Getting more or less what the Yanks paid for

Is Derek Jeter the best hitting shortstop ever?
Reforming the amateur draft

One of the common narratives around the baseball world involves the Yankees and their dollars. The Yankees overspend without regard for value, and while the team has the best record in baseball, they bought it. Or so they say. Today, J. Walter Fulbright at the recently-revived Gritty and Clutch examines whether or not the Yanks have gotten their money’s worth out of the team this year. Using salary performance numbers from Fangraphs and projected 2009 numbers, Fulbright determines that the Yankees’ 2009 value over contract will fall within the $20-$40 million, depending upon the team’s final payroll numbers. In other words, the Yankees aren’t paying their players enough.

On an individual level, A-Rod is the Yanks’ worst investment this year. He is getting paid a whopping $32 million and is projected to turn in just $16.1 million in value. Robinson Cano, with a value over contract of $13.52 million, has so far provided the team with the most bang for their buck.

Is Derek Jeter the best hitting shortstop ever?
Reforming the amateur draft
  • Mike HC

    So, what you are trying to say is that ARod owes Cano some serious money for picking up the slack? Does Kangaroo court handle that?

    • jsbrendog

      ietc

  • Lanny

    Who else could have given the Yankees 16+mill in production at 3b? Lowell? Crede? Doubtful.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      or, you could have said:

      i never projected Cano that high…what a great surprise!

  • YankeeScribe

    All I know is, if the Yankees win #27 this year after spending $400 million on 3 players, opening a $1 billion dollar stadium, and A-Rod’s steroid-gate, it will be the end of baseball as we know it.

    Just kidding. But I’m sure Jayson Stark will write something like that if they win #27 this year…

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Jayson Stark is dead to me. I don’t read ANYTHING he writes anymore, I don’t want him to get the page views.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        mmm…dont know this guy. was he the one that shot his driver with a shotgun?

  • Dela G

    There isnt another 3B in the AL that i’d want other than Alex Rodriguez. Longoria hits into so many DPs he makes jopo look like a DP virgin at times. He also doesn’t hit for average as well as alex does. Since the days off in florida, he’s been at a .291/.410/.525. He’s been pretty damn good. I’ll take that production with the 33-15 record that he’s brought with him any day of the week.

    • Camilo Gerardo

      Gordon? kungfu pandA?

      kidding

      • Dela G

        :D

        off to the game! I love how the skydome has wifi in certain areas. The city of toronto needs to support this team more :)

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          works great by first base field level side for the even innings.

          good luck!

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      At this stage in their respective careers, I’d take Evan Longoria over A-Rod. I think most GMs would.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Not most, every. Every GM would take Longo over A-Rod.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Maybe not Minaya. A-Rod’s got the hispanic thing going for him.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            I think even Omar would take Longoria over A-Rod.

      • Salty Buggah

        At this stage, yea you would have to be dumb not to take Longo only because of the age. If only we had a 24 year-old A-rod clone…I’d sign up for a career like that. Longo isn’t going to come close to A-rod’s career (well obviously not many will).

  • Tony

    If this measure determined that the Yankees are being underpaid, the measure is a piece of Mitre.

    • Ant

      It’s not saying they are being underpaid. It is saying that they are getting more value out of most of their players then what they paid for.

  • Tony

    Who is to say these arbitrary values are correct? If there is any way in hell it determined that the Yankees are being underpaid it need to be re-calibrated.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Why? Because you say so? Do you have anything other than opinion to back that up?

      Generally, the dollar figure is Wins Above Replacement converted to a dollar scale based upon what similarly performing players earn on the free agent market. The fact is that some Yankees are actually outperforming their contracts while others aren’t, and the net monetary gain for the Yanks in an ideal world is positive.

      • 27 this year

        Plus, not only are the Yankees getting a positive value on the field, off the field, this year’s team is doing more for the community plus merchandise sales are probably up with big names like CC, Tex, and AJ. Overall, this team might be the most marketable team the Yanks have had in some time. Big names, young guns, new stadium and a great season really add up everywhere.

        • Slugger27

          all good points

      • Tony

        Because it makes no sense that you would have the highest payroll in baseball by far, yet be up only 1.5 on the second highest paid team. It is then safe to assume that almost every good team in baseball is being “underpaid,” and from there it’s safe to say that the WAR-$ model they’re using is off.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          a) is all the payroll evenly split between every league, conference, division? are the games played perfectly split by payroll value? are all other teams giving and getting exactly the right values giving us a scientifically sterile environment in which we can evaluate our specific inflation-adjusted, geographically cost-of-living adjusted “value” of our players’ performance? did they account for merchandising? the glory of setting records? future merchandising based on a hall of pretty good algorithm?

          2)or, george pays lots of money, and he’s winning, and that makes all of us a very happy byproduct?

          i’ll take number two cause I SEE THAT WITH MY OWN EYES.

  • Salty Buggah

    If A-rod had a typical A-rod year, I think he’d probably break even with his salary, right?

    • 27 this year

      Close to it probably.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      In ’05 he played ball worth $32.1MM and in ’07 he played $39.2MM (Fan Graphs numbers). This year he’s making $32MM so it’s doubtful that he’d play over it. He’s getting paid so much that I don’t think he’ll ever again outplay his salary.

  • Slugger27

    i know burnett makes 16M, which is a pretty nice salary… but how is he in the red? hes had a great season in my opinion, and i think the numbers (not just my eyes) back that up… for him to be 5 mill in the red, that mathematically makes him less valuable than brett gardner right now (since hes 12 mill over his min contract)

    am i reading this right?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      The walks are killing him.

      • Slugger27

        well ya he walks a lot of guys, so i guess that screws up his FIP or whatever… but still, this implies brett gardner is just as valuable to the yanks as burnett, which we all know is ridiculous

        im firmly on the new-school side when it comes to player evaluation… i dig OPS, WAR, ERA over Wins and all that stuff, but i can see why doubters look at things like this chart and roll their eyes

        but… it is pretty cool that jeter makes like 21 mill or so and is still outplaying it by no small margin

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          this implies brett gardner is just as valuable to the yanks as burnett, which we all know is ridiculous

          It doesn’t imply that Gardner is more valuable as a baseball player to the Yanks than Burnett is. It implies that Gardner is providing a better return on the investment than Burnett is right now based on their respective salaries and contributions. Money aside, Burnett has been more valuable to the Yanks this year than Gardner.

          But this illuminates the divide between one pitcher and one position player. Guys who bat 500 times a year and are good at it will be more valuable than pitchers who throw 6-7 innings once every five days.

          • Slugger27

            It doesn’t imply that Gardner is more valuable as a baseball player to the Yanks than Burnett is

            i guess im just not understanding the chart then… burnett is making 16.5M this year, and the chart has him around 4M under that… which would imply hes worth 12.5M

            the chart has gardner worth 12M more than his 500,000 contract… which would imply hes worth 12.5M

            if the chart says both are playing at a level thats worth 12.5M to the yankees, how is the chart saying theyre not equal in value to the yankees?

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              cause the Yanks arent paying them equally…its a measure of VALUE to the TEAM. (i’m shouting those words cause its loud here, and i hope you can hear them)

              If the Ynaks were paying Centerfielder A $12M and he was producing what Grit Gritner were producing, the Ynaks would only be getting what they were owed…no more, no less. A good signing? Sure. Amazing? No.

              You can also infer that the Ynaks could have paid some other pitcher (Smoltz, Sheets, Durschererrer) $12M and if he performed exactly like Allen James, they would only be getting exactly their money’s worth. Since AJ is paid more, he’s underperforming his contract.

              Each time you move one step away from its primary use (comparing a player’s value to his salary from the team’s perspective) it is a little less exact and useful tool. Comparing a greatly overperforming position player and a marginally underperforming superstar pitcher is pretty difficult here.

              Can we go compare 2 pitchers of AJ’s quality and 2 OF of BG’s quality and see how they do?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Burnett’s K/9 is off last year’s pace, and his walk rate is up. It’s hurting is WAR. He’s pitching right now as a $10.6M pitcher and earning about $6M more than that.

  • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    Heh. When I got to “J. Walter Fulbright,” I thought you had written “J. William Fulbright”