A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Dumb Money

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on February 7, 2014

There has been some crazy money getting thrown around this off season. Sabean ended up looking crazy like a fox when he quickly locked up Under Pants for *only* 90/5.

Before any of these guys even play a pitch to their new deals, which of these four do you think is the worst of all?

Shin Soo Choo— 30 years old, he’s a nice little 20/20 high OBA guy. He got 130 mil/7.

Jacoby Ellsbury: 29 years old, he’s fast, very fast. He had one outlier power season, otherwise he’s got very little power and he’s known to be an injury risk when he sneezes. He got 153 mil/7.

Masahiro Tanaka— only 25 years old, he was 24-0 in Japan last season. Having never thrown a pitch in the major leagues, the Yankees gave him a 155mil/7

Freddie Freeman– the baby of the group at 24, he signed an 8 year, 135 million dollar deal last week.

My take: At least with Freeman, you have some upside. The Braves will at least get the best years of his career. Same general thing with Tanaka although he’s certainly not going better than 24-0 for the Yankees. But if his arm stays healthy and he is a dominant pitcher, he’ll be worth that dough.

Once Ellsbury and Choo start to slow down, as everyone does sans steroids as they go through their 30’s, I’m guessing both of those teams will regret those 2 mega deals. I think Choo is a more complete player than Ellsbury who isn’t nearly as brittle. I’ll say J-Ell will turn out to be the most regrettable deal.

However you evaluate mega deals, what do you think?

55 Responses

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  1. chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Good thread Craig. I pretty much agree with you. Definitely see the most potential for an upside with Freeman and Tanaka. Ellsbury…I laughed at that the day it was announced. That is just throwing good money after bad. Choo’s is right there, too…but I think Ellsbury’s is definitely the worst. The money per year is comparable for The Reverend, but 5 years is certainly more palatable than 7 or 8.

    ONLY seven days until your San Francisco Giants pitchers and catchers report.

  2. dirtnrocksnomo said, on February 7, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I voted Tanaka. I think that it is going to end up being a terrible deal for NY.

  3. Bozo said, on February 7, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I picked the Elsbury deal for the dumb money award. Why? Because of that one power year. A guy who has never hit over 10 HRs finds the stroke for 30 in one year? I expect to see a failed test and probably a few DLs during his 7 year stint with NY.

  4. willedav said, on February 7, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I think because of the pressure of pitching in NYC it will be Tanaka. He’s in a division with a number of hitter’s yards including his own. He could easily be *good*, but I doubt that’s gonna cut it with fan base or the media. Plus he’ll have the added distraction of 24/7 presence of insatiable J media.
    I thought these type of mega bucks/long term deals were going away but I guess not.

  5. twinfan1 said, on February 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I’m in the minority, but with the owners making record profits- even the bottom feeders, I think a much more important issue than how much the top players are getting, is the need for a salary cap and even more importantly, a salary bottom.
    With that said, I voted for Ellsbury

    • chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

      I agree on the cap comment, Michael. The penalty and revenue sharing has not really slowed down the clubs like the YankMees. Sure, there was word that they were wanting to get under the payroll threshold, and then they ink a deal like this on a guy who (from MLB standards anyway) is a complete unknown quantity/talent. Pitching in Japan or Korea, etc. does not always translate into comparable success in the Majors.

      I voted for Ellsbury, too.

  6. Alleykat said, on February 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I picked Tanaka. You can 30-0 in Japan and who cares, prove it at the ” Big Show” first. And with the Yanks old LU good luck with that!
    I actually think the Braves were smart to lockdown Freeman long term, lots of teams are doing this to their core players before their Arb eligible and could possibly get a larger contract.
    Reverand was a prime example, and a good deal for Giants IMO.

  7. unca_chuck said, on February 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Yeah, Ellsbury was my call just based on he’s not going to majically find his power stroke again and he’ll just slow down. Unless he learns to cycle correctly.

    Yeah, they way things are going, we’ll have the owners crying about how much money they have to throw around to run a team. Once again, they need help protecting themselves from, uh, themselves.

  8. Flavor said, on February 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Not only are 2 of the 4 Yankee signings but both of them are leading the early voting in today’s poll. And they aren’t going to be able to keep firing these 150 million dollar bullets after this. Hal is not his dad.

    • Bozo said, on February 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      You know, the Dodgers, Angels, Yanks and Sox are going to spend, spend, spend. But, it just doesn’t matter.

  9. twinfan1 said, on February 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Baseball fever has hit me hard. I’ve pulled out the old VCR and I’m now watching Game 6 of the ’91 World Series- the “Puckett Game”. Next up- Morris and Smoltz go at it. That game might be the one that eventually gets Morris in the HOF. Game winning hit- Gene Larkin. Larkin had one major distinction before that moment- he had broken all of Lou Gehrig’s records at Columbia University…

    • twinfan1 said, on February 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      The announcers- Buck and McCarver. Of course it was Jack Buck, one of the greats, IMO.

    • pawliekokonuts said, on February 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Very nice. A hearth of baseball winter warmth.

  10. chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    On a separate and sad note, a 21 year old defensive lineman for Cal died during a training run earlier today. He was only 21 years old. Wishing his family, friends and team mates peace and comfort during their time of loss.


    • snarkk said, on February 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Saw that earlier today, Chi. The Cal football program has been through a lot of rough times lately, but this is obviously the worst, most devastating thing that can happen. As a Cal guy and just as a Dad, I feel for his family and teammates. Way too young to go, regardless whether a football player or a regular student. I was bummed that Stanfoo beat us earlier this week at Haas, but this puts everything back in perspective…

      • snarkk said, on February 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        They updated that story from earlier, you can click on it for the update mid-afternoon. The young man was a walk-on, played sparingly, but because he’d worked his ass off the last coupla years and was a real part of the team, the coaching staff just decided a few weeks ago to reward him with a full ride scholarship for his upcoming senior season. In other words, he earned it the hard way, a great story. Plus, a really good student. This is just wrong on so many levels. The guys on the team are obviously devastated…

  11. Flavor said, on February 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Looks like Arroyo signed with the D-backs

  12. chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Yep on Arroyo. 2 years. 9.5 mil in 2014. 9.5 in 2015. 4.5 buyout on 11 mil option in 2016.

    FUCK. The Giants should have signed him! This one really frosts my ass.

    • Nipper said, on February 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Chipower 9 has a frosted ass! News at Six.

      • chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

        You bet your ass!

        I’m frosted! I’m going to Pops!

      • zumiee said, on February 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        YOU’RE frosted by that deal? How do you think that deal makes guys like Marichal and Gibson feel? 🙂

  13. chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Different eras, Zumie. I am frosted because for a durable pitcher like Arroyo, I just feel that Giants should have pulled the trigger on that deal. Vogey at 5 mil instead? Swing and a miss by Sabes and crew on this one (and I am a big Sabes supporter). Just bummed…especially that he is in our division.

    • snarkk said, on February 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Giants must be figuring that next year one or two of their crop of young uns will be ready to pitch. I hope that’s right. And, that if Voggy craters this season, they can use Petit. Arroyo, though he threw a lot of gopher balls in Cincy, would have been fine at ATT with the bigger park. In Phoenix’ band box, I think he’s gonna get roasted for HRs at least as much as he did in Cincy. Where are the Dbacks getting this money — I thought nobody goes to their games?…

  14. chipower9 said, on February 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    A-Fraud has withdrawn his lawsuit against MLB and THE used car salesman. That guy is a fricking joke.

    • snarkk said, on February 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      He got the lawyers’ bills, then he got the lawyers’ PROJECTED billings for this year. Case dropped…

  15. snarkk said, on February 7, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    As for Cal football, its recruiting class of 21 guys has 2, two, from the greater Bay Area. Nobody from the East Bay — nobody. This proves what I thought was a critical swing and miss by AD Sandy Barbour — HC Dykes coming in had virtually no contacts, no connections with the Bay Area high school scene, which is an incredibly rich source of talent, and should be a no brainer, default source of kids for Cal, particularly from the EBay. The class was ranked in the mid 40s nationally, with the Furd ranked in the low teens. I hate to say so, but this looks like another bad year at Cal, with Dykes looking like a possibly disastrous hire. I didn’t like it from the get go, nothing has changed my mind. I’d rather have gotten MacIntyre from SJ State — he had something of a Bay Area network established, now he’s breaking rocks in Boulder instead. Dykes got a handful of JC guys mainly on D, so maybe Cal will be able to stop somebody once in a while this coming season. I’m thinking 3 wins in 2014, tops, and Dykes possibly gone thereafter — and AD Barbour maybe done, too…

    • ewisco said, on February 8, 2014 at 11:44 am

      I don’t know how Barbour keeps her job. i had to do a second take when i saw Barbour and dykes in the same sentence.

  16. Celeste Johnston said, on February 7, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    You didn’t mention the Cano deal. 10/ 240. He’ll be 41 the end of this guaranteed deal. Probably 3 or 4 years past his prime. At that point…not worth it!

    • Flavor said, on February 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      fantastic point, Celeste. When I was sleepily writing this thread this morning I kept telling myself I was leaving someone out!
      All the teams that hand out the mega deals know the back end of them won’t be worth it. They’re cool with it. At least, as long as they make a lot of money off the player in the first few years and maybe bring home a WS trophy or two, they’re cool with it. But the bar of success is different for all teams.
      With all the money baseball teams are making through the new tv deals with ESPN, FOX and TBS there will be more than enough money to go around for EVERYONE to hand out mega-deals and not be killed by them if they don’t work out.

      • Alleykat said, on February 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        Everyone doesn’t include the Giants BF, who could of easily dropped the 2/23.5 at Arroyo and really had a stable and inning eater rotation. Arroyo is a reliable /Durable pitcher for the last 10 years giving a club 200 innings every season!
        Does anyone really think you will get that out of Vogs? And even Petit combined near 200 innings? I’m with Chi about being frosted over management at times missing a golden chance to improve on their starting 5!!
        Sabes fucked up on the LF situation last year settling on the anemic duo of Torres&Blanco ,which sucked balls all last year ,and yet he never attempted to upgrade during last year’s off-season as well.
        Guess their chump change Bench players, take to much of the profits away to add established talent.

  17. osadawg said, on February 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I was going to vote for Cano, now that’s crazy money!

  18. DJLoo said, on February 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I’m in no hurry for baseball whatsoever. Seems like it just ended. What’s the rush? It’ll be here soon enough.
    I haven’t even checked to see when the Giants make their one lousy visit to NY this year.

  19. gianthead said, on February 8, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Sorry I tried to post this a couple of days ago but did not see it so sorry if I am repeating myself….

    The Freeman extension is ridiculous. It is as ridiculous as trading Freeman for Kershaw in a fantasy league:)

  20. willedav said, on February 8, 2014 at 8:55 am

    In another note that times have changed, the A’s gave Crisp $11 mill extension for each year 2015/16.
    Some numbers from his 4 yrs in Oaktown–4 trips to the DL, .744 OPS,. 264 BA, .327 OB. And one year of 20 bombs 20 steals.
    Hope Arroyo doesn’t become the next Mark Portugal and handcuff SF when he faces them.

    • twinfan1 said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Crisp’s contract is hardly out of line with the times

  21. pawliekokonuts said, on February 8, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I guess social media work, a little. (I chose to treat the subject as a plural.)

    After about 178 Tweets yesterday, maybe twice as many (went manic), I conjured up 3 sales of my 99-cent digital book. It has a bunch of haiku and other tiny baseball poems, including many saluting the 2012 Giants. I almost never promote it because I am frankly embarrassed by the layout. But I’ve changed my mind a bit after somebody in the Twitterverse read it and loved it.

    So, here, Flappers. http://amzn.to/1iP9Hd9

    • zumiee said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

      It’s very cool. I liked it.

      • pawliekokonuts said, on February 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

        Thank you, Tall Cali Fruitoftheearthman.

  22. snarkk said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

    When the A’s give CoCo friggin’ Crisp $22+ million for 2 years, and Freeman gets essentially $17M/year for 8 years, is $100M for a productive Panda beyond the pale? No, that may be way LOW…

  23. zumiee said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I recently got the Sporting News baseball preview magazine. They have a list of all-time records and where active players stand. It’s clear the 300-win pitcher will go the way of all extinct animals.
    Jeter has a chance to end up 6th on the all-time hit list. I guess he’s a sure first ballot Hall-of-famer. I just have no feeling for him as a baseball player one way or the other. His career seems like it was kind of cushy the whole way, always surrounded by lots of talented players, never having to carry a team by himself. I’m more impressed by what Pedroia did for the Red Sox last season than anything Jeter ever did for the Yankees. Just my opinion.
    A-Rod’s approaching some big benchmarks, but he’s never going to get there, IMO. He should be able to catch Mays in all-time HRs, though, if A-Rod can get one more season.
    Obviously, A-Rod will never get in the Hall of Fame.
    Pujols now seems doubtful to get the high echelon career numbers he once seemed destined for, unless he has a big turnaround.

  24. zumiee said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    The magazine ranks the Astros #1 in minor league talent, the Giants #13, and the Yankees and Angels, #29 and #30.

    • snarkk said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:27 am

      zum, that’s the highest I’ve seen the Giants. Who are they touting that gets SF that high, I assume it’s the pitching. Anything about position players?…

      • zumiee said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:37 am

        Yeah, they like the Giants’ young arms in the minors a lot. Here’s their list of the top 10 Giants minor leaguers. Notice no Brown or Panic (ouch). (Two possible first round pick busts? Yikes.)

        1. Kyle Crick- RHP
        2. Clayton Blackburn- RHP
        3. Chris Stratton- RHP
        4. Edwin Escobar- LHP
        5. Adalberto Mejia- LHP
        6. Andrew Susac- C
        7. Mac Williamson- RF
        8. Gustavo Cabrera- OF
        9. Christian Arroyo- SS
        10. Martin Agosto- RHP

      • snarkk said, on February 8, 2014 at 10:41 am


      • Salty said, on February 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

        Too early to PaniK.

  25. twinfan1 said, on February 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I looked up the last 4 years for Crisp (on Fangraphs). Right with each other were Crisp and Pagan. I want to be clear- I’m not making a case that Angel is overpaid, just that they are very comparable players. Angel at 10 mill per year for 4 years and Crisp at 11 per year for 2 years seems very fair for both. Angel is 2 years younger, making it even more comparable. If I were given a choice of either one at their current contracts, It would be a tough decision. Coco’s terrible arm would give Angel the nod.

    Crisp 2003 PA 49 HR 281 R 204 RBI 141 SB .264 BA .327 OBP .744 OPS wOBA .326 wRC+ 106 WAR 11.6

    Pagan 2129 PA 31 HR 287 R 211 RB1 107 SB .281 BA .334 OBP .749 OPS wOBA .326 wRC+ 107
    WAR 11.5

    • Flavor said, on February 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      sounds liike you’re coming around on Crisp, you used to not think much of him as I recall.

      • twinfan1 said, on February 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

        I presume that we all change our minds sometimes. You caused me to look at Ubaldo’s numbers more closely and I changed my mind on him. I wish that we had obtained him, even accounting for the lost draft pick.

      • Flavor said, on February 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm

        I still wish that, too

  26. Nipper said, on February 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Baseball definitely needs a cap.

  27. James said, on February 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    An equally interesting comparison is Choo and Pagan. “Nice little” better describes Angel than Choo, who has put up Rickey Henderson-like numbers as a leadoff hitter (I do not place much stock in SB totals) and is in a class or two above Pagan. I think the 130/7 is as good a gamble as the Pagan deal.

    • Flavor said, on February 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      I’m in the camp that says the Choo deal will be deeply regretted. At least as far as these owners can regret. The FANS will regret it, for sure (at least in the camp I’m hanging out in. All the best of the BB’s are here too since we know the ladies dig the long ball)….

      • James said, on February 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

        Of course, some guys prefer BBs digging BBs.

  28. willedav said, on February 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Pagan’s 2 SF seasons he is hitting .286 with .337 OB .432 slugging for .768, 119 OPS+. As a Giant I think he has been a better player than Crisp has for A’s. It just surprised me the A’s were willing to pay market value and extend a guy who might have had an outlier (at least for power) season.
    I’m interested to see how closer works out for them— they might have been better off keeping Balfour.

    • twinfan1 said, on February 8, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I won’t do totals because Angel missed so much time, here are numbers for stats that don’t depend on playing time:
      Crisp 270 BA Angel .286
      Crisp .330 OBP Angel .337
      Crisp .Slg .432 Angel .432
      Crisp wOBA 332 Angel .332
      Crisp wRC+ 112 Angel 114
      Crisp OPS .762 Angel .768
      Crisp OPS+ 107/119 Angel 120/116

      And Crisp was 60 for 69 in SB, Angel 38 for 49, Coco would obviously have had a big edge there. And with a 20 HR lead, Angel was never making up that. So- no significant edge for either in the last two years. These are two very comparable players no matter you slice it. BTW, the wOBA and slg numbers really are the same for both.
      Again, this not anything against Pagan, but it justifies Crisp’s deal.IMO

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