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Thread: Wickman To The Braves

  1. #76
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonred
    The same Brian Roberts that went from $390K in '05 to $3.0M this season (a mere 750% annual increase)... Felo leaps from 415K to 2.7M in 2006 behind a breakout year. While he won't get a 2X+ type bonanza next year with his middling 2006 numbers, it is safe to say with the MLB Arbitration a.k.a. MLB Peter Principle scheme he'll do no worse then end up ~$4M in 2007. Do I want to pay for a career .740 OPS SS (or even worse maybe a 2B/3B or OF masquerading as a SS in an arb hearing) with poor defensive skills 4M+ going forward? Not a chance.

    C'mon man, you know how the arb game works. It's the greatest thing ever for average and slightly above average players in years 4, 5 and 6 of service time. It goes in increments with each year getting prohibitively more expensive. All you need is that one breakout year to get the salary reset to the $2.5-3M range and then it is gravy time from there -- a one way ticket skyward. Since the average starting position salary in baseball is in the ~$4-6M range all you need to do is hang around as an average asset and gather enough service time on the clock (mixing in a nice one year pop like Felo to get that huge escalation is all the better) and you quickly become death to virtually any small/mid market team.

    Did Lopez need to be moved immediately -- of course not, but the fact remains that the Reds got the best performance/value years for both Kearns/Lopez as they keep getting more expensive. 4.6 years of good value from Kearns and 3.6 pretty good ones for Lopez. Whether the Reds got the right return for them at this point in time remains TBD, but the value/performance window for these two guys was diminishing at an accelerating rate. Personally I would have liked to hold out on Jimbo with Kearns for Bray/Maj right now and then 100% for sure dump Felo in the offseason, but I'm not sure his value would have been all that great then given his return to a pedestrian career OPS norm and his growing reputation as a defensive hack.
    The Reds got the best performance/value years for both Kearns and Lopez because the system is set up to provide the best value in pre-arbitration years. Dollar-for-dollar, solid performers are dramatically underpaid versus their peers before they're arbitration eligible. That's how the game works but because we see big salary escalations during the first-arbitration eligible years, we misinterpret that it's the best time to punt a player for a value return. That's a slippery slope considering that during the first couple of arbitration years players are simply progressing to the norm in terms of cost efficiency.

    It's hard for us to stomach seeing a player rise from near-league minimum as they approach what they're actually worth. But if they're going to be overpaid prior to their FA eligibility years, it's going to be after their first two arbitration-eligible seasons. That offers plenty of time to make decisions on whether or not the players you're talking about are keepers.
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  3. #77
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Steel -- I think we are both saying the same thing on the arb scale and we both know all the details on how it works (or doesn't work) but IMO Lopez is about to cross the line into being overpaid starting April 1, 2007.

    Basically in year 4 of service time both are still underpaid (2006, for sure with Kearns, more questionable for Lopez based on his '06 and .740 career OPS across 2000 ABs). In year 5 -- 2007 they will in theory both get paid closer to what they should in the market (~$4M for both, but I'd prefer to pass on paying that to Lopez given his liabilities). In 2008 both of them will likely be at least slightly overpaid relative to their worth (league position average or better with the club benefit of no LTC risk). FA gets them a LTC and some lucky club gets to take on the risk.

    Our difference: I think that Lopez is now roughly at the "paid to market" level and he will soon be "overpaid to market" starting next season. His trade value in the marketplace should reflect that reality -- it's a lot less than it was before 2006 started due to his mediocre '06 performance, negative defensive reputation, position projection uncertainty and his looming escalating salary under the arb system. Your opinion is that he is presently and will remain "underpaid to market" into 2008.

  4. #78
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    I just have no idea why Hatteberg was brought into the discussion. There's no irony in people thinking that hatteberg is being undervalued and Lopez is being overvalued--there's a very strong case to be made for each.
    My point was that some people are falling all over themselves about how great Hatteberg has been. They talk about value in relation to his salary. They talk about OBP. They say he is better than Casey ever was. They say he should be re-signed. I'm not bashing Hatte, I am just stating the obviously growing fanbase he has on this board.

    But my point was that if you look at Lopez's stats, they weren't that bad. He is on pace to demolish his career high in walks. On pace for 40 steals. On pace for almost 100 runs. So he has the yips in the field. Dunn isn't a star out there. Neither is Griffey. EE hardly reminds anyone of Brooks Robinson.

    Lopez gets traded and everyone is tearing him apart, saying he hit his peak and now it's all downhill and whatever. The guy is 26. BP is going to have to be moved to SS next year...maybe they could have tried Lopez at 2b. I think he would provide more value than Maj.

  5. #79
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    So he has the yips in the field. Dunn isn't a star out there. Neither is Griffey. EE hardly reminds anyone of Brooks Robinson.
    Yet hundreds of folks have pointed out Griffey and Lopez's defense over the past year and you know why?

    Because those are your two key defensive positions, as for LF... least of most baseball fans worries, plus the last time I looked Dunn had hitting stats that didn't make being a defensive black hole in the position where most teams hide there defensive black holes such an issue.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a winning team with crappy defense up the middle then a team that had a poor LF or 3rd baseman.

  6. #80
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD

    Lopez' PECOTA projects him to be worth 5.125 mil and 5.325 mil over Replacement Player in 2007 and 2008. And Replacement Player is what the Reds are running out to his position right now with no improvment in sight. Considering our options, Lopez projects to be worth 10 million bucks more than what the Reds have over the next two seasons. Oh, sure the Reds could go find something better than that I suppose. But you have to pay resources (either players, money, or both) to do that as well.

    .
    Maybe I'm missing something here... If Lopez makes $4M in 2007 and is still projected to be underpaid by $5.125M in '07 that means he would project to make $9.125M in the open market??

    I'd take my chances that I could find replacement value (a .740 OPS and average at best/below average defensive skills) at the $4M level. With almost certainty I'd find superior production to his projected contribution at the $9.125M level.

  7. #81
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    Yet hundreds of folks have pointed out Griffey and Lopez's defense over the past year and you know why?

    Because those are your two key defensive positions, as for LF... least of most baseball fans worries, plus the last time I looked Dunn had hitting stats that didn't make being a defensive black hole in the position where most teams hide there defensive black holes such an issue.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a winning team with crappy defense up the middle then a team that had a poor LF or 3rd baseman.
    I'm looking at next year and beyond. Personally, unless they go out and get Zito, Willis and Mariano, I don't think they'll be playing deep into October. So if BP is going to be playing SS next year anyway, why not see if Lopez can do something at 2nd?

    I'm not trying to make this into a Lopez rally b/c I am more upset that AK was included. But I find it funny that he is being skewered on this board and people are making it seem like Maj+Bray-Lopez=1990.

    And don't let Damage Control sway your opinions b/c I know you're better than that....Clayton is nothing to brag about in the field.

  8. #82
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    So if BP is going to be playing SS next year anyway, why not see if Lopez can do something at 2nd?
    Mostly because they don't want to interrupt Brandon's progress is what I gather from Narron's quotes.
    And don't let Damage Control sway your opinions b/c I know you're better than that....Clayton is nothing to brag about in the field.
    Nobody's swaying my opinion, I think that the Reds want to increase their baseball acumen in the infield, hence Clayton, why else all the quotes about his head and not his glove? Mostly because the Reds (and many fans) had lost faith in Lopez during into the next Larkin or even Leo Cardenes.

    You can't chart knowing what to do in the infield looks like, but evidently being the meat in the infield rookie sandwich didn't work out in to well for Lopez.

  9. #83
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    Nobody's swaying my opinion, I think that the Reds want to increase their baseball acumen in the infield, hence Clayton, why else all the quotes about his head and not his glove?
    From the Cincinnati Enquirer: Lopez is hitting .268 with nine homers and 30 RBIs, but has occasionally failed to make the routine play. The Reds are second-to-last in the NL in fielding.

    "In order to win, we've got to make the routine play every time," manager Jerry Narron said.

    From the Cincinnati Post: At the same time, the Reds upgraded their defense.

    Lopez, an All-Star last year, was fine offensively, hitting .268 with nine home runs and a team-high 23 stolen bases, but his defense was a drawback. Already this season, he had committed 14 errors, one behind team leader Edwin Encarnacion, and Krivsky and Narron felt the deficiency needed to be addressed.

    "Felipe has a chance to be a good major league shortstop," Narron said. "It's going to be up to him - how much he wants to put into it. You have got to play well defensively, and you've got to play well consistently."

    It's what Clayton, who has a career fielding percentage of .974 and ranks seventh all time among shortstops, has done during his career.

    From the DDN: "At shortstop, with Royce Clayton and Juan Castro, we are going to get a lot of defense," Narron added.

  10. #84
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44
    From the Cincinnati Enquirer: Lopez is hitting .268 with nine homers and 30 RBIs, but has occasionally failed to make the routine play. The Reds are second-to-last in the NL in fielding.

    "In order to win, we've got to make the routine play every time," manager Jerry Narron said.

    From the Cincinnati Post: At the same time, the Reds upgraded their defense.

    Lopez, an All-Star last year, was fine offensively, hitting .268 with nine home runs and a team-high 23 stolen bases, but his defense was a drawback. Already this season, he had committed 14 errors, one behind team leader Edwin Encarnacion, and Krivsky and Narron felt the deficiency needed to be addressed.

    "Felipe has a chance to be a good major league shortstop," Narron said. "It's going to be up to him - how much he wants to put into it. You have got to play well defensively, and you've got to play well consistently."

    It's what Clayton, who has a career fielding percentage of .974 and ranks seventh all time among shortstops, has done during his career.

    From the DDN: "At shortstop, with Royce Clayton and Juan Castro, we are going to get a lot of defense," Narron added.
    I don't read those papers, what does that have to do with my opinion?

    Looks to me like they don;t really care for Lopez's glove and this is why I came to that conclusion.

    Felipe has a .954 fielding percentage this year (.970 last year), if you were to look at the 100 worst SS seasons by NL teams since Roy McMillan became a Red you will find 3 Reds seasons in the botoom 100, 1968 (96th place, 1987 31st and 2003 20th) If you go and look at the next 100 shortstop seasons you'll find 1970 at #132, 1986 at #167 and 1964 at #173.

    Each year except for 1964 was followed by either more of the same (87-87) or a new shortstop.

    Looks like they were afraid of it happening again so they cut to the chase.

    Good teams don't suffer bad fielding shortstops, looks to me like the Reds want to stay the course on their history.

    I for one agree on that, and I don't need to be "swayed" either.


    Five worst Reds seasons at SS since 1950
    Code:
    1964
    
    FIELDING PERCENTAGE             PCT       G     
    1    Leo Cardenas               .960      163   
    
    1968
    
    FIELDING PERCENTAGE             PCT       G     
    1    Leo Cardenas               .955      136   
    2    Woody Woodward             .968       41   
    
    
    1970
    SS
    
    FIELDING PERCENTAGE             PCT       G     
    1    Darrel Chaney              .941       30   
    2    Dave Concepcion            .945       93   
    3    Woody Woodward             .973       77   
    4    Tommy Helms               1.000       12   
    
    1986
    
    FIELDING PERCENTAGE             PCT       G     
    1    Wade Rowdon                .893        6   
    2    Kurt Stillwell             .951       80   
    3    Dave Concepcion            .965       60   
    4    Barry Larkin               .976       36  
    
    1987
    
    FIELDING PERCENTAGE             PCT       G     
    1    Kurt Stillwell             .914       51   
    2    Barry Larkin               .965      119   
    
    2003
    
    FIELDING PERCENTAGE             PCT       G     
    1    Felipe Lopez               .928       50   
    2    Rainer Olmedo              .928       51   
    3    Barry Larkin               .962       60   
    4    Juan Castro               1.000       24

  11. #85
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonred
    Maybe I'm missing something here... If Lopez makes $4M in 2007 and is still projected to be underpaid by $5.125M in '07 that means he would project to make $9.125M in the open market??

    I'd take my chances that I could find replacement value (a .740 OPS and average at best/below average defensive skills) at the $4M level. With almost certainty I'd find superior production to his projected contribution at the $9.125M level.
    No. It means that Lopez projects to be worth $5.125M versus Replacement Player- not league average. The irony is that "Replacement Player" pretty much epitomizes the value of Juan Castro or Royce Clayton over a full season. Your average Shortstop is worth more than four million bucks. The Reds are paying the equivalent of two million bucks to replacement-level Shortstops. Do the math.

    There aren't any internal options. Unless the Reds overpay for defense or dedicate significant personnel resources to acquire them, you're likely not going to see a change there. Above average offense from a player who's heading into his age-prime seasons is geometrically more valuable than the options the Reds have at the moment.

    And we need to realize that Krivsky won't just overpay for defense, but he'll overpay for the perception of defense. You think a guy like Cesar Izturis-type is going to be cheap (dramatically overpaid for his perceived defensive value)? And if you can find a Free Agent or trade option who'll put up Lopez' probable numbers next season and can get him without four million in player and cash value, I'd love to see him because, at this point, that player doesn't appear to exist. And yes, the perception of defense is why Juan Castro is being paid a million bucks this season regardless of the reality.

    The reality is that Shortstops get overpaid for their defensive value quite consistently regardless of whether or not that perception equates reality. The reason that happens is that the perception (key word there) of defensive value is dramatically overvalued at that position. The next reality is that Felipe Lopez isn't very good defensively right now which should bode well for any team going to arbitration with Felipe Lopez. Yet we continue to hear about how much money a player who apparently isn't any good is going to get in arbitration. And as bad the Reds options are, Felipe Lopez is probably worth more to the Reds than 5 million bucks in the near future considering that the Reds have no internal options and the external options equal a big dollar and/or talent investment.

    But that whole analysis could have been rendered moot had the Reds simply received equitable value for Felipe Lopez. They didn't, and that's not a cost savings any way we want to slice it.
    Last edited by SteelSD; 07-22-2006 at 01:33 AM.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  12. #86
    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Wickman To The Braves

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    No. It means that Lopez projects to be worth $5.125M versus Replacement Player- not league average. The irony is that "Replacement Player" pretty much epitomizes the value of Juan Castro or Royce Clayton over a full season. Your average Shortstop is worth more than four million bucks. The Reds are paying the equivalent of two million bucks to replacement-level Shortstops. Do the math.

    There aren't any internal options. Unless the Reds overpay for defense or dedicate significant personnel resources to acquire them, you're likely not going to see a change there. Above average offense from a player who's heading into his age-prime seasons is geometrically more valuable than the options the Reds have at the moment.

    And we need to realize that Krivsky won't just overpay for defense, but he'll overpay for the perception of defense. You think a guy like Cesar Izturis-type is going to be cheap (dramatically overpaid for his perceived defensive value)? And if you can find a Free Agent or trade option who'll put up Lopez' probable numbers next season and can get him without four million in player and cash value, I'd love to see him because, at this point, that player doesn't appear to exist. And yes, the perception of defense is why Juan Castro is being paid a million bucks this season regardless of the reality.

    The reality is that Shortstops get overpaid for their defensive value quite consistently regardless of whether or not that perception equates reality. The reason that happens is that the perception (key word there) of defensive value is dramatically overvalued at that position. The next reality is that Felipe Lopez isn't very good defensively right now which should bode well for any team going to arbitration with Felipe Lopez. Yet we continue to hear about how much money a player who apparently isn't any good is going to get in arbitration. And as bad the Reds options are, Felipe Lopez is probably worth more the the Reds than 5 million bucks in the near future considering that the Reds have no internal options and the external options equal a big dollar and/or talent investment.

    But that whole analysis could have been rendered moot had the Reds simply received equitable value for Felipe Lopez. They didn't, and that's not a cost savings any way we want to slice it.
    Very well said.


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