17 January, 2009

Effectively Wild

Recently the New York Mets decided to pass on Derek Lowe because they did not want to overpay. Our previous analysis shows that the Braves did indeed overpay and the Mets were wise to turn their attention elsewhere. Now the Mets are said to be strongly pursuing Oliver Perez, and were reported to have offered him 3 years, $30 million.
Looking at what Oliver Perez has done in his career thus far, CHONE projects Perez's value over the next five seasons to be:
2009 - $6.7 mil
2010 - $6.9
2011 - $6.6
2012 - $5.6
2013 - $4.9
Due to projected WAR values of:
2009 - 1.5
2010 - 1.4
2011 - 1.2
2012 - 1.0
2013 - 0.8
Because of Oliver Perez's wildness let's assume that these projections are pessimistic. Let's instead suppose that Perez starts to obtain some of the control that could make him great and he improves his WAR values to:
2009 - 2.3
2010 - 2.3
2011 - 2.1
2012 - 2.0
2013 - 1.8
These are vastly optimistic projections, but with an effectively wild left-hander they are also possible.
This would increase his dollar amounts to:
2009 - $10.12 mil
2010 - $11.13
2011 - $11.18
2012 - $11.71
2013 - $11.60
Now let's suppose that Perez ends up agreeing to a slightly improved deal from the Mets' reported offer. Since Derek Lowe was able to acquire a four year guaranteed deal from the Braves it is safe to assume that a much younger Boras client would seek at least four years. With that in mind suppose that Perez wants a four year deal with a fifth year vesting option. Suppose Perez is offered $40 million over four years with $3 million of that up front as a signing bonus and the remaining $37 million paid out in equal installments over the four years of the deal. Under this optimistic scenario the present value of five years of Oliver Perez's service (using a 6.75% discount rate discussed in the Lowe article) is $47.35 million. In order to match this present value a 90% likely fifth year vesting option would have to be worth $17.58 million. As mentioned, these numbers are wildly optimistic. Only Scott Boras seems to be willing to paint such a rosy picture of his client.
If instead Perez performs right between the sabermetric projections and the optimistic projections, with Wins Above Replacement of:
2009 - 1.9
2010 - 1.9
2011 - 1.7
2012 - 1.5
2013 - 1.3
Perez's dollar value would be:
2009 - $8.36 mil
2010 - $9.20
2011 - $9.05
2012 - $8.78
2013 - $8.37
This would correspond to a contract of 4/$33 with a $3 million signing bonus (as part of the $33 mil) and a fifth year vesting option of $11.85 million.
Let's look at this from the flip side. Assuming that the reported offer of 3/$30 is correct how well would Oliver Perez have to perform to justify this contract? Let's assume that the contract does not include a signing bonus and that it is paid with equal installments over the 3 years.
Perez would have to deliver Wins above replacement of:
2009 - 2.3
2010 - 2.1
2011 - 1.9
This is nearly performing at the most optimistic level which we laid out above. It seems unlikely that Perez will perform at such a level given his background, though possible.
So why would the Mets be reluctant to overpay for Lowe, but eager to overpay for Perez? Perhaps it is just a franchise that is making a patented poor move after making solid moves to start the offseaon. Or perhaps the front office is extremely optimistic in Perez's future. Either way the Mets are not likely to get the performance from Perez that they would have gotten from Derek Lowe, while overpaying at a higher rate for Perez than they would have by just signing Lowe.

No comments: