This article was originally published at fantasybullpen.com.
I’m not a huge Dustin Pedroia fan by any stretch of the imagination. He’s one of those players that the fans and the media love.
You know, entirely overrated because he's five feet tall and has no business being as good as he is. But, as I said back in September, Dustin Pedroia is probably the third best second basemen in the league behind Chase Utley and Ian Kinsler.
That is why I was surprised at the amount of money he is getting paid ($6.75 million a year) compared to other players in a similar ranking at their position.
Lets start at first base. Because of the number of quality first basemen, you would expect to pay less for the third-best guy at first base than at second base.
However, if we assume that Justin Morneau is the third best guy at first base, we can see that in fact this is not the case. Justin Morneau makes over $8 million a year.
We can also look at shortstop, another position with far more depth and elite players. Jimmy Rollins is also making over $8 million dollars a year.
In the outfield, Matt Holliday is making over $9 million a year at another position of depth.
When we look at another position of weakness, however, it reveals the almost reverse supply and demand economics of baseball. At catcher, we see guys like Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez making around $6 million a year, putting up elite numbers.
Ok maybe Martinez wasn’t “elite” last year but he was definitely “elite” when he signed his contract.
The point is MLB GMs are looking more at overall value and production than anything to do with position scarcity. Although completely ignoring position scarcity would be foolish, it is an important lesson in both real and fantasy baseball not to let it make your decisions.
I think we can agree, Matt Holiday put up better numbers than Pedroia or Mauer, even if it would be easier to replace him. In the end, the Red Sox made the right choice. They looked at the situation, saw they had an elite second basemen, and decided to sign him knowing they had Dustin Pedroia, not Matt Holliday.
Alex Geshwind is a fantasy baseball analyst for fantasybullpen.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.