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camisadelgolf
10-18-2006, 01:20 PM
Okay, let's say Aaron Harang goes to the Reds front office and tells them he wants a five year contract. He's unwilling to sign for any less or any longer period of time. It has to be five years. My question is this: Right now, what is the most you'd be willing to spend to keep Aaron Harang (if any at all) here five years and why?

mound_patrol
10-18-2006, 01:22 PM
around an avg of 10 mill per year.

Red Leader
10-18-2006, 01:23 PM
The most I'd give him would be an average of 6.5-7.0M / yr.

RedsManRick
10-18-2006, 01:24 PM
I certainly wouldn't start with this number, but I'd go as high as 45 Million.

IamWallaman
10-18-2006, 01:51 PM
$6-7M with incentives for continuing to trend better would be the ideal offer.

I would possibly be willing to go as high as $10M...

Harang is a keeper. Hopefully he'll be willing to take a moderate raise rather than demanding the farm to stay.

kbrake
10-18-2006, 01:59 PM
Anywhere from 8-10, I really dont think 6 or 7 would keep him around.

Highlifeman21
10-18-2006, 02:12 PM
As much as I'm a Harang fan, I don't see him getting 10+ from us. He may get it from another team, and I hope it doesn't come to that, but I see us trying to lock him up in the 9 Mil range.

I do wish Jerry Narron would stop abusing him, but that's another rant for another thread.

paulrichjr
10-18-2006, 02:27 PM
Teams are awash in money right now. If he were going on the market he would be getting $10+ for at least 4 years. I would certainly be willing to lock him up now for 3 years at $27 million. 5 I don't know

lollipopcurve
10-18-2006, 02:33 PM
10-12

Pay the man. If the Reds aren't willing to shell out for in-house top-shelf pitching, despair.

vaticanplum
10-18-2006, 02:55 PM
I think of Harang as one of the most underrated pitchers around, but I'd be interested to see if that impression jives with the smart GMs in baseball. If he continues to do similar work to what he's done so far, what do you think he will command as a free agent?

I say the Reds give him as much money as they legitimately can. If they let him walk, they're going to have to replace what he brings to the team, and they're not going to get that for any cheaper than what they can give him.

justincredible
10-18-2006, 03:19 PM
The Reds should be willing to spend the absolute most they can afford on him if that is what it takes to keep him in Cincinnati.

camisadelgolf
10-18-2006, 03:26 PM
I would easily be willing to spend $13/year if I knew I were going to get his 2006 stats every year, but the thing that would hold me back from spending that much is the potential for injury. If he tears a labrum, you're talking about at least one year (probably more like two or more) going down the drain for healing and rehabilitation--and even then, he probably wouldn't be as good of a pitcher afterward. Like RedsManRick said, I'd go as high as $45 million total. Besides, there's also the chance that we look at the back of his baseball card in 20 years and see that this was the best year of his career.

Patrick Bateman
10-18-2006, 04:47 PM
The most I'd give him would be an average of 6.5-7.0M / yr.

Then say goodbye to Harang and any other decent FA pitcher in the future.

crazybob60
10-18-2006, 04:57 PM
I would say the average of about 10 mil per year and then have the incentives and such that could add bonuses if he continues in his winning ways.

UC_Ken
10-18-2006, 05:03 PM
Look at Milton's contract. Look at Aaron's stats the last couple years. On the open market some GM will realize Aaron's stats would be even better outside GABP. And he already lead the NL in wins and K's. I think the bidding starts at $12 mil. And as safe as I think Aaron is you have to stay away at that price. Medium market teams can't afford to give $50+ mil contracts to pitchers. Pitchers are always one pitch away from being worthless. Only big market teams like the Yankees can afford the risk.

Red Leader
10-18-2006, 05:07 PM
Then say goodbye to Harang and any other decent FA pitcher in the future.

Aaron Harang made $2,350,000.00 with the Reds in 2006. Are you telling me that if you approached him with a 5 year deal (that in this scenario, he wants) for an average of $7M / yr he's going to laugh at you and turn around and walk away? You are basically tripling his contract from last year and giving that to him for the next 5 years.

Patrick Bateman
10-18-2006, 05:16 PM
Aaron Harang made $2,350,000.00 with the Reds in 2006. Are you telling me that if you approached him with a 5 year deal (that in this scenario, he wants) for an average of $7M / yr he's going to laugh at you and turn around and walk away? You are basically tripling his contract from last year and giving that to him for the next 5 years.

Well, he's going to make about 5M this year in arbitration, and after this year should be well over 7M, and after that he will be in the 10-12M range (assuming he continues pitching like he has.

A reasonable 5 year contract IMO for Harang is:

2007: 5M
2008: 7M
2009: 10M
2010: 12M
2011: 12M

So basically you are looking at a 5 year 46M contract or about 9M a year. Based on recent pitcher's contracts, something like that will be needed to keep him Harang. The way he has pitched the last 2 seasons makes him a 12M pitcher. I can't see any way that he would accept any less than a 5 year 40M deal.

Red Leader
10-18-2006, 05:25 PM
You are correct, he'll probably get $5M in 2007, we're giving him $7M. We're also giving him 4 more years at that same rate, no matter how he pitches. It's a very "safe" contract for him. It offers him financial security for the next 5 years and it offers him stability. Don't discount those things, they mean a lot to a player that has a very young family.

Sure he could agree to a 1 yr contract this year and go year to year, and maybe my offer of $7M / per is a little low, but I don't think it laugh out loud low. It's a decent offer, IMO.

vaticanplum
10-18-2006, 05:32 PM
Sure he could agree to a 1 yr contract this year and go year to year, and maybe my offer of $7M / per is a little low, but I don't think it laugh out loud low. It's a decent offer, IMO.

I don't think it's "laugh out loud low" either, but the question is, who is Harang's agent? And I'm not being facetious.

Patrick Bateman
10-18-2006, 05:33 PM
You are correct, he'll probably get $5M in 2007, we're giving him $7M. We're also giving him 4 more years at that same rate, no matter how he pitches. It's a very "safe" contract for him. It offers him financial security for the next 5 years and it offers him stability. Don't discount those things, they mean a lot to a player that has a very young family.

Sure he could agree to a 1 yr contract this year and go year to year, and maybe my offer of $7M / per is a little low, but I don't think it laugh out loud low. It's a decent offer, IMO.

Guys like Milton get 8-9M on the open market.

Guys like Harang get 10+. He's already going to make 6-7M by the 2nd year of the contract, and I can assure you he's going to want more than that during his FA years. Also the fact that he would be getting 7M now doesn't really matter, it's the average that matters.

The thought of security may get you down to a 5 year 40M deal, but that's it. Stability is nice, but he's still going to get a lot more money on average than 6-7M.

Slyder
10-18-2006, 07:24 PM
What about maybe trying and get him to sign for a little bit less but front load the contract rather than back load it? IE:

2007 13 mil
2008 10 mil
2009 6.5 mil
2010 5.5 mil
2011 5 mil

thats 42 mil over 5 years but he sees that money SOONER rather than later and helps the reds with flexibility down the road.

Red Heeler
10-18-2006, 08:20 PM
What about maybe trying and get him to sign for a little bit less but front load the contract rather than back load it? IE:

2007 13 mil
2008 10 mil
2009 6.5 mil
2010 5.5 mil
2011 5 mil

thats 42 mil over 5 years but he sees that money SOONER rather than later and helps the reds with flexibility down the road.

I think it is a brilliant idea. I've suggested in the past that front loading contracts for teams in the middle of a rebuild is a smart plan. The Reds should be flush in cash due to the new TV deal, so they should be able to afford some extra money for Harang next year. I would argue that paying Aaron more next year in exchange for some Payflex going forward would be worth more to the franchise than any player that they could add to the team for the same money next year. I would also be talking to EdE's agent about a similar type of deal.

buckeyenut
10-18-2006, 09:46 PM
Here is the key. Pitchers don't get five year deals on open market any more. If he wants a five year deal, he is going to have to take less, like 7-8M per. I might give him 9-10M per for a 3 year deal.

mth123
10-18-2006, 09:51 PM
Here is the key. Pitchers don't get five year deals on open market any more. If he wants a five year deal, he is going to have to take less, like 7-8M per. I might give him 9-10M per for a 3 year deal.

Best point I've heard about pitchers contracts on here. This also means the opposite is true. If we want to sign some of the free agent pitchers for the annual money being proposed, then we will need to offer 4 or 5 years. There won't be two year deals unless its for big bucks.

blumj
10-18-2006, 10:10 PM
Here is the key. Pitchers don't get five year deals on open market any more. If he wants a five year deal, he is going to have to take less, like 7-8M per. I might give him 9-10M per for a 3 year deal.
Burnett($55 million) and Millwood($60 million) just got 5 year deals, both Boras clients. Zito's next, and I'd definitely expect 5+ years for him.

Patrick Bateman
10-18-2006, 11:47 PM
Burnett($55 million) and Millwood($60 million) just got 5 year deals, both Boras clients. Zito's next, and I'd definitely expect 5+ years for him.

And Harang is certainly in that league of pitchers.

Those are the comparisons we have to look at for a Harang contract.

blumj
10-19-2006, 12:00 AM
And Harang is certainly in that league of pitchers.

Those are the comparisons we have to look at for a Harang contract.

Not exactly, because they were free agents, and they were both Boras clients. Does Harang have 2 years left before free agency?

Patrick Bateman
10-19-2006, 12:32 AM
Not exactly, because they were free agents, and they were both Boras clients. Does Harang have 2 years left before free agency?

Ya I think, but I think everyone agrees on what he will get approximately in the 1st 2 years, it's the other 3 we disagree about, and those contracts show what kind of money you can expect a pitcher of Harang's calibre to get during FA years.

M2
10-19-2006, 08:53 AM
Well, he's going to make about 5M this year in arbitration, and after this year should be well over 7M, and after that he will be in the 10-12M range (assuming he continues pitching like he has.

A reasonable 5 year contract IMO for Harang is:

2007: 5M
2008: 7M
2009: 10M
2010: 12M
2011: 12M

So basically you are looking at a 5 year 46M contract or about 9M a year. Based on recent pitcher's contracts, something like that will be needed to keep him Harang. The way he has pitched the last 2 seasons makes him a 12M pitcher. I can't see any way that he would accept any less than a 5 year 40M deal.

I don't think his esacalator will go that high. Harang's a #3 pitcher, not a #1 pitcher. My guess is he's got roughly an $8M ceiling in the current market. I also don't think he'll be getting five year from anyone. My guess is you could do something like this:

2007: $5M
2008: $7M
2009: $8M
2010: $8M

That's $7M a year for four years and I'd think that's probably a bit on the high side.

SultanOfSwing
10-19-2006, 09:16 AM
I don't think his esacalator will go that high. Harang's a #3 pitcher, not a #1 pitcher. My guess is he's got roughly an $8M ceiling in the current market. I also don't think he'll be getting five year from anyone. My guess is you could do something like this:

2007: $5M
2008: $7M
2009: $8M
2010: $8M

That's $7M a year for four years and I'd think that's probably a bit on the high side.
Are you serious? A #3 starter?!! Harang is way better than that. #3 starters don't get serious Cy Young consideration. Tell me the teams for which he would be only the 3rd best starter. (Twins with a healthy Liriano, OK; Tigers, probably; White Sox, maybe; A's, I don't think so; Astros, not now; Red Sox, in name only; name some more...)

?

I don't know exactly what he would be worth on the open market or what the Reds can lock up for, but I can assure you it will be more than you proposed.

RedsManRick
10-19-2006, 09:20 AM
Harang is a weak #1, solid #2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but his is his last year of arbitration, so you won't get him on the cheap after this year.

2007: $6M
2008: $8M
2009: $10M
2010: $10M
2011: $10M

M2
10-19-2006, 09:25 AM
Tell the teams for which he would only be the 3rd best starter.

?

Playoff teams.

Harang is what he is and I like it a lot. There's nothing wrong with 200+ IP and a 3.75-4.00 ERA. He may have a season where the ERA dips below 3.50, but he's more workhorse than thoroughbred, more Tom Browning that Jose Rijo.

RMR, it's only his second year of arbitration.

terminator
10-19-2006, 09:26 AM
Harang is clearly a #1. No, he's not Clemens or Martinez in their prime, but he's still a #1. This year in the N.L. he was #11 in ERA, #3 in innings pitched, #1 in strikeouts, #11 in WHIP and tied for #1 in wins. (And that's while pitching in GABP for a losing team!) Also, he has continued to improve and so far has shown himself to be durable.

If he walked in today and asked for a five year deal and he had two more arbitration years coming, I'd offer him $6M, $7M, $8M, $9M and $10M. That would be a fair deal. It's a lot of security for him and the average price of $8M would be very reasonable for his production.

SultanOfSwing
10-19-2006, 09:32 AM
Harang is a weak #1, solid #2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but his is his last year of arbitration, so you won't get him on the cheap after this year.

2007: $6M
2008: $8M
2009: $10M
2010: $10M
2011: $10M
I admit he isn't a lock-down, sure-fire, top-flight ace (not yet, at least). But then again, IMO neither is Chris Carpenter and he won the Cy Young last year. Nor Barry Zito at this point (although he will be paid like one). However, he sure qualifies as the ace of the Reds staff and would for many other teams as well. I think by 2008 Harang will have established himself as an unquestioned ace.

As for arb, he has 2 years left before arbitration.

SultanOfSwing
10-19-2006, 09:36 AM
Playoff teams.

Harang is what he is and I like it a lot. There's nothing wrong with 200+ IP and a 3.50-4.00 ERA. He may have a season where the ERA dips below 3.50, but he's more workhorse than thoroughbred, more Tom Browning that Jose Rijo.

RMR, it's only his second year of arbitration.
Tell me some playoff teams. I want names. He would be at least a #2 on every NL playoff team. Arguably a #2 on the Yankees, certainly on the Twins, I would take him over Loiza. So only the Tigers would likely relegate to #3 status of all the playoff teams. Do you disagree?

M2
10-19-2006, 09:48 AM
Harang is clearly a #1. No, he's not Clemens or Martinez in their prime, but he's still a #1. This year in the N.L. he was #11 in ERA, #3 in innings pitched, #1 in strikeouts, #11 in WHIP and tied for #1 in wins. (And that's while pitching in GABP for a losing team!) Also, he has continued to improve and so far has shown himself to be durable.

Yeah, groovy season. John Lackey had a good season too. He's not a #1 guy either. A big hoss like Harang can rack up the counting numbers because of the innings he pitches.

There aren't 30 #1 guys in baseball. Not every team has one. Most teams don't. A Roy Oswalt or Johan Santana is a relative rarity. I could see putting Harang in with the #2 pitchers, but he'd really need to carry an ERA about a quarter point lower than what he does to qualify for that (roughly that would entail giving up 10 fewer runs a year). He's a good pitcher, sometimes very good, but he's not a great pitcher.

Red Leader
10-19-2006, 09:55 AM
Yeah, groovy season. John Lackey had a good season too. He's not a #1 guy either. A big hoss like Harang can rack up the counting numbers because of the innings he pitches.

There aren't 30 #1 guys in baseball. Not every team has one. Most teams don't. A Roy Oswalt or Johan Santana is a relative rarity. I could see putting Harang in with the #2 pitchers, but he'd really need to carry an ERA about a quarter point lower than what he does to qualify for that. He's a good pitcher, sometimes very good, but he's not a great pitcher.

I completely agree. Harang put up very good numbers this year and he was, IMO, the Reds best pitcher, but that doesn't mean he's a true ace. He's the Red's ace, but not a MLB ace. Those are pretty rare, as M2 said. I don't see any reason to pay Aaron Harang like an MLB ace when he is 2 years away from free agency. Like I said, to give a pitcher like Aaron Harang a 5 year deal averaging $7M is a very nice offer. You are offering him stability and are tripling his current salary. I believe he just had a child this season. Those things (stability and financial security) are very important to someone like that. I know they are to me.

M2
10-19-2006, 10:07 AM
Tell me some playoff teams. I want names. He would be at least a #2 on every NL playoff team. Arguably a #2 on the Yankees, certainly on the Twins, I would take him over Loiza. So only the Tigers would likely relegate to #3 status of all the playoff teams. Do you disagree?

I take a long view on these things. Check the White Sox last year. The Red Sox in 2004. The Marlins in 2003 or most every Braves and Yankees team during their runs (though the Yankees are currently gnashing their teeth over the failure of Randy Johnson and Javier Vazquez to provide them with an ace). Check out the pitching the Astros and the A's have gotten over the past decade.

Sure, you can make the playoffs with a pack of #3 guys, maybe you can even win it all (like the '02 Angels). In fact, I think that's exactly what the Reds need to be aiming for, but pay them like they're #3 guys. It's what the Cardinals generally do, Matt Morris being the notable exception (and a notable error in judgment). Know the difference between Randy Johnson/Curt Schilling and Aaron Harang/Bronson Arroyo.

Jr's Boy
10-19-2006, 11:13 AM
Who got traded for Harang?Dano deal?

M2
10-19-2006, 11:15 AM
Who got traded for Harang?Dano deal?

Jose Guillen. Kullman deal.

SultanOfSwing
10-19-2006, 11:17 AM
Who got traded for Harang?Dano deal?
Jose Guillen to A's for Joe Valentin, Harang and some minor-leaguer.

terminator
10-19-2006, 12:00 PM
There aren't 30 #1 guys in baseball. Not every team has one. Most teams don't. A Roy Oswalt or Johan Santana is a relative rarity. I could see putting Harang in with the #2 pitchers, but he'd really need to carry an ERA about a quarter point lower than what he does to qualify for that (roughly that would entail giving up 10 fewer runs a year). He's a good pitcher, sometimes very good, but he's not a great pitcher.

I don't think "ace" is the same thing as "#1."

I agree Harang is not an ace, but I think he's a #1. There are only a handful of aces, but by definition IMHO, there are 30 #1 pitchers in MLB who are the 30 best pitchers. Some teams may have a couple guys in the Top 30 who are #1 pitchers (like the Astros with Clemens and Oswalt) and some may have none, but whichever pitchers are the 30 best are the #1's IMHO. That doesn't make all the #1's equal of course, as some are aces and some are Harang-like.

Given that definition, I think Harang is a lower tier #1.

Red Leader
10-19-2006, 12:06 PM
Just because I may be the best computer programmer in my company doesn't mean I should be lumped in the same group as Bill Gates....

terminator
10-19-2006, 12:12 PM
If that's the case, then Gates is an "ace" programmer and you are a lower-tier #1 programmer. If you are both in the top 10% of the whole universe of programmers, then you being in the same category as Gates is just a fact of the ranking system not a statement that you are in his league.

Pam Shriver never did very well against Martina Navratilova and Chris Everett, but she was still a top-10 player.

blumj
10-19-2006, 12:46 PM
In the current market, and for free agent years, $10 million a year just isn't ace money. Oswalt got $15, RJ $16, Pedro, Halladay, and Schilling all got @$14. Millwood, Burnett, and Beckett got $10-12. If the Reds could get Harang to sign for 5/$35 or so, good for them, but it doesn't seem like something his agent should be recommending to him. If he plays out his last 2 arb years at @ $6 per year, it sure seems likely he'll get $10+ for 4 years or more from someone then. He'd be leaving @ $17 million, and quite possibly a good bit more, on the table. And maybe he's just the rare guy who'd be willing to do that, but I wouldn't expect it.

M2
10-19-2006, 12:58 PM
I don't think "ace" is the same thing as "#1."

I agree Harang is not an ace, but I think he's a #1. There are only a handful of aces, but by definition IMHO, there are 30 #1 pitchers in MLB who are the 30 best pitchers. Some teams may have a couple guys in the Top 30 who are #1 pitchers (like the Astros with Clemens and Oswalt) and some may have none, but whichever pitchers are the 30 best are the #1's IMHO. That doesn't make all the #1's equal of course, as some are aces and some are Harang-like.

Given that definition, I think Harang is a lower tier #1.

I don't like the 30-pitcher tiers because, let's be honest, there aren't enough decent pitchers to go around. There were 30 guys last season who pitched 100+ innings as a starter with ERAs above 5.00. The Royals had two well-pitched games from Adam Bernero, but the other 15 guys they sent to the mound to start were just awful. It's arguable whether the Royals even had a #5 starter on the roster. What they really was a collection of guys who shouldn't have been pitching in the majors.

I'm an absolutist on these things. A #1 for me is an ace, a guy who can dominate year-in, year-out. A #2 guy is someone who can keep his ERA south of 3.50 most seasons and a #3 guy is one who'll fall in the 3.50-4.00 range most seasons. ERA+ might be a fairer way to group it, but I'd have to look into where the lines of demarcation should be drawn for that. Obviously no one stays precisely within those confines all the time, but what Harang is, most seasons, is a guy who can take the ball and chew up a ton of innings with a solid, but unspectacular ERA. I'm thrilled the Reds have him. In general, I love pitchers who can do that. Yet I don't want to see the team pay him like he's a superstud. He's not. Among other things, the Reds don't need to be inflating the market for the class of arms they need to be stockpiling. If you're going to start paying $10M or more for guys who can keep their ERA just below 4.00, then I'm not sure the Reds have any real alternatives to crossing their fingers and hoping that Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood all turn out to be studs and arrive in the majors at roughly the same time.

RedsManRick
10-19-2006, 01:04 PM
We also got two relievers with strikeout stuff but no control who likely will never amount to anything. That trade is the perfect example of selling high and buying low.

M2
10-19-2006, 01:10 PM
Pam Shriver never did very well against Martina Navratilova and Chris Everett, but she was still a top-10 player.

And she never won a major singles title. She was a great doubles player though.

That's a pretty good analogy for Harang. He's probably never going to win the big one by himself, but if you put him in the right mix then he can chase a championship.

blumj
10-19-2006, 01:37 PM
Among other things, the Reds don't need to be inflating the market for the class of arms they need to be stockpiling. If you're going to start paying $10M or more for guys who can keep their ERA just below 4.00, then I'm not sure the Reds have any real alternatives to crossing their fingers and hoping that Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood all turn out to be studs and arrive in the majors at roughly the same time.
See, the part I don't see is how the Reds would be the ones who are inflating the market simply by paying him like other pitchers like him and worse are already being paid. The really elite pitchers get more, well over $10 million a year. Now, the case is there that the Reds can't afford to go along with it, and that is justified, but that just makes it very unlikely that they can keep Harang past his arb years. Because it would be tough to make a realistic case that it's in Harang's best interest to sign for $7 million AAV for more than 2 years at this time and in this market, unless he's afraid that he'll get injured or underperform, and athletes and their agents generally don't think that way.

shredda2000
10-19-2006, 02:07 PM
8-9 mil/per year with incentives...

M2
10-19-2006, 02:22 PM
See, the part I don't see is how the Reds would be the ones who are inflating the market simply by paying him like other pitchers like him and worse are already being paid. The really elite pitchers get more, well over $10 million a year. Now, the case is there that the Reds can't afford to go along with it, and that is justified, but that just makes it very unlikely that they can keep Harang past his arb years. Because it would be tough to make a realistic case that it's in Harang's best interest to sign for $7 million AAV for more than 2 years at this time and in this market, unless he's afraid that he'll get injured or underperform, and athletes and their agents generally don't think that way.

It's mostly a matter of how many teams are willing to pay through the nose for a guy like Harang. Obviously the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox are out there and they all need pitching, so if you're at the top of your free agent pitching class, money could be headed your way. Of course, busts like Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Sidney Ponson, Eric Milton, etc. might have properly scared some teams off of throwing money at a guy because he's nominally the best on the free agent market.

What smaller market teams need to do is lock up a guy like Harang for an extra year or two beyond his arbitration expiration date. Sure, he could see how much money he can make after 2008, but the Reds will surely ride him hard the next two seasons and if his arm goes pop then he goes from a guy who might be staring at a windfall to a guy who might be staring at rehabbing on his own dime. It wasn't that long ago that Harang was a C+ prospect struggling to gain a foothold in the majors. If somebody puts $30M on the table for the next four years I imagine he'd give it a long, hard look. He might even sign for less. Set for life with no worries isn't a trivial concern.

Anyway, a team like the Reds needs to use its leverage (like having a player under control for two more uncertain years) to exert downward pressure on the market. Most importantly, it need to avoid treating arb eligibles like free agents. You don't want to pay more for Aaron Harang, who has a lot of risk on his shoulders the next two years, than the Dodgers are paying for Derek Lowe, who came in as a free agent off a playoff star turn.

terminator
10-19-2006, 02:31 PM
I'm an absolutist on these things. A #1 for me is an ace, a guy who can dominate year-in, year-out. A #2 guy is someone who can keep his ERA south of 3.50 most seasons and a #3 guy is one who'll fall in the 3.50-4.00 range most seasons. ERA+ might be a fairer way to group it, but I'd have to look into where the lines of demarcation should be drawn for that. Obviously no one stays precisely within those confines all the time . . .
Given the confines of your definition of #1 = Hall of Fame ace, I certainly wouldn't argue that there are a lot of #1's out there.

Just keep in mind though that based on your definition of #1, #2 and #3, that for 2006 (not an atypical year) there are only seven pitchers in the N.L. who qualify as a #1 or a #2 and another eight who qualify as a #3. So there aren't even enough #1, #2 and #3 pitchers for each team in the N.L. to get one, let alone fill three holes in their rotation. (More or less, I'm sure there were some more who were out for injuries or came up from the minors, etc.)

Rather than use the tags "#1 - #5 pitcher" maybe we should just note that there are 80 pitching spots to be filled in the N.L. and Harang is (clearly IMHO) one of the 32 best if not one of the 16 best. Based on last season, so is Arroyo.

terminator
10-19-2006, 02:35 PM
If somebody puts $30M on the table for the next four years I imagine he'd give it a long, hard look. He might even sign for less. Set for life with no worries isn't a trivial concern.


I completely agree. I don't think it should take a $10MM+/yr average to sign him for four years at the current time given his arbitration status.

Edd Roush
10-19-2006, 02:37 PM
What about maybe trying and get him to sign for a little bit less but front load the contract rather than back load it? IE:

2007 13 mil
2008 10 mil
2009 6.5 mil
2010 5.5 mil
2011 5 mil

thats 42 mil over 5 years but he sees that money SOONER rather than later and helps the reds with flexibility down the road.

While that may work in the perfect world, sports now exist in a world where players can "hold-out." Not to say Harang would ever pull a TO on the Reds, but imagine Harang wins a Cy Young in 2009. (Not saying he ever would, but perhaps he helps lead the Reds to their first World Series since 1990. ;) ) Do you think a rational man, as I'm sure Harang is, would come back for 5.5 million in 2010? I'm sure that after the 2009 season, solid pitchers will be fetching 10 million a year. Do you think that an ace, which Harang already is to some and could develop into one for others, will pitch for 5.5 million a year?

This is why I believe contracts are backloaded. The team doesn't want to see a player enjoy the fruits of a contract and then decide to hold out. Again, not saying Harang would do such a thing, but it could happen.

M2
10-19-2006, 03:18 PM
Given the confines of your definition of #1 = Hall of Fame ace, I certainly wouldn't argue that there are a lot of #1's out there.

Just keep in mind though that based on your definition of #1, #2 and #3, that for 2006 (not an atypical year) there are only seven pitchers in the N.L. who qualify as a #1 or a #2 and another eight who qualify as a #3. So there aren't even enough #1, #2 and #3 pitchers for each team in the N.L. to get one, let alone fill three holes in their rotation. (More or less, I'm sure there were some more who were out for injuries or came up from the minors, etc.)

Rather than use the tags "#1 - #5 pitcher" maybe we should just note that there are 80 pitching spots to be filled in the N.L. and Harang is (clearly IMHO) one of the 32 best if not one of the 16 best. Based on last season, so is Arroyo.

I think it all comes down to your point of reference. Is Harang one of the 30 best starters in MLB? In 2006 he was and in 2005 he was one of the top 60. Yet let's say that in a given MLB season there's only 12-15 teams that really matter. Is Harang going to be, in most seasons, as good as that top 12-15? No. There's a concentration of good arms on the better teams in MLB and in a normal season I feel fairly confident in saying that you'll be able to find 25-30 pitchers on those teams that really matter you'd rather start in a playoff than Aaron Harang. Maybe Harang during his prime can shave that down to 20, but he was 42nd overall among ERA qualifiers in OPS against in 2006 (though I recognize there's some GAB inflation in that number).

As a recent historical touchstone, what level starter would you have rated Steve Parris as in 1999? Going by seasonal ERA, he'd have qualified as a #1 or #2. Yet was he? He sure looked like a #4 guy when he went up against Al Leiter (a #2 man who'd had a down season) in that one-game playoff.

Johnny Footstool
10-19-2006, 03:37 PM
Rather than use the tags "#1 - #5 pitcher" maybe we should just note that there are 80 pitching spots to be filled in the N.L. and Harang is (clearly IMHO) one of the 32 best if not one of the 16 best. Based on last season, so is Arroyo.

Harang this season was a B+. Arroyo was an A-. Jake Peavey was an A-. Carlos Zambrano was an A-. Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano were A's.

camisadelgolf
10-19-2006, 04:08 PM
What about maybe trying and get him to sign for a little bit less but front load the contract rather than back load it? IE:

2007 13 mil
2008 10 mil
2009 6.5 mil
2010 5.5 mil
2011 5 mil

thats 42 mil over 5 years but he sees that money SOONER rather than later and helps the reds with flexibility down the road.


That looks more like 40 mil than 42 mil to me. :evil:

camisadelgolf
10-19-2006, 04:10 PM
Guys like Milton get 8-9M on the open market.

It's true that Milton gets that kind of money over three years, and over that span, you have to assume Harang would get more than that. However, for a five year contract, don't you think that money-per-year would go down due to the length of the contract?

terminator
10-19-2006, 04:40 PM
Yet let's say that in a given MLB season there's only 12-15 teams that really matter. Is Harang going to be, in most seasons, as good as that top 12-15? No. There's a concentration of good arms on the better teams in MLB and in a normal season I feel fairly confident in saying that you'll be able to find 25-30 pitchers on those teams that really matter you'd rather start in a playoff than Aaron Harang.
I have to admit your approach is right though. To advance in the playoffs we need guys who can match up and win again the better pitchers in the league, not just guys who can routinely be better on paper than the starters for the Pirates and Cubs. Of course the problem is that those guys who are legitimate aces rarely come onto the market and when they do the Reds aren't at the top of the list.


As a recent historical touchstone, what level starter would you have rated Steve Parris as in 1999? Going by seasonal ERA, he'd have qualified as a #1 or #2. Yet was he? He sure looked like a #4 guy when he went up against Al Leiter (a #2 man who'd had a down season) in that one-game playoff.
Well, it's easy to say in hindsight, but Parris was pretty old when he "bloomed" and he also didn't throw many innings even in his good years. It looks like he only threw enough innings in one season during his career to qualify among league leaders. So, if I were evaluating him during his career, I like to think that I would have said I couldn't rank him because of insufficient sample size. Harang, at least, has three full seasons behind him.

BTW, I was at that game. What a miserable, depressing game that was watching that fantastic, suprising, exciting team come out flat and not get anything going against Leiter.

As to the original question, here are is a somewhat random list of approximately average annual salaries for some of the better and bigger signings in the last year or two, for what it's are worth:

Randy Johnson $16M
Pavano $10M
Vazquez $11M
Garcia $9M
Contreras $10M
Buehrle $9.5M
Radke $9M
Smoltz $8M
Oswalt $15M
Santana $10M
Lowe $9M
Pedro Martinez $13M
Schilling $13M
Beckett $10M

These guys have differing health, age, contract lengths, free agent markets, arbitration situations, etc., but it does provide more concrete data to argue for or against a certain value for Harang. Looking at them makes me think $7MM for four or five years would be a more than reasonable offer for Harang given that he still has two arbitration seasons remaining.

M2
10-19-2006, 07:43 PM
Of course the problem is that those guys who are legitimate aces rarely come onto the market and when they do the Reds aren't at the top of the list.

It's certainly the Gordian knot the team needs to try to solve. The long term answer is establish sustained success and be like the Cardinals, transforming a small market into a cash cow.

Short term, I think the answer is to collect guys like Harang and Arroyo, classic #3 starters. Get three of them to carry the load, a young guy with big upside from the farm and a serviceable innings eater (someone able to toe the mound 30 times a year and keep his ERA below 5.00, possibly in the 4.50 area) and you've likely got the Reds' optimal rotation. Stick a the kind of bullpen behind them that Reds fans saw for pretty much 40 straight years prior to the arrival of Dan O'Brien.

Oh, and put a good defense behind them.

mth123
10-19-2006, 08:13 PM
This is such a good thread I don't have any idea who to reply to. Really good discussion. Here are some points:

- Comparing Harang to Steve Parris is not appropriate IMO. Parris was journeymen who had a decent part of a season, while Harang has been on a steady 3 year upward climb.

- I think the point about 80 spots to fill in the NL is a very good one. The number 1 to number 5 thing is a little overdone. I do it too, but the idea is to get good starts every day. If there are 80 spots to fill, teams are going to compete for the good pitchers. As M2 states, there are a lot of those spots filled by guys who shouldn't even be there. I just think that makes the market higher for a guy like Harang.

- I agree with the point about not paying Arbitration guys like Free Agents. I think the point about $10 Million/year not being close to market value for a top starter is true for a free agent. I think that this year that 5 or 6 guys will get at least $10 Million/year and the only one who is arguably a #1 is a declining Jason Schmidt. But, Harang is not a free agent and the 4 year $30 Million payday will be very tempting. Teams buy out arb and Free Agent years all the time trading security for a discount. I would think Harang would listen. Why bid against yourself here?

- Whoever came up with the Pam Shriver comparison is pretty clever.

- I'm not sure that I buy the 12 to 15 teams that matter argument. Carlos Zambrano is obviously top tier starter and he hasn't been on a team that mattered. Harang would be #1 on the Mets and #2 on the Cardinals. He would have been #1 or #2 on the Yankees this year. He might have been #3 in LA and #2 or #3 in SD. He's #3 in Detroit. Probably #3 in MIN when Liriano was healthy but #2 most of the time. Not sure where I'd put him on the A's. My impression is that I like him better than Zito and Loaiza, but I like Haren and a healthy Harden better. But I flip flop on Oakland guys all the time. With Harden hurt all year, he would have been no worse than #3 and arguably #2 or even #1.

- As for the ERA comparisons, don't forget that Harang had a BABIP of over .320 this year (.326 IIRC). He plays in a hitters paradise, and during his 3 year rise has had the worst defensive SS and worst defensive CF imaginable playing behind him. The other positions haven't been all that hot either. He's had to work a lot harder than he should, adapted to his conditions and upped his strike outs. I'm impressed with the fact that he knows he has to strike people out to compensate for the defense, does it and doesn't suffer the pitfalls that result.

In summary, I think he would easily get $10+ as a free agent, maybe $13+, but he isn't one. Four years $30 Million is a good deal for both parties.

blumj
10-19-2006, 09:49 PM
Randy Johnson $16M
Pavano $10M
Vazquez $11M
Garcia $9M
Contreras $10M
Buehrle $9.5M
Radke $9M
Smoltz $8M
Oswalt $15M
Santana $10M
Lowe $9M
Pedro Martinez $13M
Schilling $13M
Beckett $10M
The pitchers on that list who never reached free agency: Vazquez, Garcia, Buehrle, Oswalt, Santana, and Beckett. Contreras is a unique case as an older, international free agent who doesn't have the service time to reach free agency. Buehrle and Santana were more than 2 years away from reaching free agency, but obviously Harang is not in Santana's league. To me, Buehrle is the most comparable, both as a pitcher and in terms of the situation, but that $9.5 million for '07 was the only free agent year the White Sox bought out, all the other years of his contract would have been arb years that they controlled anyway. Now, if the Reds only want to buy one year of free agency from Harang, or even two, and he's willing, then it's a different situation than the question was originally framed. Which was, what's the highest the Reds should be willing to go, assuming Harang is insisting on a 5 year deal total? Obviously, there's no reason to go any higher than he'll take. But just assuming he'll be happy to take what you (or we) decide is reasonable and fair leaves nothing left to discuss either. Assume it will take more than what you think is ideal, how high should they be willing to go as an absolute upper limit? At what point do you just decide they're better off paying for the 2 more arb years and letting him walk, or even trading him when he gets to 1 or a half year left?

mth123
10-19-2006, 10:00 PM
The pitchers on that list who never reached free agency: Vazquez, Garcia, Buehrle, Oswalt, Santana, and Beckett. Contreras is a unique case as an older, international free agent who doesn't have the service time to reach free agency. Buehrle and Santana were more than 2 years away from reaching free agency, but obviously Harang is not in Santana's league. To me, Buehrle is the most comparable, both as a pitcher and in terms of the situation, but that $9.5 million for '07 was the only free agent year the White Sox bought out, all the other years of his contract would have been arb years that they controlled anyway. Now, if the Reds only want to buy one year of free agency from Harang, or even two, and he's willing, then it's a different situation than the question was originally framed. Which was, what's the highest the Reds should be willing to go, assuming Harang is insisting on a 5 year deal total? Obviously, there's no reason to go any higher than he'll take. But just assuming he'll be happy to take what you (or we) decide is reasonable and fair leaves nothing left to discuss either. Assume it will take more than what you think is ideal, how high should they be willing to go as an absolute upper limit? At what point do you just decide they're better off paying for the 2 more arb years and letting him walk, or even trading him when he gets to 1 or a half year left?

Fair point. Given how this question is framed and that Harang has another Arb year left, I go to 5 years at $40 Million for the very tops. The difference between he and Buehrle is that Buehrle came in and was a top starter almost from the start and Harang has gradually improved. Buehrle had more consecutive years of being a top part of the rotation guy before that contract. Harang wasn't in Buehrle's class until this year. Harang was viewed as a number 4 guy or lower going into 2005.

I would want to see the upswing continue before going higher. They have another offseason to do a long term deal if he wants that much.

Slyder
10-21-2006, 10:49 PM
While that may work in the perfect world, sports now exist in a world where players can "hold-out." Not to say Harang would ever pull a TO on the Reds, but imagine Harang wins a Cy Young in 2009. (Not saying he ever would, but perhaps he helps lead the Reds to their first World Series since 1990. ;) ) Do you think a rational man, as I'm sure Harang is, would come back for 5.5 million in 2010? I'm sure that after the 2009 season, solid pitchers will be fetching 10 million a year. Do you think that an ace, which Harang already is to some and could develop into one for others, will pitch for 5.5 million a year?

This is why I believe contracts are backloaded. The team doesn't want to see a player enjoy the fruits of a contract and then decide to hold out. Again, not saying Harang would do such a thing, but it could happen.

Then you can say we stepped up for you early on. Gave you a chance and paid you a ton of freaking money up front so that you would be able to not have to worry about a lot of guys who's "big pay days" are ahead of them and may not never see them.

Plus Baseball isnt football, you honor the contract that you sign. Baseball hasnt gotten to where football is with non-guarentee contracts.

blumj
12-08-2006, 07:13 PM
Bump.

Hey, look what I found. Anyone want to change your vote?

TOBTTReds
12-08-2006, 07:16 PM
Haha, appearantly $13+ is about right now.

jmac
12-08-2006, 09:50 PM
The most I'd give him would be an average of 6.5-7.0M / yr.
i think aron's agent would say ......":laugh: "

chettt
12-09-2006, 11:57 AM
If Gil Meche is worth $55 mil for 5 years, as much as I don't like it, Harang is worth at least that. He could get at least $15 mil per year on the open market. You have to spend to contend. Right now, the Mets would love to have him added to their rotation.

jmac
12-09-2006, 12:20 PM
If Gil Meche is worth $55 mil for 5 years, as much as I don't like it, Harang is worth at least that. He could get at least $15 mil per year on the open market. You have to spend to contend. Right now, the Mets would love to have him added to their rotation.

i definitely think he should get more than the "meche,lilly,eaton,padilla" group.
I would probably figure in the 12-14 range. Slightly more than the above group while a little less than the schmidt's and zito's of the world .