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Preston Wilson Trade Rumors

Update [2005-7-12 17:7:44 by Marc Normandin]: I was notified via e-mail that Marlon Byrd is not the starting leftfielder for the Nationals; Ryan Church is. Church is currently on the disabled list, and the reason I forgot about him is because I checked the depth chart for the Nats at their official website, and Church's name was on the sidebar rather than on the field. My mistake. For the record, here are Church vs. Wilson's numbers:

Church
NRAA/G: +.250
NRAA/162: +.40.47

Wilson
NRAA/G: +0.006
NRAA/162 G: +0.913

As we can see here, Church is actually one of the better players in the league in NRAA (he is actually directly behind Aramis Ramirez and Lyle Overbay, and right in front of Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen. With this information, we can see that trading for Preston Wilson would be odd for the Nats, yet they were very close to doing it if not for the financial issue breaking the discussions off. Now I want to know something; what the hell were they thinking? I'm still a little out of it thanks to pain medication; so atleast I have an excuse for my gaffe. Thanks for the notification, I appreciate it![end Update]

Preston Wilson appears to be on the move at some point soon, with the Nationals, Rangers and Cubs the likely destination. Jim Bowden and Dan O'Dowd obviously read this site (kidding of course) and took my advice on a deal that should help everyone all of the way around. The only problem with the Day for Wilson swap is the money involved in Wilson's lucrative contract.

My thinking is that its go time on this Preston Wilson trade now that Mark Kotsay is officially off the market, recently inked to a 3-year extension by the Athletics. Let's take a look at some figures, shall we?

Preston Wilson 2005
.258/.324/.491
AB: 267
HR: 15
2B: 15
SB: 3/5
BB: 25
SecAvg: .330
Iso: .233
EqA: .261
NRAA/G: -0.154

Offensively, he is league average at best, which we can see with his EqA. When we look at his Net Runs Above Average (in its per game form) we can see that his presence is detrimental to the lineup he is in on a daily basis. He may improve after moving out of Colorado (Washington is a pitchers park, and his defense may improve if he does not have to chase after the number of XBH he does in Coors...or I'm insane) so the Nats might want to try it if Colorado will pay for some of it. Honestly, Colorado should pay whatever Jim Bowden and the Nationals ask to get their hands on Zach Day.

Zach Day 2005 Washington
ERA: 6.75
RA: 7.25
DERA: 7.48
IP: 36.0
K/BB: 16/25 (0.64)
K/PA: .094
K/9: 4.00
BB/9: 6.25
H/9: 10.25
HR/9: 1.00
BABIP: .308
G/F: 2.09

Zach Day 2005 Harrisburg (AA)
ERA: 2.77
RA: 2.77
IP: 13.0
K/BB: 10/1 (10.00)
K/9: 6.92
BB/9: .692
H/9: 9.62
HR/9: .692
BABIP: .335

Small sample size caveats apply to his time in Harrisburg obviously, but they also do for his time in Washington. Let's look at his Canadian numbers, eh?

Zach Day 2004 Montreal
ERA: 3.93
RA: 4.09
DERA: 3.83
IP: 117.7
K/BB: 61/45 (1.36)
K/PA: .123
K/9: 4.71
BB/9: 3.44
H/9: 8.95
HR/9: .994
BABIP: .284
G/F: 2.09

And his other G/F ratios (remember we are going to Coors, that might be the key part of this):

 2002: 3.14
 2003: 2.72

If Day can regain his form as an extreme groundball pitcher, then he may serve a useful purpose in Colorado. Or atleast be more useful than Preston Wilson is. And if it doesn't work out, atleast the Rox tried to make something work that looked like a good idea, rather than running in place. Zach Day could be a pretty important piece in the Rockies rotation for a few reasons. He's still relatively young, he's still relatively cheap, and his arm is still attached to his body. All three of these things are very important when pitching in Colorado. Why haven't I talked about the Cubs and Rangers in this? Because they would be better served not getting involved.

NRAA/G Comparison

Preston Wilson: -.154
Laynce Nix (TEX): -.176
Corey Patterson (CHI): -.166

They are all very close in production; getting Wilson won't really help either of those clubs.

For easier reading sake, here are their per 162 game figures as well:

Wilson: -24.99
Nix: -28.44
Patterson: -26.88

The Nats on the other hand could move Wilson to LF to replace Marlon Byrd, therefore bringing up Wilson's value (his defense, historically is better in left field than in center, although his knees are different this time around). Let's assume Wilson is capable of a Rate2 of 100 (league average) in left field in Washington. Let's compare Byrd's production and Wilson's using this premise:

Byrd
NRAA/G: -0.050
NRAA/162 G: -8.17

Wilson
NRAA/G: +0.006
NRAA/162 G: +0.913

And now Wilson with a Rate2 of 95, 5 runs below average per 100 games defensively:

Wilson
NRAA/G: -.044
NRAA/162 G: -7.19

Wilson is close to Byrd's production here, but I think it is more realistic for him to be closer to a Rate2 of 100.

Wilson is just a hair above league average using NRAA, while Byrd is over 8 runs below average. The trade makes more sense for the Nationals than for the Rangers or Cubs, who already have solutions or prospects in the rest of their outfield that they would be better served using than Preston Wilson.