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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Dave Dombrowski’s reputation, autonomy and the pursuit of JD Martinez

What’s your team’s goal? Do you want short bursts of success or do you want sustained success? Do you want to be the Braves of the 90s or Royals of the recent past?

Small markets may be forced to think of smaller windows of opportunity. Big markets can plan for sustained success. I’d rather have the Red Sox working similarly to the current Dodgers than Ilitch’s Tigers. I like J.D. Martinez. I don’t like him enough to see the Sox go beyond five years. (I’d prefer four with a higher AAV actually.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2018 at 06:49 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, red sox

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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: January 09, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5603240)
I don’t like him enough to see the Sox go beyond five years. (I’d prefer four with a higher AAV actually.)
How can one even make an opinion on this without knowing the specific AAVs? For instance, it's obviously better for the team (and the fans) if they get him for 5 @ $21m (or 6 @ $20m) rather than 4 @ $26m.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 09, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5603243)
Small markets may be forced to think of smaller windows of opportunity. Big markets can plan for sustained success. I’d rather have the Red Sox working similarly to the current Dodgers than Ilitch’s Tigers. I like J.D. Martinez. I don’t like him enough to see the Sox go beyond five years. (I’d prefer four with a higher AAV actually.)

I don't really see how 5 vs. 6 years on Martinez really impacts the Red Sox chnaces of sustained success. That's going to be almost entirely driven by drafting and development.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: January 09, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5603249)
I don't really see how 5 vs. 6 years on Martinez really impacts the Red Sox chnaces of sustained success.
Sure, but so what? No single FA contract will have a giant negative impact on their chances of sustained success, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss them or that bad contracts, collectively, don't hurt them.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 09, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5603269)
How can one even make an opinion on this without knowing the specific AAVs? For instance, it's obviously better for the team (and the fans) if they get him for 5 @ $21m (or 6 @ $20m) rather than 4 @ $26m.


I view this with the assumption that the AAV is not materially changing and that JDM is looking at 5/125 or 6/150. Obviously if that's not true then yeah you gotta know the dollars.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5603349)
Sure, but so what? No single FA contract will have a giant negative impact on their chances of sustained success, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss them or that bad contracts, collectively, don't hurt them.

Right, but the Martinez contract will rise or fall based on those first 5 years. If the deal ends up looking good at 5/125, it will probably look good at 6/140 or 6/145.

I view this with the assumption that the AAV is not materially changing and that JDM is looking at 5/125 or 6/150. Obviously if that's not true then yeah you gotta know the dollars.

I would generally assumes AAV goes down as the contract gets longer. Those years when the player is old have less value.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: January 09, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5603372)

Right, but the Martinez contract will rise or fall based on those first 5 years.
It might, it might not. On an individual player level, year-to-year fluctuations are hard to predict. But I agree that 6/140 and 5/125 are likely to be very similar from the team's point of view.

Or to put your point another way, there's no good reason to predict that particular offseason to be the moment of steep decline compared to the prior one and the following one.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: January 09, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5603667)
Would that be the Dodgers who just ate the last two years of Kemp's contract to play lux tax games? (Lux tax being one reason to sign a player to a longer, lower AAV contract)

The Dodgers who signed the 37-year-old Rich Hill for 3 years?

The Dodgers who signed the 32-year-old Justin Turner for 4 years?

The Dodgers who signed their closer for 5 years?

I don't disagree with the premise and, given a roughly similar AAV, obviously you'd rather have JDM for 5 years than 7 ... and there's no reason for the Red Sox to bid against themselves ... and he looks like a permanent DH in the very near future and I'd see little reason to ever sign one for 5 much less 7 years. But he is only turning 30, he looks a lot like the next Encarnacion. If he stays healthy (a big if for him but presumably one advantage of moving him to DH), he probably projects to about 20 WAR over the next 6 years (EE 19 WAR for 30-34, one year to go). Something like 6/$140 would offer a bit of protection against injury and is not substantially different than 5/$125. If you can get him at 5/$120 or less, go for that.

I'd be more sympathetic to Jim's position if DD didn't seem intent on punting 1B and, for this year at least, punting DH if he doesn't sign JDM. In theory, getting solid short-term 1B and DH options is probably preferable to signing JDM but DD hasn't shown much ability to find those players yet. (Think also of all those years with crappy corner OFs in Detroit.) For the next few years, the Red Sox offense pretty clearly could use a boost and, barring Harper/Machado next year, JDM looks like a pretty good option.
   8. ptodd Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5603825)
The key with long term deals is you never want a NTC so you can trade him and should always include an opt out. Future performance is unpredictable , but remember, any losses are paid for by underpaying the kids.

If you want to continue getting your best players for 6-7 years at below market you better pay the FA well or risk a strike down the road to reduce controlled service time to 3-4 years

The MLBPA should consider a cap on contract length in conjuction with reducing service time. Say 3-4 years for both. Scrap arbitration. That may work for both sides
   9. ptodd Posted: January 09, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5603826)
I'd offer JDM 5 and then 2 player options at half salary. Total 7 guaranteed years and lower AAV. If he has a great 5th year he rejects the player option and the AAV gets recalculated but any penalties are left for the next GM.

I'd offer opt outs for year 1 and year 3 as well.
   10. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 10, 2018 at 06:41 AM (#5603853)
I don't think that's how options work for tax calculations.
   11. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5603898)
I love how people still think opt-outs--which used to be called player options--are something the team values and asks for.

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