Relative value of players is very active hot stove topic on pretty much any message board you might check, especially this time of year.
Though the Elias Rankings are primarily used to determine compensation for free agents, they can also offer an interesting comparison point for all players, free agent or not. The rankings are the official system agreed-to by both ownership and the players’ union.
The secret formulas combine the most recent two years of selected statistics, including batting average, home runs and RBI for hitters and innings-pitched, ERA, saves and strikeouts for pitchers. Players are lumped into one of five positional groupings – first basemen/outfielders/designated hitters, catchers, second basemen/shortstops/third basemen, starting pitchers and relievers.
Type A players are among the top 20 percent of all players in their league in their positional grouping. A team that loses a Type A free agent after offering that player arbitration receives a draft pick from the signing club plus a compensatory pick.
Type B players are among 21 percent to 40 percent in their grouping. A club that loses a Type B free agent to another team after offering arbitration receives a sandwich pick between rounds of the next June’s draft.
The final 60 percent of the players are denoted below as “NC” for no compensation.
How to read the table: For example, Skip Schumaker scored 69.394. I don’t know why he remains with the first basemen and outfielders a year after moving to second base, but that is where he is. Among those first basemen and outfielders, Skip’s score places him 27th. Because the top 20 percent works out to 26 players, Schumaker just missed being a Type A and instead is the highest-ranked Type B. Along with Ryan Ludwick, he is eligible for the arbitration process to set his 2010 salary if he cannot come to terms with the Cardinals first.
|NL 2008-2009||Pos group||Grp rank||Score||Type||Rank w/in type||Status|
* re-signed with St. Louis
# minor league free agent
Other ranking factoids:
- Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday really are the big two.
- Ludwick stands 11th among all NL first basemen and outfielders.
- Despite an injury plagued 2009 for Kyle Lohse and the standout year for Joel Pineiro, the former is still ranked higher.
- Because Chris Carpenter missed almost one entire season of the two, Pineiro ranks ahead of him.
- At least according to the formula, Trever Miller ranks ahead of Ryan Franklin.
There is some interest in revisiting the Elias Rankings for the next collective bargaining agreement between the players union and ownership, but for at least two more years, these will remain the rules of the road.