Dear Diary, and good morning
i'm going to paint with broad strokes quickly to sell an idea and hear feedback from the knowledgeable VEB community. Both jake peavy and johan santana could be shopped by their teams this winter. Surprising, the expected return in players for both pitchers will be in the same general level of talent. That surprises me because peavy has two years left on his contract while santana is in his walk year.
so i begin to wonder what the difference between the two pitchers in actual wins would be. using 2007 win shares percentage as a guide, their difference is negligible. Is it possible the idea that Santana is the greatest pitcher in the game adds another level of value on the free agent or trade market. will A-rod command his large contract because of the wins he brings to a team, or rather will the idea that he is the greatest player in the game command it.
Do teams still over value players who are considered best at their position, or even players who have the best tools. Does the idea carl crawford can steal bases so efficiently make him more of a commodity than he actually is?
which brings me to the cardinals and yadier molina. Molina has quickly attained the reputation that he is the premier defensive catcher in the game, and with good reason. nobody is denying that he is a great player, but is it possible that he is overrated? I took a look at win shares to get some tangible evidence to work with. the hard ball times has molina accountable for 11 win shares on the season, 7.5 are attributed to his fielding. That's not prorated, so we have to take into account the time he missed. So instead I'll use Win share percentage, .518.
where he falls in WSP for 2007
J Mauer .922
J Posada .853
C Snyder .795
R Castro .683
R Hernandez .546
Y. Molina .518
G Zaun .439
R Paulino .398
obviously this is not an all inclusive list, but the 7.5 win shares through defense molina brought last season did not equate to him being an extremely valuable player in terms of win shares. another thing that stands out to me is free agent R. Castro having a higher WSP than molina. It's a small sample size, and Castro is a borderline starting catcher. But the idea is, the win shares molina has can be overcome with a relatively inexpensive catcher with marginal tools across the board.
still with me? If molina is only worth .518 WSP, and the market values him higher than his actual worth in wins, it's feasible that he could be replaced with little win cost behind the plate with a free agent pick up such as Castro. It's not trying to upgrade the catcher position, it's turning molina into player responsible for more wins because the market could overvalue his particular tool set.
Lets me use this in practice, theoretically of course. The Marlins, angels, mets and yankees Really want a defensive catcher. They want the best one in the game, so naturally, they turn to Molina. marlins win by trading J. hermida, cardinals in turn sign M Barrett, Castro or loduca and trade Duncan for pitching. The cardinals now have a better outfield, a starting pitcher or two of some caliber, and have lost only one or two win shares behind the plate, while adding app. 7 million in payroll.
Broad stroaks, Intentionally leaving out things like projection, I'm relying heavily on one Stat(never a good thing)could just be over estimating Molina's value on the trade market, and perhaps most importantly, completely underestimating the personal relationship molina has with his teammates and managers or his "intangibles".
in my constant attempt to think of ways to outsmart the market, I wonder if molina is worth more to the cardinals on or off the team?
finally, i'm curious as to what tools or skills readers think teams overvalue or undervalue in the current market.