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Thursday, December 08, 2011


why am i hearing Leandro Castro instead of Castillo from half beat writers?

R. Bill: I'll wager that Pujols will be a better defender in 5 years than Howard is right now. . . . . ok to make it fair. . . I'll wager that Pujols will be a better defender in 5 years than Howard will be when he comes back from blowing out his achillies tendon.

That's not to say that a 10 year deal is a good baseball decision. Really it's more about spreading out the $250m over 10 years instead of 7 (@ $35m per). If you think this past season was a temporary 1 year dip in production and not the new normal for Pujols, he is likely to be "worth" about $30m-$40m a year (however fangraphs computes that) over the next 3-4 seasons. Once you acknowledge you've underpaid him by about $7-$12m per over the 1st 4 years of the deal and you start factoring in inflation, it's not a massive overpay as compared to Pujols real value on the field. That doesn't preclude the fact that better deals could have been had, though.

I also assume taxes are higher in California than in Florida and Missouri, so to compete on the financials, LAA has to pony up more money.

If it's Castillo, it's no big deal. If it's Castro he'll be offered back. And hey, it's sure gonna be nice to play the Cardinals without Pujols in the line-up. Even nicer to face the fish without him.

Anyone else worried about the Cards driving up Rollins price now that they have money to play with?

I don't think so. I think the structure of the deal for Rollins is here and that it has to be favorable for him or he would still be talking to the Brewers.

A 10 year contract to a 31 year old player? Now that's funny! Good luck with that, Anaheim.

Bye bye, Moose Mattair.

JBird - Yes state income taxes on higher incomes are among the highest in the US in CA. Actually might be the highest although I would need to check NY/NJ.

Wasn't surprised that some team was going to give into Pujols 10 yr/$200M deal after his show of force in the postseason but $250M is surprising.

I am curious to see the details of that contract and just how crazy Moreno got with the financing. Wonder if it has one of those deals where Pujols get an annual fixed payment until 2030 or something as part of it.

did someone steal Old Phan's username? Can't be the same old phan who bases all arguments off of 'did the team get better today' as the end-all be-all evaluation of transactions can it?

The good news on the Rule 5 Draft is that for the first time in recent memory, the Phillies roster will contain 25 major leaguers instead of 24. No more Model Dictators, Mini Marts or Herndons clogging up a roster space.

Wow. According to MLBTR, C.J. Wilson agrees to contract with the Angels too! Insane day. They will be much better for a couple years, and possibly much maligned in 4 or 5 years.

Lake really think that Mini Mart WONT be on the roster in some fashion next year...or Herndon. They're still crap players regardless.

CJ Wilson is also an Angel now.

MG: Also, cost of living for SoCal has to be higher than St. Louis and even Miami by a healthy margin, I would imagine.

Don't think that 10 years is a great idea. But, as I stated earlier it's probably more about spreading out the cost than it is about believing Pujols will be worth $25m a year as a 41 yo DH.

Using the inflation calculator, $19m in 2000 has the purchasing power of $25m these days, so assuming inflation remains roughly constant . . . . really your just talking about giving him the money in 2020 & 2021 that he earned in 2012 & 2013.

I guess the Angels were sick of looking up at the Rangers in the divisional standings.


is a pretty solid rotation.

Now I know why the Astros were willing to go to the AL West. Their fans wanted to continue to see a lot of Albert Puljols! Lord knows their fans don't come out to see the bare cupboard of Astro AAA players in the starting line-up forced on them by cheap ownership.

Much as I have blasted the now gone Ed Wade in the past, it wasn't his fault that ownership wanted to lighten the payroll to entice a new owner; who, so far, seems as cheap as the old owner.

Wilson signs 5/75? That's a good sign for a possible Hamels deal. Although I think he would get closer to Weaver's deal.

That is an emminently reasonable deal. really think that Mini Mart WONT be on the roster in some fashion next year...or Herndon. They're still crap players regardless.

Don't lump MiniMart and Herndon in one lump please. Herndon is a borderline Major League player with a potentially small upside; you commit a disservice to the word crap by using it to describe MiniMart's playing ability.

Yeah that is a good sign for Hamels. Maybe a 5 year 85 million gets it done. That would be affordable I would think....

Edmundo and NEPP, at least Mini Mart and Herndon now have the threat of going to Reading or Lehigh Valley hanging over their heads. They aren't cemented to the 25 man roster.

Nooooooooooooooo! Mooooooooooooooooooosssssssssssssee!

Somewhere, Sir Alden is sobbing.

Good point...I was never so happy as I was when Herndon was demoted last year. I think it took UC a while to realize he didnt have to keep him on the 25 man starting off the season last year.

I agree on the Wilson deal helping us with Hamels. Sure, Hamels is 3 years younger but a slightly higher deal seems reasonable compared to having to give him Sabathia type money.

As Edmundo said, I don't think Herndon and Martinez are in the same category.

Herndon ended up with a similar year to Mike Stutes (and a lower ERA).

"you commit a disservice to the word crap by using it to describe MiniMart's playing ability."

The odds that there will be a better post than this today are about the same as the odds that Moose Mattair will become the next Ryan Zimmerman.

Prediction: one of these days, some creative GM is going to totally change the way teams approach free agency by structuring a huge, long-term contract which is front-loaded instead of back-loaded. The player is happy because he gets more money up-front. And the team, while perhaps overpaying in the early years, is at least getting the player's peak years in return. When the player later starts to decline, he's more tradeable & not as much of a liability if he can't be traded.

The nub, of course, would be in having the cash and overall payroll flexibility, to structure a deal this way. But, since almost all of these huge contracts eventually turn into massive busts, I think this is where free agency is eventually headed. Just a prediction.

bap, didnt the Yankees do that with Arod's deal?

bap: i swore thats what marlins would do for Reyes, with their payprolly so much lower this year than moving forward it seems - but then it came out that they are backloading the hell out of Reyes anyway.

schmenkman - Agreed. Herndon actually showed some positive signs last year after his recall. He wasn't quite the same after Cholly made him 'take one for the team' on Sept 4 and had him throw 69 pitches over 3+ IP.

He still isn't anything more than a backend reliever though. His value is that he comes cheap yet and doesn't require the Phils to pay $1-$2M to a veteran reliever to possibly deliver similar results.

Unless Stutes learns to get better command and feel for that slider, he won't be anything more either than a marginal/backend reliever too.

Going to be incredibly interesting to see how spring training unfolds and who wins what will likely be a couple of roster spots in the bullpen that really isn't set right now besides Papelbon and Bastardo. I would even through Contreras in the 'TBA' category since Proefrock said he isn't even scheduled to start throwing again until January. Who knows if he will be healthy and ready to go to begin the season.

both Gillick and Charlie were quoted as saying that another lefty in pen would be ideal. That may mean ruben goes out and trades the farm for a 3B instead - but they were quotes nonetheless.

Greg Golson released.

So you're saying we can get Golson back and completely win that trade?!?

BAP: Teams backload contracts because one dollar in 2020 is going to be worth about $0.75 in 2011 dollars. Essentially you'd give someone $15m today instead of giving them $20m in 2020. Players and agents don't like it because it makes their total deal look smaller (even though it isn't), and owners don't like it because, why pay out now when you can pay later. . . . and in 10 years it might be someone else's problem anyway, because you sold the team or traded the player.

@ MG: Point of clarification: a "back-end" reliever is actually in the closer category. Herndon is a front-end reliever by contrast. It's a softwear term, as well, signifying the final stage in a process.

Here is something I lifted from an O's article last year, somewhat clarifying its usage: "Gregg, who took accountability for Thursday's loss, acknowledged that it would help to get a little more steady work. The Orioles have been involved in very few close games, limiting some of the opportunities for their back-end relievers."

Not trying to be a nudge, MG. It's that I wasn't certain myself, so I sacrificed five minutes of my life trying to get a handle on the term.

Carry on. I enjoy your posts.

BAP - I think it's easier for a team financially just to eat some of the contract when it's time to move the player.

NEPP - By not getting Golson back, we win that trade completely. Unless there's a spot on the roster for defensive outfielder/pinch runner who can't hit. Maybe Golson + Thome = Bourn?

At least the Angels blog commenters have reason to gripe about the 2019 budget now.

Wilson signs 5/75? That's a good sign for a possible Hamels deal. Although I think he would get closer to Weaver's deal.

Again, for the umpteenth time, Hamels' value is remarkably easy to peg: 5/80. If the Phillies offer Weaver-deal or above, and Hamels doesn't sign, it's all on him.

If you don't think Hamels deal should be around the Wilson-Weaver-Verlander benchmark, then you've got hometown blinders on.

There's a new one: someone claiming fans are actually over-valuing Cole Hamels.

Is there any actual evidence that the Cards are going to pursue Rollins now that Pujols bolted St. Louis? He isn't exactly someone you would replace an elite hitter with.

I know they have the extra cash now. I'm just curious as to if there have been any statements about it and I just missed it.

BB - "At least the Angels blog commenters have reason to gripe about the 2019 budget now."

That made me laugh.

The Angels have built themselves into a serious contender for the AL West for 2012 and 2013. They had a decent record last year, 86-76, and while that was 10 games behind the Rangers I think they have enough between Pujols and Wilson to make up that difference now. Especially since they've also weakened their chief rival in the process. Remember, this team had the 2nd best pitching staff in the AL in 2011, and they just got better.

The cardinals don't have to find an elite 1b. Their just going to move Berkman to 1b and they already have extra outfielders relegated to backup roles due to the glut they have there. They can use any ss they want really, and can probably go for a gg/no hit guy if they really want to.

The Howard deal still seems high objectively, even without factoring in his current injury at all. I guess the Pujols deal makes me feel a little better in the manner of the "greater fool" situation. Also not breaking my heart to see Albert in the AL.

In fact, if the angels/pujols deal makes a guy like kendry morales expendable, the cards might be the best team to pick him up, because he wouldn't HAVE to play much this year if he's still recovering.

JBird: I understand that inflation is a key reason why teams do it. But if you back-load a contract, and there's salary inflation, you still get the benefit of that inflation because that $10M you'd be paying to Pujols in Year 10 would be more like $6 or $7M today.

NEPP: Actually, you're right about A-Rod -- kind of. B-Ref says his salary the last 3 years was over $30M. Next year it drops to 29 and, by the last 2 years, a mere pittance of $20M. In parentheses, however, it says that, starting in 2012, and for every year thereafter, he could receive $30M in "marketing bonuses" (don't ask me) which kick in for every homerun between 660 & 763.

Anyway, this "front-loaded" contract stuff is not my idea. I read an article several months ago which was advocating the approach. It might have been on Fangraphs, but I don't recall for sure.

***he could receive $30M in "marketing bonuses" (don't ask me) which kick in for every homerun between 660 & 763.***

Its a total of $30 million with $6 million for each milestone (660, 700, 715, etc) IIRC.

NEPP: Got it. And I look forward to the day when he hits that 763rd homerun, as it will erase the taint of having a career homerun mark which was obtained by cheating. Oh wait. . .

I'm absolutely loving today so far. Pujols leaving the NL entirely, plus possibly helping show Rollins the door in the process ... AND the Phillies passed on making a Rule 5 pick? It's like V-J Day & f*ckin' Mardi Gras up in GTown's place, baby!

A-Rod's "Marketing bonuses" include muscle bound blonde women.

I'm curious as to what the plan is from those posters who don't want Rollins back. What are the better options than signing Rollins that you are so happy that Rollins may not resign?

GTown: On a day when we lost Moose Mattair, I find your jubilance to be a bit unseemly.

Any bets the Cardinals trade for Hanley Ramirez since he's reportedly very unhappy about playing 3B? It's one way to compensate for Pujols loss.

Betcha they could get Ramirez for Lohse and a couple of prospects.

RedBurb: I agree. I'd like to know the alternative to JRoll that some are hoping for. Maybe the elated GTown can enlighten us?

RedBurb - "I'm curious as to what the plan is from those posters who don't want Rollins back. What are the better options than signing Rollins that you are so happy that Rollins may not resign?"

There aren't really. As long as there were even 1 or 2 other serious suitors who would give him a 4-year contract at big dollars, he held the upper hand vs. Amaro all along.

Cards contact Phils regarding Howard, per Zolecki.

though, that "report" is a fake tweet...

"Cards contact Phils regarding Howard" - Jack is about to out-mardi gras Gtown.

On the Pujols deal:

I was just checking over at Forbes.

I know the Cards are a team in a larger market, but not necessarily a "big" market team.

I was trying to figure out why the Angels, with an estimated $222MM in annual revenue, could afford Pujols, and the Cards, with and estimated $207MM in annual revenue, could not.

Does that extra $15MM make THAT much difference?

Well, market size and revenues don't tell the whole story. The real number is this:

Debt to Franchise Value

The Angels are worth an estimated $554MM, while the Cards are worth an estimated $518MM.

But, the Angels Debt/Value is only 10% ($55MM), whereas the Cards Deb/Value is 53% ($275MM).

The service on the debt is probably what kept the Cardinals from matching that offer.

Considering the lack of offense that kept the Phlils from advancing in the playoffs the last two years and that fact this team is growing older. I'm surprised there's not much support for a trade for Han Ram. Is his defense that much of a drop off compared to Rollins? There's no perfect ss available, but the Phils would get younger and stronger offensively with Han Ram in the line up.

Fox Saturday baseball is just excited that they can continue to show Mayberry's dad on a regular basis.

MG - I agree that's why I'm asking those posters what the alternatives are if they so sincerely want to move on from Rollins. Of course that's assuming they even know what they are talking about, which I know can be quite a stretch for some.

At least by offering an alternative, we can have lively debate. Coming in and saying "Hopefully Rollins doesn't sign" with the Phils and not even suggesting what can be done to improve at that position makes one out to be a moron.

"Is his defense that much of a drop off compared to Rollins?"

vegas: yes.

"Coming in and saying "Hopefully Rollins doesn't sign" with the Phils and not even suggesting what can be done to improve at that position makes one out to be a moron."

Redburb, hence the term "Moronocracy" being frequently used here.

vegas: I think it is more about how unlikely it would be to trade for Hanley. The Fish are obviously going for it now, I think it wouldn't behoove them to trade one of the arguably top 5 hitters in baseball to their biggest threat in the division.

According to a Rosenthal tweet, Angels GM Dipoto says Mark Trumbo can be used at 3B.

"Particularly athletic" is how he's described.

Has anyone seen him play, and does it make sense for the Phillies to ask about his availability as a potential 3B?

If you want to trade Hamels, how about Texas for Elvis Andrus.. Seems they have a pitching void.. Don't know if straight-up is an even trade, but it's a start.

For anyone that hasn't been paying attention to Nakajima. The Yankees won the posting period with 2 million. Buster Olney now says it might make sense for the Yankees to trade him (or the right to offer a contract?) If he comes cheap I still think its better than offering Rollins 4 years.

awh- Trumbo has never played 3B at major league level

correction- Trumbo had 1 game at 3B last yr

Apparently the Marlins final offer to Pujols was 10 years, $275 million and he passed. Add in the lack of an income tax in FL and that's nearly a $300 million deal.

Wow. Apparently they also offered CJ Wilson $100 million.

Why did the Yankees bid on Nakajima? Is it just to block other teams or do they really think they can sign him as a backup for backup money?
Signing Nakajima for cheap leaves you with an untested hitter and an inconsistent defender. If the money can be used for an actual, useful, real world player that will improve the team then go for it. I don't think that player is out there. Also what do you give up? Do you give the Yankees the $2mill posting fee? I doesn't add up.

Totally makes sense on Trumbo...afterall, the only reason the Angels didn't play him there was due to future HoFer Alberto Callaspo being entrenched in the starter's role.

And their system has some serious blue chip 3B which is why he never played there in the minors either.

I'm one of those who don't want Rollins back unless it's on a (at most) three-year deal for no more than 35 million. And I don't want Rollins back at all if resigning him means we won't upgrade our offense at all. I'd prefer to sign either Aramis Ramirez or Cuddyer (Ramirez is a better hitter, but Cuddyer would probably be a little cheaper) before I'd sink the rest of the off-season spending money in Rollins. As for shortstop, I'd see what Galvis could do in spring training and if he didn't work out I'd trade for a journeyman SS like Bartlett at the start of the season.

I really have no clue as to what the Yankees were thinking. They obviously have no spot for him to play. It makes me wonder if they thought he would sign to be a backup just to be called a Yankee. Though I think that might be too arrogant for even them.

If the Yankees are actually going to trade Nakajima, the Phillies need to at least check on him. The SS market sucks, J-Roll is going to get overpaid big time. And honestly, the Phils don't need to overpay him. They won 102 games last year. To sacrifice their future payroll flexibility would be foolish. If they could get Nakajima for cheap, thats absolutely what they should do.

If i were Pujols and Wilson, I'd rather not have to collect my salary out fo bankruptcy court either. Smart move to stay away from that franchise.

Real world wins>future payroll flexibility

It's like Morrissey said "A boy in the bush is worth 2 in the hand."

AT: So basically, if rollins needs 4yr/$45M, that extra 1yr/$10M is going to make you sacrifice your 2012 season by bringing up Galvis or a journeymen?

If Rollins wants $60 or something, OK i'm with you - but you are really going to let SS be a wasted roster spot on your championship bound 2012 team over an extra year and $10M when your payorll is over $170M? I dont agree at all.

For real. I wouldn't sign a 10 year contract with the Marlins under any circumstances. Best case you stay there and take up 2/3 of the payroll beyond 2014. Worst case you get a Steve Young lifetime deferment.

We have a lot of probable real world wins right now and not a lot of future payroll flexibility. The team as it is put together right now is at least as good as the opening day 2011 Phils.

lorecore: Doesn't MLB gurantee contracts, so if a franchise owner goes bankrupt, MLB is still responsible for paying those contracts right. MLB would then be the creditor in the bankruptcy filling right? Because wasn't that scenario tossed around with the dodgers last season?

lorecore: Clearly you don't understand how unimportant shortstop is.

After reading this article, I have to wonder how soon the Mets are going to be competitive again.

Key quote:

"Consider: The Wilpons owe $430 million in principal of a loan against the team, due in 2014. They owe $450 million in principal of a loan against SNY, due in 2015. They owe an estimated $600 million, due in $25 million increments every six months, on the ballpark."

That debt either needs to be restructured, refinanced or paid off.

I was under the impression that Galvis' fielding is considered to be MLB-caliber. I'm not expecting him to be anything more than an eight-hole hitter. Rollins' bat is not so important that we need to commit to an overpay for him. If Galvis really can field well, I would forget Rollins and go for Ramirez in a heartbeat, since he adds a much needed offensive boost and compensates for the loss of Rollins' bat (however, I would not shop Polanco but keep him around as a super-utility man and defensive replacement for Aramis.)

The Wilpons will have to turn tricks to pay the stadium ushers.

I'm with AT.

Ideally I'd like to keep Rollins around this year and, maybe, next year. I'd even support a contract around 3/33 (give or take 1m per year). But anything more and I'd rather see the Phils invest that money upgrading elsewhere and downgrading (to Galvis or Furcal) this year.

Buddy: Do you consider Galvis and Furcal about equal?

It's kinda like saying, I don't mind replacing Polly this year with a Zimmerman or a Nunez.

***lorecore: Doesn't MLB gurantee contracts, so if a franchise owner goes bankrupt, MLB is still responsible for paying those contracts right***

Yes, yes they do. It would be paid out of the MLB general fund and then MLB would go after the deadbeat owner.

Which Nunez are we talking about?

I'd like to hear what Ramirez wants in free agency first before saying I would want him over Rollins. The guy did turn down a $16 million option. He may want much more than Rollins and is a few months older than Rollins.

Clout: No. I'm just trying to avoid declarations of the following "I'd part with Rollins if X was available." It's both more informative and more realistic to list a set of possible replacements.

Or he might just want a multi year deal at a lower AAV...

Buddy: I agree. I'd prefer Furcal if the other option was Galvis.

grandpa: Abe. How soon we forget.

Redburd: I'd investigate ARam, but you're certainly correct.

My thinking is not predicated upon ARam. It is that I don't think Rollins is worth a decent-sized investment. That I cannot propose a better (realistic) alternative is immaterial.

I'd rather the Phils spent that money elsewhere where they aren't so limited by a thin SS market. Perhaps that's ARam, perhaps not.

On Furcal...I dont know that I'd go with the guy that's played 100 games just once in the last 4 years due to injuries.

Unless of course my options were Galvis or Furcal...

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