Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Future of B.J. Upton

Rays outfielder B.J. Upton is Arbitration Elgible. In 2011, he earned a 3.8 WAR, which, according to the Halladay Standard, is worth 11.4 million. That production is about 1/11th of what is needed to win 95 games. For the Rays with a 42 million dollar payroll, they can only afford to spend 3.697 million on that kind his production. Upton made about 5 million in 2011, and will obviously make more in 2012, and he will be a free agent after the 2012 season.  Upton's career average is 2.41 WAR. That would be worth 7.24 million (but that factors in that his first two seasons were really unproductive). How much Upton actually receives in arbitration will really determine his trade value. There is a good chance he will still be underpaid and command a lot of value for teams. Upton's career numbers include a .342 OBP, .759 OPS, 1.37 PPG, and a 2.48 PAPP. These aren't overwhelming numbers, but they are solid. He has a nice Secondary Average of .334, but a not very good ISO of .159. He is really an average power hitter. His pitches per starter metric is pretty solid at 95.2. My hunch is that he is valued more than he is actually worth by many teams, because scouts have always really liked Upton. It makes sense for the Rays to trade him, if they are able to get a good package of players. He is a really nice player that most teams should want in their lineup, but the Rays are always in a pickle with these kind of players, it doesn't make sense to spend the money to keep them on their payroll. Instead, they have to try to move him to get pre-arbitration players that can contribute and make up for the lost wins. Considering that his 3.8 WAR was 1/11th of what is needed to make the playoffs, they can use 2 or 3 players to give them that production at a much cheaper price.

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