Thursday, December 5, 2013

Will Smith trade: A-Ok(i) for the Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers traded Aoki to the Royals for Will Smith.

#Brewers announce trade of Norichika Aoki to #Royals for Will Smith.

 Aoki's been a good player the last 2 seasons for the Brewers since coming over from the NPB.  But he was in his last year of his very team-friendly contract and Khris Davis was knocking at the major league door.

STEAMER and Oliver combine to project Aoki for a .288/.355/.393 line and 2.4 WAR per 600 PAs
STEAMER and Oliver combine to project Kris Davis for a .253/.331/.449 line and 1.7 WAR per 600 PAs

That's roughly equal contributions.  Aoki looks to be a bit better but it's less than a WAR and there could certainly be some error bar overlap.

Will Smith was a pretty highly rated prospect for the Royals.  He made 16 decent starts for the Royals last season.  Putting up a remarkably consistent 4.66 FIP, 4.64 xFIP, 4.69 SIERA line.  The Royals moved him to the bullpen this season, which can't really be seen as a good thing since their rotation was so bad, and he was excellent as a reliever.  He K'd over 30% of the hitters he faced while only walking about 5%. He had a 3.53 FIP, 2.50 xFIP and 2.05 SIERA.  The last 2 numbers being particularly dominant

In giving up Aoki, a good, but but not much more than good, player the Mariners got back about the max of what could be expected.  A pitcher who looks like a better than average reliever who'll cost basically nothing for 3 seasons and who could work his way into the starting rotation.

For the Royals...I don't like it as much

We saw that Aoki was projected for about 2.4 WAR per 600 PA's
The same projections have David Lough and Maxwell producing about 1.9 WAR per 600 PAs

Aoki's acquisition is only about a .5 WAR upgrade.

For that, they give up the same thing that Milwaukee acquired - Will Smith and his above average relief work and possible ability to start.

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