Heyman On Howard, Pujols, Adrian, Werth

The latest hot stove thoughts from SI's Jon Heyman

  • The people Heyman talked to feel that with Ryan Howard averaging $25MM a year starting in 2012, a contract discussion for Albert Pujols has to start at $30MM a year.
  • Heyman says that "the belief among skeptics of the deal that [the Howard extension] was an obvious overpay isn't reflected one bit among baseball people."  Of course, there are hundreds of baseball people, and the ones I've spoken to agree with the skeptics.
  • Adrian Gonzalez's agent John Boggs said, "We're just kind of innocent bystanders," noting that the Padres have not made contact about an extension.
  • Jayson Werth's agent Jeff Borris believes his client will be "the premier free agent outfielder" if he doesn't sign an extension.  Looking at the list, only Carl Crawford would have an argument.  Heyman says there's a "belief around baseball" that Werth will be seeking $100MM.  Previously we've heard suggestions of the four-year, $66MM Jason Bay range.
  • Heyman says Stephen Strasburg has a contract clause that "permits 100 innings at the major-league level this year."  I haven't heard of any clauses of that nature before, but Strasburg and Scott Boras is a powerful pairing.


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48 Comments on "Heyman On Howard, Pujols, Adrian, Werth"


04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

the one really bad thing about the Howard contract is that it sets a very ugly precedent for Pujols. Because if you justify $25 million over 5 for Howard, you talking over $30 million per most likely over 10 years, I wouldnt be surprised if it reached $40 million in the ladder parts of the contract. Scary figures when you think half a teams payroll can go to just one guy

bjsguess
5 years 4 months ago

— It was a significant overpay. Unnecessary risk by the Phillies.
— Gonzalez has to be thrilled. Any talk of the Padres keeping him needs to end now.
— If the Cards were the only club to consider paying Holliday more than $100m how in the world will Werth get anywhere close to $100m? Werth is a solid player but he is nowhere close to being a $100m player. $60-80m seems much more likely.

cookmeister
5 years 4 months ago

i would much rather have Crawford than Werth (i guess since im an angel fan). it will be interesting to see what teams are willing to pay

cookmeister
5 years 4 months ago

and i know crawford isnt on the angels im just saying i would like him better on the angels that werth

5 years 4 months ago

agreed

0bsessions
5 years 4 months ago

Ten bucks says Heyman’s “baseball people” are J.P. Ricciardi and Mo Vaughn.

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 4 months ago

Given that Heyman is Boras’s lackey, it’s likely that these “baseball people” are agents, who merely want to spread the meme that every overpay is good. Heyman is only too happy to oblige.

5 years 4 months ago

I’ve actually talked to multiple agents who were surprised the Phillies did this…the timing especially.

Alex
5 years 4 months ago

Everyone here seems to be a slave to the concept of value. And I think missing the point. You don’t win rings entirely based on making the most club friendly contracts.

Surely you need young talent to fill out the roster cheaply and provide value but, for established talent you will almost always overpay. And to win consistently, you need a fair amount of established talent.

Look at the Rays as just one example of this, they won’t hold onto Crawford because his next contract will be “overvalued” – however, they put themselves into a situation where they must take a risk on Jennings instead of knowning where they stand.

The best teams have a combination of the two. Hopefully the Phillies will combine consistent vets paid well with young talent like Brown.

strikethree
5 years 4 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. Maybe these “baseball people” are players.

It doesn’t take a “baseball person” to realize how dumb that contract was. Do I need a Nobel math laureate to tell me 25 mil is a lot?

Do these same “baseball people” have any grasp of basic math and economics? Jeez, what an arrogant statement.

Moonshinefe
5 years 3 months ago

I don’t think anyone needs a Nobel math laureate to tell them 25 mil is a lot considering that no such award exists. I think you were looking for Fields medalist.

strikethree
5 years 3 months ago

Well, I stand corrected. However, they do award the prize to economists. I guess that’s the closest.

Either way, the point stands. You don’t need to be in a “special” expert group to know a couple of things about value.

danks50
5 years 4 months ago

Jayson Werth’s a nice player but lets be honest here, A team would have to be out of their minds to guarantee a 100+ million dollar contract to him. A Jason Bay type contract seems much more reasonable.

Sleepykarl
5 years 4 months ago

If there is a big market for him, a 5-$85M doesn’t seem ridiculous (Bay’s deal if option vests).

04Forever
5 years 4 months ago

Bobby Cox is quoted saying Albert is worth $50 million per year. wowie.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

I was just going to post this! To be fair, Cox’s response was in regards to how much Pujols is worth relative to Howard…roughly double. That takes some shine off Heyman’s comment “the belief among skeptics of the deal that this was an obvious overpay isn’t reflected one bit among baseball people”. Bobby Cox is bigger than “one bit” in baseball terms.

danks50
5 years 4 months ago

& as for Howard it really looks like the market is starting to extremely overvalue the big name 1st basement sluggers. 25 million is boarderline insane and for all his defensive deficiencies give me someone like Adam Dunn for half the price. He’ll give me better OBP, similar power numbers, and strikeout about the same as Howard. Even with Ryan being a premier run producer they way overpaid here.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

What cut of these contracts does Heyman get? He says “Whatever the final number winds up being, one thing is for sure: the Howard deal has made Pujols’ value clearer than ever” and I cannot disagree more.

There’s been a “value” for Pujols circulating for months, with a the figure of $30MM quite popular. Fangraphs averages his production* over the last two seasons at $40MM (round figures) vs. Howard’s figure of $18MM. In ratio, and considering a $25MM contract for Howard, this results in a ridiculously high value for Pujols at $55MM per year.

That’s how bad the Howard contract is, while it does nothing to clarify Pujols’ value.

*Not to say that ticket/jersey/memorabilia sales, fostering goodwill within the fan base, TV and radio ratings, etc. should be excluded from contract considerations. Fangraphs doesn’t compute those factors.

5 years 4 months ago

I honestly do not believe this actually affected Pujols contract negotiations. He was a 30m/yr player prior to this signing. It’s not like he just appeared as the No. 1 player in baseball since this contract signing, he was/is on top for quite some time.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

Agreed. I think this has affected the (frequently coastal-biased) perception of where the contract could land, rather than the reality.

razorwing77
5 years 4 months ago

Werth is one of my favorite players that doesn’t wear a Red Sox jersey. It’s probably a longshot, but I’ve been hoping he ends up in Boston when he hits the market for a couple of years now.

ivdown
5 years 4 months ago

The Cardinals are going to need to be VERY creative with how they handle Pujols’ next contract. There needs to be more than just money. If Pujols really does care about the team, he may want to have a stake in them after he retires, and they should consider some sort of offer where he owns a certain percentage of the franchise, or maybe something where he could come on as a coach after he’s done, something of that nature. On top of that it will still cost minimum 28 million a year, though.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

I’m not certain if this is the case but it’s my belief that player contracts can’t have ownership options included, though that’s not to say that side agreements couldn’t be made.

ivdown
5 years 4 months ago

I wouldn’t know about that, but I can see why it would be frowned upon, or even not allowed. I just remember the same situation going on with Arod before he signed his last contract. If Pujols were to get his true value, it would ruin the Cardinals, unless he decided to take a very sizable discount, or there is other incentive in the contract to drive down the actual money value of it (while he’s still playing).

One thing to consider (if you’re Frank McCourt, anyway) is to give him a contract where he’s making more than Howard and more a year on average than Arod did (so at least 28 mill), but have something like 5 mill a year deferred for a certain number of years (without interest, if Pujols doesn’t want to hurt the Cardinals budget) to drive down his current day salary.

5 years 4 months ago

While Albert is worth $30+ million a year, does he really want that much? Seems like a silly question to ask cause of course any person would like to have $30 million a year, but would he step back and think, well if I’m taking up such a significant amount of the payroll how can they afford to field a competitive team around me? He’s always said that is one of his big things and the Cardinals have done that, but if he breaks the bank they may not be able too. I’m hoping he’ll take something in the $20-$25 million range but that may be way too optimistic.

ivdown
5 years 4 months ago

I think you’re right, and rather than being Eli Manning I see him as being Tom Brady, a guy who will keep his pay lower so they can get the tools around him to win.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

$20-25MM might be what they pay him each year once you subtract the deferred money, but that won’t be the average annual total. Your other points are spot on — this won’t all about the money for him.

ZeroZeroZero
5 years 4 months ago

Werth has a lot more upside than Carl Crawford.
1) Carl Crawford is a Scott Boras client
2) He is going to be 30 next year and will be looking for at least 5 years.
3) His main selling point is speed. Speed is the first thing to go and is usually an injury risk. Ask Jose Reyes.
4) Hes a good hitter but he doesnt have much power.
5) none of this sounds good for a long term contract.

bj82
5 years 4 months ago

But you are not considering that CC has more name value and that is why they consider him better. I think it all depends on what your club needs. You need good defense and speed you go CC, you need power you go with Werth

johnsilver
5 years 4 months ago

Crawford has more advantages over Werth than you give him credit for, like everything except power and you move him to Yankee stadium and he would average 20HR a year or more.

ZeroZeroZero
5 years 3 months ago

but the ‘everything’ is built around his legs and except for very few guys, nobodies legs hold up real well into their 30s. Both his defense and his base stealing will suffer and a team is going to have to live with that. Since Crawford is a Boras client, this contract is going to be 5+ years. The odds are against it that the last few years of that contract wont be a REALLY bad contract for a team to eat.

aap212
5 years 4 months ago

Would Jayson Werth like that $100 million delivered by unicorn? He may as well.

5 years 4 months ago

Its such a shame that A-Gon is gonna be traded. He’s only batting .325 with 6 bombs and 17 ribbies. What team wouldn’t want that in their lineup?!? So who do YOU think will trade for Adrian Gonzalez? Let’s eliminate the White Sox and Dodgers because the Chi Sox will be major SELLERS by the all star break and the dodgers won’t be throwing around that kind of money this year (Manny = lesson learned) so will Boston, Atlanta or the Mets make midseason slash? Obviously you can’t rule out the yankees, but where would he play with TEX there? DH? that young? I don’t know! MAKE YOUR CASE…………

5 years 4 months ago

If Gonzalez went to the Yankees, which won’t happen, he would be their 1B. He’s a better fielder than Tex, period. It’s not even close. Adrian Gonzalez, by most accounts, is the best fielder at 1B who can actually hit.

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

I’m not necessarily saying your wrong, but do you have any evidence to support this claim? I was under the impression that Gonzalez was in the above-average category when it came to defense.

Beersy
5 years 4 months ago

I think you would have to include the Orioles in your list of teams that might get in on the Gonzalez bidding. They have a ton of young pitching, it’s just a matter of whether they would be willing to trade any of it.

bj82
5 years 4 months ago

I just wanted to remind everyone. IT WASN’T THE YANKEES WHO OVERPAID AND CREATED ALL THIS. You know how they get blame even for the war in Irak.

5 years 4 months ago

says the 10 year old who can’t formulate a cogent thought

bj82
5 years 4 months ago

Sorry Brain Mierda.

Just_MLB
5 years 4 months ago

do u mean in general or do u mean for the ryan howard contract ?

jhd5787
5 years 3 months ago

Actually that is precisely who i would blame. They set the salary precedents on most positions, and they set them extremely high. As of last year they had the highest paid SP, RP, 1B, 3B, SS. If A-rod didnt make 27.5 million a year, would we have to suggest that Pujols is worth 30 million? The answer in one word….nope. Also “Irak” is spelled “Iraq,” the fact that you don’t know that is extremely alarming.

Just_MLB
5 years 4 months ago

To be fair…if the Phillies waited another 18 months…and saw Ryan continuing to perform at a high level and improving…and then gave him a 5 year contract for 100 million a year…it would make a little more sense…but to do this NOW…was not necessary…from the phillies point of view…but seeing how they picked up J-Ro’s option for next year…in Dec. of 09…it goes with their philosophy…they must not like leverage…

5 years 4 months ago

Sounds like Heyman is desperate to find someone supporting his positive reactionary tweet. I bet he’d take that back now if he could.

5 years 4 months ago

Agreed…Pujols was looking at $30 mil+ regardless of what Howard did.

0bsessions
5 years 4 months ago

This. I’ve always thought he was kind of a jerk since the whole whining about Howard’s MVP situation (The whole garbage about you shouldn’t be able to get an MVP if you don’t make the playoffs, especially considering his team squeaked into the playoffs that year and he didn’t seem to register any complaints when he won in ’08 after the Cards missed the playoffs), but I could definitely picture him taking a smaller deal if it meant keeping the team competetive. That said, no way does the Union let that slide. If they wouldn’t let A-Rod restructure his contract to go to Boston and compete, they’re not going to let Pujols take a lower contract to help the Cards compete.

strikethree
5 years 4 months ago

Wouldn’t be surprised. There are a lot of idiot GM’s out there.

5 years 4 months ago

Two words: Brian Sabean

Just_MLB
5 years 4 months ago

In this case…the Union has no say as to what contract Pujols takes….Pujols can take a 1 year 10 million dollar deal and break no law whatsoever. Restructure of a contract is another issue entirely.