Follow the Money

We’ve gone over this about 1,378 times already, but guys like Wallace Matthews insist on saying that Joba Chamberlain would be more valuable in the bullpen than he would be in the rotation. Thankfully, Jason takes him to task, once again deploying the principle behind the name of his blog to good effect:

With all due respect, I think Matthews is nuts. There are so many ways to dissect this, but I will stick to my basic mantra: Follow the money.

Top starters signed this off-season:

CC Sabathia, NYY, 7 years, $161 million
AJ Burnett, NYY, 5 years, $82.5 million
Derek Lowe, ATL, 4 years, $60 million

Top closers/set-up men signed this off-season:

Frankie Rodriguez, NYM, 3 years, $36 million
Kyle Farnsworth, KCR, 2 years, $9.25 million (sorry, I had to include him)

Follow the money. If closers (or, gasp) set-up men were so valuable, they’d be signing the big contracts. But it’s the horses in the rotation that pull the sled and are paid accordingly.

I suppose Matthews’ response to that could be the same: “Why do I continue to write the same column over and over despite the fact that its thesis has been refuted time and time again? Hey, it’s about the money, stupid.”

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Comments

  1. Jacob Rothberg said...

    Its all about the desire to be great. You can be George W. Bush and try and make the world a better place and run the risk of completely flaming out or you can be George H.W. Bush and be competent and decent and have mediocre results as your legacy, but hey, at least you never risked flying too high and getting burned. The Yankees used to embody greatness. Joba is the Promethean spirit personified. If you can’t take the responsibility for that potential just stop trying altogether.

  2. kendynamo said...

    why would you preface your lambaste with ‘all due respect’?  Wallace Matthews is a piece of crap.  he deserves about as much respect as bernard madoff.

  3. The Common Man said...

    I just wrote this over on Jason’s site, but it applies here too, so I’m cross-posting:

    My favorite part of the article is when Matthews opines, “Greater baseball minds than mine have analyzed this situation at great length and determined that Joba for the first six innings every five days is better than Joba out of the bullpen five times a week.” Five times a week? FIVE TIMES A WEEK? FIVE…TIMES…A…WEEK???

    You know, because the best way to keep a young, hard-throwing pitcher with a history of arm trouble out on the mound FIVE DAYS A WEEK. Teams usually play six game a week, so that would put Joba on track to appear in somewhere close to 135 games. Good idea, Wallace. As a Twins fan, I heartily endorse your plan.

    However, if by some miracle Joba was able to pitch 135 games with little to no additional risk to his long-term health, I’d say this would be an incredibly efficient use of his talents. Again, I encourage the Yankees to try it.

    http://www.the-common-man.com

  4. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    kendynamo: because my folks always told me to treat my elders with some degree of respect….

    And I can’t disagree with your view of Matthews.

  5. themarksmith said...

    I’m still not sure Joba’s place, given his arm troubles, is in the rotation, but I won’t disagree he’s more “valuable” as a starter. Starters are much more valuable than relievers. Still, just because he’s more “valuable” as a starter, it doesn’t mean the best decision is to make him one. We’ll just have to wait and see, but I think the Yankees are taking the right approach.

  6. Aaron Moreno said...

    I’ll agree with themarksmith on this one. The real debate isn’t whether Joba as reliever is more valuable than Joba as starter, but where he’ll be healthiest, and stuff like secondary pitches. This same debate happened with Papelbon, too.

  7. VanderBirch said...

    In a meta sense, Joba would be more valuable as a starter. But the real question is whether he would, over the next 5 years or so, be more valuable relative to the average starter than he would relative to the average reliever.

    To me, its merely a matter of health. If the Yanks are confident he can stay healthy as a starter, that is by far his best role. As long as teams are putting guys like Sidney Ponson in the rotation, a good starter will always have far more value, because teams can find good bullpen guys all over the place if they look hard enough.

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