Valuing the 2011 free agent class: Victor Martinez

Starting today and continuing to and through the off-season, I will attempt to gauge the market value of several high profile upcoming free agents. Victor Martinez of the Boston Red Sox will be the first case. Also, be prepared for a lot of monotonous posts in this series.

By the start of the 2011 season, Victor Martinez will be 32 years old. Since becoming a full time starting catcher in 2004, Victor Martinez has been one of the best hitting catcher’s in baseball. In 4008 career PA he has a line of .298/.369/.466/.359/122. For 2010 his line over 322 PA is .283/.342/.468/.351/115. So it’s established that he can hit the ball. However, he is one of the game’s worst defensive catcher’s. His CS% is 19% in 2010 and 23% for his career among just not being a very good fielder of his position.

Considering he is a bad defensive catcher, he is tough to project. Obviously he holds value if he can stay put at catcher, but a team might find it best to make him a 1b/DH. Catcher is also a demanding position, so it could hamper his offense going forward. V-Mart had a 5.9 WAR in 2007, missed most of 2008, had a 4.2 WAR in 2009, and has a 1.9 WAR this season (4.1 per 700 pace).

So I think it’s fair to project him as a 4.5 WAR player in 2011 with a decrease of 0.5 WAR moving forward each season. Without adjusting for inflation and using an estimated market rate of $4.4mil per win, over a four year deal he would be worth about $66mil.

Before the 2008 season, the New York Yankees gave a 36 year old Jorge Posada a 4/$52.4mil deal. He was four years older at the time than V-Mart, but coming off a 6.4 WAR season. So I think it makes sense that Martinez should earn about $14mil more. I think the two are eerily similar players and if V-Mart can maintain his current level of production, 4/$66mil will be a solid deal.

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6 Comments on “Valuing the 2011 free agent class: Victor Martinez”

  1. Bob Says:

    This sucked.


  2. […] the summer I tried making this a series, but the only player I covered was Victor Martinez. Oh well, there’s still plenty of time to do this, so I’ll get the ball moving along […]


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