Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What it could take to acquire post-season superstar pitcher Madison Bumgarner


Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
One pitcher the Yankees should definitely look to trade for is 29-year-old Madison Bumgarner. His value diminished, as he has regressed significantly over the last three years, two of which have been plagued by injuries. In 2017, Bumgarner missed nearly three months of the season due to an injury that occurred when he was riding a dirt bike. This past season, Bumgarner missed all of April and May with a fractured left hand (off of a line drive that struck him during a preseason game against the Royals). Presumably, his recent drop in performance can be attributed to a combination of the aforementioned fluke injuries and age decline (which has subsequently led to decreased FB velocity and potency). The stat-line (all metrics according to Fangraphs) below provides evidence for Mad Bum’s recent reduction in effectiveness…

IP

2015: 218.1
2016: 226.2
2017: 111.0
2018: 129.2

K/9, FB Vel, and FB SwStr%

2015: 9.65; 92.8; 10%
2016: 9.97; 91.5; 9.7%
2017: 8.19; 91.0; 6.5%
2018: 7.57; 90.9; 4.7%

BB/9

2015: 1.61
2016: 2.14
2017: 1.62
2018: 2.98

ERA

2015: 2.93
2016: 2.74
2017: 3.32
2018: 3.26

xFIP

2015: 3.02
2016: 3.54
2017: 4.07
2018: 4.32

WAR

2015: 5.2
2016: 4.9
2017: 1.7
2018: 1.4
Despite the fact that Bumgarner’s value is deteriorating, there is lots of room for growth if Bumgarner virtually ditches his fastball…
Cutter SwStr%: 2015 – 14.8%; 2016 – 11.5%; 2017 – 11.3%; 2018 – 11.8%
vs
Fastball SwStr%: 2015 – 10%; 2016 – 9.7%; 2017 – 6.5%; 4.7%
and
Cutter AVG: 2015 – .230; 2016 – .224; 2017 – .224; 2018 – .214
vs
Fastball AVG: 2015 – .242; 2016 – .236; 2017 – .256; 2018 – .299
and
Cutter HRs and pitches: 2015 – 4 (1040 pitches); 2016 – 8 (1185 pitches); 2017 – 3 (594 pitches); 2018 – 5 (719 pitches)
vs 
Fastball HRs and pitches: 2015 – 11 (1630 pitches); 2016 – 18 (1709 pitches); 2017 – 10 (712 pitches); 2018 – 8 (703 pitches)
In 2018, Mad Bum threw his cutter 35% of the time and his fastball 34.2% (basically the same frequency). If he had implemented the following pitch mix (using more CBs and cutters in lieu of his FB), he would have indisputably pitched more effectively…
Cutter: 50% (2018 – 11.8 SwStr%)
Curveball: 37.2% (2018 – 11.7 SwStr%)
Changeup: 8.6% (2018 – 8.9 SwStr%)
Fastball: 4.2% (2018 – 4.7 SwStr%)
We can now estimate what his overall SwStr%, HRs against, and AVG against would have looked like last year with this seemingly improvised pitch repertoire. For the purpose of this investigation, let’s assume the 2018 SwStr%, HRs against, and AVG against for a particular pitch remain constant regardless of the change in its usage). 
2018 Overall SwStr% – 9.2%
vs
Overall SwStr% with improved pitch mix: [2018 total pitches – 2045; 50% cutters – 1022 pitches; 37.2% curveballs – 761 pitches; 8.6% changeups – 176 pitches; 4.2% fastballs – 86 pitches]; [(cutter 11.8 SwStr% * 0.5) + curveball 11.7 SwStr% * 0.372) + (changeup 8.6 SwStr% * 0.089) + (fastball 4.7 SwStr% * 0.047)] = 5.9 + 4.4 + 4.3524 + 0.7654 + 0.2209 = 15.6 SwStr%
That SwStr% is 6.4% higher than his 2018 mark and would have put Bumgarner in a tie for the 2nd highest overall SwStr% (Corbin: 15.6 SwStr% and Scherzer: 16.2%).
and
2018 HRs against: 14 HRs 
  • # of HRs conceded / 100 cutters: 0.69541 (5 HRs off cutter in 2018 / 719 cutters thrown)
  • # of HRs conceded / 100 fastballs: 1.13798 (8 HRs off fastball in 2018 / 703 fastballs thrown) 
  • # of HRs conceded / 100 curveballs thrown: 0.21978 (1 HR off curveball in 2018 / 455 curveballs thrown)
  • # of HRs conceded / 100 curveballs thrown: 0 (0 HRs off changeup in 2018 / 157 changeups thrown)
vs
HRs against with improved pitch mix: (0.69541% * 1022 cutters) + (0.21978% * 761 curveballs) + (0% * 176 changeups) + (1.13798% * 86 fastballs) = 7.11070902 + 1.6725258 + 0 + 0.9786628 = 10 HRs
and 
2018 AVG against: .235
  • AVG against cutter: .214
  • AVG against fastball: .299
  • AVG against curveball: .187
  • AVG against changeup: .303
vs
AVG against with improved pitch mix: (.214 * 50% cutter usage) + (.299 * 4.2% fastball usage) + (.187 * 37.2% curveball usage) + (.303 * 8.6% changeup usage) = .107 + .012558 + .069564 + .026058 = .215 AVG against
In summary, if Mad Bum had utilized the improved pitch mix, he would have likely…
  • Gotten more strikeouts
  • Given up fewer HRs
  • Given up fewer hits
A trade of Bumgarner represents the best opportunity for San Francisco to obtain high-end young players as the franchise begins what it hopes will be a rapid rebuild under new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi
Although "Zaidi has publicly stated that the Giants aren’t making outgoing calls regarding Madison Bumgarner, ... that doesn’t mean talks with every team have died down" (The Mercury News).

We will integrate Fangraphs’ new Update to Prospect Valuation system in order to most precisely formulate realistic compensation that the Yankees could conceivably part with (for Madison Bumgarner). 
results are presented in present-day WAR and translated to a rough dollar figure based on $9 million as the cost of a win on the free-agent market. Keep in mind that the dollar figure isn’t a direct value, but rather equivalent value of a prospect relative to the free-agent market. Part of the reason prospects have such tremendous value is due to the suppressed salaries permitted by the CBA until a player has reached six years of service time. By translating the WAR figure into a monetary value, we can compare the value of prospects with the values of major-league players and their contracts. These values likely roughly approximate what an individual player might get as a signing bonus if he were declared a free agent and teams could only provide a signing bonus instead of a long-term contract.
Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards
In other words, Fangraphs assigned a monetary value for all minor league prospects (based on how former prospects belonging to that tier / rank performed during the first 9 seasons of their baseball career [“including the season in which a prospect was ranked”]). These values are comparable to current major leaguers (calculated through incorporating WAR [$9 million / 1 WAR] and the cost of the player’s contract). 
The calculations for Madison Bumgarner’s surplus monetary value can be seen below…
(2.1 WAR projection [per Steamer] for 2019 * $9 million / 1 WAR) – $12 million (salary for 2019) = $18.9 million – $12 million = $6.9 million in surplus value
The chances of the Giants netting a top 100 prospect for Mad Bum are improbable, especially when you consider that Anthony Banda, who is ranked 131st on Fangraphs’ top 131 list, is worth $9 million in monetary value. The Giants would likely have to take back some salary on Bumgarner’s contract. The majority of the prospects that are excluded from Fangraphs’ top 131 list (which can be viewed at the bottom of their Update to Prospect Valuation article) are likely on the table, with the lone exceptions being position player (hitters) prospects who are graded 45+ FV (on the 20-80 scouting scale); they have a monetary value of $8 million.

New York Yankees

The Giants are bound to be interested in RHP Jonathan Loaisiga ($6 million). On the surface, his 5+ ERA in around 25 IP gives a bad impression; however, it is important to note that Loaisiga’s FIP and xFIP were 3.53 and 2.95, respectively. He also struck out over 12 batters per 9 innings and generated GBs at an above average clip (49.2%). Loaisiga’s minor league numbers in 2018 were spectacular (though they did drop off some after a promotion to AA)…

A+

  • IP: 20
  • K/9: 11.7
  • BB/9: 0.45
  • HR/9: 0
  • GB%: 52%
  • ERA: 1.35

AA

  • IP: 34.1
  • K/9: 10.49
  • BB/9: 1.57
  • HR/9: 1.57
  • GB%: 38.7%
  • ERA: 3.93

Loaisiga’s upside is that of a #3 starter, but it appears to me that he may be better utilized as a multi-inning reliever. His ERA as a SP the 1st time through the order (10 IP) is 0.90, and his ERA the 2nd time (7 IP) is 6.43.
In addition to Jonathan Loaisiga, the Giants could ask for $0.9 million or a 40 FV pitching prospect ($1 million)…
  • RHP Trevor Stephan
  • RHP Matt Sauer
  • RHP Domingo Acevedo
  • RHP Chance Adams
  • RHP Garrett Whitlock
  • RHP Nolan Martinez
Of the players on the list above, Domingo Acevedo would likely be the best fit. He had a 2.92 ERA in 64.2 IP at AA. His walk rate was a tad below 3 BB / 9 IP, and he struck out just over 7 batters / 9 IP. He had a solid 1.10 WHIP at AA. Acevedo’s upper 90s FB would presumably play up in the bullpen, where he is likely to land. 
The proposal we have come up with reads as follows…
The San Francisco Giants trade LHP Madison Bumgarner to the New York Yankees for RHP Jonathan Loaisiga and RHP Domingo Acevedo

Would you do this trade? Comment below.

Thanks for reading and if you're interested in reading the full article (includes what it could take for the Brewers and Mets to trade for Mad Bum), click here. Feel free to follow me on Twitter (to receives updates when I release new content) @MaxGold81356590 and make sure to check out my website (Max's Sporting Studio).


5 comments:

  1. Welcome, Max.

    Awesome first piece! I think you have to make that trade every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Giving up your top pitching prospect hurts, especially when also giving up who I am donning as the next Dellin Betances, but Bumgarner undeniably makes this team better. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! I totally agree. Loaisiga undeniably has high upside, but Mad Bum would make this team favorites to win the division in my eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lasagna comes with his own set of question marks. Injuries, etc. You go with the sure thing here.

      Delete
  3. I believe Yankees would make this trade question is would the Giants. I would like to see Ellsbury included in this trade with Yankees eating the bulk of his contract. This would give SF a outfielder they need along with Cap relief.

    ReplyDelete

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)