Nate Silver on the Zito signing
In an “Unfiltered” blog post at Baseball Prospectus (“Barry Zito and “Smart” versus “Dumb” Projections“), Silver makes a really interesting point: he argues that Zito’s contract is entirely reasonable if you think ERA is awesome and predictive of future performance. Over the life of his contract, he should be good enough to earn that $100m (if you assume that the current rate/win isn’t a fluke, etc).
If you don’t – if you’re willing to pay more attention to his component stats, his stuff, look at comperable players, etc, you find that that’s way, way off. $57m off, according to a PECOTA long-term look (which also assumes that paying the current rate/win, etc etc).
Yup. The game is changing, and front offices are getting much smarter, but it’s not changing that fast, really, and teams aren’t getting smarter at the same rate.