I built this over the weekend and almost didn't post due to the Frazier trade and Ray signing but figured it could still be fun for some people. YOU WILL WANT TO DOWNLOAD THE FILE SO YOU AREN'T SEEING EVERYONE ELSE'S CHANGES.
I wanted to put together a tool that I could use to see what possible avenues the M's have to build a contending team using the M's stated payroll increase and fWAR projections to evaluate the quality of the resulting team. Spoiler: The M's have to spend all $80-$90M just to be a WC contender. Improvements from young players like Kelenic, Gilbert, Toro and the bullpen avoiding regression from last year could get us the division title and make us serious WS contenders.
Anyways, here are my notes on the file and my methodology for coming up with this:
1. I used Fangraphs Steamer projections to estimate player value for '22. For pitchers, I chose to use RA9-WAR as that is a better indicator of actual outcomes as opposed to using standard fWAR which tracks and predicts a pitcher's independent performance. I found it strange that Kelenic was projected for 540 PA so I made an adjustment to his steamer projection by converting his projected WAR into WAR/162.
2. In order to make this a more realistic task to complete, I limited the user to 5 offseason acquisitions - acquisitions that have been speculated and are obvious needs. 2 SP, 2 IF, 1 OF.
3. The spreadsheet is split into 3 different sections:
Player Acquisition- This is where you can choose which players to acquire. You'll see their projected WAR and salary added to the totals below.
Roster Outlook- What the roster would like.
Free Agency & Trade Targets- A list of players that have been discussed as potential targets split into 3 groups (SP/IF/OF+1B+DH).
4. Every time you add a player, the WAR for the player that they replaced will go down according to my arbitrary methodology. EX: For every starting pitcher added, the projected WAR for the #5/#6/#7 starters goes down as they are less likely to see playtime. You'll notice Toro has a lower projected WAR on this sheet than on Fangraphs - this is because Frazier now will eat into his PA. If you add another infielder, Toro's projected WAR will go down again.
5. I added a salary component. DiPoto has thrown out $80-$90M as an amount he'd like to spend so I split the difference. You can of course play around however you want but I think the $85M threshold is a good barometer.
6. Trade targets are included with their projected 2022 salaries! Just keep in mind the prospects that would need to be traded to pick up a player via trade. The trade targets are marked in PURPLE on the right-hand side.
7. Frazier and Ray are locked in.