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Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Ronald Acuña Jr.’s New Contract is Staggering

It isn’t hard to justify a player’s reasoning for signing a long-term extension. It isn’t hard to justify Ronald Acuña Jr. wanting to secure his future. In 2014, the Braves phenom received a signing bonus of $100,000 and then spent the next three and a half years making almost nothing. Last season, he made a bit more than half a million dollars. He was set to do the same this season and next before finally cashing in to the tune of somewhere between four and eight million dollars, unless he manages to win an MVP award, in which case it would bump him up closer to $10 million. Earning just over $1 million for his six years after signing as a professional baseball player isn’t nothing, but it’s also not $100 million, and per Jeff Passan, Ronald Acuña Jr. appears set to sign a contract for a guaranteed $100 million over potentially the next 10 years of his professional baseball life. It’s a lot of money, but it also might be the biggest bargain of a contract since Mike Trout’s six-year, $149.5-million contract signed in 2014 or Albert Pujols‘ eight-year, $100-million contract signed in 2004.

Acuña isn’t on the level of Trout or Pujols, and odds are he never will be, but he is already a very good player. Our Depth Chart projections have Acuña as a four-win player today at 21 years old, sitting right next to J.D. Martinez, Javier Baez, Joey Votto, and Matt Carpenter. Dan Szymborski ran the ZiPS projections for Acuña’s next eight seasons; he averaged about four and a half wins per season, putting him right in line with expectations for Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rendon this year. Acuña is already one of the game’s better players, and his age should keep him at that level for the next decade before he declines, so he gave away potentially four free agent seasons and arguably his entire prime for a fraction of what he might have earned otherwise.

There are two paths to walk down when it comes to putting this contract in perspective. The first is to compare the deal to the one just signed by Eloy Jimenez. The White Sox prospect was guaranteed $43 million over the next six seasons despite never playing a day in the majors. If things break well for him and the White Sox, he will make $77 million over the next eight years and give up one free agent season. Acuña, who has already played a season in the majors and performed really well, will make just $90 million over the next eight seasons if things break right and will have given up two free agent seasons. Then it gets worse for Acuña, because $10 million of that $100 million guarantee is a buyout of a $17 million option for a ninth season followed by another option for $17 million. Those option prices are incredibly small when free agents or free-agents-to-be like Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado are making twice that today, not to mention what salaries might be like eight years from now. According to Passan, the most Acuña could make over the next 10 seasons is $124 million.

Some thoughts on the most recent of the major contract extensions.

QLE Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:18 AM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: contract extension, ronald acuna

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   1. bunyon Posted: April 03, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5828102)
It's possible that Acuna gave a lot of money away. It's also possible he earned far more than he'll be worth.

While it's easy, from the outside, to point at how much he might have lost, I don't think I'd have been able to say no. The option years are the staggering ones but it's probably what he had to give.

The first hundred million is probably the biggest.
   2. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5828113)
Indeed, an unprecedented contract for a player with less than a year of service time under his belt. It's hard to envision a player with his level of service time saying no to a hundred million guaranteed.

There's risk on both sides here:

- The Braves are on the hook for $100MM+ for a guy who has only played in 115 games. He's far from an established perennial MVP. He could blow out his knee on a bad play and never be the same.

- Acuna could turn out to be Mike Trout and he's short $200MM for his talents.

It's probably somewhere in between. The Braves get good value while Acuna is set for life without really having to prove himself. The contract could always be renegotiated if he turns out to be Troutian.

At the end of the day, if Acuna and his agents thought it was a bad deal, they did not have to sign.
   3. Greg Pope Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5828114)
I normally completely understand guys signing contracts early. If Acuna gets his leg amputated tomorrow, hey, he gets $100M. Eloy Jimenez could be terrible. Who was the Astros prospect who signed a deal and then never really made it?

But I don't think I would have signed this one. Acuna has already shown he can hit in the majors. Yes it's one year, but when a top prospect does that, you have to think it's for real. This isn't Jimenez, Tatis, or Guerrero. Then there's the length. 10 years? I would have thought a shorter contract would have gotten it done. And if the Braves weren't offering something shorter, I'd have taken the arbitration route.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5828117)
it's $100 million.

most athletes are SO competitive that they complain if they aren't paid more than their rival who they think is not as good. but in the real world, it's $100 million. I think any athlete who doesn't take these deals is insane - granting that they are liable to be very good investments for the team.

if you bring a knife to a gun fight and then walk out with more money than even your grandchildren will ever need, you take it and call it a day.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5828121)
I would imagine it's hard for any 21-year-old to turn down a guaranteed $100 million. That's a lot of money.

The Rockies yesterday signed German Marquez to a five-year, $43 million deal, which covers his arb years and just one free agent year. I've got to think both sides are happy with that deal. Teams seem to be learning that the time to invest in players is before they reach free agent age.
   6. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5828128)
But I don't think I would have signed this one. Acuna has already shown he can hit in the majors. Yes it's one year, but when a top prospect does that, you have to think it's for real. This isn't Jimenez, Tatis, or Guerrero. Then there's the length. 10 years? I would have thought a shorter contract would have gotten it done. And if the Braves weren't offering something shorter, I'd have taken the arbitration route.

What everyone else is saying, plus the fact he hasn't really made any money yet, and wasn't going to for a few more years. In that sense, I'm surprised his raise this year is so small and there isn't a signing bonus.
   7. Perry Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5828133)
The Rockies yesterday signed German Marquez to a five-year, $43 million deal, which covers his arb years and just one free agent year.


Apparently there's also a club option for a 6th year, which becomes a mutual option if he has two top-3 Cy Young finishes.
   8. bunyon Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5828134)
Yeah, it's staggering that a player can have the year he had and not get a raise. Same with Snell.

I see how that really plays to teams' advantage. If he could have gone to arbitration and gotten something like (totally spitballing) 8-12 million, he probably doesn't do this deal. Ten million is more than I'll make in my lifetime and, once pocketed, would let you take the risk of waiting for a mega pay day later.

But another year of the minimum makes the risk too great.

   9. Greg Pope Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:48 AM (#5828140)
What everyone else is saying, plus the fact he hasn't really made any money yet, and wasn't going to for a few more years.

No, I get that. I completely understand the players who sign these types of deals. Before Trout signed his first extension I suggested he should be willing to sign something that was way lower than what he signed for. And people told me I was crazy. But the security of the first X million is huge.

But this goes longer than most and is for pretty low annual value. And this for a guy who's already shown he can play. At some point you have to say that it's not a good idea to sign. What if instead of $100M it was $25M? Hey, that's a ton of money. I just think that 10/100M is beyond what my line would be.
   10. base ball chick Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5828142)
Greg Pope Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5828114)

I normally completely understand guys signing contracts early. If Acuna gets his leg amputated tomorrow, hey, he gets $100M. Eloy Jimenez could be terrible. Who was the Astros prospect who signed a deal and then never really made it


- jonathan singleton, supposedly first baseman of the future (yeah, they've had a whole lot of those) who couldn't field, run, throw, or hit anything that wasn't a FB DTM - 10 million smackers for 5 years. dude can now buy all the weed he wants and then some

- i seriously doubt that if acuna turns out to be a supa dupa stah!!!!! that braves will give him one more penny. i was sueprised they gave him this much and i will also be surprised if he isn't traded before the end of the contract
   11. bunyon Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5828145)
BBC has it right: the Braves aren't paying Acuna one penny more than is in this contract. I haven't seen but it doesn't sound like Acuna got a no-trade clause. I expect he won't be a Brave for the length of this contract.
   12. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5828146)
If I'm Acuna I take this deal in a heartbeat. $100 million is #### you money. Unless he's a complete moron or has an agent who is a criminal he and his family and friends are set as long as he wants to be.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5828152)
Of course $100M is #### you money, but so is $60M, and we're talking about a guy that absolutely looks as good at his age as Harper and Machado did. If I were Acuna, I would have taken almost any reasonable extension that also preserved the likelihood that I'd be seeking a full free agent contract in my prime.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5828155)
Of course $100M is #### you money, but so is $60M, and we're talking about a guy that absolutely looks as good at his age as Harper and Machado did. If I were Acuna, I would have taken almost any reasonable extension that also preserved the likelihood that I'd be seeking a full free agent contract in my prime.

Agreed. Why not $30M to cover through his arb years? $30M is set for life.
   15. bunyon Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5828156)
It takes two to tango. The Braves sensed they had the upper hand - and they did - because of the super two games they played. Oh, you want 30 million through your arb years? Well, no, we don't like that.

What does Acuna or his agent do then? The common negotiating tactics are unavailable. He's not arb eligible for two more seasons. There was no hard ball to be played other than gambling he'll be as good as he looks and he won't get hurt.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5828160)
He could have done what everyone else does. The fangraphs article offers many examples of players that have signed an extension that gives up one or two years of free agency and to get some nice spending cash in the meantime. That's what's funny here, this is an unusual contract.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5828161)
Good last line from the article:

This is a deal that ... will likely prevent Acuña from ever being paid at a level anywhere near his true on-field value.


Acuna's next payday comes at age 31 or 32? He'll be past his athletic prime and the days of teams paying for yesterday's performance are now gone. Even if Acuna literally never improves, the comment is accurate. He will likely never in his life be paid what he's worth.

(Unless he gets a lot worse, of course. Then the deal is a masterstroke for him)
   18. Baldrick Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5828165)
Yeah, it's obviously not crazy for Acuna to want a big deal now. But it's strange he took this deal.
   19. bfan Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5828169)
He could have done what everyone else does. The fangraphs article offers many examples of players that have signed an extension that gives up one or two years of free agency and to get some nice spending cash in the meantime. That's what's funny here, this is an unusual contract.


But that is not what the Braves offered.

This is just a large contract/insurance policy that Acuna signed, and it makes perfect sense to him.

I am crazy to pay $5,000.00 a year to State Farm to insure my house, in case it burns down; after 20 years, I have paid $100,000.00 to State Farm and lost the use of that money, too, and for what-nothing! Institutions ripping off the individual, again.

Of course, if my house burns down...
   20. RoyalFlush Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5828170)
What everyone else is saying, plus the fact he hasn't really made any money yet, and wasn't going to for a few more years. In that sense, I'm surprised his raise this year is so small and there isn't a signing bonus.


This is what I don't get. He's making 1M/1M/5M in '19,'20,'21. He's not getting f*** you money ($15M) until '22. If I'm giving up that much on he back end (especially with those 2 options), I at least want some more money upfront. Doesn't seem like a $10M signing bonus should have been out of the question.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5828171)
But that is not what the Braves offered.

That's why it's called negotiating.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5828175)
But that is not what the Braves offered.

We don't know what else the Braves offered or would have accepted. It's not ridiculous to think that a fairly industry standard contract might have been on the table.

I am crazy to pay $5,000.00 a year to State Farm to insure my house, in case it burns down; after 20 years, I have paid $100,000.00 to State Farm and lost the use of that money, too, and for what-nothing! Institutions ripping off the individual, again.

Of course, if my house burns down...


You are crazy if Farmer's Insurance will do it for $3,000 a year.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5828177)
Assuming both of these guys produce...

Eloy Jimenez is getting $75M for 8 years (includes 1 extra year of control)
Acuna is getting $90M for those 8 years (includes 2 extra years of control) - AND the Braves have 2 more years of control beyond that!

Eloy also gets a signing bonus, so he can waste it on fast cars and Italian tailors immediately.

Acuna's guarantee is indeed larger, so if they both bust, Acuna's deal looks better.

But really, you'd be hard pressed to guess which one of these players was the SIGNIFICANTLY more valuable player and prospect than the other.
   24. base ball chick Posted: April 03, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5828196)
bunyon 15 is dead right

this kind of crap makes me wish that the player turns out to be as lousy as singleton and the team is stuck (i mean, you know what i mean)

oh yeah


RoyalFlush Posted: April 03, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5828170)

What everyone else is saying, plus the fact he hasn't really made any money yet, and wasn't going to for a few more years. In that sense, I'm surprised his raise this year is so small and there isn't a signing bonus.



This is what I don't get. He's making 1M/1M/5M in '19,'20,'21. He's not getting f*** you money ($15M) until '22


THIS is what makes me sure that the braves are intending to trade him before 22 - it sure smells of loria tactics


   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5828197)
this kind of crap makes me wish that the player turns out to be as lousy as singleton and the team is stuck (i mean, you know what i mean)

oh yeah


It would be hilarious if Acuna stopped working out, got fat, stayed up all night partying, etc. and just totally tanked.

"When asked by reporters why he showed up to camp 75 pounds overweight Acuna replied 'I'm guaranteed $100M even if I never get another hit'"
   26. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5828199)
This doesn't smell of Loria tactics because it's a ####### great deal. Loria would sign a backloaded market rate deal and trade away the kid before the big bucks kick in. There are no big bucks in this deal, Acuna will be at Mark Melancon and Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Kennedy and Dexter Fowler and Mike Leake and Michael Brantley and Brandon Belt level for his entire prime. Even the Braves will pay for that.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 03, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5828201)
this kind of crap makes me wish that the player turns out to be as lousy as singleton and the team is stuck (i mean, you know what i mean)

oh yeah
Sheesh. I'm beginning to think your take on these things tends to be a bit biased.
   28. base ball chick Posted: April 03, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5828207)
What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 03, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5828201)

this kind of crap makes me wish that the player turns out to be as lousy as singleton and the team is stuck (i mean, you know what i mean)

oh yeah

Sheesh. I'm beginning to think your take on these things tends to be a bit biased.


- well, yeah

it's not anti-braves though

i think the players are getting screwed big time, through fault of their own. not bothering to have any good actual marvin millers -
like i said long ago, like aesop's fable about the woodsman and the ash tree
   29. TDF, trained monkey Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5828271)
I was agnostic about this deal, until I just looked something up.

Acuna, as a 20 year old: .388 wOBA, 143 wRC+, 4.1 bWAR in 487 PA as as average LF (slightly above by DRS, slightly below by UZR).
Player B, as a 20 year old: .377 wOBA, 134 wRC+, 6.4 bWAR in 623 PA as a fantastic RF.

Player B was a FA coming off yet another great season (6.6 bWAR); all told, he was worth 30 bWAR (25 fWAR) during his control years, allowing him to sign a 8/$184M contract. In the 3 years since, he's been worth 5 bWAR (4 fWAR) total - if he were a FA this past off-season, he'd be lucky to get more than 1 yr for $5M.

We've seen a player who was better as a 20 year old rookie than Acuna. If Acuna has the same career arc as Jason Heyward, he may have left $100M+ on the table.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5828281)
Acuna's next payday comes at age 31 or 32? He'll be past his athletic prime and the days of teams paying for yesterday's performance are now gone.

If Acuña plays well enough to be significantly underpaid during this contract, he may still get some decent money in his age-31 to 35 seasons. He might have to take it 2 or 3 year increments, or even go year-to-year for some seasons, but this contract does give him the freedom to bet on himself in his next one.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5828285)
Then it gets worse for Acuña, because $10 million of that $100 million guarantee is a buyout of a $17 million option for a ninth season followed by another option for $17 million. Those option prices are incredibly small when free agents or free-agents-to-be like Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado are making twice that today, not to mention what salaries might be like eight years from now.

I’m not quite sure how this is structured. If Acuña can buy out the 9th year $17M option for $10M, why isn’t that to his benefit? Wouldn’t he then be a free agent at age-29? BB-Ref has it listed that way. Does the buyout not cancel the team option for the following year? That would be weird.
   32. Greg Pope Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:46 PM (#5828289)
If Acuña can buy out the 9th year $17M option for $10M, why isn’t that to his benefit? Wouldn’t he then be a free agent at age-29?

This looks to me like an 8 year contract for $90M. Plus an option for year 9 at $17M with a team buyout of $10M. Then a straight option of $17M with no buyout for the 10th year.

That would make it $100M guaranteed, which is the way it's being reported. But up to (90+17+17) $124M if the team exercises both options, which is what Passan says that maximum is.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5828298)
If Acuña can buy out the 9th year $17M option for $10M, why isn’t that to his benefit?

The team, not Acuna, can buy out the option for $10M. Which basically would mean that they don't think he's worth $7M (the amount that they would be saving by exercising the option). If that's the case at age 29 he's probably not getting much of a free agent contract.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 03, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5828299)
The team, not Acuna, can buy out the option for $10M.

Ah, that would tilt things in the Braves favor a bit.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5828302)
If Acuña plays well enough to be significantly underpaid during this contract, he may still get some decent money in his age-31 to 35 seasons. He might have to take it 2 or 3 year increments, or even go year-to-year for some seasons, but this contract does give him the freedom to bet on himself in his next one.


This is a strange comment. Acuna now has less "freedom to bet on himself" than essentially every other major leaguer in an at all similar position. The single remarkable feature of this contract is the extent to which he diminished his "freedom to bet on himself."
   36. Walt Davis Posted: April 03, 2019 at 05:45 PM (#5828343)
A hard one to judge. As a couple people have mentioned, he'd likely be better off if he'd signed away his arb years cheap then became FA but ...

He's going to be a super-2. I don't know if it's a record (which will be broken by Bryant and others) but Arenado was getting about $55-60 for his 4 years. Under that reasonable but still positive scenario, Acuna signed away 2-4 FA years for, say, $35 to $75 M. That $18 M per FA year is nothing exciting but guaranteeing it that far out doesn't look terrible. Bogaerts just extended for 6/$120 and he was just a year away from FA. Heyward was mentioned and I'll add Upton -- corner OFs who managed to land AAVs in the low 20s as full FAs with 4-WAR histories/projections. On the other hand obviously, Bryce Harper.

In the end, it's probably the two option years that make it a poor, even very poor, deal for Acuna. Even if he settles at $90 guaranteed, probably even $80, it's worth it to get out from under the options.
   37. bfan Posted: April 03, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5828344)
Acuna now has less "freedom to bet on himself" than essentially every other major leaguer in an at all similar position. The single remarkable feature of this contract is the extent to which he diminished his "freedom to bet on himself."


That is correct. He could have chosen to bet on himself, gone year to year on contracts, and gained potential upside revenue, foregoing the certainty that this contract gives him. He didn't, and that was his choice.
   38. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 03, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5828346)
That $18 M per FA year is nothing exciting but guaranteeing it that far out doesn't look terrible.


But while he's "guaranteeing it that far out" he's not actually getting it until "that far out". I mean, it's hard to be too critical of a guy who just guaranteed himself lifetime earnings of at least $100 million. But if I was him, I would have at least tried to get some chunk of that upfront - $20-$25 million signing bonus maybe, something like that. Of course, who's to say that Acuna didn't try just that and the Braves refused.
   39. . Posted: April 03, 2019 at 06:02 PM (#5828349)
Yawn.

Does anybody *really* care about this? Or are they just pretending they do because they think they have to in order to be "participating in the conversation"? A young kind-of-star player in a sport signed a contract. Happens all the time. Why do I care if Ronald Acuna goes year-to-year, or locks in for 10 years? Why do I care if he got a good deal, why do I care if the Braves got a good deal?
   40. Alan Didak Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:40 PM (#5828394)
Yawn.

Does anybody *really* care about this? Or are they just pretending they do because they think they have to in order to be "participating in the conversation"? A young kind-of-star player in a sport signed a contract. Happens all the time. Why do I care if Ronald Acuna goes year-to-year, or locks in for 10 years? Why do I care if he got a good deal, why do I care if the Braves got a good deal?


Some more thoughts.....Why are you here ? Why do I care what your opinion is ?
   41. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:41 PM (#5828395)
My brain hurts.

EDIT: Or what Alan said.
   42. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:45 PM (#5828396)
Dude is Trumplike with his combination of arrogance and stupidity. Whoops wrong thread. I wish the A's would do something long-term with Matt Chapman! But he is a Boras client which makes it unlikely. Have any of the many recent contract extensions (Arenado etc.) been signed by Boras clients?
   43. PreservedFish Posted: April 03, 2019 at 09:50 PM (#5828398)
Does anybody *really* care about this? Or are they just pretending they do because they think they have to in order to be "participating in the conversation"? A young kind-of-star player in a sport signed a contract. Happens all the time. Why do I care if Ronald Acuna goes year-to-year, or locks in for 10 years? Why do I care if he got a good deal, why do I care if the Braves got a good deal?


I think the question is actually interesting from one point of view - Acuna's - how would you evaluate the risk and reward if you were in his position?

I don't care how much money he actually makes, I don't care if the Braves made a good deal, I don't care if it means that the 2026 Braves might have a few extra bucks to spend on a Free Agent middler. For the most part I am just participating in the conversation, because I like talking here, and it distracted me from this awful boring work I was supposed to be doing today.
   44. Baldrick Posted: April 03, 2019 at 10:09 PM (#5828405)
Stop. Talking. To. The. Troll.
   45. manchestermets Posted: April 04, 2019 at 06:23 AM (#5828452)
Beyond Singleton (which, at 10 million over a number of years is nothing really) has there ever been a big pre-FA contract extension that has worked out especially badly for the team? I'm struggling to think of one.
   46. cookiedabookie Posted: April 04, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5828492)
@45 Scott Kingery deal is looking pretty bad right now
   47. JRVJ Posted: April 04, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5828527)
The one thing that I have not seen in all of the Acuña coverage is the fact that the guy is Venezuelan and Venezuela has basically imploded as a country (and will be an extremely bad place to live in even after they managed to solve their political crisis, whenever that is).

I would not discount that so easily, as it absolutely must have impacted Acuña's decisions.

Phrased differently, discussions about a 7h, 8th or 9th year of team control were probably not as important to Acuña when thinking that he could cash-in NOW and take care of his family and such.
   48. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 04, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5828561)
This does seem like a long deal. The prior deals seemed to have been buy out the arb years and 2-3 more past arb. Team gets a discount, player gets guarantee. Usually some kind of signing bonus too.

I care as an intellectual exercise.
   49. DCA Posted: April 04, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5828631)
45/46: Scott Kingery is looking a lot like the next Chris Owings. Kingery's rookie year is a good comp for Owings's sophomore (worst) year, and with it included, the rest of Owings' career is probably the median projection for the remainder of Kingery's contract.

Owings is in his 6th year now. Will have made a bit over $10 million when it's over. At first glance, that's a little less than half of what Kingery is guaranteed, but it's 4 years difference in timing. Converting every year of both players' contracts to 2018 dollars at 7% per year:

Owings $10.56 million
Kingery $18.76 million

So Kingery stands to be overpaid by about $8 million in 2018 dollars if he's only as good as Owings was (about 1/2 way between average and replacement level).
   50. BrianBrianson Posted: April 04, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5828681)
Beyond Singleton (which, at 10 million over a number of years is nothing really) has there ever been a big pre-FA contract extension that has worked out especially badly for the team? I'm struggling to think of one.


Vernon Wells.
   51. RJ in TO Posted: April 04, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5828684)
Vernon Wells.


That worked out fine for the Jays, as they moved him before the crazily expensive years kicked in. It worked out terribly for the Angels.
   52. BrianBrianson Posted: April 04, 2019 at 08:19 PM (#5828735)
You are technically correct.
   53. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 04, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5828741)
Speaking of the Jays, wasn't Hinske a guy who signed a contract through arb and maybe a FA year? He certainly wasn't particularly good for them after his rookie year.
   54. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 04, 2019 at 09:48 PM (#5828771)
Beyond Singleton (which, at 10 million over a number of years is nothing really) has there ever been a big pre-FA contract extension that has worked out especially badly for the team? I'm struggling to think of one.


Ryan Howard.
   55. greenback slays lewks Posted: April 04, 2019 at 11:09 PM (#5828792)
Beyond Singleton (which, at 10 million over a number of years is nothing really) has there ever been a big pre-FA contract extension that has worked out especially badly for the team? I'm struggling to think of one.

Allen Craig was a total disaster. He signed his extension in March 2013, had a solid 2013 season but got injured midway through 2013... and then was worse than replacement level. Craig had some markers that were worrisome when the contract was signed -- late bloomer, not at all athletic, not much control of the strike zone -- so it's not clear if he wasn't that good or if the injury did that much damage.
   56. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 04, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5828794)
Juan Lagares has not been very good for the Mets during his contract.

Ryan Howard.

Howard's first contract was fine, it was the extension that was not good for the Phillies.
   57. flournoy Posted: April 04, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5828795)
Can players sign contracts that do not end at the conclusion of an MLB season? (Not counting clauses where the player can declare free agency if he's not on the MLB roster at a certain point, etc.) For example, could the Braves sign Kimbrel to a one-month contract right now, and have him become a free agent again on May 4th?
   58. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 05, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5828827)
Howard's first contract was fine, it was the extension that was not good for the Phillies.


Right. That was the question:

has there ever been a big pre-FA contract extension that has worked out especially badly for the team? I'm struggling to think of one.


Howard signed his contract extension in April of 2010, when he had less than 5 years service time.
   59. . Posted: April 05, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5828829)
I care as an intellectual exercise.


Jumbo shrimp.
   60. . Posted: April 05, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5828831)
Can players sign contracts that do not end at the conclusion of an MLB season? (Not counting clauses where the player can declare free agency if he's not on the MLB roster at a certain point, etc.) For example, could the Braves sign Kimbrel to a one-month contract right now, and have him become a free agent again on May 4th?


Highly unlikely. There's a standard player contract that has the standard boilerplate for what the contract has to be and the permissible term is almost certainly part of that boilerplate. Very little of what an MLB player's contract says is actually negotiated.

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