Sunday, April 25, 2004

The White Sox's bad contracts

I did a quick analysis of the White Sox's contracts based on their value as measured by Wins above replacement value (taken from Baseball Prospectus). Not surprisingly, the Sox's worst contract is the one with Billy Koch. According to the weighted mean projection by Baseball Prospectus, the White Sox will be paying somewhere around $8 million per win added by Billy Koch (BP charitably estimates that Billy Koch will actually be a net positive this year). Konerko has, not surprisingly, the second worst contract:

Batter2003 VORP2003 Wins2004 PVORP2004 PWinsSalary2004 $1000/W2003 $1000/W
Willie Harris9.2-
Jose Valentin20.32232.250002,272.72,500.0
Magglio Ordonez9.34.640.83.8140003,684.23,043.5
Frank Thomas565.229.32.860002,142.91,153.8
Carlos Lee22.12.1191.865003,611.13,095.2
Paul Konerko-7.6-0.715.71.580005,333.3(11,428.6)
Joe Crede12.
Aaron Rowand5.
Miguel Olivo-6.3-0.69.91350350.0(583.3)
Sandy Alomar0.60.1-4.3-0.4750(1,875.0)7,500.0
Ross Gload007.60.7350500.0N/A
Timo Perez004.20.48502,125.0N/A
Juan Uribe-2.2-0.0213.91.4350250.0(17,500.0)
Mark Buerhle29.82.928.62.835001,250.01,206.9
Esteban Loaiza75.37.540.4440001,000.0533.3
Jon Garland252.415.91.623001,437.5958.3
Scott Schoeneweis8.60.810.1117251,725.02,156.3
Danny Wright-5.1-
Shingo Takatsu00001000N/AN/A
Neil Cotts-3-,166.7)
Jon Adkins1.,166.73,500.0
Mike Jackson0000500N/AN/A
Damaso Marte35.73.822.92.4500208.3131.6
Billy Koch-0.507.50.863757,968.8
Cliff Politte1.,000.0

Note - I cheated here by using $350,000 for all the players for whom the White Sox own the right to set their contracts - i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd year players. They vary from this figure, but the point is going to be pretty much the same, given that To be sure, using thousands of salary dollars per VORP/Wins is an imperfect measure of a player's contract value. There's no point at looking at all the $350k contracts- they are clearly a benefit to the team. But this does tend to confirm what we all knew - that Konerko and Koch are grossly overpaid. A little surprising is that Ordonez and Lee are roughly equally bad contracts. I tend to think that Carlos' contract - $6.5 million this year - is a worse contract that Magglio's contract. But thinking on it, it's probably correct that they are perhaps overpaid equally as much - maybe by $2-$3 million per year. Carlos's contract is going to look even worse next year when he gets bumped up to $8 million. But if Magglio gets $14 million again next year, his contract will be better than Carlos's.

Besides Koch's awful contract, all of the contracts for the Sox's pitchers seem to be pretty good - of course highlighted by Loaiza's contract. This is interesting - the White Sox are much better at valuing pitchers than position players right now.

By the way, Barry Bonds's contract ($18 million/year) makes each win he adds about $1.67 million. That's cheaper than any of the White Sox position players whose contracts the White Sox do not control.

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