Wrapping Up Win Values

So, we’ve walked through the pitcher win values formula, and they’re now available on the leaderboard and the team pages going back to 2002. As a wrapup, let’s take a look at some final win value housekeeping notes.

If you sum up the 2008 win values for the position players and the pitchers that we have here on the site, you’ll notice that we’re handing out 583 wins to position players and 445 wins to pitchers. That’s 1,028 marginal wins – 57% of them are earned by position players and 43% of them are earned by pitchers. You know that whole “good teams are built around good pitching” thing? It’s bunk. Position players are more valuable than pitchers.

With a league wide total of 2,430 wins available every season (81*30) and 1,028 of those being distinguished as wins above replacement level, that means that the average team is 34.26 wins above replacement. 81 – 34.26 = 46.74. That’s what our numbers say a true talent replacement level team would have won in 2008. Just shy of 47 wins, or a .289 winning percentage, is the replacement level we’re using. It will vary slightly from year to year, but the .290 to .300 win% range is what is generally accepted as replacement level.

Over the last four years, Oliver Perez has been worth a total of 2.5 wins in nearly 600 innings. And he wants $12 million a year for five years. Maybe he’s the left-handed Gil Meche, and he’s going to turn the corner immediately after signing a big contract, but there’s about a 5% chance of that being true and about a 95% chance that he’s the most overrated pitcher in baseball.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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I do find it funny Oliver Perez wants $12m while Odalis Perez who projects better might have to settle for an NRI.