There’s been a lot of discussion recently about what the Yankees need and where the team stands heading into next season. In order to put this into perspective, I decided to write a two-part series using the Steamer projection system for 2015 player statistics, courtesy of FanGraphs. To evaluate the numbers in a cumulative way, I contacted Sky Kalkman and obtained permission to use his WAR Spreadsheet Version 2.0, via SB Nation sister site Beyond the Boxscore. This whole exercise is based purely off of position and pitching projections at the moment and will be updated to reflect any roster changes between now and Opening Day.
For some background reading concerning the WAR team spreadsheet, you can read more about it here and here. Hopefully you’ve read the links for the background on how the spreadsheet was designed and it's application. Using that information I’ve updated the WAR value to $7MM, along with AL wOBA average of .312, reflecting current league values.
Looking at the chart, a couple of things caught my attention. First, if these numbers are close to reality, the Yankees will be close or slightly above league-average in wOBA. Second, the team only has five position players that are projected to be league average or above in WAR and they are Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Martin Prado.
So using Sky Kalkman’s chart as a jump off, I created a chart to show the Yankees return on their investment for each player at their position. Here are the meanings for each category on this chart:
FA$= The value of each player’s projected production priced at $7.0 MM per win above replacement (the going market rate).
ACV= Actual Contract Value
ROI= Return on Investment
|John Ryan Murphy||CA||$3.90||TBD||TBD|
When you look at this chart objectively, it’s clear that as expected A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran are all on the downhill, overpaid side of their careers. Those contracts are unfortunately on the books for the next couple of seasons and the team will have to live with them. On the positive side, Brian McCann, Martin Prado, Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley and Chris Young, should all be steals in 2015, when you compare cost versus projections. Until the contracts for Pirela and Murphy are settled for the 2015 season, the Yankees are currently projected to receive a $0.72 million return on their offensive investment.
With offense around the league being down, it doesn't appear that the Yankees will score like the teams of the '90s and 2009. However, with full seasons from Prado, Gregorius, Headley and Young, the offense should be much improved in comparison to the 2014 team. I once again would like to thank Sky for allowing the use of his awesome spreadsheet.
*All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs
** All contract info courtesy of Baseball Prospectus
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