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jocketty's legacy: part 2 of 2

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here's part 1 of this post, in case you missed it.

i'm gonna be looking at some of jocketty's individual transactions today. all the caveats from tuesday's post stil apply, and here's one more: the lists below are not (repeat: not) meant to identify "best" and "worst" transactions. they're identifying which ones brought the most future production (as measured by win shares) into the organization, and which ones sent the most future production away --- but that's not the same as "best" and "worst." what's the distinction? a "losing" trade --- ie, one that sends away more future win shares than it brings in --- can still be a good trade if it alleviates a positional imbalance or fills a glaring need on the roster. just to cite one example: the coco crisp / chuck finley trade carries one of the highest win-share deficits among all jocketty's transactions, but i have a hard time calling that a "bad" deal; the cards had an surplus of outfield talent at that time (both at the big-league level and in the farm system) and a desperate short-term need for starting pitching caused by the death of darryl kile. the trade was never intended to broaden the team's long-term talent base; it was meant to fill a short-term need, and it succeeded in that purpose.

the point of this exercise isn't to judge individual transactions as "good" or "bad," nor even to judge individual players as good/bad; royce clayton may have piled up a lot of win shares in his career, but few would mistake him for a particularly good player. the point of the exercise is to try to learn something about team-building --- to examine how one successful gm went about the business of broadening his team's talent base.

please keep that nuance in mind as you read.

first, here are the largest win-share parcels jocketty acquired during his tenure, and largest parcels he sent away:

player type
ws to
player type
ws from
jim edmonds trade 196.4 dmitri young trade 114.2
edgar renteria trade 159.0 david bell waivers 104.5
royce clayton trade 116.1 placido polanco trade 100.2
scott rolen trade 113.4 adam kennedy trade 96.8
david bell trade 107.6 jack wilson trade 90.0
mark mcgwire trade 99.6 todd zeile trade 87.0
mike matheny free agent 77.2 brian jordan free agent 85.8
delino deshields free agent 75 royce clayton trade 83.6
ron gant free agent 67.3 jd drew trade 80.8
fernando vina trade 59.9 coco crisp trade 71.2

note that many of the jocketty's most impactful acquisitions --- woody williams, chris carpenter, darryl kile, andy benes--- don't even make this list. that's because the list is entirely made up of position players, which suggests to me that the win-shares system might have a little bias built into it. here are the biggest pitching win-share parcels that jock brought in and sent away:

player type
ws to
player type
ws from
jason izzy free agent 59.8 braden looper trade 67.3
darren oliver trade 56.3 rheal cormier trade 58.8
woody williams trade 55.3 dan haren trade 48.0
mike timlin trade 53.9 darren oliver free agent 41.5
todd stottlemyre trade 50.6 mike timlin trade 40.6

if carp hadn't been hurt last year, he'd be number 1 on this list (he currently has added 49.8 win shares since his acquisition); wainwright will join it with a couple more seasons like 2007. it's easy to disparage some of the names on this list --- what do nonentities like darren oliver, mike timlin, and rheal cormier have to do with anything? --- but those shots are easy to take with hindsight. put things into context: at the time he was traded, cormier was a 27-year-old left-handed pitcher with a career ERA of 4.12 and a k/bb ratio of nearly 4 to 1 --- a valuable property who didn't live up to his promise. oliver, also a 27-year-old lefty at the time of the transaction, had even more potential; his career mark at the time was a healthy 41-27, and he had pitched effectively in a hitter-friendly environment --- a career era+ of 109. he was about as valuable then as cliff lee was heading into last season. like cormier he fell far short of his promise, but it's not ridiculous to characterize that as an important transaction. if you're building a team for the long haul, you try to add guys like darren oliver circa 1998; then you hope for the best.

i've got to wrap this post up, so without further ado here are the trades with the highest differentials (positive and negative) in terms of future win shares. (notice these are not labeled "best" and "worst" trades.)


1. adam kennedy (96.8) and kent bottenfield (7) for jim edmonds (196.4): + 92.6 win shares, 2000. without question, the defining transaction of walt jocketty's career in st louis.

2. allen watson (17.3), doug creek (8.7), and rich delucia (5.8) for royce clayton (116.1): + 84.3 win shares, 1996. make fun if you wish, but this was an outstanding deal. in exchange for roster lint, jocketty acquired a reasonably priced, league average player --- a 25-year-old shortstop with a good glove, good speed, and decent pop. his top B-R comps at that age were bill russell and dave concepcion. . . . it was a long time ago, but the deal helped bring about a division title and very nearly a world-series appearance.

3. braden looper (67.3), antonio almanza (10.2), and pablo ozuna (10) for edgar renteria (159): + 73.5 win shares, 1999. this deal came the same year as the mike matheny free-agent signing (+77 win shares), and just a year before the deals for edmonds (+92.6) and vina (+42 win shares) --- shortstop, catcher, centerfielder, second baseman. how do you build a winner? up the middle.

4. ken hill (34.1) for david bell (107.6): +73.5 win shares, 1995. frankly, this deal wasn't such a prize. hill still had some value left --- he finished 6th in the AL cy young voting the following season --- and bell, while an intriguing prospect (he did very well at a young age at triple A), wasn't anybody's idea of a future star.

5. blake stein (14.4) and tj mathews (17.1) for mark mcgwire (99.6): 68.1 win shares, 1998.

1. dmitri young (114.2) for jeff brantley (9.3): -104.9 win shares, 1998. ugh. young was roughly as good a prospect as daric barton; brantley was a 34-year-old closer coming off an injury. yes, young was blocked by mark mcgwire, but the cards were coming off a 73-win season and a sore-armed 34-year-old pitcher wasn't the way to move forward.

2. jack wilson (90) for jason christiansen (9.6): -80.4 win shares, 2000. excusable. jocketty was trying to put the finishing touches on a championship contender's bullpen --- he acquired this guy specifically to get out barry bonds and jt snow in a possible nlcs matchup. wilson was a nondescript A ball prospect coming up behind edgar renteria, who was still in his mid-20s.

3. todd zeile (87) for mike morgan (19.4): -67.6 win shares, 1995. zeile was headed for free agency anyway; so what.

4. coco crisp (71.2) for chuck finley (4.3): -66.9 win shares, 2002. excusable, for the reasons described above.

5. dan haren (48), kiko calero (12), and daric barton (3.5) for mark mulder (9.6): -54.7 win shares, 2005. this'll be #3 on the list by the end of this season and #1 by 2010 or so --- maybe sooner, depending on how much value (if any) mulder has got left.

a couple other trades of note, briefly: the rolen trade is currently a net deficit --- 113.4 win shares in, but 141.1 win shares out (100.5 polanco, 40.6 timlin). to reiterate, nobody's saying it was a bad trade . . . . the wainwright / drew deal currently stands at minus 26.8 win shares, but that should close up over time and will probably settle in at a rough equilibrium.