Contract Forecast: Brian McCann

Contract Forecast: Brian McCann
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Contract Forecast: Brian McCann

The homegrown Atlanta Braves catcher is ready to cash in...

He had a quiet 2013, and numerically hasn't been "elite" since 2008, but Atlanta Braves long-time catcher Brian McCann has an expiring contract, and plenty of teams appear to be ready to call. Early media reports claim McCann's new deal could easily top the $100M mark, a figure that will keep many franchises out of contention from the get go. This being said we'll put McCann through our contract forecast formula to determine his worth and value from a statistical and financial standpoint.

Comparable Catchers
We determined that the following catchers were viable targets to use in comparing with McCann. The key was to locate players with similar numbers, who signed their extension/contract around the current age of McCann (29). Here's a look at the contracts signed by each. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Joe Mauer 9 $167,000,000 $18,555,556 26
Buster Posey 8 $184,000,000 $23,000,000 25
Russell Martin 2 $17,000,000 $8,500,000 29
Yadier Molina 5 $75,000,000 $15,000,000 30
Averages 6 $110,750,000 $16,342,857 27.5

At 29 years old, McCann is older than Posey & Mauer when they signed, and right around where Martin and Molina were. We'll adjust the above contracts down to reflect each as if it were signed at the age of 29 to provide a better scope for our base prediction.

Related: View the list of Top Average Paid Catchers in the MLB

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
6 $105,000,000 $17,500,000
Statistical Analysis

To formulate an analysis we'll use the following statistics:
Games/Season (G), Runs (R), Hits (H), Home Runs (HR), Batting Average (AVG), and On-Base-Percentage + Slugging (OPS).

Then, to assess how well the player was performing prior to signing their respective contract, we'll show the averages of these statistics three years prior to their signing date.

By comparing the averages of our variable catchers to McCann, we'll be given a percent difference, or Prime Percentage to factor into our base contract predication going forward.

Player Games Runs Hits HRS RBI AVG OPS
Buster Posey (2010-12, SF) 100.3 51 116 15 63.7 .308 .858
Joe Mauer (2008-10, MIN) 140 93 178 15.3 85.3 .340 .922
Russell Martin (2010-12, LAD, NYY) 118.3 50.7 90 14.6 48 .262 .708
Yadier Molina (2010-12, STL) 137.7 51.3 142 14 67.7 .294 .786
Averages 124.075 61.5 131.5 14.725 66.175 .301 .818
Brian McCann (2011-13, ATL) 117 46 106 21.3 65 .252 .770
% Difference -5.70% -25.20% -19.39% 44.65% -1.78% -16.30% -5.94%
Prime Percentage% -4.24%
Results
Length of the Contract
Our base prediction provided us with a 6 year contract, however when age adjusted that figure dropped to an average of 4.5 years. With McCann just 29 years of age and with the reported buzz building come free agent season, it's safe to say this deal will easily start at 6 years (and possibly go higher if need be.)

Value of the Contract
Our base/unadjusted contract provided an average annual salary of $17.5 million, placing him 3rd behind Mauer and Posey respectively. But when factoring in a negative Prime Percentage (-4.24%) due to lower statistical production in comparison to our variable catchers, this number drops accordingly. The experts appear to have this contract spot on in terms of the value of McCann:
Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $100,548,000
Average annual salary $16,758,000

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