Saturday, September 24, 2011

Moneyball Review: Chad Bradford

As promised, this is part of a series I am doing off some of the moves found in the movie "Moneyball". Firstly, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite pitchers in the past decade or so, Chad Bradford. In the movie, Jonah Hill's character notes that Bradford was overlooked because people didn't like his strange delivery, which I have always loved personally. Jonah Hill's character claims that Bradford is worth 3 million dollars. This is a very large claim, since he made $170,000 with the White Sox in 98. In his last year with the White Sox in 2000, Bradford posted a WAR of .3, which is clearly not worth $3 million dollars a year. However, he did this in only 13.2 innings! If the White Sox gave him about 50 innings (more or less average for a reliever) in 2000 (assuming he pitched with the same success) he would have posted about a 1.14 WAR. This means (according to the Halladay Standard in WASP) he would have been worth $3,409,091. In 2000, his ERA was 1.98, with a 2.04 FIP (Fielder Independent ERA, tries to take fielders out of the equation), gave up no home runs, left over 70% of runners on base, and walked just one person. The movie doesn't really stress trade details on many players (which is probably a good thing for cinema sake), and doesn't mention that he was traded to the Athletics from Chicago for catcher Miguel Olivo. Olivo, unlike Bradford, is still in the Majors, but has bounced around and is playing for the Mariners. He played in pieces of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 seasons for the White Sox, playing in 166 games. He was really mediocre, posting a .5 WAR in that time, and was shipped off to Seattle. Bradford, on the other hand, was pretty nice for Oakland. He played for them from 01-04, pitching 248 innings with an ERA of 2.70, and a WHIP of 1.23. He averaged about 65% groundball outs, and picked up 61 holds in 02-04. His total WAR was 3.9 and he only made 1.7 million during that time (a far cry from the 3 million dollars a year he was worth), giving him an amazing WASP of 436 over that 4 year period. After the 04 season, he was traded to the Red Sox for Jay Payton. Payton's OBP wasn't all that great as an Athletic (.302 in 05, .325 in 06), but he was a formidable player, posting a 2.3 WAR in his 2 seasons. He made 6.25 million in his two years as an A, giving him a solid 2717 WASP. Bradford only spent 05 with the Red Sox, posting just a .5 WAR. Certainly the trade for Bradford, and then even the trade sending Bradford away, were trades that worked out greatly for the Athletics. Some of these moves seem quite magical, but they made sense when you looked at the numbers. When you do that enough times, you get movies made after you.

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