Found April 16, 2012 on PRO Rumors:
St_louis_cardinals_3c72
Much has been said about Albert Pujols‘ addition to the Angels, and everybody knows that it was a risky move for Angels owner, Arte Moreno. Because Pujols will eventually decline, if it hasn't started yet, and having a 40-year old player earning more than $20 million sounds like a bad business decision. The best they can hope for is that Pujols' decline doesn't start anytime soon and that when it does, its not that steep. Now, besides Pujols, the Angels added another everyday player to their team, catcher Chris Iannetta. His addition pretty much went unnoticed with all the hype generated after Pujols' and C.J. Wilson's signing this off season. But given the team the Angels had in 2011, and forgetting about the truck full of money the Angels gave Pujols, or the start of the season he is having compared to Iannatta, who was a better fit for the Angels? The answer is easy, but it might sound crazy to most of you. The best fit for the Angels was Iannetta, but why do I say that? Well, I took the liberty to do some math to prove that what I'm saying its true. The math might not be perfect or even close to the work done by Bill James or SABER experts, but I think its valid. When you add a position player to you team, you're replacing AB's and defensive innings given to another player in previous years. In this case, we'll assume that Iannetta is replacing Jeff Mathis‘ AB's and defensive innings, while Pujols is replacing AB's from Alberto Callaspo, Mark Trumbo, Kendry Morales and Bobby Abreu. I say that, because the playing time for all those players was affected with Pujols' addition to the team, specially for Abreu. Now, to compare the player contribution to the team's offense we're going to use the OPS+ stat. Which is the sum of OBP (On-Base Percentage) and SLG (Slugging Percentage), but adjusted to park and league effects. Last season, Mathis had an OPS+ of 37 in 93 games, while Iannetta had a 102 OPS+ in 112 games with the Rockies. This means a 65 points difference between both catchers in OPS+, a considerable difference if you ask me. Defensively, Mathis had a 0.3 FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average) and Iannetta a -0.1 FRAA, but Mathis' VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) was -8.2 while Iannatta's was 23.8, another big difference between the two. After analyzing these numbers you can conclude that the Angels definitely improved their team by adding Iannetta. They will probably add 65 more points in OPS+ and around 32 runs to their offense by the end of the season with this trade (using last season's numbers). To analyze Pujols addition I did something, a little bit crazy. Since he isn't replacing just one player like Iannetta, I decided to create a player with the OPS+ of Callaspo, Abreu, Morales and Trumbo, the players who will be affected, somehow, by the addition of Pujols. I won't create the player trying to guess how much playing time of each one of these players will be affected, I'm just going to assume they are all worth the same. I'm also going to use Morales' 2009 OPS+ because it was his last complete season in the Majors. If we add the OPS+ of those four players and calculate a simple average, we get a fictional player with a 117 OPS+. That fictional player is the player Pujols will be replacing in the Angels lineup. Pujols' OPS+ in 2011 was 150, a big number, and obviously higher than Iannetta's OPS+, but only 33 points higher than the simple average of the players he is replacing. This means only half of the production Ianneta is adding to the Angels lineup above what they had in 2011 when Mathis was behind the plate most of the time. If you want to take defense into account this is what you get. Given the fact that Trumbo was the Angels everyday first baseman in 2011, I'm going to compare Pujols' FRAA with Trumbo's FRAA only. In 2011, Trumbo had a 1.9 FRAA while Pujols 13.5. This is the only department where Pujols addition might be a big improvement from what the Angels already had, but lets face it, Pujols was brought to Anaheim to hit, not to defend first base better than Trumbo, and you don't pay that kind of money for defense only. By adding the VORP to the equation, Iannetta's addition to the team proves once again, to be more valuable than Pujols' addition. Pujols' VORP in 2011 was 43.4 (his lowest mark in his career), while the VORP for the player we created is 24.9. Pujols represents 18.6 more runs for the Angels compared to the other four players, but Iannetta represents 32 more runs than Mathis for the team. Again, Iannetta represents a bigger improvement to the Angels than Pujols. Considering what the Angels paid to get Pujols ($240 million over 10 years) and what the Angels paid to get Iannetta (they gave up Tyler Chatwood, and are paying $3.6 million in 2012), and what is their marginal contribution to the team, there's no room for discussion that Iannetta's addition was more important than Pujols' addition. By the way, I'm not saying that the Angels shouldn't have signed Pujols, if you have the chance, and the money to improve your team, do it. And Pujols is obviously an offensive and defensive improvement of what the Angels had in 2011. Image by shgmom56, Barbara Moore under the Creative Commons License.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Does Albert Pujols Chinstrap Bobblehead Look Anything Like Pujols?

From potentially the best since Adrian Peterson to mid-round prospects, we break down the strengths, weaknesses and production of the top 10 running backs, as well as the Vikings’ outlook at the position.

Pujols Was Almost A Cincinnati Red

Interesting. Forgive the delayed podcast listening, but in last week’s Jonah Keri Grantland pod he had ESPN Baseball Tonight anchor Steve Berthiaume on to take a tour around the league after one week. When the boys were talking about the Cincinnati Reds, Berthiaume dropped an interesting tidbit on Joey Votto’s recently signed 10 year 225 million dollar deal: “I think, think...

Steve Berthiaume: “Cincinnati Reds tried for Albert Pujols.”

I’m going to have to credit a Cardinals blog with the assist on this one. Last week on the Jonah Keri podcast, ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume (whom we love) was the guest. He spoke about the Cincinnati Reds coming thisclose to acquiring former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols: “I think, think they (the Reds) were a lot closer to getting Albert Pujols than anybody knows or anybody...

Daily Dozen: Pujols Still Sans the Home Run

Every morning we recap the previous night’s games, news and notes so that you’re up-to-date on everything baseball. As always you can follow us on Twitter (@BaseballProf) and like us on Facebook to get updated, fantasy-relevant news, tidbits and analysis. 1. It has now been 48 plate appearances and the mighty Albert Pujols still has no home runs. In fact, he has just four runs...

Thomas Wayne’s 2012 American League Predictions (Finally…lol)

No - to the shock of many - I do not have Albert Pujols winning AL MVP. Who do I have??? Read on...

Top 50 Players in MLB

Albert Pujols is atop the GMs' list of Top 50 Major League Baseball Players. then Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. CineSport's Noah Coslov and Sporting News' Stan McNeal discuss. (function() { var csprtjs = document.createElement('script'); csprtjs.type = 'text/javascript'; csprtjs.async = true; csprtjs...

Two incredibly good reasons for Angels fans not to panic

The Angels are 3-6, which apparently means their season is already over and the sky is falling.  Believe it or not, I think people might be overreacting just a teeny tiny bit.  That's easy to say, of course, but it turns out that I can actually back that statement up too.  I've good two very good reason why Angels fans should not panic and should, in fact, get excited...

Morales' overdue blast sparks Angels' win

ANAHEIM, CA The last time Kendrys Morales hit a homer of any consequence, it was a grand slam on May 29, 2010 that beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1 in ten innings. In the process, the Angels lost their best offensive weapon for the better part of two seasons. Morales celebrated the walk-off slam by jumping on home plate, landing awkwardly and breaking his ankle in the process. Nearly...

Los Angeles Angels' Team Grades After Opening Week

Opening Day has come and gone and the second weekend of this season is complete. So with the past few days offering a sneak peek into the 2012 season, it is now time to pass out grades for Vegas' favorite to win the World Series this season – the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels spent over 300 million dollars this offseason on free agents, trying to bolster their...

Death By Bullpen: Why The Angels Could Have A Hard Time Making The Playoffs

The Angels are a much better team then they were last year. The team’s offseason additions of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson have caused many people to pick them as the favorites to win the World Series. However, the Angels have more holes than many people would think. Where the team is lacking the most is in its bullpen, which is one of the worst among teams expected to make the...

Game Recap 4/16/12 -- Happy Happy Joy Joy - Angels 6 Athletics 0

Well who would have guessed it, the Angels actually have a middle of the order, what a surprise. The day off did Kendrys wonders apparently, 3-4 with a HR and 4 RBI's makes you wonder if he's finally coming back around. I know one game is too soon to throw around claims that Kendrys is finally back to true Kendrys form again, but if he can keep raking throughout this home...

Angels 6, Athletics 0

Kendrys Morales hit his first homer in nearly two years and drove in four runs, and Jered Weaver recorded his 1,000th career strikeout while pitching five-hit ball into the seventh inning of the Los Angeles Angels' 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night. Morales followed his three-run homer in the first inning with an eighth-inning double to score Albert Pujols...

Reds-Cardinals Preview

Despite Albert Pujols' departure and injuries to Lance Berkman and David Freese, the St. Louis Cardinals have gotten off to a fast start. That's due in part to Matt Carpenter and Kyle Lohse, and the duo may give their team a good opportunity to keep it going in a matchup with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. Carpenter hopes to get the chance to follow a five-RBI performance...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.