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Valuing the Jake Peavy Trade, Again

Please welcome Mike Rogers to the BtB family.  Mike's been around in the comments sections a lot recently, and writes for two other blogs, Fire Jim Leyland and Friar Forecast.  I'm a big fan of Mike's ability to talk baseball from a smart angle without making the smart angle the subject of his writing.  He'll be tackling current events, with the occasional unique research piece tossed in for good measure.  Say hi, readers...

The San Diego Padres managed to get Jake Peavy to OK a deal sending him to the Chicago White Sox minutes before the trade deadline expired at 4 p.m. EST last Friday. Peavy nixed virtually the same deal back in May.  Sky valued him at about 3.8 Wins Above Replacement with some generous assumptions going in Peavy's favor two months ago.

Then Peavy tore the posterior tibialis tendon in his right ankle, and is on the shelf until the end of August at the earliest. But that doesn't stop the unpredictable Kenny Williams from doing, well, the unpredictable.  What's the verdict, monetarily, on this deal? Win or loss for the White Sox?

Well, Jake Peavy will get about six starts the rest of the way after he returns, providing around 0.75 WAR. Due to winning of the Cy Young in 2007, Peavy's 2009 salary ballooned from an $8 million option to $11 million. He'll be on the White Sox for the last, roughly, 35% of the season, so I'm comfortable saying they'll be paying him ~$3.85 for the remainder of 2009.

Using Sky's Trade Value Calculator, that 0.75 WAR would be worth $3.6 million on the open market.  The White Sox are "overpaying" by about $300K,  or essentially paying him market value.

But after 2009 he gets more expensive.

For 2009, pre-season FIP predictions put him on pace for about a 4.5 WAR season. Declining by half a win per year for the remainder of the deal means Peavy's WAR would be:


So, the White Sox would, by these projections, be losing about $1.2 million in the value of just Jake Peavy. That doesn't include the value of the pitchers going the Padres way.

But, how valuable were those four pitching prospects?

Well, Clayton Richard is a massive left-hander with a sinking fastball that works in the 88-92 MPH and decent change-up. John Sickels' website rated Richard as a C+. Thanks to Victor Wang's research and Erik's application of that, a C+ prospect over the age of 23 is worth about $1.5 million. Richard's got a 4.32 FIP in 142.1 innings pitched in his Major League career, so I can see him being, in retrospect, better than that C+ rating -- ground ball pitchers tend to be underrated at times, but I'll stick with that $1.5 million.

The big gun in the deal is Aaron Poreda. Sickels rated Poreda as a B+ pitcher. A pitcher rated as a B by John Sickels and being 22-years-old or younger is worth about $6.5 million. I feel comfortable moving a B+ pitcher to around $7 million.

Dexter Carter is a big, power arm with upside. He's dominated Low-A ball thus far and Sickels rated him as a C prospect. At 22-years-old that puts him at $2.1 million in value.

Adam Russell was unranked by Sickels.

So, these four prospects bring in a total of $10.6 million in surplus value. Given that the White Sox pick up the 2013 option year for Peavy, they lose about $1.2 million on the deal. In giving away $10.6 million in value, plus what they lose on just Peavy's deal alone, they're on the hook for about $11.8 million in total value. Without the Peavy option year, the White Sox still come out on the negative side at $-6.6 million.

Looks like a check in the W column on this deal for the Padres.