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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Devil Rays - Signed Shields
Tampa Bay Rays - Signed P James Shields to a 7-year contract.
According to SportsTicker, 3 years, $12 million guaranteed with the rest coming in the form of options. It’s hard to dislike this signing from either party’s perspective This is something I’ve been advocating for some time - locking up players with 1 or 2 years of service time provided that their MLB performance isn’t out of whack from their minor league performances. Early on in the service time clock, after all, is the only opportunity you can really offer a play a drastic change in income standing. Going from $300,000 to $4 million is huge. The guaranteed outlay is still small on relative terms and becomes even better as long as MLB’s revenue growth dwarf’s cost-of-living growth. $4 million for a 2008 individual is obviously less money than $4 million for a 1998 individual, but $4 million for a baseball team is a drop in a much larger bucket than it was then.
Even when these deals work out badly, when talking about the money involved, they’re still not very damaging to the bottom line. Take the Eric Hinske. He was signed to a 5-year, $14.75 million contract before his sophomore season. He was disappointing offensively, injured, and his defense got worse. But he still ended up about 5 wins better than replacement level over the course of his contract.
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