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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Royals sign Alcides Escobar to four-year extension

Locking up young crummy hitters at bargain basement prices is the new market inefficiency.

The Royals have signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a four-year contract extension through 2015 with club options for 2016 and 2017. Escobar was eligible for arbitration for the first time following the 2012 season. The club options buy out two free agent years.

The 25-year old Escobar hit .254/.290/.343 with 4 HR and 46 RBI last season, his first with Kansas City after being acquired in the Zack Greinke trade. In 1288 Major League plate appearances, he has hit .252/.294/.339. He has been known for his flashy glove, and exhibiting some offensive prowess in the minor leagues, where he was named the #12 overall prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the 2010 season…

EDIT: Four guaranteed years come up to $10.5 million, option years bring the total value to $21.75 million per Bob Dutton.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4081587)
Seems reasonable. You don't have to be very good to be worth $2.5M p.a.
   2. Zach Posted: March 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4081700)
Does this mean they're guaranteeing Escobar the job for the next four years? I guess if all else fails, $2.5 million per isn't terrible for a utility infielder.

Still, it seems like all the upside in this deal comes from Escobar turning into a much better hitter than he's been thus far.
   3. DCA Posted: March 15, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4081729)
Yep. Yuni Betancourt is getting $2M this year to be the utility IF. So the downside is basically a wash between Escobar and buying the equivalent on the FA market.

The upside is that he improves with the bat to be an average SS (actually B-R WAR says he is already) and is locked in at a low price for his entire prime (ages 25-30).
   4. The District Attorney Posted: March 15, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4081757)
Locking up young crummy hitters at bargain basement prices is the new market inefficiency.
If you're willing to spend the money thus saved on acquiring stars to play the other positions, then it probably is. If, on the other hand, you're not, then your team ends up, well, crummy. Let's see which one we get...

Yuni Betancourt is getting $2M this year to be the utility IF.
I still cannot believe this.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4081804)
Yes, Yuni is overpaid. As with all arb buyouts, not quite right to think of it as $2.5 per year. They could have had him this year at $500 K ... and walked away from him any point after that. But presumably there's now money up front and the others are in a 2/3/4 format or similar.

Anyhoo, I'm trying this framework now. If we're around $5M/WAR on the FA market (adjust as you see fit), we get something like this:

pre-arb: $0/WAR
arb1: $2/WAR
arb2: $3/WAR
arb3: $4/WAR

based on a generic 40/60/80 percent of FA value arb structure.

So, yeah, still a good deal as he's being paid like a 1-WAR player in his arb years. They're "overpaying" in year 1 so they need more than 4 WAR out of him over the next 4 years to "break even" but 5 WAR should do it.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4082083)

Still, it seems like all the upside in this deal comes from Escobar turning into a much better hitter than he's been thus far.


Sure, but the point is that $10M over 4 years is no money even for the Royals. Even a complete flameout doesn't stop them from doing anything else.

If he can repeat last year, -20 bat, +7 glove, 2.0 WAR, four times, they've gotten 8 WAR, and a nice little bargain.

If he can develop into only a -10 bat (he's only 25 this year), you've got a pretty decent profit.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4082090)
So the downside is basically a wash between Escobar and buying the equivalent on the FA market.


The downside is re-living the last time they signed a shortstop to a long-term contract extension.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4082095)
The downside is re-living the last time they signed a shortstop to a long-term contract extension.

Eh. He cost them $3M. That's ashtray money.

If they didn't give him 1700 PAs to prove he was sub-replacement level, it would have been no big deal.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4082108)
Angel Berroa played NINE YEARS in the majors?
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4082140)

Eh. He cost them $3M. That's ashtray money.


BBref has it wrong. It was a four year $11 million extension. Perhaps a pittance even then, but it also committed them to sticking with him far longer than they should have.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4082148)
BBref has it wrong. It was a four year $11 million extension. Perhaps a pittance even then, but it also committed them to sticking with him far longer than they should have.

OK, that's a little worse. But it's the sticking with him for 1700+ PAs that was the disaster, not the contract itself.

If it makes you feel any better, he screwed my Roto team just like he did the Royals. Wasted a keeper spot on him two straight years.

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