Big trade and more on BournDecember 11th, 2012 by terrybenish
Three team trade involving Reds, Diamondbacks and Cleveland with prospects and young, good players going every which way. AP description of trade below.
One of the big local blogs wrote a piece extolling Michael Bourn as being superior to Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton based on his last three years WAR rating. That he hit .270 and his onbag of .350 and .399 slug and stole some bases is not the critical piece it is because his dWAR is really good. Baseball Reference has it -.4, .4 and 3.0 the last three years.
So in 2011 and 2012 Bourn had almost identical total chances over 156 and 153 games respectively he threw out the same number of guys. But there is an enormous variance in his Ultimate Zone Rating. Same guy, not hurt, fast.
Here is a straight forward definition of UZR which is most of DWAR: How to calculate UZR: The baseball field is divided into 78 zones, 64 of which are used in UZR calculation. (As Lichtman explains, infield line drives, infield pop flies, and outfield foul balls are ignored. Pitchers and catchers are not included.)
Here’s what is calculated for each zone: the out rate and the percentage of balls in that zone that turn into outs. The league average out rate is then subtracted from the player’s out rate — if this number is negative, it means the player is worse than league average. If it’s positive, it means he’s better than league average.
That rate is then multiplied by the number of balls that hit in that player’s zone. This yields a Zone Rating. To obtain the run value, it’s multiplied by the Zone Ratings that are calculated for each zone the fielder covers, and then summed. This sum is a simple, unadjusted UZR. It is then further adjusted for park factors, batted ball speed, which side of the plate the batter was hitting from, the pitcher’s groundball/flyball ratio and the number of baserunners and outs at the time. The adjustments are made because each of these variables can significantly affect the average out rate in a particular zone. Using run expectancy charts, these rates can be converted to runs. Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-UZR?urn=mlb,212311
What the stat asserts is that on average in 2011 he was slightly below average for center fielder. But the next year he was a monster defensive player. So good he is more valuable than two corner guys that hit a bunch of home runs and score and drive in runs and whose teams coincidentally win and make it to the playoffs. Bourn’s team was a playoff participant too as a wild card.
Net net, he is a consistent top 5 center fielder year to year and he gets on base at .350. Which is kind of Ichiro light, as a centerfielder. Offensively, he is probably not as good as Michael Saunders and there is no upside. Saunders is an above average offensive center fielder and has a superior range factor to Bourn. Stupid signing.
As a right fielder or left fielder Saunders offensively Saunders is below average. Stupid signing.
It looks highly, unlikely that a great corner guy hitting 40 bombs will be running around Safeco as a Mariner.
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians traded outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Cincinnati Reds and acquired prized pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal Tuesday night.
Center fielder Drew Stubbs was sent from Cincinnati to Cleveland as part of the nine-player swap.
In addition to Stubbs, the Indians received Bauer, the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft, and right-handers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks.
Cleveland shipped Choo, infielder Jason Donald and about $3.5 million to the Reds, while sending left-handed reliever Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson to Arizona.
The Diamondbacks also received shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati.
Choo, who has been Cleveland’s primary right fielder since 2006, will play center and bat leadoff for Cincinnati.
“It was very difficult giving up home-grown talent, but we think Choo can fill the missing parts in our lineup both offensively and defensively,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement. “He is an exciting player, and we expect him to set the table.”
Dealing Choo was almost a necessity for the Indians. He was entering the final year of his contract and is eligible for free agency in 2013. The Indians have not been able to work out a deal with agent Scott Boras, who has turned down several extensions in recent years.
The 30-year-old Choo batted .283 with 16 homers and 67 RBIs in 155 games last season. Donald hit .202 in 43 games.
The speedy Stubbs has played center exclusively for the Reds, helping them win NL Central titles in 2010 and 2012. He batted .213 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs last season, striking out 166 times in 493 at-bats. He has 100 stolen bases over the past three years, including 30 in 2012.
Bauer, one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, became the first member of the 2011 draft class to reach the majors and went 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four starts for Arizona this year. The 21-year-old right-hander out of UCLA struggled with his control, compiling 13 walks and 17 strikeouts in 16 1-3 innings.
Bauer spent most of the season in the minors, going a combined 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 22 starts at Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. He had 157 strikeouts and 61 walks while allowing 107 hits in 130 1-3 innings.
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said he was sorry to part with Bauer, but “we’re fortunate to have a lot of pitching depth.”
The 22-year-old Gregorius, considered a defensive whiz, spent last season with Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville before appearing in eight games for the Reds.
The Diamondbacks have been looking for a shortstop to replace Stephen Drew, traded to Oakland in August after returning from a serious ankle injury. They were thought to be interested in Indians All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera, though Towers wouldn’t comment on that.
Towers said Gregorius reminds him “of a young Derek Jeter.” Gregorius will go to spring camp and compete for the starting job in the big leagues.
Arizona completed a $15.5 million, two-year contract with right-hander Brandon McCarthy on Tuesday and also acquired reliever Heath Bell from Miami earlier this offseason. Towers said those additions make it “highly unlikely” the team will trade slugger Justin Upton.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press