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Friday, May 24, 2019

Giants’ Farhan Zaidi expresses thoughts on WAR, Buster Posey’s value

Ever since the Giants hired Farhan Zaidi as their president of baseball operations this past offseason, there have been battles between talking heads arguing on the basis of traditional baseball stats and advanced metrics.

Zaidi, who earned his bachelor of science degree at MIT and his PhD at Cal Berkeley, is widely seen as a baseball mind that leans on analytics. So-called baseball fans who don’t want the game to evolve argue that he’s using too many numbers to try and change the game. At the same time, Zaidi has help lead highly successful teams with the A’s and Dodgers.

So, what are his thought on WAR (Wins Above Replacement)?

“Yeah, I think it’s a good measure on how a guy has produced in the past,” Zaidi said Wednesday on KNBR. “I think it’s a nice, valuable back of the envelope calculation for how much value a specific player brought you.”

Problem is, said value for Posey more or less requires him to stay as a catcher- at this point, his value above replacement level is chiefly connected with his defensive play and position.

 

QLE Posted: May 24, 2019 at 07:29 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, farhan zaidi, giants, war

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Reframing WAR at Fangraphs

Update: An earlier bug that impacted updated pitcher WAR has now been resolved. The pitcher tables below have been updated to reflect that. Thanks to everyone who pointed out the issue!

I’m very pleased to announce that FanGraphs has finally added catcher framing data to the site, with full thanks to Jared Cross, who you may know as the co-creator of the Steamer projections. We’ve also incorporated catcher framing into WAR.

Including catcher framing in WAR has been a topic of internal debate at FanGraphs for the past half-decade. The problem has never been with the inclusion of framing numbers on the catcher side of things. That’s a fairly simple addition. The problem has always been what to do with the pitchers. For instance, the 2011 Brewers were some 40 runs above average in catcher framing. When you add those 40 runs to catchers, do you subtract 40 runs from pitchers? As it turns out, you do, but those runs are not attributed equally to each pitcher

Bote Man Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:17 PM | 184 comment(s)
  Beats: fangraphs, framing, pitch framing, war

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Should baseball go to a pay-for-performance model?

On top of the base pay, a player would be owed $4 million per WAR based on his performance that year. The antiquated arbitration system which rewards service time over production would be completely eliminated. There would be no reason to game the system for service time (except to move back free agency and that could be remedied somewhat by making it either 5.5 or 6.5 seasons of service time to be eligible for free agency). There is also no reason why you couldn’t have a player’s base pay go up as soon as he hits the service time threshold, even if it is in the middle of a season.

So for a player like Whit Merrifield in his second year of service time, he would have a base pay of $500,000, but would get in effect, a bonus at the end of the year based on his 5.2 WAR, an amount that would total $20.8 million for a total salary of $21.3 million. Could there be possible sticker shock for teams that see they have to suddenly pay a player $20 million at the end of the year? Perhaps. But teams can mitigate some of that volatility by offering more long-term deals, like the one Merrifield received. Only now those players will have more leverage to get something closer to market value.

What about veterans who have reached free agency and are enjoying guaranteed contracts? They can still enjoy guaranteed contracts, but teams should be encouraged to move to a more incentive-based model. Right now, teams are not allowed to offer contracts based on performance-based incentives, instead the only incentives allowed to be offered are for playing time (i.e. $1 million for reaching 500 plate appearances) or receiving awards.

A Baseball Fan Posted: February 05, 2019 at 07:49 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: donald fehr, labor, war

 

 

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