Monday, October 31, 2011

The Derek Lowe Trade

Derek Lowe had a -.4 WAR in 2011, and a 1.2 WAR in his 3 years in Atlanta, .4 WAR a year. This is only worth 1.2 million a year. He is scheduled to make 15 million dollars this season, and the Braves gave some cash, but they did not give 14 million dollars. Terrible 2.77 PE (adjusted PE by replacing ERA with FIP of 1.42) in 2011,and a 1.91 PE for his career. In his Career, he has a very nice TR of 11, and a still not bad 9.62 TR in 2011. So according to PE (and WAR frankly), this guy stinks, but according to TR, he is pretty good. What gives? Well to start with, his FIP was lower than his ERA all three years in Atlanta. He also was a sufferer of a .327 BABIP in 2011. He had a .280 BAA in 2011, but if his BABIP would have been at his career number (.295), he would have had a BAA of .252. He was either the unluckiest man alive, was getting the ball crushed (but not for homeruns), or had no fielding help. There was probably a combination of all 3. Lowe is of course an extreme groundball pitcher, and because of that doesn't give up very many homers. Because of this it is pretty surprising his BABIP is only .295 for his career. As horrible as he was (or at least seemed to be) in the second half of 2011, Lowe is not a bad pitcher (I would tend to side closer to what his TR says about him than his PE), with a career FIP of 3.79. But he is definitely not worth 15 million dollars. The Indians are certainly going to be overpaying him, and the main reason the Braves traded him was to relieve payroll. However, they did get minor league pitcher Chris Jones in return. Jones has never been past A ball, and has mainly pitched as a reliever. He spent all of 2011 as a reliever in A+ and that is what we will focus on here. He had a good -1.21 PE there, with an adjusted -.83 PE. His gave up just .75 HR/9IP, but his K/BB ratio was a little disappointing at 2.20. He looks to be a good reliever, but he isn't anything special and is still lightyears away. The trade was simply to free up salary for the Braves. They would be ecstatic if Jones did something, but not disappointed if he didn't. Meanwhile, the Indians simply took on too much money.

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