Thursday, January 17, 2008

Offseason: Baseball ’08 – Hot Stove Report

How will offseason moves affect player values at GameDayRitual?

As we roll on towards the 2008 season, we take a look at some of the bigger names changing scenery and how their 2008 payouts are projected to change with their moves. The first figure below represents the average salary of the player in 2007, and the second their projected 2008 salaries:

  • Miguel Cabrera | 3B | Marlins→ Tigers | $9.0→ $12.0M
    Cabrera’s move to Detroit and it’s behemoth batting order could see him challenge Albert Pujols claim as GameDayRitual’s top-paid hitter. Comerica Park is not exactly hitter-friendly though, so temper you projections accordingly.
  • Nick Swisher| 1B | A’s → White Sox | $3.0→ $6.0M
    If you have Swisher already under contract for next season – count your blessings. The move to a hitter’s park and surrounding sluggers Thome and Konerko could take Swisher and his talent to the next level.
  • Francisco Cordero | RP | Brewers → Reds | $4.8→ $6.0M
    Cordero pitched fantastically last season, and his pay scale will increase accordingly – but keep in mind his new team (the Reds) and new ballpark (Great American) are not exactly an ideal setting for a top-tier closer.
  • Dan Haren | SP | A’s → D-backs | $5.3→ $7.0M
    While Haren is moving to a slightly hitter-friendly park, the move to the less-productive NL and his propensity for strikeouts should more than neutralize the effect.
  • Kosuke Fukudome | OF | Dragons → Cubs | $0.0→ $5.0M
    Hitting amongst Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez is a nice situation in which to begin one’s major league career. Fukudome has excellent plate discipline which should help him flourish in his transition from Japan to the States.
  • Edgar Renteria | SS | Braves → Tigers | $3.6M → $4.5M
    Hitting in front Magglio Ordonez and amongst the Tigers’ offensive juggernaut can only help Renteria in 2008. An additional consequence here is that Carlos Guillen can now plat first base exclusively where he is far more productive.
  • Delmon Young | OF | Devil Rays → Twins | $2.0→ $3.0M
    Young did not meet expectations last season, but a new clubhouse could do him some good in light of his differences with Rays manager Joe Madden.
  • Milton Bradley | OF | Padres→ Rangers | $1.2→ $2.5M
    Bradley, if healthy (a big ‘if’), should benefit from the bandbox that is the Ballpark at Arlington. His perceived value could stay down due to the very public way in which he was injured at the end of the season.
  • Johnny Estrada |C | Brewers → Mets | $1.7→ $2.5M
    A solid-hitting catcher moving to a solid-hitting lineup spells an uptick for Estrada and his GDR salary. But offseason knee surgery should be taken into consideration as well as the reminder that always applies here: he’s a catcher.
  • Miguel Tejada | SS | Orioles → Astros | $7.3→ $7.5M
    Tejada moves from one hitter’s park to another, but will see better protection in the Astro’s batting order. That said – recent controversy should dampen his outlook slightly.
  • Scott Rolen |3B |Cardinals → Blue Jays | $4.5→ $5.0M
    Change of scenery usually does not cure health woes, but Rolen could have greater incentive to take care of himself now that he is free from his feud with Tony La Russa.
  • Aaron Rowand | OF | Phillies → Giants | $1.7M → $2.0M
    The modest increase in Rowand’s expected ’08 salary is more an artifact of user awareness than endorsement of his new surroundings. On the contrary – an anemic SF offense and pitcher’s park should curb any enthusiasm generated by his numbers last season.
  • Torii Hunter |OF | Twins → Angels | $3.1→ $3.5M
    Hunter should benefit from Guerrero’s protection in Anaheim, but should not be expected to exceed the output he managed in his contract year in 2007.
  • Andruw Jones | OF | Braves → Dodgers | $7.1→ $5.5M
    In addition to a big drop-off in his contract year, Jones is moving to a high-pressure environment and a pitcher’s park. His contract offers should drop accordingly.
  • Brad Lidge | RP | Astros → Phillies | $5.3→ $3.0M
    Lidge’s value can only drop this year as contracts signed before his tumult expire. That said, a change of scenery could do him some good, and he should have a health number of save opportunities on his new playoff-caliber team, so don’t write him off completely.
  • Orlando Cabrera | SS | Angels → White Sox | $3.0→ $2.5M
    Without the protection afforded by Vladimir Guerrero, Cabrera’s value slips a notch, though there are hitters in the White Sox lineup to pick up the slack.
  • Eric Gagne | RP | Red Sox → Brewers | $2.7→ $2.5M
    The MLB record-holder for most consecutive saves looked good in Texas and then flamed-out in Boston. He’s not a lock for the closer’s job in Milwaukee. So a bad play right? Maybe not. The lower-key setting could do him some good.

Other players to watch include seemingly positive moves for Randy Wolf (LAD→SD), Michael Bourn (PHI→ HOU), David Eckstein (STL→ TOR), Josh Hamilton (CIN→TEX), Carlos Silva (MIN→SEA), Geoff Jenkins (MIL→ PHI) ,  Dontrelle Willis (FLA→ DET); neutral transitions for Jason Kendall (OAK→MIL), Lastings Milledge (NYM→WSH), Matt Garza (MIN→TB), and Paul Lo Duca (NYM→WSH);  and downgrades for Scott Linebrink (SD→CWS), Kaz Matsui (COL→ HOU), Jose Valverde (ARI→HOU),  Jim Edmonds (STL→ SD), Tom Glavine (NYM→ATL), and Troy Glaus (TOR→STL).

Filed by GameDayScott.

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