Monday, January 23, 2012

Athletics sign Jonny Gomes

The Athletics signed Jonny Gomes to a one year 1.1 million dollar deal. He split 2011 between the Nationals and Reds and posted a .7 WAR, worth 2.1 million dollars according to the Halladay Standard. Over the past 3 years, Gomes has averaged a .3 WAR (worth 900,000 dollars) with a .297 BABIP in that time. Offensively, he has a .329 OBP, 106 OPS +, and .330 Secondary Average. He is an above average home run hitter, with an ISO of .209, walks slightly above average, and has a 3.84 Pit/PA. So basically in every offensive category Gomes is slightly above average. Defensively, its a whole other story. His fielding percentage and range factor are both way under average. Depending on which metric you trust more, Gomes has cost his teams 46-40 runs more than an average fielder would in his career. Using runs created, we can measure (we did this in the Jack Cust article) how many runs and wins Gomes will be worth for the Athletics. According to Runs Created per Game metric, Gomes is worth .59 runs per game (technically he has a 5.3 Runs Created per game metric, but that assumes an offense of 9 Gomes', here I am isolating it to 1 Gomes'). Since he has played 428 games in the outfield, he will cost his team a run more than average about every 10 games. An average offensive player would create 65.3 runs in 140 games, while Gomes would create about 82.6 runs, or 17.3 runs more than an average player. Defensively in this time (assuming he never plays DH), he will cost his team 14 runs more than average. This is all a long way of saying that Gomes is worth 3.3 more runs a year than an "average player". There are two ways to look at this, I believe. One way makes Billy Beane and the Swinging A's look like geniuses, and one way makes Gomes' agent look like a genius. First, Beane might point out that the average MLB player salary is 3.1 million. Gomes is slightly better than average, and yet will be playing for a third of that salary. Gomes needs a new agent. Gomes' agent might try to save his job by pointing out that according to the Halladay Standard (a standard we have relied on heavily in this blog), Gomes is worth just $900,000, and so he is making 200 thousand extra dollars. It all depends on which metric you rely on more.

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