Thursday, December 24, 2009
Why Billy Beane is Smarter than You and I
Look, I love and value good D as much as the next guy. I know that Crisp's UZR in '09 was a sizzling 19.6. I also know that they need to protect those young arms in the spacious Coliseum, and an outfield of Crisp, Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney will scoop up a good deal of hits in the 500-Up style of play that has beset the franchise in recent years. All good things. Find your chi.
But let's take a look at the valuation going on here. Jeff Zimmerman (no, not THAT Jeff Zimmerman) pegs Coco for a 1.5 WAR in 2010. Let's paint a rosy picture and assume Coco plays to a 2.0 War, just because I'm feeling bullish. Valued at $4.4M, this seems to be somewhat of a small bargain. What troubles me, however, is that this deal does not exist in a vacuum. Oakland already has 2 Coco clones in Davis and Sweeney. Coco still has a soggy arm (sorry, couldn't resist) and will be getting paid like a fourth outfield for the Yankees (though, thankfully, not like a fourth outfielder for the Angels.) So who, then, in the name of Dave Littlefield, was Beane bidding against?
Turns out that Santa Claus isn't real after all.