Re: Drew has multi-year options...
posted at 12/13/2013 1:34 PM EST
In response to moonslav59's comment:
I can't argue with that logic, but I also think we won the series last year because of pitching depth. If we do sign Drew it would come at the cost of salary dumping Dempster. Now that might not be a bad thing, but the other thing that it does is lose us a supplimental draft pick in a very strong and deep draft next year and that IS a bad thing. So combine the loss of starting pitching depth (with clay as a big question mark) with the cost of the draft player.
Very good point, but I guess if you value Morales, Workman, Britton, Webster, Wright, Ranaudo, Barnes, and maybe Owens midseason, then losing Dempster might not be a loss at all. I agree with losing Dempster not being much of a loss at all, but I noted that the loss of the draft pick for Drew would hurt more IMO.
Xander brings the most value to a team at short stop because his bat is so much better than almost every other shortstop in the game right now before seasoning. If he plays third, his value goes down because it is easier to find a very good bat at the corner infield spots.
While technically true, the SS positions has more and more become a position of offense as 3B has declined in offense, so Bogey's positional comparative value at SS is just marginally greater than his positional comparative value at 3B.
Here's a look at the positional OPS 25 year trends:
SS 3B Differential
'78 638 712 +74
'83 658 729 +71
'88 654 701 +65
'93 690 739 +49
'98 701 761 +60
'03 710 729 +19
'08 713 761 +48
'09 711 756 +45
'10 679 733 +54
'11 684 705 +21
'12 685 738 +53
'13 675 715 +40
The differential went from about a 50-75 point 3B advantage from '78 to '98 to a 20 to 50 advantage. Good info Moon! We have to keep in mind that the third baseman numbers are really inflated by Miguel Cabrera's amazing seasons and I doubt he will be a third baseman next year with Fielder not on the team anymore. We also have to keep in mind that the SS numbers are down with Jeter injured and Hanley moving off of short to third. I think this is a great chart to use to track steroid usage and the affect on positions that were not previously known for offense.
So Xander is projected between 2.8-3.9 WAR at short. That number would likely drop down a full win at third. Middlebrooks is projected to be a 2.3-2.8 WAR player at third. Drew is projected to have a 2.0 WAR at short stop. That leaves us a win short to make up for the offensive loss of Ellsbury to start the season if we go with Drew at short and a less valuable Xander at third.
A lot of WAR depends on fielding, and how well Bogey would field at 3B is a guess. I'm thinking that within 2 years, playing just one position fully, he would have a better fielding rating at 3B than SS, at least when looking at it as compared to the league norm. I admit, this is just speculation, but I would think it is easier to field 3B than SS, so Bogey could learn quickly and maybe even become a plus on defense by year 2. Personally, I don't see him becoming a top 15 fielding SS withing 3-5 years, if ever. I hope I am wrong, but that is my gut feeling. Steamer and Oliver projections indicate that Xander is already an above average fielder as he has positive defense and that is measured against the average player. He has shown improvement in fielding the past three years through the minors posting 26 errors (296 Plate Appearances), 21 errors (532 PA), 19 errors (565 PA). There are not many stats to pick apart minor league defense, but the one concern is that he lost a bit of range factor that went from amazing levels early in the minors to just good. One of the best attributes about Xander is that he is good at learning at a very fast rate... just look how quickly his plate approach turned from an eye sore early in his career to a strong point in the playoffs this year. He also learned third base as if it was his natural position right along.
That said, the entire pitching staff had a much much much better year overall for all players last year. How much of that was the catching vs. short stop... etc. I would be concerned that giving up a very strong defensive short stop for a very strong offensive short stop could have an impact on our overall pitching and that is a very real risk. There is a reason why Farrell is so high on Drew and with his pitching background, I suspect that this is the reason why.
I agree, and I think some of the pitching gains were related to Salty maturing behind the plate, but certainly some was due to having Drew and Iggy at SS instead of Aviles.
Nice post RSO! Thx brother