Net Value Rankings: Giants vs MLB

I used WAR $ Value totals from Fangraphs for every MLB player who logged meaningful time this season. I then subtracted each player’s salary to get their “net value.” Here’s a look at the most and least valuable teams, position units, and players across baseball, with my thoughts on how the Giants fit into the picture.

The Formula:  WAR $ Value (Fangraphs) minus Player Salary = Net Value ($Millions)

*According to Fangraphs, 1 WAR is currently worth around $8M.   

Qualifiers: At least 100 PA for hitters; At least 30 IP for pitchers  

MLB Team Net Value

Top Five

#1: A’s = $290M | Chapman = $52M | Lowrie = $33M | Treinan = $27M

#2: Yankees = $286M | Severino = $45M | Judge = $40M | Hicks = $36M

#3: Astros = $278M | Bregman = $60M | Cole = $43M | Verlander = $34M

#4: Indians = $271M | Ramirez = $62M | Lindor = $60M | Bauer = $43M

#5: Braves = $259M | Albies = $30M | Acuna Jr = $29M | Foltynewicz = $29M

Bottom 5

#26: Tigers = $36M | Martinez = -$31M | Cabrera = -$24M | Zimmermann = -$17M

#27: Marlins = $28M | Prado = -$17M | Sierra = -$12M 

#28: Blue Jays = $17M | Tulowitzki = -$20M | Donaldson = -$16M | Martin = -$15M

#29: Orioles = negative $21M | Davis = -$46M | Jones = -$13M | Trumbo = -$9M

#30: Giants = negative $23M | Pence = -$25M | Samardzija = -$21M | Cueto = -$20M

Giants roster breakdown: 21.9 Team WAR | $176M WAR value | $199M Payroll

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Giants Mock Offseason Plan; Take 2

The GM meetings are a week away, and while that’s not near as big a deal as the Winter Meetings, it still feels a little odd when a team doesn’t actually have a GM in place. It might not be time to panic or start throwing a fit yet, but if you’re feeling a little confused about the pace and timing of the front office search, well, you aren’t alone. Especially when A) the Giants don’t seem satisfied despite having interviewed some really solid candidates, and B) Sabean’s comments hinting at a slower moving offseason were already contradicted less than 24 hours later, with rumors of an “active early market” on the horizon, according to Jeff Passan.

So, as we wait to get more clarity on the team’s search for a new president/GM, all we can do is speculate about the types of moves that person might make to the roster this winter. Personally, I’m of the belief that there will be some pretty significant, “splashy” changes, if you will. Whether that’s trading Bumgarner for a prospect package, going all out to sign Harper, or getting involved in some other sort of blockbuster trade, I can’t say at this point. But the main reason they let Bobby Evans go was the roster he was responsible for (or was the scapegoat for, in some senses) wasn’t cutting it anymore. Changes are necessary, and I’m sure the ownership group will expect to see them start to happen sooner rather than later.

A couple weeks ago I posted my mock offseason plan, in which I kind of went crazy with the notion of putting a competitive 2019 team on the field. That probably wasn’t super realistic, especially for a new GM who has their eye on building a team that can compete for multiple years. As I said then, I’m always tweaking things and trying out different ideas.

So here’s another version of an offseason plan, this one taking a more long-term approach. It’s still not a rebuild/teardown scenario, as I just don’t think this is the franchise to commit to something like that. Most of the major market teams like the Giants have the luxury of not needing to strip their roster to bare bones. Now, that’s not to say they can’t use their resources to create a younger roster, and that’s the angle I tried to take here, relying less on free agency and more on trades.

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Offseason Targets: 2019-20 Free Agent Pitchers

It looks like there have been a few updates worth noting on the hitter front since I profiled them. I thought Brett Gardner was a non-option candidate, and it turns out I was right. I was wrong about him hitting free agency though, as he re-upped with the Yanks for $7M after they bought out his option. While that might not make him as realistic of an option for the Giants, it might mean New York is more willing to part ways with Clint Frazier, who missed most of the year with a concussion and doesn’t seem to fit into their roster plans anymore.

A couple of infielders I find intriguing had their options declined and became free agents this week too. Yangervis Solarte was the one among them who I did profile, while Josh Harrison was a guy I somehow overlooked. I like that Solarte hits both ways and offers some pop. Harrison’s only a year removed from 16 HR and 12 SB. Either guy can play multiple infield positions, and either would make a nice part-time option, especially if the Giants acquire an upgrade at 2B (Marwin Gonzalez or DJ LeMahieu).

Anyway, onto the pitchers who might be trade candidates in their final year of control. This isn’t a very long list, and it’s not exactly the most exciting list either. But the idea is to look at this offseason from many different angles, so that’s what we’re going to do.  

* = Team option for 2020.

Mike Fiers RHP | A’s = One of the underrated parts of the Giants looking for a new front office regime – especially if they bring in a well-regarded, “next-gen” type that we’ve been hearing about – is the potential to do business with some old foes. Let’s be real. As long as Sabean is in charge, the Giants aren’t doing business with Beane & the A’s. Ain’t happenin’! But maybe the new GM can bury the hatchet and build new relationships. Fiers had a nice bounceback season (30 starts, 1.4 fWAR) and looks to get about $10M in arbitration. That probably puts him on the block. He could be a nice one-year option for the Giants… then again, his 4.75 FIP may be a warning sign, and the A’s might just hate the Giants no matter who’s calling the shots!

Continue reading “Offseason Targets: 2019-20 Free Agent Pitchers”

Offseason Targets: 2019-20 Free Agent Hitters

We’ve already looked at current free agent targets for the Giants this winter. Now let’s see who’s set to hit the market a year from now. Remember, the point isn’t necessarily to figure out who the Giants will target next year, but more to see if there’s anyone out there making too much money in their final year for a non-competitive team. Generally, those are the types of players rebuilding teams are willing to move.

Our Giants, well they’re kind of stuck on the center divider for the moment. They aren’t anywhere close to contention, but we don’t know if they have any desire to sell off their final-year guys like Bumgarner & Will Smith either. Still, they’re a team with some payroll room and obvious holes to fill. Just as short-term FA contracts look like the best plan for them right now, acquiring a couple of players on final-year deals might not be such a bad idea either. So let’s take a look at who’s available, shall we?

*= team option for 2020

Infielders

Jose Abreu 1B | White Sox = Ok, you caught me. This one’s super unlikely, especially when we consider Chicago would be selling low on their star 1B after his worst season (114 wRC+, 1.2 fWAR) in the big leagues. Of course, the Giants would need to have an actual opening at 1B to make this happen anyway. But, if we’re playing all the scenarios here, maybe the new front office staff is committed to moving Belt for a prospect package, and maybe the White Sox don’t want to pay Abreu the $16M he’s projected to earn this year. Very unlikely? Yes. Impossible? Not exactly.

Continue reading “Offseason Targets: 2019-20 Free Agent Hitters”

Offseason Targets: Free Agent Pitchers

Fangraphs calculates the price of a win at about $8M. If you factor in a player’s WAR & subtract his salary, you get what I call a net value. The Giants as a team racked up a negative net value this year. That shouldn’t surprise you, but it is a bit shocking that they’re the only team in the NL that can make such a claim.

Despite their four highest earning pitchers (Cueto, Melancon, Samardzija, & Bumgarner) combining for a whopping negative $60M net value, the pitching staff actually managed a positive value overall. So there were some bright spots, with Holland, Rodriguez, Watson, & Smith providing the biggest boost. Can we learn anything from this? Well, for all the talk about interest in Patrick Corbin & Dallas Keuchel, any new hire would have to be out of their mind to look at this roster & think it could use another long-term pitching contract. From where I’m standing, the smart money lies in the shorter deals. Let’s take a look at what’s out there.

Starters

Derek Holland LHP = Ok, when the Giants hire their new head cheese, you just know Sabean is still going to be lurking around some, dropping subtle hints from time to time. He’ll probably talk all about how much he loved having Holland around, how he fit in with the clubhouse, helped mentor younger starters, and took on many roles. Sabes might also mention that Holland was the most valuable player on the entire roster last year ($15M net value)… pretty good for a minor league signing. Everyone says he wants to return to the franchise as well. Will any of this mean anything to a new regime? Hard to tell.

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Offseason Targets: Free Agent Hitters

Catchers/Infielders

Nick Hundley C = Not much explanation necessary here. Age is definitely a factor, but so is Posey’s rehab schedule.

Marwin Gonzalez UT = Whether they intend to rebuild or reload (both relative terms), the Giants could use more versatility. I really like Marwin. Alex Pavlovic really likes Marwin. The Astros really like Marwin. How much does Eduardo Escobar’s extension with Arizona (3-$21M) affect his contract negotiations? He’s not a star, but he did crank the offense up in the second half this year (.844 OPS, 10 HR), and for $10M or so a year he could be a valuable addition.

DJ LeMahieu 2B = You’re right, it is hard to ignore his career home (.835 OPS) & road (.673) splits. It’s also somewhat hard to look at his age and not think of Freddy Sanchez’s tenure with the Giants after he signed a FA contract. LeMahieu probably isn’t a great fit for the Giants right now. But dang it, I just like him. He hit 11 of his 15 HR on the road this year, logged an average exit velocity in the 90th percentile, plays a great second base, & just rocks it offensively at AT&T Park. I don’t think he’ll get as much money as some of you expect. I don’t know, I think I’d kick the tires if they decide to move Panik.

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Giants Mock Offseason Plan

Scenario: I’ve been hired as the new president of baseball ops for the Giants. These are my roster plans for the current offseason. Keep in mind, this is meant to be fun and informative!

Ownership Restrictions: At this point none of us can know exactly what direction the new president/GM will take the team, but it is my belief ownership will task them with building a winning club as soon as possible… in other words, no extended rebuild. However, they generally shouldn’t interfere with most proposed roster moves.

Bumgarner trade: Again, we can’t look into the crystal ball, but in this mock scenario I’ll say ownership will only approve a Bumgarner trade if the return includes a top 50 prospect AND a controllable MLB player. More on this later.

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Above is the projected 2019 roster as it stands now. That’s the group I’m starting with, and it’s obviously one that needs major changes, as evidenced by the combined 18.9 fWAR last season (which projects to a 66-96 record). What’s also obvious is the financial flexibility the organization has going into the offseason. You could theoretically add $35M to the payroll and still be under the $206M tax threshold. With that kind of wiggle room, I don’t see any reason not to look at players who could improve the team in 2019. So that’s where I stand, and these are the mock transactions I hope will get me there.

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