Fangraphs CrowdSourcing Contract: 4 years / $44.5 million, 11.1 AAV

After a year that he hit .273/.338/.466 (117 wRC+), won a World Series, and registered 3.6 Wins Above Replacement, the Red Sox didn’t even make Jarrod Saltalamacchia a qualifying offer. For some reason, the thought of paying him $14.1 million for one year was so repulsive that Boston was willing to forfeit the opportunity of gaining a draft pick if he signed elsewhere.

The question is why? What made Saltalammachia so unappealing to Boston that they were afraid to extend a QO? Was it his disdain for Hispanic players? Probably not. The descendants of Tom Yawkey love that stuff.

We believe the answer is that 2013 was an outlier for the 28-year old. His numbers were inflated by a sky-high BABIP of .372, 5th-highest in MLB (minimum 450 PA). That’s not repeatable, and likely reason #1 Boston didn’t extend him a QO. Considering he strikes out 30% of the time and only walks at an average rate, sub-.300 OBPs will return if he can’t duplicate such an elevated BABIP. Over the 2011 & 2012 seasons, Saltalamacchia hit .228/.288/.452 (96 wRC+). That’s closer to his true talent level than this year’s numbers.

That doesn’t mean Saltalamacchia won’t be a valuable player. In 2011 and 2012, he was worth a tad less than 2 WAR in each season. On a one or two year deal, he’d be an adequate signing. However, let’s not be fooled by his 2013 campaign. He’s not that good and shouldn’t be paid as such.