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Baseball-related final project

Guest CrimsonCane

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Guest CrimsonCane

I'm not sure if this thread is better placed in the Major League baseball thread, but I figured I'd play it safe and put it in here.


I'm currently fininshing up my final project for an course on Agent-Based Modeling which asked us to model a real world phenomena of interest to us. I decided to try to model some aspects of the major league offseason. Since simulating trades is a bit more complex than the class demands, I decided to focus my project on free agent acquisitions and targeting positions that need improvement.


The gist of the project is that I figure out what players are drastically underperforming relative to their salary. Additionally, I consider each team's payroll as their budget and consider salaries as a percentage of payroll. This is to account for the fact that a $5 million dollar mistake for a team like the Marlins or the Devil Rays is far most costly to that organization than a similar mistake for the Yankees or Red Sox. From there, I make some calculations using stats from Baseball Prospectus to quantify how valuable a player's performance is to his team. (i.e. Player X accounted for Y% of his team's wins) I then compare the player's performance % to his payroll % to identify which players the team is overpaying for, given the fact that they, presumably, arn't willing to spend anymore money. Identifying which players are economically inefficient, I wrote a program where each team goes through a list of next year's free agents and makes contract offers that are more in line with their existing payroll in order to replace the overpaid players. Free agents are programmed (for simpllcity) to take the best contract offered to them. That free agent then becomes a member of that team, and the process repeats itself until no team is left preferring an available and affordable free agent to their own crop of players.


The project has been alot of fun and has yielded some interesting results. Since I doubt my professors will be able to appreciate alot of the more baseball-specific research and findings, I figured I'd post this on here where I'll probably find people with a greater interest than just looking at how I coded the program. If anyone is interested by this and wants to see what some of my final results were, I'd be more than willing to share the information after I present the project this Tuesday. Just PM me or pose questions in this thread if you have any.

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