Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Winter Meetings, Day 2

Looks like a 1 year, $13MM deal that will allow Haren to try and re-establish some value.  Seems like a big overpay for such an injury concern, but Haren has a good track record, and I was kind of expecting him to get multiple years at a lower average annual salary.  As if Edwin Jackson weren't already not coming back to the Nationals, he's probably not coming back to the Nationals.

Haren is entering his age-32 season, so he's probably peaked already.  He didn't have much fun pitching in LA this year, having some injury and performance issues, but he had been a really good pitcher for the previous 7 years.  He threw a career-low 176 innings this year, but had been a model of durability before that, throwing at least 200 innings every year since 2005.

The big issue is his health-- various reports had teams worried about his shoulder, elbow and back, but if he can stay healthy, this will probably be a nice signing for the Nationals, and might even allow Haren to find a multi-year deal next offseason.

11:20 ET
Anthopoulos on the radio with Dirk Hayhurst and Jeff Blair, starting any minute.

11:50 ET
Be forewarned that Jim Bowden is full of shit, but he notes that The Nats' signing of Dan Haren more than likely means that they won't be participating in the Zack Greinke sweeps, and that beyond the Rangers and Dodgers, another team or two could pop up and get involved.  He mentions the Jays, Red Sox and White Sox.  Of course, Alex Anthopoulos was just on the Jeff Blair show and pointed out that they're about done as far as big deals go, and that they're not going to get in to a bidding war with anyone.

1:30 ET (Bumped to the front of the blog)
Ryan Dempster apparently wants something in the $13MM range that Dan Haren got this morning/afternoon.  That's insanity, unless he's looking for a 1-year deal as well, which he apparently isn't.  Dempster is entering his age-36 season, and despite being worth 16-ish WAR over the last four years, there's no way he's getting 3 years at $13MM per.  It's either years or dollars, not both.

He's been really solid and durable since becoming a starter again in 2008 with FIP's in the 3's and 175 innings pitched in all five of those years.  Sort of like a righty Mark Buehrle with strikeouts and walks (actually, fuck around with this, it sort of makes for a decent comp if you look away from k's and bb's).  I don't think anybody is going to pay Dempster as if he's a 3.5 WAR pitcher going forward and give him multiple years, since he's baseball-old, but I guess people are crazy.

Depending on where you look, Dempster was worth 3.3 or 3.6 WAR in 2012, call it 3.5 thanks to the price of pitching and the simplicity of math.  Dempster is said to be seeking three years, so following a standard aging curve, 3, 2.5 and 2 WAR, or 7.5 WAR over the next three seasons. That 3-2.5-2 projection is certainly a back-of-the-envelope one, since it kind of ignores the consistent aging that occurred from 2008 through 2011.  True-talent Dempster is probably below that 3.5 WAR that he was worth this year.

Based on his track record, three years seems fair, maybe with a vesting option based on innings pitched in the last year.  Thanks to being old and still getting three years, I don't see him getting market value for those projectedish 7.5 WAR, especially considering his dropoff in innings this year due to an injury-- a slight discount gives us something like 3 years, $30MM with a $10MM vesting option if he can hit 200 IP in the third year.  3y/$31.5MM to Boston is my prediction, and even that might be an overpay.  He'd need to put up slightly less than 6 WAR to justify that one, and throwing 600 innings of 4FIP baseball certainly gets you there.

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