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Monday, December 14, 2009

TFT: Swan: Jason Bay, Mike Lowell, and Why Hometown Discounts Are a Bad Idea

Trumpeter Swan sounds the attack!

Fans frequently compare the players to themselves, suggesting that such offers are more than enough to live on.  And if the comments on Boston message boards are any indication, the same fans who once suggested Bay was better than Manny Ramirez, the player he was traded for, are now hoisting pitchforks about Bay, griping about him turning down such a large sum of money.

But why should Bay take a hometown discount, when Red Sox ownership couldn’t even give one to their fans? After all, in the worst economy since the Great Depression, the team raised ticket prices for 2010. What, the team couldn’t make a little less money off their fans in these rough economic times?

If the Sox can’t come to terms with Bay, it looks like Scott Boras client Matt Holliday would be a target to play left field. But if the price tag is too steep for him- Epstein has described 2010 as a “bridge period” where they were preparing for the future -  there’s somebody else Boston could consider to play left.

He’s had experience in Boston. He’s on the market this year. And signing him would stick it to the arch-rival New York Yankees.

Imagine this - Johnny Damon in left field for the Red Sox!

Repoz Posted: December 14, 2009 at 12:14 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, red sox, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. OCD SS Posted: December 14, 2009 at 12:40 PM (#3411642)
Imagine this - Johnny Damon in left field for the Red Sox!


Nope, can't see it.
   2. I Am Not a Number Posted: December 14, 2009 at 01:10 PM (#3411649)
The solution to not signing a Boras client is to sign a Boras client?
   3. jwb Posted: December 14, 2009 at 01:16 PM (#3411651)
Don't let "facts" get in the way of his narrative. He's rolling.
   4. AROM Posted: December 14, 2009 at 01:34 PM (#3411661)
No player should consider taking less money to play for a team he likes playing for unless the team offers a full no trade clause. Otherwise, see how loyalty paid off for Mike Lowell.
   5. OCD SS Posted: December 14, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3411664)
Well, it's Lisa Swan, so "she's rolling." After RTFA, I came to two conclusions:

1. If you strip out the Anti-Red Sox invective, her central point stands. Players who give a team a discount are probably trading on sentimentalism that the fans will like, but front offices only see as an opportunity.

2. I'm quite glad that the Red Sox front office is willing to ignore almost all sentimentalism on player moves. There aren't any players they've let go or sent away who I really wanted to stick around (not counting Hagadone, and retrospectively Hanley). I could really do without the clockwork leak of bad things about players who are leaving, though.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: December 14, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3411672)
No player should consider taking less money to play for a team he likes playing for unless the team offers a full no trade clause. Otherwise, see how loyalty paid off for Mike Lowell.


Or Bronson Arroyo.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2009 at 02:20 PM (#3411682)
No player should consider taking less money to play for a team he likes playing for unless the team offers a full no trade clause.

Yes, this seems so obvious that's it's surprising any competent agent would let it happen. Or, at least build in a salary bump/bonus/vesting option that's triggered by the trade.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: December 14, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3411715)
I don't remember Lowell turning down bigger offers to sign with the Red Sox. Am I misremembering or are people just taking potshots at the Sox?

No player should consider taking less money to play for a team he likes playing for unless the team offers a full no trade clause.

Yes, this seems so obvious that's it's surprising any competent agent would let it happen. Or, at least build in a salary bump/bonus/vesting option that's triggered by the trade.


There are uncommon circumstances where taking a smaller contract to stay with his current team makes longterm financial sense for the player. But yeah, I don't know why 'poison-pill' clauses aren't more common.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 14, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3411717)
I don't remember Lowell turning down bigger offers to sign with the Red Sox. Am I misremembering or are people just taking potshots at the Sox?

IIRC the Phillies were willing to go a 4th year at similar AAV.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: December 14, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3411721)
If so, looks like Mikey bet on the wrong horse. ....unless he has a huge comeback year and gets a bigger contract as a FA.
   11. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: December 14, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3411742)
Or Bronson Arroyo.

That was the first name that came to my mind when I read this headline, too.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3411746)
According to COT, Lowell has 'no-trade protection'. Whatever that means.

As for the article....what in the world does Bay turning down an offer thats already too much (IMHO) have to do with Henry raising prices some .50 per seat. Or whatever it was.
   13. Ron Johnson Posted: December 14, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3411758)
Jeff Shaw's a very good example since he made it clear he was taking less money to play for the Reds.
   14. AROM Posted: December 14, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3411786)
Lowell really messed up. Not only could he have gotten another year at the big money, he could have had two more trips to the World Series. Maybe. Not sure if the Phillies make it in 2008 his hip issues leave them without a 3B for the playoffs.
   15. OCD SS Posted: December 14, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3411800)
The Sox messed up by not just taking Philly's draft picks and finding a 1Bman.
   16. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: December 14, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3411895)
I understand that Lowell has to approve the trade. It makes plenty of sense for him to ask for something in return. In fact, I recall it being said that the Players Association pushed their members to get some quid pro quo in such a case.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2009 at 06:47 PM (#3412009)
I'm quite glad that the Red Sox front office is willing to ignore almost all sentimentalism on player moves.

Except for Varitek, Schilling and maybe Lowell.

what in the world does Bay turning down an offer thats already too much (IMHO) have to do with Henry raising prices some .50 per seat. Or whatever it was.

The argument is that "fans" think Bay should give the Red Sox a hometown discount but (allegedly) are OK that the team is not giving them a discount. Perfectly valid point although the obvious answer is that fans generally ain't so rational about things they're fanatical about.

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