Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Player of the Day: Brian Fuentes

Angel fans, Meet your new closer.

We're actually going to have two lefties in the pen, and pretty good ones at that. Fuentes comes cheaper than expected, at the start of free agent season speculation was that he'd get 3 years and 30 to 40 million. Angels sign him for a guaranteed 2 years and 17.5 million with a 3rd year option.

A bargain in that sense, and a lot cheaper than keeping K-Rod, but I think that closers in MLB are a bit overvalued. Using the concept of leverage, Fuentes' innings are roughly twice as valuable as the average pitcher, since he's pitching in tight game situations. But why pay him for the leverage? The only reason he's getting the leverage is because the team will deliberately give it to him. The leverage could have gone to Shields, or Arredondo, just as easily. I think it would make more sense to split the leverage bonus among your top relievers, unless you have a clear dominant closer like Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, or Jon Papelbon. With those guys, there is no doubt you want them to have the ball with the game on the line. With the Angels, do I want Shields out there, Fuentes, or Arredondo?

Doesn't make a big difference to me.

Let's take a look at his Fangraphs page. He's a big guy, 6'4, 240 pounds. He throws a fastball in the low 90's, 91.5 last year. His data shows no loss in fastball velocity over the last four years, which is a good sign to me. He also throws a slider (15%) and change (10%).

He'll be a nice addition, probably worth an extra win. I just hope the Angels don't stop here. The 5th starter spot is a hole, and Derek Lowe could improve the Angels by 4 wins there. A slugging LF/DH like Milton Bradley or Adam Dunn could probably improve the teamby 3-4 wins as well.

35 Comments:

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

I'll give the blog a try imbedded in the new site. Let me know if you think it looks weird, or doesn't work on your browser.

If I can keep up the player of the day blog, I think it's a good fit for the projection site.

 
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

How about Barry for DH? Assuming he survivies his March trial unscathed?

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

Maybe I should put a projection in for Barry. Sosa too, since I heard he wants to unretire again.

But at this point I doubt either will ever play in the majors again.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

Now I see that Bonds just had hip surgery and needs to recover from that before any attempt to resume his baseball career.

I think his best shot for 2009 will be to play for the Newark Bears or St. Paul Saints.

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

He will alledgedly be available by opening day. And assuming he is healthy AND he survives the prosecutors, I suspect he'll end up on a roster. Even if he played for the Bears or the Saints, it will be tough for baseball to ignore him again. Especially if the players association gets involved.

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

Those are some big assumptions. I think baseball will find it easier to ignore him this time.

Last year we was coming off a season where he led all of baseball in OBP.

This year he's 44 years old, hasn't played in 18 months, and coming off surgery.

I think he'll have to accept an independent league signing in order to prove he can play.

 
At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

We'll see. Keep in mind Selig brokered a deal with the Player's Association to avoid the dispute last year. He probably told them to let the trial happen and then wait to file.

 
At 7:19 PM, Blogger RiverMise said...

Are the chone projections available in CSV format for previous years similar to the format currently on baseballprojections.com?

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

Nope, the previous years were lost when my comcast site went down (still no idea why that happened). At some point I might restore them, but it's not that high on my list right now, so many other things to work on.

 
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