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Longoria gets new $100 million deal, but why?

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#1 StormJH1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

http://hardballtalk....sion-with-rays/

The Rays are frequently celebrate as one of the smarter front offices in baseball, and their early long term deal for Longoria (pretty much immediately after his call-up) is often cited as one of the more team-friendly deals in baseball for a "star" player. They had him under team control through 2016 with team options that topped out at $11.5 million per year. Low enough to be a significant value for a franchise player, but not so low that said player would feel "cheated", especially if he misses significant injury time from an assortment of nagging injuries (and a mysterious foot problem).

But then they go ahead and extend him anyways until age 37, under no externally obvious pressure to do so. Why? The sad part is that Longoria just turned 27, and even with all his problems, this new deal seems more likely to pay off than Mauer's will. But that doesn't mean it's a "good" deal, or a necessary one.

Thoughts?

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

The Brewers did the same with Braun. I don't get it.

#3 John Bonnes

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:04 AM

Between deals like ths & some of the new local TV deals, I wonder if the concern is that a huge revenue shift is coming & small markets know they won't be able to compete on the open market for these guys.

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

John has it. If you do not lock them up, you will not keep them. Do not forget, as contracts for free agents go up, so do arbitration awards( not relevant here, but to John's point).

#5 old nurse

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:12 AM

If he remains a "star" player on offense and defense, it remains a good deal for the team. Longoria has more than enough money not to feel "cheated". The unobvious pressure is locking up a star player so than you can go about working on the next three, Shields, Price and Hellickson. Why wait until the last minute? Why not show your commitment to your players with mutually beneficial contracts?

#6 beckmt

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:13 AM

I also agree with John. New revenue and new deals will have major market teams with money to burn. Only keep the luxury threshold lower will keep the playing field somewhat balanced. I have already seen articles on the Yankess telling Steinbrenner to ignore the luxury tax and win baby win, since they will have the revenue.

#7 nicksaviking

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

I agree that the timing seems odd. They still had him under contract for another 4 years. I would have wanted to wait at least one more year if not two to see that he can stay healthy. He's beginning to look like a fragile player with injuries really cutting into his last two seasons.

#8 StormJH1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:37 AM

John has it. If you do not lock them up, you will not keep them. Do not forget, as contracts for free agents go up, so do arbitration awards( not relevant here, but to John's point).


That may be the case, but since when do the Rays have a problem parting with a star player on the open market? The Rays understand better than anyone that the peak years for a guy like Longoria are not 4 years from now, they are right now. They had him under control until his early 30's, and he's a 3rd baseman.

This ESPN article views the signing extremely favorably:

http://espn.go.com/b...ock-up-longoria

But the new deal didn't generate those numbers through the Age 30 season, they were already there with the old club options. So, really, this deal acts like a 6-year extension for a player for his Age 31 to 36 seasons, and increases his salary to $16.67 million for those years. But, I mean, Scott Rolen is 37. Eric Chavez is 34. The Rays have no idea if Evan Longoria will be worth $16.67 a million for six more years four years from now.

I'm not saying it necessarily will be a bad deal for the Rays, I'm just surprised at how "un-Rays-like" it is for them to decide that Longoria will be worth that much four years before they had to make that decision.

#9 darin617

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

Between deals like ths & some of the new local TV deals, I wonder if the concern is that a huge revenue shift is coming & small markets know they won't be able to compete on the open market for these guys.


As long as he doesn't turn into A-Rod and then you are stuck with the huge contract, that the Dodgers will just absorb...

#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

But if he is good, it isn't 4 years and you keep him. That is John's point, salaries are going to escalate, especially for stars. if he is not signed, and sees the numbers others are getting, they would have zero chance to keep him (if John ans I are right). This is a risk mitigation....and if they cannot afford it, even if he is good, they can deal him. If he is bad, bummer for them.

#11 Rosterman

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

Mauer is almost understandable, because he is like a Jeter or a Ripken...the Franchise player in some ways, the face and for of an organization. But should you overpay? Most would say not, yet it is done. I wouldn't consider Longoria a franchise player. I wouldn't consider A-Rod one, either. I don't consider Hamilton. Maybe, in Milwaukee, Braun is a franchise player. This is a tough call.
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#12 Willihammer

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:04 PM

Longoria is absolutely the face of the Rays brand. Rays ownership is taking advantage of the Marlins firesale to poach some SoFlo viewers in anticipation of negotiating a new TV deal in 2016 (final option year) and gain leverage in stadium negotiations - again by juxtaposing their style with Loria's.

#13 Danchat

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Interesting. It looks like the Rays are making Longoria 'their guy'.

#14 PseudoSABR

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

He came cheaper than Mauer. This is merely an extension of his current deal. If they had waited, the Rays would have less and less leverage to get this deal done. The Rays are in the best position to judge his potential for drop off (things like health, work ethic, attitude, etc.).

The Twins would have been served doing a deal like this with Mauer, rather than waiting until his contract year. Imagine if the Twins had extended Mauer before his MVP season...

#15 luke829

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

Between deals like ths & some of the new local TV deals, I wonder if the concern is that a huge revenue shift is coming & small markets know they won't be able to compete on the open market for these guys.


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#16 twinsnorth49

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

He came cheaper than Mauer. This is merely an extension of his current deal. If they had waited, the Rays would have less and less leverage to get this deal done. The Rays are in the best position to judge his potential for drop off (things like health, work ethic, attitude, etc.).

The Twins would have been served doing a deal like this with Mauer, rather than waiting until his contract year. Imagine if the Twins had extended Mauer before his MVP season...


So in order to maintain leverage, they sign him until he's 37, 3-4 years before they need to? I agree they are in the best position to evaluate his potential drop-off, but why not wait and evaluate it for a couple more years as opposed to deciding what it's going to be now?

#17 PseudoSABR

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

but why not wait and evaluate it for a couple more years as opposed to deciding what it's going to be now?

The longer the Rays wait, the more inquires goto Longoria's agent, the more unlikely he is to sign that career length deal. I do agree that the deal is overwrought, but that's what it takes to sign a superstar to a longterm deal (all superstars are overpaid).

Again, how much more cheaply could Mauer's longterm deal have been if we'd have signed him earlier on. Mauer, like Longoria, is a franchise player, and it's a given that the home team will overpay, as other teams will overpay MORE.

It's a no win situation, but I think the Rays are playing it right here. And I wish the Twins had premonition to do the same with Mauer.