Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Newsletter Excerpt, July 19, 2023 -- "Landing Spots"


This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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"No, I want to see some unexpected buyer take a stand here. We’re looking for teams with a lot of young talent, especially talent that is clustered at a few positions -- teams that are going to have to clear out a logjam one way or another. We’re looking for teams that, by choice or circumstance, are less likely to sign Ohtani than the max-payroll squads. As I wrote recently, the trade value of rentals is as low as it’s ever been, even for stars. Ohtani, for all his greatness, has quantifiable and limited value to a new team: 200 or so PA of 160 wRC+ at DH, and eight to nine starts, maybe 55 innings, of a 3.50 FIP on the mound, plus a playoff run. That comes to two to three wins, with considerable error bars around that, and keep in mind that Ohtani has been struggling with a fingernail issue that has affected his pitching.

"Maybe the biggest factor, then, is identifying teams for which those two or three wins have the highest potential marginal value, the difference between being in and out of the playoffs, the difference between winning the division -- and a first-round bye -- and not.

"I came up with three teams, all of which could overpay in prospects, have a real need for what Ohtani brings on the field, are positioned to get maximum value from marginal wins, and are unlikely to compete to sign Ohtani this winter."