Posted tagged ‘Colorado Rockies’

Ballpark Review: Coors Field

August 25, 2015

Franchise: Colorado Rockies

Year Opened: 1995

Capacity: 50,398

Game Attended: August 20th v Washington Nationals

Sec 119, Row 1, Seat 6

Although you won’t see it at the top of any ballpark rankings, I may have been more geeked up to visit Coors Field than any other park so far. Despite a stadium that has too many seats and has seen too many losing seasons, there still seems to be a special something about the place that gives it a good vibe and charm. And Coors definitely lived up to my expectations.

1) Aesthetics- 21.5/25

Exterior- 5/5

The outer design of this ballpark is beautiful- up there with Globe Life and Yankee Stadium. It is composed of red brick and the best part is the home plate entrance, which gives off an Ebbets Field vibe. What separates it from a lot of other brick clad exteriors is the clock built into the top of the entrance. It’s a small touch, but it works.

Interior- 8.5/10

Coors Field might be one of the most underrated ballparks in baseball, based on beauty alone. But from the giant video board in left to the “woods” in the bullpen and beautiful views of the Rockies from the right field seats, there are a lot of unique style points that few other parks have. The ballpark reminded me a lot of Citizens Bank. The video board in left with seats that extended to center, the fence in right field with an out-of-town scoreboard, and the multiple decks in right.

Backdrop- 7/10

This rating is hurt slightly from the fact that while this is an “open” stadium, the video board, center field seats, and decks in right block any type of super scenic view. Moreover, the Denver skyline is located behind the home plate section of the park. However, on a clear night with the sun setting, there is no better view in baseball than the Rocky Mountains.

2) Seats & View- 16/20

Sight lines- 9/10

I sat down the first base line, about the first section into the outfield. Usually at this angle, it’s tough to read what the pitcher is throwing and you lose some angles on balls to the outfield. That wasn’t the case here. I could differentiate between different pitches and had a good read on balls hit to all parts of the field. Moreover, seats down the line across all levels angle in towards the infield so you have a better view and don’t need to twist your neck all night. Something like this would have been helpful at Minute Maid.

Proximity- 3.5/5

Sitting in the first row, we were close. I had a very similar first row seat at Philly once and it was not this close. However, the upper deck is far away. This is a mega 50k seat stadium with huge dimensions. So while the view of the mountains is cool and you can track the movement of all players on the field, you will be farther away than most other parks in the higher levels.

Comfort- 3.5/5

I felt fine here. Seats are kind of skinny, but you have leg room. However, the left and center field seats are all bleachers. These are actually pretty good outfield seats so that hurts, but at least they back support- something some stadium bleachers don’t have (i.e. Yankee Stadium).

3) Atmosphere- 10/15

Fan Participation- 3/5

So the Rockies suck and it was a week night game, so attendance wasn’t the best. The participation was okay, but once it got late in the game and it seemed like the Rockies were going to win, the stadium got loud. They were standing and cheering despite every level but the first level being empty, you couldn’t really tell from the volume.

Attendance- 3/5

Again, the night I went there was maybe around 20,000. But they draw over 30,000 on average and that’s despite a team that has sucked for most of two decades.

Fan Knowledge- 4/5

The fans that were here are a pretty good bunch. I could hear fans talk amongst themselves and spoke to those around me. I don’t think the city lives and breathes with the team, but they have fans and the fans understand the game.

4) Attractions- 10/20

Museum & Team History- 2/10

I heard they just built a team museum, but didn’t see it or see any signs for it. As for honoring team history, the Rockies have very little of it. There are no statues, plaques, or anything like that- or at least that I saw.

Things to See & Do- 8/10

So one things Coors Field will make sure of is that you don’t run out of things to do. You can stop in early and watch a great round of BP (because it’s Coors and there will be souvenirs hit). You can go to the Sandlot Bar where you can get fresh Blue Moon among other beers. You can call half an inning of the game and go home with a DVD of it. You can watch the sun set over the Rockies in right field. You can check out the “Purple Seats” in the upper deck, which indicate that you are now one mile above sea level. I had a big check list to cross off for Coors and that’s always a good thing.

5) Food & Drink- 8/10

Hot Dog- 4/5

The Rockie Dog is about a foot long dog that typically comes topped with peppers and onions. It was damn good and one of the best stadium dogs I have had so far.

Best of the Rest- 4/5

I didn’t get everything on the menu, but I would have loved to. They had foot long brats which I heard were really good, loaded potatoes, fajitas, BBQ, and even salads for those who like to eat clean. In the end though, I went for the bonus point signature dish- rocky mountain oysters. Which were good. As for beer- stick to Coors and/or Blue Moon. Prices weren’t anything to write home about, but it wasn’t terrible.

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 3/5

The entertainment was as standard as it gets- find the ball when it’s mixed up, video board race, mascot race, and some fan cams. The Rockies seem like a team that would benefit with a better entertainment package, but the baseball lifers such as myself don’t care.

7) Cleanliness- 3.5/5

The park is clean, as expected. But I wasn’t a fan of the bathrooms- they were all pretty small with small sink spaces.

8) Local Scene & Location- 4.5/5

The park is located downtown and as in most cases, that is a good thing. There are lots of bars and restaurants within a block or two of the park, so finding food and drinks before/after the game is easy- and there will be a good atmosphere to boot. One place I would recommend is Jackson’s, located right across from the home plate entrance. And if you are spending the day in Denver, the stadium is just a block or two away from the 16th Street Mall, so the neighborhood Coors is located is about as good as one can hope for.

9) Access & Cost- 4.5/5

Coors Field is both accessible and cost-friendly. You can drive there as it’s right off the highway. But you can also take the bus or light rail for really cheap and it drops off a couple blocks from the stadium. As for cost, the team isn’t very good and there are 50,000 seats. So good tickets are easy to get. And if you really want to be frugal- grab seats in The Rock Pile. It’s the second level outfield bleachers in center and they go for $4-$5.

10) Misc- 4

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 1

Coors Field had the kind I like! Non digital, showed every game at once, had inning, score, runners on base, and pitchers.

Signature Dish- 1

Stats & Info- 1

Had all pertinent stats and was easy to find.

Concourse- 1

11) Personal Opinion- 4/5

As mentioned at the top, Coors Field lived up to expectations. It wasn’t the best park in the world, but it certainly is a good park and should be in the top half of anyone’s rankings. Unique parks are a favorite of mine and Coors is certainly a unique park. It’s clean, aesthetic, has quirks, and is functional. Bravo, Coors.

Overall Score- 84/115


Ubaldo Jiminez an Indian?

July 31, 2011

As of now nothing is official, but apparently Cleveland will be trading Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Matt McBride, and a potential fourth player to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jiminez. Wow. I don’t know about you, but I find it surprising that Cleveland might land Ubaldo.

Ubaldo Jiminez is a really good, young, and cost-controlled player. From now through 2014, he will be paid $18.88mil. He is 27 and is under contract through his age 30 season. I have him producing about 1.5 WAR the rest of the season, Being conservative, I have him at 15 WAR total through 2014 (1.5, 5, 4.5, 4). So I have him producing $74mil over the next 3.2 seasons. As said, he’ll be paid $18.88mil, so he has a value surplus of about $55mil.

So, lets look at the prospects Cleveland will have to give up to get that value and ace pitcher. Alex White was pre-season top 50 prospect who was called up this season before landing on the disabled list. Since he is a top 25 pitching prospect, he is worth $15.9mil. Drew Pomeranz was a top 70 prospect, but surely has moved up this season. In A+ he has been lights out, making 15 starts with a 11.10 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, and 2.36 FIP. I’d also call him a top 25 pitching prospect valued at $15.9mil. Matt McBride has good minor league numbers, but he is 26 and long past prospect status. As a C hitter that is older than 23, he brings just 500k in value. So, the Rockies will be receiving $32.3mil in return for Jiminez. Color me unimpressed.

Seriously, what a shit deal for Colorado. First off, I still don’t know why they are trading Jiminez. I don’t believe they have money issues, but even if they do, Jiminez is super cheap. I don’t think any other star pitcher is paid as little as he is. I mean, club options for $8mil? That is a STEAL. Besides, I don’t even think Colorado needs prospects or to rebuild. They have Tulowitzki and CarGo and Chacin. But okay, they trade. At least get a better haul. Yeah, White and Pomeranz are good. But you need more than that.

Good for Colorado though. Hopefully their fans start showing now. The AL Central should be a fun race this year.


Pitcher Joe Gardner is the fourth prospect. He is 23 and struggling in AA. Pre-season he was rated the Indians ninth best prospect. I consider him a C level prospect, but to help Colorado, lets call him a B level prospect. That’s $7.3mil. Add that to the $32.3mil total and you get about $40mil. Still well short of the value Jiminez alone should bring you.

Yet “experts” like Jon Heyman are calling it a good deal because they got four players. Seriously? Quantity =/ quality.

Mark Ellis shipped to Colorado

July 1, 2011

Just the other day the Oakland A’s shipped Mark Ellis to the Colorado Rockies for Bruce Billings and a PTBNL. While a trade of Mark Ellis shouldn’t be a surprise (he is 34 and sports a 54 wRC+), it does close relatively important chapter in A’s history.

Ellis is and was not a superstar, but during his best years he was a good starting second baseman. Always more of a fielder than a hitter, he has accumulated 56.7 fielding runs in his career of 1056 games. He also has a WAR/700 of 3.6 so far in his career. As a result, “Ellis compiled $83.5 million worth of value for only $27.3 million in salary as an Athletic“.

But with a terrible start to the season, it was time for both sides to move on. Behind Ellis was prospect Jemile Weeks. Trading Ellis opens up a hole for Weeks to play everyday and prove himself worthy of being the team’s new second baseman of the future. In 217 AAA PA this season, Weeks posted a line of .321/.417/.446/.391/122+ with a 13.4 BB%. So far in 87 PA in the majors, he has a 131 wRC+.

For Ellis, he goes to a Rockies club that could actually use his services. Between Ian Stewart, Chris Nelson, and Jon Herrera, second base has been a black hole. Ellis instantly gets a second chance at Coors Field and his defense should be welcome as he pairs up with Tulowitzki in the middle infield.

As for me, the deal makes me sad and happy. I really like Mark Ellis, so I’m sad to see him leave Oakland, a ball club I like. However, I also like the Rockies and I am a huge Jemile Weeks fan so I am glad he is finally getting his big opportunity. In the end, I believe this is a smart deal for both sides involved and hopefully things work out for both sides.

Divisional Previews: NL West

March 17, 2011

Despite being one of the weaker divisions in baseball for the past couple seasons, the 2010 World Champions, the San Francisco Giants, called the NL West home. Moreover, the NL West was one of three divisions that had 2 90+ win teams, and only one team had a win total below 80. What can we expect from the division in 2011?

1) San Francisco Giants (87-75)

In 2010, the Giants strength by far was its pitching and pitching should be its strong point again in 2011. The staff will be led by ace Tim Lincecum, who had himself a “down year” in 2010. With him and Cain, the Giants have a 1-2 punch that could be the best duo in baseball, up there with Philadelphia, and both LA teams. But their rotation doesn’t end there. Their aces are backed up by Jonathon Sanchez, who is an effective starter despite a bad BB rate and Madison Bumgarner. Last year the Giants only got 18 starts from Bumgarner, who was my favorite rookie entering the past season. The dood is really good at limiting the free passes and keeps the ball on the ground. In 18 starts he had a 3.66 FIP and solid 2.0 WAR. With a “rebound” year from Timmy and a full season from Bumgarner, I think the Giants pitching will be even better in 2011.

On offense though…I’m not impressed. While Aubrey Huff was a beast in 2010, I think it’s safe to assume he will regress considerably. He may not put up 2009 numbers, but he won’t be nearly the contributor that he was in 2010. The same goes for the aging Pat Burrell, whose legs won’t be doing any favors for the Giants in the outfield either. A big question mark will be Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres. Whether or not Sandoval can overcome a terrible plate discipline could be the difference in whether SF can field a reasonable offense to score runs for their dominant staff. Moreover, was 2010 a fluke year for Torres? If the answer is yes, SF will be a lot more pedestrian than people might expect. Especially with the ancient Miguel Tejada manning shortstop. The one bright spot, in my estimation, is obviously Buster Posey. Whether or not anyone else on the team will care to hit alongside him remains to be seen. Also, the possible emergence of prospect Brandon Belt could go a long ways for an average offensive team.

Players to watch: Brandon Belt, Madison Bumgarner.

2) Colorado Rockies (83-79)

I am a big Rockies fan. I am always on their bandwagon. But I don’t think 2011 is their year. The offense should be better than San Francisco’s, with players like Troy Tulowitzski and Carlos Gonzalez. But their offense isn’t as potent as I thought it was. I am a big Seth Smith believer, but the team will be giving PAs to the likes of Jose Lopez, Ian Stewart, and a past his prime Todd Helton. So while the bats are decent, they aren’t good enough to carry a team past any other flaws.

The rotation is led by Ubaldo Jiminez who had a stellar 2010 and after him is Jhoulys Chacin, a pitcher I really like. But after those two, the rotation goes downhill. Jorge De La Rosa is okay, but nothing special. Huston Street is a real good closer, and there are some okay options out of the pen, but as a whole, the pitching isn’t spectacular- it’s okay.

That’s why I think the Rockies will be just an okay team- 83 wins. They have the potential to hit 90+ wins if players like Dexter Fowler breakout, but that’s asking a lot.

Players to watch: Jhoulys Chacin, Seth Smith

3) Los Angeles Dodgers (78-84)

It’s been a rough past year or so for LA, from ownership problems to Joe Torre ruining good, young players like Jon Broxton and Russell Martin. So I’ll start with what I like. I believe LA has a pretty darn underrated staff. Clayton Kershaw is already an ace in my book and he should continue to improve and get better as he matures. Chad Billingsley is another underrated arm who has been putting up excellent numbers and WARs for a few seasons now. Ted Lilly continues to be an average pitcher and Hideki Kuroda continues to be underrated as well. He is paid like an AS pitcher, but doesn’t get the hype of an AS pitcher. He continually posts FIPs in the mid 3’s and does everything well that a pitcher has some control over. The Dodgers have the starting pitching of a winning team. The pen should also be a strength with Kuo, Jansen, and Broxton- assuming he is over is arm issues which I of course am contributing to Torre overuse.

Now comes the bad. The defense. Gibbons, Kemp, and Ethier has to be one of the worst defensive outfields in baseball. That’s not a good thing since the outfield is spacious and there is a lot of ground to cover. The defensive isn’t so that bad, but it’s not good either. The offense is another weak aspect. Andre Ethier is a legitimate middle of the order bat and I still believe in Matt Kemp, but outside that, there are a bunch of below average or average hitters. Rod Barajas? Juan Uribe? Jay Gibbons? Yeah, no team that features those three as everyday players will have a winning record.

Players to watch: Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw

4) San Diego Padres (75-87)

Last year the Padres were the team I loved to root against, simply because they were defying the odds. Luck was on their side and it HAD to run out. In September it finally did, and I was baffled it took that long. The Padres didn’t get any better and with some regression to the mean, I think San Diego will return to being a below average team that has trouble scoring, and isn’t that effective at preventing runs.

I love Mat Latos and he should have a good campaign, but who else is on their staff? The corpse of Aaron Harang, Wade LeBlanc and the rest of the rotation are simply not talented enough or good enough to repeat their success from last season. Players like LeBlanc were aided by good fortunes and extremely high LOB%. With a return to the mean, their production will decrease from a season ago. The defense will be a strong suit again which should help the pitching staff, but I have a tough time believing the run prevention will be as good as it was in 2010.

With that said, the offense hasn’t improved. Yes, Orlando Hudson was brought in, and he is a good hitter, but he isn’t a team changing hitter and he’s played in hitter and neutral friendly parks (Arizona, Minnesota) the past few years. Moving to Petco could depress his numbers. Morever, I could make the case Hudson is the team’s best hitter. When Orlando Hudson is your best hitter, you have big problems.

Players to watch: Cameron Maybin, Mat Latos

5) Arizona Diamondbacks (71-91)

After a dreadful 2010 the D-Backs will be…well, still bad in 2011. Justin Upton took a step back in 2010, but I and many others still expect big things from him 2011 and I am expecting a 5+ WAR season. The offense should also get contributions from Chris Young, Miguel Montero, Stephen Drew, and Kelly Johnson. The offense is not a weak point, and it’s arguably the second best offense in the division. But Melvin Mora will not be a productive player at third and relying on Juan Miranda at first is a risky play that probably won’t work out.

The bullpen was historically bad last season and while JJ Putz provides a solid arm to close out games, the pen still is weak. The staff is okay, but has little potential outside Dan Hudson. I think his HR tendencies can hurt him in Arizona, but he had a great half season for them in 2011 and I expect improvement. Ian Kennedy is another solid arm, but that’s it. He is just a solid arm, not a future ace. The rest of the rotation is filled with mediocre arms like Joe Saunders. This is a team that doesn’t do anything good, and is pretty weak in several aspects. As a result, the D-Backs should be bringing up the rear once again.

Players to watch: Dan Hudson, Justin Upton

Carlos Gonzalez, get used to Denver, Colorado

January 4, 2011

Because you just signed a 7/$80mil extension!

Carlos likes this deal, the Rockies like this deal, and I…kind of like and don’t like the deal.

He has two years of service time I believe, so he would be making about half a mil in 2011, and then would be arbitration eligible from 2012-2014.

The Fans think Gonzalez will produce 5.3 fWAR in 2011. I am not that optimistic on CarGo. To be safe, let’s say from 2012-2014, his age 27-29 seasons, that he is 4 WAR, 4.5 WAR, 5 WAR. The $ per WAR will be $4.5mil, $5mil, and $5.5mil. So using the 40/60/80 scale he would have made $7.2mil in 2012, $13.5mil in 2013, and $22mil in 2014. Instead, he will be paid an average of $11.4mil. So, with the contract over the next four seasons he will make about $45.7mil. Using my estimates, he would have otherwise been paid (roughly) $43.2mil. So Colorado may be reaching, but remember he is a fan favorite and a good player who can contribute to a winning team NOW he is worth even more to Colorado. Also, my WAR figures are just estimates. He could continue to be a 6 WAR player. Or he could be a 2 WAR player and Colorado will grossly overpay.

With the deal, Colorado will also be buying out three years of free agency. This is where Colorado can really make their savings. He would have been a free agent while still in his theoretical prime. If he continues to produce at a 4-5 WAR level, he will be a highly attractive free agent and one can only imagine that contracts will be even larger by the year 2014-2015. So they probably will be making a bargain in the years 2015-2017 paying him $11.4mil. In other words, for his FA years they are paying him 3/34.2mil. I can only imagine he would top that in free agency.

So yes, I do like the deal for Colorado in the sense they probably will be saving money on a good player in the long run. Because in the short run they are not really making any savings. Carlos Gonzalez just played in his first full season and did have some good luck. His BB% was a low 6.3% and his BABIP was .384. That almost certainly will come down. While his power his real, I doubt he repeats such a high OBP. I see it more in the .340-.350 range. I do not think, despite being a free swinger, he will completely fall apart like Pablo Sandoval. For 1) Carlos Gonzalez has a LD% above 20%, where Sandoval did not have as high LD rates 2) Pablo hit a lot more grounders than Gonzalez 3) While both were free swingers, Sandoval was a lot, lot, lot worse at swinging at pitches outside the zone and swinging in general. But he will regress, production wise. His talent level may rise, but his production will certainly drop and may never reach his epic 2010 performance again.

With all that said, that is why I kind of don’t like the deal. He’s played one full season. Sure it was great, but as I pointed out he is due for some natural regression. He is cost-controlled for another four seasons, including one season under $1mil. So why not wait another season? See if he regresses, or is just an amazing player who really is worth 6 WAR. You will save money by paying him 500K in 2011, instead of $11.4mil plus a bonus, and could probably sign him to a similar, if not better, deal after the 2011 season.

Again, the deal is solid. In all likelihood, CarGo will need to average around 2 WAR a season to justify the money he is being paid. Now, don’t confuse that for meaning he is actually worth it if you know what I mean. From a production standpoint, if he is a 2 WAR player he should be about $11mil per season, but I’m sure Colorado believes he is better. If they truly thought he would be a 2 WAR player, they would not bother signing him to a seven year deal. What’s the point to keeping an average player long term? None.

I personally think Cargo will be about a .280/.345/.525 player who will provide average defense. That should translate to around 4 WAR (depending on PT, defense, position), so in the long run this will turn out to be a good deal for Colorado. It would be even better if he do that as a CENTER FIELDER and not a corner outfielder.  However, Colorado did have a better option on the table and that option was to wait at least another year to negotiate a contract with Gonzalez.

Rockies lock up Tulo long, long, loooooooong term

December 1, 2010

The Colorado Rockies have handed Troy Tulowitzki a 7/$134mil extension that will kick in after the 2013 season, meaning he will don the purple pinstripes through 2020. Damn.

I was going to get into this, but Tom Tango had a better post on his blog, so I’ll just let him take it away.


Tulo: extension of 6/119, starting in 2015.

Wow.  Tulo was born Oct, 1984.  In his last 4 years, rWAR is at 19 wins, and fWAR is at 18.

Lucky for us, I just published the WAR aging curves for great players, and Tulo is a standard great player.

In 2011, he will be 27 years old.  The historical precedent for players like Tulo is about 16-17 wins from 2011-2014.  He’s already being paid for those years.

The extension is for the 6 years starting in 2015.  So, we just need to look at years 5 through years 10 from the aging curve for players entering year 1 at age 27.  And those 6 years are going to be about 15-16 wins.

Here’s what happens:

Year    $/win    WAR
2011     $4.50
2012     $5.00
2013     $5.50
2014     $6.00
2015     $6.50     3.9
2016     $7.00     3.4
2017     $7.50     2.9
2018     $8.00     2.4
2019     $8.50     1.9
2020     $9.00     1.4


I’m starting the $ per win at 4.5MM$ in 2011, and going up by 0.5MM$ each year.  Is that a good estimate?  Bad estimate?  I don’t know.  We’re all in the same boat here.  His WAR in 2015 (age 31) would be 3.9.  And then we drop it by 0.5 wins per year.  I know that is a good estimate, because that’s the typical pattern that we’ve seen historically.

Anyway, all we have to do is multiply the second column by the third column, and add up the numbers.  And what do we get?



Listen, I know I got lucky here.  I could have started the $ per win at 5.0.  I could have instead increased the $ per win by 7% or something (that would have gotten me to 119.6MM$).  Whatever, that’s not the main point.

The main point is that we have a framework to analyze the deal, and we can plug in reasonable numbers to see how we could get to 119MM$.  And, we were able to do so with reasonable numbers.

Good job on the Rockies and Tulowitzki for coming up with a reasonably justifiable deal.

*When he made the post, it was rumored to be a 6/$119mil extension. It’s now 7/$134mil. That doesn’t change anything though. Previously he was going to be paid $15mil in 2014. Now he is going to be paid $16mil. So it’s basically 6/$118mil.

Using his WAR estimates and $ per WAR estimates, over the life of his now 10/$153.75mil contract, he would be worth $202.85mil, so that’s a ton of net value for the Rockies. Over the span of the extension he will be worth about $142.85mil. So this is a really good deal for both sides. The Rockies are getting fair value and if Tulo plays well, especially late into his career, they could be saving money. Meanwhile, Tulo has security and a shit ton of money.

In the comments section of his blog, Tango showed best case and worst case estimates for Tulo’s last six seasons. If he ages well, he could be worth $198mil in the last six years alone. If he ages poorly, he’d be worth $37mil over those six seasons. I have to agree with Tom when he expects Tulo to age somewhere in the middle. If that’s the case, as I stated above, it’s a great deal for both sides.

Obviously things change if the $ per WAR is different in reality as we progress to those future seasons, for a scale, it’s a good estimate.

And bonus time! Here is a table to show the numbers. For his 2011-2014 seasons, I gave him a solid 4 WAR each season. To me, that’s conservative. According to Tango’s age path, players in their age 27-30 seasons get a total WAR of 16-17. That’s why I gave him 4 WAR each season, even though something tells me he will do better than that.

*Might need to right click to enlarge.

Now hopefully Tulo uses his new money to get a haircut.

Should the Dodgers trade Andre Ethier?

October 12, 2010

Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer here. Andre Ethier is a good hitter, young, and is not going to make that much money in 2011. He is a fine player on any team.

But I would trade Andre Ethier.

Yes, I know he is a good hitter- and consistent as well. In 585 PA during the 2010 season he hit .292/.364/.493/.367/133 which is almost identical to his career averages of .291/.363/.491/.364/126. Moreover, his periphs have not changed. From his walk rate to his batted ball data, to his plate discipline, his 2010 numbers are near identical to his career totals. So I don’t see a performance decline in the foreseeable future.

I would trade Andre Ethier because of what I like to call “Brad Hawpe Syndrome”. He SUCKS at fielding his position. In 5656 career outfield innings, Andre Ethier has a -33.2 UZR. The older he gets, the worse his range and glove should get. DRS has not been kind to him either, rating him as -11 during his career- and -27 over the past three seasons.

The result of his poor defense is an average overall value. Despite being a very good hitter, his defensive misgivings have led to a WAR’s of 2.1, 1.7, 3.4, 2.7, and 2.2 since joining the Dodgers in 2006. Even though he is a high quality offensive player, as a whole Ethier is slightly above average. While any team can use an above average player, it would be smart for the Dodgers to parlay Ethier into something more valuable.

In my opinion, I’d assume a vast majority of ML teams value Andre Ethier a lot higher than the numbers suggest, because he is becoming a star offensively. With a salary of $9.5mil in 2011, I would assume other teams would overpay for the 28 year old right fielder. Right now the Dodgers don’t look like they’ll be a very good team in 2011, so losing Ethier’s production won’t hurt them too much.

If Ethier is a 2.5 WAR player in 2011 and earns $9.5 mil, his net value would be around 0. Yet I would imagine the Dodgers would receive some high end prospects in return for Ethier. For an aging team that needs an overhaul of the minor league system, this trade could be a good start.

HOWEVER- there could be another way to handle Andre Ethier. Make him a first baseman.

Yes, the Dodgers already have a 26 year old first baseman in James Loney. But in just under four full seasons, he has a career WAR of 6.5. He’s only had one season north of an average WAR, and that was 2.1 in 2007. That’s not cutting it for a first baseman.

Andre Ethier loses a ton of value because of his defense. But at first base his defense will be much improved. Even if he isn’t a good first baseman, I highly doubt he will as much as 1.5 wins there, like he loses in the outfield right now. Granted the positional adjustment for first is worse than the outfield, but it’s a smaller disparity than the expected disparity in the defensive switch. As a result, Ethier can become a more valuable player has a whole (I’m thinking around a 3 WAR player compared to 2 WAR player) and his bat will still play at first base.

Then when his contract runs up after 2011, you can see if you can re-sign him at an affordable price, or let him walk for a presumable two draft picks.

Even though there are no rumors surrounding Ethier and I doubt LA trades him (because they probably consider him their best player) I think he is an interesting case. The Dodgers should make the most of the situation and trade him while his value around the league, or make him a first baseman to limit his defensive liability. Otherwise, the Brad Hawpe Syndrome could strangle the Dodgers, much like the Rockies eventually became strangled by Brad Hawpe this past season.