Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I like the Rays: Part 1,000,000

If you read the blog regularly, you know that I like and respect the Rays organization because of what they are able to do with so little money. Here is another move that has made a lot of sense: during the off-season, the Rays traded starter Matt Garza and 2 minor leaguers (that haven't played for the Cubs yet) for Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer and 2 minor leaguers (that haven't played for the Rays yet). Of course, who "won" this trade will ultimately be decided by how the minor leaguers for both teams turn out. However, we can grade how this trade affected the teams this year. Despite losing Garza, the Rays still have the second best pitching in the American League at 3.59 and have the most complete games at 15 (mainly because of James Shields). The Cubs however, are last in the NL in fielding. For the Rays, Sam Fuld has given them a 1.6 WAR, and 1 WAR on defense (not to mention all those cool highlight catches). Brandon Guyer has given the Rays a .3 WAR (all on defensive WAR). So this year the Rays have gotten 1.9 WAR from those two outfielders and haven't missed Garza in the rotation. Matt Garza (with a complete game no earned run performance on Wednesday) has given the Cubs a 2.2 WAR. It is tempting to say, just by looking at the WARs, that the Cubs won the trade. However (not even mentioning that the Cubs desperately could use the outfield play of Fuld and Guyer), this is ignoring the salary situation and the real genius of Friedman and Maddon (and the reckless decision making by the Cubs that got their GM fired), Matt Garza is a free agent at the end of the year, and is making 5.95 million dollars this year (he is giving them a solid WASP at 2704, but he is definitely a candidate to be overpaid next year, and the Cubs are awful about doing that). Fuld, on the other hand, is making 421,000 this year (a great 263 WASP) and isn't even arbitration eligible at the end of the year (and won't be a free agent until 2016!). Guyer made his debut this year, so his official salary hasn't been released, but it is probably at the minimum of 400,000, and he won't even be arbitration eligible for a couple of years. This is why I like the Rays (as I write this, the Yankees are tied with the Rays 2-2 with Jeremy Helickson, making $416,000 this year, facing off against CC Sabathia, making 23 million dollars this year).

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