Red Sox sign David Price

nvalvo

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Only way it makes sense to me is the former. I imagine that both the 190 and 200 figures were steps in the negotiations. The Sox were always planning to cap out around 217, give or take, but wanted to get it done, so they said ok, here's the real offer, take it or we're moving on to Greinke.

I don't think anyone smart enough to get a high profile major league GM position is dumb enough to Bugs Bunny themselves into paying more for something they've already won. If you want to use the eBay example upthread, I see it more like 190 and 200 as being under the reserve, and the 217 is the buy it now price.
Or maybe the two deals look like they're $27m apart considered at large, but Price and his agent are more focused on what happens before the opt out.

Maybe the Cardinals offer had a different opt out structure that was they didn't like as much.
 

Max Power

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I put together a list of comparables to David Price to see what we may be looking at moving forward. I searched for pitchers with 1000 career innings who had an overall ERA+ of 125 or greater in the years between 1980 and 2008. Anything after that doesn't give us enough information about what those pitchers were like 7 years in the future. There were only 14 (or 13 and a half, since Zambrano wasn't fully in the year cutoff), so the sample size is quite small.

Rank Name ERA+ IP StartYr EndYr Ages
1 Pedro Martinez 169 1693 1992 2001 20-29
2 Roger Clemens 152 2031 1984 1992 21-29
3 Johan Santana 144 1543 2000 2008 21-29
4 Greg Maddux 137 2120.2 1986 1995 20-29
5 Kevin Appier 136 1665.1 1989 1997 21-29
6 Bret Saberhagen 126 1897.1 1984 1993 20-29
7 Carlos Zambrano 128 1382 2001 2008 20-27
8 Roy Oswalt 143 1413.1 2001 2007 23-29
9 Mike Mussina 130 1568.2 1991 1998 22-29
10 Dave Stieb 128 1914.2 1980 1987 22-29
11 Brandon Webb 143 1315.2 2003 2008 24-29
12 Tim Hudson 134 1432.2 1999 2005 23-29
13 Roy Halladay 130 1336.1 1998 2006 21-29
14 Orel Hershiser 129 1200.1 1983 1988 24-29

10 of the 14 made it through the first three years of their 30s as excellent pitchers. Half were roughly league average or better in their age 36 season. That's actually a bit better than I thought it would be with so many innings on young arms. Maybe Price will be one of the lucky half.
 

JimD

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For those who are unhappy about the opt-out - how far would you have wanted DD to go to avoid this clause? Should he have added the necessary dollars to avoid this (assuming Price and his agent were being reasonable)? If Price insisted on the opt-out, should the Red Sox have held firm and walked away from the negotiations and gone with Greinke? And if Greinke insisted on his own opt-out, would you have wanted the Sox to avoid both guys and either signed a lesser FA or gone the trade route?
 

MikeM

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Hard to blame him if he did. Pitching is simply easier in the National League. It's not just a matter of relatively easy to recalibrate things like lower ERAs and more strikeouts, although those are nice and HOF voters and the general public probably don't fully incorporate the difference between the leagues. It's also more high stress innings and difficult pitches against professional hitters instead of easy innings and pitches against non-professional hitters. We may have to get used to the idea that as an American League team (and in an offensive ballpark and in a tough division) we need to pay an additional premium to attract SP free agents.
Let's not overlook that the Boston Red Sox are not exactly offering the same "sign here to win" assurances we once were during most of the Theo Epstein era either. The Cards have had one losing season since 2000, and these days are essentially printing their playoff tickets in March. With all things being equal I'm guessing we are probably losing that either/or player choice 9 out of 10 times.

Another potential aspect to all this that is kind of getting lost in the shuffle (and annual tendency of many to lowball every highest end FA projection) here is the very real possibility David Price was going to get more $$$ then he did the longer he sat out there. Guarantee Boras didn't like this signing, and is probably still seething over not having a horse in the race.

While the Cards probably deserve some of the credit for pushing this deal towards early fruition, as far as I'm concerned the fact that we won't be sitting here a month+ from now waiting to see how things shake out is a huge feather in DD's cap, and representative of a certain style of aggressiveness I never really felt was even in Theo/Ben's playbook.
 

dhappy42

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For those who are unhappy about the opt-out - how far would you have wanted DD to go to avoid this clause? Should he have added the necessary dollars to avoid this (assuming Price and his agent were being reasonable)? If Price insisted on the opt-out, should the Red Sox have held firm and walked away from the negotiations and gone with Greinke? And if Greinke insisted on his own opt-out, would you have wanted the Sox to avoid both guys and either signed a lesser FA or gone the trade route?
The opt-out is maybe the best thing about this contract. Unless Price suffers some kind of catastrophic injury or mysteriously becomes a mediocre or poor pitcher in what should be his prime years -- age 30-32 -- he will almost certainly opt out in 2019, a year or two before when you'd expect his age-related decline to begin.

If the headline was "Sox Sign Price for Three Years, $90 million," Sox fans would be screaming with joy. We should be anyway, because it's about 90% likely how this contract will turn out.
 

uncannymanny

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The opt-out is maybe the best thing about this contract. Unless Price suffers some kind of catastrophic injury or mysteriously becomes a mediocre or poor pitcher in what should be his prime years -- age 30-32 -- he will almost certainly opt out in 2019, a year or two before when you'd expect his age-related decline to begin.

If the headline was "Sox Sign Price for Three Years, $90 million," Sox fans would be screaming with joy. We should be anyway, because it's about 90% likely how this contract will turn out.
:fonz::popcorn
 

Idabomb333

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For those who are unhappy about the opt-out - how far would you have wanted DD to go to avoid this clause? Should he have added the necessary dollars to avoid this (assuming Price and his agent were being reasonable)? If Price insisted on the opt-out, should the Red Sox have held firm and walked away from the negotiations and gone with Greinke? And if Greinke insisted on his own opt-out, would you have wanted the Sox to avoid both guys and either signed a lesser FA or gone the trade route?
I for one think the opt out is probably better for the Sox than whatever the alternative would have been to convince Price to come. I don't hate the opt out. I just can't stand the ridiculous position that the opt out is good in and of itself for the team and its fans. That's nonsense. I hope it works perfectly for the Sox, and he opts out, goes elsewhere, and isn't worth the next contract or the remainder of this contract even though other teams think he will be. That would definitely make me happy relative to a noticeably larger contract that they keep through his decline years. It just would not make me as happy as the 1st 3 years working the same great way, then the Sox find they don't think he's worth the money anymore with their theoretically awesome young pitching staff, so they trade him to the Dodgers for a huge prospect haul before the decline starts.
 

canderson

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So about the Ortiz v Price deal:

@PeteAbe David Ortiz said the #RedSox called him before they signed David Price. His advice? “It’s all about power pitching."

@PeteAbe Ortiz on Price: "I’m going to help him the most; he’s going to help me the most to win ballgames and that’s what matters.” @OrtizClassic
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I get not wanting to lose out, but I wonder why the Red Sox had to outbid themselves by 17M, and the competition by 27M?

More of a "let's just end this now" move, or did Price need extra convincing to come here?
They must have thought that Price put some value on pitching in St. Louis (or the NL). If you're the Red Sox, you don't know what you don't know, and you have to assume something like that is going on.

If Price laughed at the $190 million offer from St. Louis, and said, "I have $10 million more on the table, why would I take that," then the Red Sox were bidding against themselves. If, instead, Price said, "look, I love you guys and would love to play there, and the standard of living is better and I'd rather have 82 duty days at the relatively lower Missouri tax rate than that Massachusetts one, so can you match the Red Sox offer" then the Red Sox are in a precarious position. Because at that point, maybe St. Louis does say, "ok, our offer is $190 million, but if you offer to come here for $200 million, we'll accept it." Now what happens? Maybe Price makes the offer. It depends on whether he thinks there's more money on the Red Sox side, and presumably, they didn't make a $200 million offer and also wink and suggest "there's more here." They probably sent it with a message like, "we're trying to bowl you over with making our best offer." So, now as the Sox you have a tough decision -- and they wanted their guy so rather than hope they had conveyed the wink -- "there's more money here" -- instead, they just offered it.

Edit: By standard of living is "better," I meant cheaper.
 

Idabomb333

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The opt-out is maybe the best thing about this contract. Unless Price suffers some kind of catastrophic injury or mysteriously becomes a mediocre or poor pitcher in what should be his prime years -- age 30-32 -- he will almost certainly opt out in 2019, a year or two before when you'd expect his age-related decline to begin.

If the headline was "Sox Sign Price for Three Years, $90 million," Sox fans would be screaming with joy. We should be anyway, because it's about 90% likely how this contract will turn out.
Not sure how serious you are here... I really hope it works out this way, and 90% may not be far off. In a world where the opt out working that way was part of the Sox front office's master plan, wouldn't they also be clever enough to trade Price to one of these teams that wants to give him a raise, and get back prospects in addition to getting out of the contract before his decline? And if they did make that trade, isn't that obviously better than having given him the opt out clause?
 

DavidTai

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Not sure how serious you are here... I really hope it works out this way, and 90% may not be far off. In a world where the opt out working that way was part of the Sox front office's master plan, wouldn't they also be clever enough to trade Price to one of these teams that wants to give him a raise, and get back prospects in addition to getting out of the contract before his decline? And if they did make that trade, isn't that obviously better than having given him the opt out clause?
I find this rationale silly... how many teams like the Dodgers do you think can actually take on that kind of contract -and- give us talent that's better than the compensation picks when he opts out? We can eliminate the New York Yankees RIGHT OFF THE BAT, right? And then eliminate the small market teams,and then eliminate the teams that DON'T have the talent to trade for him... and you're left with a pretty small, tight market that might or might not have already have big contracts of their owns to deal with.

And if you say something about 'there may not be compensation picks', I'm going right back to 'there's no certainity youre going to find a team to take on that contract'.

I, for one, would rather have 'He's gone', than the stupid circus that was the Cole Hamels "we got to trade him for talent" stuff.
 

williams_482

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The opt-out is maybe the best thing about this contract. Unless Price suffers some kind of catastrophic injury or mysteriously becomes a mediocre or poor pitcher in what should be his prime years -- age 30-32 -- he will almost certainly opt out in 2019, a year or two before when you'd expect his age-related decline to begin.

If the headline was "Sox Sign Price for Three Years, $90 million," Sox fans would be screaming with joy. We should be anyway, because it's about 90% likely how this contract will turn out.
Aside from the points brought up by @NobodyInteresting (awesome posts, by the way), I think the argument that the opt out is favorable to the Red Sox (all else being equal) is based off of a couple of assumptions that I'd like to go into here.

First off, there is the general "rule" that giving a pitcher a 7 year deal is a bad idea, and thus any contract clause that give the Red Sox of getting out before the deal goes sour should be viewed as a positive.

Although on the aggregate signing a guy like Price to a 7 year deal that pays him over $30M per is overwhelmingly likely to look bad in the last couple years, and has a good chance of being a poor deal overall, there is also a pretty solid chance that the Price could deliver more than he is being paid for over the life of the deal. The problem with the opt out is that in a sizeable majority of those situations, Price voids the contract and the Red Sox don't actually get to benefit from him being paid at or below his expected level of production for those last four seasons.

I think it helps to view this as two separate contracts, offered to two separate pitchers. The first is a three year, $90M offer to 30 year old David Price. We (or the Red Sox) know a lot about 30 year old David Price: how good he has been, what his historical comps are and how they have aged, how healthy he is, etc. This information tells us that it is overwhelmingly likely that David Price will be worth what he is being paid in We can try to estimate how good he will be in 2016, 2017, 2018, etc, but we don't really know.

The second contract is a 4 year, $127M extension, set to kick in after 2018. However, this extension is not for our best guess at what David Price will look like after 2018, but for a version of David Price who believes he would be unable to get more money elsewhere. This includes our current median projection for David Price, but that projection is now a ceiling for how good Price could have been, and our overall expectation is weighed down by various permutations and combinations of Injured David Price and Underperforming David Price.

For those of you who are worried about signing a 30 year old pitcher to a 7 year deal, would you be more or less nervous about signing a 33 year old pitcher to a 4 year deal? I assume (correct me if I am wrong) that most of you would see this as a potentially reasonable course of action, depending on the pitcher. What the option does is offer a four year deal to a 33 year old starting pitcher only if he is not expected to be worth the money, while allowing the worthwhile 33 year old to go get paid more money.

Does it make sense why this would be seen as a negative?

Second, the opt out isn't a bad thing because if it is activated, the Red Sox "won" the deal.

I think the error being made here is viewing contracts as binary "wins" and "losses." The opt out does increase the odds that the Red Sox will "win" the deal, because the early years are almost always the best value years and the longer you have an aging player, the worse they usually get.

If David Price opts out, that means that he was good and the Red Sox won the trade. The team then receives no additional benefit from an apparently underpaid David Price.

If David Price does not opt out, the Red Sox probably lost the trade, and will be forced to overpay Price for another four years. Those seven years of "worse than expected David Price" will hurt more than three years of "better than expected David Price" will help.

If you believe that Price is overwhelmingly likely to opt out, then either you believe that pitcher aging curves take a nosedive at 33 and that the league will remain unaware of this by the end of the 2018 season, or you believe the man is substantially underpaid overall and it would be better if he stuck around instead of going elsewhere.

Finally, although I'm sure no one was consciously arguing this, the fact that the Red Sox "win" if Price opts out does not make Price opting out more likely. He may be more highly motivated and that is hardly a bad thing, but the man is a big time competitor from the start, and most studies on the topic have found that the "contract year" effect is significantly overstated if it exists at all.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
If David Price does not opt out, the Red Sox probably lost the trade, and will be forced to overpay Price for another four years. Those seven years of "worse than expected David Price" will hurt more than three years of "better than expected David Price" will help.
Yes, but....I hate to keep harping on this, but people keep talking as if they don't see it....the seven years of "worse than expected David Price" are not in any way a result of the opt-out. They are a result of a seven-year contract. The opt-out doesn't make them more likely, and it doesn't make them worse. It has no impact on them whatsoever. The opt-out affects only the best-case scenario.
 

twibnotes

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I love that St. Louis was in big on Price. They are basically the Pats of MLB, to the extent that you can compare apples and oranges. $170MM is a huge give for the Cards so here's hoping they were correct in their evaluation.
 

williams_482

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Yes, but....I hate to keep harping on this, but people keep talking as if they don't see it....the seven years of "worse than expected David Price" are not in any way a result of the opt-out. They are a result of a seven-year contract. The opt-out doesn't make them more likely, and it doesn't make them worse. It has no impact on them whatsoever. The opt-out affects only the best-case scenario.
Yes, those seven years of "worse than expected David Price" are there no matter what. That is the risk of giving a pitcher seven years.

Without the opt out, those seven years are balanced by the possibility of getting seven years of "better than expected David Price," which is worth significantly more than the three years you get when you give him the opt out.
 

Idabomb333

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I find this rationale silly... how many teams like the Dodgers do you think can actually take on that kind of contract -and- give us talent that's better than the compensation picks when he opts out? We can eliminate the New York Yankees RIGHT OFF THE BAT, right? And then eliminate the small market teams,and then eliminate the teams that DON'T have the talent to trade for him... and you're left with a pretty small, tight market that might or might not have already have big contracts of their owns to deal with.

And if you say something about 'there may not be compensation picks', I'm going right back to 'there's no certainity youre going to find a team to take on that contract'.

I, for one, would rather have 'He's gone', than the stupid circus that was the Cole Hamels "we got to trade him for talent" stuff.
I'm sorry, but there is no question here that your point is the objectively silly one. I have no real idea how many teams will want to pay David Price more than $31 million per year for 4 years starting in 2019, and neither do you. If the opt out matters, it is because there is at least one. In the event that there is at least one team who wants to pay him more than the remainder of his current contract and sacrifice a pick, how can you possibly argue that there would not be a team that wants to trade for the remainder of his current contract and give up at least the pick? The fact of him opting out implies there is a trade partner. If he doesn't opt out, then the clause doesn't matter, and it's just a 7-year contract that looks pretty bad by year 3, with or without the opt out.

Your last paragraph is fine as a fan, but would you really want Dombrowski to think that it's better to just not have to think about a trade than to receive something in addition to having him gone? That's preposterous.

Again, I don't really mind the opt out. It's not a huge difference to the Sox, and probably made the contract better for them in some other way. I just can't stand people continually arguing that something which is a clear, fairly small negative thing for the Sox is actually a very good thing for the Sox in itself.

If you asked any sane agent or GM in this or any game whether a player option is in itself a good or bad thing for the team, 100% of them will tell you it's bad for the team. That isn't a debatable or subjective point. It's the nature of giving the player an extra piece of power.

If you asked the GM involved when a player opted out of his contract how they feel about the contract, they'd likely universally agree to something like, "Well this contract worked out well for both sides, but if I could go back in time and remove the opt out clause without changing anything else, I would absolutely do that."
 

snowmanny

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Contracts with options and clauses are a funny thing. Manny Ramirez had two team options that 1) theoretically favored the Red Sox and 2) we heard over and over were just there for show and were never going to be picked up because he would never be worth $20,000,000 in years 9 & 10. Of course, they became a source of friction (one of many) with the team and seemed to contribute to Manny's trade; also, of course, he ended up with more money in years 9 & 10. John Lackey had an injury clause that seemed to benefit the Red Sox because it gave them a free year; of course it became a source of friction with the team (perhaps one of many) and seemed to contribute to his trade, and ultimately benefited the Cardinals. Giancarlo Stanton has an opt-out that supposedly the Marlins are hoping he takes in order to cut their committment by $219,000,000; of course they might change their minds.

Obviously Price's opt-out is a disadvantage to the Red Sox. Unless for some reason it turns out it isn't.
 

Idabomb333

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Contracts with options and clauses are a funny thing. Manny Ramirez had two team options that 1) theoretically favored the Red Sox and 2) we heard over and over were just there for show and were never going to be picked up because he would never be worth $20,000,000 in years 9 & 10. Of course, they became a source of friction (one of many) with the team and seemed to contribute to Manny's trade; also, of course, he ended up with more money in years 9 & 10. John Lackey had an injury clause that seemed to benefit the Red Sox because it gave them a free year; of course it became a source of friction with the team (perhaps one of many) and seemed to contribute to his trade, and ultimately benefited the Cardinals. Giancarlo Stanton has an opt-out that supposedly the Marlins are hoping he takes in order to cut their committment by $219,000,000; of course they might change their minds.

Obviously Price's opt-out is a disadvantage to the Red Sox. Unless for some reason it turns out it isn't.
I'm not sure what you're trying to argue here... Club options don't always work out as well as it seems like they should, so maybe player options also can hurt the player? Can you give an example of a time when a player option hurt the player? Players and teams misread markets sometimes, but that doesn't mean the decision power was a bad thing for them. It means misreading the market was a bad thing for them. Could Price misread the market, opt out, and end up with less money? Sure, but no one believes the Sox are counting on that, right? And the existence of that possibility doesn't really reduce the value to Price of having extra decision power, or reduce the cost to the Sox of giving up that decision power.

Manny was nuts. Not really relevant to the discussion of a player option, but do you think the Sox would have extracted more value out of him somehow if they didn't have those options causing "friction?"

I have no idea what friction Lackey's option caused, but the value to the Cardinals should theoretically have also been value to the Sox, through the trade. They would have had a worse expected trade return without that option, right?
 

CSteinhardt

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It seems to me that the most likely option isn't really either of those two -- a 33 year old Price might well feel that $127M is great compensation for his next four years and still opt out, because of the nature of guaranteed baseball contracts. Once players hit the bad end of the aging curve, there's a tendency to look a lot more at total money than at AAV, because at some point they will decline and be unable to sign any sort of substantial deal. Thus, it's easy to imagine that a 33 year old Price would prefer something like $145M/6 to $127M/4, and correctly opt out for a lower AAV but more guaranteed money. It's this reason that I do expect he's likely to opt out even if he declines substantially; there's a decent chance that a 33yo Price can get paid more than $127M for, effectively, the remainder of his career even if he can't for four years.
 

Hank Scorpio

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It seems to me that the most likely option isn't really either of those two -- a 33 year old Price might well feel that $127M is great compensation for his next four years and still opt out, because of the nature of guaranteed baseball contracts. Once players hit the bad end of the aging curve, there's a tendency to look a lot more at total money than at AAV, because at some point they will decline and be unable to sign any sort of substantial deal. Thus, it's easy to imagine that a 33 year old Price would prefer something like $145M/6 to $127M/4, and correctly opt out for a lower AAV but more guaranteed money. It's this reason that I do expect he's likely to opt out even if he declines substantially; there's a decent chance that a 33yo Price can get paid more than $127M for, effectively, the remainder of his career even if he can't for four years.
I can't see Price opting out under those circumstances, as it's basically agreeing to a 2 year, 18M extension, which is less than what Justin Masterson got in terms of AAV. Decline or not, it's unlikely Price can't get much more than 9M/yr in his age 37 and 38 seasons, barring a massive decline or career threatening injuries. Guaranteed money is guaranteed money, but at some point it's worth gambling that 18M in anticipation of getting something like 2/50 or 3/66 or whatever. I'm not sure what the tipping point for Price's valuation of his age 37 and 38 seasons will be after 2022, but I'd bet on it being much higher than 9M/ea.
 

FanSinceBoggs

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I don't think Price will opt out either, too many years left on the contract with too much money remaining. Grienke opted out but at one year younger with less guaranteed money and is coming off an historical season in terms of ERA.

Given that Price will probably be here for the full 7 years, I hope that he continues to pitch well when his velocity declines. That is the big question for Price--how well will he pitch with less velocity?
 
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Great Vice Sports article on the Price signing:

"And so the brain trust that had essentially run the team since 2002 and delivered three World Series winners—including one just two years ago—was unceremoniously dumped. Their ideas of how to beat the market, how to find good major leaguers, and what constitutes a smart risk? Also dumped. In their place came Dave Dombrowski, a gentle Midwesterner with an easy smile who approaches team-building the way Sherman approached Atlanta. The Dombrowski code goes like this: find what you want, find out what it costs, and pay it."
 

Eddie Jurak

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Yes, those seven years of "worse than expected David Price" are there no matter what. That is the risk of giving a pitcher seven years.

Without the opt out, those seven years are balanced by the possibility of getting seven years of "better than expected David Price," which is worth significantly more than the three years you get when you give him the opt out.
I think this is a misleading way to look at it, because the chances of getting 7 years of outperformance of that contract by David Price are probably very close to 0%. Who was the last pitcher who was that good from 30/31-36/37?

The probability that Price underperforms the contract in the latter 4 years is much higher than the probability that he outperforms, even if he outperforms during years 1-3 (i.e., his expected value for years 4-7 may be < $127 MM even if he is good for the first 3 years). So the benefits and risks of a 7 year deal with no opt out are not really "balanced".

Now. They do forego the possibility of a trade, and if Price has a strong 2016-2018 they could most likely move him. But he would have to be valued at substantially more than 4, $127 to get a team to part with trade assets worth more than a first round pick.

Probably the odds favor Price not opting out. In the event that he does, the Sox might still see it as a win.
 

Devizier

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I think this is a misleading way to look at it, because the chances of getting 7 years of outperformance of that contract by David Price are probably very close to 0%. Who was the last pitcher who was that good from 30/31-36/37?
Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling, Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina, Cliff Lee?
 

williams_482

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I think this is a misleading way to look at it, because the chances of getting 7 years of outperformance of that contract by David Price are probably very close to 0%. Who was the last pitcher who was that good from 30/31-36/37?

The probability that Price underperforms the contract in the latter 4 years is much higher than the probability that he outperforms, even if he outperforms during years 1-3 (i.e., his expected value for years 4-7 may be < $127 MM even if he is good for the first 3 years). So the benefits and risks of a 7 year deal with no opt out are not really "balanced".

Now. They do forego the possibility of a trade, and if Price has a strong 2016-2018 they could most likely move him. But he would have to be valued at substantially more than 4, $127 to get a team to part with trade assets worth more than a first round pick.

Probably the odds favor Price not opting out. In the event that he does, the Sox might still see it as a win.
The odds are heavily against a 37 year old David Price being worth $32M, but it is entirely possible that he could be worth $127M between age 33 and age 37. In the vast majority of those cases, however, he opts out and the Red Sox get none of that.

Even if Price is much more likely to be overpaid than underpaid over those four years, the fact that the Red Sox will only have him around if he is expected to be overpaid makes the opt out a net negative for the team.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Anyone know what time the press conference is today? Wonder if he'll take #41
 

glennhoffmania

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A hypothetical I thought of after reading this thread again- if opt outs are so great for the team why not offer one after every year? If Price wins the Cy Young next year and opts out, the Sox essentially signed him to 1/31- big win for the team, right? We can try to twist logic and create alternative scenarios all we want but the bottom line is that teams don't usually offer opt outs because they don't benefit them overall.

Price wants the opt out because if salaries explode further over the next three years he can get a big raise. If salaries remain fairly steady he won't opt out. It's insurance for him against the pitchers' market.

As for anyone who wants to point to Sabathia's deal to prove that opt outs benefit the team, I didn't hear anyone saying him leaving after 2011 would be good for NY. Some people may have thought it was a bad idea to extend him, but how does losing a guy who just put up a season with 237 innings, a 2.88 FIP, and 6.4 fWAR help them? At the time the opt out was exercised no NY fan was celebrating the possibility of losing him.
 

Tyrone Biggums

nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion
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A hypothetical I thought of after reading this thread again- if opt outs are so great for the team why not offer one after every year? If Price wins the Cy Young next year and opts out, the Sox essentially signed him to 1/31- big win for the team, right? We can try to twist logic and create alternative scenarios all we want but the bottom line is that teams don't usually offer opt outs because they don't benefit them overall.

Price wants the opt out because if salaries explode further over the next three years he can get a big raise. If salaries remain fairly steady he won't opt out. It's insurance for him against the pitchers' market.

As for anyone who wants to point to Sabathia's deal to prove that opt outs benefit the team, I didn't hear anyone saying him leaving after 2011 would be good for NY. Some people may have thought it was a bad idea to extend him, but how does losing a guy who just put up a season with 237 innings, a 2.88 FIP, and 6.4 fWAR help them? At the time the opt out was exercised no NY fan was celebrating the possibility of losing him.
There is a reason why it would actually work out for Boston and its because of Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez. Granted both pitchers have to stay healthy and not sign extensions but the chances of the Sox going after a younger ace instead of giving that money to Price would be fairly good. I personally thought the 2nd Sabathia contract was insane.
 

DavidTai

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I just find the odds of being able to 'trade him' for a worthwhile package that's more -valuable- than the compensation picks if he opts out less likely, because the market for such a trade is much, much smaller. The people who keep throwing out 'if you don't like his decline years, trade him, don't hope for him to opt out' are relying on an unspoken assumption that he -is- tradeable, and that the package they could get from the limited market would be worth the trade. Didnt we already live something similar with the Manny Ramirez contract? How long before they finally traded him, two-three years? What free agents and other deals did we miss out on because we couldn't get rid of him earlier?

Look, I think the opt-out is a net negative to the team if you look at it strictly from 'we lose this player if he's too good, we'll lose the chance to keep him at a below-average market'. That we can't find a better way to spend 4 years 127 million on an aging David Price, or in taking advantage of the resulting expansion of the draft pool money from the compensation picks. That they can find an equitable trade package if they wanted to get out of the contract.

I was happy with this opt-out because it essentially, if Price performs, means the Sox signed David Price for 3 years 90 million and get to re-evaluate their options after that, rather than having their roster construction limited by 'what do we do with the rest of his contract?' I've already seen the latter happen with the Manny Ramirez years, I have no desire to see that again. This way, at least, in three years, we actually - have- a chance at signing, say, Jose Fernandez or Matt Harvey or whatever at that time instead of being stuck on the sidelines trying to trade this contract so that we have the money clear to sign those guys.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
The Cliff Lee that threw 81 innings as a 34 year old and 0 as a 35 year old?

The other 4 names are valid.
I don't know which Cliff Lee you're looking at, but I'm looking at the one who threw 222 innings as a 34-year-old, 81 as a 35-year-old and 0 as a 36-year-old.

Sure, if Price were to have exactly Lee's arc and (improbably) not opt out, the Sox would be paying him $60M+ for those 81-IP and 0-IP seasons. But they would have gotten their money's worth and then some by that point, and they'd simply write the remaining checks and happily give the innings to some cheap 25-year-old. There's not a problem there.
 

DJnVa

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David Price

✔ @DAVIDprice14


Thank God the blood sample part of my physical is over!! Best sample I've ever given..I love Boston already!! Maybe an inch of snow as well?

9:20 AM - 4 Dec 2015


 

OnWisc

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Apr 16, 2006
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I just find the odds of being able to 'trade him' for a worthwhile package that's more -valuable- than the compensation picks if he opts out less likely, because the market for such a trade is much, much smaller. The people who keep throwing out 'if you don't like his decline years, trade him, don't hope for him to opt out' are relying on an unspoken assumption that he -is- tradeable, and that the package they could get from the limited market would be worth the trade. Didnt we already live something similar with the Manny Ramirez contract? How long before they finally traded him, two-three years? What free agents and other deals did we miss out on because we couldn't get rid of him earlier?

Look, I think the opt-out is a net negative to the team if you look at it strictly from 'we lose this player if he's too good, we'll lose the chance to keep him at a below-average market'. That we can't find a better way to spend 4 years 127 million on an aging David Price, or in taking advantage of the resulting expansion of the draft pool money from the compensation picks. That they can find an equitable trade package if they wanted to get out of the contract.

I was happy with this opt-out because it essentially, if Price performs, means the Sox signed David Price for 3 years 90 million and get to re-evaluate their options after that, rather than having their roster construction limited by 'what do we do with the rest of his contract?' I've already seen the latter happen with the Manny Ramirez years, I have no desire to see that again. This way, at least, in three years, we actually - have- a chance at signing, say, Jose Fernandez or Matt Harvey or whatever at that time instead of being stuck on the sidelines trying to trade this contract so that we have the money clear to sign those guys.
If, after three years, the difference between Price's market value and what remains on his deal is smaller than the value of a comp pick, I doubt he'll opt out for economic reasons.

As small as the market might be for a contract like that, it's still larger than the market would be were Price to opt out and look for a larger deal. Unless you're suggesting that the contract would be basically untradeable, but that if Price were to opt out there'd be teams waiting to sign him to an even richer deal than the one they just refused to trade for.
 

glennhoffmania

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There is a reason why it would actually work out for Boston and its because of Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez. Granted both pitchers have to stay healthy and not sign extensions but the chances of the Sox going after a younger ace instead of giving that money to Price would be fairly good. I personally thought the 2nd Sabathia contract was insane.
The point is that without the opt out there wouldn't have been a second Sabathia contract. He would've played out his original deal and it would've ended up being a solid deal overall for NY despite how bad he was last year.

Saying you hope Price opts out so that they could sign Harvey or Fernandez doesn't make sense to me. They could sign them anyway if they want, or both pitchers could decide they don't want to play in Boston. The only issue is whether Price will be worth the remaining salary he's due and whether the Sox would be better off paying him or not. If the answer is that they'd be better off with him, odds are he opted out and they lose.
 

Tyrone Biggums

nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion
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The point is that without the opt out there wouldn't have been a second Sabathia contract. He would've played out his original deal and it would've ended up being a solid deal overall for NY despite how bad he was last year.

Saying you hope Price opts out so that they could sign Harvey or Fernandez doesn't make sense to me. They could sign them anyway if they want, or both pitchers could decide they don't want to play in Boston. The only issue is whether Price will be worth the remaining salary he's due and whether the Sox would be better off paying him or not. If the answer is that they'd be better off with him, odds are he opted out and they lose.
If he played out his original deal then sure. But while an opt out benefits players 100% the silver lining is that you wouldn't have to worry about the back end decline depending of course on the talent out there. I'd rather see someone like Harvey or JoFer at that point. The Sox will also need to be mindful at that point in regards to extensions for Xander and Mookie. So the printing press won't exactly always have the ink needed to keep printing cash. There is a limit.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
15,803
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The option only hurts the Red Sox if Price gets hurt or ages prematurely.

Otherwise, this is a 3 year, $90 million contract.

Rejoice and pray Price stays healthy.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
The option only hurts the Red Sox if Price gets hurt or ages prematurely.

Otherwise, this is a 3 year, $90 million contract.
No, that's exactly backwards. The option only hurts the Red Sox if Price doesn't get hurt or age prematurely. If he does, the option makes no difference at all.

The "hurt" lies in the fact that if Price stays healthy and does fabulously, we're stuck with just a 3/$90M contract--a modest value win--instead of the killer value win that the 7/$217M contract could turn out to be under those circumstances. Could turn out to be--there's uncertainty involved, which mitigates the risk of missing out. But the better he does in the first three years, the more likely he is to do well in the last four--and also, the less the uncertainty matters, because we will have come closer to being in the bonus round, so to speak.
 
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phenweigh

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The best case scenario I can think of is that Price pitches great and leads the Sox to three championships, opts out and signs a lengthy and expensive contract with the team from the Bronx, then pitches at replacement value. Granted, it's an unlikely hypothetical, but without the opt-out I wouldn't have that dream ... present value benefit to the player be damned!
 

finnVT

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The opt out debate is beyond stale at this point, but there's one fundamental problem with a lot of the arguments-- you can't compare 7/217 with a 3 year opt-out to 7/217 without an opt-out, because Price didn't (and wouldn't have, to the best of our knowledge) agreed to the latter. If you want to decide whether the opt out helps or hurts, compare 7/217 with a 3 year opt out to, say, 7/240-250 without an opt-out.

By that, the opt out helps the Sox in at least one way-- if he blows out his arm in year 1, at least they've saved some contract value by giving him a (now irrelevant) opt out clause, so they're on the hook for slightly less (though still a lot). Additionally, if he's great and does opt-out, now you've gotten those 3 good years for $31/each, instead of potentially having paid $33-34/each over that span. Essentially, the opt out helps the Sox because presumably without it, they would have had to pay him more per year.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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The opt out debate is beyond stale at this point, but there's one fundamental problem with a lot of the arguments-- you can't compare 7/217 with a 3 year opt-out to 7/217 without an opt-out, because Price didn't (and wouldn't have, to the best of our knowledge) agreed to the latter. If you want to decide whether the opt out helps or hurts, compare 7/217 with a 3 year opt out to, say, 7/240-250 without an opt-out.

By that, the opt out helps the Sox in at least one way-- if he blows out his arm in year 1, at least they've saved some contract value by giving him a (now irrelevant) opt out clause, so they're on the hook for slightly less (though still a lot). Additionally, if he's great and does opt-out, now you've gotten those 3 good years for $31/each, instead of potentially having paid $33-34/each over that span. Essentially, the opt out helps the Sox because presumably without it, they would have had to pay him more per year.
You read this whole thread and then thought to yourself "I've got something new to say about this."
 

finnVT

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Nope, I read the last few posts which were completely ignoring this point.
 

glennhoffmania

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Nope, I read the last few posts which were completely ignoring this point.
That point has actually been discussed a few times, and since it basically says that the opt out was worth some unknown economic value to Price, it supports the position that it's for his benefit only.
 

Idabomb333

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Feb 5, 2007
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The best case scenario I can think of is that Price pitches great and leads the Sox to three championships, opts out and signs a lengthy and expensive contract with the team from the Bronx, then pitches at replacement value. Granted, it's an unlikely hypothetical, but without the opt-out I wouldn't have that dream ... present value benefit to the player be damned!
I'm honestly curious why you couldn't think of the scenario where Price leads the Sox to 7 championships. Even given the opt out, and assuming he pitched very well the 1st 3 years, there's a whole new CBA coming, and who knows how pitching markets will change. Or he could pitch great for 3 years, have a scary injury in the 2018 World series (or late in the year) that turns out not to be important, but makes him decide not to opt out. Or he could decide he loves Boston, but deserves a small raise, and gets it in 3 years instead of opting out.

3 good years in Boston followed by several bad years in NY would be fun, no doubt. I'm not at the level of Yankee hate where poor performance there is better than great performance in Boston, though.

I'm probably taking a flippant comment much too seriously, but it's hard to know with all the obviously illogical positions people have taken in this thread.

An opt out is power for the player at the expense of the team. It is necessarily then a benefit to the player and a detriment to the team, in itself.

This may very well be a better contract for the Sox than whatever else it would have taken to get Price without an opt out, but what will it take to convince people to stop saying the opt out is awesome in itself? Can a mod who gets it start banning people who say dumb things like that?