John Henry’s recent comments about how the Red Sox have “perhaps overly relied on numbers” in recent years and became too focused on analytics drew quite a bit of reaction from around baseball, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo writes. MLB Network’s Brian Kenny believes “the enemy of the Red Sox is impatience, not analytics,” noting that properly analyzing the numbers could’ve told Boston that Jackie Bradley or Rusney Castillo wouldn’t be stars overnight, or that Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval were risky signings. On the other hand, some scouts praised the Sox for their apparent turn to traditional evaluation over sabermetrics. The Red Sox have been at the forefront of the analytics movement over the last 15 years, so if they succeed in this new direction, Cafardo wonders if other teams could follow suit. Here’s more from Cafardo’s latest column…
- Cafardo points to one notable victory for scouting over analytics from 2011, when the Rays’ then-top scout convinced Andrew Friedman to obtain Chris Archer as part of the eight-player blockbuster that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs. The scout was sold on Archer, while Friedman’s analytics evaluation were pointing him towards righty Chris Carpenter, who ended up pitching only 15 2/3 innings at the MLB level.
- There’s still “a lot of interest” in Jorge Soler on the trade market, which is an option for the Cubs as they sort out their crowded outfield. With Dexter Fowler rather unexpectedly returning to Chicago, the Cubs have Jason Heyward playing every day in right (or sometimes center) and then Fowler, Soler, Kyle Schwarber and possibly minor league signee Shane Victorino all juggling for playing time, plus Ben Zobrist and Javier Baez also capable of playing left.
- The Brewers are still considering a Jonathan Lucroy trade, as “there’s still buzz in the scouting community” that a deal could come in Spring Training. Lucroy would have to prove himself healthy in the wake of a 2015 season shortened by a concussion and a fractured toe. If he looks good in Cactus League action, that could be enough for another team to pull the trigger on a deal.
- It’s been a quiet offseason for Marlon Byrd rumors, as Cafardo notes that the veteran outfielder “isn’t getting much love on the market.” Interest in Byrd could pick up as teams sort through their roster options, however, and Cafardo lists the Angels, Blue Jays and Orioles as speculative fits. Byrd had 24 homers and an .847 OPS as recently as the 2013 season, but while he’s still managed to hit for power (48 homers) over the last two years, the 38-year-old’s batting average and OBP have fallen off considerably.
Why wouldn’t the Angels want him as the LF er no playton he is better than both options.
Byrd would make total sense for the angels, a power bat and could be a good bench player
Red Sox won 3 World Series since they made the switch to a strong analytic organization right in 2003. Saying their “worthless” when every team (ALL 30) have a department is utterly ridiculous.
Yes but 2 of those championships orchestrated by Epstein, he had a much more balanced approach then Cherrington did……I think Carl Crawford was the first big mistake analytics wise
Epstein was forced to bring in big name players against his will by the president and ownership. Crawford and Agon were not his decisions.
Lucroy to the Rays for one of their minor league pitching studs (other than Snell) and one of their 3 MLB catchers would make a lot of sense for both sides.
Doubt they’d have much interest in any of their major league catchers, they would just play Maldonado and Pinto. They want young controllable guys, possibly Honeywell and 2 more prospects.
Based on how this offseason has gone for Milwaukee, I think that if Snell wasn’t included, they probably just hang on to Lucroy. Value wise, this deal makes some sense, but you have to consider competition in the market. Lucroy is the type of player that someone will likely “over pay” for at some point.
Snell for Lucroy won’t happen. I doubt very much if Honeywell for Lucroy would happen either. One of the lesser pitching prospects maybe, Faria or Koch, and a couple other 10-20 spot prospects. The Rays don’t need Lucroy bad enough to give up much to get a catcher. They have 3 and there are always catchers lying around at the end of spring training.
I love people that say a certain trade won’t happen like they are the gm. Brewers should easily be asking for Snell. That doesn’t mean the Rays have to do it but to get someone like Lucroy who is one of the best in the league at his position and owed almost nothing for the next two years, you have to pay something very significant. And none of the catchers the Rays have now or that will be lying around won’t be nearly as good as lucroy
Soler’s as good as gone.
If he’s traded , I wonder who they would target
It would be ironic if he went to the O’s! Not that they have a good depth of prospects to acquire him… I just like the irony of the situation!
they don’t have the depth in the farm to trade for him unless they give up gausman
Soler for Heaney would be good for both teams
Based on the numbers I just looked at, there is a 97% chance this is 100% inaccurate.
A package starting with one of the Braves young pitchers could be a starting point, probably 1 or 2 of them that are in the minors would be intriguing, considering Hammel is an impending FA and Lackey is pretty up there in age.
Soler for Tyrell Jenkins, Max Fried and Braxton Davidson
The Cubs need to fix the farm system anyways, now they have a trade piece to really help that.
I was watching High Heat with chris russo the other day , somebody said Soler to the braves for Julio Teheran ? I doubt the cubs would do that trade
Umm, I don’t see the huge need for another MLB starter for the Cubs. Hendricks and Hammel are fine as a 4-5 with Wood and Warren as the depth.
Yea they need depth in the farm for pitching, thats something they don’t really have in the farm. jenkins is almost ready though
That trade makes sense for both, Teheran and Soler. Both are controlled through ’20 and each team takes care of a need. Teheran would be a solid 3/4 guy in the rotation and Braves clear a few million and set their OF.
But I think Soler is more valuable then Teheran.
Agreed, but by how the team sees them now, not as valuable in a trade. He sits as the 4th or 5th OF for the Cubs where Teheran is Braves No. 1. That is why o see them matching up. If Soler was planned as starting CF lead off man, he would hold more value.
The Cubs still have a top 5 farm system.
Not really. MLB.com doesn’t even have them in their top 10.
BA has only 3 Cubs prospects in the top 100, and none in the top 40.
MLB.com does have them in their top 10, so does Keith Law. Gleybar Torres is inside the top 40 and so is Contreras. The Cubs have lots of young pitching in the low minors that scouts are raving about. Also as for the Sabermetrics vs scouting there has to be a healthy medium. Many scouts can see things that no numbers could ever predict and many analytics have ways of giving accurate info to players on the field.
That’s a terrible deal for the Braves. Maybe 2 of those 3 for Soler but not all of them. Makes no sense. Especially for a team not immediately needing major league ready talent. Braves would not a lot more coming back than Soler to make this deal happen.
Am I the only one who remembers Henry saying sometime after Theo left that they had got away from analytics and needed to listen more to Bill James and company.
Red Sox problem is they lack a humanistic component in their analysis which would have kept them away from Hanley and Pablo, and their medical judgement has been questionable for years now going back to at least 2010 and burned them with Lackey, Beckett extension,, Agon, Crawford and more recently with Hanley, Craig and Pablo acquisitions
Agon and lackey were both good signings. You take away 1 bad lackey year and it’s good. Agon never became the 40HR guy we wanted but was solid.
I wish the Orioles would trade for Soler. It will never happen, since the Cubs would want Gausman and others. But it he would fit in well in Baltimore, and would give them an every day RFer
Bill James is still a red sox employee, so I think we’re going to see a balanced approach going forward
The key to being an effective troll is subtlety. Keep trying kid.
Blah blah blah
Blah blah blah
Cubs are not going to make the same mistake with Jorge Soler that they did with Welington Castillo. Will require a young top of the rotation cost controlled pitcher and more pieces.
Carrasco or Salazar from Indians for soler?
Cobb or ordozzi from Tampa?
Ross from Cleveland ?
Here’s a piece of questionable value that we don’t need anymore. Give me all your money and all your talent for him.
Sounds like Trader Dave sold his old friend John Henry on his Marlins-sized bag of bullsh– that worked in 1997 but is glaringly archaic two decades later.
Good luck, Boston. He never leaves it before than he found it…
Soler for Heaney
Sabermetrics are a joke. This site had an article just a few days ago looking to predict UCL injuries using math. Umm, OK.
Save the math for architecture and accounting.
Glad to see Henry take a turn away from the stats geeks. Sabermetrics led the Dodgers to spend almost $32 million this season on Kazmir and Anderson. You don’t need a master’s in statistics from MIT to know that is a complete joke.
Completely agree. Using math to quantify human potential and or performance is the biggest lark ever perpetrated on MLB.
So what do you expect teams to base future performance off of? Former top prospects who “looked the part” and “had all the tools” have turned into nothing, while nonathletic players have turned into stars.
Sabermetrics are just another tool in the tool box that all clubs use.
I hope the blue jays dont sign Byrd. While he quietly had a solid season last year, I really just dont see the need in signing him. We have Saunders and Pompey to field LF this year, and while that isnt exactly the best options, it does come with some upside. Also Saunders is a lefty and Pompey a SH which is nice in our righty heavy lineup. Also, I really would rather spend any extra cash we have on pitching or save some money for the trade deadline.
Yes, using math in a game almost entirely determined by numbers is ridiculous… And we should switch from baseball bats to tennis rackets.
Ok, Archimedes, show me one example of when some pocket protector wearing mathlete accurately predicted an entire season based upon equations. You can’t. The two best teams – record wise – of the past 20 years (’98 Yankees, ’01 Mariners) were built the ” old fashioned ” way. A lot of the players on those teams had career years that no sabermatrician would’ve ever predicted. Math can’t quantify the human element involved in any sporting event. To believe otherwise is complete folly.
https://m.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/2qtpnj/2015_steamer_projections/ These were the vaunted Steamer projections for MLB teams last year. Yeah, they really nailed it. Lol. All sabermetrics is is paralysis of analysis. You could pull numbers out of a hat and probably have the same chance of accuracy, or inaccuracy.
Byrd would be perfect FO the O’sA’s