Which Melky Cabrera Will San Francisco Get?

Brian Sabean has fired his first salvo of the 2011 offseason, acquiring outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and minor-league pitcher Ryan Verdugo.

Before we can even begin to analyze this trade, I believe we have to divorce the names of the players from their actual production. Melky Cabrera has been something of a punching bag among writers and analysts for a variety of reasons, ranging from his poor shape to his lousy attitude to awful production in 2008 and 2010.

Cabrera is, of course, coming off the best season of his life. He finished a remarkable fourth in hits in the American League. Part of this is the less robust production of singles hitting as opposed to high power or on-base percentage, but he still finished with a .349 wOBA, a 118 wRC+ and 4.2 WAR in his age 26 season.

There are certainly reasons to believe Cabrera will regress in 2012. His BABIP of .332 is a career high and there is little reason to believe he is like an Ichiro Suzuki or a Matt Kemp and can routinely sustain such good results on balls in play. His power level (44 doubles, 18 home runs, a .162 ISO) was also previously unseen, blasting his old career highs out of the water.

This would be a particularly massive red flag if Cabrera were just finishing his age 32 season like a certain Giants center fielder one year ago. But Cabrera will be a mere 27 years old for much of the 2012 season, putting him in his prime for the year of control the Giants now own and any potential contract extension the Giants may offer.

So while the BABIP may regress, it is hardly a guarantee the other components that made Cabrera a good hitter will fall with it. His 2011 HR/FB rate of 9.8% is something he’s done before — 2009, with New York, he hit 10.3% of fly balls for home runs. His .162 isolated power is a mere 14 points above his previous career high (again, 2009). His contact rate was exceptionally high as usual, with his 13.3% strikeout rate ranking in the top third of qualified players.

Even if (when?) his BABIP slips back to the .300 range, the Giants are probably looking at about a .285/.315/.415 hitter when all is said and done. As underwhelming as that sounds, the resulting .730 OPS (or, if you prefer, a roughly .321 wOBA) would tie him exactly for third place among Giants hitters (300 or more plate appearances) with Cody Ross; if we decrease the threshold to 200 or more plate appearances, then Pat Burrell sneaks in as well. Cabrera won’t be a great hitter, but he is a near certainty to improve on the Giants NL-worst group from 2011.

Questions linger about Cabrera’s ability to play the field, and the prospect of him as a full-time center fielder is a scary one. Poor ratings from defensive metrics aside, Cabrera simply doesn’t appear to have the body or the speed to handle the rigors of center field. If the Giants choose to use him there, he will almost certainly be a downgrade from Andres Torres. The Giants could play him in left field, where he should be serviceable, but then, of course, the value of his average-to-good bat decreases by a fair margin.

With the pitching staff the Giants possess, though, it may not matter as much as it usually would. Last year’s Giants ranked second in the league in strikeouts per nine innings and fourth in ground ball rate. As such, the Giants keep the ball away from their outfielders more than other teams, and the impact of Cabrera’s poor defense shouldn’t be seen as much as it would with a fly ball or contact-oriented staff.

The key player heading to Kansas City, Jonathan Sanchez, was a member of that vaunted 2009 Giants rotation and has a 3.07 ERA in a championship season to his name. As much as analytical types ignore ERA, such a performance will linger in the memories of fans for a long time, particularly those fans who reside west of the Rocky Mountains. Still, Sanchez has the highest walk rate in the majors, and as Dave Cameron points out, his surface production doesn’t hold up under deeper analysis.

The Giants will have to find a starter to replace Sanchez, but between Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Ryan Vogelsong, the rotation should endure. The hitters are coming off an 83 wRC+ season, ranking between the Twins and the Mariners, constant sources of offensive offense last season. The Giants will need competent bats to get back to the postseason. It’s easy to read the name Melky Cabrera and laugh or shrug him off, but the performance he showed as a 26-year-old is more than enough to give San Francisco confidence he can be the first brick in the rebuilding of the Giants’ lineup.




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62 Responses to “Which Melky Cabrera Will San Francisco Get?”

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  1. Derek in The Rock says:

    “The Giants will have to find a starter to replace Sanchez”. This trade looks like a vote of confidence in Erik Surkamp.

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  2. Carl says:

    Along with Surkamp, the other winner in this deal looks to be Lorenzo Cain.

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    • SKob says:

      That was my first thought! There was talk of the team dealing Cain and keeping Melky, but that would just be silly considering potential and cost control.

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    • bryce says:

      even if melty is good and is cheaper than a FA option, i still think they didn’t get enough for sanchez unless the giants really think surkamp will be very good this year. sanchez finished top 5 in the mlb in 09 and 10 in Ks/9 and BAA and, like the article mentioned, had a 3.07 ERA in 2010. at least wait and trade him when the value is better. I’m a sabean supporter but i didn’t like the bletran trade at the time and i don’t really like this. sanchez is extremely nasty, i don’t care if he walks a few people bc he STILL usually gets out of it. imagine if he ever harnesses it. and if he doesn’t, he still good now

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  3. Matt says:

    Melky was a below-average hitter for 5 years before 2011, and in 2011, his BB% dropped significantly and his K% rose slightly. If we use Woodrum’s ShH tool to regress his BABIP to career average, he becomes a 103 wRC+ hitter, and that is without regressing his spike in ISO. That makes him an average to below-average hitter and a below-average fielder. Yeah, he will help the Giants’ horrible offense, and it may have been a good trade, but I don’t think he will really add much to the team. He’s a 2-3 WAR player in my mind.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      +2 to +3 win players cost upwards of $10 million in the free agent market. Cabrera will make $3 to $4 million, a fraction of what he’s actually likely to be worth.

      And yet, for whatever reason, a lot of people apparently believe this is a bad acquisition by the Giants. Jack’s right – if you divorce yourself from the tired and incorrect “Melky Cabrera sucks” narrative, the Giants just got a nice underpaid player.

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      • Matt says:

        You’re right, getting a 2-3 win player for 3-4 mil is great. I do think the trade was a good one, and I don’t think that Cabrera sucks. All I’m trying to say is that citing his 118 wRC+ last year is probably misleading, and I wouldn’t expect him to be more than a league-average player. That being said, the Giants could use some more league-average hitters.

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      • NS says:

        Of course you have to assume that the strikingly similar “Andres Torres sucks” narrative is valid in order to even begin the Melky analysis.

        Do we have good reasons to conclude Torres 2010 outlier – superior in every respect to Melky’s 2011 – was a fluke, but Melky’s was genuine progression?

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      • fergie348 says:

        Andres Torres is 5 years older than Melky. If Torres had more than one good year to his credit, perhaps the conversation would be different but he hasn’t done anything in MLB before or after 2010. Melky has at least the hint of upside. Torres has well documented issues with ADHD that seem hard for him to control. Patience is not his strength. Melky probably isn’t a 4 WAR player, but it’s pretty likely he’s between 2 and 3 going forward. Torres seems doubtful to surpass replacement level unless there’s some dramatic change in his condition. Pitchers have figured out that you do not have to throw this dude strikes to get him out.

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      • fjmanuel says:

        how hard is it to find 1 to 2 win players on the market?

        how many similar players are on the market this year?

        and, most importantly, how can melky cabrera not suck when he’s had one season when he posted more than 2 WAR, fueled by nothing but luck.

        his WAR per 162 games is 1.26. how is that good?

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      • NS says:

        As mentioned below, projecting Melky at 2-3 is suspiciously generous and requires all kinds of assumptions about the legitimacy of his 2011 season that you go out of your way to avoid making about torres’ 2010. “He’s older” doesn’t stack up as a good reason for this choice.

        You knocked Torres’ patience without noting that his walk-rate in his down year doubled cabrera’s in his up year. This is consistent with what I’ve seen in these conversations: super selective reasoning and a whole lotta recency bias.

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      • fergie348 says:

        Not having a whole lot of recency bias is kind of hard to avoid when a player hasn’t had many big league at bats other than in the last two years. Torres did manage a 10.6% walk rate in 2011 but his K rate is up over 23% with Cabrera’s never getting over 13.3%. Lack of patience has many outcomes, only one of which is a reduced walk rate. And for what it’s worth, 5 years of age difference is a perfectly good reason to not expect Torres to repeat his 2010 campaign while leaving open the slightly greater possibility that Cabrera will post numbers close to his 2011marks. As if there weren’t plenty of others to pick from..

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      • NS says:

        ^The recency bias doesn’t benefit Torres, but Cabrera. Cabrera has six seasons of data to work with and exactly one of them qualifies as evidence for the conclusion that 2011 was legitimate progression.

        No idea why you’d scamper to strikeout rates in a discussion of patience after being shown Torres doubled Cabrera’s walk-rate. His k-rate has exactly nothing to do with patience and we can confirm that intuition with the P/PA numbers: Torres ~4.10; Cabrera ~3.65.

        This is just a continuation of the kind of selective reasoning that arose my suspicion in the first place.

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      • evo34 says:

        Well, let’s hear it, Dave: what’s your over/under for Melky’s 2012 OPS? I think your answer will tell us more about your skills than it will about Melky’s.

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      • kick me in the GO NATS says:

        I wonder about some of the comments in this thread. baseball history is filled with guys that sucked before they turned 26, had a great age 26 season, then they turned into stars for 5 years or more. this why we talk about “not having peaked yet” or “in his prime”. When your young you will suck them you get better. I have little doubt Melky could fit that profile.

        baseball history also has many guys that excelled at age 31, then fell of a cliff permanently for the rest of their career. Why would Torres not be that guy? He certainly could, but maybe he wont. It seems likely considering how old he was when he came up to the bigs that he may have peaked already.

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      • fergie348 says:

        Strikeout rates don’t have anything to do with patience but walks do? What are you on? Can I have some? They’re two sides of the same coin. Patience means watching pitches go by that you know you can’t hit. Sometimes that results in walks. Sometimes it’s lack results in strikeouts. Swinging at balls far out of the zone denotes a lack of patience, and Torres demonstrated plenty of this behavior in the last year. We do have more evidence to suggest that Cabrera’s 2011 was an outlier, but no real evidence to suggest that Torres 2010 was either an outlier or not. Given the choice, I’ll give the chance to Cabrera because he does have a regressed chance to perform as a ML average outfielder. At this point, the Giants could use anyone on the offensive side who can reliably perform at ML average for their position.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      He’s not a 2-3 WAR player in my mind. I’m not going to give him any special bonus for the recent-ness of his 2011 season. It’s not like he’s made a steady progression. His worst season was just last year. I’m looking at this:
      2 year avg: 1.60 WAR
      3 year avg: 1.60 WAR
      4 year avg: 1.23 WAR
      5 year avg: 1.08 WAR
      6 year avg: 1.18 WAR

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      • SKob says:

        That’s a strange way to make your point since that appears to be progression. Doesn’t that average show him gettig better?

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      • Eminor3rd says:

        Is it just me, or is avg. WAR per year an absolutely horrible measure to try to predict future performance with? What percentage of players didn’t start out worse than they ended up being in their primes?

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      • Matt says:

        @SKob: It actually doesn’t. Since all of his pre-2011 seasons were around 1 WAR, every additional year added lessens the ‘share’ that the 2011 season gets.

        That being said, I’m not sure what the point of these averages are. Basically, Melky was a below-average player for 5 years, then he “broke out” in 2011. It’s likely that most of this perceived break-out was a product of luck, but there are also some signs (namely ISO) that show that he improved his game. And since he is still relatively young, this improvement is definitely possible. This is why I predicted him to be a 2-3 WAR player. If he can keep up his power spike, he can overcome the BABIP regression and be an average player. If he can’t, then he probably won’t be any different than the beginning of his career going forward.

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      • Bob says:

        It’s worth noting that Melky got in shape for the 2011 season. Comparisons of fat Melky with fit Melky are a bit suspect.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        I agree that simply averaging WAR is usually not useful. But I was at work, and being lazy, and Melky hasn’t missed any significant playing time in those 6 years. I would normally use WAR/600 PA’s, but that’d be overly generous. If Melky plays at his true talent level, he won’t get 600 PA’s in a season.

        My point was that, no matter what kind of sample you look at (so long as it’s larger than 1 season), Melky is pretty bad. Not a starter.

        As far as his IsoP, a lot of that was because of his higher BABIP. If you adjust his BABIP down to .290 (his pre-2011 career BABIP), his 2011 batting line would be .270/.306/.424/.730. The other thing about his power spike is that power should be regressed almost as heavily as BABIP. It’s not like BB% and K%, which stabilize rather quickly.

        It takes more than a single season BABIP spike and a (pretty modest) power spike to convince me he’s a different player.

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  4. @CaliforniaJag says:

    Did playing in that ballpark in New York artificially inflate his HR/FB ratio? Don’t know about 2009 stats, but in 2011 Yankee Stadium had 143/115 park factor for HR (LHB/RHB) compared to 71/85 at Kauffman Stadium.

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  5. Robbie G. says:

    Am I missing something? Didn’t the Royals just get a #2/#3 starting pitcher in his prime for Melky Cabrera? Just because you are loaded with quality starting pitchers in their prime doesn’t mean you should trade one of them for Melky Cabrera.

    Is Bryan Sabean the most incompetent GM whose team nonetheless managed to win a World Series?

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    • Brad says:

      Confirmation bias strikes again!

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    • Steve says:

      Yes, you are missing the part where Sanchez is a #2/#3 starting pitcher.

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      • Steve says:

        Just to clarify, it’s certainly not to say that Sanchez CAN’T be that type of pitcher. His ceiling is pretty damn high. Just that he is unlikely to be a #2 starter in the AL.

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      • SKob says:

        Maybe he meant ‘The Royals’ #2 or #3 pitcher? I would say he might fare well in the AL central, but he doesn’t get to play the Royals!

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      • Robbie G. says:

        There are 30 teams. This means that if all players are equally distributed based on production, then the top 30 pitchers are #1 starters, the #31-#60 pitchers are #2 starters, and the #61-#90 pitchers are #3 starters.

        Jonathan Sanchez was #71 in MLB in WAR (according to Fangraphs) in 2010 among all starting pitchers with a minimum of 60 IP. So he was one of the better #3 starters in MLB that season, if all pitchers are equally distributed.

        Sanchez was #78 in WAR in 2009 among all starting pitchers with a minimum of 60 IP. So he was a middle-of-the-pack #3 starter that season.

        Sanchez was #52 in WAR in 2008 among all starting pitchers with a minimum of 60 IP. So he was a low end #2 starter that season.

        Further, Sanchez is relatively young and has frequently gone through stretches (a month or more at a time) where he looked like low end #1 starter/high end #2 starter material.

        So yes, Sanchez is for sure a proven #2/#3 starter. Meanwhile, Melky Cabrera, prior to 2011, was a very low end corner outfielder and, at best, an above average fourth OF. It seems to me that players like that are much easier to find than #2/#3 starting pitchers with “upside” like Sanchez, and pitchers with Sanchez-caliber production and talent consistently get MUCH larger contracts in free agency than do players with Cabrera-caliber production and talent.

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      • evo34 says:

        Robbie G. — well said. Prob. the only intelligent analysis I have seen on this topic — the topic being the “tired,” yet stunningly accurate “Melky sucks” narrative.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Steve “in the AL” really? Where nobody can hit in the West or most of the Central even with a DH? If he were pitching for the Orioles and had to face the yankees/sox/jays really often, okay maybe, but that’s just ridiculous to think that playing in the AL Central will make much of a difference.

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    • fergie348 says:

      If Jonathan Sanchez is your #2/#3 SP, you’re going to be tearing your hair out by Memorial day. He misses a lot of bats, but he’s a pitching coach’s nightmare. Don’t go out and talk to him, he doesn’t freaking know where the ball’s going to go so you might as well get someone up in the bullpen starting sometime in the 2nd inning. I never liked seeing his starts because you can never relax. Nothing is easy watching this guy. He’ll strike out the first 4 or 5 batters, then he’ll hit a guy, walk the pitcher and give up a home run. Then he’ll walk the next 2 guys, you think he’s done and he goes on to strike out the side. Then he yells at the other team like it’s their fault he can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Good riddance. As long as Cabrera can put up league average numbers and play every day it’s a win for the Giants.

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    • Adam says:

      Sanchez is more like a #4/#5 starter. He wasn’t that much better than Zito from 2008-2010.

      They’re both 2-3 WAR guys, probably, but Sanchez is an injury risk, as well. A decent trade for both teams — Royals have Cain waiting and Giants don’t lose much by dealing Sanchez.

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    • He’s a #5 in SF, mayber #2 or #3 somewhere else. Context is everything.

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      • Paul says:

        Right. He’s the Royals best starter now, or at worst their #3 if you give Hochevar and Paulino A LOT of credit for small samples. I’m not crazy about the deal, and I do like Melky and think the power numbers will hold up if not increase. But I do think it’s a deal the Royals needed to make.

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  6. Bj says:

    #3 starting pitcher at best with his so-so command. When Sanchez leaks, he leaks out 3-4 runs in a span of two innings. That’s assuming he only leaks once in a game. Though he has proven to get out of jams, sooner or later they catch him; When he’s in a funk, it’s hard to get out that as well.

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    • But when he’s on, he has no hit stuff. One of the most frustrating athletes I’ve ever followed.

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      • Bubba says:

        Also, Sanchez has exactly one complete game. (Helluva game, that one.)

        Sanchez is not currently a #2-3 starter.

        He has been. He is not.

        I’d recommend KC keep a therapist on staff at all times.

        Let’s see how all of this shakes out, and chat again late 2012.

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  7. walt526 says:

    For me, this is less about “Cabrera sucks” and more about “Cabrera doesn’t have a place to play” unless the Giants are willing to suffer a major defensive liability in CF.

    As I see it, Cabrera should not receive substantial playing time in CF. At best, he’s a -1 win defender as a full-time CFer. Also need to consider that AT&T tends to exacerbate deviations from the mean in outfielders (i.e., bad fielders perform much worse and good fielders perform much better). Frankly, I don’t buy the rationalization that outfield defense is somehow less valuable to SF because the pitching staff records fewer flyball outs. While that’s true, it’s also the case that a misplayed flyball in AT&T (particularly by the CF or RF) can hurt the team a lot more than a misplayed ball in a neutral park.

    With respect to the corner outfield, the Giants will have either Huff or Belt starting in LF in 2012 (whichever isn’t starting at 1B). So then the question is whether Cabrera offers an upgrade over Schierholtz in RF. Let’s assume that Jack’s projection of .285/.315/.415 projection is correct. I’m not sure that Cabrera offers an upgrade over Schierholtz in RF, particularly taking defense into account. Likewise, I’m skeptical Cabrera offers enough upside to warrant benching either Huff or Belt. So essentially, where does Cabrera expect to get AB’s in 2012?

    Because of his defensive limitations, I’m not sure that he represents an upgrade over Torres in CF or Schierholtz in RF. The only scenario where Cabrera may offer a net improvement to the starting lineupe is if he starts LF, Belt starts at 1B, and Huff is relegated to the bench. But that is predicated on the assumption that the Giants are willing to bench Huff and that Huff doesn’t rebound in 2012.

    Given platoon considerations (Huff, Belt, and Schierholtz are all left-handed), then a lefty-masher who could play solid defense at the corners might offer some value. But historically Cabrera has hit RHP better than LHP. To that extent, bringing Cody Ross back at a reduced salary may have offered a better proposition.

    I accept that Cabrera offers value to a MLB team in the abstract. But I fail to see how he fits into the Giants 2012 lineup, unless another major move occurs (e.g., somehow Huff is no longer in the picture). Unless the Giants can make another move to resolve these logjam of mediocre corner outfielders, then I’m not convinced that they would not have been better off simply non-tendering Sanchez and applying the full savings of that salary to a FA pickup.

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  8. Nick says:

    if 2 of the following 3 are true…

    1. Melky Cabrera > Coco Crisp in 2012
    2. Giants sign one of Beltran/Reyes
    3. Giants tender a contract to Andres Torres

    …then this is a good deal for SF.

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  9. MDB says:

    Is Cabrera’s expected .730 OPS coupled with his lousy defense really even an upgrade for the Giants?. That’s only around 1-2 WAR and likely worse than Torres and similar to Ross.

    Sanchez is similar in terms of WAR but the Royals are so desperate for pitching that he’s a big upgrade over their potential replacement. If anything I think the Royals win the deal.

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    • It depends on what you think:
      1) Cabrera will do in 2012; and
      2) Torres will do in 2012.

      The problem is that people use the term “expected” without really examining what that really means. A projection system estimates .730 OPS for Cabrera because he didn’t really do very well his whole career. I would note that most system did not estimate Torres to do that well in 2010, when he did, then projected he would do better in 2011, but he totally regressed.

      That’s because these are mechanical systems looking only at numbers.

      The systems can’t adust for the fact that Torres overhauled his batting philosophy so that when he joined the Giants, he wasn’t anything like the hitter he was before. Likewise, the system can’t adjust for the fact that Torres suffers from ADHD and apparently when your body gets used to the drugs used to allow him to focus and be “normal” , he’s back to ADHD, which is what happened last season.

      The systems can’t adjust for the apparent fact that, rumors had it, from what I’ve read about Cabrera, he was a party hound previously and drank a lot (and rumored to get Cano drunk too) and got fat but after getting released by the Braves, he sobered up, got himself in shape (using a professional trainer), and had a great season. I went back to prospect books before he made it up, and did you know that he was actually rated above average in speed? With average power and average defense in CF, that’s a pretty good combo.

      The systems didn’t think much about Josh Hamilton either and did not foresee him sobering up.

      Not that I expect them to, but if you are going to use his expected OPS, you have to acknowledge the non-statistical reasons why he might have produced what he did.

      Lastly, again with expectations, but the thought is that he will regress from his .332 to the .291 that he had in seasons before, but his BABIP was higher early in his career, .309 in his first full season, and it was very high in the minors, showing that he did have plus speed. That’s a big difference, regressing to .309 rather than .291. Adjusting his 2011 stats, that is the difference between roughly .282/.316/.447/.763 and .264/.298/.429/.727, which is pretty close to the projection. The former would make him a pretty good offensive CF, the latter, not so much.

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      • Oh, forgot to finish off my thought. When we last heard, Torres was still struggling to get his meds right. There has been no report that he has figured it out yet. Don’t know how hard it is to find the right amount, but he struggled through most of the season with no solution in sight.

        So how are you feeling about his projection for 2012 now?

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  10. TheTruthHurts says:

    Yes he is 26. Yes there is some sort of way to quantify the chances that this turns out well for the G-men. Yes the 2011 offense was abysmal.

    It is likely that Melky will hurt the defense. It is likely the 2012 Giants would have benefited from a starter of Sanchez’s current caliber. It is likely the outfield and the entire team remains inadequate offensively with this addition.

    It is unlikely Melky will repeat 2011. It is unlikely the SF ballpark factors will help him. It is unlikely that many other teams would have considered trading to acquire Melky Cabrera when he was at peak value.

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  11. Bradley Emden says:

    I know that Sanchez can have a good year. He can also have a bad year. I am not so sure that Melky can come to the N.L. and have a good year. He had his worst stats as an N.L. player. The N.L. west has much better overall pitching than the A.L. central sans Verlander. I wanted them to start the season with Sanchez and see what happens.

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  12. Andre says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think either team wins this trade

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    • Bradley Emden says:

      unless its a tie, someone has to win, and someone has to lose.

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      • Nivra says:

        Haven’t you ever heard of win-win?

        Both teams traded from positions of depth to fill a need. San Francisco had 3 starters vying for the #5 spot. KC had 2 CF’ers vying for the starting spot. Neither got a slam dunk player, but both received candidates with high upside, low downside, and a lot of question marks.

        Trading from depth to fill scarcity is a win. Doesn’t matter if you didn’t upgrade the quality of your player going from a 1 win projection to a 2 win projection. Going from a 2 win projection with lots of variance to a 2 win projection with lots of variance is perfectly fine when you move surplus and fill needs.

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      • evo34 says:

        “but both received candidates with high upside, low downside, and a lot of question marks.”

        There is zero upside to Melky Cabrera.

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  13. evo34 says:

    If Melky Cabrera is 27, then Jose Lopez isn’t a day over 28…

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  14. Juancho says:

    On Melky: 1) One stat that makes me think his bat has genuinely improved is that he increased his production from both sides of the plate in 2011. 2) I’ve been suggesting for months that the Royals platoon Frenchy (RH) and Melky (LH) in right field, as Melky is a better hitter lefty than righty. Looks like that’s not going to happen. 3) I’ve seen Melky Cabrera play center field. It is not pretty. He has no business playing there. With his weak arm, he’d be best defensively in left field.

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    • Paul says:

      Are you sure you saw him? It’s true that he has average range at best, but weak arm? I believe he was right up there among the league leaders in assists.

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      • jason says:

        He doesn’t have a weak arm, however, a lot of his assists were of the, “I bet I can run on Melky’s arm–oops, I guess it’s better than my legs thought”-kind.

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  15. B N says:

    I don’t think Melky sucks, but there is no way I’d give up Sanchez for him. Guys who can put up 9+ K/9 don’t exactly grow on trees. Conversely, Melky is a corner OF who projects to a 0.330 wOBA. Last I checked, those aren’t exactly rarities. I mean, they’re both only going to be under control for a year- so it’s not the end of the world, but Sanchez seems to have more upside. With a bit more control, he’d be a ton pitcher. On the converse, Melky needs to improve in a LOT of areas before he’ll be a top corner OF. And he’ll never be a top CF because he can’t field the position.

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  16. Dan Greer says:

    Torres, even with a horrible offensive season, still managed 2.1 WAR over 112 games. I suspect he can hit .250 with 10 HR and 25-30 SB if reasonably healthy, which makes him very valuable as an elite defensive CF. But I also suspect that the Giants will non-tender him. That would be a mistake.

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    • Nivra says:

      I’d love to see the Giants bring Torres back and play him in a pitcher platoon in CF. Melky starts when Madbum, Timmy, and Vogelsong pitch. They all have high GB rates and high K rates(Vogelsong less so). Have Torres start in CF when Cain and Zito pitch, who are both FB pitchers.

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  17. brukru says:

    I think Melky has a new attitude came into camp in shape last year, put up good numbers and is now playing for that big payday contract. He is entering his prime years and the Giants ARE gonna benefit. They aren’t committed to a bad long term contract, and they already know they can miss the playoffs with Sanchez on the roster, so why not try Melky? Good trade, nuf said.

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