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Thread: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

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    Member tomnuetten's Avatar
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    Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Just found this article at fangraphs and thougt it would be an interesting read for redszoners...

    They said that Seattle would have won the trade even if Ken Griffey could have stayed healthy...

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Of course they would have. After the fact. Did fangraphs write anything on the trade at the time? I think it was pretty much consensus at the time amongst everyone that the trade was a landslide victory for the Reds.

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by hebroncougar View Post
    Of course they would have. After the fact. Did fangraphs write anything on the trade at the time? I think it was pretty much consensus at the time amongst everyone that the trade was a landslide victory for the Reds.
    Not sure FanGraphs existed at the time the Griffey swap went down. But isn't the whole point of the article to consider what Griffey's value should have been and measure it in that regard? Mike Cameron was a pretty darn valuable player when he was dealt, and injury or not, his few years after the deal were arguably close to as good as Griffey would have given even in good health -- especially when you consider relative cost.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Not sure FanGraphs existed at the time the Griffey swap went down. But isn't the whole point of the article to consider what Griffey's value should have been and measure it in that regard? Mike Cameron was a pretty darn valuable player when he was dealt, and injury or not, his few years after the deal were arguably close to as good as Griffey would have given even in good health.
    Yes... during THE STEROID ERA. Wonder how good Mike would have been without the "benefits"?

    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Yes... during THE STEROID ERA. Wonder how good Mike would have been without the "benefits"?

    Regardless, Cameron was a player who projected to give a certain amount of value -- and he was a great piece for Seattle to get back when they had basically zero leverage. We can't rewrite those facts just because he was later busted for steroids.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    I hate the "win the trade" logic of baseball fans.

    The goal is not to "win" or not "lose" a trade. It's to take one or multiple commodities and exchange them for other assets in positions of need or higher luxury.

    There is no sane person alive that wouldn't have made that deal the Reds made. Griffey was the best player in baseball at that time, or one of two, and was a pure marketing paradise for a team like Cincinnati. He would have made their team better if he were healthy and was a hometown hero willing to take less than market value to get the deal done. It may have been a win for Seattle too, but it was a win for Cincinnati at the time. Period.

    It's actually possible for both teams in a trade to 'win.'
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by hebroncougar View Post
    Of course they would have. After the fact. Did fangraphs write anything on the trade at the time? I think it was pretty much consensus at the time amongst everyone that the trade was a landslide victory for the Reds.
    Would it matter if they did? It would have been the opinion of one writer, not for all of fangraphs and everyone associated with fangraphs both then, in between and now.

    Side note, has there ever been a trade of a superstar player for multiple players, at least in the last 30 years, that numerically speaking, the team acquiring the superstar didn't lose based on WAR? Teams aren't giving up elite talent that they can control for years, so the trading team is usually only acquiring 1-2 years of one guy, while they are usually recieving multiple years of multiple players, someone of which is supposed to be awfully good in their own right along with several other useful players. The math just doesn't work out well, but of course the math ignores the value of having one guy worth what 2-3 guys combined are worth, leaving the other team with 2-3 guys of additional value they can add that the former team simply can't because there are only 25 spots on the roster.

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    The goal is not to "win" or not "lose" a trade. It's to take one or multiple commodities and exchange them for other assets in positions of need or higher luxury.
    This is pretty much exactly what the FG post is arguing, if you look at this quote:

    This isn’t to lampoon Jim Bowden or the Reds, because at the time, the trade was widely reported as a steal for the Reds. They held the line on not giving up their best young infield prospect, Pokey Reese, and “won” the trade by including Antonio Perez instead. The quality of the shortstop prospect was the sticking point in negotiations, not the inclusion of the younger, All-Star caliber, big league center fielder who had been as good as Griffey in the just concluded season. Pretty much the entirety of the coverage focused on the Reds refusal to include Reese and how the Mariners finally had to cave after Griffey forced them to take a lesser deal by killing their leverage.

    And, in reality, the Mariners were making off like bandits. Having Cameron and the extra $10 to $15 million to spend on free agents was far better than having Griffey under contract, and of course, the Mariners were better immediately after trading him than they were with him. Even if Griffey had stayed healthy and played well for the Reds, the Mariners were going to win that trade, because having a cheap, in-his-prime Cameron was simply more valuable than having an expensive, declining Griffey. And that’s not even including the other three players in the deal. As a one for one swap, Griffey for Cameron favored the Mariners, except no one saw it that way.

    In 15 years, I’m sure we’ll look back on some of today’s moves with the same astonishment that we all missed the boat entirely. It’s not like player valuation has been solved, and we have nothing else to learn. But looking back at that deal, it’s amazing how different the sport is, and how the valuations of players have changed a relatively short period of time.
    All they are doing is questioning the dominant narrative that the Reds won in a landslide. Fact is, when you actually look at the commodities that were exchanged, it wasn't so lopsided as all that. Not at all.

    So I don't get the outrage. One little post on FG isn't going to change the dominant narrative. But it is a perspective that is at least worth arguing.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Not sure FanGraphs existed at the time the Griffey swap went down. But isn't the whole point of the article to consider what Griffey's value should have been and measure it in that regard? Mike Cameron was a pretty darn valuable player when he was dealt, and injury or not, his few years after the deal were arguably close to as good as Griffey would have given even in good health -- especially when you consider relative cost.
    Yes you're right, the first time I read it, I thought it was to rip on the Reds for making the trade. But I see that point now. Makes sense.

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    This is pretty much exactly what the FG post is arguing, if you look at this quote:



    All they are doing is questioning the dominant narrative that the Reds won in a landslide. Fact is, when you actually look at the commodities that were exchanged, it wasn't so lopsided as all that. Not at all.

    So I don't get the outrage. One little post on FG isn't going to change the dominant narrative. But it is a perspective that is at least worth arguing.
    How is that what they are arguing when they specifically say, twice, that Seattle "won" the trade?

    That's the antithesis of my point. They are claiming a victor when in fact who "won" the trade is irrelevant.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    How is that what they are arguing when they specifically say, twice, that Seattle "won" the trade?



    That's the antithesis of my point. They are claiming a victor when in fact who "won" the trade is irrelevant.

    Would you prefer they write that the M's "got better commodities" than previously reported? I think that's pretty undeniable. And I don't see how you can say it is irrelevant.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Would you prefer they write that the M's "got better commodities" than previously reported? I think that's pretty undeniable. And I don't see how you can say it is irrelevant.
    They got better, Cincinnati got better (or should have if Griffey were healthy). That was the point of both teams making the trade. That's all that matters.

    So yes, who "won" the trade is immaterial. There wasn't a winner. Anyone that got out of the trade what they needed is a winner.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    They got better, Cincinnati got better (or should have if Griffey were healthy). That was the point of both teams making the trade. That's all that matters.



    So yes, who "won" the trade is immaterial. There wasn't a winner. Anyone that got out of the trade what they needed is a winner.

    To be fair, FG also puts the word "won" in scare quotes. So they too are aware that that rhetoric is a bit fruitless.

    I do think though that you are being a bit hyperbolic in calling these types of analyses "irrelevant." If that were true, it would be pointless to write almost any form of history -- which does have winners and losers, and should be available for scrutiny in retrospect.
    Last edited by RedEye; 02-05-2014 at 10:10 PM.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    The year before(1999) the Reds had lost a one game playoff to the Mets and lost 5-0. I can understand that Reds management thought Ken would put them over the top. I do think it's hyperbole that the Mariners would have won the trade even if Ken wasn't injured. He was considered by some the best player in baseball at the time, and he gave the Reds a hometown discount. If anything, you can put it on the pitching, the pitching was a bit hit and miss during his time with the Reds.

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    Re: Fangraphs review the Ken Griffey Jr. trade

    A bit of curiosity about the defensive metrics mentioned. Are they based on a normalized hypothetical field of play? Or does Cameron get an additional advantage defensively playing in SafeCo versus Cinergy? And by what I mean is, a guy like Cameron/Stubbs/etc are going to be a bit limited in an average/smaller park vs a huge park.
    "Today was the byproduct of us thinking we can come back from anything." - Joey Votto after blowing a 10-1 lead and holding on for the 12-11 win on 8/25/2010.


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