Comments on: Defending the Jayson Werth Deal http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/ Economic Thinking about Baseball Sun, 09 Jan 2011 17:16:18 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Marc Schneider http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110891 Thu, 09 Dec 2010 18:58:08 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110891 Let’s put it this way. People aren’t going to the games. If the Nats announce, well, we are going to take this money and invest it in the farm system, even fewer people will go to the games. Sometimes, you have to make a short-term move to enable long-term moves. Intellectually, you can say it doesn’t matter if the Nats win 73 or 75 or 80 games but to people deciding whether to spend their money, it makes a big difference if the team looks like they are trying, especially since they are playing in a ballpark given to them by the city.

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By: JamesR http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110884 Wed, 08 Dec 2010 21:22:58 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110884 John S:

A mistake like that turning up on two jerseys for three innings once is NOT the same as happening on “multiple occasions”. Check your facts before trying to defend someone else’s sub-par sense of humor.

Majestic also took responsibility for the mistake (see the link in the name), so perhaps the argument should be that they’re the ones who prefer the name?

That said, I do think this deal has merits beyond just performance on the field. The chances of this deal cratering towards the end are pretty high, and perhaps the marginal increase in wins in the short term won’t be fully justified by the price tag. But, like Mark S. said in the first comment, this also has to be viewed as at least a token effort by the club to show its fans (as well as current and future players) that it’s willing to spend money to get top-flight free agents. Like the saying goes, you have to spend money to … be able to spend more money in the future?

After nearly five cellar-dwelling seasons of rebuilding, it may take more than a 69-win season to keep even the most hardy fans interested in the team….

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By: John Sullivan http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110875 Wed, 08 Dec 2010 14:39:07 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110875 MarkW:
It appears that there isn’t an exact 1:1 relationship between an owner’s wealth and the willingness to have a high payroll. An example: Pohlad in Minnesota is crazy rich, but until last year they consistently had a payroll in the bottom half of the league. So I wouldn’t fully dismiss my point that the $126MM going to Werth perhaps might have been the best use of that money. Even if adding Werth adds 3 wins to the team, they’re still a long ways off from contending.

Yes, we can’t fully judge this Werth deal in a vacuum i.e. just by itself. But I think it’s fair to look at the organization’s (putrid) performance record over the past few years and I think one shouldn’t be surprised if the team still flounders in the years ahead.

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By: John Sullivan http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110874 Wed, 08 Dec 2010 14:30:06 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110874 Hi MarkW:

A bunch of people have been calling them the Natinals (sic) b/c some players on the team have on multiple occasions last year worn jersies that didn’t have the ‘O’ in them. If it happened only once, then people could understand. But it happened a few times. Google the term Natinals and look at the images. If the team sends its representatives out there w/ Natinals written on their uniforms, then one could argue that that’s what the organization wants to be called.

All in good fun,
John

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By: MarkW http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110867 Tue, 07 Dec 2010 17:50:18 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110867 To the poster saying that the Nats would be better off spending that $18M/year on the amateur draft, makes a good point. But the Nats owner is worth $2-3B (Billion) according to Forbes, and can afford to spend $18M on Werrth, and another $18M on the farm. Pretty sure that Ted lerner is the richest owner in the MLB.

I expect that given the Nats track record in signing Strasburg, Harper, Solis and AJ Cole in the past 2 years, that they are committed to keeping the farm fully populated.

For commentors that use the term “Natinals” – I’m sure I’m not the only one who stops reading at that point.

I don’t know if this is going to turn out to be a good contract or not. But it was a necessary contract. At some point, the Nats need to start winning and putting those pieces together. And Werth is one of those pieces.

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By: Sky http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110866 Tue, 07 Dec 2010 16:22:00 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110866 I was looking at page 57:

“Yes, some players do fall off a cliff at the end of their careers — sometimes in their early 30s — but such occurrences are unlikely to be the natural product of aging. An abrupt performance decline is normally the product of a major injury or another significant effect. General managers who sign a player in their 30s should expect a decline; but, the decline is so gradual that an excellent player will continue to be a good player for many years beyond his peak.”

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By: John Sullivan http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110864 Tue, 07 Dec 2010 15:49:41 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110864 We can argue whether or not 7 years $126m is the appropriate value for Werth. The reason that I question the deal is I don’t think that the highest value the organization could have gotten out of this spent $18m/year is/was on Werth (a player who is peaking now). The Nats aren’t winning next year. I think there are other places where this money could have been better spent (investing in the future i.e. on more draftees w/ signability issues and/or international free agents). The Nats may now win 75 games next year instead of 73, but at a cost of having been able to spend that money on more potential stars that will pay dividends the same time Harper is ready. I think that the Werth signing prolongs any substantial longer-term improvement for the Nats.

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By: JC http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110863 Tue, 07 Dec 2010 15:49:09 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110863 I do not separate aging from attrition in my study. Attrition relates to why the mode method for estimating peak age is likely biased. If you are curious about the study, the study is published, I have written about it elsewhere, and I explain my method in my book.

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By: Sky http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2010/12/defending-the-jayson-werth-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-110862 Tue, 07 Dec 2010 15:07:00 +0000 http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/?p=3575#comment-110862 Correct me if I’m wrong, buy your aging study attempts to separate aging effects from other attrition effects, such as chance of injury. Do you include those other attrition effects in your model?

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