26 October 2012

2012 Orioles Retrospective: Nate McLouth

I've seen Pirates fans complain about Nate McLouth, and I've seen Braves fans complain about Nate McLouth, and I've seen some Orioles fans be confused when the team signed Nate McLouth this year. Many a joke was made by people (including me) about the O's - the contending O's, fighting for a playoff spot - counting on a guy who hadn't done anything in the Majors since 2009.

But it was McLouth and the O's that had the last laugh, as he hit .268/.342/.435 for the team and then .308/.321/.462 in the post-season. There is no doubt that he gave the team a shot in the arm down the stretch.

And yet, it seems very clear to me that - contra* Jeremy's post - counting on Nate McLouth to be the starting left-fielder for the O's in 2013 is not the best move.

* I assume Jeremy doesn't know Nate personally and doesn't have any actual knowledge about his state of mind and the effects thereof, so I'm not even going to address the arguments about how McLouth can be counted on to continuing playing so well in Baltimore because he's happy here. That stuff is malarkey the vast majority of the time, I think.

Projecting a player's production by looking at what he did in the last two months of a season and seasons three years prior, while ignoring everything in between, is generally wrong. Sure McLouth hit pretty well for the Orioles, but his overall 2012 batting line was just .241/.314/.380 and he accumulated 0.8 fWAR (decent in half a season of work, but not all that great).

Just because McLouth was hurt in the intervening years doesn't mean that's wiped away completely - it negatively impacts not only how much we should expect McLouth to play, but it certainly means we shouldn't ignore the generic effects of aging.

Also, McLouth had about as many plate appearances in 2012 as he did in 2011 and 2010 (each). Over the entire span, he hit .221/.320/.340 - which is quite bad for a corner outfielder. He accumulated -0.4 fWAR. Just for comparison's sake, Nolan Reimold has hit .247/.317/.447 with 1.4 fWAR (in like 400 fewer PA). But sure, McLouth is the "proven guy"*.

* Reimold needs to stay healthy, but so does McLouth, right? Counting the minors, McLouth only has like 200 more PA than Reimold over the last three years (1276 to 1067). Why is one a huge injury risk while the other isn't at all?

To expect a player to continue hitting as well as he did in less than 250 PA at the end of a season - a substantially higher level than he has in years - is a mistake that overzealous fans sometimes make, but that GMs should not.

Even beyond that, one shouldn't expect McLouth's Orioles production to continue. His .306 BABIP would have been his best ever, and his career mark is just .277. So even just adjusting that down (and you better believe his career BABIP is what's more likely to show up in 2013 than 55 games if BABIP from this year), Nate's line falls to around .242/.318/.402 - that's a below average batting mark.

There are good parts of his game - he walks at a solid clip (9% for the O's, 10% career), doesn't strike out a ton (18% for the O's, 17% career), and has a bit of pop (.167 ISO for the O's, .173 career). But those are all merely solid, not great, as evidenced by his career 101 wRC+. A batter who's been almost exactly average in his career - with most of his playing time coming in his prime age 25-27 years - is very unlikely to be better than that (or even that good) when playing his age 31 season.

So we've got a slightly below average hitter at best, probably. Defensively, the numbers and the eye-test (to me, at least), indicate an average-ish left-fielder. His career UZR out there is -3 runs per 150 games, which is actually what you'd expect given his -13 runs per 150 games career in center-field (the positional adjustment between center and left is around 10 runs). The Gold Glove he has, like many of those that are handed out, was... not necessarily deserved.

Sure McLouth is a good baserunner - about +5 runs per full season in his career, 99 steals with an 86% success rate - but that isn't enough to turn a below average offensive, below average to average defensive corner outfielder on the wrong side of 30 who can't be counted on to play all year into a player who a team that wants to contend should give a starting spot to. And beyond the overall ability, McLouth probably shouldn't be starting anyway given his platoon splits (.342 career wOBA against righties, but only .292 against lefties).

Signing him to a one-year $2-3 M contract could be OK value (all of the above does add up to a 0.5 to 1 win player), but it doesn't actually make the O's a better team (they accumulated about a win from left-field in total in 2012). It's more promising him a job and then having to rely on him to do what no one should fairly expect from him that's the issue.

I will have many fond memories of Nate McLouth's contributions to the 2012 Orioles, and I wish him all the best in trying to land a starting gig on another (third-tier) team. If he finds those opportunities lacking, then bringing him back as a 4th outfielder isn't the worst (though his inability to play center in anything other than an emergency situation hurts). (This post was more negative on McLouth than I had originally intended, but it serves more as a counter-point to yesterday's decidedly pro-Nate post.)


Jon Shepherd said...

Nice post, Dan. I think it serves as a good counter point. I was planning on this podcast I need to post (promise that I will edit it tonight and get it out there) to serve as that, but it probably comes across better in written form.

Anyway, the whole discussion on Nate McLouth makes me fondly remember this: http://youtu.be/H3t-DuN8t6U

Not that it reflects that SNL skit, but how awesome (and awkward) it would be if it did.

Looking at the poor 2010 and 2011 seasons we get these OPS' by month:
2010 - 620/570/483/133/333/887
2011 - 694/644/708/673/DNP/DNP

In 2010, the injury and time lost began in May with McLouth as a full timer for September. He was batting horribly before the injury for two months and came back strong for the final month. This kind of works against the idea brought up yesterday that his injuries in this season have latent effects on performance and, thus, bringing down the total. Mind you, June-August is only 14 games of playing time, so that really poor stretch did not have a great effect on his 2010 228/344/333 line.

In 2011, he came out of the gate hitting poorly, suffered nagging injuries, and hit about the same until he was shut down for the season.

Looking at these events, I think it highlights that explaining away the seasons as lost seasons due to injury and not informative about future production is problematic and the actual way the seasons worked out is also a bit counterintuitive based on proposed narrative to ignore those seasons.

I also think it is good to restate what the divide is here, which is whether or not the Orioles should count on Nate McLouth to be their starting LF if they wish to be competitive next season. Due to his performance this season, I think he might find himself another 5MM deal and a promise to start off in LF for someone. That is not a catastrophic result for the Orioles, but it is a loss of using that money in other directions for more significant improvement.

What is important for the Orioles is to sign 2013 "Nate McLouth"s (off which the 2012 Nate McLouth really was not because the Pirates actually signed him to a nice deal prior to the beginning of the 2012 season). You want to accumulate players who have talent and might get that talent in order. You want to accumulate those guys in Norfolk as opposed to Baltimore. In Baltimore, they fill up the roster and the contracts discourage teams from giving up too quickly on a guy.

I simply do not see signing McLouth as a high potential move if you must sign him to a 5MM deal and that you have to keep him in left even if he struggles. That inflexibility is what hurts teams that think their team makeup was a major part of why they made the playoffs. It is important to be able to identify what parts of a team are needed and what parts can be exchanged or improved upon.

Anyway, good conversation guys.

Matt P said...

Here are my questions/statements (one of two).

One: All of the Orioles leftfielders aside from McLouth had a total of -.3 WAR in 2012. Given that .6 WAR were from Reimold and I highly doubt he's really a .313/.333/.627 hitter (just a hunch) they were lucky to do that well. Why is it reasonable to argue that McLouth will suck and then include his inflated contributions in the total for 2012? Why is it reasonable to argue that McLouth will suck because he's sucked in previous years but the other Orioles outfielders won't despite sucking in previous years because McLouth had a fluky year?

Two: Why is three years the number of time we use to determine McLouth's value instead of two or four? Given that, why did you use two years instead of three to determine Wieters' value?

Three: McLouth won't be playing CF for the Orioles. Why do you think his poor fielding in CF should be held against him? Given that he was worth about -15 RAR per half season at CF and about -1.5 RAR per half season at LF, if he was just a LF, that would be worth about 1.7 wins over the three season period.

Four: The Pirates didn't want to let McLouth run. For whatever reason, he got 0 stolen bases in 2012 as a Pirate. The Orioles did let him run and he was 12 out of 13. Given that the Os will let probably let him run next year, why do you think that trend won't continue? To be fair, it may be you agree with this.

Matt P said...


Fifth: It's worth noting that his xBABIP has been higher than his BABIP the past few years and his projected BB/K rate has been higher over the past few years than the actual. He probably should be expected to have some regression to the mean which means a lower BABIP than his Oriole season and a better BB/K ratio. It's worth noting you subtracted the BABIP without adding in the BB/K addition.

Sixth: Nate McLouth finished the season healthy while Reimold went out in April. Despite hearing that Reimold was day-to-day with his injury, he was out for the season. Do you know whether Reimold is healthy now or will be for Spring Training? Don't you think that makes Reimold more risky? In addition, no one is suggesting that Reimold should be cut in order to bring McLouth aboard. People are suggesting that the Orioles should have both Reimold and McLouth on the roster.

Seventh: Realistically, who do you want instead? Xavier Avery was good for -.3 WAR. We signed a few minor league quality guys last year in Ford, Pearce, Miller and Chavez neither of which were impressive. Do you really think that Xavier Avery or L.J Hoes will beat out McLouth? Do you really think going after a minor league guy is a better strategy? All I know is that McLouth beat them all. Even his yearly stats left them all in the bust.

Here's the bottom line --- even including his poor batting line of .241/.314/.380, he was still a .8 WAR player over 298 PAs. Given that as a starter, he'd likely get roughly 600 that would make him worth 1.6 WAR. Fine, his base running was better than expected but his hitting was worse so it evens out. Given that we have no one good currently in the organization who can put up a 0 WAR at LF (with the exception of a maybe injured Reimold or healthy Davis -- both of which will probably be in the lineup regardless of whether we sign McLouth), McLouth could very well be a two win upgrade over what we currently have. Now if we go out and get a guy like Hunter, ok. But if we just get a few minor league players like Miller and Chavez again like we did last year, McLouth is very likely a two to three win upgrade. For five million, that's cheap.

As for your comment John, don't forget that it goes both ways. Sure, signing McLouth to a 3-5 million dollar deal takes up resources... but unless the Os count on Reimold, they'll need to get a left fielder. If you sign a guy like McLouth to a cheap deal that frees up more resources then going after Hunter or Victorino for 2 and 20.

That's why I'm for Nate McLouth. He probably won't be that good, but I highly doubt he'll be a complete disaster.

Daniel Moroz said...


1) Did I say that the Orioles other current options on the roster were significantly better than McLouth?

My point is that resigning McLouth to be the starter doesn't improve LF for the team from 2012 to 2013, and they didn't get a lot from LF in 2012 despite McLouth playing well, and they need more than that if they want to contend again.

2) Three years is not uncommon (often weighting the years 5-4-3).

For Wieters, he is moving into his prime years and doubled his home run production. I thought that the last two years gave a better picture of who he was going forward.

Use 4 years for McLouth if you'd like, but the further back you go the less relevant the data is. Going 5-4-3 for his wRC+, we get ~85. Going 5-4-3-2 (4 years), it's 89. Going 5-4-3-2-1 (5 years), it's 91. That's about what he did in 2012 (and 2011) overall. Add in aging, and you've got a decidedly below average hitter.

3) His CF defense helps provide info about his general outfield defense. A bad CF-er is generally going to be an average-ish corner-outfielder. Playing LF is "easier" than playing CF, so his fielding being better relative to the average at the position doesn't actually increase his value much.

4) I specifically noted his baserunning as a plus. +5 runs a year for his career is pretty good - can't expect him to steal 40 bases at a 90+% clip though.

5) BABIP is more open to random fluctuations than walk and strike-out numbers. I didn't adjust every aspect of his batting profile, but the one that had the most variance and was furthest from his career numbers.

6) I don't actually know what's going on with Reimold; I was using it as a contrast, not to argue for Reimold being handed the starting job. A Reimold + McLouth platoon is better than using Nate as the starter, but I still don't think that's amazing.

7) This came up in the podcast Jon is editing. We would look outside the organization, perhaps to a Melky Cabrera.

"Not that good but not a complete disaster" is perfectly fine for a 70 win team to go for. My conclusion was predicated on the Orioles trying to contend again.

Anonymous said...

Pretty unlikely, but can Nate McLouth play second base? If he could do that he'd be a great utility guy behind Reimold and Roberts?

Jeremy Strain said...

Reimold has played in 246 games in the past 7 years . McLouth has played 779 games in the past 7 years He had one season limited to 119 with a concussion and one limited to 84 with a sports hernia. So yeah, Nate is a little safer bet than Nolan right now.

Using flawed defensive stats from CF does not tell you how good of a LF or RF he is.

Jon Shepherd said...

One thing to remember is that the defensive metrics concur with what appears to me to be majority scouting opinion on McLouth, so dismissing the numbers as merely numbers is not sufficient. That said, there are scouting opinions that could say he can play centerfield. I have not talked to a scout that thinks this, but they certainly could exist.

I think often casual fans thinks of scouting as either a singular entity of thought (like the tiresome BA draft ranking arguments) or go overboard on how different different scouts can see things. The truth certainly is in the middle of all of that and it is difficult to see specific truths on a player.

I think we can all agree that McLouth has a poor arm. I think we can all agree his first step is not a good one. Beyond that is where the difference lie in what he can do with his routes and speed to make up for those deficiencies.

I think to carry this argument to the next level there needs to be more discussion of why exactly a numbers-based approach won't work. Why exactly UZR cannot accurately measure Nate McLouth. What Nate actually does out there. Otherwise, I think, the conversation will get bogged down in statements without any underlying explanation.

I think if we all get disciplined with things we may be able to see it all in a different light. It may well be that Nate McLouth is a sensitive soul who needs the proper environment to thrive. Or it may be that doing well makes Nate happy.

Matt P said...

Thanks for the response.

I agree partly with your point #3 that a bad fielder in CF will be an average corner outfielder. And even if I didn't, that's what the data suggests for McLouth. Thing is, the stats aren't simply a wash. It should give him half a win which is important for his value.

While you did state that baserunning is a plus, my problem is that I think it has far more relevance that you gave it in your post. For a guy like McLouth, half a win is huge.

Given how offense has dropped league wide in the majors, .242/.318/.402 isn't as bad as you'd think. As you stated, he's still roughly a 90 wRC player.

Honestly, it seems we're arguing different points. I'm thinking we have limited resources, so it makes sense to sign McLouth and use them elsewhere because he's near average. You seem to think we should use them to fix left field. Certainly, I'd prefer Hunter or Choo to McLouth.

Ok, I'm out. Thanks for the discussion.

Jon Shepherd said...

Matt...from me, my thought is that the internal options are as likely to perform as well as McLouth, so why lock down a spot in the active roster and somewhere between 2-5MM. The roster flexibility and the money could be spent in other directions. If he takes on Endy Chavez money, I could understand it, but it would be for a that roll minus centerfield ability. Xavier Avery will need to be on the team or shuttled if Jones gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

Dear Matt,

Why Choo? After watching so many Indians games - yes, just like torturing myself - I can't understand.

Seriously, one year rental for a guy whose agent is Boras?

His defence is below average, can't hit against lefty, can't hit inside pitches.

Please don't look for career stat because his weaknesses have been just getting worse and worse (especially defence).

Jon Shepherd said...

An interesting aside...in terms of performance, Choo is somewhat on par with Jayson Werth. Platoon hitters, slightly overrated defense, good baserunners, etc. Choo of course is a lefty so his splits are more favorable to his dominant side, which is quite good because of how poorly he fares against lefties.

I imagine Choo's next contract will net him a 100+ MM deal if he can put up another 800+OPS season.

kgwill said...

Felt like I had to comment on the idea that McLouth's happiness/comfort level with the team could not be a factor in his performance - I've played a lot of sports and I have to flat out disagree. It doesn't happen as often with pros as it does at lower levels but these are human beings we're talking about. I really don't think the whole idea of a "change in scenery" has been discounted by most front office types. When you apply for a job aren't you looking for a good fit with the culture/personalities in the company or office? Also I heard Showalter hint more than once that the situation in Baltimore was a reason for McLouth's success.

My take on the resign for this case is the guys in the clubhouse might just have a good intuition as to whether McLouth can have some success going forward - if they want to take a chance and sign him I won't argue. I do agree that 2 yr $13 MM is too much based on one half-season.

Daniel Moroz said...

It's not that a player's state of mind never effects his performance (obviously it can), but that we can't usually really know* about what's going on in that area and so to attribute a short burst of success to that (and expecting it to continue) instead of a lucky/hot stretch of play is often misguided.

* It's not like Buck or Nate or the team is gong to say "yeah, I like it in Baltimore but don't expect such good play next year" or "despite the best stretch of play in years and the team going to the playoffs, Nate isn't big on being an Oriole".

Jon Shepherd said...

Daniel, that is a better way of putting it. It is quite difficult to get into a player's head and assess happiness and how that happiness affects play. It certainly requires more than a couple articles and individual responses to a reporter. I tend to be very reluctant to consider any of that unless I have more solid information (which I only have for a few guys). In that light, it makes far more sense to rely on what you can see as well as what you can measure over some armchair psychiatry.

Added to that is what I consider a misperception of people that player populations are similar to general populations. Unless the talent level of a player is otherworldly, a player needs to have endless belief in himself and his abilities as well as dealing with a great deal of failure. There are very few gentle souls in the clubhouse. I have never heard any rumblings about McLouth being one of those guys.

With the difficulty to assess the psyche and the lack of attachment between McLouth and any sort of first hand reports or gossip...I have difficult with saying anything one way or another about whether his mental state had anything to do with his short stay in Baltimore.

I would find it to be a weak point to make that case for signing a player. Maybe if he had incredible talent and you truly believe there are issues there...then again, I would be extremely hesitant to invest a great deal of money in a guy who may have some mental concerns.

kgwill said...

Thank you both for clarifying and responding - not sure I agree than sports populations are so different than general populations. I think it all depends on the level, I think to succeed dramatically in business, medicine or other fields requires the same intense self belief as success in professional sports. Maybe the mistake a lot of us make is thinking that our particular jobs (I'm a teacher) are similar to professional sports when maybe we should compare them to a lower level of competition. I've never been in a low A clubhouse but I imagine it's not much different than amateur locker rooms I've known where you get all sorts of personalities. I expect most high school draft picks actually haven't dealt with failure athletically.
Back to McLouth - aren't his overall numbers themselves an indication that there might be some emotional issue, good or bad? How often does someone perform like he did in 2008, fall off a cliff so to speak, then rebound with any kind of success at age 30? Maybe by itself that shows you have something of a special situation, although maybe it's an extra reason not to sign him.

Jon Shepherd said...

I think it is a very different kind of population. It is a highly competitive field with people being often paid below a decent living wage. Careers are very short and the attrition rate is about 999 out of a thousand who actually cash a professional check at some level.

That is even more cut throat than Wall Street.

Nonlinear performance in careers? That is pretty normal. It happens for a variety of reasons...same as doing well for 2 months. Remember all of this hope on McLouth is attached to 55 games this year and what he did in 2009. A lot has been spent explaining away two and a half seasons while kind of ignoring that his 55 games in left for the Os was merely adequate. That is a lot of hope being tied to a guy people at best think may be average in left.

Jeremy Strain said...

As I said before, and hasn't been addressed. It's 2007, 2008 and 2009 PLUS the 55 games this year that were good. That's more time than the 2 years and 34 games (far from half a season) that he wasn't good in ATL which also included a concussion and a sports hernia.

kgwill said...

After thinking about it more... I have to admit I'm siding with those who don't want to bring McLouth back. Yes his track record of success is slightly longer than his track record of failure, and I do believe he's happy in Baltimore... but that's not a strong argument for paying someone 4-5 MM. Quite frankly - I trust Chris Davis to play league average LF more than I trust McLouth. If you pay McLouth 5 MM next season to play every day... he could easily give you average defense and a .640 OPS. I think the floor for Davis, Reimold, Avery, etc. is higher.
Frankly - the reason this team made the postseason is not Nate McLouth, it's the improvement in the starting pitching in the second half of the season. Are Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman locks to repeat that performance in 2013? Absolutely not. If there is money to throw around, throw it at a veteran starting pitcher. If there were ever a time for this team to sign a SP to a $100 MM contract now is the time. Since we're talking about emotional issues... Zach Greinke's name comes immediately to mind.
Not to mention the concern at 2B is bigger than the concern in LF - I don't know what the potential solutions are there but if I were in the front office that's where I'd be losing sleep, not LF.

Jon Shepherd said...

Jeremy, hasn't it been addressed? There was poor performace within those injury seasons that do not relate to when he was injured, so why does that poor performance get ignored due to him getting injured at a later date? Why are we now listening to him saying how great he feels in October vs him saying how great and healthy he felt in April?

It feel like we are trying very hard to backwards engineer McLouth's success and trying to use that logic to predict future performance. I feel very uncomfortable with that kind of analysis. It is not empirical and it is hinged upon conjecturing a narrative to explain an up and down career path.

If injury is what got him derailed...then there has to be something measurable there. His mechanics, reactions, decision making process. Unless those can be presented, it leaves us with what he has actually done. Which...if he does what he did several years ago...he is an average LF. That is the bet. Based on the information before me, statistical and qualitative scouting, I would not offer him a starting position. The numbers, my scouting eye (which is a novice one), a couple professional scouts, and typical historical evidence tell me it would be a bad move. On the other hand, I have that he is happy and, finally, healthy. I just cannot go with the latter until someone can show me that something he does now is uniquely different from what he was doing before besides smiling.

I am not saying I am right here...I am saying that I feel very confidant in my assessment.

Jeremy Strain said...

He put up an OPS of .810, .853, .819 and then .777 here last season and every argument against seems to pretend like those never happened.

I was the first to say that he shouldn't be offered some huge contract, and that he should be paired with (hopefully) a healthy Reimold, no one is saying he should be depended on and given a monster deal. I also said that he was comfortable, not happy, there is a big difference, and no matter how much people want to discount the mental side of the game, it is real.

I ran this by another friend of mine who is very much a big stats person to see if the disagreement was just because of our unique views and he had the same opinion I did, so I've come to accept that our views are just backing up our arguments for or against McLouth from our own unique perspectives. That's completely fine with me, no one is going to be "right" here and the only way someone will be proven to be more correct is if he actually does resign here and we get to see how his performance responds. If you have an assessment you have to stick with it, sometimes that means going against the grain, but in scouting that's going to happen sometimes. Other scouts and analysts might agree that he shouldn't be a starter, others may agree with me that he can be. I don't see anyone saying to give him some huge contract and think the position is resolved though. This is a player that people are going to be split on, and at the end of the day we will have to wait and see.

Matt P said...

"Matt...from me, my thought is that the internal options are as likely to perform as well as McLouth"

I said I'm out, but this is a tangent from talking about McLouth.

Historically, from 2005 to 2012, we've had only one left fielder with over 2 fWAR (Luke Scott in 2008). We've had only four left fielders with 1 fWAR or more, Reimold in 2009 and 2011 and McLouth in 2012(and I'm not sure counting McLouth is fair). If you count guys like Pie and Payton who were fourth outfielders and played half of their time in other positions, we're at 6. We've had as many left fielders with negative WAR over that time span than positive WAR provided they've had at least 100 PAs.

Relying on internal options usually leads to relying on players who are worth negative or zero wins. Over the past few years, they've failed to put together a 1 fWAR season. Combined, Oriole left fielders, have only put up more than 1 fWAR in two years (2008 and 2009). Again, the only reason we did so in 2009 is because we're counting our fourth outfielder in Felix Pie fully in the total.

We generally think that internal options can be the answer because most teams are able to put up a decent WAR at LF. It's important to remember that in the time frame I mentioned (240 total team years), we don't have a single one in the top 100. Other teams find a top prospect that works and play him there. We simply haven't.

Depending on internal options like Avery and Hoes is likely to result in receiving negative production from left field in 2013. At least, that's how it's worked in the Orioles recent past.

As a general rule, internal options are a worst case scenario.

I also think that part of the difference is that you think we'll get a good free agent if we don't sign McLouth. Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it. But if they do sign a good one, well then I fully agree with you. I just see either McLouth or another Chavez in our future. The idea of Hunter or a half competent veteran coming here isn't something I see happening.

Jon Shepherd said...

One of my best friends is a stats guy...Ha. Just kidding.

I don't know how your friends views statistics, but first of all it should be noted that run environments have shifted. An 850 OPS in 2008 is not an 850 ops in 2012. Yes, you would expect injuries to hurt performance, but you can also expect loss of time, indirect injury effects, and simple aging to also decrease performance. Your friend who is big on stats should also recognize that.

My point has been, if a team is willing to name McLouth right off the bat as a starter, that team should not be the Orioles. I have said that I would be surprised if he maintained production from those last 55 games where he was slightly helped by a higher BABIP than normal. Everything about McLouth suggests regression...scouting takes (which are not unanimous so I have been told, but I have only talked to views that he is a 4th OF), peripheral performance numbers, and simply getting older. On the aging part...isn't this where a team gets into a mess load of trouble. Guy who did well during expected peak player years, gets injured, and then does well for 2 months. This just seemed like a cliche to me.

If he comes to the Os and interested in taking a 4th OF position and duking it out, sure. This is what I said in the podcast from October 21st (posted on Saturday).

Jeremy Strain said...

And I'm with you on a lot of that. I've never said he should be given a big contract and penciled into the lineup, I'm actually a bigger Reimold fan than Nate, but I think between the two of them you have good foils for each other and neither should cost much. I get the aging concerns, but he's 30, it's not like he's 32-33 yet, even in your statistical analysis you noted he could easily have another good year or two in him before he starts to degrade.

Overall, we agree with the course we'd like to see them take, and I guess it was a semantics difference that set this whole thing off. I got the impression you and Dan were saying to not look to sign him at all, that you didn't like the risk. I'm saying at a reasonable deal I'm good with signing him for a year or two. I think we both agree that if things get over $3m per it's a completely different argument.

Jon Shepherd said...

I feel uncomfortable with the terminology of him easily having a couple more seasons of similar quality. What the different projections systems show is that if you go out with certain assumptions, you may have something usable. Again...that "similar" output comes if you completely ignore his entire time in the Atlanta organization and his second trip in Pittsburgh.

I find it highly unlikely he repeats. That said none of the seasons would surprise me...it is just that I find a usable outcome to be highly unlikely.