Despite Fred Wilpon’s Comments, Jose Reyes Is Worth More Than Carl Crawford

New York Mets Jose Reyes Shortstop

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The New Yorker has a profile this week on Mets owner Fred Wilpon. Among the many topics covered, Wilpon slammed some of his own top players, including Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran.When it came to Reyes, Wilpon said Reyes won’t get “Carl Crawford money” when he hits the free agent market this upcoming off-season. Crawford signed a 7-year, $142 million contract with the Red Sox this past winter.

It is still too early to forecast the free agency market and project what teams will be in on the bidding. But we can compare Reyes and Crawford, to see how the two stack up against each other.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of both players and their three seasons prior to free agency. For Reyes, we will use his last three full seasons, so 2009 is left out. Also, Reyes’ 2011 season is projected over the full season…

Carl crawford vs Jose Reyes

Reyes, who is in his age-28 season, will be hitting free agency at the same age as Crawford and the similarities are striking. Both players have identical batting averages and OPS, and similar power and speed numbers.

Reyes actually has an edge on Crawford in WAR* which means Reyes has been worth nearly $10 million more than Crawford over their last three full seasons. This is because WAR considers the importance of the position played. And Reyes plays a more premium position (SS) than Crawford (LF).

Of course, there are two arguments against Reyes getting Crawford money in free agency: 1) he has trouble staying healthy; 2) even Crawford isn’t worth Crawford money.

In the end, Reyes only needs one team that is desperate for a shortstop and is willing and able to give Reyes a $140 million contract. You know, now that you mention it, there is that other team in New York. Any way they can convince Derek Jeter to move positions this winter?

* Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is a statistic that looks at how many wins a player was worth to his team above a replacement-level player. It is a nice way to look at a player’s overall value (including defence). WAR$ is how much it would cost to replace that player in free agency. Typically, one Win (via WAR) is worth ~$4.0 million