# The U Files # 48: Dollars and Sense II

The Mets have been as overpaid as bad in recent years, and though many of the more outstanding examples are position players, Met pitchers have not been free of the bug. We have already found a way to estimate the dollar value of free agent position players, and now we will use a similar method to find the value of free agent pitchers. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

As with hitters, we start with an adjusted three year weighted average performance. In the case of pitchers, we apply a unique step of first finding component runs allowed, adjusted for DIPS, so that what can be labeled under the broad term "luck" does not influence our picture of a pitcher's talent level. Each year is adjusted to 2003 league level, and the result is adjusted for park and from AL or NL to MLB. This leaves all pitchers on equal footing so that valid comparisons may be made. We can then use 2003 MLB average RA to determine ML average runs in the appropriate number of innings. Replacement level is placed 25 percent worse.

Kevin Millwood

Millwood has pitched 217 and 222 innings the last two years. His average IP is held down by his 2001 when he pitched 121.0 innings. Given 203.5 IP, Millwood is worth 7.05 million dollars above replacement, or 7.35 million overall. If we give him credit for the IP he could rack up if healthy at the same RA, his Runs above Replacement climbs to 47.37 and his dollar value to \$8.84 million in 2003 dollars. As with position players, his correct value in 2003-4 offseason dollars may be adjusted down from the quoted figure to account for the state of the market. Then, if Millwood receives as much as his agent will be asking for, he will be overpaid.

Bartolo Colon

Colon's IP total needs no adjustment. If healthy as he has been in recent years, Colon will pitch as many innings as any pitcher could be expected to. The issue with a Colon signing is, how will his weight affect his ability to perform in the future. Based on the numbers he has posted the last three years, his value is \$7.98 million dollars.

Andy Pettitte

Calculation of Pettitte's s performance level is simpler than in the first two cases, since Pettitte has not switched team, or in Colon's case, league. Pettitte is interesting because he is a pitcher who would consistently be considered "unlucky" by DIPS year by year. In his case, since his career average batting average on balls in play is high, Pettitte's DIPS numbers adjusted to the league average, or to the Yankees team average, will not yield results consistent with Pettitte's performance. Unlike a pitcher like Glendon Rusch, Pettitte is not "chronically unlucky" to as great a degree, and allows fewer home runs. Thus, Pettitte remains a successful pitcher.

As with Millwood, Pettitte has had a season of less than usual IP due to injury, in his case 2002. In this case, I counted his 2002 once and his 2001 twice in calculating weighted averages (and his 2003 thrice). Based on the numbers above, Pettitte is worth \$6.81 dollars in 2003 value.

Be sure to check out Darren's Dollars and Sense for the Hitters....for premium subscribers only!

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