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  1. VINTAGE. BASEBALL. STORY. 
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    • Angels linked to Tomoyuki Sugano, deadline is 1/7 (update: stays in NPB)
      Since Passan confirmed the connection in his article, and a decision is expected to be imminent, I figured it was time to start a thread.  Sounds like he is returning to Japan and trying again next year if he doesn't get the offer he wants, which doesn't appear to be happening lately.  If this is the case and all it is coming down to is money, Arte had better the hell be willing to meet his demands, as this would be our easiest path to getting a significant rotation upgrade.  Refusing to do so would be negligent. 
      • 326 replies
    • When will Bauer sign?
      Get the popcorn ready.
      • 25 replies
    • A case against Trevor Bauer (and why he may be overrated)
      So I crunched some numbers, in a similar formula that I used for my top 20ish position players article awhile back. This time I added up 2019-20 fWAR and RA9-WAR, and divided the total by 2.8. The idea is that fWAR represents stuff (as it is FIP-based), and RA9-WAR actual results (as it is ERA-based). The 2.8 is because it accounts for 2019 as a full season (1.0) and 2020 as a bit less than 40% (0.4) of a season, then x2 for counting both fWAR and RA9-WAR. The end result was what could be considered an equalized "True WAR level" for the top pitchers in the game.

      Here are the results with every pitcher of 4.0 or better, with Bauer in bold:

      deGrom 7.0


      Bieber 6.7


      Cole 6.7


      Lynn 6.0


      Scherzer 5.7


      Ryu 5.6


      Greinke 5.5


      Verlander 5.5


      Giolito 4.9


      Castillo 4.8


      Gray 4.8


      Morton 4.7


      Hendricks 4.6


      Darvish 4.5


      Corbin 4.5


      Flaherty 4.5


      Bauer 4.3


      Kershaw 4.3


      Buehler 4.3


      Minor 4.2


      Nola 4.0


      (Ties were broken by 2020 WAR + RA9-WAR, so Bauer is higher than Kershaw and Buehler).

      The point being, according to this metric, Bauer isn't a top 10 pitcher, more in the 15-20 range. Not bad, but hardly worth $30M a year, let along the $36-40M he's allegedly asking for. I think Corbin or 30-something Kershaw are good comps: a solid #2 guy, but not a true ace.

      (As an aside, I was surprised at how high Lynn ranks; Ryu, also, although he's a good example of where the metric breaks down as his 2019 ERA makes him look better than he actually is).

      So here's a question: Do you want Bauer only for $30-35M a year, or something like Sugano and Odorizzi for less? 

      Bauer wants to be paid like he's the guy he was in 2018 and 2020, when that accounts for only about 21% of his career. For the rest he was essentially Andrew Heaney - a solid pitcher, but not the Cy Young he was for the 21%. Sure, those two years are two of the last three, but only about half the innings, and we can't ignore 2019, when he was a good pitcher, but again, more "vintage Heaney."

      I personally think Bauer will be very good for the next few years, maybe a 4-5 WAR pitcher, or essentially Patrick Corbin, who is a very good pitcher but more of a good #2 than one of the best in the game. Remember when Corbin got a 6/$140M contract and we collectively breathed a sigh of relief when the Angels didn't spend $23.3 AAV? What makes Bauer worth $10M or so more a year?

      That said, I'd happily sign Bauer for a Corbin-esque contract, and maybe a bit more to reflect inflation and demand. But I'd probably stop in the $25Mish AAV range. I just don't think you spend more than that unless you're certain you're getting an elite arm, and Bauer will almost certainly get more than Corbin did.
      • 76 replies
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