Is Khalil Greene Worth Trading For?

[Ed note: This was written prior to Greene being traded to St. Louis, analysis on the move to come later]

Short answer: yes.

Greene's contract plays as much of a part in his availability as his 2008 performance. Greene won't play much of a role on the next competitive Padres team since he's only signed through 2009. His 6.5 million price tag doesn't help matters either. Despite an awful offensive season, in which his wOBA was a mere .264, or roughly -2.4 wins, Greene still managed to be worth about a half of a win defensively. Add in a replacement level and positional adjustment, and you have a measly 1.1 WAR player, a value of 5.24 million last season.

The 2008 offensive collapse starts with BABIP. Traditionally shy of .300, Greene's BABIP dropped to the low-.260's despite his highest line drive percentage in years. Naturally, each of Greene's slash stats suffered because of it. Walks have never been a big part of Greene's game, 2004 and 2006 withstanding, and thus his on-base percentage relies heavily on batting average. Greene's ISO went from a career high in 2007 (.214) to a career low (.126) and with such a low amount of doubles compared to years prior, it would seem Greene was simply unlucky.

Greene should be entering his prime, and coming off of a weak season it's possible he's more likely to ink an extension than he was just 12 months ago. If Greene matches his Marcel projection, he'll be worth -15.3 runs offensively, and if he matches his Chone defensive projection he'll be worth 5 runs defensively. Add in the aforementioned positional and replacement level adjustments and Greene is a 1.97 WAR player, that would make him worth nearly 10 million next season. If Greene were to lose 0.3 WAR each season thereafter, he'd be worth roughly 35 million through 2012.

And to think, we haven't even addressed moving from PetCo to someplace that almost certainly will make his raw statistics look better. Here's a look at Greene's wOBA*-wOBA for the past few seasons (Note: I quoted FanGraphs wOBA earlier in the piece, Stat Corner's wOBA goes one step further and includes RBOE)

 

Year wOBA wOBA* Difference
2003 0.304 0.311 0.007
2004 0.344 0.351 0.007
2005 0.324 0.332 0.008
2006 0.334 0.342 0.008
2007 0.329 0.339 0.01
2008 0.268 0.274 0.006

Odds are, whatever team acquires Greene won't regret it.

References:

Stat Corner

Fangraphs

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