Derek Norris Branch
Derek Norris and his 6.0 WAR produced the most on-field value of the four principals for the Oakland Athletics. However, he also had the least effective afterlife when he moved on.
He was a semi-regular in Oakland for three seasons before Beane shipped him to the Padres in December of 2014. In return, they got pitchers RJ Alvarez and Jesse Hahn, whose WAR accumulated during their Oakland tenure we’ll add to the ledger since they were acquired directly for Norris.
Alvarez left the A’s when he was claimed off waivers, so we can close the book on him, as no further WAR was accumulated by the A’s as a result of his acquisition.
Hahn was swapped along with Heath Fillmyer this past offseason for Ryan Buchter, Brandon Moss and cash considerations. Moss was productive in 2012-14 for Oakland, but this time around he was cut without making the opening day roster. Let’s update the ledger.
- Derek Norris 6.0 WAR
- RJ Alvarez: -0.9 WAR
- Jesse Hahn: -0.3 WAR
- Brandon Moss: 0.0 WAR
- Ryan Buchter: 0.0 WAR
- Norris Branch: 4.8 WAR
That leaves the A’s total value currently at 8.6 WAR, which is actually down from where it was beforehand. Before we continue, there were a few interesting “wrinkles” to note about the Norris branch. We’ll see other examples of these the more we climb.
- Additional Player Wrinkle When players outside our four principals are packaged with one of the four in a trade. For example, Fillmyer’s inclusion in the Hahn trade means that Hahn – and by extension Norris – had help in getting Moss and Buchter from Kansas City. Quantifying Fillmyer’s and Hahn’s respective contributions would be guesswork since we don’t know how heavily the front offices weighed each piece. So we’ll note it, but not adjust the ledger.
- Cash Wrinkle When money is packaged with one of our four principals in a trade. The Royals included $3.25MM as part of the swap, more value as a result of trading Norris, but not so easily converted into WAR, so we’ll note it, but we won’t adjust the ledger.
- Still Active Wrinkle When a player acquired is currently on the Oakland A’s active roster. For example, Buchter currently pitches out of the A’s bullpen, presumably accruing further value. We can’t know for certain how much WAR he will accumulate in the future, so we’ll note it – say it with me now – but we won’t adjust the ledger.