New information on Kendall

By Jason Wojciechowski on November 28, 2004 at 2:04 AM

The Kendall trade became official sometime between the last post and right now. The only thing that really changes about my analysis is that the A's are actually going to receive $5 million in 2007, not the three million I figured yesterday. That means the A's are adding about $8 million in payroll commitments for 2007, while my figures for the prior years ended up being essentially correct.

I'm not sure whether anyone's done the Marginal Payroll / Marginal Wins table for 2004 yet, since Doug Pappas so unfortunately passed, so I think I'll work that up and post it soon. For now, here's Oakland:

The A's won 91 games this year, 56.2% of their games. This results in 42.4 marginal wins. Their Opening Day payroll, according to ESPN, was $59,825,167. The minimum payroll, using the MLB minimum salary of $300,000, would be $8,400,000, so the A's marginal payroll comes to $51,425,167. Thus, they spent $1,212,858 per marginal win, the first time in the Billy Beane era that they've spent over a million bucks per win.

Anyway, for the A's to keep that level of efficiency after this trade, they'll have to add three wins next year, three or four the year after, and six or seven the year after that over what they would have won if they didn't make this trade.

Next year seems like a snap: replacing Damian Miller with Kendall and dropping the two pitchers adds up to quite a bit. The two years after are where things start to get tricky. With the A's relative plethora of catching prospects coming up, where does Kendall fit in? Can the player who wanted to spend his career with one team, the one who waived his no-trade to come to Oakland, be expected to waive that clause again to be sent elsewhere?

In other words, I think the A's are stuck with Kendall through the life of his contract. Since the Redman and Rhodes deals expire after 2006 anyway, we can't count their subtraction in the equation anymore, and at that point, the possibility that Kendall will be blocking a young player who might out-perform him is significant.

In other words, I'm not as bullish on this trade, even given the new information released today, as I was yesterday.