First the position players: (The "Projections" are very rough, and defense is just in the ballpark.)
|Player||Position||2008 wOBA||2008 wOBA+||2009 "Proj." wOBA||2009 "Proj." PA||Position Adj.||Def.||Batting (700 PA)||WAR||$WAR||Proj. Salary||Diff|
|Matt Weiters||C||0.458 (AA)||134||0.340||450||1.25||0||0.06||2.45||$12.2||$0.4||$11.8|
* Ramon would be an above average catcher if his defense wasn't so bad.
* I think Wieters could outhit that projection (about .278/.343/.437) and be even more valuable. And I assume that he's just average defensively though he comes with a pretty good reputation behind the plate.
* Salazar obviously won't be the Birds' starting 1B, but he's it for now.
* Roberts is a pretty darn good player. I'm becoming more and more OK with signing him if he gives a home-town discount.
* Mora's defense isn't very good so if his offense falls off too far from 2008's level then he won't be worth what he'll be paid. I don't think he can swing the bat like that again, but I didn't expect it last year either.
* Fahey won't be the shortstop, but for now their only options are pretty much replacement level.
* Luke Scott's cheap and solidly average in left.
* Once Adam Jones' bat gets above average then he'll be a beast.
* Markakis' bat is already well above average. One of the best players in baseball.
* Huff's bat just isn't that valuable as a DH unless he can repeat 2008. Personally, I'd try to deal Mora and move Huff to third where his defense will be about as good as Mora's (that is, not very) but his bat will play better.
* Montanez makes a pretty good 4th outfielder.
* The bench is assumed to be replacement level.
The offense is about as good as 2008's - same .340 wOBA. 22 WAR won't cut it without a top-notch pitching staff. Getting a good first-baseman (Teixeira?) and an actual shortstop (Furcal?) would add 6-9 WAR. Huff to third and a good DH (Milton Bradley?) adds another 2ish WAR.
|Player||Position||2008 tRA||2008 tRA+||2009 "Proj." tRA||2009 "Proj." IP||WAR||$WAR||Proj. Salary||Diff|
|Chris Ray||RP||4.30 (2007)||108 (2007)||4.50||50||0.15||$1.1||$0.5||$0.6|
|Danys Baez||RP||7.04 (2007)||50 (2007)||5.00||35||0.02||$0.5||$5.5||-$5.0|
* I don't think Guthrie will really post a tRA that low, but I'm giving him credit for beating his FIP by a good amount again (4.53 FIP vs. 3.63 ERA).
* Will Daniel Cabrera just provide regular levels of sucking again?
* On the flip side, I think Olson will actually improve.
* Liz is really bad. They'll let him get in his below-replacement innings for development reasons.
* Waters, Albers, and Burress (plus misc. pitchers who'll post similar numbers while taking their innings) round out the awful rotation.
* The pen is merely OK.
* This is not a pitching staff that can compete. Bringing in a couple of quality starters (say, AJ Burnett and Derek Lowe) would add 6-8 more WAR.
As it stands the O's have about 31 WAR, but only three players provide over 3 (Roberts, Markakis, and Guthrie). They need around 15 more to make a solid run at the division (a zero WAR team would win 45-50 games) . That probably isn't going to happen this year, but at least it's clear where upgrades are needed.