**Offseason Mode**

With the regular season completed, and free agency and related player movement a month or so away, I’d like to take this time to explore a couple issues that have been floating inside my head.

First of all, I’d like to explore the fiscal efficiency of putting together a roster. Or in other words, how much bang teams get for their bucks. In today’s game, paying a replacement-level player more than replacement-level money will quickly lead to an inefficient use of money, which, especially in medium-to-smaller markets, will lead to losing seasons.

Let me back up a second with some definitions. When I use the words replacement-level, I refer to a ficticious player who has exactly league-average statistics for his position. Baseball Prospectus rates players in reference to a replacement-level statisctics through something called VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player. If a player has positive VORP, then he is more valuable than at least half the players at his particular position. If he has a negative VORP, then he is less valuable than the average player at his position.

Now how can you relate this measurement to a team’s fiscal efficiency? By comparing his on-the-field value to his monetary value. In this instance, I’ll use my own concocted statistic called SORP, or Salary over Replacement Player. The median salary in baseball in 2003 was $2,555, 476, so I’ll use that as what a totally average player at his position should be paid. In no way am I attempting a scientific statistical analysis, but it should give us fans a realistic picture of whether a player was overpaid or underpaid.

VORP measures hitting production in runs, and is pretty difficult to use comparatively, so I’m going to use EQA instead. EQA’s baseline for average players at each position is set at .260, so it will be a lot easier to compare (and the scale is such that good EQAs and bad EQAs are fairly recognizable with the baseline being .260)

I’ll start with an analysis of the Indians’ 2003 season, and then, I’ll move onto other teams and see where the Indians rank.

Also, I’m compiling an Excel sheet with the entire organizational roster of hitters, complete with statistics. I’m trying to formulate my own grading system (on a scale of 100) for the prospects, so please bear with me.

I’ll post updates as the numbers are crunched