Revisiting Nunez/Jacobs and other bullpen news

Baseball Bloggers Alliance friend Jeff over at Royally Speaking asked around about the trades of bullpen arms from KC away to other teams, and one of the arms he refers to is resident closer Leo Nunez. Jeff asked me to do a little analysis of the trade between the Marlins and Royals, and I gladly obliged. Check it out at the link, and check out his site in general, it’s got good Royals stuff if that’s what you’re into (and who doesn’t like making fun of Dayton Moore?).

Anyway, here’s what I think was the money quote (that’s right, I’m quoting myself on my blog):

All in all, neither team came out much better in terms of value, as Nunez has been OK and at times troublesome as a reliever, which isn’t worth much if anything, and Jacobs has been a terrible DH for the Royals, which is definitely worth nothing. The difference here is the Royals are stuck fitting Jacobs arbitration bill, while Nunez makes the rookie rate in Florida. And that’s probably the best advantage the Marlins got in the deal.

When I wrote that, both Nunez and Mike Jacobs were right around even in terms of WAR based on FanGraphs. Let’s check it out today.

Nunez: -0.1 WAR, Salary: $0.4M
Jacobs: -0.4 WAR, Salary: $3.25M

Just looking at that, you can see that the Marlins came out way ahead. By paying Jacobs $3.25M and getting -$1.7M worth of production, the Royals are losing about $5M this year on big Jake. In contrast, by paying Nunez just the rookie salary of $400K this year and getting -$0.6M worth of production, the Marlins are losing about $1M on Nunez. Though in both cases the teams involved are losing, the Marlins are still getting a surplus of $4M in the deal. Hysterical.

The best part about this is that Nunez’s stuff appears to be improving, as he’s striking out a lot more hitters than in previous years and walking an acceptable amount. It seems he may be a little homer prone, but all he needs is right leveraging to avoid him being disastrous for the team; of course with Fredi managing, we likely won’t be seeing “the right leveraging” for any bullpen arm. Meanwhile, Jacobs can continue to frustrate both as a first baseman and as a DH while the Royals pay the bill for his arbitration. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, on a completely different but still bullpen-related front, walking replacement level reliever Luis Ayala has been designated for assignment, and he doesn’t like it. From Juan C. Rodriguez’s blog via Fish Stripes:

“It was terrible what they did,” Ayala said. “I don’t know why they called me up if they were going to do this. I think it’s a lack of respect. I know it’s a business, but for me, it’s something they’ve handled poorly.”

Well, if you, Mr. Ayala, hadn’t handled YOUR job so poorly, maybe we wouldn’t be handling this situation so poorly. Honestly, what did he expect? His track record after his injury was poor, he’s been bad for a ballclub this year already, and then he came here and was bad. Was the team supposed to give him another shot? I’ve been saying this all along, he’s a replacement level dude, no better than your Christian Martinez’s or Chris Leroux’s. Why should he get any better treatment than some Double-/Triple-A farmhand who is brought up to fill a gap in the club’s roster. If you want to play, you’d better play well, and there’s no indication that Ayala was going to play well at all.

H/T Fish Stripes, Craig’s always on top of the news element.

Tags: Kansas City Royals Leo Nunez Luis Ayala Miami Marlins Mike Jacobs

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