Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why Billy Beane is Smarter than You and I

Upon reading that J.P's former-BFF signed an outfielder that stays crunchy in milk, I really thought I couldn't care less.  Likely a $1.25M, 1-year deal.  Not bad for a fourth outfielder with character on a rebuilding team.  Someone pass me the doughnu......


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.

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