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Sunday, February 26, 2012

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My client plans on dragging his dick in the dirt and being just as useless and wealthy as J Werth in 5 years or less. Thank you.

This deal could be labeled a steal. Over his career, Zimmerman has averaged 5.75 fWAR per 162 games. He has averaged 137.5 games over the last 6 years, due to injuries and whatnot, so he could be reasonably expected to post about a 4.88 fWAR this year.

At the going rate for $/fWAR, they're getting a bargain per his career averages. The only counter is that while those are Zimmerman's averages, his variance has been high. He posted ridiculous 7.3 and 7.2 fWAR years in 2009 and 2010,respectively, but sandwiched those two years with very average years in 2008 and 2011 of 2.5 fWAR each.

Of course 2008 and 2011 were years where he struggled with injury. And since he's only 26 and just about to hit his prime, and has already shown the ability to be a top 5-10 player in the league, this is a very nice deal for the Nationals.

To be fair, the Nats are taking on a good bit of risk by extending him a full 2 years before they have to...which justifies the lower AAV.

Only moronic GMs extend guys that early and dont get a discount on AAV.

NEPP: Yeah, that's basically it.

Not that he is going anywhere any time soon but I always disliked the no trade clause that athletes need with these huge contracts. Supposedly it was the sticking point for Zimmerman this week.

Understand why players want it so badly because a full no-trade it gives them total control on where they end up. Even a partial no-trade with say 10 or 12 clubs the athlete can select each year really makes it nearly impossible to move him.

Still don't understand why Rizzo is getting praised for getting this deal done. He handed out a ton of money including a full? no-trade clause and got no hometown discount for doing it. Seems like pretty much every GM in baseball could do the same thing.

I guess he gets credit for not signing Fielder this year which it would have likely would have complicated Zimmerman's signing but that seems like weak praise.

JW ran a thread a few weeks ago about the Nats, asking if a serious rivalry could develop between the two teams. It sounds like the Nats are doing some serious team building efforts. Even when they really were bad they played some nail biters with the Phils, maybe JW had something afterall with that rivalry idea.

He must really like losing.

If only we'd taken Jack's advice, let Howard walk and signed Adam Dunn instead.

We all know Howard will be so much better than Dunn this year, right?

Not extending Zimmeraman would've ensured more Phillies fans at Nats stadium.

"Still don't understand why Rizzo is getting praised for getting this deal done. He handed out a ton of money including a full? no-trade clause and got no hometown discount for doing it."

I would argue Zimmerman would easily get $20M/year as a free agent. I think this is a hometown discount.

It's a pretty good deal for the Nats. Not as good as the Tulowitzki extension, but better than the Howard one.

DHPhils, with Zimmerman's injury history, is it really a discount?

It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, but look what happened to Oswalt this offseason when his health became an issue. He couldn't even get a one-year deal to his liking.

Additionally, how many of you have stated(not necessarily you, DH) that Rube should have waited because he could have gotten Howard for less, far less, with the injury and everything else taken into consideration.

If Zimmerman, goes through the next two seasons the way he did the last four - averaging only 126 games per season - I seriously question whether he could get a long term deal at the kind of dollars he got, and I don't think there's any way he would get 20MM.

He only gets it if he stays healthy.

Zimmerman is a great player too bad he is locked in becuase he is exactly what we need at third.

How good is Zimmerman defensively these days? It was just yesterday that he was one of the top defensive third basemen in all of baseball (behind only Beltre?). Now, he has problems with his throws, and some question if he will remain at third.

Considering how thin 3B is as a position, Zimmerman should have no issues staying there even if his defense is just average.

Range wise, he's still a fantastic 3B and the throwing issue is probably a bit overstated.

A $100mm deal for a guy at third who's hit greater than 30 HRs exactly once (33 in '09)? Either the Gnats have a FO policy to go nuts and award above average players at a contract threshold at or over $100mm (Werth, Zimmerman) or baseball itself has gone insane.

In light of derekcarstairs remarks about Zimmerman's defense, this deal looks even worse. Sure Zimmerman's only 27 YO, but what's the most Mike Schmidt ever made in a year? Heck, his entire career?

Zimmerman has been the best defensive 3B in the game for every year he's been active. He had a bit of an off year as far as UZR goes in 2011 but overall, he's been Schmidt-like. And he's not in his prime yet.

NEPP -- My bad for any "knee-jerk" response to the big $$ contract. Regardless, as many times as I've watched Phils/ Gnats on the tube, I’ve never noted Zimmerman’s defense. On the plus side, it sure would be nice to have a good young third basemen locked up for a while.

Maybe it's me, but even if you don't consider Michael Jack's "tremendous top-hand power" (Bill Conlin's words, not mine); Schmidt remains a man among boys for the Phils at third. Scott Rolen disqualified himself by his "hissy-fits" and his burning desire to get the hell out of Philadelphia (Dope! Just imagine how revered he’d be if he stayed and behaved himself!). Who else have we had of note at third?

I agree cut_fastball these contracts are a little insane.

Luis: You've stumbled upon the key truth of Beerleaguer with regard to contracts: They are all too expensive.

I want a team of players who play for love of the game.

Zimmerman is a solid player at third. And that contract is just about right. It pays him well, although not Pujols/Fielder/Howard type dollars. And it doesn't take him into his social security years. And that is what a hometown discount looks like, Rube. That's what it takes to lock up a player earlier than you have to. Just in case anyone was wondering.

The Werth contract was and is an abomination. So, this GM is not exactly brilliant. But he got this one right.

Zimmerman's injury history is a concern, but I don't think any of his injuries are of the chronic variety.

smitty, as with any contract, we'll see if it's a good one or bad one.

As I mentioned above, given his injury history, I'm not sure this was as big a "discount" as you and some of the others think.

"Who else have we had of note at third?"

cut, the man with my favorite all-time nickname among Phillies:

No-Hit Nunez!

"As part of the new labor agreement, a decision on adding additional Wild Card play-in games in each league will be determined no later than March 1 (one week from today). The decision has to be made with sign-off from the union for the players.

It’s not a slam-dunk. The schedule for the season has already been made meaning that to bring in the two teams (second-best overall record among clubs that do not win a division) that would play for the right to advance to the Division Series is a tight squeeze. That’s not going to be easy when factoring in tie-breaker scenarios for the regular season.

Still, Selig is pushing for it and the 2012 schedule is being looked at every which way to make it happen. While Selig hasn’t said why he is pushing so hard to make it happen now -- as opposed to next year after the Astros move to the AL West, which balances the schedule out --money is likely a good part of the equation."

My bet is that greed wins out and we do see 2 wildcards this year.

http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5609:selig-pushes-for-expanded-playoffs-in-2012-decision-in-no-more-than-a-week&catid=26:editorials&Itemid=39

BTW, smitty, you address RAJ as to what a hometoen discount "looks like".

Even assuming you're right, what do you do if the player won't give you one, and there isn't another comparable layer out there?

Zimmerman is an example.

I don't know how anyone could say this is a bad deal for the Nats.

They locked up a solid player at a tough position who sells tickets. No need to risk letting him get close to free agency. D.C. isn't exactly "small market," but it's not a baseball mecca either.

MG- Selig has a knack of getting his way.

Refer to our own a couple of years ago Phillies being a part of his ad-hoc improved playoff rain-out rules, and perhaps the more recent "how to help Milwaukee" drug testing snafu.

"They locked up a solid player at a tough position who sells tickets."


Cliff, you are exactly right - as long as he stays healthy.

If he only plays 126 games a year - what he averaged the last 4 seasons - they overpaid.

DC sports radio was discussing Zimmerman/contract last week. I got the impression they were sort of putting out a trade zim trial balloon-(also- tom Boswell had a column mentioning maybe it's time to trade him). Overall, they're very pro-Zimmerman, but some of the knocks against giving him a huge deal were:

Health-as mentioned by some, he's missed a lot of time recently. This was also used as a reason to sign him now-perhaps they'd get him at a lower number b/c of the injuries.

Defense: They felt his defensive skills aren't what they used to be, or never as good as expected. Mainly, his throwing.

"Face of franchise"-He's well liked here, and somewhat local, but he's not really the face of the franchise-Strasburg basically is, and Harper will be.

I like Zimmerman and would love to have his glove and bat at 3B in Philly. However, now that the Nats have tied up all the years and money in him, I have a hard time resisting the thought that I hope this deal works out like the Eric Chavez deal in Oakland.

I between DC and Baltimore and I don't know anyone who would describe themselves as a "Nats fan" despite the fact that the O's are terrible and have been for a long time now. Maybe the Nats have a chance to get some market share if Harper & Rendon pan out and Zimmerman and Strasburg can string a couple healthy seasons together.

* s/b "I live between", not "I between".

"what do you do if the player won't give you [a hometown discount], and there isn't another comparable player out there?"

One thing you definitely DON'T do is overpay the guy 2 years before you have to. After all, in 2 years time, it is more than possible (if not even probable) that many of your underlying assumptions -- both about the player in question and the availability of comparable players -- will change.

Money quote from Jon Heyman on the Zimmerman deal (and Werth), "Said one competing executive of the Nats' two nine-figure deals now in the books: 'Seems like they have two $100 million contracts but no $100 million payers.'"

i might have waited, a lot of good players in that 2014 class:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/top-2014-mlb-free-agents.html

Zimmerman for less than $17M per for his mainly prime years(29-35) seems about right to me.

Lot of consternation on Nats blogs about how this will impact the 2017 budget. May have to move Strasburg at that point.

clout: "You've stumbled upon the key truth of Beerleaguer with regard to contracts: They are all too expensive."

I wouldnt pinpoint to Beerleaguer, but moreso the entire SABR world. What I think SABR people don't realize is that paying a bunch of second tier players at their 'true value' or $f/war, or whatever - will get beaten by teams with overpaid stars way more often than not.

Gotta overpay for top level talent.

I wonder if the $/WAR factor is simply too linear. There may need to be a scaling factor, as it seems to work out that great to elite players are in much more demand (and at a much smaller supply), that owners are more willing to "overpay" for them, whereas bad players who are generally willing to accept whatever deal they can get their hands on, and GMs can look to get a bargain on them, since they are a dime a dozen.

It probably works out that the vast majority of players are paid near their true value, while great players are overpaid and badplayers are underpaid.

If this is generally the case, then contracts ought to be judged on a non-linear, tangential curve, where it is accepted that elite talent will be overpaid relative to the average $/WAR mark. The amount of overpayment can be judged relative to their WAR last year (or 3 year WAR average). I don't know, just a thought, since there is obviously still a question of value, even if you ascribe to the theory that you "overpay for talent"; even if this is completely and utterly true, there is still a range of overpayment in which you are getting a good or fair value, and a threshold at which it is no longer justified.

New thread.

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