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Fangraphs Crowdsourced Contract Projections


Spy Fox

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Here is the full article projecting the contracts of 82 FAs.

I don't know of data that says exactly how accurate these projections have ended up being in the past, but they do serve as solid baselines to try to predict where the cash might go this offseason and how it might affect the Orioles.

Their median projections for the O's:

Chris Davis 5/100

Wei-Yin Chen 4/52

Matt Wieters 4/48

Gerardo Parra 3/24

Darren O'Day 3/21

Steve Pearce 2/12

And, for fun, for some other FAs that I've seen discussed as possible O's targets:

David Price 7/196

Jason Heyward 8/184

Justin Upton 6/120

Alex Gordon 5/90

Yovani Gallardo 4/56

Dexter Fowler 4/56

Ben Zobrist 3/42

If these prices prove approximately accurate, who do we think the O's might target? Do you see any over- or underestimations in these projections?

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So yesterday I came up with a very simple Excel spreadsheet to estimate contract values. Short summary: last four years weighted value (4-3-2-1), assume $7M per win inflating at 5% per year, every player declines at half a win a year starting in year 2. You have to eyeball the length of the contract, often it's where they drop to near replacement. Doesn't consider age at all.

Here's what I get for each of these players:

Davis 5/117 or 6/131

Chen 4/52

Wieters 3/23

Parra 2/15

O'Day 3/17

Pearce 1/12 or 2/21

Price 5/182

Heyward 5/164

Upton 4/80 or 5/93

Gordon 5/129

Gallardo 4/46

Fowler 4/47

Zobrist 4/100

Can_of_corn suggested that this breaks down at the margins, and he's probably right. It almost certainly breaks down at advanced ages (see Zobrist). Probably doesn't do well with odd cases like Steve Pearce having 95% of his career value in one season. But I'm interested in seeing how it works on aggregate this year. Sometimes the simple approach is almost as good as the vastly more complicated approach.

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I think Davis at 5/100 is the low end of what he might get rather than the median.

8/184 for Heyward is insane. He's a good (not great) player. 8/150 sounds more realistic.

I'd say a 26 year old worth 21 wins over the last 4 years is worth a hell of a lot of money and years. Not surprising at all.

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I think Davis at 5/100 is the low end of what he might get rather than the median.

8/184 for Heyward is insane. He's a good (not great) player. 8/150 sounds more realistic.

Since 2010 Heyward has been the 11th most valuable position player in baseball, at least by fWAR. And his significant defensive value didn't so much as hiccup moving between teams, offering evidence it's not a team or park induced mirage. I'd say he's pretty great.

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Seems to me Drungo's methodology is more like an assessment of what a rational team might offer rather than a prediction of what will actually be offered. Of course the $7 million number includes historical data about how teams have valued a certain level of production in the past, so it is not completely off the wall in terms of assessing likely contract offers. The value assessment on what a team should pay is more in the idea of the length of a contract where it is assumed that a team will not offer a contract that projects to go beyond the time when a player's performance drops below an easily replaceable level.

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Dave Cameron commented in his chat today that these are always low since they represent the average of hundreds of estimators, and it is the high bid and not the average one that wins.

So to be more practical, adding ~10-15% in both length and AAV will probably track closer to real life.

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Dave Cameron commented in his chat today that these are always low since they represent the average of hundreds of estimators, and it is the high bid and not the average one that wins.

So to be more practical, adding ~10-15% in both length and AAV will probably track closer to real life.

Good info. I do think the actual contracts are more likely going to be higher than lower compared to these projections.

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Seems to me Drungo's methodology is more like an assessment of what a rational team might offer rather than a prediction of what will actually be offered. Of course the $7 million number includes historical data about how teams have valued a certain level of production in the past, so it is not completely off the wall in terms of assessing likely contract offers. The value assessment on what a team should pay is more in the idea of the length of a contract where it is assumed that a team will not offer a contract that projects to go beyond the time when a player's performance drops below an easily replaceable level.

I think it'll be a mix, some dead on, some significantly off in both directions. No rational team would offer Zobrist 4/100. I'd bet I'm not too far off on Davis, Upton, and Gordon. AAV seems to break down on the high end - Heyward and Price might get that kind of total value, or more, but over more years. Maybe that's how teams mitigate some of the risk, they pay for a rational total value but add on years to account for the fact they'll have the equivalent of dead seasons.

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Since 2010 Heyward has been the 11th most valuable position player in baseball, at least by fWAR. And his significant defensive value didn't so much as hiccup moving between teams, offering evidence it's not a team or park induced mirage. I'd say he's pretty great.

My concern isnt so much the money as the opt out. You give him 8/175 or 10/200 you are doing so with the hope that he might even outplay that contract in the first 5-6 years by seeing an uptick in power.

But there seems to be a projection that he wants an opt out after 3 years. I LOVE Heyward and would love him on the O's, but if the best case scenario is that he only slightly outperforms the contract after 3 years and then leaves... its not worth the downside of him turning into a Markakis type hitter and killing your payroll for a decade

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