Remember when, according to some, Carlos Silva was the best free agent pitcher available this winter?
Remember when, upon missing out on Hiroki Kuroda, the Mariners panicked about their starting rotation, signing said Silva to a $48M, 4 year contract?
Remember certain parties (e.g. me) saying that they hated the contract, but Silva was reasonably valuable and likely to improve the team, provided there was a reasonable defence behind him?
Remember how I didn't have tRA for any year before 2007 at that point?
Because holy crap was I wrong.
In his years with Minnesota, Silva's lowest tRA (which is scaled against RA, not ERA, as I hope most of you remember) was 4.70, good for 61st in MLB among all qualified pitchers. That's a really fringey #2 pitcher. In his best year.
In his worst year with the Twins, 2006, his tRA stood at a majestic 6.71. To put this in perspective, Jeff Weaver posted a 5.39 mark with us last year, while the giant pile of crap we traded Soriano for put up a tRA of 6.50. Silva's pRAA (pitching runs above average) that year?
Over the course of his career in the Metrodome, Silva was worth -22.6 runs compared to a league average pitcher.
Good stuff. Please allow yourself to have another look at the title of this post and a little shudder of rage.
But this can't all be about how bad he'd been before we signed him, because he's been plenty bad -after- we signed him too.
2008: 5.65 tRA, which is 84% of league average, leading to a pRAA of -16.0. This is quite probably below replacement level. This should correspond with an ERA of around 5.20, but since the baseball gods have a wonderful sense of humour, it's sitting at a shiny 6.46.
Since last year: Less strikeouts, more walks, more HBP, less ground balls, more OF fly balls, more line drives, more infield flies, more home runs per ball in air.
Basically Silva got worse at everything except generating popups, and got stuck in a team which has had a defence ranging from 'bleh' to 'catastrophic'. Which I guess is good news, because he pretty much has to start regressing progressing somewhere for next year - this was pretty much the worst season you could reasonably have expected out of him. But even if he improves he'll be lucky to make it within 5 runs of league average over a full season.
Remember when we were saying this about Sexson last year too?