- Dec 22, 2002
I wasn't valuing offense exclusively, I just think he's redundant on this team. Would you give JBJ $12-13 million a year to be your LF? I also wasn't advocating for Rusney. I was doing the exact opposite. I'd rather have JBJ than Rusney.There's more than hitting to consider when deciding how to value a starting OFer. As discussed in the assigning blame thread, the OF defense this year has shown indications of taking a step backwards from 2018. Given the likely age impacts on defensive range for the entire starting trio of OFers to begin with, making the entire situation even worse by removing JBJ for Rusney without any real assurance that his bat will actually be measurably better than JBJ's seems like an awful idea to me.
In an era of uppercut swings and infield shifting, it seems to me that OF defense is not the best place to value offense exclusively.* This isn't 2001-2007 anymore, one-dimensional OFers are more of a liability than they ever were in my mind, therefore carrying JBJ the entire player for ~$12M is a different value proposition than just thinking of carrying JBJ's offensive production. This is particularly true relative to some other generic/borderline MLB OFer (like Rusney Castillo) who *might* match his relatively underwhelming batting line, while almost certainly failing to maintain the current level of OF defense in 2019, such as it is.
* I tried to find MLB-wide totals of GB%/LD%/FB% to back up my thinking with some actual data, but fangraphs doesn't seem to want to allow me to get league totals of the batted ball stats, only team totals. As a result, I'm stuck with trying to use Red Sox-specific data to try to put anything of substance behind this thought. Specifically, in terms of GB%, over the last 9 seasons (2011-2019), 4 of the 5 lowest GB%s are from the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Red Sox. I'm using this as a shaky proxy for the idea that the relative value of IF defense is declining, which I am blaming on the combination of IF shifts and uppercut swings, and am therefore concluding that the relative value of OF defense is increasing.
Quoting myself from earlier in the thread: I'd guess JBJ gets similar money to Rusney, and that the Redsox could do better than both at a cheaper price point given Betts or Benny can play CF.