Monday, October 17, 2011

Free Agent Watch: K-Rod

Francisco Rodriquez registered a 2.4 WAR in 2011, which is worth 7.2 million according to Halladay Standard. Bullpen pitchers have proved to be pretty expendable and vastly overpaid, as the Rays proved this year. 1.57 WAR average over the past 3 years. Worth about 4.7 million. In 2011 he had a PE of -3.58. In his career he has a -5.54. In 2011, he had a very nice TR of 13.11, as his career TR is 11.89. So in 2011, with the Brewers and Mets, he was more efficient, even though his results weren't quite as good. This would probably be good for his prospective teams, and if it were a different name, it might create a market inefficiency and K-Rod could worth more than he is paid. However, he is a big name pitcher, and has Scott Boras as an agent, meaning that won't happen. He actually had an extremely high BABIP in 2011 (.321) compared to his career (.275). It is tempting to argue that he was unlucky in 2011, but that is not what FIP suggests, as his ERA and FIP are almost identical. The big thing, and that is why the PE isn't as low as it usually is for Rodriguez, is that he struck out less batters. Striking out more than a hitter an inning is nothing to sneeze at, but it is not as good as his career K/9IP of over 11. He did give up slightly less home runs, and home runs do not show up on BABIP. This could explain the difference in BABIP. In the end, he will be a highly paid, controversial reliever. He has had off the field issues and "team" issues, and it is difficult to calculate what they means or affects their worth. For example, the one mistake the Tampa Bay Rays made previous to the 2011 season was sign Manny Ramirez. That proved to be a disaster and a waste of money. Their are a few other examples you can think of as well, such as the Cubs giving all that money to Carlos Zambrano. I wouldn't take the bait on K-Rod, but it has more to do with relievers being overvalued that the off the field issues.

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