Tampa Bay Rays Re-Sign Gabe Kapler For One-Year, $1.05M

Per the Rays press release:

Back in September I wrote this:

It's fair to say Kapler is the superior hitter and Perez the superior fielder. So where do you draw the line on either? As mentioned, Perez is younger - cheaper too - and not yet out of options. This means, he can be sent up and down next season as the Rays please without being offered to waivers.  

Okay, so let's look at the numbers. In statistical terms, if we assume Kapler will OPS .950 (Ed note: Kapler's last three years actually have him with a .965 OPS against lefties, but I wanted to prove my point by contracting the difference into something more reasonable and round) and Perez .800 in 200 plate appearances, then Perez must be 12 runs better defensively to register as the better player. Let's say Perez is +8 on defense and the difference is four runs. That's a pretty marginal difference, all told, but since wins are worth about 4.84 million, and this is 0.4 of a win, we can see that Kapler is worth 1.94 million more than Perez - at least based on our projections which I'm not claiming are anywhere near accurate.  That means our logical test on whether Kapler should be re-signed or not is pretty simple. It comes down to this equation:

X - 400,000 = 1.94 million

Where X is Kapler's proposed salary, 400,000 is Perez' salary, and 1.94 million is the predetermined value of the performance gap. The Rays could go cost efficient and just say to heck with Kapler, or they could keep him around and reap the quantitative and qualitative benefits.

The deal is for $1.05M which falls within that range. A win usually runs about four times that, and here the Rays just bought 1-1.5 wins for a million. Good move.

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