Orioles Questions

There were obviously a few moves that Andy MacPhail made this off-season that I didn’t completely agree with, so I thought I’d throw some questions down as a way to judge the discrepancies at year’s end. Feel free to leave your own answers in the comments (you can probably guess mine, but if not feel free to ask). Anyone who answers every question correctly gets a super awesome prize*!

* Prize may or may not be my hearty congratulations, which would hold no monetary – though immense personal – value.

(1) Garrett Atkins vs. Ryan Garko

The O’s gave Atkins $4.5 M, while Garko is going to get not much more than the league minimum from the Rangers (who picked him up after the M’s released him this week).

Question: Who will be better this season? (I’m not even going to get into the issue of value, since I see very little chance Atkins can be worth his contract.)

Manner of judging:

Offense (min. 300 PA) -wRC+^, using wRC+ versus righties and lefties and weighting appropriately so that neither player had more of a platoon advantage (so that people can’t say that Garko did better because he got to face left-handers more).

Defense (min. 50 games) – Better UZR/150^ at first-base.

(2) Giving Mike Gonzalez $12 to be the closer.

Health – Can he pitch more than 50 innings, after a career high 74.1 last year?

Need – Will he be able to post a FIP^ even a quarter run better than Jim Johnson? No baloney about “JJ can’t pitch the 9th inning” either.

Value – According to FanGraphs WAR^ and the related dollar figure, will he be worth the $6 M he’s getting this year (~1.6 WAR)? (And that’s not including his performance bonuses.)

(3) Trading for (and then paying) Kevin Millwood to be veteran innings-eating ace of the rotation.

Innings-eater – I won’t be so mean as to use the 200 IP level that people keep bringing up, but how about 185?

Ace – Can he put up a FIP even within a quarter run of the approximate league average (4.30)? Or better – obviously – but let’s not get too crazy.

Value – For the money the Rangers saved sending Millwood over, they signed Rich Harden. Who puts up the higher WAR this year?

(4) Missed opportunity on the international market. For the low-ish price-tag, I definitely think the O’s should have signed Miguel Sano. Though it’ll be a while before there’s any real idea about it…

Rating – John Sickles has him as a C+ prospect currently. Up to a B by year-end?