Ken Davidoff uses the Wins Above Replacement stat to break down this year's top free agents.
"For my rankings, I took away all of the subjectivity and relied exclusively on WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. It's a metric devised by respected statistical analyst Tom Tango -- he now does work for the Mariners -- that calculates how many victories each player produced relative to the "replacement-level player" at his position. It incorporates both offense and defense for position players, and if you notice the absence of relief pitchers, that's because there isn't as wide a gulf between accomplished relievers and their replacement-level equivalents as there is for, say, a good shortstop and his replacement-level equivalent.
"I added each free agent's WAR of the last two years, figuring that teams would be somewhat willing to overlook a shaky 2009 in favor of a better 2008, and would keep a bad 2008 in mind even with a good 2009.
"So these rankings don't reflect the top 30 most wanted free agents, but they do represent the top 30 most valuable free agents of the last two years. The projected contracts include other factors like players' ages, Q factors and respective markets, and individual teams' finances and motivations."
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