11-4-2010: Offensive projections and the offseason
November 4, 2010 3 Comments
I think it’s a good move that the Red Sox opted to exercise their option on DH David Ortiz today. Why? Here are my current hitting projections for the Red Sox in 2011 (three-year average from neutralized rates, regressed and park- and age-adjusted). This includes everyone who is projected to have a wOBA of .350 or better:
Notice anything interesting? Had Big Papi become a free agent, that would mean that the 4th, 5th and 6th best bats in our lineup would all be on the free agent market. That’s a lot of production to be trying to replace all at once.
I’ve taken the liberty to project most of the significant free agent hitters, using the same formulas and adjusting their stats for the AL East and Fenway Park:
So Ortiz’ bat is essentially expected to be equal (production-wise) to that of the best free agents out there, and you won’t be able to get those guys for 1 year and $12.5M. The other problem is that most of the top free agents are first basemen who are not as good as the first baseman we already have. Not many good matches for us, outside of Carl Crawford or possibly Jayson Werth.
That leaves Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre’s production, which means you’d have to nab two guys off of this list if you wanted to maintain this year’s offensive potential.
Or you could trade for some of these guys, who are rumored to be on the market (again adjusted for the AL East and Fenway Park):
Of course, you’d have to pay in prospects to land these names. And yet again, these are mostly first basemen or corner outfielders. As you can see, it’s not easy to replace the talent of a Martinez or a Beltre. It may be in our best interests to sign a stopgap third baseman and try to trade for Adrian Gonzalez at the deadline.