Originally Posted by flyer85
Historically the best years for a player are 25-29 followed closely by 30-34 and a big dropoff after 35. There are exceptions to every rule(Molitor, Bonds, etc) but giving a 9 year deal was an enormous risk for a small market franchise. However, JB was more worried about the 15 minutes of fame he was going to get for being able to trade for and sign Jr.
Trading for Jr was a good idea, nobody could forsee all the injury problems. Giving a 9 year deal was way too much risk.
It should be remembered that Junior was signed at what was then a substantial discount from the going market rate. Junior signed a nine year deal for about $12 million a season or a total of $108 million; one year later A-Rod signed a ten year deal for $252 million, $25.2 million a year, and a number of other players have signed deals paying them $15-20 million a year.
If the Reds had signed Junior to a six year deal for near market rates in early 2000, they could have been paying him $16 million a year, or $96 million over the life of a six year contract. This would have been buying Jnuior at market rates while he was ages 30 through 35. In short, I think the Reds got Junior at a substantial discount for the first half or two-thirds of his deal, while overpaying for his projected performance over the final three years of the contract.
The projections just didn't work out. No sluggers other than Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle have ever had their careers collapse so totally in their early 30s as has Junior.
If anyone had the foresight at the time to question Junior's signing in early 2000, take a bow. I sure didn't read or hear of anyone having that foresight. We certainly didn't have trolls from Seattle posting here, crying about "Whiffey" not being "your savior", because Mariner fans thought the Reds had made a bad move. At the time, the overwhelming opinion was that the Mariners had suffered a big loss and had been forced to accept much less than Griffey was worth.