We all know that the giants did try to re-sign Pedro Feliz 2 years ago, but he thought we low-balled him with dollars and years, so he misjudged the market and signed with the Phillies for less money, and the same number of years. In the meantime the Giants went ahead and signed the tough-nosed centerfielder from the Phillies, coming off of a career year, to a multiple year megabuck contract.
If you are bored by the subject or just don't care, move on to another fanpost. But if you have thought about this just a little, read on. We all have memories of Pedro swinging at a balls in the dirt, not taking a walk, and making a key out to kill a rally. But we also can remember some key hits he had. He was a decent cog in the wheel of a good team, not a star, but a very good thirdbaseman, who could hit a little, and like most giants not named Bonds, or Snow, did not know how to take a walk. On the other hand, the tough nosed Aaron Rowand was a free agent, also a good fielder, but in centerfield, was coming off of a career year in a hitters Park. Rowand is a little more than 2 years younger than Feliz, and the giants awarded him a long term contract averaging more than twice the amount per year than Feliz was getting. Of course the giants seem to have a plethora of outfielders, but surprisingly not too many righties. We were left without a thirdbaseman, and went to a disaster situation at third in 2008, only to be salvaged in 2009 by the young and versatile Pablo Sandoval. If Sandoval was not playing third, he could have been a firstbaseman or catcher for the giants. By the way Feliz picked up a World Series ring in his first season away from the giants.
Lets look at their career stats averages based on 162 game years, and this years stats for comparison.
Years based on 162 games G. AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Feliz 6.89 years 162 532 63 136 27 3 19 77 30 87 2 1 255 294 426 720
Rowand 6.81 years 162 525 77 148 34 2 17 68 33 106 9 4 282 341 451 792
In some ways the stats were similar. Ballpark effects considered, but Rowand was younger, faster, and carried a 25 point higher SLG, 27 point higher avg. , 47 point higher OBP., and 72 point higher OPS. On paper these later 3 stats plus the younger age of Rowand would make him seem a bit more valuable, but by how much? But since the free agency swap the numbers may not be as favorable for the giants as promised. The six foot 219 pound Rowand made 9.6 million in 2008 and the same in 2009. The six foot, 1 inch. 209 pound Feliz makes 5.0 million in 2009, in 2008 he only made 3.0 million, hence 2 years of Feliz production has cost less than 1 year of Rowand production. Hence there as been an 11.2 million dollar differential over 2008 and 2009. This is 11.2 million that could have gone into investing in other players. Lets look at this years stats, and do note that Pedro is taking a higher percentage of walks. Two other things to think about are Feliz can be an emergency catcher, and when Rowand is in the batters box, he looks as if he is trying to take a dump. Ok, stop digressing.
2009 stats G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Rowand 102 361 48 98 28 2 9 45 22 88 4 1 271 327 435 762
Feliz 110 402 47 116 20 1 9 59 27 46 0 0 289 333 410 743
So there you have it. Feliz now is a minor hitting cog in the big Red Philly hitting machine. While Rowand is supposedly a key hitter in the giants lineup. Somehow this year he has caught Felizitis, by swinging at outside pitches in the dirt, when he is not swinging at first pitches and hitting into DP's. Rowand's numbers would be fine if he just was a minor cog in the giants lineup, and playing good Centerfield defense. But he is being payed wages for a player expected to provide more production. The Phillies have gotten Feliz to be more patient at the plate, hit for a higher average and take more walks, but he seems to have sacrificed some power in doing so. The players are somwhat similar hitters now, but their replacement value on the team by position has had a weird impact. Rowand may be holding younger players from coming up, who may indeed be just as good as Rowand at a much cheaper price. On the other hand, we had to change the position of one of our young players in order to cover third base. Was the inadvertant swap worth it?