Last night the Twins Daily Twitter account tweeted out a poll, asking which free agent pitcher people would want the Twins to sign.
As I am typing this right now, 71% of people voted Wheeler, 15% voted Bumgarner, and 9% voted Ryu, with 5% saying they wouldn’t want any of the 3. I personally voted for Wheeler as well because I think he definitely has the stuff to take his game to another level, but it surprised me that an overwhelming majority of people want Wheeler, considering Bumgarner’s playoff history, and Ryu’s outstanding 2019 season. I decided to breakdown their stats from last season, as well as the past 3 seasons, using common metrics (ERA, WHIP, K/9, FIP), as well some metrics I have created myself. The metrics I have created myself are BIP, and BVIP. BIP (bases allowed per inning pitched) is like WHIP, except I use total bases instead of hits, and also added HBPs. BVIP (base value allowed per inning pitched) is like BIP except it weighs each outcome to the average amount of bases they get including the baserunners. I like these stats instead of WHIP, because I think WHIP is flawed due to a single being treated the same as a homerun. Similarly to how OPS is used to evaluate a hitter now more heavily than AVG. Here’s what the numbers look like: Wheeler 2019: 207.1 IP, 3.90 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 1.13 WHIP, 1.85 BIP, 2.90 BVIP Bumgarner 2019: 195.1 IP, 3.96 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 1.26 WHIP, 1.79 BIP, 2.86 BVIP Ryu 2019: 182.2 IP, 2.32 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 8.0 K/9, 1.01 WHIP, 1.51 BIP, 2.43 BVIP Wheeler 2017-2019: 476.1 IP, 3.90 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 8.7 K/9, 1.21 WHIP, 1.82 BIP, 2.86 BVIP Bumgarner 2017-2019: 436.0 IP, 3.59 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 8.4 K/9, 1.21 WHIP, 1.82 BIP, 2.88 BVIP Ryu 2017-2019: 391.2 IP, 2.71 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 8.5 K/9, 1.12 WHIP, 1.73 BIP, 2.73 BVIP Clearly Ryu had the better numbers in 2019, but he also was better in almost every category over the last 3 years. Despite being 3 years older than the other 2, I think Ryu would be a great 3-4 year investment. He put up a 1.97 ERA in 82.1 IP in 2018, so I don’t think this year was a fluke, and he’s a good bet to put up solid numbers the next few years if he stays healthy. I would be all for the Twins offering him say a 3 year, $70 million deal, although I feel like there’s a good shot he stays in LA. Between Wheeler and Bumgarner, their numbers are very similar from last season, the only number Wheeler has that’s clearly better than Bumgarner is WHIP. However, using my metrics you can see that Bumgarner’s BIP, and BVIP are actually better than Wheeler’s, showing that the types of hits he gives up are less dangerous than Wheeler (Bumgarner gave up 25 more singles, and 20 less extra base hits). Over the last 3 seasons their stats are almost identical, with Wheeler having the advantage in FIP, and Bumgarner having the advantage in ERA. I definitely think Wheeler can still take another step forward just based on the raw stuff that he has, but that obviously isn’t guaranteed, and that fact that Bumgarner is essentially a postseason legend is very enticing. If the Twins are able to sign either of them to a 4-5 year deal worth around $17-$20 million annually I think it would be a great investment to have another bonafied arm atop the rotation along side Berrios for years to come. Let me know in the comments who you want the Twins to sign, and why, as well as what you think of the stats that I have created!