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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Yankees, Gerrit Cole agree to record 9-year, $324M deal

Prized free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees have agreed to a record nine-year, $324 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The deal includes an opt-out clause after five years, sources told Passan, and surpasses the deal Stephen Strasburg finalized with the Washington Nationals on Monday for most total money and annual average salary for a pitcher, at $36 million.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:15 AM | 108 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fuck you, peasants, gerrit cole, yankees

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:23 AM (#5907659)
Immediate rumors are that the Angels went to eight years at $35 million per, but once New York kicked in yet another year and another million per season, Arte Moreno realized he was never, ever going to be able to out-rich the Yankees. That's got to be an insane thing for someone like him to realize.
   2. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:27 AM (#5907663)
link
When [gerritt cole] reported to spring training, the Astros pulled him into a conference room for an hour-long, personalized pitching pitch. Seated at the head of the table, Cole listened as the brain trust told him they’d been watching and trying to trade for him for almost two years. They laid out what they liked and what they thought could be better. “You don’t scare the player by telling them there’s this massive overhaul,” Hinch says. “Certainly not Gerrit Cole.” Every recommendation was backed up by video, heat maps, and clear explanations. Cole describes his reaction as “mind blown” and says, “I’d never experienced any meeting like that, at all.”

By now, the next part is predictable: Cole threw more four-seamers and fewer sinkers and recorded a career-high rate of curveballs en route to his second All-Star season and top-five Cy Young finish. The Astros, Cole says, “highlighted the fact that my curveball’s my best pitch for me, which took six years for someone to finally tell me.” He’d always had a top-of-the-rotation toolbox, but until the trade, he says, “I was just sometimes pulling out the wrong tools.”

   3. Lest we forget Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:37 AM (#5907664)
The temptation is to say that the Astros deserve a finder's fee, but Cole had to go out and execute. Business is business.

Oh .. and this will not turn out well for the Yankees. Too much money, too long a duration.
   4. rconn23 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:56 AM (#5907665)
"Oh .. and this will not turn out well for the Yankees. Too much money, too long a duration."

Meh, they'll be fine. It's one year too many for me, but he's a clear number one pitcher and there simply isn't going to be one of those on the free agent market for the next couple of years. Yankees are in win-now mode. As for the money, please, it's the Yankees. No contract is going to break the franchise financially.
   5. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: December 11, 2019 at 03:27 AM (#5907666)
That'll break down to something like $1,500,000 every two weeks. Jesus.
   6. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 11, 2019 at 07:29 AM (#5907669)
I'm surprised, because now their first draft pick gets dropped ten slots if they can't clear some salary. It will be difficult for them to stay under the draft pick penalty threshold for the duration of the Cole and Stanton contracts, so the farm system will take a big hit. Maybe they're confident that that provision won't be part of the new CBA (it certainly shouldn't be if the players' association knows what it's doing).
   7. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 11, 2019 at 07:37 AM (#5907670)
That'll break down to something like $1,500,000 every two weeks. Jesus.


About $4,100 an hour. $1.14 per second.

That's 365/24/7, not just when he works.
   8. Itchy Row Posted: December 11, 2019 at 07:42 AM (#5907671)
Yeah, but the contract starts and ends in leap years, so Cole is barely getting by when you divide it by 366/24/7.
   9. The Duke Posted: December 11, 2019 at 08:07 AM (#5907674)
Stanton is gone imo. The only thing impacting that is his NTC. The only other two teams interested last time he vetoed outright.
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 08:21 AM (#5907675)
Wow. That's a big ######' contract. Annoyed that the Yankees got him, but good to see the teams pulling out the checkbook for the best players on the market.
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 08:37 AM (#5907676)
. . . but once New York kicked in yet another year and another million per season, Arte Moreno realized he was never, ever going to be able to out-rich the Yankees. That's got to be an insane thing for someone like him to realize.
Poor Arte Moreno, his dream of having the most expensive position player and the most expensive pitcher thwarted, although I believe nothing prevented him from offering more.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:00 AM (#5907678)
Wow, that's a lot of money.
   13. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5907679)
Stanton is gone imo. The only thing impacting that is his NTC. The only other two teams interested last time he vetoed outright.

Even if he does wave his NTC, who the fuck is trading for him now? He just missed basically an entire season. The one before, he was good, but far from his MVP calibre promise. He has like 8/240 left, and the best years on that deal seem to be behind him. How much money would the Yankees need to kick in, before somebody thought that was a risk worth taking?
   14. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5907680)
It's a shame that he'll have to shave his beard. He looks good.
   15. Rusty Priske Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5907683)
This is the kind of deal that fans will be happy with for a few years at best. And if they don't win a World Series in that period (which they probably won't), it is an albatross for the remaining years.

The really crappy thing is that these contracts pull up the asking price of everyone else. How much did Ryu's next contract just go up by? 25%? More?
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5907684)
I'm surprised, because now their first draft pick gets dropped ten slots if they can't clear some salary. It will be difficult for them to stay under the draft pick penalty threshold for the duration of the Cole and Stanton contracts, so the farm system will take a big hit. Maybe they're confident that that provision won't be part of the new CBA (it certainly shouldn't be if the players' association knows what it's doing).

They were only at $200M last year, and Didi was like $14M, so they should be fine in 2020.

Even if they do get the draft pick penalty, the difference in average value between pick #28 and #38 is pretty trivial. The bonus only falls from $2.5M to $1.95M,
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:17 AM (#5907686)
The really crappy thing is that these contracts pull up the asking price of everyone else. How much did Ryu's next contract just go up by? 25%? More?

Why is that bad? You'd rather the billionaires keep the extra profits?
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5907694)
the brain trust told him they’d been watching and trying to trade for him for almost two years


They apparently weren't trying all that hard, given the ####-ass package they offered the Pirates for him.
   19. Stevey Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5907695)
Immediate rumors are that the Angels went to eight years at $35 million per, but once New York kicked in yet another year and another million per season, Arte Moreno realized he was never, ever going to be able to out-rich the Yankees.


That's not a reason to stop bidding though. If Moreno thought 10/36 or 9/37 or whatever else that beat the Yankees new offer was still a fair deal, he should do it, even if its for no other reason that to bleed the competition just a little bit more. The only reason to stop bidding is because you see the MLBPA as the competition more than you see the Yankees as such.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5907701)
Immediate rumors are that the Angels went to eight years at $35 million per, but once New York kicked in yet another year and another million per season, Arte Moreno realized he was never, ever going to be able to out-rich the Yankees.
That's not a reason to stop bidding though. If Moreno thought 10/36 or 9/37 or whatever else that beat the Yankees new offer was still a fair deal, he should do it, even if its for no other reason that to bleed the competition just a little bit more. The only reason to stop bidding is because you see the MLBPA as the competition more than you see the Yankees as such.
Right, I don't think that rumor quote should be taken too literally. It seems likely that the Yankees were "bled" by other bids in this situation.
   21. eric Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5907709)
Not surprised. As someone else pointed out in one of the other threads, Strasburg going for 7/245 set a very high bar on a pitcher who's better, younger, and more durable. This contract seems to reflect those differences. If the Yankees really want someone, they will get that someone.

The really crappy thing is that these contracts pull up the asking price of everyone else. How much did Ryu's next contract just go up by? 25%? More?

Why is that bad? You'd rather the billionaires keep the extra profits?


I suspect like most businesses, MLB teams have owners that have a limit to what they will spend, no matter what. If the price of employees goes up they don't necessarily spend more (at least to a point) they just find cheaper alternatives. So for fans, they get a likely less-competitive team for the same money they could have gotten with lower salaries. The Angels, for example, will now have to take their same $280mm they apparently offered Cole and spend it either on lesser players, or hold out and spend it on lesser players in the future.

Keep in mind, I'm 100% in favor of a free market and don't give a dingus about how centi-millionaires and billionaires squabble over their riches. But I can recognize why fans might grieve.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5907710)
I suspect like most businesses, owners have a limit to what they will spend, no matter what. If the price of employees goes up they don't necessarily spend more (at least to a point) they just find cheaper alternatives. So for fans, they get a likely less-competitive team for the same money they could have gotten with lower salaries. The Angels, for example, will now have to take their same $280mm they apparently offered Cole and spend it either on lesser players, or hold out and spend it on lesser players in the future.


How is that even possible? It's not like guys are giving up MLB to take up other careers because they only get $10M/year rather than $15M.

If budgets were fixed (they're not) then some players getting overpaid would mean others get underpaid, and the teams that avoided the overpays get more talent/$. But the total amount of talent is fixed at any point in time.
   23. rconn23 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5907714)
"That's not a reason to stop bidding though. If Moreno thought 10/36 or 9/37 or whatever else that beat the Yankees new offer was still a fair deal, he should do it, even if its for no other reason that to bleed the competition just a little bit more."

Why not spend that money on four or five players who can actually help them be a good team, instead of one great pitcher who probably still isn't enough to help them be no better than third in the AL West?
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5907715)
So it looks like we're right back to "pay me based on my absolute best year or two (and then some more on top of that) until I'm approaching 40" contracts, at least at the top end of the market. There's absolutely no "surplus value" to be had in these types of deals, and they put 100% of the risk on the team. Of course they will work out badly in the end the vast majority of the time. Just when we thought teams had learned that lesson...
   25. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5907716)
these contracts pull up the asking price of everyone else


Not really. The team with all the money is out on everyone else because they got Cole. The market doesn't usually improve when the biggest spender leaves.
   26. Rally Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5907719)
How much would this pitcher make if he were also on the market?

Age 29

From age 26-28, average of 224 IP, 136 ERA+, 5.6 WAR

That was Felix Hernandez heading into the 2015 season.

Of course there are good outcomes among the comps too. Bob Gibson in 1964 was coming off 3 years where he averaged 17 wins, 219 strikeouts, and a 126 ERA+. If St Louis had been forced to pay him a record breaking contract (instead of $40,000) they would have come out OK.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5907722)
these contracts pull up the asking price of everyone else

Not really. The team with all the money is out on everyone else because they got Cole. The market doesn't usually improve when the biggest spender leaves.
Well, "pull up" may be the wrong phrase, but if there were other teams who were willing to pay Cole almost $324m/9, it is good news for other pitchers. The Yankees certainly didn't get a bargain once the Nationals left the bidding.
   28. Rally Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5907723)
Of course they will work out badly in the end the vast majority of the time. Just when we thought teams had learned that lesson...


This is a good thing unless you like all the money staying with the billionaires. To keep contracts low, you need all 30 teams to learn the lesson. To unlearn, all it takes is 2 - the winning bidder and whoever they bid against.
   29. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5907725)
That's not a reason to stop bidding though. If Moreno thought 10/36 or 9/37 or whatever else that beat the Yankees new offer was still a fair deal, he should do it, even if its for no other reason that to bleed the competition just a little bit more. The only reason to stop bidding is because you see the MLBPA as the competition more than you see the Yankees as such.


I agree with this.

You figure you're going to lose a bidding war? That's fine. Decide what your absolute bestest, mostest offer is, put that on the table, and let the competition pay the premium.

Yeesh.... every noob at a roto auction knows this. Even if you feel like your pitching staff is near set (something certainly not applicable to the Angels) and you don't necessarily want the late arriving ace in the bidding -- you still bid them up to prevent anyone else from getting a marquee player at less than your estimates have him. Never let another team get a player at a price cheaper than you'd be willing to pay if you can help it.
   30. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5907726)
So it looks like we're right back to "pay me based on my absolute best year or two (and then some more on top of that) until I'm approaching 40" contracts, at least at the top end of the market. There's absolutely no "surplus value" to be had in these types of deals, and they put 100% of the risk on the team. Of course they will work out badly in the end the vast majority of the time. Just when we thought teams had learned that lesson...


Those contracts were also given out last year to the top free agents on the market. That never stopped. Where teams are taking your advice and decreasing their payroll is for all the other free agents.
   31. eric Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:18 AM (#5907729)
How is that even possible? It's not like guys are giving up MLB to take up other careers because they only get $10M/year rather than $15M.


It's not clear to me how or why this is a response to what I wrote.

But, yes, like any business a budget is not necessarily fixed in stone, but there are limits. To note, the Angels were willing to spend $280mm. They did not get their player. They could still spend that same $280mm, but now it will be on lesser players, unless you know of someone as good as Cole currently on the FA market. Alternatively, that money may be spent in the future, but given Cole has set the market for pitching, it will by definition be on someone not as good.

these contracts pull up the asking price of everyone else


Not really. The team with all the money is out on everyone else because they got Cole. The market doesn't usually improve when the biggest spender leaves.


I don't believe this at all. It's no coincidence to me that Cole got more years and ever-so-slightly more money-per-year than Strasburg, an older pitcher who isn't as good and hasn't been as durable. It's also no coincidence that he got even-more-so-slightly less money per year than Trout, who is the best player in the game.

All deals are used as bargaining points for the next deal, whichever team ends up signing them. The Strasburg and Cole deals have set the market and now all other deals will in some way be influenced by, and reflective of, that market.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5907730)
This is a good thing unless you like all the money staying with the billionaires.
I'm not a fan of the prevailing "stupid contracts good because players good, owners BAD!!" philosophy. I prefer a more rational relationship between performance and compensation, where some risk would be allocated on both sides. Just seems more fair and reasonable to me. (And yes, I support getting players more money when they're younger and generally more productive, with the caveat that you can't redistribute it too radically or you may as well just contract teams like the A's and Rays.)

The reality is that all teams do operate with some sort of budget constraints, despite a lot of people's insistence that they shouldn't. Albatross contracts always have consequences in the end.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5907731)
Wait, are we really giving the Angels #### for not topping this contract?
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5907732)
But, yes, like any business a budget is not necessarily fixed in stone, but there are limits. To note, the Angels were willing to spend $280mm. They did not get their player. They could still spend that same $280mm, but now it will be on lesser players, unless you know of someone as good as Cole currently on the FA market. Alternatively, that money may be spent in the future, but given Cole has set the market for pitching, it will by definition be on someone not as good.

Then you're saying a bunch of teams have increased their budgets (they are not fixed), and therefore prices will go up. That may very well be true.

In a world of truly fixed budgets (e.g. a Roto league) when one player goes way over expected price, someone else goes under.
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5907735)
Those contracts were also given out last year to the top free agents on the market. That never stopped. Where teams are taking your advice and decreasing their payroll is for all the other free agents.
Obviously Harper and Machado got their huge contracts, but that's about it, and they were younger than usual for FAs. It looks like we're seeing an expansion of the definition of "top end of the market," with guys like Grandal, Moustakas and (especially) Wheeler also cashing in.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5907736)
If Cole were to put up CC Sabathia's exact line over the next 9 years - 255 starts, 1657 IP, 27 WAR, 12 WAA - how disappointing would that be?
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5907737)
I'm not a fan of the prevailing "stupid contracts good because players good, owners BAD!!"

...

The reality is that all teams do operate with some sort of budget constraints, despite a lot of people's insistence that they shouldn't. Albatross contracts always have consequences in the end.
I agree. Even though the budget constraints are more or less self-imposed, and therefore more flexible than something like the NFL salary cap, they are still real.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5907740)
If Cole were to put up CC Sabathia's exact line over the next 9 years - 255 starts, 1657 IP, 27 WAR, 12 WAA - how disappointing would that be?

Depends. Does year 1 end the same way 2009 did?

If it's 9 years of 3 WAR, and the Yankees don't get anywhere in the playoffs, it's a hug disappointment. If it's 5 WAR for 5 years, then injury plagued suckitudes, and the Yankees win 2-3 pennants and 1-2 World Series, then it's worth every penny.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5907742)
It looks like we're seeing an expansion of the definition of "top end of the market," with guys like Grandal, Moustakas and (especially) Wheeler also cashing in.


Or teams just stopped colluding.

Moustakas' contract is striking - he's the same guy he's been forever, perhaps a bit more reliable, but also older. Also given the crazy contracts for Will Smith and Pomeranz, this offseason seems like it's pretty much just spendapalooza - not necessarily the stars/scrubs spending split that you've described here.
   40. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5907743)
The Yankees certainly didn't get a bargain once the Nationals left the bidding.


The Nationals aren't the biggest spender. That's the Yankees. Every player wants the Yankees bidding on him. The Dodgers and Angels still need a pitcher and they still have resources but once they're out the Twins aren't paying a ton of money because there won't be any more bidders.
   41. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5907744)
Or teams just stopped colluding.
Please tell me this is a funny.
Also given the crazy contracts for Will Smith and Pomeranz, this offseason seems like it's pretty much just spendapalooza - not necessarily the stars/scrubs spending split that you've described here.
Eh, I think Smith and Pomeranz could be viewed as the top of the market for relievers, whether rationally so or not - especially given that Pomeranz managed to cash in on what, 25 dominant innings?

Or yeah, maybe it's just that teams are only capable of two years of rational self-discipline in the FA market, and then they just go back to being too tempted. I do think it's making a big difference that (a) teams like the Reds, White Sox and Padres see themselves as entering competitive windows and (b) some of the top FAs are (were) pitchers this year, and the super-rich teams need pitching (like everyone else).

   42. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5907748)
I don't think teams were actually colluding, but I wouldn't be shocked by it. I also don't think that teams would just all of a sudden start spending more as a calculated way to quell the upcoming labor unrest, but I wouldn't be shocked by that either.

But I really don't think this offseason provides evidence for the phenomenon you described. Didi might be the first guy to sign a contract far below expectations. Maybe Hamels. On the other hand, non-elite FAs Pomeranz and Wheeler and Moustakas and Kyle Gibson and Smith and Grandal and (sort of) Abreu and Pineda and d'Arnaud have all done just fine. And the big contracts are coming faster this year, too.

It remains to be seen if there will be some Keuchel/Kimbrel nonsense later, and if any prominent FAs (say Ozuna or Ryu or Castellanos) end up signing tiny deals. Could still happen.
   43. Stevey Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5907751)
Why not spend that money on four or five players who can actually help them be a good team, instead of one great pitcher who probably still isn't enough to help them be no better than third in the AL West?


Well if you think that's the case at $37M/year, why wouldn't you at $36M/year?

And of course, there's the idea that if you try to add four or five players, $36M/year gets you ~4ish WAR in 2020, whereas Cole is projected at near 7 in 2020. Getting the one player now helps you add talent on a better $/WAR basis in the short term, at the expense of years down the road.
   44. rconn23 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5907752)
I think what drove the Yankees to target Cole more than they have any other free agent since Sabathia is that there just aren't going to be any great free agent pitchers available in their primes in the next three offseasons with the exception Syndergaard, who will be also 29 when he hits the FA market in 2021. Everyone else will likely be too old and ineffectual by the time they hit the market - Verlander will be 39, Price 37 - and the other options are just meh.
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5907754)
But I really don't think this offseason provides evidence for the phenomenon you described. Didi might be the first guy to sign a contract far below expectations. Maybe Hamels. On the other hand, non-elite FAs Pomeranz and Wheeler and Moustakas and Kyle Gibson and Smith and Grandal and (sort of) Abreu and Pineda and d'Arnaud have all done just fine.
I'm open to the interpretation that the FA market more generally has gone back to pre-2017 status. I was just trying to square my thoughts with Crispix's #30, but maybe he's just off base w/r/t the broader market.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5907755)
there just aren't going to be any great free agent pitchers available in their primes in the next three offseasons with the exception Syndergaard, who will be also 29 when he hits the FA market in 2021.
It's possible, maybe even probable, that some young pitcher becomes great and also available in the next 3 years - much like Cole himself did.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5907756)
45 - Oh, maybe Crispix actually said what I think you said. I think it's obvious that last year in particular teams kinda just stopped paying the mid-range FAs what they're worth, and totally stopped paying the lower quality FAs. But it's not clear if that's still happening this year.
   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5907757)
I think it's obvious that last year in particular teams kinda just stopped paying the mid-range FAs what they're worth
Well, they stopped paying them as much as they had previously paid them.
   49. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:59 AM (#5907759)
Yes ... as soon as I hit 'submit' I realized I used some sloppy language there.
   50. JAHV Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5907774)
Poor Arte Moreno, his dream of having the most expensive position player and the most expensive pitcher thwarted, although I believe nothing prevented him from offering more.


The condescension is very touching, but I'm pretty sure not having that much money prevented him from offering more. There is no $X the Angels could offer where the Yankees couldn't offer $X + 5.
   51. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5907781)
The condescension is very touching, but I'm pretty sure not having that much money prevented him from offering more. There is no $X the Angels could offer where the Yankees couldn't offer $X + 5.
The Steinbrenners are far from the richest MLB owners. What has set them apart has been a willingness to invest in their team. Not sure why folks seem to find that unpalatable. More teams should do that, rather than saying it can’t be done while shoving multi-millions of profits to their billionaire owners.
   52. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5907782)
That's the point I was trying to make. It's not that Moreno couldn't afford it, the point is that it doesn't matter what he can afford, because the Yankees are always going to be offering another year and another million. Even for some of those crazy rich as Moreno, he still wants to see his team with an operating profit, in the Angels have more than one position they need to fill this winter.

This really stinks. The Angels rotation was at a -6.2 WAR this season, the worst rotation performance in baseball, and by far the worst in the American League, and there's no pitching prospects in the system. They really needed Cole to happen. I already feel like the next few seasons are dead in the water. Probably overreacting, but I'm just really, really sad.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5907786)
The Steinbrenners are far from the richest MLB owners. What has set them apart has been a willingness to invest in their team.


Many owners could pay for Gerritt Cole with a $300M cash in hand signing bonus. But most of the them, even the hobbyists, prefer for their investments to pay for themselves. The Yankees have the most revenue, most of which is due to the market and historical advantages that predate even Old Steinbrenner's ascent. They may well spend a lower percentage of their revenue than many other teams, and pocket more than most or all of them. Let's not pretend that the Steinbrenners just display more largesse than their competitors.
   54. rconn23 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5907787)
"This really stinks. The Angels rotation was at a -6.2 WAR this season, the worst rotation performance in baseball, and by far the worst in the American League, and there's no pitching prospects in the system. They really needed Cole to happen. I already feel like the next few seasons are dead in the water. Probably overreacting, but I'm just really, really sad."

They could still go after MadBum, Ryu, Keuchel, etc. Any of those guys would automatically be their No. 1, or 2 behind a healthy Ohtani. Get two of the three potentially for what you would pay Cole. Spend any additional that's left over and get more protection in the lineup for Trout.
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5907789)
It's not that Moreno couldn't afford it, the point is that it doesn't matter what he can afford, because the Yankees are always going to be offering another year and another million.
That seems like little more than sour grapes.The Yankees don’t sign every free agent, or every free agent they target, and have been outbid numerous times. Arte Moreno doesn’t have a right to get Cole without other teams bidding just because the Angels have a lousy pitching staff that would greatly benefit from Cole’s presence. If anything, that should have caused them to bid more.
   56. JAHV Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5907792)
he Steinbrenners are far from the richest MLB owners. What has set them apart has been a willingness to invest in their team. Not sure why folks seem to find that unpalatable. More teams should do that, rather than saying it can’t be done while shoving multi-millions of profits to their billionaire owners.


So are you saying the Angels make more money than the Yankees? I haven't seen the financials, but I'm pretty sure this isn't true.

Arte Moreno doesn’t have a right to get Cole without other teams bidding just because the Angels have a lousy pitching staff that would greatly benefit from Cole’s presence. If anything, that should have caused them to bid more.


I'm not sure what point you're arguing against here. I absolutely don't think any team has a right to any free agent. I didn't expect the Angels to get Cole because there are other teams out there with tons of money who wanted him. I'm a huge Angels fan and know they needed Cole badly, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect Moreno to offer more than that contract for Gerrit Cole.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5907793)
That's the point I was trying to make. It's not that Moreno couldn't afford it, the point is that it doesn't matter what he can afford, because the Yankees are always going to be offering another year and another million. Even for some of those crazy rich as Moreno, he still wants to see his team with an operating profit, in the Angels have more than one position they need to fill this winter.

But that's Moreno's choice. He can let the Angels lose $20M a year if he wants to. There's no reason an MLB team should generate an operating profit every year.
   58. cookiedabookie Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5907794)
For a team with as many holes as the Angels, it makes sense to sign two FA instead of Cole. I think they'd be better off next year with Madbum at $25 per and Keuchel at $15 per than Cole at $37 and some scrub at $3. For a team as close as the Yankees, it makes sense to spend it all on one guy.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5907796)
For a team with as many holes as the Angels, it makes sense to sign two FA instead of Cole. I think they'd be better off next year with Madbum at $25 per and Keuchel at $15 per than Cole at $37 and some scrub at $3. For a team as close as the Yankees, it makes sense to spend it all on one guy.

This is probably true.
   60. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5907798)
But that's Moreno's choice. He can let the Angels lose $20M a year if he wants to.
I really don't understand why you're so insistent on this odd fantasy.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5907801)
I really don't understand why you're so insistent on this odd fantasy.

What fantasy? Super-rich men have long run sports franchises as a hobby/vanity project. Dude is worth $3B. Doesn't matter at all to his lifestyle if the Angels make $50M or lose $50M.

The Yankees probably were negative on operating profits in the late 90's, early 2000's. Didn't make the Steinbrenner's any poorer.
   62. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5907805)
The Nationals aren't the biggest spender. That's the Yankees.

Last time the Yankees led MLB in payroll was 2013. After a 14 year stretch in the #1 spot. Usually by a lot.

If they want the rep for being the "biggest spender" they are going to have to prove it. Put their money where their mouths are, otherwise it's just hot air.
   63. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5907806)
Gerrit Cole's career so far:
2013-14- promising young pitcher with a strong debut
2015- breakout year, was among the best pitchers
2016- ok pitcher, but missed time with injury
2017- meh
2018-19- Looked like the guy we were expecting after 2015

I could see this contract getting very bad very fast.
   64. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5907807)
An extreme groundball pitcher like Keuchel is a good fit pitching in front of Andrelton Simmons.
   65. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5907808)
What do you base any of #61 on? I’m highly skeptical of the claim that the Yankees were losing money in the 90s and 00s. And yes Moreno CAN afford to lose $50 million but rich people dont get rich by just throwing money away and I think you are naive if you think this has ever been something owners have done.
   66. rconn23 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5907809)
"I could see this contract getting very bad very fast."

I'll take that bet on "very fast" any day.
   67. JAHV Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5907812)
What fantasy? Super-rich men have long run sports franchises as a hobby/vanity project.


I think the guys who you are referring to here are by far the exception. Sure, there have been some guys who dump money from their other ventures into a baseball team and run it consistently at a loss, but everything the owners have collectively said and done makes me think that the vast majority of them would rather make money. Or at least limit the losses. And count me among the skeptics that the Yankees were losing money.
   68. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5907815)
But that's Moreno's choice. He can let the Angels lose $20M a year if he wants to. There's no reason an MLB team should generate an operating profit every year.
Moreno could certainly conclude that the long term benefits of having Cole would be worth running a short term deficit for a while (although I doubt few owners ever run a real deficit once all the salaries to the owner’s family and other benefits are factored in). If Moreno could move the Angels closer to or ahead of the Dodgers in Southern California popularity, he’d add considerably to the franchise value.
   69. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5907820)
What fantasy? Super-rich men have long run sports franchises as a hobby/vanity project.
Can you cite any examples in, say, the past 20 years other than some unsupported claim about the Yankees? Big George *may* have been willing to lose some money for vanity (although like Jose and JAHV I'm quite skeptical of that), but even if so, he was the last of his kind. I know you prefer the past in a lot of ways (smile), but it's not the present and will never be.
   70. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5907822)
They used to say Illitch would lose money to win a WS. Not sure if it was true.
   71. Cris E Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5907825)
Get two of the three potentially for what you would pay Cole. Spend any additional that's left over and get more protection in the lineup for Trout.

Given the hole the Angels are in that's honestly a safer plan anyway.
   72. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5907826)
I think as baseball team valuations have gotten bid up higher and higher, the people doing the bidding have been the type of people who don't like to lose money on anything. I'm sure there are a few exceptions, but not many.
   73. cookiedabookie Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5907827)
Pretty excited as a Yankees fan. If he throws the same number of pitches that he did in 2019, he's going to make about $10,700 per pitch. Not bad work if you can get it
   74. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5907829)
Back to baseball, who is in their rotation next year? Tanaka, German, Cole, Paxton, Severino - with Happ traded?
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 11, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5907830)
I think as baseball team valuations have gotten bid up higher and higher, the people doing the bidding have been the type of people who don't like to lose money on anything. I'm sure there are a few exceptions, but not many.
Yup. And corporations are people too, my friend.

Sidebar: Have any of you ever actually seen photos of Mike Illitch?? I just did, and the guy's wig was only slightly less ridiculous than Phil Spector's.
   76. JAHV Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5907831)
Given the hole the Angels are in that's honestly a safer plan anyway.


I don't see it the same way. Cole is about as sure a thing as you can get when you're talking about free agent pitching. Every other pitcher, as good as they have been, comes with significant question marks. Both Ryu and Bumgarner have spent a good deal of time injured the past three seasons. Bumgarner's home/road splits are scary, which is concerning given his home park. Keuchel's underlying numbers took a big hit last year. Some of that might be the juiced ball (his HR rate spiked), but his walk rate was also the highest of his career and he's on the wrong side of 30. All of those guys are going to cost decent money - at least three years and $17 million per year, if not more now that Strasburg and Cole got their payday. I think signing a couple of those guys and hoping they stay healthy and effective is far riskier than getting Cole.
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5907835)
And count me among the skeptics that the Yankees were losing money.

They were running a $200M payroll in 2005 at a time when MLB's revenues were $4.7B vs. $10B today. If they were making money then, they could make money today with a $400M payroll.
   78. rconn23 Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5907836)
"Tanaka, German, Cole, Paxton, Severino - with Happ traded?"

Depending on the German suspension, Montgomery probably takes the fourth of fifth spot.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5907841)
"Tanaka, German, Cole, Paxton, Severino - with Happ traded?"

Depending on the German suspension, Montgomery probably takes the fourth of fifth spot.


Cole, Paxton, Severino, and Tanaka are all definites. Spot 5 is up for grabs. I hope they perma-assign German to A. Eff him.
   80. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5907844)
Thanks guys. I forgot about the German thing.
   81. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5907846)
The Yankees have the most revenue, most of which is due to the market and historical advantages that predate even Old Steinbrenner's ascent. They may well spend a lower percentage of their revenue than many other teams, and pocket more than most or all of them. Let's not pretend that the Steinbrenners just display more largesse than their competitors.


Also consider the fact that MLB just reverted local streaming rights to the teams and the Yankees just added more revenue than any other team.
   82. Rusty Priske Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5907851)
Why is that bad? You'd rather the billionaires keep the extra profits?


No, I would rather more teams could afford top free agents. Most teams can't lay our $200m for one player.

The luxury tax is a joke. There should be a hard cap and reasonable levels of revenue sharing. (There should also be a hard floor so teams like the Marlins have to put up.)
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5907856)
No, I would rather more teams could afford top free agents. Most teams can't lay our $200m for one player.

The luxury tax is a joke. There should be a hard cap and reasonable levels of revenue sharing.


Every team can afford one $200M player. Even the smallest markets can run a $125M payroll nowadays, so paying one guy $30M isn't prohibitive.

The $249M third threshold is serving as a de facto hard cap. There is a ton of revenue sharing. Small market teams start out with $80-100M in central revenue before they sell a ticket, hot dog, or TV rights.

   84. JAHV Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5907865)
They were running a $200M payroll in 2005 at a time when MLB's revenues were $4.7B vs. $10B today. If they were making money then, they could make money today with a $400M payroll.


I find it a lot more likely that they could make money with a $400 million payroll today than that they were losing money in 2005.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5907870)
I find it a lot more likely that they could make money with a $400 million payroll today than that they were losing money in 2005.

Here's what Forbes had to say in 2006. The team lost $50M on baseball operations, but probably was close to break-even once Yes! was included.

The skinny
The Yankees doled out $223 million to players last year and $111 million to Major League Baseball in the form of revenue sharing and luxury tax payments. So even with record attendance of 4.1 million, the Yankees lost $50 million, one of the biggest losses in baseball history. The losses are offset by the team's 38% stake in the YES network which generates more than $200 million in revenue is worth more than $1 billion. The Yankees will get a break on their revenue sharing bill when they open their $800 million team-financed new stadium in 2009. Teams can deduct stadium operations expenses including construction costs from the revenues eligible to be shared with low revenue teams.


https://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/33/334613.html

   86. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: December 11, 2019 at 03:34 PM (#5907886)
Ill believe the teams are losing money when they allow their books to be audited publicly. There is zero chance that the Yankees are genuinely losing money. Oh maybe they have a paper loss because they play games with how they count YES revenue but yeah, not buying it.
   87. Blastin Posted: December 11, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5907903)
Just popping into say, I'm glad they did this, screw the trashtros, now do a little tinkering around the edges (Happ? Dellin? Gardner will be brought back this week probably) and try not to have every single person get hurt (frankly, they are almost guaranteed to have better luck on that).

Will be happy to take my child to see Cole in 2021 or 2022 (too young in 2020).
   88. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 11, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5907904)
Ill believe the teams are losing money when they allow their books to be audited publicly. There is zero chance that the Yankees are genuinely losing money. Oh maybe they have a paper loss because they play games with how they count YES revenue but yeah, not buying it.

Even then, you need to also account for increase in franchise value. If we are going by Forbes, the Yankees value has roughly quintupled since 2005. If you are making 13% annual on your investment, you are making money hand over fist, even if you are not getting direct cashflow out of it, or are running the investment at a small loss.
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5907908)
Even then, you need to also account for increase in franchise value. If we are going by Forbes, the Yankees value has roughly quintupled since 2005. If you are making 13% annual on your investment, you are making money hand over fist, even if you are not getting direct cashflow out of it, or are running the investment at a small loss.

Exactly, which is what makes it feasible for rich owners to run operating losses if they want to. You can look at it as investing in the company/brand.
   90. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5907927)

Assuming that someone will simply come along to pay multiples of what you did for your money-losing business seems like a risky strategy. It's worked so far because the teams are making lots of money and debt is cheap, but that won't be true forever if teams are run without regard for profitability.
   91. Walt Davis Posted: December 11, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5907949)
The Yankees doled out $223 million to players last year

Let that sink in a bit.

Now Cot's uses somewhat different numbers but from 2017-19, the Yanks spent about $566 M on their 25-man opening day roster; from 2007-9, they spent $600 M. Those are raw dollars. Even with low inflation, that's absurd. Add in franchise evaluation and it's doubly absurd.

Assuming that someone will simply come along to pay multiples of what you did for your money-losing business seems like a risky strategy. It's worked so far because the teams are making lots of money and debt is cheap, but that won't be true forever if teams are run without regard for profitability.

Sure. You don't want to be way underwater year after year for decades. But losing $50 M in a year is a drop in the bucket.

Moreno purchased the Angels in 2003 for $184 M; Forbes puts their current value at $1.9 B which I would guess is a bit low but whatever. Using the handy CPI calculator at BLS (has that HTML code been updated since 2000?) that leaves Moreno with a tidy profit of about $1.66 B in 2019 $. So dropping $20 M in a year is a measly 1% off his 700% profit. You'd have to have a mighty small ego to value a 700% return over a 699% return and a better shot at a championship. FWIW, the most recent Forbes estimate put them at about a $20 M operating profit on a $208 M payroll so they'd have to run around $250 to achieve that $20 M loss. That's one Gerrit Cole right there.
   92. eric Posted: December 11, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5907955)
Sure. You don't want to be way underwater year after year for decades. But losing $50 M in a year is a drop in the bucket.

Moreno purchased the Angels in 2003 for $184 M; Forbes puts their current value at $1.9 B which I would guess is a bit low but whatever. Using the handy CPI calculator at BLS (has that HTML code been updated since 2000?) that leaves Moreno with a tidy profit of about $1.66 B in 2019 $. So dropping $20 M in a year is a measly 1% off his 700% profit. You'd have to have a mighty small ego to value a 700% return over a 699% return and a better shot at a championship. FWIW, the most recent Forbes estimate put them at about a $20 M operating profit on a $208 M payroll so they'd have to run around $250 to achieve that $20 M loss. That's one Gerrit Cole right there.


While I doubt Moreno is having cash-flow problems, for some owners (Steinbrenner bros?) the team may constitute more or less all of their net worth. Even if the team is worth some billions, if you don't have cash on hand you can't afford to be losing money.

Regardless, the value of a franchise and the business viability of a franchise, and baseball as a whole, are inextricably linked. If I overpay for players, driving up costs for my team and potentially salaries across baseball, I have now potentially reduced the value of my franchise as there are more liabilities and therefore lower expected profits.

I can very easily see why owners would not want to just start throwing away millions of dollars and watch their costs potentially spiral out of control. If you are going to run a successful business, you have to draw a line somewhere. You don't want to saddle your exorbitantly valuable franchise with debt--Angels fans especially should appreciate that (Pujols, anyone?)--and also risk running afoul of the lux tax, and worsen your ability to improve other areas of the team because you've already overspent for just a handful of players.

I know I don't often go spend $50-100 for a dinner out even though I could technically afford it and that amount represents a small percentage of my net worth. But, in fact, that amount does represent only a small percentage of my net worth precisely because I've not generally gone around over-spending on restaurant meals, or anything else. You have to know the value what you are getting. While I was hoping the Angels would land Cole, I think they had a very smart non-signing given what it clearly would have taken to get it done.
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2019 at 07:38 PM (#5907959)
While I doubt Moreno is having cash-flow problems, for some owners (Steinbrenner bros?) the team may constitute more or less all of their net worth. Even if the team is worth some billions, if you don't have cash on hand you can't afford to be losing money.

They own a $4B asset, basically free and clear. Liquidity is not going to be a problem for them.
   94. KronicFatigue Posted: December 11, 2019 at 08:52 PM (#5907969)
I think as baseball team valuations have gotten bid up higher and higher, the people doing the bidding have been the type of people who don't like to lose money on anything. I'm sure there are a few exceptions, but not many.


I think it has more to do with MLB collectively keeping those types of owners away from the game. Mark Cuban wanted to buy the Cubs but wasn't allowed to. I believe him to be the type of owner who is willing to lose money in order to win. You might not see it in MLB, but you definitely see it in soccer. A random club will be bought by an oil billionaire, a ton of money is instantly dumped into the team, and eventually the team starts winning. They had to make Financial Fair Play rules that require teams to only spend what they make (of course teams break this rule)

I can't find the comment upthread, but someone mentioned something about rich people are good at not losing money. I disagree, at least when it comes to status stuff. They waste tons of money on stupid stuff, because for them it's branding. Gold toilets exist. Billionaries don't shop at Costco.

In every day terms, I'd liken it to people who buy an Iphone over a comparable Android soley b/c of the status of it. They are willing to lose money on the purchase b/c of the personal branding. Young people in particular have this Iphone obsession. [as a confession, I've been a long term android, but I now believe the Iphone to be a slightly better phone than the best android phones.]

   95. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5907972)
While I doubt Moreno is having cash-flow problems, for some owners (Steinbrenner bros?) the team may constitute more or less all of their net worth. Even if the team is worth some billions, if you don't have cash on hand you can't afford to be losing money.
Pretty sure most owners are paying themselves a fat CEO salary, on top of whatever profits are distributed, as well as putting every possible family member on the payroll at an inflated compensation, often for little or no work. MLB owners have been crying poor for over a century, but it’s never been a more transparent falsehood than now.
   96. Walt Davis Posted: December 11, 2019 at 09:57 PM (#5907977)
#92 ... I don't really disagree, every team/owner will have some soft limit plus there's obviously some hard limit where the overspend just becomes stupid. I don't mean to suggest that the Yanks could just blithely run a $500 M payroll. I'm also not really arguing that they _should_ "overspend" but if Moreno wanted to top that Yanks' offer, he could have.

But again look at the numbers I started that post with -- in raw dollars the Yanks today spend less money than they did 10 years ago. They spent more in 2004 than in 2018. Revenues must have nearly doubled in the last 10 years (which obviously can't go on forever either). Unless they were $100 M underwater 10 years ago, there's no way they aren't running an operating profit today. Far from cash-flow limitations, the Steinbrenners are probably so awash in cash that there's $10 M between the sofa cushions. There may still be some highly leveraged ownerships out there swimming in enough debt that they're cash-poor but it's not the Yanks or Angels.
   97. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5907985)
Rendon to the Angels for 7 years, $245M. Apparently they outbid the other teams interested in Rendon, rather than being outbid, which must make it different, eh?
   98. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2019 at 10:58 PM (#5907991)
I think it's weird that Yankee fans don't like acknowledging that their team has financial powers other teams don't. It's always been a big part of what makes the Yankees the Yankees.
   99. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2019 at 11:12 PM (#5907993)
I think it’s weird that some fans don’t like being outspent by one team but don’t have a problem outspending other teams.
   100. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:53 AM (#5908004)
I think it’s weird that some fans don’t like being outspent by one team but don’t have a problem outspending other teams.
That's not it at all, but whatever. I have no appetite for a conversation that stupid.
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