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Is A Deal For Billy Butler Still Possible?


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Thanks Stotle. If you are the GM of a team would you prefer Matusz or Arrieta in a trade and which one do you think is more coachable based on your contacts? We've heard both have had issues with coaches however Matusz seemed to rally in his new role out of the pen.

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I am aware that he had a fabulous season with the bat in his hands.

I still think Trout was more valuable when you factor in baserunning and defense.

Not only that, but he didn't start the season with the Angels. He almost single handedly salvaged the season due to Pujols poor start. If Trout doesn't have his season the Angels are nowhere close to the playoffs. Cabrera quite possibly hurt Detroit defensively.

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Matt Wieters is a bad baserunner (-4.1 BSR/600 PA), but he is about 25% better than Billy Butler (-5.4). The upgrade, in terms of speed, from Butler to Wieters, is about the same as the upgrade from Nick Markakis (+0.7 BSR/600) to Adam Jones (+2.1).

Also, to JohnnyK27, what would you project in terms of offensive production from a Betemit/Valencia or Betemit/Pearce platoon? Let's say Betemit gets 400 PA, of which 350 are vs RHP and 50 are vs LHP, and Valencia gets 150 PA, of which 125 are vs LHP and 25 are vs RHP. What OPS would you expect from those 550 PA? What OPS would you expect if Billy Butler got all 550 PA?

Maybe .750 ish. Im not sure if Valencia can stick ... Going back to 2011 he was still a .240 hitter... Hardly a solid platoon guy imo. Also the Os have Pearce because no one else wanted him. Havent you seen enough? I know I have, As Ive said I think it's the waste of a extra roster spots and the inflexibility it adds. How many 1B/ DH types des this team need. And Butler ran pretty well on the doubles he hit against us at Camden. I think his speed is better than those projections. There's no way he slower than Wieters IMO.

For Butler he could well .900 OPS with half his games at Camden. The park would definitely favor him with the short porch.

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Gausman was up to 96 in the 6th inning of a game I saw down in Baton Rouge in the spring -- hit 98 in the second inning down in the zone. The arm is legit and it's a lively ball on a tough angle. Really good when everything's clicking. Potential monster.

Alan Dunn certainly raves about what he has seen. There ar a few folks around here who think he would serve the organization best as a PTBL. I tell them there is NO way that works.

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Maybe .750 ish. Im not sure if Valencia can stick ... Going back to 2011 he was still a .240 hitter... Hardly a solid platoon guy imo. Also the Os have Pearce because no one else wanted him. Havent you seen enough? I know I have, As Ive said I think it's the waste of a extra roster spots and the inflexibility it adds. How many 1B/ DH types des this team need. And Butler ran pretty well on the doubles he hit against us at Camden. I think his speed is better than those projections. There's no way he slower than Wieters IMO.

For Butler he could well .900 OPS with half his games at Camden. The park would definitely favor him with the short porch.

The BSR numbers aren't projections; they're career totals averaged to give a per-season number. BSR is a composite stat that takes every aspect of baserunning into account, including stolen bases, success rate, going from 1st to 3rd on a single, scoring from 2nd on a single, scoring from 1st on a double, etc. Butler has absolutely been (a bit) slower than Wieters over the course of their respective careers - I don't see how you can argue otherwise, given the stats.

And, while I disagree, I'll play around with your OPS number a bit. A 500 PA DH who hits .750, with average baserunning, would be worth 0.9 WAR (link to calculator). A 500 PA DH who hits like Billy Butler's career line (.830 OPS) with -5 baserunning, would be worth 1.9 WAR.

Now for the kicker: will Chris Tillman be worth at least 1 WAR in 2013? (Or, perhaps, will he be worth 1 WAR more than whoever else would get his IP?) And is a 1 win upgrade worth Tillman+$15M?

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The BSR numbers aren't projections; they're career totals averaged to give a per-season number. BSR is a composite stat that takes every aspect of baserunning into account, including stolen bases, success rate, going from 1st to 3rd on a single, scoring from 2nd on a single, scoring from 1st on a double, etc. Butler has absolutely been (a bit) slower than Wieters over the course of their respective careers - I don't see how you can argue otherwise, given the stats.

And, while I disagree, I'll play around with your OPS number a bit. A 500 PA DH who hits .750, with average baserunning, would be worth 0.9 WAR (link to calculator). A 500 PA DH who hits like Billy Butler's career line (.830 OPS) with -5 baserunning, would be worth 1.9 WAR.

Now for the kicker: will Chris Tillman be worth at least 1 WAR in 2013? (Or, perhaps, will he be worth 1 WAR more than whoever else would get his IP?) And is a 1 win upgrade worth Tillman+$15M?

Why would you use his career OPS? What a person did 5,6 or 7 years ago is irrelevant to how you value them today. I really doubt you'd refer to Adam Jones' career .775 OPS if you were trying to figure out what WAR he was going to produce this year. Fact is, over the last 4 seasons Butler has on average held an .854 OPS and been worth 2.55WAR and he's coming off his strongest season of his career(.882OPS). Frankly I'm baffled as to why people wouldn't be thrilled if the Royals parted with a guy who is a virtual lock for .850+OPS for only Tillman. Only thing I can come up with is that people see Tillman's sub 3 era and don't realize that it's based on one hundred percent unsustainable peripherals.

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I'll play along .....Butler has been a 9.5 war player over his 6 year career.

Your precious platoon of scrap heap players Betemit 10 years (2.3) war, Valencia has been a .2 war player in his 3 year career. Throw away his rookie season and he's a neg war player. C Jackson has been a neg war player since 2009 And only 1.2 war his entire six year career. To go further outside of one good season he's a negative War player. And last and certainly least the highly coveted Steve Pearce has been a neg .2 war player in his glorious 5 year career.

I don't see how you or others here can argue the merits of a collection of irrelevant players compared to that of a guy that is. One of e better hitters in the game. I'm certain you are not going to argue the stats? I want Butler for his bat... his high OBP, his ability to hit for power, his ability to drive in runs, his IMO improved OPS outside of Kauffman.

I could see Butler doing what Ortiz did for the Red Sox. So far Butler at 27 is more valuable than Big Papi was at the same age. If he peaks similarly he will be worth a ton over the next 4-5 seasons. I'm certain Ortiz Base running numbers are pretty bad also and I dont think you'll find anyone from Boston complaining about it.

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And, while I disagree, I'll play around with your OPS number a bit. A 500 PA DH who hits .750, with average baserunning, would be worth 0.9 WAR (link to calculator). A 500 PA DH who hits like Billy Butler's career line (.830 OPS) with -5 baserunning, would be worth 1.9 WAR.

Are you factoring in BSR to Betemit and Valencia's WAR? I thought they were below average baserunners.

Now for the kicker: will Chris Tillman be worth at least 1 WAR in 2013? (Or, perhaps, will he be worth 1 WAR more than whoever else would get his IP?) And is a 1 win upgrade worth Tillman+$15M?

We could trade Tillman and lose his 1 WAR or more and have Britton, Arrieta, Matusz, Johnson produce the same in his place.

Does BSR take into effect who's hitting behind someone? I would think a baserunner who has more righthanded batters behind him would have a lower BSR then someone with lefthanders. More singles to left field mean less chances to go from 1st to 3rd.

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I'll play along .....Butler has been a 9.5 war player over his 6 year career.

Your precious platoon of scrap heap players Betemit 10 years (2.3) war, Valencia has been a .2 war player in his 3 year career. Throw away his rookie season and he's a neg war player. C Jackson has been a neg war player since 2009 And only 1.2 war his entire six year career. To go further outside of one good season he's a negative War player. And last and certainly least the highly coveted Steve Pearce has been a neg .2 war player in his glorious 5 year career.

I don't see how you or others here can argue the merits of a collection of irrelevant players compared to that of a guy that is. One of e better hitters in the game. I'm certain you are not going to argue the stats? I want Butler for his bat... his high OBP, his ability to hit for power, his ability to drive in runs, his IMO improved OPS outside of Kauffman.

I could see Butler doing what Ortiz did for the Red Sox. So far Butler at 27 is more valuable than Big Papi was at the same age. If he peaks similarly he will be worth a ton over the next 4-5 seasons. I'm certain Ortiz Base running numbers are pretty bad also and I dont think you'll find anyone from Boston complaining about it.

And if I may add to that point (which is a great one) that you'd have to "waste" valuable roster spots by taking this approach. And the Big Papi comparison is an excellent one. Unfortunately we're not getting Butler for anything short of Tillman. He's a young, proven star and it would take a top rated prospect or a player who has experienced sustained success at the ML level to land him. Tillman, Britton, Arrieta, and Matusz don't fit the bill.

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And if I may add to that point (which is a great one) that you'd have to "waste" valuable roster spots by taking this approach. And the Big Papi comparison is an excellent one. Unfortunately we're not getting Butler for anything short of Tillman. He's a young, proven star and it would take a top rated prospect or a player who has experienced sustained success at the ML level to land him. Tillman, Britton, Arrieta, and Matusz don't fit the bill.

I meant short of "Bundy."

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And if I may add to that point (which is a great one) that you'd have to "waste" valuable roster spots by taking this approach. And the Big Papi comparison is an excellent one. Unfortunately we're not getting Butler for anything short of Tillman. He's a young, proven star and it would take a top rated prospect or a player who has experienced sustained success at the ML level to land him. Tillman, Britton, Arrieta, and Matusz don't fit the bill.
I meant short of "Bundy."

Actually, the part where you said "we're not getting Butler" was spot on.

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I'll play along .....Butler has been a 9.5 war player over his 6 year career.

So, about 1.5 WAR/year? I estimated 1.9 in my calcs above... Sounds like we're in agreement here on Butler's value...

Your precious platoon of scrap heap players Betemit 10 years (2.3) war, Valencia has been a .2 war player in his 3 year career. Throw away his rookie season and he's a neg war player. C Jackson has been a neg war player since 2009 And only 1.2 war his entire six year career. To go further outside of one good season he's a negative War player. And last and certainly least the highly coveted Steve Pearce has been a neg .2 war player in his glorious 5 year career.

Snarky adjectives aside, the entire point of a platoon is to get more production at a single lineup spot than either player would provide on their own. Looking at career WAR numbers is not the way to evaluate a possible platoon.

Using my estimated PA numbers, and their respective career splits vs LHP/RHP (SSS warning for Valencia), here's what a possible Betemit/Valencia produce offensively (OBP/SLG):

Betemit 350 PA vs RHP: .349/.474

Betemit 50 PA vs LHP: .285/.352

Valencia 125 PA vs LHP: .359/.472

Valencia 25 PA vs RHP: .271/.355

Overall, that's 550 PAs to the tune of a .342/.458, or an .800 OPS. Betemit and Valencia are about -2 BSR/600, instead of -5.4. Using that WAR estimator, and a -2.8 BSR figure (limited options), that platoon would be worth 1.6 WAR. Even if Butler hits like he did in 2012, his best offensive season so far, he'd be worth about 2.8 WAR. It's about a one-win upgrade, and it comes at a large cost.

And it comes with the flexibility to use Betemit and Valencia as replacement corner infielders in long games, or as pinch hitters vs closers of the appropriate handedness. You can keep repeating that "player X is a bad player" but that misses the entire point - yes, Betemit is not as good a hitter as Butler, but much of that gap can be closed via platoon.

I don't see how you or others here can argue the merits of a collection of irrelevant players compared to that of a guy that is. One of e better hitters in the game. I'm certain you are not going to argue the stats? I want Butler for his bat... his high OBP, his ability to hit for power, his ability to drive in runs, his IMO improved OPS outside of Kauffman.

I think I just did.

I could see Butler doing what Ortiz did for the Red Sox. So far Butler at 27 is more valuable than Big Papi was at the same age. If he peaks similarly he will be worth a ton over the next 4-5 seasons. I'm certain Ortiz Base running numbers are pretty bad also and I dont think you'll find anyone from Boston complaining about it.

This is a really telling point. First, Ortiz was definitely a bad base runner, but actually significantly better than Butler (-4.2 vs -5.4) - Ortiz was more in the Matt Wieters class as a baserunner. Second, Ortiz was a decent but not spectacular hitter through age 26 (.808 OPS), and he had an otherworldly breakout that started when he went to Boston at age 27 - five seasons with an average OPS of 1.014. Now, it's possible Butler is about to break out in a similar way, but that's a belief or feeling, not something that can really be proven (of course, I'd be interested to see an attempt to predict breakouts...). And if you believe that Butler is about to put up a 1.000 OPS for five straight years, then sure, he's worth a ton, and we should be seeing if the Royals are interested in Manny Machado or Dylan Bundy.

But it's a pretty far longshot to expect that kind of production from Butler. Another very similar hitter to Butler through age 26 is Nick Markakis. I think we'd all be pretty disappointed with Nick's offensive production over the last two seasons if he wasn't playing good defense in right field and his baserunning went from just-above-average to worst-in-the-league.

I'm willing to accept that you think Butler is going to be much more valuable than he has been thus far in his career, and is therefore worth more in trade. I don't agree, but I don't see much point in discussing it - it's not something that can be proven or disproven.

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So, about 1.5 WAR/year? I estimated 1.9 in my calcs above... Sounds like we're in agreement here on Butler's value...

Snarky adjectives aside, the entire point of a platoon is to get more production at a single lineup spot than either player would provide on their own. Looking at career WAR numbers is not the way to evaluate a possible platoon.

Using my estimated PA numbers, and their respective career splits vs LHP/RHP (SSS warning for Valencia), here's what a possible Betemit/Valencia produce offensively (OBP/SLG):

Betemit 350 PA vs RHP: .349/.474

Betemit 50 PA vs LHP: .285/.352

Valencia 125 PA vs LHP: .359/.472

Valencia 25 PA vs RHP: .271/.355

Overall, that's 550 PAs to the tune of a .342/.458, or an .800 OPS. Betemit and Valencia are about -2 BSR/600, instead of -5.4. Using that WAR estimator, and a -2.8 BSR figure (limited options), that platoon would be worth 1.6 WAR. Even if Butler hits like he did in 2012, his best offensive season so far, he'd be worth about 2.8 WAR. It's about a one-win upgrade, and it comes at a large cost.

And it comes with the flexibility to use Betemit and Valencia as replacement corner infielders in long games, or as pinch hitters vs closers of the appropriate handedness. You can keep repeating that "player X is a bad player" but that misses the entire point - yes, Betemit is not as good a hitter as Butler, but much of that gap can be closed via platoon.

I think I just did.

This is a really telling point. First, Ortiz was definitely a bad base runner, but actually significantly better than Butler (-4.2 vs -5.4) - Ortiz was more in the Matt Wieters class as a baserunner. Second, Ortiz was a decent but not spectacular hitter through age 26 (.808 OPS), and he had an otherworldly breakout that started when he went to Boston at age 27 - five seasons with an average OPS of 1.014. Now, it's possible Butler is about to break out in a similar way, but that's a belief or feeling, not something that can really be proven (of course, I'd be interested to see an attempt to predict breakouts...). And if you believe that Butler is about to put up a 1.000 OPS for five straight years, then sure, he's worth a ton, and we should be seeing if the Royals are interested in Manny Machado or Dylan Bundy.

But it's a pretty far longshot to expect that kind of production from Butler. Another very similar hitter to Butler through age 26 is Nick Markakis. I think we'd all be pretty disappointed with Nick's offensive production over the last two seasons if he wasn't playing good defense in right field and his baserunning went from just-above-average to worst-in-the-league.

I'm willing to accept that you think Butler is going to be much more valuable than he has been thus far in his career, and is therefore worth more in trade. I don't agree, but I don't see much point in discussing it - it's not something that can be proven or disproven.

Well that basically settles that... but there is something to be said for using 2 roster spots for 1 slash line.

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