Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Chad Qualls

The San Diego Padres decided to decline Chad Qualls' mind-boggling 6 million dollar 2012 option (he made 1.5 million in 201). The buyout cost 1.05 million dollars. In his career, he has a 3.8 WAR, .475 WAR per year, which deserves  1.425 million per year. In 2011, he had a .6 WAR, which would be worth 1.8 million according to the Halladay Standard, meaning the Padres got a slightly good deal on him. However, if they got the same production at 6 million dollars it would be a 10000 WASP. The 1.05 million at a 0 WAR is a 3150 WASP. It always sucks to have dead money, but this buyout made sense. In 2010 he had a horrible -3 WAR with the Diamondbacks and Rays. What is the difference between 2010 and 2011? In 2010, his PE was 4.94, and in 2011 it was 2.1. The former is horrible, while the latter isn't very good either. Strangely, he struck out less in 2011. In 2010, his ERA was 7.32, but his FIP was only 4.13! That would be a mediocre ERA instead of his terrible one. Remember he spent most of the year with the Diamondbacks, who let Mark Reynolds "grace" the infield. His BABIP was .386 (compared to .316 for his career). He only left 53% of runners on base in 2010, 72% in his career. It wasn't all luck, he gave up more homers than usual. In 2010, his TR was 6.99, not very good. In 2011, it was 10.78, very solid. However, not to the extent of his bad luck in 2010, he was pretty lucky in 2011. His BABIP was lower than career average, at .280, he left more people on base than usual, and his FIP was .39 higher than his ERA. Fangraphs actually gives Qualls a positive WAR in 2010, and a negative WAR in 2011. I think this is overboard. It seems to be the case that he is somewhere between his terrible 2010 season and his decent 2011 season. The career WAR of .475 sounds about right, and if I am right on that, then it seems hard to justify bringing in a veteran, and paying him 1.5 million for that little production. According to WAR (assuming 95 wins makes the playoffs, and a "replacement team" of 0 war wins 51.84 games), you would need 91 Chad Qualls' to make the playoffs (On a 25 man roster, you need everyone to average a 1.72 WAR to win 95 games. If every player is paid according to the Halladay Standard, you would need a payroll of 130 million to make the playoffs. This shows the necessity of pre-arbitration players contributing to make the playoffs).

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