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  1. I had him at 3/36, figuring someone will pay for the bat at C for the next 2 years, and moving him to 1b in year 3.

    Comment by Ace — September 9, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  2. It seems to me that people are missing the importance of the bad GM that is sure to pay the player the extra year.

    Please see: Minaya, Omar

    V-Mart’s a lock for 4 years.

    Comment by RonB — September 9, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  3. I think because of his positional scarcity there will be a GM willing to overpay the last two years to get good production from a catcher in the first two years, which was my logic in choosing 4 yrs/$12m per.

    Of course, I also hope that it’s not on my team.

    Comment by Michael — September 9, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

  4. One other thing to note is that he will be a type A free agent and the Red Sox are certain to offer him arbitration. As a result, the team that signs him will forfeit a draft pick next year (or if the Red Sox sign him, they will lose the opportunity to get a two compensation picks).

    That being said, I still think 4/40 is quite possible.

    Comment by Chris — September 9, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  5. Funny, I actually put down 4 yrs/12 mil per and I felt less confident about this than any other projection yet I was closer to the consensus than other other contract.

    Maybe GMs will learn not to overpay in later years in order to lock up a good players now, but I just don’t see it happening. Maybe the 2nd, 3rd or 4th best player at a FA position might end up on the outside looking in during the FA period, but it seems like Martinez should have the benefit of having multiple teams interested in his services.

    Comment by John — September 9, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  6. I’m confused — I answered with how many years I think he’ll get, not how many I’d give him.

    To the authors: which is it? It’s highly likely that the crowd is guessing what they will get, but your analysis is full of terms like “I would never give V Mart…” Those are two different topics, really.

    Comment by Travis L — September 9, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  7. I said 5 years for the length with probably a playing time stipulated 5th year which I think he’ll make.

    If he really wants one more contract and a place to play the rest of his career, I think a team will give him the chance.

    5years/55million. Not saying I would offer him that, but I see it in the tea leaves

    Comment by Dan — September 9, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  8. Years/annual salary should be on a sliding scale.

    3/36 is realistic, but 4/48 is too much.

    To get the extra year V-Mart will likely have to take slightly less per year, I’d guess 4/40-44.

    Comment by RonB — September 9, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

  9. You are projecting what you think he will get, not what he’s worth. This is just the first time that the projected contract is way more than I thought it would be, so that’s why I referred to it in those terms.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — September 9, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  10. I pegged him at 3 years/$30 million exactly. I don’t think he’s an everyday catcher at this point, and I don’t think anyone’s going to pay him like one.

    Comment by Brandon — September 9, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  11. I agree with Dave that the fans projection seems long for a 31 year old catcher who has dealt with extended injuries in two of the last three seasons.

    Very surprised the median length of contract for Victor is 4 years, which seems like as long as any GM (even a desperate one) will offer this winter for Martinez.

    How many people voted on this..?

    Comment by PBR — September 9, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  12. I had him at either 3/36 or 4/48… I was torn between three and four years. I agree that he seems like someone that the Mets would overvalue. Even with the risk that he’ll cease to be a productive player, someone won’t adequately consider it.

    I could imagine the Mariners doing 3/36, if not the Mets.

    Comment by Ryan M — September 9, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  13. Did anyone enter $25M per year again?

    Comment by Xeifrank — September 9, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

  14. I nailed the last couple projections on the head, but catcher attrition scared me off on this one. I suppose I was thinking more about what he’s actually worth than what the greatest fool would offer…. but yikes 4/48… not with a ten foot clown pole!

    Comment by Cheese Whiz — September 9, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  15. I think we all agree 2 years is absurd, which is what the Red Sox reportedly offered.

    Laws of supply and demand suggest that if V-Mart does not get a 3-4 year deal that collusion is rearing it’s ugly head. There are not that many catchers out their. He may not be worth 4/48 to all teams, but to some teams he might be.

    The team that signs V-Mart for 3-4 years would likely have no MLB ready prospects at C, need a starting catcher, have an opening at 1B or DH in 2 years, could use a bat, and a switch hitting bat to boot, and have plans for getting or already have a decent back up so that V-Marts catching time can be kept to 120-130 games, and have reasonable expectations of getting into the playoffs over the next 4 seasons. That sounds like the Red Sox, but maybe they value the draft picks they will get if V-Mart goes in what is supposed to be a great year of prospects.

    Some folks mention his declining offensive stats this year. He had a bad April, as did most of the Red Sox. From May 6 to the time he was injured at the end of June he put up a 955 OPS. Since coming back from the DL, he has a 760 OPS, but he is playing with a broken thumb that is likely not 100%.

    Also, much was made about his declining offense due to the large number of SB early on. This was largely due to Red Sox pitchers making no effort to control the running game. Since the end of April, the Red Sox have been doing more to control the running game, more PO, slide steps and throwing to first. Since then, V-Marts CS% is about league average.
    .

    Comment by pft — September 9, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  16. I said 4 @ $13M per and I’m sticking by it. He won’t be worth that, but star catchers show up on the free agent market about twice a decade and the next one isn’t a year away. Varitek and Posada are the last two I can think of, and I’d say those contracts compare pretty favorable to 4/$52M in 2011 money.

    Comment by cpebbles — September 9, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  17. Regarding the possibility of sticking Martinez at 1st base (or DH), I think you are underestimating his value as a hitter. His career OPS is .838, which would put him in the top 10-12 first basemen in the majors this year. Assuming he would be adequate defensively and that his offensive production might even increase slightly (from less wear and tear), he would actually be a very solid 1st baseman.

    Comment by Brett — September 9, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

  18. Few things are as lame as “Last Name, First Name” in a comments section. I’m amazed at what people consider comedy.

    P.S. Know who’s a lock for 4 years? Martinez, Victor.

    Comment by vivalapiazza — September 9, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  19. This is such a great concept. Any chance you could include the number of responses? And maybe a link to an ever-growing summary of everyone who has already been crowdsourced?

    Comment by theperfectgame — September 9, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  20. Oh no, someone made fun of the Mets!

    Comment by Steve — September 9, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

  21. Those 2 draft picks are going to look great when a team with a $160M payroll has a replacement level catcher. Supergenius!!

    Comment by Steve — September 9, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

  22. But he throw out anyone. How does that fit with the team that invented defense?

    Comment by Steve — September 9, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

  23. 10-12 out of 30 total 1B in the majors is approximately league average (though on the plus side of that)

    Comment by Chris — September 9, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  24. I think that, assuming whoever signs him will want someone else to be their primary catcher in 2 years or so, there could be some real value in having a backup C/backup 1B/platoon or part-time DH all in one roster spot. It would require some flexibility and/or injuries to fully take advantage of it, but, unless he falls completely apart, what to do with him then seems like kind of a high class problem to have compared to the problems most teams have finding anyone to catch who can hit at all or who to play at 1st base or DH when the regular is hurt or needs a day off. Since there are teams who might spend $3M each on the backup C and backup 1B/DH, without getting comparable offensive performance from either, and have to use another roster spot in doing it, I think, for the right team, under the right circumstances, he could be worth about $16M a year for 2 years as a primary C, then be worth about $8M a year for 2 years as a combination of backup C/1B/DH, so I think at least one team will see him that way.

    Comment by Judy — September 10, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  25. I guessed 4 years at $14M per and I don’t think that’s unreasonable. There are 30 GMs out there, and besides a few teams, no one is really set at catcher. The Mariners, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Dodgers, Padres, Rockies, Rays, Marlins, Phillies, Royals, Reds, Tigers, Brewers, and Blue Jays could all use a bat at C, and while half those teams won’t even consider Martinez because they don’t have the money, don’t want to spend the money, or aren’t going to be good even with Martinez upgrading their offense, that still leaves a lot of potential suitors. There aren’t a lot of options now or in the future, as teams tend to hold on to catching talent because they know how rare it is. At least one of those GMs will gamble that Martinez can stay behind the dish and offer considerably more than he will probably be worth.

    Comment by quincy0191 — September 10, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  26. I don’t mind it. It’s a bit over done, but hardly to the point of being annoying.

    Comment by Bill — September 10, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  27. I don’t follow every team you’ve listed as needing a catcher, but I’ll at least note that the Mets have a young guy, Thole (.345 wOBA in limited action), that should keep them from bidding on Martinez. The Phils locked up C. Ruiz (.351 wOBA) to a team friendly (at least given his stats this year) deal which runs for either two or three more years. The Dodgers have a guy that was pretty good player at time behind the plate already in R. Martin. I doubt the Padres, Marlins or Jays are going to give some a 10+mm/yr deal. I could see the Mariners, Tigers, as well as the Red Sox giving into a higher salary demand from Martinez. I don’t see a NL team giving him as large a contract as an AL team would.

    Comment by JK — September 10, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  28. Isn’t league average 2 WAR, and therefor worth about $9m? With the chance of him being a significantly better than league average catcher during a chunk of the contract, $12 doesn’t seem like an overpay to me.

    Also, he’s making $11m now. I doubt hes taking a pay cut.

    Comment by Rich — September 10, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  29. I wonder what the real positional adjustment is on Victor Martinez. The basic WAR adjustment is 25 runs between catcher and first base, but here’s a guy who’s considered a mediocre defender at catcher and potentially a plus-defender at first base. Is it outrageous to think that given a full-time switch to first base, the swing in marginal defensive ability might be as much as 10 runs? (For example, maybe he’s a -6 at catcher and a +4 at first base.)

    So now we’re down to a 15-run difference (assuming equally valuable replacements are available to a given team at those two positions). Next question, is outrageous to think Martinez might outperform the 15-run difference as a full-time first baseman, relieved of the physical grind of being a catcher?

    Before you answer, keep in mind that when healthy, the guy consistently has rattled off 20- to 25-run seasons as a pure hitter. That means that four months on the DL equates to 15 runs. I’m not saying the position switch is worth four months on the DL per year — of course it isn’t — but I am saying that the decreased injury risk alone gets you perhaps another 5 runs closer.

    So now we’re down to less than one marginal win of difference, offset by some hypothetical improvement in pure performance. Depending on what you think of that hypothetical, playing Martinez at first base rather than catcher is at least a reasonable option on the one hand, and arguably a trivial sacrifice on the other.

    Comment by Jay — September 10, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  30. Not only injury risk and performance, but just the occasional days off. Presumably the more you start him at catcher as he ages, the more you’re going to have to sit him entirely. But if you mix it up more, you can probably keep his bat in there more often. Then the more you play him at catcher, you have to assume his defense will suffer, at least at some point.

    He’s only started more than 100 games at catcher as recently as 2007, and that was 118. Though this year he will probably break 100, but it won’t be by much.

    In 2009 his positional adjustment was just +.6 runs thanks to roughly even split time between catcher and first, that might be roughly what to expect for 2012 or 2013 at the least. Next year, he will probably be able to keep up something like this year though.

    Anyway, considering those factors, and given his bat, I think he’s totally worth 12M/year, maybe even for 4th year, IF it comes with a team option.

    Comment by Wally — September 10, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  31. interesting article.. I like your point of view on this matter. Although there are a few points I disagree on I believe you did a good job purposing your thought. Thanks…

    Comment by visitor analytics — September 11, 2010 @ 7:37 am

  32. Mets already have Thole, Josh.

    Comment by jsp2014 — September 12, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  33. Wow! The crowdsourcing was remarkably accurate, if the reports are true that he’s about to sign with Detroit for 4 years / $50 million.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/23/report-the-tigers-are-close-to-signing-victor-martinez/

    Comment by Puffy — November 23, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  34. Wow! The crowdsourcing was remarkably accurate, if the reports are true that he’s about to sign with Detroit for 4 years / $50 million.

    Comment by Puffy — November 23, 2010 @ 11:15 am

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