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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Report: Cliff Lee Placed On Waivers, Expected to Clear and Be Eligible for Trade

Can’t wait to see him on the Yankees.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that the Phillies have placed Lee on waivers, and he’s expected to clear waivers by Friday. That would open the door for the Phils to be able to deal Lee. However, it’s far from a formality that Lee would be shipped out of Philadelphia. First of all, they would have to find a trade partner once the southpaw passes through and work out a trade. Or, the Phillies could also pull Lee back and keep him on the roster.

The Phillies might be wise to move Lee if they can find the right deal. The club has a ton of money invested in just a few players for next season, especially after they just signed Cole Hamels to a pricey extension. Lee is still owed $87.5 million, and there’s a chance that deal could be worth as much as $102.5 million if Lee’s club option is picked up for the 2016 season.

Passan speculates that the Phillies would likely have to eat $7-8 million per season in order to acquire anything substantial in terms of prospects in a potential trade for Lee.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 04:40 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cliff lee, phillies, trade rumors, waivers

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4199326)
At first, I was like, "yeah, if they pay $7 million a year, I'd like to have Cliff Lee for the next three years." Then I looked again at that contract:

$25 million a year for the next three years
If he throws 200 innings in 2015, or a combined 400 innings in 2014/2015, you either pay him $27.5 million 2016 (when he'll be 37) or you have to pay him a $12.5 million buyout.

That's a ####load of money...
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4199330)
Any reporter who reports a story about a player being placed on waivers in August is being pointlessly sensationalist. Almost all veterans will be placed on waivers.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4199337)
If he throws 200 innings in 2015, or a combined 400 innings in 2014/2015, you either pay him $27.5 million 2016 (when he'll be 37) or you have to pay him a $12.5 million buyout.

That's a ####load of money...


Yeah, but if you factor in that $12.5 is a sunk cost that is going his way no matter what, you just have to choose whether to pay him $15 million, which is quite reasonable!
   4. Greg K Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4199339)
Any reporter who reports a story about a player being placed on waivers in August is being pointlessly sensationalist. Almost all veterans will be placed on waivers.

I think it's cool as long as they explain in the article for the less observant fans that it isn't exactly a rare occurance. In Alex Rios' case it turned out to be relevant.
   5. flournoy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4199341)
Like Greg, I'm fine with these articles.

So long as they don't express this: "Player X was placed on waivers, everyone go crazy!"
But rather, this: "Player X was placed on waivers. This could be significant and here's why..."
   6. bunyon Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4199355)
You know, after all these years of watching the game, it occurs to me to ask:

I always hear how almost every vet will be placed on waivers in August. But how many exactly? I mean, did the Yankees put Jeter and A-Rod on waivers this year? Chipper Jones?

Am I just reading too literally? Is the accurate statement really: "almost every vet who is declining and playing for a non-contender will be placed on waivers in August?"
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4199383)
Well, the article's point wasn't so much "hey, wow, Cliff Lee's on waivers, I wonder if someone will claim him!" as "just so you know, Cliff Lee is almost certainly going to clear waivers and so the Phillies actually could still trade him until 31 August." Which is probably something most casual fans didn't know.

No one is going to take Lee's entire contract (obviously, or he wouldn't clear waivers) and the Phillies would not get nearly fair value back for him if they picked up some of his contract. They're still in a place where they can compete next year if they're lucky with health--and Ruben Amaro, at least, is in a place where his team has to compete next year if he wants to remain employed. The Pence and Victorino trades happened because ownership won't pay luxury tax and Amaro decided he'd rather extend Cole Hamels than keep Pence and Victorino.

On top of that, Lee has a near-full no-trade-clause (21 teams, but he can safely leave, say, the Rays, Royals, Indians, Twins, Athletics, Marlins, Pirates, Astros, and Padres off) that effectively allows him to veto a trade to any team that might actually want to trade for him. Even if a trade were agreed to by the Phillies, it is very likely Lee would kill it by demanding his vesting option be guaranteed.

Lee isn't going anywhere.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4199410)
Its amazing to me that Phillies could get stuck with so many bad contracts at the same time. How could anyone see this coming?
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4199411)
Only Howard's and Papelbon's contracts are actually bad contracts, but when you start paying retail for all your good players, it adds up fast.
   10. CrosbyBird Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4199412)
At first, I was like, "yeah, if they pay $7 million a year, I'd like to have Cliff Lee for the next three years." Then I looked again at that contract:

What do you think Cliff Lee would get on the open market as a FA? I don't think $72M/4 would be off the wall. If that's Lee's contract, there's no way he passes through waivers.

If the Phillies ate $7 per and treated this as just a salary dump, I think the other team might make out quite well on the deal. This is a bad year for Cliff Lee and a bad year for a pitcher making $25M, to be sure, but he's far from terrible. He's still striking out close to a batter an inning, and he's still good at avoiding walks.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4199418)

Am I just reading too literally? Is the accurate statement really: "almost every vet who is declining and playing for a non-contender will be placed on waivers in August?"


Not just declining vets, but almost everyone gets placed on revocable waivers (meaning if the player get claimed the team can take the player off waivers) supposedly just in case they can sneak through and you can at least have the ability to trade them if you need to. I have no idea how many slip through - I suspect back in the day a lot of guys slipped through (I think there was a gentleman's agreement for awhile not to put claims in?) but now its pretty much impossible to slip through if you're at all worth your contract (Randy Myers was the cautionary tale - the Padres put a claim on him just to put in a claim even though he sucked and had a huge contract - and they got stuck with him).
   12. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4199422)
I thought they claimed Myers to stop him going somewhere else (Atlanta maybe).
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4199430)
I think the Yankees did that with Jose Canseco, in one of the least entertaining chapters of Canseco's career.
   14. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4199457)
I think the Yankees did that with Jose Canseco, in one of the least entertaining chapters of Canseco's career.


Well, hey, they can't all win all the awards. Something has to be the least entertaining chapter in The Princess Bride too.
   15. Sunday silence Posted: August 03, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4199480)
if Jeter's going on waivers, I think the Pirates should put a claim on him.














   16. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 03, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4199491)
if Jeter's going on waivers, I think the Pirates should put a claim on him.

But if the Yankees called their bluff and let him go to them, their owner would have a heart attack.
   17. MM1f Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4199494)
I always hear how almost every vet will be placed on waivers in August. But how many exactly? I mean, did the Yankees put Jeter and A-Rod on waivers this year? Chipper Jones?


Probably. If someone claims Jeter or Jones they can be removed from waivers. There is nothing to lose by putting Chipper on waivers.

As for A-Rod, if someone claimed him the Yankees probably wouldn't remove him from the waiver wire. He is owed something like 125 mil over the next 5 years.
   18. bunyon Posted: August 03, 2012 at 07:43 AM (#4199513)
So, the team is essentially saying, "We think this is a bad contract"? I mean, the Yankees and Braves are competing for a championship and kind of need those guys. I get that it is revocable, but what's the point?


if Jeter's going on waivers, I think the Pirates should put a claim on him.


But if the Yankees called their bluff and let him go to them, their owner would have a heart attack.


I assume you mean the Pirates owner. The Yankees owner would die by lynching.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4199564)
What do you think Cliff Lee would get on the open market as a FA? I don't think $72M/4 would be off the wall. If that's Lee's contract, there's no way he passes through waivers.

But that's not Lee's contract. Lee's contract is 3/$87 or 4/$102. If a team puts in a waiver claim, the Phils can just say OK and the claiming team gets the contract. That's a big risk for the claiming team. Lee is only 4/$72 in a trade where the Phils pick up $30 M and that trade only happens if Lee passes through waivers (or the Phils decide not to walk away from his contract).
   20. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4199578)
I get that it is revocable, but what's the point?
Game theory? If you get people used to seeing big stars on waivers maybe they can slip one past sometime when they actually do want to be able to make a late trade, or conversely gull someone into claiming a guy they think you'll pull back that you actually are happy to see claimed.

It's revocable, so there's no downside, and gives you a bit of potential flexibility.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4199585)
But that's not Lee's contract. Lee's contract is 3/$87 or 4/$102. If a team puts in a waiver claim, the Phils can just say OK and the claiming team gets the contract.
If I were Theo, I think I'd put in a claim. I'd rather have Lee at 4/100 than Greinke at 6/150, and the Cubs have money to burn and no starting pitching beyond the 2nd or 3rd spot in the rotation.
   22. CrosbyBird Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4199596)
But that's not Lee's contract. Lee's contract is 3/$87 or 4/$102. If a team puts in a waiver claim, the Phils can just say OK and the claiming team gets the contract. That's a big risk for the claiming team. Lee is only 4/$72 in a trade where the Phils pick up $30 M and that trade only happens if Lee passes through waivers (or the Phils decide not to walk away from his contract).

Did you see what I was responding to?

There was a post about whether it would be reasonable to take Lee in a trade if the Phillies picked up $7M per.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4199598)
But that's not Lee's contract. Lee's contract is 3/$87 or 4/$102.


You missed the $7 million per year the Phillies were picking up in the hypothetical you were responding to.

   24. Padraic Posted: August 03, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4199609)
Does anyone else have the feeling something similar will be happening with Cole in two years?

The Lee deal never made much sense in the first place, and getting rid of him now (when he's at his lowest value) would be just as stupid. There's nothing at all wrong with his stuff, I think he has a better than even money chance to be the best Phils pitcher over the next three years.

But then again, since initially getting Lee from Cleveland (best move as a GM, totally flipped overhyped prospects like Knapp and Marson) this is the GM who:

Got rid of Lee at 1 year, $9M for three nothing prospects after 2009.

Then traded better prospect to get Oswalt when they realized they needed more pitching in 2010.

After getting Oswalt, resigned Lee at a huge price when the least of the team's problems in 2010 against SF was starting pitching.

Failed to sign Cole last fall when, according to Buster Olney, the could have got 6/100 if they had gone up $10M.

Traded their one very good player who is not overpayed, and would have been a great deal at 1/$15M.

Ownership has to be looking at this mess. This team could be a Cubs/Mets-level disaster for a few years.

   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4199611)
Like Greg, I'm fine with these articles.

So long as they don't express this: "Player X was placed on waivers, everyone go crazy!"
But rather, this: "Player X was placed on waivers. This could be significant and here's why..."


Now, IRrevocable waivers, that can be a story. Like when Manny was put on irrevocable waivers and no one claimed him in 2003. That was probably a good thing for the Sox.
   26. UCCF Posted: August 03, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4199621)
if Jeter's going on waivers, I think the Pirates should put a claim on him.


But if the Yankees called their bluff and let him go to them, their owner would have a heart attack.

I assume you mean the Pirates owner. The Yankees owner would die by lynching.


That would be the best BTF thread ever.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 03, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4199702)
I think the Pirates would be OK having Jeter in the short term. He's not as good a fielder as Clint Barmes but he makes up for it with the bat. On the other hand Barmes would then be on the bench instead of Josh Harrison who is more positionally versatile.
   28. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 03, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4199709)
After getting Oswalt, resigned Lee at a huge price when the least of the team's problems in 2010 against SF was starting pitching.
You can't win the series you already played. That's why the Yankees traded for Randy Johnson instead of signing Carlos Beltran -- they were trying win the 2004 ALCS in 2005.

Halladay/Lee/Hamels/Oswalt seemed like the best way to win the World Series in 2011. And it's not like the offensive pickings in the 2010-11 offseason were that great.
   29. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: August 03, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4199719)
I wouldn't be shocked if the Dodgers put a claim on Lee.
   30. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4199726)
Lee has a near-full no-trade-clause (21 teams, but he can safely leave, say, the Rays, Royals, Indians, Twins, Athletics, Marlins, Pirates, Astros, and Padres off) that effectively allows him to veto a trade to any team that might actually want to trade for him. Even if a trade were agreed to by the Phillies, it is very likely Lee would kill it by demanding his vesting option be guaranteed.


And of course, this would apply to a waiver claim as well. Even if the Phillies wanted to just let Lee go, there's no guarantee that he would allow his contract to be assigned without receiving some consideration in exchange for his consent. Same goes for Chipper and Jeter and A-Rod and a very large percentage of the veterans who get put on waivers every August.
   31. The District Attorney Posted: August 03, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4199736)
I think the Pirates would be OK having Jeter in the short term. He's not as good a fielder as Clint Barmes but he makes up for it with the bat. On the other hand Barmes would then be on the bench instead of Josh Harrison who is more positionally versatile.
Yes, I'm sure the Pirates' decision on whether to acquire Derek Jeter would hinge on the Josh Harrison factor.

Jeff Passan:
two factors actually work in favor of [Lee's salary] not being nearly as big an encumbrance as executives want to paint it. First and foremost: Money is going nuts across the game... Plus there are the years: three guaranteed, a fourth if Lee pitches 200 innings in 2015 or 400 between 2014 and '15. Teams that balk at excessively long deals for pitchers can treat Lee as a player for whom length of deal was sacrificed for size, a trade clubs would willingly make on almost all long-term deals...

[Second,] This was supposed to be a bonanza offseason for free agent pitchers. Then Jered Weaver, Matt Cain and Cole Hamels signed long-term contract extensions, leaving Zack Greinke the only marquee pitcher to hit the market... It's not like the group following the 2013 season is any better. The best option is … Tim Lincecum? Not if he pitches like he has this season. Josh Johnson? An MRI of his arm would make teams think twice. Matt Garza? Good pitcher, not a $100 million one...

Taking on Cliff Lee at present cost isn't nearly as crazy and far-fetched as the contract figures make it seem, though it would take a brave executive to do it and an even bolder move from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to deal him after saying publicly Lee would stay put.
   32. Padraic Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4199744)
You can't win the series you already played.

No, but you can honestly assess the team's strengths and weaknesses, and the SF series simply highlighted a team that couldn't hit but could pitch. I can't believe that's even a remotely controversial analysis of the post-2010 squad. The team that played SF is exactly the team that started off 2011, and it was obvious the team needed a bat more than a pitcher.


Halladay/Lee/Hamels/Oswalt seemed like the best way to win the World Series in 2011.


I agree that this is what Amaro thought, but it was wrong at the time. It was a rotation that was overkill to make the playoffs, and 3/4ths of this + a better bat would is far more effective in the playoffs.
   33. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4199749)
No, but you can honestly assess the team's strengths and weaknesses, and the SF series simply highlighted a team that couldn't hit but could pitch. I can't believe that's even a remotely controversial analysis of the post-2010 squad. The team that played SF is exactly the team that started off 2011, and it was obvious the team needed a bat more than a pitcher.
Okay.

Who?
   34. JJ1986 Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4199750)
Who?


It probably would have been Werth.
   35. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4199751)
It probably would have been Werth.
I'd take Cliff Lee with his contract on the Phillies after 2010 over Jayson Werth with his contract on the Phillies after 2010 10 times out of 10.
   36. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4199752)
No, but you can honestly assess the team's strengths and weaknesses, and the SF series simply highlighted a team that couldn't hit but could pitch. I can't believe that's even a remotely controversial analysis of the post-2010 squad. The team that played SF is exactly the team that started off 2011, and it was obvious the team needed a bat more than a pitcher.
There is vanishingly little evidence that a balance between offense and defense is better than an overweighted good offense / weak defense or good defense / weak offense team. Absent good evidence, I want my team to get the best possible players for open positions, regardless of whether it means the team's quality is focused more on run prevention or run scoring.
   37. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4199759)
Okay

Who?


Alfon...
   38. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4199761)
There is vanishingly little evidence that a balance between offense and defense is better than an overweighted good offense / weak defense or good defense / weak offense team.

In fact, one can make a solid argument that you rather have the misbalanced team as it's easier to upgrade. Elias did find this in one of their Analysts 25 years ago (have it somewhere) in which they demonstrated mismatched teams have the potential for bigger improvements.

Just look at the Dodgers. It was a lot easier to get a player to upgrade the Dodger offense than it was to upgrade the Giant offense.
   39. thetalkingmoose Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4199779)
... the SF series simply highlighted a team that couldn't hit but could pitch. I can't believe that's even a remotely controversial analysis of the post-2010 squad


The Phillies actually outscored the Giants in the 2010 NLCS and outscored the Cardinals in the 2011 NLDS. They were just horribly unlucky in regards to run distribution.
   40. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 03, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4199792)
If the person who shot Pops in #37 before he finished 'fesses up, I'll owe you a coke.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4199875)
Do people agree that Lee seems to still be basically the same pitcher he's been over the past 5 years? His HR rate is up a tick, but other than that his other peripherals seem steady. The 10 K/BB ratio in 2010 was simply not going to be repeated.
   42. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4199883)
I've watched him several times this season - on my fantasy team - and I think Lee is pretty much the same pitcher he's been since he flipped that switch in Cleveland and became an ace. The control is still there, and the swing-and-miss stuff is still there.
   43. bfan Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4199899)
Halladay/Lee/Hamels/Oswalt seemed like the best way to win the World Series in 2011.


But the marginal value of a 4th great starter in the play-offs gets pretty low, doesn't it? First of all, he doesn't even pitch in a 3 game sweep (1st series), and only pitches once in a 7 game series (14% of the games). Second, with generous play-off spacing, if a team has a weak 4th starter, don't they sometimes go 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1?
   44. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4199908)
No, but you can honestly assess the team's strengths and weaknesses, and the SF series simply highlighted a team that couldn't hit but could pitch.


Those Giants were a classic example of a team that couldn't hit but could pitch, and they won the World Series.
   45. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 03, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4199912)
But the marginal value of a 4th great starter in the play-offs gets pretty low, doesn't it? First of all, he doesn't even pitch in a 3 game sweep (1st series), and only pitches once in a 7 game series (14% of the games). Second, with generous play-off spacing, if a team has a weak 4th starter, don't they sometimes go 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1?
Yes, but you've also upgraded your #2 & #3 starters.
   46. The District Attorney Posted: August 03, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4200037)
Heyman reports that Lee did not clear waivers.
   47. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4200053)
Heyman reports that Lee did not clear waivers.


By whom?

A MYSTERY TEAM!!!
   48. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: August 03, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4200072)
In other Phillies waiver news, Joe Blanton is now a Dodger.
   49. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: August 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4200090)
If I were Theo, I think I'd put in a claim.


I'm glad you're not Theo.
   50. GuyM Posted: August 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4200108)
if Jeter's going on waivers, I think the Pirates should put a claim on him.
But if the Yankees called their bluff and let him go to them, their owner would have a heart attack.
I assume you mean the Pirates owner. The Yankees owner would die by lynching.

Is this really true? I know Yankee fans would be surprised, but would they be angry? I'm not a Yankee fan, but if I were I don't think I'd be outraged that my team escaped paying $25M-34M over the next two seasons for a replacement-level SS.
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4200112)
You overestimate the intellect of the average Yankees fan.
   52. RJ in TO Posted: August 03, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4200119)
I know Yankee fans would be surprised, but would they be angry?

He's currently hitting .316. He's a lifetime Yankee. He's the Captain, and Mr. Count The Rings. The average fan would be furious if the Yankees let him go on waivers for nothing, just to save cash.
   53. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4200138)
Mystery team=Atlanta Braves.
   54. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 03, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4200141)
I'm not a Yankee fan, but if I were I don't think I'd be outraged that my team escaped paying $25M-34M over the next two seasons for a replacement-level SS.

Troll.
   55. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4200152)
So it's the Dodgers.
   56. SteveF Posted: August 03, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4200173)
Teams I've seen reported not to be on his no-trade list: Rangers, Yankees.
   57. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 03, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4200177)
The Red Sox put Crawford and Punto on waivers yesterday.
   58. Topher Posted: August 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4200197)
I'm glad you're not Theo.


Not sure what the Cubs new salary model is but for most teams it seems to be you get (essentially) the same budget each season plus inflation. If you are under budget you don't get to bank if for a future season. It's "profit" for the owner. This doesn't make much sense if you take 2 minutes to think about it, but it sure seems like how most teams work.

Theo is sitting on a huge pile of money that he realistically isn't going to be able to spend in any good way the next season or two. No-trade clauses might get in the way, but that money could buy an awful lot if he looked to spend it on a guy like Lee compared to the free agent market. You got to figure Jorge Soler falls into that line of thinking. Massive overpay, but what else productive is Theo going to do with the money in the short run.

Let's pretend that the Cubs put in the claim, he's not on the no-trade list, and the Phillies let him go. Maybe the new CBA prevents this, but what if in the winter Theo offers to cover all but $1M a year of Lee's contract. What would he get in return? If you are the Rangers, doesn't Profar become available? As desperate as the Royals are for pitching, wouldn't they trade Wil Myers? I would think that if you are essentially offering a free Cliff Lee, there is no untouchable prospect in a trade and you probably can get your hands on at least two A grade prospects, maybe three.

That would mean the Cubs are paying tens of millions for the rights to prospects, which seems like a huge overpay. But if you are Theo, would you rather do that or (b) sign an overpriced free agent that might be old by the time the Cubs are good or (c) give the money back to Ricketts.

To me, it seems like the best thing Theo can do right now is step in can solve the financial problems of teams while acquiring players, who when ignoring the contract, are still very good talents.
   59. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4200222)
I don't think any team on this planet has enough prospects in their system to equal an 87 million dollar cost for the Cubs.
   60. Topher Posted: August 03, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4200234)
I don't think any team on this planet has enough prospects in their system to equal an 87 million dollar cost for the Cubs.


That was kind of my point. You aren't allowed to buy prospects like you can in soccer so this would be a way to get around that pesky fact.

$87M is obvious a lot, but it's money to burn unless Theo has a better way to use that type of cash over the next couple of seasons and/or if he doesn't spend it now he gets to spend it on top of his "budget" in future seasons. It would be a massive overpay and Ricketts wouldn't go for it since he'd rather pocket the cash, but from Theo's perspective I think it makes plenty of sense.

The Cubs aren't going to contend in the next couple of seasons. Say they do sign Zack Greinke. Isn't that essentially blowing $50M or so for the first two seasons of the contract?
   61. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4200237)
That was kind of my point. You aren't allowed to buy prospects like you can in soccer so this would be a way to get around that pesky fact.


My point was that nobody would agree to claim Lee and 90+ million dollars in salary so they can trade it away for 4 million and prospects. No team on the planet has enough prospects on hand that a team would be willing to spend 87 million dollars over the next 4 years on them. If Theo needs to spend 24 million dollars a year for 3 years just to land one or two prospects in total then he isn't a very good GM.

Say they do sign Zack Greinke. Isn't that essentially blowing $50M or so for the first two seasons of the contract?

Probably, which is why Theo has already stated publicly that the Cubs will not be going after marquee FA this offseason.
   62. The District Attorney Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4200462)
MLB.com:
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to confirm or deny the validity of the story, but added: "It's irrelevant. He's not going anywhere."
Regardless of whether it's "standard procedure" or not, if you literally would not trade a guy under any circumstances, then I don't know what the point of putting him on even revocable waivers would be. So I call shenanigans, Ruben.
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 04, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4200469)
My point was that nobody would agree to claim Lee and 90+ million dollars in salary so they can trade it away for 4 million and prospects. No team on the planet has enough prospects on hand that a team would be willing to spend 87 million dollars over the next 4 years on them.
Then spend $50M to buy prospects, or $30M.

It is sort of an interesting question. If players could be sold like in European soccer, and the Rangers were selling, what would the transfer fee be for Jurickson Profar? I'd guess about $25M or so.
   64. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 04, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4200522)
On the other hand Barmes would then be on the bench instead of Josh Harrison who is more positionally versatile.


Barmes has played 2B, 3B, and SS in his career, as well as a cameo or two at 1B and the OF; he is no less positionally versatile than Harrison.

-- MWE

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