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Teams responsible to each other?

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#1 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:58 PM

I asked this question once before and never got a reply so I'll start a thread with the question for hopeful discussion.

Is it possible that Teams have a responsibility to each other when it comes to FA negotiations?

In other words... For example... The Twins want Nolasco... The Agent wants 4 years 60 million. The Twins really need and want Nolasco. They have the money to afford it. So... The Twins offer him 5 years 100 million just to get a deal done right now.

I'm pretty sure the Twins won't do that but if they did. Wouldn't every team in baseball be pissed at the Twins because offering Nolasco that kind of deal would effect prices on every single free agent pitcher. And every Free Agent period.

Doesnt that eventually screw the Twins next year in negotiations for a player by changing the market.

Wouldn't an agent no matter the size of an offer than tell all suitors that he has a 5 year 100 million dollar deal on the table to try and get a 5 year 105 million dollar deal.

Wouldnt the Twins and everyone else be pissed every time the Angels, Yankees, Dodgers whip out the checkbook and pay a ridiculous amount for certain players.

Doesn't it make sense for smaller market teams to hold a line to keep things under control.

I understand this conversation is collusion-esque. So let's call it a Gentlemen's agreement.

Doesnt this make sense and wouldn't it explain why Teams will wait to make formal offers and Agents will wait to accept formal offers? The market has to kind of set itself first.

If you are willing to pay 4 years 52 million for Nolasco... Why wouldn't you offer 4 years 54 million to get a deal done. If your willing to do 4 years 54 million. Why not 4 years at 60 million if you need to. If the Cubs will do 4 years at 62 million... Why not 64 for the Twins. And then what would stop the Cubs from saying 4 years at 66 million and pretty soon... Nolasco has a deal that makes us all go WTH.

It just seems to me that responsibility to each other has to be a factor in these FA negotiations. How does the hard line get drawn?

The Twins walking up to a targeted FA and saying 4 years 52 million take it or leave it and refusing to go a dollar higher doesn't make sense.

Thoughts?
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#2 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:02 PM

Yes and no, at the end of the day, each of these teams are a business and it never makes sense to grossly overpay a ton more than needed for an asset.

As far as it setting a precedent, it may be true, however I think most teams/agents would realize that one stupid contract like 6/120 mil to Nolasco or whatever is the exception, not the norm. While Zito was in the middle of his contract, I doubt many good agents whose clients put up similar numbers (or better) numbers than Zito were bringing up Zito's contract as a baseline/similar one to go with.

#3 nicksaviking

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:06 PM

Wouldnt the Twins and everyone else be pissed every time the Angels, Yankees, Dodgers whip out the checkbook and pay a ridiculous amount for certain players.

Doesn't it make sense for smaller market teams to hold a line to keep things under control.


Well I'm not against it, but it sounds an awful lot like collusion. And I'd say the large $100-300 million contracts regularly handed out by the big clubs shows their disregard to keeping things in check. Even in smaller scopes, I think most people agree that the Jhonny Peralta signing by St. Louis wasn't doing anyone else a favor. The Cubs seemed to almost deliberately destroy the back of the rotation pitching market last year by doing this.

I'm not sure what you mean by small market teams keeping things under control. It seems more like they just don't have the ability to do this and get crapped on by the larger clubs. It kind of sounds like a lower-middle class person protesting blood diamonds, knowing full well they couldn't afford one anyway.

Edited by nicksaviking, 27 November 2013 - 02:09 PM.


#4 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:23 PM

I believe that most GMs are trying to be careful about how they allocate their resources. They (most) actually try to keep salary escalation in check.

In fact, therein lies the problem. I believe TR either has little grasp on what a top-of-the-rotation pitcher costs, or he just cannot get himself to spend the money. I appreciate that he feels responsible to spend the Pohlad money carefully, but Jim Pohlad told him to improve the team.

I'm sure he will, but he seems to be looking to do it with league average pitchers replacing poor pitchers. Not the boost we were all hoping for.

BTW: sure hope I'm wrong about this.

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#5 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

Well I'm not against it, but it sounds an awful lot like collusion. And I'd say the large $100-300 million contracts regularly handed out by the big clubs shows their disregard to keeping things in check. Even in smaller scopes, I think most people agree that the Jhonny Peralta signing by St. Louis wasn't doing anyone else a favor. The Cubs seemed to almost deliberately destroy the back of the rotation pitching market last year by doing this.

I'm not sure what you mean by small market teams keeping things under control. It seems more like they just don't have the ability to do this and get crapped on by the larger clubs. It kind of sounds like a lower-middle class person protesting blood diamonds, knowing full well they couldn't afford one anyway.


I think the Robinson Cano elite level are the Blood Diamonds... I'm more concerned about the Nolasco's and Salty's of the FA World. The guys in our Kitchen.

I'm thinking about relationships with other clubs. I'm thinking about Winter Meetings. Clubs getting upset with each other for potentially screwing up the market.

Josh, I had a deal with Nolasco at 52 Million but after you signed Hughes at 60 Million when no one else was willing to go 40 million. Now Nolasco's representation wants 16 million more and all of sudden the Rangers are at 58 Million on Nolasco when they were not budging at 50 million before. I hope you die in a fire Josh. Don't think about calling me for anyone when you are looking to deal in the future and I know quite a few other GM's who feel the exact same way... Maybe... in the future... I'll throw a ridiculous offer at some of the guys I know you covet. Just to be a pain.

I know it's collusion at it's heart but I can't see how it doesn't exist to a degree.

How does the line get drawn? I will pay Nolasco 52 Million. I will not pay him 53 Million.
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#6 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

Yes and no, at the end of the day, each of these teams are a business and it never makes sense to grossly overpay a ton more than needed for an asset.

As far as it setting a precedent, it may be true, however I think most teams/agents would realize that one stupid contract like 6/120 mil to Nolasco or whatever is the exception, not the norm. While Zito was in the middle of his contract, I doubt many good agents whose clients put up similar numbers (or better) numbers than Zito were bringing up Zito's contract as a baseline/similar one to go with.


Yeah... I get the stupid contract... They can be ignored so using a stupid contract is a bad example but even the Zito contract had to have an effect on the market.

But what about that offer that simply goes over the line a little. Once Nolasco signs at 60 million doesn't that change Hughes from 30 to 40.

We all know what happens when two people are desperate for one of something. They try to outbid each other. 50, 51, 52, 53, 58... (Pause) 65... (the Crowd Gasps). If you can offer 52... You can offer 54... Doesn't the pursuit of a Free Agent have a direct cause and effect on everyone else. Agents are watching and keeping score... Teams are watching and keeping score.

In my reasoning... Isn't this why... you typically see a log jam of sorts at the start of free agency... The type of log jam that gets TD posters worked up over the lack of action and then a couple of key signings happen and boom the log jam breaks and the FA's start picking up the pen and affixing Signatures en masse.

Isn't it possible that responsibility to each other is a reason for the log jam. Not entirely but at least partially.
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#7 nicksaviking

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:20 PM

I think the Robinson Cano elite level are the Blood Diamonds... I'm more concerned about the Nolasco's and Salty's of the FA World. The guys in our Kitchen.

I'm thinking about relationships with other clubs. I'm thinking about Winter Meetings. Clubs getting upset with each other for potentially screwing up the market.

Josh, I had a deal with Nolasco at 52 Million but after you signed Hughes at 60 Million when no one else was willing to go 40 million. Now Nolasco's representation wants 16 million more and all of sudden the Rangers are at 58 Million on Nolasco when they were not budging at 50 million before. I hope you die in a fire Josh. Don't think about calling me for anyone when you are looking to deal in the future and I know quite a few other GM's who feel the exact same way... Maybe... in the future... I'll throw a ridiculous offer at some of the guys I know you covet. Just to be a pain.

I know it's collusion at it's heart but I can't see how it doesn't exist to a degree.

How does the line get drawn? I will pay Nolasco 52 Million. I will not pay him 53 Million.



I get it, and it's really dumb that fans of mid market teams have to think about this kind of thing while the big market guys deliberately dream of doing the exact opposite.

I think the biggest problem is that every GM would then have to agree on a fair market value. All it takes is for one GM to unintentionally over-value a guy due to a lack of market awareness. What if the even smaller market A's wanted to get Kevin Correia last year and assumed a 1 year $3 million deal was a fair price? That probably would have been our assumption on Twins Daily if we were asked. Pretty much everyone but Terry Ryan was shocked at what Correia got last year. Despite that, Ryan still seems to be respected league-wide.

#8 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

I believe that most GMs are trying to be careful about how they allocate their resources. They (most) actually try to keep salary escalation in check.

In fact, therein lies the problem. I believe TR either has little grasp on what a top-of-the-rotation pitcher costs, or he just cannot get himself to spend the money. I appreciate that he feels responsible to spend the Pohlad money carefully, but Jim Pohlad told him to improve the team.

I'm sure he will, but he seems to be looking to do it with league average pitchers replacing poor pitchers. Not the boost we were all hoping for.

BTW: sure hope I'm wrong about this.


This is what I'm talking about... Not the TR part but the salary escalation part.

Again using Ricky Nolasco... The Agent would start out being Coy because he's not sure what teams would be willing to pay. He's say things like... He wants at least 4 years and at least 60 million. Let's say the Twins, Mets, Rangers and Angels are willing to pay 4 years 60 million for Nolasco.

4 teams are willing to pay that price. Now What?

Nolasco grew up in the California Desert... The Rangers are close to winning... The agent will certainly tell the Twins and Mets that Nolasco grew up with the Angels and he likes the Rangers chances this year and beyond.

Now the Twins have to go up to 70 Million to convince him to get on the ground floor of all the great prospects coming up through the farm. Prospects who will eventually take his job. The Mets would have to either drop out or move up to 70 million.

Each individual Free Agent case as the potential to get out of hand... Something has to be holding it in place. It seems to me... it would foolish to sign quickly unless you know that is where you want to be like Josh Johnson did with San Diego. You also wouldn't want to sign late as leverage goes away with each signing.

I'm just guessing because I have no idea but I think I'm right... I think it makes the FA game very difficult for our Twins and I think the market has to set and it hasn't yet and I think that a couple of signings will break the log jam and boom... They will start making deals in pretty fast fashion.

Even Pelfrey is probably going to want a wait before excepting the Twins offer. To see if the team that is in on Nolasco fails to get him and therefore comes up in price on Pelfrey as the next option.

Only a Gentlemens agreement could keep the thing from spinning out of control for any player that is coveted by more than one team.
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#9 spycake

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:35 PM

In regards to teams having a "responsibility" not to overbid? I don't think that's a "responsibility" to other teams, it's just a good business practice. Yeah, the Twins could go 5/100 for Nolasco, but even with cash to spend, that would be a terrible business move when the guy is looking at a likely 4/52 deal. Occasionally I am sure deals like this happen (i.e. Zito), but usually driven by ownership, though, not GMs. GMs that make too many moves like that will be losing a lot of money (or handicapping their franchise) -- "responsibility" doesn't even have to enter into the equation.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:40 PM

Salary escalation is an interesting term. I think that a lot of it is perspective.

This article looks at free agent costs every season and calculates the cost (in millions) given to free agents per win. Here is a graph from there plotting the cost of win per season starting in 1996. As you can see, from 2006-2013 it is pretty much flat (ups and downs every season.).

I bet that if you plot the revenues from 1996-2013, that curve would show a sharper increase and would not be flat from 2006-2013. The scary thing is that the free agent spending increase has lagged revenue growth. So I expect that to catch up at some point...

Just some food for thought.
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#11 spycake

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

Now the Twins have to go up to 70 Million to convince him to get on the ground floor of all the great prospects coming up through the farm. Prospects who will eventually take his job. The Mets would have to either drop out or move up to 70 million.


This is where I think you are getting off-track. I am pretty sure it follows more of an offer, counter-offer pattern, rather than an open bid auction where the price keeps escalating. Teams wouldn't stand for that, and frankly, with the quantity of free agents available, they generally don't have to.

Occasionally a team may bid high to cut off the competition, but most of the time, a guy signs a reasonable deal that 4 other clubs would have done too. Nobody has to be the outright highest bidder, just the preferred competitive bidder that was willing to seal the deal. That's the product of a blind, offer then counter approach.

#12 Paul

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:43 PM

Seems to me that, even though the GMs feel various levels of responsibility, the economics of MLB are the predictable result of a monopoly in a free market system.

#13 Riverbrian

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:03 PM

In regards to teams having a "responsibility" not to overbid? I don't think that's a "responsibility" to other teams, it's just a good business practice. Yeah, the Twins could go 5/100 for Nolasco, but even with cash to spend, that would be a terrible business move when the guy is looking at a likely 4/52 deal. Occasionally I am sure deals like this happen (i.e. Zito), but usually driven by ownership, though, not GMs. GMs that make too many moves like that will be losing a lot of money (or handicapping their franchise) -- "responsibility" doesn't even have to enter into the equation.


Exactly... I think you are right on... and I'm now adding the equation of responsibility to the market itself to it.

So that leads to the Nutshell question.

How does a Team like the Twins... Last place... Struggling returning roster... Northern Climate... Value mainly on the farm just looking to steal a vet's job. Yet, some money in their pocket. With all of that... How do the Twins get ahead of the market and become the pacesetters that some posters on TD are frustrated about.

It seems to me that they can't. All they can do is kick tires and see where the markets sets itself and then decide if they want to jump in with both feet once it does.

Tim Hudson and Josh Johnson are not going to sign with the Twins early unless it's exactly where they want to be. Or unless they absolutely overpay and that leads to all my other questions about weather they can do that.
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