Thursday, September 22, 2011

The new Berkman contract

The Cardinals have announced that they are giving Lance Berkman a contract for next year worth 12 million dollars. At a 8 million dollar salary this season, Berkman has a 1633 WASP. If he can put together another 4.9 WAR season next year, he will still be a 2449 WASP, still a very solid number. However, in 2010, when he battled injuries, with both the Yankees and Astros put up only a 1.2 WAR. The big question is whether last year was the outlier or this year is the outlier. Or, are they both outliers and the real result is somewhere in the middle? For his career, this year is actually pretty normal, and maybe a little under average. He has had 4 seasons of above 6 WAR, in 2008 he had a OOP of 663 and a PPG of 1.68 (compared to an OOP of 565 and a PPG 1.51 this year). He is walking at the same ratio he did last year (at about 16%), and striking out at a slightly smaller ratio. He clearly wasn't as strong last year as he is this year (he had a .166 Isolated Slugging last year, and a .255 ISOS this year).  The main issue seems to be health, and thats nearly impossible to predict injuries other than looking at the track record. Other than last year, he has been pretty healthy throughout his career. Astros' TV color guy Jim Deshaies said something I hadn't thought of, this is their insurance policy at first base in case they don't resign Albert Pujols (which I have argued the Cardinals should not resign). This deal makes sense for where the Cardinals are at right now, but it could really blow up in their face.

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