Valuing The Mid-Range Free Agent Hitters

(Ed: stolen from Sky)

For offense, I eye-balled a weighted average of their Batting Wins from Baseball-Reference.  For position, I used Tom Tango's position adjustments.  And for fielding, I used Sean Smith's fielding projections (which you really should check out if you haven't already).

To convert to replacement-level, I added in 2.25 wins.  And then to come up with a dollar value for each player, I multiplied the total WAR (wins-above-replacement) by $4.84MM (a 10% increase over last off-season's $4.4MM per marginal win) and added in the $400K minimum salary.

To be clear, I don't claim that these numbers are accurate to the nearest million dollars or should be accepted by all of you reading this article.  The beauty of having this list is that we now have a starting point.  If you think Manny Ramirez is going to totally fall off a cliff, simply adjust his offensive number down.  If you think Orlando Hudson's glove will rebound to Mark Ellis territory, simply adjust his fielding number up.  Every half-win is worth $2.4MM.  Go crazy.

Here's the data, sorted from the most- to the least-valuable players:

 

Pos Player Hit Field Pos WAR $MM
LF Alou 1.5 -0.9 -0.75 2.1 10.564
1B Mientkiewicz 0.3 0.7 -1.25 2 10.08
DH Thomas 1.5 -1.75 2 10.08
RF Rivera 1 -0.7 -0.75 1.8 9.112
2B Loretta -0.5 -0.5 0.25 1.5 7.66
1B Millar 0.5 -0.2 -1.25 1.3 6.692
2B Hairston Jr. -1.3 0.1 0.25 1.3 6.692
RF Kapler 0 -0.2 -0.75 1.3 6.692
1B Garciaparra 0.1 0.1 -1.25 1.2 6.208
2B Easley -0.4 -1.2 0.25 0.9 4.756
2B F. Lopez -1 -0.7 0.25 0.8 4.272
1B Aurilia -0.5 0.2 -1.25 0.7 3.788
1B Casey -0.3 0 -1.25 0.7 3.788
1B Clark -0.2 -0.1 -1.25 0.7 3.788
LF Hinske 0.3 -1.1 -0.75 0.7 3.788

Observations:

- Moises Alou and Frank Thomas could make decent DH types for a reasonable rate (neither will sign for as much as projected.)

- Doug Mientkiewicz won't appease too many with his hitting, but it's better than you would expect, and his glove is pretty good.

- Gabe Kapler would make a nice platoon partner.

- Eric Hinske would be better off simply DHing, but his WAR would only rise by 0.1, go figure.

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