Fun with charts: Value vs. Salary

So I took the “value” derived from Fangraphs and compared that to their stated salary (via Cot’s, using just base salary to keep it simple). To state the obvious, the higher you are, the more value you have delivered for the team. The converse is also true. Let’s for the sake of this simple exercise, suspend all debates about the derivation of “value” since it includes WAR, which, according to some, can be skewed by the vagaries of defensive metrics and just accept them at face value.

Alas, the 2011 Yankees: Value vs. Salary (figures through 9/21/11):

[click to enlarge]

Note: not every player on the roster has been shown above and for those at league minimum range but not disclosed, a salary of $400K was assumed.

As you might expect, MVP candidates Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are at the far left, sandwiching in Brett Gardner (thanks to a tiny salary “relatively speaking”, of course). Granderson and Cano might have been even more outstanding if not for negative fielding metric valuations. Those Russell Martin, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia signings looks pretty smart, eh? Maybe framing pitches helps! Even Andruw Jones fares well here. Is C.C. Sabathia overpaid? Not by this measure! Nick Swisher‘s value would be higher if not for a nasty negative positional valuation.

Poor Jorge Posada, he of a $13M contract and a negative overall value. And then you have Alex Rodriguez, A.J. Burnett and Rafael Soriano rounding out the cellar-dwellers. ARod, by the way, even with an off year, ranks 4th in WAR on this team, generating $19.4M in “value”. It’s just that his contract is so absurd, that puts him 2nd to last in this exercise.

I had to add Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte, just to rub salt in my eyes. And Mark Teixeira? Thank his negative positional value in the WAR calculation. And of course, Derek Jeter fares poorly here as the defensive metrics are quite unkind (not nearly as bad as Eduardo Nunez‘s, however).

Not for nothing, but Mariano Rivera has only twice generated “value” (using Fangraphs calculations) that exceeded his actual salary. Anyone want to debate Mo’s real value? I didn’t think so.

Overall, ownership has gotten a solid return on their investment, at least for 2011.

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

11 thoughts on “Fun with charts: Value vs. Salary

  1. JeffG

    Phil Hughes was surprising to me – I guess just because we all expected so much more from him this year that it's odd to think we got what we paid for with a young guy.

  2. jay_robertson

    Was surprised to see Boone, of all people, in the plus side; was also surprised to see Nunez in the red – I figured he was paid so little that he'd end up a wash.

    Tex didn't surprise me, and AJ , Soriano, Posada, Marte (!) and Feliciano were all obvious – purely curious, but wondering – AJ and Tex HAD to be fairly strong in the BLACK the first season they were with the team.

  3. SMxxx

    A-Rod played only 94 games while creating 19.4m value, so with a healthy season he would have been in the plus.

  4. David

    I'm a bit shocked that Nunez is sitting at 0.2 – 0.3 NEGATIVE WAR since, y'know, he WAS the replacement player and he played pretty darn good filling in. I understand Mariano and Jeter's position relative to salary, but still… I mean, really?

    • I think it's his defense that drops him from just above to just below replacement level .

  5. Chris

    Joba has positive value!!

    • Hank

      Reliever FIP based WAR – Joba last year had almost the same exact value as Daniel Bard last year.

      As Jason mentioned, the reliever value #'s should be taken with a grain of salt.

  6. 27up-27down

    I assume none of these numbers include business value or matketing value, right? I doubt the Yankees lose money on MO, Jeter, or A-Rod.

  7. Very cool chart, Jason. This, combined with Fast's analysis, makes me even more curious about how much Cashman will pursue Martin this offseason.

    • Hank

      Martin still has an arbitration year… I have to assume the Yankees will offer him arbitration (as he will not get free agent money out of the arbitration). Unless the Yankees want to look for a 2-3 year deal which bought out the arb year and a year or 2 of free agency (which I don't think would happen), the decision seems rather simple… just offer arbitration.

      I think he's making 4 mil this year, so he probably gets a bump to 6-7 mil which will still be a bargain even if he declines a bit next year.

      • ssxmetro

        I think it's pretty obvious that Martin, although his offensive #s fell off dramatically after the first 2 months, is just an all around-asset with his defense, handling of the pitchers and his club house presence (really surprising since I had heard prior to the start of the season that he was not a great clubhouse guy, but that can happen when you play for a team who doesn't appreciate you after a few injury plagued years.) I think Montero will get some sporadic starts behind the plate next season just to see if he REALLY wants to catch and if he can actually improve. In that case, Romine really becomes expendable in a trade as Sanchez and the other young catchers are working their way up the ranks. But Montero has been earning his keep with his bat so maybe with the right person working with him in the offseason he can turn around his defense. If not, Posada was never really an above average defender and I think Montero's bat may be better than jorge in his prime. But I really haven't searched for the #s to try to back up my statements, just what I have observed from a strictly live point of view without diving into sabremetrics. Brien is usually amazing at finding the #s to back things up and I usually am in awe by the things he knows and can break down to support his opinions. I will need to pick up a book on sabremetric and do more homework before being able to debate anything with most of you guys, but it's extremely hard to be out of state and try to follow them (even with baseball package on directv) just because i don't have too much time to really analyze the new age stats. Keep up the great work Mr. Jackson (and Jason in this case)

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