Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baseball's Off-Season Winner: The Los Angeles...Angels

So calls the Wall Street Journal, who did their annual WAR-vs.-Prior-Year-Wins two-by-two matrix:

At some point this winter, a baseball general manager made a genius move—or resisted making a stupid one—that will propel his team to the title. But which team?

The Angels made the biggest splash in the free-agent market, spending about $300 million on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. A new ballpark allowed the previously frugal Marlins to lure Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle to Miami. Meanwhile, the defending champion Cardinals lost their biggest slugger, but opted not to radically shake-up the rest of their roster.

The Wall Street Journal examined every transaction this off-season and ranked each team by how well it fared. The numbers are based on FanGraphs' projected 2012 wins above replacement (WAR), a statistic used to compare a player's value to the average Triple-A fill-in.

The rankings don't include contract extensions, promotions within organizations or players returning from injury. They are limited to players who pitched 40 innings or played 50 games, except in the cases of uber-hot prospects like Seattle's Jesus Montero or Texas' Yu Darvish.

1. ANGELS (13.3)
Key Acquisitions: 1B Albert Pujols (6.8), SP C.J. Wilson (4.3)
Key Loss: SP Joel Pineiro (1.4)
Outlook: A new television contract brought additional revenue that allowed the team to add Pujols and Wilson.

14. DODGERS (0.8)
Key Acquisitions: SP Chris Capuano (2.1), 2B Mark Ellis (1.5)
Key Loss: SP Hiroki Kuroda (2.9)
Outlook: The Dodgers added depth to a Clayton Kershaw-led rotation, but a Matt Kemp-led lineup could use some punch.

Over in the NL West, the WSJ has the Diamondbacks 11th (2.6, led almost completely by the acquisition of starter Trevor Cahill); the Rockies 12th (2.2, thanks to the pickup of SS Marco Scutaro but countered by the loss of catcher Chris Iannetta); and the Padres 21st (-2.2). Oh, and the Giants were 26th at -5.3.


Hideo Nomo said...

Baseball pogs! Remember baseball? It's pog form.

Jason said...

If ever there was a statistic that demands a stacked bar graph, this is it. I mean, come on, the X and Y axises both represent wins.

Seriously, this graph is pissing me off.

Steve Sax said...

Yeah, I agree. The axes are weak.

Dusty Baker said...

You better axe somebody.

Dusty Baker said...

"Key Acquisitions: SP Chris Capuano (2.1), 2B Mark Ellis (1.5)"

Very broad, liberal definition of the word, "key."