In case you didn't see Orlando Hudson's comments ...
"You see guys like Jermaine Dye without a job," Hudson told Yahoo. "Guy with [good numbers] and can't get a job. Pretty much sums it up right there, no? You've got some guys who miss a year who can come back and get $5 [million], $6 million, and a guy like Jermaine Dye can't get a job. A guy like Gary Sheffield, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, can't get a job."
"We both know what it is. You'll get it right. You'll figure it out. I'm not gonna say it because then I'll be in [trouble]," Hudson said.
One cool thing about living in 2010: We can check stuff like this. All you'd have to do is compare pre-season statistical projections -- cold, calculating projections that don't know the color of a man's skin -- with the money free agents actually got this winter.
But you don't have to do it, because Peter Hjort already has:
First impression, outside the Hideki Matsui aberration, Black free agents were given more money ($3.72 million) per projected WAR (by CHONE) than any other race. If any group has a legitimate complaint, it's Hispanic players, who were compensated only $2.96 million per projected WAR.
But the question has never been "which group got the most?" or "is there an observed difference?". We're only observing samples, not populations, here, so the appropriate question is, "is the difference statistically significant?".
None of these sample sizes is as big as I'd like, but given the data we have, I can't comfortably say there was any racial bias in the free agent market this off season. At the 0.05 level, none of these T-values are statistically significant. In essence, the differences can all be attributed to random variation.
As for Dye, well, my conclusion hasn't changed. He's probably unemployed for the same reason Joe Crede and Bartolo Colon are -- the market has a different idea of what their services are worth than the FA does.
Yeah. Probably. As I've said before, it's hard (for me) to blame the players. Dye made $11.5 million last season, and hit 27 home runs. We shouldn't be surprised if he (and Hudson) can't understand why there's not an offer on the table for at least half what he made last year. Of course, the problem is that Dye was just a league-average hitter and a truly awful fielder, which means he's not -- I'm now speaking of cold, calculating statistical projections -- worth more than $3-4 million. If he bounces back some with the bat and mostly DHs.
Over at MLB Trade Rumors, Tim Dierkes wonders, "Are these agents failing to value their clients properly? Are they not explaining how the market has changed in recent years? Or are they just trying to preserve the players' confidence?"
A agent who tells his player, "Player, I know you still feel like a kid, but you're 38 and you're just not that good anymore" won't be that player's agent for a whole lot longer. Agents tell players they're still good enough because that's what they want to hear, and agents tell us the same things for the same reason. What, we should expect an agent to be honest with us? That's not his job.