Below is a look at how valuable every player was to the Rays this season in relation to their salary.

We determined each players value on the field using WAR (Wins Above Replacement; via That number is then converted to dollars (1 Win = ~$4.5 million based on how much teams pay for talent on the free agent market). We then compared each player’s value on the field to their salary (salaries for players not with the Rays all season were prorated).

In short, Value = WAR$ – Salary.

If a player has a positive value in the chart below, their on-field production (WAR$) was greater than what the Rays paid that player. In other words, that player was worth more to the Rays than what they paid him. On the other hand, if a player has a negative value, the Rays paid more than he was worth.

For example, Ben Zobrist had a $4.5 million salary this season. However, his 5.9 WAR was worth $26.4 million in production (the Rays would have to spend roughly $26.4 million on free agents to replace Zobrist’s production. Yes, he’s that good.). Therefore, Zobrist was worth $21.9 million more to the Rays than what they paid him.

Here is the VALUE for every player that was on the roster this season. There are probably not a lot of surprises on here, but it does give you a good sense of whom the Rays’ most (and least) valuable players really are (values in millions)…



  1. Greg says:

    Very neat, Cork. I like it. One last step to take: sum the total to get $137.6M for the roster (if I added correctly). So I'm not sure of the actual cost that we ended up spending on players for the season if you take into account how the roster shifted all season as players came and went, but I'm sure it was far less than $137.6M. I guess it's a nice quick evaluation method of GMs.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Based on players coming and going, I calculated actual payroll at $67.4 million for 2012 (most numbers we hear are just opening day payrolls). And the Rays got $205.2 million worth of production out of the players. It is a good indicator of how well a GM is doing.

      However, it would be tough to rank GMs in this manner. All teams get value out of young players because they are so cheap. And expensive veterans tend to offer little value in this sense. So the Yankees are not going to get a lot of value from their players, but they do get a lot of production.

      So Friedman is doing better than the Royals GM. And Cashman did better this year than the Red Sox GM. But did Friedman do a better job than Cashman just because he got more value? Or did Cashman do better because he got more production and went to the playoffs? It's really apples and oranges. But amongst teams that rely on young talent, the Rays probably rank in the top 2 or 3 (The A's were probably #1).

  2. don says:

    I didn't need any WAR figures or any other figures, I've been telling everyone who the best player( most valuable) player was on this team...since CC left...
    Kepp is 4th behind pitchers and boy wonder...will they be smart enough to resign him....we will see
    Longoria (superstar) below Joyce interesting...

  3. LaneMeyer says:

    This doesn't seem to take injury into account in any way. While I understand the team is still paying their salary while they are on the DL, the player has no chance to produce during that time either. I would like to see injured players pro-rated for the portion of the season they were actually on the roster.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I understand that side of the argument. But even though injuries skew the production, that is a risk teams take. The salaries are not prorated. And at what point do we consider or not consider injuries to be part of the lack of production? For example, if Desmond Jennings gets hurt and misses half the season we prorate it. But what about Luke Scott and Kyle Farnsworth? Weren't injuries part of the risk of signing those players? So it doesn't seem fair if we do prorate their time on the active roster. But then where do we draw the line?

      • Geoff Peterson says:

        I can see looking at it your way in terms of picking up an option but for an already signed player, their production will hopefully be back to normal this season, a la Longoria. I certainly don't think Longoria is the 12th most valuable player to this team, he just had an injury plagued year. I'm hoping he's back to the 30/100 range again this year.

  4. Dave L says:

    I dont see how Matsui could be so negative as his salary was not too big and his tenure was rather short but i guess that explains Vogt with his 0-fer but he didn't cost us very much and his time was even shorter.

    I would have thought Pena with his season long mediocrity and higher salary would have been more of a drag.

    Did anyone read the ESPN article about "5 AL moves that need to happen"

    1. Tampa Rays trade LHP David Price and SS Tim Beckham to the Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Justin Upton and RHP Trevor Bauer

    2. New York Yankees sign B.J. Upton for five years, $75 million

    These guys just dream this stuff up.

    David Price is a dominant LEFT handed pitcher. You dont get rid of a guy like that until you have to. I realize he wont have another Cy Young year next year probably but his value will not drop enough to not swap it for another year of service to the Rays.

    To go into 2013 with only MM as a LH starter is not good. I dont care what bats we get. Losing Sheilds can be helped by a combo of RHP Cobb and Archer increasing workloads but losing Price there is no replacement when we need to shut down a lineup of hot lefty bats.

    It aint gonna happen but the Northeastern baseball writers can only hope it will come true to help the teams they worship.

    • Don says:

      And Upton take over Yankee CF for C. granderson (40hr& better defense) not in this life time, not for Swisher RF, Lf hitting 8th or 9th(.240) for $75mil.?really?They do have a good hitting coach in NY, maybe telling Management "I can Help that kid...but ....
      Price will be gone soon enough..few more arbitration years then out...

  5. Eugenio Brzezowski says:

    It's worse than you-all think the MSM is not Statist they are State Capitalist. They serve the owners of the federal government. You know, the guys who pay 15% federal tax on their 30-millionth dollar, while a self-employed person like me pays over 30% federal tax on my First taxable dollar!


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