It should be noted that the BORAS model uses the same approach, but projects terms different for different player cohorts: positional, starting pitching, and relief pitchers. One of the interesting aspects from the positional version was that two seasons ago (2014 for this year's free agent class) was valued least for the most part when it came to determining what level a pay a player would wind up agreeing to. For the BORAS pitching model, this is also apparent, but to a much greater degree.
For a pitcher, 80% of his performance value comes from the previous season (2015, for this class). Three seasons ago, 16% of his performance value comes from then. Two years ago, 4%. This follows the same pattern as the batters, but with considerably more value placed on the more recent season and nearly no value placed on two seasons ago. I am still at a loss. Maybe the players who hit the market are ones with a shaky history or else they would have been secured by their former team. I am uncertain.
Anyway, we will be using the simple framework of expected income that I introduced last time.
Below is the list of pitchers who received QOs:
YR $ Total 1 16 16 2 10 26 3 6 32 4 2 34 5 1 35
This group contains several interesting names who were able to receive QOs and may well do best to accept them. Brett Anderson is a pitcher who is on the margin. I had a 3/32 contract be his cutoff point while BORAS thinks he will wind up with a 3/32.7 deal. If I was Anderson, I would be somewhat concerned because if I am a fringe QO pitcher then how will teams value the draft pick they have to give up for signing me. He may well see something a bit more south of 32.7 MM. Further complicating the decision for Anderson is that he has had difficulty pitching a full season recently and that may encourage him to grab dedicated money.
AGE Yrs AAV Total Brett Anderson 28 3 10.9 32.7 Wei-Yin Chen 30 4 16 64 Marco Estrada 32 3 13.3 39.9 Yovanni Gallardo 30 4 15.9 63.6 Zack Greinke 32 7 28.6 200.2 Hisashi Iwakuma 35 2 13 26 Ian Kennedy 31 2 5.9 11.8 John Lackey 37 3 17.4 52.2 Jeff Samardzija 31 3 10.9 32.7 Jordan Zimmermann 30 5 17.5 87.5
Much of the talk about the first player to accept a QO has been placed on Marco Estrada. However, BORAS sees him as a pretty safe QO refusal. Projected as a recipient of a 3/39.9 contract, he has considerable buffer above the 32 MM point. While he is a soft tosser and may well be a one year wonder, his underlying peripherals and his actual performance in 2015 seem to back each other up. There should be several teams that believe he is as good as he was last season. Toronto seems to be one of them.
Hisashi Iwakuma has been a bit of a mystery in terms of what he is looking for in a contract. He has signed several short term deals and is rumored to only have interest on the West Coast, perhaps only Seattle. On a one year deal, Iwakuma basically is looking at getting exactly what the QO is offering. BORAS thinks a 2/26 deal is fare, but Iwakuma might have no interest in securing himself for a commitment any longer than a year. I think all this does is ensure that Iwakuma is a Mariner or heading back to Japan.
Ian Kennedy is the QO that BORAS thinks is a mistake. That said, I am aware that several teams saw him as a commodity that was largely misused by the Padres. Without a QO on him, he was sure to have garnered the attention of several clubs, but that QO murks up the water a bit. Kennedy has had a tough few years, which has hurt his stock. Grabbing the sure money with the Padres makes a lot of sense, but it could also make a great deal of sense for Kennedy to seek out a club who has a better receiver. If he takes a low market deal for 2016, he could make a killing next off season. With the Padres, he could simply be misused again. Of all of the QOs, Kennedy is the one who I think might do best seeing what lies for him in Free Agency or even waiting until after the draft to sign with another club and reestablish his value.
Finally, Jeff Samardzija coming in at 3/32.7 is another decision sitting on a fence. If a club thinks highly of his predictive peripherals instead of his actual performance, then he should be in line for a 4/60. His peripherals are strong enough that one has to think a club would be willing to give him a lot more than what BORAS suggests.
Personally, I think the only person in the entire 2016 QO class (position players and pitchers) who should accept the offer is Brett Anderson and that decision to accept would be a close one. You can lump Ian Kennedy in there with Anderson, but only if you think the Padres have to personnel in place to improve Kennedy's performance. I am doubtful.
Below is a longer list of pitchers and their BORAS projections. If you want to know the projections for a pitcher who is not listed, post in the comments and I shall abide.