Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Max Contracts - Position Players

With that said, I wanted to see how players who earned max contracts performed under those contracts. Do they put up good stats? How do those stats compare to the offensive performance of the team and replacement players? Do teams win more games after handing out these contracts? Maybe answering these questions will give us a little more insight as to whether big contracts produce a suitable return.

I thought there would be more info available going into this. I could only find 4 max contract position players. It probably has something to do with the olden days, where players rated 90 overall would sign $8 million extensions with their controlling franchise.

I've defined a max contract as any contract that totaled $80 million or more. I only found four position players, but please let me know of anyone I missed.

So here are our four candidates with their average seasonal performances:

It certainly looks like Lou Luke is working out well. The 50 HR's and .324 BA are quite attractive. When comparing Chip Greenwood to the rest, it should be noted that he is the only skill player of the group. Greenwood played the last two seasons at SS, and looks like a 3B for the next few seasons. His low BA (.268) doesn't bode well, but 30 HR's from the SS position is quite nice. Aaron Gonzales has some nice pop, and Jesus Park has an attractive BA & OBP.

Let's compare these players to replacement players. WIS doesn't make it easy to research and find a replacement players, so I had to do some digging on my own. This is extremely arbitrary. I found one guy, Vic Bolivar, who is probably better than a replacement player, and signed a substantial contract (5 years $5.6 per). I used two more guys who were signed for cheap, and could be had by anybody (Elmer Fabregas and Ernest Bichette). I think these guys encompass the "replacement player" theory better than Bolivar. (Aside, nice signings, GM's.)

Now let's look at each player's Runs Created, how that compared to the total runs their teams scored, and how much money these runs cost.

How about that Lou Luke? He's managed to create about 18% of his team's runs during his max contract, well above the production that Gonzales, Greenwood, and Park contribute. And when you compare their RC to their contract, Luke looks even better, costing "just" $113,163 per run created last season. Compare that to Gonzales' lowest of $184,070, Greenwood of $180,978, and Park of $135,510.

I found it interesting that the "replacement players" scored a significant amount of their team's runs. Bolivar scored 12%, which is comparable or better than Gonzales' rate, at a fraction of the cost. This information also tells me that the first 50-80 runs are cheap, the next 25 runs are marginally more expensive, and from there the costs rises steeply.

OK, final topic. A quick look at how these contracts impact wins. I'll be the first to admit that we are dealing with a small sample size in all data accumulated thus far. It's even more so with a team's win total. Lots of outside factors can cause giant swings in a team's win total from year to year. I'm not putting too much weight in this data, but thought it would be a good idea to get it down for the record. As we accumulate more information, maybe we will start to see a pattern.

Final analysis: It looks like Luke is earning his contract and then some. Park, in my opinion, looks pretty good. I think if he can keep his RC over 120, his contract will be justified. Greenwood, as I said, is a SS and should be evaluated differently. He has spent some time on the DL these last couple of years, so if he can stay healthy going forward, he could pay some dividends on his GM's investment. Finally, Gonzales, well, that contract doesn't look good. I think Luke, Park, and Gonzales show us what we can expect if we sign a good, medium, and poor max contract.

1 comment:

Hypnotoad said...

Nice job - I had Park when he had a very reasonable salary and thought he was a good value ( loved his absurdly high OBA). I personally wouldn't want to pay a max salary for a guy who is "just" a high OBA though.
Luke might be a good value at double his salary.