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  1. Dave, based on the League and Peralta deals which appear polar opposite to each other; what is your guesstimate on what two other set-up guys Adams and Uehara get in the market?

    Comment by Darren — November 5, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  2. “Or, at the least, the inflation isn’t trickling down to the tier of player who are willing to re-sign early before testing the market.”

    Well, isn’t that just it though? That these players who are signing are guys who are willing to resign quickly for what the team at least considers to be a team-friendly deal (even the Dodgers signing of League can be viewed through this prism, if you assume Colletti has no idea how to properly value relievers. Which he pretty obviously does not). When you couple that with the advent of the new free agent rules, where there’s no longer any benefit to offering a guy arbitration with the hope that he doesn’t accept and explores the market, it seems to me that the new CBA incentivizes teams to at least make these kind of offers quickly, to see who is or isn’t willing to take it before moving on to bigger fish. There’s really no downside to this strategy– if the player rejects the deal, the team can still allow him to test free agency and hope to either resign him or get someone else in the January-February bargain shopping season that you mention above. I don’t know if any inferences about the presence/absence of inflation can be inferred from any of these contracts though.

    Comment by Renan — November 5, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  3. Peavy and Ortiz were top 10 free agents in this class. Sure, Peralta’s a bit player, but I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to say that these guys would have been signing these same deals in January had they tested the market.

    The story of this type of inflation is that it’s supposed to come from the bottom up, not the top down. The Yankees are cutting payroll, the Red Sox are probably not going to go nuts in free agency, the Angels are dumping players to create financial flexibility. This isn’t supposed to be price increases driven by the top few guys getting huge deals from the big market teams. This is every team in baseball getting an influx of cash, and that should theoretically serve to push up salaries across the board, rather than just with a few players and a few teams like we’ve seen in the past.

    Obviously, it’s too soon to say what the market is going to do. But, I think the early signings and the lack of qualifying offers suggest that the teams and agents might not be expecting the same kind of crazy inflation that the media is.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — November 5, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  4. I think the more important question if it unfolds this way is why not?
    Did teams like the Tigers/Angels/Dodgers blow their cash in advance of the influx (which is very probable, given the way financials project), or is there another unknown cost sink that clubs are putting money into. If its neither of those two, then the owners are just “deciding” to take a bigger share of the revenues than before, which will lead to whispers about the c-word. It’s much too early to be talking about that, though.

    Comment by Nivra — November 5, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  5. Dave, the Rays seem to have a lot on their plate this offseason with a number of arbitration eligible players, James Shields one-year deal, and options to consider picking up. For teams like the Rays every dollar counts, so it would seem to me that even a minor move like this might signal an attempt to trade a player set to make a healthy paycheck increase this going into 2013. Do you think this move has any signal in it that they may look to deal David Price or Jeremy Hellickson, or am I seeing too much in this?

    Comment by benjh5 — November 5, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

  6. If “the media” is expecting runaway inflation it just proves how dumb they are. Where did they get the idea that huge corporate revenues “trickle down” to employees? That hasn’t happened in the real economy in 50 years. Check out the charts in the linked article. Baseball owners are not going to “share” this windfall, because their business buddies would clown them for it on the golf course. First rule of being rich, stiff the help.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-fix-the-economy-in-one-simple-chart-2012-8

    Comment by Paul — November 5, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  7. Peralta’s still your typical journeyman – I thought he’d be looking to latch onto another team – the security of a two year deal and guaranteed money isn’t bad for someone like him.

    Peralta is serviceable but doesn’t really have the lights out stuff – he isn’t young and could fall apart any time.

    Comment by Larry — November 5, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  8. While I agree with your point about how inflation is expected to play out, and I agree there’s no way to argue that these deals argue for anything but lower than expected inflation, my point is that these deals seem like outliers in the sense that you have players completely forgoing the open market in favor of accepting the money being offered by their teams. My sense from just following free agency the last few years is that the larger deals get signed when the players are subject to open bidding. But when players essentially remove themselves from that process voluntarily they don’t necessarily get the highest dollar, with the exception of some of the game’s superstar level players (i.e possibly Grienke this year). I mean, it’s not as if Ortiz broke the bank the last time he was a free agent when he essentially limited himself to resigning with the Red Sox, as he did this time around.

    Comment by Renan — November 5, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  9. For a guy who has only known one year deals it doesn’t surprise me in the least bit that Peralta jumped at the first mutli-year deal. He gets nominal security (he’s not getting a no-trade clause), 6 million guaranteed, all while winding down his career. Tampa is also already looking at the trade deadline and how valuable Peralta will be if he catches lightning in a bottle and is lights out in the first half.

    Friedman and Co. are some of the brightest minds in the game. I think its a great move on their part.

    Comment by melotticus — November 5, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

  10. I think this is entirely home town discount. Check out what Peralta said in mid-October:

    “I wish I wasn’t a free agent. Definitely I want to be back. I’m wishing, I’m hoping, I’m praying that I can come back here. This feels like home. I want what I deserve — I don’t want more, I don’t want less. So it’s up to them. I’m cheap. They can afford me.”

    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/money-for-improvements-may-not-be-easy-to-come-by-for-rays/1256338

    Comment by Tim Dierkes — November 6, 2012 @ 12:15 am

  11. Have to disagree with Dave here. $3M is plenty good enough for a middle reliever, not even a closer. He’s not an elite player by any means-he merely fills a role, albeit well.

    These guys often have wide swings in performance and run into health, other issues, etc., such as who else is in the bullpen with them. One good reliever doesn’t save a bad bullpen (instead his numbers usually worsen) and vice versa.

    So yes anywhere outside the Beverly-Hills/Disneyland world of MLB $3 for 1 year of work is a TON of money.

    Comment by MC — November 6, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

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