3.01.2006

Winn signed (finally) for 3 year extension at $23.5M

When I first heard the news, I had to catch my breath. "$23.5M for 3 years?" I was expecting something like Jacque Jones $16M over 3 years deal. "Almost $8M per year?" I thought $7M per year would have been the range for him. I was not too happy with Sabean's negotiations on this deal, I had been hoping that it was Colletti who was the driving force behind the problems with contracts that we have been having (or so in Giants fans thoughts at least).

But after reading comments by other fans and calming down a little, I finally realized that this was an extension for the years 2007-2009 with some built in inflation for future years, not quite the same as Jacque's, which starts in 2006. So I thought that we could look at Winn's contract, instead, as a 4 year contract for $28.5M or about $7M per year, which I could buy (see above). But it still seemed like a lot, it almost seems like the Giants were giving him extra to make up for the $5M in 2006. But the Chron noted that it was similar to Mark Kotsay's 3 year $22M deal, so that makes it a little more platable.

Then I recalled the sad fact that the Giants don't really have anybody who looks like they'll be a front-line starter for us in the next few years coming up the farm system. Fred Lewis' status as a regular starter prospect is starting to look gamey, kind of like Linden - they both need to excel this season if they are to get on the 25 man roster in 2007-8. Clay Timpner looks like the next in the long line of "great glove, not so good bat" CF, along the lines of Calvin Murray and Jason Ellison. There has also been talk that perhaps Marcus Sanders, possibly our second best hitting prospect (after EME), might be forced to play CF if his injuries don't heal properly, but for now he's at SS with 2B as his first alternative and CF as next. So if the Giants don't sign Winn now, particularly since he's looking for a deal now, they would have to go into the free agent market for that, and who is out there who would be a better choice?

So I'm feeling better about the deal now. It's obviously not a great deal but it appears to be a fair deal, in line with the marketplace, somewhat, relative to Kotsay's and Jones' deals. In addition, he gets a no-trade clause for 2006-2007 plus can veto 10 teams as trade destinations in 2008-2009. Hopefully we don't need to come to that anyway, it would mean that either the Giants somehow get really lucky with their 10th pick and get their future CF and he moves up fast or, more likely, Winn does an Alfonzo and we need to swap salary. Winn is the first player signed out to 2009, beyond Matheny and Vizquel now.

Stats

As the Chron noted, Winn has been a very steady player and Sabean noted his durability. But, then again, so was Ray Durham when we signed him and he has been all aches and pains since. But that's something we cannot predict, or we could retire and buy our own baseball team.

He has a career .288/.346/.425/.771 batting line with a so-so walk rate of 7.7%, good contact rate of 82.5%, borderline OK W/K percentage of 47.7%. Showing that consistency, that is approximately his rates for the past 3 seasons: .296/.350/.450/.801 with a so-so walk rate of 7.2% (average of 8% in AL and 9% in NL), good contact rate of 83.9% (85%+ is considered best, he had 85.3% in 2005; 82% was the average), borderline OK W/K percentage of 47.8% (Under 50% is considered bad but average in AL is 50% and NL is 54%, so he not far off from the average player; over 100% is considered best). His homerun rate is slightly better lately than career but that huge output for the Giants skewed his numbers, but only a little, he's been basically hitting 14 homers per year for the recent past: homer every 53 AB for career (11.3 HR/season) vs. homer every 41 AB for past 3 seasons (14.7 HR/season).

According to his baseball-reference profile, he has hit over league average in a number of areas. His BA of .288 compares well with the league BA of .267. That helps makes up for his lower walk rate in keeping his OBP above average: .346 vs. .334. If he could continue the .391 OBP he had while a Giants last season, then he'll be obviously better, but that .346 is kind of low for a leadoff hitter. His SLG of .425 is about league average, which was .427, even though his homerun binge pushed his SLG to .680 with the Giants. His OPS+ is only 103 for his career but he improved lately and has been in the 105-126 range the past four seasons. His SB% has been bad for his career, at 67% when 80% is considered the mark of excellence. Over the past few seasons, he generally been around 75-80% except for 2005 when it was a low of 63%, though still better than it was early in his career. His similar batters don't look great, but through 31, these players show up: Roberto Kelly, Steve Finley, Jose Cruz, Mule Haas, Dom DiMaggio, and Bake McBride.

Defensively, Baseball Prospectus' profile shows that their defensive methodology shows that he is very slightly above average and is worth about 1 win or 10 runs above a replacement player, just for defense. Most descriptions I've seen on him basically states the same, that he is about average defensively as a CF. These descriptions usually also note that he is a much better corner outfielder.

Quoting from Ron Shandler's blurb on Randy Winn: "...skills are as consistent as they come." I couldn't agree more. Since becoming a full-time starter, his AB has ranged from 600-626, his runs from 84-103, hits from 177-189, 2B from 34-47, 3B from 4-9 (mainly 4-6), HR from 11-20, RBI from 63-81, SB from 19-27, BA from .286-.306, OBP from .346-.360, SLG from .425-.499, contact rate from 82.5%-85.3%.

Only, $8M per, whew, salaries just get higher and higher, it's getting to the point where you just leave it in Giants management hands and just wish them luck and keep a blind eye towards all that. But I like numbers, just not those numbers, though the sticker shock is slowly going away. At least it wasn't as bad as I thought it was at initial look.

2 Comments:

Blogger allfrank said...

Martin, I think you have it a little wrong on the Winn contract. It is not $8 mill a year. It is $5 mil for this year, $7 mil for '07, and $8.125 for '08 and '09. Basically, it is $7 mil per year + inflation. In a world where Brett Tomko is getting $4+ mil, this is not a bad contract. The guy can play and produce and is not a head case. In '08 his contract will look cheap.

Wed Mar 01, 05:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

The $5M is the option the Giants exercised just after the 2005 season ended. The $8M per year reference is towards the $23.5M/3-year contract extention that he just signed.

But you are right, with mediocre starters like Loaiza and Byrd getting $7M+ per year, Winn's contract looks cheap in comparison.

But the economics of that is astounding. If, say, your #3/4 starter gets $7M, then your #2 gets $9M and your ace gets $12M. That's $35M for your rotation alone. Another $7M for your closer (more if great), that's $42M for your main pitchers on your staff, plus you need your setup men who are usually important enough to pay $2-3M for each. You fill the rest with youngsters and that's about $50M for your pitching staff.

Add a superstar hitter at $10M+, plus 2 other good hitters at $7M each, that's $75M ($80M if he's really good, $85M if he's the best). 5 more starters at $3-4M each costs another $15-20M. Add some bench for maybe $5M, vets and prospects and there's your final bill: $95-100M (+$5-10M depending on how good your best player is.

Only Yankees, Mets, and Boston can afford something like that if I remember revenues correctly. The poorer teams are then screwed unless they have young players coming up.

This highlights the importance of Sabean's strategy of drafting pitching, pitching, pitching. Mediocre starters are getting $7M plus pitchers are the most fragile of players. I like what Jon Miller said today on KNBR: "they are consumable commodities". They have a shelf life. But if you got a crop of young pitchers coming up and competing for spots, that reduces the cost for the pitching staff from the $50M to something much less, depending on how many youngsters you can keep coming up. And if one goes down, hopefully you have others biting at their bit to get up to the majors.

Wed Mar 01, 09:06:00 PM PST  

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