In this post, and a few more to come over the year, we will encourage 20/20 hindsight and review how each targeted pitcher is performing. Below is a table that marks the five pitchers I knew about and have on authority that I trust that serious efforts were made to sign these pitchers. I also included three extras: Grant Balfour, Ervin Santana, and Bartolo Colon. Santana and Colon appear to have been discussed seriously, but I do not have enough information to be convinced of that. Balfour was obviously a serious target, but is included as an extra because he does not really fit the package presented in the first set of five starting pitchers.
|as of May 30th||IP||W||L||ERA||FIP||bWAR||fWAR||Salary|
|Ubaldo Jimenez||Baltimore||62||2||6||4.65||4.05||0.3||0.8||11.3 MM|
|Tim Hudson||Giants||70.1||5||2||1.92||2.92||2.2||1.1||11 MM|
|Scott Kazmir||Oakland||68.2||6||2||2.36||3.01||1.6||1.5||7 MM|
|Gavin Floyd||Atlanta||30.1||0||2||2.37||3.12||0.4||0.5||4 MM|
|Bronson Arroyo||Arizona||60.2||4||3||4.15||4.22||0.6||0.4||9.5 MM|
|Ervin Santana||Atlanta||57.2||4||2||4.06||3.19||0.4||0.9||14.1 MM|
|Bartolo Colon||New York||64.2||4||5||4.73||3.67||-0.3||0.6||9 MM|
|Grant Balfour||Tampa||19.2||0||1||5.49||5.74||-0.3||-0.5||4 MM|
There was a bit of dismay when Arroyo passed on Baltimore, which now is silent. To those following Santana, the annoyance at the beginning of the season has dissipated as he has cooled off. There really has not been all that much difference between the final three pitchers that the Orioles were in on. Where performance suggests they failed was missing out on Scott Kazmir and Tim Hudson, who have been solid to perhaps dominant out on the West Coast. Additionally, Gavin Floyd is doing things in Atlanta that we all certainly wish Johan Santana will be able to do even half as well.
Perhaps a point to be made is to go over bWAR and fWAR again. This past week I was presented WAR as a reason why Jeff Samardzija is a top flight pitcher. The user of that statistic was confused by me asking if it was fWAR. If one wishes to talk about specific players, I think it is imperative to consider whether it is fWAR or bWAR and whether they are career long trends. The main difference between those two is that fWAR assumes that it is important to isolate the pitcher from his defense in order to assess his true value while bWAR assumes that a pitcher is somewhat responsible for batted ball types. We know that for most pitchers, a defense independent perspective works. However, there are a significant number of pitchers who year in and year out either over perform or under perform their FIP rather consistently. A safe measure is simply to average the two values together for a composite score if you have no solid information delivering you to one of the methodologies for a given pitcher.