Sunday, June 4, 2017


By one our many freelance reports slurie2001, owner/operator of the St Louis Cardinals.

Hi Sam "no spell check" Willie. I really liked your free agent analysis earlier this season. I have always had a fascination with Type A free agents and whether they pay off the year they are signed compared to the opportunity cost of the lost draft picks. Of course, it has to be looked at a much longer term view to truly assess but it is always interesting to get a sense of it the year of the signing. With that in mind, here is some rough analysis for your consideration. 

There were 13 type A signings across 9 teams. Of the 9 teams, 2 will finish with a record greater than .500 and up to 3 will make the playoffs (SF is two games out from the division with 4 to go as this is written). 

3 teams go multiplied type A free agents with the perspective that if one is going to sacrifice their first pick, it is not as costly to do so with their 2nd pick, etc. To be fair, one of the teams that got multiple type As (San Diego) did have one of their own Type A free agents taken. Of the 9 overalll teams that took a Type A, 3 had one of their type A free agents taken. 

So how did the free agents do in order of team's record as of the time of this writing:
1. Kansas City (95-63) with a massive improvement over the prior year. Their Type A (Horacio Corpas) had a relatively flat year compared to his career (down on Average, up on OPS) but overall, likely not a big contributor to KC's major uplift. 

2. San Diego (85-73) with a small improvement over the prior year. They got 3 Type As and all of them have had much better seasons than their career average. Interestingly, San Diego also traded one of them (Wolf Carpenter) to the Mets mid-season. One could argue that San Diego made some very savvy signings that helped them to stay playoff bound. 

3. San Francisco (77-81) - Their Type A #p6340659Kordell Watson (P)#p has had a very strong year compared to his ML averages and it can be considered a key factor in SF's improvement from the prior year. 

4. Detroit (76-82) - Their Type A #p6089031Archie French (P)#p improved on WHIP over his career but had a worse ERA and W/L record than his averages. Overall, not a big factor in Detroit's small decrease in wins from the prior year. 

5. Florida (72-86) - Two Type As that both played close to their expectations given their ML averages. Interestingly, one spent half the season in the minors. 

6. Anaheim (71-87) - Experienced a small improvement over last year but not likely due to their Type A signing #p5427142Kazuya Gong (CF)#p as he has had a down year compared to his averages. 

7. Rochester (71-87) - Had a small step back in their record despite their Type A #p6339967Fred Gonzales (LF)#p having one of the best seasons of his career. 

8. Boston (66-92) - While #p5474914Enerio Medrano (SS)#p performed exactly at his career averages, #p6088650Bengie Romero (C)#p played far worse than his norm and this contributed to Boston's challenging season. 

9. Tampa Bay (58-100) - Actually improved materially from last season and #p6088241Storm Weaver (RF)#p played a huge role in that improvement and also outperformed his career averages slightly. Clearly, a longer term play as TB expects similar improvement in the coming seasons. 

So overall, for the team with the biggest improvement, their Type A did not play a big role. Type As did play a key role for the next top teams (SD and SF) and then an interesting mix of results for the other teams watching the playoffs from the sidelines. While true value of the Type As can only be seen over multiple years and needs to accounts for scouting strategies for each team, always find the tradeoffs interesting. 

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