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Your 2008 Most Valuable Padre is

December 27th, 2008 by

Brian Giles. At least, he should be.

We’ve written before on the ridiculousness of this award, and I expect this year to be no different.

That sounds harsh, so let me explain.

If Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t win this year’s M.V.Padre award. I will be greatly surprised. He hit 36 home runs, drove in 119 runs, raised most all of his important numbers, and even won a Gold Glove. He’s a legit player and he hits in one of the most ridiculous stadiums in the league. But he wasn’t the best player on the team this year.

Offensively, it could go either way. Adrian leads the standard categories, jumping above Giles in home runs, RBI, doubles, slugging, and OPS. In the fancier categories, Giles catches back up, leading Adrian in wRAA, wOBA, and EqA, though he’s really not that far up on Adrian in most. Where Giles pulls away is on defense.

When it was announced, I wrote briefly on the ridiculousness of Adrian’s Gold Glove win. Adrian is not the best fielding baseball in the National League. Far from it. Lance Berkman, with a UZR of 11.2, was the best in the National League. Down the list at -7 was Adrian.

Giles, meanwhile, was one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. And when this is taken into consideration with his offensive contributions, the choice becomes very clear.

Fangraphs has recently added a value section, which includes the following:

Batting – wRAA (Runs Above Average) with a park adjustment.

Fielding – The sum of a player’s UZR.

Replacement – The replacement level adjustment set at 20 Runs / 600 PA.

Positional – The positional adjustment set using Tangotiger’s values (see this link)

Value Runs – The sum of Batting, Fielding, Replacement, and Positional.

Value Wins – Value Runs converted to a wins scale.

Dollars – Value Wins converted to the following dollar scale: 2008 – $4.5m / win

This how is Giles and Adrian stack up:

Name Batting Fielding Replacement Positional Value Runs Value Wins Dollars
Brian Giles 32.6 9.1 21.8 -6.7 56.8 5.7 $25.50
Adrian Gonzalez 30.7 -7 23.3 -12.5 34.5 3.4 $15.50
Jody Gerut 14.5 5 11.9 0.9 32.3 3.2 $14.50

I threw in Gerut for some perspective. When all things are considered, Giles was so much the best player on the team that Adrian is closer to Gerut. And this is to take nothing away from Gerut, who had a surprisingly fantastic season.
Adrian is absolutely the face of the franchise. He’s the Padres first transcendent hitter since Petco opened, and he took the Gold Glove away from such players as Berkman and Albert Pujols. That is exceptional company to keep, and I don’t mean to come off as iconoclastic. Giles was simply the Most Valuable Padre in 2008.

(With all due respect to Jake Peavy, the most potent part of the offense.)

Posted in awards, statistics | 3 Comments »

You’re Kevin Towers

December 14th, 2008 by

MinorLeagueBall has a great thread going on what to do about our San Diego Padres. Their readers are smart, and well versed in the Padres organization from top to bottom, so needless to say it’s a great conversation. Plus it’s helpful to hear a fresh perspective from outsiders who actually follow the team.

The discussion itself doesn’t begin until the Alyssa Milano situation is sorted out, naturally. You’ll see what I mean.

Posted in sacrificial links | 1 Comment »

The Market for The Hoff

December 11th, 2008 by

I hope (and predicted) The Padres will find a way to keep Trevor Hoffman in San Diego for the rest of his career, so lets take a look at what’s going on in the closer market that might affect this goal.

edit: Teams have stated a lack of interest in our guy, I’ll try to keep this post updated. Though most of the news can be found amid the fury of activity at mlbtraderumors.

First, the good news

  • The Mets sign Francisco Rodriguez for 3 years and $37 million. K-Rod is younger and arguably better than Francisco Cordero, yet Cordero signed a deal for 4 years and $46 million last offseason. Looks like the market for closers is a bit down this year.
  • The Indians ink former Cub Kerry Wood for about 2 years and $20 million, though the deal is not yet official. This probably takes the Indians, whom I expected to be Hoffman’s most likely suitor, out of the running.

Not out of the woods (no pun intended) yet

The tag of “closer” is a golden ticket in Major League Baseball. It doesn’t take much skill relative to one’s peers to earn the “closer” label, but once you do all kinds of doors open. Sucks to be JJ Putz, because the Mets effectively ripped the golden ticket from his hands in the trade from Seattle. Putz will pitch the 8th inning in Citi Field, and I hope for his sake he buys the right choclate bar when his contract is up.

Of course it also sucks for us, since the Putz trade takes one more closer off the board without eliminating a team from the market.

That leaves the Tigers, Brewers, Dodgers, Cardinals,  and Mariners could still be kicking tires on closers, with Brian Fuentes, if he’s up your alley Eric Gagne, and Trevor Hoffman available.

I’m no expert on each financial and roster situations, but here’s what I do know.

  • Detroit is broke. I don’t know what they’re doing linked to free agents, let alone free agent closers, which make the least sense for a cash strapped team to sign. update 12/11: They’re not interested.
  • Milwaukee has the money after their half-assed attempt to re-sign CC obviously failed. Hoffman’s 2007 performance on their turf may still be fresh in peoples minds, who knows. Also, they probably fancy themselves contenders, and I have a hard time seeing Hoffman get a 40 hour a week closer job with a contender. update 12/11: Brewers are out of it.
  • Los Angeles has Jonathan Broxton, but they might offer Trevor barrels of money so they both can laugh in our faces. I wouldn’t put a free agent signing out of spite past the Dodgers. And no, I don’t know if I’m kidding here or not.
  • St. Louis has the money, but are contenders. Tony La Russa seems to have a man crush on Fuentes, so lets consider this a match made in heaven and move on. update 12/11: Cardinals are indeed only about the Fuentes.
  • Seattle is an interesting situation. They’re rebuilding, which doesn’t often go along with signing free agent closers. They also have the budget to do all sorts of things, usually stupid.  They may have the same reasons for going after Hoffman as we do: giving the fans anything to cheer for.

So that’s how I see it. I still think the odds of seeing Trevor in a Padre uniform again are a lot better than his 99 to 1.

Relaying an entire major league market in 500 words is quite a challenge, so If I left something out please holla in the comments.

Posted in hot stove | 3 Comments »

Hoffman Not Offered Arbitration

December 1st, 2008 by

Trevor Hoffman will not be offered arbitration by the Padres. For those of us who would like to see Hoffman return next year, this may not actually be such terrible news.

In one sense it does kind of suck. An offer of arbitration would essentially mean Trevor could come back and at least earn his salary from last season,  $7.5 million. That’s $7.5 mil at minimum, it could even go up. With payroll likely to decrease next year, that isn’t an option for Alderson and his boys.

The good news stems from the free agent compensation system the team has been wise to exploit the past few years. If the front office feels Hoffy is gone for good, they likely would offer arbitration and reap the free draft picks. Since they didn’t make the offer, one can infer that the team thinks he might accept. And that means, even in light of Trevor’s self proclaimed 99-to-1 odds of not returning, the front office thinks a change of heart is a possibility.

And I agree. Want to know why? Because in order for our favorite high leg kicking, hard rocking closer to save face from his behavior–leaving the $4 million offer on the table with no counter offer or negotiation–he’ll have to get more than that somewhere else. And that means at least $5 million, over two years, with a guaranteed closer job. Anything less then that in terms of dollars, years, or role, and you have to wonder why the dude would give up everything he had in the good old 619.

That, and a glut of younger relievers with the closer tag are available for the signing. Brian Fuentes, Francisco Rodriguez, and Kerry Wood are all free agents, and all are better options, a situation which creates a buyers’ market. To make matters worse, the Rockies and Cubs, former employers of Fuentes and Wood, are no longer likely in the market for closers.

It’s on wax. Forget the so-called fans who are already whining. Forget the sensational reporting that puts attention before accuracy, already claiming Hoffman is gone for good.

Comment’n

In news on the Sac Bunt front, we now have nested comments! I also added a fancy pants footer to the bottom of the page. I had to roll up my nerd sleeves and do some hard coding to get both features up and running, so there’s a small chance (read: fair likelyhood) that something could go wrong. If anyone would be so kind as to leave a comment or send an email if something indeed hits the fan, I promise to reward your good deed by providing insightful, humorous commentary of The San Diego Padres. For free.

This is also be a good time to encourage you to set up a an avatar for comments. They attatch to your email address and are free, easy, and work with a bunch of other sites including Ducksnorts.

Posted in hot stove | 8 Comments »

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