Braves Lock Up Soriano

Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves avoided arbitration with Rafael Soriano by signing him to a two-year $9 million contract. The deal buys out one year of arbitration and one year of free agency. I think the Braves overpaid; but, I tend think relievers are overvalued in the market right now.

Soriano was requesting $3.4 million through arbitration, while the Braves countered with $2.4 million. Based on his last two years of performance—I normally go with three, but he was hurt in 2005—I have him valued at around $3.5 million per year. I think that the Braves would have won this, but this is not all that relevant.

The big difference comes in 2009, when he will make $6.1 million—almost double what I have him valued at. I would have preferred for the Braves to have taken their chances in arbitration, and looked elsewhere for cheaper relief next season. I’m not sure that Soriano would get that much money on the open market. I also am a bit concerned about Soriano’s ability to hold up. There was a stretch last year where he was awful. Even if he pitches at his best, I think this is a poor use of resources.

4 Responses “Braves Lock Up Soriano”

  1. jon says:

    Hmm…I’m a little surprised. I think it’s more likely than not that he’ll be in the top half of closers this year, and would probably be in line for a multiyear deal at $8M+ per year. Do you disagree? Or does your valuation system value closers significantly less than what they’ve been getting in general?

  2. John Beamer says:

    JC

    Does you model account for leverage? Assuming that Sori closes he’ll have an LI of around 2 which should be multiplied to your 3.5m a year to get a valuation of 7.

    To value relievers properly it is important to understand the context …

    John

  3. JC says:

    John,

    You have made this comment before, and I responded.