Status Update On The Rangers 2013 Payroll


In baseball, one buzzword you hear tossed around quite a bit is “value.” There is the Most Valuable Player award, which is generally given to the guy who pumps out the most RBI; there are “gritty” players who possess most of their value through “intangibles,” which is basically another way of saying this guy’s stats tell me he isn’t very good, but screw the numbers because I say he’s a leader; 

Then there is actual value, which is the value we can realistically quantify using objective data. For this article, that’s the form of value we’re rolling with.

To manipulate this information — even though I’m generally wont to use FanGraphs as my primary source for WAR — I will invoke the three major baseball analytics sites: Baseball Reference (bWAR), Baseball Prospectus (WARP), and the aforementioned FanGraphs (fWAR).

Now, let’s define what I will actually be writing:

On the Rangers current 25-man roster, 10 players are essentially earning the league minimum, meaning they are still in their pre-arbitration seasons. Since any and all production players of that ilk provide is gravy, they are irrelevant. For this discussion, we are only focusing on those Texas has signed as free agents from outside the organization (like Adrian Beltre), or extended within the organization (like Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus).

(Matt Garza and Alex Rios will not be included since they were added to the roster midseason.)

Sabermetrically speaking, in 2013 the general consensus is that each Win Above Replacement has eclipsed the $6 million mark. However, since we’re dealing with three different sources, let’s value each WAR at $5.5 million (our multiplier) — the 2012 baseline — to make it a bit more challenging, or fair, or whatever you want to call it, for the Rangers.

Pitchers

1. Yu Darvish, 2013 salary: $9.5 million

WARP: +3.0, bWAR: +4.9, fWAR: +4.3; average: +4.1

4.1 x 5.5 = $22.5 million, a surplus value of $13 million.

2. Derek Holland, 2013 salary: $3.2 million

WARP: +3.3, bWAR: +4.3, fWAR: +4.8; average: +4.1

4.1 x 5.5 = $22.5 million, a surplus value of $19.3 million.

3. Joe Nathan, 2013 salary: $8 million

WARP: +0.8, bWAR: +2.4, fWAR: +1.6; average: +1.6

1.6 x 5.5 = $8.8 million, a surplus value of $800,000.

4. Jason Frasor, 2013 salary: $1.5 million

WARP: +0.3, bWAR: +0.8, fWAR: +0.5; average: +0.5

0.5 X 5.5 = $2.75 million, a surplus value of $1.25 million.

5. Joakim Soria, 2013 salary: $2 million

WARP: +0.2, bWAR: +0.1, fWAR: +0.2; average: +0.2

0.2 x 5.5 = $1.1 million, currently $900,000 in the red.

 

Worth mentioning: Matt Harrison ($5.2 million), Neftali Feliz ($2.9 million) and Colby Lewis ($2 million) have not factored into the 2013 picture.

 

Hitters

1. Adrian Beltre, 2013 salary: $16 million

WARP: +4.8, bWAR: +4.8, fWAR: +4.6; average: +4.7

4.7 x 5.5 = $25.85 million, a surplus value of $9.85 million.

2. Ian Kinsler, 2013 salary: $13 million

WARP: +2.7, bWAR: +3.2, fWAR: +1.5; average: +2.5

2.5 x 5.5 = $13.75 million, a surplus value of $750,000.

3. Elvis Andrus, 2013 salary: $5.05 million

WARP: +1.0, bWAR: +2.1, fWAR: +1.4; average: +1.5

1.5 x 5.5 = $8.25 million, a surplus value of $3.2 million.

4. A.J. Pierzynski, 2013 salary: $7.5 million

WARP: +1.5, bWAR: +1.4, fWAR: +1.3; average: +1.4

1.4 x 5.5 = $7.7 million, a surplus value of $200,000.

5. Geovany Soto, 2013 salary: $2.75 million

WARP: +0.2, bWAR: +0.3, fWAR: +0.1; average: +0.2

0.2 x 5.5 = $1.1 million, currently $1.65 million in the red.

6. Leonys Martin, 2013 salary: $3.25 million

WARP: +2.0, bWAR: +3.1, fWAR: +1.7; average: +2.3

2.3 x 5.5 = $12.65 million, a surplus value of $9.4 million.

7. David Murphy, 2013 salary: $5.775 million

WARP: -0.4, bWAR: -0.1, fWAR: +0.6; average 0.0

David Murphy is the worst player on the Rangers. That is all.

8. Nelson Cruz, 2013 salary: $10.5 million

WARP: +1.8, bWAR: +2.1, fWAR: +1.5; average: +1.8

1.8 x 5.5 = $9.9 million. He was the Rangers 2nd-best bat before being suspended.

9. Jeff Baker, 2013 salary: $1.75 million

WARP: +0.8, bWAR: +0.8, fWAR: +0.5; average: +0.7

0.7 x 5.5 = $3.85 million, a surplus value of $2.1 million.

 

Worth mentioning: Lance Berkman‘s contributions have been negligible up to this point.

 

With all this said, there are still 35 games or so remaining on the schedule, so this list is more of a snapshot than something definitive. It paints you a solid picture that the Rangers front office very rarely gives out a contract that the player cannot justify on the field. There’s a helluva lot more black on this screen than red, and that’s a great thing.

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying this magical ride of a season as much as I have.

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  • BZ

    I still maintain that Colby Lewis’ contract was more of a ‘Thank You’ from the organization, with some upside (which unfortunately did not pan out).

  • Joe_Coco

    I really Hate that Murphy has become this yrs MY!! He use to be one of my favorite guys but now every time I see him in the game I wonder what Wash is thinking.
    Even Tag and Buzz where talking abut how bad he’s been last night.

    • JimBouton

      Joe, I’m not sure David has fallen anywhere close to “Michael Young territory” for a couple of reasons. First, he is not crying out publicly on how he is getting screwed by his own employer. He also does not have the ridiculous salary we paid MY.

      There is no doubt he is struggling.

  • primi_timpano

    As for computing Yu’s surplus value I would amortize the signing fee over the life of his Rangers contract and subtract this amount from your estimate. This still puts him at a healthy surplus.