Monday, July 17, 2017
(7/17/2017 11:41:00 AM) - Al
Quick thoughts on trades and how much difference a traded for (or away) player makes.
The answer...not nearly as much as casual fans (and many others) think. Using the rule of 10 and simple runs created (or runs prevented), with only 68 games remaining, if a trade was made to bring in a superb player, like a Bryce Harper type, and he was replacing a below average production player or players (like last year's RF combo for the Crew, for example),that would still only be a difference of 25 runs or so, which would likely be 2 or 3 victories. And that is a maximum. A reliever only has about 30 innings left for the regular season, so a HUGE improvement would only be a single win. Of course, many overreact to late inning losses, and overestimate it (a run allowed in a 2-2 game in the 7th inning, for example, did not lose the game, at best, it was 50/50 before that).
Also lost in the math...even a SP as durable as Quintana has been can suffer an injury and miss time, and/or be ineffective or less effective due to said injury. This is especially good to keep in mind if you are dealing your "depth" for this player. Let's just say that as of today, if the Crew lost a SP due to injury, they woould probably call on Jungmann, Espino, or Blazek, who are all pitching in AAA right now, and all pitching at an above average clip, despite the tough home park and many tough away parks in the PCL West. If the Crew were to trade Blazek and Espino for a JA Happ or a similar SP, it would be met with massive praise, as neither are considered "prospects" anymore due to their age and big league experience. However, there is always downside:
1. The Happ type SP is far more likely to suffer an injury, as he is much older.
2. Should an injury occur to any pitcher, your AAA depth, which was once considered outstanding; is suddenly weak. It would be likely you would have to look outside the organization...again.
If you don't think depth is important, ask a small businessman the difference between having just himself or himself and a partner if he needs an operation or wants to go on vacation. No depth is fine should everything go swimmingly. And we all know ho often that occurs.
3. The Happ type SP is signed through 2018. If either Blazek or Jungmann continue to pitch well, they are under team control for several years. That's why Stearns has ignored age and options and continued to build with fellas that have "controllable" seasons remaining.
7/17/2017 11:41:00 AM