Re: Pirates DFA Zach Stewart
Yes, in 2010, Rolen was better than EE all around. How much better offensively? well they SLG about the same, but Rolen was far better at getting on base. Going forward from today, If EE is 80% of what he was last year for the next 4 years, TOR wins the trade.
So yes, in 2010, Rolen did make a significant tangible contribution. The pitching made more of a contribution IMO. But as much as Rolen improve the defense, OCab did his best to drag it back down, and at a more important position defensively. The starting pitching went from a 4.50 ERA in 2009 to a 4.05 ERA in 2010. that is significant. In 2011 it was back up to 4.47.
The pitching has been the driving force behind the success or lack of for the Reds the past 3 seasons.
As for the intangibles, I have no doubts there. Both BP and Votto have mentioned Rolen in numerous interviews. Clearly he had a massive effect on them in how they approach the game. Or perhaps Votto would have been exactly what he is without him. BP seemed to grow up almost overnight, especially in regards to how he treats fans.
Bruce still hasn't taken that superstar step everyone seems to think he's on the verge of taking.
And I go back to a point i made earlier... Why isn't Arroyo given the same credit for helping turn the pitching around? His work ethic has never been questioned, He pitched hurt all of 2011 (Mono), never at full strength and he never missed a turn, because the team needed him. The example he set in 2011 could certainly be a tipping point for a team that followed that season with one in which NO starting pitcher missed a turn.
I'm glad Rolen was a Red. I do think the Reds overpaid for him, and there are some trades recently that suggest that. Ichiro to the Yankees comes to mind off the top of my head, but TOR got 3 players for one with a history of back and shoulder problems. And said player wanted out of Toronto. It doesn't matter what happened after the trade. It doesn't matter that after 2010 Rolen was at best a part time player, or that EE was DFA'd. At the time, EE was moving to the AL where he could DH if he had no position. Roenicke was a hard thrower and Stewart was the Red's best pitching prospect. That's a lot for 34 year old 3B on the downside of his career.
"don't end up with a grandson with a dog collar."