It’s that time of year where people say really stupid and wrong things about players that are rumored to be on the trading block. To help you say less stupid things I have compiled what I think are the surplus values for Rays players based on 40% of the season being left and whatever is left on their contracts. I assume options will get picked up for the most part. Here’s a look at the individual players:
Allow me to take you through this working left to right. Years of control are fairly obvious and I’m assuming an interest rate going forward of 7%, which has an effect on the present value (PV) of future salary (FV). A dollar is worth more today than tomorrow so you’d rather pay a guy tomorrow than today. We can calculate these figures exactly and know that, while Longoria is going to make close to $123M on his deal that figure is actually more like $85M in real money. I’m also basing current wins at $7m per with that same 7% inflation rate raising the cost of a win over time. Longoria is a good example of this due to the length of his deal.
If we’re going to discount dollars, though, we should also discount future wins, because you’d rather win this year than three years from now. I have stolen the method for discounting future wins from the excellent Point of Pittsburgh folks. While the discounting formula is very easy to plug and play it gets more tricky when trying to divine how much a player will produce going forward. The rule of thumb is to knock off around half a win a year going forward once a player is out of their prime. I like to generally knock off a half win a year going forward to cover for risk due to injury or lack of performance. I think Longo is going to be something like a 4.5 win player next year and knock off half a win every year through the end of his deal. It can be tricky to project these guys so for the most part I just tried to be reasonable.
We can then multiply the WAR and dWAR figures by the Lg$/WAR to get the Value and dValue figures, respectively. This gives us an idea of how much a player is going to be “worth” in a given year. We can then subtract that from the FV or PV columns to get Surplus and dSurplus figures, respectively. I prefer dSurplus because it discounts dollars and wins, but I wouldn’t fight you if you prefer the Surplus figures. That’s about it. The math is good as gold, but I get that there are quibbles to be had with the WAR figures. I’d love to hear where I’m way off base, but don’t waste my time if you think my figures are off slightly. We can take the bottom line figure for each player and sort by the total dSurplus to get an idea of how the Rays rank as far as Surplus value:
Archer and Kiermaier are in another class while Odorizzi nips at their heels. Longoria still carries a ton of value and then it’s another step down to Erasmo. There is a ton of value here, but the guys that are redundant and/or have little to no control remaining don’t really carry much and shouldn’t be thought to return anything of merit. Jake McGee might be a guy that you move if you get what you want, but nothing really jumps out as something that the Rays can live without and expect a good return.