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GAC
12-26-2006, 07:09 AM
How good is he really? Depends on who you listen to. His agent, Scott Boras will always be objective. :rolleyes:

This is an article by Rob Neyer....

When evaluating Zito, believe the real numbers

I don't pay all that much attention to quotes in the newspapers. I used to. I used to spend a goodly amount of my precious electronic space running down ridiculous things I read in the papers and magazines. But I got tired of doing that. So did you, probably.


Then the other day, I saw this one in the New York Times, Scott Boras talking about his most eligible bachelor/client -- "With Zito, I don't need any perception. Sometimes, I need help. Not on this one. It's rather obvious. He's a special player" -- and I took it as a recall to arms.

Boras doesn't need any help on this one, huh? So why did he say this, just a couple of weeks ago?

"He is, next to Maddux, the most durable pitcher to hit the marketplace in more than 30 years He's never missed a start his entire career. He is a winner and he is durable. In the last 25 or 30 years, only two pitchers have pitched 200 innings every year and had over 100 victories for six years."

That was in the San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 5, reported by Henry Schulman. Sure, there's nothing untoward about stating the facts if they help your client. And Boras' assertions look reasonable enough. Is Zito the "most durable pitcher to hit the marketplace in more than 30 years?" Depends on how you define "most durable" and "marketplace." Is Zito a winner? Well, he's won more games than he's lost. Is he durable? However you define durable, Zito certainly qualifies, because it's true that he's never missed a start in his career.

What about that other claim, though? Let's be fair, and focus on just the last 25 years. How many pitchers have, over a six-season span, pitched at least 200 innings in each season and won more than 100 games?

Two, as Boras said? Nope.

Three? Nope.

Four? Nope.

Without looking all that hard, I found five:

Randy Johnson did it once (that is, over one span of six seasons); Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, and Jack Morris each did it twice, and Maddux did it nine times (consecutively, beginning in 1988).

Hey, anybody can make a mistake, right? Maybe when Boras said "two" he really meant to say "four or five," or maybe he was misquoted. But here's the thing: Barry Zito has not done this. In his (only) six full seasons, Zito has pitched at least 200 innings in each, but he has not won more than 100 games; he's won 95 (he's got 102 career wins because he won seven in his short rookie season).

Boras doesn't need any help? I read this in USA Today, a bit more than a month ago:

Boras says Zito, 28, is destined to be the finest left-handed starter since Steve Carlton by the time he's 35. There's a fancy 74-page glossy book to prove it. "You're talking about a very special guy who has never missed a start," Boras says. "His durability has been rewarded with 102 wins. He has (a Cy Young trophy) in his back pocket. He has three All-Stars. He beat ( Minnesota's Johan) Santana, the best pitcher in baseball, in the postseason.

"Barry could be one of the best left-handed pitchers of all time. Players like this are Maddux-esque."

Zito does have that Cy Young trophy. Jack McDowell has one, too. He did beat Johan Santana in the postseason. Also, Johnny Kucks once beat Don Newcombe in the postseason. Dave McNally beat Don Drysdale. John Candelaria beat Jim Palmer. Et cetera to infinity, plus one.

Is Zito likely to become the finest left-handed starter since Carlton? His competition includes Johnson (five Cy Young trophies, 280 wins and counting) and Tom Glavine (two Cy Young trophies, 290 wins and counting). It's one thing to suggest that Zito's going to wind up in the Hall of Fame -- unlikely, but certainly conceivable -- and quite another to say he's going to be even better than the currently active left-handers who we [I]know are going to be Hall of Famers (not to mention Jamie Moyer, Kenny Rogers, Santana, Andy Pettitte and Mark Buehrle.

And of course, comparing Zito to Maddux is even sillier. As good as Johnson and Glavine have been, Maddux has been better. Zito has one thing in common with Maddux, or perhaps two: He doesn't throw a million miles an hour, but he'll give you a million innings.

Comparing [Barry] Zito to [Greg] Maddux is even sillier. As good as [Randy] Johnson and [Tom] Glavine have been, Maddux has been better. Zito has one thing in common with Maddux, or perhaps two: He doesn't throw a million miles an hour, but he'll give you a million innings.

Even that, though … Zito's been wonderfully durable, but not uniquely. With 1,338 innings over the last six seasons, Zito's only third in the majors over that span, behind Livan Hernandez and Buehrle (and four other pitchers have racked up at least 1,300 innings).

Boras says that Zito is a "special player," but what exactly makes him special? How good is Zito, really? It's obvious that he's not Maddux-esque, or Carlton-esque, or Glavine-esque. But is Zito even Oswalt-esque, or Halladay-esque? Buehrle-esque?

Before trying to put him in some sort of context, let's split Zito's six full seasons in half: 2001-2003 (Part 1), and 2004-2006 (Part 2, so far) …


Starts Innings BB SO HR ERA RSAA
Part 1 105 675 246 533 61 3.17 92
Part 2 103 662 269 485 81 4.05 34

Through the 2003 season, Zito was a special pitcher (by the way, RSAA stands for Runs Saved Above Average, courtesy of the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia). Since 2003, though? Not so much. The walks and homers and ERA are up ( i.e. bad), the strikeouts and Runs Saved Above Average are down (ditto).

How does Zito compare to some of the other top young starters in the game? Considering only 2004 through 2006, here are some of our special pitchers:


Starts Innings ERA RSAA
Santana 101 693 2.75 137
Oswalt 102 699 3.14 93
B. Webb 101 672 3.40 87
C'penter 93 645 3.10 85
Halladay 72 495 3.24 80
Zito 103 662 4.05 34

That is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Over the last three seasons, Zito ranks just 27th among starters in Runs Saved Above Average. With 34, he's behind not only those luminaries listed above, but also (among others) fellow left-handers Buehrle (58 RSAA), Pettitte (56), Dontrelle Willis(48), Rogers (46), Glavine (40) and C.C. Sabathia (36). We might be charitable, and bump Zito up a few spots because he's been pitching in the tougher league. Still pretty hard to argue that he's one of the 20 best starters in the majors (especially if we give Oakland's defense as much credit for his recent success as it probably deserves).

Why is Boras so desperately trying to create this perception of Zito as a truly special player? Because that's what agents do. I'll bet Boras knows exactly how good Zito is. Or if he doesn't, he's got a bunch of bright people in his office who do. I'll bet that 74-page glossy book doesn't contain any out-and-out lies. Lying in print isn't good business. But I'll bet it doesn't mention that over the last three seasons Zito's been a good pitcher but not a great one. I'll bet it doesn't mention that he's not one of the dozen best pitchers in the majors, and probably not even better than Buehrle or Sabathia.

In today's inflated market, where Gil Meche is paid $11 million per season to be humdrum, Zito is worth something like $15 million per season, if only because he's so reliable. But Zito's agent doesn't want $15 million. He wants $17 million or more, and he's going to get that only if he can convince some team that Zito's new six-year contract is going to cover the middle years of a Hall of Fame career.

Considering the financial profligacy that we've seen over the last 25 (or 30) years, does anybody want to bet that he can't?

Chip R
12-26-2006, 12:22 PM
Wrong forum, Mr. Magoo.

Crosley68
12-26-2006, 12:57 PM
If a good, but not great, pitcher gets $17 mil for 6 years.......I wonder what a truely great pitcher would get in this market? Good stuff GAC.

Falls City Beer
12-26-2006, 12:59 PM
Zito will have a renaissance moving to the NL. It's tough pitching to the same cast of characters in the AL for as many years as Zito has.

RedsManRick
12-26-2006, 01:27 PM
Barry Zito and Aaron Harang were born 4 days apart. Look at Zito's numbers and then look at Harang's the last 2 seasons. Zito plays in a tougher league but in a friendlier park with a much better defense.

I'm not sure if it says more about Harang or Zito, but if both were FA, I'd rather have Harang. Zito is a fine #2/3 type guy, which makes him very valuable. But he's not special and shouldn't get "special" money.

M2
12-26-2006, 04:23 PM
Barry Zito pitches more than 210 IP every year (he averages better than 220) and he has a 3.55 career ERA. That is far from common.

Now it's possible that his next six seasons won't match his last six, but if they do, then he'll be worth every penny of the contract he gets.

RedsManRick
12-26-2006, 04:33 PM
Now it's not likely that his next six seasons won't match his last six, but if they do, then he'll be worth every penny of the contract he gets.

Fixed :) Greg Maddux has a career ERA of 3.07 but I don't think anybody is anticipating that out of him in 2007 because his more recent performance suggests otherwise.

I agree, what Zito did from 2000-2003 was superb. However, what he's done since, while still very valuable, isn't elite. The question is, why the change? Why did hitters go from hitting .220 against him to hitting .250? Why is he striking out fewer people? The durability is certainly commendable, but I think signing him with the expectation (and associated cost) that you're going to get Cy Young caliber pitching is a risk I wouldn't take.

M2
12-26-2006, 04:40 PM
Fixed :) Greg Maddux has a career ERA of 3.07 but I don't think anybody is anticipating that out of him in 2007 because his more recent performance suggests otherwise.

Greg Maddux isn't 28.

BTW, I don't view Zito like he's a Cy Young caliber pitcher. He's a horse and, to date, a good one. IMO, he'd be a huge pickup for the Mets.

Caveat Emperor
12-26-2006, 04:43 PM
I'll go out on a VERY short limb and say that if you put Barry Zito on last year's Reds team, they walk away with the NL Central.

Making the playoffs worth $15 million to you? Because with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Zito, Bailey and Milton, I'd give the Reds an even-money shot of making it -- even with their offensive problems.

Falls City Beer
12-26-2006, 04:45 PM
I'll go out on a VERY short limb and say that if you put Barry Zito on last year's Reds team, they walk away with the NL Central.

Making the playoffs worth $15 million to you? Because with a rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Zito, Bailey and Milton, I'd give the Reds an even-money shot of making it -- even with their offensive problems.

They would walk to the NL Central title with that rotation. Hell, they'd prance there. This season, too.

It's all in whether they really want to win or not. It's up to Castellini.

Falls City Beer
12-26-2006, 04:53 PM
My guess as to why Zito rebuffed Texas is that it's a terrible place to pitch, and he'd have to face the DH still.

I'm guessing that Boras is shoveling him towards the NL--the Mets have to be the favorites at this point, but I'd be willing to wager that with all the money that's flowing into this team's coffers from the various radio/media deals, that the Reds have a good chunk still available to spend if they wanted not to be penurious.

westofyou
12-26-2006, 05:13 PM
the Mets have to be the favorites at this point,
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=118

Iím hearing from trusted sources that Texas is all but out on Barry Zito. They came over the top on the Mets, but werenít able to make that stick. Those same sources are hearing that the Mets arenít the shoo-in we all thought, but that Seattle and San Francisco have made credible pitches as well. Zito may actually prefer the San Francisco offer, though it is shorter than the others (4 years.)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/jon_heyman/12/25/yankees.johnson.zito/

Randy Johnson is available, and the Yankees have begun trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres and possibly the San Francisco Giants, and if they are able to deal Johnson, the Yankees could jump in as a surprise late entrant in the Barry Zito sweepstakes.

RANDY IN INDY
12-26-2006, 05:20 PM
It's all in whether they really want to win or not. It's up to Castellini.

Why would Zito want to pitch in the GAB in Cincinnati, if he didn't want to pitch in Texas?

Looks to me like it's more up to Zito and the $$$$'s offered. Not to mention the ballpark involved.

vaticanplum
12-26-2006, 05:28 PM
I've probably said this before, but one of the big reasons I've been pushing so hard for Zito is that he's one of the few established starters whom I believe is truly smart and hard-working enough to adjust to this ballpark. That's even before I take into consideration how good he is.

It's not just the talent. If Boras is talking about him being "special", I think this is what he may mean, even though I am loathe to admit understanding anything Scott Boras says.

M2
12-26-2006, 05:28 PM
Why would Zito want to pitch in the GAB in Cincinnati, if he didn't want to pitch in Texas?

Looks to me like it's more up to Zito and the $$$$'s offered. Not to mention the ballpark involved.

Agreed. Zito's the kind of guy who'll want to pick his spot and Cincinnati isn't remotely close to what he's looking for - ballpark, team situation or city.

pedro
12-26-2006, 05:29 PM
Why would Zito want to pitch in the GAB in Cincinnati, if he didn't want to pitch in Texas?

Looks to me like it's more up to Zito and the $$$$'s offered. Not to mention the ballpark involved.

Because cincinnati is nicer than dallas and dallas is in texas.

Falls City Beer
12-26-2006, 05:30 PM
Why would Zito want to pitch in the GAB in Cincinnati, if he didn't want to pitch in Texas?

Looks to me like it's more up to Zito and the $$$$'s offered. Not to mention the ballpark involved.

Well, if his choices are NY Mets, San Fran, and Cincy, the Reds will probably have to outbid the others. But I'm sure they are able, considering it appears that San Fran is only willing to go 4 years. But the Mets' offer will probably be tough to beat.

RedsManRick
12-26-2006, 05:49 PM
In any case, we're not arguing the real question here M2, as others are. I do think that, as an above league average innings eater, he's worth 13-15MM in this market. If it put me in the playoffs, I'd certainly pay him that. However, Boras is seeking 17+ and 6+ years. Not a bad deal for a 3.55 ERA and 200 IP every year. However, show me any pitcher who you think will average 200 IP for the next 6 years. Though I have no reason to believe Zito will be injured at a given point in time, history suggests, as Boras so kindly pointed out, that nearly every pitcher gets injured at some point. Let alone the question on whether he's the 3.00 ERA guy of 01-03, the 4.00 ERA guy of 04-06, or something in between. If I could give Zito 60/4, I'd do it in a heartbeat. 100/6 is a bit different and beyond a risk I'm willing to take.

In this market, Aaron Harang is also worth 13-15MM and that's going to be a reality by 2009. Given that BC doesn't want to lose money, we'd need to come up with a whole bunch of revenue to up our payroll by 25+MM. That doesn't even touch the "why would Zito come here?" question.

RANDY IN INDY
12-26-2006, 06:07 PM
I still don't see Zito as being the type of pitcher to be effective, day in, day out in the GAB, and I would be hesitant to put that kind of longterm money into him because of that. I think he would be hesitant to sign because of that. Granted, he is a real good pitcher and far better than what they are running out there. If the Reds resources were deeper, I'd love to see him in the new Cincinnati uniform, but right now and being realistic, it ain't gonna happen.

GAC
12-27-2006, 08:23 AM
It always comes down to the same ol' handful of big market teams vying for these guys (with Texas being the exception). Every other team in MLB, not just the Reds, was out of contention before the market opened.

St Louis needs pitching. Where's Jocketty? Where's Atlanta's Schuerholz? Obviously Theo decided to try the Japanese route in Boston.

And where in the heck is the Yank's King George?

Not a peep out of any of these guys who seem to have the financial resources and also the need for pitching.

If GAB is a reason as to why some pitchers don't want to sign/pitch here... and I can agree with that assessment - then we are screwed if the only way we can get them to do so is really throw outrageous money at them.

"Hey, I'll pitch there, and my numbers may not be as good due to your park factors. But I'm more then willing to bite the bullet and overlook that for 18-20 Mil/year for 6 years."

For now, throw what monies we have at Harang, Arroyo, and Dunn to keep them here, continue to shop while looking for Bailey in '08. ;)

Chip R
12-27-2006, 10:58 AM
And where in the heck is the Yank's King George?


He may be lurking in the shadows.

http://sports.aol.com/mlb/story/_a/mets-better-act-fast-to-sign-free-agent/20061226185409990001

GAC
12-27-2006, 11:36 AM
He may be lurking in the shadows.

http://sports.aol.com/mlb/story/_a/mets-better-act-fast-to-sign-free-agent/20061226185409990001

First, though, Johnson must be traded. If I was the D'Backs I'd really think about making a serious offer for Zito. If they can even consider bringing back a 43 yr old Johnson, and paying him solid money, then why not Zito?

Phoenix could be an appealing place for Barry. Gotta be better then NYC. It's almost the west coast.... or Mexico, depending how you hold the map. :lol:

Also from the article...

If the Mets believe the Yankees are bluffing, they could very well be right. No agent plays the smoke-and-mirrors negotiating game better than Scott Boras.....Boras attempted to stir up a Yankees-Mets bidding war over Carlos Beltran two years ago. The Yankees refused to play, and poor Beltran was forced to settle for $119 million.

Wow! Forced to settle for a paltry 119 Mil.

Here is what gets me from that article also, and shows just how freakin' insane it has gotten....

Zito's negotiations with the Mets have stalled over a silly and almost insignificant amount of money (approximately $27 million).

Insignificant?

I really do wish that these big market teams, for once, would refuse to deal with Scott Boras. I would love to see this guy brought down a few notches. He seems to feel the market is what he says it will be.

mth123
12-27-2006, 11:40 AM
First, though, Johnson must be traded. If I was the D'Backs I'd really think about making a serious offer for Zito. If they can even consider bringing back a 43 yr old Johnson, and paying him solid money, then why not Zito?

It might be about length of commitment and up front cash. Johnson or 1 year at that amount with no upfront signing bonus or Zito for 7 years with a significant up front bonus.

Zito would be a bad fit in AZ. They may go with Johnson for a year and go after a better fit with the money next year.

westofyou
12-27-2006, 11:45 AM
I really do wish that these big market teams, for once, would refuse to deal with Scott Boras. I would love to see this guy brought down a few notches. He seems to feel the market is what he says it will be.

Jerry Kapstein and Reuvan Katz would probably say that approach might bite your in the arse harder then you'd think.

GAC
12-27-2006, 11:48 AM
Jerry Kapstein and Reuvan Katz would probably say that approach might bite your in the arse harder then you'd think.

Oh, I agree. That collusion charge is always floating out there. Guys like Boras are bad for baseball IMO.

westofyou
12-27-2006, 11:53 AM
Oh, I agree. That collusion charge is always floating out there. Guys like Boras are bad for baseball IMO.

I was speaking more of the approach the Reds took with agents in the 1970's, they thought that they were a pain and they thought that if they didn't deal with certain ones that would help them in the long run. That didn't work out very well now did it?

flyer85
12-27-2006, 01:31 PM
interesting points from Sheehan of BP on Zito


The issue in play here—the importance of considering the context of performance when evaluating any player—is a critical one when it comes to the last prime free agent (non-might-be-retired division), Barry Zito.

Zito is a flyball pitcher who has been protected by his environment the last few years, pitching in a good-sized home park for a team that often had three center fielders roaming the pasture. Zito isn't Suppan—his Stuff scores (12, 15, 9) and strikeout rates (6.15 K/9) are considerably better, and he doesn’t have quite the same gap between his actual and defense-adjusted ERAs—but like Suppan, he needs to be in the right situation to succeed, because he isn’t a great pitcher. He's a good one who has flaws that could be exposed in the wrong context.

The two teams who have been the most prominent in the Zito chase—the Mets and the Rangers—play in two of the more disparate environments in the game, and while each is theoretically bidding on the same pitcher, the Rangers may find that they’d just as soon lose out on the left-hander, who could see his home-run rate, isolated power allowed and ERA skyrocket at Ameriquest Field.

Spring~Fields
12-27-2006, 02:37 PM
For now, throw what monies we have at Harang, Arroyo, and Dunn to keep them here, continue to shop while looking for Bailey in '08. ;)

How much, how long of a contract, what about the Milton/Griffey risk adversion on expensive contracts with multiple years? What makes Harang, Arroyo and Dunn any less risky than other players?

flyer85
12-27-2006, 02:41 PM
Arroyo won't be staying. I would offer Harang a 3 year deal. Dunn still has 2 years left on his deal, the Reds can wait at this point.

RedsManRick
12-27-2006, 03:20 PM
Arroyo, given his salary and stated desire to go back to Boston in FA, is the perfect opportunity for the Reds to cash in. If he's pitching well and the Reds are out of the race, I'd shop him HARD and try to get as much value as possible. In my mind, not dealing Arroyo away if we're not competitive is burying our head in the sand and hoping things get better.

flyer85
12-27-2006, 03:22 PM
Arroyo, given his salary and stated desire to go back to Boston in FA, is the perfect opportunity for the Reds to cash in. If he's pitching well and the Reds are out of the race, I'd shop him HARD and try to get as much value as possible. In my mind, not dealing Arroyo away if we're not competitive is burying our head in the sand and hoping things get better.too bad they haven't shopped him around already. With his salary and 2006 performance he could bring in a haul. It is something I would have at least entertained.

BRM
12-27-2006, 03:27 PM
too bad they haven't shopped him around already. With his salary and 2006 performance he could bring in a haul. It is something I would have at least entertained.

They want to give the impression they are trying to win in 2007. Trading Arroyo would fly in the face of that impression.

flyer85
12-27-2006, 03:35 PM
They want to give the impression they are trying to win in 2007. Trading Arroyo would fly in the face of that impression.impressions are nice but I can see the emporer is wearing no clothes, I guess Bob and Wayne cannot. They have made zero progress in contructing a winner for 2007 in this off-season and I don't see how they can turn it around, there is too much ground to cover. Hoping the 2007 Reds will be a winner is counting on nothing more than dumb luck at this point.

BRM
12-27-2006, 03:41 PM
impressions are nice but I can see the emporer is wearing no clothes, I guess Bob and Wayne cannot. They have made zero progress in contructing a winner for 2007 in this off-season and I don't see how they can turn it around, there is too much ground to cover. Hoping the 2007 Reds will be a winner is counting on nothing more than dumb luck at this point.

I can't say I disagree with you at all. I was just stating my opinion as to why Wayne probably hasn't shopped Arroyo. A 90 loss season is very possible with the current roster. Luckily, there is still time for Wayne to improve the product before the season starts.

registerthis
12-27-2006, 04:03 PM
impressions are nice but I can see the emporer is wearing no clothes, I guess Bob and Wayne cannot. They have made zero progress in contructing a winner for 2007 in this off-season and I don't see how they can turn it around, there is too much ground to cover. Hoping the 2007 Reds will be a winner is counting on nothing more than dumb luck at this point.

Yep, on paper the team that will start 2007 is looking worse than the team that started 2006 (with the exception that we now know what Arroyo is capable of.) We're light years from contention at this point. i used to be opposed to trading Arroyo, simply because a pitcher that produces at his caliber for his price is more than difficult to come by. But what good are Arroyo's stats if they're put up for a team that's going to lose 85-90 games?

RedsManRick
12-27-2006, 08:26 PM
If Florida thinks it can win this year, I can see them doing a 3 way trade involving us and the Mets where they send Willis to NY, they get Arroyo to competitive plus a pitching prospect from us (Cueto?), and we'd get say Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman. Ok, I'm done dreaming :-P No way in the world that happens.

Still, imagine a world where GMs actually make moves solely on the basis of building a winner and don't have to worry about fan perception and shock jock radio hosts.

TheBigLebowski
12-28-2006, 12:45 PM
Per rotoworld, Zito is headed to San Fran. Sucks.

Spring~Fields
12-28-2006, 12:47 PM
Per rotoworld, Zito is headed to San Fran. Sucks.

Sigh!!

I was hoping that Zito would somehow end up in the NL Central, so he could draw more fans to the games.

Johnny Footstool
12-28-2006, 12:54 PM
Per rotoworld, Zito is headed to San Fran. Sucks.

Still a rumor at this point.

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/HeadLines.aspx?sport=MLB


The Rangers have been told that Barry Zito is expected to sign elsewhere, and a source told MLB.com that the left-hander would join the Giants.

Reports indicate that the Rangers' offer to Zito was worth only about $80 million for six years. If that's true, they never had a shot at signing him. They would have had to overpay him to come to Texas in the first place, and Zito is worth quite a bit more than $13.3 million per year in this market. The Giants will go higher, perhaps to $100 million or beyond, according to the New York Post. Dec. 28 - 11:36 am et


BTW: Zito actually allowed more homers in his HR-suppressing home ballpark than on the road. Here are his splits from 2004-2006:



Split ERA W L SV SVO G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
Home 4.32 20 19 0 0 52 52 0 338.2 309 171 162 47 123 234 .246
Away 3.77 21 15 0 0 51 51 0 325.2 303 150 136 34 146 251 .249

Cyclone792
12-28-2006, 01:22 PM
Looks like it's the Giants ...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2710389


Barry Zito is staying in the Bay Area with the San Francisco Giants.

Sources told ESPN's Peter Gammons that Zito will receive a seven-year contract from the Giants, with the deal averaging approximately $18 million per season. Zito will be formally introduced by the Giants this afternoon.

Gammons reports that Zito picked the Giants over the Rangers, Mets, Yankees and Mariners. In additon, sources told Gammons that the Yankees never made a formal offer.

Zito is 102-63 in 222 career starts, including a 16-10 mark with a 3.83 ERA in 34 starts this year before becoming a free agent.

RANDY IN INDY
12-28-2006, 01:22 PM
Zito seems fairly smart with his pitching. Probably bears down a little more when in a park that allows more HR's. In a big park, like Oakland, you sometimes can get away with throwing a fatter pitch in a tight situation if you have outfielders who can run it down.

RANDY IN INDY
12-28-2006, 01:23 PM
I figured he'd stay on the west coast.

RANDY IN INDY
12-28-2006, 01:25 PM
Anyone think the pieces will start falling in place with teams, now that Zito has apparently made his decision?

traderumor
12-28-2006, 01:27 PM
Sources told ESPN's Peter Gammons that Zito will receive a seven-year contract from the GiantsThe new owners weren't told by Don Fehr that the new CBA has adopted the NFL-style non-guaranteed contracts, were they? Giving 7 guaranteed years to a pitcher is insanity.

edabbs44
12-28-2006, 01:29 PM
The new owners weren't told by Don Fehr that the new CBA has adopted the NFL-style non-guaranteed contracts, were they? Giving 7 guaranteed years to a pitcher is insanity.

Good point. It sure is crazy, but that's the market.

KoryMac5
12-28-2006, 01:32 PM
Contracts that long seldom work out for the team that signs them. Zito has been very healthy throughout his career but can he keep it up for 7 years.

edabbs44
12-28-2006, 01:34 PM
Contracts that long seldom work out for the team that signs them. Zito has been very healthy throughout his career but can he keep it up for 7 years.

This is the "now" era. Supposedly $ is flying around like never before, so FOs are expecting to keep generating increasing revenues.

Those who are not aggressive in pursuing the top shelf FAs will be inviting 40 pitchers to spring training to compete for spots.

paintmered
12-28-2006, 01:36 PM
Good point. It sure is crazy, but that's the market.

It may be the MLB market today, but it doesn't make the contract any more prudent.

Johnny Footstool
12-28-2006, 01:39 PM
It may be the MLB market today, but it doesn't make the contract any more prudent.

MLB economics aren't real-world economics. The Giants franchise is in no danger of going bankrupt or even losing value.

They picked the player they wanted, and they got him. The money will take care of itself.

mth123
12-28-2006, 01:41 PM
Before all this started I was thinking that the Giants might be a likely spot for Zito.

1. Giants needed some one to replace Schmidt.
2. Giants had money with Alou, Finley, Schmidt, etc coming off the books (even Bonds took a cut I believe).
3. Zito didn't want to move and he stays right in the bay area.
4. The park is more in line with Zito's abilities.

If Zito goes there they have Zito, Cain, Morris, Lowry, Hennessey, and Sanchez. Time for the Reds to get the 7th man in line and trade for Kevin Corriea. 11BarryLarkin11 suggested it in October and its a good idea. He doesn't want to stay in the pen and it looks like he wouldn't be real expensive. Kind of a similar situation to last spring when the Reds traded for Arroyo, but since Correia isn't a local star it probably wouldn't take the starting LF to get him.

edabbs44
12-28-2006, 01:44 PM
It may be the MLB market today, but it doesn't make the contract any more prudent.

Prudent is all relative to what you can afford. I'm sure SF did a little analysis to see if they wll be able to absorb this contract in 7 years.

I think our view is a bit skewed. Cincy isn't keeping up with the rest of baseball and we are viewing these contracts based on what Cincy hands out to their top pitchers. If Meche is worth $11 million, then Zito is worth $17 million. We can talk about these contracts anyway we want, but one thing is obvious to me:

Cincy isn't getting any of the top pitchers in baseball. While we talk about these contracts and how ludicrous the money is, the bottom line is that Zito makes SF better.

paintmered
12-28-2006, 01:47 PM
MLB economics aren't real-world economics. The Giants franchise is in no danger of going bankrupt or even losing value.


They picked the player they wanted, and they got him. The money will take care of itself.

As of a few years ago, there were a few franchises in danger of going bankrupt - Arizona being one of them. San Fran is probably on more solid footing. But even franchises like the Yankees have a budget they need to operate within. What the Yankees are trying to do with Randy Johnson shows that.

He is a player worthy of serious money and any 7-year deal is a serious risk. But I suppose that's the risk franchises need to make if they want to sit at the adult table.

Maybe I'm just viewing things through my Reds colored glasses where there hasn't been enough money for the last 10 years. It will be a nice day when I can finally take these things off.

westofyou
12-28-2006, 01:51 PM
San Fran is probably on more solid footing.

They own their park outright, that said 7 years to a pitcher is Wayne Garland stupid, Mark Davis moronic and Kevin Brownesque in its weight.

paintmered
12-28-2006, 01:55 PM
Scott Boras made some money today.

traderumor
12-28-2006, 03:28 PM
MLB economics aren't real-world economics. The Giants franchise is in no danger of going bankrupt or even losing value.

They picked the player they wanted, and they got him. The money will take care of itself.
Ah, still working on that thesis statement, eh JF? ;)

A fool and his money are soon parted is an economic reality in any environment. I also do not consider it prudent to consider that there will be no consequences to a club who writes contracts such as this simply because there is a perception that they have an endless supply of funds. Seven year contracts to pitchers is very likely to have an ill future effect on the franchise that offers the contract. That doesn't mean that this one particular contract will, but the likelihood is that they will not get seven years of $126M value out of Barry Zito. I've seen the cycle of prosperity to the pits enough just in my lifetime for a varied number and types of franchises to know that SF is more likely to rue this contract than get payback for this contract.

flyer85
12-28-2006, 03:39 PM
Scott Boras made some money today.Amazing thing about Boras is that he seems to be consistently able to get a team to bid against itself and beat the competition by many millions instead of just a few.

Johnny Footstool
12-28-2006, 05:10 PM
Ah, still working on that thesis statement, eh JF? ;)

A fool and his money are soon parted is an economic reality in any environment. I also do not consider it prudent to consider that there will be no consequences to a club who writes contracts such as this simply because there is a perception that they have an endless supply of funds. Seven year contracts to pitchers is very likely to have an ill future effect on the franchise that offers the contract. That doesn't mean that this one particular contract will, but the likelihood is that they will not get seven years of $126M value out of Barry Zito. I've seen the cycle of prosperity to the pits enough just in my lifetime for a varied number and types of franchises to know that SF is more likely to rue this contract than get payback for this contract.

The Dodgers survived the Kevin Brown contract.

The Rockies survived the Mike Hampton contract. And the Darryl Kile contract.

The Yankees will survive the Randy Johnson contract. And the Carl Pavano contract.

The Reds will survive the Eric Milton contract.

And the Giants will survive the Barry Zito contract. Easily.

There are no real consequences in baseball economics. MLB bails you out if you lose too much money -- ask the D-Backs. The worst that can happen is that you have to sell your team for a few hundred million dollars more than you paid for it.

remdog
12-28-2006, 05:23 PM
In the 'Don't Like....' thread I posted this recap of what I would have liked to seen Krivsky do: 'So, of the above list, I would keep (excluding Loshe since I'm not sure of his situation) Gonzalez, Hamilton, Weathers and LaRue. I would have tried to add Ben Broussard and Jason Werth. Between the additions and subtractions (excluding Loshe) I'd save about $5.75M. Add the $4M set aside for Arullia and that's almost $10M. Adding 3-4 minor league additions like Harris, Hopper, etc take out $1-$1.5M and you've got about $8.5-$9M plus the budgeted increased payroll that Castellini promised. Add $6M if Loshe goes away.'

Now, if the Reds had done something close to that (and dumped Loshe) they would have had about $15M to throw at Zito. At that point it's up to Castellini to decide to deliver on his promised effort to win. Honestly, for a few $Ms more, you could be looking at a starting rotation of Harang, Zito and Arroyo with Milton and whoever answers the roll call as #'s 4 & 5. In this crappy division I think that would be a good chance to get you to the playoffs. After that, who knows? Look at last years' Cards.

That would show me some committment to winning. Not all the reclaimation projects the Reds are now committed to. If you get to the playoffs this year maybe you have higher attendance and you build off of that. If you don't you have the option of moving up to 3 good arms before '08.

Personally, I'm not sold on Arroyo matching last year so, if you believe in him, add a running mate. If you aren't going to add that 3rd guy, trade Arroyo now and get something for him before he tarnishes.

Rem

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2006, 05:29 PM
There are no real consequences in baseball economics. MLB bails you out if you lose too much money -- ask the D-Backs. The worst that can happen is that you have to sell your team for a few hundred million dollars more than you paid for it.

Depends on what you define "consequences" as...

Sure, the Rockies survived the Kile and Hampton contracts and are still in the business of playing baseball right now, but how competitive have they been?

The Yankees are surviving Randy Johnson and Carl Pavano, but they're not the dominant presence in the AL like they were in the mid-late 90s.

Bad decisions eventually catch up with you -- it may not bankrupt your team, but it can be a major impediment to future success.

Johnny Footstool
12-28-2006, 05:50 PM
Depends on what you define "consequences" as...

Sure, the Rockies survived the Kile and Hampton contracts and are still in the business of playing baseball right now, but how competitive have they been?

The Yankees are surviving Randy Johnson and Carl Pavano, but they're not the dominant presence in the AL like they were in the mid-late 90s.

Bad decisions eventually catch up with you -- it may not bankrupt your team, but it can be a major impediment to future success.

The Rockies weren't all that good before Kile and Hampton. They took a shot at getting better, it failed, and they kept going.

The Yankees aren't winning 110 games per season and sweeping the World Series, true. They're still a perennial playoff team and a threat to win the World Series every year. Do you really think the bad contracts they gave guys like Johnson and Pavano are keeping them from their former ludicrous level of domination?

Big contracts aren't the only kind of bad decisions a team can make. Misjudging talent is worse.

Giving a big contract to a guy like Barry Zito isn't that bad of a decision.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2006, 05:58 PM
Do you really think the bad contracts they gave guys like Johnson and Pavano are keeping them from their former ludicrous level of domination?
.

Not at all. To suggest that the Yankees aren't as good because they've spent a bunch of money on players is absolutely a false cause fallacy.

RedsManRick
12-28-2006, 06:02 PM
The Rockies weren't all that good before Kile and Hampton. They took a shot at getting better, it failed, and they kept going.

The Yankees aren't winning 110 games per season and sweeping the World Series, true. They're still a perennial playoff team and a threat to win the World Series every year. Do you really think the bad contracts they gave guys like Johnson and Pavano are keeping them from their former ludicrous level of domination?

Big contracts aren't the only kind of bad decisions a team can make. Misjudging talent is worse.

Giving a big contract to a guy like Barry Zito isn't that bad of a decision.

Interesting point. There's a definite case to be made that it's better to pay $18MM to a $10MM player than $8MM to a replacement level (or worse) player. At least you still get the $10MM worth of production out of the $18MM guy. You can win with $70MM in talent getting paid $100MM, you can't win $40MM in talent getting paid $70MM even if both teams are overpaying the same amount.

As for the "bad" RJ deal. His ERA was so high largely because of some very bad luck in the distribution of his BABIP. He still gave 33 starts and over 200 IP with a 1.24 WHIP and a 172 K. Maybe that's not worth 16MM, but he was closer to his value than say, Eric Milton.

Johnny Footstool
12-28-2006, 06:26 PM
Interesting point. There's a definite case to be made that it's better to pay $18MM to a $10MM player than $8MM to a replacement level (or worse) player. At least you still get the $10MM worth of production out of the $18MM guy. You can win with $70MM in talent getting paid $100MM, you can't win $40MM in talent getting paid $70MM even if both teams are overpaying the same amount.

As for the "bad" RJ deal. His ERA was so high largely because of some very bad luck in the distribution of his BABIP. He still gave 33 starts and over 200 IP with a 1.24 WHIP and a 172 K. Maybe that's not worth 16MM, but he was closer to his value than say, Eric Milton.

Agree on both points.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2006, 11:40 PM
Big contracts aren't the only kind of bad decisions a team can make. Misjudging talent is worse.

Giving a big contract to a guy like Barry Zito isn't that bad of a decision.

I thought it was implied in any disccusion that paying top dollar to top players isn't necessarily a bad move. Of course judging talent is of paramount import -- that goes almost without saying.

The issue is that every team has not only a budget of some sort, but also a limited number of roster spots. Every spot on the roster and every dollar spent on an underachieving players represents a lost opportunity to improve the team.

The level of detriment is related to the amount of additional resources available to buy the team out of a problem. The Yankees throwing cash down the rabbit hole for Johnson and Pavano is a problem -- it hurts the team -- but the level of hurt can be minimized because the team has the ability to go out and sign better players or trade them at a loss to imrpove the team. The Reds and Rockies, on the other hand, are teams that are more likely to just get stuck with dog players on dog contracts because they lack the financial resources to cut and run on deals.

Signing big deals to good players is a good thing, but the element of risk makes some deals plain undesireable to smaller teams. The analysis is case-by-case -- the Zito deal may make sense for San Francisco, but it'd make less sense for the Reds to committ such a large percentage of their pay to a player that might blow his arm out tomorrow and put you on the hook for 7 years of payments at diminished returns.

Johnny Footstool
12-29-2006, 03:07 AM
The thing is, a team's budget is self-imposed. There is no hard, fast rule that the Reds can only be a small payroll team. Revenue sharing and media contract sharing drastically reduce the importance of market size.

When a team claims it lacks the financial resources to compete, it's really saying "we don't *want* to spend money." Often, it also means "we don't really want to compete -- we're comfortable with the current fan base and the profit margin we've established."

GAC
12-29-2006, 05:00 AM
Cincy isn't keeping up with the rest of baseball and we are viewing these contracts based on what Cincy hands out to their top pitchers. If Meche is worth $11 million, then Zito is worth $17 million. We can talk about these contracts anyway we want, but one thing is obvious to me:

Cincy isn't getting any of the top pitchers in baseball. While we talk about these contracts and how ludicrous the money is, the bottom line is that Zito makes SF better.

It's not just Cincy "keeping up with the rest of baseball". 2/3 of MLB couldn't afford that contract. And his "host team" the A's couldn't retain him either. Just like they couldn't retain Giambi and others when it came time for free agency/big time contracts.

Yet the A's still manage to overcome and be very competitve. How is that?

GAC
12-29-2006, 05:04 AM
The thing is, a team's budget is self-imposed. There is no hard, fast rule that the Reds can only be a small payroll team. Revenue sharing and media contract sharing drastically reduce the importance of market size.

You'd have to show me some hard figures Johnny on what teams like the Reds are getting in revenue/media contract sharing to show that it has drastically reduced the importance of market size.

I'm not saying it hasn't helped some.


When a team claims it lacks the financial resources to compete, it's really saying "we don't *want* to spend money." Often, it also means "we don't really want to compete -- we're comfortable with the current fan base and the profit margin we've established."

I don't agree with this statement one bit.

mth123
12-29-2006, 05:51 AM
The thing is, a team's budget is self-imposed. There is no hard, fast rule that the Reds can only be a small payroll team. Revenue sharing and media contract sharing drastically reduce the importance of market size.

When a team claims it lacks the financial resources to compete, it's really saying "we don't *want* to spend money." Often, it also means "we don't really want to compete -- we're comfortable with the current fan base and the profit margin we've established."

Not sure I agree here. There is a finite amount of revenue coming in even with revenue sharing and the Yankees get more from local TV alone than most other teams get from all revenue sources combined.

If I owned the team, I would expect to be able to break-even regardless of the amount of market appreciation I may someday realize or how much I loved baseball. If I plan on keeping the team, that market appreciation doesn't put any money in my pocket. I certainly wouldn't commit to taking a significant amount from my personal wealth to supplement the team year after year. I could see this happening occasionally to put a team over the top. I also would have to answer to minority partners who would also have to kick-in personal wealth to supplement the team. The Yankees and Red Sox are spending their revenue to maintain these high payrolls, not dipping into their personal wealth. For a team like the Reds, that revenue gets used up sooner.

Guys with enough money to own a team didn't get it by throwing it down a hole. A guy like Castellini needs to be questioning all the nickel and diming that has eaten away his budget. Overpaying for these replacement level players is less visible but maybe more costly in the long run than signing an impact guy or two. Not only is money from this year's revenue used up, but there is no buzz to generate more revenue from signing David Weathers or trading for Jeff Conine. I think having a budget limit is ok, but there needs to be tons of accountability for how it's spent.

IMO the problem isn't Castellini, its WK.

GAC
12-29-2006, 07:35 AM
Good post mth. Especially about the accountability/responsibility issue with revenue. The previous FO spent revenue.... they just spent it very badly on various contracts that they then couldn't get out from under.

Krivksy has spent some of that money on marginal players, such as the Crosbys, Moellers... I don't think ALL of the money he has spent is bad (we'll see)... but there is obviously a risk. But they are not long term, high dollar contracts like what we saw Lindner give out; but numerous 1 yr contracts for low dollar that can easily be dumped or allowed to expire after '07.

No, I don't have much hope or faith in some of them. It will be interesting to see what Conine does platooning at 1B. Some of the others are simply backup/role players, not starters. Besides pitching, I would have loved to have seen the Reds get another decent OFer. But it's obvious to me, and seeing what OFers are/were available on the FA market (I was looking at the list on MLB)... I wouldn't want no part of a majority of them. I liked Cameron, but SD exercised their option. I wouldn't have minded Jose Guillen back. He signed a 1 yr deal w/ Seattle for 5.5 Mil (option for 08). But after that, I'm not too impressed with what is available.... the Finleys, Floyds, and Ledees.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/hot_stove/y2006/free_agent_tracker.jsp?fastatus=all&subscope=pos&teamPosCode=O

I'd rather take the chance and give Deno a shot (but Jr has to be moved out of CF).

In the back of my mind mth, I just believe it's not about not wanting to spend; but not wanting to spend on Juan Pierre, Gary Matthews, and Jeff Suppan type of contracts for marginal players.

There is, IMO, a far higher risk, and one we can't get out from under so easily.

Should Votto be given a shot at 1B during the '07 season in a platoon role, and in preparation for '08? Do they see how Deno does? What about kids like Bailey and maybe Bruce? I believe those factors are affecting some of their decision making.

RedsBaron
12-29-2006, 07:47 AM
As for the "bad" RJ deal. His ERA was so high largely because of some very bad luck in the distribution of his BABIP. He still gave 33 starts and over 200 IP with a 1.24 WHIP and a 172 K. Maybe that's not worth 16MM, but he was closer to his value than say, Eric Milton.

I read something yesterday, maybe on the "Hardball Times" website, that ranked Randy Johnson was perhaps the unluckiest pitcher of 2006. There's an excellent chance that, with just better luck, he will be much more effective in 2007. The same article mentioned several particularly "lucky" pitchers in 2006, including Zito and Arroyo.

vaticanplum
12-29-2006, 11:17 AM
I read something yesterday, maybe on the "Hardball Times" website, that ranked Randy Johnson was perhaps the unluckiest pitcher of 2006. There's an excellent chance that, with just better luck, he will be much more effective in 2007. The same article mentioned several particularly "lucky" pitchers in 2006, including Zito and Arroyo.

Johnson is second, actually, but that's a great little article, thanks for the heads-up:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/dips-lips-and-hips/

I'm always a little skeptical of DIPS; I'd trust it more if there were some way to contain within it park factors, if that makes any sense. But I'll buy that Johnson was unlucky and is likely to have a better 2007. Age is a factor with him though, no question, and he won't be younger in 2007 than he was this year.

edit: correction -- Johnson is second-unluckiest re: LIPS but first in DIPS. Vazquez is on both lists too. When is Javier going to stop ending up on these unlucky lists every year and line up his ERA with his DIPS ERA? Only the baseball gods know the answer.

RedsManRick
12-29-2006, 11:54 AM
Maybe Vazquez was drinking Jubu's rum.

Cyclone792
12-29-2006, 01:28 PM
I've thought a lot about pitchers, DIPS, BABIPs, good/bad luck seasons/careers, and freakish low BABIP pitchers recently, and I've began to notice a peculiar pattern that may be true, or may be a mirage. I'm not really sure yet, and may never be sure one way or the other. It's enough of a pattern to at least maintain a small theory in regards to BABIP, though unfortunately it's something that would require the help of a good pitching scout to really go further with.

Anyway, what I've noticed recently is that certain types of pitchers with a specific profile tend to be the pitchers who may post slightly lower BABIPs each season, and those certain types of pitchers are guys who have quite a bit of movement on either all their pitches, or at least their out pitch. This isn't to say that a pitcher with high pitch movement is suddenly able to control his BABIP, but I believe it may be possible for that type of pitcher to have slightly more control of his BABIP. Likewise, I believe it may be possible for a pitcher with very little movement to have virtually no control over his BABIP (or even less control than what's typically alotted to most pitchers, which is very little itself).

Intuitively, a pitch with lots of movement may be a bit more difficult for a batter to center when he makes contact. If there's a slight more difficulty in centering a pitch for contact, then there's a better chance to induce weaker contact, thereby increasing the chances slightly for a lower BABIP.

Most people are familiar with Greg Maddux and his BABIPs. He has a career .288 BABIP, and while it'd jump around each season from a career low .253 BABIP in 1995 to a career high .334 BABIP in 1999, his entire career mark thus far has been quite a few points below the league average, which has been ~.299 since 2002. Maddux always had pretty darn good stuff mixed with some of the best control I've ever seen, but he also usually had quite a bit of movement on each pitch he'd throw.

Mariano Rivera is a similar creature, though his career BABIP is an insane .275. We all know about Rivera's cut fastball, and one of the goals of his cut fastball is to get inside and jam batters, forcing weak contact and oftentimes breaking bats in the process. Knowing how lethal Rivera's cut fastball is and how many weakly batted balls he's able to induce, it doesn't surprise me that his career BABIP is significantly better than league average during most seasons.

Pedro Martinez is yet another arm who may qualify as a high movement freak, and his career BABIP is .287, which is better than league average. Martinez has also had a ton of seasonal BABIPs under .300.

Remember Al Leiter? Al Leiter's out pitch was primarily a cut fastball with lots of movement, and while Leiter's cutter wasn't as lethal as Rivera's, it was pretty darn good. He'd feed one cutter after another in on right-handed batters, and he put together a heckuva career doing that. Leiter's career BABIP is .291, which is again slightly better than league average, and the vast majority of his seasonal BABIPs were all under .300.

Finally, this brings me to Barry Zito, who has a career .269 BABIP and has been better than league average in each season sans 2001 and 2004. Zito's out pitch is a monster curveball, and while I've never paid enough attention to his fastball to observe how much movement he generates on it, I know that there's plenty of movement on his big curveball.

Has Zito benefitted from some luck thus far? Probably. Has he benefitted from good defense behind him? That's very possible too. But he has over 1,400 innings pitched with a career .269 BABIP; I'm not ready to attribute a 30 point advantage in BABIP vs. the league average to good luck or good defense. Something is going on to Zito's advantage, and it's that something that interests me.

Oh, and we can't forget about Kyle Lohse either. Lohse has a career .311 BABIP, and he hasn't posted a seasonal BABIP under .311 since 2003. A few months ago, I believe it was FCB who mentioned something along the lines of Lohse having one of the straightest fastballs he's ever seen, and after watching Lohse closely myself, I think FCB may be right with that assessment. Kyle Lohse may be able to get his fastball up in the mid 90s on the radar gun, but if it's coming in straight with little to no movement, major league caliber batters will have a better chance to center the bat on the ball. That result is harder contact, and harder contact generally means a higher BABIP.

Anyhow, the above is just a small theory I've maintained recently based on patterns of observation. Like I said in the first paragraph, it's a theory that likely requires the aid of one or more good pitching scouts to really dig into. A few good scouts should be able to accurately assess pitcher profiles and the amount of pitch movement each pitcher generally has while being able to accurately separate groups of pitchers based on how much pitch movement they have. From there, one can analyze those groups of pitchers with their collective BABIPs and see if there's any correlations. Maybe there are some, and maybe they aren't, but it's interesting nonetheless.

It's also one of many examples where excellent statistical evaluation and excellent scouting evaluation can work together to find out information that strictly one group wouldn't be able to find.

RFS62
12-29-2006, 01:43 PM
I'd go one further and say it's not so much movement, as it is LATE movement.

Get a batter to commit to what looks like a mistake, and late movement prevents squaring up.

gonelong
12-29-2006, 02:09 PM
Oh, and we can't forget about Kyle Lohse either. Lohse has a career .311 BABIP, and he hasn't posted a seasonal BABIP under .311 since 2003. A few months ago, I believe it was FCB who mentioned something along the lines of Lohse having one of the straightest fastballs he's ever seen, and after watching Lohse closely myself, I think FCB may be right with that assessment. Kyle Lohse may be able to get his fastball up in the mid 90s on the radar gun, but if it's coming in straight with little to no movement, major league caliber batters will have a better chance to center the bat on the ball. That result is harder contact, and harder contact generally means a higher BABIP.

BABIP is an interesting little tool to get a quick indication of who's numbers might be due for a rebound.

I find it a bit weak that they remove the HR in the calculation though. To me that is just a ball in play that nobody is going to catch, and that is on the pitcher. With the HR added back in, I think you'd start to see the seperation that you would expect.

What I think would be interesting is the SLGBIP (and I'd include HRs in that calc). That ought to show who has the skill to keep the hitters from centering the bat on the ball. Again, I'd think you'd see the seperation between guys more like you'd expect.

GL

traderumor
12-29-2006, 02:22 PM
There are no real consequences in baseball economics. MLB bails you out if you lose too much money -- ask the D-Backs. The worst that can happen is that you have to sell your team for a few hundred million dollars more than you paid for it.I think the Montreal Expos fans (all three of them) are now raising their hands in disagreement. I would also imagine the Minnesota Twins fans could share a few scary stories with you as well, as they contemplated coming very close to losing their team to contraction when the back end of the overspending cycle (with impending labor discord exacerbating the problem) came to roost. What about those down in South Florida, who happen to have management that knows how to build up to make a run but haven't figured out how to generate revenue to sustain what they build? Those are all recent consequences. Your thesis seems to prove out now because of the beginning of a prosperity cycle--new TV contract, revenue "sharing," a new CBA in effect until the next decade.

And CE has hit on an important point. If the only thing you are looking for with these insane contracts is "the team will not go bankrupt," then you are really only serving as the team's banker who only cares about servicing debt and little else. A fuller look at baseball economics has to factor in the goal of winning as a measurement of success as well and the economic impact on a franchise by franchise basis of one year wonders, mediocrity, or consistently poor teams.

traderumor
12-29-2006, 02:24 PM
A few months ago, I believe it was FCB who mentioned something along the lines of Lohse having one of the straightest fastballs he's ever seen, and after watching Lohse closely myself, I think FCB may be right with that assessment.Luke Hudson is a competitor for that award, with Homer Bailey in wait-and-see status.

pedro
12-29-2006, 02:27 PM
Johan Santana can be a FA after 2008. That guy is going to get some bank if he stays healthy.

I think this Zito contract will really come back to bite the Giants.

gonelong
12-29-2006, 02:41 PM
I think the Montreal Expos fans (all three of them) are now raising their hands in disagreement. I would also imagine the Minnesota Twins fans could share a few scary stories with you as well, as they contemplated coming very close to losing their team to contraction when the back end of the overspending cycle (with impending labor discord exacerbating the problem) came to roost. What about those down in South Florida, who happen to have management that knows how to build up to make a run but haven't figured out how to generate revenue to sustain what they build? Those are all recent consequences. Your thesis seems to prove out now because of the beginning of a prosperity cycle--new TV contract, revenue "sharing," a new CBA in effect until the next decade.

What are the consequences for the owners in those scenarios? They are all going to come out of these issues with a larger estate. Those are sentimental issues for the fans, not financial issues for the owner.


And CE has hit on an important point. If the only thing you are looking for with these insane contracts is "the team will not go bankrupt," then you are really only serving as the team's banker who only cares about servicing debt and little else.

I think you just described Carl Lindner's tenure with the Reds.

As an owner, if you can simply keep your team from going bankrupt you stand to make enourmous amounts of money when you resell them.


A fuller look at baseball economics has to factor in the goal of winning as a measurement of success as well and the economic impact on a franchise by franchise basis of one year wonders, mediocrity, or consistently poor teams.

From the business owners perspective they can win when they resell the team. For some of them is seems THAT IS THE GAME they are playing to win. Lindner didn't win squat on the field, yet he was financially successful with the Reds.

GL

Hoosier Red
12-29-2006, 02:55 PM
Here's my question on the length of contracts.
Zito's had 6 years (almost completely healthy.)
He's signed for 7 years.

When's the last time an elite pitcher managed to go 13 years without getting hurt.

There's a difference between durable and not hurt yet. I just don't know what that difference is.

pedro
12-29-2006, 02:56 PM
Here's my question on the length of contracts.
Zito's had 6 years (almost completely healthy.)
He's signed for 7 years.

When's the last time an elite pitcher managed to go 13 years without getting hurt.

There's a difference between durable and not hurt yet. I just don't know what that difference is.


Greg Maddux I believe.

traderumor
12-29-2006, 02:58 PM
What are the consequences for the owners in those scenarios? They are all going to come out of these issues with a larger estate. Those are sentimental issues for the fans, not financial issues for the owner.



I think you just described Carl Lindner's tenure with the Reds.

As an owner, if you can simply keep your team from going bankrupt you stand to make enourmous amounts of money when you resell them.



From the business owners perspective they can win when they resell the team. For some of them is seems THAT IS THE GAME they are playing to win. Lindner didn't win squat on the field, yet he was financially successful with the Reds.

GL

If a team operates at a loss, the money has to come from somewhere. When one speaks of selling the team for a "profit," I am assuming they are simply considering proceeds of sale minus purchase price. So, if an owner runs a team into the ground where he is doing little more than meeting current cash flow obligations (not going bankrupt), he may sell the team for $200M more than he paid for it, but if he is $200M in debt or has pumped in $200M to cover losses for overspending, then he is actually going to be in the hole to pay taxes on the capital gain (in a very simplified example).

BTW, such things happen all the time in businesses, where someone sells a business for what seems to be a healthy profit, but no real wealth was created. That is a real consequence that owners have to face, which has already been pointed out by mth123 earlier in the thread.

Hoosier Red
12-29-2006, 03:15 PM
Greg Maddux I believe.

I guess he's durable.

Carlos Zambrano going into last year was somebody I would have pegged as not hurt yet.

Like I said, I don't know whether Zito's not going to get hurt but it seems like a longshot that he doesn't miss significant portions of at least one season.

gonelong
12-29-2006, 03:36 PM
If a team operates at a loss, the money has to come from somewhere. When one speaks of selling the team for a "profit," I am assuming they are simply considering proceeds of sale minus purchase price. So, if an owner runs a team into the ground where he is doing little more than meeting current cash flow obligations (not going bankrupt), he may sell the team for $200M more than he paid for it, but if he is $200M in debt or has pumped in $200M to cover losses for overspending, then he is actually going to be in the hole to pay taxes on the capital gain (in a very simplified example). BTW, such things happen all the time in businesses, where someone sells a business for what seems to be a healthy profit, but no real wealth was created. That is a real consequence that owners have to face, which has already been pointed out by mth123 earlier in the thread.

Actually, I believe MLB has some sort of debt ratio they monitor and the organizations must comply with. I am not so sure a team could even get into the situation you describe.

GL

traderumor
12-29-2006, 05:17 PM
Actually, I believe MLB has some sort of debt ratio they monitor and the organizations must comply with. I am not so sure a team could even get into the situation you describe.

GL There are capital requirements for purchase, not so sure after one is in the door, but again, losses have to be covered somewhere. So you substitute the owner's injected capital for debt. The idea of my post was to illustrate that simply looking at sale price minus orginal cost to the owner is not a fair measure of "profit on sale." That is an oversimplifying assumption that is necessary to make the point you and JF are attempting to make.

And owners also can get personal debt with the ball team as collateral to inject their "own money." I know that has happened historically.

Johnny Footstool
12-30-2006, 07:07 PM
I think the Montreal Expos fans (all three of them) are now raising their hands in disagreement.

There's part of the problem -- an indifferent fan base. The other part is an owner with a cutthroat view of tearing down and rebuilding a team. Loria didn't want the Expos, and he ended up having MLB buy them from him so he could purchase another team. Does the government often buy a businessman's company from him so he can purchase another, similar company?



Your thesis seems to prove out now because of the beginning of a prosperity cycle--new TV contract, revenue "sharing," a new CBA in effect until the next decade.

Exactly. The new prosperity has made the old economic system obsolete.


And CE has hit on an important point. If the only thing you are looking for with these insane contracts is "the team will not go bankrupt," then you are really only serving as the team's banker who only cares about servicing debt and little else. A fuller look at baseball economics has to factor in the goal of winning as a measurement of success as well and the economic impact on a franchise by franchise basis of one year wonders, mediocrity, or consistently poor teams.

Why bother spending cash to win when you can turn a profit instead? Fan interest can be peaked by putting together a .500 ballclub. The Reds are a nice example of that.

traderumor
12-30-2006, 07:46 PM
There's part of the problem -- an indifferent fan base. The other part is an owner with a cutthroat view of tearing down and rebuilding a team. Loria didn't want the Expos, and he ended up having MLB buy them from him so he could purchase another team. Does the government often buy a businessman's company from him so he can purchase another, similar company?

And now he has another indifferent fan base, another crappy stadium, another team in flux...and no way out but to move to another location and hope that this place buys into his program?




Exactly. The new prosperity has made the old economic system obsolete.


That is a far cry from saying that there are no consequences to overspending and that baseball economics has no semblance of reality. But, I really don't see a "new" economic system. The existing system simply had a bunch of new money and temporary security pumped into it. The dollar levels changed, the principals have not. Wait until the next CBA expiration date comes near. This behavior now is simply upping the ante, but it is still a 52 card deck and the same poker game being played.



Why bother spending cash to win when you can turn a profit instead? Fan interest can be peaked by putting together a .500 ballclub. The Reds are a nice example of that.

First, owners are competitive human beings. You don't own a baseball team for the financial rewards. You don't think Lindner didn't finally go over the edge of not wanting to hassle with the team anymore after he got booed on Opening Day? My conjecture is that was the unofficial last day of his tenure in his mind. And interest in the Reds was so peaked last year that running jokes abound on the board about $1 Hot Dog nights for a huge series with the Cardinals, not to mention the ongoing disgust during the season at attendance for a team in the playoff race. So, I'm really not following your argument there.

Johnny Footstool
12-31-2006, 12:23 AM
And now he has another indifferent fan base, another crappy stadium, another team in flux...and no way out but to move to another location and hope that this place buys into his program?

That ignores the point that I was making -- he was completely bailed out of his situation in Montreal by MLB. That rarely happens in the real world.

But regardless, Loria now has an extremely low-payroll team that can turn a huge profit via revenue sharing, while at the same time winning ballgames (if that's what interests Loria).


That is a far cry from saying that there are no consequences to overspending and that baseball economics has no semblance of reality. But, I really don't see a "new" economic system. The existing system simply had a bunch of new money and temporary security pumped into it. The dollar levels changed, the principals have not. Wait until the next CBA expiration date comes near. This behavior now is simply upping the ante, but it is still a 52 card deck and the same poker game being played.

If the system is so doomed to failure, why are savvy businessmen lining up and spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy baseball teams whenever they come up for sale? How can MLB extort a stadium deal out of a city (Washington) while taking it's time to hand-pick an ownership group for a team without an owner?

The incentives for owning teams are there. And it involves more than just a tax dodge or a simple rich-boy plaything.


First, owners are competitive human beings. You don't own a baseball team for the financial rewards. You don't think Lindner didn't finally go over the edge of not wanting to hassle with the team anymore after he got booed on Opening Day? My conjecture is that was the unofficial last day of his tenure in his mind. And interest in the Reds was so peaked last year that running jokes abound on the board about $1 Hot Dog nights for a huge series with the Cardinals, not to mention the ongoing disgust during the season at attendance for a team in the playoff race. So, I'm really not following your argument there.

GABP was filled to 62% of capacity in 2006 (17th in MLB), up from 57% last season (23 in MLB). Not bad for the third smallest market in baseball. The complaints about attendance don't reflect the fact that the Reds did a good job drawing fans last season.

GAC
12-31-2006, 08:39 AM
That ignores the point that I was making -- he was completely bailed out of his situation in Montreal by MLB. That rarely happens in the real world.

All those failed S&Ls say "Hi", costing the taxpayers 1.4 trillion dollars. :wave:

So does Chrysler, and the billions for the airplane industry.

And lets not talk about Amtrak.

The list goes on and on.

wally post
12-31-2006, 02:15 PM
That ignores the point that I was making -- he was completely bailed out of his situation in Montreal by MLB. That rarely happens in the real world.

If the system is so doomed to failure, why are savvy businessmen lining up and spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy baseball teams whenever they come up for sale? How can MLB extort a stadium deal out of a city (Washington) while taking it's time to hand-pick an ownership group for a team without an owner?

The incentives for owning teams are there. And it involves more than just a tax dodge or a simple rich-boy plaything.


A lotta great points here, from you, JF, and many others!
Baseball is still it's own little "club" with a secret handshake.

I think they line up to buy into baseball because they were once 12 years old and played little league ball, but now, they aren't like us (fans). So my guess, and that's all it is it's probably another trophy buy. Bigger car=bigger DIAMOND. :D
Steinbrenner, for all he does that is bad, is an exception here. He really wants his team to win - albeit, it is also at least partially for his ego's sake ("the best owner of the Yankees...ever")

We see fiscal incompetence because we are looking in from the outside. AND, we look at it EVERYDAY...right? :D But they maybe have a meeting once a week, if that.
Who knows if they are fiscally incompetent? We will never probably know. In this subject, I feel like an ant trying to figure out the sidewalk.

Our enthusiasm and love of the game is our torture. A nice torture... but sometimes it's torturous.:help: :thumbup:

Johnny Footstool
01-01-2007, 02:50 PM
All those failed S&Ls say "Hi", costing the taxpayers 1.4 trillion dollars. :wave:

So does Chrysler, and the billions for the airplane industry.

And lets not talk about Amtrak.

The list goes on and on.

And the list of companies that the federal government has simply let go bankrupt goes on even further.

So yes, those examples are indeed "rare".

westofyou
01-03-2007, 11:16 AM
7 years/$126M (2007-13), plus 2014 club option

* signed as a free agent 12/06 (largest-ever pitcher contract at signing)
* 07:$10M, 08:$14.5M, 09:$18.5M, 10:$18.5M, 11:$18.5M, 12:$19M, 13:$20M, 14:$18M club option ($7M buyout)
* option vests with 200 IP in 2013 or 400 IP in 2012-13 or 600 IP 2011-13
* if 2014 option vests, Zito may opt out & receive $3.5M buyout
* full no-trade clause
* 4 years/$9.3M (2002-05), plus $8.5M 2006 club option
o $8.5M 2006 option became guaranteed 8/05 when Zito hit IP vesting mark
o $0.4M signing bonus
o 02:$0.5M, 03:$0.9M, 04:$2.7M, 05:$4.8M, 06:$7M club option
o escalators:
+ 2004: $0.1M for 400 IP 2002-03, $0.2M for 420 IP 2002-03
+ 2005: $0.7M for 540-630 IP 2002-04
+ 2006: $0.2M for 570 IP 2002-05, $1.25M for Cy Young 02-05
o $50,000 All Star bonus

registerthis
01-03-2007, 12:40 PM
And lets not talk about Amtrak.

Amtrak!

<grumble>