Sox acquire Wade Miley for De La Rosa, Webster, and minor leaguer

OnWisc

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As a caveat, the following is taken from BaseballSavant's raw MLBAM data spreadsheets of Miley's appearances (and for some reason one start is missing from the 2012 database), so it's not going to tie to the scrubbed Brooks data (There's also the very real possibility that I've made some busts myself).

I was looking at Miley's called strike numbers vs. pitches taken in the zone, and his ball numbers vs. pitches taken outside the zone (Brooks adjusts the strike zone for each hitter, which isn't done here- basically using MLBAM zones 1-9 as the strike zone).

I'm relatively new to the Savant datasets, but with every pitcher I've looked at, there is a greater number of strikes and fewer number of balls called than "should" be called (basically the called strike zone is larger than as defined by MLBAM), so the absolute relation between the columns in the graphs below isn't that meaningful. What jumped out at me was the change in 2014, where Miley appears to have benefitted from favorable calls at a much higher rate. Could be as simple as him working closer to the zone when he's outside of it and generating more borderline calls, or could play to the framing discussion. Or could just be bad data.

Also came across this article which I didn't see posted above discussing Montero/Miley success at pitch framings.

http://insidethezona.com/2014/09/montero-miley-match-pitch-framing-heaven/

First graphs shows % of pitches taken in the zone vs. % of pitches called for strikes



Second graphs shows % of pitches taken outside the zone vs. % of pitches called for balls.



Assuming the data is accurate, would seem that any improvement in Miley's performance due to framing is already baked in to his 2014 numbers. My concerns would be that despite the apparent rise in favorable calls, Miley still posted a career high walk rate, and also that the 2014 jump in K/9 may be more dependent on framing/umpiring effects than on any inherent improvement in Miley's offerings.
 

DJnVa

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OnWisc said:
First graphs shows % of pitches taken in the zone vs. % of pitches called for strikes



.
 
 
I don't think you are interpreting this chart right.
 

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DrewDawg said:
 
 
I don't think you are interpreting this chart right.
 
Can you expand on that? How do you think he's interpreting it and how do you think it ought to be interpreted?
 

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mloyko54 said:
 
Nick Piecoro @nickpiecoro

Hearing that infielder Raymel Flores could be the third player in the Wade Miley trade.
 
Low A SS. Really a nobody right now.

 
 
Yes - he was not higher than third on our "low A SS" depth chart, behind Guerra and Dubon.  
 
Flores is the next Cleuluis Rondon...
 

The Gray Eagle

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Flores is speedy switch-hitting SS who actually walked a decent amount so far for his age, not a bad flyer at all for AZ. But I was starting to get concerned that we would give away one of my many prospect preciouses, so I am glad we didn't. Giving up Rubby D is enough of a binky loss. :gonk:
 
And if only I hadn't bothered to watch Webster's last start, I wouldn't care at all that we moved him. But in that game, he really was good, his stuff was chumping out major league hitters, making them look dumb. He never showed anything like that kind of impressive stuff at the major league level before that I had seen. It was by far the best he ever looked in the majors, and then the season ended and he got traded. Hopefully it was just a fluke, and it was way outnumbered by the lousy outings he had before. I just wish I hadn't watched that one. Then I would be able to mock the idea that Webster would ever be anything. But now I can't.
 

Plympton91

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Eddie Jurak said:
He may be speedy, but he got moved off of SS by the immortal Mauricio Dubon.
I don't know what the future holds for Dubon, but he was named the best defensive shortstop in the NYPL.
 
M

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Is there a halfway-decent AZ Diamondbacks message board?  The Sons of BH Kim or something?  I'm trying to gauge their reaction, just to learn more about our new pitcher, and I think the average mental age of the MLB boards is about 8.  And that's just because they figured out how to turn on their computer and operate it.
 

joe dokes

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The Gray Eagle said:
And if only I hadn't bothered to watch Webster's last start, I wouldn't care at all that we moved him. But in that game, he really was good, his stuff was chumping out major league hitters, making them look dumb. He never showed anything like that kind of impressive stuff at the major league level before that I had seen. It was by far the best he ever looked in the majors, and then the season ended and he got traded. Hopefully it was just a fluke, and it was way outnumbered by the lousy outings he had before. I just wish I hadn't watched that one. Then I would be able to mock the idea that Webster would ever be anything. But now I can't.
 
As the immortal Rudy Pemberton (the real one) will tell you, basing anything other than an "is he healthy?" evalution on anything that happens in September playing-out-the-string games is a bad idea.  (You probably know that. I agree, it's hard to erase what the eyes think they've seen).
 

Sprowl

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It has been touched on already in this thread, but Rotoworld's cluelessness bears repeating:
 
 
Miley has proven to be a very durable option, averaging over 199 innings over each of the last three seasons while compiling a 3.74 ERA and 474/178 K/BB ratio. He is prone to the long ball though, having surrendered at least 20 home runs in each of the past two seasons, and the move to Fenway Park is unlikely to alleviate that problem.
 
MLB Park Factors show Fenway at a .720 HR ratio, 5th lowest in the majors, while Chase Field is 7th highest at 1.194. Both parks are high in run-scoring (5th and 2nd, respectively), but they get there in very different ways.
 
Wiley's problem is alleviated, just like that. I'm coming around to the all-groundball, all-the-time Red Sox 2015 starting staff. Groundskeeper just became a vital non-roster position.
 

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I am a lurker, so please don't shoot me if this has already been posted (I did look, but could not find it in this thread):
 

D-backs Place Enormous Bet on Themselves by Trading Wade Miley
http://insidethezona.com/2014/12/wade-miley-trade-allen-webster-rubby-de-la-rosa-chase-field-effect/
 
"In one way, the D-backs did exactly what one should not do when you have a boatload of #4 starters with perhaps just one healthy #3: trade away the #3 without receiving someone clearly better. It’s a puzzling move in that the D-backs didn’t need to trade Miley, who did promise to help prop up the 2015 rotation, and who was going to do so at a discount price. There are very few reasons to be pessimistic about Miley going forward, especially if he’s wearing a different uniform." 
 
 

MakMan44

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That makes me feel even better about the trade, thanks for posting it.

I understand their argument, but I think that this is actually the sort of trade the DBacks should be making now. Webster and Rubby are pretty high upside arms, even if they end up in the pen and I think it's worth the risk for them since they've been going nowhere fast for the last few seasons.
 

Rough Carrigan

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The Gray Eagle said:
Flores is speedy switch-hitting SS who actually walked a decent amount so far for his age, not a bad flyer at all for AZ. But I was starting to get concerned that we would give away one of my many prospect preciouses, so I am glad we didn't. Giving up Rubby D is enough of a binky loss. :gonk:
 
And if only I hadn't bothered to watch Webster's last start, I wouldn't care at all that we moved him. But in that game, he really was good, his stuff was chumping out major league hitters, making them look dumb. He never showed anything like that kind of impressive stuff at the major league level before that I had seen. It was by far the best he ever looked in the majors, and then the season ended and he got traded. Hopefully it was just a fluke, and it was way outnumbered by the lousy outings he had before. I just wish I hadn't watched that one. Then I would be able to mock the idea that Webster would ever be anything. But now I can't.
Well, Dave Duncan is officially a "pitching consultant" for the Diamondbacks, continuing his association with Tony LaRussa.  All those years with the Cardinals, Duncan was famous for taking washed up reclamation projects the Cardinals had acquired and retooling them with new 2 seamers and getting surprisingly good results.  If there's anyone who can fine tune Webster's sinker based arsenal it might be Duncan.
 

LeoCarrillo

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Perhaps coincidence that both of the Punto trade throw-ins were shipped off for Miley. Kinda makes you wonder if BC ever really coveted these guys or saw much in their futures. Of course performance in the last couple years, or lack thereof, had the most to do with it. But part of me can't help but wonder if when Colletti finished the Punto call with "and I'll throw in two prospects," that Ben hadn't even planned to ask for any. So he stifled a smile and basically agreed over the phone to the first two arms Colletti mentioned and tied off the deal with haste.
 
I agree RDLR would've likely become a nice power-arm addition to the pen. But BC had probably seen enough of Webster. They weren't really "his guys" from amateur scouting to begin with, so adios. All a factor, I suppose.
 

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LeoCarrillo said:
Perhaps coincidence that both of the Punto trade throw-ins were shipped off for Miley. Kinda makes you wonder if BC ever really coveted these guys or saw much in their futures. Of course performance in the last couple years, or lack thereof, had the most to do with it. But part of me can't help but wonder if when Colletti finished the Punto call with "and I'll throw in two prospects," that Ben hadn't even planned to ask for any. So he stifled a smile and basically agreed over the phone to the first two arms Colletti mentioned and tied off the deal with haste.
 
I agree RDLR would've likely become a nice power-arm addition to the pen. But BC had probably seen enough of Webster. They weren't really "his guys" from amateur scouting to begin with, so adios. All a factor, I suppose.
It doesn't seem like there's really anything to support a lot of that.

Both RDLR and Webster were in the Sox system for a full year, and I would be surprised if the team wasn't evaluating them on their talen alone; now they do have hat full year to get to know them and look at them a lot more closely, but I suspect that when they were brought in Ben (& Baseball Ops) were as excited as many if us here at their potential.

This trade just looks like BBOps now rate Miley ahead I them, especially for a rotation slot. Az was probably just looking for the highest upside talent they could get that was ready for the majors.
 
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Or that Arizona just highly rates (over-rates?) former Dodgers pitching prospects, in general.  For a while, the Dodgers were regarded as being several steps ahead in pitcher scouting and evaluation.  Not sure if that's still the case, but it might still be their rep.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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OCD SS said:
Both RDLR and Webster were in the Sox system for a full year
 
Two full years: August 2012 till now.
 
I agree with you. I wouldn't assume that Ben wasn't high on those guys when they were acquired. I wouldn't even assume he had given up on either of them being average-ish ML pitchers in the reasonably near term, but there probably had been some dialing back of ceiling projections on both, and that would make it an easy decision to swap them for a proven major leaguer to fill the immediate need, especially given the depth of pitching talent still in the upper minors. 
 

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Rough Carrigan said:
Well, Dave Duncan is officially a "pitching consultant" for the Diamondbacks, continuing his association with Tony LaRussa.  All those years with the Cardinals, Duncan was famous for taking washed up reclamation projects the Cardinals had acquired and retooling them with new 2 seamers and getting surprisingly good results.  If there's anyone who can fine tune Webster's sinker based arsenal it might be Duncan.
 
Or the next club after the Cardinals.  Look at Andrew Miller - he went 6 seasons in the majors (as a starter) before the Sox moved him to the bullpen.  In that time he probably had a lot of pitching coaches and assistant pitching coaches try to tinker with his stuff.  Even in 2012, he had a bad July and August.  
 
I'm sure some MLB club, hopefully the Sox, has a super data base that lets them get decent odds on how long it would take someone like Webster to develop.   Some of it has to be by guess and by God though -  like the Sox thinking Masterson will be fixable by Farrell and Co.
 

dylanmarsh

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Some out-the-door drama brewing between Miley and the Dbacks about Miley's diet and his reluctance to go gluten-free: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/mlb/diamondbacks/2014/12/17/indications-arizona-diamondbacks-unhappy-wade-miley-preparation/20509839/
 
 
The part that bothers Miley is that he's weighed 220 pounds in each of the past three seasons, and it was only this year, when his ERA swelled by a run, that he started to hear anything about his diet.
 
He's not contending he had a good year. He's more than willing to own up to that. In fact, he had an excuse he could have used during the season to explain his subpar results but never did. Midway through the year, he somehow hurt his rib cage but chose to pitch through the injury. He never mentioned it until he was asked about it on Tuesday.
 
Miley says his diet was something he and the organization "head-butted" about at some point in the year.
 
"After a while, they left me alone," he said. "But it was always that elephant in the room."
 
Miley said he didn't want to go into specifics about his diet but did make a passing reference about not being gluten free. He said he wished the team were more willing to tailor its approach toward individuals rather than having everyone doing the same things.
 
"It might work for some people, but I didn't feel like it worked for me," he said. "I did what I felt like I needed to do to pitch every five days."
 

joe dokes

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dylanmarsh said:
Some out-the-door drama brewing between Miley and the Dbacks about Miley's diet and his reluctance to go gluten-free: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/mlb/diamondbacks/2014/12/17/indications-arizona-diamondbacks-unhappy-wade-miley-preparation/20509839/
 
 
Ironic in a way, since the Towers-Gibson D-backs were all-in on the manly grity tough gotta' hit 'em before they hit you school.  you'd think that fancy-shamncy diets wouldn't be their thing.
 
OTOH---There is no inherent health benefit to going gluten free.  If a person is not allergic to gluten (celiac's or otherwise), there is no reason to avoid it. (I'm assuming here that this was not shorthand for "go on a diet," and that Miley was not sitting in the bullpen downing loaves of Wonder Bread between starts).
 

ji oh

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What’s your diet like?

I did a food sensitivity test, and I’m severely allergic to gluten. I try to stay gluten-free, but it’s so hard because all of the things I really enjoy, like Italian food and breads, have gluten in them. I’m not completely gluten-free. I try to stick by it the best I can, but it’s tough.
 

TomRicardo

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joe dokes said:
 
Ironic in a way, since the Towers-Gibson D-backs were all-in on the manly grity tough gotta' hit 'em before they hit you school.  you'd think that fancy-shamncy diets wouldn't be their thing.
 
OTOH---There is no inherent health benefit to going gluten free.  If a person is not allergic to gluten (celiac's or otherwise), there is no reason to avoid it. (I'm assuming here that this was not shorthand for "go on a diet," and that Miley was not sitting in the bullpen downing loaves of Wonder Bread between starts).
 
CC Sabathia was though.
 

In my lifetime

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ji oh said:
Interview with D-backs Cody Ross
July 15, 2013
http://www.phxpeople.com/cody-ross-arizona-diamondbacks-outfielder/
What’s your diet like?

I did a food sensitivity test, and I’m severely allergic to gluten. I try to stay gluten-free, but it’s so hard because all of the things I really enjoy, like Italian food and breads, have gluten in them. I’m not completely gluten-free. I try to stick by it the best I can, but it’s tough.

 
 
This makes very little medical sense.
A person with Celiac's has a food intolerance to Gluten not an allergy.  The symptoms can be varied but usually include GI symptoms. It is not life threatening. 
A true food allergy results in an immune response mediated by IgE or T-cells.  The symptoms can include hives, wheezing, or even anaphylaxis. It can be life threatening.
 
So if he was truly allergic to Gluten and not intolerant, he would not be able to have gluten sometimes without significant treatment (EPI injection, etc).
 
At most he is intolerant or has a food sensitivity to Gluten.  And with the current fad of half the population believing they are intolerant to Gluten, who knows?  There is also no medically accepted test for Gluten sensitivity -- most basic testing includes Gluten challenges for a period of time after being gluten free to see if symptoms occur. There is however fairly accurate testing for Celiac disease, which involves antibody blood testing and then often an intestinal biopsy.
 
Only ~5% of the population has a true food allergy, while about 1/3rd of people believe they have a food allergy.  
 
Now back to your regular scheduled broadcast...........................
 

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If this thread becomes a discussion of gluten and food issues, heads are going to roll.
 

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ji oh said:
Interview with D-backs Cody Ross
July 15, 2013
http://www.phxpeople.com/cody-ross-arizona-diamondbacks-outfielder/
What’s your diet like?

I did a food sensitivity test, and I’m severely allergic to gluten. I try to stay gluten-free, but it’s so hard because all of the things I really enjoy, like Italian food and breads, have gluten in them. I’m not completely gluten-free. I try to stick by it the best I can, but it’s tough.

 
 
One of these things is not like the other...
 
I'm pretty impressed if the Diamondbacks instituted a gluten-free diet as part of their training program. That would be some pretty high falutin' organization incompetence.
 

Eddie Jurak

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NomosRubber said:
Any chance that Miley's reference to "gluten-free" is code-speak for "low carb"?  Fit's better with a lean 'n' mean organizational persona.
Miley was a guest on WEEI's Hot Stove Show this week.  They asked him about the rumor and he basically denied it, saying that people made too much of his remark, though he did imply that he didn't exactly see eye to eye with the Dbacks on nutrition.
 
Best part of the interview was when he was asked what food would have been the hardest to give up.  
 
His answer: "Fried chicken." 
 
To which Alex Speier quickly responded: "There's a history of that food here, Wade, so I'll give you a little heads up..."
 

nvalvo

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Apparently there's also a very reasonable ($11ish) club option for his first year of FA. This is a great deal, IMO.  
 
Citing my source:
 
Bob Nightengale: "So Wade Miley could earn total of $31 million over 4 years if #Redsox pick up his option; $19.25 million guaranteed."
 
https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/563437542138077186
 

soxhop411

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“@alexspeier: Miley's option is for $12M with a chance to go as high as $14M.”
 

LondonSox

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Well they don't just like him, they really like him. Because they are only buying one year of free agency so they must think he has a good shot to outperform those numbers via arb.
 

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Didn't they just agree to $12.5M for Porcello's last arb year?  And this deal gives Miley only $8.75M for that final arb year, three years from now?  Plus the team gets a $12M option year?  That seems like a really good deal to me.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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I think it's a good deal, but I don't think Porcello has anything to do with it. If Porcello and Miley were both free agents right now, I think Porcello would see a significantly higher paycheck. The difference is probably just indicative of the difference in value that actually exists at this point.
 

Bowlerman9

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Didn't they just agree to $12.5M for Porcello's last arb year?  And this deal gives Miley only $8.75M for that final arb year, three years from now?  Plus the team gets a $12M option year?  That seems like a really good deal to me.
 
Porcello was a super-2 coming off of a major league contract. Thats the main reason for his huge salary this year and is largely irrelvant to Miley's next 3 years.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Super-two status does make a difference, I agree.  So pick different comps.  Bud Norris?  Just settled on a final arb year amount of $8.8M   Mat Latos, coming off an injury-shortened year, lost his hearing and still got $9.4M.  Miley should project to fall between those two guys in terms of performance (and has a better innings/injury record than both).  Yet the Sox signed him to a deal that pays him less 3 years from now than those guys got now.  I realize that that's the price of getting a guaranteed deal and of shifting the injury risk to the team, but that still seems like a good deal for the team. 
 
I think they saved $3-5 million over the next 3 years off what Miley would have made and will look at that option as being a good deal when it comes, much as they did Lester's last year and Buch's this year (and perhaps next).
 

ItOnceWasMyLife

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I get that there's going to be a plethora of FA pitcher's next off season, but having one less spot to fill (assuming no injury, bad performance issues) has to be a good thing.  Porcello and Masterson are going to open two holes to fill as is, with Buchholz potentially another one.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Well, Miley wasn't going anywhere even without the contract. He had three arb years ahead of him. Again, it's a good contract, but this didn't change the equation for next winter much, if at all.
 

Plympton91

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We should really be hoping that Buchholz doesn't open one, because his $13 million option is very reasonable even for an only slightly above-average pitcher. The only way they don't pick up his option is if he sucks again, and that would, in turn, suck.

The Miley contract is a great deal for the Red Sox for the same reason. If he's merely healthy and league average, the contract is a bargain and the option is pretty much the current market rate for durable free agent mediocrity (think Dempster at $13 mil per year, KC's contract with Vargas, Nolasco's contract with MN).
 

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Plympton91 said:
We should really be hoping that Buchholz doesn't open one, because his $13 million option is very reasonable even for an only slightly above-average pitcher. The only way they don't pick up his option is if he sucks again, and that would, in turn, suck.

The Miley contract is a great deal for the Red Sox for the same reason. If he's merely healthy and league average, the contract is a bargain and the option is pretty much the current market rate for durable free agent mediocrity (think Dempster at $13 mil per year, KC's contract with Vargas, Nolasco's contract with MN).
 
The standard by which starting pitcher contracts should be judged is did an organization pay too much for too long?  You only truly know this in retrospect after a contract ends but must make the decision to sign a pitcher at the beginning of an extension.  To cost effectively sign pitchers, they must evaluate them based on their age and a relatively limited performance track record.  With an AAV of more or less than $6.4 million for 3 years (with the team's option clearly worth it if, at that point they choose to exercise it), they will get a lot more bang for their buck from Miley.  While fans (but likely not management) expect that Lester will significantly pitch better for the next 4 years, this is far from guaranteed.  Miley could well be Lester lite.  Even if Lester ultimately exceeds expectations and Miley disappoints, Lester isn't worth the more or less than $20 million AAV difference above Miley's payout for the next 3 seasons (Lester gets $155 million for the next 6 years).  This difference should be more than enough to extend Porcello annually, if he wants security, for the next 6 years. IMO this wouldn't be too much for too long to a younger pitcher just starting to enter the prime of his career.   Buying out a pitcher's arbitration years logically seems like a more successful approach to lock up starting pitchers than bidding on free agent pitchers.  Locking up relatively unproven pitchers before free agency is probably a more effective and less risky strategy than paying escalating market prices to free agents.  Would you rather have Cliff Lee or C.C. Sabathia at full price for the remainder of their contracts or Miley for the duration of his?  The answer for me isn't even close.  There is a reasonable if not a large chance that Miley will perform above his contract price while there is virtually no chance that Lee and Sabathia will perform above what they are being paid.
 

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It's worth noting that, if we assume there is a plan to be over the tax threshold this year and back under in the future, the team derives value from a multi-year deal even if they get no real dollar savings. The ability to factor this year into his 2017 AAV, by itself, is valuable.
 

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JakeRae said:
It's worth noting that, if we assume there is a plan to be over the tax threshold this year and back under in the future, the team derives value from a multi-year deal even if they get no real dollar savings. The ability to factor this year into his 2017 AAV, by itself, is valuable.
 
It helps for 2017 but hurts for 2015 and 2016.  If the goal is to not be over for two straight years this deal only hurts them strictly from a luxury tax point of view.