FanGraphs Crowd: The Top 55 Free Agents

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series — which competition, barring some unforeseen circumstance, is likely to end today. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs once again facilitated this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2014-15 free-agent market.

Below are the results of same. For each player, respondents provided estimates of the years and dollars he’s likely to receive. Also, in such cases as a player is a candidate to receive a qualifying offer from his club, readers predicted whether he would or not — and whether, having received a qualifying offer, that player would accept it. Answers to other questions — regarding options, for example — also appear below.

In terms of how the projected contract values below are likely to relate to reality, a comparison between last year’s crowdsourced estimates and the actual contracts received reveals that the crowd typically missed by 37% on overall contract value and is most likely to underestimate the overall contract figures of the most high-profile free agents. It’s not unreasonable, in other words, to expect that Hanley Ramirez will receive more than the 5 years and $90 million he’s projected to receive. Of note, however, is that most of last year’s top free agents were hitters, while Max Scherzer and Jon Lester are the most formidable names among this year’s free-agent class. Whether this same principle of underestimating the contracts received by top free agents applies to pitchers, as well — for whom length of contract is an issue, given the possibility of injury — is a question that remains.

Note that players are ranked in terms of total median projected contract value. A spreadsheet containing the results is available here. Statistics are from 2014. Offensive and defensive value (denoted as Off and Def, respectively) are expressed relative to league average. Defensive value accounts both for defensive runs and positional adjustment. One can read more about both metrics here.

 

#1 Max Scherzer (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
29 220.1 10.29 2.57 36.7 % 3.15 2.85 3.12 5.3 5.6

Median Years: 7
Median AAV: $24 million
Total: 7 years, $168 million

Average Years: 6.5
Average AAV: $23.6 million
Total: 6.5 years, $153.8 million

Will the Tigers extend Scherzer a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 99%. No: 1%.

Will Scherzer accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 99%. Yes: 1%.

 

#2 Jon Lester (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
30 219.2 9.01 1.97 42.4 % 2.46 2.80 3.10 5.8 6.1

Median Years: 6
Median AAV: $22 million
Total: 6 years, $132 million

Average Years: 6.0
Average AAV: $21.5 million
Total: 6.0 years, $128.1 million

What are the chances Lester is re-signed by the Red Sox, with which franchise he spent the majority of his career, do you think?
Median guess: 30%.

 

#3 Hanley Ramirez (SS)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
30 512 10.9 % 16.4 % .283 .369 .448 .362 135 21.8 -6.1 3.4

Median Years: 5
Median AAV: $18 million
Total: 5 years, $90 million

Average Years: 5.0
Average AAV: $17.5 million
Total: 5.0 years, $86.9 million

Will the Dodgers extend Ramirez a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 97%. No: 3%.

Will Ramirez accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 98%. Yes: 2%.

 

#4 James Shields (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
32 227.0 7.14 1.74 45.2 % 3.21 3.59 3.56 3.9 3.7

Median Years: 5
Median AAV: $18 million
Total: 5 years, $90 million

Average Years: 4.7
Average AAV: $18.3 million
Total: 4.7 years,$86.0 million

Will the Royals extend Shields a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 98%. No: 2%.

Will Shields accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 99%. Yes: 1%.

 

#5 Pablo Sandoval (3B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
27 638 6.1 % 13.3 % .279 .324 .415 .323 111 3.3 5.3 3.0

Median Years: 5
Median AAV: $16 million
Total: 5 years, $80 million

Average Years: 5.0
Average AAV: $15.9 million
Total: 5.0 years, $79.0 million

Will the Giants extend Sandoval a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 96%. No: 4%.

Will Sandoval accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 96%. Yes: 4%.

There are multiple third-base free-agent options this offseason. Which of the following will record the highest WAR between now and his retirement?
Pablo Sandoval: 48%.
Hanley Ramirez: 34%.
Chase Headley: 18%.

 

#6 Russell Martin (C)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
31 460 12.8 % 17.0 % .290 .402 .430 .370 140 19.4 14.9 5.3

Median Years: 4
Median AAV: $14 million
Total: 4 years, $56 million

Average Years: 3.6
Average AAV: $14.0 million
Total: 3.6 years, $51.0 million

Will Pittsburgh extend Martin a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 86%. No: 14%.

Will Martin accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 92%. Yes: 8%.

 

#7 Chase Headley (3B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
30 531 9.6 % 23.0 % .243 .328 .372 .316 103 2.1 21.6 4.4

Median Years: 4
Median AAV: $14 million
Total: 4 years, $56 million

Average Years: 3.7
Average AAV: $13.8 million
Total: 3.7 years, $50.8 million

Headley is the same age as Hanley Ramirez and plays (mostly) the same position and projected to record a better WAR per 600 plate appearance than Ramirez in 2015. What’s the probability he receives a larger contract than Ramirez?
Median Guess: 10%.

 

#8 Melky Cabrera (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
29 621 6.9 % 10.8 % .301 .351 .458 .354 125 16.0 -12.1 2.6

Median Years: 4
Median AAV: $13 million
Total: 4 years, $52 million

Average Years: 3.5
Average AAV: $13.4 million
Total: 3.5 years, $47.3 million

It’s been reported that the Blue Jays plan to extend a qualifying offer (worth about $15.3M) to Cabrera. Will he accept it?
No: 76%. Yes: 24%.

 

#9 Victor Martinez (C/DH)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
35 641 10.9 % 6.6 % .335 .409 .565 .411 166 40.7 -21.2 4.4

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $15 million
Total: 3 years, $45 million

Average Years: 3.2
Average AAV: $15.7 million
Total: 3.2 years, $49.4 million

Will the Tigers extend Martinez a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 98%. No: 2%.

Will Martinez accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 90%. Yes: 10%.

 

#10 Nelson Cruz (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
33 678 8.1 % 20.6 % .271 .333 .525 .370 137 24.6 -11.2 3.9

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $15 million
Total: 3 years, $45 million

Average Years: 3.0
Average AAV: $14.8 million
Total: 3.0 years, $44.9 million

Will the Orioles extend Cruz a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 92%. No: 8%.

Will Cruz accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 87%. Yes: 13%.

 

#11 Ervin Santana (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
31 196.0 8.22 2.89 42.7 % 3.95 3.39 3.47 1.8 2.8

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $13 million
Total: 3 years, $39 million

Average Years: 3.2
Average AAV: $13.5 million
Total: 3.2 years, $43.6 million

Will the Atlanta Baseball Club extend Santana a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 70%. No: 30%.

Will Santana accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 78%. Yes: 22%.

 

#12 Francisco Liriano (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
30 162.1 9.70 4.49 54.4 % 3.38 3.59 3.40 2.0 1.6

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $12 million
Total: 3 years, $36 million

Average Years: 3.2
Average AAV: $12.9 million
Total: 3.2 years, $40.8 million

Will the Pirates extend Liriano a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
No: 61%. Yes: 39%.

Will Liriano accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 67%. Yes: 33%.

 

#13 Brandon McCarthy (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
30 200.0 7.88 1.49 52.6 % 4.05 3.55 2.87 1.7 3.0

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $12 million
Total: 3 years, $36 million

Average Years: 3.1
Average AAV: $12.5 million
Total: 3.1 years, $38.3 million

 

#14 Nick Markakis (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
30 710 8.7 % 11.8 % .276 .342 .386 .325 106 2.1 -2.5 2.5

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $11 million
Total: 3 years, $33 million

Average Years: 3.4
Average AAV: $11.8 million
Total: 3.4 years, $39.8 million

Markakis and the Orioles have a $17.5M mutual option for 2015 with a $2.0M buyout. What will happen?
Markakis Exercises, Orioles Decline: 73%.
Both Decline: 18%.
Orioles Exercise, Markakis Declines: 5%.
Both Exercise: 4%.

 

#15 Asdrubal Cabrera (SS)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
28 616 8.0 % 17.5 % .241 .307 .387 .308 97 0.7 -4.1 1.8

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $11 million
Total: 3 years, $33 million

Average Years: 3.2
Average AAV: $11.2 million
Total: 3.2 years, $35.2 million

At what position will Cabrera be utilized?
Predominantly SS: 40%.
Both SS and 2B: 31%.
Predominantly 2B: 29%.

 

#16 Colby Rasmus (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
27 376 7.7 % 33.0 % .225 .287 .448 .321 103 2.2 -8.8 0.6

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $10 million 
Total: 3 years, $30 million

Average Years: 2.6
Average AAV: $10.0 million
Total: 2.6 years, $25.6 million

 

#17 David Robertson (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
29 64.1 13.43 3.22 44.2 % 3.08 2.68 2.13 1.5 1.7

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 3 years, $30 million

Average Years: 3.2
Average AAV: $10.7 million
Total: 3.2 years, $34.1 million

 

#18 Jed Lowrie (SS)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
30 566 9.0 % 14.0 % .249 .321 .355 .300 93 -7.5 6.0 1.9

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 3 years, $30 million

Average Years: 2.7
Average AAV: $9.6 million
Total: 2.7 years, $25.6 million

 

#19 Jason Hammel (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
31 176.1 8.06 2.25 39.7 % 3.47 3.92 3.57 3.1 1.7

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $9 million
Total: 3 years, $27 million

Average Years: 2.6
Average AAV: $9.6 million
Total: 2.6 years, $24.8 million

 

#20 Jake Peavy (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
33 202.2 7.02 2.80 38.5 % 3.73 4.11 4.18 2.7 1.9

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $12 million
Total: 2 years, $24 million

Average Years: 2.4
Average AAV: $12.5 million
Total: 2.4 years, $29.4 million

 

#21 Andrew Miller (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
29 62.1 14.87 2.45 46.9 % 2.02 1.51 1.58 2.0 2.3

Median Years: 3
Median AAV: $8 million
Total: 3 years, $24 million

Average Years: 3.1 
Average AAV: $8.4 million
Total: 3.1 years, $26.0 million

Not for nothing, will Andrew Miller be signed as a closer?
No: 62%. Yes: 38%.

 

#22 Aramis Ramirez (3B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
36 531 4.0 % 14.1 % .285 .330 .427 .334 109 2.3 1.3 2.1

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 2 years, $20 million

Average Years: 2.0
Average AAV: $12.4 million
Total: 2.0 years, $24.6 million

Ramirez and the Brewers have a $14.0M mutual option for 2015 with a $4.0M buyout. What will happen?
Both Decline, But Ramirez Signs Two-Year Deal: 31%.
Brewers Exercise, Ramirez Declines: 28%.
Both Exercise: 22%.
Ramirez Exercises, Brewers Decline: 16%.
Both Decline: 3%.

 

#23 Adam LaRoche (1B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
34 586 14.0 % 18.4 % .259 .362 .455 .356 127 12.5 -15.4 1.6

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 2 years, $20 million

Average Years: 2.1
Average AAV: $10.8 million
Total: 2.1 years, $22.8 million

 

#24 Alex Rios (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
33 521 4.4 % 17.9 % .280 .311 .398 .309 92 -4.4 -10.9 0.2

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 2 years, $20 million

Average Years: 2.0
Average AAV: $9.6 million
Total: 2.0 years, $18.9 million

The Rangers hold a $13.5M option (with a $1M buyout) on Rios’s contract. Will they exercise it?
No: 91%. Yes: 9%.

 

#25 Billy Butler (1B/DH)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
28 603 6.8 % 15.9 % .271 .323 .379 .311 97 -7.5 -14.5 -0.3

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $9 million
Total: 2 years, $18 million

Average Years: 2.5 
Average AAV: $9.4 million
Total: 2.5 years, $23.3 million

The Royals hold a $12.5M option (with a $1M buyout) on Butler for 2015. Will they exercise it?
No: 67%. Yes: 33%.

 

#26 Michael Cuddyer (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
35 205 6.8 % 14.6 % .332 .376 .579 .414 151 12.9 -5.2 1.5

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $9 million
Total: 2 years, $18 million

Average Years: 1.8
Average AAV: $9.3 million
Total: 1.8 years, $16.5 million

 

#27 Edinson Volquez (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
30 192.2 6.54 3.32 50.4 % 3.04 4.15 4.20 3.0 0.7

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $8 million
Total: 2 years, $16 million

Average Years: 2.0
Average AAV: $8.4 million
Total: 2.0 years, $16.8 million

 

#28 Hiroki Kuroda (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
39 199.0 6.60 1.58 46.9 % 3.71 3.60 3.54 2.8 3.5

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $15 million
Total: 1 year, $15 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $14.6 million
Total: 1.2 years, $17.6 million

Will the Yankees extend Kuroda a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 82%. No: 18%.

Will Kuroda accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
Yes: 60%. No: 40%.

 

#29 Nori Aoki (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
32 549 7.8 % 8.9 % .285 .349 .360 .320 104 -7.7 0.2 1.1

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $7 million
Total: 2 years, $14 million

Average Years: 2.5
Average AAV: $7.4 million
Total: 2.5 years, $18.3 million

Were you aware that Aoki made so little (just $4.0M plus incentives over three years) from his first MLB contract?
Yes: 35%. No: 38%. No, that’s shocking: 27%.

 

#30 Rafael Soriano (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
34 62.0 8.56 2.76 31.6 % 3.19 3.08 3.92 0.7 0.7

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $7 million
Total: 2 years, $14 million

Average Years: 1.8
Average AAV: $7.5 million
Total: 1.8 years, $13.8 million

The Nationals hold a $14M option on Soriano’s contract for 2015. Will they exercise it? 
No: 95%. Yes: 5%.

 

#31 Sergio Romo (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
31 58.0 9.16 1.86 36.8 % 3.72 3.94 3.40 0.1 -0.3

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $6 million
Total: 2 years, $12 million

Average Years: 1.9
Average AAV: $5.9 million
Total: 1.9 years, $11.2 million

 

#32 Rickie Weeks (2B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
31 286 8.7 % 25.5 % .274 .357 .452 .359 127 9.1 -7.0 1.2

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $6 million
Total: 2 years, $12 million

Average Years: 1.7
Average AAV: $6.3 million
Total: 1.7 years, $10.9 million

Milwaukee holds an $11.5M option (no buyout) on Weeks’ contract for 2015. Will they exercise it?
No: 95%. Yes: 5%.

 

#33 A.J. Burnett (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
37 213.2 8.00 4.04 50.9 % 4.59 4.14 3.95 -0.5 1.0

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 1 year, $10 million

Average Years: 1.1
Average AAV: $10.7 million
Total: 1.1 years, $12.3 million

Burnett’s contract features a mutual option for $15M (with a $1M buyout) and/or player option for $12.8M. What will happen?
The Phillies decline the mutual option, but Burnett exercises the player option: 66%.
Burnett opts out entirely, choosing to become a free agent: 21%.
Both the Phillies and Burnett exercise the mutual option: 13%.

 

#34 Torii Hunter (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
38 586 3.9 % 15.2 % .286 .319 .446 .335 113 8.9 -24.7 0.3

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $10 million
Total: 1 year, $10 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $9.7 million
Total: 1.2 years, $11.7 million

 

#35 Emilio Bonifacio (2B/OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
29 426 6.1 % 20.0 % .259 .305 .345 .289 81 -4.3 10.8 2.1

Median Years: 2
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 2 years, $10 million

Average Years: 2.0
Average AAV: $5.3 million
Total: 2.0 years, $10.7 million

 

#36 Justin Masterson (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
29 128.2 8.11 4.83 58.2 % 5.88 4.50 4.08 -1.8 0.3

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $9 million
Total: 1 year, $9 million

Average Years: 1.8
Average AAV: $9.5 million
Total: 1.8 years, $17.2 million

 

#37 Dan Haren (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
33 186.0 7.02 1.74 41.5 % 4.02 4.09 3.70 -0.3 1.0

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $8 million
Total: 1 year, $8 million

Average Years: 1.5
Average AAV: $8.6 million
Total: 1.5 years, $12.8 million

For pitching 180 innings in 2014, Haren earned a player option for 2015 worth $10M. Will he exercise it?
Yes: 83%. No: 17%.

 

#38 Koji Uehara (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
39 64.1 11.19 1.12 32.3 % 2.52 3.09 2.41 2.2 1.4

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $8 million
Total: 1 year, $8 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $8.5 million
Total: 1.4 years, $11.9 million

 

#39 Stephen Drew (SS)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
31 300 9.0 % 25.0 % .162 .237 .299 .238 44 -21.6 1.5 -1.1

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $7 million
Total: 1 year, $7 million

Average Years: 1.5
Average AAV: $7.2 million
Total: 1.5 years, $10.4 million

 

#40 Michael Morse (1B/OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
32 482 6.4 % 25.1 % .279 .336 .475 .355 133 12.8 -18.0 1.0

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $7 million
Total: 1 year, $7 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $7.0 million
Total: 1.4 years, $10.0 million

 

#41 Brett Anderson (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
26 43.1 6.02 2.70 61.0 % 2.91 2.99 3.55 0.9 1.1

Median Years:
Median AAV: $7 million
Total: 1 year, $7 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $7.1 million
Total: 1.4 years, $10.0 million

The Rockies hold a $12.0M option (with a $1.5M buyout) on Anderson for 2015. Will they exercise it?
No: 85%. Yes: 15%.

 

#42 Ryan Vogelsong (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
36 184.2 7.36 2.83 38.4 % 4.00 3.85 3.96 0.9 1.0

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $7 million
Total: 1 year, $7 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $6.8 million
Total: 1.4 years, $9.6 million

 

#43 Aaron Harang (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
36 204.1 7.09 3.13 39.4 % 3.57 3.57 4.03 2.5 2.5

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $6 million
Total: 1 year, $6 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $6.6 million
Total: 1.4 years, $9.4 million

 

#44 Brandon Morrow (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
29 33.1 8.10 4.86 50.5 % 5.67 3.73 4.06 -0.2 0.4

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $6 million
Total: 1 year, $6 million

Average Years: 1.3
Average AAV: $6.7 million
Total: 1.3 years, $9.0 million

Toronto holds a $10M option ($1M buyout) on Morrow’s contract for 2015. Will they exercise it?
No: 77%. Yes: 23%.

 

#45 Kendrys Morales (1B/DH)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
31 401 6.7 % 17.0 % .218 .274 .338 .271 72 -17.2 -11.5 -1.7

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $6 million
Total: 1 year, $6 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $6.1 million
Total: 1.2 years, $7.1 million

The Seattle front office has exhibited a peculiar fascination with Morales. Will they sign him for 2015 (and perhaps beyond), as well?
Yes: 62%. No: 38%.

 

#46 Francisco Rodriguez (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
32 68.0 9.66 2.38 43.9 % 3.04 4.50 2.91 1.3 -0.6

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.5
Average AAV: $5.7 million
Total: 1.5 years, $8.7 million

 

#47 Gavin Floyd (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
31 54.1 7.45 2.15 49.4 % 2.65 3.79 3.47 0.7 0.5

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $6.0 million
Total: 1.4 years, $8.3 million

 

#48 Chris Young (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
30 366 8.7 % 19.1 % .222 .299 .385 .303 95 -0.2 -7.4 0.4

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.4
Average AAV: $5.8 million
Total: 1.4 years, $8.1 million

 

#49 Josh Johnson (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
29 81.1 9.18 3.32 45.1 % 6.20 4.62 3.58 -1.2 0.6

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $5.4 million
Total: 1.2 years, $6.5 million

The Padres hold a $4M option on Johnson for 2015. Will they exercise it?
Yes: 83%. No: 17%.

 

#50 Chris Young (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
35 165.0 5.89 3.27 22.3 % 3.65 5.02 5.19 2.4 0.2

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.2 
Average AAV: $5.2 million
Total: 1.2 years, $6.4 million

 

#51 Chad Billingsley (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
28 12.0 4.50 3.75 41.7 % 3.00 4.38 4.66 0.3 0.0

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $5.2 million
Total: 1.2 years, $6.0 million

The Dodgers hold a $14M option (with a $3M buyout) on Billingsley for 2015. Will they exercise it?
No: 97%. Yes: 3%.

Briefly, explain how in the hell you reached any of these conclusions about a player who hasn’t pitched in over a year.
“Josh Johnson comparable.”
“Rough guess of a short-term bounce-back contract.”
“Consulted with my 7-year-old son.”

 

#52 Ichiro Suzuki (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
40 385 5.5 % 17.7 % .284 .324 .340 .296 86 -3.6 -5.5 0.4

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $5 million
Total: 1 year, $5 million

Average Years: 1.1
Average AAV: $4.7 million
Total: 1.1 years, $5.2 million

 

#53 Mark Reynolds (1B/3B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
30 433 10.9 % 28.2 % .196 .287 .394 .302 87 -5.0 7.1 1.6

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $4 million
Total: 1 year, $4 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $4.8 million
Total: 1.2 years, $5.8 million

 

#54 Chris Capuano (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
35 97.1 7.77 3.14 39.5 % 4.35 3.91 3.89 0.4 1.0

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $4 million
Total: 1 year, $4 million

Average Years: 1.2
Average AAV: $4.5 million
Total: 1.2 years, $5.2 million

Dave Cameron probably thinks Kyle Kendrick should receive a ballot instead of Capuano. Which of the pair (Capuano or Kendrick) will get a bigger contract?
Kendrick: 67%. Capuano: 33%.

 

#55 Delmon Young (OF)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
28 255 3.9 % 20.0 % .302 .337 .442 .345 120 5.9 -5.6 0.9

Median Years: 1
Median AAV: $3 million
Total: 1 year, $3 million

Average Years: 1.3
Average AAV: $3.7 million
Total: 1.3 years, $4.8 million



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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Joe
Guest
Joe
1 year 7 months ago

There was no qualifying offer vote for Robertson? There’s been a lot of speculation that he could be offered one.

Dan Rausch
Member
Dan Rausch
1 year 7 months ago

It would be interesting to see what the 90th-percentile crowd-source contract values are. I think this would more accurately reflect the of the free agent market, particularly with the top players.

Dan Rausch
Member
Dan Rausch
1 year 7 months ago

Ugh. HTML fail.
“Winner’s Curse of the free agent market”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winner's_curse

Catoblepas
Guest
Catoblepas
1 year 7 months ago

I like that idea a lot, given the way auctions work. Runs the risk of picking up some joke/accidental answers, but might provide a more accurate guess, at least for the high-end free agents.

DUTCH4007
Member
DUTCH4007
1 year 6 months ago

Great point the FA goes to the front office that values him the highest. Not the median or AVG of front office valuations. Please show us something like the 90th percentile. I would suspect the lower free agents have less volatility in there answers.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 7 months ago

It appears no-one learned the lesson from last year. I mean who seriously thinks Scherzer is going to only get $160M and Lester is only going to get $130M? Those are way too low. We underestimated by 30% last year. I think the lower ranked guys seem reasonable, but the top guys are very very low.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
1 year 7 months ago

I Agree. Wouldn’t the Sox and several other teams be willing to sign Lester to those terms tonight the instant the signing period begins?

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
1 year 7 months ago

correction on my post: the signing period doesn’t begin tonight.

Maniel Durphy
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Didn’t the Sox already have a chance to sign Lester?

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, and if they had a time machine, they would probably go back in time and sign him, knowing what they know now.

Maniel Durphy
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

huh? you think they weren’t aware that he’d get far more on the open market than the lowball offers they made to him? seems like that ship has sailed…. not to mention that they’d look pretty silly paying top dollar for Lester now.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
1 year 6 months ago

Yes, of course they weren’t aware. When negotiating last offseason, they didn’t have a crystal ball to see that he would have his best season in years in 2014. They presumably were aware of the possibility that his cost would go up, just as they were aware of the possibility that his cost would go down because of an injury or a season like 2012.

If they are smart, they won’t care about looking silly when it comes to making an offer now that is much bigger than the one last year.

Cool
Guest
Cool
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah. These are way too low. Scherzer turned down 144 over 6. If 16 million was the difference, the Tigers would have easily signed him.

D
Guest
D
1 year 7 months ago

165 is a lot for a pitcher.
The only guys who are around that mark: Verlander, King felix and clayton kershaw. There is no precedent for giving a guy like Scherzer 200 mil. 165 sounds about right.

Lester is probably just as good and will be paid less. Steamer has them almost equal next year.

Last year was different because it was Cano. He is a bigger name, a consistent 6 war hitter coming off many seasons of greatness. No offense to Scherzer but he has only been great for 2 years.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 7 months ago

I think Scherzer gets Felix money. He isn’t as good, but he is a free agent and there is inflation. 7/$180ish seems right

Maniel Durphy
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

People keep saying things like this w/o saying who the team is that’s going to pony up. People like to point out the Ellsburys and Choos, but for every one of those, there is a Drew, Morales, or Cruz. It’s not so easy.

Who’s going to write a big check to Scherzer?

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
1 year 6 months ago

165 does sound about right. But when predicting FA mega-contracts, a good rule of thumb is to take what sounds about right and add $25 million to it.

Adam PDX
Guest
Adam PDX
1 year 6 months ago

I have to disagree this year in particular. There is such a wealth of pitching, that GMs will likely balk at $180-200 million for Scherzer when they can get Shields or Lester for less. That’s not to mention that there is plenty of mid-rotation talent in this season’s FA class. I think pitching will go at about the prices predicted here. It’s the offensive contracts that will explode, given the dearth of production we’ve seen over the last few years. Steroid crackdowns, expanding strike zones, and the increasing velocity of FBs have clearly hurt offense and the game has shifted in favor of pitchers. Thus, they’re not quite as valuable as they used to be.

The Yankees, for instance, we able to pick up pieces off the scrap heap this year that proved to be dominant and serviceable pitchers. There are so many arms of all quality levels on the market that the prices are not very likely to skyrocket. Most teams have arms in-house that can slot into their rotations, but less offensive talent in the system. It’s not to say this is a golden rule for all scenarios, but moreso a shift in the balance that may not be so dramatic yet is still noticeable league-wide.

I’d be wary of Lester and Scherzer. You never know what you’re going to get in a pitcher’s 30s. Shields is risky beyond 4 years, too. I’d be looking to maximize returns with a cobbling of Kuroda, Santana, Haren, and other mid-level options.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
1 year 6 months ago

I guess we’ll find out in the next few months. All it takes is one team/GM…

If multiple teams are scared away by Scherzer’s cost and want to go for Lester and Shields instead, their respective prices will go up and blow past the 6/132 and 5/90 predicted by the crowdsourcing.

pitnick
Guest
pitnick
1 year 6 months ago

Texas certainly learned the lesson from last year.

Mr Punch
Guest
Mr Punch
1 year 7 months ago

If Ben Cherington can get Jon Lester back on these terms, he should get down on his knees and thank God.

Blake
Guest
Blake
1 year 7 months ago

I really love this project, but I enjoyed last year’s version more where we projected what we would give, what we thought they would give, and then comments.

DL80
Guest
DL80
1 year 7 months ago

I think I agree with you, Blake. I think the problem with having just one estimate per user is that it gets muddled in terms of are we actually saying what we think they SHOULD get or WILL get?

We all know we are trying to say what it WILL be, but I think some bias towards more conservative/efficient contracts creeps in and makes the estimates almost universally too low.

M W
Guest
M W
1 year 7 months ago

Luke Gregerson should be on here!

King Buzzo's Fro
Guest
King Buzzo's Fro
1 year 7 months ago

Nice use of “Atlanta baseball club”

RSquared
Guest
RSquared
1 year 7 months ago

With the new CBA looming after the ’16 season, the top five should negotiate an opt-out after the first two years. MLBPA will probably force the lux tax line much higher with media revenues growing.

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
1 year 7 months ago

Can I have the names of people who don’t think M. Scherzer or H. Ramirez will get a qualifying offer or of those who think they’ll take the offer?

I want to gamble with these people, and maybe sell them some beachfront property.

Pretty much anyone in the top ten who can be given a qualifying offer will be given one.

Pretty much anyone in the top ten will probably reject it (I think anyone outside the top five should probably accept a qualifying offer, their contract value is low enough that the existence of a qualifying offer makes it unlikely they’ll do all that much better, but experience shows people reject qualifying offers).

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 6 months ago

I’m pretty confident that this will be the year when at least one qualifying offer is accepted. Some player will learn the Morales/Drew lesson.

MGL would of course say that game theory will take care of this because teams will anticipate increased willingness to take QOs and make QOs to fewer marginal players. I’m not so sure…..

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
1 year 6 months ago

I agree that someone will take one of the qualifying offers, I just suspect it won’t be anyone in the top 10 and I think Martin, Cabrera, Martinez, and Cruz will all probably get one and would all probably be better off if they did. (One “I suspect” and one “probably” applied to four individual cases, hmm, I guess I wouldn’d be all that surprised to be wrong on one of those eight things.)

Games theory isn’t all that applicable as the usual (simple) calculation for a minmax solution only gives an optimal solution if the game is zero sum and the other player is using an optimal strategy.

Baseball contracts aren’t zero sum since players and teams put different values on different terms (players want security and guaranteed income most, teams seem to want low AAV).

It is also possible that players are or were irrationally likely to reject a qualifying offer.

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 6 months ago

At risk of sounding even more like MGL, I think you’re defining game theory narrowly. See, e.g., the Wikipedia entry that explains how it applies to a variety of decision making situations involving multiple actors, though I acknowledge the classic/original game theory was Von Neumann’s analysis of zero sum games with rational actors. But even the classic prisoners’ dilemma isn’t zero sum, but is clearly a topic of game theory.

The modern definition applies so broadly that it really encompasses any situation where you have multiple actors whose decisions affect each other and for whom you can describe a set of values for each potential outcome. The fun part of it is thinking about what the other party will do, perhaps best described by the Sicilian in The Princess Bride!

Anyway, my point is simply that GMs in the part profited from knowing that players whose real value was somewhat below the QO level were always going to be optimistic and decline it. In fact, the failure of any player to accept a QO in the past means GMs were collectively too cautious and should have extended more QOs to get more draft picks.

This year they have to think about how much the Drew/Morales experience will reduce players/agent optimism and adjust their strategy, and if they overestimate that factor, they might be so cautious with QOs that we again see none accepted.

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

The problem with a game theory approach, to me, is that the decision space isn’t smooth. Some teams will be more willing to punt the pick to sign a QO guy in general (if they have deep farm systems and/or are close to deep post-season contention), but furthermore will only be willing to do so for certain skill sets. The ‘rationality’ of declining a QO depends upon estimating the available market, which can change quite substantially year to year and guy to guy. Game theory works for a comparatively smooth space, but one as irregular as “who’ll go multi on me?” doesn’t map well. Historical trends and comparable players don’t really cast enough light.

Then there is the fact that most guys going free agent are looking for multi-year situations due to a) larger total payout, b) GUARANTEE of future money, c) probability of playing time due to contract, d) uncertainty of injury, and e) uncertainty of variable performance including age-related decline. A player who takes a QO, when it happens, is somebody who is strongly advised that he has no shot at a multi-year deal. As in not ‘probably won’t get one’ but’ ‘absolutely no way.’ Historically, players only get one, maybe two shots at free agency where a multi-year deal is a possibility. Passing that up for good one year money has a significant possibility of never again being in a multi-year potential situation. That’s a lot to pass up.

The only situation it has seemed to me rational for a player to accept a QO is in a pillow contract situation where a guy needs to reestablish value. A guy who has been good but tanks in his walk year, or somebody who had a fantastic partial season but significant injury woes plus now having a draft pick loss attached due to a QO. Agents have been so used to having the market overpay for serviceable guys that the pick cost wasn’t fully priced in before this last year.

I also think that the market has been overpaying on number of years, and that a correction will happen before long on that aspect. Stephen Drew on a one year might have been worth the pick, but on a multi-year with his injury history wasn’t; this kind of valuation will need some history before it begins to be handicapped well. Because the market has been willing to sign thick DHs to eight and ten years, and starting pitchers to seven plus years (madness, sheer madness) it has been a rational expectation that serviceable guys can get three or four. When the years for the big names come back down a bit after enough money is lost by teams, the ‘rational’ part will shift more heavily into taking a thick QO. Now matter how good a guy like Lester or Scherzer looks showing up now, Lackey, Verlander, and Lincecum looked better when they got long money. How well did those work out? About as well as ever, going back over closing in on forty years of free agency. Jason Vargas just pitched in the World Series, and pretty well. Peavy was a late season pick-up, and threw well in most of the post-season. That’s a lot better than holding onto Barry Zito’s contract.

The flaw to me in the QO arrangement at present is that players can have it hung on them sequentially over several years: QO should only be applicable once. That gives the team a fair shot at signing a guy long-term if they think he’s worth it or getting a replacement option in the pipeline up to speed. Multi-year situations like with Ervin Santana seem and end-around on free agency. Extend-or-expend.

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Lincecum was offered long money and declined, but the point remains the same. Pitchers on long contracts are going to lose teams a tone of money relative to performance over those contracts.

Microsoft Paperclip
Guest
Microsoft Paperclip
1 year 7 months ago

Suggest re-wording:

“What are the chances Lester is re-signed by the Red Sox, with which franchise he spent the majority of his career, do you think?”

DL80
Guest
DL80
1 year 7 months ago

Agreed.

“What are the chances the Red Sox, with whom he has spent most of his career, re-sign Lester?”

The “do you think” is implied in this type of survey.

Or could go with:

“What are the odds the Red Sox re-sign Lester, given that he has spent the majority of his career there?”

Always go with active voice if possible.

Prose
Guest
Prose
1 year 6 months ago

Not regular readers of Cistulli’s work, these two

Yoda
Guest
Yoda
1 year 6 months ago

Regular readers of Carson, these aren’t.

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
1 year 7 months ago

Maybe we could call #’s 11-20 the “QO Purgatory” group? Except Colby Rasmus, I doubt the Blue Jays would want to put up with him and his “issues” again.

Colby's pop
Guest
Colby's pop
1 year 7 months ago

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOU TAKE THAT BACK. STUPID INTERNET COMMENTERS DON’T KNOW NUTHIN

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 6 months ago

What I’ve been wondering is how much money and/or term has James Shields lost this postseason. I have to think that many GMs are going to think twice about offering Shields that extra year, or those extra couple mil.

He’ll be 33 in December, but the crowdsourcing here says he’ll get 5 years and $90 million, or $18m per season. I’m going with the under on both term and dollars.

M W
Guest
M W
1 year 6 months ago

I’ll bet he gets higher.

CrowdCorrect
Guest
CrowdCorrect
1 year 6 months ago

Roughly how accurate have these crowd guesses been in past years – higher/lower? Within 10%? 20%? Just curious.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Guest
BenRevereDoesSteroids
1 year 6 months ago

It seems like, especially for the top guys, Fangraphs is usually pretty damn low.

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Crowdsouring here has been fairly rational, and hence low because team signings have a long history of being _irrational_. If there’s a factor that can be counted on in the market it’s that some rich team will overpay for a ‘has been great till now’ guy. They shouldn’t. They lose money. They make the next guy and themselves too pay more. But reliably that has been the case for coming up on forty years. Sabathia, Verlander, Lackey, Zito. Mike Hampton. Hampton was better than Scherzer at his peak; short hill, long money. Or to put it another way, how large-money many contracts over five years have finished in the performance and in the money? It would be interesting to see THAT study, to actually quantify the ‘degree of fail’ if in fact these contracts _do_ consistently fail in aggregate: maybe they don’t. The part that’s hardest to price in is the opportunity cost of being committed to a diminished performance due to carrying a big contract guy who’s fallen off a lot. Even if the dollars might look close to level given compensation inflation, the opportunity cost of being locked into a replacement level (or far below) guy has to be factored in, and I don’t get the sense we’re there yet on that aspect.

The tier that’s hard to get a long-term handle on is the guys just back of the putative superstars. We can, and maybe should expect that somebody will overpay for Lester, ignoring several years of diminished performance to their cost. What’s hard to know is whether or not somebody will make the same bet at a lower index for Kyle Lohse.

terencemann
Guest
terencemann
1 year 6 months ago

Colby Rasmus at 3/30 for a guy who can’t really play center and was benched at the end of the season and had a .735 OPS? Shouldn’t he be more like a Nate McLouth comp at this point?

Brian
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Rasmus is going to seek, and get, a “show me” contract, I bet. I wouldn’t give him 3/30, and he probably wouldn’t take it. Let’s see what you’ve got, young man.

M W
Guest
M W
1 year 6 months ago

The GM who gives Rasmus that contract should be immediately fired, the GM who gets Morse for only 7M on a 1 year deal should get an immediate contract extension.

Bill
Guest
Bill
1 year 6 months ago

Kinda bs that michael morse is ranked 10 spots below billy butler and even nori aoki. oh and one below stephen fucking drew. sure he is not a defensive player (he was acceptable at 1st this year though), but he hits way better than than those three knuckle heads (maybe even with nori aoki)

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