Monday, August 15, 2011

Trade Analysis: Delmon Young to Detroit

The Detroit Tigers acquired OF Delmon Young from the Minnesota Twins today in exchange for P Cole Nelson and the oft-traded PTBNL.

Young will likely take playing time from Magglio Ordonez.  How have they stacked up this season:

Young: .292 wOBA and 0.6 fWAR in 325 PA
Maggs: .260 wOBA and -1.0 fWAR in 289 PA

The Tigers have 42 games remaining.  If we replace Ordonez's expected production with Young's for the rest of the season at 4 PA's per game (and give 2 games off for math's sake), we get Young having 160 PA's remaining.  Over that many PA's Young will be worth about 8 more runs than Ordonez (at their current level's of production), about a full Win Above Replacement.

Detroit currently has a 2.5 game lead over Cleveland so, each and every win is important.

One thing to consider though, is that Young's defense has been worth 3.9 runs this year per UZR.  Young's UZR the preceding 3 seasons:
There has been some improvement there, but it is entirely possible that Young is still a negative defender; most scouts would agree.  If we change Young's defense runs to assume he's actually a -10 defender then Young projects to be worth only about a third of a win better than Magglio over the rest of the season.

According to Cot's, Young is being paid $5.375 million this season.  That's means about $1.4 million remains on Young's contract this year.  If 1 WAR is $5 million then 1/3 of 5 WAR is $1.6 million.  Can't argue with the economics of the deal.  Though, I wouldn't argue with them anyway.  'Flags fly forever', they say, and making the playoffs brings a lot of money into an organization.  Teams in contention need to make these type of upgrades.

The player, Cole Nelson, going the other way is a big (6'7") live left-throwing-arm who strikes out a few guys and walks more than a few.  That describes a lot of guys who pitch in A-ball like Nelson does.  He doesn't appear to be anything to get too excited about.

*Stats from FanGraphs

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