Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Jacoby Ellsbury who was worth nearly $40 million more to the Red Sox than what they paid him this year.This season, Ellsbury hit .321 with 32 home runs, 105 RBI, 39 stolen bases, and a .402 Weighted On Base Average (wOBA; think OPS, but better) good for fifth in the American League. He was also superb defensively, with a 15.6 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR; number of runs player saved his team defensively). That was second in the AL to only Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees.
For Ellsbury, his combination of bat, speed, and defence translates to a Wins Above Replacement (WAR; see table for explanation) of 9.4. That was the best mark in Major League Baseball this season for both position player and pitchers.
A 9.4 WAR is worth $42.3 million in production (each win is worth $4.5M). And yet, the Red Sox only paid Ellsbury $2.4 million this season. That is a production “profit” of $39.9 million, which makes Ellsbury the biggest bargain in baseball.
The biggest bargain in the National League was Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers who was worth $32.2 million more than his $7.0 million salary.
Here is the list of the 15 biggest bargains in baseball this season…
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