Jack Wilson post

by billfer on December 4, 2008 · 56 comments

in Trade Rumors

No time to post now (day job and all), but there are rumors and denials about a Jack Wilson trade and I know people want to discuss it.

Here’s the link to MLB Trade Rumors which will be on top of this.

UPDATED: So there are more rumors and denials. All linked at the MLBTR link above. The buzz is so strong that it makes me think that this is close to happening, but the buzz is so all-over-the-place it makes me think it might be a load of crap.

It’s hard to offer up analysis without knowing any parameters, but I’ll wing it.

Money

When the Tigers declined offering Renteria arbitration because they didn’t want to be exposed to the possibility of a $9 million commitment, I figured that it had killed Wilson rumors. Wilson makes $7.5 million which is not significantly less than Renteria, plus there’s that whole thing about having to trade players.

Now in some of the reports it has the Pirates picking up the bulk of the salary, which is good in the sense that the Tigers are trying to achieve some sort of benefit here. It’s bad from the sense that Detroit is looking to the Pirates for cash. This really deserves a post of its own.

Is he an upgrade?

Wilson isn’t an upgrade over Renteria. If you see comments 12, 17, and 20 below, both players are about a half win below average. Wilson gets his value on defense while Renteria gets his on offense. Yes Renteria had a down year, but he still maintained a high line drive rate and improved dramatically in the second half.

Wilson is coming off an injury plagued season, but in his time on the diamond he was excellent at short (+16 in Fielding Bible). Of course with smaller samples comes greater opportunity for flukiness as well. Still, Wilson profiles at least as an above average defender. At the same time he’s another NL’er and would need that requisite adjusting thing.

What would the Tigers have to give up?

Probably too much, or at least it will feel like it. They want a stop gap, and the Pirates want prospects. So the Tigers are giving up something of future value for a one year rental of an average-ish player in a year where there intentions of competing or cutting costs seem to be diametrically opposed.

In terms of names…I’m not the guy to ask. I never thought they’d have to give up Jurrjens and Hernandez for Renteria.

What else could they do?

Adam Everett’s name got tossed out in one report today. He really is the ultimate all glove no hit guy. In his defensive prime he was 40 plays above average. But he’s really been hampered by injuries the last 2 years and you have to wonder if it will hurt his range. But he should be really cheap. Like Santiago cheap.

Cesar Izturis is another name I’d like to see linked to the Tigers. He isn’t as good as Wilson, in fact he’s a win worse with the bat and a little better with the glove, but if it’s cost cutting that’s in store, why not sacrifice a win to save $6 million or prospects?

I’m not opposed to Wilson, but I just hope that if it happens the Tigers don’t overpay for what could very likely be an inconsequential player. Stay tuned. I’ll talk more about this if it happens. Also, I will be streaming live at 11 a.m. ET tomorrow and will likely be discussing this more then.

 
 

{ 56 comments }

Chris Y. December 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Oh, yay! Just what the doctor ordered.

An $8M version of R. Santiago with slightly better defense coming off a leg injury, and the cost is which member(s) of our bulging farm system????.

If we had to strike a deal with the Pirates, it could have at least been for Matt Capps.

rings December 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I’m with Chris. I don’t dislike Jack Wilson, but this seems to me to be a tremendous waste of $$ and poker chips.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

What the hell, Chris? I wanted to be first.

I proposed a need-for-need swap, Thames for Wilson. If the Pirates want prospects – ANY prospects – I really don’t like this deal at all. Unless Matt Capps is part of the deal.

A post in time saves nine, billfer. Well done.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Oops. Don’t take that the wrong way, Chris. I see “Chris” and automatically think “Chris in Dallas,” who I’m on a “what the hell?” basis with. Right, Chris in Dallas?

Chris in Dallas December 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm

What the hell, Loon? You need the jump to conclusions mat from that movie “Office Space”.

I don’t care for Jack Wilson, but I’d take him over Lugo in a cocaine heartbeat as they say.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm

How dare you use a term such as “what the he__” with me, Chris in Dallas. I shall “report a concern” forthwith.

No, really, you have to admit that Chris Y.’s post was, well, very Chris-like. Is there a Chris factory somewhere?

Jack Wilson strikes me as The Expensive Cheap Guy. I think I’d rather have The Cheap Expensive Guy. Who would that be, though?

Mark in Chicago December 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I wouldn’t put Wilson on the same plane as Santiago. Wilson has shown he can play 140+ games per year and provide reasonably consistent numbers. Santiago has done that exactly once and posted a robust 225/292/284 line for a whopping 56 OPS+. Wilson is no A-Rod, but he’ll give you 260/310/360 with virtually the same defense. It’s maybe not worth $8 million, but we aren’t exactly swimming in alternatives at the moment.

It depends on what we give up, and any prospect worth anything makes this deal much less palatable. But the Dodgers are in the mix too, and if we miss Wilson, we go with….. who, exactly?

Andre in Chicago December 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm

it seems as though Santiago’s lack of proven everyday-ness has put the Tigers in a bind. if all that we were looking at were the players, then it seems like you look at Wilson (or a Wilson/Santiago platoon) as an upgrade over Renteria’s 08 numbers – to which Wilson’s career averages compare quite similarly to. when you factor in Wilson’s defense you get last years offensive numbers with better defense @ SS.

unfortunately, Wilson is carrying a $7mil tag. so i’m guessing that the Tigers won’t be getting any salary relief from Pittsburgh unless Thames (or some other surplus outfielder) is in the mix (and highly valued by the Pirates) or we’re giving up some good prospects.

i know we’re all probably a little wary of SS deals after last year, but as Mark correctly asks, if not Wilson, who and at what cost? i would like Santiago @ SS in 09 if we can just extend his 08 offensive numbers…but it really doesn’t seem like the front office believes this can happen. so all i can really think about this situation is that the Tigers need to “make the best of it” and hopefully not at the expense of too much money or talent.

Chris in Dallas December 4, 2008 at 3:44 pm

I see that Renteria officially signed with the Giants. Two thoughts: a) that team just can’t get enough of washed up veterans and b) now not offering him arbitration is made all the more vexing.

Steve December 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Renteria sign with the Giants………. We got no Draft picks

WHY I ask Why?

Kathy December 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I like Jack Wilson, but Dombrowski is denying the whole thing.

Mike R December 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Jack Wilson’s Marcel Projection has him posting a .311 wOBA in 418 PA’s.

.311-.335/1.15*700=-14.6

He’s projected at being -14.6 runs than average in 2009 in 418 PA’s.

His 2009 CHONE projection for his defense puts him at +7 runs defensively.

That puts him at -7.6 runs versus the average player for 162 games. We don’t anticipate him playing 162 games. His Marcel projection has him at 418 PA’s, which is just roughly 60% of playing time. That’s due to only having some 300-odd PA’s in 2008 and Marcels are built on weighting the last 3 seasons. It was by far his lowest PA’s since becoming a full time regular. So, lets give less weighting to that, his 05-07 average number of PA’s were 589. So, let’s add that to 330 (2008 # of PA’s) and divide by 2 which gives us 459.6 PA’s, or, 460 PA’s. That give a playing time roughly around 66%, which is a bit better.

So, take his -7.6 Runs Above Average (actually below in this case) and multiply by .66 and you now get -5.016 or just -5 runs below average offensively and defensively.

Replacement level is 2 wins below average, and his -5 RAA equals out to -0.5 wins. So, he’s at 1.5 Wins Above Replacement. If you don’t add in a positional adjustment, that makes him worth roughly $7.5 million as each ‘win’ is around $5 million in value.

If you add in positional adjustment, which is 0.5 wins for a SS, you then get 2 wins above replacement player, or a straight-up $10 million value.

Mark in Chicago December 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Very nice work, Mike, way to put some meat to the argument. I’ve similar arguments for other players that reference these types of numbers, but nobody bothered to break it down step-by-step.

Thanks!

Mike R December 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm

It won’t let me edit in some disclosure: i think that’s how it’s calculated, but I’m not 100% certain.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Not to put down Wilson, but look at his listed height/weight and look at his first season (2001). I notice similarities with a cat named Ramon. Also, you don’t get to play 140+ games when you’re not the starter. The Pirates stuck with Wilson, and it’s not like the Tigers gave up on Santiago because of durability concerns – just look who they got to replace him.

Wilson didn’t manage better than a 70 OPS+ until his 4th full season, and he’s only broken 100 twice. Wilson is the better glove hands down, but at the plate and on the bases, I’d rather have Santiago. At the price of Wilson… I’d rather have Santiago. And I hate to play the NL-only card, but I will anyway.

And failing all else… RAMON IS A TIGER! A natural born Tiger. Where was Jack Wilson in 2003? Yeah.

greg December 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Chris – on the Renteria signing, we can’t assume the Giants would have signed him if we offered arbitration. Renteria is a lot less attractive when you have to give up draft picks.

Mike R – don’t forget though that Wilson is great in the clubhouse.

I kid, I kid.

Actually I love the D, hate the stick. We’ll see if it materializes.

Mike R December 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm

No problem, Mark.

One adjustment: 10.5 is the relationship between Runs/Wins, so instead of dividing his -5 RAA by 10, you divide by 10.5 which equals -0.476 ‘Wins’ Above Average. Replacement Level = 2 wins below Average, so that would then adjust Wilson to 1.52 WAR * 5 = $7.6 million. Positional Adjustment makes it 2.02 WAR which equals $10.1 million.

If you want to adjust it to about 85% playing time (which is close to typical for a full time starting fielder), then you get -6.46 RAA (below, in this case). Using the methods I’ve used already, the -6.46/10.5=-0.615 WAA + 2 for replacement level = 1.385. Add in 0.5 wins for position, you then get 1.885. Value for that equals $9.425 million. I think.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Nice work, Mike R, but run those same numbers on Renteria as if we were a year back in time, between the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Well, I mean, you don’t have to, but I do wonder how good Renteria looked in this same light. And again there is talk of prospects changing hands.

This pro-Santiago stance is making me look anti-Jack Wilson. I just don’t like the idea of prospects for Wilson.

Andre in Chicago December 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm

with all the gnashing of teeth we’re doing over our SS situation, i thought it might be funny to share this post i found re: the Giants signing Renteria:

Finally the youth movement is at hand.

/SF Giants fan
//[eff] my life

thanks for that break down Mike, if those number are right, i won’t feel bad about Wilson’s contract at least. nothing against Thames, but if the trade is made i hope its him and not prospects. sell high for once.

billfer December 4, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Renteria is about the same. His wOBA projection is 336 which is average offensively so that’s 0 wins. He’s projected to be about a win below average defensively. He gets a positional adjustment of .5 wins which makes him about a half win below average, the same as Wilson.

Renteria though compiled a third of his stats used in the projections in the AL and Wilson has all of his in the NL. With the shift in leagues Renteria will likely produce more for the Giants than Wilson will for the Tigers.

BTW – excellent work Mike. Save me some time tonight.

Anson December 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm

You know what would have been nice? Getting Wilson last year and not giving away two great prospects for a washed-up ham sandwich. Instead we gave away the prospects and had to give up the ham sandwich for nothing. I just hope this isn’t a repeat of last years trade. Also what kind of sandwich would Jack Wilson be?

Mike R December 4, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Thanks, Bill. I’ve been knee deep in college numbers lately and only in the last couple of days tried to get back into the offseason and making evaluations. Sorry if I stole a post from you, haha. Feel free to tell me to stop.

And I cannot wait for the backlash against Renteria and how he “only an NL player” when he rebounds next year with the Giants.

Also, Renteria was coming off of a career year in 2007 with the Braves. Jack Wilson is coming off of an injury riddled season in Pittsburgh. His asking price is considerably less. It’s not like we’re giving up Porcello for Wilson, the prospects changing hands are probably guys unlikely to make big impacts in the Majors.

Kathy December 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm

A Reuben!!!!!

Mark in Chicago December 4, 2008 at 5:03 pm

“It’s not like we’re giving up Porcello for Wilson”

We haven’t seen the details yet, and until I do, I am a little nervous. DD is not afraid to overpay in a trade, as evidenced by last winter, and everyone KNOWS we need a SS and everyone KNOWS the Dodgers are after Wilson too. I have to admit I also like this deal less if quality prospects are involved.

I wonder if guys like Ronny Cedeno (bench player that may deserve a full-time shot) ever get consideration in the Tiger’s front office?

EDIT: mlbtraderumors now saying the the Tigers want the Pirates to pay most of Wilson’s contract (which implies a quality prospect going over) and are now looking at free agent Adam Everett.

Mike R December 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Ronny Cedeno probably is higher valued than Wilson is, thus would cost more. Especially when you factor in just how cheap he is since he’s hasn’t even reach arbitration years.

The quality of the prosepct, still, isn’t going to be on the Porcello level. Maybe someone like a Brandon Hamilton (someone I am high on) or a Casey Crosby or a Luis Marte go in return — and if that’s the case, still sign me up for the deal.

I just wrote out a piece on the Wilson trade a few minutes ago, refining the method as it was very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants here. If he has 85% playing time (roughly 595 PA’s), I’ve got him valued at $9.9 million.

Gun to my head, I think we get Adam Everett. And if that’s the case, color me a bit scared since Everett’s rated poorly by the fans in the Fan Scouting Report run by Tom Tango and his other projections have him as the best defensive SS, but is cut way down — I think it’s 19 runs defensively by the CHONE projections, but that’s off the top of my head. If it’s around there, I’m not sure there’s value in him being a starter. I’ll look at that later tonight.

Mark in Chicago December 4, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Boy, if Crosby is the guy to go, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of that trade. I know you have to give something to get something, but we’re talking about a top-10 prospect, a mid-90s lefty with a solid curve ball (fresh off Tommy John, I know) for what amounts to a one year rental of a decent player. I seem to recall seeing that Hamilton was having quite a bit of success in rookie ball, but that seems like a more reasonable offer. Mike, what about Hamilton intrigues you?

I don’t know a ton about Marte, I remember seeing his name pop up here and there.

Dave BW December 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Trade Rumors says we’re going after Everett, who is generally a blast to watch despite his sub-Inge hitting ability.

How do you attach those avatars to posts? Loon looks to be such an affable lad.

Walewander December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm

I really, REALLY hope the Tigers spurn Pittsburgh and pick up Everett. I don’t think there’s a better option to help our run prevention with our budget. An Inge-Everett left side would not see a lot of balls going through.

stephen December 4, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Jack Wilson and Brandon Inge on the left side of infield equals 75 wins.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I think I’m with you, Walewander.

“Loon looks to be such an affable lad.”

Dave, I was careful to select a rare smiling photo. And yet I still look deranged.

To get the avatar, go to gravatar.com. Simple process. Not that I have completely infested the blogosphere just yet, but I was disappointed to see that this site is the only one where the avatar shows up, It’s supposed to be more or less “universal,” but I guess that depends on which universe.

Ronny Cedeno strikes out a lot. One thing I like about Ramon Santiago is that he doesn’t. 2008, and not just the aggregate numbers, left me with a good feeling about how he’ll do at the plate. This is more relevant to me than how he did in 2003.

Smoking Loon December 4, 2008 at 7:18 pm

“Jack Wilson and Brandon Inge on the left side of infield equals 75 wins”

Yeah, but why settle for 75-87? No, I’m with you, even though I’m rather hmmm on Wilson.

Mike R December 4, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Mark: Honestly, I think Hamilton and Crosby are pretty close in terms of their talents — I just happen to prefer the one without TJ surgery, and I believe coming into the draft that Hamilton had a better feel for his spike curve, though it was still largely inconsistent. He’s a big RH that I’ve heard comparisons to potential linkings to Matt Cain-like frame/stuff.

I definitely like Crosby — you have to love a lefty with that power fastball. However, if I recall correctly, Crosby’s curve was below what Hamilton’s was — at least that was my impression. At this point, both have a long ways to go before either are even contributing in Detroit (if they ever get there), but I hold both on pretty equal footing. I had like Crosby than Hamilton, but the TJ Surgery and actual production on the field puts Hamilton ahead of me.

Both are two-pitch pitchers with good fastballs, curves with good potential but are inconsistent, and not much else after that.

Ken in Las Vegas December 4, 2008 at 7:48 pm

I heard talk of sandwiches and I came a’ runnin. So what’s the deal? Oh, what sandwich is Jack Wison?……yes what sandwich indeed…….I would have to believe that he is the Po’Boy…….yes, yes, that’ll do nicely.

I just saw a Buster Olney preview on the Tigers and it was awful depressin mama. They basically did a nice recap of how 3 out of the 4 players we picked up last year in our “Offseason Magnifique” are either off the team, or in Dontrelle’s case, not worth spit in a bucket. They said that our hopes lie soley on the chalky white shoulders of Bonderman making a 180 and Cabrera finally hitting the 92 home runs that we’ve been expecting. The analysis concluded by reminding us of how disappointing the Tigers have been and how Detroit will probably get bought out by Canada due to the short-bus economy. I threw my coleslaw sandwich right at Olney’s face, but inadverdently hit Peter Gammons when they changed cameras. Sorry Pete.

Walewander December 4, 2008 at 8:19 pm
Walewander December 4, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Wait, never mind. I’m an idiot.

Tigercub33 December 4, 2008 at 9:07 pm

I am taking this with a grain of salt, but a poster on MLBTR is stating that Local Pitt News said that Wilson will be traded for The Tigers’ “Top Pitching Prospect”. In return, Pitt is paying the full salary.

I HAVE to think that is 100% false, at least…I hope it is

Of course, there is lots of funky news on this – two 180 degree stories regarding the Dodgers interest in Wilson.

David December 4, 2008 at 9:34 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3745548

Dodgers are trying for Jacky

“”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"Detroit also talked with the Pirates about Wilson, but the Tigers might not have enough money to make a deal unless the Pirates absorb most of his contract, said a person familiar with the Tigers’ negotiations who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation. Wilson’s contract also contains a 2010 club option for $8.4 million with a $600,000 buyout.

Wilson has a limited no-trade provision that bars deals to six teams, including the Tigers, unless he agrees.

After talking with Pittsburgh, the Tigers are now looking at Adam Everett, the person familiar with the Tigers’ talks said. Everett has played only 114 games the last two seasons with Houston and Minnesota. He hit .213 in 48 games with the Twins last season, missing extensive time because of a shoulder injury.”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”

Dave BW December 5, 2008 at 8:51 am

Why do I have the feeling that Detroit is about to get massively screwed…

Tigercub33 December 5, 2008 at 9:02 am

…because it has happened so frequently as of late…
Desperation moves rarely, if ever, turn out well.

walter55 December 5, 2008 at 9:52 am

Man I wish Jack Wilson would just go ahead and get traded to the Dodgers and so I could quit worrying about way over paying to get him. Like other people on here I am more than happy enough to go into the season with an Adam Everett/ Santiago combo. Plus if we are going to trade prospects to get a player I would rather do it on bullpen help and not Jack Wilson.

Mark in Chicago December 5, 2008 at 9:57 am

MLBTR cites Jeff Larish as someone that interests the Pirates.

I am liking this deal less and less. There are other alternatives for a 1-year fix that don’t cost us prospects. We don’t have a deep system as it is, so I don’t see the logic in dumping your best young players for a rental. Unless of course you think your best young players have little or no chance to make an impact in the bigs.

This is very disconcerting….

Mark in Chicago December 5, 2008 at 10:05 am

EDIT: MLBTR is also reporting that the Dodgers are talking about extending Wilson through 2010 for $12 million. Hopefully this takes the Tigers out of the equation.

However, with all the misinformation and denials during this matter, I have no idea what’s going on anymore.

Smoking Loon December 5, 2008 at 11:59 am

Psychics I’ve consulted assure me that a Tigers deal for Jack Wilson is now completely off the table. So I’m not going to worry about it anymore.

Ryan December 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm

How about Nick Punto? I believe his middle name is actually “stopgap”. He can ground out to second just as well as Jack Wilson, and he doesn’t cost much money or any prospects. And if he starts slugging like .270 again, he backs up Santiago/Polanco.

Mark in Chicago December 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm

punto can catch and run, that’s about it. somebody somewhere (I’m looking at you, Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams) will overvalue him enough to give him too much money, I am sure.

dtee December 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

If the SS situation seems to be all about an economical defensive stop gap until our prospects mature (2010), then why not take a look at John MacDonald. He’s a highlight reel defensive SS and a great team player……. and I’m guessing he’s really economical, too !!!

And it will cost us zero prospects !!!

Wade in Waterford December 5, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Bring back the Mac!!! I enjoyed the John McDonald era here in Detroit (as brief as it was). If Adam Everett is the K-Mart choice, than McDonald would be our Big Lots selection. Let’s admit we’re screwed at SS and get the cheapest defensive option that can platoon with Ramon and spend the cash in the bullpen.

Plus the Blue Jays seem to have an abiding love for him so we can send him back at the trade deadline for fabulous prospects (or sports gear).

greg December 5, 2008 at 5:25 pm

I 3rd the McDonald motion. Someone please call DD….

Maybe we can sneak someone who looks like him in there to hit for him.

Biff December 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm

How about David Eckstein for a stop-gap? I think he can likely be had for 5 mil per for 2 years. The D-backs didn’t offer him arbitration so I’m assuming that makes him a free agent w/o compensation.

Dave BW December 5, 2008 at 6:39 pm

I 4th McDonald. Apparently I’m all about the all-defense SS these days.

If the Tigers picked up Eckstein, I think I’d throw in the towel.

Ryan December 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm

If we want to make a big deal, why not try to get one of Texas’ shortstop prospects in a possibly deal involving Gerald Laird? We would flip Iorg, Rodney, and a pitcher (Zach Miner?) for Elvis Andrus and Laird.

Mike R December 5, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Elvis Andrus is a toolsy player that is regarded as being a possible top 5 defensive shortstop. No way Zach Miner and Cale Iorg lands Laird and Andrus. At all. Basically, they downgrade SS and get a run of the mill back-end SP.

Biff December 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm

The Tigers track record for developing shortstops is pretty lousy so somebody like Eckstein might not be a bad idea for the short term. At worst he’s a gamer. MacDonald and Everett aren’t a big improvement over Santiago and the Tigers would be better off just bringing somebody up from the farm who could also serve at a utility player.

As for trading a pitcher to get Laird: I’d just as well see what Miner can do for an extended period of time considering that Verlander is the only reliable arm we have on the whole staff (and he wasn’t even very reliable last year) besides Galarraga, who is hardly a proven commodity himself. Bonderman’s flashes of brilliance still haven’t added up to more than a sub .500 pitcher with a lifetime ERA around 5.00. Not to mention that he’s coming off a serious injury. To boot, Willis and Robertson could very well both be done as starters.

Dave BW December 6, 2008 at 10:06 am

MLBtraderumors now says that the Pirates want Joyce and Larish for Wilson. Yikes.

Ryan December 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm

@Mike R – Sure, Andrus might be a little much, but he’s eternally blocked. You might as well get something for him. Plus, they get Rodney, who could probably set up for the Rangers, maybe even close. Perhaps we throw in another young pitcher with some upside.

Mike R December 7, 2008 at 12:13 am

Just because Andrus is blocked at a position is no reason for the Rangers to just give him away. That deal, in my opinion, makes no sense.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Switch to our mobile site