« Archive for the ‘Free Agency’ Category

“The market right now is kind of silly, and it may continue to be silly.”
- St. Louis Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty (ESPN.com; November 28, 2006)

So just how silly is the market?

Quite, actually, but particularly when it comes to pitchers.

But doesn’t defense win championships? Isn’t that the idea that we’ve all been taught, weaned on, suffocated with, what have you? Shouldn’t there be a premium on pitching, if it is really that important?

Let’s consider. Wins can be broken down and credited to three major factors: runs scored, runs allowed, and luck. Pitchers have almost no effect on how many runs their team scores, but a substantial hand in how many their team allows. Substantial is the key word here. Most fans and, incredibly, team execs seem to believe that a pitcher is almost entirely responsible for the runs he lets up, hence the reliance on ERA to evaluate performance. […]