The net effect of this is that dealing Smoltz was a great deal for the Braves, as he accumulated 168 weighted Win Shares for the Braves, while Alexander would have accumulated 12. That’s a difference of 156 weighted Win Shares in favor of the Braves.
And for the Tigers, it was also a good deal. Alexander accumulated 74 weighted Win Shares for them, while Smoltz would have accumulated 66. That’s a difference of eight weighted Win Shares in the Tigers’ favor.
That’s right. If you are willing to jump through all those hoops with me, this deal was a Win/Win outcome! Despite the lopsided nature of the initial Win Share totals, the Tigers actually made themselves a good deal. The Braves’ side of the deal was much better, but that doesn’t detract from the Tigers’ side of the math. If a deal had a positive variance in your favor, you made a good deal for yourself even if the other team had a bigger variance.
Imagine that, a trade that benefits both parties! It’s just so amazing how hard it is for economists to convince non-economists that trade is mutually beneficial.