Lorenzo Cain: Market Value and 2018 Projections

After a strong 2017 (.347 wOBA, 4.1 sWAR[1]), Lorenzo Cain is one of the top remaining free agents. As a plus center fielder, defense is one of Cain’s greatest assets. On the other hand, Cain’s durability is a big question, having played just once over 140 games in a single season (2017). Injuries and age are both substantial concerns moving forward.

If able to stay healthy for at least 130 games in 2018, Cain is projected[2] to get on-base at an above-average rate (.356 OBP). Based on the projections, Cain should see a slight increase in both SLG and ISO from last year. Nonetheless, his wOBA should see a decrease in conjunction with an increase in K%. An overall decrease in offensive output will impact Cain’s sWAR (3.7) for 2018.

2018 Projections: Lorenzo Cain
2015 29 5.5 0.360 0.361 0.477 0.838 0.170 0.307 16.2% 6.1%
2016 30 2.7 0.322 0.339 0.408 0.747 0.121 0.287 19.4% 7.1%
2017 31 4.1 0.347 0.363 0.440 0.803 0.140 0.300 15.5% 8.4%
2018 32 3.7 0.330 0.356 0.443 0.798 0.145 0.298 16.9% 7.4%

Projections: “SEG Projection System” (Including sWAR for 2015-2018)

sWAR = “SEG Projection System” calculation of WAR  

Lorenzo Cain’s estimated AAV is around $21M per year, based on a four-year/$84M contract. He should be worth about 10 sWAR over the next three years. Staying healthy is crucial; as long as his speed does not drop dramatically, he should be able to significantly contribute for the next 2-3 seasons.

Market Value: Lorenzo Cain
2018 32 3.7 $31.2 $8.4
2019 33 3.2 $28.3 $8.8
2020 34 2.7 $24.9 $9.2
TOTAL 9.6 $84.4  
sWAR = “SEG Projection System” calculation of WAR 
$WAR Adjusted for Inflation (5% per year)

[1] sWAR = “SEG Projection System” calculation of WAR

[2] 2018 Projections: Lorenzo Cain (SEG Projection System)

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I think he’ll leave kansas city, which will improve his slugging numbers due to not hitting in such a hitter friendly park and not being in a bad lineup. So his wOBA should be adjusted accordingly.