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Monday, February 13, 2017

Free agency is the best thing that’s ever happened to baseball

Want a reason that Marvin Miller should immediately be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame? It’s the best rule change in the history of baseball. It’s called free agency.

Since 1979, only three years after free agency began, Major League Baseball has seen an unprecedented period of competitive balance and parity. In that span there have been 37 World Series played and 21 different franchises have won championships.

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:17 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Friday, January 27, 2017

What would the free agent stars of yesterday make today?

Fernando Valenzuela
When would he have been a free agent?
After the 1986 season.

What kind of season did he just finish?
He finished second in the Cy Young voting, leading the league with 21 wins and posting a 3.14 ERA. He led the National League in batters faced for the second time in three seasons, and he led all of baseball in complete games.

These were not red flags. These were the fires churning in the belly of Fernandomania. He was 25. He was a golden god of pitching. He was baseball’s best.

Total money made in his career?
$17.3 million, or about $33.5 million in today’s money.

Contract today?
Six straight All-Star Games. Four top-five Cy Young finishes, with one win. Heck, throw the two Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove on there, just because you can. This was one of baseball’s biggest stars, and he was so very young.

Ten years, $270 million, with an opt-out after year three. So it was basically a front-loaded three-year deal, because what were the chances going to be that he was going to opt out?

Would it have been worth it?
No. Oh, man, no.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cameron: The Market for Offense Might Be Overcorrecting

And we probably haven’t seen the last of deals like this. If Rasmus can only get $5 million, and no one would take Seth Smith at $7 million, how does Brandon Moss ask for significantly more? What kind of offers are Carter and Pedro Alvarez going to get in a world where similar hitters with better defensive abilities are settling for cut-rate contracts just to land a job.

On the one hand, we could look at deals like this and think that perhaps the market has decided to pay less than the roughly $8 million per win rate for marginal starters, preferring to save their money for better players overall. But this downturn in spending on +1 WAR veterans only shows up when we look at bat-first 1B/OF/DH types.

...

The market has long overpaid one-dimensional power hitters. This, though, feels like more than just a simple market correction. When perfectly useful players on one year deals for $7 million can’t get moved for even a non-prospect, it feels like the pendulum has swung too far the other way. It’s time to jump on this, contenders; these bargains won’t last forever.

I’ve been thinking something similar for a while. This seems to go beyond mere WAR valuations. Contra: Dave Kingman and Rob Deer bounced around.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 11, 2017 at 01:10 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, markets, moneyball, sluggers, tulips

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

How Mike Trout Could Legally Become a Free Agent

Considering that Trout signed a six-year, $144.5 million contract extension back in 2014 – an agreement that runs through 2020 – this is just an interesting, but hypothetical, thought experiment, right?

Not necessarily. A relatively obscure provision under California law — specifically, Section 2855 of the California Labor Code — limits all personal services contracts (i.e., employment contracts) in the state to a maximum length of seven years. In other words, this means that if an individual were to sign an employment contract in California lasting eight or more years, then at the conclusion of the seventh year the employee would be free to choose to either continue to honor the agreement, or else opt out and seek employment elsewhere.

Although the California legislature has previously considered eliminating this protection for certain professional athletes – including Major League Baseball players – no such amendment has passed to date. Consequently, Section 2855 would presumptively apply to any player employed by one of the five major-league teams residing in California.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2017 at 11:57 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: contract, free agency, legal, mike trout

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dexter Fowler’s $82.5M deal with the Cardinals shows free agency is alive and well

Buying wins at the free agent price isn’t the optimal use of resources. It’s not just about greed; it’s about smart business.

If this sounds easier than it is, well, yeah. Baseball is a remarkably trying game. A swing can disappear. The yips can attack. Guarantees vanish overnight. Elbows can blow (which makes pre-free agency pitching extensions a bit more tolerable). And yet part of the strength of the MLB Players Association is its members’ willingness to shutter those fears and chase something that benefits everyone. Low-ball deals do not. Contracts that buy out free agent years rarely do. Teams are using every last morsel of leverage to keep a player from going to free agency, because the less spent there, the more ownership gets to keep.

Passan highlighted the following passage on his Twitter account.

Closer Kenley Jansen is in the catbird’s seat, with a five-year deal worth at least $80 million on the table from the Miami Marlins, according to sources. Never mind the absolute folly of this, the notion that the Marlins can bullpen their way into contention with a starting staff as flimsy as theirs. It’s a losing strategy to begin with. So, too, is giving a relief pitcher five years, no matter Jansen’s six-year run of dominance. Most egregious of all, perhaps, is offering Jansen nearly the same deal they did Aroldis Chapman despite the draft pick they would forfeit for his 65 or so innings a year. It is the 13th overall pick in the June amateur draft, and teams around baseball value it at somewhere between $12 million and $15 million, according to sources. So, really, their offer for Jansen far exceeds what they proposed to Chapman, whom they preferred in the first place, which they shouldn’t even have done because mediocre teams don’t need $17 million-a-year closers. And this is why one executive said earlier this week: “I wish I could make money betting against the Marlins.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2016 at 09:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cba, dexter fowler, free agency, mlbpa

Monday, December 05, 2016

Dodgers sign free-agent pitcher Rich Hill | MLB.com

Three years, $48 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 01:24 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, free agency, rich hill

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Benevolence or stupidity? Cubs pay Hammels to go away

For a paltry 12 million, the Cubs could have had a really good long man/spot starte; or they could have signed and traded him. But they paid 2 million to let him walk.  Hammels stands to make millions from this move as he becomes one of the best starters on the market.

charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: November 06, 2016 at 09:34 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agency

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Top 111 Free Agents

Players are ranked based on how I expect teams will view them, not on how I view them myself. Essentially, they’re ranked from predicted biggest contract to smallest, not accounting for options.

All ages are as of April 1, 2017.

1. Yoenis Cespedes (31, OF, Mets): It couldn’t have been a very difficult call; Cespedes will opt out of the final two years of his three-year, $75 million contract and seek a longer contract after striking out on getting a five- or six-year deal in a crowded outfield market last winter. Even if he is a year older, he’s in better position this time around after another All-Star season in which he demonstrated his 2015 was no fluke. Especially nice was that he upped his walk rate and posted a .354 OBP. Cespedes needs to be in left, not center, going forward, but he can be a plus defender there. He’s due at least $100 million for four years or $120 million for five….

4. Justin Turner (32, 3B, Dodgers): Turner has accumulated 8.9 rWAR the last two years, the second highest total among free agents behind Cespedes’s 9.2. While his OBP tumbled (he finished at .339 after coming in at .370 in 2015 and .404 in 322 plate appearances in 2014), Turner set new personal bests in homers (27), triples (three) and doubles (34) last season. He’s also graded out as an above average defensive third baseman since becoming a regular at the hot corner. He’d be a modest bargain at $20 million per year if he could keep it up. It just remains to be seen whether he gets four years or has to settle for three.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 03, 2016 at 03:39 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

 

 

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