How much is Prince Fielder worth?

We’ve talked a lot about Albert Pujols and taken a look at his value, but I don’t believe we’ve done so with Fielder. Apparently many executives think he’ll sign with the Cubs. I’m not optimistic about it, but it’s worth looking at anyway. CAIRO projects 4.4 WAR while Oliver projects 4.0. Let’s split the difference and go with 4.2 in 2012.

Year: age, WAR
2012: 28, 4.2
2013: 29, 4.0
2014: 30, 3.5
2015: 31, 3.0
2016: 32, 2.5
2017: 33, 2.0
2018: 34, 1.5
2019: 35, 1.0

I only took .2 WAR away from entering his age 29 seaon figuring it’s close enough to the prime that maybe we shouldn’t subtract by .5 WAR to begin with. He’ll be league average or better through 2017 so let’s start with a 6-year contract. We’ll use $5 million per win in 2012 with 5% inflation each year.

Year $ per-win WAR $WAR
2012 5.0 4.2 $21.0
2013 5.3 4 $21.0
2014 5.5 3.5 $19.3
2015 5.8 3 $17.4
2016 6.1 2.5 $15.2
2017 6.4 2 $12.8
Total 19.2 $106.6

Those numbers are anywhere close to the numbers we’ve seen thrown around so far. Let’s look at 7 years.

In 2018 the projected win value would be $6.7 million. We’d project Fielder to be worth 1.5 WAR for a total $WAR of $10.1 million. Over those 7 years he’d be worth 20.7 WAR and $116.7 million.

The 8th year (2019) he adds 1 WAR and is worth $7.0 million $WAR. Total contract for 8 years is $123.7 million.

If we were to start at 5 WAR rather than 4.2 you end up with an 8-year contract for $161.9 million. He provides 28.1 WAR over those 8 years and is worth 1.8 WAR in the final year of the contract.

If the bidding goes higher than that I find it almost impossible to believe that Theo and Jed Hoyer are going to get involved. So sure, they’re involved at some level, but that level can’t possible be higher than 8 years and $161.9 million. That’s the maximum Fielder should get. That includes a generous projection, little to no aging after the first year followed by .5 WAR decreases and beginning with $5 million per win. The value per win may even be high.

I think 6 years and $125 million is about the highest I’d go.


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