The Brewers got a steal, and baseball is barreling toward a reckoning.
Those were the two conclusions that played out on Twitter over and over again when news broke that Yasmani Grandal signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for just one year and just $18.25 million.
Yes, Milwaukee got a steal, a massive upgrade at a position of need, and the Brewers will continue to be rewarded for being one of the few teams in baseball actually trying to improve with free agents.
On the other hand, the best catcher on the market had to sign a one-year deal, and for barely above the qualifying offer. Which … uh-oh:
Eno Sarris spent the next portion of his evening comparing Grandal’s one-year deal to the five-year, $82.5 million contract signed by Russell Martin, and then defending the Martin contract, which is apparently necessary because people forget what Martin has contributed.
The Martin contract is kinda perfect as an example of the way free agency used to be. He was the top catcher on the market coming off a career year, albeit at an age where players — especially catchers — start to decline. The Blue Jays, struggling to get back into the postseason despite the megatrade with the Marlins the year before, accepted the long-term risk for the short-term upgrade. Here’s what Martin delivered in terms of WARP (which incorporates framing, a major part of his value)
- 2015: 4.6 WARP (made playoffs)
- 2016: 3.6 WARP (made playoffs)
- 2017: 2.0 WARP
- 2018: 1.7 WARP
Martin was signed to help a team get over the hump — and he did! — with the knowledge that the last couple years of his deal might be a little tough for everybody. He’s gone from great to good to average to a little below average, which is what the aging curve would’ve projected. Assuming Martin doesn’t turn into one of baseball’s worst players next year, he’ll have been paid fairly on the whole. That’s the kind of trade-off teams and players found a way to hammer out.
As the knowledge firmed up on aging — especially after the performance-enhancing drug testing system was codified — some evolution of free agency would’ve been natural. Shorter deals for non-prime free agents could’ve been expected, but if players are giving up years, then one would expect them to receive more money, a sensible emphasis from both sides on the value of those first years.
Shorter deals that do not mark improvements in average annual values?
And said market is deflating while Major League Baseball touts record revenues. A lot can change between now and the CBA’s expiration after the 2021 season to render these reactions Chicken Little-ish in hindsight, but Mike Ilitch isn’t walking through that door, and the Phillies owner who said he wanted to be “a little bit stupid” about spending has toed the line thus far himself.
As long as this scenario persists, the players will get a diminishing share of the pie. The fairest way to let players reclaim their stake in a logical way is to pay them more when they’re younger and/or let them get paid sooner, and that kind of change usually doesn’t happen without a severe episode.
The fact that we had this same discussion a year ago doesn’t help. The only thing that’s happened in between, at least locally, was Hawk Harrelson trying and failing to recast Jerry Reinsdorf as the protagonist of the last strike.
Anyway, back to Grandal, if he wanted to settle for better than the qualifying offer for a year, then try for a superior three-year deal while unencumbered by draft pick compensation, then the White Sox were out. And this actually works out for the Sox, in that they could be in a better position next year depending on what they get out of their catchers in 2018. The first year was always going to be the least useful for the Sox, and the Sox aren’t useful to most good free agents on one-year deals.
Of course, the White Sox could’ve been in a position to truly take advantage of this soft market had they not botched the first rebuild in multiple ways, the bulk of them preventable. Now, the only way they can get in on this action is by is by putting it all together faster than it currently projects.
The shortest distance between those two points goes through Manny Machado, but based on the numbers being tossed around, it’s hard to get excited:
There are conflicting reports as to how the White Sox are positioned, whether the Yankees are competing for him, etc., so it’s hard to gauge just where that offer stands.
But that it’s just $200 million at this stage doesn’t bode well. If the White Sox come up well short, then “what are they even doing” is the only response. If that offer is in the neighborhood of an ultimately successful deal, the Sox better be ready to jump on 2020 and 2021, because the future gets awfully murky after that.
It sure seems like the situation has work stoppage written all over it. Screwing the players on the front end (see Eloy, Kris Bryant, etc), then not paying them when they reach free agency while generating record revenues? I’m usually with the owners when it comes to work stoppages, but it sure would be hard to support them this time around. When a generational talent who reaches free agency at 26 isn’t being offered more that an old Albert Pujols got, or even what Prince Fielder got, something is wrong. The owners will pay for this- but in the end, it’s the fans who will get screwed again.
I think the “gaming service time” piece is largely irrelevant. It only affects a handful of non-MLBPA people, and the money they would get would just come from a veteran’s pocket.
Gaming service time is not irrelevant when it is anti-competitive in the immediate term. Just as the whole tanking for draft picks, there’s way too much incentive in the game these days to just not bother even trying to win, and what’s worse is that a large portion of the fan base seems to be fine with almost half the league mailing it in before Spring Training even begins.
Don’t forget how bad it is for minor league players to pay a decent living.
Yes, that is ridiulous. It is appalling how little they make. Long time minor leaguers have to be extremely dedicated to stick it out.
The people most screwed are the ones like Donaldson who come out of nowhere to be great, then get the cold shoulder when it comes time to cash in finally.
Yes, but then you look at how well those contracts turned out for the teams and it’s not hard to see why teams are reluctant to exceed those numbers.
If you set it in the full context, it’s still a direct result of teams preferring not to pay players fair value when they’re younger and more productive.
There’d be better value available in free agency if teams hadn’t decided to leverage the CBA and arb for team-friendly, prime-year extensions.
Owners want to have their cake and eat it too. And wash it down with the players’ milkshake, so to speak.
You won’t get any disagreement from me on that. The fact is that both sides agreed to that CBA. If there needs to be a dramatic reshaping of the compensation rules, it’s going to happen during those negotiations (and possibly during a strike). To me, it doesn’t mean that teams should be stupid by offering contracts that aren’t likely to age well under the current rules.
Both sides agreeing to the CBA masks more than it reveals. It ignores the precedents established by ownership before the first CBA, built up through subsequent CBAs, how that created leverage for owners at the time of the last CBA, and how owners have changed their operations.
No one was predicting this dire an outcome when the CBA was ratified.
Nobody’s talking about giving a 32-year old Albert Pujols a decade long deal here. There are two guys SIX YEARS YOUNGER than that who of similar stardom who can’t get similar terms. The absolute best player on the market at perhaps the thinnest position in the majors just had to settle for a one year contract. I mean, if Eric Fucking Hosmer can somehow land the deal he did while basically yo-yo-ing between being pretty good and blowing chunks (and basically EVERYBODY knew he wasn’t worth that), it’s ridiculous guys like Grandal can’t drum up more interest and dollars.
Regarding the Machado sweepstakes, anyone else worrying about a scenario where
Chicago is in the lead,
Philadelphia makes a late comeback to go ahead and then,
as time is running out,
Chicago makes one last attempt that goes
200 million is such a – relative – slap in the face that I could see it souring him on the team.
I agree. If they don’t go to at least $270M, Hahn will have a tough time surviving SoxFest.
I don’t understand this sentiment. Shouldn’t the fans want the White Sox to get the player for the best contract they can so they have more money to spend on complimentary players? If they can get him for $250 million, then why offer $270?
I understand if they lose the player and he takes a $250 million dollar deal that fans would be upset, as would I. But it seems premature to be mad when you don’t know what contract he’ll ultimately accept.
I’d say yes to this, if it’s the best contract in a fair market. If it’s the smallest possible contract achieved by screwing the players over in a years long sea change in the way teams to business that also sees them generating historic revenues, and only serves to push us closer to another potentially calamitous work stoppage, then I must say, “fucking c’mon, guys.”
Obviously nobody wants them to overpay, but given the state of affairs with the team right now that’s kind of what they have to do in order to bring in a guy like Machado. It’s also the sort of thing they should be prepared to do, because it COMPLETELY alters the trajectory of the rebuild for the better, despite any financial burdens it creates.
I am not going to react to Nightengale’s tweet. Even if accurate, what if it’s 200M/6 years, and not a final offer? What if it’s just a placeholder, anticipating future negotiations? The Yankees are reportedly in that zip code also. You want the White Sox to beat them by 100M before getting into actual final negotiations? I don’t know what I think about Machado, but if the Sox want him, I am not concerned about their current position thus far.
He will not come to the Sox for anywhere near 6 years/$200M. He will go to the Yankees if the Sox don’t increase their offer significantly. And it’s not like negotiations have just started. They have been going on for at least a month. Now, they may have upped their offer significantly and nobody knows it (the Sox usually are pretty stealthy in their negotiations). But from all reports, Machado is getting close to a decision. It’s time for the Sox to put their best offer forward. Maybe they have.
I did not say that he would come for 200M/6 years. But there is an undeniable difference between 200M for 6 and 200M for 10 in terms of the seriousness of the offer. And you ignored my caveat that it might not have been the “final offer”. My point is that it might be a negotiation and information that the Sox have a “200M” offer on the table tells us very little.
I agree. Like I said, the Sox are usually closed-mouthed in their negotiating. They could have significantly upped their offer already. I think the snippets of information that we keep getting fed are always changing and are doing us as fans no good. Some build our hopes up and others knock them down.
If it’s the largest current offer, then how is it a slap in the face if the other teams aren’t offering as much? It wouldn’t be a reason not to sign somewhere.
I didn’t see anything about it being the largest current offer. It’s that it is so much less than what he is worth that it could potentially create a disconnect.
What makes him worth “so much” more than $18 mil for one year?
I understand that, but we see only a small portion of what is really going on. What we have seen are reports that there is momentum toward the White Sox in a time when there are only a few teams involved (Yankees, Phillies). Couple that with reports of an offer between $200-300 million and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it has a high probability of being the highest current offer. Why else would there be momentum toward the Sox and reports that the Yankees are out?
I was unconvinced there was explicit collusion last season. Now? It’s becoming pretty clear that ownership has colluded to create a culture that takes away any incentive for spending or being competitive, and it would not surprise me if they were actively working to limit player contracts.
I’m more afraid of Philly taking the lead then Chicago not responding and letting Philly win. No late missed attempts at a win for Chicago.
Nightengale is all over the place now..He told us the contract was between 200-300 before but closer to 200 …He now tells us it is 200 on the nose. The media coverage of the Machado sweepstakes has been confusing and flat out brutal at times.
If the only thing the players can point to is “handshake deals” being broken, then their anger should be directed at Tony Clark, not the owners. You don’t execute a CBA on hopes and dreams. Teams have gotten smarter, and the ones that can’t compete are no longer trying to. There aren’t good guys and bad guys here, just predictable outcomes based on the rules the players agreed to. If they can’t live under those rules, they should strike.
And there’s a little cognitive dissonance in the “LOL teams are so dumb” crowd pleading with teams to do something dumb for the good of the game.
The problem is, teams were dumb in the past, so players figured they would continue to be dumb. Teams are getting smarter. The players are going to have to strike to get them to change. Even then, it may not happen.
Teams weren’t dumb in the past. They agreed to structure baseball economics in a way they found favorable. And it’s been hugely and increasingly profitable.
They’ve unilaterally decided to reject that framework to seek even more profit. Doing so at the expense of the product on the field.
There’s a lot in common with Sears and Toys R Us being driven to liquidation.
It remains to be seen if tanking is “smart” for the league in the long run at this scale. There’s certainly a logic to it, and it made more sense when teams were zagging to the league’s zig. But it’s shown to have a deleterious effect on attendance and ratings when done in bulk.
MLB has been able to shrug it off because of all the non-team revenue coming in. However, if the players strike and there are no games, I’m curious whether it’s more dangerous and abrupt to the league this time. They won’t be counting on the slow trickle of attendance and ratings, but instead deals with TV distribution, gambling, etc., some of which will dry up when there are no games.
I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen this angle covered by people who would know better.
I agree with this sentiment.
I’ve also not seen it conclusively shown that losing 90 games with a big payroll results in better league-wide outcomes than losing 93 games with a small payroll.
(other than meta-effects of players not striking, obviously, but maybe that’s what you are talking about)
The issue isn’t 1 team losing 90 games vs 93 games. It’s having a significant chunk of the league being deliberately, historically uncompetitive. FiveThirtyEight’s lowest Elo rating article demonstrates the problem neatly.
Right, that’s the problem. What’s the inducement for a team to spend money to improve from a non-competitive situation to a slightly less non-competitive, but still non-competitive, situation? That’s why we need a salary floor/guaranteed percentage of revenue framework.
The inducement is not wanting to pay a settlement because revenue sharing teams aren’t investing the money in the product the way the CBA requires. Or, worse, triggering Congressional involvement because of match fixing. The former already having a grievance filed. The latter being less likely.
But anyway, I don’t agree to your framing. Because there’s an obvious difference between the Royals projecting as a .500 team that might lose 90 games but might Wild Card their way to the World Series versus a bunch of teams pursuing 100 losses guaranteed.
It’s the difference between a league worth watching and one you might as well replace with simmed seasons on OOTP.
@karkovice squad exactly! The Mariners completely gave up on a team that won 89 games. It seems the only owners who actually care about winning are in Boston, DC, and Milwaukee. I don’t know what everyone else is doing
For names with a space, usually a hyphen replaces the space. So it’d be @karkovice squad @MrStealYoBase.
I liked the idea of giving the best non-playoff team (or Wild Card losers) the top draft pick and working down the standings instead of from the bottom up. Stop rewarding teams for giving their fans garbage with the nebulous promise of a better tomorrow.
If there’s a work-stoppage, a lot of the non-team revenue sources may exercise out clauses in their contracts. Which may burst the bubble on team values if fans are slow to return.
Owners are absolutely playing with fire here.
I would love to see how it would all shake out if measures were put in that mitigated the tanking, like some that I’ve seen floated for MLB (draft order starts from 1st team that didn’t make playoffs 1-10 and then the bottom feeders start at pick 11). Basically kick out the crutch that incentivizes being bad on purpose.
I’ve only given it a little thought but have a hard time coming up with some horrible unintended consequence. It wouldn’t be a floor, so people couldn’t play the “you can’t force a team to spend on overpriced veterans” stuff, and it would be incentive not to suck. It wouldn’t mean a bunch of 100 million signings, but solid veterans would probably gain some value if they helped toward contending and if not helped get a top 10 pick. Teams aren’t stupid, they wouldn’t block someone like Eloy by picking up a 1-1.5 WARish veteran OF, but there would be incentive to spend a few million on that outfielder if they couldn’t fall back on “well Adam Engel probably sucks but we’re supposed to suck so we can get a high pick so we’ll trot out a AAA OF everyday and see what happens.”
The NBA’s salary floor would be what I would want if a floor was added. There, if you don’t get to the floor, the amount you missed the floor by gets distributed to your players. So you aren’t actually forced to sign guys to contracts you don’t want to in order to hit a floor. If you want to just play the kids and see what you got, fine, but that money is still going to players one way or the other.
A floor would also make some high-revenue teams happy who can’t stand a team soaking up revenue sharing money as additional profit while they spend squat.
Tony Clark’s dealing with a foundation laid by the entire history of baseball’s economy. The handshake agreement on free agency underpinned all the CBAs since CBA 4 in 1976, although not without repeated attempts at collusion and settlements by the owners.
The players have only so much leverage to wield against the owners and have to choose their battles. The owners reneging now so overtly is a pretty monumental shift.
Let’s also remember that the last work stoppage was also at the owners’ behest, not because players called a strike.
Lastly, front offices have agency. They can choose to honor the spirit of the agreement or they can choose to stick it to players. They aren’t publicly traded entities with a fiduciary obligation to extract maximal profit off their employees’ labor.
I am fully in favor of the player striking. I think the current CBA set the line so far towards management that there is no way to negotiate the issues away within the current soft cap/no floor framework. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than an NBA model – 50% of revenues go to labor. A hard cap is fine if there’s a giant pie to split.
Manfred has stated, and it’s not refuted by Clark, that 50% does go to labor.
I get the feeling those numbers are being fudged quite a bit at this juncture. If revenues are up and pay is down, that just doesn’t jive.
Then it would behoove the MLBPA to have an accountant export a nifty little report saying they aren’t 50%. Since they haven’t and MLBPA hasn’t denied it, unfortunately that’s the real data we have available to view the situation.
I have been giving management credit for not being the same old Sox this winter. When the first word came out that it was closer to $200M than $300M, I thought $240 was a decent first offer. But if it was only $200, I don’t see them all of a sudden jumping up to $275-$300M to get Machado, because I’m pretty sure the Phillies will. If the Phillies sign Machado for under $300M, then Hahn comes to SoxFest and says we gave it our best shot, he will be crucified. They can’t sell being all in and offering a guy $100million less than he was asking and is probably worth in this market. That’s not being all in. That’s being the same old cheap Sox.
There is no need to worry after all Jerry told us he is all about the fan
Completely agree, honestly at the start of off season I thought anything short of 10 for 350 would get this reaction, now we are at possibly 10 for 300… LETS FREAKING PONY UP NOW
Currently there is no use going back and forth on this right now. For all we know Kenny asked Bob to tweet that as an attempt at leverage and the actual offer is more like 250M. Who the hell actually knows? Its all ifs.
I know this isn’t likely, but I still see little reason why the Sox shouldn’t go after Harper and Machado.
If they are actually doing this (not suggesting they are), it would make sense to slowplay both markets.
If they truly value Machado/Harper roughly the same (which I think they are roughly the same value), then they can slow-play each hoping to get both. Then, if one signs, you go buck wild for the other.
So I think we’ll have to wait for the dust to settle before knowing if they are really the same old Sox. But generally, I agree that, if they miss on both and gave neither a $300m+ offer, that’s a big problem.
Very well stated.
I was 12 during the ‘94 strike, and the subject matter was beyond me, at the time. I just knew it was a disaster for the Sox. In the labor negotiations since, to my recollection, I’ve been on the side of the owners, on the grounds that I didn’t want the seasons to end early, and I clearly wasn’t well informed enough to understand the dynamics. Now? Get that money. Strike, boys, if you got to. Are Pinkertons still a thing? Bring your bats, just in case.
Agreed. If you haven’t been following Sean Doolittle on twitter the last few days you should check it out.
I wouldn’t assume it comes to a strike. There are simply many things broken with the existing system – including how an evolution in analytics changes player evaluation – that need to be accounted for in a new system. Loads of money is floating around as well as talk of expansion and divisional realignment that could put more teams into a position to compete each season, benefiting the players. There is no good reason not to work things out. I am more concerned about the game increasing fan interest long term, including through accessibility of games.
Like Jim says, there’s time to turn things around, and I hope they do. But this has all the hallmarks of a strike in the making.
Sure, anything can happen. I just don’t see things trending in that direction.
It is difficult for me to think that Grandal is being treated unfairly, aging curves being what they are and his playoff performance being what it was. Moustakas suffered a similar fate last year, and I believe there have been others. But if the owners are “getting smart” about aging players, they have to “get fair’ about younger ones. I don’t like earlier free agency, because it exacerbates the inability of teams to develop iconic players for their franchises, but the teams have to pay their players. Figure out a way to double player salaries in arbitration. It will be cheap in the long run, if it avoids a strike. There is no such thing as a bad one-year contract. (Something of an exaggeration, but you get the point.)
Fair has nothing to do with it. The players need to use the leverage they have to produce better bargaining results. As far as arbitration goes, I’d be in favor of replacing the current management-biased “A or B” model with either a statistical algorithm or a panel empowered to choose a salary between the offers, rather than pick an offer.
Way to ignore or change my intent in using the term “fair”.
Ok. I just don’t think they are going to do so absent a leagl/contractual obligation.
Taking a player who’s produced over 20 WARP the last 4 seasons at a crucial position and treating him like he’s going to fall off a cliff within two years seems pretty unfair to me. He could be an average player across the life of a 4-year/$64 million contract and be perfectly worth it, and that would be a pretty steep decline in itself.
Eliminate the qualifying offer and draft pick penalty/compensation system
I think I’m taking a baseball break for a few days. There’s literally nothing to feel good about at the moment, so screw it.
I think we all should. But I keep thinking, “Ok, today’s the day.” I’ve been thinking that since right after the New Year.
So for only ~$18m the Sox could have signed a 5-win player? I can’t really express how irritated I am. The Sox are a 70-win team. Even with Machado, they’ll probably below .500. They’re only decent shot at competing was signing Machado and Grandal.
If they didn’t sign Grandal because they don’t think he’s good, it’s frustrating because then they obviously haven’t learned from the TF debacle.
If they didn’t sign Grandal because they don’t think he’s a major upgrade of Castillo, it’s frustrating because Castillo not only sucks, but is also a cheater.
If they didn’t sign Grandal because they have so much faith in Seby and Collins, it’s frustrating because, barring Seby and Zack performing a DBZ-style fusion, Seby’s bat probably won’t be good enough and Collins is not a catcher.
If they didn’t sign Grandal because $18m is too much, then it’s frustrating because the Sox have committed $12m to guys because they’re friends with someone who’s good at baseball and $2.5m to a catcher who sucks.
Good news. They can just sign him next year if they wish
That is a nice “glass one-fifth full” perspective.
Won’t need to deal with the QO next year. Sox don’t need him in 2019. They need him in 2020 and beyond. Win for the Sox
When there will likely be fewer options and more suitors?
They also can sign him next year, during a time that they will hopefully be competitive, without surrendering a draft pick.
True, but if the Sox weren’t going to sign him for pennies on the dollar this year, why should we really expect them to do so next year?
How is 18.5/1 pennies on the dollar for one year? He allegedly turned down 60/4, so there is probably a reason he took the 1 year deal. Even if you think 18.5/1 is pennies on the dollar, would that have helped us enough to sacrifice a draft pick?
Because he’s been a five-win player for the last four years.
Also, holy shit. Second round draft picks suck. Y’all need to either stop bringing them up or go back to watching sports where they do matter.
@35Shields But all 30 teams don’t value him as a 5 win player.
@35Shields : agreed on the draft pick point. I’d rather the Sox start spending some money and sacrifice some of their draft capital. If I’m not mistaken (and I could be), Rick Hahn said something to the effect of, “We need to start focusing on development now, and less on where we pick in the draft.”
A list of players the Sox have picked in the 2nd round, and their career bWAR (on the Sox or not):
-Terry Forster, 1970 (20.3)
-Bob Wickman, 1990 (16.9, was traded to the Yankees for Steve Sax in 1992 before ever making it to the Sox)
-Jeff Weaver, 1997 (15.2). Did not sign with Sox, signed with the Tigers the next year.
That’s it. Some other notable names: Ryan Sweeney, Jake Petricka, Jeremy Reed, Trayce Thompson.
…I’ll take Grandal over the draft pick.
I totally agree that fans tend to overvalue draft picks in these situations, but it’s not nothing. Yeah, Grandal is worth a 2nd round pick. But they still have value, particularly when the Sox move to being buyers on the trade market in a year or two. More likely than being a stalwart in our starting lineup in 2023 and beyond, a second-round pick represents an interesting prospect to trade to another team for someone who does matter.
@ted-mulvey THANK YOU! You could trade every White Sox second round pick from the last 20 years and it would still be worthwhile to get Grandal on a multi-year deal. And I say this as somebody who’s pretty high on Gavin Sheets.
They “could” do a lot of things. They don’t. That’s my point.
Bottom line: Sox could have significantly improved one of their biggest positions of weakness for, at least, several years at a very reasonable price and elected not to do so.
They’re are no great (or even good) two way catchers anywhere in the Sox organization. They could have had one for a very affordable price.
I haven’t understood the way this organization operates for the last 10 years and it’s not changing.
You said it better. They clearly haven’t learned from the TF debacle.
The McCann decision was weird, but I doubt that Grandal would have signed a one year contract with the White Sox though.
Perfect, the Sox should have signed him to a 4 year deal
It’s not just the Sox, it’s 29 teams.
My thinking is that this is a mix of:
1) collusion/breaking of norms
2) WARP isn’t accurate, or at least, MLB teams don’t think it’s accurate
Point 1 has a lot of truth to it imo, but Corbin got paid and Manny and Harper should get paid too (though if they come in lower than the A-Rod deal, something is up).
Which brings me to point 2… what if WARP is wrong? Or at least not very accurate? We have a lot of decision making observations/data by teams that seems to value WARP much lower than many/most here do. Why is that? I say this as someone who wanted the Sox to sign Grandal, something doesn’t add up when it comes to how the public vs MLB teams value catchers.
Even if you don’t buy into pitch-framing and WARP.
By fWAR, he’s the third-best catcher in baseball averaging 3 WAR per season and is projected by Steamer to put up yet another 3 WAR season.
By bWAR, he’s averaged 2.7 WAR for the last three seasons.
It’s not just “Is pitch-framing wrong and is WARP wrong?” it’s “Is literally every public metric we’ve built over the last two decades to evaluate players wildly wrong?”
@35Shields Exactly. fWar for catchers is flawed, I think that’s been clear for a while. I’m really starting to doubt that we the public can accurately evaluate catchers. That’s more my point.
WARP might be flawed because it overvalues Grandal’s framing. fWAR is flawed because it doesn’t value framing. Pick one.
Kiley McDaniel pegged Grandal’s contract at 3/39, Fangraphs’ median crowdsource guess was 3/45. Allegedly he turned down a 4/60 from the Mets. I don’t see this deal as some massive outlier vs. expectations. If the argument is “THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS OUT OF ORDER!” fine but too much angst over this deal. He has a lot of red flags and he still got a 4 year, $60M offer. Now he’ll get a chance to erase some of those red flags and get a bigger payday in 2020.
Explain this bevy of red flags he has, please.
I see we still haven’t gotten over losing Tyler “Johnny Bench” Flowers yet.
We’ll get over it when the White Sox FO displays even the slightest hint that they’ve learned from their mistakes.
I’m over it. Beef used PHD’s and is reviled. Tyler Flowers used PHD’s. Nobody cares, or even mentions it. To me he was a strike out machine, and a hole in the line up.
You have to wonder why they went through all that higher education just to wind up as baseball players.
Yeah, especially since my PHD never even led to one scout coming to see me work, much less offer me a bonus.
I’d say doing it as a major free agent acquisition as opposed to a minor league player has a lot to do with it. Castillo’s misstep completely derailed the one thing the White Sox did before 2018 they might have extracted some value from.
I find it baffling that people continue to interpret the indictments of the TF moves to be fans upset that we lost a specific player and not fans upset that the move indicates an organizational inability to understand what makes a catcher valuable.
If Flowers had hit .240/.280/.400 since he left, the TF comments would be 20% what they are here.
Count me in that 20% then.
don’t forget: Castillo is a Machado Buddy . . . do you want Grandal or Machado?
If Machado’s cost is not only an enormous contract, but also fielding a roster half of which is filled with his buddies at complete and obvious detriment to the teams success, then I’d prefer Grandal.
Well, you might be the only one.
Not sure why we’re getting so worked up over a guy who his team didn’t trust in the playoff 2 straight years. On second thought, maybe we should have gotten him for this year only, because we probably won’t be making the playoffs.
When players cried “collusion” last offseason, I had my doubts. Now? It may not be organized but everyone in baseball is surely on the same page when it comes to handing out these contracts. How does Grandal not even get a player option for a second year? Brian Dozier has been one of the best infielders in baseball for the better part of this decade and he only gets 9/1. Machado, a 26 year old who has averaged 5+ WAR is not getting more than 7 year offers.
There are so many things that need to be fixed here. No part of this system is working for the players. All the fans have accepted the Moneyball narrative and are somehow defending greedy ownership. The trophy goes to the best team, not the most efficient one. Ridiculous!
It’s not even the right lesson from Moneyball.
No one ever learns the right lessons from Moneyball. The lesson was about the process, not the solutions that they found two decades ago.
This is exactly it. Even teams like the Dodgers and Yankees have become hyper focused on being efficient rather than just wielding their financial power to their advantage.
It’s pretty organized. MLB teased that they were tracking free agency. And the tenor and intent behind leaks seems to have changed.
If everyone’s using the press to communicate their interest (or lack of) and offers to prevent the price from being driven up, that’s sigificantly more active than teams organically arriving at similar player valuations.
Fans love prospects and hope vs actual results, the fact that they have swallowed the shit burger sandwhich of multiple years of sucking with the hope of some elongated playoff run is pretty sad. A third of the league makes the postseason every year and once your in you have a shot. 1 or 2 teams in full on rebuild ok… but when the number is getting closer to 10-12… COME ON , look at the reasonable signings made this off season… how many teams in the middle could have shot themselves to real contention with investments in talent? Its a shame, and the next strike is gonna be a huge one, talking a year or two to resolve this mess.
Well said. If Moncada we’re not a heralded prospect but came out of nowhere for the Sox how many Sox fans would be excited about his future play helping to turn around the Sox franchise?
I agree with the Machado and Grandal comments, but not so much the Dozier. Dozier is gonna be 32 this season and had the worst season of his career since his rookie year. He was worth 0.8 fWar player last year. He would more than likely get a 1 year, bounce-back deal in any market.
Which speaks to the inherent unfairness of a system that allowed a team to control him for a pittance through his best years just in time for him to have a bad year before hitting the open market. This is only exacerbated by teams manipulating service time and the possibility that deserving players can be ostensibly blocked from the major league roster. The “force the issue” narrative is a bunch of baloney when it’s becoming rather apparent that teams are more concerned with controlling costs than winning games.
Come see the unfairness inherent in the system.
I remember this Ben Lindbergh piece from last year that explained some of the nuts and bolts. Essentially the players assocation had the upper hand at their peak in the late 90s early 2000s with around 60/40, but that eroded to around 50/50 due to various mechanisms in the 02′ and 06′ deals, and it’s been essentially flat since.
Guess I don’t know how to post a link.
This is insane complaining about over 18mil for an average player who couldnt catch a breaking ball all postseason. We are talking about 200k per game played. The fans pay both the players salaries and most of the owners revenue and any stoppage will send the fans away which will send the sponsors to other sports
He’s not an average player.
Fans don’t pay anywhere near majority of salaries or revenue. This isn’t the 70’s. MLB knows how to make a lot of money without much fan involvement.
Which is probably a big reason why teams have little incentive to put a good product on the field.
This would be true if ticket/food prices dropped when payroll did, which almost never happens.
I’m still trying to figure out why more teams don’t do what the Atlanta FC/Falcons owner did. In the new stadium, they priced a Bud Light draft at 5 bucks and a bunch of basic food and drink items from 2 to 5 bucks. And the Falcons actually saw an increase in concessions revenue.
I get the excessive pricing is just how everyone has done it for a long while now, but now they’ve got a team that’s actually found a way to make MORE money while also making fans happy, take their example and run with it! The Sox are exactly the type of team that should give it a shot.
YES. I’m with you @yinkadoubledare 1,000% on this.
Charlie Tilson DFA’d to make room for Jon Jay.
And so ends the Zach Duke route of the White Sox roster map.
Unless nobody claims Tilson, in which case they could still outright him to Charlotte.
I could be way off base here, but I don’t see any team claiming Tilson. I doubt anybody wants to be forced to keep him on their 25-man roster, which I think he’d have to be (somebody please correct me if this is not the case).
40-man, not 25-man.
Meh, I still doubt anybody wants him.
Because Jerry DiPoto, even though Gordon Beckham is a free agent, the Mariners will have at least one Beckham as they have signed Tim Beckham.
Jon Hayman, on MLB Network, is saying right now that the Sox have a great shot at signing Machado. If that’s the case, their current offer is way north of $200M.
People are making too big of a deal over the “$200 million” figure being lowball. The Sox know what they’re doing. There are only two teams seriously in on Machado right now. If the Sox currently have the better offer of the two, why would they increase it? The final price will be determined by the market, not some arbitrary round “$300 million” number thrown out there by an agent.
That said, if the Phillies up their offer, then the Sox must do the same or the “cheap” comments will have merit.
I think this is the right take. Reinsdorf is the last guy who is going to be bidding against himself, have his offer shopped, or get used by agents/media. When it is final decision time, his real number will come out.
Conversely, full blown outrage is absolutely warranted if they are not the high bidders here and on Harper.
-You’ve spent no money on payroll and been able to hoard for years
-You have zero long term financial commitments to impede you
-You have waves of cheap young talent in a top 3 farm system
-Your franchise has no cornerstone player/identity
-The two best free agents by talent/prime years in 20 years happen to be available in the same offseason and only a couple of teams are involved.
If you’re not the high bidder given this ridiculous confluence of circumstances, sell the team. Your fans don’t give a shit about any self imposed payroll figures or if you overpay some, they give a shit about having a franchise player to watch, and since you’ve blown years of opportunity to develop one of your own, you have made this necessary.
Thank you Buehrlesque! “the final price will be determined by the market” Its taken me an hour to go through all the rhetoric and palaver. Baseball is a market! certainly an evolving type of market. And is easy to get sidetracked when you introduce, collusion, incentive, fairness, etc… The fact that we have 2 suitors bargaining for the same player constitutes a market, this current market, and in my opinion still a functional market in spite of any criticisms of the current environment.
If the White Sox somehow manage to get Machado for anywhere close to 200 million;
b) the market is broken.
There’s a lot to digest here on the aggregate, but I’ll just say that I thought the same thing re: the Sox and Grandal when I read this. Would have been nice to see them jump in and take advantage of a slow market for him, but I would love to see them take a run at him next year with no QO attached after Castillo and McCann walk.
There’s a club option on Castillo next year
Yes, I’m assuming he’s somewhere between bad and below average again and they decline that.
It’s pretty well established at this point that they need to hire a real lawyer to represent the MLBPA and get rid of Tony Clark asap.
@Soxfan2 They did. At least the first part.
The sox were out of the Grandal market last year when they signed Castillo to a 2 year deal with an option. Not sure why so much hand wringing, I’ve “only” seen him in the playoffs the last 2 years but out of all the guys I saw/wanted from the dodgers for 60 million and a draft pick he wasn’t one. Again I admit I didn’t see a ton of him because he was constantly being benched for Barnes a .5 WAR player who batted .205. he was basically cut by the dodgers and they didn’t even have a replacement in place, as Barnes is still going to be a back up.
Gauging the value of a player based on an isolated month of work, specifically, the month at the end of the season against the best competition which exists partly because of how good you were every preceding month, is pretty much exactly how ownership wants this to go down. Take any five White Sox second round draft picks of the last decade and trade them for Grandal with 4/60 remaining on his deal and guess who has more value in the end?
The Dodgers offered him $17.9m to play this season. So no, he wasn’t cut.
The fact that a lot 2nd rd picks don’t make it doesn’t make them less valuable it makes them more valuable. That’s why you don’t want to give them up, you need more high picks in the hopes that some will succeed. a lot of 1st round picks don’t make it either. Would you give up your #1 pick to get a catcher that bats .240?
I don’t know why this needs to be explained, but let me put this as plainly as possible. Catcher is an EXTREMELY important position. No other defender on the diamond has to make a play on almost EVERY PITCH OF THE GAME. Catchers have a disproportionate effect on the course of a game, whether it’s framing, blocking, controlling runners, calling the game, or whatever. That’s why there’s such a low bar for catchers on offense (never mind the wear and tear naturally suppressing their capabilities most of the time). So just saying “don’t give up anything to get this catcher because he bats .240” is grossly ignorant.
So to answer your question, yes, I would give up my #1 pick for the likes of Yasmani Grandal.
What delicate combination of hallucinogens, bleach and glue caused you to think that this statement makes even the slightest bit of sense?
So 40th round picks must be worth a king’s ransom. Time to quit using those last picks on friends and family – unless, of course, they are Machado’s
hopefully we won’t be picking this high again for sometime. But we did just suffer thru 162 games just to pick this high twice in the top 50. Gladly give up for Harper not Grandal.
Dodgers knew he wouldn’t accept 1 year deal. If they wanted him they would have offered him a multiple year contract. Offering a qualifier is saying go away we’ll take a number in the draft instead of you.
We don’t know whether the Dodgers didn’t discuss re-signing/extending him at all or just couldn’t agree on terms.
There are players who don’t receive qualifying offers at all. Grandal wasn’t one of those.
Not to mention the Dodgers offered him that QO despite actively trying to shed salary commitments. It’s not like they wanted him to go away.
I hope we aren’t distressed that a 30 year old catcher reportedly turned down a 4 year 60 million dollar contract and then found that only one team would give him a one year $18 mil deal. He made a terrible decision. At 33 and 34, his production would be backup quality. End of story.
That’s some catch that Catch-22.
Plays college ball. Rakes his way through the minors. Only gets 60 games in his rookie year because of service time manipulation but has a bat 44% better than league average at an offense-starved position. Is also one of the best defenders at the position.
Service time manipulation means he’s 30 instead of 29 when he hits free agency. And he didn’t qualify for a Super Two’s extra arb year, either.
And then there’s only 1 team that’s interested in a multi-year upgrade at the position? Yeah, that’s totally Grandal’s fault.
Waiting for the obligatory, “Those are just smart baseball decisions” response.