The Rangers yesterday locked up much heralded (yet currently over-hyped) Jimmy Vesey to a two year deal worth $2.275mm per year. This move actually gives us a great case study on which to beta test our arbitration analyzer. Vesey is one of those guys, at 25 years old, and only 28 points last year, who the media loves to talk about as a high-upside guy. However, we remain unsure. Here’s why.
First a look at our arbitration analysis methods. We compile data to produce our Advanced Bracton (AB) score. In Vesey’s case it is a -2.03. By comparison, 2/3 of the NHL scores better than he does (which is roughly replacement level). When we take his AB, and adjust for both point production and time on ice, Vesey ranks in the 9th decile in the NHL, and passes zero of our screens for top (or bottom) performers, which is neutral. Neutral to us is not bad, but it is also not exactly inspirational.
When Vesey was making $925,000, he was being paid 431st best in the NHL and was 24th with respect to overall value versus performance. Simply put, he was being paid almost exactly what he was worth (a 0 would be exact relative value, a positive would indicate good value, a negative would indicate overpay). By the way, a score of +24 is roughly the top of the NHL bell curve.
However, at $2.275mm, Vesey is now exactly at the league median with respect to pay and is now a -93 relative to value (indicating relative overvalue). His pay adjusted for our metric is now 248th, which indicates a salary of about $1.75mm when compared to other players in his cohort. So yes, it appears the Rangers have overpaid for his services.
Interestingly enough, Blue (Brown) Shirts Banter, the Rangers fan site on SBnation.com (with whom we have had a storied history) references a free agency model done by Matt Cane which suggests Vesey should have been paid $1.684mm.
Maybe our model is working? Hmmm. We will try out another contract in the coming weeks and put it to the test as well.