Over at Fangraphs, Jay Jaffe takes an analytic approach to forecasting a new contract for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, assuming the three-time Cy Young winner opts out of the remaining two years and $65MM on his current deal after the season. Jaffe notes that, historically speaking, seven-year deals are the norm for elite arms inking both extensions and free-agent pacts, adding that it seems reasonable for Kershaw and his reps at Excel Sports Management to strive for a record-setting average annual value that’d top the current highwater mark set by former teammate Zack Greinke ($34.417MM). That’d set the baseline at something in the vicinity of $241MM over a seven-year term, which seems staggering for a pitcher’s age-31 through age-37 seasons, though Jaffe utilizes multiple projection models and aging curves to demonstrate that Kershaw could actually be, statistically speaking, a strong candidate to nonetheless provide surplus value (or something close to it).
Jaffe also notes that the Dodgers probably wouldn’t risk a new extension beginning with the 2018 season for luxury tax purposes, though a contract announced after Opening Day and beginning with the 2019 season would not count against their current luxury tax ledger. It’s an interesting look at one of the most interesting contractual situations in all of baseball and is well worth a full look.
More from the NL West…
- The Dodgers and Padres are both facing crowded outfield mixes, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick notes in a team-by-team look at the Cactus League. The Dodgers made “every attempt” to trade Matt Kemp after reacquiring him in a salary-motivated trade back in December but were unable to find a taker. He’s now competing with Joc Pederson and Andrew Toles for at-bats in left field, with prospect Alex Verdugo looming as well. The Padres, meanwhile, have Manuel Margot and Wil Myers holding down a pair of outfield spots, leaving a huge group of Hunter Renfroe, Jose Pirela, Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski and Franchy Cordero vying for playing time. Skipper Andy Green tells Crasnick there’s a “cutthroat competition” for playing time but also noted that the deep mix of outfielders creates the ability to platoon and play matchups more effectively.
- The D-backs are weighing three middle infielders for two spots, writes MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, with both Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed vying for the everyday shortstop role while Chris Owings sees time at both middle infield slots. The starting shortstop gig may come down to a battle between Marte and Ahmed, with the former being a offensive-minded option and the latter being a considerably more gifted defender. (Ahmed’s 35 Defensive Runs Saved since 2015 rank 15th in MLB at any position despite the fact that he has fewer innings played than any of the 14 players ahead of him.) Manager Torey Lovullo played it close to the vest when asked by Sanchez about his starting shortstop, simply stating that the organization “loves” all three players. “It’s probably too early for me to give you what will happen [Opening Day],” said Lovullo. “It will be unfair to these guys. They are going to compete.”
- Giants outfielder Mac Williamson spent the offseason working with private hitting instructor Doug Latta, whose most prominent success story is Justin Turner, writes Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Williamson spoke with Pavlovic about the changes he’s made to his swing, including the lowering of his hands and incorporation of a larger leg kick. Giants staff members have tried to get Williamson to lift the ball with more regularity in the past, Pavlovic notes, but he’s still posted an ugly 56.6 percent ground-ball rate in his career despite owning a fair bit of raw power. Pavlovic adds that Williamson is likely ticketed for Triple-A, which isn’t a huge surprise given the presence of Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Pence, Austin Jackson and two out-of-options teammates in Jarrett Parker and Gorkys Hernandez.
Arrietta to the Cardinals.
A) they can afford him
B) he has extensive experience against the national league central.
C) he will have extra motivation against their main rival the Cubbies.
D) Matt Carpenter is his best friend.
Wow, that’s an amazingly accurate and expansive distillation of what’s above!
1. Irrelevant, even if relevant ould be used to send him to Mil., too.
2. See 1
4. Then why isn’t he signed already
Free Clay Zavada
I thought I was his best friend
arrietas best friend
Let me just go ahead and settle this “best friend” debate….
Extra motivation? The Cubs offered him a contract, he declined it
They also reached out to him last minute before they signed Darvish and offered him the money instead. Now that’s respect, and loyalty! So yeah, I don’t see how Jake could reasonably have any hard feelings towards them
I don’t see Kershaw getting more than 5/175.
I will take the over on that. Both years and AAV
Having a hard time seeing 30m pitchers myself now after this offseason. What is Sale worth? Those 2 can both be possible FA over 2018-2019.
This off-season is not the new normal. It is what it is due to a combination of factors; big-spenders getting below the threshold, teams with money to spend not ready to go whole hog, and an underwhelming FA class. Wait until next season and you’ll see a $30M pitcher again.
Let Gorkys go and promote Williamson.
Yeah I don’t get why keeping Gorkys would make any sense. He’s not good at all, and even if they’re scared of losing him there’s no chance that someone would actually claim him.
Gorkys will get picked up if released. Good defense. Good speed. Hit .281 in second half. “Not good at all” is only ur opinion Michael. He’s no Trout but is not “not good at all”. Having stuck up for him I do think he’ll not make the varsity. Slater and Jackson and the main 3. Pence cutch and Duggar (or a player acquired via trade) are the 5 OFs. Just my lame 2 cents anyway
Ninth 3 Year Plan
Well what is Gorkys good at then?
He can run, that’s it & lol at the notion he would get claimed off optional waivers.
Blanco is in camp & has started well, Giants fans know how boch likes his guys so I expect him to make it. Parker & Slater will compete for the 5th spot, Parker may hit the waiver wire in that battle ……he is one that i’d expect to get claimed.
Duggar & MAC should start out at AAA
his defense is a liability, he gets a terrible jump on the ball and even though he hit above average in the second half he was waaay below average in the first.
Agree with Wolf. Gorkys is actually really bad on defense (he doesn’t read the ball off the bat well), is a mediocre-at-best hitter for a 5th outfielder, and has zero upside. I would rather see someone young and hungry take that roster spot.
I’ll repeat, I do NOT believe Gorkys makes the roster.
His defense is rated way better than you all think. Yes, there were some misplays last year BUT there were some highlight reel catches. And he has a way higher upside over Blanco who did not play that well last year.
Again, I predict Pence, Jackson, McCutcheon, Duggar and Slater. Only 5 outfielders. Slater is a very good hitter. If Duggar struggles in March I will expect they trade for another centerfielder.
I just don’t think they’ll depend on Blanco OR Hernandez.
We should give odds and see who ends up being right. Sounds like we’re all Giants fans so at least we have that in comment.
Actually I think blanco was better than gorkys after further review. 15 sbs but lower avg
Pitches Love Velocity
This is why the Padres didn’t need Hosmer. It was a luxury signing.
Would rather have Cordero, Margot, Renfroe with Myers at 1st and saved the money and use pirela as a platoon with Cordero.
Kemp will have to prove himself if he wants to get at bats. The dodgers aren’t a rebuilding team that I’d willing to give at bats to anybody. If the dodgers can’t get good production from Kemp by the all Star break, I would not be suprised to see him DFAed.
No one is trading for him and no team will want to pay much of that salary. But I guess they can keep trying? Dodgers are going to have to pay 95% of his remaining salary and accept a low prospect return for Kemp… seems like no one wants kemp even taking up a roster spot at this point. $21.75 million for a league average player. Yikes.
Matt kemp isnt being paid by the Dodgers. I think the padres are picking up the tab
Nope, the Padres dumped Kemp’s salary for Hector Olivare’s. And I believe that the Dodgers took Kemp’s salary from the Braves.
The Padres are responsible for $5m of Kemp’s remaining contract.
No they are no blue sky
Padres owe nothing
They got 3 mil a year from the doyuers for kemp. They sent that 3 mil a year to the braves
And look he is back in la
If anyone says the padres are paying Kemp’s salary again I’ll throw a book at them
Padres are paying Kemp’s salary
No they are you troll
They are playing Oliveras contract
Pretty sure it was a joke. Calm down, Nancy.
The Padres are on the hook for $2.5m per season, according to baseball-reference.com. You could look it up. I did.
Throwing the book right back at you. Heads up!
Doyuers are on the hook for 3 mil a season plus 18 want me to find the source for you?
Link to ut type kemp/Olivera trade
Even the top names in the game have confirmed this like one of the guys that linked to it. You can even pulled up the trade rumors link
Money: In addition to Kemp, the Padres are essentially forwarding an additional $10.5 million to the Braves – or the rest what the Dodgers agreed to send the Padres upon agreeing to pay down $32 million of the $107 million left on his contract two years ago. That originally broke down to $18 million in 2015 and $3.5 million from 2016 to 2020.
All doyuers money
Already found a source that shows you are wrong. But I said that already.
These were very complex transactions, so what I’d do is go to where the final numbers can be found. Those numbers say the Padres are still responsible for $2.5m per.
Not that this is worth a big argument or anything.
It was a clean swap dude you’re just realizing you’ll paying 21 mil for a bench bat
Padres are paying for another bad doyuers contract
Shows what you know bro
Duuuude, what a bunch of nonsense. The Padres assumed $10.5m of his remaining contract when he was traded to Atlanta. The Padres are still responsible for what is left of it ($5m). This is according to every source available, except the source in your head apparently.
It was a cash neutral deal ! The Dodgers are paying all of Kemps salary for the next 2 years! $43 million
Padres are paying for Kemp
BTW Padres will not be “beating” the Dodgers. That made me literally laugh out loud. Good one, Linda!
Your numbers are sort of ludicrous. You are making it more expensive for the Dodgers to trade Kemp than to simply release him.
Free Clay Zavada
League average player? Lol
Here”s something I heard last week: Kemp dropped 40 [FORTY] pounds this off-season!!! I don’t know if it was a typo, but if true it will help him manage his arthritic hip problem.
I’d probably rather see Williamson and Duggar than Parker and Hernandez.
Ninth 3 Year Plan
What about blanco & Slater? That’s the pair that will break camp IMO
Blanco puts them over the tax. I would be shocked if any of the veterans they signed on minors deals see the field this year. But I forgot about Slater, he should probably be starting over Pence in left.
If Williamson is working on his swing, then it makes more sense to give him at bats every day in the minors, rather than being a 4th outfielder in the majors. Duggar probably needs more time as well.
After 2018, Pence and McCutchen will both be gone, and then we have Duggar, Slater, Williamson, Parker, and perhaps Chris Shaw conpeting for the three outfield spots.
What if Duggar isn’t ready? He has only 13 games at AAA. And I think Slater is a better bet than Williamson.
Why are the dbacks so invested on amhed? He is absolutely terrible
What is terrible about him? He may be the second best fielding SS in the game. His offensive skills leave much to be desired, but AZ isn’t lacking for offense and can really use him to help the pitching staff.
Ahmed should win the SS role. His skill at his position and low cost are special. Move “Kettle Corn” Marte to 2nd and have Owings be a semi-regular playing 2nd, SS, LF, RF and pinch hitter/runner.
Ahmed would have been just as good the last couple years but was hurt on fluke accidents. Hopefully this year is healthier.
I’d have Nick Ahmed be a defensive replacement for Ketel in the late innings when they really need good defense.
’cause you don’t need great defense early in the game?
Especially against lefties. Ahmed hits about as well as Marte.
N.L needs to adopt the DH rule so these extra players riding the bench can get some at bats
Ninth 3 Year Plan
Agreed, the NL is the only pro baseball league in the WORLD that has pitchers batting. Time to grow up and join the rest of the planet, NL.
Time to get a clue and shut that junk up!
If you like the DH, watch the AL.
If you don’t like the DH, watch the NL.
Very simple. No need to change the damn rules.
No need to let untrained/lousy hitters have plate appearances. FTFY
Every player that fields bats. Cause that’s how baseball is played.
And the national league is the oldest league in the world for baseball. Why would they change to follow what the junior leagues are doing? The national league is the premier league. The American league needs to drop the DH so they can catch up to the premier league. The DH rule is attrotious and an assault on baseball. If you can’t hit you shouldn’t get someone to do it for you. Baseball is a two way sport, you play offense and defense. Just because the American league is too weak to let their already sub par pitchers hit, doesn’t mean the national league should suffer.
“N.L needs to adopt the DH rule so these extra players riding the bench can get some at bats”
That makes no sense. Bench players get far more pinch-hitting opportunities in the NL than they do in the AL.
We shoulda had a designated free throw shooter for Shaq and Dwight Howard. Pitchers that can hit give teams advantages over teams that have pitchers that can’t hit. So let’s punish teams that try develop well round pitchers by using a DH.
And tad2b13 you gave an excellent answer. And with a DH, the starter lasts longer so no double switches, more bench riding.
I HATE the argument that taking away the DH takes away salaries.
And why have there been no arguments about HR totals alltime when many HRs were hit by players who could no longer field and hence DHd. Vlad hrs as a dh helped his hof case. I still can see him horribly playing RF in 2010 WS
Wonder if the Dodgers would package Kemp with Verdugo?
Seems awfully counter-productive. They would likely want to trade Kemp so they can find AB’s for guys like Toles and Verdugo. Trading both of them hurts their depth. I see it more likely that they package a pitching prospect with Kemp, if anyone.
No, because Verdugo has more than 20M in potential surplus value. 20M is important, because even with 40M Kemp is just a 1 year AAV sting. The trade was made for financial flexibility this year, nothing more nothing less. They clearly aren’t in the market for any major FAs. The only thing they would be shedding Kemp for would be more wiggle room at the TDL. Even amongst harshest projections they’ll have about 5-6M for TDL deals after bonuses, so the question then becomes; who they want to target at the deadline? I’m not sure there are any big money expiring contracts that fit. Last year they spent ~8M for 2nd half additions. So I can see an upside lotto ticket the Dodgers don’t have in their future plans for a 3-5M savings. Now that Darvish is gone I find it hard to believe they are targeting a FA out there, unless their market completely bottoms out. The time for a major prospect being added with Kemp is pretty much over.
Oh, oops I must have been watching the wrong sport all these years. You mean baseball players can’t hit from both sides of the plate? “Play matchups more effectively.” What a joke!
Coach to Team: Send in Jimmy Smith-Torres because he can hit a lefty.
Team: But he can’t make it to first base even if he hits, he’s 78lbs out of shape.
Coach: I understand, but if he gets a piece of a two seamer…yes yes yes I know the guy throws 7 different pitches, but if he gets the two seamer this ball is gone and thats what we need right now.
Team: with all the game footage available you think they are going to throw him a two seamer?
Coach: we have a 1 out of 7 chance.
Team: umm, yeah I don’t think you’re doing that math correctly.
Coach: 7 pitches so yeah 1 out of 7.
Team: Why can’t we just leave Hunter Hogwash in? The guy is batting a .265 against righties?
Coach: Because he is batting a .259 against lefties and Smith-Torres is batting .261 so the odds will ever be in our favor. Now send him in.
If you can’t bat equally against righty and lefties does that make you a half of a baseball player? Sounds like that’s the real argument. So why pay a 1/2 baseball player a full salary? How about 1/2 the salary until he learns to be a whole baseball player. Who picks these guys to plays for teams, a right hand bat specialist and a left hand bat specialist. Sounds like a recipe for a disaster and a total waste of payroll.
Maybe teams should start paying players based on their abilities… oh, wait. Doesn’t that already happen?
It seems that Mr. Adams and all the commenters here missed the fact that the D’backs traded away their 2nd baseman. Marte is moving over to 2nd, Ahmed is the SS and Owings is the super utility guy, getting regular at bats filling in at SS, 2nd, LF and RF. There is no overload in the middle infield any longer.
I can’t see Owings getting too many AB’s as an outfielder this year unless they find a way to move Tomas. It’s more likely that Owings, Ahmed and Marte all share time up the middle
Not to mention the presence of Descalso
Has there ever been a modern pitcher with around 2000 IP at 30 the same pitcher at 33? Not likely. Huge mistake to go long with Kershaw. An advanced analytic team like the Dodgers would know this.
The Giants don’t have to worry about Gorkys being out of options. He’d sail through waivers faster than a Lamborghini passing a Prius.