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06 Nov 2019 16:51:53
White Sox Offseason

Trade RHP Dane Dunning & (RHP Alec Hansen or OF Luis Alexander Basabe) for OF Joc Pederson

Joc's on a 1-year deal and LA has plenty of LHH. I'm sure they like Verdugo for $8M cheaper and they'll probably go big game hunting for a starter where the savings will come in handy. Dunning could come in handy for rotational depth in 2020 and then they choose one of those high upside, low floor guys.


Sign 1B Jose Abreu - 2/$24 Million (Mutual 3rd Year Option)
Sign C Yasmani Grandal - 4/$80 Million
Sign RHP Zack Wheeler - 4/$85 Million
Sign LHP Wade Miley - 1/$8.5 Million (2021 Club Option)
Sign RHP Steve Cishek - 1/$5.75 Million
Sign 1B/DH Justin Smoak - 1/$3 Million


Lineup on May 1st-ish?

2B Nick Madrigal
C Yasmani Grandal
3B Yoan Moncada
1B/DH Jose Abreu
RF Joc Pederson
LF Eloy Jimenez
CF Luis Robert
SS Tim Anderson
DH/1B Justin Smoak

Bench
UTL Leury Garcia
C/1B/DH Zack Collins
C James McCann
OF Adam Engel/UTL Danny Mendick

Rotation
RHP Lucas Giolito
RHP Zack Wheeler
LHP Wade Miley
RHP Dylan Cease
RHP Reynaldo Lopez

RHP Michael Kopech*
LHP Carlos Rodon*

Pen
RHP Alex Colome
RHP Kelvin Herrera
LHP Aaron Bummer
LHP Jace Fry
RHP Evan Marshall
RHP Steve Cishek
RHP Jimmy Cordero
RHP Ian Hamilton

Chisox

1.) 07 Nov 2019 00:08:38
With the amount of money the White Sox have, it's pretty much believable no matter what.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they become serious players for Rendon.


2.) 07 Nov 2019 22:18:11
You're right, and there might end up being some rumblings that they are showing interest, reaching out to his reps, etc. But when it becomes time to outbid Washington, Texas, and any others - they'll balk when it becomes time to pony up the money. (See: Manny Machado)


3.) 08 Nov 2019 14:15:39
Looking at your lineup, that bullpen needs some additions. That's a bullpen that will lose them a lot of games in 2020.


4.) 08 Nov 2019 18:01:47
I sacrificed some pen additions to stay within where I think they'll want to keep the payroll - $120-140 million. The pen is better than it looks on the surface. Evan Marshall and Jimmy Cordero were both really good last year and Bummer was an elite reliever. Hamilton and Fry have big upsides, but yes, the two highest-paid guys (Colome and Herrera) are worrisome. I figure if they are are a couple bullpen pieces away in July they can make a move.


5.) 08 Nov 2019 22:54:45
Knowing the volatility of relievers, it's a good bet that several of those guys will have a bad season. It's almost a pretty sure thing at this point. Every team is prone to it.

They'll want to add to that bullpen, and probably make it Priority 1.


6.) 09 Nov 2019 15:38:26
This team I proposed has a payroll of about $132 million. They could easily add another arm and go to $140 mil should ownership allow

Yes, relievers are volatile, but they definitely found something in Bummer, Cordero, and Marshall. Nothing to suggest that major regressions are coming, unlike Colome. Kopech, Rodon or Lopez could also be in the pen at some point.


7.) 09 Nov 2019 23:15:25
Bummer:
ERA vs. xFIP: 2.13 vs 3.49 (1.36 difference)
BABIP vs. career: .228 vs .270

Cordero:
2.89 vs 3.69
.227 vs .264

Marshall-
2.49 vs 4.67
.266 vs .350

Every one of those players should be expected to see negative regression, especially Evan Marshall. Bummer and Cordero's numbers aren't terribly concerning, but they show that they certainly over performed, benefitted from some good defense and quite a bit of luck.

That bullpen was bottom 10 in xFIP, they over-performed in BABIP, by quite a bit.


8.) 10 Nov 2019 14:55:27
There were exactly 2 major league pitchers (min 100 BBE) that found less barrels that Bummer. He had a 72.1% (! ) groundball rate. 20th in all of baseball in xwOBA. 5th in the league in xSLG. His -3.4% LA was only bested by Britton. He was essentially Zach Britton.

Before you compare career #s for Cordero and Marshall, consider that they both made significant changes prior to 2019 that the Sox will have for less than $2 million combined in 2020.

Will we see regression? Probably. Regression to where they are no longer effective relievers? Nothing to suggest it.


9.) 10 Nov 2019 23:07:54
You can argue the BABIP might be affected by those changes, but the xFIP regression is almost "fix-proof". This is based on decades worth of data.

Regression to the mean is a real thing. I'm not saying they won't be effective relievers, but the White Sox bullpen was already mediocre, and having the TOP relievers negatively regress certainly won't help matters.

The Sox need to add probably 2-3 significant relief pitchers to even compete in that division. It was that bad.


10.) 11 Nov 2019 14:01:38
Here's some evidence, just from 2018 to 2019 transitions. I took the top 30 relievers, per ERA, and looked at those whose xFIP was at least 1 full run higher than their ERA, and compared 2018 ERA to 2019 ERA. There were 16 candidates. Here they were:

Blake Treinen- 0.78 (2018 ERA) vs 4.91 (2019 ERA) . (4.13 difference)
Jose Leclerc- 1.56 vs 4.33. (2.77)
Jeremy Jeffress- 1.29 vs. 5.02. (3.73)
Jared Hughes- 1.94 vs. 4.04. (2.10)
Collin McHugh- 1.99 vs. 4.70. (2.71)
T. J. McFarland- 2.00 vs. 4.82. (2.82)
Steve Cishek- 2.18 vs. 2.95 (0.77)
Dylan Floro- 2.25 vs. 4.24 (1.99)
Pedro Strop- 2.26 vs. 4.97 (2.71)
Seth Lugo- 2.55 vs. 2.70 (0.15)
Raisel Iglesias- 2.38 vs. 4.16 (1.78)
Kyle Crick- 2.39 vs. 4.96 (2.57)
Yoshihisa Hirano- 2.44 vs. 4.75 (2.31)
Richard Rodriguez- 2.47 vs. 3.72 (1.25)
Reyes Moronta- 2.49 vs. 2.86 (0.37)
David Hernandez- 2.53 vs. 8.02 (5.49)
Carl Edwards, Jr. - 2.60 vs. 8.47 (5.87)

Every one of them regressed. Only three (Cishek, Lugo, Moronta) had minor regressions. Most of them had significantly worse seasons in 2019.

I would also promise you that EVERY one of those players made significant changes prior to their really good seasons. That's not exclusive to the White Sox relievers. Regression is real, it should be expected, and the White Sox will likely face it pretty severely if they rely on the same 3-4 guys in that bullpen in 2020.


11.) 11 Nov 2019 15:02:57
"The Sox need to add probably 2-3 significant relief pitchers to even compete in that division. It was that bad. "

Just really not true at all. This would be idiotic given everything else they need to add. They're in a pretty weak division with 2 teams in a thick of a rebuild, Cleveland cutting payroll and Minnesota pressed to hit 300 HRs again. and a big reason why their numbers look so bad was because of the garbage they threw out there when the guys I'm talking about were taxed. Compounding matters was the dumpster fire of a starting rotation, minus Giolito, that forced the Hector Santiagos and Ross Detwilers of the world into the game before the 5th.

You're telling me that relief pitching is volatile YOY, which is correct, but are also telling me that they then need to go out and spend more on it? It's much smarter to get it at the deadline to eliminate a lot of that uncertainty. This pen is good enough to get by, unless of course the White Sox are simply screwed because of regression that only they will see in their bullpen.


12.) 11 Nov 2019 17:31:56
The White Sox bullpen, playing at top-percentage levels, still had a negative WPA. At their BEST, they were losing baseball games.

And as for spending money on bullpen because of volatility, yes, I'm saying they'll have to add NEW players, because relying on guys who are sure-fire regression candidates is a pretty stupid idea. Then again, we're talking about the White Sox FO here.

They should go out and get guys who either underperformed or pitched at their xFIP. Think Will Smith, Chris Martin, a trade for Mychal Givens. Those are guys that could probably be reasonable positive regression candidates, or just solid, consistent bullpen adds.


13.) 11 Nov 2019 19:58:56
The great think about my proposal is I don't have them using more than half of the relivers they used in 2019. You keep addressing the 2019 pen as a whole and i'm not employing them. Smith is the best reliver on the market and they'll already likely need to outbid for Grandal and Wheeler while trading assets for Pederson. I'd love any one of those arms but I don't see them going much over the money I have them spending.

I'm not sure why you're so intent on tying to prove that the White Sox are going to get killed by negative regression so much more than everyone else. It looks like most of the top relivers outperformed their xFIPs across the league. I could use your logic to say that Houston ad St. Louis need to add "2-3 significant relivers to win their division" because of guys like Osuna, Harris, Smith, McHugh, Rondon and Gallegos, Brebbia, Martinez, Gant, Webb, Helsly all outperforming their xFIPs.


14.) 11 Nov 2019 20:05:06
And when you compare the ERA (off all stats) of 16 pitchers from 2018-2019, you may want to consider the run environment differences between the two seasons. You can't smear xFIP regression on every pitcher. Don't get me wrong, it's a good stat and a good tool, but you also have to consider sometimes why pitchers over/ underperform their xFIPs in a given season.


15.) 12 Nov 2019 13:39:04
I'm pointing out the White Sox, in particular, because

a) they are the team relevant here
b) they were already a negative win-probability added bullpen. So, again, at their best production, they weren't helping win ballgames.

The difference between them and, say, Houston, is that Houston's bullpen provided to help win games. For example, the Giants had the best WPA of any bullpen (and it wasn't close), and will no doubt see negative regression, but I'm not sure that'll make them a useless bullpen.

And Houston doesn't need to add significant players in order to win their division. They should will be seen as the run away favorites unless something tragic occurs.


16.) 12 Nov 2019 13:47:51
As for xFIP regression, it's nice of you to quote Fangraphs (maybe cite them next them next time), but even the guys at Fangraphs would likely agree that the trends for regression for guys who outperform xFIP is pretty clear.

Yes, there are always outliers. It's why I limited my scope to guys who outperformed their xFIP by a full run. And yes, even there, we sometimes see anomalies, but the large majority of guys have regressed heavily the next season.

As for year to year run environment, that's a pretty bad argument, honestly. Even in bad run environments, there are players who don't negatively regress. And yet, all of those guys did. They also had several other common denominators. I'm just not sure you can throw out those factors simply because the "run environment" was different.

xFIP regression is a remarkably clear trend. It's not a sure thing by any means, but most clubs would still factor in the difference and proceed with caution when acquiring guys who look like they could regress.


17.) 12 Nov 2019 15:07:41
What do you mean quoting FanGraphs?

I'm not really talking about general YOY run environments. I'm addressing the fact that from 2018-2019 we saw the greatest run spike in more than 40 years. ERAs were much higher than normal. The expected stats weren't adjusted for the juiced ball.

How many relievers actually underperformed their xFIPs vs overperformed? Without looking, I bet it isn't close.

If the overall argument is that they need to add 1 more "reliable arm" and spend more, then that's fine. Again, I would just be unwilling to sacrifice any of my other moves, and I see no chance the payrolls goes much higher than where I have it.


18.) 12 Nov 2019 15:38:37
The thing you cited about xFIP regression is almost verbatim from Fangraphs. Cite them next time.

Most players over-perform compared their xFIP. Hence why I used those who over-performed by an entire run as my example. I've pointed that fact out twice (well, three times now), I would've thought you'd get that by now.

And you're wrong about expected stats not being adjusted for the juiced ball. It is. The FIP constant takes into consideration home runs per year, so in a year where there were 1100 more home runs, the FIP constant will reflect that change and adjust the number accordingly.

The ball, or the run environment, is the constant. Therefore, everyone is effected equally by it. So using it as a means to suggest that regression isn't going to happen isn't a great argument. Regression will just manifest itself in different numbers, but it'll be comparable to the numbers of the other pitchers.


19.) 13 Nov 2019 06:27:56
I haven't directly quoted a single thing from Fangraphs. Not sure what you're talking about. However, maybe I've just retained some knowledge on the subject considering FanGraphs is where I (and probably you too) likely first learned about xFIP? Imagine that.

I'll go on a case by case basis of my proposed White Sox pen just for you! When you end up digging in like I already suggested, you end up finding some telling stuff.

FIP underrates groundball pitchers (whoops, let me cite FanGraphs for you) and wouldn't ya know the pitchers the Sox would have here.

Marshall has a career HR/ FB% of 12.4% and was at 11.9 in 2019 - 51.4% GB.

Cordero actually had a high HR/ FB% - 21.1 and still had a respectable xFIP. Looks to have had some BABIP luck but xBA tells me it's not crazy. He's at 60% GB

Bummer, again, literally had a 72.1% GB% - that's top 10 over the last 10 years for a reliever. When you look at that leaderboard, you see a lot of the same names pop up multiple times. GB% doesn't tend to be spurious.

Cishek has a career HR/ FB% of 8%, so how is it acceptable to regress his to a 15% league average?

Hamilton has thrown 8 ML innings but generated above avg. GBs in the minors. 3.29 AAA xFIP.

Fry is expected to see positve regression, but his problem was walks and just based on the fact that's we've seen him be able to manage them before (i. e. 2018), I'm fairly confident he'll bounce back.

Herrera might be the worst of the bunch and I really disliked the signing last offeason when it happened.

Colome is a legitimate concern, but I've recognized that and it wouldn't be insane to see him non-tendered.

But keep telling me about the 2019 pen as a whole when I'm not retaining more than half of them.

Thus, I don't agree with your take that this team still needs 2-3 legit relievers (any more than any other team does) to win the 2020 AL Central.


20.) 13 Nov 2019 13:00:52
When you're wrong, just ignore decades worth of statistical trends and pretend that you're team has no flaws.

Wait, am I talking to Rick Hahn? This has to be Rick Hahn.


21.) 13 Nov 2019 15:09:32
It's really just lazy analysis on your part. I'm providing you evidence of a more player-specific, sticky rate statistic that's a clear caveat to xFIP, but somehow I'm ignoring statistical trends?

Me adding more than $80 million to the payroll is a pretty clear signal that I recognize the abundance of flaws that this team has.

You hoping the White Sox bullpen stumbles in 2020 is such a funny and weird hill to die on, but enjoy.


22.) 13 Nov 2019 17:28:21
Slight kidding aside, you can go case by case basis all you want. Seriously, I won't even waste a minute of energy reading any of the things you wrote, you know why?

Because it's the case for every reliever who has ever regressed. You can look and think, "gee, every one of these guys has such a case for not regressing" and then, guess what? THEY DO!

I can direct you to over 1,000 points of data, simply dating back to 2005 that suggest that regression, especially among relievers is extremely common. Among those data points, we have extreme ground ball pitchers, extreme fly ball pitchers, lefty specialists, ace relievers, and long-bullpen guys. It literally doesn't matter.

Ignore it all you want, I don't really care, but don't be shocked when the White Sox bullpen takes a huge step back next season. Consider this my gloating. I'll gloat now, knowing that decades worth of data is not going to be thwarted just because some internet guy did a deep dive on his favorite team's relievers.


23.) 13 Nov 2019 20:05:36
If I told you that 90 percent of every person who jumps off a cliff dies, you're not going to be like, "hey, you know, I'm different. Look at my skills. I can do this! " And then jump.

GMs build their teams around a lot of statistical trends, and they are keenly aware of regression candidates. It's why Avisail Garcia never got traded a few seasons back, no one wanted to give up anything for him—they knew he'd regress (and he did) .

These GMs, or at least decent ones (jury is out on the White Sox GM) are going to pay attention to regression in their bullpen, among other areas, but bullpen volatility is such because regression is more common there.

I'll go out and make my projection now: Bummer, Fry, and Cordero COMBINED, will account for LESS than 0.5 WAR next season. Mark my word.


24.) 13 Nov 2019 22:32:16
Dude, decades worth of data are supporting my claim more than yours. You can't just pick out the outliers and use that as your support. The groundball pitchers tend more often to not regress to a HR/ FB mean which is vital to xFIP - the stat you started off so adamant about. Don't try to lump them in with the other "specialists" because it's not remotely the same in regards to xFIP. You're looking at the wrong "decades worth of data".

Can you say that xFIP regression for GROUNDBALL pitchers is extremely common? No.

The more you generalize your analysis, the harder it is to prove in specific instances like, for instance, a specific set of 8 pitchers.

It might be good on occasion to put your pride aside and read what others have to offer. You're almost getting to state of cognitive dissonance at this point.


25.) 13 Nov 2019 23:19:35
To put it in terms that maybe you can understand, it would be like Aaron Bummer having a parachute when he jumps off the cliff.

You've totally abandoned your xFIP argument and are just talking about regression in general now. Screw the evidence, it's just going to happen!

You can predict whatever you want - I just don't know what's telling you that those 3 guys are going to regress so much. GMs are absolutely aware of regression candidates, those 3 just aren't as much as you think. If they end up with bad results, like you're predicting, it's good to look at if they had a flawed process. Throwing those 3 out there for less than $2 million combined versus giving someone like Will Smith $40 million and therefore sacrificing someone like Grandal or Wheeler seems like the flawed process to me. What happens to his 20% HR/ FB rate when he's no longer pitching in San Fransisco and put in Chicago instead? xFIP has no idea.

To double down on your projection: I bet, barring injury to either, that Bummer has a higher WAR/ $ than Will Smith in 2020.


26.) 14 Nov 2019 04:14:14
"What happens to [Smith's] 20% HR/ FB rate when he's no longer pitching in San Fransisco and put in Chicago instead? xFIP has no idea. "

Except, we do. It's called xFIP- (xFIP minus) . Smith's was 61. Even with the park adjustment, of which he would be disadvantaged by playing in a pitcher's park, he's 39% better than the average pitcher. Bummer's xFIP- was 76.

Even with the benefit of a huge ballpark, Smith was the objectively better pitcher. And he didn't benefit from certain things like a .226 BABIP (speaking of numbers worthy of regression) .

As far as "doubling down", I wouldn't make any bets when you don't even know what stats exist or how to use them in making predictions. Unless you know something about Will Smith's medical charts, you'd be a darned fool to make that bet.

I'd save that money to buy yourself a burrito or something.


27.) 14 Nov 2019 15:14:20
Cite FanGraphs, dude.

Bummer at like 600K or Will Smith at $12-15 Million? Give me Bummer 1000000% - He'll easily be the more cost-efficient pitcher. Steamer and Depth Charts have them essentially the same. Not a single GM would take Smith over Bummer given how much you have to pay them. Not one.

You just brought up a new stat when there are hundreds to go off of. You were adamant about the basic xFIP regression as all you needed when I've been trying to get more specific the whole time. You're all for it when you perceive that it supports your arguement, but I was just the guy who was doing a deep dive on his team's pen. Wild.

Smith didn't benefit from certain things? Not getting punished with a 20% HR/ FB rate is surely a benefit. Again, this is literally what xFIP corrects for.

I don't know the stats? You're still struggling to wrap your head around how a groundball pitcher affects their xFIP, or still in this case, xFIP-. And also clearly don't know how BABIP works either. You're exhausting to teach.

The guy giving up close to the least amount of barrels in the league will usually have a low BABIP, especially when they are pounded into the ground. His BABIP is more or less expected given his batted ball profile. It's really not rocket science. Not saying he'll keep it that low, but regression to the mean is HIGHLY unlikely.


28.) 14 Nov 2019 18:33:20
1. Quit acting like you knew a damn thing about xFIP-. You even said that we have no way of adjusting xFIP for ballparks. There was. It's there. So don't act like you're suddenly the stat expert around here.

2. As I've said, over and over again—if you'd actually read rather than just trying to justify your own nonsensical opinions—the trends don't care about any of the "statcast" metrics. Blake Treinen was among one of the tops in every statcast metric in 2018. He might not even be tendered a contract. He regressed hard.

3. I promise you, WIll Smith will have 15-20 teams hot on his trail, including the White Sox, who will use him in higher leverage situations than any of the schmucks they have in that thing they call a bullpen. Okay, actually, I'm probably giving them too much credit. They'll probably trade Luis Robert for Tyler Cloyd or something like that.


29.) 14 Nov 2019 18:44:41
Let me close with another regression trend that you'll completely ignore:

I explored every reliever dating back to 2015 (I stopped at 2015 because I got bored, honestly) with a .228 BABIP or lower (which would match Aaron Bummer's 2019 BABIP) . I then sought what their BABIP was the next season. Here's what I found:

-Out of 30 players, only two (2) pitchers followed their low-BABIP season with a BABIP within 25 points of their previous: Josh Hader (2018) and Josh Fields (2017).

-EVERY player had a worse BABIP the following year. They all negatively regressed, at some capacity.

-The average regression was 83 points.

-Every player also outperformed their xFIP except for one: Josh Hader.

-The pitcher profiles and types are all across the maps, although lefties are far more favored on this list.

So, here's what we can likely extrapolate from that:

It's not out of line to predict a pretty high level of regression for Aaron Bummer, which could include a BABIP north of .300 next season. Every projection on Fangraphs reasonably projects that.

EVERY statistic available for Aaron Bummer screams regression candidate, and a potential bad regression at that.

Believe it or not, I know Aaron Bummer. I had several associations with him while he pitched at the University of Nebraska, and he's a great guy all around. So don't think I'm hating on him. I know him more than just his numbers on the stat sheet. But I would imagine any GM worth their salt knows he's going to regress and that 2019 was more likely an anomaly than it was what we can expect going forward.


30.) 15 Nov 2019 04:11:11
You continue to respond to points that you wish I made. You make some valid points, but you're repsonding as If I had made points that contradicted yours. That's what 90% of this has been.

1. I never said there was no way to adjust for park and league factors for xFIP. But it's a different stat. We were discussing xFIP Regression, not xFIP-. However, it's beside the point. You haven't been able to concede that Bummer is less of a regression candidate, for xFIP or xFIP-, than those who don't pitch at elite groundball levels. Bummer, in his first 121 ML innings, hasn't just been a good groundball pitcher, he's the 6th best all-time for relievers since 2002. But please realize that I am not contending that Bummer will not regress at all.

2. The trends that you conveniently pick for your argument's sake may not care about Statcast metrics, but anyone with an intelligent baseball opinion should - like front offices. In the instance of Blake Treinen - yes, I agree that he is a good example of reliever volatility. But this is where statcast and supporting information can help you understand why he fell off a cliff. Pitching with an injury most of the year likely contributed to some control issues and when you lose 2 mph on your sinker, it's going to get hit harder.

Zack Britton is the best comparable for Bummer, IMO, given their abundance of similarities and if you look at the last 6 seasons of his as a reliever, he's never really regressed to his xFIP because his success is based on things that xFIP doesn't account for.

I'm not sure why when we have more information to go off of, you're suggesting we limit the scope of analysis. I would rather use all the info available to tell the full story of a player's season rather than just pointing to a data point on a graph that a generalized (but yes, still useful) model is telling me should average out in the future. The former is how it's done in the industry. There aren't enough players for teams to only sign non-xFIP regression candidates either, so you find value by going the extra mile. That's why I bring up lazy analysis. I don't care about an average of 30 pitchers - I care about why they regressed. If we can attribute shortcomings to more than just luck and base our predictions on more than just that luck running out, then we absolutely should.

3. Here you go again. I never said that Smith wasn't good or wouldn't be sought after. The 15-20 teams that could've been on him likely priced the White Sox out given their other areas of need, as I've said here for maybe the 4th time. My argument has been that Bummer is more cost-efficient, which is important. Bummer at 600K is way better than Smith at $13M (what the Braves are giving him) . If Bummer is worth just 0.5 fWAR in 2020 at 600K, then Smith would have to be worth 10.8 fWAR for the Braves to get the same ROI. The Sox get crazy surplus value.

When you say something like "EVERY statistic available for Aaron Bummer screams regression candidate, and a potential bad regression at that, " it's just not true. It's factually incorrect. FanGraphs literally addressses groundball pitchers on the xFIP page. You've just described Alex Colome.

I also love the subtle digs at the White Sox FO. Very original. You Giants fans, on the other hand, have the luxury of watching the exciting core of Posey, Belt, Crawford, Longoria, Cueto, and Samardzija while paying them almost $95 million. Woof. A true success model, maybe they'll collectively produce 10 WAR! All while being managed by GABE KAPLER. National League, beware.


31.) 16 Nov 2019 01:17:10
1. xFIP- is simply xFIP but park adjusted. That's the only difference. If you want to keep the discussion to the exact specific stat, fine, but don't bring up "park factors. "

Also, when you give me this quote, "Can you say that xFIP regression for GROUNDBALL pitchers is extremely common? No. " You can't suggest that "you're not contending that Bummer will not regress at all. " I don't know how that would be implied any other way.

2. As I've said, SEVERAL TIMES now, the trends catch guys of every ability. They catch guys who are "statcast darlings" and "one-year wonders". There's been literally two guys—TWO—who didn't significantly regress the next season, in 4 years of data. I'd bet you my entire life savings that if you looked into each player individually, you'd find all sorts of metrics. Many of those extremely favorable.

It turns out that even good statcast metrics can regress. What a concept!

3. Surplus value is the biggest farce in baseball. It's one of the most comical examples of equivocation and it's not used as much as the bored writers who waste their time investing to it think. Let's avoid it, capeesh?

4. The Giants literally FIRED the GM who did all that damage. Meanwhile, the White Sox kept the guy who literally traded FERNANDO TATIS, JR FOR JAMES SHIELDS. They literally gave those two extensions after that one. The Giants fired guys for making bad moves, the White Sox extended them.

Maybe, I don't know, take an inventory of your own laughably awful team before dunking on a team that won more titles in this decade than any team in baseball.

But hey, at least White Sox fans are punching up. I'd recommend you punch down, but I'm not sure there's anyone there to punch.


32.) 16 Nov 2019 01:20:38
Your inability to inventory your own team doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in your ability to know stats.

Not that I'm surprised. But that dig at the Giants was comical coming from a White Sux fan.


33.) 16 Nov 2019 18:37:31
I couldn't disagree more on surplus value. Money saved on elite young talent is why you can overspend in other areas, especially for smaller market teams. It's literally how teams negotiate trades and build powerhouses. Players are valued based on marginal revenue product.

We'll see who's better here in the next couple of years. It'll be tough for Zaidi to explain a beta hire like Kapler if it doesn't work out (which is more likely than not) . He was also dumb enough to allow himself to think that they were in it last year while getting nothing more than a couple of comp picks for Smith and Bumgarner. Not off to a hot start. You say Tatis, I say Bryan Reynolds, but i'm not going to be the hindsight analyst here - those guys are the worst.

Hahn has made good, franchise-altering moves as well - Giolito, Moncada, Kopech, Robert, Jimenez, Cease. He's been largely held back by ownership for most of his tenure. They aren't going to fire their GM without letting their plan develop first and are in MUCH better position than SF moving forward. Zaidi's goal will be to put the Giants into the position the White Sox are in now when their window maybe opens in 2023. He has as much work to do as any GM in MLB with not a single good, young player on their current MLB roster that has showed anything. Literally not one. Maybe Yaz?

In 2020, I am easily punching down on San Francisco.


34.) 16 Nov 2019 20:52:54
"You say Tatis, I say Bryan Reynolds, but i'm not going to be the hindsight analyst here - those guys are the worst. "

Are you seriously dense? I think you might be. Zaidi didn't trade Reynolds. He didn't sign any of the guys you mentioned. The guys who made those trades were fired, not extended.


35.) 16 Nov 2019 21:11:41
Let's also talk about Zaidi for a second, and then the reason the Giants are here.

Zaidi, in 12 months has taken the Giants from the 27th ranked farm system to the 15th (per Fangraphs) . In only 12 months. No one graduated out of the system. No one got traded away from it. He's only added.

He added by getting rid of ALL of Mark Melancon's contract (and got a solid young prospect) . He got rid of a pitcher with a 5.68 ERA and got Mauricio Dubon. He literally acquired his best 2 players last year by not giving up anything. Not one player traded for Pillar has been good (one of them was quickly DFA'd) . And he got Yastrzemski for literally nothing.

He walked into a nightmare scenario in San Francisco, where the previous GM wasted money and prospect capital and he began a rebuild without making a significant trade. Not one of the issues he's facing has been his fault, and yet, he's cleaning it up. I expect him to do the same over the next 12 months.

And let's be honest, the Giants are in this spot because they've been spoiled rotten. When you win 3 world championships in a decade, you're going to have some ugly years following. It's inevitable. The Tigers, Orioles and Phillies all went through it, and two of them don't even have a championship to show for it. The Royals are going through it. The Cubs are a few seasons away, as are the Red Sox. The last two are nearing the scenario where they have an aging roster that's owed a ton of money.

The Giants will be fine. Meanwhile, the White Sox still have to show that they can win a WS with the laughingstock of a front office they have. I'm guessing you'll be waiting an awfully long time. All this stuff they are doing will mean nothing if they can't win even one.

Let's close this conversation with this: the Giants have won three world series this decade. There are kids who can legally drive who weren't even alive to see a White Sox championship. And I'd bet they'll have kids old enough to drive before we see another one.


36.) 16 Nov 2019 22:36:12
So Zaidi gets credit for the prospects he inherited, but no blame for the contracts. He didn't "take the farm system" anywhere. Meanwhile, Hahn actually took the Sox from bottom 5 farm to consistent top 5 and is somehow part of "a laughingstock of a front office". Pick an angle dude.

Hahn hit big-time trading the organization's 3-best players. Moncada, Giolito and Jimenez are all studs.

My point is the Giants will be lucky if in 2-3 years they are in as good of a position as the White Sox are in now. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Astros (asterisk) have all been fine after winning a title or getting to the WS. With the spending capabilities that the Giants have, there is no reason to be this bad. They will be in the basement of the NL for the next 3-5 years with no notable prospects doing anything successful above A-ball - (Eh, Logan Webb is a nice pitcher) .

Save your digs at the White Sox and worry about beating out Colorado for 4th place, or something. Meanwhile, they better hit on all their important draft picks with absolutely nothing to trade now. I don't care what Zaidi inherited, not many new GMs inherit great situations. Hahn has been able to build this thing into something positive, Zaidi is going to be hard-pressed to do the same. Maybe he can call Hahn for advice. As a Sox fan, I can tell you it's going to be a rough couple of years - and a "couple" is a best-case scenario for SF.


37.) 17 Nov 2019 12:50:11
"So Zaidi gets credit for the prospects he inherited, but no blame for the contracts. He didn't "take the farm system" anywhere. "

Okay, for the third time now, ZAIDI DIDN'T SIGN ANYONE TO THOSE CONTRACTS. My goodness, you truly are the densest, most obtuse person on this site.

Those contracts were given out by the previous GM, of whom the Giants fired. Why would anyone blame Zaidi for the things the last GM did?

And yes, he took the farm system from 27th to 15th in just a matter of months. Several of the minor league teams won or nearly won their respective leagues. Most of their prospects actually rose in FV, particularly those around the 35+ to 40 FV range.

But this is clearly well above your pay-grade. I look forward to you not understanding a single thing that was written.

Go back, learn to read, and then return. Until then, toodiloo.


38.) 17 Nov 2019 17:11:43
You're no less of a "homer" than anyone else on here. Zaidi inherited 95% of that farm system. He didn't build it or take it anywhere, yet. Evans'/ Sabean's prospects just got better. It's literally been 1 year and it's really hard to draft top 10 as an org for a couple of years and NOT take yourself from absolutely horrible to passable.

In every response of yours, you just drop any particular argument when you realize you've lost it. Then you take my words, turn them around, and respond to a point you wish I made (See: your first sentence in your last post) . Don't tell me to learn how to read when you struggle to coherently formulate arguments and then stick to consistent logic.

To that point, I obviously aren't blaming him for those contracts. But then you can't credit him with the same logic for the inherited prospects. He didn't "build a farm" in one draft.

You understand how to apply basic sabermetrics, but zero idea on how moves are actually made in the industry - i. e. arguing that surplus value is a farse.

You and your superiority complex don't like to be challenged on here, and it's clear by you telling me "I can't read". You're getting frustrated by someone else knowing what they're talking about and are just used to telling Yankee fans that they're delusional on this site.

The Giants have been a lot better than the White Sox over the past 10 years, but over the next 10 (what teams and their fans should generally care about), the Giants currently have a bleak outlook. I could argue as bleak of an outlook as literally any other team. The White Sox are arguably set up as well as anyone - constructed by none other than that "laughingstock of a front office".


39.) 17 Nov 2019 18:49:08
"Evans'/ Sabean's prospects just got better. "

And I wonder why that happened? It couldn't have been because Zaidi brought in a bunch of new guys in player development department (Kyle Haines, for example) or operations analysts.

I'm guessing that once Bobby Evans got fired, a whole bunch of prospects just decided to start taking baseball seriously and stop sabotaging their own organization.

Seriously, you sound ridiculous and your takes get more ludicrous by the comment. It's not just Yankee fans that are delusional. It's you, as well.

Heck, I'd say you're MORE delusional than those losers. Enjoy being the third worst baseball team in your own city.


40.) 17 Nov 2019 19:09:32
As far as the "surplus value" argument, you say, I have "zero idea on how moves are actually made in the industry"

That's quite the statement. Because it assumes that teams use it in trades. If anything, we see time and time and time again that they don't. Or, they view "surplus value" differently than it's usually lazily passed around.

There's three main reasons why it's laughably farcical:

1. It equivocates projections with productions. Prospects are valued at higher simply because they are prospects. An economic system where players lose value simply because they started their service clock and received a handful of cash is one that simply doesn't exist.

Example: Hunter Bishop (Giants OF prospect) and Kris Bryant are nearly identical by "surplus value". But there's not a snowball's chance in hell the Cubs would take Bishop straight up for Bryant. Literally zero. Team don't operate that way.

2. It negatively affects players who get paid for their performance. Players don't simply become less valuable because they got more money than someone worse than them.

Currently, Jose Altuve is worth -48M, via surplus value arguments. Yolmer Sanchez is worth around 0.5M. Based on this, we'd assume that teams would prefer Yolmer Sanchez over Altuve?

3. True surplus value can't factor in certain elements. It can't factor in clubhouse value, fan popularity, postseason success, etc. It treats every player like they are snack packs being traded at lunch. There's a number of factors why players don't get traded.

I promise you, no teams operate from a sense of "surplus value" as the baseball nerds propose it. Most have proprietary systems that "grade" players, but it's not a simple "this player is worth X million vs. this player", let's pick the guy with a higher number.

Surplus value is rarely reflected in trades or in deals. If paying a player an extension meant losing value on said player, no player would ever be signed to deals. Expensive players exchange hands all the time, and for handfuls of prospects with way more "surplus value".

It's one of those things that the inventors think really matter, but have zero bearing on reality. Do yourself a favor and stop believing pseudo-stats.


41.) 17 Nov 2019 20:35:38
"Third worst baseball team in the state. " Interesting. The Giants are easily the 5th worst in theirs.

Ok with Surplus value - I fundamentally disagree. To disagree with a basic theory of labor economics isn't a great take.

1. Why do you think teams take advantage of the service time loopholes to keep players for essentially 7 seasons? Because having players at a bargain prior to reaching free agency is incredibly valuable, especially because these players are usually in their prime.

"An economic system where players lose value simply because they started their service clock and received a handful of cash is one that simply doesn't exist. " Yes it does. It's called Major League Baseball.

I'm not sure how you're calculating Bishop's surplus value, but because he's only had 150 or so PAs (in rookie ball and low-A), his surplus value is lower because of his uncertainty. The better he does in higher minor league levels, the higher is projected surplus value. Also, Bishop's value would likely be lower for the Cubs considering their window being now. If Bishop was in AA or AAA with a .400 wOBA, then he'd be great for the Cubs bc he could allow the Cubs to go out and get another player while still playing Bishop every day for a 500k salary. If the Giants were dumb enough to offer a package for Bryant, yes, they'd have to pay more in projected surplus value given the uncertainty of the prospects they would be offering.

Surplus value is calculated differently for every team given where their percieved window is, the money they already have on the books and how high their ownership let's them take the payroll.

2. This is not how surplus value works. Are you saying Altuve is worth NEGATIVE $48 million? You're misunderstanding. No one would take Yolmer over Altuve. If a win is worth approx 8 mil on the open market, then Altuve should be worth about $33.6 million in 2020, while Yolmer is worth about $4 million. Altuve will only make $26 million because players almost always can't bargain for their marginal revenue products. Why? Because MLB takes advantage of their anti-trust exemption and monopolizes this specialized labor. Altuve can't get $33 million in another industry with his skill set, and it's why Trout isn't paid $80 million a year. Teams have virtually all of the bargaining power which is why MLBPA is so unhappy with the current CBA. The better you are, the larger the difference is in amount is of your marginal worth vs. your salary.

The Astros will get about $8 million surplus on Altuve in 2020 while whoever signs Yolmer will probably pay him right in line with his MRP - about $3-4 million. Again, this surplus calculation is probably higher for Houston given they are likely maxing their spending capabilties. If the Sox brought back Yolmer for $3-4 million, we'd say they aren't acting as a profit-maximizing firm bc they can afford to pay for better production.

Another example, why on earth would Theo trade Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease for Jose Quintana? It's because of the crazy surplus value he thought he'd be getting with Quintana at a time where the Cubs would already be paying a luxury tax. An estimated $32 million in surplus value with Quintana was very valuable to the Cubs.

3. If you are using a complete surplus value calculation, you are considering marginal revenue product, which will consider clubhouse value, fan popularity, and postseason success. Though, these things should be weighted considerably lower than general on-field production.

Teams absolutely operate in terms of surplus value. In fact, i'd argue it's at the forefront of virtually all transactions. You just aren't thinking about it in the right way.

" If paying a player an extension meant losing value on said player, no player would ever be signed to deals. "

Contract extensions are all about risk aversion. Why would Acuna sign his extension or Eloy sign one before even playing 1 MLB game? Because these guys were more risk-averse than their respective teams. They were willing to take the certainty of becoming very rich individuals vs. potentially making more, if in fact they live up to their projected marginal reveune products. The opposite of this logic is Mookie Betts, who was happy to risk his money and reach free agency.

I promise you this is not a "psuedo-stat". It's labor economics and it's how MLB teams are ran.


42.) 18 Nov 2019 15:29:22
I said third worst in their own city.

If you’re going to quote me, at least do it right.

Also, how neat of you to ignore the most glaring challenge to surplus value: the equivocation that has to take place. It values minor league stats (often low-level minors) the same as major league stats. There’s no objective basis for surplus value of minor leaguers, as it is solely based on projection and scouting. One is based on actual performance, the other is based on projected performance. Those aren’t the same. But we have to assume they are for this silly thought experiment to work.

Unless we’re willing to operate on a different economy for minor leaguers, you have to commit a logical fallacy in order for the system to work.

Labor economics is a real thing. Companies obviously value cheaper production over expensive production (providing production is equal) . No one disputes this.

We can, however, dispute how value is assigned, and to what lengths teams use surplus value, at least in how we so frequently see it written about by bloggers.

And its certainly not this robust, tried-and-true system. We routinely see teams ignore values in trades. Win-now moves frequently ignore these numbers. The Astros didn’t seem overly concerned about Greinke and his future earnings when they gave away 18+ years of team control for him.

Nor did the Braves by giving up a lot of years of control for Shane Greene and Mark Melancon.

Even teams seeking win-now moves would clearly honor this solid principle at all costs, would they not? These aren’t foolish rich kids spending $48B on Yahoo!, these are smart Harvard and Yale guys. Even their moves to win now would or should come closer to honoring these principles, and yet they often don’t.

So, in conclusion, yes, labor economics is real. And yes, teams are keenly aware of how they spend their money and the ROI. You don’t have to accept the surplus value argument to accept these truths. Labor economics are real and surplus value is a farce are two statements that can be true simultaneously.

That’s my opinion.


43.) 18 Nov 2019 15:46:49
Let me put labor economics another way, because this is where surplus value muddies the water. You said earlier, “ If Bummer is worth just 0.5 fWAR in 2020 at 600K, then Smith would have to be worth 10.8 fWAR for the Braves to get the same ROI. ”

Now, we’re treating all labor like it’s equal and completely linear. It’s not. It also ignores a crucial piece of information: you have limited roster spots.

If you have a boat, and can only fit 6 guys on the boat, you want the six guys who produce, not necessarily the six most efficient. You take efficiency where you can, but your primary gosl is production.

So, you have a guy that you pay 10 dollars who can get you 2 miles of towing. That’s 5 dollars a mile. Not bad. But then another who you pay 100 dollars, but gets you eight miles. That’s 12.5 per mile.

So, while one guy was cheaper, one got you further. Much further. It would take four of the first guy to match the other guy. But you don’t have room for four more. So now we’re stuck between picking production or cost efficiency.

So, do you have 26 roster spots. Do you want the guy who gives you 3 wins, but costs 15M, or the guy who gets you 1 win, but only costs 500K?

Surplus value requires me to pick the guy who doesn’t row the boat quite as far. It might be more efficient, but it does nothing to get you your desired result.


44.) 18 Nov 2019 20:28:49
For my Bummer and Smith example - would you rather have Smith at $13 million or Bummer at $600K and be able to invest that $12 million elsewhere when they're essentially projected to be the same player?

It's not hard to buy WAR if you have the capital. It's hard to find the 6-win players that you pay the minimum so that you can also pay the actual market worth of another 6-win player. Ask the Angels if paying 10 or so really good players and supplementing them with trash is a good model. Why have they struggled so much even in the Mike Trout era? Because they're getting almost no significant surplus value each year.

The space constraint is real - i'm not saying you can just pay 50 2-win players for cheap. But don't ignore the budget constraint either.

"Surplus value requires me to pick the guy who doesn’t row the boat quite as far. It might be more efficient, but it does nothing to get you your desired result. "

You're kinda getting the idea but you're not applying it correctly whatsoever.


45.) 18 Nov 2019 20:49:57
". the equivocation that has to take place. It values minor league stats (often low-level minors) the same as major league stats. There’s no objective basis for surplus value of minor leaguers, as it is solely based on projection and scouting. "

When I say surplus value, I'm not talking about a generic calculator you google searched. No team values minor league stats the same Major league - they are more significantly weighted in the higher levels. There's no objective basis for any prospect evaluation, not just surplus value. That's why you overpay, usually, bc it's essentially a riskier investment.

The Astros weren't concerned with losing 18 years of control because a. ) they were all-in on a 2019 championship and were afforded the opportunity to splurge of Grienke given the immense SURPLUS VALUE they're getting with Altuve, Correa, Bregman, Springer, Alvarez, Cole, etc. and b. ) the prospects traded would've likely been blocked by the controlled assets that they currently employ anyway, so their valuation of them was lower than it was for Arizona. Also, how do you think the $24 million was decided on as a kicker? They didn't just spit ball it. It was calculated.

Same with the Braves, in general terms, their team is so loaded for the future that a couple risky assets are worth a better shot to win it all in 2019.


46.) 19 Nov 2019 12:54:59
Comparing players based on surplus value only works when the players generate the same amount of production. For 2019, sure, you got me. Bummer and Smith were similar. That doesn't mean we should expect similar results going forward. Bummer is a much greater risk of regression (for all the factors I've listed) than Smith is. That's neither here nor there, though.

Surplus value assumes that all players produce at the same level, when in fact, they don't. Teams will always take a 4 WAR shortstop over a 1.5 WAR shortstop, even if it means paying more $/ WAR.

As far as space constraint versus budget restraint, the space restraint is far more restrictive. For starters, there's no actual salary cap in baseball. So teams could, realistically, spend whatever they want and just face some penalties. They can't however, run a roster of 37 dudes.

So at some point, "paying 10 or so really good players and supplementing them with trash" is what nearly every team does. The difference between the Angels and other teams is that those other teams have found good players on the cheap to supplement their roster.

Again, no one is disputing that cheap labor is preferred. That's not what makes surplus value a farce. What makes it a farce is that teams routinely take risks, as you've stated, that favor current production over future production. Almost every contender does this every year, in fact.

If they were so damn concerned with surplus value, we'd never see teams trade for rental players, or guys like Zack Greinke. It's something they certainly think about, but I'm not convinced that it's a robust, tried-and-true idea that people insist it is.

Also, yes, many of the times, the amount of money that goes back to a team is "calculated", but usually not for "surplus value" reasons. In many cases, it's to help keep a team under the luxury tax threshold, and in no way involves the acquired player's "value". Sometimes it does involve his "surplus value. "

But again, it's not a robust system where GMs sit around and compute the desired players "surplus value" and insist on sticking by it. Trades are often made more by desiring an asset, regardless of their value going forward.

Rumors have it that the Giants turned down more "future value" in the Sam Dyson trade, as they had deals lined up with other teams with a better return lined up. But Zaidi liked the prospects he was getting from Minnesota more, for whatever reason.

It's a farce in that we've made "surplus value" into this massive economic system that can't be disputed, and yet trade after trade, and free agent signing after free agent signing shows that teams don't operate in this capacity as much as you think. There's still a lot of moves happening on a whim. A lot of moves happening because they simply want a player, and don't care about the "value" (i. e. Chris Archer) .

The guys at Fangraphs and BTBS love surplus value. I'm not sure the GMs are as big on it as they'd like them to be.


47.) 20 Nov 2019 16:41:29
Ok, I’m sorry, but given these comments, it’s clear that you have no idea what surplus value is.

"Comparing players based on surplus value only works when the players generate the same amount of production. "

No, that's the beauty of it. You can compare different production with different compensation

“Surplus value assumes that all players produce at the same level, when in fact, they don't. Teams will always take a 4 WAR shortstop over a 1.5 WAR shortstop, even if it means paying more $/ WAR. ”

Again, no. This is false. Teams would only take the 4 win player if he’s maxing their MRP. If the cheap, 1.5-win SS also allows you to have a 3-win third baseman and a 3-win second baseman, while the expensive 4 win player gives you replacement level players around the rest of the infield, they’ll take the 1.5 win SS. The more valuable player is the one that allows you to assemble the best possible team, given the individual budget constraint of each respective team – that’s what you’re not understanding. The guys with super high surplus values allow for this to happen because teams can end up paying for a lot of WAR at market value. It’s what makes big market teams so dangerous when they get some high surplus players.

“As far as space constraint versus budget restraint, the space restraint is far more restrictive. For starters, there's no actual salary cap in baseball. So teams could, realistically, spend whatever they want and just face some penalties. They can't however, run a roster of 37 dudes. ”

This is comical. You think that teams can just pay market value for each win above replacement they have and they don’t because you can only have 26 active players? This isn’t reality. There are like 5 teams that can spend “whatever they want” and they don’t anymore because it’s been proven as a bad business model. Everyone has the same space constraint so in that respect, it’s a level playing field. W/ o a salary cap, the budget constraint is actually far more restrictive because that’s where teams are differentiated. There has never been an instance where a team could acquire a really good player but a roster limit prevented them. It’s not hard to drop your 26th man. It is hard to pony up market value for impact players.

“The difference between the Angels and other teams is that those other teams have found good players on the cheap to supplement their roster. ”

So, you mean like, they don’t get as much surplus value from good players on the cheap. That’s exactly my point. The trash isn’t what they’re paying them, it’s what they’re getting out of them.

“What makes it a farce is that teams routinely take risks, as you've stated, that favor current production over future production. Almost every contender does this every year, in fact. ”

Choosing the present over the future is not neglecting surplus value. I’m not sure why you think this is the case. Winning the whole damn thing is very valuable, as I’ve said. Houston figured an overall surplus when they made the Grienke trade – likely valuing the difference in the postseason from Miley to Greinke and even what Greinke would provide them in 2020 given what they would have to pay on the open market for his production. The emphasis I’m sure was on the former.

“Also, yes, many of the times, the amount of money that goes back to a team is "calculated", but usually not for "surplus value" reasons. In many cases, it's to help keep a team under the luxury tax threshold, and in no way involves the acquired player's "value". ”

Are you serious? It 100% about the player’s value. If acquiring a player puts you over the luxury tax threshold, then that is factored into the return. The money sent with Grienke was the difference of what Houston was willing to pay for his production given the prospect package that Arizona wanted, and his salary. They valued Greinke at a certain salary and Arizona had to offset that.


48.) 22 Nov 2019 13:16:10
Jesus, when you're tired of smelling your own farts, let me know.

Teams value player production, but then they value winning the whole damn thing, but then they refuse to pay players, but then they totally do so they can win. But then they don't value production and instead opt for worse players who are cheaper, but then they pay Bryce Harper a gazillion dollars. But yet this is something all 100% of the teams objectively, without question, follow.

You can't even keep a consistent argument, and when something is pointed out, suddenly, the goal posts get shifted. Classic tactic for someone who's blowing smoke out of their you-know-what.

No one's buying this charade kiddo. Now get back to that 6th grade English class so you don't fail it for the 8th time.


49.) 22 Nov 2019 13:34:47
Also, while you skip those classes, tell me, what exactly was the "surplus value" on James Shields during his stint in Chicago? In 2016, it was -29M. NEGATIVE 29M. (That's at 8M/ WAR, which is me being extremely generous) .

So, you either have to crucify the White Sox front office for sinning against the almighty, omnipotent surplus value, or admit that it's not all that you think it is, and acknowledge that teams FREQUENTLY make decisions that go against surplus value. Literally every free agent signing is anti-surplus value.

It's not the system you think it is, and teams don't operate in this robust fashion.


50.) 22 Nov 2019 14:11:04
Correction: it was -29M over his time in Chicago. Still. What a great surplus value. Let's trade a legitimately elite prospect for him!

Because, you know, this is what front offices do. Surplus value and all that jazz.


51.) 22 Nov 2019 19:10:32
Are you done with your temper tantrum? Ok.

I never said teams refuse to pay players? Where did you pull that one from? Players are paid for production on the open market. I've never not said that. Learn how to read. Again, you've found something (surplus value) that you clearly have zero idea of what it actually is and are now struggling mightily to deal with it. It's really OK, you don't have to get frustrated.

Speaking of moving the goal posts, that's you my friend, not me.

Tatis obviously wasn't an elite prospect at the time of the deal. He was on no reputable site's radar, not even within the Sox system. It was obviously a bad trade in hindsight with the Sox not knowing what they had, but no one batted an eye when it happened. Everyone was saying the Sox pretty much just got him for free - but credit to the Padres for having someone point out that this random 17-year old SS could be pretty good on day. So you trying to prove that surplus value is a farce with this Shields trade is actually hilarious. This wasn't them going against surplus value, but you wouldn't know. I can crucify them for this trade, but not overall recently.

Since you want to bring up the White Sox, they've actually done quite well with surplus value, and it's why they got so much in return for these trades they made. Sale, Quintana, and Eaton all carried super high surplus values and now the Sox are in a great position to sign top-end free agents at market value.

And, Oh my gosh, they just signed Yasmani Grandal. They have a ton of current surplus, and are now taking advantage of it with free agents at market value. But yeah, total farce of an idea. Rick Hahn, total idiot. Keep thinking it's a charade, but it's absolutely the general model for teams making transactions. They don't frequently go against it. You're essentially saying that teams make trades where they already think they're the overall loser.

It's really hard to be good when you spend hundreds of millions on free agents, but you don't end up having a lot of surplus value on your roster. Like the Phillies in 2019. It's crazy how you bring up examples that just end up proving my point and not yours.


52.) 25 Nov 2019 03:06:11
You're actually not done smelling your own farts. I thought you'd pass out from them by now.

I'm pointing out the fact that you think this is some robust system that every team religiously follows. They literally do not. The surplus value argument is wildly overstated already, and you've only overblown it more than one could think it's possible.

Come up for air. It's far more pleasant here in reality.


53.) 26 Nov 2019 02:28:45
It is a robust system. The MLB, like every other profit maximizing firm in the history of time, uses it when making their decisions. Don’t over think it.

Every team makes transactions where they view they are getting more value then thay are giving up. It’s really not as complicated as you’re making it.


54.) 26 Nov 2019 13:28:48
The problem, again, is that you can't keep a consistent argument.

Sometimes, surplus value is based on production.
Sometimes, it's based on immediate needs.
Sometimes, it's based on contract situation.

You've covered the whole gamut.

But yet, according to you, some players have higher (perceived) value than others (Bummer) Until they don't because of circumstances (Greinke) . But then they do, mostly because it fits your argument (Bummer, again) .

No one, literally no one, is arguing that teams don't try to maximize value. Of course they do. But it's not necessarily in the way you suggest it is. But the traditional idea, and the foundational one that started all of this, is that we view WAR versus salary. I said that's a farce. You, apparently, took that to mean I think that labor economics is a farce.

Last time, just so you know where I stand. Here's why it's a farce. If we assume $/ WAR is around 8M (it's probably higher in today's economy, but it doesn't matter where we land if it's consistent), you have this issue:

Player A gets paid 500K, and puts up 0.1 WAR. His surplus value is 300K.
Player B gets paid 23.7M, and puts up 3 WAR. His surplus value is also 300K.

By your argument, those players are equal. They have to be. But we both know they aren't. And even if Player B was paid 27M (thus worth -3M), he'd still be the more desirable commodity. This isn't some "labor economics" issue. Just because the cashier gets paid minimum wage and does slightly more than minimum wage work doesn't make that person more valuable or as valuable as the CEO. It's why CEO's are paid a whole lot more money than cashiers.

Labor value isn't a robust system. It never has been. It's not robust in any system of economics. The way executives are valued and paid is different than how cashiers and stockboys are valued and paid. It's not robust, at all. It's extremely fluid—ever-changing as the landscape and availability of labor changes.

The fact that there are so many counter arguments to the surplus value argument, as it is often portrayed amongst baseball blogs, is enough for one to say, yeah, this probably isn't a very robust science. But if you want to continue to view everything as a nail, proceed to hammer away.

Meanwhile, those of us in reality will continue to do our thing. Your delusions have been noted.

See ya.


55.) 27 Nov 2019 04:27:21
It might be easier for you to wrap your head around if you would stop trying to compare 2 players in a vacuum and instead, think of surplus from an organizational standpoint.


56.) 27 Nov 2019 09:21:03
I will continue to say that you are misunderstanding surplus value. You fundamentally do not understand what it is, as evidenced by you trying to calculate it based on 2 hypothetical players. There’s no one way to calculate it in that respect.

And yes, surplus is about all of those things - production, immediate needs, contract situation. They all go into it. The idea doesn't disappear whether a team is rebuilding or on the brink of a championship. Teams get more or less surplus differently, given their respective constraints. To be clear, $/ WAR IS NOT how all teams calculate surplus value, nor am I calling that the robust system. That is a handy guide to generally gage the value that teams are getting from their spending. This is why the Greinke deal doesn't make sense to you. They specifically were weighting him vs. (presumably) Wade Miley for a World Series start - a game where a quality start can be worth millions of dollars if it helps in winning it all. Each team has their own surplus value calculation, but the rationale holds constant.

I can literally guarantee that every GM asks himself (or his analysts) prior to making any kind deal - "Are we projected to get high enough total surplus value to warrant this move? "

Your example lacks context, so I’m not going to try and dig into it too much. But how did you even arrive at 300K? I will say that player A's team must be getting a TON of surplus elsewhere to be able to pay 23 million for 3 wins in a season.

You are trying to compare 2 player w/ o context, which isn’t how things are handled in reality. The Bummer/ Smith arguement can be had - Bummer is pretty objectively more valuble at 600k than Smith is at 13 million. The Braves would take Bummer in a heartbeat over Smith because of the flexbility it would provide them, a team that will be pushing its payroll bounds, regardless of regression. Not even to mention the 2 additional years of control for Bummer at below market value. Otherwise, it’s pointless to debate hypothetical players on hypothetical teams.

You said surplus value is laughably farcical, which that in itself is "laughably farcical. " And by the way (as you shift the goals posts here once again), I never said labor value was a robust system. I said SURPLUS VALUE was a robust system! Two different ideas. Obviously, the supply of labor in a specialized industry like MLB will fluctuate. However, those fluctuations shape the amount of surplus that teams can obtain with any given player. The idea of surplus value is still inherently sound. I feel like the examples I have presented previously paint a pretty clear picture, but maybe you're just disagreeing just for the sake of disagreeing.

If the Cubs could have gotten Quintana for 4 years, $37 Million on the open market (keep in mind coming off 3 straight years of 4+-win seasons), then he wouldn't have been worth 2 top-tier prospects. The market for labor, which you're addressing as "labor value", shapes surplus value.


57.) 27 Nov 2019 13:54:15
I'll put it this way: Surplus value is a lot like the climate change argument. We all agree that it's probably true in some regards, but it's also true that you're wildly overstating its importance. But you like smelling your own farts, so I don't exactly blame you.

And this:

"Your example lacks context, so I’m not going to try and dig into it too much. But how did you even arrive at 300K? I will say that player A's team must be getting a TON of surplus elsewhere to be able to pay 23 million for 3 wins in a season. "

Of course it lacks context. As does the Bummer/ Smith comparison. Player A also may be on a down season. He might have been overpaid vastly (because, you know, teams never overpay players for any reason ever, because surplus value) .

The argument you made there is entirely circular. And a non-sequitur at that. It doesn't follow that players who get paid a lot of money are paid that highly because their team got surplus value elsewhere. You can't justify a bad signing simply because the team got a ton of surplus value elsewhere. i. e. Eric Hosmer.

The Hosmer signing was horrible every which way. There was zero reason for it, and it pretty well shows you that not every GM thinks, in your words, "Are we projected to get high enough total surplus value to warrant this move? "

That's the most circular nonsense I've ever heard, and it's no surprise coming from you. You'd tell me the sky is red if it means you can justify your own ramblings. Then you'd proceed to say I have no concept of the color spectrum, and try to subtly move the argument to crazy places until we've completely lost where the argument was going. This is how you shift the goal posts.

Meanwhile, before this thread gets lost into oblivion, to bring it all home: the White Sox won't stand a chance in that awful division of theirs. Even worse, they are actively trying to win. But I'm sure they'll win the surplus value olympics, which is all that really matters after all.

Bragging about surplus value and prospect rankings. You guys and the Padres could make for good friends. Meanwhile, other teams will talk about what it means to actually win something real.

Enjoy your surplus value. I'm sure it'll give you solace after another 80+ loss season.


58.) 27 Nov 2019 20:08:58
The Bummer/ Smith comparison lacks no context. It's literally two specific players for two specific teams on specific contracts in a specific year.

The Padres can't justify the Hosmer deal, as the Cubs really can't with Heyward or the Red Sox with Price. However, what they can do is still survive with those deals. The Angels can't survive with the Pujols contract and the Giants can't survive with all of those veteran duds they still employ. Why? Because those teams don't get surplus value elsewhere. You can try to buy yourself out of massive holes as much as you want, but it generally does not work.

Hosmer doesn't show that Preller neglected to consider surplus. The guy was pretty damn good in KC. I can guarantee they didn't think they were signing a below replacement level first baseman. I would agree that the timing of the move was a bit pre-emptive, but this example doesn't help your case. The surplus they had across their club allowed them to pay closer to market value for what they thought was a productive, 3-5 win player that was hitting the market at 28. Even if he remains a dud, no one figures that San Diego is screwed financially. This was absolutely considered by Preller and Co. when they signed him.

Keep bashing the White Sox, but I am not exaggerating one bit when I say the Giants are set up about as poorly as any team in the game moving forward, new front office or not. Seriously - they might be lucky to win 65 games in 2020. The Sox are trending up and seem to be in on the right people, already making a fantastic signing with Grandal. Again, the Giants literally do not have a single, good young player, but you are bashing the White Sox. Good grief.

Winning the "surplus value olympics" is usually synonymous with winning, so if they are winning that, that's great. The high surplus teams win, the low surplus teams suck. Understand? I'm struggling to dumb it down any more for you.

You just don't understand the concept of surplus value, labor economics, and essentially how major league transactions are handled. You haven't been willing to swallow your pride and admit it to this point, but I would say that that's just about expected. Accumulating surplus, and as much of it as possible, is a fundamental concept of building a winner. Denying this is one of the dumbest things I've engaged with on here. Teams only make moves if they believe they are coming out better overall. It looks like this is circular because you're making this so hard. This really isn't that challenging of a system.

You trying to point out specific instances where a GM seemingly acted on impulse is making you look awfully foolish. At some point, we'll have to agree to disagree, but this really isn't even an issue of opinion. You are just unwilling to accept the reality of the economics that shape the moves of this century.


 

 

 

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13 Jan 2020 15:14:05
The Cubs, who already have a week staff, aren't trading their best pitcher.

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01 Jan 2020 18:43:05
How about a trade where NY doesn’t give up literally their entire farm system?

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31 Dec 2019 18:17:57
Why would they trade Kyle Schwarber for a guy they gave up on in 2018?

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29 Nov 2019 05:30:36
I didn’t suggest the Red Sox include Devers or Bogaerts did I? How does including Marte, a guy coming off a 7-win season, compare to Benintendi who averagind 3 wins a season with a career 108 wRC+?

And don’t act like Arizona got a haul for Grienke. Martin is a solid back-end pitching prospect, but Bukauskas is a reliever with control issues and Beer is a solid DH at best. That return, minus about $23 million taken on, isn’t miles away from Walker, Stiever, and Johnson - all of which coming off great seasons.

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26 Nov 2019 02:28:45
It is a robust system. The MLB, like every other profit maximizing firm in the history of time, uses it when making their decisions. Don’t over think it.

Every team makes transactions where they view they are getting more value then thay are giving up. It’s really not as complicated as you’re making it.

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