Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 2/5/13
One of the most often cited criticisms of WAR is that replacement level is essentially an arbitrary construct, making the entire model just an act of theoretical speculation. The idea of replacement level is to essentially set a baseline for expected performance from a team that invested the absolute minimum in putting together a Major League roster. This replacement level team wouldn’t have a farm system, so that they didn’t have to spend money on draft picks, coaches, equipment, or facilities. They would rely entirely on league minimum veterans to build out their roster, thus allowing us to see how approximately many wins a team could expect if they did the absolute bare minimum in terms of organizational investment. That team doesn’t exist, obviously, as even organizations that completely tear down their big league roster work to rebuild through accumulation of young talent, and no team actually spends the league minimum on its Major League payroll. Thus, the criticism that the
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