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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fox: Morosi: Darvish, Texas agree to six-year deal

Apparently there’s an opt-out for Darvish after the fifth season.  All seems fair enough.

The Texas Rangers and Japanese pitching star Yu Darvish have agreed on a six-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

The deal is worth close to $60 million, one major-league source confirmed to FOXSports.com. It does not include deferred money.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, rangers

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   1. Lassus Posted: January 18, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4039784)
Everyone ignore my posting, please, or someone with power to do so just erase it.

My own comment was that this seemed pretty reasonable.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4039789)
6/$60 seems reasonable. Does 6/$111 million seem reasonable? Because that's what Texas actually paid.
   3. Tripon Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4039791)
If you think Darvish is a 5 WAR player, sure.
   4. Al Kaline Trio Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4039792)
Wow I think with the A's / Mariners ready to crap the bed the wild card might come out of the west this year... Might
   5. Lassus Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4039794)
6/$60 seems reasonable. Does 6/$111 million seem reasonable? Because that's what Texas actually paid.

I'm sure that including the posting fee is in your reasoning is quite unfair to Texas. You would have considered a 6/$10M offer reasonable?
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4039798)
So he made about $6 million last year in Japan. Not that much of a raise. By comparison, the Rangers are deeming him worth $18.5 million per year.

I'm really surprised he went through the posting process at all. He could stay in Japan for 2 more years at $6 million and then be a regular free agent, right?
   7. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4039800)
Opt out for the right to go to arbitration in his sixth year? I guess that could be useful, if he turns out to be as good as TIMMAY!!
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4039801)

I'm sure that including the posting fee is in your reasoning is quite unfair to Texas. You would have considered a 6/$10M offer reasonable?


No, I think their posting fee was unreasonable. I don't see how its an unfair analysis since that is what they actually paid. Who gets the money doesn't matter.

It may well be worth it as Tripon points out. I think out of all Japanese products, Darvish is the guy I'd make that kind of investment on. But its still a $100 million gamble.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4039802)
Once Texas made the $52M posting bid, they had to negotiate in good faith, which means a contract in the $10M per season range.

Darvish's numbers in NPB are eye-popping - significantly better than Dice-K's. I don't know if he's a $20M pitcher, though the numbers SG put together at the Replacement Level blog suggest he is. This is in the basic range I expected Darvish to go. It could be a bargain, it could be a disaster.

It's hard to say what's a reasonable rate given the error bars, but this appears to be the going rate for NPB aces.
   10. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4039809)
A $100 million investment in a guy who has not thrown a single pitch in a major league game? I suppose if he goes out and contends for the Cy Young Award every year, then it's a good investment. But if he's no more than a No. 3 starter, then it's crazy--and perhaps insane.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4039815)
I would have been happy to see the Cubs do this. *sigh*

The Rangers are really making a go of it. I wonder how this affects their ability to retain Hamilton, Napoli, & Colby Lewis?
   12. Swedish Chef Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4039816)
I thought he was going to get ten million or so more than that, guess that he gets those with the opt-out if he's any good.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4039818)
I suppose if he goes out and contends for the Cy Young Award every year, then it's a good investment. But if he's no more than a No. 3 starter, then it's crazy--and perhaps insane.
And given that someone like Hiroki Kuroda - who couldn't hold Darvish's jock in NPB - has been a solid #2/#3 starter, it's not a crazy bet.

The data set of pitchers moving from NPB to MLB is not terribly large, and there's a lot of variation, but if Darvish's numbers translate like the average NPB->MLB pitcher, he'll be a Cy Young candidate. That's the bet Texas is making.
   14. Al Kaline Trio Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4039821)
It's going to be extra tough pitching in the texas heat as well.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4039824)
One way of getting at this - these are the ERA and IP numbers of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish in the four seasons before they were posted:

Matsuzaka
194 IP, 2.83 ERA
146 IP, 2.90 ERA
215 IP, 2.30 ERA
156 IP, 2.13 ERA

Darvish
201 IP, 1.88 ERA
182 IP, 1.73 ERA
202 IP, 1.78 ERA
232 IP, 1.44 ERA

Offense has declined in NPB, so some of that difference is contextual, but it looks like Darvish was a notably better "best pitcher in NPB" than Matsuzaka.
   16. Swedish Chef Posted: January 18, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4039828)
A $100 million investment in a guy who has not thrown a single pitch in a major league game?

He's one of a kind, of course he was going to be expensive.

But if he's no more than a No. 3 starter, then it's crazy--and perhaps insane.

No more crazy than any big contract. Players bomb all the time, and often they don't even give mediocrity back.

Sure, the Rangers are taking a risk, but is it really any worse than giving $140M to Fielder?
   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4039834)
Matsuzaka has had injury issues but he was good to very good in 2007-2008. If Darvish can be a better version of that the Rangers should be quite pleased.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4039835)
it looks like Darvish was a notably better "best pitcher in NPB" than Matsuzaka.
But does he throw the gyroball?
   19. Jay Z Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4039846)
More money that isn't going Fielder's way. He really is going to wind up signing a one year deal or going to Japan.
   20. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4039857)
He really is going to wind up signing a one year deal or going to Japan.

Do you think it's possible Prince hates Cecil so much he'll take a year off MLB in the middle of his career to beat some of his father's Japan numbers, especially when the offers stateside isn't to his liking (so far)?
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4039863)

More money that isn't going Fielder's way. He really is going to wind up signing a one year deal or going to Japan.


To face Mothra?
   22. Dale H. Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4039868)
Offense has declined in NPB
Did they start testing for steroids, too?
   23. danup Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4039901)
For what it's worth, here are the Davenport Translations for both pitchers:

Daisuke Matsuzaka
Year Team         Lge   G     IP   H   ER  HR  BB  K   NERA  W  L  H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 
2003 Seibu_______ JpP  29   188.3 175  85  14  72 162  4.05 12  9  8.4   .7  3.4  7.7  
2004 Seibu_______ JpP  23   144.3 136  61   9  48  98  3.80  9  7  8.5   .6  3.0  6.1  
2005 Seibu_______ JpP  28   209.0 178  77  15  68 171  3.28 15  8  7.7   .6  2.9  7.4  
2006 Seibu_______ JpP  25   180.0 157  78  17  52 149  3.74 12  8  7.8   .9  2.6  7.4  
2007 Boston______ AL   32   208.3 199 119  26  76 196  3.78 13 10  8.6  1.1  3.3  8.5  

Yu Darvish
Year Team         Lge   G     IP   H   ER  HR  BB  K   NERA  W  L  H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 
2007 Nippon_Ham__ JpP  26   195.0 158  90  15  71 156  3.78 13  9  7.3   .7  3.3  7.2  
2008 Nippon_Ham__ JpP  25   187.0 166  71  15  62 154  3.53 13  8  8.0   .7  3.0  7.4 
2009 Nippon_Ham__ JpP  23   176.7 139  56  15  57 121  2.95 14  6  7.1   .8  2.9  6.2 
2010 Nippon_Ham__ JpP  26   195.7 186  76  12  63 158  3.59 13  9  8.6   .6  2.9  7.3 
2011 Nippon_Ham__ JpP  28   220.3 195  87  21  62 203  3.52 15  9  8.0   .9  2.5  8.3
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4039925)
John Lackey. AJ Burnett. Barry Zito. Vernon Wells. Carl Crawford.

This deal strikes me as less risky than many other big-money deals. There are very few truly elite starting pitchers in major league baseball - and those pitchers cost a lot of money. I think the Rangers are smart to recognize that the cost of an elite pitcher is actually more than they're paying for Davish. Now, there is obviously risk that he will not be elite...but compare that to the Lackey signing, where there was virtually NO chance he'd be an elite pitcher. Davish has a chance of being one of the best starters in the game, and you have to pay to get access to that chance...good move for Texas!
   25. a bebop a rebop Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4039931)
Wahoo! Looking forward to Darvish at the top of the rotation.

That said... one thing that confused me about this process is all the reports that indicate that Texas was pushing for a six-year deal, with Darvish wanting five. Typically it works the other way around, of course -- teams don't want to get handcuffed for too long. I suppose if you start off at 5.0 WAR and assume a decline rate of 0.5 WAR/year, the $10M for the sixth year becomes reasonable. But my gut says that I'll be fairly surprised and pleased if Darvish has a 2.5 WAR season in 2017. He's still young but he's been worked hard, and if I recall correctly.

Those Davenport translations are suggestive of something like Jon Lester. Ace...ish.
   26. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4039994)
I'm rooting for Darvish to be very good, if not elite. One his numbers in Japan are dominant, two, it has been awhile since a Japanese player came over here become a breakthrough star. A legit star.

It makes baseball more interesting if it happens every 3 years or so.
   27. Squash Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4039995)
John Lackey. AJ Burnett. Barry Zito.

When you list those guys and the massive contracts they got, the money spent on Darvish looks a lot smaller. Pitching costs a ton. What more concerns me about Darvish, other than that things just might not just work out in MLB, is that his mechanics look like a shoulder shredder.
   28. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4039996)
More money that isn't going Fielder's way. He really is going to wind up signing a one year deal or going to Japan.


Obviously this is hyperbole. But what do people think of Prince at this point? I think this off season is really setting up to become a major inflection point in the career of Scott Boras.

I suppose there are three scenarios:

1) As expectations rapidly drop, Boras swoops in at the last minute with a "mystery" team that signs Prince to a 7-$175 with a 1 year mutual option making it 8/200. Boras is once again KING!

2) Prince's options and price continue to rapidly drop. Boras feels the heat, concocts a face saving deal which nets Prince AAV bragging rights, but deal comes in at 4-$105 or something. Boras genius....but Prince possibly does become fat and average in 4 years.

3) Worst case. Prince has nobody offering anything over 3-4 years and nobody really wants to break the 25/per threshold. In fact nobody is really close. Does Prince take some 1 year incentive laden deal that "could" allow the deal to exceed $30 million, but allows Boras to brag, even if hollow? Who would a 1 year deal be with (Texas? New York? Boston? SF? Milwaukee?) I don't see Chicago or Seattle interested in 1 year at all.

Thoughts?
   29. Tripon Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4039999)
Did they start testing for steroids, too?


From what I remember, the NPB introduced a new baseball that heavily favored pitchers.
   30. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4040002)
That said... one thing that confused me about this process is all the reports that indicate that Texas was pushing for a six-year deal, with Darvish wanting five. Typically it works the other way around, of course -- teams don't want to get handcuffed for too long.


I think you answered your own question in the WAR projections you cited. What's unique about Darvish is his young age. We are used to guys near 30 on the market. If you think about deals with younger players (usually pre arb deals) teams often want those deals as long as possible.

Question. Does the posting fee get paid over the life of the contract? Does 6 yrs vs 5 years mean the Rangers get to spread another 10 million out? If so that's another good reason.
   31. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:46 AM (#4040014)
Does the posting fee get paid over the life of the contract?


I don't beleive so. I think the Fighters get paid the posting fee immediately.
   32. Something Other Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4040015)
A $100 million investment in a guy who has not thrown a single pitch in a major league game? I suppose if he goes out and contends for the Cy Young Award every year, then it's a good investment. But if he's no more than a No. 3 starter, then it's crazy--and perhaps insane.


I'm not seeing either "crazy", nor "insane". Let's say Darvish isn't anything special over the life of the contract, and averages two and a half wins a season. The Rangers end up 5m short each season. Not great, but not at all crippling.


The Rangers are really making a go of it. I wonder how this affects their ability to retain Hamilton, Napoli, & Colby Lewis?
If we assume they had to sign a FA starter, then if not Darvish, I assume Wilson or someone else in the 15-18mm range. If they figure the AAV at 18m, I don't see this hindering them.

Thoughts?

Damned if I know how to figure out the Fielder situation. Granted, some of the big franchises are on the skids (NYM, LA), not in the market at the moment (CHI), or covered (NYY, BOS, LAA), which explains most of the apparent lack of interest. Who's left? Does he go back to MIL with his tail between his legs? I think most of the rest of this is unreasonable expectations. He's not really better than Crawford or Gonzalez were projected to be before they signed, and there are concerns about his weight, so 5/100 may have been all he was likely to get all along. Boras not being able to play anyone for a sucker may not be what we're used to, but it could just be a blip, a combination of an overhyped player in a market very soft at his position. Everyone has an off year, even Babe Ruth. Boras had to have one eventually.


   33. NODNOK Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:23 AM (#4040017)
That said... one thing that confused me about this process is all the reports that indicate that Texas was pushing for a six-year deal, with Darvish wanting five. Typically it works the other way around, of course -- teams don't want to get handcuffed for too long.


It's not that confusing; Texas' most likely insisted on paying a lower salary since they were also on the hook for the posting fee. Since they're paying the 51+mil no matter what the length of the contract, they'd obviously like to lock him up for as long as possible. On the other hand, Darvish's best interests would be to hit the free agent market as soon as possible to earn what he considers to be market value, which has been reported as roughly $15mil/yr.
   34. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:34 AM (#4040021)
He's not really better than Crawford or Gonzalez were projected to be before they signed,

This seems to be an obvious truth, but one that never gets mentioned in major media outlets. The hype on Fielder seems massively disproportionate to his average WAR over the past four years. It's like a repeat of Crawford, but without the upward trend in WAR Crawford exhibited from 2008–10.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2012 at 05:50 AM (#4040036)
Even if Darvish signed a 5-year contract, he's still not FA-eligible until he's got 6 years of service time. Texas would take him to arb. Texas insisted on buying out the last arb year which is maybe a little odd. I really can't see much reason Darvish would want to limit it to 5.
   36. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:33 AM (#4040041)
35 — Six years of service time is typical but not a hard-and-fast rule. Free agents and posted players (like Darvish) are free to negotiate a clause into their contract that forbids the team from offering arbitration at the end of the contract term. Hideki Matsui, for example, reportedly had such a clause in his original Yankees contract, which would have made him a FA after three years (had he not signed the extension). So for Darvish, limiting the deal to five years could get him back into FA a year sooner, while the Rangers likely wanted as many years of control as possible after paying over $50M for the posting fee.
   37. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 19, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4040058)
Everyone has an off year, even Babe Ruth. Boras had to have one eventually.

Boras ate too many hot dogs and drank too much soda pop?
   38. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 19, 2012 at 08:28 AM (#4040067)
I hope he does well, although I'm glad Toronto didn't spend the $111M. If he does bomb, is he that last big Japanese signing?
   39. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4040077)
One thing to keep in mind is I don't think the posting fee counts towards player salaries for luxury tax purposes. So while on one hand you can use the $100 mil figure to evaluate how the contract looks, in reality, giving that money to a Japanese player is a better business move than giving the same money to a domestic player, if their value is the same. I am not sure what their total payroll is, but this might be one reason they are better off with Darvish than Wilson.
   40. zack Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4040112)
I wonder if their success with Colby Lewis (who was just colby lewis until he went to Japan) figured into their valuation at all.

I think it's a fair deal. Well, except for Darvish.
   41. base ball chick Posted: January 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4040189)
seems to me i remember the same, uh, excitement - ahem, about matsuzaka who was also 25 and just kicked ass in the WBC

seems they would have gotten a LOT more $$ if they had waited the year until their own FA and taken the same lower NBP paycheck that year, then hit it big as a real FA. so i guess they are doing the evan longoria thing and taking a sure larger guaranteed paycheck NOW because like what if they get hurt like matsuzaka actually did. hard to believe that this year will be his 6th in the ML.

ah well, baseball in tejas
nolan ryan signs yu darvish
houston astros sign jack cust

cain't wait
   42. Swedish Chef Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4040254)
I really can't see much reason Darvish would want to limit it to 5.

But the opt-out after year five is great for him, $10M guaranteed in year six, and Lincecum money in arbitration if he's great.
   43. toratoratora Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4040271)
Everyone has an off year, even Babe Ruth. Boras had to have one eventually.

Boras ate too many hot dogs and drank too much soda pop?


You mean Boras had the Clap?
   44. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4040283)
so 5/100 may have been all he was likely to get all along.


Milwaukee offered 6/120 already.

I'll remind people that basically nobody suggested LA Angles would look for a first baseman. I did list the Angels as one of 10 teams as a contender for Prince back in Oct or Nov. I pointed out the obvious that Prince (or Pujols obviously) was way way better than Trumbo and Morales. That's why trades were invented. Nobody, anywhere thought 10-300 was going to be a remote possibility.

People seem to forget the laws of free agency and esp Boras players. The money is almost always way more than you expect, for more years than seem reasonable and the team is not always predictable. This is a pattern, really not just for Boras players, but for all top FA's in baseball year after year.

5/100? If that is truly the market for Prince now, then Boston and NYY will swoop in. It is not getting that low, no way, no how.
   45. Darren Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4040311)
The Davenport Translations paint a very different picture than the work SG did. They are basically seeing him as a small step above Dice-K. That's not nearly as exciting as what SG was seeing. Perhaps the DTs are accounting for park/era more?
   46. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4040332)
Not sure how/why the Rangers valued him at 40+ million more than CJ Wilson.
   47. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4040367)
Somebody said they felt the posting fee was paid out immediately. I'd be surprised if this was true. Very few businesses with "just" $250-300 million (just a guess for Texas) in annual revenue have $50 million in cash lying around. If I recall the NFL had to change rules on how signing bonuses were paid out (they got very popular in the late 90s/early 00s) because few teams had $10-25 million in cash lying around when those bonuses came due.

   48. Al Kaline Trio Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4040382)
Not sure how/why the Rangers valued him at 40+ million more than CJ Wilson.


The Verducci effect duh!

In all seriousness having a legend helping make the calls like Nolan Ryan must make a GM feel better about these sorts of things. That and the age difference + one extra year are a big difference. I'm not sure if anybody has ever really figured out how much the Japanese media coverage helps the teams bottom line but that could be a non-trivial thing too.
   49. DCA Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4040386)
Not sure how/why the Rangers valued him at 40+ million more than CJ Wilson.

It's possible they didn't. Wilson had a 6/$100+ offer from the Marlins (and maybe from other teams), but gave LAA a hometown discount. It might have taken 6/$100 from the Rangers to get him to stay.

As well, the Rangers will get compensation for him leaving (what is it now? just a sandwich pick?) so the true cost of Wilson would have been 6/$100 (or whatever) + forgoing that compensation. Which isn't far off from what they've paid for Darvish.
   50. Swedish Chef Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4040396)
I'd be surprised if this was true. Very few businesses with "just" $250-300 million (just a guess for Texas) in annual revenue have $50 million in cash lying around.

" If the player and the MLB team agree on contract terms before the 30-day period has expired, the NPB team receives the bid amount as a transfer fee within five business days. "
   51. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: January 19, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4040410)
" If the player and the MLB team agree on contract terms before the 30-day period has expired, the NPB team receives the bid amount as a transfer fee within five business days. "

If that's true- and that's always been my understanding- doesn't the practical cost of this deal go above the actual 110 million dollar outlay somewhat? Coming up with 50 million in cash is almost certainly- I would think- going to require someone other the Rangers writing a check. And- assuming that's true- the Rangers will have to pay that someone, over time, to write that check.
   52. Something Other Posted: January 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4040765)
5/100? If that is truly the market for Prince now, then Boston and NYY will swoop in. It is not getting that low, no way, no how.
You make some good points, but things are changing a little bit. Closers aren't getting quite the deals we expected. Wilson got a surprisingly low 5/75 in a very thin starters' market. And the Spanks simply wouldn't pick up Fielder at 5/100. It wouldn't make any sense, both from a baseball and a salary perspective. No place to put him, destroys their ability to try to get some value from ARod's contract. It would reduce the value of the players they currently have under contract by roughly 50m. It would put them over the luxury tax in 2014, and cost them something like an additional 23+ percent over Fielder's last three years along with any other amount by which the Yankees are over the cap. Boston is in a very similar situation, and can probably get Fielder's hitting for the next two years at half his AAV via Ortiz. Besides, has Fielder ever expressed the slightest interest in become primarily a DH?

What you're missing, I think, is that GMs may have figured out that Fielder is barely a 5 win player, if that. He's fat, slow, and he'll be 32 when a five year deal ends. While it only takes one, and I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Fielder sign tomorrow for 7/150, sometimes that "one" just doesn't appear. If he doesn't, that shouldn't surprise us either. All the factors are in place for the market to reasonably (and in my opinion correctly) value Fielder at 5/100.
   53. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4040773)
I did read Texas has 5 business days to pay the posting fee. Texas did just get a $100 million advance in their local media deal, so that helps.

As for Prince. People are talking like he will never sign. You do realize that he will sing a huge contract soon right? How about after that happens we draw conclusions on whether or not GMs see Prince as a fat-so worth no more than 5/100.

I'd bet $100 Prince's contract exceeds 5/$100, since that seems to be what you are suggesting. 5/100 is incredibly different from 7/150. If you would have said 6/120 I would have bet the same $100. 5/100 is silly. The other side of the coin to GMs wising up, is the fact that revenue continues to pour into MLB at a rate that blows away US inflation.

As in most things in life, the big money is in premium products. Premium products tend to hold their value better than merely good products. CJ Wilson is not one (Premium). Everyone knows closers aren't premium. Pujols just blew everyone away with his deal, almost nobody would have said LAA were a serious contender. Prince is a premium product, big money will find him. There is no reliable projection system that can predict durability for a single player yet. Note I didn't say a population of players.

ADDED: I understand you are saying GMs are focused on the question of who really is delivering value and who is not, it seems in some cases they are cutting back but the factor that people consistently ignore or way underweight is scarcity. You have a team or a few teams that THIS OFF SEASON (not next) they want to make a large upgrade to (in this case) offense. These teams don't get to go shopping for groceries and get their pick of the crop. There is one, just one crop left this off season and it is Prince. This fact is largely isolated from his WAR and other players WAR. No I'm not suggesting you pay any price WAR be dammed, but that teams often have a window or a finite opportunity to act. Texas can wait around til 2014 to win the deal on a WAR per $ basis or they can seize this opportunity with Prince and win a World Series finally.

*Keith Law ranked Prince #1 FA over #2 Pujols. So there is at least one guy that is GM like that views Prince at the top value on the market.
   54. Squash Posted: January 19, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4040830)
The other side of the coin to GMs wising up, is the fact that revenue continues to pour into MLB at a rate that blows away US inflation.

And that in a sport where the biggest box-office draw is drying up (home runs), Fielder is still a bona-fide home run hitter. That has value. I think most of the predictions of his demise this contract season is really just wishcasting that this is the year Boras finally gets it in the pants, finally, or Brewers fans who are mad he's leaving the team. Fielder is going to do fine.
   55. Something Other Posted: January 20, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4040964)
Jeez. You guys are acting like I said Fielder would be lucky to pull down 3/50. I did say it wouldn't surprise me if he got 7/150 tomorrow. I also said the necessary factors were in place for Fielder not to be overvalued. That's still true. It doesn't mean it's going to happen, but the factors surely are in place.

As for the revenue pouring into MLB, it does seem insane that the teevee deals seem to keep going up. I thought ten years ago revenues had hit a ceiling, which only shows what I don't know. Btw, your version of scarcity in baseball is more a GM's than an analysts perception, imo. I think players like Fielder, who are not good bets to be worth something like 7/150, are mistakes not only because they can easily give a team 50m less than what they're getting paid, but because they're "only" 4.5 win players, and those players are hardly impossible to creatively replace. Teams are much better off adding a 3 win FA, and moving their worst position player (everyone has a hole, including Texas) in exchange for a 2 win guy. Simply put, I think you're overestimating the value of five win players. Sure, if a team has farted around, left things undone, and is getting the urge, plugging a hole with an overpaid 4.5 win guy looks appealing. Doesn't mean it's not a mistake.

*Keith Law ranked Prince #1 FA over #2 Pujols. So there is at least one guy that is GM like that views Prince at the top value on the market.
Without details I have no idea what this means. Did Klaw base this on thinking Pujols would be overpaid? Surely he doesn't think that Fielder is likely to be a better player over the next five years.

And that in a sport where the biggest box-office draw is drying up (home runs), Fielder is still a bona-fide home run hitter. That has value. I think most of the predictions of his demise this contract season is really just wishcasting that this is the year Boras finally gets it in the pants, finally, or Brewers fans who are mad he's leaving the team. Fielder is going to do fine.
Don't take this dream away from us!
   56. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:33 AM (#4040968)
Without details I have no idea what this means. Did Klaw base this on thinking Pujols would be overpaid? Surely he doesn't think that Fielder is likely to be a better player over the next five years.


You surely know what "value" means. Prince is a better value according to KLAW. He really isn't the only one with this view.

As for your suggestion that you can creatively flip the couch cushions for 5 wins...give me an example as it relates to Texas right now. How would you come up with 5 wins in a way you suggest can happen? Perhaps Jon Daniels hasn't put enough work into that solution, maybe he has. How would you have gotten there? And what about 2013 and beyond?
   57. Something Other Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4041645)
Without details I have no idea what this means. Did Klaw base this on thinking Pujols would be overpaid? Surely he doesn't think that Fielder is likely to be a better player over the next five years.

You surely know what "value" means. Prince is a better value according to KLAW. He really isn't the only one with this view.
This is thoroughly disingenuous. You're proposing that entirely without context, everyone knows what someone else means by "value". You've imagined you've advance the discussion, and you STILL haven't clarified a single thing. Is Law really proposing Fielder will be more valuable over the rest of his career than Pujols will be over his? Is he talking instead about the money and years each is likely to get versus the value he projects each to get over the life of the deal? Do you really not understand the difference?

As for my suggestion, the Rangers already did this kind of thing. His name was Adrian Beltre. Now take the remaining money and put it towards improving the worst spot on the Rangers roster. It's really not that difficult.

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