Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How Does Pagan Equal Torres AND Ramirez?

Angel Pagan seems to be equal to Andres Torres. Torres has more power and had a higher value than Pagan in 2011 with a better fielding year. Pagan can steal some bases and was worth more than Torres in 2010 but not 2011. Pagan is also three years younger than Torres. With all those thoughts in mind, a straight up swap doesn't seem absurd and a case can be made for it. But then the Giants threw in Ramon Ramirez into the deal and that doesn't make any sense at all.

Ramirez isn't a spectacular relief pitcher. But he is a solid one. All three of his pitches (fastball, slider, change) were valued in the positive numbers last season. His career ERA is 3.17 with a FIP of 3.74, but he's been even better for the Giants. Since the Giants acquired him from the Red Sox in 2010, Ramirez has pitched 91 times and compiled an ERA of 2.07. He's kept the ball in the yard consistently except for the early part of 2010 when he lost favor with the Red Sox which precipitated his departure there.

For most of Ramirez's career, he's been death to right handed batters who have a combined .580 OPS against him. But last year, he was even better against left-handed batters who batted only .204 against him. So it appears that Ramirez has learned how to get them out. Except for one season previously, Ramirez has given up more fly balls than ground balls. But he reversed that in 2011 with a 1.59 ground ball to fly ball ratio. Plus, he's hard to square up. His career line drive percentage against is only 16.7 percent with the highest of 18.7 percent reached in 2008.

The one weakness of Ramon Ramirez is that he walks too many batters. But his low hits per nine total seem to even that weakness out and he had a very good WHIP last season of 1.17. What this Fan likes especially is that his WPA has been positive for every year of his career except for 2007. Ramirez has 63 career holds and eleven saves to go along with 20 wins against just 17 losses.

So again, Ramirez straight up for Angel Pagan might work. But then Andres Torres messes up the trade again. Angel Pagan's very name is an oxymoron. Is he an angel or a sinner? The last two years have shown both. In 2010, Pagan's defense was worth 15.4 runs above average. Then last year, he gave almost all of those back with a -14.3 showing which included ten errors--an absurdly high amount for a center fielder. He's been labeled as a low-Baseball-IQ kind of guy who throws to the wrong bases, etc.

Torres, meanwhile, has been worth 22 runs and 9.4 runs above average in center for the last two seasons respectively. Both Torres and Pagan run the bases well. Torres walks slightly more often but also strikes out more often than Pagan. And again, he is three years older.

No matter how this Fan tries to slice this, it turns out to be a sweet deal for the Mets and a head-scratcher for the Giants. A straight up swap of Pagan for either Torres or Ramirez makes some sense. But swapping Pagan for both players seems to be a steal for the Mets.


Thomas Slocum said...

And how hard must it be to build a team when you're in the process of changing park dimensions? All the pitchers (Ramirez, Rauch, Francisco) that the Mets just acquired could have a rude awakening while Torres is unlikely to get enough power benefit to compensate.

Anonymous said...

Torres is wildly overvalued by the same people who overvalue Brandon Belt and undervalue Brett Pill.

Sabermetrics is not the answer to everything. When you can accommodate for that, you'll see the error in your logic.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Thank you oh sage and anonymous master.