Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Carl Pavano

The votes have been counted, and the results for the estimate of Carl Pavano‘s contract this winter are in. First, the data:

Average length: 2.55
Average salary: $9.57 million

Median length: 3 years
Median salary: $9 million

Standard deviation, length: 0.72 years
Standard deviation, salary: $2.80 million

The length of the deal seems to be nearly a lock. Forty three percent of the voters picked two years, with 46 percent going for three years. People think that Pavano’s performance and durability the last two years will earn him a multi-year contract, but his prior injury problems will keep him from getting a long term commitment – seems logical. The split between the two year and three year crowd cries out for some kind of vesting third year option, I would think. Pavano seems to be the perfect kind of pitcher for a deal that guarantees him a third year based on a total number of innings pitched in the second year.

There was a wider range of selection on the per year salary, as expected. Ten million per year was actually the most popular choice, with 22 percent of the votes tallied. Eight million per year was just behind at 21 percent, however, with the median of $9 million coming in third at 17 percent. Even though the $8 to $10 million range was where the most votes went, 40 percent of voters picked something outside that range.

Personally, I think the median is just about right. Pavano is pretty comparable to Joel Pineiro in a lot of ways, as they have the same basic skillset of throwing strikes and getting groundballs. Pavano gets a boost for pitching in the AL while he gets dinged for his long list of injury problems. Pineiro was met with a lot of yawns when he became available last year, and ended up signing a 2 year, $16 million deal with the Angels that ended being one of the better signings of the winter.

Given that Pavano is likely to be a Type A free agent, I can’t see him getting significantly more than what Pineiro got a year ago. Something in that 2/18 range with a vesting option for a third year sounds like a logical landing place to me. If he sustains his performance from the last two years, that will be a bargain. There’s always risks with pitchers, though, and he’s a higher risk arm than most.

It will be interesting to see what the market for him plays out as. I think, in the end, the results from this will be pretty close to what he actually gets.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

13 Responses to “Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Carl Pavano”

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  1. N00bious says:

    It’s funny, I always get the years right on the median but undercut the yearly salary by about 20%.

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    • grady says:

      I do this too. I think it’s because I don’t trust Pavano’s career numbers or a 42 year old Manny Ramirez the same way a real GM would, but maybe that’s just me.

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  2. Brandon says:

    Question: is there going to be a round-up at the end of the offseason comparing the crowdsourcing results vs. what the players actually signed for?

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  3. JimNYC says:

    I wouldn’t EVER give him anything more than a one year contract with a vesting option. Does nobody remember how badly he quit on his team the last time he got guaranteed years?

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  4. tom says:

    I like the Pineiro comparison but Pavano will be 3.5 years older at the time of his free agency.

    Pineiro signed 2 years heading into the season at age 31. Pavano will be 35 heading into next season.

    I could have mangled the math, but their is an age difference

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  5. Jacob Jackson says:

    I have a hunch that these crowdsource results will almost all result in medians and means that come in significantly (i.e., a few million plus) below the final value that the player receives.

    All it takes is one irrational player on the FA market to give these each of these guys a contract that significantly outpaces the results we’re getting here.

    “The length of the deal seems to be nearly a lock.” Really? So, if the Nationals are told, point-blank, that every other team is offering 2-3 years, and if they offer 4/32-36M they can have him, and this is their only chance at getting a quasi-“front line SP” that their seeking this offseason…that scenario couldn’t possibly happen? That’s sort of what the summary of this post implies.

    I’m not saying that hypothetical 4 year, $32-$36M Pavano deal is smart. I’m saying that too many voters in these crowd source results are thinking about what they personally value the player at, or what THEY personally think the player is worth, rather than what one potentially desperate and irrational actor out of 30 GMs would offer (in an attempt to win now and save their jobs).

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    • theperfectgame says:

      That’s fine, but isn’t the whole point of the exercise basically finding out if your hunch is right? We’ll see when the dust settles how we did as a group, whether we universally underestimated length and/or dollars like you suppose, or whether there were particular skillsets or intangibles that we under/overvalued, or whether we had a pretty good idea after all. To me at least, that’s what makes the feature so interesting.

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    • TK says:

      How do you know the thought process of the other voters again?

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  6. Everyone guess the mass of this cow in Mo Vaughns units.

    I’ll start. 0.6.

    Ready, go.

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