Baez Agrees to Two-Year Deal

baez.jpgSources said today the Phillies had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in 2008.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez’s arrival at least gives Charlie Manuel, who had Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez’s arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen. The Phillies have been interested in bringing back Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in Aug. 2008, made $2 million last season.

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27 Comments

Welcome back Todd, I hope you were on an island someplace wearing hideous shirts and basking in the warm breezes.
Baez is a dollar store answer to a million dollar problem. Hope I’m wrong but geez Rube, he’s our 9th inning option?
And offering Eyre a minor league contract…what did Gillick go on vacation and Rube is calling Ed Wade for advice? Give him the money.
Oh and happy new year.

I am not sold on this signing. He is talent wise somewhere in between Park and Durbin. Since Park is not coming back I would call it a downgrade. While I know he can close games, he does not represent the significant upgrade the team needs in the pen. With Lidge and Romero’s health in question, they still need two more quality bullpen arms. Will Ruben Amaro come through or will the pen be an achilles heel again in 2010?

http://www.phillysportscomplete.com

I’m not an advocate of the give him the money mentality either, but IMHO, Eyre has earned more consideration than a minor league contract offer. Unless they are thinking his injury is worse than reported and likely to happen again. He has been nothing but very good in his role since we got him. Call it the reward performance school of thought.

Perhaps it’s best to avoid the somewhat typical fan negativity about Baez, a guy without a big name. Lets remember that many fans were equally as negative about Durban and Park . Those 2 signings worked out just fine. Hang in there everyone. Got a feeling that a young guy or two ( like a Mathieson , Escalona and/ or Bastardo) is going to come through in the Spring. Not a fan of the ” Give him the money” mentality. That rarely works. If it did work, the Yankees would win EVERY year . Guess what, they don’t.
Happy New year, all!

Considering all options, I like the signing. Remember when Romero was picked up off waivers? It was also called something like bargain bin shopping. I trust the baseball minds of the Phils when it comes to signing relievers. Remember the Lidge signing? The Park signing? The Eyre signing? Admit it, the Phils do well in putting together a bullpen. I’ll wait for negative judgement until the guy throws a few innings in a Phils uniform. Until then, I like the signing.

I don’t have anything personal against Baez, but I really am hoping now that he fails his physical.

The guy has had issues pitching with several other clubs ( and the fact that he isn’t a big star is irrelevant, IMO because I don’t consider Schneider a big star, but he is a very good backup for Ruiz–look at his CS% against runners against him ) but Baez has always allowed a lot of walks–something we can ill afford.

Two things to consider: (1) Baez pitched for the Orioles in the toughest division in baseball, playing for the worst team in it. (2) If you take out two outings he had in the first two months of the season (1/3 inning 4 Rs at Yank Stad. and 1/3 inning 5 Rs in the Fish Bowl), because Charlie will never leave him in that long, his ERA drops to 2.19 That’s probably what Ruben was thinking about. Also he’s apparently a great clubhouse guy. I LIKE THIS MOVE. SO SUE ME.

At least they didn’t sign Rodney. He has a horrible SO/BB ratio and a WHIP to match. I like Baez. The Phillies have done well with their ‘pen signings in recent years, so I’ll wait to pass judgement.
Happy New Year, all!!!

I don’t see what else was available that would cause a few fans to complain about this signing. Baez is inconsistent, but there aren’t many guys with closer experience who can also do 3 innings in the middle of a game. Baez is OK. Nothing thrilling.

As for the division he pitched in, the division was 24 for 117 against him (.205 BA) so once again, check the numbers before you make a statement. Elsewhere, the Angels hit .375 against him, the Twins hit .333, the Royals hit .391 and the Indians hit .357, so maybe the division thing is overrated?

Those arguments where you’re supposed to “take out two outings” and construct a different viewpoint are interesting to me. It’s called an average because you don’t remove things. You leave them in because the games counted and, as they say, “they were keeping score.”
Take out game 1 and game 5 and Utley had a bad World Series.

muleman: erichh1 posted the ERA without those two innings, you found the batting average without those two innings. I’ll take both of your word’s without checking facts since talking baseball and the Phils specifically is fun to me. Its not an engineering exam. I also really like the point about taking out the two innings and finding the ERA is much lower. That is a very relevant fact to me and one Ive seen sportswriters do in other articles. Thanks to both of you for finding those numbers and posting them. And muleman for the additional statistics too. Excellent stuff to take into consideration when judging the signing.

I screwed up typing the ERA without those two games. It’s actually 2.91 something. Still, I briefly looked over his game log and was under the impression that he gave up most of his runs against the AL East (except that one game against the Fish) I’ll go back and check more thoroughly later.

muleman, thank you for writing some enlightening posts. I remember reading your level-headed statements about Baez when the rumors came out that the Phils were looking into signing him. That is the only reason I thought about looking at his 2009 stats in the first place. If you tell me that Charlie would bring a pitcher into the 7th inning of a tie 1-1 game and leave him in to get pummeled for 5 runs in one third of an inning than I’ll agree with you that average means the average of all the stats. Otherwise, I’ll stick to my belief that a better manager and better team will get better results from Danys boy.
Some other stats… his WHIP is a respectable 1.13 and his SLG% against is .342. His GO/AO is an incredible 2.66 (124 GO/ 50 AO), which is great for pitching at CBP. His 59 hits given up in 71.2 innings is good. He gives up the long ball only once every 9 innings or so. His 22 walks (roughly, one every 3 and a third innings) aren’t so bad.

Im going to jump in on this discussion of averages and taking out 2 games or not taking out 2 games. If Baez appeared in about 60 games and you take out 2 of them, youve taken out one thirty-ith of the sample group or, 3.33% of the total. If you take out 2 of the 5 World Series games that Utley appeared in you’d be removing 40% of the sample group. Its not a logical comparison. If Utley appeared in 5 games and had 5 at bats in each game he’d have had 25 at bats. If you take out 3.33% of those at bats you’d take out .833 at bats. Therefore, 3.33% of Utleys total World Series at bats doesn’t even total to 1 at bat erichh1’s method of finding a more representative value of his ERA is valid, if true.

joebridge & erichh: I realize that baseball isn’t an engineering exam, but I also realize that merely because a sportswriter says something it doesn’t necessarily mean we should take it as gospel.
If you take out Baez’ two worst outings then it stands to reason that you should take out his best as well. That’s the point I was making with the Utley comparison.
Anything that is called an “average” is done so because you don’t randomly take statistics out. They either all belong or don’t – we don’t get to choose.
The real point you’re making by removing random bad outings is that Baez is wildly inconsistent, which is what I brought up a week ago.

muleman, Baez’s two worst outings were for a total of two-thirds of an inning. Over 71.2 innings, the percentage of total innings pitched is even lowere than what Joe posted. It’s a fraction of his whole season. Charlie would never keep a pitcher in the game that long. It was cruel.

erichh: Maybe we don’t know all the circumstances. Maybe the bullpen was beat-up and Baez was taking one for the team? Maybe it was early in the game and they didn’t want to burn up the pen? That’s why you have to leave the numbers in. It’s an average. Why do I have to keep repeating that?

It IS an average but to get a truer read of the performance you take out the “outliers”. The ones that are outside of the grouping. The 2 or 3 best and the 2 or 3 worst. If you take them out and have the same ERA as when you left them in, you already had a true reading. Its simple statistics. Take out the outliers for a truer read. If there aren’t outliers, taking out any 2 or 3 of the readings won’t change the overall ERA. If you take out the 2 worst then obviously you’d have to take out the 2 best to be consistent and accurate. If he pitched 71 innings and you take out 4 of the readings, you’re left with 67 readings. A big enough sample size to get a true reading on the “average” performance of this player. If Baez really is “wildly inconsistent”, then taking out the 2 worst performances out of 71 total performances would have had a negligable affect on his overall ERA. If taking out the 2 worst brough his ERA down from 4.02 to 2.91, he’s not wildly inconsistent. Thats not even an opinion. Its a mathematical factbased purely on the numbers.

To sum it all up, erichh1 took out 2 performances of the 71 total. 2/71 * 100 = 2.81% of the total performances removed. ERA of 4.02 down to 2.91. 4.02 – 2.91 = 1.11 which is 27.6% of the 4.02 ERA. When 2.81% of the performances account for 27.6% of the total ERA, you’re not getting a true read of the player’s performance leaving those numbers in. Something tells me Amaro and his staff know that though. When the percentage of performances removed = the difference in ERA, you’ve found the true average performance measurement of the player.

joebridge: That’s pretty cool. You’ve constructed your own definition of “average.” And yes, statistics is “simple” when you don’t try to mess with it. You randomly took out two performances, but the performances don’t matter as much as WHAT was taken out.
He didn’t take out the two best, he only took out the two worst, which is why it ISN’T an average. Not to mention that taking out 9 runs allowed is going to have a more significant impact on his ERA than the innings he used in his sample.
It has nothing to do with the percentage of the performance, it’s the number of runs he took out, which is more significant.
And how significant is it if they lost those two games because of him?

erichh: You didn’t only remove two-thirds of an inning, you removed 9 runs, which is 25% of the runs he gave up in 2009.
That’s what the ERA is based on as well. It’s more than some small sample.
He also pitched 2 scoreless innings against Seattle on 6/10 and 2 scoreless innings against Washington on 5/22. Take those out (zero runs, not just the innings) and see what his ERA is.

You guys kill me sometimes.

Constructed a new definition of average? You kill me sometimes too. The goal is to get a reading of the AVERAGE performace of the player. That not a difficult concept to understand. I can’t make it any more simple without repeating what Ive already explained. The definition of average wasn’t changed. A truer reading of it was explained. Take a statistics course, you might get it then.

All you are saying the exact same thing, in effect. Yes, the average would and should include his two awful games. No, his average in this case, doesn’t give a true indication of his season. What would be more helpful is his earned run mean.

Mean: A number that represents a set of of numbers in any of several ways determined by a rule involving all members of the set; average.

The fact that he had two awful outings should matter for statistical purposes, but should not matter when deciding if he is a good pitcher or not. We all know that Ibanez had a bad second half due to his injury. Should we judge him based on that, or on the great first half he had? Can we reasopnably expect him to have another groin injury this year?

To put it bluntly, stop playing semantics and start discussing if Baez is going to help the team or not…..

Happy New Year to one and all

Thanks, fan in jerusalem, you made my case clearer than I did:

1. his average in this case, doesn’t give a true indication of his season.

2. The fact that he had two awful outings should matter for statistical purposes, but should not matter when deciding if he is a good pitcher or not.

3. Ibanez had a bad second half due to his injury. Should we judge him based on that, or on the great first half he had? Can we reasopnably expect him to have another groin injury this year?

Thanks, fan in jerusalem, you made my case clearer than I did: I tried to use math to say basically what you siad.

1. his average in this case, doesn’t give a true indication of his season.

2. The fact that he had two awful outings should matter for statistical purposes, but should not matter when deciding if he is a good pitcher or not.

3. Ibanez had a bad second half due to his injury. Should we judge him based on that, or on the great first half he had? Can we reasopnably expect him to have another groin injury this year?

http://www.reclinergm.com/

Another argument for looking a little deeper than overall ERA.
JC Ramirez is a prospect that came over in the Lee trade.

muleman is 100% right about needing to include ALL of the numbers to get an average for ERA. FIJ is also right that we shouldn’t overweigh the significance of those two-thirds of an inning when considering him as a bullpen specialist who can help the Phils get to and win WS ’10. If we say he gave up 3 out of the 9 actual runs in those two outings, we would end up with an ERA of 3.27. If we say he gave up 4 runs then, it would be 3.39. And so on…. “4.02” is excellent for someone who had to face the AL East’s best teams for almost half his innings pitched.

joe, unless reclinergm fixed the GO/AO ratio, it’s wrong at 1.56 . I double-checked this stat because 2.66 looks like science fiction, but somehow it”s 2.66. His two principle pitches are his fastball and split-finger fastball. I was surprised that he could generate so many ground balls without a sinker. I can’t wait to see him pitch in Clearwater next month.

That’s what the ERA is based on as well. It’s more than some small sample.
He also pitched 2 scoreless innings against Seattle on 6/10 and 2 scoreless innings against Washington on 5/22. Take those out (zero runs, not just the innings) and see what his ERA is.
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