What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
This was posted over at LSB but I thought I'd post it over here to see what people say. This article attempts to defend the Wells trade for the Angels. I find it hilarious that any one tries to claim this isn't a horrible trade for the Angels.
(Actually this trade reminds me of some of the ridiculous trades that our buddy jdb has proposed when he uses another's screen name.)
I guess here's the only valid defense of the Wells trade:
1) they expect the 4-WAR Wells of 2010 and not the 1.5 WAR Wells of 2007-2009.
2) they think they're at a spot on the win curve where it's worth significantly overpaying for 4-WAR because it greatly increases their chance of winning the division
3) they think that Napoli's WAR totals are inflated because his terrible defense is not well captured by defensive metrics.
If all 3 things were true, then the Wells trade might make some sense. 2 of 3 doesn't cut it. However, I don't think either (1) or (2) is true, especially not (2).
I think the Angels defense of the trade is simple- Wells has destroyed the Rangers over the years, even when he hasn't had a good year overall. Not saying it's right, but it's most likely their best justification.
Wells actually hasn't killed the Rangers over the years. Last year he did, but for the mist part he is average. I am in class right now so I don't have his stats in front of me, but his career line against us isn't that solid.
This trade was almost a swap talent wise of Rivera and Wells. Add in Napoli and the money and the Angels look worse. Whatever bump in overall ability (offense and defense) that Wells brings is immediately negated by playing Mathis at catcher more. Look at the numbers for Mathis. Here's a hint, Teagarden (who started the season something like 0-40) had a higher WAR in 2010 than Mathis.
In defense of the Angels (that's hard to say), Catcher WAR is very hit-and-miss because Catcher defense is very hard to capture with defensive metrics. Perhaps the Angels think that Mathis actually gives them a better chance to win that Napoli, because Napoli does a terrible job handling the pitching staff and managing ames, while Mathis is perhaps fantastic at this, and this skill is almost totally absent from any WAR analysis of Catchers.
You are right about WAR not including defense properly, but even other defensive metrics point to Mathis not being that good. Yes he is better than defensively Napoli, but the overall gap between the two players is huge when you look at the offense. Napoli is basically a poor man's V-Mart, and Reagins gave him up. The Angels could have probably gotten Wells by just offering to pay the remainder of his crazy contract. I don't think this makes them better this season and it hamstrings them for several more years.
I would love to think there is some way this goes good for the Angels, since I get nervous when your competition starts doing insane things, but I sure cannot find a way this is remotely sane.
Even if Wells produces at 4 WAR level every year of his contract, it does not pay for the Angels. Using Joey's Hamilton article WAR valuations. The best case is getting 4 wins per year for 4 years costing almost 78 million but whose actual cost to the Angels will be 86 million.
On top of that if Rivera has a good year then he will likely Top out near 3 but probably ages down to a replacement level player for this year and Napoli is still in his 20's and seems almost a lock for 2.5-3 WAR since his decline phase is still a little ways off. Either way the Angels have wasted at least half of Wells' extra value and if either have a good year likely all the value and then some the Angels got and they will be paying more then market for the privileged.
Everything I have read says that Wells has lost a step so he wouldn't strengthen the defense so it looks like a bad defender for a bad defender trade except that I think there is a very real probability that Rivera could be better in one of the corner slots then Wells as far as defense. This means that the Blue Jays might come out on top on that front too.
Even if they are paying a premium for those last few wins, it still does not make since both players involved could very well be worth 3 of those 4 wins.
Am I missing something?
What is probably missing from this analysis is that after missing on Crawford, Beltre, and Soriano, they probably needed to do SOMETHING to get the sports talk radio types of their backs and generate some buzz, putting butts in seats. The radio hacks and ESPN local types will probably treat Wells like he's 2005 Wells for he duration of the offseason, and act like this is some huge upgrade for the Halos. That might be the biggest reason they made this deal.
From a more realistic on-the-field perspective, if those marginal wins somehow turn Zero playoff trips over the next 4 seasons into 2 playoff trips, then they might just be worth it. Of course, that depends on Wells being a 4-WAR guy, which I doubt he is. But if they think he is, it starts to make sense, or at least seem a bit less crazy.
WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin! Say it again...
There aren't any metrics out there that make this look like a good trade for the Angels.
@LFloyd - Is heavy alcohol use considered a "metric"?
Touche. And the Angels should serve plenty of "metrics" to their fans to keep them happy.
@WWJDD you stole my line already used it but here is what it's good for.
Say your a Tiger or Brewer fan and want to argue that your team was better than the Rangers last year, or maybe a D-back fan that thinks your within a game of being better than the Rangers.
So you are correct!
But logic sometimes takes a holiday with saber-metric stats.
You think the Jays would have made the trade by just acquiring Rivera? The Angels could of got a lot more in return from the Rays or another club. Even if they would of been prospects...or a good reliever. Thats still better than nothing at all.
I meant to say. The Angels could of gotten Wells for Rivera straight up. There was no need for giving up Napoli, since there's no doubt someone like the Rays or another club would at least given up some prospects or a MLB reliever for him. Thats better than nothing at all.
I think we are talking about something a lot harder than alcohol here.
Anyone know what the Angels payroll is now? They've got to be screwed financially for a couple years...
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.