Have you ever wondered “what is that player worth?” I ask this question all of the time. I can look at player stats and determine who’s good and who’s bad. I can also look at the salaries of some players and see a real steal or an albatross. But, in many cases it’s just hard to tell. I often see players with good but not great numbers. Maybe they’re not rookies but they are younger than most. And salary? Well, maybe it’s between $3-$7 million. Is that good or bad?
In an effort to minimize my confusion I decided to estimate a statistical model of player salaries. I wanted to my model to include information about player quality and salary guidelines as provided by the labor structure of the game. In the end I used a model based on OBP, Iso-Power, service years, and reserve classification. Using the results from my model, along with some PHP help from Doug Drinen, I then developed the Sabernomics MLB Salary Estimator. If you are interested in a player’s market value, simply enter in a few numbers and out pops the estimated market value of the player. Now, when I say “market value” I am referring to the market value based on the skills that I think are relevant to producing and preventing runs. Right now, the estimator can only handle position players, but I plan to add pitchers to the model shortly.
Also, in the next few days I will publish some lists of the most overpaid and underpaid position players, so stay tuned. If you have some questions about the estimator, check out the FAQ after making an estimate. Thanks again to Doug Drinen for his help.
Addendum: Repoz opened a thread about the estimator on Baseball Primer. So you can read what others have said about the estimator and my responses.