Sunday, February 17, 2019

What it could cost to extend Aaron Hicks

In this investigation, we will attempt to approximate the salary (dependent on the length of the deal) the Yankees will offer impending free agent (in their efforts to extend  him) Aaron Hicks through encompassing age decline and the average cost / 1 WAR on the FA market.
In Neil Weinberg’s Beginner’s Guide To Aging Curves, he explains that…
“a basic rule of thumb is that once a player gets to 30, you sort of expect them to lose about 0.5 WAR per year of value due to aging. Some players will age better or worse, but that’s an average estimate”.
Another one of his articles analyzed the price teams pay per 1 WAR on the FA market. Neil Weinberg asserts that…
$/WAR is basically a measurement of how much teams are paying for players on the free agent market according to how many wins they will add over replacement level players. Right now, we think teams are paying about $8 million per every WAR they add to their roster. For example, a 2 WAR player signed for three years would theoretically provide his team with 6 WAR, so a team might want to pay him anything up to $48 million. If the team pays less than $8 million for each expected WAR, we call this a “good deal” and if they pay more, we say they “overpaid.”
Although Hicks is not yet a FA, he will presumably insist on pay comparable (relatively speaking) to what he could have gotten on the FA market (if he had opted to go that route). 
Photo: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports
29-year-old CF Aaron Hicks’ contract is up after this season. With no feasible replacement on the horizon (acclaimed prospect Estevan Florial is still ways away from reaching the majors and Clint Frazier hasn’t been able to stay healthy or play at a high level), the Yanks will undoubtedly pursue a contract extension. For the purpose of this investigation, let’s assume Hicks loses 0.5 WAR annually starting in 2020 (his age 30 season) and that the cost per 1 WAR is $8 million…
2020: 3.0 WAR (3.5 [FanGraphs’ Depth Charts projection for 2018] – 0.5 = 3.0); $24 million
2021: 2.5 WAR; $20 million
2022 (age 32 season): 2.0 WAR; $16 million
2023: 1.5 WAR; $12 million
2024 (age 34 season): 1.0 WAR; $8 million
2025: 0.5; $4 million
2026 (age 36 season); $0 million
Hicks contract possibilities:
  • 1 yr, $24 million
  • 2 yr, $44 million
  • 3 yr, $60 million
  • 4 yr, $72 million
  • 5 yr, $80 million
  • 6 yr, $84 million
Prediction: 5 yr, $80 million

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)