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What Could Have Been


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I know, I know - two things make this thread nothing more than an idle thought experiment - that hindsight is 20-20 and you never know how these players would have performed if they had stayed with the Angels. But for the sake of some fun, let's dial back to November last year and make a few changes. Just a note: I'm NOT saying what should or should not have happened, just looking at a different path the Angels could have taken.

 

1) The Angels keep Ervin Santana

2) The Angels keep Torii Hunter

3) The Angels sign Zack Greinke

4) The Angels don't sign Joe Blanton

5) The Angels don't trade Walden for Hanson

 

That gives them a rotation of Weaver, Greinke, Wilson, Santana, and Vargas. Not bad.

 

Now let's make two assumptions that I realize are a bit silly, but again, bear with me. Let's say that A) they did perform exactly as they did this year, but with swapped teams, and B) fWAR can be used to deteremine adjustments to win-loss records.

 

Ervin Santana (2.1 fWAR) replaces Joe Blanton (0.0) = +2.1 fWAR

Torii Hunter (1.8 fWAR) replaces Josh Hamilton (0.7) = +1.1 fWAR

Zack Greinke (1.1 fWAR) replaces Tommy Hanson (0.3) = +0.8 fWAR

Jordan Walden (0.8 fWAR) replaces a combination of reliever innings (~0.3) = +0.5 fWAR

 

So that's +4.5 fWAR, which we'll round up and say that the Angels would then have a 52-47 record. Not a huge difference, but enough of one to make this a very different season - only 6 games out of first place and 2.5 games out of a wildcard spot.

 

What about the difference in cost?  Well here's the rub. The Hamilton and Greinke contracts are basically a wash overall, although Hamilton's is more backloaded. But for 2013, the Angels get rid of about $27M this year but take on about $51M - that's $24M. The interesting thing is that the cost for each WAR is between $4.5M and $5M, which makes perfect sense given that WAR differential.

 

To put all that another way, this could be a better team - a contender, but not a dominant team - if Dipoto had assembled the pieces in the last offseason differently, but he would have had to pay much more.

 

Another alternate path would have been to not sign Hamilton and give Calhoun more at-bats, which would have likely resulted in equal or better results and a lot of money (and grief) saved, and a more flexible financial future. But hey, Arte wanted his big belly-flop splash.

 

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`

Having an existential moment, Shane? The point is...well, we're baseball fans? We like to think about baseball, not just spew vitriol and scream for our team like tribal lunatics - or some of us, at least. So this is a thought exercise for the enjoyment of thinking baseball fans. It shouldn't have to be justified for meaning on a baseball forum.

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Having an existential moment, Shane? The point is...well, we're baseball fans? We like to think about baseball, not just spew vitriol and scream for our team like tribal lunatics - or some of us, at least. So this is a thought exercise for the enjoyment of thinking baseball fans. It shouldn't have to be justified for meaning on a baseball forum.

 

For someone who likes to play GM so much, you sure love to bring up the past.

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I really don't think the Angels would have outbid the Dodgers for Greinke and he said he was in it only for the money so there was never going to be a choice on his part which franchise he liked more.

 

What if Greinke wasn't such a greedy a-hole and accepted a contract that reflected his career worth of pitching performance rather than his one Cy Young year? Then maybe we would have something to discuss.

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I know, I know - two things make this thread nothing more than an idle thought experiment - that hindsight is 20-20 and you never know how these players would have performed if they had stayed with the Angels. But for the sake of some fun, let's dial back to November last year and make a few changes. Just a note: I'm NOT saying what should or should not have happened, just looking at a different path the Angels could have taken.

 

1) The Angels keep Ervin Santana

2) The Angels keep Torii Hunter

3) The Angels sign Zack Greinke

4) The Angels don't sign Joe Blanton

5) The Angels don't trade Walden for Hanson

 

That gives them a rotation of Weaver, Greinke, Wilson, Santana, and Vargas. Not bad.

 

Now let's make two assumptions that I realize are a bit silly, but again, bear with me. Let's say that A) they did perform exactly as they did this year, but with swapped teams, and B) fWAR can be used to deteremine adjustments to win-loss records.

 

Ervin Santana (2.1 fWAR) replaces Joe Blanton (0.0) = +2.1 fWAR

Torii Hunter (1.8 fWAR) replaces Josh Hamilton (0.7) = +1.1 fWAR

Zack Greinke (1.1 fWAR) replaces Tommy Hanson (0.3) = +0.8 fWAR

Jordan Walden (0.8 fWAR) replaces a combination of reliever innings (~0.3) = +0.5 fWAR

 

So that's +4.5 fWAR, which we'll round up and say that the Angels would then have a 52-47 record. Not a huge difference, but enough of one to make this a very different season - only 6 games out of first place and 2.5 games out of a wildcard spot.

 

What about the difference in cost?  Well here's the rub. The Hamilton and Greinke contracts are basically a wash overall, although Hamilton's is more backloaded. But for 2013, the Angels get rid of about $27M this year but take on about $51M - that's $24M. The interesting thing is that the cost for each WAR is between $4.5M and $5M, which makes perfect sense given that WAR differential.

 

To put all that another way, this could be a better team - a contender, but not a dominant team - if Dipoto had assembled the pieces in the last offseason differently, but he would have had to pay much more.

 

Another alternate path would have been to not sign Hamilton and give Calhoun more at-bats, which would have likely resulted in equal or better results and a lot of money (and grief) saved, and a more flexible financial future. But hey, Arte wanted his big belly-flop splash.

Well considering how much Grienke is paid, I still would prefer Hanson (who is he again?) as there is only a difference of 0.3 fwar and a huge difference in salary.

 

Hunters 1.9 fwar is not a big deal to let go.  What is surprising is Hamiltong's 0.7 fwar!

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What's yours? It's all meaningless.

 

Having an existential extenze moment, Shane? The point is...well, we're baseball fans? We like to think about baseball, not just spew vitriol and scream for our team like tribal lunatics - or some of us, at least. So this is a thought exercise for the enjoyment of thinking baseball fans. It shouldn't have to be justified for meaning on a baseball forum.

Fixed.

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