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View Full Version : Y. Molina 5 yr $70M+ Deal?



757690
02-27-2012, 10:35 PM
According to Ken Rosenthal


Ken Rosenthal
@Ken_Rosenthal
Source: Molina five-year deal with #STLCards in $70M to $75M range. #MLB


Second highest paid catcher to Mauer.

mattfeet
02-27-2012, 10:50 PM
And he's a much better catcher than Mauer, too. I can't stand the guy, but he's worth every penny of that contract.

-Matt

The Operator
02-27-2012, 11:12 PM
It will take him through his age 35 season, which is pretty old in catcher years - especially for a catcher who plays as much as he does.

VR
02-27-2012, 11:31 PM
And he's a much better catcher than Mauer, too. I can't stand the guy, but he's worth every penny of that contract.

-Matt

I don't know that he will perform as well without el hombre, LaRusa, and Duncan in the fold

cincrazy
02-28-2012, 12:02 AM
I just laughed out loud at this deal. Molina is a hell of a catcher. BUT ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I think that's an incredible overpay. He's a great defensive catcher, and sure, good with intangibles and in the clubhouse. But $70 million? That's insane.

PuffyPig
02-28-2012, 12:16 AM
30 year old catcher, ridden hard his whole career, coming off a career year offensively with a career .707 OPS, based largely on a career best BABIP and a double FB/HR rate.

It's an insane contract, as his defense has started to regress.

Probably worse than the Pujols contract.

I like Molina, he's a great catcher, but this makes zero sense.

Zero chance this turns out good for the Cards.

kaldaniels
02-28-2012, 12:35 AM
Before Mike crafts his response I will admit...he HAS been a top catcher in the league. But will the Cards get 70 million worth of value from this deal?

757690
02-28-2012, 12:41 AM
My view on this type of deal is that it only matters if it has an effect on roster building. That is, does the contract prevent the Cards from acquiring other talent needed to help the team contend? Time will tell.

Blitz Dorsey
02-28-2012, 01:16 AM
I love it. As good as he is, I bet that contract ends up being an abyss for the Cards. I also love the fact St. Lou is spending the money it "saved" on not signing Pujols by giving big money to players like Carlos Beltran, Rafael Furcal and now Molina. Also, Berkman will be paid $12 million this year. That's an old team that is going to fall short of expectations. Also, losing their manager and excellent pitching coach will hurt.

Blitz Dorsey
02-28-2012, 01:18 AM
30 year old catcher, ridden hard his whole career, coming off a career year offensively with a career .707 OPS, based largely on a career best BABIP and a double FB/HR rate.

It's an insane contract, as his defense has started to regress.

Probably worse than the Pujols contract.

I like Molina, he's a great catcher, but this makes zero sense.

Zero chance this turns out good for the Cards.

This.

:beerme:

defender
02-28-2012, 01:48 AM
The Idea that a guy is a winner is one of the things people love about sports. Both recent Cardinal world champions were teams that exceeded their statistical talent level. I think any Cardinal fan will be happy that Molina gets what he deserves and will be around for 5 more years.

It is a move that makes the fans happy (the ultimate business of baseball) and makes the players happy. In the long run, it probably will have a positive effect on the pitching staff and maybe encourage other players to sign.

It is also part of the right message the team needs to send after letting Pujols walk. I don't like the Cardinals. I hope the move backfires, but the fan in me, likes it.

mth123
02-28-2012, 04:38 AM
Horrible deal for St. Louis.

RANDY IN INDY
02-28-2012, 07:01 AM
When you have as many aging veterans as the Cardinals, it will eventually bite them.

MattyHo4Life
02-28-2012, 07:30 AM
There is no doubt this is an overpay. Molina is great defensively, and great handling the pitching staff. The Cardinals have absolutely nobody to take his place though. Molina is also one of the most popular players on the team. Everybody knows that Molina is getting older. The Cardinals know that if they don't resign Molina now that he will leave like Pujols did. A 5 year contract isn't nearly as restricting on the club like a 10 year contract that it would have taken to resign Pujols. So is this an overpay? Yeah... it is. Is it a necessary move? It is very necessary, because the Cardinals have nobody to replace him inside or outside of the system. Adding a catcher like Molina as a FA or in a trade would be very difficult. It's also paying a player that has done a lot for the team throughout the years.

PuffyPig
02-28-2012, 07:41 AM
There is no doubt this is an overpay. Molina is great defensively, and great handling the pitching staff. The Cardinals have absolutely nobody to take his place though. Molina is also one of the most popular players on the team. Everybody knows that Molina is getting older. The Cardinals know that if they don't resign Molina now that he will leave like Pujols did. A 5 year contract isn't nearly as restricting on the club like a 10 year contract that it would have taken to resign Pujols. So is this an overpay? Yeah... it is. Is it a necessary move? It is very necessary, because the Cardinals have nobody to replace him inside or outside of the system. Adding a catcher like Molina as a FA or in a trade would be very difficult. It's also paying a player that has done a lot for the team throughout the years.



Nothing you've written can I disagree with.

But rather than pay an aging catcher $15M per season, better to get a cheap tandem like Hannigan/Hernandez like the Reds did while they wait to develop someone.

LoganBuck
02-28-2012, 07:49 AM
http://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/500/mr_burns_excellent.jpg

Nasty_Boy
02-28-2012, 08:34 AM
How will Chris Carpenter explain to his son that his catcher is getting 15 mil a year with a .700 OPS? I think the Cards really over paid Molina, especially in the long term. This could be a deal that bites the Cards in the rear before the contract comes full term.

Caveman Techie
02-28-2012, 09:10 AM
I for one am glad to see this. If the numbers reported are correct then the Cardinals are going to be paying a premium for an aging catcher that TLR rode hard. How many more years are still in Molina's knees?

Molina is one of those guys I just love to hate. I respect his talent, and can admire him for what he has done for the Cardinals, but I will never root for him to do well. Watching the Cardinals without Molina would have diminished the rivalry a little bit for me.

Jpup
02-28-2012, 09:50 AM
I'd rather have Hanigan than Molina. Really, but I am a homer.

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 10:39 AM
Before Mike crafts his response I will admit...he HAS been a top catcher in the league. But will the Cards get 70 million worth of value from this deal?

Well how do you quantify a player achieving 70 million in production, esp. at the catcher position? Molina is still the best defensive catcher in the game and is like a 2nd pitching coach. He calls one of the best games in the game. One of the best, if not the best, at framing a pitch. Also, teams just shut down the run game when facing him. Only 65 runners attempted to run on him last year. That is a very low amount for a catcher that catches as many innings as Molina does. I also look at the fact that his brothers have produced well at their later ages. Bengie was a very good catcher at 33 and there was decline at ages 34 and 35. Did the Cards overpay? Probably. However, he is a top 5 catcher in the game so the Cards are going to have to pay out a decent chunk of change to retain his services.

Also, before everyone gets excited about this team being old and they are spending a lot of money, the Cards signed all of their "old players", outside of Yadi and Holliday, to short term contracts. There is a ton of money (20-30 million) coming off the books next year and more money will come off the books in following years. It will be a situation where two or three years from now there are only going to be 3 big money guys (Holliday, Wainwright, Molina) on the Cards roster whos values equal about 50-60 million. For a team that has a payroll of over $100 million, that leaves a ton of room to add more quality players down the road. This Yadi contract isn't going to set back the organization nor will it hurt the Cards, financially, in the long run.

WildcatFan
02-28-2012, 11:38 AM
Strange deal. They must feel he's the best guy to bring along some of the young pitchers. Still, the Cards have A LOT of money coming off the books in the next 1-2 years, and this doesn't seem like the smartest place to start spending it. If I saw all that cash flowing in, I'd be dreaming much bigger than Yadi.

PuffyPig
02-28-2012, 11:58 AM
It will be a situation where two or three years from now there are only going to be 3 big money guys (Holliday, Wainwright, Molina) on the Cards roster whos values equal about 50-60 million. For a team that has a payroll of over $100 million, that leaves a ton of room to add more quality players down the road. This Yadi contract isn't going to set back the organization nor will it hurt the Cards, financially, in the long run.

So 50-60% of the payroll for 3 guys, leaving 40-50% for 22 more?

Of course, 2-3 years from now, a number of the Cards younger position players (do they really have any?) will start making bigger bucks as they go through their arbitration years. Guys like Jay, Craig, Freese presumably. Garcia will be making lots more then. Motte too. Assuming they are still good.

Every team on a budget has to be careful they they aren't wasting money as players age. If Molina is still producing it shouldn't hurt them. If he isn't, of course it will hurt them.

Molina hasn't been the defenisive wizard he once was. You only have to watch him play to see the start of defensive decline.

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 12:16 PM
So 50-60% of the payroll for 3 guys, leaving 40-50% for 22 more?

Of course, 2-3 years from now, a number of the Cards younger position players (do they really have any?) will start making bigger bucks as they go through their arbitration years. Guys like Jay, Craig, Freese presumably. Garcia will be making lots more then. Motte too. Assuming they are still good.

Every team on a budget has to be careful they they aren't wasting money as players age. If Molina is still producing it shouldn't hurt them. If he isn't, of course it will hurt them.

Molina hasn't been the defenisive wizard he once was. You only have to watch him play to see the start of defensive decline.

The reason why the Cards farm system is rated so high by many people is A. Shelby Miller and B. a lot of young players that have a ton of upside but are going into their first AAA season. The Cardinals young talent is about a year away from being major league ready. The Cards project to have a very young team about 2-3 years from now and guys like Kolten Wong and Matt Adams will have a lot of years in which the Cardinals have cost control. The Cards can also definently put a team on the field with 50-60 million payroll flexibility.

bucksfan2
02-28-2012, 12:23 PM
I am wondering if this is the dreaded "Thank you" contract. Thanks for your past performances so here is your future award. He has been a 120-140 game catcher which is a ton of wear on a guy. TLR rode him hard during his tenure as manager and I wonder if soorer rather than later that will begin to effect Molina.

I have a feeling that towards the end of his deal, he will either be a part time player, or a player that provides little on field value to the club.

Blitz Dorsey
02-28-2012, 01:30 PM
Ask the Yankees and Red Sox how things worked out giving big money to aging catchers as as basically "thank yous." (To use Bucksfan's good term.) Posada and Varitek were non-factors their entire final two seasons and only played as much as they did because of the DH. This isn't going to work out well in the NL. And if they day comes when Yadi Dadi We Like To Party has to move to third or first or something of that nature, his value will really plummet.

I agree it's one of those things the Cards had to do, but I would have played hardball here with Molina's agent. The Cards could have taken the stance of "We just allowed the best player in baseball to walk; we won't be caught in a bidding war for Molina. We'll pay market value but we're not giving away handouts."

Instead, they forked over $14 mil per season in a deal that will run from 2013-17. I would have tried to get it as close to $12 mil per season as possible. And if Molina's agent wouldn't budge off $14 mil, buh-bye.

Course, I'm smarter than GMs that just won the World Series. (Not really.)

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 02:16 PM
Ask the Yankees and Red Sox how things worked out giving big money to aging catchers as as basically "thank yous." (To use Bucksfan's good term.) Posada and Varitek were non-factors their entire final two seasons and only played as much as they did because of the DH. This isn't going to work out well in the NL. And if they day comes when Yadi Dadi We Like To Party has to move to third or first or something of that nature, his value will really plummet.

I agree it's one of those things the Cards had to do, but I would have played hardball here with Molina's agent. The Cards could have taken the stance of "We just allowed the best player in baseball to walk; we won't be caught in a bidding war for Molina. We'll pay market value but we're not giving away handouts."

Instead, they forked over $14 mil per season in a deal that will run from 2013-17. I would have tried to get it as close to $12 mil per season as possible. And if Molina's agent wouldn't budge off $14 mil, buh-bye.

Course, I'm smarter than GMs that just won the World Series. (Not really.)

I think you are forgetting that Molina is only 30 and that this contract will take him through his age 35 season. Posada and Varitek were both ancient at the end of the contracts (38 &39 for Posada and 38 & 39 for Varitek).

The whole financial outlook is where I think Reds fans and Cardinals fans differ. I just don't see $14 million for a top 3 catcher in the game as vastly overpaying. Looking at the different opinions within the Reds Zone since I have been here, people often worry a lot about paying player A making X ammount. From their perspective, it's a legit point to worry because of their club's financial situation. From my perspective, the Cards expenses do not keep me from wondering if they will be a competitive team except in rare, extreme situations like the Albert Pujols situation. The Cardinals simply do not have the save financial constraints as the Reds do. That is a fact, not hyperboli. The Cards made an absolute killing during the World Series, profit wise. I couldn't care less if they overpay slightly for a player that has been a great player for them since he came into the league. The Cardinals have the finances to where it won't drastically hurt them in signing Molina where as it would the Reds.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. Last year when Berkman signed that 8 million, one year deal, the majority of people in here felt the Cards way overpaid for him. My view was "that's it?". It's just a different sort of mentality because of where our two clubs stand on a financial basis. The Reds simply cannot get a 100 million payroll out there where as the Cards can raise their payroll significantly over the 100 million mark without really batting an eye.

kaldaniels
02-28-2012, 02:37 PM
I think you are forgetting that Molina is only 30 and that this contract will take him through his age 35 season. Posada and Varitek were both ancient at the end of the contracts (38 &39 for Posada and 38 & 39 for Varitek).

The whole financial outlook is where I think Reds fans and Cardinals fans differ. I just don't see $14 million for a top 3 catcher in the game as vastly overpaying. Looking at the different opinions within the Reds Zone since I have been here, people often worry a lot about paying player A making X ammount. From their perspective, it's a legit point to worry because of their club's financial situation. From my perspective, the Cards expenses do not keep me from wondering if they will be a competitive team except in rare, extreme situations like the Albert Pujols situation. The Cardinals simply do not have the save financial constraints as the Reds do. That is a fact, not hyperboli. The Cards made an absolute killing during the World Series, profit wise. I couldn't care less if they overpay slightly for a player that has been a great player for them since he came into the league. The Cardinals have the finances to where it won't drastically hurt them in signing Molina where as it would the Reds.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. Last year when Berkman signed that 8 million, one year deal, the majority of people in here felt the Cards way overpaid for him. My view was "that's it?". It's just a different sort of mentality because of where our two clubs stand on a financial basis. The Reds simply cannot get a 100 million payroll out there where as the Cards can raise their payroll significantly over the 100 million mark without really batting an eye.

Do you have Molina as a top 3 catcher in 2016? Maybe you do, I don't know.

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 02:54 PM
Do you have Molina as a top 3 catcher in 2016? Maybe you do, I don't know.

When you take his whole game into account, right now he is. No, he isn't going to be up there when it comes to offense for catchers (though last year he was) but his defense and the way he calls a game gives him the edge over the majority of catcher in the league. He has also turned into a really good offensive catcher. Teams would probably not want him to bat in the 3 hole but he is very good in the 5th and 6th spot in the order. I think batting him either 5th or 6th last year is one of the reasons why the Cards were able to have consistent offense all year long.

As far as him being a top catcher in 2016, probably not. That doesn't matter much to me though. I believe the Cards will get great production from him until the last year or so on his contract.

cincrazy
02-28-2012, 03:00 PM
When you take his whole game into account, right now he is. No, he isn't going to be up there when it comes to offense for catchers (though last year he was) but his defense and the way he calls a game gives him the edge over the majority of catcher in the league. He has also turned into a really good offensive catcher. Teams would probably not want him to bat in the 3 hole but he is very good in the 5th and 6th spot in the order. I think batting him either 5th or 6th last year is one of the reasons why the Cards were able to have consistent offense all year long.

As far as him being a top catcher in 2016, probably not. That doesn't matter much to me though. I believe the Cards will get great production from him until the last year or so on his contract.

He was a good offensive catcher last year, yes. That hasn't been the case most of his career. And it most assuredly won't be the case going forward as he ages. I respectfully disagree with your assertion that he's "only 30." I don't think that's something to ignore. 30 is up there for a catcher. Posada and Varitek aged better, but they had the DH to help them, and weren't run into the ground. Posada didn't become a regular catcher until very late, and Varitek had Mirabelli and others as solid backups in Boston.

I'm not looking at this contract from the eyes of a Reds fan. I don't care if it's the Yankees that signed him to this contract, I'd disagree with it still. There's no way in even three years, just in my opinion of course, that he's worth $14 million a year. Signing players past their age 30 season to big money extensions is risky business for ANY team, despite the extent of their resources. And while the Cards have more resources than the Reds, let's be real, they still have limitations. And when you have limitations, deals like this are risky.

bucksfan2
02-28-2012, 03:00 PM
I think you are forgetting that Molina is only 30 and that this contract will take him through his age 35 season. Posada and Varitek were both ancient at the end of the contracts (38 &39 for Posada and 38 & 39 for Varitek).

The whole financial outlook is where I think Reds fans and Cardinals fans differ. I just don't see $14 million for a top 3 catcher in the game as vastly overpaying. Looking at the different opinions within the Reds Zone since I have been here, people often worry a lot about paying player A making X ammount. From their perspective, it's a legit point to worry because of their club's financial situation. From my perspective, the Cards expenses do not keep me from wondering if they will be a competitive team except in rare, extreme situations like the Albert Pujols situation. The Cardinals simply do not have the save financial constraints as the Reds do. That is a fact, not hyperboli. The Cards made an absolute killing during the World Series, profit wise. I couldn't care less if they overpay slightly for a player that has been a great player for them since he came into the league. The Cardinals have the finances to where it won't drastically hurt them in signing Molina where as it would the Reds.

Molina, as good as he is not, won't be that good going forward. I looked at Pudge, a HOF caliber catcher, who caught late into his career. In his early 30's he was able to move off of C and into the DH slot on many days. Yadi doesn't have that luxury. His value is his defense and his durability. As he ages those two often take a back seat to father time.

The thing about contract extensions, it shouldn't be based on what you have been rather what you are going to be. The ironic thing is many Cards fans were ok with letting Pujols walk because he wouldn't be worth the contract as he aged. The same can be said about Molina yet those same fans think its a great deal.

cincrazy
02-28-2012, 03:01 PM
With all of that being said... I can understand your excitement at getting him locked up. I totally get that from your perspective. If I were in your shoes, maybe I'd feel the same way. He's been a big part of those clubs, and it's always nice to see one of your own get rewarded.

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 03:20 PM
The thing about contract extensions, it shouldn't be based on what you have been rather what you are going to be. The ironic thing is many Cards fans were ok with letting Pujols walk because he wouldn't be worth the contract as he aged. The same can be said about Molina yet those same fans think its a great deal.


Taking away the total pay for their contracts, Pujols and Molina are apples and oranges. Pujols was looking for a 10 year deal that would take him to age 42. Very few everyday players in the history of baseball have accomplished even replacement level value production at age 42. The proposed contract Molina is getting would take him to his age 35 season. That is a huge reason why Cardinals fans are more ok with this proposed Molina contract than Pujols. If Yadi was asking for a 10 year contract, that would be a no brainer bad contract. There have been several catchers in the history of baseball that have had good years 30-35. There have been very few cases where players from 35-42 have been great players. Only really Ted Williams bucks that trend.

If Pujols allowed the Cardinals to sign him for a 5 year deal that would take him to age 37, I think most Cards fans would be mad if the Cards didn't sign Pujols.

bucksfan2
02-28-2012, 03:48 PM
Taking away the total pay for their contracts, Pujols and Molina are apples and oranges. Pujols was looking for a 10 year deal that would take him to age 42. Very few everyday players in the history of baseball have accomplished even replacement level value production at age 42. The proposed contract Molina is getting would take him to his age 35 season. That is a huge reason why Cardinals fans are more ok with this proposed Molina contract than Pujols. If Yadi was asking for a 10 year contract, that would be a no brainer bad contract. There have been several catchers in the history of baseball that have had good years 30-35. There have been very few cases where players from 35-42 have been great players. Only really Ted Williams bucks that trend.

If Pujols allowed the Cardinals to sign him for a 5 year deal that would take him to age 37, I think most Cards fans would be mad if the Cards didn't sign Pujols.

I don't know. I think Molina at age 35 may just be comparable to Pujols at age 42. Basically what I am referencing is there is a huge amount of risk to both Pujols and Molina at the tail end of their contracts. Paying Molina a premium for his services at age 35 is a crapshoot at best. It may very well work out, but I think the odds are against him.

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 03:59 PM
I don't know. I think Molina at age 35 may just be comparable to Pujols at age 42. Basically what I am referencing is there is a huge amount of risk to both Pujols and Molina at the tail end of their contracts. Paying Molina a premium for his services at age 35 is a crapshoot at best. It may very well work out, but I think the odds are against him.

Well lets take the argument that at age 34 and 35 Molina all of a sudden needs a cane to walk. The Cardinals would be eating 28 million worth of bad contract. Now take Pujols. Lets say the best scenario is that he is a brilliant player until age 40 (which he probably won't). That would mean the last two years of his contract would be bad. The Cards would be absorbing 50 million worth of bad contract if the Cards signed Pujols. To me, there is no question which scenario I would rather have. The Cards have the financial ability to absorb 2 years of a bad contract worth 14 million per year. Heck, the Cards have been paying Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook about 10 million each and it hasn't effected their ability to win, lol.

RedsManRick
02-28-2012, 04:01 PM
If the recent studies on the impact of catcher defense are to believed, Yadi may very well earn that contract.

757690
02-28-2012, 04:14 PM
If the recent studies on the impact of catcher defense are to believed, Yadi may very well earn that contract.

I have to agree with you and Mike on this.

I remember Earl Weaver saying that Rick Dempsey could go the whole year without a hit and still be his starting catcher. Obviously that is hyperbole, but Molina is that type of catcher. He's the captain of the infield and an extra pitching coach. His true value to the team is probably immeasurable.

MikeThierry
02-28-2012, 04:24 PM
I have to agree with you and Mike on this.

I remember Earl Weaver saying that Rick Dempsey could go the whole year without a hit and still be his starting catcher. Obviously that is hyperbole, but Molina is that type of catcher. He's the captain of the infield and an extra pitching coach. His true value to the team is probably immeasurable.

LaRussa also said that Molina doesn't even have to get a single hit for him to be valuable to the club (something along those lines). I agree with you that when talking about catchers, intangibles really do matter and have to be taken into account.

Also, I want to let everyone know that the numbers originally given are speculation. Nobody knows what the annual value will be until the ink is dry. I'm hearing local reports that its 5 years, 10-12 million per year. If it's around that 10-12 million level, that is certainly a managable contract in my opinion.

MattyHo4Life
02-28-2012, 06:16 PM
If Pujols allowed the Cardinals to sign him for a 5 year deal that would take him to age 37, I think most Cards fans would be mad if the Cards didn't sign Pujols.

The Cardinals offered Pujols a 5 year deal for $25Mil per year I believe, and he felt disrespected by the offer. I agree with you Mike, at 5 years...you pay him, but 10 years was just too much and would have crippled the organization for years to come.

The Cardinals knew that if they played hardball with Molina, that he would be gone just like Pujols. Molina has been the backbone of this club for years. There are so many intangibles that come with him that you don't see in stats. The same goes for Pujols, but in a different way. If the Cardinals re-signed Pujols, then they would have nobody to play catcher. No way could they afford both Pujols and Molina.

BoydsOfSummer
02-28-2012, 08:18 PM
Sitting on that type of cache, will he not look like he's crying all the time?

Wow--what kind of loot could Bench pull if he were playing now?

That contract looks about $25m too high to me, but what do I know.

vic715
02-28-2012, 11:56 PM
When will the insanity stop?

dougdirt
02-29-2012, 12:50 AM
When will the insanity stop?

In what sense?

Blitz Dorsey
02-29-2012, 01:44 AM
I think you are forgetting that Molina is only 30 and that this contract will take him through his age 35 season. Posada and Varitek were both ancient at the end of the contracts (38 &39 for Posada and 38 & 39 for Varitek).

The whole financial outlook is where I think Reds fans and Cardinals fans differ. I just don't see $14 million for a top 3 catcher in the game as vastly overpaying. Looking at the different opinions within the Reds Zone since I have been here, people often worry a lot about paying player A making X ammount. From their perspective, it's a legit point to worry because of their club's financial situation. From my perspective, the Cards expenses do not keep me from wondering if they will be a competitive team except in rare, extreme situations like the Albert Pujols situation. The Cardinals simply do not have the save financial constraints as the Reds do. That is a fact, not hyperboli. The Cards made an absolute killing during the World Series, profit wise. I couldn't care less if they overpay slightly for a player that has been a great player for them since he came into the league. The Cardinals have the finances to where it won't drastically hurt them in signing Molina where as it would the Reds.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. Last year when Berkman signed that 8 million, one year deal, the majority of people in here felt the Cards way overpaid for him. My view was "that's it?". It's just a different sort of mentality because of where our two clubs stand on a financial basis. The Reds simply cannot get a 100 million payroll out there where as the Cards can raise their payroll significantly over the 100 million mark without really batting an eye.

I'm going to have to call BS on the bolded part. I for one remember thinking (and posting) that I thought Berkman was headed for a big-time bounce-back year and a 1-year, $8 million contract was a good deal for the Cards. I'm sure there were a few people on here who criticized the move, but I don't recall the outpouring of criticism that you are claiming.

Yes, the Cards will always have a bit higher of a payroll than the Reds. That doesn't change the point I was making. I think the Cardinals could have waited until after the season, negotiated with Molina and gotten him to sign for less than $14 mil per season. You guys just saw the best player in baseball leave; Molina's agents would have known that you're not afraid to let a great player leave if the asking price gets too high. No one else in MLB (IMO) would have given that much to Molina. So, congrats on getting him locked up, but you overpaid and it might cost you a player down the line. You might have more $$ to spend than the Reds, but you're a hell of a lot closer to the Reds than you are the real big-money teams like the Yankees, BoSox, Angels, Phillies, etc.

Kc61
02-29-2012, 05:29 AM
The Cards aren't stupid. They understand the risk that Molina might not be very good in the last years of this new contract. That's true with most long term contracts.

You have to look at the long term contract this way -- the player is likely to be worth more in the early years, the money is just being spread over a longer period.

If the Cards get three good years out of Molina, they will be satisfied. He doesn't need to be a front liner for the full length of the deal.

Given his status as a high level catcher this looks like a reasonable deal to me. Obviously a different calculus would have been to cut bait, save the money, and go younger. But if the Cards can afford this and still have payflex, I think it's reasonable.

MikeThierry
02-29-2012, 10:30 AM
I'm going to have to call BS on the bolded part. I for one remember thinking (and posting) that I thought Berkman was headed for a big-time bounce-back year and a 1-year, $8 million contract was a good deal for the Cards. I'm sure there were a few people on here who criticized the move, but I don't recall the outpouring of criticism that you are claiming.

Yes, the Cards will always have a bit higher of a payroll than the Reds. That doesn't change the point I was making. I think the Cardinals could have waited until after the season, negotiated with Molina and gotten him to sign for less than $14 mil per season. You guys just saw the best player in baseball leave; Molina's agents would have known that you're not afraid to let a great player leave if the asking price gets too high. No one else in MLB (IMO) would have given that much to Molina. So, congrats on getting him locked up, but you overpaid and it might cost you a player down the line. You might have more $$ to spend than the Reds, but you're a hell of a lot closer to the Reds than you are the real big-money teams like the Yankees, BoSox, Angels, Phillies, etc.

I said the majority of people here criticized that move. Look at the thread back then. You may have been one of the few people in favor of it but I remember a lot of people saying the Cards way overpaid or what were the Cards thinking.

As I pointed out, those are speculated numbers. I'm hearing local reports that it's anywhere from 10-12 million. Also, if you think that teams aren't willing to dish out 14 million per season, have you seen the crazy contracts of late? There are a ton of teams that were willing to come that close to get Molina. I know the Angels will be looking for a catcher at the end of the season.

_Sir_Charles_
02-29-2012, 11:11 AM
I said the majority of people here criticized that move. Look at the thread back then. You may have been one of the few people in favor of it but I remember a lot of people saying the Cards way overpaid or what were the Cards thinking.

As I pointed out, those are speculated numbers. I'm hearing local reports that it's anywhere from 10-12 million. Also, if you think that teams aren't willing to dish out 14 million per season, have you seen the crazy contracts of late? There are a ton of teams that were willing to come that close to get Molina. I know the Angels will be looking for a catcher at the end of the season.

Actually, as I recall it the most criticism was towards him playing in the OF not at the dollars. It was a while ago, so I could be mis-remembering.

PuffyPig
02-29-2012, 01:07 PM
Also, if you think that teams aren't willing to dish out 14 million per season, have you seen the crazy contracts of late? There are a ton of teams that were willing to come that close to get Molina. I know the Angels will be looking for a catcher at the end of the season.

I have no doubt that some team would have paid Molina $15M per season. I'm not sure why that is particularly relevant.

That doesn't mean it would be wise for the Cards to do it.

Or have you changed your mind that the Cards should have paid Pujols $275M simply because another team did?

MikeThierry
02-29-2012, 01:25 PM
I have no doubt that some team would have paid Molina $15M per season. I'm not sure why that is particularly relevant.

That doesn't mean it would be wise for the Cards to do it.

Or have you changed your mind that the Cards should have paid Pujols $275M simply because another team did?

10 years, $250 million to a player at age 32 is completely different from a 5 year deal that at most would pay him $75 million at age 30. They aren't even comparable in the dollars, length of contract, and age of players. Bad analogy.

757690
02-29-2012, 01:45 PM
I said the majority of people here criticized that move. Look at the thread back then. You may have been one of the few people in favor of it but I remember a lot of people saying the Cards way overpaid or what were the Cards thinking.
.

I was one of the people that heavily criticized the Berkman signing, and I still do. It was a dumb move at the time, and juat because it worked out doesn't make it any less dumb.

If you use you're rent money to buy lottery tickets and you hit a jackpot, it doesn't mean you were smart to do so.

PuffyPig
02-29-2012, 02:36 PM
10 years, $250 million to a player at age 32 is completely different from a 5 year deal that at most would pay him $75 million at age 30. They aren't even comparable in the dollars, length of contract, and age of players. Bad analogy.


You missed the point.

My point is that just because a team pays FMV, it doesn't make it a good deal for that team.

You justified the Molina deal based on his FMV as a UFA.

MikeThierry
02-29-2012, 02:49 PM
You missed the point.

My point is that just because a team pays FMV, it doesn't make it a good deal for that team.

You justified the Molina deal based on his FMV as a UFA.

I didn't miss your point. The point you made was an extreme point, that is why I found your analogy invalid. I understand the idea that just because someone else pays X ammount of dollars for a player that doesn't mean that another team should pay that much. I just don't feel 14 million per year is too much for Yadi or an extreme amount of money for him. First off, I believe catchers get way underpaid for their value. The way they get beat up at the plate makes a great catcher invaluable for a given team. As others have pointed out, intagibles matter for the catcher position the most out of any position player in baseball. What dollar figure do you assign to defense, the ability to handle a pitchings staff, the ability to shut down the run game, etc? I just feel that when looking at the catcher position, you just can't go by raw stats to get a numerical value for their contract like you can with someone who plays 1B or LF. If the Cardinals have to slightly "overpay" to retain his services, I'm not going to get bent out of shape for it. I'm not going to have a hardline approach where if we can't get him for 10 million, the Cards should cut off all contract negotiations. To keep great players, overpaying slightly seems to be the norm in baseball.

MikeThierry
02-29-2012, 02:57 PM
Puffy, I also feel that you have to look at contracts on a case by case basis. If the Angels descide to give Pujols a 10 year, 250 million deal the Cards would be idiotic for making a franchise killing move to match or beat it. If the Angels decide to offer Yadi Molina a 5 year deal worth 13.5 million, I have no problem with the Cardinals counter offering with a 14 million deal per year. A 5 year deal worth 14 million per year will not destroy the Cardinals franchise and keep them from being a competitive team in the future. Yes, the Cards may overpay in that scenario but it's well within the Cards financial means.

mth123
02-29-2012, 04:23 PM
Here is my problem with this deal. Good catch and throw guys who can handle a pitching staff are fairly common and don't make that much money. Now Molina is a cut above, but how much more value does Molina's defense provide than some one like say his brother Jose who makes just under $2 Million per year. I'll also give you that Molina's bat is better, but he's not an impact offensive player or a middle of the order hitter. In a normal season, I'd say he's league average. That's a lot of cash to be paying for his marginal defensive value. If he'd gotten say $6 or $7 Million per year, I'd still consider it kind of pricey, but OK. At $14 to $15 Million per year, it's absurd IMO.

PuffyPig
02-29-2012, 06:19 PM
Here is my problem with this deal. Good catch and throw guys who can handle a pitching staff are fairly common and don't make that much money. Now Molina is a cut above, but how much more value does Molina's defense provide than some one like say his brother Jose who makes just under $2 Million per year. I'll also give you that Molina's bat is better, but he's not an impact offensive player or a middle of the order hitter. In a normal season, I'd say he's league average. That's a lot of cash to be paying for his marginal defensive value. If he'd gotten say $6 or $7 Million per year, I'd still consider it kind of pricey, but OK. At $14 to $15 Million per year, it's absurd IMO.

Actually his .707 lifetime OPS is below league average for a player (not a catcher).

If he had his usual hitting year, he'd have gotten about $7M per season IMO.

MikeThierry
03-01-2012, 10:58 AM
Here is a pretty decent blog/article about the Cardinals finances and why they are able to afford Molina. It does a pretty decent job of breaking down contracts coming off the book:

http://www.stlcardinalbaseball.com/why-the-cardinals-can-easily-afford-molinas-new-contract


Actually his .707 lifetime OPS is below league average for a player (not a catcher).

If he had his usual hitting year, he'd have gotten about $7M per season IMO.

While that is true, Molina has become a much better hitter the past 4 years compared to his first 4 years. Again, I don't feel you can go by pure hitting stats when determining a catchers worth and if you do go by hitting stats, you have to compare his stats to other catchers. Comparing hitting stats of catchers to other position players seems to be missing the mark a bit or doesn't tell the whole story.

PuffyPig
03-01-2012, 04:02 PM
Again, I don't feel you can go by pure hitting stats when determining a catchers worth and if you do go by hitting stats, you have to compare his stats to other catchers. Comparing hitting stats of catchers to other position players seems to be missing the mark a bit or doesn't tell the whole story.


I agree with all that, but you have to look at what you are prepared to pay for a small upgrade in hitting.

You can usually get a pretty good defensive catcher who's poor hitter for a few million at most. Say around a .650 OPS. You end up paying about $13M more for about a 100 point swing (at most) in OPS.

MikeThierry
03-01-2012, 05:10 PM
I agree with all that, but you have to look at what you are prepared to pay for a small upgrade in hitting.

You can usually get a pretty good defensive catcher who's poor hitter for a few million at most. Say around a .650 OPS. You end up paying about $13M more for about a 100 point swing (at most) in OPS.

How much do you pay for a catcher in which only had 65 runners run against him last year? That is an insanely low amount of attempted runners for an every day catcher. How much is shutting down the run game and superb defense worth at the catcher position? How much is it worth for the amount of runs he saves in a given season due to shutting down the run game? Fantasy baseball doesn't apply to catchers in my opinion. As I said before, I also feel that Catchers are way undervalued for what they are paid, league wide.

puca
03-01-2012, 05:10 PM
I'm not a fan of the deal from the Cardinals perspective, but considering what they have accomplished in the recent past I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. It is harder to replace a franchise catcher than a franchise 1b that is for sure. While I don't consider Molina to be a franchise catcher, the Cardinals obviously do.

PuffyPig
03-01-2012, 06:09 PM
How much do you pay for a catcher in which only had 65 runners run against him last year? That is an insanely low amount of attempted runners for an every day catcher. How much is shutting down the run game and superb defense worth at the catcher position? How much is it worth for the amount of runs he saves in a given season due to shutting down the run game?


Molina threw out about 30% of the runners who attempted to steal against him. I believe the cut-off for players trying to steal is about 70%, in that it you try to steal and you are safe less than 70% of the time, you are actually hurting your teams offense.

The Reds threw out 37% of the 129 runners who tried to steal against them. As a team, the Cards threw out 28% of the 89 runners who attepted to steal agaisnt them. So, while 40 more runners tried to steal against the Reds last year, only 42.5% of them were successful. And the Reds had two catchers who were basically picked up as marginal UFA's or off the scrap heap.

In summary, base stealing is hugely overrated in scoring runs, as most teams would score more if they never attempted to steal. Cards may have "shut down" the running game for than the Reds (in that less tried to steal), but when you are throwing out your fair share of runners, let them run. The Reds catchers did a better job than the Cards catchers of helping their pitching staff through base stealers.

The Cards were right at league average in throwing out runners, as was Molina. Some teams give up more stolen base opportunities, but since stealing bases is generally a low percentage play anyway, it costs them few, if any runs.

Paying a catcher much for shutting down the running game (by throwing out an average amount of runners) isn't worth much. Becuase the running game costs most team runs.

fearofpopvol1
03-01-2012, 06:37 PM
I think it's an overpay for sure. But I don't know that it's one of the worst contracts I've ever seen or anything. With that said, I'm not sure I would've gone higher than $10M a year if I was the Cardinals.

vic715
03-02-2012, 01:40 AM
In what sense?

The Money these guys are getting is out of control.The Reds will never be able to give a catcher 14 million unless his name was Johnny Bench and he would be able to get twice what Molina is getting and I guess in this scenerio he would be worth it.

MikeThierry
03-02-2012, 10:10 AM
Puffy, I agree with you in a sense that stolen basis are overrated (like strikeouts for pitchers, but that's a different topic for a different time, lol). Last year when the Cards had the best offense in the NL by a mile, there were still people in St. Louis complaining about the Cards inability to run. Mostly these were TLR haters but were a loud minority. They would say things like "why aren't we stealing and running? Whitey Herzog didn't do it this way!". My thought on that is why would the Cards attempt to steal and run into outs when they have arguably the best 3-5 hitters in the game last year? For me, I prefer functional speed over just pure stolen bases. I feel that going 1st to 3rd on a hit is more important than how many stolen bases one player has.

All of that said, the Reds still allowed more runners to advance than the Cards. If I'm using your data correctly, that is an equivalent to about 23-25 extra runners to advance. I know that the Reds were in a lot of close, one or two run ball games. Not allowing 23-25 extra runners to advance could have played an impact in the final outcome of some of those games. As you pointed out, the stolen base is a low percentage play but it still adds up in the course of any given season.

Shutting down the run game doesn't just translate to cutting down stolen base rate. It also translates to not allowing players to take huge leadoffs and not going from 1st to 3rd on a base hit as often. If the catcher holds a player from a huge leadoff due to the chance of being picked off, the rate at which a runner goes from 1st to 3rd decreases. The thing with Molina is that teams are very wary to take a huge lead off the base because he is an assassin when it comes to picking off players on the bases. I know that in the World Series, he picked off Ian Kinsler once or twice and those were absolute ralley killers for the Rangers. In that series, Yadi did a very good job in controlling the run game, something in which the Rangers counted on extensively for their offense last year.

Looking back at it, Gerald Laird was god awful at throwing out runners last year, throwing out 20% of the runners. Hopefully Tony Cruz can do a better job as Yadi's backup this year.

Blitz Dorsey
03-02-2012, 11:21 AM
I was one of the people that heavily criticized the Berkman signing, and I still do. It was a dumb move at the time, and juat because it worked out doesn't make it any less dumb.

If you use you're rent money to buy lottery tickets and you hit a jackpot, it doesn't mean you were smart to do so.

Whaaaaaaaat? I appreciate and admire your honesty, but we're talking about a player in Berkman that we've all seen up close for his entire career. He was flat-out excellent with the Astros (before they became the AAAstros). Then he has ONE bad season, split between the 'Stros and the Yankees, and all of a sudden he's a bum entering the 2011 season?

The Cardinals signed him for 1-year/$8 million. Very little risk and high reward. Giving him $12 million this year is a bit of a "thank you" for last year, but I remember being bummed when the Cards landed him because I thought he'd have a bounce-back year. 2010 was an aberration for Berkman.

Us Reds fans should know better than anyone how good Berkman has been for years and that he merely had one bad season (largely due to injuries).

MikeThierry
03-02-2012, 01:21 PM
Here is a halfway decent article about the Cards signing Molina. Schoenfield concludes that even there is slight regression in Yadi's numbers from last season, the Cards slightly overpaid but not drastically so.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/21279/yadier-molina-extension-solid-deal-for-cards

PuffyPig
03-02-2012, 02:03 PM
All of that said, the Reds still allowed more runners to advance than the Cards. If I'm using your data correctly, that is an equivalent to about 23-25 extra runners to advance. I know that the Reds were in a lot of close, one or two run ball games. Not allowing 23-25 extra runners to advance could have played an impact in the final outcome of some of those games. As you pointed out, the stolen base is a low percentage play but it still adds up in the course of any given season.



You used the data incorrectly.

The Reds allowed 17 more stolen bases last year than the Cards. But they made 23 more outs. Boom. Advantage Reds.

MikeThierry
03-02-2012, 02:13 PM
You used the data incorrectly.

The Reds allowed 17 more stolen bases last year than the Cards. But they made 23 more outs. Boom. Advantage Reds.

You don't think that will change if the Cards had a half way decent backup that threw out more than 20% of runners?

PuffyPig
03-02-2012, 02:20 PM
You don't think that will change if the Cards had a half way decent backup that threw out more than 20% of runners?

No, because Molina only threw out 30%, as opposed to the team average of 28%.

Molina was average in the NL last year.

Last year, the Reds catchers helped the pitchers prevent runs from scoring with an above average throwing game.

Conversely, the Cards catchers were neutral.

MikeThierry
03-02-2012, 02:28 PM
No, because Molina only threw out 30%, as opposed to the team average of 28%.

Molina was average in the NL last year.

Last year, the Reds catchers helped the pitchers prevent runs from scoring with an above average throwing game.

Conversely, the Cards catchers were neutral.

I think part of that has to do with Ryan Theriot being a horrible at receiving the ball. I have never seen a SS bumble the ball so much when being thrown to. I know of a couple of occassions when Molina had the runner dead but because of Theriot's inability to handle the ball, the runner was safe.

uggg... gives me horrible memories just thinking about it