With the new release of WAR and fair market value to FanGraphs, it's now pretty easy to see how over or underpaid batters have been. The news this offseason is how hamstrung we are by payroll constraints, primarily Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee. Having all the numbers at my finger tips, I wanted to see whether these contracts were at least worth the value we're getting out of them. Since FanGraphs hasn't worked out the pitching WAR, I was limited to looking at just Lance and Carlos.
This what it looked like:
Like just about any farm raised player, Lance has been a source of tremendous surplus value to us. The only year in which he was close to not being worth the money was his down 2007, and he still had over a million dollars in surplus value. Carlos, to his credit, has also provided us surplus value...so far.
I plugged in their projected WAR from the prediction project, and while the numbers aren't final, next year looks to be another surplus year for Berkman, who's contract remains stable until 2011, in which he is owed $11 million. Lee looks like he will struggle to pay for his contract for it's remainder, being owed $18.5 million a year until it's end in 2012. Maybe inflation will be on his side, but next year his negative surplus value could pay for Kaz Matsui's contract and Hunter Pence's.
If you're curious, the total value our batter's earned last year was $85.9 million, but unless our minor leaguers get a shot to have positive contribution next year, I think we'll begin to see all the surplus value that is represented in there decline precipitously.
All the salary information comes from Cot's Baseball Contracts and I assumed an amortization of the signing bonus over the life of the contract.