Baseball’s Most Valuable Pitchers (2006–2008)

Here is a list of the top-25 most valuable pitchers in baseball over the past three seasons. Estimated values are the sum from 2006–2008 in 2007 dollars.

Rank	Player		Estimated Value 
1	Brandon Webb	$49.65
2	C.C. Sabathia	$48.62
3	Roy Halladay	$46.33
4	Johan Santana	$42.32
5	Danny Haren	$41.50
6	Roy Oswalt	$40.15
7	Javier Vazquez	$38.81
8	Aaron Harang	$38.27
9	Derek Lowe	$37.95
10	John Lackey	$37.85
11	Josh Beckett	$37.40
12	Andy Pettitte	$36.68
13	Jake Peavy	$36.05
14	Mike Mussina	$34.87
15	Bronson Arroyo	$34.70
16	Joe Blanton	$34.60
17	Aaron Cook	$34.06
18	Greg Maddux	$33.76
19	Matt Cain	$33.70
20	Mark Buehrle	$33.43
21	Gil Meche	$33.36
22	Ervin Santana	$33.04
23	Jon Garland	$33.02
24	Tim Hudson	$32.64
25	Felix Hernandez	$32.45

16 Responses “Baseball’s Most Valuable Pitchers (2006–2008)”

  1. Rick says:

    What formula are you using to assign values to the pitchers?

  2. JC says:

    It’s an updated version of the method I use in my book.

  3. Rick says:

    That’s what I thought. Just checking. How did you update it?

  4. JC says:

    More recent dollar values are used, and I use slightly different formulas for valuing performance metrics and converting performance into dollars. It is still in progress, and I will be detailing it in a forthcoming book.

  5. Frank says:

    Note the absence of one AJ Burnett–let’s hope Wren is still a stathead.

  6. LeShawn Anderson says:

    “Note the absence of one AJ Burnett–let’s hope Wren is still a stathead.”

    You don’t have to be a stathead to understand that Burnett won’t suddenly start reaching 200 IP each of the next five years.

  7. Cliff says:

    In other words, from looking at the list, once a guy reaches substantially full free agent pay, he doesn’t produce enough to justify the pay, right?

  8. mravery says:

    Not so different from an list of IP leaders.

  9. Randy Hill says:

    Gil Freakin Meche????

  10. LeShawn Anderson says:

    “In other words, from looking at the list, once a guy reaches substantially full free agent pay, he doesn’t produce enough to justify the pay, right?”

    No, remember that a star player will generate more revenue in a lucrative market (NY, LA) than in a smaller market (KC, MIL).

  11. JC says:

    Burnett has really been hampered by injuries. I am curious why the Braves did not attempt to go after Lowe instead of Burnett. I think Lowe has the higher expected return.

    Guys are still producing plenty well to be worth their pay after free agency. The best players typically hit free agency a year or two before they peak (age 29-30).

    Very similar to an IP-leader list, as it should be. You want your best players playing the most.

    Gil Meche is a valuable pitcher. I liked the deal at the time it was reached and he’s lived up to the deal.

  12. Aaron Clark says:

    It should be noted that some (not all) of AJ’s injury issues are overblown and depend on usage.  With better handling (and recognizing that he is somewhat injury prone so treating him more cautiously) he would be fine to get to 200 IP.  Just don’t leave him out there in the ninth inning when he’s at 115 pitches and clearly, visibly gassed.  Also, don’t take him up above 125 pitches 5 or 6 outings in a row if he’s getting fatigued there because he will break down. He’s been fine in Toronto when they weren’t riding him into the ground (He arguably had a better 2007 than Roy Halladay but had fewer wins due to terrible run support).

    The Toronto Blue Jays coaching staff break pitchers (Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen, Brandon League, BJ Ryan, Dustin McGowan, Gustavo Chacin, etc) and I have it on authority from [name withheld by editor] that this is a systematic thing as opposed to bad luck.

  13. Gary says:

    The Braves should stay away from A.J. Burnett, 5 years is the rumored contract he desires and that is too risky. I know it’s probably been said before but hasn’t this organization learned anything from the experience with Mike Hampton? They finally got out from under an injury prone, unreliable (except when it came to contract year) starter’s contract and now they are reportedly wanting to swim in those waters again. What JC’s list tells me is that the Braves made a good move acquiring Vazquez. I think they should go with Vazquez, Jurrjens, Hanson, Campillo and either sign a veteran on the cheap or let some of the young guys battle out for the fifth spot.

  14. Ohlend says:

    Can you publish the method or fomula that you use to estimate the value?

  15. Ohlend says:

    Sorry, I mean, publish the method or formula online.
    I am quite interested in this article, if you can reply the questions below, I will be very appreciated for it.

    Could you disclose what factors did you consider?
    And, had your method/formula ever been published on journal paper or are there papers that the method/formula refers to?  

    Did you consider the factors that beyond the in-field performance of the player? 
    For example, the team market factors, player’s commercial value, or other non-in-field factors.
    Did you estimate the marginal productivity or estimate AP  to indicate the ”value?”

    Are there only free agents estimated?  

  16. JC says:


    I explain the method in my book.