Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Adrian Gonzalez vs Mark Teixeira

I had this great idea to do a post comparing wOBA values for Adrian Gonzalez and Teixeira.  Dave Cameron beat me to it.  Sigh.  However, you should read that article anyway.

To try and salvage the idea, and because Cameron only compared them as hitters, I graphed out their respective WAR over their careers to date.  I also compared them by age, since Teixeira is 2 years older than Gonzo.  I left Gonzo's age 22 season out of this data, since Texieria didn't start playing in the majors until he was 23.  Here's the graph:

Teixeria had a huge year in 2005 with the Rangers when he led the AL in total bases, which accounts for the peak at age 25.  Overall he averages about 4.2 WAR here, while Gonzo averages 3.28.  Now, if we take away the negative WAR (-0.7, to be exact) Gonzo put up as a 23 year old, when he only appeared in 43 games with Texas (162 PA), suddenly the WAR average becomes
  • 4.271 for Teixeira, and
  • 4.275 for Gonzalez,
or practically even.  Teixeira is considered an above average defensive first baseman.  Gonzalez has won the Gold Glove two years in a row, solidifying his reputation as an above average defensive first baseman.

Cameron makes the point that Gonzalez probably won't get a Teixeira-sized contract, if only because the Yankees aren't going to be vying for his services in two years.  They have some guy named Teixeira, and he's signed for another 4 years beyond 2011.  That may very well be true.  At issue, however, is how much Gonzalez is worth on the open market - and based on the comparisons to Mark Teixeira, I'd say Gonzo's estimate of $20 million per year is right, as is his agent's estimate of $18 mil per season.

If the Padres were unable or unwilling to honor the balance of Jake Peavy's contract (2011 - $16M, 2012 - $17M, 2013 - $22M w/ a club buyout option), why would we expect them to turn around now and offer the exact same money to Adrian Gonzalez?  Even with a new ownership group, the financial straits of the team are probably the same as they were 12 months ago, one that won't support a large contract like that.

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