Trading for Proven Workhorse David Price

The thing we know is that David Price is going to be traded. That much is a virtual certainty, for all of the reasons you already understand. The things we don’t know are all of the details. We don’t know where he’s going to be traded to, and we don’t know what he’s going to bring back. We don’t know when the trade is going to happen, and we don’t know if there’ll even be a trade this offseason. Would the Rays be daring enough to move Price during a competitive regular season? Would they be daring enough to wait to move Price until the next winter? Who feels a greater sense of urgency — the team with Price, or the teams that would like to have him? Behind the scenes, there’s probably a lot of activity, but from the outside it feels like nothing has budged for a matter of weeks.

Oh, and there’s another thing we know. David Price has been outstanding. Truly outstanding, since he graduated into the majors. He’s posted four consecutive seasons of at least 180 innings and at least an average ERA, and the reality is that he’s mostly exceeded those marks with relative ease. Over the four seasons, he’s averaged 208 innings and a 78 ERA-. Price has been one of the game’s great workhorses, and that’s a big part of how the Rays are selling him. You get Price, and you can write his next season’s numbers in ink.

But over the rest of this post, I’m going to establish a point that has long been established. There’s no question that Price has been a workhorse, and an ultra-effective one at that. Young pitchers don’t get more proven. But what is it to trade for a workhorse? What does the track record mean for the short-term future? To what extent can you really count on a guy like Price to give you 200 quality innings?

As always, we turn to history. For four straight years, between the ages of 24-27, Price has thrown 180+ innings with at least an average ERA. He’s one of just 19 pitchers to do that over the past 30 years, at those ages. Between 1982-2011, there were 16 such pitchers. What we care about, then, is how did those pitchers do when they were 28 and 29? Because Price, of course, has two remaining years of team control until he’s eligible to be a free agent. Which means it’s two years until Price is paid like an ace, presuming he still is one.

For strike-related reasons, I have to exclude two starters from the pool of 16. So we’re left with 14 guys, and here’s a big table of names and statistical information. By the numbers, these can all be considered peers of David Price.

Name Age IP ERA- FIP- WAR RA9-WAR Age IP ERA- FIP- WAR RA9-WAR
Barry Zito 24-27 902 81 96 15.6 19.8 28-29 418 93 109 3.8 7.1
Brad Radke 24-27 899 84 84 19.1 19.2 28-29 344 92 84 7.6 6.3
Brandon Webb 24-27 853 72 78 17.9 20.3 28-29 463 68 70 11.7 12.3
Carlos Zambrano 24-27 842 80 91 13.5 19.1 28-29 299 84 86 5.8 5.4
CC Sabathia 24-27 883 74 75 23.3 23.2 28-29 468 74 79 11.0 12.0
Dan Haren 24-27 879 81 84 18.7 19.0 28-29 464 82 81 9.7 10.5
Dave Stieb 24-27 1098 69 85 21.3 31.5 28-29 390 102 106 3.6 3.3
Jon Lester 24-27 813 75 78 20.0 22.5 28-29 419 102 91 7.4 5.3
Mark Mulder 24-27 825 84 92 12.9 17.7 28-29 104 176 145 -1.1 -2.2
Mike Hampton 24-27 891 79 91 14.4 19.5 28-29 382 114 105 3.6 1.3
Pedro Martinez 24-27 905 59 59 32.0 31.6 28-29 334 41 42 15.7 17.1
Roger Clemens 24-27 1027 66 63 32.8 31.7 28-29 518 60 61 17.4 16.6
Tim Hudson 24-27 916 72 84 19.3 24.4 28-29 381 80 90 6.4 8.6
Tim Lincecum 24-27 882 71 71 22.4 24.1 28-29 384 132 109 2.5 -0.5

Between 24-27, the group averaged 225 innings per season, with a 75 ERA- and an 81 FIP-. Price has averaged 208 innings per season, with a 78 ERA- and an 83 FIP-, so that all checks out. Price has been worth 17.4 WAR, and 19.9 RA9-WAR. All these guys have been different types of the same thing.

Between 28-29, the group averaged 192 innings per season, with a 93 ERA- and a 90 FIP-. On average, it remained a group of good starters, but they were worse and they pitched less, which is of course precisely what you’d expect on account of basic regression. Whenever you have guys performing around extremes, you expect them to be more average going forward, even without any decline in natural ability. Old principle, that one.

Out of those 14 starters:

  • nine started at least 60 games between 28-29
  • six threw at least 400 innings between 28-29
  • five were worth at least 8 WAR between 28-29
  • six were worth at least 8 RA9-WAR between 28-29

There are clear successes. Roger Clemens remained an incredible workhorse. Same with CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, and Brandon Webb. Pedro Martinez didn’t stay perfectly healthy, but he improved when he pitched, so he was amazing. But at the extreme other end, Mark Mulder turned into a mess. Nobody really knows what’s happened with Tim Lincecum. Dave Stieb had an odd couple years of regression, and so on and so forth.

I should tell you, the real picture is actually better than this. The two pitchers excluded because of the strike were Greg Maddux and Jack McDowell. They didn’t get to pitch full seasons in 1994-1995, but when they did pitch, they were healthy and very good. In those years, both were 28-29, and McDowell was good while Maddux both times led the league in ERA. Presumably, they should count as positive comps for Price, so go ahead and mentally factor that in however you want.

But the obvious point is clear: there’s no such thing as a performance guarantee. This is that point that’s long been established. Trade for Price and you don’t know you’re getting a sure 200 innings with a low ERA. He might get hurt, he might pitch worse, or he might do both. Price has better-than-average odds of being an ace workhorse the next two seasons, because of his track record. Those odds, however, are far from 100%. The Rays can’t sell him as a lock, and a team shouldn’t buy him as a lock. He’s a risk like literally everybody else.

And maybe more than that. The most recent year that Price didn’t exceed 200 innings was 2013. He lost two miles off of his average fastball and he missed more than a month with an arm injury. His strikeouts dropped by four percentage points. Of course he was still incredible. He came back from the injury just not throwing balls anymore, so he offset the strikeout drop with a corresponding drop in walks. His other pitches didn’t have velocity declines like his fastball, if they declined at all, so you wonder if it might’ve been deliberate, a sacrifice of power for location. But you can’t just assume that. According to PITCHf/x, in 2012, Price threw 264 pitches at least 97 miles per hour. In 2013, he threw zero. Price might no longer be physically capable of that high-90s heat.

Which doesn’t mean he can’t succeed. Which doesn’t mean he can’t be brilliant. Felix Hernandez has remained durable and brilliant with less and less heat. But Price has his warning signs, and the history of these pitchers is somewhat mixed. As a rule of thumb, if you’re acquiring an amazing player, you should expect him to not be so amazing. David Price is a relative safe bet, but he’s not an actual safe bet, in terms of remaining durable and outstanding.

Players are risky. Pitchers are riskier. Congratulations to us, we’ve learned nothing new. But it is easy to forget that there’s no such thing as getting a guaranteed staff ace. There is only such thing as getting a guy who’s been a staff ace before.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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rustydude
Member
rustydude
2 years 7 months ago

Felix Hernandez – 8 consecutive seasons at 190+ innings, and yet doesn’t make the sample cut ’cause he hasn’t pitched his age 28 and 29 seasons, yet.

:)

kiss my GO NATS
Guest
kiss my GO NATS
2 years 7 months ago

I would put king felix above Price, so maybe he is not a peer.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Dave Cameron: “Hey Jeff, I’ve been posting a lot of comments lately about how there’s no such thing as “proven” and how experienced players are no more predictable than inexperienced players, but the readers have been absolutely killing me for it. Could you do me a big favor and write a column with cherry-picked boundaries that produces misleading results to make my argument seem legitimate?

Jeff Sullivan: “Sure thing, Dave. No problem.

Of course I don’t know if he asked you to write something or if you saw him getting brutalized and wanted to support a friend, but as much as I generally love your work, I find no usefulness whatsoever in judging David Price based in part on Barry Zito, Brad Radke, Carlos Zambrano, and Mike Hampton. Commenters who hold up ERA to measure performance get assaulted, but you’re going to use that as the basis for your column? Those guys have very little in common with Price aside from being major league pitchers and the arbitrary ERA designation you selected.

Yes, we all get that David Price isn’t guaranteed to keep performing at the level he has or even necessarily be close to it. We understand that his velocity will probably decline. None of that, however, justifies Cameron’s repeated denial of the difference between players who have achieved something at the major league level and those who haven’t. Because Price has performed at a high level, and especially because he has done so repeatedly, there is a much greater likelihood that he will continue to do so than (Insert Elite Pitching Prospect Here). Instead of trying to make excuses for your friend, you’d be better served convincing him to stop saying things like “believing that there are “proven players” and “unproven players” is perhaps the most dangerous mistake in forecasting one can make.

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 7 months ago

Underneath all the non-constructive snark directed towards dc, there’s a decent discussion point in there.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 7 months ago

To my knowledge, no one here was ever denied that there is a difference between players who have had some success at the major league level and those that have not. That is probably the most asinine strawman I’ve ever read here. That’s not what Jeff argued here and it doesn’t approach anything stated in any post or chat of Dave’s I’ve read. Making ridiculous assertions like that one destroys any credibility you believe you have.

Jake
Guest
Jake
2 years 7 months ago

“There is no such thing as a known commodity. Every player’s future is uncertain, regardless of past performance. Every single one. Believing that there are “proven players” and “unproven players” is perhaps the most dangerous mistake in forecasting one can make.”

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-price-for-david-price/

Dave Cameron
Guest
Dave Cameron
2 years 7 months ago

“For the next few seasons, Robinson Cano is going to be a huge bargain.”

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mariners-break-the-bank-hope-robinson-cano-defies-odds/

nada
Guest
nada
2 years 7 months ago

well that’s … confusing?
Perhaps it’s because we insist on these stupid categories: “known commodities” and “unproven players”. Really we have degrees of certainty. Ranging from “unknown prospect”, who may or may not be good, to “great player with sustained success”, who seems likely to continue performing well. But even for the great players there’s always the risk of injury or catastrophe. I think maybe humans just aren’t good at thinking about degrees of certainty.

Steve dalkowski
Guest
Steve dalkowski
2 years 7 months ago

Uncertainty is relative. You make decisions based on expectations. Uncertainty is still ubiquitous.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 7 months ago

I will admit, I have no idea why Dave Cameron bothered to say that. “Proven” and “Unproven” are both poorly-defined concepts with arbitrary thresholds. I can say that a proven player has one 2+ WAR MLB year. You can say that it’s a guy with 3 MLB seasons of 10+ WAR over that span. We’d both be “right” by our own arbitrary measuring sticks.

However… this does not mean that such concepts are useless. Categorizing players into “proven” and “unproven” allows us to analyze and interpret these bins to find useful differences. I mean, “hot” and “cold” temperatures are also just arbitrary thresholds, compared to a Kelvin scale. With that said, they’re still useful labels to know when I need a coat outside.

Alan
Guest
Alan
2 years 7 months ago

There’s a valid point on basing comparables on results instead of causes/attributes, but man, the weird, paranoid motivation attribution here just makes you sound like a dick.

BDF
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Dave’s public persona makes it plausible, that’s all. The accusation has a context. He takes criticism so poorly that it becomes reasonable to believe–by no means certain, but reasonable to believe–that he might have collaborated with Jeff. Everyone says he’s a super nice, but as is often pointed out, directly and when it happens, that is not how he appears to a large percentage of people. And the particular manner he is perceived as not being nice is completely in line with colluding with an underling.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
2 years 7 months ago

Why do the Rays have to trade Price anyways? Yeah, they have some excellent young major league ready pitchers set to fill his spot, but they would obviously still be a better team with him leading their staff. Since they expect to be in the thick of things in the AL East, adding a couple more wins with Price is very valuable.

Of course 1 year from now Price’s value will be lower, but unless they can get a package equal to or better than the one they got for Shields, I don’t see trading him as a necessity.

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 7 months ago

For the rays to have sustained excellence with their payroll, they kind of need to trade current assets for more long term value.

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
2 years 7 months ago

Yeah, anyone who read this site knows that.

I’m just saying he will still have significant value next off-season as well. Not quite as high obviously, but unless they can get a real top A grade prospect plus a couple other highly regarded prospects, the organization might be better off reaping the benefits of a solid playoff push and marketing him again next offseason.

The Rays have also shown that they don’t just trade their players just for the sake of trading them (Crawford, Upton). Most teams also are more resistant to trading their prospects now than they used to be. If nobody gives up a huge package for Price, why trade him?

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 7 months ago

Someone will likely come up with a good package, it doesn’t have to be wil Myers to be good, but you’re right, they technically don’t need to just the return is more likely to shrink the longer they wait

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 7 months ago

Assuming the signing of James Loney at $7M/year happens as expected, the Rays payroll next season already is about $78M.
Their budget probably allows $65-$70M. The only way to cut $8-$13M is by subtracting Price.
It is a near certainty that they already have one or more deals in place except for some details to trade Price for prospects and maybe a very low-cost MLB player or two.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 7 months ago

Am I the only one who thinks that signing Loney for multiple years is a blunder for the Rays? He is a guy that would be replacement-level with only a marginal decline and has put up about 3 average (~2 WAR) seasons out of the last seven? While 4-5 WAR for $21m is reasonable at current market rates, the Rays cannot afford current market rates.

If they’re dumping Price to keep Loney, that seems like a sucker’s bet. They’d be much better off to keep him until they get an offer that gives them a young 1B who could do Loney’s job for a fraction of the money. Are 1.5 WAR first basemen a hot commodity now?

SKob
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

I’m fairly certain any deal the Rays make to move Price won’t come off as having ‘dumped’ him!

Morneau gets 6 million per year and he is on the wrong side of… everything, but at least he gets to hit in Colorado. Loney is mediocre, but for 7 mill per… he’s at least young enough to expect improvement on a solid season. So what if he sucked as a Dodger? So… yeah, for 7 mill… 1.5 WAR firstbasemen are pretty rare! Especially when you consider Loney is a 2.7 WAR firstbasman! Haven’t we heard on this site WAR is getting to be worth 6 mill per or more? That makes a 1.5 WAR firstbaseman worth 9 mill per year… so the Rays get an extreme discount even if there 1B declines by 1 WAR! Who liked that comment?

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

They also don’t NEED him. A rotation of Moore,Cobb,Archer,Hellickson,Odorizzi is still very good.

jim S.
Guest
jim S.
2 years 7 months ago

Correction: the Rays need Price if they are going to challenge in the post-season. They just signed Loney for $21 million, so it looks like they are all in. Living in Florida, I saw many of the Rays games on TV last season and Price, before he went on the DL, definitely was NOT the same pitcher he’d been. So the overall thesis of this blog, Jeff, is quite correct.

lesmash
Member
Member
lesmash
2 years 7 months ago

Keep in mind most MLB teams need more along the lines of 8 SP to get through a season. Keeping Price at the front of that line slots everyone else into a more appropriate position on the Rays’ depth chart.

Plus, those extra few wins from Price could easily be the difference in a very difficult AL East. I mean, if you squint you can see any of the 5 teams winning the division, or at least making it into the playoffs as a WC team, no?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
2 years 7 months ago

I’m not sure I’d call that rotation very good. It relies on two pitchers with very little mlb experience, plus Hellickson ain’t exactly a lock to put up quality innings. There’s a lot of talent in those guys for sure, but you take away Price from that group and there’s not a whole lot you can rely on, and I’m not sure about the quality of Tampa’s reinforcements should someone go down or perform poorly. They could be really good, could be really bad, most likely a middling staff.

Hank
Guest
Hank
2 years 7 months ago

Hellickson has posted 4 WAR over 3 full seasons (1.3 WAR/yr).

Moore 4.3 WAR over 2 years (~2.2/yr). He obviously has upside but has not lived up to the hype yet.

Odorizzi is projected at under 1 WAR with Oliver and ~1 WAR if you scale Steamer to 150 innings.

Archer was a 1.2 WAR pitcher over ~130 innings, but has upside.

Cobb is very good and has averaged ~2.2WAR over an average of ~140 innings the last 2 years.

I think the Rays reputation is starting to overshadow actual performance. Rays starters last year were average to slightly below average with Price last year (ERA- 100, FI- 103

Paul Wilson
Guest
Paul Wilson
2 years 7 months ago

They just signed Loney for $21 million, so it looks like they are all in!

bdhudson
Member
Member
bdhudson
2 years 7 months ago

Because when he hits free agency, there won’t be any way for the Rays to keep him. So, better to deal him now when the return is good than let him walk with nothing to show for it.

Spud
Guest
Spud
2 years 7 months ago

They would still get the 1st round compensation pick when he hits free agency. That’s not nothing…

Josh
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

They can get a quality player that’s closer to the majors now

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

I agree with Josh about payroll and bdhudson about getting the best return, but I think the biggest factor is what you mentioned about the Rays having “having some excellent young major league ready pitchers set to fill his spot.” Teams only have 162 starts per season that they divvy up within the rotation, so if you can swap out excess in one area to shore up a weakness in another then you’ve made your team better. Of course you do run the risk of not actually having the excess you thought, either because of injuries or the replacements perform below expectations.

Because Tampa has limited resources it’s that much important for them to maximize the ones they have. Actually, it would be a pretty interesting exercise to think about what would happen if they went in the opposite direction and traded that extra young pitching instead since it appears to be prized so highly in the market right now (or at least did before Arizona dumped Skaggs).

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 7 months ago

Rays have not done as well in the draft in recent years since they no longer get top 10 picks. The only way to get young talent now is to trade stars before they hit free agency. You get more trading Price with 2 years left than with a single year, especially if he gets truck down with injury before you trade him.

Price was down for 6 weeks with what the Rays are calling a tricep injury, and such injuries may sometimes be a misdiagnosis of what is actually a UCL injury. Not saying this is the case with Price just that it does signal a bit of an alarm. If the Rays suspect it may have been something more he will be traded sooner rather than later.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

The Rays have to trade Price if and only if they receive a deal that has unquestionably greater value to the franchise than he does. The Rays didn’t HAVE to sell Shields, but then they were offered Myers and Odorizzi, at which point they did have to sell him.

I don’t expect to see the Rays sell Price the way some franchises sell their players for any bag of “prospects” (the Cliff Lee trades come to mind). They’ll either get a Wil Myers+ return or they will hold onto him.

John Elway
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Clearly Price will be a bargain-value work horse, even if not furlong.

Zoidberg
Guest
Zoidberg
2 years 7 months ago

You’re joke is bad, and you should feel bad.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
2 years 7 months ago

This account has been posting terrible horse-related jokes for weeks. It’s one of the most confusing developments of the year, for me, along with the site’s background turning to plain white.

Sammy Sosa's Face
Guest
Sammy Sosa's Face
2 years 7 months ago

You have a problem with the background color of this site??!?

Sarah J.P.
Guest
Sarah J.P.
2 years 7 months ago

Don’t you listen to the neeeeeeiiiiiggghh sayers…

nada
Guest
nada
2 years 7 months ago

I second Mr. Englishman’s sentiment. What the hell is this? Why does it continue to exist? And can it please stop?

LaLoosh
Guest
LaLoosh
2 years 7 months ago

who gives a flying fork? sheesh. since when did someone’s random comment cause such reactions?

John Elway
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Thanks LaLoosh.

YABooble
Guest
YABooble
2 years 7 months ago

The “John Elway” horse troll seems to have started a few years ago on the ESPN website’s article on Tim Tebow that turned into the “>Tebow” meme.

I lost count of how many times he got banned from that website, only to come back in various disguises (i.e. Juan Elway). He must really be lost looking for a home in a baseball website, since ESPN.com went to Facebook for user comments.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 7 months ago

“Such reactions” as “I don’t like this”? Yeah people are really flying off the handle these days.

Mike Trout
Guest
Mike Trout
2 years 7 months ago

Would you consider me a WAR horse?

John Elway
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Nay, you are a 100% thoroughbred Mikey boy.

And FYI, I believed this even before I drank the Fangraphs Kool-Aid from my trough. Just neighin.

A differing opinion
Guest
A differing opinion
2 years 7 months ago

The John Elway bit makes me giggle a bit every time.

EVERY TIME.

Don’t stop!

John Elway
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Hay thanks A differing opinion!

Also, folks need to remember that even though my mane focus has been football, I was a good baseball player back in the day. I look forward to adding my two cents on the sport more once we get into the FB offseason

Nick
Guest
Nick
2 years 7 months ago

I think it’s pretty amazing that all of the Big 3 (Hudson, Mulder, Zito) are on this list, How they couldn’t get out of the 1st round with that young core leading the way is beyond me. And that Beane, due to budget or knowledge of this fact that extremely great pitcher do regress to the mean of average, did non-extend any of them. Interesting

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Exactly. This is why I look at the potential Seattle trade and cringe. Over the next 2 season. Price could be very good, but so could Taijuan Walker. Price’s risk of serious decline/injury probably is equal to the chance of Walker not panning out. And I’d rather take the chance on a younger guy I have cheap team control for.

Because back in 2009, the Rays could have traded David Price. He was a top draft pick/prospect and had a ton of value. But they kept him. And they were rewarded with 4 years of having an ace for a bargain bin Price.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Pedro Martinez was unworldy for his 30-31 year seasons as well.

I’d like a bolder prediction on where Price is going. Its hard to do, but this nice gentle hedging mellow you put down tells nothing. How about a prediction on cost, and whether it will bring a team to contention or crater a fanbases hopes and dreams?

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Pedro was also a substantially better pitcher.

Shankbone
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

It always gives me a thrill to look at his B/R page, and then go down to transactions “Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields”. Sweet, sweet music.

Nivra
Member
Nivra
2 years 7 months ago

Different version of the same study. I took all the pitchers in the last 30 years who posted at least 3.0 fWAR per season in their age 24-27 seasons and 14.0 fWAR total across all four seasons. I did not exclude pitchers based on IP. There were 27 such pitchers with Benes and Zito posting 14.5 and 15.6 total fWAR on the low end and Clemens and Pedro posting 30+ fWAR on the high end.

Collectively these 27 pitchers accrued an average of 20.8 fWAR in those seasons. These same 28 pitchers posted 8.2 fWAR in their age 28 and 29 seasons.

Now, I worry that the sample doesn’t represent Price well enough. It’s too good. Since Rijo is ~ 3 fWAR below David Price on the low end, I will exclude all pitchers with a cumulative fWAR > 21 from the sample. This excludes 12 pitchers: Clemens, Martinez, Santana, Maddux, Sabathia, Lincecum, Greinke, Appier, Saberhagen, Halladay, Verlander, and Stieb.

The remaining 15 pitchers in the sample are:
Jon Lester, Tim Hudson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brad Radke, Dan Haren, Ben Sheets, Mike Witt, Frank Viola, Jack McDowell, Jake Peavy, Greg Swindell, Tom Glavine, Jered Weaver, Barry Zito, Andy Benes

Collectively, they pitched 219 innings and accrued 17.8 fWAR and a FIP- of 85. This compares favorably to Price’s 208 IP, 17.4 fWAR and 83 FIP-.

Collectively in their age 28-29 seasons, this group pitched 382 innings, accrued 6.6 fWAR and posted a 90 FIP-. Worse outcomes for this group include: Swindell, Jimenez, Witt, and Zito, who all posted between 3-4 fWAR. Best outcomes for this group include Viola @ 12.2 fWAR, Haren @ 9.7 and Weaver @8.6 fWAR. Everyone else accrued between 4-8 fWAR during their age 28-29 seasons.

TLDR:
Basically, a team can expect a total of 3 fWAR at the absolute worst and 8-12 fWAR at the absolute best from Price’s age 28-29 seasons. The mean expectation would be a 3.3 fWAR/season starter who can pitch 180+ innings.

Nivra
Member
Nivra
2 years 7 months ago

Addendum: At an expected arb3 cost of $13.1M and arb4 cost of $17.5M, and a very generous price/WAR of $7M, Price will accrue $15.7M in surplus value over the next two years. At a much more conservative $6.2M/win price that Cameron reported earlier this off-season, Price will be worth $10.4M in surplus value.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 7 months ago

Excellent analysis (better than Jeff’s). Thanks.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Note that Lester appears in both lists here, as well as the bbref similiarity score top 10.

Also, note Price’s dramatic drop to 1.3 BB/IP in his age 27 season. Another big lefty with similarly good stuff sharpened his control to 1.3 BB/IP in his age 27 season, and went on to have 13+ WAR over the following 2 seasons (C.C. Sabbathia).

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 7 months ago

I think teams do factor in risk in awarding contracts or determining trade compensation. Otherwise, 6 WAR players would make 35 million a year on the open market (if they took a 1 yr deal). Instead they take 50-70 cents on the dollar to sign 7-10 yr deals.

As far as trade compensation goes, the players/prospects you give up are no lock either. They could be better or worse. .

Being a good GM requires good risk management skills. They must embrace the uncertainty that petrifies the average Joe, but do so rationally. Teams that avoid any risk, like the Astros and Marlins are doomed to fail more often than not. Those that do not manage risk well end up like the Yankees, signing 37 yo players like Beltran for his age 37-39 season and giving up a few years of peak Cano for fear of his age 37-40 years which will be paid in depreciated dollars (as much as 30-40% and about what Beltran is making in 2014 dollars).

Dave S
Guest
Dave S
2 years 7 months ago

Seriously?

there are 30 teams (now)… so… an “average” team should have one WS victory (or at least 2 WS appearances) over the last 30 years… right?

Last 30 years:

Astros: lost 1 WS, lost 2 NCLS, lost 4 NLDS. That seems about average? Maybe slightly below. Certainly no cause for shame.

Marlins: won 2 WS. PLUS, they’ve only been in existence for 21 years, so they still have 9 years to tack on some extra…. and they are already well above average.

Yankees: won 5 WS. (did you catch that? FIVE f-ing WS wins… and I’m a Philly fan, I’m NOT a Yankee fan) Plus 2 WS losses. Plus 3 ALCS losses, plus 7 LDS losses.

Every other team in baseball wishes they had the “lousy GM” record the Yankees have. And most would be happy with the Marlins or the Astros too.

Dave S
Guest
Dave S
2 years 7 months ago

sorry… that was supposed to be a response to “pft”… not the original post.

RJ3
Guest
RJ3
2 years 7 months ago

I disagree with your argument. PFT references some very recent moves as examples of his risk theorem. However, you turn that into a 30 year argument which is not even applicable to his comment. Do more research on those Yankees teams and tell me what % of them were comprised of players 35+ yo. Plus, you start off right away assuming an average team should have one WS victory which is OBVIOUSLY FLAWED.

Bip
Guest
Bip
2 years 7 months ago

The Marlins have had only two playoff appearances, and both were as wildcards. That tells me a lot more about the state of the Marlins franchise than the fact that both times they happened to win the World Series both times.

LaLoosh
Guest
LaLoosh
2 years 7 months ago

I think I’d rather trade for Cliff Lee now if he’s really available. He’s not cheap but you know what you’re getting and he’s under contract for 3 more seasons (1 more than Price). Seattle is better off trying to deal for him than Price imo… Hultzen, Pike, Taylor?

LaLoosh
Guest
LaLoosh
2 years 7 months ago

Lee can block trades to 21 teams I believe…

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 7 months ago

I would love to see the Giants get Price.

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