Friday, October 7, 2011

Reyes & McCutchen @ $140 Million

Wow, life is just full of surprises.

Looking at my worksheets, I decided to play a bit more with the idea of signing Reyes.  I haven't been sold on Reyes being worth the salary draw I expect him to receive.  But...  Like I said.
Life is full of surprises.

I'm thinking of maybe giving him an average WAR of 3.8 for each of his 6 years, that's a 22.8 WAR.  At the standard projected value most people use of $5M per WAR, I get $114M.  Sure, he can be over 5.0 WAR, but c'mon, it's a salary year.  And he's also fluctuated a bit.  I'm erring on the low side to see how it equates.

And Reyes could actually be a good value proposition.

Then, I started to look at some splits.  He's very well-balanced as a switch-hitter.  And tends to hit slightly better against RHP.  That's a good thing, since well over 65% of starting pitchers are right-handed.  Maybe he's moving towards a 'very good' value proposition.

Next, I started to look at how I'd configure lineups, specific for vs. RHP and vs. LHP.  All of a sudden, it really, really hit me.

Jose Reyes has an incredible value proposition for the Giants.

No joke folks.  Maybe more so for the Gigantes than most other teams.  Me, the one that was never sold on Reyes.  Who didn't understand why people would jump for a 'guy' wanting a windfall after a hot year.  Who plays 120+ games per season, but isn't always healthy.

I've changed my tune.


Aybar who?  lol.

But for the $100+ million investment, I'd be sure to build Reyes a sauna and jacuzzi in his pad.  He needs good circulation in his capillaries and nice elasticity in those hammys.

Here's the important factor that sells me on Reyes.  He is incredibly valuable for moving up and down the lineup for match-ups.  He can lead-off or be a stud 2-hitter.  And once you open that door, you can really have a lot of latitude to create a nice lineup accordingly.  Use him for his average at lead-off.  Take advantage of his gap power, speed, and OBP in the 2-spot.

What's the big deal?  You can do that with any other players too.  Yes, you always can.  But it doesn't always work so successfullyWe have two top-tier switch hitters in Sandoval and Reyes.  And that makes all the difference in the world.  It's different compared to Sandoval plus Beltran, where it's just a question of who hits third and who hits clean-up.  Reyes secures a different 'type' of position in the order.  And then, there is Posey who is incredibly consistent at hitting both RHP and LHP, so he offers even greater flexibility.

I still want to trade for McCutchen.  Sell the pink slip to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.  Give the Pirates a luxury suite for our home games...  Oh waitasec.  Never mind that one.  lol.  Just get McCutchen in a Giants uni.

Well, for $140 million we don't get Wandy Rodriguez, but we get a filthy offense.  With this offense, I'd take my chances with any of our pitchers...  And that is a good thing.  And this is $140M for each year from 2012 through 2015.  But if the Giants front office and investors group want to spend the extra $17.5M over the two years of 2012 and 2013, put Wandy Rodriguez back into the 5th starter spot.  Sell the Astros on how they can save $15.5M over two years off Wandy's $23M/2-year contract by spending only $7.5M on Zito for two years.  Then we are just under $150M for 2012 and 2013.  That just might push this team over 100-wins per season IMHO.

I'm sure most of you follow here (web stats people, web tracking stats)...  So you've read my previous posts.  Where I've already explained the trade scenario I'd look for to land Andrew McCutchen as a Giant.  We sign Reyes and will lose a top draft pick.  That's okay in the scheme of things.

 Reyes & McCutchen $140M payroll worksheet:

As a Giants fan who followed through the 2011 season, you might not like to see I put Aubrey Huff 5th in the lineup on the worksheet.  Partly this isn't my thinking, it is what Bochy has shown and I'm just using my expectation there.  And check my next worksheet below on pitching splits for the actual lineups I'd send out anyways.

I have a feeling these lineups will surprise some.  Freddy not batting 2nd?  What?  Actually, Freddy's against RHP aren't nearly as good.  This is what makes Reyes so valuable actually.  I see the opportunity for A LOT of major rallies.  I'm talking 3-run or 4-run innings people.  A lot.  Did I already say that?  Yeah, well shove some more on.

Seriously?  You ask.  Posey in the two-spot?  Yeah, I would.  He's a .300 avg even against RHP and gets on base well against anybody.  His stats would likely go up even higher with Pablo hitting BEHIND him. He should see some better pitches.  And he will hit his fair share of home runs too.  I think 20+ easily each season.  I'm not saying that just because I'm a 'fan', I'm saying it because he has a sweet, flat, repeatable swing that goes for some power too.

I didn't know which way to layout the splits.  I used columns.  Maybe it's a tad confusing for some to not read the splits 'across' rows for the same year.  Oh well.  I'm pretty sure you'll get over it.

Projected Lineup Splits vs. RHP and vs. LHP:

What I love so much about the versatility here is that we'd have a bunch of hitters with a great OBP.  If you start to look at RHP vs RHB and all the other split scenarios...  It works.  And I think Reyes is the key that unlocks this.  Much better than Aybar (who?).  Having a hitter like McCutchen batting 6th and Sanchez 7th against righties is just fantastic too.

McCutchen adds a lot of flexibility too, just like Reyes.  He could be lead-off or a two-hitter against lefties.  He could be a wicked 6-hitter or 7-hitter against righties.  I just don't see Melky Cabrera, Adam Jones, Nick Swisher, or Michael Cuddyer being all that.  And let's say Freddy gets injured.  Or someone else.  We got depth.

Putting McCutchen at #3 ahead of Sandoval might not seem like a prudent thing to do versus lefties.  You're right, and it might not be.  But I figure if McCutchen hits so well against RHP and gets on base at such a good rate, you have more run-scoring opportunities for Sandoval.  And maybe he can be more patient, while Andrew is out there trying to find an opportunity to steal a bag.  It just might work.

It is hard to explain all my thoughts without using 75,000 words.  Goodness knows I've tried.  lol.  Basically, I see a lot of sustained rallies.  A lot of base runners.  Plus some nice speed.  Or, some nice 'plus' speed.  That equates to XBH's at home and AT&T Park South (Petco).  And stolen bases to set up RISP and stay out of double plays.  I can imagine some really crazy scores at Coors Field.  Can you see what I'm seeing?  Can you see what I'm saying?

I love the way guys can be 'slotted' into positions here to add protection to other batters adjoining them in the order.  Huff may be getting better pitches because Sanchez gets on base at nearly a .350 clip behind him. How about Sanchez getting on base a lot with great situational hitting, too; and Nate having a chance to hit one out to follow that up.  Does Huff 'protect' Sandoval?  If he gets on pace to hit 25 HR's he does, otherwise move him down.  Hell, put Eldred in then, and sit Huff.  We got depth.

I ain't gonna cut 'n paste all the batter splits.  But go check 'em out yourself on

There ya go, that is the link for Jose Reyes' career splits.  If you haven't ever used the splits tool...  Well, BR has the best toolkits that aren't made by Black & Decker.  Just click the "Splits [+]" box/link under the red "Standard Batting" and "More Stats" boxes.

$140 million per year, for each year from 2012 thru 2015...  wow.

We gotta find a team willing to pay $7.5M total for Zito's two years.
I used $106M/6-years for Reyes' contract:
20, 24, 16.5, 15, 15, 15.5.
I think it worth going up to $114M/6-years:
22, 25, 18.5, 17, 16, 15.5
which makes payroll $142M for each of the first four years.

Oh, have you asked yourself what I did with Brian Wilson, since he isn't traded for Aybar (who? lol)?  Let's look at our needs.  We'll need some pitchers, which is what we're great at developing.  But we'll need a few bullpen arms fairly soon-ish, especially to replace Affeldt and Lopez in a few years.  Maybe a stud 2B or RF prospect, since Nate is at arb-1 already in 2012, not that I'd want him gone though.

Damn, I wish we had enough 'valuable' prospects we didn't intend for the 40-man anytime soon to package with Brian Wilson to get Jeremy Hellickson.  Toss Tampa 3 or 4 prospects and Wilson, will the Rays bite?  That would be a major miracle.  Add Surkamp.  I wouldn't give up Adam Duvall though... What about a great prospect like switch-hitting Cavan, who I really, really like.
Brian Wilson
Eric Surkamp
Ryan Cavan
Charles Jones

Not a bad start.  Just a thought anyways.

Maybe we can still make a deal with the Halos.  They still need a closer, and I've written a lot about how Brian Wilson fits so perfectly for their situation.  Remember, we got trade leverage against Anaheim.  Find a way to grab any one of these three RHP prospects and I'd be a very happy camper: Garrett Richards, Steve Geltz, or Daniel Tillman.

Yeah, Wilson should be a pretty good trade piece, with a nice return.

I look through these lineups, and can't find a single bat I'd really want to replace.  I know I'm counting on Gary Brown and Joe Panik, but those are based on the accounts of those in the know, and are also insiders from the Giants organization.  I can't imagine if Panik turns out to be a great #2 hitter also.  We'd be stacked like the Yankees... With more speed, a better defensive outfield, a better rotation, better bench, and better bullpen.

All those who have wished for more 'small ball'?  You'd have plenty more of it, but still with140-150 home runs sprinkled in.  Y'all okay with that?

The 2013 to 2015 roster could be the highest scoring NL team in MLB.  Forget about me wanting 4.44 runs scored per game, that's 720 RS in a season.  This team might just push towards 780 RS, just maybe.  I am absolutely serious.  Not that they would have the most home runs.  Nah.  But top-5 in XBH's.  Top-5 in steals.  And lots of multiple-runs scored innings.  Heaps.  Did I mention this already.  Yeah.  Okay.

At some point we know we have decisions to make.  How long do we platoon Belt and Pill at first base before one player earns the spot outright?  What if Susac comes up quick and we want Posey at first base?  Believe me, those would be good tough decisions to make.  It would mean our offense is working.

Oh yeah.

Two rings in five years.  That's what we should be shooting for.
We got a perfect five-year window.  Remember?

Two rings.

Five years.

(that would make 3 rings in seven, does that equal a dynasty?).

We're bound to spend at least $130 million to field 'a team' anyways for 2012.  Might as well make it this team at one-forty flat.


Image credits:  Jose Reyes from  fantasyknuckleheads. Andrew McCutchen from crabcakesports.  Freddy Sanchez is my own original photograph, All Rights Reserved.  Pablo Sandoval is my own original photograph, All Rights Reserved.  Jeremy Hellickson from CFnews13.

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