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Lidge trade analysis*
Posted by Bret Cohen at 11/8/2007 7:40:00 AM
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After looking at the Lidge deal, I was all set to blog how poor the Astros made out, and then I read Keith Law's excellent analysis on

Basically, even if Lidge was done in Houston, the Phillies got way below market value for him. With the price of relief pitching skyrocketing (see: $19 million over 3 years for Danys Baez to serve as a set-up man), Lidge at under $6 mil per year to close is a terrific deal. Wade touted Bourn as the big fish landed in the deal, but isn't he a Willy Taveras clone? So the net of the two deals (including the one with the Rockies last offseason) is that the Astros trade Brad Lidge, Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsch, and Taylor Buchholz for a broken-down Jason Jennings, Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, and Michael Costanzo.

Unless Wade pulls a Brett Myers with Wandy Rodriguez and moves him to the closer role, who's going to close for the Astros? For the sake of Houston fans, it better not be Chad Qualls, with his 1.32 WHIP and .272 BAA last year.


Nate Silver of feels like the Astros got a much better deal:

"Bourn has five more full seasons until he hits free agency, and Costanzo has six. All together, thatís 11 seasons of below-market performance that the Phillies traded away Ö in exchange for one season of below-market performance from Lidge."

I tend to agree that the Phillies got the better of the deal, but Silver makes some good points. Lidge will only be a terrific deal for one season, then he's either going to be gone or getting paid a lot of money by the Phillies.

I wouldn't get too caught up in the "net" of the two deals you mention. Those deals were done by two different GMs with different staffs.
Posted by herbilk at 11/8/2007 9:36:00 AM
Phillies will probably also get a couple high draft picks for Lidge should Lidge decline arbitration after this year. I'd rather have a year of Lidge plus the picks instead of what the Astros received. Not that high on Bourn/Costanzo.
Posted by vtadave at 11/8/2007 10:00:00 AM
Plus, you have to think that the Phillies are in "win-now" mode, whereas the Astros have to think about re-tooling for the future. Bourn is the key here - can he get on-base frequently enough to be a good leadoff hitter, or is he just another Nook Logan?
Posted by Erickson at 11/8/2007 10:26:00 AM
It's far easier to fill the closer spot than the conventional wisdom holds. Said a different way, so many different pitchers can close, if used the way 99 percent of the clubs do these days. I wouldn't worry too much about the ninth inning, Houston. Worry about how you're going to get some leads to protect in the first place.
Posted by spianow at 11/8/2007 11:46:00 AM
I think this has to do with money. The Astros got 100 million invested in Carlos Lee, Bourn was a cheap alternative to signing a free agent to play CF than say Tori Hunter, who's going to probably demand more than Lee.
Posted by kevinccp at 11/8/2007 11:58:00 AM
Unless the Astros weren't sold on Pence in center and Luke Scott as an every day player, I'm still not sure on this one. The guess here is that the Astros sign Coco Cordero, so the question becomes whether or not they'd have been better off with Lidge/Scott or Cordero-equivalent/Bourn.
Posted by vtadave at 11/8/2007 1:48:00 PM
I think it was money *and* that the Astros are unconvinced that Pence can handle center - remember, that was the scouting report on him heading into last year.
Posted by Erickson at 11/8/2007 2:10:00 PM

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