Another week, another Griff Bag! Aka Richard Griffin’s latest mail bag from over at the Toronto Star! And this time around, we’ve got one that took me less time to write than any Griff Bag I can remember. Probably means some real probing, thought-provoking, quality questions in here, right? Right???
If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, unless it’s about fucking Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!
With the A’s (Jon Lester) and the Tigers (David Price) pulling off two of the biggest trades at the deadlines, they are also two teams that are underachieving in a big ways since the trade deadline. There’s some talk that the dynamics of these big trades have been changing in terms of the number of teams that are actively engaging/pursuing these kinds of big-names/blockbuster trades.
There is a possibility that GMs will be even more reluctant to pull these kinds of trades in the future. What are you thoughts?
And a quick one – Given what Alvarez has done this year with the Marlins (before he went on DL), would you take him over Buehrle on your staff? Nobody on the Jays staff is even close to a sub-3 ERA with 160 IP…
John, Southern Cali
1) I think teams will continue to make trades that make sense for them on the field, and that the talk about upsetting dynamics is mostly just silliness. Not everything that happens needs to be explained by some ethereal force. The A’s stopped hitting and got poor play from their backups, and in Detroit, J.D. Martinez went in the tank, and injury to pieces in the bullpen made them hilariously woeful back there again. Their poor runs, in terms of wins and losses since the deadline, have had almost nothing to do with the players they added or the ones they gave up.
2) This year, and on talent alone? No. Factoring in the contract and you’d easily to take Alvarez, but his 2.88 ERA in the NL East, where he gets to face a pitcher or a pinch hitter every nine batters, isn’t much better than Buehrle’s 3.34 in the AL East, and their FIPs are about the same. Alvarez has an edge in xFIP, but by fWAR, Buehrle has been more than a full win better than Alvarez — Dickey has been better, too, for what it’s worth.
Baseball Reference’s version of WAR suggests they’ve provided about the same amount of value (with Dickey lagging behind in that case), so… there maybe is no one easy answer. It is definitely not quite so simple as looking at ERA, though. But again, all things considered, Alvarez certainly is the better piece to have.