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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Devil Rays - Signed Baldelli

Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Signed OF Rocco Baldelli to a 6-year contract potentially worth $33 million.

At first glance, this looks like a terrible idea, but it becomes much less so when you realize that the contract only reaches that number thanks to some reportedly large playing time incentives and half the contract being option years.  Kind of like the big deal that Rolen spurned from the Phillies that the team trumpeted as this massive, awesome, offer but had about enough guaranteed to get Rolen 2 Meatnormous Omelet Sandwiches and some Twizzlers.

That being said, it’s still not a great deal.  Baldelli, though very young, was a rather average player in his first two years and doesn’t have the physical tools and hence, the upside, of Carl Crawford, who signed a similar deal.  Plus, the Devil Rays have some talented outfielders in the minors that could make Baldelli irrelevant in the near future.  But on the other hand, he seems popular in Tampa and it won’t hurt the Rays to throw a bone to the 18 die-hard fans of the team, so I’ll chicken out and put my thumb in the middle.


2006 ZiPS Projection - Rocco Baldelli
—————————————————————————————
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
—————————————————————————————
622 96 182 26 5 18 87 36 114 21 .293 .337 .437

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:28 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:57 PM (#1725081)
What about Baldelli's defense? Does anyone have his average runs prevented from his two semi-healthy seasons? Or, for that matter, Crawford's ability to play center (though he is a great leftfielder and certainly has the speed cover center)? Also, does "incentive-laden" look more like "I'll be a Yankee" to anyone else?
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:15 PM (#1725191)
how many years? $$ per year? what are the options? what are the incentives? The other thread doesnt have many more details.
   3. Bromadrosis Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:49 PM (#1725258)
Pretty sure Crawford has stated that he wants to stay in left.
   4. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 09, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1725312)
I think this is a very good deal from one standpoint. If Baldelli performs near his ZIPS projection, some contender needing an outfielder is going to take a long, hard look at him come the trade deadline. The Rays could parlay this into another Zambrano for Kazmir deal, and still have OF's to spare.
   5. David Wrightwing obstructionist Posted: November 10, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1725867)
yea I'm pretty bummed about Rocky 6 too
   6. Damon Rutherford Posted: November 10, 2005 at 11:54 AM (#1726115)
Will be more difficult for Upton to find a spot in the OF now. Given his stature, perhaps it's best the Devil Rays trade Upton to acquire a player or two that they are willing to insert into the lineup of the parent club.
   7. Nuclear Dish Posted: November 10, 2005 at 05:30 PM (#1726390)
Here's the thing with this deal: the first 3 years are arbitration years and he's getting about 3/10 for them, which certainly isn't so bad. The following 3 years, which come at a price of $23M could be a good deal if Baldelli develops, but even if he doesn't, ALL 3 ARE OPTION YEARS. So in essence, the Rays may have bought out Baldelli's arbitration years for a reasonable amount, and nothing more. If he pans out, they get a decent deal on years 4-6. If not, they didn't burn so much dough.

The only way this looks bad is if Baldelli never makes itback from his various and sundry injuries. In that case, they'd have been better off letting his arbitration years play out annually instead of buying them out with this contract.
   8. Jim Wisinski Posted: November 11, 2005 at 10:02 PM (#1728321)
Some contract details:

The contract offers the Rays some protection if Baldelli gets injured again, with only $9-million guaranteed over the first three years. He gets salaries of $2-million in 2006, $750,000 in 2007 with $1.75-million in plate appearance incentives, and $2.25-million in 2008 with $2.25-million in incentives.

He can guarantee the incentives in both years by making 600 plate appearances in 2006, or guarantee the 2008 incentives by making 600 appearances in 2007.

The Rays have a $6-million option for 2009 with a $4-million buyout, and an option for 2010 and 2011 with salaries of $8-million and $9-million, or a $2-million buyout.


http://www.sptimes.com/2005/11/11/Rays/Baldelli___I_want_to_.shtml

That's a damned nice deal for the Rays.
   9. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: November 12, 2005 at 09:13 PM (#1729234)
I think this is a very good deal from one standpoint. If Baldelli performs near his ZIPS projection, some contender needing an outfielder is going to take a long, hard look at him come the trade deadline. The Rays could parlay this into another Zambrano for Kazmir deal, and still have OF's to spare.

Interesting point.

I don't know quite what to make of the deal. I'm not that optimistic on Baldelli ever becoming an elite hitter, but I like Tampa's options in the final two years of the contract if he somehow does (he'd otherwise have been a free agent after 2009, right?). And the buyouts minimize their longterm obligation.
   10. Spivey Posted: November 12, 2005 at 09:25 PM (#1729242)
I think Baldelli is supposed to be a very good defensive CF, at least prior to injury. He does still have good tools, and is very young. I think this is a good deal. I'd love to see Tampa make a run for .500 in 2007.
   11. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 15, 2005 at 01:56 AM (#1731993)
Baldelli had an awful UZR in 2003 (-27), and his ZRs his two years (.871 and .882) are substandard. PMR had him at around average in 2004. It's hard to imagine that, given his tools, though ... he must have really bad instincts out there (I've rarely seen him, I don't know) ...

... still, Crawford/Baldelli/Gomes is a pretty intriguing OF, overall ...
   12. Sexy Lizard Posted: November 15, 2005 at 01:42 PM (#1732346)
Could Crawford have been getting to some balls in Baldelli's zone and thus monkeying with the ratings a bit? Baldelli doesn't look like a subpar outfielder, and so I wonder if there is a statistical illusion created by the great range of their left fielder. ANd maybe Cruz in RF in 2002 as well.
   13. Artie Ziff Posted: November 15, 2005 at 01:49 PM (#1732347)
Good job by Tampa locking this star down.

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