Adam Wainwright Contact: Slight Cardinal Overpay

I decided to see what the chances were for Adam Wainwright’s contract working out for the Cardinals. The main issue is Wainwright’s age. He will be 33 when the contract starts. Past pitchers have produced almost to the level of the contract signed.

First, I plugged Wainwrights contact into my salary calculator (contract calculator tab) with some aggressive salary growth values of 10% salary inflation and the WAR/$$ amount of $6M/WAR. With those values, Adam would need to produce 13.6 WAR.  With a little more conservative numbers of 5% inflation and a 5.5 WAR/$$, the total ends up at 16.1 WAR

Next, I used the Marcel pitcher similarity tool here at BBHM to find pitcher who had similar age-32 projections from 1990 to 2007. After finding nine such pitchers, I looked at how they performed in their age 33 to 37 seasons and here are the results:

Name Total WAR (age 33-37 seasons)
Clemens, Roger 29.5
Mussina, Mike 22.1
Fassero, Jeff 15.1
Carpenter, Chris 13.7
Smoltz, John 8.5
Schmidt, Jason 4.0
Reynolds, Shane 4.3
Astacio, Pedro 0.9
Clement, Matt 0.0
Average 10.9

Using aggressive price increases, the salary looks fairly valued. The Cardinals are banking on the same level of production they got from Carpenter over the same seasons. Using a conservative price increase, the Cardinals looked to over pay. Only time will be able to tell.

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