Friday, December 9, 2011

Pirates sign McLouth and Morales

The Pirates have signed Jose Morales and Nate McLouth.

McLouth signed a 1 year, 1.75 million dollar deal. In 2011, he had a .7 WAR, and a .6 WAR average over the last 3 years (a terrible 2010 plays into this). This is worth (according to the Halladay Standard) nearly exactly his new 1.75 million dollar deal. He is a terrible defender, with a -3.7 D-WAR for his career, and nearly half of his career O-WAR (7 seasons) came in 2008 (not incidentally, with the Pirates). In that year, he had a .356 OBP, .287 BABIP (his terrible 2010 season was tainted by a .221 BABIP and a relatively small sample size of 288 PA), and .497 SLG. It is hard to poke holes in those numbers, with a 125 OPS +. He has a nice career Secondary Average of .324, 5.3 Runs Created Per Game, and .542 Offensive Winning Percentage. However, the last two years, he has not Slugged very well with a .322 and .333 in 2010 and 2011. This could certainly be attributed to some of the injuries he has suffered, and a healthy McLouth would be expected to have a better Slugging. He is a flyball hitter, although he has less line drives than desirable. Overall, I think this is a decent deal, he was probably undervalued a bit in the market because of his health issues.

Morales got a minor league deal with a spring training invite. He has a career WAR of .6 in 252 PA. In this small sample, he has a .365 OBP, 89 OPS +, and .183 Secondary Average. His Offensive Winning Percentage is just under .500, even though he has a 4.8 Runs Created per game. All the positive statistics are really called into question by a .360 BABIP despite being a groundball hitter. He did walk above average, but most of his Major League Statistics are simply unreliable. Thankfully, Morales has 295 games worth of AAA games in the International League. There he had a .367 OBP, .772 OPS, .8 PPG, and 2.74 PAPP. Through the metric, he has an expected .321 OBP, 3.31 PAPP, and .4 PPG. This is an expected Offensive (Simple) WAR of -.6. Along with his -.1 D-WAR in his brief Major League career, it is doubtful that Morales will turn out to be anything. It is basically no risk though.

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