A presumably un-juiced Jason Giambi is currently second (at 1.134, behind Albert Pujols' amazing 1.302), Moneyball hero Nick Swisher is fifth (at 1.069), and the top Red Sock is the hated Mike Lowell (at .974). As expected, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez also have OPS numbers above .900, as do Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Trot Nixon, Jorge Posada, Kevin Youklis are all in the upper .800s, while Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are close to .800.
That means that among possible all-stars, Swisher, with his $335,000 salary, leads baseball in the made-up statistic "OPS-per-$100k", at .319. Youklis, who is paid $355,000, is not far behind, at .246. These are incredible numbers. In comparison, Ortiz, who is generally considered a steal at his salary of $6,500,000, has an OPS-per-$100k of .015, and Giambi, a
money hole top-dollar player, is .006. Of course, most decent players have a higher OPS-per-$100k than Ortiz and Giambi. The first .500 of OPS seems to get a player something like the league minimum; another .250, and it's around a million or two dollars per year; another .250, and it's a good ten or twenty mil. Which reinforces the argument of Moneyball that two good, cheap players are a much better value than one great player.
By the way, Giambi's turnaround is an amazing vindication for Joe Torre, who ten months ago was seen to be losing touch when the Yankees were under .500 and Giambi was batting something you could only write in scientific notation. I don't know if he's on the juice again or what, but I wouldn't mind sending his urine samples to the same lab in France that handled Lance Armstrong's. Whatever the cause of Giambi's comeback, I have to hand it to Torre and Yankees GM Brian Cashman--it's hard to imagine Theo Epstein and Terry Francona or Grady Little showing patience and support for a Red Sox player through thick and thin like that. Sox fans would have turned faster than cod from a Flatbush Ave. fishmonger you bought at 6pm.