Valuing Carlos Silva

It has been hard to think about anything but performance-enhancing drugs for the past week, but I’ll take a break to talk about Carlos Sliva’s new deal. Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners signed Silva to a four-year, $48 million deal ($12 million/year, see comments). The size of the contract surprised some, as The Seattle Times described him as “a league-average sinker-ball pitcher who wins about as many games as he loses.”

Silva had a bad year in 2006—the 38 bombs he allowed was a big part of the problem—but he rebounded in 2007. Taking a three-year average of his worth and projecting it out over the course of his contract—adjusting for aging and salary growth—my model projects that he will generate $45 million ($11.25 million/year) over the next four years. This is close to what he got. It’s not that Carlos Silva is a fantastic pitcher, but what he does on the field is still quite valuable. As baseball revenues rise, so do player salaries.

I’m not a big fan of the M’s use of the free agent market—I think they rely on it too much—but at least they are not overspending. Dave Cameron provides an in-depth look at Silva’s skill set, and I think he’s not all that happy with the signing.

3 Responses “Valuing Carlos Silva”

  1. Of course, the total value of the contract was $48 million; the average per-year is $12 million.

  2. JC says:

    Thanks AAR. I fixed it. :-)

  3. I can’t see anything wrong with this. Hes durable and at an age where he should remain effective. He is also a ground ball pitcher moving to a slightly more favorable ballpark. Although the Mariners fielding is slightly worse, I think playing on real grass will be beneficial to him.