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
2. Video: Cuadrangular de Evan Gattis
3. SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League

Crowdsourced vs. Actual Contract Values
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). Now, in mid-December, many of those same free agents have received actual, real-live contracts.

Below are the (sortable) results for those same 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 the crowd was particularly optimistic about a player.


Player Team cYrs cAAV cTot aYrs aAAV aTot dYrs dAAV
Brandon McCarthy ARI 2.4 $10.0 $24.0 2 $7.8 $15.5 0.4 $2.3
Eric Chavez ARI 1.4 $4.8 $6.7 1 $3.0 $3.0 0.4 $1.8
David Ross BOS 1.9 $4.8 $9.0 2 $3.1 $6.2 -0.1 $1.7
Maicer Izturis TOR 2.1 $4.6 $9.5 3 $3.0 $9.0 -0.9 $1.6
Jeff Keppinger CHA 2.0 $5.5 $11.0 3 $4.0 $12.0 -1.0 $1.5
Koji Uehara BOS 1.9 $5.7 $10.6 1 $4.3 $4.3 0.9 $1.4
Marco Scutaro SF 2.3 $7.8 $17.7 3 $6.7 $20.0 -0.7 $1.2
Mike Adams PHI 2.3 $6.7 $15.1 2 $6.0 $12.0 0.3 $0.7
Scott Baker CHN 1.8 $6.1 $11.1 1 $5.5 $5.5 0.8 $0.6
Melky Cabrera TOR 1.7 $8.2 $13.7 2 $8.0 $16.0 -0.3 $0.2
Angel Pagan SF 3.2 $10.1 $32.4 4 $10.0 $40.0 -0.8 $0.1
Joe Blanton LAA 2.1 $7.5 $16.0 2 $7.5 $15.0 0.1 $0.0
David Ortiz BOS 2.1 $13.0 $27.8 2 $13.0 $26.0 0.1 $0.0
Jonny Gomes BOS 1.5 $5.0 $7.5 2 $5.0 $10.0 -0.5 $0.0
Russell Martin PIT 2.4 $8.2 $20.1 2 $8.5 $17.0 0.4 -$0.3
Mike Napoli BOS 3.5 $12.4 $42.8 3 $13.0 $39.0 0.5 -$0.6
Jeremy Affeldt SF 2.0 $5.3 $10.6 3 $6.0 $18.0 -1.0 -$0.7
Dan Haren WAS 3.0 $11.7 $34.6 1 $13.0 $13.0 2.0 -$1.3
Ryan Dempster BOS 2.8 $11.7 $32.7 2 $13.3 $26.5 0.8 -$1.5
Jeremy Guthrie KC 1.8 $6.1 $10.8 3 $8.3 $25.0 -1.2 -$2.2
B.J. Upton ATL 4.5 $12.6 $56.6 5 $15.1 $75.3 -0.5 -$2.4
Shane Victorino BOS 2.7 $10.3 $27.6 3 $13.0 $39.0 -0.3 -$2.7
Torii Hunter DET 2.2 $10.3 $22.4 2 $13.0 $26.0 0.2 -$2.7
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 1.7 $12.2 $20.6 1 $15.0 $15.0 0.7 -$2.8
Kevin Youkilis NYA 2.2 $9.2 $20.2 1 $12.0 $12.0 1.2 -$2.8
Anibal Sanchez DET 4.0 $13.0 $52.2 5 $16.0 $80.0 -1.0 -$3.0
Josh Hamilton LAA 4.8 $20.3 $97.3 5 $25.0 $125.0 -0.2 -$4.7
Zack Greinke LAN 5.7 $18.6 $105.8 6 $24.5 $147.0 -0.3 -$5.9

On average, to this point, the crowd has overprojected years by about 16% — with the one-year contract to Dan Haren departing most significantly from the crowd’s estimate (of three years). On average, the crowd has (very slightly) overprojected average annual value by about 3% — with the crowd’s projection of $4.8 million per year for Eric Chavez representing their most optimistic projection.

If a pattern has emerged from the results available so far, it does appear as though the crowd has underestimated the average annual value amounts of the league’s biggest contracts. Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Anibal Sanchez: each will be earning $3 million or more per season than the crowd projected.

Video: Cuadrangular de Evan Gattis
Here’s video of Atlanta prospect Evan Gattis — currently the top hitter in the Venezuelan League among players 25 or younger — video of Gattis hitting a home run in the Venezuelan Winter League.

SCOUT Leaderboards: Venezuelan Winter League
Below are the current SCOUT leaderboards for the Venezuelan Winter League. (Ages as of July 1st, 2012. Players listed with most recent team. Click here for more on what is SCOUT.)

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Hitters
Below is the current SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter League. SCOUT+ is calculated using regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates, where 100 is average and above 100 is above average.


Player Team Age Pos PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Luis Jimenez Mariners 30 DH 174 3.5% 17.7% 13.2% 152
Carlos Maldonado Nationals 31 C 186 4.5% 14.2% 20.4% 138
Luis Valbuena Cubs 26 2B 177 2.5% 16.6% 14.7% 133
C.J. Retherford Dodgers 26 3B 224 2.9% 13.4% 12.1% 133
Evan Gattis Braves 25 C 182 4.5% 6.8% 14.3% 128
Chris Nowak IND 29 3B 132 3.2% 12.7% 15.4% 128
Salvador Perez Royals 22 C 107 4.0% 6.8% 12.4% 126
Justin Henry Tigers 27 OF 106 1.3% 14.4% 10.5% 121
Carlos Rivero Nationals 24 3B 209 3.6% 10.0% 18.7% 119
Luis Rodriguez Mariners 32 SS 181 1.2% 14.4% 10.5% 119

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Hitters (Prospects)
Here is the SCOUT batting leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter League, but only populated with players who are 25 or under — i.e. something more like “prospect” age relative to the league.


Player Team Age Pos PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Evan Gattis Braves 25 C 182 4.5% 6.8% 14.3% 128
Salvador Perez Royals 22 C 107 4.0% 6.8% 12.4% 126
Carlos Rivero Nationals 24 3B 209 3.6% 10.0% 18.7% 119
Darwin Perez Angels 22 SS 179 2.2% 19.5% 24.6% 118
Wilmer Flores Mets 20 SS 166 2.6% 8.1% 12.7% 113
Yangervis Solarte Rangers 24 OF 150 1.7% 9.8% 10.0% 112
Ezequiel Carrera Indians 25 CF 97 2.1% 11.8% 15.6% 112
Darin Ruf Phillies 25 1B 137 4.5% 11.4% 29.5% 111
Jairo Perez Twins 24 3B 119 2.6% 6.8% 12.3% 109
Henry Wrigley Rays 25 OF 189 4.4% 6.5% 23.3% 109

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Pitchers
Below is the current SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter League. SCOUT- is calculated using regressed strikeout and walk rates where 100 is average and below 100 is above average.


Player Team Age G GS IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Alex Torres Rays 24 12 12 51.1 219 32.4% 9.4% 60
Austin Bibens-Dirkx Nationals 27 10 8 44.2 181 28.2% 7.6% 66
Enrique Gonzalez NPB 29 24 0 24.2 94 27.7% 8.0% 69
Danny Farquhar Mariners 25 21 0 24.0 98 25.9% 8.4% 75
Seth Etherton N/A 35 6 6 27.1 112 24.9% 7.7% 75
Deolis Guerra Twins 23 18 0 22.2 89 24.9% 8.2% 77
Jarrett Grube Mariners 30 7 7 27.2 120 24.8% 9.5% 81
Cesar Jimenez Mariners 27 19 0 17.2 75 23.2% 8.3% 82
Josh Schmidt Marlins 29 10 10 57.2 240 23.4% 8.7% 82
Jon Meloan Yankees 27 19 0 20.2 84 22.8% 8.5% 83

SCOUT Leaderboard: Venezuelan Winter League Pitchers (Starters)
Here is the SCOUT pitching leaderboard for the Venezuelan Winter League, but only populated with pitchers who’ve made at least half of their appearances as starts.


Player Team Age G GS IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Alex Torres Rays 24 12 12 51.1 219 32.4% 9.4% 60
Austin Bibens-Dirkx Nationals 27 10 8 44.2 181 28.2% 7.6% 66
Seth Etherton N/A 35 6 6 27.1 112 24.9% 7.7% 75
Jarrett Grube Mariners 30 7 7 27.2 120 24.8% 9.5% 81
Josh Schmidt Marlins 29 10 10 57.2 240 23.4% 8.7% 82
Sergio Perez Astros 27 12 12 58.0 249 21.3% 8.0% 86
Eric Berger Indians 26 9 9 45.0 191 19.9% 7.8% 89
Donovan Hand Brewers 26 7 7 34.1 148 18.9% 8.0% 92
Thad Weber Tigers 27 5 5 23.1 106 18.9% 8.3% 93
Sean Gallagher Reds 26 6 4 24.2 107 18.2% 8.1% 94




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


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

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  1. theroundsquare says:

    For reference, Justin Henry is now property of the Red Sox.

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  2. Dan says:

    could be that the crowd is pretty accurate for the smaller and shorter deals, but for the bigger deals either the crowd is underestimating the teams expected revenue windfall from new TV deals or the teams themselves are overestimating it. I suspect the teams probably better understand their likely revenue 3-5 years down the road better than the fans.

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    • TKDC says:

      I think it is too many people who put down what they think a player should get instead of what they think he will get.

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      • subtle says:

        Agreed. It seems like lots of people were voting for what they’d give the player rather than predicting the final contract based on what the market would dictate.

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  3. TKDC says:

    Marginal players usually get about what people think they are worth because there are a lot of them and if you don’t get one, you can usually trade non-top prospects for one, but star players usually get more because there are only a select few and teams that want them are scared of missing out. It was clear from when these results came out that it was too conservative at the top. I think the overestimations at the bottom might be a result of believing inflation was going to just be huge with the TV contract stuff.

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  4. Angus Archer says:

    Despite the big splashes by the Blue Jays, Angels and Dodgers; I really believe this off-seasons ‘gold star for savvy’ should go to Kevin Towers of the Diamondbacks.

    This article highlights they scored two good players for a mediocre-player price – Eric Chavez and Brandon McCarthy. A price that is clearly below the expectations of most casual (and non-casual) fans. McCarthy, is only getting about one million and change more than pitchers like Scott Baker. In addition, via trade they filled their SS need with a great defensive player and grabbed Heath Bell while having the Marlins suck up over 8mil and 45% of their financial obligations to him.

    Their ripples in this off seasons market aren’t as bold as other teams, but possibly more savvy, certainly they have scored more value for the price they have paid.

    (Two points for the post-script: 1) I’m not a Diamondbacks fan, so no unjustified bias, and 2) I’m shrugging off the Bauer trade as Towers knows something non-insiders do not.

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    • Brian says:

      They got rid of Chris Young for Heath Bell and traded Bauer for Gregorious. That is stupid.

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    • Angus Archer says:

      First off Chris Young is terrible – on all metrics. He just can’t get on base.

      They traded Chris Young for Heath Bell AND Cliff Pennington. They were planning on moving an OF (since they are loaded with OF prospects and young players). It was why they had Justin Upton on the market, because they thought they could get the most value from him. It is because of Cliff P., and getting their defensive SS, they were able to pull Justin Upton off the market this season. That is a win, I would say.

      I put the Bauer Astrix in my initial comment. Moving Bauer was something that Towers could not do alone. He would have had to go through the ownership, which leads me to believe there was inside information involved here.

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      • Purple says:

        Yeah, Chris Young is only terrible if the only thing you care about is the OBP thing. It’s a big deal, sure, but the elite defense in center and the pop in the bat make him far from terrible, since he’s been above average the last three years.

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      • Purple says:

        An addendum – getting on base is in fact really important. Chris Young will never be a star because he can’t do it enough. But that does not preclude him from being a really valuable piece to a team, and far from terrible. I’m not trying to downplay the importance of not making outs.

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      • subtle says:

        You mean the same ownership group who was openly criticizing Upton last season?

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  5. Pirates Hurdles says:

    Carson, your averages seem to be off. The sum of the crowd sourced years differential is exactly 0.0. We projected 72 total contract years and 72 years were awarded.

    While the AAV differential in -$20.5 indicating we were way low on AAV overall.

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  6. Gus says:

    For what it’s worth, Venezuelan hitting celebrity Luis Jimenez is now a Toronto Blue Jay. May have picked a savvy time to jump the Mariner ship.

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  7. Baltar says:

    All in all, those differences are tiny. The crowd did a great job.

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  8. Mr Punch says:

    Apart from underestimating AAV on the largest contracts (see TDKC above), I agree the crowd did very well. Averages of years will always be off some, because there’s no such thing as a fractional-year contract; the results look even better with appropriate rounding.

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