Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Much Better than .500

In the Kansas City Star this morning we learned that manager Ned Yost believes this team will be much better than .500 in 2012.

"Yost points to upgrades in the rotation (acquiring Jonathan Sanchez in a trade with San Francisco and retaining Bruce Chen) and the bullpen (signing two-time All-Star Jonathan Broxton) as further reasons to expect major on-field improvement." -Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star

Just as some food for thought here's a few table displaying some various WARs values of last year's players and this years. I chose to use Wood in the first set, because if Crow were to stay in the rotation, I believe Wood would be the most likely to lose his roster spot.

For the weighted averages, I applied a 50% weight to last season, 30% to 2010, and 20% for 2009. Obviously some players didn't play in each of these season so they were assigned a value of 0.

For this set I used Aaron Crow. I believe that if the Royals do transition him to the rotation, it will likely result in a step back, meaning he would spend time in Omaha developing as a starter. This would mean Broxton would take Crow's spot on the big league team for the time being.

I think the Royals are definitely buying potential here. The potential in future success for the players on the right are likely higher than the players on the left. However, as you can see these moves definitely don't make the Royals obviously better for 2012 and there is the possibility that by investing into potential the Royals could actually take a step back this upcoming season.


  1. Interesting post, will be interesting to see how these players do at replacing the old players. I don't think the Cain comparison is fair though, he's never had an extended stay in the majors. He could struggle, but if you project out his WAR over 130 games a season or so, he averages out better than Melky.

    Francis seems to be historically better than Sanchez, Sanchez struggles to go deep into games which I think limits his value. I'd call this one a wash, maybe a slight downgrade unfortunately.

    Broxton is obviously historically better than Crow, it will be interesting if he can return to anywhere close to his 2+ WAR seasons. If so he would easily provide more value than Crow out of the bullpen.

    If Hosmer, Moose, Gio and Perez improve at all (maybe not Perez's offense but general improvement at the catcher position), even Cain and Duffy, I don't see why the Royals would take a step back.

  2. Blake, I agree Cain comparison isn't fair. I did it that way in an attempt to illustrate that we really don't know what we have in Cain.

    As for Sanchez, there is give and take. He could dramatically be better than Francis, but more likely he could be worse. With Francis you know what you get.

    I agree with the decision to at least try Crow in the rotation, and think it probably means he will be in Omaha for most of the year. If signing Broxton accomplishes this it is worth it.

    You are exactly right on your final point. I simply show this table to make the point that it isn't a slam dunk that we have improved this offseason.