Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cameron or Green?

The Mets acquired Shawn Green on Tuesday. The Diamondbacks also sent about $6.5 million to the Mets to defray some of his cost. Green is signed through 2007 with a $10 million option or a $2 million buyout for 2008. Had the Mets kept Mike Cameron this year and picked up their option on his contract next year, the total cost for each player during Green’s remaining term with the Mets (assuming the Mets do not pick up their option on Green in 2008) would have been virtually equal. Were the Mets shortsighted in dumping Cameron? You be the judge:

Shawn Green’s 2006 Statistics:
G: 115
BA: 0.283
R: 59
OBA: 0.348
HR: 11
RBI: 51
SB: 4
OPS: 0.778

FLD: 0.988
Assists: 1 (Rank: Last among MLB RFs who qualify for fielding leadership)
Range Factor: 1.73 = ((PO + A)*9)/Innings Played (Rank: Last)
Zone Rating: 0.840 = balls fielded/balls hit in typical zone (Stats Inc.) (Rank: Last)

Mike Cameron’s 2006 Statistics:
G: 105
BA: 0.264
R: 69
OBA: 0.347
HR: 18
RBI: 58
SB: 19
OPS: 0.828

FLD: 0.983
Assists: 6 (Rank: 5th among MLB CFs who qualify for fielding leadership)
Range Factor: 2.81 (Rank: 7th)
Zone Rating: 0.892 (Rank: 8th)

Speaking of defense, Carlos Beltran is leading all National League centerfielders in assists with ten while the next closest—Cameron, et al—have six. Beltran also leads NL centerfielders in Range Factor, Zone Rating, and double plays. He should get his first Gold Glove award this year despite the excellent season the Cubs’ Juan Pierre is having.

Pierre has had a comparable number of chances as Beltran and has yet to make an error compared with Beltran’s mere two errors, but the difference between zero and two errors over the course of a season is pure luck. Also, Beltran’s range and arm put him over the top. Pierre’s Range Factor is only 86% of Beltran’s and Pierre has no double plays and only three assists.

A Gold Glove for Carlos should also put him over the top in the NL MVP vote. More on that in a later post.


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