Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Googling Baseball Contracts

Will have more, later, on Mark Teixeira: both the contract offered him and the trade.

In the interim, I think these numbers are interesting. I hope I didn't miss anybody. Chipper Jones comes in somewhere around $12M/yr-ish. Chipper negotiated his contract downwards, on the theory his contract was eating up too much Atlanta team salary, and preventing the Braves from signing needed free agents.

Hitter/fielder avg. $ per year, from larger to smaller:

Alex Rodriguez I 2001
10 @ $25.6 M/yr

Alex Rodriguez II 2001
My loose estimate of total contract value of 2001 contract after Rodriguez restructured the contract in 2004 - deferring money far into the future - thus losing present value during the life of the contract
10 @ $23 M/yr

Alex Rodriguez III 2004
Amount NY Yankees agreed to pay Alex Rodriguez during the remainder of his contract
7 @ $16 M/yr

Manny Ramirez 2001
8 @ $20 M/yr
You may be surprised to note I believe Manny is worth the money. He is a disciplined hitter who does not swing at bad pitches, and thus does not need batting line-up protection. I can't think of any Major Leaguer I would rather see at bat in a critical situation - except maybe Ichiro Suzuki. Manny helped the Sox to their first World Series victory since 1919. I say that accomplishment is worth $20 M/yr to the Boston organization.

Hitters I would most like to see batting for my team in clutch situations:

1. Ichiro: There is no way to pitch to Ichiro, and therefore no one can get him out. When Ichiro makes an out, it is simply good fortune for the opponent. It is simply evidence that men are not perfect Gods. There is nothing any pitcher can do that Ichiro cannot counter. And, when Ichiro wants to, he can hit with outstanding power. If he wanted to, Ichiro could hit .290-.300 with 40 homers a year.

2. Manny: Best combination of plate discipline and power.

3. Jeter: Based on lifetime results and skins on the wall.

4. Pujols: After Manny, the best combination of discipline and power.

Its interesting that Ichiro, Manny, and Jeter are/will be in the top 4 in salary. On Pujols next negotiation, he will break the bank. Free markets generally point to truth - and they do in this case. These guys are the best, and they make the most money.

If these guys were on the same team, the four of them would eat $72 M/yr before their teams even paid for a utility infielder. Put Alex Rodriguez at 3B, and Vernon Wells in CF, and ... aww heck, that's just a routine salary payout for the Yankees.

Ichiro Suzuki 2008
Rumored upcoming deal:
5 @ $20 M/yr

Derek Jeter 2002
10 @ $18.9 M/yr

Ken Griffey Jr. I 1999
Mariners' offer, rejected by Griffey: 8 @ 18.5 M/yr

Vernon Wells 2007
7 @ 18 M/yr

Mark Teixeira 2007
Texas Rangers offer, rejected by Teixeira: 8 @ $17.5 M/yr

Alfonso Soriano 2007
8 @ $17 M/yr
One of the worst contracts ever paid by a team. Soriano is a free swinger who must be protected in a batting line-up, and therefore is not worth this money. Soriano was paid to play a premium defensive position: CF, yet ended up at a corner outfield position. I like Soriano as a person. I like Soriano as a regular season player. I do not like Soriano as a World Series champion caliber player. His lack of discipline will hurt his team in such a pressurized venue. Because he is not a championship caliber player, I would not want Soriano on my team at any price. I would rather have Ian Kinsler - a young player who lays off of breaking stuff in the dirt, and therefore is a better championship player than Soriano. Ian Kinsler does not need line-up protection.

Carlos Lee 2007
6 @ $16.6/yr
Jesus Christ, dude. A clear overpay. Astros partly based their decision on Lee's ties to Houston, and partly based their decision on being willing to pay the price to win. A contract like this can hasten a team's books into the red. This can only be justified via the way it further binds Astros fans' hearts to the franchise, thus driving up the franchise's overall brand and overall value. $16.6 M/yr cannot be justified from an accounting standpoint. No way, no how.

Michael Young 2009
5 @ $16 M/yr
Worth it. Micheal Young is the face of the franchise, and is Paul Molitar/Derek Jeter reincarnated. Whatever the Carlos Lee signing does for the Astros brand, the Michael Young signing does 20 times over for the Rangers brand. They should make an image of Michael hitting a pitch, then - similar to what the NBA did with the Jerry West image - the Rangers should make the Michael Young image into the emblem of their franchise. They should put the Michael Young image on their caps, sleeves, and batting helmets. They should hang it on tapestries at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington. They should put the image on billboards. You wouldn't need words - just the image of Michael Young hitting a fastball. Message delivered.

Todd Helton 2003
9 @ $15.8 M/yr

Barry Bonds 2007
1 @ $15.8 M

Magglio Ordonez 2006
7 @ $15 M/yr
Stupid money. A Scott Boras special. Ordonez is not personable. He has no special ties to Chicago. He is not the face of any franchise. He is not Vlad Guerrero or Gary Sheffield level of talent.

Vladimir Guerrero 2004
6 @ $14.2 M/yr

Lance Berkman 2005
6 @ $14.2 M/yr

Jason Giambi 2002
7 @ $14 M/yr

Albert Pujols 2004
6 @ $13.9 M/yr

Gary Sheffield 2007
1 @ $13.8 M

Jim Thome 2003
7 @ $13.4 M/yr

Ken Griffey Jr II 2000
Reds offer, accepted by Griffey 9 @ $13 M/yr

Carlos Delgado 2005
4 @ $13 M/yr

David "Big Papi" Ortiz 2006
5 @ $12.5 M/yr
a bargain for the Sox. Papi could've gotten more from them - unless being a DH is a big drag on value? Put Papi in LF. He can play it as good as Manny.

Miguel Tejada 2004
6 @ $12 M/yr

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