TODAY: This deal is now official. The option vests with sixty appearances apiece in 2021 and 2022, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic tweets.
YESTERDAY, 8:35pm: The vesting option is based on appearances and is worth $10MM, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets.
8:11pm: The two sides have an agreement in place, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweets.
8:01pm: The Astros and right-hander Ryan Pressly are close to finalizing a two-year extension worth a guaranteed $17.5MM, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. The deal would kick in beginning with the 2020 season, paying him $8.75MM that year and again in 2021, with a vesting option for a third season. He’s already earning $2.9MM in 2019 after avoiding arbitration and was set to become a free agent at season’s end. Pressly is represented by the Ballengee Group.
Pressly, 30, joined the Astros in a midseason that sent prospects Gilberto Celestino and Jorge Alcala to the Twins in July. Already in the midst of a strong season in Minnesota, Pressly became an all-out buzzsaw in the late innings with Houston. Pressly, who attributed his breakout to the Astros’ analytics department and its presentation of data to players, pitched to a 0.77 ERA with a 32-to-3 K/BB ratio in 23 1/3 regular-season innings following the trade. He tacked on another five innings and allowed one run in the postseason.
A former Rule 5 pick by the Twins out of the Red Sox system, Pressly steadily improved his K/BB numbers from 2015-18, and his improvement in ’18 has the look of a potential elite weapon for the Astros moving forward. No reliever in baseball topped Pressly in terms of curveball spin rate — Garrett Richards was the only pitcher in all of MLB to best him in that regard — and the spin rate on Pressly’s fastball ranked in the 98th percentile of MLB pitchers.
He also ranked in the top five percent of the league in terms of overall strikeout percentage and several Statcast metrics (including expected batting average, expected slugging percentage and expected weighted on-base average). Whether looking at traditional stats or newer metrics, Pressly was an overpowering force in 2018, and the Astros apparently had no interest in letting him get to the open market.
While that dominance hasn’t been sustained over a multi-year stint yet, there’s still an argument that Pressly could’ve reached free agency next winter as the market’s most desirable reliever. He hasn’t yet reached even $7MM in career earnings, so it’s easy to see why would take the security of a guaranteed payday worth two and a half times what he’s banked since his MLB debut. But, the relatively short-term nature of the deal and the $8.75MM annual rate could both have been topped with a similarly strong 2019 campaign; Adam Ottavino, for instance, parlayed a 2018 season that was not as dominant as Pressly’s into a three-year deal worth $27MM. Extensions are always a question of risk tolerance, though, and Pressly’s annual value is commensurate the annual rates attained by Ottavino and Joe Kelly (three years, $25MM with the Dodgers).
Too much. What a joke!
Too much? He was amazing last year that seems about normal to me $2.9m
Don’t mind SC. His posts have become bitter. Lol
you’re blind to think it’s not an overpay
I would call it taking a calculated risk. They must believe that the pitcher they have is much closer to the one on their roster last year than the one in past seasons.
Anything now not > $350 MIL a non event.
I take that back!
Sox extended Eloy! Likely to start with Sox on Day 1.
Happy for him, he is fun to watch.
I believed the Twins should have gotten more for him, said so at the time. His stats after the trade only showed it more. Glad he’s finally hitting his potential.
I thought the Astros gave up a lot. In retrospect, Pressly was better than I thought last year. Hope he keeps it up. Solid RP.
I thought the Twins did well in every trade but this one. Pressly was underrated.
Twins did pretty well in that trade, both guys have good upside. The Astros deserve credit for maximizing his talent but Pressly wasn’t exactly Mr. Consistent prior and his pre-trade numbers weren’t dominant outside of Ks. Doubt any teams were going to give much more.
Glad he’s sticking around. If Sipp was worth $6 million per year and Joe Smith is worth $8MM, Presley is certainly worth $8.75MM yr.
Problem is Sipp nor Smith are worth the money they got either….
Tom E. Snyder
And now I hear they are talking to Bregman. That’s what can happen when a game gets rained out.
I can’t wait to see ticket prices this year.
Ticket prices and contracts have no correlation. In any sport. There was a Duke/UNC college basketball game this season in which the starting ticket price was 2500 dollars.
Ticket prices and costs do have a correlation. A college basketball game may not have salaries, but they also don’t have the revenue streams. Salaries are part of the cost.
Nope. It goes by supply and demand.
Exactly this. Teams will charge as much for tickets as the market will bear. That’s all.
Baseball’s other revenue streams dwarf ticket sales. I mean, the cost of putting on a game is immense, and 45% of the gate goes to the opposing team anyway. The ticket takers and ushers and security and electricity and all the other infrastructure cost money. While I know people complain also about the price of beer and food also going up, I suspect most teams contract that stuff out to the highest bidder- food service giants like Sysco and Aramark and then local brewpubs and popular restaurants lease space from the team and then set the prices based on the whole “captive audience” markup. (Not to get too far into it, but think about popcorn at movie theaters; popcorn is like the cheapest thing in the world to manufacture, but it’s insanely expensive at a movie theater because of the captive audience. Soda is also almost free to make, but the same deal)
I honestly don’t think much of the revenue from ticket sales goes to player contracts. Most of that money doesn’t even leave the stadium. It’s not like the days when basically attendance was the entire revenue source. TV./Advanced Media/etc are where the big money comes from. The teams that have a legit reason to cry poverty – the A’s and Rays – don’t have the lucrative TV contracts nearly every other team enjoys. The Rays have had, in the past, the worst local TV deal, although they have been talking about signing a much better one for more than a year now.
So sick of this misinformation and how smugly people try to pass it off as fact. Ticket revenue is enormous to teams. Absolutely enormous.
2018 – Houston Astros
Average ticket price = $40.25
Average attendance = 36,796 x 81
Ticket Revenue = 119,964,159
Est. concessions = 23,992,832 (20% of ticket sales)
Total attendance revenue = $143,956,991 (assuming no merch sales)
So $144M in game day revenue is dwarfed by other sources? What other sources, exactly? Even if almost nobody attended the games, the team would still need to employ ushers, security, the team still needs a place to play, they still need lights, etc. Stadium operating costs are largely fixed.
You speculate greedy vendors and captive audiences are the reason for skyrocketing concession prices? No. It’s the teams lease rates. Just like how airports have higher costs for food and drink, sports events have higher costs because leasing the space at stadiums is extremely expensive. Teams essentially push the price of leasing vending space to the highest bidder and that vendor determines a reasonable profit margin based on the cost of food/drink. It’s why you see a lot of vendors churn from year to year. It can be unprofitable unless the model works out great.
Movie theater prices are so high because theaters make zero profit from the movie ticket prices. Ticket prices cover the cost of showing the movie only. All profits come from concessions. Different industry with completely different financial models.
That revenue number is just a gross, though, not net. How much do you think it costs to put on a game? I’m seriously asking….the 50M dollars from MLBAM doesn’t require the massive infrastructure of putting on a baseball game. (And you also didn’t account for 45% of those ticket sales going to the visiting team either)
And I never said the vendors were greedy; I think it’s obvious, though, that they aren’t just charging 12 dollars for a beer because they’re eking by; they call it “stadium pricing” for a reason. We all know we can’t bring in our own food and drink, and the concessions are priced to maximize profit. The reason for the “churn,” as you call it, might be because it’s a ton of work to try to run a business that’s only open around 100 days a year. Staffing and supply issues are a nightmare for stadium concessionaires.
This is anecdotal, so not applicable to all stadiums, but I am a chef who was once contracted to help run a concession for a minor league baseball team, through a local brewpub. We were open 92 days in the season – 72 games and some events (concerts, etc.). It was a AAA team. Anyway, it’s nearly impossible to find employees who have the flexibility to work the game hours (on game days we started about 4 hours before game time and finished about 3 hours after game time, so basically a 10-hour day). The schedule was obviously erratic – when the team was on a road trip the employees weren’t working for a week+ at a a time – for a working cook, that’s a huge problem. we paid well for a cooking job but not enough to deal with the huge gaps in work days. Ordering perishables for that sort of job was also really difficult; we couldn’t just order tons of perishables and freeze them when the team was on the road, because we didn’t have enough space to freeze, say, 200 pounds of chicken tenders. And then rain-outs. Those were the very worst. We had to pay our employees anyway, to keep them there for the season, and we lost so much money on those days, because we had a fully staffed operation, and we treated our employees well; we didn’t just send them home without getting a few hours in. (Other concessionaires did)
In our situation, the beer markup paid for the food, which was basically a break-even proposition. Restaurants operate on a razor-thin margin as it is – they make so much more money on alcohol because there’s no real overhead to serving it, as opposed to serving food.
Our lease, as I understood it, wasn’t remotely prohibitive; we paid a fee at the beginning of the season and we could set our own prices. We did pay a % of sales but it wasn’t crazy. We could have still made money charging 6 dollars for a beer, but why do that when we can charge 12 dollars? As I wrote earlier, prices are what the market will bear.
I quit that job after one year because it’s really hard to keep a job that only operates 100 days a year when you have a family and such.
Way too much for this guy….paying him closer salary….wow what a joke….it is beyond getting out of hand….he is a 4 or 5 million dollar reliever at best….2 years 9 mil would have been okay offer but even that is too high for a middle reliever based off 1 good year
Well he was one of the best, if not the best reliever the second half of the season.
Well he got about the same as relievers like Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, Addison Reed, Anthony Swarzak, Kelvin Herrera, Tommy Hunter, Darren O’day, Adam Ottavino, Juan Nicasio, Andrew Miller, and Zack Britton. 11 of the top 19 paid relievers. All non-closers; granted Ottavino/Britton are kinda cheating since they’d probably be a closer if they didn’t sign with the Yankees.
All of those listed have been closers at some point and have proven track records but I think 9 mil too much for most of them too….Pressly maybe u can argue 6 mil per season after he has 2-3 good years not just the 1
Most of those have been setup men that get the occasional save, just like Pressly. Why does it even matter if they’re not used as a closer during their contract? Sure, most of them are probably overpaid but that’s the price for great relievers.
“Pressly maybe u can argue 6 mil per season”
Sure, argue it based on facts, not feelings.
With this comment you’re demonstrating that your knowledge and reasoning regarding this situation surpasses the Astros’. I’m interested to know what his comps are and why he deserves no more than six mil per season on a two year FA deal.
Actually most of them have been closers at some point even if for 1 season and all of them have been set up men….they have proven track records and even they aren’t worth 9-10 mil per season in my opinion because I think they are all overpaid babies….but to be clear Pressly had 1 good season….I just think 5-6 mil per season is enough pay for a 1 year wonder if not too much even then….but after 2 more good seasons then give him 9-10 mil….that’s all I was saying and I am aware that teams are going away from the traditional closer role….Bradley and Miller and Hader are prime examples as they weren’t the closers on their teams but they were the shut down relievers on their teams….I am fully aware of all of these changes and the value of a closer has diminished but Bradley and Hader and Miller have been shutting teams down consistently whereas Presley came out of nowhere to have 1 good season and everyone jumps on the band wagon….I need to see more before I believe he is an elite reliever that’s all I was saying
And yet majority of those players signed to be something other than closers. The only relievers from that list with notable closer duties are Britton, Miller, Herrera. Smith had 1 short run 5 years ago. The rest of them got like 5-7 saves, which is normal for setup men. Ex, Pressly had 2 saves in 26 opportunites with the Astros, so 5-6 saves is entirely possible. This isn’t “everyone [jumping] on the bandwagon” though. This is the team that probably targeted him in a trade; his high spin rates follow the Astros pitching ideology; and seemingly improved his game by a lot. I completely get wanting to wait longer until signing him, but given the Astros believe in Pressly they simply didn’t want him to test FA.
Also just a clarification since you might have focused on the more elite/closers I mentioned; Britton is making ~50% more and he would’ve gotten more if it weren’t for his injury history. Miller is making ~25% more and is coming off a down year. He’d also make more if he didn’t battle multiple injuries and struggle last year. The pitchers within 250k of Pressly’s contract include Shaw, Reed, Swarzak, Herrera, Hunter, O’day, Herrera
Closer salary is way higher than $9M / year for players at Pressley’s age.
Even if he’s just a 2WAR player going forward you’d have to exceed 20M a year to be “overpaying”. There is literally a way to measure whether contracts are over or underpays but sure stick to your subjective mindset lacking anything resembling context. You’re definitely in the majority with that BS approach…so there’s that I guess. God baseball fans are so dumb when it comes to valuations.
Makes me happy; he is a guy who kind of slogged through as a middle reliever, always close to being released or DFA’d, then modern analytics and data basically improved him greatly – 101 Ks in 71 innings! He’s going to actually get paid and it’s a testament to the way teams are finding hidden gems. The Padres are terrific at this, of course, but so is Houston. And good for Pressly. A few years ago he was just a generic up and down guy, seeing time in the minors every season.
He is not a closer and he had only one good season….the list above are proven veterans even if not closers anymore in some cases but Pressly does not have the same track record as those mentioned above and to be honest I think even some of the proven relievers aren’t worth 9 mil per season but maybe it’s because I think they are all over paid to play a game that most of us dream of doing as our jobs….lol
What’s with the fascination of him not being a closer? That’s the most overrated position in the game. Saves don’t mean jack.
Yep. Saves are a stat that was made up to describe an action, which is just sort of weird. And the “proven closer” thing is just absurd anyway and teams are moving away from it in favor of exploiting optimal matchups and other factors. Putting your best pitchers in the highest-leverage situations is the key, and those situations aren’t always in the 9th inning with a 3-run lead. And because of the expanded definition of the “save” rule over the last few years, it’s even a less-essential stat..
Here’s an example: on September 24th Kirby Yates came into a game with a five-run lead in the 9th and two outs. Bases loaded. He got one out and got the “Save” because the tying runner was on-deck. The Padres won 5-0 and he got a save. by throwing 4 pitches and striking out someone named Austin Slater. That’s not a remotely high-leverage situation.
I’m dissapointed that an extension was signed, and it didn’t break the new record.
The Twinkies NEVER learned HOW TO USE HIM. They finally gave up.
Give much credit to Houston to figuring Pressley out and harnessing his potential.
And that is also why Pressley signed an extension to remain with the Astros.
I would LOVE to see him “stick it” to the Twins whenever he faces them.
I agree and that is a definitely a negative against the front office. To their credit though, I think they did recognize that some things were not right internally seeing Pressly’s remarkably quick & improved performance. Over the offseason, there were a ton of organizational changes which included an overhaul of the coaching staff and some major changes in the way data is presented to players. Hopefully, this will lead to us getting more out of players and seeing some diamonds in the rough (i.e. Perez) that are brought in reach their true potential.
You have to look at the whole picture. The Astros now have their 8th and 9th inning guys locked up for the next 3 seasons. This year they are paying Osuna and Pressly under 10 million dollars combined. Then that number will grow to about 17 million next year and maybe 20 million the third year as Osuna moves up in arbitration. Meanwhile, the Yankees are paying over 30 million for Chapman and Britton. Statistically, Osuna and Pressly outperformed Chapman and Britton last year (ERA, WHIP). The Red Sox lost Kelly and probably Kimbrel, and now they are going with non-proven late relievers. The Rockies are paying 25 million this year for Wade Davis and Jake McGee. The Dodgers are paying 24 million in AAV for Jansen and Kelly. The Giants are paying Melcancon and Smith 24 million this year in actual salary and 20 million in AAV.
Also, the reliever market next year appears to be weak. Pressly would have likely been one of the best relievers available. The other names that are free agents after this season are Cody Allen, Tommy Hunter, Betances, Cishek, Addison Reed, and Will Smith. With another season like last year Pressly would have been at or near the top of that list.
He wasn’t very good with the Twins. Definitely a guy who can get some K’s, but over the course of a season, he misses a lot of pitches and struggles with command. We’ll see.
Pressley was heard to say, “Thank You, Thaaaannnk You Verrrrry Much”.
Yes I have always felt that saves were overrated because u can pitch to 1 guy and get a cheap save….u can also throw just about any guy into that role and they will rack up 20+ saves in a season….I am simply saying that while Pressly had a good season look at his track record and u will not see consistency….I just feel that 5-6 mil for 2 years would have been fair and then if he has 2 more solid season then jump to 9+ per year….also mentioned above was the fact that he outperformed guys making more than him….I get that but for 1 it was just 1 season and for 2….none of those guys are worth that much….in my opinion they are all over paid to play a game but it is what it is….soldiers and police officers make $40k-90k based on rank etc….but baseball players minimum salary is way above that just for the scrubs on the bench….so tell me how these guys are worth the money….they may produce and put people in the seats but better players 30-40 years ago did it for pocket change….it has gotten out of hand and will only get worse….how is any one man worth 25-30 mil for 1 season of playing a game?
Simple economics – baseball brings in tons of money and the players are paid accordingly. Can’t compare them to soldiers and cops. Apples and oranges there. And most cops I know make 6 figures, or close (and none of them are high up).
Also I know several police officers and deputies and the area I live in is very expensive and salaries are higher here than most places because of the economy and none of them make 100k….most make between 6k to 7k per month unless they are the Captains and Commanders in which case they make 100k to 150k per year or 10k per month….even then someone like Matt Joyce has made more than these heroes ever will….
The short answer here is that cops are paid by taxpayers and baseball players are paid by the free market. The police don’t generate income and baseball players do. Want higher salaries for cops? Lobby for higher taxes. .
If we want to argue about value related to jobs, I mean, there are teachers in public schools who have to buy their own supplies There are volunteers who go to other countries to vaccinate children. Nurses are criminally underpaid, even when they work for private entities. I’d love to see a more equitable system than what we have, but whenever anybody proposes raising taxes to pay for schools or police officers or to fix crumbling infrastructure people freak out about it.
Not really an argument or debate because to be either of those….a valid argument would have to be made from both sides but in this case there isn’t a valid argument as to why athletes make more than Navy SEALS or police officers….athletes are way over paid and have been for years
Yes, there is a valid argument, and it is that police and Navy SEALS don’t generate income and baseball players do. We live in era of historically low tax rates, and people whose jobs are funded by taxpayers – like the police and military and teachers – are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of that.
Except that the bench players do not in fact generate income and still make more money than the more deserving Police Officers….Fire Fighters….Navy SEALS….Federal Agents that do drug raids and get shot….no argument whatsoever….these are bench players making league minimum which is way more than the above mentioned heroes make and they do not draw anyone to the stadium