In the wake of the Matt Capps release, I thought I would take a stab at what his market value should be for the 2010 season. The following is Capps’ yearly Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to FanGraphs.
Capps had an average WAR of 0.65 the previous four seasons. Let’s assume that would be his production in 2010. At $4.5 million per win, Capps would be worth slightly more than $2.9 million on the free agent market.
However, Capps was not eligible for free agency. According to a recent post by Sky Andrecheck, the 2008 salary for an arbitration-eligible player was equal to 2.26 + WAR*.31. Plugging our expected WAR for Capps into that formula, we find that his financial value for 2010 should be about $2.46 million. That is right around what the Pirates reportedly were offering Capps.
There are additional variables to consider in this situation. Should the Pirates adjust their valuation based on the availability of a replacement? How much would that replacement cost, compared to the cost of Capps? Those are different posts for different days.
If we ignore context for simplicity’s sake, the Pirates were offering Capps a market appropriate contract.