So, I thought I'd post a hypothetical here and let people chime in with their thoughts. A few caveats before we start. The analysis here is based purely on baseball ability, salary and possible future projections. This criteria does not take into account the value of team cohesiveness, homegrown talent, clubhouse moxie, off-the-field business opportunities or anything else (mea culpa- Rory is a bit leery of the value of all of these things anyway).
WOULD YOU DO THIS TRADE?
3B, 24 y/o, 6 Years/$55MM(through 2012)
2004: 263 AB, 857 OPS, 14 HR, 6 SB, -8 FRAA
2005: 575 AB, 911 OPS, 27 HR, 17 SB, 3 FRAA
2006: 582 AB, 912 OPS, 26 HR, 20 SB, 9 FRAA
2007: 42 AB, 856 OPS, 0 HR, 3 SB, 0 FRAA
2B, 28 y/o, 7 Years/$85MM (through 2013)
2003: 134 AB, 695 OPS, 2 HR, 2 SB, 3 FRAA
2004: 267 AB, 776 OPS, 13 HR, 4 SB, 4 FRAA
2005: 543 AB, 916 OPS, 28 HR, 16 SB, -1 FRAA
2006: 658 AB, 906 OPS, 32 HR, 15 SB, -10 FRAA
2007: 46 AB, 874 OPS, 2 HR, 0 SB, 1 FRAA
My hypothesis, before this little experiment, was that Player 2 is the better player and I'd rather have him on my team than Player 1. After doing this experiment, I think I'll take Player 1. Cheaper, younger and just as good, if not better, although he plays a position at which it's a little easier to find offensive talent. As you've probably guessed Player 1 is David Wright and Player 2 is Chase Utley.
It occurred to me last week that I really think Utley is a great player, while Wright has been playing terribly as of late. It seems we just get into ruts while watching our own team. It was time to take a little step back, and look from afar and realize, "Hey- we've got a great young 3rd Baseman." Anyone think that Utley's value at 2nd base outweighs Wright's age and palatable contract?
Also- Utley's WARP last year was 7.8, while Wright's was 9.0; both solid numbers from two solid players. Now to get back to cheering for Wright and realizing how good we Mets fans have it at the hot corner.