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View Full Version : Reds Lock up Votto through 2023 for 225 million



Boston-Born
04-02-2012, 01:01 PM
According to Tim Dierkes and Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTradeRumors.com, the Reds are nearing an extension with Joey Votto that "could surpass $200 million."
It's absolutely massive news, and quite surprising given the Reds' relatively small payroll. Votto, 28, boasts a stellar .313/.405/.550 career batting line and finished the 2011 season with 29 home runs and 103 RBI in 161 games. He was named the National League MVP in 2010 after hitting .324/.424/.600 with 37 homers and 113 RBI in 150 games

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/mlb/1127/joey-votto

sexicano31
04-02-2012, 01:09 PM
That feel when he probably makes less annually than Ryan Howard

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 01:13 PM
Good God!

Not that he won't deserve it, I just don't know if he will be worth that in the end.

1908_Cubs
04-02-2012, 01:16 PM
Jesus.

Well. Brandon Phillips is a FA next season.

Gibby
04-02-2012, 01:21 PM
they will get more value than what tigers will get for Fielder.

DodgerB24
04-02-2012, 01:28 PM
Holy Jeebus!

-Lavigne43-
04-02-2012, 01:29 PM
Definitely a reaction to the Dodgers. They realized if they want to keep Votto they better get it done now. Better investment than the Pujols and Fielder deals. Thank God the Red Sox extended AGon last year.

long ball
04-02-2012, 01:31 PM
This is awesome for the reds, bad for the rest of the nl central. Votto is the best player in the nl so I'm glad that the nl won't lose another one of their premier players to the nl.

SportsAndrew25
04-02-2012, 01:32 PM
That is the "Holy **** the Dodgers got money and could take our best player" move right there. Smart of them to do this, but let us just acknowledge that.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 01:34 PM
As a Cards fan, I don't want to see Votto anymore than I have to, but this extension could potentially hurt the franchise long term. But I agree with the sentiments it's a better investment than the Pujols and Fielder deals.

That said, as a fan of the game, I love seeing a guy basically stick out his whole career in one city and be a staple for a franchise.

1908_Cubs
04-02-2012, 01:36 PM
This is awesome for the reds, bad for the rest of the nl central. Votto is the best player in the nl so I'm glad that the nl won't lose another one of their premier players to the nl.
I'm not so certain Votto is the best player in the NL. A premiere player for certain, but with Kemp and Braun coming off huge seasons in 2011, I think that's a little more up for debate than the certainty of this post. He's in the top 3.

1903
04-02-2012, 01:36 PM
Good God!

Not that he won't deserve it, I just don't know if he will be worth that in the end.

How many players in their late 20's are going to truly be worth a $200+ million contract over the next decade? These types of deals are not that surprising anymore considering what Pujols and Fielder got this off season. $275 million given to A-Rod, $126 million to Werth, $142 million to Crawford. Even Manny banked $160 million 12 years ago. These deals are no longer shocking.

VRP723
04-02-2012, 01:38 PM
****

Boston-Born
04-02-2012, 01:38 PM
Phillips will be a Dodger next year for sure now.

OneTuzSea
04-02-2012, 01:43 PM
I always love these types of deals. I'm not a GM and I don't try to pretend I am, and I always like the hometown guy staying.

Jays Claw
04-02-2012, 01:48 PM
I always love these types of deals. I'm not a GM and I don't try to pretend I am, and I always like the hometown guy staying.

Huh? :confused:

Votto is from Canada.

Yankee Clipper
04-02-2012, 01:48 PM
Wow.

Nymfan87
04-02-2012, 01:50 PM
Blue Jays and Dodgers fans everywhere are crying right now.

torontosports10
04-02-2012, 02:05 PM
Wow.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 02:09 PM
Huh? :confused:

Votto is from Canada.

hometown as in: Guy is drafted and developed by one organization and spends his entire career in that organization.

Jeter is from Michigan, but he is considered a hometown guy in New York. It doesn't necessarily mean guy from Cincy playing out his career there.

jlohm1
04-02-2012, 02:12 PM
Good God!

Not that he won't deserve it, I just don't know if he will be worth that in the end.

why do you say that? he is in his prime. Pujols is probably on the decline in a year or 2 and he got a huge contract. Votto is better than Fielder.

jlohm1
04-02-2012, 02:13 PM
Phillips will be a Dodger next year for sure now.

:confused:

he has 2 more years on his contract anyway. so even if this extension doesn't go through he'll still be a Red next year

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 02:15 PM
why do you say that? he is in his prime. Pujols is probably on the decline in a year or 2 and he got a huge contract. Votto is better than Fielder.

Votto is, I have a problem with any player getting 200 million bucks

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 02:17 PM
:confused:

he has 2 more years on his contract anyway. so even if this extension doesn't go through he'll still be a Red next year

No he's not, he is a free agent after this season. This year was a club option year for 12 million that was exercised.

Phillips is a free man next year

jlohm1
04-02-2012, 02:23 PM
No he's not, he is a free agent after this season. This year was a club option year for 12 million that was exercised.

Phillips is a free man next year

nope. they gave him a 3 year contract to cover all his arbitration years. he is set to make $9.5 million this season and $17 million in 2013

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/01/joey-votto-agrees-to-extension-with-reds.html

Phillips is a free agent and is unlikely to return unless out owner decides to increase the payroll.

sexicano31
04-02-2012, 02:30 PM
That's what jeffy was saying

-Lavigne43-
04-02-2012, 02:32 PM
nope. they gave him a 3 year contract to cover all his arbitration years. he is set to make $9.5 million this season and $17 million in 2013

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/01/joey-votto-agrees-to-extension-with-reds.html

Phillips is a free agent and is unlikely to return unless out owner decides to increase the payroll.

Re-read this post http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showpost.php?p=21586160&postcount=23

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 02:35 PM
nope. they gave him a 3 year contract to cover all his arbitration years. he is set to make $9.5 million this season and $17 million in 2013

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/01/joey-votto-agrees-to-extension-with-reds.html

Phillips is a free agent and is unlikely to return unless out owner decides to increase the payroll.

Your response was to Phillips will be a Dodger next year, nothing to do with Votto

LASportsFan1996
04-02-2012, 02:45 PM
****

FortDetroit
04-02-2012, 02:46 PM
this contract wont kick in until age 30.

letsgobrownies7
04-02-2012, 02:47 PM
I'm really happy with this news. This is good for a smaller market team like Cincy too keep one of their grown stars around long-term.

iggypop123
04-02-2012, 02:49 PM
today is extension day. only hamels is missing

GoatMilk
04-02-2012, 03:41 PM
Rangers, please extend Hamilton
I dont want to see the Dodgers overpay for him

jlohm1
04-02-2012, 03:44 PM
Re-read this post http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showpost.php?p=21586160&postcount=23

:laugh2: I was thinking Votto

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 04:01 PM
I still don't like players getting extended two years before they are free agents under team controlled deals.

Not unless you are getting a discount.

xnick5757
04-02-2012, 04:21 PM
all these deals for first basemen (votto, fielder, pujols), make Agon's 7 years/154 mil deal look like an absolute steal

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 04:23 PM
And all of it started with Amaro's dumb ***

sexicano31
04-02-2012, 04:24 PM
:(

Nabeshin
04-02-2012, 04:42 PM
That is a lot of money, but an excellent player. I wonder which player will break the 300m mark in the future ?

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 04:57 PM
He'll have to be a young player that is hall of fame destined ^

1903
04-02-2012, 05:06 PM
Probably an A-Rod type player who entered the league at 18 and signed a FA contract at 25.

torontosports10
04-02-2012, 05:38 PM
Bryce Harper......

es0terik
04-02-2012, 06:45 PM
Good God!

Not that he won't deserve it, I just don't know if he will be worth that in the end.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you here, I just know that I would very very easily give Votto 200M before I gave it to Pujols or Fielder.

es0terik
04-02-2012, 06:46 PM
That is a lot of money, but an excellent player. I wonder which player will break the 300m mark in the future ?

I selfishly hope that it ain't Brett Lawrie. Though I don't know if I'll ever see a third baseman or a shortstop get that much money, at least don't see it happening in the next 10 years. Probably going to be a first baseman. Maybe Eric Hosmer :)

Nabeshin
04-02-2012, 07:05 PM
I expect Hamilton to get something similar to Fielder, perhaps even more whether it is on the market or from the Rangers.

CarniifeX
04-02-2012, 07:08 PM
Breaking: Joey Votto gets 10-year, $225 milion extension, even eclipsing Prince Fielder, tying him to #Reds through 2023. More in USA TODAY


Bob Nightengale on Twitter

VenezuelanMet
04-02-2012, 07:09 PM
Those goddamn big market teams buying everyone!

oh wait

Lincecum4CY
04-02-2012, 07:09 PM
10 years 225 million is the exact figure. He'll be a Red until 2023. Good for him and the Reds.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:10 PM
Now the furthest extended player in MLB.

That is 12 seasons from now!

metsfaninSTL
04-02-2012, 07:10 PM
thats a ton for him imo

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:11 PM
He'll turn 40 that year, and he was drafted in 2002, that's a long time in one organization.

es0terik
04-02-2012, 07:11 PM
Though I think Votto at 22.5M is a great price for the next few seasons.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:11 PM
I think it's a fair deal honestly

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:12 PM
Updated thread title

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:17 PM
Busy day for the players union office and commish office

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:22 PM
In total, over the next 12 years, he will make a little over 250 million

gocubs2118
04-02-2012, 07:23 PM
He'll turn 40 that year, and he was drafted in 2002, that's a long time in one organization.

He must really love that chili!

Tragedy
04-02-2012, 07:27 PM
Definitely a reaction to the Dodgers. They realized if they want to keep Votto they better get it done now. Better investment than the Pujols and Fielder deals. Thank God the Red Sox extended AGon last year.
No doubt. AGon looks like a steal at this point now.

I'm not particularly saying this Votto deal will be bad looking back, but my god does he REALLY deserve 225? Who has gotten more money than him? A-Rod, A-Rod, and Pujols. That's it. They really believe Votto will be in that company the next 10 years?

Good luck. That's tough to justify for the next 10 years. I can't wait to see if it'll turn out well or not for the Reds.

MotownWebGuy
04-02-2012, 07:27 PM
they will get more value than what tigers will get for Fielder.

So it's better to sign Votto thru age 41 -- than Fielder thru age 36.

Excuse me while I scratch my head and makes faces at you. :speechless::silly:

MotownWebGuy
04-02-2012, 07:29 PM
.

MotownWebGuy
04-02-2012, 07:30 PM
I don't see any delete option.

MotownWebGuy
04-02-2012, 07:32 PM
He'll turn 40 that year, and he was drafted in 2002, that's a long time in one organization.

Try 41 Jeff.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:37 PM
Try 41 Jeff.

He was born in 1983, in 2023, he will turn 40 that September.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:38 PM
So it's better to sign Votto thru age 41 -- than Fielder thru age 36.

Excuse me while I scratch my head and makes faces at you. :speechless::silly:

I'd say it's far more likely that Votto ages more gracefully than Fielder will.

That, and the Reds actually have a position for him.

Votto should age somewhat like Todd Helton, Fielder is more likely to age like his father, maybe a little better.

CHRISDODGERS
04-02-2012, 07:39 PM
god****ing damnit

fingerbang
04-02-2012, 07:42 PM
Eventually all good players get paid.

iam brett favre
04-02-2012, 07:45 PM
10 years? :speechless:
Good for both of them.

nymetsrule
04-02-2012, 07:47 PM
That sure is a lot of money...

1903
04-02-2012, 07:48 PM
Canadian boy getting paid.

iam brett favre
04-02-2012, 07:49 PM
Canadian boy getting paid.

25 sitting on 225 mil..

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 07:50 PM
^ he's 28

MotownWebGuy
04-02-2012, 07:51 PM
I'd say it's far more likely that Votto ages more gracefully than Fielder will.

That, and the Reds actually have a position for him.

It won't be DH and Joey may need to play there - as early as 36.
That's a long time away. Lots could happen to his body in the meantime.

Do I think Fielder will play subpar at 35 & 36 --- sure! But I also think Joey will too at ages 38 - 39 - 40. And you can bet those last few years will be back-loaded heavily like Pujols and Fielder's.

MrForever
04-02-2012, 07:54 PM
Yikes...

Burkey3472
04-02-2012, 07:54 PM
Guy is worth his annual salary right now but this can really hurt them on the back end of this deal. I'm in no way saying it was a bad deal because it was something they had to do but it could seriously hurt them later on with signing players down the line.

MotownWebGuy
04-02-2012, 07:56 PM
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that that the Reds and Joey Votto have agreed to a 10-year, $225 million extension.

It's a massive financial commitment on the part of the small-market Reds and surpasses Prince Fielder's contract ($213 million) for the fourth-richest in MLB history. According to Nightengale, the deal doesn't replace his existing contract and runs from 2014-2023, which runs contrary to earlier speculation. It would also keep Votto in a Reds' uniform until he turns 40. The deal includes a full-no trade clause."

showtym24
04-02-2012, 07:58 PM
Funny stuff.

Havoc Wreaker
04-02-2012, 08:41 PM
Votto had the upper hand. The Reds commited to him by trading Alonso and then the Tigers signed Fielder to that atrocity of a contract.

He should give them pretty even value, I just don't like these 10 year contracts becoming the norm.

Texas Holders
04-02-2012, 08:49 PM
It won't be DH and Joey may need to play there - as early as 36.
That's a long time away. Lots could happen to his body in the meantime.

Do I think Fielder will play subpar at 35 & 36 --- sure! But I also think Joey will too at ages 38 - 39 - 40. And you can bet those last few years will be back-loaded heavily like Pujols and Fielder's.

Not sure why you think that, Helton turns 39 this year and still plays a decent first base. They have similar body types as well.

roylikeswaffles
04-02-2012, 08:55 PM
This contract is ridiculous in length

Q-TIP
04-02-2012, 09:01 PM
I understand the market economics, but these contracts are getting crazy. Within the next ten years, we may see upwards of $400 to $500 million contracts. In 1982, George Foster was the first or second highest paid player in MLB - at $2 million.

The Final Boss
04-02-2012, 09:05 PM
This is awesome for the reds, bad for the rest of the nl central. Votto is the best player in the nl so I'm glad that the nl won't lose another one of their premier players to the nl.

I think all of us in the National League are glad not to lose a premier player to the National League.

Young2Kinsler
04-02-2012, 09:11 PM
I hope Hamilton doesn't expect some 8-10 year deal. Any deal over 6-7 is insane

Cosmic_Canon
04-02-2012, 09:23 PM
^ he's 28

Don't ruin the lyrics bruh.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 09:30 PM
It won't be DH and Joey may need to play there - as early as 36.
That's a long time away. Lots could happen to his body in the meantime.

Do I think Fielder will play subpar at 35 & 36 --- sure! But I also think Joey will too at ages 38 - 39 - 40. And you can bet those last few years will be back-loaded heavily like Pujols and Fielder's.

Helton is 38 and is still playing fantastic defense. And Votto's defense today compares to Helton's when he was Votto's age.

That, and the DH might be in the NL by then.

I would rather give Votto a 10 year deal than Fielder.

I would also rather give Votto a 12 year deal today than Fielder a 10 year deal today as well.

And I'm a Cards fan, but Votto is the better player and will likely age better.

Orange&Black55
04-02-2012, 09:35 PM
Helton is 38 and is still playing fantastic defense. And Votto's defense today compares to Helton's when he was Votto's age.

That, and the DH might be in the NL by then.

I would rather give Votto a 10 year deal than Fielder.

I would also rather give Votto a 12 year deal today than Fielder a 10 year deal today as well.

And I'm a Cards fan, but Votto is the better player and will likely age better.

Never!!! lol

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 09:36 PM
^ I hope not personally, I hate the DH

Nabeshin
04-02-2012, 09:49 PM
Congrats to him, that type of money could buy him a bloody island. I would gladly trade cinci the Wilpons for a bag of peanuts and a beer.

S.P.
04-02-2012, 10:23 PM
Sorry Los Doyers, no Votto for the Vatos! ;)

t327
04-02-2012, 10:40 PM
It's OK. James Loney is going to explode for 18 HR and lead the Dodgers to victory. Ned will then sign him to 5 years for $80 million.

Public Enemy #1
04-02-2012, 10:51 PM
2023 seems like a long *** time away!

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 10:53 PM
It's OK. James Loney is going to explode for 18 HR and lead the Dodgers to victory. Ned will then sign him to 5 years for $180 million.

:)

scottythegreat1
04-02-2012, 11:33 PM
As much as I like Joey Votto, I bet in 3 or 4 years, he will have to be traded to a team like the LA Dodgers after the Reds realize that they cant afford to keep Votto.

The Reds will have a hard time when they realize that one player is going to be making up over 1/4 of their salary.

The larger market teams can absorb these enormous contracts, middle market teams can take on one for a bit before the need to bring in another player haunts them and they start running the team down. Smaller market teams let these players go because they cant afford it.

Good player, and as ridiculous as contracts are getting in baseball, Votto certainly got fair market value compared to other elite first baseman.

I have to say this: "If I could restart my life again, I would have played baseball a lot more so I could be a first baseman in the MLB."

The Final Boss
04-02-2012, 11:37 PM
It's OK. James Loney is going to explode for 18 HR and lead the Dodgers to victory. Ned will then sign him to 5 years for $80 million.

Flanders won't be around for much longer.

DodgerBlue8188
04-02-2012, 11:57 PM
I can't believe they would sign that extension right now. What's the logic? You see how he does this year and extend him right after the All Star break. It's not like he's a FA after this season.

Jeffy25
04-02-2012, 11:58 PM
I can't believe they would sign that extension right now. What's the logic? You see how he does this year and extend him right after the All Star break. It's not like he's a FA after this season.

And it's not like he gave them a discount.

But they wanted it done, and the risk I guess was worth it.

iam brett favre
04-03-2012, 12:01 AM
Don't ruin the lyrics bruh.

Thank you, someone got it :up:

ichitownclowni
04-03-2012, 12:18 AM
wow

Tmath
04-03-2012, 12:33 AM
225 mill to hit a ball, must be nice.

sf-fanatic
04-03-2012, 12:34 AM
this contract makes ryan howard look like a bargain !

Young2Kinsler
04-03-2012, 12:44 AM
this contract makes ryan howard look like a bargain !

Nothing can do that

DodgerBlue8188
04-03-2012, 12:55 AM
In all seriousness these contracts are really getting out of hand. I guess it will never end though. As long as fans keep showing up to the ball park.

iggypop123
04-03-2012, 01:10 AM
if im a kid in high school. i demand my coach move me to 1st base. thats where its at to get paid.

ChrisSabo17
04-03-2012, 01:10 AM
I can't believe they would sign that extension right now. What's the logic? You see how he does this year and extend him right after the All Star break. It's not like he's a FA after this season.

I think the Reds want to lock up Joey or Phillips and they wanted Joey over BP. So they had to get something done before Phillips got loose and then Joey gets loose and the Reds missed out on both.

ChrisSabo17
04-03-2012, 01:11 AM
this contract makes ryan howard look like a bargain !

Howards contract makes Zitos not so bad!

bomber0104
04-03-2012, 01:42 AM
this is getting ridiculous... who knows what could happen in 10 years.. the guy could get a concussion and end up like Morneau.. how stupid would they look if something like that happens

dodgersuck
04-03-2012, 01:47 AM
I can't believe this dude is still going to be getting paid 20+ million when I'm 30. I would never commit this many years/money to a player

long ball
04-03-2012, 01:49 AM
if im a kid in high school. i demand my coach move me to 1st base. thats where its at to get paid.but you literally have to be one of the best 50-75 hitters on the planet to be a starting caliber first basemen in the MLB easier to get a chance at big leagues as lefty reliever or back up catcher.

Lincecum4CY
04-03-2012, 01:50 AM
Howards contract makes Zitos not so bad!

I wouldn't go that far.

idrinkpepsi
04-03-2012, 02:00 AM
Honestly think the Reds are going to regret this half way through the deal or so.

sf-fanatic
04-03-2012, 02:11 AM
Howards contract makes Zitos not so bad!

:laugh2:

Zito doesnt belong in this conversation. He is not a MLB player.

sacgiants1213
04-03-2012, 02:28 AM
if im a kid in high school. i demand my coach move me to 1st base. thats where its at to get paid.

"The money lies in the RBI's."

- Jeff Kent

bljay29
04-03-2012, 08:53 AM
I think the Reds will regret giving out this contract, When they realize they don't have the money to spend on the other guys in their organization that will demand top money as well

Pinstripe pride
04-03-2012, 10:07 AM
holy ****

Yankee Clipper
04-03-2012, 10:11 AM
Honestly think the Reds are going to regret this half way through the deal or so.

More than likely. Ten year deals just really don't work out towards the back end of the deals.

Zaunnie
04-03-2012, 10:18 AM
How much is that in Canadian dollars?

1903
04-03-2012, 11:54 AM
how much is that in canadian dollars?

$222,933,600.

Brew Crew
04-03-2012, 12:57 PM
Honestly think the Reds are going to regret this half way through the deal or so.

I don't think they had any choice...

Gotta fork up the cash if you want a chance.

fadedmario
04-03-2012, 12:59 PM
Nice - Votto is a stud.

ktownguy31
04-03-2012, 02:21 PM
Huh? :confused:

Votto is from Canada.

typical american ...probably thinks justin bieber is from LA as well hahahah

jd25213
04-03-2012, 02:26 PM
And people say that the Yankees and Red Sox are the only team willing to spend:laugh2:

Cub_StuckinSTL
04-03-2012, 03:34 PM
Huh? :confused:

Votto is from Canada.
He probably meant stay with the team that drafted him

typical american ...probably thinks justin bieber is from LA as well hahahah

Why would anyone want to claim him?

koldjerky
04-03-2012, 03:39 PM
typical american ...probably thinks justin bieber is from LA as well hahahah

Way to take his post out of context.

I like this deal actually.

todu82
04-03-2012, 04:30 PM
Good move by Cincy. Votto's a great player. Good to see them keep him long term.

GeekInThePink
04-03-2012, 04:31 PM
Great deal, Votto's a beast!

Jeffy25
04-03-2012, 05:05 PM
Mike Cameron did a great piece on this deal on fangraphs and it really changed my opinion on Votto's extension.

He explained some things I did not initially think about.

Here it is.


Well, I think we’ve just seen the first piece of fallout from the stunning $2.15 billion purchase of the Dodgers on Wednesday. With money flowing into MLB at a breakneck pace, the Cincinnati Reds decided to make star first baseman Joey Votto an offer he couldn’t refuse. Actually, they made him an offer that no player in baseball could refuse, signing him (per Bob Nightengale of USA Today) to the longest contract in the history of the game — a staggering 12-year, $251.5 million commitment (or, phrased differently, a 10-year extension on top of the 2/26 he had already agreed to) that will keep Votto in Cincinnati through the 2023 season.

For as much as the Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder contracts helped shape the off-season, this is the deal that could have long lasting effects going forward. First baseman have been getting monster contracts in free agency for years, and in both cases, there were some special circumstances that set their particular case apart; Pujols is one of the great players in the history of the game, while Fielder certainly benefited from Victor Martinez‘s torn ACL, which didn’t occur until after most other options were already off the table. Free agents trying to use these deals as yardsticks for future negotiations would not stack up to Pujols resume, nor would they likely reap the rewards of a high-payroll team suddenly needing their services just weeks before spring training begins.

This contract for Votto, though, doesn’t come with any of those caveats, and it didn’t come through an intense bidding war in free agency. This is the third-largest contract in baseball history being given to a player who was two years away from free agency. This deal just blows up the expected compensation level for premium players negotiating with only their own franchise.

Before this deal, these were the recent comps that teams and agents could point to for power hitters who needed two more full seasons before they reached free agency:

Miguel Cabrera: 8 years, $152 million, covering ages 25-32
Ryan Howard: 5 years, $125 million, covering ages 32-36
Travis Hafner: 4 years, $57 million, covering ages 32-35

Cabrera got a deal that rivaled what you might expect a premium free agent to get, but he got to the majors as a 20-year-old and was much younger than the average player who has 4+ years of service time. Even though the Tigers gave him an eight-year deal, they still weren’t locking him up much past his prime, and could expect to get premium production for nearly the entire duration of the contract. Hafner and Howard were both older when they got their deals than Votto is now, but we still see that teams were reluctant to guarantee premium money past the mid-30s.

And, while he’s not the same type of player, Ryan Zimmerman added another 4+ service-time extension data point this winter, agreeing to a six-year, $100 million addition to the contract he was already signed to. That deal started with Zimmerman’s age-29 season, so in terms of ages, he’s a better fit for Votto than the three listed above. Of course, the things Zimmerman does well aren’t as highly valued as the things that Votto does well, so Votto should have been expected to clear Zimmerman’s bar pretty easily. Which he did, and then some.

Even if we expand the list of comps to cover guys with 5+ years of service time, this deal still blows the doors off anything we’ve seen before. Here are the contracts that guys have signed just one year before reaching free agency:

Derek Jeter: 10 years, $189 million, covering ages 27-36
Joe Mauer: 8 years, $184 million, covering ages 28-35
Matt Kemp: 8 years, $160 million, covering ages 27-34
Adrian Gonzalez: 7 years, $154 million, covering ages 30-36
Vernon Wells: 7 years, $126 million, covering ages 29-35

Jeter’s deal was the closest thing to this extension for Votto, but the Yankees were coming off three consecutive World Series championships, and keeping Jeter in NY was as much a business decision as a baseball decision. Even still, the Yankees only locked Jeter up through age 36. The rest of the deals all vary around the $20 million per year range, but come in with the same basic timeframe, buying out seasons through the player’s mid-30s in order to keep him around for his prime years. And remember, these guys were all one service-time year up from Votto, giving them substantially more leverage in negotiations.

Votto’s deal guarantees him that same $20ish million AAV, but locks him up through his age-39 season. This is basically unprecedented for a non-free agent, and when you factor in that he was two years away from free agency, it’s a staggering guarantee by the Reds. To do this deal now and absorb the extra risk of guaranteeing him 2014-2023 while Votto is still two years away from being able to negotiate a deal on the open market, the Reds are essentially saying that his fair market value is somewhere around $300 million.

A few months ago, that would have sounded absurd. However, since the off-season began, we’ve seen the Angels flex their financial muscle after agreeing to a television contract that promises to push significant new revenues into their organization. Just a few days ago, we saw the Dodgers get purchased at a valuation that was dramatically higher than expected, and with their own television deal coming up for renegotiation, they also look to be in a position to push a lot of cash into the industry. Put simply, we’re seeing some positive shocks to the game’s economy, and the result looks to be a significant uptick in willingness by teams to borrow from their own futures to finance talent acquisition in the present.

What we’re seeing could be described as inflation, but it’s not upward price adjustments in the traditional form. Pujols, Fielder, Reyes, Votto, Kemp, and Zimmerman all landed contracts in excess of $100 million this winter, but in each situation, the surprising number wasn’t the AAV but the amount of guaranteed years on the back end. The $24M AAV for Pujols and $23.8M AAV for Fielder don’t even rank in the top five in baseball history, but they took slightly lower annual paychecks in order to get deals that would keep the money flowing for essentially the rest of their careers. Now Votto has done the same thing, taking a deal that pays him just slightly more per season than Carl Crawford, but basically ensures that this is the last contract he will ever have to negotiate.

And, perhaps this is exactly what we should expect as a reaction to potential new revenue sources opening up for MLB franchises. These TV deals that are being signed don’t come with huge lump sum payments, so teams don’t have buckets of cash burning holes in their pockets. What they do have, or may expect to have in the next few years, is a guaranteed revenue source that will allow them to be in a strong financial position for the next couple of decades. And now, with every team looking to see when they can get in on this upwards adjustment in TV money, it’s become an arms race to lock in talent at current market prices for as long as possible, and getting these deals done by guaranteeing parts of the future expected revenue pie.

This deal for Votto signifies that this trend is not going away any time soon. The Reds aren’t a big market, high payroll franchise and their television contract reportedly is only paying them ~$10 million per year at the moment, but they know a renegotiation of that price is going to come in three to four years, and if current trends persist, they’re going to be able to get a significant hike on their next contract. That rate increase will come along just in time to finance the back end of Votto’s deal, and I’d imagine that knowledge played a huge role in convincing them to guarantee Votto current market premium dollars for years when he likely won’t be earning premium dollars on the field.

So, at this point, we have a couple of options – we can continue to be shocked and amazed at the growing rate of contracts that guarantee big money to players from 2018 and beyond, or we can adjust our expectations for what premium players are going to be able to command going forward. With the promise of new money flowing into many organizations over the next three to five years, I’d imagine we’ll see more and more teams being aggressive in trying to lock up their young stars before they get to free agency and have to bid against whichever franchise just happened to renegotiate their television contract a few months prior.

For the Reds, the equation was pretty simple – keep Votto and contend during the run-up to the expiration of their television deal, or trade him away, rebuild, and come to the table asking for more money after a couple of years of going young and probably taking their lumps. Given those options, giving Votto a couple of extra years at the back end to increase their bargaining position doesn’t look quite so crazy.

However, that logic could be used to justify nearly any price. Give Tim Lincecum $500 million? Why not, new TV money on the way! Obviously, there’s a line where these deals cease to make sense even if we anticipate that this trend of upward spikes in revenues is not going away any time soon. Where does Votto’s deal fall in terms of that line?

It’s probably pretty close to it, honestly. Votto’s been a +7 win player each of the last two years, but a decent chunk of his offensive value is tied up in his career .352 BABIP, which is pretty much the absolute upper limit for a sustainable performance over the long term. Over the last 20 years, the top three on the BABIP leaderboard (min 3000 PA) are Derek Jeter (.355), Matt Kemp (.352, just barely over 3000 PA), and Ichiro Suzuki (.351). You’ll probably note that all three of them are pretty fast, and can leg out infield hits when they need to. The best comparison for Votto is Miguel Cabrera, who comes in at .347 – in other words, it’s not impossible for Votto to keep getting balls to fall in at this rate, but there’s really nowhere for him to go but down in that area. More likely, we should probably project Votto as a +6 win player going forward, which accounts for some overall regression and variability of health.

Given that he’s in his prime, we can probably sustain Votto as a +6 win player for three years before we project age-related decline, and then we’d accelerate the decline towards the end of his career when his skills are likely to disappear a bit faster. So, a projection for Votto over the next 12 years might go something like this:

2012: +6 WAR
2013: +6 WAR
2014: +5.5 WAR
2015: +5.0 WAR
2016: +4.5 WAR
2017: +4.0 WAR
2018: +3.5 WAR
2019: +2.8 WAR
2020: +2.1 WAR
2021: +1.4 WAR
2022: +0.7 WAR
2023: +0.0 WAR

Total: +41.5 WAR

If we start at $5 million per win and apply the 5% future inflation to these expected performances, we’d get a total of $249 million over the next 12 years, almost exactly what the Reds just signed Votto for. But, again, that model is for free agents, and Votto was two years away from free agency. In other words, the Reds basically didn’t seem to get any kind of discount for taking on additional risk.

A few months ago, this deal would have looked crazy, and we’d have all been in shock at the Reds willingness to mortgage their long term future to chase after near term wins. However, this deal suggests the possibility of inflation going well over 5% down the line, as teams are basically guaranteeing themselves large portions of dead money in the future, and will have to increase their spending to offset the large amount of cash going to players who will probably not be overly productive at the ends of their careers.

A few months ago, I would have expected Votto to have to settle for a contract somewhere between Ryan Howard’s $125 million and Miguel Cabrera’s $154 million. Now, though, those numbers simply seem obsolete. Votto’s deal shows that it’s not just the big market teams that are expecting significant revenue growth going forward.

This deal is going to have lasting repercussions on the sport. Not only does it suggest that the Reds are going to remain competitive in the NL Central going forward, but it also resets the price expectations for every pre-free agent player in the sport. Congratulations, players, all of your expected prices just went up. Way up.

northsider
04-03-2012, 05:07 PM
I think the Reds will regret giving out this contract, When they realize they don't have the money to spend on the other guys in their organization that will demand top money as well

Not to put you on blast but, does anyone actually believe that members of a FO MLB org. have not actually thought what would transpire finically when making a move like this. Not saying their aren't dumb FO members however its kind of silly to think people who do this for a living don't know where exactly this kind of commitment puts them.

SportsAndrew25
04-05-2012, 09:08 AM
I understand the market economics, but these contracts are getting crazy. Within the next ten years, we may see upwards of $400 to $500 million contracts. In 1982, George Foster was the first or second highest paid player in MLB - at $2 million.I wonder how long will it be before we will have a player getting a $1 Billion Contract.

metsfaninSTL
04-05-2012, 11:05 AM
I wonder how long will it be before we will have a player getting a $1 Billion Contract.

Idoubt that ever happens

cambovenzi
04-05-2012, 11:09 AM
Idoubt that ever happens

just wait around another 50-100 years. Deals keep getting bigger and the currency keeps getting inflated.

metsfaninSTL
04-05-2012, 11:13 AM
just wait around another 50-100 years. Deals keep getting bigger and the currency keeps getting inflated.

I don't think any player will ever be worth that much. Plus how would teams afford to pay that much?

THINKBLUE15
04-05-2012, 01:04 PM
All these teams are trying to ruin our evil plan.

JermanJaysFan
04-05-2012, 01:32 PM
I don't think any player will ever be worth that much. Plus how would teams afford to pay that much?
I think he was trying to make a comment on inflation.

es0terik
04-06-2012, 02:41 AM
I don't think any player will ever be worth that much. Plus how would teams afford to pay that much?

Because of the things that he said in the post you quoted?

jlohm1
04-06-2012, 03:52 AM
Honestly think the Reds are going to regret this half way through the deal or so.

I think the opposite. in 6 or 7 years, i'm going to be thankful that we have him for $22.5 million a year. by then, some players may start making more than that. and we don't have to worry about him leaving for 10 years.

I think the Reds will regret giving out this contract, When they realize they don't have the money to spend on the other guys in their organization that will demand top money as well
that's why their going to increase the payroll