Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Analysis Man Is Back With More Numbers

All this talk about attempting to sign Magglio Ordonez, the Cubs' need to dump Sosa's contract, and the potential of getting Cliff Floyd has piqued my curiosity. I've decided to set out on a mission to see just what the Cubs paid last year for the production they got.

Over at Baseball Prospectus there are some wonderful non-traditional statistics you can use to check different aspects of player performance. I've decided to use WARP3, which stands for Wins Above a Replacement Player, for this analysis. From what I take it as, WARP tells you about how many more wins Player A gave you over perfectly average Player B. So in the table below, the Cubs would have had 6 fewer wins if they had a perfectly average third baseman instead of Aramiz Ramirez.

To get a WARP per dollar figure, I looked up each player's 2004 salary and divided it by his 2004 WARP3. This turns out to be a rough estimate of each player's dollar productivity. I'm not sure you can compare WARP across positions (i.e. a catcher with WARP = 5 is as valuable as an outfielder with WARP = 5). Does anyone know this for sure?

I've thrown in Magglio Ordonez, Cliff Floyd, and Carlos Beltran who all have been tossed around as potential 2005 Cubs. Be aware that I've used Magglio's 2004 salary and his 2003 statistics (his last full year). Also, Garciaparra's and Carlos Beltran's 2004 salaries have been prorated to the number of games they played with the Cubs and Astros respectively.

Player2004 SalaryWARP3Salary/WARP3
T. Hollandsworth
A. Ramirez
M. Grudzielanek
M. Alou
M. Barrett
D. Lee
T. Walker
J. Macias
C. Patterson
S. Sosa
R. Martinez
P. Bako
T. Goodwin
N. Garciaparra
Cubs Avg.
M. Ordonez
C. Floyd
C. Beltran

It's not much of a surprise, but Sosa's $3.2M per WARP point is astounding. If the Cubs somehow were able to sign Magglio Ordonez and he could miraculously match his 2003 performance, the Cubs would have to pay Maggs around $30,000,000/year to make an investment as bad as the Cubs did with the 2004 Sammy Sosa. Similarly, it looks like the Cubs would have been better off throwing $650,000 on the floor of the Cubby Bear rather than having Tom Goodwin.

For all you Patterson haters (of whom I am not included), check out the steal we have in center field. Patterson only cost the Cubs $90,566 per WARP3 point.

Another interesting point is that the Dodger's bagged J.D. Drew and his 2004 WARP3 of 10.2 at $11M. This comes out to $1,078,431/point, almost exactly the 2004 Cub average. I don't think Drew can consistently put up WARPs over 10 throughout his 5-year deal, but for the moment it looks like the Cubs may have missed out on a good investment.

For those who feel like torturing themselves - here are the corner infield numbers for the Cardinals:

Rolen: $7.78M/11.1 = $700,901/point
Pujols: $7M/11.7 = $598,291/point