Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Courtesy of the Washington Post:
However, if [Russ] Ortiz ultimately gets what [Agent John] Boggs thinks he's worth -- perhaps $10 million annually -- there's very little chance he'll end up pitching in Washington next year.

"What we know is we've got a quality pitcher," Boggs said yesterday. "Look at his durability. Look at his numbers. He's at what we feel is the top of his [free agent] class. He doesn't get the media that Pedro Martinez gets. . . . But we think we know what he's worth."

$10 million dollars? TEN MILLION DOLLARS? I know agents are paid to lie and to always look on the bright side, but damn. Just damn.

If his agent really thinks he's worth 10MM, I imagine he'll be one of those pitchers who has to sign a near-league minimum contract right before spring training. As dumb as some of the GMs in the game are, I can't imagine anyone giving that much money to Ortiz.

Despite the big-winner reputation, he's nothing more than an innings eater--providing 220 innings of slightly above-average pitching. What absolutely kills him is the huge number of walks he allows--over 100 in four of his six full seasons. He's finished in the top-five for walks allowed every year since 1999 and lead the league twice.

He's won the large number of games he has because he's played behind some really good offenses in San Francisco and Atlanta. Combined with his excellent durability and a little bit of luck, he's racked up the wins.

But as anyone who's not Joe Morgan knows, wins aren't the be-all, end-all of statistics. The pitcher can't control the number of runs his team scores for him. (His run support over the last four years: 5.14, 6.49, 5.37, 5.72) All he can control is the number of runs he allows--something Ortiz doesn't excel at.

There's definitely a lot of value in durability and consitency, but it's not $10 million worth. Ortiz is certainly a valuable pitcher, but he's not worth anything like what his agent perceives his value to be.

Hopefully, the sticker shock will force Bowden to look in another direction. There aren't any true superstars on the market in our price range, but there are a few underrated pitchers, like Matt Clement and Odalis Perez, that'd look really good in the red W cap.


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