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Friday, December 29, 2017

Wade Davis signs 3-year deal with Rockies | MLB.com

The club has not confirmed the deal, which was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. But Davis has passed a physical, per Harding, so the deal could be announced at any time.

Davis’ deal is for three years and worth $52 million, making it the highest per-year salary ever for a reliever. It also includes a $15 million vesting option for 2021 that would make it a four-year, $66 million deal if Davis finishes 30 games in ‘20; otherwise, the option becomes a mutual option with a $1 million buyout. Davis will earn $16 million in ‘18, $18 million in ‘19 and $17 million in ‘20.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2017 at 12:13 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, rockies, wade davis

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 29, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5598604)
Rox sure are sinking a lot into their pen.
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 29, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5598608)
For years I didn't notice, but the announcement in 2017 that Wade Davis is getting a 3-year deal made me finally realize that he must be a different guy from the pitcher who was on the Astros with Lance Berkman. Looks like that was *checks notes* Wade Miller.
   3. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: December 29, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5598609)
That's a lot of cheddar for 70 innings.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: December 29, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5598614)
For years I didn't notice, but the announcement in 2017 that Wade Davis is getting a 3-year deal made me finally realize that he must be a different guy from the pitcher who was on the Astros with Lance Berkman. Looks like that was *checks notes* Wade Miller.
Davis hasn't been toiling in obscurity. He pitched 2 innings in a razor-thin World Series game 7, and then recorded the last out in the series the following year.
   5. stanmvp48 Posted: December 29, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5598615)
"He doesn't give in. He's the same guy every day. He goes out there and does what he has to do. He's a really big part of the team, and the bullpen, especially. He comes in and there's no second thoughts, just go right after guys."
Carl Edwards JR may have broken the record for squeezing the most clichés into one statement.
   6. BDC Posted: December 29, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5598621)
I'm pretty familiar with Wade Davis, but I have this gas-lighty memory of him starting for the Rangers one year, being terrible, and them letting him go, whereupon he became an ace reliever for Kansas City. I think I have mentally reassigned his 2013 season to Texas. He was so awful that year I just assumed he was a Ranger.
   7. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: December 29, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5598625)
@JeffPassan
Among Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw, the Rockies now have guaranteed $106M to relief pitchers this winter. Add in Mike Dunn and Adam Ottavino, and they may have the most expensive bullpen in baseball history -- upward of $50M this season.
   8. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: December 29, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5598626)
Addison Reed is gonna sign for half of this, and I’m not convinced he’s any worse than Davis.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 29, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5598645)
Should have rephrased that post, it is quite the exaggeration. I remember Wade Davis being the star reliever on the Royals, and I even remember when they traded him last year, although this summer was extremely busy so I didn't notice he was the Cubs' closer. Yet somehow my first thought here was of Wade Miller. Must be getting old.

It is plausible that Wade Miller had been an anonymous reliever until 2017 and might be getting a contract, but not that he would get a 3-year contract.
   10. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: December 29, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5598659)
#9- I’ll have you know that none other than Brandon Morrow turned himself into an anonymous reliever last year, and just got a $21MM contract. Strange times!
   11. catomi01 Posted: December 29, 2017 at 04:26 PM (#5598673)
#9- I’ll have you know that none other than Brandon Morrow turned himself into an anonymous reliever last year, and just got a $21MM contract. Strange times!


It's news like that that makes me wish I had never hurt my shoulder....and also wish that I could throw 97 MPH (or even 79 MPH) before I hurt my shoulder...would it be immoral to adopt a child with the aim of developing him into a major league player? Would I be allowed to make them throw a bullpen session before deciding?
   12. ptodd Posted: December 29, 2017 at 06:14 PM (#5598701)
Only 3 years. Markets tanked even for top relievers
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2017 at 06:44 PM (#5598708)
Only 3 years. Markets tanked even for top relievers

Assumes facts not in evidence. Davis is turning 32. Jansen and Chapman were turning 29 when they got 5 years. Kimbrel's in the last year of a 5-year buyout that started at age 26. Melancon did get 4 years turning 32 but Davis out-earns him by about $2 M AAV and overall if the option vests. Melancon had also been a bit more durable than the others, topping 70 IP in 5 of the previous 6 seasons while the other 3 rarely get to 70. (Not than an extra 4-5 innings is a big deal.) Unless I'm forgetting somebody (distinctly possible), you have to go back to Papelbon (turning 31) six years ago to find a 4-year or longer contract for a reliever. I'm pretty sure Chapman and Jansen are the longest, most expensive reliever contracts in history -- that doesn't set the market. If Kimbrel doesn't get 4-5 years next year (assuming health and success), then you can talk about a lower market for top relievers.
   14. puck Posted: December 29, 2017 at 07:28 PM (#5598715)
Rox sure are sinking a lot into their pen.

DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: December 29, 2017 at 03:05 PM (#5598625)

@JeffPassan
Among Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw, the Rockies now have guaranteed $106M to relief pitchers this winter. Add in Mike Dunn and Adam Ottavino, and they may have the most expensive bullpen in baseball history -- upward of $50M this season.


It seems especially high for a team typically around the middle or lower 3rd of the payroll.
   15. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: December 29, 2017 at 09:07 PM (#5598741)
WADE MILLER.......totally dominated the Brewers in 2001. He won all 5 of his starts and struck out 51 in 39.2 innings,
with a 1.13 ERA and .857 WHIP. Go Brewers!!!
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 29, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5598759)
Wade Davis's career is one of the most fascinating in baseball of my lifetime:

2009-2011, ages 23-25 seasons: Tampa Bay gives him 64 starts, he goes 25-22, ERA of 4.22, ERA+ of 94, 254/138 K/BB in 388.1 IP, 388 hits, 5.9 K/9
2012, age 26 season: Tampa puts him the bullpen the whole year, and he pitches well. 54 games, 15 games finished, no saves - but in 70.1 IP, he gives up only 48 hits, 87/29 K/BB ratio; 11.1 K/9
2013, he gets traded to KC, age 27 season: Royals decide he is a starter. His first 24 appearances are as a starter, and he's pretty lousy: 5.67 ERA, gives up 166 hits in 129.1 IP! Then they throw him in low-impact relief appearances, and he gives up one run in 10 innings.

2014, the light bulb finally goes on that maybe he is a relief pitcher. Since then:

244 G, 241.1 IP, 143 H, 313/87 K/BB ratio, 23-6 with an ERA of 1.45, 11.7 K/9.

I don't know how good he is going to be over the next three years, but he has been utterly dominant for the last four seasons.

-If you take Mariano Rivera's best four season stretch (probably 2003-2006), Davis' last four years are more dominant.
-Papelbon's peak four years (probably 2006-2009) is pretty crazy, and his 2006 is as dominant as any reliever's single season in history - but his four year peak is still probably not quite as crazy as Davis has been.
- There are guys like Quiz, who weren't as dominant in rate categories, but he was maybe the last dominant reliever who threw a ton of innings. In his peak (probably 1982-1985), he pitched in 297 games, throwing 534 innings. 189/51 K/BB. That 51 figure is amazing!
   17. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 29, 2017 at 10:21 PM (#5598761)
It seems especially high for a team typically around the middle or lower 3rd of the payroll.


The way I heard it explained by someone is that since the Rockies' starting rotation is REALLY cheap, they've put the money in the bullpen instead. When the rotation starts to get expensive (arbitration/free agency years), the bullpen contracts are all done (3-4 years) and they'll flip the money to the rotation and go cheap on the bullpen.
   18. puck Posted: December 29, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5598769)
The way I heard it explained by someone is that since the Rockies' starting rotation is REALLY cheap, they've put the money in the bullpen instead. When the rotation starts to get expensive (arbitration/free agency years), the bullpen contracts are all done (3-4 years) and they'll flip the money to the rotation and go cheap on the bullpen.


There's something to that, but it also means they can't use the savings to patch holes in the rest of the team.
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 29, 2017 at 11:37 PM (#5598775)
Among Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw, the Rockies now have guaranteed $106M to relief pitchers this winter.


They're also paying Ian Desmond $22 million next year - no really, they are - to be a mediocrity off the bench.
   20. shoewizard Posted: December 29, 2017 at 11:38 PM (#5598776)
Davis' FIP jumped over a full run last year to 3.38. Still good but not elite. His HR and walks went up a lot. So did K's, but so did everybody's.

Rockies just paid for past performance. He'll probably be good as long as healthy, but 2014-2016 is the real peak. 2017 was not on same level with the previous 3 years.
   21. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 30, 2017 at 12:40 AM (#5598787)
-If you take Mariano Rivera's best four season stretch (probably 2003-2006), Davis' last four years are more dominant.
-Papelbon's peak four years (probably 2006-2009) is pretty crazy, and his 2006 is as dominant as any reliever's single season in history - but his four year peak is still probably not quite as crazy as Davis has been.


Davis has a slight ERA/ERA+ edge over Rivera and Papelbon, and far fewer unearned runs. Rivera (302 IP) has Davis (241) beat on volume by quite a bit, though.

If you use FIP and WHIP as proxies for dominance, the guy who really stands out is Craig Kimbrel. From 2011-2014, he pitched 268 innings and had a 14.6 K/9. 0.4 HR/9, and 4.74 K/BB. Kimbrel had a FIP of 1.52 and WHIP of 0.88, compared to 2.23 and 0.95 for Davis.
   22. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 30, 2017 at 01:07 AM (#5598789)
In his peak (probably 1982-1985), he [Quisenberry] pitched in 297 games, throwing 534 innings. 189/51 K/BB. That 51 figure is amazing!

Even more amazing.... 13 of those walks were intentional. 38 unintentional walks in 534 innings or 0.6 per 9.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5598885)
Kimbrel then had a couple of off years but was dominant again last year -- it may be temporary but he got the walks back under control in a big way (16.4/1.8 K/BB). It was also the 2nd most innings he's pitched in a season -- a whopping 69!

Zach Britton is the lefty version of Wade Davis. Used as a starter through age 25, the O's stuck him in the pen in 2014. Since then he's had 246 IP (missing a half-season) with "only" a 244/73 K/BB and a ERA+ of 259. Definitely the worst of the bunch FIP-wise at 2.55. Chapman is sorta the LHP Kimbrel but is hurt by a slight ERA-FIP mismatch and, I'm surprised to see, hasn't had a 40-save season yet.

Jansen is the Davis equivalent on interesting careers. A catcher through age 21, the Dodgers gave him a few innings that year as well and the rest is history, making his ML debut at 22. He's only just had his first super-crazy season but his career stats are the same or slightly better than Chapman's through the same age.

One guy we don't talk about much is Roberto Osuna. The rate stats aren't at the level of these guys but he's still only turning 23 and he has 3 full closer seasons under his belt and he did put up a 1.74 FIP last year.

Holland was at this level for a while with 256 IP, 220 ERA+, 1.92 FIP from 2011-14 before the injury. He started strong last year but faded in his comeback.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 02, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5599558)

The way I heard it explained by someone is that since the Rockies' starting rotation is REALLY cheap, they've put the money in the bullpen instead. When the rotation starts to get expensive (arbitration/free agency years), the bullpen contracts are all done (3-4 years) and they'll flip the money to the rotation and go cheap on the bullpen.

I guess they have to try, but the idea that the Rockies, of all teams, can predict what their rotation will look like in 3-4 years seems crazy to me.
   25. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 02, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5599623)
On the one hand, I feel like the Cubs could have matched or topped this... but OTOH, I don't think I'd like to give Wade 3/60 or whatever.

By and large, he's been REALLY durable while his peripherals and statcast say he's declining - and I just cannot help but feel there's a really bumpy ride coming in a year or two.

Anyway, I do think I like this strategy by the Rox.... but as a Cubs fan, I think I'll just gladly pocket the pick and keep looking.

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