ESPN recently decided that the stat Wins Above Replacement would be standardized.They've even got it as a lead category on their statistics landing page (along with Average, Home Runs, RBIs, Wins, ERA, and Saves).
So how do the Padres in these trade rumors stack up in this category?
I'll be honest, I have very little idea of how this category is actually measured. Baseball Reference, Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs all measure it differently, and they all acknowledge that they do it differently, which makes it difficult to nail it down. Here's an example: Andrew McCutchen leads the NL on ESPN with a 5.7 oWAR, but is second on Baseball Reference with a 5.4 behind David Wright of the Mets.
I do know that these common factors go into WAR: Batting, Baserunning, Fielding, Sabermetrics and Team stats. Those categories are then broken down into what feels like several hundred other sub-categories. Get our your Android tablet or Blackberry and try to figure that one out.
Headley touts a 2.5 oWAR, which ties him with Aaron Hill of the Diamondbacks at 14th in the national league. Headley's also got a 0.4 dWAR (defensive wins above replacement), which raises his overall WAR to 2.9.
What this means is that without Headley in the lineup, the Padres are nearly three games worse over the course of the season. Of course, this is just a metric, but what it represents, essentially, in my eyes, is the ability to make plays when a team needs plays made on both offense and defense.
The Orioles starting third baseman, Wilson Betemit, has an oWAR of 1.1 and a dWAR of -0.6, bringing his overall WAR to 0.5. If I'm looking at this correctly, that means an upgrade for the Orioles.
The Pirates third baseman, Pedro Alvarez, boasts an oWAR of 1.5 and a dWAR of 0.6. Again, Headley would give the Pirates an upgrade just based on Wins Above Replacement stats.
Headley is hitting .268 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs this season. Pedro Alvarez is hitting .227 with 20 home runs and 56 RBIs this season. Though, the Pirates are unlikely to sit Pedro Alvarez because of his power numbers.
What will happen? As Bill Center notes that it's more likely that the Padres will exercise patience and try to get more than just two prospects this summer. Headley's value, according to Center, will go up during the offseason.
At any rate, the Padres are starting to get exciting so it would be a shame to see Headley go at this point in the season. Now if I could only watch them...