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Monday, March 11, 2019

ESPN - Keown - Bryce Harper is One Very Big Deal

When Harper told his agent, Scott Boras, that he wanted a lifetime deal—with a no-trade clause and none of the agent’s signature opt-outs—Boras said, “Well, teams don’t want to employ you at 35, much less 39, so we’re going to have to give something up to get that.” The casualty, to use the term loosely, was the average annual salary—$25.3 million. Manny Machado’s, to pick one, is higher. Harper didn’t care.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 11, 2019 at 02:26 PM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, free agency, nationals, phillies, smash mouth

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 11, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5821931)
Washington, where Harper was an MVP, rookie of the year and a six-time All-Star, made a 10-year, $300 million offer in October. "I grew up in front of those fans and that city, and I enjoyed every minute of it," Harper says. "But I didn't know if I fit into their plans. About $100 million of that contract was deferred 'til I was 65 years old." He stops and turns his palms to the sky in disbelief. Few people can turn down a $100 million retirement fund; Bryce is one. "It's like, 'What does that do for me? What does that do for my family?'"

   2. Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 11, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5821932)
'What does that do for me? What does that do for my family?'"


Apparently he knows that the US economy/the dollar/the world won't be viable 40 years from now so wisely decided to take a smaller amount of money sooner.
   3. McCoy Posted: March 11, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5821933)
Seems like teams are valuing opt outs wrong if Bryce had to give up something to get a lifetime contract. Seems like Boras is as well.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: March 11, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5821936)
Seems like teams are valuing opt outs wrong if Bryce had to give up something to get a lifetime contract. Seems like Boras is as well.
I think it's just an awkwardly worded paragraph. Harper preferred more guaranteed money to an opt-out, partially due to his aversion to undergoing the free agency process and the will-he/won't-he that leads up to an opt-out deadline. It goes without saying he didn't want part of the contract to be team options either.

The way people - even players/agents/teams - talk about contracts is sometimes upside-down.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5821943)
About $100 million of that contract was deferred 'til I was 65 years old."


Assuming similar inflationary trends, what is that in today's money? Like $30M?
   6. RJ in TO Posted: March 11, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5821946)
Assuming similar inflationary trends, what is that in today's money? Like $30M?
You can generally work with the rough estimate that the value of a dollar halves every 20 years. So it's probably around $25 million.
   7. McCoy Posted: March 11, 2019 at 07:02 PM (#5821960)
Re 4. Sure but a team would rather not give out a player optout. If they truly want those kinds of things and the lack of one causes the price of labor to go down then it is all upside down.

Bryce should have gotten more for not opting out. Not less.
   8. akrasian Posted: March 11, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5821974)
I suspect most cases of opting out would favor the team if the team is smart. Opt out after season 3 of a 10 year contract, and the team has scored the most valued 3 years of the contract, without the back end that sometimes turns bad. Yes, there is a risk, but if there's a large risk for a position player, then a ten year contract is foolish. Where it goes bad is when the original signing team chooses to throw more money at the player.

I love Kershaw - but I thought it was foolish to resign him. Let him opt out, while he is still great but clearly breaking down.
   9. Sean Forman Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:09 PM (#5821983)
I don't see how people can ever think the player opt out is good for the team. It makes zero sense to me. Perhaps the teams get to lower the overall $ amount in return, so the risk the player flames out is lessened for them, but they also get very little of the upside.
   10. McCoy Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:13 PM (#5821984)
If a player puts up three 10 WAR seasons a team will make out like bandits for those there seasons but that doesn't mean at that point they want that player to leave. It also means that the player if they opt out will likely get a better contract for the remainder of years and then some from the original contract.

A team isn't going to force a player to take a if you play well you can leave but if you play bad you can stay type optout. That doesn't benefit the team in anyway.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5821985)
Bryce should have gotten more for not opting out. Not less.
Right, and I think he did. Despite the phrasing in the excerpt.
   12. McCoy Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5821986)
He probably got the 66 million in years 11 through 13 which is a good thing for the team not him. That's basically deferred money with the team getting the added advantage of getting to decide whether to keep him on or not. That's probably taking 4 or 5 million a year for the first 10 years and pushing it back to years 11 through 13.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:53 PM (#5821990)
Seems like teams are valuing opt outs wrong if Bryce had to give up something to get a lifetime contract. Seems like Boras is as well.

I suspect the Boras quote is only in regard to the AAV. Boras mentions ages 35 and 39, doesn't say anything like "well, if you don't want them to give you the chance to leave at age 29 ..." So I take it as Boras saying "just so we're clear, you ain't getting 13/$390."

Or Occam's razor for journalism -- "if there's something in the article that makes no sense, assume it's the fault of the reporter." Unless it's about Trump of course in which case that's almost certainly all Trump.

It makes zero sense to me.

Basically it's an assumption the player and his agent will mis-read the market and/or both the current team and the player know that other players in the market will over-value the player. I've never seen evidence of either.

But sure, with maybe a rare exception, if the player opts out then the original team must have gotten a huge bargain in those years. So there are worse outcomes. But if the performance was that good, then it does change their future projection which means the original team should want to keep him around.

There's also the question of how the contract is structured. When Loria extended Stanton, he supposedly crowed about how awesome it was because they were getting such super-cheap upfront years and then Stanton would opt out and they'd be geniuses. But when you back-load it heavily, you make it more difficult for the player to opt-out. When Stanton's option comes along, he'll have to walk away from 7/$218. He ain't likely to beat that on the open market and certainly not by much. Also when you back-load it heavily, it becomes more difficult to trade the contract. Assuming he doesn't opt-out, the Marlins essentially pick up all that back-loaded salary. Stanton would have had to take that step up to Aaron/FRobinson territory to make an opt-out sensible.

The Cubs on the other hand front-loaded Heyward -- at least in terms of when the money was "earned" not necessarily when it was paid out. Unfortunately he had enough sense not to opt out after 2018 but he was only owed 5/$106 (you'll be seeing that number again in a moment) -- if he was still a 4-WAR player and still only turning 29 ...

Where it goes bad is when the original signing team chooses to throw more money at the player.

Not really. Unless we count ARod II (which is an in-between case), teams haven't thrown much money at such players. I can only think of two others off the top of my head. The Yanks added one more year of CC. That didn't work out so well but there was no reason to think it wouldn't -- he just immediately collapsed. And it kinda worked out in that the extra year they bought was actually a solid year. The other is Justin Upton -- he was owed a flat 4/$88 and the Angels turned it into a heavily deferred 5/$106 -- that's an extra year for just an extra $13 NPV. Who knows how it will turn out but the first year was 3.8 WAR for $16 M. So the new contract takes him through 33 rather than 34 and he's still a 3-4 WAR player, still solid defensively, still a slight positive on the bases so not a prime candidate for an early collapse.

Oof, substantial disagreement on 2018 bWAR vs fWAR (3.8 vs 3.1). Because of that (I assume), Steamer/ZiPS project him to just 2.3 WAR this year (which seems crazy low anyway ... a simple Marcel puts it at 3.5, a fancy Marcel at 2.8. I'll take the over on 2.3 fWAR.
   14. bookbook Posted: March 12, 2019 at 12:49 AM (#5822001)
The player only opts out if he can get more money by doing so. Therefore the opt out is always a benefit to the player and a cost (or opportunity cost) to the team.
   15. jingoist Posted: March 12, 2019 at 08:09 AM (#5822007)
Ted Lerner, age 93, thinks 65 is merely “ advanced middle age” and an entirely reasonable age in which to continue to receive money.
Uncle Ted the annuity man!
Money, by the way, which will be cheaper (I.e., 25 cents on the dollar) and more readily available as the ongoing argument over MASN tv royalties will be finally be settled in the Nationals favor.
When I was 25 I thought 65 was ancient and from Bryce’s perspective it is .
Now that I am 73 I look back wistfully to my “golden 60’s” and think how nice it would be to A. recapture that age and B. have someone paying me tens of millions of dollars in my dotage.
I’ll bet the Nats offer to Rendon has a large deferral component, much like Scherzers.
   16. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 12, 2019 at 08:36 AM (#5822011)
I don't see how people can ever think the player opt out is good for the team. It makes zero sense to me. Perhaps the teams get to lower the overall $ amount in return, so the risk the player flames out is lessened for them, but they also get very little of the upside.
I've been told I'm wrong before and I'm sure I will again very shortly. But I pretty much agree with #8.

Basically, I think it is generally accepted that big FA contracts are often bad (or at least "bad") toward the end, but that's the price of securing top-line talent. So teams know that it's pretty unlikely that Pricey McAllstar is still going to be worth $25 million when he's 37 years old...but they're also probably going to get more than their money's worth in the first years of the contract. The "upside" is very rarely going to come in the back end of a contract, right? Unless it's really heavily front-loaded.

Given that, if a player gets and uses an opt-out, there's a much larger chance that someone else is going to pay for those decline years. It may not feel good at the time if the player is still performing at a high enough level to feel confident opting out, and I'm certainly not saying it's *definitely* going to end up better for the team, but to reverse your statement Sean, I don't see how people can think it can never be good for the team either.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5822013)
someone else is going to pay for those decline years.
"Decline years" is needlessly misleading in this context. Teams want JD Drew's 2007-2009, ARod's 2008-2009, JD Martinez' 2020, Greinke's 2016-2017, etc, no matter what we label those years.
   18. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5822016)
You are correct that teams don’t want decline years but they definitely don’t want bad decline years which is what they would get if a player performs poorly in his “prime” years.
   19. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 12, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5822017)
@18 Yeah but that's irrelevant to the opt out, if you've decided to signing them to a deal of that length. (Or, potentially, you got a (small) discount on the contract for offering the opt out. But at worst it hasn't cost you anything in that scenario.)

@17, fair enough. "...pay for those years when they are more likely to be worth much less"?
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5822019)
@17, fair enough. "...pay for those years when they are more likely to be worth much less"?
Compared to what, A-Rod's 9-WAR 2007?

Those years are still likely to be worth more than what that money could otherwise be bought by a team. E.G., after Greinke opted out, the Dodgers spent more money for worse performance out of Hill/Anderson/Kazmir.

Vernon Wells, Jason Heyward, and David Price ain't opting out.
   21. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 12, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5822033)
Given that, if a player gets and uses an opt-out, there's a much larger chance that someone else is going to pay for those decline years.

But we can no longer assume that free agency is an irrational market. Say a player signs an 8-year deal with an opt out after 3 years starting with his age-28 season. And that he plays so well in years 1-3 that the team reaps significant surplus value. To say that the team is better of if the player opts out relies on (1) him cratering, which could definitely happen, and (2) some sucker team willing to pay a premium thinking that the guy who's now in his 30s will continue to play at or near the same level. Given the contracts we've seen these past two winters, I don't think we can still assume that teams are willing to sign guys past their prime based on past performance.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 12, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5822054)

I agree with Sean. The opt-out is an opportunity for the player to demand more money for the team in order to stay, if his value has increased, or if there's been significant inflation either in player salaries or the dollar in general. However, if the player declines, or player salaries decline overall (or if there is deflation in the dollar), the team is still on the hook for the original deal.
   23. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5822111)
@18 Yeah but that's irrelevant to the opt out, if you've decided to signing them to a deal of that length. (Or, potentially, you got a (small) discount on the contract for offering the opt out. But at worst it hasn't cost you anything in that scenario.)

Him opting out has cost you. It has cost you a 4 to 6 WAR player with a salary negotiated at previous rates. You now have to replace that production with current market rates.

But really the biggest issue is that with player opt outs the teams lose all control and leverage. How do you plan long term when you don't know whether your best players will be on the team or if they'll be on the team at X costs or X*150% costs? A team can get lucky and have a player opt out, fall apart for another team, and thus free up money for the original team but the team has no control over that. That's just luck. That's a lot of money and career safety riding on the spin of the roulette wheel.
   24. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5822114)
Im not sure how to interpret opt outs, I'm gonna pass on that until I can think more about it.

I have another take...

Isnt it interesting, that by take the longer term, somewhat lower AAV contract, Harper is basically NOT betting on himself?

Right? I mean there were at least two primates last fall arguing that Harper should sign a one year contract, Prove It Contract and prove his worth and then re enter the free market after putting up great numbers. I thought that was insane strategy because it allows for the only way Harper can lose out on several hundred million dollars; he falls off a cliff or gets permanently injured or something akin.

So Harper took the most safest possible route. the one that ensures he will get his 300+ million and really no potential upside that he might make 500M in his career. No. 4 calls it "an aversion to the FA process."

REally, we can argue whether Harper is an elite hitter or merely a top hitter; we can argue abot whether he's mediocre or poor in the field. But one thing that is pretty clear is he's not been consistent and he's had a spate of odd injuries.

I just find it interesting that rather than risk it all on a one year deal, or take less risk on medium length contract; Harper chose the safest way to get the most dollars if his career fizzles out at say 34. what do you think? Maybe he knows more about himself than we do?
   25. PreservedFish Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5822120)
I don't see how people can ever think the player opt out is good for the team. It makes zero sense to me. Perhaps the teams get to lower the overall $ amount in return, so the risk the player flames out is lessened for them, but they also get very little of the upside.


The idea that the opt-out is good for the team is predicated on the idea that some other sucker is definitely going to come and save your butt.

But when the other sucker is you - as it was with ARod - then that's the worst thing that can happen.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5822124)
No. 4 calls it "an aversion to the FA process."
I was mostly referring to this quote in the article:

"During the seven years I spent in DC, all everybody talked about was me going somewhere else," Harper told The Magazine in his first extensive interview since signing with the Phillies. "From the day I signed, it was: 'He's going to the Yankees'; 'He's going to the Dodgers'; 'He's going to the Cubs.' I didn't want to hear that. I was in that city, and I wanted to be in that city. So now I'm just so happy that I'm able to sit here right now and say I can play until I'm 39 years old and I don't have someone sitting around the corner saying, 'He's going to go here next.'"
   27. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5822127)


Him opting out has cost you. It has cost you a 4 to 6 WAR player with a salary negotiated at previous rates. You now have to replace that production with current market rates.


But what if yo've already won a championship; your window is now closing, and you'd like to rebuild? Wouldnt an opt out than be useful for a team?

Lets take Harper. LEts say he puts up great numbers in Philly, they win a pennant in year two and a championship in year 3. Philly gets a huge attendance boost, they make millions in merchandising; they're on the hook for a lot huge salaries they'd like to trade away. It might make more sense for them to rebuilt and get younger.

Or let's take it further....they said the Phillies sold 380k tickets in the week following the harper signing. You can assume each ticket is $100 in revenue at the park. So lets say Harper sells 400k tickets ON HiS OWN this year (I dont know if that's reasonable take or not, we can debate that). If that's true then by signing Harper the Phillies easily made $40M in a week for the lump sum they paid him which was what $30M?? They've made $10M this week by signing Harper.

If they were to trade him say next week, and with it his entire salary, would they be better off? Well not the team on the field but financially?

By that interpretation, the Phillies made out not by being shrewd at evaluating talent, but they simply were in the position of having $30M in liquidity at this point in time. It's like showing up at auction and paying cash for widgets at 10 cents on the dollar.

So maybe these big contracts are some sort of hoax?


And of course the opt out puts the onus on the player. RIght? Its not like the Phillies traded their best player after they won a championship.


"He walked out on us that bastard!"
   28. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5822131)
I was mostly referring to this quote in the article:


Yeah I wasnt sure what you're take on that was. Some people might interpret it as Harper just doesnt like the idea of having to go through a negotiation and not knowing where his family will be living. that's one way to look at it. Another way might be the way Im suggesting.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5822135)


Yeah I wasnt sure what you're take on that was. Some people might interpret it as Harper just doesnt like the idea of having to go through a negotiation and not knowing where his family will be living. that's one way to look at it. Another way might be the way Im suggesting.
Well it's probably both.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5822139)
But what if yo've already won a championship; your window is now closing, and you'd like to rebuild? Wouldnt an opt out than be useful for a team?
If the player doesn't have a no-trade clause, the contract can be traded and possibly even bring back players that help you rebuild. If he does have a no-trade clause, he may waive it for reasonable compensation if he doesn't want to be part of the rebuild, or he'd refuse but still be a good piece to rebuild around. If he is dead set on remaining on the team, would he have used the opt-out anyway?
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5822141)
The idea that the opt-out is good for the team is predicated on the idea that some other sucker is definitely going to come and save your butt.


I have long been one of the proponents that opt-outs can be used for the team's advantage, but teams have obviously become a lot smarter about giving huge contracts to 31-year-old players. That makes it harder to pawn somebody off on a sucker willing to pay for a fading star's decline phase.

But when the other sucker is you - as it was with ARod - then that's the worst thing that can happen.


I think the Sabathia contract is illustrative here. Sabathia technically didn't opt out, but he used the threat of opting out to get a new contract with the Yankees, after three years of his original contract. He ended up giving the Yanks 17.4 WAR in the first three years of his deal, at a cost of $63 million. After he could have opted out, he gave the Yanks 7.1 WAR over the next five years, at a cost of $117 million. So that's $3.6 million per WAR over the first part of his deal, and $16.4 million per WAR after the opt-out kicked in.

   32. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5822142)
So now I'm just so happy that I'm able to sit here right now and say I can play until I'm 39 years old ...


And I really dont have to crash into walls or dive for balls ever again. this is so awesome; I always hated that.
   33. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5822145)
If he is dead set on remaining on the team, would he have used the opt-out anyway?


Well 'Yes". I mean the scenario we are hypothesizing strongly suggests that. ANd that is:

Harper signs huge $300M with an opt out at year 3. He puts up great numbers and fells the NYY will pay him 50M.

Isnt that what's being discussed? Im having a hard time seeing where you're going with your argument, I think the premise is that the player seeks a better AAV, yes?
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5822146)
a fading star's decline phase.
Those terrible years like A-Rod's 2008-2010? Or Greinke's last 3 years?
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5822152)
Harper signs huge $300M with an opt out at year 3. He puts up great numbers and fells the NYY will pay him 50M.

Isnt that what's being discussed? Im having a hard time seeing where you're going with your argument, I think the premise is that the player seeks a better AAV, yes?
But how's that useful to the Phillies compared to a contract without the opt out? If they were doing a teardown and rebuild, isn't it likely that Harper would let them trade him, assuming he gets something out of it?

(Maybe we're talking past each other, you edited #27 after I responded)
   36. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5822158)
the two additional considerations for this opt out debate:

a) dont opt outs allow a team to trade a guy when they otherwise couldn't? And thus keep their options open. I mean we see MLB as teams trying their best to get better and win championship after championship. Im not at all sure teams really see it that way. Arent they driven by simple capitalist greed? They tell player x: "Well gee this opt out really favors you, you need to give us a little break on the salary."

but they dont really care. Theyve already put $40M in stadium revenues and team shirts in the bank. They could care less if he walks.

b) it lets the player be the bad guy. The Cards tried to sign Pujols but he was a dick and just wanted more money. Cards are off the hook. [insert favorite opt out player for Pujols]
   37. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5822160)
If they were doing a teardown and rebuild, isn't it likely that Harper would let them trade him, assuming he gets something out of it?


Well he gets something out of it correect? That costs the team more money. Correct?

Instead, player X convinces himself he is worth more on the open market. Maybe he is. He insists on a trade. OK here you go you're traded. Now we're off the hook for the res of this money and we can offer another guy another signing bonus, sign him and sell another million uniforms this week.

What's the difference? the difference is if the Phillies were to trade harper next week, they'd look like cynical money grubbing bastards. but if Harper were to walk on his own after say year two or three, then the Phillies look like they are at least trying.

But the fact is the team is going to make money either way. simply by signing Harper with a signing bonus.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5822163)
Sorry I'm really confused about the signing bonuses and uniform sales and immediate trade stuff.

But overall, if the Phillies want to cut payroll and teardown in 3 years, and their star players are elsewhere, i don't think the fans will care much about the mechanism.
   39. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5822164)
To say that the team is better of if the player opts out relies on (1) him cratering, which could definitely happen, and (2) some sucker team willing to pay a premium...


From a strict WAR stand pt. you're likely correct (depends on who replaces the player). BUt from a financial stand pt. Im not sure at all. He's played 3 great years, the team made a couple of runs at the pennant, attendance increased and we all made a ton of money.

Who cares if he walks? Big market teams will always find the cash to play for replacement players who put up large numbers. Small market teams wont but they cant afford great players anyhow.
   40. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5822170)

Sorry I'm really confused about the signing bonuses and uniform sales and immediate trade stuff.


The Phillies, arguably, may have made $20M simply by signing Harper and attendant buzz.

They will sell 400k tickets = $40M. Assume $10M in clothing...That's $50M. they gave him what $30M upfront?

that's net $20M. right?
   41. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5822172)


But overall, if the Phillies want to cut payroll and teardown in 3 years, and their star players are elsewhere, i don't think the fans will care much about the mechanism.


But you were asking me what's the difference with the opt out? And you said If the Phillies do want to tear it down, then Harper will let them trade him (cause he's such nice guy).

But of course, the Phillies have to give him some sort of compensation to trade him if he has the no trade clause.

I mean, that was your question. Right? Whats the diff with No Trade clause.
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5822173)
They will sell 400k tickets = $40M. Assume $10M in clothing...That's $50M. they gave him what $30M upfront?

that's net $20M. right?
Only if you don't deduct any overhead or other expenses from the ticket sales, and doesn't merch/memorabilia money go into the revenue sharing pool?
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5822174)
They will sell 400k tickets = $40M
Tickets aren't $100 each, and Harper's contract isn't the only cost associated with them.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5822175)

But of course, the Phillies have to give him some sort of compensation to trade him if he has the no trade clause.
Yes, but even with the trade return being hampered by any compensation he gets for waiving the no trade, it's better than nothing.
   45. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5822177)
Tickets aren't $100 each,


Its usually assumed each ticket will generate about $100 in the stadiium

THere's parking. HOw much is that in Philly? Maybe you go with your buddy so you split that. So what's that $20?

there's beer and hot dogs. What's that another $30??

The ticket was what $40?

I dunno go ahead and google that and tell me how much revenue each ticket brings to the average MLB park.
   46. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5822179)
and Harper's contract isn't the only cost associated with them


I have no idea, what this means.

I have no way to know if it's true, but they said the Phillies sold 380k tickets in one week. Let's assume that's true. Assume that news of Harper alone caused that. Apparently his apparel is very popular in Philly as my buddy was there this past weekend.

You're talking about costs. Most costs remain fixed. The spike in revenue was provided by Harper signing. At least I am assuming.

Beyond that, I dont understand you're pt. Im sorry, maybe you can explain it again...
   47. Greg Pope Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5822180)
If the player doesn't have a no-trade clause, the contract can be traded and possibly even bring back players that help you rebuild.

Has this happened without the team needing to kick in money? Cano just got traded on the back end of his contract and the Mariners had to also send their closer and $20M.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5822181)
If a guy spends $100 at a game this year, the profit for the Phillies is not $100 minus some proportion of Bryce Harper's contract.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: March 12, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5822183)
Has this happened without the team needing to kick in money? Cano just got traded on the back end of his contract and the Mariners had to also send their closer and $20M.
He wouldn't have opted out!
   50. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5822186)
Here's a confusing article on fan revenue I found by spending 4 seconds on google:

https://www.forbes.com/2009/05/22/baseballs-most-valuable-fans-business-sports-top-fans.html#3c73b95e982d

Apparently SFG fans generate $78 per fan. Some questions/comments:

1 obviously a lot depends on your TV contract, the Marlins have a very bad revenue and a bad tV contract. The LAD have less per fan revenue than SFG but I presume they have more people running through the turnstiles than SFG, but maybe similar views on TV?

Im presuming they take into account some sort of costs of doing business. Otherwise if marlins are only making $11 (!) per fan they probably will soon be bankrupt. The WAS are only making $26 per fan so I assume they are talking profit???

I have no idea. there's a lot that needs to be explained here.

*****

Ok googling some more:


Philly parking seems to be $18 and avg ticket is $36. Surely people will buy hot dogs and maybe some merchandise. Is $80 really out of the question?

If costs are fixed which I think is reasonable, then bring in 400k fans, does that not generate $32M without any additional over head?
   51. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5822187)

If a guy spends $100 at a game this year, the profit for the Phillies is not $100 minus some proportion of Bryce Harper's contract.


are you just trying to be obtuse?

If a guy shows up who wouldnt have shown up last year. And operating costs remain the same, then isnt that $100 of profit?

what do you think happens? A new fan shows up at the park. Someone has to greet him , shake hands with him, and this employee gets paid for each handshake. then the fan buys a drink and the team plays the vendor an extra 50 cents??

And then the team hires an extra janitor at $10/hr to pick up the trash the fan left behind????

I have no idea your pt here.
   52. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5822188)
Only if you don't deduct any overhead or other expenses from the ticket sales


arent these already fixed costs? or did they have to pay people overtime to take the ticket orders? Arent ticket orders done by third party anyhow? Why would Philly pay money to sell more tickets??
   53. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5822189)
Tickets aren't $100 each,


Miss the point much?
   54. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5822201)
Not every ticket buyer will also buy parking acess and 3 jersies, 16 hot dogs, and 24 beers.

Every new fan might spend on average $55 and have that cost $5 per new fan.
   55. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5822202)
The point of baseball is to win games not to win the yearly BTF win per dollar award. Jettisoning your best players after three years has never been best practices. The dollar bill doesn't care this year that you got great value last year. There is really no such thing as quit while you're ahead in baseball transactions.
   56. Sunday silence Posted: March 12, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5822204)
The dollar bill doesn't care this year that you got great value last year.

\
mr. non sequiter.
   57. McCoy Posted: March 12, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5822286)
Except it wasn't. You specifically mentioned getting good value year 1 through 3.

Anyway, the whole you're better off having them opt out is post hoc reasoning. You don't go into a contract with that thinking and indeed Loria looked like an idiot when he made it public that he thought he got a great deal on Stanton because of the opt out.
   58. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 08:34 AM (#5822323)
Anyway, the whole you're better off having them opt out is post hoc reasoning. You don't go into a contract with that thinking and indeed Loria looked like an idiot when he made it public that he thought he got a great deal on Stanton because of the opt out.

How does this mesh with the idea that the end years of a contract are just deferred payments? That seems to be an accepted premise, that the player won't be worth the end years. Pick a long-term contract, say Pujols. Before the contract started, how many of the 10 years do you want (paying at or below value) and how many do you not want (paying over value, considering them deferred payments)? Is it different for Machado? Harper? Assuming you don't know that Pujols is going to tank early.

Also, let's assume that all payments are equally spread out, which isn't true, but close enough.
   59. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2019 at 08:47 AM (#5822326)

How does this mesh with the idea that the end years of a contract are just deferred payments?

It meshes perfectly. If, at the point of the opt-out, the remaining contract is still a good one for the team, then the player will either leave or the team will have to give him more money to stay. (If he didn't have an opt-out, the team would potentially own a valuable contract and could either reap the benefits or trade the player, assuming he didn't have a NTC.)

However, if the remaining contract is a bad one for the team, he will stay and the team will be on the hook for it. (This is true whether he has an opt-out or not.)
   60. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5822337)
That seems to be an accepted premise, that the player won't be worth the end years.
It so happens that the rare times in the player is actually likely to be worth it are the only times a player will actually opt out (if available).
   61. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5822339)
I get what you're saying, but I don't think it really works that way. How many large contracts have been able to be traded where the team actually gets value? They all seem to have money thrown in by the team to cover the cost.
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5822343)
I get what you're saying, but I don't think it really works that way. How many large contracts have been able to be traded where the team actually gets value? They all seem to have money thrown in by the team to cover the cost.
But in those cases, the players wouldn't have opted out.

Or to put it another way, if JD Drew didn't have an opt-out after 2006, or if Greinke didn't have one after 2015, their contracts at the time would certainly have had positive trade value.
   63. Sunday silence Posted: March 13, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5822351)
Just to update more info on income per fan.

tickets in Phil are pretty reasonable i think they were 38 two years ago, Im gonna guess at $40.

The team doesnt make all the revenue on beer/soda. There are third party vendors and taxes etc. It works out to like 1/5 of gate receipts. So: $8 in food/drink.

Parking is very reasonable like 16 or 18 but say you go as a pair some of the time. So say $10 in parking per fan.

So that's what like $58 per fan?

If say Harper can bring in 500k new fans (reasonable?) that should work out to $29M in extra income. I dont think there's much overhead there but who knows.

there's also licensed merchandise which has to add up to something. I dont think the TV deal (which is new) would change so theres nothing there.

So he brings in at least $30 I guess, which pretty much pays for his signing bonus or close to.
   64. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5822352)
Or to put it another way, if JD Drew didn't have an opt-out after 2006, or if Greinke didn't have one after 2015, their contracts at the time would certainly have had positive trade value.

In a perfect and rational economic world, sure. But that doesn't seem to match up with reality. There are only 30 teams in MLB and many of them aren't going to be interested in your guy. Of course, that also means that with an opt out, those teams won't be interested in signing the opted out FA, I get that. But do the players?
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5822359)
Of course, that also means that with an opt out, those teams won't be interested in signing the opted out FA, I get that. But do the players?
Yes, so far. I think every player with a big multi-year contract who opted out (or intended to) has received a better deal. Players and agents make mistakes, but until they start giving teams relief by actually opting out of bad deals, we shouldn't assume they will.
   66. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5822375)
Right, so if every player who has opted out has signed a bigger contract, then where are the overpays for the ends of the original contract? I suppose we would need to look at all of the players who haven't opted out as well. I don't know that is so easy to find.
   67. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 13, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5822376)
If say Harper can bring in 500k new fans (reasonable?)
That means that Harper would draw 6,173 people who otherwise would not have attended to every single Phillies home game. I don’t think that’s at all reasonable.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5822379)
Right, so if every player who has opted out has signed a bigger contract, then where are the overpays for the ends of the original contract?
If I am understanding your question, the overpays are in the contracts of Heyward, Vernon Wells, David Price etc. (people who didn't use the opt out), and all the people who didn't have opt-out clauses (and wouldn't have used them anyway), like Pujols, Miggy etc.
   69. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5822387)
The rangers saw a bump when they signed ARod but it quickly went away when the team couldn’t win games. Bryce gave the Phillies a bump. I doubt it was as much as the Phillies claim it was.
   70. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5822389)
Re Pope. The players aren’t opting out at 38. They’re opting out in their prime when you’d presumably want them for three or four more years at an amount that looks like a bargain. The player opting out forces a team to look for those wins elsewhere at current market rates. If you have a loaded system that might mean you’ll spend less money.
   71. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5822417)
The players aren’t opting out at 38. They’re opting out in their prime when you’d presumably want them for three or four more years at an amount that looks like a bargain. The player opting out forces a team to look for those wins elsewhere at current market rates. If you have a loaded system that might mean you’ll spend less money.

Sure, I get that. But I guess I disagree with the "presumably want them for three or four more years". I'm thinking in many cases you wouldn't. But the player would opt out anyway. I understand that in a perfect market with perfect rational actors that wouldn't happen. In MLB, I think it would. I don't know for sure, but I don't think you do, either.

For example, the player may value a longer term contract. Let's say you have a guy you're committed to for $20M/year for 4 more years at the age of 32. You only think he's going to be worth $15M, but you got some $30M years out of him earlier, so you were fine with the original contract. He may opt out and be able to get a 6/120 deal. Or even a 6/100 that he prefers because of the years.
   72. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5822427)
But I guess I disagree with the "presumably want them for three or four more years". I'm thinking in many cases you wouldn't. But the player would opt out anyway.
It could happen that way. But it hasn't yet, and would take an unlikely set of circumstances.

Usually these are big-payroll teams. They want star players at acceptable rates.
   73. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5822480)
For example, the player may value a longer term contract. Let's say you have a guy you're committed to for $20M/year for 4 more years at the age of 32. You only think he's going to be worth $15M, but you got some $30M years out of him earlier, so you were fine with the original contract. He may opt out and be able to get a 6/120 deal. Or even a 6/100 that he prefers because of the years.

If he can get 6/$120 (or even 6/$100) on the market then he almost certainly has positive trade value at 4/$80. But if he has an opt-out at that point, he leaves and you get nothing.
   74. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5822574)
If he can get 6/$120 (or even 6/$100) on the market then he almost certainly has positive trade value at 4/$80.

You would think so. But have there been trades of a similar contract for a guy in his early 30's where the team got something of value without having to kick in salary? If not, then we're saying that every single contract like this is an albatross, except for the ones where a guy had an opt out and used it. Seems unlikely.

I already said that I'm not sure that there haven't been these trades, but I can't think of any.
   75. Greg Pope Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5822576)
To follow up, many people think that Cano still has value basically commensurate with his contract. But the Mariners had to give away their closer and $20M to get anything back. That says to me that when an MLB team has a player with a large contract, the other teams don't ever look it as positive trade value.
   76. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 06:53 PM (#5822600)
Do you think Cano would have opted out if he had the choice?
   77. Sunday silence Posted: March 13, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5822615)
]
I doubt it was as much as the Phillies claim it was.


I agree, I dont see how the Phils get a 400k attendance spike in just one week of Bryce hoopla, it would take most teams a very exciting pennant run after a bad season to do something like that.
   78. McCoy Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5822633)
Cano is going to be 36, coming off a PED suspension, and is owed 120 million. Who in the world would offer a free agent 5 years and 120 million dollars with that baggage?
   79. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 03:39 AM (#5822670)

It's a bit of apples and oranges. Deals that don't have an opt-out are often pretty back-end weighted in a way that benefits the team at the time of signing. But it makes the contract more difficult to trade later on. I mean, the Marlins kicked in $7m when they traded Carlos Delgado to the Mets for Mike Jacobs and Yusmeiro Petit, but they only paid Delgado $4m the first year of the deal.

When deals have an opt-out, that's less common as the opt-out doesn't benefit the player if he's not getting paid for those early years.
   80. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5822705)
I think that by assigning Bryce the totality of the increase in ticket sales as value that he alone provided overlooks the other additions the Phillies made this year. What if the Phillies ONLY got Bryce Harper and didn't previously add Segura, Realmuto, etc? I think the fact that Harper was seemingly the icing on the cake, so to speak, made it look like he is the only reason that fans bought a bunch of tickets. Sure, he's a big part, but those other guys play into it too.
   81. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5822712)
How many large contracts have been able to be traded where the team actually gets value?
Adrian Gonzalez (any cash included was to balance the Crawford contract, not his). Justin Upton?
   82. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5822713)
I think that by assigning Bryce the totality of the increase in ticket sales as value that he alone provided overlooks the other additions the Phillies made this year.
Also, a few weeks before the season starts is presumably a time when a bunch of tickets are sold regardless of off-season moves.
   83. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5822716)
The 2001 Rangers saw their attendance go up by almost 250,000 the first year ARod played for them. In 2002 it fell by almost 500,000 and sat at about 235,000 below 2000 levels. In 2003 it declined another 260,000.

Nobody cares about who is on your team if you're not winning.
   84. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5822719)
Also, a few weeks before the season starts is presumably a time when a bunch of tickets are sold regardless of off-season moves.


right. it is hard to quantify the value without a true control.
   85. Greg Pope Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5822731)
Adrian Gonzalez (any cash included was to balance the Crawford contract, not his). Justin Upton?

I have no clue how to separate out the elements in the Gonzalez trade.

Upton probably does fit the criteria, although I don't know anything about the prospects they got back. At worst, the Tigers got zero value from the remaining years. At best, they got a couple of prospects. If the prospects were real prospects, then there was some excess value there. If they were lottery tickets, that's worth something, but not enough to move the needle.
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5822734)
I have no clue how to separate out the elements in the Gonzalez trade.
It was a really complicated deal. But certainly Adrian Gonzalez' contract had net positive value at the time.
   87. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5822735)
The Houston Astros traded the future for two months of Randy Johnson and the hope of maybe signing him in the offseason. Do you think they wouldn't have traded for him if he had 3 years and 35 million dollars left on his contract?
   88. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5822737)
The issue is clouded because money often goes along in these deals in order to improve the prospect return.

But in general it's kind of odd to suggest that contracts below free agent rates have negative trade value. The Diamondbacks were willing to give Greinke 6/$200m, it's silly to think that they would have refused to take him with a 3/$75m contract in trade, even if we assume that teams are not perfectly rational.
   89. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5822743)
[85] The Gonzalez trade: in 2012, the Dodgers had a mediocre team that happened to have a hot April and May, which made them seem like more of a contender than they really were. They also had just gotten new owners who were willing to spend money, but bought the team late in the offseason after all the big names had signed. They then decided to give Ethier a five year extension, just to prove that they could spend money (compare his contract to the similar, but slightly better Nick Swisher contract the next offseason). The Adrian Gonzalez deal was one last hail mary attempt to boost a doomed team to a playoff spot it had fallen out of. They took on Becket’s bad contract and Crawford’s absolute monstrosity so they could pay Gonzalez a fair amount. It was among the dumbest trades ever made at the time and looks just as bad in hindsight. The Crawford contract later prevented the team from signing Max Scherzer and they could have just as easily signed Abreu in the offseason had they not picked up Gonzalez. Meanwhile, the Red Sox used their new financial flexibility to sign better players to cheaper deals and immediately win the World Series.
   90. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5822749)
You have it right, Joyful. But at the time Beckett's contract was seen as at least neutral, I think. The Dodgers put in a waiver claim on him, so the Sox could have rid themselves of the contact without including him in the bigger deal.
   91. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5822767)
Also, a few weeks before the season starts is presumably a time when a bunch of tickets are sold regardless of off-season moves.
And crediting Harper assumes that none of those tickets would have been sold later on - i.e., that none of the buyers were planning on buying anyway, and just timed their purchase right after the signing.

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