Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Felipe Lopez, Revisted

Posted by JD on September 22, 2010

First things first: this post definitely qualifies as “beating a dead horse”. A very dead horse, at that. But I just can’t help myself, so here we go.

During the off-season, I made the case that the Mets should have signed Felipe Lopez here and here (while committing the sin of not clarifying that I was using Baseball Reference’s version of WAR). I even went so far as to sponsor his Baseball Reference page, because I’ll also take every opportunity to reference a Beatnuts’ lyric that I can get. My point? Felipe Lopez was/is better and cheaper than Alex Cora (I warned you that it was a dead horse).

Well, the Cardinals released Lopez yesterday because “they were sick of him showing up late for games”. That’s unacceptable behavior and I’m not going to try to defend him. I won’t be advocating his signing quite as much this off-season even if, as Aaron Gleeman suggests, he’s willing to settle for a minor league deal (I’ll try not to, anyway).

However, I will present these stat lines for your review:

Player A: .231/.310/.340, 26 extra base hits, 43 BB, 77 K, 77 OPS+, -0.2 BR WAR
Player B: .207/.265/.278, 9 extra base hits, 10 BB, 16 K, 49 OPS+, -1.2 BR WAR
Player C: .235/.338/.267, 6 extra base hits, 39 BB, 23 K, 69 OPS+, -0.1 BR WAR

I’m sure you figured out that Player A is Lopez and Player B is Cora. Player C is Luis Castillo. For the record, Lopez had 376 at-bats while Cora and Castillo have combined for 311 AB. Lopez made $1 million this year, Cora $2 million, and Castillo made $6 million.

Substituting Lopez for Cora and Castillo wouldn’t have made much difference this season: the Mets might have won one additional game had they done so. Given their current place in the standings, I’d much rather see Ruben Tejada (0.3 BR WAR) play over Lopez anyway. I know I’m not adding anything new to the discussion, but I had to follow my argument through to it’s final conclusion: signing Felipe Lopez and eating one (or both) of Alex Cora’s and Luis Castillo’s contracts would have (marginally) improved the Mets this season. “Clubhous chemistry” be damned.

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2 Responses to “Felipe Lopez, Revisted”

  1. Paul said

    Lopez would have been a better signing than Alex Cora… almost anyone would have been.

    But he wouldn’t have been enough of an improvement over Luis Castillo to justify that move, IMO.

    • JD said

      Fair enough. Not that this means anything important, but I was shocked to see that Cora had more extra base hits than Castillo. I knew he lacked power, but that’s just ridiculous. But you’re right: $7 million for Felipe Lopez (Castillo’s $6 plus Lopez’ 1) would have been too much.

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