Thursday, November 12, 2009

Who Has More Value: Jason Bay or Matt Hollday?

I meant to touch on this nugget last week, but for some reason I forgot about it. In this chat on WEEI, former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette is asked a (somewhat) simple question and gives a rather startling response:
12:19 [Comment From JeremyJeremy: ]
Who would value more, Jason Bay or Matt Holliday?
(My interpretation: As a GM, who would you value more, Jason Bay or Matt Holliday?

Dan Duquette:
Jason Bay performed in both the NL and AL, and Matt Holliday has only established that he can perform in the NL. With those two going into the market probably Bay will do a little bit better than Holliday because he performed in both leagues.
Does that logic make any sense at all? Outside of Jason Bay's agent, it's accepted throughout the baseball community that Matt Holliday is the superior player and in turn, the best free agent on the free agent market.

Should teams be willing to pay more for Jason Bay because he played in a great situation in Boston, was surrounded by potent hitters for two years, and not surprisingly, put up some of the best numbers of his career? I think not. If you compare the AL experiences of Bay and Holliday, you'll clearly see that Bay was in a great lineup with other great hitters around him while Holliday was stuck on a terrible team, in a terrible ballpark, with very little offensive talent around him.

Duquette's logic in stating that Bay will do better than Holliday because of his performance in the AL is laughable. For starters, Matt Holliday only played three months in Oakland and yes, while he did struggle during his tenure with the A's, there are plenty of reasons why this was the case:

1. Holliday was adjusting to a new league
2. Holliday was adjusting to a new team
3. Holliday was surrounded by one of the worst lineups in baseball
4. Holliday was playing in one of the worst hitters parks in baseball

I seriously doubt that GMs around baseball will rank Bay above Holliday because Matt Holliday struggled for a few months during his first stint in the American League. If anything, Holliday's struggles with the A's are a good reason for AL teams to proceed with caution when pursuing Holliday, but that's not a valid reason to rank Bay above Holliday.

I'm sure given this economic climate there will be teams out there who pursue Bay instead of Holliday simply because of the cost. But if you ask any of those GMs if they would prefer Holliday or Bay, I guarantee a majority would say Holliday regardless of how he performed during his brief stay with the Athletics.

Valuing Bay over Holliday solely on their respective experiences in the AL is ludicrous....Matt Holliday's contract will exceed Jason Bay's.


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Elixinator said...

Who is going to sign first; Holliday or Bay? Holliday has Boras as his agent, a notorious slow worker.

I would expect Bay to sign first and establish a framework that Holliday will exceed. I'm curious what you think.

sam enriquez said...

The sox didn't have a chance this season, they can't pitch or bat, the Yankees still have it which is why Yankees Memorabilia will sell.

Mr.Only4TheReal said...

Shit, I would go Bay. Holiday is a bigger name but Bay more is viable. Holliday struggled and only thrived in St Louis because he had 2 other 30 home run guys surrounding him in that lineup. Bay has hitters around him in the lineup but not all the power that Holiday had surrounding him. Remember he had Pujols, Ludwick, Derosa, Ankiel, Schumacker etc. Pujols is the best player in the game and he benefitted having him in the lineup. I believe Holiday is overvalued.

Anonymous said...

Ankiel and Schumacker do not count as "all the power surrounding him in the lineup." Neither one would start for Boston.

Jorge Says No! said...

Anon: No, they don't. But Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick sure do.

Jorge Says No! said...

True, good point about Holliday being somewhat overvalued especially with all this Boras crap coming out over the past few days...but remember, Bay has had some phenomenal talent around him over the past year+ as well: Pedroia during MVP season, Youk, Ellsbury, 2008 Ortiz, 2008 JD Drew, and Victor Martinez last year just to name a few...

Jorge Says No! said...

I think Boras will take his time and try to let a market develop for Holliday...if I was a betting man, I'd put my money down on Bay signing first