Posted by Eric Seidman, Sun, March 30, 2014 02:29 PM Comments: 26
Back in December, I argued against tendering a contract to John Mayberry, suggesting that his salary outweighed his projected contributions. Mayberry was worth rostering when he made the league minimum and exhibited upside, but he was well past both points. There was no risk to letting him go, because despite his athleticism and versatility, he had been a replacement-level player for two straight seasons. Replacement-level players should not be guaranteed $1.5 million on a salary-strapped team.
Over 2012-13, Mayberry logged 863 PA and hit .237/.294/.393, with a -1 baserunning mark and a -14 fielding rating. He was worth -0.3 WAR in that span. While injuries unfairly forced him into a larger role — a good chunk of his negative fielding rating is attributable to his playing out of place in CF and only 288 of those 863 PA were against lefties — he is ill-equipped for long-term duty. His .337 wOBA against lefties since 2012 wasn’t all that special either.
Adding fuel to the fire is that the Phillies stumbled upon a clear-cut replacement for Mayberry in a player who also happens to be the son a famous outfielder: Tony Gwynn, Jr.
Gwynn lacks power but literally does everything else better than Mayberry at a fraction of the price. Even if the Phils were unsure of whether Gwynn — who wasn’t in the majors in 2013 and had a few weak offensive seasons before that — would be an upgrade over Mayberry, they had enough of a book on Mayberry to know that a replacement-level outfielder would be as good or better than Mayberry for much less money.