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Solving the Catcher Position for 2019


Who should be the Brewers starting catcher in 2019?
Piña / Kratz / Nottingham (no outside acquisitions) 41%  41%  [ 56 ]
Yasmani Grandal (via free agency) 16%  16%  [ 22 ]
Wilson Ramos (via free agency) 21%  21%  [ 29 ]
J.T. Realmuto (via trade) 13%  13%  [ 18 ]
An Old Friend (Jonathan Lucroy or Martin Maldonado via free agency) 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Other (please post an explanation) 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 135
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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 1:41 PM Post
Posts: 3815
Location: Madison, WI
No way I'd want to commit anything like 5/75 to a catcher like Grandal, really tough for any non super elite guy like your Posey types due to physical strains of catching and how much people fall off. Just can't see MKE being able to handle that kind of contract, something for 2-3 years is different but even that yearly will be tough here. I'd really be curious on what it will cost on Ramos, should be much less and thus less risk.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 1:41 PM Post
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Posts: 4137
No idea what our actual cap is for salary but signing Ramos and Murphy would make that lineup really impressive

Cain
Murphy
Yelich
Braun
Aguilar
Shaw
Ramos
Arcia

I honestly couldnt figure out who should be 4-7.

You would likely be committing to go with a rotation of Chacin, Burnes, Woodruff, Peralta, Nelson/Anderson/Davies. You would also likely be trying to move a guy like thames or someone to free up a little cap. Wouldnt mind adding a bullpen arm with Burnes leaving the bullpen.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 1:41 PM Post
Posts: 479
That's interesting. I think I would prefer Grandal if they're going to make the multi year commitment to a FA catcher. but Ramos isn't attached to a QO.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 1:49 PM Post
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tmwiese55 said:
No way I'd want to commit anything like 5/75 to a catcher like Grandal.

I've not seen anyone predicting this kind of years or money for Grandal. Generally it's been in the three year range, at $11-16M annually. MLB Trade Rumors had him at 4 years, but I believe that was done before he had the QO attached to him. No matter, most predictions have been for three years.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 1:53 PM Post
Posts: 3815
Location: Madison, WI
Good, that was just someone's post in this thread. Yea, that seems about right though and no way i'd go past that with our budget. Like I mentioned, tough with our yearly right now but at least it's palatable for the risk with catchers.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 8:06 PM Post
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I still prefer Grandal, but Ramos would be a fine free agency parting-gift. His bat would be a significant upgrade over Piña.

Using Baseball Prospectus’ Deserved Runs Created Plus (DRC+) here are the last few years of Grandal, Ramos, and Realmuto compared with Piña.

Player          2015	2016	2017	2018
Yasmani Grandal 116 119 93 115
Wilson Ramos 116 99 117 109
J.T. Realmuto 93 93 99 113
Manny Piña N/A 101 95 90


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 8:42 PM Post
Posts: 4166
Location: New Berlin, WI
With Ramos, don't forget he's one of the worst defenders at his position in the league.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 8:50 PM Post
Posts: 1400
Location: Madison, WI
Using Baseball Prospectus' defensive metrics for catcher.

In 2018, Ramos rated 45th out of 117 catchers.
In 2017, Ramos rated 91st out of 111 catchers.
In 2016, Ramos rated 6th out of 104 catchers.
In 2015, Ramos rated 15th out of 109 catchers.

I'd expect Ramos to provide average defense in 2019.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 9:18 PM Post
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How reliable are catching defensive metrics? I can definitely accept the judgment, for example, that Grandal simply was off his game in a small sample of the NLCS. But his mistakes weren't bad luck, he was genuinely awful behind the plate.

Have catching metrics evolved to the point of being reliable? Not trying to imply they haven't, I'm genuinely curious.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 9:34 PM Post
Posts: 2022
After laughing whole series at how brutal Grandal was behind plate in only real extensive look at him.... hard to want to watch him everyday. Maybe he was just off but boy he was major liability

Ramos would be upgrade


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 9:55 PM Post
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KeithStone53151 said:
With Ramos, don't forget he's one of the worst defenders at his position in the league.

Could you explain this statement? I've never seen anything that says he's really bad - generally around average. I'm just wondering what you are using to arrive at this assessment.

Please note that I haven't seen much of Ramos - so I don't have any pre-judgements other than the stats I see and some assessments I read. I'd be curious to what people are using to judge Ramos. Thanks.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 11, 2018, 9:58 PM Post
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TooLiveBrew said:
How reliable are catching defensive metrics? I can definitely accept the judgment, for example, that Grandal simply was off his game in a small sample of the NLCS. But his mistakes weren't bad luck, he was genuinely awful behind the plate.

Have catching metrics evolved to the point of being reliable? Not trying to imply they haven't, I'm genuinely curious.


I'd imagine BPro's catching metrics (which incorporate blocking, framing & throwing) are probably just about as reliable as DRS or UZR are for position players.

Which is to say far from perfect, but still the best we have & more reliable than any message board poster's estimation.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 12, 2018, 7:03 AM Post
Posts: 15762
reillymcshane said:
KeithStone53151 said:
With Ramos, don't forget he's one of the worst defenders at his position in the league.

Could you explain this statement? I've never seen anything that says he's really bad - generally around average. I'm just wondering what you are using to arrive at this assessment.

Please note that I haven't seen much of Ramos - so I don't have any pre-judgements other than the stats I see and some assessments I read. I'd be curious to what people are using to judge Ramos. Thanks.


Seconding this, I've never seen any metrics that show Ramos as one of the worst defenders in MLB. He's not going to win any gold gloves, but he's far from being an albatross.

I'll gladly take 'slightly below average' defense with his bat.

I actually take back my not going to win any gold gloves as Ramos was a finalist for a Gold Glove in 2015. For however much that means about defense which is very little.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 12, 2018, 10:03 AM Post
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Posts: 1635
I'm really hoping we sign Ramos. A Ramos/Pina catching duo would be pretty damn good. Especially with Ramos being so good against LHP's and Pina being above average vs. RHP's. Seems like a perfect duo and would be a major upgrade.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 12, 2018, 10:06 AM Post
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Posts: 1251
Location: La Crosse
yoshii8 said:
I'm really hoping we sign Ramos. A Ramos/Pina catching duo would be pretty damn good. Especially with Ramos being so good against LHP's and Pina being above average vs. RHP's. Seems like a perfect duo and would be a major upgrade.


The righty/lefty splits probably won't matter as much at the catcher position though. I would assume certain catchers would be catching certain pitchers.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 12, 2018, 11:18 AM Post
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Posts: 1635
OnaBadger58 said:
yoshii8 said:
I'm really hoping we sign Ramos. A Ramos/Pina catching duo would be pretty damn good. Especially with Ramos being so good against LHP's and Pina being above average vs. RHP's. Seems like a perfect duo and would be a major upgrade.


The righty/lefty splits probably won't matter as much at the catcher position though. I would assume certain catchers would be catching certain pitchers.


Good point, although I thought Counsell didn't really do it that way.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 12, 2018, 12:47 PM Post
Posts: 716
He did in the second half of the season and the playoffs, which is what saw Kratz get so many starts as he was catching Miley and Chacin.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 18, 2018, 9:04 AM Post
Posts: 1400
Location: Madison, WI
I would have preferred Ramos, but I'm all for jumping in on Grandal at this point.

MLBTradeRumors had Ramos at 3 years, 36 million and he ended up with 2 years, 19.5 million (+ option). When I took a rough average of the MLBTradeRumors, Heyman and Heyman's experts, then the prediction was 2 years, 22 million. That's still a bit higher than what Ramos got, but proved to be a much better estimate.

Here are the same three predictions on Grandal:
MLBTradeRumors = 4 years, 64 million
Heyman's expert = 3 years, 39 million
Heyman = 2 years, 20 million

The average of those three is 3 years, 39 million. That's really a pretty good price on Grandal, and since the Brewers don't have an obvious catcher-of-the-future candidate in the minors, I really don't see an issue making a 3 year commitment to a player like Grandal who just turned 30. Averaged 132 games over the last three years and slashed .239/.332/.467/.799 over that time-frame. The large sample size over the last three years indicate he is plus-plus defensively. I'm not sure I like him at 4 years, 64 million....but 4 years, 52 million or 3 years, 43.5 million are price-tags that seem pretty reasonable. If he could be had for 3 years, 39 million, then the Brewers should be very aggressive here IMO.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 18, 2018, 9:49 AM Post
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Posts: 6853
JosephC said:
I would have preferred Ramos, but I'm all for jumping in on Grandal at this point.

MLBTradeRumors had Ramos at 3 years, 36 million and he ended up with 2 years, 19.5 million (+ option). When I took a rough average of the MLBTradeRumors, Heyman and Heyman's experts, then the prediction was 2 years, 22 million. That's still a bit higher than what Ramos got, but proved to be a much better estimate.

Here are the same three predictions on Grandal:
MLBTradeRumors = 4 years, 64 million
Heyman's expert = 3 years, 39 million
Heyman = 2 years, 20 million

The average of those three is 3 years, 39 million. That's really a pretty good price on Grandal, and since the Brewers don't have an obvious catcher-of-the-future candidate in the minors, I really don't see an issue making a 3 year commitment to a player like Grandal who just turned 30. Averaged 132 games over the last three years and slashed .239/.332/.467/.799 over that time-frame. The large sample size over the last three years indicate he is plus-plus defensively. I'm not sure I like him at 4 years, 64 million....but 4 years, 52 million or 3 years, 43.5 million are price-tags that seem pretty reasonable. If he could be had for 3 years, 39 million, then the Brewers should be very aggressive here IMO.

Fangraphs has him at 3/$45M - if that helps.

I agree he'd be a really nice addition. Combine him with Manny, and you have a really, really good tandem. Figure you give Grandal 2/3 of the starts - Manny gets the other 1/3. You keep each of them fresh, which is probably best for the club.

Still, $13-14M a year isn't cheap.

I wonder if the Crew is waiting to see if the price drops. This has happened with players who have draft pick comp attached to them.

Someone will swoop in sooner or later and get the guy.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
Posted: December 18, 2018, 10:02 AM Post
Posts: 537
Just waiting for the report that the Brewers have been talking to Grandal.


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