Tagged: free agents

Let The Revolution Begin!

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First of all… MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!

Second… I’m trying
really, really, really, really, really, really hard to avoid my natural habit
of commenting on the Yankees latest monstrosity signing. I shall resist. (See… I’m growing)

 

I’ve thought
a lot about the system I introduced in my last blog and I’d like to take it a
step further. I think the time has come where bantering on MLBlogs.com about
the need for a salary cap is over and someone needs to come up with an idea.

 

Is my idea
the right answer? I don’t know. I’m not arrogant enough to believe I have all
the answers, but I do believe that coming up with an idea is, at the very least,
as step toward a solution.

 

I have only
worked the system to figure out the market value of position players so far
(pitchers will be coming soon). Basically, I divide 9 positive stats and 2
negative stats into 3 tiers. The top two tiers are given a value based on
rarity and percentile, the bottom tier receives no value because it is not
considered rare.

 

The
percentile is then taken from the league minimum salary which is $390,000. The
higher the percentile, the more money the player gets. For instance: Players
who hit between 35 and 50 homeruns in 2008 makes up the top tier which is the
top 1.3% in the league. That rarity is valued at $384,800. Therefore, the 10
players that fit into that tier earn that $384,800. Make sense?

 

There are
also “Non-Performance-Based Bonuses” that can help a veteran or former
superstar whose performance may not be what it used to be.

                MVP Award:                                      $1,000,000

                CY-YOUNG AWARD:                      $1,000,000

                ALL-STAR APPEARANCE:           $364,000

                GOLD-GLOVE:                                  $380,640

                SILVER-SLUGGER:                          $380,640

                WORLD SERIES MVP:                   $2,000,000

                ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:                $250,000

                CHAMPIONSHIP RING:                 $750,000

 

                5-YEAR VETERAN                          $500,000

                10-YEAR VETERAN                       $1,000,000

                15-YEAR VETERAN                       $1,500,000

                20-YEAR VETERAN                       $2,000,000

 

Mark
Teixeira just signed an 8-year/$180million contract which makes his annual
salary somewhere around $22.5 million per year (and that’s all I’m going say
about that). Teixeira is a great player, but is anyone worth $20 million a
year?

 

According to
this system, no.

 

Mark
Teixeira would have a market value of $5,214,840. Now, this doesn’t mean the
Yankees are necessarily overpaying, all it does is give an idea as to how Mark
Teixeira compares to the rest of the league. As a matter of fact, here are a
few of the remaining free-agents on the market and how their 2008 market values
compare to their 2008 salaries.

 

Player                                                 2008
Market Value                    2008
Salary

Bobby Abreu                                     $4,248,160                                         ($16,000,000)

Manny Ramirez                               $12,982,520
                                      ($20,000,000)

Garrett Anderson                            $4,585,040                                         ($12,600,000)

Richie Sexson                                    $2,161,680
                                        ($15,500,000)

Nomar Garciaparra                        $4,167,720                                         ($9,516,697)

Ivan Rodriguez                                 $14,722,760                                      ($12,379,883)

Adam Dunn                                        $2,880,560
                                        ($13,000,000)

Ken Griffey Jr.                                   $13,925,480                                      ($8,282,695)

Pat Burrell                                         $3,156,840
                                        ($14,250,000)

Jason Giambi                                     $5,785,600
                                        ($23,428,571)

 

As you can
see, there are some players whose contracts far exceed their value and other
who are worth more. These numbers aren’t exactly going to spark inspiration
from the MLB Players Association (or Adam Dunn’s agent), but it will stabilize the
market. If this system had been in place for the last 10 years, the Yankees
wouldn’t have paid Jason Giambi $23 million a year to under-perform, nor would
the Braves have paid Mike Hampton $15 million each year to sit on the disabled
list.

 

Given this
system, would the Yankees have still paid almost half a billion this
off-season? Probably. But combine this value with a solid salary-cap, and maybe
prices won’t inflate every year and I won’t have to sit at home all summer
watching an alarming number of players earn more money in one game than I will
in the next 4-years.

 

Okay, maybe I still will (I’m still a writer), but
less people will.

 

So let this
post be the start of an official movement. The idea’s not perfect (YET!) but if
you like it, pass it on, tell anyone you feel like telling. It’s a long shot
but maybe, just maybe, someone will hear it who can actually make something
happen. We’ve always heard that the league wants to put us, “the fans,” first.
Now it’s time to see if they’ll listen to us.

 

                                               

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The Best Idea I’ve Ever Had… Maybe

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Good
Evening, boys and girls!

I,
for one, am incredibly bored right now. I’m sure there is a lot going on behind
the scenes across every MLB front office but so far, not much has gone
publicly. This is for a number of reasons, the primary reason being the
arbitration deadline that will take place Monday night at midnight. Most teams
are waiting for that deadline to pass before making any decisions on free agents.

Any
player that would sign before the deadline is technically eligible for
arbitration as well as draft compensation. According to league rules, “A” tier
players that sign during arbitration will technically allow for a transfer of
two draft picks from the player’s new team to the player’s old team. (1 pick
for a “B” tier player).

By
my calendar, I really don’t think there will be any moves worth writing about
until after the deadline and the December 8-11 winter GM meetings. This is
going to be an important year for a lot of ball clubs and it is showing in the
mass-hesitation we’ve seen thus far.

The
Yankees have missed the playoffs for the first time in what seems like forever,
and the division was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays. Is this a fluke? Or have the
Rays really arrived? Can the Yankees turn it around immediately? Or are they in
a – gasp – rebuilding period?

Every
winter there seems to be one or two big-time free agents on the market and
everyone watches the MLB.com front page to see where they end up. This year,
though, it would appear that almost every team – no matter what their 2008
outcome was – could go from pretender to contender and vice versa. It will be
one great winter to watch, and with every move my anticipation for April 5th
will rise and rise.

To
pass the time, here’s a suggestion I have for my beloved Phillies.

Sign
Donovan McNabb!

You
heard me right.

Yes,
I am a Philadelphia Phillies fan but I can’t stand the Eagles. If you look at
the numbers, Donovan McNabb is the best quarterback in Eagles history despite
having no one worth mentioning to throw to except for T.O. in 2004. He has a
cannon for an arm, and while he sometimes has an off-night, he’s still a great
talent.

p1_mcnabb_si.jpg

So
here’s my suggestion: Switch careers and move across South Street to Citizens
Bank Park and we’ll put him in the bullpen. I would assume he could throw in
the mid to high 90’s judging by the bullets he throws at the Link, so if someone
could teach him a good changeup, I think we could have a decent relief pitcher.

Think
about it. This is a great career move for him. The Eagles are the worst run
team in football coupled with psychotic fans. He’s blamed for everything that
goes wrong with the team. Who would want to play like that?

In
red pin-stripes, the combination of Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste would be the
best receivers he’s ever worked with. He wouldn’t face all the blame in a loss,
either. He would come in for an inning or two every so often and throw hard,
that’s it. No plays to memorize, no miscommunications, and the best part? THERE ARE NO TIES IN BASEBALL!

It
sounds like a great move to me. But what do I know? I’m just a baseball writer.

What’s Cookin’?

The off-season is starting to heat up a little bit. Well it’s about time.

Dempster re-signed which wasn’t that big of a surprise and Coco “Fruit Loops” Crisp was traded to the Royals of all teams.
QHVJQE8r.jpgI always have some sympathy for Kansas City because they’re in such a small market and they face a steep up-hill climb every year. But I just don’t understand some of the moves they make. It’s like the Royals trade away all their good-young talent (Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye) and take on good players who failed elsewhere (Jose Guillen). It’s like KC is a giant experiment gone horribly wrong.

It’s not impossible to compete in a small market. Just look at the two teams that played for a championship in ’08. The Rays have built a good core of young talent and made it to the World Series without signing a truck-load of free agents. The Phillies are in a huge market but
act like a small market team, but they’ve basically done the same in building a good core. 7 out of 9 starters in the ’08 fall classic came up through the Phillies farm system. What it takes is great scouting, a disciplined philosophy and a good manager.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens the rest of the way. An off-season says a lot about where teams stand and how they want to move forward. Some teams stick with bad habits while others are taking notice to what has worked the last 10 years.

Stay tuned.

Is it just me, or does the baseball offseason seem just as exciting as the regular season?

Maybe I’m still riding a high from the Phillies world series victory, or maybe I’m just crazy.

But here it is mid-November, a time when baseball is on sleep-mode, and I am still glued to MLB.com (cheap plug), ESPN.com and any other web-site that could potentially provide info on recent free-agent news.

I’m excited because this is such an exciting time of year for so many teams, a time when everyone can put last years failures behind them and look forward to 2009 with all the hope in the world. It is a time of year where the makeup of a team can change over night and one player added or subtracted can turn a pretender into a contender.

Here are a couple of off-season stories that I find particularly interesting:

Holliday to the A’s, who’d-a-thunk it?
I really wasn’t aware the A’s were a player in the Holliday sweepstakes, but then again, none of the Oakland A’s transaction make sense to me. What blows my mind every season is how the A’s can trade away another solid player (Jermaine Dye, Miguel Tejada, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Rich Harden, Dan Haren) and somehow replace him with someone you’ve never heard of who’s just as good. There’s something in the water in the Oakland farm system because it appears anyone you plug into the A’s lineup comes out solid.

The problem is while the team always come out solid, it’ amounted to a big goose-egg in the playoff series win column. This year, however, they’re the ones adding the all-star and former MVP candidate. Maybe this can give them the spark they need to put them over the hill. Who knows?

Is Peavy going to the Braves or not?
Atlanta is another one of those teams in the NL that looks good on paper but just doesn’t seem to be able to pull it together at the same time. They’re another one of those teams with a solid farm system to plug in a new guy when an old guy leaves, most recently, Jeff Franceour. But most of that farm system, if not a whole Single-A franchise, went to Texas for Mark Texieira last season, so that’s another big question mark.

Chipper Jones could have hit a bottle cap with a pencil in April-early June, and they’re hoping he can do that for a whole season again in ’09. Hampton’s contract is up so he’s looking for somewhere else to go collect $100 million for doing absolutely nothing.

Simply put, they need pitching to compete in their division against the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies (I’ll take any excuse to throw that in there) and the New York Mets who are becoming the Junior Yankees by spending ridiculous amounts of money each season resulting in absolutely no change. Peavy might be a good fit, but they have more problems, like finding a new Single-A team.

Who are the Yankees gonna buy for Joe Girardi for Christmas this year?
“The Boss Jr.” seems to be sticking by George’s old philosophies that haven’t worked since the 90’s and this offseason shows no indication of that changing. In my mind, I see Hank going after Merk Texieira and C.C. Sabathia who might be the two best free agents not named Manny Ramirez. Both players fit their needs (a power-hitting first baseman and a solid starter) and Texieira gives them the powerful switch hitter they haven’t seen since Bernie Williams. But he’s not the second coming of Mickey Mantle and won’t hide the fact that the team is not as much of a team as they are a collection of All-Stars wearing the same uniform. There’s a reason they haven’t won it all since 2000. It’s time for a change in philosophy from the top-down.

Manny will be Manny no matter where he is.
LA wants him, there’s no doubt about it, but like I’ve said before, the Dodgers need more than him to get any further than they did last year. Manny’s probably the best hitter in baseball, but if I were the Dodgers, I think I’d rather spend $100 million on 3 or 4 solid players than one superstar. Maybe they can get him to sign for less, maybe not, but Manny wants years.

Yes, I’d love to see him in a Phillies uniform, there’s no doubt about it. Anyone have a problem with that?

Manny’s won rings, so he’s not looking to get any monkeys off his back. He wants a home. He wants to settle in somehwere to end his career on a high-note instead of becoming a slugger-for-hire. Whoever can offer him five years or moe will get him regardless of the dollar figure, I think.

Any disagreements? I would love to start a discussion. Please comment.

~SL

Why The Phillies Need to Make a Play on Manny

Ok.
In case you have never read my blog, I am a Phillies fan, so I am predicting some of you may chalk up this post as bias, but I pray you, read on.

The Phillies have just come off of a World Series Championship, and what has been a trend for world series teams the year after?

They dismantle.

Colorado, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, Chicago, Florida, San Francisco, the list goes on.
The exceptions are Boston and Anaheim, who were able to stay in contention following a world series appearance. The Rays are a young team under contract and look to remain a core group for at least the next couple seasons. The Phillies, however, have the potential to be broken up and sold piece by piece withing the next year or two. Their time to win is now or they may suffer another rebuilding phase.

The funny thing about Philadelphia is once we get a few wins under our belts, we are spoiled. It happened with the Flyers, Sixers, the Eagle most recently, and now the Phils. So my guess is that anything less than another championship next year will be seen as failure in the eyes of Philadelphians.

What can I say?
We have high standards.

I know a little too much about sports business to know that’s much easier said than done; and while my love for the team is greater than most, it isn’t enough to blind my judgment.

I heard someone on ESPN say that the Phillies dubbed Manny Ramirez as “too expensive” for the club. Well, that may be, but now is not the time to get cheap, Ruben. If it’s money you’re worried about, don’t. Philly fans would hand over their mortgage to see him in left field. I know I would (if I had one). We’re that phanatical.

Pat Burrell may or may not sign. If he does, great, he’s a cornerstone to the organization. But if he doesn’t, they need to go after Manny and go after him aggressively. Burrell leaves a big hole in the field and in the lineup. Manny’s not the type of player to fit into the 5-spot but that’ll be Charlie manuel’s problem.

The Phillies would also need more power from the right side of the plate without Burrell. Utley and Howard who provide most of the lineup’s power hit from the left and the switch-hitting Rollins and Victorino hit for more power from the left as well. Werth is a solid role player but isn’t consistent enough as a power-hitter to fit the need. If they can’t replace Burrell with a righty of comparative power, they’ll have more trouble against leftys in 2009 than in 2008. Overall, even the left-handed hitters in their lineup had good numbers versus southpaws in ’08, but the absence of a righty may change that.

If I were in Ruben Amaro Jr.’s position, I would want Manny just to show the organization, the team and the fans that winning is his prime objective.

But I’m not Ruben Amaro Jr., and maybe I’m not in his position because I’m a complete moron and I should stick to blogging. I have faith that the team will do what they can to continue to win championships. I don’t want to see a great team like the 2008 Phillies  be dismantled like the 1997 Marlins. I know that won’t happen this year, but I am more than familiar with the rise and fall of Philadelphia teams.

The window of opportunity is small and closes fast. That is what I think the true curse of Billy Penn. The Phils were able to get a championship in before the window closed but who knows how much longer it will be open?

As a fan of the game, I normally advocate a different team win every year, but that was before my team won it all. I don’t want to be a spoiled fan, but I know in the back of my mind that if we don’t win another one soon, it could be another 28 years.

I don’t want this city to go through that again.
Make a play.

~SL