WTNYJanuary 29, 2004
The Phillies
By Bryan Smith

Major computer problems today, so my post can't be very long. I wanted to tackle the two Phillies who have yet to sign contracts, being Kevin Millwood and Placido Polanco. The former is asking for more than any other eligible player, requesting $12.5M in 2004, the Phillies are countering with $10M. Polanco wants $4.5M while Ed Wade submitted $3.4M as his figure.

First, Kevin Millwood has no business asking for $12.5M, and his agent did a terrible job determining his price. Three Millwood-type players have signed contracts this offseason (Vazquez, Halladay, Wood), so I wanted to use them as proof. In terms of H/9, Millwood ranked 3rd in this group, only .05 in front of Roy Halladay at 8.51. Vazquez (7.73) and Wood (6.48) blew them both away. Millwood is last in K/9, once again close to the AL Cy Young winner, but his 6.85 is well behind Vazquez (9.40) and Wood (11.35).

Millwood had the worst K/BB of the group, but his 2.49 checks in very closely with Wood's 2.66. Halladay was the best at this, sporting a 6.38 K/BB. Finally, Millwood had the worst ERA of the group by far, as his 4.01 is well behind Wood (3.20), Vazquez (3.24), and Halladay (3.25). Next year, Wood will make $9.75M, Vazquez will make 11.25M, and Halladay 10.5M. Millwood is definitely the worst of this bunch, but at worst will make more than Wood, who ranked best using the previous metrics.

In 2003, Millwood had a $9.9M salary. While years of eligibility is important in determining price, I had to ask myself, did Millwood's 2003 warrant a large raise from the salary he had a year ago? No way.

2002: 18-8 3.24 186/217 (7.71H/9) 178/65 (7.38K/9)
2003: 14-12 4.01 210/222 (8.51H/9) 169/68 (6.85K/9)

In 2002, the year determining Millwood's $9.9M, his H/9 was 9.4% less, and his K/9 was 7.7% more. The right-hander's performance took a considerable drop in 2003, so why give him a 26% salary increase? Millwood did a very good job accepting the team's arbitration offer, but there is no way his arguments can justify a $12.5M salary.

Mark Loretta made 1.25M last year. His AVE, his OBP, and his SLG were all better than Polanco's numbers. They had very similar extra-base hit numbers. Was Mark Grudzialnek worse than Polanco? Was Luis Castillo even with Polanco? No and No. End of case. I wish I could get into more detail, but Blogger's just too damn difficult.

Sorry for the small post, I'll be back tomorrow.