Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Working the Math on the Granderson Deal

About 39% of the season has been completed and it seemed time to take a look at where we stand on the big trade that sent Granderson to the Yankees for Austin Jackson with Ian Kennedy going to the Diamondbacks as part of the three part deal. The Fan wants to preface this conversation with two things. First, the Fan is going to attempt to use math to figure this out. Thirty years ago, that would have been a good idea. But at the Fan's age, the math has to be suspected. Secondly, the Fan isn't going to discuss the Arizona side of the deal but will only consider two things, how did this deal affect the Yankees and the Tigers. Oh, one other thing. The Fan is also going to consider Damon signing with the Tigers opening a spot for Gardner as a trade: Gardner for Damon. Seems to make sense anyway.

So here's how it looks to date:

The Yankees' side:

Curtis Granderson will make 5.5 million this year. His current WAR gives him a current value this season of 3.9 million. With 61% of the season to go, his projected value for the season would be 10.02 million. But Granderson missed a big chunk of time. So you have to figure that in to the year's projection. If Granderson had played without missing any time, his current value would be 6.3 million. So, to give him an accurate year projection, he would be worth 13.79 million (16.19-(6.3-3.9)). Got that?

Brett Gardner will make .425 million this year and has a current value of 6.4 million giving him a year's projection of 16.45 million. The Fan doesn't see any reason why his current performance will diminish over the season. In fact, if he loses any at the plate, he'll gain it in the field where he should improve as the season goes along.

Chan Ho Park. Chan Ho Park? Yeah, the Fan is submitting that Park is Phil Coke's replacement. Yeah, he isn't a lefty, but he covers pretty much the same role that Coke did. Park is making 1.2 million this year and his current value comes to a negative number. Due to a poor start and some time lost, he's sitting with a value of -1.9 million. But Park has been decent of late and if he gets into his 2009 groove, he should finish around 3 million in value or about half of what he was worth last year. That wasn't exactly scientific, but it is what it is.

The Tigers' side

Austin Jackson is making the minimum this season or $400,000. His current value sits at 7.6 million which projects to a season value of 19.83 million. Many believe he will come down quite a bit at the plate as the season progresses, but though he has been in a slump of late that seems to bear out that belief, we'll keep the year's projection as is for now. This is just a first look, right? We'll update this as the year goes along.

Johnny Damon is making 8.0 million this season and so far has a value of 5.9. That should give him a yearly projection of 15.40 million. There are two comments about this. First, Damon is now pretty much a full time DH. Boesch is playing left most days. So part of Damon's current value comes from time played in left, where he has a 1.0 rating as a fielder. This tempted the Fan to devalue Damon's projection, but perhaps the Tigers will figure out that Damon is actually a better fielder (as of now) than Boesch who is scoring in the negative numbers in value. Plus, Damon really hasn't had one of his hot streaks at the plate yet. So the Fan will leave the projection as is.

Phil Coke is making .425 million this year and is sitting with a current value of 1.5 million. That gives him a yearly projection of 3.9 million. That sounds reasonable.

To recap all of this, the Yankees tab for the three players listed is 7.15 million in salary this year. Detroit's tab for the three players listed is 8.83 million. The Yankees dollar projection for the year (based on what the Fan hopes is good math) is 33.24 million or 4.64 million in value for every million spent. Detroit's projected value for the three players is 39.14 million or 4.43 million of value for every million spent.

This trade is much closer than it appears for this season. The Yankees are getting better value for the dollars spent, but the Tigers are getting the higher total value. This, of course, gets blown all to hell when Granderson's salary increases next year and Austin Jackson is still making just a few bucks over base. But for this year, at first glance, the trade is working out for both teams and buck for buck is pretty close. We will certainly revisit this from time to time.

The other wildcard here is the loss of Ian Kennedy to the Diamonbacks. Kennedy is making .435 million and is sitting at a value of 2.8 million, giving him a projection of 7.09 million for the year. If you throw him together with the Tigers' former Yankees, then the value per million spent jumps to 4.99 million and way past the value the Yankees are currently paying per million. But the Fan is pretty sure the Yankees are just as happy with Phil Hughes as their starter instead of Kennedy, right?

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Ah, but they could have had Kennedy instead of Vazquez. Kennedy is younger and cheaper. Together, Hughes and Kennedy could have formed a solid young nucleus to their rotation.

Then again, Kennedy is having his success in the NL West, so you have to take it with a grain of salt. Still, he's been impressive.