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Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #1 by ofahn » December 25th, 2012, 11:39 am

This winter teams have made a series of long term commitments (multi year contracts and extensions) to players that are probably on the downside of their careers. It's extremely rare that these deals do not have at least ONE bad contract year. Sometimes it's because they are back loaded and the bulk of the money is scheduled to be paid during the least productive years, and sometimes because the contract at least one year beyond the player's ability to produce at the level he was given the contract for.

Some contracts like Álex Rodríguez's 10/275M in 2007, Milton Bradley's 3/31M in 2009, Oliver Perez's 3/36M the same year, and Jason Werth's the next year you just KNOW are mistakes before the ink dries. Others like Mark Texiera's 8/180M signed in 2009 LOOKED like they might not be too long, but it's beginning to appear like at least some of the end years will be a bad contract.

Even the rare long term free agent contract that was on track to be solid through its entire length can be ruined by an extension. Does anyone REALLY believe the 5/122M extension the Yankees gave to CC Sabathia in 2011 will be a good contract until the end?

Most "free" agent contracts of three years or more become a liability at some point to the signing team. In a different post I'll explain why I consider the Orioles one of the 2012/13 off season winners because they weren't stupid enough to give in to the ABSURD demands of Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, Edwin Jackson, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino, Anibel Sanchez, or Johnny Gomes.

Some teams have the payroll room to take a big risk on the out years of a bad contract for a player they believe they need RIGHT NOW. A perfect example is the Los Angeles Dodgers who now have more bad contracts than Hollywood has bad face lifts.

Here's a list of some of the most questionable contracts of the last two years. Which contracts do you believe will have bad contract years and when? Please explain WHY you feels that way. I'll post my own opinions tomorrow.

2012

Joe Blanton SP Angels No 2 $15.000MM
Jonathan Broxton RP Reds 3 $21.000MM
Melky Cabrera LF Blue Jays No 2 $16.000MM
Ryan Dempster SP Red Sox 2 $26.500MM
R.A. Dickey SP Mets No 3 $29.000MM (ext)
Jonny Gomes LF Red Sox No 2 $10.000MM
Zack Greinke SP Dodgers No 6 $147.000MM
Jeremy Guthrie SP Royals 3 $25.000MM
Josh Hamilton LF / CF Angels 5 $125.000MM
Torii Hunter RF Tigers No 2 $26.000MM
Edwin Jackson SP Cubs 4 $52.000MM
Brandon League RP Dodgers 3 $22.500MM
Francisco Liriano SP Pirates 2 $12.750MM
Ryan Ludwick LF Reds 2 $15.000MM
Russell Martin C Pirates 2 $17.000MM
Brandon McCarthy SP Diamondbacks 2 $15.500MM
Mike Napoli 1B / C Red Sox 3 $39.000MM
David Ortiz DH Red Sox 2 $26.000MM
Angel Pagan CF Giants No 4 $40.000MM
Jake Peavy SP White Sox 2 $29.000MM
Cody Ross OF Diamondbacks 3 $26.000MM
Anibal Sanchez SP Tigers 5 $80.000MM
Marco Scutaro IF Giants 3 $20.000MM
Joakim Soria RP Rangers 2 $8.000MM
Nick Swisher 1B / RF Indians 4 $56.000MM
B.J. Upton CF Braves 5 $75.000MM
Shane Victorino OF Red Sox 3 $39.000MM
David Wright 3B Mets 8 $127.000MM (ext)

2011

Clint Barmes 2B / SS Pirates 2 $10.500MM
Heath Bell RP Marlins 3 $27.000MM
Carlos Beltran RF Cardinals 2 $26.000MM
Mark Buehrle SP Marlins 4 $58.000MM
Yoenis Cespedes OF Athletics 4 $36.000MM
Wei-Yin Chen SP Orioles 3 $11.388MM
Coco Crisp CF Athletics 2 $14.000MM
Chris Capuano SP Dodgers 2 $10.000MM
David DeJesus OF Cubs 2 $10.000MM
Mark Ellis 2B Dodgers 2 $8.750MM
Prince Fielder 1B Tigers 9 $214.000MM
Frank Francisco RP Mets 2 $12.000MM
Aaron Harang SP Dodgers 2 $12.000MM
Aaron Hill 2B Diamondbacks 2 $11.000MM
Jonathan Papelbon RP Phillies 4 $50.000MM
Albert Pujols 1B Angels 10 $246.842MM
Jose Reyes SS Marlins 6 $106.000MM
Jimmy Rollins SS Phillies 3 $38.000MM
CC Sabathia SP Yankees 5 $122.000MM (ext)
C.J. Wilson SP Angels 5 $77.500MM
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will go with CC in 2 years

PostPost #2 by LMcORF » December 25th, 2012, 7:30 pm

His weight will catch up to him.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #3 by ofahn » December 25th, 2012, 11:28 pm

LMcORF wrote:His weight will catch up to him.


Welcome to the forum. I see this is your first post and I hope you will share your opinions on a regular basis.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #4 by Jordan Tuwiner » December 26th, 2012, 1:39 am

The Hamilton deal is probably the most risky.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #5 by osforlife » December 26th, 2012, 3:13 pm

IMO, here are the signings off the top of my head looking at this list that seem like bad contracts to me:
Joe Blanton SP Angels No 2 $15.000MM
Jonathan Broxton RP Reds 3 $21.000MM
Jonny Gomes LF Red Sox No 2 $10.000MM
Zack Greinke SP Dodgers No 6 $147.000MM
Jeremy Guthrie SP Royals 3 $25.000MM
Brandon League RP Dodgers 3 $22.500MM
Francisco Liriano SP Pirates 2 $12.750MM
Cody Ross OF Diamondbacks 3 $26.000MM
Anibal Sanchez SP Tigers 5 $80.000MM
B.J. Upton CF Braves 5 $75.000MM
Shane Victorino OF Red Sox 3 $39.000MM
Clint Barmes 2B / SS Pirates 2 $10.500MM
Heath Bell RP Marlins 3 $27.000MM
Prince Fielder 1B Tigers 9 $214.000MM
Frank Francisco RP Mets 2 $12.000MM
Jonathan Papelbon RP Phillies 4 $50.000MM
Albert Pujols 1B Angels 10 $246.842MM

The Bluejays got a steal out of Melky Cabrera.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #6 by ofahn » December 26th, 2012, 4:52 pm

IMO the WORST contracts and extensions of the last two years are (in no particular order):

2012

Zack Greinke SP Dodgers 6 $147.000MM the Dodgers just brought a pitcher that has had issues with pressure into what may be the biggest expectations in baseball in 2013. What could go wrong? If LA gets even three good years out of this deal they should feel lucky.

Josh Hamilton LF / CF Angels 5 $125.000MM let's see - substance abuse problems with recent relapses. A body that's starting to breakdown and some legitimate questions about his desire to perform at a plus level anymore. OF COURSE the Angels had good reason to not require a behavior or injury clause.

Edwin Jackson SP Cubs 4 $52.000MM a "can't miss" prospect that has played for EIGHT ML teams by the time he's 28. No RED FLAGS there.

Brandon League RP Dodgers 3 $22.500MM ONE decent year as a closer in a no pressure situation in Seattle does not mean that he'll be ready to close for a team that will be under "must win" pressure. Last year his WHIP exploded in Seattle and they traded him just in time. I hope the Dodgers intention was to simply pay for sh#ts and giggles three times the going rate for a middle reliever so they won't be disappointed by (at least) the last two years of this contract.

Russell Martin C Pirates 2 $17.000MM maybe the Pirates think that his performance will improve in a non pressure situation like Pittsburgh. I wonder if the Pirates even considered the fact that he may not have the best catching skills to be a mentor for their young pitching prospects.

Mike Napoli 1B / C Red Sox 3 $39.000MM if this contract is finally completed as it was agreed to it you'll probably be able to time with a stop watch when it will become a bad contract.

Angel Pagan CF Giants No 4 $40.000MM WTF?!?!?! Did the Giants become nostalgic for a Juan Pierre disaster of a contract?

Cody Ross OF Diamondbacks 3 $26.000MM he's been so inconsistent over his career that at least one of these contract years will be bad.

Anibal Sanchez SP Tigers 5 $80.000MM the Tigers are all in for 2013 so they over paid by about 3M a year and about two contract years.

Marco Scutaro IF Giants 3 $20.000MM WOW! There's nothing that screams bad contract like paying a 39 YO middle IF 7M.

Nick Swisher 1B / RF Indians 4 $56.000MM a good player but Cleveland was so desperate to land one that they were probably bidding against themselves and went about two bad contract years too far.

B.J. Upton CF Braves 5 $75.000MM this contract all depends on which B J Upton shows up. The one that's indifferent and doesn't hustle or the one that plays like an All Star. The Braves better hope it's the latter or they're going to be counting pennies trying to pay for someone to cover for him through 2017.

Shane Victorino OF Red Sox 3 $39.000MM OMG!!! WTF?!?! WOW! Let me catch my breath...I mean OMG!!! WTF?!?!

David Wright 3B Mets 8 $127.000MM (ext) with Wright's back history only the Mets' orthopedist can realistically guess how many bad contract years are in this boondoggle.

2011

Clint Barmes 2B / SS Pirates 2 $10.500MM was anyone really surprised that his OPS fell off the table at age 33? Just imagine what his age 34 contract year will bring.

Heath Bell RP Marlins 3 $27.000MM who would have guessed that taking a 34 YO closer away from the only situation that had ever been successful in would be a bad idea? Not the Marlins who are paying the Diamondbacks 8M to have Bell pitch for them.

Mark Buehrle SP Marlins 4 $58.000MM this one will probably be like the Derek Lowe 4/60M Atlanta deal. One bad contract year too long.

Prince Fielder 1B Tigers 9 $214.000MM there's nothing wrong with this contract unless you have a problem with paying Fat Albert to waddle up to the plate as your DH for about the last three or four years of the deal.

Frank Francisco RP Mets 2 $12.000MM the signs of decline were all there but the Mets just couldn't help themselves. Maybe they missed the Oliver Perez drama.

Jonathan Papelbon RP Phillies 4 $50.000MM "Danger, there's a breakdown dead ahead" - Boz Scaggs saw this one coming back in the mid 70s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgsUdk8TgdM

Albert Pujols 1B Angels 10 $246.842MM the Angels decided to bring Albert to Los Angeles because they were concerned Hollywood wouldn't have enough broken down, overpaid has beens in about five years.

Jose Reyes SS Marlins 6 $106.000MM a history of injuries and a realistic lost of speed won't make the last few years of this contract bad, will it?

Jimmy Rollins SS Phillies 3 $38.000MM giving three more years to a 32 YO SS who had been in decline over the last few years isn't a bad idea, is it?

CC Sabathia SP Yankees 5 $122.000MM (ext) the great unanswered question is NOT what's the meaning of life but, rather whether the last two OR three years of this deal will be a bad contract.

C.J. Wilson SP Angels 5 $77.500MM apparently, the Angels never heard of John Lackey or A J Burnett.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #7 by osforlife » December 26th, 2012, 5:55 pm

I don't think the Pagan deal is bad at all. He's only 30 and contributes in all aspects of the game.
I think the Napoli deal was fair. He always puts up a good OPS. I'd look for at least a .350 OBP with at least a .500 slug %.
The Swisher deal was alright compared to what Werth got. Nick is a quality player...it was just odd that Cleveland signed him.
The Cubs got a fair deal out of Edwin Jackson. He's a quality pitcher.
I would have been OK with 3/15 for Scutaro. Expect his speed and power to decrease but his average should stay pretty consistent. He almost never strikes out.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #8 by ofahn » December 26th, 2012, 6:01 pm

osforlife wrote:The Swisher deal was alright compared to what Werth got.


I wouldn't consider that an endorsement. Werth's deal might make the Bad Contract Hall Of Fame.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #9 by osforlife » December 26th, 2012, 9:48 pm

ofahn wrote:
I wouldn't consider that an endorsement. Werth's deal might make the Bad Contract Hall Of Fame.

Still, he won't be terribly old when his contract expires, he's extremely durable, and puts up a very nice OPS every year.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #10 by ofahn » December 26th, 2012, 9:59 pm

osforlife wrote:he's extremely durable, and puts up a very nice OPS every year


I simply have my doubts that he will continue to do that at his current level during the life of the contract.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #11 by LA Detective » December 28th, 2012, 4:36 pm

David Wright- For me he appears old for his age due to injuries. Wouldnt suprise me if 4 of the 8 years he doesnt hit 20 homers, including the last 3.

Jeremy Guthurie- I think that was a good contract. 8 mil a yr for a guy that can pitch 200 innings isnt bad in todays market. I wasnt suprised by last years finish. I always thought there was better in him. Pitching in Colorado doesnt count. I can see 200+ inn and ERA right around 4.00 for the next 3 years.

Nick Swisher- I think he is a #6 hitter at best. If McClouth is the same player he was last year to me he is more valuable (better D, can run, beter contact, bats at the top of the order). This would certainly be a bargain.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #12 by ofahn » December 28th, 2012, 4:48 pm

osforlife wrote:The Bluejays got a steal out of Melky Cabrera.


It all depends on which Melky shows up. The indifferent Melky that teams kept giving up on or the one that can actually play at a plus level.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #13 by LA Detective » December 28th, 2012, 4:51 pm

Victorino - Again, I would rather have McClouth

You had 4 Blue Jays on your list. Thats why I am not ready to give them the division like all the experts are doing.
MCabrera- will be mediocre off the PED
Reyes- I just dont think he is a winner. And i think he is on the decline. He may flash a star at times but not over the long haul
Buerhele- His struggles last year could show a decline. He was a Ozzie favorite. The White Sox werent about to give him that money.
Dickey- Risky but he could pitch like an ace for at least two of the years too.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #14 by ofahn » January 19th, 2013, 10:30 am

ofahn wrote:Mike Napoli 1B / C Red Sox 3 $39.000MM if this contract is finally completed as it was agreed to it you'll probably be able to time with a stop watch when it will become a bad contract.


I'd like to amend my evaluation of Napoli and address his NEW contract. First, IMO there are NO bad one year contracts. Second, 5M and a LOT of incentives is what I felt he was worth in the first place. This was a good deal for Boston.
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Re: Pick The Year This Deal Becomes A Bad Contract

PostPost #15 by osforlife » January 19th, 2013, 12:50 pm

Overall, the deals I like the most when they were first signed:
Wei-Yin Chen SP Orioles 3 $11.388MM
Melky Cabrera LF Blue Jays No 2 $16.000MM
Brandon McCarthy SP Diamondbacks 2 $15.500MM
Mike Napoli 1B / C Red Sox 1 $5.000MM
Angel Pagan CF Giants No 4 $40.000MM

I thought the Swisher, Haren, Dejesus and Jackson deals were fair, too. Looking back, some deals turned out to be great that I didn't expect when they were signed.
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