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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Eric Hosmer says lots of ‘red flags’ during grim offseason: ‘Something is wrong with it’

He got paid. Maybe the other guys aren’t really worth their asking prices.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2018 at 06:42 AM | 106 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eric hosmer, free agency, padres

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   1. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 06, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5634334)
The relief pitchers had a wonderful offseason. 60-70 found homes, about 40 of them on major league deals.
There's not many left after Greg Holland. I think there will be a little signing splurge this week as
Opening Day creeps up on us. Arrieta is the only top guy I see taking it into the season. I don't get him.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5634337)
I like how the article is 90% enormous full-screen photos, instead of actual content.

Maybe that's the "something wrong" to which Hosmer was referring?
   3. puck Posted: March 06, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5634403)
Supposedly Holland turned down a 3 year deal from the Rockies that was similar to what they offered to Wade Davis (though that's a bit hard to believe...maybe it was a 3 yr deal with incentives?). If so, I guess he's likely the winner of the offseason miscalculation award?
   4. Batman Posted: March 06, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5634407)
The version of the article at the link below looks less like a slideshow with giant slides.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2018/03/05/eric-hosmer-mlb-slow-free-agent-market-something-wrong/395247002/
   5. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5634412)
He got paid. Maybe the other guys aren’t really worth their asking prices.

Well I would contend that he isn't either.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5634420)
Well I would contend that he isn't either.

One of the biggest things wrong with this offseason was someone giving an averagish 1B 7/140.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5634437)
One of the biggest things wrong with this offseason was someone giving an averagish 1B 7/140.


It's pretty wrong that "someone" did, but kind of in character for the Padres and Preller, I think.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5634450)
It's pretty wrong that "someone" did, but kind of in character for the Padres and Preller, I think.

That's true. It's pretty shocking he still has a job after his first gutting of the Padres system.
   9. jingoist Posted: March 06, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5634453)
Problem?
Yes.
You guys want too much money to throw, catch and hit a baseball.
Market dynamics are a ##### when they run counter to your desires.
   10. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 06, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5634459)
How soon can they strike? Cuz this #### is getting ridiculous.
   11. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5634494)
Problem?
Yes.
You guys want too much money to throw, catch and hit a baseball.
Market dynamics are a ##### when they run counter to your desires.

I have absolutely no problem with guys getting paid, and getting paid lots. This has nothing to do with the market in general, and everything to do with the one specific player in Hosmer. As I said before, I have the same feelings about him, that I had about Pablo Sandoval. Where my primary goal for the offseason coming in was "I hope the Sox don't sign him".

I just think Hosmer is completely mediocre, and getting paid like a star (not a super-star though). But I congratulate him, and wish him the best. Just very very glad it is not my team.I think it is hugely likely to be an overpay, with a very good chance of being a disaster, and little upside to work out much better than 'meh'. When Machado, Harper, and Kershaw all coming up get 400m a piece, I won't say a peep. And there are tons of guys whom I wouldn't complain about getting a Hosmer-like deal.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5634501)
I just think Hosmer is completely mediocre, and getting paid like a star (not a super-star though).

The maddening thing is that people act like he's actually good. They ignore the alternating terrible years. They ignore the bad defensive stats. It's like there's selective blindness where for this one particular guy, it's 1985 again in terms of player evaluation.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5634509)
I think the issue is that the players have finally realized how much the incremental creep of Budshovik policy has adversely impacted the free market for their services when they finally reach free agency. Stacking onerous penalties on teams that sign free agents while pouring massive amounts of free money into franchises that prefer to pocket the revenue rather than use it for its purported purpose of paying players has created a disincentive to signing free agents and a perverse incentive to horde money and plod along in hopes that a team can grab a few artificially-underpaid players through the various draft schemes. This is an awful situation for played when combined with the "Yankee Tax" which has been kept low enough to actually impact teams other than the Yankees. We have a system where teams that *can* and *would* sign free agents refuse to do so because of the numerous penalties, while bottom-feeder teams can sit back and collect their free money and free draft picks in hopes of fluking into a jackpot.
   14. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5634514)
I know it doesn't matter in the long run, but SD is the worst place to be for a LH hitter this year.
LAD has 4 LH SP this year and the other 3 division opponents have 2 each. He's not horrible against
LHP, but he's mediocre. Of course, you never know how the matchups are going to line up, and injuries will occur.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5634518)

The maddening thing is that people act like he's actually good.


People think he's actually good because he's actually been good, as recently as a few months ago. He's also been not good. But he has shown the potential to be a quite valuable player (unlike, say, a Mitch Moreland). If you think the next few years are going to more closely resemble 2017 and 2015 than 2016 and 2014, and/or if you think his defense is more likely average to bad rather than rotten, then it's not really that confusing. I wouldn't gamble my money on that particular bet, and I think the signing was dumb in part because Meyers pretty much has no other place where he's valuable, but I think he's going to be better than you and others here expect.

   16. BDC Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5634519)
It's like there's selective blindness where for this one particular guy

Is there perhaps a top-prospect effect, whereby a guy who's been a can't-miss draft pick is overrated, ever after, within the "baseball community?" Not that they're all seen as superstars, by any means, but that Hosmer is a star, Jeff Francoeur kept finding work, etc.
   17. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5634520)
Neil Walker should be the poster child for why we need a new CBA. Dude was stuck under team control until age 31, the when he finally has a shot at long-term financial and career stability, what happens? He gets stuck with a QO that kills his market. Accepts it, plays well again, files for free agency again, and now....may very well have to settle for a minor league deal. From a second baseman who hit .265/.362/.439 last year.

#### ain’t fair.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5634522)
Neil Walker ....may very well have to settle for a minor league deal.
Is there evidence for this?
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5634524)
it's March 6 and he is still unsigned?
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5634525)
But he has shown the potential to be a quite valuable player (unlike, say, a Mitch Moreland). If you think the next few years are going to more closely resemble 2017 and 2015 than 2016 and 2014, and/or if you think his defense is more likely average to bad rather than rotten, then it's not really that confusing.

It is confusing because you don't value a player solely on his best possible case scenario. Paying him based on his most recent good year, is exactly the kind of player evaluation that was discredited years ago. There's no reasonable way to project Hosmer that ignores 2014 and 2016.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: March 06, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5634526)
it's March 6 and he is still unsigned?
So is Jake Arrieta and he certainly could have a major league contract any time he wants it.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5634530)
It is confusing because you don't value a player solely on his best possible case scenario. Paying him based on his most recent good year, is exactly the kind of player evaluation that was discredited years ago. There's no reasonable way to project Hosmer that ignores 2014 and 2016.


I'm not saying this was a good deal. We don't know if he's more likely to be the player he was in 2016, the one in 2017 or some average of the two (the latter likely the safest bet*), and it's not a gamble worth taking.

But he has shown the ability to be a good player, which you've kind of ignored.

* I'm skeptical that his pattern of good/bad years is actually something we can expect to continue.

   23. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5634533)
He's also been not good. But he has shown the potential to be a quite valuable player (unlike, say, a Mitch Moreland)


Except Moreland is getting paid exactly like you would expect. He's got a 2 year $13M contract. At $8.5/WAR he needs to produce 1.5 WAR over the next two years, or .75/year. He's put up 6.9 WAR over 8 years, .85/year.

   24. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5634543)
Definitely need arbitration reform to get more of the profits funneled to younger stars.
   25. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5634553)
But he has shown the ability to be a good player, which you've kind of ignored.

So have literally hundreds of other players who don't have 150m dollar contracts. This year, in his career high in WAR remember, Hosmer ranks tied for 65th in MLB in WAR. That is just this year 64 guys have shown more ability to be a good player, than Hosmer ever has. And another handful just as much. If we go back a few years, well then...

By the way, tied with Travis Shaw, Jed Lowrie, and Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz over the last 3 seasons combined has 0.4 fewer WAR than Hosmer, basically comfortably within margin of error. In essentially the same shape. Do you want to rush out and give Drew 150m? Cause I sure as ##### don't.
   26. Buck Coats Posted: March 06, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5634554)
Is there evidence for this?


"Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Neil Walker turned down a minor league contract from the Royals."
   27. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5634555)
Definitely need arbitration reform to get more of the profits funneled to younger stars.

I am all on board for that, btw. Pre-arb reform especially. And I think guaranteed FA by 27-28, regardless of service time would be good. I would like the MLB minimum bumped to at least a million too.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5634559)
Neil Walker should be the poster child for why we need a new CBA. Dude was stuck under team control until age 31, the when he finally has a shot at long-term financial and career stability, what happens?

Neil Walker has made $50M in his career (including his amateur signing bonus). If he's not a complete fool, he has long-term financial stability. No athlete really ever has career stability.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5634570)
So have literally hundreds of other players who don't have 150m dollar contracts.


At no point have I defended the contract. Snapper asked why people think he's a good player. And the answer is, because he has, on several occasions, been a quite good player. In fact, during two of the last three seasons, he's been just that

From where I sit, you and snapper and several others here are undervaluing him to a similar degree the Padres overvalued him. I wouldn't come close to paying him 140/7 to find out if he's more likely to put up value closer to 2017 than 2016 over that time frame, but I wouldn't describe him as "completely mediocre" either. Neither strikes me as an accurate assessment of Eric Hosmer circa 2018.
   30. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5634575)
I am all on board for that, btw. Pre-arb reform especially. And I think guaranteed FA by 27-28, regardless of service time would be good. I would like the MLB minimum bumped to at least a million too.


All good ideas. Co-sign
   31. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5634577)
At no point have I defended the contract. Snapper asked why people think he's a good player. And the answer is, because he has, on several occasions, been a quite good player. In fact, during two of the last three seasons, he's been just that

From where I sit, you and snapper and several others here are undervaluing him to a similar degree the Padres overvalued him. I wouldn't come close to paying him 140/7 to find out if he's more likely to put up value closer to 2017 than 2016 over that time frame, but I wouldn't describe him as "completely mediocre" either. Neither strikes me as an accurate assessment of Eric Hosmer circa 2018.

He has averaged 2 wins a season. If you want to restrict it to more recent seasons, call it 2.5. MLB average is 2.2? So he is about perfectly average. That's what mediocre means. So what if he has done it by bouncing between good and awful?
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5634578)

From where I sit, you and snapper and several others here are undervaluing him to a similar degree the Padres overvalued him. I wouldn't come close to paying him 140/7 to find out if he's more likely to put up value closer to 2017 than 2016 over that time frame, but I wouldn't describe him as "completely mediocre" either. Neither strikes me as an accurate assessment of Eric Hosmer circa 2018.


I called him "averagish". For his career Hosmer has averaged 2.0 WAR per season. For the last 4 years, he's averaged 2.4.

He's average.
   33. BDC Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5634581)
I called Hosmer average in some earlier thread and was read the riot act. Let's say that he fluctuates around league average.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5634586)
He has averaged 2 wins a season. If you want to restrict it to more recent seasons, call it 2.5. MLB average is 2.2? So he is about perfectly average. That's what mediocre means. So what if he has done it by bouncing between good and awful?



So, even using yours and snapper's no doubt coincidentally selected end points of the last four years, he's still been a little above average.

Yeah, you guys are underselling him.

   35. Rally Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5634592)
In his rookie year he was averagish - 1.5 WAR, but only 128 games. Since then it depends on what digit the year ends with. Odd and he's a well above average player. Even and he's just a bit better than replacement level.
   36. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5634597)
So, even using yours and snapper's no doubt coincidentally selected end points of the last four years, he's still been a little above average.

Yeah, you guys are underselling him.


He's at .6 WAA for the past 4 years. I mean, .6 is technically a little above average, but well within any margin of error considering how wildly his defense is rated. Not really sure how you can say Fancy Snapper is underselling him by calling him average.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5634601)
He's at .6 WAA for the past 4 years. I mean, .6 is technically a little above average, but well within any margin of error considering how wildly his defense is rated.


But the wild defensive rating is only pulling that number in one direction. If you think his defense is somewhere between the metrics and the reputation (my guess), then he's higher. And, of course, if you use 3 or 5 years, he also comes out better than that.

If you choose the time frame, and fully trust the metrics that are at odds with his reputation, you're still only getting him down to a little bit above average (and margin of error works both ways, doesn't it?) That's why I think they're underselling him. I wouldn't pay to find out if I'm right, but I think he's a better bet than many here give him credit for.

   38. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5634603)
Neil Walker should be the poster child for why we need a new CBA. Dude was stuck under team control until age 31, the when he finally has a shot at long-term financial and career stability, what happens? He gets stuck with a QO that kills his market. Accepts it, plays well again, files for free agency again, and now....may very well have to settle for a minor league deal. From a second baseman who hit .265/.362/.439 last year.

#### ain’t fair.


Walker is unsigned because he was asking for a four-year guaranteed deal at the start of free agency. He projects to be around a two-win player next year, and while that's an acceptable slot-filler, it's not really a difference-making level of talent, and he unwisely priced himself out of the market until most of the teams that needed a 2B or 3B had settled on other options.

He also has significant medical issues with his back, which may pose a problem for a signing team. And he really needs to be platooned, which imposes tactical limitations as well.
   39. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5634605)
So, even using yours and snapper's no doubt coincidentally selected end points of the last four years, he's still been a little above average.

Yeah, you guys are underselling him.

You have it backwards. You have to selectively endpoint him, to get him to not be average. His entire career is 7 seasons, 14 WAR. You can pick any consecutive 2 year stretch of his career, and get <= 5 WAR. That is the definition of average.

Also, WAR is just not precise enough, to call 2.5 WAR "a little above average". For example, I could have just used fangraphs numbers. And you get 10 WAR for his career. And no 2 consecutive years with more than 4 WAR.

Calling Hosmer's production anything other than about average, is false precision.

   40. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5634606)
He had a nice 50 point BABIP spike last year. 132 OPS+ is not especially dominant for a 1B. Last year, there were 8 full time 1B's with a better OPS+ than that. Add to that the fact that his defense isn't as spectacular as 'the eye test' would indicate, and you have a slightly above average 1B whose greatest skill is dependability.

Votto 168
Freeman 157
Bellinger 142
Goldy 140
Abreu 140
Bour 139
Zimmerman 135
LoMo 135
Hosmer 132
Rizzo 132

   41. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5634613)
you don't value a player solely on his best possible case scenario.

The whole "issue" with the current free agent market, encapsulated in a pithy 12 words. Nicely done.
   42. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5634615)
But the wild defensive rating is only pulling that number in one direction. If you think his defense is somewhere between the metrics and the reputation (my guess), then he's higher. And, of course, if you use 3 or 5 years, he also comes out better than that.

Not true. DRS, which bref uses for WAR is the highest of any of the fielding metrics on hum. UZR has him 8 runs worse over his career. TZ 14 runs worse.
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5634617)
You have it backwards. You have to selectively endpoint him, to get him to not be average. His entire career is 7 seasons, 14 WAR. You can pick any consecutive 2 year stretch of his career, and get <= 5 WAR. That is the definition of average.


Would any projection system consider what he did at 21 or 22 to be relevant any longer?

Also, WAR is just not precise enough, to call 2.5 WAR "a little above average".


If 2.2 is average, then 2.5 is a little above average. I've never signed on to the "false precision argument." Unless we have reason to believe that the margin of error exists only one way, then he's just as likely to be 2.8 as 2.2. So let's just leave it at 2.5 and call it what it is - slightly (or modestly or marginally or your adverb of choice) above average. Otherwise we shouldn't use the numbers at all.

For example, I could have just used fangraphs numbers.


That, on the other hand, is a decent argument.

   44. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5634620)
Walker is unsigned because he was asking for a four-year guaranteed deal at the start of free agency. He projects to be around a two-win player next year, and while that's an acceptable slot-filler, it's not really a difference-making level of talent, and he unwisely priced himself out of the market until most of the teams that needed a 2B or 3B had settled on other options.

If you change that to 'seven-year' and '1B' that pretty much sums up how I feel about Eric Hosmer. Except that he ended up getting 150m.
   45. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5634626)
Also, WAR is just not precise enough, to call 2.5 WAR "a little above average".

If 2.2 is average, then 2.5 is a little above average. I've never signed on to the "false precision argument." Unless we have reason to believe that the margin of error exists only one way, then he's just as likely to be 2.8 as 2.2. So let's just leave it at 2.5 and call it what it is - slightly (or modestly or marginally or your adverb of choice) above average. Otherwise we shouldn't use the numbers at all.

For example, I could have just used fangraphs numbers.

That, on the other hand, is a decent argument.

Fine, then let's be super freaking precise, and average his bref 2.5, with his FG 1.9, and call him a 2.2 WAR player then. Making him super duper perfectly average.

Would any projection system consider what he did at 21 or 22 to be relevant any longer?

Well we could go to the actual projection systems (from FG):
Zips: 1.7
Steamer: 2.4
Depth Charts: 2.1
Fans: 2.4

Wait, a second, if we average those 4 (and round up), we get 2.2! Perfectly ###### average! It turns out, Eric Hosmer is the most average player that ever averaged an average!
   46. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5634627)
So let's just leave it at 2.5 and call it what it is - slightly (or modestly or marginally or your adverb of choice) above average.


Again, these are the two posters you specifically called out as underselling him:

#31 "So he is about perfectly average."
#32 "I called him "averagish"."

I mean, I guess so, but...
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: March 06, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5634634)
I mean, I guess so, but...


Again, that's only with the more unfavorable end point selection that both engaged in and assuming the metrics are accurate. If you went with three or five seasons (I don't see any reason to go beyond five, but I also don't recall four somehow becoming golden), he grades higher. And if you think his defense is somewhere between the metrics and his reputation (my suspicion), then it's higher still.

But going any further is kind of pointless. To be fair, going this far was as well.
   48. A triple short of the cycle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5634684)
To be fair, going this far was as well.
Concur.
I think I've read here that uneven production from year-to-year increases a team's pennant chances? I.e. the Padres will be better off if he continues his alternating good/bad seasons than if he were average every year?
   49. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 05:04 PM (#5634690)
If a player is going to compile 8 war over the course of 4 years, 0,4,0,4 would result in more pennants than 2,2,2,2. The trouble with WAR is it is dependent on the performance of other players in the league and the value of a replacement level player.
   50. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 06, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5634692)
It will be interesting to see if defensive metrics have a different opinion of him in a whole new environment in SD.
   51. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 06, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5634695)
Obviously you guys know this, but the Padres are paying Hosmer for what they think he can do rather than what he has done. This year will be his age 28 season and he is still in his prime. The best predictor of performance is past performance but the Padres may be looking at Hosmer and seeing someone who is going to be better than he has been.
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 06, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5634698)
The Hosmer signing isn't dumb just because Hosmer is Hosmer. It's dumb because it also necessitates the Padres moving Myers back to the outfield, where he's an even worse defender than he is at first.
   53. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 06, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5634700)
Obviously you guys know this, but the Padres are paying Hosmer for what they think he can do rather than what he has done. This year will be his age 28 season and he is still in his prime. The best predictor of performance is past performance but the Padres may be looking at Hosmer and seeing someone who is going to be better than he has been.

Well speaking of future performances, I posted the projections up above.

And speaking of past performances, I see no reason to believe the Padres know any better than those.
   54. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 06, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5634705)
I am not saying that I agree with the Padres or disagree with anything you guys are saying. I am just saying that saying that Hosmer's performance up to this point matters only to the extent it predicts future performance.
   55. Stevey Posted: March 06, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5634748)
So have literally hundreds of other players who don't have 150m dollar contracts. This year, in his career high in WAR remember, Hosmer ranks tied for 65th in MLB in WAR. That is just this year 64 guys have shown more ability to be a good player, than Hosmer ever has.


This is mostly irrelevant. First, obviously contracts are going to be smaller in previous years. We need to scale previous contracts up to get a better comparison. And we probably need to scale them up a lot, a ton of money has been pouring into the game recently.

Secondly, as we all know, many of those players are intentionally prevented from getting a fair deal on the market. This was the tacit agreement between the players and owners. Good young players get underpaid, and the money flows to the veterans. This doesn't absolve the MLBPA from screwing over the younger guys or leaving a large loophole open where they aren't guaranteed a percentage of revenue. But the way the CBA was negotiated was to greatly reward the players who have put in six or more years of service time.

Is $20M/year fair for a player of Hosmer's ability? Obviously no one knows, as we can't even come to an agreement here over what his ability actually is. But does Hosmer bring $20M/year+ back to the Padres? We're not going to know, and that's probably something that can't ever be known. All we can really do is compare his contract to previous ones for similar players, which we judged by comparing them to previous contracts and on and on back until we get to the point where GMs and agents were just making wild ass guesses as to how much players were worth. So Hosmer gets called overpaid based on nothing more than a house of cards.

Meanwhile Ron Fowler has seen his franchise increase in value ~7% a year, according to Forbes, since he bought the team in 2012 despite topping out at 77 wins over that time. He collects $60M/year in tv money, and probably somewhere around $100M from revenue sharing and national collective revenue from the league before he has to put a dime above the minimum salary in talent on the field. And he got San Diego to put up a ton of money to build him a park to boot.

Is Hosmer overpaid? He is getting more than other players that people deem comparable, so yes. Is Hosmer overpaid? The Padres can be an absolutely dumpster fire of an organization, and Fowler will still make so much money that he can buy a yacht just to fill with cash and light it on fire, and have that be the equivalent of a rounding error in his net worth, so maybe not.
   56. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 07, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5634784)
I think it is rather telling, that nobody has been able to provide much of a positive justification for the Hosmer contract. It's mostly just nitpicking the criticisms. 'He's really a 2.5 WAR player, and not a 2.2 WAR player!' 'What about inflation!' 'You can't prove he isn't a much better defender, than the most generous defensive metric has him!' 'Teams are loaded!'

This is mostly irrelevant. First, obviously contracts are going to be smaller in previous years. We need to scale previous contracts up to get a better comparison. And we probably need to scale them up a lot, a ton of money has been pouring into the game recently.
...
Is $20M/year fair for a player of Hosmer's ability?


It is not about the per year figure, it is the years. If Hosmer were getting 3/60, then whatever. I mean I still wouldn't be excited, and would rather not it was my team, but... whatever. Instead he is getting 8 years, front-loaded, with an opt out, and a full NTC. Those are the things you give to superstars, to keep the AAV down. But they didn't even do that.

Here is a fun list I just compiled. All the active 8+ year deals, sorted by WAR for the 3 seasons before the deal started (excluding Soler 9/30m signed 2 years before he made the majors, and Kenta Maeda 8/25m signed from Japan (those are the total values of the contracts, not per year)). Bear in mind, that I cherry-picked that, to make it AS FAVOURABLE AS POSSIBLE for Hosmer.

Albert Pujols     22.5
Robinson Cano     21.9
Dustin Pedroia    19.4
Joe Mauer         19.3
Joey Votto        18.7
Miguel Cabrera    17.6
Jason Heyward     16.4
Giancarlo Stanton 14.4
Troy Tulowitzki   14.0
Buster Posey      12.6
Matt Kemp         11.9 
(coming off an 8.2 WAR season)
David Wright      11.8 (coming off a 7 WAR season)
Freddie Freeman    9.5 (signed after his age 235.7WAR season)
Elvis Andrus       9.3 (signed after age 25 season)
Eric Hosmer        8.7 


There are apparently 3 types of players who get 8 year deals. Guys who are at least borderline super-stars. Guys who are hot prospects, and involves buying out arb years, trading a team-friendly deal for security and being set for life. And Eric Hosmer.

Again, bear in mind, I made that list to look as favourable as possible for Hosmer.

Obviously no one knows, as we can't even come to an agreement here over what his ability actually is. But does Hosmer bring $20M/year+ back to the Padres? We're not going to know, and that's probably something that can't ever be known. All we can really do is compare his contract to previous ones for similar players, which we judged by comparing them to previous contracts and on and on back until we get to the point where GMs and agents were just making wild ass guesses as to how much players were worth. So Hosmer gets called overpaid based on nothing more than a house of cards.

Please. The only thing built on a house of cards here, is Hosmer's contract.

Meanwhile Ron Fowler has seen his franchise increase in value ~7% a year, according to Forbes, since he bought the team in 2012 despite topping out at 77 wins over that time. He collects $60M/year in tv money, and probably somewhere around $100M from revenue sharing and national collective revenue from the league before he has to put a dime above the minimum salary in talent on the field. And he got San Diego to put up a ton of money to build him a park to boot.

Is Hosmer overpaid? He is getting more than other players that people deem comparable, so yes. Is Hosmer overpaid? The Padres can be an absolutely dumpster fire of an organization, and Fowler will still make so much money that he can buy a yacht just to fill with cash and light it on fire, and have that be the equivalent of a rounding error in his net worth, so maybe not.

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
   57. SoSH U at work Posted: March 07, 2018 at 08:43 AM (#5634785)
I think it is rather telling, that nobody has been able to provide much of a positive justification for the Hosmer contract.


It's also telling that I wasn't trying to.
   58. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: March 07, 2018 at 08:45 AM (#5634787)
Who will end up with more career WAR: Eric Hosmer or Neil Walker?
   59. Stevey Posted: March 07, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5634809)
Here is a fun list I just compiled.


You couldn’t have missed the point more if you were Joey Gallo facing a nasty slider. Your response to the idea of comparisons to previous players being flawed is to ... double down on that same process.

Please. The only thing built on a house of cards here, is Hosmer's contract


This is the kind of persusive analysis I come to BBTF for.

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.


Since you need the “explain to me like I’m five” version: Owners/teams are insanely rich for little more than simply existing. Even after decades of giving out supposedly bad contracts, profits continue to skyrocket. Loria can be widely known as, at the very best, a compete jerk that no one should ever want to do business with and run a team quite incompetently, and still walk away with hundreds of millions more than he started out with. Maybe us armchair analysts shouldn’t be so confident about what makes a player overpaid. But you are really good at quoting juvenile movies instead of not being an ####### incapable of responding to the point made.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5634825)
Maybe us armchair analysts shouldn’t be so confident about what makes a player overpaid.

It doesn't matter how much the owners are making. Hosmer is overpaid relative to his peers. If the Padres wanted to spend $140M they could have done so and gotten MORE talent.

We're saying "It's insane for Bob to pay $75,000 for a Honda Civic. Your response is "But Bob makes $1M a year, he can afford it."

That's no response. You don't overpay for an asset simply because you have the money. If you have the money buy a better asset.

We're saying Bob should have either bought a Mercedes for $75,000, or pay $20,000 for the Civic.
   61. akrasian Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5634828)
I would like the MLB minimum bumped to at least a million too.


At least that. That would help a great number of union members. I would also like to see a raise in minimum pay for the minor league portion of 40 man roster players - they are union members too. And so that teams don't play games with the number of players they have on the 40 man roster, a guarantee that teams will be assessed for each spot, whether they use it or not (i.e., you can have 39 players on the roster to prepare for a trade, but you still have to shell out money like you have 40, so the Marlins of the world don't decide they really only need 30 players on the 40 man roster). Factoring in that a raise in the minimum would likely help the pay of marginal vets too, that would be well over half of the union members earning significantly more.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5634839)

At least that. That would help a great number of union members. I would also like to see a raise in minimum pay for the minor league portion of 40 man roster players - they are union members too. And so that teams don't play games with the number of players they have on the 40 man roster, a guarantee that teams will be assessed for each spot, whether they use it or not (i.e., you can have 39 players on the roster to prepare for a trade, but you still have to shell out money like you have 40, so the Marlins of the world don't decide they really only need 30 players on the 40 man roster). Factoring in that a raise in the minimum would likely help the pay of marginal vets too, that would be well over half of the union members earning significantly more.


Good ideas.

$1M minimum for 25 man roster. $250K for 40 man, and you pay per spot.
   63. PreservedFish Posted: March 07, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5634857)
I hadn't thought much about the impact to the team, but how do you figure the cost of moving Myers to OF? Looks like Myers is an average 1B defender and a below average RF defender. And I bet that he'll improve at 1B and get worse at RF as time goes on.

If Hosmer is a 2.5 WAR guy but you know that he also forces you into a suboptimal defensive lineup that leaves .5+ wins on the table ... well, that's not good.
   64. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 07, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5634880)
You couldn’t have missed the point more if you were Joey Gallo facing a nasty slider. Your response to the idea of comparisons to previous players being flawed is to ... double down on that same process.

Oh I got the point just fine. It is just so dumb, that it is hardly worth responding to seriously. It's just pretending that since we don't have perfect information, that we can't even begin to try and put a value on things. But we have a ton of information. MLB team revenue. Player contracts. Estimates on dollar per win figures. Pretty decent player valuations. And you want to throw all that out, and just say 'pay them whatever because who knows.' Why not pay Jeff Mathis 150m too. I mean who knows, you can't know!

It's nihilism, plain and simple. And ironic, that the guy who says I need something explained like a child, is spouting nonsense, that only 14 year olds just discovering philosophy, and Murray Chass could find profound. It means we might as well throw out all our sabermetrics, all our advancements, all out data, all out knowledge. Because none of it is perfect. Go back to RBIs and BAs. Or better even the eye test. Or best yet, not even try to evaluate players at all.

It's not serious analysis. It's a child's view of how to deal with problems and reality, and not that of an adult. That's why I used the quote that I did, about everyone here being dumber for having read it. But go on, explain it to me like I am a 5 year old again.

This is the kind of persusive analysis I come to BBTF for.

Says the guy whose analysis boils down to: 'We don't have perfect information, so let's just throw our hands up and pretend we have no information.'

Since you need the “explain to me like I’m five” version: Owners/teams are insanely rich for little more than simply existing. Even after decades of giving out supposedly bad contracts, profits continue to skyrocket. Loria can be widely known as, at the very best, a compete jerk that no one should ever want to do business with and run a team quite incompetently, and still walk away with hundreds of millions more than he started out with. Maybe us armchair analysts shouldn’t be so confident about what makes a player overpaid. But you are really good at quoting juvenile movies instead of not being an ####### incapable of responding to the point made.

And none of that is actually a justification for the Hosmer contract. It's ideology masquerading as an argument. You are starting from a premise, that owners make too much money, and anything that reduces that is an unalloyed good, and fitting any events into that worldview. It doesn't matter how good Hosmer is. 2 wins. 4 wins. 0 wins. It's all the same.
   65. Stevey Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5634904)
We're saying "It's insane for Bob to pay $75,000 for a Honda Civic. Your response is "But Bob makes $1M a year, he can afford it."


You’ll notice I did say “Is Hosmer overpaid? He is getting more than other players that people deem comparable, so yes.”

But the comparison to the Civic doesn’t really work. This isn’t one guy paying a lot more one time for a good that has its price established by the economics a mostly free market. The market isn’t remotely the same for baseball players to begin with, but we also see countless “overpays” in the market. If only a few Civics are available each year, and some people pay $20K, some $50K, and some $75K, then no, we don’t have an established fair price for a Civic like we do in the real world.

And, of course, Bob isn’t just buying this car because it’s nice to have a car. He also isn’t just buying a car because he needs it to make money for his business. He needs to have the best fleet of cars among all his competitors. And in this arms race between these competitors that see Civics sometimes go for $75K, not only do none of them lose money, they all become insanely profitable. So no, this is nothing like Bob the millionaire having a nearly endless supply of options to take a joyride.
   66. BDC Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5634910)
Serious if moot question: if you had $144M in your budget for the next eight years, and you could also see yourself bidding $300/7 for Bryce Harper next year (but knowing he would laugh at that), would you be better off paying Eric Hosmer $144/8 now, or waiting to offer Harper $444/7 next year?

EDIT: Adjust the figure downwards if it seems extreme: the essence is, would an overpaid Hosmer be better than a legitimate chance at a wildly overpaid Harper?
   67. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5634912)
Factoring in that a raise in the minimum would likely help the pay of marginal vets too, that would be well over half of the union members earning significantly more.
I'm in favor of this proposal, but I can't imagine what the players would have to give up to get it. 170 game seasons? Doubleheaders every Sunday? Eight year arbitration periods?

Well, maybe not that much; cost per team is probably around 10 million per year (about 10 pre-arb players will get a raise of ~500K/year each, 15 40-man players around 200K/year, etc). Max cost if all players were paid the min would be 15.5 million, so relatively trivial. But the owners would still fight it.

An even bigger fight would be getting a decent salary for minor leagues not on the 40-man.
   68. Stevey Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5634943)
It's just pretending that since we don't have perfect information, that we can't even begin to try and put a value on things. But we have a ton of information. MLB team revenue


To say that it's just not perfect information is a hilarious undersell. Forbes makes guesses as to revenue, but we don't have the actual information, and teams are incredibly protective of their books.

Pretty decent player valuations.


We went over this. Well, I did, and you ignored it. Player valuation are based on previous player valuations, which are based on previous player valuations. At no point in this process has anyone ever gone "X player brings in Y amount of revenue", just merely pointing out that "X player is better than Z so he should get more" without ever determining what kind of return Z brings. We've built a fancy looking house in determining that a win should go for $8M or is it $10M or is it something completely different, and placed it on the rockiest ground, right on a fault line.

It's nihilism, plain and simple.


I get this interpretation of my argument, but I assure you that it's more that we should scale back our Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs fueled assurance in what is or is not a bad deal immediately after it is signed. We need the sabermetrics specifically because we know there's a lot of stuff we can't be sure of yet. At one point in time, Bill James' Win Shares was the gold standard, and if you didn't use it, well you got strawmanned with "don't evaluate players at all". And then we did some more work and BP's WARP was determined to be an improvement, and the same thing happened. And then we did some more work and have the current versions of WAR. And we're still strawmanning arguments of "let's not be so sure we have this figured out" with "don't evaluate players at all".

You are starting from a premise, that owners make too much money, and anything that reduces that is an unalloyed good, and fitting any events into that worldview.


It's not that we need to take money from those greedy owners. It's that we supposedly see all these bad deals throughout the game, and yet none of them are preventing teams from becoming incredibly profitable. Maybe this is just an economic bubble waiting to pop when one too many Hosmers gets a big contract. Maybe the likes of the Padres and Rays getting billion dollar TV deals despite the former being poorly run and the latter committing to tanking mean that even average guys like Hosmer actually do bring $20M/year in value back to the franchise.
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5634957)
The market isn’t remotely the same for baseball players to begin with, but we also see countless “overpays” in the market. If only a few Civics are available each year, and some people pay $20K, some $50K, and some $75K, then no, we don’t have an established fair price for a Civic like we do in the real world.


Fancy already showed it above; no one like Hosmer gets 8 year deals. There are no civics going for $75K.

Players like Hosmer get 3/60 deals.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5634958)
It's not that we need to take money from those greedy owners. It's that we supposedly see all these bad deals throughout the game, and yet none of them are preventing teams from becoming incredibly profitable.

So what? Google could pay it's janitors $100K a year and still be wildly profitable. But they don't, b/c there's no reason too.
   71. Nasty Nate Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5634963)
It's not that we need to take money from those greedy owners. It's that we supposedly see all these bad deals throughout the game, and yet none of them are preventing teams from becoming incredibly profitable.
I don't think that profitability is what most of us care about. We care about how bad contracts result in teams being unsuccessful on the field.
   72. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5634967)
That's no response. You don't overpay for an asset simply because you have the money. If you have the money buy a better asset.

We're saying Bob should have either bought a Mercedes for $75,000, or pay $20,000 for the Civic.


It's an interesting thought experiment to consider whether the Padres would have been better off with Hosmer on his current deal or Zack Cozart on the deal that Cozart got from the Angels plus a bunch of money to spend on other stuff.
   73. PreservedFish Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5634970)
It's an interesting thought experiment to consider whether the Padres would have been better off with Hosmer on his current deal or Zack Cozart on the deal that Cozart got from the Angels plus a bunch of money to spend on other stuff.


Doesn't seem that interesting. I think it's a slam dunk that you'd prefer Cozart + other stuff.
   74. Topher Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5634985)
I think BDC's question is interesting in that I think the correct answer is to give Harper $444M/7.

I also think it's going to be extremely interesting to see what Harper, Kershaw, and Machado end up making. I am somebody that doesn't believe there has been ownership collusion this past offseason. I kinda am expecting there to be collusion next winter as it relates to the top tier talent. My guess -- and I fully admit I have nothing to back it up -- is that there is going to be strong MLB pressure for no owner to go over $40M/year. Even if you wanted to give Harper $447M/7, I'm not sure that would be "allowed" by MLB and the other 29 owners.

I throw that last paragraph out there because if I'm a MLB GM, there are less and less places to throw money these days. I wouldn't want to give Hosmer $144M/7 in a vacuum. But (1) if the money is going to otherwise not be spent and (2) as a GM I know that if I don't produce results, my employment is likely to come to a end, then maybe I go ahead and make a massive overpay. I find it hard to believe that San Diego ownership would permit a $447M/7 offer to Harper.

So getting back to Hosmer. Compared to other free agents that aren't getting signed in large part due to teams not wanting to pay for declining years, Hosmer:

1. Is only 28, so the true decline shouldn't be until the very end of the 7 year contract and if you're still the GM at that point I think you're plenty ok with that. Even if he's never great, he likely should be acceptable on the field for the next 4-5 seasons. In addition to age, he doesn't have an "old man" first baseman's body.

2. Has the raw talent for him to be a top 3 pick, a consensus top 10 prospect, and has had good (but not great) MLB seasons.

3. Has two big "weaknesses" that perhaps can be fixed:
-- Defense. Metrics hate him, managers/coaches/players think he's great and perhaps his defense isn't even a weakness.
-- Has one of the highest groundball rates and maybe you think your staff can change that.

It's not a great bet that Hosmer lives up to the contract. But the absence of signing Hosmer suggests that there are players out there that you can spend the *same amount* of money on more efficiently. I have no doubt a GM can get better value out of a 1B free agent than this deal. I do question if you are going to get a better player over the next 4-5 years. Only one team is going to be able to sign Harper and odds are it isn't going to be your team. And taking a look at the 2019 1B free agents, do you really want to wait a year to see if you're going to be the lucky team that overpays Marwin Gonzalez?

Bottom line is that GMs have lots and lots of money to spend and frankly there are not all that many players to spend it on.
   75. Topher Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5634988)
Was typing when 72 & 73 were posted.

I agree in the abstract with 73. But is there really enough "stuff" out there to give the excess dollars? The market sure suggests that money is going into the owner's pocket if it isn't spent. Not on "stuff".
   76. Nasty Nate Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5634991)
Topher, maybe an owner will allow the GM to spend more on a star, but I doubt the owner won't let their GM spend at all if he wants to pass on some star.
   77. Topher Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5634994)
Nasty Nate -- to make myself a bit more clear ...

I think every team in baseball can easily run a $120M payroll. I think it is still the case for a typical team that the owner and GM meet prior to the offseason and a payroll ceiling is set for the next season. For "special" players the GM might go back to the owner and see if the ceiling is raised.

As best as I can tell -- and I have no way of knowing this -- the GM is judged by the results on the field and doesn't appear to get any real credit if the team spending is lower than the ceiling.

So if you are the Padres and you are given a ceiling (that I'm making up right now) of $100M for this upcoming season. Realistically, given what is currently on the roster + what is on the free agent market, you probably can't even make good value signings to spend the $100M. If you are Preller, I think it makes sense to spend some of that excess money on a guy like Hosmer rather than just saving the team some money that otherwise doesn't get spent.

ETA: Saving money in this context just seems like a really good way to have the house in order for when the next GM takes your job.
   78. PreservedFish Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5635002)
Realistically, given what is currently on the roster + what is on the free agent market, you probably can't even make good value signings to spend the $100M.


It's a very bad year to make this claim, with guys like Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez signing for dramatically below market value.

ETA: Saving money in this context just seems like a really good way to have the house in order for when the next GM takes your job.


This may be true but it's only an argument that makes sense from Preller's perspective. Yes, it might be smart for him to take stupid risks, but it's bad for the team.
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5635004)

So if you are the Padres and you are given a ceiling (that I'm making up right now) of $100M for this upcoming season. Realistically, given what is currently on the roster + what is on the free agent market, you probably can't even make good value signings to spend the $100M. If you are Preller, I think it makes sense to spend some of that excess money on a guy like Hosmer rather than just saving the team some money that otherwise doesn't get spent.
But "otherwise doesn't get spent" seems like a faulty assumption.

And opportunities to use money always come along.
   80. Zach Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5635005)
3. Has two big "weaknesses" that perhaps can be fixed:
-- Defense. Metrics hate him, managers/coaches/players think he's great and perhaps his defense isn't even a weakness.
-- Has one of the highest groundball rates and maybe you think your staff can change that.


I dunno, $140 million seems like a lot for a player whose two weaknesses are "defense" and "offense"
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5635006)

This may be true but it's only an argument that makes sense from Preller's perspective. Yes, it might be smart for him to take stupid risks, but it's bad for the team.


There is a clear agency problem here. Which is why you should never keep a GM once you start thinking about firing him. Just can him now.

The temptation is just too great for a GM on the hot seat to spend a bunch of money in future years when he probably won't be around.
   82. Topher Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5635011)
#78


It's a very bad year to make this claim, with guys like Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez signing for dramatically below market value.


Maybe we're talking beyond each other but to me guys like Frazier and Nunez support the claim. The Padres could sign both those players and still be $25M below my hypothetical $100M cap -- and honestly that $100M *should* be higher.

At least to me ... The fact that you are now able to get guys like these so cheap reinforces the fact that if there is a shiny object you really want, go ahead and overpay for it because you otherwise might not spend the full budget.

#79

And opportunities to use money always come along.


The way that (1) teams lock down young talent, (2) caps now exist on the draft and international signings, as well as (3) older players no longer performing as well in the aftermath of the PED era has me concluding that frankly there isn't that many opportunities to use money. And when there is an opportunity, you probably are competing with a lot of other teams to spend that money.
   83. Omineca Greg Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5635012)
I dunno, $140 million seems like a lot for a player whose two weaknesses are "defense" and "offense"

HA!

However, he does have delusions that he's a speedy runner. And his psychotic episodes express themselves most strongly as the game situations get more dramatic.

That's a kind of talent. $140 million seems like a lot, I have plenty of delusions (good looking, charming, svelte, brilliant, heck, I'm a pretty fast runner too...) and no one's offered me that much, but I have made several million(can "two" be counted as several? checks...no, several is "more than two, less than many"...hmmm I nailed the "less than many" part, but ultimately I came up short on the other leg, so scratch that...)

I've made millions from my delusions, so who's to say he shouldn't too?
   84. Nasty Nate Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5635016)
The way that (1) teams lock down young talent, (2) caps now exist on the draft and international signings, as well as (3) older players no longer performing as well in the aftermath of the PED era has me concluding that frankly there isn't that many opportunities to use money.
Well, locking down young talent counts as a way to spend money (not the opposite). And there are still plenty of free agents, and lots of ways to use money to lubricate trades for talent. Here's some non-FAs that teams were able to acquire recently for which their willingness to spend at least played a partial role: Upton, Quintana, Kimbrel, Verlander, Stanton, Gordon, Hamels, McCutchen, etc...
   85. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5635018)
Maybe we're talking beyond each other but to me guys like Frazier and Nunez support the claim. The Padres could sign both those players and still be $25M below my hypothetical $100M cap -- and honestly that $100M *should* be higher.

At least to me ... The fact that you are now able to get guys like these so cheap reinforces the fact that if there is a shiny object you really want, go ahead and overpay for it because you otherwise might not spend the full budget.

Frasier signed for 8.5m per year (who I would take over Hosmer straight up). 2 of those contracts gets you to basically the same point per year as Hosmer. And if that isn't enough, there are a bunch of good pitchers still out there - the Padres kinda suck at pitching if you hadn't noticed. Cobb, Lynn, Arrieta. Throw some money at those guys if you want to. And maybe playing in PETCO will make them look a bit more shiny, and you can flip them down the road too. And none of them necessitate shoving your existing 1B into the outfield where he sucks.

Or you take on salary dumps to get talent back. Or you actually sign the talent you develop, and lock them up early to team friendly deals. There are tons of ways to spend money, if it is burning a hole in your pocket, other than dishing out dumb contracts.

Cheap teams don't have low payrolls because they can't find ways to spend money. They have low payrolls because they are cheap, and choose not to.
   86. Topher Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5635022)
Apologies all around .... I hadn't given the issue much thought and came in here fully loaded with some half-baked opinions. Thanks to all of you that took the time to make posts helping to inform me.

Sorry for derailing the thread!
   87. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5635025)
Apologies all around .... I hadn't given the issue much thought and came in here fully loaded with some half-baked opinions. Thanks to all of you that took the time to make posts helping to inform me.

Sorry for derailing the thread!

No worries. But just to drive the point home. The Rays and Marlins both traded away a bunch of guys on fairly modest deals this offseason, in essentially pure salary dumps. Including the face of the franchise for the Rays, and the NL MVP for the Marlins.

That was entirely a choice to spend less money.

In 2012 the Marlins actually decided they WOULD spend money, and signed a ton of guys, and had the 7th highest opening day payroll in MLB at 120m. By next season, they had traded away everything that wasn't bolted down (despite promising the players they signed they were committed), and were back down to second-last at 36m.

There is plenty of money to be spent, if teams want to do it.
   88. Jay Z Posted: March 07, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5635196)
If a player is going to compile 8 war over the course of 4 years, 0,4,0,4 would result in more pennants than 2,2,2,2. The trouble with WAR is it is dependent on the performance of other players in the league and the value of a replacement level player.


Not always. Only on certain teams. On a team with a 90+ win baseline adding more variance results in fewer pennants won. That's because 90 wins is enough to make the playoffs most of the time, winning 95 gets you fewer pennants won than winning 85 losing them. The numbers here are for illustrative purposes only.

Perhaps studies assume all teams are average. In real life all teams are not average. It seems odd to stump for value that decreases and goes negative as your teammates improve.
   89. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 08, 2018 at 06:35 PM (#5635674)
Not always. Only on certain teams. On a team with a 90+ win baseline adding more variance results in fewer pennants won. That's because 90 wins is enough to make the playoffs most of the time, winning 95 gets you fewer pennants won than winning 85 losing them. The numbers here are for illustrative purposes only.


I see what you mean there. Makes sense to me.
   90. Stormy JE Posted: March 08, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5635682)
I called Hosmer average in some earlier thread and was read the riot act.
What's wrong with you people? Even Brian Kenny likes the cut of his jib. (On second thought, shoot me now.)
   91. Stevey Posted: March 08, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5635691)
So what? Google could pay it's janitors $100K a year and still be wildly profitable. But they don't, b/c there's no reason too.


Sure, but I wouldn't say they would be overpaying in this situation either. And it actually seems like it was going to cost this much for the Padres to get this car or janitor or whatever you want to compare it to. The Royals supposedly had a comparable offer out there. They thought this car was worth a lot, and wanted it badly, and probably couldn't have gotten it for any less than they paid. We should question the Padres talent evaluation - we should have been doing this long before this offseason anyway - but I'm not so sure it's an overpay.
   92. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 08, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5635759)
Jesus Christ, Mike Moustakas just signed for $6.5MM.

Blow it up, everyone.
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: March 08, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5635764)
fwiw

Jeff Passan
‏Verified account @JeffPassan

Mike Moustakas has agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual second-year option with the Kansas City Royals, sources with knowledge of the deal tell Yahoo Sports. It guarantees him $6.5 million and can max out at $22.7 million.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 09, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5635852)
Sure, but I wouldn't say they would be overpaying in this situation either. And it actually seems like it was going to cost this much for the Padres to get this car or janitor or whatever you want to compare it to. The Royals supposedly had a comparable offer out there. They thought this car was worth a lot, and wanted it badly, and probably couldn't have gotten it for any less than they paid. We should question the Padres talent evaluation - we should have been doing this long before this offseason anyway - but I'm not so sure it's an overpay.

OK, we'll try another analogy. This is like when two couples get fixated on "their dream house" and engage in a ridiculous bidding war.

Yes, there's only one of those houses and two different parties really want it. But, it's still absurd to pay 50% over what other comparable non-dream houses are selling for.

At the end of the day, there are lots of houses, and lots of ways to improve your baseball team. Therefore it's ridiculous to overpay for 16 Maple Terrace, or Eric Hosmer just because they're your favorites.
   95. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5635870)
On Moustakas, what I've been talking about all winter is that there just isn't a market out there for third basemen right now. ZiPS right now projects 17 teams as having a 15% chance at making the playoffs. ZiPS also projects Mike Moustakas being at least a 0.5 win upgrade for 11 teams. Only a single team is in both categories, the New York Yankees (who have reasons to not wanting to sign Moustakas long-term or to a decent salary). Nor is there a single team that goes over the 15% mark with Moustakas added. It's part of the reason Justin Turner, a significantly better player than Moustakas, got an underwhelming contract last year and Todd Frazier did already this winter.

On Hosmer, the 8/144 is even worse than it looks because of the opt-out. Simulating Hosmer's contract in ZiPS, for the opt-out, I instruct ZiPS to, after 22, set Hosmer's probability of taking the opt-out. There's sadly not enough data on historical opt-outs for a good model, but I use a guesstimate of 0.66666 * Worth It% + 0.1666666 (so that the probability of a player opting out ranges from 17% if he has <0.5% chance to beat in free agency to 83% if it's >99.5%). Looking at it this way, ZiPS valued the opt-out as worth about $22 million in additional salary, meaning that 8/144 with a 5/105 guarantee and a player option to take 3/39 has the same surplus value as a straight-up 8/166 contract. Simply put, an 8/144 deal that is only 5/105 most of the time a team would prefer 8/144 is a lot worse than 8/144.

In the end, the players are going to have to fight for a system that results in player salary growth that's not largely tied to middling veterans gettign dumb contracts. There never was any implicit agreement between owners and players of "it's OK if we underpay you guys early because we'll overpay you guys late." It's just that teams were really, really bad at the dynamics of a free agent market. That was never going to last as team management evolved into real, professional units. I also believe we're starting to see wins of free agents being valued in a non-linear fashion, something that always made sense, but for the first 40 years of free agency, teams largely treated this as not the case.

What the MLBPA is going to need to fight for is things like earlier arbitration, higher minimum salaries, or 40-man roster service time. I've talked with a number of player-agents about this during the offseason and I believe this is widely known among that demographic. But it's the players who will have to fight MLB in the end.
   96. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5635877)
In the end, the players are going to have to fight for a system that results in player salary growth that's not largely tied to middling veterans gettign dumb contracts. There never was any implicit agreement between owners and players of "it's OK if we underpay you guys early because we'll overpay you guys late." It's just that teams were really, really bad at the dynamics of a free agent market. That was never going to last as team management evolved into real, professional units.
Well put.
   97. McCoy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5635898)
I also believe we're starting to see wins of free agents being valued in a non-linear fashion, something that always made sense, but for the first 40 years of free agency, teams largely treated this as not the case.

I've been saying this for years. It never made any sense to me to pay some guy 18 million dollars a year because you think he'll put up a 2 WAR and I don't care how much of a budget you think a team has committing 18 million dollars to a mediocre player removes a huge amount of money for your budget. You can afford it but you better have some youngsters that are performing well and or some diamonds in the turd that you picked on the cheap.
   98. McCoy Posted: March 09, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5635912)
OK, we'll try another analogy. This is like when two couples get fixated on "their dream house" and engage in a ridiculous bidding war.

Yes, there's only one of those houses and two different parties really want it. But, it's still absurd to pay 50% over what other comparable non-dream houses are selling for.

At the end of the day, there are lots of houses, and lots of ways to improve your baseball team. Therefore it's ridiculous to overpay for 16 Maple Terrace, or Eric Hosmer just because they're your favorites.


Analogy doesn't work because you have two differing interests/goals.

If the "dream" house is a dream house because you think it is a great investment then paying out the unrealized profits to get the "dream" house is a bad move. But if it is your dream house because it fits your needs and or the home will make you happy then any amount of money up to preventing you from being happy or filling your needs is perfectly acceptable. You can spend a billion dollars on a 600 sq ft home if the home makes you happy and the money spent doesn't alter your happiness or ability to take care of your needs.
   99. BDC Posted: March 09, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5635925)
And now we have the inverse of my Bryce-Harper question: does it make more sense to pay Hosmer $144/8, or to pay Moustakas $7/1 and move Chase Headley to first base? I guess we'll also never know :)
   100. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 09, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5636012)
On Hosmer, the 8/144 is even worse than it looks because of the opt-out. Simulating Hosmer's contract in ZiPS, for the opt-out, I instruct ZiPS to, after 22, set Hosmer's probability of taking the opt-out. There's sadly not enough data on historical opt-outs for a good model, but I use a guesstimate of 0.66666 * Worth It% + 0.1666666 (so that the probability of a player opting out ranges from 17% if he has <0.5% chance to beat in free agency to 83% if it's >99.5%). Looking at it this way, ZiPS valued the opt-out as worth about $22 million in additional salary, meaning that 8/144 with a 5/105 guarantee and a player option to take 3/39 has the same surplus value as a straight-up 8/166 contract. Simply put, an 8/144 deal that is only 5/105 most of the time a team would prefer 8/144 is a lot worse than 8/144.

I have always hated opt-outs, and it drives me ####### crazy, when guys here try and paint them as an actual positive for the team. They severely limit upside of a deal, while the team still takes on all of the liability and risk of the contract. This is doubly true, if the deal is front-loaded.

If I ran a team, I would pretty much have a no opt-out policy. It would have to be a pretty special circumstance for me to bend it. I just can't imagine players are giving teams enough of a discount to justify them. Just offer them 10m more, or whatever.

I actually think part of the slow-down this offseason comes down to those opt-outs. Players and agents, have gotten used to getting them thrown in like candy. And I think more teams are wising up to how costly they are, and adjusting offers with opt-outs accordingly. Leaving the players feeling like they are being lowballed.
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