Why The Michael Cuddyer Signing Might Not Be So Bad After All

First, before I make this post, a disclaimer: I'm very sick right now, so this will not be a long post.

At first glance, the Cuddyer signing seems terrible. A lost draft pick and $20 M for a guy who's projected to accumulate 0.9 WAR next year by Steamer?

However, the more I've researched Cuddyer the more optimistic I've become about the signing. And here's why: park factors.

FanGraphs and Baseball Reference both assume that a player's road games are run-environment neutral. In addition, both websites also assume that each player plays half of their games at home and half of their games on the road. For most players, these two assumptions are small mistakes. For Cuddyer, however, these assumptions are magnified. Let's look at Cuddyer's home/road plate appearance split from 2013-2014.

Home: 80 games played, 339 plate apperances

Road: 99 games played, 406 plate appearances

Now, we must calculate the average park factor in which Cuddyer played in on the road. We'll use this formula to calculate individual park factors, because FanGraphs park factors are cut in half:

100 + ( (FanGraphs PF - 100) * 2)

At Coors Field, for example, we get a park factor of 134 (their FG halved park factor is 117).

Here is what I got: Average Road Park Factor: 95.7, Average Home Park Factor: 134

If we then average the two park factors based on plate appearances, we get:

( (339*134) + (406*95.7) ) / (745) = 113

Now, I know what you're thinking: Noah, is that really that big of a difference? Let's find out by calculating his wRC+ with this new park factor:

2013 = 142.2

2014 = 154.4

Finally, if we do a weighted average of these two values based on plate appearances, we get a wRC+ of 146.

Is that a huge difference over the 142 wRC+ featured on FanGraphs? Not really. But 4 points is 4 points.

Guess which player had a wRC+ closest to Cuddyer's new 146 figure in 2014? Yasiel Puig. Not to mention Puig's "DEF" rating of -5.7 is not too far off from the -6.2 "DEF" Cuddyer accumulated in 2012.

Puig was worth 5.1 WAR in 2014. Am I cherry-picking a bit here? For sure. But the point of this fanpost is to establish that Cuddyer's 2/21 contract is not the disaster that some people are hyping it up to be.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process.