Prince’s Payday

Only two players who may be headed to arbitration submitted salary figures at least $2 mil more than what their team’s offered: Ryan Howard ($4 mil) and Prince Fielder ($2 mil). Earlier today, we discussed Howard’s case and how he really does not follow the 40/60/80 fair market value modifier for arbitration deals. Howard set a record last season by winning his case and jumping from $900K to $10 mil, so does Prince have a shot to do something similar? Fielder had his deal renewed to $670K last season, which infuriated the portly first baseman.

Prince submitted an $8 mil figure while the Brewers felt a more appropriate salary would be $6 mil. Granted, with such a small discrepancy, relatively speaking, it should be much easier to settle with Fielder than Howard, but, alliteration aside what does Prince’s projected production portend?

The projection systems suggest Fielder’s wOBA will come between .380 and .400. At .390, he would be worth right around +32 runs with the bat. His fielding has never been a strong suit, ranging from -7 to -10 with the glove. Prince has been very durable, however, so 160 games and 680 PA are not a stretch. Based on these numbers, Fielder would be worth approximately +33.5 runs above replacement. We will round this off to +3.4 wins.

At fair market value, Prince commands $15.3 mil. Entering his first season, his value can be calculated by multiplying the fair market value by 40%. 0.40 * $15.3 mil = $6.1 mil. Essentially, the Brewers proposed salary is exactly 40% of Prince’s fair market value. Fielder’s figure would value around 52% of his fair market value, potentially setting up a 50/70/90 modifier as opposed to 40/60/80.

GM Doug Melvin has hinted that a settlement may well be reached prior to the court date, regardless of the fact that Scott Boras represents Prince. Whether Fielder gets $6 mil or $8 mil, the eventual contract makes sense given his production level and service time, especially considering he isn’t immediately jumping to 75-80% of his market value.

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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.

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So how big do you think his weiner is?