Sure, it may just be conventional wisdom, but, at times, it seems like the Red Sox (and Theo Epstein) are always picking up pitchers like Curt Schilling, Bronson Arroyo, Hideki Okajima, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka, while the Mets (and Omar Minaya) are picking up pitchers like Johan Santana, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, John Maine and Oliver Perez, and, in Yankeeland, Brian Cashman is picking up pitchers like Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez, Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa.
But, it’s not really fair to just go by gut feeling and/or memory on something like this – and broad-brush paint the Mets and Red Sox as being better at picking up pitchers from outside their organization. I figured there had to be a way to look at this where facts will tell the true story. So, I reached out to Lee Sinins, the man behind the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, and asked him the following question:
Would it be possible to run a report, off the raw data behind the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, to determine the following:
Games, Innings Pitched, and Runs Saved Above Average totals for all pitchers on the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox, for the time periods “2004 to 2007” and “2005 to 2007” where the pitchers were acquired from outside the team prior to pitching for the Yanks, Mets, and Sox?
By this, I mean, anyone who came up through the team’s farm system, and pitched with the team during those two groups of years, would be excluded. I’d be interested in seeing these stats – and I think some Yankees fans would too.
And, Lee did respond (thanks Lee!) with the following:
By working backwards, I was able to get the answers. First, I generated a list of the pitchers who debuted with the teams and, from there, I deleted their sums from the team totals in order to get the totals for those who were acquired.2004-07 G IP RSAA Yankees 1649 3726.2 -105 Red Sox 1900 4672.2 129 Mets 1779 4666.2 1052005-07 G IP RSAA Yankees 1205 2625.2 -62 Red Sox 1374 3398.2 -2 Mets 1251 3476.0 48
Pretty interesting, huh? Bottom line, this tells us that the pitchers who the Yankees have acquired, from outside their organization, as a whole, have not helped the team (and have hurt the team) over the last 3-4 years. And, this tells us that Minaya, since 2005, when Omar logged his first full year as Mets G.M., has done a good job (at least better than Cashman and Epstein) at picking up pitchers (from outside his system) who have gone on to pitch well for his team.
The Boston numbers are interesting too. I think this tells us that Schilling and Foulke were two huge pick-ups for Boston (and Theo) in 2004 – but, after that season, the Red Sox pitching acquisitions (even with Josh Beckett), on the whole, after 2004, have not been that stellar.