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Friday, January 30, 2009

Jay Jaffe On Manny's Whereabouts

In ESPN Insider, Jay Jaffe looks at possible landing spots for the Dodgers' now-free-agent left fielder:
Dodgers: Still the favorites to re-sign Manny given the huge financial advantage they enjoy over the Giants and their NL West brethren, the Dodgers could easily fall back upon free agents Bobby Abreu (3.2 WARP) or Adam Dunn (3.8 WARP) if Ramirez signs elsewhere. For the moment, however, their left fielder is punchless speedster Juan Pierre, who hit .283/.327/.328 last year, and who is owed $28.5 million over the next three years thanks to Colletti's insane largess. Failing an Andruw Jones-like buyout, Juan-Be-Gone forecasts for a more-of-the-same 1.7 WARP, meaning that Ramirez would be worth an additional 2.6 wins in a division where the races have been decided by two games or less in four of the past five seasons.


Angels: Having lost Mark Teixeira to free agency, the Angels apparently have money to spend as well as a gaping hole in their lineup. Their .413 slugging percentage was ninth in a 14-team league last year; without Teixeira's video game-like .358/.449/.632 performance for them over the final two months, they'd have slipped to 11th. PECOTA loathes Teixeira's underpowered replacement, Kendry Morales (.253/.295/.389, -0.2 WARP), and it's none too keen on Juan Rivera, who will be given first crack at the everyday left-field job after signing a three-year, $12.75 million deal. Extrapolating the forecasts for Rivera, Gary Matthews, Jr. and Reggie Willits across left field and the otherwise-vacant DH slot yields 2.2 WARP apiece at two premium offensive positions. Adding Ramirez in either slot thus gains 2.1 wins, with the difference between bad left-field play and DHing coming out in the wash mathematically. Alas, given that the Angels won the division by 21 games last year, they've likely got less incentive to pursue Ramirez relative to the more tightly clustered NL teams.

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