DeRosa versus Bradley for the hundredth time

MB21 at Another Cubs Blog found this gem from Ken Rosenthal:

Cubs: Their lineup finally is more balanced, but how much will they truly benefit from the addition of Milton Bradley and subtraction of Mark DeRosa?

As far as that question is intended to mean what it does on its face, as in, “how much more than Mark DeRosa is Milton Bradley worth?” it’s a valid question. As far as it’s meant to mean, “Is Mark DeRosa worth more than Milton Bradley?” it’s sort of silly. Here’s their value wins, from Fangraphs, since 2002:

bradley_versus_derosa_value_wins

Until recently, DeRosa has been way worse than Bradley. The last couple of years, it’s been closer, and DeRosa has a mild advantage in two of the last three years. But DeRosa did this playing full seasons in the past three years, while Bradley put up basically the same value in partial seasons. In 2007, DeRosa was worth basically the same amount in 500 PAs as Bradley was in 200 PAs.

In other words, Bradley has always been worth far more per game than DeRosa is. If you can fill in for Bradley with a backup who is better than replacement level – the backup doesn’t even have to be average – you’re better off having Bradley on your team than DeRosa, and it doesn’t look to me like that this would ever have been untrue, even with the success DeRosa has had in recent years.

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