So, as usually, nyphillycombine bobby has forwarded me about 101 articles as different things happen in the NL-E… Usually, they come with some kind of undertone of his typical Phils distrust. I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, Bobby was pushing the panic button again too early so I took a quick look at some of the stuff he sent and replied with this
ok, so, yes, Mr. Howard can swing a swanky bat. We like him as a power hitter, intimidating, and yet gentle with a smooth sultry swing that produces 50 HR a year and a healthy 600 plate appearances last season alone. Unfortunately, it also produces 200 Ks a year (or 2nds most in all MLB last year and one of the worst AB:K ratios as well) so you paid him 10,000,000 for 610 ABs that works out to about 16393 per each AB meaning you spent 2.5 mil in total for all of his hits and a whopping 3.2 mill for his strikeouts… in general his BB:K and H:K and even RBI:K ratios are not that great but when you see it like that in raw dollar value it makes you wonder, that’s still an aweful expensive bat to swing Ks with, right…? Even if he has a 25% reduction in Ks and came down to 150 per year that would mean his H:K is about 1:1 and his RBI:K ratio would also come down to about 1:1 and he’d still be among the top 10 in raw Ks and AB:K ratio. Yeah, it’s great he can 50 HR a season and that probably helps protect other players in the lineup but at 18 mil, your paying about 20% of the salary to have him swing-and-miss (or worse, not swing at all) Here’s the quick and dirty math 600 AB 30,000 per AB or 4.5 mill spent on Ks… Then again, rumor has it now the Phils are considering the oft-injured M. Alou. Considering what the Mets were paying to sit him on the DL for most of his tenure and not play, Howard’s 4.5 million to strike out fee would be a bargain.
Speaking of bargains the 5 mill for Joe Blanchard cheaper than all of Howard’s Ks put together! He’ll earn 16,666 per start on a typical 30 start season and you’ll end up dropping only 1/3 of the total salary on losses based on his career averages, you’ll get more than 1/3 of that back on wins so it’ll be a wash, which, for a late rotation starter like him, probably isn’t terrible, he was 4-0 in 13 starts with the Phils even though he only averaged 5.5 innings a start. Considering what other people are dropping on pitchers, let’s not get too feisty. Remember my math on Tim Reading recently signing with the Mets for 2.5 mil to be essentially the same end-of-rotation starter. The Mets are probably paying slightly less but also getting less. To me, it’s a fair shake.
To put it into another perspective, the BoSox just signed Papelbon… 800,000 for saving 41 games in 46 chances – that’s 17391 for each chance and netting him 86956 for blowing five of them – Next year, 6250000, assuming he takes the ball say 50 times, that’s 125,000 per appearance, imagine how much a blown save is worth, he’ll make more on one failure than he did on all five combined failures last year, or conversely thinking, the team will spend more on two failures than they did on his entire career blown saves total! In that perspective though, it certainly doesn’t make Blanton look that grossly overpaid to do what he does.
Which, of course all this talk of pitching begs some questions? What are the Mets expecting from Freddie Garcia? and why are they still missing a SP? The list of available pitchers is thinning out and if they think they’ll be sprung a deal by Boras on Perez because he’s not been picked up by anyone else along the way, they are going to be paying a hefty tag for it between 30 and 55 million over say 4 seasons or between 7 & 13k a season. Perez is still growing as a pitcher and does have the confidence of ace Santana backing him even in his struggles. The streaky numbers since debuting in 2002 are head shaking, he’s never broken 200 innings and hardly tackles 30 starts with any consistency. When he’s on he’s not bad statistically but think of it like this, if he earns the 30,000,000 the Mets were rumored to have offered and looses 10 of a supposed 30 starts, that’s 1/3 his salary spent in losses, he’s only put up one 15 win season in his career, assuming he did it again, that’s half his salary accounted for wins and the 30,000,000 wouldn’t look to bad, on the flip side do the arithmetic on a 55,000,000 salary where he goes 14-12 over 30 starts but doesn’t go 200 innings (again) thus straining the middle relievers to make up the innings and see how you feel about the salary.
The Phils at least have a starting rotation, in theory. I’m not sure what the Mets have yet and considering what they’re paying for pitching overall (even w/o considering Wagner’s salary that he draws while never throwing a pitch) the Phil’s still look alright, Bobby, and there’s still time between now and when P&C’s report in a few weeks to sort this all out anyway.