Impending Free Agents By WAR

You can't do much with a month's worth of data, but we like to look anyway.  Wins Above Replacement is a good way to boil down any player's contribution to one number.  Pulling data from FanGraphs, these 2011 free agents are potentially raising their stock.  Of course, WAR isn't everything, as Felipe Lopez can attest after signing for a million bucks following a 4.6 win season.

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24 Responses to Impending Free Agents By WAR Leave a Reply

  1. ivdown 5 years ago

    It’s a contract year for Jeter? Wouldn’t that be hilarious to see him as a free agent, lol.

  2. cavebird 5 years ago

    Tim—you missed another one. Andruw Jones at 0.8 WAR.

    • I missed Kearns and Olivo too, I realize. Looks like the WAR leaderboard at FanGraphs only includes qualified players, it probably should not work that way.

  3. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    I’d be very surprised if Jeter, Pettite, and/or Konerko reached free agency.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      I’d be surprised to see Pettitte pitch another season.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      agree on the first two… Konerko could

  4. dgrfns 5 years ago

    How can Pavano be more valued than Kuroda?

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      Because WAR isn’t fool-proof. It’s one tool. It’s far from infallible. It’s based on a number of assumptions and adjustments which are inherently subjective.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        I also don’t like the dollar value that Fangraphs places on each win, especially since people come on here and use that valuation as if it’s a fact.

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          It also doesn’t account for lineup protection. Mauer wouldn’t be batting champ hitting before morneau, hed be the walks leader.

          But we could go on for quite some time about WARs shortcomings. Its the best we have at what it does but its far from perfect.

          • “Lineup protection” has never been demonstrated to have any statistically significant effect on the performance of a hitter. WAR doesn’t value it because the idea that a hitter performs better with protection has no established basis in fact.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Nonsense. A guy hitting in front of bonds sees fewer ibb when barry is in the lineup than when he’s out.

          • Drew 5 years ago

            More the the point, a guy hitting in front of Bonds will see more strikes (and primarily fastballs) when Bonds is behind him than when Bonds isn’t. And that gives you a better chance to pick your pitch to hit. Hence, lineup protection.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago


            All this isn’t to say WAR is a worthless formula. It’s just to say “WAR is the best we have, but it isn’t perfect. A 0.1 difference between two players is well within the margin of error, and doesn’t definitively declare one player to be superior to the other”.

          • There is no factual basis for this. It’s been studied, and nobody has found any evidence that it’s true. I’m not saying it’s false, but you don’t make decisions based on something with no evidence to back it up.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago


            I’d refer you to The Book, or The Baseball Economist.

            Both do significant work demonstrating the statistical impact of a good protected hitter, versus a good unprotected hitter. It can have as much as a 25% impact on the walk ratios.

          • Yankees420 5 years ago

            I agree completely.

      • Um, this is a really bad explanation. Nothing in WAR is “inherently subjective”; it’s all based on calculations and statistics, which cannot, by nature, be subjective.

        That’s like saying “2 + 2 = 4″ is a biased statement.

        But as for the original question? WAR values Pavano slightly higher this season than Kuroda because WAR values pitchers based on FIP, and Pavano’s FIP is 2.89, while Kuroda’s is higher, at 3.37.

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          WAR gives a + valuation based on position. That particular value “bonus” they get is not based on statistical input but rather creating fangraphs perception of “fair adjustment”. There’s zero science stating a 1b deserves +1 instead of +1.5.

          Take algebra 101, then look at the WAR formula. There’s outcome-engineering. Its necessary to get reasonable results. But its not pure stats.

  5. Yankees420 5 years ago

    Ok, so from what I can tell the Yankees have 64MM coming off the book from impending FA’s, (Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, Vazquez, Park, Winn, Thames) and only about 6.5MM in player raises, Hughes and Chamberlain go to Arb for the first time, Boone Logan goes for his 2nd and Mitre goes for his 3rd time. I see Logan and Mitre being non-tender candidates and Joba and Hughes probably getting about a 3MM raise each. Now I’m going to be kind of hopeful and predict that Mo and Jeter don’t ask for raises, (I could really reach and say they take pay cuts, but I don’t see that happening) so that would subtract 36MM from the 64MM coming off the books, then subtract the approx. 9.5MM in arb and raises and the Yankees have only 18.5MM to stay at the same payroll. Because of the importance of retaining Jeter and Mo, and because the Yankees will probably need pitching more than a LF next offseason, I think the only big name they will go after will be Cliff Lee. Now, obviously things will change throughout the year and I know that the Yankees could always just decide to raise payroll and get Lee and Crawford, but I have a feeling that Gardner will become a valuable asset to this club and him making only 500K will make him a more attractive option than Crawford at 17-18MM per.

    P.S. My payroll numbers might not be exact, but I used Cot’s.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      So to conclude I think the 2011 Yankees will look like this:

      1B: Teix
      2B: Cano
      3B: A-Rod
      SS: Jeter
      C: Posada/Montero (Mid-May call-up if his defense is ready)
      LF: Gardner
      CF: Granderson
      RF: Swisher
      DH: Posada/Montero/Rest for Vets

      Pitching Staff:
      Joba (Maybe the Yankees go get some innings eater to give him competition but I hope Joba wins the 5th spot next year)

      • jwredsox 5 years ago

        I still don’t see Montero as a catcher. He’d still be a good DH though

        • Yankees420 5 years ago

          I know, I know, I’m still going to hold out hope that he develops slightly below league average defense, and I think the Yankees will at the very least try him at C, because that’s where his bat is most valuable. Also I hope that he isn’t brought up as a DH, some positional flexibility (even if it’s poor defense) would be really nice, as long as he isn’t Adam Dunn in the OF I’d say stick him in LF.

  6. revjsvenzetti 5 years ago

    Tim, WAR is not the answer.

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