Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver wrote an article analyzing the contracts given over the winter showing which players earned their money.
The equation he used is as follows; Salary = (WARP^2 * $212,730) + (WARP * $402,530)
Warp is wins above replacement. I decided to run the numbers for some Giants players just to see who was overpaid.
The players are listed by BP's predicted salary minus actual salary. A positive number means they were worth more than what they were paid. A negative number means that's where we need to cut some costs. The numbers are in millions.
Alfonzo cost the Giants 6 million more than he should have this year. If every Giants fan donates five dollars maybe we can buy out his contract. In fact, I'm in for $10. Any takers?
Back to the positive. Matheny was a very good deal for the Giants. He put a monster season by his standards for only one million dollars. Among the leaders in WARP among veteran catchers--I didn't include Victor Martinez or Joe Mauer because they would've swept the category by a wide margin--Matheny was the second best value. He put up a better season than AJ Pierzynski for $2.5 million less than AJ made.
Shifting gears to Pierzysnki and the AL champion White Sox; I'm enjoying the endearing stories about AJ Pierzynski. Has anyone forgotten that he single handedly destroyed the Giants last season? Apparently the bad OBP, the double plays, and the bad attitude are no longer an issue. Now people are championing what a good player he is. I've got news for you all; his numbers this season are exactly the same by any advanced measure (except WARP3, a stat I don't completely agree with). No one has gone from club house cancer to "gamer" this quickly since Albert Belle went on Prozac. Seriously, doctors should have thought of that. That's a great topic for another day; had he taken it would Prozac of made Belle a hall of famer?
I'm rooting for the White Sox to win the World Series for two reasons; 1) It moves the Giants to second behind the Cubs on the tortured baseball franchises list and 2) I can't wait to see what White Sox GM Kenny Williams will do if they win.
A World Series win will show how smart Kenny Williams is. If I was running the White Sox the first thing I would do is trade Jon Garland if a semi-attractive offer comes up. On the luck scale this season Garland's final numbers scored a solid 7, right between Shaq making a free throw and Neifi Perez hitting .300.
Garland will have an ERA around 4.5 next season. His value will never be higher than it is right now. You could probably get Adam Dunn for him. I would then move Brandon McCarthy into the rotation.
Williams should make that trade and let Konerko go. Konerko has looked great this year, but aging first baseman should be handled with care. Konerko has an injury history so committing a lot of money that will run until he's 35 or 36 is a dumb move. Just look at the Phillies with Jim Thome. I'm not saying you let him go no matter what, but if the Tigers and Orioles enter the bidding get out.
I'd take Konerko's money and throw it at Giles. I know most of you would be worried about his power production. I'm not, more on that at a later date.
I know Giles loves San Diego, but what will his reaction be when his agent calls him and tells him this;
Giles will jump at this chance, no matter how much he likes the West Coast.
More likely Williams will bring back everybody--with the exception of El Duque or Contreras--whether they win it all or not because they are the feel good story of the year; a team full of old school players led by AJ Pierzynski, the man with the biggest heart of them all.
Excuse me while I stick a pencil in my eye.