Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Rays Fleeced The Twins

Matt GarzaTyler Hissey takes a look back at the Rays-Twins trade (Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie for Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett and Eduardo Morlan) in an article he titles "Fleeced":
Obviously, the Rays ended up on the better end of the trade for ’08. From a dollars earned/made standpoint, the Rays spent $0.8-M on Bartlett and Garza, who combined to provide $21.2-M worth of on-field production, according to FanGraphs' value wins metric. The Rays, therefore, received $20.6-M in value, which is crucial for an organization with limited financial resources.

The Twins, on the other hand, spent $1.8-M on Harris and Young, who, with the latter posting a mark in the red, combined for a total worth of $2.1-M.

Tampa Bay, in year one alone, ended up with a gain of $18.5-M for making the trade. Although Garza has some issues that need to be worked out and Young may finally put it together on a power standpoint, odds are the dollar values are only going to get worse for Minnesota.
It's a long, detailed, well-written article, with breakdowns of each player involved. I encourage you to read it.


  1. "Bartlett played a big part in the defensive improvement, earning Team M.V.P. honors despite a line of .286/.329/.361 and 82 OPS+; granted, objectively he was not actually deserving, but perhaps the local chapter of the BBWAA were voting for him as a symbol of the tremendous defensive improvement for the team."
    Thank you for this Tyler. While I do not think Bartlett was the actual MVP I have been defending the choice for exactly this reason. On a team where there was no Pujols type and where any number of players have equal claim to the honor, it is defensible to focus on what many consider the key to the team's success, improved defense, and to select the shortstop who, even at his worst, was a significant upgrade over last year's incumbent as the symbol of that improvement.

    I was particularly disappointed in Posnanski's unusually snarky attack on the choice and distressed by the chorus of scorn the choice received from local bloggers. It may have not been the best choice, but with a little effort at empathy with a particular perspective, a perfectly reasonable one.

    Frankly I think had Howell been the selection it could be defended in the same way.

  2. Thanks for the comment. As far as Bartlett, I agree with the sentiment for voting for an improved defense. As he was the key guy. Kevin Gengler talked about that on one of my Rays Digest podcasts a few months ago, and I have hurt the argument a lot since then.

    Was Bartlett the most valuable player in terms of doing things that lead to wins? No, of course not, and that recent piece by Marc Topkin had some major flaws. But, no, it was not all that embarrassing of a choice.