Thursday, January 20, 2005

More Rushed Analysis 

Again, a little news to discuss, not much time to do it in…
-- The signing of Indians pitcher Jose Jimenez. With the rest of the D-Backs' signings this winter, the logic -- however faulty or poor -- was apparent. When I heard on the radio that the D-Backs had signed Jimenez yesterday (with no indication that it was only a minor league contract), I thought, "goodness, that's the first guaranteed awful signing." And, indeed, his sabermetric stats (-2 win shares, -5 WSAA; -11.6 VORP) are no better than his "real" stats (1-7 W-L, 8.42 ERA). But, thankfully, the contract is just for a minor league invite, so no big deal.

News from yesterday

-- Mike Koplove and the D-Backs are $220,000 apart in their arbitration offers, a mere 1% of what Roger Clemens is asking for in 2005. Given Koplove's largely solid relief work last year (12.9 VORP, 7 WS, 2 WSAA), I'd be fine with Koplove winning his $970,000 request.

-- Casey Fossum, on the other hand… Look, if you compare Fossum's VORP/IP to others who made their attempt in a starting role for the D-Backs last year, it becomes clear that his status as Hacking Mass MVP is a result of him being very mediocre as opposed to truly awful. Fossum's VORP/IP was -0.14/IP, as opposed to Gonzalez's -0.41 or Daigle's -0.20. But being not bad enough to get you pulled from the starting lineup is no justification for a $1.35 million arbitration request. The D-Backs' $800,000 is more than enough.

-- Brandon Lyon's contract agreement -- $330,000 plus an additional $170,000 in incentives -- makes you wonder why more teams don't do incentive contracts for arbitration-eligible players. (Or maybe they do and I just don't know about 'em.) The incremental amount can be substantial for the player (50+% in Lyon's case) and miniscule for the team. Of course, you'd still have to structure the incentives properly. The other piece of information I can glean from this agreement is that since the incentives are all appearance-based, I think that's one more indication Lyon will be on the 25-man roster come April, as I doubt he'd have agreed to the contract without some hope that he'd be able to meet some of the incentives.

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