FREE AGENT LAND MINES
Six, eight weeks ago, Fangraphs laid out its WARNING: LETHAL FORCE AUTHORIZED placards to steer the public and private away from 5 free agents.
Dr. D agreed with all five, lining them up neatly -85, -75, -60, -45, -30 from riskiest to least risky. Fill in your own Price Is Right guess cards as to which tag goes with who, but I betcha we'd all agree with Chris Davis at the head of the list. Bet you, too, that GM's would tab this one as the most likely to blow your thumb off.
7 x $161M
Dave Cameron gleefully busts the Orioles for falling into Boras' trap. EXEC SUM of that article would be:
1) Same $23M salary as Jayson Heyward
2) Despite a 'frigid' hitters market, and no city for Davis to play in
3) Based on the worst projection, Davis will be worth $61M in $/WAR, not $161M (so the O's were off by a hunnerd)
4) Overpaying for sluggers is stupid. Cases in point: Hamilton, Fielder, Howard (Nelson Cruz, others not named as cases in point)
5) O's are going to be a terrible team, now with an albatross contract
6) Question is only whether the O's will rue the deal for 3 years, vs 6 years
So, Cameron's got pretty mixed feelings on this one.
SULLY SEZ, Dept.
Jeff Sullivan is aware of 1) through 6) above, and doesn't like the deal, but takes a differn't tone. What could possibly be a reasoned defense of the Orioles? Well, this isn't, really, but EXEC SUM here:
1) The number is indeed baffling, baffling in the sense that it's hard to guess where it came from
2) The Orioles demonstrated that they're players
3) Chris Davis has been really good, and are semi-contenders
4) Granted, the comps are bad and indicate a young dropoff, such as Ryan Howard
4a) Do NOT take a comp or two as gospel. Humans are different
5) Net Present Value of deal is considerably lower than it seems (Boras wanted a flashy number)
6) Don't forget that salary "caps" float with an owner's desire (so some % of Davis' contract could be "free" to fans)
Sullivan points out "there's a good chance that Angelos is putting money into the team that he wouldn't have put in otherwise," which of course was true of Lincoln's offers to Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. It's actually eerie, ain't it Silentpadna?, how echo'y Sullivan's points sound ten years on.
To Dr. D, Chris Davis does indeed look like a classic "buy at the very peak, just before the crash and burn" mistake. But M's fans can take consolation in --- > having the equivalent slugger for pennies on the dollah. And in the fact that --- > the trend is against the owners keeping it all.