Monday, February 18, 2008

Jon Heyman is an Idiot, Part II

This should come as no surprise to those who read his last article, but Heyman's evaluation of baseball's best GMs is a little lacking.

"a risky, yet superb, trade with Florida of young star Hanley Ramirez for (Josh) Beckett..."

VORP since trade:

Ramirez/Anibal Sanchez: 182.9
Beckett: 78.5

World Series wins since trade:

Marlins: 0
Red Sox: 1

Obviously, Hanley Ramirez is not a clutch player. I suppose you could call this a "superb" deal for Boston...personally, I'd go with "colossal mistake," but to each his own.

This gets better, however. After asserting that Ramirez-for-Beckett was a great trade for Boston, Heyman praises Epstein's decision to hold firm on the Johan Santana front. Apparently Ramirez is no Jacoby Ellsbury, who's older than Hanley and OPSed .740 in AAA last year.

"while a couple of free-agent deals haven't worked (Edgar Renteria, Coco Crisp) the bulk of the big-money moves have been nothing short of boffo."

As near as I can tell, these are the biggest-money contracts handed out to free agents under Epstein's watch:

Daisuke Matsuzaka: $103 million, 6 years. He had a decent enough season, but I'd hardly call this a coup based on his MLB debut.
J.D. Drew: $70 million, 5 years.
Let's just say that if I had to describe this signing in one word, I would not choose "boffo".
Edgar Renteria: $40 million, 4 years. After one season, Boston had to pay the Braves to haul him away.
Jason Varitek: $40 million, 4 years. It's more than I would have given him, but this deal has worked out okay for Boston.
Julio Lugo: $36 million, 4 years. Proof that Edgar Renteria taught the BoSox nothing.
Matt Clement: $25.5 million, 3 years. Is un-buffo a word? Because it should be.

The verdict: When you want to get overpaid, Boston is a good place to go.

Heyman goes on to rank Mark Shapiro fourth on the strength of his Bartolo Colon-for-the-franchise trade with Omar Minaya, but has no qualms with placing Minaya eighth; the deal is conspicuously absent from Omar's resume. Dan O'Dowd makes the top ten even though his big-money record makes Theo Epstein look like Nostradamus; O'Dowd is given credit for Matt Holliday, even though Holliday was already in the organization when O'Dowd was hired.

R-D punching bag Kenny Williams also cracks the top ten, even though this is Heyman's elaboration of why:

"No one can say he's afraid to take a chance or make deals. Williams brought the first championship to the South Side in decades, but his constant trading and tinkering left the Sox with a placid roster (thus the acquisitions of SS Orlando Cabrera and OF Nick Swisher) and hard-throwing but erratic bullpen (thus the deal for Scott Linebrink). They look no better than a third-place team in their tough division, but Williams' teams are full of surprises."

That's the full description. I could have done this a lot more efficiently: "Williams has largely made bad moves, but he won a championship, so he ranks high."

Jon Daniels is rated as an "up-and-comer". Daniels' donation of Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres is probably the most lopsided trade since A.J. Pierzynski was shipped to San Francisco.

I could criticize Heyman more, but I'd still rather have him running my team than Kenny Williams, which would make Heyman one of the top nine GMs in baseball. Now he just needs to give $121 million to Mike Hampton to crack the top eight.


Daniel said...

this heyman stuff is hilarious

jb said...

Not really sure why you omitted Mike Lowell from your analysis. Add his VORP and the difference is 37.2. Hanley's defense is bad enough that the the Sox side will come up probably about a win and a half ahead once you account for defense.

And as long you're just being results oriented, you have to account for Lowell and Beckett playing way over their heads in the playoffs. If you made a World Series Titles Added stats that combined game state win expectency charts and playoff odds, I wouldn't be surprised if Beckett and Lowell have double the value of what the Marlins haul would have been expected to do for the Sox.

And if you're not being results oriented, then you can only get so worked up about a trade of a 21 y/o OF with a 720 OPS in AAA no matter how good he hits the next year.

jb said...

Oops, Hanley had the 720 OPS in AA not AAA