FanGraphs Adds WAR data

Dave · December 24, 2008 at 8:18 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Merry Christmas everyone – as a Christmas present to baseball fans everywhere, David Appelman has added Wins Above Replacement data to all the player pages for every hitter in baseball. Not only that, but we’ve incorporated the per-year marginal Win/$ rate that MLB teams paid to acquire players in order to calculate a player’s true dollar value for each season going back to 2002.

I would say with all kinds of confidence that the Total Value Wins and the Dollar Valuations on FanGraphs are now the most accurate single number metric of player value available anywhere online. An example of how these can be used.

Adrian Beltre, since joining the Mariners:

2005: +2.4 wins, $8 million value
2006: +4.8 wins, $17.8 million value
2007: +2.7 wins, $10.9 million value
2008: +4.1 wins, $18.3 million value

Over those four years that Beltre has been a Mariner, he’s been worth $55 million. He has been paid $52 million. The contract has returned a net value of about $3 million so far, and obviously, Beltre is a pretty valuable asset at the moment. There is no way – none – to describe the Beltre signing as anything other than a success. It’s been a good deal for the Mariners in total, and it continues to be a great deal for them going forward.

Anyway, I’d encourage you to check out the FanGraphs player pages to see how much each player contributes in terms of wins and dollars. And don’t worry, this data will be up on the team pages and leaderboards shortly, and yes, we’ll be adding win values for pitchers too.


32 Responses to “FanGraphs Adds WAR data”

  1. galaxieboi on December 24th, 2008 8:25 am

    Oh joy!

  2. galaxieboi on December 24th, 2008 8:30 am

    Let’s play that same game with Richie!

    2005: +4.2 wins $14.2M value
    2006: +2.8 wins $10.4M value
    2007: -1.7 wins -$7.1M “value”
    2008: -0.8 wins -$3.5M “value”

    Over that course of time the M’s paid Mr. Sexson ~$44M dollars. Richie appears to have earned only $14M during his stay in Seattle. Richie cost the M’s ~$30M. Good grief.

  3. Manzanillos Cup on December 24th, 2008 8:57 am

    Pujols has made the Cardinals approximately $44.5M the last two years-and those are non-club-controlled years. Five years into his 7 year, $100M contract, he’s already produced $151M in value.

  4. msb on December 24th, 2008 9:04 am

    There is no way – none – to describe the Beltre signing as anything other than a success.

    but … but … everyone knows he’s been a bust. It’s on the interweb.

  5. Sports on a Schtick on December 24th, 2008 9:05 am

    This is a much better gift than the fruit cake I got…

  6. galaxieboi on December 24th, 2008 9:12 am

    *lmao* Pujols’ 2011 option is $16M. Think the Cardinals might pick that up? Can you imagine what he’d go for on the open market?

  7. dchappelle on December 24th, 2008 9:17 am

    You know this actually makes the Sexson signing defensible to me. As a moderately poor value in years 1 and 2, you really don’t see many 33-34 yr old players fall off a cliff like he did. (I think his fall is probably historic for someone that didn’t suffer a major injury)

  8. Sports on a Schtick on December 24th, 2008 9:23 am

    Slugging first basemen that strike out a lot tend to decline quickly. Ryan Howard is already on his way.

  9. Envirohawk on December 24th, 2008 9:26 am

    I’ll continue to believe that claims of Jose Lopez’s inadequacy at second base have been greatly exaggerated.

    His defense is slipping and his physical figure is ballooning – but the guy was a 2.3 win player in 2008, and he’s still young enough to continue improving at the plate.

    There are reasons for concern, obviously, but I think you leave him at second until he proves that he can’t hack it.

    I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise, though.

  10. joser on December 24th, 2008 9:30 am

    Fangraph’s needs to hook up with Cot’s to get the actual payroll data so that we can see who is being under and overpaid. Then aggregate that on the team pages so we can see the relative cost efficiency of all the teams. And then — since it’s Fangraphs — graph that over time. Of course you can graph players over time too — watch as underpaid rookies become overpaid veterans! Compare the performance arc to the salary ski jump! What age on average do players start getting overpaid, and how long does it take for them to make up for their underpaid league-minimum years?

  11. joser on December 24th, 2008 9:35 am

    You know this actually makes the Sexson signing defensible to me. As a moderately poor value in years 1 and 2…

    But he was only a moderately poor value in those years because the contract was back-loaded. If you averaged out the total contract over the years, you’d lose the “moderately.”

  12. Evan on December 24th, 2008 9:37 am

    Ichiro, 2002-2008.

    $100.0 million value.

  13. HerseyChris on December 24th, 2008 9:51 am

    Awesome, just what I was looking for since I was complaining to my yankee fan friend and he said that I shouldn’t complain since we overpaid Beltre.

    Good job Dave, Fangraphs just keeps getting better and better.

  14. galaxieboi on December 24th, 2008 9:59 am

    You know this actually makes the Sexson signing defensible to me. As a moderately poor value in years 1 and 2…

    There’s zero defense for the Sexson contract. It was epic fail, all the way.

  15. dchappelle on December 24th, 2008 10:00 am

    Sexson was on for 50mm for 4 years, 12.5 per. His +/- value for those first 2 years was -.04mm. Not bad, although you should do better the first years of a long contract. Still beyond that, the only player I can find with anything similar to the cliff Sexson experienced was Eric Karros.

  16. Big_Worm on December 24th, 2008 10:03 am

    Ichiro’s annual value based on the past 3 years: $16.2M

    Annual value of Ichiro’s contact (adjusted due to deferred money): $16.1M

  17. ThundaPC on December 24th, 2008 10:08 am

    This is one of the most significant additions yet. FanGraphs just keeps getting better!

  18. robbbbbb on December 24th, 2008 10:12 am

    WAR data is nifty, and I kinda sorta understand. Obviously, Dave puts a lot of stock in it, and that’s a good recommendation.

    Nonetheless, I’d like to understand how WAR is derived. If I need to, I can get in and pull the nuts and bolts of the math apart. However, a simple overview would help me to understand its strengths and limitations. Does anyone have a pointer to a discussion of how WAR is derived?


  19. galaxieboi on December 24th, 2008 10:15 am

    I believe Tom Tango answered that question @ Fangraphs last week.

  20. argh on December 24th, 2008 10:31 am

    I have neither the skills nor the time to develop it, but I am looking forward to the probably inevitable table ranking the value of major player contracts since 2002. And the information mash up suggested by joser would be awesome.

  21. asuray on December 24th, 2008 10:55 am

    But, I thought Christmas was tomorrow? Fangraphs has officially replaced Baseball-Reference as my go-to stat site (this actually happened when FG added UZR numbers). I still like the player comparison models on B-R though. Frankie Gutierrez’s three most comparable players through age 25 are Matt Lawton, Greg Briley, and Jeff Hammonds. Subtract the injury troubles and you have three decent players there.

  22. KDC88 on December 24th, 2008 11:06 am

    I just LOVE how Felix was worth +0.3 wins and $1.3 million at the plate last year…and Yuni was worth +0.0 wins and $0.0 million!

  23. Evan on December 24th, 2008 11:16 am

    I guess that’s what a grand slam off Johan Santana is worth.

  24. robbbbbb on December 24th, 2008 11:31 am

    Thanks for the link, galaxieboi, but I was hoping for something a little more in-depth, that tears the whole thing apart piece-by-piece.

  25. Dave on December 24th, 2008 11:33 am
  26. philosofool on December 24th, 2008 11:36 am

    Anytime you actually get from a free agent what you pay him, you’ve done a great job. I would love to do a study on the return that MLB typically gets on FA signings. Beltre is awesome.

  27. batura on December 24th, 2008 11:42 am

    I can’t wait for the value (both wins and dollars) being added to the leaderboards. It’s fun data to play with. I also hope they eventually show the delta between what they were paid and what they were worth.

  28. Dave on December 24th, 2008 11:44 am

    I have the data in spreadsheet form, so I’ve already done some leaderboard type stuff on my own. Some fun results – only four seasons since 2002 have qualified as 10+ wins; three by Barry Bonds and Adrian Beltre in 2004.

    Neifi Perez, in 2002, was -3.5 WAR. -3.5! He should have paid the Rockies $9 million to offset his horrible performance.

  29. Breadbaker on December 24th, 2008 11:57 am

    Totally fun! Thanks!

    Interesting comparison between A-Rod and Jeter. Alex has basically been worth his salary every year other than 2006 (too bad the stats don’t go back to 1996, where he may have been the greatest bargain in MLB history), while Jeter has only exceeded it in 2006. And that takes into account Alex not playing his natural position.

  30. DJP on December 24th, 2008 9:14 pm

    His first years stats with the M’s were such a departure from his MVP season with L.A. that I think many fans are still disapointed despite his solid numbers and stellar defense.

    On another note, I read on we may be interested in Pat “the Bat” Burrell. What’s your take on that?

  31. decatur7 on December 25th, 2008 10:59 am

    Dave, are these new Fangraphs dollar values adjusted for inflation? I went to an inflation calculator and found that, for example, a 10 million dollar salary in 2002 is equivalent to a 11.5 million salary in 2007. Do the new Fangraphs stats account for stuff like this? The inaccuracies add up if you don’t.

  32. Dave on December 26th, 2008 6:36 am

    The marginal win/$ rates are based on what teams were actually paying in those years, and yes, they include inflation.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.