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  1. I’d still rather have Jose Bautista.

    Comment by Renegade — December 9, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  2. Only the attrition rate of pitchers makes me wary, but otherwise it’s sick. Give me Giancarlo Cruz, though.

    Comment by Derek — December 9, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  3. Damn, that is a ballsy move by the Rays. Good for them.

    Now the important question: what round should I target him for in my fantasy draft?!?!?

    Comment by noseeum — December 9, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  4. I’d take Bryce Harper at this point. Owed 3.25 mil through 2015 at which point he’ll have 2-4 more seasons of arb control left over (probably 3).

    Comment by Brad Johnson — December 9, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  5. Keeper or redraft?

    Either way, you’re going to be looking at him pretty early. Probably around the top of tier 2. Not to say he’s necessarily worth that investment, but somebody is going to be willing to spend big on him.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — December 9, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  6. Once again the Rays price risk aversion better than the CBA does. Sure, they just took on a lot of risk, but if it goes wrong now it hurts them a lot less than it would’ve hurt Moore before this signing. I’m surprised more teams don’t go this route, it seems like a sensible way around the massive inefficiency in how the CBA prices young players vs. established players.

    Comment by fang2415 — December 9, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  7. The Rays just do it over and over…
    Crawford for years was the face of the franchise for WELL under market value
    Longoria the past few years the same thing.
    Now Moore…no other team comes close to locking up young talent like that. Not even close.

    Comment by drifter909 — December 9, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  8. Since position players are inherently less risky than pitchers and Longoria has already established himself as one of the best players in baseball, I think you have to still give the nod to Longo…but only just.

    I agree mainly due to the Rays mitigating the risk with team options. Worst case scenario is that Moore gets injured and never pitches; this would cost $14M, not much risk considering the upside.

    Comment by Anon — December 9, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  9. No other team does it as well, granted, but the Red Sox would be in the “coming close” category.

    Dustin Pedroia – 6y/$40M (7y/$51M)
    Jon Lester – 5y/$30M (6y/$43M)
    Clay Buchholz – 4y/$30M (two more option years at $13M and $13.5M)

    That’s a lot of wins per $ right there…

    Comment by whonichol — December 9, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

  10. I think Youkilis got locked up for pretty cheap too

    Comment by BoSoxFan — December 9, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  11. This also give the Rays absolutely no reason (I think?) to not start Moore at the very beginning of the season. I could definitely see them waiting until mid-June without this deal. If Moore was under the assumption that the Rays would take this route, he would have been looking at 4 pre-arb (read:500-700K) years and then 3 arbitration years. In this scenario, he is only giving up 1 FA year. Of course, the Rays could still decline the options and go through the arb. process for the first option year, and they can’t do that for the second option year if they start him in Tampa in April. I guess that is the only disadvantage, but that seems very small to me.

    Comment by TK — December 9, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  12. Great read, Rays do it again.

    Incredible value with low risk

    Comment by Mariano — December 9, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  13. This is a really good point, if you’re talking trade value. But Harper’s arb years aren’t going to be cheap at all: if he lives up to the hype, or even falls just a little short, he could be looking at Ryan Howard type arbitration results. I’d have to do the math to tell you, but my gut tells me that the low cost of his arbitration years make Moore the better chip.

    Comment by philosofool — December 9, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  14. Youk was signed for less than market value, but not anything crazy cheap like these guys (4/41 with a team option that may or may not be picked up in 2013)

    Comment by whonichol — December 9, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  15. Crazy to think that Longo’s contract STILL has FIVE MORE YEARS to go. Wow.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — December 9, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  16. Yet another article where someone jumps to conclusions about young talent.

    “I think you have to still give the nod to Longo…but only just. ”

    I’m not saying Moore won’t be good but comon! Longoria has put up SEASONS worth of PROOF he is arguably the best third basemen in the league. Moore has 19 MLB innings. Unless the cost difference is huge, which it isn’t, Longoria is the better trade chip and it’s not close.

    Comment by adohaj — December 9, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  17. Timmy was one of the best pitchers in baseball his first full season in the majors (2.62 ERA and FIP), and based on his success this past season, Matt Moore seems more likely to flourish than flounder in 2012. Through his Arb2 season, Lincecum made a total of around $27 million, and he’s expected to make around $15-19 million in his upcoming Arb3 season.
    Lincecum won back-to-back Cy Young Awards before being eligible for arbitration as a Super-2. The odds of Moore doing that are tiny, so comparing his contract to Lincecum’s earning is silly.

    Moore’s first three years are much more likely to resemble Weaver’s (122 ERA+) than they are to resemble Lincecum’s (151 ERA+). In short, Lincecum is not a “better comparison”–he’s a best case scenario.

    Comment by Sam — December 9, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  18. I agree

    Comment by Eminor3rd — December 9, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

  19. Youk was 4/41

    Comment by JDanger — December 9, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  20. I get moore taking the 14 in guaranteed money, but i feel like the rays still do this deal even without the multiyear options into free agency. Those years, particularly for a pitcher, are when you’re most likely to be able to get the 100+ money if you’re anyone from john lackey or better. The extra risk of two years of waiting for him is not worth it. Look at c.j. wilson.

    The rays have definitely won this deal again big time.

    Comment by Jesse — December 9, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  21. My thoughts exactly. And I wonder how explicitly they stated this in the negotiations, or if they figured Moore and his agent were smart enough to realize the likely value in starting the service clock ticking earlier, therefore effectively making the contract worth somewhat more than $14 million over the first 5 years.

    Comment by ralph — December 9, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  22. It’s an excellent deal for the Rays, but I agree w/ those who feel that some are just getting waaaaay ahead of themselves w/ the raves for Moore.

    Yes, he is clearly one of the best pitching prospects of the past decade or so at this point, but that’s just it. He is *still* a prospect w/ under 20 MLB IPs under his belt — and pretty much *any* pitcher, who actually belongs in the MLB, can look great for just a few innings against even the Yanks and Bosox on a given day. Using Lincecum’s *actual* performances and salaries over the last several years in this manner as a likely comp is just plain silly. As someone else pointed out, Lincecum is basically Moore’s best case outcome, which is quite different from likely comp…

    Comment by TheUncool — December 9, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  23. This seems like an exaggeration.

    The Reds extended Votto for 38/3, Bruce for 51/6 w/ a $13m club option on a seventh year.

    I don’t deny that Friedman is excellent at his job, maybe the best, but he’s hardly doing anything that other teams don’t do.

    Comment by philosofool — December 9, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  24. really? A 31 yo corner outfielder who has had 2 and 1/2 great years after his age 28 season over a 22 yo with arguably better stuff than a guy named Strasburg? I won’t even get to contracts (though AA looks like he made a good choice looking back imo)

    unless you are a guy who is 100% with the “could blow out his arm at any time” camp, you’d be crazy to pick Bautista over Moore.

    Comment by jp — December 9, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  25. “This is no David Price we’re talking about; Moore has stuff that compares favorably with pitchers like Stephen Strasburg, Tim Lincecum, Tommy Hanson, and Jered Weaver.”

    Price’s stuff isn’t as good as Jered Weaver’s? Not sure what you’re trying to say here, because that doesn’t sound right. Anyway, if Matt Moore has a David Price ceiling, this contract is an absolute steal. Really really not sure what you meant with the Price comparison…

    Comment by JG — December 9, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  26. Shocked to see Rauch on that Leaderboard of Top Pitching Specs…

    Comment by Matty Brown — December 9, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

  27. I am willing to spend big on him. Are you in my league? You’re not getting him.

    Comment by Max — December 9, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  28. Ive always thought you would have to be a fool not to sign one of these deals in moore’s spot. He is now set for life. After that its just folly and ego.

    Comment by Eric — December 9, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

  29. I realize Moore is potentially costing himself a boatload of money, but he’s also guaranteed himself a bunch before throwing 25 pro innings. The nature of pitching makes it very possible he gets hurt sometime in the next few years. Even if that happens, he’s still got tons of money. If I were in his position, I’d do the exact same thing. Great deal for both sides.

    Comment by Zack Arenstein — December 9, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  30. I guess im in the minority because I dont think Moore should have signed this deal.
    If he had just waited until he finished pitching 1 full season, and then signed an extension of the same length, how much more do you think he could have made?
    Id guess at least twice as much, if not more.

    And i think the injury risk might be a little overblown. How many elite pitching prospects over the past 10 years have had career ending injuries? Sure many have been hurt, buwith medicine advancing every day, nearly all of them come back.

    Also assuming he didnt sign ANY extension, only became a league average starter (or even slightly below), and went through the arbitration process… how much could he expect to make before hitting free agency?
    Id venture at least 75% of what he is guaranteed with this contract, and then he would have the potential to have a comparatively huge payday much sooner.

    Comment by cs3 — December 9, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  31. harper sucks. cant even play at triple a

    Comment by fool — December 9, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

  32. This comment seems to ignore the law of diminishing returns and principles of marginal value. It is debatable what amount of cash assures lifelong financial prosperity. But, every dollar up to that point has far more value than every marginal dollar beyond that point. What’s more important? The 1st million or the 31st? The answer is pretty clear here.

    You seem to discount the chance of a debilitating injury, but that’s not really the point. The ugly underbelly of risk comes in the form of the cost of that injury. In the event Moore blows out his elbow and is never the same, he will be forced to work in some capacity for the rest of his life. This deal guarantees that he doesn’t have to do that, regardless of what happens from this point forward.

    The “huge payday” sounds nice in theory, but it ignores the realities of human psychology and modern financial security. These are not video game players. They are real people with real families and real desires to not have to worry about the cost of a nice condo or sending their children to private school.

    After a certain point, the rest is gravy. I think you’d have to have a very high risk profile to trade guaranteed financial prosperity for an indeterminate payoff of dollars that you will likely never spend anyway.

    Comment by Coby DuBose — December 9, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

  33. The follow up to this idea is that contracts like these are mutually beneficial. The Rays are the side in this deal who have the best ability to absorb the risk of injury or, to a lesser extent, floundering. Therefore they leverage that ability to generate the most possible gain. You might be tempted to call them the “winners” of this deal when Moore eventually provides tens of millions of dollars worth of surplus value. That’s only true in the context of there being no true loser. At that point, Moore would have left money on the table, but he’d have fairly traded that surplus money for something valuable – the guarantee of financial prosperity.

    It is really a case of both sides understanding their positions and making a choice that best reflects their goals and risk-absorption proclivity.

    Comment by Coby DuBose — December 9, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  34. *as a teenager.

    Comment by Eric — December 9, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  35. It’s like when you take out insurance for your car. On average, the insurance company will make a profit off of you, but you are guaranteed financial security.

    Comment by James — December 9, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  36. They are not going trade Moore. What a silly concept. They are licking their lips at having signed who will probably be a top 5 or top 10 pitcher for dirt cheap for 8 years. Great deal, Tampa. And Moore is happy as – multimillionaire, career certainty, and barely above drinking age.

    I am so glad I bought him for $1 in my keeper league last season. He is the next top pitcher in baseball waiting to happen.

    Comment by Sea — December 9, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  37. If I’m Matt Moore I do not sign this deal. I can understand taking the 14 mil instead of arb years. But 3 team option years? Maybe 1, at most 2… but 3? No way. I would want to be a free agent at around 28 years old. If he’s worth 8+ million to the Rays then he could be getting Sabathia money from a larger market team at that age.

    Comment by Borbes — December 9, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  38. The option years are what make this deal possible. This deal is not on the table without them.

    That’s the giveback for the right to unabridged financial prosperity for a lifetime.

    Comment by Coby DuBose — December 9, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

  39. Ya i totally get all that.

    id just like to see an analysis of the actual risk of a legitimate career ending injury that an elite pitching prospect like Moore faces.
    i have a feeling that its much lower than most people think.

    and how much more money could he have been guaranteed if he had pitched at least 1 full MLB season before signing the extension? 2 more seasons? 3?
    and what is the risk associated with each addtional season?
    this article is really begging for an EV calculation.

    Verlander/Felix/Weaver/Lincecum all certainly made out better than Moore will.

    Comment by cs3 — December 9, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  40. No, not really the same at all because you are required by law to have auto insurance, so the insurance companies have ALL the leverage.

    Nobody is forcing any prospect to sign an extension.

    Comment by cs3 — December 9, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

  41. Another thing to consider is whether or not the Rays would sign a deal for twice as much after a year had gone by. Isn’t it more likely with a franchise like that, they’d ride him through maybe his first arbitration year and then trade him or release him into free agency? If he was coming up with a team that could sign him to a boatload of money, he might be able to take the 1 year scenario you propose, but with the Rays, he could price himself out of their current payroll and have to take on multiple years of risk.

    Comment by Reuben — December 9, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

  42. Yes and no. The Rays are likely to save money even through the arb years with this deal. Plus it allows them to play him from day 1 next year instead of stashing him to avoid Super 2 status. They’ve signed similar deals that only went 1 or 2 year past arb before. Carl Crawford’s was 2 years past arb so he was 29 when he hit free agency.

    If I’m Moore I take a little bit less guaranteed to cut 1 or 2 of those option years off just like Sabathia did when he signed with Cleveland for 10mil over 4 years with 1 club option year for another 10mil. He did that after his rookie season so with the team option it was only 1 year past arb. This made him a free agent at 28 which allowed him to get largest pitching contract ever.

    Comment by Borbes — December 9, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

  43. Agree. People were falling over themselves about David Price (95+ mph from the left side) much more than Hanson or Weaver.

    Comment by evo34 — December 10, 2011 @ 1:30 am

  44. You are only forced to take out the bare minimum in liability insurance. Anything in excess of that (incl. collision/comprehensive) is optional and is an example of paying extra to reduce future financial volatility.

    Comment by evo34 — December 10, 2011 @ 1:35 am

  45. I’m shocked to see that Justin Verlander is *NOT* on it. He was only the #2 overall pick of his draft year who in his only season in the minor leagues posted a K/9 of 10.3, a BB/9 of 2.0, and an ERA of 1.29 in 119 innings while giving up only 4 home runs. No biggie.

    Comment by Larry Smith Jr. — December 10, 2011 @ 2:24 am

  46. Stras has better stuff. (if he returns to pre-surgery levels)

    Comment by Albert — December 10, 2011 @ 3:52 am

  47. Unless you taken out a loan on that car, in which case the bank requires you to carry full coverage.

    Comment by Nerd — December 10, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  48. I have to think that Matt Moore wanted the guaranteed financial security in this deal, and was willing to give up some extra cash later on to have the absolute certainty today. Yes, the Rays did great to ink Moore to this contract, but they did not screw Moore here or anything. I also have to think that both Moore and his agent talked about how he will be a free agent while still in his 20s, and if all goes well then he will sign a 9 figure contract at that time. And if all does not go well, he still has the guaranteed dough from this contract. From a strictly financial standpoint, now Moore really can’t lose because he is a millionaire several times over no matter what happens.

    Comment by Matt — December 10, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

  49. Strasburg has legendary stuff. Moore has borderline generational stuff.

    Comment by Socrates — December 10, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  50. “fool” is an apt pseudonym

    Comment by Socrates — December 10, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

  51. Also, Moore would be like a Ferrari. Would want to take the max comprehensive insurance available.

    Comment by James — December 10, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

  52. Actually, now that I think about it, all MLB prospects are like ferraris since we’re talking about millions of dollars. If the Rays were to offer Alex Cobb a 5 year contract with $2.5 million guaranteed plus 3 team option years worth $3 mil each, would he take it? He just might. Locking up prospects could be a new kind of market inefficiency.

    Comment by James — December 10, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  53. Everyone keeps talking about financial security, which is great.

    But a lot of people fail to realize that at his level, hes pretty much already guaranteed that security.

    Ive heard people use Prior and Ankiel as two possible examples of the worst case scenario. They were 2 of the most hyped pitching prospects over the past 15 years, featuring great velocity, ridiculous K rates, and seemingly limitless ceilings.
    and both flamed out spectacularly.
    unfortunately I have to agree they are pretty good comparisons.

    but guess what?
    Prior made over 13mil through his first 6 seasons.
    Ankiel has made over 10mil in his career to date.

    even if Moore suffers a severe injury, or just completely busts, the money will still be there. but by taking this contract, hes severely limiting his career earning potential should he have even an average MLB career.

    At the very least, if elite pre-arb players are going to sign this type of extension they should demand most of the money up front, payed immediately as a bonus, and never sign off any more than one FA year.

    Has there ever been a case when this type of deal worked out better for the player than NOT signing the extension?

    Comment by cs3 — December 11, 2011 @ 1:21 am

  54. Whether they trade him or not has no bearing on his potential standing as the most valuable trade chip in baseball. If I had $3 trillion, but decided to buy a herd of goats and drop out of society and never spend any of it, I’d still be the richest person in the world.

    Comment by davisnc — December 11, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  55. With all due respect to the Reds and Red Sox posters, none of the contracts given as examples even come close to approximating the value that the Longoria and Moore contracts due over the next couple of years.
    To calculate I used the 2011 WAR numbers for all but Moore and Buchholz. For Moore I used the Fans forecast, for Buchholz his 2010 number.

    The two Reds average out to $2 Million per WAR
    The 4 Redsox listed (Pedroia, Lester, Buchholz, Youklis) average out to $1.7 Million per WAR.
    The 2 Rays averaged $400K per WAR

    Comment by Free Hanram — December 11, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  56. Prior was the #2 draft pick, and signed a deal for 10.5 million before he played a game as a professional.

    Rick Ankiel signed for 2.5 million as a draft pick. He made most of his money after he turned himself into a respectable major league OF, which is exceedingly unlikely to happen for any other pitcher who can’t pitch.

    Why would you think those are good comparables for Matt Moore’s “injury downside”? Matt Moore was an 8th round pick. He’s made approximately 300K as a pro baseball player.

    If Moore doesn’t sign, he will be brought up in mid-June and will pitch for 2012-2015 for $400-$500K/year for those 4 years. He’s only giving up 1 year of FA in exchange for the financial security. The deal makes complete sense for him.

    Comment by JT — December 11, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  57. still nobody has come up with a number for the actual injury risk to top prospects. what % of them have actually had a career ending injury?
    you realize career ending is exceedingly rare right?
    I mean guys come back form TJ nowadays stronger than before they got hurt.

    Moore can get hurt and miss a full season, completely flop based on his projections and pitch like a #3 or #4 starter for a 4 years, and still make more money than the contract guarantees him.

    Also can anybody even name a player who signed a similar pre-arb extension who DIDNT make less than they would have by going through the arbitration process + their first 1-3 FA years? i honestly cant think of any off the top of my head

    Comment by cs3 — December 11, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  58. and another thing that nobody mentions is insurance.

    a player like Moore can take out a pretty hefty insurance policy that will still guarantee him a huge level of financial security should he actually suffer an injury that ends his career.

    Comment by cs3 — December 11, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

  59. Comparing the Reds way of extending players to the Rays, is just wrong. As a Ray, Jay Bruce would have signed his deal 18-24 months sooner then the Reds ended up doing, in fact the figure the Reds commited to Bruce (51m) is about (54-55m) what it took the Rays to sign Shields, Longoria, Moore, and Davis combined in terms of guaranteed money! Votto’s deal doesn’t include ANY free agent years, which the Rays are getting at discounts in way of team friendly options. Hardly comparable.

    The Reds are like the Rays not so bright little brother. The Reds like most teams, end up waiting just a tad too long in signing their players, and when they come around it’s a far more costly venture.

    Anways, the Rays are doing what the Indians did in the mid-90’s, and would probably still be doing today (Sabathia/Sizemore) if they had the pipeline of talent coming through. Right now it doesn’t seem like there is anything that can slow down the Rays development system.

    Comment by Amish_Willy — December 12, 2011 @ 1:31 am

  60. You also need to consider the Rays have a very limited and specific budget. Once Moore has a deal in place where he is financially secure for the rest of his life, then if he asks for more money it will reduce the amount of resources the Rays have to build around Moore for the chance to win, because last I checked, most players actually want to get paid and win. Could it be possible that Moore (following in the footsteps of Price and Longo) took less than he is worth knowing the Rays need it to build a championship team? If Longo and Price got max dollars on their deals, and Moore was looking for max dollars on this deal, could the Rays afford all 3??

    Comment by kanosha — December 12, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  61. Stras has Legendary stuff, but is paid way more than Matt Moore and don’t have those Club Options-Boras would never allow something that team friendly to happen. plus Moore just got locked down for the next 8 years, in 2-3 years Stras will be Arb elligble and making 15-18 mil a year for 2 before bolting to the Yanks for 23 mil a year.

    Comment by RandomSoxFan — December 12, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  62. It is not close, Matt Moore’s Option years(there are 3 not 2) are 8.5 Mil per, Buchholz’s option years are 50%+ more expensive.

    Comment by RandomSoxFan — December 12, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  63. Except Matt Moore would command at least 12 mil per in his 2 Arbitration years he is being paid 8.5, and at least 20 mil per in his 1 FA year he give up.

    Comment by RandomSoxFan — December 12, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  64. I was surprised that no Joba comparison was made as;
    1) Both were young guns that tore up the minors.
    2) Both made MLB bats look weak once promoted.
    3) Both have serious heaters & highly touted secondary pitches.
    4) Both were quite young & projected to do quite well long term.

    Moore may have a higher ceiling, but did what most would have done…secure your familes future beyond what 99.9% of humans can while playing the game you love for a living…oh, BTW your only 30 when all is said and done.

    Life is good.

    Comment by CS Yankee — December 12, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  65. Price’s contract is not really in the same ballpark.
    He can void the deal and take arbitration if he wants as soon as he becomes eligible. And he will make 8-10x as much as teh original deal when he does.
    David Price lhp
    6 years/$8.5M (2007-12)

    6 years/$8.5M (2007-12)
    signed Major League contract with Tampa Bay 8/15/07
    $5.6M signing bonus (paid in 6 installments each Aug. 31, 2007-12)
    07:$0.5M, 08:$0.65M, 09:$0.75M, 10:$1M, 11:$1.25M, 12:$1.5M
    salaries in minors: 08:$0.1M, 09:$0.15M, 10:$0.2M, 11:$0.65M, 12:$1.2M
    major league salaries may increase total package value to $11.25M
    Price may void salary & file for arbitration in any year he is arbitration-eligible
    $80,000 award bonus for 2nd place in 2010 Cy Young vote
    drafted 2007 (1-1) (Vanderbilt)
    agent: Bo McKinnis
    ML service: 2.164

    Comment by cs3 — December 14, 2011 @ 1:24 am

  66. If the British had Strasburg’s stuff, they would have won the Revolutionary War.

    Comment by Gary — January 26, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

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