Toronto Blue Jays' CHONE projections: Pie in the Sky

Ian HunterCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2010

BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 29:  Jason Frasor #54 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates the win over the Boston Red Sox on September 29, 2009 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.The Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox 8-7.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Not even the most clairvoyant psychics can predict the future with complete accuracy, but when it comes to projecting baseball stats, few do it better than CHONE .

CHONE just recently released its projections for the 2010 season, and it's fair to say that, compared to the big dogs in the American League East, players on the Toronto Blue Jays are significantly lacking when it comes to star players who provide wins above replacement level.

Regardless, I decided to put together a simple pie graph based on those 2010 WAR CHONE projections, which finally made all of those hours goofing off in 10th-grade computer class worth while.

Pitchers were left out because CHONE did not have WAR projections for many of the starting pitchers and relievers, so I just went with the positional players. I also omitted any positional players on the 40-man roster or Spring Training invitees whose WAR was a negative value.

First off, it's interesting to note that, after Hill, Lind, Overbay, Wells, and Snider, there is a glut of players in the middle who are signed to minor league contracts and have higher WAR totals than the majority of the starting lineup. Standout candidates include guys like Mike McCoy, Joey Gathright, and Jarrett Hoffpauir, who theoretically might not even crack the 25-man roster out of Spring Training.

What are the WAR values relative to their salary? I took it a step further and broke down how the payroll is divided amongst the positional players as well.

Obviously, what sticks out like a sore thumb is the Blue Jays' almost literally have all their eggs in one basket with Vernon Wells. His $21 million salary in 2010 accounts for 42 percent of the entire payroll devoted to position players. Even if Wells does bounce back this season, his value will be nowhere near the amount of money the Blue Jays will be paying him for the next five years.

The left side of the infield, which includes Encarnacion, McDonald, and Gonzalez, accounts for 18 percent of the total salary for the starting lineup. The combination of those three infielders only total 2.2 wins above replacement level.

So, what conclusions can we draw from these graphs? If the CHONE projections are accurate, as predicted by most, the young guns will be the main contributors in 2010, with the old simply veterans rounding out the pack.

Some players are grossly overpaid, some are grossly underpaid, and then there are others in the middle who are receiving fair market value for the skills they contribute to the team.