Word on the street is that the Yankees are going to make a push for Mark Kotsay as their new centerfielder as the trade deadline approaches. Peter Gammons feels this is a legitimate story if the A's can't resign Kotsay to an extension. How much will this help New York, and what could the Yankees possibly offer the Athletics?
If I were the Athletics' I might move Kotsay, because if and when his defense starts to recede I wouldn't want to be around to foot the bill for that type of offensive performance.
Let's figure out how many Net Runs per 100 games Kotsay is worth. We can do this by multiplying his MLVr number by 100, then taking the runs over 100 from his defensive Rate and adding the two together.
-0.012*100 = -1.2 + 10 = 8.8 R/100 G
I guess you could then divide that by 100 to get his worth in Net Runs per game, from both the offensive and defensive side. That would make Kotsay worth .088 runs per game. Let's take a look at New York's current centerfield options.
Rate (CF): 84 (career)
We have a problem analyzing Womack's defensive prowess in centerfield because the sample size is so small. He has only played in 19 games there in his career, and his career rate is 84. He is league average in left field for his career and slightly above league average in right field for his career, so this makes sense in a way that he would be below average in center. Luckily it will not skew the analysis because his bat is so awful he doesn't measure up to Kotsay anyways.
-.343*100 = -34.3 + (-16) = -50.3 R/100 G
Womack is worth an incredible -.503 runs per game. With Neifi Perez doing well enough this year, is Womack the new whipping boy for my random ineffective jokes? I wonder how many New Yorkers wish they still had Miguel Cairo? Or at this point, even Raul Mondesi.
-.052*100 = -5.2 + (-6) = -11.2 R/100 G
Williams comes out to -.112 R/G, much better than Womack, but still bad. How about newly brought up Kevin Reese? Working off of his PECOTA projection for 2005...
The best I can do at the moment is say that Reese's projection shows him to be below average at the centerfield position. So it seems any way you slice it, Kotsay is someone who would help the Yankees situation greatly. Getting Womack out of the lineup would make this Yankees' team a lot better anyways, nevermind replacing him with a player who can play defense and hit league average.
So, a quick list to make this easier to read:
Net Runs Per Game
Net Runs per 100 G
I don't know if Womack is actually worth -50.3 runs per 100 games, but the fact that I can statistically get there sort of worries me. It is safe to say that New York could benefit from a trade that gets them Mark Kotsay. Since New York is all about winning now, sacrificing the future to satisfy the present shouldn't be a problem if they have a prospect the A's would like. It will be interesting to see if they attempt to lock Kotsay up long term if they do deal for him, especially with Johnny Damon's impending free agency. We'll see if the Yankees have learned their lesson with giving past-their-prime players bloated contracts this offseason.