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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Diamondbacks - Signed Glaus

Arizona Diamondbacks - Signed 3B Troy Glaus to a 4-year, $45 million contract.

Wow, I’m speechless.  I’ve always liked Troy Glaus, but this is what you might pay for a healthy Troy Glaus, one with no questions about his position status, and a Troy Glaus that’s fielding the hot corner like he did earlier in his career before shoulder and knee problems dropped his defensive stats like a rock.  This is not what I would pay for a 1B that hits like Troy Glaus and results in Hillenbrand, a poor defensive 3B, returning to 3B and Tracy, a decent offensive 3B, becoming a mediocre RF.  If the Diamondbacks are willing to pay $11 million a year for a player with such serious question marks, I think Magglio Ordonez is just as good a risk and a better fit for the team.  Hell, why not pay 3 or 4 million more and get into the Pedro hunt?  Or give Nomar a bigger 1-year offer than the Cubs were willing to give him - I’d rather have Nomar for 1 year at 13 than Glaus for 4 at 45.  If I’m Jeff Moorad, I’m rolling myself a Harry Rag and putting myself to bed.

Glaus, Troy - 2005 ZiPS Projection (28)
————————————————————————————-
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
————————————————————————————-
391 68 101 20 1 21 65 66 92   6 .258 .369 .476

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 09, 2004 at 04:09 PM | 129 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Robert S. Posted: December 10, 2004 at 10:19 AM (#1010508)
Sometimes you do what you can. Does it occur to you that many free agents , when contacted by the d backs, say "thanks, but no thanks, not interested in going there" Are there better players to sign?, sure maybe. But be specific. Who should they have signed, and for how much? And would that free agent talk to them?

This is neither the correct point in the team's success cycle, nor in light of their financial health to spearhead such large acquisitions, regardless of their merit in terms of market value. They shouldn't be making these large financial commitments, period. This is the time to quietly fill out the roster on the cheap and assess the true value of their prospects.

The fact that these players are being paid far above market value is just salt in the wound.
   102. shoewizard Posted: December 10, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#1010890)
Robert, to be honest, I secretly assume that if the team does not reload, attendance will continue to drop even further, and regardless of if the payroll is 70 million or only 55 or 60 million, they cannot take another hit to the attendance and remain solvent.

I think they are trying to save the franchise and they don't have 2-3 years to wait to do it.

Think of it another way, if they keep payroll the same as last year, and don't lose too much attendance, than they should be able to at least hold the debt where it is.

Keeping payroll down 10 million a year from what it is now is not going to put a dent into the debt.
   103. 1k5v3L Posted: December 10, 2004 at 05:25 PM (#1010900)
One major-league official sympathetic to the Mets' needs called the Glaus contract "a joke."

"He has spent virtually one year on the disabled list in the past two years," the official said, "and gets a huge contract."


Sexson has spent virtually one year on the disabled list in the past two years. And he will get a huge contract, from the Mets most likely. What is the big effing deal? If Minaya was hoping to low-ball Richie with $5M/year, he can go bang Kris's wife. To be honest with you, I'm a lot more worried about a guy who f-cked up his shoulder on a check swing than a guy who separated it diving.
   104. Sam M. Posted: December 10, 2004 at 05:34 PM (#1010915)
If Minaya was hoping to low-ball Richie with $5M/year, he can go bang Kris's wife.

Now, now. That's not it at all -- as the article made clear. The Mets (and others) had assumed Sexson and Delgado would be in the $10 million/year range; no one ever was talking about a low-ball $5 million/year. The feeling is that Glaus making more than $11 million/year -- and it being a four-year deal -- drives up the market not from $5M to $10M, but from $10M to $12-13, and the number of years from three to four. Add that up, and you're talking about an additional $20 million committed to the deal over the life of the contract.

And spending a lot of two seasons on the DL is, IMO, worse than spending virtually all of one season on it. Glaus has a consistent history of injuries limiting his playing time. Sexson, OTOH, has a record of durability interrupted by one season-ending injury.
   105. shoewizard Posted: December 10, 2004 at 06:11 PM (#1011007)
The feeling is that Glaus making more than $11 million/year -- and it being a four-year deal -- drives up the market not from $5M to $10M, but from $10M to $12-13, and the number of years from three to four. Add that up, and you're talking about an additional $20 million committed to the deal over the life of the contract.

And spending a lot of two seasons on the DL is, IMO, worse than spending virtually all of one season on it. Glaus has a consistent history of injuries limiting his playing time. Sexson, OTOH, has a record of durability interrupted by one season-ending injury.



1.) glaus is a 3rd baseman, not a first baseman. 3rd baseman do not set the market value for 1st baseman.

2.) From 1999-2002, glaus averaged 158 games a year. The 2003-2004 injury is basically the same injury. he tried to fix it with rehab and rest in 2003, but it didnt work, so that was a bad decision, that clearly impacted 2004 severeley.

I truly believe that Sexons injury and situation are a far greater risk than Glaus's

The worst thing that will happen is Glaus will have to move to first base at some point, and be a bit overpaid as a first baseman, but he will still hit.

The worst case with richie is he pops that shoulder out again, which doctors say there is AT LEAST a 10% chance of happening, in which case it would be career threatening.

So which would you rather have.

A THIRD BASEMAN, who if worse comes to worse can move to first, and has already proved that he can hit, regardless of what position he plays, or a first baseman who can't move to any other position and has not proved anything at all yet in how his shoulder will respond?
   106. Sam M. Posted: December 10, 2004 at 06:45 PM (#1011094)
So which would you rather have.

A THIRD BASEMAN, who if worse comes to worse can move to first, and has already proved that he can hit, regardless of what position he plays, or a first baseman who can't move to any other position and has not proved anything at all yet in how his shoulder will respond?


Carlos Delgado.

(I think both Glaus and Sexson are relatively high risk for long-term contracts. But I don't feel all that strongly about which is the bigger risk -- you may well be right that Sexson is worse, but it may also be that as a DBacks fan you're just more acutely aware of the risk, having been burned by the situation in 2004.)

glaus is a 3rd baseman, not a first baseman. 3rd baseman do not set the market value for 1st baseman.

I am quite convinced that the Glaus contract is going to affect the negotiations for both Delgado and Sexson. Teams will try to make your argument, but agents will use it anyway, to deflect the injury-risk argument ("Look what AZ gave Troy, coming off two injury-marred years!") and production/dollar ratio arguments.
   107. 1k5v3L Posted: December 10, 2004 at 06:55 PM (#1011119)
And spending a lot of two seasons on the DL is, IMO, worse than spending virtually all of one season on it. Glaus has a consistent history of injuries limiting his playing time. Sexson, OTOH, has a record of durability interrupted by one season-ending injury.

The two injuries are identical. Sexson went on the DL twice, just like Glaus did. The situations were identical:

a) they separate their shoulders. choose not to have surgery (option 1) but to rehab.

b) they come back feeling good, then blow out their shoulders, this time worse.

c) they both have surgeries, end up on the dl.

Sexson did come back after the first time he separated his shoulder, having spent 3-4 weeks on the DL. Then he separated his shoulder again, on a check swing, again. Then he had the surgery.

Am not sure which one is riskier. I'd feel better about Glaus if he played 1B and didn't risk his shoulder by diving. I can't stop but worry that Richie will pop out his shoulder again when he checks his swing too violently one of these days.
   108. shoewizard Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:05 PM (#1011137)
I really don't think Delgado was available, and Carlos is left handed. Don't forget they are committed to gonzo for 2 more years, and needed a RIGHTY bat to protect him. (At least I think that is what they were thinking) But I just don't see Carlos being willing to come here, especially with his politics.

As far as the risk, yeah, I accept that I see Sexson as higher risk in part because I got to witness his injury first hand, and not Troy's. (I will never forget the image of Jerry Colangelo sitting there with his head in his hands when Richie went down. He knew it was all over right then and there. It was really a moment caught on T.V.)

However a doctor friend of mine explained to me with Richie's injury, the problem is that if they make the shoulder tight enough to insure it wont pop out again, it would severely restrict his range of motion, and of course his swing. But the less tight they make it, the more chance of it popping out again. So there was a trade-off there. They were trying to get it tight enough to not pop out, but not so tight as to overly restrict his motion or change his swing. That has to be awful tough to calibrate. We are talking about the human body here, not an engine part.

This analysis jives with what the doctors said publicly about the 10% chance of re-injury. (CYA) And since we have not seen him swing, we just don't know if the surgery performed affected his swing or not.

With Glaus, we already know for sure he can still swing the bat, but we don't know if he can throw.

He really is lower Risk than Richie, by any assesment. That does not mean Troy won't get hurt and Richie won't play 150 games and mash 45 homers. But by all objective analysis, you have to figure Troy is the safer bet.
   109. shoewizard Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:10 PM (#1011146)
he two injuries are identical. Sexson went on the DL twice, just like Glaus did. The situations were identical:


Actually, thats not true. Glaus was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff in 2003. That is not what Richie Sexson had, I believe.
   110. Sam M. Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:10 PM (#1011148)
I really don't think Delgado was available,

I know. But you asked me which one I would rather have, Glaus or Sexson, to which my answer is:

Delgado.

Which is kind of a smart-ass reply, but also the truth. Of the three, I'd target Delgado. Of course, my team has no interest in Glaus as a third baseman with David Wright already there, so I would be looking at them only as three first-base options. And I'd prefer Delgado to either of the others, in part because he's the safest, and also because he's the best of the three.
   111. shoewizard Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#1011174)
Well, I hope the Mets sign Delgado over Sexson too.

I grew up on Long Island, and the Mets were my first team. I still always wish them well, except when playing the D Backs of course.
   112. 1k5v3L Posted: December 10, 2004 at 07:54 PM (#1011223)
Except that I have Sexson on my NL only team, and I'll lose him if Delgado signs with NY, as that would mean Sexson would go to SEA or BAL. And I really don't want to lose him. Please, Omar, sign Richie, be a good boy.
   113. cassius44 Posted: December 10, 2004 at 08:38 PM (#1011315)
As far as the risk, yeah, I accept that I see Sexson as higher risk in part because I got to witness his injury first hand, and not Troy's. (I will never forget the image of Jerry Colangelo sitting there with his head in his hands when Richie went down. He knew it was all over right then and there. It was really a moment caught on T.V.)

I was in the stands that night and it was a crusher.

What worries me more than the money invested in Glaus is the prospect that the Diamondbacks will spend big on Ortiz and Shawn Estes.

The top three pitchers in the Majors in walks last season were:

1. Brandon Webb - 119
2. Russ Ortiz - 112
3. Shawn Estes - 105

That's a lot of ducks on the pond in that ballpark. Or should I say ducks in the pool?
   114. 1k5v3L Posted: December 10, 2004 at 08:46 PM (#1011331)
I hope Estes won't be signed. And I think Webb will be better this season. Ortiz... no hope for him.
   115. Sam M. Posted: December 10, 2004 at 08:51 PM (#1011343)
Please, Omar, sign Richie, be a good boy.

If you really want Omar to sign Sexson, maybe you shouldn't be writing long posts about how god-awful risky he is to be a complete bust due to injuries! You never know; Omar could be lurking here. Just in case, it couldn't hurt to post a, "He'll be good as new, you just wait and see!"
   116. 1k5v3L Posted: December 10, 2004 at 08:56 PM (#1011351)
LOL, Sam. Omar knows how to read?!
   117. ColonelTom Posted: December 10, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#1011446)
The big question is, will the D'Backs franchise fold before Glaus's four-year deal expires?
   118. fra paolo Posted: December 11, 2004 at 10:53 AM (#1012775)
Does it occur to you that many free agents , when contacted by the d backs, say "thanks, but no thanks, not interested in going there"

Sorry, to arrive late to the discussion, but I think shoewizard has a valid point here, and one that needs to receive more weight than it is often given by an armchair GM.

I should think most real GMs are (a) competitive people and (b) faced with short time frames within which to work. A demanding owner may not see the value of a 3-5 year success cycle, during which those baseball fans who hop on the bandwagon drift away to other enthusiasms. Some of those people, once gone, are gone forever. The owner makes less money, and grumbles, and eventually might show the GM the door.

Meanwhile, every GM knows that a series of lucky breaks can carry a mediocre team a lot further than its statistical profile might indicate. So a couple of gambles might pay off over a four-year period because 'you never know what might turn up'. Then the GM gets the five-year contract extension, and more time to think across a 'success cycle'. Assuming the D'Backs GM thinks that the team isn't as bad as it was last year, a high-profile gamble that pays off with even a vaguely successful year can raise the team's profile, and make it more attractive to both young draftees and old free agents.

I see this as a nod in the direction of the I-Rod deal of last season. Sign a possible impact player (one who was playing relatively nearby, to boot), and hope he can create some excitement, and the fans will think that the team is only two or three years away, instead of four or five.

I don't think it is what I would do, but I can see a rationale to it, that in the context of the real world of baseball GMs, makes sense.
   119. shoewizard Posted: July 16, 2008 at 06:36 AM (#2860864)
2005 to Present:

Troy Glaus, signed for 4 yrs 45 Million, has played 511 G, 2114 PA with a 124 OPS+

Fielding Bible +/- as a Third Baseman
2006 +8 (9th in MLB)
2007 +9 (9th)
2008 +16 (3rd)

Richie Sexson, signed for 4 years 50 Million, has played in 509 G, 2102 PA with a 114 OPS+

Fielding Bible +/- as a FIRST Baseman
2006 +5 (11th)
2007 -15 (29th)
2008 -9 (29th)

Carlos Delgado, signed for 4 yrs 52 million has played in 520 G, 2234 PA with a 127 OPS+

Fielding Bible +/- as a FIRST baseman
2006 -4 (20th)
2007 +1 (12th)
2008 -14 (30th)


I am virtually the only one that thought that Glaus was a better bet than Sexson over the next 4 years starting out in 2005. And it definitely wasn't "blind squirrel finds a nut". My arguments were valid. However the arguments about D backs roster construction issues brought up by others at the time were also valid. I've learned a lot about roster construction over the last 3+ years from people here, and Levski too of course. However I fear the pupil has surpassed the master. Delgado listed here just for Sam since he introduced him into this particular debate. See # 107 ;)
   120. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 16, 2008 at 07:11 AM (#2860871)
I seem to remember there being more of a back-and-forth between you and me on this issue. Maybe another thread?

Anyway, the Glaus signing worked out so well for Arizona because the Jays were stupid enough to trade a cheap All Star 2B (Orlando Hudson) and a #3/#4 cheap starter (Miguel Batista) for him. IIRC, the BTF consensus for that trade was very complimentary of Arizona (myself included).

Despite how 2005-08 has actually played out, I'll maintain that Seattle signing Sexson was a better decision than Arizona signing Glaus. Seattle was expected to compete in 2005-06 and Sexson delivered a great 2005 and decent 2006. You could write a book on everything that went wrong for Seattle the last several years, but I don't think anyone in the 2005/06 offseason expected them to be one of the worst teams in baseball for four years running. In any event, Sexson did fine for the first two years of the contract and then cratered.

Glaus has held up pretty well health-wise and his shoulder has held up much better than I expected, allowing him to remain an above-average defensive 3B (although his superb 2008 is a product of small sample size).

But I maintain that signing Sexson before 2005 made absolutely no sense for the Dbacks given where they were in the success cycle and the glut of young corner talent that they had coming up. In 2005-06, they were a below average team and in 2007 they were a losing team by run differential (90 actual wins not withstanding). 2008 was about when I thought that they would become the best team in the division back when I was deriding the Glaus signing.

I'll freely admit that I was wrong about Sexson and Delgado being good contracts (both became unproductive a few years earlier than I expected), but I remain thoroughly unconvinced that signing Glaus made sense for Arizona (and Mark Reynolds wasn't even on my radar screen back in Winter 2004). They are very, very lucky that JP Ricciardi is an idiot and gave up two pretty good, cheap players for Glaus. As I believe I said at the time about Glaus (in another thread), I thought that he was an intriguing, high-risk and high-reward free agent for some team close to contention, but that such a team was not Arizona.
   121. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 16, 2008 at 07:39 AM (#2860881)
Oh, man, I'm totally gonna go find that thread where I said that Coco Crisp wouldn't hit way back when the Red Sox first got him and resurrect it with a post like, "Look, yo, I was right!"

(Note: I am not certain that thread exists.)
   122. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 16, 2008 at 08:05 AM (#2860888)
I'll freely admit that I was wrong about Sexson and Delgado being good contracts (both became unproductive a few years earlier than I expected), but I remain thoroughly unconvinced that signing Glaus made sense for Arizona (and Mark Reynolds wasn't even on my radar screen back in Winter 2004).

Delgado was a monster for the first two years of his contract, posting a 145 OPS+. As an older player, it was expected that he wouldn't be quite as good in the latter portion of his contract. Depending on where you were in the success cycle, the first two years of his contract more than justifies the back end of the contract.

And to be fair, a 127 OPS+ is pretty good, even for a firstbaseman. Teixeira is going to get a whole lot of money this offseason and that's the type of hitter he is. Sure, he is a better defender than Delgado but the point still stands.

I wanted the Mets to sign Delgado when the Marlins did. Having seen how the contract played out, I don't think I was wrong back then. Bargains generally aren't found in free agency and Delgado's contract wasn't a bargain. But it wasn't such an overpayment that it was mistake.
   123. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 16, 2008 at 08:13 AM (#2860891)
Hmm... I would classify Delgado's 2005 (161 OPS+) as a "monster," but 2006 (131 OPS+) with lousy defense and baserunning was pretty pedestrian both in terms of relation to league average 1B as well as he previously established performance level.

Given Delgado's skill set and physique, it was a good bet that he wouldn't age well past 35. Like Sexson, the decline isn't surprising, but I would have thought the collapse would have occured in 2008 or 2009, rather than 2007. But anyway, Del was below average in 2007 as well as 2008 (so far).
   124. Jeff K. Posted: July 16, 2008 at 08:23 AM (#2860893)
Okay...I saw this on Hot Topics, and I was like "What the ####?" Now I see it's an old thread, and one I even had the second post in!
   125. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 16, 2008 at 08:23 AM (#2860894)
Hmm... I would classify Delgado's 2005 (161 OPS+) as a "monster," but 2006 (131 OPS+) with lousy defense and baserunning was pretty pedestrian both in terms of relation to league average 1B as well as he previously established performance level.

His defense has been bad this year but as the numbers in 120 show, he's been roughly average according to the numbers and as a guy who has watched a lot of Met games the last few years, I can tell you his defense in 2006 and 2007 were not a problem. His baserunning isn't something that takes away from his value. He isn't Jose Reyes but he isn't Frank Thomas. He can score from second on a single. His defense has been legitimately bad this year though. His range is very poor now.

Again, Delgado has put up an .870 OPS in pitcher's parks while averaging 140+ games a season. I think that's a good contract. If you don't, we'll just agree to disagree.
   126. shoewizard Posted: July 16, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#2861482)
The only bad contract among these 3 is Sexson's, and even he had a very good season his first year in Seattle.

I concede the points about roster construction and success cycle. Again. I have stated a few times even prior to 120 above that my understanding of these issues has benefited greatly by my association with those on this board, (and in this thread). But at the same time there were some mis reads by others about Glaus, his health, and his true talent level, and his relative value to these first basemen. I think it is also instructive that many mis read the market that year, and because Glaus was one of the earlier signings, it really seemed like a lot on the day he was signed. But in fact, it was pretty much right in line with the market, and if anything, he was a slight bargain at that price. We're all learning.
   127. RJ in TO Posted: July 16, 2008 at 06:24 PM (#2861519)
They are very, very lucky that JP Ricciardi is an idiot and gave up two pretty good, cheap players for Glaus.


Batista was $5M, and the Jays had other starters available, and were using him as a reliever - the Jays haven't missed his contributions. Hudson was (and is) damn good, but poised for arbitration, and the Jays had a more than suitable replacement in-house in Hill (who just signed a very cheap extension). In return, JP got a power hitting, good fielding, 3B who played well enough to justify the contract who (as you show above) performed above the other similar contracts signed that year.

The Glaus trade worked well for both teams. There's no need to call JP stupid for this trade, especially when there are other stupid moves to chose from.
   128. RJ in TO Posted: July 16, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#2861521)
Oh. And Batista was also entering the final year of his deal, and the Jays would have lost him anyway.
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