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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Arbitration Antics!

The following players signed contracts with their current teams, avoiding arbitration:

Scott Rolen (8.6), Ugueth Urbina (6.7), Robert Person (6.25), Javier Vazquez (4.725), Kevin Millwood (3.9), Freddy Garcia (3.8), Kerry Wood (3.69), Jason Johnson (2 years, 4.7), Odalis Perez (0.625), Al Levine (1.325), Jay Witasick (1.25), Mike Venafro (0.812), Eli Marrero (0.85), Sean Lowe (0.95), Adrian Brown (0.45), Abraham Nunez (0.55), Jeff Weaver (3.25), John Halama (1.4), Charles Gipson (0.45), Michael Barrett (1.15), Trot Nixon (2.7), Paul Wilson (1.2), Aaron Boone (2.1), Juan Encarnacion (1.55)

These aren’t given a ridiculous number of individual entries for two reasons.  First, these are essentially procedural moves; all these players would be playing for the same teams and the only difference for the vast majority of these players was a few hundred thousand bucks here or there.

Second, if I had to write 20-some individual transactions about the difference between so-and-so making 2.1 million and 2.4 million, I’d encourage Jim to add 25 pop-up ads for free wireless video cameras or secret books on how to cheaply burn DVDs just to share my personal hell with you guys.

The Rolen signing is interesting in that it seems to be the most the Phillies have ever paid a player, which is truly sad.

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 19, 2002 at 04:15 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Brian Posted: January 19, 2002 at 05:43 AM (#552919)
How on Earth did Ugueth Urbina possibly get that much money?
   2. RJ in TO Posted: January 19, 2002 at 05:52 AM (#552920)
He's a proven closer. Hasn't this offseason taught you anything?
   3. Eugene Freedman Posted: January 19, 2002 at 02:28 PM (#552922)
It looks like the Red Sox got Urbina and Nixon's salaries backwards. Who is worth $6.7M and who is worth $2.7M?
   4. Steve Treder Posted: January 19, 2002 at 06:55 PM (#552925)
There's no doubt in my mind that the "closer" usage pattern of relief aces is sub-optimal from a strategic standpoint, and it also seems to lead teams to make highly questionable financial decisions.

I think there has got to be a law of competitive dynamics that's going to impose itself sometime soon ... some team or teams, whether on purpose or by accident, is/are going to buck the "closer" usage norm, and discover an on-field competitive advantage. This will force other teams to follow their lead, and the 1-inning "closer" mania will at last be dispelled.

Mark my words: a generation from now, the "closer" will be seen as a quaint relic, an outrageous fashion from the 1990s/2000s, as unlikely to appear again as the 80-to-100 SB/year leadoff men of the late 70s/early 80s, the 325+ inning/year ace starters of the early 70s, or the sacrifice bunt in the 1st inning from days of yore.
   5. Darren Posted: January 19, 2002 at 11:12 PM (#552928)
It's called arbitration. Urbina would have likely gotten somewhere in that neighborhood if the Sox didn't make this deal. Same for Nixon and Garces. It's not a decision by the Red Sox, really (except that they could have dealt Urbina instead of signing him).

If you're saying they should have dealt him for Prokepec a while back, I'd agree. But if you're saying they paid more than they should have for him, they had no choice if they wanted to keep him.
   6. Steve Treder Posted: January 20, 2002 at 04:34 PM (#552933)
So, I must have missed the part when Rick Helling pump-faked Dan Dierdorf ...

But seriously, back to the subject at hand: what was really idiotic was the Raiders electing to take a knee when they had possession with 20-something seconds left in regulation time. Note to Jon Gruden: in that situation, the game is in sudden death -- JUST LIKE OVERTIME! You have NOTHING TO GAIN, and SOMETHING VITAL (called POSSESSION) TO LOSE, by taking a knee in that situation. What a dimwit.

I was rooting for the Raiders. Can you tell? I'm not ordinarily much of a Raider fan, but with the 49ers out of it, I figured what the hell. And then they go and pull this big El Foldo after the close call goes against them. Sheesh.

How long again is it until spring training?
   7. Steve Treder Posted: January 20, 2002 at 05:51 PM (#552934)
Oops ... the above post was intended to go in the Rick Helling thread ... sorry.

Nothing like putting an off-topic post in the wrong thread, too. I think I'll go stand in the corner now.
   8. MLB Posted: January 20, 2002 at 11:12 PM (#552935)
For your information we are currently considering allowing the Montreal Expos to insert X10, "Debt Consolidation", "Free Credit Report", and multiple pornographic popup ads on their official web site.

We find the pornographic site operators a bit difficult to deal with but are optimistic about the others.

We expect this move if approved to improve the Expos revenue streams considerably. We hope this helps Jim and the rest of the BaseballPrimer staff make a decision about popup advertising.

.... Bud
   9. Big Ed Posted: January 23, 2002 at 02:00 PM (#552936)
I was intrigued by the comment Mr. Oracle made that Rolen's being the highest paid Phillie is truly sad. Most of us here blast just about everyone for signing someone to a seemingly ridiculous amount of money, let a team that doesn't pay boffo bucks (compared to eveyone else) is now taking a hit. What gives?

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