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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Diamondbacks - Signed Blanco

Arizona Diamondbacks - Signed C Henry Blanco to a $1.2 million contract with a 2013 mutual option for $1.24 million.

I’m not sure that the re-signing of a 40 year old backup catcher to a
one year deal merits comment. In general that is.

First of all, Blanco played pretty well last year (.250/.330/.540—
yes, Voros’ Law applies of course. We are talking 112 plate
appearances) and he’s put up an 89 OPS+ over his last 616 plate
appearances—and was very good against the running game (46% caught
stealing). I don’t expect ZiPS to be all that impressed with his bat
(and I know Met fans are not either), but he does rate to hit like a
decent backup catcher and he’s still getting it done defensively.

But what drew me to make this comment was the saga of his last mutual
option. He opted out of a $1.15 million contract. Not in search of
riches (I thought when I saw the report that he had declined the
option that he was going to try to parlay his decent year into one
last decent payday but his plans were seemingly far more modest), but
to secure another $50,000 and a mutual option for next year (which
won’t be worth anything if he doesn’t play fairly well). We’re kind of
jaded about the sums being thrown around these days (reporting
salaries in the $$.$$$ million format helps this along. I had to think
for a moment to work out how much extra Blanco made by opting out.)
but I’m old enough to recall protracted negotiations of far smaller
amounts. And when you think about it, a $50K raise in an obviously
pain free negotiation is no small deal.

All in all, a good signing for both sides. I wouldn’t want to play
Blanco on a regular basis, but Miguel Montero’s backup is never going
to play a lot.

 

Ron Johnson Posted: November 05, 2011 at 08:36 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 05, 2011 at 11:24 AM (#3986926)
I'm more fascinated by the 1.24 option. Guess he's figuring on an inflation rate of 3.3%
   2. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: November 05, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#3986943)
He'll probably opt out next year even though the DBacks want to pick it up, knowing that he can get 1.29 million as a free agent.
   3. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 05, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#3987024)
Voros' Law notwithstanding, the idea that Henry Blanco can slug at least .500 in any sample size greater than two ABs stuns me.
   4. ¬†Hey Gurl Posted: November 05, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3987031)
Yeah it is pretty amazing. His increase in salary is almost as much as my salary in total, and yet it still "feels" like a waste of his time.
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 05, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3987040)
Voros' Law notwithstanding, the idea that Henry Blanco can slug at least .500 in any sample size greater than two ABs stuns me.


The first game I ever saw Henry Blanco play was this playoff game where Blanco went 2-for-3 with a home run. So, when the Cubs signed him that next offseason, I was kind of excited, until I realized that, by pure dumb luck, I had been witness to probably the greatest game in Henry Blanco's career. Damn small sample sizes (that said, Henry Blanco is a solid backup catcher and this seems like a perfectly cromulent signing).
   6. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: November 05, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3987056)
Mets fans around here were pleased when Omar signed him.
   7. Ron J Posted: November 05, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3987097)
Sorry about the formatting folks. Looked fine when I previewed it.
   8. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: November 05, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#3987111)
You didn't mean to publish a haiku?

Dan Szymborski's not walking through that door.
   9. 1k5v3L Posted: November 06, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3987425)
The Dbacks were raving about the positive influence that Hank White had on Montero last year, so I think this signing was a no-brainer for the Dbacks. I applaud his gambit to extract an extra $50k here. He's a nice platoon partner for Miggy, and will play just enough games next year vs. LHP to give Miggy a break and not embarrass himself with the bat. I would like to see if he can actually have a lowe RBI/HR ratio next year; this year's ratio (12 RBI, 8 HR) was quite impressive. Sadly, the one at bat in which he couldn't deliver was against Axford is game 5 of the NLDS.
   10. Tripon Posted: November 06, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3987427)

Yeah it is pretty amazing. His increase in salary is almost as much as my salary in total, and yet it still "feels" like a waste of his time.


The difference is probably what he had to pay his agent.
   11. Ron J Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3987899)
#10 I don't think agents are paid extra to handle a negotiation. I'm aware of some NBA players hiring a top lawyer specifically to handle their negotiations (cap limitations have made it pretty clear what most players are going to make, so you can get by with somebody who isn't an expert in the sporting field to handle all of the non-salary negotiations. And hourly rates for a top lawyer aren't going to come close to the cut an agent makes.), but Blanco's agent just made his cut of Blanco's extra $50K
   12. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: November 11, 2011 at 04:22 AM (#3990912)
Is cromulent ever used without the modifier "perfectly"? If not, why use it?

/nitpicking
   13. The District Attorney Posted: November 11, 2011 at 04:54 AM (#3990931)
It embiggens the word.
   14. MM1f Posted: November 11, 2011 at 06:01 AM (#3990975)
Voros' Law notwithstanding, the idea that Henry Blanco can slug at least .500 in any sample size greater than two ABs stuns me.


Power is the one offensive tool Blanco has. I've seen him hit some fairly impressive homers, I'd wager that his raw power is probably a 50, aka Major League average. He is, obviously, still a pretty bad hitter but he has enough power to step into a hanging curve and drill it pretty hard.

Actually, I think his power made his 14 year career possible. Except for Jeff Mathis, even a great defensive catcher has to have SOME offensive skill. You can still be a pretty awful hitter, but you have to have some type of offensive ability, just enough to not be a complete zero. Blanco's power gave him that sliver of offensive skill that is the difference between MLB backup, glove-wiz catcher and AAA backup glove-wiz player/coach catcher.

Fun fact: Henry Blanco has 7 career triples... LOLWTF?
   15. Jim Wisinski Posted: November 13, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3992563)
Except for Jeff Mathis, even a great defensive catcher has to have SOME offensive skill.


Though if you're Jeff Mathis you don't even have to be much better than average defensively!

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