We now begin our overview of the New York lineup, by order of position.The first position we will cover is that of Catcher. Jorge Posada is
clearly the starting Catcher for New York in the 2007 Season.
Contract Status: Jorge Posada is in the last year
of a six year / $63M contract with New York. Posada is 36 years old,
and Catcher is a very demanding defensive position. Nevertheless, you
have to expect that Posada will re-sign with New York during the
2006: In the 2006 Season, Jorge Posada played 142
games. During his tenure he hit well, posting an EQA of .289 at the
defensively oriented backstop position. His defense was unusually
excellent; his FRAA rested at a very impressive 11. All told, Posada
was worth 7.1 wins in 2006, easily justifying his $11M salary.
Forecast: PECOTA’s projection for Posada makes an
awful lot of sense. His EQA is predicted to remain about the same, a
solid .290 from the catcher’s position. Meanwhile, PECOTA isn’t buying
the defensive hype, and expects Posada’s defense to be a more normal -1
FRAA. All told, the system predicts Posada to be worth roughly 4.9
wins, just about what he is currently paid in salary.
Upside: Posada has a low 25% improvement rate and
the lowest breakout rate I have seen, at 5%. These dismal stats reflect
the general value of an aging 36-year-old catcher. Interestingly, at
the 90th percentile Posada’s defense remains slightly below average, he
just compensates with a massive .323 EQA for a 7.1 WARP. It seems
PECOTA feels Posada is destined to be a roughly average defender.
Downside: Posada has a massive 48% collapse rate
and a 24% attrition rate, giving him an almost even chance at tanking
during the season. At the 10th percentile Posada has the same -1 FRAA
but his trademark offense is way down, posting an EQA of .247 (below
average). Posada still is worth two wins, even at this low benchmark,
meaning that despite his faults and risks Jorge is a valued commodity
for New York.
2007: Posada’s current season has definitely beaten
the odds. The PECOTA projection for defense was spot-on: Posada has
returned to being a slightly below average defender. Offensively,
though, Jorge has been a truly excellent hitter, posting a .310 EQA.
Together with his good work ethic this season the numbers indicate that
Jorge has already been worth 5.1 wins to the team, and could tie his
2006 numbers by the end of the season. That would put major pressure on
Brian to re-sign him.
Offer: Coming in to the season, New York would
probably want to aim for a three year contract anywhere between $24 –
$36M (8 – 12 million annually). The higher end matches what Posada gets
now, but the lower end would mean a pay cut for Jorge. Given his strong
season, Posada may not be willing to accept this offer, and it may need
to be improved when September rolls around.