Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Victor Martinez

Well, we have our first Contract Crowdsourcing result that really surprises me. The votes are in, and you guys think that Victor Martinez is in line for a a pretty sweet deal.

Average length: 3.60 years
Average salary: $11.77 million

Median length: 4 years
Median salary: $12 million

Standard deviation, length: 0.88 years
Standard deviation, salary: $2.84 million

Martinez is a good player, no doubt, but I had him at something like 3 years, $30 million, and I could even see the last year not being guaranteed. Catchers age in dog years, and at 31, Martinez probably doesn’t have a ton of good baseball left in him behind the plate. He could extend his career by moving to first base, but the production isn’t enough to make him much more than an average player there.

I like Martinez, but there’s no way I’d give him 4 years and $48 million this winter. Even 3/35 is a bit steep for me, and that’s the low end of the mid-range projection for what he’s going to get. How much longer can we realistically expect major league managers to put him behind the plate? A year, maybe two? A four year deal basically guarantees that the back half of it will be a significant overpay, and you’re not even sure you’ll get much of a bargain up front.

I’d imagine that the crowd will be more accurate in estimating future contracts that I will be, so now I won’t be too surprised if he gets something close to the deal that you guys have projected. I just wouldn’t want to be a fan of the team giving out that contract, though.



Print This Post



Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ace
Guest
Ace
5 years 8 months ago

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.

RonB
Member
RonB
5 years 8 months ago

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.

vivalapiazza
Guest
vivalapiazza
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 8 months ago

Oh no, someone made fun of the Mets!

Bill
Guest
Bill
5 years 8 months ago

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

jsp2014
Guest
jsp2014
5 years 8 months ago

Mets already have Thole, Josh.

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 8 months ago

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

John
Guest
John
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Travis L
Guest
Travis L
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Dan
Guest
Dan
5 years 8 months ago

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

RonB
Member
RonB
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon
5 years 8 months ago

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.

PBR
Guest
PBR
5 years 8 months ago

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..?

Ryan M
Guest
Ryan M
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 8 months ago

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

Xeifrank
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Did anyone enter $25M per year again?

Cheese Whiz
Guest
Cheese Whiz
5 years 8 months ago

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!

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 8 months ago

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.
.

cpebbles
Guest
cpebbles
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Brett
Guest
Brett
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 8 months ago

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

Rich
Guest
Rich
5 years 8 months ago

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.

theperfectgame
Member
theperfectgame
5 years 8 months ago

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?

Judy
Guest
Judy
5 years 8 months ago

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.

quincy0191
Guest
quincy0191
5 years 8 months ago

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.

JK
Guest
JK
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Jay
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

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.

Wally
Guest
Wally
5 years 8 months ago

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.

visitor analytics
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

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…

Puffy
Guest
Puffy
5 years 6 months ago

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/

Puffy
Guest
Puffy
5 years 6 months ago

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

wpDiscuz