Each week this Hot Stove season, we’ll look at some done deals and juicy rumors involving our favorite MLB hotties, and the occasional not-really-a-hottie, but still worth talking about.
Guess what, y’all! No, go on…guess. We are less than 3 weeks away from Spring Training! There’s a light at the end of the deep, horrible tunnel of winter!
Not a whole lot else happened in Hot Stove Land. This week, teams were mostly concerned with avoiding arbitration hearings with their own players, rather than trading for someone else’s players.
One trade that we did have was the Orioles sending 24-year-old pitcher Garrett Olson to the Cubs for outfielder Felix Pie (one of my favorite names in baseball).
Last week, it looked like the Orioles and Nick Markakis were close to signing a big, long extension. This week, that deal was made official.
Things Nick Markakis was in the AL’s top 10 in last season (via FanGraphs):
Doubles (T-3rd, 48)
Runs (4th, 106)
Walks (2nd, 99)
AVG (10th, 306)
OBP (3rd, .406) – Chicks dig the on-base guys…
Walk rate (6th, 14.3%)
Walk-to-strikeout rate (T-4th, .88)
OPS (7th, .897)
wOBA (which is on-base average, but weighted for different events like extra-base hits. The math is complicated but it’s a very thorough, useful stat…explained here) (6th, .389)
wRC (which is the Runs Created stat, but based on wOBA…explained here) (3rd, 119)
wRAA (the number of Runs above average, based on wOBA…explained here too) (5th, 35.2)
Batting Win Value (6th, 34.7)
Value Runs (6th, 54.3)
Value Wins (6th, 5.4)
Dollar value (6th, $24.3 million)
That’s a long list, Holmes. Markakis is a very, very, VERY good baseball player. Look at that last number…his performance last year says that, in the 2008 market, he’s worth $24.3 million. He only made half a million. His new, extended contract will be an average of $11 million per year. So yeah, I would be pretty happy about this if I were an Orioles fan. It’s a solid contract extension for a player whose talent is probably underrated by the masses because of his not-so-great team.
Oh, and as always, he’s smoking hot.
There were a bunch of other extensions around MLB, but no really big trades or signings. We did have two retirement announcements, though – Jeff Kent and Sean Casey both announced they will offiically be hanging up their jocks. Casey will be added as an analyst at the MLB Network.In 5 years, many fans will be making a case for Kent to get into the Hall.
I always find it sad when a Nice Guy leaves the game. Sean Casey, it seems, was always voted as the “nicest guy in baseball” in player polls. I’m a stats girl, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see the value in having good people out on the field. I know that “being a good guy” isn’t something you can measure with long formulas and Excel spreadsheets, but it is something that has an impact on young fans, and that’s undeniably important for the future of the sport. I’m glad Casey will still be around; I look forward to seeing his work on the Network.
Bonus reading material: Curt Schilling tells a cute story about Casey.