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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Progress made in Drew talks - The Boston Globe

Like the Red Sox I am intrigued at the potential of J.D. Drew. I simply love his swing and approach at the plate. Unfortunately, I am also concerned about how he’ll react when he gets eviscerated by the Boston writers and fans after missing most of a season due to injuries. Anyone who thinks this won’t happen based on the way Manny gets treated is deluding himself. Manny doesn’t miss as much time as Drew; Manny produces the gaudy Triple Crown stats fans love; Manny was a big part of the 2004 World Series Championship team; Manny is considered a lovable dufus by the fans.  As a result, Manny gets away with his antics from the fans. J.D. is no Manny. 

As much as I love Drew, this will not end well for Drew or the Sox.

Don’t be deceived by the silence. The Red Sox are quietly but aggressively trying to close a deal for outfielder J.D. Drew, who opted out of the last three years and $33 million of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers to become a free agent.
...
His nickname in the Dodger clubhouse, according to one big league coach, was “Nancy Drew,” and according to one major leaguer who has played against Drew for much of his career, one Dodger player greeted the news of Drew’s departure by phoning friends in jubilation.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2006 at 01:45 PM | 183 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2245465)
Brocktoon has received some very harsh treatment from the press in his career and he has not wilted because of it. I think that mentally, he'll be fine. I'm more concerned about his health.
   2. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2245467)
He hasn't had an injury of the nagging, recurring variety since he was in STL. They can't get this done quickly enough as far as I am concerned.
   3. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2245468)
What "antics" does Drew need to "get away with"?
   4. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#2245470)
And as far as the "unfit for Boston" stuff, I like Darren's point. Ever since he decided not to sign with Philly, he has been regarded as a controversial figure, externally and seemingly in the clubhouse as well. He never pays any of it any mind and just goes about his business. Maybe we would like him to slam a helmet here or there when he makes a big out but that's just not his style.

Getting on base all the time and mixing in some pop, on the other hand, is.
   5. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#2245472)
Getting on base all the time and mixing in some pop, on the other hand, is.

And hangin' with Mr. Pavano on the DL. That's how he rolls.

Is it possible at all that the extended injuries and heal times are a function of his mental state? In other words, if he was generally loved and admired, would he be on the field more? I'm not trying to question him here - I don't do that with injuries.
   6. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#2245474)
He hasn't had an injury of the nagging, recurring variety since he was in STL. They can't get this done quickly enough as far as I am concerned.

I like to tell myself this, but take a look at his Rototimes page: sore shoulder, tight hamstring, bruised thigh, sore knee from HBP, strained right quad, and sore elbow all during the 06 season. 05 looked similar before his big injury. You kind of hope that these little injuries are no big deal, but I think they may actually betray a sort of fragility. In signing him, I think you have to assume you're getting 130 games/year (or less) and be really happy if it's more.
   7. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#2245477)
I like how I questioned Drew and then said "I'm not trying to question him here".

I clearly was, although in my defense, it was not elegantly stated.

I was tossing around a theory (which can't really be proven, and anecdotally injuries don't follow "warm feelings", either positively or negatively), not calling Drew a hoser. I think people who assign mental states based on injury status alone are the lowest form of sportswriters.
   8. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: November 25, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2245479)
Grady Little was very public about his inclination to baby Drew last season and Little's name even appears in some of those press excerpts. "Drew could have played but was held out by..."

He wore a sleeve on a sore elbow, got hit in the knee by a pitch, missed a game here and there because of slight muscle strains...none of it really worries me. I am not claiming he is Cal Ripken when it comes to durability, but I think your 130 number looks very pessimistic.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2245480)
As much as I love Drew, this will not end well for Drew or the Sox.

I'm going to assume that Drew gets five years.

When's the last time that a longterm deal ended well for the player and the Sox?

I guess you could argue that Pedro's was like that, but there were and are a lot of hard feelings.
   10. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:04 PM (#2245481)
He wore a sleeve on a sore elbow, got hit in the knee by a pitch, missed a game here and there because of slight muscle strains...none of it really worries me. I am not claiming he is Cal Ripken when it comes to durability, but I think your 130 number looks very pessimistic.

I had this same conversation last offseason with Mets fans re: Cliff Floyd. I don't think specific injuries are the problem here - perhaps the player has a lower pain tolerance than others. Perhaps the little injuries are exacerbated by something else that is physically wrong.

Any which way, I think it's been proven again and again that injury-prone is predictive. If I were to throw out an over/under, it would be about 140.
   11. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2245485)
If I were to throw out an over/under, it would be about 140.

If he plays the same amount of games as Mike Cameron and Joe Mauer and Carlos Beltran and Brian Roberts and Eric Chavez, I am fine with that.
   12. TerpNats Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:29 PM (#2245492)
After experiencing the "knights of the keyboard," aka the Boston press, Drew may actually yearn for Philadelphia.
   13. JPWF13 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2245495)
I had this same conversation last offseason with Mets fans re: Cliff Floyd.


What Met fans are you talking to? Everyone I know (myself included) pretty much expected him to miss a lot of time most of the last 4 years
   14. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:37 PM (#2245499)
I don't remember, JPWF13. But someone took (what I thought to be) the unreasonable position that injuries are not predictive and that Cliff's 2005 performance showed us that he would be healthy in 2006.
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#2245504)
5 years and $70m to play in BOS. That was my prediction the moment JD Drew declared free agency.
   16. JPWF13 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#2245505)
But someone took (what I thought to be) the unreasonable position that injuries are not predictive


There's quite a few primates with that position- I hadn't particularly noticed that any were Mets fans- many seem to be JD Drew fans in fact...
   17. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2245506)
I don't remember the thread or the date or the participants or what my handle was then.

Other than that, it ought to be really easy to search for.
   18. A Day In the Park Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:45 PM (#2245508)
I don't know how many Red Sox fans don't want Drew, but I am one of them.

I know two of his injuries were induced by HBP's, but I just don't trust him to play 150 games. Simple as that.

I'm actually fine with a Manny, Crisp, Pena outfield.

Call me crazy.
   19. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2245510)
You're crazy! :)
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#2245512)
I think Drew is a great replacement for Trot Nixon. And I think their three existing outfielders could fill in very nicely when JD misses time. I don't know who else to buy in the FA market. So my impression is that Drew will help the Sox on the field; the money is not important to me right now.
   21. A Day In the Park Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2245515)
I don't know why Pena isn't being considered as a full-time option. Maybe because K's too much, but who doesn't nowadays.

I mean, I understand, wanting a replacement for him when he starts striking out 10 out every eleven PA's, but why have that guy be a $70 million injury case?

Go get Dave Dellucci or something.

Let Pena and him split at least.
   22. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2245516)
I think Drew is better than Pena for 2007 and maybe 2008. Assuming health, I could see a 2/3 and 1/3 PT split, with Drew getting the bigger part for the next few years. If WMP goes to town, they can make Crisp the fourth OF and hope that someone can play CF.
   23. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:59 PM (#2245517)
At any rate, I would elevate Pena over Crisp on the depth chart if Pena could play a passable CF.
   24. A Day In the Park Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:04 PM (#2245518)
Really,

I disagree with that.

Crisp was clearly effected by breaking his finger last season, and played great CF last year.

Go check Dave Pinto's PMR for proof.

He was actually one of the best CFer's in the game.

He's above Pena to me.
   25. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:08 PM (#2245519)
I know two of his injuries were induced by HBP's, but I just don't trust him to play 150 games


so?
maybe boston can accept that

you'll get your 280/395/500 from Drew, but you WON'T get 40/120 (HR/RBIs that is)

but you might very well get 28/93

which might be good enough if your expectations aren't so high--it's one of them deals where you can't compare Drew to his supposed potential, or even compare Drew to a "what if he played 155 games?" Drew-- because then he'll always be a disappointment

you have to compare Drew to what you have at the present, or to who else is available

(cf Jack Clark)
   26. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#2245520)
His nickname in the Dodger clubhouse, according to one big league coach, was "Nancy Drew," and according to one major leaguer who has played against Drew for much of his career, one Dodger player greeted the news of Drew's departure by phoning friends in jubilation.


Big league coach has to be Dave Jauss. Major leaguer who played against Drew and has a Dodger friend = Loretta? Lowell? Someone like that. Welcome to Boston, J.D.!
   27. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2245521)
you'll get your 280/395/500 from Drew,

I actually think he'll be a bit better than this. I think his wrist injury sapped his power much of last year.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#2245526)
If you think Wily Mo is a good outfielder, then you'll like Wily Mo. I think we're looking at a 10-run upgrade of defense, quite possibly more, if we get Drew. I'm very afraid of the gaps in the outfield between Manny, Coco and Wily Mo, especially with a rotation made up of flyballers (Schilling, Wake, Papelbon) and neutral pitchers (Beckett, Matsuzaka). I will have to take a look at that PMR data, though, it'd be nice if Coco were good at his job.
When's the last time that a longterm deal ended well for the player and the Sox?
Derek Lowe. Johnny Damon. Jason Varitek. I'll put good money that Manny Ramirez's deal will end well. Tim Wakefield goes on the list.
   29. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#2245528)
Three of the five of them have yet to fulfill their contracts; I disagree with Manny (I think it'll get really bad at the end), but I agree with Wakefield.

Lowe is well-taken; I hadn't considered him. I'm not sure what I think about Damon, although my first instinct is not to put the endgame of Johnny's stay in Boston in the "ended well" column.
   30. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2245529)
I think we're looking at a 10-run upgrade of defense, quite possibly more, if we get Drew.

So if Drew is in the fold and Trot isn't, what does your Opening Day outfield look like, MCoA? I'm assuming that you are anchoring Ortiz to DH.
   31. musial6 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#2245532)
This is what Drew did from age 26-30:

G . . AB. R . . H . HR RBI SB BB SO . .OBP/OPS/SLG TB
135 424 61 . 107 18 . 56 . 8. 57. 104 .252/.349/.429 182
100 287 60. . 83. 15 . 42 . 2. 36 . 48. .289/.374/.512 147
145 518 118 158 31 . 93. 12 118 116 .305/.436/.569 295
72 . 252 48 .. 72 15 . 36 . 1 . 51 . 50. .286/.412/.520 131
146 494 84 . 140 20 100 . 2 . 89. 106 .283/.393/.498 246

It would be optimistic to expect him to duplicate these numbers from age 31-35. GMs should be asking themselves, what would you pay for these 5 seasons? Don't pay a penny more than that.

He's always been overpaid, and has never lived up to the superstar hype. He's above average defensively, but not Gold Glove caliber - and that's only going to decline as he gets older, slower, and god forbid less durable.

I suppose there's always the chance he could have a breakthrough with his health (maybe he figures out he hasn't been stretching enough before games) - but given that he's 31, I think it's fair to say that he is what he is.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2245534)
Three of the five of them have yet to fulfill their contracts
Jason Varitek fulfilled his contract - they just gave him a new one afterward - that's pretty much the definition of ending well. Similarly with Tim Wakefield.

If you don't include them, then you're asking for players who had longterm contracts with the Red Sox, then left the Red Sox, and with whom the Red Sox' contracts ended well. That's going to be a very small group, with just about every team.
   33. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2245535)
So... JD has hit .300 once, stolen ten bases once, and hit 30 homers once. Plus, all of those things happened in the same year, which was two years ago. I am surprised by that stat line - I expected better.

Looks like he's a skilled on-base guy who slugs around 500.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2245536)
So if Drew is in the fold and Trot isn't, what does your Opening Day outfield look like, MCoA? I'm assuming that you are anchoring Ortiz to DH.
LF Manny
CF Crisp
RF Drew

Wily Mo will play regularly against lefties in place of Drew, occasionally in place of Crisp. Crisp will also sit regularly against some RHP, and Manny will rest his legs when necessary. When one of the three starters inevitably gets hurt, Wily Mo will fill in wherever he's needed.

Or, of course, we can go the and-a-pony route with SoSH, and trade Wily Mo for an ace reliever in the bullpen. That would also be cool.
   35. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#2245540)
If you don't include them, then you're asking for players who had longterm contracts with the Red Sox, then left the Red Sox, and with whom the Red Sox' contracts ended well. That's going to be a very small group, with just about every team.

If you add "retired with", I think the list gets longer.
   36. OlePerfesser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#2245541)
I'm slightly ambivalent about this.

On the one hand, I'd be pretty excited about the run-producing potential of a lineup that starts out this way:

1. Youkilis, 1B, R
2. Drew, RF, L
3. Ramirez, LF, R
4. Ortiz, DH, L
5...

On the other hand, I think we statheads tend to under-weight the "clubhouse chemistry" issue just a tad in evaluating moves. I doubt it's just the injury/Nancy thing that makes people dislike Drew; it's hard to find anybody at any of his stops along the way who likes or admires the guy. When team-mates want you to leave and the press is ripping you every day, that can become a bit of a distraction--and is potentially demoralizing to a team. Can we really say that when a workplace environment becomes uncomfortable or unhappy, it doesn't affect everyone's performance? I'm not so sure.

The other thing that might be bugging me about this is some retrospective non-buyer's remorse. If we spend $70M or more for Drew's 31-35 seasons, refusing to spend considerably less for Damon's 32-35 seasons (and giving up considerable young talent for his replacement) is going to look somewhat questionable in hindsight. Not that Damon's a better ballplayer, but he's durable and a positive clubhouse presence... and I miss him, dammit.

But that's spilled milk, and chemistry probably shouldn't be accorded much weight, and we can cross our fingers about that medical record, and it's Mr. Henry's money, so... go for it!
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2245542)

Looks like he's a skilled on-base guy who slugs around 500.
He's also a solidly above average fielder and baserunner. It's the added value in those two areas that makes him such an attractive option.
   38. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2245543)
He's always been overpaid, and has never lived up to the superstar hype.


If he really signs for 14M per in this market he'll be underpaid for once...
   39. musial6 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#2245544)
32. should obviously be AVG/OBP/SLG not OBP/OPS/SLG
   40. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#2245550)
He's always been overpaid, and has never lived up to the superstar hype.

"Has never"? Take another look at 2004. That's MVP stuff.
   41. A Day In the Park Posted: November 25, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2245551)
What's wrong with Dave Dellucci for $5 million per year?

Oh wait, I forgot about the market.

I'm sorry, What's wrong with Dave Dellucci for $9 million per year?
   42. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:00 PM (#2245554)
Looks like he's a skilled on-base guy who slugs around 500.

That's probably underselling Drew a bit. Those 2002 and 2003 numbers are hampered by a knee injury and surgery for that knee injury.

Interesting to see how long it would take the AL to figure out "Don't throw Drew a fastball."
   43. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:00 PM (#2245555)
Well, that was sixth in MVP voting last year. Plus RBI are apparently all that matters in MVP consideration and he didn't quite get to 100, which disqualifies him immediately.
   44. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:01 PM (#2245557)
last = that (2004), by the way.
   45. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2245560)
Why are people talking about 5/70 for Drew? The only one who's suggested that is levski, who's only here to troll.

Drew's was not overpaid during his last contract.
   46. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#2245562)
Why are people talking about 5/70 for Drew?


Darren,

Because it sounds about right? Do you get a different number when you close your eyes?
   47. philly Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#2245564)
Why are people talking about 5/70 for Drew?

Well some of us have read the linked article. ;)

One possible hurdle, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks, is that no Sox player has been given a contract for longer than four years by the current ownership. Drew, who turned 31 Monday, is seeking a deal for more years, according to the source, and with Soriano signing for eight years and Matthews and Pierre getting five-year deals, he would appear to have the leverage.

His asking price, according to sources, is at least $14 million.


He reportedly wants more than 4 years and at least 14M. I'd say levski's 5yrs/70M isn't trolling so much as the baseline implication from the article.

That bogus 2yr/30M rumor has killed Sox fans Drew cost persepctive.

Otoh, the bid cost of Matsuzaka went from ~30M to 51M and people didn't seem to mind one bit. I've got a feeling people will end up just fine with - 5/75? 6/84? 4/68?
   48. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2245566)
Otoh, the bid cost of Matsuzaka went from ~30M to 51M and people didn't seem to mind one bit.

I reject your reality and replace it with my own. Some have raised a stink over this very issue - even defenders concede that outbidding the second-place finisher by $20 million or so was a miscalculation.
   49. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:24 PM (#2245569)
linked artilce does not say the sox will pay him 5/70, or anyone else will. The prevailing number seems to be 4/56.

I never believed 2/30 either. I did hope the 4/50 talk was close to the truth, though.

I've got a feeling people will end up just fine with - 5/75? 6/84? 4/68?

Really? 5/75? 4/68? That's a ton for a guy who misses so much time.
   50. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#2245570)
If they give him six years, the financial terms (above a certain threshold) are completely meaningless to me. That would be a bad signing almost no matter what.
   51. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#2245571)
5/75? 6/84? 4/68?


I realize shorter-term contracts are the smart way to go for pitchers especially, but given the salary inflation I have to say that 6/84 sounds MUCH better than 4/68. I think the pay scale for 35-36 year olds with Drew's skills is likely to be considerably above $8M per year in 2011-12, heck it's above that now as Sheffield can testify. Drew's already pretty injury prone, so it's not like you're taking on that much more of an injury risk in years 5 and 6 over the current baseline. And I don't think he's going to lose the bat speed at 34 -- doesn't seem like the type.

And as for defense, Drew in four years won't be any worse than Trot right now -- I mean Trot's not WMP-bad out there, but he hasn't had the wheels to play right in Fenway for a couple years now, speaking strictly from limited observation. Do my eyes deceive me? These are the same eyes that tell me that Manny is a perfectly adequate LF in Fenway, by the way.
   52. musial6 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2245572)
"Has never"Take another look at 2004. That's MVP stuff. 


His MVP 'stuff' in 2004 only got him 6th place in the voting. I guess you could call that a virtual tie for third like Joementum.

but it's really beside the point.

Drew was supposed to be an ELITE player - a guy who is an MVP candidate EVERY season with a shot a Cooperstown - not some plus defender who never plays anywhere near a full season and has appeared on MVP ballots just once in 8 seasons.

If you want to argue that he wasn't overpaid in his walk year when he was 28 years old, you'd be correct. Practically speaking - given that he held out a year so he could make 1.7 mil as a rookie, got a ridiculous contract from the Dodgers 2 years ago, and will now get an even more ridiculous contract this offseason - he's been overpaid his entire career.
   53. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2245573)
How'd you make the text red, musial?
   54. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2245574)
I like your multiple text colors and Lieberman snark. I accept you into the society.
   55. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2245575)
even defenders concede that outbidding the second-place finisher by $20 million or so was a miscalculation.


When you renew your home insurance, and recall that the house didn't burn down during the past year, do you feel like you miscalculated? That's what the cushion over the second-highest bidder was - some mighty expensive insurance. I don't know why people keep saying it's a miscalculation, as if other teams' bids were somehow there for everyone to calculate. At least no one's called it a "failure" yet. Or am I wrong?
   56. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2245578)
When you bid against others for services, part of the idea is figuring out how much others are likely to pay.

If I really wanted a Wily Mo Pena autographed bat on ebay (and who doesn't?), would it matter if I bid $8,000 and the second-place guy bid $4,000? Maybe not to me, but it certainly would to the WMP bat seller. And what about that other $4,000? If I couldn't pay my electric bill, would my girlfriend be justified in a snarky statement about my precious bat keeping me warm?
   57. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2245579)
"Has never"? Take another look at 2004. That's MVP stuff.

He hit .323/.414/.613 in 2001. .330/.426/.688 before David Wells got ahold of him. Pay no attention to the bitter Cardinal fan.
   58. Darren Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2245581)
Drew was supposed to be an ELITE player - a guy who is an MVP candidate EVERY season with a shot a Cooperstown

There just isn't that kind of sure thing in the draft.
   59. philly Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#2245582)
linked artilce does not say the sox will pay him 5/70, or anyone else will. The prevailing number seems to be 4/56.

What prevailing number? I'm not sure what that even means. No the article does not say the Sox will pay him 5/70, but it does come pretty close to saying that is what Drew wants. Players don't get everything they want, but these days they come pretty close. Whatever "progress" has been made between the Sox and Drew according to the headline, it is not supported by the ody of the article which suggests a pretty large gap. The main reason that the article does not say the Sox are willing to pay him 5/70 is that the Sox do not appear to be terribly close to signing him at all.

What's the arguement that Drew will get fewer years than Pierre and Matthews? Mostly just hope.

Really? 5/75? 4/68? That's a ton for a guy who misses so much time.

I have no doubt. And my point by bring up the Matsuzaka bid is that people have a wonderful ability to be flexible about these kinds of things. A month ago, if it was rumored that Steinbrenner was going to blow everybody out of the water and bid 51M for Mats there would have been a 200 comment thread about how a) stupid the Yankees are and b) how bad the deal was for baseball. The Sox did and there were all kinds of justifications for why it made sense. Far East revenues, how many chances do you get at 26 yr old studs, the crazy cost of pitching in this market, blah, blah, blah.

4/68 will be easy to rationalize. It's Soriano money and Drew is better. Higher AAVs for shorter deals is what the smart teams are doing. Let dummies like the Cubs make 8 year commitments.

5/75 is no big deal to rationalize either. If Drew is great - an easy replacement for Ramirez as I've read - and Pierre/Matthews are lousy players who got 9/10M per year - then how can you go wrong paying 50% more than what lousy players get for a great player?

I'm not a huge Drew guy, but I don't have much problem with either deal at this point.
   60. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:43 PM (#2245585)
If they give him six years, the financial terms (above a certain threshold) are completely meaningless to me. That would be a bad signing almost no matter what.

Healthy JD Drew is a slightly better, slightly younger version of what Bobby Abreu is now (e.g. low-power Abreu).

Actual JD Drew is a slightly inferior version of what Bobby Abreu is now, because he misses 30 games a year or more.

Bobby Abreu was perceived as 'overpaid' at midseason and now looks to be at value, roughly. So that leaves Drew with about the same value overall, doesn't it? If he's basically healthy he's worth the extra years in his deal relative to Abreu, and if he's typically-JD Drew-level healthy, he's getting too many years (at least if it's five).

The real question Sox fans should be asking (and some are) is why Theo isn't being asked anew about passing on Abreu, isn't it? The Sox seem to have badly misunderstood the market for players there, didn't they?
   61. philly Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#2245589)
I unwittingly left out potential rationalizations for a 6/84 deal and in the meantime somebody already provided it in #53.

I realize shorter-term contracts are the smart way to go for pitchers especially, but given the salary inflation I have to say that 6/84 sounds MUCH better than 4/68. I think the pay scale for 35-36 year olds with Drew's skills is likely to be considerably above $8M per year in 2011-12, heck it's above that now as Sheffield can testify. Drew's already pretty injury prone, so it's not like you're taking on that much more of an injury risk in years 5 and 6 over the current baseline. And I don't think he's going to lose the bat speed at 34 -- doesn't seem like the type.

Maybe right after a large number signing there will be some grumbling by more value oriented Sox fans, but within a month or so the vast majority of Sox fans (well, save the ones who wold hate Drew at any number) will be thrilled and will have no problem jusifying the deal.

As long as the Sox don't exceed 6 yrs or ~17M, it will be considered a good deal in this market.
   62. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2245590)
Note that the last two years of Manny's deal, seen as an expensive A-Rod driven extravagance by Duquette/Harrington at the time of the signing, look like bargains in the here and now. So that's another argument in favor of the notion that longer-term deals aren't a bad idea for very good to excellent players who are good bets not to lose it entirely during the contract term. I mean, really? You don't want Drew for 8M in future, devalued dollars in 2011-2012? (That's the difference b/w 68/4 and 84/6). That's a good deal, I think.
   63. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2245592)
If I really wanted a Wily Mo Pena autographed bat on ebay (and who doesn't?), would it matter if I bid $8,000 and the second-place guy bid $4,000? Maybe not to me, but it certainly would to the WMP bat seller. And what about that other $4,000? If I couldn't pay my electric bill, would my girlfriend be justified in a snarky statement about my precious bat keeping me warm?

If the WMP bat has a true value of $9000 your bid may have been the right one, though. That you bid close to the true value rather than gambling others in the market would be inefficient doesn't make it a bad bid. If there's only one WMP bat on the market, you shouldn't try to extract too much profit from the transaction...whereas if there's 10 you should.

The thing with the Matsuzaka bidding is we have no clue yet what it even bought. If the Sox pay DM something close to market rate on the contract, get no $$ kicked back from Seibu for the contract, and don't have some extraordinary revenue source figured out then it seems clear to me that they did, in fact, overbid.

But we don't really know if those things will be the case right now. I suspect enough of them will be that the bid will look like an overpay, but let's see what the contract at least looks like first.
   64. musial6 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2245593)
I was at the game when Wells plunked him. That torpedoed an MVP-ish season.

That doesn't change the fact that he regressed badly following the injury. He shows you flashes, but not on a consistent basis like the truly elite players. Also notice his 2 best seasons have been in what turned out to be walk years. Draw your own conclusions.

I'm bitter as a baseball man - that this bum continues to sucker people into overpaying him.

As a Cardinals fan I'm thrilled we were able to hold onto him for so long and still get Marquis/King/Wainwright in return - and we've won 2 Pennants and a World Series without him, while he's losing in the first round year after year.
   65. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#2245596)
Drew has stated multiple times that he could stay in the lineup more if he could play centerfield as it would be easier on his one knee. going into the corner and the pivot aggravate his "condition" or so he says.

I think the Sox would have two guys who don't fit the profile of a cf but who would be superior to Crisp.

Drew and Wily Mo are both better DEFENSIVE options.

I know this is counterintuitive but I warched Wily play cf for the Reds and he was pretty good. Toss in the 40 homers if he ever got 500 or so at bats and you would have quite the player.

Free Wily Mo!
   66. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#2245597)
The real question Sox fans should be asking (and some are) is why Theo isn't being asked anew about passing on Abreu, isn't it? The Sox seem to have badly misunderstood the market for players there, didn't they?
That seems exactly right. My defense at the time was that the Red Sox were overfilled with outfielders, and they already had the starting three for 2007 lined up after Nixon left. Given that the Sox are now likely to give big bucks to a player profoundly similar but inferior to Abreu, well, I find the grounds for my defense have been stolen out from under me. Stupid Theo, being so smart that I totally missed him being dumb!
   67. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#2245598)
As long as the Sox don't exceed 6 yrs or ~17M, it will be considered a good deal in this market.

I agree, as long as "exceed" means "touch". Higher than 6 years would be 7 or more, which is unbelieveably, Tribune-like foolish.

Note that the last two years of Manny's deal, seen as an expensive A-Rod driven extravagance by Duquette/Harrington at the time of the signing, look like bargains in the here and now.

Unless my math is wrong or a new deal has been signed, Manny is still in the top three as far as average salary. I don't know about "bargain" (for my money that word is reserved for true low-cost surprises, like the first Ortiz deal). I would deem it "fair", but that doesn't change the fact that the dollars and length were risky. Manny's production over the term of that contract makes it as good as it could be.

I mean, really? You don't want Drew for 8M in future, devalued dollars in 2011-2012? (That's the difference b/w 68/4 and 84/6).

I don't want my team's payroll and 25-man roster tied up for that length of time. If Drew has fallen below replacement-level or gets hurt (which I think is just as likely as his remaining productive until he's 38 or so), having a contract like that would anchor him to my team. It would also make him particularly untradeable, if that should become necessary.
   68. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2245599)
Drew has stated multiple times that he could stay in the lineup more if he could play centerfield as it would be easier on his one knee. going into the corner and the pivot aggravate his "condition" or so he says.

I think the Sox would have two guys who don't fit the profile of a cf but who would be superior to Crisp.

Drew and Wily Mo are both better DEFENSIVE options.

I know this is counterintuitive but I warched Wily play cf for the Reds and he was pretty good. Toss in the 40 homers if he ever got 500 or so at bats and you would have quite the player.

Free Wily Mo!
   69. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2245600)
I still don't agree, Harvey's. But I'm coming around.
   70. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2245601)
I don't think WMP is better defensively than Crisp, nor that there's metrics suggesting he is really.

This is, to me, a trick of perception...WMP was so bad in RF that expectations in CF were very low. And he exceeded those---he was a much better CF than he was a RF. But he still doesn't have very good range there, he just made most of the plays near him in CF whereas in RF he didn't.
   71. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#2245602)
If Wily Mo is even average in the pasture, he's pretty much the anti-Jeter. Derek looks good but is not particularly effective. Pena looks like he forgot that he's playing baseball.
   72. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#2245603)
Unless my math is wrong or a new deal has been signed, Manny is still in the top three as far as average salary.
Given low-interest deferrals, Manny's deal is currently 2/35. If he were on the free agent market, 4/80 seems about right, quite possibly more. That's a bargain. It's especially a bargain because players like Manny Ramirez are totally different from players like Moises Alou or Mark Bellhorn, with whom real "bargain" contracts are possible. Great players always cost tons of money unless you draft them, and you pretty much don't win World Series without great players. Simply having the right to pencil Manny Ramirez into the lineup in LF every day makes the Red Sox a better team in a way that just isn't comparable to players on "bargain" contracts. Duquette's twin signings of Pedro and Manny were the best contracts in team history.
   73. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:16 PM (#2245604)
I'll quote all of Margo's post:

Note that the last two years of Manny's deal, seen as an expensive A-Rod driven extravagance by Duquette/Harrington at the time of the signing, look like bargains in the here and now. So that's another argument in favor of the notion that longer-term deals aren't a bad idea for very good to excellent players who are good bets not to lose it entirely during the contract term. I mean, really? You don't want Drew for 8M in future, devalued dollars in 2011-2012? (That's the difference b/w 68/4 and 84/6). That's a good deal, I think.

It looks like he's arguing that Manny's deal was well-considered because of the expanding market. Well, that's true, but it's true because Manny is a greater player than was generally thought when he signed it and because the market went bananas. Every time you hear a bell ring, another career backup signs a 5-year deal for $856 bazillion.

Then, in my opinion, he goes off the deep end by comparing Drew's possible future return to Manny's past return. Manny is a special player (and his deal still isn't done yet). I don't think it's reasonable (or fair) to project Drew to "decline" like Manny did.
   74. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#2245608)
Simply having the right to pencil Manny Ramirez into the lineup in LF every day makes the Red Sox a better team in a way that just isn't comparable to players on "bargain" contracts.

Is it your belief that Manny was a greater contributor to the 2004-2006 edition than Ortiz, and a greater contributor earlier than Nomar?

In the NBA, Michael Jordan was the best player around. But he never won anything until they aquired Scottie Pippen. Having that #1 talent is immensely important, but the #2 talent can push you over the top.
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#2245610)
Well, that's true, but it's true because Manny is a greater player than was generally thought when he signed it and because the market went bananas.
I think it's far more likely that the market was artificially constrained by quasi-collusion for five years, than that we had an inexplicable six year gap between bananas-going. Every baseball team owner can bathe himself in specially-treated 100-dollar bills - the money was inevitably going to flow back into the game again. It's the trough between 2001 and this year that needs to be explained, not the current return to pre-02 pricing.

I certainly agree that JD Drew is no Manny Ramirez. (Though, I'd say, your argument that Manny's contract only worked because he was "greater than was generally thought" in part undermines this argument - how much space do you leave between them?) But the point is that the market is still in the process of exploding.
   76. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2245612)
Well, that's true, but it's true because Manny is a greater player than was generally thought when he signed it

This is just flat wrong, though...he's exactly the player everyone thought he was (cue Dennis Green).

The market expands pretty steadily, in fact, with occasional slow-downs and re-accelerations. But I think you'd have trouble describing and 8 year period that has growth in salaries that much different than the 2000-2008 period looks to have in the FA era.

It seems like you should just say "I don't like JD Drew, and I don't like the Red Sox, and I'm sure it won't work" and be done with it.
   77. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2245613)
Is it your belief that Manny was a greater contributor to the 2004-2006 edition than Ortiz, and a greater contributor earlier than Nomar?
Of course not. Ortiz was a bargain for a couple years as a great player, but he's a huge outlier in baseball terms, and Nomar was a farm product. The Sox still needed Manny and Pedro to win a world series.

My point was that the vast majority of perceived "bargain" contracts do not net you Manny Ramirezes. Papi is of course the exception here, but I think the point stands - you need to judge supersized contracts by a somewhat different scale, since those sorts of contracts are just about the only way to obtain great players whom you didn't develop out of your farm.
   78. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#2245615)
Maybe right after a large number signing there will be some grumbling by more value oriented Sox fans, but within a month or so the vast majority of Sox fans (well, save the ones who wold hate Drew at any number) will be thrilled and will have no problem jusifying the deal.

I hope so. OTOH, I'm afraid that once the Drew starts collecting the minor ailments and misses some games or has his production decline, CHB, Masarotti and talk radio guys will start up on him and this will help create a situation, somewhat like what occurred with Foulke.

Maybe the PR crew should start working on remedies...rub dirt on his uniform in the dugout between innings; have him throw his helmet now and again; report that he broke a toilet in the clubhouse in frustration; that sort of thing.
   79. OlePerfesser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#2245619)
...the trough between 2001 and this year that needs to be explained, not the current return to pre-02 pricing.

The Manny & A-Rod contracts both preceded the '02 CBA's 20% revenue-sharing (plus luxury tax).

A player is worth no more than he contributes to a team's net revenues.

With the '02 CBA revenue-sharing (and luxury tax) system, players' net contributions to revenue took an immediate 20% (or greater, for the NYY) hit. Ergo, salaries moderated. And in that environment, for a while the Sox were eager to dump Manny's deal, his stellar performance notwithstanding.

If we're looking for reasons why this off-season is off to an economically crazy start, we might start with the new CBA. I confess I don't really understand how they jiggered the revenue-sharing system, but the answer might be there.
   80. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2245620)
This is just flat wrong, though...he's exactly the player everyone thought he was (cue Dennis Green).

I think he's remained this way for longer than was reasonably expected. If I published a stat line for Manny's next six years after signing that thing, which drug do you think I'd have been accused of abusing? Manny's performance was on the more optimistic end of the projection - that speaks well for Manny but doesn't mean we should toss the projection system.

you need to judge supersized contracts by a somewhat different scale, since those sorts of contracts are just about the only way to obtain great players whom you didn't develop out of your farm.

Do you have a list of those players, or a cutoff for those contract terms? Was the original Mussina contract with the Yankees good or bad?
   81. OlePerfesser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#2245622)
And, of course, I misstated the revenue-sharing tax (and hit). I believe the '02 CBA ratcheted up the tax to 34% (from 20%), changed to a straight-pool system, AND added the lux tax. Hence, players' contributions of marginal revenue fell.
   82. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#2245624)
The other thing to keep in mind is that even if there weren't significant alterations to the revenue sharing formula (and I've read conclusions both way on that point) it guarantees continuity for a number of seasons, which makes this offseason the best to invest a lot of money in someone---you pretty much know the economic climate you'll be operating in for most of the contract period if you sign someone now.

The risk that the CBA context changes radically in the next CBA exists, but that will impact deals a lot more in the later years of this one than now.
   83. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#2245625)
What's the arguement that Drew will get fewer years than Pierre and Matthews? Mostly just hope.

People are already criticizing Drew for various reasons. When someone says something about him, it's often negative, or qualified with a negative. That isn't true about Juan Pierre or Sarge Lite, in the real, non-BTF world anyway. If a GM signs him and then Drew gets hurt or doesn't meet expectations, that GM could easily be out of a job, and people are going to be lying in wait for that first indication of "Nancy Drew". In other words, it's a risk of a sort GMs avoid.
   84. John DiFool2 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#2245628)
I think Manny's value is significantly greater to a team which can
play him at DH. Ultimately the deciding factor is if they can get
equitable value for him, and how much you believe in "soft protection"
vis a vis Papi (would 20 extra IBB really hurt the Sox that much?).
   85. depletion Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:50 PM (#2245630)
When your teammate picks the nickname of "Nancy" for you...
re 61:This guy is not better than Soriano. He usually has better rate stats than Soriano.
But 85% of success is showing up. Soriano plays 154+ games while getting slid into and sliding hard. Drew plays 100 games or so in the outfield for a couple years, then asks for more money.
   86. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#2245631)
I think he's remained this way for longer than was reasonably expected. If I published a stat line for Manny's next six years after signing that thing, which drug do you think I'd have been accused of abusing? Manny's performance was on the more optimistic end of the projection - that speaks well for Manny but doesn't mean we should toss the projection system.

Which projection system, specifically, do you think suggested this?

Here's a list of Manny's comps at 28, when he hit FA:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp.cgi?I=ramirma02:Manny+Ramirez&st=int&compage=28&age=28

Top comps were Frank Thomas, Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Hank Greenberg, Ralph Kiner, Dick Allen.

At 28 Thomas had OPS+ of 178; at 34 it was 117...but he was hurt. At 36 it was 151
At 28 Snider had an OPS+ of 170; at 34 it was 146
At 28 Mays had an OPS+ of 155; at 34 it was 185. But Mays is a strange comp, imo.
At 28 Hank Greenberg had an OPS+ of 155; at 34 it was 167 (he missed time to WW2)
Kiner retired before 34
At 28 Dick Allen had an OPS+ of 146; at 34 it was 131

At 28 Manny had an OPS+ of 185; at 34 it was 168

I simply don't see it. The decline rate for guys at Manny's level is just smaller than I think you are suggesting.
   87. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#2245633)
I dislike comps; they are prejudicial (I'm a Law and Order watcher; sorry if I mangled a legal term).

If you're going to sign a 28-year old to an 8-year deal, Manny's the guy. It's clear now, and was probably predictable then (although there's always risk).

Perhaps I misread Margo's #64. But it seemed to me that he said "Manny's contract went fine; therefore signing good players to long deals is not a big deal".
   88. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#2245639)
and how much you believe in "soft protection"
vis a vis Papi (would 20 extra IBB really hurt the Sox that much?).


It has little to do with Manny's numbers themselves, but the way that a team constructs its lineup and scores runs. Manny would have likely gotten the Manny numbers, but I don't think the Sox win in 2k4 or contend throughout most of the Aughts without at least one other dominant offensive player.
   89. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2245640)
What's the projection system you were thinking of when you posted 82, though?

Maybe you don't like comps, and I agree they are pretty limited (I mean, really, wtf does Willie Mays have to do with Manny Ramirez?) but you have to have some basis for stating that he's exceeded expecations don't you?

I think guys with the super-elite skillset of Manny Ramirez age extremely slowly and that's part of why he got the contract he did in the first place. There's a lot more guys who show that pattern...Sheffield being one of the many. Most guys peak at 27-30 and then slowly decline. Super-elite guys, though, I'm not sure that really holds as cleanly.
   90. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2245641)
I was using it as a generality for "how we expect players to age".

Is it your contention that the first six years of Manny's Sox contract was anything other than a pleasant surprise?
   91. OlePerfesser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2245644)
One more thing that gives me pause about Drew, and the debate about Manny's skillset and decline makes me bring it up again:

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VARIANCE.

Variance is an oft-forgotten element of a player's value. Guys whose performance fluctuates little are more valuable, all else equal, than high-variance guys when you're committing long $$$ and lotsa PT to them. (If you're talkin' scrubs or takin' fliers, OTOH, high variance can be a good thing, 'cause you can discard them cheaply in a down cycle.)

Drew's clearly a high-variance guy; Manny's a very low-variance one. Even we're keeping Manny but adding Drew, that's one thing. It's completely different if, as some suggest, we're actually intending to substitute J.D. for Manny.
   92. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2245647)
I think there's few people who spend a lot of time looking at this stuff who would characterize Manny's first six years as a pleasant surprise, frankly.

Maybe other Sox fans really thought he'd collapse quickly; I think it was pretty well-accepted that guys at his level have a bit different aging curve.
   93. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2245649)
I don't know about "collapse quickly", and I'm not a Sox fan. But I believed that he would be likely to underperform, through injury or off-the-field stuff or just some significant age-related decline.

Perhaps it was clear to you, peekaboo, that he was going to age like a Hall of Famer.
   94. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2245650)
Drew's clearly a high-variance guy

Those broken wrist injuries were not predictable.
   95. musial6 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2245651)
Drew was supposed to be an ELITE player - a guy who is an MVP candidate EVERY season with a shot a Cooperstown

There just isn't that kind of sure thing in the draft.


I agree with your statement, but that didn't stop him from being hyped that way - especially after his Musial-esque September callup:

G. AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG TB
12 47 8 20 4 . 0 . 1 . 7 .426/.449/.574 27 (Musial, 1941)
14 36 9 15 3 . 1 . 5 . 13 .417/.463/.972 35 (Drew, 1998)

He clearly had the talent (as did Ankiel) to be a great player (his career 162 game averages are not bad), but for whatever reason (physical, mental, or some combination) he couldn't consistently produce on an everyday basis. He was definitely oversold, but that was a product of his own doing.
   96. philly Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2245652)
I was using it as a generality for "how we expect players to age".

Is it your contention that the first six years of Manny's Sox contract was anything other than a pleasant surprise?


Ramirez is only 34. I don't have a lot of concern about great players through thier age 34 seasons. Their peaks are so great and their declines often so gradual that the risk of locking up a great player just into his mid-30s isn't all that scary.

And as great as Ramirez has been in Boston, he has declined so it's not like he's been impervious to aging.

His last two years in Cleveland his BRAA averaged 56. In his six years in Boston it's been just over 49. That's roughly a 12% decline. It's just that the decline was from ridiculously great to run of the mill of the great.

I won't bother with BP's fielding numbers but they have his defensive value dropping quite a bit. With a 12% decline on offense and probably something substantial on defense, Ramirez is not the player he was in Cleveland.

I'm still glad he's on my team though.
   97. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:35 PM (#2245654)
Are we playing "fun with small sample sizes" again? In 27 games in 1998, Shane Spencer went .373/411/910. In most ways, that's similar to Drew, with twice the sample size.
   98. Margo Adams FC Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:36 PM (#2245655)
Perhaps I misread Margo's #64. But it seemed to me that he said "Manny's contract went fine; therefore signing good players to long deals is not a big deal".


Yeah, sorry, it wasn't my intent to draw that inference. My point was this: Given that general payroll inflation has returned to trend line (from the 2001-2003 lull b/c of recession/collusion,) long term contracts are not the completely horrible ideas they were earlier in the decade. You need to discount the salaries in 5+ years heavily for inflation in general and for playroll inflation in particular, so that locking up a star (as opposed to a Lee or a Pierre) for that amount of time isn't the horrible idea it may at first seem. Sure production is liable to decline in the player's mid-30's, but so is the real and relative value of his salary.

By the way, does anyone know whether the average age of a player is increasing? I was just wondering whether all this talk about better conditioning prolonging careers is quantifiable.
   99. pkb33 Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:37 PM (#2245657)
Perhaps it was clear to you, peekaboo, that he was going to age like a Hall of Famer.

But everyone said at the time he was signed that he was a Hall of Fame hitter...I mean, are you really disagreeing with this? I find that hard to believe, even for a Yankee fan clearly predisposed to criticize the Red Sox.

The more serious point is that JD Drew is no Manny Ramirez, and thus that Drew's aging is something to actually worry about.
   100. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 25, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2245658)
Are we playing "fun with small sample sizes" again? In 27 games in 1998, Shane Spencer went .373/411/910. In most ways, that's similar to Drew, with twice the sample size.

I'd guess back in 1997 people weren't saying Spencer was going to be better than Barry Bonds, only to see their view confirmed the next year by a small sample size.
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