I have been highly critical of what I view are biased attempts of explaining GMDM history of FA signings. This is my attempt at objectivity on the issue. There have been several things that I have an issue with, I would like to explain why I have an issue with them.
Using projections to evaluate the contracts going into the future - First projections are not good on the player by player level. Zips missed over 90% of the Royals players last year by .5 WAR and over 50% by 1 WAR or more. We also have no idea if a player will retire or be traded. So why not just leave out was has not been paid, and games that have not been played.
Lumping contracts all on 1 season - Again this goes to the heart of using projections and not accounting for the future market value.
Using only large FA contracts - I have an unproven theory that almost all large MLB contracts end up poorly. But proven or not it makes no sense to me to compare the Royals large contracts to the rest of MLB large and small contracts.
Calculating surplus value - I am not sure why so many worry about the overall value of contracts that we compare to nothing. I really could care less if a contract had surplus value. For instance, let's say a guy accumulates -2.0 WAR and WAR/$ is $7,000,000. This line of thinking will say a player had a negative value of 14 million, even if they were only paid 5 million. I think there is a far more important question that I will lay out later.
The question I have been waiting to see answered is simple.
How does the Royals GM compare season to season against what is spent on the FA market?
Yearly contract breakdowns
|Octavio Dotel||1||$ 5,000,000.00||$ 5,000,000.00|
|John Bale||2||$ 4,000,000.00||$ 1,800,000.00||$ 2,200,000.00|
|Gil Meche||5||$ 55,000,000.00||$ 7,400,000.00||$ 11,400,000.00||$ 11,400,000.00||$ 12,400,000.00|
|David Riske||1||$ 2,250,000.00||$ 2,250,000.00|
|Brett Tomko||1||$ 3,000,000.00||$ 3,000,000.00|
|Ron Mahay||2||$ 8,000,000.00||$ 4,000,000.00||$ 4,000,000.00|
|Jose Guillen||3||$ 36,000,000.00||$ 12,000,000.00||$ 12,000,000.00||$ 12,000,000.00|
|Miguel Olivo||2||$ 4,750,000.00||$2,050,000||$2,700,000|
|John Bale||1||$ 1,200,000.00||$ 1,200,000.00|
|Horacio Ramirez||1||$ 1,800,000.00||$ 1,800,000.00|
|Willie Bloomquist||2||$ 3,100,000.00||$1,400,000||$ 1,700,000.00|
|Juan Cruz||2||$ 6,000,000.00||$ 2,250,000.00||$ 3,750,000.00|
|Kyle Farnsworth||2||$ 9,250,000.00||$ 4,250,000.00||$ 5,000,000.00|
|Jason Kendall||2||$ 6,000,000.00||$ 2,250,000.00||$ 3,750,000.00|
|Rick Ankiel||1||$ 3,250,000.00||$ 3,250,000.00|
|Scott Podsednik||1||$ 1,750,000.00||$ 1,750,000.00|
|Jeff Francis||1||$ 2,000,000.00||$ 2,000,000.00|
|Jeff Francoer||1||$ 2,500,000.00||$ 2,500,000.00|
|Melky Cabrera||1||$ 1,250,000.00||$ 1,250,000.00|
|Bruce Chen||2||$ 9,000,000.00||$ 4,500,000.00||$ 4,500,000.00|
|Jonathan Broxton||1||$ 4,000,000.00||$ 4,000,000.00|
|Yuniesky Betancourt||1||$ 2,000,000.00||$ 2,000,000.00|
|Jose Mijares||1||$ 925,000.00||$ 925,000.00|
|Jeremy Guthrie||3||$ 25,000,000.00||$ 5,000,000.00||$ 8,000,000.00||$ 12,000,000.00|
|Jason Vargas||4||$ 32,000,000.00||$ 7,000,000.00||$ 8,500,000.00|
|Omar Infante||4||$ 30,000,000.00||$ 5,000,000.00||$ 7,500,000.00|
|Bruce Chen||1||$ 3,000,000.00||$ 3,000,000.00|
|Edinson Volquez||2||$ 20,000,000.00||$ 7,500,000.00|
|Kendrys Morales||2||$ 17,000,000.00||$ 6,500,000.00|
|Alex Rios||1||$ 11,000,000.00||$ 11,000,000.00|
|Luke Hochevar||2||$ 10,000,000.00||$ 4,000,000.00|
|Kris Medlen||2||$ 8,500,000.00||$ 2,000,000.00|
|Franklin Morales||1||$ 1,850,000.00||$ 1,850,000.00|
|Ryan Madsen||1||$ 850,000.00||$ 850,000.00|
|Jason Frasor||1||$ 1,800,000.00||$ 1,250,000.00|
|Chris Young||1||$ 675,000.00||$ 4,000,000.00|
|$ 16,450,000.00||$ 34,650,000.00||$ 41,000,000.00||$ 29,700,000.00||$ 9,500,000.00||$ 11,425,000.00||$ 9,500,000.00||$ 23,000,000.00||
Yearly performance breakdown by bWAR
Comparison to MLB by Year
|MLB WAR/$||$ 5,415,000.00||$ 5,685,750.00||$ 5,970,037.00||$ 6,268,539.00||$ 6,581,966.00||$ 6,911,064.00||$ 7,256,617.00||$ 7,619,448.00||$ 8,000,421.00|
|Royals WAR/$||$ 2,350,000.00||$ 5,095,588.24||$ 68,333,333.33||$ 22,846,153.85||$ 1,217,948.72||$ 9,520,833.33||$ 3,392,857.14||$ 7,419,354.84||$ 8,809,210.53|
|Difference||$ 3,065,000.00||$ 590,161.76||$ (62,363,296.33)||$ (16,577,614.85)||$ 5,364,017.28||$ (2,609,769.33)||$ 3,863,759.86||$ 200,093.16||$ (808,789.53)|
A few notes -
In regards to Meche, I did not include his final year contract. Injuries and early retirement are unforeseen. If Meche doesn't get hurt he could have played good or bad. . It does us no good to get wrapped up in conjecture on things that did not occur.
Chris Young contract - I did not leave his salary at 675k. My reasoning is that he would have only made that with poor performance, The better performance came with a price without neither would have occurred.
Vargas insurance - I did not include 2016 so his insurance money plays no role in this exercise.
I am just going to write out my thoughts rather than attempt to totally decipher the totals.
The first thing to jump out at me is 2009 and 2010. The numbers are astronomical and DM deserves a good deal of blame for that collapse. However I will say it is important to realize that the rest of MLB has a larger sample size to mitigate the damage from a few players collapsing. These years make me wonder do all GM's with a long enough track record end up with a couple years like this?
The next thing to jump out to me is 2012, while the numbers are not as large I think anytime you are 20% or more removed from the rest of the league you did a poor job.
I am surprised to see 2014 and 2015 are not as good as everyone thought. Yes some good signings were made but that value was offset by poor signings in previous years.
I am not sure how much credit should be given for 2007, first years of contract are usually pretty good.
The most impressive years are 2011 and 2013
In 9 years DM has had 3 very bad years, 3 very good years, and 3 that were with in 10% or so of the rest of baseball
I think at the end of the day DM is average at best in FA signings, with that said I don't think FA signings are good to begin with. We will need to always build with the farm system and trades. FA should really only be to subsidize when the first two options fail.
Well I am sure you guys will have more in the comments.
Note to Mods: Please edit this in any way you see fit.