Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bang for your Buck: Texas Rangers

2009 Projected Lineup

C- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
'09 Salary: $0.410 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $3.8 Million (61 Games)
1B- Chris Davis
'09 Salary: $0.406 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $5.4 Million (80 Games)
2B- Ian Kinsler
'09 Salary: $3.0 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $20.3 Million
3B- Michael Young
'09 Salary: $16.0 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $11.6 Million
SS- Elvis Andrus
'09 Salary: N/A
'08 Dollar Value: N/A
LF- David Murphy
'09 Salary: $0.414 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $7.6 Million
CF- Josh Hamilton
'09 Salary: $0.555 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $18.6 Million
RF- Nelson Cruz
'09 Salary: $0.408 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $7.2 Million (31 Games)
DH- Hank Blalock
'09 Salary: $6.2 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $3.1 Million (65 Games)
SP- Kevin Millwood
'09 Salary: $11.0 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $15.3 Million
SP- Vicente Padilla
'09 Salary: $12.0 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $7.3 Million
SP- Scott Feldman
'09 Salary: $0.434 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $4.2 Million
SP- Matt Harrison
'09 Salary: $0.405 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $3.0 Million
SP- Brandon McCarthy
'09 Salary: $0.650 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $0.7 Million
CL- Frank Francisco
'09 Salary: $1.6 Million
'08 Dollar Value: $6.9 Million

-Of These 15 Players-
'09 Total Player Salaries: $53.44 Million
'08 Total Player Dollar Value: $115.0 Million

Best Contract
Ian Kinsler- 5 years/$22M (2008-12)
This may be a bit premature, but if Kinsler can produce anything close to what he did last year over the course of the next few seasons, he will be overwhelmingly more valuable than the average annual salary of $4.4 million that he's scheduled to make. Through his first three seasons Kinsler has made a combined total of $1.4 million, while being worth more than $30 million.
Another contract that deserves at least an honorable mention is Kevin Millwood's 5 year/$60M deal (2006-2010). To those who just look at ERA this may look like one of the uglier contracts in baseball. In 2008, for example, he ranked 36th in the AL with a 5.07 ERA. However, if you look at more valuable statistics, such as FIP, he ranked 19th (4.03 FIP), right behind Mark Buerhle and ahead of players such as Daisuke Matsuzaka, Joe Saunders, and John Lackey--just to name a few. In the three years he's been with Texas, Millwood has made $28.1 million, while being worth $45.5 million.

Worst Contract
Michael Young- 5 years/$80M (2009-13)
This contract probably isn't quite as bad as some people would make it out to be, but it's still pretty awful. His offensive value has deteriorated rather significantly in each of the last four seasons. It also doesn't help that he's moving to a position (third base) with a much higher demand for offensive production than his previous position. He's 32 years old, he'll be making roughly $16 million each of the next five seasons, and his best season ever as a shortstop saw him being worth about $12.7 million. I take it back, this contract probably is as bad as most people make it out to be. Young was wise in ultimately deciding to accept the move to third base, because chances are that he won't come close to being worth the ridiculous amount their paying him for the next five years.

2009 Outlook
I was a little surprised to see just how well the majority of the Rangers' contracts are structured. Aside from Michael Young, most of these deals are at least reasonable, if not very good. They obviously need some help in the rotation as far as production goes. Padilla hasn't been awful, but he's not really the kind of pitcher you want as your number two. Andrus is a question mark at shortstop as well. He has good speed on the bases (54 SB last year in AA) and decent range at short, but his other offensive numbers are rather suspect. It wouldn't be much of a surprise to see Young back at short before the season's end.
As far as getting the most value out of your players, though, the Rangers will in all likelihood fair extremely well. With players like Hamilton, Davis, and Murphy making next to nothing, your payroll's going to look pretty good. Of the 15 projected regulars, based on '08 production the Rangers will be worth roughly $61.56 million more than what they're getting paid. Not too bad for a ballclub who's payroll isn't very high to begin with.

Next up: Andy's Seattle Mariners!


Grif said...

I actually would be surprised to see MY back at shortstop with Vizquel in house. I think his days there are done.

I'll also bet that, while Salty is starting the season there, Tea gets most of the time at catcher.

And I want Millwood gone mostly to open up a roster spot more than because I hate his contract.

Rook said...

I forgot about Vizquel.


But yeah, Andrus doesn't seem like the solution at short.

Grif said...

He's not supposed to be the solution, though, because they're not focusing on this season. They believe there's a chance he'll be ready this season, and that means moving Michael Young before the season starts.

And I really don't think it's too much of a stretch for Young + Andrus/Vizquel to be better than Young + Travis Metcalf, but that's not what it's about.

Rook said...

Oh no, I realize that. What I was saying is that Andrus, from what I've read, doesn't really seem to be the solution in the long run.

I obviously don't pretend to follow the Rangers as closely as you, though, and I've studied only little about their farm system.