Thursday, February 04, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Kontos Signed

Didn't mention but recently arbitration figures were released for players, and thus Belt's and Kontos' figures were available (via CSNBA's Pavlovic):

  • Belt:  Asking for $7.5M, with the Giants offering $5.3M.  He made $3.6M last season.  
  • Kontos:  Asking for $1.35M, with the Giants offering $850K.  He made $517,500 last season.

CSNBA's Pavlovic recently reported that Kontos has come to an agreement with the Giants for $1.15M.


ogc thoughts

The Giants historically has avoided arbitration with all their players (except one who shall not be named) by offering something around the mid-point between their offer and the player's ask.  The mid-point for Belt is $6.4M, for Kontos is $1.1M.  MLBTR had forecasted early on that Belt would get $6.2M, Kontos $1.0M.

On a ratio basis, Belt is asking for 42% more than what the Giants offered, while Kontos asked for 59% more than what the Giants offered.

And Kontos signed for slightly above the mid-point, $50K above the $1.1M midpoint.  MLBTR had estimated a $1.0M signing, so he got above that as well.  Not a big deal, but we are over the threshold already, so that $50K added $15K in penalties over what I had already projected for the whole roster.  Total penalty is $1.078M per my calculations, a rough ballpark estimate of where the Giants should be given Baer's public remarks regarding the tax, plus the report on how much the Giants paid last season ($1.3M) allowed me to estimate how much benefits and others outside of the payroll that the MLB includes for the purposes of the tax threshold, their so-called Actual Club Payroll.

Thoughts on Belt

Under the old 40%/60%/80% of market valuation rule for arbitration signings, Belt was valued at $9M last season, and if that continues, he would get $5.4M this season.  Clearly, he's getting above that, most likely.   His asked salary works out to a $12.5M market valuation and the mid-point works out to $10.7M.

Even with his injuries and time missed, and poor 2014, he had 9.6 fWAR/9.0 bWAR in the past 3 years, 3.0-3.2 WAR per season, which works out to roughly $25M value produced each year.  I'm hoping that the Giants can get him signed to a long term deal like they did Crawford, but I don't expect it to happen because I think his agent is waiting for him to have his breakout season and get a bigger contract done.

I think that he will have that breakout season if he can stay healthy.  But it's not like he's been injuring himself, it's been more about bad circumstances, like Scutaro's ball hitting him in the head, or getting kneed in the head last season, or the broken fingers he has suffered twice due to bad pitches.  Yet, it happens often enough that you have to wonder if he's injury prone.

11 comments:

  1. Glad Kontos got signed - he was a stud last year with preventing inherited runners from scoring until he wore down over the last two months. You need a guy to come in and shut down middle innings, keeping the Giants in the game. With the Giants deeper starting staff, look for Kontos to have outstanding year.

    Belt is the Harrison Barnes of the Giants. Loads of potential, good numbers at the end of the year. But the overall numbers hide the slumps, odd injuries and disappearing acts - he is not a consistent, stay healthy impact player. Yet. A guy you hate to bet against and still can't quite bet for. Seems destined to go the FA route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, very glad too, thanks for pointing out! He has been a stud for us except after 2013 championship when he partied too hardy and was not in shape.

      He has been essential for the transition from Core Four to Next Gen.

      Bochy also mentioned that he was going to use him later in games too, in recognition of the inherited men he left on base.

      Yeah, it does look like he will go the FA route, and then we will see if he will get what his agent thinks he should get or what the Giants are offering.

      Delete
  2. I'm with M Shark on both Kontos and Belt. As to Belt specifically, I'm going to guess that the Giants let him go as an FA, because his likelihood of his reaching his potential would be greater in a more hitter-friendly park, so that he's worth more to another team than he is to us. Further, when Belt becomes eligible for free agency in two years, the Giants may be searching harder to figure out where to play Posey with minimal loss, and maybe to replace Belt in the lineup with a player who fits their high-contact model rather than one who strikes out more than a quarter of the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While the Giants clearly favor high contact hitters, I don't think that they follow that hard and fast. I think it is a preference and not a requirement.

      And to your point, Posey might be that replacement and the point would be moot.

      Good point about Belt wanting to go elsewhere to hit. But ATT does not hurt him that badly, around 40 points of OPS. So we will see.

      Delete
    2. Do we differ? My point was that Belt doesn't fit the Giants' model, i.e., preference for high-contact hitters; that their need for a place for Posey, 1B being the obvious choice, makes Belt both less necessary and a bit of an impediment; and not only that Belt might want to go elsewhere but also that he'd be worth more to some other team than to us and would be offered more money by some other team. Our diminished need for him, and the likelihood that his stats would improve elsewhere, are parts of a single argument.

      Is your "40 points of OPS" arrived at by subtracting his ATT OPS from his away-games OPS? If so, a measure more germane to the issue of his moving to another specific team would calculate from that team's home park and that team's schedule. The NL West, where Belt plays an inordinate number of games, has parks other than ATT that are pitcher-friendly. If Belt were a Philly or a Yankee, with a hitter-friendly home park and in a division where hitter-friendly home parks are common, then, his OPS would rise more than 40 points. But perhaps you've calculated the ATT burden on his OPS differently, so that this objection of mine is moot.

      Delete
    3. I did forget about that nuance of NL West parks. Of course, there's Colorado and AZ as well, so I've never figured out whether they balance out or lean one way or the other, relative to LA and SD.

      And yes, a park that is lefty focused like NYY or Phillies would make his stats look better.

      So, you are correct, I didn't not take those effects into account.

      Of course, the assumption here is that he cares that much about burnishing his overall batting line in his new home, which per your calculations, would likely would be his home going forward to retirement, most likely. I have no idea whether that's something he cares about enough to make that a major factor.

      Sorry, we don't really differ, just my roundabout way to getting there, other than to note that I don't think that's a huge factor in the Giants keeping him or letting him go. I think the Giants, while preferring the high contact players, understand that they can't compile a team full of them, and ultimately, know that it don't really matter how you produce OPS as long as you do produce it, which Belt does. The Giants have been very flexible in accepting players who don't fit the mold, all in the name of putting together a team and trying to compete.

      Delete
  3. A lot of speculation here. Either way, when he either signs for a long term deal, or he goes free agency, someone will be correct in their prediction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I find it fun to discuss the possible scenarios that might happen, if you don't like speculation then you better go elsewhere because I like scenario analysis as a technique.

      Delete
    2. I don't know where nomisnala would go, ogc, since pretty much all baseball blogging, except for venting, is speculative: what if? how predictive is X's past performance? which prospects look promising? who will be the team's utility infielders? Where speculation is founded and argued for, as it is in your posts, ogc, it's the substance of virtually all baseball blogging with content. The rest, as evidenced on most blogging on beat writers' sites, could be substituted for by emoticons and emojis, saving space.

      Delete
    3. And of course, the point of speculating is not, as nomisnala grumpily suggests, to be right in one's prediction (and celebrate one's foresight with small, shrill yips of triumph?). The point is to think through issues and problems in regard to the Giants, a matter of data and intellect, not of clairvoyance and serendipity; and that's why it's worth reading when done well, as in this blog, devoted to offering data and serious thought. For me it's the only kind of blogging--data and serious thought--worth reading.

      Delete
  4. Belt signs for $6.2M, $200K less than the midpoint between the Giants offered salary and Belt's asked for salary. It is exactly what MLBTR estimated he would get.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/belt-giants-avoid-arbitration-agree-deal

    Hopefully the Giants are still working on a longer term deal, getting some of his FA years, but I fear that it'll just be a two year term at best.

    Because of the oddities between how the threshold is calculated and the payroll that the Giants publicizes, while they are over the threshold and paying the penalty tax, roughly $3.5M over for a $1M penalty tax, they are $14M less than the $180M payroll that I'm using as the upper limit of where they might go up to in 2016: Baer noted that they were at $170M in 2015 (currently at $166M for signed and pre-FA players) and expect it to go up some, and $180M is a bit more than 5% increase (almost 6%, but I like round numbers and there is a national contract kicking in :^), which is the inflation rate FG has been using lately for $/WAR calculations. So the Giants have a buffer of anywhere from $4M to $14M to spend on acquiring players in 2016 season. Given the "buy high" risky buys of Cueto and Samardzija, have to think that they would be willing to go to high end of that range if they see the need and opportunity to win and get into playoffs.

    ReplyDelete

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