Who was the least valuable player in the majors this year?
Let's start with the following list of 23 players. These are the players who qualified for the batting title and had an OPS+ of 85 or worse:
Straight away, let's drop Suzuki, Pierzynski, and Molina from consideration. As catchers, these guys clearly provided value with more than just their bats, and I can't imagine any of them being the absolute worst player.
Here are the remaining 20 ranked by WAR:
(The above list actually has 20 names---#16 is skipped for some reason.)
Many of the guys at the top of the list had either good defensive WAR contributions or at least played at a challenging defensive position and got some WAR credit for that.
I am inclined to drop anybody with at least a 1.0 WAR--even if they were terrible with the bat and not great with the glove, they at least filled an important defensive position and did it well enough to be worth something to their teams.
Of the remaining 13 guys, I am further inclined to drop guys from playoff teams. I figure they couldn't have done too much damage, even though their numbers are bad, if their teams made the playoffs. That would remove both Cabreras and Span from the above list. Cantu and Francoeur were both traded to Texas. Cantu was really bad with the Rangers and Francoeur was really good. I'm inclined to leave Cantu on the list.
Another guy I'd take off is Schumaker, thanks to the fact that the played a bunch of games in the outfield and helped his team out by filling different defensive positions.
That leaves Izturis, Escobar, Theriot, Morgan, Aybar, Hill, Cedeno, and Cantu.
Who would you pick, and why?
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