The A’s and Brewers Define Replacement Level

Occasionally, writers or commentators who are not fans of WAR will talk about how the concept of a replacement level player is a fabrication, a subjective threshold determined in some arbitrary reality. It’s not a real baseline, they argue, and thus corrupts the entire model.

Well, helpfully, the A’s and Brewers have just completed a transaction that defines replacement level spectacularly well.

A dollar. The A’s cost to acquire Mills from the Brewers was the same as a gas station cup of coffee. While Mills wasn’t in their organization, he still served as a source of organizational depth because there was basically no frictional costs in obtaining his rights. This is the thing about replacement level players; they are so plentiful that you don’t even have to have one in order to have access to its utility. When you need one, you can go get them, and for little or no cost.

By the way, in his Major League career, Brad Mills has thrown 53 innings. His career WAR? 0.0. I guess the definition of replacement level isn’t so theoretical after all.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Those AAA numbers look quite nifty for $1.

Yirmiyahu
Member

You talking about his career 4.19 ERA / 4.47 FIP in 635.2 innings over 6 seasons in AAA?

Crack Addict says what?
Guest
Crack Addict says what?

probably the strikeouts compared to walks.

Matt
Guest
Matt

This may be a coincidence, but I picked him up in my fantasy league for just $1. Feeling prettttttay good about myself right now.

filihok
Member

You coulda had the real thing!

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