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Prospectus on the Cards' rotation bargains

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  • Prospectus on the Cards' rotation bargains

    Flourish: At press time the Cardinals' magic number was 11, but according to Clay Davenport's Playoff Odds Report they "statistically clinched" a playoff spot days ago. Davenport has written a couple of articles explaining his methodology, but for now we might simply say that the Postseason Odds Report shows the results of 1,000,000 simulations of the rest of the season.

    According to Clay's simulations of the rest of the 2005 season there is literally not a single chance in a million that the Cardinals do not make the playoffs. The Cardinals statistically clinched a playoff spot with their 87th win of the season on Sunday against the Houston Astros.

    Pitching Values: At press time, 137 of the Cardinals' 139 starts (98.6%) had come from their five-man rotation of Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Jeff Suppan, Matt Morris and Jason Marquis. Anyone can take a quick look at BP's new sortable stats to see how these pitchers stack of against each other or against the rest of the National League.

    We thought we would do one better at the BP Notebook and run the Cardinals' rotation through Nate Silver's new marginal gain calculations.


    Code:
    Name       MarginalSalary*  WARP MarketValue    NetValue
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chris Carpenter   $2,183,000    7.3 $15,622,000  $13,439,000
    Mark Mulder     $5,683,000    4.3 $ 5,683,000  $ 3,519,000
    Jeff Suppan     $3,683,000    2.6 $ 3,683,000  $ 1,881,000
    Matt Morris     $2,933,000    1.8 $ 2,933,000  $  919,000
    Jason Marquis    $2,733,000    3.2 $ 2,733,000  $ 4,115,000
    *Included are incentives that player is on pace to receive.

    Marginal salary is simply salary minus the league minimum. WARP is in the glossary and quantifies the wins a player adds above a replacement-level player. Market Value is simply WARP*$2,140,000, which is roughly how much a win seems to be worth according to the most recent free agent season (though Nate Silver's newest research indicates that wins are valued differently by different teams depending on how close they are to the playoffs). Net Value is Market Value minus Marginal Salary.
    First of all, Carpenter. Chris Carpenter is worth an astounding $13,439,000 more than he's being paid. He could earn a few more bonuses for post-season awards but by that point he will probably off-set any additional income with his rest-of-season production. $50,000 for the Cy Young Award seems like a bargain for the Cardinals (that's a race, by the way, which Carpenter is currently winning according to Bill James and Rob Neyer's Cy Young Predictor).

    The second curious figure is Marquis' WARP and Net Value. Let's try another chart.


    Code:
    Name       BRAR   FRAR   PRAR
    ----------------------------------------
    Carpenter     -13    2    81
    Mulder       -7    4    49
    Suppan       -4    2    32
    Morris       -8    1    30
    Marquis       +5    1    28
    BRAR is Batting Runs Above Replacement, FRAR is Fielding Runs Above Replacement, and PRAR is Pitching Runs Above Replacement. Roughly speaking, WARP-1, which we used above, is derived from the combination of these three metrics.
    Marquis may come in last in the pitching metric, but he is a full nine runs better than the 2nd best hitting pitcher in this group, and a full 18 runs better Chris Carpenter. Marquis' .342/.350/.513 line in 80 PAs makes him the best-hitting pitcher in the National League, and it's not even close.

    The third interesting note, and perhaps most surprising, is that each one of those pitcher contracts is a deal for the Cardinals. Even Matt Morris (3.97 ERA in 165 1/3 IP) is worth more than what the Cardinals are paying him. Not a single member of the Cardinals Opening Day five-man rotation is being overpaid in 2005 either because of injury or under-performance.

    --Tom Gorman

    Go Walt.

  • #2
    VORP VORP VORP VORP VORP
    You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

    Comment


    • #3
      Nate Silver's new marginal gain calculations.
      Finally! The breakthrough we've been waiting for!! All of those unanswered questions finally will be resolved!

      Hi Ho, Silver.
      I'm always right.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kaiser@Sep 9 2005, 01:31 PM
        Nate Silver's new marginal gain calculations.
        Finally! The breakthrough we've been waiting for!! All of those unanswered questions finally will be resolved!

        Hi Ho, Silver.
        When you have no response, attack the source. Straight from the playbook.

        Comment


        • #5
          BRAR, FRAR, and PRAR. Kind of sounds like Bulgarian triplets.

          So how much money are we spending on the rotation, compared to how much the Astros are spending for Roger Clemens?
          Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

          "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

          Comment


          • #6
            They've got Morris' salary wrong. He's on pace to pitch 190 innings, which would earn him about $6.25M.

            Morris signed a 1-year deal with a $2.5M base. Here are the incentives built into his contract:

            $500,000 for 50ip; $500,000 for 75ip; $500,000 for 100ip; $750,000 for 125ip; $750,000 for 150ip; $750,000 for 175ip; $750,000 for 200ip.

            Plus additional incentives: $100,000 for Cy Young ($50,000-2nd; $25,000-3rd); $50,000 for All Star; $50,000 for NLDS/MVP; $50,000 for NLCS/MVP; $50,000 for WS/MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove; $25,000 for Silver Slugger.

            $2.5M Base salary
            + 0.5M for 50 IP
            + 0.5M for 75 IP
            + 0.5M for 100 IP
            + 0.75M for 125 IP
            + 0.75M for 150 IP
            + 0.75M for 175 IP
            ------------------
            = 6.25M for 190 IP

            -RBB

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kaiser@Sep 9 2005, 12:31 PM
              Nate Silver's new marginal gain calculations.
              Finally! The breakthrough we've been waiting for!! All of those unanswered questions finally will be resolved!

              Hi Ho, Silver.
              Give the man a Von Schnelling.
              Are you on the list?

              Comment

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