FanDuel - WFBC

December 04, 2007

Blockbuster: Tigers agree to aquire Cabrera, Willis from Marlins: Whatchu talkin' 'bout Dontrelle? Six prospects head to Miami including Detroit's 1st round picks in 2005 and 2006.

posted by tommytrump to baseball at 11:01 PM - 101 comments

American League teams just keep loading up on weapons. Are the National League teams alive out there? That league's biggest move involved a 70-year old man going to L.A. I fully expect, though, that the Marlins will parlay these young players into another World Series championship in the next five years or so.

posted by dyams at 05:39 AM on December 05

All I can say is it doesn't bode well for my Phillies.

posted by GoBirds at 06:26 AM on December 05

Wow: seems like a good trade for both sides and a huge upgrade at 3B for the Tigers. The real shocker in that link for me was that Inge is signed 'til 2010. Maybe he's one of those guys you need to see night-in, night-out, but I've just never believed in him. Can't believe Detroit let Miller go, but they're pitching is so solid already (and only better with Dontrelle in the mix). Yikes.

posted by yerfatma at 06:33 AM on December 05

I heard about this blockbuster trade late last night. Upon hearing this news, my mind went completely blank for a second. Weren't the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the mix for Miguel Cabrera? I guess the Tigers pounced on that deal and mauled away these two legit stars from the Marlins. If Dontrell Willis is considered to be the 4th starter, then most teams are gonna be in big trouble this coming season. Cabrera lost about 15lbs so far and is on his way back to his original playing weight but he must put in a lot more work in this offseason to get back to form. The Tigers look to want to get back to the World Series and are very serious about this considering they just pulled off one of the biggest trades this (off) season. I can't wait to see the batting order but regardless, this is going to be a very potent lineup. WOW!

posted by BornIcon at 07:00 AM on December 05

Blockbuster trade? I dunno. Cabrera, no doubt he's awesome. But Willis went 10-15 with a 5.17 ERA. But then moving to beautiful Detroit Michigan (input sarcasm), might be what Dontrelle needs.

posted by texasred at 08:16 AM on December 05

The winner of this deal hinges on whether you're right about Willis or playing in front of a bad defense for a losing team was what made him look like a mediocre pitcher.

posted by yerfatma at 08:29 AM on December 05

I follow the Marlins casually, and I don't see how the franchise can go anywhere but downhill by engaging in another fire sale. This trade leaves the team with only one player who earned more than $575,000 last season -- Miguel Olivo. Where is their revenue sharing windfall going, if not to the payroll? The two big-name prospects will probably be good, but if they turn out to be as big a part of the franchise as Willis and Cabrera, they'll be dumped in the next fire sale. Go team!

posted by rcade at 09:15 AM on December 05

Blockbuster trade? I dunno Dontrelle Willis is such an UNDER-rated player. You're talking about the 2003 Rookie of the year and a 2 time All-Star (2003, 2005) that stands at 6'4" and is just 26 year old...by the way, he's a left handed pitcher. His win-loss record for his 5 years in the big leagues is at 57% (68-54) and the guy can flat-out hit for a pitcher. By the way, didn't he also participate in his team (Marlins) winning the World Series in 2003 against the mighty Yankees? A change of scenery may just be what Dontrelle Willis needs since he and Cabrera are the last two players from the Marlins' last World Series team and he was in a sense, a throw in for the Cabrera deal to Detroit. Blockbuster trade? Sure, why not?

posted by BornIcon at 09:21 AM on December 05

All I can say is it doesn't bode well for my Phillies. How so? It potentially makes the Marlins easier competition in the NL East, which is good for the Phillies. After that, even assuming both the Phillies and the Tigers make it to the playoffs, they would both have to advance to the World Series for this to adversely affect the Phillies, and that has what, maybe a 1 in 16 chance of happening? The only way I can see that this bodes poorly for the Phillies (and perhaps this is what you meant), is that they can't now acquire Cabrera (and they certainly could use an upgrade at third base) and/or Willis. I think this is a very good deal for both sides, and the Tigers have used their drafting prowess (both in terms of drafting high upside prospects and drafting players with large signing bonus demands) and deep farm system to their advantage. I think Nate Silver has a pretty good analysis of this deal over at Baseball Propsectus' blog. If this isn't a blockbuster, I don't know what is -- unless it's an 8-player deal where All Stars change hands on both sides. The two big-name prospects will probably be good, but if they turn out to be as big a part of the franchise as Willis and Cabrera, they'll be dumped in the next fire sale. Go team! And if history is any indication, that next fire sale will come after a World Series victory.

posted by holden at 09:24 AM on December 05

If Dontrell Willis is considered to be the 4th starter, then most teams are gonna be in big trouble this coming season. Dontrelle Willis is such an UNDER-rated player. You're talking about the 2003 Rookie of the year and a 2 time All-Star... Well, Willis pitched like a 4th or 5th starter this past season. In the national league, in a pitchers ballpark. There's talk that he was injured. Maybe he'll bounce back. Poor Angels can't get any protection for Guerrero. And if history is any indication, that next fire sale will come after a World Series victory. My thoughts also.

posted by justgary at 09:45 AM on December 05

"Well, Willis pitched like a 4th or 5th starter this past season. In the national league, in a pitchers ballpark. There's talk that he was injured. Maybe he'll bounce back." Josh Beckett had a similar rap when he was traded from the Marlins. Willis is young and has a good pitching history, he should thrive in Detroit. All I can say is that other AL teams had better load their guns because Detroit is coming after them. Man what a trade.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:16 AM on December 05

Poor Angels can't get any protection for Guerrero. Didn't they just pick up Torii Hunter? (how is that *not* a porn star's name?)

posted by NoMich at 10:18 AM on December 05

Josh Beckett had a similar rap when he was traded from the Marlins. No he didn't. He had a rough first year with the Red Sox. His win-loss record for his 5 years in the big leagues is at 57% (68-54) and the guy can flat-out hit for a pitcher. Wins don't mean anything and his hitting should be a big help in the AL. I think Willis has good years left, but not because of his hitting, height or career winning percentage.

posted by yerfatma at 10:24 AM on December 05

This will make the Detroit lineup tres formidable. Their starting pitching will also get better, but will Willis have as great an impact as everyone seems to think? He might have to go through the Josh Beckett experience and learn how to pitch in the American League. The question with Detroit continues to be the bullpen. If I remember correctly, they had some problems finishing games last year. All in all, I think you can pencil them in as the AL Central front-runners.

posted by Howard_T at 10:36 AM on December 05

I expect Willis to do well in Detroit. His season got away from him in Florida last year, but the whole team collapsed in the second half. He's still capable of delivering some nasty stuff. He's also a fan favorite -- Tigers fans will rally around him.

posted by rcade at 10:40 AM on December 05

Plus Dontrelle is coming to a pitchers park, a 10 times better offense (more run support), and hes the #4 starter, which means he wont be facing the ace like he did with the marlins, which means more run support! And one hell of a year coming up for my tigers!

posted by DetTigerS_09 at 10:50 AM on December 05

He's still capable of delivering some nasty stuff. Ozzie Guillen: "When we played them, I thought there was something wrong with him. He was throwing like 85-84 [mph]. He got it back later, and he was fine. But when we faced him, he was frigging Jamie Moyer without the changeup." Hitters hit almost 300 against him this year. His WHIP was 1.60. And again, in the National League. To put that into perspective the worst WHIP Josh Beckett ever produced was 1.32 (since his name was brought up). It was 1.30 last year when he was considered a flop in boston. 45 year old Jamie Moyer had a WHIP of 1.44. He's too young to fade that fast so I'm guessing he didn't feel right and he'll bounce back. But no matter how you spin it those numbers are ugly.

posted by justgary at 10:59 AM on December 05

which means he wont be facing the ace like he did with the marlins And he'll be facing much better hitting and won't have the DH to fall back on. Both more important than the other pitcher.

posted by justgary at 11:00 AM on December 05

Wins don't mean anything Wha?!!? Really? It doesn't? Not sure if you're aware of this or not but wins mean everything in baseball since that's what every team in the MLB is striving for.

posted by BornIcon at 11:06 AM on December 05

He probably wasn't aware of it. Phew.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:14 AM on December 05

Plus Dontrelle is coming to a pitchers park Wasn't he coming from one as well? Not sure if you're aware of this Let me re-phrase: nothing you say ever makes any sense and it's all just Rah-rah noise where you bandwagon on someone else's comment hoping for a pat on the head. Wins are a function of a team's performance and not a good metric to measure pitchers by. There's plenty of info on it out on the web. Don't let me get in the way of Illogic Train.

posted by yerfatma at 11:20 AM on December 05

What's with all the hostility, fatty? I'm giving my honest opinion on the subject just like everyone else is but you seem to stray away from the subject. Do I owe you money or something? Is your girl big on me? If not, then there's just no reason to come out your face at me the way you have been. If you don't agree with my opinion, I'm cool with that. It's really not that serious for you to make an ass out of yourself. Relax. By the way, wasn't it you that, how was it that you put it, "[B]andwagon on someone else's comment hoping for a pat on the head" since your the one that had something to say about my comment? Hmmmmmmmmmm....

posted by BornIcon at 11:38 AM on December 05

Please, speak to the subject, not to the poster.

posted by chicobangs at 11:47 AM on December 05

My apologies. I'm like anyone else that doesn't appreciate disparaging comments over a difference of opinion.

posted by BornIcon at 11:56 AM on December 05

It was a dumb comment, BornIcon. I'm sure Yerfatma could have expressed those raspberries in a less contemptuous fashion, but I'll be honest -- when I read what you wrote, my first impulse was to welcome you to Stupidville, "population You." Snap!

posted by rcade at 12:08 PM on December 05

Agreed, it was dumb but not any more or less than the "Wins don't mean anything" comment.

posted by BornIcon at 12:32 PM on December 05

Nice try.

posted by yerfatma at 12:36 PM on December 05

No need to try since most sports fan understands that wins mean everything.

posted by BornIcon at 12:45 PM on December 05

Wins measure team performance. When measuring the worth of an individual, you have to rely on statistics that measure individual performance. His Win-Loss record is not an individual metric. Wins mean everything to the team, they are not relevant when measuring individual performance.

posted by apoch at 01:05 PM on December 05

why don't you just say the bull pen blew a good pitched game. What a bunch of idiots. Both sides.

posted by stickman at 01:16 PM on December 05

Semantics. How many wins does Roger Clemens have or does his 354 wins don't matter anymore since it's an individual accolade? I know growing up playing sports, I've always heard the official, "It's not about wins or losses but about the way you play the game" and that's true to a certain degree. The problem that I have is that now it seems as if people are trying to make a case that "winning isn't everything" but I personally like to finish that sentence off with, "It's the only thing" If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score? Vince Lombardi

posted by BornIcon at 01:22 PM on December 05

*cough*

posted by yerfatma at 01:31 PM on December 05

It is not an issue of semantics. It is an issue of perspective. If you evaluate a player only by wins and losses, than Darko was a huge loss for the Pistons because he won a world championship with them and they had great records while he was a member of the team. Wins measure team success. If we want to see if Willis improves the chances of the Tigers collecting more wins, we need to look at his individual performance, not the performance of the team he was on. We should be paying attention to ERA, WHIP, and other individual pitching statistics. They are far better indicators of talent than his Win-Loss record, which as the example stickman provided so aptly shows, is very easily influenced by the performance of other members of the team.

posted by apoch at 01:32 PM on December 05

"No he didn't. He had a rough first year with the Red Sox." yerfatma; Prove your point with facts. Josh Beckett was considered somewhat injury prone when traded, that was one of the Red Sox's main concerns about him. He had also had two so-so years at Florida before his trade. Willis was good in 2006, but had mildly above average years between that and his 2003 breakout year. Willis had an average year in 2007. My main point remains, Detroit has picked up a very good young pitcher and if they do the recovery job on him that they did on Kenny Rodgers, Willis will win the Cy Young in 2008 or 2009.

posted by Cave_Man at 01:36 PM on December 05

Prove your point with facts. A refreshing change. Josh Beckett - his last season in Florida he had an ERA+ of 118, which means he was almost 20% better than the average NL pitcher. He allowed 1.18 base runners per inning and posted his third consecutive season of 150+ strikeouts. Last year Willis dropped off the table, posting an ERA+ of 80, making him 20% worse than the average NL pitcher and he allowed 1.6 runners per inning. Again, it's not that I think Willis is done, just that I don't think Beckett is the best comparison. The only things they have in common are youth and being former Marlins.

posted by yerfatma at 01:41 PM on December 05

How many wins does Roger Clemens have or does his 354 wins don't matter anymore since it's an individual accolade? If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score? I think you're way off in the wrong direction BornIcon. The point is simply this. When judging the quality of a pitcher wins and losses (which you used in regards to Willis) is about as bad a metric as you can find. (on preview what apoch said) Willis had an average year in 2007. If that's average I'd hate to see bad. Point being, it wasn't average. It was well below. If you had looked at the facts you would have seen that.

posted by justgary at 01:44 PM on December 05

"Hitters hit almost 300 against him this year. His WHIP was 1.60. And again, in the National League. To put that into perspective the worst WHIP Josh Beckett ever produced was 1.32 (since his name was brought up). It was 1.30 last year when he was considered a flop in boston. 45 year old Jamie Moyer had a WHIP of 1.44. He's too young to fade that fast so I'm guessing he didn't feel right and he'll bounce back. But no matter how you spin it those numbers are ugly. posted by justgary at 10:59 AM CST on December 5" Apparently, a very good manager in Detroit thinks that all is fixable, I am sure he had some input into the trade. Willis is prone to wildness, I watched him completely butcher a playoff game against the Cubs in 2003, but come back to help beat them in seven games. My point still stand, Detroit has picked up a very good young pitcher. He will only get better in Detroit. It would not surprise me to see Willis become the staff ace in Detroit within two years.

posted by Cave_Man at 01:50 PM on December 05

He will only get better in Detroit. After 2007 how could he not get better? Couldn't get much worse.

posted by justgary at 01:54 PM on December 05

"Let me re-phrase: nothing you say ever makes any sense and it's all just Rah-rah noise where you bandwagon on someone else's comment hoping for a pat on the head. Wins are a function of a team's performance and not a good metric to measure pitchers by. There's plenty of info on it out on the web. Don't let me get in the way of Illogic Train. posted by yerfatma at 11:20 AM CST on December 5" The only person that is being illogical is you. Baseball (like any other sport, by the way) is all about wins. Baseball is a team game, a single play's weakness can be overlooked if it does not get in the way of winning too often (or often enough to prevent the team from winning it's division or a wild card berth). If your point is that Willis is going to be a flop in Detroit, you're barking up the wrong tree. The kid has the tools to be really great and he has the support system in Detroit to make him great. I write none of this easily because I am a fan of another team that is expected to content for the AL title, I do not wish Detroit well, but talent is talent and Willis is an excellent pitcher and Detroit has him, I only wish that my team had beaten them to the punch.

posted by Cave_Man at 02:01 PM on December 05

Tim Wakefield (17) had more wins than Johan Santana (15) last year, and one less loss. Maybe the Twins would be game for a straight swap of Wake for Johan.

posted by holden at 02:05 PM on December 05

Cave_Man, I'd like to reintroduce yerfatma's first post in this thread. "Wow: seems like a good trade for both sides and a huge upgrade at 3B for the Tigers. The real shocker in that link for me was that Inge is signed 'til 2010. Maybe he's one of those guys you need to see night-in, night-out, but I've just never believed in him. Can't believe Detroit let Miller go, but they're pitching is so solid already (and only better with Dontrelle in the mix). Yikes." So yes, yerfatma's argument that win-loss record is pretty crappy way to measure the quality of a pitcher has no bearing on how he feels about Willis as a pitcher. Furthermore, you and BornIcon are missing the point. No one is saying that Wins aren't all important to a team, they are. The argument is about whether or not they are a valid measurement of individual performance. The only thing illogical is BornIcon's assertion that they are. ERA, WHIP, etc, etc, are all better measurements of a pitchers worth because they measure individual, and not team, performance.

posted by apoch at 02:13 PM on December 05

Baseball (like any other sport, by the way) is all about wins. I think you may be misunderstanding what fatty is saying here. Obviously, wins are the best measure of how a team is doing, but not for an individual player. He's saying that there is much more in measuring on how a pitcher performs other than wins alone. So very much more.

posted by NoMich at 02:13 PM on December 05

"He will only get better in Detroit. After 2007 how could he not get better? Couldn't get much worse. posted by justgary at 1:54 PM CST on December 5" Willis will get better. One thing that you miss is that good pitching versus bad comes down to maybe 10 pitches per game that did not go as planned. In that vain, the statistics that you quoted mean diddly if the Detroit coaching staff can turn those errant pitches the other way (or most of them, at least). I am well steeped in statistics and know that they can be used to state anything that wants to be stated. You claim that the team behind a pitcher does not impact ERA? So you say that a pitcher feeling that he has to throw a perfect pitch to strike out a batter because the guys behind him may flub a grounder does not affect his ERA? How about a fielder that cannot catch up to a fly ball? So the pitcher tries to kiss the corner with a 3-2 count and gets a ball called, the walked runner ultimately scores, the pitcher's ERA goes up because he could not trust his fielders. Or worse yet, the pitcher tries to throw a perfect pitch to get the strike out, throws a fastball in the strike zone instead of a breaking pitch and the batter turns on it and sends it into the stands. Give me a break!!! I can promise you that Beckett would have had a larger ERA this year if not for the strong fielding behind him. Also, Beckett played at Florida when the team still had a number of good players, Willis in 2006 and 2007 played on a team that was depleted.

posted by Cave_Man at 02:26 PM on December 05

Cy Young has more than 500 wins. Why is no one trying to sign him? Blacklist! You claim that the team behind a pitcher does not impact ERA? Who said that?

posted by yerfatma at 02:28 PM on December 05

ERA is a better measurement of individual performance than Win-Loss because there is less influence of other players on the stat than Win-Loss. In a team sport there are very few stats that cannot be influenced by the players around the player being measured. (Free Throw % being the only one I can think of off the top of my head that's truly individual performance.) A pitcher could give up 10 home runs and still get a win if the guys on his team hit well. But if he only gives up one hit, a home run, and his team doesn't score a run it is a loss. In the first instance he pitched poorly and won, but would have a bad ERA. In the second instance he lost but would have a good ERA. I don't understand why you can't see that ERA is a better metric than Win-Loss for measuring an individual pitchers performance.

posted by apoch at 02:33 PM on December 05

Just for fun, Batting Average on Balls In Play for: Willis Beckett Presented without comment because I don't know that it means much, except it looks like Willis is remarkably consistent in a remarkably inconsistent stat, which suggests some of his poor performance is related to defense (to me). Certainly Hanley Ramirez and Cabrera weren't helping.

posted by yerfatma at 02:37 PM on December 05

Willis will get better. One thing that you miss is that good pitching versus bad comes down to maybe 10 pitches per game that did not go as planned. In that vain, the statistics that you quoted mean diddly if the Detroit coaching staff can turn those errant pitches the other way (or most of them, at least). I am well steeped in statistics and know that they can be used to state anything that wants to be stated. He'll get better...in the American League? Where not only is he going to have to fix those 10 troublesome pitches you reference but throw probably 15-20 more quality pitches against a player whose sole job isn't to pitch as well?

posted by YukonGold at 02:40 PM on December 05

The argument is about whether or not they are a valid measurement of individual performance. The only thing illogical is BornIcon's assertion that they are. No, that wasn't my "assertion" by any means. I was responding to the claim that "wins don't mean anything" when in fact, they do. A pitchers ERA, WHIP and Win percentage are all looked at as a whole when evaluating that pitcher. I never meant for this post to stray off the subject but it is good dialog.

posted by BornIcon at 02:47 PM on December 05

In that vain, the statistics that you quoted mean diddly. They mean exactly what they say. That willis had a terrible 2007. I am well steeped in statistics and know that they can be used to state anything that wants to be stated. Said by someone with no statistics to back up their claims, of course. Honestly, I don't get you. You ask for facts. You get them and blow them off as 'diddly'. And yet you give your argument with no statistics whatsoever backing it up. Then you say you don't care about statistics because they can say anything you want. So we'll just forget about all the statistics scouts use to help evaluate players and just rely on your opinion that willis' awful 2007 season was entirely because florida was a bad defensive team. Sound goood?

posted by justgary at 02:48 PM on December 05

A pitchers ERA, WHIP and Win percentage are all looked at as a whole when evaluating that pitcher. No, I don't believe any serious attention is paid to pitcher's win percentages. There's too much noise there: good pitchers on bad teams, bad pitchers on good teams, pitchers on teams with bad bullpens, pitchers on teams with terrific offenses. All those situations skew the number to the point where it's meaningless.

posted by yerfatma at 02:49 PM on December 05

I can promise you that Beckett would have had a larger ERA this year if not for the strong fielding behind him. Based on what? If you're steeped in stats, show us. It would seem the majority of Beckett's ERA performance resulted from not throwing balls that wound up in the stands. What defense helped with that? Other than that, he started throwing his curve more and as a result of whatever, became dominating for most of the year. What defense would have made a big difference? I mean, your actual statement is easily defensible, that Beckett's ERA would be higher if his team's defense was worse, but I'm assuming you meant to claim something non-obvious.

posted by yerfatma at 02:53 PM on December 05

BornIcon, I hope last season was an abberration, I hope you are correct about Willis doing well for the Tigers. The only problem I have is that you based your argument in favor of him on a worthless statistic, which is illogical. Winning Percentage is pretty worthless for measuring individual performance and as such is a poor indicator of how Willis will perform with the Tigers.

posted by apoch at 03:12 PM on December 05

Prove your point with facts. posted by Cave_Man I am well steeped in statistics and know that they can be used to state anything that wants to be stated. posted by Cave_man ---- A pitchers ERA, WHIP and Win percentage are all looked at as a whole when evaluating that pitcher. posted by BornIcon Not really. If you told a scout a pitcher you know has a record of 20-12 it would certainly pique his interest. If he found out that his ERA was 5.00 and he never struck out anyone, he'd pass. If he looked at a pitcher with a 3.00 ERA he wouldn't care if his record was 10-12. Most pitchers who have high winning percentages have good stats, yes. But the wins are a result of those stats, and those results are not guaranteed.

posted by justgary at 03:12 PM on December 05

Everhbody's obsessing about Willis in this thread...anyone want to take a look at the Tigers' lineup after this trade? 1. Curtis Granderson, cf 2. Placido Polanco, 2b 3. Magglio Ordonez, rf 4. Miguel Cabrera, 3b 5. Gary Sheffield, DH 6. Carlos Guillen, 1b 7. Edgar Renteria, ss 8. Jacque Jones, lf 9. Ivan Rodriguez, c. Pudge batting 9th? Yikes!

posted by TheQatarian at 03:13 PM on December 05

Pudge batting 9th? Yikes! His OPS was .714. Two points better than coco crisp. He should be hitting 9th.

posted by justgary at 03:18 PM on December 05

Justgary, Apoch, Yerfatma; Career statistics Josh Beckett versus Dontrelle Willis: Beckett: ERA: 4.35 (worst full year in NL 4.20, best 3.98, blew up in Boston in 2006, that is why his career ERA is higher than his highest NL ERA), WHIP: 1.23 (worst full year in NL: 1.32, best: 1.18). League MVP one of seven years in baseball (2007 in the AL). Willis: ERA: 4.17 (worst full year in NL 4.30, best 3.98), WHIP: 1.36 (worst full year in NL: 1.60, best: 1.13). League MVP two of five years in baseball (2003 and 2005). Beckett has the better best three year WHIP average at 1.18 versus 1.26 for Willis. Beckett and Willis have pitched roughly the same number of innings, with Willis having pitched slighly more in five years than Beckett has pitched in seven years. They look roughly the same to me. My guess is that Detroit is betting that their coaching can get Willis back to his form during his first three years in baseball (when he was very good, League MVP two of the three years and very good the third). Willis blew up in 2006 and 2007, but he had no team behind him except for a player or two. League average ERA and WHIP are calculated for Fantasy League (I don't fantasize unless I am looking at a Victoria's Secret catalog). Anyone wanting to see the information for themselves can go to: http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/willido03.shtml http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/beckejo02.shtml

posted by Cave_Man at 03:41 PM on December 05

For the last time, I was not discussing relative merits of Beckett or Willis. My whole point is that Win-Loss is a shitty statistic. I think Willis is a good pitcher, I'm excited the Tigers picked him up. That doesn't change the fact that W-L is a stupid way to measure individual performance.

posted by apoch at 03:54 PM on December 05

Look guys, you comparing apples and oranges. Let's give a example-suppose two pitches were on the market and both teams wanted to trade. Pitcher A was a 20 game winner and pitcher B was A 10 game winner. A had a ERA of 5.5 with his current team averaging 6.5 runs per game. B had a ERA of 2.5 with with his current team averaging 3.7 runs per game. Which player would you choose if all things are equal? It depends on the team and run production. Era is probably the best stat to choose for one team where wins may be better for another. Wins are important, however you always must calculate that pitcher into the overall formula of the team trying to make the trade.

posted by smdragon at 04:30 PM on December 05

"Look guys, you comparing apples and oranges. Let's give a example-suppose two pitches were on the market and both teams wanted to trade. Pitcher A was a 20 game winner and pitcher B was A 10 game winner. A had a ERA of 5.5 with his current team averaging 6.5 runs per game. B had a ERA of 2.5 with with his current team averaging 3.7 runs per game. Which player would you choose if all things are equal? It depends on the team and run production. Era is probably the best stat to choose for one team where wins may be better for another. Wins are important, however you always must calculate that pitcher into the overall formula of the team trying to make the trade. posted by smdragon at 4:30 PM CST on December 5" Good observations. From my end, I declare a truce. All of us can spin data and what we view as facts, but the fact is, only the 2008 season results will provide an idea of how well the trade has helped Detroit and Florida.

posted by Cave_Man at 04:37 PM on December 05

It depends on the team and run production. Era is probably the best stat to choose for one team where wins may be better for another. No it's not. In fact. your example shows why.

posted by justgary at 04:44 PM on December 05

justgary do you have a inside track to the the Detroit front office and their mindset? If you do, please forward your source, so all of your fellow bloggers are privy to this inside information.

posted by smdragon at 04:55 PM on December 05

do you have a inside track to the the Detroit front office and their mindset? If you do, please forward your source, so all of your fellow bloggers are privy to this inside information. I don't understand a word of that. So I'll just wait for you to explain this to me: Era is probably the best stat to choose for one team where wins may be better for another. I think that statement is complete nonsense. If you can explain it to me, without some childish insult, I'm listening.

posted by justgary at 05:03 PM on December 05

What do you want from me? I tried to settle a arguement between a couple of guys and you don't agree with my reasoning. I wasn't trying to insult you in any way. I want to know, if you know, the reason Detroit made this deal. All you want to do is argue until somebody gives up... ok, I give up. Will that satisfy you? I'm not hear to cause you embarrassment, I was only trying to settle a arguement with a fresh perspective...that's all.

posted by smdragon at 05:20 PM on December 05

Cave_Man, can you just link to the comment in question or quote smaller bits of it? It's hard to figure out exactly what you're responding to sometimes. If you want to link to a specific comment, the little quote image next to the user name has a perma-link that will jump people to the comment, so you can just do something like: <a href="http://www.sportsfilter.com/comments.cfm/9376#comment156308">Complete drivel!</a>

posted by yerfatma at 05:21 PM on December 05

I tried to settle a arguement between a couple of guys and you don't agree with my reasoning. You tried to settle an argument by agreeing with both parties. Not exactly arbitration-eligible. I wasn't trying to insult you in any way. "do you have a inside track to the the Detroit front office and their mindset? If you do, please forward your source, so all of your fellow bloggers are privy to this inside information." I suppose you could claim that comment was made in good faith. I could also claim to believe you.

posted by yerfatma at 05:23 PM on December 05

My eyes did glaze over at some point during this "discussion", but I have to say that if you can't understand why W/Ls are almost always a lousy metric to measure a pitcher by, this may be the wrong sports site for you. More specifically... yeah, the Tigers have a heck of a lineup, and while Willis clearly had a rough year last year, I'm sure most teams would be more than happy to have him as a #3-4 pitcher. I think it was someone at Baseball Prospectus who said next year's AL regular season will be fascinating- Indians, Yankees, Sox and Tigers are all loaded, but only three of them can make it into the playoffs. Someone is going to be left out, and they aren't going to be happy...

posted by tieguy at 05:24 PM on December 05

I want to know, if you know, the reason Detroit made this deal. Because they hope he returns to the pitcher he was 3, 4 years ago? Thats my guess, but I never said I knew, and that question was never asked. All you want to do is argue until somebody gives up No, it's a discussion. After several comments from several members giving multiple reasons why wins are the least important stat for a pitcher you came in with "Era is probably the best stat to choose for one team where wins may be better for another". I'm asking you to tell me how. Your example only showed how wins can be misleading. It didn't prove your point. If it's just something you believe to be true, well, I can't argue with something taken on faith, so I'll "give up".

posted by justgary at 05:33 PM on December 05

It's weird we're spending so much time talking about Willis when Miguel Cabrera's the bigger pickup. He's a four-time All Star hitting .313 with 110 RBIs a season, and he's only 24. Similar numbers at his age, according to Baseball Reference: Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey, and Frank Robinson! I don't think people realize what a monster he is at the plate, and Cabrera's reportedly working in th offseason to get into better shape.

posted by rcade at 06:21 PM on December 05

I think D-Train will have a tough first year as did Beckett pitching in the American League until he gets to know the American League hitters.I know there are probably going to be people saying that could be the opposite,that it takes more time for a batter to figure out the pitcher and his pitches.What ever way anyone wants to look at it.As for Wins,Losses,and Era,I think all three are stats to look at when looking at a pitcher.But losses can be a deceiving stat,especially when,say the starter is taken out of the game in the 7th inning and leading 5-4 with two runners on,and the reliever comes in and gives up a couple of hits and them runners score,the starters going to get the loss because he's responsible for them runners that were left on base.Yes losses can indeed be a very misleading stat.

posted by Ghastly1 at 06:26 PM on December 05

It's weird we're spending so much time talking about Willis when Miguel Cabrera's the bigger pickup. There's just not much to debate, is there? You either don't know who the guy is or you know he's up there with Pujols as the best hitters we're likely to see. The only thing worth debating is what you meant by a "monster at the plate".

posted by yerfatma at 07:38 PM on December 05

Tiges also picked up Denny Bautista, it looks like. What they're gonna do now with Inge and Thames, I don't know—Thames platooning (but he's a bum who they should ditch) and Inge as what, utility infield? He's got a little better range than Cabrera, but looking at the prospectus, it looks like Cabrera will cost about six runs per hundred games while adding, what, 9 wins? Willis looked only a little over average for his career based on ERA+, even given the absolute shit year he had, and the rumors were that he was injured and trying to play through it. Hopefully, he can get it together for us in 2007.

posted by klangklangston at 07:58 PM on December 05

Ha! We have this fight every year. Soon you will all just know. Stop fighting it. Join us. Join us. Joooooiiiinnn us. Willis sucked last year and the statistics would suggest he's over-rated. Maybe he'll pick it up. He was hurt. Wins are a bad way to judge pitching performance. It is what it is. Cabrera is a fucking monster. He's up there with Pujols (if he doesn't eat himself into Carlos Lee). Detroit, on paper, is as good as anyone and probably better. If Boston picks up Santana - that's two complete juggernauts, for sure.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:40 PM on December 05

If Boston picks up Santana... This is weird to say about a team with Manny and Ortiz, but if the Sox pick up Santana at the price of Ellsbury, I wonder a bit where the offensive firepower comes from for the Sox. Despite the offensive outburst that ended the season, last year's team sputtered a bit at times offensively, and Ellsbury looked like a very nice salve for that. And you know Lowell will regress a bit to the mean next year- he can't have career years back-to-back at his age. So... can you look a gift Santana in the mouth? No. But I think I'd rather a few more bats than arms in Fenway. [Not to mention that offering Santana $150M makes me gag a little. He's probably worth it if any pitcher is, but leave that kind of contract to the Yankees.]

posted by tieguy at 09:11 PM on December 05

offering Santana $150M makes me gag a little Ditto. I also don't want to give up Ellsbury.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:12 PM on December 05

Read most of the posts and now for my one comment then I go to bed. Pudge will make Willis the pitcher Detroit is looking for and if Willis will listen to the "ol' Pro" (Kenny Rogers), between the two of them he will be great. GO TIGERS!!!!!!

posted by coach at 10:15 PM on December 05

Giving up Ellsbury I think would be one of the biggest blunders since the Lou Gorman era. Ellsbury is the future centerfielder for the Sox.Giving up Lester and Coco Crisp and some other prospect-prospects I wouldn't mind seeing.Ellsbury has the bat and some speed on the bases,includind his hitting ability which he showed when they replaced him in center field over Crisp.As for the Tigers,right now on paper they have a lineup thats at the top pf the AL. But then again,so did the Yankees last year,and looked what happened to them.They made the playoffs.The rest is history.

posted by Ghastly1 at 10:47 PM on December 05

I want to know, if you know, the reason Detroit made this deal. Well, my guess is that the Marlins said "If you want Cabrera, you have to take Willis as well, but not for free." Willis was set to make in the neighbourhood of $6.5million, which would be more than 1/6 of the entire Marlin team payroll. They had been trying to deal him before the trade deadline in 2007, but got no takers (due to possible injury and crappy numbers). It's pretty much the same reason that Boston took Mike Lowell in order to get Josh Beckett. Now, if things turn out as well for Detroit as they did for Boston, then good for them. Read most of the posts and now for my one comment then I go to bed. Pudge will make Willis the pitcher Detroit is looking for and if Willis will listen to the "ol' Pro" (Kenny Rogers), between the two of them he will be great. GO TIGERS!!!!!! You should have gone to sleep 10 minutes earlier... Here is an article that examines catcher influence on pitcher ERA. The conclusion: "Though we would colloquially say that game-calling doesn’t exist, it’s more accurate to say that if there is a true game-calling ability, it lies below the threshold of detection. There is no statistical evidence for a large game-calling ability, but that doesn’t preclude that a small ability. For example, a genuine game-calling ability that reduces a pitcher’s ERA by 0.01, resulting in a savings of about 1.6 runs per year for the entire team and could be masked by the statistical variance in the sample size we have to work with. Players would need to play thousands more games than they actually do to have enough data to successfully detect such a skill statistically." And what will Rogers tell Willis? How to only punch with his non-pitching hand when he goes after cameramen?

posted by grum@work at 10:56 PM on December 05

Ditto. I also don't want to give up Ellsbury. That's gotta be a World Series hangover. You think Ellsbury is too much to pay for Santana? Why, dear god, why? Outfielder production is easier to replace than "best starting pitcher in the world". I don't see how you can't do that deal. With Lester. Santana, Beckett, Matsuzaka? Just make the playoffs, baby. You still have the offence - and no other team touches that front three.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:43 PM on December 05

It's weird we're spending so much time talking about Willis when Miguel Cabrera's the bigger pickup. As yerfatma said, I don't think there's much to discuss. Unless he eats himself out of the league that's a great pick-up by detroit. Willis, however, could go either way. If he goes back to being a staff ace, the deal is fantastic for detroit. If he continues to be a bad pitcher, which is what he was last year, maybe florida ends up with a better deal than most people think As for Wins,Losses,and Era,I think all three are stats to look at when looking at a pitcher...losses can indeed be a very misleading stat. And wins can be just as misleading. A pitcher can give up 5 runs in 5 innings and still win. That's awful pitching. Why after several members have shown why wins and losses are a poor metric for evaluating a pitcher are there new comments that simply say 'wins are important too' without explaining why? For the love of god is there a camera around? Am I being punk'd? This is weird to say about a team with Manny and Ortiz, but if the Sox pick up Santana at the price of Ellsbury, I wonder a bit where the offensive firepower comes from for the Sox. It's easier to pick up offense at mid-season than pitching. And sure, lowell probably will slip back. But manny could easily bring better numbers, and ortiz was hurt the entire year. That's gotta be a World Series hangover. You think Ellsbury is too much to pay for Santana? Why, dear god, why? Outfielder production is easier to replace than "best starting pitcher in the world". Yeah, there are sentimental reasons not to trade ellsbury, or maybe you don't want to spend the money, but if you want to win that deal is a no brainer. Unless santana falls off the cliff the team is better with him than ellsbury (and I love watching ellsbury play). --- Would They Have Been Worth It?

posted by justgary at 02:22 AM on December 06

Yeah, much as I love Ellsbury, some feel he projects as a Bret Butler-type player, not the offensive machine people are thinking.

posted by yerfatma at 06:34 AM on December 06

...and you thought things were getting dicey! Now we're onto the Red Sox

posted by YukonGold at 07:08 AM on December 06

While we've been concentrating on Willis specifically, and Detroit in general, the Florida end of this deal is pretty impressive, too. They give up two guys (granted, one of them could very well end up with Manny-like offensive stats), and got six guys in return, including four pitchers. Even better for the Marlins, two of those prospects were supposed to be rock-solid foundations for the future in Detroit. Cameron Maybin could have been a great OF complement for Granderson; instead, the awe-inspiring duo of Jacque Jones and Marcus Thames will platoon this year, at least. Mags had a great season last year, but he's not getting any younger (he'll be 38 in January). Andrew Miller probably could have helped a rotation that, besides Justin Verlander's 18 wins and 3.66 ERA, sported a cumulative 31-33 record and 4.74 ERA last year. Plus, Kenny Rogers is 43 years old and was only able to make 11 starts last year, with two trips to the DL. So, while Cabrera is a monster at the plate (and the buffet), and Willis is capable of 15-20 wins, 200 IP, 200 K, and a sub-4 ERA, six-for-two (including Miller, last year's #1 draft pick and Maybin, #10 in 2005) is still a pretty good deal for the Marlins, who could win a World Series with these guys and have them sold off again in five years or less, if history is any indicator. I heard Peter Gammons say last night that the Marlins now have a $10 million payroll for 2008. That puts the entire team's worth at one-tenth of Johan Santana, if current market value is to be believed.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:33 AM on December 06

The only problem I have is that you based your argument in favor of him on a worthless statistic Again, I did no such thing. I did mentioned his win-loss record but I also mentioned that he was the 2003 Rookie of the Year, a 2-time All-Star and also a World Series champion. The only thing that transpired since I posted that comment was that someone made the claim that "wins don't mean anything" and I just so happen to disagree with that claim. I clearly do understand how a pitcher is evaluated but in the long run and towards the end of a pitchers career, a lot is put into how many wins does he have (Clemens, Glavine, Maddox to name a few) and how they stack up against the best pitchers in MLB history. Early in Dontrelle Willis' career, he was being compared to some of the all-time greats but since last years debacle, people are saying that he's done. Willis is just 26 years old and never been seriously injured even though there's talk that he may have been injured last year and just didn't mention it. I do believe that last year was just that, last year. He won't have to go against the ace of the other team and will probably be a #3 or #4 starter so the pressure of having to always throw the perfect pitch won't be in the back of his mind. Also, having Pudge Rodriguez catching & calling the game should help since they were teammates back in their Florida days (2003 World Series champs) so they should be familiar with one another's strengths & weaknesses.

posted by BornIcon at 09:24 AM on December 06

I clearly do understand how a pitcher is evaluated but in the long run Then explain how wins matter. Would you say this represents the best pitchers of all time, properly ranked?

posted by yerfatma at 09:50 AM on December 06

Then explain how wins matter How about you try explaining how winning doesn't matter. No true competitor goes into a game thinking that they're not better than their opponent and that they're not going to win and if they do, then they already lost. Try this on for size.

posted by BornIcon at 10:29 AM on December 06

How about you try explaining how winning doesn't matter. See about a dozen comments in this thread. Can you sum up how your link is relevant for me? Because a pitcher doesn't win a game by himself. That's all anyone on the other side of your argument is trying to get across.

posted by yerfatma at 11:06 AM on December 06

"9. Digging Deep. Champions live for those make-it or break-it pivotal moments in a contest that make great theater. They compete to taste those times when only a supreme back-breaking effort will propel them to victory. They want to have a story to tell. They want to be a in a contest that is meaningful and significant and that will be remembered for a long, long time. They reach deep down inside themselves to find the magic needed to win." I love so many things about this passage. The phrase "compete to taste." The idea that only winners like to tell stories. The ridiculous cliche of reaching deep down inside yourself to find "magic." Not to mention the use of adjectives to modify other adjectives ("supreme back-breaking effort"). Someone needs to tell Coach Bill Cole that CHAMPIONS USE ADVERBS!

posted by Venicemenace at 12:10 PM on December 06

Hey, the advice worked for Dane Cook.

posted by yerfatma at 12:17 PM on December 06

BornIcon, when measuring an individual pitchers performance Win-Loss record doesn't matter. Why? Because it only measures how well his team performed when he took the mound. Regardless of the outcome, it says nothing about how well he pitched that day. So, for the thousandth time, it is a worthless statistic. Just because some people talk about great pitchers win counts, doesn't mean it is a valid measure of their ability. You've never once shown how a pitcher's Win-Loss record to be a valid measure of ability. You can spout all the platitudes and hermisms you want, but you have provided no concrete evidence that I, or anyone else, should give a gold plated rat's ass about Willis' Win-Loss record.

posted by apoch at 12:29 PM on December 06

Does Bill Cole realize that he has a future in erotic fiction?

1. Second Effort (first of all how can the first one contain "second") 2. Get It Done 3. The Killer Instinct 4. Raising Your Game 5. Coming From Behind 6. Playing to Win 7. Avoid "Playing Not to Lose" 8. Avoid "Protecting a Lead" 9. Digging Deep 10. In-The-Zone 11. Getting the Momentum 12. No Mind Games

posted by YukonGold at 12:55 PM on December 06

That's gotta be a World Series hangover. You think Ellsbury is too much to pay for Santana? Why, dear god, why? Outfielder production is easier to replace than "best starting pitcher in the world". I think Ellsbury will likely never have more value in trade than he has now, but if other teams would be likely to overvalue him at this point, I also think Red Sox fandom probably perceives him the same way, so it would be a tough sell. I find it highly unlikely that he'll ever slug .500 over a full season or come close to reproducing his roughly .350/.390/.500 line from the majors last year. That said, if he goes for .310/.360/.440 or so, which I would think he's likely to do, with above average CF defense, that's still very valuable.

posted by holden at 01:28 PM on December 06

Can you sum up how your link is relevant for me? Because a pitcher doesn't win a game by himself. Easily. You made the claim that "wins don't mean anything" and that's just not true regardlesss what sport you speak of. Winning is what everyone in sports is trying to accomplish. You've never once shown how a pitcher's Win-Loss record to be a valid measure of ability That's because I never stated that a pitcher's win-loss record is what validates him as a great pitcher. How many times do I have to say that I was responding to the comment "wins don't mean anything" when in fact, it means something.

posted by BornIcon at 01:32 PM on December 06

Yukon, either that or he copped this in its entirety from the track listing of a forgotten 1980s Kenny Loggins album.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:34 PM on December 06

Easily. You made the claim that "wins don't mean anything" and that's just not true regardlesss what sport you speak of. Winning is what everyone in sports is trying to accomplish. I can't remember a single time you've actually engaged in sensible debate. Instead, you keep trying to shift the facts and reframe the argument. My statement "Wins don't mean anything" was in response to your pointing to Dontrelle's winning % as a positive indicator (I even went so far as to pull-quote your statement right above it for the slow kids in the back of the class). At each turn I have presented my opinion in support of my original argument which, I think is clear, is that "Wins don't mean anything [when measuring a pitcher's value]." Now you're trying to suggest I think wins don't matter in professional sports and you're trying to say all you were defending is the idea "Winning is what everyone in sports is trying to accomplish." WHICH IS A COMPLETE TAUTOLOGY AND IF IT WEREN'T TRUE THIS SITE WOULDN'T EXIST BECAUSE THERE'D BE NOTHING TO DEBATE. Upon reflection, I think that's my frustration: when challenged, you fall back on tautologies because they're built-in safe places where you can't lose. It's like arguing with a wall.

posted by yerfatma at 01:41 PM on December 06

That's because I never stated that a pitcher's win-loss record is what validates him as a great pitcher. You used Willis' Win-Loss record as support for your opinion that he is under-rated. It would logically follow that you think that it is a good indicator of quality.

posted by apoch at 01:58 PM on December 06

"That's because I never stated that a pitcher's win-loss record is what validates him as a great pitcher. You used Willis' Win-Loss record as support for your opinion that he is under-rated. It would logically follow that you think that it is a good indicator of quality. posted by apoch at 1:58 PM CST on December 6" Cave_man says: That is complete fabrication. BornIcon's point was not that at all, I append what he wrote. "Blockbuster trade? I dunno Dontrelle Willis is such an UNDER-rated player. You're talking about the 2003 Rookie of the year and a 2 time All-Star (2003, 2005) that stands at 6'4" and is just 26 year old...by the way, he's a left handed pitcher. His win-loss record for his 5 years in the big leagues is at 57% (68-54) and the guy can flat-out hit for a pitcher. By the way, didn't he also participate in his team (Marlins) winning the World Series in 2003 against the mighty Yankees? A change of scenery may just be what Dontrelle Willis needs since he and Cabrera are the last two players from the Marlins' last World Series team and he was in a sense, a throw in for the Cabrera deal to Detroit. Blockbuster trade? Sure, why not? posted by BornIcon at 9:21 AM CST on December 5" BornIcon pointed out that Willis was MVP in his league two of his first three years (2003 and 2005). Last I knew, the league MVP was a pretty good player. The Tigers seem to be betting that they can capture Willis' first three years in baseball and not the last two, he is young and has a good track record (regardless of what has been written here by some), so their chance of getting what they hope for is reasonably good. If Detroit succeeds, they made the pitching steal of the last 10 years. Yerfatma; If you do not understand what quotes mean then I will leave you to deal with that issue.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:27 PM on December 06

Fabrication? Wait, what? How so? He said Willis was under-rated. Gave supporting evidence, one piece of which was his Win-Loss record. The only reasonable reason to bring it up in that context is to support his argument that Willis is under-rated and the only way it can support the argument is that if it is a valid measure of pitcher quality. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that BornIcon believes Win-Loss to be indicator of pitcher quality. You can bring up the MVPs, or the possible thinking of the Tigers, or even how good a pitcher Willis is or was or could be, but that isn't what is under debate! The argument has only been about whether or not Win-Loss record is valid measure of pitcher quality. We can ignore Willis' numbers and change this to Pitcher A, because it doesn't matter who we talk about, Win-Loss does not measure the quality of a pitcher's performance.

posted by apoch at 02:51 AM on December 07

Yerfatma; If you do not understand what quotes mean then I will leave you to deal with that issue. I was simply asking a favor as it would make your responses easier to parse and your meaning clearer. If you choose not to do so, that's entirely up to you.

posted by yerfatma at 04:23 AM on December 07

Cave_Man, the way you are structuring your responses, by cutting and pasting the entire quotes of other members, makes your commentary almost entirely unreadable. I don't know where your comment starts and the cut and pasted comments end. See how yerfatma used italics? Do that.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:48 AM on December 07

Formatting issues aside...there is a blatant factual error being bandied about here. BornIcon pointed out that Willis was MVP in his league two of his first three years (2003 and 2005). Last I knew, the league MVP was a pretty good player. Of course he is, but where on earth did you get the idea that Dontrelle Willis was ever voted MVP? He picked up a last-place vote in 2003 and finished 11th in 2005. Here are BI's arguments for why Dontrelle is underrated and my responses: 2003 Rookie of the Year - He won an award, therefore he is underrated? I don't get it. Regardless, looking at the numbers, I think Brandon Webb was robbed. Two time All-Star - again, this undermines the argument that he is underrated. Being underrated means that people do not appreciate your talents. Yet D-Train was tapped for the All Star game twice! 6'4", 26 years old - Not a drawback to be sure, but this also roughly describes Anthony Reyes (6'2", 25 yo, 2-14, 6+ ERA, 73 ERA+) and any number of other young pitchers who may or may not be any good. In and of itself this means nothing. Win-loss record - this has been adequately addressed, hasn't it? Great hitting pitcher - who was just traded to the AL. Dontrelle's numbers last year were comparable to those of Livan Hernandez. Hopefully he will bounce back - but I don't see any evidence that the guy is underrated. If anything, the evidence cited by BI, taken in conjunction with his more telling stats, indicates that he's overrated.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:16 AM on December 07

Oops...missed one. Participated in Marlins' 2003 WS victory - Pitching 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Digging deeper, I found that he had a strong outing in game 1, but was weak in game 3 (walk, fly ball, single, walk). One good outing, one crappy outing. Nothing to scoff at, but hardly convincing evidence of underratedness.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:35 AM on December 07

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