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The more likely threat to a hitter of Cabrera's caliber is injury and other gradual decline in playing time. But it is common these days to sign players through their age 36 season and I think he's being fairly reasonable here given the current market. When people are talking about 8/$200 for Cano, when Votto gets extended to age 40, when Hamilton gets 5/$133 for his 32-36 seasons, Cabrera through 36 or 37 at $28 per looks perfectly reasonable.
For all this "Howard shouldn't hit cleanup" talk, the Phils don't really have anyone to hit cleanup anyway,...
In fact, the Phils appear to be quite good at finding undervalued veterans - they just don't recognize their value until they're gone. Brandon Moss, Ryan Vogelsong, and Jason Grilli all went through Lehigh Valley shortly before breaking out elsewhere as good MLB players.
Howard is up to .282 / .335 / .494 and has played in 71 of the team's 76 games. While you would want more out your supposed star player, his season actually stacks up decently with the other $20m firstbasemen Pujols, Teixeira, and even Gonzalez (.301/.357/.479) and Fielder (.277/.376/.467).
Evaluating a player based on a hot streak is never a good idea, but anyway, Fielder and Gonzalez have better recent success than he does (past 2-3 years), so I think they're miles ahead of him as far as who you'd rather have.
But it wasn't based on a hot streak, I gave his cumulative season total.
Yeah, teams are going nuts for super-long deals but imo they are nuts. Pat Gillick had a policy of 2 years for pitchers, 4 for hitters iirc, rarely going past it. He did that because the risk was too high beyond that stage.
It depends on the particulars of the situation, but since there is no salary cap in MLB to constrain a team annually, aren't the out years on a long-term contract essentially at worst a de facto salary deferral if a team gets enough value from the player in the early years of the deal?
More or less. I think that any team which signs a free agent pitcher is hedging a bet that he's going to miss one of the next four seasons. I think they just say stuff happens.
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