The Tiger Way
January 12, 2006 7 Comments
Get real, Dave Dombrowski. $5.25 million for two years of Mike Maroth? Give me a break.
Mike Maroth, lest we forget, in 2003, became the first player in over 20 years to lose 20 games. By themselves, losses donít tell you too much about a pitcher because they are somewhat a function of the team behind the guy on the mound. But Marothís losses were well-earned.
In 2003, when the Tigers lost 119 games, Maroth made 33 starts. In 193.1 innings, he gave up 231 hits and 50 walks. He surrendered 34 home runs pitching in a pitcherís park. He managed just 4.05 K per 9 IP with a K/B ratio of 1.74. The icing on the cake though was his ERA+. He had a 5.73 ERA while the park-adjusted league average ERA was 4.30. His ERA+ was 75. His VORP was -0.3. He was worse than the guy waiting for this spot in AAA.
In 2004, he rebounded. He had an ERA+ of 104, better than league average. He improved in the strike out department while keeping his walks constant. He cut down on home runs while pitching in Comerica. Still, his numbers werenít great. He recorded 4.48 K/9 with a 1.83 K/BB ratio.
This past year, he fell. His ERA was significantly higher than the park-adjusted league average figure. He gave up 30 home runs for the second time in three years and gave up nearly 30 more hits than innings pitched. For his career, Maroth has an ERA+ of 90 (where 100 signifies league average and anything lower is worse than average). Heís given up 96 home runs in 748 innings, and opponents have a career line of .289/.336/.456 against him. Itís like batting practice!
So the Tigers decided to reward Maroth with a few million dollars per year because, hey, we have to spend them somehow. Maroth turns 29 this year and at best, heís a competitive teamís number 6 or 7 starter. I wouldnít even want to see him out of the bullpen. But the Tigers think heís worth $5.25 million over two years.
Teams in Detroitís situation keep claiming they canít compete against bigger market teams, but as long as they continue to waste money on worse-than-replacement-level players, they certainly wonít be maximizing their available resources.