Shane Victorino, Boston Right Fielder

It looks like Shane Victorino is going to get three years and $37.5 million from the Boston Red Sox… to be their right fielder. A year after most of his game showed decline, but his defense remained mostly intact, Victorino will be used at a position that is mostly known for bat-first guys. It’s not all that bad, though. For one, the current Red Sox centerfielder is only under contract for one more year. And for two, Victorino’s drop-offs came in ways that might not be so dire.

Jacoby Ellsbury is the Boston centerfielder. His defense has settled in after a one-year blip, and he’s got more offensive upside than Victorino. Only one of his three seasonal outcomes have him ending up with the Red Sox long-term, though. At the very lest, Victorino can serve as a hedge against that bet, and a replacement should the team decide to trade Ellsbury for future talent.

That alone is not worth all the money Boston is throwing at him however, however. And if you take Victorino’s below-average 2012 batting line (94 wRC+) and put him in right field, you have a player that was more like a two-and-a-half win player last season. If you age him to two wins next season, and then continue that process over the four years of the contract, it’s not looking great for the 32-year-old “former” center fielder. He’d be worth about $27 million over three years.

So what went wrong with the Hawaiian’s bat in 2012? His walk rate (8.0%) and strikeout rate (12.0%) were right in line with his career numbers (7.8% and 11.6% respectively), so it wasn’t a plate discipline thing. He stole 39 bases and though his speed score (7.0) wasn’t quite as good as his career number (7.7), he was still fleet of foot. One problem was batted ball luck — his .278 batting average on balls in play was below his .296 career number despite having a batted ball mix (1.29 ground balls per fly balls) that was commensurate with his career (1.25 GB/FB).

But mostly the power fell apart. Victorino has had sneaky power his whole career, with a .154 isolated slugging percentage that slots in just above league average. But in 2011, that jumped up to a .212 ISO as he hit a career-high in triples and fell just a homer short of his career high there. A little bit of speed-related power loss chopped the triples number in half, and maybe some age killed some of power… and maybe he really wasn’t a .212 ISO kind of guy.

With a regular BABIP, and just a few more triples, it looks like Victorino could become an asset with the bat again. Perhaps on the level of 2010, when he accrued five runs with the bat. And if he fills in a little in center, he’ll add some value there, so his positional adjustment wouldn’t be on the level of a full-time corner outfielder. And maybe his defense will take a step forward in the corner outfield (it should.) Give him a few nudges here or there, and you can get his true talent in 2013 up over two and a half wins. Age that and add inflation, and you can nudge Victorino’s possible value over the next three years to $34 million.

Still not the full value of the deal. Maybe this means something for Jacoby Ellsbury‘s future in Boston?



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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


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eckmuhl
Member
eckmuhl
3 years 8 months ago

Looks like a pretty significant overpay to me.

Caveman Jones
Guest
Caveman Jones
3 years 8 months ago

He hasn’t been worth less than 3.2 WAR since 2006 and has posted a negative UZR once in his career. If the average cost of a win is $6M from 2013-2015 then all he has to do is put up ~6 WAR to be worth the contract. For a team like the Red Sox who need some insurance in the outfield for precisely those years it seems like a no-brainer when considering the alternatives available to them.

eckmuhl
Member
eckmuhl
3 years 8 months ago

If one of those alternatives was trading one decent prospect for Span, that would have been a much stronger option. I would also rather have Upton at the price tag ATL signed him for. He is young enough and the contract at least manageable enough that you could always trade him if/when the kids were ready to take over even if you didn’t get a big return when time came to unload. Even Pagan at 4/$40M has as much chance of working out as this deal does.

B N
Guest
B N
3 years 8 months ago

I have to say, the Pagan deal makes this deal look horrible. For an extra $2.5m SF ended up with Pagan for a full extra year? Stats-wise, they’re not that different, except Pagan is a year younger and had a bad defensive season in 2011. Victorino is a bad value, given the market.

NS
Guest
NS
3 years 8 months ago

Except Boston didn’t want an extra year. After prime seasons, it is generally the players seeking more guaranteed seasons, not the teams.

In that light, they only had to pay a few million more per season to avoid the fourth year commitment.

JM
Guest
JM
3 years 8 months ago

Horrible contract.

The Red Sox’ best move so far is signing an averageish 1B to market value. It’s going to be a long track back to respectability for this team.

midgley's folly
Guest
midgley's folly
3 years 8 months ago

makes the 5/$75 bj upton got look like a significantly better value than at first glance, which seemed a bit steep after the nats practically stole denard span.

Benjamin
Guest
Benjamin
3 years 8 months ago

kudos to the nationals for the span score, but it’s hard to compare this signing to that move (could/would boston have given allen webster? matt barnes? can we assume the same willingness for the twins to deal with boston as washington? etc.). the span trade also happened after the upton signing, so it would have been even more difficult to look at b.j.’s deal in that light…

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, I mean I had respect for them blowing payroll by getting rid of Crawford and etc during the season, but offseason moves like this? Come on… their OF was already stacked with upcoming talent there’s no need to pay Victorino over 12 mil per season. Bad move.

Brian
Guest
Brian
3 years 8 months ago

“Their OF was already stacked with upcoming talent”

I have no idea what you’re talking about. Bradley Jr., sure, but he’s Ellsbury’s replacement. In the corners, they have Gomes and Nava, and not much else. Maybe you can dream on Kalish, but projecting him to do anything meaningful involves a lot of wishcasting. Brentz is the only other OF prospect and he’s a fringe third OF on a first division team in a best case scenario, I doubt the Red Sox are penciling him in. They didn’t think enough of Reddick and Brentz is an inferior prospect at the same age. The Red Sox needed to add at least two outfielders. I don’t like this deal for them though.

Jon
Guest
Jon
3 years 8 months ago

Everything I’ve read about bradley put him at his best as an average everyday cf how does that replace ellsburry who at his best was an MVP

NS
Guest
NS
3 years 8 months ago

You haven’t read much about Bradley. Or Ellsbury if you think “MVP” is his true talent level.

sklandog
Guest
sklandog
3 years 8 months ago

I’m not sure I care for this that much. I suppose it’s an “overpay” in the sense that a lot has to go right to extract the value from the contract. Then again, I think too much of made of paying a few million per year over what we believe someone was worth. In the grand scheme, I’m not sure it’s that big of a deal, and may turn out to make more sense depending on what they do with Ellsbury. Not sure.

Jon – Define “everything.” I think it’s wise to be bullish on prospects, but you don’t have to do too much research to find glowing reviews of JBJ. I don’t think you tried very hard.

fart
Guest
fart
3 years 8 months ago

Jon – “average everyday cf for Bradley?”

LULZ.

Spike
Guest
Spike
3 years 8 months ago

How many times can they expect the Dodgers to be able to bail them out…?

NS
Guest
NS
3 years 8 months ago

Help help save us from this short-term contract that occupies less than 10 percent of our payroll

Stinky
Guest
Stinky
3 years 8 months ago

all the overpays for players in their 30s.

Spike
Guest
Spike
3 years 8 months ago

lousy pitching and the Sox are still a 90 loss team. That’s a lot of dollars being spent that won’t yield much. But go right ahead…

B N
Guest
B N
3 years 8 months ago

I say we flip him the Dodgers immediately for one of their pitching prospects. :)

Mark Reynolds
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

.629 OPS against RHP for Victorino last season. .698 OPS from 2010-2012 against RHP. That has to be a concern going forward.

Chris
Guest
Chris
3 years 8 months ago

You’re looking at it wrong. He rakes against lefties and always brings good defense.

Pumpkin
Guest
Pumpkin
3 years 8 months ago

I hate to agree with Mark Reynolds but the stats against righties are worrysome. Though he might be ok in the lefty centric AL East where the best pitchers are mostly lefties (Sabathia, Price, Chen, Buehrle, Petite, Romero, Moore).

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 8 months ago

Only a portion is played in the east and only a porton against starters. As he ages and is current good skills decline and his ability vs righties gets exploited even more, I can see this being pretty bad contract even if it is only 3 years.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 8 months ago

This would be true if he were being paid like the short half of a platoon. He’s being paid like a starter.

If you are paying $12.5M for Victorino, why not pay $15M to Swisher?

Synovia
Guest
Synovia
3 years 8 months ago

Because Swisher is terrible defensively, and Fenway’s RF is huge.

They’re the same age, and every year but 2012, Victorino has had a higher WAR than swisher.

Cus
Guest
Cus
3 years 8 months ago

From what I understand a lot that had to do with his hand injury last year where he had no strength in his top hand while hitting lefty.

Jon
Guest
Jon
3 years 8 months ago

Makes that Angel Pagan contract look even better for the giants

joe bananas
Guest
joe bananas
3 years 8 months ago

yes. this.

brendan
Guest
brendan
3 years 8 months ago

this. I was thinking victorino would get maybe 3/24, and I might prefer him to pagan at that price. I think giants fans are glad we got pagan at 4/40

joshua
Guest
joshua
3 years 8 months ago

I would say that Pagan makes the Victorino contract look good. Victorino at least has a longer track record.

SKob
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, I don’t know how any realistic analyst feels that Pagan is worth more than Victorino. A Giants fan – sure, someone only looking at last year – maybe, but nobody who would take a realistic approach! Plus, why are only a few national analysts mentioned that Victorino played through injury last year. Weird omission and really missing the point! He was worth 11-13 million last year and had a bad season. Seems like the Red Sox overpaid at the chance to get a bargain! If they trade Ellsbury and Victorino rebounds with the bat, he’s back up to 5 WAR. Not unrealistic and a hell of a bargain!

Stephen
Guest
Stephen
3 years 8 months ago

This is the direct result of fans being unable to stomach a rebuild. The only way this move is palatable is if Ellsbury is traded for a king’s ransom.

Caveman Jones
Guest
Caveman Jones
3 years 8 months ago

I like the deal for the Sox. Gives them someone to fill CF if they decide to trade Ellsbury now or mid-season and someone who plays good defense in a tough RF to patrol. It also will keep them from rushing Jackie Bradley Jr. if he Ells leaves and Bradley doesn’t develop as quickly with the bat as they’d like. Considering the alternatives, I think they did the best they could in terms of not over-committing in years. Hamilton and Swisher are both going to get longer contracts, are mediocre defenders, and come with considerably more risk. The Sox have enough money for the risk of this contract to not matter. I think they see extra value in having a stop-gap in case they need it without committing for so long that he blocks guys and the potential upside if Victorino does bounce back and puts up a 3+ win season.

Jesse
Guest
Jesse
3 years 8 months ago

For a guy whose never been less a 3.2 war player since 2007, I think this is a fine deal.

John
Guest
John
3 years 8 months ago

Who is now going to lose a lot of value playing RF. And is on the wrong side of 32. And is coming off a career low year with the bat. I am a big fan of Vic, but I can’t understand this contract.

savin hillbilly
Guest
savin hillbilly
3 years 8 months ago

Here’s a question, though: value numbers for positions are necessarily generic. But real outfields aren’t. If Fenway’s RF is significantly harder to play than the average RF — which a lot of people seem to think it is, thanks to its size and odd geometry — then doesn’t that increase the real-world positional value of any player who plays in that RF? In short, just because a RF is worth a whole win less than a CF on paper, that doesn’t mean a RF is worth that much less than a CF *to the Boston Red Sox*. So Victorino’s practical value as a Boston RF over the course of the deal may be closer than it looks to what he’d be worth as a CF.

Steve
Guest
Steve
3 years 8 months ago

Ok, but that means LF is significantly easier to play in Fenway. So why did the Red Sox pay Crawford $1B to play LF?

Because I’m pretty sure the Sox fans were on the other side of this argument 2 years ago.

JM
Guest
JM
3 years 8 months ago

As with all defensively-weighted valuations, I tend to take fWAR with a pretty huge grain of salt in Victorino’s case.

Mike E
Guest
Mike E
3 years 8 months ago

Wow – I figured 2 years at $20M would have been a max contract for Victorino at this point in time, all things considered. My calculator must need new batteries.

Spike
Guest
Spike
3 years 8 months ago

yeah, same here.

his R/L splits also don’t bode well for aging gracefully.

sklandog
Guest
sklandog
3 years 8 months ago

Come on. Anyone surprised by what occurs annually on the free agent market is both a glutton for punishment and may have undiagnosed CRS disease.

ralph
Guest
ralph
3 years 8 months ago

Buying players coming off down years is new market inefficiency!

octelium
Guest
octelium
3 years 8 months ago

Well maybe yes. I mean look at the HUGE overpays for players with one breakout season.. So take a player that has a poor contract year and sign to deal valued at assuming that year didn’t happen and ‘Bang’ its a steal of a deal…

ralph
Guest
ralph
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, it’s probably impossible to detect in writing, but I kind of meant that to be both sarcastic and non-sarcastic at the same time. As you’re getting at, people complain about overpaying based on one huge year. So it would seem like it the counterpoint to that complaint is to take the opposite approach and buy low.

Age is a complicating factor of course, since most free agents are past peak, meaning any free agent in a down year seems to be assumed have undergone a permanent skill loss. But we’ve seen so many older players come up with good to great years after down years, so it seems reasonable to make these sort of deals.

Stinky
Guest
Stinky
3 years 8 months ago

overpaying players in their mid 30s is so inefficient that it’s become the new market efficiency!

Baroque
Guest
Baroque
3 years 8 months ago

Doesn’t seem like a bad deal to me. Good insurance for them not just if Ellsbury gets traded but if he gets injured. Plus it’s not like spending for Victorino is going to prevent them from spending elsewhere, too.

Ray
Guest
Ray
3 years 8 months ago

This is what I’ve taken from it too…either the years or the dollars seem to be a bit high, but it’s solid Ellsbury insurance without spending the big years/dollars on Hamilton or Swisher. Given Ellsbury’s injury history I think there’s good reason to believe Victorino will get ~50 games at CF and given Fenway’s RF dimensions I think he’ll ultimately generate close to his full CF value by the end of the season. 2014 he’ll likely be their CFer and all of a sudden this could look like fair market value.

CampBrice
Guest
CampBrice
3 years 8 months ago

Dollars is something the Sox can go high on

Patrick
Guest
Patrick
3 years 8 months ago

The only positive in this move is that it sort of ties their hands and keeps them from doing something even stupider like signing Josh Hamilton or trading the farm for Justin Upton (neither of which makes any sense for a team that just lost 93 games).

sklandog
Guest
sklandog
3 years 8 months ago

They certainly were a notch down from recent teams, but I think several mitigating circumstances made them a 93-loss team.

I will be surprised if their 2013 RF isn’t on the club yet, and this isn’t a precursor to something else. If you’re going to extract value from your roster over the long term, moving your most valuable chip before he hits FA now that you have a replacement would be a way to do it. At least I hope that’s the case. While I am doing no jumping jacks, I can only get so depressed over a three-year, $12-13M per deal for a declining player, it’s not likely to hamper them like Mr. Law, for one, is suggesting.

Michael Scarn
Guest
Michael Scarn
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, Victorino is probably worth something closer to $32 million or so over the 3 years, but at certain point you’re the Red Sox, so screw it. $6 million over 3 years is nothing for them if it means getting the guy they want. Besides, he supposedly had a 4 year offer on the table from someone so clearly there was a market for him.

BillWallace
Guest
BillWallace
3 years 8 months ago

I must be taking crazy pills. This looks like a fantastic signing to me and everyone hates it. How is Victorino not a 3 win projection for 2013? He loses the positional bonus for CF but he’ll gain most of that back in uzr value. My most conservative projection for him still has him valued at 3/45, and really I could see 3/55 as palatable.

BillWallace
Guest
BillWallace
3 years 8 months ago

He had a down year last year and still pulled 3.3 WAR. Just decline him off of that to 2.8, giving him no credit for previously established higher value and he’s still worth 3/40.

SAS
Guest
SAS
3 years 8 months ago

I think people react to these deals without considering the going price for WAR. When the going rate for a win is pushing $6M, well, do the math (as you do above).

And while there’s risk that he’s at the head of a steep decline, there’s also the possible reward that he bounces back or merely maintains the level he’s established over his seven full seasons, where he’s averaged 3.9 WAR per year, in which case this is a pretty huge bargain.

I don’t necessarily love the deal, but again, you have to address these deals based on the current market.

Tom
Guest
Tom
3 years 8 months ago

Please provide ANY data that suggests the going rate is 6mil on the FA market. This is what happens when people create the inflation meme and do no analysis to back it up. Cameron has been preaching inflation the last 3 (maybe 4?) off seasons.

fWAR the past 4 years: 4.5, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5

Heck last winter Dave Cameron wrote an article saying he would not be surprised to see it push 6 mil this past year (it was ~4.5).

Near 33% inflation this winter? I would like to see the analysis on that.

NS
Guest
NS
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t have access to his work, but Mark Shapiro recently claimed the going price for a win in free agency was around $9M and that two years ago it was $8M.

That doesn’t prove anything – we don’t know how he’s getting there – but he does have a lot more invested in being right than any of these websites.

shthar
Guest
shthar
3 years 8 months ago

Is that a vote for victorino or a vote against War?

SAS
Guest
SAS
3 years 8 months ago

Here’s a link to an article about $/win:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-retrospective-look-at-the-price-of-a-win/

The idea is that the cost of a win is greater than the average cost for all players when said win is purchased on the free agent market. But maybe $6MM is pushing it. But $5MM / win seems fair, and would seem to support the Red Sox thinking with this signing.

Tom
Guest
Tom
3 years 8 months ago

8 mil to 9 mil over 2 years is a pretty low inflation rate (~6%)

4.5mil to 6mil is 33%

Since Shapiro made no reference to what the absolute level means, the only thing I can take from it is that inflation has been nowhere near as substantial as people are making it out to be.

Also Shapiro said that was increased REVENUE from a win; you can’t use that interchangeably with COST (or price). You can’t just take a figure he was quoting and assign it to 1 WAR

BillWallace
Guest
BillWallace
3 years 8 months ago

The figure I’m using so far this season is $5.5M. It was fit most contracts this season very well (the two biggest exceptions so far are Victorino and Pagan, so maybe good baserunning, league average hitting center fielders are the new inefficiency).

$5M was the most common figure in use last season and I think the season before, so $5.5 doesn’t seem like unusual inflation.

I’ve seen no numbers based argument against Victo yet. Just “he can’t hit righties” and “he’s old”. Well he supposedly couldn’t hit righties last year, and was just a year younger and yet he still pulled 3.3 war. And yet 75% of the responses to this contract are negative.

Stinky
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Stinky
3 years 8 months ago

3/55… no you’re not on crazy pills…

shthar
Guest
shthar
3 years 8 months ago

Cuz he cant hit the right anymore.

lester bangs
Guest
lester bangs
3 years 8 months ago

It’s only three years. The money isn’t ridiculous. I’d rather take chances on these types of margins than sign just about anyone to the very long contracts.

If this turns into a loss, it’s a modest loss. It won’t be an albatross.

Stinky
Guest
Stinky
3 years 8 months ago

when you have money to burn you can consider these kinds of deals “on the margins…”

lester bangs
Guest
lester bangs
3 years 8 months ago

Also, if you sign a player to a contract worth X and he turns out to be worth 80-90 percent of X, that doesn’t cripple you – especially if you’re a big-market team with money to spend. The problem is when you sign someone to XX and he turns into a Crawford 0.

Robbie G.
Guest
Robbie G.
3 years 8 months ago

Who exactly was Boston bidding against here? Themselves? Very difficult to believe that there was another party willing to go anything close to 3 years, $39 mil for Shane Victorino after his 2012 season and especially given his age. Perhaps the market for CFs is drying up quickly. If I were Angel Pagan, I’d have some questions for my agent.

NS
Guest
NS
3 years 8 months ago

Are you kidding? The competition for Victorino was very public. The Indians offered 4 years and 44 million.

Tom
Guest
Tom
3 years 8 months ago

Eno – really good writeup.

As you mention a lot depends on what they do with Ellsbury. If he stays in RF this seems a bit iffy/slight overpay. If he goes back to CF in 2014 then it should be good (or at least decent) value. It also might have some hidden value if it gives them leverage on Ellsbury – either in negotiations or being able to flip him mid year (if they are not contending) and get more than the sandwich pick they would get if he walks next offseason.

MyrAn
Guest
MyrAn
3 years 8 months ago

Wish you mentioned the power drop when playing for the Dodgers. With the Phillies, he had a 140 ISO. Below his average, but not a huge drop. Goes to LA and ISO drops to 106. HR/FB also dropped from 7.2% (slight drop) to 3.4% (cavernous drop) when moving.

Moving to Fenway as a home park will likely allow him to retain his around 3 WAR value even with the change in position.

Jim
Guest
Jim
3 years 8 months ago

It should be mentioned that Victorino was nursing a wrist injury throughout the season last year, which is why his ISO was so low. If that is healed he should bounce back closer to career norms and he should easily earn his contract.

shthar
Guest
shthar
3 years 8 months ago

I think this confirms that Bill James is not consulted by the decision making part of the Red sox.

hk
Guest
hk
3 years 8 months ago

How so? Victorino produced 3.3 WAR with a .310 wOBA in 2012. For 2013, James projects a .327 wOBA, a hitting increase over 2012 that would approximately offset the defensive runs lost from the position switch. If his wrist injury has healed, he could produce even more. After all, he did average ~.350 wOBA from 2008-2011 before he injured his wrist last year. If the Sox get something like 3.3, 2.8 and 2.3 WAR from Victorino over the next 3 years, this deal projects to be fair.

Synovia
Guest
Synovia
3 years 8 months ago

Victorino has a higher WAR the last 3 years than Hamilton, Upton, or Swisher.

This SCREAMS Bill James.

George
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George
3 years 8 months ago

I’m getting a little tired of analysts assuming that a fall in BABIP for a position player is due to bad luck and not to a fall in ability without any basis for saying so.

A players BABIP can easilly decline due to a lack of physical skills even if the G/L/F rate stays the same. The assumption is that every ball hit in that bucket is equal and that’s simply not true. A decline in ability can cause a player to have hit groundballs. line drives and fly balls that are less valuable than they were before.

If you are going to assume that a fall in BABIP is due to luck and not a decline in ability at least show some basis than that other than a lack of change in the G/L/F ratio.

Larry Yocum
Guest
Larry Yocum
3 years 8 months ago

There is no way that any of us can know for sure whether it is luck or decline. It’s kind of unfair to ask an author to make such assumptions unless there is some underlying difference in ability like a spike in K%.

Let me point out a scenario where most thought it was decline, but the player bounced back in a big way. Paul Konerko in 2008 looked like a player that was in clear decline. He was 32 years old and hit .240 with an awful BABIP. His K% and BB% was similar though, suggesting that he was still showing the same plate recognition. He was bothered by wrist and back injuries that year, but there was also no way of knowing whether he was in rapid decline. He’s bounced back quite well since then.

Victorino’s stats paint a similar picture. His K% and BB% was almost identical to his career norms. As were all of his other indicators like LD%, GB%, and FB%. His power dipped, but as some have pointed out, he was battling a wrist injury. Given that nothing really changed with his peripheral stats like an increase in K%, it’s a safe bet that Victorino’s BABIP will bounce back up again next year and that he was unlucky this year in that area. None of us know for sure, but the numbers suggest that Victorino was pretty close to the same hitter that he has always been.

What better place to go if you are an aging vet than to Boston as well. Great hitters park for Victorino to bounce back in.

Spike
Guest
Spike
3 years 8 months ago

know for sure? no, but we can have a pretty good feel by doing something really unusual… watching the player!

and please with the LD, GB rates… those mean next to nothing as predictive metrics. If this signing is more to sure up the OF defense, that’s one thing, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume a bounceback in SV’s stick at this point in his career, especially when his L/R splits have been getting more dramatic and not in a good way.

Larry Yocum
Guest
Larry Yocum
3 years 8 months ago

Exactly Eno.

Which makes it all the more confusing that Victorino posted the second highest GB% of his career, yet one of his lowest BABIP years ever. Given that nothing else has dropped off, there is a strong chance that he bounces back to his career BABIP of .296 and that average climbs back up to the .275ish range. I’d be much more concerned if his K% had increased, which it did not.

Also, watching the player isn’t always helpful. That is why I brought up Konerko. If the player is masking an injury it can have an impact on his power and batting average on balls in play. Given that Victorino battled a wrist injury, yet maintained similar discipline, that may have been the case here. Let’s not be insulting here and imply that I didn’t watch him play. It isn’t a very good argument. I watched plenty of Victorino and yes, I watched him flail with the Dodgers. The indicators remain intact though to suggest that I shouldn’t trust my eyes on this one and he just had a down year.

And LD% has no correlation with BABIP? That is a new one for me. LD%, GB%, and FB% always have an impact on BABIP. That is why extreme FB% guys like Batista always have awful BABIP and why high LD% guys like Holliday have high BABIP. Please explain to me why there is no correlation. It seems to be well documented that there is a correlation.

Larry Yocum
Guest
Larry Yocum
3 years 8 months ago

Can you point me in the direction of hitters that dropped in BABIP for the remainder of their career, but maintained similar ratios in K%, BB%, LD%, GB% and FB%? Just for my own curiosity to see if this occurs.

It just seems to me that K% is the best indicator to look at to detect decline. Once a guy doesn’t have it anymore, the bat gets slower and the strikeouts increase. Even for a guy like A-rod that is in clear decline, his BABIP is still pretty identical to what it has always been, but the K% has been rising for the last several years.

I’m just looking for examples that might backup your statement about BABIP being decline dependent. If so, then I’ll look at that more. I’ve just always looked more at K%. For example, I was just looking at Aaron Rowand yesterday to try and figure out why it was such a bad contract for SF (comparing the Pagan deal yesterday). His K% declined immediately when he arrived. He had been at 17% prior to getting to SF, but was roughly at 22% as a Giant. He became a different hitter and even the stadium factors couldn’t explain why he had become so bad. The BABIP also fell, but the K% was startling. Clear decline there.

Jim Lahey
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Jim Lahey
3 years 8 months ago

Like Victorino… not so much the contract. Until I thought about it…. Torri Hunter signed for 2yrs $26M and hes 37 years old. I’d say these 2 project similarly with Victorino being faster and Hunter having more power. Seems to be the going rate…

Synovia
Guest
Synovia
3 years 8 months ago

Last 3 years:

Victorino: 13.0 WAR
Hunter: 11.6 WAR

Victorino is significantly younger, and is a better player. Hence the bigger contract.

Victorino: 3.8, 5.9, 3.3, if you weight 5/4/3, you get 4.2 WAR. If you do the standard .5WAR/season decline, you get the next 3 seasons at :

3.7, 3.2, 2.7, for a total of 9.6 WAR. If thats his progression, one win only needs to be worth 3.9M to pay for his contract. The current value of a win 5.5M.

He’d have to produce less than 7WAR for the contract to not be worth it. To do that, he’d have to hit something like .220/.270/.350.

Bill
Guest
Bill
3 years 8 months ago

I’ve always thought Victorino was underrated. He’s a three tool guy, he’s got a great arm, good speed and good defense. His power and hit tool probably profile as league average, but there’s nothing wrong with 275/340. He’s also been pretty healthy over his career. Also, all the WAR regression is being done off his 2012 season, but I see no reason why he can’t post a 3.5 or 4 WAR season in 2013, he’s not ancient, only 32 through next year. If he was 36 this contract would be a different story…

I think it’s a little bit of sticker shock. Wait to y’all see what Greinke gets and Hamilton.

Mr Punch
Guest
Mr Punch
3 years 8 months ago

It’s not the $35-40 m. contracts that are a problem, Hey, they unloaded Renteria, As to overpaying for an aging OF – that’s what everyone said about Damon and Drew (well, yeah, also Crawford and Payton ,,,). I do think this is about Ellsbury and CF; either he won’t be healthy, or he will be, in which case they move him for prospects mid-season. It’s going to be a long rebuild for the Sox, because (bad experiences apart) there really aren’t any halfway reliable top-of-the-line free agents, and they don’t have surplus talent to trade.

Bob
Guest
Bob
3 years 8 months ago

At first this seems like a bit of an overpay for a rightfielder, but when I think about it more, I don’t think it is:

1. Capacity: The Red Sox have the money, and the dollars here will not affect any future decisions they make.

2. Leverage: If they shop Ellsbury now, Victorino gives them more leverage in negotiations against other teams. Then the Sox could go out and spend cash on a more prototypical RF with some power like Ross, Swisher, or even Hamilton (if they could get him on a 4-year deal).

3. Alternatives: BJ Upton and Michael Bourn seem like more serious overpay candidates to me. At least the Red Sox got just a 3-year contract here.

NS
Guest
NS
3 years 8 months ago

Even so, they look foolish for passing on Span, whose 3 year deal is for what, $20M?

Synovia
Guest
Synovia
3 years 8 months ago

Last 3 years:

Denard Span: 8.7 WAR
Shane Victorino: 13.0 WAR.

Victorino’s worst season: 3.3 WAR
Span’s best season: 3.9 WAR.

Doesn’t look foolish to me.

Brian
Guest
Brian
3 years 8 months ago

Another consideration I haven’t seen mentioned yet, is the Sox have now signed two starters via free agency w/o forfeiting any draft picks. FA contracts on players that cost a team in the draft and those that don’t are comparing apples and oranges to a degree. Fair or not, FAs that don’t cost a team picks should command higher salaries in the market.

ralph
Guest
ralph
3 years 8 months ago

Good point, but most people prefer to be outraged, so it wouldn’t be fair to expect anyone to really consider that.

shthar
Guest
shthar
3 years 8 months ago

Well that’s pretty easy to do.

Just sign lousy players.

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