What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
My back-of-the-envelope calculation is that the Rangers will need to replace about 16 WAR in order to get back to approximately 93 wins next season.
Baseball Reference shows that the Rangers will have a payroll of $110 mil in 2013 assuming no new signings. The 2012 payroll was $120 mil but ownership has indicated that they might be willing to have a payroll of up to $135 mil. So that leaves $10 to $25 mil to spend in free agency. For $25 mil, the Rangers might be able to do something like sign Zach Grienke and Koji Uehera. That's be a pick up of maybe 7 WAR.
That leaves 9 WAR that must be generated through trades or internally. That's difficult to do, but it's possible. There are a lot of ways to get there. For example, the Rangers could trade Andrus for Upton. That would be a roughly even trade and wouldn't generate any WAR. But it would allow the Rangers to put Profar at SS. It's not unreasonable to think that Profar could be a 4 to 5 WAR player his rookie year at SS. (Andrus averaged 3 WAR his first 2 seasons and Profar is a much better minor league hitter than Andrus was.) That would leave 4 to 5 WAR to be generated internally. If Kinsler rebounds and adds one WAR, that leaves only 3 to 4 more WAR to pick up. A Gentry/Martin platoon in CF and a Murphy/Cruz platoon in the OF or maybe a Murphy/Young platoon at DH could do the trick.
The point is it's possible that next year won't simply be a rebuilding year. But to make it happen, JD is probably going to have to pull off a big trade and the ownership is probably going to have to increase payroll by $10 or $15 mil. They may be willing to do it since Young and Cruz ($25 mil total) will be coming off payroll in 2014. We'll see.
You have the think though, A LOT of players on the Rangers team had very down years, and they should rebound for a better 2013, I think that will play a big role in making up the WAR. I believe that even if we dont make any moves we would be a playoff contender, I agree though JD is going to have to make some moves this off-season, but i think we all know that he probably has something big up his sleeve!
Interesting... a lot like the premise of Moneyball, although we have considerably more assets to work with.
But RE: Upton/Andrus -- Maybe someone smarter than me could explain Arizona's motivation for trading 3 years of Upton for 2 years of a less productive hitter who has a locker at Yankee Stadium waiting for him in 2015. I know Arizona needs infield help but I feel like they'd want us to include a slugger (Cruz?) as well.
#CUTFACE and replace him with a +2WAR free agent and you pick up 4 WAR. Our biggest and most immediate improvement would be a turnover of DH/1B where Young played.
Jondar...Elvis had a higher WAR than Upton this season. Elvis plays a premium shortstop and hits above average at the position.
It's possible because of the 1 year of service disparity, that we'd have to sweeten the deal...though not nearly as much as Eric R as suggested.
Justin Upton --
Age-22: 4.8 fWARAge-23: 3.0 fWARAge-24: 6.4 fWARAge-25: 2.6 fWAR
This year he had a wrist injury, so 2012 probably isn't the best time to evaluate what kind of player he is moving forward. Still, that's 16.8 fWAR accumulated in a 4-year span for a player who hasn't yet hit his prime. This is a guy to go all-in for.
Elvis Andrus makes up more value in WAR with his speed and defense than with his bat. He's an adequate hitter, surely to get better over the next 3-4 years, but nowhere near the same class as Upton. With Josh Hamilton leaving, it places a premium on guys that can knock the ball around the field, and I'm not convinced the Rangers offense won't be better next year with an Upton acquisition and Profar replacing Andrus.
Add that to the fact that Kinsler had an egregious season by his standards, and should rebound, along with Nelson Cruz playing in a contract year next season.
As for the OP, Michael Young's omission from next year's roster won't help us financially, as we'll probably have to eat some $13M through a trade, or the entire $16M if we outright released him, but it will help us from a WAR perspective. Even a replacement-level player will add 1-2 wins.
We have the money to make one big trade (let's say Elvis + for Upton), one big FA signing (Greinke/Swisher/Upton (BJ), and a couple minor ones (Koji/#4 starter). I think, factoring in defense/SB's/offense, Justin Upton could just about make up in production what we're losing in Hamilton. He's a surefire 4-5 fWAR player over the next three years. Greinke is the one guy we need to go all-in for; he can cure a lot of our problems on the rotation front. Greinke/Darvish/Harrison/Holland/Perez (or Ogando) would be a formidable starting five that can survive the American League. Nick Swisher and BJ Upton would be Plan C-type options to help stabilize the lineup.
With Greinke and Justin Upton, I think we're a 90-94 win team. Without Greinke we're closer to 86-90. Without either, and with only a Swisher/BJ Upton, we're closer to 82-86.
But that's only under the assumption that Oakland plays up to the same type of potential (which I don't think will happen), and Anaheim plays at their same output from 2012 (which I also don't think will happen; they should be better).
I am not sure Grienke is a must. I know they're big question marks, but I fully expect Feliz and Colby to be back midway next year. Therefore, if we can survive a Darvish, Harrison, Holland, Perez or Ogando starting 4, pick up Haren (or Santana) as a temp 5th man, once one of Feliz or Lewis return, bump Perez back to pen or AAA, and then Haren or Santana to the pen after the second guy comes back. They're still pretty live arms that would play well in a lineman role and spot starter. I just have a bad feeling about Grienke, and hate spending big money on him.
Get Koji, shift kinsler to LF, Profar to second, keep Elvis until trade dealine if we need a trade piece.
Wash was probably worth -6 WAR...so replace him with a robot and this team improves significantly.
Haren and Santana will each be looking for full-time pitching gigs. They are quite a ways before the end of their careers. Plus, even off down years, I wouldn't think they'd be willing to accept offers in the ballpark of what we'd be giving, and, to that end, I think they'd be unnecessary additions given the amount of younger, cheaper arms we already have in our system.
To your final point, a lineup with Kinsler in the OF, Profar and Andrus up the middle, would offer a dearth of punch to the starting 9. Unless we acquired a boomer at 1B/DH and in the OF, I couldn't see that working. Remember, every day Elvis Andrus is on our team starting Opening Day '13 his trade value will decrease. 2 years is worth a ton more than a year and a half, and even less if he was on roster this entire season. Either extend him now for the long haul or trade him. And since there have been no indications of an extension, a trade seems much more likely.
Did we extend the wrong player?
Ian Kinsler slipped to a 3.2 WAR in his age 30 season. Elvis Andrus, in his age 24 season, posted a 4.2 WAR and is arguably the best SS in the AL.
More distressing, Kinsler's fielding percentage was at the bottom of AL 2B. This worries me more than the .320's OBP, sub .260 AVG, pop ups and other problems. SS's like Andrus don't grow on trees.
Profar isn't quite done yet. He need's to go back into the oven (minors) for about 1 more complete year. Unfortunately, developments with the MLB club will probably dictate otherwise. Will he be a superior offensive player to Andrus? If so, when?
Of course, have to decide how important pitching and defense, are to your Rangers. How many balls get through a middle infield of Andrus (SS) and Profar (2B)? This is not to mention the presence of 3B Beltre at the hot corner.
Now imagine Elvis in someone else's uniform. Your pitchers are relying on Profar (SS) and Kinsler (2B). How many more runs will this cost x the number of years Andrus(24)/Profar will play beyond Profar/Kinsler(30)?
I'm wondering if the club will be quietly attempting to move Kinsler's contract. He is attractive because of his 30/30 potential. You can sell him to teams. However, another year like this one will limit your options.
The other option is to let Josh Hamiliton walk this winter, release Michael Young, move Nelson Cruz to DH and Kinsler to the outfield. The problem, aside from eating Young's huge money, is the doubt over if Ian is a plus outfielder.
I like Ian. He's a good guy, shows up every day and plays hard. Nevertheless, I think he, Young, Ham and Nellie are gone prior to the start of the 2014 season. They are extremely disappointed with Napoli, but I believe the lack of organizational strength at C will dictate that he stays. Soto has become Darvish's personal C, i.e. job security. Nap provides insurance against injuries/issues with 1B Moreland and DH Cruz.
Not sure about where 3B/1B/DH Olt fits in. Pitchers are also a dice roll, particulary with the injuries to Lewis and Feliz.
In spite of what is being said, the Rangers are VERY frustrated with LHP Holland. When does potential become a bust? He's getting dangerously close to the invisible line.
Sorry for the ramble. Interesting times for sure.
Instead of blowing our whole wad on Greinke, what about Guthrie?SSS, but he had great success against Trout and Pujols this year.He adds the seasoned veteran presence that will be missing until (and IF) Colby returns.And the savings could help us shore up on relievers.
Not playing Michael Young in every day would be + 2.5
Ian Kinsler regressing back to his norm would be + 1.5
Cruz put up a WAR of 1.5. We can probably expect 2ish out of him.
Seems doable if MY actually does OK and puts up +1.5 WAR that's 6 WAR that's basically free
Question: could we pry Encarnacion away from the Jays if we gave them enough improvement players?Something like Holland, Elvis / Kinsler, and Moreland??He was statistically hitting even with Hamilton, and we wouldn't have to block the progress of Martin and Gentry in the outfield to get those needed power numbers.
No on Guthrie. No on Encarnacion.
why do people want cruz back? i'll forever remember his contributions but he's not getting any younger.
Because Nelson Cruz is playing for a contract next year, and is sure to be in for a pretty nice season.
On trading Kinsler: I don't think he brings much in return. In order for his contract to pay out, he'll need to produce 13-14 WAR over the next 5 years. He had 3 WAR this year. So you'd have to find a GM willing to bet that he'll rebound in a big way and willing to ignore the fact that he is terrible away from RBIA.
On moving Kinsler to a COF slot: If you do this, Kinsler automatically loses 1 WAR b/c 2B is a premium position and COF isn't. Kinsler is a pretty good hitting 2B, but he'd be a bad hitting COF.
On dumping MY: I'm all for it, be the Rangers will have to eat most or all of his contract, so I don't think it's going to happen.
On trading for Justin Upton: Upton makes $5 mil more than Andrus next year, so that does eat away at the FA budget.
Encarnacion looks like a decent choice if you just look at last year, but he had a breakout year offensively, so it's hard to say how he'll do. Plus his defense is bad, which limits his options in the field, and we already have one guy that shouldn't be in the field much.
Andy, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I hear ya on the down side.I have been reading here for months about trying to fill Hamilton's shoes with outfielders,and just wanted to explore finding power from 1B as an alternative.Not many options, as it turns out. Which is why Encarnacion stood out.
they need to let profar and olt develop in the majors and they can compensate for the lack of offense by getting a couple of solid pitchers.
"Wash was probably worth -6 WAR...so replace him with a robot and this team improves significantly."
Hiring a "statistical advisor" to optimize lineups, determine pitching matchups, allocate playing time, etc. would definitely make Wash a better mgr. Bottom line is that I doubt Wash gets fired. And even if they do fire him, how many mgr. candidates out there are saber-savvy? I think a lot of GMs are saber-savvy today when they weren't 10 years ago. But I think it's going to take some time for saber to fully catch on among managers b/c managers have to have "cred" with the players, meaning they generally can't go around rambling about WAR and UZR.
What would help would be if the manager had a "stat advisor" that he actually listened to. I'm not sure whether Wash would be open to that.
Astros will be in our division next year. Good for +5 wins
I actually think it will be easier to get rid of Young either in the offseason or by July 31st - only 1 year left on the contract, good enough to pinch hit or play 1st/2nd in the NL (where the offensive expectations are lower) so the more money the Rangers eat - the better return we get. Probably a longshot but worth taking a look.
RFan - a stat adviser is an ideal solution to a big problem. Unfortunately, managers like Wash would never go for it. Wash still references batting average as a stat that he relies upon when assessing player performance. Texas will have to win despite him moving forward.
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