For the last month or so, we have primarily been focusing on dollar valuations and factors outside of offense that need to be added into any type of evaluation. This has enabled us to determine the fair market values for several players as well as figure the fee certain teams are paying for each added win. One player left out of such posts is Manny Ramirez. Per reader request, we will figure out exactly what Manny’s fair market value is, taking into account his offense, defense, and baserunning.
One of the best hitters of all time, Manny is still one of the best hitters today, even at 36 years old. In 2008, he hit .332/.430/.601, good for a .432 wOBA and +56 runs above average, his best offensive season since 2002. In fact, via WPA/LI, 2008 was the best offensive season of Manny’s entire career! Moving forward, Marcel projects Manny to produce a .389 wOBA in 2009, which would translate to +30 runs above average. Not as potent as last year by any stretch, but still more effective offensively than the likes of Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, and the recently-signed Raul Ibanez.
Defensive excellence and Manny Ramirez, quite simply, do not belong in the same sentence. Unless, of course, the sentence is sarcastic and designed to point out how much of a liability he can be with the glove. UZR has him all over the place since 2002, ranging from +4 runs back then to -23 runs in 2005. From 2005-2008, his UZR numbers are -23, -20, -18, -5. His defense looked substantially better in 2008, but that does not make him solid in the field. A convervative UZR projection would peg Manny as a -10 runs fielder in 2009.
Via BP’s equivalent baserunning runs, Manny was worth +0.25 runs on the bases last year, and -2.05 runs the year before. Then, for whatever reason, the data does not seem to be there. Let’s call him -1 run on the bases, not terrible, not impressive.
As a corner outfielder, Manny should be docked -7.5 runs per 162 games. Projected to play 150 games next season, Manny’s prorated adjustment would be -6.9 runs. To determine value above replacement, and not average, the +20 runs per 700 PA also needs to be added. Prorating that, based on 584 projected plate appearances, adjusts this to +16.5 runs.
Adding the rounded results together: +30 + 17 – 10 – 7 – 1 = +29. Manny is a +2.9 win player in 2009. Assuming a going rate of $5 mil/win, Manny’s fair market value right now is $14.5 mil. A 3-yr deal, in a vacuum, would be worth closer to $42 mil. Suffice it to say, he is going to make much more than this. It is too difficult to quantify the merchandise and ticket sales that he will add to a team, but even with that, he does not seem to be worth the $22.5 mil/yr the Dodgers offered him earlier. Then again, accounting for the value of the actual marginal wins he is adding, he could very well be worth that fee.
Then again, perhaps the team feels that his -5 defense in 2008 is more a sign of things to come than the putrid numbers posted from 2005-07. If that is the case, then they are valuing Manny as a +34 run player, or +3.4 wins. That fair market value would be $17 mil/yr, and with the ticket sales and merchandise that would follow, it does seem more realistic that he could be worth about $22 mil/yr. For him to truly command a deal that impressive, he would have to be worth closer to four wins offensively than three, show that his defensive shortcomings are closer to a half-win docked rather than two full wins, and really keep a fanbase entertained.
Assuming -10 runs defensively, for Manny to truly command $22.5 mil/yr, he would need to be +45 runs on offense/baserunning combined. 45 runs offense + 17 over replacement – 10 defense – 7 position = +45. +45 runs = +4.5 wins. +4.5 wins * $5 mil/win = $22.5 mil.
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