Going into this one, I thought Beltre would be something of a polarizing player, but it turns out that a vast majority of the crowd agrees on what kind of deal Beltre will land this winter. The results of this afternoon’s crowdsourcing:
Average length: 3.60 years
Average salary: $13.06 million
Median length: 4 years
Median salary: $13 million
Standard deviation, length: 0.75 years
Standard deviation, salary: $2.45 million
The crowd estimates that Beltre will land a $4 year, $52 million contract this winter, but the gap between three and four years was pretty small, so we could more accurately estimate it as something like three guaranteed years with an expected fourth year option, or something along those lines.
As you can see from the lower standard deviations, agreement was pretty high. Of the 900 votes counted, 87 percent of them chose either a three or four year contract. Likewise, 69 percent of the voters chose an annual average salary between $12 and $15 million per year. $12 million was the most chosen salary, but significantly more people picked a number north of that than below it, pushing the average up over $13 million.
My feeling is that these estimates are probably close to correct. I might take the over, but not by much – I’d probably have estimated 4/56 or something, but I’d be close to the crowd on this one. His performance variances drive the expected price down, but even at this expected rate, he should probably be a good signing for whoever lands him this winter. $13 million a year values him as about a +3 win player going forward, while he’s averaged +4 wins per season over his career. Even as he heads into the downside of his career, he’s got enough athleticism and ability to sustain a performance that should justify the crowd’s expected investment.
For a team looking to upgrade at third base this winter, Beltre is probably their best bet. Given these prices, there’s a good chance they come out ahead in the long run. I’d put him near the top of the list of free agents to go after this winter.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.