Thursday, January 17, 2008

Silva vs. Robertson

One of my Tiger fan readers wrote me yesterday to complain about Detroit signing Nate Robertson to a three-year, $21M+ deal. I agree that that kind of money for a fourth/fifth starter is somewhat mind-boggling, but the market is the market and that's what folks are paying for pitchers these days.

Besides, as Don Evans at Smart Ball in Seattle points out, Robertson is practically a bargain compared to what his team threw out to a fairly comparable pitcher in Carlos Silva:

The last three years [Silva and Robertson] have been fairly durable but inconsistent. Some of the best projections we have available for next year have them as pretty close as well. The Mariners simply paid too much for what I think Silva is going to give them. I think the Silva deal stinks. I know it is not particularly instructive to compare anything to the least common denominator, but you would have a very tough time arguing Silva is worth an average of 5 million more a year than Robertson.


Jason said...

Good work by Don. As I posted there (and will copy here):

That said, a 3 year deal for a solid AL innings eater with good K-abilities at an average of $7M per is a good signing. Limited in length and dollars.

Silva, as you laid out, is a reasonable "comp", with a lower K rate. Maybe less worries about durability than Robertson. Still, I remain very curious to see which teams will overpay for Lohse and Silva [EDIT: I forgot that Silva was already signed by Seattle, oops].

And remember, it's not the cost of superstars that ruin teams, it's the cost of mediocraty. MLB is riddled with overpriced mediocraty that hamstrung teams for years with little to no payback.

Tim said...

Silva doesn't seem a good comparable for Robertson. If we are going to compare salaries then we need guys with similar amounts of service time. If Robertson was a free agent he probably could've gotten a good four year, $40 mil deal.

Chien-Ming Wang is a decent comp for Robertson.

Don Evans said...

Yeah I did realize that Robertson wasn't a free agent, but maybe I didn't look into that fact enough when considering their deals. I guess what I was trying to accomplish was, who would be the better pitcher to have over the next few years give what they are going to be paid and what kind of performance we can reasonably expect from them. I am new to blogging and I will admit I have alot to learn. I think it is a good point that Robertson could have gotten a better contract if he were a free agent. That being said if we look at these deals in a vacume, the Tigers still look pretty good by locking Robertson up for this amount of money rather than overpaying on the free agent market.