The Rising Cost of David Wright
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Contract Forecast: David Wright

The franchise Met carried a young team on his back through his contract year.

The Spotrac Research team recently compiled a report combining statistical and contractual data to produce an educated prediction of the contract New York Mets third baseman David Wright 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)
Wright's .303 career batting average places him in proximity with other elite third basemen such as Miguel Cabrera (.316), Chipper Jones (.304), Hanley Ramirez (.303), Alex Rodriguez (.301), and Placido Polanco (.301). Breaking down the contracts for these players, the following information can be derived:
Player Career
B.A.
Contract
Length
Contract
Value
Average
Salary
Age
Signed
Miguel Cabrera
.316 8 $152,300,000 $19,037,500 25
Chipper Jones
.304 3 $42,000,000 $14,000,000 37
Hanley Ramirez
.303 6 $70,000,000 $11,666,667 25
Alex Rodriguez
.301 10 $275,000,000 $27,500,000 31
Averages 6.75 $134,825,000 $18,051,041 29.25
Linear Regression 6.75 $145,800,000 $21,600,000 29.25
Now let's take into account Wright'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.
David Wright
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2010 0.283    
2011 0.254    
2012 0.354    
Average 0.297 0.303 98%
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.
Miguel Cabrera (8 yrs, $152,300,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2005 0.323    
2006 0.339    
2007 0.320    
Average 0.327 0.317 103%


Chipper Jones (3 yrs, $42,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2006 0.324    
2007 0.337    
2008 0.364    
Average 0.341 0.304 112%


Hanley Ramirez (6 yrs, $70,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2006 0.292    
2007 0.332    
2008 0.301    
Average 0.308 0.302 101%


Alex Rodriguez (10 yrs, $275,000,000)
  Season Avg. Career % Difference
2005 0.321    
2006 0.290    
2007 0.314    
Average 0.308 0.301 102%
The average age of our variable players (29.25) compiles to the current age of David Wright (29), so the average salary ($21,600,000) should be a viable estimate to carry through. However, despite jaw-dropping numbers thus far in 2012, Wright's 3-year scope shows he's performing beneath his career average. Our variable players were on average were batting 104.5% better than their career numbers. We'll adjust our average salary accordingly in light of this differentation.
Years Avg. Salary 3 yr B.A. Adj. Adj. Salary Value
6.75 $21,600,000 -6% $20,304,000 $137,052,000

On-base Plus Slugging (OPS)
Wright's .895 career OPS places him in proximity with Miguel Cabrera (.948), Chipper Jones (.933), Hanley Ramirez (.877), and Kevin Youkilis (.872). Using a straight linear regression on the contracts signed by these four players, the following information can be derived:
Player Career
OPS
Contract
Length
Contract
Value
Average
Salary
Age
Signed
Miguel Cabrera
.948 8 $152,300,000 $19,037,500 25
Chipper Jones
.933 3 $42,000,000 $14,000,000 37
Hanley Ramirez
.877 6 $70,000,000 $11,666,667 25
Kevin Youkilis
.872 4 $41,125,000 $10,281,250 30
Averages 5.25 $76,356,250 $14,544,047 29.25
Linear Regression 5.25 $81,013,800 $15,431,200 29.25
Now let's take into account Wright's OPS over just the past 3 years (2010-present), in comparison to his career .895 OPS to provide a recent snapshot of his performance.
David Wright
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2010 0.857    
2011 0.772    
2012 1.007    
Average 0.878 0.895 98.1%
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.
Miguel Cabrera (8 yrs, $152,300,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2005 0.946    
2007 0.998    
2008 0.966    
Average 0.970 0.948 102%


Chipper Jones (3 yrs, $42,000,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2006 1.005    
2007 1.029    
2008 1.044    
Average 1.026 0.933 109%


Hanley Ramirez (6 yrs, $70,000,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2006 0.833    
2007 0.948    
2008 0.940    
Average 0.907 0.877 103%


Kevin Youkilis (4 yrs, $41,250,000)
  Season OPS Career % Difference
2006 0.810    
2007 0.843    
2008 0.959    
Average 0.870 0.872 99.7%
Again the variable players used here average out to an age of 29.25, so the resulting numbers should ouput properly with 29-year-old David Wright. But the three-year snapshot again shows Wright under-performing his career numbers. Our variable players nearly all exceeded their career percentages, averaging 103.4%. We'll adjust our numbers to account for the differentiation.
Years Avg. Salary 3 yr OPS Adj. Adj. Salary Value
5.25 $15,431,200 -5% $14,659,640 $76,963,110
Results
Length of the Contract
Our two statistical breakdowns result in average lengths of 6.75 and 5.25, and average age signed of 29.25 for both. With David Wright currently 29 years old, 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 Average Annual Linear-Regressed Salaries, the Percent Difference for each Statistic, and the previously determined length.
Value Based on Batting Average
Length Average Salary Value
6.75 $20,304,000 $137,052,000
Value Based on On-Base Plus Slugging
Length Average Salary Value
5.25 $14,659,640 $76,963,110
Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $107,007,555

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