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Baseball's Worst Contracts


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#1 TomTerrific

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

Got a chuckle out of this article by Jonah Keri in Grantland on the worst contract's in MLB. (Jonah actually gives the worst 15 contracts and reasons why.) Of course, A-Rod leads the way and it was heartwarming to see the details of Teixeira's decline since joining the MFY.

 

What's kind of scary is that three of the names on the list--AGon, Carl Crawford, and Lackey--were all on the Red Sox until the trading deadline when two of them were sent away.

 

How frightening would things look today if that trade hadn't happened and we still had all three of those albatrosses around our collective necks instead of just one (and the one with only two years left on it, I might add)?



#2 RingoOSU


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

He lost me for not mentioning Joey Votto.



#3 glennhoffmania


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

I don't understand why he didn't have a problem with Braun getting a $105m extension 5 years before he'd hit FA, but he used that logic as a reason to bash Howard for Philly signing him 2 years early (not that I think Howard's deal was good for Philly at all).



#4 Dogman2


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:21 PM

I don't understand why he didn't have a problem with Braun getting a $105m extension 5 years before he'd hit FA, but he used that logic as a reason to bash Howard for Philly signing him 2 years early (not that I think Howard's deal was good for Philly at all).

My guess would be injury history.  Either way, Keri isn't consistent in his bashing.



#5 Papelbon's Poutine


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

I don't understand why he didn't have a problem with Braun getting a $105m extension 5 years before he'd hit FA, but he used that logic as a reason to bash Howard for Philly signing him 2 years early (not that I think Howard's deal was good for Philly at all).

Dogman has a point about him being inconsistent, but I'd also say that Braun was younger, was maintaining his production and the extension was probably below market rate, whereas Howard was already starting to decline and never would have seen that price on the open market.



#6 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

He lost me for not mentioning Joey Votto.

 

I don't think I'd put him on the list of top 15 worst contracts.  His contract certainly isn't good, but he's arguably the best hitter in baseball over the last five years.  He's first in wOBA in that time, tied for second in wRC+ and when we look beyond just the stick, he's fifth in fWAR.  He's going to play most of the 2013 season at 29 so he's in the middle of his prime and unlike the one guy who had him beat in wRC+ and who led the majors in WAR over this span*, he's not showing signs of decline yet.

 

Will the back end of that contract hurt?  Yeah, absolutely.  Are there at least 20 contracts in the majors worse than his?  Yeah, there are.  I'd take Votto and his contract over every name mentioned in the article and several others.

 

Spoiler


Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 14 February 2013 - 02:41 PM.


#7 glennhoffmania


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

Dogman has a point about him being inconsistent, but I'd also say that Braun was younger, was maintaining his production and the extension was probably below market rate, whereas Howard was already starting to decline and never would have seen that price on the open market.

 

I would take Braun's contract over Howard's in a heartbeat.  But giving Braun $105m five years before FA, after his PED issues last year and this year, doesn't make him one of the best bargains in baseball in my book.  And if the extension was below market rate it wasn't by much, especially considering that the Brewers wouldn't have any competition for another five years.  Plus in 2016 Braun will be 33.  Would someone give him more than 5/105 at that point?  Possibly.



#8 Sausage in Section 17


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

I can't remember whether Troy Tulowitzki had 3 or 4 years left on his contract, which ran through 2014, when the Rockies re-upped for his age 30-35 seasons at just short of $20M/year. You'd think they would have learned from what they did with Todd Helton. Plus, the guy struggles to stay on the field. If they do this again in 2-3 years, he'll be on there.



#9 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

Well, both contracts are for the players age 32-36 years; Howard got $20M more; and his deal is for 2012-2016, compared to 2016-2020 for Braun. Those are pretty significant differences. Braun is a better hitter, and can hit both lefties and righties. So, I think the Braun contracts seems a lot better than Howard's.

 

How long until King Felix ends up on this list?


Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 14 February 2013 - 03:27 PM.


#10 soxfan121


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

Well, both contracts are for the players age 32-36 years; Howard got $20M more; and his deal is for 2012-2016, compared to 2016-2020 for Braun. Those are pretty significant differences. Braun is a better hitter, and can hit both lefties and righties. So, I think the Braun contracts seems a lot better than Howard's.

 

How long until King Felix ends up on this list?

 

Felix makes the list when his arm falls off or he starts putting up Lackey numbers. Five minutes or five years from now.



#11 maufman


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

He lost me for not mentioning Joey Votto.

 

Votto has led the NL in OBP three years in a row. Sure, the Reds gave him $50mm too much, but if they decided to blow it up tomorrow, they'd find someone to take Votto off their hands. The only other contract on the list that you could say that about is Adrian Gonzalez's, and I don't think A-Gonz belongs on the list.

 

My top 10 would be:

 

1. Howard

2. A-Rod

3. Wells

4. Crawford

5. Lackey

6. Pujols

7. Uggla

8. Ethier

9. Fielder

10. Zito


Edited by maufman, 14 February 2013 - 03:32 PM.


#12 Frank, Fenway

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

the 50 mil owed to Alex Rios has to earn some honorable mention



#13 xpisblack

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

He lost me for not mentioning Joey Votto.

Is the Votto deal really all that bad?  I mean, it's appalling, sure, and a terrible idea, but the AAV is the same as Barbaro's and it's much more spread out.  Votto might be the best hitter in baseball right now, and his retirement voids the deal.  He seems like the sort of bloke who will either get deeply injured (in which case insurance covers, what, 85% of the contract?) or retire when he can no longer contribute.  It's a ridiculous contract, but it's not all that bad in reality as long as we can assume he's an honourable man who is likely to get injured at some point and hang it up.  I mean if Gil Meche did it...

 

EDIT: Also, he'd be pretty easy to unload, at least for a few years.


Edited by xpisblack, 14 February 2013 - 04:14 PM.


#14 ToeKneeArmAss


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

I'm glad maufman mentioned Fielder.  This thread would be incomplete without him.  Still putting up the numbers, mind you, but that body type and that duration contract ... well, let's just say it's hard to see that ending well.



#15 MakMan44


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:15 PM

How does Wells (& therefore technically Rios) not get disqualified from these sorts of lists due to the fact he already got traded?



#16 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

The fact that someone was dumb enough to trade for an awful contract does not mean the contract becomes more moveable in the future.



#17 MakMan44


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

Right but there's a reason that the contract & player got moved in the first place. There was something appealing about the player that allowed the contract to get moved in the first place. Case in point would be AGone. There's no way his contract should be on the list because at the time he signed, most of us noted that it was good for his skill set and in comparison to what other players were getting. The Dodgers also traded to get him, specifically because they want that skill set. 

 

I think lists like these should be for contracts that sucked when they were signed and everybody knew it. Not contracts that sucked as the player began to suck.  


Edited by MakMan44, 14 February 2013 - 05:30 PM.


#18 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

You're entitled to that opinion, but the list is clearly closer to the latter, not the former.  Criticizing it because it doesn't fit a set of criteria you have in mind that the author didn't seems like a waste of breath, so to speak.

 

And again, just because a bad contract got moved, that doesn't mean it was a good idea or that said bad contract becomes more moveable going forward.  GM's make bad decisions all the time.  The Punto trade is the prime example of that.  Crawford's contract was about as big an albatros as there is in sports at the time of that trade.  He didn't magically become more appealing after the fact because he was traded, though.

 

So to answer the question you asked...

 

 

How does Wells (& therefore technically Rios) not get disqualified from these sorts of lists due to the fact he already got traded?

 

I'll repeat that someone being stupid enough to trade for a bad contract does not make that contract less bad or more appealing.


Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 14 February 2013 - 05:34 PM.


#19 SoxJox

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

I guess the construction of this list could be pursued from a number of different angles:

 

1) The worst current contracts.

2) The worst contracts in MLB history, which would subsume angle 1 above..

3) The contracts that were assessed as bad even as they were being announced, (i.e., there was a general assessment that the player simply was not worth it at the time of signing).

4) The contracts that were assessed as bad after the fact (i.e., the player did not live up to expectations for whatever reason (e.g., injury, loss of motivation, eating chicken and drinking beer)).

 

In the first case, Carl Crawford certainly has to rank up there, although guys like Alfonso Soriano might contend. Even John Lackey gets an honorable mention here.  Perhaps Zito, too.  Hmm, Vernon Wells?  Jason Werth?

 

In the second case Jason Giambi might be right up there.  Mike Rocky-Mountain-High Hampton could easily fill this bill.

 

In the third case, Danny Tartabull might quench the thirst here.  Oh, oh, close to home we might inject Julio Lugo. 

 

In the fourth case, you gotta mention Bobby Bonilla somewhere. Richie Sexson might compete. Even Mo Vaughn might fill the space. And an honorable mention might go to Todd Hundley (I knew his dad so it hurts me to suggest him here)

 

And after it's all said and done, where in god's name do we put Daisuke Matsuzaka?  Other names that might fall into this "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" category are: Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, Matt Davis, Milton Bradley.

 

Of course, all of these are post-free agency era contracts, which might suggest it might be worth considering a sub-strata of candidates within the 4 categories above for pre- and post-free agency. I haven't taken it that far.  Would Babe Ruth fit in here?


Edited by SoxJox, 14 February 2013 - 06:10 PM.


#20 Red(s)HawksFan


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:07 PM

I guess the construction of this list could be pursued from a number of different angles:

 

1) The worst current contracts.

2) The worst contracts in MLB history.

3) The contracts that were assessed as bad even as they were being announced, (i.e., there was a general assessment that the player simply was not worth it at the time of signing).

4) The contracts that were assessed as bad after the fact (i.e., the player did not live up to expectations for whatever reason (e.g., injury, loss of motivation, eating chicken and drinking beer)).

 

In the first case, Carl Crawford certainly has to rank up there, although guys like Alfonso Soriano might contend. Even John Lackey gets an honorable mention here.  Perhaps Zito, too.  Hmm, Vernon Wells?  Jason Werth?

 

In the second case Jason Giambi might be right up there.  Mike Rocky-Mountain-High Hampton could easily fill this bill.

 

In the third case, Danny Tartabull might quench the thirst here.  Oh, oh, close to home we might inject Julio Lugo.

 

In the fourth case, you gotta mention Bobby Bonilla somewhere. Richie Sexson might compete.

 

And after it's all said and done, where in god's name do we put Daisuke Matsuzaka?

 

Of course, all of these are post-free agency era contracts, which might suggest it might be worth considering a sub-strata of candidates within the 4 categories above for pre- and post-free agency. I haven't taken it that far.  Would Babe Ruth fit in here?

 

I think Matsuzaka's deal probably falls into the fourth category as a contract that looked like a good one at the time it was signed, but in retrospect appears bad based on his failure to meet high expectations.  Of course, debates about his contract might hinge on how the posting fee is accounted for.



#21 SumnerH


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

Albert Belle has to be way up the list for #4.  5 year $65-million contract in 1998, had 1 decent season and 1 replacement-level one and was out of baseball 2 years later.  He continued to take up an active 40-man roster spot for insurance reasons for another 3 years, and IIRC they were still making deferred payments through 2006 or thereabouts.



#22 SoxJox

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

Albert Belle has to be way up the list for #4.  5 year $65-million contract in 1998, had 1 decent season and 1 replacement-level one and was out of baseball 2 years later.  He continued to take up an active 40-man roster spot for insurance reasons for another 3 years, and IIRC they were still making deferred payments through 2006 or thereabouts.

 
Yeah, I don't recall the details but he had some kind of weird (I'd even say unique) clause added in that supposedly guaranteed that he would remain one of the top compensated players (at his position? overall? I don't recall).  In essence, it created a situation of near revolving "contract carryover" or "rolling modification".  How the hell did the Orioles agree to that?  Only Frank Wren and Peter Angelos know.  Perhaps they were attempting to regain the return to relevancy that they sniffed in '96 and '97.  Alas...fleeting as they sank into the abysss of a 14-season losing streak.

Edited to add: Baseball Reference reflects that Belle's final payment of $13M was made in 2003. Ooo-wee.

Edited by SoxJox, 14 February 2013 - 07:26 PM.


#23 SumnerH


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

 
Yeah, I don't recall the details but he had some kind of weird (I'd even say unique) clause added in that supposedly guaranteed that he would remain one of the top compensated players (at his position? overall? I don't recall).  In essence, it created a situation of near revolving "contract carryover" or "rolling modification".  How the hell did the Orioles agree to that?  Only Frank Wren and Peter Angelos know.  Perhaps they were attempting to regain the return to relevancy that they sniffed in '96 and '97.  Alas...fleeting as they sank into the abysss of a 14-season losing streak.

Edited to add: Baseball Reference reflects that Belle's final payment of $13M was made in 2003. Ooo-wee.

Yeah but I think that's wrong--that was the final contract year, but I have recollections that after the injury $3 million/year was deferred (with interest) until after the contract and paid out incrementally over the next few years.  So they only actually paid $10 million in 2003 and then in the realm of $3-3.5 million/year through 2006 or so.

 

Unfortunately google's failing me; there are some mentions of the deferred payments but not enough to piece together the specifics.



#24 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

And after it's all said and done, where in god's name do we put Daisuke Matsuzaka?  Other names that might fall into this "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" category are: Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, Matt Davis, Milton Bradley.

 

Dice-K's actual contact was not bad.  You can argue whether or not the posting fee should be included, but to me, that was a separate deal with a completely different bad outcome.

 

Albert Belle has to be way up the list for #4.  5 year $65-million contract in 1998, had 1 decent season and 1 replacement-level one and was out of baseball 2 years later.  He continued to take up an active 40-man roster spot for insurance reasons for another 3 years, and IIRC they were still making deferred payments through 2006 or thereabouts.

 

If I recall correctly - and I may be wrong about this - Belle's contract did not end up being so bad because Angelos had insurance.


Speaking of which, it is my understanding that some of the massive Mets contracts with deferred money were made because Wilpon was earning so much from Madoff, that the deferred money saved Wilpon a ton of money as compared to paying it up front.  Crazy.



#25 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:57 PM

Albert Belle has to be way up the list for #4.  5 year $65-million contract in 1998, had 1 decent season and 1 replacement-level one and was out of baseball 2 years later.  He continued to take up an active 40-man roster spot for insurance reasons for another 3 years, and IIRC they were still making deferred payments through 2006 or thereabouts.


Any time you can get 7 years out of a 5 year contract, it's probably a bargain.

#26 NoLastCall125

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:52 PM

 
Speaking of which, it is my understanding that some of the massive Mets contracts with deferred money were made because Wilpon was earning so much from Madoff, that the deferred money saved Wilpon a ton of money as compared to paying it up front.  Crazy.


Bobby Bonilla comes to mind immediately when I think of a contract that had deferred money.

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#27 BoSox Rule

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:00 PM

Everyone always says Fielder on these lists because of his body but you really cant ignore the fact that he is the most durable player in the game.

#28 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:32 PM

Got a chuckle out of this article by Jonah Keri in Grantland on the worst contract's in MLB. (Jonah actually gives the worst 15 contracts and reasons why.) Of course, A-Rod leads the way and it was heartwarming to see the details of Teixeira's decline since joining the MFY.

 

What's kind of scary is that three of the names on the list--AGon, Carl Crawford, and Lackey--were all on the Red Sox until the trading deadline when two of them were sent away.

 

How frightening would things look today if that trade hadn't happened and we still had all three of those albatrosses around our collective necks instead of just one (and the one with only two years left on it, I might add)?

Ken Rosenthal has a new article out about Zack Greinke and what a baseball junkie Greinke is.  He recounts how Greinke wanted to be involved with the Milwaukee front office during their amateur draft to see how it goes.  Greinke apparently put a lot of thought into certain players that he recommended to Brewers' GM Doug Melvin. 

 

Anyway, later in the article, Rosenthal says that when first asked about the Punto trade, Greinke said it was a stupid move by the Dodgers.  but upon being signed by the Dodgers he apparently amended that to "crazy" like, far out, man!   But he was right at first.  It was stupid for L.A. to do that.



#29 kenneycb


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:00 AM

 
Yeah, I don't recall the details but he had some kind of weird (I'd even say unique) clause added in that supposedly guaranteed that he would remain one of the top compensated players (at his position? overall? I don't recall).  In essence, it created a situation of near revolving "contract carryover" or "rolling modification".  How the hell did the Orioles agree to that?  Only Frank Wren and Peter Angelos know.  Perhaps they were attempting to regain the return to relevancy that they sniffed in '96 and '97.  Alas...fleeting as they sank into the abysss of a 14-season losing streak.

Edited to add: Baseball Reference reflects that Belle's final payment of $13M was made in 2003. Ooo-wee.

I may be wrong but I seem to recall that being the case when he was on the White Sox. He did two years there and was eclipsed in salary so he then became a FA and was signed by the O's.

#30 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:31 AM

I would take Braun's contract over Howard's in a heartbeat.  But giving Braun $105m five years before FA, after his PED issues last year and this year, doesn't make him one of the best bargains in baseball in my book.  And if the extension was below market rate it wasn't by much, especially considering that the Brewers wouldn't have any competition for another five years.  Plus in 2016 Braun will be 33.  Would someone give him more than 5/105 at that point?  Possibly.

 

The extension was definitely below market rate.

 

Put it like this, Braun is being underpaid in his prime as the 5/105 is a tack-on. He's effectively signed for 8 years, 138.5 million. PED issues or not - it's not like he's missed any time due to it - do you think a dude who has had a 163 OPS+ the last two years, two 30/30 seasons and hasn't missed significant time at any point in his career, hitting free agency at 29, is getting less than 8/138.5? Fielder's no better of a hitter, plays worse defense and is fat as fuck and got 9/214. He's also younger but I don't think that cancels out the obesity. 

 

The Brewers also want to build around Braun, not only on the field but also off. He's the face of the franchise and is hugely popular in Wisconsin, PEDs or not. Now there is obviously risk involved in signing a guy to an extension before his current contract runs out but a small-market team like Milwaukee needs to take a chance - particularly when Braun previously signed a team-friendly extension. They can't let him hit FA. Braun's arguably still being underpaid so it looks good for the Brewers on that front. 

 

But the Phillies are one of the richest teams in baseball, so they could afford to wait. When you also add in the bad body, old player skills and the noodle bat versus lefties of Howard it makes even less sense. They could have easily waited three years (or even two) and probably signed him to almost the exact same contract. 



#31 The Best Catch in 100 Years

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:38 AM

Hahaha I had no idea Danks had so many years and so much money left on his deal. Jesus.



#32 Hugh G Rection

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:07 AM

I can't believe that no one has brought up Jason Bay ..... He isn't even playing for the team that is still on the hook for the remainder of the contract.



#33 Average Reds


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:26 AM

Want to come back and talk about Joey Votto for a second.

 

He's 29 and still one of the best players in baseball.  But he has 11 years and $238 million left on his deal.  To say that his deal is like the contract that Gonzalez signed is simply incorrect.  Gonzalez is signed through age 36. Votto is signed through age 40.

 

The contract is not a problem for the Reds now, but that's only because it hasn't even kicked in - they are still paying him $13 million under the terms of his original deal.  But the sad fact is that Votto's deal is very likely to be seen as worse than just about any deal on the list except maybe Pujols in terms of the potential to cripple the team that gave it out.  And I say this as someone who loves Votto as a player.

 

Is it possible that we'll eventually conclude that it's a decent deal for the Reds?  Sure.  But the level of risk in that contract is just off-the-charts nuts.


Edited by Average Reds, 15 February 2013 - 07:26 AM.


#34 SoxJox

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:12 AM

I may be wrong but I seem to recall that being the case when he was on the White Sox. He did two years there and was eclipsed in salary so he then became a FA and was signed by the O's.

Now that you mention it, that is exactly what happened as I recall.



#35 Back Bay

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:15 AM

Gonzalez contract at the time look like a bargain. Remember? Fielders and Pujols were getting 200M.

Edited by Back Bay, 15 February 2013 - 08:17 AM.


#36 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

Yeah, but the seeds of the Gonzalez contract being a big miss had already been sown.  He already had a shoulder problem.  We just didn't know how bad or if he'd get over it and not have any sort of relapses.  But he has.  It was a bargain(sort of) if we all assumed his shoulder was fine.



#37 RingoOSU


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

Want to come back and talk about Joey Votto for a second.

 

He's 29 and still one of the best players in baseball.  But he has 11 years and $238 million left on his deal.  To say that his deal is like the contract that Gonzalez signed is simply incorrect.  Gonzalez is signed through age 36. Votto is signed through age 40.

 

The contract is not a problem for the Reds now, but that's only because it hasn't even kicked in - they are still paying him $13 million under the terms of his original deal.  But the sad fact is that Votto's deal is very likely to be seen as worse than just about any deal on the list except maybe Pujols in terms of the potential to cripple the team that gave it out.  And I say this as someone who loves Votto as a player.

 

Is it possible that we'll eventually conclude that it's a decent deal for the Reds?  Sure.  But the level of risk in that contract is just off-the-charts nuts.

That's my biggest problem. I really don't see the Reds as a team that can handle paying one player so much for so long. Even if he's supposed to be the new face of your franchise.



#38 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

That's my biggest problem. I really don't see the Reds as a team that can handle paying one player so much for so long. Even if he's supposed to be the new face of your franchise.

 

But if we're looking at the worst contacts in baseball right now then I don't think it should be included.  This list isn't trying to predict which will be the worst in five, six or seven years, it's talking about the worst contracts in the sport in February of 2013.  Said differently, I think you'd have an easier time moving Votto and his contract (or a huge portion of it) than the names on this list, assuming the same portion of their contracts would have to be covered as well.

 

And that's said in a vacuum, of course.  Maybe two teams with bad contracts are able to work out a deal where they swap two shorter term bad contracts for one long term one, or two smaller dollar contracts for one bigger dollar deal.  Just because a deal is on this list that doesn't mean the contract is 100% unmovable, it just means that it's one of the more difficult ones to move.  I just don't think the Reds would have as much trouble as, say, the Dodgers would moving Crawford of Gonzalez right now, if they put Votto on the block.



#39 Average Reds


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

But if we're looking at the worst contacts in baseball right now then I don't think it should be included.  This list isn't trying to predict which will be the worst in five, six or seven years, it's talking about the worst contracts in the sport in February of 2013.  Said differently, I think you'd have an easier time moving Votto and his contract (or a huge portion of it) than the names on this list, assuming the same portion of their contracts would have to be covered as well.

 

And that's said in a vacuum, of course.  Maybe two teams with bad contracts are able to work out a deal where they swap two shorter term bad contracts for one long term one, or two smaller dollar contracts for one bigger dollar deal.  Just because a deal is on this list that doesn't mean the contract is 100% unmovable, it just means that it's one of the more difficult ones to move.  I just don't think the Reds would have as much trouble as, say, the Dodgers would moving Crawford of Gonzalez right now, if they put Votto on the block.

 

Gonzalez has 6 years and $132 million left on his deal compared to 11 years and $238 million for Votto. 

 

If faced with a choice between the two, I would take Gonzalez and it would not be close.



#40 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

Over the next six years, Votto projects to be the much better player. One of the best in the game. There is value in that where as Gonzales looks like he could end up being sunk cost, and at best will be a bit above average for first basemen. Sure, he could bounce back, but from right here, there is a significant chance he will never approach being the kind of player the Sox hoped they were getting when they traded for him.

#41 glennhoffmania


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:53 PM

The extension was definitely below market rate.

 

Put it like this, Braun is being underpaid in his prime as the 5/105 is a tack-on. He's effectively signed for 8 years, 138.5 million. PED issues or not - it's not like he's missed any time due to it - do you think a dude who has had a 163 OPS+ the last two years, two 30/30 seasons and hasn't missed significant time at any point in his career, hitting free agency at 29, is getting less than 8/138.5? Fielder's no better of a hitter, plays worse defense and is fat as fuck and got 9/214. He's also younger but I don't think that cancels out the obesity. 

That isn't the way to judge it.  They already had him through 2015.  They didn't have to do anything else to keep him for another 4 years, at a cost of $28 million.  They then signed him to a 5/105 deal 4 years early.  Combining the two deals to call the second one affordable doesn't make sense.  He's 29 now, but he'll be 33 when the extension kicks in.  Would I give a 33 year old Braun 5/105?  Maybe, but there's no way to answer that until 2015.

 

They gave him $21 million per year, 4 years before FA, at the same time that Crawford got $20 million, Beltre got $16 million, and Werth got $18 million.  I'm not saying that Braun clearly isn't better than these guys, but they were actual FAs.  The only hitters making more AAV at that time were ARod, Teixeira and Mauer.  I can't see any way that Braun's contract should be considered below market.

 

Again, I think that Braun is a great player- one of the best in baseball right now.  But in my opinion Milwaukee took on all of the risk, could have waited at least a year or two more before extending him, and got no home town discount or pre-FA discount.



#42 Sampo Gida

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:05 PM

Gonzalez contract at the time look like a bargain. Remember? Fielders and Pujols were getting 200M.

 

Yeah, but we gave up 3 top prospects to be able to sign him, 2 of which have already made the MLB and Rizzo looks to be an All Star.  Pujols and Fielder cost an unknown prospect which has a 5% chance of being a significant player.  Also, Fielder and Pujols got more years, the AAV difference was only a few million a year, and they were not coming off shoulder surgery.  If I had to rate the contracts I would rank them Pujols, Gonzalez, Fielder (last because I don't believe he will age well with that body).



#43 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:18 AM

Again, I think that Braun is a great player- one of the best in baseball right now.  But in my opinion Milwaukee took on all of the risk, could have waited at least a year or two more before extending him, and got no home town discount or pre-FA discount.

 

He is one of the 3-4 best offensive players in baseball. If they had waited, is there any reason to think he wouldn't have a Pujols / Fielder type offer? The extension is only a bad move if salaries start going down or if his performance collapses. There's risk involved, but waiting is risky too. If he plays as he has, they can't afford market price.



#44 Average Reds


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Over the next six years, Votto projects to be the much better player. One of the best in the game. There is value in that where as Gonzales looks like he could end up being sunk cost, and at best will be a bit above average for first basemen. Sure, he could bounce back, but from right here, there is a significant chance he will never approach being the kind of player the Sox hoped they were getting when they traded for him.

 

If I were trading for six years of Votto vs six years of Gonzales, I take Votto every time.  But that's not the deal.  If you are asking which contract can most easily be traded, the choice is between six years of Gonzales at $132 million or 11 years of Votto at $238 million. 

 

The risk associated with Votto's contract is so high that I take Gonzales every single time and it's not a close call.



#45 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

I don't agree at all. I think the risk of a total bust with Gonzalez is too high and that a team looking to make its run in the short term would rather take a chance on Votto, but I'm starting to run that point into the ground so I'll leave it at that.

#46 MakMan44


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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

 
He is one of the 3-4 best offensive players in baseball. If they had waited, is there any reason to think he wouldn't have a Pujols / Fielder type offer? The extension is only a bad move if salaries start going down or if his performance collapses. There's risk involved, but waiting is risky too. If he plays as he has, they can't afford market price.

The only reason I question this is the PED connection. Melky lost a huge payday because he got caught. The only difference between him and Braun is that he got off on a technicality. I don't think it would destroy his value but I do think it'd have an impact on how much he would've made in FA

#47 Toe Nash

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

Everyone always says Fielder on these lists because of his body but you really cant ignore the fact that he is the most durable player in the game.

Right now. Ryan Howard played 162 games at age 28 too, but once these guys pass 30 things start to happen. Fielder is signed through age 36.



#48 Average Reds


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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

I don't agree at all. I think the risk of a total bust with Gonzalez is too high and that a team looking to make its run in the short term would rather take a chance on Votto, but I'm starting to run that point into the ground so I'll leave it at that.

 

Here's what I don't get, and I'll leave it alone after this. 

 

You keep talking about the difficulty of trading Gonzalez given his contract and that a team looking to make a short term run would rather take a chance on 11 years of Joey Votto.  But in doing so, you are ignoring the fact that Gonzalez was actually traded under precisely this scenario last August.

 

I understand that it is unlikely that we will ever settle this unless the Reds try to trade Votto within the next 12 months.  But I don't see how you can make an argument about how incredibly difficult it will be to move the Gonzalez contract when reality says otherwise.



#49 glennhoffmania


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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

He is one of the 3-4 best offensive players in baseball. If they had waited, is there any reason to think he wouldn't have a Pujols / Fielder type offer? The extension is only a bad move if salaries start going down or if his performance collapses. There's risk involved, but waiting is risky too. If he plays as he has, they can't afford market price.

 

Prince was 28 when he signed his deal.  Pujols was 32, but he was in his own class for most of the last decade.  I think the better question is, why would Braun get a Pujols/Fielder type offer when he's 33?  And this assumes that their only options were to extend him in 2011 or let him get to FA 4 years later.  There was a lot of middle ground.



#50 derekson

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

Here's what I don't get, and I'll leave it alone after this. 

 

You keep talking about the difficulty of trading Gonzalez given his contract and that a team looking to make a short term run would rather take a chance on 11 years of Joey Votto.  But in doing so, you are ignoring the fact that Gonzalez was actually traded under precisely this scenario last August.

 

I understand that it is unlikely that we will ever settle this unless the Reds try to trade Votto within the next 12 months.  But I don't see how you can make an argument about how incredibly difficult it will be to move the Gonzalez contract when reality says otherwise.

 

 

And since that time, despite going back home to a "more comfortable home environment" in California, Gonzalez continued to hit for almost no power, walk far less than he did in his best years, and really didn't show any signs that his first half 2012 numbers were an aberration rather than the new him. He'll probably rebound a bit, but there's a very slim chance that he's going to get back to the 30-40 HR and 90-100 BB per season bat that the Red Sox thought they were getting when they traded Kelly and Rizzo and paid $154M to lock him up long term. 

 

Personally I'd rather take the guy who's still performing like a star first baseman, even if it means committing for 5 extra years. The risk with Votto is that he declines to where he's not a top tier 1B. That's already happened to Adrian.


Edited by derekson, 19 February 2013 - 04:55 PM.





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