09 June 2008

What Andy MacPhail Has Reaped?

This post will be focused on whether or not MacPhail has made the Baltimore Orioles better in the present. This analysis will not consider draft picks, which are primarily dependent upon the scouting department and not the GM these days. This analysis will also view value as value. As in if we traded from a position with depth, we should still expect equal value in return. Players acquired who are in the minors will not count until they actually help the Major League club. The way we will look at this will be via win shares. Oh, and yes, this idea is kind of an extended look at what Dempsey's Army has set up in it's margins (thanks for the idea!). DA only took into consideration trades, I want to have a more inclusive look. I am assuming that Andy Macphail's ability will be reflected in his ability to get a positive win share differential in total and within four areas: trades, free agency, waiver wire, and rule 5 acquisitions. I will mentioned mainly players who have played in the Majors after a move, but not those who wound up out of baseball or mired in the Minors.

MacPhail has engaged in six trades:

John Parrish for Sebastion Boucher
Money for Victor Santos
Money for Victor Zambrano
Steve Trachsel for Scott Moore, Rocky Cherry, and Jake Renshaw

The 2007 season trades resulted in a total win shares of -0.1. This is calculated by adding all of the win shares that the Orioles gained (-1.1) and subtracted it by the win shares the Orioles gave (-1). Needless to say, everyone seems to have lost in these deals. Of all players involved, only Scott Moore had a positive win share value. Now, there is a possibility that Scott Moore becomes a decent guy off the bench, Cherry may have a couple good relief seasons, and Renshaw may find his ways to the majors as a relief pitcher . . . so, this could become more in the Orioles favor.

2007 Offseason
Miguel Tejada for Troy Patton, Luke Scott, Mike Costanzo, Dennis Safarte, and Matt Albers
Eric Bedard for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Tony Butler, and Kam Mikolio

The offseason deals were successful for all teams involved, but more immediately successful for the Orioles. Tejada has done well in his stint with the Astros as he has garnered 9.6 win shares and is on pace to match his 2005 performance level. Eric Bedard has not been so lucky with injuries and a couple poor outings limiting him to 2.3 win shares a third of the way through the season (last year he had 18.7). In total we gave up 11.9 win shares. In return we received 23.9 win shares from Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Dennis Safarte, Adam Jones, and George Sherrill. That is a difference of 12 ws or 4 wins. This is a difference that I imagine will become larger as time passes. Tejada, even at Minute Maid, is experiencing a decrease in power production. Bedard still can look amazing on some nights, but he seems to have some lingering injury issues this year. It is also arguable if the Mariners will be able to sign him.

In total, Andy MacPhail's trades have netted us 11.9 win shares.

Free Agency
The part of the evaluation is not as kind as the former.

Fernando Cabrera (I believe he was signed and not claimed)
2007 Offseason
Guillermo Quiroz, Steve Trachsel, Alex Cintron, and Lance Cormier
Let Go
2007 Offseason
Gustavo Molina, and Corey Patterson

Cabrera (-1.5) and Trachsel (-2.4) overwhelm the positive contributions of Quiroz (0.5), Citron (0.3), and Cormier (1). Most of the people who we have let go do not play in the majors and some are absent from any professional league located in the continental United States. Gustavo Molina has evened himself out with the Mets (-0.2 hitting, 0.2 fielding) and Corey Patterson managed to defend his way to 1.1 win shares before being demoted for Jay Bruce. Although the Orioles have not been big players in free agency, MacPhail has basically gotten nothing out of it so far. As the season wears on, this number should shift toward the positive end as Cintron, Cormier, and most likely Cabrera will contributed for the ML squad. Of course, this assumes they will give a positive contribution, which is certainly not a given.

The free agency win shares total is -3.2.

Waiver Wire

We have only had two waiver wire acquisitions that have contributed to the Major league squad: Gustavo Molina (0.2) and Greg Aquino (-1.5). We have given up three players who have helped other clubs: Kurt Birkins (1.4), Chris Gomez (2.5), and Jeff Fiorentino (0.3). It should be noted that Fiorentino is now back in Norfolk, so his contribution there is not going to change much. This section looks like it will shift more against us. MacPhail, in his short time here, has not been much in terms of a GM who acquires talent on waivers. It may be that nothing was available.

The waiver wire total is -5.8.

Rule 5

Well, this is a short compilation as in the one year MacPhail has been in charge we have acquired one Major League player and given none up. Randor Bierd has contributed 1.4 win shares.

Trades.................... +11.9
Free Agency............... -3.2
Waiver Wire............... -5.8
Rule 5.................... +1.4
Total..................... +4.3

Wins...................... +1.4

In these four areas, MacPhail has done poorly in free agency and the waiver wire. It should be noted that neither is catastrophic. Our free agency misses were spent on one year deals. The same is true with respect to what we gave away. The waiver wire costs were for a journeyman reliever (Birkins) and a utility guy (Gomez). Those two areas represented a cost of 3 losses. Some of those positions are tempered due to the trades, which have been a major source of talent for the squad. Jones replaced Patterson and that is a positive move. Safarte or Albers replaced Birkins, so that was a plus. Tejada has done well, but as the years pass . . . it should go more into the Orioles favor. The same is true with Bedard, but our end should also increase in value. The Rule 5 section should also shift in the O's favor.

Overall, MacPhail has done well. As the years pass and the younger talent emerges, this should become even more clear. He has been able to find a way to make the team far less expensive to run and far richer in talent. He does seem to ignore the waiver wire, but often the players available that have any worth are though in which we have redundancies (i.e. Dan Johnson).

Current Major League Value Grade = C+
Longterm Projected ML Value Grade = B+

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