Friday, January 27, 2012

Phillies and Reds swap Valdez for Horst

The Phillies traded Wilson Valdez for Jeremy Horst from the Reds.

Valdez has a 1.8 WAR over the last 3 seasons or .6 WAR per year. He is scheduled to make just under 1 million dollars in 2012, or a solid 1667 projected WASP for 2012. Offensively, he has just a .290 OBP and 67 OPS + for his career. He has improved some offensively, as he has a 76 OPS + over the last 3 years. This still is pretty bad, and assuming Valdez plays 100 games, he will "create" 13 runs less than an average player (remember to distiquish between average and "replacement" player, average is .500 winning percentage, while replacement is .320). Pretty much every offensive metric shows that Valdez is a really poor hitter, I won't bore you with the details. However, does his defense wash this out? According to Baseball Info Solutions, the only position he is good at is shortstop. He has cost his team 6 runs more than average in 105 games at 2nd, and 3 runs in 41 games at third base (he has played just 5 games in the outfield). At shortstop however, he has saved his team 13 runs in 190 games. Adjusted for 100 games, like we did with hitting, he saves about 7 runs, meaning he would cost his team 6 runs more than an average player overall (with offense and defense combined) if he only plays shortstop and plays 100 games. However, he makes more than 2 million dollars less than an average player, so it would seem Valdez is still worth his salary.

Horst made his MLB debut in 2011, pitching 12 games in relief and posting a .1 WAR. He has appeared in 42 AAA games (65.2 innings), a much bigger sample, and the one we will be using here. There, he had a -1.104 PE, or -.911 Adjusted PE. According to our AAA metric, this projects to a 1.426 PE or 1.619 Adjusted PE. Neither of those numbers are very good at all for a reliever. If you assume he throws 60 innings (like most "full time" relievers) in 2012, his projected CWAR would be 1.05 (an average reliever with a 4.2 FIP and 0 PE that pitched 60 innings would have a CWAR of about 1.06, despite Horst's bad PE, he is helped by a pretty good projected FIP in the 3.5 range), which is better than Valdez's WAR of .06 average in the last 3 years. At least in his time in the Majors, he threw an under 89 MPH on his fastball. The velocity is certainly concerning, but other than that he projects to be about an average reliever, while Valdez is an under average player. This is why it looks like the Phillies have won this trade, even if by only 6 or so runs a season.

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