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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why MLB’s best young stars will strike it wildly rich in ‘resetting of the market’

The Cleveland Indians tried to extend the contract of shortstop Francisco Lindor before Opening Day, but not even dangling what one source said was a package around $100 million did the trick.

The Chicago Cubs made runs at extending several of their young players this winter, including third baseman Kris Bryant, but according to one source, every one of those efforts “got nowhere.”

Interesting to see the needle moving back away from the safe guaranteed money to players willing to take a risk on themselves.

cmd600 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:54 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5439653)
the players are crazy. tens of millions guaranteed guarantees that, if wise, you are set for life.

who would be dumb enough to turn down $40 million and instead play a game where you get between $2M and $100M?

and yes, $2M should set you up well also, but some players have no higher education and no real aptitude for anything outside of baseball for years 25-65.
   2. eric Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5439655)
Are there insurance policies players can take out on themselves? Perhaps that pushes the financial decision to some degree.
   3. The Good Face Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5439674)
who would be dumb enough to turn down $40 million and instead play a game where you get between $2M and $100M?


Everybody has different goals and ambitions. Some players may want to build a business empire, or become a partial owner of a team, or fund a vast charitable foundation, and those extra tens of millions of dollars could make a difference. And some guys just want to "win" at salary; money often equals respect for professional athletes, and everybody wants to feel like they're getting the respect due to them. For position players especially, the risk of catastrophic injury ending their career is pretty low, so I can see rolling the dice. Especially since many of them already have made a few million.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5439678)
Especially since many of them already have made a few million.


Yep. Bryant, for example, got a $6.7M signing bonus out of the draft. As long as he hasn't already blown it all on blackjack and hookers, he's reasonably secure even without a new megadeal.
   5. eddieot Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5439684)
Given the downward spiral of the revenue share that goes to players in the last decade, a market correction is extremely likely. The owners can restrict the money flowing to international players and can slot draft choice contracts but they can't legislate their way out of free agent contracts. As Boras has proven again and again, all you need is one desperate franchise to set a new market. Every one of these guys is a potential market buster. I don't blame any of them and I assume the MLBPA saw this coming and it influenced their CBA negotiations. They gave away a little on the bottom end of the salary tree knowing the top end was about to blow up in their favor.
   6. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5439688)
If I was in the position of these players I think the determining factor for me would be when I could hit free agency. I think if I could trade a year or two of free agency for security AND hit the market before my age 30 season I would be more inclined to do it.
   7. Charles S. hopes his opening day is b4 opening day Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5439694)
Yep. Bryant, for example, got a $6.7M signing bonus out of the draft. As long as he hasn't already blown it all on blackjack and hookers, he's reasonably secure even without a new megadeal.


I worry about his investment in the Bryzzo Souvenir Co. Sure, it's going like gangbusters now, but any start-up is a risky venture. I hope he didn't sink too much of his own money into it.
   8. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5439699)
Bryant will likely break the record for first year arbitration award and could easily top $80 million over 4 years of arbitration. He also has some incentive to stick it to the Cubs since they screwed around with his service time.
   9. AROM Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5439701)
This year's free agency market doesn't like much better than last year's, at least on the position side.

2019 - Harper, Machado, Donaldson
2020 - Goldschmidt, Altuve, Arenado
2021 - Trout, Betts
2022 - Bryant, Lindor, Seager, Correa

When all those deals are in A-Rod probably won't be in the top 10 anymore for richest total contract value.
   10. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5439705)
2019 - Harper, Machado, Donaldson
2020 - Goldschmidt, Altuve, Arenado
2021 - Trout, Betts
2022 - Bryant, Lindor, Seager, Correa


How many of these players reach free agency? I'll guess;

Sign with team; Harper, Trout, Betts, Bryant, Arenado, Correa
Reach FA Status; Machado, Donaldson, Goldschmidt, Altuve, Lindor, Seager
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5439709)


who would be dumb enough to turn down $40 million and instead play a game where you get between $2M and $100M?


Are there super talented players who got hurt and got only $2 mill? I mean, Brett Anderson hasn't been healthy since W was President, and he still gets $8 mill guaranteed deals. Seems like a decent gamble for most players. Only risk is driving around in the Dominican Republic.
   12. BDC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5439717)
Are there super talented players who got hurt and got only $2 mill?

Zack Greinke makes as much money this year as Brandon Webb did in his entire career, which is insane; but then, it's so insane that Webb made out pretty well for all that.
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5439724)
Mark Prior is a good example of a great young player who got hurt. BBref lists his career earnings as $12.8M.

   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5439733)
A more interesting variant of risk taking would be for a superstar to try to get the biggest one year contract imaginable, and then repeat that gambit as many times as he could. As long as he could keep producing at a superstar level, he'd almost certainly wind up with more money after 5 or 7 years than he would have with a guaranteed long term contract, with many teams bidding on him year after year while risking only one year's salary outlay themselves. Although obviously the risk for the player would be much higher.

This may sound radical, but it's what you would have had if Charlie Finley's long forgotten proposal to make all players free agents every year had ever been adopted.
   15. The Good Face Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5439735)
Mark Prior is a good example of a great young player who got hurt. BBref lists his career earnings as $12.8M.


I think the risk calculus is much different for pitchers than position players.
   16. Batman Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5439736)
If Jose Fernandez had only suffered a career-ending injury that voided anything else that was due to him, he would have ended up with $4.5 million, most of it paid last year.
   17. Colin Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5439737)
If I were them I'd be at least a little worried about changes to the cable TV revenue stream for MLB. That's not necessarily imminent, but if the RSN money dries up, the economics of baseball will surely take a hit.
   18. Bote Man Posted: April 21, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5439749)
If I were them I'd be at least a little worried about changes to the cable TV revenue stream for MLB

I posed that yesterday in the Bush/Jeter Marlins thread and was informed that MLBAM is making money hand over fist for its shareholders, who are the 30 MLB club owners. I did not know that; I thought MLBAM was a separate entity apart from MLB, Inc. and each team had its own revenue stream plus whatever slush fund Hizzonerforlife Bud Selig had set up for them.

There has been ever-increasing chatter among the (smarter) Nats fans whom I follow that they wish the Lerners would get off the pot and just sign Harper already. Maybe the Lerners are waiting to see if Harper v.2017 is as good as Harper v.2015 which so far he has been. Maybe they are waiting for a resolution of the MASN dispute with Peter Angelos; maybe they are waiting for Angelos to kick the bucket so they can renegotiate with whomever takes his place. Maybe they really are just too cheap and will be fine watching Harper don Yankees pinstripes. One way or another, the boy is gonna get paid!
   19. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:39 PM (#5439778)
Reach FA Status; Machado, Donaldson, Goldschmidt, Altuve, Lindor, Seager


Unless you're anticipating that the Dodgers won't want him anymore, I cannot imagine a situation in which they fail to resign Seager. I guess if they change ownership, maybe.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5439780)
If I were them I'd be at least a little worried about changes to the cable TV revenue stream for MLB. That's not necessarily imminent, but if the RSN money dries up, the economics of baseball will surely take a hit.

MLB is a content provider, not a cable company. They can make money providing that content via broadcast TV, cable networks, regional sports networks (which they might own all or part of), Internet streaming, or even inter-cranial projection. There may be some shake-out in the delivery systems, not overnight either, but if people want the product MLB will be OK, and might even benefit by cutting out some of the middlemen.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5439783)
not even dangling what one source said was a package around $100 million did the trick.

"So, Francisco, how much money would it take for you to be interested in our dangling package?"
   22. Man o' Schwar Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5439793)
I think the risk calculus is much different for pitchers than position players.

Yeah, if I were a pitcher, I'd take whatever big offer the club made. You're always one ripped ligament from spending a decade in the minors trying to work your way back from 5 surgeries.

As a position player, there aren't a lot of stories of guys in the last 50 years who were 6+ WAR players in their early/mid-20s who completely tanked before turning 30. Andruw Jones (though I think he was 30 or 31 when the bottom fell out). Cesar Cedeno. Joe Mauer? But I suspect there are special rules for catchers.
   23. BDC Posted: April 21, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5439799)
As a position player, there aren't a lot of stories of guys in the last 50 years who were 6+ WAR players in their early/mid-20s who completely tanked before turning 30

Juan Gonzalez turned down a $140M contract when he was 30, and then had his last good year at 31. He still made about $40M after he turned 30, so no tears for him either, but he was one position player who did not assess the risk well.
   24. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5439806)
Unless you're anticipating that the Dodgers won't want him anymore, I cannot imagine a situation in which they fail to resign Seager. I guess if they change ownership, maybe.


No, I'm an idiot because for reasons passing understanding I was thinking of Kyle. Yes I agree that Corey will sign with the Dodgers.
   25. Like Flies On Sherbert Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5439824)
Millionaires problems.
   26. Hank White Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5439832)
I see these discussions and am always shocked at how team-friendly Anthony Rizzo's contract is. Assuming the team picks up his two options in 2020 and 2021 ($16.5 million each for his age 30 and 31 seasons), they will have had him for 9 years at $75 million. That's with $5 million in incentives he picked up for his two top-5 MVP finishes.
   27. The Good Face Posted: April 21, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5439838)
Yeah, if I were a pitcher, I'd take whatever big offer the club made. You're always one ripped ligament from spending a decade in the minors trying to work your way back from 5 surgeries.


Pretty much. The Mark Prior/Brandon Webb career path is always lurking so it makes a lot of sense to trade away a couple of years of FA for lifetime financial security.

As a position player, there aren't a lot of stories of guys in the last 50 years who were 6+ WAR players in their early/mid-20s who completely tanked before turning 30. Andruw Jones (though I think he was 30 or 31 when the bottom fell out).


Yeah, Jones turned into a pumpkin when he turned 30, but when he became eligible for FA he was still a really good player. I don't think his falling apart at 30 was due to injury though, he just... stopped being good at baseball. Like I said, not all that much risk for young star position players to wait it out. They'll become FA eligible before their skills decline significantly, and there are very few cases of young star position players losing their career due to injury before FA.
   28. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5439839)
Are there super talented players who got hurt and got only $2 mill? I mean, Brett Anderson hasn't been healthy since W was President, and he still gets $8 mill guaranteed deals. Seems like a decent gamble for most players. Only risk is driving around in the Dominican Republic.

No, not just $2M unless there's a catastrophic injury.

You occasionally have a guy like Mike Greenwell, who peaks at 24 (7.5 bWAR) but never again posts something like that, and a combination of ineffectiveness and injury ends his career in his early 30s.

So if Greenwell were ~30 years younger and had the exact same career path (including being a 3rd round pick, so not a huge draft bonus), then he'd probably come out ahead financially by signing an extension after his "1988" season. Of course, it's not like Greenwell was totally nonproductive after 1988 or didn't make a fair amount of money in his career (over $21M per BBRef, and that was 1986-1996).

Mike Caruso (2.7 bWAR as a rookie in his age 21 season, -1.9 bWAR remainder of his career) is the only position player that I can think of off the top of my head whose career earnings were well below $2M after a solid rookie campaign. So obviously he would have benefited tremendously from signing an extension in the 1998-99 off-season, but his rookie year was nowhere near as good as Lindor's and Lindor demonstrated that his rookie year wasn't a fluke with an even better sophomore season.

Ben Grieve is another recent player who looked like he was going to be something special in his early 20s but collapsed after his age 24 season. But even he made $14M in his career (1998-2004).

Marty Cordova's first two seasons were his best (albeit age 25 and 26) and was never much of an asset at any point after that except for 2001, but he made $16.5M over the course of his career (1995-2004).

Basically if you demonstrate that you're a ~3.0 WAR position player or better in your first two seasons, you're going to continue to get opportunities that will allow you to earn tens of millions of dollars in the majors given today's payscale.

So worst case for Lindor might be to follow the career trajectory of another Indians middle infielder, Carlos Baerga. Baerga was nowhere near as good as Lindor in his age 21-22 seasons, but his age 23-24 seasons were comparable to Lindor's 2016 season in terms of value. Baerga was never a superstar after the age of 24 and never above-average after the age of 25, but he would wind up earning over $25M for his career (1990-2004).
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:58 PM (#5439860)
Jerome Walton made just under $3 million in his career, despite being Rookie of the Year in 1989 and racking up 1.9 WAR as a 23-year-old. In that Rookie of the Year season, he made an astonishing $68,000.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5439910)
Mike Caruso (2.7 bWAR as a rookie in his age 21 season, -1.9 bWAR remainder of his career) is the only position player that I can think of off the top of my head whose career earnings were well below $2M after a solid rookie campaign.

Bob Hamelin. 2.6 WAR in 1994, -0.2 remainder), $1.37M.
   31. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5439914)
Mike Caruso (2.7 bWAR as a rookie in his age 21 season, -1.9 bWAR remainder of his career) is the only position player that I can think of off the top of my head whose career earnings were well below $2M after a solid rookie campaign.


Kevin Orie. 2.3 WAR as a rookie, 0.7 after. He made $630,000 in his career.
   32. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:25 PM (#5439999)
Bob Hamelin. 2.6 WAR in 1994, -0.2 remainder), $1.37M.


What happened to Hamelin? He remained a decent hitter for a couple of years and then was awful. Did he get hurt?
   33. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5440004)
Bob Hamelin. 2.6 WAR in 1994, -0.2 remainder), $1.37M.

Okay, although that rookie year came in his age 26 season. Troy Neel was similar (2.0 bWAR in his age 27 but rookie season; 1.7 afterwards, but left for Japan during the 1994-95 work stoppage--might have been partially motivated to go overseas to avoid having to pay child support).

Kevin Orie. 2.3 WAR as a rookie, 0.7 after. He made $630,000 in his career.

That's a good one. Orie's probably best remembered as the 3B who cost Kerry Wood a perfect game.

Baseball is a funny game. Orie was a lot more productive than Russ Davis (approximate contemporaries with similar skillsets), but Davis went on to make over $6M over his career (i.e., his was given the opportunity to be a replacement-level player for an extended period of time). Even more interesting is that Orie was a former 1st round pick and Davis was a 29th round pick (usually it's the former top prospects who get too many opportunities to fail in the majors.

What happened to Hamelin? He remained a decent hitter for a couple of years and then was awful. Did he get hurt?

He had some sort of degenerative eye condition, IIRC.
   34. Hank G. Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:44 PM (#5440007)
who would be dumb enough to turn down $40 million and instead play a game where you get between $2M and $100M?


Who would be dumb enough to sign for $40 million when you have an 80% chance making $60 million or more, 15% chance of making $10-50$ million and a 5% chance of making less than $10 million?

The numbers are made up, but the point is that the player has to do some risk assessment and evaluate what the various possibilities are. There are probably insurance policies to guard against the worst case scenario. $40 million is life-altering money, but so is $10 million.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:51 PM (#5440009)
#8: no way does Bryant get $80 M much less a chance of more during his 4 arb years. We actually have a near-perfect comp for Bryant in Nolan Arenado who's also a super-2. Arenado is 5/12/18. There's also Machado who's not a super-2 and has gone 5/12. Bryant has the MVP and a couple of years of inflation in his favor but the absolute best he'll do in arb is something like 7/14/21/28 ($70 total) and that's at the high end. OK, if he wins another couple of MVPs the arbitrators might mistake him for all-time great Ryan Howard. :-)

#18: MLBAM does generate tons of revenue but only some of that is due to its baseball content and I think that proportion is declining. They developed one of the best streaming services out there and hold several patents so a lot of the revenue is others paying them to stream (NHL if I recall) and others paying them license fees for patents/software. The owners seem to consider only MLBAM baseball-related revenue as MLB revenue although I don't know how this gets classified in terms of MLB shared revenue in the CBA.

On Lindor ... the article doesn't say how many years the $100 M covered. There's a Lindor thread above that I've commented in if you want more detail but my opinion is .... if it was 3 arb years, 2 FA years for $100 M then he definitely should have taken it (it's nearly Troutian). If it was 3/3 he probably should have taken it -- it's roughly halfway between Odor and Trout which seems right. But if it was 3/4 for $100 then he should have turned it down. Or if it was 3/3 but had options attached then he probably should turn it down ... 3/3 would take him through his age 30 season, hitting FA at 31. Options would delay that and really start cutting into his big FA contract. Anyway, I suspect the Indians are close on Lindor -- maybe they need to front-load it more (signing bonus, pre-arb salaries) or maybe 3/2 for $75-80, no options.
   36. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 06:59 PM (#5440013)
Some more guys:

Bobby Crosby: 3.2 and 3.5 bWAR in his first two seasons (age 24-25), -1.0 bWAR remainder of his career. $13.85M over the course of his career (2003-10).

Pat Listach: 4.4 bWAR in his rookie year (age 24), -0.1 bWAR remainder of his career. $4.3M over his career (1992-97, half of which was earned in 1996 when he was below replacement-level).

And although been focusing entirely on position players (and the list of promising pitchers whose careers ended prematurely due to injury is extensive), Mark Fidrych deserves mention: 9.6 bWAR in his rookie year (age 21), 1.8 bWAR remainder. $330k over his career (1976-80). He was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff... in 1985 (amazing how far sports medicine has come in the past 35-40 years). 24 of his 29 starts in 1976 (that 9.6 bWAR rookie season) were Complete Games (for a team that went 74-87).
   37. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:37 PM (#5440032)
#28 ... in many ways the key is to hold onto a starting (or near-starting) position which is generally not hard when you've had success early. Once you get to arb and you've got 2+ years as a starter behind you, these days the min 1st-year arb award is gonna be something like $2.5-3 M. Take Didi Gregoius -- bench player in 2013-14, full-time starter in 2015, entered arb as a super-2 and got $2.4 for 2016, full-time starter in 2016 and gets $5.1 this year. Maybe if he doesn't get healthy and/or tanks this year, the Yanks would non-tender him. If they don't, he's virtually guaranteed a min $5+ M no matter how badly he might do this year; if they do, he probably still gets $2-3 M out of some other team.

That's not a perfect example of what we're talking about as Gregorius had his best year just before his first arb year. Derek Norris is a bit of a cautionary tale. He was solidly above-average entering arb and he probably deserved more than $2.9. He was terrible in 2016, got shipped to the Nats but still had a $4.2 M arb award ... but between them getting Wieters and I assume a lousy spring, Norris got released ... the Nats had to pay about $670 to get out of the arb contract, Tampa then apparently got him for the min (?) and so he makes $1.2 on the year. He's off to an atrocious start and might simply be done.

Luis Valbuena had virtually nothing going for him (1 WAR in 1100 PA) when he entered his first super-2 arb year with the Cubs but still managed to get $930. He had a solid year with 391 PA and got a raise to $1.7. He had an average year with 550 PA, was traded for Fowler and got a raise to $4.2. Another solid year in 500 PA and another raise to $6.1. This offseason he got 2/$15 from the Angels. So Luis Valbuena is gonna end up with at least $27 M in career earnings after starting his career as a borderline bench player and never being more than an average LHB platoon 3B. Stories like that convince guys like Lindor that they have little risk of not being set for life even if they never fulfill their potential.

How about Logan Morrison as an example of what we're looking for. Let's ignore his atrocious OF defensive ratings ... he's a 1B who had 21 Rbat in his first 812 PA and has -7 since. He's got $12.5 in career earnings.

Hell, according to b-r, Jonathan Herrera made $4 M in his career (1345 PA, 1.1 WAR). In case you hadn't figured it out yet, the best thing you can do for your kids is make them spend 12 hours a day on baseball -- c'mon, all they've got to do is become as good as Jonathan Herrera and they're set for life.

Anyway, it comes down to what the player believes about their true talent level. Jon Singleton and Angel Berroa (to name two) were very smart to sign "team friendly" deals very early. I'd say Tim Anderson was very smart to take his 6/$25 buyout (options on his first 2 FA years). But I think Lindor is justified in being pretty confident about his talent level. :-) So then it's mainly a question of balancing security vs. major injury risk and major injury risk is pretty low.
   38. Fadeaway: The Baseball History Podcast Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:52 PM (#5440043)
That's a good one. Orie's probably best remembered as the 3B who cost Kerry Wood a perfect game.


Or, to phrase it another way, he's best remembered as the 3B who gave Kerry Wood the single-game strikeout record. If Orie makes that play, Wood ends the game with 19 strikeouts.

So, which would you rather have -- a 20-strikeout game or a perfect game? Wood wasn't getting both.
   39. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: April 21, 2017 at 07:55 PM (#5440049)
#8: no way does Bryant get $80 M much less a chance of more during his 4 arb years. We actually have a near-perfect comp for Bryant in Nolan Arenado who's also a super-2. Arenado is 5/12/18. There's also Machado who's not a super-2 and has gone 5/12. Bryant has the MVP and a couple of years of inflation in his favor but the absolute best he'll do in arb is something like 7/14/21/28 ($70 total) and that's at the high end. OK, if he wins another couple of MVPs the arbitrators might mistake him for all-time great Ryan Howard. :-)


Arenado isn't a great comp because he fired Boras in 2015 and signed with WMG. It seems unlikely that Bryant and Boras are going to settle for team friendly deals like Arenado and WMG. Bryant has a MVP and ROTY and awards matter in these hearings. As long as Bryant has another strong year he will be filling for the highest amount ever. I expect Boras has something like 11/17/24/31 penciled in for Bryant.
   40. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:45 PM (#5440072)
So, which would you rather have -- a 20-strikeout game or a perfect game? Wood wasn't getting both.

Personally I'd rather have the perfect game. But yeah, you're right he doesn't get 20 K if Orie is a better fielder.
   41. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:01 PM (#5440080)
Wood hit a batter, so the perfect game isn't on the table.

As one who thinks imperfect no-hitters are bullshit, I'd take the strikeout record.
   42. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5440094)
But I think Lindor is justified in being pretty confident about his talent level. :-) So then it's mainly a question of balancing security vs. major injury risk and major injury risk is pretty low.

Seems to me that the right baseline for Lindor to think about would be something along the lines of "If I were a replacement-level hitter* in each of the next 5 years, what's the minimum that I could reasonably expect to earn in arbitration?"

*-Or if he doesn't dig WAR, whatever stat line that would be barely sufficient for him remaining an everyday play and, as importantly, not getting sent down to the minors and delaying FA

We know he's going to earn the minimum in 2017 and 2018 (virtually impossible he'd be a Super Two), so assuming he isn't sent down to the minors, he'll earn arbitration in 2019-21. Given what he did in 2015-16, a first year arbitration award in 2019 at only $2.5-3M seems light, but maybe being replacement-level in both 2017 and 2018 keeps it that low (note: we already have a pretty good idea that he'll be well above replacement-level, as he's on pace for another 5 win season, but we're assessing a decision he made pre-season).

So assume $2.5M in 2019. An extra year of service time plus what he did in 2015-16 probably gets him at least double that in 2020, so $5M. And then maybe something like $8M in 2021. Intentionally, these are all pretty conservative, I think (so much of arbitration is driven by service time, not actual performance). At that point, he probably wouldn't receive a QA and could sign a deal (probably a pillow contract to try to re-establish value).

So he'll have earned:
2015: ~$350k (pro-rated minimum)
2016: $540k
2017: $579k
2018: ~$590k (guestimate)
2019: $2.5M (guestimate)
2020: $5M (guestimate)
2021: $8M (guestimate)

So about $17.5M total. That's probably a conservative floor of what he'll earn if he's mediocre, but capable of keeping an everyday job. He also go a $2.9M signing bonus in 2011, so minimum pre-FA lifetime earnings are in excess of $20M, not including any income from endorsements.

As you said in another thread, a $100M extension is impossible to evaluate without knowing specifics such as what was guaranteed, number of years, and the number of option. But let's say that the extension would have guaranteed him something along the lines of 2.5x my guestimates for what a 0 WAR 2017-21 Lindor would earn in arbitration, plus round up his 2018 salary to a full $1M (good faith and all that).

Assuming any signing bonus is paid out evenly throughout the guaranteed years and that the extension covers 3 FA years (for simplicity, assume they're guaranteed rather than options):

-2018: $1M
-2019: $6.25M
-2020: $12.5M
-2021: $20M
-2022: $20M
-2023: $20M
-2024: $20M

In other words, Lindor earns ~$40M in 2018-21 rather than $17.5M ($22.5M more) plus guarantees himself an additional $60M for 2022-24. The tradeoff is going on the market three years later (and costing himself some AAV in 2022-24, depending on exactly how good he is).

I don't know, I can see the argument for security. At the same time, barring catastrophic injury, I can't imagine Lindor not being highly productive and earning well above my first set guestimates for his arbitration years and setting himself for a mega deal in the 2021-22 off-season. I can see where he may want to roll the dice and forego an extension in order to reach FA as soon as possible. If he wants to maximize his chances at winning a World Series, he may want to be elsewhere as soon as possible (Indians are a very good team today, but they might not be in 2022-24, particularly if they're paying Lindor something approaching a market rate even if there's a bit of a discount).

It's kind of like a similar thread we had a month or two ago about Kris Bryant. He's already very likely to earn enough to be set for life without the extension, so I think that it's a reasonable calculated risk for him to roll the dice and become a FA at the earliest possible date. And certainly his performance in the first three weeks or so of the season demonstrate that he's probably going to have yet another outstanding season before the age of 24. So why not go for it?
   43. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 21, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5440099)
Wood hit a batter, so the perfect game isn't on the table.

Oh, forgot about that. Well if it's just a no hitter, then I suppose 20k.

Actually probably the best outcome is that Orie fields it well enough for it to be scored an error rather than a hit (perhaps fielding it more cleanly and then a bad throw) so then Wood gets the no hitter and the 20k. But obviously you can't choreograph baseball quite like that.

In David Cone's 19 K game, the last out was a weak groundout by Dale Murphy to the SS (I remembered it as a groundout to HoJo at 3B, but according to the game log it was to the SS and HoJo was playing RF). Anyway, everyone in the stadium was yelling "Drop it!" because the crowd wanted to see a 20 K game (it was played in Philadelphia, but it was the last game of the season and both teams were below .500). There was a runner at second, so an intentional misplay would have risked the shutout (Mets won 7-0) but I always thought the the SS should have just eaten the ball to give Cone another chance at a strikeout. Oh well.
   44. Hank G. Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5440628)
There was a runner at second, so an intentional misplay would have risked the shutout (Mets won 7-0) but I always thought the the SS should have just eaten the ball to give Cone another chance at a strikeout. Oh well.


Can you imagine the furor if the shortstop had done that and Cone had struck out the next batter? People would have been screaming that the record was “tainted”, and they would have been right. I’m ambivalent about the steroids issue, because those people were trying to win. Avoiding (or delaying) winning in pursuit of a record just seems wrong to me - not that it hasn’t been done before.

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