Sunday, April 18, 2010

Analyzing the Milton Bradley and Carlos Silva Trade

When the Seattle Mariners traded never-used overpaid starting pitcher Carlos Silva to the Chicago Cubs for troubled, kinda underachieving but talented Milton Bradley, I thought Jack Z stole a solid hitter away from the Cubs.

I never had the opportunity to fully analyze the trade, but I did mention that as a positive move for Jack Z in my Jack Z vs. Brian Sabean piece. I didn't believe that Bradley would be playing left field a majority of the time with the Mariners as I thought he would be primarily a designated hitter with Ken Griffey Jr. playing the role of "face of the franchise" on the bench.

Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Silva managed to pitch 183 2/3 innings in his two seasons with the Mariners. It's unfair to completely evaluate his 2009 season since he only pitched 30 1/3 innings, but 2008 was pretty bad. He struck out 4.1 batters per 9 innings, walked 1.9 batters per 9 innings and gave up 1.2 home runs per 9 innings. As a result, it shouldn't shock anyone that his ERA+ was 66 with a WHIP of 1.598. Perhaps his ERA of 6.69 was a little bloated due to bad fielding (remember they didn't put emphasis in fielding until 2009) as indicated by his FIP of 4.69, but let's face it, the guy wasn't worth more than $20 million he received in his two years with the Mariners.

The fact that they traded him at all, let alone, for a productive player was an amazing feat. They traded him for Milton Bradley, who was one year removed of leading the American League in OBP, OPS and OPS+. In 2009 Bradley was disappointing, relatively speaking, with the Cubs. With the Cubs, he had .257/.378/.397 slash stats. His power was down, but he was getting on base. Silva, in comparison, couldn't keep guys off base.

It was a steal for the Mariners.

In two starts and 13 innings pitched, Silva has a 0.69 ERA, 0 walks and 5.5 strikeouts per 9 innings.

In 11 games and 43 plate appearances, Bradley has .139/.279/.333 slash stats.

In two weeks, it's been a steal for the Cubs.

I'm posting this now because it looks bad. But ah, the power of small sample sizes. Keep in mind, that Silva pitched against the Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds in his two starts. While Silva, who went from the American League to the National League, won't be as bad as he was in 2008 (even his FIP indicates he wasn't as bad), this will still end up being a trade in favor of the Mariners. Whether I'm right or wrong, I will write up another story at the end of the season. At this point, to be continued...

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