Scott Rolen's a fine player. But was the cost too great? Image via WikipediaThrough a strange twist of fate, I suddenly have a bit of time to spend working through today's big deal in a more careful way than I did earlier today (I have no real opinion on the Hairston deal as of now). Let's look at the players one by one.
Scott Rolen, RHB 3B
|2009||34.2||TOR (ROS) ||174||13%||8%||-- ||0.308||0.284||0.351||0.439||0.155||0.349||2.2||0.9|
|2009||34.2||TOR (ZiPS) ||547||12%||7%||-- ||0.331||0.308||0.364||0.465||0.156||0.362||13.4||3.4|
Fielding-wise, he's not what he once was, but still is a plus defender. A weighted 3-year average of his bUZR puts him at ~8 runs above average. His Fan's Scouting Report in 2008 was outstanding, rating him best in all of baseball at his position. I'll put him as a +1 WAA fielder, with the understanding that injuries can pull this value down.
So, in terms of win value (i.e. total value) the rest of this season (60/162=37% games remaining), we have:
+0.9 offense (from ZiPS Rest of Season)
+1.0 WAA * 0.37 = 0.4 fielding
+0.25 WAA * 0.37 = 0.09 position adjustment
1.4 WAR over the remainder of this season, which is worth around $6.3M.
He's due to make $11M this season, of which I'm estimating 37% should be paid by the Reds, which is $4M. That's a surplus value of ~$2 million this season.
2.4 WAR offense
1.0 WAA fielding
0.25 WAA position
-0.5 WAA aging
3.2 WAR Total
That's worth between $14.5 M and $16 M, depending on how the free agent market goes this offseason. He'll make $11 million, so that's ~$4 million in surplus value. Overall, we have a "property" that can reasonably be expected to provide ~$6 million in surplus value over the rest of his contract. He also fills several holes on the Reds--he's a good RHB, and solves (at least until the end of July 2010) the defensive problem at 3B. He's a good pickup. The question, of course, is the cost...
Edwin Encarnacion, RHB 3B
The problem with Eddie is that his fielding really hurts his value. A 3-year weighted average of his bUZR puts him as a -10 run fielder. His Fan's Scouting Report was more "positive," rating him just in the bottom third of 3B's defensively. Consensus seems to be he has a solid glove, but an awful arm--seems right to me. FSR data would put him at about a -5 run fielder. I'll split the difference and call him a -0.75 win fielder.
So, over the rest of this year, we have:
0.8 WAR offense
-0.75 * 0.37 = -0.3 WAA fielding
0.25 * 0.37 = 0.09 WAA position adjustment
0.6 WAR, which is worth ~$2.7 million on the free agent market. He makes $2 million this season, and 37% of that is $0.7 M. That makes his surplus value over the rest of this year ~$2 million.
Next year, we have:
2 WAR offense
-0.75 WAA fielding
0.25 WAR position adjustment
-0.25 Aging (I'm not taking off the full 0.5 WAR because he's still young; injury risk and my lack of regression still warrants a deduction)
1.3 WAR, which is worth between $6-$6.5 million next year. He'll make $4.75 M, so that makes for about a $1.5 million surplus value--entirely due to the fact that he's still in his arbitration years (otherwise, his salary would be better).
So, overall, I'd rate Encarnacion as being worth about $3.5 million in surplus value. You can guestimate that he might be worth another $0.75 million surplus in his third year of arbitration (arbitration players don't make what free agents do), which would bring his value to $4.25 million.
Zach Stewart, RHP
Josh Roenicke, RHP
Rating strictly on surplus value, we have:
Update: Fay says they get cash to cover the rest of Rolen's 2009 salary. That would be ~$4M. I've updated the below bit to reflect that guesstimate.
Rolen: $6 million surplus
+$4 million cash(??)
Encarnacion: $4 million surplus
Stewart: $7 million surplus
Roenicke: $4 million surplus
Total: $15 million surplus
Assuming the cash sent to the Reds above is accurate, Toronto "wins" trade by ~$5 million, which is roughly the value of a bench player as a free agent.
Does this deal make sense for the Reds? You can make the argument in a lot of ways that it does. They upgrade third base by roughly 1.5 wins next season, get a good right-handed bat (though only modestly better than Eddie's), and continue to upgrade their fielding.
The problems from my perspective are two-fold. First, the Reds overpaid by roughly one Josh Roenicke (though we're admittedly within the margin of error here). Second, even if this was the market rate, they acquired a single aging, injury-prone player in exchange for cheaper, younger players. If the Reds were likely to contend this or next season, it makes sense to do. But who outside of Bob Castellini really thinks that the Reds are in that sort of position? Rolen doesn't improve them by more than 2 wins per season, tops. The Reds prior to this trade were a sub-0.500 club, and by at least one way of forecasting these things, on their way to finishing last in the division. The Reds sacrificed a small part of the future for the now, and the two wins Rolen provides don't help the now very much.
On the plus side, at least I don't have to fret about why the Reds aren't moving Edwin to the outfield anymore. ;)