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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Metsies superior to Bronx Bookeepers?

The Mets did it.  They signed Yoenis Cespedes, the third and last free agent who could hit.  He's not the big bopper of the three, that's Chris Davis, but he bopped plenty in his two rental months that drove the Mets into the 2015 tournament.  Congratulations to the Mets for doing what the Yankees would not.

Wilpon v. Steinbrenner seems like a match geared more to the country club than the ball club.  Fred/Jeff v. Hal/Hank does not make the blood boil.  Apparently Hal's policy was to hold his breath and not sign ANY free agents.  How long Hal can maintain either of those positions remains to be seen.

Only the Toronto Blue Jays scored more runs than the Yankees in 2015, so maybe the Yankees could be excused for not going after free agents Cespedes, Davis or Justin Upton.  But they also let arch rival Boston Red Sox sign a free agent pitcher whom the Yankees also needed: David Price.  At least the Yankee policy kept them from paying way too much for Jason Heyward as the Cubbies did.

I used the ad hoc query function in baseball-reference.com to determine who was the big bopper for the last three seasons.  I had to use the very low criteria of only 36 home runs to include Heyward who hit 38.  131 batters hit at least 36 home runs.  Heyward was number 111.  Cespedes was number 15 with 83.  Upton was number 17 with 82 homers.

From 2013 to 2015, (requiring HR>=36), sorted by greatest Home Runs

Rk Player HR From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Chris Davis 126 2013 2015 27-29 447 1868 1607 268 405 89 1 327 216 27 580 27 1 17 12 8 5 .252 .347 .544 .891 *3/9D5H BAL
2 Nelson Cruz 111 2013 2015 32-34 420 1789 1616 226 454 72 3 277 149 19 413 14 0 10 37 12 8 .281 .345 .535 .880 9D/7 TEX-BAL-SEA
3 Edwin Encarnacion 109 2013 2015 30-32 416 1787 1535 259 418 87 3 313 221 18 242 15 0 16 52 12 3 .272 .366 .546 .912 *3D/5H7 TOR
4 Mike Trout 104 2013 2015 21-23 473 2103 1766 328 535 110 24 298 285 30 478 29 0 23 25 60 16 .303 .404 .569 .973 *8/7D LAA
5 Jose Bautista 103 2013 2015 32-34 426 1867 1548 291 411 80 3 290 283 15 286 17 1 18 50 21 6 .266 .381 .521 .902 *9/D38H5 TOR
6 David Ortiz 102 2013 2015 37-39 425 1816 1564 216 440 102 2 315 228 65 278 4 0 20 55 4 1 .281 .370 .545 .915 *D/3H BOS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/24/2016.

Too limited?  OK, let's look at OPS+.  Again, I had to use the low number of 113 to include Heyward.  55 batters were found.

12. Davis 140
27. Upton 126
35. Cespedes 118
54. Heyward 113

From 2013 to 2015, (OPS+>=113 and At least 1,500 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+
Rk Player OPS+ PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Mike Trout 175 2103 2013 2015 21-23 473 1766 328 535 110 24 104 298 285 30 478 29 0 23 25 60 16 .303 .404 .569 .973 *8/7D LAA
2 Miguel Cabrera 169 1848 2013 2015 30-32 426 1595 268 529 106 3 87 322 227 44 293 11 0 15 59 5 2 .332 .415 .566 .981 *35/DH DET
3 Paul Goldschmidt 163 1884 2013 2015 25-27 428 1575 281 486 113 6 88 304 281 58 406 7 0 15 51 45 15 .309 .412 .556 .968 *3/HD ARI
4 Joey Votto 158 1693 2013 2015 29-31 382 1346 228 404 79 5 59 176 325 36 322 12 0 10 31 18 7 .300 .438 .498 .935 *3/H CIN
5 Andrew McCutchen 156 2007 2013 2015 26-28 460 1697 277 522 112 14 69 263 260 32 349 31 0 19 31 56 18 .308 .405 .512 .917 *8/HD PIT
6 Bryce Harper 153 1546 2013 2015 20-22 371 1297 230 384 72 6 75 189 223 23 329 11 6 9 25 19 10 .296 .401 .534 .936 *79/8HD WSN
7 Edwin Encarnacion 150 1787 2013 2015 30-32 416 1535 259 418 87 3 109 313 221 18 242 15 0 16 52 12 3 .272 .366 .546 .912 *3D/5H7 TOR
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/24/2016.

Either the Yankees or the Mets could have done just fine signing any of the three boppers (Davis, Upton, Cespedes) to the contracts that they signed.  Both did the right thing in ignoring Heyward.  The Mets just upstaged the Yankees.  Good for them.
Photo of Reggie Jackson
It reminds me a bit of when the late George Steinbrenner signed free agent Reggie Jackson Nov. 29, 1976: $525,000 for each of five years.  Reggie was 31 in his first Yankee season.  Today many Yankee fans would not consider someone that old, not for five years.

Davis and Cespedes are 30.  Cespedes is signed for three years at an annual pay of $25 million (50 times more than Jackson).  And Cespedes can opt out after year one.  George would have appreciated this move and would have made it himself.  George was impetuous and not terribly bright but he understood star quality and that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

How much is fielding worth? Heyward? Cespedes? Saturday, January 23, 2016

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