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Type B Relievers

Yesterday we took a look at the five Type B free agent starting pitchers currently on the market: Paul Byrd, Jon Garland, Braden Looper, John Smoltz, and Randy Wolf. Today we will venture into the land of Type B relievers. What is a Type B free agent, though? Simply put, the top 20% at each position garner the Type A classification, and the next 20% become Type B players.

The rankings are determined by a specific formula implemented by Elias and an example of the end results can be found here. When a Type B free agent is signed, the team losing said player earns a supplemental draft pick. Unlike Type A free agents, however, the signing team does not have to surrender any picks. If a team does not offer its own pending Type B free agents arbitration, they will not earn any supplemental picks upon the departure of the free agent. This, as mentioned yesterday, happened with Smoltz.

Right now, six relievers on the market are classified as Type B players: Luis Ayala, Joe Beimel, Eric Gagne, Jason Isringhausen, Dennys Reyes, and Brian Shouse. To determine their fair market values, the formula introduced by TangoTiger and used most recently in Matt’s analysis of Brian Fuentes comes into play:

A: (RA + LeagRA) ^ 0.28
B: (LeagRA/RA) ^ A
Win%: B/(B+1)

After probing various projection sources to determine the RA numbers for these six pitchers, the results can be seen below:

NAME                  IP      RA
Luis Ayala            72     4.36
Joe Beimel            54     4.02
Eric Gagne            53     4.15
Jason Isringhausen    47     4.21
Dennys Reyes          51     4.08
Brian Shouse          53     4.08

Plugging the numbers above into the formula, assuming a replacement percentage of .451, as well as incorporating the leverage of innings pitched into the equation, here are the WAR results:

NAME                 WIN%     WAR
Luis Ayala          .514     +0.60
Joe Beimel          .550     +0.65
Eric Gagne          .536     +0.55
Jason Isringhausen  .529     +0.74
Dennys Reyes        .544     +0.62
Brian Shouse        .544     +0.60

And, with the going rate between $4.7-$5 mil per win, here are their fair market values as well as salaries earned in 2008:

NAME                2009 FMV   2008 SAL
Luis Ayala          $2.8 mil   $1.7 mil
Joe Beimel          $3.1 mil   $1.925 mil
Eric Gagne          $2.7 mil   $10 mil
Jason Isringhausen  $3.5 mil   $8 mil
Dennys Reyes        $3.0 mil   $1 mil
Brian Shouse        $2.8 mil   $2 mil

Relievers generally are not worth too many wins due to the small samples of performance, but all six of these pitchers project to be better than a half-win above replacement. Ayala is a workhorse, which makes him almost as valuable as the others despite the lowest winning percentage. He, Beimel, and Reyes are all 31 years old, the youngest of the group.

Gagne follows at 33 years old, but should not earn anywhere near the $10 mil Milwaukee signed him for prior to last season. Izzy is 36 and coming off of a poor, injury-plagued season. The projections see him bouncing back a bit, but his days as a dominant force are likely behind him. Shouse, a lefty specialist in every sense of the term, is 40, but still adds value. Much of the bullpen talk this offseason has centered around the closers like K-Rod and Fuentes, but here are six relievers that could be had on the cheap while strengthening a bullpen and not costing their new teams a draft pick.