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Friday, September 22, 2017

Albert Pujols is having the worst season for a 37-year-old in MLB history

Pujols has four more years on this contract, making him the favorite for the worst ever season for a 38-year-old, a 39-year-old, a 40-year-old, and a a 41-year-old.

Hank G. Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:30 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: albert pujols

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   1. Batman Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5536920)
The ranking in the article is limited to players who qualified for the batting title. Among players who didn't qualify, Shano Colins, Ken Singleton, Reggie Jackson, and Mark Kotsay managed to accrue more negative WAR than Pujols has in their age 37 seasons and Juan Beniquez, Minnie Minoso, and Hank Bauer are tied with his -1.6.

The worst hitter seasons among batting title qualifiers for ages 38 to 41 are Mickey Doolin, Raul Ibanez, Dave Parker, and Craig Biggio respectively. Without limiting it to qualifiers, it's Marquis Grissom, Jose Molina, Willie McGee, and Biggio.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5536921)
You have to have once been really good to qualify when you're this bad.
   3. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5536932)
If he can manage 2 more RBI, he might pass Joe Carter for the worst season with 100 RBIs. Assuming he can maintain the level of suckiness.

Seriously, how many more ABs does he get at this level before the bench/cut him.


EDIT- Sorry. Didn't mean to forget about Ruben Sierra and Dante Bichette. They had even worse seasons by Fangraphs

   4. Batman Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5536940)
And Bichette didn't just make it over 100 RBIs- he had 133. He had -2.3 WAR in a season when he hit .298/.354/.541 with 34 HR and 133 RBI. Colorado, 1999, and historically-bad defense will do that.
   5. Tim D Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5536953)
How bad would it have to get for Albert to get so embarrassed he would walk away from the money?
   6. Rally Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5536961)
I don't believe Bichette's 1999 defense rating. -34 runs that year. He wasn't a good outfielder but the two years before and two years after have him at -6, -4, -2, and -3. Some of the ratings from the late 90's/early 2000's are plagued by inconsistent data. For example some dramatic year to year differences in the percentage of flyballs to line drives in different parks, stuff like that that looks more like a change in scoring standards than a change in what happened on the field.

I'd try bugging the guy who came up with those ratings except he's got enough on his plate and is more concerned about 2018 stats than he is with 1999 stats right now.

Plug in something consistent with Bichette being a below average but not disastrous OF, like -10, and he'd be right around replacement level that year. Other than 1993, Dante's best single season WAR was only 1.2. Bad defense is part of that but the main thing is that his offense wasn't much to brag about once the context was adjusted.

   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5536965)
Maybe he defensed to the score in '99.
   8. Rally Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5536975)
Certainly worse age 37 players than Pujols who mercifully were not allowed to stink as often at the plate. What is very troubling is that when searching for terrible 37 year olds, the most similar season is that of Steve Garvey, 1986.

Pujols
242/286/393, 23 hr, 98 rbi, 25 dp, 35 bb, 89 k

Garvey
255/284/408, 21 hr, 81 rbi, 18 dp, 23 bb, 72 k

Both made a ton of outs, had no defensive value (Garvey was a -11 fielder at first base as his team had no DH spot). Both swung at anything and had decent contact rates, but didn't do a lot of damage hitting. Both had enough power to get 20 homeruns. Both hit behind future a future HOF outfielder who was on base a lot and ran well (Gwynn's OBP was not in Trout's league, but he also did not do Garvey's RBI the disservice of driving himself in 29 times) which kept their RBI totals looking good.

Garvey would play one more year and 27 games before being told his services were no longer required.
   9. The Good Face Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:55 PM (#5536985)
How bad would it have to get for Albert to get so embarrassed he would walk away from the money?


At least one more season like 2017, maybe not even then. He's still got a decent shot at 100 RBI this year; he'll probably convince himself that he's still a "run producer" and that he just needs to get healthy/recalibrate his swing and he'll be as good as he ever was.

The real issue is his health more than his numbers. If his plantar fasciitis (or some other injury) is causing him excruciating pain, I could see him taking a buyout. Pujols already looks like he's carrying a piano around when he tries to move, I wouldn't be shocked if he just gets fed up with the pain and limitations from injuries.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5536990)
How bad would it have to get for Albert to get so embarrassed he would walk away from the money?

How bad would Pujols have to be for the Angels to offer him more money to walk away?
   11. dlf Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5536991)
Garvey would play one more year and 27 games before being told his services were no longer required.


And then would go on to get a nice little paycheck as a result of the collusion settlements (and his own case reaching the Supreme Court) where it was found that Padres management withdrew its offer as part of the collective action of the teams.

Useless personal anecdote: Garvey has the longest consecutive games played streak in the National League. I was at the Murph to see the Padres play the day after the streak ended due to an injury in the first game of a double header. Garvey was supposed to participate in a pre-game home run derby. I'm not sure if he was replaced by him or if he was already scheduled, but the Pads brought back Nate Colbert, nearly a decade after he last played, to participate in the pre-game show.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5536992)
And then would go on to get a nice little paycheck as a result of the collusion settlements

...to be distributed 794 ways amongst his paternity claimants.
   13. stanmvp48 Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5536996)
Miguel Cabrera only 34 years old. 250/330/401. 16HR, 60RBI and 50 Runs missing about 25 games.
   14. dlf Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5536998)
And then would go on to get a nice little paycheck as a result of the collusion settlements (and his own case reaching the Supreme Court) where it was found that Padres management withdrew its offer as part of the collective action of the teams.


I have this backwards. The arbitrator, as eventually upheld by the Court, did not award anything to Garvey. Sorry.
   15. Tim D Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5537003)
I sure as hell hope that Miggy's back is more to blame this year than a general fall off. If this is the new Miggy he might be worse than Pujols. The good news is there's only 8 years and $240M left on his deal.
   16. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5537005)
Miguel Cabrera only 34 years old. 250/330/401. 16HR, 60RBI and 50 Runs missing about 25 games.
...and he seems likely to have a bad back for the rest of his life. But that's not a problem; the Tigers only owe him $184 million over the next 6 years.


   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5537006)
Plug in something consistent with Bichette being a below average but not disastrous OF, like -10, and he'd be right around replacement level that year. Other than 1993, Dante's best single season WAR was only 1.2. Bad defense is part of that but the main thing is that his offense wasn't much to brag about once the context was adjusted.

We really shouldn't believe in these outlier defensive numbers. I simply don't believe Bichette cost his team 34 runs in LF that season. His 2nd worse season was -18, and the 2 years before his was -6 and -4.

Whenever we see a positive or negative fielding number in the 30's we should immediately haircut it.
   18. bfan Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5537007)
He had -2.3 WAR in a season when he hit .298/.354/.541 with 34 HR and 133 RBI. Colorado, 1999, and historically-bad defense will do that.


He would have had to play with a blind-fold on to be that bad in the field; come on.
   19. The Good Face Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5537023)
We really shouldn't believe in these outlier defensive numbers. I simply don't believe Bichette cost his team 34 runs in LF that season. His 2nd worse season was -18, and the 2 years before his was -6 and -4.

Whenever we see a positive or negative fielding number in the 30's we should immediately haircut it.


Or Adam Dunn's jaw-dropping -43 Rfield back in 2009, good for -5.3 dWAR. It seems impossible that somebody playing defense that badly for an entire season wouldn't be receiving constant news coverage; kind of like if a team played a 1B every day who hit .067 for the year.
   20. Tim D Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5537032)
If Delmon Young played 150 games in the OF he could put up -40 easy.
   21. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5537034)
Whenever we see a positive or negative fielding number in the 30's we should immediately haircut it.

If that's your approach (and I'm not saying I think it's wrong), you should probably do it with every fielding number.
   22. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5537041)
Among players who didn't qualify, Shano Colins, Ken Singleton, Reggie Jackson, and Mark Kotsay managed to accrue more negative WAR than Pujols has in their age 37 seasons and Juan Beniquez, Minnie Minoso, and Hank Bauer are tied with his -1.6.


I guess this means Pujols is a decent bet to play in 2034?
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5537043)
If that's your approach (and I'm not saying I think it's wrong), you should probably do it with every fielding number.

Probably true in theory, but you just don't need to regress a +/-5 rating to the mean for WAR purpose. It doesn't move the needle.

I think Tango, or someone like that has said you should regress all defensive numbers 50% to the mean. That probably makes sense.
   24. eric Posted: September 22, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5537086)
Albert is batting .314/.355/.477 over his last 22 games. Probably just statistical noise, but there's always the chance he finally relented and made some adjustments to allow him to be a somewhat productive hitter, instead of thinking he's still ALBERT PUJOLS. Reggie Jackson had a terrible age-37 year, but still managed 2.3 oWar at 39 and 1.3 at 40 (no comment on his age-38 season). I mean...I'm doubtful Albert will rebound much, too, but it could happen.
   25. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 22, 2017 at 06:56 PM (#5537095)
Or Adam Dunn's jaw-dropping -43 Rfield back in 2009, good for -5.3 dWAR.


That's "Cecil Fielder at 2B" bad, or "Jose Molina at 3B" bad.
   26. The Duke Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:04 PM (#5537097)
I'm very excited about the negative WAR that he could generate over the life of his deal. I wonder if he can work his way out of the Hall if he's bad enough. Ted Simmons might have done that. Now Simmons wasn't an Albert Pujols but Albert could put up some world class bad numbers in the next few years.
   27. Morty Causa Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5537100)
Do we know exactly what the terms of Pujols contract is? Do we know if the Angels have some sort of insurance policy that would make easier to cut him?
   28. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:13 PM (#5537102)
I'm very excited about the negative WAR that he could generate over the life of his deal. I wonder if he can work his way out of the Hall if he's bad enough. Ted Simmons might have done that. Now Simmons wasn't an Albert Pujols but Albert could put up some world class bad numbers in the next few years.

I was reading on this site that Jerry Royster had the worst season by negative WAR in history (-4.0). If Pujols put up 4 straight -4.0 WAR seasons for the remainder of his contract, he would still retire with 83 WAR and top 5 all time in HRs. I think he gets in regardless.
   29. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5537107)
I'll always remember Nate McLouth for getting a Gold Glove for his -2.1 dWAR performance in 2008. I think defensive plus/minus actually had him as the worst (most negative) fielder in the league that year. In his case, though, it was a lot less him being generally terrible, and a lot more him being an adequate left fielder playing for a terrible team that was compelled to play him in center field all year.

How bad would it have to get for Albert to get so embarrassed he would walk away from the money?


Arte? Is that you?
   30. Walt Davis Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:47 PM (#5537112)
That -34 might be plausible.

The raw stats ... his RF9 is .14 below lgRF9. For his innings, that's 19 fewer plays. Missed outs in the OF, half the games in Coors ... sounds like 19 runs to me.

He was charged with a whopping 13 errors. How in the world does a LF get 13 errors? Over a 3-year period, he had 30 errors in 394 starts in LF. Presumably some of those errors overlap with the 19 missed plays and the others should be throwing errors.

He was credited with 17 assists ... but how does a LF get 17 assists? He only gets that many assists if teams are trying to take the extra base time and again. Bichette was strong-armed enough to play RF with good assist numbers early in his career. I don't know if he had a shoulder injury at some point or did get just get so slow that he couldn't get to the ball and teams ran on him. Still he's dinged just 2 runs on his arm.

He does have a very odd H/R split of -28 at home and -5 on the road (it's in an "advance fielding" table). I have neither the data nor the patience to see if that makes sense but it's the only time in his career. As a reasonable quick check, it was 7 errors at home, 6 on the road so that's not it. Quick count put slightly more than half his POs at Coors as well so that's not it.

OK ... all 13 errors were fielding errors. That seems shockingly high to me. Apparently only 2 were dropped flyballs ... so I guess the rest were on hits. I'm putting the missed outs are worth a full run each, let's say the 11 muffed hits result in 12-13 extra bases ... call that -6 runs total. Based on FP, looks like the average LF made half as many errors so call that -3 relative to average.

With just 2 muffed catches, that means that 17 of those 19 missed putouts count separately at one run per. That's already relative to average.

Single on 1st: they took the base 20 times which is about 8 more than any other year he had ... that's about 2.5-3 runs extra ... I have no idea what the average is but let's assume he was average in the other years.

Single on 2nd: 37 out of 50 scored which seems quite high for LF and is about 14 more than in his other LF seasons ... that should be 4-5 runs.

Double on 1st: 13 scored which, if anything, is a couple lower than other years, maybe +1 run.

So that's another 6-7 runs he loses on advances.

Range: -17
Errors: -3
Advances: -6

That's -26 using scorer's decisions and attempting no adjustments for difficulty of flyballs, whether it was a flyball staff, park adjustments, etc. And having absolutely no idea how many times he should have been able to hold a runner but he definitely held them at a lower rate that year.

But I still have no explanation for the massive H/R split nor have I applied this estimation to any of his more normal-looking years to see if it's consistent with TZ. Everything above could be pretty rubbish. (Given the size of Coors OF, I can imagine that both muffed singles and missed FBs result in even more extra bases. Maybe he was closer to average on RF/9 on the road and terrible at home, again more extra bases on missed plays. Still hard to see how that could all add up to more than 4-5 runs, not 28-5.)

The perils of relying on the scoring decisions and detailed box scores are well-known but those are the things that DRS especially and thereby the TZ model try to adjust for. It would not be fair to criticize a strict scorebook accounting for not incorporating those details while also rubbishing the methods that try to account for those details ... unless of course you have come up with something better. Regardless, if my recall on run values below is correct, it seems plausible to me that Bichette was worth -34 runs that year ... and plausible it was -17. The bit I see no explanation for is the H/R split which is so extreme and uncharacteristic of the rest of his career that it does put the whole TZ calculation into doubt.

I don't know that I remember all the right run conversions. I recall a missed GB is worth +.8 runs based on something like +.47 for a single and -.33 for an out. An extra base I recall as being worth about 1/3 of a run (i.e. the difference between a single and a double, the value of a walk, etc.) I assumed missed flyballs in LF are probably mostly doubles (but could be bloop singles) and that the occasionally muffed single gives two extra bases especially in Coors. If his range was that bad, it seems likely to me that there were other cases where he failed to cut off a hit down the line or toward the gap that a regular fielder would and I don't think those plays are captured anywhere in the tables.
   31. BDC Posted: September 22, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5537130)
Certainly worse age 37 players than Pujols who mercifully were not allowed to stink as often at the plate

Yeah, to put things in rather obvious perspective, Pujols has been better at age 37 than Vlad Guerrero, Will Clark, Albert Belle, Kirby Puckett, Don Mattingly, Ron Santo, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Jensen, Joe DiMaggio, and Hank Greenberg … and Lou Gehrig :(
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5537137)
I'm very excited about the negative WAR that he could generate over the life of his deal. I wonder if he can work his way out of the Hall if he's bad enough.

He'll be in the Hall of Fame before Barry Bonds.
   33. Rally Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:27 PM (#5537191)
Do we know exactly what the terms of Pujols contract is? Do we know if the Angels have some sort of insurance policy that would make easier to cut him?


Depending on what kind of insurance policy he has, the Angels could recover some money if he has a career ending injury like Prince Fielder. Insurance companies tend not to like giving away 100s of millions, so this would have to be legit career ending. Having him be able to hit .220 with 10 homers per year and a .260 OBP, while even more crappy than what we've seen this year, would not qualify.

There has never been an MLB contract that allows you to cut a player because he's no longer good at baseball. If they want to cut him they'll still have to pay over 100 million. And it's really looking like paying Albert 100 million not to play will be a better baseball decision than paying him 100 million to keep playing.
   34. djordan Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:09 PM (#5537213)
Pujols is an inner-circle Hall of Famer. He'll def be there next season to get his 3000th hit,then who knows when he'll decide it's time for the final season tour.
   35. greenback is not cosmopolitan Posted: September 23, 2017 at 06:49 AM (#5537260)
So which of the 2001 ROYs will last longer, Pujols or Ichiro? It looks like their careers could end on the same day in mid-June 2018.
   36. DanG Posted: September 23, 2017 at 08:10 AM (#5537264)
Players with the least WAR from age 37 to end of career, minimum 120 games and 450 PA

Player          WAR/po WAA/po   PA   G From   To   Age
Bill Buckner      
-3.7   -7.0 1041 341 1987 1990 37-40
Shano Collins     
-2.8   -5.2  646 189 1923 1925 37-39
Garret Anderson   
-2.5   -4.5  697 215 2009 2010 37-38
Paul Konerko      
-2.5   -4.9  744 207 2013 2014 37-38
Bobby Bonilla     
-2.2   -3.6  476 207 2000 2001 37-38
Tom Paciorek      
-2.1   -5.1  938 318 1984 1987 37-40
Ned Cuthbert      
-2.0   -2.9  503 125 1882 1884 37-39
Steve Garvey      
-2.0   -4.3  662 182 1986 1987 37-38
Al Oliver         
-1.9   -4.6  740 215 1984 1985 37-38
Joe Carter        
-1.8   -5.5 1086 283 1997 1998 37-38
Willie McGee      
-1.7   -5.3 1230 497 1996 1999 37-40
Albert Pujols     
-1.6   -3.7  600 140 2017 2017 37-37
Marquis Grissom   
-1.6   -3.9  753 189 2004 2005 37-38
Jose Molina       
-1.2   -4.1  834 281 2012 2014 37-39
Melvin Mora       
-1.2   -4.4  985 280 2009 2011 37-39
Brian Jordan      
-1.2   -3.1  585 185 2004 2006 37-39 
   37. The Duke Posted: September 23, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5537269)
I think he leaves after 2018 after he gets his 3000. Shows you how unpredictable 3000 is. Who would have thought Pujols might run out of gas before getting there or that Omar Vizquel might reach 3000?
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 23, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5537311)
I think he leaves after 2018 after he gets his 3000.

Only if he gets paid.
   39. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5537312)
[38] nails it. The only way Pijols retires is if he gets released first. He ain't giving up all that money.
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 23, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5537421)

We really shouldn't believe in these outlier defensive numbers. I simply don't believe Bichette cost his team 34 runs in LF that season. His 2nd worse season was -18, and the 2 years before his was -6 and -4.


My guess is that in an environment like Coors 1999 where balls are just shooting all over the field due to low air density, all fielders look bad, and bad fielders look terrible. Is this actually the case? Because if we take an extreme hypothetical and say that typically a fielder will catch a line drive that is 10 feet from him but not if the ball is going twice as fast then a defensive system will see "Line drive landed in his area of responsibility and usually this ball is caught" and so will ding him for not catching it even though it was impossible for him to catch it.
   41. BDC Posted: September 23, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5537424)
He ain't giving up all that money

What ballplayer has walked away from the most money he was still owed? Open question, I'm just curious. I remember Gil Meche and Michael Cuddyer each giving up $10-12M, but nobody else significant is coming to mind. I am probably forgetting a major example.

Obviously there are quite a few others who could have earned a lot by returning (Mike Mussina) instead of retiring; but I mean in the middle of a contract.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2017 at 06:06 PM (#5537454)
Didn't Cuddyer reach a settlement that paid him about half the money?

Sandberg walked away from 2.5 of 4 years of what was the largest contract at the time of signing. He left about $20 M in 1993-1995 dollars. He then came back for about 2/$6 (per b-r).

Another reason not to marry Cindy Sandberg in case any of you were considering that.

EDIT: On Pujols, I suspect they will try to work out some deferred buyout for mid- or end-2018 unless he rebounds. And under "baseball is a funny game", you can add that Mark Grudzielanek racked up 10 WAR from ages 36-38, 3 out of his best 4 seasons.
   43. BDC Posted: September 23, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5537456)
Didn't Cuddyer reach a settlement that paid him about half the money?

I should have said "AFAIK" – I admit not following either the Meche or the Cuddyer saga to their conclusions :)

Sandberg, that was the best example of all, and naturally I forgot it …
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 23, 2017 at 06:37 PM (#5537465)
The only way Pijols retires is if he gets released first. He ain't giving up all that money

Right, if Pujols is bad enough and the Angels have better options, the team can give him the Alex Rodriguez treatment, with a respectful lament that injuries have forced his movement into an advisory role earlier than anticipated. If Pujols has additional injuries, maybe he can get the Albert Belle treatment, but either way, he's going to be paid.
   45. dlf Posted: September 23, 2017 at 08:38 PM (#5537512)
My guess is that in an environment like Coors 1999 where balls are just shooting all over the field due to low air density, all fielders look bad, and bad fielders look terrible. Is this actually the case? Because if we take an extreme hypothetical and say that typically a fielder will catch a line drive that is 10 feet from him but not if the ball is going twice as fast then a defensive system will see "Line drive landed in his area of responsibility and usually this ball is caught" and so will ding him for not catching it even though it was impossible for him to catch it.




Tango was recently posting about a similar issue with the PBP metrics and Coors field. Using statcast data, MLB outfielders, on the whole, catch 84% of fly balls hit to the OF while in Coors, the visitors catch 82% and the men in purple catch 79%. Link. Dante B's number above predate, I believe, the pitch by pitch defensive stats, so it would be an open question of whether the effect in the adjusted range type stats is similar, greater than, or less than in PBP.
   46. The Duke Posted: September 23, 2017 at 10:22 PM (#5537555)
I believe McGwire walked away from an agreed but not signed contract worth 30 million when he quit
   47. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 24, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5537648)
For the amount of money owed to him, Pujols will show up to work if they ask him to run the concession stand.

However, he has made so much money that you could see the team saying at the end of 2018, "Let's make a deal." He is owed $87m in the final three years of the deal, plus a 10 yr/10m (total) deal in personal services after he retires.

At the end of 21018, he will have made about $260 million in his career, plus whatever he's received for endorsements, etc.

How much of a discount would you be willing to take after 2018 in exchange for not having to show up for work for the next three years, no 10 yr personal services agreement?

I'd say, give me ~$50 million on April 1st, 2019, and we'll call it even.
   48. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5537654)
So which of the 2001 ROYs will last longer, Pujols or Ichiro? It looks like their careers could end on the same day in mid-June 2018.


Ichiro will last longer, of course. Unlike Pujols, he was only 27 in his rookie season.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5537655)

I'd say, give me ~$50 million on April 1st, 2019, and we'll call it even.


I'd stick around for the full $97M
   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5537712)
At the end of 21018, he will have made about $260 million in his career, plus whatever he's received for endorsements, etc. How much of a discount would you be willing to take after 2018 in exchange for not having to show up for work for the next three years, no 10 yr personal services agreement?

I'd say, give me ~$50 million on April 1st, 2019, and we'll call it even.

At the end of 2018, Arte Moreno will have made many multiples of what Pujols has made in his career. Why are folks so insistent that Moreno receive a discount on what now appears to be a bad contract that he willingly signed?
   51. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 24, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5537763)
At the end of 2018, Arte Moreno will have made many multiples of what Pujols has made in his career. Why are folks so insistent that Moreno receive a discount on what now appears to be a bad contract that he willingly signed?

I am not saying he would, but perhaps Pujols might say that he has enough, he doesn't want to work out all the time, travel for 6 months a year, and be embarrassed by his level of performance. This is assuming he has his 3000 hits, plus whatever other milestone he wants to hit. Not having to show up might be great. For a guy would has made as much as him, it might be worth it. And again, I am assuming a haircut buyout, not a full give back.
   52. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5537842)
Possibly, some players will be proud that way. But the threat of "you will have to keep showing up" is that, if he's that bad, the Angels won't want to make him show up. Take the buyout or we'll cut you is no threat at all. Take the buyout or we'll put you on the 40-man roster in Nov then move you to the 60-day DL the next day and keep you there the entire season is not much of a threat either. In that situation, the Angels could "force" Albert to do the rehab but Albert could always employ the equally sneaky "I'm healthy right now, let's go." (You're not allowed to keep a healthy player on the DL.)

I'm thinking more of a Bonilla-style buyout -- they owe him about $100 M over 13 years (in that 3/$87, 10/$10 format) and instead he agrees to 13 payments of $12 each. He avoids embarrassment, they save a little money, MLBPA doesn't worry about the precedent, Angels' lux tax calculations stay the same. You also still get to have an Albert farewell tour and big retirement day.
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2017 at 10:58 PM (#5537849)
Take the buyout or we'll cut you is no threat at all. Take the buyout or we'll put you on the 40-man roster in Nov then move you to the 60-day DL the next day and keep you there the entire season is not much of a threat either.

Right. It's not like the Angels could make Pujols catch one day and pitch the next until he said "Uncle". They'd look ridiculous, and lose a grievance.
   54. dlf Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:19 PM (#5537854)
What is the present value of 3@$29m in today's very low risk-free interest rate days? There would be *some* time value discount for an immediate payment, but probably not much.

For that matter, if a player is released, is he entitled to an immediate lump sum of the remainder of the contract or does he just keep getting paid over time without the need to perform? I'm guessing it is the latter since a player released who then signs with another club allows the releasing club to deduct the amount (usually MLB minimum) he actually gets from the new club, but that is just a guess.
   55. Rally Posted: September 25, 2017 at 09:19 AM (#5537957)
This is an exception, the rule is that players will collect every penny that their contracts allow them to.

Gil Meche retired in 2011, forfeiting something like 12-13 million on the last season of his contract. I know he signed a 5 year deal with the Royals, and I see he only pitched 4. I couldn't remember if he had walked away from one year or two. It's definitely just one, as he was either pitching or on the DL for the full 2010 season - last appearance was October 3.

That's nowhere near as much money as Pujols has left on his deal, but then again Meche had made a lot less in his career up to that point, around 51 million.

Last night the Astros not only put the shift on, but Altuve and Correa were stationed about 25 feet into the outfield grass. Pujols hit a ground ball to Altuve, and despite the ball taking 25 feet worth of more time to get to the fielder, and a 25 foot longer throw, the play at first base was a routine out.

I don't know how much worse it has to get before Pujols is declared medically unable to play baseball. Sure looked like it last night.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2017 at 09:34 AM (#5537968)
I think Meche was faced with another surgery and another 18 month rehabilitation in order to earn that money. He didn't quit out of embarrassment.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 25, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5537979)
I'm thinking more of a Bonilla-style buyout -- they owe him about $100 M over 13 years (in that 3/$87, 10/$10 format) and instead he agrees to 13 payments of $12 each. He avoids embarrassment, they save a little money, MLBPA doesn't worry about the precedent, Angels' lux tax calculations stay the same. You also still get to have an Albert farewell tour and big retirement day.

Yup. If Pujols is feeling generous he could make it longer. Spread the payments over 30 years, with a 4% rate-of-return, and you get about $9M p.a.
   58. Morty Causa Posted: September 25, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5537987)
Gil Meche, as I remember, didn't just forfeit a lot of money coming to him. He refused to take money owed him. A lot of people here criticized him for not taking it and giving it to the deserving needy. I wonder what the obligor owners did with it.
   59. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 25, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5538000)
One of the things that is interesting to me about this, especially wrt to the question of if Pujols is too embarrassed to go out there is that there are so many ways for a hitter to slice their performance. I mean, last year, Pujols was worth 1.4 WAR, but that takes into account all sorts of stuff that might not even register for him, like a position adjustment, baserunning, or DPs. He might very well look at that season and say "I'm a DH who had 31 HR and 119 RBI. That's pretty good." Even this year, he might go 25 and 100 while being terrible according to advanced stats.
   60. The Duke Posted: September 25, 2017 at 08:14 PM (#5538795)
59. that can only be true if he has never read any article on him or the Angels in the last 6 months. Hard to believe that
   61. Lars6788 Posted: September 25, 2017 at 08:58 PM (#5538819)
I tend to think '25 and 100' still means a whole lot to the coaching staff and even the Angels brass - even if it's basically garbage numbers, it's not like those who actually deal with Pujols in real life would have the guts to tell him off or somehow magically make him go away.

Only way he walks away is a doctor says he can't play anymore.

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