Wall Street Journal says the Orioles won the MLB offseason

February 24, 2011|By Matt Vensel

I've got another interesting and possibly worthless study for you (I should just make this a daily afternoon feature). The Wall Street Journal examined every offseason move and ranked each MLB team based on "the volume of moves it made and the net quality of the players it ended up with."

The Wall Street Journal has a bunch of statheads over there -- and there's nothing wrong with that -- so authors Scott Cacciola and Jared Diamond used projected Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to evaluate each offseason transaction.

What's WAR? Fangraphs explains it with a hypothetical: “If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a minor leaguer or someone from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?” So if a player's value is 2.3, he is worth 2.3 wins to his team.

Based on the additions of Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy and Derrek Lee and the loss of Kevin Millwood, the Orioles won the offseason with a WAR of 9.0, according to Cacciola and Diamond. "While other teams made bigger splashes, the Orioles quietly reinvented their infield," they wrote. "The changes should help them do much better than 66-96."

The Brewers (5.3 WAR), the Cardinals (4.4), the Nationals (3.8) and the Athletics (3.8) rounded out the top five.

I'm not sure if a study has been done to calculate Buck Showalter's WAR compared to Dave Trembley's and Juan Samuel's, but I'm guessing it would be in the triple digits. Hey statheads, get on this one.

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