__Update__: Carl Crawford was just signed by the Boston Red Sox for 7 years and $142 million. It looks like I nailed this one with Tango's framework. Check out what I wrote a few days ago (below).Tom Tango recently did some work to determine how a player will age over a contract, and according to him, it looks as though a regression of 0.5 wins above replacement per season is a good place to start for an elite player hitting free agency. That framework seems to work best for player age 28-33, and perhaps, a more robust drop of 0.7 should be applied to players that are 34 and older. That makes sense intuitively, because we know that in the post-steroid era, a players skills erode precipitously at advanced ages (as they should), and you can almost see it before your very eyes.

I used this very framework most recently to try and come to some conclusion on what

**Miguel Tejada**might be worth next season. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best instance to use this methodology because even over several years you’re not going to get perfect linear regression for a single player, and thus over a single year you’re really drawing at straws.

Joey over at BBTIA (Baseball Time in Arlington) applied this very same framework to

**Cliff Lee**. He came to the conclusion that Lee might be worth around $143 million over a six year deal paying him $23.3 million per season (straight line) and ending in 2016 when he’s 37. That’s if he was 1) worth 6 wins in 2011 2) regressed at just .5 wins per season and 3) starting with $4.5 million in 2011, the cost per win in baseball increased at a rate of 5% per season. His other (less peachy) scenario had him declining at .7 wins per season, which ultimately leaves his value at $127 million on a six year deal, a non-disaster of $13 million in overpayment; otherwise known as: who gives a crap if you win a World Series because of it?

It only seemed fitting despite the fact that I’m a Giants blogger and there seems a slightly greater chance that Sabean brings back

**Willie Mays**than Carl Craword, that someone try this on Mr. Crawford as well. Here goes.

My assumptions are that Crawford is worth 5.45 wins above replacement in 2011. Why not? I got this by splitting the Fangraphs – a site that loves Crawford – WAR from 2009 as well as the Basebalal-Reference – who very much likes

**Carl Crawford**– WAR for 2009, and splitting them 50/50. That method renders Crawford worth 5.05 wins in 2009. I did the same for 2010 which yielded a value of 5.85 wins. Finally, I averaged the two years to surmise his worth is 5.45 wins in 2011. This seemed a reasonable place to start, at least to me.

Next, I assumed Crawford would get a deal of $140 million – the same deal Lee got in Joey’s scenario – except over 7 years instead of 6. I did this because Crawford is 3 years younger and it’s assumed he will age well. I think there’s a strong likelihood he gets a 6-8 year deal, he’s asking for 8, so I went with 7 or in between the two. Also, I went with just a $20 million annual salary because he’s a corner outfielder, and somehow I feel that may prevent him from getting truly elite annual salary dollars.

In terms of dollar per win increases, I also went with a 5% increase per year, making a free agent win cost around $6 million in 2017. That seems reasonable enough to me, right now, but I realize this could swing significantly.

My last assumption was that Crawford would regress by 0.5 wins for the first 3 seasons (30-33) and then by .7 wins in his final two seasons (34-35). This was a blending of sorts with what Joey did; he opted to create two scenarios where in one he regressed by .5 and the other by .7. I, however, wanted to present a single scenario to justify a hypothetical contract for Crawford, as well as to regress him more rapidly only in the latter years of his contract.

All said and done, Crawford – again, using these assumptions – would be worth more than the $20 million per over the first four seasons ($90.57 million value versus $80 million salary), and then be worth less than his annual check in his final three seasons ($47.03 value versus $60 million salary). It looks to me like Crawford is a good bet to be worth around $140 million over seven years, and having said that, I won’t be the least bit surprised if he gets a similar deal to that of

**Cliff Lee**. Feel free to plug in your own assumptions; I'll throw my spreadsheet onto my Box.net gadget on the right-hand side to make it easier for you.

And finally, no Giants fans, Crawford will not be roaming left field at AT&T in 2010.

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