Monday, January 05, 2009

Player of the Day: Milton Bradley

I love this guy. He is one of the very best players in the game when he can play. Similar to Carlos Beltran. Or Mark Teixiera. Except that he can't keep himself in the lineup. The CHONE projection thinks he'll find Wrigley to his liking.

If Bradley were able to play 150 games a year, he'd be a 20 million dollar per year player. He's got power, a very high on-base average, and has always been a good defensive outfielder, though after a year as DH his current outfield ability is a bit unknown. Projected as an average defender at his 114 game level, he's worth 13.6 million. The Cubs sign him for 10 million a year, so their break-even point here is 84 games. If Milton can play that many, they get their money's worth.

His 90th percentile season shows a glimpse of what a healthy Bradley could do in a career year: .330 average, 35 homers, 100 walks, .450 OBP/.600 SLG - that would earn an MVP vote or two. We'll probably never actually see that season, though Milton came pretty close to those rate numbers last year, just missing on the playing time.

Milton would have been my #2 free agent target had I been in charge of the Angels. But what do I know. If I had been in charge I would have spent the extra 3 million and gotten J.D. Drew instead of Gary Matthews Jr.

Runner up on player of the day is Pat Burrell, leaving the World Champs to sign with the AL champs. I can't help but notice the parallels to Greg Luzinski, who left the Phillies after their last championship. Like Burrell, Greg was a huge slugger who walked and struck out a lot, and had little range in the field. Like Burrell, he left to become a fulltime DH in the other league. Luzinski gave the White Sox 3 good years of DHing before he was finished, so the Rays should be safe with a two year contract.

9 Comments:

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

"The Cubs sign him for 10 million a year, so their break-even point here is 84 games. If Milton can play that many, they get their money's worth."

Remember when Oakland gave $9 Million to Rickey, Jose, AND Dave Henderson...combined?

 
At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Oh and do Pat Burrell next...Does this offset them just missing out on Big Tex? lol

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger MHS said...

Brother Smith,

A couple of points.

I think it is likely that team aren't paying $4.4mm a marginal win at this point, I know we won't know this until the end of the offseason, but I think it is going to skew the valuation assumptions we are placing on players and is going to make most of the signings from this point forward look like bargains, when in reality they may just be at market.

Second, I think when analyzing this trade the departure of DeRosa needs to included in the tally, as by most accounts his being traded for penny's on the dollar was a directly tied to freeing up payroll space to sign Bradley. Eyeballing your numbers, DeRosa is worth something like a $2-6mm profit over his current contract, when you assume that I think the Bradley signing looks considerably less attractive.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger MHS said...

Looks like Zim, included DeRosa and Marg. in his analysis too.

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

I think 4.4 is still working. Maybe not for Bradley but for Tex, Burnett, Burrell, Ibanez, Sabathia, Furcal, and Dempster. I don't show that group being underpaid compared to what my projections and 4.4 will give you.

The closers are down in earnings from last year, but still a bit overpaid based on projections, even considering leverage.

4.4 is the same figure in use last year, I was originally going to use 4.8 or even 5, but settled on the zero inflation level and I think it's working.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

I like DeRosa, but I think the Cubs are better off with Bradley and giving more time to Fontenot.

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous MB21 said...

Why does DeRosa's departure need to be considered when discussing Milton Bradley? The Cubs traded DeRosa to free up money, but they should have traded DeRosa to free up 2nd base. They did so for the wrong reason, but the result is the same--a better and younger player takes over his position. The Cubs may lose a half win (maybe a full win) with DeRosa's ability to move around the diamond compared to Miles, but Fontenot likely makes up at least some of that.

Pennies on the dollar? I'm not sure pitching prospects should ever be considered pennies on the dollar.

 
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