Re: Sox desperately need 4th starter more proven than Bard
posted at 1/4/2012 9:46 PM EST
In Response to Re: Sox desperately need 4th starter more proven than Bard
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Sox desperately need 4th starter more proven than Bard : Much of Adrian Beltre's value derives from his defense at the more critical thirdbase position. Any comparison would need to look at the defensive difference between Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis at thirdbase (adjusted by the difference between Adrian Gonzalez and Youkilis at firstbase).
Posted by hill55[/QUOTE]
I'm going to use career UZR/150's for this comp to ensure a sufficient sample size for Youk, but keep in mind that Youk is nowhere near the 3B he was when he first came up. (UZR/150 of 19.6 in 2004 vs -3.7 in 2011).
Beltre: 15.4 (17 in 2011) in 16,655 innings
Youk: 3.2 (-3.7 in 2011) in 2,555 innings
*** Note: Youk's UZR/150 would be negative if his rookie season is removed ***
Youk: 7.7 (High variability from 2009-2011) in 4,709 innings
AGon: 2.6 (High variability throughout his career) in 8.491 innings.
The difference between Youk and Beltre at 3B is about 12 runs over the course of a season (when both are healthy for the year), and the difference at 1B between Youk and AGon is about 5 runs.
Assuming that everyone is healthy for the full season, Beltre on average would have provided an additional 18 runs worth of defensive support. As 3B'men I'm willing to call health a wash between Beltre and Youk based off of what we saw last year, assuming they both miss about 40 games, the difference is cut to 15 runs.
The hidden cost of Beltre, especially towards the end of his contract, will be the need for an expensive backup who can handle the position for prolonged periods of time. Right now, one could argue, that that backup is Michael Young, who's making as much money as Beltre and became positionless once Beltre was signed. In the short term, this doesn't appear to be a problem because of the 2011 season that Young enjoyed.
In the end, I still like the AGon deal over the Beltre signing because of the durability of AGon and the defense he has shown with Boston (10.8 UZR/150 in 2011), but I think the Sox need to go a different direction at 3B. I wouldn't be surprised to see a deal involving Youk in July, similar to the Nomar trade.