dan Szymborski has published his ZiPS projections for the Kansas City Royals. Below are some of the notable ones, accompanied by very rough WAR projections (for the hitters, per 600 plate appearances, at least) calculated by the method outlined here. All numbers assume major league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.

Eric Hosmer, 1B, 22: .304/.354/.474, 123 OPS+, 2.6 WAR
Billy Butler, 1B, 26: .295/.362/.462, 123 OPS+, 2.4 WAR
Alex Gordon, LF, 28: .278/.358/.464, 122 OPS+, 3.1 WAR

This triumvirate is both impressive — offensively, at least — and affordable, for the moment. Here’s when each will become a free agent: Hosmer, 2018; Butler, 2016 (provided he’s worth the the $12.5 million option in 2015); and Gordon, 2014.

Salvador Perez, C, 22: .274/.303/.393, 88 OPS+, 2.5 WAR
Perez hasn’t yet received — and isn’t likely to in the future — as much attention as either Hosmer (above) or young third baseman Mike Moustakas (projected at ca. 2.4 WAR). And yet, after adjusting for position, Perez appears just as valuable over 600 plate appearances as either of those two considerably more celebrated players.

Jonathan Sanchez, LHP, 29: 136.1 IP, 126 K, 79 BB, 15 HR, 95 ERA+
The two notable things about Sanchez — acquired by Kansas City in the deal that sent Melky Cabrera to San Francisco — are that (a) he’s projected to post the best ERA+ among all Kansas City starting pitchers and (b) the figure at which he’s projected (i.e. 95 ERA+) is still slightly below major-league average for starters (which is 96 ERA+). Which is to say: ZiPS isn’t particularly optimistic about the Royals’ starting pitching this year. On the plus side, ZiPS isn’t optimistic about anything, on account of it’s more a complex algorithm than sentient life form.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Minnesota Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston / Los Angeles (AL) / Los Angeles (NL, Home Games) / Los Angeles (NL, Away Games) / Milwaukee.

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Interesting: In a way, Jonathan Sanchez is an “ace” now


That is amusing. His ZIPS look a little optimistice to me, but I’m sure that his WAR will exceed Barry Zito’s by quite a margin. The Giants had better pray that Cabrera’s one good year was not a fluke.