Ryan v. Wagner

I just don’t understand this, as I’ve said before. The Orioles are offering BJ Ryan $18 million over three years, $6 million per. The Mets have offered Billy Wagner $30 million over three years, $10 million per. Ryan put it all together in August 2003; since 8/1/03, here are their numbers (via Pinto’s database, except for the Blown Saves numbers):

Pitcher W L SV BS G IP ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Wagner 8 4 72 7 144 153 1.76 5.47 0.82 2.00 10.35
Ryan 6 11 39 10 174 180.1 2.15 6.64 0.40 3.64 12.23

And bear in mind that Ryan is 30, Wagner is 34. Both are lefthanded. Both throw hard. Yes, you can make the argument that Wagner’s been the better pitcher, but it’s awfully close. Ryan strikes more guys out, he gives up half as many homers – a highly significant fact in big games, as Wagner’s been known to get touched by the longball in big situations – and he has age and durability on his side. Yes, the save and save % numbers favor Wagner, but Ryan has certainly proven he can hold a closer job with 36 saves in 2005, and the blown saves figure is always uglier when you’re working primarily as a setup man. How can you look at these two guys and think Wagner is worth an extra $4 million per year?

4 thoughts on “Ryan v. Wagner”

  1. He’s not worth more. Its just further proof that the Mets are run by morons. Didn’t Kazmir prove that once and for all?

  2. Why do you think Ryan is only going to get $6 mil per season? I think it will be more like $7 – 8 (especially after the Mets sign Wagner and raise the price of closers).
    So if Wagner is better than Ryan, but not $4mil better, how much better is he?

  3. True, Ryan won’t take that deal. Wagner may not take the $30 million, either.
    I’d actually pay more for Ryan. Remember, these are retrospective numbers. Ryan’s edges in youth and health make him a better bet to equal or top these numbers in the next three seasons, at the end of which he’ll still be younger than Wagner will be in 2006.

  4. Hard to explain this one. If the money was even, you could argue for the “established closer” (read into that as much sarcasm as you wish). But with so much money at stake, yikes!

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