Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun
He sounds like Bret Boone, ca 1996-1998.
In other words, I figure the team, given the current mix, can survive carrying one pure Judy hitter. An elite defensive SS would be the spot to do it and if it goes in that direction then some offensive upgrades on the corners need to be pursued.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
"I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton
Does the GAB suppress doubles? It might, though the Reds have surrendered so many in recent years (due in no small part to a certain CF named after his father) that it seems like a doubles palace. Kind of scary to think that in another park, this team could have surrendered more doubles.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
The only answer I can come up with is the team doesn't for a second believe the bogus hype about Castro's defense. Gonzalez isn't going to hit, at least not enough to make a positive difference. No one's signing that guy for his bat. His calling card is his defense and if the Reds are signing him, then it's a pretty clear signal they covet his defense and that they don't think Castro can provide it.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
Very Bad (-2)
Very Good (2)
Thus, the thinking is that if you have a "Bad" (-1) offensive player who is "Very Good" (+2) defensively, it's a net +1 and he's therefore a good player. I think this is the thinking you tend to get from the old school 'stats don't tell you what really matters' crowd.
However, I think the better way to look at it is a scale which measures actual contributions. There are a number of stats out there which do just this -- standardizing offensive & defense contributions to a single variable, such as runs. When you do that, you find that offensive contributions are much more important in the big picture. Even if a guy is perfect defensively, he could be less valuable than a guy who is merely average defensively and above average offensively.
A related topic however is the concept of diminishing returns on defense/offense on the team level. This was approached by Cyclone at the macro level when he did his analysis on team balance. Looking at the game by game level, every run you score contributes just a little bit less than the run before it in terms of your chance of winning the game. So if you don't score very many runs at all, a modest increase in your offense will have a major impact. Of course, this is also true with run prevention. If you are horrible at preventing runs, a modest increase in run prevention will have a major impact.
I'm worried however, that in Krivsky's mind, we're still at the top end of run production and the bottom end of run prevention. He thinks that the gains we'll see in run prevention by adding a top flight defensive SS will outweigh the loss of run creation. If we were still scoring 830 runs and allowing 880, I'd agree with the premise. However, at this point we're a pretty balanced team. Arguably we're not good enough at either run creation or prevention. However, given that, and the earlier point about the relative values of offense and defense, I'm not sure how wise a move it is to invest 15MM in a defense only guy.
I know the options are limited and everything is expensive. I'm just worried that our real defensive problems are in the OF. Poor OF defense costs you extra base hits. Poor IF defense costs you singles and double plays. While our IF defense has been sub-par, our OF has been historically poor. We could do more improve our run prevention with a defensive reallignment (Junior to RF, Freel to 2B, Phillips to SS) and investing 15MM towards one of those 2nd tier starters such as Randy Wolf, Gil Meche, or Vincente Padilla.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
My belief has been that Castro was never going to get more then 150 ab's, he's more a mentor, but we've covered that already.The only answer I can come up with is the team doesn't for a second believe the bogus hype about Castro's defense. Gonzalez isn't going to hit, at least not enough to make a positive difference. No one's signing that guy for his bat. His calling card is his defense and if the Reds are signing him, then it's a pretty clear signal they covet his defense and that they don't think Castro can provide it.
5 million for the SS a million each for the 3rd baseman and the 2nd baseman and then throw in Hattebergs low salary and there's your pickin' infield with range, speed and some EBH pop for about what Milton makes.
I believe, dependent on what runs equation you use, Gonzalez came out between 6-10 runs above his position last year.
Though, let me be clear, I think three years guaranteed for Gonzalez is a mistake. I don't mind him on a more limited deal and I'm not overly concerned about the $5 million amount. Yes, I think it's more than he's worth, more than the Reds need to pay that type of player and that it could potentially limit the team's options in other areas. Yet, I hold out some hope that Castellini will be willing to spend for the right big move and I also think we all need to readjust our thinking in terms of how much teams can spend these days. It looks like there's a rising tide.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
I'm not disagreeing that OPS isn't a "quick reference" to give a basic feel about a player. Only that when evaluating a player, looking at OB% and SLG% only is not giving a complete picture when evaluating a player and/or what they might contribute.
What about defense? If this guy can bring a solid upgrade, at a reasonable price, to this middle INF, is that of any value and/or should be considered?
Concepcion played 19 season with a sub-700 OPS.
How many games did our defense lose for us last year? Would Gonzalez possibly help to improve on that?
And what other viable alternatives are out there and available right now as far as SS/2B?
Last edited by GAC; 11-17-2006 at 01:05 PM.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
Based on career averages, Alex Gonzalez's offensive worth is ~-6 runs created above position per 150 games. His stick is awful, but most shortstop sticks are awful so it lessens the impact of Gonzalez's awful stick relative to most other shortstops throughout the league.
Then tack on his defensive value, which IMO is pretty good. If he puts up an average offensive season and is worth +6 runs defensively over the average shortstop, then his overall run value relative to his position is neutral. Dial's defensive system put Gonzalez at +14 per 150 games, which means his overall contribution given an average offensive season would be +8 runs.
I'd be tolerable of this signing, though there'd likely be better ways to spend the money. An up-the-middle defense consisting of Gonzalez at shortstop, Phillips at second base and Denorfia in center field may arguably be the best up-the-middle defense in all of baseball. I'm most definitely with M2, however, in that three years guaranteed is too long. Defense declines earlier, and sometimes quicker, than offense, and I'd be much more comfortable with only a two year deal. The return on investment in overall run value for that final season could be ugly if Gonzalez's defense starts to suffer its decline.
FWIW, the defensive systems I've seen differ on their opinion of Gonzalez. Dial's system ranked him very highly in 2006, and zone rating liked him in 2006 as well (though Dial likes the zone system so I'm not surprised his system spit out similar results that we see with straight ZR). BP's fielding runs above average believes Gonzalez is actually a slightly below average defensive shortstop. Pinto's PMR, in 2005*, pinned Gonzalez as roughly average defensively.
* Pinto appears to be in the midst of rolling out his 2006 PMR rankings, and they should be very interesting to see, especially if Gonzalez is signed and/or remains a rumored option for the Reds. While his system had Gonzalez as roughly average in 2005, I'm curious what he has for Gonzalez in 2006 and how that compares to Dial's system.
Also, in 2006 the Reds were pretty lousy defensively according to PMR, which shouldn't come as a surprise to many people as most already felt the Reds were below average defensively anyway. Overall in DER vs. predicted DER, they ranked third last ahead of only the Pirates and Nationals. In fielding air balls, the Reds were middle of the pack and right about league average. In fielding ground balls, the Reds were awful, ranking third last ahead of only the Indians and Nationals.
Here's Pinto's PMR Archives, which should be updated quite frequently in the next one to two months with 2006 PMR rankings.
Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012
Put an end to the Lost Decade.
Sure. But what if 2 years doesn't get it done? It's been reported Gonzalez wants four years. Do you really walk away over that third year and enter a cycle of scavenging for Counsells and Guzmans every winter?I'd be much more comfortable with only a two year deal.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini