Friday, November 26, 2010

On Victor Martinez, Again

I hate to keep picking on Detroit, but apparently they plan on using Victor Martinez as their primary DH. Here is the quote from Tigers' general manager Dave Dombrowski, per Rotoworld:
"We expect Victor to be in our lineup on a daily basis, serving primarily as our club’s designated hitter and catching two to three times a week. He also has the ability to fill in at first base and his versatility allows us to keep a premier bat in our lineup every day. We’ve discussed this role with Victor and both sides are very pleased."
Well, sorry to say, but that's not a very good idea. We're going to look at two scenarios here: one with Victor Martinez with 200 plate appearances at catcher and 400 at DH, and one with him at catcher for 400 plate appearances and 200 at DH.We'll go with $4M per 1 WAR.

1st scenario - 400 PA at DH, 200 PA at C:
Click to enlarge.

These are now my own projections, which I believe are a little optimistic. In any case, this scenario leads to Martinez being worth around $35M in value, which is a net loss of $15M for the Tigers. Now lets look at the kind of value he could put up if used primarily as a catcher.

2nd scenario - 400 PA at C, 200 at DH:
Click to enlarge.

Boy, doesn't that look a lot better? Still a slight overpayment, but it gives Detroit the absolute best value from Martinez.

I didn't like this deal a few days ago, and I still don't now. However, if there was a way to make it worth the investment, its letting Martinez get 400 or more plate appearances as the primary catcher. This move to the primary DH role stings his value and could take away roughly 3 wins in total and over $10M in value. I know Martinez's defense behind the dish is not very good, but if that position still gives him his best value, which it does, you have to stick him there. Maybe the Tigers will figure this out and Martinez's odds of being worth the investment will shoot up.

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