With 10% of the season in the books, it’s time to kick out an initial, and admittedly premature, value survey of the season.
Last year, GM Rick Hahn basically didn’t help the White Sox, nor hurt them, with his moves. These value surveys, which I’ll try to undertake every 15-20 games this season, attempt to identify where Hahn is getting bargains this season — as well as where he may not have spent wisely.
As of Sunday, approximately 10% of the season had been played. The White Sox have 12 players providing positive surplus value (SV), 22 with negative value (including Jonathan Stiever, Jace Fry, Jimmy Cordero, Eloy Jiménez and Adam Engel, who have yet to play this season).
[Based on a league payroll of $1,720,809,447, 1.0 WAR is valued at $1,720,809.45. By prorating salary, we can subtract salary paid from each player’s dollar war value to generate SV.]
To no one’s surprise, a high performer (nearly 1.0 aWAR already) with negligible salary is the SV leader: Yermín Mercedes, who has already given the White Sox almost $1.6 million SV. Among pitchers, the terrific start (coupled with a modest salary) of Carlos Rodón offers more than $800,000 SV.
On the flip side, Dallas Keuchel’s poor start and high salary makes him the early SV trailer, costing the White Sox more than $2 million SV so far. On the hitters’ side, it’s José Abreu dragging the team down, costing the White Sox almost $1.5 million SV.
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 a little better than than that club when it comes to overall value this season:
The average MLB team has 3.0 WAR, which is $5,173,590 in value. Subtracting average team salary of $12,519,640, average team SV is -$7,346,050.
The White Sox have 4.1 WAR, which is $7,055,319 in value. Subtracting White Sox salary of $12,626,719, White Sox SV is -$5,571,400.
So, the White Sox are 1.1 WAR better than an average team, which is $1,881,728 more in value. Despite spending $107,079 so far than an average team, the White Sox are getting $1,774,650 more in SV than an average team.
Another way to look at it, on a per-game basis the White Sox are getting $98,591.65 most SV from its roster than the average major league team.
So every 10-11 games, the White Sox are on pace to have an SV of a million dollars more than the average team.
Top Hitter SV: Yermín Mercedes, $1,579,261
Top Pitcher SV: Carlos Rodón, $826,634
Lowest Hitter SV: José Abreu, -$1,718,951
Lowest Pitcher SV: Dallas Keuchel, -$1,751,351