Earlier this evening I took a look at the free agent stock of reliever Scott Downs, arguably the best non-closer still available on the open market. Joaquin Benoit broke the ice this past week when he accepted the Tigers' contract offer of three years and $16.5MM, presumably giving Downs and his camp a comparable they can use as a basis for their demands.
There are obvious differences between the two relievers, of course. Downs is just about a year older than Benoit but his health history is considerably better. He also has a much longer track record when it comes to being a top shelf reliever, and being left-handed certainly doesn't hurt. It's reasonable to think that Downs could command a larger contract than Benoit, but it's been quite some time since a reliever landed a deal that big. Time for the poll…
Will Downs land a contract larger than Benoit's?
Click here to vote and here to see the results. Thanks in advance.
no, because he’s a type A… if they were both B’s downs would pull down a much bigger contract. he’s been consistantly better up to this point
I’d say you’re right. But I think a team with a protected 1st round pick might offer him the $ and years.
It’s stated earlier, but a 2/$12 million + option for 3rd year w/ $1 million buyout sounds about right.
Dbacks need bullpen help, don’t know if they’ve got the money though. Mets maybe? Either of the LA teams?
I was a little surprised Benoit got a 3 year deal but I think at this point the first team to at least match the years of the deal that the Tigers gave Benoit will sign Downs. That said, Drombowski said it himself, the Tigers were being aggressive. So my bet is Downs gets 3 years but gets less guaranteed money.
I think Benoit really set the standard for what teams will pay. Teams just value a solid reliever so much at this point. That being said, I believe Downs will get even more money.
i think yes. better track record, lh, better injury history, and benoit signed first. if i’m downs’ agent im thinking i gotta get 3/ 18m or 2 for 12.5m i don’t think the type a will be a big factor, as i think he’ll go to a team signing multiple type a’s
not sure…. i would be surprised if he got a 3 year deal like benoit strictly because of the age difference. I would think he is likely to get maybe a 2/12M with a team/mutual option for a third year. Coming from a Jays fan, I am just hoping the jays will get a first round pick from the team he signs with 🙂
with their gm i would too. i really liked his liked his last draft
oops. never stuttered in type before
Slow day in the baseball world seeing as Scott Downs is the big topic.
Thats why I hate weekends. Almost nothing ever happens.
Agreed. Reading about Downs and minor league contracts isn’t taking care of my baseball fix…
Where are you Justin Upton?!
Boarding on a plane to Boston? Just kidding. I wish. 🙂
he’s definitely a better pitcher to sign than Benoit, but he’s probably worth more around 5M per year. Benoit just got a rediculous contract that shouldn’t even be relevant or considered when signing other free agent relievers this offseason.
Matt Guerrier’s going to get something close after seeing what his boy Joaquin got.
I agree, I just think proven guys like Guerrier and Downs should get much more than Benoit would get. But I think Benoit should have gotten like 2 years 8 mil total. Downs and Guerrier should get 3 years 15M, but now the Tigers just screwed up the market and made it a players market
there are some things to shape a contract around in this situation.
1- Downs is lefthanded (price goes up)
2- Downs has a fastball at 90-91 mph (price goes down)
3- Downs will be 35 yrs. old when 2011 season starts(Years go down)
4- Downs has been consistent the past 4 yrs as a reliever(price goes up)
5- competitive attitude, Downs is a bulldogg(price goes up)
6- above average slider/offspeed pitches along w/ S/outs(price goes up)
Scott Downs 2011 contract
2 Years $13 mill. + $6mil. mutual opt. in 2013
get $6 mil in 2011 $6 mil. in 2012 with $1 mil. buyout for 2013;
i think those numbers are right on.
off topic i know, but for conversation sake, if your the nats and you draft bryce harper, do you try to keep him at c and see if he can do it? i know he’s signed to a ml contract, so i THINK he has to be on the 25man by 2014. would that be enough time to learn him some catching? personally, i would love to see that kind of potential production from a c if he’s reasonable defensively.
I’d keep him at catcher until he shows he definitely can’t do it. Maybe work with him at third or rf a little just so he has a head start if he needs to make a change…but play him at catcher until he forces you to make a change
i agree. i don’t like when guys are moved off a premium position just to rush them to the show. especially when harpers so young.
It’ll be tough to ignore the hype though. I can’t imagine Nats fans would be terribly impressed if Harper stays in the minors for 4 or 5 years (which he probably should).
The flip side to the argument is that his bat could be SO good that you want him in the lineup for 160 games a year, not 130.
Good point, I’m stuck in the AL frame of mind where you can just dh him when he’s not catching. How good would someone’s bat have to be to justify that? Would it be possible to have him as a c/3b or c/rf?
You can’t use Detroit as a barometer for other salaries because Detroit has to overpay. How else would they get someone to play in Detroit?
No one is going to copy Detroit’s overpayment for a set-up reliever like Downs who turns 35 next year and Guerrier who turns 33. Plus both these guys have a lot of mileage on their arms. Teams will find alternatives who are more cost-effective.
If you pay $5M or more per year for a set-up reliever you’re either stupid or desperate.
It’s obvious to everyone that Scott Downs is a much better reliever than Benoit, but I have a hard time believing that is the true market for the relievers. Downs gets 3/18 I’d guess.
I’m thrilled great things have happened to Scott Downs. I played with him briefly in college and he was focused on making it to the major leagues to take care of his family. I know this is a cliche, but when a junior in college who nobody has ever heard of says it, it actually has meaning. I wish him the best.
Just because one team overpays doesn’t mean every team after that will also. Are the Tigers planning on being “aggressive” on Downs as well?