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Monday, November 26, 2012

Topkin: Rays extend Evan Longoria deal through 2022 for $100M

Who’d have thought this generation’s one-franchise man might be a Devil Ray?

According to the team release, Longoria’s new contract incorporates the salaries for 2013 through 2016 from his original contract and extends six more years through 2022 for an additional $100 million. The deal also includes a club option for 2023.

Longoria was signed through this coming season, at a salary of $6-million, and the Rays held options for 2014 at $7.5-million, 2015 at $11-million and 2016 at $11.5-million. The six-year extension is worth $100-million, for an annual average value $16.6-million, and there is an option for 2023.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: evan longoria, rays, transactions

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4309625)
As best as I can tell, Longoria did not secure a no-trade. Given what a great deal this contract is, the Rays could pretty much finance a rebuilding project entirely by trading Longoria, if it came to that. But hopefully it won't.
   2. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4309628)
They probably promised that they wouldn't.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4309631)
One year into the new part of the contract, he will have no-trade power via 10/5.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4309633)
One year into the new part of the contract, he will have no-trade power via 10/5.
Riiiiiight. Thanks.
   5. Champions Table Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4309638)
I am quite fond of both Evan Longoria and the Rays, but I confess that I don't see the necessity of this extension. Why be in such a rush to lock up the downhill side of his career? #extra2%
   6. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4309644)
Sign a guy to a long-term, team-friendly contract. The guy plays 133 games, then follows up with 74 games. You still have 4 more years on the contract. And you extend it? I'm glad the Rays are making some sort of financial commitment to a player, but I'm not sure this is wise.
   7. John Northey Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4309654)
So 2017 to 2022 - Longoria's age 31 to 36 seasons. Those will be his post-peak but very early post-peak years. Using B-R's most similar tool I see his 10 most comparable from age 31 to the end averaged 7 years, 22.6 WAR. Just 5.5 WAR post age 36 with 5 of them playing still at that point. His comparables include 4 guys active in 2012 - Thome, Chipper, Rolen, Aramis Ramirez. Retired and out of baseball by age 31 were Bob Horner and Hank Blalock. Retired and playing at 31 were Gary Sheffield, Jesse Barfield, Mike Schmidt, and Rocky Colavito. So his comparables include 4 likely HOF'ers (not factoring in PED's) in Thome, Chipper, Sheffield, and Schmidt who all aged well to age 36 at least.

Basically, it looks like the Rays might have hit gold again. $100 million for 6 years (age 31-36) of a HOF'er or near HOF should be a bargain. Odds are by 2017 he'd be looking at a $30 mil per year payday (6 years at $180 million) unless he collapses, factoring in mild increases in MLB pay for premium players. Not as amazing as the original deal, but only possible due to his recent injuries and length of time before it hits. Risky, yes, but not crazy risk. $144.5 million invested to get all of Longoria's peak plus his best years outside of peak. Compare that to the $200 million deals we're seeing elsewhere and you gotta be impressed.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4309658)
One year into the new part of the contract, he will have no-trade power via 10/5.


Riiiiiight. Thanks.


Well, your point still stands because the 10/5 is still many years away from kicking in.
   9. DKDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4309672)
$100 million for 6 years (age 31-36) of a HOF'er or near HOF should be a bargain.


I think “should” is too strong a word. There are so many unknowns about what will happen over the next 11 years: We could see enormous and unpredictable changes to MLB’s ability to generate revenue, the market for MLB talent, or the value of a US dollar, not to mention Longoria’s ability to play baseball.

As with most long-term contracts, there’s greater bust potential than bargain potential. But for a franchise player, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4309677)
It also sets up a nice contrast with the trade-everything-expensive-that-isn't-nailed-down Marlins. I don't think they'd drop $100M on a player as a pure marketing move, but it's not a bad secondary benefit.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4309682)
As with most long-term contracts, there’s greater bust potential than bargain potential.
Unlike a lot of long-term contracts, though, there's very substantial bargain potential. $16M in 2018 is likely to be not too much more than the cost of an average ballplayer, and Longoria has a good chance to still be an All-Star at that point.
   12. DKDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4309712)
Unlike a lot of long-term contracts, though, there's very substantial bargain potential. $16M in 2018 is likely to be not too much more than the cost of an average ballplayer, and Longoria has a good chance to still be an All-Star at that point.


Longoria also has a good chance of being a shell of his former self by 2018. 6 years is a long time. And if the Rays do end up saddled with a $16 million hole, it would make life very difficult for them given their payroll situation.

This is going all-in on Longoria. It’s a pretty big gamble for a team with a razor-thin margin of error.
   13. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4309770)
Sign a guy to a long-term, team-friendly contract. The guy plays 133 games, then follows up with 74 games. You still have 4 more years on the contract. And you extend it? I'm glad the Rays are making some sort of financial commitment to a player, but I'm not sure this is wise.


This is my take too. I love Longoria and the Rays (favorite non-Angel team) but this makes little sense from their point of view. At least make him come back and play 2013 and see if he can stay healthy for 150 games before throwing another $100 million at him.

I appreciate the gesture and couldn't be happier for the franchise and player, but I don't see the rationale at THIS MOMENT for this extension.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4309795)
I think the rationale is that it's a calculated gamble. If Longoria remains moderately healthy and produces at the level he has established this contract is going to be a MAJOR win for the team. There is a risk but for the Rays to get the entirety of a superstar's prime they need to gamble. I won't be shocked if the $100 million generates closer to $150-200 million in value when all is said and done. Between TV deals and MLBAM I think there is huge money out there and signing guys to long term deals right now is going to look quite prudent down the road.
   15. RJ in TO Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4309797)
At least make him come back and play 2013 and see if he can stay healthy for 150 games before throwing another $100 million at him.

If he comes back and stays healthy and productive for another 150 games in 2013, he's probably going to be looking for a fair amount more than $100 million.
   16. vivaelpujols Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4309804)
Well, your point still stands because the 10/5 is still many years away from kicking in.


And if the Rays are bad enough so that they want to trade Longoria, he will likely wanna waive his no trade clause to get out of dodge.
   17. Derb Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4309809)
I think this is a great deal. Tampa has a small following down there that gets a little bigger every year. To the Tampa fans I know, Longoria is Mr. Ray. Let him walk, and you lose a lot of fans. For that franchise to have any type of staying power, Longoria needs to be a Ray for life.
   18. TomH Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4309828)
The Rays sign a man relatively cheaply while he's relatively down. How much do you think an extension would cost if he is an MVP contender in 2013? 6 years, $160 Mil? It becomes so expensive that you tell yourself you CAN'T afford it. Sure, any deal can backfire, but I judge this wise on Tamps's part.
   19. John Northey Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4309852)
Tampa is in a situation where big risks are needed to succeed. Calculated ones, but big none the less. Longoria's age 31-36 seasons are not the worst risk they could take.

Meanwhile in the same division you have the Yankees & Red Sox who take bigger risks that that annually, the Jays who have finally figured out they have a very big market (over 33 million TV viewers all to themselves), and the Orioles who have a potentially big market but must fight with Washington for it. So 3 current big spenders plus a 4th who could be one. That forces big risks now and then, and signing guys when their negotiating power is at the weakest point is their best shot even if there is a big 'bust' risk.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4309859)
While from the Rays' perspective this isn't nearly as good as the original contract, I'm on board with the others who note that $16 M per from 2017-2022 is likely going to be not very expensive. Also compare this to the other big buyout deals --

Braun still has 8/$125
Votto still has 11/$250 -- he's locked up longer than Longoria
Kemp still has 7/$150
Zimmerman still has 7/$102 -- this deal was signed back in 2009
Tulo still has 8/$144

Tulo is a good comp as the Rox had him from 08-14 for $45 M but extended him from 15-20 at 6/$118 anyway. It's also similar to the Zimmerman extension and, if you add in four years of inflation, a pretty nice bargain compared to that.

It is an obvious gamble for the reasons stated and not one the Rays had to take now. But they are certainly getting him at a cheaper price than if they waited AND he did well.

Probably next offseason or the one after, look for the Pirates to try the same with McCutchen. They've already got him on the cheap buyout through 2017 (2018 option). The Cubs will do the same if Castro every really blossoms.
   21. Dan Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4309894)
Zimmerman still has 7/$102 -- this deal was signed back in 2009


Not sure where you got that information, but he was just extended to that contract this spring.
   22. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4309943)
It also sets up a nice contrast with the trade-everything-expensive-that-isn't-nailed-down Marlins.

Tampa has a small following down there that gets a little bigger every year. To the Tampa fans I know, Longoria is Mr. Ray. Let him walk, and you lose a lot of fans. For that franchise to have any type of staying power, Longoria needs to be a Ray for life.

I agree with most of the valuations above (calculated risk, he'll probably exceed this if nothing goes wrong, it's a smart move by the Rays), but I can't help but wonder if these are another part of this. The Marlins are getting lambasted everywhere. I know a couple of Marlins fans (apparently they exist!) and they've been talking about giving up on the Marlins; the most recent Loria thing is the last straw. I wonder if the timing of this move was very explicitly done to try and make a play for more sports prominence in Florida (say, outside of Tampa)? Even if not, one can't help but to think that this might be an interesting tangential benefit.
   23. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4310028)
At least make him come back and play 2013 and see if he can stay healthy for 150 games before throwing another $100 million at him.

If he comes back and stays healthy and productive for another 150 games in 2013, he's probably going to be looking for a fair amount more than $100 million.


Spot on. The Rays are typically buying low here because he hasn't reeled off consecutive seasons of 150 games each at his usual productive level. I too agree with most of the other posts in that it would appear to be a wise calculated risk and $16 mil in 2020 is going to buy you a 1.5-2 WAR player at most.
   24. Buzzards Bay Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4310153)
they had to make a decision on the 'he got fckd' factor sooner rather than later
   25. Walt Davis Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4310255)
Not sure where you got that information, but he was just extended to that contract this spring.

OK ... b-r lists it as a single contract signed in 2009. They do screw up extensions like this a fair amount. So Longoria and Zimmerman are roughly similar buyouts.

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