Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How much were Mets pitchers worth in 2008?

FanGraphs now has win value stats up for pitchers. The stat "WAR" (wins above replacement) tells us how many "wins" a player contributes over a replacement pitcher, which is defined as a readily available pitcher whose performance is well below league average. I understand the calculations of WAR for hitters, but I'm still trying to make complete sense of it for pitchers. Nevertheless, this is pretty high-level stuff and can decently pinpoint just how much a player is worth based on performance. Here are Mets pitchers' WAR, $$ worth for 2008 assuming a value of about $4.5 million per win, and actual salary:

A few thoughts:
1) Johan Santana is awesome. Hopefully he can keep it up for a few more years.
2) John Maine was worth more than Oliver Perez despite pitching 50+ fewer innings. Enough said. 3 years, $30 million Ollie - take it or leave it.
3) Sayanora Pedro Martinez, Aaron Heilman, and Scott Schoeneweis.
4) This stat suggests that middle relievers and closers are overrated and generally paid more than they're really worth. Interesting.

Again, this win value stuff isn't infallible but it's well researched by some smart people. Click here for an introduction to pitcher win values. Hopefully free agent signings will start to pick up soon - check out the impressive list of players still available.

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