Izturis Signs, Wood Update

CC Sabathia‘s record-breaking contract is not the only news coming out of the Winter Meetings today. According to recent reports, there are some new details regarding Kerry Wood‘s deal with the Indians, as well as the inking of Cesar Izturis to a 2-yr contract with the Orioles. Izturis spent the 2008 season with the Cardinals, posting a .292 wOBA. Suffice it to say, he is known much moreso for his glovework than his offense. Despite being -14 runs below average with the bat, UZR pegged him as being worth +10 runs on defense. Factor in his positional adjustment and value over replacement player and Izturis was roughly a +2 win player this past season, or slightly above average.

He will apparently receive $6 mil for his 2-yr deal with the Orioles. Marcel projects him to be worth -17 runs below average offensively. A modest UZR projection would see Cesar save +5 runs defensively. With the pro-rated adjustments and replacement levels thrown in, his true talent level for 2009 would be +0.8 wins. Multiply that by the supposed $5 mil going rate and the Orioles would be paying him $1 mil less than his fair market value. Dave’s earlier article suggests that $5 mil isn’t the going rate. If we adjust this year’s rate to $4.4 mil or so, then Izturis’ fair market value is $3.5 mil. All told, good deal for the Orioles. Little risk is involved and not much money is being committed.

My evaluation yesterday suggested Kerry Wood is a +1.4 win player for 2009, factoring in his run prevention skills as well as the leverage of the innings he will pitch in a new, and offensively superior, league. This would place his fair market value in the vicinity of $6-8 mil. A 2-yr deal in this regard should have been worth $14 mil. It is now being reported that his deal with the Indians is closer to 2-yr/$20 mil, meaning the Indians will be paying him over $7 mil/win relative to the average annual value. Wood will provide stability at the position given the revolving closers door for the Indians this past season, but he will have to vastly outdo his projection to merit being paid that much per win. Not even the overvalued K-Rod is receiving that much per win with his new deal.

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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

19 Responses to “Izturis Signs, Wood Update”

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  1. Joe Soko says:

    Wood didn’t cost a draft pick though, that should be included in the valuation.

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  2. D Wrek says:

    I dont know if Izturis’ glove trumps his difficulties with the bat, but I like the move. They arent going to win anyway, but what Izturis could do his help those young pitchers. Helping them prevent runs, thus boosting confidence. If they dont like it, they can re-evaluate next year.

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  3. Eric Seidman says:

    D Wrek, yeah, it’s a solid move. Now, if they went out and signed Renteria to a 4-yr deal, that’s a bad move, but there’s nothing wrong with a non-committal, low salary contract for a SS you know isn’t in your future plans.

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  4. Far, far, far better than Juan Castro.

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  5. Jacob S. says:

    I think it’s becoming clear that the market for closers has only collapsed if you believe that closers are worth significantly more than other players. K-Rod for 6mil/win, Wood for 7+ mil/win and even Affeldt for 4mil/win. Of course Affeldt is relatively “unproven” which, like it or not (and I don’t), scares away some GMs. The market for closers seems to be just about the strongest market this offseason.

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  6. Greg Foley says:

    Cesar Izturis’ WSAB ranged from -3 to 0 from 2005 to 2008, roughly averaging -1.5 per year. THT thinks Izturis is worse than bench level. Fan Graphs thinks he 2.3 wins above replacement making him league average. I know that THT’s bench level and FanGraphs replacement level are not the same baseline, but that does not account for the entire discrepancy. What accounts for the remaining difference?

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  7. Eric Seidman says:

    Baltimoron, if that’s the case, then they are paying Izturis about $2 mil/win. I liked it more as a 1-yr deal, though.

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  8. Eric Seidman says:

    Greg, I cannot speak for THT, but here is the process at Fangraphs;

    1) On the player pages we now have offensive runs above average via wOBA relative to the league average and playing time. We also have UZR data for defense.

    2) In 2008, Cesar was -14 runs with the bat, +10 with the glove.
    3) Add in +7.5 runs since he is a shortstop.
    4) Add in +20 to set it above replacement, not average

    5) -14+10+7.5+20 = +23.5

    Therefore, he was +23.5 runs above replacement in 2008, or +2.35 wins. I rounded down by 0.05 to +2.3.

    For 2009, his projection has him at +1.5 wins above replacement. +2.0 wins is an average player.

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  9. Sean says:

    Izturis is (in runs):

    +13.5/150 defense (looking at 2006-2008 bUZR and Chone)
    -26.5/150 offense (looking at Marcel, James, and Oliver)
    +19.5/150 replace


    I see about zero ways Izturis can be projected as a 1 WAR player or more.

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  10. Sean says:

    And Eric I’m pretty sure your 2 and 3 steps are wrong. You add 7.5 for 162 game season and you add 2 WAR (21 runs) for a NL full season (700 PA), Izturis had neither of those, so I have no idea why your giving him all that credit.

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  11. Fritts says:

    Sean, At 461 PA I calculate Izturis at -16.8 runs offensively for 2009. Even you to scale down the runs for positional adjustment and replacement level he still comes in at around 1.5 WAR

    The only way he gets close to -26.5 is if I give him 700 PA and then he comes in at -25.5 runs offensively. After +13.5 defense, + 7.5 positional adjustment and +20 for replacement he is at about 1.5 WAR.

    I’m not factoring in Oliver, just James and Marcel, but I think Izturis can he projected as a 1 WAR player or a little higher.

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  12. Sean says:

    Fritts, your double counting defense, my 13.5 included a 6.9 pos adjustment (6.9 to scale 162 down to 150). Chone gives him a projection of 7 and 2006-2008 bUZR has him at 5.8 (those are both per 150) add then divide those by 2 giving them equal weight you get 6.4 then add the position adjustment of 6.9 and you get 13.3, and I rounded up to 13.5.

    To be fair, I used .335 wOBA for league and could have have used .333 probably. Which would put him at -25.5/150 using a .288 wOBA projection. To get that you do =(.288-.333)/1.15*650.

    So I could see him at 7.5/150, which is still less than 1 WAR.

    And it’s generous giving him per 150 games numbers (but thats what I always do) as he hasn’t played 150 games since 2004.

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  13. Fritts says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize I was double counting the positional adjustment, so I was really giving him an extra 7.5 runs. Sorry I misunderstood what you were doing and I would tend to agree with you now.

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  14. Eric Seidman says:

    Sean, thanks for that, I forgot to prorate his adjustment and replacement level. It’s updated in the article now.

    For 2009, Marcel has him at -17 runs, modest UZR would be +5 or so, add in +7 for the pro-rated adjustment, and +13 for his prorated adjustment above replacement and we get +8 runs.

    That’s 0.8 WAR. If we say it’s $5 mil per win than his FMV is $4 mil, while his actual AAV would be $3 mil.

    Even if we adjust down to $4.4 mil given that $5 mil doesn’t seem to be this year’s rate, it would be $3.5 mil compared to his actual AAV of $3 mil. Overall, good deal for the Orioles, though as with any player, health could be a serious concern, and the +8 runs in 150 games is generous given an average of 135 games or so.

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  15. Sean says:

    Heres what I get using just Marcel and 2006-2008 bUZR numbers:

    -17.2 offense
    4.9 pos adjust
    4.1 defense
    13.8 replace

    =5.6 runs which is .53 WAR

    If we think WAR=~$5M, 2 years at 6M is overpaying, although only slightly, but WAR may even be less than that.

    I would say it’s a pretty fair deal all around.

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  16. Marco says:

    me dumb. please ‘splain.

    Can somebody point me to some sort of analysis where 10 runs above replacement = 1 win? Or is that just a quick and dirty estimate?


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  17. Greg Foley says:

    Here is what Tom Tango said in his Q and A response:

    TangoTiger said,
    December 10, 2008 @ 11:33 am

    10 runs is a win: why?

    The basic idea is that if you look at all teams in baseball history that have scored 1 more run than they allowed, per game (+/- 0.1, to increase the sample size), you will find that they have a .600 win%. And similarly if they allowed one more run than they score, they will have a .400 win%. That means each additional run leads to 0.100 additional wins, above the .500 mark. And 1 divided by .1 is 10.

    The lower the run environment, the more impact each run has. And the higher the run environment, the less impact each run has. So, the 10/1 ratio is not fixed, but dependent on the run environment.

    Here is a chart that shows the various win%, for various run environments, at various run differentials:

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