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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What Are Teams Paying Per WAR in Free Agency?

Last year’s free agency class had it rough. With teams licking their wounds after an abbreviated and crowd-less season, they offered far less in free agency. The raw numbers show how little money was being thrown around, and even that understates it. Out of the 18 free agents projected for 2 or more WAR, only five received contracts of three years or longer. Not only were teams hesitant to spend on a per-win basis, they stayed away from long-term deals while doing so.

The early results from the current free agency period suggest that this decline was a one-off. Before the 2020 season, 12 of the 15 contracts signed by players who were projected for 2 or more WAR were for three years or longer. This year, 14 of the 20 similarly-projected free agents who have signed received three years or more. After a brief blip of short-contracts-only thinking, the length of contracts appears to be rebounding.

Despite that rebound, teams are still paying less per win on the open market than they did before the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The total outlay this year might be higher than, say, the Gerrit Cole/Anthony Rendon/Stephen Strasburg bonanza that took place in the pre-2020 offseason, but that’s because the players who have signed project to accrue more WAR. Merely among players who have already signed – which excludes 10 of our top 25 free agents – the players projected for 2 or more WAR in 2022 project to be worth roughly 175 WAR across the length of their contracts. That number checked in at 135 in 2020 after all was said and done.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2021 at 02:22 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, war

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6057395)
I wish they had done a more thorough job on projected WAR but they're probably in the ballpark. The numbers come out to $8.5 for good players and $6.5 for average and below players. (Leaving relievers aside) That's down nearly a million from 2017 and 2019.
   2. WilliamOtto Posted: December 20, 2021 at 03:56 AM (#6058040)
As a worker, I am very busy with my work and often do not rest. My only way to stay energized is to play games to relieve fatigue. Slope 2 is a game without distinction when the world is going crazy because of these challenges and races. It helps me get rid of fatigue.
   3. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 10:37 AM (#6058058)
would it be any more insightful to calculate $ per WAA? Isnt that what you're going for if you're a large market team looking to "Win NOw"?

Note Walt mentions here that less than good players are being paid at a lower WAR rate. So at least some front offices are looking at WAR non linearly.

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