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Analyzing the José Berríos Extension from Minnesota’s Perspective


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On 11/16/2021 at 9:11 AM, Cap'n Piranha said:

Berrios is indeed 4th in the league in fWAR over the past 5 years--if the league in question is the AL.  Expand it to MLB, and he drops to 14th.

Berrios' durability also potentially works against him here--as fWAR is a counting stat, staying healthy can skew this number (much like RBI numbers can be skewed by batting cleanup for 150 games).  Indeed, if you look at FIP- for the last 5 years, Berrios drops to 33rd in the league; by xFIP- it's 51st (not for nothing, his mark of 93 is identical to Joey Lucchesi, Micahel Pineda, and Kyle Gibson).

Now durability is obviously an asset--you can argue it is better to have a starter who makes 30 starts with a 3 ERA than a starter who makes 10 starts with a 2 ERA.  Jose Berrios is indeed durable--until he's not.  Perhaps Berrios pitches 10 more years without a single major injury.  Perhaps Berrios blows his arm out in his very first start of 2022.  The Blue Jays are gambling $20M+ a year that a clear 2nd starter by quality can become a 1st starter through quantity.  I'm not saying Berrios won't, but this is a gamble on Toronto's side.

Just like you said though, it's a counting stat, so where would Jose's counting numbers be if he got to face a pitcher in the lineup 3 or 4 times every single game?  So of course when you compare to the National league stats are going to be skewed. 

 

Also how big of a gamble was it to sign Josh Donaldson to 95 million after he was already 34 years old.  Berrios whole contract only gets him to his 34th birthday.  Don't get me wrong, I like Josh Donaldson, and when the Twins signed him, I didn't see too many people complaining about it at all, but if it's ok to sign Donaldson why is it not ok to sign Berrios?  This whole thing really shows that the Twins really could care less about their players, and now I think we can kind of see why they have a real tough time signing players of any significance.  We now know more the reasons why they don't want to come to Minnesota, it's probably not because of the weather as much as it is about really not wanting to play here if they can help it.

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It always takes two to tango. Asking if you would give Berrios the deal he got from the Blue Jays ignores what the bargaining positions were at the time between Berrios and the Twins. If the Twins and Berrios were ever close on a contract agreement with Berrios, would they have traded him? Probably not.

What did Berrios want in the negotiation with the Twins? We don't know, but can guess.

  • Salary commensurate with a top starting pitcher in MLB.
  • Length of contract in excess of 6 years?
  • To test the free agent Market

What did the Twins want? again, don't know but can guess

  • Salary perceived as a bargain relative to the mid tier of starting pitchers
  • Length of contract less than 4 years
  • One less rotation spot to fill

In neither of those buckets were organizational stability, durability, longevity. I don't believe those were levers valued, after all, those were already held by the parties with Maeda still healthy at the trade deadline. 

What were the best alternatives for Berrios and the Twins?

Berrios - hit free agency, he openly stated he wanted to test free agency, he did not get his best alternative

Twins - trade Berrios for prospects - the Twins got their best alternative but did not get their primary wish of getting a bargain for a mid-tier pitcher in Berrios

Post trade, Berrios negotiation desires may have changed. He no longer had the stability in his career. He had spent his entire 9 year working career with one company. Now the reality of his fungibility to his employer is real. With that in mind, what might his desires have changed to?

  • Stability
  • Length of Contract in excess of 6 years
  • Salary Commensurate with high end starting pitcher

Because they made a deal, the Blue Jays' bargaining desires must have been pretty close to Berrios', maybe something like:

  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Salary Commensurate as a bargain for a high end starting pitcher

Lets see with the negotiations upcoming for Free Agents and trades if the Twin's perceived negotiation values have changed

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5 hours ago, Twodogs said:

Just like you said though, it's a counting stat, so where would Jose's counting numbers be if he got to face a pitcher in the lineup 3 or 4 times every single game?  So of course when you compare to the National league stats are going to be skewed. 

 

Also how big of a gamble was it to sign Josh Donaldson to 95 million after he was already 34 years old.  Berrios whole contract only gets him to his 34th birthday.  Don't get me wrong, I like Josh Donaldson, and when the Twins signed him, I didn't see too many people complaining about it at all, but if it's ok to sign Donaldson why is it not ok to sign Berrios?  This whole thing really shows that the Twins really could care less about their players, and now I think we can kind of see why they have a real tough time signing players of any significance.  We now know more the reasons why they don't want to come to Minnesota, it's probably not because of the weather as much as it is about really not wanting to play here if they can help it.

I imagine it is an extremely rare occurence to face a pitcher 3-4 times in a game--for that to happen, the opposing team's lineup has to be getting a ton of baserunners, or the opposing pitcher has to be pitching into the 8th or 9th inning.  Certainly it's easier pitching in the NL, but even if you shave .2 off of Berrios' FIP and xFIP (the approximate difference between AL and NL starters in 2021), he is still 19th amongst qualified starters in the last 5 seasons on FIP, and 24th-ish on xFIP (he would pass some pitchers, other than all the pitchers he's passing spent at least some, if not most/all of their time in the AL in those years as well, and would therefore also need to be adjusted).

The Donaldson contract was indeed a gamble.  Why was it ok to sign Donaldson, but not Berrios?  AT the time of Donaldson's signing the Twins were coming off a 103 win season, and wanted to win a WS in the next 2 years, and were willing to overpay a little in 2020/2021, and probably a lot in 2022/2023 in order to do that.  At the time of Berrios' signing, the Twins are coming off an 89 loss season, and there's reasonable debate about if they can/should even compete for the playoffs in 2022 (for what it's worth, that question was being asked on this site in June/July BEFORE Berrios was traded).  Seems like a relevant distinction, no?

As for the Twins not caring about their players, your logic makes no sense.  Players don't want to come to Minnesota in free agency because the Twins won't give them an extension?  The Twins have extended Kepler, Polanco, Sano, and Dobnak, while making multiple offers to Buxton and Berrios (we can quibble about if those offers were "serious", but if the Twins truly didn't care, why would they make offers in the first place?).  Cruz, Pineda, Romo, Castro, Gonzalez, and Donaldson were all perfectly happy to sign here, in some cases, multiple times.

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4 hours ago, Sconnie said:

It always takes two to tango. Asking if you would give Berrios the deal he got from the Blue Jays ignores what the bargaining positions were at the time between Berrios and the Twins. If the Twins and Berrios were ever close on a contract agreement with Berrios, would they have traded him? Probably not.

What did Berrios want in the negotiation with the Twins? We don't know, but can guess.

  • Salary commensurate with a top starting pitcher in MLB.
  • Length of contract in excess of 6 years?
  • To test the free agent Market

What did the Twins want? again, don't know but can guess

  • Salary perceived as a bargain relative to the mid tier of starting pitchers
  • Length of contract less than 4 years
  • One less rotation spot to fill

In neither of those buckets were organizational stability, durability, longevity. I don't believe those were levers valued, after all, those were already held by the parties with Maeda still healthy at the trade deadline. 

What were the best alternatives for Berrios and the Twins?

Berrios - hit free agency, he openly stated he wanted to test free agency, he did not get his best alternative

Twins - trade Berrios for prospects - the Twins got their best alternative but did not get their primary wish of getting a bargain for a mid-tier pitcher in Berrios

Post trade, Berrios negotiation desires may have changed. He no longer had the stability in his career. He had spent his entire 9 year working career with one company. Now the reality of his fungibility to his employer is real. With that in mind, what might his desires have changed to?

  • Stability
  • Length of Contract in excess of 6 years
  • Salary Commensurate with high end starting pitcher

Because they made a deal, the Blue Jays' bargaining desires must have been pretty close to Berrios', maybe something like:

  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Salary Commensurate as a bargain for a high end starting pitcher

Lets see with the negotiations upcoming for Free Agents and trades if the Twin's perceived negotiation values have changed

I also think it's worth noting that Toronto might have felt more pressure to sign Berrios after not making the playoffs as well.  If Berrios goes out, leads the charge to a wild card, and then goes 6-0 across 7 starts in the postseason with a 1.40 ERA and 62 k's in 51 IP as the Jays win the WS, Toronto no longer has to justify the trade.  But what if the Jays didn't make the playoffs in 2021, and they don't in 2022 either, and Berrios then leaves, with no QO attached as it was eliminated in the new CBA?  All of the sudden, the decision to trade two top prospects for 0 playoff appearances starts to get called into question.

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17 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

I also think it's worth noting that Toronto might have felt more pressure to sign Berrios after not making the playoffs as well.  If Berrios goes out, leads the charge to a wild card, and then goes 6-0 across 7 starts in the postseason with a 1.40 ERA and 62 k's in 51 IP as the Jays win the WS, Toronto no longer has to justify the trade.  But what if the Jays didn't make the playoffs in 2021, and they don't in 2022 either, and Berrios then leaves, with no QO attached as it was eliminated in the new CBA?  All of the sudden, the decision to trade two top prospects for 0 playoff appearances starts to get called into question.

There is a lot of supposing there.  I mean no one knows what the next CBA is going to bring, on the flip side of that why would anyone sign anybody until the new CBA?  They aren't thinking about the new CBA when signing guys right now or they probably would just be waiting.  They wanted him because they think he is better than what they can find out there.  If they felt they could get someone else better then they wouldn't have signed him.  

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17 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

I imagine it is an extremely rare occurence to face a pitcher 3-4 times in a game--for that to happen, the opposing team's lineup has to be getting a ton of baserunners, or the opposing pitcher has to be pitching into the 8th or 9th inning.  Certainly it's easier pitching in the NL, but even if you shave .2 off of Berrios' FIP and xFIP (the approximate difference between AL and NL starters in 2021), he is still 19th amongst qualified starters in the last 5 seasons on FIP, and 24th-ish on xFIP (he would pass some pitchers, other than all the pitchers he's passing spent at least some, if not most/all of their time in the AL in those years as well, and would therefore also need to be adjusted).

The Donaldson contract was indeed a gamble.  Why was it ok to sign Donaldson, but not Berrios?  AT the time of Donaldson's signing the Twins were coming off a 103 win season, and wanted to win a WS in the next 2 years, and were willing to overpay a little in 2020/2021, and probably a lot in 2022/2023 in order to do that.  At the time of Berrios' signing, the Twins are coming off an 89 loss season, and there's reasonable debate about if they can/should even compete for the playoffs in 2022 (for what it's worth, that question was being asked on this site in June/July BEFORE Berrios was traded).  Seems like a relevant distinction, no?

As for the Twins not caring about their players, your logic makes no sense.  Players don't want to come to Minnesota in free agency because the Twins won't give them an extension?  The Twins have extended Kepler, Polanco, Sano, and Dobnak, while making multiple offers to Buxton and Berrios (we can quibble about if those offers were "serious", but if the Twins truly didn't care, why would they make offers in the first place?).  Cruz, Pineda, Romo, Castro, Gonzalez, and Donaldson were all perfectly happy to sign here, in some cases, multiple times.

So out of the top 10 in fip 8 of them are from the national league??  I'd say that's a pretty significant difference.  Burnes was out of this world with a 1.63.  but there is a .2 difference between number 2 and number 3.  There is another .2 difference between #3 and #5?  And then another .2 difference between #5 and #9.  That's a lot of .2's.  But I'd say significantly that most of the pitchers in the top 10 in fip are NL guys, but you're saying that if Berrios was in the NL that his wouldn't significantly go down?  I mean yeah you won't face the same pitcher over and over again, as they have to bring in relief pitchers and what not, but most teams benches don't go beyond about 4 - 5 guys, so it's not like they can pinch hit for the pitcher every time he is due up either.  Plus we are talking about bench players here, so what's the difference between the average bench guy and the average starter/everyday player.  Who would pitchers prefer to face? A guy coming off the bench cold or a DH who's only job is the swing the stick on a daily basis?  Yeah they signed Kepler, Polanco, and Sano, but let's not get crazy about those signing as they signed them through their ARB years which in the long run probably saved them money.  So let's not get too warm and fuzzy about how they feel about the players in MN from a management standpoint.  

 

So coming off a good year they signed a free agent to a big contract, and now they are unwilling to sign a home grown, top pitcher in all of baseball because they came off of a bad year.  I can see your point on this, however if that is the case then why bother signing anyone this off season? Why not just go with the young guys and see what they have?  Because what you are saying is that when the signed Donaldson that they were attempting to put together a WS team, and now they are coming off of an 89 loss season.  So I don't really want to hear about them signing Stroman or any of those guys because we are coming off of a losing season?  I mean we can split hairs here, but Berrios is worth that contract.  If he wasn't Toronto wouldn't have offered it to him.  Yes we can't envision what might happen, he could die in a plane crash for all we know, so trying to guess as to what the new CBA is going to have and how it will affect player salaries is all speculative.  But Berrios has been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last few years.  He been consistent, he been durable, he will compete against anyone.  We can continue to split hairs, but Toronto has a team of super stars and they wanted to lock him up, so they obviously feel that he is also a superstar and think that he will help them.  He could have helped the Twins, but it appears that the Twins would rather dumpster dive and hope they hit on someone.  Which is fine, but let's not try to rationalize that Jose wasnt any good or not good enough for that contract when we see guys that havent pitched in two years signing for big money.  I hope the guys they got for Berrios become studs, but I'm still not going to be convinced that Berrios isn't really that good because he is good.  I'm also not going to try and rationalize, oh well I'm glad we didn't have to pay him 18 mill per year when other lesser guys are going to make that much or more.

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5 hours ago, Twodogs said:

So coming off a good year they signed a free agent to a big contract, and now they are unwilling to sign a home grown, top pitcher in all of baseball because they came off of a bad year.  I can see your point on this, however if that is the case then why bother signing anyone this off season? Why not just go with the young guys and see what they have?  

They could also add a couple guys to help with the transition to the guys coming up.  That gives them a decent product (sells tickets) and provides a better opportunity to build a homegrown pitching staff which in turn will provide a better path to building a contender.  There is often a presumption among fans that every year is a go for it year.  That presumption does not exist in a FO.

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4 hours ago, Twodogs said:

There is a lot of supposing there.  I mean no one knows what the next CBA is going to bring, on the flip side of that why would anyone sign anybody until the new CBA?  They aren't thinking about the new CBA when signing guys right now or they probably would just be waiting.  They wanted him because they think he is better than what they can find out there.  If they felt they could get someone else better then they wouldn't have signed him.  

Of course there's a lot of supposing here--none of us are embedded with the Toronto FO.  That said, it seems logical that when an organization on the rise trades two high end prospects, they will be under pressure to show it was the right move.  For example, if in 2019 the Twins had traded Royce Lewis and Jordan Balazovic for a starter, and said starter led the way to a 2019 title, would any of us bemoan the trade?  On the flip side, if that acquired starter had pitched like a number 3, and the Twins had bombed out in the first round, wouldn't there be some questioning about if the Twins had made the right decision?

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4 hours ago, Twodogs said:

So out of the top 10 in fip 8 of them are from the national league??  I'd say that's a pretty significant difference.  Burnes was out of this world with a 1.63.  but there is a .2 difference between number 2 and number 3.  There is another .2 difference between #3 and #5?  And then another .2 difference between #5 and #9.  That's a lot of .2's.  But I'd say significantly that most of the pitchers in the top 10 in fip are NL guys, but you're saying that if Berrios was in the NL that his wouldn't significantly go down?  I mean yeah you won't face the same pitcher over and over again, as they have to bring in relief pitchers and what not, but most teams benches don't go beyond about 4 - 5 guys, so it's not like they can pinch hit for the pitcher every time he is due up either.  Plus we are talking about bench players here, so what's the difference between the average bench guy and the average starter/everyday player.  Who would pitchers prefer to face? A guy coming off the bench cold or a DH who's only job is the swing the stick on a daily basis?  Yeah they signed Kepler, Polanco, and Sano, but let's not get crazy about those signing as they signed them through their ARB years which in the long run probably saved them money.  So let's not get too warm and fuzzy about how they feel about the players in MN from a management standpoint.  

 

So coming off a good year they signed a free agent to a big contract, and now they are unwilling to sign a home grown, top pitcher in all of baseball because they came off of a bad year.  I can see your point on this, however if that is the case then why bother signing anyone this off season? Why not just go with the young guys and see what they have?  Because what you are saying is that when the signed Donaldson that they were attempting to put together a WS team, and now they are coming off of an 89 loss season.  So I don't really want to hear about them signing Stroman or any of those guys because we are coming off of a losing season?  I mean we can split hairs here, but Berrios is worth that contract.  If he wasn't Toronto wouldn't have offered it to him.  Yes we can't envision what might happen, he could die in a plane crash for all we know, so trying to guess as to what the new CBA is going to have and how it will affect player salaries is all speculative.  But Berrios has been one of the best pitchers in baseball the last few years.  He been consistent, he been durable, he will compete against anyone.  We can continue to split hairs, but Toronto has a team of super stars and they wanted to lock him up, so they obviously feel that he is also a superstar and think that he will help them.  He could have helped the Twins, but it appears that the Twins would rather dumpster dive and hope they hit on someone.  Which is fine, but let's not try to rationalize that Jose wasnt any good or not good enough for that contract when we see guys that havent pitched in two years signing for big money.  I hope the guys they got for Berrios become studs, but I'm still not going to be convinced that Berrios isn't really that good because he is good.  I'm also not going to try and rationalize, oh well I'm glad we didn't have to pay him 18 mill per year when other lesser guys are going to make that much or more.

Lot to unpack here.  I used .2 because that is the approximate difference between AL starters FIP/xFIP and NL starters.  The fact that there are more pitchers with low FIP/xFIP in the NL cannot just blindly be attributed to their presence in the NL--for example, Yu Darvish had his FIP and xFIP go UP when he went to the NL; Blake Snell's FIP went down, but his xFIP went WAY up.  It is very rare for any team to go through it's order more than 5 times (teams averaged 37.4 PAs in 2021, which is barely 4), so the idea that pitchers are constantly hitting just is not real.  Even if a starter hits twice, every NL team will absolutely use 2-3 bench players to hit for relievers, and with double switches, they might not even need to use that many.

Kepler and Polanco were both signed through their Arb years, but also some FA years.  By my estimation, absent the extension, Kepler would be a FA right now (next year at the latest), and the Twins have him through 2023 with an option for 24, so they bought out at least one FA year, and potentially 3.  Polanco by my estimation would have been a FA next year, and he is also signed through 2023, with options in 24 AND 25, so again, 1-3 years of FA bought out.  Sano would be a FA right now if not for the extension, so they only bought out one arb year, but either 1 or two FA years.

The Twins could still sign a starter this offseason, and look at it as having a pitcher about as good as Berrios, for the same price as Berrios, but also have two premium prospects to boot.  That would be a win, and something a smart team should always do.

The CBA changing is a slightly more realistic scenario than Berrios dying in a plane crash.  Just slightly.

Chris Davis was worth that contract the Orioles gave him.  If he wasn't, the Orioles wouldn't have offered it to him.

No one is saying Berrios isn't good, or that the Twins shouldn't have kept him.  I'd have been perfectly happy if this extension was announced on July 1, 2021.  What people are saying is that this contract is a risk, because Berrios produces more like a number two starter, but can be considered a number one starter because he's been so durable.  But if Berrios is not durable, which is not exactly an improbable possibility, then this contract, particularly the back end, is an issue.  Toronto is gambling, and good on them for doing that, but it is a gamble.

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7 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Lot to unpack here.  I used .2 because that is the approximate difference between AL starters FIP/xFIP and NL starters.  The fact that there are more pitchers with low FIP/xFIP in the NL cannot just blindly be attributed to their presence in the NL--for example, Yu Darvish had his FIP and xFIP go UP when he went to the NL; Blake Snell's FIP went down, but his xFIP went WAY up.  It is very rare for any team to go through it's order more than 5 times (teams averaged 37.4 PAs in 2021, which is barely 4), so the idea that pitchers are constantly hitting just is not real.  Even if a starter hits twice, every NL team will absolutely use 2-3 bench players to hit for relievers, and with double switches, they might not even need to use that many.

Kepler and Polanco were both signed through their Arb years, but also some FA years.  By my estimation, absent the extension, Kepler would be a FA right now (next year at the latest), and the Twins have him through 2023 with an option for 24, so they bought out at least one FA year, and potentially 3.  Polanco by my estimation would have been a FA next year, and he is also signed through 2023, with options in 24 AND 25, so again, 1-3 years of FA bought out.  Sano would be a FA right now if not for the extension, so they only bought out one arb year, but either 1 or two FA years.

The Twins could still sign a starter this offseason, and look at it as having a pitcher about as good as Berrios, for the same price as Berrios, but also have two premium prospects to boot.  That would be a win, and something a smart team should always do.

The CBA changing is a slightly more realistic scenario than Berrios dying in a plane crash.  Just slightly.

Chris Davis was worth that contract the Orioles gave him.  If he wasn't, the Orioles wouldn't have offered it to him.

No one is saying Berrios isn't good, or that the Twins shouldn't have kept him.  I'd have been perfectly happy if this extension was announced on July 1, 2021.  What people are saying is that this contract is a risk, because Berrios produces more like a number two starter, but can be considered a number one starter because he's been so durable.  But if Berrios is not durable, which is not exactly an improbable possibility, then this contract, particularly the back end, is an issue.  Toronto is gambling, and good on them for doing that, but it is a gamble.

Of course all contracts are realistically a gamble.  I just get fed up with the rhetoric that we get shoveled that Berrios, and others, wouldn't sign because he was absolutely going to go for free agency.  Then we see that he signs with out going for free agency.  Like I said we can split hairs whether he's worth 18 mil per year, but if he just maintains what he's been doing without significant injury then he is worth it.  So either the front office was lying to us, (leading us astray), or Berrios simply didn't want to play for the team that drafted him the only organization that he's known.  He'd rather play for some organization that he has no idea what goes on rather than the Twins.  So to me either scenario is troubling.  Especially because it's been my favorite team my whole life, to feel like either we were all lied to, or these guys can't stand being here so much that the Twins simply can't keep them.  Either one is a big problem for the long term health of the franchise.  

Dont get me wrong, like I said earlier, I hope those two guys we got for Berrios become regular all starts year in and year out.  But I have also always said that a bird in the hand is worth at least 2 in the Bush leagues.  Jose was definitely a very good bird and it seems to me that many of us are trying to rationalize it by saying he wasn't that good.  But he was good, like you said at times he could be a #2 but there were times he was definitely a #1 also.  So I'd like to think that he should get better for the next 3 years or so before he starts to decline.  Nonetheless, I hope these types of behaviors don't continue as more superstars and their contracts start to come due.  I mean next up is Byron.

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11 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

They could also add a couple guys to help with the transition to the guys coming up.  That gives them a decent product (sells tickets) and provides a better opportunity to build a homegrown pitching staff which in turn will provide a better path to building a contender.  There is often a presumption among fans that every year is a go for it year.  That presumption does not exist in a FO.

First off, signing this year's JA Happ and Joe Bagodonuts isn't going to sell tickets. Nor do I see any way that provides a "better opportunity" to build a homegrown staff.

 

And lastly, there ARE front offices out there that expect to compete every year. 

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Im sorry, but I hate our fans attitude sometimes. I remember when Hunter signed with the Angels for what 5/90mil? And we cried because we had offered him "close", but in reality it was 3/45, which was less in every sense. I hate reading people say that Jose wouldn't have accepted the contract he got from the Twins. I mean, I guess we'll never know. id probably rather play with bo Bichette and Vladdy daddy jr and co over what the twins ran out the end of last year and going forward, but we never offered him that contract. id guess we were closer to the contract we offered hunter, not even what he got in LA, in what we offered JO Berrios. 

 

I can't even believe this is the team ive hyped and talked **** for. Im just glad I got to live in Minneapolis and Seattle, so I could watch apathetic baseball and realize I actually like watching good baseball teams. 

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im so glad I went to Fenway when I was out in mass. I hated the bosox, hated. I grew up in New York and Pittsburgh. The antithesis of a team id like. I hated Damon and youk and pedroria.

And then I went and watched Xander and mookie and devers actually play some of the most fun ball ive ever seen. Sorry, the bosox are my "good" team, and by good, I mean the team I cheer for after theyve won a ps game. hope the twins make it sometime, perhaps even win. ive literally gone to three twins playoff games on my birthday, id prefer to spend it watching good baseball. not...this........................ 

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8 hours ago, USAFChief said:

First off, signing this year's JA Happ and Joe Bagodonuts isn't going to sell tickets. Nor do I see any way that provides a "better opportunity" to build a homegrown staff.

 

And lastly, there ARE front offices out there that expect to compete every year. 

I am going to use your favorite term.  Which teams with below average revenue operate in a manner expecting to contend every year?  There are not any.  Once again, you will just ignore the facts.  Prove me wrong with examples.

Who said the add has to be a JA Happ type?  Second, are you saying that it does not matter if our prospects get innings/experience at the major league level? 

Don't expect to respond with anything other than where are your examples if you follow your normal pattern and avoid backing up your statement by providing examples of teams that expect to win every year.  

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6 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Yes it would.  Your point?

I've always said durability is an asset.  but assuming that because someone has been durable they will continue to be durable is a gamble--the Blue Jays are cleraly content to take that gamble.  Johan Santana pitched 960 innings in his age 23-27 season, Berrios has pitched 850--both were extremely durable.  But Santana only had one more great season left, 3 more very good, one ok, and then was out of baseball.  Is it crazy to say that could also be Berrios' post-age 27 season path?

fWAR does use FIP, but a modified version (see below).  In essence, pitchers get credit for IF FB as K's in the WAR calculation, and the FIP constant is also changed.  I used both FIP- and xFIP- as two metrics that are not reliant on innings pitched, and therefore strip quantity from quality.  The point I'm making is that Berrios is the Bizarro Buxton--he's a good pitcher who posts great WAR because he doesn't get hurt (whereas Buxton is a great player who posts good WAR because he's constantly hurt).  Therefore, if Berrios ceases being able to make 30+ starts a year, his value is dramatically impacted, as he's not a great pitcher, but rather a very good one.  That said, there are worse things in baseball to spend $20M on than a very good pitcher.

That his tumble when the NL pitchers enter the mix isn't really that far. You knocked fWAR as a counting stat and then used the fWAR of NL pitchers who face near automatic outs 2-3 times per game to show that Berrios is held in higher regard than he maybe should be. 

If Toronto gets one great, 3 very good, and one ok season out of that deal I think they're happy. 

Sure, I agree Buxton is better equipped to rack up WAR in a shorter period of time but I don't see the merit in devaluing Berrios' ability to stay healthy when there isn't any history to suggest he won't be able to make those 30+ starts. Every player is "one injury away."

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