It’s not often you get a window into what baseball executives truly believe to be true. Is ARod overpaid? Would you rather draft a low floor college positional player or a high ceiling high school pitcher? How frequently do you like to give out no-trade clauses?
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick took an anonymous survey of baseball execs recently, and came up with some surprising and interesting results. The article is worth a read, but here are the high points:
- Prince Fielder will provide more value over the life of his next contract than will Albert Pujols. Fielder overwhelmingly was the choice (20 to 3, with 5 undecided), presumably because of the four and a half year age difference between the two. I would imagine the prevailing belief that Pujols will get 8 to 10 years, while Fielder will get 6 to 7, also played a role.
- The Boston Red Sox’s managerial job presents a much tougher challenge than that of the Cubs or Cardinals. Again, the choice was overwhelming (20 for Red Sox, 5 for Cardinals, and just 3 for the Cubs), primarily because of the disastrous 2011 and high expectations for 2012.
- Mark Buehrle will perform better over the course of his next contract than will CJ Wilson. Buehrle got 14 votes to Wilson’s 8, and that seems like a head-scratcher to me. Were the question one of value, and the belief was that Buerhle were going to earn – for example – only half of what Wilson will get, then I could understand it. But, assuming Buehrle gets four years, and Wilson five, I’d wager Wilson’s next five years are more productive than Buehrle’s next four. Sure, Buehrle is as consistent as they get – but he’s consistently good, not great. Wilson could be great for three or four of the next five years.
- Executives would rather have Tampa Bay youngster, Matt Moore, than Washington stud, Stephen Strasburg. The votes were close – 13 to 12 – but Moore got the slight edge, presumably because he throws lefty, and didn’t just have Tommy John surgery. Japanese ace Yu Darvish was the third player in the question, but got no votes. Still, every single executive said they’d be thrilled to have any of the three, including Darvish.
- The other questions, which didn’t really touch on issues of direct import to the Cubs, demonstrated (1) execs think Carl Crawford is more likely to bounce back than Adam Dunn or Jayson Werth, (2) the Red Sox are more likely to make the playoffs than the Braves, and (3) Joe Nathan is slightly more likely to return to elite closer status than Francisco Rodriguez.