Like many, MetsBlog is a regular stop for me. Matt Cerrone has been very good to us here at Mets360. He was a guest on our podcast – back when we did them – and while MetsBlog doesn’t link to as many sites as it once did, we still get a few links, for which we are very grateful.
It’s easy to rag on MetsBlog, talk about the grammar errors or how awful the comments section is or whatever else your pet peeve may be. But the simple fact is the amount of information they put out on a daily basis is tremendous. My output this year is somewhere around 150 stories. That’s about two to three weeks’ worth of stuff for MetsBlog. We take it for granted because Matt and his staff have done it for so long.
When you put out that much content, some of it is going to look, well, ridiculous at times. That’s the nature of the beast and if you can’t accept that, shoot, you’re never going to make it. You can make nine good predictions and all anyone will remember and talk about is the one you missed badly on. You just have to keep moving ahead, knowing that you’re getting more right than wrong.
Among others, I’ve championed Collin Cowgill, Matt den Dekker and Darin Gorski, a trio that has gotten little or no shot in the majors with the Mets. People can throw my unfailing support of those guys in my face and all I can do is sit there and go, yep, and take ownership of that. When you write about something repeatedly, it’s hard to distance yourself from it if it doesn’t turn out the way that you want.
Which brings me back to MetsBlog.
More than once I’ve seen Matt talk about the Michael Cuddyer signing and the money aspect of it. This morning he covered familiar ground when he wrote, “He projects to be a 0.9 WAR player next year, according to FanGraphs. So, his $8.5 million is actually fair. It’s 2016 when the Mets will be overpaying.”
No, no, no, no – that contract at that expected level of production is not fair. It’s a blatant overpay. Last year, Juan Lagares posted a 3.8 fWAR and FG assigned that a value of $21 million, meaning that a unit of fWAR was valued comfortably under $6 million in 2014. Sure, there will be inflation and a unit of fWAR will be valued at a higher rate in 2015 than it was 2014.
My opinion is if you think a unit of fWAR is going to be valued at $8 million or more in 2015, you’re nuts.
Let’s look at David Wright and see what a unit of fWAR has been valued at over the past 11 years. All figures are in millions and rounded to two decimal places.
04 – $3.13
05 – $3.42
06 – $3.69
07 – $3.91
08 – $4.47
09 – $4.52
10 – $4.00
11 – $4.41
12 – $4.48
13 – $4.98
14 – $5.63
The largest increase in raw dollar amount for a unit of fWAR in this period is the $650,000 increase from 2013 to 2014. If we double that amount and apply it as an increase to 2014, we get $6.93 million. The largest percentage increase in this span is the 14 percent jump from 2007 to 2008. If we double that amount and apply it to 2014, we get a value of $7.2 million per unit of fWAR.
In order to get close to a universe where $8.5 million is “fair” for an output of 0.9 fWAR, we have to totally obliterate historical rates from the past decade plus. Is it possible? Sure, just about anything is possible. But you wouldn’t wager on it and you certainly shouldn’t repeat it multiple times as if it were fact.
There are only three ways that this contract makes sense for the Mets. Here they are listed in terms of likelihood:
1. They expect Cuddyer to provide more than the 0.9 fWAR Steamer projection.
2. They place a huge amount of worth on off-field contributions, like being Wright’s pal.
(insert Gulf of Mexico-sized gulf here)
3. They expect unheard of inflation in fWAR dollar values.
My take is that it’s reasonable to expect Cuddyer to exceed the Steamer projection. And I do think there’s a (tiny) value to bringing on one of Wright’s buddies. But there’s simply no way for me to get behind the thinking that we’re going to see inflation rates that would make double the U.S. rate of inflation in 1980 blush.