Despite the widespread enthusiasm over the impending Cliff Lee acquisition, there remains some degree of concern that, while the are improving their run prevention, what they really need is offense, and that they won't be able to win if they don't score many runs.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that, for all intents and purposes, a run saved is equal to a run scored. There are small differences, but they're essentially negligible. It's really quite simple to understand. Using the standard Pythagorean W/L equation:
- A team that scores 700 runs and allows 700 runs will be expected to win 50% of its games
- A team that scores 710 runs and allows 700 runs will be expected to win 50.6% of its games
- A team that scores 700 runs and allows 690 runs will be expected to win 50.7% of its games
Cliff Lee represents a monumental upgrade to our starting rotation. If you call him a six-win pitcher, and his addition results in the bouncing of, say, a one-win pitcher from the rotation, then that would be a ~five-win upgrade in the same way that going from Jack Wilson to one year of Hanley Ramirez would be a ~five-win upgrade. It's not meaningfully different. They're both very different paths towards improving the team, but they're equally valid, and they lead to a very similar end result.
As a fan, it can be a lot of fun to break things down and evaluate teams by their different components. But when you're evaluating a transaction, you have to look at the bigger picture. It's not about what helps the offense, or the defense, or the pitching, or the clubhouse. It's about what helps the team overall. And while Cliff Lee isn't coming here to swing a bat, he still makes the Mariners way way better than they were last week.
Look, I get it. Even with Chone Figgins, this offense isn't great, and it could use some help. I imagine Z's going to want to address that over the coming weeks. Just don't let that uncertainty get into your head and take away some of the thrill from a move that is 100%, absolutely fantastic.