We're #4! We're #4!
In perhaps an eerie forecast of our 2011 standings, the Cubs rank the 4th worst in net gain via trade (according to the Baseball-Reference's wins above replacement statistic) over the last five years. Today, Beyond the Boxscore had a nifty info-graphic, depicting the Cub's shame:
Here's a note on the methodology and why the gains do not equal the losses from the author, Chris Spurlock:
What I looked at was potential WAR lost by being traded. If Team X had kept Player Y, what WAR would they have received via that player’s performance? So the “WAR sent” ended up being the total WAR a particular player achieved after he left the trading team. For example, Mark Teixeira has accrued 19.7 WAR since leaving Texas, so I assigned 19.7 WAR sent to Texas as a result of that trade, because they lost out on those stats as a result of losing Teixeira. The “WAR received” category, on the other hand, is strictly the WAR that player put up while with the receiving team. So, because Teixeira totaled 6.3 WAR while with Atlanta, that’s the value the Braves get in WAR received. So it makes sense then that WAR sent would be much higher.This post is not meant as a naked bashing of Jim Hendry, mind you. Mr. mb21 of Another Cubs Blog has done an excellent job over the last year of carefully dissecting Hendry's work, and the verdict is more nebulous than this graphic may appear.
Still, we've not had trades go our way lately.
UPDATE: Mr. AK in the comments makes some very knowing complaints about the info-graphic. Please do read them. They summarize as such:
These calculations have a critical flaw. I hope he works to correct it, because he's done a lot of work, but right now, it's a pretty picture, yet a pretty distorted one.