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What should the Sox do about Varitek?


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#401 SoxFanSince57


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:37 PM

Apart from the "noise" level in your post, it seems to me that the question is fairly reasonable.

I am asking, at what point do the Sox just move on with preparation for the new season assuming that Varitek won't be part of that preparation... We have new pitchers on the team, so I assume that it would be important for the team to focus on the team "as is" in terms of catching at that point...I just wasn't sure if there was a date when the team would just say, OK, this hasn't worked out, we need to assume Bard/Kottaras will be working the pitching staff from opening day.


I think that the consensus is that 1) if signed Tek would not catch nearly as many games for the Sox in '09 as he did in the past and 2) the Sox have a number of "new" pitchers who will need extra time getting familiar with the Sox catchers. Given these "facts" everyday after ST starts where the Sox are unsure who their catchers will be only serves to lessen the amount of preparation time the pitchers and catchers have together. If the Sox trade for a young catcher mid-way through ST or if they sign Tek late into ST it will cause the "new" pitchers additional time to get fully up to speed with their catchers.

I am sure there will be some date when Theo, Tito and Farrell conclude that they will stand pat with the catchers that are in camp and that further roster moves may be counter productive. Obviously, none of us know when that magic date will arrive.

I think that the Sox are already "set" with option A of going to ST with Brown/Kottaras/Bard and choosing two to round out the roster. They are also actively pursuing option B where they trade for one of Saltalamacchia/Montero/Teagarden and choose from option A for the back-up. And they will pursue option C where they sign Tek and option D where they sign Tek and trade for a young catcher. All these options are still active and only the Sox brass know when they will drop any because of the negative impact on the development of their pitching staff.

For my money, I doubt the Sox will wait much past 10 days into ST before they lock it down. In the end, only the Sox have a handle on timing.

Edited by SoxFanSince57, 24 January 2009 - 01:39 PM.


#402 wibi


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:41 PM

My kid brother in WPB isn't a divorce attorney, but he's often brought into any sorts of cases where assets are involved (specialty is wills/trusts/estates and advising on legal ways to avoid taxes on large sums of money):

"They’ve probably already agreed to this (the divorcing couple). But one of the frustrating things of divorce law is an attempt to resolve property distribution of things which don’t even exist yet—an expected inheritance, a bonus, royalties, and new compensation/contract. They probably have that in mind and have conducted discovery on this and are estimating what the new contact will bring. "


This hasnt gotten any play but I'm starting to believe that Tek settled with his ex wife for some $$$ amount that is roughly half of what his arbitration estimate would have brought.

He literally cant afford to sign for less than the total amount he believes arbitration would have brought in. Rough's link to the Olney article reinforces my belief in this theory.

#403 xjack


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:04 PM

However, as a couple of us have noted, the scenario you are suggesting is rare (or has never happened) and thus it's pretty understandable why the writers relied on the history without the caveat, too.

Read Cannonball's post. What you describe as rare or never having happened is neither.

So back to my original question -- why do folks keep writing that Varitek would have been GUARANTEED at least $10 million when A) the arbitration rules themselves make paycuts a perfectly plausible outcome and B) the sum actually awarded by the arbitrator isn't a guaranteed salary?

#404 D Jack's Dome


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:01 PM

Yes, it has. Mark Loretta made $3.5 million in 2007. He went to arbitration and got $2.75 million. Not only is that a pay cut, it's less than 80% of his previous year's salary, which is the number that everyone seems to get hung up on. Moreover, since there are only two cases in the last 18 years, this means that in half of all cases, the player has ended up with a pay cut of over 20%.


I think you misunderstand. People aren't hung up on him only getting 80% of his previous salary. Jason Varitek getting 8 million dollars for 2009 seems more then reasonable for the season he put up and the very real possibility of his career falling off of a cliff. People are hung up on him losing 80 percent of his salary. The market this year for catchers doesn't exceed 3 million dollars. Varitek signing for 2 million dollars would be him losing 80% of his salary. So, again, 'Tek getting .80 cents on the dollar isn't a big deal, it's him losing 80% of his salary from last year that people are getting hung up on.

Look, the issue here really shouldn't be "Who would win the arb hearing?" because who really knows. What I think is pretty obvious is that if 'Tek had decided to accept the arb, he would not be making any less the 70-80 percent of what he made last year. Regardless of what history is behind the FA arb process, I think most of us can agree that this would be true. Now he's going to have to bite the bullet and make less this year, regardless of how it plays out. If he signs with the Sox, it won't be for 8 million a year. If he signs with another team, it'll be for a prorated amount minus the two months between opening day and the draft.

Read Cannonball's post. What you describe as rare or never having happened is neither.

So back to my original question -- why do folks keep writing that Varitek would have been GUARANTEED at least $10 million when A) the arbitration rules themselves make paycuts a perfectly plausible outcome and B) the sum actually awarded by the arbitrator isn't a guaranteed salary?


There is no guarantee. But what is "almost" guaranteed is that he would be making at least 8 mil this year. Take it for what you will, but again, there is little doubt that an arbitrator would force 'Tek into less money then 80% of his last year salary. I also sincerely doubt the Sox would go through the arb process with Varitek, get a verdict, and then dump him and proceed into the season with a questionable catcher position, and in the meantime hold onto Bard whos contract is not guaranteed. You may have your doubts about the loyalty of the FO, but I just could not see them cutting Varitek before the season after sitting through the arb process. Again, there is no guarantee of a 10 million dollar contract, but it definitely would have been close to it. I just personally find it easier to say "'Tek dropped the ball on a guaranteed 10 mil" instead of saying "'Tel dropped the ball on what would have been somewhere around 10 mil unless the Sox cut him before the season in which case he wouldn't have made anything." I don't think theres any real reason to get hung up on it to be honest.

Edited by D Jack's Dome, 24 January 2009 - 03:04 PM.


#405 cannonball 1729

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:04 PM

I think you misunderstand. People aren't hung up on him only getting 80% of his previous salary. Jason Varitek getting 8 million dollars for 2009 seems more then reasonable for the season he put up and the very real possibility of his career falling off of a cliff. People are hung up on him losing 80 percent of his salary.

Not at all. People were hung up on him getting 80% of his salary because of the erroneous information, repeated many times throughout the thread, that arbitrators aren't allowed to give a player a pay cut of more than 20%. Not only is this info untrue, it's actually been proven to be so in the most recent arbitration case.


Look, the issue here really shouldn't be "Who would win the arb hearing?" because who really knows. What I think is pretty obvious is that if 'Tek had decided to accept the arb, he would not be making any less the 70-80 percent of what he made last year.

There's nothing obvious about what an arbitrator would do. 'Tek's case is absolutely unprecedented. There have been two free agent arb cases in the last eighteen years, and they have both involved utility infielders making about two million dollars.

Again, there is no guarantee of a 10 million dollar contract, but it definitely would have been close to it.

Why? What would have stopped an arbitrator from deciding that a good comp would be Bengie Molina and that the Sox could give Varitek a 6.5 million dollar deal?

All we really know about the arb process is from what we've seen for arbitration eligible players, but those players are locked into a system that has a cap on the maximum paycut and keeps salaries moving upward as players get older and closer to free agency. None of this applies to Jason Varitek.

#406 xjack


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:08 PM

What I think is pretty obvious is that if 'Tek had decided to accept the arb, he would not be making any less the 70-80 percent of what he made last year. Regardless of what history is behind the FA arb process, I think most of us can agree that this would be true.

There has never been a comparable arbitration case, so I don't understand the basis for such a statement.... The rules of the arbitration process -- as laid out on the CBA -- are quite clear. Arbitration decisions are to be based on previous-year performance in relation to the salaries of comparable players. Unless you believe the wording in the CBA is irrelevant, I don't see how you can be so certain that Tek would have been awarded 70-80% of last year's pay.

#407 SoxFanSince57


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:27 PM

I would be astonished if Tek/Boras and the Sox didn't discuss money and contract length with each other relatively soon after the end of last season. They had to have more than a vague idea of what the Sox would offer.

Whatever the Sox offered it caused Tek/Boras to think that 1) Tek would receive something lower than he wanted if he accepted arbitration (Boras certainly knew that the arb could award the lower Sox offer than Tek's '08 salary); and 2) the market would yield a suitable alternative offer from another club Tek would want to play for or the market would force the Sox to increase their initial offer.

Tek/Boras knew the rules, played the odds and lost.

Now Tek/Boras have no leverage and no alternatives. So instead of making the best deal he can, Tek goes public with claims of ignorance which only tarnish his and Boras' public image. IMO, Tek should suck it up and make the best deal he can w/o resorting to groveling in the press. He is looking truly pathetic.

#408 redsoxstiff


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 05:57 PM

Great with pitchers...
Strong leader...
Well respected...
Loads of experience...

Very old for a catcher...
Hasn't hit for a year and a half...
Has Scott Bore ass as his agent...
His tour with the Sox is nearly over in any case...
Rather than a postponement of the inevitable...let's end it now...

I am sure this has been said whole cloth or bits and pieces...in the previous elebenty pages but c'est la vie...

If this is an ignominious ending for a great player...T.S. He chose Scott and I guess, the crapper...

Instead of meeting with Henri he should have deep sixed the scrofulous Scott...

#409 bankshot1


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:15 PM

Why? What would have stopped an arbitrator from deciding that a good comp would be Bengie Molina and that the Sox could give Varitek a 6.5 million dollar deal?


The arbitrator can choose any player contract as a comp, as he or she wishes. But what they can not and do not do is tell the "Sox" or any other team to give a certain contract amount. All they can do is pick either the $ figure given by the team or the $ figure given by the player. There is no other choice.

So in this case, Tek made $10MM in '08. Let's say he and Boras submit a figure of $11M. Let's say the Sox submit a figure of (as some here would like) $2MM. Which seems more reasonable? Which do you think the arb would pick?. The process is designed to force the parties together and avoid extremes. IMO given Tek's $10MM salary last year, a range of $8MM-$12MM was probably the most likely.

Edited by bankshot1, 24 January 2009 - 06:16 PM.


#410 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:43 PM

Read Cannonball's post. What you describe as rare or never having happened is neither.

So back to my original question -- why do folks keep writing that Varitek would have been GUARANTEED at least $10 million when A) the arbitration rules themselves make paycuts a perfectly plausible outcome and B) the sum actually awarded by the arbitrator isn't a guaranteed salary?


Your original question was answered by several people; you can repeat it more, I suppose, but that seems wholly unproductive when you disregard all the answers you don't like. I typically really enjoy your posts but on this one I think you are far too locked in on a predetermined conclusion.

I do not think your explanation of the situation reflects a real grasp of how arb tends to work in practice. In your two posts on this page it also appears you are confusing two different things, a rule about max pay cut which applies to pre-FA guys, and the actual history of arb cases for FAs. That second set of info is longer than was suggested and also reflects a huge number of times that offers were exchanged as well as those decided. What teams actually offer is, it seems to many of us, relevant here. Whether it goes to an arbitrator or teams decide to settle before going there is also relevant, seems to me, and those settlements seem to suggest something about evaluations of the likely outcome.

This has also reached the point of ridiculousness. Several of us think how teams have behaved in the past is relevant, some apparently do not. That is, I suppose, a difference of opinion.

I do hope we (collectively) move beyond the idea that since no case is exactly like Varitek (since no past player ever had exactly his statistics and history in a prior season) that we can't say anything about what is likely, though.

Edited by PedroKsBambino, 24 January 2009 - 06:49 PM.


#411 SumnerH


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:26 PM

Read Cannonball's post. What you describe as rare or never having happened is neither.


The scenario being discussed was "whether or not there's a precedent for a player like Varitek getting a paycut in arbitration".

Yes, arbitrators can award as low a salary as they want (presuming it's offered by either the team or the player). It doesn't actually happen in practice very often (I'm not aware of it ever happening, but it may have).

In the case of Loretta, his salary the previous year was $2.5 million, and he got $2.75 million in arbitration for a 10% raise. The fact that he also had $1 million in bonuses in 2007 is distinct from his base salary.

The other cases Cannonball mentioned settled before going to arbitration, which is a different scenario.

#412 cannonball 1729

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:27 PM

So in this case, Tek made $10MM in '08. Let's say he and Boras submit a figure of $11M. Let's say the Sox submit a figure of (as some here would like) $2MM. Which seems more reasonable? Which do you think the arb would pick?.

Whichever one is closest to what the arbitrator has decided upon as Varitek's true value. If the arbitrator has decided that the true value of Varitek is 6.25 million, he will side with the Sox, since 6.25 is closer to 2 than it is to 11. If he decided on 6.75 million, the opposite would be true.

#413 cannonball 1729

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:30 PM

The fact that he also had $1 million in bonuses in 2007 is distinct from his base salary.

Why? It's considered part of the salary in the "you can't cut more than 20%" rule for pre-FA arb eligibles.

Edited by cannonball 1729, 24 January 2009 - 07:31 PM.


#414 Hairps

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:38 PM

According to a baseball source, the Sox have formally presented an offer to Varitek’s agent, Scott Boras, that could appease the catcher’s desire for a second guaranteed season. While the precise value or term of the proposal was unclear, the Sox could ensure Varitek a second year by guaranteeing it outright or making it attainable through an option.

In the latter scenario, Varitek could trigger the option through reachable incentives (like at-bats or games played), or the club could grant him a straight player option for the 2010 season. Another possibility would involve a dual option, first giving the Sox the choice of bringing back Varitek next season (at a higher number) and, subsequently, Varitek the right to return on his own volition (albeit at a lower number than the team’s option).

The current offer to Varitek was made within the last three or four days, sources said, and it was unclear whether Varitek and Boras were presented with a deadline of any kind. Given that pitchers and catchers are due to report to Fort Myers for spring training on Feb. 12, however, it certainly would behoove both sides to resolve the matter quickly.

http://www.boston.co...make_offer.html

#415 philly sox fan


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:49 PM

Why? It's considered part of the salary in the "you can't cut more than 20%" rule for pre-FA arb eligibles.


Do you have some examples of that because I beleive the other interpretation - that Loretta received an arb raise - is the correct one. I think it's nearly universal that it is the guaranteed portion of contract that matters in situations like that.

#416 jimbotomy

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 09:06 PM

Do you have some examples of that because I beleive the other interpretation - that Loretta received an arb raise - is the correct one. I think it's nearly universal that it is the guaranteed portion of contract that matters in situations like that.

According to the CBA, page 10:

(5) Performance Bonuses
Regardless of whether or not any portion of a performance
bonus is earned, the Club has the option of either: (a) including
the entire bonus (both earned and unearned portions) in the salary
base or (b) excluding it from the base but repeating the perform-
ance bonus on the same terms.

According to this article, Loretta's extra $1 million was a performance incentive. Thus, the Astros could have treated it as part of the salary, or offer it again in his new arbitrated contract. (If the salary reduction rule applied; since it didn't, they weren't restricted by this section.)

Edited by jimbotomy, 24 January 2009 - 09:20 PM.


#417 paulftodd


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 09:35 PM

Fact is, Tek refused arbitration. It's not an issue now. The issues are:

1. Do the Red Sox have an interest or need for Teks services. (they are still talking, so there is an interest at least)

2. Will Tek even sign with the Red Sox at market value, or is there a price in which he would simply retire or sit out until a better offer came along. (only Tek knows). He could wait until after the draft in June and be signed by a team in need of a catcher and not cost a draft pick, say a sudden injury to Posada or Navarro, and he could make as much in 3 months as his market value says he should make in 6 months. If your wife is going to make 1/2 of your future income, and Uncle Sam is going to take another 28%, maybe it's time to retire. I mean, the guy made 57 million, he must have saved some of it.

3. Would the cost of getting a replacemen for Tek in 2009 (top prospect) exceed the difference between Teks market value and what it would take to sign him. (Likely)

4. Is there really a certainty that Teks intangibles are of little value. (according to Theo, he seems to value these)

5. If catcher becomes an issue for the Red Sox in 2009, due to its catcher by committee approach failing, or the "new" guy not performing as expected, along with other uncertainties, what is the cost of the Red Sox finishing in 3rd place in a strong division in 2010 in a weak economy. (look at what the 2007 Red Sox and 2009 Yankees spent in the offseason after not making the playoffs and having dismal seasons in 2006 and 2008).

6. Could Teks intangibles and other abilities lead to the 1-2 wins that would be the difference between making the playoffs and not. Is the value of a win for the Red Sox in 2009 more valuable than most teams in the market for a catcher who would need to give up a top prospect? (Yes)

Looking at these issues, if I am Tek, I would think my value can only go up by waiting until June, but maybe not enough to change uniforms. Now if the Red Sox really would like to have Tek instead of giving up a top prospect in a trade, while dealing from a weak position (at least that what the market perceives), then my bet is they will want to sign Tek earlier rather than later. Better to sign Tek and then make that trade, if one is out there.

As indicated by others, if Tek signs, he is not getting getting 80% of the starts, more like 50-60%. This should help his bat some. His main value to the Red Sox, if not for the market, really will be in transferring his knowledge to the catcher(s) of the future and handling the pitching staff and maintaining stability in the transition from the Tek era to the post-Tek era. Who knows, maybe Tek will hit as well as in 2007 and 2008 was just a down year due to his divorce.

There really is not much more to say at this point, I expect the Red Sox to either sign Tek before ST or else move on and take their chances with what they have, or make a move via trade. My money is on the former, but Tek has the Boras baggage, so who knows. Manny and Tek should join forces and sue Boras for non-performance or negligence if it ends poorly for them.

#418 mabrowndog


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:32 PM

Two snippets from Rosenthal's column:

Even for catcher Jason Varitek, accepting arbitration might have been a gamble. The Red Sox still could have traded for say, the Rangers' Jarrod Saltalamacchia, with the intention of playing him every day. At that point, they might not have been willing to pay Varitek in the $10 million range to play a reduced role.

Then again, Varitek could have taken his chances, knowing that his value to the Red Sox's pitching staff probably would have prevented such an outcome from ever occurring.

Here's a sinister thought: Varitek to the Yankees. The chances probably are slim, but the Yankees need to add a catcher due to their uncertainty over Jorge Posada, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. Varitek, 36, might recoil at the notion of joining the Red Sox's biggest rival, and the Yankees might prefer to spend on pitching. But because the Yankees already have signed three other Type-A free agents, Varitek would cost them only a fourth-round pick ...

The Sox would still get a sandwich pick for their troubles.

Edited by mabrowndog, 24 January 2009 - 10:38 PM.


#419 mabrowndog


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:56 PM

Gammons (ESPN Insider content)

This week's comedy shows: First, Jay McGwire's book proposal was treated as news, when, in reality, no publishing house had signed off on it. Second, Scott Boras demonstrated his genius by actually getting his spokesmen to report that he couldn't take arbitration for Jason Varitek because the Red Sox might have released him, which would never have happened. Period.

Yes, Varitek will be 37 in April, and only six catchers have ever caught 100 games in a season at the age of 37, but he's a huge part of the Red Sox's pitching staff, can platoon with and mentor whomever the Red Sox acquire, and the last time he was a free agent asked Boras to give the Red Sox every opportunity to re-sign him out of loyalty to the organization. His declining $10 million-$12 million in arbitration meant that the market establishes the price, and that is just what has happened.



#420 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 12:25 AM

:) :unsure: :unsure:

Roughly three months after the end of their 2008 season and fewer than three weeks before the start of spring training, the Red Sox have made a formal proposal to catcher Jason Varitek that could end a winter-long stalemate.

One way or the other.

According to a baseball source, the Sox have formally presented an offer to Varitek’s agent, Scott Boras, that could appease the catcher’s desire for a second guaranteed season. While the precise value or term of the proposal was unclear, the Sox could ensure Varitek a second year by guaranteeing it outright or making it attainable through an option.

In the latter scenario, Varitek could trigger the option through reachable incentives (like at-bats or games played), or the club could grant him a straight player option for the 2010 season. Another possibility would involve a dual option, first giving the Sox the choice of bringing back Varitek next season (at a higher number) and, subsequently, Varitek the right to return on his own volition (albeit at a lower number than the team’s option).


http://www.boston.co...make_offer.html

#421 Papelbon's Poutine


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 01:54 AM

Whichever one is closest to what the arbitrator has decided upon as Varitek's true value. If the arbitrator has decided that the true value of Varitek is 6.25 million, he will side with the Sox, since 6.25 is closer to 2 than it is to 11. If he decided on 6.75 million, the opposite would be true.


You are giving the arbitrators way too much credit. They are not sabermatricians, nor are they even required to have an interest in baseball, let alone a statistical understanding. They are simply arbitrators, just as likely to rule on a workers union dispute or any other matter. Determining a players "true value" is far beyond the realm of capability.

Baseball arbitration cases are made by the arguments from each side. It's a PR battle and a game of chicken - the agent basically dares the team to show up and bad mouth the player enough to win their argument. That's why so few cases actually go to hearing. When cases do go to hearing, you see the different outcomes for specific reasons - the big name players win because the team is hesitant to go in and bad mouth, for fear of souring the relationship. The marginal players lose because the arbitrator sees that they are getting a significant raise either way and the team is less hesitant to make their case. Overall, teams are smart enough to settle with the good players beforehand, which is why they have such a high success rate - the majority of cases that go to an arbitrator are the amrginal players and the team wins.

Rest assured, if Varitek went to arb and the two sides submitted figures of $2M and $11M, Tek would be making $11M next year. There's no way in hell an arbitrator would give a 12 year veteran an $8M pay cut. He certainly wouldn't reduce it down to the difference of $500K in "true value" as your wishful thinking proposes.

#422 Clemente38

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:46 AM

Channel 7 reporting on the Varitek negotiations this Sunday morning. They essential cite Olney as the source and say there is an offer from the Sox for two years on the table. Made it sound like it was in the 10-12 mil for two years ( 5-6 mil per year).

Prefaced the story with who would have thought Tek and Manny would be in the same boat, frustrated with their agent.

#423 glennhoffmania


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:23 AM

ESPN just said the same thing, but no numbers were included.

#424 In my lifetime

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:36 AM

Channel 7 reporting on the Varitek negotiations this Sunday morning. They essential cite Olney as the source and say there is an offer from the Sox for two years on the table. Made it sound like it was in the 10-12 mil for two years ( 5-6 mil per year).

Prefaced the story with who would have thought Tek and Manny would be in the same boat, frustrated with their agent.




Varitek should not run but sprint to take that offer. Probably at least double what any other team is offering.

#425 Cuzittt


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:44 AM

Varitek should not run but sprint to take that offer. Probably at least double what any other team is offering.


IF that is the offer. There is only one place talking money... and it sounds wrong on its face.

#426 BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:22 AM

IF that is the offer. There is only one place talking money... and it sounds wrong on its face.


I couldn't disagree more. Than sounds precisely what the Sox would offer. They were ready to commit upwards of 10m to Varitek via arbitration. If they were willing to do that then a two year/5m per year deal makes perfect sense. If he completey falls off the cliff then you let him go next year and eat the remaining salary. If he still has something to offfer then he stays albeit in an even more reduced role.

#427 Cuzittt


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:38 AM

If they were willing to do that then a two year/5m per year deal makes perfect sense. If he completey falls off the cliff then you let him go next year and eat the remaining salary. If he still has something to offfer then he stays albeit in an even more reduced role.


I disagree. I'm of the opinion that the Sox really only want him for one year at a time. A club option makes sense. Anything to do with games/ABs sounds completely wrong. Anything that vests without the Sox having a real option to get rid of him sounds completely wrong to me.

Doesn't mean my opinion is fact. We shall see when/if the terms of the deal comes out. But any completely guaranteed chance of a second year of Tek is a bad deal for the Sox (IMHO).

#428 koufax32


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 01:17 PM

I disagree. I'm of the opinion that the Sox really only want him for one year at a time. A club option makes sense. Anything to do with games/ABs sounds completely wrong. Anything that vests without the Sox having a real option to get rid of him sounds completely wrong to me.

Doesn't mean my opinion is fact. We shall see when/if the terms of the deal comes out. But any completely guaranteed chance of a second year of Tek is a bad deal for the Sox (IMHO).



I can see the first year being incentive laden and the second year option (and shame on the FO if it's not an option) being based on reaching those incentives. If Tek were to flop you'd think the Sox would go ahead and get that young catcher before July. Were that to happen it would probably cause Tek to miss his games played or at-bat threshold that would activate the second year. The numbers would say that the Sox assume Tek is toast but appreciate his "intangibles." If he uses next year to prove he's not toast then he will be paid more in the option year (2010).

That said I agree, Cuzitt, that any talk of a second year makes me nervous.

Quick question for those familiar with mlb contracts. Is there anything that would keep the Sox from making Tek's salary in 2009 AND 2010 employment based upon games played/at-bats? Can two things hinge on one accomplishment threshold?

#429 paulftodd


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:06 PM

I couldn't disagree more. Than sounds precisely what the Sox would offer. They were ready to commit upwards of 10m to Varitek via arbitration. If they were willing to do that then a two year/5m per year deal makes perfect sense. If he completey falls off the cliff then you let him go next year and eat the remaining salary. If he still has something to offfer then he stays albeit in an even more reduced role.


Whatever Varitek would have been awarded via arbitration would not have been guaranteed. It sounds like Tek got his guaranteed 10-12 million, spread over 2 years where he would play fewer games than when he made 10 million per season, as he would be grooming his replacement. As in any agreement, there is compromise. I am sure Tek would have preferred 10-12 million per year for 2 years or even 1 year, and the Red Sox might have liked to sign him for 3-5 million for 1 year.

Sounds like this is almost settled. Thats good. If Tek regains his 2007 form with the dust from his diovorce settling and the pressure of playing for a contract off, it's a steal for the Red Sox.

Edited by paulftodd, 25 January 2009 - 08:06 PM.


#430 OCD SS


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:08 PM

If the Sox bring back Varitek without getting a "catcher of the future" for him to mentor, then this move is a failure on both fronts, IMO.

#431 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:11 PM

Whatever Varitek would have been awarded via arbitration would not have been guaranteed. It sounds like Tek got his guaranteed 10-12 million, spread over 2 years where he would play fewer games than when he made 10 million per season, as he would be grooming his replacement. As in any agreement, there is compromise. I am sure Tek would have preferred 10-12 million per year for 2 years or even 1 year, and the Red Sox might have liked to sign him for 3-5 million for 1 year.

Sounds like this is almost settled. Thats good. If Tek regains his 2007 form with the dust from his diovorce settling and the pressure of playing for a contract off, it's a steal for the Red Sox.

To characterize it as a "steal" seems wildly optimistic. Tek hasn't had a good offensive year since 2005. That 2007 form included a .225/366/.398 second half, or pretty much what was seen as the terrible rate of production of 2008. It's more than he's worth but they can afford it. I don't see how it can be described as a "steal". Other teams are paying a fraction of that for roughly comparable guys like Zaun. OCD SS is right. This is only sensible if done in conjunction with the acquisition of a protege who will progressively consign his mentor to the bench.

Edited by Rough Carrigan, 25 January 2009 - 09:14 PM.


#432 mabrowndog


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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:24 PM

You are giving the arbitrators way too much credit. They are not sabermatricians, nor are they even required to have an interest in baseball, let alone a statistical understanding. They are simply arbitrators, just as likely to rule on a workers union dispute or any other matter. Determining a players "true value" is far beyond the realm of capability.

This is spot on with regard to arbitrators on the whole. But in MLB there's no broad-brushing required -- because there's only been one arbitrator since 1999.

Shyam Das of Haverford, PA, is a Harvard- and Yale-educated attorney who's mediated a variety of disputes in governmental and industrial labor, as well as other pro sports including the NFL. He not only presides over each and every one of MLB's salary arbitration cases, but also over all grievances -- most recently that filed by the union over MLB's handling of Pirates #1 draft pick Pedro Alvarez.

Das's overall record to date is one of objectivity, and a number of his decisions and rulings have really rankled Bud Selig.

#433 cannonball 1729

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:14 PM

According to the CBA, page 10:

Article VI Section A(5) Performance Bonuses:
Regardless of whether or not any portion of a performance
bonus is earned, the Club has the option of either: (a) including
the entire bonus (both earned and unearned portions) in the salary
base or (b) excluding it from the base but repeating the perform-
ance bonus on the same terms.

According to this article, Loretta's extra $1 million was a performance incentive. Thus, the Astros could have treated it as part of the salary, or offer it again in his new arbitrated contract. (If the salary reduction rule applied; since it didn't, they weren't restricted by this section.)

If I understand correctly, Article VI, Section A(5) in the CBA is superseded by Section F(3)(c)(i) in the same Article:

A Club may submit a salary figure for salary arbitration
that is at least 80% of the Player’s previous year’s salary and
earned performance bonuses (and at least 70% of his salary
and earned performance bonuses two years previous), the provisions
of Section A(5) above notwithstanding. This exception
shall not be used by any party, or considered by any salary
arbitrator, in support of, or in opposition to, any argument
regarding the evaluation of Player contracts.



#434 Papelbon's Poutine


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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:33 AM

This is spot on with regard to arbitrators on the whole. But in MLB there's no broad-brushing required -- because there's only been one arbitrator since 1999.

Shyam Das of Haverford, PA, is a Harvard- and Yale-educated attorney who's mediated a variety of disputes in governmental and industrial labor, as well as other pro sports including the NFL. He not only presides over each and every one of MLB's salary arbitration cases, but also over all grievances -- most recently that filed by the union over MLB's handling of Pirates #1 draft pick Pedro Alvarez.

Das's overall record to date is one of objectivity, and a number of his decisions and rulings have really rankled Bud Selig.


Do you have any kind of link for this? I can't for the life of me remember where I read it (and I will look for it), but I distinctly remember reading an article about this very recently and the author made the point of stating exactly the opposite of this - that there's no continuity, no prerequisite for baseball familiarity, and I'm pretty sure that a woman was mentioned at some point as having heard cases. I dare say I think you are mistaken here, but I could be myself....

#435 cannonball 1729

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:48 AM

Do you have any kind of link for this? I can't for the life of me remember where I read it (and I will look for it), but I distinctly remember reading an article about this very recently and the author made the point of stating exactly the opposite of this - that there's no continuity, no prerequisite for baseball familiarity, and I'm pretty sure that a woman was mentioned at some point as having heard cases. I dare say I think you are mistaken here, but I could be myself....

I believe you are correct. Shyam Das is the grievance arbitrator, not the salary arbitrator. For example, K-Rod's arbitrators last year were Stephen Goldberg, Elizabeth Neumeier and Steven Wolf.

As far as the arbitration process, I certainly don't mean to imply that the arbitrators understand statistics or have a clue what the hell they're doing, and I'm going based on Joe Sheehan's description of the process (from an interview he gave when Roger Clemens asked for $22 million in arbitration from the 'Stros). Allegedly, the whole point is to convince the arbitrator that your number is closer to correct than the other one; if the arbitrator decides that the closest comps are all making X dollars, he or she picks the number closest to X.

In Clemens' case, the Astros submitted $13.5 million, so Sheehan was making the argument that Clemens only had to convince the arbitrator that he was worth more than 17.75 million (halfway in between) for the arbitrator(s) to give him the award. Now, that decision would have been based on things like wins, postseason heroics, and Cy Young awards, but, as far as I know, that's the process.

Now, if the Sox had submitted a $2 million arb number, they're probably not getting the arbitrator that low because 'Tek has a giant C on his jersey. But $6 or 6.5 mil? If Boras + Co. submitted, say $12? That would probably depend on the arbitrator.

Edited by cannonball 1729, 26 January 2009 - 05:12 AM.


#436 mabrowndog


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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:57 AM

I believe you are correct. Shyam Das is the grievance arbitrator, not the salary arbitrator. For example, K-Rod's arbitrators last year were Stephen Goldberg, Elizabeth Neumeier and Steven Wolf.

Indeed, and I stand corrected. Good catch by you and Poutine.

On a humorous note, Rob Neyer gave Das a hilarious nickname: Shyam Wow

"You followin' me, Camera Guy?"

Edited by mabrowndog, 26 January 2009 - 05:00 AM.


#437 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 26 January 2009 - 08:37 AM

Now that we've got details of the team's offer to Varitek, I'm going to close this thread. Discussion can move to the other thread.