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Passan: Betts and Price to Dodgers

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We just saw the Dodgers consolidate their depth and get under the luxury tax. You can only have a 26 man and 40 man roster. 

If Betts walks then they get a cool pick. Also, I bet the prospect they get back from the LAA won’t have to go on the 40 man anytime soon. 

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It’s interesting. A lot of us complain about our lack of activity post-’12 and ’14, but look at Boston. Coming off a WS title, they made no significant FA moves; their “splash” in-season acquisition was Andrew Cashner; and then they traded arguably one of the game’s top 3 players and threw in a still-very-much-serviceable SP.

For no other real reason than they were paying >$10M in luxury tax penalties. Who says MLB doesn’t have a salary cap?

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16 hours ago, Frobby said:

I already said I think Betts probably deserves something in the 12/$360 range. But remember, he’s not the same age as Manny was when he signed his deal.    He’s two years older, and on the back end those years are often very unproductive.   10/$300 mm to a player entering his age 26 season is not the same thing as 10/$300 mm to a player entering his age 28 season.    Just ask yourself, would you rather have a player’s age 26-27 seasons or his age 36-37 seasons?

Trading a star's 26 and 27 seasons for his 36-37 seasons is probably worth about 10 wins or close to $100M.  It's almost impossible to over-emphasize age.

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34 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Trading a star's 26 and 27 seasons for his 36-37 seasons is probably worth about 10 wins or close to $100M.  It's almost impossible to over-emphasize age.

Nelson. Cruz.    I’ll have to think if there’s anyone else.    

I had a look at the ten biggest position player contracts in history that either have been completed or where the player is now 37 or older, and compared those 10 players’ age 26-27 seasons to age 36-37:

Alex Rodriguez: 17.2 rWAR vs. 2.5

Albert Pujols: 17.2, -0.6

Prince Fielder: 6.0, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Joe Mauer: 13.7, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Derek Jeter: 9.8, 3.1

Mark Teixeira: 9.0, -0.6 (retired after 36)

Manny Ramirez: 12.6, 8.2

Matt Kemp: 10.8, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Adrian Gonzalez: 10.4, -0.6 (retired after 36)

Carl Crawford: 7.5, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Average for the ten: 11.2 rWAR at ages 26-27, 1.2 at ages 36-37.

I left two guys off my list because technically they’re not eligible.   Miguel Cabrera was worth 11.6 at ages 26-27; he was worth 0.0 at 36 and will play his age 37 season this year.   Jacoby Ellsbury was worth 8.2 at 26-27; he’s not technically out of baseball yet but it would be miraculous if he was playing at 36-37.   (He’s 36 this year and hasn’t played in 2 years and was released from his contract).    

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16 hours ago, Frobby said:

I already said I think Betts probably deserves something in the 12/$360 range. But remember, he’s not the same age as Manny was when he signed his deal.    He’s two years older, and on the back end those years are often very unproductive.   10/$300 mm to a player entering his age 26 season is not the same thing as 10/$300 mm to a player entering his age 28 season.    Just ask yourself, would you rather have a player’s age 26-27 seasons or his age 36-37 seasons?

I understand your point - but I wouldn't base a player's expected contract just on age. Mike Trout is a year older than Mookie Betts, for instance.

Mookie Betts is very clearly a much better player than Machado. Betts also plays a position that is much easier on the body - and I'd guess that Betts ends up being an above-average defender much longer than Machado, whose defense metrics have slipped rapidly from his 2013 debut. Betts is also a high OBP / well-rounded hitter, Machado is more of a power hitter. I like Betts' bat long term.

But to answer your question - I'd rather have Mookie Betts from age 28-38 than Machado 26-36. Especially, if I'm the freakin' Red Sox with their financial might.

 

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42 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Trading a star's 26 and 27 seasons for his 36-37 seasons is probably worth about 10 wins or close to $100M.  It's almost impossible to over-emphasize age.

Teams obviously know that a player isn't going to be as good at 37 as they were at 27. Long term deals are just a way to spread out money. No team is looking at year ten of a deal and thinking, "Oh gee, this player isn't earning their paycheck!" 

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20 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Nelson. Cruz.    I’ll have to think if there’s anyone else.    

I had a look at the ten biggest position player contracts in history that either have been completed or where the player is now 37 or older, and compared those 10 players’ age 26-27 seasons to age 36-37:

Alex Rodriguez: 17.2 rWAR vs. 2.5

Albert Pujols: 17.2, -0.6

Prince Fielder: 6.0, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Joe Mauer: 13.7, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Derek Jeter: 9.8, 3.1

Mark Teixeira: 9.0, -0.6 (retired after 36)

Manny Ramirez: 12.6, 8.2

Matt Kemp: 10.8, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Adrian Gonzalez: 10.4, -0.6 (retired after 36)

Carl Crawford: 7.5, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Average for the ten: 11.2 rWAR at ages 26-27, 1.2 at ages 36-37.

I left two guys off my list because technically they’re not eligible.   Miguel Cabrera was worth 11.6 at ages 26-27; he was worth 0.0 at 36 and will play his age 37 season this year.   Jacoby Ellsbury was worth 8.2 at 26-27; he’s not technically out of baseball yet but it would be miraculous if he was playing at 36-37.   (He’s 36 this year and hasn’t played in 2 years and was released from his contract).    

Barry Bonds.

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

Teams obviously know that a player isn't going to be as good at 37 as they were at 27. Long term deals are just a way to spread out money. No team is looking at year ten of a deal and thinking, "Oh gee, this player isn't earning their paycheck!" 

This is absolutely true.  Large market teams bake in wasted payroll to their year to year considerations.  When you are riding a $200 million payroll, it's not hard to factor in $30-$50 of waste and create a competitive $150-$180 million roster.

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19 hours ago, Redskins Rick said:

Sounds like he is chasing the almighty dollar and getting everything he can get.

 

I found this quote, and while it appears that he wants the public to believe he is doing this for others, I dont buy it one iota.

 

Like you would do any different. Mookie Betts might be the single most likable player in all of baseball and you're going to try and vilify him for wanting fair market value? 

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54 minutes ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

Teams obviously know that a player isn't going to be as good at 37 as they were at 27. Long term deals are just a way to spread out money. No team is looking at year ten of a deal and thinking, "Oh gee, this player isn't earning their paycheck!" 

I think GMs assume that they won't be working there anymore when years 6, 7, 8, 10 come up.  So it'll be someone else's problem.  And it will be a problem because you have an unproductive, untradeable, unplayable player on the roster pulling down $30M a year.  When you get to that point nobody's saying it's all right because he was awesome six years ago.  It's just an intractable problem.

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48 minutes ago, Camden_yardbird said:

This is absolutely true.  Large market teams bake in wasted payroll to their year to year considerations.  When you are riding a $200 million payroll, it's not hard to factor in $30-$50 of waste and create a competitive $150-$180 million roster.

Except that almost everyone has $30-50M in waste.  It's that much harder when you start signing multiple players to deals that lock in $30M a waste in the outyears, and then you have your normal four injured guys and the two or three others who're putting up half-win seasons for $14M.  You look up and you're fired because you had $75 or $100M in waste.

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

Nelson. Cruz.    I’ll have to think if there’s anyone else.    

I had a look at the ten biggest position player contracts in history that either have been completed or where the player is now 37 or older, and compared those 10 players’ age 26-27 seasons to age 36-37:

Alex Rodriguez: 17.2 rWAR vs. 2.5

Albert Pujols: 17.2, -0.6

Prince Fielder: 6.0, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Joe Mauer: 13.7, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Derek Jeter: 9.8, 3.1

Mark Teixeira: 9.0, -0.6 (retired after 36)

Manny Ramirez: 12.6, 8.2

Matt Kemp: 10.8, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Adrian Gonzalez: 10.4, -0.6 (retired after 36)

Carl Crawford: 7.5, 0.0 (out of baseball)

Average for the ten: 11.2 rWAR at ages 26-27, 1.2 at ages 36-37.

I left two guys off my list because technically they’re not eligible.   Miguel Cabrera was worth 11.6 at ages 26-27; he was worth 0.0 at 36 and will play his age 37 season this year.   Jacoby Ellsbury was worth 8.2 at 26-27; he’s not technically out of baseball yet but it would be miraculous if he was playing at 36-37.   (He’s 36 this year and hasn’t played in 2 years and was released from his contract).    

Who are the best players ever at each position?

Catcher, Bench.  At 26-27 he was worth 14.5 wins.  At 36-37 he was worth 1.1.

First base... Gehrig?  17.2 and 4.0.

Second base, maybe Hornsby.  16.7 and 5.3.

Short.  Let's just use Cal, since we already have Arod and Wagner was over a century ago.  9.1 and 5.6.  For fun Wagner was 13.6 and 11.8.

Third, Schmidt.  16.9 and 12.3.

Outfield, let's say Mantle (15.5 and 2.7), Cobb (13 and 10.9), and Mays (18.6 and 10.7).

So absolutely the best of the best of the best and they go from 104.8 (6.6 wins/year) wins at 26-27 to 52.6 (3.2 wins/year) at 36-37.  And those players were specifically, retroactively picked because their entire careers including declines were awesome.

So based on an average inner circle HOFer your absolute best case you can expect is for a player to lose 50% of their value from 26-27 to 36-37.

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So you may ask why I excluded Babe Ruth from that list.  I have no idea.  If you're curious he was almost as valuable at 36-37 as 26-27, but mainly because at 27 he missed 1/3 of the schedule, IIRC because of a "stomach ache" due primarily to debauchery. On a per-game basis he was still quite a bit more valuable at the earlier ages.

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5 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

So you may ask why I excluded Babe Ruth from that list.  I have no idea.  If you're curious he was almost as valuable at 36-37 as 26-27, but mainly because at 27 he missed 1/3 of the schedule, IIRC because of a "stomach ache" due primarily to debauchery. On a per-game basis he was still quite a bit more valuable at the earlier ages.

I thought it was because of the steroids?

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