Saturday, November 05, 2011

Does CJ Wilson Deserve $82.5M???





What do those two men above have in common, other than being struggling right handed pitchers in the AL East, is that they each signed contracts for 5 years $82.5milllion. I have been hearing rumours that another pitcher CJ Wilson is looking to join them in the $82.5 million club. This post here will analyze how Wilson stacks up to these pitchers, comparing careers before the contract and the walk year of the contract.
We will begin by looking at the players career before signing their big deal and see how Wilson stacks up.
Career before big deal was signed (Standard Stats)
Pitcher (Years, Seasons)
Won-Loss Record
ERA
Games/
Starts
Innings(IP)
Strikeout(SO)
Walks  
(BB)
Wilson(2005-2011, 7)
43-35
3.60
325/73
708.0
637
295
Lackey (2002-2009, 8)
102-71
3.81
234/233
1501.0
1201
441
Burnett (1999-2008, 10)
87-76
3.81
215/211
1376.1
1278
568

Obviously Wilson has fewer counting stats (Games, Starts, IP) because he has only been a starter for the last two seasons.  That should help Wilson as his arm will be less taxed than the other two. Wilson will be the same age as Lackey was when he signed his deal (30, Burnett was 31), so age has no impact. I feel that since Wilson has pitched less that, which will help him to get $82.5M.
To put them on a more level playing field so we can make a better analysis of the numbers. Let’s look at the last two seasons before each pitcher signed their deals.
Pitcher
Starts/IP
ERA
WHIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
Wilson (2010-2011)
67/427.1
3.14
1.215
7.9
3.5
142
Lackey  (2008-2009)
51/339.2
3.79
1.251
7.1
2.3
117
Burnett (2007-2008)
59/387.0
3.93
1.267
9.5
3.5
110

Looking at those numbers it’s easy to see that Wilson is the best of those three pitchers. He had more starts, best ERA, best WHIP, and best ERA+. His strikeouts/per 9 are just a tad better than Lackey and his walks/per 9 are high but the same as Burnett’s.  Looking at those numbers Wilson most definitely deserves $82.5M if not more.
There is one more set of numbers I want to look at, and that is each pitchers walk years. I want to look at walk years because of a personality trait called recency effect. Recency effect causes people to value others based off their most recent occurrence. So GM’s may have valued Burnett, Lackey and maybe Wilson based off their most recent season prior to free agency. 
Pitcher
Starts/IP
ERA
WHIP
SO/9
BB/9
ERA+
Wilson (2011)
34/223.1
2.94
1.187
8.1
3.0
152
Lackey  (2009)
27/176.1
3.83
1.270
7.1
2.4
115
Burnett (2008)
34/221.1
4.07
1.342
9.4
3.5
104

Clearly by those numbers Wilson is head and shoulders above Lackey and Burnett. The best ERA of the 3 by about a full run, the lowest WHIP, tied with Burnett for most starts (they both lead the lead in their respective seasons). His ERA+ destroys Lackey’s and Burnett’s. Looking at those numbers its fairly easy to see that Wilson definitely deserves at least $82.5M if not more.
Overall looking at the numbers, Wilson is far better than Lackey or Burnett. He has pitched the least amount because of his seasons as a reliever, but that definitely has helped to keep his arm fresh which should hopefully keep him off of the DL. To conclude, I feel that CJ Wilson when compared to AJ Burnett and John Lackey deserves at least the $82.5M that they got. I believe that Wilson should get even more than that. My prediction is that Wilson will get a 5 year $95million contract with an option for $20M.
Comments are appreciated let me what you think and how I can improve. You can follow me on twitter @PaulBerthelot and you can "like" Ol Ball Game on Facebook just click on the link. Thanks

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