Brian Tallet is Worth $8.2 Million

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Don’t get me wrong. I like what Mr. Tallet brings to the club. Well, mostly the porn star moustache. In my mind he did a decent job in his injury replacement starter duty and mid-inning relief.

Yet Fan Graphs estimate his ‘salary’ value to the Jays to be worth $8.2 million in 2009. This would put him third on the club, behind Doc & Romero. In fourth? Frasor at $6.2 million.

Of course the question is how is Brian Tallet worth $8.2 million in salary? The answer would be his 1.8 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

How is WAR calculated for pitchers? That’s one complex answer. For a in-depth example you should click onto this link Beyond the Boxscore WAR. A little something something from the link

if a team has league-average performance across the board (hitting, relief pitching, defense), then they would expect to win a mere 38% of games started by their replacement-level SP. If the team had average hitting, defense, and starting pitching, they would win 47% of the games in which their poor bullpen pitchers were used. Therefore, a team running out a poor starter is costing itself 9% more of win expectancy than if it used a poor bullpen pitcher. A league average starter wins 50% of their games, so using a replacement starter decreases win expectancy by 12%.

I’m not trying to shit all over Tallet or the WAR system. I’m just using this post and the title as a sign of caution. Do fans of the Toronto Blue Jays really believe that Brian Tallet is an $8.2 million a year pitcher?

With the Jays supposedly having all of this money to spend in the off-season invariably the ‘internets’ websites will be tossing WAR around to evaluate talent. All I’m saying is take a look deeper into the all of the numbers before deciding that a players under/over priced due to his WAR or any other fancy stat. The majority of these stats have value. They just need to be placed into a real world context. I think it’s safe to say that Tallet would not command $4 million of the free agent market for one season, let alone $8.2.

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  • I see you are not trying to shit all over the WAR system but that is the end result. If Tallet is worth 8.2, how much is Doc worth? 100? 150? To paraphrase Ozzie Guillen, if the Jays are paying $8.2 million per season, we are in deep shit once again.

  • The numbers Fangraphs use to value each win above replacement don’t come from thin air, they look at the contracts signed league wide and assign an average value. Last year it was just over $4 million per win.

    It might sound weird, but it is what it is. The bulk of Tallet’s value comes from his ability to pitch 160 league-average innings. Every inning he’s out there, putting up his 4.5 FIP or however you’d like to look at it, he’s keeping someone worse on the sidelines. That has value no matter how odd it might seem.

    The biggest “problem” with WAR -especially for pitchers- is the lack of game stage context. Middle relievers rarely accumulate enough innings to qualify as truly valuable, but pitching in their situations increases their worth.

    Still, weird to think Brian Tallet is worth a near-identical amount on the open market to Lyle Overbay.

  • “It is what it is” Now Drew, you can honestly tell me that Tallet is commanding $8 million in the off-season FA market (if he was an FA)? There’s no way. I understand the whole WAR principle, open market theory, value to the club, etc. At times it’s valuable for determining contracts for low level talent in the two & three year mark but for the most part I find the system to be off base.

    Halladay would supposedly command $32.5 million ) in the FA market (or give a club that much value) according to his WAR score. As much as I love Doc there is no way that he’s getting $30+ for a season.

  • For A season he could. Each extra year of the contract brings it down. No player would take 1 year @ 32 if then can get 7 years at 120. That is the point, but it is also a starting point. Look at Burnett’s deal compared to his WAR last year. You’ll see they line up pretty well.

    Tallet will never get that deal because he has zero upside. The value of eating innings isn’t something teams are in a hurry to pay for. They want to pay less for more, which is why deals like Longorias are so team-friendly.

  • Really, for A season he could command $8? We’re still talking about Brian Tallet, right?

    I like to use the case of Russell Branyan. Here’s a player that year after year is worth $3 or $4 according to his WAR. In 2008 he puts up a $5.2 million spot. And what does he get? $1.4 million from the Mariners. He’ll be a prospective FA this season and has a WAR value of $12.6. He’ll be lucky to get half of that. These numbers just don’t line up.

    According to WAR the Yanks Sabathia deal was the steal of the century. (saving about $9 million a season vs WAR on a two year average). And yet they were the highest bidder by far.

    As I said in the article, individuals need to use more than just the WAR stat to determine value. Logically Tallet isn’t going to earn $8 million. In other cases players will sign in line with WAR. It’s far from an exact rule.

  • While I don’t think Tallet could ever get that money, Gil Meche did get $11 million per season probably with similar logic to what’s discussed here. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did get this money – especially if the economic outlook was strong.

  • Great post. Great discussion. I’m sure we’ll revisit this when Tallet does eventually sign a contract this summer.

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