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Friday, December 09, 2011

Passan: Angels, Marlins might regret reckless spending

Reckless: Vital Sound 1: Featuring a battle of sorts between Los Angeles & Miami.

On the other hand, this may be the day that saved the Cardinals, the one on which they avoided the sort of albatross – or, as it shall be called, the Albertross – that can hamper a franchise for years. Sort of like A-Rod’s current deal, which he signed at age 32. Before Rodriguez signed this contract, he averaged 154 games per season and hit .306/.389/.578. His numbers have dipped significantly since, and he has played an average of 30 fewer games over the first four years. The deal is a disaster.

Pujols will arrive in Los Angeles beset with bumps and bruises – a bad back, foot problems, a chronically injured elbow. No matter his otherworldly healing ability and pain tolerance, Pujols is a health risk on any sort of multiyear deal, let alone 10. If he can continue to average 155 games a year, as he did in his first 11 seasons, the contract won’t look nearly as bad.

The only person to play that many games from his age-32 to -41 seasons is Pete Rose. And the only player with 1,500 games at that age over a decade is … Pete Rose. Knock it down to 1,400 games and the list grows to nine. Ever. And just 22 in history have played at least 1,300 games from their 32nd birthday to their 41st.

...Or he could turn into another player who wore an Angels uniform through his 33rd birthday, slogged through 150 games a year while fighting lower-body injuries and survives today as a desiccated version of himself: Vladimir Guerrero. Him or A-Rod or Ken Griffey Jr. – there are dozens more examples, each more harrowing than the previous, each speaking to human fragility and owners’ insistence on ignoring it through long-term deals.

Repoz Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:29 PM | 85 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, business, cardinals, history, miami, projections, sabermetrics

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   1. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 09, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#4011322)
I think as a practical mattter just about every major contract results in some buyer's remorse. I think you have to go into these megadeals with an acceptance that you are going to eat it a bit at the end of the deal. If the Angels can get 4-5 super years from Pujols and a couple more solid seasons they will be satisfied with a 1-2 years of massive overpay.
   2. ray james Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#4011330)
Forgotten in all these analyses are the financials in terms of expected increases in revenues. It's all fine and good to figure out dollars/wins and all, but baseball teams are primarily interested in making money. If tghere was a way to lose every game and still make a lot of money, I'm sure at least a few owners would try to do it.
   3. DA Baracus Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:22 PM (#4011333)
The Angels and Marlins spent $522,500,000 in the last week. The rest of baseball has spent $214,150,058 million all winter.


It annoys me when writers do this. They didn't spend all that money at once. There's a chance they won't spend all that money when it's all said and done.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#4011345)
Lost me at "ARod's deal is hampering the Yankees"
   5. Greg K Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#4011349)
I think as a practical mattter just about every major contract results in some buyer's remorse. I think you have to go into these megadeals with an acceptance that you are going to eat it a bit at the end of the deal. If the Angels can get 4-5 super years from Pujols and a couple more solid seasons they will be satisfied with a 1-2 years of massive overpay.


I think there's a certain $$$/WAR argument that boils down to elite FAs never being worth the money. But a team that operates under that principle essentially sets itself the limit of never having an elite player on its who is older than 27 or so. You can still win that way, and taking each potential signing on its own all the decisions might be the "right" ones. But you're limiting your avenues of approaching a championship.
   6. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#4011351)
And to think that no one would take on Manny's contract, who (mentally aside) was the perfect FA.

*And the steroids...two..two...weapons! Mental problems, steroids, and a fanatical devotion to the pope. Damn!
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#4011361)
It annoys me when writers do this. They didn't spend all that money at once. There's a chance they won't spend all that money when it's all said and done.


I agree, always bugs me.
   8. Greg K Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4011362)
And what has Manny ever done for us?

...well OBVIOUSLY the 2004 playoffs, the 2004 playoffs go without saying, but apart from the 2007 playoffs, the eleven straight all-star games, and the 2004 playoffs, what has Manny Ramirez ever done for us?
   9. Shredder Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#4011364)
Funny that in a column that actually mentions Vernon Wells once (as part of a joke), he also seems to think that bad contract will hinder the Angels in the future. Sure, I guess if they sign enough bad contracts it could be a problem, but when you have the absolute worst contract in baseball on your books, and you still sign the two biggest free agents at their respective positions, well, it seems that Arte's calculations may be a bit different than Mr. Passan's.
   10. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#4011368)
the Los Angeles Angels and Florida Marlins have emulated drunks spending money like it’s their last night on earth

I do that all the time, and I've never regretted it, even if I sometimes wake up next to women who look like Albert Pujols.
   11. asdf1234 Posted: December 09, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#4011375)
Those weren't women.
   12. Shredder Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#4011377)
Do people spend that much more money when they're drunk? Obviously it costs money to actually get drunk, but I find that once I'm drunk, I usually don't spend any more or less money than normal. I may send text messages or post comments to BTF that I later forget (and regret), but that's free.
   13. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#4011378)
The Marlins will feel some regret, but the Angels will rue the day!

edited for random capitilization
   14. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#4011381)
Do people spend that much more money when they're drunk? Obviously it costs money to actually get drunk, but I find that once I'm drunk, I usually don't spend any more or less money than normal.


And drunk or not, if it's your last night on earth, why not spend?
   15. Greg K Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#4011384)
Do people spend that much more money when they're drunk? Obviously it costs money to actually get drunk, but I find that once I'm drunk, I usually don't spend any more or less money than normal. I may send text messages or post comments to BTF that I later forget (and regret), but that's free.

I tend to be more likely to buy drinks for people when I'm drunk, or order more expensive drinks. Though it's all inter-related with the paying money to get drunk that you mention. I'm rarely in a time/place to spend much money when I'm drunk. Though I did order a baseball bat drunk a little while ago. To be fair I had planned on buying it while sober anyway.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#4011389)
Do people spend that much more money when they're drunk? Obviously it costs money to actually get drunk, but I find that once I'm drunk, I usually don't spend any more or less money than normal.


I certainly do. There are four ways;

1. I'm not a big drinker so on a given night maybe I'll have one or two. Once I'm up to 4 or 5 then I'm likely to get to 8-10, those additional drinks after I'm drunk are additional spending.

2. Buying a pretty (or pretty at the moment) girl a drink in hopes of whatever (which for me works about as well as Vernon Wells' contract).

3. Overtipping, especially if the waitress shares attributes with the women mentioned in #2.

4. Buying friends drinks. I get a lot more generous in that regard when I'm liquored up.
   17. Greg K Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4011393)
Agree with #1. I usually do eiher 2-3 drink nights or 9 or 10 drink nights.

Though oddly 2 or 3 are rarely problems for me. The drunker I get the more likely I am to try to impress women. But my attempts to impress women usually revolve around me making myself look as foolish as possible and/or hurting myself pretty badly. Which is usually a fairly cheap* endeavour (God bless universal healthcare!)

*Though to date confoundingly uneffective
   18. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4011395)
Do people spend that much more money when they're drunk?


This man has never been in a strip club.
   19. Swedish Chef Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#4011397)
(which for me works about as well as Vernon Wells' contract).

Isn't the drunkenness equivalent of Wells' contract waking up and finding out that you got married to some random girl while drunk?
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#4011398)
... also taxis (versus driving or public transportation), food, and gambling expenditures can add up when drunk.
   21. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:17 PM (#4011399)
There's a team from LA that's been emulating a drunk spending money, but it's sure as hell not the Angels.
   22. ray james Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:17 PM (#4011400)
Or worse, a casino.
   23. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#4011408)

I think there's a certain $$$/WAR argument that boils down to elite FAs never being worth the money. But a team that operates under that principle essentially sets itself the limit of never having an elite player on its who is older than 27 or so. You can still win that way, and taking each potential signing on its own all the decisions might be the "right" ones. But you're limiting your avenues of approaching a championship.


Excellent point of view, one I share. If BTF ran a team, the roster would be empty. We might sign a Brad Penny for $5 million or take a flyer on Carlos Pena in a 1 year $8 million deal, but my goodness, our roster would be filled with 1 year contracts, bounce back candidates and we would probably continuously trade any asset for 3 prospects.

I highly doubt the BTF team would win a WS.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#4011411)
Excellent point of view, one I share. If BTF ran a team, the roster would be empty. We might sign a Brad Penny for $5 million or take a flyer on Carlos Pena in a 1 year $8 million deal, but my goodness, our roster would be filled with 1 year contracts, bounce back candidates and we would probably continuously trade any asset for 3 prospects.


Also if the BTF team played in a hitter-friendly park, we would never sign any pitchers - and if it was a pitcher-friendly park, we would never sign any hitters....
   25. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#4011416)
Funny that in a column that actually mentions Vernon Wells once (as part of a joke), he also seems to think that bad contract will hinder the Angels in the future. Sure, I guess if they sign enough bad contracts it could be a problem, but when you have the absolute worst contract in baseball on your books, and you still sign the two biggest free agents at their respective positions, well, it seems that Arte's calculations may be a bit different than Mr. Passan's.


Very good point. Sure, we all know massive long term deals have the potential to create a payroll disaster and prevent a team from payroll and roster flexibility, but apparently people are unable to determine thresholds or when a contract is just a little bad, or a critically bad.

The ability to measure something accurately is where the value in analysis is at. Telling us that spending a crap load of money is "bad" is meaningless analysis.
   26. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#4011420)
The Pujols contract fits in perfectly with my observation on MLB free agency since the 90s. The player always (or nearly every time) gets way more than you expect and the years are always longer than anyone deems reasonable and the team is not always predictable.

That said, I think people need to seriously consider the possibility of massive US inflation in the next 10 years. Even 5 years. Our country has a zillion promises we can't keep and just about the only way to get out from under these overzealous commitments is to print money, or inflate the currency. If that happens, these contracts will be a steal.
   27. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:45 PM (#4011433)
Excellent point of view, one I share. If BTF ran a team, the roster would be empty. We might sign a Brad Penny for $5 million or take a flyer on Carlos Pena in a 1 year $8 million deal, but my goodness, our roster would be filled with 1 year contracts, bounce back candidates and we would probably continuously trade any asset for 3 prospects.
This pretty much sums up my fantasy team every year, which is why I stopped playing fantasy baseball.

Also, I spend like a fiend when I've been drinking.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4011437)
Excellent point of view, one I share. If BTF ran a team, the roster would be empty. We might sign a Brad Penny for $5 million or take a flyer on Carlos Pena in a 1 year $8 million deal, but my goodness, our roster would be filled with 1 year contracts, bounce back candidates and we would probably continuously trade any asset for 3 prospects.

I highly doubt the BTF team would win a WS.


But, we'd make a #### load of money.

At the end of the day, if we owned the team, we'd rather have profits than pennants.
   29. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4011443)
But, we'd make a #### load of money.

At the end of the day, if we owned the team, we'd rather have profits than pennants.


Doubtful. Our BTF squad would have little roster continuity, we would have no face of the franchise and we would always be talking about the future. Our fans wouldn't be very entertained by that. I doubt we would win that much. If we ran the Dodgers, okay, yes we would make $$, but in general I don't think it would be a special franchise.
   30. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4011444)
If BTF ran a team, the roster would be empty.

Yeah, but the team would win the Wins/$ spent every year.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#4011456)
Doubtful. Our BTF squad would have little roster continuity, we would have no face of the franchise and we would always be talking about the future. Our fans wouldn't be very entertained by that. I doubt we would win that much. If we ran the Dodgers, okay, yes we would make $$, but in general I don't think it would be a special franchise.

I don't think so.

We'd spend a ton on scouting, drafting and development, and we'd sign our big prospects to Longoria/Moore type contracts like the Rays. We probably wouldn't have too many home-grown players past the age of 30-32, I agree. But, you'd still have 6-8 years of continuity on the home-grown guys.

We'd probably run a $80-100M payroll, and be reasonably successful. If you put us in a decent market, we'd make money. If we were in a shitty market, we'd run a $50M payroll, and get rich off revenue sharing, central fund revenue, and MLBAM.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4011458)
Yeah, but the team would win the Wins/$ spent every year.

Well, if the league's gonna give us $60M a year just for showing up, we might as well.
   33. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#4011464)

Yeah, but the team would win the Wins/$ spent every year.


Love that shot. It's true about BTF, this is the be all end all measure for many. Snapper, I can see that scenario. Of course more teams are doing just that, harder to stand out. It's not easy to win. In the end, in this game, you need your scouts to be better than the next guy.
   34. DA Baracus Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#4011466)
Our BTF squad would have little roster continuity, we would have no face of the franchise and we would always be talking about the future.


Hasn't stopped the Pirates from turning a profit.
   35. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#4011471)
I find all the talk about Pujols to be amazing. Granted, the Angels gave him more money than I would have offered. But he's the best player in the game. During the season, consensus was that he would continue to be top 5 for at least 5-6 years. Almost all his comps aged well. Yet so much of the commentary around the deal seems to insinuate that he's a gimpy, overrated fat guy who will be lucky to hit above the Mendoza line in a year or two. This isn't Mo Vaughn, people. (Not intending to brand everyone with that last comment, just an expression).
   36. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#4011483)
Our BTF squad would have little roster continuity, we would have no face of the franchise and we would always be talking about the future.



Hasn't stopped the Pirates from turning a profit.


Someone else touted profit. We wouldn't win. We wouldn't entertain.
   37. , Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#4011484)
That said, I think people need to seriously consider the possibility of massive US inflation in the next 10 years. Even 5 years. Our country has a zillion promises we can't keep and just about the only way to get out from under these overzealous commitments is to print money, or inflate the currency. If that happens, these contracts will be a steal.

Except for it to be a steal, the owners will have to raise ticket prices and people will have to keep going to the game. Advertisers will still have to advertise.

Imagining the worst, if the US turns into something like the Weimar republic, then, sure, Arte can pay off Pujols with a couple of $100,000,000 bills. But it won't be as if Arte is doing well. It's heads you win, tails I lose; Arte has set up a contract that only appears to strongly benefit* him in the event of societal and economic disaster.


* I see two ways for this to go: 1) the contract is fair and Pujols continues at an HOF level for 7 or 8 years with the Angels winning a couple/few championships; 2) the deal is a disaster for the Angels, with Pujols cratering.

I don't see a scenario, short of Lion's extremely pessimistic one, where the economy is truly catastrophically bad where the contract is a disaster for Pujols. And, like I say, the contract itself may be good, in that case, for Arte but everything else will have gone to ####.
   38. DA Baracus Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#4011495)
Someone else touted profit. We wouldn't win. We wouldn't entertain.


But we'd make millions, as the post you quoted said. That's fun too.
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#4011500)
If that happens, these contracts will be a steal.

And then the owners can take all the money they get from their long-term TV contract and buy themselves a nice steak dinner.
   40. Swedish Chef Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:21 PM (#4011501)
I'm pretty sure the profits for a BBTF team would be low due to big expenses on craft beer and indie records.
   41. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#4011505)
I'll bet almost everyone one of you, if you have the first pick in next year's fantasy baseball, will take Pujols.

...a crapload of you will take Hanley if you have pick number 2....pick 3 and you'll take Ellsbury, and everyone will be wondering how long to wait before grabbing Crawford.
   42. DA Baracus Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#4011506)
Wouldn't the indie records be cheap? They're indie records. Of course the volume of records would be huge.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#4011513)
I'm pretty sure the profits for a BBTF team would be low due to big expenses on craft beer and indie records.

You only get records on the team dime if they're actually records, vinyl. If you want anything else, get a 14 y.o. to download it for you for free.

As for drinking, the team will only provide hard liquor; cuts down the lines at the bathroom in the owners' box. That's gonna be our biggest downfall. The owners' box will take up 500 prime seats.
   44. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#4011520)
AFAICT the first thing a BTF team would do would be to sign Barry Bonds and Johan Santana. They may not win much, but they'd be sticking it to Selig and those Phil Hughes loving Yankee fans!
   45. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#4011526)
But we'd make millions, as the post you quoted said. That's fun too


how would we be build a ballpark? BTF can't accept public taxpayer money, can it?
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#4011529)
I'll bet almost everyone one of you, if you have the first pick in next year's fantasy baseball, will take Pujols.
Jose Bautista's gonna be the consensus #1, no? 3B eligibility plus the best hitting projection in the game should seal it, unless I'm forgetting someone.
a crapload of you will take Hanley if you have pick number 2
Not a single person who's paid the slightest amount of attention to baseball will take Hanley #2.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#4011532)
how would we be build a ballpark? We can't accept public taxpayer money, can we?

I think the Astrodome is still available. Or RFK.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4011538)
how would we be build a ballpark? BTF can't accept public taxpayer money, can it?
Well, assuming we were sufficiently wealthy to get ourselves a team, and assuming we purchased a club that actually needed a ballpark*, wouldn't we just build a damn park ourselves? Peter Magowan is raking in the money.

*The real BTF consensus is that no one needs a new ballpark. Build a winning team, market it, and people will come to whatever damn ballpark they play their games at.
   49. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#4011541)
If there was a way to lose every game and still make a lot of money, I'm sure at least a few owners would try to do it.


If not for the Marlins talent evaluators, we'd have already had that in Loria.
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#4011542)
Just to go back to the original point that supposedly BTF hates all free agent contracts.

Of the major contracts this offseason, BTF is not a fan of Pujols and Reyes, but likes Wilson and thinks Buehrle is fair.

People here dislike the majority of free agent contracts, but not all of them universally. And often the consensus is that it's "fair market value". A BTF-owned team would be perfectly happy to fill in with "fair market value" contracts around our young, cheap stars in order to make a playoff push.
   51. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4011544)
BTF hates LONG contracts, I think.
   52. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4011545)
That said, I think people need to seriously consider the possibility of massive US inflation in the next 10 years. Even 5 years. Our country has a zillion promises we can't keep and just about the only way to get out from under these overzealous commitments is to print money, or inflate the currency. If that happens, these contracts will be a steal.


Worth pointing out that 10-year inflation-indexed treasuries are currently so undesirable they are trading at a negative real interest rate.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4011547)
If not for the Marlins talent evaluators, we'd have already had that in Loria.

Exactly, if Loria would stop hiring competent professionals, he wouldn't have any of these pesky players that make more than the league minimum.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4011551)
Worth pointing out that 10-year inflation-indexed treasuries are currently so undesirable they are trading at a negative real interest rate.

Wouldn't that mean they are very desirable, not undesirable?

When demand for a bond falls, price goes down, but yield goes up. A bond trading at a negative yield would be very highly priced, e.g. I pay $100 for a 1-year T-bill (no coupon).
   55. PreservedFish Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#4011559)
People here dislike the majority of free agent contracts, but not all of them universally.


The majority of free agent contracts look to be mistakes by the end.
   56. Ron J Posted: December 09, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4011561)
#2 Zimbalist's study of revenue still pretty much holds up. If (as I've always advocated) you think of players as revenue generating assets (as opposed to costs) then only about 11% of free agent signings make objective financial sense. And just under half end up broadly breaking even (or better)

That said, signing superstar position players tends to more or less break even a higher percentage of the time than any other type of signing.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4011576)
EDIT: eh, whatever.
   58. Ron J Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#4011580)
#55 Narrowly true. But it's biased by long (or even longish) contracts to less that elite pitchers (which have an awful rate of return)

Draw up a list of the guys who were superstar position players at the time they were signed and I think you'll find a somewhat different result. It's terribly expensive and there's about zero chance of a tremendous bargain, but the number of sginings that you bitterly regret are fairly small.
   59. Swedish Chef Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#4011590)
Right. The point is that people are buying treasuries like crazy and willing to bid on super-low rates of return (ie, low expectations of inflation) in order to purchase them.

Go with ordinary treasuries then, the point of inflation-indexed ones is that they are protected against inflation and should be more attractive if there is prospects of inflation.

Though I think the rally in treasuries is mostly caused by investors looking for debt that can be expected to not default, ruling out most of Europe, it's a classic flight to safety.
   60. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#4011598)

I think there's a certain $$$/WAR argument that boils down to elite FAs never being worth the money.
BTF hates LONG contracts, I think.


i think that's the thing. pujols is easily worth $25 million a year, but to still be paying him that a decade from now, that's the issue that i think most here have.
   61. DA Baracus Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#4011608)
how would we be build a ballpark? BTF can't accept public taxpayer money, can it?


I have no problem taking money other people volunteer to give me that I don't have to give back.
   62. zenbitz Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#4011614)
If i am following the t-bill sub thread... If inflation jumps to say 10% annually than inflation indexed t bills are effectivly paying 9ish% this seems actually like a good investment in these times.

I wonder if i can shift my 401k around.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:39 PM (#4011629)
Though I think the rally in treasuries is mostly caused by investors looking for debt that can be expected to not default, ruling out most of Europe, it's a classic flight to safety.

Exactly. No one really believes inflation will be <2% p.a. in the US over the next 10 years, but T-bills are still yielding 2%, b/c zero return is a lot better than what you'll get in Spanish bonds.

If i am following the t-bill sub thread... If inflation jumps to say 10% annually than inflation indexed t bills are effectivly paying 9ish% this seems actually like a good investment in these times.

Except, do you really trust the gov't to publish honest CPI #'s when they're on the hook for payments linked to it (e.g. SS COLA)?

They can do a lot of mischief in changing the "bundle" of goods in the CPI.
   64. Russ Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#4011631)
Doubtful. Our BTF squad would have little roster continuity, we would have no face of the franchise and we would always be talking about the future.


I think this is not true. Universities turn over their rosters completely every four years in football and basketball and they maintain very loyal followings. People don't identify with the Yankees because of Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera, they identify with the Yankees because they always freaking win.

If anything, if the BTF squad constantly won, as long as they marketed themselves properly, they would be in a BETTER position as no single player would have them by the short and curlies. If the fanbase sees that the turnover leads to continued winning, they'll still show up.
   65. Russ Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#4011632)
.
   66. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 09, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#4011638)
If the fanbase sees that the turnover leads to continued winning, they'll still show up.


That really worked for the A's, and is really working for the Rays.
   67. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#4011702)
How close are the Angels getting to paying luxury tax after they fill out the rest of their likely roster at this point? Pujols for 25.4, Wells for 21, Hunter for 18, Wilson for 15.5, Weaver for 14, Haren for 12.75, Santana for 11.2, Abreu for 9, Downs for 5, Takahashi for 4.2, Izturis for 3.8, Ianetta for 3.55, arbitration for Aybar, Kendrick, Callaspo, etc, that's probably over 160 million.
   68. Randy Jones Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#4011712)
How close are the Angels getting to paying luxury tax after they fill out the rest of their likely roster at this point? Pujols for 25.4, Wells for 21, Hunter for 18, Wilson for 15.5, Weaver for 14, Haren for 12.75, Santana for 11.2, Abreu for 9, Downs for 5, Takahashi for 4.2, Izturis for 3.8, Ianetta for 3.55, arbitration for Aybar, Kendrick, Callaspo, etc, that's probably over 160 million.


Luxury tax threshold for next year is $178m I believe.
   69. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#4011724)

Except, do you really trust the gov't to publish honest CPI #'s when they're on the hook for payments linked to it (e.g. SS COLA)?


Not sure what this means. That could lead to discounted rates but not rates lower than actual T-bills.

Inflation is going to remain low for the forseeable future. Quite likely at least another 10 years.
   70. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 09, 2011 at 07:55 PM (#4011732)
I'll bet almost everyone one of you, if you have the first pick in next year's fantasy baseball, will take Pujols.

...a crapload of you will take Hanley if you have pick number 2....


He'll be a top pick, but if I was picking #1, I'd probably pick Tulo, Bautista (if 3B eligible), maybe even Robinson Cano, rather than take a 1B first.

Of course, I took Mauer with the top pick this year, and perennially finish middle-of-the-pack.
   71. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#4011745)
I chose to keep Carl Crawford over Cano this year. Needless to say, I didn't win the league.
   72. Dock Ellis Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:05 PM (#4011749)
I drunk-ebay all the time, and buyer's remorse is very common. But look at my feedback rating!
   73. Swedish Chef Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#4011754)
But look at my feedback rating!

"This guy spent an hour bidding against himself. A+. Would sell again."
   74. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#4011758)
I love headlines like this. Not as good as the rhetorical question, but still: "ALSO, ANGELS AND MARLINS MIGHT NOT REGRET RECKLESS SPENDING."

(mr. president)
   75. Nasty Nate Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#4011759)
I chose to keep Carl Crawford over Cano this year. Needless to say, I didn't win the league.


do you only keep 1 player a year?

I kept Adam Dunn last offseason (could have kept Jerry Weaver or Cain) but still finished in the money.
   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#4011773)
Not sure what this means. That could lead to discounted rates but not rates lower than actual T-bills.

Inflation is going to remain low for the forseeable future. Quite likely at least another 10 years.


If you're buying TIPS for inflation protection and taking shitty returns in the near term, it means that it matters a lot to you if the BLS can manipulate CPI so that actual 6% inflation, appears as 4% in the CPI b/c they change the representative bundle of goods. There is a huge incentive for this manipulation b/c Social Security payments are indexed to CPI if inflation is >2%.

Put another way, I'm not going to make a bet on an index against the guy who calculates the index.
   77. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#4011777)
That league keeps a player and a pitcher. My pitcher was Verlander, so it wasn't all bad.
   78. Banta Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#4011778)
My top two picks this year were Hanley then Mauer. It was hard to come back from that. That draft was the first year of a keeper league now too, so Hanley's the gift that keeps on giving. It's amazing how the Reyes signing has ruined my favorite team AND my fantasy team.
   79. Chicago Joe Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#4011787)
Those weren't women.

And they lied about their age.
   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#4011792)
My top two picks this year were Hanley then Mauer. It was hard to come back from that. That draft was the first year of a keeper league now too, so Hanley's the gift that keeps on giving. It's amazing how the Reyes signing has ruined my favorite team AND my fantasy team.

You guys do drafts in baseball? Auction is the way to go.
   81. Karl from NY Posted: December 10, 2011 at 01:46 AM (#4012102)
Anybody else notice that the Reyes deal balloons into serious expensiveness right around the time Derek Jeter's contract expires? And we know trading is on Florida's mind, Pujols fell through because they wouldn't grant a no-trade. Wouldn't at all be surprised if Reyes is a Yankee in 2014 or 2015, especially if the Marlins don't hit it big with a couple world series runs when the new-stadium shine wears off. (I say this as a Yankee hater, Mets fan.)
   82. Something Other Posted: December 10, 2011 at 06:46 AM (#4012336)
I find all the talk about Pujols to be amazing. Granted, the Angels gave him more money than I would have offered. But he's the best player in the game. During the season, consensus was that he would continue to be top 5 for at least 5-6 years. Almost all his comps aged well. Yet so much of the commentary around the deal seems to insinuate that he's a gimpy, overrated fat guy who will be lucky to hit above the Mendoza line in a year or two. This isn't Mo Vaughn, people. (Not intending to brand everyone with that last comment, just an expression).
What threads are you reading? The strong consensus is that it's an overpay, but not a gruesome one; that something like 8/200 or 10/220 would have been reasonable. The lowest I've seen anyone suggest is 10/200, and that makes 10/250 not remotely out in orbit. Pujols' being the best player in the game, though, is irrelevant. It's the player he's going to be over the next decade that matters.

Doubtful. Our BTF squad would have little roster continuity, we would have no face of the franchise and we would always be talking about the future. Our fans wouldn't be very entertained by that. I doubt we would win that much. If we ran the Dodgers, okay, yes we would make $$, but in general I don't think it would be a special franchise.

I don't think so.

We'd spend a ton on scouting, drafting and development, and we'd sign our big prospects to Longoria/Moore type contracts like the Rays. We probably wouldn't have too many home-grown players past the age of 30-32, I agree. But, you'd still have 6-8 years of continuity on the home-grown guys.

We'd probably run a $80-100M payroll, and be reasonably successful. If you put us in a decent market, we'd make money. If we were in a shitty market, we'd run a $50M payroll, and get rich off revenue sharing, central fund revenue, and MLBAM.
I think we'd wise up and understand you have to overpay to seriously contend. We'd have picked up Wilson for that money, or a little more. Think of the Rays (ok, that's a little optimistic), then graft on two good and one great FA. We'd never miss the postseason!

That said, I think people need to seriously consider the possibility of massive US inflation in the next 10 years. Even 5 years. Our country has a zillion promises we can't keep and just about the only way to get out from under these overzealous commitments is to print money, or inflate the currency. If that happens, these contracts will be a steal.
Wheelbarrows full of Deutsch marks!

* I see two ways for this to go: 1) the contract is fair and Pujols continues at an HOF level for 7 or 8 years with the Angels winning a couple/few championships; 2) the deal is a disaster for the Angels, with Pujols cratering.

I don't see a scenario, short of Lion's extremely pessimistic one, where the economy is truly catastrophically bad where the contract is a disaster for Pujols. And, like I say, the contract itself may be good, in that case, for Arte but everything else will have gone to ####.
I tend to find the middle wrt these things. An inflation rate of 7 to 10% isn't completely unlikely (more likely than the 2010s turning into Wiemar, The Sequel!), and that turns this into a much better contract for the Angels.
   83. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:45 AM (#4012354)
And then the owners can take all the money they get from their long-term TV contract and buy themselves a nice steak dinner.


Local TV $$ pale to gate receipts. Prices that are adjusted every year. Even 5-6% inflation would make this contract a steal.
   84. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:50 AM (#4012355)
Of the major contracts this offseason, BTF is not a fan of Pujols and Reyes, but likes Wilson and thinks Buehrle is fair.


Maybe true of Buehrle, but BTF would flip him for 2 prospects by May. Constantly building towards the future. Just as the A's laughably dealt Cahill today in order to get "younger".

If I were a fan of the A's I'd kill someone/something.
   85. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:55 AM (#4012357)
A BTF-owned team would be perfectly happy to fill in with "fair market value" contracts around our young, cheap stars in order to make a playoff push.


That's just it. Contracts BTF deems "Fair market" contracts are very scarce. For us to get one, we would pretty much have to bid on every single FA.....eventually we might get one. Or zero. Of course once we bid on a guy, that drives the price up, maybe the Marlins weren't going to stop until well beyond fair.

It's damn hard to simply sign only "fair market" deals. That's presidential campaign boilerplate. I bet my balls when we are on the cusp of a division title, we better "overpay" to land our much needed SS, filling our only hole, for example. If we aren't willing to occasionally take a "bad" contact for a business building expense, we will likely never win anything meaningful.

You don't need to win every battle, just the war.
   86. smileyy Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:08 AM (#4012359)
BTF would lead the league in marginal wins / marginal dollar while winning 70 games a year. Our flags would fly for never.

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