May 11, 2021

The Cost of a Win in Free Agency in 2020 (FanGraphs)


After a few cold, dreary, quiet hot stove seasons, free agency picked up its pace this winter. While Manny Machado and Bryce Harper got $300 million deals last offseason, it took until nearly spring to get those contracts finalized. This offseason, we’ve seen Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, and Zack Wheeler sign for more than $100 million, and with the new year just eight days old, only a handful of decent free agents remain. While large deals and total spending near $2 billion have captivated us this offseason, it’s worth exploring what has made this winter different from years past. Is it just timing? Is it this class of free agents? Have teams changed their spending habits? Is the cost of a win still linear? A useful tool when examining those issues it to try to determine how much teams are paying for a win above replacement in the free agent market.

While putting dollar figures on players isn’t the most feel-good task, it’s helpful for framing conversations about costs in free agency. From the front office perspective, it helps to determine which free agents are good values and a worthy investment of resources compared to other free agents and…

Read “The Cost of a Win in Free Agency in 2020” at FanGraphs