The Biggest WAR Bargains of 2009: Part 2

Shin-Soo Choo
Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

Last week I covered the top 5 position player bargains of the year – and despite the fact that they were great talents, had for cheap, they were still, mainly, pretty big names. This week, for part two, I’ll try to dive into 5 of the lesser known bargains. Once again, and this is something I should have clarified in part 1, is that I am only covering position players. So here we go:

Shin-Soo Choo:

It saddens me to write this, as I am a Mariners fan, and Choo used to be a young Mariner, but there’s no denying it – he’s good. Choo had a .300, 20/20 year, and only made a little over 400 grand. His actual 2009 value? $22.9 million. That’s a $22.5 million asset. Not only was he a huge bargain this year for Cleveland, but he will be next year as well in all likelihood, as he’ll still be making nearly the minimum for one more season.

Nyjer Morgan:

Nyjer Morgan is living proof that you cannot overvalue defense. He was only 5.2 runs above average offensively this season, but his defense in the outfield was so spectacular, that he was still worth nearly 5 wins above replacement. Morgan, much like Choo, made nearly the minimum in ’09, and will in ’10 as well.

Jason Bartlett:

Now, Bartlett made a bit more than $400,000 in 2009 – in fact, he made just under $2 million – but he was worth much more than that. He’s rarely considered by the casual fan when thinking about the best shortstops in the game, but he deserves to be. By WAR, he was the 4th most valuable shortstop in baseball this year, behind Derek Jeter, Hanley Ramirez, and Troy Tulowitzki. His actual value for ’09? $21.7 million.

Marco Scutaro:

Scutaro isn’t exactly an upcoming star like the last three, but he had a great year for not much money nonetheless. He’s 34, so I wouldn’t expect him to improve much, but he certainly gave the Blue Jays a bang for their buck in 2009. He had an excellent offensive season, and was an $18.8 million asset for Toronto.

Kendry Morales:

Morales was practically an unknown prior to ’09 – he had never played more than 57 games in a major league season, and his numbers had been less than impressive. He put together an excellent season in 2009, though, and even made his way into a lot of AL MVP discussions. Now, don’t get me wrong, he really doesn’t deserve to be even considered for the MVP award, but he put together a great year, and was worth over $19 million, despite only earning $1.1 million.

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