Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What's in a name?

Browsing through early projections, I happened upon a pair of players from the same team and close to one another in the alphabet. Here they are, complete with 2007 PECOTA projections but not names:

Age OPS VORP EqA Salary 2007 role
Player 1 38 0.787 8.7 0.284 $13 million Starter
Player 2 27 0.819 14 0.29 $400,000 Bench

Need some more hints? Player 1 was acquired in exchange for three minor leaguers with upside and signed to a $28 million extension through his age 40 season. Player 2 was off to the hottest start of any hitter this side of Albert Pujols in April 2006, but lost his starting job in midseason and won't likely get it back this year without an injury.

They are Gary Sheffield and Chris Shelton, and they represent two ways to build a baseball team: acquiring big names through spending and the sacrifice of young talent, or the development of your own cheap, effective players. The Tigers have chosen the same trail they blazed with Magglio Ordonez.

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