The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 








RSS 2.0 Atom


Rangers (40-61) @ Yankees (52-48), Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:05pm
(50 Comments - 7/24/2014 4:02:21 pm)

Yankees.com: Phelps, Yanks take rain-shortened win over Rangers
(14 Comments - 7/24/2014 1:29:03 pm)

Rangers (40-60) @ Yankees (51-48), Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 7:05pm
(64 Comments - 7/24/2014 12:07:59 am)

Dan Szymborski: Headley RoS ZiPS in Yankee Stadium
(9 Comments - 7/23/2014 3:55:59 pm)

Yankees.com: Newcomer Headley Yanks’ walk-off hero in 14th
(9 Comments - 7/23/2014 12:39:08 pm)

Rangers (40-59) @ Yankees (50-48), Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7:05pm
(107 Comments - 7/23/2014 2:16:59 am)

MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Acquire Chase Headley
(24 Comments - 7/22/2014 7:12:54 pm)

NYDN: Yankees commit five errors in 4-2 loss to Texas Rangers
(19 Comments - 7/22/2014 2:05:03 pm)

Rangers (39-59) @ Yankees (50-47), Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:05pm
(46 Comments - 7/22/2014 7:38:53 am)

NY Times: A Bloop Leads to a Blooper, Lifting the Yankees to a Sweep
(19 Comments - 7/21/2014 5:55:59 pm)



Player

Current Projected

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
-alskor

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.
sabernar

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.
OldYanksFan




This site is best viewed with a monitor.

Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Cost Cliff Lee?

The rumor mill is continuing to swirl around the Yankees’ number one target this offseason.  It’s tough to know what’s really true and what’s been strategically planted by representatives of all the interested parties, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and objectively determine how much Cliff Lee should be paid.
The most important considerations for that should be

a) How good is Cliff Lee and how good will he be going forward?

b) How much is that worth to the team that wants to sign him?

To answer the first question, I’ll try and use my CAIRO projection for Lee, but you can use whatever system you want.
Here are my range of projections for Lee in 2011 within one standard deviation of his baseline performance.  Like any pitcher, there’s the risk of an injury making him worth nothing, so although I won’t really get into that here it should be at least a slight consideration.

% G GS IP H HR BB K RA ERA FIP RSAR WAR
80% 32 32 220 204 16 31 190 3.53 3.22 2.87 60 6.0
65% 30 30 210 201 17 32 175 3.72 3.41 3.10 52 5.2
Baseline 29 29 200 198 18 33 161 3.91 3.59 3.34 46 4.6
35% 26 26 180 184 18 32 140 4.11 3.77 3.58 37 3.7
20% 23 23 160 168 18 31 120 4.30 3.96 3.81 30 3.0

FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RSAR: Runs saved above replacement level (using RA)
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RSAR divided by 10)

Lee’s a very good pitcher, and he projects to be one again in 2011.  But I don’t think he’s the best pitcher in baseball, even though some in the media talk about him like he is.  Whatever the case, there’s little doubt that he’d help any team in 2011, except for a team that already has say, 13 or so aces.  Actually, make that 12 now.

The problem is, you can’t sign Lee for one year.  Well, I guess you could if you offered him $50M or something, but that’s not particularly smart.  So then we need to try and think about how much he’ll be worth over however long you have to sign him for.

A generally good rule of thumb as researched by Tango Tiger is to assume a player in their 30s will decline by about 0.5 WAR per season.  This is a general aging decline that includes some risk of injury/attritition as well as the possibility that some players will play better than expected.  Of course, any individual player will not follow the general aging rules, and it’s not necessarily a nice linear progression, but if you are trying to forecast out four or five years it’ll probably be close more often than not.

Here are three scenarios with Lee.

Scenario 1: Lee is about as good as his baseline projection thinks he is.

I actually think Lee’s probably better than his baseline CAIRO projection.  Not 7.0 WAR good mind you, but maybe 5.0 WAR good.  But since it’s the baseline, it’s the first scenario.

Year Age IP H HR BB K RA ERA FIP RSAR WAR tWAR
2011 33 200 198 18 33 161 3.91 3.59 3.34 46 4.6 4.6
2012 34 190 193 18 32 148 4.07 3.73 3.41 40 4.0 8.6
2013 35 181 188 17 30 137 4.21 3.86 3.47 35 3.5 12.1
2014 36 172 184 17 29 124 4.32 3.96 3.60 31 3.1 15.2
2015 37 163 180 17 28 115 4.48 4.11 3.68 27 2.7 17.9
2016 38 155 176 16 27 108 4.69 4.30 3.74 22 2.2 20.1
2017 39 147 172 16 25 98 5.01 4.59 3.85 16 1.6 21.7

tWAR: Total WAR of contract through year n

Assuming Lee can pitch seven more years may be optimistic, but since there are at least rumors out there that some teams are considering offering him a contract of that length here’s what it may look like.  I realize there’s a big gap here between FIP and ERA as we move on, but from what I’ve found BABIP skill does decline as a pitcher ages.  The main thing we need to focus on is wins anyway, so the shape of how his value accrues is a secondary concern.

A win is worth a certain amount to each team.  For a team that’s on the playoff bubble a win is worth more than for a team that’s not.  As the largest revenue team in baseball, a win is worth more for the Yankees than any other team, which is why they can usually outbid anyone for a player they really want. 

I have no idea how much a win is worth to the Yankees right now.  We can try and estimate based on what they’ve paid free agents (say Jeter and Mo just now), but that means we need to know how much they value them and frankly both of them are almost certainly being paid more than they’re worth due to their iconic status.

So here’s a table that shows how much Lee would be worth for the Yankees based on four different valuations of a marginal win.

$/WAR $4,500,000 $5,000,000 $5,500,000 $6,000,000
Year tWAR tValue tValue tValue tValue
2011 4.6 $20,552,226 $22,835,807 $25,119,388 $27,402,968
2012 8.6 $38,586,878 $42,874,308 $47,161,739 $51,449,170
2013 12.1 $54,447,865 $60,497,627 $66,547,390 $72,597,153
2014 15.2 $68,599,324 $76,221,471 $83,843,618 $91,465,765
2015 17.9 $80,749,697 $89,721,885 $98,694,074 $107,666,262
2016 20.1 $90,671,401 $100,746,001 $110,820,601 $120,895,201
2017 21.7 $97,750,955 $108,612,172 $119,473,389 $130,334,606

$/WAR Estimated value of one win above replacement (WAR)
tWAR: Total WAR of contract through year n
tValue Total Value (tWAR times $/War)

If this is accurate, Lee will almost certainly be overpaid by any team who values a marginal win at $6M or less.  On average, teams spend $4.5M per marginal win on the free agent market, so that probably covers just about every team.

Scenario 2: Lee is about as good as his 80% projection thinks he is.

Year Age IP H HR BB K RA ERA FIP RSAR WAR
2011 33 220 204 16 31 190 3.53 3.22 2.87 60 6.0
2012 34 209 198 15 29 174 3.67 3.35 2.93 53 5.3
2013 35 199 193 15 28 162 3.80 3.47 3.00 48 4.8
2014 36 189 189 15 27 146 3.90 3.56 3.12 43 4.3
2015 37 179 185 14 26 135 4.04 3.69 3.19 38 3.8
2016 38 170 181 14 25 128 4.23 3.86 3.24 33 3.3
2017 39 162 177 14 24 116 4.52 4.12 3.35 26 2.6
$/WAR $4,500,000 $5,000,000 $5,500,000 $6,000,000
Year tWAR tValue tValue tValue tValue
2011 6.0 $26,805,561 $29,783,957 $32,762,352 $35,740,748
2012 11.3 $50,791,595 $56,435,106 $62,078,616 $67,722,127
2013 16.1 $72,315,542 $80,350,602 $88,385,662 $96,420,722
2014 20.4 $91,853,404 $102,059,337 $112,265,271 $122,471,205
2015 24.3 $109,130,160 $121,255,734 $133,381,307 $145,506,880
2016 27.5 $123,933,587 $137,703,985 $151,474,384 $165,244,782
2017 30.1 $135,667,648 $150,741,831 $165,816,014 $180,890,197

I find this scenario to be somewhat unrealistic, but I’m presenting it anyway.

Scenario 3: Lee’s back problems or some other decline leading to him being only as good as his 20% projection.

Year Age IP H HR BB K RA ERA FIP RSAR WAR tWAR
2011 33 160 168 18 31 120 4.30 3.96 3.81 30 3.0 3.0
2012 34 152 164 17 29 110 4.47 4.11 3.88 25 2.5 5.5
2013 35 144 160 17 28 102 4.62 4.26 3.95 22 2.2 7.7
2014 36 137 156 16 27 92 4.74 4.36 4.08 19 1.9 9.5
2015 37 130 153 16 26 85 4.91 4.52 4.17 15 1.5 11.1
2016 38 124 150 16 25 81 5.14 4.74 4.24 11 1.1 12.2
2017 39 118 146 15 24 73 5.49 5.06 4.35 6 0.6 12.8
 $/WAR   $4,500,000   $5,000,000   $5,500,000    $6,000,000  
 Year  tWAR tValue  tValue  tValue  tValue
 2011  3.0  $13,388,608   $14,876,232  $16,363,855  $17,851,478 
 2012  5.5  $24,799,662   $27,555,180  $30,310,698  $33,066,216 
 2013  7.7  $34,523,462   $38,359,402  $42,195,342  $46,031,283 
 2014  9.5  $42,956,443   $47,729,381  $52,502,319  $57,275,258 
 2015  11.1  $49,832,126   $55,369,028  $60,905,931  $66,442,834 
 2016  12.2  $54,940,724   $61,045,248  $67,149,773  $73,254,298 
 2017  12.8  $57,734,147   $64,149,053  $70,563,958  $76,978,863 

This is the real concern.  The fact is, aside from his Cy Young season in 2008 Lee’s never been the clear-cut best pitcher in the league, unless you want to assume his FIP tells us everything we need to know about him, a position I refuse to accept.  He appears to be in very good shape, but he will be 33 and he has had back problems and those are legitimate and real concerns.

For that reason, I’d rather see the Yankees overpay for five seasons and avoid the very real risk that they will be paying for a Lee that is barely above replacement level in years six and seven if scenario 3 comes close to passing.  But given the way things are shaping, he’s probably getting six years from someone.  If that’s the Yankees, it’s almost certainly good news for 2011, but could become a real problem after that.

--Posted at 11:01 am by SG / 151 Comments | - (0)



Page 1 of 1 pages: