Crowdsourcing free agent contracts

Fangraphs spent several days asking their readers what they thought the better free agents would end up signing for. They released the results and there are a couple things that may surprise some people. I was going to include only the top 10, but since the 11th player on the list is someone who was recently attached to the Cubs, I included him. So, to the top 11.

Player Pos Yrs Real Sal Real Tot Real
Robinson Cano 2B 7.6 $24.5 $186.4
Jacoby Ellsbury CF 6.0 $18.7 $112.0
Shin-Soo Choo COF 5.0 $16.2 $81.1
Brian McCann C 4.4 $14.8 $65.4
Matt Garza SP 4.4 $14.7 $64.5
Curtis Granderson CF 3.5 $14.0 $49.0
Ricky Nolasco SP 3.7 $12.6 $46.1
Ervin Santana SP 3.5 $13.3 $45.9
Ubaldo Jimenez SP 3.6 $12.2 $43.8
Tim Lincecum SP 3.0 $13.3 $40.5
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 3.6 $11.1 $40.3

I know others have said they'd be surpried if Ellsbury signs for anything under $150 million. He may well sign for that much, but the work I did showed him to be worth around $120 million ($124.5 million over 7 years). I estimated $18.9 million annually using Steamer projections and the fans think he'll sign for $18.7 million annually. I think that's interesting. I don't really know why, but it's interesting to me.

I remember when Saltalamacchia was a top prospect and there were huge expectations. He was ranked as high as 18th by Baseball America after the 2005 season. He ended up being traded by the Braves in 2007 in what is probably the silliest trade I ever remember at the time it happened. Look it up. It was nuts to give up that kind of talent.

If Salty costs that much I'd pass. I don't have enough faith in him and honestly, I don't think he'd be much of an improvement, if any.