The Astros signing of Victor Caratini was one of the most cost-efficient free agent signings so far this season. I will show you why I call him a bargain as I go through the numbers.
I pulled the actual signing AAV for every player signed through mid-day 12/11/23. I also included the projected AAV from fangraphs.com and The Athletic for those who have not been signed yet.
Here are the FA signings for all position players with Fangraphs WAR projections greater than 1.0. The Korean star Jung Hoo Lee does not have a Fangraphs WAR projection I could find. Gio Urshela does not have a projected AAV on the two sources I pulled.
Notice where the Victor Caratini signing is on this list.
The Astros are paying Caratini $6M for a projected WAR of 1.4. That makes it the second most efficient deal on this list.
Therefore, of all of the position players that are projected to make a material difference for the team that signs them, the Astros have made what is projected to be the SECOND BEST deal. This includes the EXPECTED deals for those who are currently unsigned.
Wait, I am also burying a second lead. Of all of the position players that are projected to make a material difference for the team that signs them (19 players), ONLY TWO - Caratini and some guy named Ohtani- have been signed.
Wait, I am burying a third lead. There are only 18-19 players that one would project to give their team more than 1.0 WAR. That is less than Jake Meyers's projected 2024 WAR.
What about the pitchers?
Here is the Starting Pitcher table with the same greater than 1.0 WAR minimum. There are 32 SP in this table and 10 have been signed.
The Caratini deal efficiency looks good against this group as well. I highlighted Manaea above, because he is my target in this group if Crane is willing to pay him. He is LH and younger than the other efficient LHSP in this table.
Here is the Relief Pitcher table but the minimum has been lowered to 0.2.
Over half of this table of 40 RP does not have a projected salary. As you can see the relative efficiency for RP is not good. That is why I proposed maybe this is an area to get some older lower cost short term LHRP options and see what works in the 4/5 RP role. The options for LHPRP are VERY limited. You can also see why the Astros might consider Robert Stevenson.
Given all of this, now you see why I call Caratini a bargin free agent signing for the Astros.
I know we are all anxious for more Astros deals. The tables above will be updated as we go forward with new deals. We will see how good the Astros do at getting efficient deals done this year.
Support the Site
Do you want to support this site? Do you want to make sure you continue to get real analysis like this?
It takes time and it does cost money, I really would appreciate your support of the work. Here is your opportunity to do that at a nominal cost. This support will help me continue to provide you what I do- objective analysis of your teams. It will also help the site improve and expand our reach.
If you don't think our work is worthy of financial support, I will accept your non-action feedback humbly.
Astros Caratini bargain free agent