Wade Davis, Agent Take Calculated Risk

The Rays acknowledge that they took a significant risk when they invested $12.6MM in a pitcher who has appeared in just 35 big league games. Wade Davis signed for more guaranteed money than any pitcher in his service class (one-plus years), but he took on a different kind of risk.

Davis’ agent, B.B. Abbott, acknowledges that there’s a chance his client will earn millions less than he would have obtained by going year to year and hitting free agency after 2015. It could amount to a $6-8MM discount for the Rays, but Abbott says it's a worthwhile tradeoff for Davis, who gets guaranteed money and security.

"I don't think anyone can definitively tell you that it's the wrong deal or a bad deal or a good deal," Abbott told MLBTR. "It was just the right deal for Wade and the right deal for the team."

It's a contract that will allow Davis to enter free agency in time for a major free agent payday. Even if the Rays exercise their three team options, Davis will hit the open market as a 32-year-old with $35.1MM in his bank account. He was flattered that the Rays considered him worthy of such substantial investment after just one full season.

"It doesn’t seem to happen a whole lot in baseball, so it’s a huge compliment and something that I’m looking forward to," Davis said on a conference call earlier today.

The Rays made a similar investment in James Shields after the 2007 season and though 2010 was disappointing, he has put together three consecutive 200-inning seasons under his current contract. Shields was one of the main points of reference for the Davis deal, along with Brett Anderson, who had the record for one-plus pitchers ($12.5MM guarantee) until Davis signed. Chad Billingsley, who just signed an extension of his own, and Matt Garza were other comparable pitchers relevant to the negotiations between Davis, Abbott and the Rays. 

8 Responses to Wade Davis, Agent Take Calculated Risk Leave a Reply

  1. nhsox 4 years ago

    Looks like they were playing it safe by taking the guaranteed money. There’s an inherent risk that is involved projecting one’s value that far off into the future, but extensions are considered the safe route because the future payouts are more certain. (edit: from the player’s perspective)

  2. I think it was a dumber move on Davis’ part.

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Yeah pretty dumb to be a pitcher and accept $12.6 million in guaranteed money knowing your arm could give out at any point.

      • woadude 4 years ago

        Yeah but even more dumb is a team investing in a FA 32 year old pitcher, the roids are out of baseball, after 32 is when its his twilight years.

        • petrie000 4 years ago

          i know right! imagine what Cliff Lee could have made ten years ago!

          (when will science finally give us the sarcasm smiley?)

  3. baseball1234 4 years ago

    haha, woadude has a crystal ball. Lets tell Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt that…

    • woadude 4 years ago

      Yeah…about 10 pitchers compared to how many that have played the game?

  4. muskyfish 4 years ago

    Brilliant on both fronts. Davis was likely in a very uncomfortable position all season long last year, as he battled inconsistency while Hellickson was breathing down his neck. Now it’s Archer and Moore that will be putting on the full-court press, and that doesn’t include the guys who are younger nor whoever Tampa ends up with in what could be the greatest draft haul ever. Now Davis has some security, and the club has a very team friendly contract that is of great value and if need be could be moved for an impact bat to finish off the quick re-loading project that the team is undertaking.

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