I was going to do a whole FanPost with cute monkey pictures and more detailed analysis, but I have a backlog of stuff to bore you with, and this isn't my blog anyway. I figure people can discuss this on its own, and at the very least it might be a handy reference tool. Unless it sucks, in which case feel free to ignore it.
In short, I constructed another Google Spreadsheet to give some estimated market values of free agent position players (with a few of my non-FA favorites mixed in for fun) for the 2008-2009 off-season, just in time for Winter Meetings. These are not my projections. They take the (intentionally) most basic offensive projections available -- Tom Tango's Marcel projections (named after the monkey from the first season of Friends [ugh]) and combine it with the defensive projections done by "Chone" Smith, aka the Rally Monkey. I don't get into the in and outs of Marcels (which is intended less as a "real" projection system than as a baseline for judging others, although it does surprisingly well with established players, considering its simplicity), nor of Chone's defensive projections (which have been discussed on this blog a bit already. Keep in mind that some of this stuff can seem pretty silly (Marcel doesn't understand park effects or injuries, for example, but I still think any monkey that can regress to league average is pretty impressive), but I didn't adjust anything because then I would have to adjust everything.
This sort of thing is discussed a great deal on the intertubez, so I thought I'd put a lot of it together with "custom" salary estimation for each player based on $4.84 million per win above replacement (WAR) adding in $400,000 a year replacement cost. I have also included a generic salary chart.
I make no great claim to originality here. I'm just taking other people's projections and combining it with stuff I've picked up by reading smart people (Tom Tango, MGL, Dave Cameron, and on and on) -- the story of my life.
To borrow one of Tango's lines about this: teams who sign players for their market value (relative to whatever projection you have for the player, of course) aren't particularly smart or particularly dumb. They're just doing what any other team would do in signing for market value. The smart teams are the ones that manage to find players they can sign for less than the market value. So discuss away!
Just to reiterate: I am not saying a couple of monkeys (Marcel and Rally) should be running the Royals. Some things can't be projected by simple computer programs. The monkeys would never have been able to see Gil Meche's past two years of performance coming.
Then again, Marcel and Rally would never have given Jose Guillen 3/36, so maybe Dayton Moore should bring them on as consultants...