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Eyre of the beholder

Since the White Sox were rumored to be one of the teams interested in Scott Eyre, I feel obligated to pass along the news that he has signed with the Cubs. I feel the same way about missing out on Eyre as I did when the Sox dodged the Christian Guzman bullet last off-season. I don't see the value in acquiring and expensive free agent when it appears there is cheaper, more effective alternative (Uribe to Guzman in '05, Cotts and Marte to Eyre in '06) already on the team.

Here's a comparison in terms of WXRL(Wins Xpected above Replacement Level) for the last 4 years between Marte and Eyre.

WXRL Marte Eyre 2005 1.139 3.812 2004 2.470 1.194 2003 4.418 1.709 2002 3.399 1.674 ======================== 11.426 7.389

WXRL is a bit like the WPA stat you've seen around here a few times before. The main difference is WXRL is expressed in terms of wins, whereas WPA is a sum of percentage changes.

Eyre's not a very good player, but he did have a good 2005. I can't forsee him ever matching his 2005 season, let alone being worth $11M over 2 years. (Marte is due between $2.5 and $8.5M in total over the next 3 seasons.) The Sox were likely pursuing Eyre as a replacement for Marte, who appears likely to be traded. And why not? Marte has established himself as a better pitcher than Eyre and has a cheaper contract. If teams are willing to pay $11M for two years of middling relief pitching, Marte should be able to bring something very nice in return on trade.

$11M is insane. The Sox spent exactly half that to lock up Dustin Hermanson last year. Update [2005-11-18 0:47:25 by The Cheat]: Scanning the internets, it appears that the $11M figure is with the third year included. Still, a probable $7M guaranteed is excessive.