Yesterday we looked Dioner Navarro's approximate value, today let's do the same for Willy Aybar. With Aybar, it's hard to evaluate on the "last three years" scale. He's accumulated three years of service time, but only ~750 plate appearance. An absence in the middle of his most recent seasons does no favors for us. We're left with a reliance on recent data, so what does that data say?
- Aybar's 2008 was harmed by a poor batting average on balls in play, .267 to be exact. I'm hesitant to quote his career .298 BABIP too heavily, but that's about average, so let's roll with it. In 2008, Aybar put 270 balls into play and recorded 72 non-homerun hits.
- If he repeats that next season with a .298 BABIP he'll gain eight non-homerun hits. That changes quite a bit, instead of a .253 batting average we're talking about a .278 batting average. Even if those eight hits are singles, Aybar's line morphs into .278/.352/.435. That's quite a bit more pleasing than .253/.327/.410.
- Aybar played above average at multiple defensive positions. Mostly at first and third, but he did manage to rate above average up the middle, albeit in a small sample size. It's interesting that in 192.3 career innings at second Aybar has a career UZR of 3.1. Off-topic, but I really do hope we look at him there.
- Odds are, Aybar is better offensively next year than last, but the chore is going to be finding plate appearances for him. A full-time DH, right field platoon, and presumably full season from Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, and Jason Bartlett is going to make this an issue. Yes, this team is so stacked that finding playing time for an average-to-above average player is an "issue".
- In terms of value, Aybar is a ~1.5 win player on this team, and probably a ~2.5 win player on most other teams. Depending on how much you're valuing wins, you get a range of 2.7-2.9 million. Aybar's asking nowhere near that, so even if they lose the arbitration hearing, they win the value game.