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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cole Hamels gets $1 million from Dodgers to throw 0 innings


The Los Angeles Dodgers were hoping MLB veteran Cole Hamels could provide some help in their rotation down the stretch. Instead, they were only left with the bill.

The team announced Monday that it had placed Hamels on the 60-day injured list, effectively ending his season. According to MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, Hamels experienced arm pain during a simulated inning on Monday.

The injury creates some question of whether Hamels will appear in another MLB game. He missed nearly all of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury, pitching only 3.1 innings in one start on a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Hamels attempted to mount an MLB comeback earlier this year and had a number of teams intrigued, but ultimately signed with the Dodgers for $1 million. He wasn’t expected to contribute to the team immediately as he required some stretching out, but the team was certainly hoping for some help by the time September rolled around.

It’s unclear if the Dodgers had any sort of insurance on Hamels’ contract that could mitigate the payment they owe him. Obviously, this is the risk teams take on when they sign 37-year-old pitchers who have appeared in one game over the past two seasons, and it’s hard to blame Hamels for taking the money that teams give him.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 12:46 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cole hamels, dodgers

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:02 PM (#6034738)
This article is oddly focused on what is a tiny rounding error for the Dodgers.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6034741)
This article is oddly focused on what is a tiny rounding error for the Dodgers.

Yeah this has the relative financial impact of you or I ruining a new pair of shoes.
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6034742)
I'd rather pay $1 million for zero innings than $18 million for three and a third, although I suppose the Braves didn't pay the full freight on last year's contract.
   4. The Duke Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6034743)
These types of things metastasize in orgs over time. A million here, a million there…..

The cardinals had this issue for the last ten years. Lots of what looks like cheap contracts to barely above replacement players. It takes its toll eventually. Now the Dodgers are winning and have a hugely different revenue profile but for most teams, these types of fails should be a big red flag.

The way the CBA is set up, you should max out extensions to your good pre-arb players, once in a while sign or extend an all star, but jettison everyone after 30-31 and rely on either rookies or vets on 1-2 year contracts. The Crawford and schoop contracts are good examples. The cardinals have started to implement this. They’ve got Molina and wainwright on one year deals, they let Wong go, and just brought in cheap veterans like Lester and Happ. Not to mention about 5 waiver wire claims of pitchers for the bullpen.

Long deals to middling players (see Andrew Miller, Brett Cecil, dexter Fowler ) are flexibility killers
   5. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6034744)
I ALSO pitched zero innings for the Dodgers this year! Cole, it's like we're soulmates.
   6. DCA Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6034745)
Kolten Wong had to go because 2/$18 (starting this year) is too much, but Brandon Crawford at 2/$32 and Jonathan Schoop at 2/$15 (starting next year) are examples of the right way to do it?

And the only reason Hamels even got a look was that 4/5 of the Dodgers' opening day rotation (plus the #6 guy Gonsolin) are out with injury or suspension. Are above-replacement SP supposed to sign up to be sixth options?

   7. bartap74 Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6034747)
I would have been willing to provide the same service for half that amount.
   8. The Duke Posted: August 17, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6034749)
Wong was non-tendered at 1/12 I believe. They had Edman who they thought could do a passable imitation of Wong at 500K a year. In retrospect, Edman ended up playing WAY too much OF because of injuries which has hurt his value. But the concept of trading off mid-career guys for rookies is what you need to be able to do. If you do it en masse it will generally work out.

The cards could have come back and offered Wong a package - I think in years past they would have. Now they want to ride the “control” players.
   9. The Duke Posted: August 17, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6034750)
And as to Crawford, he’s going to be a 6 WAR player this year (mostly based on offense). That’s hugely valuable
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6034754)
These types of things metastasize in orgs over time. A million here, a million there…..

The cardinals had this issue for the last ten years. Lots of what looks like cheap contracts to barely above replacement players. It takes its toll eventually.


If they're one-year deals, they don't "metastasize" by definition, and there's no long term toll.

And as to Crawford, he’s going to be a 6 WAR player this year (mostly based on offense). That’s hugely valuable

He has a 144 OPS+ in 383 PA after 1917 PA of an 89 OPS+. He's 34 and a half.
   11. The Duke Posted: August 17, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6034757)
Multiply his WAR last year by 2.7 and he’s 3.5 to 4 WAR for a full season so it’s two years of pretty high value with the trend line heading up.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6034759)
Multiply his WAR last year by 2.7 and he’s 3.5 to 4 WAR for a full season so it’s two years of pretty high value with the trend line heading up.

You know you can't do that. 193 PAs is 193 PAs.

His ROS Zips is a 104 wRC+. Steamer is 101. At 35, nobody's trend line is heading up.
   13. Ron J Posted: August 17, 2021 at 03:26 PM (#6034763)
#5. Like you, I didn't pitch for the Dodgers this year and that check I got for the major league minimum was pretty helpful. Sad to see I could have held out for a better deal, but Hamels showed the value of experience.
   14. base ball chick Posted: August 17, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6034778)
i am also willing to take a 1 mill a year salary to not pitch 1 inning for the dodgers. I'd be a trailblazer - the first pitcher under 5-6, the first rookie over 40, the first woman - endless pub. can't go wrong
   15. Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2021 at 06:01 PM (#6034788)
You folks are aiming low ... for my entire career, I rarely finished worse than 10th in Cy Young voting.
   16. Itchy Row Posted: August 17, 2021 at 06:01 PM (#6034789)
You know you can't do that. 193 PAs is 193 PAs.

His ROS Zips is a 104 wRC+. Steamer is 101. At 35, nobody's trend line is heading up.
That's nice, but what Crawford has actually done is valuable.
   17. bfan Posted: August 17, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6034792)
I feel like the point is missed here. A million dollars is still a lot of money and even if it is a rounding error as some have suggested, is further evidence of how MLB teams like the Dodgers throw away money.

A smart team would have conditioned any payment on some level of participation, but the Dodgers make so much money, they don’t care. They are sloppy and careless with their money here, and there is no way around that.

They could have built 10 youth baseball fields with that money.
   18. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 17, 2021 at 06:47 PM (#6034798)
They could have built 10 youth baseball fields with that money.


Hamels has a nice record of “charitability”. I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts that money towards good uses.
   19. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 17, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6034799)
the first rookie over 40


Sad trombone sound …. Diomedes Olivia beat you to it by 61 years. Rookie at age 41 in 1960.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6034800)
That's nice, but what Crawford has actually done is valuable.

Sure, but the Giants already own that. The extension is paying $32M for what he's gonna do in 2022-23. Since he turned 30 Crawford have averaged 2.5 WAR per 650 PA, including this year. Hard to expect more than that at age 35-36.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6034802)
Then the "smart" team would not have had Hamels in their organization. Which when Hamels is broken is fine but everybody knows you sign 5 Hamels (whether in one season if you're the Dodgers or over 5 seasons if you're a normal team) and get lucky with one.

The Dodgers offered Hamels a guaranteed $1 M because (they believed) other teams were willing to give him the sort of hybrid deal you suggest or maybe even guarantee $800,000. Lots of players get those sorts of hybrid deals (it's a reasonably standard structure for an NRI of a formerly productive player), Hamels got a slightly better one because there was more competition for his services. This was likely due to the fact that he has always been a good pitcher with 480 IP of a 116 ERA+, 9.4 WAR from 2017-19. Everybody knew he was hurt, everybody knew there was a good chance he wouldn't pitch this year or would not be effective ... and at least one team still felt that the chance of 1 WAR over the last third of the season was worth a bet of $1 M. That it is a good bet for the Dodgers but maybe not for the Rays is just one of the benefits of being an extra-rich team.

And there is no other way for the Dodgers to spend this money that would improve the baseball team. I mean obviously they could have chosen a different player to bet on or maybe they could have bet on 2 guys as hurt but not as previously good as Hamels. But there's no reason for them to just give it to one of their arb players when they don't have to (which wouldn't make the team better) nor can they spend more in the draft or internationally.

Now of course, assuming he doesn't just retire, probably next year no team will think Hamels is worth a guaranteed salary. It will then be his choice whether he wants to accept some version of a NRI with hybrid salary structure or retire.

the Dodgers make so much money, they don’t care.

This is just silly. The Dodgers clearly do care which is why they outbid other teams to secure Hamels' (potential) services. They also gave $1.25 M (seems guaranteed but he was an NRI, plus incentives) to Jimmy Nelson who has rewarded them with 24 excellent relief innings (0.9 WAR) but appears to keep getting hurt. I don't know if any of Nelson's incentives have kicked in (I wouldn't think so except maybe an opening day bonus) but 0.9 WAR for $2.25 M is a good day's work for a MLB GM.

   22. Boxkutter Posted: August 17, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6034823)
Multiply his WAR last year by 2.7 and he’s 3.5 to 4 WAR for a full season so it’s two years of pretty high value with the trend line heading up.

You know you can't do that. 193 PAs is 193 PAs.

His ROS Zips is a 104 wRC+. Steamer is 101. At 35, nobody's trend line is heading up.


So you're going to complain about someone multiplying to get a full season, but then turn around and use a projection system as gospel? You do realize both have about the same odds of being correct. Shoot, I think I'd put higher odds on the multiplication, at least it's based on what's actually happened and not what they think should have happened.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2021 at 10:00 PM (#6034827)
the first pitcher under 5-6


5-foot-4 Lee Viau won 82 games in the 1890s

1952 AL MVP Athletics pitcher Bobby Shantz, at 5-6, doesn't quite qualify

:)
   24. base ball chick Posted: August 17, 2021 at 10:06 PM (#6034828)
i'm actually 5-3 (if you measure over the braids. and maybe ignore the flat sandals) so i still have him beat
   25. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2021 at 10:25 PM (#6034830)
BBC for the win!
   26. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 17, 2021 at 11:06 PM (#6034836)
They could have built 10 youth baseball fields with that money.

I'm not disagreeing with you, but I think the point being argued is that the Dodgers could still build 10 youth baseball fields -- if they wanted to. The Hamels signing hasn't hindered that.
   27. Ron J Posted: August 18, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6034843)
#23 I think Shantz had a baseball height. Until Freddie Patek it was really uncommon for short players to have their real height listed. And it amused Patek to point out that people listed as being several inches taller than him were actually about the same height as he was.
   28. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 18, 2021 at 08:08 AM (#6034850)
A million dollars is still a lot of money and even if it is a rounding error as some have suggested, is further evidence of how MLB teams like the Dodgers throw away money.

I mean it's barely more than the league minimum. LA took a gamble on his health and lost. Doesn't mean that it was a foolish risk.

The fixation on a lost $1 million reads like Dr. Evil's analysis.
   29. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: August 18, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6034855)
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I think the point being argued is that the Dodgers could still build 10 youth baseball fields -- if they wanted to. The Hamels signing hasn't hindered that.
The Dodgers do build youth baseball fields and they cost a lot more than $100k a piece. Typically they spend a few million a year and build a complex with 3-5 fields. This year they actually opened two different complexes. One is in Compton that opened on Jackie Robinson day and the other is in Lincoln Heights and opened in June.
   30. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:02 AM (#6034857)
I think Shantz had a baseball height. Until Freddie Patek it was really uncommon for short players to have their real height listed.

Then there was Harry Chappas. A White Sox SS from my youth I remember as being 5'3", but b-r has him as 5'7" and other sources at 5'6". TIL that Veeck listed him at 5'3" to try to build some buzz (and sell some tickets) to see The Little Shortstop that Could.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6034859)
So you're going to complain about someone multiplying to get a full season, but then turn around and use a projection system as gospel? You do realize both have about the same odds of being correct. Shoot, I think I'd put higher odds on the multiplication, at least it's based on what's actually happened and not what they think should have happened.

You're saying gospel, not me. I also presented his last 5 seasons. And, of course, projections are based on what actually happened. You simply can't project a player based on his last 600 PAs alone. Everyone here knows that.
   32. villageidiom Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6034864)
I mean it's barely more than the league minimum. LA took a gamble on his health and lost. Doesn't mean that it was a foolish risk.
I mean, for a month and a half they've paid like 10 times that amount for Trevor Bauer to pitch 0 innings for them.
   33. base ball chick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#6034897)
Ron J Posted: August 18, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6034843)

#23 I think Shantz had a baseball height. Until Freddie Patek it was really uncommon for short players to have their real height listed. And it amused Patek to point out that people listed as being several inches taller than him were actually about the same height as he was.


- and they STILL lie about their height like alex (6' tall but not standing next to leslie jones) bregman

i STILL hear garbage like - myles straw can't hit for power because he's small. yeah, unlike oversized jose altuve
   34. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6034924)
Yeah, I wish Dustin Pedroia had listed his real height, too. Or even better, exaggerate in the opposite direction. "That's right, I'm 3 foot 10 and I just hit a laser high up on the wall off you, pal!"

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