As I like to do every season, I’m going to compare the Yankee players’ theoretical fWAR dollars to their actual salaries and see which players gave the Yankees the most value and which players drained the most money. We’ll do batters today and pitchers tomorrow.
We’ll do the list in WAR order (nine highest), then we’ll sum it up at the end.
1. Robinson Cano, 6.4 fWAR worth $25.5MM. Salary: $9MM. Value: +$16.5MM
2. Brett Gardner, 5.4 fWAR worth $21.6 MM. Salary: $0.425MM. Value: +$21.175MM
3. Nick Swisher, 4.1 fWAR worth $16.4MM. Salary: $6.75MM. Value: +$9.65MM.
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3.9 fWAR worth $15.3MM. Salary: $32MM. Value: -$16.7MM.
5. Curtis Granderson, 3.6 fWAR worth $14.3MM. Salary: $5.5MM. Value: +$8.8MM.
6. Mark Teixeira, 3.5 fWAR worth $14.00MM. Salary: $20MM. Value: -6.00MM.
7. Derek Jeter, 2.5 fWAR worth $9.8MM. Salary: $21MM. Value: -$11.2MM
8. Jorge Posada, 2.4 fWAR worth $9.7MM. Salary: $13.1MM. Value: -$3.3MM.
9. Francisco Cervelli, 1.1 fWAR worth $4.4MM. Salary: $0.418MM. Value: +$3.82MM
Italics means negative value.
This list should really surprise no one. The Yankees’ high priced, older talent had a bad collective 2010. Brett Gardner had what will likely be his career year while making just over the league minimum, so of course he’s going to return great value. And despite our frustrations with him, Frankie Cervelli did give the Yankees a bit of value this year. I think we’ll see the Melky Plan with Francisco: hang on to him while he’s cheap, then jettison him when he starts hitting arbitration and starts making too much money.
It also turns out that the Granderson deal was not some horrid thing that should’ve been undone. Granderson is relatively cheap for next year ($8.25) but goes up a bit in 2012 and ’13 ($10, $13 option) so granting a rebound year, he should return good value next year as well.
Nick Swisher makes only $9.75 next year so assuming he can repeat this year–or do something between 2010 and 2009–he’ll probably return value again, too.
As for the guys in the red, Teixeira is the only most likely to bounce back, considering his relatively young age compared to Jeter and Rodriguez and Posada. He also plays the least physically demanding position of the three and had a down year with the bat. I don’t think we’ll see the aforementioned trio in the black unless they have monster years.
Check back tomorrow when we look at the pitchers, starters and relievers.