Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, March 19, 2017

So many of MLB’s 2015-16 megadeals are in deep trouble | New York Post

Who could have seen this coming?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:08 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. puck Posted: March 19, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5419515)
I thought they were talking about broadcast deals.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: March 19, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5419609)
The spring update parts are useful -- Heyward still not hitting, Greinke maybe rounding into shape -- but mostly just filler.
   3. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: March 19, 2017 at 06:08 PM (#5419617)
Johnny Cueto was very good.
   4. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 06:51 PM (#5419632)
FTFA:

Boston has an exceptional roster, but lacks rotation depth, so Price’s ability to simply be a workhorse No. 3 starter — for $30 million — is needed. He has an opt-out after the 2018 season.


Price had a down year in 2016, but a 4.5 fWAR (3.0 bWAR) represents something significantly more than "a workhorse No. 3 starter." Obviously his health is a major concern, but even if he simply continues to be a 3-5 win pitcher rather than 5-6+ win pitcher, the Red Sox should be happy.

If Heyward, who can opt out after the 2018 season, continues not to hit, could manager Joe Maddon go with Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist as the regular corner outfielders with Heyward playing late for defense?


As I've opined before, Cubs should start Schwarber in LF and Zobrist in RF (with Baez at 2B and Bryant at 3B) in order to start Heyward in CF. Heyward is better defender than Jay and probably comparable to Almora, and he projects to be better at the plate than either of them.

Despite all the worries about his elbow and general conditioning, Cueto (18-5, 2.79) was stellar for the Giants last season, by far the best production of any of the top-10 free-agent contracts done in the 2015-16 offseason. He, too, can opt out after this year.


I'm a Giants fan and greatly enjoyed having him in 2016 and hoping for another great year from him in 2017. But if he opts out after 2017 (which he probably do unless he's injured and totally ineffective), then I really hope that the Giants let him walk.

He probably never is to be as good as envisioned. He essentially is a league-average innings eater. In his five years as a full-time starter, he has averaged 205 innings. Good. His ERA-plus in that time is 1 percent under league average. Meh.


Shark delivered exactly what the Giants paid him for in 2016: slightly above-average starting pitcher. A little better than a "workhorse #3 starter" that the author tried to describe Price's 2016 season as. If he continues to be a 2-3 win pitcher, then the contract will work out fine for the Giants. Probably not a lot of surplus value, but it was a defensible signing that so far hasn't blown up on them.
   5. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 19, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5419637)
I'm inclined to think that if the Cubs have any intention of trying to un#### Jason Heyward's bat, it's probably best not to move him to a more challenging defensive position while he's working on that.

If they think his bat's a lost cause, then... well, frankly, he shouldn't be in the everyday lineup. But, sure, when someone needs a day or someone is injured, play Heyward in center field if that's your best defensive alignment, in that case.
   6. base ball chick Posted: March 19, 2017 at 07:18 PM (#5419638)
why on earth DON'T the c*bs start heyward in center?

and WHY does everyone keep expecting him to hit better? i mean, he hasn't for 5 years.
   7. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 19, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5419639)
That's not really true, BBC. Heyward's bat was disappointing for years, but still around average for a corner outfielder (OPS+ in 2012 through 2015: 117, 114, 108, 117). Then in 2016 it cratered all the way down to 70.

If a 70 OPS+ is the kind of hitter Heyward is now, he's a fourth outfielder on a good team even with the excellent defense. If he returns to his career norm of around an OBP-heavy 110, he's a star. If--as the Cubs are probably hoping--you can split the difference and get him up to around 90, he's still a good player if the defense holds up.

Andrew McCutchen last year was terrible, by his standards, in every facet of the game: Hitting, fielding, baserunning. The most likely explanation for that kind of performance, IMO, is that he was playing injured and probably shouldn't have been playing.

Heyward, on the other hand, retained his elite defense and plus baserunning while his bat completely vanished. In his case it's more likely he's contracted a kind of Reverse Chuck Knoblauch Disease, that some mechanism in his brain responsible for squarely getting the bat onto the ball went haywire.

Interesting question: How much of the difference between Heyward's .293 batting average in 2015 and his .230 average in 2016 was BABIP? The interesting answer is: all of it. His K and BB rates remained almost identical. But his batting average and isolated power were both way down. Any Cubs fan will tell you he was a popup machine last year. But he retains his excellent eye for the strike zone, and struck out only a hair more often in 2016 than usual.

It's going to be interesting watching him in 2017.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: March 19, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5419643)
When Heyward was 20 he looked like a Hall of Famer. I understand the long long leash.
   9. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:04 PM (#5419648)
Interesting question: How much of the difference between Heyward's .293 batting average in 2015 and his .230 average in 2016 was BABIP? The interesting answer is: all of it. His K and BB rates remained almost identical. But his batting average and isolated power were both way down. Any Cubs fan will tell you he was a popup machine last year. But he retains his excellent eye for the strike zone, and struck out only a hair more often in 2016 than usual.


Yep. If he returns to career norms in terms of BABIP, then he's still worth the contract (if you believe UZR/150) even if the ISO drop reflects a permanent loss of true talent.

I expect that Heyward will bounce back in 2017 and after the 2018 season will probably opt out of his contract (partly due to how it's structured--it's heavily front-loaded).
   10. Walt Davis Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:33 PM (#5419686)
and WHY does everyone keep expecting him to hit better? i mean, he hasn't for 5 years.

Nobody expects him to hit like he did at age 20. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about him ideally getting back to 110-120, or even 95-105 in OPS+ terms. I said back when he was signed I'd be very happy to get Brian Jordan. Jordan didn't become full-time until age 28 but still from 26-33 he had 26 WAR in just over 5 full seasons, a 5 WAR player on a 110 OPS+. Or content with Reggie Sanders who had about 24 WAR in 7 full seasons on a 117 OPS+. Josh Reddick has put up 12 WAR in about 3 seasons of PA on a 108 OPS+. Once upon a time Nick Markakis looked like he'd be a darn good player but even so from 26-32 he's got 12 WAR on a 107 OPS+ and slightly below-average defense (per Rfield) so he'd be about 20 WAR with +10 Rfield per year.

Everybody would have been thrilled with more of the same -- 22 WAR in 4 years prior. Even if we dock his defense down to +10 per year, that's still 16+ WAR or a 4-WAR player and everybody is happy as clams. Instead ... from 22-26, Heyward averaged +11 Rbat per year; last year it was -19. That's a 3-win swing.
   11. ptodd Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:45 PM (#5419693)
About a billion dollars spent that would like to be unspent. They made up forvit though, MLB owners spent a billion less on FA this year.
   12. The Duke Posted: March 20, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5419720)
Mike Leake has shingles in the second half and he said he never really recovered. I don't think this is a bad signing - the Cards needed an innings eater with Lynn out and together those two can form a stable rotation because you just don't know with wainwright, Wacha, Reyes and weaver what you have. Obviously Reyes is now broken.

I see the cards lining up with Martinez, lynn, leake, Lyons, and some combo of wainwright, Wacha and Rosenthal by end of season. I wouldn't be surprised to see WW back at the end of the bullpen - he looked like he was on his way out last year. Wacha looks like he can't handle being in rotation for a full year
   13. GregD Posted: March 20, 2017 at 09:14 AM (#5419724)
I expect that Heyward will bounce back in 2017 and after the 2018 season will probably opt out of his contract (partly due to how it's structured--it's heavily front-loaded).
You think it's likely that he'll expect to get more than 5 years/$106 million? That's what he'll have remaining after 2018, right?
   14. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5420151)
You think it's likely that he'll expect to get more than 5 years/$106 million? That's what he'll have remaining after 2018, right?


If he bounces back to being a league average-ish hitter and remains an elite defender then yeah, I think 5/106 would be the minimum he'd get and opting out would be a freeroll to likely getting a bit more. He'll still only be 28.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5420165)
5/106 isn't exactly Troutian, or certainly won't be by 2019, but Heyward's contract really isn't particularly front-loaded, especially considering that the $20M signing bonus is deferred until 2024-2027.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:15 PM (#5420185)
I see the cards lining up with Martinez, lynn, leake, Lyons, and some combo of wainwright, Wacha and Rosenthal by end of season. I wouldn't be surprised to see WW back at the end of the bullpen - he looked like he was on his way out last year. Wacha looks like he can't handle being in rotation for a full year


I think that barring injury of course, the rotation at the end of the year for the Cardinals will be Martinez, Wainwright and Leake, those are the locks. I think Lynn will be given the best chance to prove himself, but a year after Tommy John surgery, and I just think he'll have a second half fade, that seems to me, to be what happens for Cardinal pitchers the first year after TJS. I don't believe in such a thing as "injury" prone, at least not that a player that is incapable of staying in the lineup as a character trait, sure things happen, and some chronic type of injuries is a bit different, but I don't really see any reason to think that Wacha won't be healthy enough for 25 starts this year, yes I do think the Cardinals are going to limit the number of starts for Wacha and Lynn, by bringing up Lyons, Weaver(who I think has the best job of taking over for Lynn in September) Rosenthal(if he successfully converts) Marco Gonzales(same issue as Lynn with TJS) and maybe either Hudson or Alcantara(or Fernandez) take a massive leap and get a September or late August call up.


   17. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:16 PM (#5420186)
5/106 isn't exactly Troutian, or certainly won't be by 2019, but Heyward's contract really isn't particularly front-loaded, especially considering that the $20M signing bonus is deferred until 2024-2027.


If he opts out that signing bonus is to be paid immediately.
   18. billyshears Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5420193)
If he bounces back to being a league average-ish hitter and remains an elite defender then yeah, I think 5/106 would be the minimum he'd get and opting out would be a freeroll to likely getting a bit more. He'll still only be 28.


I think he would probably have to bounce back to at least a 110 - 120 OPS+ while maintaining all of his defensive value to get that. At 28, his defensive decline should start to look pretty steep and a 70 OPS+ in the recent past is going to be pretty tough to overlook if Heyward is only treading water at league average at that point.
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 20, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5420194)
If he opts out that signing bonus is to be paid immediately.


I don't see that at Cot's. Pretty dumb if true.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:58 PM (#5420365)
I don't see that at Cot's. Pretty dumb if true.


According to this article at Bleacher Nation

Heyward gets a $20 million signing bonus, which is deferred (i.e., it won’t be paid right away, which is a benefit to the Cubs). That deferral, plus the structure of the contract, makes the total actual value of the deal in present dollars closer to $180 million – which is to say, the deferral and the structure save the Cubs about $4 million. That bonus deferral will end, however, if and when Heyward opts out of his contract.


According to this site, Sportrac


Contract Notes:
Can opt out after the 2018 season
If applicable Heyward can opt in after 2019 with 550 PA in that season.
Signing Bonus: $20 million (fully deferred at $5M each April 1st from 2024-2027, protected)
If an opt-out is exercised, the signing bonus is paid immediately
Present day contract valued at $179,885,463 due to deferred bonus
Full no trade clause 2016-18
Partial no trade clause 2019-20


   21. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5420366)
This deal makes me feel better about Heyward taking "less money" to go to the Cubs, it's structured very much so that he will choose the opt out option, which means he makes about $97 mil for 3 years with the Cubs. The 2019 opt out(which requires him to have 550 pa in 2019 to exercise it) more or less forces his hand if he has a couple of decent years in 2017 and 2018 to opt out after the 2018 season.
   22. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 20, 2017 at 11:56 PM (#5420380)
$20M signing bonus (paid in four $5M installments, each April 1, 2024-27)
16:$15M, 17:$21.5M, 18:$21.5M, 19:$20M, 20:$21M, 21:$21M, 22:$22M, 23:$22M


So that's either 3/78 or 4/98 if he exercises one of the opt outs. Not 3/97.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: March 21, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5420381)
So that's either 3/78 or 4/98 if he exercises one of the opt outs. Not 3/97.


Sorry, was using baseball-reference salary information for that 3/97 (they have him at 21/28/28) should have double checked it with another site.
   24. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 21, 2017 at 12:10 AM (#5420387)
Interesting. Maybe that's whee the original "heavily frontloaded" comment came from.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:02 AM (#5420410)
Strasburg's complex contract is somewhat similar. His $10 M signing bonus is actually paid July 1 2019. His 2019 salary is officially $35 M but $30 M of that is deferred. If he stays the whole time, that (and all of his subsequent deferred money starts paying out in 2024 at $10 M per year but if he opts out after 2019, it pays out from 2020-2022. He has another $10 M deferred in 2020 with another opt-out and that $40 M ($30 + 10) starts paying out in 2021. It looks nuts on paper but basically works out to a N years at $15 M per year followed by N years of $10 M deferred payments where N is 3, 4 or 7. I guess the interesting thing in this case is how this would play into the Nats decisions to either try to get him not to opt-out or to pursue him if he does.
   26. GregD Posted: March 21, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5420432)
This deal makes me feel better about Heyward taking "less money" to go to the Cubs, it's structured very much so that he will choose the opt out option, which means he makes about $97 mil for 3 years with the Cubs. The 2019 opt out(which requires him to have 550 pa in 2019 to exercise it) more or less forces his hand if he has a couple of decent years in 2017 and 2018 to opt out after the 2018 season.
I wonder if the way the signing bonus is structured is meant to encourage the player to opt out. If so it would be an interesting way for teams to try to get high-dollar but low year deals in practice.

I think he would probably have to bounce back to at least a 110 - 120 OPS+ while maintaining all of his defensive value to get that. At 28, his defensive decline should start to look pretty steep and a 70 OPS+ in the recent past is going to be pretty tough to overlook if Heyward is only treading water at league average at that point.
I think this is right. A 5/106 is possible but is going to take a serious bounce back. 5/106 is not Troutian money, I agree. But he's never been a Troutian player at his best. To use the awfully rough similarity scores, Lloyd Moseby seems plausible, someone who would get a big contract if he hit the market at the right timing and not much of a contract if he didn't.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5420468)
I wonder if the way the signing bonus is structured is meant to encourage the player to opt out.
Sort of, but I don't know if that's the best way to phrase it. The player wants as much money front-loaded before the opt-out deadline, not the team.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5420484)
Sort of, but I don't know if that's the best way to phrase it. The player wants as much money front-loaded before the opt-out deadline, not the team.

The other way to look at these contracts is a short-term deal with player options.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5420529)
The other way to look at these contracts is a short-term deal with player options.
Yes.

I've sensed that people have the idea that teams time the options so that players opt-out right before a performance decline, but I don't really buy it.
   30. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: March 21, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5420556)
I've sensed that people have the idea that teams time the options so that players opt-out right before a performance decline, but I don't really buy it.


Yeah I don't buy it either since it seems that teams regularly re-sign guys who opt out (or at least try to).

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNoah Syndergaard scratched from start | MLB.com
(8 - 2:43pm, Apr 27)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogI'll have a venti iced OMNICHATTER, please, April 27, 2017
(23 - 2:41pm, Apr 27)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT - March 2017 NBA thread
(2481 - 2:40pm, Apr 27)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogIs baseball too slow? The battle lines are drawn -- and MLB is taking a side
(24 - 2:38pm, Apr 27)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogESPN will cut 100 on-air personalities today
(245 - 2:36pm, Apr 27)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOTP 24 April 2017: Talking politics (and baseball) with the mayor
(637 - 2:33pm, Apr 27)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogInside Baseball | Where Potential Sellers Stand Right Now
(1 - 2:13pm, Apr 27)
Last: Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan

NewsblogOT: March-April 2017 Soccer Thread
(323 - 2:06pm, Apr 27)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogESPN layoffs: A running list of reporters, anchors fired by the network - The Washington Post
(56 - 1:57pm, Apr 27)
Last: Bote Man

NewsblogProdigious talent not Aaron Judge’s only strength | New York Post
(11 - 1:49pm, Apr 27)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogMarlins expecting to finalize $1.3B deal to sell team to Jeb Bush, Derek Jeter group
(120 - 1:41pm, Apr 27)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-27-2017
(17 - 1:36pm, Apr 27)
Last: TDF, situational idiot

Sox TherapyChris Sale Is A Terrible Person
(19 - 1:34pm, Apr 27)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogRed Sox have no clubhouse issues with Dustin Pedroia, Matt Barnes
(4 - 1:15pm, Apr 27)
Last: DKDC

Sox TherapyWitty Minor League Thread Title Here
(4 - 1:13pm, Apr 27)
Last: Jose is El Absurd Pollo

Page rendered in 0.3186 seconds
47 querie(s) executed