Originally written on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Last year I did this little exercise to demonstrate how much bang the Angels got for their buck payroll-wise. It was a look back at how on a WAR basis, the Angels' various investments paid off. Folks seemed to like it, so I thought I'd do it again. As with last year, the big caveat is that this is a valuation model of about $4.5 million per WAR. That amount is essentially what the player would be paid if he were to hit the open market. Obviously, a lot of players don't hit the open market which is why youngsters like Trout and Trumbo provide so much monetary value. Even with that in mind, it is still fun to look over, if only to realize just how lucky the Angels are to have Trout under control for the next five years. Here is how the WAR to salary breakdown worked for the 2012 season (italicized figures are estimates): PLAYER 2012 fWAR VALUE 2012 SALARY DIFF Mike Trout 10.0 $45,000,000 $480,000 $44,520,000 Torii Hunter 5.3 $23,600,000 $18,500,000 $5,100,000 Albert Pujols 3.9 $17,700,000 $16,000,000 $1,700,000 Erick Aybar 3.4 $15,400,000 $5,075,000 $10,325,000 Jered Weaver 3.0 $13,500,000 $14,200,000 -$700,000 Howie Kendrick 2.8 $12,700,000 $4,850,000 $7,850,000 Alberto Callaspo 2.7 $12,300,000 $3,150,000 $9,150,000 C.J. Wilson 2.5 $11,200,000 $10,500,000 $700,000 Mark Trumbo 2.4 $10,800,000 $500,000 $10,300,000 Peter Bourjos 1.9 $8,700,000 $500,000 $8,200,000 Kendrys Morales 1.8 $8,200,000 $2,975,000 $5,225,000 Dan Haren 1.8 $7,900,000 $12,750,000 -$4,850,000 Zack Greinke 1.3 $5,700,000 $5,162,000 $538,000 Chris Iannetta 1.3 $5,700,000 $3,633,333 $2,066,667 Jerome Williams 1.1 $4,800,000 $820,000 $3,980,000 Bobby Wilson 0.8 $3,700,000 $487,500 $3,212,500 Maicer Izturis 0.7 $3,100,000 $3,966,667 -$866,667 Vernon Wells 0.6 $2,500,000 $21,000,000 -$18,500,000 Kevin Jepsen 0.6 $2,900,000 $501,000 $2,399,000 Ernesto Frieri 0.6 $2,500,000 $489,100 $2,010,900 Jordan Walden 0.5 $2,200,000 $495,000 $1,705,000 Scott Downs 0.4 $1,700,000 $5,000,000 -$3,300,000 Garrett Richards 0.3 $1,200,000 $480,000 $720,000 Hisanori Takahashi 0.2 $1,100,000 $4,200,000 -$3,100,000 LaTroy Hawkins -0.1 -$500,000 $3,000,000 -$3,500,000 Bobby Abreu -0.2 -$800.000 $9,000,000 -$9,800,000 David Carpenter -0.3 -$1,400,000 $480,000 -$1,880,000 Jason Isringhausen -0.3 -$1,500,000 $650,000 -$2,150,000 Ervin Santana -0.9 -$3,900,000 $11,200,000 -$15,100,000 TOTAL 48.3 $216,000,000 $160,044,600 $55,955,400 With nearly $56 million in surplus value, it is kind of impressive to see the Halos come out so far ahead after an off-season of reckless spending. Of course, almost all that surplus comes from Trout, who was under team control. It goes to show that having young cost-controlled players is vital to a team's sustainability, especially when you look at the bath the Angels took on Wells, Santana and Abreu. Now, let's apply the model to its more practical use. The 2012 example is hindsight, but if we apply the same math to the 2013 using their 2012 WAR values and 2013 salaries, which is really what they were being paid on if they hit the open market. This is my assumed Opening Day roster (again, italicized values are estimates and Madson's WAR is from his 2011 season): PLAYER 2012 fWAR VALUE 2013 SALARY DIFF Mike Trout 10.0 $45,000,000 $510,000 $44,490,000 Josh Hamilton 4.4 $19,600,000 $17,400,000 $2,200,000 Albert Pujols 3.9 $17,700,000 $16,000,000 $1,700,000 Erick Aybar 3.4 $15,400,000 $8,750,000 $6,650,000 Jered Weaver 3.0 $13,500,000 $16,200,000 -$2,700,000 Howie Kendrick 2.8 $12,700,000 $9,100,000 $3,600,000 Alberto Callaspo 2.7 $12,300,000 $4,100,000 $7,800,000 C.J. Wilson 2.5 $11,200,000 $11,500,000 -$300,000 Mark Trumbo 2.4 $10,800,000 $540,000 $10,260,000 Peter Bourjos 1.9 $8,700,000 $500,000 $8,200,000 Jason Vargas 0.8 $3,400,000 $8,500,000 -$5,100,000 Joe Blanton 2.4 $10,800,000 $6,500,000 $4,300,000 Tommy Hanson 1.0 $4,500,000 $3,725,000 $775,000 Chris Iannetta 1.3 $5,700,000 $5,050,000 $650,000 Andrew Romine 0.2 $900,000 $500,000 $400,000 Hank Conger -0.1 -$450,000 $500,000 -$950,000 Kole Calhoun 0.0 $0 $500,000 -$500,000 Jerome Williams 1.1 $4,800,000 $2,000,000 $2,800,000 Sean Burnett 1.1 $4,800,000 $3,625,000 $1,175,000 Ryan Madson 1.7 $7,600,000 $3,500,000 $4,100,000 Vernon Wells 0.6 $2,500,000 $21,000,000 -$18,500,000 Kevin Jepsen 0.6 $2,900,000 $1,181,250 $1,718,750 Ernesto Frieri 0.6 $2,500,000 $500,000 $2,000,000 Scott Downs 0.4 $1,700,000 $5,000,000 -$3,300,000 Garrett Richards 0.3 $1,200,000 $500,000 $700,000 TOTAL 49.0 $219,750,000 $147,581,250 $72,168,750 One of the first thing you might notice is that despite all their roster changes, the Angels picked up all of 0.7 WAR in the process. You'll then also see a lot more surplus value, but that is kind of misleading because the Angels have a few million in dead money on the books with Haren's $3.5 million buyout and the milion bucks they sent to the Royals in the Santana trade, still, it is a nice jump up from 2012. My favorite part might be that, for 2013 at least, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols are actually UNDERPAID. Definitely did not see that coming. Strangely enough, the biggest acquisition misstep according to value appears to be the trade for Jason Vargas who is over $5 million in the hole. That discrepancy though points out that sometimes teams pay less for past performance and more for expected future performance. With that in mind, here is the same 2013 breakdown, only this time using the WAR value for 2013 as projected by ZiPS: PLAYER 2013 ZiPS fWAR VALUE 2013 SALARY DIFF Mike Trout 7.4 $33,300,000 $510,000 $32,790,000 Josh Hamilton 3.2 $14,400,000 $17,400,000 -$3,000,000 Albert Pujols 4.1 $18,450,000 $16,000,000 $2,450,000 Erick Aybar 2.7 $12,150,000 $8,750,000 $3,400,000 Jered Weaver 4.4 $19,800,000 $16,200,000 $3,600,000 Howie Kendrick 2.4 $10,800,000 $9,100,000 $1,700,000 Alberto Callaspo 2.2 $9,900,000 $4,100,000 $5,400,000 C.J. Wilson 3.5 $15,750,000 $11,500,000 $4,250,000 Mark Trumbo 1.8 $8,100,000 $540,000 $7,560,000 Peter Bourjos 2.6 $11,700,000 $500,000 $11,200,000 Jason Vargas 1.7 $7,650,000 $8,500,000 -$850,000 Joe Blanton 1.6 $7,200,000 $6,500,000 $700,000 Tommy Hanson 2.1 $9,450,000 $3,725,000 $5,725,000 Chris Iannetta 1.7 $7,650,000 $5,050,000 $2,600,000 Andrew Romine -0.1 -$450,000 $500,000 -$950,000 Hank Conger 0.8 $3,600,000 $500,000 $3,100,000 Kole Calhoun 0.3 $1,350,000 $500,000 $850,000 Jerome Williams 0.8 $3,600,000 $2,000,000 $1,600,000 Sean Burnett 0.5 $2,250,000 $3,625,000 -$1,375,000 Ryan Madson 0.6 $2,700,000 $3,500,000 -$800,000 Vernon Wells 1.0 $4,500,000 $21,000,000 -$16,500,000 Kevin Jepsen 0.4 $1,800,000 $1,181,250 $618,750 Ernesto Frieri 0.5 $2,250,000 $500,000 $1,750,000 Scott Downs 0.3 $1,350,000 $5,000,000 -$3,650,000 Garrett Richards 0.0 $0 $500,000 -$500,000 TOTAL 46.5 $209,250,000 $147,581,250 $61,668,750 Like most projection systems, ZiPS is conservative, knocking the Angels down a full 2.5 wins. The value takes a commensurate dive. As luck would have it though, the surplus value, once you remove the dead money, is almost the exact same as the surplus for the 2012 roster and payroll. The more things change the more they stay the same, I guess. If ZiPS proves true, the Angels don't have huge wastes of money on the roster, other than Wells, but that's a given. The projection for Hamilton gets a lot worse though, which isn't so fun when you consider how backloaded the contract is. Madson also looks like a potential waste, especially if any of his $3.5 million in incentives kicks in. Ultimately, this is all just for fun as the valuation model is supposed to create surplus for cost-controlled players. If anything, I just find it amusing that if the Angels instituted a scale where they paid players by WAR, they'd essentially have the Dodgers' payroll. Silly Dodgers. Silly, stupid Dodgers. [follow]
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