Archive for November, 2006

Nice try!

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

The Red Sox’ deal with Daisuke Matsuzaka appears dead in the water now that Major League Baseball has decided that posting money given to Seibu cannot be returned to Boston to be used as salary for the Lion’s pitching sensation. It’s possible, however Boston could take this decision to the courts.

At first it looked like a brilliant decision by Boston – obtain exclusive negotiating rights by offering an unreasonable posting sum, then negotiate in earnest with Scott Boras to find out Matsuzaka’s true price as a player. Then go back to Seibu and say “hey, we’ve got ourselves a problem, Daisuke isn’t budging – we need you to cough up $15 million of the posting fee or we aren’t going to get a deal done…”

Seibu then has a hard choice; either fork out the money or get nothing. If Matsuzaka isn’t signed within thirty days then all bets are off and the Seibu Lions have to refund the money AND pay for the player’s 2007 salary.

It will be interesting to see what happens next; the Yankees overpaid yesterday to Hanshin for the rights to negotiate with Kei Igawa.

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Breaking down the Soriano Deal

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I have found two nice posts about the Soriano financials.

  • Suite Deal: Soriano’s filled with perks – AP
  • Present Value – The Hardball Times

    Here are the highlights from both for those that are link lazy.

    Soriano’s deal gives him a complete no-trade provision and guarantees a suite on Cubs road trips, according to contract information obtained by The Associated Press. In addition, Soriano is guaranteed six premium tickets for each home game during spring training, regular season and the postseason — and for the All-Star game if he is selected.

    Soriano receives an $8 million signing bonus and will get a $9 million salary next season. His salary increases to $13 million in 2008 and $16 million in 2009, then goes up to $18 million from 2010-2014. Soriano, who turns 31 in January, will be 38 in the final year of the deal.

    There are also plenty of incentives for the five-time All-Star, who will be the Cubs leadoff hitter. He gets $250,000 for collecting most All Star votes, $350,000 if he is selected the World Series MVP, $250,000 for the league championship series MVP, $300,000 for the MVP award and $75,000 for a Gold Glove.

    As another provision, Soriano will donate $25,000 annually to United Way and $25,000 annually to Cubs Care foundation.

    Many complaints about Soriano’s contract have focused on the fact that he received more dollars than Carlos Beltran did two years ago, despite not being nearly as good a player. Well, in fact, this is wrong. If we translate Beltran’s deal into 2007 dollars, Beltran got $110 million, $10 million more than Soriano, for one less year. In present day value, Beltran is being paid $3 million more per year.

    But that presents us with two questions: Is Beltran worth $3 million more per year than Soriano, and is Soriano worth $12.5 million a year? Well, according to my calculations, Soriano has an established performance level of about 3.0 wins above replacement; Beltran had an established performance level of about 3.4 when he was signed. In that case, Soriano is being paid a little over $4 million per marginal win, while Beltran got paid $7.5 million per marginal win over Soriano. On the other hand, Beltran has blown away his previous established performance level, and is now at about 4.4 wins above replacement, which translates to just over two million dollars per marginal win over Soriano.

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  • You paid how much?!? For WHO?!?

    Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

    I decided to take the week off from recapping the drafts. The series will continue on Monday with the 1993 draft, which features a HUGE number one pick. Instead, I’d like to try to make the case for what many believe is the most ludicrous signing of the off-season to this point. In case you’ve been living under a rock, former Cub, Gary Mathews Jr. was signed by the Angels to a deal worth $50 million over the span of five years. Just about everywhere I read, people are up in arms about this signing. Can it really be that bad? I say no, and i’m going to make my case.

    Reason # 1The Free Agent Market Got Inflated
    Blame whoever you want on this one (Jim Hendry), but the fact of the matter is, with the signing of Alfonso Soriano early in the off-season, the tone was set and there was no going back. The Angels got it in their head that they needed a CF. With Soriano, not a proven CF anyway, off the market, it left Juan Pierre, Gary Mathews or some old farts like Dave Roberts and Kenny Lofton. Pierre and is not an upgrade and neither are the other old men. Mathews, assuming he duplicates the numbers he put up last year fills the need the Angels want to fill. I’m sure $10 million per season is not ideal for them, but when Soriano falls early, what other price can you expect to pay? The bar was already set.

    Reason # 2Free Agency is Better than Plan B
    Yes, the Angels did have a plan B. All last season, the Angels made no secret that they were in the market for a “top notch” outfielder. The biggest names on their list were Carl Crawford and Miguel Cabrera. They were prepared to deal a huge package of talent to get one of those guys. Luckily for the Angels, no one took them up on the offers that were floating around the rumor mill. One of the biggest rumors I heard was the following:

    Ervin Santana – SP
    Scot Shields – MR
    Brandon Wood – SS

    For Carl Crawford or Miguel Cabrera.

    For those of you who don’t follow the minor leagues, Brandon Wood is a MAJOR prospect. In 2005 playing for high A ball, Rancho Cucamonga, Wood put up monster numbers:

    43 HR with 115 RBI and averages of .321 / .383 / 1.055

    When you have a SS prospect putting up those kind of numbers, you DO NOT offer him in any kind of deal. By going out and getting an OF like Mathews via free agency, rather than dealing guys like Wood and Santana, you assure yourself of a future, even if your $50 million investment turns out to be a bust. What do you think?

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    Maybe Manny?

    Monday, November 27th, 2006

    Word on the street is that Manny Ramirez will be dealt by Boston this week. I know I know, there’s always rumors about Ramirez!

    I could easily see the Cubs hooking up with the Bosox on this one. Izturis, Prior, Pawelek and Murton for Ramirez and a top Boston prospect would be real do-able from my standpoint. There’s all kinds of combinations/permutations that one could consider…

    Imagine this batting order: 1. Soriano, 2. DeRosa, 3. D-Lee, 4. A-Ram, 5. Manny, 6. Barrett, 7. Theriot (SS,) 8. Pie (CF)….if the Cubs signed Igawa for third starter and Maddux for fourth I’d pick the Cubs for the division AND league!

    What do y’all think about trading for Manny? If you like it what would you give?

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    I Like it….IF

    Saturday, November 25th, 2006

    The Chicago Tribune is rumoring that the Cubs are pursuing teams to move in and trade for Jacque Jones. If the Cubs can move Jones, i’d be fine with it on one condition. We should trade Jacque Jones only if we go out and get Julio Lugo.

    Getting Lugo would give the Cubs the option to move Soriano to RF, which is a lot less scary. Then, you shift Lugo out to CF and keep Murton in LF for one more shot. His OBP should ring well with Piniella. Once Felix Pie is ready to go, shift Lugo to SS, where he’s most comfortable and put Pie in CF. What do you think?

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