Wednesday, March 21, 2007

SPs and NTs - An opposing view

There is a tremendous amount of good information in these blogs. There are also many opinions (including mine) that should be taken with a grain of salt.

With that in mind, I have to respectfully disagree with a couple of points addressed in recent blog entries.

1. Use of the NT. Simple math should dictate your use of the NT. It increases the value of your offer by 10% for each year of a contract offer. Since the idea is to maximize the amount of money that you've got to spend, there is only one way to use NTs. Put them on three year offers to the three highest bids you make. The value of the NT decreases each time you use it with a lower dollar or lower year offer. Simple economics says that doesn't make sense.

These should ALWAYS be used only to increase offers to stud players. Anything else just doesn't add up.

2. Starting pitching depth. I've mentioned that you should minimize the amount of money that you spend on bench players, because they aren't going to play, so the money buys you, in essence, nothing. The counter argument appears to be that because pitchers are less reliable than hitters, you should buy more of them. I'll call this the 'throw enough against the wall, and something will stick' strategy. Sounds good, but again, the math doesn't add up. If you do this, you cannot spend as much of your pitching budget on your top pitchers. Therefore, you are fulfilling your own prophecy. The most reliable group of pitchers is the top group. If you bought guys like Santana, Halladay, Webb, Carpenter, Oswalt you got pretty much what you paid for. The top 20 PS guys from last year don't have alot of surprises.

More importantly, the spread between the top pitchers and the next group is enormous, and it shrinks as you get farther down on the list:

1-10 were separated by 217 points
11-20 were separated by 52 points
21-30 were separated by 22 points

So, the difference between the top ten and the next 50 or so is so large, that you simply cannot afford to miss out on these guys. By allocating your FAB money to multiple 'gambles' instead of at least one or two reliable pitchers, you lost far too many points to make the strategy viable. Chances are, there are going to be players who are still FAs that will perform as well or better than the last three guys you spent money on.

I have to respectfully disagree with this strategy. I don't see how the numbers can possibly add up to better performance unless two of those pitchers somehow stumble their way into the top 20. Unless you have a crystal ball, I wouldn't try this strategy, I don't see how it can work.

The Gryphons SPs:

Carpenter, Bush, Kazmir, Vazquez, Garcia, Lily, Clemens

Three of those pitchers were acquired for the minimum after the FAB. I would have loved to have added a young arm or two, but not when those players were being paid like established veterans. My starting five (not including Clemens), has a history of averaging more than 14 points per year for two or three consecutive years. I'll take that over a gamble on a young arm any day.

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