Rays' Zobrist signs 5 yr deal

or "I love the Rays front office."

Today, the Rays signed 2B/RF Ben Zobrist to 5 year deal
with $18 mil guaranteed through 2013
club options at $7 + $7.5 mil in 2014 and 2015

So why is this a big deal?

Last year, Zobrist was worth 8.3 Wins Above Replacement.
WAR calculates the total # wins a player adds to his team over the course of a season, comparing his performance to a "replacement player," or an average Triple-A call up.

For Zobrist to be worth $30 mil, he would need ~1.5 WAR per year! In reality, he will probably earn 4.0-5.0 WAR in the future, and considering 1 WAR is normally worth $4 mil, the money adds up fast.
Why $4 mil? an avg player’s true talent win rate can be found w/ a 3-yr weighted avg of their win values, then multiplied that value by .95 to factor in aging.
Do this across the mkt, the value can be expected to inflate to $4.5 in 2014, but in the name of conservatism, let's say $4 mil.

Note: those options hint that Zobrist could have gone up for contract arbitration after 3 years. This is a huge benefit to the Rays.

The scale for arbitration is 40%, 60%, 80% for each yr of play. Assuming year 1 is worth 5 WAR, and if he digresses 0.5 WAR a year, Zorilla is worth 17.5 WAR by the end of 5 yrs...
In $$$:
(20 x .40) + (18 x .60) + (16 x .80) + 14 + 12 = 57.6 mil

That's a $30 million profit!!!

This is assuming he would gather 2.5 WAR in 2015. Could he generate more? Yes! more than likely! That $30 mil is a minimum, and could go way up.

Great move. Go RAYS!

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I've seen the argument that a more reasonable arbitration scale would be 25/45/65, as Zorilla is more about defense than swinging the bat. If so, in 5 years, he would’ve made 3.35 times his annual value, which would be $4.5 million a win (still worth $60 mil). So there's a almost a guaranteed $30 mil of pure profit, barring no injuries.

Also, it's important to note this money is only Zobrist money, meaning the Front office isn't dipping into money they could be giving Pena, Crawford, Upton - his contract should have been allocated a long time ago in their budget projections, and they probably saved money respective to the budget. In short, this could work out really well.