Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bedard Beats O's, M's Were Still Fleeced

After a good pitching duel yesterday, with Rich Hill beating Jarrod Washburn 1-0, we've got another interesting match-up tonight. David Hernandez will make his second start of the season after getting the win against Detroit with 5.2 innings of one-run ball. Since the Pitch/FX for that start is strangely not available on FanGraphs, I'll talk about his opponent instead.

Erik Bedard didn't have a very season in 2008 after being traded to Seattle. He was injured, throwing only 81 IP with a 3.67 ERA, but his walks shot up (4.1 BB/9 after 2.8 BB/9 in 2007) and that lead to an only average 4.85 tRA. This year Bedard is back on track, with a 2.48 ERA. His strike-out rate hasn't risen back to 2007's likely career high (10.9 K/9), but it's a very good 8.9 K/9 and his control is the best it's ever been (2.5 BB/9). That's resulted in a 3.75 tRA.

Still, that trade was a very, very bad one for Seattle (though it did put the nail in Bill Bavasi's coffin, which is good for the long-term health of the team given the very capable front-office that's been assembled now). How bad was it? Well, even if you break it up into 2 trades, then they're still bad.

1) Erik Bedard for Adam Jones: Bedard was worth (from FanGraphs) 1.1 WAR ($4.7 M) in 2008 and is on pace for about 3.6 WAR (about $17 M) this year. That's 4.7 WAR (about $21.7 M) while being paid a total of $14.5 M - that's about $7.2 M in excess value. Adam Jones was worth 2.2 WAR ($10 M) last year and is at 1.9 WAR ($8.5 M) already this year. Not on pace for (that would be about 5.7 WAR) - already at. That's 4.1 WAR already in from Jones for $18.5 M in value while being paid less than a million dollars total. Without taking into account anyone the M's might acquire for Bedard in a trade or via a draft-pick if he leaves as a free-agent - or the remaining 4 years that Jones is under Orioles' control - the Mariners have already lost this one.

2) Erik Bedard for George Sherrill and Chris Tillman (lets even pretend that Kam "The Almighty" Mickolio (4.50 ERA in Triple-A but with 26 K's and 6 BB's in 20 IP) and Tony Butler (4.42 ERA in A-Ball with 44 K's and 11 BB's in 50 IP) won't ever contribute in the majors): Bedard has the aforementioned $7.2 M in projected excess value, and this time lets add in the expected excess value of the draft-picks Seattle would get if he's a Type-A free agent. Over at The Hardball Times they valued those picks at about $3-5 M, but given the success Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik had with the draft in Milwaukee, let's lean towards the high end of that range. So that knocks the excess value from Bedard up to about $12 M.

George Sherrill was worth about 0.4 WAR ($1.7 M) last year while being paid $1.0 M, and is on pace for about 0.9 WAR (about $4.3 M) this year while being paid $2.75 M. That's $2.25 M in excess value.

Victor Wang did some research on value of prospects, which I'm going to use. Combining the top prospect lists going into 2009 from Baseball America (#22), Kevin Goldstein (#16), Keith Law (#40), and Deric McKamey (somewhere around #25), Chris Tillman (2.13 ERA in Triple-A with 44 K's and 13 BB's in 38 IP) ranks about 24th in baseball and 9th amongst pitchers (he's about equal to Brian Matusz, by the way). Top 10 pitchers have an expected excess value of about $13.5 M. That's already more than what Bedard is projected to provide to Seattle, and then add Sherrill (and Mickolio/Butler if you want), and this is another pretty clear win for Baltimore - even if it isn't quit as lopsided as the Adam Jones one.

In fact - depending on your opinion of Mickolio and Butler, and the value Sherrill can bring to the O's in his remainging time in Baltimore (I'd say about zero total, with some positive times and some negative times - though more if they can trade him for something decent) - one could even say that the O's would have come out even or ahead if this was split into 3 trades (Jones, Tillman, and Sherrill/Mickolio/Butler). No reason to get greedy though. It was an absolute steal as it is.

And it'll feel even better if the O's can beat Bedard in this game (though I'm still a fan, and would be open to bringing him back after the season if he'll take a discount).

Top 1:
  • Brian Roberts ends a long at bat with a pop-up to short.
  • Adam Jones grounds the first pitch he sees to third.
  • Nick Markakis grounds the first pitch he sees to first. I think these guys forgot that being patient at the plate is what helped bring them so much success early in the season.
Bottom 1:
  • Ichiro! bounces a groundball into the hole at short and beats out Izturis' throw. That sets a new M's franchise record for a hitting streak at 26 games, beating the previous record of 25 games held by Ichiro!.
  • Russell Branyan (batting second?) grounds a single into right-field.
  • Adrian Beltre pops a 95 mph fastball at the letters up, and Ty Wigginton (playing first) makes the catch in foul territory.
  • Hey, it's the zombie of Ken Griffey Jr! Seriously though, it's really nice to see Junior back in an M's uniform - he can't catch up to a good fastball (fouls off 97, then misses 94 and 96), but things are just better in the universe with Griffey back in Seattle.
  • Jose Lopez hits a flyball to deep left that should end the inning, but the ball goes off of Reimold's glove and two runs score. Both will be "earned".
  • Yuniesky Betancourt pops out to second.
Top 2:
  • Aubrey Huff flies out to center. Bedard looks good thus far, but not dominant - the O's can score a couple runs off of him I think.
  • Melvin Mora ropes a double just fair down the left-field line.
  • Wigginton grounds out to short.
  • Mora steals third without a throw.
  • Matt Wieters grounds out to third.
Bottom 2:
  • Rob Johnson hits a lead-off double to left-center field.
  • Endy Chavez drops down a sac bunt.
  • Frankiln Gutierrez draws a walk.
  • Ichiro! pops out to Wieters behind the plate.
  • Branyan hits a monster shot just foul down the right-field down. He ends up popping out to Mora in shallow left-field to leave the runners on.
Top 3:
  • Sharp 3-2 curveball gets Reimold looking.
  • Izturis strikes out looking as well.
  • Roberts lines out to third.
Bottom 3:
  • Beltre grounds a single through the left-side.
  • Griffey pops out to Mora.
  • Lopez doubles into the left-field corner.
  • Betancourt grounds out to third, but that will bring in another run. 3-0, M's.
  • Johnson flies out to left to end the inning.
Top 4:
  • Adam Jones with a long flyball to left (man, the ball really doesn't carry well in Seattle) - it goes off the wall in the corner for a lead-off double.
  • Markakis draws a walk. WOOOOOO! I may be the only person that gets really excited when Nick walks - maybe it's because I spent so much effort trying to show that his great walk rate from last year wasn't a fluke.
  • Huff flies out to deep center-field. That might have been gone in Cmaden Yards.
  • Mora pops out.
  • Wigginton lines out to right. The O's really needed to score there, and they couldn't come through.
Bottom 4:
  • Ichiro! serves a two-out single to left.
  • Hernandez strikes Branyan out swinging to end the inning.
Top 5:
  • Wieters lines a single into left-center.
  • Fastball on the inside corner gets Reimold looking.
  • Izturis bounces to short, though the M's can only get the force at second.
  • After a steal of second by Cesar, Roberts strikes out swinging at a high fastball.
Bottom 5:
  • Beltre singles to left-field.
  • Griffey doubles over Jones' head in center-field. It was on a 92 mph fastball down in the zone, and he just dropped the head of the bat on it. I guess after striking him out and touching 97 in the first, Hernandez is trying to conserve some energy now and stay in the game long enough for his teammates to put some runs on the board for him. The O's have Mark Hendrickson is warming up in the pen.
  • Lopez grounds out to short, which brings in the fourth Seattle run.
  • Betancourt flies out to center.
  • Johnson grounds up the middle, but Izturis ranges across the bag to get the ball and throw him out.
Top 6:
  • High fastball gets Jones swinging.
  • Markakis grounds out to short.
  • Absurd curveball gets Huff looking. It started right at him and broke over the heart of the plate.
Bottom 6:
  • Wigginton dives/falls down to snag a grounder by Chavez and takes it to the bag himself for the out.
  • Gutierrez singles to right-center. That'll be the last batter Hernandez faces today, with Hendrickson coming in.
  • Ichiro! grounds to short with Izturis getting just the force at second.
  • Branyan walks on four pitches.
  • Beltre singles to right to bring in Ichiro!, but Wigginton cuts off Markakis' throw home and fires to third to get Branyan to end the inning. Run counts though, and it's 5-0.
Top 7:
  • Mora swings through a fastball for Bedard's 8th K.
  • Wigginton singles to left.
  • Wieters, with a patient at bat, draws the first walk of his career.
  • Reimold battles through a tough plate appearance - fouling off several pitches - before drawing a walk himself.
  • We've decided here that if Izturis hits a grand slam we're going to go get a beer. It won't be off of Bedard though, with Sean White coming in (12 BB and 11 K in 25.2 IP this year - those aren't good numbers). And it won't be Izturis either, with Luke Scott coming up to pinch-hit against the right-hander. Tired Bedard vs. Izturis or Sean White vs. Scott? Tough call, but I think I would have stuck with Erik.
  • Scott grounds to third, but Branyan's only play is at first. That gets the O's on the board.
  • Roberts grounds up the middle, but White snags it and throws him out. 5-1, M's.
Bottom 7:
  • Griffey doubles deep into the left-field corner.
  • Lopez grounds out to first, but that advances Junior to third.
  • Matt Albers will take over on the mound for the O's.
  • Betancourt grounds out to third, with Mora looking Griffey back to the bag.
  • Gutierrez walks.
  • Nice tailing away from Chavez gets him swinging.
Top 8:
  • Jones grounds a single through the right side.
  • Markakis hits a groundball to second, with Lopez taking it to second himself and getting taken out by a Jones' slide. His throw to first was way high, and Nick is safe.
  • Huff hits another long flyball to the track in center that Gutierrez gets to. I'm not a big fan of "arena baseball", but playing in Seattle is frustrating.
  • Mora pops out to end the inning.
Bottom 8:
  • Albers gives up a lead-off single and gets replaced by Jamie Walker on the mound.
  • Ichiro! flies out to center.
  • Branyan deep and gone to right. 7-1, Seattle. Walker has now given up 3 HR to left-handed batters in 4.2 IP this year.
  • Beltre flies out to center.
  • Make that 4 HR in 5 IP to lefties. Ken Griffey Jr. hits #617 for his career. It was a breaking ball down and away, and Junior went out and hooked it.
  • Lopez doubles to deep center-field. Walker isn't fooling anybody, and if Andy McPhail came down to the field right now to cut Jamie then I'd be A-OK with it.
  • Betancourt grounds out to third.
Top 9:
  • Felix Pie will pinch-hit against Denny Stark. Nice piece of hitting by Pie as he lines a double off the chalk down the left-field line. I still have faith in him to be a quality major leaguer, even if he'll only get a real chance in Baltimore if an injury occurs at this point. And 88 at bats does not a "real chance" make, though his PrOPS line of .249/.318/.388 isn't exaclty a confidence booster.
  • Wieters bounces out to second. His timing looks just a little bit off at the plate.
  • Robert Andino (who came in to play shor when Scott hit for Izturis) flies out to right to score Pie.
  • Luke grounds out to second to end the game.
David Hernandez showed some impressive stuff, throwing a very hard "rising" fastball (92-97 mph, though without much run in on right-handed batters), a nice change-up that he didn't throw for strikes as much as one would like, and a sharp slider. The general line on him has been that he posted good strike-out numbers in the minors (with iffy control) but that scouts didn't like him very much as a potential quality major league starter. If he can keep the walks down, I don't see any reason he can't hang around as a #4 starter. His line doesn't look pretty (5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K), but two of those runs could easily been kept off the board if Reimold had taken a normal route to a flyball in the first inning. When you give up a lot of balls in play, sometimes the hits will fall in. Unfortunately for Hernandez, Erik Bedard was very effective for Seattle. The O's had there chances, but couldn't take advantage and lose 8-2.

1 comment:

Matt J. said...

This is some excellent Fangraphs/HBT/sabery O's analysis...how is there not a commenter following yet?

Let's get the word out. And yes, MacPhail stole Bill Bavasi's lunch money in the Bedard deal. If Tillman shakes out how he's projected to, it's going to go down as one of the more lopsided trades in a LONG time (maybe we can start calling it the "reverse Glenn Davis"?). Seriously, it's hard enough to trade for one up the middle star or one front of the rotation starter, much less both in one trade. And this is completely ignoring the throw ins (Sherrill, Mickolio, Butler) who should all provide value to the O's at some point.