The Price of a Win

Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron is reminding us how to use their dollar valuation statistic. And when Dave speaks, we listen. Ultimately the article can be summed in this:

Here is an example of how you should use the valuation. We have Chone Figgins’ 2009 value at $27.4 million, based on his +6.1 win season. No one is going to pay Figgins that much this winter, of course, nor should they. However, we can say that if the Angels wanted to replace what Figgins gave them last season, they should expect it to cost them about $27 million in free agent spending. Figgins produced at a very high level in 2009, creating a large surplus value for the Angels. The dollar to win valuation quantifies that surplus value, showing how much that performance would have cost if they could have expected to receive it and had to pay the going market rate for that performance.

That’s why we write that he was “worth” $27 million. It does not mean that we think the Angels should have paid him $27 million, or that they should pay him $27 million now, but he produced at a level equal to what you would expect if you had spent $27 million in free agency a year ago.

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