AL Notes: FA Spending, Ichiro, Dirks, Skaggs

We already know that the 2013-14 free agent market has featured incredible spending levels, but what does that mean for how teams value a win (above replacement)? Dave Cameron of Fangraphs breaks down the cost of a projected win for each player that signed a major league deal. The results show that teams have spent at levels that, depending upon what discount rate and precise methodology is employed, value an expected win at between $5MM and $7MM. In a follow-up piece, Cameron observes that, at least for players who are expected to be regular contributors, the spending shows a non-linear escalation of the price of a win (i.e., teams are paying a premium to lock up high-WAR players). Then again, says Cameron, one team — the Yankees — bid on all and signed most of the top (3+-win) players who were on the market, which could have skewed the results. Be sure to read both pieces for all the details on this fascinating topic. 

Here are more notes from around the league:

  • The Yankees' rash of spending may have pushed him to the periphery of the team's roster, but Ichiro Suzuki is not changing his approach, writes Dave D'Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger"Whatever my role is here — whether I'm a starter or not — my preparation never changes," said Ichiro. "Every day I'm going to do the exact same thing regardless of what my role will be. … If I was the type of player who changes the way I prepare myself, I wouldn't be the player I have been."
  • Outfielder Andy Dirks of the Tigers will undergo back surgery and is expected to be out of action for three months, reports the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). Dirks had been expected to be the left-handed-hitting side of a left field platoon with Rajai Davis. GM Dave Dombrowski indicated that the club hopes to rely on its internal options — including Davis, the switch-hitting Steve Lombardozzi, and left-handed swinging Don Kelly — to fill the void, James Schmehl of reports"We think we have some good candidates," said Dombrowski, "but we'll just have to wait and see. I don't want to proclaim that to be 100 percent, but we do have some people that we feel have the chance to play a bigger role for us."
  • After coming over as the key piece in the Mark Trumbo deal, 22-year-old lefty Tyler Skaggs is a key to a high-priced Angels club, writes Richard Justice of"He's very important to our season, very important to our future," said GM Jerry Dipoto. "Tyler, being that he's the youngest and least-experienced of our starters, it's an important spring for him to take that next step and establish himself at the major league level."

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9 Comments on "AL Notes: FA Spending, Ichiro, Dirks, Skaggs"

1 year 5 months ago

no pressure, skaggs

1 year 5 months ago

Skaggs ran into a jam in the 3rd inning after shutting the Rangers down in the first 2 innings today. But 50 pitches was his limit any way. His stride is long again — the Diamondbacks tried to shorten his stride and that’s what caused the drop in velocity. He was hitting 92-95 today with command until that 3rd inning jam. He looked really good for this early in ST. I think he’ll do just fine. And if he’s a little slow out of the gate, the Angels actually have 6 consecutive Thursdays off to start the season, and 7 of their first 8. In fact, they only have one Monday off before the All-Star Break. So with all those Thursdays off, the Angels can skip a spot in the back end of their rotation if they want to through the month of May. Not a bad position to be in to ease Skaggs and Santiago into a full season of starts, if need be.

Charlie Burns
1 year 5 months ago

Skaggs will bounce back and probably be a good if not great pitcher this year, just yeesh, that is a bunch of pressure to put on such a young pitcher who has had some struggles (mostly thanks to Arizona’s mishandling of him at times) in the majors so far.

1 year 5 months ago

Cameron taking my thoughts :) 1.5-2 war players cheaper than $6M per war.

Zachary Eick
1 year 5 months ago

Just when you thought you got rid of him, Donald Kelly comes back into the Tigers roster -_-

1 year 5 months ago

Donny Kelly Baby! I heard other internal candidates are esiquial Carrera, I butchered his first name but the guy who broke up Fisters no no 2 years ago and Trever Crowe who came from the Astros, he is a swith hitter and Carrera is a lefty and both bring a lot of speed to the table.

1 year 5 months ago

If Tigers want to look for someone on the outside… who would be a fit?

Would love MLBTR to post on that topic.

Alex Childress
1 year 5 months ago

If i’m Dombrowski…im calling the Yankees on Ichiro. If he platoons with Davis and is average, jsut having him in the clubhouse will be worth it. Might teach some Tigers how to be a little more patient.

tune-in for baseball
1 year 5 months ago

Don’t panic, best thing for Detroit to do now is…nothing. To make a trade from a position of weakness, will often force you to give up more than you get.DD says they will fill the left-handed batter spot from within,which means Kelly or Lombardozzi on the 40 man roster.Lombardozzi hit .254 against right handers and Kelly .220 in 2013. Kelly is the better fielder and Detroit really wanted Lombardozzi as an infield roll player. They also have lefty hitter Ezequiel Carrera and switch hitting Trevor Crowe in camp. Crow hit .218 and Ezequiel Carrera played in 15 games in 2013 so there is little help there on offense. Their best prospects,Daniel Fields and Tyler Collins played AA in 2013 and are too green for the Majors.In the next 3 weeks,all the teams will firm up their 25 man rosters,so more than likely there will be an opportunity to pick up a lefty bat that is better than the internal options they have now. Many teams who have player that is out of options and won’t make the team will be eager to trade rather than release. DD can make a trade or gamble that he can get the player when released. Or like Alex said, someone like the Yankees may want to play Let’s make a deal.