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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