As many of you know, I really love and appreciate infographics that provide visual clarity for hard-to-understand concepts. This is especially valuable in the field of sabermetrics. Rather than incubate the idea I currently have for several more weeks, going through revision after revision, data wrangling, etc, I approach you with a challenge:
I want -- and we all need -- a visual way to describe a team's financial obligations for the next 5-6-7 years, the size and length of each contract, and potentially project when a team should "hit" when their talent and projected WAR align.
Here's what you'll need:
1. Data: Team Contracts (see: Cot's), Projected WAR (your pick).
2. Graphing / Graphic Programs. I use excel and photoshop. Our more talented individuals in the crowd may have a better option.
Here's my initial idea:
Bar Length = Contract Length, Color Tone = $$$/year, Bar Height = Projected WAR.
Clearly, it's just a thumbnail sketch intended to convey the concept, but there are still flaws. First, neither projected WAR nor every year of a contract will be the same size, so perhaps a dynamic bar width for each year of a player's bar will work, though I can't conceive how that should be illustrated. Second, I'm not sure how effective the use of color to indicate contract size is.
Perhaps you have a better idea? No, I KNOW you have a better idea. Don't worry about beauty at first, let's get the concept nailed down first, then we can polish it up for presentation.