Monday, June 18, 2007

Kearns/Lopez Trade

Considering that the Kearns/Lopez trade is still so contentious among reds fans, Josh inspired me to figure out what impact the trade has had on the team on the field of play.
Here it goes...

The trade took effect July 13th, 2006.
On 7/13/06: 46-44………win pct. = .511
7/13/06 through 10/1/06: 34-38………win pct. = .472
On June 18th, 2007: 27-44…… pct. = .380

Total after the trade: 61-82…….win pct. = .427

So, before the trade the Reds were playing above .500 ball, on pace for 82 wins. For the rest of the season--with Majewski, Clayton, and Bray on the roster--they played nearly 4% worse (a 93-loss season if averaged out).
Last year, then, if they'd played full seasons with both rosters they would have won 13 more games with the pre-trade roster (82-80 vs. 69-93). Interestingly, this would have put them only a game behind the Cardinals. Considering the schedule is so weighted towards division play, it is not unrealistic to think it could have been a longer season for the Reds.

This year is a different story. Clayton is gone. Bray hasn't pitched. Majewski is, well, terrible. Harris is with the D-Rays.
The resultant new roster includes two main new faces: Josh Hamilton and Alex Gonzalez. Even with these two, the Reds winning percentage is a dismal .380. (For those keeping track, that means that as of tonight they are on pace for a 100-loss season.)

So, since the trade the Reds have a total winning percentage of .427--8.4% worse than pre-trade. Irrespective of Kearns and Lopez's individual numbers this year, which are admittedly terrible, the Reds team performance (baseball is, after all, a team sport) has suffered considerably.

That being said, I want to make it clear that I do not wish Kearns and Lopez were back. I commend Wayne Krivsky for getting Josh Hamilton and Alex Gonzalez and do prefer them over the other two. It is simply about value and the Reds failed to take get as much as they could have.


  1. Remember, since the same trade the Nationals are also worse. Indeed, they have the worst record in baseball over that span. So I'm not sure the futility is related to the trade.

  2. Here's the same statistical summary for the Nats:

    On 7/13/06: 38-52 = .422
    7/13/06 through 10/1/06: 33-39 = .458
    On June 18th, 2007: 30-40 = .429

    Total after the trade: 63-79 = .444

    They are still not good, but they improved after the trade--both last year and into this year.
    The Reds, in that span, have decreased their winning percentage and have, in fact, won two fewer games.

    Indeed, the Reds are worse over that span.

    Just for the record, the worst three teams in baseball in that span are as follows (worst first): Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Texas. (Then the Reds.)

  3. You have a point. Though I think we would be hard pressed to argue that the Lopez and Kearns' prescence contributed to the Nationals' better record for two reasons:
    1.) Loez and Kearns have been so awful.
    2.) Bray and Majewski had great numbers before the trade. So regardless of whether they have sucked for us, the fact remains that they did not suck for Washington.

    The other part to this trade is we have to remember we'd never have gotten Alex Gonzalez if we didn't make that move. That's an enormous upgrade over Lopez.

  4. Well, if you look at the Nationals' roster from 2006, their options were so bad Kearns and Lopez were a definite upgrade. Lopez replaced Clayton/Jose Vidro--both of whom are terrible. Kearns is, sadly for them, far better than their other options. The Nationals did upgrade.

    Like I said, I still hold out hope for Bray. But trading two everyday players for relievers with 3.58 and 3.91 ERA's is hardly the stuff of genius (compare to San Diego and Boston who have bullpen ERA's under 3.00 right now) and they're hardly all-star numbers. Trading for Cordero, too, maybe.
    As for Gonzalez, I love him. He was a great pick up. I much prefer him to Lopez. But they didn't trade for him, they plugged a gaping hole at short with a free agent because Clayton and Castro couldn't stick. I have a hard time believing that it was the plan all along to sign him.

    Plus, it looks good in retrospect, but if they'd traded Lopez for Gonzalez straight up last year who would have thought that was a good idea, when Alex was hardly hitting his weight? (And Gonzalez does have a Lopez-esque 11 errors.)