Mack - The Conundrum of Multi-Year Contracts


co·nun·drum - kəˈnəndrəm
noun - a confusing and difficult problem or question.

I never know what I think about long term contracts. Part of me love them because they lock up a superstar that will be around for a long time. Others I hate because they lock up a superstar that will be around for a long time. On one hand, you could have Yoenes Cespedes. On the other, David Wright. You seem to always be one accident riding a horse away from a bad decision.

What’s the history on these for the Mets?

In 2008, the Mets inked a $137.5mil deal with superstar pitcher, Johan Santana. That was supposed to last through the 2013 season. It didn’t. Santana had three good years with the Mets, a piss poor injury ridden one in 2012, and that was that.

They also inked a 4-year, $25mil deal in 2008 with 2B Luis Castillo. Castillo batted .235 in the third year of his contract and his career was over.

Next… RP Francisco Rodriquez? 2009-2011… 3-year, $37mil… 165 Mets appearances over the three seasons… 3.05-ERA

2010 brought the 4-year, $66mil deal for… wait for it… outfielder Jason Bay. I’m not going to even bother to do the numbers on this one.

2012 brought another beauty… 5-years, $25+mil for P Jon Niese. Niese is a long gone total Mets bust.

2013 brought the new David Wright deal (8-years, $138mil) that created the reason I am writing this post.

2014 brought one I have bought into over time… 4-years, $60mil to OF Curtis Granderson.

In 2015 came a 5-year, $23+mil deal through 2019 to OF Juan Lagares whose value is still to be determined.

And last, but not least, is the 3-year, $75mil deal (2016-2018) to outfielder Yoenes Cespedes.

Did we learn anything from this exercise? 

I listed nine deals... I put Santana, F-Rod, Grandy, and Cespedes in the 'good deal' category.

I then put the Bay, Niese, Wright, and Castillo in the 'bad deal' category.

The Lagares deal is still debatable.

What do I love? Well, for one, I want a two year deal for an established major league player that has excelled at that level, with a third year team option.

Second in line would be a one-year deal for the same kind of player, BUT, with a team option for another year.

I absolutely HATE one year deals. Hate em' Yuk!

What do you think?


Thomas Brennan said...

I put Santana in the bad category, because he missed two entire years in 2011 and 2013, and 6-9, 2.85 in 2012. He was very good the first 3 years, but not great, and for $23 million a year for 6 years, 46-38 was just not nearly enough - 46 wins for a 6 year contract is 8 wins per year. If anyone told them that's all they'd get, they'd never have done the deal, making it "bad".

I hate deals with pitchers longer than 3 years. They drop like flies.

Maybe you need a "Fairly Decent" category - I'd put Santana and Grandy in there, both relatively decent when considering the total value of their play vs. price paid.

Reese Kaplan said...

I put Granderson in the "Meh!" category.

To put a blanket statement on long term deals is oversimplifying it. Take Evan Longoria, for example. His contract is long and expensive in total, but wouldn't you say an AAV of $16 million for a player who has been healthy throughout his career is more than fair? It depends when you sign a player and what the player's health history has been. Giancarlo Stanton earns a boatload of money but the Marlins have not gotten good value. Mike Trout will be paid less than Yoenis Cespedes. How do you think the Astros feel about their decision (if both options years are picked up to get Jose Altuve for an AAV of $6 million?

The problem with many of the Mets deals is that they took players with checkered injury histories or who were going to be on the wrong side of 30 when the deal began or when it would end.

The focus of long term deals should be the younger, healthier players and not looking to capture the last final gasps of someone who was once good.

Mack's Mets © 2012