Fire Jim Tracy

Monday, January 10, 2005

Reader Poll

Just curious, if anybody cares to answer. Taking DePodesta's statement that he wants to resign Gagne to a multi-year deal (which would, of course, be a long-term deal) at face value, at what number would you not make that deal? This is one of the issues on which I'm truly conflicted. We would almost by definition overpay, and yet those 70 innings a season are some of the most electrifying in baseball. I'm not terribly concerned at this point with your reasons or motivations -- if you want to hand him $100 million because of his beard, fair enough. Nor do I care whether your number would actually sign him.

My answer? Probably irrelevant, since most of you will likely consider it absurdly low, but something like 4 years and 40 I could probably do. 5 and 50 would send me to my knees in prayer, but at least I wouldn't have to read a post-Gagne Plaschke article, which to me, is worth wasting a few (ed. -- A lot? Maybe.) payroll dollars. Mariano Rivera made just short of 11 million last year (ed. -- That's Dreifort money! Yeah, what were the Yankees thinking?) He's 35.

UPDATE, BUT ON A DIFFERENT SUBJECT: Last week, I gave Tom some props for his defense of the Lowe and Perez signings in the form of an imaginary conversation between DePodesta and McCourt. Great reading, regardless of your take on the subject. Now it's Rob's turn with spot-on analysis of what will, I'm sure, be the next empty and thoughtlessly debated "controversy." Though I'm still stuck in Utah, I can hear Hacksaw prattling away in my head (Voices in your head? No way. -- ed. And Hacksaw's no less. SHOW ME YOUR LIGHTNING BOLT!). Having decided to sign Drew, DePodesta gave him a clause that is meaningless to the team, but very important to Drew. You can see the Drew/Boras logic here. They smell a chance (probably not a large one, but one nonetheless) of receiving a Beltran-type contract down-the-line, but Drew has to be in a position to sign it. Hence, he has to be able to sign said contract before he's 30. To grab said hypothetical big cash, he needs to show that he's healthy and that he can put up incredible numbers, and two years is what he thinks he needs to 1) show off his skills and 2) still have enough career time left to grab the big cash. So you get a hyper-motivated J.D. Drew -- it's like two walk years, from which everyone seems to think magical powers flow (They don't? --ed. Selective use of evidence. Remember, this is all hypothetical.) If Drew decides to cancel the last three years of the contract, and gets a seven year contract from someone else, then we must have gotten two incredible years, and we not only lose the riskier back years of the contract, but saddle some other sucker team (Omar Minaya, come on down!) with a white elephant contract. Then we go sign someone else. If he gets injured, and becomes worse than Dreifort -- well, he would have been worse than Dreifort with or without that specific clause in his contract. And we'll have yet another painful example of why big money contracts are dumb. (Which is why we should have signed Beltre! -- ed. What, is he made of molten steel?) In other words, this clause meant very little to the Dodgers, but it meant a lot to Drew (for whatever reason -- I think the chances are almost none that he actually exercises it), and so we gave it to him, and here he is.

But Rob explains it. So just go read him instead.

UPDATE: HAHAHAHA! And if they sign Carlos Delgado, their off-season will have been...that...much...BETTER!! HAHAHAHAHA! It's almost as if he tried to claim that the team that signed Richie Sexson to a 50 million dollar deal was in the Top 5. Oh.

And then there's this piece of wisdom from his discussion of Houston's offseason:

As much as losing Beltran will hurt, it was in the franchise's best interest to let him go. Giving Beltran seven years, $100 million-plus and a complete no-trade clause would have made Scott Boras a de-facto general manager of the ballclub. Ask the Rangers how the A-Rod deal worked out for them. In the meantime, Houston has to figure out how to keep Craig Biggio from returning to center field and Roger Clemens from retiring.

I'm sorry -- what does seven years, 120 million, and a complete no-trade clause make Scott Boras in relationship to the team that allegedly had the "best" offseason in Major League Baseball? Should the Mets ask the Rangers how the A-Rod deal worked out for them too? Or is there something about New York that is impervious to horrific contracts and fan dissatisfaction?

And then, the kicker, discussing the Cubs' off-season:

Hey, look, another team at the mercy of a star player (Sammy Sosa) with a no-trade clause. The Chicago Tribune reports it will take at least a two-year, $20 million extension to get Sosa to approve of a trade. Looks like Sosa will be back in Wrigley next year.

Imagine. It's fortunate that the team that had the best offseason in Major League Baseball avoided anything like that.

MEMO TO BRAINLESS, CRAVEN SPORTSWRITERS: I understand that Omar Minaya has a Television Network to think about. He does not need YOU to go out and help him build his empire. Please exercise some level of critical thought regarding the Mets, and stop trying to protect Omar Minaya. If these are terrible signings, and every one of them is, you don't need to cheerlead for them like you own stock in WMET, or whatever they're going to call it. There is no difference between YOUR sycophancy and Plaschke's cut-and-paste "criticism" of the Dodgers. Stop treating him like your idiot 14-year-old who went joyriding with the car, totaled it and left you with the bill.

UPDATE: Randy Johnson, as of now, has cut the mullet. Good choice for New York.


  • gagne? he's the franchise right now, 5y/60mil, 6y/72mil, or 7/84mil, whatever length of time he's looking for. that puts him ahead of rivera, and hopefully enough to keep him here. boras isn't his agent, is he?

    it's more money than a reliever is worth, but he's as dominant as a closer as bonds is a hitter. plus, he's the face of the team, and as important as stats are, we can't cheer for numbers like we can for mr. game over.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/11/2005 08:46:00 AM  

  • I don't know what he deserves, but I think he's going to get 5-7 years at $12-13 million per. That puts the contract's value between $60 and $90 million.

    Here's why. The question comes down to, (a) how much do you pay the best closer in the league, and (b) how long do we think he can keep this up?

    By almost any measure, Gagne and Rivera are atop the list of closers. This observation leads to two points. First, their contracts should define what other closers are worth, not the other way around. Second, a good closer (ie, one who demonstrably outperformes the average closer) is very rare, which drives up their value in the eyes of GMs. Thus, from a baseball standpoint (though hardly from a social standpoint) Rivera's contract is justified. Thus, Gagne should make Rivera money.

    As to the second question, relievers pitch fewer total innings than starters, making them (a) less injury-prone overall and (b) more effective as they age. Thus, at age 29 Gagne is likely to have many effective years ahead of him.

    So, if Rivera is making $11m at age 35, what is a 29 year-old of similar talent worth? The yankees are almost certainly overpaying because they are the Yankees, but the age difference is a huge one, even for a reliever. So, my guess is that the market value for Gagne is something like $12-13m a year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/11/2005 01:23:00 PM  

  • ok... all of those "updates" should have been a new topic. so much for the "how much do you pay gagne" question.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/2005 12:46:00 AM  

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