Thursday, November 09, 2006

Beane Count Part 1: Giving his chips to the Gambler, folding a good hand and shuffling the deck.

1st trade: To NYY: Scott Brosius, Received: Kenny Rogers
In his first trade as General Manager, Billy Beane executed a classic baseball deal of sorts, trading away 31 year old third baseman Scott Brosuis to the Yankees for veteran starter Kenny Rogers. He also negotiated a payment from the Yankees to the Athletics worth half the amount owed to Rogers ($5 million) to make this deal happen. In his first year, Rogers led the Oakland staff in innings (238.7), wins (16) and posted a career best ERA+ of 144. The next year, he started 19 games as an Athletic, winning only 5 with an ERA+ of 112 up till July when he was traded at the deadline for Terrence Long and a career minor leaguer. His Value Over Replacemt Player for his two seasons in Oakland combined for 80.4 while he had 19 Win Shares in 1998.

Scott Brosius had an excellent first year with the Yankees; it was the only season in his career where he was an All-Star and he topped it off by being named the World Series MVP. The third baseman had career highs in Runs Created (91), Runs (86) and had only his second season of a .300 batting average. He had a first year VORP of 38.1 and 26 Win Shares. His production declined throughout the next 3 seasons with VORPs of 6.6, -6.1 and 22.6 although his salary went up. All in all this deal worked out for both sides, Rogers was the more productive player of the two, and was dealt for another productive player in Long, however Scott Brosius was an important part of the 1998 Yankees World Series team as well as being part of the 2000 World Series champion team.

2nd trade: To Cleveland: Steve Karsay, Received: Mike Fetters
In what was actually his third trade (the second one was a minor deal with no significant impact on either team), Billy Beane might have dropped the ball. He dealt 26 year old minimum salaried pitcher Steve Karsay for veteran bullpen arm Mike Fetters. Fetters appeared in 48 games for the Athletics, pitching 47.3 innings with an ERA+ of 114 before he was dealt for money to the Angels.
Karsay struggled in his first season with the Indians, pitching in only 11 games and posting an ERA+ of 81 with a VORP of 0.5. He became an effective reliever in his second season with the Indians with an ERA+ of 169, VORP of 26.5 and Win Shares of 33. He continued to pitch well in his next two seasons with VORPs of 21.5 and 22.6, along with ERA+ of 134 and 363(!!!). The Indians traded him during the final year of his contract (June of 2001) with Steve Reed for beleaguered closer John Rocker and a minor leaguer. Half a season of Mike Fetters was not worth trading away Steve Karsay and this can be seen as a trade where Beane did not win.

3rd trade: To Florida: Eric Ludwick, Received: Kurt Abbott
This trade almost didn’t make the list; Ludwick threw uneffectively in one year with the Marlins; establishing a VORP of -11.5, an ERA+ of 55. The slap hitting shortstop Abbott had 123 at bats with the Athletics establishing a VORP of 3.5/ He was dealt for a minor leaguer in season. Beane won this minor deal by trading away a guy who was below replacement level for a player who gave just above replacement level at bats off the bench.

Trades 4-6: Greg Hansell, Shane Mack, Kurt Abbott, Jason Wood for Mike Macfarlane, Ara Petrosian and Bip Roberts
These are all lumped together because none of these players had a real significant impact with the teams they were traded to or the Athletics past their first season of acquisition. Here's the contributions by the players traded and received:

Mike MacFarlane: 6.9 VORP, $725,000
Bip Roberts: 3.3 VORP, $2,300,000

Kurt Abbott: -4.2 VORP, $1,000,000
Shane Mack: 7.6 VORP, $450,000

In the end, Beane ends up gaining in VORP but it cost him money in Bip Roberts $2.3 million salary. Let’s call these deals shuffling the deck…

There's some news around the league...the Matsuzaka bidding is over and we'll find out which team has negotiating rights in the next 24 hours. And there was a young stud trade between Cleveland and San Diego yesterday that involved son of former Blue Jay Josh Barfield. This is actully gonna help the Jays in their free agent search for a middle infielder as they will no longer have to compete with the Indians. And the DBacks new unis were unveiled yesterday! They look much better in my humble opinion. Part 2 should hopefully be up tomorrow, if not it shall wait until Monday as I have a trip this weekend.

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