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View Full Version : Explain this to me, folks



Brutus
07-03-2008, 03:46 PM
Jayson Stark's Rumblings (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page=rumblings)


Seeing Red: Here's another intriguing name to add to your deadline shopping list:

Aaron Harang.

Two clubs that have spoken with the Reds in recent days report that, surprisingly, Harang is not on their untouchables list. According to one team, the Reds' latest stance is that they'll discuss anybody on the roster except Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion.

So that means Harang is a guy for whom they'll at least accept bids. But just understand they'll have to be very, very large bids.

"For them to make that move," said an official of one club, "you'd really have to stagger them because to their fans, that's waving the white flag. So you'd have to come at them with three strong, above-average-type prospects. And even then, I'm not sure they'd say yes. But if you could get him, you've got the best 3-10 pitcher in baseball."

True, Harang's record might be an unsightly 3-10. But look beyond that, and you'll see he'd still be a formidable addition to any rotation.

He has made 11 quality starts (one more than Cole Hamels). His record reflects the third-worst run support in the big leagues (2.96 runs per nine innings). He has a sub-4.00 home ERA in his pitcher's-nightmare park. And he's third in the NL in innings pitched. So he won't be priced like your average 3-10 commodity.

Dunn deal: We heard from three different teams this week that the Reds have "zero" takers on Adam Dunn. Hard to believe Dunn wouldn't be a fit for an AL team with a lineup deep enough that he wouldn't have to be a middle-of-the-order presence.

I'm a big fan of Sabermetric stats. Big fan.

I've done the correlation testing from Runs Scored to OPS, Gross Production Average, Runs Created and many of the other prominent metrics that correlate more closely to run production than does batting average.

But if Adam Dunn, in his inflated On-Base Percentage, extreme power and run-creating OPS cannot find any takers in all of baseball, then perhaps his batting average, strikeout rate, inability to drive in runners and marginal defense are all still more relevant than many Reds' fans would like to admit.

Dunn is valuable. I will not deny that, whatsoever. But when you (reportedly) can't even find a taker for him, that tells me that Dunn is still very much a giant exception to what we now know about baseball production.

Certainly salary and his being a free agent at year's end have to be a concern, but never before has that stopped teams from taking on large contracts for talented players. And I would surmise that sabermetrics are now in a large majority of front offices around baseball, so we can't pass this off as the traditionalist general managers taking a pass on less important statistics.

To me, this is proof that some of the Reds' fan base has over-inflated Dunn's value, even relative to SABR principals - which I do have the utmost respect for.

Orodle
07-03-2008, 03:55 PM
I'm sure there are takers, just not offering what the Reds would like in return.

One aspect of the game that you left out is his defense. Often forgotten when talking sabermetrics simple because there is no good numerical way to rate a players offensive ability.

Many keep bringing Jr's name up in a possible deal with the Rays. I think Dunn would be a better move for them to fill their need at DH.

On Harang: I would HATE for the Reds to trade him because to me that means they are throwing in the towel for next season as well. Its not as if Harang is some old broken down vet. Hes struggling and has a sub 4.00 ERA! The only true strength the Reds have in my mind is the 1-2 punch of Harang and Voquez at the top of the rotation. Other than that the rotation is filled with potential and inconsistency up to this point in their careers. (Cueto, Thompson, Bailey).

Brutus
07-03-2008, 04:02 PM
I'm sure there are takers, just not offering what the Reds would like in return.

One aspect of the game that you left out is his defense. Often forgotten when talking sabermetrics simple because there is no good numerical way to rate a players offensive ability.

Many keep bringing Jr's name up in a possible deal with the Rays. I think Dunn would be a better move for them to fill their need at DH.

Actually I did cite "marginal defense" in the list of his perceived flaws that could be contributing to value.

As far as expectations for a return, I don't believe the Reds have their sights set very high for Dunn. While I'm sure Walt Jocketty won't trade him away for a bag of peanuts and a Dodger Dog, I sincerely doubt they're demanding a ransom as a stipulate of his trade. If Jocketty has no intentions of re-signing Dunn, I imagine he would rather trade him than settle for a sandwich draft pick.

If in fact it comes out that the Reds can't find any takers because they're asking too much, I'll stand corrected. Thus far, however, I've not necessarily seen any sort of report that suggests that.

TheBigLebowski
07-03-2008, 04:08 PM
I'm sure there are takers, just not offering what the Reds would like in return.

One aspect of the game that you left out is his defense. Often forgotten when talking sabermetrics simple because there is no good numerical way to rate a players offensive ability.

Many keep bringing Jr's name up in a possible deal with the Rays. I think Dunn would be a better move for them to fill their need at DH.

On Harang: I would HATE for the Reds to trade him because to me that means they are throwing in the towel for next season as well. Its not as if Harang is some old broken down vet. Hes struggling and has a sub 4.00 ERA! The only true strength the Reds have in my mind is the 1-2 punch of Harang and Voquez at the top of the rotation. Other than that the rotation is filled with potential and inconsistency up to this point in their careers. (Cueto, Thompson, Bailey).

I agree that Reds fans tend to over-value Dunn, especially the SABR-savvy fans. I just don't think there's a huge market out there for the guy.

Agree as well on Harang. I think trading him would be a colossal mistake unless the return is simply mind-blowing. However, one minor correction - yes, Harang IS struggling, but his era is not sub-4.00. It's over 4.

Brutus
07-03-2008, 04:13 PM
I agree that Reds fans tend to over-value Dunn, especially the SABR-savvy fans. I just don't think there's a huge market out there for the guy.

Agree as well on Harang. I think trading him would be a colossal mistake unless the return is simply mind-blowing. However, one minor correction - yes, Harang IS struggling, but his era is not sub-4.00. It's over 4.

I forgot to address the Harang portion of the article, but absolutely I wouldn't be trading him unless I'm blown away.

I don't know how others feel, but actually I am of the opinion that shedding Griffey and Dunn's salary as well as Ryan Freel and Bronson Arroyo would free up a ton of room for the Reds to go all-out in pursuit of some quality free agents (Orlando Hudson, C.C. Sabathia, Rod Barajas, etc.)

With some improvements to the staff (one more quality starter and a few solid relievers, which are an abundance on the market this offseason) and some dependable outfielders to replace the departing, the Reds can be a contender as soon as next season. For that reason, I think Brandon Phillips and Harang need to remain Reds for the immediate future - as they can be part of a very strong core.

Ahhhorsepoo
07-03-2008, 04:18 PM
Dunn has no takers.. I think we have talked about this here many many many times...... and people keep saying there is such a market for him..

Nuxhall41
07-03-2008, 04:41 PM
No takers for such a magical player like Dunn? What a shock. Actually, it's not. It's been the same story for several years.

GoReds33
07-03-2008, 05:11 PM
Harang's ERA is 4.47. He's gotten crushed this year. I hate selling so low on him, with all the success he's had in the past. We need to hold onto him one more year, and if he isn't producing then, it's probably time for a change of scenery.

redsfanmia
07-03-2008, 05:48 PM
No takers for such a magical player like Dunn? What a shock. Actually, it's not. It's been the same story for several years.

But he is going to sign a 4 year 75 million dollar deal in the off-season once the bidding war for his services start. :thumbup:

Lockdwn11
07-03-2008, 06:13 PM
But he is going to sign a 4 year 75 million dollar deal in the off-season once the bidding war for his services start. :thumbup:

As long as the Reds are not paying the 75 mil I could care less.Thats just to much for a player with so many holes in his game

Ghosts of 1990
07-04-2008, 08:30 AM
There's takers for Dunn, just not for the asking price we're commanding, which is good. He shouldn't be given away. Like it or not, Adam Dunn's don't come along often in this game; and that is a fact.