Former RR overlord Craig Brown breaks down the Royals tender/non-tender situation because it’s that time in the offseason:
Moving on, Brandon Maurer is next in line. He made $1.9 million last year in his first season of arbitration eligibility. As documented, he struggled prior to his arrival in Kansas City and then took his struggles to another level with the Royals. Overall, he was worth -0.6 WARP. Still, he has a 96 mph fastball and features league average swing and miss rates. If the Royals can fix the control issues that plagued him at the end of last year – and the spike in home run rate – he has some intriguing upside.
MLB Trade Rumors predicts a contract in the neighborhood of $3.8 million. That’s a nice neighborhood. The upside and the relative low cost for a live bullpen arm make this an easy one as well. Maurer will be tendered.
Rany Jazayerli steps into the WAR ring to discuss what exactly it’s trying to measure, touching on the Royals:
So how does James have Hosmer as the no. 2 hitter in the American League by this metric? Based on how James calculates win shares, I suspect it’s because the Kansas City Royals, for the fourth year in a row, won substantially more games than the Pythagorean expectation predicted based on their runs scored and allowed: In large part because they went 25-16 in one-run games, they went 80-82 overall despite being outscored by 89 runs, which should have led to a 72-90 record.
James’s win shares approach is that if a team wins more games than we would expect from its underlying statistics, we should apportion the extra wins to all of its players in proportion to their value. That approach might have been the best method in 2002, when we didn’t have the situational data we have now. But we can tell that the Royals won 61 percent of their one-run games because, as a team, they hit better in high-leverage situations (.758 OPS) than in medium-leverage (.738) or low-leverage (.718) situations. But that wasn’t the work of Hosmer. It was the work of guys like Whit Merrifield (.351/.409/.519 in high-leverage spots) and Salvador Pérez (.315/.336/.583). If you’re going to argue that players should be rewarded not just for the runs they create, but for the wins they create, then you have to go the extra step and give that reward to the players who did the creating.
FanGraphs’ Travis Sawchik argues that Mike Moustakas is the Royal FA that teams should be trying to sign:
One reason I suggested, in a piece for ESPN Insider, that Moustakas would make sense both for the Angels and Phillies is because of how he would fit in the home park. Kauffman Stadium cost Moustakas home runs, and he still managed to hit 38 last season.
Few players hit as many fly balls and line drives to the pull side as Moustakas, who ranked 39th among qualified hitters last year by launching 37% of air balls to the pull field. But because he’s such an air-ball hitter, he ranked 11th in total air balls to the pull field (308).
I’d argue that Moustakas is one of the more environment-dependent players in baseball and that Kansas City has been a poor fit for him. Consider Moustakas’s air balls from 2015 to -17 overlaid at different ballparks via spray charts created at Baseball Savant.
Check those charts.
Peter Moylan talks with David Laurila about not being famous in Australia.
Grant Brisbee argues that Scott Boras is right about the indignity of the Shohei Ohtani situation.
Stories are coming to YouTube next.
Smogville, a look at Donora, PA and the impetus for clean-air laws.
Sadly, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have left American Gods.
Should Matt Lauer being the latest to be accused of sexual harassment have really been much of a surprise?
The song of the day is “War on War” by Wilco: