How today’s trades affect the Pirates’ 2010 season
The Pirates roster did not contain many obvious trade chips as we approached the 2010 trade deadline, but that did not keep Neal Huntington from wheeling and dealing today. Huntington utilized five players that he signed this past offseason, sending Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby and D.J. Carrasco to Arizona, Javier Lopez to the Giants and Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers. Let’s take a look at how all of these roster changes will affect the remainder of the 2010 season.
Let’s start with the change in production from the team’s position players at the catcher, first base, shortstop and right field positions. The first chart represents the value I think we should have expected if no trades were made today. Each player’s wOBA comes directly from his rest-of-season ZiPS projection, and from that we can calculate his offensive value in runs. I calculated defensive values simply by extrapolating each player’s 2010 UZR using my projected plate appearance totals (I used plus/minus for catchers, since UZR is not calculated for that position). This definitely overvalues a very small sample of defensive statistics, but all of the numbers passed the “eye test” in my opinion. I estimated that Erik Kratz/Jason Jaramillo would combine for league average defense, since neither has significant defensive stats due to limited playing time. I added positional and playing time adjustments, then totaled the four components. Dividing that by ten gives us each player’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
In this situation, we have Ryan Doumit essentially splitting 250 plate appearances with the Kratz/Jaramillo duo. This accounts for Doumit missing some time due to injury and possibly losing some playing time due to his poor defense. Milledge receives the majority of time in right, with Church spelling him on occasion. The same situation applies to Ronny Cedeno and Crosby at shortstop. I included Garrett Jones because his value will change slightly in our second situation, when he will play the occasional right field. Overall, the Pirates would have received 3.5 wins from these four positions over the final two months of 2010. Now let’s look at the post-trade projections.
This is a bit more complicated, due to guys moving around the diamond a bit. Chris Snyder receives the majority of the playing time behind the plate, with Doumit getting 60 plate appearances as a catcher and Kratz/Jaramillo playing a bit. Doumit also gets 50 plate appearances as a right fielder. Jones gets 40 plate appearances at that position as well, while Jeff Clement receives a bit of playing time at first base. Milledge will receive the remaining 160 plate appearances in right and Jones gets 210 plate appearances at his usual first base position. Cedeno plays more regularly with the less competent Argenis Diaz backing him up. John Bowker is also a factor with a projected .331 wOBA the rest of the way, but I did not include him because he has been assigned to Triple-A. Overall, this new roster projects to 4.2 wins of production from these four positions, an improvement of just under one win.
It was difficult to project how the bullpen will be affected by the moves, which it obviously will be to some degree. I am not sure exactly who will fill empty spots and there are leverage issues to consider. For what it’s worth, here is the projected WAR for the three relievers the Bucs dealt.
If we use replacement level relievers (in other words, guys off the waiver wire) to pitch these innings, we should expect about -0.4 WAR. That is a difference of -0.7 WAR, which completely neutralizes the gain we received in position players.
So we should expect the Pirates to win at just about the same rate for the rest of 2010 as they would have before the trades. In addition, the organization receives four interesting young players in Joe Martinez, John Bowker, James McDonald and Andrew Lambo. Not a bad day.