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  • List of the most overpaid Pitchers and hitters

    As taken from yahoo sports: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slu...=tsn&type=lgns

    Overpaying a player once is OK, as long as you learn from it

    Going into the 2008 season, 124 baseball players hold contracts with an annual salary of $8 million or more. Getting a contract of that value generally means a player has shown his worth with great performances or long-term durability. Teams, however, sometimes overpay for past performance.

    Eighty-six of those 124 players carried over their contract from the previous season, but some did not produce enough last year to justify the salary paid. By examining these players and their contracts, is it possible to avoid such mistakes in the future?

    To evaluate a player’s output versus his salary, “Win Shares” provides a single number of a players value, including batting, fielding and pitching. The Win Shares metric, developed by Bill James, is intended to indicate the number of wins contributed by a certain player.

    Win Shares per million dollars allows the ranking of players based on bang for the buck. For the players in question here, we use the average number of win shares per season since the signing of the contract, and the average yearly value of the contract.

    For example, shortstop Orlando Cabrera played three seasons on a contract that averages $8 million annually. In that time, he posted 19.6 Win Shares per season. 19.6 Win Shares divided by $8 million results in Cabrera producing 2.45 Win Shares per million dollars—a good number. For the 86 players we are talking about, the average is 1.4 Win Shares per million dollars.

    Splitting the players into four groups provides a better way of seeing who is not producing at a level worthy of their contracts. We divided players into batters and pitchers, then subdivided them based on how far into their deals they are—short term (one or two seasons in) and long term (three or more).

    Bottom five short-term pitchers

    5. Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks: 0.3 WS/million. Johnson needed back surgery during the ‘07 season. He is throwing well in spring training so far, so it’s possible he can bring up that number in the second year of his contract.

    4. Vicente Padilla, Texas Rangers: 0.2 WS/million. He played most of the season, accumulating 23 starts with a 5.76 ERA. He struggled with elbow problems most of the year.

    3. Adam Eaton, Philadelphia Phillies: 0.2 WS/million. This was just a bad deal. Eaton never was very good and sustained a strained middle finger tendon in each of his previous two seasons. With the Phillies, he posted the worst ERA of his career.

    2. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals: 0.0 WS/million. Carpenter made one start in ‘07 and eventually had to have Tommy John surgery. He’s not expected back until mid to late ‘08 at the earliest. He’ll basically provide no value for the first two years of a five-season contract.

    1. Jason Schmidt, Los Angeles Dodgers: 0.0 WS/million. Schmidt made six starts in ‘07 and pitched very poorly, posting a 6.31 ERA. He missed the rest of the season after shoulder surgery. He has two years left on his contract and threw pain free in his first bullpen session of the spring.

    Bottom five short-term hitters

    5. Nomar Garciaparra, Los Angeles Dodgers: 1.2 WS/million. He could not sustain his solid ‘06 campaign and fell even further off his poor ‘05 numbers. The Dodgers are rid of this contract after this season, though.

    4. Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs: 1.1 WS/million. A great ‘05 season earned Lee a big contract for ‘06. Lee’s low rank here is based on a 50-game season in the first year of the contract. Based on ‘07, he can make this deal look a lot better over the next three seasons.

    3. Jim Edmonds, San Diego Padres: 0.95 WS/million. Edmonds saw both his on-base average and slugging percentage take a nose dive for a second year. The Padres acquired him from St. Louis in the offseason and hope for some kind of rebound in the final season of the deal.

    2. Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees: 0.9 WS/million. Once an iron man, injuries limited him to 194 games over the last two seasons.

    1. J.D. Drew, Boston Red Sox: 0.85 WS/million. Drew actually stayed healthy in ‘07, but his slugging percentage was off about 75 points from his career average. Drew has four seasons left to improve his standing.

    Bottom five long-term pitchers

    5. Jason Isringhausen, St. Louis Cardinals: 1.1 WS/million. Isringhausen is effective, but closers just don’t deliver that much in terms of Win Shares because of the few innings they work.

    4. Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers: 0.9 WS/million. He signed a four-year deal after an outstanding ‘04 season. That was his third year in a row throwing 200-plus innings, but he hasn’t qualified for the ERA title since.

    3. Pedro Martinez, New York Mets: 0.6 WS/million. Injuries wiped out most of the ‘07 season and caused him to post the highest ERA of his career in ‘06.

    2. Mike Hampton, Atlanta Braves: 0.4 WS/million. He enters the last season of his eight-year contract having not pitched since ‘05.

    1. Carl Pavano, New York Yankees: 0.08 WS/million. He signed a four-year, $40 million contract after the ‘04 season, but a series of injuries have limited him to 19 starts and a 4.77 ERA with the Yankees.

    Bottom five long-term hitters

    5. Adrian Beltre, Seattle Mariners: 1.3 WS/million. He performs better than one may think, averaging 17.1 Win Shares in his three seasons with the Mariners. He just didn’t live up to his breakout final season with the Dodgers, the basis for his big contract.

    4. Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox: 1.3 WS/million. Yes, Manny is a great hitter. But the price tag is just too high. Note that the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez over the length of his previous contract averaged seven more Win Shares per season than Ramirez. If you take their WS/million out to the next decimal point, Alex beats Manny 1.34 to 1.27, but still doesn’t reach the average of 1.4 WS/million. These numbers reflect superstars receiving a premium for contributing to lots of wins. It’s those extra wins that put teams over the top and into the playoffs.

    3. Garrett Anderson, Los Angeles Angels: 1.2 WS/million. This is simply a case of a team valuing batting average more than on-base average. Anderson doesn’t get on base very often for a player with such a good batting average.

    2. Jason Giambi, New York Yankees: 1.2 WS/million. His average is brought down by poor seasons in ‘04 and ‘07. He also was limited to 139 games in both the ‘05 and ‘06 seasons. Still, he has had four great years with the club—on-base averages more than .400 and slugging percentages well over .500, hitting 151 home runs.

    1. Ken Griffey, Jr., Cincinnati Reds: 1.1 WS/million. His contract seemed like a sweet deal at the time for the Reds. Griffey, however, played 140-plus games in a season just twice in eight years. He has hit 195 home runs for Cincinnati after hitting 209 in his final four years for the Mariners.

    Hitters vs. pitchers

    Note that pitchers, in general, are a poor investment. When you rank the players by Win Shares per million dollars and divide them into four even tiers, or quartiles, you get the following counts of pitchers and batters:

    WS/million quartile Pitchers Batters
    First (highest) 5 16
    Second 3 19
    Third 8 14
    Fourth (lowest) 18 3
    Total 34 52

    Nearly 53 percent of the pitchers in the study finish in the bottom quartile, compared to 5.8 percent of batters. However, many of these were in the first year of their new deals, so they have a chance to bounce back.

    Lessons learned

    What lessons can we learn from these contracts? Pitchers produce much less than hitters, so big contracts are not the best idea for pitchers. Maybe the Twins knew what they were doing in trading away Johan Santana.

    Pitchers with any injury history are bad gambles. Johnson, Pavano, Schmidt, Carpenter, Eaton and Martinez fit this mold.

    The hitters are more complicated. Great hitters simply demand a premium. It’s tough to argue that the Ramirez and Rodriguez contracts were mistakes, despite less bang per dollar. But signing older players with a history of declining productivity doesn’t work. Garciaparra, Edmonds and Anderson prove that older hitters just aren’t worth a lot of money.

    David Pinto writes and edits BaseballMusings.com and is a regular contributor to Sporting News.

    (Writer’s note: Special thanks to Cot’s Baseball Contracts for the contract and salary information.)
    Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

  • #2
    Yes, but this doesnt take into account, that is very important when discussing salaries, is how much they bring off the field. A-rod brings in millions and millions for the yankees in merch, extra tickets sold, advertising and alot of other sources of income.
    But win shares per million seems a good way of seeing who is overpaid purely on stats they produce.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by fartingbob View Post
      But win shares per million seems a good way of seeing who is overpaid purely on stats they produce.
      I assume that was the yahoo writers intent.
      Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

      Comment


      • #4
        Baseball players and their salaries are just like any other investment in the world. Some are good and some are bad. A players performance on the field is all that matters to me if he is getting paid rookie minimum to 20mil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AutographCollector View Post
          Nearly 53 percent of the pitchers in the study finish in the bottom quartile, compared to 5.8 percent of batters. However, many of these were in the first year of their new deals, so they have a chance to bounce back.

          Lessons learned

          What lessons can we learn from these contracts? Pitchers produce much less than hitters, so big contracts are not the best idea for pitchers. Maybe the Twins knew what they were doing in trading away Johan Santana.

          Pitchers with any injury history are bad gambles. Johnson, Pavano, Schmidt, Carpenter, Eaton and Martinez fit this mold.

          The hitters are more complicated. Great hitters simply demand a premium. It’s tough to argue that the Ramirez and Rodriguez contracts were mistakes, despite less bang per dollar. But signing older players with a history of declining productivity doesn’t work. Garciaparra, Edmonds and Anderson prove that older hitters just aren’t worth a lot of money.

          David Pinto writes and edits BaseballMusings.com and is a regular contributor to Sporting News.

          (Writer’s note: Special thanks to Cot’s Baseball Contracts for the contract and salary information.)
          I'm calling sophistry here.

          If you are going to draw a market-based analysis, you have to at least acknowledge some of the more esoteric market dynamics.

          Let's begin with a very basic one, supply and demand. Position players are more plentiful than pitchers, and to some extent they are even interchangeable - you can turn a 3B to a 1B, a CF to a LF, and so forth. It is easier to find replacement level to average position players than it is to find replacement level pitching. Additionally, even smaller market teams recognize the value of quality pitching and make attempts to retain their talent, therefore, quality pitching hits the market less frequently than quality bats do, so naturally the prices are driven up. There's a lot more to say here, but I'll just leave it there.

          Secondly, consider the notion of risk and profit potential as it relates to an investment. A position player is a lower risk investment. Position players also contribute on both sides of the ball, giving them a wider spectrum of contribution from which they can generate value. Torii Hunter can have a terrible year at the plate, but still provide high quality defense at premium position. Additionally, some performance has to do with luck, Hunter can still contribute in the field even if he is the victim of some unfortunate BABIP run, or whatever. That said, Hunter is a poor investment. He will not be worth his salary, but there is a floor to how bad he can really be. That's not the case with pitchers. A guy like Bedard can potentially be worth 20M a season, and that's partially what you are paying for - the growth potential.

          You can't make a market analysis without recognizing that there are different "asset classes."

          One final analogy, when you play video poker and you have something like three of a suit, a non-suited Ace, and a throwaway card, you are supposed to dump the ace and the throwaway and shoot for the flush. This is because you can make Jacks or Better all day but you won't walk away with the payday you earn by hitting a couple of lucrative longshots. While translating such a model to running a business is probably not wise, it is important to note that pitching is less predictable and therefore where the longshot odds are taken.

          Unless you're retiring tomorrow, your portfolio shouldn't really consist of simply Fortune 500 stocks.

          Okay, that's enough market analysis and investment advice from a (hungover) Marxist, so I'll shut up now.
          Last edited by digglahhh; 02-23-2008, 10:27 AM.
          THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

          In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

          Comment


          • #6
            Anyone else find it funny that Pavano has more win shares/million than Caroenter and Schmidt COMBINED?
            Religion: Yankeeist

            "Hanging out with him sucks because all the women flock to him. Let's see, he's been on the cover of GQ, is rich and famous, hits for average and power and is a helluva nice guy." - Tim Raines on Derek Jeter

            Comment


            • #7
              This article is a bit silly if you ask me, there is more that dictates what a player is worth to an orginization then win share. I think the Matsui part is a bit misleading. He broke his wrist diving for a ball early in 06' and miss the whole season only playing in 40 games, last year he really wasn't really out that much so that he only played 194 games the last 2 season is misleading, adding the fact that he brings a huge Japenese market to the Yanks increases his worth to the orginization. The Manny thing is totally stupid, I think help winnning two championships and being a top hitter and one of the faces of a team helps his wort a bit. I don't see how some abstract stat can solve something like this.
              39 AL Pennants • 26 World Series titles
              2003 • 2001 • 2000 • 1999•1998 • 1996 •1981 • 1978 •1977 • 1976 • 1964 • 1963 •1962 • 1961 • 1960 •1958•1957 • 1956 • 1955 • 1953 • 1952 • 1951 • 1950 • 1949•1947 • 1943 • 1942 • 1941•1939 • 1938 • 1937 • 1936•1932 • 1928 • 1927 • 1926 •1923 • 1922 • 1921

              :bowdown:1•3•4•5•7•8•8•9•10•15•16•23•32•37•42•44•49 & soon 2•6•20•21•51•42

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by digglahhh View Post
                I'm calling sophistry here.

                If you are going to draw a market-based analysis, you have to at least acknowledge some of the more esoteric market dynamics.

                Let's begin with a very basic one, supply and demand. Position players are more plentiful than pitchers, and to some extent they are even interchangeable - you can turn a 3B to a 1B, a CF to a LF, and so forth. It is easier to find replacement level to average position players than it is to find replacement level pitching. Additionally, even smaller market teams recognize the value of quality pitching and make attempts to retain their talent, therefore, quality pitching hits the market less frequently than quality bats do, so naturally the prices are driven up. There's a lot more to say here, but I'll just leave it there.

                Secondly, consider the notion of risk and profit potential as it relates to an investment. A position player is a lower risk investment. Position players also contribute on both sides of the ball, giving them a wider spectrum of contribution from which they can generate value. Torii Hunter can have a terrible year at the plate, but still provide high quality defense at premium position. Additionally, some performance has to do with luck, Hunter can still contribute in the field even if he is the victim of some unfortunate BABIP run, or whatever. That said, Hunter is a poor investment. He will not be worth his salary, but there is a floor to how bad he can really be. That's not the case with pitchers. A guy like Bedard can potentially be worth 20M a season, and that's partially what you are paying for - the growth potential.

                You can't make a market analysis without recognizing that there are different "asset classes."

                One final analogy, when you play video poker and you have something like three of a suit, a non-suited Ace, and a throwaway card, you are supposed to dump the ace and the throwaway and shoot for the flush. This is because you can make Jacks or Better all day but you won't walk away with the payday you earn by hitting a couple of lucrative longshots. While translating such a model to running a business is probably not wise, it is important to note that pitching is less predictable and therefore where the longshot odds are taken.

                Unless you're retiring tomorrow, your portfolio shouldn't really consist of simply Fortune 500 stocks.

                Okay, that's enough market analysis and investment advice from a (hungover) Marxist, so I'll shut up now.
                I couldn't agree more with what you are saying. I appreciate what James, Baseball Prospectus, et al. are trying to accomplish, I really do. But at the same time their view is limited. Well, maybe not their view, but the way people try to translate the stats and implement them are. Half the people on that list have been injured at some point over the last few years, of course their contracts are going to look bad. Also, like you said, you can't measure somethings that a player brings to a team. Manny is the face of the Red Sox, the fans would probably be devestateted if he left, he sells a ton of merchandise, he's marketable, I think he deserves a little bit of the money that he brings in on the backend of his contract. I'll just stop there before a spurn another debate with my view of the SABR students. Like I said, I appreciate the statistics, just don't have a limited view on things that happen outside of a boxscore. And just some common sense. Chris Carpenter hits the operating table, of course his numbers are going to go down, we don't need Bill James to tell us that. Show us the contracts of people that aren't injured, that would be more interesting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If Duquette had known in advance what Manny would bring to the team I betcha he'd have paid twice as much.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's not just in baseball, all across the board people always try to break everything down to some sort of statistic or some sort of numbers to explain and find an easy fool proof solution to everything. Most things are more complex and have too many variables to sum up with numbers. You need some human experience, observation and decision making to come up with answers to most problems. that's why computers won't ever replace humans.
                    39 AL Pennants • 26 World Series titles
                    2003 • 2001 • 2000 • 1999•1998 • 1996 •1981 • 1978 •1977 • 1976 • 1964 • 1963 •1962 • 1961 • 1960 •1958•1957 • 1956 • 1955 • 1953 • 1952 • 1951 • 1950 • 1949•1947 • 1943 • 1942 • 1941•1939 • 1938 • 1937 • 1936•1932 • 1928 • 1927 • 1926 •1923 • 1922 • 1921

                    :bowdown:1•3•4•5•7•8•8•9•10•15•16•23•32•37•42•44•49 & soon 2•6•20•21•51•42

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Where's Barry Zito, Gil Meche, Carlos Silva, Adrian Beltre and Eric Chavez?
                      WAR? Prove it!

                      Trusted Traders: ttmman21, Dalkowski110, BoofBonser26, Kearns643, HudsonHarden, Extra Innings, MadHatter, Mike D., J.P., SShifflett

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                      • #12
                        This article appeared on Yahoo!, I don't really think SABR criticisms are pertinent. Sure they used dollar to win share ratio, but that isn't the flaw of the exercise. It would have been just a silly had they used HR, or RBI, or anything else.

                        The flaw in the exercise is the superficial conclusions it draws and assumptions it makes. There's no context to it.

                        While there are notable exceptions in players like Ichiro who open up markets, and particularly charismatic (star) players like Manny whose exposure helps his team from a business standpoint, the great majority of a players' contributions to their teams can, in fact, be summed up by the boxscore. Many of the guys referenced in this thread are the exceptions not the rule.
                        THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                        In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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