With the Matt Holliday clock now ticking there has been a lot of talk about the plan B options, so I thought it would be a good time to bring out my WAR simulation (which I’ve expanded to include defense).

I looked at the following options that I’ve heard/read about at some time over the past couple of days [Quick update: as Dan at VEB points out this list is not exhaustive, and I'll try to run at least some of the suggestions people make here or over there]

- Holliday (hey I was curious) in left and David Freese at 3rd (MH)
- Erik’s nightmare – AKA Miguel Tejeda at third and Allen Craig in Left (MT)
- Mark Derosa at 3rd and Craig in Left (MD)
- Freese at 3rd and an Craig/Kelly Johnson platoon in LF (KJ/AC)

Here’s the CDF graph

The x axis is position player WAR and the y axis is probability. For those that are not statistically inclined, the probability is the probability that the respective WAR would not be exceeded. For example, the probability that the Holliday team won’t exceed the 2009 Phils is ~0.8. More simply stated, there’s a 20% chance that (based on CHONE offensive and my defensive projections) a Cards team with Holliday would outperform the position player production of the 2009 Phils.

The MT line is under the MD line.

Clearly this exercise doesn’t factor in that money saved could be put towards pitching (I hope to add pitching to the sim this week). That being said it’s fairly obvious (even without the sim) that Holliday>>these plan b options. Also of note is that going young and rolling the dice on Johnson is likely better than the proven vet options. We’ll see what pitching adds to the equation later this week.

Data: Offensive projections from CHONE, defensive projections mine (right sidebar) or CHONE for those with no MLB experience, 2009 data from fangraphs