Daily Notes: Crowdsourced vs. Actual Contract Values

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Crowdsourced vs. Actual Contract Values, Nearly Complete
2. Table: The Four Remaining Crowdsourced Contracts
3. Raw Image: Lance Berman, Licking His Chops

Crowdsourced vs. Actual Contract Values, Nearly Complete
Before the end of the season, FanGraphs asked readers to project what sort of contracts the league’s free agents would receive, both in terms of years (Yrs) and average annual value (AAV). With the recent signing by Milwaukee of right-hander Kyle Lohse, only four crowdsourced free agents remain unsigned.

Below are the (sortable) results for the players who’ve received contracts. The headings preceded by a lower-case c designate the crowdsourced results. The headings preceded by a lower-case a designate the actual results. Finally, headings with a lower-case d designate the difference between the crowdsourced and actual results, wherein a positive result represents those instances where a player’s actual contract was higher than the crowdsourced value.

So, for example, the crowd estimated that Lance Berkman would receive $7.7 million annually, while he actually received $11.0 million — i.e. $3.3 million, or 42.6%, more. Positive numbers in the right hand column, therefore, represent instances in which the crowd was pessimistic relative to reality; negative numbers, instances of optimism.

Players who signed minor-league deals have been assigned major-league minimum contract terms ($490 K for 2013). All data courtesy MLB Trade Rumors’ Free Agent Tracker.


Player Team cYrs cAAV cTot aYrs aAAV aTot dYrs dAAV dAAV%
Lance Berkman TEX 1.3 $7.7 $10.0 1 $11.0 $11.0 -0.3 $3.3 42.6%
Jeremy Guthrie KC 1.8 $6.1 $10.8 3 $8.3 $25.0 1.2 $2.2 36.9%
Rafael Soriano WAS 2.7 $10.4 $28.4 2 $14.0 $28.0 -0.7 $3.6 34.6%
Zack Greinke LAN 5.7 $18.6 $105.8 6 $24.5 $147.0 0.3 $5.9 31.7%
Kevin Youkilis NYA 2.2 $9.2 $20.2 1 $12.0 $12.0 -1.2 $2.8 30.5%
Torii Hunter DET 2.2 $10.3 $22.4 2 $13.0 $26.0 -0.2 $2.7 26.4%
Shane Victorino BOS 2.7 $10.3 $27.6 3 $13.0 $39.0 0.3 $2.7 25.7%
Josh Hamilton LAA 4.8 $20.3 $97.3 5 $25.0 $125.0 0.2 $4.7 23.1%
Anibal Sanchez DET 4.0 $13.0 $52.2 5 $16.0 $80.0 1.0 $3.0 23.0%
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 1.7 $12.2 $20.6 1 $15.0 $15.0 -0.7 $2.8 22.6%
Stephen Drew BOS 2.4 $7.8 $18.5 1 $9.5 $9.5 -1.4 $1.7 22.0%
B.J. Upton ATL 4.5 $12.6 $56.6 5 $15.1 $75.3 0.5 $2.4 19.4%
Jeremy Affeldt SF 2.0 $5.3 $10.6 3 $6.0 $18.0 1.0 $0.7 13.5%
Ryan Dempster BOS 2.8 $11.7 $32.7 2 $13.3 $26.5 -0.8 $1.5 13.2%
Dan Haren WAS 3.0 $11.7 $34.6 1 $13.0 $13.0 -2.0 $1.3 11.6%
Edwin Jackson CHN 3.1 $12.5 $38.7 4 $13.0 $52.0 0.9 $0.5 4.1%
Adam LaRoche WAS 3.0 $11.6 $34.4 2 $12.0 $24.0 -1.0 $0.4 3.8%
Russell Martin PIT 2.4 $8.2 $20.1 2 $8.5 $17.0 -0.4 $0.3 3.2%
Jonny Gomes BOS 1.5 $5.0 $7.5 2 $5.0 $10.0 0.5 $0.0 0.8%
David Ortiz BOS 2.1 $13.0 $27.8 2 $13.0 $26.0 -0.1 $0.0 0.3%
Joe Blanton LAA 2.1 $7.5 $16.0 2 $7.5 $15.0 -0.1 $0.0 0.0%
Nick Swisher CLE 4.4 $14.0 $61.8 4 $14.0 $56.0 -0.4 $0.0 -0.2%
Angel Pagan SF 3.2 $10.1 $32.4 4 $10.0 $40.0 0.8 -$0.1 -0.6%
Melky Cabrera TOR 1.7 $8.2 $13.7 2 $8.0 $16.0 0.3 -$0.2 -2.4%
Cody Ross ARI 2.6 $9.6 $25.1 3 $8.7 $26.0 0.4 -$0.9 -9.4%
Mike Adams PHI 2.3 $6.7 $15.1 2 $6.0 $12.0 -0.3 -$0.7 -10.1%
Scott Baker CHN 1.8 $6.1 $11.1 1 $5.5 $5.5 -0.8 -$0.6 -10.4%
Kyle Lohse* MIL 3.5 $12.7 $44.5 3 $11.0 $33.0 -0.5 -$1.7 -13.2%
Marco Scutaro SF 2.3 $7.8 $17.7 3 $6.7 $20.0 0.7 -$1.2 -14.8%
Carlos Villanueva CHN 2.0 $5.9 $12.1 2 $5.0 $10.0 0.0 -$0.9 -15.8%
Michael Bourn CLE 4.7 $14.3 $67.5 4 $12.0 $48.0 -0.7 -$2.3 -16.1%
A.J. Pierzynski TEX 2.1 $8.9 $18.9 1 $7.5 $7.5 -1.1 -$1.4 -16.1%
Joe Saunders SEA 2.1 $7.8 $16.2 1 $6.5 $6.5 -1.1 -$1.3 -16.2%
Ichiro Suzuki NYA 1.5 $8.2 $12.4 2 $6.5 $13.0 0.5 -$1.7 -21.2%
Brandon McCarthy ARI 2.4 $10.0 $24.0 2 $7.8 $15.5 -0.4 -$2.3 -22.5%
Koji Uehara BOS 1.9 $5.7 $10.6 1 $4.3 $4.3 -0.9 -$1.4 -25.1%
Jeff Keppinger CHA 2.0 $5.5 $11.0 3 $4.0 $12.0 1.0 -$1.5 -27.1%
Maicer Izturis TOR 2.1 $4.6 $9.5 3 $3.0 $9.0 0.9 -$1.6 -35.1%
Placido Polanco MIA 1.4 $4.2 $6.1 1 $2.8 $2.8 -0.4 -$1.5 -35.2%
David Ross BOS 1.9 $4.8 $9.0 2 $3.1 $6.2 0.1 -$1.7 -35.5%
Eric Chavez ARI 1.4 $4.8 $6.7 1 $3.0 $3.0 -0.4 -$1.8 -37.9%
Luke Scott TB 1.4 $4.5 $6.1 1 $2.8 $2.8 -0.4 -$1.7 -38.9%
Michael Gonzalez MIL 1.4 $4.0 $5.7 1 $2.3 $2.3 -0.4 -$1.8 -43.8%
Raul Ibanez SEA 1.3 $5.6 $7.3 1 $2.8 $2.8 -0.3 -$2.9 -51.3%
Carlos Pena HOU 1.3 $6.0 $7.8 1 $2.9 $2.9 -0.3 -$3.1 -52.1%
Kelly Shoppach* SEA 1.4 $3.5 $4.8 1 $1.5 $1.5 -0.4 -$2.0 -57.0%
Shaun Marcum NYN 2.3 $9.6 $21.8 1 $4.0 $4.0 -1.3 -$5.6 -58.5%
Mike Napoli BOS 3.5 $12.4 $42.8 1 $5.0 $5.0 -2.5 -$7.4 -59.5%
Kelly Johnson TB 2.0 $6.3 $12.5 1 $2.5 $2.5 -1.0 -$3.8 -61.0%
Travis Hafner NYA 1.2 $5.2 $6.4 1 $2.0 $2.0 -0.2 -$3.2 -61.3%
Alex Gonzalez MIL 1.3 $4.1 $5.5 1 $1.5 $1.5 -0.3 -$2.6 -63.7%
Casey Kotchman* MIA 1.3 $3.7 $4.8 1 $0.5 $0.5 -0.3 -$3.2 -86.8%
Daisuke Matsuzaka* CLE 1.2 $4.5 $5.2 1 $0.5 $0.5 -0.2 -$4.0 -89.0%
Delmon Young PHI 2.4 $7.6 $18.2 1 $0.8 $0.8 -1.4 -$6.8 -90.1%
Francisco Liriano PIT 1.6 $7.3 $11.5 2 $0.5 $1.0 0.4 -$6.8 -93.1%
Average 2.3 $8.5 $23.2 2.1 $7.9 $21.3 -0.2 -$0.7 -7.9%

*Denotes contracts signed since last inspection of crowdsourced and actual contracts.

On average, to this point, the crowd has been remarkably accurate, overprojecting both years and average annual value by a slim margin — by about 8%, in the case of average annual value.

As noted in an early December iteration of this list, readers were a little conservative this offseason so far as the league’s biggest contracts — i.e. those concerning Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton — were concerned. Also, older players who’ve experienced injury or decline in recent seasons (Lance Berkman, Kevin Youkilis) generally fared better on the open market than the fans expected.

Table: The Four Remaining Crowdsourced Contracts
Of the free agents whose possible contract terms were crowdsourced this offseason, four remain unsigned, as follow:


Player Team cYrs cAAV cTot
Francisco Rodriguez ??? 1.6 $5.4 $8.4
Carlos Lee ??? 1.3 $5.7 $7.6
Roy Oswalt ??? 1.1 $5.7 $6.5
Freddy Sanchez ??? 1.2 $3.1 $3.8

Raw Image: Lance Berman, Licking His Chops
This is a photo stolen from the internet of Lance Berkman — who received considerably more to play in 2013 than the crowd expected — of Lance Berkman licking his actual chops:

Berkman Licking Chops




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


5 Responses to “Daily Notes: Crowdsourced vs. Actual Contract Values”

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  1. Jaack says:

    Joe Blanton’s position on the list is oddly cathartic. It had to be thusly.

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  2. Mr Punch says:

    Just eyeballing the numbers, I’d guess that the crowd may have done a bit better at the top of the chart than the AAV difference suggests – because in signing players who are mostly heading into their declining years, a higher AAV for a shorter contract is a reasonable trade-off. The Red Sox signings of Drew and Dempster, for example, don’t really seem to be above expectations at all.

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  3. Randy says:

    Lance Berman

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  4. Poopski says:

    Average error over all these projections isn’t a good indicator of success. Only nine players actually had a projection that was within eight percent of the actual contract. If you compare the average error between Lance Berkman and Michael Gonzalez you have close to a 0% average.

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