With 90% of the season in the books, I suppose it’s time to revisit the value survey.
At the traditional halfway point of the season, the Chicago White Sox enjoyed a small renaissance.
In the two months since our All-Star break survey and now, the White Sox have trending more slightly positively in terms of value, with 12 batters and 14 pitchers increasing in surplus value (SV), eight batters and 11 pitchers moving in the negative direction.
[FanGraphs, our stats partner, generates dollar values for WAR. For the White Sox roster, FanGraphs is valuing 1.0 WAR at $7,647,399. By prorating salary, we can subtract salary paid from each player’s dollar war value to generate SV.]
Tim Anderson is the team leader in SV, now in dominant fashion, at nearly $19 million. TA will join former team luminaries like Alexei Ramirez and Chris Sale as season SV champs. Omar Narváez has made an impressive jump to No. 2 in SV, while Jace Fry ($10.5 million) has taken the pitching SV lead from Reynaldo López ($9.8 million).
Crazy to think, that in our midseason survey asking who Chicago’s most valuable pitcher would be for 2018, Fry wasn’t included! (Fry is currently the fWAR pitching leader for the team at 1.4 ... a statement, sure, on how lousy the starting pitching has been, but still, it’s pretty freaking phenomenal that a reliever — a rookie reliever — could pull this off.)
The biggest mover on the SV chart this time around is Narváez, who added nearly $7.1 million to his tally. Indicative of his up-and-down season, José Abreu — who was the top SV tumbler in the last survey, added $6.7 million. For pitchers, Carlos Rodón was plus-$5.1 million in SV.
Again, indicative of a topsy-turvy season, former big gainer Avisaíl García took a big hit this time around, dropping $5.9 million in SV. On the pitching side, James Shields dropped $3.7 million.
White Sox vs. average team breakdown
To offer perspective on how the White Sox are doing relative to the league, we compare Chicago to a generic “average” MLB team (average payroll, average WAR production). The White Sox are doing far worse than that club when it comes to overall value this season:
The average MLB team has 29.7 WAR, which is $227,439,306 in value. Subtracting average team salary of $124,877,146, average team SV is $102,562,160.
The average MLB team has 17.3 WAR, which is $132,300,000 in value. Subtracting White Sox salary paid of $59,671,778, average team SV is $72,628,222.
So, the White Sox are 12.4 WAR worse than an average team, which is $95,139,306 worse in value, despite spending just $65,205,368 less in salary.
Thus the White Sox SV is $29,933,939 less than the average team. Another way to look at it, on a per-game basis the White Sox are getting $205,026.98 less SV from its roster than the average major league team.
So every five games, the White Sox have an SV of a million dollars less than the average team.
Top Hitter Value: Tim Anderson, $19,600,000
Top Pitcher Value: Joakim Soria and Jace Fry, $10,900,000
Lowest Hitter Value: Trayce Thompson, -$10,800,00
CLowest Pitcher Value: Lowest Pitcher Value: Carson Fulmer, -$4,700,000
Top Hitter SV: Tim Anderson, $18,698,765
Top Pitcher SV: Jace Fry, $10,506,173
Lowest Hitter SV: Trayce Thompson, -$10,203,704
Lowest Pitcher SV: Miguel González, -$6,980,864
Biggest Hitter SV Jump: Omar Narváez, $7,123,704
Biggest Pitcher SV Jump: Carlos Rodón, $5,075,925
Biggest Hitter SV Drop: Avisaíl García, -$5,909,260
Biggest Pitcher SV Drop: James Shields, -$3,748,148