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Time to shuffle the deck

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This could be a very bad week. I'd like to see them shuffle the roster/batting order and bullpen.   Release Grossman. DFA Kinley and...
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Twins Mailbag: Kohl Stewart, Mauer Extension, DH Options

With MLB’s Winter Meetings on the horizon, thing have continued to be relatively cold when it comes to the off-season hot stove. Shohei Ohtani has been getting most of the headlines as he has narrowed his list down to a handful of teams. Unfortunately, one of those teams is not the Minnesota Twins.

While we wait for the hot stove to actually star heating up, you asked me questions on Twitter and I’m going to take the time to answer them. Here’s a look into the Twins Daily Mailbag.
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Kohl Stewart Not Added to 40-Man

It was a little surprising not to see Kohl Stewart’s name on the team’s list of additions to the 40-man roster. Stewart, the former fourth overall pick, signed for $4.544 million when he was selected in the 2013 Draft. That’s a lot of money invested in a player who could end up being selected by another organization in the Rule 5 Draft. However, he was picked under the previous front office regime.

As a pitching prospect, Stewart has yet to put it all together. In high school, he was a two-sport star with a Division I scholarship to play quarterback. He has been over two years younger than the competition at every minor league stop, so he has been facing older players. That being said, his strikeouts haven’t ever shown up and he still has things to prove.

If a team wants to take a flyer on him in the Rule 5 Draft, they could try to hide him in their big league bullpen. He’s only made three relief appearances in his entire professional career. Even if a team picks him, I think he will end up back in the Twins organization. Stewart isn’t ready to be on a big league roster for the entire season.

Joe Mauer Extension

Here at Twins Daily, there has been a lot of talk about who the Twins should offer extensions to this off-season. There is a young core of players who are going to get expensive. Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier both will see their contracts expire at the end of 2018. This leaves the front office with some decisions to make about the veteran leadership around their young core.

I believe Mauer will finish his career in a Twins uniform. At this point in his career, I don’t know if it make sense to sign him to a four-year deal. I also don’t know if he is going to want to play for another four seasons. He has a young family and a life outside of baseball and there are other opportunities he could pursue. On Twitter, I wondered out loud if he would be open to a Tim Wakefield-type of contract. Keep him on one-year contracts as long as the team and the player agree with him playing.

When it comes to the 3,000 hit mark, Mauer is going to need to have quite the stretch. Since 2014, he’s averaged 143 hits per season. At that rate, he wouldn’t crack the 3,000 hit mark for another seven years. He would be in his age-42 season so that seems like it will be an uphill climb.

Free Agent DH Options

Eric Hosmer and JD Martinez are the two players who are going to make a lot of money this off-season. MLB Trade Rumors ranks Martinez as the second best free agent with an estimated six-year, $150 million contract. Hosmer ranks as the number three free agent with an estimated six-year, $132 million deal. I think if the Twins are going to spend that kind of money it would be in the club’s best interest to spend their funds on pitching.

There is another tier of designated hitter-type players who could fit better with the Twins. Carlos Santana is a name that has been thrown around but plenty of other teams would be interested in his services as well. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he could sign in the $45 million range on a three-year contract. Some of the market will begin to unfold after Ohtani picks the club where he is going to sign.

Adding More Pitching

Spending money on free agent pitchers isn’t always the smartest investment. Pitchers like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are going to command multi-year contracts for north of $100 million. Both players are in their early 30’s which would put them in their late 30’s before their contract would expire. This usually results in some dead money at the end of the deal. As players age further into their 30’s, they lose some effectiveness.

Falvey and Levine were a little surprised by the Twins being in contention during their first year on the job. With that being said, I think they want to make a splash this off-season. They are going to go hard after Darvish to try to lure him to Minnesota. If that doesn’t work out, I could see them packaging multiple prospects to go after the likes of Jake Odorizzi or Gerrit Cole. Nick Gordon would likely need to be a centerpiece of that kind of trade. The front office might be fine with dealing him after Jorge Polanco’s emergence in 2017.

Was leaving Stewart off the 40-man a mistake? Should Mauer get an extension? What DH could the Twins sign? Do free agent pitchers make sense for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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54 Comments

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diehardtwinsfan
Dec 07 2017 01:55 PM

 

Fix the pitching before extending position players who are not in a contract year. The Twins can probably save $ on Mauer by letting him hit free agency first anyway. I don't see him going anywhere, and if he does go somewhere, so what?

 

The pitching can be addressed in 1 year if the Twins are smart, so it's not like position player contracts will be unresolved forever. 

 

Someone is itching to respond with "The Twins can do both" -- and sure, they could -- but so far we have seen nothing to suggest the Twins have changed their tight purse strings policy, and the Twins truly just have one immediate need right now.

 

Seems to me that extensions for guys like Buxton, Sano, etc. are a means of adding some cost certainty to players who will quite likely be as or more expensive if they went year to year.. and in exchange, they get a couple years of FA bought out too. I'm not sure how it would be considered extravagant to do such things. 

 

My point is that they can (and should) do both, and I highly doubt they are mutually exclusive as you seem to be arguing here.

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Major Leauge Ready
Dec 07 2017 02:35 PM

 

Last year, mauers performance was worth like 18M

How are you calculating this value?

How are you calculating this value?

based on how much 1 WAR is worth.

What would we do without Mauer questions?He is a nice player who used to be a great player, but I do not believe that sentiment is going to stir our new front office.When I see someone suggest Hosmer I just see the same discussions - just a change of name.Neither one is a good signing for the future. 

 

Rooker is the only 1B/DH option I am interested in and I could see him making it to MLB at some time next year. 

Rooker hasnt seen AA ball yet, has he? And only has 40 games outside of rookie ball?
    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

Rooker hasnt seen AA ball yet, has he? And only has 40 games outside of rookie ball?

Correct. He also hasn't played any 1B yet in this org.

I'd go year to year on Mauer, unless they go after Santana which I don't think they do.
    • jimmer likes this

 

"Upon request by a Major League player to the Commissioner, the Commissioner may, on such conditions as he stipulates, consent to such player accepting a renewal of his contract at a salary rate less than eighty (80) percent of the rate stipulated for the preceding year, providing the salary rate is mutually agreed upon between the club and the player prior to January 10 and providing the request for consent to accept such salary is made by the player and received by the
Commissioner prior to January 10."

Twins not hamstrung by this at all.


 

That likely deals with arbitration eligible players that work out contracts between the end of the season and the listed January 10th. Mauer will be a FA next year during that timeframe.

 

If not spending on FA when our payroll is 95 mil and dropping, when?

When there's a player worth signing. Don't spend money on a mediocre player just because money is available.

When there's a player worth signing. Don't spend money on a mediocre player just because money is available.


There are plenty of FA's worth signing right now.
    • Twins33 and Sconnie like this

I don't want to see Mauer wearing another uniform. 

 

I also don't want to pay him a large amount of money. 

 

I'm hoping that both sides will be fair with each other. I hope Mauer doesn't try to squeeze extra money out of the Twins and I hope the Twins don't try to keep him with a low ball offer. 

 

I won't really have an idea on what that fair contract for both sides will look like until after the 2018 season concludes. 

 

Personally... I'm not looking to ask Mauer to retire until we have someone who out performs him. 

 

We don't have that yet... yet. 

 

 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

"Upon request by a Major League player to the Commissioner, the Commissioner may, on such conditions as he stipulates, consent to such player accepting a renewal of his contract at a salary rate less than eighty (80) percent of the rate stipulated for the preceding year, providing the salary rate is mutually agreed upon between the club and the player prior to January 10 and providing the request for consent to accept such salary is made by the player and received by the
Commissioner prior to January 10."

Twins not hamstrung by this at all.


 

 

Yeah, except this doesn't happen because there is the MLB Players Association

.

    • Thrylos likes this
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nicksaviking
Dec 08 2017 08:44 AM

 

Yeah, except this doesn't happen because there is the MLB Players Association

.

 

Under normal situations I'd agree, but if the players association has the same understanding that we fans do; that Mauer will not be able to drum up any kind of bidding war because he won't play anywhere but Minnesota or possibly TB, they might come to the conclusion that Mauer really only has any kind of leverage over his next contract while he's still playing out his current contract.

 

Not that I'm in favor of an extension, I'm ready to move on. Nothing against Joe.

 

I don't know, is Stewart really much of a risk to get picked? I mean like last year our pitching went from terrible to not quite as terrible, and he was like 9,10,11...on the minor league depth chart. I doubt any team can look at him, potential and all, but look at that and see a place on a 25 man roster. I always thought they should try to work out more trades using the rule 5 though. 

 

And Im all for the wakefield contract, for everyone. $4m/yr mutual option forever? If all the money wouldn't just go to the owners, and they'd make tix and concessions dirt cheap. But if Mauer would be into it I think that would make sense for both him and the Twins.

I find it hard to believe that any major league team would try to hide him in their bullpen for a full season.His analytics numbers (swing and miss rate, K rate) are just not very good right now.Can't believe anyone would see enough upside to put him on 25-man all year.

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Major Leauge Ready
Dec 08 2017 01:51 PM

 

based on how much 1 WAR is worth.

This valuation has been thrown around here quite a bit.Is one WAR worth $8M or is one WAR the average production of free agents?Those are two quite different things.If we attempted to build a team on this premise, the payroll required to build a 98 win team would be roughly $400M.Our team has to average about $1.5M/WAR.No team can actually afford a $400M payroll, therefore I don't think one WAR is actually worth $8M, especially to teams with 50 or 60% of the top teams. 

    • Deduno Abides likes this

This valuation has been thrown around here quite a bit. Is one WAR worth $8M or is one WAR the average production of free agents? Those are two quite different things. If we attempted to build a team on this premise, the payroll required to build a 98 win team would be roughly $400M. Our team has to average about $1.5M/WAR. No team can actually afford a $400M payroll, therefore I don't think one WAR is actually worth $8M, especially to teams with 50 or 60% of the top teams.


The math is all over the Internet. It's why teams like young players, because old players cost money to buy or keep.
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Deduno Abides
Dec 08 2017 02:45 PM
Mauer will be 36 in 2019. It’s hard to see any other team giving a 36 year-old non-iron man 1B with a .100 ISO more than a one-year, $5M contract. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense for the Twins to give him much more than that.
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ashburyjohn
Dec 08 2017 03:27 PM

This valuation has been thrown around here quite a bit.Is one WAR worth $8M or is one WAR the average production of free agents?Those are two quite different things.If we attempted to build a team on this premise, the payroll required to build a 98 win team would be roughly $400M.Our team has to average about $1.5M/WAR.No team can actually afford a $400M payroll, therefore I don't think one WAR is actually worth $8M, especially to teams with 50 or 60% of the top teams. 

I don't think anyone's claiming that $8M (or whatever value) is the cost for all talent. Obviously young players under team control provide value at a far, far lower cost.

 

The $8M figure amounts to the marginal rate on the spot-market. I like to think of FA contracts as the "Stupidity Tax" when you have to admit you didn't develop a suitable player of your own at a position of need. No one wants to build a team entirely this way.

 

People have done amusing articles on what it would cost to build an entire car from parts purchased at a parts shop. No one sane would do that. Yet we all go to NAPA or Pep Boys when the need arises.

 

One further analogy. I presume you are in the 39.6% tax bracket (soon to change). But you don't fork over 39,6% of your total income, because of deductions and a graduated tax rate. That 39.6 number is very meaningful, but also not very illuminating if you use only that one number for your thinking.

 

As a side note, I also kind of doubt that true 1-WAR players get X, and 2-WAR players get 2X, etc. The value of a player to a team contending for the World Series isn't linear. So any number like $8M is just for back of the envelope calculations of players at a certain fairly high level of ability and demand for their services.

    • Oldgoat_MN, 70charger and Doomtints like this
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Major Leauge Ready
Dec 09 2017 07:43 AM

 

based on how much 1 WAR is worth.

A better measure of market value would be what free agents actually get paid comparted to their average WAR for the previous 2-3 years.Here are examples of contracts from 2016 & 2017.I mostly used players in their prime to get a reasonable measure and averaged their WAR over the previous three years to determine market value/WAR..I did use David Price at age 32 and I omitted the year Cueto had only 60 IP.I threw Jason Castro in just to add an example of that type of player.

 

Year | Average War | AAV|AAV per WAR

2017 Yoenis Cespedes … 4.4|27|6.136
2017 Jason Castro … 1.43 | 8.167 | 5.711
2017 Josh Reddick … 2.5 | 13 | 5.200
2016 Jason Heyward … 4.86 | 23 | 4.733
2016 David Price … 5.63 | 31 | 5.506
2016 Johnny Cueto … 4.43 | 21.67 | 4.891
2016 Justin Upton … 3.46 | 16 | 4.624

 

It is clear that the market does not value free agents anywhere near $8M per WAR.These players averaged 5.257.My guess is that RPs might bring this number up a bit.Cespedes missed some games which brought down his salary/WAR.If we use 2 previous years instead of three his value is 5.55/WAR which is very consistent with the others.

 

BTW … Mike Napoli got 7M on a 1 year deal in 2016. That’s about the best comp I can come up with for Mauer.Totally different player but a similar caliber 1B.

A better measure of market value would be what free agents actually get paid comparted to their average WAR for the previous 2-3 years. Here are examples of contracts from 2016 & 2017. I mostly used players in their prime to get a reasonable measure and averaged their WAR over the previous three years to determine market value/WAR.. I did use David Price at age 32 and I omitted the year Cueto had only 60 IP. I threw Jason Castro in just to add an example of that type of player.

Year | Average War | AAV | AAV per WAR
2017 Yoenis Cespedes … 4.4 | 27 | 6.136
2017 Jason Castro … 1.43 | 8.167 | 5.711
2017 Josh Reddick … 2.5 | 13 | 5.200
2016 Jason Heyward … 4.86 | 23 | 4.733
2016 David Price … 5.63 | 31 | 5.506
2016 Johnny Cueto … 4.43 | 21.67 | 4.891
2016 Justin Upton … 3.46 | 16 | 4.624

It is clear that the market does not value free agents anywhere near $8M per WAR. These players averaged 5.257. My guess is that RPs might bring this number up a bit. Cespedes missed some games which brought down his salary/WAR. If we use 2 previous years instead of three his value is 5.55/WAR which is very consistent with the others.

BTW … Mike Napoli got 7M on a 1 year deal in 2016. That’s about the best comp I can come up with for Mauer. Totally different player but a similar caliber 1B.


Your SS 7 player sample doesn't make anything clear.
    • Mike Sixel likes this
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ashburyjohn
Dec 09 2017 01:59 PM

A better measure of market value would be what free agents actually get paid comparted to their average WAR for the previous 2-3 years. 

I always applaud an analytic approach to decision making. :)

 

You seem to be aiming toward a forecast of WAR, at the time the contract is signed. I think the studies computing $6M or $8M (or whatever) per WAR are doing it in terms of value delivered, looking back after the contract is signed (so the jury is still out on recent guys). That is, they are asking the question, what do teams typically get for their FA money?

 

I think it stands to reason that front offices' forecasts are getting better and better, so as time goes along the actual value delivered (at least insofar as WAR represents "actual" value) becomes a better and better proxy for the forecasts.

 

But even in trying to come at the question from the forecast WAR for these players, a simple average of previous years seems awfully far from what teams probably use. I don't think you would use that kind of average for a product life-cycle study, for instance, unless at a very particular stage (probably mid-life) - you would draw dangerous conclusions if in the early years, or if at the end in maintenance mode when you're trying to wean customers off. Ballplayers, as a "product", surely aren't static enough in their "life cycles" to try that with.

 

With the horizon you specified, I would weight the most recent year more heavily than the prior year, and much moreso than two years back - almost ancient history in some cases. But I would also factor in growth or (more usually, for these free agents) decline relative to age. Injury risk also comes into play. It may be that teams are (in the privacy of their own processes) putting a very large downward factor on their forecasts over the life of the contract they intend to offer. That would move things in the opposite direction from your conclusion, since it makes the denominator smaller.

 

Another thing that makes the methodology difficult is that players' "accurate" forecast of value, by whatever procedure you think best, is probably in the middle range of what teams will compute for themselves; and it's highly likely that whoever computes the highest value will make the largest offer, and in turn the player is highly likely to accept an offer very near the top of the range. This of course would move things in the direction you suggest, as it makes the denominator larger.

 

All things considered, it's hard to approximate teams' forecasts with a simple average. Beyond hard, I think - misleading, or even not useful. We'd be dividing $$/WAR using something basically unknowable.

 

Cespedes, the first guy on your list, seems like a good example. He was a highly sought Cuban free agent in 2012, and when he became available again in the 2016-17 offseason his resume was a bit spotty. He was coming off a 2.9-WAR season (I'm using b-r.com) after a 6.2, decidedly his best, and he had missed a few games in August after putting in two full seasons the prior years, after starting off with two injury-impacted seasons. I could imagine some widely differing forecasts by competent professionals in the field. When the Mets prepared their eventual winning offer, it's not preposterous to think that another 6-WAR season could be expected. But, he was already turning 31, and for the four-year contract the team was contemplating, a decline could be expected. An injury during any of those four seasons could further harm the value delivered in that season just due to his absence, while also perhaps accelerating his declining ability for future seasons. All in all, just spitballing here, a four-year WAR of (6,5,4,3), times an 80% chance each season for not having a really serious injury, comes out to only about 14 WAR over the life of the contract, or about 3.6 a season, rather than the 4.4 you came up with. That comes out to around $7.5M per. If I did the math right. Again, I'm only spitballing.

 

Now, given that the Mets won this sweepstakes, it's fair to assume that most other teams* came up with a lower WAR estimate and made commensurately lower offers to the player. Unless you believe the Mets are super geniuses and have a unique ability to forecast future value, it's very likely that the actual value he returns will be more in line with the crowd and thus lower than they thought they were paying for. Ergo, the cost per WAR will likely be higher than their forecast (and perhaps this guesstimate). That's the so-called Winner's Curse in any free market, right? (Not that MLB markets are all that free. :) )

 

I'm not going to invest the time with my rinky-dink eyeballing methodology, on the other players you listed, but you probably see my point, that trying to infer MLB forecasts of WAR is harder than just averaging some recent seasons.

 

* Even if you rule out the small market teams, there are enough other deep pocketed teams to make this line of thought work.

    • 70charger likes this
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jorgenswest
Dec 09 2017 02:16 PM
There was a very interesting series of articles by Matt Swartz in fangraphs this summer. He looked at several aspects including varying methods for calculating the dollar amount and the aspect of linearity.

It makes me wonder about Lynn and Cobb. Lynn is projected by steamer to have 1.3 WAR next year. Over 4 years with decline and chance of injury he might project for 3-4 WAR. A generous projection might give him 6 WAR perhaps declining from something starting above 2 next year. Teams might be in at around 50 million for 4 years to buy that hope of 6 WAR. By steamer Cobb projects better next year at 1.7, but a 6 WAR over the next 4 is reasonable though a little generous.

Interesting steamer projected Chatwood at 1.9 fWAR. He is younger and decline isn’t a factor but injury is a factor. If the Cubs projected him at 4.5 WAR over three years his contract is close to market.

A team’s ability to project is incredibly important here. The in house work is critical. Teams are getting better but ERA, wins and holds are still overvalued and overpaid. One of his articles shows a premium for FIP vs. ERA that is still present in the market.
    • ashburyjohn likes this
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Major Leauge Ready
Dec 09 2017 02:18 PM

 

Your SS 7 player sample doesn't make anything clear.

OK Let’s look at ALL of the players who received contracts of 3 years or greater last year.That would be the definition of assessing market value, right.I used these players because they obviously were the best positioned of all of the free agents. I also picked the best players because I don’t think most TD participants are much more interested in the Johnny Cueto types as opposed to Jason Castro.  

 

Yoenis Cespedes … 4.4|27|6.136
Jason Castro … 1.43 | 8.167 | 5.711
Josh Reddick … 2.5 | 13 | 5.200
Justin Turner … 4.23 | 16 | 3.783
Ian Desmond … 3 | 14 | 4.667
Dexter Fowler … 3.1 | 16.5 | 5.323
Edward … 4 | 20 | 5.000
Mark Trumbo … 1.65 | 12.5 | 7.576
Kendrys Morales … 1.4 | 11 | 7.857
Ivan Nova … 1.4 | 8.666 | 6.190

These 10 top free agents averaged 5.74M per war.It’s probably an anomaly but Trumbo / Morales & Nova brought that average up.The other 7 players averaged 5.12M per WAR,
  
RPs  
Bret Cecil … 1.13 | 7.625 | 6.748
Aroldis Chapman … 2.666 | 17.2 | 6.452
Kenley Janzen … 2.333 | 16 | 6.858
Mark Melacon … 1.8 | 15.5 | 8.611
Average … 7.167.

 

Top BP arms got a premium last year.I suspect this average comes down if you look at the masses but I am not interested enough to look them all up.

 

Is the market data from all of the FAs able to get 3 year contracts adequate evidence for you?

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Major Leauge Ready
Dec 09 2017 02:32 PM

 

I always applaud an analytic approach to decision making. :)

 

You seem to be aiming toward a forecast of WAR, at the time the contract is signed. I think the studies computing $6M or $8M (or whatever) per WAR are doing it in terms of value delivered, looking back after the contract is signed (so the jury is still out on recent guys). That is, they are asking the question, what do teams typically get for their FA money?

 

I think it stands to reason that front offices' forecasts are getting better and better, so as time goes along the actual value delivered (at least insofar as WAR represents "actual" value) becomes a better and better proxy for the forecasts.

 

But even in trying to come at the question from the forecast WAR for these players, a simple average of previous years seems awfully far from what teams probably use. I don't think you would use that kind of average for a product life-cycle study, for instance, unless at a very particular stage (probably mid-life) - you would draw dangerous conclusions if in the early years, or if at the end in maintenance mode when you're trying to wean customers off. Ballplayers, as a "product", surely aren't static enough in their "life cycles" to try that with.

 

With the horizon you specified, I would weight the most recent year more heavily than the prior year, and much moreso than two years back - almost ancient history in some cases. But I would also factor in growth or (more usually, for these free agents) decline relative to age. Injury risk also comes into play. It may be that teams are (in the privacy of their own processes) putting a very large downward factor on their forecasts over the life of the contract they intend to offer. That would move things in the opposite direction from your conclusion, since it makes the denominator smaller.

 

Another thing that makes the methodology difficult is that players' "accurate" forecast of value, by whatever procedure you think best, is probably in the middle range of what teams will compute for themselves; and it's highly likely that whoever computes the highest value will make the largest offer, and in turn the player is highly likely to accept an offer very near the top of the range. This of course would move things in the direction you suggest, as it makes the denominator larger.

 

All things considered, it's hard to approximate teams' forecasts with a simple average. Beyond hard, I think - misleading, or even not useful. We'd be dividing $$/WAR using something basically unknowable.

 

Cespedes, the first guy on your list, seems like a good example. He was a highly sought Cuban free agent in 2012, and when he became available again in the 2016-17 offseason his resume was a bit spotty. He was coming off a 2.9-WAR season (I'm using b-r.com) after a 6.2, decidedly his best, and he had missed a few games in August after putting in two full seasons the prior years, after starting off with two injury-impacted seasons. I could imagine some widely differing forecasts by competent professionals in the field. When the Mets prepared their eventual winning offer, it's not preposterous to think that another 6-WAR season could be expected. But, he was already turning 31, and for the four-year contract the team was contemplating, a decline could be expected. An injury during any of those four seasons could further harm the value delivered in that season just due to his absence, while also perhaps accelerating his declining ability for future seasons. All in all, just spitballing here, a four-year WAR of (6,5,4,3), times an 80% chance each season for not having a really serious injury, comes out to only about 14 WAR over the life of the contract, or about 3.6 a season, rather than the 4.4 you came up with. That comes out to around $7.5M per. If I did the math right. Again, I'm only spitballing.

 

Now, given that the Mets won this sweepstakes, it's fair to assume that every other team came up with a lower WAR estimate and made commensurately lower offers to the player. Unless you believe the Mets are super geniuses and have a unique ability to forecast future value, it's very likely that the actual value he returns will be lower than they paid for. Ergo, the cost per WAR will likely be higher than this guesstimate. That's the so-called Winner's Curse in any free market, right? (Not that MLB markets are all that free. :) )

 

I'm not going to invest the time with my rinky-dink eyeballing methodology, on the other players you listed, but you probably see my point, that trying to infer MLB forecasts of WAR is harder than just averaging some recent seasons.

 

Everything you have pointed out is very fair.It would have actually lowered the dollars paid per WAR had I used 2 years and I would agree that teams are definitely going to weigh the newest information more heavily.Had I added some common sense in cases in terms or whether to use the last year, two years or 3 years, the amount per WAR would have come down.I only used the 3 year approach because it was conservative and others could not suggest I was cherry picking. 

 

The point I am making is not this granular.It's this simple.It is crystal clear that a model paying $8M per WAR is not sustainable for even the largest market teams.To say its reasonable or sustainable for all of the teams in the league is to ignore many economic and business principals.I guess it's this simple .... If the MN Twins or any team of similar revenue produce at a rate of one WAR per $8M, the probability of success is extremely low if FAs are relied upon to any significant degree.

    • 70charger likes this
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ashburyjohn
Dec 09 2017 03:19 PM

It is crystal clear that a model paying $8M per WAR is not sustainable for even the largest market teams. 

That's undisputed. I don't know why you keep coming back to this point. Even the largest market teams do not pay market prices for their entire 25-man rosters. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino, along with the various low-salary role-players, all make the Yankees' front office jobs much easier.

 

Teams don't pay $8M (or whatever) per WAR. Full stop.

 

They pay $8M (or whatever) per WAR to players who, by virtue of 6+ years of service, can more nearly control their own destiny. This includes free agency, but also players who agree to deals with their teams so as to buy out their free agency.

 

Smaller market teams pay this same price, otherwise they get outbid for an individual player. They simply do it a lot less frequently, perforce, than the big boys.

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ashburyjohn
Dec 09 2017 03:53 PM

There was a very interesting series of articles by Matt Swartz in fangraphs this summer. He looked at several aspects including varying methods for calculating the dollar amount and the aspect of linearity.

Yeah, I was about to recommend his series of articles. They are at:

https://www.fangraph...s/author/matts/

Probably should scroll down to the first of his July 2017 articles and work your way back up chronologically.

 

Anyone with serious concerns about trying to understand the cost of acquiring MLB-ready talent on the open market should read these critically, along with the comments that have been posted there by readers. He says on his LinkedIn page he consults to a MLB team (the Nationals), as well as doing risk management for an insurance company (Cigna), so his POV should not be dismissed out of hand.

    • jorgenswest likes this

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