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View Full Version : Bad contracts = Bad Players?



Red Rover
10-24-2006, 11:05 AM
Someone touched on this in another thread and it got me thinking. Too many of us judge players because of their salaries, at least I have been known to.

When I think of Milton I think of a bad pitcher. At his age, injury history and recent performance he is not worth his salary, but is he really a bad pitcher. When your options are the Mays and Franklins of the world, I'd rather have Milton as my 4th or 5th starter. Yes his contract is bad when your stuck with it, but performance wise their are worse options.

When I think of Griffey I think of a declining struggling older and slower outfielder. At his age, injury history and recent performance he is not worth his salary, but is he really a bad player. Griffey in a LF or RF position batting 4th or 5th in the lineup would actually make this team better. Will it make Griffey worth his 10+ mil contract, NO, but the options either aren't much better or will be just as expensive. Yes his contract is bad when your are stuck with it, but performance wise their are worse options.

I could go on about more Reds players past and present, but really a bad contract does not make a bad player. A bad contract only makes a bad team.

Johnny Footstool
10-24-2006, 11:17 AM
This year, Griffey was a bad player. He lost all plate discipline and created a ton of outs in the heart of the lineup. Plus he has no range in CF.

Milton was not as bad this season, but he is still a bad pitcher. The thing is, he was a bad pitcher *before* DanO gave him a bad contract.

But you're right about their contracts having no bearing on them being bad players. They're bad because they're bad, regardless of how much money they are making.

Red Rover
10-24-2006, 11:30 AM
You can't say none of the above, but pick your best 4th starter option?

A. Joe Mays
B. Eric Milton
C. Chris Michalak
D. Sun-Woo Kim

Again you can't say none of the above, but pick your best OF starting option?

A. Dewayne Wise
B. Quinton McCracken
C. Todd Hollandsworth
D. Ken Griffey Jr

Yes because of their contracts, the Reds would/could use these options.

SultanOfSwing
10-24-2006, 11:43 AM
I agree completely. I have always said (and posted several times) if Milton was making $3m, no one would be complaining. He would be regarded as a solid starter. Every good start would be great, and the bad ones expected for back-end starter making $3m. If Griffey was earning $3-5m he would be one of the best bargains in baseball. The salary of players dramatically affects the fans' perception. If Dunn was making $2.5m, who would want to trade him?

Ravenlord
10-24-2006, 11:43 AM
You can't say none of the above, but pick your best 4th starter option?

A. Joe Mays
B. Eric Milton
C. Chris Michalak
D. Sun-Woo Kim

Again you can't say none of the above, but pick your best OF starting option?Milton


A. Dewayne Wise
B. Quinton McCracken
C. Todd Hollandsworth
D. Ken Griffey Jr


why isn't Chris Denorfia listed there? or Ryan Freel?

Ravenlord
10-24-2006, 11:47 AM
I agree completely. I have always said (and posted several times) if Milton was making $3m, no one would be complaining.i would. he'd simply be a correctly to slightly over priced starter instead of grossly overpriced.


He would be regarded as a solid starter.only if you enjoy having to reach out and grab mediocrity.


If Dunn was making $2.5m, who would want to trade him?
a lot of people because he'd have a killer contract that could land a far superior pitcher than anything the Reds have seen since the begining of last decade.

Red Rover
10-24-2006, 11:49 AM
The other 3 options, listed for Milton, combined couldn't have as many qualtity starts as Milton did. Milton again is not worth his contract, but he is better than most of the Reds other options.

Same as the other 3 options, listed for Griffey. Combined they couldn't hit 27HR and 72RBI. Griffey also is not worth his contract, but he is better than most of the Reds other options.

Maybe the Thread title should have read "Bad Contract > Worse options?"

M2
10-24-2006, 12:02 PM
For me, the larger point isn't whether the Reds currently have something better than Eric Milton at this moment. Wayne Krivsky's got an entire offseason to remedy that situation. What Milton represents for me is a glaring case of something the team needs to go out and upgrade.

Krivsky's also got five months to sort out what to do with Jr. The guy has to move out of CF and probably out of the #3 slot in the lineup as well.

To paraphrase one of the wisest things I've ever heard -- don't get flustered just because you've got problems. You've always got one problem or another that's going to crop up. The real trouble comes when you keeping having the same problem and it doesn't get fixed. What we're talking about here are two problems Krivsky can and should fix this winter.

Ravenlord
10-24-2006, 12:02 PM
Same as the other 3 options, listed for Griffey. Combined they couldn't hit 27HR and 72RBI. Griffey also is not worth his contract, but he is better than most of the Reds other options.


i'd be willing to bet that if you put DeWayne Wise third in the Reds' order and give him 500ish ABs he'd slug about the same as Griffey did this year. and i'm also willing to bet that the 290ish OBP Wise would be attached to would actually cost the Reds less run value than Griffey's defense.

in other words; if you expect over 162 games for Griffey to generate around 100 runs, you should also expect his atrocious range to add about 30-40 runs to team's runs against column, thus effectively making Griffey worth 60-70 runs.

if you expect over 162 ganes for Wise to generate around 80 runs, you should also expect his excellent defensive attributes to actually positively affect the Reds' runs against column. even at neutral, that would still be 10-20 runs (a bit more than 1 win using Pythag Record) better value than Griffey. and that doesn't include contracts.


of course, this doesn't even to begin to include that the conversation should be Chris Denorfia and not DeWayne Wise.

Red Rover
10-24-2006, 12:05 PM
why isn't Chris Denorfia listed there? or Ryan Freel?

I could probably list 100 better options for both Milton and Griffey, but I could also probably list 100 options worse. I just wanted to show the difference between BAD players and OVERPAID players.

Ravenlord
10-24-2006, 12:07 PM
I could probably list 100 better options for both Milton and Griffey, but I could also probably list 100 options worse. I just wanted to show the difference between BAD players and OVERPAID players.

but in Milton's case he's bad and overpaid.

in Griffey's case, he can hopefully start hitting again or he's in that boat as well.

Red Rover
10-24-2006, 12:12 PM
i'd be willing to bet that if you put DeWayne Wise third in the Reds' order and give him 500ish ABs he'd slug about the same as Griffey did this year. and i'm also willing to bet that the 290ish OBP Wise would be attached to would actually cost the Reds less run value than Griffey's defense.

in other words; if you expect over 162 games for Griffey to generate around 100 runs, you should also expect his atrocious range to add about 30-40 runs to team's runs against column, thus effectively making Griffey worth 60-70 runs.

if you expect over 162 ganes for Wise to generate around 80 runs, you should also expect his excellent defensive attributes to actually positively affect the Reds' runs against column. even at neutral, that would still be 10-20 runs (a bit more than 1 win using Pythag Record) better value than Griffey. and that doesn't include contracts.


of course, this doesn't even to begin to include that the conversation should be Chris Denorfia and not DeWayne Wise.

I would probably take that bet, but look at the big picture. With Wise batting third the Reds would be lucky to score 600 runs. The whole lineup would get worse.

Ravenlord
10-24-2006, 12:18 PM
I would probably take that bet, but look at the big picture. With Wise batting third the Reds would be lucky to score 600 runs. The whole lineup would get worse.

no doubt. but you can still reasonably expect 70 runs created out of Wise hitting 7th. you might even get 'hidden runs' from his speed in front of the catcher and pitcher.

i'll say basically the same thing now as i said last winter, i'll take outstanding defense and speed with at least doubles power out of my center fielder. last year that was Corey Patterson (who had a brillian first half, then began being misused again), and this year it's already in the Reds' system: Chris Denorfia.

Johnny Footstool
10-24-2006, 12:22 PM
You can't say none of the above, but pick your best 4th starter option?

A. Joe Mays
B. Eric Milton
C. Chris Michalak
D. Sun-Woo Kim

Again you can't say none of the above, but pick your best OF starting option?

A. Dewayne Wise
B. Quinton McCracken
C. Todd Hollandsworth
D. Ken Griffey Jr

Yes because of their contracts, the Reds would/could use these options.

Objectively, all the options are bad. Milton and Griffey only look relatively good when compared to downright horrible alternatives.

Red Rover
10-24-2006, 12:24 PM
no doubt. but you can still reasonably expect 70 runs created out of Wise hitting 7th. you might even get 'hidden runs' from his speed in front of the catcher and pitcher.

i'll say basically the same thing now as i said last winter, i'll take outstanding defense and speed with at least doubles power out of my center fielder. last year that was Corey Patterson (who had a brillian first half, then began being misused again), and this year it's already in the Reds' system: Chris Denorfia.

I agree that Denorfia and maybe even Hopper, both in the Reds system now, could replace Griffey in CF with little run loss/gain, but would you sit Griffey, move him to RF or LF, trade him or just eat his contract?

Ravenlord
10-24-2006, 12:28 PM
I agree that Denorfia and maybe even Hopper, both in the Reds system now, could replace Griffey in CF with little run loss/gain, but would you sit Griffey, move him to RF or LF, trade him or just eat his contract?

try to trade him, but that's not likely to happen, so unless he starts hitting like a Ken Griffey should, he'd probably be splitting time in RF wheather he liked it or not.

everytime changing position comes up to Griffey in the media, he just talks about there's no strain difference on his legs. someone really needs to tell him that is simply not the point. the point is is that one has to cover a lot of ground in center field and that at present, he struggles to cover a small amount of ground.

Red Rover
10-24-2006, 12:31 PM
Objectively, all the options are bad. Milton and Griffey only look relatively good when compared to downright horrible alternatives.

Unfortunately these are some of the options the Reds used. Yes there are better, but you have to use them.

Johnny Footstool
10-24-2006, 12:34 PM
Unfortunately these are some of the options the Reds used. Yes there are better, but you have to use them.

Agreed -- every team has to use some bad players. The trick is not paying them a lot of money to be bad. Unfortunately, the Reds are doing just that.

terminator
10-24-2006, 01:27 PM
The original point is right on. A player's production is what it is regardless of what you are paying them.

It the same as the stock market. There are good companies out there that make money year-in and year-out that you wouldn't buy because they are overpriced relative to their earnings, but that doesn't change the fact that the companies are good. It just means they are priced wrong. Same with baseball players. No one wanted to pay A-Rod $25MM per year after his contract was signed (not even the Yankees!). That doesn't change the fact that his regular season production is among the best in MLB. It just means he was overpriced.

vaticanplum
10-24-2006, 01:32 PM
but in Milton's case he's bad and overpaid.

in Griffey's case, he can hopefully start hitting again or he's in that boat as well.

Yeah, I'm with you. Milton is a bad pitcher. Griffey is overpaid. And while I think the Reds took a gamble signing him for as long as they did, I don't think the amount of money was outrageous at the time, and I understand why they did it. Milton's contract was ludicrous from the start.

When Milton hits a hot streak, I count my lucky stars and start thinking of who will trade for him. When Griffey hits a hot streak, I feel that he's achieving what he's capable of doing. I always feel like Griffey has another hot streak coming his way. But every hot streak I see from Milton, I expect to be his last streak of luck. Just my opinion.

TOBTTReds
10-24-2006, 02:30 PM
I think it just shows our old management loved to give contracts to people who didn't deserve them. Just look the numbers for these guys.

Griffey has good primary numbers like HR's and RBI, but he is constantly hurt and doesn't get on base, and can't field a fly ball 10 feet away from him.

LaRue - "You know his story"

Danny Graves!? - Come on, 6 mil to be a starter!! You got to be kidding me.

Larkin - 9 mil for 1 year IIRC!

Milton - not worth the 8 mil this year or the 9 next

Jimenez - 3 mil

It doesn't just stop with our contracts, but we actually traded for Tony Womack. Really we did, its disgusting.

All of our worst contracts are ones that last more than one year, how does that happen!

dougdirt
10-24-2006, 02:34 PM
Milton was not as bad this season, but he is still a bad pitcher. The thing is, he was a bad pitcher *before* DanO gave him a bad contract.



Dano did not give him the contract. Uncle Carl did. Dano wanted nothing to do with it.

M2
10-24-2006, 02:39 PM
Dano did not give him the contract. Uncle Carl did. Dano wanted nothing to do with it.

That's not the way I remember it.

dougdirt
10-24-2006, 02:40 PM
Well I severely doubt that you were in the office when it happened M2. I was not either, but I have heard from a reliable source, who is a friend of mine who has talked with Dano on several occaisions that it came from over his head and he didnt want anything to do with it.

M2
10-24-2006, 02:55 PM
Well I severely doubt that you were in the office when it happened M2. I was not either, but I have heard from a reliable source, who is a friend of mine who has talked with Dano on several occaisions that it came from over his head and he didnt want anything to do with it.

I appreciate that you've got a source, but my take is that if I'm the GM and I understand how bad an idea it is to throw huge amounts of cash at Eric Milton then I make sure the deal doesn't happen because that contract likely goes on my tombstone.

What your source may have heard is DanO's after-the-fact revisionist history. Or maybe he didn't particularly care who took the mound for the major league club because he figured it was a lost cause, in which case he was out of his depth being a GM. In two-plus seasons, DanO was patently unable to identify a good major league pitcher, so I'm not willing to buy into him spotting the qualitative difference between Eric Milton and Cory Lidle, Paul Wilson, Ramon Ortiz or Dave Williams. Best case scenario is DanO balked at some part of the deal (perhaps the number of years or the cost), but was completely ineffectual in championing his concerns.

I'm not really interested in what someone says someone else told them DanO said (though don't take that to mean I don't believe that's what you've heard). I know what DanO did, or at least what he allowed to happen, and there's no high ground to be claimed on this one. Everyone involved owes each and every one of us a direct personal apology.

vaticanplum
10-24-2006, 02:59 PM
All of our worst contracts are ones that last more than one year, how does that happen!

Well, I think you just answered your own question :)

it's a tricky thing: you have to think of your team long-term, and I'm a big proponent of letting your best players know you appreciate them by giving them some long-term security in a competitive market. But this team just seems to pick the wrong players to appreciate. Which is why Milton was sitting pretty for three years right from the start and meanwhile we still haven't locked up Harang (whose value, barring some major regression, is just going to keep going up).

Me, considering injuries, steroids, and a host of other factors, I'd be hesitant to lock up almost any fully-developed and established players for more than four years at this point. If he's really worth it, take good care and offer a formidable four-year contract financially speaking. But no more unless the player is unusually young and good and fills a niche on your team that you really think no one else can.

RedFanAlways1966
10-24-2006, 03:27 PM
Eric Milton, 2006

14 quality starts
>> 2.83 ERA, 1.22 WHIP.
12 non-quality starts
>> 9.05 ERA, 1.83 WHIP.

Year totals
>> 26 starts, 5.15 ERA
Totals without 3 starts while hurt
>> 23 starts, 4.25 ERA

dougdirt
10-24-2006, 03:30 PM
M2, when your job is possibly on the line, and its a job you have been wanting your entire life, sometimes you let the boss do stupid things. Dano also had Paul Wilson traded after 2004, but was vetoed by Lindner on the deal.

Redsland
10-24-2006, 03:48 PM
Dano also had Paul Wilson traded after 2004, but was vetoed by Lindner on the deal.
Paul Wilson was a free agent after 2004.

M2
10-24-2006, 04:05 PM
Paul Wilson was a free agent after 2004.

Exactly.

I could buy that he was trying to trade the guy during the 2004 season, but Wilson wasn't his to trade after the season. If he attempted to trade the guy immediately after signing then that goes to old adage that the guy with the unburnt hands is the one who doesn't reach into the fire to grab the white hot ember in the first place.

Frankly, I'm not real sympathetic to hearing that the guy who RUNS THE TEAM'S BASEBALL OPERATION either wanted to avoid the mistakes that were made or wanted to take the team in a different direction. Either that's a guy who isn't big on taking responsibility or who's completely unable to wield authority. In both cases that's a guy who's ill-equipped for the job.