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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

McManamon: A conversation with the Indians’ Mark Shapiro

Don’t have time to go through all of this (rifling through latest Bad//Dreems takes precedent!)...and it’s only Part 1.

A: It would change the amount of spent to 15 million dollars a year. What does that buy you in free agency? Very little. One and a half wins.

Q: How is that figure determined?

A: Our analysts can put a value on what it costs in free agency to sign a player and what that means in Wins Above Replacement and what those players end up costing in free agency and that changes every year. They measure all the players signed in free agency and what their history has been and what they offer going forward and they place a value. The challenge in free agency is you’re often paying for that in the first year of a contract, and in the out years of a contract the players WAR usually goes down because he’s usually past his prime. So it becomes a less efficient contract over time. That’s why free agency is never the best way to build. It’s a good way to supplement but not build.

Q: So $8 million for one win?

A: It’s $9 (million) now. It was $8 (million) two yeas ago. I think at the end of this year they figured out it was nine. And when those wins come in the win curve are important. What does that win mean if it’s the difference between 80 and 81? Very little. But if that win’s the difference between 89 and 90, that could be a meaningful win.

...Q: So at some point you all sit back and say this is what this player could mean in terms of wins.

A: Yeah. Either runs created or runs prevented. Ultimately you’re trying to impact those two areas of the team. The position player can impact both those areas, and sometimes the runs created gets looked at disproportionally to the runs prevented. And sometimes the sum of the guy’s value in offensive performance is undermined by some of his defensive value.

Repoz Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians

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   1. SG Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4281458)
Seems like the Indians use a replacement level close to average if they're getting $9M/win.
   2. donlock Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4281464)
Our analysts can put a value on what it costs in free agency to sign a player and what that means in Wins Above Replacement and what those players end up costing in free agency and that changes every year. They measure all the players signed in free agency and what their history has been and what they offer going forward and they place a value. The challenge in free agency is you’re often paying for that in the first year of a contract, and in the out years of a contract the players WAR usually goes down because he’s usually past his prime. So it becomes a less efficient contract over time. That’s why free agency is never the best way to build. It’s a good way to supplement but not build.


Really. So if you paid big money for Adam Dunn or Jason Werth or Carl Crawford or Barry Zito or whoever, the analysts can figure out what kind of first years he will have and then compute the wins he will add to your team totals in the year to follow. Can they also figure out how many wins your team is going to get the next year?

I am all in favor of statistical study but when these guys think it is a science, I worry. There is still a great deal of variance in players' abilities, year to year, to predict such things . Signing free agents is a gamble, as Shapiro does point out. Consider the successes of the Baltimore and Oakland franchises and the lack of success of high spenders Boston, NY and LA.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4281479)
Seems like the Indians use a replacement level close to average


Similarly, it seems like the average Indian used is close to replacement level.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: October 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4281870)
Hmmm... the marginal investment in "analysts" when b-r is giving away 95% of that value for free.

Seems like the Indians use a replacement level close to average if they're getting $9M/win.

I was wondering about that. Or maybe they're only looking at "big money" FAs and not including (for example) RA Dickey lottery tickets.

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