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Friday, November 02, 2012

Fangraphs: Contract Crowdsourcing

This does not take into account the “Coletti Effect.”

Over the last couple-few weeks, we’ve asked readers to estimate the years and average annual dollar amounts likely to be received by certain notable free agents. Below are the results of that exercise.

After each player’s respective name and position are rounded values for years and total projected contract value — represented as Yrs and Tot $, respectively. After that, are four related numbers: the decimal versions both of years and average-annual value (written as Yrs and AAV) and the standard deviations of both data sets, too (listed as Ystd and Astd, respectively)....

Below are the results from other questions that appeared on the various crowdsourcing forms. In those cases where the answer to the question has been revealed (as in the case of options, whether they’ve been exercised or declined), the correct outcome is marked with a triple (i.e. the most extreme variety of) asterisk (***).

“I don’t trust Adam LaRoche, his name is too French.” – You
50.0% – True
50.0% – False

Does Freddy Sanchez Exist?
50.7% – Yes, he’s a real baseball player.
49.3% – No, you just made up this person’s name, or something.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2012 at 10:19 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, josh hamilton, zack greinke

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. JJ1986 Posted: November 02, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4290818)
“I don’t trust Adam LaRoche, his name is too French.” – You


His name might be French, but his father wasn't; he was Mexican.
   2. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 02, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4290825)
His name might be French, but his father wasn't; he was Mexican.


This just proves how sneaky the French are.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4290839)
Some notable estimates:

Josh Hamilton - 5/$100m
R Soriano - 3/$30m
BJ Upton - 4/$52m
   4. JJ1986 Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4290841)
BJ Upton - 4/$52m


I might end up being wrong, but this seems insanely low.
   5. Davo Dozier Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4290848)
They ALL seemed insanely low. I mean, I didn't study it line by line. But...jeez.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4290854)
Most of the two-year contracts seem about right. It's the big ones that look to be low to me. Going through very quickly:

Zack Greinke 6/114 (ok)
Josh Hamilton 5/100 (low)
Michael Bourn 5/70 (ok?)
Nick Swisher 4/56 (low)
B.J. Upton 4/52 (low)
Anibal Sanchez 4/52 (ok?)
Kyle Lohse 4/52 (ok?)
Mike Napoli 3/36 (ok)
Adam LaRoche 3/36 (ok)
Dan Haren 3/36 (will be traded)
Edwin Jackson 3/36 (low)
Ryan Dempster 3/36 (high, I think)
Angel Pagan 3/30 (low)
Shane Victorino 3/30 (ok)
Cody Ross 3/30 (high)
Rafael Soriano 3/30 (ok)
David Ortiz 2/26 (ok)
Hiroki Kuroda 2/24 (ok)
Torii Hunter 2/20 (ok)
Brandon McCarthy 2/20 (no idea)
Shaun Marcum 2/20 (no idea)
A.J. Pierzynski 2/18 (ok)
Kevin Youkilis 2/18 (ok)
Russell Martin 2/16 (ok)
Marco Scutaro 2/16 (ok)
Stephen Drew 2/16 (ok)
Ichiro Suzuki 2/16 (high?)
Melky Cabrera 2/16 (no idea)
Delmon Young 2/16 (high?)
Joe Saunders 2/16 (ok)
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4290856)
One of the non-Greinke pitchers is probably getting 5/75 from someone, but I don't know which.
   8. SG Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4290863)
One of the non-Greinke pitchers is probably getting 5/75 from someone, but I don't know which.


Sanchez seems like the most obvious candidate to me. 29 years old,, three straight 30+ start seasons, good half season for Detroit which should help assuage some of the fears that he may have a hard time transitioning to the AL and an outstanding postseaosn.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4290870)
Zack Greinke 6/114 (ok)
Josh Hamilton 5/100 (low)
Michael Bourn 5/70 (ok?)
Nick Swisher 4/56 (low)
B.J. Upton 4/52 (low)
Anibal Sanchez 4/52 (ok?)
Kyle Lohse 4/52 (ok?)
Mike Napoli 3/36 (ok)
Adam LaRoche 3/36 (ok)
Dan Haren 3/36 (will be traded)
Edwin Jackson 3/36 (low)
Ryan Dempster 3/36 (high, I think)
Angel Pagan 3/30 (low)
Shane Victorino 3/30 (ok)
Cody Ross 3/30 (high)
Rafael Soriano 3/30 (ok)


Of those contracts I would be happy/OK with my team (assuming positional need) doing Greinke, Hamilton, Bourn, Swisher, Upton, Sanchez, Napoli, Jackson, Pagan and Victorino. I'd be against Lohse, LaRoche, Haren, Dempster, Ross and Soriano.

That makes me think the estimates are way too low.
   10. deputydrew Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4290877)
Kyle Lohse will get more than that. He might not get much respect, but he's got two years in a row of very good pitching. I'd sign him all day at 4/52.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4290891)
Kyle Lohse will get more than that. He might not get much respect, but he's got two years in a row of very good pitching. I'd sign him all day at 4/52.


Totally random and meaningless, but Kyle Lohse has 5 seasons with at least 10 starts ending in a no-decision for him. That seems unusually high.
   12. spycake Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4290900)
Of those contracts I would be happy/OK with my team (assuming positional need) doing Greinke, Hamilton, Bourn, Swisher, Upton, Sanchez, Napoli, Jackson, Pagan and Victorino

I first assumed you'd be OK with any of those contracts, rather than all of them, but given that you are a Yankees fan, I'm not so sure.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4290901)
I don't think Melky gets a two year deal. I think any team signing him for a two year deal would be sufficiently concerned as to make the AAV low enough that he wouldn't take it. I think it's a good match of one year deal; the team limits risk and Melky gets to "rehab" himself.

   14. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4290905)
As a Jays fan, I'd be happy with Sanchez, Napoli, and Jackson.
Oh, and maybe Greinke.
   15. TomH Posted: November 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4290917)
Many people may be unwittingly answering the wrong question, IMHO.

It is not who YOU as a GM would pat this free agent.

It IS how the GM who likes the free agent the MOST would pay him.

Which is why free agents are generally overpaid. And many estimates are low.
   16. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4291045)
Angel Pagan 3/30 (low)
Shane Victorino 3/30 (ok)
Cody Ross 3/30 (high)


How does Cody Ross end up in this neighborhood? For one thing, the recent reporting is that Ross is asking 3/21. I'd be ecstatic if the Sox got either, or both, of Pagan and Victorino for those prices.
   17. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4291075)
Kyle Lohse has 5 seasons with at least 10 starts ending in a no-decision for him. That seems unusually high.


It's high, but not unusually so. Jeff Suppan has had 8 (1997, 1999-2002 and 2006-2009). Ryan Dempster has 6, and fell two short this year. Bronson Arroyo also has 5. Joe Blanton has 4. Tim Lincecum has 3 in six seasons.

-- MWE
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: November 02, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4291156)
It's high, but not unusually so. Jeff Suppan has had 8 (1997, 1999-2002 and 2006-2009). Ryan Dempster has 6, and fell two short this year. Bronson Arroyo also has 5. Joe Blanton has 4. Tim Lincecum has 3 in six seasons.


Is it even that unusual? I thought the rule of thumb was that you get 1 decision per 9 innings pitched, a guy who gets 33 starts, averages 6 2/3 ip per starts would be expected to have about 24 decisions. Seems about right to me. This year he would have been expected to get 23 decisions and got 19(33 starts), In 2008 he would have been expected to get 22 decisions, got 21(33 starts) in 2007 should have had 21, got 21(32 starts) in 2004 he would have been predicted to have 22 decisions go 22(34 starts), 2002 he would have been expected to have 20 decisions, got 21(31 starts)
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4291172)
Is it even that unusual?


It's unusual that a guy who does not give a lot of innings per start gets the opportunity to pile up years with 30+ starts. Although not as unusual as I first thought.

I.E. I didn't think a season of 10 no-decisions was unusual, but I thought that him having 5 seasons of it was.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4291212)
Sanchez seems like the most obvious candidate to me. 29 years old,, three straight 30+ start seasons, good half season for Detroit which should help assuage some of the fears that he may have a hard time transitioning to the AL and an outstanding postseaosn.

Also 7.5-8 K/9 with a good K/BB. He's probably the 2nd best pitcher on the market.

Lohse is already 33, I would not want a 4-year contract. But then he might end up close to 3/$52 so I guess 4/$52 would be OK. :-)

Yeah, the top contracts all look low to me, even before considering all the new TV money. Four years ago AJ Burnett got 5/$80, why would you think Sanchez will only get 4/$52. I think Gil Meche did better than 4/$52. Danks's extension was 4/$57. Buehrle got 4/$58. Dempster's contract from 4 years ago was 4/$52. Even Arroyo managed to get 2/$24 coming off a 78 ERA+ season.

I'm guessing Sanchez will get something close to Burnett's 5/$80. I don't think Lohse will get more than 3 years (plus option) but say 3/$40-45. Jackson's just strange, it seems teams shy away from him for some reason, so I think he'll be the bargain here. Dempster won't get more than 3 years.

Speaking of Burnett, one of the big concerns about him at the time was his durability (with me being my usual party pooper self pointing out that the list of "proven durable" pitchers is only about 40 long and half of them will get hurt ... I made that last bit up). Anyway, in the first 4 years of that contract, he's made 129 starts and thrown 786 innings. The 95 ERA+ is not so shiny but he hasn't missed a turn.

Back to FAs ... I don't have a good feel for Upton. He's Mike Cameron -- but Cameron never signed a big, long contract. And his walk rate was way down this year and, even if you go with the much more favorable fangraphs, he's no Cameron with the glove. He had a bad rep there for a while, no idea how much that still holds across MLB. I see the Rays made the QO so they aren't too worried about it obviously. Still, Rowand got 5/$55 lo those many years ago. The crowd's 4/$52 is probably not too far off -- maybe 5/$70-75. Depends a lot on what you think of his defense.

But it doesn't look too bad -- low on lots but I think the only "big" mistakes are Greinke, Hamilton, Swisher and Sanchez. Of course there's a good chance all 4 of those end up being lousy contracts which means the crowd will have been "right".
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: November 02, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4291218)
If I'm a team that is pursuing Lohse, I'm thinking three year contract with a vesting option for the fourth year based upon innings pitched in the second and/or third year.
   22. smileyy Posted: November 03, 2012 at 03:15 AM (#4291478)
Yeah, the data is going to be systematically low for high-profile FAs, because they're going to be overpaid. But the crowdsourcing is likely to be consistently low, so you could probably fit a curve to the spectrum, adjust and get close.
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 03, 2012 at 05:17 AM (#4291484)
cameron criticizes folks for not accepting that a player with peripherals that don't align with the output (in either direction) are being too slow to accept that the player in question is either better or worse than the peripherals

and here he dumps on lohse because his peripherals don't match the output.

i get why somebody is confused by kyle's performance because you cannot be less impressive on the mound. there is nothing in lohse's stuff or approach that match how he has kicked sand in the face of the nl the last two years.

but he has. lohse has been arguably better than greinke

not saying lohse should get umpteen million dollars. but don't say whomever signs him is stupid. not if baseball is a meritocracy
   24. Swedish Chef Posted: November 03, 2012 at 05:42 AM (#4291487)
David Ortiz 2/26 (ok)

Got one at least.
   25. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: November 03, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4291579)
His name might be French, but his father wasn't; he was Mexican.

I didn't know that. Wiki:
According to his son Andy, Dave LaRoche's surname was Garcia, however, he changed it to LaRoche at age seven, the last name of his stepfather. "La Roche is French, but I have no French in me," Andy LaRoche said. "My grandfather was 100% Mexican."
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: November 03, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4291617)
BJ Upton - 4/$52m


I might end up being wrong, but this seems insanely low.


This is one of those things that I think is nuts, BJ Upton = John Jay, and 4 for 52 mil seems high for what is basically an average player. I understand 2-3 war players are probably worth it, but it does seem excessive for an average player.
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4291628)
Hmm. Bb-ref, which is usually on top of these things, doesn't list a different birth name for Dave LaRoche.

When I was a little kid, the Cubs traded Bill Hands, a reliable starting pitcher, along with swingman Joe Decker plus a minor leaguer for Dave LaRoche, a decent but by no means outstanding relief pitcher. I didn't understand it then, and I don't understand it now.
   28. tshipman Posted: November 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4291889)
This is one of those things that I think is nuts, BJ Upton = John Jay, and 4 for 52 mil seems high for what is basically an average player. I understand 2-3 war players are probably worth it, but it does seem excessive for an average player.


BJ Upton is an above average player, though. He has been for the last two years. He also has some upside due to the power.

If you project him at a 2.5 win player, 52 million is exactly what he's worth over four years, which means he will almost certainly get more than that. I'd love the Giants to sign him at 4/52, for example.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: November 03, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4291969)
BJ Upton is an above average player, though. He has been for the last two years. He also has some upside due to the power.


He's above average only if you consider average to be the entirety of professional baseball. He's average if you consider average to be the limit of the 25+ or so starting players at his position. He's entering his prime, and I know that the math says that 52mil is what a guy gets for being average, it seems like it's absurd amount to me though. I mean if you built a team of league average players at that rate, you are talking about a payroll well north of 140 mil.

   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 03, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4291974)
tom

the word around chicago at the time was that hands was pitching hurt his last season which i think explains the 2 week gap in september as whitey sat him down

i cannot remember how laroche was regarded at that time but do know that hands was considered damaged goods
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 03, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4292025)
I mean if you built a team of league average players at that rate, you are talking about a payroll well north of 140 mil.
But no team has zero pre-arb players. You pay $5-6M per win on the free agent market because you can pay much less for young players you've drafted and developed.

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