The 20 Biggest Free Agent Deals Of The Offseason

Unless Vladimir Guerrero, Scott Podsednik or another free agent signs an unexpectedly lucrative deal, the biggest contracts of the offseason have all been finalized. As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, 20 free agents signed deals worth $15MM or more this offseason.

That's not counting the extensions that non-free agents like Troy Tulowitzki and Jay Bruce signed and we're only talking about guaranteed dollars. Many of the players below could earn more or less than the figures listed, depending on player opt-outs and vesting options. With that in mind, here are the 20 free agents who signed for the most guaranteed money this offseason:

1. Carl Crawford – Red Sox – $142MM

2. Jayson Werth – Nationals – $126MM

3. Cliff Lee – Phillies – $120MM

4. Adrian Beltre – Rangers – $80MM

5. Adam Dunn – White Sox – $56MM

6. Derek Jeter – Yankees – $51MM

7. Victor Martinez – Tigers – $50MM

8. Paul Konerko – White Sox – $37.5MM

9. Rafael Soriano – Yankees – $35MM

10. Ted Lilly – Dodgers – $33MM

11. Jorge de la Rosa – Rockies – $32MM

12. Mariano Rivera – Yankees – $30MM

13. Aubrey Huff – Giants – $22MM

14. Juan Uribe – Dodgers – $21MM

15. John Buck – Marlins – $18MM

16. Joaquin Benoit – Tigers – $16.5MM

16. Carl Pavano – Twins – $16.5MM

16. Jake Westbrook – Cardinals – $16.5MM

19. Adam LaRoche – Nationals – $16MM

20. Scott Downs – Angels – $15MM


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159 Comments on "The 20 Biggest Free Agent Deals Of The Offseason"


Rob
4 years 7 months ago

There is some baaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddd paper on that list.

Stephen Anthony
4 years 7 months ago

I think that Werth contract will be an albatross for the Nationals.

rizdak
4 years 7 months ago

I think the Nationals are the albatross of MLB.

Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

Pretty sure it became an albatross as soon as the signing was announced.

4 years 7 months ago

Think it wasn’t Werth it?

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

It will be dead money eventually, but if you are the Nats, what do YOU do? No major F/A’s (Lee, Crawford…) were coming there. Yeah they could roll the money into the draft, but they spend big on the draft every year anyway. Sure, the amount is outrageous, but at least they are trying to be relevant AND this isn’t a contract that is going to hurt them for awhile, if ever.

JaySchu
4 years 7 months ago

It’s a waste of money on a non-contending team. If they were close to the playoffs, sure, the money is worth it then. They’re stuck firmly in the basement of the NL East looking up at an always good Marlins team, an up-and-coming Atlanta team and a still powerful but declining Phillies team. They don’t have a window to compete in and with the loss of Willingham and Dunn, the Werth signing did nothing to change any of that. That’s why it’s wasted money.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah and you told those Giants to stop competing with the always good Dodgers and the up and coming Rockies right? and you told the Reds about the always good Cardinals and the up and coming Brewers right? and you told the Rays to shut it down because the always good Yankees and the up and coming Red Sox, its freaking baseball, you play 162 games a year, anything can happen… Bryce Harper is going to be coming to town….The Nationals aren’t the Pirates and they aren’t the Royals, they relocated from Montreal and have been trying to establish themselves, look at the 97 Marlins and the 01 Diamondbacks… takes a few to get going before you make a serious push.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

You can cite exceptions to the rule all you want. The fact is that those are the exceptions. I can go down the list of teams with big payrolls that didn’t make the playoffs. Those teams improperly evaluated their competitive opportunity, spent money they didn’t need to, and now are boxed in and can’t get out.

Baseball is played by humans. They get sick, injured, lose their edge, regress. Some of those are predictable, most are not. Inherent to the game is a certain level of instability. In some years the Yankees will not make it to the playoffs. In other years the Marlins will win the World Series. However, that is not to suggest that all times have an equal opportunity to win.

It’s pretty simple actually. Is it possible that that I could flip heads 10 times in a row? Sure. Is it likely? No. Would you bet on my success? No. Even if I gave you 10-1 odds you wouldn’t take it. In most cases your decision not to bet would be making the smart move. In a very small number of cases you would kick yourself for not betting on me and missing out on the 10-1 odds.

The Nats just bet that they are going to flip heads 10 times in a row. And they bet $125m. It’s a huge gamble that most likely will not pay off. The Nats are NOT going to be good in 2011 (adding Werth but subtracting Dunn is a minimal upgrade). Harper isn’t going to do anything in 2011. Strasburg is coming off major surgery. It’s a move that just doesn’t make sense NOW.

Could be in a few years that the Nats are in a position to strike. Then I say go for it. Spend to your hearts content. However, until that time they shouldn’t be spending for the sake of spending. Keep that money in reserve, invest in the draft, and be financially nimble so that when the time comes when you are missing just a piece or two you can make those moves.

JaySchu
4 years 7 months ago

Precisely.

JaySchu
4 years 7 months ago

I never said they shouldn’t spend money ever. I said it was a waste of resources to spend big on free agent talent that isn’t going to put you in the playoffs. Would it make sense for the Pirates to sign Albert Pujols? No. Why? Because the team would still be bad with or without him. If you’re close to contention you spend the money. If you aren’t it’s a waste. Spending all that money on Werth today is pointless. Spending it in a few years when they are closer to contention is not.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

By the way it’s the NL east buddy.

Chris Whitby
4 years 7 months ago

I think you take the patient approach and try to cultivate more homegrown talent while supplementing those players with the right free agents. The Rays didn’t get good by giving out Soriano-esque contracts to OF on the wrong side of 30.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

The Rays also don’t have NEAR the money that the Nats do.

Hey I could eat crow six years down the road if the Nats come out and say that the Werth contract is preventing them from extending Strasburg, Norris, Harper, Espinosa, etc. and pursing additional help. I just don’t think that will be the case.

In 2 years, the Nats are going to field this lineup:

CF ??? / Morgan
2B Espinosa
3B Zimmerman
LF Werth
RF Harper
1B Derek Norris – guessing
SS Desmond
C Ramos

That’s a lineup 1 or 2 pieces away from being Wild Card worthy assuming the kids develop of course. It’s also a cheap lineup and one that can afford another big bat that would still leave money for the rotation.

I just think some folks underestimate how deep the Nats’ owners’ pockets are.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

Oh come one, quit hating on this, this reminds me of a kid in a baseball card shop that paid 200 dollars for a rookie card, the card shop probably made 199 dollars on the deal but the kid doesnt care, he has a card that makes him happy and the card shop is happy, then there is the dad who found out how much his kid spent on a piece of paper and goes all ballistic and makes the kid feel remorse and soon the happiness is a cloud of gloom, and why? because someone who had no say in the deal thinks that someone got a bad deal, Jason Werth is a good player and I am sure the Nationals are happy to have him and do not care about the contract and I am sure they are like the kid who dumped 200 dollars on the rookie card, is he broke now? will he ever have money again? How about just watch how he plays and then make judgements on the deal, watch Werth really help out Bryce Harper, remember him? number 1 overall pick? there are a lot more to signings then just dollars.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

Why would you assume that Werth would somehow mentor Harper? They might see each other Spring Training. Aside from that Harper won’t be on the big league squad for at least 2 years (and that’s if everything goes PERFECTLY). His development to the majors will come from his coaches not a guy in the big leagues.

Let me give you a real life scenario here. Take the Mets. Think they are happy with their 2011 squad? I’m willing to bet that they wish they could have saved their pennies for Crawford. However, they are broke. Flat broke. It’s not just Bay, but when you stack on Santana, Beltran, and Wright you have half of your extremely high payroll tied up in 4 players. That limits what you can do. I’m sure that if the Mets could find a taker that they would move Beltran and Bay this second for just salary relief. Johan would be given some serious thought. Wright is the only guy in the bunch that is a slam dunk to earn his paycheck.

The Mets have painted themselves into a corner and it’s going to be hard to get out (Beltran coming off the books will help). Point is, significant spending today DOES limit what you can do tomorrow. The goal is to maximize your resources by spending when it will yield the most favorable results. And I don’t mean to pick on the Mets. There are tons of teams that have made some questionable (to be polite) decisions this off-season. Starting with my Angels. Vernon Wells will absolute hamstring the organization over the next 4 years. Your talking about paying out $40m for Torii Hunter and Wells in your corner outfield spots for 2012. That’s just scary. The Angels would have been much better off spending that money on a true impact player (like Crawford) or sitting it out and saving that money for next year. Instead they panicked, made a move out of desperation, and really hurt the long-term prospects for this clubs success.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

Harper is closer to the major leagues than you think…easily a mid season call up when he crushes AAA. Or have you not been watching this guy?

Stl_Great
4 years 7 months ago

John Buck…

rizdak
4 years 7 months ago

This list is by total $$. Berkman only signed a 1 year $8M deal.

Stl_Great
4 years 7 months ago

I LOOK STUPID. (EDIT TIME)

4 years 7 months ago

Lance signed a one year deal worth 8 million. You would have noticed the list is for the biggest contracts if you would have read it.

goredsgo
4 years 7 months ago

It’s kinda sad that John Buck’s on that list

Ethanator99
4 years 7 months ago

I’m excited to see how Dunn does as a DH in that hitters ballpark.

Jason Klinger
4 years 7 months ago

If he stays healthy, there’s no way he hits fewer than 50.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

He didn’t hit that many in Cincy, so why will he now?

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

the cell is a tad bit more of a launching pad and he wont be tired from playing the field like he did in cincy and he wil have paul konerko batting behind him which means a lot of fastballs

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

Does Dunn really strike you as the type of player that gets worn out playing the field?

40-45 HR’s is my bet. Wouldn’t be surprised with totals anywhere from 35-50.

Chris Whitby
4 years 7 months ago

Mildly ambition prediction

not_brooks
4 years 7 months ago

Prediction for “Five Biggest Free Agent Mistakes of the 2010/2011 Offseason”:

1. Jayson Werth
2. Derek Jeter
3. Jorge de la Rosa
4. John Buck
5. Joaquin Benoit

4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t hesitate to put Soriano on that list either, I don’t see him being a big contributor as a set up man.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Why is that? He’s been one of the best the last couple years and now he’s going to fall apart?

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

he actually hasent he has been good for a couple of years and only one great year mean while his velocity has dropped every year and so has his controll

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

not to mention, closers who rely mostly on velocity and intimidating hitters tend to fair poorly in the set-up role (J.J Putz)

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

Sounds also like a Papelbon fella.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

haha. You sir are 100% correct. Dan Bard hopefully will not have the same outcome

MB923
4 years 7 months ago

His control has not dropped down at all. His BB/9 and WHIP have decreased (decreased meaning gotten better) every year the past 3 years.

BB/9, WHIP

2008- 5.8, 1.14
2009- 3.2, 1.06
2010- 2.0, 0.80

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

Exactly, what the heck is going on with this site? everyone is suddenly attacking these players and their teams for actually dolling out dollars, how about be excited spring training is almost here? How about hold your hate until they actually play, man I can’t imagine what would happen if Werth only hit 8 home runs this year or Crawford breaks his leg.

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

If Soriano gets hurt this season, you can slide that one up to a Top 2 spot. Talk about unnecessary risk.

Chuck345
4 years 7 months ago

Better than having Joba as setup as proven last year. Also, I heard the Yankees had a lot of money to spend since they missed out on Lee.

InLeylandWeTrust
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees don’t need a special occasion or circumstance to spend a lot of money. They have a lot of money to spend period.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

You heard wrong, they don’t have a lot of money because they missed out on Cliff Lee, they have a lot of money because they are the freaking Yankees, are you serious?

Chuck345
4 years 7 months ago

Jesus Christ people can’t you tell sarcasm?

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

IF I only had a nickel for every time I heard the word IF I would be rich, here is some of the best advice I ever heard, don’t live in the world of IF because nothing will ever happen because people would think too much to even move.

Jason Klinger
4 years 7 months ago

Watch out for Konerko, too. He had a career year at an advanced age (for baseball), so this year could be a real letdown. The only way Soriano stays off this list is if Rivera goes down for the year in week 3.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

if konerko goes back to his career norms it is still a good signing

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

Typically guys going through their age 35-37 seasons don’t revert back to their career norms.

I like Konerko but wouldn’t be surprised at all to see his OPS sitting in the 750-775 range by the last year of his contract.

Vmmercan
4 years 7 months ago

Can Jeter really be considered a mistake when the Yankees fully knew they were overpaying for everything he is off the field?

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

How can Benoit not be effective out of the pen? is he going to forget how to throw a ball? John Buck will suddenly not be able to squat down? Jeter sure will have a major declinein his bat but will he not be able to get to a baseball? is Jayson Werth going to need glasses and not be able to admit it? is De La Rosa’s contract going to prevent his team from siging a key player to his team? that should answer your question on your prediction, they all should do just fine.

not_brooks
4 years 7 months ago

How could Benoit not be effective out of the pen? Hmm… I don’t know… Maybe 2010 was an outlier and maybe he’ll revert back to his previous career numbers (4.79 ERA, 4.3 BB/9)? Yeah, that’s not at all possible, right…?

And John Buck? No, he won’t forget how to squat, but I wouldn’t bank much (let alone $6MM per) on a 30-year-old with a .722 career OPS.

Don’t let the Gold Gloves fool you. Jeter has been a miserable defender for most of his career.

The Werth deal is going to be a complete disaster. I don’t think you’ll find a single non-Nats fan who would disagree with that.

And we’re talking about individual player deals here. Sure de la Rosa’s contract won’t hurt the Rockies as much as the Tulo/Cargo extensions, but almost $20MM over two years for a 30-year-old who has never thrown more than 185 innings, and has topped 130 just once? Yikes.

Maybe all five of those guys will do “just fine”, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

You guys talk about the Werth contract, the Nationals owner is the richest in baseball, I think he can afford the contract. The Phillies offered Werth $16 mil a year, so $18 mil is not that different, and the Red Sox would have settled on 6 years. I dont think the owner who is worth over 4 billion dollars is on a corner with a cup after the Werth deal.

4 years 7 months ago

We aren’t saying that the Nationals went out on a limb to sign a bad contract we are saying that it is a terrible contract no matter who signed him. If Phillies or Red Sox would have signed him to close to the same amount it would still be a terrible deal.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

I guess your right, but im a fan and its not my money, and its not like we are loaded with these contracts like the Mets, for our Werth contract they have Castillo, Perez, Reyes and Beltran.

briantalletsmoustache
4 years 7 months ago

Baseball teams aren’t in the habit of throwing away money, and aside from the increasingly aware crazy-and-rich owners who like to burn money on sports teams, the amount of money spent has some relation to the amount of money they make. These owners didn’t get to be so rich because they’re in habit of losing millions of dollars. You’re a fan. You pay for the tickets, the merch, etc. So yes, it is your money.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

When you stretch out how much they make on advertising, tv rights, jersey sales, shirt sales and over all attendance boosts the contracts almost pay for themselves, what is it going to cost an extra 5 bucks to see the Nationals? really? are they going to make the hot dogs 18 dollars because they signed Werth?

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

You are on the point here, It isn’t your money and your a Nats fan, are you happy to have Werth on your team? does it make you want to go to more games? I would be if I was in the DC area and a Nats fan, and plus how much are tickets to go? how much do New Yorkers have to pay to see Jeter? man take a vacation to a city with a mediocre team and you could go to a game really cheap and have a great time, I am happy for the Nationals and I am going to be pushing really hard for Werth to get at least 30 HR and somewhere around 100 RBI.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

IT IS YOUR MONEY.

Fans pay for the teams expenses, not the owners. The owners try really hard to make a profit. The revenues come from YOU, not them.

It’s a fairly simple concept – as expenses rise teams need to recoup that in additional revenues. Maybe it’s a better TV deal (virtually no impact to your bottom line as a fan). In most cases though it’s more money for parking, tickets, food, concessions, etc. Sure you may not mind the extra $5/ticket IF the team is a 90 win organization. However, do you want to pay top dollar to watch a club go out and win 72 games? For me personally, I’m glad that my team doesn’t have to support a $200m payroll like NY. No way could I afford to regularly take my family to baseball games given the cost associated with attending a Yankee game.

At the end of the day the Werth deal isn’t huge. I think it was silly and a poor use of resources for the Nats but it won’t kill the franchise. However, you shouldn’t take that to mean that the contract is without consequence.

woadude
4 years 7 months ago

Again, how many games has Werth Played as a National? has he even showed up to spring training? Who will contribute more to his team….Werth with the Nationals or say Vernon Wells to the Angels? this isn’t a bad contract yet, he has yet to play one single game, wait until late April or early May, until then, I see a player who has a championship ring and had a good bat in Philly go to the Nationals who I am sure are happy to have him, has any Nationals fan really post on here how disgusted they are to have Werth on his team? You guys act like they signed Willie Bloomquist to this contract….give Werth a break and a chance to play

4 years 7 months ago

Ownership can always afford any contract they give out. The question is how much value are you getting for your money (doubtful that Werth earns his dosh), and how much does giving that much money to one player handicap you and prevent you from signing/extending other players. The Werth deal is probably going to look bad in a few years because Werth only started hitting a couple seasons ago, and they’re paying him like he’s been a five win player his whole career. Even if he keeps up his numbers for a few seasons, the idea that he’s going to be worth $18M as a 39 year old is ridiculous. He’ll probably be underperforming that salary by the time he’s 35.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

Anyway, we havent spent money in the past and we have been in last place, Im glad they have started to spend money and anyone who knows about the Nationals and what they are projecting in 2012 will not be talking about what we payed Werth, just wait and see.

4 years 7 months ago

I see what they basically have projected for 2012 and unless they sign a few elite free agents after the 2011 season, I don’t see them being much of a threat. I say 2013 is when they start really competing, assuming these kids pan out.

4 years 7 months ago

I think Cleveland would disagree with you on your first sentence. They really seem heavily limited.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

The Dolans are top 5 of the worst owners in baseball. He’s worth $3.3 billion and while I believe being sports teams are a business and should be treated as such, there’s something to be said with the “build it and they will come” scenarios, especially considering that the Indians have a loyal fan base that supports the team when they play above .500.

THis was an interesting find:

Listed below are the names of the owner’s currently worth more than Steinbrenner and the teams they are currently in charge of:

* Chicago Cubs: Thomas S. Rickets: $1.3 billion
* Texas Rangers: Thomas O. Hicks: $1.4 billion (obviously before the sale)
* Detroit Tigers: Mike Illitch: $1.6 billion
* Houston Astros: Drayton McLane, Jr.: $1.6 billion
* Atlanta Braves: Liberty Media: $2.3 billion
* Cleveland Indians: Larry Dolan: $3.3 billion
* Washington Nationals: Theodore N. Lerner: $3.5 billion
* Minnesota Twins: Carl Pohlad: $3.6 billion
* Seattle Mariners: Nintendo Corporation: $257.4 billion

MB923
4 years 7 months ago

Pohlad died in 2009.

Also, how are the Blue Jays (Rogers Communications) not up there?

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Pohlad passed but his estate and their ownership still exist. As for the Jays, I don’t know.

4 years 7 months ago

Rogers Communications are worth about $20 Billion. I doubt they’ll spend all of that on the Jays, though.

4 years 7 months ago

That first sentence can only be wrong when you have a Tom Hicks situation and there’s bankruptcy involved. Otherwise a team by definition can afford a contract they give out.

Muggi
4 years 7 months ago

Teams don’t use the owners as a piggy bank. It’s a hobby for you, a business for them.

As you said, the Nets only paid $2m more than one team offered, and a year longer than another team offered. Do you wonder why reports have said Boras never even CALLED another team after the Nats made that offer? He knew no one would even come close.

Sure the owner can afford it, the problem is can the Nats afford to have 20% of their payroll tied up in one guy, for SEVEN years, and NOT have him named Pujols?

It’s a bad contract man, there’s no other way to spin it. I don’t fault them for overpaying to get a guy on a bad club, but to overpay THAT much was a mistake.

JayTeam
4 years 7 months ago

If Rizzo remains that wealthy and was instrumental in pushing to aquire Werth, the Nats can easily afford to have 20% of their payroll used on one guy. It will only hamstring thier payroll going forward if Rizzo says it does. As a matter of fact that % will come down when their budget rises as the team improves. Some owners actually want to treat it as a hobby and will pay (often overmarket) to do so.

Muggi
4 years 7 months ago

Depends how high it’s going to rise I suppose. The deal is backloaded; he’ll be making over $20m the final three seasons.

JayTeam
4 years 7 months ago

No arguement about the fact is a bad contract, but as long as Rizzo doesn’t suffer a financial reversal, the contract will make no difference IMO. One other big reason is that Rizzo was the one pushing for the deal, it wasn’t the GM talking him into it.

not_brooks
4 years 7 months ago

Rizzo is the GM…

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

I do see a certain logic in the Werth signing even if it was an overpay.

The Nats have had trouble attracting players because the perception is that they are not a competitive team (which is true). The Werth deal was done early and I think it was done in efforts to send a message to perspective players that they are willing to spend and want to compete. Werth, was brought in to do what Strasburg was doing, and that is to try and win games and change the culture that has become attached to the Nationals. After the Werth deal they went hard after Cliff Lee, Zack Greinke, and others. I think the Werth deal sends a message that they are committed to being a better team.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

Matt Holiday got 6 years $120 mil, I would take Werth over Holiday anyday. At least Werth can play some defense.

4 years 7 months ago

Werth was only a superb defender in 2007 and 2008, before he started playing full time. And Holliday’s put up similar numbers to Werth’s 2009 and 2010 numbers over his career. This is just factually incorrect.

Jason Klinger
4 years 7 months ago

Fact. Werth’s UZR by year in the last four years: 13.3 / 17.8 / 4.3 / -6.9.
You read that right – negative 6.9 last year.

RidiculousPage
4 years 7 months ago

Not disputing the data, but shouldn’t we also take into account that Werth plays a more difficult position in RF?

Muggi
4 years 7 months ago

he got 7/120 and was nearly 2 years younger than Werth when the contract was signed.

Holliday has also averaged 6 WAR a season the last 3yrs; Werth has averaged 5, and has never had the higher value in any season.

I like Werth, was a big fan of him in Philly, but you’re delusional if you want him and his contract over Holliday.

RidiculousPage
4 years 7 months ago

Not to mention that, even though they came in Coors, Holliday also had more season that proved his ability. If I remember correctly, Werth has only had two full seasons of regular playing time.

JamesOrLurch
4 years 7 months ago

Wrong. First of all, Holliday got 7 years $120 million. Secondly, Werth has been plagued by injuries, almost 2 years older than Holliday, owns a career batting average almost 50 points lower, a career OPS nearly 100 points lower, and 60 less career homers in one more season than Holliday. You would really take Werth over Holliday?

If there can even be such a thing as a Nationals homer, you are one.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

Jayson Werth carried the Phillies when all the injury prone stars were injured. How quickly people forget. And if the Yankees or Red Sox signed him no one would say anything like the monster contracts AJ Burnett or Crawford got. And I would take Werth because he can play center and we have Bryce Harper coming.

not_brooks
4 years 7 months ago

A.J. Burnett’s contract was trashed the minute it was signed. It was a clear case of the Yankees ridiculously overpaying for mediocrity just because they can afford to do so.

The big difference is that the Yankees can afford to pay Burnett like a #1 when he’s pitching like a Quad-A chump. Can the Nats afford to pay Werth like a once-in-a-generation player when he’s playing like a utility man?

Muggi
4 years 7 months ago

If the Yanks had signed that deal it’d be even more ridiculed than it is now – “the rich kids don’t know how to spend their money” etc etc.

The Nats had to overpay to get a star to come to a developing team – I think everyone understands why they had to do so, but it doesn’t mean it’s a good contract. It isn’t.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

It DOES matter which team signed him.

A team competing for a playoff spot, that has a high payroll threshold, and a need for power hitter should consider Werth. And maybe even overpay as the value for every win is higher when the situation is leveraged. So a team like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies would all be justified in signing Werth, and possibly overpaying for his services. However, teams like the Pirates, Astros, Royals all would make horrible destinations for Werth. His value to those clubs is significantly lower because each incremental win means less when you are a non-contender.

For example, let’s assume that the Yankees were looking at Werth and that Werth represents a 2 win positional upgrade. Right now, 2 wins could easily be the difference between making the playoffs or not. Making the playoffs results in significantly higher revenues for the club. Yankee fans also expect their organization to make the post-season. Failure to do so is a huge blow to the organization. The Yankees could also absorb Werth without having any major issues with future payroll. Meanwhile, you look at the Nats. If Werth is still worth 2 additional wins the club goes from a 70 win team to a 72 win team. It does not change the revenue structure, it does not position the team to be a playoff contender. And it does represent a significant % of their payroll which MIGHT impact their ability to maneuver in the future.

I’m not sure that Werth is worth 7/$126 to anyone. However, I know that to a team like the Nats is a significant overpay.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

I won’t argue who’s better, Werth vs Holliday, but I think any arguement has to be limited to two things: a) Holliday away from Coors (see the difference in his lifetime h/r splits while w/ the Rockies b) Werth’s career as a starter (2008-2010).

4 years 7 months ago

Well according to FanGraphs Holliday’s UZR in the last three seasons is 2.9, 4.0, and 8.2 so that would make you wrong. I know UZR is a flawed stat but it’s flawed for everyone. But if you want to compare last season Werth had a -6.9 UZR which is a difference of 15.1. Holliday’s is well above average and Werth’s is well below average.

If you want to compare offense Holliday is still better with a career line of .317/.388/.543 compared to Werth’s .272/.367/.481 and Holliday has also produced a considerable amount more in WAR throughout his career and over the last 3 seasons. Holliday was younger with still more potential when he signed his contract since he still could be a consistent 30-35 hr guy if there was more protection in the lineup. Both have about the same SB ability. Holliday has vastly out produced Werth in many categories while hitting in not so good lineups, meanwhile Werth has played in arguably one of the best lineups in baseball. Holliday is better. I would take Holliday’s contract over Werth’s any day.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

Why would you give Matt Holidays last 3 seasons numbers on the field and only give Jaysons last year. Because all the other years Jayson blew him away. And you cant compare a left fielder to a guy who plays right and center.

4 years 7 months ago

Look at Fangraphs Matt Holliday has had a better season over each of the last three years when talking about avg, obp, ops, and slg. About the UZR I was just proving to you that Holliday isn’t a bad fielder. I was only comparing one season when talking about UZR, which was last season.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

Seriously – this isn’t hard to understand. Year by year in WAR (which DOES adjust for park splits – which means that Holliday was dinged for playing in CO). Here are the numbers by year for Holliday then Werth:

2006: (H) 4.0 … (W) DNP
2007: (H) 7.1 … (W) 3.2
2008: (H) 5.7 … (W) 5.1
2009: (H) 5.6 … (W) 4.9
2010: (H) 6.9 … (W) 5.0

Totals – Holliday = 29.3 WAR … Werth = 18.2 WAR. 11 WAR over the course of 5 years is very significant. Given age, history of injury, etc, etc. the two aren’t particularly close. Holliday is the better player and the better bet to perform up to his contract. Werth is a nice player and a great asset. However, he isn’t a superstar … even though he is paid like one.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

is you are going to compare anything between holliday and werth compare the fact that werth has had 2 good years in his career and holliday has been consistently good over his career

4 years 7 months ago

‘I would take Werth over Holiday anyday’

Then it’s settled, you’re insane.

InLeylandWeTrust
4 years 7 months ago

You are pretty much alone on that one good sir

4 years 7 months ago

For that money, I’d happily throw both players into the trash and build a dynasty for years to come. Niether player is one I would consider a cornerstone franchise talent.

4 years 7 months ago

I honestly don’t think any single player on that list is worth the money. There is so much brighter talent making much less than that. Just my opinion but Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth are not one in a generation players worth that kind of spending.

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

You’re right, but you can’t sign players already under contract. “Player’s availability” and “teams’ needs” got together to give birth to competition, thus driving up the price to what you see up there.

4 years 7 months ago

Right, BUT, if you extend high $$ contracts for the “best available” and lock those up for many years you’ve blocked any young talent from emerging within a farm system and you’ve committed your resources on depreciating talent severely limiting your ability to sign newer, better, younger talent to come. The New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs are a prime examples of this. Say, Albert Pujols becomes available (not likely but it’s possible) the yankees have firstbase blocked and in no way will Pujols accept a DH role at such a young age.

Once in a generation MLB talent:

Albert Pujols 1B
Joe Mauer C
Felix Hernandez P
Hanley Ramirez SS (sorry boston, mistake trading him)

Those are the only 4 players I would spend max money and max contract length on. They are just heads and tails above their opposition at their positions.

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

So only 4 players deserve top dollar? I mean, hey it’s your opinion… I just disagree with it. There are a couple of ways to take this.

1. As a Yankees fan, I’m more than happy having Tex at 1st base for the long haul.
2. I wouldn’t dedicate a large contract to a catcher. An offensive backstop is rare, but they get injured so often, and don’t play as much as other positions.
3. Doc, Timmeh > Felix.
4. Tulo!

But I digress. My original point is that those four players will not be available every year. Joe Mauer won’t be available for like 7 years dude, you want teams to not spend in the meantime? You aren’t making any sense. If you owned a team, it would go bankrupt from lack of ticket sales because you’re “waiting for Superman.”

A dose of reality is seriously in need.

4 years 7 months ago

Oh shutup! I said those were the only once in a generation players in the MLB right now. Players obviously desereve varying levels of compensation but my whole point was I didn’t think this crop of free agents were worthy of the contracts to which they were given. I stand by that statement.

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

Did you just tell me to shut up?! hahaaha awesome!

Yes, I understood what you said perfectly. I just think it’s a very juvenile read on reality to remain ignorant to the multiple factors manipulating team spending and player salaries. So to reiterate, yes there may be other players more deserving of $, but they aren’t free agents, and you can’t design your success model waiting for them forever. Gotta go for what is available to fill your need, and in doing so, prices usually go up. It’s really not that difficult a concept to grasp…

EDIT: Just for the record, I actually do think CC and Lee are “once in a generation” players or whatever you said. Werth, not so much.

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

Actually, once in a generation would imply there is only one player for our generation, no? Hmm… trick question!

4 years 7 months ago

Positionally speaking. ie once in a generation catcher, pitcher, shortstop etc. Bonds and Pedro are not playing anymore, therefore (should go without saying) are no longer part of this current generation of ballplayers.