The Red Sox don't assess the market, they assign value. If the market is above the value then they let other teams waste money.
I've been wondering about this. Of course this
So in a year with a bunch of guys getting three year contracts Theo gets these last two with a two year deal and a one year plus option. That's the kind of contracts these guys should get.
makes it moot for this off-season. It was a great job by the Sox to, in essence, wait as the top of the market was set, and other adjusted to it. Then when everyone with need and money had paid, the Sox could look at what was left in a very fungible market. But I believe they do assess the market, and that they have to, in a way that resembles this:
Players under their control as of two weeks ago (Papelbon, Bard, Atchison, Doubront, Wakefield, Bowden, Hill) can staff a bullpen rather cheaply. But then the So x have to determine if it is good enough to support a winning team. If it's not, then they have to upgrade -- that's where the market comes in. If the going rate for someone better than those that typically ride the AAA shuttle is $10 million for two years, that's what they have to be prepared to pay. Even if Dan Wheeler is only "worth" $3 million for the upgrade he provides, not paying the $5 million over two years runs a bg risk of tanking everything else the Sox have done in the off-season. In essence the market sets the price of the upgrade the team may determine they have to make -- once they know they have to go elsewhere. So, they can't just let everyone else waste their money -- they do have to figure out how to work the market to get the best value they can, given their needs.
And I'd suggest they did it very well -- in essence matching the dollar amount of comparable talent for each of the last two guys they signed, while finding creative ways to restrain the multi-year commitment -- with Jenks, it's obviously the chance to hit the FA market as a "proven closer" if he is coming off a good year, and with Wheeler, it's the chance to get the longer-term deal if he pitches well, yet hit the market unconstrained by picks if he doesn't. Jenks probably thinks he's looking at $42 million over the next five years, Wheeler thinks he's gonna' get at least $6 million over the next two. It's not Jesse Crain's deal for Wheeler, but close enough. And probably the best he could do at this point.
But, the Sox got the deal because they realized the limited demand at the prices that others had been paying. Once that demand dried up, they took what was left. It looks as though Wheeler's agent got pretty creative, but Wheeler (unless this is the place he wanted to be) should spend a lot of time asking his agent why he isn't guaranteed $9 million over the next three years. His agent is the guy who (maybe) mis-read the market.