Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Reds Extend Phillips

I'm just going to make this your preview post for tonight's game, because I'm lazy like that.  The Reds have decided to give Brandon Phillips 6 years, and $72.5MM, locking him up through his age 36 season.  I, for one, chuckle at this deal, and think that Phillips got a complete steal with this one, especially when you consider what Ian Kinsler signed for earlier today/last night, and find it pretty hard to believe that the Reds will find any surplus through this contract (assuming a vacuum; this could have some kind of affect on a TV deal, or maybe they can justify it if they win a world series over the next two seasons).

Phillips is noticeably a worse player than Kinsler is when comparing WAR, as well as most of your other stats (though Kinsler has the advantage of playing half of his games in a bandbox, he also has tougher competition).  Kinsler has been worth ~5WAR/season over the last three years, with some excellent defense, and is a year younger than Phillips, so it's not really a surprise that Kinsler is getting a better annual value.  Phillips, meanwhile, has been worth ~3.5WAR/season over the last three, with a significant edge in games played.

In order for these contracts to be worthwhile to their respective teams, both will need to provide about 13 wins above replacement, which doesn't seem like a whole lot, considering the 5 and 6 year contracts.  It's not that I think the Phillips deal is bad for the Reds, it's just that the Kinsler deal is so much better for the Rangers, especially considering the fact that they're a better team already, and that Kinsler is a year younger.

As it stands right now, I can see Kinsler being worth 15+ WAR over the course of his deal (though that becomes much less likely if Kinsler moves to the outfield, as Dave Cameron from fangraphs suggests), giving a nice surplus to the Rangers, whereas Phillips I struggle to give the same prediction.  The Rangers have a better team right now, and that makes it a much more reasonable choice to extend Kinsler, since they can feasibly pay more than market value for a win (even if they probably won't).  The Reds are pretty good, and will contend this year, but I'd definitely give the Rangers a better chance at winning a championship over the course of these two contracts, especially when the Astros switch divisions next season.

Simply, the Phillips deal is right around market value, so it isn't that bad at all in a vacuum. Relative to the Kinsler deal signed less than 24 hours earlier, however, this deal stinks.

Jays v Red Sox again.  Kyle Drabek will pitch for the Jays, and hopefully can keep things under control and all that junk, instead of giving us more of what we got last year.  Daniel Bard will pitch for the Red Sox.  I don't expect dick from Bard this year, in his first year as a starter.  He was unimpressive all spring (yeah, I know), and was also unimpressive when he used to be a starter before being converted to the bullpen (before being converted to a starter).  It seems as though he was working on a changeup last year, and I can only assume he's been working on it even more this spring.  For his sake, I fucking hope so, because he's not going to survive in the AL East as a fastball/slider guy if he's only throwing his changeup 7% of the time, or however often it was that he threw it last year.

I watched PTI yesterday, and Tony Kornheiser said that the most important thing for a playoff team is a closer.  Naturally, I facepalmed, but he went on to say that he worries about the Red Sox because they don't have a closer.  Not because the rotation isn't very good, but because they don't have a closer.

I also watched some of primetime sports today, mostly because I wanted to hear what that idiot had to say about the Jays game yesterday.  Instead, he had one of  the Dragon's Den guys on and they spoke for about 20 minutes about not sports.  Not sure how everything went after 5PM, because that was about all I could handle.  As an aside, I'd like to posit that Pedroia gets pitched soft and away, for a change, instead of letter-high fastballs.

Escobar SS
Johnson 2B
Bautista RF
Lind 1B
Lawrie 3B
Thames LF
Arencibia C
Rasmus CF

Drabek P

Red Fux
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 3B
Sweeney RF
Ross LF
Saltalamacchia C
Punto SS

Bard P

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