Tuesday, March 04, 2008

In Progress: Baseball ’08 – Fabbing it Up

What’s the market like so far in 2008?

We’ve had some requests to tap into our early FABs to take a look at how players are looking so far in 2008. We decided to compare track 2008 salaries, previous salaries, and the difference between the two and have captured the trends in the following tables.

First up are the top 20 average salaries of players signed in 2008:

#

Player

Pos

Team

2008 Salary

Previous Salary

Diff

1

Johan Santana

SP

NYN

13.3

14.5

-1.2

2

Jake Peavy

SP

SDN

12.9

9.5

3.3

3

Alex Rodriguez

3B

NYA

12.2

11.7

0.5

4

Albert Pujols

1B

SLN

11.8

15.0

-3.3

5

Brandon Webb

SP

ARI

11.4

9.1

2.4

6

Jimmy Rollins

SS

PHI

9.9

8.5

1.4

7

C.C. Sabathia

SP

CLE

9.8

7.4

2.4

8

Roy Oswalt

SP

HOU

9.6

9.7

-0.1

9

Carl Crawford

OF

TBA

9.2

9.8

-0.6

10

Vladimir Guerrero

OF

LAA

9.2

10.8

-1.6

11

Justin Verlander

SP

DET

9.2

4.4

4.8

12

Matt Holliday

OF

COL

9.2

6.8

2.3

13

Miguel Cabrera

3B

DET

9.1

9.7

-0.6

14

Josh Beckett

SP

BOS

9.1

6.5

2.6

15

Aaron Harang

SP

CIN

9.0

6.6

2.4

16

Hanley Ramirez

SS

FLO

9.0

4.4

4.6

17

Chase Utley

2B

PHI

8.9

8.8

0.2

18

David Ortiz

1B

BOS

8.9

10.7

-1.8

19

Jose Reyes

SS

NYN

8.9

9.3

-0.5

20

David Wright

3B

NYN

8.8

9.1

-0.4

This list reads as the who’s-who of fantasy baseball. Big jumps here for Hanley Ramirez, Justin Verlander, and the ascension of Jake Peavy to ultra-elite status. Following some heath problems and a “sub-par” 2007, perennial top signee Pujols is unseated by A-Rod as the highest paid offensive player at GameDayRitual.

Next we take a look at the biggest movers in 2008. Here are the 20 top pay-scale increases so far in 2008:

#

Player

Pos

Team

2008 Salary

Previous Salary

Diff

1

Ryan Braun

3B

MIL

7.7

0.7

7.0

2

Fausto Carmona

SP

CLE

6.1

0.9

5.2

3

Justin Verlander

SP

DET

9.2

4.4

4.8

4

Hanley Ramirez

SS

FLO

9.0

4.4

4.6

5

Tim Lincecum

SP

SFN

5.8

1.3

4.5

6

Cole Hamels

SP

PHI

8.3

4.1

4.1

7

Rafael Betancourt

RP

CLE

5.1

1.4

3.7

8

Hunter Pence

OF

HOU

4.3

0.7

3.6

9

Prince Fielder

1B

MIL

7.1

3.6

3.5

10

Chad Billingsley

RP

LAN

4.3

1.0

3.3

11

Jake Peavy

SP

SDN

12.9

9.5

3.3

12

Dustin McGowan

SP

TOR

4.3

1.2

3.2

13

Magglio Ordonez

OF

DET

7.0

3.9

3.1

14

Corey Hart

OF

MIL

4.4

1.3

3.0

15

Curtis Granderson

OF

DET

5.1

2.2

2.9

16

Erik Bedard

SP

BAL

8.0

5.1

2.9

17

Josh Beckett

SP

BOS

9.1

6.5

2.6

18

Robinson Cano

2B

NYA

7.1

4.6

2.6

19

Aaron Harang

SP

CIN

9.0

6.6

2.4

20

Joakim Soria

RP

KCA

2.8

0.4

2.4

In general, you can expect a list like this to contain overhyped and overvalued players. But let’s take a closer look to be sure… egad! Ryan Braun sports a huge $7.0M increase. It appears that GDR owners have crowned the king of “the next big thing”. To this GM, at least, this seems like a lot to pay for someone who needs to prove themselves a bit more to warrant seven million a year -- especially when you consider that third base is a relatively deep position these days.

Another questionable jump is seen with Tim Lincecum. No question, this kid is good, but the Giants are not. There will be a lot of pressure on the young pitching staff this year, and no reason to think the bats will provide them any run support.

Can there be any value-plays on the biggest movers list? Maybe. Carmona’s jump has probably been tempered by his ALCS showing - because with his age, his stuff, and the quality of the team he plays for, he could conceivably go for even more.

Finally, we take a look at the players seeing the biggest slides of 2008 (so far):

#

Player

Pos

Team

2008 Salary

Previous Salary

Diff

1

Chris Carpenter

SP

SLN

2.0

10.3

-8.3

2

Carlos Delgado

1B

NYN

1.5

6.5

-5.0

3

B.J. Ryan

RP

TOR

2.0

6.5

-4.5

4

Dontrelle Willis

SP

DET

3.5

8.0

-4.5

5

Jermaine Dye

OF

CHA

1.5

6.0

-4.5

6

Mark Teixeira

1B

ATL

5.6

9.7

-4.1

7

Randy Johnson

SP

ARI

2.8

6.4

-3.7

8

Reggie Willits

OF

LAA

0.5

4.0

-3.5

9

Joe Crede

3B

CHA

0.5

3.8

-3.3

10

Albert Pujols

1B

SLN

11.8

15.0

-3.3

11

Bronson Arroyo

SP

CIN

3.5

6.5

-3.0

12

Miguel Tejada

SS

HOU

4.5

7.4

-2.9

13

Jason Giambi

1B

NYA

1.5

4.3

-2.8

14

Lance Berkman

1B

HOU

5.9

8.7

-2.8

15

Tom Gordon

RP

PHI

1.5

4.3

-2.8

16

Rich Harden

SP

OAK

4.0

6.7

-2.7

17

Bobby Abreu

OF

NYA

5.5

8.1

-2.6

18

Jered Weaver

SP

LAA

1.9

4.4

-2.5

19

Johnny Damon

OF

NYA

5.0

7.5

-2.5

20

Freddy Garcia

SP

PHI

2.5

5.0

-2.5

The common thread here, of course, is the injury bug. Though some of these players are just coming down off of previous hype, or are in the twilights of their careers. But if you have reason to believe that these players have the capacity to stay healthy or turn their careers around, there might be a deal or two to be had on these down-market players.

Filed by gamedayScott.