Birds By the Numbers Part II: Bang for your Buck?

With half of the baseball season in the books, there’s been a lot of talk about how the Orioles’ offseason acquisitions have panned out and if their hefty salaries were worth it.

Below is a rough way of measuring each players’ value based on their performance at the plate so far. I took the salaries of Derrek Lee, J.J. Hardy, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds and the lone O’s All-Star, Matt Wieters and divided them by the major offensive statistics (RBI, home runs and batting average). Obviously Wieters is not an offseason pickup, but he provides a nice contrast given his small salary.

Basically, the calculations reflect how much each RBI/HR/BA point has cost Baltimore so far this season. Every total is rounded to the nearest dollar.

Entering this season, the Orioles had the 17th highest team salary and 3rd highest in the AL East with a payroll of $85,304,038.

Note: The annual salary numbers come from ESPN and USA Today

Cost per RBI

1. Matt Wieters: $13,301
2. Mark Reynolds: $108,844
3. J.J. Hardy: $177,273
4. Vladimir Guerrero: $245,531
5. Derrek Lee: $258,929

Cost per Home Run

1. Matt Wieters: $56,531
2. Mark Reynolds: $266,667
3. J.J. Hardy: $450,000
4. Derrek Lee: $805,556
5. Vladimir Guerrero: $1,087,351

Cost per Batting Average point

1. Matt Wieters: $1,713
2. J.J. Hardy: $ 21,043
3. Mark Reynolds: $ 23,495
4. Vladimir Guerrero: $ 27,281
5. Derrek Lee: $ 30,851

And here is the raw data, ranked by highest salary to lowest. The number preceding the player’s name indicates his yearly salary rank within the Orioles. The rank in parenthesis following his RBI/HR/BA total also reflects where he sits within the team.

2. Vladimir Guerrero: $7,611,455
31 RBI (6th)
7 HRs (T-7th)
.279 (6th)

3. Derrek Lee: $7,250,000
28 RBI (7th)
9 HRs (T-4th)
.235 (13th)

5. J.J. Hardy: $5,850,000
33 RBI (5th)
13 HRs (2nd)
.278 (7th)

7. Mark Reynolds: $5,333,333
49 RBI (T-1st)
20 HRs (1st)
.227 (15th)

13. Matt Wieters: $452,250
34 RBIs (4th)
8 HRs (6th)
.264 (8th)

Also interesting to note, reliever Michael Gonzalez has the fourth highest annual salary at $6 million. Meanwhile, Orioles wins-leader Jake Arrieta is near the bottom of the payroll list, with the 17th highest salary at $419,000.

-Avi Zaleon


We did not have many options at first base and I know Derreck Lee has not performed as expected. We were expecting 30 HR’s and 130 RBI’s from this guy. He did not need to be batting third in the line up though for two months. he plays a great first base and has good power at times. Could be worse….did not get LaRoche who is out for the year and turns out Morse is having a better year then expected. Oh my…so thankful we are not stuck with Adam Dunn for what three more years. Reynolds is fourth in strike outs and sixth in walks. When he hits the ball he generally is close to a .400 hitter. Compare his numbers to AROD at 1/4 of the price tag. I am not satisfied with the errors but he does set a good example the way he works a pitcher much like Brian Roberts and Markakis do. Problem is that Vlad is hitting clean up and swings at too many first pitches and well he always swung at bad pitches. Did you see at the pitch he swung against Lackey the other night. He could not have hit it with a telephone pole. Problem is they spend money on pitchers in the bullpen like Jamey Walker, Baez, Steve Kline after great years and they have nothing left. I do not have to mention Gonzalez because that wound is too deep. Thought this was the year that we had some pop in the bat but Markakis, Reynolds, Vlad all started slow and the pitching….i thought our young pitching had matured.
lets hope we can start the season all new and go from here. Truth is we got smacked around in Interleague play and we struggle on the road. We have shown that our pitchings most times cannot hold a lead when we get one for an inning…sometimes not even an out. lost a lot of heart breaking games…three in extra innings to the Yankees and that game in Boston with Guthrie pitching in May was tragic…a 5-0 lead and its gone in an instant. I still think we have a solid team and we are great up the middle….outside of second base.
Please…please get Vladdy out of clean up and why is Reynolds and Reimhold batting at the bottom of the line up????

Not a terrible first half compared to last year, but I expected much better. Reynolds took a while to heat up but now is looking great, doing what we paid him for, to hit the long ball. Vladdy has lost most his pop, but still manages to get a hit or two most games. Lee has on and off games where he will get 3 hits one game and none the next three games. Reimold still needs time in the minors, and I don’t see a lot of hustle from him in the outfield. Markakis was a complete dud in the beginning, but has shaped up to be the Markakis all O’s fans know and love. It’s a shame about B-Rob, because he really was a hitter fans could count on and an all-star second baseman. Hardy has been a diamond-in-the-rough, and through great range and hitting capability, has turned into one of the top shortstops in the league. I’m really getting tired of Andino, because he always seems to kill a rare O’s rally. His fielding skills are definitely there, but his bat is dead. Jones and Wieters are both having great years, and I just hope the pitching staff can turn things around.

Hey O’s community, it’s time to stop the vanity. Stop bringing shame to the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, MLB, and the Professional Sports Industry in general. Let’s turn this ship around before it’s too late. Let’s do what it takes to restore the O’s and our community to the level of excellence we deserve.

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