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Defense, Corey Hart, and Adam Dunn

Would it be worth trading Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera, and then using the salary savings to sign Adam Dunn, as was rumored? I'd be willing to bet that most people would think so, but I'm not so sure.

I'm strictly using CHONE projections for this quick analysis. None of the players CHONEs are much different than a Marcel projection, and CHONE puts a defensive projection in the mix as well. Here's the data I'm working with:

Adam Dunn wOBA: .373

Corey Hart wOBA: .355

Mike Cameron wOBA: .339

Corey Hart corner OF: +2

Corey Hart CF: -8

Adam Dunn corner OF: -13

Mike Cameron CF: +3

Converting these wOBAs to runs above average now. I'm using the 2008 major league OBP of .333 here. The calculation is wOBA-.333, then /1.15, then *PA. I'm using 600 PA to compare them on the same scale.

Dunn: 21 RAA

Hart: 11 RAA

Mike Cameron 3 RAA

We can then add 20 runs to compare to replacement, because replacement level is 20 runs below average per 600 plate appearances. We're using league average defense as replacement. Both alignments are comparing to replacement level.

So would you prefer (position, player, offense RAR, defensive CHONE projection):

CF Corey Hart +31,  -8

RF Adam Dunn +41, -13

Total runs: 51

Or just leave it this way:

CF Mike Cameron +23, +3

RF Corey Hart +31, +2

Total runs: 59

Just to note, I am neglecting positional adjustments here-- it wouldn't make any difference in determing the value of each alignment, only if we're determining a player's individual worth.

I realize that Hart would have to bounce back nicely from a .327 '08 wOBA to make this model accurate. I'll also point out that I think it's pretty conservative to estimate that Hart would only be -8 in center, I think he'd be worse than that.

Making the move of trading for Cabrera and signing Dunn wouldn't have been a disaster, but it could well have been a near 1-win downgrade in the short term.

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