Nationals Baseball: Roark traded

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Roark traded

Quick thoughts. Roark was possibly an overpay but only very slight.  I’ve been noting for a while that Corbin essentially ended the Nats flexibility bc 1) they aren’t spending right up to the cap and 2) there’s a lot of bonuses to factor in.  This gives them flexibility back.

What it costs them is a decent starter and chances are that they won’t be able to sign someone as good for that cost.  But they don’t have to do that.  They can sign someone better for more or trade for someone the same but cheaper.

The biggest thing I worry about is Gio and Roark being good for 350+ IP over a year and now they are gone.  Corbin is a horse but that’s an arm you can’t 100% depend on and Stras is going to miss his month. So they need another super dependable (by 2018 standards) starter imo

26 comments:

BxJaycobb said...

@Harper Agreed on the biggest problem being the durability of Roark in context of rotation. According to Rosenthal, this was pushed by ownership, not FO, which thought salary was reasonable. Sounds right. I don’t think Roark’s salary was remotely overpriced. Fangraphs say he was worth $95m over 6 years and worth 12.5m last year. Anyway, I also want to complain about Justin Bour who was the perfect LH bat to pair with Zim and just signed for 2.5m w Angels. How the Nats couldn’t have even managed a 3m offer for Bour is a mystery to me. Unless they’ve decided getting a 2B is more important than a backup 1B (or are dead set on a player who can play both).

DezoPenguin said...

Agree completely, Bx; Bour would have been perfect for the 1B/PH slot and $3M should have been easy to come up with (and cheaper than Adams or Lind were the last couple of years). And it can't be an "opportunity to start" thing b/c the Angels have both Pujols and Ohtani, making him a guaranteed part-timer there.

And yeah; Roark was on a reasonable contract and a near-sure thing to turn in 30+ starts and 180-200 innings. There *has* to be some kind of matching move already on the table or else it's insane, and even if there is such a move it still means that Ross/Fedde/etc. are still lined up for SP5, which is just not an acceptable solution for a team that expects to compete for a WS title. I hope that Rizzo has something lined up, but to hear Rizzo say that "teams thought we had a little bit of a surplus" sounds like pure crazy talk.

Probably the thing that hurts most is that this is so obviously a straight-up salary dump. Tanner Rainey (the guy coming back) is a pure lottery ticket, 100 MPH fastball but 6+ BB/9 in AAA, so while there's potential there it's nothing that's going to help the team in 2019. And everything else Rizzo's done this offseason--signing Suzuki, trading for Gomes, signing Rosenthal, these are all short-term, win-now moves. Even Corbin is more of a win-now move just because he's likely to be a better pitcher at the beginning of his contract than five years down the road. Whereas dumping Roark's salary makes the team worse in 2019, which shows that it's 100% entirely because of artificial budget constraints being forced on the front office.

BxJaycobb said...

Apparently Wade Miley is a Nats target. Unless Miley is half as expensive, let’s hope that’s wrong. Miley has been consistently a worse pitcher, and less valuable than Roark. Also less durable. Look at any stats you want. (His solid half year last year was BABIP fueled.) I guess you can hope “in the NL he will so better”.

BxJaycobb said...

Yeah it suggests that either (a) even 3m is too much for backup 1B (!!!!) or (b) more likely....Nats really want a player who can be a 2B/backup 1B type. That would suggest....Marwin Gonzalez maybe? Boras client. I guess if we end up with Miley+Marwin and couldn’t have done that w Roark....

DezoPenguin said...

Eh, Miley's durability isn't really a thing as last year was the only year he's missed significant time; before that he'd had six straight years of at least 29 starts and 30 games pitched. He's definitely been worse than Roark over his career, though. However, his performance last year wasn't entirely BABIP-based, as he did have a 3.59 FIP and 1.5 fWAR over 16 starts, both of which stats completely ignore batted ball results apart from home runs. The 4.30 xFIP, though, suggests that he got lucky with his HR rate, though it's not out of line with his pre-2016 career rate.

Worth noting is that basically Miley's 2018 was identical to Roark's 2016, except in half the number of games due to the injury--great ERA and on-field results fueled by a .269 BABIP, good FIP, poor xFIP.

Miley's biggest problem is with recency bias: his 2016 was poor, and his 2017 was an utter disaster, admittedly for the hell-pit of an organization that was the '17-'18 Orioles. Last year's success at least indicates that he's not likely to run into terminal decline, and while Fangraphs suggests he'll be worth 0.8 WAR next year, that's only over 16 starts. Assuming health, he's predicted to basically be Roark (who's predicted for 1.5 WAR over 26 starts).

Essentially, Miley is a slightly worse Roark with slightly higher injury risk who throws from the left side. I've mentioned in previous posts that I considered him an acceptable target for the Nats for the SP4-5 role, but that was alongside Roark at the back end of the rotation, not to replace him as SP4 with Ross/flotsam-and-jetsam as SP5. If Rizzo acquires a superior SP4 and someone like Miley as SP5, then I'm okay with that.

What I'm wondering is, would Miley really draw savings over Roark? Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs predicted 2/$14M for him and the crowd 2/$8.5, so unless Rizzo's willing to go 3-4 years for less per-year money and Miley's camp likes the security of that, I don't see the likely gain.

BxJaycobb said...

@Dezo. Confused re your point on Miley vs Roark....Roark is projected to get like 10m in arb next year. Those estimates you give would be 7 and 4 AAV respectively? Which would be 3m and 6m respectively....unless I’m missing something.

Miles Treacy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blovy8 said...

The other thing to note is that it would only have been one year of Roark. Longer term contracts cut both ways, but pretty much any other healthy pitcher worth having is going to be at least controlled for 2 years. If that's a guy they actually want, it's a little easier to plan out the 2020 rotation.

What I'm scared of is the Anibal Sanchez rumors. It begins to look like they are collecting risk on purpose!

blovy8 said...

Harper, Gio could come back...

BxJaycobb said...

Chelsea Janes said they had targeted Lance Lynn as replacement. But then he signed with Rangers....so....let’s hope they didn’t trade Roark too quickly for no reason instead of waiting a couple days....

W. Patterson said...

@blovy8 - Don't even joke about Gio coming back. Even the Brewcrew saw that he was good for maybe two innings before going psycho Gio.

DezoPenguin said...

@Bx: Sorry, I foolishly combined columns when I typed! Kiley's figures are 2/$14 ($7M AAV) and the crowd 2/$17M ($8.5M AAV). So if these are accurate the annual savings over Roark are from 1.5-3M, which while massive in real human being money, are peanuts in baseball money.

That's probably the biggest source of confusion I have. There just doesn't seem much point in trading Roark and replacing him with a slightly worse pitcher at a slightly lower price. In order to justify this trade, Roark's replacement needs to either be substantially cheaper or substantially better. I don't fear replacing Roark with Miley as a baseball move, but if they do it it seems like pointless wheel-spinning, so I don't think that's actually the endgame Rizzo has in mind.

Anonymous said...

I think if the Nats can save $3 million by jettisoning Roark and signing someone like Miley, that is meaningful. That sort of flexibility could help buy another reliever now or at the trade deadline. If given the choice between Miley at 2/15 and Roark at 1/10, I take Miley.

But the Roark trade has to be accompanied by another move because they simply can't head into the season with both Ross and Fedde penciled in to the rotation.

Jimmy said...

This Roark trade makes no baseball sense if it ends up with us just signing a Miley or like option for our 4th spot. I don't really get doing this without another option lined up first. Roark is good enough even at his salary to get a lottery ticket like what we aquired a couple weeks from now, why are we doing this now? LANCE LYNN just got 30 million over three years the market for starting pitches is stupid right now, just hold onto to you okay starter on a one year deal who doesn't have health questions and will give you 180 innings until something better comes along. I hate, hate, hate this trade. If the rumors are true this is over money it's patently ridiculous coming from the people who paid Wieter 22 mllion over two years when he had no market.

Ole PBN said...

^Agreed. And I think that was the plan all along, otherwise we would have gotten a starter in return for Roark. This Rainey kid is... well... what do you make of those numbers? Couldn't handle the major league pressure? Hah! Not going down that rabbit hole with this group :) Rizzo has something brewing, I just hope he doesn't out on what his target was.

Miley is not at all impressive and worse than Roark. But if saving 3 million would land us Justin Bou-- oh wait. Well, hopefully that money can go towards a 2B. I think Marwin and Murph are the only players who fit the mold of 1B/2B players. And both seem unlikely to land in DC. Seems like Rizzo is narrowing his search too much with that criteria.

What's this talk of a Kluber or Bauer trade? We all know Kluber is amazing, but I think I'd rather have Bauer (28 y/o) and his 3 years of team control, as opposed to one year of Kluber (32 y/o). What would it take to land either? Luis Garcia and MAT + ?

DezoPenguin said...

@Ole PBN: Kluber has three years of team control: under contract for 2019 plus team option years for 2020 and 2021. Bauer is the one with only 1 year of team control (he has 1 arb year left, after having them bought out in 2017 and 2018).

Ole PBN said...

Thanks, Dezo - must have misread that. Aside from Miley, I would think our best bet is getting another SP via trade and these two CLE starters are appealing. However, being that Kluber is the better pitcher with more years of team control, perhaps a package of Garcia and MAT+ is not enough?

G Cracka X said...

Steamer has Miley at 1 WAR and Depth Charts at 1.1. That's only slightly worse than Roark. And if they give him 2/$14M, that could break down into something like 2018: 2M 2019: 9M Deferred: 3M. That would give them some flexibility this offseason.

Jay said...

I'd sign Harper and a 2B and then trade Carter Kieboom and maybe and OF for Klubot. It would be the closest thing to going all in the Nats and Rizzo will every get. Of course they do still need one more bullpen arm.

Ole PBN said...

Raised an eyebrow at this... Tanner Rainey after a poor outing. Crying??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dsBOgucYIg

blovy8 said...

Rainey makes his own rain, that's initiative.

I will wait for the Rizzo spin to parse this completely, but this seems to be just a salary dump. He probably had three teams who wanted Roark and picked the Reds who would attract his aimless, hard-throwing project jones. How many times does that experiment have to fail?

That's a good deal for the Reds, because what else can they spend money on, and for a price less than a guy outside their top-25 prospects? If Roark's good and they stink, they trade him for something else, if he's bad who cares? The Nats have a little more money to spend, and even less depth. Was Rizzo really afraid that he would get LESS for Roark at any point? Kind of weird to save dimes on this sort of thing, but it does tell me that Mark is no different than Ted in terms of this marginal BS.

Prove me wrong Rizzo.

BxJaycobb said...

No way is that enough. Kluber’s 3 years of insane bargain. They’d want you to start with Robles or Soto.

BxJaycobb said...

Or somebody with more than one year of control.

ssln said...

Time for a chill pill, everyone. Rizzo works in strange ways. The rumors are about Miley and Sanchez but Rizzo is like a magician. He has you looking here while he does his magic there.
I suggested Kluber to give the Nats a big 4 like Atlanta once had. Let's see if he can make it happen. Will that satisfy all the would be GM?
Did anyone watch any of the 30 for 30 shows on sports psychology? The quote that I cited came from Aaron Judge. Anyone familiar with the guy?

Cardinal Ximinez said...

lets see what they replace Tanner with. a chance to improve the 4th spot in the rotation is now on the table. Tanner was am innings eater no doubt, but his cost was only going up and i believe the Nats are looking for something of an improvement on 4+ era. i'd be interested in Sonny Gray providing the return cost is doable. ie, no Robles/Eaton. look at Gray's numbers outside of Yankee Stadium and i think people would be interested

Cardinal Ximinez said...

also, not a fan of the interest in DJ Lemahieu. his #s outside of Coors Field last year were abysmal. i legitimately would love Daniel Hits Murphy back. LH bat to spell Zim at 1b and can still play 2b with Howie and Difo to spell/def replace at 2b. gives the Nats situational flexibility and a Mets destroyer with a great bat and a strong bench/clubhouse presence