Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 3, 2005
BASEBALL: Beane Counted
Jurgen at Some Calzone for Derek suggests that I could take a look at the incoming and outgoing A's (including prospect Dan Meyer, coming in to fill the Hudson/Mulder gap in the rotation) by Established Win Shares. He finds the A's losing 21 wins worth of Win Shares and gaining 20, measured by last year's numbers. How do things look from an EWSL view?
Total: 73 Win Shares (24.333 wins)
Total: 48 Win Shares (16 wins)
# - Rated only on 2003 & 2004
Note that Meyer doesn't figure in the weighted age because he has no established major league track record. It says here the A's have lost 8 wins worth of talent this offseason; that sounds about right. Jurgen is underestimating that because he's valuing Kendall and Ginter off of good years and Hudson and Rhodes off of weak ones.
That doesn't mean that's how it will play out on the field. Meyer could easily give the A's anywhere from 5 to 12 Win Shares worth of performance - although young pitchers are tricky - and Thomas' 9 Win Shares last season are a half-season's worth of performance. Haren should also get an opportunity, although just looking at his numbers the past two seasons at AAA and the major league level I'm not that impressed with his odds of making an immediate impact:
Haren could well be another good long-term prospect, I just don't see a guy who's going to jump into the rotation without some real growing pains.
Overall, the arrival of Kendall, the fact that Thomas looks like a guy who could be an immediate improvement over the oft-injured Dye, and the bullpen help the A's are getting should help soften the blow. But I don't think you can deny that the A's took a significant step backward this offseason.