Old news? Yes. But remember my excuse of the Internet eating my article as if it were a delicious taco...
Well, I've decided on my lunch for the day.
The Carlos Lee trade was a great move for the Milwaukee Brewers this year. It brought them more offense and allowed them to shift two other outfielders around. Oddly enough, the most value that came out of having Carlos Lee came from moving Geoff Jenkins to right field, where he is a better defensive player. Moving Brady Clark, an above average defender in centerfield who was league average in the corner spots, to center and allowing him to play everyday also brought more value to the club than Scott Podsednik had in 2003 and 2004. Podsednik was below average defensively in center (as well as offensively in 2004) and using Clark, whose everyday career started about 6 years too late, was a great in-house upgrade for the Brewers.
As you can see, the Brewers OF went from a position of weakness or plain average-ness overall into a legitimate strength. Three above average outfielders, and in relative terms to their 2004 production, a 2005 Derrek Lee worth of improvement (and then a little bit more). Notice Carlos Lee is the lowest ranked of the three outfielders. This was due to his defense returning to it's established levels of production. Take a look at this table with Lee's EPL:
His Rate2 EPL of 100 is giving him a little extra credit he does not really deserve, and is bringing up the value of his predicted NRAA. Knock those 4 extra runs per 100 games brought on by the defensive issue, and you have 5.78 instead of 9.78, which is much closer to his 2005 and 2003 performance. By the way, I am completely boggled as to how Carlos Lee won a Silver Slugger award this year. Let's think about what the voters might use to determine this...
- .265 AVG
- 32 HR
- 114 RBI
- 41 2B
- 301 TB
There is nothing wrong with it, but there was not one player with better hitting statistics in left field? Say....Jason Bay for instance? Cliff Floyd? Adam Dunn? Pat Burrell? Miguel Cabrera? Value Over Replacement Player agrees with me, although I am confident most of the voters did not use that metric. According to VORP I left Moises Alou, Matt Holliday and Luis Gonzalez out of my rant. I am still batting 5/8, and that my friends is Ichirotastic.
Let us see how much of a deal Carlos Lee's 2006 salary is using Nate Silver's expected salary tool. Let me present this caveat first: With all the low cost players on the Brewers, and the fact that they have got away with murder paying Ben Sheets and Doug Davis and various others low price contracts, there is no problem with overpaying for a Carlos Lee. If you do it in 3 spots in the lineup, maybe then we have a problem. But I still want to see.
Thanks to a flukish defensive season, Lee was owed a good deal of hypothetical money in 2004. Last year he gave a little bit of it back, and next year, if all goes according to plan, should give even less of it back. At worst, I see Lee repeating his 2005 campaign in Milwaukee. An above average hitter repeating himself in a lineup that needs production? I'll take two, thank you.
If you have not read Matthew Philip's first article with us, make sure to check it out. It is directly below the words you are reading as of right now. Unless you're here via link...ugh, here's a link lazy.