Contract Forecast: Josh Hamilton
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Contract Forecast: Josh Hamilton

The superstar outfielder brings a lot of risk to his future reward.

The Spotrac Research team recently compiled a report combining statistical and contractual data to produce an educated prediction of the contract Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton should be signing in the near future.

The equation uses two statistics, Batting Average (AVG), and On-Base Slugging (OPS). We located two athletes with averages slightly higher and slightly lower in both cases, then compiled their most recent signed contract information. The following is an in-depth look at the process, variables, and our final prediction.
Batting Average (AVG)
Hamilton's .313 career batting average places him in proximity with Ryan Braun (.312), Matt Holliday (.313), Matt Kemp (.296), and Carl Crawford (.293). Breaking down the contracts for these players, the following information can be derived:
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age
Braun 5 $105,000,000 $21,000,000 28
Kemp 8 $160,000,000 $20,000,000 27
Holliday 7 $120,000,000 $17,142,857 30
Crawford 7 $142,000,000 $20,285,714 29
Averages 6.75 $131,750,000 $19,518,518 27.25
The ages noted above are the age of the player when signing his contract. Hamilton is 31 years old now, so let's adjust these numbers to render as if the players were signing at age 31.
Player Length Avg. Salary Adjusted Value
Braun 2 $21,000,000 $42,000,000
Kemp 4 $20,000,000 $80,000,000
Holliday 6 $17,142,857 $102,857,142
Crawford 5 $20,285,714 $101,428,570
Linear Regression Projected Salary $18,867,725
Now let's take into account Hamilton's batting average over just the past 3 years (2010-present), in comparison to his career .313 average. This allows us to loosely gauge if he's in a peak or valley of his career.
Josh Hamilton
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2010 0.359    
2011 0.298    
2012 0.366    
Average 0.341 0.313 108%
We'll do the same with our variable players comparing the differentiation between the player's batting average 3 years prior to signing with their career batting average.
Ryan Braun (5 yrs, $105,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2008 0.285    
2009 0.320    
2010 0.304    
Average 0.303 0.311 97.1%


Matt Holliday (7 yrs, $120,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2007 0.340    
2008 0.321    
2009 0.317    
Average 0.341 0.313 108.6%


Matt Kemp (8 yrs, $160,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2009 0.297    
2010 0.249    
2011 0.324    
Average 0.290 0.296 97.9%


Carl Crawford (7 yrs, $142,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2008 0.273    
2009 0.305    
2010 0.307    
Average 0.295 0.293 100.7%
Outside of Holliday the players were generally batting their career averages heading into the big contracts. Holliday has now become a legitimate contract to model Hamilton's numbers against. He was 30 years old and batting 108% of his career average at that time of his signing. It's probable to assume that Holliday received at least 1 extra year on his deal in light of his "prime" standing, so we'll do the same for Hamilton.

Let's revisit our previously determined term averages to populate an estimated contract based on Batting Average for Josh Hamilton:
Years Avg. Salary 3 yr B.A. Adj. Adj. Salary Value
6 $18,867,725 8% $20,377,135 $122,262,810
On-base Plus Slugging (OPS)
Hamilton's .929 career OPS places him in proximity with Ryan Braun (.937), Miguel Cabrera (.947), Prince Fielder (.928), and Matt Holliday (.925). Using a straight linear regression on the contracts signed by these four players, and the following information can be derived:
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age
Braun 5 $105,000,000 $21,000,000 28
Cabrera 8 $152,300,000 $19,037,5000 27
Holliday 7 $120,000,000 $17,142,857 30
Fielder 9 $214,000,000 $23,777,778 27
Averages 7.25 $147,825,000 $20,389,655 28
Again, let's just the contracts to reflect the players as if they were signing the contract at Josh Hamilton's age, 31. We'll derive a linear regression of the adjusted years and their corresponding adjusted values to give us a projected average salary to work with.
Player Length Avg. Salary Adjusted Value
Braun 2 $21,000,000 $42,000,000
Cabrera 5 $19,037,500 $95,187,500
Holliday 6 $17,142,857 $102,857,142
Fielder 5 $23,777,778 $118,888,890
Linear Regression Projected Salary $19,683,609
Now let's take into account Hamilton's OPS over just the past 3 years (2010-present), in comparison to his career .929 OPS to provide a recent snapshot of his performance.
Josh Hamilton
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2010 1.044    
2011 0.882    
2012 1.175    
Average 1.034 0.929 111%
We'll do the same with our variable players comparing the differentiation between the player's OPS 3 years prior to signing with their career OPS.
Ryan Braun (5 yrs, $105,000,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2008 0.888    
2009 0.937    
2010 0.866    
Average 0.897 0.937 95.7%


Matt Holliday (7 yrs, $120,000,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2007 1.012    
2008 0.947    
2009 0.921    
Average 0.960 0.925 103.7%


Miguel Cabrera (8 yrs, $152,300,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2005 0.947    
2006 0.998    
2007 0.965    
Average 0.970 0.947 102%


Prince Fielder (9 yrs, $214,000,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
20009 1.014    
2010 0.871    
2011 0.981    
Average 0.955 0.928 102%
Results
Length of the Contract
The contracts used as variable in this study (Braun, Kemp, Holliday, Fielder, Cabrera, Crawford) carry an average length of 7.33. Additionally, these contracts are taking the athletes to an average age of 36. With Hamilton being 31, we'll split the difference and predict a 6 year contract.

Value of the Contract
The predicted value of the contract is generated based on the Linear-Regressed Salaries, the Percent Difference for each Statistic, and the previously determined length.
Value Based on Batting Average
Average Salary % Difference Length Value
$18,867,725 0.08 6 $122,262,810
Value Based on OPS
Average Salary % Difference Length Value
$19,683,609 0.11 6 $131,092,830
Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $126,677,820

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