This past week, we asked you all to choose a trade to change everything. Just one. And then you’d be fired immediately after. Oh, right, I didn’t say that part out loud. My bad. I hope your trade was a good one.
My first thought was there’s no way I’d do this trade, even as relatively low as I am on Chavis and Mata. This is less an indictment on the quality of players being given up, and more of a statement of my preconception of Germán Márquez.
But, I realized I may have been underestimating what Márquez is actually worth. Ignoring his contract and age, first we need to determine what Márquez really is as a starting pitcher. First, the easy part. He led the National League, and was second in the majors, in innings pitched. He was durable, went deep in games, and more importantly, was at least above average in those innings.
He had a 3.75 ERA and decent (but not mind-blowing) peripherals. Striking out eight batters per nine innings, and walking only 2.8 per nine, Márquez was the unquestioned ace of the Rockies. Antonio Senzatela had a lower ERA, but his pitching required more luck than Marquez’s. If you play the same season over 100 times, I’d expect Marquez to be the better pitcher in 90 or more of those seasons.
By FIP, he was the 17th best pitcher in baseball. A list of some players he outperformed by FIP: Max Scherzer, Zac Gallen, Gerrit Cole, and José Berríos. The list is far longer, especially if you make the qualifying amount of innings to be 50. You might wonder where his FIP (3.28) would rank on the Red Sox. The best Red Sox starter by FIP with at least 5 starts was Nate Eovaldi at 3.87. The players on the team with a lower FIP were Brandon Workman, Tanner Houck, Ryan Brasier, and José Peraza. Ignoring Peraza for a second because he should never pitch again, his only competition for FIP leader are relievers and a starter who appeared in three games.
Finally, and potentially most importantly to the ownership group: he is controllable, cheap, and will be both things for a while yet. He’ll make $7.8 million in 2021, and is under contract until 2024, when he will make $16 million.
When you consider these things, it’s likely I (and presumably others) are drastically undervaluing Germán Márquez. This trade may end up being impossible though, because it feels like it’s just not enough going back to the Rockies.
The Trade: The Red Sox trade Michael Chavis, CJ Chatham, and Josh Taylor to the Marlins for Starling Marte.
Starling Marte is a player I’ve long thought would be a fun fit in Boston. He hits the ball hard, and runs fast too. His righty swing would also pepper the Monster, leading to no shortage of doubles. Plus, with the likely departure of Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox have an outfield opening to fill.
The Marlins exercised their team option on him, so for the 2021 season, he will be making $12.5 million.
With his contract being very reasonable, he becomes appealing. But with his situation being that of a rental, he also becomes more appealing for a non-contending organization to trade away; leading to a perfect marriage of value for both organizations. If the Marlins feel they won’t be able to contend at a high level in 2021, they can get back controllable assets in exchange for Marte.
That said, I feel like the package would have to be more for the Marlins to have real interest. While Chatham has some (albeit minimal) trade value, both Chavis and Taylor are probably seen as lacking value for most organizations. I’m not sure what would need to be added, but it probably involves changing one of Chavis/Taylor to a prospect outside the top 10 in the organization, but above the top 20.
Today we will also look at some Pick 5 Stats. We had 26 entrants this year. The following players were picked the most:
12 - Jackie Bradley Jr.
8 - Taijuan Walker
7 - Kevin Pillar,
5 - Jake Marisnick, Alex Wood,
4 - Alex Colome, Sean Doolittle, Tommy La Stella, Jake Odorizzi,
3 - Jake Arrieta, Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Shane Greene, Mike Minor, Joe Musgrove, Marcell Ozuna, Jose Quintana, Marcus Stroman,
2 - Michael Brantley, Liam Hendriks, Kike Hernandez, Brock Holt, Ender Inciarte, Keone Kela, Jon Lester, Jake McGee, Jurickson Profar,
1 - Pedro Baez, Daniel Bard, Dellin Betances, Brad Boxberger, Asdrubal Cabrera, Trevor Cahill, Mark Canha, Alex Cobb, Matt Harvey, Cesar Hernandez, Brent Honeywell, Merrill Kelly, Ha-Seong Kim, Corey Knebel, Pablo Lopez, Starling Marte, Oscar Mercado, Mitch Moreland, Max Muncy, Wil Myers, Brad Peacock, Zach Plesac, Yasiel Puig, Robbie Ray, Hunter Renfroe, Hector Rondon, Drew Smyly, Blake Treinen, Johnathan Villar, Justin Wilson, Kirby Yates, Jordan Zimmermann
59 total players were chosen. The five most popular players would make a pick 5 of Jackie Bradley Jr./Taijuan Walker/Kevin Pillar/Jake Marisnick/Alex Wood, which would have been its own unique selection in itself.