FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. I’m sorry, but as a Rays fan I can’t let you get away with calling Kelly Shoppach a decent catcher. He hasn’t had a batting average higher than his weight since 2008, and is nothing special defensively. The Rays would be much better off without him.

    Comment by Anthony Miller — November 16, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  2. I see you have taken the Billy Beane approach of filling the lineup with #2 and #7 hitters

    I think your team is basically any of the last 5 yrs of Oakland squads, with worse defense and worse pitching

    playoffs = highly unlikely

    Comment by mister_rob — November 16, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  3. Wow. This is a really old team. None of these players have any upside whatsoever (like a Brandon McCarthy jackpot would have).

    Comment by Nerd — November 16, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  4. I admire your courage in doing this exercise in advance of the season. It will be interesting to see how they do in the actual season; I hope you’ll keep us apprised.
    It is rather depressing for any team that needs to improve that $76M spent on the free-agent market only provides an average team.
    Of course, any team should be about half-full of players with below-market salaries.
    This exercise helps to highlight how remarkable Tampa’s season was with a $41M payroll.

    Comment by Husker — November 16, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  5. Still better than anything the Os have put on the field in the past 12 years and will put on the field for the foreseeable future.

    Comment by Dash — November 16, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  6. How many Stanley Nickels can you get for that?

    Comment by los — November 16, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  7. How many dates can you go on with 80 million FanGraphs Pesos?

    Comment by wiersNRAF — November 16, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  8. I don’t see how the Nats were to get Livan Hernandez so dang cheaply the last two years. I mean, yeah, the dude’s not a good pitcher, but he’s not godawful either, for a #4/5, but even better, he’s got an arm like peanut butter and will reliably trot out there every 5th day.

    He’ll get you 2 WAR for a lot less than a lot of other pitchers expected to produce 2 WAR.

    Hernandez is actually a good bargain.

    Comment by hunterfan — November 16, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  9. That’s a lot of money for a team that pretty much stinks. Worse yet, they don’t have an individual that will sell jerseys or get people to the ballpark.

    This article made me sad at how jaded I am as a Yankees fan. Our 4 infielders cost as much as that team, and the left side of that infield is pretty much assured to be on the DL for 60 games total… at least.

    Comment by Saddened — November 16, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  10. I totally agree, that team is garbage. But, also being a yankees fan, I’m not sure why you’re upset. The yanks have a lot of money, and don’t need to analyze market value for superstars like Jeter and A-Rod (who’s contract in particular is pretty much dog crap). Oh and an $80mil payroll could definitely get you a better team than this; the Reds, Brewers, and Braves all had a payroll between $76mil (Cincy) and $87mil (ATL).

    PS: Aaron Cook had an $11mil option!?!

    Comment by Harry — November 16, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  11. Is it good to have an arm made out of peanut butter. I feel like that would shlop right off his body in the DC heat. And in cold environments it would straight up shatter.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — November 16, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  12. Well, of course it’s a lot of money. This team is made up entirely of players who’ve hit the open market. Every team in baseball (even the Yankees) has some cost-controlled young players that produce value in excess of their salaries.

    Anyway, this team doesn’t exactly stink. It has a league-average payroll, and comes in just under .500, projection-wise. Playoffs are highly unlikely, but with a few lucky breaks this team could easily win 82-86 games.

    Comment by Ian R. — November 16, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  13. Yeah. All of the contracts here look like good value, but I would’ve used a high-risk / high-reward approach instead. Talented players coming off injuries or down years.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — November 16, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  14. I think Livan Hernandez has one of the most fascinating careers in baseball. The dude doesn’t have any discernible ‘stuff’, but he’s averaged 33 starts/year over the past 14 (!) seasons. I don’t think he’s ever missed a day due to injury, nevermind a DL trip.

    When his manager doesn’t allow him to throw 130 pitches every five days, the baseball gods are offended. When he can no longer find a job as a major league pitcher, some team should still hire him as a pitching machine.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — November 16, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  15. In this case, it’s great to have an arm made of peanut butter. I don’t think Livan actually has any muscles, ligaments, or tendons in his right arm, just a mixture of peanut butter and silly putty.

    Comment by hunterfan — November 16, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  16. None of those teams were built exclusively through Free-Agency.

    Comment by James — November 16, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  17. The key to successful low-payroll teams (and really the key to success for any team) is that they’re largely made up of young players that have yet to reach free agency. Those players get paid well under ‘market value’ and aren’t part of this exercise.

    A 93-win team is about 45 wins-above-replacement. At $5M per win, the free market value of 45 WAR is about $225M. In other words, if you want to build a playoff contender using only free agents, you should expect to pay about $225M. The point of this exercise is to see whether a smart GM could do it for $80M.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — November 16, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  18. It appears the Fangraphs Peso has a fixed exchange with both the Schrute Buck and the US Dollar. So which one is it pegged to? Are you holding millions of Schrute Bucks in reserves??

    Comment by beckenbauer — November 16, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  19. ” Wow. This is a really old team. ”

    Its a FA team. theres no such thing as a young FA unless you want to count foreign players.

    Comment by cs3 — November 16, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  20. The WAR projections are very optimistic. They don’t seem to be sufficiently adjusted for aging or regression, and several of the pitchers have misleading career WAR because they are demonstrable FIP underperformers, even accounting for poor team defense or home parks. Using a combination of weighted-average three-year WAR, regression, aging, and (in the case of pitchers) and adjustment towards ERA from FIP, I estimated something more like this:

    Hernandez 1.5, Kotchman 0.7, Carroll 1.5, Blake 2.0, Barmes 1.7, DeJesus 2.5, Crisp 2.5, Ankiel 0.5, Thome 1.3, Doumit 0.5 (for DHing most of the time), McDonald 0.2, Cedeno 0.7, Nix 1.0

    Vazquez 1.5, Maholm 1.2, Francis 1.0, Bedard 1.7, Hernandez 1.7, Cook 0.8

    Total: 24.5 WAR (67 wins), $76.3 million

    I don’t pretend that these estimates are perfect by any means, but they’re sure as heck more plausible than those in the article.

    Comment by AustinRHL — November 16, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  21. Zero

    Comment by Ryan Campbell — November 16, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  22. Haha well played Mauer….

    Comment by Ryan Campbell — November 16, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  23. For starters, would replace Maholm with Chris Capuano, and used leftover Money to get Punto and Kouzmanoff instead of Cedeno and McDonald.

    Comment by J — November 17, 2011 @ 3:34 am

  24. yes! A’s fans find this kind of lineup very familiar – 5 yrs of mediocrity and counting. 2006 ALCS, your sweet memories are fading.

    Comment by brendan — November 17, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

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