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westofyou
08-12-2009, 02:22 PM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/08/11/ricciardis/#more-2477





I don’t want this sound rude … but I have never understood Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi. I mean that sincerely. I just don’t understand. I have friends all around the game who will tell me what a bright guy J.P. is, what a good baseball man he is, what a grounded person he is, what a nice guy he is and so on. And I have no reason to doubt them except this: I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

And no, this isn’t about the incredibly dumb things Ricciardi says, like the time he basically called Gil Meche a loser because he signed with the Kansas City Royals instead of his own multiple-championship team in Toronto (Ricciardi’s team career record is 489-482 with zero playoff appearances in seven seasons). Or the time he ripped Adam Dunn for not liking baseball and then claimed to talk to have apologized to Dunn even though Dunn insisted he never heard from Ricciardi (at which point Ricciardi made some comment about how someone was PRETENDING to be Dunn or something like that). Or the time he lied about B.J. Ryan’s injury and then offered up the classic, “They’re not lies if we know the truth,” quote.
No. Forget all that. Here’s my thing about J.P. Ricciardi, the thing that really baffles the heck out of me: How can someone keep giving out contracts THIS BAD and keep his job and reputation? How? I’m serious. How?
Obviously, you can start with the Alex Rios contract. You probably know that Rios has SIX YEARS and about $60 million left on his contract. And the guy is 28 years old and has a 94 OPS+ this year. He has a lifetime .335 on-base percentage, which is pretty darned mediocre. He has never hit 25 home runs in a season. He has not slugged .500 since 2006. He has been a good outfielder, but he even appears to be losing that. This contract is SO BAD that the only way for Ricciardi and the Blue Jays to escape it was to put Rios on waivers and have Chicago general manager Kenny Williams come in, like Bagel in Diner*, and pay off his gambling debts.

*So disappointed to see how poorly Diner did in the “Most quoted movies” poll. More on that in a later post.
I don’t know if the White Sox will get much for their money. They might get something … Rios, in that hitter’s ballpark and a new environment, might be revitalized and might have some good years. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it could happen and, again, some of the people I trust around the game say it will happen. But no matter what happens, that contract was so bad that the Blue Jays needed a bail out. If that was the only time it happened to Ricciardi, OK, everyone is entitled to a mistake. And you could see how the Blue Jays made this mistake: Rios was developed in the Blue Jays organization and put up a couple of pretty good years.

Trouble is, this is a frightening pattern for Ricciardi — B.J. Ryan. Vernon Wells. Frank Thomas just for starters. For fun, I put together an unofficial list of the worst contracts in the game. And, as you will see, Ricciardi’s name is all over it. This turned out to be more involved than I expected … so I had to make up a few rules.
1. To qualify, the contract has to still be going for at least one more year … and it has to be for more than $10 million per year on the remainder. So, that would rule out, say, the bizarrely awful Vicente Padilla contract because he’s coming off the books after this season.

2. I try to take injuries into account when judging the contract. True, the Dodgers signing of Jason Schmidt (three years, $47 million) was, in retrospect, awful. The guy has won a grand total of three games with a 6.02 ERA. But he has been hurt. You could certainly argue that when you sign a 34-year-old pitcher for that much money you are ASKING for pain, but, again, I’m trying to be fair here.

3. I want to judge the contract based on the entire thing. What I mean is … the Red Sox owe $12.5 million more to Big Papi next year, and that’s really, really bad. At this point, I think, you can reasonably make the conclusion that Papi is more or less finished as a good player and so that is dead money. But the Papi contract as a whole was a good one; Papi had a couple of amazing seasons over the four-year contract and I would say he has been worth every penny the Red Sox will pay him.

And so a few contract thoughts, then the list …

Bad contract coming off the books: Adrian Beltre (5 years, $64 million). Beltre is prime example of a general manager putting too much stock into one good year. Beltre had been a certain kind of player for five years — good defensively at third, a bit of power, generally low batting averages, an inability to walk. Then, in 2004 he had that monster year — .334/.388/.629 with 48 homers in Los Angeles — and the Mariners bought into it. To be honest, Beltre hasn’t been as bad as I thought. He’s a mixed bag. He’s a terrific defensive player, he has generally hit 25 home runs a year, he still doesn’t get on base. This year, he looks entirely overmatched at the plate. I watched one game where he struck out three times on fastballs — and he looked to be about five seconds late. Over the length of the contract, he has been a pretty good player. The Mariners paid him like a great one. It’s a common mistake.

Contracts that have may or may not bomb, but I don’t like them: Brian Roberts (4 years, $40 million) and Michael Young (5 years, $80 million). Do you get these two guys confused too or is it just me? I don’t know why I get them confused. Roberts is a switch-hitter, Young a right-handed hitter. Roberts has led the league in stolen bases, Young in batting average. Roberts plays second base (and moderately well) while Young played shortstop and now plays third base (and the numbers suggest he’s been terrible there — minus-19 on the Dewan). They are really not alike.
Except this: Every time I look up either one of their numbers, I’m shocked at how unimpressive they are. Roberts has a career 103 OPS+. Young has a career 105 OPS+. Roberts will turn 32 in October, Young 33, so you would expect that both will very soon enter the decline phase of their careers. Maybe I’m wrong — hope I’m wrong because they both seem like likable guys you would root for — but it seems to me that one or both of these contracts will be an albatross before the day is done.

Another contract that has not bombed yet but probably will: Francisco Cordero — 4 years, $46 million. Two more years in Cincinnati at $12 million, plus a club option. This does not look like a bad deal at the moment — Cordero is having a sensational year at 34. But a wise baseball man man once told me: If you have a team whose highest paid player is the closer, you have a bad team.

A bad contract that you really can’t blame anyone for: Eric Byrnes (3 years, $30 million). He has one more year left at $11 million, and he has been dreadful when he has been able to play the last two years (114 games, .213 average, 60 OPS+), and he can’t keep his hamstrings from tearing. But in this case … I’m just not sure what else Arizona could have done. He had that inspiring 2007 season — 21 homers, 50 steals, all sorts of great defensive plays, good hair, national fame — and the Diamondbacks really had to bring him back. In retrospect, of course, a 32-year-old guy with a career 100 OPS+ for four teams was probably not worth it. But, hey, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

A bad contract that was just sort of unavoidable: Aaron Rowand (5 years, $60 million). He will be paid $12 million per for next three years, which is a whole lot of money to pay for a below average hitter who probably has been pretty wildly overrated defensively for three or four years. But, hey, he came off that big 2007 season — .309/.374/.515 — and he’d had one year like that before (2004 in Chicago) and he had the great defensive rep, and he was a free agent, and somebody was going to overpay for him. Brian Sabean was the lucky winner.

A contract that is still not a disaster … but the iceberg approacheth: Carlos Lee (6 years, $100 million). He’s still hitting — a 130 OPS+, a .514 slugging percentage, yet another year where he will probably hit 25 homers, drive in 100 runs — and yet, you can see bad things on the horizon. Lee is going to make $18.5 million each of the next three years. And he has already become a horrible outfielder and he’s one of the worst base runners in the game — so as soon as the bat stops producing, he has a chance to become one of the three worst contracts in baseball. And he’s 33 years old.

A different kind of bad contract: Carlos Zambrano (5 years, $91.5 million). The contracts that I list below as the worst are those where (in my opinion) a team has wildly overpaid a player for the production they will get. This could be the case with Zambrano, certainly, but it’s a different deal because Zambrano’s still a good pitcher, and quite often an awesome pitcher. His problems are … er … tougher to define.
Worst contracts in baseball (Updated to move Rios down a bit)

11. B.J. Ryan (out of baseball). Blue Jays still owe Ryan $10 million NEXT YEAR off 5 year, $47 million. To be fair to Ricciardi, I said I was going to consider injuries and Ryan was dominant in 2006 before having Tommy John surgery in 2007. But you know what? You give a 30-year-old relief pitcher (coming off one good season) that much money, and you end up having to release him with about $15 million still on the books … yeah, that’s a disastrous decision.

10. Jeff Suppan (MIlwaukee Brewers). He has two years and $25 million left on a contract — $27 million if you count the buyout. And he is 15-18 with a 5.09 ERA since start of the 2008 season. And he turns 35 in January. I’m just not too sure you’re going to make big strides as a team by signing 32-year-old inning-eaters for a lot of money.

9. Travis Hafner (Cleveland Indians). He has three years at $13 million per left on his four-year deal … and a buyout on top. The reason this is not higher on the list is you can certainly understand why the Indians made the deal. Hafner had led the American League in OPS+ twice. He was coming off a year when he hit .308/.439/.649 — tough to argue with those numbers.
BUT … they gave him the contract in the middle of the 2007 season, when he turned 30, when his numbers had already started to take a precipitous fall, when he had not shown an ability to stay healthy (he had never even played 150 games in a season when they gave him the deal). PLUS, he’s a big, slow guy who literally cannot play a single defensive position … he has not put on a glove for a big league game since 2007. Hafner has shown a little spark of offensive life this year, but he has so many injury problems, and he’s 32 years old, and this contract surely will only look worse as time goes on.

8. Kerry Wood (Cleveland Indians). He signed before this season for 2 years at $11 million per and there’s a reasonable chance it will kick in and become a three-year deal. He has been terrible this year but that’s not even the problem … Why would you spend all that money to sign a 31-turning-32-year-old pitcher with a long line of injury problems who has never pitched in the American League and has had one decent year as a closer? Mark Shapiro seems to me a bright guy who has done some good things … but this was a head-scratcher to me.

7. Alex Rios (Chicago White Sox). I originally had this as the second-worst contract in the game … but that was blowing this out of proportion. Several readers make the strong point that it really is not THAT bad, and I’m probably overreacting to the off-season he’s having now. Either way, this is the third deal where Ricciardi has hit the ejector button in the middle of the contract (B.J. Ryan and Frank Thomas coming first). At least this one, someone else picked up the tab — and yes, Kenny Williams will now be the one judged on how this contract turns out.

6. Gary Matthews (Angels). Still has two years and $23 million left on his contract, which is tough because he has become one of the worst hitters in baseball (74 OPS+ and .346 slugging percentage last two years) and the two big defensive stats I like — UZR and Dewan — both suggest he has lost whatever he might have had defensively. This was another example of a player with a long history of being below average (89 career OPS+ for seven teams between 1999 and 2005), then having one good year and making one incredible catch, and then signing for big money at age 32.
One funny part of this, though, is that I don’t think the Angels have a lot of buyer’s remorse here. They are a weird team, the Angels. They just chug along, year after year. They pretty wildly overpay for a player now and again. They give players odd roles. They do odd things that make you wonder what the heck is going on over there. But they make the playoffs almost every year, and they seem to deal pretty well with whatever mistakes they make. Matthews plays quite a lot for the Angels, and he has a 69 OPS+, but the Angels continue to score runs like crazy. It’s just weird over there.

5. Alfonso Soriano (Cubs). Wow, the Cubs owe him $18 million per year for the next four. And he’s going to be 34 years old in January. And he has a 90 OPS+ this year and he seems to have lost his speed, which was a big part of his game. Bad stuff.

Funny, I kind of thought that in many ways Soriano was underrated when the Cubs signed him … underrated because a lot of people seemed to be talking about all the things he couldn’t do (he didn’t walk, he struck out a ton, he was moody and didn’t want to change positions) and were kind of missing some of the obvious things he could DO such as the fact that he had a 40-40 season (and was one homer away from a SECOND 40-40 season) and was showing improvement even in those troubled areas (he walked a career high 67 times in Washington and moved to left field).
Still … eight-year deal. Damn. You better be SURE before you give someone an eight year deal, especially a guy two months away from his 31st birthday. Check that: There’s no way you could be THAT sure about a player about to turn 31. Soriano still has some value as a player, but you’ve got to think that deal will only look worse from here on in.


4. Carlos Silva (Seattle Mariners). Three years left on that four year, $48 million deal … and a buyout to boot. Funny, people will constantly rip the Yankees and Red Sox and teams like that for all the money they spend … but it is teams like the Mariners, Royals, Brewers, Blue Jays and Indians that seem to actually make the worst signings.
I have absolutely no idea what the heck the Mariners could have been thinking when they gave Sliva that money. The previous two years, he was 24-29 with a 5.01 ERA. He never could strike out anyone. He was turning 29, which ain’t exactly young. Of course he went 4-15 with a 6.46 ERA last year with the Mariners. Of course he was dreadful this year and then got hurt. Of course. This is the sort of signing that makes me wish, just once, I could be in on one of these meetings just so I could HEAR what these people are saying when they make these moves.


3. Barry Zito (San Francisco Giants). Four more years at about $19 million per and a huge $7 million buyout on the end. Well, what can you say? It’s the most famous bad contract in baseball right now … but the tide could be shifting a bit. Zito, you probably noticed, is pitching better. He’s 8-10 with a 4.40 ERA, which isn’t exactly Koufax — it’s not even Murray Koufax — but he has pitched better of late, and he has the makings of a crafty lefty, and crafty lefties can sometimes age quite well. Plus he has endured through some bad times. Look, when the Giants made this deal it was very clear that they had completely lost their minds. And no matter what happens, this contract will be known as a masterpiece of excess. But — and admittedly this is just a hunch — Zito might still be a reasonably valuable pitcher for the Giants.


2. Jose Guillen (Kansas City Royals). One more year at $12 million. I will admit that I’m grading this one on a curve … the Royals, more than other teams, cannot afford titanic blunders like this one. Everything about this deal baffled from the start. The Royals talked about wanting to get players who get on base — Guillen doesn’t and never has. The Royals talked about wanting players who are leaders — Guillen had played for nine different teams and was suspended for the playoffs by the Angels for inappropriate conduct. The Royals talked about players with good character — Guillen was facing a drug suspension when the Royals signed him (he was given amnesty).
But more than anything: Guillen was almost 32 when the Royals signed him to a three-year, $36 million deal … and he’s precisely the sort of player who starts going wildly downhill at that age. And … so he has. Guillen led the team in RBIs in 2008 despite having a pretty bad year. This year, he has been perhaps the worst everyday player in baseball. His power is gone — .371 slugging percentage — he can’t play the outfield any more and his quick bat (the one thing he always had) has slowed measurably. Funny thing is, I have found him to be quite a likable guy, and he has been brutally honest in his own self-assessment. “If I suck then I suck,” he says. “And I suck.” Probably not worth $36 million, but entertaining still.

1. Vernon Wells (Toronto Blue Jays). Cot’s Baseball Contracts — the incredibly awesome site where I got these numbers from — is one of my favorite Internet stops. And on occasion, just for fun, I will go to the site just to look up Vernon Wells’ contract. I don’t know why. It gives me hope, somehow. It tells me that in this world, anything is possible. It tells me that good things happen, funny things, unexpected things. Don’t tell me that I won’t win the lottery … just look at Vernon Wells’ contract.

In 2011, Vernon Wells will get paid $23 million. No. Really. He will get paid $23 million.

In 2012, he will have to take a paycut and will only get $21 million. Same in 2013. And same again in 2014.

This isn’t a baseball contract. This is a testament to the power of mankind to do the impossible.
Oh, Vernon Wells also has a full no-trade clause in his contract. Well, sure, why not? Then, what difference would it make? This is the most untradable contract in the history of the world. Vernon Wells turns 31 this year. The Dewan has him a minus-29 centerfielder, which means he’s exactly as bad defensively as you can be while a manager who is still breathing allows you to play centerfield. He has an 85 OPS+. He has a lifetime .329 on-base percentage. He’s slugging .408. He IS third in the American League in making outs. So he has that going for him.
And it never made sense. Ever. Wells had a very good year in 2003 (and he was a very good fielder then), a couple of OK years, a good year in 2006 at age 27. But he never got on base much, and he was inconsistent, and … then the Blue Jays gave him this hysterical contract.

This deal, to be honest, is not the sort of thing that leads to a general manager getting fired. It’s the sort of thing that leads to entire villages getting pillaged. And that’s what I mean about Ricciardi. I mean, this contract alone should be enough to put him in the Bad Contract Hall of Fame. But when you look over the whole body of work … he IS the Bad Contract Hall of Fame.
In fact, really, we should just start referring to bad baseball contracts as “Ricciardis.”

Tom Servo
08-12-2009, 02:28 PM
I think Silva's should be higher. He's been as bad as Milton and gets paid more than double what Milton made.

jojo
08-12-2009, 02:31 PM
I think Silva's should be higher. He's been as bad as Milton and gets paid more than double what Milton made.

I think Bavasi should have to get a big red S tattooed on his forehead.

Benihana
08-12-2009, 02:32 PM
I think Silva's should be higher. He's been as bad as Milton and gets paid more than double what Milton made.

AND everyone knew how bad it was at the time of the signing- and that was before the market tanked.

Sea Ray
08-12-2009, 02:42 PM
AND everyone knew how bad it was at the time of the signing- and that was before the market tanked.

And then there were those on Redszone who propped up Silva as a reason why Arroyo's contract was market value while I complained that he was overpaid...

flyer85
08-12-2009, 02:42 PM
the guy really is a pimp ... that is the only explanation

jojo
08-12-2009, 02:43 PM
And then there were those on Redszone who propped up Silva as a reason why Arroyo's contract was market value while I complained that he was overpaid...

I doubt there were very many.

flyer85
08-12-2009, 02:43 PM
I think Bavasi should have to get a big red S tattooed on his forehead.too bad Mr Sexson's contract wasn't around for this

jojo
08-12-2009, 02:45 PM
too bad Mr Sexson's contract was around for this

Personally I think that it's too bad that making Bavasi tattoo a scarlet alphabet on his forehead wouldn't be too far from accurate.... :cool:

Homer Bailey
08-12-2009, 02:45 PM
It just makes it that much more insulting that Walt got "had" by the worst GM in baseball.

bucksfan2
08-12-2009, 02:45 PM
Here is the way I look at those 11 bad contracts.

Hafner, Rios, and Wells all made sense at the time. All were extended early the way most successful small market teams opperate. Hafner seemed to have a game changing bat at 1b/DH. Rios and Wells looked like a very good outfield combination to build around at the time. No one really knew what kind of nose dive they would take. I wonder what people at the time were saying about the contracts. IIRC Wells at the time was a rising star who would have made some real loot on the FA market.

Suppan and Silva signed at the peak of FA for pitchers. #3 type starters were getting $10M/year. It is just the way the market was going. IMO both pitchers would have gotten similar money elsewhere.

BJ Ryan and Wood were pretty stupid contracts. Both were good closers at the time they signed, just got paid too much. As Poz says Ryan's decline has a lot to do with his arm injury.


IMO that leaves me with the 4 worst contracts in baseball. Matthews, Soriano, Guillen, and Zito. Matthews got paid after a good, PED enhanced season. He is being paid to be a 4th outfielder. Soriano got paid after a huge year in DC. Zito got a ridiculous contract that most people in the industry scoffed at. Never a good idea to sign a headcase to a big time deal. Guillen fit that mold.

jojo
08-12-2009, 02:47 PM
Guillen wasn't a one year deal. Dayton Moore signed Guillen to 3 years/$36M and a traveling loveshack.

Homer Bailey
08-12-2009, 02:48 PM
There is zero defending the Wells deal. It did not make sense and will never make sense. One of the worst contracts I've ever seen, if not the worst.

bucksfan2
08-12-2009, 02:49 PM
Guillen wasn't a one year deal. Dayton Moore signed Guillen to 3 years/$36M and a traveling loveshack.

Misread that. I corrected my post.

flyer85
08-12-2009, 02:54 PM
Hafner, Rios, and Wells all made sense at the time. not really. Hafner was having injury problems and was already in decline while looking very much like someone who might have had PED induced numbers.

Neither Wells or Rios was ever that good.

all are good examples of the risk of long term contracts for small market teams.

The Reds problem for 2010 is that they have 3 aging pitchers who would do well to earn half of the value they will be paid. That is a huge anvil to hang around the neck of the team.

bucksfan2
08-12-2009, 02:56 PM
Darren Rovell has a good article on come bad contracts as well http://www.cnbc.com/id/32333349


Bernard Gilkey played his last game with the Arizona Diamondbacks more than nine years ago and yet, when the former Major League outfielder opens his mailbox these days, he still finds checks from the team.

In fact, Gilkey’s final payoff figures to be somewhere around his 51st birthday.

It’s one of those unique business stories rarely told, when teams defer salaries years into the future to save some money in the present.

The Arizona Diamondbacks payroll shows up at around $73 million this season, but in reality, the team that has likely deferred more money than any other in the history of sports, will cut checks totaling $90 million.

Those payments not only go to active players like Dan Haren and Mark Reynolds, but the team will also be paying off past players like Gilkey, Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, Armando Reynoso, Curt Schilling, Matt Williams and Roberto Alomar.

The Diamondbacks past ownership was all about doing what they had to to win. It worked. In 2001, they agreed to pay its roster of players $85 million and beat the Yankees in the World Series that year. But doing what they had to do to win also meant deferring $244 million that they owed to players.

When Ken Kendrick took over the team in 2004, the Diamondbacks started paying back. The payment schedule was sped up when baseball changed the debt rules a couple years ago.

Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall said that the team paid off $16 million this year and will pay off $15 million in 2010, $14 million in 2011 and $13 million in 2012. By 2013, the Diamondbacks will have less than $1.5 million to pay off. Matt Williams’ payments come off in 2014 and Gilkey, whose annual checks go up to as much as $1 million, will be the last one to come off the books in 2017.

“When fans look at our payroll, they don’t realize that we’re also paying former players,” Hall said.

Gilkey, who played 12 seasons in the league, played 161 games with the Diamondbacks from 1998-2000, earned about $12 million for his work. By deferring it, he obviously gets paid in installments and gets a bit more since the team pays between 2 and 7 percent interest on the owed money.

The most interesting salary deferral story could be the one of Bobby Bonilla. The Mets will reportedly pay from 2011 to 2035 for the $5.9 million salary they owe him from 2000, a season in which he didn’t even play for the team.

The team supposedly invested the money so that they’d actually make more than they’d have to pay out, even after interest payments were calculated. A Mets spokesman only said that Bonilla’s contract was deferred, but would not say the amount or comment on the payment schedule.

westofyou
08-12-2009, 03:17 PM
Darren Rovell has a good article on come bad contracts as well http://www.cnbc.com/id/32333349

The Braves have been paying Al Hrbasoky 179 K a year since 1979, this is the last year he'll get that check.

princeton
08-12-2009, 03:21 PM
I think that he's correct to project CoCo as a contract waiting to blow up, as people here have been doing for about 14 months.

however, if CoCo performs at this level for another year, you've got to say that he earned his money and count it as a very good signing. I never expected to get four fine years; I would be thrilled with three consecutive fine ones, with the opportunity to then make a trade.

Reds have Bavasi to show the way into financial trouble. "hey, how come you guys always do the opposite of what I suggest?"

BuckeyeRedleg
08-12-2009, 03:24 PM
Vernon Wells looks to be the kind of player the Reds would be acquiring in a few years.

M2
08-12-2009, 04:48 PM
I thought Kerry Wood was widely considered a good contract until the season started. Just goes to show that performance ultimately determines whether it's a good or bad contract.

Along those line, as princeton noted, Cordero's one good year from paying off. I know that "Free Agent Earns Money" makes for a lousy headline, but it just might happen in this case.

NJReds
08-12-2009, 05:02 PM
Two ex-Marlins should qualify:

Luis Castillo (Mets) got a 4 year/$24M contract with bad knees and nobody else much interested in signing him.

I'm not sure what the Dodgers are paying Juan Pierre, but it's too much.

traderumor
08-12-2009, 05:06 PM
Along those line, as princeton noted, Cordero's one good year from paying off. I know that "Free Agent Earns Money" makes for a lousy headline, but it just might happen in this case.You would think he gets paid enough to cover first ;)

redsfandan
08-12-2009, 05:55 PM
Another contract that has not bombed yet but probably will: Francisco Cordero — 4 years, $46 million. Two more years in Cincinnati at $12 million, plus a club option. This does not look like a bad deal at the moment — Cordero is having a sensational year at 34. But a wise baseball man man once told me: If you have a team whose highest paid player is the closer, you have a bad team.
I don't understand how anyone can say that was a very good signing for the Reds.

Benihana
08-12-2009, 05:57 PM
I don't understand how anyone can say that was a very good signing for the Reds.

In a vacuum it is a good deal. Within the context of the Reds, it will never be a good deal.

redsfandan
08-12-2009, 05:59 PM
Yep, a team like the yankees or Red Sox can get away with giving a closer that much but the Reds can't.

M2
08-12-2009, 06:06 PM
I don't understand how anyone can say that was a very good signing for the Reds.

Reds bullpen ERA by season:

2004 - 5.19
2005 - 4.82
2006 - 4.44
2007 - 5.13
2008 - 3.81
2009 - 3.61

Complain until you're blue in the face about the money, but don't tell me it didn't sort out a lousy bullpen.

redsfandan
08-12-2009, 06:11 PM
You're kidding right? There are always ways to fix a problem. Throwing a TON of money at one good player is one way to help fix the problem. But then we have too much $ stuck in a player that doesn't even pitch 80 ip/yr. If you just want to throw out the bullpen era over the last 5 years to justify overpaying for him then fine you win if that's all that matters to you. I'd just like to have the Reds spend money WISELY.

jojo
08-12-2009, 06:11 PM
The Cordero contract was bad and still is bad.

westofyou
08-12-2009, 06:12 PM
Reds bullpen ERA by season:

2004 - 5.19
2005 - 4.82
2006 - 4.44
2007 - 5.13
2008 - 3.81
2009 - 3.61

Complain until you're blue in the face about the money, but don't tell me it didn't sort out a lousy bullpen.

If you have to put a fire out with champagne, once the fire is out is it really pertinent to point out that you just wasted a nice bottle of champagne, or do you just enjoy the lack of fires?

BCubb2003
08-12-2009, 06:13 PM
The Braves have been paying Al Hrbasoky 179 K a year since 1979, this is the last year he'll get that check.

I have to question whether he earned it this year. His counting stats are nothing and his peripherals aren't so hot, either.

jojo
08-12-2009, 06:19 PM
If you have to put a fire out with champagne, once the fire is out is it really pertinent to point out that you just wasted a nice bottle of champagne, or do you just enjoy the lack of fires?

Does it matter if the shack has no roof and it's raining? :cool:

Cordero was paid roughly twice as much as what his production was projected to be worth and that was assuming that he would be good.

M2
08-12-2009, 06:45 PM
If you have to put a fire out with champagne, once the fire is out is it really pertinent to point out that you just wasted a nice bottle of champagne, or do you just enjoy the lack of fires?

I'd enjoy the lack of fires. Then again, like you, I enjoy baseball for the baseball too.

There's always a million different ways to do something, but the fact is that, from a pure baseball perspective, the Cordero deal worked. The Reds had a crud bullpen in desperate need of finding a working order and Cordero's proven to be guy around whom a better unit could be organized.

Four years of the worst bullpens most living Reds fans have ever seen and it got fixed. Over 525 IP per season the 2008-9 bullpen is 70 earned runs better than the 2004-7 model. I'd say that's worth a fair sum of money.

And yet people gotta throw rocks.

Ltlabner
08-12-2009, 06:53 PM
And yet people gotta throw rocks.

Of course, you can't have a player making all that money to play a childs game. It just isn't right.

edabbs44
08-12-2009, 06:56 PM
I'd enjoy the lack of fires. Then again, like you, I enjoy baseball for the baseball too.

There's always a million different ways to do something, but the fact is that, from a pure baseball perspective, the Cordero deal worked. The Reds had a crud bullpen in desperate need of finding a working order and Cordero's proven to be guy around whom a better unit could be organized.

Four years of the worst bullpens most living Reds fans have ever seen and it got fixed. Over 525 IP per season the 2008-9 bullpen is 70 earned runs better than the 2004-7 model. I'd say that's worth a fair sum of money.

And yet people gotta throw rocks.

Have to disagree here. Maybe he has performed well, but the point of the game is to win games. If the team doesn't win, then every big money deal made can be questioned.

The Cordero signing was great in a rotisserie sense, but in the real game it is a loser.

westofyou
08-12-2009, 06:57 PM
Of course, you can't have a player making all that money to play a childs game. It just isn't right.

The game was popularized by rich merchants on the east coast, spread aroudn the country by men with beards and guns, it's been popular longer with adults than children, the rules were crafted by adults and passed on to the kids.

I'd venture to say that all 4 major sports were created by adults for adults during an era that was just discovering adult play as a means of rounding out a fuller life. As for the money, the people showed up in droves, but it was an adult who decided to enclose the game in a fence and charge admission for it.

Once that happened it could nevr belong just to children.

jojo
08-12-2009, 07:01 PM
I'd enjoy the lack of fires. Then again, like you, I enjoy baseball for the baseball too.

There's always a million different ways to do something, but the fact is that, from a pure baseball perspective, the Cordero deal worked. The Reds had a crud bullpen in desperate need of finding a working order and Cordero's proven to be guy around whom a better unit could be organized.

Four years of the worst bullpens most living Reds fans have ever seen and it got fixed. Over 525 IP per season the 2008-9 bullpen is 70 earned runs better than the 2004-7 model. I'd say that's worth a fair sum of money.

And yet people gotta throw rocks.

Those runs are not all attributable to Cordero though.

BTW, one can still enjoy baseball for the baseball immensely and still think the Cordero deal was a bad one.

The Reds are paying $20M for their pen (ERA=3.61). The Ms are paying $4M for theirs (ERA=3.87).

Over 344 innings (the # logged by the Reds pen this season), that translates into the Reds pen being 10 runs better than the Ms pen.... That's $1.6M per run. Ouch.

Rojo
08-12-2009, 07:05 PM
Thing with closers - 80% of the production at half the cost won't do.

TheNext44
08-12-2009, 07:25 PM
I'd enjoy the lack of fires. Then again, like you, I enjoy baseball for the baseball too.

There's always a million different ways to do something, but the fact is that, from a pure baseball perspective, the Cordero deal worked. The Reds had a crud bullpen in desperate need of finding a working order and Cordero's proven to be guy around whom a better unit could be organized.

Four years of the worst bullpens most living Reds fans have ever seen and it got fixed. Over 525 IP per season the 2008-9 bullpen is 70 earned runs better than the 2004-7 model. I'd say that's worth a fair sum of money.

And yet people gotta throw rocks.


I think that is why the rocks are being thrown. Not that Cordero hasn't fixed the bullpen, but that there were many, cheaper, better ways to fix it.

Remember the problem wasn't the 9th inning, it was the 8th. Keep Weathers as the "closer" (which means he faces the end of the lineup with a three run lead most of the time, which he can, and did handle fine both times he was it in the past), and sign, or trade for a young power arm as the set up guy. I'm not sure if he was available, but a guy like Juan Cruz, would have cost 1/4 as much and probably fixed the bullpen just as well.

westofyou
08-12-2009, 07:34 PM
I think that is why the rocks are being thrown. Not that Cordero hasn't fixed the bullpen, but that there were many, cheaper, better ways to fix it.

Remember the problem wasn't the 9th inning, it was the 8th. Keep Weathers as the "closer" (which means he faces the end of the lineup with a three run lead most of the time, which he can, and did handle fine both times he was it in the past), and sign, or trade for a young power arm as the set up guy. I'm not sure if he was available, but a guy like Juan Cruz, would have cost 1/4 as much and probably fixed the bullpen just as well.

6.17 ERA for Cruz this year, 3 million a year, and he wasn't available when Cordero was signed.

Ltlabner
08-12-2009, 07:38 PM
6.17 ERA for Cruz this year, 3 million a year, and he wasn't available when Cordero was signed.

Other than that....

TheNext44
08-12-2009, 07:46 PM
6.17 ERA for Cruz this year, 3 million a year, and he wasn't available when Cordero was signed.

Ooops. That was off the top of my head.

But for three years before that, he was one of the best setup men in baseball, so good in fact, that he was a Type A free agents (making the Royals signing of him even dumber).

If I had the time I could find around 5 decent relievers the Reds could have signed in the winter of 2007 that would have made more sense than Cordero.

Rojo
08-12-2009, 08:12 PM
Ooops. That was off the top of my head.

But for three years before that, he was one of the best setup men in baseball, so good in fact, that he was a Type A free agents (making the Royals signing of him even dumber).

Remember when Jared Burton was the answer?

I'm a convert on big-time closers. I used to think any ol' Ted Power would do. But over the years I noticed what a tough time teams have grabbing a ring without one.

Closer may be the one position where you have to hear the music rather than read the notes.

fearofpopvol1
08-12-2009, 08:18 PM
I'd enjoy the lack of fires. Then again, like you, I enjoy baseball for the baseball too.

There's always a million different ways to do something, but the fact is that, from a pure baseball perspective, the Cordero deal worked. The Reds had a crud bullpen in desperate need of finding a working order and Cordero's proven to be guy around whom a better unit could be organized.

Four years of the worst bullpens most living Reds fans have ever seen and it got fixed. Over 525 IP per season the 2008-9 bullpen is 70 earned runs better than the 2004-7 model. I'd say that's worth a fair sum of money.

And yet people gotta throw rocks.

I actually agree with you. If a team has a big problem, you fix it. Even if it means overpaying for it. Nearly EVERY team in baseball overpays for some need at some point in time.

fearofpopvol1
08-12-2009, 08:19 PM
Those runs are not all attributable to Cordero though.

BTW, one can still enjoy baseball for the baseball immensely and still think the Cordero deal was a bad one.

The Reds are paying $20M for their pen (ERA=3.61). The Ms are paying $4M for theirs (ERA=3.87).

Over 344 innings (the # logged by the Reds pen this season), that translates into the Reds pen being 10 runs better than the Ms pen.... That's $1.6M per run. Ouch.

And the M's are also overpaying ridiculously for 1/5 of their rotation with Silva. No team is perfect and the majority of teams overpay to address "needs."

jojo
08-12-2009, 08:20 PM
Guys like Rios and Beltre are considered bad contracts because they're paid almost exactly what their production is worth on the market and they can play positions that aren't all that easy to fill. Yet Cordero is considered a good contract because he's paid roughly double what his production is worth and guys like Ryan Franklin can post almost identical numbers?

jojo
08-12-2009, 08:24 PM
And the M's are also overpaying ridiculously for 1/5 of their rotation with Silva. No team is perfect and the majority of teams overpay to address "needs."

The culprit of that bit of nonsense is now the Reds VP of Scouting, Player Dev. and International Ops and will probably never get another chance to be a GM.

edabbs44
08-12-2009, 08:25 PM
Remember when Jared Burton was the answer?

I'm a convert on big-time closers. I used to think any ol' Ted Power would do. But over the years I noticed what a tough time teams have grabbing a ring without one.

Closer may be the one position where you have to hear the music rather than read the notes.

That would make more sense if Cincy were better. If you are a good team and really need a closer, then do it right and go get yourself one. But if you suck, then why give the most money ever to a reliever?

cincrazy
08-12-2009, 08:28 PM
The culprit of that bit of nonsense is now the Reds VP of Scouting, Player Dev. and International Ops and will probably never get another chance to be a GM.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't give Bob any ideas.

15fan
08-12-2009, 08:36 PM
In 2007 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2007-pitching.shtml), the Reds' bullpen had 62 Save chances. It converted 34 and blew 28. That's a 55% conversion rate, and the league average was 65%.

In 2008 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2008-pitching.shtml) the Reds' bullpen had 55 Save chances. It converted 34 and blew 21. That's a 62% conversion rate, same as the league average. Same number of saves, despite 7 fewer opportunities.

So far in 2009 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2009-pitching.shtml), the Reds' bullpen has had 31 save chances, converted 26 and blown only 5. That's an 84% success rate, compared to the league average of 62%.

I find it tough to argue that the Cordero signing hasn't worked out rather well for the Reds.

Rojo
08-12-2009, 08:40 PM
That would make more sense if Cincy were better. If you are a good team and really need a closer, then do it right and go get yourself one. But if you suck, then why give the most money ever to a reliever?


Because the thought was they'd compete 2009-2011.

jojo
08-12-2009, 08:45 PM
In 2007 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2007-pitching.shtml), the Reds' bullpen had 62 Save chances. It converted 34 and blew 28. That's a 55% conversion rate, and the league average was 65%.

In 2008 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2008-pitching.shtml) the Reds' bullpen had 55 Save chances. It converted 34 and blew 21. That's a 62% conversion rate, same as the league average. Same number of saves, despite 7 fewer opportunities.

So far in 2009 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2009-pitching.shtml), the Reds' bullpen has had 31 save chances, converted 26 and blown only 5. That's an 84% success rate, compared to the league average of 62%.

I find it tough to argue that the Cordero signing hasn't worked out rather well for the Reds.

So in his first year, his presence had a marginal effect on save percentage and in the second, things look peachy? Here's some more numbers:



Year Win% Div Rank
2007 0.444 5th
2008 0.457 5th
2009 0.438 5th


BTW, the Reds have devoted 16% of their payroll to the 9th inning but are tied for last in the major leagues for save opportunities.

M2
08-12-2009, 09:36 PM
The Cordero signing was great in a rotisserie sense, but in the real game it is a loser.

No, the Reds are just losers, but it's kind of silly to take them to task for the one thing they got right.


Those runs are not all attributable to Cordero though.

BTW, one can still enjoy baseball for the baseball immensely and still think the Cordero deal was a bad one.

The Reds are paying $20M for their pen (ERA=3.61). The Ms are paying $4M for theirs (ERA=3.87).

Over 344 innings (the # logged by the Reds pen this season), that translates into the Reds pen being 10 runs better than the Ms pen.... That's $1.6M per run. Ouch.

I'd say the runs saved are attributable to a strategy in which Cordero was the key element.

You're 100% right to look at the the total bullpen expenditure instead of just the money spent on Cordero. And, yes, the Reds spend quite a bit in that area relative to the their total payroll. Then again, they had a persistent and painful problem with the pen until they pursued that new, more expensive strategy. They tried to do it on the cheap and it didn't work.

They could have done many different things, but this one happened to work and many of the others wouldn't have been nearly as successful. They could have gone after a guy who tanked, like Cruz or Kerry Wood did this season, and plowed the savings into a Carlos Silva (groundball pitcher, perfect for the GAB don't you know). The potential bad choices vastly outnumbered the good ones.

My take is every team would love to be so unfortunate as to overpay for things that work out as well as the Reds bullpen.


Not that Cordero hasn't fixed the bullpen, but that there were many, cheaper, better ways to fix it.

Cheaper I'll grant you. Better? The Reds have the 5th-best bullpen ERA in MLB. The four teams ahead of them all play in better pitching parks to boot. Chances are overwhelming that they'd have spent less and gotten less.

Expensive and damn good is still damn good.


I'm a convert on big-time closers. I used to think any ol' Ted Power would do. But over the years I noticed what a tough time teams have grabbing a ring without one.

Closer may be the one position where you have to hear the music rather than read the notes.

I'm with you.

Plus, "he's been great, but ..." strikes me as the perfect place to drop the conjunction. Worry about the wretched offense. Worry about the starting pitching. Worry about the prospects who've underwhelmed. The expensive closer is just fine.

nate
08-12-2009, 09:54 PM
Expensive and damn good is still damn good.

Yeah. Greatest move ever? No. But it's not like he's Eric Milton or the husk of Ken Griffey Jr. Dude is actually good.

Cyclone792
08-12-2009, 09:59 PM
I have serious problems paying jack to guys who contribute nothing, or worse, contribute negatively. The Reds of the Lost Decade have had a plethora of those players, so many that one could write a major thesis. In fact, if someone wrote a book on the Lost Decade, that'd be a major section (that'd actually be a fairly easy book to write, except the problem is nobody would want to read it unless some juicy inner details were exposed).

Paying lots of jack for very good players who actually contribute to winning? It's not ideal, but I have much less of a problem with it than the above. Sure, Cordero is overpaid, but Cordero's produced. I'm perfectly content with that.

OnBaseMachine
08-12-2009, 10:03 PM
I have serious problems paying jack to guys who contribute nothing, or worse, contribute negatively. The Reds of the Lost Decade have had a plethora of those players, so many that one could write a major thesis. In fact, if someone wrote a book on the Lost Decade, that'd be a major section (that'd actually be a fairly easy book to write, except the problem is nobody would want to read it unless some juicy inner details were exposed).

Paying lots of jack for very good players who actually contribute to winning? It's not ideal, but I have much less of a problem with it than the above. Sure, Cordero is overpaid, but Cordero's produced. I'm perfectly content with that.

I agree. Good post.

fearofpopvol1
08-12-2009, 10:12 PM
The culprit of that bit of nonsense is now the Reds VP of Scouting, Player Dev. and International Ops and will probably never get another chance to be a GM.

Right and I understand that. My point is that most teams overpay for some sort of "need" and more times than not, overpaying tends to not work out. Cordero is one instance where the overpaying has been fine. Dude has been good and it's hard to complain about a player being good, even if he's paid more than market value.

jojo
08-12-2009, 10:19 PM
I generally have no problem with paying market rates or even overpaying in the proper situation (when it's paying for the final wins that dramatically increase the team's chances of making the playoffs).

But neither of those circumstances apply to Cordero's contract. Worse, the Reds dumped the money on a bullpen arm.

They have devoted 16% of their payroll this season to 4% of their innings at a time when they skimped to fill holes in center and short in the offseason while dumpster diving for corner outfielders.

They still have no real long term solution for catcher, shortstop, centerfield, thirdbase, or one of the corner outfield spots.

Right now it looks like they have less than $5M to spend on the free agent market unless they significantly increase payroll.

Anyway, that's my rant and I acknowledge that Cordero is a good pitcher.

Jocketty has a tough job ahead if the Reds are to a playoff contender before Cordero's option year.

Cyclone792
08-12-2009, 10:30 PM
They have devoted 16% of their payroll this season to 4% of their innings at a time when they skimped to fill holes in center and short in the offseason while dumpster diving for corner outfielders.

They still have no real long term solution for catcher, shortstop, centerfield, thirdbase, or one of the corner outfield spots.

Right now it looks like they have less than $5M to spend on the free agent market unless they significantly increase payroll.

Anyway, that's my rant and I acknowledge that Cordero is a good pitcher.

Jocketty has a tough job ahead if the Reds are to a playoff contender before Cordero's option year.

The Reds will dumpster dive for lousy players regardless if they have Cordero or don't have Cordero. That's what the Reds do. That's the epitomy of the Lost Decade. They're cheap. They're stupid. They're the Pirates and Royals with a different name and a different color uniform. And they currently have a complete inability to identify any type of positive offensive production at any price. I'm thrilled at all that they even managed to hit on Cordero; that's like a win itself.

The amount of money that the Reds have blown in the last nine years on just plain BAD players is what's staggering, and that's the type of organizational change we'll have to see before this franchise becomes worth anybody's time or money. That's the chunk that kills, the chunk that keeps the Lost Decade in our living rooms on a nightly basis, and that chunk is considerably larger than the money Cordero will receive.

mbgrayson
08-12-2009, 11:06 PM
In 2007 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2007-pitching.shtml), the Reds' bullpen had 62 Save chances. It converted 34 and blew 28. That's a 55% conversion rate, and the league average was 65%.

In 2008 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2008-pitching.shtml) the Reds' bullpen had 55 Save chances. It converted 34 and blew 21. That's a 62% conversion rate, same as the league average. Same number of saves, despite 7 fewer opportunities.

So far in 2009 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2009-pitching.shtml), the Reds' bullpen has had 31 save chances, converted 26 and blown only 5. That's an 84% success rate, compared to the league average of 62%.

I find it tough to argue that the Cordero signing hasn't worked out rather well for the Reds.

It isn't tough at all. Even completely accepting your numbers (good work!), I have to ask how you can think the money is worth it?

The Reds are 49-64, 13.5 games out of first place after tonight's loss to the Cards. If they had blown a league average percentage of saves (38%)instead of only 16%, they might have lost 6 or 7 more games. (Maybe not: a blown save doesn't mean you lose, just that you blew the lead. You can still come back and win the game...)

What could the Reds have done with an extra $12 million in payroll this year? A couple more strong international signings? Not had to worry about signability so much in the draft? A free agent shortstop or outfielder? And this year's $12 million combines with last year's $10 million, and now you are talking money that really could start to make a difference.

Instead, we signed Cordero, and the only result is that supposedly we won 6 or 7 extra games, causing us to pick 8th instead of 3rd in the draft this year, and we will pick 5th or 6th instead of 2nd or 3rd next year.

Also, we lost our second round pick last year by signing Cordero.

I am happy that Cordero has performed well so far, but it is like putting a new coat of paint on a broken down old car that doesn't run: it really just wastes money that should have been spent elsewhere.

M2
08-12-2009, 11:31 PM
Also, we lost our second round pick last year by signing Cordero.

Coulda had Seth Lintz.

edabbs44
08-12-2009, 11:35 PM
I have serious problems paying jack to guys who contribute nothing, or worse, contribute negatively. The Reds of the Lost Decade have had a plethora of those players, so many that one could write a major thesis. In fact, if someone wrote a book on the Lost Decade, that'd be a major section (that'd actually be a fairly easy book to write, except the problem is nobody would want to read it unless some juicy inner details were exposed).

Paying lots of jack for very good players who actually contribute to winning? It's not ideal, but I have much less of a problem with it than the above. Sure, Cordero is overpaid, but Cordero's produced. I'm perfectly content with that.

Just because there have been worse signings than Cordero doesn't make it a good signing. IF this team is closer to contention in 2010-2011, the contract will really be a winner, especially when this guy is 36 or whatever he'll be.

ochre
08-13-2009, 12:21 AM
Reds bullpen ERA by season:

2004 - 5.19
2005 - 4.82
2006 - 4.44 Hey! Ryan Franklin sighting!
2007 - 5.13
2008 - 3.81
2009 - 3.61

Complain until you're blue in the face about the money, but don't tell me it didn't sort out a lousy bullpen.

I'd pay Dave Duncan Cordero money. :)

Ltlabner
08-13-2009, 06:57 AM
Instead, we signed Cordero, and the only result is that supposedly we won 6 or 7 extra games, causing us to pick 8th instead of 3rd in the draft this year, and we will pick 5th or 6th instead of 2nd or 3rd next year.

Also, we lost our second round pick last year by signing Cordero.


So your "strategy" is to simply suck so bad you get the #1 pick, assume that the #1 pick will go all Pojols on you, sit back and watch the winning ensue?

Sorry, that's the sort of lunacy that fits right into the rest of the bad decisions that comprise the Lost Decade.

gonelong
08-13-2009, 10:03 AM
If the Reds are ever going to win, they will have to do so with more than a handful of players that produce on the cheap. Even so, even with luck, skill, and impeccable timing you will still need to pay some actual talent the going rate. We have enough dreck on the roster, in the lineup, and in key lineup slots that I'll not likely be complaining about having some actual MLB caliber talent on the team. Thus Coco (and Rolen) don't bother me much. I'm much more PO'd by Taveras and the like.

GL

edabbs44
08-13-2009, 11:36 AM
So your "strategy" is to simply suck so bad you get the #1 pick, assume that the #1 pick will go all Pojols on you, sit back and watch the winning ensue?

Sorry, that's the sort of lunacy that fits right into the rest of the bad decisions that comprise the Lost Decade.

Where does "Giving the most money ever to a 30+ year old relief pitcher, one who lost his job as closer in Texas 2 or so years prior, while the rest of the team sucks, not to mention that the deal is for 4 years" fit?

M2
08-13-2009, 12:04 PM
Theoretically, you could argue the team should refrain from paying any player seven digits if it's not going to win at least 90 games. It's just variations of paying a lot of scratch for X while the rest of the team sucks. Might as well embrace the purity of paying for nothing short of complete deliverance.

edabbs44
08-13-2009, 12:13 PM
Theoretically, you could argue the team should refrain from paying any player seven digits if it's not going to win at least 90 games. It's just variations of paying a lot of scratch for X while the rest of the team sucks. Might as well embrace the purity of paying for nothing short of complete deliverance.

There is a diff between paying someone 7 digits and breaking records with reliever FAs.

Highlifeman21
08-13-2009, 12:15 PM
So your "strategy" is to simply suck so bad you get the #1 pick, assume that the #1 pick will go all Pojols on you, sit back and watch the winning ensue?

Sorry, that's the sort of lunacy that fits right into the rest of the bad decisions that comprise the Lost Decade.

Sounds like the "keep the fingers crossed" method...

Sure fire winner for the Queen City...

M2
08-13-2009, 12:19 PM
There is a diff between paying someone 7 digits and breaking records with reliever FAs.

Sure, but it all goes down the same rabbit hole - don't pay for quality if that quality doesn't make the team a winner.

jojo
08-13-2009, 12:22 PM
Paying for performance isn't an inherently bad thing.

Cordero's contract for the Reds however is like spending a significant portion of the kitchen remodeling budget on a really nice chandelier when the kitchen still needs a fridge, stove, flooring and counter tops.

Highlifeman21
08-13-2009, 12:24 PM
Theoretically, you could argue the team should refrain from paying any player seven digits if it's not going to win at least 90 games. It's just variations of paying a lot of scratch for X while the rest of the team sucks. Might as well embrace the purity of paying for nothing short of complete deliverance.

Deliverance you say?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8

Except it's not really dueling banjos, but a banjo and a guitar.

M2
08-13-2009, 12:38 PM
Paying for performance isn't an inherently bad thing.

Cordero's contract for the Reds however is like spending a significant portion of the kitchen remodeling budget on a really nice chandelier when the kitchen still needs a fridge, stove, flooring and counter tops.

They tried to fix the floor, counters and appliances too, but got it wrong. At least the expensive lighting works.

HeatherC1212
08-13-2009, 01:23 PM
I have more of a problem with the contracts that were given out to Tavaras, Lincoln, and Weathers than I do with Cordero's contract. :thumbdown

Highlifeman21
08-13-2009, 08:18 PM
I have more of a problem with the contracts that were given out to Tavaras, Lincoln, and Weathers than I do with Cordero's contract. :thumbdown

Weathers is no longer a problem for our general ledger.

Taveras and Lincoln, however....

redsfandan
08-14-2009, 10:57 AM
Saw this on mlbtraderumors.com:

High-Priced Closers By Eddie Schmid [August 13 at 9:06pm CST]

There was a user here that stated roughly "If the closer is the highest-paid player on your team, you're not destined for great things." With that in mind, let's take a look at the highest-priced relievers in the game who were signed to specifically be closers.

Earlier in the decade, a free-agent closer earning $10MM per year looked fairly implausible, but it seems the dominance of players like Mariano Rivera and Eric Gagne made teams salivate at the thought of an unhittable late-game fireman. Since then, closers have become increasingly expensive and the results have been mixed. Let's look at what the top contracts have produced for teams, whether they're the highest contracts on the team or not:

•B.J. Ryan - Signed a five-year, $47MM contract in 2005. One brilliant season (2006), one good one (2008), one completely missed season (2007) and now out of a job with another year to go on his contract. The Blue Jays didn't make the playoffs.

•Joe Nathan - Signed a four-year, $47MM contract in 2008. He's been fantastic, putting up sub-2 ERAs and saving 68 games while blowing nine. But the Twins are five games back and look like they'll miss the playoffs this year, as they did last.

•Mariano Rivera - Signed a four-year, $40MM deal in 2001, a two-year, $21MM deal with vesting option in 2005 and a three-year, $45MM contract in 2008. Rivera has been exceptionally brilliant since he was given his big deal in '01, putting up five seasons of sub-2 ERA and 30-save seasons in all but one. Perhaps it's semi-notable that the Yankees haven't won a World Series since they first broke the bank on Rivera.

•Billy Wagner - Signed a four-year, $43MM deal in late 2005. Pitched magnificently for two and a half seasons until he was forced to have elbow surgery last season. Mets made NLCS in 2006.

•Francisco Rodriguez - Signed a three-year, $37MM deal w/$17.5MM option in 2008. Has been good but not great for the Mets this year, putting up a 3.35 ERA and 53/30 K/BB ratio in 51 IP. Mets aren't going to make the playoffs this year, but it can't really be traced to his performance.

•Francisco Cordero - Signed a four-year, $46MM deal in 2007. Cordero was good in 2008 and has been pretty great this season, posting a 1.79 ERA and 37/19 K/BB ratio. He's saved 59 games and blown only seven since last year, but the Reds continue to scuffle.

•Brian Fuentes - Signed a two-year, $17.5MM deal in 2008 with a vesting option for 2011. He's had a bumpy ride this season, but he's saved 32 games in 36 chances. Angels could be set for the playoffs.

•Brad Lidge - Signed a three-year, $37.5MM deal in 2008 w/Phillies. Has been erratic this year, posting a 7.29 ERA and 44/25 K/BB ratio and saving 21 of 28 games after a nearly flawless campaign last season. Phillies look committed to forge on with him, but will it cost them late in the season? We'll see.

•Kerry Wood - Signed a two-year, $20.5MM deal with vesting option for 2011 w/ Indians. Wood has been a frustrating sign, posting a 4.72 ERA and 45/19 K/BB ratio while saving 15 games and blowing five saves. Pretty big disappointment for the Indians, who were looking to contend this year and have now blown up their team.

So what can we learn from these? One prevailing trend is that the small-market teams (Blue Jays, Reds, Indians, Twins) have paid astronomical contracts to closers with few good results. While a closer may put up solid numbers here or there, the middling teams haven't seen their overall performance improve significantly, if at all, by the season's end. When a larger-market team invests, the player has usually rounded out an already robust squad--one with enough depth and cash to recover.

This conclusion has probably been made a few times, but there seems to be a correlation that shouldn't be ignored: Signing a high-priced closer long-term is likely to be an unwise move for a small-market team, as the risk of injury or sudden ineffectiveness is high. A closer isn't likely to be the piece to make a middling team a great one, and money would be well-spent on other resources.

Special thanks to Cot's Contracts.

M2
08-14-2009, 12:35 PM
Looks like that guy wrote the piece with a preconceived conclusion in hand.

Nathan's big contract put the Twins into a one-game playoff for the division title last season and he's a huge reason why this year's team still has a shot at playing October baseball. The two years where Ryan delivered for the Jays just happen to be the two best seasons the club has had this decade. I'd call those decent results.

And the four closers for the smaller market teams this guy listed have delivered on their contracts in 6 of 9 seasons for which they were paid, which doesn't look like high risk to me (which I would peg somewhere below 50%).

All this guy has discovered is that a good closer isn't panacea (no duh, neither is a good anything else) and that a lousy expensive closer can spell trouble (again, no duh).