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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Speier: Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and the value of Red Sox clubhouse culture

But in the end, Napoli knew with certainty that he wanted to return to the Sox, and valued that above the possibility of a larger guarantee in terms of absolute dollars or even more years—a significant concession for a player who a year ago discovered that he had a potentially career-ending hip condition. He elected to take a straight two-year deal from the Sox (one that did indeed feature the highest average annual salary of any of the offers he received), to stay with a team and a city that have embraced him.

In a different scenario, in which the Red Sox had not woven such a tight-knit clubhouse, would Napoli have returned on a two-year deal? Hard to say, certainly. But as of now, at a time when the free agent marketplace is exploding in a way that players are finding extra years and dollars at every turn, it is noteworthy that the Sox have managed to retain a pair of central contributors on deals that fit into their payroll structure and operating philosophy.

That hasn’t worked without exception, of course. The team didn’t end up finding middle ground with Jacoby Ellsbury, who bolted for the Yankees on the sort of deal that the Sox are trying to avoid. Nonetheless, the fact that the Sox have been able to retain Pedroia and Napoli while maintaining the payroll flexibility to build other pieces around them (such as the additions of A.J. Pierzynski and bullpen additions Edward Mujica and Burke Badenhop) attests to more than the team’s considerable financial resources. It suggests the dramatic change in the clubhouse culture, and the creation of a team of which players want to be a part.

Thanks to Boy Barnald.

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:57 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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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. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4613442)
PEOPLE MIGHT TAKE SLIGHTLY LESS MONEY TO WORK AT A PLACE THEY ENJOY!!!
   2. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4613453)
It seems Pedria took more than slightly less money.
   3. Publius Publicola Posted: December 08, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4613481)
It should have tipped people off about Ellsbury when he was the one guy who didn't grow a beard.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4613488)
It should have tipped people off about Ellsbury when he was the one guy who didn't grow a beard.

Except that he did.
   5. donlock Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4613498)
Was hoping the loss of top contributors and good guys, Ellsbury and Saltalamacchia, from the roster, along with the improbable addition of Pierzynski, would put an end to the stories of the wonderful RedSox woven,tight-knit clubhouse culture.Not so, alas.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4613509)
You have to guess Pedey's open market deal woulda been something kinda like Ells' perhaps? So he "left" 40-50 million "on the table", as they say.

Of course, his super-lucrative endorsement deal with Sullivan Tires gets much of the money back for him.
   7. Dale Sams Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4613514)
It suggests the dramatic change in the clubhouse culture, and the creation of a team of which players want to be a part.


Yes, when I think of clubhouse culture, I think of AJ. Unless they mean some kind of mold, or fungus.
   8. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4613528)
You have to guess Pedey's open market deal woulda been something kinda like Ells' perhaps? So he "left" 40-50 million "on the table", as they say.


Pedroia was 2&1/2 years away from free agency. He took less to insure against injury/decline. He also would have been 2 years older than Ellsbury/Cano are now when he was a free agent, there was no shot a 32 year old 2nd baseman was getting contracts like theirs.

Nice narrative but facts speak otherwise.
   9. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4613620)
Here is the ZIPs projection for the Cano contact ages 31-40, based on him producing 21.6 WAR the last three years and 44 since age 23.

Yearly WAR breakdown of Cano projection - 5.5, 5.2, 5.0, 4.6, 4.0, 3.3, 2.8, 2.2, 1.6, 1.1


In total, forecast is 35.3 WAR, which is near record levels for a 2b in his 30s. The Mariners overpaid $240m for that forecast, or roughly $7m/WAR, and similar to what Yankees paid Ellsbury for his forecast.

Pedroia has been produced 19.4 WAR the last 3 years and 39 since age 23. If you use 90% of Cano forecast without the age 31 year, you would get roughly 27 WAR. At $7m per, he would have gotten a 9 year deal for $190m.

But to get this deal he'd have to avoid decline and injury for remainder of 2013, 2014 and 2015. That 3 year comparison to Cano is also as favorable as Boras could ever produce. Over last 4 years Cano has 29.8 to Dustin's 22.5, over last 2 years it's 16.1 to 11.4. If Dustin's forecast is 80% of Canos the expected contract is $168m.

Dustin locked down $110m 2&1/2 years early without worrying about injuries, decline, moving to a new town, or moving twice when traded in last year of control, the state of the 2015 free agent market, etc. If he gave the Sox a discount, it wasn't substantial.

   10. tfbg9 Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4613625)
Pedroia was 2&1/2 years away from free agency. He took less to insure against injury/decline. He also would have been 2 years older than Ellsbury/Cano are now when he was a free agent, there was no shot a 32 year old 2nd baseman was getting contracts like theirs.




His deal would have ended after 2014, his 30 year old season. He was a year and a half from FA, not two and one half years. Ellsbury's ended this year, after his 29 year old season. Pedroia's first year on his new deal woulda been his 31 year old season, same as Cano for his new deal.

You're off by a year in all 3 cases.

IIRC, Pedroia's deal is for about 110 million. You'd have to think he'd have gotten a deal worth maybe 150-160 from somebody, unless he falls off a cliff.
   11. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4613656)
People might take slightly less money to work where Bobby Valentine is no longer their boss.
   12. Danny Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4613677)
His deal would have ended after 2014, his 30 year old season. He was a year and a half from FA, not two and one half years.

His previous deal had an $11 million team option for 2015.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4613695)
I love Pedroia, and think he is a hell of a player, but he may be an example of somebody who is more valuable with the Red Sox than he would be anywhere else. His career OPS is 113 points higher at home than on the road, and he has a ton more doubles at home than on the road, in slightly fewer PAs. He'd be a very good player anywhere, and his defense is awesome, but he and the Red Sox were made for each other, and he strikes me as plenty level-headed enough to figure it out.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4613701)
12-my bad. Serves me right for getting my info from the Globe.
   15. tfbg9 Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4613711)
Remove double post
   16. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4613715)
IIRC, Pedroia's deal is for about 110 million. You'd have to think he'd have gotten a deal worth maybe 150-160 from somebody, unless he falls off a cliff.


Enring his age 32 season that was probably his best case scenario. 2nd basemen have a nasty rep for falling off cliffs in their early/mid 30s. Even if he doesn't fall off cliff in his age 31 year, it will be a concern of his suitors. If he puts only a 3 or 4 WAR season in his walk year, will the market worry the end is near?

So the question is how much insurance he would want 2& 1/2 years earlier. It's complicated by fact he was already owed $10m for 2014, so really he locked down $100M for after that (the 2015 option might not help him if he falls off cliff in 2014, it hinders him if he's good in 2014 because it forestalls free agency for one of his last prime years).

Taking the 2015 prime year off your estimate means he was getting at most $140M after that, so the $40m is a mix of insurance and Red Sox preference. I'd probably allocate it at least $30m insurance and less than $10m preference. If you think insurance cost was less, then you think his likelihood of collapse/significant decline by end of 2015 was less than 20%.
   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4613751)
To put all of this into context, Dustin Pedroia signed a contract that means he'll can now tell his young wife and children that, even if he doesn't sign another contract in his baseball life, he will have made almost $140 million by his 38th birthday. It's all good.
   18. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4613808)
It should have tipped people off about Ellsbury when he was the one guy who didn't grow a beard.


To what, him being the only one on the team with a semblance of taste?
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4613882)
Uehara didn't have a beard. Although he did have one with the Rangers and Orioles. It might have been a superstition thing once his season got rolling.
   20. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4614020)
Uehara didn't have a beard. Although he did have one with the Rangers and Orioles


It's obvious that was the mirror universe Uehara.

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