Saturday, December 10, 2011

C.J. Wilson Makes Angels Rotation Even Better

Right after the Angels landed Albert Pujols, the best free agent of the off-season they went on and added the best starting pitcher, C.J. Wilson. Adding Wilson to the rotation makes the Angels' pitching even better than it was before the signing. Since converting to a starter in 2010 Wilson has totaled 10.5 WAR and a FIP- of 78, making him one of the best pitchers in baseball. The Angels rotation was already good enough before Wilson arrived. As a starting staff they had 17 WAR (.6 came from Chatwood, he was traded to Colorado in the Iannetta deal. Without Chatwood the starters had 16.4 WAR). Overall, they were 4th in all of baseball with 17.8 pitcher WAR. I didn't factor in pitchers who only pitched a few games. They were also 5th overall in FIP-, C.J. Wilson should only make them better.

The Angels should also expect to get good value from Wilson during his contract. In 2010 he posted 4.6 WAR and gave the Rangers $18.5 million dollars of value, last year he posted 5.9 WAR and was worth $26.5 million dollars of value. The Angels are paying him $15.5 million a year. Using $4.5/win and accounting for the 5% inflation per year we get the following value numbers for Wilson.

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Overall, Wilson should give the Angels $98.23 million dollars of value, meaning they get $20.73 million dollars in surplus value, a number like this extraordinary. Before free agency started it was rumored that Wilson was looking for 6 years and $100+, the Angels saved a ton of money while getting value out of Wilson. While Wilson will most likely be the Angels number three starter based on last years numbers he could be the number two, ahead of Haren and has the potential to be the number one.


  1. Not the greatest at writing about pitchers yet, would love tips/constructive criticism.

  2. There are a couple things about Wilson showing he may not be able to sustain such a high level of performance. His SwStr% is low for his K%, so he may not be able to keep such high K totals. His HR/FB% has been below average, which is possibly skill, but we shouldn't expect it to be lower than last year's 8.2%. His walk rate took a big dive last year, which could be skill, but I'd guess he'd regress back towards previous years' totals. I'd guess he'll be closer to 4 WAR than 5 WAR next year, which really hurts projections of his contract value.

  3. Ahh. So he's better suited in the middle of the rotation? As far as innings go, he's only pitched like 800. Could he be a 3 WAR player in his later years? I know I've made some errors but I feel this blog is helping.

  4. He's a good #2, but the Angels already have an ace and a marginal ace. As far as his career innings, that may end up helping his career. He threw less pitches early in his career as a reliever, so he may have more left in the tank than most pitchers of his age. He made it through the first 2 seasons injury-free, usually the toughest in the reliever-to-starter transition. Pitchers are so much harder to predict, due to their higher injury risk. Since it's such a backloaded contract, I doubt he will be worth his salary the last couple years, but he should be able to provide a lot of surplus value the first couple years.