The 25 most underpaid MLB players
By NICK SELBE
As the lone American professional sports organization without a salary cap, the amount of money players can earn in MLB is virtually limitless. In total, 61 players have signed contracts worth at least $100 million, including seven free agents who signed this offseason. But, as several teams who signed past-their-prime free agents can attest (Albert Pujols, anyone?), dolling out nine-figure contracts often leaves organizations saddled with overpaid players.
On the flip side, other players grossly outperform their salaries and become bargains for their clubs. With this in mind, PointAfter took a look back at the 2015 season to find the league's most underpaid players.
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To do this, we took into consideration all players who were worth at least 2.0 wins above replacement (WAR) last season, according to Baseball-Reference (an average full-time starting position player or starting pitcher is worth about 2.0 WAR, according to Fangraphs). We then divided each player's 2015 salary by his 2015 WAR to find which players cost the least per 1.0 WAR.
Most of the players on this list are team-controlled and have not had the opportunity to test free agency, meaning they probably won't be underpaid for much longer. We'll count down the 25 most underpaid players of 2015 until we get to one budding star who was paid less than $70,000 per 1.0 WAR.
#25. George Springer
2015 salary: $316,147
2015 WAR: 4.6
Cost per WAR: $68,728
There are plenty who believe Franciso Lindor — not Carlos Correa — is the game's best young shortstop. Two primary reasons exist for why Correa gets more attention: the Astros made the postseason in 2015, and Lindor took some time adjusting to Major League competition.
Lindor hit .238/.271/.320 in his first 30 games from June 14 to July 21, during which time Correa hit .295/.333/.529 in 31 games and established himself as baseball's brightest young star. From there, Lindor quietly (and quickly) morphed into a beast, hitting .347/.389/.556 over his final 69 games, with 10 home runs and 11 stolen bases. Correa projects to have more power in the long run, and Lindor is superior defensively. Both appear poised for successful careers, but in 2015, the answer is clear — no player had more bang for your buck than Lindor.