Originally Posted by jojo
Reasonable people can argue about the merits of either contract (Taveras/Bradley) but here's why I contend that Bradley's is a much lesser sin despite being a bigger contract;
The Cubs signed him to 3 yr/$30M with provisions to limit it to $20M based upon health issues.
In essence, they paid him to produce 6.7 WAR over the contract. In year one he was projected to produce 3 WAR as a corner OFer. Aging him the typical .5 WAR/yr would suggest he'd be reasonably expected to put up 3, 2.5, 2 WAR respectively over the course of the contract with durability issues likely (projected 7.5 WAR).
Basically the Cubs signed him to a reasonable contract relative to fair market value for expected performance while mitigating injury risk with a buyout option for year three. Now of course they didn't mitigate the certainty that he's be a jerk which suggests a 3 year deal is riskier than projections might make it appear. Then again the Cubs were all in concerning a playoff run this season as they shouldve been.
The Reds basically signed Taveras to a 2 yr deal when year one projected as a bad idea and it was likely a 2 year deal wouldn't be necessary to get him to sign. Worse Taveras' service time would've meant automatic control of his 2010 season. We're they afraid of arbitration? They in essence signed him for what they thought they could change him into. That's a recipe for a bad marriage.
That said, both players really should've been 1 yr contract guys. The difference is that the Cubs gave a reasonable contract market-wise to a guy that probably wasn't going to settle for a one year deal in an effort to buy the last couple wins for a playoff run (they were at least right to not overestimate their chances to beat out the Cards). The Reds completely whiffed from a talent evaluation standpoint on a guy that possibly couldve been signed to a minor league deal.
When guys like Abreu and Dunn were getting less money and less years than Bradley, how do you say that he received a reasonable contract in relation to the market? Those guys aren't travelling sideshows, aren't chronically injured and didn't have a lot of their success tied to DHing and playing in a notorious hitter's park. And they have had a fair amoutn of success in the league as well.
Where both contracts were bad ideas, Taveras' was much more favorable due to the terms of the contracts. $30MM contracts for injury prone guys who are as stable as francium who are coming off of career seasons in perfect elements trump $6MM contracts for stiffs any day.
Let's look at this logically...they gave Bradley a 3 year guaranteed contract when, in his 10 seasons in baseball, he has never played more than 216 games with one team. Common sense flew out the window when this deal was struck.