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Cespedes to Mets

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On 9/18/2015 at 6:13 PM, pyrotigers said:

This might surprise you, but actually giving Cespedes 70 million dollars a year is not something I want to do.

In fact, I would be against signing him to nearly any contract he's likely to receive.

I am merely using him as an example of the foolishness of WAR and assigning dollar values to it. For example, a team of replacement level players would be expected to win 47 games. Therefore, if teams were actually paying $7 million per win over replacement, you would expect a 90 win team to have a payroll of $301 million dollars. Even at $3 million/WAR this is would take $129 million.

Now of course you should argue that teams have rookies making little money who are underpaid etc etc and no one actually wants to give these guys that much money, and I'd agree. But the entire concept is pretty silly. Replacement level is made up, the position adjustments are made up, the value of various offensive components and defense are made up. IMO, WAR greatly overvalues defense and position adjustments. I would not rather have Ian Kinsler than Max Scherzer for one season at the same cost for example.

That is not to say that WAR isn't a useful stat to some degree. Of course it's a nice quick and dirty way to compare two players, and I think it is good at looking at a player's entire career. But this random fascination with using it to directly compare players or judge value is pretty questionable. It's like Dave Cameron insisting dumb trades were actually reasonable because the WARs added up to equal value. Sure they did, but no one in their right mind thought 3 crappy players actually equalled one good player just because they contributed 0.4 more WAR as a group.

Teams pay 7 mil per WAR in FA, not overall. 

Position adjustments are not made up. Are they perfect? No, but they're pretty accurate within a range. 

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2 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

Teams pay 7 mil per WAR in FA, not overall. 

Position adjustments are not made up. Are they perfect? No, but they're pretty accurate within a range. 

They aren't paying that in FA either, or at least they shouldn't be. Cespedes was about a 6 WAR player in 2015, even on a short term 3 year deal (presumably longer team deals would = less money per war given age decline + the security to the player) he got 25 million per year. If we're assuming a long term deal maybe he gets 20 million per, slightly over 3 million per WAR. And that's without considering that as an "elite" player and an "in demand" FA he's almost assuredly being "overpaid" relative to the value of WAR. A normal player would probably have gotten much less. 

 

But regardless, my argument was not really about what teams are paying, but what is "fair value" and the numbers thrown around per WAR earlier in this thread (my post was nearly a year ago!) were nuts. Cespedes was valuable in 2015 because he truly was an elite player, elite players WAR is more valuable than "regular" players WAR because it's harder to find in one spot. That's the main reason 'adding up the WARs' isn't something I'm very interested in doing. A player worth 10 WAR should be worth far more "per WAR" because he's far harder to replace or find than someone worth 3 WAR. I realize this is already accounted for in the name of the stat with the 'replacement' part, but no team is fielding replacement level starters and competing. That's the AAAA line. When comparing to actual free agents something different has to be used. 

 

Anyway, WAR is a crummy stat because it's too hard at this point to both make an all encompassing stat and assign a dollar value to it. In fact, it's probably impossible given that MLB free agency is not a logical process where players receive anything what they're worth or will be worth in the future. Defensive metrics take too long to stabilize and those used in WAR are questionable anyway, and positional adjustment is something that would need to not only be adjusted year to year, but compared to available free agents if we wanted to use it to assign monetary worth. Simply saying 'so many WAR is worth so much $' is not reasonable or useful in pretty much any situation.

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Agreed, pyro. I think any stat that assigns a single number to a players worth, especially when trying to translate that to $$$, is limited.

Defensive and positional value are typically flawed when looking back. The $$$/WAR is not constant year to year, team to team. And of course with that just because a guy gets 7 WAR one year doesn't mean teams think he will do that and want to pay him based on that in FA.

WAR is a useful approximation but not in a be-all-end-all or plug and chug kind of way.

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Where WAR is really flawed is in the bullpen.  It greatly underrates the importance of them by not taking into account the high leverage situations that they contribute in.

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23 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

Position adjustments are not made up. Are they perfect? No, but they're pretty accurate within a range. 

Position adjustments are not made up, but they are based on a group of multi-position players who may or may not be representative of starting players.  You kind of have to take a leap of faith to accept them.  

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Cespedes was a tough guy to peg the value of  in free agency in part because his 2015 was significantly more valuable relative his other 3 years in the league.

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WAR should not be used as a precise stat.  It's nice to be able to say that the Tigers acquired a four WAR player in free agency or in a trade.  It's a simple way to state your expectation of his value to the team, but you can't accurately describe a player's season based on WAR because you don't know how accurate the defense and positional adjustments were for a particular year.   

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For the most part WAR is fine. It's just shorthand. Yeah, it's prone to noise in a single season, but so is every other stat.

Everyone knows a second baseman that has the same numbers as a DH or 1B is a more valuable asset. And a great defensive player that hits the same as a poor defensive player is more valuable.

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I believe the WAR to $$$ calculation, is calculated by summing up all the FA contracts and dividing by the aggregate WAR free agents generated during the time-frame in question.

Players have uncharacteristically good and poor years all of the time, and that influences the calculation.  That isn't an indictment on WAR, that is just a reflection that player performance is fairly variable.

 

I also suspect there are some other issues that drive up the cost of a win, as estimated by WAR that have nothing to do with the accuracy of WAR as a measurement.  Fore example, I strongly suspect teams as a group typically will play a FA who is struggling longer than they would a non FA.  I suspect that has the effect of depressing the FA pool's aggregate WAR -> increasing the cost of 1 WAR.

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45 minutes ago, Shelton said:

For the most part WAR is fine. It's just shorthand. Yeah, it's prone to noise in a single season, but so is every other stat.

 

I think the noise from the defensive stats that contribute to WAR make it less reliable than other stats such as OPS or wOBA.  

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I think the noise from the defensive stats that contribute to WAR make it less reliable than other stats such as OPS or wOBA.  

Like you have said in the past, you can create your own personal WAR that makes adjustments for that.

I think it's pretty clear that there are three main components for determining player value:

Offensive performance

Defensive performance

Positional capability

I think assigning some level of value to defense and position is necessary if there is an effort to be made at comparing players that play different positions.

Single season war is not very valuable, in my opinion, due to the noise in defensive performance.

Maybe instead of giving credit for the defensive value during a single season, that number could be regressed a bit more to average and/or a player's career defensive stats.

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On 7/31/2015 at 1:16 PM, tiger337 said:

I agree which is why I hope some of them are traded before they fail. That has been a strength of Dombrowski.

I'm bumping to point out how unlikely it is for the Fulmer/Norris/Boyd group to all contribute, let alone the possibility that we could very well have a #1, #2 and a #3 out of this group. It's crazy how well this is working out for us. 

As a bonus, Cessa was flipped for Justin Wilson, who is very good despite his last few outings. 

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29 minutes ago, Yoda said:

As a bonus, Cessa was flipped for Justin Wilson, who is very good despite his last few outings. 

While Cessa was relegated to mop-up duty against the Rays this afternoon. Thanks DD

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1 hour ago, Yoda said:

I'm bumping to point out how unlikely it is for the Fulmer/Norris/Boyd group to all contribute, let alone the possibility that we could very well have a #1, #2 and a #3 out of this group. It's crazy how well this is working out for us. 

As a bonus, Cessa was flipped for Justin Wilson, who is very good despite his last few outings. 

The idea that the Tigers could possibly be on the long-term winning end of a Smoltz-for-Alexander type deal appeals to me.

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I remember when the trade was first made everybody assumed that we got Wheeler and some national pundits thought it was a steal for the Mets because they didn't have to give him up.  While Wheeler could still end up being a stud I think it's safe to say that we got lucky that it was Fulmer and not him. 

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3/5ths of a potential playoff rotation and our setup man - not to mention the ceiling for Fulmer, and the new improved repertoire for Boyd, and this is looking more and more WOW! every day.  Gee, I almost forgot about what Norris could do too.

I hate to give up on a season like we did in 2015, but man oh man that last set of DD trades are looking awesome.

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13 minutes ago, Yoda said:

Getting anything from JaCoby would be icing on the cake. 

He had little OBP hot streak going at Toledo until this week but has cooled back down - a lot.

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