Valuing Garrett by Eric Seidman December 19, 2008 A wide array of left-fielders hit the free agent market this off-season, and to date, just Raul Ibanez has signed a contract. The others garnering the majority of discussions are Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, and Manny Ramirez. These four, and Ibanez, are classic examples of all-hitting, no-fielding players, whose values diminish due to their time spent in the field. Ken Griffey, Jr has mentioned a desire to continue his career, and he also falls into the mix. One left-fielder available who does not fit this bill is Garrett Anderson. In fact, if anything, Anderson is more of the opposite: a solid fielder whose hitting skills are declining. Due to this, rumors of Anderson potentially signing as a designated hitter seem to make little sense. Regardless, Anderson’s name does not appear too often in free agency discussions. Anderson now is different than the same player from a decade or so ago, but even back then certain numbers masked his true level of effectiveness. From 1997-2003, Anderson ranged from 183-201 hits per season, 36-56 doubles, and 15-35 home runs. Looking solely at these numbers, which many do, Anderson appears to have had an extremely solid 7-year offensive peak. His wOBA tells a different story, however; outside of the .371 in 2003 and .363 in 2002, his wOBA ranged from .325-.342 throughout the peak. His wRAA numbers in the same 7-year span: -3.8, +1.8, +0.7, +1.0, +4.3, +20.6, +24.5. The latter two seasons correspond to the high wOBA seasons of 2002 and 2003, but prior to that, he was virtually a league average hitter. Last year, he produced a wOBA of .326, resulting in -1.4 batting runs. UZR had him worth +6.2 defensive runs in left-field, though, and with the prorated adjustments for position and replacement level, Garret was worth +18.9 runs last year. This converts to roughly +1.9 wins, deeming him just slightly below average. Marcel projects Anderson at a .319 wOBA in 2009 and -6.1 batting runs. Weighting his UZR, +4.5 defensive runs seems like a somewhat realistic expectation. Prorating the aforementioned adjustments places the 2009 Garret Anderson at +7.4 runs, or +0.74 wins. His fair market value, therefore, would be somewhere in the vicinity of $3.7 mil for a one-year deal. Something tells me Anderson will sign for much more than that, as he is coming off three straight years earning $10+ mil. As a left-fielder, though, and not a DH, his projection is very similar to that of Abreu and Burrell’s. While he will command more than his fair market value, Anderson could likely be had for a lesser fee than these two former Phillies. So, if any team is looking for a legitimate left-fielder, perhaps their attentions should be turned to Anderson.