Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rios and Lincecum: A Big Difference

ogc briefs



Rios is good, but not great.

Lincecum could be great.

Rios for Lincecum trade not great.

Rios alone won't make team competitive. There is no MUST to this deal, offense stink with or without Rios.

Trade only if team get better, can be argued team is worse off trading Lincecum for Rios.

Rios and Lincecum: A Comparison

Some people seem to think that getting Rios is better than getting no one. At least that is the impression I am getting from the people who are all for the trade. At least with Miguel Cabrera, I can understand the attraction, though not the desperation, in trading for him. Rios is so ho-hum to me, so I thought I would dig into the stats, as I am wont to do, and see what I find.

Let's dig into Rios stats first.

  • He is tied for 46th in the majors in HRs hit. That's good but not great.
  • He is 62nd in the majors in RBI. Again, good but not great.
  • He is 39th in the majors in SLG, among hitters with over 475 AB. Good, not great.
  • He is 42th in the majors in OPS, among hitters with over 475 AB. Good, not great.
  • His OPS+ is 119, good not great, but getting close to it, and he'll be 27 years old next year, approaching his peak physical years.
  • However, Rios in his first season was a below average hitter, pretty bad really,

Lincecum:

  • The good starters in the majors have PQS DOM% of over 40%, the best have over 50% and the elite have over 70%. Lincecum, in his first season had 67%. That's great period, let alone for his first season.
  • Among starters with at least 24 starts, his ERA was 46th. Good, not great.
  • His K/BB was 49th. Good, not great.
  • His K/9 was 6th. Great.
  • His H/9 was 6th. Great.
  • His HR/9 was 19th. Great.
  • His WHIP was 36th. Good.
  • All this in his FIRST season and he was only 23 years old.

So, overall, there are a lot of indicators that Lincecum was a great pitcher in 2007, some that he was merely good, but for Rios, everything is decidedly good but not great.

If Miguel Cabrera wouldn't make the Giants offense good by himself, how would Rios? There are no brownie points for improving your offense, the amount of help that Rios gives the offense is probably offset (possibly a negative overall) by the loss of Lincecum, and if Schierholtz is any good, Rios might not even be better than our own internal replacement in RF. So in other words, people for this trade could be for treading water and possibly taking on water.

Negotiations are not for the impatient. The Giants don't have many trading chips and, out of desperation over the offense, smart people are falling all over themselves to declare that the Giants MUST do this trade, with the unstated addendum, "because otherwise our offense will stink." Well, even with Rios, it will still stink, and trading Lincecum for Rios would just reduce by one HUGE chunk, the trade power we have.

Lincecum had great stats last year, we should not be selling him out of desperation for offense, we should be trading him because the players we add would add more to our team than what is subtracted by losing Lincecum.

We should be trading him ONLY if it makes our overall team better. I think it can be argued that Schierholtz, if given the chance, could put up numbers near what Rios did - not at his numbers, but maybe 10-15 HR, 60-70 RBI, 10 SB, which is not good but probably better than what Rios did in his first season, but given that Rios would cost the Giants Tim Lincecum whereas Schierholtz only costs the major league miniumum, that is not much of an upgrade in our offense for someone who can be as special as Lincecum appears to have the potential to become.

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