Tuesday, February 06, 2007
2007: $5 million / Age 27
2008: $8.5 million / Age 28
2009: $12 million / Age 29
The deal helps the Phillies avoid arbitration in 2007 and 2008, granting Myers a salary probably beyond what he’d make in arbitration, but helps avoid the team and a player going head-to-head at the table and arguing over what that individual is worth. Myers wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until 2009, so the Phillies get to keep him for the first year he’d have been able to become a free agent and sign a massive ten-year mega-deal. Good idea.
For Myers, he’ll be 29 when his deal comes to an end and able to command $15 or so million a year on the open market (assuming that salaries in free agency continue to spiral upwards), so the deal makes sense for him as well: lock in some money now and then test the free agent waters in 2010, when the Phillies probably won’t be able to afford him.
The numbers suggest that the Phillies are going to get a pretty darn good pitcher over the next three years. Since the 2004 season, when Myers struggled to make the adjustment from the Vet to Citizens, Myers has pitched well:
2005: 13-8; 3.72 ERA; 1.21 WHIP
2006: 12-7; 3.91 ERA; 1.30 WHIP
Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
WHIP – Walks plus hits by innings pitched: (BB + H) / IP = WHIP
ERA – Earned Run Average: (Earned Runs * 9) / IP = ERA
DER – Defense Efficiency Ratio: (Batters Faced – (Hits + Walks + Hit By Pitch + Strikeouts)) / (Batters Faced – (Home Runs, Walks + Hit By Pitch + Strikeouts)) How often fielders convert balls put into play into outs.
HR/9 – Home Runs allowed per nine innings: (HR * 9) / IP
K/9 – Strikeouts per nine innings: (K * 9) / IP
BB/9 – Walks per nine innings: (BB * 9) / IP
And take a deeper look inside the numbers…
2005 / 2006
HR/9: 1.30 / 1.32
BB/9: 2.84 / 2.86
K/9: 8.69 / 8.59
Consistency thy name is Brett Myers. These are just stunningly consistent numbers on Myers part, and they auger well for what he’ll do over the next three years for the Phillies. 200+ strikeouts and twenty wins are definite possibilities.
The Bill James Handbook predicts Myers will go 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in 2007, and give up 1.30 HR/9; 3.07 BB/9; and 7.53 K/9. I deeply disagree with Myers ERA and strikeout totals. For one, I don’t think his strikeouts over the last two seasons are fluke totals. I think that Myers transitioned into being a power pitcher after he struggled in 2004, so I think he’ll hit in the 8.00 or higher range in 2007 and beyond. I also think that Myers ERA will benefit from an improved Phillies defense in 2007. The Phillies only gave Myers a .689 DER in 2006, below the league average of .693. I think the Phillies will do better than that in 2007 and provide Myers with a few more outs on those little pop flies that landed in for hits in 2006.
In the final analysis, I think that the Myers deal was good and will help the Phillies in 2007-2009 by locking up a quality pitcher, an outstanding compliment to ace Cole Hamels, and give the Phillies a great 1-2 punch for years to come.
That apparently is water under the bridge now, and yet is another black eye to sports in my opinion, but Myers is on the team and the Phils have rewarded his play on the field with a multi-million dollar contract. Hopefully he'll come through on this and maybe on the Phils "Mother's Day" game, he can do some good deeds to redeem himself!
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