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Trade Retrospective

Some of my writing is going to be featured on Baseball Digest Daily from here on out, so I'd appreciate it if you guys checked that out in addition to writings here. The link for my first article is here:

Developing Dodgers

Baseball Digest Daily is recognized as a media outlet by Major League Baseball, so I'm pretty excited about contributing there.

Some things just don't work out like you want them too sometimes. Like I predicted the White Sox would stumble this year (I'm still waiting on it) and I've been wrong so far. Luckily, to make myself feel a little better, let's take a look at something I was right about (so far).

When the Yankees traded away Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey for Randy Johnson, many felt that spelled out doom for the rest of the league, especially since NY had already acquired Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright. Some, like myself, were a little more pessimistic (but I'll say that part of my pessimism was probably hope that I'd be right, rather than evidence). Here's an example for you:

Baseball Rants Projection
  • Randy Johnson 2.83
  • Mike Mussina 4.04
  • Carl Pavano 4.30
  • Jaret Wright 4.89
  • Kevin Brown 4.27

    PECOTA

  • Randy Johnson 2.83
  • Mike Mussina 4.14
  • Carl Pavano 4.51
  • Jaret Wright 4.57
  • Kevin Brown 4.00

    ZiPS

  • Randy Johnson 3.10
  • Mike Mussina 3.73
  • Carl Pavano 4.36
  • Jaret Wright 4.28
  • Kevin Brown 4.22

Those are the Yankees rotation projected ERA's from before the season. Now let's take a look at those same players actual ERA's so far:

2005 Actual

  1. Randy Johnson 4.07
  2. Mike Mussina 4.33
  3. Carl Pavano 4.38
  4. Kevin Brown 5.43
  5. Jaret Wright 9.15 (4 GS)
Brown is worse than anticipated, as has Randy Johnson, but Pavano and Mussina have been basically what is expected. The bad news is NY thought they had 3 aces, a still very good pitcher in Brown, and an extremely capable Jaret Wright. To make matters worse, let's review the trade now:

Johnson 2005
WARP: 2.3
VORP: 13.1

Vazquez 2005
WARP: 2.3
VORP: 10.4

Halsey 2005
WARP: 1.2
VORP: 6.8

Two starters performing better than everyone in the Yankees rotation not named Johnson, but they were given away for him. It will be interesting to see who the Yankees try to acquire as a starting pitcher as the deadline comes, because they absolutely need an additional effective starting pitcher if they plan on competing in 2005.