Has Carlos Beltran been worth it?

There has been some talk lately that Carlos Beltran‘s contract with the Mets is a stinker, that Beltran hasn’t been worth the big bucks he was given starting in 2005. Of course, most of this is based on perception and not any sort of real analysis, and I think that Beltran suffers from a “perceptual bias” related to a number of things:
{exp:list_maker}The “what have you done for me lately” syndrome, in which people put a lot of stock in Beltran’s most recent injuried-plagued years and forget about the early years of his contract.
Baserunning and fielding, which are difficult to value. Beltran has been among the best baserunners in the majors during much of his contract, as well as one of the best fielders at a critical position.
Beltran’s apparent nonchalance on the field. When things are going well, we call that “effortless grace.” When things aren’t going well, we call that “lack of desire.”
The Mets’ failure during his best years. They have only made the playoffs once during Beltran’s tenure, and they famously “choked” at the end of the 2007 and 2008 seasons. As a highly-paid leader, he is expected to take some of the blame for the team’s failure.
That hanging curveball from Adam Wainwright. {/exp:list_maker}
So let’s right this wrong. Beltran may still have a year left on his seven-year megadeal with the Mets, but it’s not too early to pass judgment on it. After all, we’re all baseball fans here. Passing judgment is what we do.

The background: in early 2005, Beltran signed a seven-year deal with the Mets for $119 million. The deal was structured by year this way:

2005: $17 million ($10 million plus $7 million of his signing bonus)
2006: $14 million ($12 million plus $2 million of his signing bonus)
2007: $14 million ($12 million plus $2 million of his signing bonus)
2008-2011: $18.5 million a year

In order to pass judgment on Beltran’s contract, I’m going to analyze his performance within the context of what an average free agent was paid each year of the contract. Some people might want to compare Beltran’s deal to, say, David Wright‘s instead.

But that’s not a fair comparison; the Mets spent money developing Wright and were given the luxury of paying him a minimal salary for the first six years of his major league career. New York had to go to the free-agent market to pull in a player of Beltran’s caliber, and that should be the standard against which we measure him.

Part of Beltran’s salary has been deferred at a set compound interest rate but, given the Mets’ woeful situation with Bernie Madoff, I’m not going to begin to analyze that. There were some other perks, such as a suite in the home park and special rooms on the road. Most importantly, the Mets agreed not to trade Beltran, and they also agreed to refrain from offering him arbitration at the end of his contract.

No-trade clauses are a big deal, but it’s very difficult to put a value on them. Not offering arbitration is also a big deal, and, thanks to work by THT’s Victor Wang, we can estimate that giving up the right to offer arbitration can cost a team $3 to $5 million. We’ll get back to that at the end of our study. First, let’s look at Beltran’s performance year by year.

2005

In 2005, Beltran started his tenure with the Mets by playing in 151 games, batting .266/.330/.414 (BA/OBP/SLG) with 34 doubles and 16 home runs. He scored 83 runs and knocked in 78 as the Mets finished third in the NL East with an 83-79 record. Both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference translate those stats into a slightly below-average major league hitter.

However, Beltran was a very good clutch hitter in 2005. For instance, he batted .298/.385/.503 with runners in scoring position and .289/.360/.478 in “late and close” situations. It seems Beltran should get some credit for hitting when it counted.

Luckily, we have a stat that does that. According to Win Probability, Beltran batted .316/.362/.571 in high-leverage situations vs. .232/.295/.338 in low-leverage situations, and his overall offensive contribution was actually 1.5 wins above average. We can debate the use of WPA till the cows come home, and I readily acknowledge that WPA is not a perfect stat (no stat is). But, given Beltran’s tremendous clutch performance in 2005, I’m going to use it instead of more generic batting stats.

Advanced fielding stats, such as UZR, John Dewan’s plus/minus system and TotalZone, all agree Beltran was average or slightly below average in the field. He did play center field, a difficult position, for which he gets a bit of credit (about two runs above average). According to Baseball Prospectus, he was the fifth-best baserunner in the majors, which resulted in an additional six runs over average.

In general, it takes ten runs to turn a loss into a win so, adding up his bat, glove and legs, Beltran contributed two wins more than the average player in 2005. As you can tell, I’m rounding here because I don’t want to pretend these stats are precise to the tenth. They’re good approximations of value, so round numbers will suffice.

During the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, I maintained a spreadsheet of every major league player, including his salary and lots of other things about him (such as whether he was a free agent, how many years of service he had, etc.). I also calculated each player’s Win Shares Above Bench, which is a different method of calculating his “win value.” I found that teams paid $4.2 million on the free agent market for each win above bench (“bench” roughly correlates with replacement level).

I can use that $4.2 million for wins above average too, because I’m treating salaries as a linear function of all wins above bench. For instance, you can multiply Beltran’s two wins above average times $4.2 million for a total of $8.4 million. I also found that the average 2005 player signed as a free agent, given Beltran’s playing time, would have had a value of $7.6 million. Add $7.6 and $8.4 million, and you get a total value of $16 million for Carlos Beltran, $1 million less than his actual take of $17 million.

2006

2006 was a huge year for Carlos Beltran. He batted .275/.388/.594 with 41 homers and 38 doubles. He continued his clutch hitting, with .313/.449/.600 averages in high-leverage situations versus .236/.341/.528 averages in low-leverage situations. Therefore, I am once again most comfortable using his WPA batting total of five wins above average.

He was also apparently better in the field (about ten runs above average) according to all the fielding stats, and he continued his fine baserunning (four runs above average, according to BPro). Adding it all up, Beltran was about 6.4 wins better than the average major leaguer and finished fourth in MVP voting (really, he should have finished second).

According to my data, the average 2006 player signed as a free agent, given Beltran’s playing time, had a value of $7.4 million. Teams paid $4.4 million for each additional win above average; in Beltran’s case, that means $28 million above $7.4 million, for a total of $35.4 million. Beltran was actually paid $14 million in 2005—the Mets gained $21 million of extra value from Beltran in 2006.

Unfortunately, Beltran also helplessly watched an Adam Wainwright curveball break over the plate to end the National League Championship Series. His fantastic season would be marred by that one singular image for many Met observers.

2007

2007 was another excellent year for Beltran. He batted .276/.353/.525 overall, with 33 home runs and 33 doubles. This time, he didn’t shine in the clutch, and his WPA was “just” two wins above average.

The fielding stats are split on Beltran’s performance: John Dewan’s plus/minus system ranked him the second-best center fielder in the majors, 13 runs above average. TotalZone also liked him a lot, but UZR gave him just 2.9 runs above average. On the basepaths, BPro again credited him with four runs above average. I’m going to call it three wins above average in total.

Free agent salaries inflated dramatically in 2007, on a value basis. According to my calculations (which I made available online), teams paid free agents $5.1 million for every win above bench level, a 21% increase over 2006.

Given Beltran’s playing time, the average major leaguer who had been signed as a free agent would have been worth $8.9 million in 2007. When you add in Beltran’s three additional wins at $5.1 million a win, Beltran’s total 2007 value equals $24.2 million. He was paid $14 million, so the team came out $10 million ahead.

Unfortunately, the Mets finished a game behind the Phillies for the NL East crown, losing six of their last seven games after being up by seven games in early September. Beltran had a good final month for the Mets and hit three home runs that final week. But it wasn’t enough to pull them into the postseason.

You may have questions about my use of season-specific salaries and values to determine the value of a specific contract signed several years before. Those are legitimate questions, but I think this approach is most appropriate. Free agent salary values soared in 2007 because young players—those not eligible for free agency—became a force in the majors. Their value pulled down the value of free agents without pulling down their salaries. Beltran, on the other hand, continued to perform exceptionally well, and this approach gives him the appropriate credit for it.

2008

Beltran had his last injury-free season in 2008, batting .284/.376/.500 with 27 home runs and 40 doubles. His clutch stroke seemingly returned, as he hit .313/.404/.550 in high-leverage situations versus .266/.362/.475 in low-leverage situations for a batting WPA of 5.0. All the systems agree that his glove was outstanding, contributing 10-15 runs above average and BPro credits him with seven runs more than average on the basepaths. Adding it all up, 2008 ranks as Beltran’s finest year, seven wins above average.

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep detailed payroll information in 2008, but I’m going to assume that teams kept their salaries steady at $5 million a win from free agent players. The average 2008 major leaguer who signed as a free agent would have been worth $9.6 million. Beltran was seven wins above average, for an extra $35 million, or $44.6 million. He was paid $18.5 million, so the Mets gained an extra $26.1 million in value.

The Mets once again failed to make the playoffs after leading in early September, but you can’t blame Beltran for that swoon. September was his best month, as he batted .344/.440/.645 with significantly positive WPA totals in each of the Mets’ critical last five games.

2009

Beltran played in just 81 games in 2009—the Mets’ first in Citifield—but he posted his best averages that year: .325/.415/.500 with ten homers and 22 doubles. He even batted .325/.415/.500 in high-leverage situations for a WPA of 2.0. He was only average in the field and on the basepaths (which could be interpreted as a sign of aging or the impact of injuries), so we’ll stick to two wins above average in total.

I’ll keep free agent salaries at $5 million per win over bench. Given Beltran’s limited playing time in 2009, the average free agent would have been worth $4.9 million. Adding two wins above average at $5 million per win results in a total of $15 million, $3.5 less than he was paid.

2010

Last year was not a good year for Carlos Beltran. He batted .255/.341/.427 while playing just 64 games and was an average WPA batter. The fielding stats all agree that he was probably slightly below average in center field. His baserunning was also below average. I’m going to call him one-half win below average in the time he did play.

Keeping free agent salaries at $5 million once again, the average free agent player would be worth $3.6 million, given Beltran’s playing time in 2010. Beltran’s value was $2.5 million below that (one-half of $5 million) so his overall value was $1 million. He was paid $18.5 million.

Summing it up

Adding up the first six years of Beltran’s seven-year deal, we get the following value totals per year:

2005             -$1
2006             $21
2007             $20
2008             $26
2009             -$4
2010            -$18
Arbitration      -$5

Total:           $39

Using this approach, Carlos Beltran has been worth $39 million more than his $119 million contract. Even if he doesn’t play at all in 2010, even if he goes all Roberto Alomar and ends his career with a plunge, Beltran will not waste away that excess value next year.

From 2006 through 2008, Carlos Beltran was the best player in the National League not named Pujols. His combination of hitting, batting eye, power, speed, baserunning smarts, fielding prowess and clutch hitting made him an extraordinary performer. It is very difficult to fault him for the Mets’ collapses in 2007 and 2008. In fact, he was one of the few Metropolitans to step up to the challenge.

In early 2005, I thought the Mets had made a fine deal for themselves. If you don’t want to follow the link, this was my conclusion:

OK, so is Beltran worth $17 million a year? Over the last four years, Beltran has racked up 27, 22, 28 and 31 Win Shares. I see no reason why he can’t deliver 25 to 30 Win Shares annually over the next four to five years. Based on his Fair Market Value, he is worth $17 million a year if he can average 29 Win Shares a year. It’s a stretch, but it’s not unreasonable.

Those sixth and seventh years are another matter. Beltran will be 34 years old in the seventh year of this contract, the same age as Alomar when the Mets acquired him from the Indians. On the other hand, Jim Edmonds was 34 this past year. And he was pretty good. Still, seven years is a big risk. If you’re upset about anything with this contract, get upset about the length, not the money.

I’ve gotten a whole lot of things wrong in the years I’ve been writing about baseball, but, in retrospect, I got this one right.

Addendum: the Mike Cameron scenario

According to typical “replacement level” standards, a player who can play an average center field has added two or three runs more than the average major leaguer. But you may recall that the Mets already had a pretty good center fielder, name of Mike Cameron, who had signed a three-year deal (with an option year) for considerably less money just the year before. The Mets moved Cameron to right to make way for Beltran, which resulted in that terrible outfield collision in August.

So, really, Beltran was replacing a typical right fielder in this specific situation, which is something that didn’t really come into play in my analysis. I just sort of ignored that angle, because it really wouldn’t have affected the final conclusion.

In November, the Mets traded Cameron to the Padres for Xavier Nady. Nady lasted just half a year with the Mets, when he was traded to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez and, um, Oliver Perez. Cameron had four fine years with the Padres and Brewers. Hernandez had a decent half year for the Mets; Perez had one fine year and has stunk ever since, at a very high price.

If you want to argue that the Mets shouldn’t have signed Carlos Beltran, this is the angle you want to pursue. Cameron had some fine years at a good price at the same time Beltran was having his superstar years at a high price. Plus, the Mets might have avoided the nightmare that is Ollie Perez if they hadn’t signed Beltran (or given him a no-trade clause).

It’s a big stretch, and I wouldn’t go there. But it’s a better argument than the performance angle.

References & Resources
Bill Petti’s post at Beyond the Boxscore inspired this study.

I purposely chose not to use Wins Above Replacement for this article even though it is widely used for baseball salary analyses. I wanted to dig below the surface and show you my specific reasoning for each calculation.

You might be concerned that I’m using Win Shares to establish my salary standards but other stats for for measuring performance. That’s a legitimate concern, but not a big one in my book. Win Shares and WAR (not to mention WARP and other value measurements) sometimes differ a lot for individual players, but they generally all come to the same conclusions on a macro level.

You also may be concerned that I measured each player against average and not replacement level. Never fear—I built replacement level into my calculations for “salary for an average player.” Specifically, I assumed that “wins below bench” cost only the major league minimum salary for each player.

All of the stats quoted were found on the Fangraphs and Baseball Reference pages.

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Comments

  1. The Tick said...

    It wasn’t just that last hanging curve… his bat didn’t leave his shoulder the whole at-bat!

    I stood behind him his first year in NY, despite him doing practically nothing all year… but he lost me with that at-bat.

    Gutless… like Kenny Rogers in 99

  2. Shimi Goodman said...

    i followed the math, but at face value it is absurd to say that a basically average player(2005) is worth 16 million or that an MVP-type player is worth 44 million. that is not what these kinds of players get on the free agent market.

  3. Brad Johnson said...

    Shimi,

    What you could say is that if the production was guaranteed, that is how much a club would have paid for it. Unfortunately, bidding for free agents is a very uncertain task. Clubs should have an idea of a perfect world scenario (i.e. the $44 mil) and a most likely or average scenario (probably closer to the low 20’s). These are called signals.

    If the club is rational, it will understand that it should not bid at its signal due to the Winner’s Curse (a topic I’ll look at in more depth next week on the fantasy page, for now a google search will turn up plenty of easy to follow material). Basically, a bid should be under signal price. In sports this is due to any number of reasons for performance volatility.

    Keep in mind, for every year added to a deal, the AAV should be expected to decline.

    I hope that brief description helped explain why we might find a $44 million value on a player even though such outcomes aren’t found in the market.

  4. Dave Studeman said...

    Shimi, these players don’t get that much because their contracts are signed before the season begins. Salaries are guaranteed, which means they carry risk, which reduces the amount that is paid. My analysis of value is after the fact.

    Keep in mind that for every Beltran contract there is a Zito contract, with a lot of negative value for the club. A poor performance by an overpaid player makes a performance by someone like Beltran more valuable.

    A model very much like the one I’m using here is used over at the Book Blog to evaluate contracts at the time they are signed. You might be surprised to find out how often contracts are in line with the assumptions I’m making here.

  5. Eric R said...

    “but at face value it is absurd to say that a basically average player(2005) is worth 16 million “

    Using the data provided though, he wasn’;t average.  He’s getting a nice bump for clutch hitting, good baserunning and playing a primium position.  You need to argue why a +2 win player isn’t worth $16M, not why an average player isn’t.

    “or that an MVP-type player is worth 44 million.”
    Players rarely get properly compensated for MVP-calibre years.  This doesn’t mean that those years have less value.  Those $40M+ value years are rarely predictable, so with pay structures set before performance, no team is going to end up paying for those huge years…

  6. Bill Petti said...

    Glad I could inspire you wink

    Love your analysis, you more than showed your work. Obviously, it is tough to value players and we don’t have it down to an exact science yet, but even if we assume a wide margin of error Beltran was worth the contract he signed.

    As for Beltran causing the Ollie nightmare, I’d say that was more the fault of a drunk driver in Miami. That driver set in motion a host of moves that just killed the 2006 season for them.

  7. Paul said...

    Bit overcomplex for me to be honest,

    if i gather it’s assessing Beltran’s value over his contract yr on yr in view of what a nominal free agent would’ve earned instead, seems so unreal, no club signs 25 FA each year. 

    And I have to question the result that he has outperfomed his total contract by 39mil a year early? Especially considering an average at best 2005, and 1/2 of 2009 and 2010 being lost to injury.

    Anyway, doesn’t WAR show Beltran has been more valuable than his paycheck so far?

    25.9 WAR over 6 yrs @ ~4.2mil per win (taking the most miserly view) = 108.8mil having been paid 101mil so far.

    The point is that Beltran, like so many other underappreciated players (Utley etc) add tons of value by defense & baserunning that isn’t captured by the headline stats, and easily assessed nor appreciated

  8. Dave Studeman said...

    Paul, you’re all over the place. A few things:

    - I don’t understand your point about no club signing 25 free agents a year.  So what? If a club has to sign a free agent to fill out its roster, then that free agent pool is what the outcome should be compared to.

    - My whole point about his first year is that he wasn’t “average at best.”  He was two wins better than average.

    - Yes, you can take WAR and Fangraphs’ data, but that’s easy and facile.  This entire exercise was intended to show the work and avoid potentially biased assumptions underlying Fangraphs’ simplistic stats.  Two key elements that I uncovered were Beltran’s clutch hitting and a different set of salary guidelines.

    - Yes, you get the point in your last sentence (it’s easy to underappreciate a player with Beltran’s skillset), but you don’t truly get the point if you don’t understand how valuable his superstar years were.

  9. Paul E said...

    Dave:
      Beltran played through a pulled quadriceps/thigh bruise in 2005 and performed on the level of a Shane Victorino. Beyond that, he’s been an absolute superstar, 5-tool maniac, and the greatest percentage base-stealer in MLB history. If you use the baseball-reference career batting scenario at the given 4.42 runs per game, he compares favorably with Jimmy Wynn – Bill James’ 10th greatest CF of all-time. I would venture a guess Beltran belongs a little higher up the list.
      And yo TICK, this is the same guy that probably had the greatest post season in MLB history with the 2004 Astros-or maybe you missed that because the “gutless” 71 Win 91 Loss Mets weren’t around for that post-season either…..

  10. Paul said...

    Dave,

    thanks again, not really saying one approach is better than another, just the output from the fWAR (in this case, I dislike it for pitchers value usually) fits with my impression better than your output for value.

    the ‘clutch’ thing was a bit of a joke – player A is good/bad cuz he’s clutch – like to knock Arod in the playoffs or Beltran with Wainright cuz they weren’t clutch means they are bad players.

    The Pujols Q is just simply to make the point that his value by your method must be astronomical over the same period as Beltran.

    Anyway, I don’t want to waste your time, I agree with your original Q, I agree with your conclusion, I just don’t agree with the end number that you have put on the overproduction.

  11. Dave Studeman said...

    fWAR “fits with your impression?”  There’s nothing I can say to that.

    If you don’t believe players should get credit for demonstrably batting better in high-leverage situations—which is what Beltran did during the time in question—that’s okay. Legitimate difference of opinion.  I assume that’s because you think the WPA framework is flawed somehow.

    Of course, Pujols’ value is astronomical. That’s why he’s asking for so much money.

  12. Paul E said...

    Dave:
      I guess I did this backwards and read the Boston Globe column after your piece and just because Nick Cafardo says Carlos Beltran hasn’t been worth it, there is no need to take him to task. Now, if he says JD Drew is the second coming of Roberto Clemente, please feel free to dissect the minutiae, disseminate the damning details, and send that blowhard back up the Charles River. Unique name for a paper, “Boston Globe”, when you consider just how provincial a town it really is.

  13. Joel said...

    Pujols would be worth nearly $40 million to several clubs before 2011 in a world where:

    1. All contracts are signed on a 1 year basis
    2. Contracts are non-guaranteed
    3. You don’t have to pay a player (or covered by insurance) while they are the disabled list.

    Of course, this is a pipe dream.

  14. Bill Petti said...

    Paul: Why, exactly, can’t we take Cafardo to task? He made a statement backed up by absolutely no logic or evidence. Not only that, but the subject of whether Beltran has been worth it isn’t one where there is lots of evidence on both sides—I have yet to see a well argued column that makes a convincing case that he hasn’t been worth it. All I see is “well, the guy had a less than elite 2005 and he’s had some injuries”.

  15. Paul E said...

    Bill:
      I was being facitious. Actually, I find Carfardo’s assessment of Beltran entirely groundless and assinine. My point is that Carfardo’s statements regarding Beltran’s past 6 years are so out of line and off the mark, that they don’t even merit such intense research.
      His remarks are so off base, I believe he’s just playing to an anti-New York, pro-Sawx readership….I’ve already e-mailed him; maybe Dave should do likewise. I feel bad for a guy like Beltran (if it’s possible to feel bad for someone who has grossed $140,000,000). Omar Minaya buried that organization and guys like Wright and Beltran are seen as lesser ballplayers for it

  16. Paul said...

    Dave, thanks for the engagement, no need for a defense, usually if the reader doesn’t get the point, it’s the reader’s fault

    I think I get the point now – Beltran was worth it cuz he’s clutch

    Re 2005 his first year – I disagree, fWAR 2.2 says he was an average MLBer

    Q – Based on this analysis – what was Pujols worth over the same 6yr period?

  17. Dave Studeman said...

    Paul, why do you think fWAR is better than my approach? Especially when you say that you “get it,” cause he was clutch? fWAR does not give credit for clutch.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to repeat the same analysis for Pujols.

  18. Dave Studeman said...

    Paul, three points:

    Really the only major difference between my analysis and fWAR, in 2005 and other years, is the credit I give Beltran for clutch hitting. You won’t say if you don’t believe in giving players credit for clutch hitting or if you think my methodology is wrong. I will point out that plenty of other people seem to give credit for clutch hitting (see David Ortiz), at least for players that they are positively disposed toward. I believe in doing it for all players when appropriate.

    Or maybe you just don’t like the fact that my finding is so fundamentally different from apparent stats and fWAR. If that is the case, then you’re not being any more helpful than Cafardo was in the first place.

    This paragraph:

    Fundamentally, I don’t see how valuation of the production value of a player on a long term contract should be valued against what it would’ve cost to buy a free agent each individual year.  This makes no sense to me.  I don’t see how that cannot overrate the player’s production.

    First of all, it won’t overrate the player’s production.  The production is what it is. It’s the value that’s at question.

    And this approach is exactly the same approach used by Fangraphs to determine its $7.5 million. Why would you use the approach in one sentence yet say it makes no sense in another? And what would you do instead?

    And this sentence:

    When a result is so outlandish to the perception, you may be correct, but good luck persuading people, because usually its a turn-off

    I am 100% interested in the truth. Persuading people is a secondary goal. I won’t water down my findings to convince people.  Go to another website if that’s what you’re looking for.

    Paul, I can’t tell if you really believe you’re helping the discussion along or you’re just a troll.  You haven’t shown any ability to incorporate others’ responses into your subsequent response. If you continue to do so, I’ll assume you’re just trolling.

  19. Paul said...

    so you accuse me of being a troll?  Nice touch, at least it wasn’t a accusation of being a fascist, maybe you’re saving it for next time?

  20. Paul said...

    @Brad – the work was done by fWAR ‘- that is already half the point -’, but thanks for your input – by the way still think Bert Blyleven’s rankometer graph ‘compares similarly’ to Greg Maddux except that it’s not clustered?

    @Dave – quoted

    “fWAR “fits with your impression?”  There’s nothing I can say to that.”

    quote the whole quote please – ‘fits with my impression better than your analysis’.

    My impression of Beltran c.2005 was a bit of a dissapointing season.  The adv. stats on fWAR tell me that his 2005 was an about average bat (by my chosen metric, you picked your own), an about average defense, some small positive for baserunning.

    You say this is worth 16million.
    I don’t agree.

    Fundamentally, I don’t see how valuation of the production value of a player on a long term contract should be valued against what it would’ve cost to buy a free agent each individual year.  This makes no sense to me.  I don’t see how that cannot overrate the player’s production.

    Oh and Re. the digs are the mainstream media.  Yes those who appreciate more advanced stats will like ‘taking the Boston writer to task’ – but are you going to change his (and the other writers) minds with this post?

    Average Joe the Mets Fan’s interest is piqued by the mainstream media saying Beltran’s contract is a stinker.  He looks at Beltran 2005 and sees 266/330/414 with disapointing production.  He looks for more advanced metrics, maybe fWAR, and sees approx. average bat and defense (actually slightly below, but lets not quibble) – fWAR pegs a dollar value at 7.5mil.  Ok the number may be inaccurate, but basically he underperfomed his pay for 2005 (17mil), by roughly 50%.

    You come along and say, hang on, he was actually better than you thought – i make him at 16mil of value – basically he was nearly worth his pay for 2005.

    It just doesn’t square with many people’s reality of Beltran in 2005.  When a result is so outlandish to the perception, you may be correct, but good luck persuading people, because usually its a turn-off – and the bigger worry is it turns off the new reader to ‘all’ the adv. stats.

    Thanks for sharing your work, but in my opinion, and with all due respect to a national treasure, I respectively think the work already done (fWAR) answered the headline question, and frankly answered it better if the premise is to convice the flatworlders that Beltran has been worth it.

  21. Brad Johnson said...

    Compares similarly may have been the wrong phrase. What I should have said was that visually Bert’s graph ‘looks’ similar to Maddux’s. As we discussed in that thread, Maddux competed with a more impressive class of pitcher and had slightly higher overall rankings so he was definitely better.

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