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  1. Ryan. Howard.

    Comment by John S. — March 29, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

  2. This was brilliantly written. The only difference between this and Shakespeare is that this includes Buster Posey.

    Dave Cameron – 1, Shakespeare – 0

    Comment by Cody — March 29, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

  3. 30-year-old first baseman who had averaged just over +3 WAR per season over the prior three years. Not even remotely in the conversation for this kind of player. Signing a star to a long term deal is not any less wise because the Phillies didn’t understand that Ryan Howard was not a star.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 29, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

  4. To spend or not to spend. That is the question.
    Whether tis nobler for the team to hand over
    to their star players outrageous fortune
    Or to spend money on a sea of Free Agents
    And by signing, keep them; to win, to lose
    No more

    Comment by White Blood Cells — March 29, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  5. How can Fangraphs claim any baseball cred when they refer to Josh Hamilton as “a clearly inferior player?”

    Duh. No.

    All big contract sabermetric calculations, pegging WAR to dollars, et cetera, even the ones calculating for the fast-moving Magic Johnson environment – don’t even bother. It will not be close to correct.

    Probably King Felix’ deal contains northward of $60mil in insurance premiums, but don’t look to read about that on Fangraphs, or what the real total risk, year-by-year for the Mariners is.

    Okay, hit the down thumb, sycophants.

    The dark. In the dark and claiming understanding?

    Comment by rubesandbabes — March 29, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

  6. Roll Tide

    Comment by marcello — March 29, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

  7. Buster Posey, 2013 projections:

    Steamer: 6.4 WAR
    ZIPS: 6.2 WAR
    Oliver: 5.1 WAR
    Fans: 6.9 WAR

    Josh Hamilton, 2013 projections:

    Steamer: 2.9 WAR
    ZIPS: 3.2 WAR
    Oliver: 4.7 WAR
    Fans: 3.9 WAR

    If you don’t think Buster Posey is a better player right now than Josh Hamilton, there’s something wrong with you.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — March 29, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

  8. Why in the world would you need to say there’s ‘something wrong with you?”

    The author does not choose the reader.

    And Hamilton being paid until age 34 is not really that big a deal in relative baseball contract insanity.

    Sooo, about those Mariner insurance premiums on King Felix – you were saying, Dave?

    Comment by rubesandbabes — March 29, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

  9. I’m not going to tell you how to spend your time, but I don’t think this one was worth the response….

    Comment by Steve — March 29, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  10. I was once like you. I found it tiring. You may too one day.

    Comment by Cody — March 29, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  11. 34, 36…what’s the difference, right?

    Comment by Steve — March 29, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  12. I would tend to agree with John; just because you/we understand Howard was overrated and not really a star, the Phillies didn’t and locked him up with a massive overpay. Those heinous signings count too, and still happened under the same premise of “Hey, let’s lock up our hometown star player to a long-term deal!”

    Comment by Jason B — March 29, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

  13. “What’s WAR?” — Ruben Amaro Jr.

    Comment by Jeff T — March 29, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  14. Posey was under contract already through 2017. What they did, effectively, was buy his 30-34 years, which was as you note tend to be the decline years for a catcher. It seems somewhat unlikely he’d end up making more in arbitration. Seems like the Giants took on a lot of risk. But, I guess this is just what teams do now.

    Comment by Ben — March 29, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  15. I would respond more directly to the argument in the second half of your post if I could figure out what it was. Contracts in pro sports are almost all insured, but neither the team nor the insurer is especially anxious to release their risk-rating publicly, which is why we can’t look to read about it here or anywhere else.

    Comment by rusty — March 29, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

  16. Boras may advise his clients, but the players make the final call. Assuming Harper produces this season as many are expecting, you might as well offer him 10 years (5 years of club control included with 5 years of FA) $180-190 million to see if he bites. Sure, he could wait five years for a $300 million payday, but he’s taking on a lot of risk. Ditto for Trout, Stanton and Heyward, although the latter would probably get closer to $150 million. They might say no, but at least you can say you tried to keep them around for a while.

    Comment by Brian — March 29, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  17. How can somebody actually manage to be such an unrepentant moron? I mean just say the absolute dumbest, utterly nonsensical, completely-opposite-of-true things, and when confronted with reality, completely ignore it and not even apologize.

    Comment by Kevin — March 29, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

  18. That’s rediculous.

    We are evaluating players based on our metrics, not the teams. Dave’s saying that if a team locks up a star player (by objective metrics, not just because the team says so), then it’s probably a good deal. Including a player like Howard in such a conversation is inappropriate on its face.

    Look at it this way: Howard was projected to be old and washed-up at the start of his contract. Posey may possibly be old and washed-up only at the end of his contract. Big difference.

    Comment by cass — March 29, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

  19. While catchers break down earlier than any other position, I am not convinced that Posey will break down at the same rate as other catchers. Remember, he didn’t start catching until middle of his college career, unlike most catchers who have been doing it since high school (this is an assumption, as I have no idea where I can find numbers to back up the high school claim). That’s 3-6 years less wear and tear than everybody else.

    On the other hand, there’s absolutely no way to know what that ankle injury will do to his prolonged health. Could be a non-factor since it happened when he was so young, or it could counteract the fewer years of being in the squat.

    Just some food for thought.

    Comment by Joe — March 29, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

  20. You may be entitled to your opinions, but not your facts. That comment is a moderate re-telling of who Ryan Howard was, especially in light of your comments about Prince Fielder deal, motivated by nothing more than confirmation bias and subjective opinions.

    713 FT games for Howard prior to signing his deal. 17.9 WAR (4.1 WAR/162 games).

    959 FT games for Prince prior to signing his deal. 20.7 WAR (3.5 WAR/162 games).

    The problem was, as you correctly hint, that the Phillies did not appropriately consider Howard’s age in the contract equation.

    But your claim that “the Phillies didn’t understand that Ryan Howard was not a star” makes me wonder if you understand this either. Because by your logic, Ryan Howard *was* a star. The problem was that he should have been paid like one leaving his prime, not entering it. If there’s something to fault the Phillies on it’s that.

    Oh, but that doesn’t fit with your narrative about Howard and the Phillies? Well, keep that in mind the next time you’re criticizing one of the old school sports writers for valuing narrative, because frankly, you fit right in in that way.

    Comment by that guy — March 29, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

  21. No, I think *that’s* ridiculous. You can’t look in hindsight and say “these deals were great, they were based on the beloved metrics that we value!” and “These other signings were terrible, they were clearly based on other, crappier matrics!”

    Even the misguided extensions count, too. They’re all part and parcel of the “locking up the hometown dude long-term” mindset, whatever the motivation.

    Comment by Jason B — March 29, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

  22. Great Post Dave! On a side note, can we update the salary columns on the player value tables? Is there a way to do this automatically when someone enters a new contract at the bottom of the player page? Reading your comments about Tulowitzki made me want to compare his actual value to his salary. Thanks!

    Comment by GottaIch116 — March 29, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

  23. You have to be discerning about these things. Signing Joey Votto for 12 years until he’s 40 can be a bad idea at the same time that signing Posey through age 34 is good.

    Comment by StlFan — March 29, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  24. History will judge this contract. Not Internet articles written within minutes of its signing.

    Comment by Bill but not Ted — March 29, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  25. Can’t say I really feel like waiting nine years for a reaction, though.

    Comment by Masticating Monkey — March 29, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  26. maybe someday people will stop posting these stupid troll comments

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 29, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

  27. dave don’t feed the trolls, just ban them

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 29, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  28. This is somewhat of an aside, but can a fangraphs writer write something about how completely arbitrary the arbitration process is. How does a catcher coming off an MVP season get $8 mil in arbitration. On the other hand, why does the arbitration number always go up.

    Comment by James Gualtieri — March 29, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

  29. I take Posey over Hamilton all day long and I love Josh Hamilton. Posey is just that good.

    That said, moving Posey off catcher (which I’m pretty sure everyone believes will happen in the next 2-4 years) dramatically compromises his value – especially when we are talking about WAR.

    I wonder how “valuable” Posey would look if you stash him at 1st base starting in 2015 and apply a typical age regression to his WAR. The differences may not end up being all that significant between Posey and Hamilton. I’m sure the Giants would be thrilled to get a 387 wOBA from Posey’s age 32 season. Frankly, there is a very good chance that by the time Posey would reach his age 32 season that he won’t be nearly as valuable as Josh Hamilton is today.

    Comment by Posey Over Hamilton — March 29, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

  30. But the decision to make the contract was made by people in the present day who are looking forward, not people in the future who will have the benefit of hindsight.

    So it’s fair to discuss their decision in the context of what we know at this time.

    Comment by DCN — March 29, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

  31. The new york times or post had a really good article about how insurance in professional baseball works, bu it didn’t get into monetary specifics over the premiums. If you want to google, it had to do with A-Rod and what missing his season would mean for the Yanks.

    Comment by piratesbreak500 — March 29, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

  32. I second that motion. Would love to see an in depth look at the arbitration process…

    Comment by Metsox — March 29, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  33. That’s completely reasonable.

    Comment by Bill but not Ted — March 29, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

  34. I believe arbitration is largely based on what the contract was the previous season. Posey was still making peanuts last year, so there was only so much higher it could go, it would likely have gone up to 15 mil for 2014, then maybe 20 for 2015 (pulling those numbers out of my ass).

    I think arbitration only going up is probably something that the Players’ Association made happen.

    Comment by Joe — March 29, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

  35. he’ll be 29 in 2015. Let’s say he’s a full-time (ie 150+ games) 1B, a 0 defender, and a 130 wRC+ hitter. (apply error measurements at your own discretion, I’m just using a baseline) That’s about a 3-4 win player, think the 2012 seasons of Pujols, Craig, or Goldschmidt.

    Now, I don’t think he’ll have been moved off catcher by then, but that’s just me.

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 29, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

  36. staring in incredulity at people, on fangraphs, actually discussing the merits of ryan howard’s contract, in 2013.

    Comment by jim — March 29, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

  37. What I’m curious about is, did the Rockies really see all this coming, or did they make an awful decision and just get lucky? Same with the Brewers.

    Comment by BIP — March 29, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

  38. He was under control, not under contract. There’s a pretty big difference. This deal not only buys out free agent years, but gives them surety in his arb years. Pretty big deal given how salaries are going crazy.

    Comment by Goofus — March 29, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

  39. Tim Lincecum probably wishes he had taken the Giants offer of a long term deal a few years ago. It could end up costing him up 50-60m at least.

    Comment by Kazinski — March 29, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

  40. I think that last part is right. If the team doesn’t want to pay a player more than the previous year, they have to risk not offering him arb. That allows the market to determine his value.

    Comment by Goofus — March 29, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

  41. It was just last off-season, but yeah, Cain and Posey are probably now getting money that had been ear-marked for Lincecum.

    Comment by Goofus — March 29, 2013 @ 7:13 pm


    Comment by Alex Remington — March 29, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

  43. They’re paying 80ish million dollars for surety on his arb years then. 85 million is paid for the 2013-2017 period, for an AAV of 17.08 million a year. His arbitration awards were have to escalate massively to get him past 17.08 AAV. Which could happen. But not enough to dent the remaining 80 million.

    Comment by Ben — March 29, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

  44. 3 years before contract: Howard, 10.3 WAR, Fielder 13.7 WAR
    Age at contract: Howard 30, Fielder 27.

    Evidently in some kind of alternative retard universe (commonly known as Philadelphia), that isn’t a much better starting performance from a guy in a much better place on the aging curve.

    Comment by Kevin — March 29, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  45. I am confused about the Tulowitzki reference. He had a 0.4 War last year. What was the return on their investment for 2012? He had some great years already but some of these young players with injury concerns that light the world on fire end up being like Chase Utley. He would not get 20 million on the open market now and he had 5 consecutive seasons of 7+ WAR (meaning he was great). I know the ages don’t match up but we know Utley is compromised as a player because of injuries and age not just age. Even the great Troy Tulowitzki may be an albatross contract. It just is not known yet. I think it is a high risk contract.

    It is rarely good business to spend money because you think revenues will rise forever. That is bubble economics and if any thing should be learned from macroeconomics it should be to tighten up your investment strategies when times look good. Great times never last and you want to have a Canadian balance sheet rather than a Greek balance sheet when the day of reckoning comes. You stat heads should know this.

    Spending a lot and getting 8 to 10 years of hall of fame talent works fine. Still I would really rethink a lot of these contracts even if they look good after a couple of years. Players often decline rapidly. Even sensational talents frequently fizzle out. There is value is flexibility. Does Billy Beane sign his players to long term deals early?

    Comment by enhanced performance — March 29, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

  46. Don’t cross the streams, man!

    Comment by Reuben — March 29, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

  47. if by .4 you mean 1.4, for which he was paid $8.25m. which was already in the terms of his previous contract, so the first year he will play under the extension is really 2014

    Comment by jim — March 29, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

  48. On his war was listed as 0.4. I could be reading it wrong. It is true that the first year in the extension is really 2014 but I am saying that it is a risk because of the poor production he provided last year. I like Tulowitzki but I think it is concerning that he might not be healthy. If he does not stay healthy the Rockies might regret the extension.

    Comment by enhanced performance — March 29, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

  49. My question is, including the previous major injury, the arb years, the catcher-pitcher value difference, and all other relevant boundary conditions: do you like the Verlander or the Posey deal best?

    Comment by glib — March 29, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

  50. I do appreciate a guy who insults the intelligence of the host (“Duh. No.”), preemptively calls the readers “sycophants”, and then gets whiny when rudeness is returned for rudeness.

    I guess points for not making any obvious misspellings, though.

    Comment by georgmi — March 29, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

  51. @Kevin


    There’s a word for that, you know :-)

    Comment by MDL — March 29, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  52. what’s with the Oliver projections?

    Comment by jaysfan — March 29, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

  53. Dude, read up on WAR, specifically the different ways it is calculated.

    Comment by Andy — March 29, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  54. The Brewers saw it coming. They had their chance with Prince Fielder, and chose to go with Braun.

    Comment by Paul Wilson — March 29, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  55. Except the Howard deal isn’t really “using hindsight,” everyone knew that deal sucked when he signed it and said so. Ryan Howard is not a superstar, he is a power hitter who produces heavily in the money categories. The fact that Philadelphia can’t tell the difference between those two doesn’t mean he automatically joins the former category.

    Comment by momomoses7 — March 29, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

  56. based on everything we’ve seen the rockies do, you can pretty safely assume dumb luck

    Comment by jim — March 29, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

  57. He just turned 26 this week so he’ll actually be 28 through all of the 2015 season.

    Comment by dustygator — March 29, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

  58. The Royals locking up Gordon last year. THAT was genius. Or maybe not since Dayton Moore still doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Comment by That Guy — March 29, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

  59. Who is this “everyone” who thinks Posey is going to move to first in the next 2-4 years? Posey himself has said repeatedly that he wants to catch and plans to catch as long as he can. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved to first at the end of the contract, but two years? He’ll only be 28 years old, I don’t see any reason why he can’t continue catching for several more years past that.

    Comment by thirteenthirteen — March 29, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

  60. Looking at Howard’s numbers from just before he signed the contract is misleading because he signed years before the extension actually started. Posey is also a year away, granted, but he’s projected to get better in that year, not decline. And, as mentioned, Fielder was much younger than Howard.

    Comment by Ian R. — March 30, 2013 @ 12:04 am

  61. WAR: What is it good for?

    Comment by Ruben Amaro, Jr. — March 30, 2013 @ 1:12 am

  62. Vernon. Wells.

    By WAR, a young star.

    Comment by smallflowers — March 30, 2013 @ 1:25 am

  63. That Posey, whose only season close to 6 wins was heavily dependent on a BABIP he’s unlikely to repeat, is likeliest to be worth north of 6 wins is pretty silly.

    This is only a good deal for SF if you think Posey’s 2012 wasn’t heavily influence by luck. It’s also

    I’m also surprised no one’s phrased the issue correctly. It’s

    “should the Giants have signed Posey for his age 30-34 seasons for around $115m?” Bench, Piazza, and Little Pudge at those ages wouldn’t have been worth Posey’s deal, and they were better than Posey.

    Comment by Jack Strawb — March 30, 2013 @ 1:32 am

  64. I like the idea of this contract but not the timing. Why not wait a year and see if his 2nd-half performance is sustainable. Would he have not accepted a similar deal next year if he replicated last year? Maybe all the money in the game means the price would have been the same regardless, but it just seems like SF is paying for what might well end up being a career year.

    Comment by ezb230 — March 30, 2013 @ 1:36 am

  65. Eventually, the streams must be crossed.

    Comment by marcello — March 30, 2013 @ 2:10 am

  66. I think this is a good deal for the Giants. They are locking up his entire prime and he plays a premium position. It compares favourably to the Mauer, Votto, Fielder, Kemp, and Tulowitzki deals. The only one I like as much or better is the Longoria contract. Even if he has to move to first base in 4 or 5 years his offensive production would still make him a 5-6 WAR player in spite of the downgrade due to positional adjustment. With inflation a 5 WAR player will likely be worth 30 million 5 years from now and he will be making far less than that. Health is the only concern and his injury, while very serious, was a freak accident. He has not had chronic leg issues like Mauer did before he got his payday.

    Comment by dan m — March 30, 2013 @ 2:17 am

  67. even mauer spent half of 2012 catching, and he’ll spend a lot of time there this year too. and he’s bigger and taller than posey

    Comment by jim — March 30, 2013 @ 2:35 am

  68. “If he does not stay healthy the Rockies might regret the extension.”

    Umm… Yeah. That’s not exactly an enormous logical leap…

    Comment by jruby — March 30, 2013 @ 2:38 am

  69. So if he produces in the “money” categories, shouldn’t he be shown the money?

    Comment by Nathaniel Dawson — March 30, 2013 @ 2:45 am

  70. Depends on your definition of star. Is it solely based on a player’s contribution on the field, or does it include how the fans view that player?

    I don’t see that giving an extension to Howard was inherently flawed. How much they gave him was the real problem.

    Comment by Nathaniel Dawson — March 30, 2013 @ 2:49 am

  71. What about Andrew McCutchen, the difference between he and Posey is interesting. Posey had 28 more days of service time which bumped him to Super-2 status, but both guys had four years until free agency at the time of their extensions. Clearly Posey would earn more in arbitration, but the contrast between the two contracts (6/51m vs. 9/167m) is hard to comprehend. Add in the fact that McCutchen played a ton more up to that point (1824 PA vs. 1255) and it just seems crazy that the contrast is so huge.

    Obviously you would rather sign a guy long-term before a MVP caliber season than after, which is a big part of what happened here. Who knows in a reverse world where Posey doesn’t get hurt in 2011 if this wouldn’t have been taken care of a year sooner… one would hope, and Giant fans please share any rememberances.

    It will be interesting to see how this deal plays out compared to Mauer’s. Mauer was a lot further along in his career, he was a year older at the time of his deal and started his career a year earlier, giving him 2 additional years. Mauer’s deal goes through his age 35 season, a year older then Posey’s. Anyways, Mauer accumulated 1739 more plate appearances (2994 vs. 1255) and a 14.5 WAR advantage (27.4 vs. 12.9) at the time of each signing their respective deals, and remember only a year age difference.

    Anyways, I think Pirate fans should give a little shoutout to the baseball gods for their good fortune on the McCuthchen front. Just imagine if they waited and tried to work something out now… they’d be in the same place the Giants were with Posey or the Dodgers were with Kemp, which would probably be a deal breaker for the franchise in terms of feasibility.

    This contract could easily prove to be a bargain, particularly if he finds himself playing as much as Jason Kendall did during the duration of his 6/60m deal (avg 650 PA season). Posey may have done less than either Kendall or Mauer, but power is a much bigger part of his game, and at his age, he could/should blow the others out of the water considering Mauer’s was a one year power spike and that wasn’t really a big part of Kendall’s game, even though he had a couple of .170+ ISO seasons. Posey’s a legit .200 guy.

    Think this deal will be a win-win for both parties.

    Comment by Amish_Willy — March 30, 2013 @ 2:54 am

  72. Of course his second half performance is not sustainable. It just doesn’t have to be for him to be worth this contract. If he sustained that he’d be the best player in the game by a very wide margin and be worth insane amounts of money. If he puts up another huge year he’s another year closer to free agency, is less risky, and his price could skyrocket. The Giants got a reasonable deal which makes everyone happy, I don’t see a problem with it.

    Comment by Mike — March 30, 2013 @ 3:42 am

  73. Verlander’s deal is the better one, because Verlander has never been injured. Even if Posey’s injury was a “freak” injury caused by external factors and not a breakdown of his own body, it still happened and will always impact his ability to play catcher in some form.

    Comment by Petruchio — March 30, 2013 @ 4:50 am

  74. I wasn’t talking about his value or arguing that we won’t be worth this contract. My question is whether they might have saved money by waiting. I have to believe that his second half coupled with the team’s success contributed to his asking price and the team’s willingness to meet it. If we suspect that both he and the team are unlikely to repeat their respective performances, then it’s reasonable to assume that the team’s bargaining position would have improved by next offseason. (But as I mentioned above,it is possible that salaries will continue to increase such that signing him now at any cost is worth it).

    Comment by ezb230 — March 30, 2013 @ 5:06 am

  75. And it is obvious that his price will skyrocket if he stays healthy and puts up another huge year. But you concede that this sort of performance is not sustainable, and that’s even if he stays healthy, which given his position and history is no sure thing. Personally, I’d want more data before deciding on him than I might for, say, Mike Trout or Ryan Braun.

    Comment by ezb230 — March 30, 2013 @ 5:45 am

  76. For an additional reason why this is just stupid logic, the Phillies already had Howard under contract for two additional years when they extended him. Prince was actually a free agent. So really, you’re actually comparing signing a 27 year old Prince Fielder against extending a 32 year old Ryan Howard two years in advance. Which, if that sounds stupid, it is. And I like Ryan Howard. But that move was just dumb.

    Comment by B N — March 30, 2013 @ 8:32 am

  77. The Phillies’ belief in Howard as a “star” is enough to make it a “star contract”. Its the counter-example to the article, but since we’re dealing with people and trends here it really doesn’t matter how many counter-examples there are if the overall trend continues in some form or some niche. If the rest of the league goes the other way, it will never disprove the fact that the Reds won with the Votto deal, the Brewers with Braun, etc.

    If, say, the Braves signed Jason Heyward to this kind of deal and he flopped over the next 5, you wouldn’t say these kind of deals are a bad idea, you would say the Braves chose the wrong player. Basically, they didn’t execute the plan laid out by the other clubs. So, the Phillies probably tried this out with Howard and I blame Howard for not being a HOFer more than I blame the Phillies. At least they didn’t blow it on Jason Werth like their rivals did.

    Comment by mike — March 30, 2013 @ 10:39 am

  78. Posey’s BABIP went from .326 to .368 a 0.032 jump so that must have been extreme luck right? It couldn’t have been caused by a 6% increase in LD%?

    Using slash 12′s xBABIP average coefficients from 2009-2011 we could get a rough approximated change in BABIP – 6% increase in LD% times .740 with about a 6% decrease in GB% times .195 comes out to … 0.0327?

    This is not to say that these ratios stabilize this quickly – there will still be fluctuations but to claim his WAR was predicated upon luck is a bit extreme.

    Comment by jdm — March 30, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  79. Buster Posey has chunks of guys like Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard in his stool.

    Comment by Hunter Pence's thorax — March 30, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  80. He may be a troll, but he has the right to make his comment, just as you have the right to flame him and Dave has the right to snap back at him.
    But he certainly didn’t do anything that deserves being banned.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

  81. jdm, I also have issues with jack’s comments, but using a totally non-predictive statistic such as LD% to bolster your opinion was a poor choice.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  82. jim, I don’t get what size has to do with it.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  83. That makes good sense to me. Maybe the teams are already doing that. The players just might accept. Let us remember that Lincecum supposedly turned down $100M for 5 years last offseason, against my advice. I’ll bet he’d like to have that money now.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

  84. Last time I checked, Verlander was still a pitcher, by far the most injury-prone position. From a team point of view, I see the Verlander contract as poor, the Posey contract so-so.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

  85. Your point is well-taken. However, Longoria playing 3B is a 5-6 WAR player right now. Playing 1B in 4-5 years, he would probably be a 3-4 WAR player.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  86. I can’t explain why this is so funny. It just is.

    Comment by Baltar — March 30, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

  87. In Posey’s first two years, 2010-2011, he played a total of 153 games and got 628 PAs. This is roughly a full season’s worth of time given that he played 148 games and got 610 PAs from 2012. In that first “season”, he had a 128 wRC+ on a .318 BABIP and was worth 5.5 WAR. As a rookie.

    Posey was a 5.5 win rookie and a 7.6 win MVP in his second season. Who looks pretty silly now?

    Comment by Brett — March 30, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

  88. being too big to stay an effective catcher is the reason players get moved off catcher. so long as posey remains an effective catcher, he’ll stay there

    Comment by jim — March 30, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

  89. Does Posey have to move to 1B if he moves off of catcher? Didn’t he play SS in college. He might be able to move to 3B or 2B making the value adjustment much less than moving to 1B. I think Belt is going to have 1B locked down long-term.

    Comment by robertloucksjr — March 30, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

  90. Much better example than Howard. Not quite on the level of (most of) the players mentioned above, but he was a 28 year old athletic CF coming off a 4 year run where he averaged 4+ WAR per season. Also, as a Torontonian, I can vouch for the fact that VW was viewed as a HUGE star in the city at the time. Howards collapse was easily predictable, VW’s was not.

    Comment by Bones — March 30, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  91. Anyone who disagrees with you will just see that you used an asshole word and immediately ignore everything else you say, even though you’re right.

    Don’t ruin your own arguments with words like retard, guy.

    Comment by Charlotte — March 30, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  92. There’s been talk of him possibly moving to third, but as far as I know that’s pure speculation. It may be an option if he has to move off catcher in the near future.

    Comment by Graham — March 30, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  93. And yet, he didn’t turn out as poorly as everyone anticipated for the blue jays.

    Comment by Mike — March 30, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

  94. “The fact that Philadelphia can’t tell the difference between those two doesn’t mean he automatically joins the former category.”

    But doesn’t this article argue (in part) that these deals are self-selected for players who are likely to perform well, BECAUSE teams have superior information about their own players? That Philly apparently misjudged Howard’s value goes precisely to the question of whether hometown resignings tend to be worth it.

    Comment by Jon C — March 30, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

  95. I’ll add another two mega-deals for the homegrown star type: both of Derek Jeter’s contracts. He, of course, clearly fits in with Dave’s narrative (HOF, legacy player, etc).

    I don’t think Wells negates what Dave is getting at, which I believe is spot-on, but I do think he should be included in the conversation. There was a clear line between Howard and Wells/Fielder at the time of their respective deals. Wells lacked/s the plate discipline of nearly every other hitter on the list (other than Cano, the hallmark of a super/star?), but played CF, hit in the middle of a tough lineup, and was the co-face of the team (with Doc).

    I’m no expert on these things, but it seems to me like Toronto and Philly are mid-market teams that can play up to a higher market when they are winning. I think both the Howard and Wells deals were attempts to either keep the good times rolling (Phillies) or get back to the green green astroturf of home (Jays). Most (all?) of the other deals Dave highlights were given out by teams that were competitive, play-off type teams at the time OR that are big market clubs (Mets/Wright, LA/Kemp).

    Comment by smallflowers — March 30, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

  96. Dustin Pedroia looks mildly silly now.

    Comment by smallflowers — March 30, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  97. Who cares what people that retarded think, guy?

    Comment by Kevin — March 31, 2013 @ 12:47 am

  98. Your article says the complete opposite of what Ken Rosenthal said.

    Comment by randplaty — March 31, 2013 @ 3:35 am

  99. That might be a nice infield in 2015 of Sandoval, unnamed SS, Posey, and Belt.

    Comment by That Guy — March 31, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  100. I am always skeptical on catchers for their careers for staying fully healthy.

    Comment by Yehuda Hamer — March 31, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

  101. I bet he eventually goes to third after leaving catcher, but it probably depends a lot on the Giants roster contents at that point in time.

    Comment by Nate — March 31, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  102. How much lower would Posey’s 2012 BABIP have had to be for his WAR to be under 6.0?

    And the results of Rodriguez (18.8 WAR) and Piazza (20.6 WAR) age 30-34 would absolutely be worth $115 million 5-9 years from now. That is $6.1 million and $5.6 million per WAR.

    Comment by TKDC — March 31, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  103. If advice is stated but not heard, was it given?

    Comment by tomdog — March 31, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

  104. if a tomato is grown but not eaten, was it really grown?

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 31, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

  105. At some point I expect the pendulum to swing in the other direction. It’s reasonable to expect a paucity of high caliber FAs hitting the market over the next 4-5 years, which should dramatically drive up the price of those who do. This will drive up the asking price for long term deals, and teams might become more averse to giving them out. We’ll see though.

    Comment by NickGerli — March 31, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  106. Let’s not forget that there are such things to consider as marketing and public goodwill to consider in these deals. Posey is this generation’s Joe Montana in San Francisco and that has tangible economic value.

    Comment by CARSON — April 1, 2013 @ 12:56 am

  107. “salaries in baseball aren’t going down.” This was said about the US housing market. I’m not saying that salaries will crack during the length of the Andrus or Posey contracts, just saying that statements like these have been known to turn out foolish. These advertising mega-deals are costs to the baseball fan…they aren’t free money.

    Comment by Dave — April 1, 2013 @ 8:52 am

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