Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 11/5/2013 8:40 AM EST
In response to hill55's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
hill, I'm with you on not wanting to go large and long for Ellsbury, but I know you are a big WAR fan. In 2013, Jacoby's 12.0 WAR translates to a $28.9 value. Even counting his injury years, he has a value of $104M in his last 6 years or $17M a year.
What are other Seattle fans saying?
Mariner fans are clamoring for Jacoby Ellsbury just as they clamored for Josh Hamilton, Prince Fielder and Barry Zito when the latter three were free agents. The absolute top free agents rarely represent good investments because of the costly long-term contracts the elite free agents command.
The 30-year-old Ellsbury might be a good fit for a team that intends to contend in 2014 and thinks the overall investment for immediate returns is worth the likely lost value in the last years of the contract. The Red Sox might be that team.
Ellsbury would look good in a Seattle lineup in 2014 and the year after, but the Mariners might not be close to contending in those years and later would be saddled with Ellsbury's contract as his production enters a likely decline.
Ellsbury this year and Chone Figgins in 2009 entered free agency with six years of MLB service with Ellsbury posting 23.7 WAR* and Figgins 22.0 WAR. Here are Ellsbury's career numbers and Figgins' numbers through the 2009 season:
JE 715 G, 3204 PA, .297/.350/.439/.789, 241 SB, OPS+ 108
CF 936 G, 4075 PA, .291/.363/.388/.751, 280 SB, OPS+ 99
And the numbers for the season preceding the entry of Ellsbury and Figgins into free agency:
JE 2013 134 G, 636 PA, .298/.355/.426/.781, 52 SB, OPS+ 114, wRC+** 113, 5.8 WAR
CF 2009 158 G, 729 PA, .298/.395/.393/.789, 54 SB, OPS+ 110, wRC+ 116, 6.6 WAR
Ellsbury currently is a year and a half younger than Figgins was when the latter entered free agency.
The numbers suggest that Ellsbury and Figgins have/had similar skillsets. The Mariners signed Figgins for four years and $36 million, but Ellsbury certainly is looking for far more than than.
The WAR conversion indeed has Ellsbury valued at $109 million in the six-plus seasons from ages 23 to 30. Will a team gamble that Ellsbury will yield a similar return over the next six seasons as he approaches his 36th birthday? Even so, Ellsbury reportedly is seeking an average annual salary that exceeds his annual yield-to-date of about $18 million.
For those reasons, the Mariners are not a good fit for Ellsbury.
* Wins Above Replacement as reported at FanGraphs
** Runs per PA scaled where 100 is average; both league and park adjusted; based on wOBA, as reported at FanGraphs
Jacoby's WAR numbers have been greatly devalued due to mssing so much time with injuries. If a team is willing to bet on better health as he ages, then the reward could be a player that gives $25M+ value every year until he raches 34 or 35.
His value on fangraphs is listed at :
That's an average of $35M a year in 2 of his last 3 seasons (the healthy ones).
Like I said, I'm not for going large and long on Jacoby either, but the potential payoff is much higher than Figgins ever promised.