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SB Nation Simulation Contracts vs. Real Contracts

How did our fake GMs fare against the real thing?

Rick Yeatts

Back in November I rounded up 30 insanely nerdy baseball fans and had them play General Manager for their respective team while I nerdily played agent for my imaginary free agent players. The result was the SB Nation Winter Simulation. Now that the offseason is nearly complete, I thought it would be interesting and compare our GMs results to what actually happened.

We still have four major free agents unsigned as of yet - Ervin Santana, Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales. In our simulation, Santana signed with Minnesota for 4 years/$40 million. That is likely to be right around what he will get in my estimation. Nelson Cruz re-signed with Texas for 2 years/$30 million, a plausible number for him at this point. Stephen Drew re-signed with Boston for 3 years/$33 million, probably higher than Drew should expect to get at this point. Kendrys Morales re-signed with Seattle for 3 years $26 million, which maybe more years than he should expect to get at this point.

Here are the major free agents that have signed, compared to what our fake GMs signed them for. I have arranged them in order of their real contract, from largest to smallest. I am only counting guaranteed money (salary + buyout), not any option years or incentives.

Player Simulation Real Life
Robinson Cano NYY 10/$230 SEA 10/$240
Masahiro Tanaka NYY 6/$90 NYY 7/$155
Jacoby Ellsbury SEA 7/$120 NYY 7/$153
Shin-Soo Choo NYM 7/$137 TEX 7/$130
Brian McCann TEX 6/$110 NYY 5/$85
Jose Abreu CHW 6/$80 CHW 6/$68
Curtis Granderson CIN 4/$68 NYM 4/$60
Jhonnny Peralta CLE 3/$29 STL 4/$53
Matt Garza MIL 4/$75 MIL 4/$50
Ricky Nolasco CLE 3/$33 MIN 4/$49
Ubaldo Jimenez CHC 4/$68 BAL 4/$48
Carlos Beltran LAD 2/$34 NYY 3/$45
Mike Napoli BOS 3/$45 BOS 2/$32
Jason Vargas LAA 3/$27 KCR 4/$32
Omar Infante DET 3/$30 KCR 4/$30.25
Scott Feldman NYY 3/$24 HOU 3/$30
Alexander Guerrero PHI 4/$16 LAD 4/$28
Carlos Ruiz PHI 2/$12 PHI 3/$26
Phil Hughes STL 3/$24 MIN 3/$24
Bronson Arroyo CIN 1/$10 ARI 2/$23.5
Tim Hudson ATL 1/$10 SFG 2/$23
Scott Kazmir OAK 2/$20 OAK 2/$22
James Loney MIA 2/$16 TBR 3/$21
Jarrod Saltalamacchia OAK 4/$48 MIA 3/$21
Bartolo Colon NYY 2/$16 NYM 2/$20
Joe Nathan SEA 2/$17 DET 2/$20
Boone Logan HOU 2/$6 COL 3/$16.5
Marlon Byrd NYM 2/$12 PHI 2/$16
Hiroki Kuroda SFG 2/$32 NYY 1/$16
Joe Smith SFG 2/$10 LAA 3/$15.75
Joaquin Benoit DET 2/$16 SDP 2/$15.5
Fernando Rodney STL 2/$12 SEA 2/$14
Javier Lopez SFG 2/$8 SFG 3/$13
Justin Morneau MIN Minor COL 2/$12.5
Grant Balfour DET 3/$15 TBR 2/$12
David Murphy PIT 2/$10 CLE 2/$12
Mike Pelfrey NYM Minor MIN 2/$11
Nate McLouth LAD 2/$10 WAS 2/$10.75
Rajai Davis COL 2/$4 DET 2/$10
Dan Haren MIN 4/$48 LAD 1/$10
Brian Wilson STL 1/$6 LAD 1/$10
Edward Mujica HOU 2/$10 BOS 2/$9.5
A.J. Pieryznski MIN 2/$14 BOS 1/$8.25
Dioner Navarro CHW 2/$10 TOR 2/$8
Garrett Jones HOU 2/$12 MIA 2/$7.75
Chris Young ATL 2/$9 NYM 1/$7.25
Eric O'Flaherty DET 2/$5 OAK 2/$7
Mike Morse TEX 1/$6 SFG 1/$6
Suk-Min Yoon TOR 3/$30 BAL 3/$5.575
Mark Ellis MIN 2/$12 STL 1/$5.25
Corey Hart HOU 2/$30 SEA 1/$5
Matt Lindstrom ARI 2/$8 CHW 1/$3.3
Jesse Crain PHI 2/$5 HOU 1/$3.25
Geovany Soto BOS 2/$15 TEX 1/$3.05
Paul Konerko KCR 1/$3.5 CHW 1/$3
Eric Chavez LAA 2/$10 ARI 1/$3
Kelly Johnson CHC 2/$13 NYY 1/$2.35
Brian Roberts CHW 1/$6 NYY 1/$2
Chris Capuano KCR 1/$5 BOS 1/$2.25
Shaun Marcum KCR 1/$4 CLE Minor

Overall, our GMs dished out $1.785 billion for these free agents. In real life, GMs paid $1.775 billion for these players. So they weren't that far off.

I admit, I botched negotiations for Tim Hudson, Carlos Ruiz, and Justin Morneau, and are all far underpaid in our simulation compared to what they got in real life.

How did our GMs do now that we know how the market played out?