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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Angels - Reportedly Signed Sarge Lite

Los Angeles Angels - Signed “CF” Gary Matthews Jr. to a 5-year, $55 million contract.

I am aghast.  “The Gary Matthews Jr. Contract” should be the baseball equivalent of The Aristrocrats for years to come.  I’d say more, but I think the resultant nannying would single-handedly shut down the internets, the google, and all the pipes and buttons that make the internet go.  If anyone here is a fan of HBO’s The Wire, think of the scene where McNulty and Bunk are investigating the murder of the young woman who was trying to get hush money from Avon Barksdale in the first season.  Based on relative ability, J.D. Drew should start asking for a 17-year, Eleventy Billion dollar contract.

Quiz Time!  Which following players have a worse career OPS+ than Gary Matthews Jr.?

Armando Rios, Mitch Webster, Darin Erstad, Marvin Benard, Wes Ferrell, Barry Bonnell, Alex Ochoa, Darryl Hamilton.  Answer at the bottom.

2007 ZiPS Projection - Gary Matthews Jr.
———————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
Projection   554 83 152 35 4 15 66 55 97   8 .274 .342 .433
2008       521 74 142 31 3 13 60 48 97   6 .273 .338 .418
2009       459 64 122 29 3 11 55 42 92   4 .266 .332 .414
2010       401 54 103 26 3   9 48 37 83   2 .257 .324 .404
2011       342 45   85 23 2   7 41 31 70   1 .249 .320 .389
———————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  583 101 180 41 5 20 85 66 95 11 .309 .385 .499
Pes. (15%)  309 39   80 16 1   6 29 26 65   3 .259 .320 .375
———————————————————————————————————

Answer:  Barry Bonnell.

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 22, 2006 at 08:34 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Mike Green Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:24 PM (#2244264)
Gary Matthews Jr., meet Darin Erstad. It's so good to be rich.
   2. Buddha Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#2244269)
Except Erstad was a much better fielder.
   3. akrasian Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#2244278)
The Angels always try to outdo the Dodgers.
   4. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:41 PM (#2244297)
Well, if he matches that projection through 2009, it's still a crap signing, but it could be a lot worse. I guess.

Everything after that would be awful.
   5. AROM Posted: November 22, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#2244322)
The 2007-09 hurts enough. After that, we're paying 10 million for a 4th or 5th OF at best.
   6. AROM Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:01 PM (#2244328)
Amazing when I compare this to the Nomar signing.

Apparently, GM's worry more about if a player might get hurt than if the player is actually good.
   7. agodnamedpablo2 Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:10 PM (#2244342)
Incidentally, nice wire allusion there, I've enver seen a show do more with profanity (except maybe the sopranos). Shows like that would be genuinely underminded by basic cable rules.
   8. smileyy Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:17 PM (#2244353)
The best part of The Wire is that Omar never swears.
   9. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:52 PM (#2244402)
Honestly - when I saw this thread, I was hoping that the Angels had signed some young reliever whose given name was actually Sarge Lite.
   10. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 22, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#2244409)
Deadwood probably has even more profanity.

Neither show has enough to accurately summarize this signing.
   11. zempf Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:00 PM (#2244416)
This reminds me of when the Brewers signed Jeffrey Hammonds for 3/$21 back in 2001. That, to me, represented one of the biggest WTF? signings of the time & this one sounds pretty much the same to me.
   12. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:07 PM (#2244421)
"Hello Artie, this is Scott Boras, I want you to offer my client J.D. Drew a deal of $450M over 15 years"
   13. mr. man Posted: November 22, 2006 at 11:12 PM (#2244426)
oh lord...
i was worried that vernon wells was going to get a value boost and forced to be paid 'beltran money'...now, this contract has set the market for center fielders wayy off. the jays would do well to offer him 7/120 right now before things get worse.
   14. Johnny Tuttle Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2244452)
Incidentally, nice wire allusion there, I've enver seen a show do more with profanity (except maybe the sopranos). Shows like that would be genuinely underminded by basic cable rules.

The Trailer Park Boys.

******

Mr. Man, I hear that concern about Wells. I was already scared to death by the Pierre signing. At this rate, even with the increased revenues and likelihood that the Jays payroll approaches $100 million again, I'm thinking a) with Burnett, Ryan, Halladay, Thomas, and filling a roster, Vernon's salary can't fit and b) even if he did fit into the 2008 and beyond payrolls, could he reasonably justify it? I mean, a few years ago, people were spending left, right, and center only to now be trying to peddle away or to have already peddled away Manny's and A-Rods.

Now, for the Angels, I thought they had more quality, nearly ready or ready youngsters than open jobs. Who's Matthews blocking?
   15. AROM Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2244461)
The Angel depth is more in the infield. Matthews is only blocking Figgins, who could play other positions, or Willits, who probably isn't enough of a hitter. Though Sean Rodriguez might wind up in center field.

My concern isn't that he's blocking anyone 3-5 years down the road, but that Matthews might be less than useless in that time.
   16. Dewey, Crackpot and Soupuss Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#2244464)
Matthews is only blocking Figgins, who could play other positions, or Willits, who probably isn't enough of a hitter.

I'd rather have Willits than Matthews.
   17. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: November 23, 2006 at 12:49 AM (#2244475)
I honestly had no idea who Matthews was when I read the headline over at ESPN. Eddie? Mike? Oh, GARY Matthews???
   18. Srul Itza Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2244479)
Congratulations, Mr. Matthews. Timing is everything, and your time management created the perfect storm of outrageous contracts.

You managed to coincide your career/fluke year with a time when baseball is truly flush with money; more teams than ever believe they have a chance; there are very few players in the market worth spending that money on; and objective player evaluation is still far from universal.

Well played, sir. For the next 5 years, the dictionairy definition of "sunk cost" should include your picture.
   19. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2244488)
you know what this means, right? Gozer has escaped! Lil Sarge is the gatekeeper. Moreno is the keymaster.
   20. Johnny Tuttle Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2244497)
If Figgins is a swing man, meaning he could be 3B or CF, say, couldn't Matthews still be blocking an INF?

Is Erstad gone now? Is he a FA? Who's leaving the team?
   21. 1k5v3L Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2244501)
Luis Gonzalez will probably get a 3 years, $27m deal to man LF for the Dodgers or Giants.

I'd rather see him go to LA, personally, so AZ could use LA's first round pick
   22. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:40 AM (#2244506)
This seems to be a case where there's a true disconnect between the 'stats vs scouts' (for lack of a better phrase). Matthews, IIRC, doesn't rate very well in any of the defensive stats, like Dial's numbers or ZR. But on Tango's Scouting Report, the fans rated him as a 79 overall, which is damn good.

Is there possibly something that Dial's numbers or ZR is missing that would make a big enough difference in Matthews' numbers?

I think there's pretty much a consensus on what he'll do offensively; defensively, however, is where we still don't have an answer.
   23. Shock Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:43 AM (#2244507)
Is this really a worse contract than Pierre's? Pierre OPS+: 86
   24. Shock Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:50 AM (#2244509)
Keith, in 2005 the fans of Tango's scouting report only rated Matthews a 60. I really think that making that one catch this year did a lot to his defensive reputation.
   25. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#2244512)
Neither show has enough to accurately summarize this signing


"What the hell is going on this offseason?!"

"Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."
   26. Gaelan Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:15 AM (#2244518)
This really screws the Jays. Not only did it make it much more difficult to sign Wells they also lost their most likely trading partner. If Stoneman would give Mathews that kind of money you'd think he'd have given us a Santana + Wood package for Wells.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:20 AM (#2244521)
you know what this means, right? Gozer has escaped! Lil Sarge is the gatekeeper. Moreno is the keymaster.

There is no fiscal sanity. Only Zuul.
   28. CraigK Posted: November 23, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#2244525)
Y'know, I've always wondered when we'll see a contract of a total worth of a billion or more.

I have a feeling that it's coming in a few weeks when JD Drew decides who to sign with.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: November 23, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2244619)
Well, I guess if you'd asked me at the start of the offseason if I'd be happy the Cubs signed Soriano for just $6 M per year more than Matthews signed for, I'd have probably said yes. So in that way, I like this signing.

Frankly, I'm not that surprised by the $11 M. I talked about this in a thread a couple weeks ago and think I pegged him at around $8-9. He's been roughly an average CF offensively and maybe average to above-average defensively and given what the Jones, Encarnacions and Burnitzes signed for last year, then with this market, I saw him getting good bucks.

But 5 years? Why?

Still, it probably makes more "sense" than the Stanton contract. :-)

How hard is it to become an agent? I'm pretty sure I could negotiate somebody a 3/$24 M contract and 10% of that sounds pretty damn nice.
   30. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 23, 2006 at 08:00 AM (#2244629)
"Deadwood probably has even more profanity.

Neither show has enough to accurately summarize this signing."

Oh, I don't know. Al passing that kidney stone might fit for the last couple of years of this contract.
   31. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 23, 2006 at 10:33 AM (#2244649)
Is this really a worse contract than Pierre's? Pierre OPS+: 86


Well, Pierre also reaches on errors a ton because of his speed, and even though he's not a great base stealer, I would guess his baserunning overall is pretty good, too.

If you believe that Matthews is a negative on defense in CF (certainly questionable of course) and Pierre is at least a bit on the plus side, then I think you have to take the PIerre deal.
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 23, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2244657)
As Veronica Mars would say,

Frak.
   33. Halofan Posted: November 24, 2006 at 06:22 AM (#2244895)
48 hours later and still no way to spin this as anything but terrible.....
   34. Darren Posted: November 24, 2006 at 06:40 AM (#2244897)
check the other thread, Halo. MGL has good news for you.
   35. Buddha Posted: November 25, 2006 at 03:25 AM (#2245308)
Nice wire reference. Still the best show on television, although it's not as good as it was earlier.

The best part of The Wire is that Omar never swears.

The best part about the wire is that Omar is gay and it's not the focus of his character. He is who he is. Unlike almost every time you see a gay character on television and it's ALL they are. The whole show centers around them being gay. How tough it is to be gay. how funny it is to be around straight people when you're gay. Omar is Omar.
   36. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: November 27, 2006 at 03:56 AM (#2246271)
Nice wire reference. Still the best show on television, although it's not as good as it was earlier.


Agreed, but Season One will never be matched by maybe anything ever.

Love your point about Omar as well
   37. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: September 10, 2009 at 06:59 PM (#3319122)
Is this really a worse contract than Pierre's?


3 years later, it looks to be the worse.
   38. AROM Posted: September 10, 2009 at 07:25 PM (#3319147)
So who's going to give Marlin Byrd a 5 year contract this winter?
   39. RJ in TO Posted: September 10, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3319150)
So who's going to give Marlin Byrd a 5 year contract this winter?


Hopefully, whatever team loses out on the Vernon Wells trade sweepstakes.
   40. The Essex Snead Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3319207)
I was gonna post a brief defense of Byrd as a viable OF-roamer / platoon type, & worth a modest two or three year deal (around $4-5M/yr). But then I saw his home / road splits during his Texas tenure, and woo boy -- outside of Arlington, he IS Vernon Wells.
   41. RJ in TO Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:55 PM (#3319232)
In that case, the Rangers surely wouldn't mind trading him for Wells, right?
   42. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3319246)
Hopefully, whatever team loses out on the Vernon Wells trade sweepstakes.


Wouldn't that be the team that gets him? What would they then need Bryd for?
   43. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:59 PM (#3319272)
It's so nice to get the Wire references now that I finally watched the show.

The best part about the wire is that Omar is gay and it's not the focus of his character. He is who he is. Unlike almost every time you see a gay character on television and it's ALL they are. The whole show centers around them being gay. How tough it is to be gay. how funny it is to be around straight people when you're gay. Omar is Omar.

I was just saying exactly this the other day in an effort to convince my friend to watch the show. I guess I was (at least) three years late with that particular thought.
   44. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: September 10, 2009 at 10:00 PM (#3319273)
The worst part of the GMJ saga for an Angels fan (or at least one of the worst parts, there's a lot of them) is that if he had just played to this projection he would have been a decent, if grossly overpaid, fourth outfielder. A bad, bad deal- but one that provides a useful part of a winning team. Instead, he's barely a major league player.

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