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Thoughts On Hanley's Deal

Tim here.  I thought I'd weigh in on Hanley Ramirez's six-year, $70MM contract.  I've seen the $11.66MM average annual value tossed around, but I don't think that figure helps us evaluate it. It's not as if this is a free agent contract.

As far as I can tell, Ramirez's contract starts with the 2009 season.  That would mean it buys out all three arbitration years plus another three free agent years.  What did Hanley stand to make in his arb years?  Miguel Cabrera will have been paid $33.7MM for that chunk of his career.  Given that Ryan Howard received 35% more than Cabrera did for his first arb year, it's possible that Hanley would've earned $45MM for his three arb years.

Under that assumption, there's only $25MM left to cover the three free agency years.  That's just $8.3MM a year for 2012-14!  Ramirez figures to be worth at least three times that salary, regardless of his defense or position.  Aside from his superstar performance, Ramirez has been very durable and has shown no ill effects from October shoulder surgery.  As if this deal wasn't team friendly enough, it appears to lack any no-trade provisions.  This contract seems so favorable to the Marlins that they would've had to sign it regardless of their stadium situation.  Of course, nothing has been officially announced yet.


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