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  1. #166
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    Tyler Thornburg (shoulder) said last week that he's already throwing 5-6 times per week.

    Thornburg was shut down last September due to complications from the thoracic outlet syndrome that has sabotaged his last two seasons. However, he's feeling so much better now than he did a year ago to the point that the Red Sox are even talking him up as an option to close games. "I feel comfortable with the idea because I know how Iím feeling right now," Thornburg said of the possibility of closing. "That should say something where I feel like Iím at right now." While Thornburg's progress looks encouraging, we'll need to see something in spring training and the regular season before taking him seriously as a candidate for saves. Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier currently look like the Red Sox' best bests for the ninth inning, but the team figures to still add some relief help.
    roto

  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    Were going to get a god damn lock out, and it's going to be ugly. What are these guys supposed to do, declare they're only looking for half of what they're worth? There is nothing wrong with stating what your looking for. Or having a target.
    Grandal Targeting what Molina got isn't a bad thing, it's the fact that everyone refused to pay him that sucks.
    Of course there's nothing wrong with having a target. The problem is much more the idea of what a player is worth. There's a well-known, albeit soft, salary cap for MLB teams. That cap creeps up slowly ($2M/yr) yet every year the marquee players perception of their own worth grows faster than that at an individual level. It's unrealistic for a team of 40 players (25"active") to be assembled at that rate.

    More importantly, the marquee players are now looking for $30M-35M annually or roughly 14-16% of the teams' total payroll. When you factor in player benefits (projected at $14M), you're looking at 20-25% of payroll committed against the CBT with just one player under contract. In a game that includes a roster of 25 and demands a depth pool of at least 30 to be competitive, is an individual player "worth" that kind of commitment?

    Beyond the annual perspective is the length of the deals. It's extraordinarily rare for any MLB contract beyond five years to have been considered worth it. MLB history is littered with guys who were going to prove that they were the exception to history when signing their seven year deal. Yet pretty much every one of them has failed.

    So now circle to Kimbrel. He wants a $100M/6yr deal... after a year where he turned 30 and saw both a drop in his k-rate, a rise in his walk rate, and a nationally televised limp through the post season. Here's the classic problem on display: Kimbrel wants to be paid for what he has been rather than wha the is and he wants it for a period of time over which players with a better short-term track record heading into FA have been able to sustain their performance. Teams are (rightly) no longer willing to pay that.

    All that said, how in the world does any of that lead to a lock out? A walk out, maybe, because the players will whine that they're not getting paid what they are "worth"... because, naturally, the best players in the game are worth 500-600 times the average salary of the people who pay to watch them play.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSoxtober View Post
    Of course there's nothing wrong with having a target. The problem is much more the idea of what a player is worth. There's a well-known, albeit soft, salary cap for MLB teams. That cap creeps up slowly ($2M/yr) yet every year the marquee players perception of their own worth grows faster than that at an individual level. It's unrealistic for a team of 40 players (25"active") to be assembled at that rate.

    More importantly, the marquee players are now looking for $30M-35M annually or roughly 14-16% of the teams' total payroll. When you factor in player benefits (projected at $14M), you're looking at 20-25% of payroll committed against the CBT with just one player under contract. In a game that includes a roster of 25 and demands a depth pool of at least 30 to be competitive, is an individual player "worth" that kind of commitment?

    Beyond the annual perspective is the length of the deals. It's extraordinarily rare for any MLB contract beyond five years to have been considered worth it. MLB history is littered with guys who were going to prove that they were the exception to history when signing their seven year deal. Yet pretty much every one of them has failed.

    So now circle to Kimbrel. He wants a $100M/6yr deal... after a year where he turned 30 and saw both a drop in his k-rate, a rise in his walk rate, and a nationally televised limp through the post season. Here's the classic problem on display: Kimbrel wants to be paid for what he has been rather than wha the is and he wants it for a period of time over which players with a better short-term track record heading into FA have been able to sustain their performance. Teams are (rightly) no longer willing to pay that.

    All that said, how in the world does any of that lead to a lock out? A walk out, maybe, because the players will whine that they're not getting paid what they are "worth"... because, naturally, the best players in the game are worth 500-600 times the average salary of the people who pay to watch them play.
    Except the younger players (like Macahado and Harper) have routinely shown to be worth those longer deals, and considering that every long deal has an opt out attached, the teams that sign these guys aren't going to be expecting to pay out for the whole 10 years.

    Has Kimbrel stated he won't take a penny less than that? Or is that just his goal? He's been one of the premiere players at his position, and a contract similar to Kenly and Chapman isn't unwarranted. A reasonable middle doesn't involve players like him and Grandal settling for 1 year contracts.

    Comparing the salaries of the players vs the average fan is disingenuous, by that argument rookies making league min shouldn't care about wanting more money ever since they're make 10 times the average salary of the standard fan.

    There is nothing wrong with what the players are looking for, considering that they're worth it.

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    Except the younger players (like Macahado and Harper) have routinely shown to be worth those longer deals, and considering that every long deal has an opt out attached, the teams that sign these guys aren't going to be expecting to pay out for the whole 10 years.
    Really? Prove it. I'd love to see a list of players who were signed to 7+ year deals prior to the age of, say 28, and earned their contract for the life of the contract. If you want a cheat sheet then you can start with this list of the longest MLB contracts.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    Has Kimbrel stated he won't take a penny less than that? Or is that just his goal? He's been one of the premiere players at his position, and a contract similar to Kenly and Chapman isn't unwarranted. A reasonable middle doesn't involve players like him and Grandal settling for 1 year contracts.
    If I start a pencil selling business and advertise my pencils -- award winning pencils! -- for $2.50 each then I won't get much traction. When I drop the price to a dollar, and again to a dime, then I still won't get much traction. Why? Because I set the market for my product at $2.50 and that's what I'm known for. This happens all the time in real estate; a newly listed home sees 80% of its traffic in the first month on the market so a home that is clearly overpriced tends to sit for a very long time even after dropping the price. Sure, Kimbrel might be willing to take less. He will have to take less. Unfortunately, he steered the market away.

    Grandal did the same. Him signing a one-year deal wasn't a middle ground either. He turned down multi-year deals, at least one at $60M/4yr IIRC, because he felt that he was worth more. Is he? I don't follow the Dodgers that much but $15M AAV is awfully good money for a catcher hitting in the .240s

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    Comparing the salaries of the players vs the average fan is disingenuous, by that argument rookies making league min shouldn't care about wanting more money ever since they're make 10 times the average salary of the standard fan.
    It's not disingenuous. It puts the players' argument of their "worth" in a larger context. Let's face it, the players are not worth eight- and nine-figure contracts.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    There is nothing wrong with what the players are looking for, considering that they're worth it.
    Again, what's the measure of the players being "worth it." Manny Ramirez earned $20M/yr in his prime. Is Machado or Harper worth almost twice that much? Even if you consider inflation, the MLB salaries have ridiculously outstripped the rate of inflation. Their argument is based on what players made last year and tends to go up in $1M/yr+ chunks just because it's a convenient number.

  5. #170
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    Red Sox signed RHP Jenrry Mejia to a minor league contract.

    Mejia was previously banned for life from Major League Baseball following a third PED suspension in 2016, but he won reinstatement late last summer and will now try to rebuild his reputation with Boston. The 29-year-old right-hander has not appeared in a game at the MLB level since July 2015. He holds a 3.68 ERA in 183 1/3 career innings -- all with the Mets. This deal does not include an official invitation to spring training, but Mejia will be present at an early mini-camp and can make a prorated salary of $625,000 if he eventually cracks the Red Sox roster.
    roto

    Dope!

  6. #171
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    For a team without a clear-cut closer, this seems like a bad low-risk miss.

    The Diamondbacks and Greg Holland have come to terms on a one-year contract, according to The Athletic's Robert Murray.

    Fancred's Jon Heyman says the deal will carry a $3.5 million guarantee. It figured that the Diamondbacks would try to find another cheap closer after non-tendering Brad Boxberger, and Holland could very well get the ninth inning if he looks good this spring. That would leave Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano in setup gigs instead of contending for closing duties, but there is much to be decided.
    roto

  7. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSoxtober View Post
    Really? Prove it. I'd love to see a list of players who were signed to 7+ year deals prior to the age of, say 28, and earned their contract for the life of the contract. If you want a cheat sheet then you can start with this list of the longest MLB contracts.


    If I start a pencil selling business and advertise my pencils -- award winning pencils! -- for $2.50 each then I won't get much traction. When I drop the price to a dollar, and again to a dime, then I still won't get much traction. Why? Because I set the market for my product at $2.50 and that's what I'm known for. This happens all the time in real estate; a newly listed home sees 80% of its traffic in the first month on the market so a home that is clearly overpriced tends to sit for a very long time even after dropping the price. Sure, Kimbrel might be willing to take less. He will have to take less. Unfortunately, he steered the market away.

    Grandal did the same. Him signing a one-year deal wasn't a middle ground either. He turned down multi-year deals, at least one at $60M/4yr IIRC, because he felt that he was worth more. Is he? I don't follow the Dodgers that much but $15M AAV is awfully good money for a catcher hitting in the .240s


    It's not disingenuous. It puts the players' argument of their "worth" in a larger context. Let's face it, the players are not worth eight- and nine-figure contracts.


    Again, what's the measure of the players being "worth it." Manny Ramirez earned $20M/yr in his prime. Is Machado or Harper worth almost twice that much? Even if you consider inflation, the MLB salaries have ridiculously outstripped the rate of inflation. Their argument is based on what players made last year and tends to go up in $1M/yr+ chunks just because it's a convenient number.
    I said young players, guys like Pujols are obviously bad contracts, and these two players like AROD, are YOUNGER than 28 they're 26. And Several of those guys have definetly been worth it, I'd say the 8 years Miguel Cabrera's contract was for was definitely worth every penny. (His Extention...Maybe not) Manny Rameriez was worth every penny he got over his 8 year contract.
    Mark Texiera wasn't as much of a home run as the others, but he was still very productive, and helped the team win the world series.
    I've yet to see a single Giants fan complain about Buster Posey's contract.
    The key in most of these cases is getting guys while they're young.
    Both Harper and Machado are 26 they won't turn 30 until half way through the contract.


    I didn't know that with all the sabr minded front offices a .240 batting average meant so much. And considering he was the best pitch framer in baseball last year, and has been for a while, and is great with the running game. And has put up back to back 120 OPS+ seasons. On top of that considering the lack of good options at his position.
    Yes, he's worth more than 15 million.

    Your talking about the value of a skill set and being able to produce at a high level in that field, the number of people who can do that is VERY small. The number of people who can put roofing shingles up is much larger. Your completely ignoring the SUPPLY side of the equation.

    When Alex Rodriguez got his contract with Texas, MLB had revenues of 1 billion, they're revenues are over 10 billion now, that's also out paced the rate of inflation. The question is are players getting an equal share of the pie, since...you know they're why we watch the game.

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    I said young players, guys like Pujols are obviously bad contracts, and these two players like AROD, are YOUNGER than 28 they're 26. And Several of those guys have definetly been worth it, I'd say the 8 years Miguel Cabrera's contract was for was definitely worth every penny. (His Extention...Maybe not) Manny Rameriez was worth every penny he got over his 8 year contract.
    I simply provided a list of the longest contracts in MLB history so the objection there is kinda lame. As for the "discrepancy" over age, I suggested that you show a list of players "who were signed to 7+ year deals prior to the age of, say 28." If they were signed prior to age 28 then, um, yeah, they'd be younger just like Harper and Machado. Age-28 season is not without reasonable merit as a suggestion; we're talking about players who primarily broke into MLB in their age 20-24 seasons and hit the jackpot in FA or signed early extensions like Cabrera.

    Just so that you know, about half that list signed a deal that meets the criteria and a large group signed between their age 28 and 29 seasons. They were not "old" guys as you'd seem to want to suggest. Only a few like Alfonso Soriano and Pujols signed at age-30 or later -- mostly as an attempt at an FA splash by the Cubs. The track record of sour deals signed for 7+ years is abysmal and provides a pretty reasonable background for why teams might be reluctant to engage in one now. I'm hardly rolling out some new insight here.

    Manny Ramirez is an interesting question. He was unquestionably one of the best hitters in baseball over the duration of his contract. Yet he was also put on irrevocable waivers and went unclaimed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    Mark Texiera wasn't as much of a home run as the others, but he was still very productive, and helped the team win the world series.
    Drew Pomeranz won a world series with the Red Sox this past year despite a 5.43ERA that landed his $1.5M FA contract this offseason. Don't like the comp? Okay, how about Mitch Moreland or Brock Holt (x2) who made a bigger impact. Contributing to a WS doesn't mean much about contract value. Teixeira's overall contribution had a decent average season but radically lower than pre-FA (.919OPS/138OPS+ vs .818/118). He also declined steadily and missed almost the entire 2013 season. No, he was not worth one of the largest contracts of the 2008-09 offseason.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    I've yet to see a single Giants fan complain about Buster Posey's contract.
    That's nice. It doesn't mean that he's going to be worth his contract over the duration of the deal. The track record for catches from their age-32 season onward is like the cliff that Kellerman keeps insisting that Brady is about to trip over. He's still producing at a high level but there are signs of a downturn.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    I didn't know that with all the sabr minded front offices a .240 batting average meant so much. And considering he was the best pitch framer in baseball last year, and has been for a while, and is great with the running game. And has put up back to back 120 OPS+ seasons. On top of that considering the lack of good options at his position.
    Yes, he's worth more than 15 million.
    Actually, he has not put up back to back 120 OPS+ seasons; he's only had one. I personally don't want to give $15M/yr to a catcher who is entering his age-30 season and derives more of his value from his receiving skills. Austin Barnes also rates pretty highly and for a lot less. Maybe the Dodgers knew what they were doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciaban2.0 View Post
    When Alex Rodriguez got his contract with Texas, MLB had revenues of 1 billion, they're revenues are over 10 billion now, that's also out paced the rate of inflation. The question is are players getting an equal share of the pie, since...you know they're why we watch the game.
    In 2001, MLB had revenues of $3.58B and this year it was $10.3B for a 2.88x increase. Average MLB salaries have risen from $2.14M to $4.52M (2.11x). Neither of these is particularly out of line with the average rate of inflation for household salaries in the US over that period. The exception is the massive drop in 2008-09. MLB revenues declined over that same period; player salaries did not.

    Also worth noting: the Red Sox organization lost money during 2018 despite great attendance and solid ratings of a likable team in New England. This is not an altogether uncommon occurrence. Player salaries may be the most obvious expense of an MLB organization but they are not the only one.
    Last edited by RedSoxtober; 02-01-2019 at 11:50 AM.

  9. #174
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    The Royals and Brad Boxberger are close on a one-year deal, according to MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan.

    Fancred's Jon Heyman says Boxberger will get $2.2 million plus incentives. The move gives the Royals an experienced closer to either take over for Wily Peralta in the ninth or at least serve as a fallback option. Peralta did the job just fine after getting the gig last year, but without the kind of stats that suggests he's a great bet going forward. Boxberger isn't exactly a shutdown option either, though.
    roto

    Well, close to watching another former closer go off the board cheap. With the limited ninth inning experience in the current relief corps, I don't get it.

    It makes me wonder about re-signing Steve Pierce. The impulse to "keep the band together" is strong, and Pierce was relatively cheap, but his $6M plus some of the remaining cash could have put the Sox in the running for a number of the second-tier SU/CL types that were on the market. One of Pierce/Moreland is redundant.

  10. #175
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    Indians signed RHP Alex Wilson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Wilson will get $1.25 million if he makes the big league roster and can earn another $750,000 in incentives. It's somewhat surprising that Wilson had to settle for a minor league deal, but that's the free agent climate that we're in right now. The 32-year-old hurler posted a 3.20 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over the last four years as a setup man for the Tigers.
    And yet another late inning reliever with a track record goes off the board for cheap. Honestly, I don't understand why DD has not been involved/successful with any of these guys given the level of uncertainty that exists around the BP. Does this make sense to anyone?

    Brewers signed INF Brett Lawrie to a minor league contract.

    Lawrie announced the deal himself on Instagram. He last played in the majors for the White Sox in 2016, batting .248/.310/.413 with 12 homers and 36 RBI in 94 games. He did not play baseball the last two seasons. He just turned 29 years old last month and will attempt to make a comeback in Milwaukee. Lawrie was a first-round pick in the 2008 draft. He lit the world on fire in his 2011 rookie season by slashing a wicked .293/.373/.580 with nine home runs, 25 RBI and seven stolen bases in 43 games with the Blue Jays. He was never able to come close to replicating that success however. Prior to the 2015 season he was traded to the Athletics along with Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin in exchange for Josh Donaldson.
    Speaking of decent depth pieces, Lawrie wouldn't have been a terrible signing in light of the uncertainty around Pedroia. I've always liked Marco Hernandez but the kid has missed a ton of baseball the last couple years and cannot be counted on for much. Nunez doesn't inspire.

    Red Sox prospect third baseman Michael Chavis weighs 208 pounds after checking in at 222 pounds last spring.

    "I feel faster. I feel more mobile," said Chavis. And just like that, the best shape of his life notes are off and running. After missing the first half of last season due to a PED suspension, the 23-year-old Chavis batted .298/.381/.538 with nine home runs and 27 RBI in 46 games between three different levels in the minors. He's considered the top prospect in the organization.

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