Contract Crowdsource Results: Carl Crawford

2,000+ votes later, I’d say you guys are somewhat interested in this contract crowdsourcing idea, which is great. This will be a regular feature on FanGraphs leading up to free agency. We’ll try and do as many of the upcoming free agents as we can.

Let’s talk about the results of the Crawford survey. Just a few numbers to start off:

Average length: 5.5 years
Average salary: $16.4 million

Median length: 5 years
Median salary: $17 million

Standard deviation, years: 0.93 years
Standard deviation, salary: $2.91 million

Agreement was high among the group, especially in length. 78 percent of all submissions projected either a five or six year contract for Crawford, while 49 percent projected an annual salary of 14 to 17 million per season. It didn’t take long at all – about 25 ballots – before the data stabilized right around 5.5 years and $16.4 million, and it stayed there no matter how many additional ballots poured in.

So, I think we can say with some confidence that the crowd expects that he’ll get something around 5/80 or 6/100. This is why I’m glad we’re doing this exercise, because I figured the number would be a bit higher – I had him pegged at something like 7 years and $120 million.

Matt Holliday, a comparable player in value, got 7 years and $126 million with no bidding war to speak of last winter. Certainly, he benefited from the market’s premium given to power hitters, which Crawford will not get, but I’d expect that multiple teams will be bidding Crawford’s services up, which could drive the price beyond what the group consensus is. If I had to bet, I’d take the over on Crawford’s deal compared to the crowd’s average, but again, I’ve generally been lousy at estimating what players will sign for, and it’s likely that the crowd will be more accurate at projecting these deals than I will be.

Given these expected prices, though, I do wonder if Tampa Bay should make a serious run at keeping him. At least in the short term, $16 million a year for Crawford’s services is a bargain, and retaining him would keep their window of contention open longer. If they could get him to take a shorter deal, reducing the long term risk for the franchise, they might just be able to keep their franchise left fielder.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Kevin S.
13 years ago

Crawford doesn’t have Scott Boras getting the Mystery Team involved in the bidding, though.

designated quitter
13 years ago
Reply to  Kevin S.

The “mystery team” is almost always the Yankees. If the Yankees say ‘we’re not interested,’ Boras has no hand to play. For the Yankees to sign Crawford, they probably have to move Gardner or Granderson.

13 years ago

Why would the Yankees have to move a guy making the major league minimum to sign Crawford?

Kevin S.
13 years ago

The Yankees had no real interest in Matt Holliday last year. Nobody else had any real interest in him.

Jason B
13 years ago
Reply to  Kevin S.

No, I think the “mystery team” is usually a pure invention by Boras to feign a higher degree of interest in his player.

Kevin S.
13 years ago
Reply to  Jason B

Hence my capitalization of Mystery Team.