Argument For Pedro Alvarez Still Exists
As pointed out by a poster on the BSL Board, there is still a viable argument for the Baltimore Orioles signing Pedro Alvarez – even after the deal for Chris Davis.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
With the roster as is, Davis is the 1st Baseman with Mark Trumbo serving as the primary DH, and RF being manned by either Nolan Reimold, Joey Rickard, or Dariel Alvarez.
It’s reasonable to think that each of Reimold, Rickard, or D. Alvarez each has the potential to help. The flip-side of that is you couldn’t count on that trio to provide anything.
So for ’16, why not sign P. Alvarez to DH, with Davis taking over Right, and Trumbo at 1st?
With the Pirates last year, Alvarez made $5.75M. Obviously his market has been slow to develop. He’s likely looking at a 1 year deal.
As we’ve talked about, the O’s rotation is lacking. No matter who they might add, the staff figures to remain a question. The offense’s ability to slug (along with the plus defense, and a capable bullpen) is what figures to carries the team.
With or without Pedro Alvarez, the profile of the Orioles offense is not going to change in 2016. They will be a power based team, with a below average on-base percentage.
This FanGraphs article from last June (ironically in-part about Trumbo), articulates the idea that the O’s would be better of accentuating their strength, vs. trying to address their weakness.
“But the argument that Schoenfield (and others) are making isn’t a linear-weights based argument. It’s that the team already had power but lacked OBP, so if they were going to upgrade their offense, they needed to improve their OBP and not their SLG. Strengthen your weakness, in other words, rather than reinforcing the thing you’re already good at. The problem is that this idea is actually just wrong.
As a team’s overall OBP goes up, the relative value of SLG goes down, because you don’t need one big hit to drive in a bunch of runs when there’s a decent likelihood of stringing a bunch of smaller hits (or walks) together. And importantly, the inverse is also true; as a team’s OBP goes down, the relative value of SLG goes up, because singles and walks to a bad offensive club are less likely to score runs than a guy hitting a ball over the wall.
In other words, a team of low-OBP sluggers will actually draw a larger benefit than linear weights suggests from adding another low-OBP slugger to the mix than they would adding a high-OBP slap-hitter. If you already have a team that makes a bunch of outs, and you have to choose between two equally valuable hitters — one of whom is a low-OBP/high-SLG guy and the other a high-OBP/low-SLG guy — you’re actually better off with the high SLG guy.”
So in this respect, Alvarez would fit right in.
For his career, his ISO% (Isolated Power, SLG – AVG) is .205. Over the last 4 years, he has 111 homers.
The advanced defensive metrics have generally liked Trumbo at 1st. Davis has the arm, and athleticism to be average ish in RF. Pedro Alvarez’s defensive limitations mean nothing if he’s mostly DHing.
What’s the best argument you have against the Orioles signing Alvarez?
Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director.