Monday, December 21, 2009

The Game of Life

You'll understand how clever I am in a moment.

First off, I've got several posts in the works, but life (post title reference #1) got in the way of late, as I had an inordinate number of final projects to grade. I'm on vacation now. Booyah.

Secondly, and significantly more importantly, what the fucking fuck? Milton Bradley (post title reference #2) for Carlos Silva plus pittance? Look, I know that Bradley didn't dig Chicago. And I know that Chicago didn't particularly dig Bradley. And I know that Bradley, for all his skills as a baseball player, is injury- and explosion-prone. But he was still an above-average player last year (between 0.5 and 1.0 WAR, depending on whose formula you trust), a year when his power numbers basically evaporated (he slugged only .397). But Bradley's batting eye didn't evaporate: he OBPed .378. And he stayed relatively healthy, playing in 124 games, his third most ever. All of this was good for a 99 OPS+, which is hardly what Chicago paid for, but not exactly a Mike Hampton level blunder, either.

And Silva? Well, his career best WHIP is 1.173, which doesn't sound too bad until we look at the rest of his career: his second best WHIP is 1.312 (1.310 if you count his 84.0 IP as a rookie reliever). Silva has been a starter for six years, and in that time has had an above average ERA+ thrice (2004, 2005, and 2007), and in one of those years (2007) he was still just about as average as can be (102 ERA+). He's posted a positive WAR only three times (the same seasons his ERA+ topped the century mark), and has cost his team more than a win in the other three seasons he's started (including, importantly, both of his years with Seattle).

With Seattle's crazygonuts outfield defense, don't expect Milton to spend much time roaming around in right. That means Bradley will be moving into the DH slot in Seattle, which will protect him from injury the way the Cubs couldn't, potentially adding to his value (paradoxically, as moving to DH is usually a downgrade in value for all but the worst fielders). As for Silva, he might eat up some innings. He's done so before. And he might be good. He'll probably be OK-to-bad. Bradley will be OK-to-exceptional.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see whether any of those middling prospects Seattle sent our way work out.