Saturday, December 08, 2007

Matsui to Stay

Apologies to my good friends at BP, but I thought I'd cut and paste Hideki Matsui's numbers here to make a few points about the current rumors. If you'll notice below, Matsui's career batting line is .295/.371/.485 and in 2007, a year that was supposedly a disappointment, he put up basically those same numbers. How does a guy go from being a clutch, True Yankee, fan favorite to being an almost universally regarded has been? I would argue that people have lost their minds. In order to make this argument without being labeled a Japanese player PR man, which I have been from time to time in the past, I want to use these numbers and others to show why this possible trade is a bad idea.

Actual Batting Statistics

YEAR    G    AB    H  2B  3B  HR    R  RBI   SB   CS   SO   BB   GDP   BA   OBA    SLG
2003 163 623 179 42 1 16 82 106 2 2 86 63 25 .287 .353 .435
2004 162 584 174 34 2 31 109 108 3 0 103 88 11 .298 .390 .522
2005 162 629 192 45 3 23 108 116 2 2 78 63 16 .305 .367 .496
2006 50 172 52 9 0 8 32 29 1 0 23 27 7 .302 .393 .494
2007 143 547 156 28 4 25 100 103 4 2 73 73 9 .285 .367 .488

. 680 2555 753 158 10 103 431 462 12 6 363 314 68 .295 .371 .485

Advanced Batting Statistics

                           <---------ADJUSTED FOR SEASON----->
2003 452 92 .271 86 29 9 1 -12 0 3.3
2004 415 116 .306 107 55 36 -1 -12 0 5.9
2005 447 109 .293 104 47 26 9 -3 0 6.2
2006 122 32 .296 29 14 8 7 5 0 2.3
2007 403 98 .286 88 37 19 -1 -10 0 4.0

. 1839 446 .290 415 181 98 15 -32 0 21.7
Matsui's career EQA is a very respectable .290, and in 2007 he posted a 32.4 VORP and a 4.0 WARP1. Prior to the wrist injury, Matsui had a 43.8 VORP in 2005 and a 6.2 WARP1. If the level of play that you expect from Matsui is somewhere in between the two seasons, you'd have to get a pitcher like the 2007 A.J. Burnett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, or Andy Pettitte back in a deal. Sure Noah Lowry and Tim Lincecum were both of comparable value to Matsui last seasonby that system, but the Giants are not going to give up Lincecum in this deal and Lowry simply has no place on this team. Where does he fit? Which of our young guys is going to stay in AAA for Lowry?

The BP list of most comparable players features 1996's Paul O'Neill as it's best match. 1999's Larry Walker and Dave Justice are also on the list, as is 1986's Keith Hernandez. Matsui has more value as a DH for us right now than anything we can realistically expect to get back. He is a perfect guy for the situation he's in. In the context of the Yankees offense, he'll drive in 100 and score 100, while hitting .300 on the year. He's a solid and consistent performer that comes at a fairly economical price in 2008. Certainly, he's a better all around player than Damon, who has put up a .265 - .280 EQA for the Yankees and had a 3.5 WARP1 last year. His defense is actually worse than Matsui's in many respects and he is ill suited to the leadoff role that we ask him to play. Jeter should be up there.

If there's a guy that needs to be shipped out to cut salary and bring back a bullpen arm, it's Mike Mussina. In the NL he can still have an effective 2008, and the Phillies would probably love to have him. It just works. What can we get back from Philly, considering they have dealt with us in the past (Abreu/Lidle)? Maybe we can figure out how to get a guy like James Happ from the Phillies for Moose. Throw in a little money to offset the salary, and make a deal.


southern yankee said...

Damon superior on defense.
Granted he has a weaker arm but he'll run rings around Matsui.

josh said...

Matusi for Lincecum won't happen straight up, but why not throw another pitcher in there like a Kennedy or Horne? Wouldn't that work?

Mike Plugh said...

Damon is superior on defense by a smaller margin that many would think. Damon was a 2.42 RF while Matsui was a 2.01, which isn't all that significant. Going by ZR, .861 Damon vs. .823 Matsui.

Matsui's power in the 6th spot of the order trumps anything Damon does at leadoff though.

Why would we trade Matsui and Kennedy for Lincecum? You're giving up a veteran power hitter who is still a fairly good bargain for a year or two and a top prospect for a great prospect with a delivery that is begging for rotator cuff surgery.

It's not a need.

Larry Mahnken said...

Matusi for Lincecum won't happen straight up, but why not throw another pitcher in there like a Kennedy or Horne? Wouldn't that work?

No, it wouldn't.

Even if you included both those guys, Lincecum ain't coming to New York for that.

RollingWave said...

Logically, the Giant's shouldn't trade Lincecum or Cain for Matsui, but hey, this certainly hasn't been a team with a good past in making such trades...

I agree with Mike though, while Matsui has never been the best hitter on the Yankee, he's always been around one of the more productive one.

I would think the end logic is that. if someone knock us out with a crazy deal (say, Lincecum) i wouldn't mind a bit in giving up Hideki, but there's no way in hell we throw him off our roster for garbage pitcher like Noah Lowry, who I would be shocked if he somehow manage to outpitch Kei Igawa if on the same team.

The Yankees should be open to the idea of trading him, but they need to realize that he is one of their more productive and reliable hitter, if there is a trade involving him, there must be very real talents comming back.

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