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Olney: Schmidt Is Yanks' Plan B

If the Yankees don't win the Daisuke Matsuzaka sweepstakes, which pitcher becomes the top target?  According to ESPN's Buster Olney, it will be 34 year-old free agent Jason Schmidt.  Said Olney in his blog:

"I've heard the Yankees' Plan B, if they don't get Matsuzaka, will be the pursuit of Jason Schmidt. Talked to his agent the other day, and he said that any perception that Schmidt is devoted to the idea of playing close to his home in Washington is 'completely inaccurate' and that he hasn't ruled out any team, in any time zone."

Schmidt brings more risk than Barry Zito in the long term, but projects to be worth about 4.8 wins next year according to Baseball Prospectus.  BP sees Zito as a 4.2 win player in '07.  While we're at it, here are some other projected WARPs for free agent starters:

Clemens - 4.9
Glavine - 2.3
Padilla - 2.7
Mussina - 3.4
Maddux - 3.4
Pettitte - 4.9
Meche - 1.5
Lilly - 2.1
Weaver - 3.5
Suppan - 2.9
Williams - 2.1
Eaton - 2.3
Wolf - 2.6
Mulder - 3.6
Batista - 0.9

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Comments

Mulder - 3.6 WARP? That seems pretty optimistic.

He was downright awful in 2006. Even in 2005, while his ERA was good, his K/BB ratios declined dramatically. Vintage Mulder consistently posted 3:1 K/BB ratio (2001-2003). But starting in 2004, that ratio dropped off a cliff (barely 1.5 BB/K).

Also - isn't he supposed to miss possibly the first month or 2 of the season?

-Kevin

Yeah. Prob with these projections is that they haven't been adjusted to include 2006 performance.

Yeah, some of these seem pretty hard to believe. Mussina equal to Maddux? Batista THAT much worse than Eaton? Pettitte really better than Schmidt?

I don't have much context for these. What's Santana's? What was Schmidt's in 2006, for example?

Santana projects at 7.7 for next season.

Ah, ok - that explains it. I'd think that once 2006 is figured in, Schmidt would really blow away Zito, right? Something like maybe 5.3 to 2.9 or something?

I'm curious...are those projections any different when you factor in a change from the NL to the AL? Because Zito's 4.2 is based on the numbers he produced in the AL, and Schmidt's 4.8 is based exclusively on pitching in the NL...does WARP somehow eliminate league differences? If it doesn't...I sort of fail to see its usefulness as a performance indicator when you're talking about guys swapping leagues.

desturbd good point, zito pitching at shea with no dh in a big ball park is a big difference from in pitching in the bronx with a dh and short dimensions down the line. I still fail to see why zito is always hated on by everybody. He is an innings eater, and never gets hurt, and just wins every year. Whats not to like?

Nobody hates Zito, and you're right, he's an innings eater who wins games and never gets hurt. That certainly has value. But paying him as if he is one of the top starters in baseball is just foolish.

Why do you care so much what these guys get paid? Barring freak injury these guys are worth every penny they are offered. No one comes to your boss and tells them you are getting overpaid.

Because we all like to pretend we are GMs, and thus criticize and praise the moves the real ones make.

Hmm...so unless a guy gets hurt he's worth whatever he makes? So, for example, Russ Ortiz's contract was a good one?

And people don't come to my boss because neither how much he pays me nor my performance are public information, and my work isn't watched by millions of people across the world.

No offense, but your post might be one of the most ignorant I've ever seen.

iloveraykim,

There are several points in response to your question about why we care how much someone gets paid. Here are a few:

1) There are a good portion of folks who frequent this site who are not New York fans, and thus we live in the 'real world.' The real consists of planning and budgeting.

2) Within those budgets are equivalently determined ratios regarding how much of a budget a player can have.

3) By spending an extra large portion of that budget on one player, it is possible that A) prices for games, merchandise, media broadcasting and such could go up. This effects my directly. It's called inflation, and B) less of the overall budget is applied to other players that can fill gaps and round out a roster to make a team more competitive, and C), (this is more a B2)I care more about the team than the individual, but the individual has a direct result on the impact and success of the team.

Therefore, it is possible that by spending a lot of money on a big free-agent player with a corresponding big free-agent contract I might not be able to afford campbell's soup for my kids, my team will spend 95-117MM on a team that finishes 3rd to last in all of MLB and I only get to watch 25 games because my team sucks and my cable bill is outrageous.

That, and it's fun to talk about.

Bobo and Dave let me respond. Obviously what you are saying I agree with. DO you really believe Major League Owners can't afford these players. The only teams that don't have budgets are those teams that can offer players like a 16-year old Francisco Pena 750,000 signing bonus. It drives me crazy when people talk about players being overpriced. Because in reality all professional athletes are over payed. I love the NY Knicks, but you want to name me a more over payed group of losers? If I thought about how much money they made and how ridiculous it is I could not watch sports. Bobo before becoming so exacerbated realize that my post was 2 sentances long.

Edit to that. I meant "Can" really afford these players not can't

I apologize - I overreacted. But come on - this is basically all we talk about - which moves are good for teams, which are bad, how much players are worth, etc. It's like in a roto league arguing about whether Pedro is worth $25 or $35.

Anyway, I don't believe athletes are overpaid as a group, because the market supports them. Nobody's claiming that their jobs are more important than those of firefighters, for example, but these guys, like movie stars, generate millions of dollars just by working publicly, and they can do what very, very few people in the world can.

You know what something (anything) is worth, right? Whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Clearly baseball fans, collectively, are willing to be tens of millions of dollars per year for the players, so they're worth it.

I think Pettitte is going to surprise a lot of people next year; his numbers (4.20/1.44) this year could have been much better. If he leaves Houston, his HR/9 should drop (Minute Maid's HR park factor was 1.171) and he probably won't see a repeat of his awful .333 BABIP against (119th worst out of 129 pitchers with 100+ IPs). Here's hoping the Yankees get him back and atone for the awful situation that played out after the 2003 season.

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